All this talk about psionics and occult transhumanist conspiracies made me think of a couple of related ideas I’ve had perculating in the back of my mind for a long time. My writing and gaming schedule is tight and there’s a lot of stuff competing for attention so its not likely that this will result in anything tangible, but at least I scribbled down these fragments.
Edit: I went back and made some changes and collected it all in a Google doc that I can make running updates to.
The New Flesh
There is a secret war for the evolution of the human race. Cults, corporations and government agencies conspire and compete to find hidden power and shape the future in their own image. The player characters constitute one such cabal. Adventures are primarily city based and focus on intrigue, mysteries and heists but also “dungeon crawls” in secret labs and cult compounds.
Recommended films: Scanners, Pi, Altered states, Tetsuo, Tetsuo II: Iron Man, Akira, Videodrome
Roll a d8 twice each for the paradigm (world view) and methods (practical techniques) that constitute the cults way to achieve paranormal abilities and evolve into a posthuman state of being. The players may roll or choose the defining paradigm and methods of the PC cabal. Once a day a character may perform the practices of his or her cabal to provoke an episode of protoplasmic mutation (see below).
|2||Matrix / Virtual Reality||Yoga / Meditation|
|3||Nephilim mythos||Lucid dreaming|
|4||Singularity / Omega Point||Ecstatic pain|
|5||Parallell worlds||Ritual sex|
|6||Quantum mysticism||Alternative medicin|
Paranormal abilities such as telepathy, psychokinesis, clairvoyance, pyrokinesis, astral projection, etc. Check out Courtney Campbell’s Psionics or PX1 Basic Psionics Handbook.
The path towars transhuman godhod is perrilous and at times of stress the PC can temporarily revert to a state of chaotic prima materia. This risk is measured by the Protean Factor, which starts at 1. When a PC uses a paranormal ability, suffers damage or is put under stress you roll a d10. If the result is greater than the PF nothing happens but PF rises by 1. If the die roll is equal to or lower than the PF the PC undergoes a protoplasmic mutation, roll for 1d4 random mutations. The mutations will remain for a number of minutes equal to PF x 10, after which the PC reverts to his or her normal state. If the die roll is 5 steps or more beneath the PF the PC spontaneously develops a random new power and retains the mutations as permanent features of his or her being.
For mutation tables, see The Metamorphica.