First of all, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to comment on the Mutations and Mutilations tables I posted last week. Special thanks for using the f-word and comparing me to various end products of bodily functions as little as possible. You’re truly noble spirits.
Now, several people asked about the pack play. This system is still in its diapers. Unlike with Mutations and Mutilations, I don’t have any numbers to present yet. However, I can tell you about it in general terms.
There goes nothing.
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In pack play, character generation is a group procedure in which a balance must be struck between the needs of the individual and the pack. Using a common pool, the players first create the pack and only then design characters. Unlike individual character creation, which takes ten minutes tops (including teatime), pack generation is a lengthy and complex affair.
Pack points are used for the following:
- Increase population and general health
- Attract stronger and more famous leaders
- Gain access to superior technology or intelligence
- Improve lair quality, location and storage capacity
- Forge alliances with powerful groups of non-rat creatures
Once the pack is created, players generate exceptional individual rats from the points that were left from the previous stage. These are built upon generic rats whose stats are defined by the pack. Note that players are not limited to creating one character per player. Indeed, since hilariously gruesome demise is the number one cause of death among rats aged 1-3, it is highly recommended that you create more characters.
So, in addition to managing resources on pack and individual level, the group also has to decide what’s more important – a good base, several exceptional heroes, many mediocre heroes, or a huge amount of utter dolts.
XP is used in the same way — you can either increase the overall power of the pack or to advance your champions. In fact, the aforementioned hilariously gruesome demise, known among rats as sacred martyrdom, actually grants the pack XP as its prestige increases. This means that occasionally a glorious defeat is more beneficial than a banal victory.
Now, the game itself is broken into two parts; missions, which work just like individual play only with much more resources and ratpower to back you up, and downtime, which is based on dealing with randomly generated events. Yes, we LOVE random tables, sue us.
For example, you can roll a diplomatic incident within greater rat society, maybe a Unirat ambassador came to visit your LOLrat lair and your boyz accidentally rolled him up and smoked him and now you have to deal with a visit from the emissaries of peace and love. Or maybe, the senile old high theologian starts throwing about commandments that are even more random than this book and you must deal with him in a way that won’t start a civil war in the region.
The lives of rats are wild!
If you like where this is going, consider supporting RATS! by contributing to our IndieGoGo campaign. While we have already reached our funding goal (thanks guys!) there are some really cool stretch goals that include fiction, art books and mutations and mutilations cards. Go check them out!