Avenger of the Seven Seas

After desperately looking for a movie to watch on YouTube, I stumbled across Avenger of the Seven Seas (1962) with Richard Harrison as David Robinson, Australian convict who becomes a British officer, mutinies, gets tied to the rocks to drown at high tide, gets rescued by pirates, and, well, that’s just the first 20 minutes. He gets lots of costume changes, as do the ragged villagers at the start of the movie. Not a bad grade B swashbuckler. It even has a cool secret door. He goes a little berserk at the end and acquires super strength after his shirt gets ripped. Richard was also starring in gladiator movies at the time and Hercules ripoffs were all the rage. But the coolest part was the unexpected. The British commander Redway sells his prisoners to savage tribesmen (incredibly unconvincing ones) in exchange for a handful of pearls for every two prisoners. The tribesmen then tie the prisoners to crosses, and just when you expect Kong to show up, they get eaten by man-eating plants instead. What the hell! Startling? Yes. Completely stupid? Yes. And oh so cool!


Dripping slime, they attack the prisoners, including David’s younger brother and his lady love. These plants mean business! This one opens its jaws and munches on the head of a young maiden. Well, I’m making some assumptions there, but I think she deserves the benefit of the doubt. She is getting her head eaten after all.


So, if you want to find out what happens, and you have a couple hours to kill, you could do worse than watch Avenger of the Seven Seas.

By the way, Richard Harrison’s biggest movie was just the year before. He played Alistair in Master of the World (1961). Written by Jules Verne, screenplay by Richard Matheson, it also starred Vincent Price and a very young Charles Bronson. After that, it was all downhill. He may be best remember for either this pirate flick, or the nineteen ninja movies he was in during the 1980s.

Into the Jungles

The Mutant World campaign began last weekend, with the four characters leaving from Telph. Rolff and Galzra are mutated humanoids escaped from Enom, and Lark and Phero are mutated animals from Telph. Lark is a broad-winged hawk with hands, and Phero is a mountain lion with wings. The assistant mayor gave them a grand farewell, with gifts of rations, bread, and dazzle cloaks (woven camouflage blankets). The mayor was indisposed, as he was currently taken by “The Passion.”

The party headed south along Sweet River. Well, actually on the trail about 30 m. from Sweet River, to avoid the various dangerous river mutants. Lark flew scout, while Galzra, Rolff, and Phero went in single-file on the ground about 15 m. apart. Lark spotted a large mantid laying in ambush and was able to inform Galzra early enough that the party was able to skirt the creature. That night, a mantrap tree tried to grab Phero, but Rolff spotted it and alerted the rest of the group.

The next day, they reached a lake where the trail split, but Lark spotted three white creatures floating in the air. When he turned invisible (Light Manipulation), they disappeared into the water, and the party decided not to go any nearer. Instead, they headed to a village of the Ancients that Lark had spotted. Phero scouted the area and only found Green Darters, who paid them no mind. The party searched the ruins and found it be remarkably unplundered. Among their loot was a tube of something (undetermined), a shotgun, and a case of Buffalo Trace Straight Kentucky Bourbon in perfect condition. Next, they journey back to Telph to sell the Bourbon and hopefully buy better equipment from the PSHs at Mourne.

Combat in Mutant World

I started with the Gamma World combat tables but then remembered that they never made sense to me. A couple of hours later, they made more sense. The original designers combined damage and penetration into one chart, but that made a comparison of the efficacy of various weapons pretty murky. They also had the best AC as 1 and the worst as 10, which again, never made much sense to me. So, I reversed the ACs and made 0 the worst and then they improve from there. Weapons are broken into 5 categories:

  1. Slicing and Crushing: Swords, claws, and things. Good against unarmored or animal foes. Bad against high AC.
  2. Piercing (and slug throwers): About the same vs. unarmored, but with less damage. Better chance to hit against high AC.
  3. Disruptive: Energies that largely bypass armor and disrupt the organics behind them. Less damage against bots.
  4. Energy: Better chance to hit, especially with lasers, except against Reflec Armor (remember, I added in the Traveller equipment tables).
  5. Atomic: Against these, there is no place to hide.

Each of these categories is broken down by weapon class (numeric) that denotes (in general) the amount of damage it does.

Redesigning the tables helped me understand the assumptions the original designers had about the game. They also allow me to create more open-ended tables and to give specific monsters specific Weapon categories and classes, which should give combat a different feel.

Since I’ve added skills to the characters, they can add their Weapon or Marksmanship skill to their chance to hit. For example, if someone takes Weapons as their primary skill, they will start with a level 3 chance to hit. If they took Weapons as one of their tertiary skills, they will be at a level 1 chance to hit for a while.

Mutant World Starting Money & Equipment

The Mutant World campaign will use silver credits and gold domars for its currency. To start using your character’s starting money and putting together his equipment, look at this pdf:   mutant-world-starting-equipment

  • PSH get the most money and can take up to TL 5 (c1910).
  • Mutated Animals can take up to TL 2 (the age of sail).
  • Mutated Humanoids can take up to TL 1 (Medieval).
  • Mutated Plants are up for discussion. Email me if you’re taking one.

Oh, and we’re using the Traveller Tech Levels, not the Gamma World or GURPS ones.

What were your favorite moments in Post-Apocalyptic Games?

I need some help coming up with new ideas for the post-apocalyptic campaign I’m going to start next week. I’d love to hear about what you enjoyed the most about yours. Please share them at the following link (a Google Form survey) and when we get a few, I’ll share them back here.  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OSdhXHQfRskxNu-SEngI8NNxclCnIgMN0LCoXWxXLCQ

Skills & Levels in Mutant World

For a PDF of these rules, click here: mutant-world-skills-and-levels-v3

During character development, players choose 1 primary skill, 2 secondary skills, and 5 tertiary skills. The character’s skills will increase with each level. Skills may be selected from the following list:

  1. Animal Husbandry: Allows skillful caring for and training animals, and riding a mount.
  2. Art: Allows skillful and representative drawing, painting, and sculpting.
  3. Botany: Allows identifying plants and analyzing their physical features. Some mental features might also be identified.
  4. Chemistry: Given the proper tools, allows the refining and producing of acids, petroleum products, and some explosives.
  5. Construction: Given the proper tools, allows the building of wood, stone, and concrete objects, locating potential hidden spaces, and analyzing structural integrity.
  6. Electrician: Given the proper tools, allows correct wiring up to TL 7, the repair of solid state electronics, and, at the higher TLs, the ability to analyze board failure and identify the need replacement parts.
  7. Folklore: Includes the identification of fabulous creatures, including demons and ghosts. The stories that surround such creatures may give clues on their powers and weaknesses.
  8. Gymnastics: Allows acrobatics, jumping, balancing, and climbing.
  9. Healing: Given the proper tools, allows the character to heal any other biological party member by 1/4 of their total HP per day. Also allows emergency surgery and first aid on oneself and others. Does not allow the replacement of body parts.
  10. Languages: For each point taken, the character may choose another language. Use of languages is limited by INT.
  11. Marksmanship: Allows the skillful use of ranged weapons, small arms, and long arms, and some heavy weapons.
  12. Mechanic: Allows the repair of mechanical devices, the picking of mechanical locks, machine tooling, and the analysis and use of primarily mechanical items.
  13. Meditation: Allows the character to heal themselves of 1/4 of their total HP per day, survive low temperatures, allow surgery without anesthetic, and reduce hunger. Does not allow the replacement of body parts.
  14. Melee Combat: Allows the skillful use of unarmed combat and melee weapons.
  15. Metalworking: Given the proper tools, allows the refinement, casting, and shaping of metal items.
  16. Music: Allows the reading and playing of music, as well as singing.
  17. Seamanship: Allows the character to captain most sea vessels and perform navigation.
  18. Sense: Allows the character to search, unconsciously notice, and observe using sight, sound, and other natural or heightened senses.
  19. Sleight of Hand: Allows the palming of items, picking of pockets, and the use of misdirection with hand manipulation of objects.
  20. Sneak: Allows hiding, moving silently, and generally being a sneaky bastard.
  21. Speak: Allows oratory, rhetoric, seduction, and fast talk.
  22. Strategy: With adequate preparation, gives the entire party +3 on initiative rolls and “to hit” rolls for a single encounter.
  23. Survival: Allows the character to find or build shelter, find water and edible plants, and hunt small creatures for food.
  24. Swimming: Allows the character to stay afloat, to swim faster or quieter, and to free dive.
  25. Woodworking: Given the proper tools, allows the building and repair of wooden objects.
  26. Zoology: Includes identifying animals (and bugs) and analyzing their physical features. Some mental features might also be identified.

There are other skills, of course, but beginning characters don’t have access to them. They include things like Pilot, Nuclear Engineer, Gravitics, Gunnery (Artillery), etc. These may become available later in play.

To help understand this system, here are four recommended builds:


  1. Mechanic
  2. Electronics
  3. Sense
  4. Metalworking
  5. Meditation
  6. Sneak
  7. Marksmanship
  8. Chemistry


  1. Melee Combat
  2. Marksmanship
  3. Meditation
  4. Sense
  5. Strategy
  6. Ride
  7. Mechanic
  8. Sneak


  1. Marksmanship
  2. Sense
  3. Speak
  4. Sleight of Hand
  5. Healing
  6. Meditation
  7. Strategy
  8. Languages


  1. Marksmanship
  2. Sense
  3. Survival
  4. Melee Combat
  5. Meditation
  6. Sneak
  7. Zoology
  8. Gymnastics


Level Experience Points Primary (1 skill) Secondary (2 skills) Tertiary (5 skills)
1 3,000 3 2 1
2 6,000 4 2 1
3 12,000 5 3 2
4 25,000 6 4 2
5 50,000 7 4 3
6 100,000 8 5 3
7 200,000 9 6 4
8 400,000 10 7 4
9 800,000 11 7 4
10 1,600,000 12 8 5
11 3,200,000 13 9 5
12 6,400,000 14 9 6
13 12,800,000 15 10 6
14 25,600,000 16 11 7
15 51,200,000 17 11 7
16 102,400,000 18 12 8
17 204,800,000 19 13 8
18 409,600,000 20 14 9
19 819,200,000 21 14 9
20 1,638,400,000 22 15 9


Levels are advanced through experience points. Points are received at the end of each day of play based on the difficulty of the party’s achievements, given below. These can be for anything the Referee deems worthy, including military victories, character development, clever play, or use of a skill. The points are listed for each person involved in the victory, but individuals can advance faster than the group if the Referee allows it.

Points Difficulty
50 Easy
100 Moderately difficult
200 Very difficult
300 Almost impossible

Introduction to Mutant World

For those of you about to play in the Wasteland Wilderness campaign on Roll20, this is your starting information. More will come soon.

Long in the past, there was a great cataclysm, the nature of which is not really known. Whatever it was, it left the world changed. Before (B4), there had been a great prosperous culture, apparently ruled by the Pure Strain Humans (PSH). Some of their technology still survives, and mutated humanoids and mutated animals can make use of much of it. Some only works for the PSH. Plant and animal life was apparently not as savage B4 because there remain stories of people who traveled great distances. Today, we rarely travel more than 10-15 miles into the wilderness. Traveling near water is especially dangerous, and any unfamiliar plants or animals should be avoided or at the very least, treated with great caution.

Your character is from one of three villages in the Woods of the Great Road.

If you are PSH, you are from Mourne. Mourne is a settlement of about 150 PSH. They are led by Prez Stephan Aldys, and most warriors belongs to the Knights of Genetic Purity. Leadership is chosen by the village’s Genetic Code, which has resulted in an inbred and weak leadership. Prez. Aldys is a prime example, a weak, unattractive and stupid man who spends most of his time drinking. Your mentor was Ime Babasia, once a skilled warrior but now wasted to nothing. Mourne has little social life. There is one bar (the Farting Attercroppe), which thankfully is of good quality, and one brothel devoted to the gay life. Heterosexual encounters are governed by the Genetic Code. There is little room for competent and ambitious people, and you have decided to leave to seek your fortune.

Despite the poor leadership, the village thrives because of supplies laid down long ago. The village maintains an industrialized level of technology, there are a number of ancient artifacts used about town. That technical advantage is all that that has kept Enom from conquering them. Sansker, a PSH merchant, occasionally visits Telph for trade. The rest of the village keeps its distance and although willing to allow some visitors, they are very paranoid about mutated humanoids, whom they suspect are spies from Enom. There is a much larger settlement of PSH just to the north of Mourne, called Hawk’s Nest.

“Find us allies!” orders Ime Babisa as she sips on her Hurricane. As weak as she is, her brain still works fine, and she is your most trusted mentor. She taught you everything you know about shooting. “We are very lucky to have the Hawk’s Nest nearby,” she continues, “but they tell us that there seems to be no Pure Strain Human settlements to their north, just a lot of mutated animals. Go south, or east, or even west, but don’t go anywhere near Enom. Share our location with other humans, not with mutants. Scout them out, and report back. Don’t let them know where you come from, or they’ll raid us for our stores.”

If you are a Mutated Humanoid, you are from Enom. The tribe of Enom has been shrinking for the last generation, and now has only forty-eight members. Many have fled or died because of the rule of the Radioactivists, led by Gord Hundred-Armed. Enom is near an ancient village, and mutations are frequent. Those of Enom who survive are renowned for their fighting ability, though these days it is used in fighting with the deadly inhabitants of the Forest. In the center of Enom itself is a thirty-foot tall statue of Gord’s father, Nurr the Magnificent. Nurr was nearly unrecognizable as human, and his statue causes mutations even in adults, something that is expected and revered by Gord and his followers. Many people have acquired too many defect mutations and died, or have fled into the hostile jungle. Some have sought refuge in Telph, which has caused resentment and a simmering border war with the larger settlement. You have decided to do the same.

“I’ll kill you if I find you!” screams Vakregu, punching down a small tree in anger. “You and your friends — I’ll kill you all.” Vakregu had only four arms, but he was strong as three men, and his threats were all too real. “Making friends with the enemy proves you are a coward, just like I always said! I’ll make you pay! I’ll show you!”

You can’t stay in Telph; you and your friends need to leave and find safety elsewhere.

If you are a mutated animal, you are from Telph. Telph is a settlement of almost two hundred mutated animals, most of whom are Fliers. Some are descended from hawks, a few from mountain lions, but most are Martens. Most of the town is made up of their warrens, along with a few lairs for the lions and nests for the hawks, in the trees left for that purpose. The Martens stand 1.5 meters tall, their slim furry bodies looking ridiculously out of scale to their long limbs. They can run on all fours, but much prefer walking or flying. When walking or standing on their hind legs, they can use their hands. They have heightened touch that allows them to be very skilled mechanics, something that worries the PSHs at Mourne, with whom Telph has a truce.  Martens sometimes “get the Passion” and slip into an obsessive superstition in which they fashion lucky charms, pile rocks into cairns, and pray to idols made of straw or sticks they put in them. When in this state, they can little to protect themselves, so those with the Passion are protected and cared for their comrades. Very rarely, those with the Passion become destructive and have to be restrained. Usually the Passion passes after a few days. .

The town is governed by the Ranks of the Fit, under the leadership of Karg Swiftwind, a mountain lion and the current dictator. He is a relatively weak leader but he is a direct descendant of Blef, a famous general, and is tolerated for this reason. Mutated humanoids are welcomed in Telph if they have useful mutations, but Karg has begun to fear a possible attack by Enom. Telph itself is located near Sweet River, and is a relatively pleasant place to live. The village gathers water from the river by means of a water wheel controlled from a clay bunker near the water northwest of town.

“You’re a fool to leave,” said Walks Too Much, an Elder Marten who taught you much of what you know. “You know there’s death waiting out there for you. We’ve got a good thing going here, and we don’t need to lose good people out exploring.” The Elder drops to the ground. “But we’ve talked about this enough. I know I’m not going to change your mind. If you’re going to go, then go south or east. Mourne has our northern door, whether they like us or not, but it would be good to find allies to the south or east. Don’t reveal our location until you are sure of their intentions — we don’t need new enemies! Stay away from the water as much as possible; you know how dangerous it can be.”