I wanted some input on an idea I had for creating a Mutation-based supplement for Dungeon World.

I wanted some input on an idea I had for creating a Mutation-based supplement for Dungeon World.

I wanted some input on an idea I had for creating a Mutation-based supplement for Dungeon World. Basically, you first roll for the aspect of your character that would change, (physical or mental), then you roll+CON for mutation type, (negative, good with tradeoffs, and good). Is it too simple? Or should it be more complex?

14 thoughts on “I wanted some input on an idea I had for creating a Mutation-based supplement for Dungeon World.”

  1. In my concept, the mutations sprung from the god of chaos, who wanted to see the world mutated and changed into his image. This would set the stage for the entire world, which would be a twisted version of normal fantasy settings, having creatures that were absolutely bizarre mixes, like wolfs with reptilian skin and scorpion tails.

    The idea is that it could be used for not only dedicated worlds with all of these concepts, but also for giving GM’s some creative tools for making more interesting monsters and people, who may have something more odd about them than just different gear.

  2. I feel like a permanent good thing or a permanent bad thing are both a little too character-changing to be left to a single random roll (and, more to the point, neither is really as interesting to me as a bizarre or horrifying mutation that is a little of both).

    This feels a bit Gamma World to me, if anything. Along those lines, I might suggest a d66 or d666 chart with the different sorts of mutations you might get. Instead of giving the mutations strictly-defined mechanical effects, leave them purely descriptive and let them influence the fiction in the same way that tags do. Informing misses, perhaps letting you activate moves in unusual ways, that sort of thing.

  3. James Etheridge I like the purely descriptive idea behind the mutations, could you explain to me what a d66 chart is? A quick google search didn’t really get me too much info about it, and I’m not incredibly experienced with RPG’s.

  4. A d66 chart is like a percentage chart, only instead of using 2d10 you use 2d6–so you get 36 different results depending on what your first and second die are. d666 is the same thing but with 3d6, so you get 216 results (substantially more daunting to write, obviously). You don’t see them very often; I think the Maid RPG is the only one I’ve seen actually use a d666, though I’ve seen d66 a time or two elsewhere.

    Usually each die narrows things down a little more, so for instance your first d6 might determine a broad category of mutations, with your second d6 determining which specific mutation within that category you get.

  5. That sounds great, actually. Just to clarify a point that I think may have been understood is that these mutations are totally permanent. (One thing I failed to explain is that there is a counterpart to this god of chaos, the god of purity. PC’s could cleanse themselves or further mutate themselves at the respective temples and shrines. Of course there would be consequences for trying to serve both masters, and eventually they might have to choose sides in this conflict.). However, regardless of how I decide to do this system, I love the d66 table system, and I may go for a d88, using the same system, but allowing me more, without going totally overboard (216 results!).

    Thanks for the suggestions, I really appreciate the help for refining this concept. Honestly, I had the idea mid-GMing because a player decided to drink a potion that was essentially pure chaos energy, and I just thought what the hell, why not mutate him a bit for that. I gave him talons that sliced up his boots, but in return, you know, talons.

  6. Yeah, immediately after doing that, I had several other PC’s asking whether there were any more of those flasks on hand for them to drink, too. While I enjoy the whole idea of a massively mutated group of adventurers who inspired terror instead of relief, I don’t want the whole mutation thing to become too easy for them to accept. That tradeoff was a little weak for the risk that he took, especially because he can just obtain some new boots for pennies. This was the primary reason that I was thinking about making both positive and negative results, making them both excited and terrified to see what they got. They could have bone plates on their arms, or they could grow gills and have a bit of a problem.

    The only other way I can think of making mutations a rare subject is making their sources scarce. Have these items appear as high level loot possibly, but have the results be always positive and exciting, making them overjoyed at the sight.

  7. In a more standard, lower-magic fantasy setting, that makes sense. There are still the social ramifications to consider, of course; consider how the average medieval peasant or noble treats lepers and the like, and think what having talons or an exoskeleton or what have you would mean. The cobbler you go to for your new boots to fit your beclawed feet is going to be freaking out over this demonic-looking mercenary, more than likely.

    And suddenly sprouting talons when you’ve never had them before is going to take some getting used to, also; you ever try walking in swim-fins, let alone get into a swordfight while wearing swim-fins? Gotta change your whole gait. And unless you’re big into the kicking thing, they’re probably not that useful as weapons either. They’d be pretty boss for climbing, though.

    …And I’ve gone on a ramble again. Point being (if there is one)! If you keep them rare and more positive like that, keep in mind that there are still going to be some down sides that you can play with when it makes sense to the fiction to do so. For a “mutations everywhere!” setting, both the positive and negative effects would probably be less dramatic, in the former case because everyone is on a more even keel and in the latter case because people in general would be more accepting and better able to deal with the craziness.

  8. Hrm. Since a bad/tradeoff/good dynamic is inherent in all dungeon world moves, hows this for an idea.

    Get a nice big stack of moves that are not part of any class currently in play. (Class Warfare will do nicely.) Make a giant table of all of the moves, labeled with numbers. When a character is mutated, they roll on the table o’ moves, and the GM comes up with a satisfactory physical mutation that would allow them to use that move. They then take a debility- probably in charisma, since most of these will be ugly, but maybe in dex as they can’t run as fast on those talons or in wisdom as those bear arms keep making them want to just go find some berries and then hibernate. Curing the debility requires some kind of magic, and also removes the move that gave it to them.

    This makes the mutation a lot less swingy- yeah, sometimes they get a move they don’t care about for a debility to their main stat, but they can fix it if they try. On the other hand, if they come to terms with the downsides (the debility, the occasional botch with their new move) they just got an extra move! Or maybe they aren’t a fan, but it’s not important enough to try and fix- so you have this adventurer with an eight foot long tongue who just goes “yeah, one of these days I’m going to get around to fixing this curse. grumble

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