The Mutant Epoch is a roll-under % game that I have had for quite awhile. I really found the system appealing and appreciated the setting fluff was fairly neutral. For instance, a GM could plug in fluff from a setting like Gamma World and get it fairly close with this game. I found the character creation is straight forward, but a little scary looking on the outset. The lead writer, William McAusland, comes off as a very technically minded person with the way character creation is broken down into a step-by-step process. I wanted to use those steps to make a character. It is a character building post, rather than presenting a finished character, I will instead make one.
|The Character Gen Tank|
Step 1 - Character Type: While the rules note that a GM may allow a player to pick their type, the rules recommend random generation. I am meeting my hypothetical character somewhere in the middle. Instead of 1 roll, it will be 3 rolls and I will determine which type I want to play for the character. Unless otherwise noted, character generation uses the % dice. My results are below:
% dice - Result
78 - Mild Mutant
25 - Pure Stock Human
46 - Cyborg
I decide to go with a Cyborg character. I may have misspoke earlier that Mutant Epoch is wholly generic. It has a very vague setting that mixes parts of Gamma World, Blade Runner, and Terminator. It's the future, we grew too fast with our technology, we thought ourselves gods creating life, and then the bombs fell. What makes me think the setting is rather generic is there are no set factions. You could easily plug groups like the Knights of Genetic Purity and it would fit the world. Anyway... I choose Cyborg.
Step 2 - Stat Generation: I had to look ahead to see if there are any special stat generation rules for Cyborgs. Some 'Types' such as Clones and Bioreplicas have certain attribute values set for them and they build off of it. In this case, Cyborgs begin with the standard stat generation as determined by the GM. There are a couple of different types. I am using the system known as 9-rolls. In this set you roll in order your 8 attribute stats, the 9th is a bonus that be switched out if an attribute stat is too low. My stats are generated by % dice and result in the following below:
Intelligence: 33 - Boosted to: 76
Bonus: 76 - Replaced Intelligence stat.
So far we begin play with a character who is fairly tough, strong, accurate, and intelligence. He (being a male writer, I decided to keep my character a male) is not the most adroit. Maybe it's from all of those implants weighing him down. These numbers are not set in stone, and before we look at Cyborg material, we need to determine his Caste before becoming an adventurer.
Step 3 - Caste Generation: At the start of play, each character has a caste they were previously before becoming a freelance adventurer. This ranges from being an escaped slave to a well-armed mercenary. Like my Character Type, I will use the random roll feature and roll 3 times to see what I get and what I like. The results are below:
03 - Ex-Slave, Gladiator
73 - Mercenary
65 - Infantry
Looking at the Cyborg caste table, I find they askew heavily to the martial castes over technical or slaves. 01 to 05 as noted above is the only Slave available to the starting Cyborg, which is the Gladiator caste. In this case, I decided on the Mercenary. My Cyborg, maybe he escaped the machine legions but also picked up a touch of entrepreneurship, selling his martial prowess to the highest bidder rather than sign his life to a single city-state as an Infantrymen.
The Mercenary Caste provides the following: +d10 Endurance, +d10 Strength, +d6 Agility, +d6 Accuracy, Equipment Code WE (Well Equipped; see later), Automatic d3 skill points in Brawling (I roll a 2 on a d3 - or rather a 4 on a d6. He also begins play with d6 Warrior Skills (I roll a 4) and d4 Misc skills (I roll a 1)
Before looking deeper into the caste to see my starting equipment, I go ahead and roll on the skill chrt below the caste chart. Characters can technically try anything at least once, skill points make actions easier or more effective. What skills are available are determined by group. We'll see our skill results below:
Automatic Skills: Brawling d3 - Result of: 2
Warrior Group (4 Skills; %): (72) Stealth, (01) Barter, (96) Weapons Expert, (73) Tracking
Misc Group (1 Skill; %): (78) Technical Skill (Mechanical) - The latter is determined by a sub-table with a d10 roll. I had rolled a 7.
So our Cyborg is fairly good in a brawl, he has some training at being stealthy. He must have learned some level of bartering from his days as a mercenary and obviously trained with a weapon. An interesting skills is Mechanical as it sets him on the path to performing feats such as rebuilding and maintaining a car.
In addition to these features Mercenaries have the following: They have an 18% chance of Reading and Writing (Rolled 16% - Yes) and a 27% chance for advanced math (Rolled a 59% - No). He has a chance for bonus skills including 36% for d3 Gambling (Rolled 75% - No!), 32% chance for d3 Lying Skill (70% - No!), 29% chance for d3 Riding skill (Rolled 62% - No!), 32% chance for d3 Crimianl skills (Rolled 20% - Yes! - d3 skills = 2. We'll see what we get below). There is a 29% chance the Cyborg owns a horse (Rolled 69% - No!). Finally there is an 87% chance he split with his previous mercenary guild on good terms (Rolled 30% - Yes!). The last part is good for the player, maybe not so great for the GM. There is no official bounty on the character's head at the start, it also means an avenue of adventure seeds is technically closed to the GM - unless they want to ignore it.
Oh! I have not forgotten about those Criminal Skills. Let's see what we get on the % roll below.
Criminal (2 Skills; %): (100%): Weapon's Expert (II), (78%): Pilot
We further cement this Cyborg is another warrior in the realm. He also had either read a pilot's handbook, used a sim, or at some point flew a Cesna across the broken earth to escape captivity as a Mercenary. Taking all of this account, we'll see below what our modified stats / skills look like.
AttributesEndurance: 94 (d10 Boost: 6) - Final Mod 60+d20: 76
Strength: 70 (d10 Boost: 76) - Final Mod 40+d20: 50
Agility: 21 (d6 Boost: 27) - Final Mod: 22
Accuracy: 83 (d6 Boost: 85) - Final Mod 40+d20: 44
Intelligence: 76 - Final Mod 40+d20: 50
Perception: 48 - Final Mod: 30
Willpower: 81 - Final Mod 40+d20: 46
Appearance: 82 - Final Mod 40+d20: 60
Barter, Pilot (1), Stealth (1), Technical Skill: Mechanical (1), Tracking (1), Weapons Expert (1 - Crossbow), Weapon Expert (1 - Pistols)
Note: Weapon Expert is a large % table, I won't bore with the details as this is running long already. Suffice to say, the 2 % rolls I came up with included a Crossbow and Pistol expertise. This does not mean that a Cyborg cannot pick up an Assault Rifle and use it, it is just that when using either a Crossbow or Pistol, they gain bonuses due to natural training. Also, in addition to their Well Equipped Status, they begin play with a Crossbow and a Pistol. Their two pieces of equipment are below:
Crossbow (d10: Rolled 1 - Crossbow, Light), Pistol (d10: Rolled 7 - Auto-Pistol w/ 30 rounds of ammo).
This Step 4 ranges depending on characters. Because I choose a Cyborg, my guy's step 4 is to look at what those cybernetics are. A Cyborg begins with d2 Offensive, d2 Defensive, and d3 Miscellaneous implants.
My Results: Offensive (d2): 1, Defensive (d2): 2, Misc (d3): 1
There is a large % table for each category. The results I get for my Cyborg are noted below:
Offensive (1; % Roll): (63) Weapon Arm - Assault Rifle (Internal Magazine of 300 round clips with an extra 100 round clip to load in; 25% Detachable Arm - Rolled 60% - No!
Defensive (2; % Roll): (15) Armor Enhancement - Ballistic Skinweave (DV: -6/27 vs. Bullets. -0.5 MV, -6 APP), (44) Armor Enhancement - Acid Proof Tissue (DV: -4/-30 vs. Acid. -0.5 MV, -1 APP)
Misc (1; % Roll): (43): Hover Jets (Speed 25 Meters per round; -11 Appearance).
Note: The Weapon Arm rules note that I can switch out Weapon Expert skill points and add them to my Weapon Arm. I decide to do that, replacing Crossbow with the assault rifle strapped to his arm. I'm pleased that a lot of the implants compliment my skills. We can see where the Cyborg's pilot skill may have been learned by using his hover jets. Unfortunately, his Appearance mod is reduced by 11 points. The final total is below:
Appearance: 60 - 11 = 55
Character Step 5: Equipment
Okay, so this feels long, it does go faster with a combination of vocal explanation and example. I also type in a verbose manner. So I apologize, gentle reader, if you fell asleep through this one. We reach the final stage - Equipment. Noting above, a Mercenary has a WE Outfit code. WE stands for Well Equipped.
-2d100 Silver Pieces results in: 50 SP
-19% Trained Dog as a companion? Rolled 65% - No!
-74% Weapon Relic (WC-R) - Rolled 54% - Yes! - Weapon Result is (d20): 3 - Sniper Rifle w/ 7 High Caliber (HC) Rifle Rounds)
-26% Secondary Weapon Relic (WC-RC): Rolled 50% - No!
-29% Mount - Rolled 27% - Yes! (d6: 1-4 Saddle Horse, 5-6 Riding Dog = 3): Saddle Horse
The Cyborg also begins play rolling on the random starting weapon & armor table with a d10+6. In addition to his machine gun arm, auto-pistol, and relic. He has the following weapons in his kit.
x1 Battleaxe, x1 Dagger
A roll for Starting Armor gives him: Part Plate Set, Standard Shield, and a chance at an Iron Helm that he did not get. Because of his skin weave, he can wear the armor, though the movement penalty stacks with his minor movement penalties due to the flesh implants. He also has a shield, but that would limit his options, seeing as one of his hands is an attached assault rifle.
While there are tables for height and weight, we really don't need to go over that. Suffice to say, Cyborgs begin at 160 CM (5.5 ft) with pretty large die rolls. So he is sufficiently tall and plenty thick. The two tables I did roll on was Hand Dominance. This is a d10 roll with 1-7: Right Handed, 8-9: Left Handed, and 10 Ambidextrous. I ended up with a 10 for ambidexterity and my swimming skill came up Fair, however as noted in the Weapon Arm rules, your ability decreases unless you have a detachable arm that you can fit instead of your gun. So although my Cyborg can technically swim, its difficult with the rifle sticking out of his left arm.
And above is the finisher. Tomorrow I will put up the character sheet with everything that's noted down. This seems very complex, but when explained over the table, I believe it will flow smoother than I made it out to bed.
Name: The Cyborg / Rank: 1
Barter, Pilot (1), Stealth (1), Technical Skill: Mechanical (1), Tracking (1), Weapons Expert (1 - Machine Gun Arm), Weapon Expert (1 - Pistols)
Equipment: Part Plate Armor, Dagger, Battle Axe, Auto-Pistol (30 rounds), Sniper Rifle (7 HC-Rounds) / Wealth: 50 SP
Implants: Armor Enhancement - Ballistic Skinweave (DV: -6/27 vs. Bullets. -0.5 MV)
Armor Enhancement - Acid Proof Tissue (DV: -4/-30 vs. Acid. -0.5 MV)
Hover Jets (Speed 25 Meters per round)
Weapon Arm - Assault Rifle (Internal Magazine of 300 round clips with an extra 100 round clip to load in)
The Mutant Epoch - %-based Post-Apocalypse Game as both a PDF and printed book.