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Destiny 2 as Inspiration for Numenera, Part 2: Malfeasance

This is part two in a series, head here for part one. In this series of posts, we’ve been looking at the Destiny 2 inspired characters from this tweet:

Screenshot of three “gun girls” drawn by @Fancymaker on

In the previous post, we took the Heir Apparent machine gun and turned it into a few things. First we created an in-game weapon for your players. Next, we looked at how you could use the weapon as inspiration for a playable character, and then as an NPC.

Today we’re looking at Malfeasance!

Malfeasance #

Malfeasance Gun Girl

Malfeasance is a neat hand cannon from Destiny 2 with some interesting back story. Before I get into it, here’s the gun itself:


So in-game, the gun has some interesting backstory. Destiny has a fun habit of turning enemies into weapons; the raid exotic for the Taken King raid being a prime example. It ties into the deeper lore of Destiny with things like the Sword Logic and whatnot.

As A Weapon #

As a weapon though, it’s pretty straight-forward: each hit “tags” the creature you hit, and if you stack up enough hits within a short time frame all the slugs explode and do a bit more damage. It also got upgraded recently, allowing it to stun special enemies called “Champions”. These are enemies that only show up in harder content that need to be stunned with specific weapons. This is something we can incorporate into our Numenera version of Malfeasance.

So let’s start with the basics: it’s a hand cannon in Destiny 2 which I think maps better to a medium weapon in Numenera than a light weapon. Hand cannons in Destiny 2 hit much harder than the other “handgun” style weapon, sidearms. So that gives us our damage: 4 points of damage on a hit.

Next up, the exploding slugs bit. I don’t think we should copy the “get 5 hits on a single target within 6 seconds” exactly from the in-game weapon. It feels like we’d either have to give the weapon a perk to let it shoot more than once on their turn during combat, as a round is five to ten seconds ( according to Discovery on page 101 ). Cutting it down to just “the rounds attached to a target explode once there are five attached” feels a bit weak though.

Instead, I’d like to take a look at who gives you the weapon in Destiny 2. This guy:

The Drifter

AKA: The Drifter

He’s a shady character who walks a fine line between Light and Dark in Destiny 2. He’s the kind of character who can stab you in the back while standing in front of you, and you’d forgive him because of his roguish charm.

So I’d like our Numenera version of Malfeasance to have some of that “shifty snake”-ness. I want players to feel like they could use this weapon to pull off a really good double cross, somehow.

Maybe instead of a timer, we make it an action – or part of an action – to detonate the slugs fired from the gun. For example, on any shot you can choose to trigger all previously fired and un-detonated slugs. There has to be a limit though, I don’t want players to be able to coat a wall or floor with slugs and then detonate them all at once; maybe if on the sixth shot if you haven’t detonated then all the slugs detonate.

This would let a player set up ambushes by planting slugs in the ground, or on a wall, to create a trap that goes off when they fire the first shot. Useful if you find yourself in a stand-off!

Works for me! Let’s draw up a stat block.

Malfeasance #

Form: A black hand canon with an ethereal quality.

Damage: 4 points

Each round fired from Malfeasance tags the target with a small unstable space-time singularity. These singularities are linked back to the gun through some unknown means. When firing the gun, you can choose to detonate any un-detonated slugs if you hit your target. If there are five un-detonated slugs, firing a sixth shot will cause all slugs to detonate.

Each detonation does 2 points of damage.

As A Character #

Gonna be honest, this one is a bit tough. The gun-girl image we’re using for inspiration is cool, but I’m not sure of the best way to translate her into a playable character.

If we’re going with just stuff from the books, I think using the “Emerged From The Obelisk” would work well, especially if the character woke up with Malfeasance in their hands. Otherwise, I would probably try to create a custom focus, something like “Balances Light and Dark” to tie into the Destiny 2 source a bit.

Something that highlights how the character is tapped into some kind of elemental forces, but using those forces comes with a cost. Part damage-dealer, part healer, all badass.

As An NPC #

I’d just stat up Drifter and put Malfeasance in his hands. Seems the simplest and easiest way forward.

Wrapping Up #

I’ll admit, this one is a bit weak compared to Heir Apparent. Probably because of the three guns, it’s my least favorite in-game. Plus, it’s one of the exotic weapons in Destiny 2 that just doesn’t have much “character”, despite being one of the cooler-looking guns in the game. It’s a hand cannon that has bullets that explode if you get enough hits on a target; not a ton to work with there.

But next time, we’ll be taking a look at one of my all-time favorite games in Destiny 2: Riskrunner.