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[WIR] TMNT/After the Bomb/Road Hogs

Raleel

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The whole thing is insane as systems go. Kevin’s writing needs an editor in the worst way. I’ve been reading Rifts for other reasons and good lord, stop the madness. TMNT is very close to that.
 

Dalillama

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Apparently the original (non revised) formula was
:
50 - (Size Level x 5) + (Cost for full human features) - (total attribute bonuses, rounded to the nearest increment of 5) = Total BIO-E

Where "Total BIO-E" cannot be less than 0.
 

Dalillama

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Validated User
The whole thing is insane as systems go. Kevin’s writing needs an editor in the worst way. I’ve been reading Rifts for other reasons and good lord, stop the madness. TMNT is very close to that.
I'm pretty sure Kevin was the editor, since Eric Wujcek is the listed author of this turkey. Not that your point is invalid, just incomplete.
 

Dalillama

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Our first sample adventure is Caesar's Weasels
Media Reports
There's been a series of burglaries at meatpacking plants. The robbers have access to tools and explosives and skills to use them. Also there's a robbery at a military base, which is totally unconnected except that the GM has mentioned them both so obviously they are (might help to have some other things in the news, might not if the PCs hare off after one of those instead).

Inside Information
If for some reason a bunch of freakish animal people have contacts in the police, they don't think there's a connection. In the even more unlikely event that they have military contacts they'll learn that some grenades, ground to air missiles, and experimental laser weapons were stolen. (... OK then. I guess highly classified prototype weapons are ordinarily stashed in the armory next to the grenades and the shoulder launched SAMs. Sure.) How many cities even have military bases nearby, come to that? I know we haven't any near here, just the Guard, and they sure hell don't have any experimental lasers.

GM Information
A mutant wolverine named Caesar has escaped from someplace that wanted him to be a winter commando. He has three weasel henchmen, and a bat. The weasels need lots of meat, so they're robbing meatpacking plants. If the PCs for some reason care about this, they can stake one out. Also they need a place to keep the meat (they really don't, as fast as they go through it, but anyway), so they have a refrigerated railcar boobytrapped with explosives. Also the records were hacked so nobody allegedly knows it's there. But also it's going to be shipped north (somewhere) in 6 weeks, whereupon Caesar will take over some remote community (why?).They also have another hideout in a warehouse, and if they're caught and escape they'll hide in the wilderness for a while and try again (Seriously, I'm not following their motivation for any part of this but the 'fuck off into the wilderness' part, but that's what we're given)

Caesar
is Aberrant, and has very high attributes (Median 18), except Spd 10. He's SL 9 with full hands and biped and partial speech. He has 1d8 claws. Look closely, becauses this is literally the only NPC* in this book who could actually be built using the character generation system. He hates humans (because he was treated poorly and his training was so over the top he lost an eye) and wants power. (Really, who can blame him for having a mad-on for humanity. Not clear what he plans to do with power. He also feels responsible for the weasels. He's 6th level, has military training, and has a few guns and an Energy Pistol. He also allegedly has more guns stashed in the Canadian wilderness (When? How? If he has that kind of resources, why is he fucking around down here still? Why did he rob a military base when he's got guns? It's terribly risky and brings a lot more attention from the authorities; a series of meat thefts that stop, they'll stop looking pretty fast, not so much with the experimental weapons)

Tork, Hambone, and Lyssis
Have low-average attributes except PP. They are weasels, SL 7 with 1d8 teeth and 1d6 Claws. They have no powers or psionics. Except according to their combat stats and text description, they all have the weasel supermetabolism. They do not have enought BioE for this. Anyway, they eat a whole lot. They're not fundamentally bad people (despite alignments of Miscreant), and are described as friendly and cheerful but easily bored. They've also never really been taught that people shouldn't double as food, and left to themselves would probably just kill anything they ran across because they're hungry and/or bored. (This is not unlike how real weasels are known to act). They're only 15, though, and could probably learn to not do that if anyone cared to try to teach them. They use bows for unexplained reasons, and some explosive arrows. They are 4th level and apparently don't have military training, but do have Martial Arts. ETA: They also should have climbing claws, but they don't, and their climbing skill sucks)

T'Cleass The Bat-Thing (Where the hell did that name come from?)\
He has crap attributes, wings, extra arms, telepathic transmissions, and sonar sense, at SL 8. This is impossible by the rules. He has fewer skills than are allowed by the rules too, including being totally illiterate. The three skills he does posses (Wilderness Survival, Land Navigation, and WP Revolver) are level 6, though. Unlike the weasels, T'Cleass is a fundamentally bad person (Diabolic). He hates everyone and kills at the drop of a hat. Or if he likes the hat and you don't drop it. Caesar plans to kill him as soon as he's no longer of use. (Dude, he was never of use. He's a total liability to basically any kind of plan whatsoever.)

That's it. That's the adventure.

Thoughts: I'm forced to assume Caesar's lust for power is put in to add something unsympathetic about the character, because otherwise I'd expect reasonable, good aligned, heroic people to help him and the weasels to find someplace they can be safe from their asshole creators (who really sound like the villains of the piece, but they get a single sentence in Caesar's background. Who are they? Why did they want an arctic commando? What kind of incompetent hacks did they hire to train said commando? What were the weasels and bat for? Why haven't they got any training? Is anyone looking for them?). Anyway, T'Cleass is probably unsalvageable, but the other 4 aren't really villainous, they're a buncha young people (Caesar's the oldest at 24, T'cleass is 17, the weasels 15) who've been horribly abused all their lives and are doing their best to survive in a hostile and alien world.



*The Sparrow-Eagles are also rules-legal.
 
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Dalillama

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The Terror Bears
Spoiler: Show


Media Reports
Once again, we start with strange robberies, this time of 4 late night party stores (Ok, it says later they only hit places withing 8 miles of their home in a remote suburb. How many party stores can there be in that area? Especially late night ones.), 2 banks and an all night gas station; only one bank has security cameras (wow... back in the day, huh? Also, whoever's running that second bank should be fired), which show large hats poking over a counter, implying short thieves. Apparently there's no way the PCs will get wind of this before 7 similar crimes have happened. There's always someone at work, clerk, janitor, security etc., all of whom are traumatised and unable to recall anything. Three "have gone completely bonkers and will have to be institutionalized as raving lunatics" (there's the sensitive treatment of mental illness we've all come to expect from Palladium again).

Inside Information
Characters with Advanced Smell or tracking skill might notice small bear tracks and/or smell bear at the scene of a crime. But they can't find them that way, since the bears always break their trail somewhere along the line. (So much for 'adventures should let the PCs use their powers and skills') Also, apparently the police are too incompetent to notice that there's always funny animal tracks near the scene. So, once again, the PCs are supposed to just find a potential target and stake it out until a crime happens, then wade in and either start asskicking or get psychically destroyed, depending on their psionic powers or lack thereof.

GM Information
Once again we have a collection of traumatised adolescents (the bears are 14) who escaped from some evil organization or something that's apparently totally irrelevant and of no possible interest to PCs or the GM, because it gets a single sentence without even a name attached. They were horribly mistreated, escaped, and want revenge on humanity. Well, Fear Bear does, anyway. Nightmare Bear is mostly trying to plan ahead and keep them all alive in the short term, Pain Bear hates himself and is lashing out, and Doom Bear is haunted by nightmares of nuclear apocalypse and wants to keep them together and get somewhere they can live through it. (As we'll find out in the next book of our readthrough he is of course perfectly correct in his beliefs). They're all SL 5 with Partial hands and Biped, 1d8 claws, Telepathic Transmission, and Mind Trap. Pain Bear also has Bio Manipulation (pain) and Animal Speech, and is Miscreant. Fear Bear has Detect Psionics and See Aura and is Diabolic. Doom Bear has Animal Control and Hypnotic Suggestion. He is Anarchist. Nightmare Bear has Mind Block and Sixth Sense and is Aberrant. None of them have enough Bio E for these.

They live in a disused house in a northern suburb of the city and have mind-controlled all the neighbours to avoid the place and encourage everyone else to as well. Inside, they've made a kind of den with their stolen goods (why are they stealing money? It's not like they can or need to buy anything...). During the day they'll be there sleeping or watching TV, at night they'll be out robbing. They'll try to flee if confronted. We're reminded, in the text, that they are traumatised children and can't be expected to act like adults.

Thoughts: I'm even less impressed this time. Everything I said about the last adventure goes double for this one.
 

Nate_MI

Hail Tzeentch!
Validated User
Putting children into your adventure, especially as the focus of it, is always a dicey situation. This is just painful.
 

Dalillama

Registered User
Validated User
This is a tricky subject and something I wish I handled better in my own works.
Take careful note of how it's handled here, then never do that.

Putting children into your adventure, especially as the focus of it, is always a dicey situation. This is just painful.
The next one doesn't have any actual children in it. Depressingly, this is actually not an improvement.
 
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