The world ended before you were ever born. Humanity as it once existed is pretty much gone. Only the Elder is left here in the Ark, the only human among all of you. Among the Mutants
.The Elder says you are Humanities heirs, able to survive in the ruins they left for you. Strong enough to thrive despite the Rot, twisted enough to fight off the beasts and the Zone Ghouls. Blessed with bizarre powers that will let you survive out here in the Zone.
But surviving won’t be easy. The People are dying. The Elder and the others raised you but now the Elder is the only one left and he’s not doing too well. No one will take care of you now and the stored food is running out. You’ll need to leave the Ark behind and find supplies, rediscover technology, meet allies, and hopefully find out why none of The People has ever had a child. It’s going to be tough, humanity left you one shit of a world but it’s your only chance.
Mutant: Year Zero
Mutant: Year Zero (MY0) is a Swedish RPG recently updated and translated to English. As the name suggests you will play Mutants, people blessed or cursed with strange abilities and deformities.The game takes place after an apocalypse, though your characters don’t know exactly what happened things are pretty fucked now. You were raised by a group of unmutated humans here in the Ark, but only a single one, the Elder, is left. Besides the Elder everyone else in the Ark is a young adult of about 20 plus or minus a few years. The Ark has been your sanctuary against the wider world, and only a few of the inhabitants have ever left it. That’s going to have to change.
The game is about community, survival, and exploration. Characters aren’t wandering adventurers but rooted in their community. Building a windmill can be a bigger accomplishment than killing a monstrous mutated bear. While the setting is harsh there is hope in it. You can find out what happened in the past and build a new future for yourselves. You also can slowly die of dehydration as your home descends into cannibalism, so be careful.
The setting takes a lot of cues from Fallout or Gamma World. The apocalypse happened in the near future to a society whose technology isn’t that different than our own. This isn’t hard science fiction by any means though, mutated animals and humans can do things like breathe fire and read minds. Inside the ark technology is cruder. There are single shot scrap guns, spears, and some canned food. The recovery of artifacts and building new infrastructure is an important part of the game.
A free starter booklet
is available to get a grasp of the system if you don’t have the book. It’s a dicepool system where 6’s are successes. Your dicepool is made up of your characters ability, skill, and equipment. There is also a mechanic to allow you to re-roll your dice at a cost, any ones you roll with your ability and equipment dice will result in damage or equipment degradation. You don’t need to buy the main rulebook if you want to play, but you should read the rule section in the starter booklet starting on page 49, though I’ll also explain the rules here and go into more detail as things come up.
A note on the dice. MY0 uses special dice that come in three colors. Since that won’t be practical for us you can roll with Geth by asking him to roll xd6+yd6+zd6. We’ll always roll in order of attribute, skill, equipment.
The game takes place in two main phases. There is an Ark Phase where as players you will make decisions for the Ark itself about what projects to pursue and what your characters do during downtime. This are things like building a farm or some better walls. After this the game transitions to an open world hexcrawl. You’ll be able to travel and explore the zone, search for artifacts, food, and other survivors.
The Zone is a dangerous place. Between monsters, the Rot, other survivors, and your own mutant powers you may not be long for this world. If your character dies they’re dead, but you’ll be able to make a new character. On the other hand if you’re careful, smart, and lucky you can make it out in one piece.
If you are interested in playing and you have the book you can create a character as normal, with one little exception below. If you do not have the book then you can use the rules in the starter booklet to create a character. If you want to play a different class than the ones in the starter booklet or have a different starting talent let me know and I’ll guide you through that process.
The first step is choosing a role, this is like a class. Each role has access to unique talents, a set of starting equipment, a key attribute and a class skill. The eight roles are Enforcer, Gearhead, Stalker, Fixer, Dog Handler, Chronicler, Boss, and Slave. The first four roles are available in the starter booklet, but if you are interested in one of the other four and you don’t have the rule book that will be fine.
Next distribute 14 points across the four attributes, Strength, Agility, Wits, and Empathy. You have to have at least 2 points in each attribute and no more than 4 points in any attribute. The exception is your roles key attribute which can be five.
After that you can distribute 10 points across the skills. You can have up to five points in any given skill. Each Skill is also linked to an attribute. When you use a skill you roll 1d6 for each point in the skill, for each point in it’s linked attribute, and for any equipment bonus that you have. The skills are: 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). In addition each class has it’s own unique skill like Find the Path for Stalkers.
Finally you choose a Talent, each playbook has three options for talents and I’ll cover those once you get to that step.
Mutations are another important part of your character. Your mutation isn’t something you chose, and as such it’s not something you choose as a player either. The default in the book is to roll for your mutation after creating your character, but I’ll make a small exception here and allow you to roll for your mutation before you create your character if you would like. Roll two d6’s and I’ll let you know what mutation you have. While you start out with just one mutation you will gain more as we play the game.
After we create the Ark you can choose your characters relationships with NPCs and PCs, a Big Dream, buy any equipment you want with your starting bullets, and describe your Den within the Ark.
The Ark and the Zone
The Ark is the only home you’ve ever known, and it’s your safety in the danger of the zone. After you all create your characters we can pick which of the two Zones you want to start in, the ruins of New York
. Then you can pick where you want the Ark to be and design it. It could be an old hospital, a beached ship, a mall, or anything else. It will take up one square on the map and be the safest place in the Zone, for now at least The Ark is yours to design and populate with NPCs, both rivals and friends. You get to choose where the Ark will be located. Some place towards the middle is probably best. The Ark should have a source of water, an old well, a purification device, rain collectors, or something similar. If someone with artistic talent wants to volunteer to draw a rough map of the Ark that would be appreciated.
You then can choose the exact starting population, this should be around 200 mutants. No children are born in the Ark, and thanks to disease, violence, and the spectre of starvation this number will go down before it goes up.
Finally the Ark also has stats, as a group you’ll distribute 12 points among four attributes, called Development Levels. These are food supply, culture, technology, and warfare. You’ll be able to raise these values by completing projects and finding Artifacts.
While the Ark is known to you and safe the Zone on the other hand is a mystery. Any time you leave the Ark is dangerous, but potentially very rewarding. Here is where you’ll fight irradiated monsters, meet new, interesting, and dangerous people, find relics of the past, and get exposed to the ever present Rot. You can also find answers to the questions the Elder refuses to tell you. What was the world like before? What happened? Where did you come from? Is the fabled Eden, a place of sanctuary, real?
Who are you
If you are interesting in playing sign up here. I’m hoping for 3-6 players. You can either post a character concept or roll 2d6 and I’ll let you know what your mutation is. Once we get our brave band together it will be time to start exploring the Zone.
Good luck Mutants, you’ll need it.