Nano Eggs for Mutant Future

Derek Holland

Nano eggs are artifacts that contain nanites and convert their surroundings into (hopefully) useful items.

As I mentioned here: an easy method of artifact design is simply adapting magic items. In this post, I look at the Bag of Beans. For those of you who don't know what that is, a Bag contains a few beans which must be planted before they do anything. In first and second edition, spilling the beans causes them to explode (eh). The result can be just about anything, from creatures to gold mines. But it was nothing to play with as about 85% of the time, the results were bad news for the planter (so more hazardous than a Wand/Rod of Wonder). In Dragon 171, there is an article that provides a chart of scores of possible results for those of you who want something more than the seven in the first and second edition DMGs.

As for their application for Mutant Future, I see two possibilities. The first are true nano eggs. These are small devices meant to turn material the eggs are in contact with into something useful. Activate one and drop it in the water or on the ground and something results. It could be a tool, art, weapon, creature, etc. The second artifact is X in a Can. It comes with the needed raw materials. If the raw materials are used up, the Can either fails to function or it turns the can and surroundings into something the designers didn't envision.

In both cases, a nano egg needs power if its cells are drained (most likely the case). It could be electricity, heat, radiation or something more exotic. Some eggs can be reused and some are incorporated into the resulting object(s) or creature(s).

It takes time for the results to form. Roll a d8: 1-3 2d4 weeks, 4-6 2d4 days, 7 2d4 hours, 8 2d4 minutes. If the altering mass is damaged, several things might happen. The process may stop and the egg emerges unharmed. The thing attempting to damage the mass may be incorporated (and probably screwing up the result). Or the results may be damaged in some way.

Because of buggy programming, a true nano egg produces the item 25% of the time, something hazardous 25% of the time and something weird 50% of the time. X in a Can components produce the item 95% of the time if they have the correct raw materials. Otherwise it is 10% for the item, 50% for something hazardous and 40% for something weird. This is where one could use the chart for the Beans (or a modified version thereof).

Hazardous results usually mean explosives that are tainted with local materials. Those within or near the explosion's radius not only have to deal with the damage, they also are affected by what is effectively a disease- the material is corrupting their bodies. It is like a very bad case of inhaling asbestos. The disease's effects are only limited by the Mutant Lord's imagination. Even tiny differences in the gas produced can have