Monday, December 12, 2016

Psychic Swords of the Savage Wastelands

What would a good science fiction game be without funky swords to mess with? I was looking up some thing or other a while back and flipping through pages got reminded about D&D's Intelligent Swords. Looking over the surprisingly mostly "psychic" abilities of these, I wondered why no one really did a version for Mutant Future. Just because I'm ornery, psychic swords are generally found as flashlight-looking or wand-shaped items which project a colored blade of psychic energy. So here we go.


Rolling Up a Psychic Sword
1. Find out if the sword has a special purpose (optional: 1d20).
2. Determine the sword's Intelligence score (1d20).
3. Determine the alignment of the sword (1d20).
4. Find the Primary powers of the sword (if any, d%).
5. Roll for Extraordinary powers (if any, d%).
6. Roll for the sword's Willpower Score (1d20)
7. Determine the Ego of the sword.


1. Special Purpose
A sword will have a special purpose if a roll of 20 on 1d20 is made (the ML may choose to omit this roll, carefully placing all psychic swords, as they are both very powerful and very rare). Any sword with a special purpose will have Intelligence and Willpower scores of 12+1d8, as well as one special purpose.
Special purpose is given to some rare swords by their creator. The following list gives some special purposes which may be used, or the ML may invent others. Only one special purpose may be given to any one psychic sword.
    1. Slay Mutant Humans
    2. Slay Pure Humans
   3. Slay Mutant Animals
    4. Slay Plants
    5. Slay Robots
   6. Defeat Law/Chaos (depends on sword's alignment)


When used for its special purpose, the sword will gain one added ability, according to its alignment.
    Lawful swords will stun a Chaotic opponent for 1d6 rounds upon a hit unless the victim saves vs Stun Attacks.
    Neutral swords will add + 1 to all the user's saving throws.
    Chaotic swords will irradiate a Lawful opponent with Class 1 Radiation upon a hit unless the victim saves vs Radiation.


EXAMPLE: A Lawful sword with a special purpose to slay mutant humans will stun only Chaotic mutant humans, and only if the saving throw is failed.


2. Intelligence
Each intelligent sword has an Intelligence score, one or more Primary powers, possibly Extraordinary powers, and a method of communication.
Trial & Error means that the user of the sword must figure out the powers as if dealing with a Complexity Class 1 technological artifact. Empathy means that the user of the sword will somehow know what the sword's powers are and how to use them.
Die Roll INT Powers Method of Communication
1 None None None
2 3 10% Chance of 1 Primary None
3 4 25% Chance of 1 Primary None
4 5 25% Chance of 1 Primary None
5 6 50% Chance of 1 Primary Trial & Error
6 7 1 Primary Trial & Error
7 8 2 Primary Trial & Error
8 9 3 Primary Trial & Error
9 10 3 Primary Empathy
10 11 3 Primary + 50% Chance of 1 Extraordinary Empathy
11 12 3 Primary + 1 Extraordinary Empathy
12 13 3 Primary + 2 Extraordinary Empathy
13 14 3 Primary + 3 Extraordinary Speech
14 15 4 Primary + 50% Chance of 1 Extraordinary Speech
15 16 4 Primary + 1 Extraordinary Speech
16 17 4 Primary + 50% Chance of 2 Extraordinary (roll % for each chance) Speech
17 18 4 Primary + 2 Extraordinary Telepathy
18 19 4 Primary + 50% Chance of 3 Extraordinary (roll % for each chance) Telepathy
19 20 4 Primary + 3 Extraordinary Telepathy
20 21 4 Primary + 50 Chance of 4 Extraordinary (roll % for each chance) Telepathy


3. Alignment
Determine the alignment and blade color of the psychic sword (roll 1d20):
Die Roll Alignment Blade Color
1 Lawful White
2-5
Green
6-7
Blue
8
Light Blue
9-10 Neutral Yellow
11
Gold
12
Silver
13
Bronze
14 Chaotic Pink
15-17
Red
18-19
Purple
20
Black


4. Primary Powers
Roll d% to find which Primary powers a sword might have. The number of the Primary powers generally depends on the sword's Intelligence score (see #2 above). Duplicate results should be rolled again.
Dice Roll Primary Power
01-10 Aura Reading
11-20 Dowsing
21-30 ESP
31-40 Levitation
41-50 Machine Channeling
51-59 Psychometry
60-68 Pyschoregeneration
69-77 Resist Fatigue
78-82 Resist Hunger
83-87 Resist Sleep
88-92 Resist Thirst
93-97 Sixth Sense
98-99 Roll twice more on this table
00 Roll three more times on this table


Unless otherwise noted, one Primary power may be used each round, once per round. The user must have the sword in hand and be concentrating on the power in order to use it. Duplicate results should be rolled again unless noted otherwise.


Aura Reading. The user of the sword can read the "auras" of creatures withing 20'. These auras will tell the user the alignment, race, and hit dice/level of the creature, as well as the presence of mental mutations or psionic manifestations.
Dowsing. The sword can detect water of any type up to a range of 60' (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). It will point in the direction of the water.
ESP. The user of the sword may listen to any one living creature's thoughts. The user must concentrate in one direction, and can only "hear" thoughts within 60' (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). The user will understand any thoughts "heard". This power is only usable three times per day.
Levitation. The user of the sword may move up or down in the air without any support. This power does not, however, allow the user to move from side to side. For example, the user could levitate to a ceiling, and then could move sideways by pushing and pulling. Motion up or down is at the rate of 20' per round. The user may carry a normal amount of weight while levitating, possibly another man-sized creature if not in heavy armor. Any creature smaller than man-size can be carried, unless similarly heavily laden. The duration of the levitation is 3 turns.
Machine Channeling. The user of the sword may listen to any one machine's thoughts. The user must concentrate in one direction, and can only "hear" thoughts within 60' (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). The user will understand any thoughts "heard". This power is only usable three times per day.
Psychometry. The user of the sword can, by touching the sword to an object, know the object's history (where it was created, how it has been used, who has owned it, etc.), functional condition of the object, and has double the chance of successfully figuring out how to operate technological artifacts (e.g., a Complexity Class 1 object would have a Base Roll of 50% instead of the normal 35%). The user must concentrate for one turn in order to learn the information on the object. This power may only be used three times per day.
Psychoregeneration. The sword will heal up to 6 points of damage at the rate of 1 hit point per round. This power may only be used three times per day. Duplicate ability rolls will increase the amount of healing and the time required by 6.
Resist Fatigue. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of not resting for a number of turns equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to fatigue at the normal rate.
Resist Hunger. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of not eating for a number of hours equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to suffer the penalties of not eating at the normal rate.
Resist Sleep. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of not sleeping for a number of hours equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to suffer the penalties of not sleeping at the normal rate.
Resist Thirst. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of not consuming water for a number of hours equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to suffer the penalties of not drinking at the normal rate.
Sixth Sense. The user of the sword has gained a precognitive ability to recognize danger before it occurs. In combat this gives the user of the sword a +1 to hit in combat, and +3 hp damage per damage die rolled in a successful attack. In addition, the user of the sword is less susceptible to surprise, reducing all surprise checks by 1 (e.g. a creature that normally surprises on a 1-4 rolled on a 1d6 would surprise the user of the sword on a 1-3 rolled on 1d6).


5. Extraordinary Powers
If the psychic sword has an extraordinary power, roll d% on the table below. Duplicate results should be rolled again unless noted otherwise.
As with Primary powers, the user must have the sword in hand be concentrating on the power. Any Extraordinary power is only usable three times per day unless specially noted otherwise.

Dice Roll Extraordinary Power
01-10 Bilocation
11-20 Clairaudience
21-30 Clairvoyance
31-40 Flying
41-50 Invisibility
51-59 Mind over Matter
60-68 Pyrokinesis
69-77 Remote Viewing
78-82 Technopathy
83-87 Telekinesis
88-92 Telepathy
93-97 Teleportation
98-99 Make two more rolls on this table.
00 Make three more rolls on this table.

Bilocation. Once per day, the user of the sword can be in two places at once, up to 20' apart, for a maximum of 3 turns. If one of the user's manifestations is killed, the remaining manifestation must make a saving throw vs Stun Attacks or be stunned for 1d6 rounds.
Clairaudience. This power will allow the user to hear noises (including speech) in an area up to a range of 60' through the ears of a creature in that area (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). The user must concentrate for one turn in order to hear what the creature hears. (Note: This does not grant the ability to understand speech in a language the user does not know.)
Clairvoyance. This power will allow the user to see an area up to 60' away through the eyes of a creature in that area (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). The user must concentrate for one turn in order to "see".
Flying. The user of the sword may fly as if using the Psionic Flight mutation, for a maximum of 3 turns.
Invisibility. The sword has the ability to cloud creature's minds, rending the user of the sword invisible to creatures who fail against a mental attack by the sword. All creatures in 30' must roll a mental test against the sword's Willpower. The effect is canceled against any creature attacked by the user of the sword.
Mind over Matter. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of fatigue, hunger, thirst and sleep for a number of hours equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to suffers from these effects at the normal rate.
Pyrokinesis. The user of the sword can project a ball of fire up to 50' away that does 4d6 heat damage to anything it strikes.
Remote Viewing. Similar to the power of Clairvoyance, however, does not supply vision through the eyes of a creature, but rather acts like a third person view of an area up to 60' away. The user must concentrate for one turn in order to "see".
Technopathy. This power will allow the user to perform the powers of the mental mutation Neural Telepathy, but with thinking machines, robots, artificial intelligences, and the like. The machine may refuse to answer.
Telekinesis. The user of the sword may move up to 2,000 pounds of weight by concentration alone. See the mutation Neural Telekinesis for more information.
Telepathy. This power will allow the user to perform the powers of the mental mutation Neural Telepathy. The creature may refuse to answer.
Teleportation. This power allows the user to teleport (as the mental mutation).


6. Willpower
(In a change from the original, "Will score" and Ego get swapped as terms, as Mutant Future uses the Willpower attribute vice Wisdom.) To determine the Willpower of a psychic (non-special purpose) sword, roll 1d20 and consult the following table.
Die Roll WIL
1 None
2 3
3 4
4 5
5 6
6 7
7 8
8 9
9 10
10 11
11 12
12 13
13 14
14 15
15 16
16 17
17 18
18 19
19 20
20 21
The Willpower of the sword is a measure of the force of its personality. A sword with high Intelligence and Willpower may try to control its user. The ML should make a control check at certain times.


Control checks. A psychic sword must be checked to see if it controls its user in five different situations:
    1. When the character first handles the sword.
    2. When the character is wounded to a point where half of her or his original hit points are gone.
    3. When a character acquires any other psychic weapon.
    4. When a character of a different alignment tries to use it.
    5. When a situation arises where the special purpose of the sword (if applicable) can be used.
To make the control check, the ML must find the Ego score of the user and of the sword. When the ego scores are found, the being with the higher total ego score, either the character or sword will control the actions of the character.


7. Ego
A psychic sword's ego score is found by adding the sword's Intelligence, Willpower, and bonuses. The sword gets a bonus of +1 to the ego score for each Extraordinary power it has, plus 1-10 (1d10) points if the sword is of a different alignment than the user.
A character's ego score is found by adding the character's Intelligence and Willpower scores and subtracting any adjustments due to wounds, as follows: if the character is damaged but no more than 1/2 the original hit points, 1-4 (1d4) points are subtracted. If the character has lost more than 1/2 the original hit points, 2-8 (2d4) points are subtracted from the ego score.
Swords in control. I f a sword controls the character, the ML must decide on the actions of the sword in certain situations. These may include:
    Leading the user past other psychic weapons found, or discard other weapons.
    Forcing the user to charge into combat to win glory for itself.
    Forcing the user to surrender to an opponent -- either one more worthy of the sword or one easier to control.
    Forcing the user to spend most of her or his currency on items for the sword (bling accessories, fancy scabbards, ornate storage containers, special protection, etc.)
The control will last until the sword is satisfied or until the situation which caused the control check has passed.