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"Physiomancy is frequently credited as a healing art. This reputation is deserved, as its primary application is the knitting of broken flesh. But most students of the arcane do not fully appreciate that Physiomancy is merely a neutral manipulation of live flesh. As readily as it can be used to knit, it can be used to tear."

This is, quite literally, the power to manipulate biology and biological lifeforms (mostly animals, usually not plants), also referred to as biomancy, biokinesis, fleshwarping, fleshcrafting and more. Depending on the setting and the power level, it may vary in range (long-range vs. strictly hands-on), comprehensiveness (e.g., can only affect humans), or scope (e.g., limited to the user's own biology).

This is potentially a very broad power, with its capabilities including, but not limited to:note  Healing Hands and/or Healing Factor, Psychic Surgery, Shapeshifting, Shapeshifter Weapon, Bio-Augmentation and/or Body Horror. Usually a Lovecraftian Superpower when wielded by bad guys.

Super-Trope of Master of Your Domain, which is when you manipulate your own biology.

Compare with Organic Technology and Artistic License – Biology. Compare also Creating Life, where you can outright create biological lifeforms instead of just manipulating them.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover: Dante's Body Magic allows him to repair and alter his physique.
  • Castle Town Dandelion: Hikari has this as one application of her Royalty Superpower. God's Hand allows her to manipulate the growth of any living thing, plant and animal, with the caveat that when so affected, it's stuck that way for twenty-four hours. In practice, she just uses this to age her body up to adulthood and mess with Akane.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: The scope of Mahito's ability to reshape human flesh, including his own, runs the full course between Healing Hands, Shapeshifting and Bio-Augmentation as long as he can get his hands on someone. Too bad his view on turning people into Junji Ito monstrosities and sprouting weaponized limbs mid-battle is just about the same as on the other things he enjoys like playing board games or football. When Mahito doesn't have time to "play" with his victim, he'll simply aim to make their body explode.
  • Naruto: Orochimaru's experiments let Jugo manipulate his own flesh in various ways. Aside from Voluntary Shapeshifting (including partially) into a powerful monstrous form, he can heal himself by absorbing another person's flesh, or heal others by donating his cells.
  • One Piece: Emporio Ivankov's Devil Fruit lets him create and inject hormones with an enormous variety of effects, including an instant sex change, adrenaline boost, and healing acceleration.
  • Keyaru's loosely-defined "healing" skills in Redo of Healer amounts to the ability to scan and manipulate bodies, so he can do almost anything like copying someone else's skills, altering their memories, or even inflicting grievous harm, which go far beyond the scope of the typical "healer" role.
  • Susanoo: Both Shingo and Uryu use it, the former to turn his body into a muscled colossus in his Superpowered Evil Side (and to turn Aunuma into a mouse) and the latter to turn himself into a woman.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU: The obscure superhero B'wana Beast, and his successor Freedom Beast, have the power to merge two animals into a bizarre hybrid form.
  • ElfQuest: Winnowill started out as a healer, but over time became able to shapeshift herself and create mutant monstrosities.
  • Empowered: Fleshmaster is one of these, capable of some rather versatile tricks including healing, LEGO Genetics, and shapeshifting. He started out as a superhero but found little success and was known mostly for being a Casanova Wannabe (the common joke was saying he was the master of his own flesh and nobody else's), until he ended up on the receiving end of a Carrie esque humiliation. This resulted in him disappearing, training up his abilities, and reinventing himself as Pintsized Powerhouse hero dWARf!, before ultimately becoming a supervillain out of revenge. Towards the end of his career, he'd become particularly horrifying.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Alpha Flight: The villain Scramble the Mixed-Up Man (a.k.a. Dr. Lionel Jeffries) can heal most non-lethal wounds with his touch, but he can also turn people into misshapen lumps of flesh if he so desires. Having gone insane after attempting to put dismembered dead soldiers back together and failing to revive them, he decidedly skews toward the latter, until his brother Madison forces Lionel to use his powers on his own brain, apparently curing him. However, when Lionel's attempt to give double-amputee Roger Bochs new legs failed (due to him using a cadaver's legs, which subsequently decayed), he absorbs Roger into his own body and became the monstrous Omega, before he's ultimately killed by Madison using Roger's Box robot.
    • Captain Britain and MI13: Faiza Hussain has the ability to control, disassemble, and reassemble anything on an atomic level, including people. She can use this ability to take people apart by the limbs, organs, and bones, or use it to heal them.
    • New Warriors: Coronary of Psionex has the power to manipulate other people's biometabolic processes, allowing him to cause migraines, muscle spasms, stomach upsets, and other things. Eventually, his powers evolved to the point he could affect his own body allowing him to perform feats like phasing through solid matter and stretching his limbs.
    • New X-Men: Academy X: Elixir can manipulate another person's cells with a touch. He primarily uses it to heal his teammates, but sometimes he can also use it offensively such as by giving his enemies tumors. He's classified as "Omega level", which implies this is the bare minimum of his potential, and he would have stayed that way if the Stepford Cuckoos never telepathically transcribed all of Hank McCoy's knowledge of biology into him. In an alternate future shown in Venom: The End, Venom, who has access to his and every other mutant's powers, uses his ability to genetically engineer mutant clone armies whose powers are far stronger or specific than their originals, making "meat gardens" out of entire planets.
    • X-Men: Minor Morlock member Masque has the ability to physically reshape other living creatures with a touch, although he can't use his powers on himself — to his dismay, as he's a mutant with a disfigured face. In a Cerebus Retcon, it was established that most of the Morlocks actually weren't originally hideously deformed, but Masque reshaped all mutants who joined the group in order to make it harder for them to be able to leave the Morlocks and thus betray them, as he was something of a sadist. He was responsible for the brief period of time in which Callisto, the Morlock leader, traded her once-human arms for clusters of boneless green tentacles.
  • Rat Queens: Voon creates the Flesher orcs with torturous vicissitude and a very high casualty rate. Survivors have natural weapons and a carapace harder than steel.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars: This kind of power isn't unheard of in the Galaxy.
    • Revenge of the Sith: One key example occurs when Palpatine asks Anakin Skywalker if he's ever heard of "the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise". He claims it's an old legend about a Sith Lord who was so skilled at controlling life that he could create life itself and even stop others from dying, something the Jedi had no idea about. Palpatine leaves out the detail that Plagueis was, in fact, his own master, and that the apprentice who murdered Plagueis was himself. And that since he lived recently, it's entirely possible that Plagueis created Anakin, who has no biological father.
    • In Star Wars Legends (the former Expanded Universe), Jedi can use this power to heal themselves or others of wounds, rather than unethical genetic engineering experiments like the Sith like to do.

  • A Bad Place to Be a Hero: This world's version of "necromancy" includes any supernatural modification of the human body, including healing. Werewolves and vampires are the result of illegal and unscrupulous necromantic experiments, and it's said that most of them either don't survive their first transformation, or end up horribly disfigured.
  • The Blood Ladders: Female magic is based around the body while male magic affects the external world. Female magic is usually used for healing or transformation but it's discovered that it can be used for destructive purposes as well, and since the magic doesn't care whether the "body" in question is alive or not it proves to be one of the more effective weapons against the undead.
  • Dungeon Engineer: From the third chapter, "Minion Modification", when Ike figures out how his ability to do this works:
    I think I know what's going on here. The giant gnats are probably the offspring of the original, with the changes I made only expressing themselves after a generation. She probably laid eggs on the patch of ground I told her to wait on.
  • Liminal World: Taggart can use his power at range but it works a lot better when he's touching the target. He is referred to as healer by most people he meets but given that we see him stripping the myelin off people's nerves, redirecting their stomach acid to places stomach acid should never go, growing gills, and armoring his own body in multiple layers of callused skin, he is clearly far more than that.
  • Perdido Street Station: Biotaumaturgy is magic through which flesh can be altered and reshaped. It's most notably used to turn criminals, political dissidents, and other undesirables into the Remade, whose bodies have been twisted into grotesque shapes to serve the roles they have been enslaved to fulfill.
  • The Rook: This is the power of Myfanwy, the protagonist. She's able to use it in a variety of creative and lethal ways after her amnesia.
  • Shadow Ops: Physiomancers can use their power to heal, harm, warp, or augment their own flesh or that of others as their skills permit
  • Wild Seed: Anyanwu. Her healing powers are just a subset of her actual capabilities. Anyanwu is a healer but, as she gained experience, she learned to heal others and transform into various animal forms.
  • Worm: Panacea pretends to be just a healer, but it becomes clear that, excluding her own body, she make organic matter do anything with just a touch and a few seconds of thought. Notably, she refuses to treat brain injuries, because The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body and she doesn't trust herself with the power to change people's personalities or thoughts. The moment she actually learns how to do so, she "accidentally" places a family member under More than Mind Control.

    Live-Action TV 


    Tabletop Games 
  • Æon: The Aesculapians and the Norça both have this power, split in half: The Aesculapians can psionically manipulate living bodies, both their own and other people's, in order to heal or hurt them, while the Norça can psionically manipulate their bodies in order to do things like disguise themselves or grow gills or Wolverine Claws to better survive a situation.
  • Demon: The Fallen: Devourers with Lore and Visage of The Flesh can use evocations to shape flesh, bone, and manipulate the nervous system to empower mortals or mutate them into horrific monsters, as well as heal any ailments and even regrow lost limbs. They must physically touch a target to do this, however.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The concept of powerful wizards being able to shape and manipulate flesh with magic often features in the background lore for various monsters throughout D&D's editions and settings, but the ability is rarely placed directly into player's hands, due to the ease with which it could be abused.
    • The Sarrukh Creator Race had the ability to shape and alter non-Sarrukh reptilian creatures. This serves as an explanation for the sheer variety of reptilian creatures in the Forgotten Realms, often with only minor differences to other types — the standard Sarrukh solution to a new problem was making a new creature to solve it.
    • The Daelkyr of Eberron are particularly renowned for their skill at twisting life to suit their own purposes, be they practical (creating Slave Races) or just out of their own warped senses of aesthetics.
    • Second edition had a wizard kit called a merlane, who specialised in altering animal biology, ranging from unnatural fur colour to creating things like owlbears.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Fleshwarping is a process through which the appearance and biology of a living creature are altered, sometimes drastically, through magical and alchemical means. It's a very common practice among the drow, who learned of it from Haagenti, the demon lord of alchemy and change, and comes in two distinct types:
      • Fleshcrafting is the less extreme variant, where only a relatively minor part of a being is altered. It's often done at the request of a willing patient, who will use it to grow some new appendage — scorpion claws, spider fangs, a chitinous shell, an eyestalk, and so on — to suit their current purposes. These can be temporary changes that will wither and fall off after a while or can be permanent additions.
      • True fleshwarping involves the submersion of the subject into a brew of mutagens, alchemical reagents, and flesh-eating bacteria, which will reshape, warp, and replace the victim's tissues until they either die or emerge into a new and usually grotesque shape. There's a strong pattern regarding the fleshwarp created by a specific "input" — fleshwarped drow always become driders, for instance, while elves become horrific, barely mobile and pain-wracked horrors of twisted flesh and broken bone, humans turn into mindless slug-like beings, gnomes into fleshy, immobile, mushroom-like things, orcs into centaurine centipede people, and so on.
    • Alghollthus naturally secrete a slime that can be used to cause physiological changes in both the alghollthus themselves and other creatures, or to serve as a substrate for more fine-tuned genetic engineering. They have historically made prolific use of this, shaping themselves into a variety of specialized forms and transforming other creatures into a variety of servants, soldiers, and guardian monsters.
  • Trinity: The Aesculapians and the Norça both have this power, split in half: The Aesculapians can manipulate other people's (and their own) bodies psionically in order to heal them or hurt them, while the Norça can manipulate their bodies psionically in order to do things like disguise themselves or grow gills (or Wolverine Claws) to better survive a situation.
  • Unknown Armies has the magical school of Epideromancy, which is entirely built around this power. Adepts of this school can heal any injury that is not self-inflicted and can reshape themselves and others if they have enough charges. Those walking the Avatar path of the Archetype known as the Freak also have the ability to warp flesh intuitively in the same manner as Epideromancers; the tie-in novel Godwalker shows the current Freak using its powers to engage in Voluntary Shapeshifting and Gendershifting, as well as healing itself and others.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Tzimisce power of Vicissitude allows them to warp flesh and bone at will and even graft on body parts from other creatures.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Biomancers are able to mold flesh for shapeshifting or healing, channel the Warp into their own body for superhuman speed, strength, and toughness, or direct their natural electrical field into crackling bolts of lightning.

    Video Games 
  • Fallen London: Shapeling Arts, a power that allows for the manipulation of biomatter alive and dead with the right tools and energies, is one of the game's Advanced Skills. You use it for a variety of things from changing yourself on the fly (shifting your organs around to avoid a stab, passing yourself through small holes and non-Euclidean barriers) to merging skeletons together into ever more interesting forms in order to sell them later. Rubbery Men are the original experts and mentors in the area, and their Amber pieces are essentially the "batteries" where they keep the necessary energies.
  • The central mechanic of Misshapen is the player's ability to make enemies grow misshapen tumorous growths from their body, which come in a few different varieties such as sticky, heavy, or floating. This is mostly used for puzzle-solving and incapacitating enemies.

  • Aurora (2019): Life mages can encourage the growth of living things, which can be used for healing. It is also possible to use life magic to create chimeras, but doing so is forbidden.
  • Blood is Mine: Jane can control anything and anyone her blood is inside of, which includes manipulating their biology, such as numbing their pain, reproducing the effects of certain drugs, and healing their wounds. Thale, who has similar powers but lacks any conscience, can manipulate his victims in a far more visceral ways.
  • Wayward Sons: This is ship physician Hara's power, and she can even alter people affected by the Star Core. This power has also been prophetically linked to her eventual death.

  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-040 ("Evolution's Child") has the anomalous ability of manipulating living matter. She uses it to modify existing life forms to create new ones. Her creations include SCP-040-1a (a Voluntary Shapeshifter she wears like a sweater, formerly a cat), SCP-040-1c (a Living Gasbag that can play music), and SCP-040-1j (a four-legged, eyeless creature that can Wall Crawl). This ability extends to reanimating dead bodies, although the resuscitated person had no memories of their former life and the intelligence of a toddler.
    • This is the hat of the Sarkic cults, a Religion of Evil that venerates material power, especially over flesh. They stole it from the Daevites, an equally evil Predecessor Villain whom the Sarkicist slave uprising overthrew. Sarkic articles and stories usually revolve around monsters (or even buildings) that used to be people, and their Karcist high priests often transform themselves into full-on Humanoid Abominations.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Biokinesis, The Biomancer, Biomancy


Joseph Bertrand III

Bertrand is a conduit that can turn people into monsters.

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Main / Biomanipulation

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