The Sky Goes Clank (Session 1)

A 2nd Edition Gamma World Tale
Cast of Characters:
Wyke, Pure Strain Human (Chris)
Abrum, Pure Strain Human (Wendel)
Voxx Ulla, Pure Strain Human (NPC)

“Peoples of the world – you appear bent upon the destruction of a civilization that has taken centuries to build, and the extinction of life on earth

If that Is your will … so be it!

We, The Apocalypse, demand an immediate cessation of this insane violence, or we will end it for you … with a force you cannot conceive.

We have the power!

The choice is yours!”

And then the world went dark. The Apocalypse came and sent mankind on the verge of extinction, the earth twitched and buckled reshaping the world, lakes changed, canyons ripped about the land and mountains were formed once again.

It is the year 2471 AD.

Our adventure begins in the settlement of Kandor Kull, where Wyke, Abrum and Voxx reside… growing up in a Tech II level community built up on the ashes of an old college.  It has a population of 900 but during the winter the population swells to 1500+ as farmsteads families move in for the duration of the Big Cold.

Kandor Kull’s population is roughly made up of 55% Pure Strain Humans, 30% Humanoids, and 15% Mutated Animals. It is named Kandor Kull since it was the name of the ancient ruins that are there.  The town is located along the shores of Nor’Bay, which is part of Lake Yuron. There are ruins of the ancient located just below the waters of Nor’Bay near the town.

Kandor Kull is ruled by a “Dean” and a council of six “Instructors”. It is they who look after the well being of the town and to send out scouts to the surrounding area to see what stuff they can bring back.  After a very long and hard winter, supplies took a heavy hit due to Mother Nature in all her wrath; two storage buildings were destroyed in a fire, and also a surprise bandit raid during the winter (which is the first time this happened in years).

This year means Kandor Kull has to rely heavily on the surrounding farmsteads to stock up just encase next winter is cruel and harsh as well.  It is a beautiful late spring day when Wyke, Abrum, and Voxx have been summoned to Kandor Hull to meet with the Council.

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Kandor Hull is located next ruins of the U-knee-versy and Kampis and is the only original building left standing from the ancients due to the structure being sound and solid. This is where the Dean and Council live and also conduct daily business dealings of Kandor.

Dean Hew (PSH) is a man in his late 50’s and have been in charge now for the past decade. His guidance lead Kandor Kull into a new age of growth. As well as Councillors; Lamana (Mutated Animal), Urban Hoc (Humanoid), Nease Winno (PSH), Derrin Howser (PSH), Heeble Tick (Humanoid) and Milli Moonlite (PSH) sit in high back chairs on a raised dais as townfolk sit on seats along either side of the wall.

Dean Hew greets each of our heroes by name and thanks them for attending.  He then informs the audience of the incidents of the past winter and what had happened and that when the snow had finally melted several of the farmstead families went back to their farms to prepare for the fall harvest. It is these good people that make Kandor Kull thrive during the cold wintry nights and without their help Kandor Kull wouldn’t be as prosperous as it now is.

Dean Hew calls forth a young lad from such a farmstead, his name is Hank, he has come from a farmstead just 30km from town along the North Road. Hank tells that his family had arrived home once the road was good to travel and begun tilling the earth and fattening up the livestock until the next winterspell.   His father and oldest brother, as well as a neighbor, were digging a new well when the ground gave way as they were digging and revealed a chamber. The eldest brother and neighbor decided to explore the chamber while the father went topside to gather some torches and weapons in case they are needed.

When he emerged from the well, he could hear someone yelling from below and he went back down leaving Hank, his mother and youngest sibling behind. The father disappeared into the well and never returned. Hank’s mother decided to send Hank to Kandor Kull for assistance and their you have it.

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Wyke, Abrum, and Voxx all decide to go and help Hank’s family.  The Dean and Council are thankful and they proceed to leave right away.  But, before they do the Council gives each of them three days of ration, as well as 4 torches, and 1 50 foot silk rope to assist them.  And on that note our heroes are on their way. As they walk the streets of Kandor Kull they are being followed by a group of children who will cheer them on, they will escort our heroes to the edge of down and wave to them as they walk down the See Deer Road.

Wyke is leading the way, Abrum up close behind him and Voxx trailing behind and taking up the rear guard.  They travel for a few kilometers when Wyke hears something from the woods.  He singles the other to take cover and when they do, a group of Badders (Mutated Badgers) emerge from the thick underbrush and onto the old road. Our heroes hold up and watch the Badders continue down the road, stop at a few rusted out relics along the road and one of the Badders decides to investigate the wrecks while the others continue on.

Our heroes creep up along the brush and watch as the Badder reaches into one the vehicles and pulls out a long slender rod and hold it up to the sunlight. It seems to be metal and shines in the light, it looks like it has some dials on it as well. The Badder realizes his group has continued on down the road will alert them to his discovery. He trots towards them with his discovery. Wyke, Abrum, and Voxx move along the brush and then Abrum is attracted to a deliciously aroma. It smells like freshly baked apples in a pie. His mind suddenly has an image of an apple pie and now he’s hungry and goes to investigate. He breaks cover and just walks across the road toward to river. Wyke keeps an eye on the Badders to see if they notice Abrum but they seem to be focused on the silver rod. Voxx tries to stop Abrum but he shrugs her off and wanders to the river.

Just off the shore there are lily pads floating and Abrum steps on one and that’s when the lily-pad snaps shut. Abrum is now clamped in the jaws of a Ber Lep. The creature secrets an acid which burns Abrum as well. Wyke and Voxx come to assist Abrum, trying to pry open the jaws of the one beast and keeping an eye of the other lily-pads that seem to be floating closer and closer to our heroes.  In a desperate attempt to get away Abrum accidentally stabs himself causing more damage to his leg.

Voxx keeps an eye on the toher Ber Leps  and Wyke helps Abrum escape from the grip of the Ber Lep. The creature is finally dealt with and both Wyke and Abrum get to the show and rest. Voxx tends to Abrum’s wounds.

By the time they get to the old road the Badders are long gone, much to the relief of our heroes. So, they investigate the wreck were the Badder found the silver road. Wyke finds several silver discs in a case, as well as a pendant (which are dog tags).

 

Wyke divides up these discs among them and they continue down the road where they find a pristine looking vehicle. Mainly glass and metal and with an skeletal occupant inside dressed in a weird tunic. They try opening the door but to no avail, they try to pry but that doesn’t seem to do anything at all. In fact, this thing doesn’t looked scratched up as well.

Other than the occupant of the strange craft they see a case in the backseat, a square card device that is inserted in the dash of it. Abrum decides to break one of the silver disc and insert it in the slot near the door handle. There is some sort of “voice” and then a series of chirps. Which scares the hell of everyone and they begin to flee. Wyke runs to the water, while Abrum and Voxx flee to the other old relics down the road for cover.

Around the strange craft an arc of electricity happens which goes out in a 1 meter then stops. Our heroes return to the craft, and Wyke hears something in the water. A huge splashing sound and they see a huge beast in the review that apparently has a Ber Lep in it’s mouth.  They watch the huge beast slip under the surface and disappear into the murky waters, and glad that it didn’t come towards them.

The vehicle seems to be hovering off the ground now, Abrum figuring that the device, even though is not unlocked but have been activated. They find that it is easy to push as well, since it’s hovering a foot off the ground. Our heroes decide to push the vehicle and use it for a shield if they happen to stumble upon the Badders once again.

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They arrive at the farmstead late in the day, having pushed the craft with them and that’s when they spot splatters of blood on the ground that is next to the hole in the ground. There is no sign of anyone else around. Abrum says that maybe they should push the craft over the hole for now and then check the farmhouse to see if everyone is alright. Wyke doesn’t have a good feeling about the whole situation at all, but he knows that something is amiss.

Wyke with musket ready goes up to the door of the farmhouse, Abrum readies his bow while Voxx is looking around the grounds to see if she can see anyone about. Wyke knocks on the door and it swings open. Inside are two Dabbers… there are specks of blood on the floor and walls and they are caught off guard.  Abrum thinks that these could be the Badders that were on the road earlier.

Our heroes spring into action as well.  It’s a brutal fight but the Badders are dealt with and with little damage to our heroes. They look around the farmhouse and find no one else, Abrum checks to see if there is a trap door under a rug. Wyke looks outside and sees the body of Badder out back. The Badder has half his head blown off.

Abrum and Wyke will investigate and Voxx stays close to the craft. They find that the Badder has been shot and they also discover the doors to a root cellar. They go to the door and stand to either side of it and open it. Wyke calling down to see if anyone is there… and sure enough it’s the farmer’s wife and young son.

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She is armed with a musket and she wants to see a face before she emerges from the cellar. Wyke peers over and she lowers the weapon and emerges. She thanks them for coming and dealing with the Badders as well.

Abrum asks if they saw the Badders with a strange rod. She tells them that she saw them over the “well” and one of them dropped it in. Our heroes decide to clean up the farmstead, drag the Badders body off into the woods and then rest up and tend to their wounds before they go down the 10 meter well. But, before they completely rest, Wyke wants to be lowered down the well so he can retrieve the rod. Abrum has 15 meter rope and the farmer’s wife says there is rope as well they can use. Voxx and Abrum lower Wyke down and it opens up into a cavern with what looks like to be rails on the ground, with torch in hand Wyke cannot see the silver rod on the ground.  He signals for the other to pull him back up, since it’s no use to do a ground search just yet.

He emerges from the well and tells them the rod is not that, but there is a passage. Our heroes decide to rest up before they go into the well. The farmer’s wife prepares a feast for them and rolls out some cots for them to rest as well. Abrum and Wyke decide it would be best to do so in a day or so, they push the craft over the well and hope that nothing comes out at night.

Just to be on the safe side they set up watch.

.. to be continued…

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Boot Hill RPG: Eldorado County

Eldorado County Map for Boot Hill RPG

My take on Eldorado County (@1981)

I must admit that I really do love the 2nd Edition of Boot Hill Role Playing Game of the Wild West a heckuva lot! Back when I got my grubby hands on the box set and didn’t want to draw on the huge map of Eldorado County, I had sketched it out by hand and marked in the places where I saw fit.

There where many adventures to be had there back in the day; exploring, uprisings, range wars, looking for lost gold, gunfights at the Semi-Okay Corral, and so on. I had even thrown in a rampaging dinosaur in it as well (this was inspired by the classic film Valley of the Gwangi which I saw on a Saturday Afternoon movie).

Over the decades my original Boot Hill box set went the way of the Dodo, the box being flattened, misplacing the huge original map and the saddled stapled rule book fell apart. But, my notes have always been with me. I’m glad to have re-acquired another 2nd edition box set a few years ago. Thanks to my eldest daughter who happened to stumble upon it at Cangames and she picked it up for me as an early birthday present.

So now I’ve redrawn the map from the original which I had done circa 1981 (and amended back in 83-84 when Burned Bush Wells came out). Originally, Burned Bush Wells was where the Lodge Pole Trading Post was, then retconned later (but I didn’t think that made any difference in my campaign at all).

I didn’t use all the names from the main rule book and I added one or two more just for a little spice. I had a railway going across the county as well. From Mad Mesa to Brewster. The mapping program didn’t have tracks and it’s mainly a fantasy world maker to begin with but I didn’t mind.

I do hope to run a few adventures in Eldorado County sometime in the near future. I sure do missed the place.

Gamma World (1st Edition): My Map

My Map of Gamma World South West

My take on Gamma Terra

Long before there was “Meriga” mapped out in the second edition with some really cool phonetic spelling of some names. There was the original box set with a big map that had some mountains, volcanoes, rivers, and location of ruins. It wasn’t coloured and was there for the game master to draw on to make the futuristic world the way they saw it.

When the cool looking Erol Otis Referee Screen came out, it had little adventure called The Albuquerque Starport. I had built up the South West with some names I thought would be cool for a town, discovered by the settlers on a sign or something like that in nature. Since GW was a science fantasy setting, and since I was heavily into Advanced Dungeons & Dragons as well. I had set up a realm where California use to be.

Taken cues from the cover of the box set.

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It shows what appears a group of Pure Strain Humans investigating a ruined city. The city itself is consumed by mother nature and a huge pit which either was a volcanic hole or maybe radioactive zone.

I fell in love with this game from the get go. It was my go to game when we where not playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and I would sit and write up towns, adventures and map out underground “malls” and old subway tunnels for the players to explore.

Dusting off the box set and some of the materials I had written up for it, I stumbled upon a map that I had roughly drawn up. So, with a new mapping program I figured I’d give it the make over and make it look a little bit more presentable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along The Way – A Gamma World Sample Combat

Sample Gamma World Combat

I’ve been preparing to run a Gamma World 2nd edition campaign and looking forward to seeing it come to light after a few weeks of false starts. Chris had created a PSH named Wyke a couple of weeks back, and after recruiting another player (Wendel) and him creating another PSH named Abrum last night. I decided to run them through a sample combat before we kick off the campaign.

Chris hasn’t played GW before and Wendel hasn’t played it in over 30 years. So, I decided to do a sample encounter to give a feel and the flow of the game mechanics.

Wyke and Abrum are walking along an old highway heading north, it’s spring and the snow has melted and they are heading to Kandor Kull to see what they can find at the open trade market there now that spring is here and the roads are clear for travel once again. With Wyke leading the way they are making the journey pretty good until Wyke sets off a alarm and alerts the 2 nomadic warriors nearby. He didn’t spot the tripwire that was strung low on the road and thus the nomads spring forth to see if these fellows are easy pickings.

Gamma World a d6 is rolled for initiative and if the Dex Score for each point above 15 a plus one is added to the die roll. Wyke and Abrum have 16 Dex so they add two to their roll. The combat is d20 based with Attack Matrixes to combat; Weapon being used against the defenders Armor Class and.

Physical Attack Matrix

Since Wyke is firing a musket it has a Weapon Class of 9, the Nomad’s Armor Class is 8. Compare with the Matrix I chart we see that Wyke needs a 10 or better to hit. Basically, following along the similiar path of the AD&D combat matrix.

With musket’s firing and clubs swinging the combat is a brutal one, with Wyke taking the brunt of the damage. I won’t get into the blow by blow account of the battle but just say that it was good getting back into the Old School style of gaming once again. Especially,  the Gamma World groove. And with me fumbling around with my notes and rechecking the core rulebook to shake the cobwebs from my memory of the the game mechanics. I think the players had some fun… well, I hope they did.

But, overall it was a fun evening for me.

 

 

Text Based Gaming

Yesterday, I had stumbled upon a hand drawn map I had did for The Rose: Council of Guardians. It was for my own record and possible use for Tunnels & Trolls as well since it was a easy role playing game to get into. There was also a support site for The Rose with a lot of ASCII maps as well and I managed to grab a few of them so I could use it to find my way to important locations and rest areas to heal up.

Let’s just say my fingers danced a lot over the keyboard back in those days as well. When I took up resident in this small town here in 1992 there where five (sometimes six) BBS’s and one one was busy you just connect to another. And for those who don’t know about the bulletin board system, here is what Wikipedia has to say about :

A bulletin board system, or BBS, is a computer server running software that allows users to connect to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, the user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users through email, public message boards, and sometimes via direct chatting. Many BBSes also offer on-line games, in which users can compete with each other, and BBSes with multiple phone lines often provide chat rooms, allowing users to interact with each other. Bulletin board systems were in many ways a precursor to the modern form of the World Wide Web, social networks and other aspects of the Internet. Low-cost, high-performance modems drove the use of online services and BBSes through the early 1990s. Infoworld estimated there were 60,000 BBSes serving 17 million users in the United States alone in 1994, a collective market much larger than major online services like CompuServe.

Indeed, it was a strange and magical time back then. That’s when I discovered The Rose: Council of Guardians on one of them. By this time I had my fill of Legend of the Red Dragon and was looking for something more to explore and to grow upon, and with The Rose you could do just that.

I had created a couple of characters and one of them advanced up in levels and then one day the BBS I frequented was gone it went the way of the dinosaurs. And over the years I had forgotten about it, until the other day when I was skimming through some duo-tangs of gaming adventures that I had written up and discovered the World of Corinthia and some of the ascii maps of South City Forest, Satyr Woods, Imperial City, Quentin and Spalango and decided to re-imagine them in a new mapping program. I know I had added in a few other places since I was thinking of running a Tunnels & Trolls campaign using this kingdom…. places like Lando Lake and Misfitville to give players more options to explore.

But, looking at my notes had stirred up some memories of long hours on the computer tying up the phones lines that’s for damn sure.

The Rose: Council of Guardians

Kingdom of Corinthia

Long before the World Wide Web there were BBS’s and on those BBS’s there were text based games. These Bulletin Board Systems where interconnected by individual computers with a main server in the area and others to dial up into. It was used to leave messages, but basically there where several text based games that one could play.

One of those text based games was The Rose: Council of Guardians and I was hooked on it for the longest time. Exploring the city than the surrounding areas; battling goblins, orcs, visiting gypsies and being trained in skills. The further you explored the more the monsters hit a tad harder. There where many late nights of exploring, adventuring with another player or two, or just sitting in the tavern and chatting about things.

The Rose was just such a place that was what the kids call a “time waster” these days. But, it was an awesome waste of time.  Even though you where on line and tied up the phone lines and some people got upset because your phone line was always busy and they where trying to get a hold of you. Ah, good times, good times.

The world was name Corinthia and it sort of inspired me to sketch out a map of it as I explored to keep it handy by me to see where I was and how it related to the other areas. Also, I decided to use the setting for a Tunnels & Trolls world since the races involved were similar in nature: Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Fae, and Giant. It was a good time while it lasted and then the internet was born and BBS’s where disappearing, dying out like dinosaurs.

The other day I stumbled upon Corinthia in my T&T section on the shelf and dusted off the duo-tang and had a look at my makeshift map and decided to give it a make over once again, to breathe new life into it and awaken some memories that where locked in a nostalgia drawer.

I added a few more towns here and there and other areas to explore. But the main areas and settlements are still there: Spalango, Quentin, Imperial City, Gypsy Camp, Satyr Woods, South City Forest and Wizards Spire as well as Dragon Whelp Mountains and Connover Ridge.  I still have the ascii maps of some of the areas like Spalango and Quentin and the Satyr Woods as well. But, for now here’s my version of the world and how I saw it.

 

Everway: Myserran Sphere/Realm

myserran-sphere-for-everway

Myserran for Everway Visionary Role Playing Game

Everway is one of those games that I really wanted to play and never got a chance to run. I even had created a Sphere for the players to explore, but I never did got to execute due to it being a “diceless” role playing game since a couple of players weren’t really into at the time. From time to time I’d dust Everway off the shelf and give it a read through and what not, add an idea to a realm and then put it back on the shelf.

The concept of Everway is that characters have a power of spherewalking, they travel between worlds which are known as “spheres”. Everway is a city in a world that has portals to anywhere and everywhere, and is the base of operations of our heroes. They travel to other realms to explore, to discover, to find ancient relics, to solve conflicts due to interpretation of cards overturned on the table. Hence the Visionary role playing game title.

I had made up called Myserran which was sort of a inspired by The Belgariad and Redwall, as well as the Three Musketeers. It’s a realm where our heroes explore a world of anthropomorphic mice and men and get caught up in a huge war.  I had envisioned a 17th century earth motif of swords and muskets and steam-powered ships and trains about the country side. Our heroes would arrive at a small town north of the Missia Sea and become embroiled in a conflict between a group of rogue like men who where attacking a group of aristocratic looking mice traveling with a human troubadour.

Depending on the players action and the events unfold would draw them deeper into the realm. Maybe, one of these days I’ll get to run a session or two to see how it goes and how the game mechanics actually work with players as well.