Savage Rifts Project Achilles Mutants

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Converted from Rifts World Book 9: South America 2

In the Golden Age, the Argentinean government secretly partnered with ShaperCorp (a cutting-edge biogenetics company) to create Project Achilles. Achilles scientists not only mixed human and animal DNA, they found new ways to adapt and enhance it, producing new forms of life that were both diverse and powerfully psychic. When the Great Cataclysm struck, scientist Cordelia Valdez released the Achilles mutants from the labs; many perished, but enough survived that they eventually build their own society in the jungles of Argentina, named Cordelia in her honor. Today, Cordelia and its sister city Omagua are influential city-states. While "Achilleans" are still very rare outside of South America, a few may be found in every nation, either traveling through or settled down; some have even joined the Tomorrow Legion.

Playing an Achillean

These races present a unique design challenge, in that they are too powerful to fit into the standard Savage Worlds racial cost, but not powerful enough to justify treating them as their own individual framework (like the dragon hatchling and werecat). As such, each is constructed with 10 racial build points (instead of the usual 2), but follows these specific restrictions:

  • An Achillean may only choose a M.A.R.S. framework.
  • The Achillean gets two fewer rolls on the Fortune & Glory table. Usually this means they don't roll at all.
  • As always, if the M.A.R.S. framework also includes Arcane Background (Psionics), the Achillean gets two additional powers (plus any extra from racial New Powers Edges) and must first take their racial powers even if they would not normally be an option. Increase the M.A.R.S. framework's Psionics skill by one die, to reflect a bump from the racial Psionics skill. (See example below.)
  • If the Personal Concept Option (TLPG, p. 44) is chosen, change the third bullet to "Choose your three Hero's Journey table results. This does not apply to any extra table rolls acquired (e.g., via the Rich Edge)."

Example: We are making a Capybaroid Psi-Druid. The Psi-Druid normally starts with detect/conceal arcana, healing, and three additional powers. The Capybaroid's innate Arcane Background translates into +2 powers, and the racial New Powers Edge adds another +2 powers. Therefore, the character starts with detect/conceal arcana, healing, and seven additional powers! However, racial powers must be selected first. One (detect arcana) is already covered, so we must take the other four. The net result is that the Capybaroid Psi-Druid starts with detect/conceal arcana, divination, havoc, healing, sloth/speed, teleport, and three additional powers. Their starting Psionics skill is a d8 — a d6 from the class, +1d from the race's innate skill.

The Races

Capybaroid

This mix of capybara, rat, and human stock is naturally adapted for the water, but what makes them truly impressive is their ability to manipulate temporal and dimensional energy. They can slip between dimensions, warp time, and see visions of the past and present; in worst-case scenarios, they can force these energies to clash into a forceful "psi-wave" (havoc). Their powers give most Capybaroids a very mystical, centered personality; they have come to accept that certain things can be changed but others are simply fated to be. They abhor violence, employing it only as a last resort.

  • Achilles Mutant: Most humans, even those who accept D-Bees, are uncomfortable around mutant animals; initial Reactions start at Uncooperative. In addition, all armor and clothing must be custom-tailored for this race (twice cost) and most power armor is not an option. (-2)
  • Aquatic: They can hold their breath for an hour, move at their full Pace underwater, and are extremely resistant to the cold (+4 to resist, and cold-based attacks do -4 damage). (+3)
  • Centered: They start with Spirit d6 (max d12+1) and the Charismatic Edge, but also the Pacifism (Minor) Hindrance. (+3)
  • Psychic: They have the Arcane Background (Psionics) and New Powers Edges, Psionics skill at d4, and the detect arcana†, divination, havoc, sloth/speed, and teleport powers. (+5)
  • Teeth: They can bite for Str+d4 damage, even while grappling. (+1)

Condoroid / Falconoid

Project Achilles experimented with a wide variety of bird genes, eventually producing their best results from a mix of condor or falcon, with human and other avians. Both races developed the ability to telekinetically accelerate their movement and surround themselves with a force field. Their main differences are that Condoroids have the invisibility* power and are close fighters, while Falconoids have the bolt power and are distant "mind blasters." Their claws have been adapted for walking (if a bit poorly), and cannot be used as weapons or manipulators.

Note: Their version of speed has the limitations Aspect and Range (Self), and always includes the Hurry modifier, for a base cost of 1 PP. Normal casting thus grants Pace 52" (130 MPH) plus double Run. Those who become Master Psionics can cast Greater Speed, which makes Pace a flat 76" (190 MPH).

  • Achilles Mutant: Most humans, even those who accept D-Bees, are uncomfortable around mutant animals; initial Reactions start at Uncooperative. In addition, all armor and clothing must be custom-tailored for this race (twice cost) and most power armor is not an option. (-2)
  • Beak: They can bite for Str+d4 damage, even while grappling. (+1)
  • Flight: They can fly at 24" (60 MPH), adding +2d6" if they "run." However, their ground Pace is 5" with a d4 run die. (+5)
  • Instincts: They have Athletics skill at d6. In addition, Condoroids have Fighting d6 while Falconoids have Shooting d6. (+3)
  • Psychic: They have the Arcane Background (Psionic) Edge, Psionics skill at d4, and the powers protection*, speed (see note above), and either bolt or invisibility* (see description above). (+3)

Equinoid

While it's fair to call these "centaurs" (or "psi-taurs" for those feeling punny), they aren't the classic fantasy version. The features of their pony-like bodies extend to their upper torso, with a mohawk-like mane of hair and a face which mixes the two species in an unsettling manner. Their psionic powers are rather unique: bolt reflects a "psi-bow" which forms in their hands and fires energy "arrows" at their foes, fly is actually the Equinoid "sky running" through the air, and protection is a classic force field but with a special (optional) modifier. Small wonder that they are known best as deadly, versatile cavalry.

  • Achilles Mutant, Horse-Shaped: Most humans, even those who accept D-Bees, are uncomfortable around mutant animals; initial Reactions start at Uncooperative. In addition, Equinoids are at -2 on Trait rolls to use most equipment designed for humans (like vehicles); custom armor, equipment, and clothing for them is triple cost. Power armor is not an option. (-3)
  • Gallop: They have Pace 10" and a d10 run die. (+4)
  • Horse Body: They treat their Strength as two dice higher but only for determining Encumbrance and for calculating kicking damage. Their hooves do Str+d4 damage with a kick. Finally, they are Size +1 (and thus have +1 Toughness), like a small pony. (+5)
  • Psychic: They have the Arcane Background (Psionic) Edge, Psionics skill at d4, and the powers bolt, fly*, and protection*. Uniquely, their protection can take the Heavy Weapon modifier for +2 ISP; this makes all of their melee attacks do Mega-Damage while the protection is active. (+4)

Serpentoid

Combining viper, rattlesnake, and human DNA may have been Project Achilles' most technically sophisticated achievement. The result looks somewhat like a large snake grafted to the back of a scaly human — a bulging spine that ends in a long tail. Their heads are cobra-like, with prominent hood flaps. They are among the most powerful Achillean psychics, able to surround themselves with a bulletproof field and worm their way deeply into a subject's mind. Unfortunately, this does give them slightly sociopathic tendencies.

  • Achilles Mutant: Most humans, even those who accept D-Bees, are uncomfortable around mutant animals; initial Reactions start at Uncooperative. In addition, all armor and clothing must be custom-tailored for this race (twice cost) and most power armor is not an option. (-2)
  • Coiled Muscles: They start with Strength d6 (maximum d12+1) and get +2 to all Athletics rolls; their unique build makes them excellent grapplers, climbers, swimmers, etc. (+4)
  • Cold-Blooded: They have the Mania (Manipulative) Minor Hindrance, which gives -1 to Persuasion among those who realize it. (-1)
  • Psychic: They have the Arcane Background (Psionics) and New Powers Edges, Psionics skill at d4, and the empathy, fear, puppet, protection*, and stun powers. (+5)
  • Scaly: They have Armor +2. This stacks with worn armor. (+1)
  • Venomous Bite: They can bite for Str+d4 damage, even when grappling. If the victim is Shaken or worse by the bite, they must also roll Vigor; failure inflicts a level of Fatigue, while Critical Failure inflicts two levels. The Serpentoids themselves are immune to poison. (+3)

Other Mutants

Cordelia and Omagua also contain the following mutants, who use different game mechanics:

  • Felinoids are cat-folk. Use the Battle Cat (EOH, p. 27) racial template; Felinoids aren't nearly as powerful as the mutants above. Common "sub-classes" of Felinoid include the Flame Panther (a Burster), the Flying Tiger (a Mind Melter with bolt, darkvision, farsight, fly, and protection), the Hunter Cat (a Crazy), the Oracle Cat (a Mystic), and the Sekhmet (a Ley Line Walker).
  • Neo-Humans are powerful psychics who, despite technically being mutants, look like flawless humans. Build these as Human Mind Melters with no physical Hindrances.

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