New Mutant Monday #96 - Microcephalians

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 30’ (10’)
Armor Class: By Armor
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: By weapon or mind thrust twice a round
Damage: By weapon or 6d6+6 / 6d6+6
Save: L1
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: 1 suit of artifact armor, 1d2 ranged high-tech weapons, VII, VIII (80%x2), X, XII

 As far back as the early 21st century, a virus was discovered in the jungles of South America. This virus attacked healthy adults but many were able to overcome its effects and there were few casualties, except for those with weak immune systems, the aged and the young.

What was not expected is the effect it had upon pregnant women. The fetuses were drastically affected by the virus and were deformed by it. Upon birth many died outright and those who survived were often plagued by unpleasant deformities and were considered to be mentally deficient.

With the final wars, like so many weapons used, the virus was modified by deranged scientists and geneticists to make it far more virulent and instead of only effecting pregnant women, would instead modify the eggs carried by the woman so that their babies would have this genetic defect.

Many pure women globally gave birth to these genetic deviants, but unlike those who suffered from Microcephaly in the past, these unfortunate souls were born deformed, but strangely enough highly intelligent and in the possession of powerful mental mutations.

Physically stunted and weak, they more than made up for it by having intellects that surpassed some of the greatest minds of the pre-fall era. Many died during the early years of their development, having weakened immune systems and bodies that never quite functioned properly, but those who survived were often cherished by the communities they were born into and would often become leaders.

They mature at the same rate as other humans and humanoids, but rarely grow more than three feet in height, and weigh no more than fifty pounds. They are quite frail, especially around the head, which is smaller than that of a normal human’s. Due to the deformity of the skull, the eyes seem disproportionately larger, and to be brutally honest, they look rather dim-witted. Often they are forced to use crutches or even wheel-chairs to move around, and are always very careful when meeting with strangers, as disease is a significant threat to them due to their compromised immune systems.

This is not the case. They have minds that are sharp and quick, and can take on nearly any mental challenge and beat it easily and readily.            

Despite (or maybe because of) their physical deformities, they are cheerful and happy individuals. They love to interact with others, even if they find those to be their intellectual inferiors – which is pretty much everyone. They will never look down upon others or make fun of them, and generally ignore insults hurled their way due to their deformities.

They are fast to make friends and even faster to offer assistance and help to anyone who needs it, as long as it does not involve physical activity, which is their major drawback – although the will sometimes ask for payment. Of course they are always willing to sell their services to those who are willing to pay, after all, they too need food and shelter, and often need to hire those who are not likewise infirmed to help them with day to day life.

The one drawback they cannot bypass is the fact that they are born infertile. Many cannot even engage in the act of sexual intercourse due to their physical deformities, but this is only a minor drawback in their view. No one knows how long they can live, and there are those who have been encountered that claim they have been around since the end of the final wars.

These creatures are always armed, and typically wear specially crafted (usually by their own hands) artifact armor. They rely on their psionics to warn them ahead of time when it comes to the intent of those they encounter, but this does not always work.

All weapons they use have been modified to be used by their smaller frames and weaker musculature, and they will always use ranged weapons, as using most melee weapons is beyond their limited capabilities.

Thankfully they have an active psionic force field which is always on, that provides a damage reduction of 20 points per round. Often this is enough to prevent them from taking damage when ambushed or forced into combat. Thanks to their superior mental capabilities, these creatures are able to attack with a powerful neural thrust mutation, twice per round. Each attack deals 6d6+6 damage and they have a Will Power score of 20 when it comes to mental combat.

As stated, due to their deformities, they are vulnerable to disease and toxic attacks. All saving throws against disease are made at a -4 and the effects (including damage) are tripled. Thankfully they are able to use various medical drugs to combat disease, but often it is too late and they are killed by the disease.

Toxic weapons (such as poison) always suffer a -2 to the saving throw (if any) and the damage is increased by +1 per dice.

Mutations: defensive activation, empathy, intellectual affinity (bartering, math, physics, social, tinkering), intuitive lie detection, intuitive translation, mental alacrity, mind thrust, neural telepathy. (force field and look up the mutation that causes dwarfism, and maybe atrophied muscles?)

Defensive Activation (Mental)

            Mental

            This is an unconscious mutation that whenever a mutant is hit by a surprise attack, it automatically activates the most useful mental mutation that the mutant possesses in self defense. For example, a mutant with this mutation also possesses the mind thrust mutation. The mutant is surprised by a creature and it is hit by a bite attack. Before the mutant can react, this mutation kicks in and automatically activates the mind thrust attack, and has a chance of hitting the attacker. After this has been resolved, then the combat can begin as normal.

            If the mutant possesses multiple mutations that could be used, the ML will decide which is the best to be used in the case of the surprise attack. If the mutant doesn’t have any possible mutations to use for its defense, this mutation is dormant or can be re-rolled.

            Also, this mutation will activate the most powerful or useful mutation the mutant possesses even if it has only limited uses per day or week and these ‘charges’ have already been expended.

Intellectual Affinity

            Mental

            The character’s mind is particularly acute when dealing with information in any one of the possible areas below (Roll 1D12).

Roll

Type

Effect

1-2

Martial

See Mutant Future corebook page 29

3-4

Tinkering

See Mutant Future corebook page 29

5-6

Bartering

See Mutant Future corebook page 29

7-8

Political

Mutants charisma is increased by 4

9

Medical

Gains an additional 5 to its own healing per day, gains same modifier in saves vs. poison and disease, and reduces the medical incompatibility roll by 4 (see Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 8)

10

Zoological

The mutant has an affinity with animals, and gains 4 to any reaction roll when dealing with creatures of animal level intelligence (3 or less), and gains a bonus of plus 2 to AC and +2 to hit when forced into combat with animals. Also, the mutant is able to determine what mutations, attacks and so forth a creature possesses by studying it for 1d4 rounds.

11

Math

The mutant is a living calculator. The mutant gains a bonus of +4 to hit in all ranged combat. The mutant also gains +20% to figure out artifacts. The mutant also can tell exact distances at a glance.

12

Physics

The mutant has a deep understanding of the laws of physics. This means that the mutant gains a +4 to hit and damage with melee weapons, The mutant also gains +20% to figure out most artifacts.

13

Computers

The mutant gains a +4 to hit and damage when combating robots or other machines, and gains a +30% when attempting to figure out robotic units, computers or any device that employs computers. Also, the mutant gets a bonus to robot reaction (if used) and any AI Recognition modifiers the mutant has are ignored.

14

Chemistry

The mutant has the knack to make various substances from basic materials. The more complementary mutations it has, the more variety it can create. Among other things it can create fuel, explosives, drugs and industrial chemicals. Some of the mutations that improve this ability are quick mind, increased smell, thermal vision and unique sense.

15

Pack Leader

The mutant can control some sentient creatures in a similar manner to a dog trainer. This does not work on sapient beings or solitary sentient creatures. The mutant can control a number of hit dice worth of creatures equal to its Will Power score. These creatures can choose to disobey the mutant and are not likely to die for the mutant. A creature can make a save vs. poison to disobey an order given to them by the mutant.

16

Survival

The mutant has an innate understanding of survival. Its overland speed is increased by 30% if he is on foot. The mutant also gains a +4 to saves versus weather and other natural hazards. Finally the mutant cannot starve, as it instinctively knows what plants, animals, insects and so forth are edible. Because of this, the mutant can forage enough food for itself per day to survive. Foraging food takes 24 turns minus the Intelligence score in turns.

17

Social

The mutant is highly adept at reading others and as a result, can manipulate their emotional states. This can be applied to individuals or groups. The mutant must be able to speak the language of those involved and penalties may apply for extreme or alien species. After studying an individual or group for a number of rounds equal to 25% of the Intelligence score, the mutant will automatically gain a bonus to initial reaction. This bonus is equal to 3 The mutant can also change previously rolled reactions, after having a few rounds to speak to the target or group in question. It could easily calm an angry mob, or incite the same mob into starting a riot. The maximum number of targets the mutant can affect is equal to the mutants Intelligence and Will Power combined.

18

Multiple

The mutant gains 1d2+1 affinities, roll above, re-rolling this result.

19

Players Choice

The player chooses 1 of the above.

20

GM’s Choice

The GM chooses 1 of the above.

Intuitive Lie Detection

            Mental

            AllThe mutant knows automatically whenever someone is consciously lying to them. This mutation only works on living creatures that the mutant is actually interacting with. For example, the mutant wouldn’t know if someone is lying to him if they were communicating via radio signals.

Intuitive Translation

            Mental

The mutant possesses a special ability to intuitively understand and speak (providing that it has the appropriate vocal cords or mouth parts) any language it encounters. This only works when it comes to spoken languages (or growled, squeaked, etc.) On the downside, this doesn’t mean it can read or write the language; only understand it when it hears it.

Mental Alacrity

            Mental

            The mutant’s mind is lightning quick when it comes to reacting and defending. Like the physical mutation Quickness, this mutation allows the mutant to make two mental attacks per round, instead of one. The mutant is also granted two defenses against intruding mental attacks.