Saturday, March 27, 2010

Word Verification NPC, A Creativity Exercise

Word Verification NPC, this idea came to me after I posted a comment to someone's blog, and because I have such lousy bandwidth, it takes a little while for the word verification gump to pop up. In that short time, I was wondering if it might give me a good idea for a NPC name. I thought... naw, probably not...

Well, the word that popped up was ovadimp. Hhhmmm... a little weird, but I like weird; especially in the right setting, but then I guess it wouldn't be weird? I could work with it. In fact, this became a creativity exercise, and a chance to roll some dice. ( As well as write a blog post... )

I've been working on a Mutant Futures module/scenario for conventions.  Mutant Futures is a retro-clone of Gamma World that is published by Goblinoid Games.  So I envisioned Ovadimp as a mutated Duck-billed Platypus . Then the creative floodgates opened up. Of course, if I create Ovadimp using the Mutant Future rules, and randomly generate his mutations, there's no telling what he might end up looking like. His eyes might be on the end of long stalks and he could be covered in exploding warts! Well, okay no exploding warts mutations in MF, but he might just turn out odd. However, I decided to give randomness a shot anyway. Here is the result...

Ovadimp ( A Mutated Duck-billed Platypus ) Alignment: Neutral

First I rolled his characteristics: 8 Strength, 10 dexterity, 10 Constitution, 9 Intelligence, 8 Willpower, 8 Charisma. I rolled straight 3d6 in the order that the characteristics appear in the rulebook. I also went ahead and gave him a Neutral alignment.

Poor Ovadimp. He's so average. Next, on to the mutations!

Ovadimp is a mutated animal, so he gets one free natural weapon. I decide on claws, and roll a d8 for the amount of damage the claws can inflict, he ends being able to do 1d6 of damage with his claws. I know that the platypus has a venomous spur on it's hind feet, but Ovadimp doesn't have those. I decided it was a free mutation, since it doesn't help or hurt him, not to have them.  I don't think it actually helps real platypuses either.  However, other mutated platypuses might have them.

Next, I rolled for the number of mutations, and had a bit of luck. ( I think... ) Ovadimp has 4 physical mutations, and 4 mental mutations.

The first one rolled was Natural Armor, I rolled another d6 to determine if it was moderate or extreme. Ovadimp ended up with Moderate Natural Armor, which gives him a natural AC of 6. This actually makes some sense, because a platypus has fur.  So Ovadimp has extra thick fur.  The next wasn't a beneficial mutation, but wasn't that bad. Ovadimp has a Pituitary Deformation, which is unnatural aging. Can anyone really tell how old a platypus is anyway? He also ended up with a Sensory Deficiency, so I rolled and ended up with deafness. It was 50/50 either blindness or deafness.  The last roll was for an Increased Physical Attribute! I roll once again to determine which attribute, and get Strength. It gives Ovadimp an extra +3d6 damage in hand to hand combat. You do not want Ovadimp to use his claws on you!  He would do a total of 4d6 in hand to hand combat damage using his claws.  Not bad...

Next up, mental mutations. The first was Metaconcert, here is it's description straight from the rulebook.

This ability allows the mutant to link its mind with other mutants of a similar type or those who have the same mental mutation. These include those with the Metaconcert mutation, or other mental mutations that facilitate control between the minds of two beings. The mutant may combine his WIL with the WIL of other mutants for conducting a mental attack, or some other joint
Eh, guess it might be handy. Unfortunately, the next mutation was Weak Will. Poor Ovadimp's Willpower gets reduced to 3. That's not going to help much with Metaconcert. His next one was Density Alteration ( Others ).  Cool, sort of, doesn't help him much, and he doesn't have many friends due to the last mutation he rolls up. The next one was Force Screen, which allows him to take an extra +5d6 hit points worth of damage once a day. Finally, Ovadimp gets a break. He ends up with a Vampiric Field, with a 33' foot radius. It would have had a 38' radius, but his Weak Will nixed that... Ovadimp can absorb 2d4 hit points a round from all creatures within the radius, which goes into a separate pool of hit points. Very handy, but since he is Neutral and mainly looks after himself, others don't like to hang around him, especially considering his Vampiric Field!  Not even his own kind.  Anyway, these extra hit points disappear after 24 hours.  So with his Force Screen, and Vampiric Field he might be a tough platypus, but with a Weak Will, Ovadimp is probably easy to boss around.  Oh well...

That's not how I really envisioned Ovadimp, but as a player I think I could work with this. For the scenario I'm writing he's going to be different. My original concept for Ovadimp, included the fact that he had a techno-fetish, and coveted gadgets. So if I create him for the scenario he will have mutations beneficial to figuring out technology. I've already decided that in my Mutant Futures campaign there is a whole race of mutated Platypuses. Unfortunately, they are hunted because of their protective fur, and the eggs are tasty too!

I also want to make a fantasy version of Ovadimp, and a few other genres. I even found a mini! It's produced by Reaper Miniatures, and even though it seems a bit pricey; it goes on the list. Too bad they don't have a post-apocolyptic platypod, perhaps one with a plasma rifle?  And a few photon grenades...

A Reaper Mini sculpted by Jason Wiebe.

Of course this miniature wouldn't really work that well with MF, but it's cool for a wizardly Ovadimp! This was fun. I haven't rolled up a character in a long time. The next creative exercise is Security Phrase Adventure Hook!  Which will be coming... soooooooooooooon! So, until next time, keep rolling those dice!


  1. Rusty really ran with the idea of using the word verification for name generation. Check it out. Based on the results there it might indeed be better suited to Mutant Future vs. some iteration of D&D but who knows.

    word verification: racru

  2. Aha! I also came up with the idea of a word-verification-based random generation idea thing, though I haven't run with it (yet).
    I also started my blog this March, am an artist, and haven't played in years. You have two more followers than me, however. Other than that the similarities are spooky.

    I like the graphic theme you've chosen...


  3. Thanks! I really should Google my ideas before I post them. It really was an independent thought on my part. However, I don't like being derivative of other peoples work. I should have known. Gamers are for the most part a very creative bunch. Now I have to check on Security Phrase Adventure Hook.

    @ ze bulette You're right about the names and Mutant Futures, although I think Ovadimp makes an excellent name for a mage as well, or perhaps an extraterrestrial.

    @ Tom Thanks, I've been working hard on this blog. I need to go check out yours. There are so many blogs...

  4. Nice write up I've been doing Word Verification Wednesday Mutant Future Critters for a bit on my blog now. Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with.