Mutants of the Eclipse Part XII – Minor Mutants

   This entry covers twenty types of minor mutant power packages – Aquatic Adaption, Beastmaster, Bladewitch, Blaster (Minor), Empath, Face Dancer, Flame (Energy) Projector, Flyer, Invisibility, Lightning Touch, Lightshow, Neural Disruptor, Partial Invulnerability, Precognitive (Minor), Psychic Projector, Swarm Master,Telekinetic (Minor), Telepath (Minor), Trapper, and Weapons Expert.

   To continue with Mutants in Eclipse, here are the power packages for a variety of Class I (+1 ECL) Minor Mutants – the minor characters that fill out the background and serve as minions for more powerful leaders. As usual, their powers are built using Unlimited-Use Use-Activated Innate Enchantments – at an effective base “Cost” of (Spell Level x Casting Level x 2000 GP x Modifiers). In most cases that’s either 2000 GP (for level one effects) or 12,000 GP (for level two effects).

   Minor Mutants can absorb a good deal of damage, are slightly superior to normal humans, and usually possess relatively weak mutant powers – whether that’s a single monotalent or a small suite of closely-related abilities. They can be reasonably effective, but – at least in the comics – they’re often minor, throwaway, characters with personalities as strictly one-dimensional as their powers.

   In Eclipse, of course, as in almost any other game, you won’t catch any player characters with unspent unless they’re saving up for some big purchase later on – and the Generic Mutant packages can be combined with other mutant power packages as usual, just in case someone happens to want an aquatically-adapted Strongman, or some other odd combination. Ergo, these packages include a few generic enhancements to go with their primary power packages, just to make them a little more competitive.

  • Grim Experience: +1 Competence Bonus to all Saving Throws. (Sidestep, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400 GP).
  • Mage Armor: +4 Armor Bonus to AC (1400 GP).
  • Personal Knack: +3 Competence Bonus to a skill group (1400 GP).
  • Rugged Metabolism: Fast Healing I – for 18 Rounds – 2/Day, Relieve Illness 1/Day, Relieve Poison 1/Day, and Lesser Restoration 1/Day. From the Hedge Wizardry list on this site and The Practical Enchanter (1400 GP).
  • Superior Attribute: +2 Enhancement Bonus to any one attribute (1400 GP).
  • Superior Attribute: +2 Enhancement Bonus to any one attribute (1400 GP).
  • Vigorous: +24 + 4 x Con Mod HP (8400 GP).
  • Well-Practiced: +4 Competence Bonus to BAB with their primary attack (1400 GP) or – if it doesn’t require an attack check – +2 on the DC of resisting it.
  • Will of the Underdog/Inspiring Word: +1 Morale bonus to attacks, checks, damage, and saves (1400 GP).

   Choice of one Special Power Package:

  1. Aquatic Adaption: Inner Fires (need not breathe, x.5 only underwater, 1000 GP), Depth Adaption (user is immune to water pressure changes, 1400 GP), Endure Elements (user is immune to cold water and normal weather extremes, 1400 GP), Swim (+30 Swim Speed, 1400 GP), Inspiring Word (+1 Morale Bonus to Attacks, Damage, Saves and Checks, only underwater, x.5, 700 GP), Water Senses (may see, hear, and speak normally while underwater, 1400 GP), Pressure Blast (as per Produce Flame, but only usable while in water – although you can hurl water blasts at people who are out of the water but within range, x.75, 1500 GP), Animal Influence (water creatures only, x.5, 1000 GP), Personal Haste (+30′ Move, +1 attack at full BAB when making a full attack, only while fighting in water x.5, 1000 GP), Pressure Wave (Shield, only while in the water, x.5, 1000 GP), and Detect Environmental Disturbances (level zero, only while in the water and only water disturbances, x.5, 500 GP).
  2. Beastmaster: Speak with Animals (2000 GP), Charm Animal (2000 GP), Calm Animals (2000 GP), Detect Animals or Plants (2000 GP), Hide from Animals (personal-only, 1400 GP), Cure Light Wounds (only on animals x.5, only once per day per animal, x.6 = 600 GP), Animal Rage (animal rages like a barbarian, with no fatigue, 2000 GP).
  3. Bladewitch: Spiritual Weapon (12,000 GP). Note that the Bladewitch will normally have three such weapons available at any one time.
  4. Blaster, Minor: Scorching Ray (with any appropriate elemental effect, 12,000 GP).
  5. Empath: Enthrall (with an Arcanum Minimus/Life Energy limitation; the user must save versus his own power or suffer Fatigue thanks to the strain of affecting so many people at once, 2000 GP), +2 to the DC of resisting their emotional manipulations (personal-only, 1400 GP), Hypnotic Pattern (a verbal variant, 2000 GP), Charm Person (2000 GP), Emotional Influence/+2 Luck Bonus to all Charisma-Based Skills (Fortune’s Favor, x.7 personal only, x.5 only for Charisma-Based skills, 700 GP), Cause Fear (2000 GP), and Sanctuary (2000 GP).
  6. Face Dancer: Alter Self (user reverts to some seriously bizarre base form if rendered unconscious or this ability is negated, x.8, 9600 GP), Augment Attack (+1d8 damage with natural weapons, personal-only, 1400 GP), Rapid Recovery (Cure Light Wounds, personal-only, 4 times per day, 1120 GP).
  7. Flame (or energy type of choice) Projection: Burning Hands (2000 GP), Produce Flame (2000 GP), Resist Flames (provides fire resistance 10, personal-only, 1400 GP), Augment Attack/Flames (2000 GP), Serpents Strike (provides +1 attack usable off-action, personal only, only with flame powers x.9, 1260 GP), Heat Metal (first level single target touch version, 2000 GP), and Resist Cold (provides cold resistance 10, personal-only, 1400 GP).
  8. Flyer: Personal Flight (L3 x L2 x 2000 GP x .7 requires wingroom and can be entangled, or very conspicuous trail, or noisy, or whatever = 8400 GP), Lighten (+30′ circumstance bonus on flight speed and +1 maneuverability class, halves falling damage, personal-only, 1400 GP), Personal Haste (+30′ Move, +1 attack at full BAB when making a full attack, 2000 GP).
  9. Invisibility: Invisibility (personal-only, 8400 GP), Lethal Strike (+2d6 Sneak Attack, personal-only, 1400 GP, Lesser Silence (the user cannot be heard, and his actions make no noise. He or she can still voluntarily make noise though and incoming sound is not affected, giving him or her a +5 circumstance bonus on Listen checks, personal-only, 1400 GP), +2 Competence Bonus to all “thieving” skills (Skill Mastery, from The Practical Enchanter, personal-only, 700 GP), choice of unlimited use of Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, or Message (1000 GP).
  10. Lightning Touch: Shocking Grasp at Caster Level Five (10,000 GP), Resist Electricity 10 (1400 GP), and Detect Electrical Energies (700 GP).
  11. Lightshow: Color Spray (2000 GP), Hypnotism (2000 GP), Silent Image (2000 GP, and Produce Flame (select Fire or “Solid Light/Force based attacks, 2000 GP), Augment Attack/Light (personal only, 1400 GP), Light (1000 GP), +3 Resistance Bonus to saves against Light Based Effects (personal only, 700 GP), and Dancing Lights (1000 GP).
  12. Neural Disruptor: Select one from Blindness/Deafness, Ghoul Touch, or Touch of Idiocy (12,000 GP).
  13. Partial Invulnerability: Lesser Resist Energy (personal-only, resistance-5 to all energy forms save infernal and divine, 1400 GP), Minor Earthward (reduces the damage from any incoming attack by 1d8+1 points, with Unconscious Rapid Casting x3, 6000 GP), Converts the first five points of damage from any attack to stunning damage (personal only, 1400 GP), +1 Natural Armor (Hide Like Ox, from The Practical Enchanter, personal-only, 1400 GP), and Shield (2000 GP) (see notes below).
  14. Precognitive, Minor: Augury (with the Arcanum Minimus Karmic Debts modifier: precognitives tend to see strange and terrible things, get sucked into bizarre adventures, and find themselves compelled to undertake weird missions, -1 spell level, 2000 GP), True Strike five times per day (2000 GP), True Save five times per day (2000 GP), True Dodge five times per day (2000 GP), +1 Competence Bonus on All Saves (Sidestep, from The Practical Enchanter, x.7 personal only, 1400 GP), +2 Competence Bonus on all Skills (Skill Mastery, from The Practical Enchanter, x.7 personal only, 1400 GP), Serpents Strike (gain one additional attack at your full BAB which may be taken off-action, x.7 personal only, 1400 GP).
  15. Psychic Projector: Summon Psychic Construct II (12,000 GP). The Psychic Projector can maintain three – admittedly, minor – psychic constructs within the immediate area.
  16. Swarm Master: Summon Swarm (12,000 GP).
  17. Telekinetic, Minor: Unseen Servant (2000 GP), Mage Armor Upgrade (user may protect others while touching them, x.8, +200 GP), Kinetic Bolt (a Magic Missile variant that strikes as a ranged touch attack instead of automatically, but does one extra die of damage at caster level three, 3d4+3 or 3d6, 6000 GP), Resistance (+1 resistance bonus to Saves, Personal-Only, 700 GP), Prestidigitation (1000 GP), and Shield (2000 GP).
  18. Telepath, Minor: Message (1000 GP), Hypnotism (2000 GP), Detect Life (as per Detect Undead, but senses higher life forms instead, 2000 GP), Command (2000 GP), Linguist (allows the user to understand and speak a language for a time after making contact with someone who does, 1000 GP), Charm Person (2000 GP), and Sleep (2000 GP).
  19. Trapper: Web or Hold Person (or the ability to spray glue, or whatever, 12,000 GP).
  20. Weapons Expert: Void Sheathe (from The Practical Enchanter, lets the user keep various weapons in an extradimensional space, 1000 GP), Weapon Call (a specialized variant of Unseen Servant that simply brings weapons to your hands – and perhaps helps you get your armor on and off, 1000 GP), Augment Attack/Favored type of weapon (personal only, 1400 GP), +2 Competence Bonus to BAB with a particular group of weapons (Weapon Master, from The Practical Enchanter, personal-only, 1400 GP), +4 Competence Bonus to BAB with a specific weapon (Weapon Master, from The Practical Enchanter, personal-only, must be one of the ones in the favored group x.8, 1120 GP), Mending (only to fix weapons and armor, x .7, 700 GP), +3 Competence Bonus to all skill rolls involving weapons or armor (Appraise, Craft, Drive/military vehicles, etc, personal-only, 1400 GP), Magic Weapon (personal only, 1400 GP), Moment of Adamant (weapons and armor are treated as adamant, personal only, 1400 GP), and Natural Expertise (is considered proficient with any piece of equipment he or she picks up, personal only, 1400 GP).

   The trouble with “Invulnerability” is that pretty much everyone wants it. In a setting that involves a lot of combat, it’s hard to think of a more convenient power than “you can’t hurt me”. After all, if you can’t be harmed, you’ll eventually have to win, right?

   Well, not really. Being invulnerable to harm doesn’t mean that you can’t be trapped, thrown into another dimension, or paralyzed, or hypnotized, or otherwise stopped somehow. It just means that you’ll live. That can get to seem awfully contrived after awhile though, and genuine invulnerability does take a lot of the drama and tension out of things.

   That’s why, in the comics, movies, and cartoons, it tends to be used sparingly, and is usually only found amidst the powers of major villains – most often ones who aren’t bright enough to take full advantage of their power.

   In a role-playing game where the players get to pick powers for their characters, it’s a lot harder to keep under control. Ergo, invulnerability in games is usually toned down a bit – in this case, by making it rather limited, and basing it on the Earthward spell series from Paths of Power. That means that an “invulnerable” character may shrug off many weaker attacks, but every so often some damage will get through – allowing determined attackers to bring them down eventually. Really large attacks will do it a lot faster.

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