Welcome to the Future!

Posted in Campaign Info, Game Planning, Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , on 01-Jun-10 by K-Slacker

Rad Sign

The Fall has long since wiped out civilization, leaving the planet’s surface a savage land of radioactive waste crawling with mutant creatures, and forcing the few survivors underground to live as best they could. Your community – called Lau – has endured through the long years since the Fall, its inhabitants sheltered safely beneath the earth.

Until now…

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SPECIAL Abilities, Traits, & Quirks

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , , , on 20-May-16 by K-Slacker

Okay – here’s a collected one-page version of my recent SPECIAL Abilities and Descriptive Traits posts, along with an updated version of Quirks.

(If I were to run new sessions of Tempora Mutantur today, I’d probably use Descriptive Traits.)

Descriptive Traits

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , , , on 19-May-16 by K-Slacker

As a follow-up to my previous post, here’s another option for character customization…

As an alternative to SPECIAL Abilities, the referee may consider using more general “Traits” in his campaign. A Trait is a free-form descriptor of something notable about the character. PCs can have two Traits, and players are encouraged to write a short narrative (30 words or less) incorporating these Traits into their character description.

Traits can be inherent capabilities (SPECIAL Abilities, for example), crafts/skills (either self-taught or trained), specialized knowledge (history, science, and/or the occult), etc. Traits should not replicate specific class abilities, and referees must take care to ensure that Traits are realistic and that this narrative system is not abused.

Like SPECIAL Abilities, Traits can provide an advantage to Adventuring Feats. The player must describe how the Trait applies before rolling the dice.
Here is an example of a character stat block with descriptive Traits:

Stassen the Blunt. Human Enforcer 1, 12 hp, AC 3 (scrap metal plate), MV 6″, SV +6, metal I-beam (hvy melee Atk +1, 1d10). (XP 0, +10%.)

Stassen is simple, both in thought and action. A dedicated bodybuilder of exceptional STRENGTH, he also possesses unexpected WILLPOWER.

The referee might choose to grant this character advantage to deeds of raw power and on will-related saving throws.

Descriptive Traits are definitely more of a “new-school” system than most of the Tempora Mutantur ruleset. (See, for example, the Aspects approach in FATE RPG.) However, the referee is recommended to check out Blood of Pangea by Olde House Rules for a narrative implementation consistent with OSR principles.

SPECIAL Abilities

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , , , on 09-May-16 by K-Slacker

_5227741_origA few months ago I picked up Pits & Perils from Olde House Rules. It’s modeled after the numerous war games-turned-fantasy RPG campaigns that proliferated during the early 1970s.

Pits & Perils uses a really simple approach for character abilities. Instead of ranking each attribute (e.g., Strength 9), a character either possesses the ability or does not. In Pits & Perils you might, for example, have a Strong Fighter or Intelligent Magician. (Or maybe an Intelligent Fighter or Strong Magician – potentially more interesting as characters.)
This suggests a way to incorporate abilities in a minimalist game (like Tempora Mutantur) without adding a lot of complication…

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Tempora Mutantur 2015

Posted in Game Session with tags , , , on 20-Jul-15 by K-Slacker

Utopia 299

Well I’ll be damned; I actually got to run a tabletop session of Tempora Mutantur yesterday. I had three players at the table, and like my previous convention games I used a missile silo for the adventure site…

I went with a railroad intro – before being swallowed by a rad storm, the party discovers a heavy metal hatch set into the ground, with a ladder leading down. Anticipating casualties, each player was allowed two characters (for a total of six PCs). Surprisingly, all six survived – and no one received any (new) mutations.

Character stats are given after the jump…

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Missile Command!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , on 15-Apr-15 by K-Slacker



Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , on 06-Apr-15 by K-Slacker

Another post related to an old game of mine – this time its from the Scorched Earth PbP. Mongoliants are originally from Darwin’s World. They already slipped onto the Humanoid Encounters supplement, but are getting their own writeup now.


Mongoliants are giant mutants. These deformed creatures are typically underground dwellers, but sometimes they have been known to inhabit old areas of strong radioactive concentration (including waste dumps, sewers, etc).

Mongoliants generally shun light but are not actually adversely affected by it (unlike many subterranean creatures).

Mongoliants were once humans, but have now become the most heinous of mutants. No two Mongoliants look alike, though their general hunched-over figures and deformed appearance is universal.

Mongoliants are, generally speaking, quite stupid, making use of only the most primitive tools. Some few Mongoliant groups have managed to figure out more advanced technology, however, and use this newfound knowledge (and newfound egotism) to conquer other, meeker races for consumption or booty. No groups of Mongoliants are known to foster kindness or respect for other communities.

Here are their game stats:

Mongoliant (#Enc 1d4): HD 5d8, AC 6, MV 9″, SV +5, by weapon (typically melee Atk +5, 1d12 or ranged Atk +5, 1d8), 500 XP. Additional eyes (reduced chance to be surprised), infravision (range 6″), gigantism (increased melee damage).

Mongoliant Berzerker (#Enc 1d2): HD 6d8, AC 5, MV 9″, SV +6, Giant Maul (melee Atk +6, 1d12), 650 XP. Additional eyes (reduced chance to be surprised), infravision (range 6″), gigantism (increased melee damage), Berzerk (advantaged in melee combat).

Mongoliant Khan (#Enc 1): HD 8d8, AC 4, MV 9″, SV +8, Energy Pike (melee Atk +8, 1d12 plus SV vs. stun) and Gauss Needler (ranged Atk +8, 2d6), 900 XP. Additional eyes (reduced chance to be surprised), infravision (range 6″), gigantism (increased melee damage), Accumulated Resistance (+2 vs. disease, poison, & Creep), Additional Arm (can wield another weapon).

Mongoliants habitually collect small trinkets; roll once per creature. They despise pure-strains and will eat them first.

Individual Mongoliants often possess additional mutations (accumulated resistance and additional arms being the most common; 3-in-6 chance).

Mongoliant colonies can include up to 5d4 individuals. They prefer to fight through brute force, utilizing strength and numbers to win the day.

Tribal Defenders

Posted in Campaign Info with tags , , , on 05-Apr-15 by K-Slacker

Got hit with a dose of nostalgia this weekend… Was thinking about my old Ground Zero PBeM – and the Tribal Defenders game in particular.

This campaign suggestion was included in the Genotype Summary, but I never wrote it up as a post.

Tribal Defender

For a more significant departure from the default campaign model, the referee may allow players to portray primitive surface-dwelling Mutants. An entire campaign can be based on such a “Tribal Defenders” approach.

Mutant PCs possess all the genotype traits as given in the Genotype Summary. Such characters are considered Primitive-Tech (except for thinkers, who are Retro-Tech).

Since they are born and adapted to the wastes, surface Mutants also possess the Creep-Resistant trait. This allows the character to re-roll a failed fortitude save vs. Creep. Due to previous mutagenic exposure, however, the PC will start with Mild Creep contamination.

In addition, all Tribal Defenders start with mutations. You may possess up to four mutations of any grade (as given in the Mutations supplement). For every mutant perk of a given grade that you possess, you must also have a mutant flaw of the same grade. The player may select one of these mutations (either the perk or the flaw), but must randomly roll for the other.

(If the referee agrees, a character who is not disfigured and has one or fewer major mutations may instead be a rare surface-dwelling Near-Human.)


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