Additional Backgrounds (Optional)


Continuing from my previous post on the subject, here are four additional post-apocalyptic backgrounds for Mutant Future: feral, hedonist, marauder, and sleeper.

As with the original backgrounds listed earlier, these rules are very optional.


Ferals are either born in the wild, abandoned, orphaned, or just lost in the wilderness. With constant acts of violence by mutants, raiders, and rogue deathbots, it is not suprising that many youths find themselves lost and alone in the wastes. Feral characters tend to be tougher than others, but not well educated. They are often antisocial or just not given to much talking. Even those reunited with their families or who join clans and communities have a lot of problems fitting in. Ferals tend to be loners, suspicious of others, and are often strong, silent types.

Game Rule Information:

Ferals possess the following background traits:

Races: Restricted to Mutant Human, Mutant Animal, and Sentient Plant.

Ability Modifiers: +2 Constitution, +1 Willpower, -2 Intelligence, -1 Charisma. Ferals possess great stamina and will to survive, but usually are not very bright and have trouble integrating into society.

Tech Level: Ferals are primitive and suffer a -15% penalty to Technology Rolls. In addition, a feral cannot make Technology Rolls for Complexity Class 3 artifacts – they are beyond their comprehension.

Automatic Language: None! Many ferals communicate using only grunts and gestures. However, an unusually-intelligent feral can start with one or more ‘bonus languages’. Ferals are illiterate by default.

Radiation Tolerance: Exposure to radiation in the post-apocalyptic wastes has provided ferals with a tolerance to its effects. Treat all radiation exposure as one class lower in terms of damage and effects.

Tech Foe: Ferals gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls against higher-tech foes. This bonus applies to robots, cyborgs, soldiers in powered armour, or even an otherwise low-tech enemy with a blaster or other high-tech weapon. A feral loses this bonus for the adventure session if he has used higher-tech items or is equipped with any higher-tech gear.


Hedonist communities are completely sheltered from the outside world, often in underground vaults, fully automated and enclosed dome cities, or similar structures. Now, generations after the Fall, they have continued to exist as they always have, in hedonistic simplicity and blissful ignorance.

Spared the majority of the death and destruction visited upon the world, most hedonists have grown ‘soft’ in their years of self-imposed isolation. Since they have been kept in relative security for such a long time, they no longer understand how to fight, wage war, or even survive on their own.

Game Rule Information:

Hedonists possess the following background traits:

Race: Pure or Stock Human only.

Ability Modifiers: +1 Charisma, -1 Willpower. Hedonists are typically friendly and sociable, but lack the strength of will of those who are forced to survive on their own.

Tech Level: Hedonists are surrounded by the relics of the Ancients from birth. They automatically understand Complexity Class 1 artifacts and receive a +10% bonus on all other Technology Rolls.

Automatic Language: Ancient. The High Tongue and Unislang are often learned by those rare hedonists who venture into the wastes. A hedonist’s literacy is determined by race and Intelligence.

Delicate: Hedonists often have a hard time adapting to conditions outside and receive a -2 penalty to Abiilty Checks related to environmental hazards.

Naïve: Because of their sheltered upbringing, hedonists receive a -2 penalty on all bluff-related Ability Checks as well as attempts to determine the true motives of others.


Not all inhabitants of this brave new world make a living off their own sweat. Many find it easier to bully or harass others into giving them what they need to survive. Marauders are the scourge of the wastes, destroying what others have managed to build. PCs from this background are likely to be ex-raiders who have turned from their old ways.

These same background traits can be used for bandits, gangers (city-based raiders), slavers, etc.

Game Rule Information:

Marauders possess the following background traits:

Races: Any except Android.

Ability Modifiers: +1 Strength, -1 Charisma. For marauders, might makes right. They tend to be strong, but do not play well with others.

Tech Level: Although they may covet Ancient relics, marauders are not technically-minded and receive a -10% penalty on all Technology Rolls.

Automatic Language: Gutterspeak. Unislang is common as a second language. All marauders are illiterate by default – even Pure Humans – and must select ‘Literacy’ as a bonus language to be able to read and write.

Reputation: Because of their brutal reputations, marauders receive a +2 bonus on Charisma Ability Checks related to threats or intimidation.


Using cryogenics to survive past the fall of civilization or a nuclear winter is a common theme in the post-apocalyptic genre. Such ‘sleepers’ could have vast knowledge of Ancient ways, technology, and the locations of ruins to loot… Unfortunately, spending centuries as a popsicle has a detrimental effect on memory and all sleepers are afflicted with amnesia.

In addition, sleepers are ignorant of many aspects of post-apocalyptic world: its society, geography, and languages. Sleepers may be worshipped by survivors, or killed for the ‘crime’ of ruining the world, or perish simply because they are not strong enough to survive in the mutant future.

Game Rule Information:

Sleepers possess the following background traits:

Race: Pure or Stock Human only.

Ability Modifiers: +1 Intelligence, -1 Constitution. Even though they are afflicted by amnesia (see below), sleepers still benefit somewhat from their pre-Fall education. However, they are not as hardy as other characters.

Tech Level: Due to their intimate familiarity with Ancient relics, sleepers automatically understand Complexity Class 1 and Class 2 artifacts and receive a +20% bonus on all other Technology Rolls.

Automatic Language: All sleepers are fluent in Ancient and are automatically literate. However, because they have slept the centuries away, they do not start out knowing any post-apocalyptic languages. With experience, a sleeper may be able to learn modern dialects (by filling any unused ‘bonus language’ slots).

Amnesia: Sleepers do not recall any specific memories of their life before the Fall. Although they retain general abilities and skills – including a knack for technology – their minds have been damaged from extended cryo-sleep and they cannot remember any details.

Delicate: Sleepers are not adapted to post-Fall conditions and receive a -2 penalty to Ability Checks related to environmental hazards.


One comment

  1. I was sneaky and edited the date on this post so it wouldn’t appear above the latest game entry on the main page.

    Note that these rules are a continuation from a previous post.

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