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High Weirdness in Mutant Future

Derek Holland

I am always looking for new ways to introduce the odd, bizarre and weird to Gamma World and Mutant Future. One simple method involves The Metamorphica, a free pdf and inexpensive print on demand book that is filled with gobs of mutations and many useful charts. One of those charts is 200 adjectives meant to be used in conjunction with another chart of body parts. You can find it on pages 130 and 131. I got to playing around with the chart and applying random adjectives to artifacts, buildings, locations and sky features. Here are 17 examples:

Smoking, shadowy, evasive- these artifacts are slowly being drawn to elsewhere, be it another universe, time or world. They randomly phase in and out of existence and appear to be smoking, though the smoke vanishes a few centimeters from the device.

Massive, furry, hazy- these artifacts were created for large, gregarious human morphs that enjoy physical contact with each other. They are also busted and produce an aura that warps the nature of air around them, making it difficult to see through the effect.

Quivering, gossamer, multiple- clouds that visibly quiver and constantly shatter and aggregate in various forms. Those who pass through them find the clouds do not feel like moisture, but are rather velvety.

Oval, transparent, pallid- hills created by the Ancients, these weird, translucent things are identical ovoids made of ceramic. Those who stare at them gain an impression of illness, though they don't know why.

Silent, stalked, jumbled- at the base of a hill there are many broken buildings that apparently fell here. If one digs deep enough, there are even a couple space stations with fractal stalked habitats. The buildings are made of a substance that drink sound, making it difficult to hear anything within ruin.

Lumbering, elastic, vivid- a pod of hills that wander the wastes, these things slowly disrupt weaker materials they encounter. Forests are ripped up, some buildings are shattered and streams and rivers are diverted. It is when they encounter something stronger than themselves do the hills act strangely- they bend and warp like silly putty and only regain their shape after bending around the barrier. They are brightly colored and so people have learned to simply move out of the way, if they can.

Gorgeous, sour, crystalline- these buildings were made from sky ice, a substance that the Ancients created in the upper atmosphere. They are visually stunning, but the very air is soured around them. Only those with a strong stomach can explore places like these.

Sluggish, throbbing, jaundiced- this is a valley where everyone is slower than usual. This results in an initiative penalty and tasks usually take twice as long as normal. The very ground throbs wildly every sunrise and sunset and everything in the valley gains a yellow tint. That vanishes only after a month away from the place.

Folded, festering, withered- this is an island known for its tesseract that allows access to most of the world. The machines that protect it are damaged far beyond what they can suffer elsewhere, looking very much like robotic zombies. The tesseract field causes dead things to rot quickly, so visitors need to replace food and hides after their trip.

Icy, forked, bloated- these ruins is made of stone that absorbs heat and grows much like cancer. It is expanding, following the five paths of least resistance (i.e. they go down, away from the ruin). It is easy to evade the stone, or even to break some of it to take away. This is probably a bad idea, but local rulers like the idea of self-healing buildings that can be shaped much like bonsai.

Hypnotic, flabby, prehensile- this is a forest that has fat leaves that sway hypnotically. While the trees keep the eye of visitors, the undergrowth pickpockets them. And then the predators hiding in the crowns come down and feast on those finding their ammo missing.

Restless, strange, atrophied- there is a second sun that zig-zags across the sky. It is covered in bizarre patterns and is obviously shrinking. People worry that whatever is killing the second sun will go after the first after it is done feeding.

Porous, skeletal, withered- this a mountain that is bleeding something with the consistency of mineral oil. If the oil soaks into the ground near plants, it makes them appear skeletal, though they still live. Over generations, the forest on the sides and base of the mountain look more and more dead, though there is a surprising amount of life. It just mimics the dead.

Slippery, pulsating, oozing- putty technology was used by the Ancients to create items that are easy to shape. These items are breaking down, occasionally falling off their users. What makes them weird is their ability to replicate nearby heart beats, though the wielder has no idea what the creature is, nor where it stands.

Inhuman, malformed, noxious- this ruin is from another universe. It very presence makes people and animals ill (though plants and machines are unaffected). Those born within the ruin suffer physical defects, usually of the skeletal or skin varieties.

Grasping, hypnotic, radiant- the death moon appears every few years. It is very bright and draws the eye, and eventually the body. Those who stare at it too long are teleported to somewhere on or in the moon.

Limp, shuffling, slithering- these boxy robots move in very unnatural ways, sliding and slithering across the ground. It is thought they do so to avoid some sort of predator that picks up on machines that move in straight lines.

Obviously some of those are weirder than others and can be applied to most fantasy games, but I like most of them and plan on adapting them whenever I can find a group to play Mutant Future.