Progenitor is a massive Wild Talents setting sourcebook from Arc Dream Publishing. Nearly 400 pages long, it's written by Greg Stolze, creator of the One-Roll Engine, co-author of Wild Talents, Godlike, and Unknown Armies, and author of Reign: A Game of Lords and Leaders.
Progenitor is a superhero setting about big ideas. A single woman gains inconceivable power then unwittingly passes it on to a handful of people. They pass it along to others in turn, and so on, and soon thousands of men and women around the world share that strange power in different forms.
Some of them use their powers for their own personal gain or gratification. Others try to help those around them. Others change the world itself.
What will your characters do with that kind of power?
History Is In Your Hands
Progenitor features a deep alternate history, exploring the shape of the world as we knew it and the changes that are wrought by metahumans year by year.
Dozens of characters described in great detail, plus the world-spanning movements and new nations that they establish.
Detailed rules allow you to change history as you go, guided by four broad metrics: Suspicion, Technology, Economy and Warfare. Which metrics are most dominant set the tone for international culture. A "one roll" chart generates major developments year by year that can be built into new scenarios and entire campaigns.
Other rules describe gadgeteers' effects on society according to the "metrics" of social change.
There are rules for "syntergenics," memes crafted by activists with superhuman intelligence to affect human behavior with an image and change the world with an idea.
There is endless room for player characters to change the world around them using the new rules, to react to changes worked by rivals and enemies, or to simply try to carry out their lives as the pressures around them build.
Progenitor began as a thread on RPG.net, where Greg came up with the idea and developed it in detail. He also posted reports from a playtest campaign. Those should give a sense of one way to approach the setting. But it's much, much bigger than that.
To the Brink and Back
Progenitor tracks the history of the world from 1968 to 1999: From the moment the Progenitor, Amanda Sykes, gains her incredible powers to her strange departure from the global scene. Beyond that, the world is each individual GM's to build and explore using the rules in the book.
The history of the world of the Progenitor is given in rich detail, divided into three broad sections. First is the Rise of the Progenitor, from 1968 to 1982, when the metahumans spread rapidly and change the world around them, mostly, it seems, for the better.
Then comes the Metapocalypse, when the actions of a single evil metahuman bring the entire world to the brink of destruction.
In the later years the world changes further. Incredible technologies propogate between 1983 and 1999, metahumans around the world take on superheroic personae, and subtle ideas and images conceived by metahumans' impossible intelligence influence individuals and entire nations.
The highly distinctive styles of three brilliant artists illustrate the changes in the world. Todd Shearer's work can be seen in many Arc Dream projects, from Wild Talents Second Edition to the new sourcebooks for Delta Green. Samuel Araya was an illustrator in the first edition of Wild Talents and his work graces Atlas Games' Unknown Armies Second Edition and many of White Wolf's World of Darkness games. Vicente Sivera Catalá contributed to the Conan, Traveller, and Elric game lines for Mongoose Publishing.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Not Talking About the War
Chapter 1: This Changing World
* The Big Idea
* Character Generation
* How Powers Spread
* Changing the World
* The Charts
* The View From Above
Chapter 2: These Changing Times
* The Rise of the Progenitor: 1968 to 1982
* The Metapocalypse
* Changing Times: 1983 to 1999
* Y2K: The End and the Beginning
Chapter 3: Who and What
* Tier 1 Characters
* Tier 2 Characters
* Tier 3 Characters
* Tier 4 Characters
* Tier 5 Characters
* Tier 6 Characters
* Tier 7 Characters
* Tier 8 Characters
* Tier 9 Characters
* Tier 10 Characters
* Straightforward Villains
* Devices and Developments
* Gadgeteers and the Metrics
Chapter 4: Nations and Organizations
* Progressive Harmony
* The Progress Cadre
* Pushcore Technologies
* The Church of the Emerald Virgin