Pillars of Faith by William Adams  

Pillars of Faith

Metahuman Mutant/Experiment R.C.C.

    In the New Republic of Japan the use of human beings as test subjects is forbidden by law.  But criminal organizations and crazed individuals are quick to offer power for a price.  There are many who risk death and mutation or worse for the chance to be more than human.  The experimental subject can be drawn from any level of society or profession and a few are wealthy madmen or geniuses in their field who decided that they had to be better than anyone else to be recognized.  In the society of the New Republic the act of human augmentation is seen as a beneficial change, making the person stronger, better able to fight the strange menaces of a changed world.  Not many super powered beings keep their identity a secret.  It is therefore possible to encounter Medical doctors and lowly janitors side by side in the ranks of super beings.
    Only Ichto creates experiments and human mutants.  But the process often has unexpected and horrifying side effects even though the mortality rate is much less than the random experimentation of earlier subjects.  Even so a small number of these experiments end in failure.  These failures are considered freaks and are marginalized by mainstream society, even more so than D-bees and monstrous inhabitants.  There also exists a sizable population of mutants born to parents who have been exposed to unexplained rift activity or who have been transformed by chance and random occurrence.  This does not discourage the rest from seeking ultimate power through random genetic enhancement.  It is thanks to nanotechnology that the development of these metahumans is possible.  All human beings have a degree of P.P.E., by isolating and amplifying this potential the person can achieve great feats that defy science and logic.  This is the manner in which practitioners of magic and psychics gain their marvelous abilities.  Instead of amplifying the potential of the person through meditation and hard work though, the experiment is thrust headlong into a sea of power to sink or swim by his own desires and secret fears.  Each experiment results in a distinct mutation that responds to the subconscious desires and fears of the subject.  In essence each experimental subject chooses his own powers and mutations on a subconscious level.

    Special Abilities of the Experiment
1.  Mutation:  Most experiments will be changed in some way.  From something as simple as being able to make his hair dance about to gross changes in size and physiognomy.  Since it would be impossible to list the full range of possible mutations the following is meant to be only a guideline and new mutations should be considered where these would not interfere with the game.
01-05    No mutation whatsoever.
06-08    Ocular mutation:  The eyes are different from those of normal humans.  This may be a change in structure, number, color or any other variation of eye pattern.  By itself the mutation confers the ability to see twice as sharp as normal human vision.
09-11    Auricular mutation:  The ears are different in some way, like the ocular mutation any possible variation of ear structure can be chosen.  People with this mutation can hear faint noises with much better clarity than normal.
12-15    General mutation of facial features:  The face is changed or rearranged in some fashion that is not normal.  From a Quasimodo twisting of the features to a demonic mask that is definitely not human.  Physical Beauty is 1D4+1.
16-19    Hair mutation:  The hair is radically altered either in structure, abundance or placement.  Anything from a shocking neon color to the ability to dance around as if animated by a breeze.  Roll 1D4 twice, subtract the first roll from the second and add or subtract the result from Physical Beauty.
20-24    Skin mutation:  The skin has been altered either in consistency, pigmentation, appearance or texture.  The skin could hang from the body in folds or could be patterned like an animal hide.  Add 4D6 to S.D.C. and subtract one from Physical Beauty.
25-27    Glandular mutation:  The glandular system has been affected and the mutant produces a distinctive odor.  Anything from a smell of bananas to sex pheromones can be produced by the overactive glandular activity.  Roll 2D6 and 1D10 then subtract the second roll from the first and add the result to Mental Affinity.
28-31    Limb mutation:  The limbs are mutated and new limbs are a possibility.  The joints could be backwards or and arm could sprout from the chest.  The possibilities are many.  Either the legs or arms could be affected and sometimes they are both affected.  Strange and unusual limbs could provide certain advantages, but are most likely to be a disadvantage.  Each pair of extra limbs adds one attack or increases speed by 1D6, but every extra limb after the second imposes a -1 penalty to strike and a -1 penalty to dodge.
32-36    Hand and feet mutation:  The hands and feet are different and can have oddly shaped digits, more or less digits or can appear to be animal paws.  Any sort of combination is possible.  Roll 2D20 and subtract the result from 16, add the result to all dexterity based skills such as pick pockets, palming and prowl either as a penalty or a bonus.  In either case apply a -2 to hit with modern weapons.
37-42    Crippling mutation:  The character has a mutation that impairs one or more of his limbs.  Roll 1D4 for the number of limbs that are useless.  One crippled leg reduces speed by half and dodge bonuses to a maximum of +1.  One crippled arm reduces attacks per melee by one and eliminates any automatic parry possessed by the character.
43-54    Complementary mutation:  The character possesses some mutation related to his powers and clever characters might deduce his powers from observing his mutation.  A character with Alter physical structure: Ice might be unable to withstand temperatures higher than 27° F or a character with Extraordinary physical strength might be larger and broader than normal.  This character will usually have one mutation for each power he has.
54-59    Armor mutation:  The skin of the character is transformed into S.D.C. armor providing an armor rating of 18 and 4D6 X100 S.D.C. of protection.
60-64    Mega damage armor mutation:  The skin of the character is transformed into M.D.C. armor providing an armor rating of 18 and 2D6 X100 M.D.C. of protection.
65-69    Size mutation:  The size of the character is altered.  Use the mutant animal size tables in Heroes Unlimited and roll 1d20 to find new size.  Ignore Bio-E costs and apply the attribute modifiers of the specified size level.
70-78    Animal Mutation:  The character is altered to appear as a mutant animal.  Hands and stance are normal but appearance is either partial or none.  Either choose a specific animal to imitate or roll 2D6 and apply these to the characters attributes to simulate the animal abilities of the character.  Also add 1D4 X10 S.D.C.  Natural attacks are not gained.
79-87    Conditional mutation:  Choose or randomly roll 1D4 mutations except 01-05 No mutation whatsoever, but these mutations are only apparent when the character is using his powers.  At all other times the character looks like a normal human being and has no special powers.  Only apply benefits and bonuses from super abilities when transformed.
88-91    Mega Damage mutation:  The character is considered a Mega damage being and all hit points and S.D.C. are added together and converted to Mega damage.  All bonuses to S.D.C. are converted to M.D.C.
92-95    Supernatural mutation:  The physical attributes of the experiment are considered supernatural.  The character does Mega-damage with his unarmed melee attacks.
96-97    Two mutations:  Roll two mutations on this table ignoring rolls of 96 or higher.
98-99    Combined mutation:  Choose two mutations that complement each other in some fashion (such as animal mutation and armor mutation to simulate an armadillo).  Both mutations must be complementary and cannot interfere with each other.  A single mutation cannot be selected twice to acquire double bonuses.
00       Multiple mutations:  Roll 1D6+1 mutations ignoring any results of No mutation whatsoever or further Multiple mutations.  Reroll any duplicate results until all the mutations indicated by the die roll have been taken.

2.  Super Abilities:  The human mutant and experiment are the only two R.C.C.'s in Rifts that can choose super abilities from Heroes Unlimited.  At first level the experiment/human mutant will have one major ability and two minor abilities.  Randomly roll the major ability then choose the minor abilities so as to complement the major ability.  At levels six and twelve choose one additional minor ability that is explained as the result of training in the other abilities.  So choose one that complements the established abilities or which can be seen as originating from an ability already possessed.  Each Major ability can be traded for two minor abilities and two minor abilities can be traded for one major ability, but only after both minor abilities have been obtained.  This means that at sixth level the character can choose not to select a minor ability and can instead wait until 12th level in order to select a major ability.  No ability may be changed once selected.
3.  P.P.E.:  The experiment and human mutant characters are virtual beacons of potential psychic energy brimming with power.  Base P.P.E. is P.E. attribute X2 plus M.E. attribute plus 6D6 at first level, plus another 2D6 per level.

Attribute Requirements:  None, only a willingness to submit to potentially life threatening and mutating genetic manipulation.
R.C.C. Skills
    Basic Mathematics (+20%)
    Language: Japanese & American (98%)
    Literacy: Japanese & American (98%)
    Computer Operation (+10%)
    Radio: Basic (+10%)
    Pilot: Automobiles (+5%)
    Pilot: Motorcycles (+5%)
    W.P. Energy Pistol
    W.P. One of choice.
    Hand to Hand: Basic
    Hand to Hand Basic can be changed to Hand to Hand Expert at the cost of one other skill selection, or to Hand to Hand Martial Arts (or Assassin if evil) at the cost of two other skill selections, or to Aikido, Kendo or Karate at the cost of three other skill selections.
R.C.C. Related Skills:  Select seven other skills, plus select two additional skills at level three, two at level six, and one at levels nine, twelve and fourteen.  Select one skill category to be the area of main interest from any of the following categories.  All skills selected from that one category receive a bonus of +15%, including physical skills if applicable.  This bonus does not apply to Secondary skills.  Weapon Proficiencies cannot be chosen as an area of main interest.
    Communications: Any
    Domestic: Any
    Electrical: Any only if selected as an area of main interest.  Basic Electronics only otherwise.
    Espionage: Any
    Mechanical: Any only if selected as an area of main interest.  Basic and Automotive only otherwise.
    Medical: Any only if selected as an area of main interest.  First Aid and Forensics only otherwise.
    Military: Any only if selected as an area of main interest.  None otherwise.
    Physical: Any
    Pilot: Any
    Pilot Related: Any
    Rouge Skills: Any
    Science: Any
    Technical: Any
    Weapon Proficiencies: Any
    Wilderness: Any
Secondary Skills:  The character also gets to select five secondary skills from the above list that do not benefit from the skill bonuses in parenthesis.
Standard Equipment:  One set of Mega damage body armor stylized to appear noble and intimidating.  One energy weapon with four E-clips and one S.D.C. ancient weapon.  Also a cape and miscellaneous gear worth 2D6 X1000 credits.
Money:  Depending on who is his sponsor and how useful his mutations are the experiment can start with the financial support of a very wealthy individual or organization.  Monthly salary will be 4D6 X1000 credits to start and the character will have 6D6 X1000 credits in savings.  Human mutants and unsponsored experiments start with 1D6 X1000 credits in savings and could have a day job that pays 3D6 X100 credits a month.
Cybernetics:  Starts with none and will avoid most cybernetics unless they complement his abilities or mutations.  Will not even consider bionics even for medical purposes.  Remember the abilities conferred by mutation can be damaged or even lost through bionic conversion.  Partial conversion reduces all super abilities by half. Also it can even have negative effects on some mutations such as the armor mutations which are also reduced by half.  Full bionic conversion destroys all super abilities as well as most mutations.

All Images are Copyright © 2002 William Adams and cannot be reproduced without permission.
Some Characters are inspired by the TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer and their use here does not represent a challenge to any pre-existing copyrights or trademarks.
Warning: This comic may include adult situations and suggestive dialogue not suited for minors.

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