Deviant: The Renegades
|Deviant: The Renegades|
|Role-playing game published by
|Rule System||Storyteller System|
|Essential Books||Deviant: The Renegades|
Deviant: The Renegades is the 11th game set in White Wolf's New World of Darkness and the second after the introduction of Chronicles of Darkness. In it you play one of the Remade, a person who has been the subject of a mad (or at least amoral) science experiment, was turned into some kind of weapon, had cultists summon an ancient being into you, or was otherwise fucked up by possibly supernatural but still human means. Occasionally, a Remade eventually manages to somehow escape into the outside world, becoming a Renegade. Those Progenitors, the people who created the Remade, really want their rogue creations back and will send their people to find and recover them, no matter the cost. To this purpose Renegades band together to face off against their enemies.
As one of the side effects of what happened to them, Remade don't have much of a sense of self; their souls are damaged by the changes their bodies are forced to undergo. Rather than having a coherent sense of self-identity, they instead define themselves by their relationships with other people. Without someone to show loyalty to or an enemy to oppose, they undergo Instability- a process akin to the spiritual equivalent of organ rejection in which they become increasingly inhuman. Left unchecked, Instability will cause their unnatural abilities to go out of control or worse.
As is common in the nWoD games you have X and Y axis splats that determine what you are. Your Origin is how you ended up being changed. Did you volunteer for something that ended up being more than what you bargained for, did you do it to yourself, were you affected in vitro, or were you just unlucky enough to get kidnapped? Your rough class of powers is determined by your Clade. Are you a psychic? Cyborg? Something straight outta Cronenberg? Or something else? A third category, Forms, covers even more exotic modifications to the basic Remade template that would require rules more complex than could be covered by Clade or Origin (e.g. if you were fused with some kind of symbiote in the vein of Venom from Spider-Man). As part of your change, you are given Variations, which is the game's power system. The more potent your Variations are, however, the more obvious and severe your Scars are: the physical and mental ways the changes have messed you up.
Deviant takes an interesting route in that you don't start off at the lowest level and work your way up with XP. Instead, you determine how powerful your Variations are upon character creation. Having lots of them or a few powerful ones not only makes your Scars more debilitating, but it also changes how powerful the people who made you are. With a few Variations your opponents won't be much more than a few dedicated cultists living in the boonies and your Scars will be subtle enough to let you pass for human, but at high power you're going to have to deal with a black ops division of the US Military, the entire Catholic Church or NGOs with way too much power, and your Scars will leave both your body and mind warped beyond recognition. Not only do the people who made you have their own agents and resources to hunt you down, you might also face off against a Devoted, one of the loyal Remade that didn't reject its purpose like you did.
Renegades have two scales of Integrity: Conviction and Loyalty. How they will exactly work is unknown, but they work in the opposite way for the Devoted as they do for Renegades. For Renegades, Conviction (defining themselves by what they oppose) is easy to obtain but does not last very long, while Devoted have a more difficult time obtaining it yet it will do a lot more good for them. Loyalty (defining themselves by their loyalties, obviously) meanwhile is difficult to obtain but has a lot of effects for a Renegade, but the Devoted can obtain it easily without it doing much for them. It is possible, albeit difficult, for both Renegades and Devoted to reach a state of equilibrium between Loyalty and Conviction, becoming either a Guardian (for Renegades) or a Nemesis (for Devoted). If Renegades or Devoted go too long without indulging their Conviction and/or Loyalty, their Scars will get worse and they will get new Variations, which will make their creators fight all the harder to get them back. More importantly, they risk losing control of their powers to the point that their bodies and minds collapse under the strain of their Scars.
Generally, a Remade is a little bit more powerful than a Hunter with a supernatural Merit or a Ghoul, but the very strongest ones are practically walking time bombs waiting to explode. (For example, the Rapid Regeneration Variation can be as weak as a doubled natural healing rate or powerful enough to allow its user to survive shit even a werewolf's regeneration wouldn't save them from- like complete dismemberment). A Deviant's full power is devastating, but when it's unleashed it'll do a number on their Scars, drive them insane, and possibly even kill them, and if they're really lucky it'll be in that order. Sure, you can go and transform into a horrific cathedral of flesh and destroy Neo-Tokyo if you're really set on it, but don't expect to live through the experience.
So if you ever wanted to play a nWoD game that consisted of a teamup of Jarod from The Pretender, Eleven from Stranger Things, Tetsuo from AKIRA, the titular character of The Fly, Lucy from Elfen Lied, Albert Wesker from Resident Evil, and the first Kamen Rider or Kamen Rider Amazons, then this might end up being the game for you.
A Deviant's Origin is what happened to them that made them not quite human anymore.
- Autourgics (the Elect): The Remade who knew what they were getting into and genuinely wished to become Remade. As the majority of them are deeply connected to the Conspiracies that made them (or indeed acted as their own Progenitors), Autourgic Renegades are rare and greatly mistrusted. Their Variations tend to be rather prominent.
- Epimorphs (the Volunteers): People who also agreed to undergo the Divergence, but unlike the Autourgics they didn't know what exactly would happen to them in the end. Maybe they were lied to, maybe they needed the money, or maybe they had to do it to keep their loved ones safe. But regardless of their reasons, the bonds they form with their caregivers and their Conspiracy play a strong role in their lives.
- Exomorphs (the Unwilling): The unlucky bastards who were Remade against their will. Kidnapping is of course the most obvious route in this case, but it is not unheard of for them to be secretly exposed to the thing that transforms them and not realize what's happening until it's too late. Obviously, they are the textbook Renegades.
- Genotypal (the Born): Some Remade were quite literally born that way for one reason or another. Usually the first signs of the Divergence don't show up until adolescence, but a few Born have an innate sense they're somehow different. Depending on the circumstances, they may even be seen as a form of twisted nobility.
- Pathological (the Accidents): The oddballs among Deviants, who were changed by some bizarre circumstance rather than by deliberate action. Rather than being made by Conspiracies, a Conspiracy might form around them when the curious and ambitious get wind of their existence. Think the Incredible Hulk with more Grimdark.
A Deviant's Clade defines how their bodies reacted to the changes. While the conspiracies note that certain Clades are more likely to arise from specific procedures, the physical, mental, and spiritual state of the Deviant is what ultimately decided their Clade.
- Cephalist (Psychic): Your mind reacted violently to the trauma of your broken soul, granting you psychic powers.
- Chimeric (Hybrid): You've been hybridized with a nonhuman organism (animal, plant, or something else) somehow- it might have been genetic modification, organ transplants, grafted limbs, or maybe even becoming the host of a sentient disease.
- Coactive (Infused): Your body is a bridge between our world and immaterial energies, such as lightning, radiation, or something weirder.
- Invasive (Cyborg): You became a cyborg or had something inserted into your body that really shouldn't be in there. While machinery is the most obvious candidate for what's been melded into an Invasive's flesh, magical artifacts and other exotic inorganic materials work just as well.
- Mutant (Grotesque): Your body changed from the inside after being exposed to any of the previously mentioned stimuli (or possibly something else entirely), in what could only be described as a sort of immune response to the Divergence. Mutants are highly adaptable and can endure even the most extreme environments, but are prone to succumbing to Instability.