Welcome back, dice fondlers! Last week, we went over the general guidelines on how to build a character for Mutant: Year Zero. This week, we start building a party of four mutants to occupy our Ark. We’ll take this week and next to build this team, and then we’ll join them as we define their Ark, how it works, and what their post-apocalyptic society is like.
Roles, Ages, & Names
Following the order of operations for Mutant character creation means that for our team of four, we’re going to start with picking their Roles. With eight roles to start with, we have an easy 1d8 roll to make. With a 2, 6, 7 and 5, using our list, that gives us a Gearhead, a Boss, a Chronicler, and a Dog Handler. That definitely sets us up for some interesting stories. Are our characters all part of the same unit to start with, following the group Boss to some extent? Are they all thrust together because of some fracturing event in the Ark’s social structure?
The next two items on our list are name and age, respectively. Name and age are pretty wildly varied. For names, to keep in the spirit of our random adventures, we’ll be using The Fantasy Name Generator – Apocalypse/Mutant option.
For ages, we’ll actually just use a d12. We know that no member of the People is older than 30. So, to keep this relatively easy, we’ll assume our characters are 18 + [the roll on the d12]. That should cover our bases.
For our names, the first four that appear on the list, in order, are Zero, Cinders, Dragonfly, and Desire. Our dice rolls get us, in order, 12, 6, 7, and 9. So let’s compile this all together.
Our first character is Zero the Gearhead who is 30 years old, one of the oldest of the People. We have Cinders the Boss, who is 24, and the youngest of our four characters. We have Dragonfly the Chronicler, who is 25 years old. Finally, our Dog Handler is a 27-year-old named Desire. What kind of story are these names are already telling? How do you get a Dog Handler named Desire? What kind of attitude does a character have who is already a Boss even though they’re relatively young and is known by the name Cinders? What sort of stories does the eldest Gearhead in the Ark have to share?
Next, we move on to Attributes. We have 14 points to distribute across four Attributes, and one of them has to have a value of five. This actually shakes out pretty nicely for us as we can go in reverse order – 5, 4, 3, 2 for our Attributes and hit our correct point number. We’ll roll a d4 and use that to keep sorting them out. The first number is our best, then each unique number after is the next value down. Remember our Attributes are Strength, Agility, Wits, and Empathy. Let’s get rolling!
- Zero the Gearhead – Wits: 5, Empathy: 4, Agility: 3, Strength: 2
- Cinders the Boss – Empathy: 5, Strength: 4, Agility: 3, Wits: 2
- Dragonfly the Chronicler – Agility: 5, Empathy: 4, Wits: 3, Strength: 2
- Desire the Dog Handler – Wits: 5, Agility: 4, Strength: 3, Empathy 2
Our story continues to tell itself, doesn’t it? From the clever and empathetic “old man” Gearhead to the relatively cold and quick Dog Handler, we are starting to get a good handle on our characters and their potential stories.
Finally, for this installment, we have our Skills. We have 12 Skills to choose from and 10 points to put into them. Our maximum rating can be no more than 3 in any starting skill. Our skills (and their relevant Attribute) are as follows:
- Endure (Strength)
- Force (Strength)
- Fight (Strength)
- Sneak (Agility)
- Move (Agility)
- Shoot (Agility)
- Scout (Wits)
- Comprehend (Wits)
- Know the Zone (Wits)
- Sense Emotion (Empathy)
- Manipulate (Empathy)
- Heal (Empathy)
To choose these and keep to our randomization theme, we’re going to roll a d12 to drop points into our characters and just reroll any that would put us over 3 points in a single Skill. Remember! This is only how we’re keeping things random. In a regular game of Mutant: Year Zero, you would be allocating points to Attributes and Skills as you see fit. We’re just looking to keep things fresh this way. Here are the results:
- Zero The Gearhead: Endure 1, Move 2, Sneak 1, Sense Emotion 1, Comprehend 2, Know The Zone 1, Shoot 1
- Cinders The Boss: Heal 2, Shoot 2, Move 1, Know The Zone 1, Manipulate 1
- Dragonfly The Chronicler: Manipulate 1, Shoot 1, Fight 2, Sense Emotion 1, Know The Zone 3, Comprehend 1, Force 1
- Desire The Dog Handler: Know The Zone 1, Sense Emotion 1, Sneak 4, Fight 1, Endure 1, Force 2, Move 1
And that gives our characters a pretty unique set of Skills. Interestingly, all our characters Know The Zone to at least some degree, while our Chronicler is pretty well-versed in it.
With these bits and bobs out of the way, next week we’ll be looking at Mutations, Talents, and our characters’ Relationships and Dreams. Thank you for spending this time with our mad little crew. We’ll see you next week and in the meantime, remember to…