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The Strawberry Flavored Penguin
A surreal level for Virtual Mekton

This one is just wierd..floating islands of land in patches of clouds, small transformable headgear/animals..and you never know what's around the next corneer of the yellow ribbon of road. Be ready for anything, it'll probably happen.

When someone comes up with a VM that's just too weird they bring it here. Not everyone is into this arena, but it has a loyal following all its own, and unlike most of the arenas literally anything goes in here. There is also a regular network "ripoff" (actually a smuggled copy of the model and materials by the area's designer) that is used as a chat room style area by lots of the people who are fans of the, many of whom have their regular VMs as avatars. Of course, without the game code to make them work the weapons don't do anything, but what the hey, it's a much cheaper way to talk to that guy from New York you fought the other day than hanging out in the arcade pods.

The landscape looks like something out of a surrealist painting, or a Doctor Strange comic, all floating islands in clouds and a winding ribon of yellow brick road that connects most of them. The islands are generally rich in plantlife, with "climates" ranging from tempeate to mediterrainean to tropical. In general, there is always another island or ribbon of yellow brick road hidden in the clouds below if you fall. If nothing else, you'll get to the boundary of the arena and wrap back to the top, and fall onto what you fell off of. Judge your jump right, and you can jump down to an island out of reach over your head. It's weiiiiiiiird.

Hat critters: (All transform mod/met style into head Command Armor)

Wallabies (small kangaroo)
Wombats
Cabybara
Penguins (b&w)

Powerup critters:

Penguins (red/pink and white) - Repair
Hedgehog (can never be buggered at all) - Rearm Weapons
Cricket (chocolate) - Ninja Leap
All Kinds Boids - Flight, MA 4-10 as follows:
MA main color of boid
4 = Violet
5 = Poiple
6 = Blue
7 = Green
8 = Yellow
9 = Orange
10 = Red
(Note: I originally had the blue end the high end, but everyone knows the red ones go faster!)

Geckto Lizard
(psycheadelic) - Wall Crawl
Anole (Life is like an anole) - +2 INT bonus

Powerup..thingies:

Giraffegator (Long white neck and legs with purple gator head, body, and tail) - Phasing
Jewelweed Plant (seed pods) - Non-good Infamous Bomb
Jewelweed Plant (crushed stems) - super Repair, acts as usual plus TL 10 Regeneration for a while.
Goomer/Shmoe/Iggy (White peanut shaped thing with two black eyes.) - Morphable Mecha, anything you can think of for a little while. Risk getting stuck that way if you're not close to normal form when it runs out. . .
Giant Ameoba - Material Absorption - anything absorbed when it runs out stays, but counts double for filling disk space.
Alien plant (blue leaves/fractal flowers) - makes your video feed act wierd. All the shadows turn into bright fractal sets, the color map gets inverted, melee weapons leave trails behind them like in Toshinden, stuff like that.
Chevy Slant Six Engine - (cars on blocks) 2 round V-Max, delayed trigger, but doesn't drain your powerplant like the designed-in kind of V-Max..'cuz it's a powerup

Spetial Power-Ups:
Pinball Mode: This powerup affects ALL players in the arena, not just the person who found it, for its entire duration. When active, anything hitting anything else will bounce away again at the same speed..and so will what they hit, if it is movable. Physics? We don' neeeeeed no steenkin' physics! Damge is reduced to 1/10 with a maximum of 1K, but applied for all impacts..this can be quite a problem if you don't find a Repair soon enough after. It is best used in enclosed spaces, obviously, or places like the Strawberry Penguin where there are lots of things to hit and the space wraps from one side to the other if you reach the end of the map. One last note about the Strawberry Penguin arena: When this powerup is active, the islands CAN be bounced around just like anything else. The yelow brick road will stretch, bend, and or shrink as neccessary to accomodate the fun, and when the powerup wears off the changes to the layout are permanent, at least until the next Pinball Mode.. The chatroom version doesn't reflect these changes, of course, not being officially connected to the VMA or the game.

Bag of Chee*Tos (SFXed entangling melee weapon): WA +0, Range 3, "Damage" (difficulty to escape): 12, Effect: Opponents who are successfully tempted by the Bag of Chee*Tos lose their cool, and must roll against the difficulty to escape or do whatever the Bag's owner says (as long as it isn't directly suicidal) as long as (s)he promises to give them some. The victim remains under the orange, cheesy spell untill sucessfully rolling to escape, but may well fall victim to them again. Giving someone Chee*Tos from the bag is a special effect, which does not diminish the Bag in any way. (Man, wish *I* had a Neverending Bag of Chee*Tos!)
Notes: They're dannnnnnnngerously cheesy!


The SFP Denizens
The crazy, deranged programmers of the SFP arena included four AI oponents to spice the play for the gamers.

It should be noted that while written up as if they're self aware NPC type characters, they're realy just more CPU units, with a bit more sophisticated progamming than most.

Bubba and Doyle
Bubba and Doyle are the only AI opponents (Well, unless you count C.R. Rat) to be found in the Strawberry Flavored Penguin most of the time, both of them about mecha size. Bubba is huge, with an equally huge beergut, beard stubble, and typically has on blue jeans, boots, a plaid flannel shirt, and a gimme cap; Doyle has the boots, jeans, and cap but wears a tank top, and is a thin little weenie. He looks remarkably like former US President George Bush. Both of them live in silver Airstream trailers, parked side by side on one of the floating islands, with several cars and trucks on cement blocks (Yes, these are powerups, but not all the same. There's a DeSoto, two Darts, and a Ford F150) and Bubba's monster truck, which has a big rollbar with spotlights and a pintle gun(!). No matter what the players try, Bubba and Doyle will always think they're tourists, and that it's the first day of Tourist Season. They also respawn at the trailers whenever someone kills them, a new monster truck also being spawned

Bubba quote: "It's the first day of Tourist Season, city boy, and I'm gonna make sure I get my daily limit!" (bang bang bang bang bang...)
Doyle quote: Huhuh, You betcha, Bubba! Let's git us some tourists!

 

  • Name: Bubba Joe Billy Jim Bob John Rowdy Buttstein
    Cost: 655.91 CP, Weight: 78.93 Tn
  • Configuration: Humanoid, MV -4, Land MA 3, no Flight MA -wouldn't get on one of them dang aero-planes if you paid him!
  • Servos & Armor: Str Head (5 Kills), MS Torso (18 Kills), 4 x Str arms and legs (9 Kills each), MS Beergut (2 Kills), all with SP4 DC4 armor
  • Cost Multiplier Systems: hot fusion (XS: 5), Heavy Hydraulics (+Melee Dmg: 1),+3 verniers (torso 5, legs 2 each), Weight inefficiency, IA 3 portfolio 5
  • Weapons:
    • hands (2K+1K each)
    • double barrel pump action (WA +2, Range 9, 10K, 8 shoots, 2H, Scattershot)
    • 7 spare ammo clips (1 Kill each) on beergut
    • buck knife (WA +0, 2K+1K, AP, Disruptor, Throwing)
  • Sensors: Str (4/800 km) on Head
  • Notes:
    • (1/2 normal height for weight, 2x normal width)His head is mostly bone and muscle.
    • All servos have been reinforced.
    • The "beergut" is a pod with 2K worth of internal structure added by sacrificing a space.
    • IA skills are Belching for Effect, Mecha piloting, melee, gunnery, and fighting.
    • Heavy hydraulics are too expensive for what they give you. If I was designing an actual VM instead of a CPU unit, I'd strip that back out and add a point to the damage of all melee weapons in the weapon design - it'd still cost far less, and the lifting bonus isn't worth it, either.
    • There are 8 clips of ammo total for the shotgun, all of them are Scattershot ammo. Note that having them stored in the beergut is just a game mechanic, Bubba doesn't pull them out of his bellybutton or anything, they just appear in his hand when he wants them.
    • The buck knife is AP/disruptor and may be thrown, but does not return on its own.
    • Hands are Quick and Handy as per the usual.


 

  • Name: Doyle B. Weane
    Cost: 299.39 CP, Weight: 18.86 Tn
  • Configuration: Humanoid (weenie), MV -1, MP +167%, Land MA 8, no Flight MA
  • Frame: Str servos w/ SP4 DC4 armor
  • Cost Multiplier Systems: Hot supercharged powerplant (XS: 5), ACE +100%, AI 5 portfolio 5
  • Weapons:
    • Name WA Rng Dmg Sht Kills BV CP Space Loc
    • Laser rifle: WA +1, Range 13, 10K, Shots inf, 2H
    • LAW rocket; WA +2, Range 12, 20K, 1 shot, 1 Kill, 2H
    • hands (2K+1K each)
    • buck knife (2K+1K, 1H)
  • Sensors: LH (20/1800 Km, 2 Kills) on Head
  • Notes:
    • What a weenie!
    • Double normal height for weight, rail-thin.
    • The buck knife is AP/disruptor and may be thrown, but does not return on its own.
    • Hands are Quick and Handy as per the usual.
    • AI skills the same as Bubba, but substituing Expert: Television for Belching for Effect

The truck, Beerhunter:
Is just a vehicle, which must have a pilot to do anything. If Bubba and Doyle are killed without destroying it, the players can steal it, despite the new Beerhunter that is respawned at the trailers with Bubba and Doyle. If the players manage to steal the truck, it can be driven by any mecha of 1/1 scale with humanoid arms and legs, though smaller models may have trouble getting in, and wings and tails will make it awkward. No, players can not keep it at the end of the game. It's WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY to big to fit on any game cartridge.

 

  • Name: Beerhunter (the monster truck)
    Cost: 4174.94 CP, Weight: 370.56 Tn, Scale: 10/1
  • Configuration: Autoform, MV -2, MP +67% -2, MA 14
  • Cost multipliers: Hot supercharged powerplant, Manual controls
  • Frame: MgHvy Torso (220 Kills) w/ SP9 DC4 armor
    4 x MgHvy Wheels (120 Kills each)
  • Weapons:
    • Pintle gun (WA +2 (+3), range 90, 15K, 15 shots, BV 3, Tracer/Incendiary) on weapon mount
    • 3 spare clips (each 15 shots, 10 Kills)
    • Rollover (WA -2, Range melee, 20K)
  • Sensors & Subassemblies: Str sensors (40/8000 Km, 10 Kills), cockpit (pilot+passenger/gunner), stereo (only plays country & western), weapon mount
  • Notes:
    • Large and in charge. The truck body is about 30m Wx20m Hx70m L, and sits on top of wheels that are each 30m in diameter. Overall, it is 50m Hx50m Wx80m L. The truck cab is a 1950s style delivery van, and bright aquamarine where it doesn't have mud splattered over it or rust spots.
    • The pintle gun has a total of 3 ammo bins, each holding tracer/incendiary rounds.
    • The "rollover" attack means that the Beerhunter has successfully driven right over you; acting as an AP/Disruptor attack with the SFX Weapon multi added to simulate the effect of being stuck, buried in the roadbed with difficulty 20 to escape, in addition to the 20 kills of damage done.
    • The gunner (if one is present) takes all penalties from the multi-crew rules, meaning double the usual penalty, while the driver takes none. If there is no gunner, the pintle gun takes a -1 WA penalty due to the awkwardness of the controls. If the driver stops the Beerhunter to let the gunner aim, the gunner takes no penalties, and the driver can fire any personal weapons out the window at opponents in front of or on his side of the truck.

C.R. Rat
C.R. is also an AI being, but not especially antagonistic to the players. If they try to talk to him, he'll tell them to piss off (Note: substitute "get lost" for the family edition) and go on his way. If they attack him, he'll most likely just hop off the side of the island or stretch of road, using a pair of skin membranes attatched to his arms and torso to control the direction of the fall untill he's out of sight. Players who keep up with this tactic will find that he's jumping towards Bubba and Doyle's current location. C.R. is the closest thing there is to a map of the Strawberry Flavored Penguin, able to give accurate directions to any island , group of islands, or stretch of road, even immediately after a Pinball Mode event. However, he is never friendly to players, so they will have to be very imaginative to get anything useful out of him... Force, as detailed above, isn't much good, he just takes off and/or leads them to the locals. Bribes might be useful, if they can find something he's interested in... He is a rat, after all, this should suggest the sort of items needed to the GM and players. Killing C.R. is considered bad form by most VM players, as he doesn't have any weapons and always runs away, thus while it does add to killsheet and rank points it may be a negative thing for Rep. C.R. stays dead untill the end of the match if killed.

 

  • Name: C. R. Rat
    Cost: 188.00 CP, Weight: 17.5 Tn
  • Configuration: Humanoid (Ratoid?), MV -1, Land MA 8, Flight MA 2
  • Cost multipliers: Hot supercharged powerplant, ACE: +100%, AI 5 portfolio 5
  • Servos: Torso, Head, 4xLimbs, 2xLegs, all Str w/ SP 4 DC 4 armor
  • Weapons: Hands (1K each, Quick and Handy)

    Sensors: LH (20/1800 Km, 2 Kills) on Head
  • Notes:
    • AI skills are: Mecha Pilot, Mecha Fighting, Expert: SFP Layout x2, Dodge & Evade
    • Likes sweet & starchy foods and shiny objects... which may lead players to code something like the Bag of Cheetos Powerup

Arena created by CrystalDrogn

How to deal with the Goomer in Strawberry Penguin

Also known as "Okay, bright boy, you came up with a powerup that gives players Morphable Mecha for a short time, now how do you expect me to GM that???"

The Easy Way:

1. Don't let the player mess with the weapons or movement systems he has unless A) he's willing to take Game Time to crunch the numbers and build it or B) he's got a premade weapon and can cut systems worth enough points to make it.

2. Don't mess around with figuring out servo resizing. Have the player describe what he's turning into, decide what Transformation form fits best, and and apply the modifiers, rearranging (visually) and reshaping the existing servos as needed, but not in any way that changes their game stats. Think of it as freestyle Modular Metaforming.

3. Make sure to mention a display ticking down the seconds IC until the powerup runs out. Whatever form the player's VM is in when it does, they are stuck in unless they get another Goomer or have it reset to its pre-game state. When the session is over, either say that i's been reset, or make a proper mecha sheet for the nerw form, making sure to match costs as well as possible with the old.

The Easier Way:

1. Tip off your players that Goomers are going to be around in the next game session, and have them make some variations on thier mecha. Check the sheets before you start play for math errors as usual, then let them switch as desired if they get a Goomer.

The Easiest Way:

Just don't use them. But that's no fun!