Well, it’s been nearly a week since my last/first post, and I figured I should post something else. So, inspired by a conversation with Phil, here’s a bit of fun crunch that I’ve been meaning to put together for a while.
Now, if you were to ask someone what the worst RPG they’ve ever heard of is, you’d get a variety of answers. From those that actively read (or even write themselves) reviews of bad games, you’re likely to hear one of the following four:
- The World of Synnibarr
To give a little context for the unfamiliar, I’ll explain a bit about them.
SenZar is, essentially, “the absolute height of adolescent male power fantasy drivel“. And it does a great job of being such a game. And since that’s exactly what it claims to be (its tagline is “Gaming in God Mode”), you can hardly fault it for being such. Not really deserving of the “worst game ever” title, but has a bad rap.
Wraeththu. This is a very odd game, with some very convoluted mechanics and strange fluff. Thing is, the most-attacked aspect of this game (the weird, weird fluff) is actually very true to the source material. So as disturbing as it might be, it isn’t a fault. And that might be even more disturbing.
F.A.T.A.L., well, I’ve never seen anything like it. The image on the right links to a larger version of the cover, which is most likely NSFW.
I have yet to read the book, and likely never will, but this (not completely work-safe) review (and the subsequent rebuttal) have made me scared to try. This is the game that requires you to roll for the size of your genitalia (including depth, ladies). “Facial Charisma at 175+ gives you a description of “causes wetness”.” Two different, unrelated abilities govern speech rate (both random and unrelated, allowing you to have a maximum speech rate lower than your average speech rate). And it includes an ability called “Retard Strength”, wherein the stupider you are, the more likely you are to gain a boost to your strength temporarily (I think).
Did I mention it’s 900 pages long?
In case you couldn’t tell, this would be my choice for “worst”.
But I’m going to be taking some inspiration from the World of Synnibarr. Synnibarr is, legitimately, a very bad game. Far worse than SenZar, mechanically, though in the same adolescent power fantasy vein. Not even close to FATAL in subject matter, though its author is also a very angry man.
But Synnibarr brought us certain, shall we say, innovations. Many/most of the monsters, for instance, are “mutant” creatures (mostly regular creatures with laser vision). Laser bears are much more deadly than normal bears.
But most importantly, Synnibarr gave us the Giant Mutant Fire Clam (pictured above).
And I’ve always wanted to stat one up for D&D.
The following creation uses the Giant Clam from Necromancer Games‘ “Tome of Horrors” (Which was available as a free download during RPGnow’s Thanksgivaway sale, and is a great book even for $10. It includes a 3.5e Flumph, for crap’s sake.) as a base creature, and takes inspiration from parts of the”Elemental Incarnation” template from athas.org’s Terrors of Athas.
It’s a pretty basic creature, but weird and fun.
Giant Mutant Fire Clam
Large Elemental (Fire, Amphibious) (Augmented Vermin) Hit Dice 5d8+10 (32 hp) Initiative -5 Speed 5 ft. (1 square), fly 30 ft. (poor) Armour Class 14 (-1 size, -5 Dex, +10 natural), touch 4, flat-footed 14 BAB/Grapple +3/+12 Attack See text Full Attack See text Space/Reach 10 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks Acid 1d2, Heat 1d4, Engulf, Fire Burst Special Qualities Blindsight 30 ft., Fire Immunity, Cold Vulnerability, Elemental Traits, Mindless Saves Fort +6, Ref -4, Will +1 Abilities Str 20, Dex 1, Con 15, Int –, Wis 10, Cha 9 Skills — Feats — Environment Elemental Plane of Fire Organization Solitary of cluster (2-10) Challenge Rating 2 or 3 Treasure 50% standard Alignment Always neutral Advancement 6-8 HD (Large) Level Adjustment —
Acid (Ex): A Giant Mutant Fire Clam has a slow-acting acid that it uses to break down organic matter trapped in its interior. An engulfed creature takes 1d2 points of acid damage each round.
Heat (Ex): Additionally, a Giant Mutant Fire Clam radiates intense heat. An engulfed creature takes 1d4 points of fire damage each round.
Engulf (Ex): As a standard action, a Giant Mutant Fire Clam can attempt to pull a creature up to one size smaller than itself that is within reach into its interior. An opponent can make an attack of opportunity against the clam, but if it does so it is not entitled to a saving throw. An opponent that does not attempt an attack of opportunity must succeed on a DC 17 Reflex save or be pulled into the clam’s interior. An engulfed creature is subject to the clam’s acid and heat, and is considered to be grappled and trapped within its body. The save DC is Strength-based.
A Giant Mutant Fire Clam can be forced open by making an opposed Strength check against the clam’s Strength check. Otherwise, it opens on its own in 1d4 hours.
Fire Burst (Ex): Once per day, a Giant Mutant Fire Clam can release an explosive burst of flame. All creatures within 5 feet take 3d6 points of fire damage (Reflex save DC 14 for half damage).