Monday, September 26, 2011

I Was A Teenage Mutant Caveman

This post and a couple following outline a Teenage Mutant Caveman setting as a Different Mutant Future Campaign. The end of civilization happened long ago and tiny pockets of devolved humanity struggle as stone-age savages.

The People have always lived in the valley among the caves. It has always been taboo to travel outside the valley. Those fools that do have wandered back sickened and followed by monsters so all of The People know to stay in the valley. Each generation breeds rebellious youth and as always youth press the limits and some break taboos will the PC's be foolish enough to travel beyond the valley?

Character Creation
PCs in this setting will all begin as Teenage members of The People a primitive Stone-Age tribe of 100-200 or so Mutant Cave-men. Knowledge of the old world is totally absent and long forgotten.
All PC's will start off as Teenage Mutant Caveman (surprise!) 13+1d4 years in age. The People will not accept outsiders, mutant animals or androids at the start of a campaign.

Ability Scores and Modifiers:
+3 to CON (max 18).
If a Teenage Mutant Caveman survives to age 19 they will gain +3 to STR (max 18)
Technology Roll Modifier: -15%, Teenage Mutant Cavemen are not familiar with anything they can't build with sticks, cord and stones.

Tracking Roll Modifier: hunting is a common practice of The People and all PC's will have a Tracking Roll Modifier equal to that listed in the rules for the Technology Roll Modifier based on Intelligence (without the penalty listed above)

Every member of the The People has the same physical Mutation (the ML should choose or roll one for the campaign).
Each member of The People belongs to a family line identified by a common mutation (the ML or Player can roll this 1-20/21-100 mental/physical), all other members of The People that are closely related will have that mutations.
A Teen Age mutant Cave man will have 1 additional Physical Mutations rolled up by the player. A PC will also have 1d4-2 (0-2) mental mutations.

The People are nervous and distrust those with mental mutations families with a mental mutation keep it secret as it is dangerous except for those recognized as a shaman to demonstrate mental mutations as they are considered Bad Magic.

Starting Equipment:
Teenage Mutant Caveman will be allowed one equipment pick per 3 whole points of CHA they have which must be selected from the following list (or one created by the ML).

Teenage Mutant Caveman Equipment
Stone Knife- treat as a dagger in MF rules
Stone Headed Spear- treat as a spear as per MF rules
Spear Thrower- double spear range and provides +2d6 damage bonus to targets within short range.
Throwing Stick- treat as club that can be thrown 10'/20'/30'
Stone Axe- treat as hand-axe, if thrown the blade breaks on a damage roll of 1 or simply falls off on a damage roll of 6 (3 full 10 minute turns to fix).
Sling- a good old fashioned sling, no bullets are manufactured however.
Fur Wrap- Keeps one warm, cavemen without one are naked.
Fur Boots- a good pair of fur boots, without them one moves long distance overland at 1/2 speed
Rain Cape- a smooth and oiled hide used to keep the rain off when caught outside.
Hollow Gourd- a gourd held on a thong serves as the only means to carry water.
A Bag- a bag carried over the shoulder is the peak of storage technology.
Smoked Meat- the pinnacle of stored food. Enough for 1 day.
Sewing Kit- needle and fine cord for fiixing hides.
Fire Kit- a simple means to make fire. Fire making is an important skill among the people.
Fire Carrier- a basket full of shelf fungus, a means to transport coals over a large distance, important for when hunting in remote parts of the valley.
Digger- a digging stick and essential tool for foraging.

Stone Weapon breakage: all stone weapons break on an attack roll of 1 or 20. (20 still harms foe).

As can be seen from the list above the technology of The People is pretty limited. The people have no armor and may react poorly to shields upon discovery.

Technology and Teenage Mutant Cavemen:
Teenage Mutant Caveman and their elders are totally unfamiliar with technology, even metal is alien and wondrous to them. NPCs may flee in terror when confronted with obvious advanced technology. Teenage Caveman in possession of advanced technology may find themselves in great danger and may be driven from the tribe a reaction roll is recommended when they use or display such items near the tribe.

Property Rights
The People are a little iffy on individual property rights. If a character has more possessions then their CHA score/3 a roll must be made at the start of each session begun among The People to see what happens to those extra items.

Property Retention Roll (3d6)
3-4....Tribesman attacks for possession of Item
5...Stolen and hidden by thief.
6...Stolen and displayed by thief.
7...Borrowed without permission.
8...Borrowed and loaner item left in place.
9...Tribesman argues about right to borrow item.
10...Tribesman argues about right to trade for item.
11...Tribesman offers trade calmly.
12-18...Item stays in possession with no incident of note.

If the possessor of an item has CHA 13+ add 1 to the retention roll
If the possessor of an item has high prestige (an elder a leader of recent successful hunts and such) they add 2 to the retention roll.

When an Item is Stolen the tribesman claiming it does not recognize any special right to the character the item was stolen from. Theft is embarrassing but not a punished offense beyond squabbles that may break out between those desiring item. An time that invites frequent incident may be claimed by chief, secured by the shaman, or destroyed. One does not borrow from the chief or shaman without special need.

A Borrowed item will be returned after 2-12 days, 20% chance it is returned damaged (there is no recourse to this socially as broken gear reflects on the quality of the item not the user)

A PC may be able to Borrow one item at the beginning of a session and is unlikely to face repercussion if they return the item borrowed. (use reaction roll if ML wishes)

coming up in future posts: hunting, adventure and a sample setting.


  1. I've actually been considering doing something like this myself. Excellent post. I'll be stealing from here for my own needs.

  2. @Ian, glad to you like it and can find it of use. There is a post on hunting coming up tomorrow.

  3. Very cool setting. I'm a sucker for Stone Age gaming, so mixing it with MF is a win in my book.