Gamma World 3: Zombies & Bacon

Two players joined the game:
– Rick the Stick aka “Gramps” is a mutated walking stick
– Click-Chuck (or something like that) aka “Sally” is a mutated ladybug – “No, I’m really a guy!”

Fridge’s player could not make it.


Dear Fridge,

Wouldzee the owl here.  When we woke up in the morning to that big bomb going off and blowing up the Knight’s truck and stuff and you didn’t move, I thought maybe you were just a heavy sleeper, but I poked you with a stick and you didn’t move and then John poked you with his BBQ fork and you still didn’t move and he couldn’t science you back alive either so we figured you had died again. It took us awhile, but we found a nice refrigerator to put you in and I totally hope you are comfortable all crammed in there like that and John said he didn’t like the sound your head made when Beyoh jumped on the door to force it shut, but we really did the best we could under the circumstances. Oh, I took your motorcycle too.

So we followed that big truck for a while and eventually it ran out of gas and while we were standing there we spotted these two bugs on the top of a hill and one of them looked really old and skinny and the other one was this pretty ladybug pushing a wheelbarrow with a big recliner in it and they looked all scared and then we saw these two robots carrying some gas cans walking along behind them and the bugs asked us to save them from the robots. I really didn’t want to get into a fight, so I tried talking Canadian to them, but I’m not as good at it as you, eh? So the robots filled up the truck with gas and then drove off in it and Gramps (that was the skinny bug) and Sally (the pretty ladybug) climbed on the back of the truck and it drove off and we followed on our motorcycles.

Anyhoo, we drove a ways and up a hill to a little place with a tipped over tower and some ransacked buildings and it was all surrounded by a chainlink fence. The robots got out and started filling the truck up with gas from a pump there and then one of them wandered around back and was trying to get Gramps out of the truck (Sally had jumped out earlier), but Gramps wasn’t having any of it and said something about “getting off his damn lawn”. The robot looked like he was going to shoot Gramps and I yelled “Can’t we all just get along?” or something like that and the robot stopped and then Gramps just pasted him with his crutch. Then all hell broke loose and we flailed around shooting and clawing and Beyoh was swinging around his yield sign, but I don’t think he actually hit anyone and Gramps kept collapsing and then getting back up and finally the robots stopped moving and I really wished I could speak Canadian better so maybe we’d stop bashing every robot we see, but I bet even if I was fluent it really wouldn’t help because the rest of the party always seems to be spoiling for a fight.

So we found a security card on one of the robots and Sally (who keeps telling us she’s a guy) tried to use it to open up one of the doors to a building that didn’t look so ransacked, but couldn’t figure it out so John finally got it open and found a hatch that led underground. The hatch was stuck, but Sally had some lubricant and we totally teased her about it, and after we used it we got it open and climbed down and it was like a barracks. We found some food and a laser gun and some medicine and Gramps wanted to take a nap, but Beyoh spied a secret door and so we opened it and it was totally full of dead guys. I really wish you had been there Fridge, because maybe you could have talked to them or something, but they were all like “arrr… brains…” and looking at John really hungry-like, but they didn’t pay much attention to me. Anyhoo, I thought to myself, “What would Fridge do?” So I totally blasted them with my Mauser and gramps was swinging his crutch around and every time we took one out it exploded in green goo and Gramps got totally slimed and was kind of glowing like some of the old bomb craters do by the time we killed them all dead again. Oh, and the tunnel led outside, but we didn’t screw around down there much longer. We figured there might be racoons or something and nobody wanted to risk getting bit.

Anyhoo, I totally forgot to say that before we climbed down I had heard a bunch of motorcycles driving around, but they didn’t sound close, but when we climbed back up to the surface, the little compound was crawling with those warthog guys and two of them noticed us because John thinks he is sneaky, but he really isn’t, and we busted their piggy heads real quick and nobody else noticed it. So we got all smart and stuff and Sally disguised her voice like a warthog and we tricked three more into getting their heads busted. Finally, the rest of them noticed us and we had this huge fight and John was giving people dirty looks and Beyoh was hitting them with his sign and gramps was swearing and bashing guys with his crutch and Sally and I were generally being ineffective until she went totally ape-shit on this guy and screamed at him and called him lots of names that I don’t think I should write down and he ran away crying. Oh, and their leader got all hopped up on goofball and was a real pain in the ass to take out, but we did it and I discovered that I didn’t feel too bad about it, because those guys are dicks and were hitting a ladybug and my mom always told me you shouldn’t hit a lady when I was a fledgling, so they totally had it coming to them.

I better get going, because that big truck started up again and it is making that annoying beeping sound backing up and we’re all going to ride in it to wherever it is going so we can tell the people in Liberty what is going on if we can ever figure it out. I wanted to write in case you came back alive again and wonder why we’re gone and why you are back in a refrigerator and you don’t think you just dreamt everything, like meeting us and stuff, although on second thought it might have been kinder to just let you think that…

Your friend,

Wouldzee the owl

Gamma World 2: On the Road Again

We are joined by “Fridge” a revenant

Memorable passages of the night:

Wouldzee’s player: “I rolled 17 for stealth.”
GM: “They rolled 17 for perception.”
John’s player: “So you’re a spotted owl.”

GM: “Roll to see if you can figure out how to drive the motorcycle.”
Fridge’s player: “Twenty! Wait a minute, this is my old motorcycle!”


Hi! I’m Wouldzee the owl and I have an important message about the value of patience. Normally I’m a pretty patient guy, except for that time that I was trying to sneak away with one of those warthog biker’s motorcycles and two of them totally saw me and they told me it wasn’t mine and I said that possession was nine-tenths of the law and then they were going to beat me with chains and so I pulled out my Mauser and told them if they took one freaking step closer I was going to blow their freaking heads right off and they totally hopped back on their bikes and drove off and I told them “yeah, you better run” and… Oh, I guess I should start at the beginning…

So Cashton told us we could sleep in the manger, because there was no room at the inn (or maybe they didn’t have an inn), and I was asking John when he thought the three wise guys would show up and suddenly this dead guy just sits up and I totally freak out, but Cashton says it is ok because, well he really didn’t have a good reason, but he introduces us to him and his name is Fridge. So Fridge tells us that he was living when the bomb dropped, but he’s kind of not living now and he had hidden in a refrigerator when the bomb dropped because he’d seen that really bad Indiana Jones movie, that they really shouldn’t have made because it was so terrible and had aliens and stuff and the guy who played his son was kind of a douchebag and anyhoo, he thought it was a good idea, but he died, only he woke up a few years ago and started wandering around and eventually found his way to Liberty. Then we went to bed.

The next morning, we were talking with one of the groundhogs and he told us that there was a string of metal poles and he thought they might lead out of the valley, along an old road or something, and maybe we should follow them. Oh, and the nice Dandelion lady told us that she’d felt some tremors in the ground a while back, but she was totally stoned and didn’t think anything of it, but probably should have mentioned it before, but we forgave her because she is pretty cool and gave us some healing potions and other stuff that she cooked up. Anyhoo, the townsfolk asked us if we’d go and have a look-see and said they could give us some guns they took from people whose brains they’d scrambled in the past and I was totally willing to do it for free, but John started to give me a dirty look and I remembered how those warthogs got all blistered and gnarly-looking when John gave them a dirty look so I shut my beak and took a nice deer rifle from their collection.

Anyhoo, we was passing around ammunition and potions and grenades and stuff, when we heard this rumbling sound and all of a sudden this great, huge truck comes down the hill and it’s like crashing over trees and stuff and we really don’t know what to do and I suggest that Beyoh go out and stand in front of it because he told me he can’t get knocked over, only he doesn’t seem so keen on the idea so we just kind of wait. This big truck drives up to the pipeline and these four guys get out and then they drive a little digger truck out of the back and start digging near where the pipe burst. So we try to talk to them, only they don’t speak our language and Fridge thinks they are speaking Canadian and he kind of BSes his way up close to them, because they seem ready to totally shoot the rest of us, even John, who is by all accounts perfectly ordinary, and then Fridge halls off and smacks one of them with his sledgehammer.

I am totally like, “What are you doing?” but Fridge is kind of our friend now, so we have to support him, even when he is acting rash, and so I start blasting away with my rifle and John and Beyoh start blazing away too and these guys, who are totally robots, are shooting at us and trying to hit people with shovels and that digger thing and they keep putting those zip tie things on Fridge, only he’s kind of rubbery and keeps slipping out of them and I think he was making a pass at one of them too and it makes me feel a little awkward. None of us are really being effective and I am wondering if I really have a deer rifle or a BB gun considering how much damage I am doing and then the old farmer, who asked us to come down when the pipe first exploded, walks over and starts doing his juju, probably because we are making such a hash of it, and he like kills himself doing his mental blast stuff and it was like totally uncalled for because if we’d all exercised a little patience I think we could have avoided this conflict in the first place.

Anyhoo, after the dust settled and the gun smoke blew away, the little digger drove back into the cargo bay and then that truck started up and drove away. The townsfolk thought we should follow it and since we had nothing better to do and we don’t have great judgment and I think they only asked us to do it so we wouldn’t ruin the old farmer’s funeral, we ran after it and jumped on board, only Beyoh can’t run fast so he got left behind and then we needed to figure out how to slow the truck down so he could get on board and we eventually did, only John got several electrical shocks in the process and his hair was standing on end like the quills in his butt usually do when he is fighting.

So we travelled in the truck all day and eventually it got to be night and we could see this little village all lit up a ways away and we figured that was where the truck was going. Anyhoo, the village was under attack by those warthog guys and they was driving around on their choppers shouting and blasting at people with guns and Fridge said it was like a Mad Max movie, whatever that was, and the truck didn’t slow down, so we all hopped out before we drove right into the middle of a gun fight to see what the deal was.

Anyhoo, we were hunkered down watching and I’m just starting to think about taking a potshot at one of the bikers when suddenly I notice the flag flying over this little village and it is – I kid you not – the Knights of Genetic Purity! Now if you haven’t heard tell of these guys they are totally bad news. I mean they typically don’t mess around with average, ordinary guys like John Smith, but if you can shoot death rays out of your eyes or have poisonous quills on your butt or something they will totally screw with you. So I’m thinking to myself, “Wouldzee, these guys are totally bad news and those warthogs are SOBs and Fridge smells terrible, so maybe you should just let them wipe each other out and then go in there and collect any cool stuff they may have and later you can ask John to ask Fridge about hanging the pine-scented air-freshener you took out of the truck around his neck so he doesn’t smell as bad. So we watched for a while and it looked like the knights were getting the better of the bikers, because the warthogs were running low on ammo. The knights were also screwing around trying to stop that big truck that was trying to drive through their little town.

So we figured that the big truck was eventually going to push its way through the town and we’d better be on the other side when it got there, so we decided we should swipe a couple of the warthog’s motorcycles, especially since the guys who were driving them had gotten all killed and stuff and probably would be needing them, unless they came back from the dead like Fridge, but I didn’t think that likely since I didn’t see any refrigerators lying around. So we snuck on down and I was totally sneaky, but John was all like, “Hey look at me and my prickly butt!” and two bikers came over beat him with chains and killed him. Then I grabbed a bike, but I couldn’t get it started and so I pushed it away and the same two guys came to beat me down, but I freaked out on them and they drove off like I said earlier and then John, who was just faking being dead, got himself a chopper and started it up and drove off while Beyoh went all ectoplasmic and freaky to draw the knights’ fire. Then we found Fridge and it turned out that the motorcycle I grabbed used to belong to him, like 500 years ago or something, so he totally knew how to drive it and I was wishing that the warthogs who told me it was theirs would turn up so I could tell them, “In your face!” but by that time they were fleeing.

Anyhoo, we pushed the choppers through the woods and around to the other side of the village and Fridge tried to teach us how to play euchre while we waited, but I got totally confused and Beyoh was all like, “What did they make these cards out of?” every five minutes and so we watched the knights screwing around trying to capture the big truck for a while and then went to sleep. The next morning we work up when this aircraft goes roaring over us and we look down at the village and the knights are still screwing around with this truck and I am thinking, “Don’t you have anything better to do? It’s not like it is that cool of a truck and it will probably be smelly since there was a dead guy riding in it and I swiped the pine-scented air-freshener from it.” And then BOOM, this aircraft like totally bombs the truck the knights were using to stop that big truck hauling the digger and it drives right on out of the little village and starts heading our way.

Now I’ve got to decide if I am riding behind the guy with poisonous quills on his butt or the dude who smells like rotting flesh…

Gamma World 1: Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute

For the 2 people who follow Filbanto Stew, I’ve been catching up the blog on our recent games. We’ve actually played three sessions of Numenera, but I usually run the game synopsis past our GM each week since I forget all the NPC names.

Numenera is on hold for a while since our GM is out of town, so we decided to give Gamma World a go. The DM is running the D&D5 fan-made rules. Only three players made the game. We rolled randomly for everything and wound up with the following party:

Beyoh the mutated tree
Zarkon the alien, I mean John Smith the ordinary, average guy
Wouldzee the mutated owl


Hi, I’m Wouldzee the Owl and I have an important message for you. As you know, most of Gamma World is an irradiated wasteland, so nothing gets my tentacles in a knot more than seeing one of the few green patches left get flooded with crude oil… Huh? What am I ranting about? Oh that’s right, I haven’t filled you in on events leading up to the latest ecological nightmare I’m up against.

So I was out flying one day. I’m not really sure where I was headed. I think I have some kind of  memory loss… Anyhoo, I was out flying and I see this nice looking tree, all covered with these pretty, colored lights and an old, rusty Yield sign caught in its branches and there’s this guy taking a nap below it and I think to myself, “Wouldzee, you should take a rest before some murder of mutant crows decide to mob you.” So I set myself down in the tree, only to have it yell at me not to poop on it. Now, we all know that owls cough up pellets instead of pooping, so once the tree, whose name is Beyoh, learned that, we became great friends. I asked Beyoh,  “If you fell over in the woods and nobody else was around would you make any noise?” He told me that he didn’t fall over – it was one of his special abilities – so I guess I’ll never figure that one out… Now the guy who was sleeping below the tree woke up and told us his name was John Smith and that he was ordinary and that his eyes were ordinary and that the quills growing out of his butt were totally ordinary too and we all decided to travel together, along this old highway, because we had nothing better to do and it led somewhere and Beyoh and John probably suffer from some sort of memory loss too.

Anyhoo, we was travelling along when we heard some motorcycles roaring along ahead of us. You don’t hear that kind of thing much, so I flew up in the air to take a look-see at where they was going. They turned off the highway onto some other road heading into a hillier area and we all decided to follow them because we really had nothing better to do and I guess none of us have really good judgment and we really don’t know when to avoid sticking our beaks into other people’s business. We travelled along for quite a while, and we were careful to walk on the shoulder facing traffic because I was pretty sure this was a major road we found ourselves on and we didn’t want to get run over and Beyoh made sure to hold up his Yield sign so people driving cars would see it and hopefully yield before running us over. We were totally lucky an didn’t see any cars.

Anyhoo, we came to what looked like an ancient village, though I’m being generous when I say that because it was really just a house and an old gas station. We didn’t see any signs of the motorcycles or anything, so I flew in to take a look around. So I see this little girl with pretty butterfly wings and there’s this dead guy and she’s all crying and stuff and I felt really bad for her so I rushed back to get John, because he seems pretty sharp for an average guy with a prickly butt and I figured he might be able to science up the dead guy or something. So we all sneak back to the village, which really wasn’t a village, and John totally gives us away and the little girl sees us and asks us to help heal her father. It’s about this time that I notice her dad has probably been dead for a week because he is crawling with those big blue flies that are so annoying and even though they seem to fly really slow it is hard to swat them and when I tell John, the little girl starts laughing and then morphs into this warthog guy who totally shoots me.

So I’m lying on the ground and I think I am bleeding out and I hear the voice of the guy who remodeled my nest saying, “Come into the light Wouldzee…” and then suddenly I am awake. It’s like I had a second wind or something. Anyhoo, I’m lying there watching Beyoh pounding on that warthog guy who shot me with his Yield sign and I’m wondering if maybe the guy had peed on him when he was a sapling or something because he is totally beating him to a bloody pulp. John is giving another warthog the stink-eye and it’s cringing and screaming and not really acting like I figured someone would act if an ordinary guy gave them a dirty look and then I totally lose it and pull my Broomhandle Mauser and holler at the warthogs to freeze and they totally freeze until Beyoh starts swinging his sign around again. I caught a couple of them using my hula-hoop and tentacles, but I feel kind of bad about it because Beyoh totally turned them into spam when they wouldn’t answer our questions, and it totally reinforced my feeling that he’d been peed on when he was a sapling. Oh, and one of them got away so we knew they’d come back for revenge or something.

Anyhoo, we searched around the place and set off a bomb, but we found some neat stuff to make up for all the shrapnel I had to pick out of my feathers. The warthogs’ motorcycles were in a garage, but they were out of gas. They were cooking up some kind of drugs and John figured out how to finish them off so now we can all get hopped up on goofball or maybe die depending on how we react to the stuff. There were also some boats and stuff, oh and this guy who’d died on the gas station toilet like a hundred years ago or something. We also found this map. It’s one of those ancient maps with all the pretty colors that are impossible to refold correctly. We figured out we were in Oil City, which is a really dumb name since it’s not even as big as a village as I said before. There was also a town named Liberty to the south of Oil City and someone had written (I’m pretty sure in Pig Latin) that there was lots of food and few weapons and some other stuff I probably forgot. We decide that we should go and warn the people in Liberty that a gang of warthog bikers was going to attack and plunder their settlement, so we set off because like I said before, we really don’t know when to avoid sticking our beaks into other people’s business.

Anyhoo, it took about a day to travel to Liberty. We met these two guys as we came into town named Portland and Bangor and John thought they might be a couple of the main citizens. We told them about their impending doom, but they really didn’t seem to get it and they told us we could go into town and trade with this guy named Cashton and we figured that he might give a rat’s ass that his village was going to be overrun by warthog bikers, and it would be bad for business, and I’ve also been working on this decorative macramé owl that I thought I could sell, so we went to see him.

Anyhoo, we went to the mercantile and we met this Dandelion gal, who I think has the hots for Beyoh, and Cashton who really didn’t seem to care that a horde of vicious pig-man bikers were gathering to destroy his village, but he had one of the town elders come over to talk to us. So this old guy comes in and he tells us not to worry because half of the village has mind powers and can totally put the whammy on any warthog bikers. So we eventually let it drop because they seemed pretty sure of themselves and my new friends seem pretty sneaky, except John wasn’t really that sneaky before, but we can probably escape in the confusion during the upcoming battle.

Anyhoo, while we were talking, this farmer comes into the store and says that some black stuff is erupting from the ground across the river from his farm and so we all decide to head down there and take a look and I’m thinking, “this is probably some eldritch horror that burrowed its way to the surface after a thousand years of imprisonment”, but John does some science and figures it is oil and it is shooting out all over and getting into the river and I am secretly thinking, “How are you going to mind control your way out of this you complacent SOBs?” Then I totally remember that I had found a box of matches, but John tells me that is NOT a good idea and Beyoh is kind of freaking out too so I put them away, only I found myself taking them out again, just to make sure, but John yells at me again, so I say that I will fly to the other side of the river to check out what is going on, only John makes me leave my matches with him.

When I fly over there I am totally careful, because I didn’t see any dishwashing detergent in Cashton’s store and it is impossible to get oil out of your feathers, though it comes off your tentacles pretty easy… Anyhoo, I can’t see a lot even though I have really good eyes and can even see in the dark, but this oil is just jetting everywhere and like into the river and flowing into the farmer’s field and washing up in the town and I think about my matches again, but since John won’t let me use them, we just sit there and wait.

After a while these two nice woodchucks or groundhogs bring us some dinner. (Please don’t think poorly of me, but I cannot tell them apart. I have trouble distinguishing between cougar, puma and mountain lions too.)  I asked them how much wood they could chuck, but they just gave me dirty looks, and Beyoh seemed a little uncomfortable about the whole topic so I let it drop and went back to work on my macramé. Eventually the jet of oil stops and the townsfolk put some kids to work digging around the hole it shot out of and they uncover a big pipe full of Texas Tea buried in the ground and it looks like it just kind of rusted through and burst so like it is totally bad luck for all these villagers, who are kind of annoying, but really didn’t deserve all this and are probably all going to starve to death or something if we can’t find a way to clean this mess up. On the bright side, I finished my macramé owl and decided to work on a toilet paper cozy next.

Numenera 4: Prison Break

Squint, John and Axton’s players were unable to make this game.


More allies are found. We are betrayed. An old friend was seen again.

After spending the night at the Queen’s Head Inn, Mor-Klish guided Icculus, Hex and us to the dream gas mines where we hoped to contact any Slithik rebels. These mines lie some way from the city proper, through ancient tunnels filled with discarded machinery. By all appearances, the Praithians once had a much more technologically sophisticated civilization, but they have fallen into decline. The dream gas mine is vast. A shaft runs deep into the earth. The work appears dangerous, many of the Slithik we encountered had terrible injuries.

We met with a group of rebels who appeared to be led by two individuals. A female named Tasss-Klish and a male named Pierce-Klish. Tasss-Klish was obviously not pleased to see us – accusing us of conspiring with King Umbral and putting the rebellion in jeopardy. Pierce-Klish was more conciliatory and heard our story. He agreed that joining forces with the Dh’Lann increased the chances that the rebellion would succeed. We determined that a joint meeting with the Dh’Lann, the Slithik and the Princess would be our best course of action. Our group returned to the rooms full of machinery to scavenge cyphers and manufacture weapons for the Slithik.

After a long day of work, we prepared to return to the Queen’s Head Inn. As we made our way through the tunnels, a singularity cypher rolled into the midst of our group. Hex was able to far step away from the blast, and we were injured, but poor Icculus bore the brunt of the implosion. A Praithian Knight appeared before Hex, cutting him down with his flaming sword. Any thought of retreat was banished as we saw Tasss-Klish and a group of Slithik slaves cutting off our path. Realizing that resistance was futile, we surrendered. Luckily, Mor-Klish (who had been lagging behind) avoided capture. We attempted to conceal the healing sphere that Miska had given us earlier, but our captors found it and beat us bloody.

We were thrown in a dank cell filled with rotting bodies of the Slithik and Dh’Lann folk. One captive shared our plight. A Slithik named Korlath-Klish. We spent more than a day in this terrible place, while Korlath-Klish attempted to weaken a floor plate and thus facilitate our escape. During our imprisonment, we felt an itching sensation in the backs of our necks. Korlath-Klish explained that we had been “infected” by a type of nanite and that control crystals were now growing in our necks. They would mature in two weeks and then we would be slaves to the Praithians!

We made our escape through the tunnels that lie beneath our prison cell. Korlath-Klish had a vague sense of where we were located and guided us towards the warehouse the Dh’Lann rebels have made their headquarters. We stumbled down a dark passage to avoid a patrol and emerged into a chamber that looked like the River of Stars. Indeed, it was the river as Lebby greeted us when we entered. The girl seemed unable to summon the bio-airship to Urbamorr. She encouraged us to enter the river and we gladly partook of its healing qualities. Upon emerging, we were startled to find ourselves in a small room – the River of Stars and Lebby were no longer there.

We quickly determined that we were near the underground storage area, not far from the Dh’Lann rebel headquarters. We hid in the chamber until nightfall and made our way down the passage. Looking back, Icculus noticed that the door we had just emerged from had vanished. We made our way to the rebel base and after some conversation with the guards at the door we were finally permitted to speak to Breesh-Vass. We discovered that we had been absent for a week by their reckoning, even though it seems little more than two days have passed for us.

Breesh-Vass told us that Axton, John and Squint had not been accosted during our absence. Apparently they have been occupied with the Abykos Klaro is spawning. They have agreed to bring our companions to us and setup a meeting between the princess, the Slithik and the Dh’Lann.

Numenera 3: City on the Edge

Two players joined the game so our GM had them join the party on the dock.
Squint is a Mystical Glaive who Fuses Flesh with Steel
John Smallberries is an Empathic Glint who Entertains


We have learned more about this world below and allies have been found.

Shortly after disembarking from our vessel we saw a pair of humans wandering the dock. They had recently arrived at the City on the Edge, but had not travelled there on purpose. The last thing both recalled before waking in the cabin of one of the bio-airships was drinking heavily in a tavern in Uxphon. Squint, carries himself as a warrior. His body is a patchwork of flesh and machine. John Smallberries was a dapper fellow who claimed to be an entertainer. We recruited them to our quest, explaining, as well as we could, the strange place that is the world below.

The dock was not the hive of activity one would expect of a commercial port. A small group of purple-skinned humanoids, whom Mor-Klish told us were the Dh’Lann, stood playing horns for a trio of giant, floating heads. Our Slithik host informed us that these were some sort of vehicle used by the Praithians. As we pondered our next step, one of the heads hovered over to us and introduced itself as the Contessa Kyyndance. How fortunate! We told the Contessa of our desire to retrieve the children and she promised to aid us and get us an audience with the Praithian King Umbral. She instructed a Dh’Lann slave to guide us to the Queen’s Head Inn where we would meet King Umbral.

Urbamorr appears to be a city in decline. Its buildings are crumbling. Mor-Klish explained that the Praithian’s hold little regard for this world, preferring to live in their dreams. The inn was an ancient tower and the top appeared to have crumbled away. We were given quarters, refreshment and some bowl filled with a gas. Many or our party partook of the latter – some more than others – reporting a strange dream-like experience.

While we explored the inn, we were contacted by, Breesh-Vass, a member of the Dh’Lann “underground” a group of slaves that had deactivated their control crystals and were fomenting revolt. They wished to gain our assistance in overthrowing their Praithian overlords. They somehow thought we could provide them weapons in return for the children. We were told that the king was mad and discovered that the Praithian princess is sympathetic to the rebel cause. We also learned that there is no love lost between the Dh’Lann and Slithik. We agreed to meet with the leaders of this rebellion and also considered contacting any Slithik who may be ready to rebel as well.

We eventually were summoned to an audience with the Praithian King on the “bridge” or top floor of the Queen’s Head Inn. A number of “mirrors” were arranged in the room and images of the Praithian we were speaking to appeared in the mirror so they were not required to leave their floating conveyances. Contessa Kyyndance was present, presumably as our sponsor. The king refused to release the children and provided no rational reason why they were required. He would agree to release them if at least two members of our party took their place in his menagerie. We politely declined this offer. He warned us of dire consequences should his wife ever stir from slumber.

We returned to our chambers after the audience and eventually left the inn in the company of Breesh-Vass, the Dh’Lann rebel we had met earlier. They led us through the city and we noticed that the gong used to summon the bio-airships had been removed from the dock. A huge, armored creature stood in its place. Our guide told us that it was a Praithian knight. Apparently King Umbral is concerned that we will return to the surface for reinforcements?

The rebel guide led us through many passages, some were warehouses stocked with food, others rooms piled with decaying machinery. Finally we met with one of the leaders of the Dh’Lann rebellion. Pon-Vass was suspicious of us. We have not mentioned it before, but the Dh’Lann are a hermaphroditic race and they view us as degenerates or deviants. We came to an accord that we would do what we could to aid them. Apparently the princess may be able to deactivate the crystals holding the Dh’Lann and Slithik in subservience. They also require weapons to fight the Praithians and while our party has a few blades and pieces of numenera, we cannot equip an army.

Icculus thought he could fashion some sort of ballista from the machinery we saw in some of the underground passages we had travelled through. Squint, Hex, Icculus and us searched the old machines for numenera. We discovered several devices that would help arm the rebels in these chambers, spending the remainder of the day fashioning weapons.

Axton and John Smallberries returned to the Queen’s Head Inn while we were so engaged. In our absence, Klaro had conceived another Abykos and it attacked Axton as he entered his chamber. He was able to disable the creature with the aid of Praithian dream vapor, but is unsure how long the creature will remain unconscious. This relationship between Axton and Klaro disturbs us. Klaro births one of these creatures each day and they quickly attack her mate. While Axton has fended them off so far, there may come a time when he is wounded or asleep and will not be so fortunate. We will consult the datasphere to determine if there is anything that can be done to prevent these creatures from coming into our world.

Numenera 2: The Underground Cruise

Enemies have become friends. We embarked on a strange journey and prepare to enter the City on the Edge.

We forged deeper into the mountain, following the deflated, yellow tubes into a large, circular room. A walkway encircled the chamber and a pair of circular staircases at its far side led up to it. The tubes each ran up one staircase and disappeared down two hallways on this upper level. Upon entering the room, we were assaulted telepathically and warned to flee from this place.

Shortly after, a mist appeared in the room and a giant creature formed within. We’ve seen nothing like it in our travels and we are not sure our description will do it justice… The body of the beast was translucent, gelatinous almost. Waving,  tentacles or vines sprouted from the body. Two were tipped with what appeared to be metal shears or pincers. The head combined aspects of a plant and animal. It began moving towards us in a threatening manner. Again the telepathic message warned us to leave and suddenly a horde of smaller replicas of the creature materialized from the mists behind it. Something struck us as odd about the creatures. They were too translucent. We had little time to ponder the ramifications though. Not willing to leave the children captives, we assisted Mishka and Klaro to the balcony and climbed up ourselves. Our plan was to gain the top of the circular stairs and hold off the creatures there. As we sprinted towards them, the great beast slashed at us and its pincer passed through our body immaterially. An illusion! We spied a chamber with a smaller creature lurking inside and burst through blades ready.

The creature, a more man-sized version of the tentacled horror, cowered before us. Telepathically it cried that it was compelled to resist us, but did not want to fight. Upon examining it, we discovered a gem embedded in the back of its head. Shattering the crystal released the creature from whatever mind control had compelled it to attack us. It told us that its name was Mor-Klish and it was of the Slithik race that lived in the world below. Effectively, these beings are enslaved by means of some technology to a race of beings known as the Praithian. Mishka had heard of these creatures and that they had treated with the surface folk in ages past.

Mor-Klish agreed to help us find the children. It led us through a passage and helped us disarm some traps and doors, eventually leading us to a shaft that took us deep into the earth. We emerged onto some sort of dock within a huge cavern. We could see something that looked like stars above us and a strange airship was moored to the pier in front of us. Mor-Klish told us that these airships travel this cavern, bringing people and goods to the world below. We took passage upon the vessel, finding it crewed by a blue man, Klorsh and a young girl named Lebby.

Our journey was pleasant enough. The captain was a gracious host and Lebby was a precocious child. The vessel is actually some sort of biological creature. We suspect it is artificially grown since it is hard to believe that anything could evolve in this form. Lebby was eager to take us to a room in the vessel called “The River of Stars”. On our way Klaro, who had been complaining of abdominal pains, collapsed and a Abykos materialized from her belly, immediately making for Axton. Lebby calmed the creature with a gesture. Intrigued, we reached out to the datasphere and discovered that Klaro is actually a Nibovian wife. She still clings to Axton who seems nonplussed that his next “offspring” could very well attempt to murder him. A strange race these humans…

We spent time in The River of Stars and found it a most fascinating place. Our fatigue and wounds healed rapidly in this chamber. We saw many fleeting glimpses of artifacts and treasures that we had long sought out. We can see that it would be easy to drift off into the river and never return. Fortunately we did not succumb to its temptation.

The captain and Lebby told us that we should talk to a Praithian who goes by Contessa Kyyndance when we reached Urbamorr, the City on the Edge. They could tell us little of the city itself, though we discerned that all who inhabit it are either members of the Praithian or a slave race. We devised a fake crystal that we applied to Mor-Klish in an attempt to fool the beings of the city into thinking he is still a slave. We fear they will not stand up to close scrutiny, but it is the best we can do for now.

Numenera 1: Face in the Cliff

We started playing Numenera again and we’re having a great time. Our GM is running City on the Edge from Dread Unicorn Games. I’ll start recording a synopsis of the game written from the point of view of my character Gurlak Than.


We have found strange companions, suffered great trials and embarked upon an expedition into the depths of the Black Riage.

After releasing Icculus from the vault, we realized that we had inadvertently released another being from stasis. It called itself Hex. While humanoid in form, it glows with a blue energy. We have never seen its’ like.

Icculus proclaimed us apostles of the Book, enjoining us to go forth and spread it to the masses. Hex replied that its mission on the Ninth World was to suppress further transmission of the tome and kill the author if this was not possible. Icculus appeared unperturbed by this information as it was seemingly already recorded in the Book…

At this point we must take an aside to mention that ever since we learned to communicate with the Data Sphere we have been able to perceive many of Icculus’ thoughts. To say the experience is uncanny is an understatement. We fear that millennia of isolation have destabilized this being’s mind.

As Icculus preached, we saw the back of the vault slide away, revealing the shimmering image of a cave. A man was inside harvesting mushrooms. We discovered that this was no mere projections, but actually a gate. Hex entered the gate quite suddenly, we followed with Icculus shortly after. The fungus harvester’s name was Axton. He handled our sudden appearance well, initially believe we were merely a hallucination. From him, we discovered that we had been transported to the Black Riage – leagues away from the Clock of Kala where we had discovered Icculus and Hex.

Axton had taken refuge in the cave earlier when he had seen an Iron Wind approaching. We carefully made our way to the cave mouth and found the danger had passed. We decided to make our way back to Uxphon – the nearest settlement of any size – to consider our options. As we travelled down the road, we ran into a work gang coming up from the city to clear the road damage caused by the Iron Wind. They told us that a marvelous face had appeared in the cliffs further along the road. Intrigued, we accompanied the workers to see this marvel.

Arriving at the site of the face, we saw it must have been 20 to 30 feet in height. It was cracked through in many places and appeared to be deteriorating as we watched. It spoke in strange languages, but every now and again uttered something in the Truth. We caught the following phrases:

“The sun Below”, “Floating Heads Tell Tales”, “The World Below”, “The Portal Station Needs Repair”, “The Daughter Sees. The Father Cannot. The Mother Might”

A group of Aeon priests were present when we arrived. We chatted briefly with their leader Mishka whose husband was busy inscribing the utterings of the face, while their grandchildren played nearby. As we approached the face, it suddenly shattered and a tentacled beast launched itself into attack. It tore apart Mishka’s husband and some bystanders, then turned its attention to us. The battle was hard fought, but our companions proved to be stalwart and we eventually slew the beast. Icculus recognized the creature, noting that a chapter of the Book was devoted to a list of its names in all languages, but we believe it is commonly called a Travonis ul.

During the battle, the grandchildren of the Aeon priests were captured by some strange yellow tubes. She asked us to help her rescue them and we agreed to accompany her into the cave mouth along with another member of her party, Klaro. The tubes ran on for some distance, leading us into a hexagonal room deep within the mountain. We found chambers to either side that appeared to contain the Travonis ul in some sort of stasis. Fortunately for us, one of the devices had failed long ago. We would have surely perished had we faced two of the beasts!

The Night Before Sigmarsmass

I wrote this years ago for our Warhammer FRP group. Happy Solstice!

‘Twas the night before Sigmarsmass, and in Bogenhafen
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Skaven;
Our pistols were primed and blades close to hands,
On the chance we’d be assaulted by a band of brigands.

The halflings were tucked in, warm bricks by their feet,
Dreaming of pies filled with questionable meat;
The dwarves and I were enjoying some cheer,
Tapping into our second keg of weiss beer,
When out on the street there arose such a ruckus,
I rose from my chair to see what all the fuss was.
I staggered to the window with torch in hand,
Pushed open the shutters; cast about with my brand.

The Chaos Moon’s light on the new-fallen snow,
Cast a lurid red glimmer to objects below,
When what to my bloodshot eyes should appear,
But a skull-covered sleigh pulled by tentacled, man-eating deer,
With a little old driver, so covered in puss,
I nearly heaved all that I had in my guts.

Quicker than fleeing halflings his vile beasts they came,
And he wheezed and he screamed and he called them by name;
“Now, Slasher! Now, Gasher! Now Puker and Nixon!
On, Vomit! On, Putrid! On, Dahmer and Blitz ’em!”
To the top of the inn! To the top of the hall!
Now run away screaming! Run away all!”

Like an agitator’s tract, spouting lofty ideals,
They slithered up the walls like blasphemous eels,
On the inn’s roof came this villainous crew,
Pulling a sleigh of corruption and a nurgling too.
And then, with revulsion, I heard on the roof,
The scraping and clawing of each foul hoof.

As I reeled from the window and stumbled around,
Down the chimney a mutant came with a bound.
He was dressed all in rags, he sure was no Duke,
And his clothes were all sticky and covered with puke;
A bag full of filth was slung over his hunch,
And staring at him I thought I’d lose my lunch.

His eyes — filled with madness! His pimples how scary!
His cheeks were all pock-marked, his warts were all hairy!
His vile little mouth was all covered in sores,
And his nose was replaced with the snout of a boar’s;
Blackened and foul were the pegs he called teeth,
And flies encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a foul face and his body was wracked,
He looked like two tom cats fighting in a sack.

Emaciated and pale, worse than an elf,
And I shuddered when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A mad gleam in his eye and the horns on his head,
Soon filled my poor heart with most piteous dread;
He cackled and gibbered as he rolled on the ground,
Befouling our beer as he cast filth around,
And with the aid of his claws and prehensile toes,
And cursing out loud, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, his whip gave out cracks,
And away the beasts flew while he bloodied their backs.
But I heard him scream madly, ere he drove out of sight,
“Putrescence to all, and I send you my spite.”

Pleiadean Council Agent File #33210KL-867-5309-9999 (translated)

Hex is an Extraterrestrial Nano who Becomes Energy

Background

  • Name: Hexovlynn Norval III of The Scoyfol Society >  know as Hex on Earth / known also as Charlie Sheen (particularly by the curiosity known as Icculus).  Clearly the ‘Sheen’ is a references to Hex’s blue energy glow that makes him appear to have shining blue skin.
  • Origin: Planet Zelectra V in the Merope system
  • Assignment: Earth Nano Research division (ENR)
  • Exiled from the Meropian System for repeated violation of Statute #201023-EQ01 (as documented elsewhere).

Features

  • Earth-type Nano neural fusion (as per assignment)
  • Accidental, brief exposure to full Z23 particle stream (effects unknown)
  • Zelect eyes (large red/orange iris with large, always dilated pupils)
  • The blue glow producing a blue skin appearance
  • Large cranium typical of Zelects
  • Cognitive mods for anger and impulse
  • Cognitive mods including engineering enhancements

Mission Summary

Hex’s original mission has been classified.  His new mission and status is described below.

Four Earth years ago, the 8000 Earth Seclusion Firewall was somehow breached.  An unabridged version of something called the Helping Friendly Book was broadcast to most worlds of the Pleiadean Systems.  It was quickly isolated and contained.  However, many of the people were exposed have become obsessed and some have had cognitive breakdowns. Most that were exposed have subsequently been healed.  However, one primary researcher went catatonic.  All efforts to restructure his cognitive networks failed.  All he does now is make visual scanning motions with his eyes as if he is still reading the Helping Friendly Book.  In local speak, he is in ‘full flow.’  Despite our advanced cognitive abilities, the endless scrolling and never ending structure of the Helping Friendly Book is impossible to handle by our various sentient species.   Even our advanced sentient synthetics were unable to process the data without danger.

Hex was instructed to find the source of the Helping Friendly Book.  He has received training in reference to all that is known about bio-neural oddities such as Icculus.  He also received an engineering modifier in his fifth lateral analytic cortex to help with any necessary repairs for Icculus.  After a few years of searching Hex was able to find Icculus in the company of a Lattimor seeker.

Hex regularly reported his findings for approximately one Earth year and he even wrote a book, Flow Safely my Decent Fellows, a great aid to our researchers in the Pleiadean System. This guide allowed safer research on the Book.  The research has subsequently revealed an immense amount of information related to the activity of the Greys on and around Earth. The Beta CV group of Greys on Earth is known for unrivaled depravity and for conducting restricted research with humans. Information on their activities was very welcome.

Mission update

Hex has not reported to his contacts in over three Earth months, nor has he or Icculus been seen.  All tracking of Hex has somehow been disabled.  It is not known if he is still alive.  Likewise the status of Icculus is unknown as well.  An elite investigative force has been sent to Earth to determine their status (transit time = 1.3 Earth years).

Review: Ghastly Affair

TL/DR: Buy it – it’s great!

Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual & Presenters Manual by Daniel James Hanley

Caveat
I’ve not played this game. The review is based on a read through of the manuals only.

Premise
Ghastly Affair is a horror role playing game set in the late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth century. It takes its inspiration from the gothic novels, such as Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, written in this period. It is obviously a labor of love. The author has created a great game with mechanics that reflect the source material well.

System
At first glance, this looks like another “OSR clone”. The stats are the same, characters have levels, classes, and so forth. That’s not the case. Hanley has redesigned the underlying mechanism to be a roll-low system. Actions are based on a character’s statistic and the player needs to roll below it on 1d20 to succeed at a task. It reminds me of Flashing Blades in many respects. There is also a system to resolve “opposed actions”. This requires reference to a table where stats are compared to come up with a modifier to the die roll. Given how light the rest of the game is, this seems a little over-engineered. Maybe a system where you compare margin of success would be simpler for a house rule?

Character classes are evocative and based on archetypes in the source material. For example, you can play a mad scientist, grave robber or true innocent. There are even options in the appendices to play a vampire or werewolf! As characters gain levels they become better in combat: hit points rise and they gain bonuses to damage. I’d probably house rule some of this away as I am not a fan of gaining HP with levels. I think I’d give the classes more “oomph” for their base skills as they rise in level too. For example, the  “fighting classes” would gain bonuses to hit in combat, while mad scientists would get better at their “science” skills (maybe level/2). Stats are rolled in the 3d6 range, but there is an option for an “allocation” system. Finally, there are advantages and disadvantages that give the characters bonuses or penalties to specific actions. These are really excellent additions to any OSR game.

The magic and mad science systems are fantastic. Magic doesn’t use the “Vancian” system common to most D&D games. Instead the character loses temporary hit points (simulating exhaustion) when casting a spell. There are systems for talismans, pacts and rituals as well. I think this is my favorite implementation of magic for any OSR game I’ve read. It’d be easy to port over to a more traditional fantasy game as well. Mad science also makes use of the “spell list”, but the trappings are different. Does Dr. Ivanovich to use a galvanic rifle? You can replicate it with the Lightning Bolt “spell”. At first blush, it feels like mad scientists get the short end of the stick as far as “goodies” go since they are limited to a items based on their level. It’d be easy to house rule giving them more stuff or allow them to create all kinds of monsters and devices, but rule that they can only carry items up to their level and the rest of it stays “in the lab”.

Monster statistics will be familiar to anyone that knows D&D and it is straightforward to import creatures from other “monster manuals” into this system. I feel the creature list is a little bloated. Hastur only knows when I’d actually need combat stats for an albatross! Outside of mundane creatures like bears and wolves, you are also treated to faeries, revenants and many other “things that go bump in the night”. The monsters are interesting enough that most can serve as a basis for a scenario.

Fluff
The default setting of A Ghastly Affair is in a fictional version of earth where monsters prowl the night and cultist conduct foul rituals. Hanley does a great job of providing the GM with enough detail to run a fun game without becoming lost in minutia. Scattered throughout the book are “sidebars” with examples of the times including some really interesting (and disturbing) facts. What really shines are the year-by-year timelines that pull together historical and strange events. This thing is chock-full of scenario seeds and makes me want to try and wade through my Dad’s copy of the Complete Works of Charles Fort again. The author regularly updates his blog with NPC write-ups, random tables and information about the Highdark Hall manor. It’s great stuff! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some proper scenarios to make getting into the game a little easier – maybe we’ll see another book soon?

The illustrations are very nice. It’s amazing when a one-man operation pulls together some really appropriate art instead of just searching for public domain images on the internet. It shows how invested the author is in this project to see him pony up for decent art to support his game. The full page illustrations are excellent (I think the one with the werewolf is the only one I don’t like). The silhouettes are really cool (and in a twisted way kind of period authentic) as well.

Layout is clean and easy to read. This is the first set of books I’ve picked up from this Amazon self-publishing program and they look like they’ll hold up to gaming use well. They’re at least as good as anything I’ve gotten from Lulu or RPGNow.

Overall
Buy it. Even if you are not into horror, the Player’s Manual has some really great ideas you could use in any OSR game. Even better – both manuals are on sale through Xmas 2016!

Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual
Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual
Try before you buy? No art versions are available for download at the author’s blog.