Sunday, March 18, 2018

Omegakron (spoilers)

A post-apocalyptic Mod Squad

Art by Dave Billman

Have you ever wanted to use the history of your home town as the basis of a rollicking RPG adventure?  Neither have I.  Yet Tom Moldvay, not being me or you, took the idea and ran with it until he couldn't run any further.  Had Moldvay come from Chicago or San Antonio, this probably would not merit mention; however, he hailed from the Buckeye State... specifically Akron.  Lacking the élan of Cincinnati or the gravitas of Cleveland or even the je ne sais quoi of Toledo, Akron might not be the most marketable of Ohio's cities.  Maybe it was home town pride, maybe it came about because of a dare; regardless, the third (and last) of the Lords of Creation adventures features the (former) Rubber Capital of the World.  Toss in a dead abolitionist and – in Moldvay's estimation – you have suitable components for a commercially successful role-playing romp.

“Omegakron” refers to the greater Akron area two centuries after a world war using nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.  The result is a combination of science and savagery populated by intelligent animals, street gangs, mutants, cyborgs, and androids.  The player characters can arrive at this future setting via the dimensional gate from the conclusion of The Yeti Sanction, but “the Game Master can choose any means he wishes...”  On page 3 we read, “The simplest method is to have the characters mysteriously appear in the city.”  The setting of Omegakron was “an obscure probability branch diverted from the main time-flow.”  Instead of leading to the Imperial Terra setting, the main-time flow 'now' leads to Omegakron due to a temporal shift.  “The characters entrance into Omegakron was a way of nature seeking to restore the proper time-flow.”  Of course, the player characters don't realize this at the start of the adventure; they just “mysteriously appear.”  However, before arriving, the player characters “see a vision of Prometheus” and receive a 31-line poetic message.  “Even if the characters have never before seen Prometheus, they will recognize him as friendly.”  Naturally, the “cryptic message...holds the key to the success of the adventure.”  The adventure consists of several missions.  “Each time the characters succeed at one of their ten missions, the old town bell will mysteriously ring.”

Omegakron is dedicated to three TSR alumni:  Mark Acres, Jim Ward, and Steve Sullivan.  Given the time travel aspects of Omegakron, Acres makes sense due to his association with TIMEMASTER.  Given the gonzo post-apocalyptic nature of Omegakron, Ward makes sense due to his association with Gamma World.

Various factions exist in the Omegakron area, some of which are races of intelligent, mutated animals.  There are anthropomorphic raccoons who ride semi-intelligent buffalo, anthropomorphic woodchucks who ride semi-intelligent wolves, and anthropomorphic squirrels who ride mutant rhinoceri.  Although not anthropomorphic, there are also intelligent tigers and bears.

Player's Aid #1 is “A Short History of Akron,” a pamphlet with eight pulse-pounding pages of canal building and rubber litigation.  This pamphlet “contains clues woven into the manuscript which will help the characters solve most of the mysteries in the vision of Prometheus.”  The player characters are meant to find this pamphlet early in the adventure; however, the location of the pamphlet is considered sacred to the intelligent animals.  When the intelligent animals catch the player characters violating their shrine, they give the characters three options.  The first option is to fight against a hundred animal warriors and undoubtedly die.  The second option is to submit to a trial in which “one character chosen at random will be killed.”  The third option is to endure an ordeal that will allow the characters to become tribal members, thereby absolving them of their trespass.

The ordeal consists of running along a path to the Cuyahoga River while avoiding booby-traps and fending off animal warriors.  In game terms, the ordeal “has been designed abstractly.”  This means the characters will have 41 - 60 chances for encounters in the course of the ordeal.  For each chance, 1d10 is rolled; a result of '1' indicates an encounter and a table is then consulted.  So, 1d10 is rolled up to sixty times.  The adventure even acknowledges that “it can become boring for the players to watch the GM roll dice.”  Why not just have 4 - 6 encounters?

One of the factions in Omegakron is Novos Akros.  It has a high level of technology, including longevity treatments and “a small intergalactic spaceport.”  Novos Akros has a small 'Manager' class that exerts Orwellian control over the 'Worker' class.
A 12-hour work day is still common in Novos Akros.  Education stops at age 12, when the youths join the labor pool. Workers are kept hopelessly in debt. Any rebellious attitude is immediately crushed.  Offenders are kept in a state of drugged obedience.
To maintain the sophisticated technology of Novos Akros, there are “about 1500 technicians on loan from Old Akron,” a democratically ruled faction established at the University of Akron.  Old Akron has a level of technology roughly equal to the late twentieth century.  For reasons not explained, Old Akron helps a tyrannical regime maintain a technology superior to that which Old Akron enjoys.

The Akros Rangers are the police force for Novos Akros.  Rangers are recruited from personnel not native to Novos Akros.  The player characters are enticed into Novos Akros so they can be drafted into the Rangers.
While drafting the characters might appear to be an underhanded trick at the time, it is actually a way of helping them succeed in their ultimate mission.  As Akros Rangers, they can go anywhere in Omegakron with reasonable safety.  Even the street gangs and intelligent animals hesitate to attack Akros Rangers...
Noted radical John Brown was once a resident of Akron.  This association is all Moldvay needs to bring John Brown's ghost into the adventure.  We learn from Moldvay's pamphlet that “John Brown was one of the world's foremost experts in appraising wool.”  However, he was financially ruined when people refused to buy his overpriced wool.  (If people don't pay the price you set, can you really be considered an expert at appraisal?)

Anyway, the player characters encounter the ghost of John Brown who wants to liberate the “wage slaves” of Novos Akros.  (“For the adventure to work best, it is suggested that the GM make sure the characters join the Akros Rangers before meeting John Brown.”)  The player characters can successfully foment a worker revolt in Novos Akros only if they steal a copy of the Bill of Rights from Old Akron.

By completing all of their missions, the player characters “opened the way” for the Time Adjustors, “a mysterious group of individuals who strive to maximize the time flow.”  (Maximizing the time flow entails the preservation of the branches of time “which lead to the most successful of all possible futures.”)  The Time Adjustors explain to the player characters about such concepts as time flow, temporal shift, and probability branches.  The Temporal Adjustors can recruit the player characters to seek out the reason for the temporal shift that redirected the main time flow toward Omegakron.  This would have lead to the fourth, unpublished Lords of Creation adventure, The Towers of Ilium.  Moldvay claims “the GM should be free to use his impression of the Time Adjustors” and thus provides little detail about them.

Art by Dave Billman

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Book of Foes

Art by Dave Billman

Included in the Lords of Creation boxed set was The Book of Foes with 64 pages (including covers).  According to the book, 'foe' is a term of convenience for “any being who is not a character.”  This broad term includes animals, gods, extraterrestrial species, folklore races, legendary beings, historical persons, mythological monsters, and figments of Tom Moldvay's imagination.  Beings tied at having the least experience value are baboons, cobras, (average) goblins, (average) mandragoras, and wolves.  An entity named Romerac Elerion has the largest experience value.
Romerac Elerion (rom'-er-ac el-er'-e-on) seldom appears twice looking the same.  His favorite guises are a pot-bellied, balding man with a beard; a 7 foot tall gray-eyed blond man with a jagged lightning scar criss-crossing his body; a brown-haired, blue-eyed minstrel; a tawny-colored Feline; a dwarvish jester dressed in multi-colored rags; a small gray cat; and a 200 foot long Dragon.  Romerac is whimsical, but once his fancy is caught he follows the whimsey to the end with rock-hard purpose.  He has all skills and powers.
Experience value being “the maximum number of experience points the characters could receive for surviving a determined attack by that particular foe.”  Los has the next to greatest experience value while the number three position is occupied by Wayland who...
...looks like an ordinary human man but he is actually one of the most powerful Lords of Creation.  Wayland is the master technician.  He can build almost anything.  He specializes in fantastic creations and has built many of the powerful objects in the world.  He also takes contracts for constructing special “pocket universes”.  Wayland has all powers and skills.  He sometimes goes by the name of Welland or Wayland Smith.
One of the settings described in the Lords of Creation rule book is the Elder Lands, featuring fantasy versions of various cultures of the Bronze Age (more or less).  This allows Moldvay to include in The Book of Foes game stats for gods who didn't make the cut for Deities & Demigods.  Among these are the gods of the Scythian pantheon.
Moldvay's interpretation of mythology is not necessarily traditional.  Outside of the Elder Lands, for instance, Moldvay describes the Einherjar as “the most valiant Viking warriors raised from the dead (as biomechanical constructs)...”

Art by Dave Billman
The first two entries in The Book of Foes – Abiku and Acephali – often work in tandem with Kinnara for reasons not expressly stated.  Abiku are described as “three foot tall humanoids with gray mottled skin, long claws, and fangs.”
Acephali (ak-e-fal'-e) are six foot tall creatures with brown, barrel-shaped bodies.  They have three legs arranged like a tripod and two long tentacles instead of arms.  They have three eyes spaced out around their bodies for all-around vision.  Acephali can teleport through space, time, and other dimensions.  Wrapped in their tentacles, Acephali can carry six small individuals, three human-sized individuals, or one large individual.
Kinnara are described as “thin, 5 foot tall humanoids with oversized heads.”  They are telekinetic.

Art by Dave Billman
Psyschokillers (cue Talking Heads) are...
...clones of psychotic killers with a genetic disposition toward murder.  They are raised in an environment designed to foster paranoia then surgically altered to be more efficient killers.  Ownership of a Psychokiller is highly illegal.  A Psychokiller is an arch-assassin, never stopping until its victim is dead.  Psychokillers have the powers of Plasteel Body, Exoskeleton, Backup Metabolism, Physical Control and Energy Control.
It's “highly illegal” to own Psychokillers?  When you outlaw Psychokillers, only outlaws will have Psychokillers.  Is it only slightly illegal to make them?  How do Psychokillers feel about being owned?

Art by Dave Billman
Scavenger Wheels are animals that have a 4 foot wide, spherical body covered with tentacles between two 6 foot tall, wheel-like appendages.  They hunt by rolling over the ground (usually wind blown, though they can move laboriously to a hill top, using their tentacles, then rol down when they sight prey).  As they roll over prey, they scoop it into their mouths using their tentacles.
Art by Dave Billman
According to page 61, “Vorian Death Maggots are winged serpent-like creatures 10 feet long.”  The never-published fifth Lords of Creation adventure was to be titled Voria.  Doubtless, these venomous foes would have played some part.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Yeti Sanction, part III (spoilers)

Art by Dave Billman

At the conclusion our previous installment, the player characters had just received unexpected assistance from allies of which they were unaware.  As such, the characters were free to pursue Kahai the Yuga and Anton Markov “to a large room with circular walls about 100 feet in diameter” and “which is filled with strange alien machinery.”  Although the characters do not realize it, they have followed Kahai and Markov onto “the bridge of the Yugan space ship.”  (“Most of the Yuga ship is underground in a huge silo.”)

How formidable are the characters' two opponents?  Kahai has the powers of Mind Block, ESP, Electrosensing, Electrosleep, Hypnosis, and Persuasion.  In addition, he has an energy shield and is armed with a proton beamer (”A rifle-like weapon that shoots a beam of charged proton particles” inflicting 5d6 damage) and a varilance (“A 6 foot long tube that projects a beam of controlled energy that can vary in length from 3 feet to 9 feet” and causes 1d6 + 1d10 damage).  Markov also has a proton beamer along with an energy vest.  Incidentally, Markov possesses the powers of sensual chaos, invisibility, and fear.  You might wonder how an insane, former KGB spymaster gained such powers.  Don't you think it's a little late in the game to start asking questions like that?

Anyway, Kahai “initiates the liftoff sequence that will take the ship off the planet Earth.”  Once “the battle ends, the characters will be pressed to the floor by the high acceleration of the take off.”  The ship's hyperdrive automatically engages after about five minutes whereupon the characters “experience brief disorientation and mild hallucinations for a few seconds.”  Due to damage caused during the battle, the hyperdrive control catches fire when activated and becomes nothing but slag by the time the characters put the fire out.  The characters are now “lost in hyperspace.”  Do Kahai and Markov survive?  Perhaps; they are not referenced at any further point in the adventure (even though Beeveesome, “the ruler of all Yeti,” promised the player characters he would reward them if they bring the villains to him).

After aimlessly travelling through hyperspace for several – evidently uneventful – days, a tractor beam seizes the ship and pulls it toward an asteroid which is “part natural and part artificial.”  A message transmitted from the asteroid is announced via the ship's radio.  I suppose the ship's computer conveniently translates the message into English or maybe all languages are universal in hyperspace.
By the Archon's order . . . no course deviation will be permitted . . . this ship is confiscated . . . all life forms aboard will prepare for termination . . . resistance is futile . . . prepare for docking inside Arcanus 16.
Does preparation for docking take precedence over preparation for termination?  Is docking preparation intended only for entities that aren't life forms?  Answers to these pertinent queries are not provided.  Via the ship's viewing screens, the characters can see the docking bay which is apparently their destination.  At “irregular intervals” the tractor beam partially malfunctions and the ship “nearly breaks free of the beam.”  Somehow the characters realize that they may be able to take advantage of the beam's partial malfunction “to deviate slightly from the present course, so that the ship crashes down upon the the death squad sent by the Archon” even though they have no knowledge of said death squad.  Incidentally, the death squad consists of ten Giant Mantises; this number is reduced to five if the “crash landing” stunt succeeds.  “Since this encounter is potentially deadly to all the characters, it is suggested that the GM use discretion.”

Assuming the player characters prevail, television cameras inform them that twenty more Giant Mantises are approaching the docking bay via the left tunnel.  “There is little choice but to run from the Archon's death squad,” so the player characters presumably flee down the right hand tunnel which “opens into a passageway leading downwards toward the asteroid's interior.”  Eventually, the player characters encounter three air elementals guarding “the entrance to the Cave of the Winds.”  The characters can either defeat the elementals or enter into a magical contract with them allowing “unhindered passage across the Cave of Winds in return for aid in an attempt by a Baroness of Air to take to control from a Duchess of Air.”

If the characters opt for the contract, they and Cerulea (the Baroness) fight Pneuma (the Duchess).  If Cerulea wins, she tells the characters how to escape from the asteroid.  If Pneuma wins, “The only chance for the characters to to accept a magical contract with her.”  Pneuma then gives the characters the same information about escaping from the asteroid since – given the contract – it is “in her best interest to see that the characters survive.”

Beyond the Cave of the Winds, there is “a huge plateau about 20 miles wide” in the center of which “is a giant pyramid of obsidian.”  The pyramid is huge – “several thousand feet high.”  A black sun illuminates the plateau with “dark and hazy” light having “a purplish-blue tint.”  (“One particular aspect of the 'sunlight' is that nothing on the plateau casts a shadow.”)  The characters are informed that “their best hope of escape lies in the gate atop the Obsidian Pyramid, and that they will need the control box owned by the creature that lives in the Black Sun, plus the crystal prism and master tape cartridge owned by various creatures inside the pyramid.”

Art by Dave Billman

The creature of the Black Sun is an Urlar.  What's an Urlar?  According to The Book of Foes, “Urlar are space for faring [sic] amoebas about 30 feet in diameter...[that] can change shape at will (it takes 10 turns to form a new shape).”  Aside from having all powers from the Cyborg, Projector, Telepath, and Invoker sets, the Black Sun Urlar has a gamma raygun* implanted in it.

Attached to one side of the pyramid is “a castle built from rainbow-like quartz.”  Apparently, the only way into the pyramid is through the rainbow castle.  Inhabiting the castle is the Bestiary Grand Council, an organization of animal rulers.  According to The Book of Foes
Every type of animal has both a ruler and guardians who personify and protect that type of animal.  It is possible for the characters to make pacts with animal rulers and guardians so that the ruler or guardian may be summoned by the characters.  All rulers and guardians have the ability to Travel Between Dimensions to answer a summons.  The pact upon which the summons is based must be mutually rewarding.  Usually, the characters must either bargain for a service after meeting the ruler or guardian face-to-face, or was rewarded the pact for some action that was extremely beneficial for the type of animal associated with the ruler or guardian.
(While humanoid in aspect, animal rulers should not be confused with humanoid races having animal characteristics or the leaders of those races.  For example, sharkmen are a humanoid race with shark-like properties.  Bloodhook is the lord of the sharkmen.  The animal ruler for all sharks is named Skulo.)

The council will permit the characters “to pass through the rainbow castle into the interior of the pyramid only if the characters can prove themselves worthy.”  To accomplish this, each player character must engage in single combat with an animal guardian.  “The characters will be judged worthy to enter the obsidian pyramid if at least half of the characters are victorious in their individual combats.”  A character who loses to an animal guardian will be under magical contract to that guardian.  On the other hand, if the animal guardian loses, the guardian will be under magical contract to the character.

Should the player characters be permitted to access the pyramid, the council will provide them with a magical compass that will lead them through the pyramid's “maze of tunnels.”  (If the characters managed to avoid Cerulea and Pneuma, the council will tell them about the three devices they need to escape the asteroid.)  In the pyramid, the characters confront trolls, Fomorians, and a  Wendigo to obtain the needed devices and reach the top of the pyramid.  Actually, the pyramid is truncated.  “The top of the pyramid is a square plateau about 1000 feet to a side.”  Seventy-seven statues ring a pond of mercury at regular intervals.  “Fifty-six of the statues depict giant humanoids sitting on thrones,” the remaining statues are empty thrones.  In the middle of the pond “is an obsidian platform about 20 feet square.”  On the platform is an obelisk “covered with dials, meters and switches.”  The characters can use the devices to operate the obelisk, “which locates and locks on to an interdimensional gate.”  However, when the gate opens, one of the statue humanoids becomes animated.  Said humanoids are actually Archons.

What's an Archon?  According to The Book of Foes, “Archons...look like large muscular humans, though they can Shape Shift at will three times a day.”  Unfortunately, The Book of Foes doesn't explain what Archons are; we must garner clues from The Yeti Sanction.  We learn that, “The race that built the asteroid and created the Archons has long since ceased to control the asteroid.”  Also, “the Archon remains true to its original purpose:  to kill all unauthorized intruders.”  Since the creator race no longer controls the asteroid, no authorization is possible.  So, Archons are synthetic and would not seem to be capable of independent thought that would overcome their programming.

Of course, the Archon attacks the player characters.  Chiron appears from the gate.  “He will join the characters, telling them: 'Prometheus thought you can use some help.'”  In The Horn of Roland, Prometheus provided assistance to player characters (and vice versa).  The Yeti Sanction claims that any character who participated in Roland “will know that Chiron speaks the truth, since the friends of Prometheus can always recognize each other telepathically, even went they have never met before.”  Somehow the characters know this.  Of course, it's possible that the Yeti player characters did not partake in Roland.  How and why Chiron would assist the characters in this instance is not explained.

Presumably, the player characters and their new centaur friend defeat the Archon, allowing the characters to access the interdimensional gate.  “The GM can use the escape through the gate as a prelude to the character's [sic] next adventure.”  Specifically, “The escape was designed to be used as a background to the adventure module: Omegakron.”  However, “The GM does not have to let the gate lead to Omegakron.”  In any event, Chiron does not accompany the player characters; he returns from whence he came (presumably under the auspices of Prometheus).

Art by Dave Billman
* “A submachinegun-like weapon that fires a ray of gamma radiation.  There is no known natural defense against a gamma raygun, and it is illegal to own one.”  It inflicts 6d6 points of damage.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Yeti Sanction, part II (spoilers)

When we last left our intrepid player characters in The Yeti Sanction adventure module, they had just uncovered a Russian mole in the CIA.  This is because a middle-management bad guy had a dossier – written in English – that identifies the mole and explains his mission.  The player characters only become aware of this dossier when the bad guy tries to burn it in their presence.  Uncovering the mole isn't even necessary for the continuity of the adventure; that's how sad this is.  If it was a set up for a dramatic confrontation with the mole, it wouldn't be so bad.  If the mole turned out to be a Yeti-hybrid, I could even cut it some slack.

Anyway, the player characters start out on their journey to Kathmandu.  The plane set to take them on the first leg of the trip is hijacked by nine terrorists.  I would write 'skyjacked', but the terrorists don't wait until the plane is airborne.  “If the characters are able to defeat the hijackers,” the adventure reads, “they will be given the grateful thanks of the airline officials and flown (free of charge) to London.”  Even in the pre-911 era, I think a terrorist attack would have caused the flight to be canceled.  “If the characters are not able to defeat the hijackers, then the plane will be taken to Cuba” where the characters spend two days before they can leave.

Various random encounters are possible as the player characters travel from Kathmandu to the village of Dingpouche.  The listings on the random encounter charts include False Yeti and different types of True Yeti.  The 'New Foes' section of the adventure describes four True Yeti types:
  • Ragshi Bonpo (Tehelma) – “They look like intelligent monkeys” and they “have the powers of Animal Control, Clairvoyance, Invisibility, and Sound Control.”
  • Dremo (Migyu) – These Yeti “are covered with blueish fur with blond or brown highlights.”  They are “extremely aggressive” and “have the powers of True Sight, Fascination, and Sensual Chaos.”
  • Nyalmo (Szu-Teh) – These Yeti stand “8 to 10 feet tall” and “have brown or black fur with blond, red, or gray highlights.”  They “have the power of Fear, and the ability to control the direction of the wind.”  The Yeti described in The Book of Foes is identical to the Nyalmo, except – instead of having the power of Fear – the Foes Yeti can “cause a 10 feet × 10 feet area to Freeze doing 4-24 points of damage (range = 150 feet) once per day.”
  • Rimi (Mih-Teh) – “They have powerful muscular bodies with reddish-blond fur highlighted with white” and they are “12 to 20 feet tall.”  Rimi are “extremely intelligent” and “have the powers of Physical Control and Dermal Armor.”  Additionally, they have the Freeze ability ascribed to the Foes Yeti and the power of “Elemental Shaping (ice or snow only).”
Also listed among the 'New Foes' is Beeveesome, “the ruler of all Yeti.”  He “is an immortal spirit that roams the Himalayas” and “looks like a giant Rimi (32 feet tall).”  Two types of creatures from the elemental plane of air can also be encountered – Welkins (“giant eagles of air that can pick up, then drop victims”) and Ethereans (“seven foot tall, cloud-white humans”).

The non-player character guides state that YETI headquarters “is rumored to be in the small village of Lhotsepurna just below Mt. Everest.”  In the area, YETI is known as a cult and the cultists raid and take over villages.  The guides have planned three possible paths from Dingpouche to Lhotsepurna.  The paths are shown on the map from the back cover of the adventure book (displayed above).  No scale is indicated for this map, but this is not problematic.  Each path takes the same amount time to traverse – “about three days worth of climbing.”  For practical purposes, the only differences among the paths are the terrain types they cross.
The brown areas are morraine [sic].  Morraine consists of loose rock and dirt.  There is a fair chance of a landslide.  The gray areas are skree.  Skree is loosely-packed snow were [sic] avalanches can occur.  The white areas are ice walls.  Ice Walls sometimes cover deep crevasses with a thin layer of ice.  Individuals could fall into the crevasses.  The black areas are bare rock and are reasonably safe.
The different terrain perils have different game effects and different ways they can be mitigated.  Unfortunately, for moraine and ice walls, there is no indication as to how often their respective perils should be checked.

I suppose this is as good a place as any to explain what's really going on.  “YETI actually stands for the Yama Elite Triumphant Immortals,” although the players do not necessarily learn this during the course of the adventure.  The cultists serve what they think is “the Hindu god of death.”  A ship of aliens called the Yuga landed in the Himalayas “because the mountains resembled their home planet.”  Local inhabitants assumed they were messengers of Yama given “their spectacular arrival from space, and the fact that their fur and eyes are Yama's colors (pale green fur and copper colored eyes).”  Anton Markov, “former head of the Asian section of the KGB,” escaped from a psychiatric institute and sought “refuge in the Himalayan mountains where he was joined by some of his special agents.”  Naturally, “a race of megalomaniacs who firmly believe that anyone not dominated by them are their foes” will get along swimmingly with an insane KGB spymaster.  Given “his knowledge of human psychology, [Markov] reinforced the belief of the Yama worshippers that they had encountered the true messengers of the god Yama.”

Where does Markov's plan to foment a nuclear war fit in with all of this?
He managed to convince the Yuga that other humans would kill the aliens if their presence became known.  The only chance for the aliens would be a nuclear war (which would devastate the lowlands, but leave the mountains reasonably untouched).  After the radiation levels lowered, the aliens and Dr. Markov's men would inherit the earth.
As such, YETI might as well stand for Yuga Extra-Terrestrial Integration.  I understand that Markov is insane, the Yuga aren't concerned about a nuclear war, and the cultists can be manipulated into doing anything.  It seems odd, however, that none of Markov's agents resist his plans for nuclear annihilation.  Some Yuga, including Kahai, the leader, have the powers of Hypnosis and Persuasion which they could possibly use against the agents.  Regardless, those powers cannot affect victims for very long.

The aliens have an Anabolic Metamorphosis Machine.  Via this machine, the Yuga transform and mentally program humans into False Yeti.  The Yuga also used the machine to create a twenty foot tall false Yama.  This “false Yama really believes he is the Hindu god of the dead...that he is immortal and that the Yuga are his servants.”

At the climax of the fourth scenario, the player characters are confronted by Markov, Kahai, and ten false Yeti.  We read that...
...the situation looks grim.  Fortunately, help arrives before the battle takes place.  Several metal plates from the right-hand wall come crashing inward.  Through the gap pour 8 Rimi (true Yeti) led by Beeveesome...  When they see the true Yeti, Anton Markov and Kahai the Yuga flee through the far door.  The characters hear (telepathically) a message from Beeveesome, the leader of their allies:  “Leave these abominations to us.  They will not last long against true Yeti.  Bring me the masters of these wretched creatures, and I will reward you greatly.”
Nothing in the adventure prior to this occasion informed the player characters that Beeveesome is an ally or even that such an entity exists.  At this point, less than seven pages of the adventure remain in the thirty-two page book.  Yet the final two scenarios are where the adventure delivers the Lords of Creation goods.

Art by Dave Billman