New Ways to be Human
NATURE AND NURTUE
“CHARACTER IS WHAT YOU HAVE LEFT WHEN YOU’VE LOST EVERYTHING YOU CAN LOSE.” –Evan Esar
Everyone in Twist is human, more or less, but that doesn’t mean quite what it used to. During the intervening years since A-Day, both nature and nurture have played large parts in dividing mankind into fairly distinct sub-groups – almost races in and of themselves.
BUNKERBORN A.K.A. “BBs,” “Cavers,” or “Moles”
With the Twist epidemic rampaging unchecked across the world and national security forces in disarray, the US government saw fit to sponsor the construction of hundreds of bunkers for the purposes of preserving culture and knowledge, not to mention the citizenry. In addition, many private groups built their own vast underground bomb shelters and bunkers, and as time went on, more and more people moved underground. Eventually, the bunkers all filled up and closed their doors, not to reopen again for half a century at the earliest, by which time it was hoped a cure for the Twist might be found. While the bombs fell on A-Day and nuclear winter ravaged the surface, the Bunkerborn lived, and worked, were born, and died, hidden safely away. Eventually, as the air began to test safe, and robotic probes indicated that life still existed on the surface, the Bunkers began opening their doors. These people had been raised to believe that it would be up to them to rebuild the good old US of A, and to once again let freedom ring throughout the world. Now, faced with the harsh realities of life in the new world, many have abandoned their idealistic teachings, preferring to focus on surviving day to day.
- Rebuild the Nation: Bunkerborn children are instilled with both knowledge of the old world and the skills they’ll need to survive in the new one. This grants them a d6 in Knowledge (History) and Survival at character creation.
CLONES A.K.A. “Dupes” or “Tubers”
Some bunkers were too small to contain viable genetic pools, or experienced die-offs that limited their options, and others were designed as voluntary experiments by private scientific groups. For whatever reason, these few bunkers turned to cloning technologies to keep their populations going. The technology still isn’t close to being perfected and clones are both sterile and prone to genetic decay and disease, but it does work. With time, the clones have even been able to make a few improvements to their genomes and hope to someday perfect the process.
- Highly Specialized: Thanks to medical advances, modern clones are grown with specific predispositions towards certain kinds of work. Clones start play with 4 extra skill points.
- Build It Better: Attempts to counter the effects of genetic decay have led to advances in programming clones with specific traits. At character creation, a Clone may gain one of the following Background Edges for free, even if they don’t meet the normal requirements.
- Available Edges include: Alertness, Ambidextrous, Attractive, Berserk, Brawny, or Quick.
- Genetic Decay: The Cloning process is complicated and not without its inherent dangers, one of which is Genetic Decay. At the beginning of every game session, the player should draw a card from a standard deck (including Jokers). On a Face card, the player’s character suffers a -1 to all Trait rolls for the entire session. On a Joker, the player is about to die and knows it. At some point during the session, preferably after completing some important goal or mission, the character dies.
EDENITES A.K.A. “Sheep,” “Hippies,” or “Food”
Whether refuges from destroyed or malfunctioning Gardens, or voluntary exiles looking to explore the wider world, Edenites are a diverse group. In the Gardens, people are largely free to live and learn as they wish, focusing in on whatever takes their fancy, while all of their basic needs are tended to by the Garden robots. This means that they often possess many useful abilities and skills, but remain largely unaware of the fundamental differences between the Garden and the real world.
- The Tree of Knowledge: Edenites are often well-educated and possess any variety of skills. At character creation, this grants them one free Professional Edge and a starting d6 in any two skills other than Fighting and Shooting. Violence, obviously, is not allowed in the Gardens. The character must meet all requirements for the free Edge.
- Innocence: Edenites have been cut off from the outside world and raised in virtual paradises. They have the Clueless major Hindrance.
SURVIVORS A.K.A. “Wasters” or “Grits”
By some combination of inborn toughness, genetic resilience, and unbelievable good fortune, scattered groups of humans have managed to survive on the surface despite the incredible harshness of the environment. Survivors are those un-mutated humans who were born and have lived their entire lives on the surface. Their natural talent for coming out of horrible situations alive and unscathed means they make excellent adventurers, scavengers, explorers, soldiers, or pretty much anything else they set their minds too. However, they tend to be a distant, surly lot, suspicious and dispassionate towards others.
- Tough: Survivors start with a d6 in Toughness, to represent their inborn resilience.
- Survivor’s Luck: Survivors start play with the Lucky Edge, thanks to their natural ability to cope with situations beyond most normal humans.
- Survivor’s Soul: When it comes down to the line, Survivors are a suspicious and determined lot, with little use for the worn out morals and etiquette of a fallen society. They start play with the Outsider and Stone Cold minor Hindrances.
SPACERS A.K.A. “Riggers,” “Sickos,” or “Martians”
Although many of the Starscrapers have died due to systems failures, loss of orbital stability, asteroid strikes, or a lack of resources, there are still some that remain operational. Ever since they began picking up limited radio broadcasts which indicated intelligent (non-prerecorded) activity, the Spacers have been sending down survey and exploration teams, and, more recently, shuttle loads of colonists looking to help repopulate the earth have been arriving. Spacers in general are an odd lot, unused to the wide open spaces of the surface, and extremely loyal to their fellows (excepting rare and extreme cases).
- Floating in a Tin Can: Keeping their Starscrapers operational is vital to Spacer populations, and young Spacers are educated with that in mind. Spacers start play with a d6 in Repair and Knowledge (Technology).
- Jury-Riggers: The Spacers have been forced to become experts at making do with the resources they have. This grants them the MacGuyver Edge at character creation, disregarding its normal requirements.
- Low-G Physiology: Even the artificial gravity of the rotating starscrapers and vigorous exercise cannot completely ameliorate the debilitating effects that life in space has on human physiology. Spacers all start with the Anemic Hindrance.
MUTANTS A.K.A. “Mutes” or “Twists”
Whether a victim of the infamous virus, or the progeny of a Twist/Twist-human relationship (yes, these mutations breed true), your character exhibits the genetic abnormalities caused by the disease. This results in a -2 to Charisma due to their disfigured appearance, and the character must choose 3 Hindrance points worth of Bad Mutations from the table below; alternatively, and at the GM’s discretion, they may simply choose 3 points worth of normal physical Hindrances and describe them as mutations. On the up side, these Twist’s mutations are actually mostly good, and they start play with three free Mutant Edges, found in the next section.
|BAD MUTATIONS||POINT VALUE|
|Glass Bones: Vigor costs 2 points/advances to increase.||3|
|Brain Tumor: Smarts costs 2 points/advances to increase.||3|
|Atrophy: Strength costs 2 points/advances to increase.||3|
|Nerve Damage: Agility costs 2 points/advances to increase.||3|
|Albino: Suffer -2 to Trait Tests in direct sunlight, and gain the Bad Eyes minor hindrance||2|
|Ugly Stick: Suffer an additional -2 Charisma.||1|
Continue to Edges and Hindrances.
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