Metamorphosis Alpha: In Search of Adventure
Since the 1st edition Metamorphosis Alpha system does not provide any methods to resolve non-combat actions, the following simple system was developed. Whenever a player character attempts a non-combat task where success is not guaranteed, the referee should determine the difficulty level and relevant ability score and then ask the player to roll 3d6. This roll may be modified by helpful mutations, defects, or even by the situation as determined by the referee.
The player’s 3d6 roll is treated as a mental attack with the relevant ability score replacing the power of the being attacking on the Mental Strength Chart. The mental resistance is replaced with a target number based on the difficulty level.
|Difficulty Level||Target Number|
average character fails 16% of time
average character fails 50% of time
average character fails 74% of time
average character fails 95% of time
The average character in the Task Challenge table has an 10 as the relevant ability. This is the average result of rolling 3d6.
- denotes an automatic failure.
* denotes an automatic success.
The preceding rules only apply to situations in which an action pits a character against the environment (such as finding a secret compartment, breaking open a locked door, climbing a cliff, etc.). In situations where a character is directly opposed by another character (such as spotting a hidden enemy or wrestling), both characters should roll 3d6 and add the relevant ability score – 10. This roll may be further modified by the referee due to beneficial mutations, defects, or the unusual situation. The character with the highest result succeeds in the attempted action or prevents his opponent from succeeding.
Example of Resolving Tasks
In this example, the player characters are a mutant human named Wesell and two true humans, Jondo and Gorge. They have been exploring the ship and have just arrived at a new level after climbing a long stairwell.
|Referee:||The door at the top of the stairs slides into the wall with a soft hiss at your approach. Beyond, a corridor stretches ahead for roughly 20 feet before ending at the intersection with another. Many of the overhead lights are no longer working, and those that do, flicker as if they too will soon fail. Ten feet down the corridor, on the right, is another sliding door. You can see a gap of several inches where the door is not completely closed.|
|Caller:||We will ready our weapons and cautiously approach the door.|
|Referee:||You reach the door without any problems.|
|The caller momentarily consults with the other players.|
|Caller:||Wesell will peer through the gap from at least a foot away while Jondo and Gorge guard against any attacks from the other corridor.|
|The referee consults his notes and knows that the area beyond the door suffers from the same poor lighting as the corridor. It was previously a hydroponics lab and has now been overrun with large fungal growths. Hidden within the growths is a winged biter. At this point, the referee could call for an opposed task roll (mental resistance versus dexterity) to spot the winged biter or simply assign it a difficulty level and ask for a simple task roll. He decides to assign it a difficulty level since calling for an opposed roll would hint that there is a creature nearby to the players. The winged biter has precognition and the lighting is poor so the referee decides that noticing the mutated snake is a difficult task.|
|Referee:||Wesell, you look through the gap in the door to a larger room beyond. Unfortunately, the lighting in the room is having the same problems as the lighting in the corridor. Please make a mental resistance task roll.|
|Wesell’s player rolls 3d6 for 13. Wesell’s mental resistance is 12. He needed a result of 14 or higher to notice the winged biter.|
|Referee:||In the flickering light, Wesell sees large mushrooms, some as large as four feet high, and other fungi covering the room.|
|Realizing that Wesell has the fear impulse defect for plants, the referee continues…|
|Referee:||Wesell immediately begins backing away from the door in an obvious panic. His eyes rove his surroundings looking for an escape route and eventually settle on the stairwell.|
|Caller:||Jondo and Gorge have seen this reaction before! We quickly grab him and try to hold him until he can get control of himself!|
|The referee ponders the situation and decides that Wesell is not particularly prepared for an attack by his friends. As such, they will be automatically able to grab him without requiring an attack roll. Keeping him held, however, is another matter.|
|Referee:||Jondo and Gorge drop their weapons and grab Wesell just before he bolts for the stairs. Unfortunately, he is still intent upon escaping the fungal menace. You all struggle on the corridor floor. Wesell, roll an opposed strength task roll against…|
|The referee verifies that of the two humans, Gorge has the greater strength score.|
|Referee:||Gorge. Gorge, you will receive a +2 bonus thanks to the help of Jondo.|
|Wesell’s player rolls 3d6 for 11. Wesell’s strength is 9 so he subtracts one from the result, leaving him with a result of 10. Gorge’s player rolls 3d6 for 11 as well. Gorge’s strength is 14 so he adds four to the result in addition to the bonus he received for Jondo’s help. His final result is 17.|
|Referee:||Jondo and Gorge easily hold Wesell as he flails about. After a few minutes, he calms down enough to speak of what he saw, and he is emphatic that he does not wish to explore that room!|