2013 Preview #6: Mad Doctor’s Formulary


Okay, so “daily” previews means weekdays – I was busy writing this weekend! But it’s Monday, so we’re right back at it with a closer look at the upcoming Mad Doctor’s Formulary! The last preview discussed the warped medicinal science of chirurgery, but it’s hard to get a good sense of what it’s all about without some specifics. So, in case you’d like to create your own personal Manchurian Candidate, for your consideration we offer…

Implant Psychic Trigger (DC 30, 1d4 days, 4 uses per day): You implant in the patient a psycho-neurological ‘back-door’ of some kind, designed produce a certain behavioral reaction, such as a word, phrase, whistle, image, or song. Activating this key is a move action for you, and can cause in the patient any form of insanity you choose, follow a suggestion (as the spell), complete a geas/quest, or you may select any one of the effects listed under the failure section of adjust attitude procedure above. If you use this procedure on a patient upon whom you have previously used the instill identity or lobotomize procedure, the DC of this procedure is reduced by 5 and the procedure requires only one day.
Complete Success: The key functions as desired, with the effects lasting for 1 hour, plus 1 hour for every 3 points by which any of your skill checks exceeded the DC. Completing a suggestion or geas/quest before this time ends the effect.
Partial Success: As a complete success, but the effect lasts 1 minute, plus 1 minute for every 3 points by which any of your skill checks exceeded the DC.
Failure: The reaction of the patient when the key is activated is random, as a failed adjust attitude procedure.
Malpractice: When the key is activated, the patient takes 1d6 points of Wisdom drain and is feebleminded.
Reversal: heal, or any effect that remedies insanity.
Synergy Skill: Bluff.

This is actually one of the simpler chirurgical procedures, but each follows the same basic format to indicate the results based on how successful you are performing your operation and warping the mind and body of your patient.

Of course, if your patient is less than cooperative, you could also turn to one of the two new constructs presented in this book, specially designed to make surgery a snap… for the surgeon! That’s when it’s time to bust out the cyberphrenic tadpole to implant itself in the target, insinuiating itself into the victim’s nervous system and serving as a telepathic relay for its creator. Or, the more straightforward cranial dissectibot. Tim Kings-Lynne is illustrating these two magical-mechanical monstrosities, but sometimes your mind’s eye paints the most terrifying picture, so until tomorrow’s preview I’ll leave you with this:

This mechanical horror bristles with wires, compartments, and blinking lights up and down its thick stalk-like metallic body, balanced atop six spidery legs and bristling with branching armatures, some with cables and clamps and others tipped with gleaming trocars and pneumatic needlers.

Pleasant dreams…

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