View Full Version : The Plague (M&M 3e Setting)

2013-08-27, 08:22 PM
Nobody really knows where it started. There was no one Patient Zero. No, it really just seemed like, one day, half the city just started coming down with something. It was small at first: sneezing, coughing, fevers, shakes. Then, well, total catastrophe.

The economy tanked within a few weeks: nobody was coming in to work. The news squawked on about people in the streets snarling like wild animals, beating innocent strangers over nothing at all. The government came in with tanks and roadblocks, declaring martial law. And, strangest of all, a few people (like, one out of a thousand) actually started to come out of this mess changed. I'm talking faster, stronger, smarter, with all matter of powers that felt like they were ripped straight outta a kid's comic book.

But, what am I telling you this for? You're one of those people, aren't you?

What's all this mean?
The Plague is a theoretical world for Mutants and Masterminds or any similar system, set in a modern city in the grip of a quarantine. The players control plague survivors who have had the fortune (or misfortune) of shaking off their initial infection with a mutation or two to show for it.

This idea is most likely going to be in permanent beta, as it introduces mechanics and concepts not necessarily meant to be added to the system. Input is always appreciated.

Getting Started
The player characters start off at Power Level 2. That's right: Power Level 2. Considering that the average human being usually hovers somewhere around Level 1, this establishes the characters' initial place in the world. Very little separates them from the rank and file at first, with their powers only just starting to manifest, but given their constant exposure to the quarantine zone, their powers have the potential to evolve at an unnaturally fast rate.

2013-08-27, 08:25 PM
The Virus

Ask any academic around here (translation: troll around message boards), and you'll get a million theories about what The Virus is. An act of bio-terrorism, invisible radiation, the proverbial Hand of God, it runs the gamut. All you really need to know about it is two things. One: the virus is pretty darn contagious. Two: It's also pretty darn deadly. I know what you're thinking hot-shot. "I've already gotten sick, but now I'm better. In fact, I feel better than ever with all these fancy superpowers. Buddy of mine down at the docks thought that exact same thing. Then he went for a swim in the river and started seizing up. Poor idiot didn't last a week after that.

The Virus (which is more of a local name, really. Nobody really knows if it's a virus, bacteria, or whatever, but it sounds so much more scientific than The Plague) hit the city not too long ago, and since symptoms started first appearing it has affected a good half of the population. It's mortality rate is high, like most worrisome epidemics are, but what's most unusual about it is the ability of the disease to trigger sudden, dramatic mutations in a select few patients. These mutations include the obvious; skin discolorations, benign growths, not-so benign growths... and then they also have a chance to cause superpowers.

The CDC's Rules to Live By
The Virus (or the Plague, if you prefer) is a versatile contagion. It is airborne and waterborne and, in rare cases, has been shown to be spread by person to person contact if one of them is advanced enough. Therefore, until the disease passes, the motto is "An ounce of prevention..."

Staying in the quarantine zone (as all citizens must, until this dreadful event has passed) puts the common citizen at risk of infection. For those of you that have gotten... shall we say beneficial mutations?... you might be glad to hear that exposure to the Virus has the side benefit of expediting said mutations' growth rates, but you know better than to take risks with your health, don't you?

Every day one spends in the quarantine zone, the DM rolls a percentile (that's two d10's, with one representing the tens and one representing the ones columns respectively). Assuming you've lived according to the CDC's guidelines and spent your day away from obvious infected zones and remembered to wear approved anti-infection measures, you are guaranteed only a minimal exposure to the virus. Meaning, you only have a one percent chance every day of catching it (hey, even the best measures are not perfect.). Also, you gain a single power point (whatever that is) by virtue of your limited exposure to the airborne virus.

What follows is a limited list of things you should avoid. They are followed by the amount your chances increase of getting infected at the end of the day (along with the increase to daily power point gain, since I know you're so morbidly interested).

Spending a few minutes without proper protection in an infected area: +5% chance of infection (+1 extra PP)
Spending a few hours without proper protection in an infected area: +10% chance of infection (+3)
Drinking infected water, or coming in contact with it for a few minutes without proper protection: +5% per glassful consumed (+1)
Coming in contact with infected human bodily fluids: +10% (+1)
Spending longer than an hour in heavily infected areas (even with proper protection): +10% (+2)
Spending longer than a few minutes in a heavily infected area -without- proper protection: +10% (+2)
Spending around or longer than an hour in a heavily infected area w/o proper protection :+20% (+3)

The Virus has about six established stages. If one happens to be infected, they stop making checks to see if they caught it (flogging a dead horse there) and instead make Toughness checks to see if they resist its effects and get better. This is a flat 15 DC, modified by a host of different conditions.

Being well fed: -1 to DC for every 5$ worth of food over standard amount (Max 5)
Starving: +1 to DC for every 5$ worth of food under standard amount (Max 3)
Being Well Rested: -1 to DC for every hour of sleep over six (Max 4)
Being Sleep Deprived: +1 to DC for every hour of sleep under six (Max 4)
Avoiding strenuous activity for the day: -2 to DC
Taking Medicine: Special (See Medicine)

If the patient succeeds, mark the degree of success. A cumulative three successes causes the disease to drop to the next lowest stage (or, at stage one, to disappear entirely). The same occurs in reverse, however, for failures.

Stage One: Manifestation
This stage is the very beginning of the disease taking hold. Common symptoms include a slight runny nose, occasional coughing, and general flu-like symptoms. These are all slight and highly manageable, to the point where they should not interfere in the slightest with daily operation. Confers no loss in statistics.

Stage Two: Advanced Symptoms
As above, but to the point that they just start to interfere with daily activity. Agility and Strength reduced by 1

Stage Three: Mild Ataxia
At this stage, the patient's motor functions start to degrade, but not at a rate that is too terribly destructive. Physical stats reduced by 1, and the patient suffers a -1 to all defenses.

Stage Four: Nausea

2013-08-27, 08:26 PM
Post Reserved: Life in the City

2013-08-27, 08:27 PM
Reserved: How to Win