The next stage of human evolution

These rules are not currently canon for my current campaign.

Just as metahumankind’s understanding of magic has altered in the decades since it returned to the world - with the emergence of UMT providing a framework for understanding all magical traditions - so too does its understanding of the effect of cybernetic augmentations on the manaflow through an individual. The old theories - that cyberware was fundamentally antithetical to the flow of life force and that as cyberware increased so the subject’s essential humanity inevitably ebbed away - no longer hold true. Instead, a new, deeper understanding is emerging from theoretical thaumaturgists in leading research labs.

It is true that cyberware seems to disrupt the flow of mana being channelled for magic, and it continues to be the case that even small amounts of augmentation is devastating for an individual’s ability to wield magic. But studies of people receiving posthetic limbs or transgender surgeries revealed surprising results - if anything, their interaction with the mana flow improved as the physical reality of their bodies moved into closer alignment with their mental self-image. It now seems that the harmful side-effects of disrupted mana flow are not inevitable, and come not from some immutable law of nature but rather from conflict between the individual’s body and that internal sense of self.

Furthermore, that sense of self is not fixed, but can change over and time through the individual’s will.

For many of metahumankind, it remains harmful to take too much cyberware. On some deep level, their psyche rejects it. But there is an emerging trend of people who choose to see the world, and their place in it, differently. For these people, their relationship with the mana flow is altered in such a way as they can choose greater amounts of augmentation. Their self-image is that as they alter themselves, they are not straying away from what they were meant to be; rather, they move closer to it.

They do not become less than human. They become… something else, something different. Posthuman.

Rules for posthumans

Posthuman is a quality that can only be taken post-chargen and only by characters whose current Essence is 2 or less. It costs 20 points of karma, plus 10 points per level (so 30 points for level 1, 40 for level 2, 50 for level 3…) Each level gives the user a 1-point essence “hole” they can choose to install cyberware, bioware, or other body modifications into without changing their current essence score.

Posthumanism does not mix well with awakened abilities. The total penalty to a character’s magic score is always equal to the sum total of the essence cost of all ‘ware installed, regardless of the Posthuman quality.

Posthumans pride themselves on the perfection of their altered bodies and should always seek to install the highest quality ‘ware they can. They also shun and pity cyberzombies, their twisted cousins, as unnatural creations.

Last modified June 30, 2020