Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mutations, mutations, mutations, mutations and even more mutations

One of the things that really attracted me (and continues to do so) to Mutant Future are the mutations. I adore tables and tables of mutations of all kinds. I guess character generation of mutants becomes a sort of 'game within a game' for me much like the character generation procedure was in the old classic Traveller rules.

I remember Jeff Rients' blogpost wherein I read of his experience in cobbling up pages and pages of mutations from all sorts of related games in his Mutant Future game thus allowing really off-the-wall mutants for his players. Jeff had a subtable connected to other mutation tables which empowered his players to come up with something even more than the original choices in the Mutant Future rules as written.

Needless to say this really captured my imagination as I firmly believe that you can't have too many random choices for your mutants (random choice being one of the strengths of the game in Mutant Future).

Doing the same thing with my available gaming materials, I drew up a list of possible sources for lists of mutational powers I plan to add to the existing ones in my ongoing game. These include the following:

1. Creatures of the Wasteland by Derek Holland and the Skirmisher Game Development Group

2. Gamma World rules, 1st edition

3. Metamorphosis Alpha rules, 1st edition

4. Assorted codices from the Warhammer 40k 3rd edition (including Witchunters, Daemonhunters, Marines and Imperial Guard) - for pysker powers

5. Fading Suns d20 Character Codex (mutations for the Changed, including such nasties like Caustic Puke)

6. Classic Traveller Book 3 (psionics)

7. Material from Warhammer's Slaves to Darkness

8. The Dead Earth player's book which literally has hundreds of mutations (which are quaintly termed as 'radiations')

9. Omegaworld by Jonathan Tweet, which appeared on Polyhedron Magazine issue 153

10. Dungeons and Dragons 1st edition Players Handbook (the appendix that deals with psionics)

I know this list is not exhaustive yet, but I've a feeling that with these additional choices of mutations, my upcoming games are going to be even more intersting in the coming days. I expect the mutants, both player generated and npc-ed to be even more wild, unpredictable and far out.

And who knows, maybe even more deadly as well.


  1. I've got one word - Mutazoids

    Have you seen that game (I can only speak for the original d6 version of the game, I guess there was a d20 revamp later)?

    I am planning to post its mutation tables on my blog soon, so when I do I will post a comment linking to it here.

  2. Alright, I'll sure keep an eye out for Mutazoids Carl. I haven't come accross the game but it sounds great. Many thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing those mutation tables.

  3. Dont forget the alien creatures from Star Frontiers – e.g.: Quickdeaths.

    First edition WH40k (Rogue Trader) had a lot more odd creatures to it. The Genstealers looked VARY different back then, and the mutation list was huge. Hell, the setting was vary Gamma World by it's own right!

  4. Thanks for reminding me of those Malcadon! Yes, the aliens in SF were quite 'mutated' in their own right. I recall going through the 1st ed 40k rules a long, long time ago and the mutations did have this Gamma World feel to them in a certain way. Thanks!

  5. A thought comes to fore that the D&D spells can be natural abilities cast based on the strength or intelligence of the character and the level of the spell. A 1st level spell may be cast every hour and a 2nd level spell every two hours. The intelligence and strength can determine the characters range and radius effect.

  6. Yes, I'm toying around with the idea of letting these become even more mutation powers. Letting a mutant human have the power to spin webs and entangle enemies is a promising prospect...

  7. I wish we could get Jeff to share his list. Oh well, I applaud you for working up your own. Carl is right about Mutazoids, I picked it up after he wrote about it, glad I did.
    Caustic Puke! Didn't know about that one!

  8. Yeah, just thinking about Jeff's list got me working on my own. Thanks about confirming Mutazoids, I'll go check that out. The Fading Suns system has pretty surprising mutations- caustic puke is one of the funkier ones that stand out in my mind.

  9. Mutazoids 1st ed was a 2d6 v. chart resolution system.
    --2nd ed was a d20 system. Its tables are better for NPC generation, IMO, but it is an interesting premise for Shadow Years gaming.

    While interesting, BloodDawn never really did it for me:

    Blood Dawn
    1st ed by Lawrence R. Sims (1996) Optimus
    A post-nuclear-apocalypse science fantasy RPG set 60 years after the devastation, in a world of "magic, mutations, and machines". The PC's are prophets seeking to restore civilization from the reigning barbarism. It uses a basic roll-under-stat with modifiers. Character creation is limited point-bought.

  10. Thanks for all this info, Timeshadows. I've always been meaning to check out Mutazoids even before posting this. I guess all the info I got from everyone confirms that it is really worth looking into. AS regards Blood Dawn, I think my other players will also find this intruguing. Some of them are very keen on point-buy systems.