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Tabletop Game / Wasteland 2010

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Wasteland 2010 is one of the series books from Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3.The book was written by CAH creator Cynthia Celeste Miller, and the series is a tribute to her favorite cartoon, Thundarr the Barbarian.

The premise: In 1981, a dimensional rift called "The Tear" opens over Earth, causing "The Changing", a series of disasters that turns the world into "an untamed planet of ruined cities, mutated creatures, man-eating plants and powerful magic." Fast forward to 2010: things are worse than ever, but the Utopian League, "an organization of scientists, civic leaders and scholars", is working to restore civilization. The League has several field agents who explore the post-apocalyptic world and deal with its many threats; the best of these are the team of Zolgar the barbarian, Lady Mistra the sorceress and Bogg the mutated Genius Bruiser. These three heroes travel the remnants of America, protecting the innocent from an endless variety of monsters and supervillains.

No direct relation to the video game Wasteland - while both are set After the End, the game is set after a nuclear war rather than the book's magical catastrophe.

Wastetropes 2010:

  • Achilles' Heel: The Crimson Overlord can pump chemicals into his body that give him temporary Super-Strength (a la Bane), but if he overuses them he suffers "a debilitating headache".
  • Action Girl: All the female characters. Lady Mistra and Dark Action Girl Eve-L are skilled magic users, Cammie is a Jungle Princess, and Dr. Vanessa Stahl is a Science Hero.
  • After the End: "Society has fallen completely apart, unless you count the small pockets of civilization scattered across the globe."
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Krome started as one of ten experimental intelligent robots. While the others were deactivated by the Tear, Krome survived due to modifications only he possessed and became a Killer Robot who wants to destroy all organic life.
  • Bald of Evil: The Crimson Overlord.
  • Barbarian Hero: Zolgar, who is "the de facto leader of the group" and also "a loyal friend who will risk his life to save those in need without so much as a second thought."
  • Beard of Evil: Captain Cutthroat has a long one.
  • Big Good: George Monroe, president of the Utopian League.
  • The Big Guy: Bogg, who became a hulking, furry mutant thanks to The Changing.
  • Black Magician Girl: Eve-L the swamp witch is as beautiful as she is wicked, and she often uses her powers to Curse her enemies with bad luck.
  • Blank White Eyes: Mutor has blank yellow eyes.
  • Cannibal Tribe: Several of them inhabit the Wild Lands, part of the former Staten Island.
  • Catchphrase: Everybody has at least one in this series.
    Zolgar: "Buddy Jones!" So far, Miller has not explained what it means.
    Bogg: "Rawwwr!"
    Lady Mistra: "By powers ancient and arcane!"
    Krome: "Goto 10, attack!" and "Existence is binary." If he does a Heel–Face Turn, the latter phrase becomes "Existence is binary. I prefer one over zero."
    Slade Mulligan: "I am the law 'round here!"
    Cammie: "The forest has power."
    Jay Alcott: "We must remain civilized."
    Dr. Brett Stahl: "I happen to have just the right thing."
    Dr. Vanessa Stahl: "Let me show you how a woman handles this."
    The Crimson Overlord: "Bow before your leader!" and "Destroy them all!"
    Captain Cutthroat: "Arrrrr!!"
    Mutor: "Mutor break!"
    Eve-L: "I curse you!"
    The Ape Man of Chicago: "Grrrrrrrrrrrr..."
  • The Chosen One: Lady Mistra is seen as one by her people, who believe she's fulfilling a prophecy by teaming up with Zolgar and Bogg to restore the world.
  • Cool Sword: Catpain Cutthroat carries one.
  • Deal with the Devil: The plot of the episode seed "The Stranger": Marcolin the demon tricks people into giving him their souls in exchange for granting wishes.
  • Deep South: Zolgar comes from the Ozark Mountains, whose population in the series "is comprised almost singularly of either barbarians or backward hillbillies."
  • Died During Production: A Meta example. In-Universe, Wasteland 2010 was created by Carlton Becker, who died of a heart attack (possibly caused by the stress of the series' Troubled Production) before the show even aired, which led to its being Cut Short and lots of What Could Have Been.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Utopian League's headquarters, the Citadel, is "deep beneath the ground of what was once Nebraska."
  • Enemy Mine: In "When Titans Clash", the heroes have to team up with the Crimson Overlord to stop Krome from nuking Overlord Island.
  • Evil Overlord: The Crimson Overlord, tyrannical ruler of the West Coast.
  • Evil Redhead: Captain Cutthroat and Eve-L.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Malevolokk was a kindly science professor before the Changing gave him magical powers, apparently leading to With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
  • Floating Continent: Malevolokk controls a floating city in "Danger at 2,000 Feet". He kidnaps people with a transporter beam to use them as slave labor.
  • Genius Bruiser: Bogg was a 20-year old "science nerd and sci-fi enthusiast" when the Changing caused him to mutate into a furry Beast Man, and he retains his intelligence in his new form. Also, he's the only one of the three leads who remembers the pre-Changing world, which he often has to explain to his younger teammates.
  • A God Am I: Malevolokk thinks he is, and so do his fanatical Mooks.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The Crimson Overlord has some nasty-looking ones.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Lady Mistra is blonde and one of the three main heroes. Recurring Character Cammie is another example.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Mutor. As if his being a super strong mutant isn't bad enough, "it takes very little to send him on a destructive rampage."
  • Heel–Face Turn: The book states that this is an option for Krome if the players choose to have the three heroes reprogram him.
  • Heroic Fantasy: Like its inspiration, the series combines this genre with Science Fantasy.
  • Hot Witch: Lady Mistra has magical powers which she uses for good.
  • Island Base: The Crimson Overlord rules from Overlord Island, the former Alcatraz Island.
  • Jungle Princess: Cammie is the series' equivalent, although her "jungle" is "the forests of the Midwest."
  • Lighter and Softer: The series is a little more hopeful than Thundarr, since the protagonists and the Utopian League are actively trying to rebuild the pre-apocalypse world.
  • Magitek: Malevolokk uses it, since he's an expert in both science and magic.
  • Man-Eating Plant: And some of them are sentient!
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: Plenty of them, due to the widespread mutations.
    • The Badlands (aka Oklahoma) are infested by predatory "Flyotes" , which are "coyotes with feathered wings."
    • Mud River (formerly the Mississippi River) is populated by deadly Octofish ("part catfish, part octopus").
  • Mooks: Malevolokk has an unnamed group of followers, Captain Cutthroat has his Land Pirates, the Crimson Overlord has his Overfiends, Eve-L has her Marsh Dwellers, and Krome has his Mecha-Mooks, the Robot Raiders.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Mutor has four arms.
  • Mysterious Past: "Little is known about Zolgar's past, which is precisely the way he wants it."
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Malevolokk, Captain Cutthroat, the Crimson Overlord, Eve-L; the series' Rogues Gallery certainly know how to name themselves with style.
  • New Neo City: Inverted with Old York, the ruins of New York City.
  • Pirate: Captain Cutthroat "is every inch a stereotypical pirate", complete with Eyepatch of Power, Talk Like a Pirate speech pattern and robotic Pirate Parrot. Be warned that pointing this out to him is his Berserk Button.
  • Power Trio: Zolgar, Lady Mistra and Bogg.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Inverted with Malevolokk; Bogg was once one of his students.
  • Reluctant Monster: In "The Ape Man of Chicago", the titular creature turns out to be a Gentle Giant who rescues the heroes from slavers.
  • Rescue Introduction: In Cammie's first appearance, she saves the main heroes from several Giant Spiders.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critters: Cammie's mutated pets, Fuzzball and Fluffball.
  • Science Hero: Dr. Brett Stahl and his daughter Vanessa are both scientists who work for the Utopian League and occasionally help Zolgar and company.
  • The Sheriff: Delusional Recurring Character Slade Mulligan believes that he's a United States Marshall, and acts accordingly.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Presumably why Eve-L and her Mooks, the Marsh Dwellers, choose to live in one.
  • Timm Style: The book uses this artstyle for some pictures of the characters.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Jay Alcott, vice president of the Utopian League, plays with this trope. His stats say that he's "not evil", but his bio states that he's "lacking in the moral fiber department", is "always up to no good", and regards the three leads as "savages".
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: Lady Mistra, according to her biography.