Character A Day, Day Three
There’s two reasons this is my third pick. First, it’s the third RPG I ever created a character for, following D&D and Traveller. (Beyond this, it gets hazy, because I quickly started acquiring games as fast as I could get other people to buy them for me…. look, I was 14! Didn’t have a lot of personal income!) Second, dinner was late and overlong, and I write these, currently, betwixt dinner time and spouse time. Since bed time is pretty fixed, it’s spouse time that shrinks, and that’s not healthy. Thus, I chose another system where chargen is pretty minimal, which is good, since the game was a meatgrinder.
But lest anyone think I’m going to be just doing simplistic 1970s games for 30 days (and I probably could, given my game collection), aforementioned spouse has requested two more recent games I have never generated characters for — so those will be my weekend project.
I do have an actual, vintage 1976 MA around here somewhere, but it would take time to locate it. So I’m using the Metamorphosis Alpha Collector’s Edition, which reprints those original rules, with no mechanical changes I know of.
Humans have one more stat (Leadership Potential) than mutants, but mutants get to roll mutations, which is more fun. So, mutant it is! Going with human mutant.
Radiation Resistance: 8
Mental Resistance:11 (18 after mutations)
Dexterity:7 (I seem to crap out on Dex a lot in these!)
Hit Points: 43 (the result of 13d6)
OK, 4 physical and 4 mental mutations — and you pick them. Damn, when I played, I was sure they were random. Maybe that was a house rule we used without thinking about it.
- Heightened Dexterity (hah!)
- Heightened Strength
- Radiated Eyes
Oddly, neither of the Heightened attributes actually increase my stats! Heightened Dexterity gives me an AC of 1 (the best generally available) as long as I’m unencumbered, and Heightened Strength gives me three extra dice of damage with melee weapons.
- Heightened Intelligence — this does add to your Mental Resistance stat. +4!
- Mental Defense Shield — this also adds to Mental Resistance, another +4, but it caps at 18.
- Genius (Military) +1 to hit and +1 die of damage… so with my strength, +4 dice per attack!
- Mental Blast — because as awesome as my melee strikes are, it’s good to have ranged attacks, too.
But now, the GM — also me — gets to pick 1 mental and 1 physical defect. (Normally, it’s just 1, but it’s 2 if you have 5+ mutations.) To be fair to me, I’ll roll.
Poor Respiration: I can only fight for 5 rounds before I have to rest.
Epilepsy: This causes you to be bodily paralyzed semi-randomly. The DM is supposed to come up with a “consistent set of variables”.
And now to buy some basic gear…. uhm… huh. There is no equipment list or any indication you start with, well, anything. No monetary treasure or the like; you’d have to barter what you find and the GM is on their own to determine what’s available and what it might be worth. We never noticed this, back in the day, because we had D&D-ish assumptions about starting equipment and so on, and I guess we mostly fudged it. Someone who picked up the MA book with no prior RPG experience… and in 1976, there wasn’t a lot of prior experience to be had… would most likely be very lost.
So, that’s day three!