Sunday, November 12, 2017

Alternate Mutations for MCC

The Mutant Crawl Classics core rules have tables for determining mutant appearance, manimal subtype, and plantient subtype. Each table takes a similar form, roll 1d30 to pick a category of mutation (skin color, skin texture, eyes, etc for mutant appearance; primate, canine, feline, etc for manimal subtype; deciduous, conifer, fruit-bearing, etc for plantient subtype) then roll again to choose a specific mutation from within that category.

There isn't necessarily a problem with any of these tables, but I do worry that there may be slightly too few specific options within each category, and that the categories for manimals and plantients leave some obvious choices out. (I also wonder about some of the mutant appearance charts. Is there a meaningful difference between hands that "are comprised of tentacles" and hands that are "absent, replaced with tentacle fingers?" What if someone's sole mutation is to have 2 arms or 2 legs, which is a serious possibility on the "Body" category subtable?)

Partly, this concern is practical. Tables with too few choices risks producing too many repeats, and because each MCC game begins with 4 characters per player, this risk is greater than in other games. (Reading the Random Esoteric Creature Generator and then reading Island of the Unknown shows what this risk looks like.) It doesn't matter if the mutants at one table look like the mutants at another, but it does matter if some of the supposedly unique mutants at one table look like others at the same table. (If mutants are supposed to belong to distinctive types, rather than being individuals, then this isn't a problem at all, but I think that the mutants are supposed to each be unique.)

The other part of my concern is creative. I don't claim to have imagined every type of mutation, but it seems there are some obvious possibilities left out. Many of the mutants depicted in the art of the book, for example, cannot be created following the tables, which seems like another missed opportunity.

In the future, I'll write my own tables, but for now, here are three alternative tables based on the mutations in the Crawling Under a Broken Moon zine and the Umerican Survival Guide. These tables provide categories of mutation without offering specific types within each category. One way to use these tables would be for the player and judge to decide together what the mutation looks like. Another way would be to follow up by rolling on the CUaBM or USG mutation tables, which provide chances for a number of possible abilities related to each category. One caveat here would be that these tables were originally written for a world where mutations are less common than in MCC.

The first table provides alternative mutant appearance results. The second provides alternative manimal subtypes. The third provides alternative plantient subtypes.



Mutant Appearance (roll 1d24)
  1-2    Extravore (digestive abnormality)
  3-6    Extra limbs
 7-10    Cranial abnormality
11-14    Dermal abnormality
15-18    Ocular abnormality
19-20    Aggregate features (roll 1d3, 1 granite, 2 iron, 3 crystalline)
21-22    Weaponized features (roll 1d6, 1 claws, 2 spines, 3 fangs, 4 horns, 5 club fist, 6 spikes)
   23    Roll 1d20 once on this table. The mutant has two mutations of this type.
   24    Roll 1d20 twice on this table.



Manimal Subtype (roll 1d20)
  1-2    Avian (bird-like)
  3-4    Bovid (cow-like)
  5-6    Canine (dog-like)
  7-8    Crustacean (crab-like)
 9-10    Feline (cat-like)
11-12    Piscine (fish-like)
13-14    Ambphibian (frog-like)
15-16    Reptilian (lizard-like)
17-18    Testudine (turtle-like)
   19    Roll 1d16 twice on this table.
   20    Roll 1d16 once on this table and 1d20 once on the Mutant Appearance table.



Plantient Subtype (roll 1d12)
 1-2    Tree-like
 3-4    Bush-like
 5-6    Vine-like
 7-8    Flower-like
9-10    Fungi-like
  11    Roll 1d10 twice on this table.
  12    Roll 1d10 once on this table and 1d20 once on the Mutant Appearance table.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Characters I Want to Play - Alternate Occupation Tables for MCC

The Mutant Crawl Classics core rules provides separate tables for starting occupations (hunter or gatherer) and character genotypes (pure-strain human, mutant, manimal, or plantient).

My first thought when I saw this was that there was no reason to separate these tables. One of the interesting things about Dungeon Crawl Classics' starting occupations table is that it determines both the character's race (human, dwarven, elven, or halfling) and their occupation with one roll.

My second thought was that I could use the occupation lists from DCC #79: Frozen in Time or from Mystic Bull Games' The Tribe of Ogg and the Gift of Suss to replace the minimalist occupation list in MCC proper.

Below are three tables providing alternate occupations and genotypes for MCC characters. The first table uses only the occupations originally found in the Mutant Crawl Classics rules. (In all three tables, I preserved the frequency of the original genotypes.)

01-16    Human hunter - wood spear (1d5)
17-32    Human gatherer - leather bag
33-49    Mutant hunter - wood spear (1d5)
50-66    Mutant gatherer - leather bag
67-77    Manimal hunter - wood spear (1d5)
78-88    Manimal gatherer - leather bag
89-94    Plantient hunter - wood spear (1d5)
95-00    Plantient gatherer - leather bag



The second tables uses the occupations found in Frozen in Time. The pure-strain humans have occupations that went to humans in the original table. Only pure-strain humans can start as lore-keeper's assistants, shaman's assistants, or as stargazers. The mutants have occupations that went to both humans and demihumans. The manimals and plantients have only those occupations that originally went to demihumans. Manimals are weighted more heavily toward dwarven and halfling occupations, while plantients are weighted more heavily toward elven occupations.

   01    Human artisan - club & clay pot of ochre paint
02-03    Human butcher - flint cleaver (as hand axe) & side of mammoth meat
04-05    Human brewer - club & skin of beer
   06    Human canoe-maker - dagger & canoe
07-08    Human cord-maker - knife (as dagger) & hide cordage, 50'
   09    Human fire-bearer - spear & clay pot of embers
10-11    Human fisherman - harpoon (as javelin) & flint fishhooks, 12
12-14    Human gatherer - knife (as dagger) & basket of vegetables
   15    Human healer - club & bone needle and sinew thread
   16    Human herbalist - club & herbs, 1 lb
17-19    Human hunter - spear & animal pelt
   20    Human lore-keeper's assistant - club & divination bones
21-22    Human orphan - club & weird trinket from former tribe
23-24    Human potter - club & clay, 1 lb
   25    Human shaman's assistant - club & herbs, 1 lb
26-27    Human slave - club & strange-looking rock
   28    Human stargazer - spear & piece of meteorite iron
29-30    Human tanner - dagger & hide armor
31-32    Human weaver - dagger & fabric, 3 yards
   33    Mutant artisan - club & clay pot of ochre paint
34-35    Mutant butcher - flint cleaver (as hand axe) & side of mammoth meat
36-37    Mutant brewer - club & skin of beer
38-39    Mutant canoe-maker - dagger & canoe
40-41    Mutant cord-maker - knife (as dagger) & hide cordage, 50'
   42    Mutant flintknapper - flint hand axe & flint, 1 lb
   43    Mutant herder - staff & elk calf
   44    Mutant fletcher - short bow & flint arrowheads, 20
   45    Mutant scout - spear & piece of signaling quartz
   46    Mutant fire-bearer - spear & clay pot of embers
47-48    Mutant fisherman - harpoon (as javelin) & flint fishhooks, 12
49-50    Mutant gatherer - knife (as dagger) & basket of vegetables
   51    Mutant animal trainer - club & wolf pup
   52    Mutant fowler - sling & feathered cape
   53    Mutant healer - club & bone needle and sinew thread
   54    Mutant herbalist - club & herbs, 1 lb
55-56    Mutant hunter - spear & animal pelt
57-58    Mutant orphan - club & weird trinket from former tribe
59-60    Mutant potter - club & clay, 1 lb
61-62    Mutant slave - club & strange looking rock
63-64    Mutant tanner - dagger & hide armor
65-66    Mutant weaver - dagger & fabric, 3 yards
67-71    Manimal flintknapper - flint hand axe & flint, 1 lb
72-76    Manimal herder - staff & elk calf
75-76    Manimal fletcher - short bow & flint arrowheads, 20
77-78    Manimal scout - spear & piece of signaling quartz
79-83    Manimal animal trainer - club & wolf pup
84-88    Manimal fowler - sling & feathered cape
   89    Plantient flintknapper - flint hand axe & flint, 1 lb
   90    Plantient herder - staff & elk calf
91-94    Plantient fletcher - short bow & flint arrowheads, 20
95-98    Plantient scout - spear & piece of signaling quartz
   99    Plantient animal trainer - club & wolf pup
   00    Plantient fowler - sling & feathered cape



The third and final table uses the occupations found in The Tribe of Ogg. The role of shaman's apprentice is again reserved for pure-strain humans. There were no occupations specific to the demihuman ooloi in this adventure, so as in the first table, all genotypes draw on the same list of occupations.

01-04    Human fisher - spear & string of fish
05-08    Human flint knapper - flint axe & 1d5 stone daggers
09-16    Human gatherer - stone dagger & leather bag
17-26    Human hunter - spear & hunk of dried meat
27-28    Human shaman's assistant - club & fetish object
29-32    Human tanner - club & 1d3 tanned hides
33-36    Mutant fisher - spear & string of fish
37-40    Mutant flint knapper - flint axe & 1d5 stone daggers
41-51    Mutant gatherer - stone dagger & leather bag
52-62    Mutant hunter - spear & hunk of dried meat
63-66    Mutant tanner - club & 1d3 tanned hides
67-69    Manimal fisher - spear & string of fish
70-72    Manimal flint knapper - flint axe & 1d5 stone daggers
73-78    Manimal gatherer - stone dagger & leather bag
79-85    Manimal hunter - spear & hunk of dried meat
86-88    Manimal tanner - club & 1d3 tanned hides
89-90    Plantient fisher - spear & string of fish
91-92    Plantient flint knapper - flint axe & 1d5 stone daggers
93-95    Plantient gatherer - stone dagger & leather bag
96-98    Plantient hunter - spear & hunk of dried meat
99-00    Plantient tanner - club & 1d3 tanned hides


 
At some point I might try my hand at writing my own alternate occupations table, possibly with slightly modified genotype ratios - but for now I just wanted to make something to facilitate picking occupation and genotype in a single roll, and something that utilizes the two already-existing stone-age occupation tables from DCC.