Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Strength In Numbers

Here's a silly idea I came up with while browsing some 80's retro toy sites the other day. Collecting comics was my main addiction back then but I occasionally got sucked into fads, and one was the line of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures put out by Mattel. It was an American version of Kinkeshi from Japan. They were really strange looking little PVC figures and they still have a pretty size-able fanbase. How cool would it be to have a setting based on the Mutant Future rules where you had a bucket full of M.U.S.C.L.E. miniatures then pulled a random character out. The Mutant Lord would assign stats and mutations based on what the figure looked like. It would be a fun way to run one off adventures as a break from a regular campaign. The only problem is that they haven't made them in ages and collecting a bunch of them would probably be pricey.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Found Footage

Ruin is a short film by OddBall Animation and if you are into the post apocalypse genre, it is something you absolutely have to watch. It will only take a little under nine minutes of your time and I'm sure that if you are a Mutant Future fan this short film will inspire you in many ways. I look forward to any follow up shorts that they make.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mood Swings

I don't understand the point of alignment in Mutant Future. It seems to me that that every character should pretty much be concerned with self preservation in a world ravaged by the apocalypse. Their actions should be dictated by choices made in the moment and not some arbitrary moral barometer. If your character sees that they benefit from helping the group then they would do something that would be "Lawful", if they don't see anything beneficial from a situation they might remain "Neutral", and if they think someone is trying to screw them over they might perform an action which would be considered "Chaotic". I can somewhat see the purpose of alignment in a fantasy RPG which deals with such classes as clerics, paladins, or necromancers. However, in a game like Mutant Future I do not really see that it works.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Thing about the Apocalypse

For me, one of the best Marvel post-apocalyptic comics was the final issue of Marvel Two-in One. Issue 100 was a sequel to issue 50 where The Thing used Dr. Doom's time machine to travel back when he could be cured by a serum that Reed Richards had come up with. Then he gets back to the present and finds out that it created an alternate timeline so he didn't change anything in his reality. It was a solid story, but when it came to the final issue John Byrne took those ideas he had laid down and then took it to the extreme.

It turns out that there were already divergent aspects of that alternate reality. So Ben Grimm decides to use the time machine to revisit and finds that circumstances in the other world have taken a real turn for the worse. Because he cured the alternative universe Ben Grimm, it changed everything. When he arrives he is shocked to see stark planetary devastation..

Because The Thing was no longer a member of The Fantastic Four they did not stop Galactus from sucking all the life energy out of the Earth. Everyone else trying to stop him died and so the planet was screwed. So Ben arrives on a planet which is pretty much dried up and totally a post apocalyptic setting. Then John Byrne throws in some really crazy stuff that makes this post disaster setting so much more insane.

That is right...Nazis and the World Trade Center. It is so over the top and yet in comic book context it actually works. The plot involves The Red Skull turning post apocalyptic Americans into Neo-Nazis in an attempt to conquer the ruined planet. How outrageous is that? It was like John Byrne thought, "The series is over so I'm going out with a crazy bang!".

This is absolutely one of my favorite solo stories featuring The Thing. It is like a What If? story but is part of actual continuity.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mad to the Max

The Fighting Fantasy series of game books were really a huge part of my gaming experience for several years when I wasn't part of a gaming group. During that time period I would buy a lot of game products but never got to play them, or would make up solo rules so I could experience them on my own. The funny thing is that at the time my two biggest gaming influences had to be the American designer named Steve Jackson and the British designer named Steve Jackson. At first I, like many people, thought they were the same person, but later figured out they weren't.

The American Steve Jackson came up with Car Wars, and that was certainly one of the first major games set in a post-apocalyptic setting inspired by the Mad Max series of movies. I didn't get to play that game because nobody I knew was interested in playing it, but then again, at that time I didn't know any real die-hard gamers. Thankfully, the British Steve Jackson published Freeway Fighter which was written by the legendary Ian Livingstone. It was the next best thing at the time as a Car Wars alternative for me.

This gamebook was one of the harder volumes in the series because you not only had to keep up with your own stats and inventory, but you also had to track the condition of your vehicle and then scavenging for fuel was a major factor. I'll make no bones about it....one of my ideal car dreams during the 80's was getting behind the wheel of "one of the last of the V8 Interceptors" and in some way this gamebook allowed me to do that. Sadly it is no longer published in the United States but I think there is still a British edition available.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Pox Upon Me

This week I caught a nasty little virus which had me pretty much bedridden for several days. It was quite miserable but it made me think about a plague being one of the causes of an apocalypse in the O.M.E.G.A. Future World setting. The Mutant Future rulebook touches upon the subject of not thinking too hard about the reason for the apocalypse when playing the game, but I do think some sort of background improves the flavor of a game setting. I like the idea of the Wild Cards series of books and it seems to be a good concept to swipe for Mutant Future. Maybe not being the sole reason but a factor in which the apocalypse was indeed based on four factors representing the modern apocryphal interpretation of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The whole series of thoughts on a plague ravaging the planet made me want to play Pandemic 2, except for the fact that I don't want to have to deal with that Madagascar issue.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dark Day Delusions

This whole issue of 2012 being pretty much the end of times is totally absurd. I used to really enjoy watching the History Channel and also History Channel International because they actually informed me about history. Now they seem to show way too many programs about this 2012 thing way too much. As you can tell by the nature of this blog, I'm very interested in post-apocalyptic fiction as well as dystopia because they are so closely related in the modern human psyche. However, as an adult I now realize that it just fiction. It is most certainly a large mine to dig for fiction ideas but I really don't think it will ever happen. I seriously worried about it when I was younger but now I sort of chuckle at that 80's paranoia I had. Nothing is going to totally destroy our modern society and yet we still contemplate it. I think this is ultimately tied to our own thoughts about mortality and that when we die, the whole world dies with us.