NPC Interaction with Mutants

While every GM is free to define his world and his NPCs as he sees fit, the “default” setting of The Savage Soul (i.e., the aftermath of Yellow Mike and the Great Destruction) envisions a world where mutants are universally feared and hated by non-mutant humans.  As a result, when a character has any “Mutation” Peculiarity, it comes with the built-in disadvantage of widespread prejudice.  This is why Peculiarities such as “PW: Deceptive Appearance (1)” and “SP: Non-Mutant Augmentation” are valuable.

For each group of NPCs in his world, the GM must decide that group’s typical attitude toward mutants, which may range from murderous hostility to (in very rare cases) tolerance and acceptance.  A group like the Combine (Section 2.7.8), for example, is openly hostile toward all mutants and seeks to eradicate them.  This does not necessarily mean any given Combine member will mindlessly attack any mutant he sees (although he might); he will, however, likely refuse to associate with the mutant, subject the mutant to rude behavior, and seek opportunities to bring about the mutant’s eventual demise (possibly by reporting the mutant’s existence and whereabouts to Combine units better suited to engage with lethal force).

Most NPC groups (the average human settlement, for example) will not be quite so hostile toward mutants; but most (if not all) will genuinely believe one or more of the following:

  • Mutants are dangerous and unpredictable and cannot be trusted.
  • All mutants are secretly (if not openly) evil.
  • All mutants secretly (if not openly) hate non-mutant humans.
  • Mutants are unclean (or cursed) and exposure to mutants can cause disease or other maladies.

Keeping these deeply held beliefs in mind will help the GM decide how any given NPC would likely react to any given mutant.  For example: On an ordinary day, merchants, innkeepers, bartenders, and the like might refuse service to mutants, and townspeople might seek to drive mutants away.  In desperate times, however, these same proprietors and townspeople might grudgingly tolerate mutants that are willing to help solve problems . . . but be quick to fall back upon old prejudices once those problems are solved.

In any case, being a mutant should not be something a character can easily disregard.  And the GM should make a point of reminding such characters that, for them, few places in the world are truly friendly.

NPC vs. NPC Quick Kill System

Bonus rules for an NPC vs. NPC Quick Kill System have been posted to “Generators & More.” This system is meant for battles in which fairly generic NPCs are fighting one another, either with or without accompanying PCs and/or less-generic NPCs. When resolving the attack of one generic NPC against another, the GM need only determine a modifier based upon the relative XP Totals of the attacker and defender (including an appropriate XP equivalent for combat equipment). The GM then rolls 2d10, adds the modifier (plus other applicable modifiers, such as IC, Fatigue, Range, etc.), and applies the result.

For example: If a 1,500 Total XP Royal Guard shoots his GR2 Rifle at a 300 Total XP Starving Rebel at a range of 30 meters, his total Quick Kill modifier will be +2 (i.e., +3 for the XP difference and -1 for the range). The GM then rolls 2d10 and adds 2 for a total of 14. The Starving Rebel suffers a Serious Wound and must discard his Ready Token. During the next combat round, the Starving Guard returns fire with his own GR2 Rifle and has a total modifier of -6 (i.e., -3 for the XP difference, -1 for the range, and -2 for being Seriously Injured). The GM then rolls 2d10 and subtracts 6 for a total of 9, and the Starving Rebel’s attack has no effect.

This rule is entirely optional, and a GM should feel free to use it always, sometimes, or never.