Roleplaying Flux

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Just finished running the Iron King adventure in the main book, and had a blast doing it. Now I'm kind of curious about how alpha flux works outside the encounter.  When the party is wandering through town, shopping or what not, do the people they pass just randomly mutate as they walk by?  I love the mechanic, but I (and my players) are having a hard time wrapping our heads around it for role-playing purposes. How are other gm's handling it?
The heroes are part of small subset of mutants that has the genetic code/programming algorithm to access their alternate timeline selves subconsciously, according to the fluff.  This is what differentiates them from other mutants and makes them "heroic."

As for my personal methods, I generally treat NPCs as one-origin mutants with no capability of alpha flux.  Important NPCs, other heroes, elites and solos get a second origin, the ability to flux, or both.

Even though you draw at the end of an encounter, I treat alpha mutation as something that is triggered by the adrenaline of combat (or intense stress, such as an epic failure to Interact), so even in the event that players encountered another... uh... fluxer, they wouldn't just do it any old time.

Visually, I like to depict it (alpha fluxes, the beta chamber, or anything that involves another world line) as a flickering (like a sudden lack of reception on a TV) , leaving the target changed, but that's pure flavor.
I treat alpha mutation as something that is triggered by the adrenaline of combat (or intense stress, such as an epic failure to Interact)

Well said.

FBJ described my position on it effectively. In our first session of a new campaign last night, one of the PCs had three fluxes in the same combat!
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Thanks for the explanation.  That actually sounds pretty good. Must have missed that fluff when I read through the rules.  I like the flickering effect.  And limiting it to heroes/major npcs makes creating towns/settings a little less complex. 

On a lighter note, My favorite moment in the Iron King dungeon was when one of my players managed to kill himself with absolutely no help from me.  Twinkie, the Giant Cockroach, used an alpha mutation where he breathes out poison gas (can't remember the exact name off the top of my head).  He tried to overcharge it and rolled a 2. He did 30 some points of damage to himself(almost triple what he did to the enemy), fell unconscious (taking ongoing poison dmg) and rolled down the slope into the laser trap in the room before the IK.  The trap activated and did enough points to put him into the dead zone, before anyone else in the group even had a chance to act. He would have died from the ongoing poison even if the lasers hadn't killed him.  This particular player has a reputation for recklessness and getting himself in trouble as it was, but for him to kill himself with almost no GM assistance had our group rolling for almost 10 minutes afterward.
FlashbackJon has it dead on. I even allow the Flux to alter surroundings sometimes, since multiple realities are battling for dominance... I described that the office a player was searching actually fluxed to a perfectly new room rather than a 150yr old ruin while he was in it when he Fluxxed! It didn't help him in any way it was really just for effect!

You could allow a Flux to change terrain features, an old overpass or bridge suddenly becomes usable. Be careful of a flux while fighting the tiger beetles though! Argh! the bridge is gone!!!
Oooh! mightyeroc just provided my next session atmospheric detail! Thanks!!!
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Just finished running the Iron King adventure in the main book, and had a blast doing it. Now I'm kind of curious about how alpha flux works outside the encounter.  When the party is wandering through town, shopping or what not, do the people they pass just randomly mutate as they walk by?  I love the mechanic, but I (and my players) are having a hard time wrapping our heads around it for role-playing purposes. How are other gm's handling it?



I'm with flashback jon on how one manifests and alpha mutation, through adrenaline rush.  But for roleplaying, I am toying with the idea of using deja vu.  In a world where reality is still in flux, characters are always experiencing deja vu.  If you are using player decks, deja vu can manifest itself in certain alpha mutations repeating, and constantly finding the same omega tech. 

I was thinking of certain scenes playing out over and over again as the pcs enter the down.  Like a little boy being bullied by the same group of ruffians every time the party enters town, but with subtle defferences depending on how the pcs respond. 

I was thinking of incorparating a dejavu roll, where Pcs, can gain memories of places, people, and events they may have experienced in other realities. 

I was even of thinking of doing an adventure where the Pcs awake in the bodies and lives of the players, except with the powers from thier origins and the ability to manifest alpha mutations.  Then play out the adventure in the altered present with the players finding omega tech and eventually returning to Gamma World. 
I remember reading somewhere that Flux is different for different people.  Like some people might draw on an alternate reality through instinct, or through doing complex math in your head, or some hoodoo witchcraft chant that puts you in the right headspace.
BilionSix has added a good comment. Match the description of the Alpha Flux to the PC it is affecting. Aliens draw upon their inherent nature. AI/Robot/Android flux is new code. Animal derivations might be a random mutational response to external stimuli if their second origin does not suggest a cause. And if there is radiation in the area (a pool, etc.) then it easily explained as being directly caused by that.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.

I have been meaning to reply to this thread for a few weeks one thing I have done is to make the world itself alter in various ways to reflect some Alpha fluxes.  I have a series of 6 d20 charts right now that I use that are just full of crazy stuff I have thought of.  Most are just atmosphere but a few effect game play.  


A few examples:


Fish swim in the air like birds


Its raining marshmallows


Everyone even the women have beards


Behold the power of cheese, everyone has cheese!


Not without my Woobie!  Each player has a security blanket


it is night and there are 1d4 Moons


Tree's grow cell phones but they only take in coming calls from telemarketers


the ground makes squeaks, sounds vary for terrain


Animals can speak but only in Esperanto


Background music each player may have their own theme music (works well if you have the music picked out and ready to go)



I have the charts as an excel file that I am constantly addding to I hope to get it up to a couple of d100 charts
A few more "atmospheric flux" ideas:

Dive for cover, organics! It's raining liquid mercury!

Chlorophyll is red (or blue, or purple, or whatever) rather than green, changing the color of grass and the majority of other plants as well.

Gravity is much lower, granting a +2 bonus to speed.

Gravity is much higher, causing all creatures to be slowed.

A character's hair acts as charged fiber optic lines, glowing with light that slowly changes color.

The Sun has been replaced by a white dwarf from a worldline in which Earth never existed.

Nothing seems to have depth... You've crossed a dimensional barrier (literally!) into Flatland!

Gray goo has covered half the planet. Well, 40% of it, anyway.
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL
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