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Some Ideas Missed in Metamorphosis Alpha

by James M. Ward (Dragon #5)

In the course of writing anything about anything, when everything is done and sent to the printers, there is something that should have been added to it or changed in it. Such is the case, in looking over the TSR booklet Metamorphosis Alpha that I designed. Before going further, I want to say that everyone at TSR did a great job on the production of this booklet; it is just that some things (more my fault than theirs) were left out.

In working on the technological treasure items list, there are four items that should have been completely explained that were not.

Chemical Radiation Neutralizers: are small two foot tall cylinders that contain a blue gel having the power to absorb radiated material and completely neutralize it. The gel from one cylinder can cover a 100-square yard area. The effects are permanent and the cylinders can commonly be found in any radiated area that was dangerous before the starship passed through the radiated gas cloud.

Chemical Flammable Retardants: are simply CO2 fire extinguishers that are 1 foot tall cylinders, with a nozzle on top. These little tanks shoot out blasts of cold air. The tank can last for 30 minutes of constant action. There are many plants and creatures that cannot stand the intense cold given off by the extinguisher, making it a very good weapon.

Radioactive Material in Containment: is some type of material (liquid, sand, ball bearings, or solid metal wedges) that is radiated to a variable intensity. This containment is always in the form of a duralloy cube with a screw top. A loud buzzing occurs whenever these containers are opened. When out of this container, the material has an effective damaging range of 90 yards.

Sensory Intensifiers: are pendants that hang from the neck and run for thousands of years on a tiny atomic battery. These devices increase the natural bodily senses many times over. A being with this device on their person can see, hear, smell, and move at one and one half times the normal human rate. They can, therefore, not be surprised, because they can hear beings approaching or laying in wait for them. They can follow a scent like the best bloodhound. In battle the being gets two turns every other melee turn-example; attacked and not surprised, the being strikes normally the first time with his weapon and on the next melee turn gets two attacks with his weapon while the attacker gets only one.

Along the same lines as the above is the poison chart that is closely tied to the constitution roll. This chart is tough and the point was not brought out clearly enough that there are lots of ways the affects of this chart can be countered. Any shaman from any tribe should have poison antidotes that he or she passes out freely for information or goodies or even the promise of future goodies. The number three humanoids, knowing all about poison, naturally have antidotes that are obtainable for things that these small humanoids could normally never get hold of. Plants of many different types can provide partial or total negation to the affects of any given poison. There are mutations that can also negate the affects of poison; the new body parts mutation can be a gland that negates/filters toxic liquids entering the body. The increased body parts mutation could include the expanding of the appendix, which, if one may stretch a point, could cleanse the system of poisons entering the body, (if given sufficient time and rest).

It should be obvious that the abilities given everyone, including Strength, Dexterity, and Leadership Potential, are all closely tied to the D&D; abilities. The Mental Resistance factor is roughly analogous to the Intelligence factor in D&D; and because of this; it instead of the Character Leadership Potential should be used when the judge uses the Item Complexity Level chart.

The above information came through playing the game, and I imagine that as time goes by there will be lots of reports from others that have noticed things that need clarification in Metamorphosis Alpha. I hope those wolfoids stay off your tail.

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