Tropes applying to all Prometheans
- The Ageless: Downplayed. Prometheans do not get weaker with age, but that doesn't make them immortal; eventually they will die, even if they haven't succeeded in gaining mortality. They are in fact only slightly more long-lived than humans, lasting for an average of 100 years, though it can be expanded by resurrection and the Revivification Bestowment. They can, however, also expand it further by regularly going into a hibernation-like state, which they call "going to the Wastes".
- Alchemy Is Magic: Prometheans were created through alchemy, and their main powerset is made up of alchemical transmutations.
- Artificial Human: Or to be more specific, humans created through reanimating dead flesh with the Divine Fire.
- Back from the Dead: Downplayed regarding their backstory. Most Prometheans are created by reanimating a dead body, but this results in a new being with his own mind rather than a resurrected version of the previous owner. Played straight regarding their ability to resurrect, as described below in Resurrective Immortality.
- Become a Real Boy: Most Prometheans aim to achieve mortality through the Pilgrimage, so they can become humans and get normal lives.
- Blessed with Suck: Taken Up to Eleven in an universe where this trope practically applies everywhere. For all their impressive powers, the Created are instinctively hated by everything around them, including nature itself; no matter what they do, people will eventually hate them, and the land they stay on will die. Really, it's no wonder their main purpose is to become human.
- Body Horror: All Prometheans have some form of grotesque disfigurement betraying their nature. Their Azoth allows them to conceal it and assume a more or less normal appearance, but the use of their supernatural powers will momentarily reveal what they actually look like.
- Character Development: Invoked; Prometheans, when created, start out with absolutely no understanding of how human behaviour and morality work, often to the point of appearing like they have Blue and Orange Morality. The Pilgrimage consists primarily of their Walking the Earth, interacting with humans and living new experiences, gradually improving their understanding of these things. This in turn takes form in a substance named Vitriol, which once they have accumulated enough will help them refine themselves and turn into humans.
- Critical Existence Failure: Unlike any other creatures, a Promethean suffers no penalty to their rolls even as damage accumulates and they're one tick away from death. Exception can be made if a limb gets chopped off, but this up to Storyteller and Player discretion.
- The Dog Bites Back: How Torment works; whenever repeated abuse caused by Disquiet pushes a Promethean too far, they end up breaking under pressure and going psychotic again the abuser.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Disquiet enforces this trope on them. Given enough time, everyone in their surrounding will suddenly develop homicidal rage targeted toward them.
- Extreme Omnivore: A Promethean can substain himself by eating pretty much any organic matter, making it easier for them to survive in harsh environment.
- Feed It with Fire: Or more accurately, Feed it with Lightning. While fire most definitely inflicts them damage, electricity allows Prometheans to heal faster instead of damaging them.
- Flesh Golem: Most Prometheans are created by using a dead body as vessel and giving it life.
- Frankenstein's Monster: The Created in general are based on this archetype.
- Glamour Failure: Using their powers or healing through electricity causes Prometheans to temporarly melt away their human disguise, revealing them for a few seconds as the grotesque-looking creatures they are.
- Hate Plague: Prometheans unwillingly infect humans around them with a variant of this trope. The difference being that, instead of making people hate each other, it makes them hate the Promethean who caused the infection, making the Created practically unable to develop long-term relationships with humanity.
- Implacable Man: Not only do the Created need less rest than humans do, they ignore wound penalties and cannot be knocked unconcious; a Promethean whose Health bar is filled with bashing or lethal damage will just keep going until it's filled with aggravated damage, killing him. And even then, it isn't necessarily the end for them, as mentioned below.
- Kill It with Fire: Just like vampires, Prometheans take Aggravated damages from fire.
- Made of Iron: All Prometheans are made very durable, and there are Transmutations that could bring them to Nigh Invulnerable levels temporarily. Unlike any other creature in NWOD, a Promethean can perform at full capacity at all times, even when all but one of their health bar is filled with Aggravated Damage. And healing those Aggravated damage is as easy as holding an electrified cable for a few rounds (except for Zeka). After Mummies, they're the second-toughest NWOD creature to put down.
- No-Sell: Prometheans are immune to the Vampire's Kiss, allowing them to fight back any vampire trying to feed from them.
- Our Homonculi Are Different: They're artificial beings created when alchemy imbues dead or inanimate matter with life and gives it a human-like mind.
- Resurrective Immortality: Downplayed; a Promethean who gets killed for the first time since his creation can resurrect within 24 hours of his death, at the cost of all his dots in Azoth but one. However, unless he possesses the Revivification Bestowment, this ability can only be used once. The Extempore are the exception - no known Extempore is known to have returned from the River of Death.
- This Was His True Form: A Promethean's human disguise disappears when he dies, revealing the Disfigurement. This often confuses whoever has to take care of the autopsy.
- Walking the Earth: Unlike most supernaturals, Prometheans do not have any real society to speak of, since they exist in significantly smaller numbers, and are practically unable to settle down thanks to Disquiet and Wastelands. As such, they typically have a nomadic lifestyle.
- Walking Wasteland: Prometheans who stick in the same place for too long end up damaging the area they are in by their mere presence, gradually turning it into a wasteland. Because of this, most of them prefer to live as nomads and never stick for too long in the same place.
As one might expect, the Frankenstein Lineage requires at least two bodies for the generative act. These bodies are cut apart and then the creator binds the optimal parts together to form the desired body, infusing it with choler before exposing it to lightning. In the modern era, power stations and electrical junctions can replace the traditional lightning storm.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Even other Prometheans tend to look down on Frankensteins; whilst they all cause Disquiet, the creation mythology of the others portrays them as still achieving what their demiurges intended — if not quite how they intended. The creation mythology of the Frankensteins, however, portrays them as being failures in the eyes of their creator.
- Hot-Blooded: The choleric humor makes Frankensteins passionate, angry, and ambitious as a rule.
- Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: Their elemental affinity is technically fire, but since fire is hazardous to all Prometheans, they're instead more closely aligned with lightning, as the "purified form" of fire.
- Mix-and-Match Man: Their Disfigurement. Frankensteins are created from multiple bodies, and as a result the various parts of their body don't fit together when you see what they really look like.
- Revenge Before Reason: Their Torment focuses their choleric humor on someone who has done the Frakenstein wrong, and drives them to hurt that person by any means necessary.
- Shock and Awe: Lightning is effectively their "true" element, and they have a natural affinity for the Stannum Refinement, and thusly the Transmutations of Electrification.
- Super Strength: Even by Promethean standards, Frankensteins are physically powerful, so much so that their default Bestowment is Unholy Strength.
Galateids do not need more than one body to create a new member of their lineage, but they do require the body be young, physically perfect and as beautiful as possible. As a result, they sometimes resort to carefully harvesting parts from different bodies in order to assemble the most beautiful corpse they can, and are the Lineage most likely to resort to murder in order to acquire the body they need. Once they have the corpse, they soak it in a bath of wine vinegar mixed with aromatic herbs, dissolved pearls and lime sand. Once it's properly preserved, they pull it out and awaken it to the Pilgrimage with a kiss laden with Azoth-laced breath.
- Charm Person: 2E gives them this as one of their two Endowments, allowing them to play Muse to a human-and so manipulate them into a work beneficial to the Galateid.
- Chivalrous Pervert / Ethical Slut: An unsurprising number of Muses learn to love more carnal expressions of the affection they crave.
- Creepy Doll: Their Disfigurement makes them look like human-sized animated dolls or statues.
- Fairest of Them All: How their Disquiet affects mortals. Galateid are beautiful, but it always eventually causes people to feel either jealousy toward them or shame for lusting after them, which eventually degenerates into hatred.
- The Hedonist: Driven by their Humour, Galateids are obsessed with their body, seeking both to make it the best it can possibly be and to pamper themselves with sensual indulgences.
- Mix-and-Match Man: Unlike Frankensteins, this isn't a requirement for them, but some Galateids are made from multiple bodies — when you can't find someone suitably beautiful, all you can do is try to make a beautiful body using features from different people.
- Uncanny Valley: The horror of their Disfigurements comes from hitting this angle, much in the way a Creepy Doll or statue might.
- Yandere: In Torment, a Galateid becomes completely focused on having someone who makes them happy, leading to them kidnapping said people, or displaying tendencies such as If I Can't Have You... and Murder the Hypotenuse.
The generative rite of the Osirans is an elaborate ritual requiring the body's mutilation. A corpse is ceremonially immersed in river water laced with aromatic herbs, then chopped into thirteen pieces with a bronze knife. One piece is discarded, the rest are spat on and then sewn back together with flaxen thread before the progenitor takes a handful of rose petals, imbues them with Azoth, crushes them and then feeds the petals to the corpse. It chews and swallows its first meal, and then opens its eyes.
- For Science!: Their phlegmatic nature makes them both highly inquisitive and very unemotional, meaning they have a strong tendency to do experiments that others would find cruel.
- Lack of Empathy: Common affliction - most Osirians are too busy studying everything to worry about some ethics.
- Mummy: While actual Mummies exist as a separate kind of supernatural in this universe, Osirans share many characteristics typically associated with the archetype; their Lineage hails from Ancient Egypt, is associated with Osiris (who in Egyptian Mythology was the original mummy), and their appearance tends to be very mummy-like when their disfigurement is revealed, with shriveled and decayed features.
- Resurrective Immortality: Osirans possess the Bestowment of Revivification, which allows them to come back from the dead more than once.
- And in 2E, it no longer costs Experience, so they can come back as many times as they want unless someone figures out a very specific way of killing them. Of course, they have to leave a tribute for Osiris for every time they want to return from the River of Death...
- The Sociopath: In Torment, an Osirian loses the capacity to feel every emotion except curiosity, becoming completely focused on an intellectual problem and completely uncaring of what they have to do to get there.
Tammuz have perhaps the simplest generative rite of their kind. They simply find a patch of deep, bare earth, write an instinctively-known word of power on a small slip of paper, put this in a corpse's mouth, symbolically prepare the corpse for slavery (shaving its head, tattooing it, fitting it with an iron earring, whatever they choose), bury it in the ground and leave it. When the new Tammuz is ready, it digs itself out.
- Berserk Button: Slavery. The Tammuz hate being treated as nothing but tools, and lash out violently when they feel others are treating them that way.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Tammuz have a natural inclination to help people out. The problem is, their Disquiet manifests as people growing increasingly prone to abuse that helpfulness, until eventually the Tammuz realises that they're being manipulated into slavery. Which triggers their Berserk Button.
- Golem: All Prometheans technically are golems, of the Dungeons & Dragons "flesh golem" style, but the Tammuz have the strongest connotations with the traditional form.
- Nervous Wreck / Workaholic: The suggested Torment in 2E, as the Tammuz either loses faith in their capacity to do anything productive or focuses on it to the exclusion of all else.
- Unstoppable Rage: Their Torment in 1E is this quickly followed by Empty Shell.
- Warrior Poet: They're distinctly linked with language in 2E, and many of them quickly come to love the nuances and metaphors. Given how one of their Bestowments still makes them extremely tough and ideal fighters, this means many of them are this.
Ulgans can only create their progeny from the corpses of humans who had an affinity for the spirits. They disgorge ectoplasm over the corpse, which causes it to sink into Twilight, and then summon the spirits with ritualistic screams. Retrieving the torn body, they piece it back together and then disgorge more ectoplasm over it, restoring it to life.
- Blue and Orange Morality: In Torment, their psyches revert to that of a particular spirit's, who have this naturally.
- Don't Think, Feel: The ectoplasmic humour that drives Ulgans makes them favor intuition and instinct over learning.
- Element #5: The form this to the core quintet; the other Lineages have associations to classical Western elementalism and the four humors... and then you have Ulgans, who are tied to the Spirit element and the "humour" of Ectoplasm.
- Eye Colour Change: Many Ulgans have their eyes change color after they animate for the first time. The most common colors are a creepy pale blue, green or jet black.
- I See Dead People: Their main Bestowment, Ephemeral Flesh, grants them the ability to see beings in Twilight— including ghosts.
Children of the Atomic Age, the Zeky are the youngest Lineage to truly proliferate in the World of Darkness. As humanity began to split the atom, the Divine Fire began to resonate, inspiring assorted souls to find ways to tap into radiation to give life rather than take it. Though a handful were born with the bombs and early nuclear testing, the true root of the Lineage is traced back to Russia in 1958, when a deranged Soviet scientist overseeing the nuclear gulag of Novaya Zemlya used a copy of the notes of Dr. Victor Frankenstein to create a "super-zeka" from the corpses of the prisoners. Implied to be inherently attuned to Flux instead of Azoth, in contrast to their kindred, the Zeky are still a rarity in the World of Darkness, but slowly grow in numbers as they spread between countries with access to nuclear energy, having made their way out of Russia and into the lands beyond.
In second edition, the Zeky have no known central origin; their history dates at least as far back as the 1920s and the popularization of radium.
All Zeky are created by using radioactive elements or just ambient radiation to revive the body. Beyond that, they have no unifying ritual, which further highlights their status as being more "impure" than their cousins and marks them as closer to the Extempore or Unfleshed in nature.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Zeky tend to be monsters even by the standards of other Prometheans, and this is highlighted by the fact that their natural affinity isn't for Stannum (Refinement of Vengeance), but for Centimanus (Refinement of Flux), which most Prometheans see as, effectively, the path of pure evil. It's not, technically, but no Centimanus picks it up with any intention of becoming human, so Zeka are, by nature, misanthropes.
- Blessed with Suck: Even by Promethean standards, these guys have it bad. They suffer constant pain from the radiation in their systems, their true forms are hideous to look at even to their own kind, their Wasteland is dangerous even to other Prometheans, and did we mention that any Zeka strong enough to make the New Dawn will probably be killed instantly by their own lingering radiation after transforming? Second edition makes things both better and worse for them; on the upside, they're not going to be left irradiated after achieving the New Dawn, but on the downside their Disquiet now irradiates those who fall prey to it (fortunately, the radiation goes away when the Disquiet does, being Azothic in nature).
- Body Horror: Not only are Zeky amongst the most hideous-looking Prometheans when their true forms are revealed, even their mask of humanity can't totally conceal their deformities, and they always sport some notable physical defect. This can range from anything like a covering of melanomas or skin grafts to body-obscuring scars to complete hairlessness or sunburn. In second edition, their mask does completely conceal their disfigurements, but in return said disfigurements get potentially even more Cronenbergian, incorporating the trappings of atomic power.
- Element #5: Zigzagged. Unlike Ulgans, the Zeky have no unique defining Humour to control themselves, and technically their elemental affinity is based on one of the other Lineages, reflected by their variable Bestowments. However, they do have a strong enough affinity to a specific element to create unique Wastelands and have their own unique Torment, and Radiation colors their Humour; choler is sick and depraved, sanguine leads to extreme appetites, phlegmatic leads to morbid fascinations, melancholy to depressed self-loathing, ectoplasm to insane and erratic leaps of logic.
- In second edition, their defining Humour is Radiation, associated with destructive potential and extreme behavior.
- Foil: To the Frankenstein Lineage. On the surface, a Zeka and a Frankenstein have a lot in common, but the similarities are twisted when you get a closer look. Indeed, the very first Zeka to be considered "Zeka" in first edition was created by Dr. Mikhail Alessandrovich Elizrov using a copy of Frankenstein's journal.
- I Love Nuclear Power: A Zeka's Healing Factor is fueled by absorbing radiation.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: The powers unique to the Zeky all stem from the twisted, mutagenic powers of the radiation running through their bodies; creating zombies and becoming a living blast shadow are their Bestowments, whilst they have unparalleled affinity for the Irradiation Transmutation, which gives them powers like creating blasts of radiation, generating mind-controlling brain tumors, summoning swarms of flesh-eating cockroaches and turning bugs into irradiated giants that serve their needs. In second edition, they don't have Irradiation, instead warping and mutating the standard Transmutations.
- Nuclear Nasty: What better way to describe a walking corpse fueled by radiation who turns the land around them into a post-nuclear wasteland straight out of a 50s comic book? The personality usually fits too, as the radioactive component of their humors infects them with the darkest aspect of whatever composes them.
- Red Scare: The basic effect of their Disquiet in a nutshell; an intense, all-consuming paranoia that tears society as a whole apart even as fearful cliques form for a futile sense of protection.
- Super Soldier: Averted. In first edition, the very first Zeka was created to be a super-worker; mindlessly obedient, passive, and docile, but with nuclear-fueled durability and strength that would allow it to conduct heavy labor, especially the mining of radioactive elements for the Soviet nuclear programs. Naturally, it didn't work out as intended.
- One sample Zeka in second edition was created to be a super-soldier, but escaped.
- Unstoppable Rage: When overwhelmed by Torment, the Zeky fly into a homicidal fury, consumed by the irresistible need to kill and destroy everything around them. One that, unlike Tammuz, lasts.
- Walking Wasteland: This may seem redundant, given it's universal to Prometheans, but Zeka deserve special attention; their Wasteland is so inhospitable that even other Prometheans can't survive in it; only the Zeky and the mutated insects that it spawns can live in such a place.
In first edition, the Unfleshed are not so much a Lineage as a collection of different Lineages sharing a common base route. Born of scientific advancements, the Unfleshed build upon the nature of Constructs — Prometheans born from inanimate matter rather than corpse-flesh — by being creatures of living metal, technological imitations of the human form that seek to attain the New Dawn. It doesn't matter if they are clockwork imitations of human forms, intelligent robots or sapient clouds of nanobots; to other Prometheans, they are all the Unfleshed.
They get upgraded to a full Lineage in second edition, absorbing much of the Constructs' concept-space to cover most Prometheans created from inanimate matter that was never meant to be human — unlike the Constructs of other Lineages, Unfleshed were meant to be tools. This shows in both their cold, stoic personalities and tendency to be baffled by growing out of the roles their original creators made them for.
- From a Single Cell: If the core body of an Unfleshed with The Soul Is In The Software is killed while their mind is detached, the Azoth immediately starts creating a replacement-it takes a few weeks, but the Unfleshed will be fine.
- Element #5: Zigzagged in first edition. Unlike Ulgans, the Unfleshed have no unique defining Humour to control themselves, and technically their elemental affinity is based on one of the other Lineages, reflected by their variable Bestowments, Disquiets and Torments, although they reshape their Disquiets and Torments to more closely align with the Unfleshed's "unique niche". However, they do have a strong enough affinity to a specific element to create unique Wastelands, in the form of reducing a land to an inorganic wasteland rich with electrical energy.
- In second edition, their defining Humour is oil.
- Foil: To the Extempores in first edition. Like them, they are not so much a single Lineage as a collective of minor Lineages. However, all Unfleshed are created by demiurges, whilst Extempores are spontaneous creations of Pyros.
- Remote Body: One of their two Bestowments in 2E is the ability to detach a smaller form of theirs from their core body, inside of which is their mind. Useful for spying, defense, escape, and pretending to die (see From a Single Cell).
- The Stoic: Common trait among Unfleshed-as machines and tools given a mind, many of them are baffled by emotional motives and responses, since they were built to only respond with their function.
- Workaholic: They are tools, they will be applied to their purpose. Notably, this remains-the struggle for an Unfleshed is to learn how to use themselves rather than be used, and even Redeemed Unfleshed are superbly skilled in whatever area their previous selves were built for.
Pyros is a living thing, found within everything in the world. As a result, when great disasters strike, sometimes, it results in a spontaneous outburst of Pyros, creating enough pure Azoth to spontaneously kindle a disaster victim's corpse to life. Other times, something alien got into a generative ritual of a full Lineage, or a supernatural being tried to mimic a demiurge of an existing Lineage despite their fundamental difference from humanity-but the rest was done well enough that the Azoth took as a Promethean rather than Pandorans anyway, just not in any recognizable form. These unique Prometheans are collectively known as the Extempore.
- Blessed with Suck:
- Because of the fact that the first of any Extempore Lineage was spawned from a disaster, figuring out the ritual for procreation is extremely difficult. Many Extempores remain one-off freaks as a result, which means they can never attain the New Dawn. Even if they do devise a procreative ritual, it's inherently more restricted than those of many other Lineages, and may even only be possible during a very specific period of time.
- It's even worse in 2E; Extempores don't have access to Azothic memories, a sort of Genetic Memory of how to complete the Great Work that all other Prometheans have. Each is a Lineage of exactly one, and nobody, not even other Extempores, can help them figure out what their damn Milestones are-and it may not be possible for an individual Extempore either.
- Element #5: Born from unique environmental situations, Extempores often have unique powers and traits, even if "mechanically" they can be summed up as a combination of two or more elements.
- Foil: To the Unfleshed in first edition. Both are not so much a Lineage as a catch-all for a specific variety of Prometheans, but Extempores are always born spontaneously, whereas Unfleshed cannot exist without human demiurges to create them.
- Promoted to Playable: Extempores were mentioned in the 1e sourcebook Magnum Opus, but actually devising them was given only minimal attention. The 2e corebook promotes them to a full-fledged player option alongside the original five Lineages and the revised Unfleshed.
Introduced in Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras, the Hollow are a Lineage of Extempores that sprang up in the American Midwest between 1933 and 1939; the years of the great Dust Bowl, when drought ravaged the land and famine gnawed on the nation's soul. A Hollow is born from the corpse of a human who died of deprivation, physically or metaphorically — someone who simply gave up and died due to despair is valid for the ritual. To pass on its curse, the generative Promethean ceremonially "hollows" the corpse, reducing its weight by salting it, carefully drying it out in the sun, or just surgically excising a few organs, and then anoints its brow, chest and hands with a handful of dust. Finally, the generator imbues Pyros into a drop of water and places it on the Hollow's lips, seeing it rise to begin its new life.
- Blessed with Suck:
- On top of everything else that goes with the Promethean condition, as Extempores, the Hollow are intimately tied up with the conditions of the Dust Bowl. Once the drought finally ends in the winter of 1939, their generative ritual stops working — and thanks to having had a hard lesson in their former agricultural foolishness, America will never make the mistakes that lead to the Dust Bowl's creation again. While this also means that year supercharges their chances of Redemption, any Hollow who haven't created progeny before the rains are trapped as Prometheans, forever. Assuming they just don't die from the suddenly toxic (to them) Midwest. Those few who survive ultimately leave America entirely, hoping that they can still perform the generative rite in other drought & famine-afflicted countries, with their ultimate fate being unknown. Second edition gives these survivors some hope of completing their Pilgrimages, however, as multiplicato is no longer limited to creating progeny alone.
- Thanks to having two Humours, the Hollow suffer two different kinds of Torment at random; a hedonistic gorge-fest that they will violently defend, or withdrawing from humanity to sulk, violently expelling anyone who tries to get too close.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Thanks to their unique Bestowment, "Hunger", the Hollow can feed on the hatred, pain and rage imbued in a wound, allowing them to convert damage into Pyros or Willpower.
- The Eeyore: Courtesy of their melancholic Humour, the Hollow struggle with deep feelings of anxiety and insecurity.
- Emotion Control: The Hollow's other unique Bestowment, Vice Eater (from Night Horrors: The Tormented) allows them to strengthen others' desires and impair their judgement.
- Empathic Healing: The Hunger Bestowment can be used to heal others as well as to absorb.
- The Hedonist: Thanks to their sanguine Humour, the Hollow are driven by a deep, all-consuming hunger, which drives them to indulge in anything they can in order to feel a sense of comfort, fulfillment and safety.
- Last of His Kind: Any Hollow that you find in a modern day scenario is probably this, thanks to the aforementioned limitation on reproducing.
The Amirani were introduced in Dark Eras Companion as the choler-aspected Lineage that preceded the Frankensteins. Their generative rite required that the would-be progenitor find the body of someone who died a painful, agonising death, and then reinforce it physically and alchemically with metal, a process that took hours. When the new Amirani arose, they would recall a vision of the Divine Fire, the dying vision of the body's previous resident, which drove them to change the world, to try and make it a better place.
- Berserk Button: Amirani Torment sees them driven to wrath when confronted by the base nature of the world, by depravity, injustice and apathy. They also fall to Torment when confronted by their own base nature, their own inadequacy and failure.
- Last of His Kind: Evidence suggests that the last Amirani was the only one alive from his creation at the end of the 17th century to his death in 1816.
- Seers: By using the Crucible of Anguish Bestowment, a Prophet can gain insight into their world, and the true nature of reality, by severely burning a body part and then meditating on their original vision of the Divine Fire.
- Super Strength: Like their successors the Frankensteins, the Amirani are possessed of great strength.
RefinementsIn order to perfect themselves and complete their transformation into humans, Prometheans practice methods called "Refinements", representing the path they use to try to improve themselves. There are two types as of second edition, simple and complex.
The Refinement of Gold, associated with the concept of Mortality. Prometheans following this path are called Mimics, and try to learn about humans by living among them. They have affinities for the Transmutations of Deception and Mesmerism.
- Black Like Me: Deception can be used to alter the color of its user's skin, seemingly changing their race. Prometheans frequently use this to avoid racial prejudices.
- Chameleon Camouflage: The very first Transmutation granted by Deception, Chameleon Skin, allows the user to change the texture and color of his skin in order to blend in like a chameleon.
- Charm Person: Mesmerism allows them to channel their Disquiet in a way to instead charm people and manipulate them into doing what they wish.
- Fantastic Racism: They tend to have a poor opinion of other supernatural creatures— as far as they are concerned, a being who never was human to being with (Werewolves, Demons...) or who was altered in such a way it no longer qualifies as human (Vampires, Changelings, Sin-Eaters...) has nothing to teach to them about being human. Some even take it a step further, and actually work to protect humans against them.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Thanks to Disquiet, Mimics who try to play hero and protect humans against other supernatural will never get any respect from the one they defend.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Invoked in their philosophy; They seek to live among humans because they believe that by spending more time with them, they can learn to understand human emotions, and thus make progress into becoming humans themselves.
- Humanshifting: Many of the abilities granted by Deception allow them to change their appearance, as long as they still look human (in contrast to the more esoteric Metamorphosis used by Cuprum).
- Invisible Streaker: Downplayed; Chameleon Skin can technically work without stripping, but clothes make the ability considerably less effective. As such, Prometheans with this ability typically get naked in order to use it.
- Perception Filter: The Deception Transmutation Incognito allows a Promethean to fade into a crowd and look unremarkable.
- The Social Expert: Or at least the closest thing to it in a species humans naturally are inclined to hate. Their ability to blend in makes it easier for them to socialize with humans, at least for a short time.
- Stealth Expert: Their ability to blend in among humans make it easier for them to go unnoticed, and they can use Deception to increase their stealth.
The Refinement of Copper, associated with the concept of Self. Those who follow it, known as Pariahs, focus on making peace with Torment and surviving in the greater, non-human world. They are the best at surviving in the wild, and have affinities for the Transmutations of Metamorphosis and Sensorium.
- Animorphism: The Metamorphosis Transmutation Shape of the Barghest allows them to shapeshift into a large, dog-like creature.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: One of the most unique aspects of Metamorphosis is that it allows to shapeshift into a wide variety of weird, esoteric forms (such as growing additional arms or organs), in contrast to the more subtle Humanshifting offered by Deception.
- Innate Night Vision: One of the many advanced senses granted by Sensorium is the ability to see in the dark.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: A big part of their philosophy is that it's best to avoid conflict whenever possible. They aren't necessarly pacifist, and will use violence when they have no other option, but given their enhanced senses and ability to shapeshift, it's usually pretty easy for them to either sense a conflict coming and leave before it happens, or reshape their body to survive the attack.
- Natural Weapon: One of the most basic abilities granted by Metamorphosis is to grow fangs and claws.
- Nature Hero: In a way; rather than having contact with humans and risking conflict, they believe in isolating yourself to learn how to live in the larger, wild world, shaping yourself in the experience here.
- Nightmare Face: The Metamorphosis Transmutation "Mask of Medusa" allows them to warp their facial features in a way terrifying enough to scare mortals.
- Supernatural Sensitivity: The Aura Sight Sensorium Transmutation grants the ability to see the aura of other supernaturals.
- Super Senses: The entire point of Sensorium is to improve the existing senses or develop new ones.
- Totally Not a Werewolf: Much like Gangrel Vampires, they have the ability to grow fangs and claws and to turn into a wolf-like creature, yet they are a different type of creature than Werewolves.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Metamorphosis covers all the forms of shapeshifting focusing on alternating your biology in useful ways.
The Refinement of Iron, associated with the concept of Corpus. Prometheans chosing this path are called Titans, and they focus on fortifying their body, using it as a map to build themselves a soul. They have affinities for the Transmutations of Corporeum and Vitality.
- Combat Medic: Their discipline focuses on physical improvement, effectively making them devastating in a fight; on the other hand, they have Healing Hands, making them great to heal others.
- Comes Great Responsibility: They consider it is their duty to protect mankind against monsters such as the Centinami. Inside Throngs, they also tend to make it their task to protect the others.
- Healing Factor: The Corporeum Transmutation Regeneration allows a Promethean to channel his Pyros in order to heal his wounds.
- Healing Hands: The Corporeum Transmutation Rejuvenation allows them to apply their Healing Factor on other creatures, effectively allowing them to heal by touch.
- Lightning Bruiser: Proper mastery of their two Transmutations allows them to be both super-strong, super-resilient and super-fast.
- Made of Iron: Pun aside, Corporeum can be used to make their body as hard as steel.
- Pride Before a Fall: They are strong believers of this. Many of the myths they take inspiration from, such as the Titans from Greek Mythology, are about how pride can cause your fall, and they take this lesson to heart.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Their entire philosophy focuses around the ideal of a warrior, training their body to perfection so the soul will follow. In-universe, they often take inspiration from actual warrior cultures.
- Super Strength: The entire point of Vitality is to reinforce your muscles, granting you superhuman strength and stamina.
- Super Reflexes: One of the many abilities granted by Corporeum is to enhance the user's reflexes.
- Super Speed: The Corporeum Transmutation Swift Feet grants the ability to double your speed for a limited time.
- The Hermit: There are ascetics within Plumbum who withdraw from the distractions of humanity temporarily and focus entirely on their own Promethean natures so they can better understand how to control their own powers when they return to society. This is generally short-lived, but productive.
- Journey to Find Oneself: This is the core praxis of the Refinement; a Promethean must understand what they are right now and learn to use that if they ever hope to truly improve themselves. Played with, in that unlike most of the trope, the Originists are playable during the journey in question, and they usually are pretty social with other Created.
- Walking the Earth: There are Originists who seek to continue on their Pilgrimage only by traveling with other Prometheans on their Pilgrimages; it is not uncommon for them to achieve a Milestone of their own by helping another with theirs.
- The Watcher: Some Originists fall into this role, recording what happens to other Created who work on their Pilgrimages. They can usually be expected to share information a Promethean might need to complete that next Milestone.
The Refinement of Tin, associated with the concept of Torment. Called Furies, the Prometheans with this Refinement embrace their misery in a quest for vengeance, learning how their anger ties them into human ideas of revenge and justice. They have affinities for the Transmutations of Disquietism and Electrification.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Learning how to defy this is the part of Stannum linked to the Pilgrimage.
- Hate Plague: All Promethean cause this trope through Disquiet, but mastery of Disquietism allows Stannun to channel it and use it to their advantage, such as changing its target.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The entire point of their philosophy is learning how to control this and actually end up solving more problems than they cause.
- Shock and Awe: The Electrification Transmutation gives them power over lightning and electricity.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Most Refinements take a week or so for the Promethean to adapt to them. Not Stannum. For Stannum, the Promethean feels Torment welling up at a very personal wrong and decides that his id is reacting to a very real wrong and embraces it, going into a subdued Tranquil Fury that is the beginning of Stannum. Subverted, in that the Refinement of Tin is actually all about learning to master those feelings productively and in fact can just as easily be a Heel Realization by a Centimanus who realizes she has screwed up and now wants to learn how to master her sorrow instead of her sorrow mastering her - it's how most Freaks who get back on the Pilgrimage save themselves, in fact.
- Vigilante Man: Learning how to be this instead of a directionless monster is the whole point of being a Fury.
- Adaptive Ability: How Spiritism works - by observing a supernatural being, they develop ways to alchemically counter them.
- Interspecies Friendship: Along with Mercurius, they are the most likely Refinement to have relations with other supernatural beings - it's their thing, after all.
- Occult Detective: Their driving concept.
The Refinement of Quicksilver, associated with the concept of Pyros. Prometheans practicing this Refinement, nicknamed Ophidians, tries to study the Divine Fire that animates them in an attempt to better control it. They have affinities for the Transmutations of Alchemicus and Vulcanus.
- Admiring the Abomination: Based on their stereotype, this is how they feel toward Centimani."Amazing. Yes, as you say, terrifying and obscene, but still — amazing."
- Alchemy Is Magic: While all Transmutations technically are alchemy, Alchemicus is the one focusing the most on material substances and changing its state.
- Feed It with Fire: At high level, Vulcanus can grant the ability to absorb fire and convert it into Pyros— though a risk of suffering Aggravated damages still exists.
- Interspecies Friendship: In contrast with Mimics, Prometheans of Mercury are much more likely to interact and find companions in other supernatural creatures— Prometheans are rare, so when you can't find a Throng, you have to pick what you can. These companionships usually are based on common interest, however; an Ophidian won't stay long with a vampire who is only interested in drinking blood, but is likely to develop an enthousiastic partnership with one trying to study the vampiric condition.
- Mana Drain: Vulcanus can be used to steal Pyros from other Prometheans.
- Mind over Matter: A limited form; they don't have permanent telekinesis, but they can use Vulcanus to brand objects with a mark, then remotely animate whatever bears said mark.
- Necromancer: A variant; Alchemicus can be used to temporarily reanimate corpses into non-sapient "pseudo-Prometheans".
- Playing with Fire: One of the Vulcanus Transmutations grant the ability to channel the Divine fire into actual fire in your hand to use it as a weapon.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Downplayed; they aren't necessarly evil, nor are they more likely to be so than other Prometheans, but their name gives them an association with reptiles, and they have a reputation of being untrustworthy because of their "moral flexibility" and their ability to drain Pyros from their peers. Mercury is a poisonous metal, after all.
- The Smart Guy: They tend to be the most intellectual Refinement, focusing less on interacting with humans and more or spending time in library and labs.
- The Spock: They tend to focus on being "morally flexible", in that they try to always pick the most pragmatic and practical options. This doesn't mean they neglect the importance of morality, however— after all, a Promethean who become a mindless killer would be unable to control his Pyros, and thus has a harder time hiding, while killing people is hard to cover up. But their primary focus is on making Pyros something that can be analyzed and quantified.
- Supernatural Sensitivity: Vulcanus grant them the ability to sense both Pyros and Flux.
- Taken for Granite: The Alchemicus Transmutation Flesh to Stone can temporarily turn someone into non-organic matter.
- Do Not Go Gentle: If it comes to this, any follower of Phosphorum will accept death if that is their fate. Bonus points if they do everything they can to ensure they go in a literal blaze of glory.
- The Ferryman: Even if its intended ability fails, Lighthouse for the Dead in Luciferus can turn the Light-Bringer into a guide to the River of Death for a throngmate.
- It Is Not Your Time: If it works correctly, Lighthouse for the Dead allows a throng to bring one of their number back from the brink of death, both healing them physically and metaphysically allowing the group to serve as a vision calling to their ally.
- Not Afraid to Die: The overlying attitude of followers of Phosphorum; tempting fate can encourage a deeper appreciation for life and therefore help a Created understand the nature of mortality.
The Refinement of Flux, considered by Prometheans to be the "evil" path. Practicioners of this Refinement, called Freaks, focus on trying to understand the Flux, the chaotic energy that powers the Pandorans. In the first edition, there were a few rare exceptions that took this as a regular path; however, most Centimani don't have the Pilgrimage as their endgoal, as their philosophy is about accepting their monstrous nature and becoming true monsters. The second edition outright forbids regular Prometheans from taking this path; becoming a Freak will stop a Created's Pilgrimage cold until they see the error of their ways and return to a proper Refinement. They have an affinity for the Transmutations used by Pandorans.
- The Dark Arts: This Refinement as a whole is considered this by Prometheans, as it teaches about how you aren't human and should accept it— something going completely against the Pilgrimage.
- Evil Is Sterile: One of the biggest problems Centimani face is that, having stepped off the Path, they can no longer create Vitriol for themselves via milestones. Since even Centimani require Vitriol to calcify Alembics or boost Azoth, they are forced to steal it from other Prometheans.
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: Since their entire idea is about becoming a true monster, Centimani tend to have very inhuman appearances compared to other Prometheans, to the point they are barely distinguishable from Pandorans.
- Fully-Embraced Fiend: Their philosophy teaches that Prometheans are more than humans, should embrace what they are and become as inhuman as they like.
- It's All About Me: While Centimani need not to be actively malicious, it's a vital part of their philosophy that they must be selfish and only serve themselves, or do actions when they gain something from it; a true monster isn't benevolent, after all.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: In the first edition, there were some Prometheans who practiced Centimani, yet still follow the Pilgrimage; they reason that humans are the only creatures with the potential to become monsters, and as such embracing part of your monstrosity is a progress toward becoming human.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Second edition Centimani cannot produce the Vitriol themselves since they have stepped away from the Pilgrimage that allows them to regain it. The only way they can get more is the practice of lacuna, where they sink their hands into a restrained and unwilling victim's chest to physically steal the substance to consume themselves. The rape metaphors are strong for a reason. Even worse, since Vitriol is the very material that makes up a Promethean's memories, performing this is also a form of Mind Rape; although the reaper doesn't keep the memories for themselves, their victim still loses part of their experiences on the Pilgrimage.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Flux is effectively the Refinement of the Despair Event Horizon and no longer even trying to be human.
- Artificial Human: Of lesser quality than Prometheans, but clones are the next closest thing people have come from creating humans artificially.
- Cloning Blues: Averted in 1E. Most of them are created with little free will to even care about the fact they are clones. Played more straight in 2E, where clones have more of a mind and are fully aware of their limited lifespan.
- Expendable Clone: Played with; on the one hand, they are created with this intent, and their creators have little problem using them as mooks to capture Prometheans. On the other hand, producing them in mass isn't exactly easy, since that requires collecting Azoth.
- The Everyman: They tend to have very average features and look as bland as possible.
- Logical Weakness: Their lack of free will and codependency on their Rathben means they are absolutely terrible at taking initiative; if you cut them from any contact with their master, they quickly don't know what to do anymore and can easily be dealt with.
- Mad Scientist: A Rathben is inevitably this; hell, their namesake was a member of the Cheiron Group, and was kicked out for ethical reasons.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The technology used to create them requires to capture a living Promethean and harvest his Azoth, causing the unfortunate Created to be painfully liquefied.
- Super Empowering: In 2E, it's possible to elevate them into true Prometheans by performing a variant of the generative ritual on one. The new Created has little memory of their life as a clone, but has full self-determination and is no longer bound by Clone Degeneration.
- Weak-Willed: In 2E, clones have full personalities, but are utterly dependent on Rathbens for validation, no matter how much a Rathben abuses them.
Occasionally known by their remorseful makers as "the Unborn". The eternal dogs nipping at the heels of the Created, Pandorans are what happens when the generative act of creating a new Promethean fails-the Pyros so used, rather than coalescing into Azoth, is contaminated and overwhelmed by Flux. The polluted corpse or artificial shell so used to thrash violently before one to several body parts grow limbs and eyes before tearing themselves off, either seeking their unfortunate parent's flesh for their first meal of Pyros or fleeing to the second stage of their "life" cycle ahead of time. Either way, should the larval Pandorans survive this, they cocoon themselves in an inorganic shell as Flux twists their bodies further into unique, monstrous mutations. Soon, the shell cracks, and a full-grown predator specifically adapted to hunting Prometheans for their Azoth comes out. While most are fundamentally mindless, there's a difference between "intelligent" and "cunning"-Pandorans have enough going on upstairs to develop hunting strategies, and the focus to do so, as Promethean flesh is the only thing that keeps them active. If they run out of the Pyros they digest from Promethan flesh, they are forced back into the cocoon of Dormancy...but even this is an adaptation in their favor, as the Azothic radiance released by Created carries just enough Pyros to enable them awareness, allowing them to remain in the harmless-seeming cocoon until a Promethean comes close enough to strike.
What they're really after, though, is Vitriol, the physical representation of the emotional growth Prometheans have when they encounter a milestone. Taking it, an act so dreaded by Prometheans it's been given a proper name (the lacuna), is the most sure path towards Pandorans evolving even more-sometimes into sentience, a type of Pandoran also called a sublimatus, all the intellect of a Promethean but completely bent towards the hunt. Nothing to hold it back, like sanity, or compassion. And in 2E, with the capacity to devour a substitute for Promethean flesh...
- Bishōnen Line: In 2E, a Pandoran who evolves into a sublimatus invariably becomes humanoid, as fitting their new Monster Lord status.
- Cry for the Devil: While most sublimati take to their new status as Monster Lords with relish, treating their newfound intelligence as another tool for hunting, a small number gain just enough ability to introspect to realize just how sad and empty their existence really is. The Prometheans have the promise, however slight their chances are, of attaining salvation and the New Dawn, but for a sublimatus, there is only empty Horror Hunger.
- Evil Counterpart: Both editions. 1E even more so, because Pandorans had counter-Lineages called Mockeries.
- Fusion Dance: Occasionally, well-fed Pandorans will become imbalanced from Flux, and end up having to temporarily devour their kindred to re-center themselves. This has absolutely no long-term difficulties for the devoured Pandorans (they de-fuse a short time later) and while they're sharing a body, the original Pandoran adds all its components' mass and power to itself, becoming an extremely powerful Praecipitatus. Worse, sometimes the mind-sharing lasts, especially if the Praecipitatus was already powerful-occasionally, having that much Pyros in their body plus extra brains ia all the Pandoran needs to have the sudden self-awareness that turns them into a Sublimatus.
- Horror Hunger: All Pandorans, even sublimati, are ultimately ruled by a neverending, insatiable hunger that never truly fades.
- It Can Think: Sublimati look like their mindless brethren. They're not, and in fact are frequently The Chessmaster, having realized it's safer and more fun to outwit their prey from a distance.
- Mook Maker: All Pandorans can do this - exposing them to a powerful Azothic radiance may cause bits of their own flesh to split off and attempt to find Pyros - should they do so, they cocoon and become brand new Pandorans. Some Sublimati have learned to exploit this with the Zeus' Benediction Transmutation, feeding their children extra Pyros at the moment of birth to make them especially strong.
- Taken for Granite: Whenever they are unable to find Azoth to maintain themselves, or whenever mortals see them, Pandorans immediately fall into a state called "Dormancy", where they turn to stone (this is the reason most humans are unaware they exist). Unfortunately for Prometheans, it's not permanent, as they will imediately wake up and turn back to organic whenever they feel Azoth close by.
- The Usual Adversaries: Seeing how they can be everywhere disguised as anything, are easily created by failed attempt to create Prometheans, and constantly hunt the Created for food, they obviously are the opponents Prometheans will see the most often.
2E antagonists-humans who have tapped into the secrets of alchemy, but due to hatred of their own weaknesses, greed, or simple misanthropy, have grown so estranged from their own humanity that they willingly imbue themselves with hazardous, destructive tinctures of the Divine Fire that ravage their minds and bodies in exchange for great power. The active ingredient in many of these potions, sadly, is Vitriol - ie, the very substance that embodies the progress Prometheans have made towards mortality and the removal of which sets them back by a significant amount. Needless to say, the Created don't like them very much.
- The Corruption: The truly mutative and horrifying techniques they use scar both their bodies and minds into something less than human.
- Foil: To Prometheans; the Created are warped, inhuman creatures who aspire to learn about Humanity so they can refine themselves and become humans themselves. Insatiate Alchemists, meanwhile, are normal humans who hate their own condition and wish to escape it so they can become something more.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Played with. They're pretty evil without Disquiet, but it's made clear what makes them evil is hatred of their own humanity - less misanthropic alchemists are noted to exist, be nice, and may even help Prometheans, it's just that a combination of Disquiet and the simple fact that they are quite happily weaker than their crazier counterparts makes it unlikely that the sane alchemists are going to look for Prometheans, rather than the other way around.
- Mad Scientist: Oh yeah. Bonus points for being actively insane a lot of the time - their potions aren't exactly tested for being safe for their neurochemistry, let alone what repeated, unprotected exposure to raw Pyros does to them.
- Non-Action Big Bad: An insatiate that proves a long-term antagonist is likely this by necessity.
- Professor Guinea Pig: Not surprisingly, testing new compounds on themselves is a fairly common occurrence. In more than one case, using themselves for experiments into Pyros is what turned them insatiate in the first place.
- They Would Cut You Up: They need the Created for their Pyros and Vitriol, and they never cared about things like "sanctity of life" to begin with, so...
- Weak, but Skilled: Their main danger, compared to Pandorans - while they probably aren't a physical match for most Promethean throngs, even the weakest alchemist is a highly intelligent Mad Scientist that often has a guild backing her up, and given alchemy's tendency to pay for itself, a moderately successful one is likely to have many things to throw at you.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The nicer alchemist guilds, like the Emerald Crucible, are genuinely interested in improving the human condition. It's just that Prometheans are a rather limited resource to pursue that goal with, let alone the whole "sentient being" thing. This is why most alchemist guilds let Prometheans keep their distance.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Many insatiate alchemists are so brain-addled by their own reckless craft it's amazing they can keep a functional life - and they got that brain-addling by giving themselves mutant superpowers.
QashmallimPossibly the strangest creatures met by Promethean, Qashmallim are angel-like beings formed directly from the Divine Fire that is Pyros. Little is known about them, aside from the fact they serve an entity known as the Principle (which may or may not be God) and exist only to accomplish missions for him; once their mission over, they revert to Pyros and disappear. Depending on the situation, these missions can either make them allies or enemies of the Prometheans.
- Ambiguously Evil: Qashmallin exist only to accomplish missions for the Principle's agenda, and it's completely unknown what this agenda is. Depending on the situation, they can turn out to be allies or enemies for the Created.
- Angelic Abomination: As usual for the Chronicles of Darkness, these angels do not look nor act human.
- Our Angels Are Different: They are made of Pyros, for starters, and take more after the original Abrahamic idea of angels than the classic Winged Humanoid.
- Totally Not a Werewolf: Despite being essentially Angels, they are an entirely different kind of being than the Supernal Angels from the Aether or the God-Machine's Angels, though there are in-universe theories the latter are created using them.
- Came Back Wrong: More so than Prometheans; a Promethean is a completely new person with some of their donor(s)' memories, but a Petrificatus is a mindless zombie.
- Night of the Living Mooks: They only actually try to raise bodies who were already dead or kill those already dying, but a successful Stuck can create entire communities of seemingly intelligent zombies - and dozens of Pandorans.
- No-Sell: You cannot actually read or influence an Automaton's mind, because there is none; a Petrificatus is literally nothing more than a set of programs no more capable of thought to be influenced than a spreadsheet.
- Tragic Monster: It's a Promethean who couldn't move on and became a mockery of every aspiration to humanity it once had, or it's an innocent victim whose body is being puppeteered by a copy of the same. Pretty much everyone, Promethean and alchemist, feels bad for them.
- Affably Evil: What makes it so dangerous is that it shows up to its targets as friends, and is not a fan of Centimani; it is a seductive voice in favor of the status quo.
- Satanic Archetype: It exists to mislead and delay any progress on the Pilgrimage, usually via causing incidental disasters or deceptive advice.
- Shout-Out: To It Follows - one of the ways the player throng can end up cursed with its attention is a different throng's member kissing one, and so shoving off the curse of its attentions on someone else.