2.5 Plant Powers

Characters that base their concept on plant life have a few good options to consider. Instead of being the generic mutant, they can be of a Vegetative origin. In this their foundation could be something like:

Vegetable: The hero is an intelligent, mobile plant. He can be of any nature but for game purposes the hero is assumed to be a man-shaped plant. His physiology is based on photosynthesis. The plant-man doesn't need to eat anything except a bit of fertilizer occasionally. Prolonged deprivation of light and water reduces the hero's Strength and Endurance -1CS per day after an initial three days. Plants have no legal rights. This can be a real problem. The Plant Hero may be a mutant, a modified plant, a member of a species of intelligent plant life, or a human or other being who was somehow transformed into a plant. A permanent result of Induced Vegetation could create such a character. Man-Thing is an example of the last type.

  • Plants have zero Resources.
  • Plants automatically possess Absorption Power of Good rank in the form of enhanced photosynthesis.
  • Plants have -2CS Fighting.
  • Plants gain +2CS Endurance.
  • Plants have no initial Contacts; the exception is if the Plant was created by scientific means, in which case creator may be contact.

There are several powers directly associated with plant focused characters. They are:

Plant Control: The hero can impart limited movement and self-awareness to normally unintelligent plants. The plants obey simple commands, and possess rudimentary communication and senses. The hero can accelerate the plants' growth somewhat, but cannot make it exceed normal limits on size or shape.
Rank determines the number of plants affected and the duration of the control. Exceeding the number of controlled plants decreases the duration -1CS per additional 10. Controlled plants have their own characteristics and ranks that are increased to the hero's Power rank, where applicable.

Plant Growth: The hero has the ability to make plants grow nearly instantaneously, and far larger than normal. The Power can force a seed to sprout immediately and gives it the ability to thrive, even in the absence of normal nutrients (light, soil, and water).
The hero can affect existing plants and seeds or use seeds and sprouts carried with him. In the latter case, the player must make a list of the types of seeds the hero carries oust as a weapons specialist needs a list of those with which he is proficient).
This Power does not change the natural abilities of the affected plants; it only enhances them up to the Power's rank. This Power requires the player to develop some rudimentary knowledge of botany, since the more the player knows about plants, the more stunts the hero can perform.

Typical plants used with this Power are:

  • Poison ivy: rash incapacitates foes
  • Kudzu: vines entangle targets
  • Briar: forms impassable barriers
  • Goldenrod: hayfever city
  • Oak: instant support for damaged buildings
  • Venus flytrap: Catch and hold foes

Power rank determines the speed of plant growth and the rank of the affected plant's abilities. Growing a plant in normal conditions (adequate light, soil, and water) requires a Typical Intensity FEAT. Growing plants in less than adequate conditions (insufficient light, soil, or water; typical urban conditions) requires a Remarkable 39 Intensity FEAT. Growing plants in openly hostile conditions (no light, soil, or water) requires an Unearthly Intensity FEAT. Because their metabolism is accelerated by this Power, the plants quickly die. The lifespan is 1/8 normal. As a rule of thumb, the player can use these guidelines for normal and accelerated lifespans:

House plants-6 months/2 days Shrubbery-5 years/3 weeks Trees-1 00- 1000 years/1 -10 years

The point of this is that your hero doesn't have to worry about filling the city with giant plants left over from old battles. He might still be in trouble with the Park Department, though?

Communication with Plants: The hero can speak with plants. Anything that has a vegetable physiology can be affected by this Power, such as grass, trees, and the Man-Thing. When using the Power, the hero imparts some of his intelligence and Psyche to the plant to facilitate communication. The greater the complexity of the plant, the easier it is to communicate with. A green FEAT communicates with trees and local ecosystems; in the latter, all the plants speak as if a chorus that only the hero can hear. A yellow FEAT communicates with shrubs, vines, and bushes. A red FEAT communicates with simple plants and fungi; if the hero has Hyper-hearing, it can be combined with this Power to permit communication with plankton and bacteria. Combining the Power with Sensory Link enables the hero to share the experiences of plants, even those on alien worlds if the latter Power's rank is high enough.
A problem can develop if the hero begins to identify too closely with plants. He might find salads offensive. Worse, he may begin to suffer anguish when plants are harmed in his presence.
Optional Powers include Communication with Animals, Communication with Non-living Matter, Plant Control, and Plant Growth.

Plant Mimicry: This is a form of Power duplication. The hero can duplicate the natural abilities of any plant. The body does not significantly change, aside from the instantaneous appearance of chlorophyll in the hero's skin whenever he uses this Power.

Some plant "powers" include:

  • Photosynthesis: The hero can survive without eating by converting sunlight to food.
  • Fragrance: The hero can summon and control insects.
  • Rooting: The hero can become immovable.
  • Poison Touch: The hero can have adverse effects on anyone touching him, from rashes to death.

The hero must state what plant power he is attempting. Players should also study up on their botany, since the more plants they know about, the more powers they can have. Successful duplication is determined by a Power rank FEAT; normal plants require green FEATs, alien plants require yellow FEATs, and magical plants require red FEATs. Duration ranges from one minute to indefinite.

Self-Vegetation: The hero can alter both his shape and physiology to become any desired plantform. The degree of change can vary wildly. At the least, the hero's body changes into a similarly-shaped "plantman;" at higher ranks the hero may assume normal or alien plant shapes.
When in plant-form, the hero is immune to attacks that specifically affect animal life (nerve gas, pheromones, etc.) but is vulnerable to attacks that affect plant life (herbicides, light-blocking, etc.).
When in plant form, the hero doesn't need to eat normal food; rather he uses photosynthesis to gain desired energy. This requires the availability of water, air, and sunlight. The plant-hero has different statistics for the physical Abilities; the mental Abilities remain unchanged.

Other associated powers are as follows:

Absorption Power: (Solar Energy Absorption) The hero can absorb a specific type of energy and actually gain Health points by converting the energy into Self-Healing. The hero gains a number of Health points equal his Power rank number each time he is hit by his specific form of absorbable energy. This addition to Health quickly heals any damage the hero had suffer, and acts as a buffer to absorb consequent damage.
In the absence of life-sustaining materials, this Power can act as a substitute for air, water, and food. The hero converts energy into healing power for the damage he's taking from suffocation, dehydration, starvation, and any other unpleasant results of not living careful. Unfortunately, this requires a steady supply of energy to convert. Consider Galactus. He is perpetually starving. He uses this Power to absorb the energy of life-forces and convert it into his own life force. Yet, draining ten billion life-forces only sustains him for a single year, at most. Your hero won't last anywhere near as long.
There is the danger that your hero A actively seek out energies he can absorb and heal himself with. The danger occurs if the energy type is a dangerous one that does great damage wherever it occurs. For example, consider a character whose Absorption Power affects hard radiation. In the absence of other superbeings who possess Radiation Powers, the character might resort to breaking into reactors or even purposefully detonating nuclear bombs to get I energy he needs. (And you thought muties had a public image problem.)
If the hero possesses an Energy Emission Power, he cannot use it directly to affect himself.

Mind Transferral: The hero has the ability to switch minds from one body to another. In the case of plant physiology, this would involve shifting the character's mind from one plant to another and shifting the target plant's form to resemble the original heroes. This would require sufficient mass in the target to achieve. The hero's own mind and body need not be included in any switching that occurs. The Power operates much like Mental Duplication, in that the hero reshapes the brains of his targets to conform to those he is switching. In effect, the target believes he is the switched mind and thus effectively is that new person. The accuracy of such transfers is 100%. Because of the nature of this Power, the hero can also transfer one mind into several people simultaneously, with each believing he is the real person. Transferral switches mental abilities, Talents, and mental Powers. Physical Powers are not transferred, nor are physical abilities, Popularity, Resources, or Contacts. The Power rank determines the range at which the Power can initially function and the duration of its effects. Ranges are shown on column A of the Range Table. Duration is given for a single mind-to- 38 mind transfer. If the hero attempts to transfer one mind to multiple bodies, the duration decreases -2CS for each additional body.

Regeneration: The hero can rapidly recover from any wound. Cuts quickly close and disease symptoms disappear. The hero heals at an accelerated rate equal to the Power rank number times the normal amount of time. For example, a Typical rank can heal six times as fast as normal, an Unearthly rank heals at a hundredfold rate, and so on. With time, the hero can regrow large areas of lost tissue, especially severed limbs. Lost limbs or organs require a red FEAT. It cannot repair losses that resulted in the hero's death unless the hero is revived. If such a fatal loss and subsequent revival occurs, the hero requires life-support equipment to give his Power time to function.

Serial Immortality: A character with this Power can suffer damage, get sick, age, and even die. None of it is permanent to the character, though. When the hero's body dies from any cause, the unique nature of his lifeforce enables it to transfer to a new body. He can also transfer some but not all of his Powers to the new body. The hero loses all Karma with the death of the old body. There are five forms of Serial Immortality, each with a different means of rebirth and Power transferral. The player must choose one of these methods, either selecting for himself or letting the die decide.

  • Newborn
  • Premade
  • Re-animation
  • Spontaneous Creation
  • Parasite

Lack of Weakness: Because the vegetative hero does not have internal organs, the hero does not suffer double damage of bullseye piercing attacks and typical internal trauma that someone with normal human physiology would.

Grafting: This is the single most likely candidate for raw abuse and grossing out your fellow players. This Power is strictly Mad Scientist material. (it does have its good side, too, though.) The hero can perform psionically augmented surgery on a subject. The hero can operate on, dissect, rearrange, and perform transplants without the need for normal medical -techniques to ensure success. No matter how crude the conditions in which the operation is performed or how messy it proves to be, the subject's lifeforce is preserved. There is no major blood loss nor is there any need for extensive recuperation. This Power is strongly related to the Healing forms of Bio-Physical control and can be used to cure others of physical damage. Unfortunately, the Power lends itself to abuse. Those possessing this Power tend more toward Doctor Frankenstein than Doctor Schweitzer. Such characters might see people as machines to be rearranged at their whim. This Power permits the character to perform acts beyond 20thcentury medical science (like brain transplants). If two or more brains are combined, the resulting character shows traits of both. The Power rank determines the success of the operation. A green FEAT ensures success of a routine operation, like simple surgery (anything that might be done at a clinic). A yellow FEAT is required for more elaborate work transplants, grafting, anything requiring a large hospital. Outright medically impossible acts such as brain transplants and body part rearrangement (after which all the parts still work-hands where feet should be, and that kind of thing) require a red FEAT. Success means the result is alive; it may not be pretty, but it's breathing. A hero with this Power will use it to heal. A villain will use it to fill his lair with a variety of ex-human nightmares.

Pheromones: This is an aerosol version of Hypnotic Control. The hero's body can create and emit chemicals capable of altering a target's behavior. These chemicals vaporize instantly on contact with air and are received by the target's nose. The complexity of the commands can vary with the rank of the Power. The hero can readily affect anyone within twenty feet of him.
The Power rank decreases -1CS with each additional twenty feet. The Power cannot affect those unable to smell it. This includes would-be targets who are upwind, behind a force-field, have their own air supply, don't breathe, or breathe but have no sense of smell. The last example includes a hero with the power of Lung Adaptability.
When the hero is created, the player must decide whether the Power functions automatically or deliberately. The automatic form lowers the Power rank -2CS.

Spike Growth: The hero has the ability to form spikes or thorns out of his or her own body. They can be used as weapons and inflict piercing damage based on material strength vs physical strength.

Recovery: The hero has the ability to recover lost endurance ranks based on solar energy absorption or other plant life giving elements (CO2/H20).

Empathy: The plant hero is like any other plan and can detect the emotions of those around her. She may wilt when someone yells at her or perk up when she is around happy people.

Resistances: The plant hero can be resistant to toxins and diseases. While on the opposite end of that could be vulnerable to pesticides or herbicides.

Poison Touch: The plant hero could secrete dangerous chemicals that would render damage to his or her target.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License