The Incarnate are one of the major factions on Gaia. Where the Corp use nano-technology to improve the human "condition", the incarnate follow a different path to human enhancement. Relying purely on genetic engineering instead of Nanoblood, the Incarnates are at the same time more vulnerable and far more terrifying than the Corp. By working with the very essence of life, the Incarnates have developed a healthy respect - and, some might say, an unhealthy kinship, with all other living things. The genes of trees, cats, dogs, and other species all found their way into Incarnate bloodlines.
But they did not just stop there, the Incarnates have also uplifted other species. Where it’s useful to them, they have endowed plants and animals with enhanced abilities and in some rare cases, even intelligence. After a certain point, the line between "Incarnate" and "non-Incarnate" becomes more important than the line between "human" and "non-human." Living in harmony with other forms of life almost makes Incarnates the natural enemies of the Corp. Many devastating wars have been fought between Corporations that wanted to exploit natural resources and Incarnates who wanted to preserve them for their own use. In one unique place in the universe, Incarnates and Corp can be found side-by-side. After the great war on this planet proved destructive to the goals of both sides, they formed an uneasy agreement to share space, resources and in rare cases even work together.
The vast majority of the Incarnates are the Adepts. The Adept strains are based upon genetic fusion with the DNA of specific animals. They were engineered with specific environments in mind for the purpose of colonizing different types of ecologies. There are four mainstream Adept lineages:
Many other lineages do exist, but all Adepts share one ability- the ability to shift to their animal alternate form. Experienced Adepts may also learn a hybrid form (Half-shifting, a "semi") that combines the advantages of tool use and boosted sensory functionality. Some lineages such as the Nephlaem, cannot shift.
The Progressive caste views itself far superior to the animalistic Adepts. They set themselves apart from the more numerous Adept caste by their marked ability to accurately alter DNA, having descended from the progenitors of the original Incarnate movement: The doctors, geneticists, and biologists. Each Progressive lineage has unique genetic heritages of their own: Such as the six-winged Nassim or the horrific consumption ability of the Vorachai. Many of them safeguard against theft of their genetic material because some bloodline-only adaptations give them serious advantages.
They are named for the INCAR8 retrovirus which was a breakthrough tool for accurate genetic editing.
The Incarnate see the Corp's reliance on unknown technology from an artificial intelligence dangerous to the wellbeing of mankind and see their own perfection of the human genome as a symbol of their elite status as near-gods.
There are incarnate progressive bloodlines like the Nassim who have "bloodline powers" that are in fact Magellan phenomena. They are hosts like any other, but the Incarnates have made it clear to the Gnost Quorum that those powers have empirically been proven to be hereditary, as the powers pass reliably within a family and always manifests as the same phenomena. They, therefore, claim that these manifestations do not fall under the Theresian amendment. In order to distinguish between these types of hosts, the Incarnate Genetic Oversight Committee gave the Quorum a secret document called The Hereditary Exception list. This document outlines all the bloodline powers of all recognized noble Progressive lines. The contents of the Exception list have been speculated wildly in the media and in many fictional works. The Quorum has recognized the Exceptional list officially and Paladin teams no longer hunt gifted Progressives, if the family in question can establish legitimacy.
All members of the Incarnate are a member of one bloodline. Apart from the four most common bloodlines, there are also a number of more obscure variations.
Incarnate behavior differs rather drastically, whether the player is a Progressive or an Adept. Sometimes an Incarnate can even be a mutant, an extreme deviation from IGOC approved gene variances. For the sake of this campaign, we will preclude mutants from our available player race selection.
All incarnates lean towards being liberal, but are independent and creative thinkers.
Playing an Adept
Adepts are usually physically imposing, and they revel in the fact that their strength, stamina and various other physical characteristics are far beyond human limits. Each Adept lineage is that of a specific animal DNA template and human.
Some animal-esque stereotypes translate into Adept behavior – Anubians love ball sports, red meat while Atlantaens despise seafood and love swimming. A lot of Adepts have come from blue-collar professional backgrounds and as such use their superior strength and coordination in their jobs with gusto. A lot of Adepts do have a tendency to have lower standards of hygiene because both their immune and digestive systems are supercharged. They also tend to be less careful with what they eat (E.g.: "I never get fat, so I just eat what’s tasty and my body gets rid of whatever I don't need")
Adepts love freedom and open spaces. Even in winter, Adepts would rather dine on the Alfresco in the cold than inside a restaurant. In such a case, most Adepts (particularly Gallians and Anubians) would shift out their fur and show off their chiseled bodies all-year round. They love outdoor sports: Running, swimming, soccer as well as blood sports: MMA, boxing. Adepts hate commitments, rather having flexibility with plans such as gym memberships, opting to take a 'pay as you go' or 'pay per use' model rather than a cheaper long-term subscription.
Adepts are proud of their bodies, and since their genetics keeps even the laziest adept lean and strong by default, they tend to wear clothes that show this off such as tight genes, midriff-bearing tops, singlets, tank tops, sleeveless tops and bareback dresses and plunging V-necks for females.
Adepts tend to prefer quantity over quality, in supermarkets are known to purchase bulk meats and 24-can blocks of beer. They love buffets (i.e.: "All you can eat") and this also applies to their worldview on romantic relationships – Adepts have multiple romantic partners and usually do not subscribe to conventional marriages. A number of Adepts are supportive of LGBT.
A very common stereotype is that Adepts are promiscuous, and this is partially because of their animal side drives them towards a mating instinct in their early adulthood. It is not unheard of for either gender to proactively and loudly pursue their sexual interests to the great discomfort of their quarry. This sometimes rubs their non-adept colleagues and peers the wrong way. Their immunity to most Sexually transmitted diseases only makes them even less selective of their choices for 'recreational love making'.
Author’s note: It is not difficult to imagine the behavior of someone who gained super strength just by opting to have a DNA injection when they are 21. It's just a manner of gauging how they articulate themselves when coming into their abilities.
Playing a progressive
All Progressives belong to a prestigious bloodline, with each family having a unique set of beneficial genetic advantages. They are extremely confident, proud of their heritage and undoubtedly come across as snobs, even towards Adepts, even though the latter are considered to be part of the Incarnate race too. In fact, a lot of Progressive millennials have a great sense of entitlement, expecting the best opportunities in life should be reserved for them because of their sought-after genetics. Almost comically contrasted by the laisez faire behavior of the Adepts, Incarnate Progressives are fussy about how they eat (e.g.: "I only eat organic, grass fed beef. None of this cloned garbage") and are often hypochondriacs (E.g.: "If you smoke, you can’t be my friend.", "My throat hurts, I'm going to see a specialist")– it is known for a Progressive to turn their nose up at a hotel that does not have a built in air purification system, or for them to Progressives choose to dress stylishly and usually are split between 'old world' tradition where they wear Han-esque eastern style clothing and 'new world' avant garde from the most acclaimed (and expensive) brands. All Progressives have genetic memory and sometimes behave in 'dated' ways, as they inherit not just the knowledge of their parents, but also their mannerisms and prejudices. Progressives are long-lived, with lifespans nearly double that of their Adept brethren, this causes them to sometimes enter the workforce later and not have a sense of urgency. They, however, have a vision that sometimes spans decades.