Saturday 7 January 2012

Carcosa -- Racial determination and benefits

So, as I mentioned in my mini-review of the mighty Carcosa supplement, my thoughts turned immediately to using the book in play. As the book comes with no assumed rules set (it's broadly D&D, but could work with any edition really), this inevitably led to the question: which game system to use to run it? What came to mind is three things: Labyrinth Lord (for the D&D base), Mutant Future (to further emphasise the pulp sci-fi / post-apocalyptic elements in Carcosa) and Call of Cthulhu (for more rituals -- more on this another time).

What I ended up deciding on is a mixture of all three! The base is Mutants & Mazes, the LL-MF integration described in an appendix of Mutant Future. I've come up with a very simple custom character generation system, which I'll post here in sections over the coming days.

The first topic is race. The Carcosa book describes the 13 different races of Men who inhabit the planet, but doesn't mention how a PC's race should be determined, or any differences between the races apart from skin colour. So I thought a random table would be in order, including some little mechanical differences for each of the races.

1-2Black+1 bonus to saving throws versus poison or disease
3-4Blue+1 bonus to unarmed attacks
5-6Bone+1 CON
7-8Brown+1 bonus to saving throws versus magic
9-10Dolm+1 bonus to melee attacks
11-12Green+1 STR
13-14Jale+1 bonus to learning rituals
15-16Orange+1 INT
17-18Purple+1 WIS
19-20Red+1 bonus to missile attacks
21-22Ulfire+1 CHA
23-24White+1 DEX
25-26Yellow+1 bonus to saving throws versus fear or psionics
27-28Roll againGain a mutation*. Additional rolls of 27-28 stack.
29-30Roll againGain a psionic power. Additional rolls of 29-30 stack.

* For racially determined mutations I'll probably use the table in the appendix of Carcosa. Obviously, as I'm planning on using Mutant Future, the beneficial mutations therein will also come into play.

ps. For players in my Labyrinth Lord campaign: don't worry, your PCs are not about to be mysteriously warped to Carcosa! Haha. I'll probably run it as a one shot / occasional sessions, just for fun.


  1. Yet another amazing post!
    I'm think I'll "borrow" elements of your table for my own weird science-fantasy campaign. Mutations will play a bigger role in my campaign, so I'm thinking about increasing the odds of starting out with them (40%). I will probably also come up with a warpstone-like element to make it more of a threat to adventurers.
    I'm looking forward to your future posts.

  2. Interesting that we both get the urge to latch onto the rather small mention of mutations in Carcosa and run with it! Your warpstone idea sounds cool too.

  3. I just think it's really cool to have a bunch of blue and purple mutants running around the weird fantasy game. LOL!


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