Mutant Minerals and Plants

Derek Holland

Derek Holland is the author of Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord material in multiple Skirmisher Publishing LLC publications and co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement.

One of the fun things about Mutant Future is doing crazy stuff that works. The artifacts that I am working on do all kinds of crazy things using spells from Labyrinth Lord and here is something equally fun (and terrifying for player characters).

Polyhedron 50 has an article on mutant minerals in Gamma World. The idea is interesting but the examples suck (well, except for one). The one that makes me cringe is a stone that is used to attack werewolves and vampires?!? Werewolves in Gamma World? Sure, but vampires? Unlike Mutant Future, which has zombies, Gamma World never had undead, at least in the supplements I have read. Still, the idea is sound, so why not try it out with Mutant Future mutations:

* Solar powered catalysts that have chemical gland. Put it in something (usually a liquid), and the mineral changes the something as long as it is exposed to light.

* The minerals with alter atomic composition have subatomic particles that provide zero point energy, enough to convert elements.

* Metamorph (environmental dependance) requires changes in humdity, temperature, radiation levels, etc. It can make hills that grow and shrink with the seasons.

* Regenerative capacity means the object can heal, but it requires some raw materials. Just place it on the materials and wait for a few hours or days.

*Temperature control is the opposite of how mutants use it. Instead of making heat or cold, it moderates the temperature. Blocks of this stuff are very important in Ice Age, extreme desert and similar settings.

*Control light waves allows the mineral to do more than just bend or reflect light. It can do something like alter atomic composition with energy- visible light converted into X-rays or microwaves, for example. It might even turn light into sound or kinetic energy. Hmm, now that I think about that, the latter should be a new mutation.

 

Some minerals have effectively more than one mutation.

*Light step, metamorph (environmental dependance) and reactive growth. This stone is very light. It enlarges and gains mass when struck or exposed to radiation over class 5. Some of it has been used to make bridges. A few collapsed when the nearby radiation source is removed or when they were hit by cannons in battle.

*Dazzling display, toxic weapon (narcotic) and webbing. This mineral looks like loops of tar and is just as sticky. It produces patterns of light that can be addictive to the mammalian brain and outcroppings usually have a few animals stuck and dead within their mass.

*Fuse flesh (activated), poison susceptibility and webbing (environmental dependance, disgusting). This stone looks normal until it is exposed to water. It turns into a fleshy, gooey, sticky disgusting mass. People view its transformation must save versus poison or retch for d4 rounds. Those touching the stone while it is in the latter form must save versus death or be poisoned. For a week thereafter (until the body flushes the poison), the victim must save versus death when exposed to salt. Those failing the sav have their flesh fused- fingers to each other; eyes, nose and mouth closed as well as other orifices. To save the character, a blade is needed and the procedure inflicts 3d6 points of damage. Strangely, the stone can be "killed" by snake venom. A single dose will prevent 50 pounds of this mineral from changing for d4 days.

*Activate mutation and healing touch (variant). This mineral is very popular as everytime someone touches it, it cures all diseases and purges all parasites (including parasite mutations, unfortunately). But it does have a downside- every time it heals, the mineral also sets off one of the mutant's or flesh based androids mutations.

 

And then there are mindless plants with mental mutations. The basic idea is bizarre but the examples show that it does work well. Some of these mutations are from the upcoming Mental Mutations from the Wastelands.

*The crap apple uses an illusion to make its fruit taste good. The apples are edible and non-toxic but extremely noxious. Those making the save versus stun to taste through the illusion must save versus poison or retch for d6 rounds. Most willingly fail the save for the illusion.

*Hunger peas have empathy (decidious). When the peas are ripe, the plant blasts hunger to 500'. Those failing a save versus stun make a beeline to the vines and eat the peas. The fertile ones are highly resistant to digestion. *North star moss' tiny stems point north (know direction). It can be grown in a bottle and takes very minimal care (1 gp for the moss and bottle).

*Hopping sailors are chicory with teleport. Every time something over 1/2 pound comes into contact with the plant, it teleports in a random direction for 2d6 X10 feet. Those in contact must save versus stun or be taken along.

*Several plants use memory erase and mental barrier to keep herbivores off balance. Memory erase causes confusion and most creatures forget where the plant is. Mental barrier protects against those who use mental mutations to find food. Forced telepathic web is a much more powerful version that can drive non-sapient creatures insane as they can not understand what they are feeling and seeing.

*Sunweed is a mutant dandelion that has temporal distortion. It takes heat and light from different eras in Earth's history to grow even in the worst climate conditions (including Ice Ages and such). Plane shift is similar but there is a chance for alien life to come through, rather than dinosaurs.

*Plants with fog bank or part water can be a disaster. Some swamp plants with fog bank remove so much water from the ground, they die from dehydration. Part water can shatter a river or lake as the plants telekinetically force the water around or over them. With enough plants, a lake could be broken up into dozens of floating, oval ponds that have little contact with each other.

 

But it gets better when one uses more than one mutation.

*A spruce with animal limb or organ, flesh pocket, copious sweat and neural telekinesis. The tree has d4 pockets per 10', each filled with a sappy goo. Some people try to use these pockets to hide valuables- not a good idea as anything, including hands and paws, placed within a pocket is affected by a form of telekinesis that draws the objects into it. Those with a strength less than 12 (14 for larger trees) will be stuck until they die.

*A palm with animal limb or organ, barf guts, gloom, low light tolerance and mutter. Islands with these trees are obvious from a distance- they are dark and gloomy. Up close, one notices the trees make grumbling sounds and have reptilian tails (which could be a trip hazard). If a tree is harmed, it bends over and dumps soft wood and very sticky sap all over its attacker (save versus energy attacks to avoid). The amount is enough that a human sized creature might even suffocate (save versus poison to survive).

*An ivy vine with light step, morphic form, radio telepathy and rocket seeds. This plant climbs walls, cliffs, other plants and even hibernating kaiju. It is amazingly light, at least while it is a vine, and can produce huge growths on relatively weak structures. It constantly changes its appearance (morphic form is a drawback) and can even become a shrub or tree- something that effectly increases its mass (it loses light step). The plant is known for making radio communication difficult with its static and its explosive seeds with a range of 1000'. Fortunately it has the latter only 2 weeks per year.

*Cotton with light burst, negative empathy, power generation, reactive growth and spiny growth. This plant has long thorns and those who hit it with natural weapons or short melee weapons take d6 points of damage. It seems a no brainer to avoid the plant, but it has this weird effect on people and creatures- those within 50' have to save versus stun to avoid attacking it. Everytime the plant is struct, it produces a flash of light (save versus death to avoid blindness for d4 rounds), something that can draw predators. But the chemical reaction that produces the light can be tapped. If someone resists the negative empathy mutation and sets up wires to the plant, he can recharge a power cell in an hour, a power pack in six hours, a power clip in thirty minutes, a power beltpack in three hours and a power backpack in twelve hours (see Mutant Future corebook, p. 117).