Progenitors Revisited

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Another take on an old convention. A work in progress.

Enlightened Biology

This is the bedrock for all Progenitors. Generally, a Progenitor prefers to use biological technology, though only a fool would turn down the usefulness of devices from the Iterators. The divisions of the Progenitors do share some methods, but most researchers tend to stick with their favorite methodologies

Biochemistry / Toxicology

The Pharmacopoeists utilize the science of chemicals effecting the body. A properly modified medicine can become a toxin, and vice versa. This typically combines matter and life. Physicians with this type of training typically can carry a variety of medicines and poisons based on the spheres. Their effects tend to be more immediate and less permanent, but are often easily administered as a spray or dart. With some assistance from the Syndicate, they manage the pharmaceutical industry, controlling both the researchers and the sources of grant money. This knowledge can be used as a weapon in the right circumstances.

Physiology / Surgery

FACADE Engineers deal with life on the organ / organism level in general, though they have been major backers of stem cell research, which they hope will achieve popular acceptance and status as proven science. While the Genengineers work with theory and cells, the FACADE Engineers create new organisms via surgical splicing. This science has produced modern transplant medicine, and surgeons in this division are sought after by the Masses. While FACADE Engineers generally leave the fieldwork to their creations, knowledge of anatomy can make martial arts and shooting into a science. There are also the Scions - the operatives who enhance themselves via abandoning humanity. While transplant rejection (Paradox) is a problem, these soldiers can stand up to front-line combat with reality deviants.

Molecular Biology / Genetics

Genengineers created molecular biology. Watson and Crick made good public foils, but Research Director Rosalind Franklin was responsible for the work in question. Genetic alterations can be subtle, or drastic, but most minor variations fall into the natural diversity of the human genome. With the completion of the human genome project, Genengineers plan to eliminate hereditary diseases like muscular dystrophy, Huntington's disease, lycanthropy, and a number of other genetic deviants. Thanks to a mastery of gene expression, Enlightened molecular biologists can control when a gene is activated and to what degree it is turned on, allowing for transitory, rapid effects. A retrovirus or bacterium can insert a gene into appropriate cells in a target or deliver a recombinant protein. Genengineers are also commonly in near-perfect physical shape thanks to gene therapy - while some wear glasses or walk slowly for style, only a low-end research assistant would have low physical stats or be nearsighted.

Rotes and Protocols

So how do Progenitors practice their science?


Life 1
Wide field scans typically use heartbeats or are done in conjunction with another pattern sphere such as the electrical field from the nervous system, or the particular chemical composition of the body. Any radiology procedure or blood test can be interpreted by an Enlightened physician for a more detailed analysis.
Life 2
Progenitors learn to master their own body before repairing others. Being able to develop powerful toxins or diseases is easy work, but the key is making them target a specific species, and even a specific organism. The Progenitor often has quickly usable First Aid techniques like stem cell activator chemicals or direct control of the immune response as well as more conventional medical practice.
Life 3
Progenitors begin to come into their own at this level, where the FACADE Engineers build insects that can drop an RD, Genengineers transform themselves with retroviruses, and Pharmacopoeists produce poison and medicines in vast quantities. Using their respective methodologies, any of the feats associated with Reality Deviant practice are achievable. Better Body? Try steroids, muscle/nerve grafts, or rewriting and altering the expression of the genetic code. The Progenitors know how to heal the most grievous injuries, and can become architects of death, not only killing but choosing the cause of death.
Life 4
Progenitors can transcend the natural limitations imposed on the human form at this level. Using their rigorous study of abhuman reality deviants, they can alter their body to a dangerous degree. While xenogenic grafts, DNA splicing, and abhuman hormones can make a technocrat superhuman, the cost in tissue rejection, cancer, and outright death is terrifying. Most tend to restrict their modifications to their subjects, often making lethal pets or the constructs of the FACADE Engineers.


Living things die. Most higher organism cells have a built-in limit on divisions, and the organisms themselves have limited lifespans Exploiting this weakness to your advantage can be a powerful edge. Entropy 1 is incredibly common among Progenitors, though it is usually not thought of as such. Progenitors have methods of measuring brain function that blow away other lie detectors, and the knowledge of anatomy a training in medicine provides will allow attacks to become incredibly lethal.


The Public Health movement is one of the greatest success stories of the Ivory Tower, and Progenitors with Epidemiology training know how diseases spread, and how to end or cause an outbreak. Progenitor epidemiologists fight entire plagues and cure societies, while also understanding how to use and control the masses as part of Enlightened Science. Interestingly, this familiarity with networks and spread also improves a Progenitor's skill in the Digital Web.


Organisms control and harness physical forces constantly. Understanding the principles behind such things as photosynthesis, electric eels, geckos walking on walls, and even human motion can drastically improve a scientist's skill in surviving.


Most Progenitors learn this sphere of science at the same time as their life studies. It is amazing what a living organism can produce or consume. Progenitor experts in this area grow their own Devices, to the chagrin of the Iterators.


Control the brain, control the mind. The success of Progenitor efforts like Prozac and Valium remains a point they hold over the New World Order. Generally, Progenitor mind effects are broader, but not nearly as fine-tuned as those of the NWO.


Primal Metabolism
While the Verbena traditionalists prattle on about heart's blood, the Progenitors have unlocked the secrets of life and prime energy. One of the great discoveries of the Hippocratic Circle was the existence of a class of autotrophic micro-organisms that utilized Primal Force like photosynthetic organisms use light. With minimal nutrients and a few spores, a full sized colony could grow from almost nothing. This can be used as a weapon extremely safely, since a spray of an inhibitor will quickly kill a colony without external effects, and the bacteria are very easy to engineer. Most scientists establish symbiotic colonies of primotrophic microbes or modify themselves to actively use primal energy while studying this sphere.

Dimensional Science

RD Knowledge
Careful dissection and examination of reality deviants have given some insight into the Dimensional Science of the Void Engineers. While Progenitors have very limited knowledge of this area of science in general, the Quiescence Project has knowledge of this sphere approaching the Void Engineers, which it guards jealously. They have developed methods of preventing any extra-dimensional reflections of a destroyed target from surviving its annihilation.


Perceived Time / Forensics
Time is unchanging, but the perception of time by humans is quite variable. By comparing an internal clock with an external source, a progenitor can detect temporal distortion, and careful use of enhancement can make perceived time vary vastly from normal. This science also includes the historical science of forensics, where a bone or piece of material can open up a view of the past happenings.


Battery of Tests
Life 1
By using a long series of tests, the Progenitor can develop a complete genetic, biochemical, and profile of an individual. This is performed as a ritual - Intelligent + Medicine or a branch of Biology. This can include a complete genetic map, all current or recent illness, and any pharmaceuticals or toxins present in the body.
Instincts of the Prey
Prime 1, Dimensional Science 1
Humans were not the dominant species on Earth of much of history. The lycanthropes, hemovores, and other "monsters" preyed upon humanity for centuries before Civilization and the advent of Reason drove them into the shadows. The long period of selection has given humans an inherent sense of the presence of a predator, even when the predator should be invisible and silent. This rote draws on this sense, temporarily awakening a buried corner of the Progenitor's mind. This requires a willpower roll, with a difficulty modified by the enlightenment (Arete) value. If this roll succeeds, the Progenitor gains an instinctive awareness for a scene of beings like werewolves, vampires, and spirits, though any attempts to interact with them socially are at +2 difficulty. If the roll fails, the Progenitor is overwhelmed by the sensation, and must make a willpower roll every time she senses a "monster" or fall into a fight or flight reflex. If any of these willpower rolls botches, she gains a derangement for the rest of the scene.
Neurotransmitter Overproduction
Time 3, Mind 1
A scientist with the right knowledge of science can temporarily induce a surge of mental activity. Her perception of time seems to slow down, and thoughts flow freely, allowing her to focus on multiple ideas at once.
Forensic Science
Time 2, Life 1, Matter 1
Thanks to countless CSI shows, the Progenitors have made this procedure coincidental. By examining a scene, a scientist reconstruct happened there. This is usually done as ritual using investigation, an
Primotrophic Microbes
Life 3, Prime 2
Primotrophic microbes an be used as a method of assassination or to alter a lifeform coincidentally. However, one of the greatest uses for this technique is to infect a target with the spores of a parasitic primotroph that disrupts a target's Primal metabolism, as well as administering conventional toxins. (This can function as a Rubbing the Bones or Rip the Man-Body effect)
Life 3, Matter 3 (Prime 2)
The amount of materials enzyme complexes and bacteria can synthesize is vast. With a properly engineered organism, materials can be made from their raw components. Clothing, foods, medicines, building materials - just about anything can be grown in a vat. This also allows for the creation of artificial organs for transplant. The process normally requires a considerable amount of time for processing, but the use of primotrophic microbes can accelerate this greatly.


What do Progenitors do? Why do they study medicine and biology for long hours, laboring over experiments and performing dangerous fieldwork? These are some of the most common initiatives that this convention focuses on. It is also common to see Progenitors on assignment to other conventions.

The Quiescence Project

Not the most popular of projects. By administering an agent to the Masses, the Project seeks to inhibit the Eidolons / Inner Genius of the Masses reversibly, only giving a select few the antidote. The potential for elitism is obvious, and some of the effects irreversibly damage the individuals subjected to the treatment. Still, the idea of permanently removing the tradition reality criminals in the same way one would remove any other cancer is quite tempting. The Project also has a more popular solution for eliminating Nephandi or other extreme reality criminals permanently, which is highly classified, but rumored to involved other conventions and the use of Dimensional Science.

Field Medicine

Fighting to protect reality is not easy, and injuries are part of a normal day's work. That's where Field Medicine comes in. Field Medics are usually low-level Progenitors, and it is horrible way to advance in the Convention. However, other Conventions value their field medics like solid Primium. Since most Reality Criminals could care less about a Red Cross on your arm, medics go armed and fully prepared for combat.

Abhuman Genome Project

Why do normal sleepers transform into Reality Deviants? There must be a biological trigger involved somewhere, and the Abhuman Genome Project will find it. The research often leads to researchers developing protocols that can mimic the abilities demonstrated by RDs. This is one of the leading projects for new technocrats, and is considered an excellent choice for advancement. While there is a large amount of dissection and ruthless experimentation in this field, this field attracts plenty of altruistic researchers. After all, this research may lead to an answer to the Deviant Problem once and for all that does not involve mass murder. Many deviants dislike their change, and some even voluntarily participate in studies on a cure for their condition.


Progenitors that want a safe and ethical assignment often simply go into the practice of medicine first and foremost. Rather than lose a valuable but disenchanted Enlightened Scientist, the smart Research Director assigns her to work as a physician. By curing diseases with science as opposed to various alternative quackery, the technocrat is helping to strengthen the consensus, and inserting a little enlightened science improves acceptance of the Progenitor paradigm.

Damage Control

When you need a bioweapon to end a reality criminal threat, these are the guys to go to. If you want to kill reality criminals as a Progenitor, these are who you enlist with. Victors, tailored viruses and biotoxins, assassination clones - you name it, they do it. Considered a great way to advance in the Convention.


Quite possibly the most disreputable project in the Progenitor field - and that is saying something. Reality Criminals are usually rich in Primal Energy, and the Masses also can be used for this purpose. While they provide most of the Convention's portable primal energy supply, most of their practices disturb other technocrats, especially the use of normal members of the Masses. There are rumors of even shadier deals going on with the Syndicate, but nothing is proven. Despite all this, if you need Primal Energy outside of the lab, you need to deal with Harvesters, and they don't sell it cheap.