Part 5 of my "Encounters for Gamma World", there was "#24: Mutated Panther." As soon as I copied that over from my old notebook, a little voice in my head said, "A panther is not the actual name of the animal. Cal is totally going to call you out on that." I had a momentary thought of changing it to something like "Mutated Mountain Lion", but I left it as is, because that's how I had originally written it down in my notebook all those years ago.
Cal did not disappoint. Shortly after I made the post, I received an email from him.
"So, on your fine blog, you know I gotta ask, before the mutated panther could become mutated, what kind of cat had it been that it mutated into a mystical animal like a panther?"
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, you can read about the word "panther" on Wikipedia, here.
That did get me to thinking, though, that I remember having expanded that one particular entry for my game back around 1984 or 1985, and turning him into an NPC who ran a little trading post. I even drew a picture of him, which was awesome because it also counted as an assignment for my 8th Grade Art Class.
The assignment was to "draw an animal." Unlike my super cool, free-for-all 9th Grade Art Class, this was back in my hard-core "fine arts" type class, where every quarter we had to draw ten sketches in our sketch book of a pre-determined list of subjects that she provided us. These kids were super talented artists. I had squeaked into the class based more on creativity that actual talent. The instructor liked my ideas much more than my technique, as evidenced by the picture included with this post.
For the "draw an animal" assignment, I knew that I could turn in a very passable picture of a real animal that I copied from an encyclopedia photo or from a book on animals that I checked out from the library (this was before The Internets, kids). But, it wouldn't be as good as the really good sketches from some of the other kids. The fact that each week when the sketches were due, the entire class got in a circle around this huge table and critiqued each others' drawings always intimidated me, so I usually went a completely different direction, which was to try to "wow" people with my creativity rather than my actual drawing chops.
This particular fellow is a pen-and-ink drawing using a dip-pen and a combination of brown and black India inks. I can assure you that, back in 1984/85 Sandy, Utah, no one else in my class drew an "animal" that looked anything like this guy. You can see from the picture that this was sketch #7, and it's toward the front of my book so it must have been from 1st Quarter. I always got an "A" on my sketches because the teacher was usually always surprised by what I drew.
Once the assignment was to draw an onion using colored pencils, and I was the only one in the entire class who drew a green onion ("scallion") instead of a Red, Yellow, or Brown onion. Another time the assignment was to "draw a foot" and I drew a huge blow-up of an elephant food instead of a human foot. Once again, I was the only one who drew an animal foot, and I distinctly remember the instructor saying, "That's not what I meant, but I guess it's okay because I didn't specify." She gave me a lot of leeway and actually did work with me to improve my technique.
I apologize for all of the smudges and stuff. This is a really old sketchbook and I didn't really take great care of my drawings back then. I carried this sketchbook in my backpack nearly every day and the cover is pretty much just hanging on by a thread. I tried to clean it up as best I could before scanning it.
And without further ado, here's the write-up I did in my 1st Edition Gamma World notebook, with slight modifications to bring him "up to code" with Mutant Future rules.
The following is designated open game content per the Open Game License.
Name: Droo Id
AL N, MV 120’ (40’), AC: 8, HD 4, #AT 1, DG 1d6 (bite), 1d6 (two claws), or by weapon (below), SV L4 , ML 9, Mutations: metamorph, gigantism (human-sized height), aberrant form (new body parts - vocal articulators), aberrant form - modified body parts (human-like hands), reflective epidermis (heat), mental phantasm, intellectual affinity (tinkerer).
MS: 16, INT: 14, CH: 7, PS: 12, DX: 17, CN: 11
Weapons: Spear, Quarterstaff, Musket Pistol. May also carry a short bow, dagger, or short sword.
Armour: [sic - I used the English spelling because I thought it was "cool"] Scorns the use of mundane armour, and discourages its use among the village. He will use a shield and in dangerous situations or when traveling, he has a chest-plate made of plant fiber (AC 7). His natural fur provides AC 8.
Equipment: Droo Id carries with him at all times 30 rounds for his musket, an oil flask, and a Stage II I.D. on his wrist. In his tent are a bedroll, hemp rope, heavy clothes, a water skin, and a leather sack. He also has a small sack of explosive radiated seeds from a colony of mutant plants he defeated. There are 42 of the seeds.