July 18, 2013

[Let's Look At] Mutants & Machine-Guns: A Gonzo Post-Apocalyptic RPG, Part 9: Creating an Evolved Animal Character

Several weeks ago, I was delighted to find a couple friends of mine in my hometown have been up to something exciting, and I thought what better way than to launch a new series of posts to revive this long-dead blog. [Let's Look At] is where I try to read through and dissect every chapter and corner of a new RPG that I have yet to play, and explore it with all of my musings about its design, some notes, and experimental plays to better understand it. I don't really intend these examinations to be a review of the game, but rants and raves may seep through the seams at times.    

Last week I created a Mutant Human character and found that deciding whether to distribute your Ability points after rolling for your Mutations would have an effect on your decision. However, since the rules never clearly stated on whether doing so is allowable, I decided to demonstrate what would happen if I had created a mutant character by distributing my Ability points before rolling for the Mutations.

For this Evolved Animal character, I'm going to distribute my Ability points with a pre-defined concept first and then hope that my Mutations would complement my character's build afterwards so that it can maximise its potential in what I intend to do with the character.

So, for my Abilities, I'm going to distribute my points to be thus:

Physical 3 (max)
Mental 1 (min)
Combat 3 (max)
Social 1 (min)

The concept that I'm going for is this character to be a mean killing machine and a close combat specialist. So for my base animal I would go for a Tiger, which should give me the Natural Weapon mutation that would useful be in close-combat. After that, I would randomly roll for my two other Mutations.

My first mutations was a 36 (6,3) which gives me Psi-Charm, a psionic mutation which wouldn't be useful due to my low Mental ability that would make it too risky to use (I would need to roll a total of 8 from 2d6s).

The second mutation I rolled for was a 26 (2,6) which is for Life Leech, another psionic mutation the same as my previous character.

Wow, none of these mutations would help my character's close combat build in any way at all.

I was hoping to gain some DEF-related mutations, but looks like it would just stay at 9.

Now for Hitpoints, the Evolved Animal gets 8+1d6, which is the lowest amongst all the races, and I rolled a 3 for a total of 11.

Onto purchasing of equipment, my starting TU is 6 out of 2d6 (4+2), which isn't a lot to spend on. Since the best weapon that I could afford to buy with that is only a Battle Axe that does 1d6+2 damage, which is less than my Natural Weapon (1d6+Physical [3]), I opted to just improve my Defense by 1 with a Leather Jacket for 5 TU, and I'm keeping the remainder TU

Overall, the results turned out to be quite sad, but I think this perfectly demonstrates the effect of having random Mutations. While I would say getting them randomly is part of the fun in the character creation process, it is one of the major motivating factors for a player to decide what concept their character would be.

I hope the designers would give this some thought and address it, if they plan to make a revision of the rules in the future.

Well, that's all for the character creation process of Mutants & Machine-Gun. The next step would be to use the characters that I have created as examples when I look into how the Combat Rules works for the game in a combat scenario.

For my next [Let's Look At] post, I would be using the same three characters that I have created and run them through a Sample Combat.

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