I’ve got a post-apocalyptic obsession, in case you hadn’t noticed. One of the games I brought up in my “5 truly worthy post-apocalyptic RPGs” list was Goblinoid Games’ “Mutant Future”. It’s a retro-clone RPG using the system he reverse-engineered for Labyrinth Lord switched over to feel like Gamma World and other games of its ilk.
So picture it – Basic D&D with mutants, guns, and shields made of stop signs.
(PS: A Rust Monster Ate My Sword just posted up a sweet Mutant Future record sheet the other day too.)
One of the things I really like about Mutant Future is you can tell it isn’t actually a retro-clone, it’s a new game built on a retro-clone framework. The first giveaway is the races list which includes not only the expected pure human, human mutant, animal mutant and plant mutant but also has androids and replicants. And while the Blade Runner fan wants to immediately roll up a replicant, I want a radioactive bug, like a giant bipedal lady bug from hell.
In classic old-school feel, the first step in character creation is rolling stats – 3d6 in order for six ability scores. The only difference between the D&D clones and Mutant Future is Wisdom has been replaced with Willpower, but has the same purpose, just a different name. A quick set of rolls and we’ve established that Lady Kneivel, while strong and tough (and relatively appealing), isn’t a very clever creature.
Normally a starting mutant animal gets one natural attack form. However, since I’m playing a mostly harmless beetle, I think a free armour bonus is more in keeping with the theme. So I give her the Natural Armor (Moderate) mutation for free before rolling for her physical (4) and mental (1) mutations. Unlike most games like this, the physical mutation table is nearly half drawbacks instead of benefits, and true to form, our dear ladybug gets two good and two bad mutations (the mental mutation table is a little nicer, with 80% of the results being good). On the positive side she has thermal vision and increased consitution. However she’s also obese and blind (fortunately there’s a section in her thermal vision mutation for the benefits of this mutation if the mutant can’t see otherwise – so she can see thermally but not in the normal spectrum). Finally, her mental mutation allows her to boost one of her ability scores for 1d10 rounds once per day.
Like classic GW, hit points are determined by rolling a number of d6 equal to the character’s Con stat. I decide that Lady Kneivel is Lawful, adventuring to make the world a better place for rotund blind bugs like her. She also starts with a fair truckload of money (230 gp) which she spends to equip herself, but also keeping a nice “float” to pay for her travelling companions to carry food for her (so she doesn’t get tempted to eat them instead).
Lady Kneivel, Mutant Ladybug
Race: Mutant Animal (ladybug)
Hit Points: 62
Armor Class: 6
Strength: 13 (+1 to hit & damage)
Intelligence: 8 (-5% Technology)
Natural Armor (Moderate): AC 6
Obese: Double normal weight, penalties squeezing into small places and so on
Thermal Vision: 90′ range
Increased Physical Attribute (Constitution): 2x Con bonus hit points, +2 saves vs poison
Sensory Deficiency: Blind
Ability Boost: Once per day double one ability score for d10 rounds, or gain +1 to attacks for d10 rounds
Heavy Crossbow (1d8 damage)
2 cases of bolts (20 bolts)
Trident (1d6 damage)
5 days unpreserved rations
10 days preserved rations
5 wineskins w/ wine
2 Guard Dogs
5 rat on a stick
4 roasted meerkats
1 bag of xenojerky (5 meals)
128 gold pieces
5 copper pieces