A Storytelling Game of Biological Horror.
Pathogen: The Infected is a fan gameline for the New World of Darkness setting, detailing the (mis)adventures of "the Infected," normal people infected with The Virus that grant them Lovecraftian Superpowers. The theme of the game is, obviously, Body Horror.
The Infected are organized by Vector, the mode through which they became infected; Symptom, how the infection manifests itself in their body; and Wing, their factional affiliation.
- Airborne - Infected through the air by a sneeze or in a crowded place.
- Bitten - Infected through the bite of a strange bug or wild animal.
- Endoparasite - Infected through a worm or some other creature burrowing into their body.
- Infused - Infected through an organ transplant or blood transfusion.
- Unborn - Infected through the womb from their mother.
- Dermis - the Infected's skin develops a rash and an affinity for water.
- Fever - the Infected's body temperature rises and they can no longer stand cold.
- Insomnia - The Infected has trouble sleeping, and are plagued by nightmares when they do.
- Paedomorphosis - The Infected "regresses" in age and retains child-like behaviors.
- Annunaki - Infected who claim descent from ancient gods and worship Eldritch Abominations.
- Cambions - Infected who revel in their new state, particularly bodily transformation and human predation.
- Jagda - Infected who believe they are the next stage of human evolution.
- Neonates - Infected who believe that the future lies in technology and transhumanism.
- Protectors - Infected who seek to protect normal people from the predations of other Infected.
- Stemmers - A term for Infected who are not part of any Wing, many of which are unaware of what exactly is going on.
The official website can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/pathogendump/. Other copies of the draft can be found on Scribd and Google Docs. The author, Adam Thaxton, has stated that he is no longer working on the material at this time.
Tropes featured include:
- Blessed with Suck: Infected individuals can have various advantages over mere mortals if they don't mind constant torture caused by the virus, such as having quite serious problems with skin, having permanent fever, being nearly unable to sleep or turning into children.
- Body Horror: Something unknown has got into your body, and you don't know how to force it out. It causes severe problems with health, yet it is not interested in killing you. You have to live with this infection not knowing what else it can do with you. Futhermore, as its power increases, more and more strange, horryfing creatures (themselves plagued with Body Horror) will try to get you (not for a cup of tea, if you wonder). And the only benefits you get are Lovecraftian Superpowers.
- Charm Person: Evolution (level 3) power "Pheromone Discharge". Might just be a Pathogen's tool for seeking new hosts.
- Cyborg: Neonates
- Evil Feels Good: Cambions
- Healing Factor: Regenerate is a Subversion which, on the highest level, allows not only heal the Infected's flesh, but also instantly grow new body from the recently died one.
- Healing Hands: Regenerators are capable of healing others as well as themselves, however, doing so is more difficult.
- Horror Hunger: Player characters can suffer from it.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Infected have to eat triple as much as normal person, lest they will slowly Decay into zombie-like state.
- I'm a Humanitarian: For player characters, this is one of the ways to restore ATP (not a nice one, through). ATP Zombies, on the other hand, need ATP just to continue living, and if there is a tasty human nearby, they would not hesitate.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: When the game lists The Thing (1982), Resident Evil and Parasite Eve as inspiration sources, you can imagine what kind of superpowers the protagonists have. Especially Incorporation. Mixing your flesh with inanimate objects in rather gruesome fashion can't be called healthy activity.
- Mana: ATP. However, it's not magical (or is it?), and comes from food. A lot of food.
- Our Zombies Are Different: ATP Zombies, one of the results of infection.
- Religion of Evil: The Annunaki
- Shock and Awe: Bioelectricity is capable of many things, from powering electrical devicesnote to causing rapid necrosis to shooting lighnings.
- Social Darwinist: The Jagda
- Spider-Sense: Evolution (level 2) power named, unsurprisingly, "Danger Sense". Described as an amplified "prey instincts".
- Super Strength: Vigor, one of the powers available to Infected. It works by pushing the limits of muscle capacity a little bit higher.
- Vampire Refugee: Protectors
- The Virus: Particularly mysterious one. Nobody knows from where it came and what it's capable of. Popular theories include infection from space, government experiment and ancient beastial gods.