There are some things that are lost because none now live who remember them. This is not one of those things. Throughout human history, there have been written accounts of creatures and beasts that, while seemingly fantastical, existed at one time. Monsters that owned the lands that humans came upon in their infantile stages. For the longest time, these monsters ruled as true apex predators. Incapable of being challenged by most creatures, these beasts lived a fairly cushy life. Or at least what one would consider a cushy life at the time. Then humanity came unto their lands, and their life of luxury was disrupted.
Humanity was not the kind of race to accept its place in the hierarchy. They resisted and they fought. Even with countless losses, more would come. Again and again the primal humans pushed outward, upending the beasts from their lofty thrones of comfort. The dumber beasts were wiped out, as they followed their instincts. They knew only to hunt, to fight, and to eat. Thus, they were relentless in their attacks against the humans. Unfortunately, however strong they were, the humans were like water upon a stone. No matter the hardiness, the water eventually wins.
The beasts who were wiser had one of two choices: Hide, or evolve. Many hid, and many remain hidden to this day. Some chose to evolve. A key feature of the beasts is their ability to adapt to their surroundings by consuming the creatures that inhabit the area. Some of these beasts decided that, to best survive this sudden uprising, they needed to blend right in.
Hundreds of thousands of years have passed, and the day is as modern as any other day. A large pharmaceutical company, Exogenics, has made major strides in delivering advanced medicine to the world. It’s expensive, as everything is, but cancers are cured with a single syringe full of medication. Genetic diseases are treatable with over the counter medications. People are living healthy and happy lives without having to worry about getting sick.
But Exogenics has a secret. They know about the beasts that roamed the land before humans did. More importantly, they know about the beasts that took on a human form in order to survive. What they want to know is if the inverse can happen. Fortunately for them, they know how to put such a thing to the test.
A new and highly potent drug was added to the water supply of Grenville. In most people, they wouldn’t know a thing. In some, however, they were changed forever. Mutation happened within a week. Some came forward to seek treatment, and those that did vanished into the labs of Exogenics to never be seen again. Those who did not step forward began to congregate. First online, where they could hide behind an anonymous mask, and then in person. A month has passed, and word has spread around the loosely connected groups: People are starting to vanish. Special teams wearing all black armored hazmat suits were taking them from their homes. There were some who resisted, but even people confident in their mastery of their newly acquired abilities were captured.
Now the pressure was on to remain as hidden as possible. Some groups began to clump together into secret communities, while some people went as off grid as they could.
Our story begins with one of these groups…
First and foremost: I'm not an experienced GM. If you don't want to deal with me being an idiot from time to time and not knowing quite how to run things, please feel free to move on. I won't be offended.
Moving on, the main premise of this roleplay is that a small group of people are beginning to develop a "beast" form of some sort due to the actions of exogenics. If you want to get some more info on the world or how certain features of the thread work, I’ve included some information below.
If you're curious on the history of some things, I've included expanded notes here. This may get updated or expanded as new revelations are had. (Or I think of something that should be written down and write it down.)
Founded in 1967, Exogenics started life as a pharmaceutical manufacturing company located in New York. It soon spread into archeological work due the constant demand for expensive vaccines from people looking to explore abroad. By the 1970’s Exogenics had shifted largely back into pharmaceutical manufacturing and medical research. However, they maintained some stock in archeological work as a show of good faith to the struggling industry. It was due to this that they were privy to the more extraordinary expeditions, most of which turned up nothing. There was, however, one that turned up something spectacular. In 1989 a nearly-complete skeleton of a massive monster was found. Exogenics was one of the first people to be shown this skeleton due to the long-standing ties they had to the archaeological industry. Exogenics saw a massive opportunity as this skeleton was of one of the ancient beasts that had died years ago and nobody had seen anything like it ever before. With some swift maneuvering of checkbooks and bribes, Exogenics instigated a massive coverup and bought the skeleton right out from under everyone’s noses.
Studying this skeleton, they were capable of causing a succession of breakthroughs in medical science that jumped medical technology and pharmaceutical science by hundreds of years. During this time, Exogenics began to actively search for similar skeletons. They found a bit more than they were asking for a few times, but soon they had several skeletons tucked away. The CEO at the time was happy to just push out innovation after innovation, but due to his unfortunate passing in 1993 because of sudden onset heart failure a new CEO stepped up to lead: Vincent Muller.
Vincent saw more than just medical research in these beasts, and began to reshape the company into something far more insidious. In 2012 Vincent invested heavily into Grenville, a supposed “City of the Future” that was being built. This investment allowed him to place trusted people into nearly every official branch in the city. By 2022 the city was complete and populated. It would be a quiet evening in March of 2024 when Vincent would personally see to the administration of the mutagen compound to the city’s water supply.
Grenville is located somewhere within Nevada. Approximately 60% of the funding from Grenville came directly from Exogenics. The city was built from the outside in, and so generally speaking the more towards the outer ring of the city you are the rougher the environment is since the first buildings put up were temporary construction homes to house workers. Naturally these were never torn down, leading to a wide network of interconnected slums ringing the entire city. As you move inward the city quickly improves to low and mid tier housing, and then at the center is high tier and luxury housing. Mixed in among this is a wide assortment of stores and attractions, leading to most residents saying that there is never nothing to do. At the heart of the city is a huge office building styled in the shape of a pyramid. Naturally, such a building belongs to Exogenics. It has a large privacy wall surrounding a large portion of the area, and vehicles that enter and leave often do so with an excessive quickness, leading to little chances to see the inside.
There is no doubt in the minds of the majority of citizens that Grenville is essentially run by Exogenics. But most of them seem to simply not care, and often think “It’s not affecting me, why bother?” when it comes to trying to contest the monopoly Exogenics has on the city. Thus, Exogenics is allowed to simply do as they please and the masses of people are none the wiser.
Begin audio log.
Dr Alicia Vance. Date of recording: May 22, 1989.
Upon casual observation, I can first say that this skeleton is truly something amazing. I have never seen anything like it before. Even the dinosaur fossils that we have encountered can't hold a candle to what I'm seeing here. This creature seems like it has an almost intentional design to it, though I find this difficult to gather evidence of. Regardless, something I've noticed from the bone samples I've taken is how robust everything is. When I view the pieces under a microscope I frequently find that they're about thirty percent more dense than any other bones I've ever seen. Whatever this was, when it was alive it was most likely something truly terrifying. Interpreting organ structure from this skeleton is challenging, but it would appear that the internal organs were not grouped into one cavity. It would instead appear that there were smaller clusters of organs that were held within less conspicuous areas of the body.
If this is the case... Then this creature was born to fight. I'm also noticing no loss in structural integrity due to the age of these bones. They're as strong as they were when this creature was alive. Normally there is at least some kind of integrity loss over time but... These bones appear to be just fine. I'll have to do some testing in order to make sure but my best guess is that there is some kind of... Healing ability within this creature. Most likely a changed amino acid or some kind of alteration to the creatures DNA to improve efficiency, but I can't pinpoint it without running tests.
I'm going to have to cut my investigation short, as with only this small test bench I can't gather a lot of information. I'm going to have to call the company head to arrange for more appropriate study environments. But, one thing I'm confident of is that history has just been radically changed by this discovery.
End audio log.
When a person containing an Inner Beast transforms, these transformations typically fall into one of two categories: Subtle, which is a more humanoid form that carried obvious beast features, or Overt, which is a complete shedding of the human form for a distinctly inhuman beast form.
Advantages of Subtle form include a faster transformation time since the transformation doesn't involve radically changing the anatomy of most of the body. In addition, and why it is known as a Subtle-type, this transformation isn't nearly as attention grabbing as an Overt-type transformation is. This means that with some wise decision making, a subtle-type transformation could in theory blend into a crowd at, say, a cosplay convention or some other location where people are dressed appropriately. It also means that they retain the ability to function normally and do things like fit within doors or vehicles with little in the way of adjustment.
The downside of this form is a weaker passive bonuse to their human forms since the mutation has had less of an impact on their genetic code.
Advantages of Overt form include a generally more powerful and robust form compared to Subtle-type transformations, and a stronger passive bonus to their human form due to the deeper mutation impact on their genetic code. However, the downsides to this form include an inability to hide among humans while transformed and a longer transformation time due to the large changes to anatomy that such a transformation entails.
As a first step, Co-GM's! As I've mentioned: I haven't run a lot of roleplays myself and I'm not very well practiced in the art of doing so, so more experienced people to help me along or take the reigns from time to time would be immensely appreciated.
After that, I'd want to average maybe... Ten people total? Counting the co-GM's as well. I want to strike a balance between having a large enough amount of people present that there's always something to do, but I don't want to have so many people intersecting at once that someone suddenly losing their time to post bogs down the entire thread or a majority of the thread.
As for post length, I'd like to encourage making larger posts whenever possible. However, I'm not blind to the fact that sometimes this isn't always viable, and I'm okay with that. The minimum would be about three paragraphs.
One strict rule that I will put ahead of time in order to avoid any confusion would be: No real life photographs for character face claims.
Outside of that, I encourage creativity and coming up with ideas, I'm going to personally include a lot of biological notes on at least my character, and perhaps elsewhere, but I lean towards biological plausibility rather than strict adherence to biological rules. The worst thing that can happen is that I say "No." and you're more than welcome to try again or adjust things.
To further expand upon the concept of beasts: When I say “beasts” I don’t mean exclusively mythical beasts, you can make up any kind of monster you can imagine. I will say that I’d prefer that people didn’t just straight up copy something out of a dungeons and dragons monster manual, but if you want to make a “clone” of something go right ahead. As some would put it, write it in your own words and put your own spin on how things work.
That being said, I know that the allure of some beasts is very strong (Hello, dragons!) and while I’m not going to explicitly outlaw people making a dragon or something similar, I will say that dragon and other powerful beast applications are going to be judged very harshly in order to have things remain balanced and fair. Dragons, especially overt-type dragons, are an extreme force on the battlefield and can prompt a very harsh response due to their capacity to destroy.
Also, Original-Generation beasts are not possible to play. All applications will be New-Generation beasts.
Additionally, when I say “No magic” what I mean is that I’d prefer for people to have their beasts have a biological explanation for doing things. Here’s two examples:
I'd be okay with the following: "Subject 162 has been shown to have an advanced circulatory system that's capable of dynamically slowing flow to breached blood vessels in order to quickly slow or stop bleeding wounds. In addition, they have have smaller hearts in key locations to ensure equal blood pressure and good bloodflow throughout their body. Naturally, this makes delivering a critical would difficult since if one heart is damaged the other hearts can increase their capacity to pick up the slack. Along with this, they show a remarkable increase in cell generation, which allows them to heal at a vastly improved rate compared to the average human."
What I wouldn't be okay with is something like: "Subject 174 has been shown to be able to manifest waves of force in their palms and discharge them upon contact with a solid surface. Additionally, they've been shown to be able to clap their hands together while holding these "force waves" to produce a shockwave that is capable of bending steel at close range."
Once again, I’m aiming for biological plausibility rather than strict adherence to biological rules. You don’t need to go and cite scientific papers to back your stuff up. Even a loose explanation is okay. It just can’t be magic. You want to have bone spikes growing in your arms that you shoot from the palm of your hand? Go right ahead. You want to throw fireballs and summon meteors? Sorry, no.
If you have any questions or want more clarification on things feel free to ask. I'll happily explain things.