Sunday, April 28, 2013
The Metamorphica, and Rule 0
Back in early March, I was looking for some random mutation tables online, and came across a free .pdf of The Metamorphica by Johnstone Metzger on lulu.com I downloaded it immediately, but didn't get around to doing anything with it until recently. The manual is a masterpiece! It is system agnostic, so I can use it with my OD&D campaign as well as my Traveller campaign, and any other games I choose to run. The .pdf is 154 pages long, most of which are full of charts for rolling up mutations, and descriptions of said mutations. Also included are several appendices. I especially like Appendix 3, Characters by Campaign, and Appendix 4, Characters by Type. The former lists different campaign styles, and provides still more tables and information about how to generate specific mutant types for specific campaign styles; the latter assists with the creation of specific character types, such as mutant hordes and mutant plants. The last three pages are a bibliography; a veritable Appendix N of resources that influenced the creation of the book.
The night I downloaded this, we were playing in my son's AD&D 2e world... and I was one of those distracted players we DMs gripe about. I kept oohing and ahhing as I perused the file and several players asked about it, and wanted copies. Turns out, at least two of them have written up campaigns using this book as a character creation manual. At first I was perplexed; there is no system in this book... it's not a ruleset! Speaking further to them, I found out that the two of them, and my son, worked out initial game rules of their own, and they'll update them as needed. All they have now are a simple character generation method and stats, and basic combat. No longer perplexed... proud instead! They started with D&D 4e; then after playing in my Traveller campaign and my OD&D (3 LBBs) campaign, decided 4e was way too crunchy and dropped back to AD&D 2e. Now they've gone further, implementing Rule 0 in the strongest way possible! Huzzah!
By the way, I'll be using The Metamorphica as well. The Melashravishim of my Star Clans Traveller Campaign will be partially generated using some of the tables in this book.