Oddities of Chaotic Mutation

Clint Staples

For our latest oddities series here on d-Infinity, Will Thrasher and I wanted to try something a little different. We have brought you set dressing description style oddities for Graveyards, Creepy Houses, Post-Apocalyptic Wastelands and more, all of which you can check out here. If you like what we are doing, you might also want to go see the fine folks at DriveThruRPG and buy the Oddities lists after we have cleaned them up and organized them better - not to mention added bonus features like cool Thrasher art.

But for Oddities of Chaotic Mutation, we aren't talking about set dressing. We are talking about weird alterations to [ideally] living things. For me, the inspiration for this sort of thing comes from [surprise!] Runequest and its Chaotic Feature tables. Long before Games Workshop introduced the notion of Chaos to the miniatures community, Glorantha had the concept of chaos that warped the bodies and minds of those who got too close. Like comic radioactivity, chaos altered those it touched in fundamental, usually bizarre, often creepy and sometimes fatal, ways. So I have been itching to do an Oddities list that covers Chaos Features since I started them a while back.

I can't say why the concept appeals to Will Thrasher. Could be he is a closet Gloranthaphile [there are more of us out there than you think], I know he is a fan of the horror genre [film, comics, fiction, gaming, you name it]. Or it could just be that he is even more odd than I am. I'lll let him address his motoviations his own self. But in any event, when I pitched this topic for an Oddities series, all he had to say in return was, "Cool, What should we call it?"

So here we are.

Now this Oddities list is a little different than others we have done. We are not writing the set dressing for locations, as we have in the past [except in the loosest sense, since these critters generally have to be IN a location, so they could be said to qualify as set dressing]. These oddities provide you with the tools to actually create horrible things yourself, twisting unsuspecting NPCs to your dark will. Of course, when you put the results in a locations, like a creepy old house, or a graveyard, your gonna need set dressing, like out handy Oddities line from RPGNow  . . .

OK, so we have chaos features, the dark gifts of the gods outside of time and space, the primordial soup of creation, the void that twists and writhes, simultaneously eager to consume and create. but if we think of these oddities as mutations we can extend our mileage. Suddenly, these oddities become the product of actual radioactivity or toxic waste. The chaos-warped are now mutants of the Wasteland, post-apocalyptic or otherwise. Or maybe they are the result of terrible experimentation by evil corporations or governments in the modern age or near future, or twisted hulks spawned by magical breeding experiments, horrific chimerae that make owlbears and minotaurs want to hurl up their human soup. Suddenly we have pretty much the entire gaming genre spectrum represented.

Before we jump into the main Oddities list, here are a couple fo sub-tables for your enjoyment. The first, the Animal Mutation Table is for those times when the list tells you tto roll for the type of animal a mutation is based on. It can also be used to generate a base creature, in case you run out of human fodder to mutate. Just roll d100, and find your entry. Of course, you can also choose instead of adhering to true randomness [i.e. the application of chaos to the process], if you know what you are looking for.

The other table is the Body Location Table. Sometimes an entry will direct you to a random location, or locations on the body. Roll here to see what that is. If your roll is for any body part, roll a d20. If you are rolling for an affected [or shall we say afflicted] limb, just roll a d6.

Finally, to start things off, I have 24 random Chaos Mutations. Feel free to add to the list if you come up with twisted morphs of your own.

Animal Mutation Table: Use this table to generate a starting creature, or to generate the source creature for an animal mutation.

1-2       Ape

3-4       Monkey

5-6       Baboon

7-8       Dog

9-10     Wolf, coyote, wild dog, dingo, jackal, etc.

11-12   Feline – cougar, tiger, lion, jaguar, lynx, etc.

13-14   Bear

15-16   Hyena

17-18   Goat

19-20   Cow, Bull

21-22   Pig, Boar

23-24   Horse

25-26   Bird

27-28   Predatory Bird

29-30   Vulture

31-32   Deer, elk, Moose, impala, etc.

33-34   Camel

35-36   Rhino, hippo

37-38   Elephant

39-40   Armadillo

41-42   Rodent – rat, mouse, squirrel, rabbit, etc.

43-44   Bat

45-46   Wild Bovine – Bison, aurochs, gaur, cape buffalo, etc.

47-48   Weasel, wolverine, honey badger, ferret, raccoon, etc.

49-50   Porcupine

51-52   Marine mammal – seal, walrus, etc.

53-54   Marsupial – Kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, etc.

55-56   Frog, toad, salamander, etc.

57-58   Lizard – skink, gecko, monior, komodo, Gila, etc.

59-60   Turtle, tortoise

61-62   Snake, eel

63-64   Alligator, crocodile

65-66   Dragon

67-68   Whale, orca, dolphin, etc.

69-70   Fish

71-72   Large predatory fish – barracuda, pike, catfish, arapaima, etc.

73-74   Shark

75-76   Squid, octopus, jellyfish, etc.

77-78   Beetle

79-80   Fly, Mosquito

81-82   Wasp, Hornet

83-84   Mantis, Ant

85-86   Scorpion, vinegaroon

87-88   Spider

89-90   Centipede, millipede

91-92   Crab, Lobster

93-94   Snail, slug

95-96   Worm, caterpillar

97-98   Moth, Butterfly

99-00   Roll twice, combine features of both.

 

 

Body Location Table: use this to determine a random body part

1

1    Left leg

2    Right leg

3    Left arm

4    Right arm

5    Left hand

6    Right hand

7    Head

8    Chest

9    Back

10  Pubic region

11  Full body

12  Left half of body

13  Right half of body

14  Waist down

15  Waist up

16  Buttocks/tail

17  Mouth

18  Front half of body

19  Back half of body

20  Multi-location (re-roll 1d4+1 times and apply to all resulting locations)

 

1. Bone Blades: A line of jagged boney blades project from the skin along one body part. There is an equal chance that the flesh around them has fused into tough leathery skin, or is a series of open wounds weeping puss.

2. Slimy: The pores of this poor creature constantly weep a slick slime. Roll 1d4: 1- the slime is colored. 2 – The slime is bloody. 3 – the Slime is noxious. 4 – The Slime is acidic, which eats slowly at the creature’s flesh, and more rapidly at the flesh of others it contacts.

3. Oozes Blood: Blood constantly oozes from the eyes, nose or mouth of this creature, which has the additional effect of making the creature anemic, possibly also constantly ravenous.

4. Bloody: This creature has conscious control over its blood, allowing it to stop, or start, its own bleeding. It can also exude its blood through its skin.

5. Hairless: This creature’s hair has been replaced by the fur, scales, spines, etc; of a random animal from the Animal Mutation table.

6. A random body part from the Body Location Table is covered in the fun, scales, spines, or skin of an animal from the Animal Mutation table.

7. Protjectiles: One arm has mutated into a muscular organ that can expel bony projectiles.

8. Beastly: This creature has the claws, teeth, tusks, nails, etc; of a randomly generated species from the Animal Mutation Table.

9. Centaur: This creature has become a functional ‘centaur’ with a random animal from the Animal Mutation Table.

10. Bestial: This creature is a humanoid version of a random animal from the Animal Mutation Table.

11. Horn Hand: One hand has been replaced by a long horn, like that of a rhino.

12. Blistered: Blisters, weeping a faintly glowing, possibly toxic good afflict the entire body.

13. Light Bulb: Eyeballs that glow like tiny lanterns which are only dimmed when the eyes are closed. There is a 50% chance that they also provide a superior visual sense.

14. Extra Eyes: 1d3 extra eyes, of varying sizes, are randomly distributed about the body. There is a 50% chance that a particular eye does not actually function.

15. Goat-Eyes: The eyes of this creature have the oblong pupil of a goat.

16. Extra Fingers: Fingerlike digits, nail-less but able to flex, even manipulate or grasp to some degree, sprout from a random body part.

17. Beast Feet: The feet are those of an animal, roll on the Animal Mutation Table.

18. Animalistic: Roll 1d3x Random Body parts on the Body Location table, then Roll on the Animal Mutation table to see what sort of creature that location resembles.

19. Missing Parts: This creature is missing 1d2x body parts, either through mishaps, or through mutation; Roll the requisite number of times on the Body Locations table.

20. Extra Arms: This creature has a pair of extra arms. There is a 50% chance they are for the sames species as the creature. If not, roll on the Animal Mutation Table.

21.  Extra Legs: This creature has a pair of extra legs. There is a 50% chance that the creature also has a ‘centaur-like’ body shape. If not, the legs are placed randomly or poorly. On a 3 or less on a d6, the legs are the same species as the creature. If not, Roll on the Animal Mutation Table to determine species.

22. Pheremones: This creature exudes a pheromone, or perhaps a supernatural aura, that causes one of the following effects [roll 1d4]: 1 – Rage; 2 – Fear; 3 – Loathing; 4 – Lust;

23. Mouthy: A mouth situated in an abnormal place on the body. Roll on the Body Location Table. Roll 1d4x for type: 1 – this mouth is identical to the creature’s normal mouth; 2 – This mouth is typical of a predatory beast, with fangs, coloration and possibly a snout roll on the Animal Mutation Table; 3 – this mouth is an actual feeding system, rather than a useless orifice or a weapon. It may replace the feeding orifice of the creature, or be an additional one. 4 – Another extra mouth, roll again to determine location and type.

24. Back to Front: The normal body shape of the base creature has been twisted such that it is backward in normal body orientation, but its appendages and head [if it is so fortunate as to possess these things] are oriented to its new posture. So a human’s torso legs and arms might face backward, but its feet hands and head are twisted to face normally.