Mutant Future- Debilitating Hazards

Derek Holland

A recent release from Rite Publishing on curses has an interesting philosophy. The curses are not meant to be fair, their cures are. I have been thinking about how to use this idea in Mutant Future for the last few days and this is what I came up with.


Debilitating hazards are those that have a long term effect. There are three sources of them in the wastes- technology, biology and plane shift gates. Some are crippling and can never be cured (or fixed for androids) but those are not the ones I want to look at. The ones I am going to describe are terrible but have rather easy solutions in mitigating or curing them.


Radiation is probably the most common in most settings and comes from all three sources. There are different kinds, some of which have never been seen on Earth (WW 7), and many of those are very hazardous to one's health. With the abundance of such energies, some methods of keeping people alive and in fair health have to be found. Some meds work but their supplies are dwindling so that leaves mutations, sealed armor and herbal cures. Yes, some plants suck up the radiation like a sponge and this means, at least in MF, they can be used to make fairly cheap anti-radiation serums.


Nanites are less common but in those settings with them, they can reshape the world. Those with buggy programming tend to inflict horrid drawbacks or fuse flesh and technology in unhealthy ways. Fortunately they are also easy to destroy. Magnets, electric shocks and other nanites (upcoming WW issues from Chris) are the most common ways to eliminate the infestation and when the nanites are destroyed, their effects fade over a few hours or days.


Broadcasted empathic/telepathic effects are the result of powerful mutants or artifacts. Some stationary orbiting stations were used to provide a content or happy feeling to those within dictatorships and amusement parks. Now they can cause just about any kind of emotion you can think of, though depression is hard to pick out as an oddity in the wastes. Fortunately the number one mutation affecting artifact, the tin foil hat (dI 3) comes to the rescue. Some mental mutations, like mental barrier, can also keep out the broadcasted emotions or thoughts.


Power blocking effects clamp down on mutations or technology and tend to be technological or planar in origin. Any catagory that isn't immediately lethal is possible, from electricity (so no tech or lightning bolts) to telepathic communication to weather control. The easy way to get around this is simply use something else, but for those hazards that do kill over weeks, months or years, solutions tend to be other forms of technology. People who know they are living in such conditions tend to hire wanderers to find and destroy the source of their misery.


And then there are the much less common hazards- temporal, planar and artifact weirdness (I want to add gravity, but that isn't a hazard that causes temporary effects). Some artifacts were made with quasi-matter (using something other than atoms) and they can cause any kind of hazard you can imagine. Their cures are almost alway technology. Nanites can be used to repair aged bodies. Artifacts can be used to cancel each other out.


So when you design an adventure, don't be as concerned with a hazard's effects as much as possible cures or way to mitigate them.