Thursday, April 18, 2013

Falloutifying Mutant Future

I love Mutant Future for its simplicity. It is easy to understand for the players and simple to run for the Referee. Still playing Fallout 3 video game I cannot but think about adding something from it to MF. Because as simple as MF is it is super easy to modify.

Would I use Falloutified version of Mutant Future in my gaming table? I don't know. The reason is I love how simple Mutant Future is so why should I add things to make it more complicated? Just for fun? Maybe I would use Fallout styled system for Fallout styled setting (recreating Fallout game for tabletop) but otherwise I'd just stick with basic Mutant Future.

Still, here are some thoughts and changes.

Note: If I would use these ideas these would need serious re-writing and field testing. These are just thoughts how to convert some aspects of Fallout system to Mutant Future. I say again: I love Mutant Future for its simplicity. That's the point of MF. To be simple and fun!

Sometimes making extra rules, modifications, more options it just ruins the fun of the game. You forget why the game was fun when you focus on rules, extra rules and special rules. As long as you just get to roll some dice in fun adventures it's usually enough. The older I get the quicker I want rules resolution to be. I don't want to read days after days hundreds of pages of rules and mechanics. I want to grab a game, read it a hour or two and be ready to go!


I think the core six abilities work well enough. You could replace those with Fallout abilities (get rid of the Luck). First is MF second is replacement from Fallout.

Strength - Strength
Dexterity - Agility
Constitution - Endurance
Intelligence - Intelligence
Willpower - Perception
Charisma - Charisma

See, no difference. Except with Willpower and Perception. Does Mutant Future need Perception? Not necessarily. Willpower is essential for mental attacks though. In Fallout 3 there are seven abilities so for Falloutified Mutant Future the abilities might be:

Strength (Mod. to damage)
Endurance (Poison save mod., Radiation save mod)
Charisma (Reaction adjustment)
Intelligence (Technology mod., Initiative)
Agility (AC mod.)
Luck/Willpower (Mental attacks and "wild roll" for luck etc.)

Roll 3d6 seven times in order.


In Fallout 3 there are skills what Mutant Future lacks (roll d20 under attribute to success). This needs no modification, only adding a feature. Only tricky thing is combat oriented skills. In Mutant Future your to-hit is determined by your level (+ modifier from STR or DEX to roll). So this needs some work. More about this in "Combat" section of this post.

So, the skills you got are (derived skill in brackets):

  • Barter (CHA): Proficiency of trading and haggling.
  • Big Guns (END): Proficiency at using "unortodox weaponry"
  • Energy Weapons (PER): Proficiency at using energy-based weapons
  • Explosives (PER): Proficiency at using explosive weaponry
  • Lockpick (PER): Proficiency at picking locks
  • Medicine (INT): Proficiency at using medical tools and drugs
  • Melee Weapons (STR): Proficiency at using melee weapons 
  • Repair (INT): Proficiency at repairing items
  • Science (INT): Proficiency at hacking terminals
  • Small Guns (AGI): Proficiency at using conventional firearms
  • Sneak (AGI): Proficiency at remaining undetected and stealing
  • Speech (CHA): Proficiency at persuading others
  • Unarmed (END): Proficiency at unarmed fighting
As you can see, most of the things in skills are covered in Mutant Future. Combat and technological tasks. Sneaking, lockpicking etc. can be covered with roll under ability. Speech? Roleplay it and use reaction modifier... Does Mutant Future need skills? Not at all. But if your player wants more character development the skills are nice touch and an extra option to go for.


Fallout 3 has pain-in-the-ass mathematics in its rules. So calculating skills is a bitch. The formula is:
2 + Stat x 2) + [Luck / 2]
If you want to calculate those initiative values like that... you're welcome. I'd just cut some corners and just make initiative value what the deliered ability is. So if your Intelligence is 16 your initiative values of Medicine, Repair and Science are 16. I think that's close enough.

So your first step is to calculate or just write down the initiative skill values. After that you "tag" three skills. The skills you "tag" get +15.

That's it.


In Mutant Future when you level up you roll dice to see in what you get better. Get rid of that. You now got some skill points to share and a perk. Here's a list of perks in Fallout 3:
Choose one perk per level. See the requirements. You need to modify those and some perks fit video game better than a tabletop game.

At a level up you also can distribute 10 (13 if well educated perk) + INT / 2 skill points.

You get XP and other character advancements from:

  1. Killing enemies. Check xp chart in Mutant Future
  2. Loot. Check MF for details
  3. Quests. This is new. Mutant Future gives you exp from killing and looting, now additional option is questing! Depending on the quest you'll get 10-150 exp. 150 should be earthmoving! Grande finale of big campaign. Quest experience points should be treat for players.
  4. Skill books! Yes. Amongst the loot there might be skill books what give +1 to a skill associated to that book. HERE's some inspiration for skill books found in Fallout 3.
  5. Quest awards. Some quests might award characters with special abilities or skill bonuses. You might consider some special quest related perks to be given. But don't give these too much. These should be extra special treats!


This needs thinking. In Fallout you combat with skills. In Mutant Future with character level. How to make this more Fallout? Or less.

I haven't thought this enough so here's just suggestions. Don't know how the game balance works compared to both originals. You could either:

a) Ditch the combat skills and keep non-combat skills. Character now gets INT / 2 skill points per level (+3 if well educated) as there are less skills involved.

b) All characters attack as 1st levels. Always. Add +1 to d20 roll for every full 10 of combat skill. So if you got Big Guns 27 you roll d20 + 2 when shooting.

AC will be the same. Armor + AC modifier.

If you go full skill based combat you need to work things out. To hit opponent is equal to your skill as %. So if your combat skill is 69 you roll d100 under 69 to hit. Armor is now DR (damage reduce). So if you hit, roll damage and reduce armor of it. Minimum damage is always 1.

The huge converting problem in this method is AC in Mutant Future. The smaller the number is the better the AC is! So you'd have to convert all armors and monster ACs... You could make a convertion list though. It might be:

AC 9 = DR 0
AC 8 = DR 2 OR 1 OR 1
AC 7 = DR 4 OR 2 OR 3
AC 6 = DR 6 OR 3 OR 4
AC 5 = DR 8 OR 4 OR 6
AC 4 = DR 10 OR 5 OR 7
AC 3 = DR 12 OR 6 OR 9
AC 2 = DR 14 OR 7 OR 10
AC 1 = DR 16 OR 8 OR 12
AC 0 = DR 18 OR 9 = OR 13

I'd also rule damage dice to be exploding. So you roll highest result you roll again and add.

I'd also rule that natural 20 (on d20) or 1-5 (on d100) are critical hits dealing double damage.


Using d20 if you roll 1 it's a botch. Things don't just fail but go really wrong. Also if you are using an item it's condition grade is decreased by 1. Using d100 results 1-5 are a botch.

Using d20 if you roll 20 it's a critical success. Things go really well (see combat for combat rolls).

Saving throws are not affected by criticals and botches. Only skill uses are.


In Mutant Future radiation damages you. In Fallout 3 there's points for radiation and effects based on those points in a scale up to 1000 and beyond. Do you want to book keep it? Be my quest.

If you don't want to keep Mutant Future radiation rules replace it with this:

Characters have Radiation gauge of 100. They take radiation like in Mutant Future rules but instead of taking damage they add their radiation gauge. When they get enough radiation there's some effects:

  • 0-19: No effect
  • 20-39: Minor radiation poisoning (-2 (-10%) END)
  • 40-59: Advanced radiation poisoning (-4 END (-20%), -2 (-10%) AGI)
  • 60-79: Critical radiation poisoning (-6 END (-30%), -4 (20% AGI, -2 (-10%) STR)
  • 80-99: Deadly radiation poisoning (-6 (-30%) END, -6 (-30%) AGI, -4 (-20%) STR)
The scale is good but the effects are dull. I'd modify those. It's too much bookkeeping to calculate attributes. I'd say that END based are hitpoint loss. AGI is to AC, STR is to damage).
Also it could affect skill use. Every 1 point of attribute loss by radiation is -10% to skills.
So if you are suffering Advanced radiation poisoning your END based skills are at -20% and AGI based skills at -10%.

You can heal radiation with special cyrine or treatment from doctor who has capabilities to treat radiation.


I think Mutant Future inventory covers weapons well enough. Also other equipment are well covered. The items you need are chems. There are some in Mutant Future and most important are RadAway and Rad-X.

RadAway decreases your radiation by 15.
Rad-X gives you bonus to Save versus Radiation (roll twice for example).


There's rules for technology rolls in Mutant Future. Use them to discover new technological properties of special equipment. When character has identified the item he can use skill to use it (Science for computers for example). Repair skill is different.

Replace Mutant Future's optional Repairing Technology rules with this:

To repair a broken item roll your repair skill. Modify the repair skill by Complexity class of the item:
  • Complexity class 1: No mod.
  • Complexity class 2: Repair skill / 2
  • Complexity class 3: Repair skill / 3
Roll modified repair skill. If d100 result is under you successfully repair the item. If not, you don't repair it.

Some items might be repaired without tools, some need tools and some spare parts. It's up to Referee to decide what the repairing needs.

Usually it might be a good idea to use a similar item to repair another. Take the condition grade of the item you repair and the condition grade of the item you use as spare parts. You improve the condition grade of the repaired item by the condition grade of spare part item's condition grade / 2 (minimum 1).

So repairing condition grade 4 assault rifle with condition grade 3 assault rifle you get +1 (3 / 2 = 1,5 = 1) to the weapon being repaired. The spare parts item will be lost. No condition grade can rise higher than 5.

Optional rule:
The maximum condition grade you can repair an item is based on your Repair skill.

  • Condition Grade 1: Repair skill 1-20
  • Condition Grade 2: Repair skill 21-40
  • Condition Grade 3: Repair skill 41-60 
  • Condition Grade 4: 61-80
  • Condition Grade 5: Repair skill 90-100


Items wear down and you need to repair them (above rules). Use Mutant Future condition grades. Every time you botch your roll using an item or in armors get hit by critical attack the item's condition grade is decreased. When the condition grade is 0 the item is nonfunctional and must be repaired.


Are there any other rules and system conversions needed to make Mutant Future like Fallout?

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