|Designers||Nils Gullikson, Michael Stenmark, Henrik Strandberg, Magnus Seter, Jerker Sojdelius, Stefan Thulin, Fredrik Malmberg|
Mutant Chronicles is a pen-and-paper role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic world, originally published in 1993. It has spawned a franchise of collectible card games, miniature wargames, video games, novels, comic books, and a film of the same title based on the game world.
In 2015, Cabinet Holdings acquired Paradox Entertainment Inc. and all subsidiaries and their properties, including Mutant Chronicles.
The game takes place in a distant future where the Earth has long since been depleted of natural resources and abandoned. Humanity has spread to the worlds of Venus, Mars, Mercury, Luna (the Moon, the first settlement following the exodus from Earth), and the Asteroid belt.
Since the exodus from Earth the traditional nation-states of the world have merged into five huge megacorporations: Bauhaus, styled after the culture of continental Europe, the American-influenced Capitol, the Japanese-themed Mishima, the British-inspired Imperial, and the ultra-secretive, ambiguous, high-tech wielding Cybertronic, all of whom use private military forces to fight for resources. Luna itself is considered to be neutral ground and is home to the massive city-state known as Luna City.
The other major power of this universe is the Brotherhood, a fanatical religious organization formed to meet the threat of the Dark Legion, an ancient evil comprising five "Dark Apostles" and their horde of hideous mutants and undead. The Dark Legion is the corporeal presentation of the Dark Symmetry and its members are minions of the Dark Apostles. The Dark Legion commands the most powerful armies of the solar system, including Legionnaires, resurrected corpses of fallen Megacorp heroes and footsoldiers alike; Necromutants, hideously modified humanoids; Centurions, the lethal lieutenants of the Dark Legion; and Nepharites, fearsome, towering behemoths of unimaginable power.
The reign of the Dark Legion began as mankind set foot on Nero, a fictional tenth planet beyond the orbit of Pluto, where they discovered a citadel. As they entered, the Imperial Conquistadors – a group of interplanetary explorers – accidentally broke the First Seal of Repulsion, a thin ring of salt spread around the citadel. Inside, a mysterious iron plate was found, and as it was touched, the Dark Legion was brought to our dimension, and along with it, the Dark Symmetry.
The Dark Symmetry prevents computers, "thinking engines", and other electronic devices from functioning reliably, if at all; this initially caused complete chaos, and then a forced adaptation of the technology used by mankind. The Dark Symmetry also begins to spread plagues, lies, illusions and war on the human population through the five Dark Apostles: Demnogonis, Semai, Muawihje, Algeroth and Ilian, the Dark Mistress, the most powerful wielder of the Dark Symmetry. Thus the First Corporate Wars began. Only through the Brotherhood and its first Cardinal, Nathaniel Durand, were the corporations pulled under one banner, driving the Dark Legion and the Dark Symmetry back to the void where they came from.
This however cost Nathaniel Durand his life as he fought and defeated Algeroth, the field commander of the Dark Legion and master of Dark Technology. A millennium later, the Dark Legion resurfaced, old edicts to keep the evil at bay were broken, and Megacorps began the Second Corporate Wars. Yet again Nero was explored and Dark Symmetry was unleashed. It was also during the period of a thousand years peace that Cybertronic surfaced, and was the first corporation to break one of the edicts: humans must not create or use machines that think like Man.
Target Games published the two first editions of the game (in 1993 and 1997 respectively).
Between 2006 and 2009, a Swedish game company, COG Games, held the license rights to publish a new edition of the role-playing game. In September 2009, COG's failure to deliver any results resulted in their license being revoked.
In 2013, British game company Modiphius announced that it would be releasing the official 3rd edition of the role-playing game. The core rulebook was released digitally in September 2015, preceding the hardback release in December 2015.
Craig Sheeley reviewed Mutant Chronicles for Pyramid #6 (March/April, 1994) and stated "The Mutant Chronicles looks like it can and will accomplish what Warhammer 40,000 failed to do, which is to provide an interlinked game background between several games, including bringing a roleplaying game into the mix."