- Breathes a sleepy miasma.
- Drags slumbering victims back to its den to feast on dreams.
- Attacks with claws, jaws, and fangs as a last resort.
- Dream-pearls form round particularly indigestible dreams in its stomach.
Genre: biopunk post-apocalyptic
Context: Ever so long ago the old world of metal and machinery faded away into this landscape of growing, thriving, modifying mechanorganic beings. Picture abandoned skyscrapers covered in organ-vines, cities built in the shells of long-dead Leviathans, seemingly bottomless caverns made of pulsing flesh. Biotech gone wild.
Almost all the tech you’d think of as made of shiny steel has its organic equivalent here, or has been taken over and twisted by a myriad of lifeforms in their own image. Here, the post-apocalyptic landscape is not the home of robotic overlords, nor a barren desert wasteland, but a vibrant, biting world where wildly different biomes overlap in seemingly random patterns while humans try to coexist with the remnants of a prior civilization that relied entirely on biotechnology and organic manipulation. Feisty meat wizards, lonesome spider shepherds, durable gut-rope harvesters, wandering mantis bladesmen, and so many others, all are welcome in this world. Because nature is anything but boring.
d12 modifications, mutations & quirks
1d6 eyes where they don’t usually belong
Chitinous exoskeleton with added pincers
Wings made of flesh (flightless, glide-only)
Ballistic Projectile teeth
Poly-ceramic armoured skin
1d6 extra limbs
Extra caustic hardened gut
A fungal colony that lives inside your brain and serves as a companion intelligence (not very smart)
d10 random encounters
Migrating lichen-beast forest
A pack of tripping mushroom-zombies
Parasitoid-infested old world Metal Demon
A mutated sapient flying snake
Veiled monks of the Genome Goddess, preachy
MEAT-MONGER of the Butchers Guild, suspicious
Caravan riding elephantine crab hybrids
An euphoric Sarcomancer
A group of desperate Corpse-Harvesters
d6 things you find in a Sarcomancer’s lair
Sentient tumour, mildly annoyed
Rapid-growth hormone spray
Scalpels and bonesaws
Detailed instructions on how to make a flesh golem
Ooze helper companion
Map to a place deep inside the Larvae Fields
d20 tech you can find here
Living buildings, self-repairing and -growing, but hungry
Adaptable, multi-use slime mold
Spider-sheep silk textiles
Sentient, whispering bio-suits
Mining-modified plant roots
Portable Banshee sonic weaponry
Ant-derived wound stitchers
Pheromone Control Units
Kraken and Leviathan class sentient submersibles
Meat Puppet Live Theatre
Fungus spore explosives
Ancestral memory storage in brain-banks
Bioluminescent plant light-sources
Single use implantable tapetum lucidum
d8 places to visit
Cathedral of Decay
The brain-dead body of an ancient god, not dead but dreaming
Lady Long’s Lizard Lovers Lair
The Bottomless Caves of Flesh
The ruins of a pre-war biotech weapon manufactory
A cemetery of Failed Chimeras
Lichen Ribcage Forest
The Pit of the Ever-Glowing Slime
Biopunk is -punk. This means: radical, antifascist, anticapitalist, antinormative, DIY-inclined, loud, political. It’s about making the world a better place, not killing creatures and looting corpses (nothing wrong with that, just not what this is about). It’s about punching nazis, tearing down structures of oppression and having fun while doing it.
Body-Modification. Forget those neonliberal tropes of “changing your body makes you less human” shit. Biopunk is all about doing whatever you want with that sack of flesh you’ve got. Want some boobs? Go get them. Maybe some horns, or a tail, maybe some prosthetic tentacles? No problem. Mutation is not an unwanted consequence, a sign of corruption or the horrible effects of magic gone awry - it’s a choice.
Organic instead of metallic. Instead of machines, try to think about what their organic counterparts could be. Make up weird biotech. Think of fleshy pits instead of the same old rocky caverns. Life is weird and fascinating, try to push that up to 11. Why firearms when you could have flesh-eating squid launchers?
Humanity is part of nature. Forget the nonsense anthropocentric idea of a nature/humanity divide. We’re part of it, even if we try to pretend we aren’t. And in this post-apocalyptic example, this is way more obvious and literal. What separates you from nature if you live in a symbiotic relationship with a sentient fungus? If all those skyscrapers are now so overrun with organ-vines that they’ve become part of its organism? If your ship has feelings, how do you treat it? This kind of setting invites us to questions like those. Your sword may be a sentient, pacifist companion. Your dead friend could suddenly come back, but different.