Mutations are one aspect of character creation in Caves of Qud. They provide the bulk of character customization (at least for players playing as a Mutant) due to their variety and number, and can be considered roughly analogous to the Cybernetics available to True Kin. There are over 70 mutations available. The starting mutations are split into a few main categories:
- Morphotypes: Either limits what mutations can be gotten (and bought), or in the case of Unstable Genome, randomly mutates into another mutation.
- Physical Mutations: Positive mutations that physically alter the player internally or externally.
- Mental Mutations: Positive mutations that are related to controlling things with mental energy.
- Defects can be of both physical and mental and seek to hinder the player.
It should be noted that, because the mutation system is used to handle any special abilities, many creatures have "mutations" which can be thought of as much closer to natural traits or abilities than actual genetic mutations, such as the Heightened Smell and Night Vision common to all Snapjaws. For a list of these, see Category:Innate mutations.
Character Creation[edit | edit source]
On character creation, mutants start with 12 mutation points to select starting mutations. These do not carry over to the main game, so any left over points will be lost. To gain more available points, defects can be taken which make the game harder.
Buying Mutations[edit | edit source]
Once in the game, each level up will net the player character one mutation point. This can be spent on leveling a mutation they already have, given that the new level is less than Player Level/2. If four points are amassed, the player can choose to buy a new mutation by pressing
M on the character sheet screen. They will be given a choice of three random mutations; these are deterministic based on world seed and cannot be rerolled through save/loading or Precognition except for certain methods that will be touched on in a later section. What mutations can be gotten depends on morphotype or lack of.
Randomizing Mutation Buys[edit | edit source]
Mutations are constant due to being the player character's genome being usually constant. To reroll a new batch of mutations, their genome must be altered. This can be accomplished by:
- Injecting an .
- Cooking with a (the drop of nectar need not succeed in granting the boost).
- Cooking with a , and getting the drop of nectar cooking effect (this does not need to succeed to randomize mutations).
- Gain the Mutating effect.
Gaining temporary mutations[edit | edit source]
Mutations can be temporarily gained using other methods besides mutating it. This is often the only way for True Kin to gain mutations:
- Equipping a relic
- Eating a recipe
- Injecting specific injectors
Glimmer[edit | edit source]
At all times, the player will have a glimmer score that is the sum of all of their mental mutation levels. If this is greater than 20, they will start to become hunted. The player character does not need to be a mutant to have glimmer, and true kin are also able to become hunted.
List of Mutations[edit | edit source]
Morphotypes[edit | edit source]
|Chimera||1||You only manifest physical mutations.||Esper • Mental Mutations • Mental Defects||aa|
|Esper||1||You only manifest mental mutations.||Chimera • Physical Mutations • Physical Defects||ab|
|Unstable Genome||3||You gain an extra mutation, but it doesnt manifest right away. Whenever you gain a level, there is 33% chance that your genome destabilizes and you get to chose from 3 random mutations.||uu|
Physical Mutations[edit | edit source]
|Adrenal Control||4||You regulate your body's release of adrenaline.
+5 quickness You can increase your body's adrenaline flow by up to 5 grades. Each grade gives you an extra +(10 + (Level - 1)) quickness and +(3.0 - (0.2*(Level - 1)) % chance per round to exhaust yourself. When you exhaust yourself, you lose your adrenaline bonus and fall asleep 5 rounds later. You stay asleep for 5 rounds.Increasing and decreasing your adrenaline flow are free actions.
|Burrowing Claws||2||You bear spade-like claws that can burrow through the earth.
4 successful attacks dig through a wall Claw penetration bonus: (3 * Level) +(1-3) AV Cannot wear gloves (if prerelease content is enabled):Can dig passages up or down when outside of combat
|Hands||Flaming Hands • Freezing Hands||bb|
|Carapace||4||+(3 Floor(Level / 2)) AV
-(7 - Ceiling(Level / 2)) DV +(5 + 5 * Level) Heat Resistance +(5 + 5 * Level) Cold Resistance You may tighten your carapace to receive double the AV bonus Cannot wear armor +400 reputation with tortoises(35 - Level * 2)% chance of becoming immobilized when knocked prone
|Carnivorous||1||You eat meat exclusively.
You don't get ill when you eat raw meat. You can eat raw meat without being famished. Meals of raw meat that you eat while hungry have a 10% chance to be tastier than usual. Meals cooked with selected meat ingredients have a +5% chance to be tastier than usual. You get no satiation from foods that aren't meat. If you eat raw food that isn't meat, there's a 50% chance you become ill for 2 hours.You can't cook with plant or fungus ingredients.
|Corrosive Gas Generation||3||You release a burst of corrosive gas around yourself.
Releases gas for (1 + Level / 2) roundsCooldown: 35 rounds
|Sleep Gas Generation||bd|
|Double-muscled||4||You are possessed of hulking strength, but your size renders your gait awkward and clumsy.
+(2 + ((Level - 1) / 2)) Strength -(level based penalty) move speedSmall chance to daze your opponent on a successful melee attack
|Electrical Generation||4||You accrue electrical charge that you can discharge at will.
Maximum charges: (2 + (Level * 2)) Accrue an additional charge every (10 - Floor(Level / 2)) rounds up to the maximum Damage per charge: 1d4Electricity will arc to adjacent targets dealing reduced damage
|Electromagnetic Pulse||2||You generate an electromagnetic pulse that disables nearby artifacts and machines.
Cooldown: 200 rounds Duration: (4 + Level * 2) - (13 + Level * 2) roundsArea: (radius*2 +1)x(radius*2 +1) centered around yourself
|Flaming Hands||5||You emit jets of flame from your hands.
Emits a 9-square ray of flame in the direction of your choice Cooldown: 10 rounds Damage: (Level)d4+(Num Hands)Cannot wear gloves
|Hands||Freezing Hands • Burrowing Claws||bh|
|Freezing Hands||5||You emit jets of frost from your hands.
Emits a 9-square ray of frost in the direction of your choice Cooldown: 10 rounds Damage: (Level)d3+1Cannot wear gloves
|Hands||Flaming Hands • Burrowing Claws||bi|
|Heightened Hearing||2||You are possessed of unnaturally acute hearing.
You detect the presence of creatures within a radius of (3+Level*2,40 if max)Chance to identify nearby detected creatures
|Heightened Quickness||4||You are gifted with tremendous speed, though it comes at the cost of your vitality.
+(level based bonus) Quickness-(level based penalty) Toughness
|Horns||3||Horns jut out of your head.
20% chance on melee attack to gore your opponent Damage increment: (Level Based) Goring attacks may cause bleeding +(level based) AV Cannot wear helmets+100 reputation with antelopes and goatfolk
|Metamorphosis||4||You assume the form of any creature you touch.
Cooldown: (525 - 25 * Level) roundsMay only assume the form of creatures level (1 + Level) * 5 or lower
|Multiple Arms||4||You have an extra set of arms. (6 + 2 * Level)% chance for each extra arm to deliver an additional melee attack whenever you make a melee attack||bn|
|Multiple Legs||4||You have an extra set of legs.
+(3 + 5 * Level) move speed+(5 + Level)% carry capacity
|Night Vision||1||You see in the dark.||bp|
|Phasing||4||You may phase through solid objects for brief periods of time.
Cooldown: (103 - 3 * Level) roundsDuration: (6 + Level) rounds
|Photosynthetic Skin||2||You replenish yourself by absorbing sunlight through your hearty green skin.
You can bask in the sunlight instead of eating a meal to gain a special metabolizing effect for (1, 2) days: +(20 + Level * 4)% to natural healing rate and +(1 + Ceiling(Level / 2.0) Quickness
While in the sunlight, you accrue starch and lignin that you can use as ingredients in meals you cook (max (1,2,3) of each).+200 reputation with roots, trees, vines, and the Consortium of Phyta
|Albino • Carnivorous||br|
|Quills||4||Hundreds of needle-pointed quills cover your body.
(max quills) quills May expel 10% of your quills in a burst around yourself (((Level-1)/2) 1d3) Regenerate (Level)d4 quills every 10 rounds +(Floor(Level/2)+1) AV as long as you retain half your quills ((AV - AV penalty) AV otherwise) Creatures attacking you in melee may impale themselves on your quills Cannot wear armorImmune to other creatures' quills
|Regeneration||5||Your wounds heal very quickly.
Increased natural healing rateSevered limbs regrow over time
|Sleep Gas Generation||2||You release a burst of sleep gas around yourself.
Releases gas for (1 + Level / 2) roundsCooldown: 35 rounds
|Corrosive Gas Generation||bu|
|Slime Glands||1||You produce a viscous slime that you can spit at things.
Covers an area with slime Cooldown: 40 rounds Range: 8Area: 3x3
|Spinnerets||3||You can spin sticky silk webs.
While spinning, you leave webs in your wake as you move "Cooldown: 80 rounds Duration: (5 + Level) rounds +(5 + Level) to saves vs. forced movement Immune to becoming stuck in webs+200 reputation with arachnids
|Stinger (Confusing Venom)||3||You bear a tail with a stinger that delivers confusing venom to your enemies.
20% chance on a melee attack to strike your opponent with your stinger (Ceiling(Level/2)+3) 1d(Floor(Level/2)+3) Stinger venom confuses opponent Confusion duration: (Level / 2 + 3)d3 rounds Confused creature acts randomly and receives a mental penalty May Sting to guarantee a strike with your stinger at +4 to hit and +2 penetration Cooldown: 25 (you will not strike with your stinger while this ability is cooling down) Cannot wear equipment on back+200 reputation with arachnids
|Back||Stinger (Paralyzing Venom) • Stinger (Poisoning Venom) • Wings||bx|
|Stinger (Paralyzing Venom)||3||You bear a tail with a stinger that delivers paralyzing venom to your enemies.
20% chance on a melee attack to strike your opponent with your stinger (Ceiling(Level/2)+3) 1d(Floor(Level/2)+3) Stinger venom paralyzes opponent Paralyzation duration: 1d(Level based range) rounds May Sting to guarantee a strike with your stinger at +4 to hit and +2 penetration Cooldown: 25 (you will not strike with your stinger while this ability is cooling down) Cannot wear equipment on back+200 reputation with arachnids
|Back||Stinger (Confusing Venom) • Stinger (Poisoning Venom) • Wings||by|
|Stinger (Poisoning Venom)||3||You bear a tail with a stinger that delivers poisonous venom to your enemies.
20% chance on a melee attack to strike your opponent with your stinger (Ceiling(Level/2)+3) 1d(Floor(Level/2)+3) Stinger venom poisons opponent May Sting to guarantee a strike with your stinger at +4 to hit and +2 penetration Cooldown: 25 (you will not strike with your stinger while this ability is cooling down) Cannot wear equipment on back+200 reputation with arachnids
|Back||Stinger (Paralyzing Venom) • Stinger (Confusing Venom) • Wings||bz|
|Thick Fur||1||You are covered in a thick coat of fur, which protects you from the elements.
+4 Heat Resistance +4 Cold Resistance+100 reputation with apes
|Triple-jointed||4||Your joints stretch much further than usual, but your ligaments are weak.
+(2 + (Level - 1) / 2) Agility -(level based penalty) StrengthSmall chance to dodge a physical melee or ranged attack
|Two-headed||2||You have two heads.
Mental actions have (16 + 4 * Level)% lower action costsSmall chance each round to shake off a negative mental status effect
|Two-hearted||4||You have two hearts; you are much healthier but your complex circulatory system renders you slightly torpid.
+2 to +6 Toughness -3% to -9% QuicknessSmall chance each round you are badly wounded to regain some hit points
You travel over land at (1.5 + 0.5 * Level)x speed (36 + Level * 4)% reduced chance of becoming lost While outside, you may fly (you cannot be hit in melee by grounded creatures while flying) (0 or 6 - Level, whichever is greater)% chance of falling clumsily to the ground Cannot wear anything on back+400 reputation with birds and winged mammals
|Back||Stinger (Confusing Venom) • Stinger (Paralyzing Venom) • Stinger (Poisoning Venom)||b5|
Physical Defects[edit | edit source]
|Albino||-2||Your skin, hair, and eyes are absent of pigment. You regenerate hit points at one-fifth the usual rate in the daylight.||Photosynthetic Skin||ca|
|Amphibious||-3||Your skin must be kept moist with fresh water.
You pour water on yourself rather than drinking it to quench your thirst.
You require approximately 67% more water than usual.+100 reputation with frogs
|Analgesia||-2||You lack a developed sense of pain. You can only determine your general state of health and not your number of hit points.||cc|
|Beak||-2||Your face bears an unsightly beak.
You can't wear anything on your face.
You occasionally peck at your opponents.+300 reputation with birds
|Brittle Bones||-4||Your bones are brittle. You suffer 150% damage from falling, attacks made with cudgels, and other sources of concussive damage.||cf|
|Cold-Blooded||-2||Your vitality depends on your temperature; at higher temperatures, you are more lively. At lower temperatures, you are more torpid.
Your base quickness score is reduced by 10.
Your quickness increases as your temperature increases and decreases as your temperature decreases.+100 reputation with unshelled reptiles
|Electromagnetic Impulse||-2||You involuntarily release electromagnetic pulses, deactivating robots and artifacts around yourself. There is a small chance each round that you release an electromagnetic pulse with radius 3, deactivating robots and artifacts (including those you carry) for 11-20 rounds.||cg|
|Hemophilia||-4||Your blood does not clot easily. It takes much longer than usual for you to stop bleeding.||ch|
|Hooks for Feet||-4||You have hooks for feet.
Your move speed is reduced by 10.You cannot wear shoes.
|Myopia||-2||You are nearsighted. You can only see up to a radius of 4.||cj|
|Spontaneous Combustion||-3||You spontaneously erupt into flames. There is a small chance each round that you spontaneously erupt into flames.||cl|
Mental Mutations[edit | edit source]
|Beguiling||3||You beguile a nearby creature into serving you loyally.
Mental attack versus a creature with a mind Cooldown: 50 rounds Range: 1 Success roll: Ego modifier or mutation level (whichever is higher) X 2 + character level + 1d8 VS. Defender MA + character level + 5Beguiled creature: +(Level * 5) bonus hit points
|Burgeoning||3||You cause plants to spontaneously grow in a nearby area, hindering your enemies.
Cooldown: (115 - 10 * Level, minimum 5) rounds Range: 8 Area: 3x3 + growth into adjacent tiles+200 reputation with the Consortium of Phyta
|Clairvoyance||2||You briefly gain vision of a nearby area.
Cooldown: 75 Vision Radius: (3 + Level)(at Level ≥ 10, whole map)Vision duration: (Level * 2 + 16) turns.
|Confusion||3||You confuse nearby enemies.
Affected creatures act semi-randomly and receive a -(2 + Level) penalty to their mental abilities. Cooldown: 40 rounds Range: 8 squares Area: 3x3Duration: (5 + Level)d3 rounds
|Cryokinesis||5||You chill a nearby area with your mind.
Chills affected area over 3 rounds Cooldown: 50 rounds Range: 8 Area: 3x3 Round 1 Damage: (Level)d2/2 Round 2 Damage: (Level)d3/2Round 3 Damage: (Level)d4/2
|Disintegration||3||You disintegrate nearby matter.
Cooldown: 75 rounds Range: 0 Area: 7x7 around self Damage to non-structural matter: (Level)ld10 + (2 * Level) Damage to structural objects: (Level)d100+20You are exhausted for 3 rounds after using this power
|Domination||4||You garrote an adjacent creature's mind and control its actions while your own body lies dormant.
Mental attack versus creature with a mind Cooldown: 75 rounds Duration: (100 + 100 * Level) roundsRange: 1
|Ego Projection||2||Through sheer force of will, you perform uncanny physical feats.
Augments one physical attribute by an amount equal to twice your Ego bonus Cooldown: 200 roundsDuration: (4 + 2 * Level)d4+2 rounds
|Force Bubble||5||You generate a force field around your person.
Creates a 3x3 force field centered around yourself Cooldown: 100 rounds Duration: (9 + Level * 3) roundsYou may fire missile weapons through the force field
|Force Wall||3||You generate a wall of force that protects you from your enemies.
Creates 9 contiguous squares of immobile force field Cooldown: (108 - 8 * Level)(minimum 5) rounds Duration: 25 roundsYou may fire missile weapons through the force field
|Kindle||1||You ignite a small fire with your mind.
Cooldown: 50Range: 12
|Light Manipulation||4||You manipulate light to your advantage.
You produce ambient light within a radius of (4 + Floor(Level/2)) You may focus the light into a laser beam (doing so reduces the radius of your ambient light by 1) Laser damage increment: (Level based) Laser penetration bonus: ((Level - 1) / 2 + 4) Ambient light radius increases by 1 every 15 rounds until it reaches its maximum value(10 + 3 * Level)% chance to reflect light-based damage
|Mass Mind||4||You tap into the aggregate mind and steal power from other espers.
Refreshes all mental mutations Cooldown: 1050 - (40 * Ego modifier) - (50 * Level) rounds Small chance each round for another esper to steal your powers-200 reputation with the Seekers of the Sightless Way
|Mental Mirror||2||You reflect mental attacks back at your attackers.
Reflects up to (Level) mental attacks Shatters when all reflection charges are exhaustedRefreshes to full charge 50 rounds after shattering
|Precognition||4||You peer into your near future.
May revert to the point in time when you first used this power Cooldown: 500 roundsDuration between use and reversion: (12 + 4 * Level) rounds
|Psychometry||4||You read the history of artifacts by touching them, learning what they do and how they were made.
Unerringly identifies an artifact up to complexity tier [Mutation Level/2 + 4]
Bestows the ability to construct an identified artifact up to complexity tier [(Mutation Level - 1) / 2 + 2] (must have the appropriate Tinker power)You may open security doors upon touching them.
|Pyrokinesis||5||You toast a nearby area with your mind.
Toasts affected area over 3 rounds Cooldown: 50 rounds Range: 8 Area: 3x3 Round 1 Damage: (Level)d3 divided by 2 Round 2 Damage: (Level)d4 divided by 2Round 3 Damage: (Level)d6 divided by 2
|Sense Psychic||1||You can sense when others tap the psychic aether.
You detect the presence of psychic enemies within a radius of 9Chance to identify nearby detected enemies
|Space-Time Vortex||3||You sunder spacetime, sending things nearby careening through a tear in the cosmic fabric.
Summons a vortex that extinguishes everything in its path Cooldown: (550 - 50 * Level), minimum 5 rounds You may enter the vortex to teleport to a random location in Qud Bonus duration: (Level - 10) rounds+200 reputation with highly entropic beings
|Stunning Force||4||You invoke a concussive force in a nearby area, throwing enemies backward and stunning them.
Cooldown: 50 rounds Range: 8 Area: 7x7 Creatures are pushed away from center of blast, stunned, and dealt crushing damage in up to 3 incrementsDamage increment: 1d(Level)
|Sunder Mind||4||You sunder the mind of an enemy, leaving them reeling in pain.
Mental attack versus creature with a mind Cooldown: 30 rounds Range: sightDamage increment: (2d(Level+3) if ≤ 9, 2d12+(2 + (Level - 10) * 2 ≥ 10)
|Syphon Vim||3||You bond with a nearby creature and leech its life force.
Mental attack versus an organic creature Cooldown: 200 rounds Duration: 20 roundsDrains (Level) hit points per round
|Telepathy||1||You may communicate with others through the psychic aether.
Chat with anyone in vision (but not trade unless you are next to them)Takes much less time to direct companions
|Teleport Other||2||You teleport an adjacent creature to a random nearby location. Cooldown: (115 - 10 * Level), minimum 5 rounds||dy|
|Teleportation||5||You teleport to a nearby location. Cooldown: (125 - 10 * Level), minimum 5 rounds||dx|
|Temporal Fugue||5||You quickly pass back and forth through time creating multiple copies of yourself.
Cooldown: 200 rounds Duration: (20 + 2 * (Level / 2)) roundsCopies: (Level - 1) / 2 + 1
|Time Dilation||4||You distort time around your person in order to slow down your enemies.
Creatures within 9 tiles are slowed according to how close they are to you. Cooldown: 125 rounds Duration: 15 rounds Distance 1: creatures receive a (0.032 * (Level + 0.0085) * 100)% Quickness penalty Distance 4: creatures receive a (0.0125 * (Level + 0.0085) * 100)% Quickness penaltyDistance 7: creatures receive a (0.002 * (Level + 0.0085) * 100)% Quickness penalty
Mental Defects[edit | edit source]
|Amnesia||-3||You forget things and places in your immediate past. Anything you have not seen in the last 20 rounds disappears from your map.||ea|
|Blinking Tic||-3||You teleport about uncontrollably. There is a small chance each round that you randomly teleport to a nearby location.||eb|
|Evil Twin||-3||Acting on some inscrutable impulse, a parallel version of yourself travels through space and time to destroy you. Each time you embark on a new location, there is a small chance that a parallel version of yourself has tracked you down and attempts to destroy you.||ec|
|Narcolepsy||-4||You fall asleep involuntarily from time to time. There is a small chance each round that you fall asleep for 20-29 rounds.||ed|
|Pack Rat||-4||You compulsively lug around everything you can.
You must maintain at least 90% of your carry capacity.
You cannot drop items if dropping them would reduce your weight beneath this requirement.
You suffer one point of damage each round you do not maintain this requirement.You can only drop one set of items every 10 rounds.
|Socially Repugnant||-2||Others find it difficult to tolerate you in social settings. Merchants charge you five times the usual prices for their wares and will only pay one-fifth the usual prices for your wares.||ef|
|Unwelcome Germination||-4||You spasmodically engender wild plant growth around yourself for a short period.
There is a small chance each round that you enter into a compulsive state of mind for 30-39 rounds.During this time, there is a 25% chance each round that you summon several hostile plants nearby.