Why Some Creatures are Not Like They are in the Games, and Cannibals!

Chris Van Deelen

This week was a bit of a conundrum. I was quite busy at work and did not have the time to work on the various projects that I have on the go, although I was able to get the bonus material for Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue 30: Nanotechnology II and Issue 31: Nanotechnology III written and posted.

I tried to get some bonus material ready for issue 33: Drugs, but could not find my muse! Then again I did not want to just make a more powerful version of some of the drugs that are available in the Mutant Future core book. No matter what, sometime in the following week I will be able to get this material written and posted.

Speaking of posting material, I totally forgot about writing up the Tattoo shop that I featured in my upcoming novel Sword of Kos: Dark Inheritance. I really need to try and write that tonight before I end my weekend. I guess it also depends on what my ever-loving wife has in store for me today.

Oh, and the image with today’s blog? This is a scene from Chapter 7. The trio find and rescue a toddler Tiefling from the streets of Kos, just before she was about to be killed by a group of street urchins. As with all my previous blogs, the artwork was provided by Giorgio Alfonso Maesa.  I don’t know what I’m going to do once I run out of rough sketches from him! Without the art, it’s going to make my blog rather dull then.

I still want to work on the Power Armor book, but I think I’ll start calling it the Armor book instead. The reason is that I intend to add all types of armor, not just power armor to the book. In fact I had already written up quite a few pieces of non-powered armor.

Yesterday I sent off three completed issues of Wisdom from the Wasteland to my editor Greg. They are New Races 2, Underwater Rules, and Artifact Quality. For those who are curious, Artifact Quality essentially is the magic + for the artifacts. For example, you have a dagger, and then a dagger that can go up to +5.  I made up categories for each type of artifact and as usual this gives a huge amount of options when it comes to artifacts and treasure for the ML to hand out.

Optional Combat Rules 2 was ALMOST ready to go, but there was so much material included in the issue I have to go through and cut quite a bit of it. We’re talking enough material that I can with a little work, write up a third issue.

I also had a chance to participate with the d-Infinity Live podcast regarding gaming horror stories. It was a lot of fun sharing some of the worst things that have ever happened in games I either participated in or ran. Lots of laughs!

On that note I should be able to participate at least once a month, on every third Thursday, because that is the day that we cannot get the room for training, so it’s either join the podcast or maybe do my housework a day earlier. Decisions, decisions.

Since the beginning of December, 2013 I have been quite diligent about posting the mutant monsters that I converted from the old Skirmisher Website to the D-Infinity site. I know that I’ve discussed this before, but I figured I would take it one step further. All the mutants that I have written up for the site are from various forms of media, mainly movies and television, but also video games and novels.

Quite often these mutants are written up not as they were in the various media from which they sprang. I tend to take a lot of creative license when it comes to writing these mutants up to make them a little more interesting and often challenging for the ML. Take the creatures from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of games. Mutant rats are prevalent in all games. Typically bigger and a little nastier than their ancestors, but generally pretty dull. The Pripyat Rodents are just that, pretty dull and not much of a challenge… unless you run into a swarm of them, in which case they can be exceedingly deadly.

And there is the fact that they eat ANYTHING! Which means despite the player having powerful weapons, they could suddenly discover that they are unarmed and in deep trouble after encountering just a regular pack of these creatures.

So don’t always expect the creature to be exactly as they are in the games when I write them up. And there is also the fact that I try to make the entries as interesting as possible to read.

Even now I figure it’s still going to be around the end of April or even longer before I am finished reposting all the material, especially since I am trying very hard to alternate a new creature with a repost.

Quite a few years ago I was one of the main editors for the excellent post-apocalyptic D20 game Darwin's World. During that period of my life I had some serious aspirations regarding publishing material for the game. I even went as far as to write up quite a bit of material.

One was a source book on Ghoul tribes, or entire tribes made up of cannibals. I wrote something like 40 different tribes and had the whole thing ready to submit to the main editor for consideration. Why was it a book of Ghoul tribes? Well the reason being is that the company wrote up numerous source-books covering the various factions that could be found in the game. So I was simply trying to follow that trend.  

Sadly, I guess they were never interested as even after a few emails and asking if they wanted it, the head editor never expressed any interest what so ever. The upside is that I did have several of the tribes cut and published as one of their Post-Apocalyptic Dispatches, but that was as far as it went.

What this means is that I am not going to let this book go to waste. I plan on reading over the various tribes and do some editing and change the game stats that I wrote up from D20 Modern to OSR. Since I really can’t publish several of the tribes that ended up in the dispatch, I think I will either change the names and the text, or maybe just write up several new tribes to replace those.

As I said, why let a source book like that go to waste? It's not doing anyone any good sitting on my hard-drive!

Come to think of it now, I'm going to go through all my work that I was writing up for that company and see what I can do with it. I might have enough material to add to future issues of Wisdom from the Wasteland. We shall see.

And I believe that is all for this week. I hope everyone is having a great start to the New Year!