Action: Standard • Range: Close • Duration: Sustained • Cost: 2-5 points per rank
Under the Hood: Transform
Transform is a powerful effect, particularly in the hands of a cunning player. To a degree, Transform can duplicate certain other effects, such as trapping a target by transforming air into a solid material or turning oxygen into a suffocating gas (both Afflictions). This is perfectly allowable; use the rules for other effects as guidelines on how to handle these situations, using Transform rank to determine resistance DCs.
Keep in mind, however, that Transform has a sustained duration, which may affect how such “tricks” work (e.g., the trap disappears if the character is stunned, the suffocating gas dissipates unless the character concentrates each round to continue transforming it, etc.). As always, the GM should use common sense and good judgment.
You may wish to require characters using Transform to acquire money (gold, precious gems, etc.) or other permanent material goods to spend character points on ranks of the Benefit advantage to reflect this newfound wealth; otherwise, the goods fade or remain impermanent in some way. (Assuming things like wealth matter in your series in some way.)
It is possible for Transform to effectively destroy objects: turning a steel door into water, air, or even rust certainly removes it as a barrier. However, keep in mind that Transform is normally sustained; the target isn’t truly destroyed unless the effect is continuous, and therefore irreversible. Even then, the destruction of targets tends to be all-or-nothing. For an effect capable of wearingdown and eventually destroying objects, use WeakenToughness instead.
Transforming living or otherwise animate beings as opposed to inanimate matter requires an effect other than Transform. To alter a target’s outward appearance only, go with a Morph Attack. For a harmful effect that does something like turn the target to stone or into a mind-controlled zombie, see Affliction. When dealing with non-living creatures (those absent Stamina) capable of resistance checks (possessing Will) the GM may permit Transform to function like an Affliction against them.
You can change objects into other objects, altering their shape or material composition in the process. You must touch the chosen object, which requires a close attack check if the object is held or worn by another character.
What you can transform affects cost per rank:
2 points: Transform one thing or substance into one other thing or substance, such as metal into wood, iron into glass, or broken objects into repaired ones.
3 points: Transform a broad group of things into a single result (any metal into gold, for example) or a single target into any of a broad group (one type of metal, such as lead, into any other metal, water into other liquids, and so forth).
4 points: Transform a broad group of targets into one of a broad group of results (solids into other solids, for example).
5 points: Transform any material into anything else.
Inanimate objects do not make resistance checks and transform automatically, so long as you can affect their total mass. You can transform (Transform rank –6) rank mass, so Transform 1 can affect up to 1.5 lbs (mass rank –5), then 3 lbs. at rank 2, and so forth, on up to rank 20, which affects 400 tons at once.
The transformation lasts as a sustained effect. When you stop maintaining it, the target reverts to normal. Continuous Transform is irreversible except by using another Transform effect to turn the target back into its previous form.
Transforming someone’s devices or equipment requires targeting them first: characters can make Dodge resistance checks for their held or worn items, with a +5 circumstance bonus for hand-held and similar sized objects. So transforming a hand-held weapon like a gun requires an attack check and permits the wielder a Dodge resistance check with a +5 bonus (for a hand-held item). Targeting a worn suit of armor requires an attack check and allows the wearer a Dodge resistance check (with no modifier for a large item).
Transform is generally just another way of “removing” a device or equipment, considered a part of their discount in cost, although transformed items should eventually be restored or replaced.