11 Jul Designing the GeneMods
Gene mods are many. But not all of them are the same. We take a look at the different possibilities you have in Torg Eternity with the gene modifications.
While GeneMods use similar mechanics to Cyberware and Occultech, one of their in-setting “USPs” is that GeneMod installations are custom jobs performed by skilled genetic artists. As a result, recipients (Chimeras) are usually able to precisely stipulate their implants’ aesthetics, and across Pan-Pacifica, as GeneMods quickly become ubiquitous, one can find a veritable menagerie of looks on the streets of any major city.
Many Pan-Pacificans still prefer the natural human look, so we included a bunch of discreet GeneMods—enough that most any Pan-Pacifican character concept should be able to find a few Perks-worth of useful implants. However, we also catered to those who want to wear their transhumanism as a badge and provided a toolbox that offers a massive degree of freedom when designing a Chimera. This more extreme end includes specific implants, such as chitin plating or large cephalopod tentacles, which telegraph the Chimera’s no-longer-entirely-human nature to a viscerally disturbing extent. These confer the Outsider penalty, and characters with these ‘Mods should expect to run into the same sorts of issues as other Outsiders do, especially outside Pan-Pacifica. But the options are there to be played, so whether your PP SK concept is bug-man or cthuloid horror “cosplayer,” we’ve got you covered.
Between the two extremes, there’s a lot of freedom of aesthetic choice.
Mechanically speaking, most of this is carried by two implants that are included for free with any GeneMod Perk.
AnimalAllure confers cosmetic characteristics from other animals, either from a single species or from mixing the traits of several. The Chimera can also decide on their degree of variance from the natural human look; some opt for only subtle expressions of non-human genes, while others choose to have pronounced snouts, tails, and the like implanted.
UltraTat provides “smart tattoos.” These can be as simple as animated versions of traditional tattoos, which repeatedly enact some scene. However, pigmentation changes can also be triggered by physiological—or detectable environmental—stimuli, which offers immense scope for creative choice. Want your character to be a human mood-ring? Or have the word “KAPOW!” appear on their knuckles in letters resembling dancing flame when they strike someone? Or gain facial tattoos resembling a kabuki mask when they’re angry? These examples barely scratch the surface of what UltraTat allows.
Designing the GeneMods — and doing a “deep dive” into the weirdness of the natural world—was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see which Chimera concepts the Torg Eternity community comes up with!
Greetings, Nathan Smith