Mutations are poorly understood in the world of Dark Tempus. By far the most well known, and accepted, are the mutants known as Seers, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many Mutations that seem to have no practical effect, while others seem to alter the individual past the boundaries of what many consider ‘human’.
What causes mutations is unknown; some claim areas in the world cause it, to others it is a disease, yet more say that it is inherited. There seems to be no simple answer, but the reality is self evident and, for some Mutants, their particular ‘adaptation’ can be of immense help in survival.
A character can have any number of Mutations in accordance to their skill picks, but must meet the minimum physrep requirements for all of them. Bear in mind that there is a free skill pick for a physical Mutation with no rule effect. It is also worth noting that a player from the Peacekeeper culture cannot have a mutiation, regardless of whether it has a rule mechanic or not.
Listed here are the Mutations that have a particular rules effect:
|Skill||IC Description||OC Effect||Pre-Requisite|
"Who needs batteries?"
The player is capable of generating and storing an electrical charge inside their body and releasing it at will.
|This can be used in a number of ways; it can provide enough energy to recharge an electrical battery, the player can be an electrical battery, replacing this component in a device. The energy can also be released through contact, allowing a call of 'stun' to be made with the players hand or through an object that would conduct an electrical charge, such as a metal rod or crowbar. Once used it takes six hours for the body to build up the charge again, and usage cannot be stacked.||This mutation manifests as thin tendrils underneath the skin of the character. How widespread they are varies on an individual basis, from a minimum of lines around the eyes and on the hands, to completely covering their body. The tendrils seem to follow the same pathways as the veins under the skin and are a light blue in colour.|
"I may be ugly but you bleed faster..."
The characters body is incredibly efficient at repairing and protecting itself, in many cases able to survive injury that would kill a normal human.
|The character does not use the Death Count rules. This means that when a character is wounded it does not get any worse, no matter how long the character goes without treatment. The character does, however, take all other effects from the injury. Additionally the character is immune to all poisons and chemicals both posative and negative, including chemical based medical supplies.||This mutation has a devistating effect on the characters appearance resulting in an almost corpse like facade as the characters metabolism breaks down body fat, malanin, and other non-vital substances. Characters with this mutation are frequently pale and ghoul-like, looking very unhealthy.|
"If a vegetarian eats vegetebles..."
Food can be hard to come by, and some turn to unusaul sources. A small number of these people thrive, and whether the mutation is inherent, or developed due to continued practice of this behaviour, is unknown. Some cannibals live in groups and pray on travellers, some fully intergrate themselves into settlements and only indulge themselves when safe to do so. Perhaps it is the unpleasent nature of the mutation itself or that there are no outward signs of it, but people with this mutation are persecuted across all cultures, and being a Humanist is usually reason enough for banishment... or worse.
|If a character eats human flesh from a fresh body (either still alive, or dead within a ten minute period) then they gain +1 hit for twelve hours. This can raise your total hits to +1 over your starting hits, but cannot stack with itself. After twelve hours the extra hit is removed. If this drops the character's hits to 0 then they must fall unconcious, as if wounded. Eating additional flesh during the twelve hour period extends the time to twelve hours from that point, but an additional hit is not gained. Eating flesh from a still living target requires them to be on 0 hits (so that they cannot resist you), unless they are a willing participant. Either way it does 1 point of damage.||Use of this skill is... messy. The player should have some fake bloor or similar that they can smear themselves with to show that they have been eating. This can be washed off immediately if the player so wishes to keep their dietary habits secret. Otherwise there is no external sign that the character is a mutant.|
"My armour is home-grown!"
The characters mutation has resulted in some form of biological armour forming on the characters body. This could be bone or chitin, but whatever it is it provides significant defence against injury.
|A character with an Exoskeleton gains 1 hit. This hit acts as any other hit and is healed as normal.||The physrep for Exoskeleton can take many forms, but it must be obvious to anyone who looks at the character that there is a widespread mutation. This could be boney plates or hardened scales across the skin, for example.|
The post-apocalyptic genre and Mutants have strong ties, however we are keen to avoid pulp mutants and rather have the existence of mutation a way to explore issues of identity, equality, and scientific research, as well as providing individual characters with motivations, secrets and so on.
Playing a mutant can be a risky business; anti-Mutant sentiment is widespread, and Mutants are generally distrusted. The ever present fear of ‘catching’ a mutation means that a frosty reception is expected, and proving ones worth may be an uphill struggle. Yet there is also scope for sub groups, a mutant grapevine, and so on. Mutation is more than just a unusual ability, it is an identity (if the player wants it to be). Mutants in our world may be shunned and outnumbered, but they are far from helpless victims, and in the chaos left in the wake of the Swarm, the time for a reckoning may be close at hand.