Adventure Module J1: Assault Upon The Poorly Guarded Barn Of The Scrub Giants

…first in the Scrub Giants epic campaign

365 People, Places & Things #115

Arcane potion or tasty beverage? You decide.

Potions: Invisibility Potion


1 gallon of dogberry juice
1 gallon of 180 proof grain alcohol
1 gallon mint tea that was slow brewed in a copper kettle heated by the fire of burning owl nests
6 teaspoons of chopped trollweed that was picked at midnight on a moonless night
7 teeth from a viper
1 cup sugar
1 lump of gold the size of a green pea

In a barrel constructed from aged oak and built by a blind Gnome, mix the dogberry juice, the alcohol and the tea. Do not stir!

Let it sit for 11 hours, during which time you will chant over it every 48 minutes, but only for 1 minute 12 seconds.

Add the trollweed and stir in a figure 8 manner for 3 minutes.

Add the viper teeth, the lump of gold and the sugar.

Standing next to the barrel, recite your favorite dirty limerick.

Stir with a glass spoon for 6 minutes.

Strain it into half gallon bottles, seal them and store them in a dark cool place.

Makes 108 doses.


She Liked To Dance Where The Ice Was Thinnest

…and she danced all night

Hey! HEYYYYYY!!! It’s Potions Week and we don’t need no steenking Severus Snape!

365 People, Places & Things #114

Let’s start off with an easy potion that anyone can make in the safety of their enchanted tower laboratory.

Potions: The Elixir Of Shrinking


1 cup mouse toenail clippings
1 teaspoon black rose petals
1 teaspoon fig syrup cooked under a quarter moon
2 gallons water
1 ½ cups white wine
3 drops of pixie sweat

Combine water and wine in a 5 gallon cast iron cauldron that has been washed in ice water three times. Place on a fire made of olive wood logs. Bring to a rolling boil.

Using a clean spoon carved from the thigh bone of a yak, stir in the toenail clippings, rose petals and fig syrup. Always stir counter clockwise for precisely 27 stirs.

Reduce to a simmer.

Remove your clothing and dance the Dwarven Three Step for 5 minutes.

Add the pixie sweat and stir rapidly in a clockwise direction for 33 stirs.

Allow potion to cool to air temperature overnight, then spend the next day reducing it to 1/10 volume.

Cool and store in a stoneware bottle.

Makes 6 doses.

Attack Of The 50 Ft. Foot

…double featured with “I was A Teenage CPA”

YAY! I now finish “The Rise Of The…” week! Starting tomorrow: Potions Week!

365 People, Places & Things #113

Hmmm, six risings covered, yet I get the feeling I’ve forgotten something. What could it be? Oh, wait, I know!

The Rise Of The…: Zombies!

Ok, so this is how the Big Zombie Rising of 2010 went…

1: North Korean biological weapons lab blows up, killing tens of thousands who rise up 6 hours later and start killing and eating the living.

2: The virus spreads on the wind and through zombie bites or scratches. It might also have been spread by animals or birds, who are unaffected by it.

3: Zombies everywhere. Lots of panic…at first.

4: Everybody with a gun or a baseball bat or a hockey stick or a piece of pipe takes up the sport called “Bash The Zombie Heads”. Additionally, many folks set them on fire, crush them with heavy equipment, drop heavy things on them, cover them in cement and find other creative ways to stop them. In areas near volcanoes, zombies were often lead to a fiery death in the caldera.

5: The animal world joins the fun! Everything that eats dead flesh starts filling up on McZombie. Even animals that don’t eat flesh do their part, such as the herds of elephants in Africa and India that took every opportunity to trample the walking dead. Packs of pit bulls and other canines did their part, too.

6: By the time winter came around, zombies were pretty scarce, but those in northern climes froze solid, making for easy destruction. Zombies in the tropics were gone in the first couple of weeks of the rising.

7: Once things got back to normal, crematoriums started popping up like Starbucks. Additionally, almost everyone bought some version of the RonCo Brain Buster, to use on loved ones who kicked the bucket. Just press the power drill looking device up to the back of poor old Uncle Joe’s head, pull the trigger and it punctures the skull and whips the brain into mush. No rising up for Uncle Joe!

8: Zombies pretty much disappeared from books, movies, video games and other media once it was known how wussy they really were.

Do You Like My Cupcakes, She Asked

…and he told her he liked them just fine

365 People, Places & Things #112

They not only outnumber us, they live in and around our homes! We are so screwed!

The Rise Of The…: Animals!

In our year of 521 AD, the science research starship N’murix suffered a terminal compromise of both Neutronic Plasmodifiers and blew up. Large sections of the ship flew off into space in all directions at .65% of lightspeed. In our year of 1690 AD, the section that had housed the genetic experimentation laboratory crashed into the Amazon rain forest. It was only slightly larger than a two story home and very little survived the impact, except for Vial 30.

Vial 30 contained a virus that had been created for use on some of the many animals that the N’murix had gathered from various Terran ecosystems in 368 AD. When it broke open, the virus was released into our atmosphere. It was on that day that the rise of the animals truly began.

The virus affected every mammal species on earth. Certain types of birds, most notable parrots ravens & their kin and raptors were also altered. No reptiles, fish or invertebrates were affected. Every species the virus touched became much more intelligent. Even more importantly, they could all communicate telepathically. Oddly, this did not change species behavior. Predators still ate prey and everyone was cool with that because it was the way of Nature. No, the animals had other things to think about: the Human Problem.

After the better part of a century of discussion and planning, the animals decided to straighten the humans out and get them back in line with Nature’s Plan. On February 9th, 1808, the animals struck.

Humans who mistreated animals were killed. Humans who destroyed habitat were forced to live in very bad conditions for a few years. Humans who poisoned the air or water or soil were forced to live in filth. Humans who understood Nature’s Way, which was almost entirely the so called “primitive savages” of many lands, were allowed and encouraged to live as they always had, in harmony with the land.

Cities were dismantled, dams destroyed, forests replanted and the world was slowly set right, except for a very few spots where humans were allowed to live and devote themselves to learning and invention. After about 4 or 5 generations, humans stopped rebelling and started learning how to live properly. Now, in the year 2010, the world is a much happier and cleaner place.

Minty Fresh Death


Hey! The first of THREE 365 posts for today! I hope.

365 People, Places & Things #111

This one is kind of like “X Men”, but without any tension breaking humor, romance or sexy costumes.

The Rise Of The…: Mutants!

Possibly the first recorded instance of mutant powers came on September 8th, 1960, when a teenage girl in a small town in northern India. She became very upset at the arranged marriage that her parents had brokered with a 64 year old man. In the middle of the argument, she started to run away and a few seconds later found herself in the coastal city of Surat, many hundreds of miles from home. She eventually realized that she could run at super speed and became a champion of women’s rights in her country.

By 1963, there were thousands of known mutants around the world. Many governments tried to capture and imprison them. This was doomed to failure because certain telepathic mutants were searching for others with strange powers and once they located them, they arranged jailbreaks. The former soviet union is littered with destroyed prisons and laboratories due to these efforts. In the United States, a 3,000 acre area of North Dakota is still fenced off and heavily guarded. Nobody believes the “toxic chemical spill” cover story.

At first, the mutants pretty much emulated the superheroes and villains of the comic books, but that didn’t last more than a couple of years. The problem was that most of them weren’t evil and none of them liked fighting other mutants. Around 1967, the last costumed mutants went back to wearing street clothes. They did not, however, go back to leading normal lives.

The Mutant Alliance Conference of 1969 was held in Paris, France and was attended by 35,000 mutants. This was estimated to be 80% of the world’s mutant population at the time. No normal humans were allowed within 500 feet of the mutant created conference center and a soviet attempt to detonate a nuclear device went horribly wrong when said device was teleported to the basement of the Kremlin.

The upshot of the conference was that the mutants decided to divide up the planet into areas of control and teach or force humans to live in peace. They all agreed this was going to be an uphill fight and, indeed, it was. Things did get easier once all the standing armies and navies were gone, but they still had to go so far as destroying all guns and other armaments in 1974.

Looking back, they did a pretty good job, but if they had known that mutant power awakenings were increasing exponentially among preteen children, they could have saved themselves a bunch of trouble.

So here we are, in 2010 with a world population of two billion mutants and a billion and a half standard humans. The world is much cleaner and more peaceful and all told, a more productive and happy place. And that goes for Mars, the Moon, all of the colony ships and the asteroid belt, too. All hail our mutant masters!

The Otherworldly Adventures Of Doctor Tempest Beyond The Veil Of Death

…from the November, 1888 issue

Damn! Still just the one 365 post:(

365 People, Places & Things #110

This is what happens when foodies go terribly wrong.

The Rise Of The…: Cannibals!

Alright, listen up! Welcome to the United Nations Anti-Cannibal Training Camp. You are all here because you are the best of the asskicking best and, even more importantly, you are all vegetarians.

My name is Major Carl Winlow and it is my job to give you this overview of the history of the cannibal threat and a brief look at the nature of the enemy. After this little session, you will spend the next two weeks in intensive training so you may play your part in wiping these flesh eating freaks off the face of the Earth.

We know that it was in 2008 that the first restaurant serving human flesh opened in New York City. The restaurant, Fava, was mostly your normal upscale eating establishment with the exception of having a secret menu available to very select customers. This menu offered traditional Italian and French dishes that utilized human flesh in place of pork, beef or lamb. Prices were sky high, which only made it more attractive to wealthy foodies looking for a secret kinky thrill.

As such things always do, this spawned a series of as many as 60 similar restaurants worldwide. At first, care was taken to only use the healthiest people, often by enticing suicidal or mentally ill folks into killing themselves. However, as with any food industry situation, higher demand and greed for more profits lead to less well screened meat entering the food chain.

The first outbreaks of the Cannibal Virus took place in Beijing, China in late 2011 and was made worse because the tainted meat was served to a group of international billionaire foodies and their guests. Days later, they had spread back across the globe. A week or so after that, they became ravenous for human flesh and began indulging themselves regardless of cost or security. By the end of the year, there were thousands of infected people in New York alone. And then, as we say back home, the crap hit the propeller.

By summer 2012, an estimated 5% of people worldwide were infected. By the fall, that was up to 12%. Panic was rampant and all of the functions of commerce and government were disrupted. Paranoia, predictably, was even more rampant. In December of 2012, the United Nations unanimously authorized the creation of this camp and a dozen more just like it.

Right now, the worldwide cannibal population seems to have leveled off at 15%. We are winning, but I’ll be honest and tell you it is damned slow going. Work on a vaccine continues, but that’s going even slower.

Now let’s move on to the cannibals themselves. First off, they are not goddamned zombies! They are alive as you or me. But let’s go with a comparison of the two for a bit here.

Zombies: Only killed by a shot to the head or other extreme disruption to the brain.
Cannibals: Any shot that’ll kill you will kill them, but once they’re down, finsh them off with a head shot anyway.

Zombies: Depending upon the source, are either slow and not terribly strong or fast as hell and strong as a bull.
Cannibals: As fast and strong as a person of their particular body development might normally be. A young cannibal in good shape is a hell of a lot more dangerous that a 50 year old obese cannibal.

Zombies: Nearly mindless to pretty cunning. Not generally tool users or problem solvers.
Cannibals: Lower than normal intelligence once the virus get them, but still damned cunning and able to do many things and use many tools and devices. Cannibals can drive cars, but not really well. They can’t fly planes. They can use guns and other weapons.

Zombies: Eventually fall apart or get eaten by maggots and such.
Cannibals: Alive and can heal up as well as we can, despite not generally being able to get medical attention.

Zombies: Reproduce my biting the living.
Cannibals: Do the same thing, but can also reproduce naturally. Fortunately, most tend to eat their young, who do not seem to be born cannibals, but become that way by about age 6.

Zombies: Recognizable because they stink of decomposition and look like ratted corpses.
Cannibals: Recognizable by dirty and disheveled appearance, but mostly by their bright red tongues & gums and the pink mottling found on their faces and hands.

Well, that wraps up this introductory session. In a moment, Doctor Hellenvald and Professor Donoghue will be here to give you a more in depth look at cannibal physiology and behavior. Good luck, soldiers and good hunting.

Rabbit & Cowstello Meet Fronkensteen

…discarded TOON game idea #284

Once again, instead of the two promised (I promised then on Facebook) entries, I have but one. On the plus side, it’s quite long and has dinosaurs!

365 People, Places & Things #109

Holy crap, It’s rampaging dinosaurs! And it didn’t take bugs in amber to make them!

The Rise Of The…: Dinosaurs!

So Greg Zuckelberg and Simon Yan have this killer idea of what to do with the four billion they made off of Quantum Memory Incorporated: Buy up some bleeding edge tech firms and build a Dinosaur Park with the most realistic dinosaurs ever. Which is exactly what they did, in spades.

At first, it was just going to be crazy expensive robot dinosaurs that could do about 7 or 8 things, but really smoothly and realistically. Then they heard about some MIT guys who had built nanobots the size of grains of rice that could link up and form more complex systems. Naturally, they hired these guys and gave them about 500 million and the mission to reduce the nanobot size to smaller than a grain of sand.

While that is going on, they invite every paleontologist they can find to a big conference (and give each of them a hefty cash donation) where they will design a set of five different ecological settings for the Dino Park. This is like telling a bunch of geeks that you want them to watch a Star Trek marathon. By the time the dino geeks were done, they had created nine settings and offered to do another six more any time.

So a couple of years go by and now they have 15 intensely detailed settings that are being recreated on 5,000 acres of land in the middle of Nevada, the ability to make nanobots less than half the size of a small grain of sand and an army of techies and programmers ready to get to work.

Now, over the next three years, things go incredibly well. The park gets built, 268 species of dinosaurs are created (and function just like real organic creatures) and the behavioral programming gets completed. Oh, and the hype machine goes into overdrive. The day the first video of a T-Rex was put up on You Tube, the servers crashed four times.

Let’s go back to those dinosaurs. When I said they were programmed to function like real creatures, I wasn’t joking. They breathed, ate (but only other dinosaurs), defecated, defended territories…hell, they even fucked and had babies. Despite subsequent events, you’ve got to admit, that was crazy cool. I saw the first batch in the Early Triassic Asia setting and it was jaw dropping. It truly was like going back in time.

So the final step, a couple of months before the park was due to open (and right after deals had been signed to build similar parks in China, Europe and Australia), was to set up the security program. See, everyone had seen Jurassic Park and everyone agreed that shit would not happen. So the security was designed in discreet parts by very small teams who in some cases had no idea what they were building this for. Finally, after it was all put together, a team of six security experts…the best in the world…were assembled to monitor things. None of them knew who the other five were. They would never meet and would only be able to communicate during an emergency. Even then, all they could do is use pre arranged code words. Mostly, they could shut every single dinosaur down by making them go into a coma. At any time, only two security experts were on duty during a 12 hour shift. The protocols for programmers were even stricter. Thus was security assured.

The park opened on June 1st, 2015 and was a success beyond anybody’s wildest dreams. In no time, reservations were booked up 6 months in advance. The five major hotel resorts around the park were inadequate for it’s needs and five more were built. By 2017, Dinosaur Park, Nevada was the state’s third largest city. By 2020, there were a total of 6 Dinosaur Parks and the species count was up to 532, including the new Ice Age fauna. Everything was going just swell.

Except for that part about the nine genius psychos from various American universities who had gotten together a couple of years before the park concept had even been thought up and decided in their twisty little minds that humanity needed to be taken down a peg or two. They hadn’t decided exactly how, but they were plenty smart in multiple disciplines. They say the groups computer whiz kid found out about Dino Park from hacking Simon Yan’s email account.

Hmmm…dinosaurs…dinosaurs that, despite looking organic, really weren’t…hmmm.

So they busted ass and became the best in their fields and two of those fields were security and programming and in the very early hours of May 23rd, 2021, while the entire park was in sleep mode, they started their merry ten step plan.

Step 1: Release into the park’s three meandering rivers a shitload of nanobots programmed to infect any dinosaurs that drink water (so, all of them).

Step 2: Wait three days until infection is at 100%

Step 3: Have one of your programming geniuses insert a small bit of seemingly innocent code into the dinosaur behavior program.

Step 4, 5 & 6: Same as step 3.

Step 7: Have the first programmer type in a code word.

Step 8: Make sure both security experts are members of your team one night.

Step 9: Shut down the security in just one small area for a mere 10 seconds, which will trigger the alarms that are the signal for the new dinosaur programming to take effect.

10: A few hours later, when the park is full of guests and the clocks all say noon, pop some popcorn and watch the shit hit the fan.

Did I mention that they had already gotten the new nanobots into the water at the five other parks? Or that, for security, the controls at the main park could send signals to the other parks.

You know the rest, my friend. The dinosaurs busted out, killing 2,300 guests along the way and scattered to the four winds…but only long enough to reproduce at a greatly accelerated rate. They could now process not only dino flesh, but human (and only human) flesh for sustenance. Not that it mattered much, because they could heal insanely fast and could also make use of other sources of raw materials. Stuff like garbage, trash, cars, houses, etc.

And they got bigger, about twice normal size. I’m reliably told that a herd of 30 Brachiosaurs pretty much wiped several small town off the map as they ran from a large pack of Utahraptors. Nobody can accurately say how the sea dwelling dinosaurs (and prehistoric reptiles, if you want to get picky) got from the middle of Nevada to the ocean, but they did, which is why there are Liopleurodons and Elasmosauruses and a host of other aquatic dinosaurs swimming around doing things like destroying the Japanese fishing fleet and sinking naval ships of all countries. The pterosaurs, of course, spread the fastest and I personally have seen the new double sized Quetzalcoatlus chase down and eat a human adult.

After awhile, we humans found the dinosaur free zones that the genius psychos (who didn’t even have the decency to give themselves a catchy name) had established. Actually, I’m pretty sure we were herded into them. Whatever the case, we can live here in relative safety at about a mid 19th century level. Oddly, we are all of us a whole lot healthier on average than we used to be. Vastly reduced pollution, organic foods and hard work will di that to you. I do kind of miss the internet though.

I’ve heard that the plan is to have the dinosaurs back off a little every few decades, to give us room. Of course, that also depends upon us learning to get along and not be greedy and respect the earth and all that stuff.

Personally, I think the dinosaurs are going to be here a long time.