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The Total Person in Metamorphosis Alpha

by James M. Ward (Dragon #14)

The concept of role playing revolves around the idea that you become a “being” from a world that can only be imagined. This being reacts to the problems of every day life, along with those unusual ones that often come up, in a way that guarantees that beings survival. The enjoyment that is to be realized from this type of gaming is from the pleasure of overcoming problems. These created beings are usually started full blown out of the minds of the players with hit points, a mental resistance, and the like. To make the game more enjoyable and allow any given player a slight edge in Metamorphosis Alpha (something that is often needed as the players can attest to) I have created a few charts that give the player a past to work with. There are also charts that help those in a village discover what can be had there. In using these, if problems come up that are caused by the illogic of the die roll just start over in that chart or on the whole thing.

Environment from the Earliest Times to the Pre-adult Years

1 Simple Village Area
2 Ancient Town Area
3 Engineering Section
4 Forest Area
5 Mountain Village Area
6 Fully Operational City
7 Island
8 Simple Village Area
9 Single Powered Villa
10 Powered Horticultural Area
11 Inter-ship Corridor
12 Large River Village Area

Actions in the Pre-adult Years

1 Time Was Spent Hunting
2 Time Was Spent Plant Gathering
3 Time Was Spent Fighting Mutated Creatures
4 Time Was Spent In General Weapons Practice (non-powered)
5 Time Was Spent In Working with Simple Technological Devices
6 Time Was Spent In Learning about Advanced Technological Devices
7 Time Was Spent In Healing and Helping Others
8-9 Time Was Spent In Hunting
10 Time Was Spent In Studying Mutants of All Types
11 Time Was Spent Around Radiation Areas
12 Time Was Spent In Learning to Read the Ancient Language

Basic Interests and/or Talents

1 Knowledge of Powered Weapons
2 Knowledge of Poisons & Antidotes
3-4 Hunting
5 Combat of Any Type
6 Collecting Domars
7 Mapping the World
8 Knowledge of Technological Items in General
9 Knowledge of Transportation Devices of All Types
10 The Use Of Non-powered Weapons
11 Knowledge of Medicines of All Types
12 Knowledge of the Powers of Mutants Of All Types
13-20 No Special Interests or Talents

Special Abilities

1-12 None
13 Archery Accuracy
14 Attacking With a Sword
15 Working with Simple Technological Devices
16 Working with Poisons And Their Antidotes
17 Knowing the Effects Of Plants And Herbs
18 Understanding the Types And Abilities Of Robots
19 Working with Computers
20 Communicating With and Beguiling Creatures of All Types

Materials Supplied from and/or Available in a Tribal Situation

  1. Some Type of Weapon: Stone Dagger, Sword Frond, Spear, Bow & Arrow
  2. Carrying Items: Sack, Bandoleer, Back Pack, Belt & Pouch
  3. Living Area: Large Hut, Small Hut, Lean-to, Under A Tree, A Hole in the Ground, An Ancient Building, In the Open
  4. Stories Told Around The Campfire:
    1. Dealing with Mutant Attacks
    2. Dealing with Hunting and Fishing
    3. Dealing with Robots
    4. Dealing with an Imagined Technological City
    5. Dealing with the Use of Magical Color Bands
    6. Dealing with Flying Devices of Any Type
  5. Trained Beings of the Village (guards): Jegets, Cring Plant, Cougaroid, Singing Vine, Dogs, Cats, Changers, Winged Biters
  6. Available For Trade at Very High Prices, Are These Items:
    1. Several Different Types of Color Bands
    2. Poison Antidote
    3. Heavy Crossbows & Bolts
    4. Poison (variable intensity)
    5. Domars
    6. Energy Cells
  7. Advice and Knowledge from The Experienced Travelers Of The Village
  8. Other People Willing To Travel With Out From the Village
  9. Things to Raise Your Armor Class: Shields, Cured Hide Armor, etc.
  10. Foods Designed For Traveling

Mutants

In thinking about the background of the mutant (which should be different from that of any given human, their background and more importantly who their parents were can be a very important factor. The fact that a mutant parent had nine mutations and the other one had seven should also be reflected in the children of the two. Taking this into consideration, the following chart should be used in creating a mutant. First a player should roll a die to find what side they favor (mothers or fathers) and this will be the side that will give them all but one of the possible mutations. The other side will give the remaining one of their mutations. In the case of having a human parent the mutant will gain the benefits of the human constitution (by rolling eight siders for hit points and having a plus two on the constitution versus poison chart) and will have no physical defect (even if the chart indicates that the mutant should have one).

Mutation Generation Chart

Mother's Side Father's Side
1 Third Generation Mutant Fifth Generation Mutant
2 Human First Generation Mutant
3 Sixth Generation Mutant Third Generation Mutant
4 First Generation Mutant Second Generation Mutant
5 Fourth Generation Mutant Human
6 Tenth Generation Mutant Tenth Generation Mutant
7 Seventh Generation Mutant Second Generation Mutant
8 Fifth Generation Mutant Tenth Generation Mutant
9 First Generation Mutant Third Generation Mutant
10 Eighth Generation Mutant Human
11 Human Ninth Generation Mutant
12 Tenth Generation Mutant First Generation Mutant
13 Human Human
14 Second Generation Mutant Ninth Generation Mutant
15 Ninth Generation Mutant Fourth Generation Mutant
16 Third Generation Mutant Third Generation Mutant
17 Ninth Generation Mutant Ninth Generation Mutant
18 First Generation Mutant Fourth Generation Mutant
19 Second Generation Mutant Sixth Generation Mutant
20 Human Human

First through Third Generation Mutants always have a Physical Defect, Fourth through Seventh Mutants always have a Mental Defect; Eighth through Tenth Generation Mutants have both a Physical and a Mental Defect.

If a player wanted to use all of the charts, he or she would have to be a mutant that was living in a mixed village of mutants and humans. A die roll of an eight tells the player that they have a total of eleven mutations (assuming that the player favored his father) and this included the two necessary defects. The player in my game would be allowed to pick the other nine mutations on either the mental or physical charts. Another die roll tells the player that he grew up in an engineering section (thus allowing him a certain knowledge of metals and the opening and closing of doors). His time was spent in working with simple technological devices and he has a talent for combat of any type (giving him a plus to hit and on damage). He is especially good with a sword (another plus for him).

He has a stone dagger, a sword frond, a bandoleer, and lives in a small hut. His village talks of robots when they are around the campfire. The shaman of the village will trade poison antidotes and energy cells for new technology devices he hasn’t seen before.

What you end up with after a number of die rolls is not just a character with a sort of personality, but a being with some very helpful traits. Traits that will allow that person to survive in a very hostile environment.

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