Physical Mutation Drawback: Feralization

Chris Van Deelen

Feralization (drawback)

Type: Physical

Frequency: Rare

Power Score: Yes

Range: Personal

Duration: See description

AI Recognition: +4 (only when mutation is active)

Damage: See description

Uses: Constant

The mutant has a bizarre but ultimately deadly form of defense that it reverts to automatically whenever certain conditions are met. This can be when it is starving to death, dying of thirst, or simply under attack or badly wounded.

Whenever the mutant is exposed to any of the stimulus, it is allowed a saving throw versus death with a negative to the save equal to the mutations power score modifier. Yes, a low power score will give the mutant a bonus to stave off the transformation. If the save is successful, then the mutant can control this mutation and it retains its normal form. If the save fails, the mutant undergoes the transformation and becomes a danger to everyone around it, friend or foe. Note that the mutant can voluntarily choose to fail the save an allow itself to undergo the transformation.

Once the transformation has triggered, it takes 1d4 plus the power score modifier (negatives will speed up the transformation, but it always takes at least one round) to complete. The mutant is incapable of acting, as it is body is wracked with pain as it undergoes the change. It still retains its normal AC and hit points, but is incapable of using any conscious mutations or performing any actions. During this period, the mutant increases in size to the next size category (small becomes humanoid, humanoid becomes large, etc.). The mutant’s Strength increases by the power score (always doubles at the minimum). The mutant also gains additional hit points equal to twice that of its Constitution or hit dice. So if a mutant has 8 hit dice, then it gains an additional 16 hit points. The creature’s Intelligence drops to 3, no matter how high it used to be and it cannot think or react to any sort of mental stimulus. All memory is effectively shut down until the transformation is reversed.

The mutant also gains the quickness and natural armor (moderate) mutations while it is in this form. If the mutant does not already possess any type of natural attack, the new form comes with one plus the power score modifier natural attacks. However, any natural attacks possessed by the mutant increase in damage to the next dice category. For example, a mutant that has two claw attacks that do 1d6 damage now increase to 1d8 damage. All toxic or poison attacks remain the same. Note that if the mutant does not possess a natural attack, it gains two claw and one bite attack.

Finally the mutant is no longer able to use any mental mutations, other than those that are unconscious. It cannot choose to use any form of mental attack, although it can still defend against mental attacks, as its Will Power remains the same.

The creature will remain in this form until whatever caused the change has been dealt with. For example, a mutant that was dying of hunger fails the save and is able to kill and eat several creatures. Once the conditions have been met then the mutant will make a saving throw every turn until it passes, with a cumulative +1 per round until it saves. Once the save has been made, then the mutant will revert to its normal form in 1d3 rounds, and like during the initial change, it is helpless to act due to the wracking pain it is subjected to.

All statistics will return to normal, and any additional hit points gained will likewise disappear. This could very well lead to the mutant dying as a result, so the mutant needs to be careful.

Few mutants ever have the same type of transformation. Some become bestial; others take on entirely new forms, and so forth. It is left up to the imagination of the ML or player to determine the exact appearance of the new form the mutant takes.

Roll on the following chart to see what sort of condition will trigger the change:

Feralization trigger table






















Other (player or ML chooses or creates a new condition.

Mutation Index
Entertainment Mutant Index
New Mutant Monday Series One Index
New Mutant Monday Series Two Index

Chris Van Deelen is the creator and contributor to over half of the Wisdom from the Wastelands series, contributor to the Swords of Kos: Hekaton anthology. He also wrote Creatures of the Tropical Wastelands, and 100 Oddities found in a Car. As prolific as he is, Chris Van Deelen continues to write and produce material which will be in publication soon. Not only is he a prolific content creator, he also has a wide selection of fiction and stories! If you like his work, please follow his personal author page on Facebook and on Twitter to keep up with his latest news and game content.