Saturday, January 14, 2017

Moby Dick & Mighty Mightor 1967 Kids Cartoon As A Quick Random Setting Encounter For An Old School Post Apocalyptic Or Sword & Sorcery Campaign Jump Starter

Did Space Ghost have an ancestor in the stone age? Well to my five year old imagination he did! Back when Saturday mornings were cool and cable television was brand new many exotic cartoons would filter down those magic wires including this one!

First let's upstart the old nostalgia juice here  for a classic Hanna Barbara Sixties era cartoon. This came out when Saturday mornings were fantastic. The artwork was superior to many later cartoons, the themes catchy and the plots were paper thin with voices to drive a parent up a wall at seven A.M. on a Saturday morning. But they've also got some great stuff for an old school dungeon master to plunder. 

Interesting there was way more Mightttorrr! then Moby Dick which suited my young impressionable brain (let's not get into the fact that the title sounds like a gay porno as my cousin would later interject each & every time this cartoon came on). Kids are weird anyhow especially back in the Seventies.
Anyhow according to wiki the set up for this was classic Hanna Barbara;"Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor is a science fiction animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions which ran on CBS from September 9, 1967 to September 6, 1969. Despite Moby's name coming first, he had only one short per half-hour episode, sandwiched between two with Mightor. The same structure was used the previous season for Frankenstein, Jr. and The Impossibles."
The plot line was straight out of a Sixties comic book company plot house which was fine because there was lots of prehistoric action and dinosaurs along with tons of underwater weirdness.

"One day, while on a hunting trip, a teenage caveman named Tor, along with his winged pet dinosaur Tog, rescue an old man who, as a reward, gives Tor a magical club. When Tor raises his club to the sky, he transforms into the masked and muscular Mightor, a prehistoric superhero very much in the Space Ghost mold who possesses superhuman strength and the power of flight through his club, which can also fire energy blasts."
Mightor protects his village from evil-doers. Amongst the villagers are the chief, Pondo, and his daughter, the beautiful redhaired Sheera. Sheera has a younger brother named Little Rok, who loves pretending to be Mightor. The characters have several pets, including Little Rok's dodo bird, Ork, and Sheera's mammoth calf, Bollo.
Tor is voiced by Bobby Diamond, while Mightor is voiced by Paul Stewart.[1] Pondo, Tog, Ork, and Bollo are voiced by John Stephenson. Sheera is voiced by Patsy Garrett. Little Rok is voiced by Norma MacMillan." So it seems like your typical Saturday morning fare doesn't it? Well not quite. You see you've got an entire village protected by a 'champion' and a mystic item along with a bunch of jacked up cavemen who look like they came straight out of a kid's play set. Well back in the Eighties I took the entire village and characters changed the names and dumped them into Gamma World without any issues as an old school encounter for some kids. Mighty Mightor became a mutant who went around with an Ancient's artifact & was a part of a cryptic alliance of  super heroes. Thirty years later I took the same village & dumped it right into Carcosa & then for an Astonishing Swordmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea kid's game for a friend of mine I used it again.

The dinosaurs are straight up Carcosa mutants & almost all of them are Charles Knight dinosaur artwork redressed & given the Hanna Barbara treatment with a good dose of Alex Thoth whirl. The various foes of the village are all mutants & half Pict cavemen with animal empathy & domination mutations. Its really simple stuff that old schoolers eat up at the table with a spoon. These types of adventures click all kinds of buttons from dinosaurs to superheroes. They can be raided for Marvel Super Heroes for a different take and lost world era vibe or they can be used for a sword & sorcery style adventure.

When it comes to a game like Apes Victorious here's where things get really interesting. Take Mighty Mightor lock stock and dinosaurs then move his village to some isolated location in the Forbidden Zone & instant ape lost world with mutant dinosaurs & 'super heroes'. Easily back loaded into the back world of Mutant Future as well!

Flip this idea on its head and it could easily take place in the Dungeon Crawl Classic's fanzine Crawling Under A Broken Moon with zero modification. 
The kids from Moby Dick are creepy as all heck. What the hell were they eating and how the heck were they surviving under water for all that time? Well, for that answer we might need a combination of Mutant Future & Realms of Crawling Chaos from Goblinoid Games.  Simply put the kids are Ancients wizard with Deep One blood with their whale familiar. The apocalypse happened and their genes flipped on! These guys are completely insane & I've used em in Carcosa a couple of times as a sea hex encounter.

Once again old school  Saturday morning cartoons can provide a wealth of gaming material if you want to look past the corny elements to provide your table top with all kinds of inspiration. The Moby Dick cartoon had some fantastic factions to raid for classic Marvel Super Heroes adventures for an Atlantis game. These same foes came in really handy for a later Carcosa game. The whole thing  works well with games such as Mutant Future or Gamma World 1st & second edition where the technology of under water colonies is built right into the game setting itself.

"Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor " were of their time and for kids who grew up in the Seventies these were classic Hanna Barbara cartoons & sparked the imagination of generations of kids & Dungeon Masters!

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