Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

First trailer: OBLIVION starring Tom Cruise

So here's a Tom Cruise film I'd only heard a few whispers about until now. I'd nearly written it off it had been so long since I'd seen anything, Now that I see the trailer, I think it looks interesting in that it's got a sparse cast, but has a pretty tight concept. I'll be keeping an eye out for future trailers and plot leaks. Here's the synopsis so far, via io9:
Tom Cruise stars in Oblivion, an original and groundbreaking cinematic event from the director of TRON: Legacy and the producer of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man's confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind.
Jack Harper (Cruise) is one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs, Jack's mission is nearly complete.
Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.
Here's the poster:

So far I'm digging it and if my guess is right, it could make for some inspired campaign setting. By the looks of it a subterranean Morgan Freeman is leading a band of merry rebels against the drones meant to keep the escaped humans safe.That sounds like a good lead-in for an adventure, yes?

Also posted over at Exonauts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Video: Action Cats are Awesome!

Anyone remember this commercial parody from Saturday Night Live, back in the day? I saw this as a kid and totally wanted it for our orange tabby at the time. It's like the Dinoriders toys, but AWESOMER, because they fit onto a REAL CAT.

 Also kinda reminds me of Gammarauders these days too (which I picked up a while back, and I'll need to do a full review of soon).

Still wish they actually made these. Forget Laser Cats and give me Skelo-kitty!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

WAR MACHINE: The Technodrome!

What do you get when you put treads on a Death Star? 
In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle universe, nothing matched the sheer menace or mechanical brutality as the Krang and Shredder's mobile HQ--THE TECHNODROME!

It was a massive, burrowing war machine, bristling with weapons and advanced technology. So OBVIOUSLY, It would make for a great set piece in any RPG.

As is, that is--a giant, earth digging, castle/tank for a mutant warlord looking for revenge against subterranean Valids.

Here's a scanner readout of some of the known features of this massive warmongering battlestation, courtesy of the TMNT wiki:

Equipment and Armament:
  • A trans-dimensional portal
  • Eyeball missile launchers
  • 4 trident-shaped laser cannons
  • A mounted surveillance eye on the top
  • A mouser factory
  • Training facilities for Shredder's henchmen, Bebop and Rocksteady
  • Three-foot-thick titanium armor
  • Huge tank treads
  • Robot walker legs that can be used instead of tank treads (scene at the end of Season 3)
  • Large holding cells
  • Earthquake machine (used during Season 2)
  • Various drilling mechanisms

Design Features
  • Classical Japanese Dojo Rooms
  • Balance control (during near the end of Season 3)
  • Anti-gravitation generators making the technodrome able to hover slightly above the ground (used during season 2 )
  • Disintegrator Unit (season 2)
  • Relay Room
  • Engine Room
  • Laundry room

  • For more, checkout...

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    FREE Thundarr the Barbarian adventure!

    The exemplary Mind Wizard Sniderman has put together a FREE RPG adventure themed to his popular Thundarr the Barbarian posts. It comes complete with pre-generated characters (play as Ookla!) and is written as a convention one-shot. Just the thing for your Saturday night mutant ooze and pretzels gaming!

    The module is called Across the Dimensional Divide and is written for Mutant Future rules, but we all know that just means it can be revamped for your game of choice, yes?

    I see heads nodding, so let's cut to commercial.

    Mad Max (stand-in) miniatures

    A while back I came across these cool miniatures by Rattlehead Games that would be easy stand-ins for any Mad Max campaign you might be running. Here's a few of my favorites:

    Gyrocopter with pilot...

    Armored truck...

    Max's Interceptor looks rad!

    Some ne're do well Punks of the Apocalypse...

    There's more at this direct link to the minis.


    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Mad Max 4 in production, sounds crazy/awesome

    So you heard they're making a fourth Mad Max movie, right? Yep. With this guy as Max:
    Tom Hardy wants to be friends
    I'm pretty sure that the guy who played Bane has the street cred to pull off Max Rockatansky, post-apocalyptic badass.

    And Charlize Theron is in it. Probably because she's in everything. But I heard she shaved her head for the role, so we definitely appreciate her dedication, don't we kids (yes, yes we do). She plays someone called "Imperator Furiosa".

    New vehicles from Fury Road
    Venerable geek temple io9 has a snippet about the plot which barely makes sense and that's why it's cool:
    "Mad Max is caught up with a group of people fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by the Imperator Furiosa. This movie is an account of the Road War which follows. It is based on the Word Burgers of the History Men and eyewitness accounts of those who survived."
    Read the full report, including the new cast. FAIR WARNING: You'll likely run into spoilers for other movies on that page since it happens to be called MORNING SPOILERS.

    UPDATE: What's an imperator anyway? And should she be called "imperatrix" instead?

    UPDATE 2: io9 has posted some spoilerific photos of mutants and more vehicles which I won't post here for those hoping to remain blissfilly least until the trailer hits.

    UPDATE 3: Even MORE images of vehicles over at Comic Book Resources.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Casting Call: Alien Overlords #2

    So a long while back I was hemming and hawing over what to use as a base template for alien overlords. I wanted something gonzo, but not too wacky. They had to be intimidating and sufficiently weird. Here's our next crop of candidates:

    Kelly Freas cover

    Ovion from BSG

    Here's an ovion concept by Ralph McQuarrie. Man, 4-LOM from Star Wars WISHES he had four-arms. 

    Speaking of Star Wars, I always found the Quarren race particularly creepy (though I think I'd make mine indigo-skinned to up the "weirdness" aspect).

    Skitters from Falling Skies

    Selenites from First Men on the Moon

    I guess I'm vacillating between squid and insects these days. Man that Freas cover is great though--grotesque, menacing as soldiers but also strange enough to look highly intelligent. Might just have a winner there.

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    Billy Ocean is awesome and obviously a mutant alien of some sort

    Man, this is awesome--why don't I remember seeing this?

    MISSION: Stat up that goat-lizard dude and make him a Gamma duke or baron in your next game! And I should have guessed that Jawas worshiped Billy Ocean.


    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Switzerland is ready to become a post-apocalpytic fortress

    So during the second World War, the Swiss began booby-trapping themselves in the event that neutrality didn't pan out. The Cold War did nothing to slow them down and now the country is rigged to become a self-contained bunker, says BLDG BLOG. An excerpt:

    To interrupt the utility of bridges, tunnels, highways, railroads, Switzerland has established three thousand points of demolition. That is the number officially printed. It has been suggested to me that to approximate a true figure a reader ought to multiply by two. Where a highway bridge crosses a railroad, a segment of the bridge is programmed to drop on the railroad. Primacord fuses are built into the bridge. Hidden artillery is in place on either side, set to prevent the enemy from clearing or repairing the damage...


    Near the German border of Switzerland, every railroad and highway tunnel has been prepared to pinch shut explosively. Nearby mountains have been made so porous that whole divisions can fit inside them. There are weapons and soldiers under barns. There are cannons inside pretty houses. Where Swiss highways happen to run on narrow ground between the edges of lakes and to the bottoms of cliffs, man-made rockslides are ready to slide...
    This is where it gets really interesting:
    McPhee points to small moments of "fake stonework, concealing the artillery behind it," that dot Switzerland's Alpine geology, little doors that will pop open to reveal internal cannons and blast the country's roads to smithereens. Later, passing under a mountain bridge, McPhee notices "small steel doors in one pier" hinting that the bridge "was ready to blow. It had been superceded, however, by an even higher bridge, which leaped through the sky above—a part of the new road to Simplon. In an extreme emergency, the midspan of the new bridge would no doubt drop on the old one."
    Describing titanic underground fortresses—"networks of tunnels, caverns, bunkers, and surface installations, each spread through many tens of square miles"—McPhee briefly relates the story of a military reconnaissance mission on which he was able to tag along, involving a hydroelectric power station built inside a mountain, accessible by ladders and stairs; the battalion tasked with climbing down into it thus learns "that if a company of soldiers had to do it they could climb the mountain on the inside."
    I'd say Switzerland would make for one exciting Gamma-strain campaign! I wonder if there's any old WWII maps out there to make use of. Lots of hidden weaponry and sealed bunkers to pick at, and of course explosives hidden everywhere. And the lot of it defended by mutant ibexmen. Then when the PCs get close to their goal, the Under-Alps 9000 Megafort implodes!

    Oh, another idea stuck me: it's been suggested that Switzerland was the basis for the peaceful planet of Alderaan in Star Wars. Imagine if they'd sucked themselves into a wormhole planetary escape hatch a split second before the Death Star's green beam of doom vaporized their planet as a fail safe from Imperial invasion or destruction. Somewhere the planet still exists, booby trapped to the brim--on the other side of the galaxy....

    Via Boing Boing.

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    Seven Gamma-related Odds and Ends for Inspiration

    I've been working on some more GWW ideas, but they're not quite ready for posting. In the mean time, here's a few post-apocalyptic items to feed your gaming ideas:

    1. Nerd-haven blog has a great post debunking (ha!) purported security of on underground bunkers. There's a few thoughts to take away from it, including this little nugget:
    And then there would be the threat of other survivors — once all the local Wal-Mart, Target, and sporting goods stories have long since been picked clean, the roaming scavengers would regard any remaining shelters as a major jackpot.

    Anyone searching through rural areas of Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Texas (areas with a high proportion of these bunkers) could simply canvass the area with a metal detector, since these bunkers include EMP shielding, which requires a metal lattice. Construction contractors that worked on the bunkers, regardless of the confidentiality standards held during the building process, will also know the specific location of bunkers in the area. So the people inside the bunkers could easily become sitting ducks, waiting for a series of assaults from other survivors.
    This seems like good fodder for a raiding party adventure. In Gamma World War it would likely be the mutants turning the tables on the valids (who typically prey on the mutated hordes for experiments). So this gave me some ideas for a variety of mission types, including rescues, reprisals, and yes, the ever-essential supply raids. Maybe even a few pure-strain-on-pure-strain attacks (drill-tank attacks between subterranean fortresses!).

    Anyway, be sure to check it out as the article is, in fact, filled with similar ideas for other scenarios.

    2. Also, if you're looking for some images of ruined or foreboding environments (GM screen art?) for your campaign, I added a new tag "background" over at the Gamma World War tumblr. This includes older images from the blog too.

    3. Remember that Mars Attacks comic is coming out next Wednesday! Looks like fantastic war-of-the-wrecked-worlds mayhem:

    4. Speaking of unwelcome visitors, the apocalyptic alien invasion show Falling Skies returns tonight. Rumor mill says the aliens are now 100% focused on exterminating the humans!

    If you were looking for material to fill out your campaign, there's a Falling Skies wiki and comic to pull from. Between 'Mars and 'Skies, I've found a good mix of inspiration for GWW's own alien invaders.

    5. Fantasy Flight Games (based here in my home town!) is currently producing a line of pre-painted plastic minis for their Arkham Horror game, including this great series of monsters that are waiting to terrorize your PCs. Or maybe they ARE the PCs:

    6. While we're on the subject of monsters and mutants, check out this REAL tarantula infected with some sort of fungus that gives it antlers:

    Stat this guy up (and enlarge by a factor of at LEAST x5 for your next game! I call him "Tarantlera". (P.S. click to enlarge, I made it smaller 'cause it's kinda' icky. P.P.S. By the time your players figure out how to pronounce "Tarantlera" their PCs will already be dead.)

    7. Finally, this is just a fun article about illustrator Ken Kelly who did some of extraordinary work for the Micronauts toy line packaging back in the 80s. Apparently one of his best-loved pieces, Antron, was lost for ages. His work inspired the new evolutionaries for GWW. These guys have GAMMA written all over them:

    UPDATE: Gah! How could I forget that Pitford: Gateway to the Ruins for Mutant Epoch is now out. Better make that EIGHT Odds and Ends then!

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    LotR in the irradiated wastelands

    Here's a little brainstorming for a Lord of the Rings type of campaign (take the magical object back to it's maker in hopes of freeing the oppressed) for a Gamma World or Mutant Future setting. Here's the analogs:

    Macguffin: No ring here, just a super-sciencey/sorcery object (okay, a ring! Or make it a tiara for all I care....) that imbues it's owner with invisibility, while mutating them over time into bullywugs. Oh, and it's psionically controlled by an evil techno wizard who's the ultimate mutant (a giant fiery eyeball!) in a high techno tower.

    The mission is thought by the adventurers to be one of subterfuge to take the device back to the mutant wizard's tower to use against him. Unfortunately, he's got other plans...

    You: Diminutive hominid of your choice, but can't be more than 50% mutant, I'd go with some form of hare or coney. I believe they call them "hoops" in G.W.

    Elves: Grens - slender, greenfolk who are excellent archers that like to shoot first, berate later.

    Dwarves: Stocky-figured, Gamma World Badders (badger people). 'Nuff said.

    Humans: Valids (pure strains) who are suspicious and yet crave redemption

    Orcs: Cyborna (cyborg jerkwads)

    Trolls: Golthans - sad, childlike, and under the Eye's control

    Mordor: Tall, ebony, techno tower of spire built amongst the ruins of a once great city

    Minas Tirith: Gleaming city of platinum, built into a mountain side and barely touched by the cataclysm

    Helms Deep: Underground keep of the centauroids

    Moria: Badder mines that have been invaded and appropriated by Cyborna

    Shire: Burrow holes in a grassy, reclaimed prairie

    Smaug: Monster of your choice, but has to be big and intelligent. Why not make it easy and just go with an cyborg T-rex with artificial intelligence? Actually, Smaug needs to be more of a force of nature so perhaps something like an a bio-armored serpent the size of an aircraft carrier.

    Sauron (aka "The Eye") is a human who's delving into alien overlord tech mutated him beyond recognition--body, mind, and soul.

    Gandalf: Techno wizard who left the order to join the rebellion, loves tech from the ancients but also knows enough to fear it

    Saruman: Another wizard, but he's in the apprenticeship of The Eye

    Gollum: former hare of the burrow (hobbit of the shire) now a full-on bullywug creep who longs to get the device back in hopes of turning himself normal or disappearing forever....

    I can see a long slog through irradiated junkyards, swamps, and foothills. Maybe even use the old Gamma World module found in the GM screen --it's already got a spaceport tower in a mesa-filled wasteland!

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Sneak peek of IDW's new Mars Attacks! comic #1


    Story & Letters by John Layman
    Art by John McCrea
    Colors by Andrew Elder
    ...with a cover by sci-fi legend Wally Wood!

    Images: Comic Book Resources, visit their site for more pics!

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Mutants: Anatomids

    Some of the simplest mutations aren't cross-breeds between species or orders of life, but merely deformed from the main line and passed down through generations. These mutants usually manifest as anatomical anomalies, making them Anatomids.

    Anatomids  come in many forms and may not carry the same exact mutations from one generation to the next, but generally there are strains. Below are some tables should you not have a specific design in mind and want to randomly roll up a tribe or individual:

    Mutation Expression (1d6)
    1. Oversized (by factor of xd6)
    2. Undersized (by factor of xd6)
    3. Multiples (by factor of xd10)
    4. Displaced (creator's choice)
    5. Combination (creator's choice)
    6. Single anatomy (Thing from Addams family)
    Governing anatomical feature (1d12)
    1. Head
    2. Face only
    3. Eye(s) only
    4. Ear(s) only
    5. Nose only
    6. Tongue only
    7. Neck
    8. Hand(s)
    9. Foot/feet
    10. Combination of 2
    11. Conjoined at hip
    12. Conjoined at neck

    Additional appendages/mutations (1d12)
    1. Antlers
    2. Elongated claws
    3. Exposed bone or shell
    4. Horns
    5. Limbs
    6. Pouch
    7. Tail(s)
    8. Tendrils
    9. Tentacles
    10. Tusks or oversized teeth
    11. Unidentified 
    12. Wings

    These are only ideas of course, a player may be free to design their own PC's form or GM to design a tribe per the parameters of a given setting.

    Note: Gamma World Orlens fall into this category.

    Armin Zola is an example of an Anatomid techno wizard that's mastered the secrets of the ancients!

    Underground lairs, forests, and secluded hideways are typical habitats for Anatomids, but they can be found anywhere.

    This guy is definitely a chieftain...

    What kind of culture would a society of Things be like? Artists, technicians, or healers with no eyesight or hearing....

    Anatomids are allowed for PC and NPC use.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    1990s Planet of the Apes meets Alien Nation comes sooooo close...

    ...but no cigar. Still, it's at least worth noting this article up on io9 about a forgotten, 1990s Alien Nation / Planet of the Apes crossover comic called Ape Nation. At first glance, appears to have "Gamma World War!" written all over it. Here's the rundown:
    Long story short, a Tenctonese vessel from Alien Nation time travels to Earth's apish future. Unlike the movie, these Newcomers have conquest on the mind.
    Promising, right? Just to be sure, let's check it against the GWW litmus:
    • Mutants? CHECK. Ape-men are def. mutants.
    • Aliens? CHECK. L.A. County is chock full of space invaders.
    • Humans? CHECK. Doesn't look like they're featured, but still technically part of the PoTA universe.
    • Global post-apocalypse setting? CHECK. Just regular, old PoTA world though.
    According to the article the story seems to focus more on power struggles (snore!) and getting aliens drunk on sour milk.

    My heart pines for a true successor to the GWW title--something that really expands on the aliens coming to clean the clocks of humanity and mutant-kind leftovers. If only....

    The Silent City: Post-apocalyptic web series!

    The Silent City web series is a Kickstarter project wrapping up tonight, and though they've already recieved funding to do the project, they're still accepting backers for the next 8 hours. If there's one thing this world needs it's more homebrew post-apocalyptic video.

    When an unexplained event decimates the human race, the survivors fight for their lives in the ruins of a once mighty civilization.

    A decade later, the dangers of the new world have taken their toll. Hopelessness and isolation have felled many of the original survivors, and now one man walks alone, determined to endure against all odds.
    The fun part of this one in particular is that Backers will have the chance to influence the story. New Yorkers will even have a shot at being extras in a zombie horde scene!

    There's only a few hours left and lots of cool rewards including artwork, DVDs, and more!

    Kickstarter page

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    New Tumblr Image Blog!

    Just a quick note to say I started an image diary on Tumblr. I'll still do art posts on this site of course when I feel the need. But if you're jonesing for some gamma-inspired images updated regularly (semi-daily) then check out:

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Four "Gamma" Heroes from Tom Scioli

    I'm enjoying the HELL out of Tom Scioli's American Barbarian. Lately he's been churning out some superb one-off art too, which might as well be inspiration for your next Gamma adventuring party.





     Find more great stuff and the weekly web comic at American Barbarian website.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Metamorphosis Alpha Returns!

    Original edition cover
    I'm sure you've heard by now that the Godfather of Gamma is back! James Ward's Metamorphosis Alpha is in print again, with updated artwork--but no changes to the rules other than spelling and grammar--oh and a new starter adventure! Get your hands on the first sci-fi RPG, and the first post-apocalyptic one at that.

    And if that's not enough, a NEW version is on it's way this summer! Signal Fire Studios is putting out an all new edition:Trade Paperback, Color Cover, and B&W Interior.
    New cover art by Jason Engle, click to embiggen

    From SFS's website:
    In 2012, Signal Fire Studios presents the newest incarnation of this classic RPG, combining the elements that made the original so compelling with an all new game system created by award-winning designer Jamie Chambers. Over the coming months you’ll see teasers and previews, plus demo games coming to game conventions!
    Original edition available now:
    In print from Lulu for $15.99
    PDF at DriveThruRPG for $5.00

    2012 edition available for preorder in print for $19.99 and PDF for $5.00

    More resources at Metamorphosis Alpha's website