Sunday, August 12, 2018

Episode 11 Mutagenesis

Episode 11 First Impressions, First Questions: Part 2 - Mutagenesis

Got a frog in your throat and it's getting meta...

James - You’re In the Game!
  • What if, in the middle of your MCC campaign you want to run a DCC adventure? Sure, you could convert something on the fly, as we're already seeing, but perhaps there is another way to do this kind of crossover. Perhaps your players come across some kind of artifact that lets them play an NLRPG - Neural Linked Role Playing Game. 
  • I first thought about a game within a game in Knights of the Dinner Table well over a decade ago, when in one issue the Knights play Hackmaster using the holodeck of their Spacehack ship. Under certain circumstances this could work great in MCC. I've done something similar previously (running Adventures in the East Mark in both Savage Worlds - ETU) but that was with a completely different system, ditching the original mechanics.
  • In this Mutagenesis I've got some ways to link the PC and their own PC (PCC? Player Character Character) in an NLRPG:
    • Create a new character! Keep the original PC's Personality, Intelligence, and Luck scores. 
    • The NLRPG makes the PCC roll Strength, Agility, and Stamina from scratch (3d6 in order for the 3). 
    • Luck can be spent, just like in a regular MCC game, and anything spent stays gone.
    • If the PC is playing a PC that regenerates Luck (Halfling or Thief) just run it as normal but PC's can't regenerate to a Luck value higher than that in which they entered the game. For example, if a Shaman starts the DCC adventure with a Luck of 10, but they actually have a Luck of 13 that was recently burned down. For the entirety of the DCC session, their max Luck is 10, no matter what they would regenerate as a Halfling or Thief.
    • Mutations that boost Intelligence or Personality must be used prior to entering the NLRPG, but no other mutations can be used in game. 
    • Lucky Sign remains the same, and the effects carry over to the new character.
    • Hit points are rerolled
  • Naturally, creative Judges and Player may allow artifacts or other mutations to affect the game. 
  • Just like the Matrix, if you die in the game, you can die in real life! 
    • Should the PCC perish in the DCC NLRPG adventure, they must make an immediate Fortitude Saving Throw (DC 12 + level of the module) or they take damage equal to their current hit dice. So a 3rd level warrior would take 3d12 damage, a 4th level Wizard would take 4d4 damage.
  • Where’s the funnel? Not sure how you’d make this work, but open to suggestions. 
Forrest - Devil Swallowers
  • Inspired by reading the excellent online comic “Kill Six Billion Demons” and kitbashing an idea from there with the “Devils” in the MCC Core Rulebook. I’ve always been open about my love for biologically-based technology. And you know I love to make things . . . cost . . . sometimes dearly . . . for my PCs. So here, I came up with a “Devils bargain” . . . it’s not an item, not a monster, it’s what they call in the literary world a “conceit” - a thematic thing around which everything circles. In this case, everything being your character.
  • Among the border tribes that dwell near the northern radiation barrier of Terra AD, some of the more shadowy elements, those that live on the very edges of what little civilization exists, engage in a practice called “Devil Swallows”. A Devil Swallow is an act, sometimes ritualized in initiation rites, sometimes just done as a dare, in which a pure strain human swallows a live Devil larva that has been dosed with a secret binding agent that keeps the Devil alive in the throat of the one swallowing it. The Devil Swallower gains certain benefits from having the Devil larva resident in their throat, depending on the type of larva swallowed:
    • Ant Men Larva: Allows the swallower to communicate telepathically with one target in line of site, whether or not the receiver is a telepath.
    • Croachling Larva: Allows the swallower to walk on walls or ceilings five times a day for up to 5 minutes each “walk”
    • Hopper Larva: Allows the swallower to leap 20’ and land safely up to three times per day. 
    • Wooler Larva: Allows the swallower a +2 to fortitude saves versus radiation.
  • For physiological reasons, only a pure strain human may be a Devil Swallower. Mutational dynamics don’t allow for a “clean” hosting by mutants.
  • The binding agent is kept a strict secret and its use is monitored by an archaic alignment devoted to keeping the secret at whatever the cost.
  • Every Devil’s bargain has its payment. And those who enable Devil Swallowing will dodge any questions about side-effects of the act. Characters who engage in Devil Swallowing suffer a -4 to their Personality score so long as they have the devil in their throat, as their voice becomes raspy and strange pulsating movements show in their throat at all times. Secretions from the devil in the throat are subconsiously repulsive to all around the Devil Swallower, as well. 
  • The devil may not be spontaneously ejected at will. It must be carefully extracted by a trained healer from the aforementioned archaic alignment. Or it can be extracted the old-fashioned way, which kills the character instantly. 
  • Only one larva may live in the throat at a time. Trying to swallow two larvae result in a battle between the two larvae, though the host is the ultimate loser in that fight.

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