The Helix Treatments

The subterranean Mutant radicals known as the Perfected Ones experiment on one another, seeking to maximize their genetically-granted superhuman gifts. The Helix Treatments aren’t very successful, though. In fact, their leader Obelisk punishes errant followers by subjecting them to the Treatments.

The effects of the Treatments are wildly unpredictable. Most of the time, subjects are transformed into Helix Dregs, losing most of their intelligence, and used by the Perfected Ones as wandering guards and shock troops. Some subjects lose their Powers forever. The Perfected Ones exile such “throwbacks” to the surface, although sometimes they “take pity” and kill the subject instead. Others merely find their Mutant appearance changed.

And yet, the Helix Treatments aren’t always deleterious. The Mutant hero Timespan achieved virtual godhood through them. Other Mutants find their Powers radically altered by the Treatments, like when Sirocco lost her air control powers for several weeks, only to find them transformed into power-draining powers.

The process requires several hours, including a complete genetic scan, repeated injections of specially-cultured retroviruses, and injections of irrational matter in various adrenal glands. The process of transformation is extremely painful, too, causing the Exhausted Affliction for 2d6 hours afterward; painkillers can reduce this to 1d3+1 hours, but the Perfected Ones refuse to use them, claiming the pain is a necessary part of the process. Subjects are usually strapped to a table for the procedure, partly to prevent subjects from trying to quit midway through the process.

Each time a Mutant (or Mutant Animal) undergoes the Helix Treatments, roll 2d6 to see the effects. If a non-Mutant tries to undergo the Treatments, roll 1d3 instead. There’s a small (1 on 1d6) chance that a humanoid Alien might roll 2d6 for Helix Treatments like a Mutant; otherwise, just roll 1d3.

  • ( 2 ): The pain of the transformation is unbearable. The subject loses 1d6 TGH Levels (starting with Hyper-Toughness) permanently; if this reduces the subject to 0 TGH, they die.
  • (3 to 7): The subject’s genetic code is twisted and corrupted, and they become a Helix Dreg. The hero drops to 1 Level of INS and PER, and 3 Levels of WIL.
  • ( 8 ): The subject loses their Powers forever.
  • (9 to 11): The subject loses their powers for 2d6 weeks. At the end of that time, roll 1d6.
    • ( 1 ): The subject’s appearance is radically altered, but their Powers remain the same. The subject might change skin color, hair color, they might exhibit animalistic features, or even change sex.
    • ( 2 ): The subject’s neurochemistry is completely out of whack. The hero gains gain 1d6+3 Levels of the Mood Swings Weakness. On the bright side, the hero gains one Power Enhancement.
    • ( 3 ): The subject’s Power Levels are all reduced by 1d3 (minimum of 1 Level).
    •  ( 4 ): The subject’s Powers are completely different now. Re-spend the hero’s BP for Powers, or even better, use the Random Power Tables to roll for new Powers. If the subject is a Mutant, their Mutant features are completely different as well. For example, if the subject had purple skin before, their skin tone is in the normal human range now, but something else about them is unusual, like glowing eyes, a metallic voice, or a long, frog-like tongue.
    • (5): One of the hero’s Powers is increased in Power by 1 Level. This Power can exceed the hero’s Awesomeness Level. However, the Power gains the Overdrive (Major) and Undisciplined (Typical) Detriments. The mutant’s physical appearance is altered slightly, but remains largely the same.
    • ( 6 ): The subject loses all Levels in all physical Weaknesses, like Allergy, Poor Speaker, or Bad Hands. In addition, the hero permanently gains 1 Level of TGH.
  • ( 12 ): Jackpot! The hero gains 2 Awesomeness Levels. They don’t gain additional BP for Powers; instead, all of the character’s Powers gain +2 Levels.

Each time a subject undergoes the Helix Treatment, however, they run the risk of losing their Powers forever, becoming permanently crippled, or becoming a Helix Dreg, so the process is not to be approached lightly. The odds are not in the hero’s favor!

The Helix Treatments serve many different possible purposes for your Campaign. If a Player is bored with a Mutant hero, the hero may find themselves captured by the Perfectd Ones and subjected to the Helix Treatments. Maybe the hero will become weirder, more powerful, more interesting, or more tragic as a result; and if they die or become a Helix Dreg, they can be avenged. Science-minded heroes can try to perfect the Helix Treatments, a long, slow process that will change the world, maybe not for the better. And the Helix Treatments are a great way to explain how a Mutant villain suddenly becomes more of a threat, without resorting to the drug Overdrive.

Finally, the important thing to remember about the Helix Treatments is that their results are unpredictable. If you

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