Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Mutant Solution


Mutants are a concept that I wanted from the beginning.  

I tried a couple of different models before I came to strange conclusion.

I had already done the ground work.

Racial talents cover all the strange and quirky powers and that list will grow over time.

All I needed to do is slap together a Mutate template to make them accessible.

What follows are a list of reskinning concepts, powers and ideas so they can represent a mutant in our game.

Talent Trees as Mutations.

The following is a grab bag of ideas.  They are mostly general, but some Talent Trees are better for mutations then other.  If some specific talents can represent anything specific, it will be listed below:

  • Desecrator: Your mutation is an “experiment” from the Desecrators.
  • Dream Cantrip:   You’re a living tap to the dreamtime.
  • Fey: You are a changeling, or affected by the dreamtime.
  • Fleet:  Enhanced adrenal glands or higher muscle density in the legs allow for faster response time on the ground.
  • Flying: Some examples include skin flaps, wings (bat or bird like) as well as some overall structural changes.
  • Gaze:  Your gaze is based on generating energy waves from your eyes.
    • Charming Stare: Your character generates pheromones that have the same effect in game terms.
    • Daunting Stare: Your character is very scary and your stare triggers a fear response.
    • Mesmerize: Your eyes are hypnotic like a snake.
    • Confusing:  Your eyes have a tendency to flash in a manner that causes convulsing seizures
    • Paralyzing: Your eyes have a tendency to flash in a manner that causes paralyzing seizures
  • Growing:  This can be used to simulate Gigantism
  • Hallowed Touched:  You are mutated by the raw magical energy of the hallowed world.
  • Living Dead:   Your character has tumors or other necrotic traits that makes you tougher than normal.
    • The following Racial talents have a direct effect on the physiology of your mutant: Boneless, Hard Rotted, Skeletal.
    • The majority of other Living Dead Racial talents are used to give resistance and immunities that simulate redundancies or unique physiology.
  • Natural Armor:  You have enhanced density, reinforced skeleton reinforcement, or redundant organs
  • Natural Weapons:  Some examples of natural weapons include: Bite, horns, claws, talents or spines that can be used as a weapon.
  • Savage: Your character has animal characteristics and is often a human/animal hybrid: 
    • Cast Iron Stomach:  A ton of mutants can eat just about anything.
    • Gullet Pouch:  Your mutation gave you an organic pocket.
    • Musk Spray: This may represent a hybrid of a skunk or wolverine.  Alternatively, this is an over-sized gland that generates a projectile.
    • Scent: This is the most common enhancement of hybrid mutants.
    • Thick hair – used to represent mammal hybrids
    • Thick scales – used to represent reptile hybrids.
  • Savvy: You develop a neural link with allies.  You can choose to base this on chemical impulses.
  • Shrinking: This can be used to simulate dwarfism.
    • Special note: if your character takes the shrinking talent tree as their mutation for a race that is normally size medium, they can start their character at size small.
      • Small: +1 to attack and AC, -1 to CMB/CMD, +4 to Stealth skill, carry capacity is ¾ (x 0.75) that of normal medium creature.
      • Weapons must be sized for a small creature (treat tiny weapons as light, small weapons as one-handed, medium weapons as two handed, cannot use large weapons).
  • Stout: This talents represent natural toughness
    • No fear: can simulate a reduction in your Amygdala.
  • Venom: if your character is emulating a bug-like or snake like creature, this talent tree can be useful.
  • Vision: vision beyond normal range is really common among mutants
    • All Around Vision: This can be used to simulate masses of eyes or multiple heads.
    • Darkvision: You have heat receptors, or able to see in the dark for darkvision.
    • Blindsense:  You have vision by a means other than sight. 
    • Eagle Eyed:  you have enhanced distance vision, not unlike an eagle or mountain goat.

Examples of Specific Features

This is a demonstration of how using multiple talents can emulate common mutations:

Multiple Heads
Requires: All Around Vision (Vision), Stubborn Survivor (Stout)
Description:  You have multiple heads and while it doesn’t change your stats, it does give you a couple of advantages.

Stinging Tail
Requires: Tail (Natural Weapons), Venom-Weak (Venom)
Description: Your character now has a Stinging Tail not unlike a scorpion.

Feat Ideas

Low Light Vision: often used to simulate animal eyes.

Save: Endurance: Example of this in mutant physiology when it comes to Interior moisture Reservoir.

Save: Great Fortitude: This is used to simulate Accumulated Resistance of the mutant.

Skill Focus (Athletics):  This can be used to simulate Dermal Suction, aka small hairs that improve climbing.

Skill Focus (Perception): This can be used to simulate additional perception organs.

Skill Focus (Stealth): This can be used to simulate camouflage physiology of the mutant.

Two Weapon Fighting:  This and its successors can be used to simulate Independent Cerebral Control.

Common Mutate Packages

Attribute Modifications: +2 Wis (must be taken as highest), -2 Con (must be taken as lowest)
Class/Path:  Channeler/Witch
Requires: Flight Talent Tree, Savvy, Vision
Description:  You appear as a deformed angel that takes to the air

Attribute Modifications: +2 Int (must be taken as highest), -2 Str (must be taken as lowest)
Class/Path: Ritualist/Magister
Requires: Savvy, Shrinking (starts as size small)
Description: you are a giant head attached to a fairly small body.  You are much smarter than most around you.

Attribute Modifications: +2 Dex (must be taken as highest), -2 Int (must be taken as lowest
Class/Path: Adventurer/Prowler
Requires:  Natural Weapons, Savvy.
Description: you are a feline/human mutant with an emphasis on ambushing your target.

Attribute Modifications: +2 Dex (must be taken as highest), -2 Int (must be taken as lowest
Class/Path: Adventurer/Scout
Requires: Living Dead, Stout
Description:  You look like the walking dead, but technically aren’t.

Attribute Modifications: +2 Con (must be taken as highest), -2 Cha (must be taken as lowest
Class/Path: Combatant/Soldier
Requires: Savage, Vision
Description:  You look like a troglodyte and are adapted to living underground.

Attribute modifications: +2 Str (must be taken as highest), -2 Int (must be taken as lowest)
Class/Path: Combatant/Brute
Requires: Growing, Natural Weapons, Natural Armor
Description: you are a Rhino Man with a big horn for goring.

Case Study – Lady Vertebrae

The following is a mutate I created using the mutate rules.

Your cool title/quote: It’s not just the gun that you have to be aware of.
Race: Human
Template: Mutate
Sex: Female

Attribute modifications: +2 Dex (must be taken as highest), -2 Cha (must be taken as lowest)
Class/Path: Combatant/Gun Gal
Requires: Living Dead, Natural Armor, Venom
Description: Mutated to have your rib-cage on top as well as under your skin, you had to fight long and hard to survive. Quicker than most, you took up the way of the gun and then realized that your natural talents worked with them nicely.
Your Role:  You shoot things either with bullets or venom.  They usually don’t last long.

Attribute Modifiers:   Dexterity (Str 13, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8); Best Skills: Gunplay
Ability Increases over time:  At level 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20, increase Dex by +2

Skills:   Focus on Gunplay.  You can also utilize Acrobatics and Athletics to get out of trouble.   Use vehicle also plays to your strengths because sooner or later, you’ll need to get out of town fast.

Level 1 (including racial):    Talents:  Favorite Weapon (Combatant Talent Tree), Natural Armor Basics (Natural Armor Talent Tree), Feat: Point Blank Shot (Shot Talent Tree), Precise Shot (Shot Talent Tree)
Level 2:  Shot: Far (Shot Talent Tree)
Level 3:   General Gunmanship (Gunmanship Talent Tree)
Level 4:  Feat: Improved Precise Shot (Shot Talent Tree)
Level 5:  Talents: Hide-Chitin Like (Natural Armor), Sharpshooter (Gunmanship Talent Tree)
Level 6:  Feat:  Rapid Shot (Shot Talent Tree)
Level 7:  Talent:  Venom-Mild (Venom Talent Tree)
Level 8:  Feat:  Shot: Pinpoint Targeting (Shot Talent Tree)
Level 9:   Pinpoint Targeting Achievement (DRev Book of Adventure).  Talent: Sharp Shooting- Ricochet (Gunmanship Talent Tree), Venom-Weak (Venom Talent Tree)
Level 10: Substituting Feat with Racial talent due to Mutate Template:  Spit Poison (Venom Talent Tree)

Recommended Equipment:
>>Level 1:  Standard Adventure Kit, Utility Revolver, Targeting Pistol, 50 rounds light pistol ammo, Mesh Suit, Bear Spray, (53.75 GB left over for other essentials).
>>Level 2: Standard Adventure Kit, Utility Revolver (master tooled +1), Targeting Pistol, 50 rounds light pistol ammo, masterwork Titanium Chain, bear spray, 2 daggers, (283 GB left over for other essentials).
>>Weapon Improvement: As the character goes up in levels, they will upgrade their pistols and emphasize gun accessories.
>>Armor Improvement: As your character goes up in levels, emphasize light armors to ensure minimal effect on dexterity and natural armor.

Playing your character (talent and feat breakdown)
You are a coiled spring, fast on the draw.  And accurate at close range.  About level 10, you start creating natural venom that dovetails into your gunslinging skills.

Final Notes

This is far from a complete list.  There will be a revisiting when we have finalized the Book of Arrogance when we can show how psychic powers can be integrated into the mutant solution.

However, what this article should show is how relatively easy it is to create and customize a mutant with what is already in play.

Enjoy them and let me know what you think.

#drevrpg #d20 #apocalypse #mutants

1 comment:

  1. Psychics and mutants are great. I'll be able to run a Fist of the North Star/Vampire Hunter D game now!


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