Monday, January 28, 2013

Highlights from last night's Mutant Future game

Some of my players have important school stuff, so we have to take a break from Monsterhearts for a couple of weeks. To fill the gap last night, I ran Mutant Future, a gonzo post-apocalypse RPG in the Gamma World vein.

We only played for a couple of hours, but we had some pretty notable scenes as our team of mutant heroes explored the ancient clone lab.

  • Durp the mutant dog used his Plane Shift mutation to open a dimension portal and bodily threw a number of vomit flies and scravers into some unknown hell. 
  • A killer soda machine went on a rampage, launching acid-filled explosive soda cans at ballistic speed. 
  • Using the defeated soda machine to black a doorway, then tipping the heavy machine over on top of the scraver boss, squashing him like a grape.
  • Durp the dog fought his way back from 1 hp at least twice.
  • Shani the mutant opaki used her heat blast hands to set oil flasks on fire.
  • Shani the opaki blasted to ash by a laser rifle trap.

I was reminded again why I love OSR games so much as opposed to 3.x D&D and Pathfinder. It's the whole "rulings not rules" thing. Take the first example with Durp tossing bad guys into his dimensional portal. If this was a modern D&D-esque game, first we'd have to check if the portal could be placed on a horizontal surface. Then we'd have to go through lengthy grapple rules in order to wrangle the monsters into the portal. A lot of page flipping and arguments. When the heroes shoved the soda machine onto the scraver, we'd look up rules for feats of strength, are attacks with improvised weapons, and damage by weight. 

Instead, I used the OSR philosophy of "rulings, not rules" combined with the Apocalypse World "principle" of "be a fan of the PCs."

Durp wants to toss a bad guy into his portal? Fine. Make a normal to-hit roll at -4. Got him? Great, now make a regular Strength check to chuck the bastard in. Oh you rolled a natural 20 on that to-hit roll? Then forget the Strength check, you toss him in no problem!

Wanna shove the soda machine onto the monster? Well we said the scraver's right in front of the machine. All three of you are shoving? Don't bother rolling, you can push it over. The scraver will make a save vs. paralysis to see if he gets out of the way. Nope, it falls on him! Now how much damage does that do? Well the soda machine was a 10 hit die monster made of metal, 10d6 sounds right to me! Splat!

So quick, so simple, so much more fun. We never would have tried this with some modern games. Love it!

So yeah, I really ant to run an on-going Mutant Future game soon. My players were concerned by the lack of healing in the system. I think I might moosh Mutant Future together with Labyrinth Lord and make something a lot like Thundarr or Ralph Bakshi's Wizards. The lower-damage monsters combined with the availability of clerics might make them feel better.

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