Giant Mutant Fire Clams!!!

World of SynnibarWell, 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
  • SenZar
  • Wraeththu
  • F.A.T.A.L.

To give a little context for the unfamiliar, I’ll explain a bit about them.

SenZarSenZar 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”.

World of Synnibar - CoverBut 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’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
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

Seriously, WTF?

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).


ChattyDm  on November 28th, 2007

Woot Giant Mutant Fire Clam!

The only creature that turns into a Yummy Meal(TM) when it fumbles!

Question though… does it kill/cook itself when it explodes?

Graham  on November 28th, 2007

Kill/cook itself?

I sure hope not. 😛

I’ll reword the ability a bit.

Tommi  on November 29th, 2007

I’d go with From Another Land, Another Time, previously named Fantasy Adventures To Adult Lechery.

The lowest rankings in’s gaming index are also illustrative.

Graham  on November 29th, 2007

Holy crap, that’s what they renamed F.A.T.A.L. to? FALAT? (Actually, seems to be From Another Time, Another Land, so still FATAL, but even still.)

That was my choice up above, too!

Also, welcome to the site! I hope you enjoy my random, rambling, sporadic crunchiness.

Tommi  on November 30th, 2007

Aww damn, a typo. Caught me.

Graham  on November 30th, 2007

No worries. We all do that, of course. 😛

If you catch it soon, though, always remember you can edit your comments here. Just click the comment within 15 minutes of posting it (it should display a timer and highlight yellow when you hover over it).

But no matter the name, worst game ever.

And somehow, despite linking the cover, I never actually caught that it wasn’t the Lechery title any more. Serves me right for not reading the subtitle the first time.

Musings of the Chatty DM » Blog Archive » Mini-Links: Evil Editions and Keen Superstar Scandinavian Clambake!  on December 1st, 2007

[…] blog called His second post is a very funny, albeit disturbing, survey of legendary bad RPGs.  One in particular seems to be all about Hoverbikes, Fire Drakes, Hollowed-out planets and Laser […]

Dungeon Mastering » D&D Monday morning speedlinking  on December 9th, 2007

[…] love monsters. I just don’t care about their stats. – For all the old-schoolers out there. Fans of Synnibar shouldn’t read […]

The_Blob  on June 9th, 2008

if anybody NEEDS the .pdf with the original cover I has it!

i am so ashamed

Jeff Rients  on June 10th, 2008

Synnibarr has its virtues. I sold my copies (yes, at one time I had two) because I find Encounter Critical to much more efficiently crazy for my purposes.

Graham  on June 10th, 2008

Yeah, you need efficiency with your crazy.

Inefficient crazy is, well… most of Hollywood.

Fireclamonia  on April 26th, 2009

Apologies for necromancy.

A running joke in a forum rpg I play involves myself (username FireClamonia for seven years) being killed in several ways by angry bears.
I found this site by searching for avatars. For that, I give thanks.

Mini-Links: Evil Editions and Vicious Superstar Scandinavian Clambake! : Critical Hits  on January 24th, 2010

[…] Good man of the week, and quasi-permanent member of my ‘do not kill this minion this week list‘, Graham started his own blog called His second post is a very funny, albeit disturbing, survey of legendary bad RPGs. […]

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