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Replicants as Clones

30-Jul-08

Time for another variant rule. Here is a recasting of replicants from Mutant Future as a kind of clone. In this vision, ‘replicant’ is more like a template that can be applied to a character than an independent race. I’ve also put together some related rules for ‘brainscanning’ and ‘brainpeeling’.

The way I could see this used is to have a party find an operational replicant factory, complete with brainscanners/brainpeelers. Once clearing out whatever defenses exist, they can use such a facility to create ‘backup’ characters. Heck, maybe they could even find some ‘cranial cryo-cells’ (aka ‘head jars’) that could be carried around and used to preserve the brains of PCs after death for resurrection in a new replicant body…


Replicant

A replicant is an artificial biological creation, a fast-grown clone grown in a vat from DNA obtained from a donor ‘base creature’. Unlike the original, a replicant can be ‘grown’ to adulthood in a period of weeks. (This is also what distinguishes a replicant from a simple clone; a replicant is fast-grown.) A functioning replicant factory is required to create a them. Some replicants can be found in ruins, in cryosleep much like Ancient humans can be.

Replicants are designed to mimic the base creature in all ways, and are physically indistinguishable from the original unless extremely detailed analysis is performed. The only exception is the replicant’s lifespan – they live for only five years before their bodies break down and they die.

While a replicant represents a physical copy of the original, a brainscan or brainpeel is required to complete the mind and create a fully functional being (see below for details).

Game Rule Information:

Ability Scores: Same as the base creature’s original scores (ignoring changes due to level advancement or other factors). If a mind is not uploaded, the ‘blank’ replicant has a scores of 3 in INT, WIL, and CHA.

Hit Dice: Since they are grown in a controlled environment, replicants do not roll for hit points. Instead, they have 3 hit points per per point of CON.

Backgrounds: Same as the base creature (assuming a mind upload).

Mutations: Same as the base creatures (mental mutations require a mind upload).

Radiation Susceptibility: Replicants react differently to radiation than other characters. If a replicant fails five saving throws against radiation in one day, he develops a wasting disease that is fatal in 2d6 weeks, and 1d6 is subtracted from each ability per week. If any ability reaches 0, the replicant dies.

There is no cure for this disease, but at the referee’s option an automated clone bank may be capable of healing a replicant of this condition.

Reaction Adjustments: Same as the base creature.


Brainscanning and Brainpeeling

Memories are encoded within the physical structure of the brain on a molecular level. ‘Brainscanning’ and ‘brainpeeling’ are processes of copying all this information in a manner that can be ‘uploaded’ into a new replicant brain. Either technique requires specialized advanced equipment that is extremely rare and of questionable safety.

Brainscanning is a non-destructive technique that creates an imperfect copy, known as a ‘ghost’. A high-fidelity copy of the original mind can be produced through destructive brainpeeling, which requires either a living or freshly dead patient (or at least the severed head). This copy or ‘mind emulation’ is stored as data on a computer until it is copied into a living brain; a ‘naked consciousness’ outside of a brain is not possible.

A ghost is basically a simplified version of the original mind. In game terms, a ghost is a 0-level version of the copied character, with all the basic skills and abilities as well as the essential personality of the original, but with little or no memories of the scanned brain. On the upside, a brainscan doesn’t kill the original! A ghost uploaded into a replicant of the original PC can become a 1st-level character, given a few weeks of training and familiarization.

Destructive brainpeeling creates a mind emulation that is almost indistinguishable from the original character, including nearly all memories. When uploaded into a replicant of the original PC, the result is a character just one level lower than the original (assuming a fresh brain). Since the brain decays rapidly after death, the quality of the brainpeel from a cadaver may be significantly lower. For each turn after character death, reduce the level of the resultant brainpeel by one. A 0-level brainpeel is possible, but any further deterioration means that the copy is not viable.

Since a brainscan or brainpeel is stored as data, it can be copied into multiple brains if sufficient replicants are available. A character can thus create a veritable army of clones, as long as the necessary brainpeeling equipment and enough clone tubes are available.


Fitting It Together…

Given a DNA sample, a replicant factory can produce a fully-functional replicant of the original character in 1d4 weeks (one clone tube required per replicant). Given the right equipment, creating a brainscan takes 1d4 hours; a brainpeel requires twice as much time (2d4 hours). Uploading requires a similar amount of time.

The replicant and brainscanning/brainpeeling processes were designed for Stock Humans or Pure Humans. Near-Humans are close enough, so the same techniques should work with them. Trying to replicate a Mutant Human can have unpredictable results, at the discretion of the referee, and replicants of other character races are simply not possible.

Similarly, it is up to the referee to decide whether a mind of one character can be uploaded into the replicant body of another, though it is not recommended. At the very least, such a Frankenstein’s creation would be absolutely insane and suffer severe mental deficiencies.

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One comment

  1. The stuff about brainscanning and brainpeeling was swiped from GURPS Transhuman Space, a cool RPG book that I could never figure out how to use in an actual game.



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