Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Metamorphica is neat!


I picked up The Metamorphica the other week; it's a lengthy collection of (as far as I can tell) totally system agnostic random tables, as well as some notes on how to leverage them.  I'd be leery of calling them "random mutation" tables: they cover that, but also insanities, super powers and psionics.

Anyway, the PDF is free, but I ordered the book because I'm a sucker for random tables, books in A5, system agnostic stuff (and it was easy to add to a Lulu order I was going to place anyway).

This thing is great.  When I say these tables are all over the place: I'm not kidding.  Entries look like this:


I could get into the specific contents (there are 104 body: form entries, 164 body: function entries, etc), but I'm not sure how useful those sorts of metrics are... and it's free, so I'm sure you can figure that stuff out.

At a high level, though: it's mostly mutations/psychoses/powers sorted into groups.  Appendix #1 is a bunch of tables for random stuff (plants! colors! animals! body parts!), #2 provides alternate arrangements of mutations & powers, #3 provides instructions for theming those mutations & powers to different settings and #4 provides instructions for creating specific types of creatures (like beastmen, demons, and plants).  Again, all of it system agnostic.

Really though, let's do stuff with it.

Here's a mutant: d6 mutations gave me 4.
RollDescription
780Lights nearby are brighter and more violet
325Photosynthetic
004Amorphous
775Crystalline Body

So, it's a medium-sized crystalline blob that draws power from the sun, sucking away entire spectrums of light as it refracts through its hideous form.  That'll do.

I've got WFRP on the mind, with its myriad and enthusiastic chaos/mutation systems, so I rolled up a few chaos characters.  Fortunately, Realms of Chaos is in Metzger's bibliography, so there's a page in Appendix 3 about creating chaos-y characters.

First, a  Chaos  Sorcerer:
ItemRollDescription
Gift of Chaos3Demonic Weapon
Telltale61Turns to stone in sunlight
Mutation671Psychic Detection

Nothing mind shattering here, but definitely kinda creepy.  I can't find a "demonic weapon" table anywhere, which feels like an omission, but at the same time, even though Slaves to Darkness has something like 18 pages on creating Daemonic Weapons, "has a weapon that's a demon" is kind of enough, you know?

And now, a Chaos Lord:
ItemRollDescription
Demonic Phenomenon61Food and drink spoils
Telltale27Plants move and try to grab the mutant
Gift of Chaos1Blood Rage
Gift of Chaos8Wings
Gift of Chaos7Pallid Siphon
Mutation505ADD
Mutation661Pain Broadcast

The Chaos Lord is more evocative: food spoils in its presence, nature itself attempts to strike at it.  It's fickle, and reacts with a violent tantrum when injured.  It's got wings and a pallid, colorless siphon, so I guess that makes it a loathsome mothman.  

So, this stuff is pretty cool.  The doc is great, and Lulu prints high quality books.  Definitely check it out.  This is one of the neatest supplements I've run into in a while.

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