BleakerMUCK: Races


Unmutated humans. A dying breed. Often members of the aristocracy.


Humanity survived, but the scars of what nearly destroyed it cut beyond the surface. An enduring species by nature in its ability to adapt and multiply, mankind has begun to mutate in its attempts to find a dominant breed. Slightly less than half of Bleaker's population is made up of these mutated denizens; and wildly divergent are the 'gifts' it has granted them. For some it is a boon of the mind; an ability to read a machine like a book, or even a mind. To others it is a noticeable physical change where fire is thrust from an individual's mouth, or skin is hard and encrusted like the stones of the earth. The truly cursed are those whose power is a hindrance, a disability, a weakness. Some gifts are shared, some gifts are truly unique. Mostly accepted, these mutations are a gateway to power in the city of Bleaker, or a threat to the status quo of Zero that must be crushed.

All characters are approved on a case-by-case basis; this is the age of technopaths, mind-readers, fire-breathers and chameleons, and while someone might look like an ordinary human, this isn’t always the case. Mutations may or may not be unique to an individual. That is to say, Penny the Pyromaniac probably isn’t the only one of her kind. Be creative and original!

If you want to play a shapeshifter or a vampire (both of which are considered to be subspecies of mutants), please remember that they are listed as separate races which receive special treatment and consideration.


Throughout all the mutations that have occurred in the gene pool of the surviving human beings, none is more stable or more maligned by those without mutations than those that can shapeshift. Commonly those dubbed 'shifters' can transform into animals (commonly mammals), usually only that single form and the abilities it naturally grants them. Distrusted for such overtly inhuman forms they are the truly downtrodden of Bleaker, and are hunted as game by the sadistic and cruel in the absence of any true animals surviving in the shattered remains of earth.

The only hope these misanthropes can have aside from a merciful death when caught, is to band together in groups that look out for one another's survival. Commonly banded together by species, their feral instincts are further encouraged to the point that they can truly be called packs, run by the strongest and fittest of their kind. Other groups are looked upon as rivals to marked territories, as well as increasing the chance of hunters tracking down their location. Conflict between groups of shifters is common; bloodshed is not unheard of at all. Nature is the ruler of these fights, and ultimately the only winner is the hunter whom takes advantage of the eyes of their prey turned elsewhere.

Fans of werewolves and werecats often find themselves playing shapeshifters on BleakerMUCK, but we’ve seen everything from wereswans to werebulls. Any animal, so long as it is not imaginary, is allowed. Shapeshifters can typically take two forms in addition to their human shape. For example, a werewolf may be able to turn into a larger than average wolf, or a rampaging "wolfman" hybrid. Unlike the werecreatures of tradition, they are not forced to shift when the moon is full). In their human forms, their senses tend to be heightened, but they are almost always more alert to their surroundings than a non-mutant would be all the same.  Many can adopt characteristics of their other skins (fangs, claws, etc.) without completely shifting forms.

Although the common perception is that shifters are almost invulnerable except to weapons made of silver, this is not the case; only 5% of shifters fall into this catagory, being able to quickly heal injuries and even regenerate lost extremities.  Even then, they are not generally allergic to silver.  The rest of the population heals more quickly than a trueblood, perhaps taking two-thirds the normal time, but has neither a regenerative ability or an allergy to silver.

An even smaller percentage possesses an animal form that is larger than natural, and the hybrid form is nothing less than a twelve foot-tall, snarling death beast; half a ton of muscle, teeth and rage, possessing strength and stamina that surpasses their smaller cousins (and even some of the larger ones).  There are even whispered rumors of shifters even more monstrous than these, but hopefully, that's all they are; rumors.

The most common types of shapeshifters in Bleaker are werewolves and werecats. They have formed clans accordingly. 


Like shapeshifters, vampires exist as a natural genetic mutation in a percentage of the population. As such, they have normal biology; lungs, liver, etc. It is also worth noting that this normal biology works normally, and vampires are in no way dead or "undead", neither does their skin have an unnatural pallor (more on this in a bit). What separates vampires from normal humans are key physiological differences.

To start with, vampires do not naturally produce hemoglobin, the chemical that allows oxygen to be absorbed by red blood cells. In a normal human, this would rapidly lead to tissue death, but a mutation in the vampire's digestive tract allows them to remove the hemoglobin from ingested blood and use it for themselves; to remain "healthy", a vampire needs to consume around one liter of blood every week. However, vampires are still able to eat and digest normal food, and in fact need to do so, because while the hemoglobin can be separated from ingested blood, the blood itself cannot be metabolized for energy. So, to stay healthy, an average vampire needs one liter of blood a week and at least 1,500 calories a day, including animal and fibrous protein, simple and complex carbohydrates, vitamins and fats. Because the blood itself is not metabolized, and hemoglobin is present in all organisms that have blood and need oxygen to survive, it does not matter if the blood is human, animal or whatever, so long as it is reasonably fresh (not more than a day or two old, longer if kept refrigerated). Keep in mind that one liter is a lot of blood, and consuming that much in one sitting will likely lead to illness; most vampires spread their meals out over the week, consuming smaller amounts every couple of days.

A vampire has elongated canine teeth, their "fangs". The purpose of these is obviously to make it easier to tear open skin and muscle to draw blood, but this action is not necessary. Blood in a glass is just as nourishing as blood straight from a wound.

Additionally, vampires have severe to ultraviolet radiation. Exposure to normal sunlight will cause bad burns (as much as second or even third degree after only a few minutes) and lead to the rapid development of malignant skin cancer. Sun block (at least SPF 40) provides protection for no more than a few hours. Because of this, most vampires tend to be night owls and usually have fairer than average skin, although they are not pale unless they naturally have little melanin.

Lastly, vampires have greater muscle and bone density than humans, making them naturally stronger and more resistant to injury. They also produce lower levels of lactic acid and so suffer less muscle fatigue; vampires have the natural potential to be fantastic athletes. Because they are a predator species, as it were, they also have keen hearing and smell and exceptional night vision. There is nothing about a vampire's physiology that makes them naturally more attractive. They also do not have an unnaturally strong immune system, and so are as vulnerable to poisons and diseases as humans (so it pays to make sure potential prey is clean).

There is some evidence to suggest that vampires may live longer than humans, but the difference is not more than a few years. Because they are, for the most part, human, vampires have human emotions and human problems. They have mental illnesses, crises of faith, and the like. Depending on their upbringing, they may have no problems feeding on humans or they may only feed on animals. They come from all walks of life but they are, for the most part, respected and feared members of the community--especially among the city's upper class. 

Dragons and Other Genetic Monstrosities

Sometimes, we get applications for characters that wildly deviate from any of the above races. Bat-sized dragons, sentient desert-dwelling monsters with a taste for fine wine and caviar, ghouls, lizard-men... Very rarely do we accept them. That said, if you think you've got a really solid character idea with a really solid background that fits in this category, go ahead and shoot off an application. You might be surprised, but please don't be too discouraged if your character gets rejected. Staff will always tell you what's wrong with your application, and offer you pointers on how to fix it.



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