I came up with this setting for a thread the other day and thought it would be something legit interesting to build uponThe wild west but with a splash of high fantasy magic and biopunk. Around the late 18th century, an American inventor accidentally discovers cheap bioengineering (through some deus ex machina shit, idk), and with the boom of westward expansion also comes the desire to put this new science to the test, pioneers modifying their body to help them survive the untamed lands, soon developing abilities such as telekenesis, pyromancy, and a slew of other powers at the cost of looking less and less human. Once these biologically modified pioneers (or bioneers) reach the lands of the west, their bodies look something akin to pic related. Meanwhile, back on the east coast, the practice of bioengineering is banned due to religious zealots, riots, race wars, and the South pondering secession to keep the satanic muties out of their gene pool.>tl;dr Wild west meets Bioshock with some Shadowrun and Endtown
>>51980267Neat. I may steal it.
>>51980342That's really appreciated, anonSome other stuff that I came up with>Body modifications take from your "humanity", a pool of 100 points that represent how close to a real human you are, ranging from as small as 1 point for improved eyesight to as much as 50 for a centauroid body. You can undo the changes, but even if you revert back to your "original state", you will not be 100% pure, due to residual biotech goo and mixed DNA.>You can go below 0 humanity, but doing so will make you susceptible to adverse mutations and mental degradationNow what I'm a bit stuck on is>What kind of benefits could players get for staying pure>What sort of quests could they take>How could the base concepts of the setting be built upon>What ruleset could work with this setting, or should one be built from scratch>what would be a good name for the setting?
>>51980551>What kind of benefits could players get for staying pureWhy contain it? Your setting sounds like a wacky descent into transhumanism at the hands of people who considered cocaine good for your health. A diverse array of circue freaks sounds like the perfect party.I'm a sucker for more power with more risk, which is what it sounds like your humanity stat does.
>>51981225True, I suppose. A bunch of mutant freaks in the untamed west does sound like a load of fun.
Bumping an interesting concept
>>51980267I love the concept, truly, but I have one nitpick - I don't see how this is "high fantasy magic". I expected something else from that sentence.Still, biopunk Wild West sounds awesome. What pseudoscientific explanation should this mad scientist have to create cheap bioengineering? If we're talking the 1860s or so, that's right around the time that vitalism was on its way out, and also when Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation - the belief that some creatures were born from things like dust, or dead flesh, or ashes.What if we flipped that? This American inventor - the anti-Pasteur - PROVES spontaneous generation. He finds a way to spontaneously create some life forms, and then to 'meld' them to people, by 'attuning' their vitalistic forces. That is, making their souls synchronize, so the two living things think they're one living thing.This would be an explanation for why your 'humanity' score dips - you're having to literally alter your soul in order to bind it to these growths - and it helps flesh out the flavor a bit.In addition, if vitalism is used, we could easily use mesmerism to explain powers like telekinesis, pyromancy, healing, etc... mesmerism was the belief that animals could exert certain powers, such as healing properties. Practitioners of mesmerism were called "magnetizers", which is just fucking badass. Magnetizers have the ability to manipulate the 'vital energy' that would be key to the anti-Pasteur's experiments.This is probably too much detail, but hey, I thought it'd be fun to have actual 1800s-era scientific beliefs be behind the workings of the system!
>>51983713If it helps, here are some spontaneous generation 'recipes':Mice from cornFleas from dustMaggots from dead fleshSalamanders from burning rotten logsFlies from cow shitFish from mud of previously dry lakesSnakes from horse hairs in stagnant waterBees from 'bugonia', the ritual slaughter of a cowWasps from horse carcassesRats from garbageFrogs from mudIn addition, "animalcules" - archaic term for protozoan - could be used as the 'stem cell' or 'basic resource' of this world. You cultivate animalcules into whatever animal flesh or parts you want.We could also use the "primal slime" that Thomas Henry Huxley, a proponent of Darwin's, found on the seafloor - that makes for interesting operatons, as people have to figure out how to 'mine' this goop from the seafloor.
>>51983713I copy-pasted it from the thread I originally thought it up in, and forgot about that bit.As for the rest, that actually sounds good. I was thinking of using humanity to measure how much of your original DNA is left in the stewpot of genetic material, and the fact that you can't return to 100% humanity as being the result of using other human DNA to rebuild your old body.Vitalism and mesmerism sound like interesting ways to explain bioengineering in the world. As for the actual explanation, possibly some sort of snake-oil-salesman who finds the secrets to combining humans and animals in a way that he could mass produce>>51983878Maybe it is that "primal slime" or animalcues that does it, mixing it with some material from an animal gives it the transformative ability. Of course though, that does bring up the problem of how to isolate certain mutations.
>>51983983"Snake oil" would be a fantastic name for either the juice, or a back-alley knock-off of it. It not only carries fun connotations of conmen, it also alludes to the devil!
>>51983983Just handwave it to "It just affects a certain part of the body because mutant tonic">>51984534Snake oil could be the version that has mixed animal genes and results in unstable hybrids
>>51980551>what would be a good name for the setting?Cowboys & ChemicalsMutants and MastersonsPotions and PioneersOutlaws and the OccultFrontier FreaksBandits and BioengineeringMutantfest DestinyOnce Upon A Time In The West But With Hybrid Freaks Of Nature
>>51980267What about Utah? Did anti-mutant Mormon zealots flee to the mountains to found a pure, theocratic independent state? What about Native Americans and Mexico?
>>51980267I'm imagining snake-oil salesmen in this setting. A wagon full of Bioshock-style tonics, a short happy smiling man with a big moustache, and a... person(?)... who is a living example of how effective these tonics can be and how bad an idea it would be to try to steal them. Allsalesarefinalweacceptnotakebacksnosubstitutionsortrades.
>>51988387>MormonsProbably like you said, anti-mutant zealots who decide to make their own country with pure, unaltered humans>Native AmericansEither regard them as monsters to be hunted, feared, or revered. idk man>MexicoMore than likely to take the secrets of bodymodding and use it for themselves>>51988400Snake-oil salesmen would definitely be a large part of the setting, since they're the ones who would sell the stuff on the wild frontier, with no professional pharmacists to sell the real stuff and keep the bootleg tonics out of the market. And unlike the real-world salesmen, their products actually do work
Question: What would be a good ruleset for this setting? Seems like something really fun to play with, but how would you even run it?
one last bump for the night
So what are some practical uses of some of these mutations?>Cat's eyes to see in the dark>Reptilian skin to protect against the heat>Thick fur for the cold>Centauroid body to act as a way to pull plows and carts>Wings to fly over rough terrain and to map out the area>Pyrokinesis to warm up food>Cryokinesis to freeze and preserve food
Donchu die on me
>>51992476>Spider silk glands for truly selfmade ropes and nets.>Toxin glands from various animals to give your bite a little extra sting.>Horns, claws and teeth of any kind.>Chameleonic skin.
>>51988387>>51988947>MormonsWhy not reverse that. Instead of Mormons hating mutation, have them take it and go completely over the top, becoming entirely inhuman.http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1702
>>51983723>someone posts an image indicating they approve of the OP's post >u madWat
>>51983713>In addition, if vitalism is used, we could easily use mesmerism to explain powers like telekinesis, pyromancy, healing, etc... mesmerism was the belief that animals could exert certain powers, such as healing properties. Practitioners of mesmerism were called "magnetizers", which is just fucking badass. Magnetizers have the ability to manipulate the 'vital energy' that would be key to the anti-Pasteur's experiments.Familiars are key to mesmerism. Either magnetizers are going to have bizarrely modified pets following them around which their powers can't work without or their familiars are internal.You don't have wizard levels, your tapeworm does.Official description: "At 2nd level, a cancer grows within the cancer mage, forming a large tumor. This cancerous growth gains intelligence and a personality distinct from the cancer mage. The companion and the cancer mage can communicate telepathically. When needed, the cancerous companion uses the cancer mage's scores for saves, ability scores other than Intelligence, and so forth. The cancerous companion gains abilities as the cancer mage gains levels."The only thing conceivably cooler than befriending hepatitus, I sorely wish something like this were available to the game's magic users in general. What kind of wizard are you if you couldn't grow a talking cyst on your back? The companion's abilities are nothing to sneeze at, either, as it can eventually learn to cast spells on its own and form tentacles. Actually, can I just play that? Can my character be another character's tumor? NO!? Man, actually playing this game must suck.http://www.bogleech.com/halloween/hall12-viledarkness.html
>>51997446>their familiars are internal.Well, when your sticking bits of other animals in yourself, that won't be too hard. As for the link you added, pic related
>>51997306That sounds pretty cool, but who will be the purists
>>51997812The Confederate States revolutionaries. Have them go all Sacred Human Form Imperial Cult.
>>51997956So the American Civil War is a war between the mutant north and the purist south?Hell, would Southerners consider mutants second-class citizens, possibly even slaves?
It's shit and unimaginative.
>>51997306 #I like the idea of mutie Mormon Utah. A religion that embraces mutation would be fun. Maybe they're trying to transcend their human bodies and become angellic?? Mutant angel Utah??
>>51997446>>51997545Yeah, my idea was that magnetizers would tap into the animal parts they're growing or have fused onto themselves. I think if you grow it from scratch, it's weaker and non-sentient (being a part of you), while if you attach a once-separate creature to you or cultivate a separate entity (such as a cyst or tapeworm, as you suggest), it's stronger and able to act independently... which can be very bad for you, if you piss it off.>>51997306>>51997812>>51997956>>51999160Damn. I like both of these angles.Mormons have the very strong belief that "the body is a temple" - no caffeine, no alcohol, nothing like that. So mutation seems out of their wheelhouse, in that sense... unless a warped cult of the Mormons believes that the best way to treat your body as a temple is to improve it, to build it up, to make it into a monument to God and all of his creations. Alternatively, they are crusaders and purists. This is more expected - which is good, you don't want to unnecessarily confuse readers - but subversions of expectation are also good to build depth and intrigue in a setting.>>51999160>Hell, would Southerners consider mutants second-class citizens, possibly even slaves?I think they'd treat them as inhuman. By combining with animals, they are treated as animals. Sure, they can be seen as slaves - animals are used for manual labor - but they're also to be hunted. I don't think many of the South would tolerate muties, though. I think they'd consider them an abomination unto God, and exterminate them.>>51999180How so? I'd love to hear what else has done this. If it's already done, cool, let's steal that setting and stop making up stuff. If it is different, it's inspiration.
>>52000110He's probably talking about Deadlands or Bioshock. Yeah, it's the Wild West, but Deadlands is western horror, and Bioshock is 20th century
>>52000110>while if you attach a once-separate creature to you or cultivate a separate entity (such as a cyst or tapeworm, as you suggest), it's stronger and able to act independently... which can be very bad for you, if you piss it off.What if more "nativist" groups used this method of changing themselves? Want gills? Go get a fish and take its gills. Bear arms? A wolf's sense of smell? Strength of a bull? Better start butchering them up. An extra pair of human arms? You better make sure they're fresh...
>>51988387>>51988947What about native americans having their own "primitive" version of the biotech based off of stuff like skinwalkers?You could even have research of their rituals by anti-pasteur lead to whatever breakthrough jumpstarts the biotech boom.
>>51981225Exactly. Why contain it?S'cool.
>>51999160Southerners would try to enslave mutants. It probably wouldn't end well for them.>>52000050That's the ideal. The reality is more along a cult turning into fucking eusociality with the cult leader as the Hive King.
>>52002045>Southerners would try to enslave mutants. It probably wouldn't end well for them.What if they're aided by uncle-tom mutant overseers for the slaves?A place for the cruel mutants to rule over others and fulfil their evil desires without the lawmen out west or the government up north getting in the way. They don't care if the normies in town think they're sub-human because on the plantation they oversee they're king, answerable only to the distant boss who only cares about yields and the slaves not making any trouble.You could also have backwoods/water mad mutant-makers either hiding in inhospitable areas or protected by a deal with locals to supply slaves.
>>51997383If you take it as OP's suggestion being compared to the original context, I guess that would be pretty impolite...
>>51990016Savage Worlds and GURPS are both obvious ones, could also get some mileage out of heavily modifying one of the versions of Gamma World, or one of the D&D derivatives(Into The Odd and Whitehack would both work rather well for this, as would the Microlite family)>>52000110now I'm imagining the Mormon state of Deseret and the CSA having a sort of alliance of human purity, and both are trying to court the Republic of Texas to join them, but Texas is also being courted by the Mutant friendly Republic of California(thinking in this timeline Texas managed to remain an independent nation, while California broke off from the US during this reality's version of the Civil War)
>>52002143If the mutant quislings are powerful enough to defeat large numbers of other mutants, they should theoretically be more than powerful enough to kill the human slavers and rule in their place.
>>52002045>Southerners would try to enslave mutants. It probably wouldn't end well for them.I'd say it worked pretty well for them up until that whole Civil War nonsense.
>>51986373I think Frontier Freaks is the best of this. Easy to say and remember, has strong imagery, nice alliteration. 10/10 name.
>>51999180You're shit and unimaginative.
>>52003291I was thinking along the lines of the slaves being beaten down by the cruelty of the overseers. It's about making the slaves fear the repercussions of rising up as much as actually being able to defeat them all at once and any slaves that do escape to trouble the normals will face ruthless "justice" from wider authorities and probably lead to the whole plantation being culled.They won't necessarily be using the most dangerous mutants for slaves either. Increased strength or endurance could be nice but keep in mind that a big factor is that ANY mutation makes someone sub-human and therefore a target for slavery.
>>52003291>>52003601could be that the Masters have a resource that the quislings need to maintain their high end physiques, without which they'd quickly shrivel up and die
>>52004581What if slaves are intentionally modified to the point of having no humanity and thus needing supplements to keep the sporadic mutations in check?
>>52004793http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Ketracel-whiteFor that matter, what's the status on mental modifications?
>>52005318What do you mean by mental modifications?
>>52005373>slaves who no longer have inconvenient free will
>>52000050>Maybe they're trying to transcend their human bodies and become angellic?>>52000110>unless a warped cult of the Mormons believes that the best way to treat your body as a temple is to improve it, to build it up, to make it into a monument to God and all of his creations.>>52005318>mental modificationsCombine all these. Mormons trying to "fix" humanity's fall from the Garden Of Eden and restore our innocence from original sin.https://www.amazon.com/Web-Chozen-Jack-L-Chalker/dp/0345339592
>>52005833Brilliant, the dubs speak truth.
>>52005833So Mormons attempt to get closer to god by moving as far away from humanity as possible.
>>52006150The Mormons go beyond everyone else in their willingness to not only alter their own bodies, but their reproductive systems. The second generation, born from inhuman biology and never human in the first place is... ...different.
>>52006463More than likely, just by mutating your body, you're mutating your reproductive system
>>51988400>>51988947A historical detail for those who don't know: >"Snake oil" is a treatment for inflammation and aching joints in traditional Chinese medicine. It does genuinely work, but only when made from certain species of snakes native to China. When Chinese immigrants sold their wares in America, Snake oil was briefly popular. However, local con-men quickly stole the recipe and attempted to make it using local snake varieties, which rendered the concoction useless and quickly destroyed the reputation of snake-oil. For our setting, I'm imagining the players asking Chinese railroad workers where they got their modifications, only to be told "What, you mean Chi fusion? We've been doing that for a thousand years, Gwai-lo."
>>52006745>Each nation has different ways of modifying their bodyThat's pretty cool, actually
>>52001995>What about native americans having their own "primitive" version of the biotech based off of stuff like skinwalkers?>You could even have research of their rituals by anti-pasteur lead to whatever breakthrough jumpstarts the biotech boom.>>52006745>"What, you mean Chi fusion? We've been doing that for a thousand years, Gwai-lo."In that case, why did the various cultures lose to western civilization if they had a counter to our technology like being Alex Mercer?
>>52007002After centuries of trial and error, Chinese Chi fusion is far slower and less dramatic than bio-mods, often requiring months or years of treatments combined with mental and physical training, but with few or no side effects. Western powers can raise a bio-modded army much faster, but will have major problems in a couple of generations.
>>51990016Gamma World 7e.No need to change anything at all.
>>52007237>Anti-Pasteur discovers Chi fusions during a trip to China>Does some madcap science and figures out that animalcules are the reason the remedies work, with meditation and physical training acting as a way to keep the mutations under control to the point where any animalistic features are rare or nonexistent>Ramps that shit up, causing animal features to grow as a side effect of the physical improvements>Decides to advertise the mutations as the primary selling point
>>52007394WWI is going to get weird when the French and Germans get really desperate.
The bio-freaks have forsaken G-d! They promise inhuman prowess, but all they sell is snake oil. Behold these fools who bartered their souls for strength of beasts, and the fruit of their betrayal!
>>52007701Pretty fucked up, but probably something southerners would do
>>51980551How do you measure humanity? Is there an in-world mechanism or tool that measures it?
>>52014613Number of tentacles. The higher it is, the lower your humanity.
>>52014613Maybe a blood test. If there are any traces of animalcules, then you're a mutie.
>>52005833>>52006150Original sin is intrinsic to humanity. Therefore, removing humanity also removes original sin. The less human someone physically and mentally becomes, the purer they are.
I vote for Frontier Freaks and for wacky mutant cult Mormons
>>51983385It's also thematic to the thread
I like this.You could also steal some ideas here and there and expand the roster of "races">Cowboy: you get the powers from Snake oils and mutagens or whatever>Native American: They use Shamanic powers and such to gain supernatural abilities>Mormons: Idk they just inbred so much they became MutantsYou can come up with a few more and of course nothing stops you from mixing them up to create a Jack of all Freaks kind of PC