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Thursday, 12 May 2016


Doctor Moreau, Victor Frankenstein, Professor Farnsworth, clan Tzimisce and various hunchbacks by the name of Igor. There's something fascinating about a scientist meddling in Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.
Because of my tendency to try to build one of these characters in every system (from Lamentations of the Flame Princess, to Don't Rest Your Head, to Changeling the Dreaming), I figured I'd make an actual LotFP class for the concept. Here it is.

Hit Dice, experience, and saves are like a Magic User. All metamorphosists have a 5-in-6 rating in the Medicine skill, and a 2-in-6 rating in the Research skill.
Metamorphosists must be either lawful or chaotic - not neutral. Maybe they're sworn to pursue their understanding of the natural order of the world, placing their faith in the laws and regularities of science. Maybe they're maniacs seeking to usurp God's place as the bringer of life. Either way, their studies have led them away from mundane, ordinary life.

A metamorphosist can replicate some of the effects produced by a cleric or magic user. This, effectively, allows them to cast spells through the application of scientific knowledge. These effects are referred to as procedures. 
Performing a procedure requires the metamorphosist to use at the very least a set of Surgeon's Tools, and to have a safe and secure place to work. On top of this, most procedures will require specific organs or materials, which are used up regardless of whether or not the procedure is successful. A procedure takes one day's work to complete for each rank of the spell being mimicked. The subject or subjects must be present throughout, either willing participants, or else restrained.
To use a procedure, if the metamorphosist is not working in a private, well stocked laboratory (worth at least 500 silver per spell level being mimicked), then they must pass a medicine skill roll to pull the procedure off.
No saves can be made to resist a procedure, even if the spell mimicked would normally allow one.
Regardless of the spell's duration when cast by a cleric or magic user, the any changes made by a procedure last indefinitely. They do not count as supernatural, and so are unaffected by anything that detects, dispels or enhances magic.
At first level, a metamorphosist knows how to perform two procedures - Cure Light Wounds and Embalm. For every level they subsequently gain, they learn to perform an additional procedure, which is set by the level they just gained. 

  • At First level, Cure Light Wounds and Embalm are known. Cure Light Wounds requires no additional materials. Embalm is a custom spell for this class, and requires a glass vessel filled with neat alcohol; unlike other procedures it only takes a turn to perform.
  • At second level, Graft is learned. Graft is a custom spell for this class, which requires a living example of the body-part to be replaced.
  • At third level, Change Self is learned. This spell can be cast on any subject, not just the metamorphosist's self, and requires a few square inches of living skin, and possibly samples of fat, muscle, hair and so forth depending on the changes to be made.
  • At fourth level, Delay Poison is learned. It requires the use of a living leech.
  • At fifth level, Cure Disease is learned. It requires no additional materials.
  • At sixth level, Speak with Dead is learned. It requires the dead subject's preserved brain, rather than their head, and a small paper cone that it is hooked up to to produce the voice.
  • At seventh level, Cure Serious Wounds is learned. It requires no additional materials.
  • At eighth level, Neutralise Poison is learned. It requires no additional materials.
  • At ninth level, Feeblemind is learned. It requires the brain-stem matter from a base animal such as a toad or sheep, which is grafted into the victim's own brain.
  • At tenth level, Animate Dead is learned. It requires only the corpses to be re-animated, a lightning rod and a thunderstorm.
  • At eleventh level, Cure Critical Wounds is learned. It requires no additional materials.
  • At twelfth level, Mind Switch is learned. It requires only the two beings to have their minds switched, and swaps their brains.
  • At thirteenth level, Animate Dead Monsters is learned. Like Animate Dead, it requires the corpses to be re-animated, a lightning rod, and a thunderstorm.
  • At fourteenth level, Heal is learned. It requires a few pounds of living flesh.
  • At fifteenth level, Simulacrum is learned. It requires enough living flesh to build the new body (rather than snow), a lightning rod, and a thunderstorm.
  • At sixteenth level, Unnatural Transplant is learned. It requires only the body part responsible for the power to be replicated.
  • At seventeenth level, Clone is learned. It has the same requirements as when cast normally.
  • At eighteenth level, Trap the Soul is learned. It requires a large glass containment vat, which costs the same as and replaces the gem required when cast normally.
  • After eighteenth level, no more procedures are learned.
A metamorphosist is not limited to only perform the procedures they have already learned. If they can justify in suitable techno-babble how they intend to go about the procedure, then (at the GM's discretion) they can give it a shot. As well as the possible Medicine skill roll, a Research skill roll must be made. If the Research roll fails, then - regardless of whether or not the actual procedure was a success - then Something Has Gone Horribly Wrong. It is up to the GM to decide what exactly this is. It could range from an angry mob of torch-wielding peasants, to an outbreak of a horrible new plague, to the patient becoming Horribly Wrong themselves - whatever the GM thinks would best drive home the metamorphosist's hubris.

New Spells

Rank: 1
Range: touch
Duration: 1 month per level
This spell causes a body or body part to be preserved perfectly so long as it is left reasonably undisturbed. If it was fresh when the spell was cast, then the body parts will count as 'alive' for anything that needs living flesh.

Rank: 1
Range: touch
Duration: Instantaneous
This spell replaces a ruined or removed body-part. Although it doesn't heal damage to flesh, it automatically undoes an injury from the How Flame Princess Got That Way rules.

Unnatural Transplant
Rank: 7
Range: touch
Duration: Permenant
This spell allows the target to gain an ability from a defeated monster by grafting the organs responsible onto them. This could be something fairly mundane, such as gills to let the recipient breath water or venom glands to make their bite poisonous. Alternately, it could be entirely supernatural and bizarre, such as medusa's face stitched over the recipient's own to let them turn enemies to stone, or pyroclastic glands that let the recipient breath fire. The organs to be grafted in must be fresh, and must actually fit onto the recipient somewhere.

1 comment:

  1. I was actually working on a version of this. I think yours works better. It'll have to go in my weird menagerie of custom LotFP stuff. Good work.