Friday, October 4, 2013

Bloodocalypse: Mutations and "Magic Items"

Mutations

Exposure to various mutagenic phenomena may (is going to) happen during the game. Since mutations are a big part of the natural wildlife, I decided to make a system for characters to determine what happens to them when they are exposed to strange energy sources, radiation, rifts in space-time and mutagenic diseases.

Mutation sources will have a Fortitude saving throw DC based on the power of the mutation effect. How much they fail the save by determines the severity of the mutation.

Fail by 1-4: Minor mutation - roll 1d6.
Fail by 5-9: Major mutation - roll 1d10
Fail by 10-19: Severe mutation - roll 1d20
Fail by 20 or more: Extreme mutation - roll 1d20 twice
Natural 1 on save: Roll 1d10+5 three times.

Some mutations will be related to the source of the exposure. Most will use the following table, with the die rolled based on the severity of exposure. Special: a positive luck modifier allows this result to be shifted to the most beneficial within range, where as a negative modifier would shift the roll to the most hindering. Unless stated otherwise the effects of mutations stack and can be rolled multiple times.

Also note that most obvious mutations will add a cumulative -1 to reaction rolls from NPCs.


  1. Tolerance - You gain +1 to saves to resist future mutation.
  2. Susceptibility - You gain a -1 to saves to resist future mutation.
  3. Dangerous Mouth - Your mouth becomes misshapen and filled with sharp teeth. -1 personality, and you gain a bite attack at a secondary action die of 1d14 and deals 1d4 damage. Each time you gain this mutation the damage die increases by one step. You can optionally choose to attack with your regular action die.
  4. Thick Skin - Your skin hardens with strange nodules and scars. You lose 1 personality but gain +1 to your AC.
  5. Mushroom head - Your hair falls out, replaced by strange fungal growth under your scalp. You lose 1 personality but can eat the growths as nourishment, replacing a meal every 1d3 days.
  6. Slimy skin - Your skin becomes slick to the touch, making you difficult to grab. You gain a +2 bonus on any rolls to avoid being held or restrained.
  7. Irritable Bowels - Any time you engage in strenuous activity you must make a fort save DC 8 or have to immediately relieve yourself. Failure to do so results in a -2 to all rolls (attacks, saves, damage, skills) until you do so.
  8. Wasteland Rage - A common mutation in the wasteland. The sight of blood sends you into a fury. When wounded or after seeing blood, you gain +1 to attack and damage for the next 1d4 rounds. During this rage your AC is lowered by 1. You also gain a taste for human flesh.
  9. Minor Body Transfiguration: Roll 1d5 twice. Subtract 2 points from the first ability score indicated, and add 1 to the second ability score indicated. (1-Str, 2-Agi, 3-Sta, 4-Per, 5-Int)
  10. Weakened Bone Structure - Your bones become more fragile, resulting in being much less resilient. You lose 1 stamina.
  11. Rage-Roids - Your body becomes covered in muscle, your muscles have muscles. You grow 1d4 feet in height and double in weight. Gain 1d6 hit points, 1d4 points of strength, 1d4 stamina, but lose 1d4 points from personality and intelligence. If you possess the Wasteland Rage mutation you become more prone to that mutation in the future, replacing the "1-Tolerance" result on the table with "1-Wasteland Rage".
  12. Bug Eyes - Your eyes bulge out and become shiny and gross. You gain the ability to see in the dark an extra 30 feet, but lose 1 point of personality unless you are a Tovi.
  13. Extra Arm - You grow an extra arm from (1d4: 1- Right Side, 2-Left Side, 3-Chest, 4-Back) that can perform actions as an extra action die at 1d14. You need to have your armor specially altered to be able to use it.
  14. Shearing Flesh - Your skin becomes lose on your body, detaching when hit with enough force and falling off in a gross slush of crimson. Any physical wound against you deals an extra 1d4 damage from the torn skin. However, your skin heals very quickly and you recover 1 hit point an hour, 2 if resting.
  15. Deadened Nerves - You lose 1 agility from dead nerves, but your body becomes incredibly resilient to pain. You suffer 1 less damage from all sources.
  16. Thick Nodules - You gain tumor like nodules all over your body, which cause aches and pains. You lose 1 agility but gain 1d8 hit points. Your armor will need to be custom fit.
  17. Major Body Transfiguration: As 9 above, but instead subtract 1d4 from two ability scores and add 1d4 to another. Randomly determined.
  18. Regeneration: You recover your level it hit points per hour. Your skin crawls, and the flesh beneath your skin moves on it's own. If you roll mutation a second time you can reattach severed limbs by holding them in place for an hour.
  19. Giant Brain - Your head swells causing internal bleeding as your skull is forced to expand. You lose 1 stamina but gain 1d4 points of intelligence. You also gain a psionic power.
  20. Extreme Body Transfiguration - Roll 2d3. You can add that many points to your choice of ability scores, but then must subtract 2d4 points from your choice of ability scores.
  21. Or higher - Extreme Evolution: You gain +2 to a random ability score (1d5) and an additional mutation rolled randomly with the same die.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

One of my favorite quotes, and true for the Bloodocalypse setting. The technology that existed before the collapse of society was so advanced that how it works cannot be explained by even the wisest sage - if Bloodocalypse had sages. No, the tech is just magic. Or maybe magic is just tech. Either way, no one on the world knows. I have four levels of "magical" devices in the setting. First, you have basic utility items. These include flash lights, glow sticks, and other sorts of mundane equipment produced with more efficient technology. These things are the most common (still rare) but a lot more common than than next category. The second group are mostly advanced armament items. These include blasters, laser swords and microweave armors. You also have some of the more advanced utility items at this level. Thirdly we have the very advanced weapons and armor, a lot more rare and more experimental - not much of this left at all. Finally, we have the ultra-tech stuff. This is artifact level tech that will change the entire campaign - from advanced vehicles to self-repairing intelligent power armor and doomsday weapons.

Below are some examples of DCC style magic items made with technology instead of magic.

Healing Goo - Usually contained in metal tubes or small spheres. Once opened, the goo appears to be a semi-solid slime that has the consistency of snot. When applied to a wound it begins working immediately, stopping the flow of blood and repairing the damaged tissue. A single container of healing goo usually has enough material to heal 3d8 hit points before being all used up. Left over from an application can be scraped off and reused another time (the healing is rolled once, and can be doled out in portions).

Blessed Amulet - A strange amulet with a glowing crystal. When the user is exposed to dangerous environmental or psionic threats the crystal glows and surrounds the user with a transparent force field to attempt to weaken the incoming threat. The amulet grants the wearer a +2 bonus to AC and saving throws.

Ceramic Nanomesh Armor - As light as regular clothing, this fine dark grey mesh can be worn underclothing with no problem. The mesh provides the benefits of chainmail armor, without the check penalty, fumble die or movement speed penalties associated with wearing armor.

Blaster Pistol - A large cylindrical barreled pistol with a heavy grip, a loud humming plasma charging chamber, and weird electro-magnetic circuits that glow when active. A blast pistol deals 2d8 damage, and ignores standard armors. Blaster pistols explode on a natural roll of 1, dealing 1d8 damage to the wielder and anyone within 5 feet per charge remaining in the gun - Reflex save for half damage. A blast pistol charge pack can hold up to ten shots, but most found pistols have only 1d4 shots remaining in the charge pack.


Balefire Power Armor -  Ultra-tech, unique. A set of gleaming dark red armor with spikes jutting from the helmet, massive shoulder plates, wrists, shins, knees and knuckles. A glowing energy core in the chest. This massive suit of power armor requires that the user slip inside of it while it is inactive, and then must bleed into the armor to prompt it to bond with the user - A process which inflicts 2d8 damage to the wearer as a cybernetic link is inserted into the user's brain and spine. After bonded, the armor can be dismissed with an action, causing it to go out of phase with the wearer - effectively vanishing until called on.

The Balefire Power Armor was created with one purpose - to destroy the enemies of the state. However, the state no longer exists. The Armor's intelligent personality causes it to turn it's destructive force on others. Any threat it responds to with extreme prejudice, and seeks to destroy all of the culture remaining on the world. For this reason, the armor is chaotic. It has an intelligence of 20, but rarely chooses to communicate with speech. Instead it uses subtle psionic control over it's user, turning them chaotic and urging them to destroy anything and everything that get's in their way.

The armor is powered with a zero-point energy matrix which gives it near-unlimited power.

  • The wearer of Balefire Power Armor benefits from +13 armor class. The armor has a check penalty of -6, but this does not apply to psionic abilities. The armor does not reduce speed.
  • The wearer benefits from a strength of 20 (+5) while wearing the armor. If the wearer has a strength of 20 or higher already, the armor grants a +2 to strength instead.
  • The armor has a psionic booster circuit, granting the user +2 to psionic rolls.
  • Three times per day, the wearer can use Scorching Ray with a d20+12 on the cast check. This uses the wearers action.
  • The Armor can detect lawful creatures within 100', and illuminates them on the heads up display. Non-lawful creatures can be detected at 50'. This gives the wearer a +2 bonus on rolls to notice ambushes and initiative rolls.
  • The armor repairs any damage to itself at a rapid rate of 2d8 damage per turn. This does not heal the wearer.
  • Energy weapons held by the wearer can draw from the suit's unlimited power supply, supplying them without using charges from the weapons own power source.
  • The wearer's unarmed attacks deal damage as magical warhammers, inflicting 1d8 damage plus strength bonus.
  • The ways of destroying the armor are mysterious.
Goals and motivations: As stated above, the Balefire armor seeks to destroy civilization completely. To do this, it has access to a special use ability below, that can only be used once per month. The armor chooses when to activate this ability, and not the player.

Ego: The armor slowly takes over the wearer. Each day that the armor is worn, the target must make a will save vs DC 15. On a failure they receive a  cumulative -1 to their next check. Once their will saving throw is reduced to 0 in this manner, any further failures and they are overtaken by the armor. Their alignment switches to chaotic and they seek to destroy the cities of the world. Being brain-bonded to the armor is extremely deadly though, and the psionic control inflicts 1d3 points of intelligence damage a day on the user. Eventually their brain shuts down and they die, and the suit has to abandon the body and de-activate until it is found once more.

Special Purpose Ability: Annihilation Blast - 1/month, the suit can unleash a blast of energy that an fire up to 10 miles away and strike an area with a diameter of five miles, inflicting 20d20 damage to everything in the blast radius. This vaporizes most cities and all unfortunate living matter in the area. Using this ability is incredibly dangerous for the suit, however, draining it's zero-point energy reserves.

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