Tag Archives: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Bodycount (1996) – TMNT’s Raph on a Rampage

Bodycount (1996), by Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley, is a Ninja Turtles comic book with attitude. In many ways, they were trying hard to take the Turtles back from the hit TV series, back to their indie comic roots, and tap into the market of kids like me who had grown up with Raph, Mikey, Leo, and Donnie. In the end, the 4-part series is a grindhouse spectacle that hardly holds together. But who cares! It had lots of blood and boobs, Casey Jones and Raph being badasses, and a villain straight out of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Bodycount 1996

And Julie Strained…
By the time the first comic came out, we — the kids who grew up on the first animated show — were teenagers ourselves, in high school. That’s 1996, around the same time that Penthouse Pet Julie Strain was splashed all over Heavy Metal Magazine. Knowing Kevin Eastman’s fascination with her, and that she modeled for both Kevin and Simon’s drawings, it’s not hard to see why Midnight looks just like her. In fact, Kevin and Strain had married in 1995. Still, you couldn’t get a better mix if you wanted to appeal to Turtles fans who were already fighting to control their hormones. April O’Neil in latex, maybe?

Julie Strain as Midnight in Bodycount (1996)

So, taken in the context of the target market, Bodycount hit the mark. But teenagers aren’t stupid, and I think we probably felt the flaws in the comic, even if we couldn’t articulate them then. The writing is difficult to digest, and the images can be hard to decipher. It’s hard for me to take my editor’s cap off, so let’s talk about spelling wuicklu quickly. The comics are full of errors, such as “calvary” instead of “cavalry”, “to” instead of “too”, and “Santuary” instead of “Sanctuary”, which is one of the most important locations in the story. It becomes hard to know if you’re missing a joke or reading too much into the bad copy.

Art-wise, Bisley’s London-punk style is great, but sometimes too simple, like the three-dimensional rectangles that we’re supposed to read as pistols. There are inconsistencies too, much like with the spelling, such as Johnny’s hand looking normal in some panels, or Midnight firing her pistol with her left and then her right hand in the next panel. It gets a bit too looney, too. What’s that weird monkey leprechaun about anyway?

Leprechaun Monkey in Bodycount (1996)

But okay, Bodycount is still fun and entertaining, like a bad accident set to rousing classical music. This is, after all, an indie comic, and that’s why I love it. Don’t expect polish. Don’t expect any real maturity (hey, when have the Turtles ever been mature?), and just enjoy the wild, wild ride.

3 out of 5 Chibi-thulhus.

3 Cheeky Cthulhus

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RPGSS2015 – Round 4

Voting for round 3 of RPG Superstar 2015 is now over, with 8 contestants left to bust out an encounter for round 4.

RPG Superstar 2015

Did you have any personal monster favourites? I really liked the Geomaw and the Stonevine Stalker, although I think the Stonevine Stalker needed a lot more to make it stand out. Just think about the Womping-Willow from Harry Potter, or Old Man Willow from The Lord of the Rings and Rockbiter from The NeverEnding Story film. They were all interesting in their way, but none of them were show stealers. Nazguls and Dementors, now those were monsters.

Avernos Unearthed
This week the Elves take their place in Avernos. Misunderstood, mistrusted and feared, this reclusive race fights an invisible war with a dark evil.

Read more about the Elves.

The Books of Faces
We’ve set off down the road and into an ancient forest, where we come to a set of stone steps. Read the adventure and make your choice on the Facebook page.

A blow by blow account of the quest is always available at the Adventure Chronicle.

Campaign Journal
Our current Marvel Heroic RP Game is about to kick off it’s third session, with the heroes going in search of Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir. Hopefully a few of the escaped inmates of the Raft will end up back behind bars too. It’s going to be epic.

And while we’re on the topic of comics, my buddy Brent over at Comics League International invited me to recorded a podcast with him about the heroes in a half-shell, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You can take a listen on his site or iTunes.

Rising Phoenix News
Here are some more pictures and a video of our Maze Tiles. I’m really proud with the Print-On-Demand version of the tiles, they look amazing. The tiles fit perfectly with other inch grid maps, which was one of our critical criteria for quality control. This means you can expand on your existing collection of maps and tiles with this set for even more adventure options.

Maze Tiles Detail 1

Maze Tiles - Detail 2

Inspired in Japan
One of the weird things I collect is tenugui, or Japanese hand towels. Here are a couple of modern ones I found on Amazon.

That’s all from me until next Thursday.
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Ninth World Guidebook
Ninth World Guidebook

Cortex TMNT – Master Splinter Datafile

So last time I talked about setting up a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game using the Cortex system. Today I’m going to build a datafile for Master Splinter, the father and mentor of the Turtles.

The datafile might not make much sense if you’re new to the Cortex system, but I’ll give a quick run down at the end to explain a few things.

Splinter (IWD Comic Cover)
Splinter (IWD Comic Cover)

Name: Splinter (alias: Hamato Yoshi, Master Splinter, Sensei, Father)

Affiliations: Solo d8 Buddy d6 Team d10

Distinctions: Mutant Rat, Master of Bushido, Father of the Turtles.

Power Sets:
Mutant Rat:
Enhanced Senses d8, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Enhanced Speed d8.

SFX: Claws & Fangs. Add a D6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in your pool by -1. Step up physical stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: The Nose Knows. Spend 1 PP to add Enhanced Senses (or step up by +1 if already in your pool) and reroll all dice on a reaction.
Limit: Mutant. Earn 1 PP when affected by mutant-specific Milestones and tech.

Weapon (Cane/Bow) d8, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Enhanced Stamina d8.

SFX: Focus. In a pool including a Ninjitsu die, replace two dice of equal steps with one die of +1 step.
SFX: Area Attack. Target multiple opponents. For every additional target, add d6 to your pool and keep +1 effect die.
Limit: Exhausted. Shut down a Ninjistu power to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

Acrobatic Master d10, Combat Master d10, Covert Master d10, Medical Expert d8.

Master Splinter by Dave Rapoza
Master Splinter by Dave Rapoza

Design Decisions

Splinter has Team as his highest affiliation to represent his leadership of the turtles. Solo is his next highest, because he fights well by himself, while with a buddy he’s often forced to be the minder and teacher, effectively slowing him down somewhat.

His distinction Mutant Rat should work nicely when he meets humans for the first time and has to try and get past the “Ahh! You’re a talking rat” stage of the conversation. Master of Bushido will tie him to the code of Bushido nicely and represents his role as a ninja sensei, while Father of the Turtles will mean that his sons influence his decisions to a large degree, which is often a major driver of stories involving Splinter.

The power sets cover his mutation and ninja training and the SFX were mostly plucked from Marvel Heroic Roleplay’s Hero Datafiles. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment below.

His specialities are pretty self explanatory. You might want to add Mystic Expert to give him more esoteric ninja knowledge. I didn’t take that route, which is why he has Medical Expert instead. Splinter uses ancient Asian medical practices and has a deep understanding of the human (and turtle) anatomy, so Medical Expert seemed a better fit.

I didn’t create any milestone, but some major themes to explore would include raising and training the turtles as well as getting revenge against the Shredder.

Till next time
Tell Thrilling Tales

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