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I like the Mutant Future rules on Radiation or the most part. The chart is relatively simple, Radiation causes 1d6 points of damage for each class level of radiation present and saving throws reduce damage by half. However, when it comes to mutant gaining more mutations the rules seem a bit simple and draconian. If the mutant fails five saving throws in one day (regardless of the class level of the radiation) it gains a new mutation. Also, radiation is generally given in two types, high intensity where damage occurs per round and background which occurs daily. With the rules as given in the rule book it will be impossible for a character to gain a mutation from background radiation.

In the first two editions of Gamma World, the effect of the radiation was determined by the character’s Constitution score and the Radiation levels, either causing damage, mutations, or death based on those two variables. Also in the first two editions there are two levels of radiation, high level where damage or effects occur per action turn (round) or background radiation which accumulates during the day.

In the original fourth edition of Gamma World radiation was measured in points which was designated as its intensity and the character’s body stored these points, losing one point per day. Radiation could cause damage, sickness, mutations, and death and this was determined by the intensity of the radiation versus the character’s Health (derived from Con bonus and 10) to determine the effect of the radiation on the character. Radiation was classified as high-level, low-level, and background which determine the effect of the radiation over time (once per round, once per hour, and once per day). There is actually more mechanics involved with radiation checks in fourth edition and it was possible for the effects of the radiation to be worse on consecutive days even though the overall intensity stored by the character was being reduced by one point per day.

So, Mutant Future is basically flat where characters have to fail a radiation saving throw five times within one day to gain a mutation while first and second edition Gamma World was based solely on the character’s Constitution score and the radiation level, while fourth edition was a hyrid mechanic that was probably more realistic in play be a lot more complex and trying for both the GM and the player.

I would suggest a system where the character track the number of rads his character retains from each exposure and if the exposure goes beyond his Constitution score he must make a saving throw each day versus Radiation or gain a mutation (if a mutant animal, plan, or humanoid) though a mutant may only gain one mutation per week. In addition, the character loses one rad point per day until it reaches zero. Rads can be absorbed per round, per hour, or per day based on the overall intensity (class) of the radiation. If the character suffers background-radiation through out an entire day, the character does not lose a rad point but instead gains rads based on the background-radiation.
The character would still take damage from the radiation (half for successful saving throws) but the character would gain rads based on the radiation class (regardless of saving throw). If the character gains more rads than his Constitution score he gains radiation sickness and suffers -4 for attack rolls, only heals half as many hit points as normal, and only moves at half his effective rate. If the character gains as many rads as twice his Constitution he must make a saving throw each day or he will die. If a character gains as many rads as three times his Constitution score he automatically dies (no saving throw allowed).

If tracking rads for a character seems like too much work a simpler method would require a character to simply track radiation class during the day and if the rads exceeds his Constitution score he would make a saving throw versus Radiation or gain a mutation.

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Started working on my animal list yesterday for templates players can use when creating a MF mutant animal. Most animals will have inherent mutations to match their own natural abilities (and possible weaknesses). In addition, the player can choose to take the animal in its base stock form (such as quadruped for a bear or a horse, etc…) or a bipedal form instead. The general definition and options betwen the two is that in the normal form the character may not necessarily have appendages that can effectively use equipment while the bipedal form will have effective hands to manipulate devices and tools.
One example from my list would be the Boar
A Boar character gains a +2 bonus to Strength and Constitution, +1 to Will Power, and suffers a -2 to Dexterity and -3 to Charisma.
Inherent mutations include bone-like protrusions (tusks), increased olfactory senses, decreased vision, and beserker.
Biped characters cause a base damage of 1d4 with their tusks and gain a +2 bonus to hit while charging and have a base movement rate of 40 ft. (120 ft.)
Quadruped characters cause a base damage of 1d6 with their tusks and gain a +4 bonus to hit while charging and have a base movement rate of 60 ft. (180 ft.)
+2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Con, +1 Will, -3 Cha

The biggest advantage between the different stock forms will be movement rates and damage from natural attacks. However, I need to consider other possible benefits as animals in their natural form are very limited in what equipment they can use compared to other normal characters. The extra movement rate and additional damage at lower levels may give such characters a minor edge but at higher levels when more ancient tech items are available characters that can use ancient gear will easily gain dominance compared to characters that cannot use such equipment.

I hope to have a more complete list completed by the end of the week and posted on the Characters page of my Mutant Future House Rules site.

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My second post for the day but I thought I would cover the usage of the steam powered locomotive in a Mutant Future game.
The scenario was thus, the local bad pure human fledging empire was expanding their territory west using a train to move supplies and forces back and forth between the capital city and the newly acquired ruins. This was a disturbing development to the local neutral mixed town the PCs were visiting so they were hired to sabatoge the Thunder Rider (villagers were mixed on their beliefs whether or not the Thunder Rider was a machine or a living creature). So off the PCs went on the Airship they have been working as added mercenaries back to the south to scout out the path of the Thunder Rider.
After staking out a section of the path which consisted of a parallel set of iron beams running the length of the path for several days the PCs finally see it, the Thunder Rider. It is obvious from the get go that this transport was a wheeled machine that travelled on the beams so the PCs let the train go on its merry way towards the ruins. As soon as the train was no longer visible, the PCs set to work trying to pry up a couple of the beams and after several hours of pure sweat the party managed to pry two parallel tracks off of the ground and all they had left to do was sit and wait.
The next day the Thunder Rider could be seen coming back down the tracks going back to the the east while the party waited in the airship ahead of where the tracks had been removed. Sure enough, as soon as the locomotive hit the section without tracks it fell to its side and the engine blew up, shredding the crew and damaging many of the guards stationed in the front section of the train. Several of the cars behind the locomotive also suffered a similar fate while the caboose in the end managed to stay upright. The guards at the end of the train had a couple heavy machine guns which easily out distanced and out shot the two bombards found on the air ship so the party quickly retreated without actually destroying the entire train.

So for this scenario I had to come up with stats for Train cars including the locomotive and a method of dealing with events that could be triggered when the train car was damaged. The rules regarding vehicles in MF are very very light and there are other custom rules on the net regarding vehicle combat but I thought I would try to keep it simple with some basic math required and general physical properties including an object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest stays at rest.
First convert MPH to movement per round (10 seconds), the overall conversion for outdoor travel resulted in the base conversion that 1 MPH = 5 yards per round. Note that this is very approximate and if you work it out to an exact measurement of 4.88888888 yards per round, but for game plays sake I just round this up. So a vehicle moving at 10 MPH would be moving 50 yards per round, a vehicle moving 40 MPH would be moving 300 yards per round (the max speed for my iron steam locomotive).
Second, a locomotive cannot start and stop on a dime so I had to come up with an Acceleration and Deceleration Rate as will be listed below. Of course, if a vehicle hits something, it will come to a dead stop, focus on the word dead.

  • Locomotive Engine 250 HP, AC 3, Max Speed 40 MPH (200 yds/rnd), Acc: 20 yds/rnd, Dec: 30 yds/rnd
  • Coal Car 120 HP, AC 4
  • Empty Cargo Car-Enclosed 100 HP, AC 4
  • Flat Bed Car 80 HP, AC 5
  • Armored Caboose 150 HP, AC 3
    The Hit Points may seem a bit high, but in a world where a human with an average Con score of 13.5 and an average Hit Points of 60 it would seem appropriate that most large vehicles would have quite a few hit points. That being said, for this scenario I came up with a rule that everytime one of the cars suffered a quarter damage (25%) there was the same percentage chance of a catastrophic condition would occur. So if flatbed car suffered 40 points of damage over all there was a roll with a 50% chance of something bad happening.
    For all cars except the locomotive there were 5 possible catastrophic events:
  • 1-2 Car Jumps the Tracks and the train automatically begins max deceleration, cars behind begin jumping tracks as well and there is a 50% chance each round that the coupling snaps between the engine and the cars in between.
  • 3-4 Linkage on random end comes loose
  • 5-6 Car catches on fire, takes an additional 1d12 points of damage per round until put out.
  • 7-8 Break Lines are ruptured and the max. deceleration of the train is reduced by 5 yrds/rnd.
  • 9-10 Wheels fall off of one side, train decelerates 30 yrds that round and max speed is reduced by 10 MPH until the car is decoupled from the train.
    For the Locomotive I had the following:
  • 1-2 Engine Jumps tracks and begins deceleration at max rate, 50% chance each round of the engine flipping on its side.
  • 3-4 Linkage between engine and coal car comes loose.
  • 5-6 Steam Engine explodes, everyone within 50 ft. takes 10d6 points of damage (save versus Death for half).
  • 7-8 Break Lines ruptured, train cannot decelerate on its own and will pick up additional speed down hill and slow down going up hill.
  • 9-10 Wheels fall off on one side, train begins crashing on its side and decelerating at a rate of 50 yrds/round with a 30% chance each round that the steam engine explodes.

Needless to say, with the missing tracks the engine jumped the tracks before it could be stopped, it did flip on its side and the engine did explode.

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Ran across a few items on the internet introducting classes for the Mutant Future game. Of particular interest was the military classes of the OSR Library. However, for my game with my own house rules on character advancement I have the following:

Characters may take classes if they wish upon character creation or at any time they level up. These classes offer some minor benefits but not as much as in other games. Classes in this fashion act more as a specialized skillset that the character may increase every time he gains a new level and taking a class at any level (other than 1st) replaces the character’s ability to pick and choose advancing ability scores, mutations, etc. Players may choose a class when initially creating a 1st level character, but not when creating a 0 level character.
I now present the Mutant Future Classes!

Weapons Master
Pre-requisites: None
This class allows the character to become very proficient with a group of weapons. The character gains a +1 to hit bonus and a +1 damage bonus any weapon within the group, though he does not automatically know how to use ancient tech weapons if he has not been specifically trained on them or figured out their use on his own.

Weapons Groups
Primitive Melee Weapons
Primitive Ranged Weapons
Primitive Firearms
Energy Melee Weapons
Energy Pistols
Energy Rifles
Heavy Weapons (machine guns, rocket launchers, etc…
Grenades and Grenade Launchers
Bombs and Missiles

Scavenger
Pre-requisites: Int 12+
Adept at digging through piles of scrap and refuse to find the gems that lie within, the scavenger gains a bonus of -5% to the condition grade of items found while actively looking through the remains of the ancients and the chance of the item being functional increases by 1 point. A roll of 20 always results in the item being nonfunctional and if the condition grade of the item is 0, it is nonfunctional as well.

Scout
Pre-requisites: None
The scout is very adept and moving without being noticed and observing everything in his surroundings. The character gains a +1 bonus to his Dexterity for Ability checks for moving without being noticed and a +1 bonus to any ability checks used for observation or spotting something out of the ordinary. In addition, any scout with a Constitution greater than 11 can travel an additional mile per day as long as he isn’t heavily encumbered (this class ability does not increase per level).

Medic
Pre-requisites: Int 10+
The medic binds the wounds of other as well as performing other triage work as needed. The character can treat one person per level of Medic he possesses per day and each person so treated gains an additional number of hit points restored equal to the Medic’s class level. The medic can also treat diseased individuals, granting their patients a bonus to any saving throws to overcome the disease equal to half the medic’s class level.

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Apparently having an anti-liberal belief system is enough to offend some people who I thought were facebook friends, especially when I just mention key observations on some of the best liberals in the media (particularly ABC).
So I lost a friend today on facebook because I pointed out observations about the George Stephonopolis interview with Gov. Christie this morning. This friend started out by telling me I was full of cow exrement and then he went on and posted links to out dated articles about how the dems are all over mental health and did things 4 years ago which obviously did not seem to impact the swath of deadly shootings we had last year by people that were mentally ill. I was then told I was willfully ignorant and ugly. At this point I had to point out that it wasn’t me using foul language or slinging derogatory names at others in the posting and I wished him the best.
Checked Facebook about an hour later and my friend was no longer listed among my friends. Too bad because I did like the person and as person and think he is quite talented in his respective field.

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