made with [link]
Genius the Transgression is a fan-made World of Darkness splat-book, that deals with mad scientists, simply known as Geniuses.
The official PDF file can be downloaded here [link]
The Geniuses bear strong similarities to the Technocracy from the old World of Darkness' Mage the Ascension, but with the roles reversed. The Technocracy-like Foundations are the more protagonist-type faction, while the Sons of Ether resembling Lemurians are the more villainous faction, due to their highly irresponsible treatment of science (not saying that the foundations aren't reckless as well, but the Lemurians take things to new and interesting extremes.)
Geniuses are in a way similar to the Magi, and one may even consider them a Path in a way, as a Genius can't become a Mage, and the other way around.
While a Mage goes through an "Awakening" that connects them to one of the supernatural realms, and gains the ability to impose that realm's rules onto our realm, a Genius goes through a "Breakthrough," after which they gain an instinctive understanding of the universe's workings, and ways to exploit it.
While a Mage's spells cause "Paradox," as the universe (with a large push from the Abyss) is rejecting their alterations to the reality, a Genius' inventions trigger "Havoc" when near mortals, as their workings are far beyond human comprehension, making any attempt by a normal person to use or understand them end in disaster (imagine giving a paper-shredder to a duck.)
What's worse, Geniuses are unable to ever explain their inventions and theories, as it always just comes of as gibberish (human language does not posses the capacity.)
A "Breakthrough" is triggered when an already highly intelligent person experiences extreme emotions. Something inside of them cracks, and the knowledge of the universe starts pouring in. A lesser person goes mad or even dies, but those with sufficient intellect gain the ability to effortlessly use the entire universe around them as a tool.
The emotion triggering a "Breakthrough" is referenced to as a "Catalyst." The type of emotion that served as the Catalyst usually affects the Genius for the rest of their life, as they affect the specific "flavor" the knowledge takes. (Grimm - rage; Hoffnung - ambition; Klagen - sorrow; Neid - vengefulness; Staunen - awe)
The history of modern Genius society and it's factions is an extremely complicated one. It involved allot of time-travelling, many different time-lines, alternate dimensions, world-wide mind-wipes ,massive time-line re-writes, clones, robot duplicates, at least one instance of deicide, and Earth being destroyed at least twice.
But here's an extremely condensed version of it.
There once was a race of snake-people called the Lemurians, who wanted to rule the world. The opposition won, and the Lemurians were wiped-out (at least that's what everyone thinks), everyone in the world then forgot this ever happened, except for the Geniuses. The Geniuses who served the Lemurians adopted their culture and name, while their opponents organised into Foundations.
At the moment, the world's most influential Genius organisation is The Peerage, and alliance of the five Foundations.
It functions both as a support group for Geniuses, teaching them how to use their skills and helping them with their projects, as well as a sort of law-enforcement, making sure that none of the Geniuses crosses the line.
The 5 Foundations are:
The International Union of Artifice
A loose alliance of Geniuses originating from lower social classes and regions. Mostly founded in order to compensate for their poverty. Their main focus is tinkering, engineering, and all sorts of building, often using cheap materials, including trash.
Fellowship for Manifest Direction
The unofficial leaders of the peerage. Rather than creating inventions, they prefer to develop theories and strategies using sciences like psychology, sociology, politics, and economics to control the world and people around them. When creating inventions, they usually construct mind-control devices, or robot servants.
They are a combination of the Technocracy's New World Order and Syndicate.
Center for Circumferential Navigation
Originally allies of the Lemurians, the Navigators switched sides and joined the Peerage in order to escape the restrictions of their, often incompetent, superiors. The Navigators are most of all adventurers and explorers, and their inventions reflect that. They build planes, cars, space-ships, boats, submarines, as well as teleports, portals, and time-machines.
They are a counterpart to the Technocracy's Void Engineers from the old World of Darkness.
Reformed Society of Progenitors
Descended from an old Foundation known as the Children of the Demiurge. The Demiurges went rogue during the 1950s, turning on humanity and their fellow Geniuses, and were eventually wiped-out during the 1990s. The ones who were spared by the purge re-organised as the Progenitors. They have the same interest as they had back then, life. Their inventions usually focus on the creation or enhancement of life-forms. Currently the progenitors are divided into two camps. The traditionalists, who's work is based on that of Dr. Frankenstein, building new life-forms whatever resources are available, and the new-wave, upgrading the human body trough cybernetic implants and gene-splicing.
From the old World of Darkness Technocracy, Iteration X and the Progenitors are the clear counterparts.
College of Scholastic Theory
They follow the belief that everything worth inventing was already invented, and one should therefore put all of one's effort into discovering these inventions of old. And that's exactly what they do, searching for the works of the Ancient geniuses. Most of the Scholastics do this by searching through archives and libraries, looking for the tiniest notes left behind by the Geniuses of old. Others take a more direct approach, becoming adventurer-archaeologists, searching the ruins of ancient civilizations for their creations.
Geniuses who are not members of any of the Foundations or any organisation for that matter, and officially don't acknowledge the Peerage, nor Lemuria. For the most part they are however on good terms with the Peerage (they'd be dead if they weren't), despite some snark. The Peerage tolerates them (as long as they don't cause trouble), something that can't be said about Lemuria.
There are also Genius organisations that operate independently of The Peerage and Lemuria. These are called Programs. Many Programs are reported to exist around the world, based around many cultures and schools of science, but only two of them are described in the book in sufficient detail.
Those 2 Programs are:
Formalists - Ten Thousand Fans
Founded as a resistance by the local Geniuses after the Lemurians invaded Asia. Centered in Japan and the coastal regions of China, the Formalists combine western science with Taoist philosophy, traditional Chinese medicine, and ancient Indian alchemy. Over the years they managed to free most of Asia from under Lemurian influence, alto India still remains a Lemurian domain.
The Peerage has shown interest in the Formalists joining their ranks. The Formalists show no interest, but they still view the Peerage as reliable allies against Lemuria.
Thule Society Revanchists - Der Ubermensch
The members of the Thule Society who joined the Nazi party. Not all of them are Geniuses. In fact, at first, none of them were. But during their time as head-researchers on the party's numerous projects, many of them achieved their Breakthrough. After Germany lost WW2, the Thule Society Geniuses, as well as their Magi, regular scientists, occultists, and soldiers have fled, and hid inside a Bardo (pocket universe), which supports the Hollow Earth theory, as well as the Nazi Ubermensch theory. Inside of the Earth, the Program established a colossal base, and boosted their ranks with true Ubermenschen. From there, they conduct raids on the real world, as well as infiltrate the media and political structures in attempts to spread their ideology and science of racial superiority.
The Peerage reacts with extreme hostility to any Thule presence, and systematically wipes out any Ubermenschen they come across (oh, the irony!), their ultimate goal being the Bardo's destruction.
Even Lemuria (who's members themselves display racist tendencies) views them as an abomination, and are even willing to ally themselves with the Peerage to cleanse the world of their influence.
But the Thule Revanchists are a stubborn and patient bunch...
As a dark counterpart to the Peerage, stands Lemuria.
The Geniuses who originally served the true Lemurian race have claimed the heritage of their old master as their own, and are intent to once again rise in power.
Another thing all Lemurians have in common is the belief that the world is currently in the wrong time-line. What time-line is the correct one is however subject to dispute. This separates the Lemurians into five Baramins, each built around what they believe is the direction science and technology should have taken. The Lemurians prefer to reside in Bardos, pocket universes in which the world works according to completely different scientific theories (like a geocentric world, or a world that works under Lamarckist evolution rather than Darwinist). Inventions created in these universes are even more susceptible to Havoc when taken out, as they directly tend to violate the laws of physics.
The 5 Baramins are:
The Atomists hold the firm belief that every single problem in the world can be solved simply by making the right invention. That all of the world's evils cease to exist once humanity reaches the sufficient technological level. They display a complete (and sometimes deliberate) disregard for the human factor, and are utterly ignorant to concepts like individuality or even free will.
They draw heavily from the 1950s Conservative middle-class USA culture in both, aesthetics, and outlook.
Currently rising in power and numbers, the Atomists show ambitions of becoming the new leaders of Lemuria.
Firm believers in the Grand Unified Theory of Science, also known as the Aether Theory. Saying that they weren't happy about their big theory being proven wrong would be an understatement. They violently lash out against anyone and anything that contradicts their theory, almost resembling a crusade. They reside inside Bardos that function accordingly to the theory, which is where they construct most of thier inventions (including entire space-fleets and armies of robots, just waiting for Lemuria's approval to strike.)
The Etherites stylize themselves after the heroes of old-school sci-fi serials (the likes of Flash Gordon, Bucky Rogers, or Captain Video), but their mentality is much closer to the 19th century colonialist British Empire.
They serve as Lemuria's shock-troops.
The most alien of all the Lemurians, they believe the entire universe is one single mechanism, and that everything was firmly set ever since the big bang. While the Atomists may disregard free will, the Mechanists believe there is no such thing as free will, and that we are all but mindless components doing their work in this grand mechanism. They take this nihilistic fatalist view to such extremes, that they frequently commit atrocities on a whim without showing a single emotion, believing it was meant to be.
The Mechanists reject technology based around combustion engines and electricity, and instead use steam and clockworks to power their inventions. They themselves prefer Victorian aesthetics for their inventions and their own appearance. They reside in Bardos that support their world-view, and prefer to lure their opponents inside of them for confrontation, as their outcome is already predetermined. Of course, that outcome could be the Mechanist's defeat - they aren't the sort to fight fate.
The current leaders of Lemuria, and self-proclaimed guardians of morality. Rather than building inventions, they focus on philosophy and rhetoric. They hold a strong, black-and-white, egocentric view on morality. They believe themselves to be inherently pure, good, and righteous, which means that no-matter what they'll do, it will always be the right thing, no matter what. This in extension means that whoever opposes them, disagrees with them, or questions them is corrupt, evil, and crooked, and should be punished accordingly.
When the Oracles do build inventions, they often reach into the distant past, taking inspiration from the works of Leonardo daVinci, medieval alchemy, or the works of Aristotle. Others may use more modern equipment that was modified to work according to Aristotelian Physics. They themselves like to mimic ancient Athens, Egypt, and Babylonia in their appearance.
The Oracles were the leaders of Lemuria ever since the demise of the true Lemurians, but there's recently been rumors of the Atomists planning a coup.
The Phenomenologists believe that reality is purely subjective. This philosophy being their main focus makes them master liars, capable of convincing anyone of absolutely anything. It is impossible to tell when a Phenomenologist is lying and when they are telling the truth, as they themselves don't believe that things like truth and lie even exist. Their morality goes the same direction, as it changes accordingly to what is most convenient as the moment (hey, everyone! let's all go to the orphanage to get us some spare parts! they don't need them anyway!)
They fill in the roles of Lemuria's diplomats and spies.
Originally the right-hand men of the true Lemurians. Their main focus were philosophy and religion, and they served as the middle-men between the Lemurians and the allied Geniuses. They also filled a secret role - to manipulate Geniuses into hindering humanity's technological advance, in order to make them easier targets.
Once the Peerage wiped out the true Lemurians, the Lemurian geniuses saw the Dharmists as a hindrance in their attempts at re-building the empire, and so they mercilessly hunted them all down to be exterminated.
Barely a handful, if any at all, remain.
Not truly a Baramin, but fully intending to become one, the Numericals are Lemuria's most recent allies.
Formed during the late 1990s, the Numericals are disillusioned computer enthusiasts who are highly displeased at the direction the Internet took. They believe that only the intellectual elite should be allowed access to the World Wide Web. "The internet should be a place for intellectual growth and sophisticated discussion, NOT lolcats!"
They are a counterpart to the Old World of Darkness' Virtual Adepts.
the nobility [link]