New Backgrounds for the Tien Tao setting
New Backgrounds for the Tien Tao Setting 
Daemon | Mutant

Daemons exist, and they walk among us. A character with the Daemon background is either a demon himself, or is half-demon through some unnatural tryst in his parents' past. Though human-looking, they are tainted by corrupting essences, and therefore always have some mark of the corruption they have suffered.

Depending on the number of "dots" in this Background, a character will have a lesser or greater mark of corruption. A one-dot Daemon might merely have an unnatural glint in his eyes, larger canines than usual, or perhaps long, black fingernails. A three-dot Daemon might have glowing eyes, large black incisors complementing his black teeth, or might have actual claws and a tail. A five-dot Daemon might for all intents and purposes actually be a Daemon - swarty blue, black, red or bright orange skin, horns, talons, and sharp teeth - and perhaps a tail, just to complete the impression.

Daemons have the power to Rage at will. This power is similar to the Animal Hybrid ability, in that they will get +2 Speed +2 Damage +2 Move to all actions, may not use Combos, and they may not be Dizzied. For every round the Daemon is Raging, he will lose one temporary Honor. If this causes the Daemon to go below 0 in temporary Honor, he must immediately exchange a permanent Honor for 10 temporary Honor. To exit the Rage, a Daemon must roll a (current) Chi check with a difficulty of 6. Any successes means that the Daemon has snapped out of it. Note that this power does not prevent the Daemon from using maneuvers costing Willpower or Chi.

A tainted character will have problems with keeping his temper under control. Every time he is taunted or otherwise bothered (at the Storyteller's discretion), the tainted character must roll a (current) Chi test to keep from Raging, with the consequences as described above.

Daemons can also rely on their infernal background to provide them with powers beyond the mortal ken. A tainted character may use his Daemon background in lieu of Focus prerequisites to buy Focus-based Special Maneuvers. If a Special Maneuver is bought through the Daemon background, then the Daemon background is always used when calculating damage, range and so on - never Focus. The cost of this Special Maneuver is always the lowest listed.

When a demonic character employs a Focus-based Special Maneuver bought through the Daemon background, he will immediately lose one temporary Honor. A demonic character may also employ temporary Honor in lieu of any Chi that such a Special Maneuver might cost.

A demonic character will double any Honor losses incurred through dishonorable acts, as such occasions will be doubly traumatic for the demonic character - not only has he done a dishonorable act, he has also succumbed (however briefly) to the demon within.

A demonic character must beware his Honor loss. If that demonic character reaches 0 in permanent Honor, and needs to swap a permanent point of Honor to gain temporary Honor, then that character has succumbed to the evil influences raging through him. That character is then removed from normal play, and is forever more an NPC under the control of the Storyteller. A demonic character may never have more than 9 points in permanent Honor.

Finally, a demonic character gains one extra attribute point to be placed in one of the categories - either Social, Mental, or Physical. Allocating this point allows this one attribute to reach 6. The demonic character must also lose one attribute point from one of the two categories not enhanced in this way - either Social, Mental, or Physical.

Mutants are everywhere in the Tien Tao setting. Any being from a non-humanoid race might be a mutant. Someone with unusual or unique characteristics may also be called a mutant. A mutant character might have retractable talons - but will not show other characteristics usually found in animal hybrids. A character may have blades implanted in his forearms - and be termed a mutant. A character might have large, vicious steel incisors - and be a mutant. Everything unusual that doesn't necessarily mean a demon, elemental or animal hybrid will be a mutant.

The number of dots in the Mutant Background will determine the extent of the mutant's ... uniqueness. Various powers will cost a number of dots, and a mutant must have a number of dots in the Mutant Background equal to, or greater than the dot cost of the various abilities.

Implanted Weaponry: A mutant may have implanted weaponry. The weapon will be the equivalent of any particular weapon found in the weapon list in Contenders, or any other set of statistics that the Storyteller allows. The weapon is employed through the normal skill, and the Mutant background has no bearing on this. The cost of the weapon is equal to its Speed modifier or its Damage modifier, whichever is greater. For the weapon to be retractable or otherwise concealable, the dot cost is one greater than this.

Implanted weaponry is exactly like its normal counterparts, except that it cannot be truly disarmed (a successful Disarm merely penalizes the mutant by -2 to Speed next round). Any and all allowed Special Maneuvers that can be executed by a normal weapon of the implanted sort is allowed with the implanted weapon as well, except when prohibited by the Storyteller (such as maneuvers involving throwing the weapon and so on).

Inhuman Build: A mutant may also have an inhuman build. Examples of this would include: a tail, a mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth, wings, claws, an extra pair of arms or legs, or other unique abilities. As with the implanted weaponry ability, retractibility costs extra. In this context, only teeth or claws may be bought as retractable.

The inhuman build ability will provide with natural attacks based on its build - teeth will grant the Bite basic maneuver, claws will grant the Claw basic maneuver, a tail will grant the Tail Slap basic maneuver (and access to animal hybrid attacks that need a tail to function), wings will grant a limited flight or gliding capability (similar to that of winged bestial animal hybrids), and an extra pair of arms or legs will grant bonuses to Punch, Grab, Kick or Athletics, respectively.

Inhuman teeth cost 1 point, claws cost 1 point, a tail cost 2 points, and wings cost 3 points as does an extra pair of arms or legs.

A Mutant will be considered a freak even in polite society, though they aren't that uncommon in the Tien Tao setting. Nevertheless, a Mutant will have to pay extra to increase his Social attributes (Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance) - his ability is considered one greater when determining how many XP he will have to spend to increase the Social attribute by one point. Furthermore, a Mutant will have to forfeit one starting point in the Social attribute.

Example: Bobby is building a blatant copy of one particular character from Mortal Kombat. He has already determined that Garaka will have retractable blades embedded in his forearms, as well as a fearsome set of steel shark teeth rather than normal teeth. The blades are to be retractible, but the teeth are not. He has decided that +1 Spd and +2 Dam is about right for the blades, and their retractable ability cost one extra dot. The teeth are another dot, for a grand total of (2+1+1) 4 dots minimum in the Mutant Background.