So, the spousal unit and I just returned from Rango, a film where I greatly suspect a huge chunk of the script consisted of “Let Johnny Depp do something for 45 seconds, then go to next line.” While, obviously, I have great sympathy for any film in which the hero is reptilian and prone to fits of storytelling, I was generally very impressed overall by the humor, the animation, the amazing level of detail and texturing in the world, the voice acting, and the constant little nods to classic westerns and other films. As I watched it, though, it occurred to me that with very few changes, it could be a Gamma World or similar style post-apocalypse movie.
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!!!!
This article will discuss the film in significant detail and reveal many Cool Bits you might not want to see revealed. Be warned!
Heck, let’s just insert us a lil’ ol’ “Read More” kind of line, OK?
So, what makes me thing the film is post apocalyptic?
We have a small town, inhabited entirely by humanoid mutant animals, that is composed of a mix of scavenged materials from a different society and locally-made products and goods. It is post-gunpowder put pre-electricity, at least in terms of any obvious technology. There is no outside law or nation; beyond the borders of the town is a wilderness, inhabited by monsters. Gargantuan beasts — hawks many times larger than the humanoid animals — regularly prey on the inhabitants. Other odd communities of mutants are known to exist.
You’ve got a settlement of mole people who ride giant bats into battle. You’ve got walking and possibly sentient plants. You’ve got ancient underground mazes filled with technology the locals barely understand but upon which their lives depend. And you’ve got a cyborg rattlesnake!
This is pure Kamandi material here, folks. Jack Kirby could have written this. Rattlesnake Jake could easily be a cousin to Mr. Sacker.
Separated At Birth?
There is ample material in this film to be mined for inspiration for any Earth Delta, Gamma World, Mutant Future, or other type of “gonzo” post apocalyptic world. Simply the idea of playing out old Western tropes and plots in a world of mutant animals ought to be enough for an entire campaign, and it’s a great opportunity to drag out your cowboy accents. Add in Ol’ Rusty, the robot bandit, or Kid Mongoose, fastest gun in the West.
And here’s a few quick takes on some of the critters in the film (Earth Delta style, but should be easy to adapt to other systems), for your amusement.
|Riding Bat||Level 9 Skirmisher|
|Large natural beast (mount)||XP 400|
|HP 94; Bloodied 47
AC 23; Fortitude 20; Reflex 22; Will 21
Speed 6, fly 10
Vulnerability 5 thunder
Blindsight 50, Blind
|When the riding bat is bloodied, it must move its full speed towards the ground as an immediate reaction. If it fails to reach the ground at the end of this move, it falls. Its fly speed becomes 0 and it cannot regain flight until after an extended rest.|
|When mounted by a friendly rider of level 9 or higher, the riding bat gains a +2 to all of its defenses when within 2 squares of at least one other riding bat. Riding bats which have lost their flight speed lose this trait and do not grant it to others.|
|m Bite • At-Will|
|Attack: +14 vs. AC|
|Hit: 3d6 + 7.|
|M Swoop Bite • At-Will|
|Requirements: Must have flight speed of greater than 0.|
|Attack: +14 vs. AC; The riding bat may shift 2 squares as part of this attack, dividing them as needed before and after the attack roll.|
|Hit: 3d6 + 7.|
|Low Swoop • Recharge 5 6|
|Requirements: The riding bat must not begin the move adjacent to an enemy. The riding bat must have a flight speed of greater than 0.|
|Effect: The riding bat makes a full move. It provokes opportunity attacks as normal, but it gets a +2 to all defenses against them during this move. Any creature that misses it with an opportunity attack falls prone.|
|Skills Acrobatics +15, Stealth +15|
|Str 14 (+6)||Dex 23 (+10)||Wis 17 (+7)|
|Con 14 (+6)||Int 2 (+0)||Cha 11 (+4)|
|Alignment unaligned Languages —|
|Rattlsnake Jake||Level 15 Solo Controller|
|Huge natural mutant beast (reptile, cyborg, mutant)||XP 6,000|
|HP 592; Bloodied 296
AC 29; Fortitude 27; Reflex 26; Will 27
Saving Throws +5; Action Points 2
|Rattlesnake Jake counts as a large creature for purposes of squeezing.|
|m Venomous Bite (poison) • At-Will|
|Attack: Melee 2; Threatening Reach 2; +20 vs. AC|
|Hit: 3d6 + 13.|
|Attack: +19 vs. Fortitude|
|Hit: 10 ongoing poison damage; save ends.|
|First Failed Saving Throw: Target is slowed (save ends both).|
|Second Failed Saving Throw: Target is weakened (save ends all).|
|m Constriction • At-Will|
|Attack: Melee 2; +19 vs. Reflex|
|Hit: 2d8 + 7 and target is restrained until they escape or Jake releases them. Jake can restrain only one target at a time. The target is pulled into one of Jake’s squares.|
|r Rattling Gun • At-Will|
|Attack: 20; +20 vs. AC|
|Hit: 2d8 + 14 and ongoing 5 damage (save ends).|
|Miss: Push target 2 squares.|
|Effect: Push one creature adjacent to target 1 square.|
|A Strafing Shot • At-Will|
|Attack: Burst 2 within 20 (All enemies in burst); +19 vs. Reflex|
|Hit: 2d8 + 8 and ongoing 10 damage (save ends).|
|Miss: Slide target 1 square.|
|Swift As A Snake • At-Will|
|Effect: Rattlesnake Jake makes two basic attacks, each against a different target. He may use the same attack power twice, but not against the same target. If Rattlesnake Jake spends an Action Point to use this power, he may make three basic attacks, each against a different target.|
|Sudden Slither • Recharge 5 6|
|Effect: Rattlesnake Jake shifts his speed. He gains a +2 to all defenses against opportunity attacks during this move.|
|C Rattle (fear, thunder) • Recharge 3 4 5 6|
|Attack: Close Burst 3 (All enemies in burst); +18 vs. Will|
|Hit: Push target 1 square, and target is at -2 to attack Rattlesnake Jake (save ends).|
|M Tighten The Grip • At-Will|
|Requirements: Restrained target only.|
|Attack: +19 vs. Fortitude|
|Hit: 1d10 + 7 and target loses a healing surge.|
|Now He’s Riled Up • Encounter|
|Trigger: Rattlesnake Jake is bloodied.|
|Effect (Free): Rattlesnake Jake may make a Rattling Gun or Venomous Bite attack against all enemies within 10 squares that he can see. .|
|Dominating Gaze • Recharge 5 6|
|Trigger: An enemy within 2 squares attacks Jake.|
|Attack (Immediate Interrupt): (The triggering enemy); +19 vs. Will|
|Hit: The target does not include Jake in the attack. Other creatures targeted by the attack are attacked as usual. The target may not select a different creature for this attack.|
|I Like To Watch Them Die • Encounter|
|Trigger: An enemy Rattlesnake Jake has damaged in this encounter dies.|
|Effect (Free): Rattlesnake Jake heals 60 hit points, and any ongoing effects on him that a save could end, end immediately.|
|Skills Insight +15, Intimidate +17|
|Str 17 (+10)||Dex 17 (+10)||Wis 17 (+10)|
|Con 20 (+12)||Int 17 (+10)||Cha 20 (+12)|
|Alignment evil Languages Common|