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Triumph & Technology Won by Mutants & Magic! Return to the glory days of post-apocalyptic role-playing. Adventure like it's 1978 again!
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Designer's Notes #4: Appendix M

Posted by Goodman Games (Creator)

Hi everyone,

MCC creator Jim Wampler has an exciting plan for the stretch goal adventures. As we close in on the next stretch goal adventure, we thought you might appreciate seeing his notes on the inspirations for Mutant Crawl Classics - in homage to Gygax's Appendix N, Jim is calling this Appendix M. And based on Appendix M, the stretch goal adventures will follow an inspirational course. So here is Appendix M - and look for another update tomorrow with plot summaries of the stretch goal adventures inspired by it!


By Jim Wampler

There was a conscious design intent with MCC RPG to present the world of Terra A.D. (After Disaster) as taking place in a setting more in line with the literary Appendix N influences than some other grittier, grimmer popular apocalyptic media. I call this list of inspirational sources “Appendix M” (M is for Mutant, as if I had to tell you).

Terra A.D. has its melancholic notes and the red bloated sun of Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth series, but not the nihilism and hopelessness of the Road Warrior movies. Taking place thousands of years after the nuclear winters and extinction events have all ended, there’s been an explosive evolutionary radiation much like in Brian Aldiss’ Hothouse. The PCs are sent out to recover lost technology in Seeker teams, not unlike the Starmen of Andre Norton’s Daybreak - 2250 A.D. (itself an inspiration for Jack Kirby’s seminal post-apocalyptic comic Kamandi Last Boy on Earth). The mutant PCs in MCC often go on wilderness missions that set them against various villainous Archaic Alignments, in ways very much inspired by Sterling Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey.

In simpler terms, in MCC RPG you will find a scarcity of dark clouded skies and funerary rights for a dead, doomed world. It’s a sunnier post-apocalypse.

This not so much a matter of personal tastes on my part as it is a calculated game design decision. My theory is that while grim and dark post-apocalyptic role playing games may make for a welcome change-of-pace when judge and players require a break from dungeoneering and slaying dragons, they do not tend to invite sustained campaign play. I believe that a post-apocalyptic setting that more closely mirrors DCC RPG’s close ties to Appendix N literature, with all the same opportunities for mystery and suspense, will better sustain players while they embark on the long road to empire-building and level 10.  

Appendix “M” from MCC RPG


Starship (a.k.a. Non-Stop) by Brian Aldiss

Hothouse (a.k.a. The Long Afternoon of Earth) by Brian Aldiss

Daybreak - 2250 A.D. (a.k.a. Starman’s Son) by Andre Norton

No Night Without Stars by Andre Norton

Hiero’s Journey by Sterling E. Lanier

The Unforsaken Hiero by Sterling E. Lanier

The Dying Earth series by Jack Vance


Kamandi The Last Boy on Earth by Jack Kirby

Cobalt-60 by Vaughn Bode, Mark Bode, and Larry Todd

Mighty Samson by Otto Binder and Frank Thorne


The Omega Man (1971)

Zardoz (1974)

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Wizards (1977)

Damnation Alley (1977)

TV Shows

The Starlost (1973)

Thundarr the Barbarian (1980-82)

Howard Fielding, Dan Daley, and 22 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      christopher tamm on

      I know you had a list of blogs in dcc of my peers
      id just like to not my own blog had hundreds of gonzo sf fantasy d100 tables
      my planet psychon setting on the blog has many similarities and i have about 2500 hits a day

    2. Sniderman

      I can't believe we forgot about that excellent one-off: KORGOTH OF BARBARIA! This cartoon seem to be spot-on MCC!…

    3. Stephen Murrish

      Gene Wolfe's Books of the Long Sun might be featured here.

      They aren't gonzo, but I have never read a more realistic depiction of life aboard a starship in which the people don't realize they're on a starship.

    4. Ryan Idryo

      I love seeing Thundarr on this list. I'm in!

    5. Raul De La Garza III on

      Anyone read Voyage to Alpha Centauri? Looks like a good colony starship adventure.

    6. Apocalypse Nerd on

      I've read or seem mostly everything on this list. It's a small list but it has some good stuff on it.Glad to see Cobalt-60 on it. Definitely get a hold of and read the two books by Andre Norton the two by Sterling E. Lanier. They will give you a very Gamma World vibe.

    7. David Crowell on

      Hothouse/Long Afternoon of Earth does have some serious story issues.
      I have only managed to see a couple of bits of Cobalt 60, and have missed the other comics entirely.

      I will add the Free Trader series by Crig Martelle as inspiration. Several hundred years after the apocalypse a group of humans and mutant animals try to rebuild. Nice to see upbeat PA sci fi.

    8. Missing avatar

      Forrest Aguirre on

      Ah, _Cobalt-60_, one of the most underrated comics of all time. Glad to see _Wizards_ on the list. But not _Heavy Metal_ or any of Moebius work? Still, a great list.

    9. John Dominguez on

      Oh man, I grabbed a run of Kamandi a few months ago in preparation for this game but never heard of Cobalt 60 and Mighty Sampson! I've been collecting for 35 years too! Woo , new comics to search for!

    10. Wayne Rossi on

      This is a terrific guide to the Starlost (including links to episodes and episode guides):

    11. Jon Hook on

      I agree with David Crowell, Hothouse, (or The Long Afternoon of Earth, which is the edition I have), is a fantastic take on plant mutations. Unfortunately, the book has a couple of different story lines, and if memory serves, I felt that one of the lines was left unresolved. The book could have used a better defined protagonist. But, the world-building and plant mutations are unparalleled.

    12. Diogo Nogueira

      This just keeps getting better and better! I love this take on an post apocalypse setting and it is just what I was looking for in it!

      Having it touched by the same Appendix N that inspired DCC makes it even easier to mix the two up and makes the game more than just another Post Apocalyptic game with a DCC rule set!

      Fantastic! As DCC, in my opinion, surpassed its predecessors, I am sure MCC will do the same!

    13. Sniderman

      FANTASTIC input, and it gives me a better idea of the "feel" you're shooting for. Also, I love the beginnings of your Appendix M here and hope an even longer list of inspiration finds its way into an appendix in the rule book. (Love the fact that you touched on Mighty Samson -- one of my favorites).

    14. David Crowell on

      Glad to see Aldiss make the list twice. For those who haven't read Hothouse I recommend it for a very different take on plant mutants.