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Alter Physical Structure: Revised


Because Alter Physical Structure powers (specifically Fire and Electricity) are some of my favorites I want them to be at least as well constructed as the other powers in HU2. The way they have been described has always bothered me; characters with these powers don't really alter their physical structure so much as gain the ability to control an elemental force. While control over fire and electricity is a valid power, it's not really what the powers' titles describe.

I propose that these Alter Physical Structure powers be rewritten to be more in tune with the other Alter Physical Structure powers, and that other appropriate Control type powers be either rewritten or created to fill these purposes. These "new" powers are intended to provide a better range of abilities than the existing powers.


Alter Physical Structure: Electricity (Revised)

The ability to transform in to a being of living electricity, as well as manipulate and control the electricity of their own body; when transformed the character appears as a blurred semi-transparent humanoid, crackling with electrical breakdown.

    1. Partial Invulnerability and Intangibility: The character can transform the matter of his physical body into a humanoid shaped collection of charged particles. The body, being composed of loosely attached particles, is largely intangible. This property lends the character limited invulnerability to physical and energy attacks while transformed. The character has an effective AR of 14; attacks with lower rolls to strike merely pass through the character's body. Kinetic attacks, even when striking the character, do only damage. Explosive forces do damage to the character, and always get past his "armor rating;" these attacks disperse the particles making up the character's body.

The character is immune to electricity based attacks, but other energy and laser attacks that strike the character do damage. Cold-based attacks do very little damage to the character, but may solidify his body allowing other attacks to strike. If the character sustains cold damage equivalent to his SDC he is frozen, losing his intangibility-based armor rating and suffers speed.

Fire and heat based attacks do damage to the character, with the exception of magic fire (full damage), if they strike above his armor rating. Contrary to what one might think, water has little effect on the character unless he is immersed. When immersed the character takes 2D6 damage per melee. Electrical attacks are quickly dispersed underwater, and will have very limited ()range and reduced () damage.

Intangibility-based AR: 12; SDC: 240 + 20 per level of experience.
Mass of character is that of untransformed state.

    2. Electric Flight: Identical to Ability 4 of the Non-Revised power (HU2, pg 241).

Range: One mile
Damage: None, except for ramming/collisions (1D4x10)
Duration: One melee
Attacks Per Melee: Counts as two melee actions/attacks
Bonus: +1 strike

    3. Control Static Electricity: Identical to Major Ability (HU2, pg 270); can be used in human form, as well.

    4. Generate Electricity: Identical to Ability 5 of the Non-Revised power (HU2 pg 241)

    5. Lightning Surge: The character can release the energies contained within his body, causing a surge of electricity to burst in all directions. The attack damages all objects wthin range of the character, but drains the character's inner reserves of energy. This feat can be performed as often as once per melee if the character wishes, but the penalties incurred are cumulative.

Range: 5 ft + 2 ft per level of experience
Damage: 1D6x10 + 2 per level of experience
Duration: Instant
Attacks per Melee: Requires one hand to hand attack; Character loses one additional attack that melee.
Bonus: Strikes all objects within range
Penalties: Special! Character loses 10 SDC from use of this attack, which recovers at the rate of 1 per melee round. The character also suffers -1 initiative for the next four melee rounds.

    6. Electric Punch: Physical attacks made by the transformed character do electrical damage, but have very little kinetic impact. Those opponents physically attacking the character are puting themselves across high voltage lines; any attempt to punch or kick the character will likely be futile, as well as inflict 4D6 damage to the attacker (half damage if attacker is insulated).

Range: Touch
Damage: 6D6 + 2 per level of experience
Duration: Instant
Attacks per Melee: Requires one hand to hand attack
Bonus: +1 strike, in addition to normal hand to hand strike bonus

    7. Other Abilities:
    The character is impervious to electricity in his human form. In fact, the character tends to build up static charge when not concentrating, and often shocks people accidentally.
    Power stations and transformers fascinate the character, and he will be drawn to investigate them (a controllable urge).
    The character's speed attribute is increased to 50 when in electric form.
    The character reverts to normal when rendered unconscious.


Alter Physical Structure: Fire (Revised)

The ability to transform in to a being of living fire, as well manipulate and control the fire of their own body; when transformed the character appears as humanoid shaped fire, often floating just above the ground.

    1. Partial Invulnerability and Intangibility: The character can transform the matter of his physical body into a humanoid shaped fire. The fiery form, being a collection of heated gases, is largely intangible. This property lends the character limited invulnerability to physical and energy attacks while transformed. The character has an effective AR of 14; attacks with lower rolls to strike merely pass through the flames of the character's body. Kinetic attacks, even when striking the character, do only damage. Explosive forces do damage to the character, and always get past his "armor rating;" these attacks disperse the gases making up the character's body.

Needless to say, fire and heat based attacks do no damage to the character, with the exception of magic fire ( damage). Cold based attacks do full damage to the character (be carfeul to separate cold damage from kinetic damage) if they pass the character's AR, and do damage if they merely pass through under the AR.

Water-based attacks do damage if they penetrate the AR. The character is immune to laser attacks, but other energy and electricity based attacks that strike the character do damage.

Intangibility-based AR: 14; SDC: 180 + 20 per level of experience.
Mass of character is 1/10 that of untransformed state.

    2. Flight: Fire: While transformed the character is naturally lighter than air, and gains some degree of flight power. The character tends to hover above the ground when not concentrating on his altitude. Flight speed is limited by the character's ability to hold himself together against air friction, which increases with experience. Altitude restrictions are due to decreased oxygen and atmospheric pressure, which is painful to the character.

Maximum Flight Speed: 20 mph + 5 mph per level of experience
Maximum Altitude: 250 ft +15 ft per level of experience

    3. Continuous Bolt of Flame: Nearly identical to Ability 1. of Non-Revised power (HU2, pg 241)

Range: 10 ft + 2 ft per level of experience
Damage: 2D6 + 1D6 per level of experience
Duration: Two melee rounds per level of experience
Attacks per Melee: Requires two hand to hand attacks to ignite, and one attack per melee to sustain
Bonus: +4 strike aimed; No bonus shooting wild

    4. Breathe Fire: Identical to Ability 5. of Non-Revised power (HU2, pg 242); can be performed in human as well as fire form.

Range: 6 ft + 1 ft per level of experience
Damage: 1D6 + 1 per level of experience
Duration: Instant
Attacks per Melee: Requires one hand to hand attack
Bonus: +1 strike

    5. Fire Surge: The character can release the inferno contained within his body, causing a surge of fire to burst in all directions. The attack damages all objects wthin range of the character, but drains the character's inner reserves of energy. This feat can be performed as often as once per melee if the character wishes, but the penalties incurred are cumulative.

Range: 5 ft + 2 ft per level of experience
Damage: 1D6x10 + 2 per level of experience
Duration: Instant
Attacks per Melee: Requires one hand to hand attack; Character loses one additional attack that melee.
Bonus: Strikes all objects within range
Penalties: Special! Character loses 10 SDC from use of this attack, which recovers at the rate of 1 per melee round. The character also suffers -1 initiative for the next four melee rounds.

    6. Fire Punch: Physical attacks made by the fiery character do fire damage, but have very little kinetic impact. Those opponents physically attacking the character are placing themselves inside an inferno; any attempt to punch or kick the character will likely be futile, as well as inflict 4D6 damage to the attacker.

Range: Touch
Damage: 6D6 + 2 per level of experience
Duration: Instant
Attacks per Melee: Requires one hand to hand attack
Bonus: +1 strike, in addition to normal hand to hand strike bonus

    7. Other Abilities:
     The character is impervious to heat and fire in his human form. In fact, the character is somewhat flammable, and exposure to open flame has 30% chance of causing a small flame to ignite on his body.
    Open flames will fascinate the character, and he will feel drawn to large fires in the area (a controllable urge).

    8. Limitations:
    The character reverts to normal when rendered unconscious.
    The fire form cannot be maintained without sufficient amounts of oxygen. Furthermore, the fire will use up oxygen rapidly, so the fiery form is a liability in an airtight compartment.
    A vacuum will snuff the flames in one melee round.
    Intense cold, ice, chemicals, or being doused with large amounts of water may extinguish the flame, forcing the character to revert to normal. Such attacks have a 40% (-4% per level of character's experience over third) chance of successfully dousing the flame. System shock prevents the superbeing from using his power for 2D4 melee rounds.
    Turning into flame makes walking and touching normal surroundings, let alone lobbing fire balls, extremely dangerous. There is always the threat of setting objects, buildings, and the area ablaze when touched by the flame. The table on HU2 pg 244 can be used, indicating the chance of a particular type of material catching fire.