Vreechapterthreechimera

Overview

Chimera are creatures of the Virus. It is an umbrella term.

A Chimera can be:
- a plant
- an animal
- a former mortal

Chimera is defined by its virus-hijacked biology making them its carrier, as well as the fact
that they have not achieved successful "bonding" with the virus. Chimera do not have a Resonance
rating, and can not develop Subversions, nor do they produce ATP directly. However, if the
Chimera kills another Chimera or an Infected who had ATP, they can store it and use it.

A Chimera can hold ATP equal to its Stamina. Chimera can spend ATP to postpone the effects of
cold or hunger just like Infected can. Some Chimera also spend ATP to power their Advantages (see
below).

Chimera behavior:

Chimera are their own creatures, and are not automatically faithful to the Infected just because
he created them. That said, there exists a sort of bizarre loyalty between any two creatures
created by the same Virus. A Chimera has a faint sense of whether another creature is infected,
and whether it belongs to its own Strain. A Chimera will not attack another Chimera or an
Infected unless it absolutely has to (if it is attacked directly, or if it is starving). Even
then, if it has a choice between prey that belongs to its own Strain and one that is not, it will
choose the latter.

For Chimera to perform tasks that the Infected wishes, it requires training. Rank 2 and 3 Chimera
can be taught using the Animal Ken skill, while rank 4 and 5 ones substitute the skill for
Empathy. Taming is usually achieved by "rewarding" the creature with ATP. Feeding the Chimera on
a regular basis also buys some degree of loyalty and get the Infected recognized as an ally.
Chimera have their own hunting and survival strategies just like any animal - some are ambush
predators, others pack hunters, often specializing themselves for a specific type of prey. When
choosing prey, they also consider their own safety - a Chimera will typically not attack anything
larger than itself, though Chimera that hunt in groups will attack enemies several sizes bigger
effectively. A starving Chimera, however, will attack indiscriminately. Assume a Chimera who has
no ATP left and had not eaten for 24 hours to be "hungry" and likely to attack the first
potential prey it sees without much attention to suspicious signs or without much strategy. A
Chimera that had already taken damage due to deprivation is "starving", and will attack prey
several sizes bigger than itself, or even other Chimera and Infected.

Feral Chimera:

Chimera left without a food source can turn on the only source of ATP they know: each other.
This is especially common when Chimeric ecosystems collapse for some reason. When this happens,
usually the biggest Chimera slowly eats all the remaining others. Because raw ATP is a lot more
potent than regular food, such Chimera can acquire a cannibalistic taste for it. They usually
continue to devour larger andd larger Chimera until they are powerful enough to pose a danger
even to the Infected.

Chimera traits:

Chimera can raise their rank by getting be re-infected. A Chimera raises its rank by 1 if it
consumes a creature that possesses Resonance.
Chimera do not possess Virtues, Vices or Morality. They recover Willpower when they successfully
perform acts that ensure their own and their species' survival (hunting, mating, etc.).

[Sidebar: Chimera morality

Humans are not the only species with a concept of morality; animals are perfectly capable of
sacrificing their life to ensure the survival of others of their species: getting themselves
eaten alive for an opportunity to mate. Because of the difference in survival strategies, animal
behavior can encompass acts that would be severe violations of human morality; yet these may not
only be normal for a species, but a vital part of its life cycle. Members of the group that
deviate from this norm can be rightfully called deranged, just as the characters violating
It gets even more complicated when you begin to consider cooperation between members of a
species. Human society and culture developed towards a standard set of rules; but how do these
apply, for example, to a species that has three or more genders, or follows a caste sytem where
each member is born for a biologically determined role? High ranking Chimera do not possess a
Morality trait as humans understand it, but it possesses SOMETHING. This may be reminiscent of
the Morality stat of other supernaturals, or it might be something completely new. Creative
storytellers can come up with their own set of rules that such a creature would follow.]

Chimera creation:

Chimera can come into existence two way: the Virus infecting and transforming a regular lifeform,
or an Infected custom building the Chimera from scratch.
If the Chimera was created from the ground up, all of its trait need to be purchased with ATP.
Calculate the total cost of the Chimera using the rules described in the Chimerism Subversion
below. The ATP cost is to be spent daily, so the Chimera's price in ATP is also the number of
days it will take the Chimera to be finished.
Infecting others and turning them into Chimera is a lot easier, and has no cost (except for a
Willpower dot for rank-5 Chimera). It is also nearly always a Fusion violation. Desecrating a
corpse to make an ATP zombie is a violation at Fusion 6 (8 if the cadaver belonged to an animal).
Turning a live person into a brainless monsteris equivalent to murder (Fusion 2; Fusion 4 for an
animal). While the severity of the violation may vary depending on the circustances, the general
rule is the time and ATP saved is repaid with the severity of the violation the Infected had to
commit to achieve his goal.

The "ingredients" for a Chimera of each rank are the following:

O: Live insect (Fusion 8)
OO: Human or animal corpse (Fusion 6 or Fusion 8)
OOO: Live animal (fish, bird or mammal) (Fusion 4)
OOOO: Live human (Fusion 2)

A Chimera can be created from a lower creature, then upgraded into a more advanced Chimera. In
this case, the difference must be purchased in ATP. If the character attempts to create a lower
rank Chimera from a higher rank creature (eg. making a zombie out of a living mortal), the
resulting Chimera is the same as if he had used lower-grade material (save for the more severe
Fusion violation).

(Example: John wants to create a super-zombie, "like those Special Infected in Left4Dead". He
uses a human corpse as the base. The corpse is worth 2 ranks, but John envisions his zombie as a
rank-3 creature. He creates a zombie possessing the Size and base Speed of the corpse (5 each).
This does not cost him anything. Then he spends ATP to raise the creature's Attributes.
John then wants to create a rank-2 Chimera, and uses a live mortal. Even though the person
possessed a wide range of Attributes and Skills, these are lost, and only his Size and base Speed
(5 each) remain.)

The Chimerism Subversion:

With the right Subversions, the Infected can engage in making Chimera for their own purposes. The
below list describes what an Infected is probably capable of at each rank of this Subversion.


O: Microorganisms and swarms

Price: 1 ATP per parasite/swarm size

Swarms

Swarms operate under the same rules as found in Hunter:The Vigil or Promethean, with the
difference that the Infected can order them directly. A character creates a swarm equal to size
to the number of ATP points spent when this power is activated.

Endoparasitoid

The infected creates an endoparasitoid in the form of a worm, a bug, a cloud of myst, etc. This
costs 1 ATP. It can be transferred by touching the target, or it can be ordered to seek out the
victim by its own power. In the latter case, the parasite can travel at a rate of 1 yard per
turn. The contagion is visible to the eye, though not to any other sense. It can be destroyed
before it reaches the target by dealing 1 Lethal damage to it, though the rules are similar as
for swarms (melee weapons are generally ineffective, but eg. bug spray or flame kills it
instantly).

If the parasite successfully enters the person, it starts draining his health for itself. The
character takes 1 point of Lethal damage every morning, and makes a single Stamina roll
immediately afterwards (add supernatural advantage rating or +2 if a point of Willpower is
spent). If successful, the parasite dies; if not the character continues to take damage the next
day until the parasite is destroyed. While the parasite is inside, the victim also can not heal
Lethal damage normally.
Surgery can remove the parasite (Medicine skill, difficulty is the number of days passed with the
affliction going untreated, as the parasite digs itself deeper into the body over time).
The character can destroy the parasite at any point with simply ordering it to do so, but the
victim has to be in the Infected's detection range.

Plants

Any plant can be "infected" and made Chimeric. From that point it can store and consume ATP. A rank-2 plant can also be given other powers, like an attack (eg. releasing poisonous spores).


OO: ATP zombies, giant insects and plantite shamblers

The character can drop a point of ATP on a corpse to summon some of the strenght that animated it
in life. While desecrating the dead is a minor Fusion violation, often it's the easiest way to
get hold of the materials required to create a creaure in a hurry. (The pathogen can be
transferred to live hosts as well, but this is of course, murder.)
If the character has more time, then he can create a simple organism from just about any organic
material. Dead cats, plants, suspicious stuff in the fridge, are all welcome material. It costs
between 1 and 5 ATP to "nurse" such a creature to maturity, equal to the creature's rank. The
price must be spent daily.

Chimera of this type are barely alive: their movement is slow, reflexes are non-existent, and
they are incapable of learning. Rigorous work can make them respond to a few simple commands, but
that is all.

Every ATP spent on the Chimera buys either +1 Size and +1 base Speed, or +1 to a natural weapon.
The Chimera has no Attributes or Skills (and Initiative and Defense are at 0); it is animated
solely by the power of the Pathogen.


OOO: Animal Chimera and monsters

Chimera of this rank can not use tools, like firearms or melee weaponry. Even picking up a tree
branch to be used as a club is an act not programmed into their mentality. Exceptionally
intelligent Chimera can be taught to fetch objects, flip switches, or other tricks, but they will
never have the ability for this to translate into die bonuses. On the other hand, even a Chimera
that knows how to turn a door handle, press a button, recognize a shotgun etc. has a significant
advantage.

These Chimera may possess physical Attributes at up to five dots, and Mental and Social
attributes at a one dot max. They can learn simple physical skills that animals can, which
usually covers the following: Athletics, Brawl, Stealth, Intimidation, and Survival.
These Chimera use Dexterity as their Defense (they do not need Wits).
Every ATP spent on the Chimera buys one of the following: +1 Size and +1 base Speed, +1 to a
weapon that deals Lethal damage, +1 to a weapon that deals Bashing damage and is ranged (use the
throwing rules - WoD Rulebook p.67) or +1 in a physical Attribute. The Chimera possesses one
Advantage.


OOOO: Super-soldiers

Chimera at this rank can learn any physical Skill, and can operate some fairly complex tools.
They are often frighteningly intelligent, constantly surprising anyone who regards them simply as
brutes. Not that they do not have physical strenght, too: Chimera of this rank are stronger,
faster, better.
Nemesis (from the "Resident Evil"series) would be a good example of such a creature.

A human can also be infected with this superstrain directly, creating a "super soldier". This
transforms the mind, wiping out most of the original personality (Fusion 2 violation).
Chimera of this level can be programmed to possess a skill instinctively. It costs 1 ATP to give
a character 2 dots in any skill (3 ATP to possess a skill at 5 dots). The skill must be one that
the character himself possesses. Some Wings also possess computer training programs that can be
"downloaded" directly into a blank mind, but this is only avaliable for members.

The Chimera can possess any Mental and Physical attribute up to five dots, but Social attributes
are limited to 1 dot. It can have any Physical Skill, and can learn one dot in these Social and
Mental skills: Computer, Crafts, Investigation, Medicine, Animal Ken, Intimidation, Streetwise,
Subterfuge. (It is incapable of complex social interaction or abstract reasoning, not out of
stupidity, but a sort of single-mindedness). They use the lower of Wits and Dexterity as Defense
and suffer unskilled penalties like regular mortals.


OOOOO: Transcendent beings and ultimate life forms

Price: 5 ATP and a Willpower dot

Chimera of this level are strange, alien creatures. Supposedly they possess just as much
intelligence as a human if not more. They pick up skills with frightening speed (eg. understaning
how an engine works by watching a human fiddle with it once), and capable of advanced problem
solving, and can create organization among themselves unparalleled in human society. At the same
time, how they relate others and and unhuman; it can be difficult to follow the logic behind
their actions, and comprehending their true motives is practically impossible.

Create a Chimera like this as if you were creating an Infected character. The Chimera has a
Resonance rating. It can learn any Subversions that the Infected character himself possesses.

[New Merit: Alien Empathy (1 dot)
This character has spent a large amount of time researching the psychology of Chimera. The
character can apply its Empathy skill to comprehend a rank-4 or rank-5 Chimera. This comes at a
price, though, as the character suffers a temporary Derangement every time the skill is used this
way. (If he uses it all the time, the Derangement may become permanent.)]

Characters of this level can create other Infected. This costs a Willpower dot.


Attributes at 0:
It is possible for a small Chimera to have 0 in an Attribute.

Defense:
Rank 2 Chimera possess no Defense stat, even if their Attributes would allow it. Rank 3 Chimera
use Dexterity as their Defense stat (they have no need for Wits). Rank 4 and 5 Chimera use the
lower of Dexterity and Wits.

Chimera weaponry:

Chimera of rank 2 and higher can have natural weapons (teeth, talons, pincers etc.) It costs 1
ATP to gain +1 die to a natural (melee) weapon that deals Bashing damage.

Any of the below modifiers can be applied to make the weapon deadlier, but they also increase the
price of EACH bonus die by 1 ATP. So, if a player wants a weapon that has a +3 bonus and deals

Lethal damage, he pays 2 ATP for every bonus die for a total 6 ATP.

A modifier can be applied if:
- the weapon deals Lethal damage rather than Bashing.
- the weapon deals Aggravated damage rather than Bashing. (2x)
- the weapon is ranged (throwing rules apply)
- the weapon is so fast, it's unblockable (the character's Defense does not apply).
- the weapon is armor piercing (the character's Armor does not apply).
- the weapon benefits from 9-again.
- the weapon benefits from 8-again. (2x)

Chimera can also be given natural armor. Each ATP point spent adds +1 to against either general

attacks or against firearms.

Skills:

Animal-like Chimera must be trained to obey the character's command using the Animal Ken skill.
For Chimera that use a human base, the Empathy skill would have to be substituted for training
instead.
Chimera of rank 3 or higher have the ability to learn. The Storyteller should "reward" them with
experience to be assigned to new skills after the Chimera has existed for some time.

Chimera design:

When planning Chimera, it is important to keep in mind some common sense rules.

By gaining ranks in the Subversion Chimera traits are "unlocked" in this order:
- Size, Speed factor, natural weaponry
- Attribute
- Skills
- Subversions

While all of these have a cost of 1 ATP (2 for 1 ATP for skills) it is uncommon for there to be
more points spent in each category than the previous one. Before a Chimera can havee Attributes,
it needs a body. Before it can learn skills, it must have the Attributes required to develop
them. As Storyteller, you just rule out what does not make sense. The "prerequisite" system works
quite well: Strenght and Stamina should never be higher than Size, Skills should not be possible
to purchase higher than the Attributes associated with theem, etc. These are of course, only
guidelines, but can go a long way to ensure that your creations make sense.




Other, unfinished Chimera related topics:

ADVANTAGES:

These powers [still a work in progress] are automatic advantages that a Chimera may possess.
Chimera inherit these powers depending on the pathogen Strain that created them. For example, a
Chimera created by a "zombie" strain would have the "bulletproof" advantage.
These are examples what may be avaliable for players belonging to a given X or Y splat.

- THE SWARM:

Fast:
This Chimera was designed to chase down enemies. Double Speed.

Split:
The character gains two Chimera for the same price. This advantage can only be selected for
rank-2 Chimera.

- THE MACHINE:

Assist:
This Chimera has an advanced understaning of working with other Chimera, distracting an opponent
while its team mates do the rest of the work. It can sacrifice its own Defense for a turn, and
add it to the Defense of the Chimera it is protecting.

Empathic: This Chimera can spend ATP to heal another Chimera. Each ATP point heals 2 Bashing or 1

Lethal damage.

Can not attack: this Chimera can not attack, but gains +1 Health and +1 Defense in exchange.

- THE PLAGUE:

Bulletproof:
This Chimera takes Bashing damage from firearms.

Infectious:
This Chimera is able to pass on the Virus. The rules are the same as for Infected. The Chimera
always creates others of its own type.

- THE GARDEN:

Willpower:
Willpower may be spent instead of ATP when creating this Chimera.

Regeneration: The Chimera can spend an ATP point to heal a point of Lethal damage or 2 points of
Bashing damage.

Reproduction:
This Chimera is able to create other, smaller Chimera by spending ATP. The rules are the same as
for the Infected. The Chimera always creates others of its own type.

- THE ARMY:

Second attack: This Chimera has a secondary attack; it can attack with it separately within a
single turn. It can specify two different targets for the two attacks. Using the secondary attack
costs it 1 ATP, and it is performed at a -3 penalty.

Self-destruct: The Chimera blows up, delivering 2 Bashing or 1 Lethal damage (pick one) per Size
to everyone in range. If range is 0 the Chimera must cling on a target before it self-destructs,
and only that target takes damage.

Pack hunter:
This Chimera becomes stronger, the more Chimera are around it. Either it gains a +1 bonus to its
die pools if there are at least 2 other allied Chimera in its detection range, or its die pools
are adjusted to be equal to the number of Chimera in its detection range (for a maximum of 5),
whichever is higher.

INFECTED & CHIMERA VERSUS OTHER SUPERNATURALS

Infected versus Geniuses:

A Genius character (described from the fangame Genius: The Transgression) has the ability to build robots or other artificial servants.

Generally, an Automaton has an advantage over a Chimera. Automatons are bigger, cheaper, and more easily controlled. Yet, if you had to compare the two, Chimera do have some advantages. At rank 2 they may possess natural weaponry, giving them an advantage over automata who rely on skills and weapons but can only use these from rank 3. For the same reason, a rank 3 Automaton with the right equipment can beat a Chimera easily. At rank 4 the two are about equal (and no different from regular Geniuses/Infected at rank 5).

Example opponents:

Spider Lord (Genius)
Inspiration: 3; Axioms: Automata 3

Spider Servant
Price: Automata 2 (cost: 2 Mania)

Health: 5+1=6
Speed: 3+1+1=5
Defense: =1

Strenght: 1+2+2

Variables:
- No Fine Manipulators (+2 Automaton points)

Spider Cultist
Price: Automata 3 (cost: 3 Mania)

Health: 5+1=6
Speed: 3+1+1=5 +5Dex+2Str = 10
Defense: 1+3=4

Attack: 5 Dexterity + 4 Firearms + 5 (Lethal)

Variables:
- No Fine Manipulators (+2 Automaton points)

WINGS:

The Sisters of Gaia:

The Sisters are a Wing-in-planning specializing in survival in the wild, including controlling Chimera and organizing Chimeric ecosystems. They usually possess the Animal Ken and Survival skills.

Here are some example powers that these Infected may possess.

Call to arms ("pod scream"): This is used to alert members of a hive about an intruder. The
character summons all mobilizable Chimera inside its detection range. How many show up depends on
the circumstances.

Battle Cry:
All Chimera within the character's detection range are driven into a frenzy. They gain +1 attack
die for a single turn, and will attack more easily even if they are normally peaceful.

Reassemble: The character summons all Chimera to himself, devouring them into his body. (The
Chimera must be within his detection range, and have to be able to reach the character using
their normal Speed.) The character heals 1 Lethal damage for each Chimera that was consumed.

It should be noted that directly controlling Chimera requires some form of shared communication. One Infected may talk to Chimera through a psychic link, another through pheromones, or high pitched sounds. These are probably purchased through another Subversion.

OTHER POWERS:

People puppets:

It may be possible (using another Subversions) to wreak havoc over the body of a mortal similar to what the parasite can do to the Infected character. These people can be enslaved by the Infected by simply getting the Virus in their system, which will then respond to its link with the Infected. While low level effects of this are more innocent and simply mess with the victim's biology, the virus can hijack the control over their bodies completely, turning them into puppets. Furthermore just about any bodily reaction can be programmed into the virus, up to spontanous combustion [a la 'Parasite Eve'].

These men though, are not Chimera, and manifest neither the advantages nor the disadvantages of that condition.

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