Monday, April 22, 2013

A Song of Dirt and Wind: Mutations and Cybernetics

This is the text thus far for mutations and cybernetics in A Song of Dirt and Wind, which are complete in that they are functional but I would really like to have both more cybernetics and more mutations. I've also updated the psionics section I posted the other week to add more powers and more details to the rules.

Next time I'll start posting on my revamp work for Dawning Star 2.0 via FATE.


Mutations and cybernetics effectively use the same rules as they are both permanent modifications to the body that provide long term bonuses.  They are effectively new categories of Benefits that also include drawbacks and other factors. Mutations and cybernetics are both fundamental changes to the nature of a character’s body and thus not something they can easily adjust to; these are not mutations like an extra toe or a simple cybernetic replacement finger.  These mutations and cybernetics require years of adjustment, training, and therapy to use, thus they are not just equipment to be purchased and instead are gained with experience points/Destiny Points.  That said, mutations or cybernetics purchased after character creation should have some manner of in game explanation, such as developing a new mutation after sending several weeks in the deep wastes searching some ruins, or adding a cybernetic system recently taken from a defeated foe.  To purchase an implant or some manner of concoction that will let you develop a mutation should cost thousands of supply days with five thousand being a good ballpark number.  

In both the case of cybernetics and mutations, a healer is required to assist in this process.  For cybernetics this involves installing the device, while for mutations the healing arts are often needed to just survive the changes the mutant’s body is undergoing.  In both cases this usually requires at least a day and a Formidable Healing (12) Treat Injury check.  This process inflicts a wound on the subject that must  be healed normally. The target number increases by +3 for each additional cybernetic implant or mutation the subject gains.  If the Healing test fails the subject suffers two wounds and the mutation or cybernetic implant does not take; not in the case of implants this may leave the subject disfigured, such as lacking an arm or leg.  If the Healing test gets more than three successes the subject does not suffer a wound in the process.  Note the narrator may wish to ignore the wounds inflicted if the surgery is replacing an already missing limb.  

Mutations and cybernetics represent large, obvious, and powerful changes to a character’s body and cannot be easily hidden.  Cybernetics purchased with this system are not human looking limbs, but large metal monstrosities that may have been passed down for generations.  Similarly mutations are large, misshapen, and obvious. Generally speaking less obvious changes to a character’s body do not provide the benefits listed below, but if a character loses a limb or organ, they can get a simple, non-enhancing, base line cybernetic implant that is not so obvious and just replicates their original abilities.  In such case they need not buy a benefit for it; just find one in play along with a healer to install it.  If you wish your cybernetics or mutations to represent some manner of more subtle change but still have the mechanical benefits described below, purchase the Subtle Mutation or Subtle Cybernetics benefit below.  

Note that cybernetics only modify a portion of your body and thus may lead their owners to making poor choices due to this limitation.  For example a cybernetic arm may have the raw strength to pick up a car, but the rest of the human body definitely does not and a determined effort to do so may cause the arm to rip free of it’s moorings.  Narrator’s should be careful to pay attention to such limitations.  Mutations tend to affect the whole body, so such limitations are not such an issue.  

For every mutation benefit obtained, you reduce your composure by -1 but increase your health by +1.  As your body grows more twisted your mind begins to go, making it harder to deal with mental stress and driving you further towards the animalistic mutants who roam the wasteland.  Unless the Stable Mutation benefit is selected any character with mutant benefits is sterile.  

A character cannot have a combined total of mutations and cybernetic implants greater than his Endurance before he begins suffering problems.  Any more than this threatens the ability of the character’s body to deal with all the changes to it, each additional mutation or implant inflicting an injury on the character that cannot be healed until the character’s Endurance increases.  Note that normal, medical implants to just replace lost limbs or organs or incidental mutations do not count towards this total.


Arm Cybernetic
Your arm has been replaced with one of steel, allowing you to crush your enemies in your literal iron grip.  
One of your arms has been replaced with a cybernetic arm.  You gain +1B to Strength, Climb, and Throw when using that arm and it is immune to normal heat and cold, allowing you to reach into fires without suffering harm.  You lose one point of Health, but gain one point of armor that does not stack with worn armor with a bulk of greater than 1.  Your arm is a large, steel construction that cannot be easily concealed without a cloak or other item that covers most of your body.  

Bone Reinforcement Cybernetic
Your bones have been seeded with a advanced mixture of metals, protein armor, and other hardening agents to make them more resilient to damage.
You may suffer an additional wound before being forced to concede; this does not decrease the penalties associated with wounds.  Your body is better able to support your cybernetic systems; bonuses from your cybernetic limbs may be added to any appropriate skill checks even if the  check involves your natural limbs, such as using your cybernetic arm to lift a heavy object that you need the rest of your body to support. You lose one point of Health, but gain one point of armor that does not stack with worn armor with a bulk of greater than 1.  Your joints become large and bony, making your implants obvious.  

Cogitator Cybernetic
Your brain has been enhanced with an onboard support computer, allowing you to perform calculations with blinding speed and never forget an important fact.  
You gain +1B to all Knowledge tests.   Your skull has ports across it’s base, requiring you to keep it shaved for easy access.  

Dermal Layering Cybernetic
The layers of your skin are interwoven with layers of kevlar, carbon fibers, and other resilient materials to make it especially difficult to cut you.  
You gain 3 points of armor, but when wearing armor with a Bulk of 1 or higher it only increases the worn armor by +1.  Your skin has a rubbery feel and has a number of unusual visible patterns due to the materials beneath the surface, making your skin look and feel unnatural.  Dermal layering does not decrease your Health or increase your armor like other implants.  

Filtration Cybernetic
All aspects of your internal organs are run through a complex filtration system, removing poisons, waste products, and other undesirable materials quickly and efficiently.  
You gain a +2B bonus to Endurance tests to resist poison, diseases, or other invasive materials that are inhaled, ingested, or injected.  This does not help you breath in environments where there is no oxygen or digest normally indigestible materials.  Your neck has a number of unnatural bulges to it and your heart and lungs tend to make unusual clicking and whirring noises.  

Eye Cybernetic
One or both eyes have been replaced with artificial versions, allowing you to see in a number of unusual spectrums but also giving your gaze a cold, inhuman quality.  
Your eyes include night vision, telescopic, and infrared options.  You do not suffer penalties due to darkness or penalties to Awareness checks due to distance.  Your cybernetic eyes are obvious, being silver with oversized black irises, plus they make a obvious whirring noise when you focus your vision on something.  

Leg Cybernetic
One of your legs has been replaced with a steel version, allowing you to kick with great force but giving you a unique gait.
When using your leg you gain +1B to Strength, Climb,  Jump, and Run.  Your cybernetic leg is also immune to normal fire and cold, so you can run across hot coals without difficulty.  You lose one point of Health, but gain one point of armor that does not stack with worn armor with a bulk of greater than 1.  Your leg is a large, steel device that cannot be easily concealed without a long coat or cloak, but even then it gives you an odd stumbling gait in addition to making your footfalls with it very loud.   

Lung Cybernetic
Your lungs have been replaced with artificial versions, allowing you to survive without outside sources of oxygen for some time.  
Your lungs carry an onboard oxygen storage tank that allows you to breathe for four hours without needing any external oxygen and also makes you immune to inhaled poisons during this time.  This system automatically activates any time low oxygen levels or hazardous materials are detected.  Your chest has obvious venting ports and extra bulges, making your implants difficult to hide without bulky clothing.  

Neural IO Port Cybernetic
Your mind has port allowing a direct link to computers and other machinery, allowing you a superhuman level of control of such devices.  
Your neural IO port also has slots you can use to hook directly into most computer systems, including those in vehicles, automated targeting systems, etc.  If such a link is established you gain +1B in any test using that item. Connecting or disconnecting from such a system requires a Greater action; just pulling out of a device without taking a Greater action inflicts an injury on you.  

Subtle Cybernetics Cybernetics
Your cybernetic implants are made of more advanced tech than most, allowing them to be concealed with minimal effort.  
Requirement: Requires the character already have a cybernetic implant, but does not count toward the number of cybernetic implants the character can have.  
Any internal cybernetic implants, such as lungs or filtration systems, are not detectable without surgery.  Any external implants, such as limbs or eyes, require an Challenging (9) Awareness test to detect.  They can be more effectively concealed by wearing bulky clothes, sunglasses, etc.  

Survival Implants Cybernetics
Your body contains a number of implants to improve your chances of surviving under extreme conditions, such as moisture collectors in your nose and special pigmentation in your skin to ward off sunburn.  
You gain a +1B bonus to resist any manner of natural environmental threat such as heat, cold, snow blindness, etc.  Also you can go an additional five days before suffering from starvation or dehydration.  You lose one point of Health, but gain one point of armor that does not stack with worn armor with a bulk of greater than 1.  Small sensor units stick out of your skin across your body and your skin has a constantly shifting pattern of pigments just beneath the surface.  

Targeting System Cybernetics
Your mind and sense have been improved with a suite of sensors and simple cogitators, allowing your to more effectively aim ranged weapons.  
You reduce any penalty due to range, cover, or lighting by 1D.  You also get a +1B bonus to any trick shots or called shots.  Your eyes have a striking silver hue to them and there are several data ports along the side of your skull, requiring you keep that area shaved.  

Water Adaptation Cybernetics
You have a series of implants across your body that enable you to survive in aquatic environments.  
You can breathe water and gain a +1D bonus to all Swimming checks through retractable webbing and water jets built into your extremities.  You can regulate your own buoyancy, allowing you to float or sink on demand.  You lose one point of Health, but gain one point of armor that does not stack with worn armor with a bulk of greater than 1.  Your skin has an odd blue hue, there are obvious gill slits on your torso, and small water jets poke through your skin on your limbs.  

Weapon Cybernetics
You have some manner of weapon built into your body, making it impossible to ever be completely disarmed.  
You have one weapon built into an appropriate limb, most likely your arm.  You must provide this weapon separately if you gain this advantage after character creation.  If selected at character creation you may select any weapon with a cost less than one thousand supply days.  Any weapon with the Adaptable, Two-Handed, Bulk, Unwieldy, or Slow traits may not be used. Any ammunition needed must be loaded into a slot locate on the implanted limb. Attacks with the weapon are made using the appropriate abilities and specialties. The weapon is normally stowed for concealment and not useable; making the weapon ready requires a Lesser action and makes the weapon impossible to hide. If the weapon implant is not being installed in an existing cybernetic limb you lose one point of Health, but gain one point of armor that does not stack with worn armor with a bulk of greater than 1.   If you already have a cybernetic limb you can house your weapon in that limb; doing so means this implant does not count towards the limit of how many implants you can have,  


Beasthide Mutation
You have developed a hide similar to that of an elephant or alligator, making you far more resistant to injury than most humans.  
You have a natural armor rating of 5, but you also have an armor penalty of -2.  When wearing armor that provides a higher armor rating, the worn armor’s rating is increased by +2.  Your skin is thick, tough, and impossible to conceal without covering it from head to toe.  

Breaker Mutation
Your mutation has given you massively overdeveloped muscular tissue, granting you great strength..  
You gain a +1B bonus to Strength, Throw, and Climb.  Your muscles are vastly out of proportion to your frame, making you look top heavy and rendering anything but a whole body disguise ineffective.  

Cutter Mutation
Your mutation reaches back to your animal forebearers, causing a set of retractable claws to sprout from your hands and feet when threatened.  
You have a pair of retractable claws that you can use in melee combat using your Fighting (Claws) ability and specialty.  The claws inflict your Athletics in damage and have the Fast and Off-Hand +1 qualities.  Even when retracted, your claws make your hands look extremely meaty and malformed, though bulky gloves can conceal this.  

Dirteater Mutation
Your mutation has changed your digestive tract such that you can gain sustenance from almost any sort of organic matter and resist many of the harmful effects that this ability can lead to.  
You can eat any sort of organic material and gain sustenance from it, allowing you to only consume one supply day every other day and remain fully fed.  You also gain a +2B bonus to Endurance checks to resist any type of ingested, injected, or inhaled poison.  Your overdeveloped jaw and throat, needed to for chewing and swallow hard materials like wood, are a dead giveaway of your mutation.  

Everliving Mutation
Your body has developed an amazing healing rate, allowing you to recover from harm far faster than most people  Your body operates so effectively you age at a greatly reduced rate.  
You age at 1/10th the normal rate and gain a +3B bonus to any Endurance or Healing checks to heal.  Also you can spend a Greater action and a Destiny point to actively heal yourself, requiring an Routine (6) Endurance test. If successful you heal 1 health per success.  Your hair turns prematurely silver and does not take dye well, making it difficult to hide your mutation.  

Mentat Mutation
Your mind grown far larger than is normal for humans, unlocking hidden reserves of intelligence and computational skills.  
You gain +1B to Knowledge tests and two psionic power points.  Your skull has grown to fit your enhanced brain size, making your skull large and bulbous.  No normal hats fit your head.  

Stable Mutation Mutation
Your body has adapted well to your mutations and they do not affect you as adversely as they do others.  
Requirement: One mutation benefit.  
You can pass your mutation on to your children and will breed true unless you have children with another mutant with this trait.  You can gain one more mutation than normal for a character with your Endurance before you start suffering for it, and you gain one point of Composure.  

Subtle Mutation Mutation
Your mutations have developed in such a way that they are not obvious to the naked eye.
Requirement: One other mutation benefit.  
Your mutations cannot be detected without a physical inspection; someone touching your skin may detect your Beastskin mutation or your Cutter claws beneath your skin, but requires more than just looking.  

Survivor Mutation
Your body has adapted to the rigors of life in the Bonelands, allowing you to resist many of its more subtle threats while minimizing your need for food.  
You gain a +1B to Endurance tests to resist radiation and extremes of heat or cold.  Also you only need consume one supply day every other day to remain fully fed.  Your body always looks healthy and hearty, which is often out of place in the Bonelands since most people go hungry regularly.  

Your mind has changed such that you can more easily understand machines and how they work, enabling you to even speak modem when required.  
You gain +2B to all Technology tests and when engaged with machines in an intrigue they are always at worst Indifferent to you.  Unfortunately while you can relate well to machines, people are another matter; you suffer a -1D penalty to Persuasion checks made to seduce or charm.  Your skin has taken on a metallic sheen, making your mutation obvious when any of your flesh is visible.  

Your body has adjusted for life underground, allowing you to see in the dark and survive many of the minor afflictions present in subterranean areas, but these changes have forced a drastic change in your appearance.  
You suffer no penalties due to darkness and gain +2B to resist poison and disease.  You can survive on a diet of lichen and other simple subterranean fare, granting a +1D bonus to Survival tests made underground.  Unfortunately your offputting appearance, that of a pale cavedwelling ghoul, inflicts a -1D penalty on any Persuasion tests to seduce or charm and you suffer a -1D penalty when in brightly lit conditions if not wearing sunglasses or other visual protection.   

No comments:

Post a Comment