Sunday, November 25, 2012

Old School Mutant Dinosaurs For High Tech Mysticism & High Caliber Adventure Part 1


I've been fading into the background for the long holiday Thanksgiving weekend. Much of it has been spent with mutant dinosaurs. I'm not talking about the Japanese variety. I'm talking about the pulp hybrids that never appeared on any fossil record. These weird behemoths were an amalgamation of three or more types.
They weird things that were often psychically bonded with their companions. They were often seen within their lost worlds & no where else. There were dozens of these tales. 

One of the kings of these tales was Robert Moore Williams who wrote over a 150 stories including the Jongar series which takes place in a lost Australian outback setting .Here's a partial biography of him from wiki: 
Robert Moore Williams (1907–1977), born in Farmington, Missouri, was an American writer, primarily of science fiction. Pseudonyms included John S Browning, H. H. Hermon, Russell Storm and E. K. Jarvis (a house name).
His first published story was Zero as a Limit, which appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in 1937, under the pseudonym of "Robert Moore". He was a prolific author throughout his career, with his last novel appearing in 1972. His "Jongor" series was originally published in Fantastic Adventures in the 1940s and 1950s, but only appeared in book form in 1970. By the 1960s he had published over 150 stories.
 The Lost War Ship
 

An excellent exmaple of a pulp era lost world is the The Lost War Ship, this tale concerns what happens when the Idaho is caught in a time space warp instead of being sent to the bottom of the ocean.Mr. Williams provides a great out of time blueprint for just such an adventure. 


You can download the entire novella in all of its pulp goodness right over Here including other works by this now mostly forgotten pulp sage

The Do It Yourself Mutant Dinosaur kit For Your Old School Games 

There are lots of retro clones out there & even Osric contains stats for dinosaurs. What's a Dm with a player deadline to do? The idea is very simple grab your favorite dino & then this book.

 
Add Mutations where needed decide on appearance & then go to town. Seriously the only thing that might need to be adjusted is the intelligence & make it slightly above animal. Increase the hit points then stat the sucker out. Be sure to give the beast telepathic link or telepathic bond as well.
There are only a few classes that might not be able to deal with such a beast. Magic user being one because of the disruption of magic & psychics.
Armor class 14 to 16 & Hit Dice 1 to 20 depending on system. Damage could run from 2 to 4 with the addition of mutations
A Note On the Various Lost World


There are tons of Lost Worlds out in fiction & role playing games but each & almost everyone is very artificial. There is not a single instance of one of these places simply cropping up by chance but who or what would create such places? Well given that we're dealing with the Golden Age of pulp. I can honestly think of two contenders who would have the technology & the grasp of bio engineering, as well as terraforming



The Great Race of Yith is a sure contender, for the creation of these genetic hothouse projects & they've had extensive knowledge to deal with such things. The novella Out Of Time's Shadow proves the technology backing throughout it.
The other race is of course the Elder Things from At The Mountains of Madness 


They're the more likely of the Lovecraftian races to do such a project. The Earth is their home & they're likely to have traced out routes from the surface into the interior of the Earth. They're also very well versed in the ways & means of bio technology. The fact is that most of their creations are organic based. Creating & maintaining such facilities might even be an attempt to create stable biospheres on the Earth's surface. The various beasties are nothing more then bio weapons bonded to the director. Those PCs who penetrate the inner worlds might be in for a surprise when their tentacle deep in dinos & Elder Things
The Elder Things existed at the same time as the dinos & used them for a wide variety of purposes. These lost worlds might even be used for terraforming based warfare with the various races suddenly turning fertile land into living death traps.

 Part II Coming Up Tomorrow 

2 comments:

  1. Great overview!

    I've always dug that Fantastic Adventure cover with it's triceratops-headed carnosaur/kangaroo.

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  2. Yeah gotta love the triceratops-headed carnosaur/kangaroo! I loved that particular series of Fantastic Adventure covers & there's more coming up tomorrow Trey! Thanks for the comment

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