Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness by ForkBanger
The New StuffOriginal SA post
Nobody's done Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness™ ? Somebody should get on top of that. At the very least, Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures ...
Interlude - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness
I've left that book at home, but it's a quiet day. We've got a copy of TMNT in stock, except now we don't because I have it.
Remember when TMNT were huge? Y'know, late 80's, early 90's? Wouldn't that have been a great time to have fun RPG based on the franchise? You could make an absolute shitton of money!
Well, Palladium put their TMNT book out a couple of years before the craze kicked off, and based it on their horrible game system.
Kevin Siembieda isn't bitter about this, though.
Okay, maybe he's kind of salty posted:
According to Kevin Siembieda, the 1987 television series and live-action movies, which made considerable changes to the Turtles' universe, had a severe negative impact on the popularity of the role-playing game. In an interview, Siembieda claimed that depictions of the Turtles in other media made them seem so childish that "no self-respecting teenager, even if he thought the Turtles were cool, or thought the Ninja Turtle game was cool, was going to be caught dead playing it. So our sales plummeted from 50,000 copies in a year to 12,000, and the next year that dropped to 6,000."
Naturally, it was the popularity of the franchise that drove the sales of the game down. It wasn't anything about the game, nuh-uh.
It's the Palladium system, as has been covered, but there are two new mechanical botches, stapled seamlessly into it!
One of them, at least, explains how that 'per level' skill gain works, kind of, so it's technically an improvement. Apart from that, it's the usual copy-paste wonder, with the bulk of the book made up of mutant animals.
Lots of tables.
I'm going to cover what's new, and then give you a list of mutant animals. Call out any animals you want to see, and I'll cover them later.
The New Stuff, part I
The first new mechanic is Team Characters . It's one of those actual good ideas, buried in Palladium's mire of terrible.
Y'know how the four turtles grew up together? They trained together and developed their skills and all that good stuff? Well, this is that mechanic.
It's got some good points to it-
-Firstly, you get attribute bonuses. When one of the team rolls an exceptional attribute , everyone gets to add the resulting bonus dice to their attribute.
-Secondly, you get bonus levels to skills equal to the number of characters in the team. The four turtles, for example, would get three bonus levels to each of their skills.
That's pretty nice, all considered. You get better stats and skills out of the deal.
This is Palladium, though. That means there's a kick in the balls coming, too.
-First off, that skill bonus is limited to Scholastic, Physical and Secondary skills. This actually covers most skills, but leaves an annoying amount of things it doesn't affect.
-Secondly, you all have to be the same kind of animal. Exactly why you couldn't find a baby mouse, baby turtle and baby bird swimming around in the same puddle of toxic goo and bring them up together is unclear, but you just can't , okay.
-Thirdly, you all have to mutate in the same way. More on this in a bit, but if Joe wants to look like a monster but have an armoured shell, Bob has to suck it up and also look like a monster and have an armoured shell. You lose a lot of flexibility in the mutation system, basically.
The New Stuff, part II
The other new thing is BIO-E . It is, again, kind of nifty.
The idea behind it is that animals have a certain amount of Bio logical E nergy- when they mutate, you get to spend it on stuff.
Growth Levels (Steps) control the size of your freak. Size 1 is a mouse. Size 20 is an elephant. You can reduce your size for BIO-E points to spend, or spend BIO-E to increase your size. Different sizes have different bonus and penalties, and as you'd expect small things are fast but delicate, big things are slow but strong.
Human Attributes decide what you look like- you can spend BIO-E on Hands , Speech , Stance and Looks . They all come in three levels- none, partial and full, and you can mix and match all you like. Want to walk like a human, sound like parrot, and have paws for hands? Go nuts, freak.
Hands decide your fine manipulation. You can have a paw, a non-opposable thumb, or a thumb depending how much you spend. Everyone will buy Full Hands for the opposable thumbs, because otherwise you can't, y'know, use your hands to do hand stuff.
Speech decides how you speak (all mutant animals can understand English, you see. Don't be a mutant animal in Spain, I guess?). You can not speak (in which case you have to buy Telepathic Transmission), you can sound like a parrot or synthesiser, or you can talk like real people. Again, the more human effects costs more.
Upright Bipedal Stance decides how you stand. Duh. None leaves you on all fours, Partial makes you like a bear, letting you stand up to fight and stuff (but not jump or kick), and you're slow as shit while standing on two legs, and Full lets you walk like humans do.
Human Looks decides how monstrous you look. None makes you look like a furry's wet dream, Partial makes you look like a fucking freak (but you can pass for human! At night! If you cover up your animal features!), and Full lets you look human, but not normal human.
That's pretty much it for the new shit! Attributes and alignment and whatnot and copy-pasted, SDC is slightly changed (it's based on your size), and there are some different tables.
Here's the animal list- impressively, it's a table of tables. I'm not even going to comment on the categorization of some of these.
Urban Animals - Dog, Cat, Mouse, Rat, Guinea Pig/Hamster, Squirrel, Sparrow, Pigeon, Pet Bird, Bat, Turtle, Frog, Monkey.
Rural Animals - Dog, Cat, Cow, Pig, Chicken, Duck, Horse, Rabbit, Mouse, Sheep, Goat, Turkey, Bat.
Wild Animals - Wolf, Coyote, Fox, Badger, Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Mountain Lion, Bobcat, Lynx, Wolverine, Weasel, Alligator, Otter, Beaver, Muskrat, Raccoon, Opossum, Skunk, Porcupine, Mole, Marten, Armadillo, Deer, Elk, Moose, Boar.
Wild Birds - Sparrow, Robin, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Wild Turkey, Pheasant, Grouse, Quail, Crow, Pigeon, Duck, Hawk, Falcon, Eagle, Owl, Escaped Pet Bird.
Zoo Animals - Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Cheetah, Polar Bear, Crocodile (or Alligator), Aardvark, Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Elephant, Chimpanzee, Orangutan, Gorilla, Monkey, Baboon, Camel, Buffalo.
Let me know if you're interested in any of these.
Remember the stupid Education Tables from Beyond the Supernatural? Well, they're back but different, because ~mutant animals~.
It's possible to grow up in a fucking sewer and hate humans, while the guy beside you ends up trained as a goddamn ninja, and the guy on the other side turns out to be somebody's fucked-up animal experiment thay've taken home and adopted. Sucks to be you, sewer-boy.
Next Time! Wrestlers! (Or mutant animals, depending which book I have close to hand)
Animal FarmOriginal SA post Teenage Mutant Interlude Turtles II - Animal Farm
So, last time I took a quick look at the new stuff. Team characters, which are a wonky but good idea, and BIO-E, which I actually really like- at it's core, it gives you a lot of flexibility in your mutant animals, in terms of size and capability.
I mean, so long as the animal entries themselves aren't all screwed up.
A few quick reference points, and then on to the animals-
[b}Size level[/b] (yes, it was growth steps or growth levels last time) is how big you are.
Humans are size level 8 or 9 (this is only mentioned in the sample characters at the back of the book).
You can increase your size level by 1 by spending 5 BIO-E points.
You can decrease your size level by 1 and gain 5 BIO-E points.
You can do these things as often as you like, to the minimum size 1 or maximum size 20.
At size 5 and below you get a bunch of penalties. Don't be size 5 or less.
At size 7-10 you get nothing but bonuses (to PE and PS). This is the sweet spot.
At size 11+ you get the PS and PE bonuses, but start losing Spd.
This doesn't matter too much, because Attributes are only relevant if they are 16 or higher. They don't have any effect below that threshold. Rolled 7 for Spd? Sure, be as big as a house.
IQ gives a one-time bonus to all percentile skills.
ME affects psychic saves, and is useless.
MA gives a bonus to intimidate or provoke trust. There's no mechanics for this.
PS gives a damage bonus (and decides what you can lift, but nobody cares).
PP gives a bonus to strike, parry and dodge- hitting and not getting hit.
PE gives a bonus to save vs death/coma. So whatever.
PB gives a bonus to carm or impress. Again, no mechanics.
Spd gives a bonus to dodge in this game.
Armour takes hits for you- an attack roll that hits but doesn't beat your AR damages the armour, not you.
Right, animal time!
So we said 'fuck that' and lo, Zap the mutant weasel (with mutant super-metabolism, care of TMNTOS) juicer was born.
Weasels! Weasels come at size level 1, with 75 BIO-E ready to spend. They also get +4 PP and +5 Spd, just because. Both of those attributes modify dodge bonuses, so Weasels are hard to hit. If you buy your Weasel full hands , full stance , full speech and no looks , you'll have 45 BIO-E left, which you can spend on fucking bullshit .
Increased Metabolic Rate is one of their animal-specific options, for 20 BIO-E. It gives +5 to strike, +4 to parry and dodge, +2 to damage, +2 attacks per melee, and doubles your jump distance (to ridiculous numbers). It makes you hyperactive, and you have to eat your own weight in meat every day. Luckily, you can probably kill just about anything with your stupid buffs, and then eat them.
For 5 BIO-E, you can buy teeth that have a base d8 damage. That's better than claws, fists or kicks, so do it.
You can then spend your last 20 BIO-E on size levels, making you size 5 for -1 PS mod. You're still incredibly fast and hard to hit, and have a million attacks. (two base, two for increased metabolism, two for whatever punchy training you take).
Weasels are dumb as all hell.
...followed later by Bullwinkle, the Crazy mutant moose.
Moose! Mooses? Meeses? Mice? Whatever. Size 19 with no BIO-E, so they pretty much have to sell it down (you could drop it by 1 level and buy telepathic transmission or partial speech, if you wanted to be Ricky the Wonder Moose, I guess). As a Moose, you get +4PS and +1PE. You also get a little bit fucked by increased costs on your human features- 15 BIO-E each to get full hands and full biped , and the usual 10 BIO-E for full speech . Taking those drops you to size level 12.
You could then drop to size level 10 to take their unique pick, Antlers , which do 2d6 base damage. That's better than a bunch of guns in this system, so it might be a good idea, especially as size 10 gives your mutant Moose-strength another +4PS (and +2PE! Not gonna see a Moose in a coma ) could well be giving you a hefty damage bonus.
I'd like to see Buffalo, Pet Bird, and Escaped Pet Bird.
Buffalo! Like Moose, Buffalo are size 19 with no BIO-E in the pot, so they have to sell size down. They don't get any attribute bonuses, either. They get the usual costs for full hands , bipedal stance , and full speech , so they'll be size level 13 after buying them. They've got a couple of options - 1d8 damage horns, or 10SDC for 10 BIO-E. Since you lose 5SDC for dropping your size from 13 to 12, the SDC isn't a great buy (you could just take up Bodybuilding for +10SDC and +2PS), and you also lose some of your oversized PS bonus. At size level 13 you get +7PS and +5PE, which might make up for those attribute bonuses you didn't get but almost everyone else did.
Pet Bird! You're a Tenage Mutant Ninja Budgie! Size 1, 75 BIO-E in the pot, no attribute bonuses. Awwww. You don't have to pay for full bipedal stance , and you have the option to buy extra limbs with human hands for 20 BIO-E, if you like. Let's say you buy full speech and extra limbs - that's 30 BIO-E spent. Spending 20 of your remainder gives you Flight ! Well done, you can now fly at 160mph (uh....), get +3 to dodge while flying, +6 while at top speed, and +2 damage per 40mph.
As a mutant budgie, you also get the option to buy Claws that do d6 damage, and give you a +35% bonus to climb. Since you can choose to fly instead, and use guns and swords and whatever in your extra limbs, let's not bother. instead, we'll spend the rest to buy our mutant budgie up to size 6, where it has no bonus or penalty.
Comedy budgie build 2- buy the minimum partial speech, and then 14 size levels. Well done, you are now 7+ feet of mutant budgie that pecks people to death while screeching, 'Who's a pretty boy then!'. Bad news is you can't fly, you have to hop around, and you don't have any fucking hands, so you have to smash your way through doors and stuff.
Escaped Pet Birds! They're like regular pet birds, but they escaped. I may have raised your hopes that they would be different, but I'm just emulating the mutant animal table (and subtables).
The sell-down-an-elephant never occurred to me as a teenager though. I wonder if that's more or less broken than weasels?
Weasels get a double dose of stat pumps and modifiers that synch really well, so they are really fucking good at what they do. They also get enough BIO-E tht they can just buy stuff, with no worries about making choices.
Elephants! You're an elephant! That makes you size level 20, with +2PS and +3 Spd. Yep, you're flat-out better than a Buffalo (get used to it, Buffalo fans). You also pay standard costs for full hands , full stance and full speech , so you could have all that, be size level 14, and leave it there- if you sell down any more, you'll be outmuscled by the budgies.
You can spend 10 BIO-E on Tusks! They're like teeth, but they don't have a damage rating listed, so don't do it. You could sell one size level to buy Thick Skin - it's an overall gain of +15 SDC, for a minor stat drop. If you really wanted, you could buy a Prehensile Trunk . It's a partial hand that lets you touch the ground without bending, so whatever. Somehow, you can have trunk and full human features , and you'll be just fine, probably.
Our size 13 Thick-Skinned Elephant would have +9PS, +5PE, 60SDC, and it's natural Spd bonus would cancel out it's size penalty.
At size 14, our Elephant would have +10PS, +6PE, -1 Spd, and 50SDC.
A size 17 Elephant with partial speech and a Prehensile Trunk would be able to open doors for the giant budgie-people, would have +13PS, +10PE, -4Spd and 65SDC. It would also be about 10 feet tall, so what you'd save on door smashing you'd spend on rebuilding walls.
As an Elephant, you can buy full bipedal stance , full hands , full speech , prehensile trunk , thick skin , tusks , advanced hearing , and be size 8 (human sized) for another +2 PS. Sure, a bunch of that stuff is useless, but Elephants, like Weasels, don't really have to make choices- they can buy everything and be in a good size bracket (or buy some stuff and be massive for huge stat benefits (and couch repair costs).
Yeah, I think rhinos were pretty good?
Rhinoceros! Size 20, 0 BIO-E in the pot, +4PS and +4PE. Suck it down, Elephants. You too, Buffalo. Rhinos do have to pay 15 BIO-E for full hands and biped, just because, so you're down at size 12 for full hands , full stance , and full speech . You get a huge list of bonus picks as a Rhino, but you have to actually choose stuff- you get a choice of four kinds of natural armour, the top end of which is better than riot gear- but it's expensive. Really expensive.
Extra-Heavy Natural Body Armour gives you an AR of 14 and +120SDC, but it costs you 60BIO-E points- that's 12 size levels, so you're now size 8. Let's go for partial speech, and you're a size level 7 mini rhino. Maybe you want to open doors and stuff. Partial hands and partial bipedal stance knocks you down to size level 3. At this point you say fuck it, and buy a Horn (d8 damage) for another 10BIO-E. The 2d6 damage Horns are nicve, but you're out of points.
You are now a tiny rhino-man, less than a foot in height, with -8IQ, -8PS, +7Spd, and 125SDC with an AR of 14. You are stupid and weak, but your horn still inflicts d8 damage, and you're stupid hard to hit and hurt.
Slightly more sensibly, you could go with full hands , partial bipedal stance and partial speech (size 14), and then take Heavy Natural Body Armour for AR 12 and +90SDC. You are only size 5 at that point, though.
If you wanted to join the budgie-people and be fucking huge, you could opt only for partial speech . You are now size level 19, with +17PS, +11PE, -5Spd, and 75SDC. The worst you can do for PS is roll 3, in which case you punch/trample people for d6+5 damage. The average will be d6+13. If you're exceptional on your PS attribute roll, you can comfortably get to d6+22. Shredder can only take 79 damage before he keels over, so if they were Teenage Mutant Ninja Rhinos and used the team character rules to get those exceptional PS bonuses, their problems would have been solved pretty quickly.
One of my players figured that out and rolled up a human-sized blue whale. I don't know if he even spent all of the bio-e points that netted him. There's only so much you can buy.
Kevin Siemieba is aquatic-animal racist, there aren't any in the core book. Transdimensional TMNT, After the Bomb, Road hogs and whatever the other books were have whales and dinosaurs in them, though.
I think Hippos might be better.
Hippopotamus! Size level 20, 0 BIO-E, no attribute bonus. Sad panda. Okay, sad Hippo. Still, they only pay standard costs for hands and stance, so you can be size level 16 with full hands and full stance . d10 damage Teeth are an option for 5 BIO-E, and you can pick up Light Natural body Armour for 15 BIO-E- AR 8 and +40SDC, but you can get all of that stuff and still be size level 12 for +6PS, +4 PE, 80 total SDC, with a wicked bite.
Pigeonholing, blanket racism... Cthulhutech really does suck massive syphilitic donkey balls.
Horses! Size 18, 0 BIO-E, +2PS and +6 Spd. They pay extra for hands and biped, like Buffalo, but fuck that. We're going to trade in size levels to take Hoofed Feet , giving d8 damage kicks, and then buy telepathic transmission . Our psychic kung-fu buckaroo is over eight feet tall, has +12PS, +8 PE, and 60SDC, and is hoping it will be raised in the subway by a ninja master who can teach it to kick the evil out of people with it's hooves of justice.
WrapupOriginal SA post
Okay, lets do this.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness® , 1985, Palladium Books® , written by everyone's favourite, Erik Wujcik.
This is going to be mercifully brief, as the book is a Palladium® cut and paste job with little actual content.
Like Beyond the Supernatural™ , there's no kind of setting or background information, but everyone is totally scared of mutant animals so you should hide, or else you'll get vivisected or something.
Throughout, the usual Palladium® copy-paste art has been replaced with Eastman and Laird art (some of which is been used repeatedly in the book). this is probably the best part of the game, and gets over a bunch of concepts much better Wujcik's .
See what I mean?
Anyway, here's a breakdown of the content. There are some minor changes in among the copy-pasting, like sticking the 'animal' in front of 'characters', and changing some names in examples (one becomes 'Raphael', for example), but it's not new content.
Intro and glossary copy-pasted from other Palladium® books.
New content! Okay, it's almost all character generation tables for mutant animals- cause of mutation, new education table, animal table and subtables, size tables, height and weight table, BIO-E points and human attributes for your mutant animal.
Copy-pasted alignments, experience (cut down to one table, mercifully), and skill section.
New content! Generic animal powers (like flight, digging, natural weapons) and animal psionics! Animal entries, attribute bonuses, BIO-E options, etc. not Helpfully, there's an index of animals on p46, at the end of that particular section.
New content! (for Palladium® , anyway) A short TMNT strip, jammed in here for no real reason. It's got nothing to do with anything in this part of the book (Like the origin strip. That would be useful to have in the character creation section, wouldn't it? Surprise, it's back with the example characters.)
Copy-pasted combat, martial arts, SDC damage table, and combat example.
Copy-pasted healing and recovery rules. I only mention this because it's actually in a useful place this time.
Copy-pasted Palladium® equipment section. You know the one, if you've ever seen a Palladium® book.
The GM Section. Mostly copy-pasted, with 'animal' thrown in every now and then. There's about a page of this telling you how to use Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness® with Heroes Unlimited® (strip out the and it says you use a slightly different random power table). Yes, that does mean the GM Section is 2 pages. And one quarter of it is an example of bad play and good play .
Everyone's Palladium® favourite, adventures! There are five of them, they're all awful (of course).
TMNT character statblocks. Did you know Donatello weighs 5lbs more than each of the other turtles? And that none of them have criminal records? Does it matter to you that April O'Neil has a Carpentry at 46%? It matters to Erik, goddamnit. Somehow, he's managed to list size levels for human characters, but not the turtles themselves.
Statblocks for what are probably the playtest characters.
So yeah, it's basically only the animals are new.
Shit, a weasel. Run while you can!
Ducks! Ducks are awful . They have no attribute bonuses and two obviously terribad powers- Float , which lets you float (not swim), and Insulating Water Repellent Feathers , which half cold damage (there are no environmental damage rules) and give +10SDC. For the cost, you can buy three size levels for +15SDC and attribute bonuses. Every other bird/flying thing is better than the duck. Every single one.
Bears! Bears are good. Well, okay, Polar Bears are good. They're good because you can choose your Bear type. Why does this matter?
Bear BIO-E Size Black 5 14 Grizzly 0 16 Brown 0 17 Polar 0 18
Beavers! Beavers are deceptively clever, with +5IQ, but have a terribad option that I thought I'd share.
10 BIO-E for the ability to chop wood with their teeth . Yes, that's what it's called. And they can only chop wood, specifically not plastic or metal. Only wood .
Owls! They've pretty good, with some nice attribute bonuses and natural weapon options, and have the option to buy flight or glide. One of them is 40mph faster than the other, doesn't need you to jump off something high, is harder to hit, and gives you better damage when you dive bomb people. I WONDER WHICH ONE YOU'LL TAKE WHEN THEY COST THE SAME.
Camels! They're kind of mediocre, but you can make them actively worse by trading in 2 size levels for Water Storage - then you can survive without water for 2 days per gallon of water drunk (there are no starvation/dehydration rules), and can drink your maximum 10 gallons in 12 minutes. Oh, and you can buy the ability to Spit in someone's eyes and blind them, so do that- the blinded penalties in this game destroy you. As a Camel, you can also lose 25% of your body weight and get it all back in 10 minutes after drinking water. How useful.
Sadly, there's no picture of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Camel.
Dogs! Dogs fall foul of Palladium's table love, as you roll to see what breed of dog you are. They vary between size 2 (Chihuahua) and size 8 (St. Bernard). Every size level above 5 loses you 10 BIO-E from your staring total (remember, you buy size at 5 BIO-E per level). Every size level below 5 gives you... nothing. If you're a Chihuahua, you're 15 BIO-E down, suck it up. If you're a St. Bernard, fuck you, you're 15 BIO-E down too. Luckily, dogs are firmly mediocre, so you don't lose out on anything.
Cows & Bulls! Cows are just worse, because Wujcik hates women, I guess?
Felines! Not housecats, fucking Tigers and Jaguars and Lions. Of these, you'll be a Tiger, since they get extra attribute bonuses for no damn reason. All felines have the option to spend 10 BIO-E on a 2d6 damage bite, or 15 BIO-E on 2d6 damage claws. You'd take the claws because...?
Housecats! They're nothing special, I just like that you can make a nine-foot tall kitty that uses it's horrible gravelly voice to demand food and attention before crushing you as it sits in your lap.
Wildcats! Mechanically, they're housecats who have already bought size levels! They're pointlessly redundant!
Opossums! For 5 BIO-E, you can play dead for up to two hours!
Otters! 5 BIO-E buys you Whiskers- you can detect vibrations in darkness and underwater. This has no mechanical effect. Also, otters can't spend BIO-E to get a Swim ability, unlike a bunch of other animals.
Porcupines! They can and will buy Quill Defense , because they have all the BIO-E they need. They then get natural AR10, and anyone trying to beat them up who rolls 10 or less shanks themself on the quills for 3d6 damage. That's more than some guns. You can also body block people, using your quills, for as much damage as an assault rifle shot, or more if you have a high PS.
Skunks! They come in striped and spotted varieties, and spotted skunks get 5 more BIO-E. I'm sure there's a reason, it's just not given here. Anyway, for 15 BIO-E you can buy Stink Spray - eight times per day, it will incapacitate victims who fail to save against it through sheer nausea. Do you have to roll to hit? Is it a spray or a cone or something? What kind of save? Take a guess, becasue the book sure isn't telling. It does mention that the smell lasts for sixteen days, though!
Turtles! If you get turtle, let's face it- you're going to make an Adolescent Abnormal Jiu-Jitsu Terrapin.
That's full hands , biped and speech , the most affordable shell, Medium Natural Body Armour (for AR10 and +40SDC), and then be as big as you can get with the left over IO-E, size level 8. This makes your AAJT about 3 and a half feet tall, because they have a short build.
Lets see how that compares to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
They've got full hands , biped and speech , Heavy Natural Body Armour (for AR12 and +60SDC), and according to the height and weight table, are size level 12.
Total BIO-E spend for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? 130 points.
Total BIO-E available for an Adolescent Abnormal Jiu-Jitsu Terrapin? 95 points.
Nice job Wujcik, you cheating fuck.
Aaaaand that's pretty much it for the book, unless you want to see the 'adventures' in the back.