Monday, May 16, 2016

Fiddle with the clicky bit...

Figuring out how technological items function has been a part of many a post-apocalptic campaign. Mutant Future uses a simple chance based system anf Gamma World used a flow chart. Both leave me a little flat as each is really just an exercise in dice rolling with the only choice being to keep trying until it works or something bad happens.  Here's an example tailored for use with Mutant Future but likely adaptable to other systems (it's a first draft so it could be a bit dodgy).

How to Use.
1. Start at the box numbered the same as the condition of the item in question.
2. Roll 1d100 and add the technology bonsues for INT, mutations, and special abilities that apply. (do not divide this chance by complexity class as per standard MF rules)
3. progress from step to step by following dice rolls to next box, if dice score isn't shown no change is made in the steps.
4. Should the player end up on OOPS ! Something bad happens that either damages the technological item or hurts the character trying to figure out the device (Ref's decision based on situation). Regardless of bonuses a roll of 1 that leads to "OOPS !" will always count as OOPS ! (but should likely only damage the item)
5. If the rolls on the chart  progress to READY ! it's been figured out and is ready for the character to use.

click me!

This chart can be used for repairs also or maybe even have repairs wrapped up into figuring out the item. Getting to Ready ! with a score of over 100 on the final roll will improve the item condition by 1 step.

This chart came about from reading these two posts in regards to a possible future post-apocalyptic supplement to Seven Voyages of Zylarthen based on Gamma World:


  1. Very interesting and idea provoking.
    1. Do the players know this is what the chart looks like?
    2. Is it better/worse if they do?
    3. So is "bash it!" where you go if you're on 5 and roll under 50? Not quite sure I understand.
    4. Could something like "bash it!" always be an option, whose chances for success/failure varied according to where you were in the chart? You would have to write it so that it was a not irrational response to being stuck--promising a way out but also greater potential danger.
    5. What program/tool did you use to create the flowchart?

  2. 1&2. probably depends on the campaign more tech-wise characters shuld likely always see the chart.
    3. If you roll under 50 you can keep on bashing it or decide to quit bashing it (unless you roll 10 or less which sends you to Oops!
    4. The bash it option could probably be tried whenever but it would only provide a difference when called out as a step on the chart. 5. I drew the chart with Adobe Illustrator.

  3. 1). What happens if one rolls lower than the minima (20-89)?

    2). (4) is confusing. What happens there?

    3). (5) What if one 'bashes it' and rolls less than 50?
    3a). (5) No taking us back to (4) and my Q1.

  4. 1. stay put, no progress.
    2. cell 4 goes to "fiddle clicky bit" on a roll of 20-89, on a roll of 90+ it advances to position 5.
    3. they stay put, they can continue to bash the device like a 1970's television set (risking the oops chance), continue with another course of action (goto step 4) or just give up.

    3a. brings us back to 4 because one has chosen to stop bashing the device but to continue to try to work out the device.

    The square cells and the diamonds are all equally positions in figuring out the device. Heading back to before you started doesn't mean the device has downgraded (unless the GM wants to be a stinker I suppose) it just means it's going to take longer to figure out.