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Maggie Finson wrote this article as part of Questions and Answers: Power Categories; Complications and beyond is added material.

One of the stranger types of powers, manifesting can bring a substance into existence, and often manipulate it. The obvious example here of a Manifestor (sometimes misspelled Manifester) would be Beltane, but a less obvious one would be "Colossus", Piotyr Rasputin of the X-Men. He can "manifest" the "steel" that surrounds him, which he can manipulate to be stronger and almost indestructible.

There are two different types of Manifestors:

Manifesting depends on the 'type' of manifesting. If you are talking about manifesting in the style of Beltane... it is ALL made of other dimensional goop... ectoplasm. None of it actually does 'anything' that it appears to, the whole experience is generated by the mental construct imposed on it. In that case, you could make it look like the ectoplasmic critter spit lightning... but the lightning itself would also be ectoplasm. You might be able to hit someone with a 'near miss' lightning bolt that is all force and no burning and trick them into thinking it were the real thing. But you won't actually shock/burn them with it.
The other type of manifestation creates simple true physical items. Often armor, a shield, or a weapon. Nothing complex, moving parts or ammunition, energy weapons, etc... don't make sense in the context of this sort of manifestation. Some forms of this are more organic than others... scales, bark, bone, etc.[1]

Effects covered more easily under other categories are not listed as being "manifested" (such as Mega-Girl's TK shell, which is probably 90% TK and 10% "other stuff," but usually gets listed as a pure TK power). Many other manifestation-like effects are usually classified as TK variants (pyrokinesis, cryokinesis).

Over half the manifestors create armor, weapons, or tools. The first classification of the manifestor is the 'durability' of the produced substance. This is matched against several other scales (such as the TK), to indicate the strength needed to alter or damage the manifested material:

Force to Dent
Level 0 < 1 lb
Level 1 50 lbs
Level 2 200 lbs
Level 3 1 ton
Level 4 5 tons
Level 5 20 tons
Level 6 100 tons

Heat to Damage
Level 0 sparks, embers
Level 1 big cigarette lighter
Level 2 Bunsen burner on high
Level 3 flamethrower
Level 4 volcanic heat
Level 5 surface of the sun
Level 6 nuclear blast

Next involves the link to the caster themselves. Creating armor for yourself is useful, creating armor at will that you can pass around to equip an army is far more useful.

a Always connected to the body (merged with body)
b Can stretch away from the body (but contact remains)
c Completely separate and independent from body

The last category is usually omitted, except for the weirder cases. Some manifestations have independent intelligence: almost a sort of summoned being. Perhaps this is some stranger ability, but due to its rarity it gets lumped under the already-rare classification of "manifestor".

(omitted) Simple physical substance
x Pre-programmed reactions
y Animal level independent behavior
z Human level (or higher) independent operation


Manifesting is not without its downsides. The most common is MATD, Manifestation Augmented Tissue Deformity. This happens when a manifested shell induces changes in the mutant's body. Those are usually undesirable and commonly mistaken by the layman as a case of GSD. Kaiju and Beltane are two known cases of MATD.

A lesser complication is exemplified by Britomart. Her manifested carapace does not dissolve on its own, but must be painfully peeled away -- taking with it every hair on the student's body.

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