Mutants

After that visit to the nuclear facility, you feel a strange tingling sensation. They said it was safe, so what could possibly go wrong?

Mutations are great for enhancing (or encumbering) characters, creating super heroes and villains, morphing monsters, and so on. Narrative mutations are full of fun!

Beneficial Mutations (maybe)…

  • extra appendages, arms, legs, tentacles, tail, wings, mandibles,
  • one eye, two eyes, three eyes, fly eyes, eyes in the back of the head (360 degree vision), dark vision, night vision, super keen eagle sight,
  • ESP (extra sensory perception), mind sight, telekinesis, mind control, mind reading,
  • astral travel, ethereal travel, ghost walking, pass through walls, soul travel, out of body excursions,
  • invisibility, transparency, translucency,
  • levitation, floating, anti-gravity, flight, grow wings,
  • super something:
    • strength, agility, power, dexterity, accuracy,
    • intellect, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge,
    • defense, dodge, flexibility,
    • damage absorption, healing,
    • speed, endurance, stamina,
    • flight,
    • perception,
  • invulnerability, indestructible, invincible,
  • ability to transcend space and time,
  • regeneration, respawn, reincarnation, resurrection,
  • exoskeleton, shell, damage absorbing cells,
  • forcefield,
  • magic ability, tap into mana, life force link,
  • energy tap, lightning surge, flame control,
  • stretchy, flexible, bendy,
  • horse tail, monkey tail, dragon tail, stegosaurus tail, dragonfly tail (and wings), beaver tail (exclusive Canadian mutation only), whiplike tail, scorpion tail,
  • half animal, half beast, half monster, quarter animal, seven-eighths creature, dogman,
  • breath weapon: breathe fire, acid cloud, electricity, harsh cold… like a dragon!
  • never age, immortality,
  • alternate size: miniscule, microscopic, tiny, small, diminutive, large, behemoth, gargantuan, colossal, massize, mammoth,
  • ability to grant wishes,

Problematic Mutations

  • horrid disfigurement, unsightly aberrations,
  • tiredness, fatigue, lethargy,
  • hair loss (or wild hair growth),
  • voracious appetite, thirst, cravings,
  • urges, compulsions, obsessions, needs,
  • madness, insanity (see SANITY for more ideas and degrees)
  • personality change, change in beliefs or values (good to evil, etc.),
  • bad odour, breath, gas,
  • profuse sweating, secretions, salivation,
  • stuttering, speech impediment, change of voice,
  • sex change, hormonal shift,
  • rapid aging, reversal of aging, never age,
  • death, deathly pall,
  • rot, gangrene, leprosy,
  • persistent pain,

Sources of Mutations

  • chemical, alchemical, concoctions, potions,
  • biological, breeding, gene tampering, genetics,
  • mental power, psychic energy,
  • bad magic (or good magic?), sorcery, ritual backfire, perilous dabbling in the mystical arts,
  • divine punishment (beneficence), wrath of god, miracle, sin,┬ádeal with the devil,
  • reincarnation, near death experience, brought back from dead,
  • attempted extreme travel: time, faster-than-light, space fold, teleportation,
  • radiation, nuclear meltdown, fallout,
  • experimentation,
  • surgical, medical exploit,
  • heredity, bloodline, family trait,
  • curse, blessing, hex, witchcraft,
  • reading a forbidden book, opening a damned box,
  • errant spirit contact,
  • artifact, relic, antiquity, mythical item,
  • alien particles, meteorite, alien experiments, alien goo,
  • making a fourth wish (greed gets you),
  • curiosity taken too far,

Developments with your mutations

  • swear vengeance upon those who caused your mutation,
  • join a league of superheroes with your new superpower,
  • swear to do good, fight crime,
  • use your powers for evil,
  • experiment with your new form,
  • seek solace in a support group for mutants,
  • go into hiding,
  • win back the hearts of your family who banished you,
  • find a cure, reversal, antidote,
  • embrace your oddity and join “Mel’s Traveling Freak Show”,
  • a hideous mutation motivates you to prove that beauty is on the inside
  • fight for the rights of mutants in your closed-minded society, rally against the stigmatization of mutants,
  • return from exile,
  • go after the president of the malicious corporation that experimented on you and your siblings,

Notes and Ideas about mutations

  • balance the beneficial mutations with a problem or drawback of sorts: if you can grant wishes, perhaps you lose life force each time you do. This creates more troubling narrative experiences… nothing in life is free! See Idiosyncrasies for some ideas.
  • you don’t have to be a science expert to justify a mutation in your narrative, just make sure there are “experts” on the subject in your world. This is often enough to serve as justification.