Bombs burned the surface of the planet, and most of the inhabitants died – either from explosions or in the first years after the disaster. Decades later, nature won back what was once captured by man: the cities bloomed, and the first grass appeared on the site of the conflagrations.
From under the rubble of civilization, the only survivors appeared – you. The people of mutants, whose appearance is no longer similar to human. Yes, you have supernatural powers, but your bodies are unstable and your age is short. For a long time you lived in the Ark, your shelter, but the supplies in it are running out, which means that very soon you will have to explore the Zone.
Mutant is a post-apocalyptic RPG with a rich history. The first edition of the studio Target Games released back in 1984. The rules of the game were based on a “percentage” (two d10 dice that simulate a spread of numbers from 1 to 100), and the world was largely inspired by the Gamma World universe, another post-apocalyptic board game about mutants, radiation and wastelands. The action of Mutant took place hundreds of years after a certain catastrophe. Players created heroes who lived in a completely unrecognizable world.
They moved the time of action to the “cyberpunk” 2089, to the world of hackers, futuristic cities and huge corporations. As a result, the reboot spawned a separate spin-off “Mutants Chronicles” (Mutants Chronicles), which has survived to this day in the form of a game on the 2d20 rules system. In the universe of “Chronicles” in 2008, even a film was released with Ron Perlman (“Hellboy”) and Thomas Jane (TV series “Space”).
Coming soon in Russian
Our colleagues at CrowdRepublic are now raising funds for the publication of this tabletop role-playing game in Russian, they promise to send the books in April.
So far, Studio 101 has prepared a free 72-page Countdown PDF, which presents the basic rules of the game and an adventure describing the three special sectors of the Zone. The material can be used both to get acquainted with the “Mutants” and to expand your own zone.
Trailer for the game
The action of the new “Mutants” takes place some decades after the end of the world. Players take on the roles of the inhabitants of the Ark – modified humanoids. Due to irreversible mutations, the bodies of almost all the inhabitants of the shelter have changed – some, for example, have grown acid glands, others have become covered with scales, and still others can generate electromagnetic fields. The game begins with a conditional moment when the resources in the Ark come to an end, and the duty falls on the heroes to go into the open world and get supplies for the shelter. The authors focus on two main activities: exploring the Zone around the settlement (battles, searching for prey, meeting with the unknown) and developing the Ark (creating projects and interacting with the key characters of the host).
The rules are based on rolling several six-sided dice. If you played Coriolis, then many aspects of the game mechanics and stages of character creation will seem familiar, but there are enough differences. In Third Horizon, the contestant scored a handful of dice based on stat, skill, and equipment (let’s say 3 dice for Agility, 2 dice for Shooting, and 1 dice for Pistol, for a total of six). For each “six” rolled out, we consider success, the more, the higher the degree of success.
In Mutants, several features are added to this formula. First of all, when you collect a handful of dice for testing, you need to specify separately dice for characteristics (yellow), skills (green) and equipment (black). In our example, there are 3 yellow dice, 2 green dice and 1 black dice. Now it is important to keep track of not only “sixes”, but also “units” in a roll (only for black and yellow dice).
If the “ones” fell on the black dice, then this means that the quality of the equipment is reduced by one step (that is, the pistol + 1 fails). If the “ones” fell on the yellow dice, then this means that the character’s body began to accumulate mutations – one point for each yellow dice with that value.
These items will have no effect if the player declared a simple check. But in the event that the player is dissatisfied with the result of the roll (for example, not a single “six” fell out), then after it a risky check can be declared – he throws the entire handful, with the exception of those dice on which “sixes” and “ones” fell out . If after a risky check (whether successful or failed) there are yellow dice with “ones”, then the character further accumulates mutation points, which he can spend on activating them. However, at the same time, he takes as much damage according to the value of his characteristics as he has accumulated mutation points.
Against the background of Coriolis, this block of rules seems overcomplicated. Firstly, you need to track the cubes of different colors and take into account the “ones”, and secondly, the check is more difficult to predict. However, this mechanic has an important advantage – it fits perfectly into the proposed setting. We have a post-apocalypse with mutants here, which means that equipment will break down, and mutants will change even more. In addition, the mechanics of “awakening” new mutations reflects something like a “life counter”. As soon as all the characteristics of the hero fall to zero, he will die. In fact, mutations slowly but surely lead the inhabitants of the world to death.
In addition to the characteristics and skills (they are quite standard in Mutants), the characters are described by their roles, virtues, and the mutations themselves. Roles are somewhat like classes or archetypes. Each has its own peculiarity, expressed through a unique skill: for example, a businessman has a business acumen, and a dog lover has training. It is recommended that all players choose different roles for their characters. Advantages are akin to traits in other systems – small pleasant advantages.
There is a list of general advantages, and there are only “class” ones, three for each. For example, only a dog lover can take the “fighting dog” trait. Mutations, on the other hand, have various prescribed effects – for example, the “man-plant” mutation, seemingly useless at first glance, allows the hero to eat only sunlight. And this means that he does not need food at all! Mutations are always determined randomly – this is their essence.