Monday, March 8, 2010

The Haikubot - New Mutant Future Race/Class

To give credit where credit is due, the original idea for this came from a new player who contacted me and wanted to play a robot. The twist was, instead of rolling for mutations he wanted to have the ability to influence reality by uttering Haiku.  He envisioned this as the robot attuning its utterances with the frequency of the cosmos.  He proposed that some kind of roll would serve as a "metaphysical volume" to see how loudly the Haiku was heard by the cosmos (in the form of Mutant Lord Moi).

Here is the mechanic that I came up with:

Add Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma.  This is the Haikubot's base "Haiku Score".  Each time the Haikubot attempts to alter reality with a Haiku, a d100 roll is required, attempting to roll underneath the Haiku Score.  This roll can be modified up to + or - 20 (or more!) as determined by the Mutant Lord based on her appreciation of the Haiku.  This may alternately be a group decision.  The exact effect of the Haiku is determined by the Mutant Lord and the content of the Haiku (e.g. if the Haikubot wishes to befuddle an opponent, the Haiku should have a bemusing subject matter).

Obviously, this is a race/class that requires a great deal of creativity on the part of the player (who must actually say the Haiku aloud at the table) and a considerable amount of adjudication on the part of the Mutant Lord.  I suggest that most Haiku should have SOME effect - a failed roll indicates that the effect is not what the Haikubot had desired!  

I leave you in closing with the following introduction that Josh, the player who came up with this idea, posted on my campaign wiki/blog to introduce his character to the rest of the group:

"A rift in time, or what you perceive as time (mechanical laughter), has allowed a forbearance to information of future friendships and trials. Is there one with portal abilities in your midst? I can see no other explanation. But I diverge from the true topic at hand, friends.
Those of my Corporation, what you would call family, friends? These fellows of the realm you have rifted so audaciously, my home, do call me by a name. If I were to attempt to transcribe it I dare say you would not understand. However you can call me IG-88 for our time together. However impolite and with out warning your transgression into our existence, our reality, I do sense one thing that pervades any amount of snobbish resentment, most of my Corporation may feel. I sense a need, of those who seek truth and justice in their endeavors against evil. And what is there to be said that, such concepts as good and evil transcend from one universe to the next? Nothing that cannot be explained with our future/past time together, beyond, that I am at your service.

Now you must make haste, in a sense. While time is in stasis in your realm while you venture in mine, Time does not halt for anyone in where one does perceive. And you Perceive it here, and thus it flows here, along with a tumultuous flow of evil that would squash you for no other reason than you represent your own willingness to die for a friends freedom. A list of my abilities, 
is, in order! You must prepare to use what you can from a low level being such as myself in anyway you can see fit.

I am, of a mechanical race. I am what you may call 
I do not employ the great powers of biology, or the wonders of mutations, I employ little in fact. I offer a symmetrical mind of mathematical prowess and the ability to foresee 
with a relationship to numbers, that bears on an ambiguous prescience the emotional needs of my allies.
In my world I am what you would call a poet, artist, shaman, or even witch-doctor, of mechanical evolution. And with my calculations perhaps I can mathematically say the right words at the right time to inspire my comrades in arms to defeat the foes we both know to be ours: The generalities of evil in whatever form may come our way.
Alas, Till Sunday."

Thanks, Josh!  And thanks for letting me post your awesome idea on my blog for all to benefit from!



  2. Haikus are easy.
    But sometimes they don't make sense.

  3. That is really cool...sounds like your players and mine would get along quite well.

  4. @ Sniderman -

    Nice. You have successfully confused your enemies!



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