Mutants of the Eclipse

   First up for today, it’s a rather simple request: How to build “Mutants” in Eclipse.

   That’s actually extremely easy.

   “Mutants” – at least as popularized in the comic books, movies, and cartoons – are basically humans with mysterious extra powers. Peculiar and conspicuous costumes, along with generic superhero good looks, are optional extras.

   Those powers…

  • Are usually inherent, and are supposedly present at birth – although they usually don’t activate until adolescence. Given the self-control typical of infants, that’s probably a good thing.
  • Have themes, but pay no attention to normal physical laws and have no apparent operating mechanisms other than “I want this to happen”.
  • Can be negated by equally-mysterious invisible and nonphysical fields and devices that “suppress mutant powers”
  • Can be disrupted, countered, temporarily drained and negated, and otherwise interfered with by the powers of “other mutants”, but usually aren’t subject to simple physical interference.
  • Tend to improve with practice, but rarely expand their theme or nature – and when they do, it’s usually in a sudden and unpredictable jump after an exotic experience or change in age category (most often, child to adolescent and adolescent to adult), rather than due to experience or simple practice.
  • Can usually be used as often as the user wants, barring the normal fatigue associated with vigorous activity.
  • Normally seem to make their user’s somewhat better than normal people. Most “mutants” seem to be somewhat tougher and more enduring, faster to heal, and rather above average – but not outside of the normal human range; even if you have weird powers, unless they just happen to include some defenses, bullets are still a significant threat.
  • Usually have some sort of downside – albeit just enough to provide some angst and complicate the plot a bit. That may be a problem with the powers or a problem with the social reaction to them or a combination thereof.

   Most of that sounds a bit familiar. Change “Mutant” to “Magic” and we’ve got a pretty obvious case of Innate Enchantment with superficial change in the description. Abilities which come in sets, which are difficult to improve and which arrive in chunks, sound equally familiar; in d20 terms, that’s a template.

   Of course, everyone in those worlds is usually a bit better than the average anyway. Fortunately, there are 22 CP left in the human racial allowance – leaving enough room to buy:

  • Universal (that is, including energy) Damage Reduction 2/-, Specialized for Double Effect (4/-): only converts lethal damage into nonlethal damage (3 CP) plus
  • 2x d4 Level One Hit Dice, Corrupted/Must be rolled normally (11 CP).

   After all, in these worlds, normal people quite routinely survive being hit with powerful energy blasts, punches from people with superhuman strength, and so on.

  • +5 on any one skill (5 CP) with Immunity to the rational limits of that skill (Uncommon, Minor, Major, 3 CP).

   In superhero worlds, everyone has a hobby or professional skill at which they’re really very good. For some reason, being an amateur radio tinkerer allows them to figure out alien communications gear, physicians can treat inhuman life forms, and pickpockets occasionally steal things from semi-omniscient godlings.

   That brings the “Superheroic Human” up to 31 CP – right at the limit for a +0 ECL race. That also neatly categorizes our mutants.

   The disadvantages of being a “mutant” usually include any three of the following:

  • Accursed/Malfunctioning Power.
  • Broke/Having been thrown out of their home, or abandoned to the streets, they start off with no money.
  • Compulsive/Either heroic or over-the-top flamboyant villainy.
  • Dependent/Requires a special talisman to use his or her abilities effectively.
  • Hunted/Old enemies or “mutant hunters”.
  • Insane/Usually in some blatant fashion.
  • Obligations/To whatever secret organization “awakened” their powers.
  • Outcast/Known “mutant” – or really bizarre appearance.
  • Secret/Real Identity.

   That’s worth a 10 CP bonus.

   Of course, a fair chunk of that goes into buying Immunity to the XP cost of Innate Enchantments – that’s an Uncommon, Minor, Epic (covering effects of up to level nine), but is specialized; it only covers abilities purchased in discrete packets as part of their racial template (9 CP). The other 1 CP goes to buying the 1 CP surcharge on Innate Enchantment (1 CP).

   That neatly gives us several classes of Mutants;

  • Class I: Minor (+1 ECL) Mutants. 32,000 GP worth of Innate Enchantments.
  • Class II: Notable (+2 ECL) Mutants. 64,000 GP worth of Innate Enchantments.
  • Class III: Major (+3 ECL) Mutants. 96,000 GP worth of Innate Enchantments.

   And so on.

   Now, the possibilities of Innate Enchantments are nearly unlimited – and a fair number of enchantment packages can be drawn straight from The Practical Enchanter.

2 Responses

  1. “That brings the “Superheroic Human” up to 31 CP – right at the limit for a +2 ECL race. That also neatly categorizes our mutants.”

    Wouldn’t this be a +0 ECL?

    • Indeed it should – and “2” is at the other end of the keyboard from “0” too. I’ve no idea how that one snuck in there.

      Hopefully editing it won’t foul up the formatting; they’ve revised the editor several times since this went up.

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