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Pathogen: The Infected

A storytelling game of biological horror


Pathogen: The Infected
Adam J. Thaxton

Prologue: Body Heat

Introduction

1 : Outbreak

2 : Infection
(Character)

3 : Mutation
(Special Rules)

4 : Evolution
(Storytelling & Antagonists)
World of Darkness

Pathogen: the Infected

Heat.

The office was stuffy; warmth was filling Will's core as he watched Susan go over the net from last week.
He needed a drink. Glancing around quickly, he noticed the others around the table working with collars
and huffing in the air. A look at Susan revealed she was chipper as ever. Pursing her lips, she looked up
at the thermostat and walked over to the plastic box.

She turned the heat up.

He coughed once, and she looked back at him, nodding, and went back to her figures. She tapped the
chart a few more times until one of the men raised his hand, the lights casting a visible sheen on his
forehead.

"Miss Carter, is that all for today?" he asked.

She fixed him with a gaze that could have frozen mercury, and he slumped back to his legal pad. A bead
of sweat dropped onto Will's own packet as he faded away. She'd thought to make them out of plastic,
like she'd planned this.

"Mister Masterson?" he heard her say.

He squinted and looked up.

"Please pay attention at the next meeting," she growled, narrowing her lips.

"Does that mean?" he began, watching the other men get up.

"Yes, I'm done here," she nodded, staking up her papers.

He breathed a sigh of relief. If he never saw another efficiency expert again, it would be too soon. She
walked over to his chair, running her hand over the back as he got up. She rubbed her fingers together.

"Sweat much?" she asked.

"Well," he said, looking for a way out, "it was pretty hot in here, you know."

"Really?" she wandered to the thermostat, "it's set at seventy-five."

He took in a breath. She walked out, humming to herself. He snatched up his packet and hurried back to
his desk. Lifting a hand to the ducts, he took note of the now-cool air blowing through, and sat down to
finish his work.

At the end of the day, he called out to Watkins for an early leave and punched out when he got his
permission. The parking garage was dim, the light for elevator three flickering. The tapped the bulb with
his finger briefly, and the light flared.
Nodding curtly, he stuffed his hands in his pockets to search for his keys. He turned, and Susan was
there, smiling. He shivered.

"Sorry, didn't see you there," he said, backing up a bit.

"It's alright," she smiled, sticking out a hand, "I was impressed when your boss showed me your desk.
Very orderly."

He took her hand; it was clammy.

"I hate orderly," she said.

"Odd thing to say for an efficiency expert," he replied, narrowing his eyes.

"You'd think that, but in my line of work, I require something to work with. You know how it is, don't you,
William?"

He nodded, but didn't see it. Inside, he was getting hot again. He gaped, pulling at his collar. She started
walking away from him. The inside of his hand tingled. He pulled out his keys, stumbling toward his car.
The heat spiked, and he ripped off his work jacket and spilled into the driver's seat, turning the ignition
and blasting the air as cold as he could.

His breath quickened. He wasn't getting any colder. He slammed on the gas, peeling out of the garage at
top speed. He was impatient, screaming at the other drivers from within his car. At home, he pounded up
the stairs, panting, tearing off shirt, tie, suspenders, pulling at his own hair.

The shower was cold, as was the ice he'd hastily dumped on the bottom of the tub, but he felt only stings
of pain, streams of heat streaking over his skin. The world grew bright, his eyes threatening to pull
themselves out of his skull. He let out a single scream of frustration.

Cold.
Introduction
I'm not feeling so good.
There was blood in my vomit this morning. The doctor says there's nothing wrong
with me.
There's a little girl across the street. I think it's a little girl.
She's been watching me for three days.
I think she wants something from me.

We like to believe we are in control of our own bodies, that all we do is somehow an
affirmation of our own superiority over ourselves. The truth is far more insidious. We are held
hostage by our own bodies, and the subversion and control is so complete we often don't even
realize it in our daily lives.
Our hearts beat, our lungs breathe, our eyes blink, our muscles twitch, and our bodily
functions and systems operate without our conscious consent. They could stop at any time, and
while we may be able to sublimate our breathing for a long time, we will, eventually, draw in that
ever important breath.
Ever more frightening, then, is that even this lack of control can be subverted by bacteria,
viruses, and parasites beyond our flesh. It's an invasion of being, a rape of life so common we
simply shrug and accept its existence as normal. We can fill ourselves with vitamins, medicines
and eat "healthy" all we want, but the inevitable will occur. We will get sick, and there's nothing
we can do about it.

A Game of Lost Control


Over seventy percent of the human body is water. Seventy percent of what's left is made
up of fungi, viruses, bacteria, endosymbiotes, and other forms of life that are not technically part
of our forms. If most of these are removed, we die. The humble mitochondria, for example, are a
prokaryotic entity that possesses its own genetic code, but neither animal nor plant could exist
without them, and they could not live without the parentage of their keeper cell. Human infants
produce massive quantities of a virus that suppress the mother's immune system, allowing the
child to survive those ravages. As we are born, live, and die, these systems do, as well, but they
do so at a rate far faster than our own, and thus, they evolve at a breakneck pace compared to
ourselves. What if these interconnecting systems that are not controlled by the human mind attain
a consciousness to call their own?
In Pathogen, a human has been awakened to a new biology, a morphological mutation of
unknown nature not understood or acknowledged by medical science. It cannot be detected by
medical means, at least, not at first, but by the time it's gone that far, the powers have awakened,
the human has been inducted into the society, and it's too late to turn back.
Even more sinister, when the once-human tries to alert others of his new condition, he is
driven by unknown desires to keep the infection a secret, avoiding doctors subconsciously and
actively destroying evidence of his own existence. Even then, when the victim manages to break
from this cycle of subconscious control, his very body betrays him, and he loses consciousness,
only to discover that he's been someone else while he's been out.

Monsters Inside
Once, long ago, the world was full of monsters. Every dark shadow had one, every corner
a potential lair for the hideous beasts of the world. Then, one day, the monsters grew to such
prominence that one day someone brought a monster home and called it a puppy. After that,
humans spread like wildfire, taming, ripping, tearing, and burning what couldn't be brought under
the sway of rope and spear. Monsters slowly vanished until the modern day, and yet people still
insist that monsters exist. They say that monsters never went away, that they just went into
hiding, and that the monsters are still out there. They're right, in a way. They're just looking in the
wrong place. The monsters are real, and they are there. They're inside, and they're just waiting
for the right moment to come out.
Perhaps that is why an infected individual goes off the deep end, or perhaps that is why
infected are prone to blacking out and waking up in the middle of other tasks, uncertain of how
they arrived there. The Mutation subversion alone seems to bear this out, each further form a
step away from the human inside and closer to the beast. They pathogen may be the monster, or
it may just be the vector by which the monster is set free.

Monsters Outside
Sometimes the creatures infected by the pathogen cease to be what they are in totality.
This occurs most often when plants or animals are infected, though in more than a few cases the
monster that is man becomes something more terrible, with features reminiscent of its own inner
demon. The human mind is easily sublimated by instinct, smell, and the animal hiding inside.
When the ruling order is turned inside-out, and the man is consumed by the monster, the flesh
will follow. Mutant beasts stalk the corridors of the night, from shuffling, zombie-like entities to
twisted human or animal forms that hunt for living, breathing flesh.
In a few cases, these monsters resemble beasts of legend, such as three-headed dogs,
scale-covered monsters with wings, or massive worms. Otherwise, they are sticky with patchy
flesh, overgrown hair, large eyes, and other features vaguely resembling their original forms.
They are driven with a biological imperative to feed on organic matter, from plant to animal to
human, and their territories are often devoid of life if they have been active for too long. Such
creatures are called Chimeras, and they actively seek out the infected as their most preferred
prey.

Blood and Sex


The monster of the body is grotesque and captivating, erotic and gory. For all the blood,
bile, snot, and bone of the human figure, we are entranced by its movements. The flow and pulse
of life is sweet and inviting, however filled with terrible promises it may be. In films where the
monster is a mutated human form, entreaties to the humanity still left are made, and so many
ultimately end in failure. The monster uses its mutations in unsubtle and horrific ways, using sex
to draw in its prey and its spines or tendrils to choke the life from those it captures. From the
female protagonist of David Cronenberg's Rabid to the Giger's creature in Species, the genre is
stuffed with sensual and horrific beings and imagery.
In addition, biological horror is visceral. Not merely content to splatter blood on the wall
and call it a day, biological horror rends the flesh and twists the organs, stringing bile-soaked
pieces of the brain across mutated innards, growing the ribs into legs with which to skitter away
from the growing pool of mucous beneath. Worms devour the skin in an exaggerated parody of
myiasis, tentacles sprouting from the inside of the sinuses and throat choke the victim to death,
and ordinary humans are driven to eat the flesh of their fellows by urges implanted by strange
invaders. This is not the blood-drinking of the vampire or the visceral terror of a werewolf
devouring a corpse, this is the brutality of a human being coerced by their own instincts to devour
another living being.

Theme: Body Horror


The body horror or "biological horror" genre was explored in the decades before the
1980s with films such as It! The Terror From Beyond Space and Voyage of the Space Beagle,
and the true depth of the genre perhaps began with films like Alien and The Thing. Recently,
media like Parasite Eve and Slither have added new spectrums to the genre at large. Body horror
focuses on radical physical transformations, mutations, and invasion of the body by malicious
organisms or disease. Body horror merges aspects of psychological horror with these themes,
and the changes are often uncontrolled or fought with varying degrees of success (usually with no
success at all). In Pathogen, then, it is a Theme. An Infected character fights not for his or her
soul, but for the body, constantly seeking to take control of the silent, unknowable thing with
which they now share their corporeal form.

Mood: Anxiety
As an Infected progresses further in the road to complete understanding and symbiosis,
he grows further removed from humanity. Resonance climbs, and the human becomes something
new, something other, trying desperately to come back to what he or she once was but too
transformed to continue living a normal life, with needs and wants that seem at once familiar and
all too alien. The horror of becoming something wholly other, a near slave to the needs of the
body, reshaped beyond the control of the mind by something to which you cannot communicate
begins to grate on the victim, causing him or her to subconsciously lash out at others, or is it the
parasite itself doing such things to the victim? Separation of the body and mind and the infected
from society progress until the gulf is so wide one cannot see the other side to tell the difference
between land and sea.

Movies
The body horror genre is almost exclusively a by-product of the 1980s, having been spawned by
the likes of David Cronenberg and other directors seeking more shock-related horror than
anything with depth. As the directors moved toward more serious studies of the body and the
implications of this sort of transformation, films about alien hand syndrome, the Capgras delusion,
and others began to appear until at last, the genre slowly began to die out, and is now consigned
to the bargain bin and low-grade action flicks.
Alien is always a classic; check out the director's cut – also note that the alien was
originally supposed to be turning the crew into eggs.
In The Brood, a woman gives parthenogenic birth to strange and inhuman creatures that
act out her repressed aggressive behaviors.
In the Stuart Gordon film From Beyond (an adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft short story),
a scientist is hideously transformed by otherworldly creatures and begins to prey on the others in
the laboratory.
The Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a true classic about the spread of communism and
its looming specter, but also about the loss of control to an external, alien entity – or maybe that's
the same thing.
In Nightbreed by David Cronenberg, a group of monsters living in a fictional city defend
themselves from the real monster that is humanity.
Resident Evil – The film series. An unscrupulous corporation creates a virus that's
supposed to do one thing, but instead tends to animate the dead, and they shrug and move
forward with the project anyway.
Shivers is a film directed by David Cronenberg about worm-like parasites that drive
humans to acts of madness and sexual promiscuity.
Slither is certainly a film about the loss of control of the body due to the invasive actions
of a parasite.
Society, directed by Brian Yuzna. The rich literally feed on the poor in this film about a
separate species of intelligent life that lives among humans.
Tetsuo: the Iron Man is an incredibly gory film about a man slowly turning into a pile of
hideous, malformed, flesh-enhanced junk. The scene with the girlfriend is probably one of the
freakiest scenes ever put to film.
John Carpenter's The Thing, based on John W. Campbell Jr's novella Who Goes There?
is quite possibly the crowning achievement of the body horror genre, encompassing all aspects of
the genre itself into a single film with questions about identity and the true master of the human
body.
Videodrome is about a man who tunes in to a strange television channel and slowly
breaks down as the world around him and he himself changes shape. One of the film's
sequences is the primary inspiration for Sadako's entrance in The Ring.

Other Things
In Ray Bradbury's short story Fever Dream, a young boy is afraid that his body is being
taken over by a strange microbe (starting with his hand), and his parents, doctor, and others
won't believe his cries.
Frank Herbert's novel Hellstrom's Hive is an insight into a world of humans who have
chosen to live like social insects, the genetic controls they place upon themselves, and the terror
that can be unleashed when the ultimate communist society exists – the procreative stump alone
is a horror for any woman.
In the Japanese novel Parasite Eve (and its video game sequel), human endosymbiotes
become endoparasites, and all manner of havoc breaks loose as they attempt to artificially evolve
humanity to become a more perfect host.
The Resident Evil series of games follows the monkeyshines of a corporation concerned
with profit at any cost, even if that cost includes hordes of undead, mutated monsters loose in the
world. Especially if that's the cost.
Chapter One: Outbreak
Fever's gone down today.
I keep hearing whispers behind my back. The old women at the store keep talking
about me.
I wrote a note while I was sick. It's written in a language I don't know on the
back of a cocktail napkin for a bar that I've never been to; it looks more like funny
squiggles than anything else. I talked to Dale about it.
He says it's addressed to me, and it's in Hebrew.
All it says is 'Hello.'

Humans always fear what they cannot control, and yet, at the onset of illness, we do not
grow afraid, as if we do not even notice, as if the invasion were just a speed bump. We react with
medicines and panaceas, with cough drops and orange juice. Yet, we are afraid. Somehow, on
some subconscious level, humans fear disease; it is, after all, one of the world's most prolific
killers, and it can't be attacked with the more conventional means used in controlling a murderer
or thief.
An infected individual isn't always in control of his or her faculties. Sometimes body
temperature randomly fluctuates. Other times the infected goes down to the store to find
everyone staring at her strangely, or perhaps the infected awakens in another person's apartment
only to find a body of the occupant, hollowed out and partially eaten. The police tell her there's no
evidence she did anything, and they let her out a day later. Perhaps the Infected finds herself
writing in a strange language or doodling elaborate artwork she wasn't even paying attention to.

Paths of Infection
It's not exactly clear what happens to an infected when the powers first manifest and the
voices start churning in the mind. There are as many theories as there are infected themselves.
Infected report a wide variety of symptoms, or strange circumstances at the onset, but they
eventually display all the symptoms of the pathogen's infection, making it hard to pinpoint the root
cause.
Ancient Ally
The humble mitochondria, the silent cultures of bacteria in the colon, the fungi that share
our skin, all these things live in and among us. We need them, and they need us. However, their
rate of reproduction is much faster than our own. One colony of bacteria may go through a
thousand iterations before even one of our own generations, evolving just as rapidly as the
interior of our own body changes. Certainly none of these colonies on their own may be able to
achieve a measure of sentience, but the natural world is rife with creatures that achieve a
measure of interchangeability based upon mutual relationships. Consider the man o' war, not one
single organism, but a whole pile of them working together. Our bodies are not so much different,
but with one difference. We can overrule the actions of the mitochondria, of the bacteria, viruses,
and fungi that make up our body. For now.
Ancient Enemy
Humans have long been the prey of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. We've wiped out all
other predators save ourselves and inserted nutrition into our lives. We control the rate of
population growth of ourselves and the plants and animals under our yoke. Still, when the
weather begins to chill, we crowd into medical centers for flu vaccinations, run screaming to the
doctor for every cough and shudder, and huddle in fear in the hushed corners of the drugstore,
talking about that thing that's going around. What thing? The cold? The flu? Your friend doesn't
know. All she knows it there's an "it," and it's going around. It's been going around forever, and
it's not ever going to go away for good. All it can do is circulate. And strengthen.
Something Old
Perhaps the vector is ancient. Despite evidence to the contrary, dinosaurs may have
been wiped from this earth by some other unknown force. There's a crater in Mexico, sure, but if
that's the truth, then why are frogs, sensitive as they are to environment, still around? Wouldn't a
change of a few degrees have wiped them out completely? The same with the desertification of
the planet during the Permian extinction, which killed over ninety percent of the life on the planet,
wouldn't that have done so, as well? It is true that the current rate of wildlife extinction on Earth is
roughly the same as the rate of extinction at the K/T boundary. All manner of life hides in the lines
between the fossil record; fossilization is so rare that we can't account for everything living during
a specified time period. Sometimes evolution explodes without warning, as well. Consider the
Cambrian explosion: life went from soft-bodied jellies to a disgusting amount of diversity in almost
no time at all.
Something New
New pathogens are being created all the time. Most of them are stomped underfoot,
crushed brutally by our immune systems and tossed to the wayside, at least, at first. Some of
them get stronger and just come back for more. The transfer of HIV to humans is relatively
recent, and it has spread like wildfire. New diseases crop up almost as fast as scientists can
name them. Perhaps the culprit is something newly evolved or newly developed, some tiny thing
stirring through its own advanced evolutionary processes deep in the seas or the jungle. Yet,
what of the stories of monsters in antiquity? Were they just myths and legends, or is there some
minor truth, and only recently has fate conspired to spread the pathogen further and deeper?
Something Borrowed
The force that drives an infected need not even be Earth-based. Stories tell of demonic
possession, of ghosts riding the living, of spirits that turned men into monsters, and even stranger
things. Some tell tales of rocks from the sky, star jelly, strange radiation, and other such things.
Others, of course, bring up Echidna, the mother of all monsters, or Lilith of the Garden of Eden,
who could only sire beasts and demons. The pathogen does seem to have a will of its own, as if
guided by some sentient force, and those who have suffered a blackout are often certain of it.
Infected point out that many subversions are literally impossible without gross violations of the
laws of physics. Is some otherworldly presence trying to make itself known or invade the Earth?
I Made it Myself
Of course, the possibility of a human-made illness or pathogen is not lost on the infected;
some theorists often go on long tirades about government conspiracies, men in black, and silent,
unlabeled helicopters. Talk of terrorists in the news possessing biological weapons of unknown
make might cause many infected to wonder about the actions they perform during blackouts or
why people regard them strangely, or walk up to them on the street and offer strange numbers or
symbols. Is it possible that in some odd, hidden, and out of the way facility, men and women
puzzling over petri dishes have created or uncovered something that can no longer be put back in
whatever agar stew it was spawned in?
Too Small to See
Blood samples, spinal fluid, marrow, urine samples, and skin samples all come up empty
when trying to discern the properties of the pathogen. However, the body is certainly responding
as though a bacterial endoparasite is at work. Blood samples that test clean can be used to infect
others, organs that seem to weather medical scrutiny just fine can infect humans, and just
swapping spit can create other infected. It doesn't seem to occur all the time, and in fact, doesn't
occur very often except in a few isolated cases where ATP zombies and chimeras are concerned,
but it happens, and it's undetectable. Perhaps the pathogen creating the infection cloaks itself to
resemble otherwise harmless proteins, or perhaps scientists just don't know what to look for.
Perfectly Parasitic
Some individuals report strange crawling sensations in the skin, the presence of odd
insects or stranger things that seem to follow them wherever they go, or wake up from blackout
vomiting worms into open sewers. Others speak of a strange fungus that grows in their homes on
food left out on the counter, a fungus that has no natural analogue. The inner body often twists
and squirms as though something utterly inhuman dwelled within, and sometimes the infected
dreams of other worlds and places consumed by the ravages of unnatural parasites. Maybe the
solution is as simple as cutting yourself open and seeing what spills out.

Chimeras
Humans are not the only ones whose bodies undergo such profound shifts in biological
paradigm. The other creatures of the world also undergo such mutation at times. Rats may
double in size and acquire newer, nastier teeth, the alligators of the sewer may stand upright and
fire blasts of electrical energy, plants may become ambulatory and filled with a vengeful rage, and
crows may distend and gain the ability to spray acid. Chimeras tend to form where the infected
gather, and almost immediately begin forming ecosystems of their own.
They prey on infected, and seem capable of detecting when and where they will be,
coming after them, those they've been around, and anyone else caught in the way. In addition,
the mere presence of a Chimera in the area results in the creation of less powerful Chimera from
the surrounding animals and plants. This can lead to small, tightly knit ecosystems that constantly
require sustenance from the outside to persist, as the mutant plants are not as effective in culling
energy from sunlight as their normal brethren. They begin to hunt, seeking paths out of their circle
of mutated friends and spreading the pathogen as they do.
Chimeras mean more Chimeras, and eventually even ATP zombies, humans whose
minds have been consumed by the pathogen and hunger for the flesh of the healthy. Chimerical
activity eventually draws infected out of hiding, as the beasts know where to find them, and they
must either fight or run.

Symptoms
After the infection has run its course and the human has stepped into the new world of the
infected, he or she then begins to display a marked set of symptoms. This is the primary way the
pathogen makes its presence known to the human, subtly urging him to perform certain actions,
behaving in some ways like a derangement, and in other ways like an illness.
An infected character need not contact other infected to manifest a symptom. Symptoms
mark a character, making her truly one of the infected. Each symptom has both good news and
bad news. Bad news is listed first.
Each of the symptoms lists its primary Subversion; use of this Subversion works much
the way it does for Vectors, as well. It's instinctive, like flexing a muscle or even blinking. Such
use of power is often confusing or unsettling, since while its use is instinctive, the sensations it
causes seem new every time.

Dermis
The itching's started again. It's stronger this time, and the rash is over the left side of the
face. Yes, I've been using the analgesic.
Soaking in water seems to help. The itching goes away, but only if I'm in the pool or
something. There's not enough water in the shower. I spent all day yesterday in the lake out
back. I actually got some sleep there.

The body changes; this is nothing new. Mortals awaken from sleep with mystery lumps,
cuts, bruises, and other oddities. Sometimes one discovers a bruise with no apparent cause. The
strange welt does not hurt, but seems to be filled with pus nonetheless. Other such signs may
include wriggling and meandering lines under the skin, not unlike larval migrans.
Those with dermis feel a burning sensation on the skin, and it often covers itself with
hives, warts, patches, pus-leaking wounds, and in some cases, even puffs up to absurd
proportions. Such beings are often led to spend vast amounts of time in or near water, in humid
surroundings, or wrapped in warm and wet clothing. At the same time, skin and joints thicken,
providing a measure of strange and unearthly strength.
A Resonance-stuffed dermis infected may seem to have leprosy or some other epidermal
disease, the body almost completely covered by shedding skin or spots. Keratosis, acne,
dermatitis, and a wide variety of skin disorders that cause bleeding, lumps, or horrid, bark-like
warts that can be removed painlessly through the use of a drill or weak acid.
The dermis infected often finds himself drawn to violent conflict, driven to outbursts both
external and physical. The itching, the pain, and the frustration build until the infected is a coil
ready to spring.
The Buildup
As the infected with dermis symptoms progresses, he desires to stay near water. Her
skin itches, bumps and boils cry out in pain, rashes feel as though they are crawling or moving
just under the surface of the skin, a feeling that only vanishes if the infected immerses herself in
water. The feelings vanish, but they eventually return, and if the infected has no quick path to
water, her mind begins to suffer. The character suffers his or her Dice Pool Penalty to social rolls
when more than a mile away from a source of water (ponds, streams, and bathtubs don't count,
but lakes and rivers are just fine).
The Bad News
The infected tends to have strange bruises, patches of thick skin, and scar tissue that
seem to change day to day. These rashes are quite painful and do not go away readily,
sometimes randomly changing shape or position while the character sleeps. Any wound penalties
the character suffers from increase in severity by 1.
The Good News
The character is tougher than most. He can spend a point of ATP to add his Resonance
to his armor for one scene. This thickened skin doesn't come without cost, however. The
character suffers his Dice Pool Penalty from Resonance as a penalty on all Dexterity-based dice
pools while using this power.
Primary Subversion: Vigor

Fever
He had to catch himself panting again, wheezing, trying to catch his breath. The bus was
so cold. The fire in his belly just couldn't stand up to the outside. He caught a woman looking at
him over her newspaper, and he just retreated further into his jacket in response. No one had to
know he had his lighter on under his hands.

The body knows heat. Heat defines the life of the body. Heat is in the summer sun and
the hot tub out back. It's ubiquitous to human existence. The fire in the heart and the blood burns
ever hotter in the infected, boiling and rising to the skin. The face becomes flush and gleams with
sweat, hair becomes matted and thick, and joints ache, crying out for healthier days.
A character with such a fever may turn red and puff up, or she may become sickly pale
and thin. As Resonance climbs ever higher, a palpable heat wells up within the infected body and
even begins to radiate to those nearby, making them feel uncomfortably warm in her presence.
The infected feels weak in the joints, light headed, and wheezes with every breath, but not so
much that she cannot function.
The Buildup
As the infected continues to progress, the body's temperature rises. The brain addles
from the strain, and has trouble focusing. The infected sweats profusely, sheds weight, and takes
to shivering even in the heat of the day. Sunlight, however, is good for the character. It reduces
the amount of shivering and seems to alleviate the pain in the joints. The cool darkness of the
night, however, is another story. The night air seems to sap strength, weaken the joints, and
prickle the skin. Air escapes from the character's mouth like steam, and he grows sickly and pale.
The host suffers his Dice Pool Penalty to mental rolls during the night.
The Bad News
The fevered can't stand the cold due to his newly increased body temperature; even
room temperatures feel frigid. The character spends nights wrapped in blankets, sweating up a
storm. When resisting the effects of cold conditions, he suffers a -3 penalty to his resistance rolls.
The Good News
The good news is that the fevered has a lot of excess body heat. The character can
spend a point of ATP to gain his Resonance trait as a penalty to fire effects attempting to damage
him. This can not reduce damage from a fire to below zero.
Primary Subversion: ATP Control

Insomnia
Can't sleep.
It's been four nights. I can't sleep. Was it four nights? I think it was Monday then. I had
the dream about the car accident. I didn't go bowling, and that was good, Larry didn't come home
that night, his wife called, checked to make sure I was alright. I said I didn't go because I had a
dream about it.
She keeps calling me now, asking about my dreams. I keep telling her I can't sleep most
of the time.
The walls are trying to touch me again.

The human brain is a complex mechanism. The right amount and variation of chemicals
can shut it down or supercharge it. In some infected, the brain works overtime, clocking so hard
that its periods of rest are few and far between, but when they arrive, they bring friends. By the
same token, if the brain doesn't get the right amount of rest, it addles. Hallucinations become the
order of the day.
The Buildup
As an insomniac gains Resonance, he starts to lose touch with reality. Auditory and
visual hallucinations hound him, and he's no longer certain what's a Subversion and what's really
happening. She can see flesh climbing walls, body and blood pumping and churning through
throbbing pipes, bile leaking through wallpaper, and Chimeras at every turn. Insomniacs suffer
their Dice Pool Penalty to social rolls if they haven't slept in more than two days.
The Bad News
The infected has trouble sleeping. He doesn't have a choice, really. Every time he lays
down to go to sleep, his eyes fly open, strange sounds fill his ears, and his heart churns. He must
spend ATP to resist fatigue if he still can in any way, shape, or form. He must then make
resistance rolls to stay awake as long as possible, even spending Willpower if necessary, as well
as indulging Virtues and Vices.
The Good News
On the plus side, when the infected character does finally get some sleep, he has some
rather telling dreams. This works like the Common Sense merit, except the roll occurs anytime
the character goes to sleep.
Primary Subversion: Adrenal Control

Paedomorphosis
They were like kids, man. Little kids. A bunch of them, walking through the back alley,
carrying balls or something. I think one of them ballooned, like an egg from some kinda sci-fi
movie.
There was this chick back there, where they were all going. She was dressed up like a
teacher or a tour guide or some shit. Cute girl, too. Baby blue eyes, little puffy face. I told the
kiddies to move out of the way, me and my boys got to talk to the teacher girl, and she smiled at
them. They all turned around with them balls, and they opened, like flowers. There were guts or
something inside. Guts that jumped at me and my boys. They didn't rip the boys apart, no, they
stabbed Jag in the head, and he turned his gun on himself. The whole place started screaming.
Then you was waking me up. No, man, I wasn't on drugs or nothin'. You gotta believe
me, man. It was them kids! Them goddamn kids!

The children will are our future, that's how the old saying goes. In the case of the infected
displaying the characteristics of neoteny, the body never grows beyond puberty. In the case of
adults, age seems to subtly reverse itself: wrinkles vanish, the cheeks grow rounder, lost strength
seems to return, and vellus hair reasserts itself in many cases.
Many Unborn suffer from this symptom, approaching the end of the age of innocence and
then freezing there, never aging any further. They often attach themselves to other adults, check
themselves in to orphanages, feign kidney ailments, or otherwise lose themselves in the system.
The Buildup
The character doesn't appear to suffer any ill problems other than a few smoother
features; to other infected, the Paedomorphs got off easy. To those with this symptom, the truth is
far less visible. Neonates have trouble relating to others, they suffer from rapid shifts in their
attention span, being able to concentrate one day while their minds give in to distractions with
ease on other days. In addition, they have trouble with action-based decision making, having to
turn over in their minds a notion to ensure it's a good idea. A Neonate might know it's a bad idea
to run out into a crowded firefight with no cover, but actually has to stop and think to make sure
it's not a good idea. Those infected afflicted with Paedomorphosis suffer their Dice Pool Penalties
on Wits rolls and instant mental rolls when forced to make decisions during periods of stress,
such as combat and life-or-death situations.
The Bad News
Thanks to his or her newer, cuter face (or childlike body), the character has trouble
getting others to take her seriously. He does not benefit from the 10-again rule on Presence,
Intimidation, or Expression tests, and any 1s rolled count against successes.
The Good News
It's really hard to turn down those puppy-dog eyes. Neonates gain the 9-again rule on
Persuasion and Manipulation tests.
Primary Subversion: Bioelectricity

Rooms, Camps, Packs, and Wards


There's safety in numbers.
Chapter Two: Infection
(Character)
"Wow, Cheryl," Janet said, "you look great!"
"Thanks," I mumbled, shoveling one of two plates of food in my mouth.
"Did you lose weight?"
"Yes."
"You keep eating like that, and it'll all come back."
"No, it won't," I sighed.
"That looks good on you. Your eyes are clearer. Did you get cosmetic surgery or
something?"
"No. It just happened one day. It's what it wants."
"Well, it's amazing! What I wouldn't give for that to happen to-"
"No!" I shouted, smacking her tray, spilling her food on the floor, "No. You
wouldn't."
I got up and left.

Subversions: New Infected start with three dots of Subversions, at least two dots of which must
be spent on the Vector and Symptom primary Subversions; note that Mutation is always a
favored Subversion.

Quick Reference
This reference summarizes what happens to Infected characters after they're no longer
mortal.

Vector
Choose a vector by which your character became Infected. This Vector is how you create other
infected, should you desire to do so.
Airborne: You were infected by a sneeze or in a crowded place through the air.
The Bitten: You were bitten by a fly, a strange bug, or wild, strange animal.
Endoparasite: You suffered a strange worm or other creature burrowing into your flesh or mouth.
Infused: You received your pathogen through an organ transplant or blood transfusion.
Unborn: Your mother was infected while pregnant; it skipped her and dove straight for you.

Symptoms
Choose a symptom for your character, for how the pathogen manifests itself in your body.
Dermis: Your skin grows hives or boils, and you have an affinity for water.
Fever: You can't stand low temperatures, and your body heat is through the roof.
Insomnia: You have trouble sleeping at night; when you sleep, strange dreams plague you.
Paedomorphosis: You "regress" in age, or else retain child-like characteristics and mannerisms.

Subversions
New infected can choose up to 3 dots worth of Subversions, one of which must be from the
character's Vector and another from her Symptom.
Adrenal Control: Enhanced speed and movement.
ATP Control: Master the flow of ATP energies within the body.
Bioelectricity: Control the electrical energy that powers the muscles and memory.
Bone: Warp, twist, and bend the bones.
Evolution: Enhance your senses and other such body structures.
Incorporation: Subsume electronics and machinery.
Mutation: Unleash your inner vice.
Predation: Single out the weak.
Regenerate: The art of healing the self and eventually others.
Vigor: Incredible strength at the cost of personal energy.

Resonance
A character's starting Resonance is 1, but can be increased through Merit points.

ATP
A character starts with an amount of ATP equal to his Stamina + Resolve.

Choose Subversions
Infected gain 3 Subversions at character creation. Mutation is a common subversion to all
infected, and each character gets a common subversion from their Infection and their Wing.

New Merits
The following are new merits.

Cocoon (●●)
Prerequisite: Infected template
The character can form a cocoon in which to sequester her body in suspended animation.
Creating a cocoon takes five minutes and costs 10 ATP. Once inside a cocoon, the character is
unconscious, but heart rate slows to a dramatic degree. The character does not need food or
water of any sort, nor does she age. The character must set at least one circumstance for
awakening (for example, "when the external temperature of the cocoon reaches 50 degrees
Fahrenheit" or "when the cocoon is submersed in water."). An Infected can set as many
conditions as her Resonance. If the Infected is exposed to a condition that would automatically kill
the character, such as magma or other such hazards, the character dies. This merit is best used
to weather harsh conditions, survive a sea journey, or sleep in the absence of food.

Favored Subversion (●)


Prerequisite: Infected template
Choose a single subversion from the list of subversions below. This subversion is considered a
favored subversion for you, meaning you pay (New Dots x 5) experience points instead of (New
Dots x 6) experience points to purchase new dots in it. This merit is available at character
creation only.

New Advantage: Resonance


Resonance is the ability of Hosts and Chimeras to produce and apply the excessive
amounts of energy that Subversions (and their newly enhanced bodies) require. It is the power of
the myriad cells, parasites, and other things swimming in the soup of the infected body combined
with the intellect that remains of the human mind.
Effects of Resonance
The effectiveness of the Infected in refining, gathering, and expending ATP is measured
by Resonance. The higher a Resonance score is, the more ATP that character can store and
spend in a single turn.
● ATP Collection/Storage/Expenditure: Resonance puts a cap on how much ATP a
Host can store in total or expend in a given turn; the higher the character's Resonance, the more
ATP she can store or use. Check the table below for these totals.
● Attribute and Skill Maximums: Infected with Resonance scores of 6 or higher can
increase their attributes and skills past five dots. The power of Infection allows one to overcome
the normal limitations of the body and push beyond.
● Subversions: A lot of Subversions call for Resonance rolls to activate them.
● Resistance: Some powers call for Resonance to be added to a resistance die pool
when resisting certain Subversions.
Effects of Resonance
Resonance Max ATP/ATP Attribute/Skill Detection ATP Cost Dice Pool
per turn Maximum Range Penalty
1 10/1 5 10 feet - -
2 11/1 5 20 feet - -
3 12/1 5 40 feet - -1
4 13/2 5 80 feet - -1
5 14/2 5 160 feet - -2
6 15/3 6 320 feet 1/day -2
7 20/5 7 640 feet 1/12 hours -3
8 30/7 8 1,280 feet 1/10 hours -3
9 50/10 9 2,560 feet 1/8 hours -4
10 100/15 10 1 mile 1/4 hours -5

Drawbacks of Resonance
● Detection Range: The range at which Chimeras can detect the character increases as
Resonance climbs. A host can expect more frequent Chimera encounters (not necessarily
attacks) as her Resonance reaches ever higher levels. This number starts out at ten feet (drawing
smaller Chimeras from hiding) and just goes up from there. Characters can detect other infected
at this level, as well, but not chimeras.
● ATP Cost: At Resonance 6 and higher, the character's metabolism is so great that she
appears to have a higher than average body temperature. Palpable heat emanates from the host,
and the infected must expend ATP at the requisite time in order to stay conscious. Failure to
spend the ATP after the allotted time causes the character to fall into a coma and lose one Health
for each time period passed up until he or she acquires another point of ATP through infusion or
some other means. This can be particularly deadly, considering the means by which ATP is
acquired.
● Dice Pool Penalty: Infected aren't normal humans. Sometimes they're faced with
pressures that would make the mind buckle or break, or bend the body in unnatural ways.
Depending on Vector and Symptom, infected suffer penalties to different dice pools. The listed
value is the penalty applied.

New Advantage: ATP


The power source for Subversions and the other powers of the infected is something
between mundane biological fuel and mystical energy, a sort of bodily super-fuel called ATP.
● Subversion Activation: Most subversions call for the use of ATP.
● Corporeal Enhancement: You can toughen up the body using ATP, fueling adrenal
glands, offering extra energy to muscles, and enhancing the speed at which you think. For
spending a point of ATP, you can add two dice to Wits, Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina tests
made within the next turn. This bonus only lasts for one turn, but it is a Reflexive action (still
bound by your ATP per turn limit).
● Resist Fatigue: You can dip into your ATP supply to stave off and resist fatigue. For
each point you spend, you can stave off the roll to stay awake and active, as well as the fatigue
penalties associated with it. You can't use this to stay awake for longer than your Stamina in
days. After that, you start rolling as normal.
Recovering ATP
"Eating. Eating. Always eating. Eating everything."
You can recover ATP a variety of ways, pretty much all of which require something or
someone be consumed.
● Energy Drinks/Good Meals: A meal of sufficient magnitude or an energy drink can
give an infected one point of ATP. The amount goes down by what you consume in one sitting,
though, so if you order the left side of the menu, that's not exactly one good meal, but five or six,
and if you down a whole six pack of Red Buffalo or what have you, the effect is the same: for
each one after the first in the same sitting, you only reap half the benefit, which fractionally
decreases the more you consume per day. Drinking that six pack, for example, nets one point for
the first can, another point for the next two cans, and one more for the last three cans.
● Eating Flesh: Eating raw, freshly killed meat restores ATP. Two pounds of fresh meat
hands out one point of ATP, but cooking it removes that benefit, making it merely a good meal.
● Eating Chimerical Flesh: Eating the flesh of chimeras grants ATP, as well. The flesh
of a chimera contains as much ATP as the creature had plus twice its Resonance rating. Infected
sharing in the feast split the ATP amongst them evenly. ATP inside a chimera denatures at a rate
of 1 per minute, so the grisly feast must commence quickly. Note that this is a minor Fusion
violation (five dice). Eating infected flesh confers the same benefit, but is much more serious of a
violation.
● Eating a Parasite: You can eat an endoparasite if a chimera, ATP zombie, or infected
you just killed has one, or if you find one floating in a tube someplace. Eating an endoparasite
grants anywhere from 3 to 5 ATP.

Modified Advantage: Fusion (Morality)


The joining of host and pathogen, in a sense, creates a new life form, one that must be
fed and kept under control. As the host refuses to accept the presence of the pathogen, the host
risks losing the self to that thing that now lives within him. This is Fusion.

Fusion Sin Dice Rolled


10 Not using a subversion for more than three days; selfish thoughts Five dice
9 Eating a chimera; minor selfish act Five dice
8 Killing a chimera; injury to another Four dice
7 Using a subversion to commit crime (check for the crime, too); Petty Four dice
theft
6 Eating human flesh; grand theft Three dice
5 Eating infected flesh; intentional, mass property damage Three dice
4 Killing a human; impassioned crime; manslaughter Three dice
3 Killing an infected; planned murder Two dice
2 Trying to tell humans about the pathogen (check for blackout); serial Two dice
murder
1 Hunting a human for food (check for blackout); mass murder; heinous Two dice
actions

Vectors
Each type of Infected "suffers" from a specific form of Infection.

Endoparasite
These hosts report a worm, strange crab, a crawling slime, or other hideous creature that
wormed its way inside as a precursor to infection. These parasites sometimes grow inside the
bodies of the infected; it is believed that perhaps they have something to do with Chimeras, or are
a Chimera, some form of life inside the body transformed by the pathogen into something wholly
other, spilling out the mouth or other orifice and into the world.
Primary Subversion: Bone

Infused
Inside the body, organs beat and stir. Infused infected received their pathogen from an
organ transplant, a blood transfusion, or other addition to the body that was not natural.
Sometimes the infection is spread in back-alley surgeries, other times the primary host donates a
kidney, lung, and half a liver without knowing why. Others are driven to commit suicide after
signing up to be organ donors without their knowledge, and all Willpower and ATP goes to
creating a whole new generation of infected.
Primary Subversion: Regenerate

Airborne
The innocuous cough in the movie theater, the gentle and accidental brush of a
stranger's shoulder in the crowded street even as he sneezes into his handkerchief. Most don't
even pay attention to the bum on the street corner, coughing and hacking, simply giving him a
wide berth as they go about their day. The infected returns home to vomit, feeling as though his
lungs are about to burst.
The airborne host reports no unusual circumstance or precursor to infection save an odd
one-night stand, an out of place pat of foam in a coffee cup, or perhaps someone sneezing or
coughing in their vicinity. They suffer what seems to be a cold or flu, filled with strange dreams,
loss of limb control (only to have it return to their mastery the next day), and sightings of shapes
and shadows out of the corner of their eyes, in addition to their primary Symptom.
Primary Subversion: Incorporation

The Bitten
That which does not kill us makes us stranger. Sometimes, an infection just warps flesh,
transforming the body into a hideous, twisted shape. These infected were bitten, either by a
crazed animal, an unidentified creature lurking in the swamp water, had skin broken by a nail, or
may have even suffered a strange form of myiasis where the maggots swiftly died. Perhaps they
felt watched and hunted all day, only to find themselves the target of a mysterious attack just as
they entered their front door by a half-rotted corpse.
Primary Subversion: Predation

Unborn
The pregnant mother is easily subverted to sickness. The progeny of placental mammals
produces a virus while in the womb that suppresses the mother's immune system so that the
child is not devoured by the parent's body. This has the side effect of making the baby
susceptible to diseases. Thankfully, the structure of the placenta makes this difficult, except in the
cases of the pathogen. The infant carried in the womb becomes the target, perhaps because an
infant's mind is easier to subvert. In some cases, a Chimera is born, gnawing its way from the
mother's belly and spilling out onto the floor as a mass of malformed teeth and tentacles.
Some infected are just born that way, the pathogen within them slowly waiting until the
day that symptoms first manifests; sometimes this is young, and they develop the
Paedomorphosis Symptom. Other times it waits until later in life to strike. In all cases, however, it
alters the body on a fundamental level, charging the senses, musculature, and subconscious
mind with excess energy. The Unborn are the closest an infected might be to an advanced
human being, the literal next step in the evolution of the human race. This Vector is spread by
infection of a pregnant mother through another Unborn.
Primary Subversion: Evolution

Subversions
Alterations to the host are called Subversions.
Sometimes Subversions activate spontaneously. The Infected has no control over when
this happens, but a good meter for when this occurs is dependent on how high the Infected's
Resonance score is. The higher the score, the more likely the Subversions activate on their own
(remember also that at Resonance 6 or higher, the Infected loses ATP at a steadily increasing
rate). An Infected can suppress this activation by spending 1 ATP and making a Willpower test.

Adrenal Control
The body can be forced to release toxic chemicals, such as endorphins and adrenaline through
the use of the parasite. Normally, this sort of infusion would kill a human being, but the Infected
are protected from death by the parasite, allowing them to run on forces of energy that would
outright destroy the flesh of a normal living being.
Cost: 1 ATP per turn
Dice Pool: Unlike other Subversions, this power grants bonuses to several other die pools once
activated. You cannot activate Adrenal Control multiple times, but you can continue to spend ATP
each turn to keep it up.
While active, dots in this Subversion are subtracted from any and all attacking characters' dice
pools, due to the speed at which the character is moving. This protection does not diminish with
each attack in each round.
Adrenal Control adds its total to initiative in each turn it is active; a character with a normal
initiative at 3 and Adrenal Control at 2 dots, the character's initiative modifier becomes 5 while it is
active.
Finally, this Subversion acts as a multiplier to the character's speed. That is, add one to dots in
this Subversion and multiply that character's speed by that total.
After ceasing to pay for this Subversion, the Infected suffers two points of bashing damage.
Action: Reflexive. An Infected can activate Adrenal Control at the start of initiative if he wants to.

ATP Control
The body is rife with energy, and the Fevered has more than her fair share.
● Equalize
At this level of mastery, the Fevered can control the flow of ATP and energy in her own body
more effectively. She can spend ATP as if it were Willpower when attempting to protect herself
against diseases and poisons.
Action: Instant
●● Enhance
With Enhance, the Fevered can extract ATP more easily from meals. Add +1 to the amount of
ATP gained from a good meal or an energy drink.
Action: Constant
●●● Overflow
With Overflow, the Fevered can touch a single target and implant some of his own inner fire into a
target, typically through a handshake, kiss, or other contact. This minor infection causes the
target to begin to overproduce energy, creating and destroying (normal) ATP as fast as possible,
so fast that the body cannot possibly use it all. The victim is forced to start moving, or his body
temperature begins to rise. Once the body burns hot enough, the victim loses consciousness, and
then, if the trend continues, the brain addles and the victim dies.
Cost: 2 ATP
Dice Pool: Stamina + ATP Control
Dramatic Failure: The Fevered suffers as if a success had been made on him.
Failure: Nothing happens; the kiss or contact is normal.
Success: Each turn, the victim begins making Stamina rolls against the Stamina of the attacker
for a number of turns equal to the Fevered's successes. Damage is bashing equal to the
attacker's Stamina. For example, a character with Stamina 3 uses this power on an enemy and
gets four successes. The victim now begins making Stamina tests each turn for four turns, or else
suffer 3 bashing damage.
Exceptional Success: Add +2 to the attacker's Stamina to determine damage.
Action: Instant
●●●● Give & Take
With Give & Take, the Fevered can transfer her own ATP to another or take the ATP from an
unwilling host. The process is simple. The Fevered touches her target in some fashion, but it
must be skin to skin contact, and if she wishes to give her target ATP, then the process is as
simple as spending it: the target gets ATP on a one for one basis. If the Fevered wants to steal
ATP, however, a roll must be made.
Cost: 1 ATP
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resonance + ATP Control – Victim's Stamina + Resonance.
Dramatic Failure: The Fevered loses an extra point of ATP aside from the one used to activate
this power.
Failure: Nothing happens; the contact is normal and the victim feels a slight tug.
Success: The victim loses an amount of ATP equivalent to the total successes of the attack. If
the victim runs out of ATP or has none to begin with, this loss transfers to Bashing damage on a
one for three basis (that is, for every three points of ATP drained, the victim suffers 1 bashing
damage).
Exceptional Success: Add +2 to the amount of ATP drained.
Action: Instant
●●●●● Slime Body
The body is filled with cells, each with their own duty and task. The body, however, remembers a
time before tasks, before duties, when all was as one. With mastery of ATP Control, then energy
produced can be directed to call the cells to remember this time, devolving the body into a form
that once was the rule, both in evolution and the development of the body. The body breaks down
into individual cells, becoming a mass of protozoan sludge that slithers and crawls over the
ground. The character can slip through cracks, between bars, under doors, and so on with ease.
The character can also climb up walls at normal speed, and make related skill checks as normal.
Cost: 1 ATP
Dice Pool: The power takes no roll to invoke; the Host becomes a mass of sticky goo, and the
transformation takes the action to complete. Reversing the process also costs 1 ATP, and 2 ATP
to revert in the same action. The Host could, for example, spend a total of 3 ATP and one action
to walk through a jail cell door by turning into slime and re-incorporating himself on the other side.
Characters in slime form are immune to physical attacks, but not mystical or energy-based
attacks (like fire or most Flesh powers). A Host in this state can form pseudopods to strike for
bashing damage by spending 1 point of ATP each round he maintains the blunt instrument.
Characters using this power cannot pick up or carry objects.
A Host in slime form can use most powers except for things like self-targeted Bone
powers and the Mutation Subversion.

Bioelectricity
The infected being's form surges and pumps with energy, electrolytic signals racing through
neural pathways and along the muscles, under the skin and through the brain. Eyes twitch, the
heart beats, the body moves, all to the tune of electrical output. Directed properly, the electrical
currents of the body can make contact with others, share information, and lash out in a more
direct and abrupt fashion. The electricity can be caused to necrotize, surge with pain, and share
these impulses amongst each other.
● Diagnose
The initiate of bioelectricity can scan and learn of the subconscious impulses of others through
skin contact. In order to use diagnose, the infected must touch the target's skin directly with her
own. Once done, the infected can understand the maladies that work against her target.
Cost: 1 ATP
Dice Pool: Wits + Resolve + Bioelectricity.
Dramatic Failure: The infected diagnoses the wrong venom or disease.
Failure: The power fails, and the infected learns nothing.
Success: The infected notices something wrong with the target. This is knowledge of a disease,
venom, toxin, or other malady affecting the target, or the current status of the target, such as the
target's health and current state of injury.
Exceptional Success: The infected knows all poisons, diseases, and other dangers currently
afflicting the target, in addition to the target's current injuries and maximum health levels.
●● Shocker
The body's neural pathways are engorged with electrical energy. The Neonates often use this
type of power to fuel machines and devices with their own brand of subversion. The student of
bioelectricity can use this power in a more direct fashion, instead of the finesse of earlier
techniques, shocker can be used to violently disrupt the biological processes of another living
being. This power works on undead creatures, as well, as long as they still have muscles.
Cost: 1 ATP
Dice Pool: Dexterity + Bioelectricity + Resonance – Defense.
Dramatic Failure: The infected suffers three points of bashing damage as the electrical energy
attempts to ground itself through her body.
Failure: The power fails, and the infected learns nothing.
Success: The infected deals bashing damage equal to the amount of successes he achieved on
his roll to activate the power. The power can target a creature or object up to 10 yards away.
Exceptional Success: As a success, except the damage becomes lethal.
●●● Shared Memory
The nervous system races with electrical impulses carrying the beat and tune of the brain's wistful
thoughts; a weaver of the body can understand these electrical impulses and interpret them as
memories. Memories played back this way are "remembered" by the infected as if he were there.
Again, skin to skin contact is required, and the infected must specify what memory he or she is
searching for.
Cost: 1 ATP
Dice Pool: Wits + Presence + Bioelectricity.
Dramatic Failure: The infected remembers the wrong memory, but thinks it's the right one, as
her own brain conjures up an incorrect image that fits the parameters she was looking for.
Failure: The power fails, and the infected learns nothing.
Success: The infected finds the memory she was looking for, and can "remember" up to one
minute of time per success.
Exceptional Success: The infected not only finds the memory she was seeking and can recall it,
but can also recall relevant data pertaining to the target's involvement with that memory. For
example, a man remembering firing a gun also gives the infected the man's motive for doing so,
what the man's virtue and vice are, and which of the two was being catered to for the shot fired.
●●●● Necrotize
The infected can cause the tissue surrounding nerves to become supercharged with electricity
and quickly rot away, necrotizing due to hefty dispersion of carbons from the molecular chains
holding together the body. This power causes prolonged tissue damage over a series of turns.
The infected must touch her target (already included in the activation).
Cost: 4 ATP
Dice Pool: Wits + Bioelectricity – Defense.
Dramatic Failure: The infected suffers the effects of the power herself; 1 point of bashing
damage per turn for her Wits + Bioelectricity – Defense + Stamina turns.
Success: The target begins to fall apart, literally. The victim suffers bashing damage, then for
Wits + Bioelectricity – Defense + Stamina turns, he or she suffers one additional bashing
damage.
Exceptional Success: The duration of the extra damage is extended for another two rounds.
●●●●● Synapse Burst
Create an electrical storm
Cost: 5 ATP
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Bioelectricity
Action: Instant
Success: A number of electrical arcs strike out from the character equal to the character's
Intelligence + Bioelectricity dice pool (not the successes rolled). Many more may actually be
created, but these arcs are the ones which will strike local beings; the others simply ground out in
nearby light fixtures, pipes, signposts, or any other electrically attractive object. This may result in
other interesting conditions as light bulbs blowing out, pipes bursting, valves searing shut, and
windows shattering.
Each damaging arc must be assigned to one target and one target only, and each bolt
must hit a different target. The player selects which beings are hit first, though if he runs out of
enemies, and there are still unused arcs, he must begin targeting allies and innocent bystanders.
No one is ever safe. Arcs have a range of 20 yards and deal damage equal to the successes
rolled in the power's activation.
Exceptional Success: As above, but the infected targets only his opponents. Unused arcs are
drained into the local scenery, and not at his allies or local innocents.

Bone
The body is held together by a scaffold of bone. Thick calcium deposits anchor muscles and
tissue, providing a frame for the body. In youth, its directed growth gives a human being its form,
and the adult is the sum of its leadership. Infection warps the tissue, and in so doing, the bone
must also be warped.
● Thicken
With Thicken, the host's bones grow denser and hardier, withstanding more punishment and
holding the body up.
Cost: 1 ATP per turn
Dice Pool: This power takes no roll to invoke. While this power is active, the character suffers
only bashing damage from firearms and blunt trauma of any sort, such as being run over by
vehicles and falling from great heights.
●● Warp
The bones can be shaped within the host's body, directing minor changes and sometimes
piercing the skin, stretching muscle over the bone and causing tendons to rub against the body in
horrible ways. While these changes are not typically helpful to the infected, they can be
devastating on enemies. With but a touch, the infected can spread this love around, causing
intense pain in someone that upsets the infected. This power is not pretty. It is heralded by
cracking and snapping sounds, and results in the victim screaming at best, and howling and
thrashing at worst.
Cost: 2 ATP
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resonance + Bone vs. Victim's Stamina + Resonance + Bone.
Dramatic Failure: The opponent scores more successes than the infected. The infected inflicts
bashing damage on himself equal to the amount of successes the opponent gained above him.
The infected must make a Stamina test or drop to the ground writhing in pain; treat this as a stun.
Failure: Neither party yields successes over the other. Nothing happens, though both feel a bit
uncomfortable.
Success: The infected yields more successes than his opponent. The infected deals an amount
of bashing damage to his opponent equal to the amount by which his successes exceeded his
opponent's. The affected party must make a Stamina test or drop to the ground writhing in pain;
treat this as a stun.
Exceptional Success: The infected yields more than five successes over his enemy. The
Stamina test against stun is made with a -2 penalty.
●●● Bone Body
Much more dramatic than Warp, this power does not harm another; instead, it allows the infected
to cause her bones to twist and grow in frightening new ways.
Cost: 3 ATP
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resonance + Bone
Dramatic Failure: The infected suffers three points of bashing damage and loses the ATP spent.
Failure: Nothing happens, and the infected probably feels like he has a small willy.
Success: The infected can split up successes among features gained through the use of this
subversion. The subversion last for a number of turns equal to the character's Stamina +
Resonance. Afterwards, the character must spend 1 ATP per turn to keep up the changes.
Body Armor (2 successes): The infected grows a carapace of strange, bony armor that
provides 1/1 protection. For each additional success spent, the host can increase this armor by
either +1/+0 or +0/+1.
Bone Blade (2 successes): The infected grows a thick, serrated blade of bone from his
or her arms that deals +2 lethal damage. The infected attacks with this bone blade using
Weaponry + Strength. She suffers a -2 penalty on actions requiring the use of that hand.
Talons (1 success): The character's hands grow wicked talons, and he deals lethal
damage unarmed.
Exceptional Success: The infected gains no benefit other than more successes to throw around.
●●●● Rend
With Rend, the host's knuckles sprout vicious, shredding pieces of hard bone and ossified
deposits, fingernails sharpen and become thick, randomly diverting spikes.
Cost: 1 ATP per turn
Dice Pool: This power takes no roll to invoke. While this power is active, the character can deal
aggravated damage with Brawling attacks.
●●●●● Aztec Surprise
The bones of others are not immune to the transformative powers of the pathogen. Like warp, this
power changes the skeletal structure of another. The victim's chest begins to bubble and burst,
and his ribs tear apart, exposing heart and organs to the air, and his spine lances through the
heart, causing massive physical harm and trauma, likely leading to death. In addition to the roll to
activate this power, the infected must succeed on a Dexterity + Brawl attack that deals no
damage in order to affect a target.
Cost: 5 ATP
Dice Pool: Stamina + Bone – Victim's Stamina + Resolve.
Dramatic Failure: The infected suffers 5 points of aggravated damage.
Failure: The power fails, and the target suffers no damage.
Success: The infected deals an automatic 3 points of aggravated damage to his victim, plus 1 for
every success he scored.
Exceptional Success: Nothing happens except 8 or more points of aggravated damage,
certainly enough to kill most mortals.

Evolution
The body becomes adapted to environments. Humans are becoming larger and more muscular
with passing generations, while at the same time, bellies are expanding, our appreciation of art
and music is refining, and our sense of smell is becoming more discriminating. These changes
often go unnoticed to all but the most resolute and astute of scientists. Evolution is very much a
passive Subversion, then. It shifts and changes the body according to the desires of the
pathogen, not the infected in question.
● Heightened Senses
The infected begins to see, hear, and experience the world in a whole new way; heartbeats in the
next room can be heard, scents unknown can be explored, and the infected can see in spectrums
normal humans only dream of. The infected gets to add dots in Evolution to sense-based
perception tests.
Cost: None
Action: Constant
●● Danger Sense
Humans are, at their core, a prey animal. Closed, dark rooms with only one exit create sensations
of being watched, dim surroundings prompt light switch-seeking, and strange sounds in the
distance create morbid, fearful curiosity. We filled the ancient world with monsters hiding around
every corner, the back of the mind remembering its status as prey despite the trappings of
modern society, and even in the concrete jungles, we are afraid to walk alone at night down dark,
rusty alleys filled with the scent of decay. Amplified, this "prey" sense can help the infected spot
trouble before it starts. Add Evolution's dots to Perception tests to avoid ambushes and surprise,
and in addition, the Storyteller should, every so often, slip you a few hints about things your gut's
telling you about a situation, whether it's true or not.
Cost: None
Action: Constant
●●● Pheromone Discharge
The pathogen wants the infected to be near other people; at least, that's what the Evolutionaries
say. Maybe it's just looking for new hosts. The host subtly changes to seem more likeable, putting
out prodigious amounts of "top dog" pheromones, as well as performing a host of other subtle,
subconscious cues, making her seem more desirable. At this level of Evolution, the infected adds
dots in this Subversion to all Manipulation, Persuasion, and Socialize tests.
Cost: None
Action: Constant
●●●● Warp Body
The body can subtly shift at this stage, changing to the needs of both pathogen and infected. The
pathogen sometimes reshapes the form to its desires once this level is reached, regardless of
what the host may want. Height, weight, hair color, skin color, eye color, and even gender can be
changed. The host adds dots in Evolution to all tests made to disguise the body or obscure body
features. This takes five minutes to work and remains in place until the infected changes back to
whatever shape the pathogen has decided for her to have.
Cost: 1 ATP
Action: Instant
●●●●● Adapt
As the body can now be warped and twisted, fat can be redistributed, skin tone can be altered
and mutated, and bones can twist ever so slightly. Ancient genes long since forgotten can be re-
activated in the fire of the body's metabolism, and the infected can survive in places a lesser
being could not. Add dots in Evolution to all Stamina tests made to resist toxins and
environmental conditions.
Cost: None
Action: Constant

Flesh
The host is made of flesh. Flesh is easily subverted and controlled, changed and mutated.
Cambions know that the shaping of flesh causes unsettling images in the minds of enemies, be it
the change of the self or the change of the victim.
● Gruesome Visage
●●
●●●
●●●●
●●●●● Flesh Cocoon

Incorporation
The body can grow new appendages and produce large amounts of bioelectricity, enough to
power simple devices and wrap growing flesh over wire and mechanical items. At low levels of
this power, it is sufficient to use the body to power machines, but as the Neonate grows in power,
this Subversion can allow the body to warp and twist, replacing sinew with steel and tendon with
rusted coils and springs in a strange and unnatural fashion, to eventually allow the flesh to fuse
totally with a complex mechanical device… and control it.
● Power Simple Device
With this power, the infected can provide electricity to a small device, one that can be held in the
hand, such as a flashlight, palm pilot, cell phone, or other such object. The infected can't let the
device go, and he or she cannot use that hand for anything else. It's also pretty obvious to
anyone looking at it, as the flesh had to gel, grow vein-like protrusions, and spread over the
contact points in order to provide the electricity. Ripping such an item out of the character's hand
deals 1 point of bashing damage. She can also use a gun; in this case, instead of using up 1 ATP
per minute, it costs 1 ATP per shot, as the gun slugs out bone chips, gristle, or teeth at
supersonic speeds.
Cost: 1 ATP per minute
Action: Instant
●● Subsume Simple Device
At higher levels, when powering a simple device, the infected can not only provide electricity, but
also turn it on or off. This costs the same as it does to power the device, except it can now be
used hands-free (for example, the infected can stick a palm pilot to her bare flesh, which grows
little fingers to tap the device or integrates itself into the circuitry). The control is purely mental,
and requires no more effort than walking.
●●● Consume Power
The infected can wrap her flesh in and around wiring, merging with the electrical grid. With this
power, the character can feed on electricity as if it were a good meal, charging up her ATP
reserves at a rate of 1 per hour while hooked up. She must be awake for the process and can't
move from the source of electricity. During this time, her arm or body is spattered over the
feeding area like so much linguine and isn't a pretty sight to behold.
●●●● Power Complex Device
Identical to the one-dot power, this level of skill simply means the infected can power devices like
cars and computers without the need for an electric socket. She needs one hand to do so, again,
but you can drive an automatic with one hand, though using a computer this way is a hassle.
Bigger things might eat up more ATP.
Cost: 1 ATP per minute
Action: Instant
●●●●● Subsume Complex Device
Like the two-dot power before it, this power just means the infected can power the device hands-
free. Note that while using this power, the infected won't even look remotely human. In a car, for
example, a viewer might see a tangled mass of limbs, sheets of skin, and pulsing organs growing
in and among the tape deck.

Mutation
Inside lurks the form of the enemy, the unseen pathogen that causes the Infected to become
what they are and the horrid bodies that chimeras possess. With the Mutation Subversion, bones
crack and split, muscles reweave, neurons change shape, flesh migrates and warps, creaking
and moaning until the body has been entirely reshaped, if only for a brief moment. The character
appears to be nothing more than a monster made real. This transformation is difficult, however,
and the Infected can only keep it up for a number of turns equal to Stamina + Resolve +
Resonance. Any longer and the Infected must spend 1 ATP per turn.
A character with the Mutation Subversion at one dot can form "clothing" out of flesh and even
color it. Other characters that can see the strange garb can tell something's not quite right about
it. On the plus side, this "outfit" doesn't get left behind like normal clothing when the Host uses the
Slime Body ability.
At each stage of this Subversion, the infected often dramatically changes shape; an initial form
might be a strange, haphazard collection of body parts with suppurating pustules, a stage two
form might have multiple half-formed limbs wrapped in a fleshy robe, a stage three form could be
a spindly humanoid figure with distended jaw, a stage four form like a collection of ribbons and
spines, and a stage five form might look much like the host's original form, save with fleshy
protuberances, a strange skin color, and a soft glow. In addition, a Mutation form always takes on
a shape reminiscent of the character's Vice. A lust mutant is strangely alluring and disturbingly
lithe, while a wrath mutation is likely covered in serrated spines and drooling acid.
Cost: 3 ATP
Dice Pool: None. The character spends the ATP and the change takes three turns.
● Stage One
At this stage, the mutation is weak, but stronger than the normal flesh. The Infected gains +1 to
Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina. Increase derived attributes accordingly.
●● Stage Two
At this stage, the Infected gains a +1 bonus to a physical attribute to assign anywhere. Once
chosen, this cannot be changed.
●●● Stage Three
At this stage, the Infected gains a +1 bonus to a physical attribute to assign anywhere. Once
chosen, this cannot be changed. This cannot be the same attribute that received the bonus in
Stage Two.
●●●● Stage Four
At this stage, the Infected gains a +1 bonus to a physical attribute to assign anywhere. Once
chosen, this cannot be changed. This cannot be the same attribute that received the bonus in
Stage Three.
●●●●● Stage Five
At this stage, the Infected gains a +1 bonus to a physical attribute to assign anywhere. Once
chosen, this cannot be changed. This cannot be the same attribute that received the bonus in
Stage Four.
Special: At each stage, the Infected must choose an aspect from the list below. Once chosen,
the aspect cannot be changed.
Acid Spray: The infected can squirt an acidic liquid or corrosive mucous from its mouth,
strange pustules, or bony tubes. The character uses Dexterity + Athletics to attack and deals
lethal damage.
Antennae: A nice pair of antennae or other, bristly sensory hairs. The infected adds +2
dice to Perception rolls.
Armor Plates: The Infected gains +1/+1 Armor. This aspect can be chosen up to two
times.
Bite: The infected gains a bite attack as the jaw distends and fills with jagged teeth or
splits into a horrid mandible. The infected deals lethal damage with Brawl attacks. For additional
picks, the teeth deal +1 damage for each pick.
Claws: The Infected deals lethal damage with Brawl attacks. For additional picks, the
claws deal +1 damage for each pick.
Extra Eyes: Up to bunches. The Infected adds +2 dice to Perception rolls.
Extra Limbs: The Infected adds +2 dice to Brawl attacks.
Huge Size: The Infected is much larger than normal, and gains +2 to size while mutated.
Opposable Toes: The Infected gains +2 dice to actions performed when climbing.
Spikes: The Infected bristles with bony spikes; he can fire these as an action, using
Dexterity + Firearms. Bones dissolve in a few minutes.
Tentacles: Either a few really big ones or a bunch of little ones (or a big long tongue or
something). The Infected adds +2 dice to grappling. Chosen a second time, it adds an additional
+1 die.
Wall Crawler: The infected gains +4 dice to climb surfaces, even slick surfaces like wet
glass, so long as they could support the character's weight.
Weapon: One of the infected's hands becomes a massive talon, strange, bony sword, or
spike that deals 2 points of lethal damage; it uses the Weaponry skill to attack. The weapon can
fold away.
Wings: The Infected can fly at her standard speed. The host can only climb at a third of
her speed.
Action: Instant

Predation
The human is a prey animal. Predators seek to move past this. Unlike the Evolution subversion,
which capitalizes on the human mind's primal enemy as prey and seeks to move further than that,
the Predation subversion seeks to overrule the prey mind with that of a predator.
● Locate the Infirm
Wits + Predation
●● Hide from the Herd
Add Predation to Stealth rolls
●●● Predator's Eye
Transfix prey with Wits + Predation
●●●● Tag
Tag a character to track them
●●●●● Cull
Gain bonus ATP from stalked prey

Regenerate
Cancer is cell growth gone mad. The Infection can yoke this growth, bending it to the point of
choking, pale peach flesh boiling and quivering beneath translucent skin.
● Body Control
At this level of Regenerate, the Infected has been thrown under the clasp of the new creature
stirring within, and it is selfish.
Cost: –
Dice Pool: There is no dice pool. The character gets a bonus to rolls to resist poisons and
diseases equal to his dots in Regenerate, and stops aging.
●● Heal Self
The body can be re-knit from flesh that is broken and battered. Use of this power can heal the
Infected of injury, closing wounds, recovering from wounds. This power is quite dramatic in its
use, as doing so literally causes the Infected to arch her back and shed small motes of orange
light as some of the energy so catalyzed is expelled from the body.
Cost: 1 ATP
Dice Pool: Stamina + Regenerate
Dramatic Failure: The character immediately suffers a lethal wound and loses an additional point
of ATP.
Failure: Nothing happens to the character other than the loss of ATP.
Success: On a success, the character heals a number of points of bashing damage equal to the
total number of successes. The Infected can heal lethal damage by using two successes per
lethal point to be healed.
Dramatic Success: The Infected can heal aggravated damage by spending four successes on a
Heal Self roll in addition to the normal results of a success.
Action: Instant
●●● Heal Other
As the Infected can seal her own flesh, she can lend energy to others to perform this same
action. Energy visibly courses from the Infected, who must place her hands on the target; the
recipient's veins begin to shine an off-orange and red glow beneath his skin, and the target can
feel some new presence within his or her own body as the Infection does its work.
Cost: 2 ATP
Dice Pool: Regeneration + Resonance
Dramatic Failure: The Infected immediately deals a lethal wound per turn for a number of turns
equal to her Stamina to the victim, who can resist the damage as if it were a toxin.
Failure: Nothing occurs to the target or the character other than the loss of ATP used to activate
this power.
Success: The infected can spend 1 ATP per turn to heal 1 lethal damage each turn to her target
for a number of turns equal to the successes rolled.
Exceptional Success: The infected can spend 1 ATP to heal 2 points of lethal damage each turn
instead of 1.
Action: Extended
●●●● Regeneration
At later stages of development, the Infected can be subjected to intense periods of activity, not
unlike the control over adrenaline they often profess. This energy can be directed to the
reparative efforts of platelets and other such systems, enhancing the flow of health through the
body.
Cost: 1 ATP per turn
Dice Pool: None. The Infected simply regenerates 1 point of lethal damage each turn he
continues to spend the ATP cost.
Action: Reflexive
●●●●● Reconstitution
Death is not the end, or perhaps the pathogen will not allow death to become an end. Even after
death, many infected still twitch or even rise once more (see Chapter 4). At this level of power,
however, the pathogen has the power to resurrect the infected. When killed, the flesh springs to
life once again, undergoing a process not dissimilar from the transformation of tadpole to frog,
wounds healing, muscles rearranging themselves, and the body re-weaving into new flesh. The
self is changed into someone wholly new, with perhaps a new face, hair color, eye color, height,
weight, build, or even gender. The "new you" is smaller and biologically younger due to the
massive amount of energy needed to rebuild the body.
Cost: 1 Resonance and 5 ATP
Dice Pool: None. If the infected possesses this subversion and still has Resonance and enough
ATP, it activates. If the infected is resurrected with no Resonance, she becomes a normal mortal
once more. If she is Infected again, she becomes infected anew, she gains two free dots of
Regeneration despite her new status, but experience once spent on other Subversions is lost. If
the Storyteller is feeling particularly giving, there's no problem with allowing 2/3 or even all of that
experience be used to purchase those same subversions again, but none on anything new and
nothing above their old levels. The entire process takes six hours, during which time that infected
could conceivably be dismembered to prevent this subversion from working.

Vigor
The body can be sucked dry of degenerative chemicals produced during the movement of the
host, allowing muscles to work longer and harder, and the minor tears and breaks in these
muscles can be mended in moments. The result is strength that just keeps increasing, so long as
the body has the energy to keep up.
Cost: 1 ATP per turn
Dice Pool: Unlike other Subversions, this power grants bonuses to several other die pools once
activated. You cannot activate Vigor multiple times, but you can continue to spend ATP each turn
to keep it up.
Vigor adds its dots to the character's Strength as long as it is active. Note that derived traits are
affected by this Subversion. Vigor also adds its dots to the amount of feet a character travels
when jumping per success.
Action: Instant

Manipulations
The host can, through conscious effort, combine the results of subversions in a wide variety of
ways. These powers are called Manipulations, and can do all sorts of strange and bizarre things
to their targets or to the infected character's own body.

Activate Chimera (ATP Control ●●●, Evolution ●●, Mutation ●●●●)


With this manipulation, the infected can create chimeras. Chimeras can only be created from
animals that the infected has seen and touched recently, and are not under the direct control of
the one who created them.
Learning this power costs 45 xp.

Slime Burst (ATP Control ●●●●●, Mutation ●)


The infected can turn the power of slime body on another creature, dissolving it from the inside
out and absorbing it through her skin or else sending it off on errands until it dies.
This power costs 21 xp to learn.
Chapter Three: Mutation
(Special Rules)
I think it wants to spread.
That's the best explanation.
There's no other reason for it to do this to me. Or is it them?
I don't think it spreads just by being near people. I think it's tied to the inside of
the body.
To body fluids.
I won't bleed on anyone, so it's making me….
It's doing something to me.
Oh god, I need some help. I have to call Dale.
No.
It has to call Dale. I won't call him. I won't. It can't make me.
It can't.

The infected are no longer human. At least, that's what they like to think.

Spreading the Love


It's possible to transform other individuals into Infected. In order to infect another host,
the "parent" host in question must have a Resonance of 3 or higher and spend 1 Willpower dot.
Then, of course, the parent must perform the action that spreads the infection, dependent on the
vector. The target then rolls Stamina + Resolve. The number of successes achieved on this roll
by the victim is the number of weeks it takes for the infection to set in. The parent infected holds
no control over the new infected; he or she must seek his own fate.
During this period, the new infected behaves as if he or she has a Resonance score of 5
for the purposes of chimera detection, that is, chimeras seek her out. The character can sense
the infected that performed the deed, as well (using the originator's Resonance as a guide). The
host responsible for infecting the target can detect the target no matter where he or she is, as
long as the target is within a day's walk.

The Society
Since infected organizations aren't populous enough to keep track of new infected that
pop up,

Blackout
Sometimes, moments of extreme stress, extreme violations of Fusion, and other
situations will trigger a blackout. Blackouts are periods in which the infected experiences gaps of
memory, but these gaps do not occur after the fact, and the body does not seem to be idle during
these gaps of lost time. In fact, the infected, after experiencing a few blackouts, might find himself
with other infected "servants," alone in an alley with fresh blood on her lips, in the middle of a
date, awakening in a stranger's home, in the midst of writing something in an unknown language,
or in some other situation. In almost all cases, the infected often finds herself in the middle of
something she had no idea she was capable of or seems completely out of character. An
otherwise moderate character might awake to find himself in the center of debauchery or some
other excess, while another party animal might simply be walking in the park.
Characters awakening from blackout together might find stores of ATP gone (or draining,
with powers active) and their faces on wanted lists, or find themselves in jail with no explanation
for their actions. Blackout is especially common in characters with low Fusion scores. To test for
blackout when it's called for, a character simply rolls his Fusion score. Even a single success
staves off the blackout. Failure causes a blackout that lasts for a number of hours equal to 10 –
the character's Fusion. A blackout "persona" has a virtue and a vice all its own, and may act on
either. Players should put those down on their character sheets after their own Virtue and Vice,
even if they're not the ones playing their own blackout.
Blackout personas aren't all that smart: they seem to react on instinctive urges, at least,
at first. Characters who experience it too often might notice disturbing regularities in their
blackout, such as collecting certain types of organ or e-waste, writing the same sentence in that
odd language, and so forth. Of course, another infected might find a pile of rat livers waiting
outside his home one morning and throw them out, only to discover after a Blackout session he's
fished them out of the trash and is busy soldering them to copper wire.
If a player doesn't write down a virtue and vice his damn self, the Storyteller is urged to
be fiendish.

Phagomania
Infected need to eat. A lot. Specifically, infected need to eat about three times as much
food as a normal mortal or risk Decay.

Decay
Infected whose Fusion drops too quickly, are subject to blackout too often, or don't eat
the amount of food they should begin to suffer. The degenerative process that results is called
Decay. This state can also be triggered by extreme stress, hefty expenditure of ATP, and use of
the Mutation subversion. While suffering from Decay, the infected character's skin bruises, turns
green or patchy, flesh sloughs off, hair drops out, and the character's voice even changes subtly.
Decay doesn't just have to mean falling apart like a zombie, either (called Degenerative Decay).
Mutative Decay causes an infected to grow new features, such as dual-layered fingernails,
orifices in strange places, and other such disfigurements.
Extreme stress, lack of food, and loss of Fusion cause Degenerative Decay. When
confronted by the situation in question, the infected rolls Resolve + Stamina. A single success
mitigates the Decay, but a failure causes one point of bashing damage that cannot be healed
through natural or supernatural means. A dramatic failure causes this damage to be lethal.
Note that modifiers a cumulative; a starving infected character who loses a dot of Fusion
because he did something wildly against his Virtue or Vice suffers a -4 penalty to the roll to resist
Degenerative Decay.
Situation Modifier
Loss of Fusion -2
Lack of food -1 per day
Stress involving Virtue/Vice -1
Recovering the damage caused by Degenerative Decay can be recovered by an
expenditure of 5 ATP per point of bashing damage it has caused. If the damage has converted to
lethal damage, it costs 10 ATP to recover.
Use of the Mutation subversion, ATP expenditure, and stress all trigger Mutative Decay.

The Good Stuff


All infected share a few blessings despite their condition
Enhanced Metabolism and Senses
Infected can eat almost anything organic. Slime-covered broccoli and half-rotten steaks
are no problem. In addition, the infected character's sense of taste is greatly altered to actually
enjoy this sort of sustenance. The mutated flesh of chimeras has a wonderful bouquet and even
the flesh of human being smells sweet and delicious. The infected can see colors she couldn't
before, feel touch sensations more intensely, and pick out sounds from all around; this doesn't
afford many direct bonuses other than being able to stomach some nasty food and a +2 bonus on
all Perception tests due to enhanced senses of smell, taste, and hearing. On the plus side, the
infected character gets to add an additional +1 to ranged combat rolls if she takes a turn to aim
and can ignore up to 2 points of penalties due to darkness or foggy conditions. These bonuses
disappear if the character uses a scope of any sort.

Infected Derangements
Infected can suffer from unique derangements, in addition to the normal ones that
mortals can experience. Some of these are listed below.
Dissociation (Mild): The host begins to believe that the pathogen is in more control than
it possibly could be, or that he or she is controlled directly through some means other than her
own mind. The character doesn't mind; in fact, far from it. He likes the idea. It means he doesn't
have to make his own decisions, and indeed, doesn't. This can cause an emotional disconnect
from the world, as the infected character ceases to believe himself responsible for his own
actions, and argues vehemently that it isn't his or her fault.
Blackout Human Syndrome (Major): The infected believes he or she is the pathogen,
and the personality that emerges during blackout is the original human inhabitant of the body. In
this scenario, the human is possibly an enemy, a friend, or something to be suppressed. In
extreme cases, the infected believes herself above the law, the law being a "human institution." In
all cases, the infected believes that the strange writing, odd pictures, and nervous tics inherent to
all infected to be attempts by the human personality to re-assert control and visibly becomes
annoyed or angry at these actions; the host also often creates a new name for herself, often from
folklore or a random string of letters.
Alien Hand Syndrome (Mild): The character's non-dominant hand begins to move by
itself. Not dangerously or outright maliciously, but it acts according to the blackout persona's
virtue and vice. For example, a "charity hand" may be prone to giving things to others out of the
character's pocket while a "glutton hand" may seek to stuff food into the character's mouth.
Otherwise, the hand may simply wander and explore the surroundings and perform utilization
behaviors. Social skill penalties may apply.
Alien Ambulation Syndrome (Major): The character can't sit still. His eyes wander, he
refuses to sit in one spot even if he wants to, and picks up and handles everything. This is, in
effect, a more severe version of alien hand syndrome. Even when trying to hold a conversation,
he may walk away and look at something unrelated, fail to maintain eye contact, or display
incorrect body language.
Chapter Four: Evolution
(Storytelling & Antagonists)
It wants me to go outside.
I've been pacing in here for days. It wants me to eat, that's why I'm hungry. I'm
only breathing because it wants me to. I'm awake because it won't let me sleep when I
want.
It wants me to call Dale, I know it does. It lured him over here yesterday, to
pound on my door, to bring flowers. I shouted at him to go away because it wanted him
to come inside. I knew what it wanted. It was playing with my head, but I figured it out.
I figured it out and now it's mad, so it's making me hungry so I have to go outside and
get food.
Once I'm outside, it's going to try to run. I boarded up my door so it couldn't get
out.
I'm so clever. I'm going to stop it.

Insane in the Membrane


Mortal Versus Infected
Mortal Versus Chimera
Infected Versus Mortal
Infected Versus Infected
Infected Versus Chimera

Chimeras
Animals and plants can become infected. The true mechanism is unknown, but a few
powerful Cambions claim to have friends who have done it. Chimeras take shape wherever
infected gather; one might say they seem to appear in the wake of the infected, though the
infected often find that chimeras confront them as soon as they arrive some place, be it a
bedraggled, dust-filled town in the American west or the bright lights of the big city.

Lost Ones
Those infected who go mad, who lose all Fusion, or else find themselves driven insane
by the change are known as lost ones. They were infected and abandoned, were infected by
chimeras, or by some quiet, back-alley transfer of Resonance. In some cases, infected who are
reborn from the ground up lose all memory and become lost all on their own, while others seem
to have lost themselves entirely to whatever lives during blackout.

The Unquiet Dead


Sometimes infected with low Resonance and Fusion get back up when they die. Other
people, when infected, run the risk of simply dying from the transition. These dead do not ever
remain quiet and still as all polite corpses should. So called "ATP zombies" tend to gather in
groups and hunt for flesh and energy among the living. Unlike lost ones, they can't blend into the
human population due to their obviously rotting and fleshy nature. The disturbing part about these
individuals is that they are more common than normal infected, often coming in large groups,
usually in conjunction with chimeras.
ATP zombies develop over time. For each month an ATP zombie lives, it manifests a
mutation feature (from the subversion of the same name). A given ATP zombie might possess
long limbs, crawl on walls, and possess armor plates.

Handcrafted
Very recently, infected have found themselves pursued by shadowy organizations and
strange paramilitary groups who seem disturbingly informed about the presences of ATP zombies
and chimeras. It is obvious that these groups don't know about the infected in general, possibly
because zombies and chimeras are much more common manifestations of the pathogen. The
organizations seem to man facilities stocked with beakers and cages, talk of viruses,
macrophages, bacteria, and all manner of more bizarre things, including references to old gods or
darker things.

Enemies & Allies


Quentin Felps
Director Johnson
Notes on possibilities for material.

Togetherness – Wings
Mysterious phone calls in the night, strange dreams of monsters running through the fields, and
remaining strangely forgetful of pivotal life events, the life of the infected is often strange and
garbled, filled with periods of hallucinogenic fever and bubbling flesh, patchy growths, and bizarre
mutation. An internet forum full of crazies may be a haven for infected, or it may just be a bunch
of concerned mothers whose kids have had the flu. Some infected form social networks
branching over the cities in their state or havens buried beneath ghost towns or deep in caves
and caverns under the earth.

Annunaki – old, ritualistic, related to Mesopotamian empires? Mess o' potamia

Cambion
"This is going to hurt me. Then it's going to hurt you a lot more."
Bodily transformation is not something to be feared, but embraced. The new shapes of
the figure, from tentacles and tendrils to claws, thickened bone and hide, and multiple rows of
teeth are gifts from the body. The monster within is the monster without, they say. If human
beings are to become slaves to the body, may as well fall in with gusto.
More than any other Wing, save perhaps Neonates, Cambions stick together. They
arrange themselves into packs, stalking the streets at night, ever hungry. Wealthy Cambions may
pick up the homeless and slowly "fatten them" up for a later orgiastic feast while other, less
income-conscious Cambions roam the street and junkyards, searching for a quick fix. In each
case, however, the bonds of the pack are tighter than family.
Food is one of the top priorities of the Cambion mindset; using their Subversions as often
as possible is commonly an addiction for them. Frequently considered mad among the other
wings, the Cambions do little to make themselves seem a more legitimate philosophy. They are,
however, the oldest known group aside from the Evolutionaries, despite their philosophies being
considered the most childish.
Cambions, however, do not welcome blackout. Their philosophy is anything but childish.
After a hunt and feast, most Cambions sit and meditate on the hunt's outcome, the meaning
behind it, and what they may have learned about the nature of the monster inside. They believe
that in indulging the monster, one can understand and eventually control it.
Welcoming the New
When a Cambion chooses a suitable candidate to spread the infection, the host often
stalks the target for several days. A Cambion's choice is typically a socially maladjusted individual
that only becomes more insane as the Cambion moves through his life. The infected likes to play
with the potential candidate, showing up in mutated form, using subversions, and otherwise
testing the mental strength of the individual before moving ahead with infection. Once complete,
the Cambion trains the new infected not by saying what he or she has become, but chasing him
with chimeras, forcing instinctive use of subversions, and taunting him repeatedly. Eventually, the
only way to live with the madness is to become it. Those that do not weather this strain the way
the Cambions would like instead often become Jagda or Protectors.
Children of Echidna
Echidna is the mother of all monsters, and these Cambions call themselves her children.
Lilith's Brood
It has been said that Lilith is the mother of demons; that the only children she could
produce were evil, twisted creatures that lived in the night.
Primary Subversion: Flesh
Favored Attribute: Strength or Presence

Jagda
"Become one with me."
The Infection is not what it seems. It is not a parasite, but a mutation of something that
has already been living with us, inside us, for generations. What that thing is or could be is up to
debate; some wards and camps claim the liver, the mitochondria, the stomach, or even the brain
is the controlling factor in mutation, growing new organs and structures in the body as the
Infection spreads. It matters not. All that matters is that the human body is evolving, and the
Infected must evolve with it.
Primary Subversion: Evolution
Favored Attribute: Composure or Wits

Neonate

Protector

Infected tend to arrange themselves into like-minded groups, and initiate new human members as
soon as possible. These groups are known as Wings, collections of those for whom "biology" is
something more than a field of study. None know how or where the first groups of the Infected got
started; as they are a more recent occurrence, however, it is highly likely the first of the Wings
was fairly recent in its inception. Most groups agree that the Evolutionaries, however, are among
the oldest of the groups, with the Jagda branching off from them some time in the early nineties, if
any time at all.

Wings don't typically have de facto leaders, and instead are simply thought clubs and
organized groups that keep track of other members out of respect for similar ideas; there just
often aren't enough infected around to form heavily stratified organizations. Most communication
between members and leaders when they do exist is through internet forums, phone calls, and
letters in the mail. Sometimes large groups may get together for social events, but these groups
are rarely larger than four or five and a cadre of mortal friends.

Cambion
"This is going to hurt me. Then it's going to hurt you a lot more."
Bodily transformation is not something to be feared, but embraced. The new shapes of
the figure, from tentacles and tendrils to claws, thickened bone and hide, and multiple rows of
teeth are gifts from the body. The monster within is the monster without, they say. If human
beings are to become slaves to the body, may as well fall in with gusto.
More than any other Wing, save perhaps Neonates, Cambions stick together. They
arrange themselves into packs, stalking the streets at night, ever hungry. Wealthy Cambions may
pick up the homeless and slowly "fatten them" up for a later orgiastic feast while other, less
income-conscious Cambions roam the street and junkyards, searching for a quick fix. In each
case, however, the bonds of the pack are tighter than family.
Food is one of the top priorities of the Cambion mindset; using their Subversions as often
as possible is commonly an addiction for them. Frequently considered mad among the other
wings, the Cambions do little to make themselves seem a more legitimate philosophy. They are,
however, the oldest known group aside from the Evolutionaries, despite their philosophies being
considered the most childish.
Cambions, however, do not welcome blackout. Their philosophy is anything but childish.
After a hunt and feast, most Cambions sit and meditate on the hunt's outcome, the meaning
behind it, and what they may have learned about the nature of the monster inside. They believe
that in indulging the monster, one can understand and eventually control it.
Welcoming the New
When a Cambion chooses a suitable candidate to spread the infection, the host often
stalks the target for several days. A Cambion's choice is typically a socially maladjusted individual
that only becomes more insane as the Cambion moves through his life. The infected likes to play
with the potential candidate, showing up in mutated form, using subversions, and otherwise
testing the mental strength of the individual before moving ahead with infection. Once complete,
the Cambion trains the new infected not by saying what he or she has become, but chasing him
with chimeras, forcing instinctive use of subversions, and taunting him repeatedly. Eventually, the
only way to live with the madness is to become it. Those that do not weather this strain the way
the Cambions would like instead often become Jagda or Protectors.
Children of Echidna
Echidna is the mother of all monsters, and these Cambions call themselves her children.
Lilith's Brood
It has been said that Lilith is the mother of demons; that the only children she could
produce were evil, twisted creatures that lived in the night.
Primary Subversion: Flesh
Favored Attribute: Strength or Presence

Evolutionary: "Trying too hard gets you nowhere."


Jagda: "Neat! Hold still, let me try this out…"
Neonate: (sound of slobbering) "…..hello, little girl…"
Protector: "Whatever lets you sleep at night."
Stemmer: "Pfft. Loser. OW!"

Mages: "What is that, a wizard or something?"


Vampires: "That's not a monster. It's a corpse pretending to be a spider."
Werewolves: "What savage brothers has our mother wrought?"
Mortals: "So…. Hungry…."

Evolutionary
"Become one with me."
The Infection is not what it seems. It is not a parasite, but a mutation of something that
has already been living with us, inside us, for generations. What that thing is or could be is up to
debate; some wards and camps claim the liver, the mitochondria, the stomach, or even the brain
is the controlling factor in mutation, growing new organs and structures in the body as the
Infection spreads. It matters not. All that matters is that the human body is evolving, and the
Infected must evolve with it.
Primary Subversion: Evolution
Favored Attribute: Composure or Wits

Cambion: "If you stop trying, you never improve."


Jagda: "They, too, will weed themselves out."
Neonate: "They have great knowledge, if only you would seek it."
Protector: "Closest to the thing we once were; we owe them a great deal."
Stemmer: "In time, as all do, they will change their minds."

Mages: "Ahead of their time, or a throwback?"


Vampires: "They just stopped. What the hell?"
Werewolves: "They went backwards, didn't they? Whatever works."
Mortals: "On their way out. Be gentle towards them."

Jagda
"I smell somethin' that's goin' extinct!"
Evolution occurs only through natural selection. In the case of humanity, the selection
process has been sublimated. The weak and infirm are allowed to live among the strong. This
situation must be rectified for humanity to survive.

Primary Subversion: Predation


Favored Attribute: Strength or Resolve

Cambion: "A good idea, but the implementation is lacking."


Evolutionary: "Our weaker, pitiable brother."
Neonate: "I'm sorry, was that your mommy?"
Protector: "Evolve or die. I see what you picked."
Stemmer: "Sort of like life's little dropouts, aren't they?"

Mages: "Steer clear. Maybe they're the next step, too."


Vampires: "What, is it amateur hour or something?"
Werewolves: "Weak, weak, weak."
Mortals: "Huntin' time!"

Neonate
"We are one whole."
The Infection is not the Infection, and the Infected are not so; Neonates prefer the term
Host. The Host is merely keeper of the home that the guest inhabits, and the Host must endeavor
to understand the guest.
The child is the perfection of the body. So it is, then, that symbiosis occurs early in life.
You must come to terms with the new relationship you have with your body; the Evolutionaries
are correct in that this is the evolution of the human form, but the form is not under the control of
the human mind. The human body has awakened as the mind once was, and only by listening to
it and its urges can you come to understand it and be one with it.
As a child's form is the perfection of the body, technology is the perfection of evolution.
Seek to become one with the technology, for as the flesh can be warped, so can the metals of the
Earth, shaped to become the new claws and teeth of the people. Grow machines within and
without the flesh, wrap the flesh in and through the machine, and become it. This is the path of
the Neonate.
Welcoming the New
Neonates may seem like children, but they are far from immature. A Neonate often cyber-
stalks a potential candidate for infection and the organization for weeks, months, or even years.
Others work within specific social circles, pretending to be adults or the hangers-on of older
infected, often displaying genius-level intellect and searching for like minds when attending such
events. Once chosen, the candidate is slowly introduced to the idea of the infected through a
series of mock dangers and stalking behavior perpetrated by the Neonate's fellows (a decidedly
disturbing undertaking for the mortal, who is treated to several weeks of being stalked by a group
of strange children). Neonates prefer to infect using needles and careful cleaning of wounds and
arms, or, in the case of some infections, administering their 'treatments' orally, from hacking up
bizarre worms to open bleeding into the mouth. They then back off and wait for the infection to
take hold.
Primary Subversion: Incorporation
Favored Attribute: Intelligence or Stamina

Cambion: "They can't even see their best ideas."


Evolutionary: "Barking up the wrong tree of life. It's more a web."
Jagda: "Yes, uncle. I'll stay out of your basement. You stay out of mine."
Protector: "Can I come over?"
Stemmer: "Oh, get over it and grow up."

Mages: "Isn't the witch the one that ends up in the oven at the end?"
Vampires: "Scary creatures, especially to children."
Werewolves: "Throw a biscuit between them and watch them fight!"
Mortals: "My mommy is still one. Be respectful."

Protector
"Stay back. Let me handle this."
A man once said "with great power comes great responsibility," and despite the triteness
of the phrase, it is correct and the operating creed of the Protector. Humanity, as the
Evolutionaries say, is on its way out. Only the fool and the sadist would make those waning years
violent and filled with torment. Instead, the proper response to a fading breed is to wait by the
bed, holding the hand of that which is dying, and making the transition as peaceful as possible.
Either that, or play hero because that seems like the thing to do with strange and mysterious
powers.
The Infected are not the only monsters the world has to offer. Drug dealers, rapists,
blackmailers, and other sundry crimes against both the law and humanity reign in the shadows.
The goal of the Protector is to defend humanity with what little humanity the Infected has left.
Primary Subversion: Adrenal Control
Favored Attribute: Composure or Resolve

Cambion: "Be careful, lest you become the kind of monster I hunt."
Evolutionary: "Who cares where it's from? Where is it going?"
Jagda: "A sad spectacle."
Neonate: "Sure. I have a bedtime story I can read you."
Stemmer: "It's time to learn some responsibility for your existence."

Mages: "Do they think they're above all laws or something?"


Vampires: "Predators with no moral compass. Frightening."
Werewolves: "Didn't Batman fight a werewolf?"
Mortals: "Remember you used to be there before you judge anyone."

Stemmer
"What the hell is happening?"
To be a Stemmer is to not belong to a Wing. It means no letters in the mail, no yearly
barbecue, and no mysterious phone calls in the night. It also means no backup, no aid, nobody to
go to when you're out of cash and need to gorge yourself, and no easy answers when Chimeras,
mysterious scientists, or corporate headhunters come pounding at the door. In all correctness, a
Stemmer is also any infected that has not yet joined a Wing, Ward, or Room.
Primary Subversion: None
Favored Attribute: None

Cambion: "They want to be monsters. That's all I needed to know."


Evolutionary: "Sounds like a religious dogma wrapped in pseudoscience."
Jagda: "Like a religious dogma used to excuse murder."
Neonate: "A group of creepy kids? I saw that movie, too. I didn't like that movie."
Protector: "Scary. It feels like they're pretending to be superheroes."

Mages: "Huh. Neat."


Vampires: "Anything after my blood is getting shot."
Werewolves: "Okay, imagine one of those monster fuckers, but fuzzier. No thanks."
Mortals: "Ignorance is bliss. I miss those days."

Rooms, Camps, Packs, and Wards


There's safety in numbers.

Normal humans and even supernatural creatures know something's "not right" with Infected. This
isn't really a calculable sensation until Resonance gets too high (say, about 3). This sensation
makes it hard to relate to people, and so social die pools (excepting Intimidation) suffer as a
result. Note that using certain Subversions in the plain sight of mortals could potentially cause
adverse reactions, as well, even if used to protect or aid (the sight of someone's arm becoming a
writhing mass of tentacles tends to churn the stomach).

Symptoms
After the infection has run its course and the human has stepped into the new world of the
infected, he or she then begins to display a marked set of symptoms. This is the primary way the
pathogen makes its presence known to the human, subtly urging him to perform certain actions,
behaving in some ways like a derangement, and in other ways like an illness.
An infected character need not contact other infected to manifest a symptom. Symptoms
mark a character, making her truly one of the infected. Each symptom has both good news and
bad news. Bad news is listed first.
Each of the symptoms lists its primary Subversion; use of this Subversion works much
the way it does for Vectors, as well. It's instinctive, like flexing a muscle or even blinking. Such
use of power is often confusing or unsettling, since while its use is instinctive, the sensations it
causes seem new every time.

Dermis
The itching's started again. It's stronger this time, and the rash is over the left side of the
face. Yes, I've been using the analgesic.
Soaking in water seems to help. The itching goes away, but only if I'm in the pool or
something. There's not enough water in the shower. I spent all day yesterday in the lake out
back. I actually got some sleep there.

The body changes; this is nothing new. Mortals awaken from sleep with mystery lumps,
cuts, bruises, and other oddities. Sometimes one discovers a bruise with no apparent cause. The
strange welt does not hurt, but seems to be filled with pus nonetheless. Other such signs may
include wriggling and meandering lines under the skin, not unlike larval migrans.
Those with dermis feel a burning sensation on the skin, and it often covers itself with
hives, warts, patches, pus-leaking wounds, and in some cases, even puffs up to absurd
proportions. Such beings are often led to spend vast amounts of time in or near water, in humid
surroundings, or wrapped in warm and wet clothing. At the same time, skin and joints thicken,
providing a measure of strange and unearthly strength.
A Resonance-stuffed dermis infected may seem to have leprosy or some other epidermal
disease, the body almost completely covered by shedding skin or spots. Keratosis, acne,
dermatitis, and a wide variety of skin disorders that cause bleeding, lumps, or horrid, bark-like
warts that can be removed painlessly through the use of a drill or weak acid.
The dermis infected often finds himself drawn to violent conflict, driven to outbursts both
external and physical. The itching, the pain, and the frustration build until the infected is a coil
ready to spring.
The Buildup
As the infected with dermis symptoms progresses, he desires to stay near water. Her
skin itches, bumps and boils cry out in pain, rashes feel as though they are crawling or moving
just under the surface of the skin, a feeling that only vanishes if the infected immerses herself in
water. The feelings vanish, but they eventually return, and if the infected has no quick path to
water, her mind begins to suffer. The character suffers his or her Dice Pool Penalty to social rolls
when more than a mile away from a source of water (ponds, streams, and bathtubs don't count,
but lakes and rivers are just fine).
The Bad News
The infected tends to have strange bruises, patches of thick skin, and scar tissue that
seem to change day to day. These rashes are quite painful and do not go away readily,
sometimes randomly changing shape or position while the character sleeps. Any wound penalties
the character suffers from increase in severity by 1.
The Good News
The character is tougher than most. He can spend a point of ATP to add his Resonance
to his armor for one scene. This thickened skin doesn't come without cost, however. The
character suffers his Dice Pool Penalty from Resonance as a penalty on all Dexterity-based dice
pools while using this power.
Primary Subversion: Vigor
Fever
He had to catch himself panting again, wheezing, trying to catch his breath. The bus was
so cold. The fire in his belly just couldn't stand up to the outside. He caught a woman looking at
him over her newspaper, and he just retreated further into his jacket in response. No one had to
know he had his lighter on under his hands.

The body knows heat. Heat defines the life of the body. Heat is in the summer sun and
the hot tub out back. It's ubiquitous to human existence. The fire in the heart and the blood burns
ever hotter in the infected, boiling and rising to the skin. The face becomes flush and gleams with
sweat, hair becomes matted and thick, and joints ache, crying out for healthier days.
A character with such a fever may turn red and puff up, or she may become sickly pale
and thin. As Resonance climbs ever higher, a palpable heat wells up within the infected body and
even begins to radiate to those nearby, making them feel uncomfortably warm in her presence.
The infected feels weak in the joints, light headed, and wheezes with every breath, but not so
much that she cannot function.
The Buildup
As the infected continues to progress, the body's temperature rises. The brain addles
from the strain, and has trouble focusing. The infected sweats profusely, sheds weight, and takes
to shivering even in the heat of the day. Sunlight, however, is good for the character. It reduces
the amount of shivering and seems to alleviate the pain in the joints. The cool darkness of the
night, however, is another story. The night air seems to sap strength, weaken the joints, and
prickle the skin. Air escapes from the character's mouth like steam, and he grows sickly and pale.
The host suffers his Dice Pool Penalty to mental rolls during the night.
The Bad News
The fevered can't stand the cold due to his newly increased body temperature; even
room temperatures feel frigid. The character spends nights wrapped in blankets, sweating up a
storm. When resisting the effects of cold conditions, he suffers a -3 penalty to his resistance rolls.
The Good News
The good news is that the fevered has a lot of excess body heat. The character can
spend a point of ATP to gain his Resonance trait as a penalty to fire effects attempting to damage
him. This can not reduce damage from a fire to below zero.
Primary Subversion: ATP Control

Insomnia
Can't sleep.
It's been four nights. I can't sleep. Was it four nights? I think it was Monday then. I had
the dream about the car accident. I didn't go bowling, and that was good, Larry didn't come home
that night, his wife called, checked to make sure I was alright. I said I didn't go because I had a
dream about it.
She keeps calling me now, asking about my dreams. I keep telling her I can't sleep most
of the time.
The walls are trying to touch me again.

The human brain is a complex mechanism. The right amount and variation of chemicals
can shut it down or supercharge it. In some infected, the brain works overtime, clocking so hard
that its periods of rest are few and far between, but when they arrive, they bring friends. By the
same token, if the brain doesn't get the right amount of rest, it addles. Hallucinations become the
order of the day.
The Buildup
As an insomniac gains Resonance, he starts to lose touch with reality. Auditory and
visual hallucinations hound him, and he's no longer certain what's a Subversion and what's really
happening. She can see flesh climbing walls, body and blood pumping and churning through
throbbing pipes, bile leaking through wallpaper, and Chimeras at every turn. Insomniacs suffer
their Dice Pool Penalty to social rolls if they haven't slept in more than two days.
The Bad News
The infected has trouble sleeping. He doesn't have a choice, really. Every time he lays
down to go to sleep, his eyes fly open, strange sounds fill his ears, and his heart churns. He must
spend ATP to resist fatigue if he still can in any way, shape, or form. He must then make
resistance rolls to stay awake as long as possible, even spending Willpower if necessary, as well
as indulging Virtues and Vices.
The Good News
On the plus side, when the infected character does finally get some sleep, he has some
rather telling dreams. This works like the Common Sense merit, except the roll occurs anytime
the character goes to sleep.
Primary Subversion: Adrenal Control

Paedomorphosis
They were like kids, man. Little kids. A bunch of them, walking through the back alley,
carrying balls or something. I think one of them ballooned, like an egg from some kinda sci-fi
movie.
There was this chick back there, where they were all going. She was dressed up like a
teacher or a tour guide or some shit. Cute girl, too. Baby blue eyes, little puffy face. I told the
kiddies to move out of the way, me and my boys got to talk to the teacher girl, and she smiled at
them. They all turned around with them balls, and they opened, like flowers. There were guts or
something inside. Guts that jumped at me and my boys. They didn't rip the boys apart, no, they
stabbed Jag in the head, and he turned his gun on himself. The whole place started screaming.
Then you was waking me up. No, man, I wasn't on drugs or nothin'. You gotta believe
me, man. It was them kids! Them goddamn kids!

The children will are our future, that's how the old saying goes. In the case of the infected
displaying the characteristics of neoteny, the body never grows beyond puberty. In the case of
adults, age seems to subtly reverse itself: wrinkles vanish, the cheeks grow rounder, lost strength
seems to return, and vellus hair reasserts itself in many cases.
Many Unborn suffer from this symptom, approaching the end of the age of innocence and
then freezing there, never aging any further. They often attach themselves to other adults, check
themselves in to orphanages, feign kidney ailments, or otherwise lose themselves in the system.
The Buildup
The character doesn't appear to suffer any ill problems other than a few smoother
features; to other infected, the Neonates got off easy. To those with this symptom, the truth is far
less visible. Neonates have trouble relating to others, they suffer from rapid shifts in their attention
span, being able to concentrate one day while their minds give in to distractions with ease on
other days. In addition, they have trouble with action-based decision making, having to turn over
in their minds a notion to ensure it's a good idea. A Neonate might know it's a bad idea to run out
into a crowded firefight with no cover, but actually has to stop and think to make sure it's not a
good idea. Those infected afflicted with Paedomorphosis suffer their Dice Pool Penalties on Wits
rolls and instant mental rolls when forced to make decisions during periods of stress, such as
combat and life-or-death situations.
The Bad News
Thanks to his or her newer, cuter face (or childlike body), the character has trouble
getting others to take her seriously. He does not benefit from the 10-again rule on Presence,
Intimidation, or Expression tests, and any 1s rolled count against successes.
The Good News
It's really hard to turn down those puppy-dog eyes. Neonates gain the 9-again rule on
Persuasion and Manipulation tests.
Primary Subversion: Bioelectricity

Rooms, Camps, Packs, and Wards


There's safety in numbers.

Togetherness – Wings
Mysterious phone calls in the night, strange dreams of monsters running through the fields, and
remaining strangely forgetful of pivotal life events, the life of the infected is often strange and
garbled, filled with periods of hallucinogenic fever and bubbling flesh, patchy growths, and bizarre
mutation. An internet forum full of crazies may be a haven for infected, or it may just be a bunch
of concerned mothers whose kids have had the flu. Some infected form social networks
branching over the cities in their state or havens buried beneath ghost towns or deep in caves
and caverns under the earth.

Annunaki
"We are more ancient than you can imagine."
The Annunaki claim descent from sky gods, beings beneath the earth, aliens, and other,
more esoteric things. They say that they are the oldest of the wings, and all others should pay or
owe fealty. While other wings meet in secret in the back room of the coffee shop, on internet chat
rooms, cryptic notes, or even relay mysterious calls to one another, the Annunaki meet in pomp
and ceremony. Their meetings are rife in costume and rooted in careful and strict ritual. Whether
the ritual du jour is made up or truly an ancient Sumerian rite is left to the other infected to debate
amongst themselves.
Rituals often include sacrifices, feasting on raw meat (often goat), and orgies in which the
participants fuse or mutate into horrible shapes.
Primary Subversion: Flesh
Favored Attribute: Strength or Resolve

Cambion
"This is going to hurt me. Then it's going to hurt you a lot more."
Bodily transformation is not something to be feared, but embraced. The new shapes of
the figure, from tentacles and tendrils to claws, thickened bone and hide, and multiple rows of
teeth are gifts from the body. The monster within is the monster without, they say. If human
beings are to become slaves to the body, may as well fall in with gusto.
More than any other Wing, save perhaps Neonates, Cambions stick together. They
arrange themselves into packs, stalking the streets at night, ever hungry. Wealthy Cambions may
pick up the homeless and slowly "fatten them" up for a later orgiastic feast while other, less
income-conscious Cambions roam the street and junkyards, searching for a quick fix. In each
case, however, the bonds of the pack are tighter than family.
Food is one of the top priorities of the Cambion mindset; using their Subversions as often
as possible is commonly an addiction for them. Frequently considered mad among the other
wings, the Cambions do little to make themselves seem a more legitimate philosophy. They are,
however, the oldest known group aside from the Evolutionaries, despite their philosophies being
considered the most childish.
Cambions, however, do not welcome blackout. Their philosophy is anything but childish.
After a hunt and feast, most Cambions sit and meditate on the hunt's outcome, the meaning
behind it, and what they may have learned about the nature of the monster inside. They believe
that in indulging the monster, one can understand and eventually control it.
Welcoming the New
When a Cambion chooses a suitable candidate to spread the infection, the host often
stalks the target for several days. A Cambion's choice is typically a socially maladjusted individual
that only becomes more insane as the Cambion moves through his life. The infected likes to play
with the potential candidate, showing up in mutated form, using subversions, and otherwise
testing the mental strength of the individual before moving ahead with infection. Once complete,
the Cambion trains the new infected not by saying what he or she has become, but chasing him
with chimeras, forcing instinctive use of subversions, and taunting him repeatedly. Eventually, the
only way to live with the madness is to become it. Those that do not weather this strain the way
the Cambions would like instead often become Jagda or Protectors.
Children of Echidna
Echidna is the mother of all monsters, and these Cambions call themselves her children.
Her body was said to be half-nymph and half snake or slug, with horrid mottling and feasting on
raw flesh. The Children participate in such feasts, hunting in small packs and
Lilith's Brood
It has been said that Lilith is the mother of demons; that the only children she could
produce were evil, twisted creatures that lived in the night.
Primary Subversion: Predation
Favored Attribute: Strength or Presence

Jagda
"Become one with me."
The Infection is not what it seems. It is not a parasite, but a mutation of something that
has already been living with us, inside us, for generations. What that thing is or could be is up to
debate; some wards and camps claim the liver, the mitochondria, the stomach, or even the brain
is the controlling factor in mutation, growing new organs and structures in the body as the
Infection spreads. It matters not. All that matters is that the human body is evolving, and the
Infected must evolve with it.
Primary Subversion: Evolution
Favored Attribute: Composure or Wits

Neonate
"We are one whole."
The Infection is not the Infection, and the Infected are not so; Neonates prefer the term
Host. The Host is merely keeper of the home that the guest inhabits, and the Host must endeavor
to understand the guest.
The child is the perfection of the body. So it is, then, that symbiosis occurs early in life.
You must come to terms with the new relationship you have with your body; the Evolutionaries
are correct in that this is the evolution of the human form, but the form is not under the control of
the human mind. The human body has awakened as the mind once was, and only by listening to
it and its urges can you come to understand it and be one with it.
As a child's form is the perfection of the body, technology is the perfection of evolution.
Seek to become one with the technology, for as the flesh can be warped, so can the metals of the
Earth, shaped to become the new claws and teeth of the people. Grow machines within and
without the flesh, wrap the flesh in and through the machine, and become it. This is the path of
the Neonate.
Welcoming the New
Neonates may seem like children, but they are far from immature. A Neonate often cyber-
stalks a potential candidate for infection and the organization for weeks, months, or even years.
Others work within specific social circles, pretending to be adults or the hangers-on of older
infected, often displaying genius-level intellect and searching for like minds when attending such
events. Once chosen, the candidate is slowly introduced to the idea of the infected through a
series of mock dangers and stalking behavior perpetrated by the Neonate's fellows (a decidedly
disturbing undertaking for the mortal, who is treated to several weeks of being stalked by a group
of strange children). Neonates prefer to infect using needles and careful cleaning of wounds and
arms, or, in the case of some infections, administering their 'treatments' orally, from hacking up
bizarre worms to open bleeding into the mouth. They then back off and wait for the infection to
take hold. If a chimera comes of it, they dispose of the beast quickly, mutating and then tearing it
limb from limb.
Primary Subversion: Incorporation
Favored Attribute: Intelligence or Stamina

Protector
"Stay back. Let me handle this."
A man once said "with great power comes great responsibility," and despite the triteness
of the phrase, it is correct and the operating creed of the Protector. Humanity, as the
Evolutionaries say, is on its way out. Only the fool and the sadist would make those waning years
violent and filled with torment. Instead, the proper response to a fading breed is to wait by the
bed, holding the hand of that which is dying, and making the transition as peaceful as possible.
Either that, or play hero because that seems like the thing to do with strange and mysterious
powers.
The Infected are not the only monsters the world has to offer. Drug dealers, rapists,
blackmailers, and other sundry crimes against both the law and humanity reign in the shadows.
The goal of the Protector is to defend humanity with what little humanity the Infected has left.
Primary Subversion: Adrenal Control
Favored Attribute: Composure or Resolve

Stemmer
"What the hell is happening?"
To be a Stemmer is to not belong to a Wing. It means no letters in the mail, no yearly
barbecue, and no mysterious phone calls in the night. It also means no backup, no aid, nobody to
go to when you're out of cash and need to gorge yourself, and no easy answers when Chimeras,
mysterious scientists, or corporate headhunters come pounding at the door. In all correctness, a
Stemmer is also any infected that has not yet joined a Wing, Ward, or Room.
Primary Subversion: None
Favored Attribute: None

Crossover Considerations
Crossing over chronicles is far easier to do nowadays. It used to be that conflicting
worldviews would clash and create confused players and storytellers alike.
Mages
MY brain life mages have o read Awakening again
Vampires
Kindred who feed on an infected are in for a special treat: for every bit of blood drained,
the super-charged blood of the infected yields two Vitae. There's only one downside. While in
bliss and thoroughly enjoying the experience, the infected is fully capable of snapping out of it at
a moment's notice with no roll; hunting unwilling infected is a dangerous game. Infected also can't
be made into ghouls due to the nature of conflicting templates, and they're immune to the effects
of the Vinculum (their bodies just rip through the vampire blood like it's a competing disease),
though they can still become addicted to the rush.
Werewolves
An Uratha might think that an infected is being ridden or otherwise consumed by a spirit.