Friday, September 30, 2011

Tips for Spotting a New Evolutionary

New Evolutionaries (NEs) are a completely new breed of humanoid that has arrived on the Gamma landscape. They typically appear so massively mutated that they no longer resemble homo sapiens--nor do they seem to be of a purely alien species. It's almost as if they are a hybridized species. It should be duly noted that they are not extra terrestrials--their origins are of this planet.

Physical Appearance
The sheer variety of body types and appearances is astounding and no two seem to be exactly alike. Many though seem to exhibit a mask-like appearance which appears to have glowing eyes that seem to indicate a churning biologic energy. Many learn to suppress the glowing effect in an effort to escape notice.

Some NEs have no discernible mouth or other sensory organs, but this is likely a sign that they do not require them, having evolved other means for metabolic function (see Biologic Abilities) or sensory input. All NEs are relative to humanoid size in their natural state.

Body types typically have some sort of organic armor, carapace, or rough pattern that acts as a protective barrier to attack as well as helps conceal their massive radio-logical output.

Biologic Abilities
NEs do not require regular food to metabolize. It's theorized that at the moment of conception they initiate a subatomic reaction that produces a lifetime supply of energy. During the gestational period (note: no evidence of juvenile or adolescent NEs has ever been uncovered) it's thought that they produce a sort of internal "reactor". How they are able to cool this process is unknown. The energy can be converted into all manner of ability, allowing for deft control over their own physical shape and the ability to release the energy without obvious detriment or depletion. The energy may be hidden by armor or body covering, but there's usually always a tell-tale glow coming from some part of the NE. Note: this energy is extremely potent and close contact may result in mutation or death of those within very close proximity.

Biologic Energy Weapons

  • Radiation Beams (emitted from eyes, mouth, hands, or chest, etc.) may be plasmatic or electrical in nature
  • Auto-atomic Polymorphism - transformation of physical form to create energy weapons (sonic, plasmatic, lightwave, concussive, or other energy); propulsive organs (engines, rotors, fins, tank treads, etc.), or any other embellishment (claws, spikes, drills, etc.); or phase (walk through solid objects) Note:  no NEs are able to use this ability to take an entirely new/different form, it's usually localized to limbs, head, etc.
  • Propulsion - bio-wing (jointed non-organic wing with slow speed and average agility); bio-rotor (above average speed, average agility while in flight) bio-turbine (fast, very agile); bio-combustible propulsion (extremely fast, not very agile)
  • Signal Overload - act as a massive transmitter to overwhelm adversaries with a radial or directed (cone) blast
  • Absorb & Dissipate Energy - incoming energy volleys can be absorbed/attenuated without harm to the NE

NEs typically have a far greater range of sensory input than average Earth creatures. Some have surpassed using traditional "eyes" where they would normally be located on a humanoid head and instead employ organelles that can "see" a much broader range of the electromagnetic spectrum--beyond just visible light. Others have developed sonar, radar, seismic, enhanced olfactory, and/or barometric organs that allow them to detect a multitude of stimuli.

It's believed most also have some sort of psionic ability that may allow for identifying others by aural signature. Sensory organs can manifest as antennae, additional "eyes", multiple heads, colorful body patterns, or in other ways.

It's believed that NEs can "smell" each other's bio-radio-logic signatures.

Typical Habitat
NEs have no obvious range and almost never found in a lair. That's not to say they don't have permanent habitats, but all encountered have remained hidden from sight. Many seem to inhabit mountainous areas or lowland swamps. It's thought they are also nomadic and do not stay in one place for too long. They generally avoid large populations due to precarious encounters with locals. It should be noted that to date, no single specimen has been captured by a Valid mutant hunting squad.

Cultural Traits
It's not known if there are particular species of NEs or if they each seem to exist as a single specimen. They tend to live solitary, nomadic lives so data about NE communities is null. When one is encountered there is a 1d4 chance that they do not speak common tongue (though they always seem to understand it). Some may communicate through telepathy, but all will usually make due with gestures or an artificial means (vocorder or visual display). All NEs should be regarded as dangerous as they have a tendency to either accidentally or intentionally try to obliterate those who approach them. They seem to live apart from one another, but one theory hold that they may in fact be looking for others like themselves. As to how they view humans or mutants, their exact motives are unclear, save that they seem to regard them similarly--whether that means all they encounter are friend, foe, or prey is yet to be seen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

X-Plorers Now Available!

This is a repost from Exonauts, but I added a few clarifications. Also, a while back Brutorz Bill asked me if it was possible to use X-Plorers as the engine for a post-apocalyptic game. I'm officially throwing the gauntlet down for this challenge! I think it's totally possible, and while I'll keep my own Gamma setting stuff fairly neutral--I dare anyone to make it happen! (In this example dare = hope!). If you attempt it, please shoot me an email or post and link back.

Okay, on with the show....


X-Plorers is now available as a box set, softcover print-on-demand, or a no-art FREE download. You now have THREE WAYS to start conquering the galaxy--and you could be doing so as soon as THIS AFTERNOON while you wait for your box or softcover to arrive in the mail. Here's a look at the inside of the softcover....

The game is rules-light and can be played as-is, but it's REAL strength is in it's ability to be fiddled with under the hood. Personally, I like to tinker and I'm working on my own setting using the rules. If you're looking for more resources to help get started, check out the X-Plorers tab on the top of this blog.

On a side note, the venerable Space Admiral and X-Plorers Publisher John Adams is holding a new character sheet design contest. The winner will receive a FREE box set of the game! So submit your designs to Brave Halfling. UPDATE: the PC sheet size is 5.5 x 8.5" and John has not yet set a deadline. He also reports that there are approximately 50 Boxed Sets are left--but that was a few days ago...

More info:
Anyway, go get your copy and start X-ploring!

American Barbarian gets a publisher!

You may recall me shouting from the rooftops back in May about my love for Tom Scioli's awesome web comic American Barbarian. It turns out my earlier wish will come true: alternative comics publisher AdHouse Books just announced today that it will release the series as a 6"x9" hardcover early next year.

This is great news for Barbaric Americans and anyone with red-white-and-blue hair. Pre-order page is up, but the link isn't quite active yet. I'm ecstatic to see the wonderful work of creators like Scioli and Joe Casey get the real world treatment. Congrats to them and kudos to AdHouse for making it happen.

You better believe I'm getting my mutated mitts on this one!