A Closer Examination of the Mutation 'Alter Atomic Composition'

Derek Holland

By Derek Holland and Chris Van Deelen

Alter atomic composition is a mutation with a great deal of potential for both players and game masters. But like most things, it can be improved. Here is the revised version from the up coming book of physical mutations:

Alter Atomic Composition

Mental, Power Score

Frequency: Rare, Recommended Type: NPC or Creature.

The mutant can change one material into another at a sub-atomic level. First, the mutant has to roll the power score when it receives this mutation. The mutant is able to convert 1 plus the power score modifier (minimum of 1) types of material into another. Randomly roll both types of material below. However, if the mutant rolls the same type twice, the GM may re-roll the material type. Changing soft metal into soft metal may be turning lead into gold or gold into lead. The mutant can affect 4x the power score in pounds, and it can be used once plus the power score modifier (minimum of 0) times per day. The range of the mutation is touch.

Roll

Material

1

Soft Metal (Lead, etc.)

2

Hard Metal (Steel, Iron, etc.)

3

Alloys (Plasteel, etc.)

4

Rubber

5

Plastic

6

Stone

7

Wood

8

Ceramic or Glass

9

Flesh (mindless)

10-11

Player's Choice

12

GM’s Choice

If used against an unwilling target (for example a robotic unit), the target is allowed a save versus energy attacks. If the save fails, it is possible that the target could suffer damage, have reduced AC etc. The actual results are left up to the GM.

Obviously the chart can be expanded but what else is there to make this mutation more interesting? Here are a few ideas.

* The basic mutation has the energy source as the mutant. The reaction may require another source such as heat (endothermic), light, sound, radiation or even kinetic. Or, to turn this on its head, the material is the source of energy and the reaction releases energy of those types or something more exotic.

* Instead of being able to turn more one material into products, have one reactant become a product and power score modifier (minimum 1) byproducts. The chart is still used but the result is 2 or more end products. 90% of the result is the product and 10% is divided up between the byproducts.

* The end product isn't completely formed by the mutation. It requires a chemical reaction, such as oxidation, to get the desired material. This takes d4 or more rounds, depending on the density and structure of the material created by the mutant. A couple examples: ceramic production may take d4 rounds by exposure to air whereas steel takes d4 hours after being buried in ash.

*Another version of that is the creation of a catalyst. The end product is simply a material that helps in yet another chemical reaction. The catalyst should have a lifespan of one use to one month worth of uses.

* All the resulting materials degrade over time but some decay in a non-standard manner. Rubber, instead