Physical Enhancement Powers

Physical enhancement powers are generally, though not exclusively, always-on abilities. Some apply only during special circumstances, while others directly define how their possessor's physicality functions. Regardless of whether or not they are constantly active however, these twenty four powers all act to bolster the physical durability or prowess of their possessors.

A B C D E F G I L P R S T U

A

Additional Organs
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 2 points per bonus provided

This 'power' is representative of characters that possess more organs than normal, as is determined by standard human anatomy. An extra (or redundant) organ - or set therein - will generally provide their possessor a static bonus, one which is active at all times... unless either the original(s) or the duplicate(s) are rendered inoperable through physical injury or other means.

Common examples of additional organs include the following:

Related Powers: additional limbs, various powers that the bonus parts can provide.

B

Body Armor
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1 point per rank

An inherent protection from damage, body armor serves to prevent injury to characters. Body armor comes in a variety of forms, whether it involves hardened skin that deflects damage from the soft tissues beneath, a fluid physiology that lets damage pass through instead of tearing it apart, or any number of other permutations on this theme. All forms of body armor, regardless of their nature, work in the same way.

Body armor works best against direct physical damage. This includes anything which inflicts Blunt Attack, Edged Attack, Blunt Throwing, Edged Throwing, Force, or Shooting damage, as well as subtler physical attack forms like crushing pressure. Against such assaults, body armor will provide its full rank in protection. On the other hand, other forms of attack are more effective against 'basic' body armor.

Body armor is -2 CS effective against Energy attack (fire, electricity, etc.), -4 CS effective against Sorcerous (magical) damage, -6 CS effective against Karmic (psionic) assault, and -8 CS effective in the face of Deionic (godly) forces. The idea is that these damage forms are less deterred by mere material protections such as body armor, and operate on an increasingly higher (and/or dangerous) level.

This variation in protection can be represented as a simple line beneath body armor in power listings, showcasing the individual resistances body armor provides. Most defensive powers in the Universal Heroes rule system list the protections they offer in the order of physical attack, energy attack, magical attack, psionic attack, and deionic attack. The basic format body armor follows is shown here:

Power Rank / Power Rank -2 CS / Power Rank -4 CS / Power Rank -6 CS / Power Rank -8 CS

For example, a Remarkable (30) ranked body armor would provide the following protections:

Rm 30 / Gd 10 / Pr 4 / Sh 0 / Sh 0

For the most part, conventional body armor provides minimal, if any protection against psionic or deionic assault, but this matches up with the vast majority of fiction that involves such things. Protection from psionics most often comes in the form of one's own training or special devices / powers which act to counter such, and usually only the gods themselves possess defense against their own assaults.

On the other hand, 'special origin' armor covers its own type of damage differently. Were that same, Remarkable (30) ranked body armor produced by magic instead of, say, a physical mutation, it would defend against Sorcerous damage at its full power rank, not the -4 CS described above. In other words, the protection that mystical body armor offered its possessor, likely thanks to a potent spell, would break down like so:

Rm 30 / Gd 10 / Rm 30 / Sh 0 / Sh 0

Body Armor can be limited in any number of fashions. While the 'ideal' body armor is indistinguishable from ordinary skin, one can make theirs clearly visible. One can appear to have rocky skin, bubbly burnt flesh, an elephantine hide, or whatever else. Another option is to have the armor transient in nature; while the 'default' body armor is always on, the transient armor will only function when consciously maintained.

Each of these count as weak limitations, and thus add a +1 CS to the power's final value (random generation) or subtract 1 point from its cost (point generation). Both limitations can be taken at the same time, if desired (and if one's armor makes them particularly monstrous, this may in fact be preferred). Body armor as a spell or psionic is inherently transient in nature, and thus so limited 'out of the box'.

Related Powers: damage reduction, deflection, various invulnerabilities and/or resistances (regular or greater).

C

Clinging
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 4 points (base cost), plus 1 point per additional +1 CS

Clinging is the ability to directly adhere to someone or something in one's environment. The primary example of this ability in nature is the gripping ability of an octopus or squid, using their evolved suction cups to aid in the grappling of their prey. However, numerous other techniques, ranging from microscopic molecular hooks to even molecular charge suppression can produce this effect as well.

This power, when invoked, allows its possessor to stick to other matter that comes into physical contact with him or her. The only property of an object that may cause this power difficulty is its relative slickness; a clinging character must pass a power FEAT roll against that property of an object to stick to it. If successful, a clinger may cling to something until it is destroyed or they are forced to let go somehow.

Using clinging, a character can readily climb most vertical surfaces with ease - even more so if they possess the climbing talent or super climbing power. With their ability to stick, however, a clinger can actually walk up walls or even along ceilings and other upside down surfaces - something those other abilities cannot manage whatsoever - at least, not without the aid of special equipment or other powers.

In its basic state, this power grants a character the ability to cling with an intensity equal to their Strength (might) rank. However, the player behind a character with clinging may increase this base value by either gambling on it (when using the random character generation method) or by adding an additional point beyond its standard cost for each +1 CS to its raw intensity.

Related Powers: adhesion, friction control, super climbing.

D

Damage Reduction
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 4 points per CS (or one power slot per 2 CS)

Damage reduction is a potent super-human skill that allows its bearer to easily shrug off large amounts of damage. How it actually works depends on the character described; damage reduction may be a result of kinetic dampening, a negative energy field, complex composition, or any other number (or combination) of traits. The trick is that it tends to blunt the impact of incoming attacks by a serious margin.

Unlike most super-human abilities, damage reduction is rated not in ranks, but in Column Shifts. For every CS of damage reduction a character has, he or she will impose a -1 CS upon incoming damage before it even affects their person, regardless of its type. As long as said attack inflicts damage to any extent, damage reduction will affect it negatively, no matter what form (or origin) it takes.

For example, let us say that Gunter the Hunter has 2 CS of damage reduction. When being struck by an attack that would otherwise inflict Remarkable (30) Blunt Attack damage, he instead suffers that damage -2 CS, only taking Good (10) Blunt Attack damage instead. Note the subtle, yet startling difference in function and effect between damage reduction and body armor (or a force field).

While the cost of damage reduction is great (four points per CS worth of such), it can be reduced with limitations. Every category of damage that damage reduction does not affect (per Greater Resistance or Invulnerability) will reduce its cost by 1/8. Similarly, if damage reduction is provided in a non-permanent fashion (as is the case with talent-equivalent abilities like spells or psionics), reduce the cost by 2.

Let us look at Gunter the Hunter again. His 2 CS of damage reduction has no 'holes' in its defense, and it is always on. This causes all incoming damage that affects him to suffer a -2 CS penalty, at a base cost of 8.

On the other hand, Peter the Psi wants a power giving him 4 CS of damage reduction. He gives it vulnerability to deionic and warping attacks. Since this is a psionic, it counts as 'temporary' protection. 4 CS of 'base' damage reduction has a base cost of 16, but both his missing resistance categories reduce that by 4, and his 2 point limitation for its transient nature, reduces Peter's final cost to a 'mere' 10.

During character generation, this may wind up being his only initial power, but if learned later, it may simply cost him an arm and a leg (figuratively speaking) in Karma rewards. Better head out on patrol more!

Related Powers: body armor, deflection, force field, hard points.

Deflection
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 4 points per CS (or one power slot per 2 CS)

Deflection is a powerful ability which allows its wielder to casually shrug off attacks to a small extent. How exactly it works depends on the character described; it may involve slippery force fields, carefully crafted angular design, or any other number (or combination) of special tricks. The idea is that deflection tends to 'bounce' incoming attacks off of its possessor at oblique angles, acting as an always-on minus to hit.

Unlike most super-human abilities, deflection is rated not in ranks, but in Column Shifts. For every CS of deflection a character has, he or she will inflict a -1 CS upon other characters attempting to hit their person with an attack. As long as said attack requires a roll to hit (instead of providing, say, a resistance roll), deflection will affect that incoming attack no matter what form (or origin) it takes.

On the other hand, deflection does nothing for an attack which does connect with its wielder. While it acts to keep incoming attacks from hitting a body, deflection doesn't attenuate their damage any if they do manage to strike him or her.

While the cost of deflection is great (four points per CS worth of such), it can be reduced with limitations. Every category of damage that deflection does not affect (per Greater Resistance or Invulnerability) will reduce its cost by 1/8. Similarly, if deflection is provided in a non-permanent fashion (as is the case with talent-equivalent abilities like spells or psionics), reduce the cost by 2.

For example, let us look at Gunter the Hunter. He opts for 2 CS of deflection with no 'holes' in its defense, and wants it to be always on. This inflicts a constant -2 CS penalty on anyone ever trying to strike him, at a base cost of 8.

On the other hand, Samuel the Sorcerer wants a spell giving him 4 CS of deflection. He gives it vulnerability to metabolic and vampiric attacks. Since it's a spell, it counts as 'temporary' protection. 4 CS of deflection unaltered would have a base cost of 16, but his missing resistance categories reduce that by 4, and his 2 point limitation for its transient nature, reduces Samuel's final cost to a 'mere' 10.

During character generation, this may wind up being his only spell, but if learned later, it may simply cost him an arm and a leg (figuratively speaking) in Karma rewards. Better head out on patrol more!

Related Powers: body armor, damage reduction, force field, hard points, turnabout.

Dual Respiration
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 2 points (flat cost)

While most characters are primarily adapted to existing in but one environment, a select few have more flexible physiologies. Such individuals can often inhale and exhale substances vital to their continued existence (such as oxygen and nitrogen) from two distinct mediums. This trait is referred to as dual respiration, and can be a vital boon to those who have to function in multiple realms.

Most often, this power grants water breathing, allowing an otherwise normal human the ability to persist both on land and beneath the waves. The two mediums involved can include any substances, however, and is a great way for an alien who comes from a place antithetical to human life to survive in our world as well - assuming that one of the two forms of respiration it may use complements our atmospheric composition.

This power may be strongly limited, essentially cutting its cost in half, by restricting one of the respiration forms to a finite duration; say, a character can breathe underwater, but only for an hour or two? On the other hand, it can be strongly enhanced by introducing even more mediums by which the character can breathe, adding one more point for each substance a character can breathe.

Dual respiration has no power rank; one either has the ability or they do not.

Related Powers: resistance to pressure variance, sonar sense, super swimming, universal digestion, unusual sensitivity.

E

Environmental Independence
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1/2 point per rank

A vital ability for explorers of the bizarre, environmental independence allows a character to subsist without the essentials of life for a considerable amount of time. If suddenly without access to food, water, air, or even sleep, the environmentally independent character will continue to function just fine, able to 'put off' those vital needs (hopefully) for as long as is necessary.

Environmental independence functions with a duration that is rated in hours, as is based on its rank number. For instance, an Unearthly (100) ranked environmental independence lets a character subsist if trapped in a cave-in for just over four days, not needing food, air, or water (though sleep may be preferable in such situations). But what of those characters who wish to forego sustenance entirely?

This can be done by acquiring the ability at Class 5000 rank, which either costs 8 points with the point-based character system or counts as two powers when using the random die roll generation system. This can prove costly, so it's possible to limit environmental independence by stripping some of its protection(s) out as the player sees fit.

For each type of sustenance this ability does not cover, subtract one point from the final cost / add +2 CS, as each is considered a strong limitation. So, for a net cost of, say, five points, one could forego the need to breathe entirely, but still require food, water, and sleep.

Related Powers: environmental pocket, flight, intangibility, jelling, learned invulnerability, regeneration / self, regenerative armor, resistance (or invulnerability) to heat, cold and pressure variance, situational adaptation, super breath.

F

Flake Armor
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1 point per rank

Flake armor is a variant form of body armor that provides a flat rate of protection versus incoming harm; once this amount is exceeded, the armor will crumble (hence the name). The amount of protection flake armor provides is calculated by adding the rank numbers of all its power ranks together, in the same way that negative Health and mental Health scores are tallied.

In combat, the flake armor will act as a total barrier against damage, absorbing applied damage of any type equally well. When damaged, flake armor may take on a cracked or ramshackle appearance, but its protection is not interrupted - until its maximum amount of damage aversion is reached or exceeded. At this point, the flake armor will literally fall off the character, leaving him or her without any protection at all.

Flake armor recovers its lost protection remarkably fast; it heals at a rate equal to regeneration of the same power rank.

As an example of flake armor, let us look at the Candy Coated Man, a hero with a rather sweet tasting form of flake armor, which he has at Amazing (50) rank. His total amount of protection is equal to 162 (2 + 4 + 6 + 10 + 20 + 30 + 40 + 50 = 162), an amount that heals damage to itself at a rate of five points per turn (as if it had Amazing ranked regeneration).

On the turn that his flake armor is finally broken, the Candy Coated Man is defenseless (at least, as far as this power is concerned), but he will start the next turn with five whole points of flake armor.

Related Powers: edges (while one's flake armor is damaged), regeneration.

G

Greater Invulnerability
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 12 points (flat cost) for each invulnerability category

A character with this ability possesses complete immunity to any one category of attacks that they choose. This invulnerability can be any one class of attack listed within the Universal Heroes game, from the physical to the spiritual. When subjected to any attack from the chosen category, a character with this ability may completely shrug it off - though others in their surroundings may not be so lucky.

The eight forms of attack in the Universal Heroes game are as follows:

* Physical Attacks: these kinds of attack are those most commonly experienced by characters. They include all forms of Blunt Attack damage, Blunt Throwing damage, Edged Attack damage, Edged Throwing damage, Force damage, and Shooting damage, as well as specialized effects that involve related phenomena (such as extremes of pressure and falling damage).

* Metabolic Attacks: metabolic attacks are the sort that assault a character's bodily structure, either directly or indirectly, and often invisibly. They include corrosion (acid), disease, poisons, rotting, and unusual phenomena which can either alter or destroy one's form or molecular structure, such as aging, disintegration, or even shrinking.

* Energy Attacks: these are many and varied, and include a large array of different phenomenon. Energy attacks include cold, electricity, fire, heat, light, magnetism, radiation, sound, and a whole lot more. If it inflicts Energy damage or Force damage (note the slight overlap with physical attacks), invulnerability to energy will completely prevent it from working on its possessor.

* Warping Attacks: this category of invulnerabilities allows a character protection against capabilities that act to alter or negate their own super human skills. These include most of the 'power control' powers. This class of invulnerability will also protect a character against abilities from the (admittedly small) 'reality control' power block, which is used to alter the very rules of the game!

* Magical Attacks: magical attacks are those which inflict Sorcerous damage, and include the majority of special, campaign-specific thaumaturgical forces; ask your Judge about these. While magical spells and powers which inflict damage that isn't Sorcerous do not fall under this heading, non-damaging spell effects (ranging from banishment to mind control to even telekinesis) do.

* Vampiric Attacks: these attack forms all act to drain a character of something, whether it be wielded by the classical blood-drinking vampire or the 'sanitized' psychic vampire seen in more recent fiction. This invulnerability immunizes one from all the forms of vampirism, whether it concerns the up-front damage caused by these abilities or their dreaded transformative powers.

* Psionic Attacks: this form of invulnerability protects from attacks which inflict Karmic damage, such as an empathic hammer or psi bolt, as well as odd forms of psionic energy like spectral flames. While psionics which inflict damage that isn't Karmic do not fall under this heading, non-damaging psionic effects (ranging from emotion control to illusion projection to even telepathy) do.

* Deionic Attacks: deionic attacks are the uber-powerful abilities of immortal beings! Strictly speaking, this invulnerability offers protection against any attack which inflicts Deionic damage, but it can also affect the special abilities of the gods themselves. These may range from observation by deific abilities to dread curses from on high.

Unlike standard invulnerabilities, you do not gain a discount for purchasing multiple forms of this ability; each category of greater invulnerability is simply that valuable. In fact, it is recommended that the Judge not allow a character too many forms of greater invulnerability, as a character could conceivably possess enough of these to be nigh-untouchable. The recommended limit of greater invulnerability forms is 2.

Finally, a player may take a ranged form of greater invulnerability. A field effect version of an invulnerability functions within one area, but can be 'broadcast' to anyone the character chooses within this area of effect. This counts as an extreme enhancement to greater invulnerability, and adds 12 to its cost - for each type to be broadcast. Pricey, but your teammates will absolutely love having you around!

Related Powers: greater resistance (other categories of damage), invulnerability or resistance (other forms of damage), numerous other powers.

Greater Resistance
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1 point per rank, plus 4 points per additional resistance category

A greater resistance is similar in function to a standard resistance, in that it provides its rank in resistance to injury. Instead of providing protection against one specific form of attack, however, greater resistance offers its rank in resistance to an entire category of attack forms. There are eight categories of attack in the Universal Heroes game, and a character with a greater resistance may defend against any one of their choice:

* Physical Attacks: these kinds of attack are those most commonly experienced by characters. They include all forms of Blunt Attack damage, Blunt Throwing damage, Edged Attack damage, Edged Throwing damage, Force damage, and Shooting damage, as well as specialized effects that involve related phenomena (such as extremes of pressure and falling damage).

* Metabolic Attacks: metabolic attacks are the sort that assault a character's bodily structure, either directly or indirectly, and often invisibly. They include corrosion (acid), disease, poisons, rotting, and unusual phenomena which can either alter or destroy one's form or molecular structure, such as aging, disintegration, or even shrinking.

* Energy Attacks: these are many and varied, and include a large array of different phenomenon. Energy attacks include cold, electricity, fire, heat, light, magnetism, radiation, sound, and a whole lot more. If it inflicts Energy damage or Force damage (note the slight overlap with physical attacks), resistance to energy will blunt it.

* Warping Attacks: this category of resistances allows a character protection against capabilities that act to alter or negate their own super human skills. These include most of the 'power control' powers. This class of resistance will also protect a character against abilities from the (admittedly small) 'reality control' power block, which is used to alter the very rules of the game!

* Magical Attacks: magical attacks are those which inflict Sorcerous damage, and include the majority of special, campaign-specific thaumaturgical forces; ask your Judge about these. This also covers non-damaging magic effects; if one's Intuition or Psyche may be used to resist such, this ability functions against them at a minimum of that rank +1 CS.

* Vampiric Attacks: these attack forms all act to drain a character of something, whether it be wielded by the classical blood-drinking vampire or the 'sanitized' psychic vampire seen in more recent fiction. This resistance provides its rank in protection to all the forms of vampirism, both in the up-front damage as well as the transformative power of those abilities.

* Psionic Attacks: this form of resistance protects from attacks which inflict Karmic damage, such as an empathic hammer or psi bolt, as well as odd forms of psionic energy like spectral flames. This resistance also covers non-damaging psionic effects; if one's Intuition or Psyche may be used to resist such abilities, this resistance works against them at a minimum of that rank +1 CS.

* Deionic Attacks: deionic attacks are the staggeringly overwhelming abilities of immortal beings! Strictly speaking, this resistance offers protection against any attack which inflicts Deionic damage, but it can also affect the special abilities of the gods themselves. These may range from observation by deific abilities to dread curses from on high.

During character generation, a player has the option of adding additional greater resistances as they see fit, each increasing the cost of this ability as a whole by 4. For instance, a character with resistance to energy attacks may wish to add like resistance to, say, physical and metabolic assaults. This adds eight points to the cost of the first resistance, instead of the normal price for three distinct greater resistances.

Similarly, characters who learn greater resistances can master even more, doing so as power stunts off of the original source of such. The thing to keep in mind is that each resistance counts as one power for the purposes of maintenance. Thus, a sorcerer could conceivably acquire power stunts to cover all eight forms of assault, but could only maintain, at once, an amount equal to their normal simultaneous spell maximum.

Finally, a player may take a ranged form of greater resistance. A field effect version of a resistance functions within Very Near distance, but can be 'broadcast' to anyone the character chooses within this area of effect. This counts as an extreme enhancement to greater resistance, and adds 4 to its cost for each category of shared resistance (or reduces the net resistance intensity of each by -4 CS).

Related Powers: body armor, greater invulnerability (other categories of damage), invulnerability or resistance (other forms of damage), numerous other powers.

I

Invulnerability
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 8 points (flat cost), plus 2 points for each additional invulnerability

A character with this ability possesses complete immunity to any one attack form of their choice. This invulnerability can counter any one kind of attack listed within the Universal Heroes game, from blunt attacks to fire damage to mind control. When subjected to the chosen form of attack, a character with this ability may completely shrug it off - though others in his or her surroundings may not be so lucky.

During character generation, a player has the option of adding additional, specific invulnerabilities as he or she sees fit, each increasing the cost of this ability as a whole by 2. For instance, a character with invulnerability to cold attacks may wish to add an invulnerability to, say, corrosion, edged attacks, and electricity. This adds up to an effective cost of only 14, instead of paying the full price for all four.

Also, players may choose a form of this ability that they can share with their allies. A field effect version of an invulnerability functions within one area of its possessor, who may 'broadcast' it to anyone they choose inside this radius. This counts as an extreme enhancement to invulnerability, and essentially doubles the cost of the power overall. Note that reducing the effectiveness of invulnerabilities is not an option.

As an example, let us look at our hypothetical friend with four invulnerabilities, as described above. In order to gain the broadcast version of his or her invulnerabilities, they must increase the total cost of invulnerability by fourteen, making for a grand total of 28 points. Expensive, sure, but their teammates would certainly love having them around!

Related Powers: greater invulnerability or resistance (other categories of damage), resistance (other forms of damage), numerous other powers.

L

Longevity (Agelessness)
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1/4 point per rank

Thanks to this ability, certain characters can live far, far beyond what is considered a normal human life span. While not immortal, a character with longevity can survive through the ages - assuming no serious injury or disease claims him or her first. The length one's life span is extended depends on when they gained this power. If one is born with it, longevity will be applied as a multiple of a normal human's life span.

For instance, mythological dwarves naturally possess longevity. Thus, they apply the longevity multiplier against the age of seventy years (slightly higher than the actual average, but mathematically simpler). However, if one acquired this power later in life (through, say, a scientific accident), longevity will apply as a multiple of the standard life span minus the age at which they gained their longevity.

As an example, let us assume that a scientist develops an artificial aging suppressant, and administers it to herself as an experiment at the age of thirty five. Having already spent half of her normal life span, she would apply the longevity multiplier to her normal life span minus her age, which is also thirty five years.

But what is this longevity multiplier, you ask? Simply put, it is the longevity rank number cubed. The formula for longevity is as follows:

(normal lifespan (70) minus age longevity acquired) times power rank cubed = eventual lifespan

To show this formula at work, let us look at those dwarves from before. With their 'mere' Feeble (2) ranked longevity, we can determine their eventual lifespan by plugging numbers into the formula as described. Seventy (normal human life span) times eight (the rank number cubed) is five hundred and sixty years. That's not forever, but definitely allows for a very long life, compared to the average man on the street.

A more complicated example would be that chemist described above. Subtracting her age from a normal human life span, we wind up with thirty five years remaining. If we assume a power rank of Good (10), we can plug in the numbers and go with thirty five (life span minus her age) times one thousand (Good's rank number cubed) to come up with a result equal to thirty five thousand years remaining on her life.

See, sometimes college can come in handy!

Of course, some might find all of this too complicated - or alternately, they may just want a character who does not age at all. By spending two slots on this power (random character creation) or by purchasing it at Class 5000 rank (point-based system, for eight points), one can instead have what is called Agelessness instead of mere Longevity. This means your character will never die of old age.

Either due to the natural progression of time or because of the aging power!

Related Powers: age control / self, reformation, regeneration / self, regenerative armor, revival, stasis.

P

Plasticity
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1 point per rank

Plasticity is a trait which makes one's body malleable and, well, plastic. In such a state, a character can stretch and deform their body as they see fit, maintaining their normal bodily processes all the while. Plasticity itself does not allow one to change their volume; in order to do that, one must also possess the elongation power, an ability which is often seen in tandem with this one (but is itself quite different).

A plastic character is more durable than normal, where incoming damage is concerned. This ability grants its possessor power rank resistance to Blunt Attack, Blunt Throwing, Force, and Shooting attacks, the energy of such assaults being harmlessly absorbed by the character's malleable body. This capability also allows one to similarly absorb falling damage, whether the plastic character is falling or catching someone else who is.

Mind you, plasticity always 'absorbs' damage by redirecting it back at its source, albeit at its original intensity -2 CS. Falling from a great height will likely cause a plastic character to bounce, while they will reflexively carom bullets back towards their source. One can even use a plastic character as a living slingshot, propelling items as if they were thrown at up to the plasticity's power rank in Strength!

Related Powers: elongation, prehensile hair, prehensile skin, shape change.

R

Reformation
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 2 points per rank

A variant form of regeneration, reformation is an ability that may be used to reconstruct oneself in the face of serious injury. With reformation, a character absorbs inanimate material in the environment, using it to replace missing parts, fill in or patch up various holes, or even to repair damaged tissues. Such individuals can ultimately do this because their life force does not require a specific body.

Even if their frame is seemingly damaged beyond repair, a reformer can typically rebuild it (or an all new one) to house their consciousness. Materials collected to reconstruct oneself will eventually change in both shape and composition in order to more closely resemble the anatomical features they are appropriated to replace, until they are ultimately indistinguishable from the character's body.

The amount of time this requires depends on the reformation power rank. Each minute of elapsed time will allow a reformer to replace a number of lost Health points equal to their power rank number; divided by ten, this amount can determine how much Health one can recover each turn. As lost Health points are regained, materials absorbed to replace lost or damaged tissues more seamlessly integrate into the character's form.

Usually.

However, reformation can be limited such that one's composition does not return to its initial state. This is considered a strong limitation, as a reformer will eventually resemble a patchwork being, assembled from a variety of different materials. In time, the character may be unrecognizable compared to his or her original form, or even from day to day, depending on how much damage they regularly suffer!

A similarly curtailed form of reformation limits the materials a character can draw upon to repair their body. Common examples of this include metal, rock, or even fresh tissue. This form of the power requires that the substance be present in the environment in order to use the power at all. Thus, reformation limited to plant matter would be hard pressed to heal its possessor in a skyscraper - or even a cave.

An extremely limited variety of reformation would combine these two limitations into a whole new constraint. This reformation variant ultimately produces a body for the reformer made entirely out of the designated substance, whatever that happens to be. Such instances grant abilities and vulnerabilities relevant to the character's composition, per the transformation ability - as that's essentially what has been accomplished.

A character made solely out of homogenous or random matter due to long term use of these limited kinds of reformation benefits from a maximized environmental independence ability. Lacking an actual metabolism to speak of, something has to prop the reformer up and allow him or her to otherwise function normally despite generally lacking cellular activity, after all!

Related Powers: atomic sense, detachable parts, healing / self, longevity, object projection, revival, shape change, stasis, solid animation, spectral freedom, various special abilities related to the reformer's bodily composition (when limited).

Regeneration / Self
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 2 points per rank

Characters possessing this ability recover from inflicted damage far faster than ordinary folks. Instead of the normal healing rate, a character with this ability will heal damage at a rate equal to their regeneration rank every minute. This is divided up on a turn by turn basis, so the amount of Health a regenerating character will recover each turn is equal to their regeneration rank number divided by ten.

For example, characters with Incredible (40) ranked regeneration will heal four lost Health points per turn. If a character possesses regeneration at a rank that is less than Good (10), they won't actually heal lost Health points each turn. For instance, a character with Feeble (2) regeneration would only heal back two points per minute, so they'd actually gain one Health point every five turns, instead.

All of this assumes that the character who regenerates isn't actually suffering continuous damage. If the cause of damage is still being applied (say, because your character is on fire), regeneration cannot occur until the damage is no longer being inflicted. Regeneration occurs at the beginning of a turn, but will not apply if damage from a previous turn carries over into the next (SD damage can be a bane to regenerators).

Related Powers: age control / self, degeneration, environmental independence, harm, healing / self, longevity, resistance (disease and / or poison), revival, stasis, transfixture, unyielding will.

Resistance
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1/2 point per rank, plus 1 point for each additional resistance

A character with this ability has its rank in resistance to an attack form of their choice. This resistance can oppose any kind of assault within the Universal Heroes game, from edged attacks to electrical damage to mind control. When subjected to the chosen form of attack, a character with this ability may subtract its rank number from the incoming effect's intensity or damage, which may be enough to negate it entirely.

If a character has a resistance that 'defaults' to a standard ability score (e.g., Intuition versus emotion control), this ability will have a minimum rank equal to that ability score +1 CS - otherwise, determine a rank for this resistance normally.

During character generation, a player has the option of adding additional, specific resistances as he or she sees fit, each increasing the cost of this ability by 1. For instance, a character with resistance to fire attacks may wish to add a resistance to, say, cold, blunt attacks, poison, and disease. This adds four to the final cost of the 'base' resistance, instead of the normal cost for five distinct resistances.

Also, players may choose a form of this ability that they can share with their allies. A field effect resistance functions with a range determined on the Very Near range table, but can be 'broadcast' to anyone the character chooses within that distance. This counts as an extreme enhancement to resistance, and either adds 2 to the cost for each shared resistance or subtracts -4 CS from its final rank (for all ranged resistances).

As an example, let us look at our friend with five resistances, as described above. In order to gain the broadcast version of their resistances, they must either increase the total cost of their resistances by ten (before the actual rank of said resistances), or reduce the final effective resistance to all five attack forms by -4 CS.

Characters who acquire resistances as wizardry or psionics can master even more, doing so as power stunts off of the original source of such. The thing to keep in mind is that each resistance counts as one power for the purposes of maintenance. So, our hero with the above resistances could activate all five resistances if desired, but this would require being able to maintain five spells or psionics simultaneously.

Related Powers: body armor, greater invulnerability or resistance (other categories of damage), invulnerability (other forms of damage), numerous other powers.

Revival
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1 point per rank

This power describes the capability to return to life upon one's untimely demise - most of the time, anyway. While not quite immortality, revival is a means by which one's body attempts to 'jump-start' itself in the event of its death. Upon dying, the body will actually make a rapid and serious attempt to repair fatal damage, replace missing tissues, and otherwise restore itself to a condition that can support a continued existence.

The difficulty of this depends on the nature of one's demise. If the vast majority of one's body is present (save for blood or minor chunks lost in a bullet blowout), a green FEAT will resuscitate the fallen character. A yellow FEAT is necessary if some larger chunks are missing - but you know, most vital bits remain. A red revival FEAT is usually necessary when just under half of the original body remains.

More serious damage is usually an impossible FEAT to recover from, unless the Judge is feeling generous. The main thing, though, is that this FEAT is made upon one's death - which means, being dead, the character has no Karma to spend on the revival check. That's why this power is not true immortality; even if you have it, and have it at a respectable rank, you can still die (permanently) from a bad die roll.

One consideration to keep in mind with revival is that it does sometimes allow for the resuscitation of one's body from significantly smaller portions of itself. It's possible that, in cases of extreme mutilation, more than one chunk of a character's body can revive, becoming two (or more) complete selves. These new 'clones' are treated as NPCs, but should mirror the original character's behavior.

At least, until the point of their divergence.

Related Powers: healing / self, longevity, reformation, regeneration / self, regenerative armor, resurrection, resuscitation, stasis.

S

Screened Senses
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1 point per rank

The character with screened senses enjoys protection from sensory attacks of one or more varieties. This is often the result of technological innovation, but can be inherent as well - perhaps a built-in input 'cut off' to sensory organs to prevent overload, or special properties that prevent excessive input from reaching the receptive nerves in the first place - it all depends on the nature of the sense(s) to be screened.

The thing to keep in mind is that there is always a trade-off with screened senses. While this ability provides power rank protection to the sense(s) indicated against sensory assault (blinding flashes, painful sound pulses, noxious odor, etc.), screened senses invariably dull the normal function of said sense(s) somewhat. Senses screened by this ability will function at a -1 CS to the character's Intuition (alt) score.

Or alternately, at a -1 CS to the rank of a super sense or other super-sensory ability, if applied to it.

One benefit of screened senses is that one need not screen all of their senses with it. For every sense subtracted from the protection of screened senses (either normal senses or super sensory abilities), reduce the cost of screened senses by 1.

Related Powers: infravision, radivision, sonar sense, super senses, ultravision, unusual sensitivity.

Stasis
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

The ability of stasis allows its wielder to place their body in a state of suspended animation. What this means is, while so suspended, the character with this ability need not eat, drink, sleep, or breathe, as their body is doing literally nothing at all. While in stasis, the character is physically inert, and will thus appear dead for all intents and purposes - however freshly so their body may seem.

While this ability is active, its possessor will have a vague awareness of conditions outside their body, but won't be conscious, per se. This means that one can enter stasis if the situation in their vicinity has become life-threatening, and then end their stasis when the coast is clear. Similarly, one can 'program' the ability to wake them up after so much time has passed, though this process is never quite exact.

There is no ultimate, terminal duration tied to this ability. One can conceivably put themselves under for years, if not centuries at a time, if they wish. Mind you, this may put a serious crimp in one's social life, having to make up for lost time over and over. But sometimes, when the world is falling apart all around you, simply going to sleep until it fixes itself just might seem like a good idea.

Related Powers: environmental independence, longevity, reformation, regeneration / self, regenerative armor, revival.

Super Breath
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1 point per rank

Many characters have what seems like an impossible lung capacity, in that they can apparently inhale more air than their lungs (much less their entire body) should be able to contain, in order to expel it violently! It's all about the pressurization with super breath, in that a character with this power can draw in as much gas as they like, compacting it in the process, and then release it at their leisure.

The individual with super breath can draw into themselves a quantity of gas that, when exhaled, allows them to inflict power rank Force damage to their target. Inhaling enough ambient air to fuel this power requires a full turn, though a character with super breathing who manages to achieve multiple actions on a given turn can be assumed to be engaging in the rest while taking in the appropriate mass of gas (when applicable).

The only difficulty where super breath is involved is in containing that much gas for any length of time. Hanging onto the amount of gas required to inflict the power's normal damage is quite the strain on one's body, and requires a yellow power FEAT roll each turn it is attempted. If this FEAT fails, the gas immediately exits the character's body - typically blasting whoever is right in front of him or her.

If the individual with super breath who fails such a FEAT is prevented from making a discharge at this point, they'll suffer power rank Metabolic damage as the gas seeks out any other means of equalizing its pressure against the atmosphere outside him or her... regardless of how much harm it causes in the process.

The gas jet produced by super breathing can effectively strike any target within Near distance of its wielder.

Related Powers: environmental independence (breathing), matter absorption, vapor animation.

Super Speed
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 3 points per rank

A character with super speed may complete actions dramatically faster than others. This can work through a variety of different mechanisms, ranging from an augmented nervous system to something as exotic as living in an accelerated temporal frame. Regardless of how the power works for a character, super speed produces the same result: it gives its wielder the ability to do anything quick.

In essence, the possessor of this ability divides the amount of turns it takes them to do anything by this power rank number. Let us consider a villain with Remarkable (30) ranked super speed. Assuming he has Typical (6) Strength (vgr), he can leisurely walk at a pace that will carry him forty five areas in a single minute (as opposed to the one and a half without super speed). That's sixty seven and a half miles per hour!

If a character with super speed attempts to run, he or she can increase their movement speed even further. This works by shifting the character's walking intensity over to the air speed column, instead. Our villain with the Typical (6) Strength (vgr) score would thus move at 135 MPH (between Good and Excellent, as his ground speed was), while another with capped walking speed but like super speed would move at 225 MPH!

Keep in mind that super speed does not include super stamina. Running at top speed is just as difficult for a speedster as it is for anyone else without additional powers. Lacking additional ascendant abilities to back super speed up, a speedster is limited to short bursts of enhanced velocity. Even without outside help, however, such bursts of speed let a body cover ground astoundingly fast.

When super speed is combined with other travel powers, though, one can keep up a heightened rate of speed for as long as the other movement ability can operate. In game terms, this allows such powers to move up one speed category when paired with super speed. Super running and super swimming will operate on the air speed column, while flight will be upgraded to the space speed column. Not bad, eh?

Mind you, super speed is useful for more than just covering distance. The power is great when applied to tasks that take a very long time, such as construction, invention, surgery - and more. When one can reduce a task that should take weeks down to just a few hours, they can get a whole lot done - possibly meaning they only need to work a few hours out of the month (or out of the year, with sufficiently potent super speed).

Super speed applies to combat, also. For every rank in super speed a character has, they are allowed an additional attack each turn. Thus, our villain with the above, Remarkable (30) super speed can attack six additional times each turn. When used against multiple opponents (say, one attack per person), such attacks are resolved normally. However, when one foe is the exclusive focus of a super speedster, things can get messy.

Multiple attacks focused on a single opponent at super speed are always considered bursting, applying a +1 CS for each doubling of attacks (always round down). These attacks against a single foe may be resolved with one die roll for simplicity's sake, or rolled out individually - though the latter may take a while. With a Strength (mgt) score of Typical (6), our example villain's seven punches would ultimately inflict +2 CS damage!

The above assumes the character with super speed can normally attack once per turn. If they are granted extra attacks elsewhere, add these attacks to the amount which is granted by super speed. If our villainous speedster also had Remarkable (30) ranked Fighting score, he could add one more attack with a yellow multiple actions FEAT roll, bumping him up to another +1 CS of bursting damage against a single opponent!

Speedsters most often attack with their bare hands, because while they have super speed, their gear almost never does. Attacking someone with a weapon at super speed puts just as much stress on the weapon as it does whatever is being hit. This stress prompts a m.s. check that must be made on the item being used in melee combat against the overall damage caused - if it fails, the weapon will break during the burst of attacks.

With a sufficiently durable weapon, however, or even just considerable physical strength, a character with super speed can often dish out astonishing damage in the blink of an eye. Damage that is incredibly hard to defend against when you can't even make out the movements of your assailant. Those concerned about inflicting lethal harm upon their foes may wish to keep this in mind before attacking at top speed.

Related Powers: flight, super running, super swimming, vibration control.

T

Turnabout
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 1 point per rank

Turnabout is the ability to reflect incoming damage away from oneself. It doesn't matter what form this damage takes, whether it be Blunt Attack, Deionic, or anything else. The easiest way to use this skill is to not aim it in any fashion; when something hits you, you simply bounce it off at a random angle. This requires but a green FEAT roll, and is the only way one can use the power while otherwise doing things.

The only problem with this use of turnabout is that while the character wielding it shrugs off the damage, someone else might not be so lucky. Keeping that in mind, one can attempt to bounce an attack back at its source, instead. This requires a yellow turnabout FEAT roll, and the character can't be engaged in any other action at the time (one can be moving, but they cannot change speed or direction at all).

On the other hand, a character with turnabout can make incoming damage work for them, instead of random victims or its source. With a red turnabout FEAT, the wielder of this ability can redirect an attack towards anyone they choose. This new target will have the same range category of the original attack (bullets can't reach into orbit, for example), but can otherwise be anyone the character can perceive.

Turnabout works in this fashion with any damage form that is equal to or less than its own rank; an Incredible (40) ranked turnabout can easily shrug off conventional bullets, flamethrower blasts, psi bolts, or even the deific attacks of an immortal being, as long as they're of this rank or less. The problems begin to arise when turnabout is used against attacks of greater intensity.

When this happens, the character can only reflect an amount of damage equal to their power score, and anything exceeding that affects them normally. Furthermore, this reduces the effective rank of turnabout by -1 CS each time it happens for the purpose of FEAT rolls (but not the amount of damage it can deflect). Once this penalty lowers a character's turnabout below Shift 0, it cannot be used again for 24 hours.

Related Powers: deflection, telekinesis.

U

Universal Digestion
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

The power of universal digestion allows its possessor to ingest any substance in order to draw sustenance from it. No matter the biology (or whatever) of the character, he or she can extract or fabricate the chemicals required from anything consumed in order to continue their life functions. While a character with universal digestion still has to eat to live, they can consume literally anything to get by.

A powerful benefit that this power provides is that its possessor will never be affected by ingested poisons. The process by which universal digestion works precludes such toxins from negatively affecting the wielder of this power, thus giving them invulnerability to that form of poison. Of course, he or she is still subject to poisoning by other methods, unless they possess additional abilities by which they can avoid these assaults.

Universal Digestion does not have a power rank to speak of - one either has the ability or they do not.

Related Powers: environmental adaptation, fangs, invulnerability or resistance to poison (all types), situational adaptation, universal respiration.

Universal Respiration
Physical Enhancement Power
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

A more potent form of dual respiration, universal respiration allows its possessor to breathe in any gaseous or liquid substance, and either extract or fabricate the chemicals required for whatever gas exchange their physiology requires. While the character with this power still has to breathe, they will get along just fine unless buried in solid matter or exposed to vacuum somehow.

A powerful benefit that this power provides is that its possessor will never be affected by inhaled poisons. The process by which universal respiration works precludes such toxins from negatively affecting the wielder of this power, thus giving them invulnerability to that form of poison. Of course, he or she is still subject to poisoning by other methods, unless they possess additional abilities by which they can avoid these assaults.

An important consideration, however, is that while inhaled poisons do not affect the character with this power, hostile chemicals can still affect him or her. Breathing in acid might not harm one's lungs, thanks to the effects of universal respiration, but the rest of its possessor's body is not quite so lucky. In instances such as this, though, breathing will be the least of one's problems!

Universal Respiration does not have a power rank to speak of - one either has the ability or they do not.

Related Powers: environmental adaptation, invulnerability or resistance to poison (all types), situational adaptation, super swimming, universal digestion.

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