So, my wife's WoD game is on indefinite hold.
In the meantime, I am swirling in indecision about what to run next. I've considered Witchcraft 2nd edition, Chill (the Mayfair version), and World of Darkness using my own vastly different setting and a bizarre mishmash of "old" and "new" rules. I've also considered running Chill using BRP as the rule system.
Here's some brain vomit/rough ideas. My wife didn't like it; she said it was missing something. Maybe looking at it in writing will help me develop it a little more.
One organization's rather scientific view of things:
The "supernatural" is a form of energy that seeps into our reality from another dimension. This energy can cause drastic physical and emotional changes in humans and some species of animals. Individual tolerance to these energies seems to vary, though no pattern has yet been determined as to why some individuals are highly resistant and some are highly susceptible.
Stage 1- Exposure. These individuals have been exposed to the supernatural, usually in an indirect fashion. They have been bitten or suffered a minor wound at the hands of a Stage 2 or higher, or they have been subjected to a mind-influencing phenomenon (hypnotic gaze, possession, etc.) or have been physically altered by a phenomenon. (The subject of a "spell", etc.) Some individuals seem to retain a trace amount of this energy and develop minor abilities, along with perhaps one or two strange mental or physical alterations. (Sensitivity to sunlight, minor allergy to silver, inability to digest cooked meat, etc.) These individuals are tagged and cataloged, but allowed to live a relatively normal existence. We presently believe that these individuals can be cured of their condition. Research is underway.
Stage 2- Infection. Repeated exposure beyond Stage 1 can sometimes progress the condition to Stage 2. There also some Stage 3 type subjects (Classification vampire, for instance) who can infect normal humans with no prior exposure to this level.
Stage 2 is believed to be the last stage of the condition that is reversible. Symptoms are similar to Stage 1, but tend to be more severe; additionally, Stage 2 subjects seem to be less diverse in their abilities, coalescing into one of several subcategories. (See files on Ghoul, Feral, Wight, etc.)
Stage 3- Transformation. Individuals at this level of infestation are no longer classified as human, but rather have experienced permanent and dramatic physiological changes. Classifications such as Vampire, Werewolf, Shifter, Revenant, etc. Many of them operate on a physiological level that defies current scientific understanding, such as a complete lack of aging, advanced regenerative capabilities, ability to function without activity in one or more vital organs, etc. Stage 2 subjects who have multiple exposures will typically become Stage 3, though the level and number of exposures vary drastically.
At this point, we do not believe Stage 3 subjects can be cured. There are measures to help them with the more troublesome aspects of their condition, but ultimately it is recommended that even "muzzled" or conscripted Stage 3 subjects be euthanized once we find and nullify the source of the energy leaking into our universe.
Stage 4- Apotheosis. At this stage, individuals begin to develop truly frightening abilities. They also seem to be able to exert some control over lower stage subjects. We do have a few conscripts who are at this level, but they are heavily muzzled and only deployed in emergencies. Any Stage 4 subjects who prove difficult to muzzle are terminated. Stage 4 seems to be a natural outcome of Stage 3, though what accelerates an individual to this level is still the subject of intense debate. Some Stage 3 subjects progress quickly, others seem able to stave off the progression. We believe, however, that all Stage 3 subjects will eventually become Stage 4.
Stage 4 subjects seem to have a propensity toward dangerous personality disorders: extreme sadism, violent phobias, dissociative disorders, and psychopathy are alarmingly common.
Stage 5- Aberration. Very little has been confirmed about Stage 5. Individuals who reach this level are rare and highly destructive. They seem to bend the physical laws of the universe with their very existence. Contact between field teams has always resulted in the destruction of the Stage 5 or the total loss of the field team. Stage 5 subjects seem to lose all of the strict characteristics of the sub-catagories; a vampire or werewolf who reaches Stage 5 is effectively no longer a vampire or a werewolf, retaining some of the abilities, but typically becoming something else entirely.
The abilities manifested by Stage 5 subjects are formidable: psychokinetic activity on a massive scale, changing regional weather patterns, mental influence over groups, near-instantaneous regeneration, and abilities which we have difficulty defining. They also suffer from extreme psychosis and have proven nearly impossible to communicate with. In terms of cognitive abilities, they vary widely. Some seem to be little more than ravening beasts, others have shown staggering intellect and cunning.
We do not attempt to muzzle or conscript Stage 5 subjects, however, the Director is very interested in capturing one alive. While we have obtained the remains of Stage 5 subjects, we find that they rapidly deteriorate, some just melting or vanishing entirely shortly after termination.
It has been observed that some Stage 5 subjects seem to suffer chronic degenerative conditions that kill them off without any intervention necessary. The downside is that these terminal Stage 5 subjects often become uncontrollably homicidal as they approach expiration.
It is presently unknown how Stage 5 is reached. Some Stage 4 subjects progress quickly, while many seem to arrest the infestation at Stage 4. There are some cases where a Stage 3 subject seems to have progressed immediately to Stage 5, but documentation is incomplete and we cannot confirm this.
Player characters belonging to this Organization can be normal humans or Stage 1-3 supernaturals.
Only some of the above information is correct.