- 1 The Spark of Genius
- 1.1 Catalysts
- 1.1.1 Grimm
- 1.1.2 Hoffnung
- 1.1.3 Klagen
- 1.1.4 Neid
- 1.1.5 Staunen
- 1.1.6 Other Catalysts
- 1.2 Foundations
- 1.2.1 Artificers
- 1.2.2 Directors
- 1.2.3 Navigators
- 1.2.4 Progenitors
- 1.2.5 Scholastics
- 1.1 Catalysts
The Spark of Genius
Genii are fiercely independent and iconoclastic people much of the time, partly a result of their Paradigms distorting their world view, and the urge to fulfill their various Magna Opera. That said, there are things that bind Genii together. They're still, to some extent, human, and so naturally desire a social structure in which to exist, even if some only want one in order to dominate it. In the countless centuries of the Inspired's existence, these societies have grown to a larger culture of Genius.
The Inspired divide themselves into a handful of groups, based on their general attitudes toward their own Inspiration, and how they process the world around them. While countless different names exist for these divisions, they have existed in some permutation throughout history and across societies. While there are some other, more obscure sets of Genii, the major Catlysts that the Peerage and Lemuria recognize have been the most common at all times.
The Catalysts are representative not only of the kind of Genius a person is, but also what compelled them to shed the limitations of normalcy and become Inspired. No one is sure what exactly makes one Catalyst distinct from another, but a person's Breakthrough is always intrinsically linked to their Catalyst. This leads to some Genii believing that the Breakthrough is what makes a Genius, while others claim that a Genius is always a Genius, and their Catalyst is baked into them, and the Breakthrough merely ignites the spark of Genius hidden within them.
The Catalysts themselves are tied to a singular emotionally-charged moment that broke the Genius on some level, allowing Inspiration into them. Each one has two Favored Axiomata, two lenses of Inspiration that reflect how the Catalyst influences their Wonder-working. Aditionally, each Catalyst has a persistent Condition, which reflects how their newly-changed world-view can affect their daily lives on a more personal level.
The major Catalysts are:
- Grimm: The Catalyst of Fury
- Hoffnung: The Catalyst of Vision
- Klagen: The Catalyst of Loss
- Neid: The Catalyst of Banishment
- Staunen: The Cataalyst of Curiosity
Grimm is the catalyst of fury and aggression. Triggered by a moment of obscene, white-hot rage, the breakthrough of the Grimm permanently boils the blood of the Genius. Grimms aren't necessarily murderous, or even violent, but they are almost always prone to hot-tempered, aggressive behavior.
A Genius who Catalyzes as Grimm does so in a moment of rage. They are usually aggressive people to begin with, and may have had a temper, but the Breakthrough only comes with a moment that consumes them with unbridled fury. A moment that pushed them to a profound, unprecedented venting of long-held anger. Sometimes, it's an act of violent revenge, that ends with the newly-minted Genius standing over the grisly mess of their victory. Other times, it's in the ashes of the life they destroyed with cunning and venom. No matter what they do, it's always an explosive situation.
- Fabien was a promising junior developer at a tech giant, who had nearly completed his greatest work, an algorithm that could sort through hours upon hours of video content and dynamically tag it. When he brought it to his superiors, expecting praise and maybe a promotion, he was shot down. Then he happened to accidentally get BCC'd into an e-mail his boss sent to his superiors, claiming his work as his own. At that moment, Fabien felt a tiny twitch, like a muscle he never knew he had. He immediately set to work, quietly modifying the code, so that when it hit production, the raunchiest, filthiest videos on the web got funneled straight to the kid's section. His boss got fired, blacklisted, and might even be looking at jail time, and Fabien still gets a little bit of a chuckle any time he looked at the freshly-emptied name plate on his former boss's office door.
- He saw them walk by and his blood boiled. Didn't they know they were supposed to be pissed? The system is using them and controlling them. Their freedom is being stolen, parceled up and sold back to them. Their eyes are being closed by the man, and they don't even care. They welcome it. These pathetic bastards need to have the scales pulled away, by force if need be. But you have a plan. You've been working on something in your basement that will destroy the veneer of civility that hides the freedoms of mankind away. You've already set things in motion. You hear the boom, as the banks are rocked to their foundations, the cops too distracted by stealing from the people to do anything. The news calls it a profound tragedy, and act of terrorism, but you know that what you've done is liberation, plain and simple.
Grimms are aggressive and direct, and their Wonders reflect this. Given their preferred Axiomata of Katastrofi and Epikrato, they tend to make Wonders that act directly on subjects, lashing out physically or mentally and asserting dominance over the subject.
With other Axiomata, Grimms still prefer to be direct. Their Skafoi wonders tend to rip through barriers rather than slip around them, their Automatons are hounds and enforcers much of the time.
In a group, Grimms often take the role of the heavy. Their proclivity for aggression makes them the best-suited to direct action much of the time. Two Grimms who can get along become an unstoppable force, and two Grimms that butt heads are, together, a ticking time bomb for everyone involved.
Condition: Inspired Wrath
The Grimm's persistent Condition is Inspired Wrath, which pushes them to act impulsively and angrily.
Beat: The Grimm gains a Beat when they act impulsively on their anger to the detriment of themselves and their allies.
Resolution: You can focus your anger into a white-hot rage that no force can mollify. You can resolve this Condition at will to force any combat you are involved in in this Scene to use Down and Dirty rules.
- Hoffnung: Yeah, yeah, yeah, you've got a dream. A lot of people have dreams. I have a gun.
- Klagen: It's pussies like you and the ethics board that really piss me off sometimes.
- Neid: I appreciate your unfettered anger, but there are some lines that even I won't cross.
- Staunen: I remember being young and wide-eyed like that. I never got anything done.
All Genii are visionaries to an extent, but Hoffnung are defined by their vision beyond any others. As such, Hoffnung is the Catalyst of vision and ambition. Hoffnungs are the climbers, looking for higher and higher standing in whatever arena they choose. This deep-seated ambition can be a need to be the best at what they do, a desire for ever more power, or simple greed, but they don't stop until they get what they want, on their terms.
A Hoffnung's breakthrough is generally the most likely to actually involve what will become their Magnum Opus, but just as frequently, they Catalyze for their mundane pursuits. Hoffnung catalyze when they push themselves beyond the breaking point in pursuit of their ambition. Maybe not committing a great evil, but always compromising themselves deeply, fundamentally, to get their way.
- She wanted to live in a world without crime. She saw her best friend, killed by gangs and her death dismissed as a result of criminal activity she was never involved in. She ran for office, and lost to the corrupt mayor. She ran again, playing dirty this time, digging up everything she could. She torched his reputation, revealing the backdoor girls and boys, the gambling, the drugs. She was held up as a champion of truth and honesty. Then she got to work. She reformed the police, took a hard line on the crime in her town. A raid on a drug lab turned into a firefight. She took advantage and went even harder. The police got more and more geared up, more and more well-trained. They conducted more searches, more raids. The results were so clear, judges looked the other way on warrants. She was proud. She looked out at the streets. They were silent, until police dragged a man out of his home. By accident, he elbowed an officer in the nose, and was put down for assaulting an officer. She turned away. She wanted to live in a world without crime.
The Wonders of the Hoffnung exist to transform their reality. They seek the world they want, and they use their Wonders to make it. Their favored Axiomata, Metaptropi and Automata, help them to create transformative Wonders.
With other Axiomata, their Wonders remain an expression of their will. Their Epikrato dominates, rather than simply manipulating, and their Apokalypsi reveals the path forward.
In a collaborative, the Hoffnung naturally gravitates toward a leadership position, regardless of how bad an idea that may be. Hoffnung tend to let their arrogance get the best of them, making them incredibly dicey choices in a leadership position, depnding on if their ego is pushing in the right direction.
Condition: Give Me the Wheel
The Hoffnung's Persistent Condition is Give Me the Wheel, which pushes the Hoffnung to give in to their ego.
Beat: Gain a Beat when you attempt to take control of a situation to disastrous results.
Resolution: Usually, your arrogance gets in the way, but once in a blue moon, your stubborn ego becomes your greatest asset. You can Resolve this Condition at will to automatically succeed in resisting or contesting any roll intended to coerce, manipulate, dominate,or control you, or otherwise undermine your mental or emotional autonomy, including paranormal effects.
- Grimm: Keep a grip on your gun, I'll tell you exactly where to point it.
- Klagen: I understand your apprehension, but you need to see the big picture.
- Neid: I know what it's like to be laughed at. Let me help you.
- Staunen: Could you focus for one second? You'd get a lot more done that way.
Klagen is the Catalyst of loss and regret. While many Genii have some failure in their past, a need for redemption often drives Klagens. They need to protect, and to restore, even if it kills them.
Most Klagen have some great perceived failure at the root of their Catalyst. They lost somebody close, they made a choice that ruined their life, or the life of somebody else, they let something amazing slip through their fingers. Whatever it was, this loss shattered their world in its entirety.
- You wanna see my kid? I know, I know, it's a cheesy cliché, carrying photos of your kid, but whatever. Yeah, that second one's my favorite. Last one we took before he got sick. Doctors weren't sure what was wrong, and if they knew anything, they weren't telling me. They tried their best, but he kept getting sicker. He asked us to stop taking pictures about two years in, when they gave him the mask. The doctors gave up on him, sent him home with us. We tried everything. Experimental treatment, faith healers, spiritualism, nothing works. I studied, so hard. I read book after book on lunch every day. My wife left me, she couldn't handle the stress anymore. Eventually, he gave up, too. Said he was too tired, and that's the last thing he ever said. The coroner said that it was a reaction to the meds they put him on. He just had a rare blood disease, totally treatable if they'd caught it and medicated properly. Shit happens, I guess. I think I've found a way to get him back, though. I'm just gonna need your bone marrow.
Klagen create wonders to restore and protect, making them adept at both Exilixi and Prostasia. Their Wonders exist specifically to turn away the loss and misfortune they see around every corner.
With other Axiomata, they tend to avoid more aggressive Wonders. Katastrofi Wonders more often weaken and incapacitate rather than outright destroying, and Skafoi exists mostly to flee and evade rather than chase.
Klagen are often more preoccupied with preventing things from going wrong in the future, making them less useful in the here and now, but being able to see something coming is a surprisingly valuable skill among the Inspired.
They don't get along with Hoffnung most of the time, as they have a tendency to poke holes in their plans.
The Klagen's Persistent Condition is Paralysis. They are often cautious to a fault, hesistating out of a fear of failure and inviting that failure in doing so.
Beat: Gain a Beat when you allow your hesitation to cause disastrous consequences.
Resolution: Discretion is the better part of valor, but sometimes you need to remember the other parts. You can Resolve this Condition at will to add +3 to a roll to prevent violence or disaster.
- Grimm: You had better put down that gun, before I show you what real anger is.
- Hoffnung: I can see about twelve ways that plan can go awry, most of them resulting from you screwing it up for yourself.
- Neid: You're so self-absorbed that you don't even see how much you're hurting yourself.
- Staunen: Your devil-may-care attitude is exactly what will kill you.
While all Genii feel a need for validation, Neids are driven by that need. The one thing they want above all is to be respected and honored and vindicated, regardless of whether they're actually right. While Hoffnung seek out power for its own end, Neid see power as a tool, like any other, to help their ideas win out.
The Breakthrough of a Neid are often the result of a slight or rejection. The eventual Neid Genius goes to greater and greater lengths to prove themself, pushing themselves beyond their own limits to prove they were right. They don't always Catlyze in an act of revenge, and many simply take their otherwise normal efforts far beyond normal lines.
- They told me that my ideas were silly, and far too "pie-in-the-sky" to achieve in this century, let alone this year. So they refused to fund my research obviously afraid that my work would make them obsolete. So I found private investors, who were very interested in a computer that could research like a real human. It took millions of dollars, and I eventually had a nearly-working prototype, only three times the budget. The company tried to cut me off, but I took control. I was behind the wheel, and I was so close. The shareholders kept questioning whether my plans would work, if they were worth the expense, if I was taking them for a ride. I found dirt on some, bribed others, and put the last two or three to work. Organic processors work so much more...elegantly.
Neids create wonders thaat dominate and crush the opposition, using Epikrato to establish control and Automata to maintain it.
With other Axiomata, they demand the respect of others, using Katastrofi to subjugate rather than subdue or destroy, and using Apokalypsi to see into the weakness of their opposition.
Neid are extremely focused on being validated, and so they tend to chafe in any group that won't go along with them. They are more than happy to ruin the lives of people who mess with those they like, but even if you're on their side, they might turn against you if you question them too much.
Condition: Show Them All
Neid demand that the world stop and listen to them, even if they are 100% wrong. They will shut things down completely if they don't feel that they are being heard.
Beat: Gain a Beat when you refuse to listen to others, and it results in harm coming to you or your allies.
Resolution: When push comes to shove, you can really convince people. Resolve this Condition to turn a Social Maneuvering attempt into a single roll with the relevant dice pool.
- Grimm: Stick with me, buddy. I need a good enforcer.
- Hoffnung: So much time wasted with campaigns and board meetings. I could get so much more done with a few grenades and a manifesto.
- Klagen: Your loss is indeed profound, by the way they treated us was the real tragedy.
- Staunen: It doesn't actually help you. Why do you even care?
In a way, they are the purest form of Inspiration. Staunen are driven by the wonder they see in the universe around them, a wonder that even other Genii might not always notice. Staunen is the Catalyst of curiosity and wonder, seeking to see as much of the universe as they can.
Staunen are the most likely to come into contact with the paranormal before they enter the Inspired world. They are naturally curious people, even more prone to obsession than other Genii at times. Many Staunen Breakthroughs begin when they see something that simply doesn't fit with the reality they know, and they just can't explain it or let it go. Those who are aware of Mages note that Staunen tend to resemble them. Don't point this out to Mages or Genii. It ends poorly.
Staunen view their Wonders as a means to see more and more of the world, using Apokalypsi to reveal what's hidden and Skafoi to reach places nobody's ever been.
With other Axiomata, they seek to apply them in novel ways. Their Wonders can be the most unpredictable or unexpected at times, from a Katastrofi computer virus to a Metaptropi-based mathematical formula to turn one arbitrary shape into another.
Staunen are, at the same time, the hardest and the easiest to work with. Their preoccupation with the new and novel makes them very willing to tag along on almost any adventure, but they also tend to start picking at things in the background, making them incredibly frustrating to deal with when you need to do something specific.
Staunen hunger for novelty, and seek out new obsessions like most people seek out food or shelter. This can get them into a lot of messes, often bigger than they can handle.
Beat: Gain a beat when your curiosity places you or your allies in grave danger.
Resolution: Staunen are better than anyone at finding the truth. You can Resolve this Condition at will to get the Rote quality on a roll to uncover a Clue during an Investigation.
- Grimm: Violence isn't the answer. Okay, it was once or twice, but not this time!
- Hoffnung: How about you put things down for a minute and come watch the supernova with me?
- Klagen: Listen, I've been where you are, I've been everywhere. Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere. Wanna come explore this Bardo?
- Neid: Shut up. Shut up, you incredible bitch, you worthless, blood-soaked freak. All you do is destroy, and I'll have nothing to do with you.
While the five Catalysts above tend to cover nearly all of the Genii in the world, they aren't the only Catalyst to exist. Some others have been around throughout the ages, and a few will claim to have met members of some obscure Catalyst, and some even claim to be among their number. Some examples that have been rumored include:
- Bodhisattva: Some Genii were thought to exist who Catalyzed in a moment of one-ness with reality. Such Genii got their name from rumors of the Catalyst's concentration in southern and eastern Asia.
- Langeweile: A Catalyst that many simply don't believe could possibly exist, the purported Catalyst comes from a moment of profound ennui and existential boredom.
- Schrecken: The Catalyst of Fear. While few Genii would admit to such fear, this seems the most likely of the unrecognized Catalysts, Breaking Through in a moment of raw, absolute terror.
The Genius does not exist in a vacuum, and cannot stand completely alone, despoite what many may tell you. Most Genii have aligned themselves into organizations known as Foundations, loosely-affiliated networks of like-minded Genii. While the Foundations had, at various points in history, held significant sway over Genius society, with the largest Foundations becoming a de facto goverment to the Genii collectively called the Peerage. There are five major Foundations that make up the Peerage, as well as numerous smaller Fellowships with varying levels of connection with the Foundations.
While some would argue that the Internation Union of Artifice is the one of the youngest Foundations, others would argue that they in fact one of the oldest. In some ways, both are right. The Artificers in their current form came to prominence in the Industrial Revolution, as manufacturing on a mass scale finally became feasible with mundane methods. With only the newly-reformed Progenitors being newer, Artificers are clearly one of the youngest Foundations, which makes their willingness to embrace modernity with things like software-based Wonders.
On the other hand, Artificers don't just manufacture, they make. People have been making things since before people have been able to count to ten. Throughout history, there have been Inspired who believed they could solve the world's ills with their great inventions, their alchemical solutions, their perfectly-constructed cities. In the end, most Artificers have no interest in how old their Foundation actually is, as that's not really what they generally care about.
What They Believe
The Union of Artifice is a Foundation built on the idea that things are mankind's salvation. Artificers are most often cited as the source of the stereotypical Genius who wants to get rich off their creations, even though this is often well outside what they want. While certainly the most materialistic in worldview, Artificers seldom seek material wealth from their creations. Whatever the world has to offer is worth far less than what they could achieve.
What They Do
Artificers are all about the creation of things. While it has historically been the production of physical Wonders, there has been some infighting about the recent addition of Inspired programmers and software engineers, who had previously mostly been Scholastics. While a lot of Artificers argued that they don't belong among them, since they're not "making" anything concrete, others were more willing to embrace the idea of software as products, especially with the rise of mobile apps and the increase in availability and usability of programming. Regardless of the medium in which they work, their Wonders are always designed to perform a function, for a reason.
The Union is a Foundation built around building things, and as a result, their Grant reflects that. Artificers have the Rote quality on roles to repair their Wonders after Havoc has taken hold.
- Directors: I don't get it. Wouldn't a post-scarcity society solve poverty?
- Navigators: Try to bring it back in one piece this time, alright?
- Progenitors: Listen, I get you're trying to reclaim the name, but it would be easier if you kept hardware and wetware separate.
- Scholars: Having good R&D can be handy sometimes, but don't try to engage in conversation.
The Directors are the Peerage, if you ask them. The Fellowship for Manifest Direction felt they were the best people to lead the Inspired, and you might argue that, given their predilection for social constructs, they might be right. Directors are, after all, the ones who claim to have founded the Peerage. There are even a few who claim the Peerage itself is a Wonder, one that's long fallen to Havoc because no Genii have been able to understand and take control of it. If you ask anyone else, the opinion on Directors is much more mixed. Directors tend to have a reputation of extreme arrogance and a dangerous level of hubris, trying to control societies that they don't really understand.
What They Believe
Directors believe the engine of change is society, and that if society can be controlled, the world they want will follow. The Directors are the politicians, sociologists and activists of the Inspired. As a result, they tend to come off as arrogant and megalomaniacal at times, and tend to be blamed for the stereotypes of Genii manipulating the world from the shadows in some sort of crypto-fascist/communist/neo-monarchist/something-ist conspiracy.
What They Do
Directors' Wonders are sometimes the hardest for outsiders to grok (except, perhaps, for those of Scholastics), seeing as they exist to manipulate things that are far more abstract than the forces of nature and reality. Directors' Wonders exist to manipulate the structures of society, directing the behavior of groups, the flow of resources, and the execution of laws. The stereotype is usually that of a mind-controlling megalomaniac, but it's just as likely to be a wide-eyed utopian with a Wondrous model of government or a future-oriented political leader trying to restructure the government.
Grant: Pulling Strings
Directors study societies and organizations, and often know ways to get in. Once per Chapter, you can spontaneously create a dot of Contacts or Status with an organization. This is subject to Havoc, and any close scrutiny will trigger a Clash of Wills (Wits + Investigation vs. your Manipulation + Socialize), with you losing that dot if you fail. This dot goes away after you're done using it, and is not subject to the Sanctity of Merits. You can choose to spend an Experience to keep the dot while you've got it, however.
- Artificers: I keep telling you, replacing the world's workers with robots will make poverty worse.
- Navigators: You do realize that by stealing that idol, you've basically destroyed their religion, right?
- Progenitors: Your history is positively fascinating. I'd like to do a comparative study between you and your predecessors.
- Scholars: I think your ideas could be very useful if brought to the right people.
Navigators are the most daring of the Foundations. In the last century, they were seen as the most glamorous Foundation, with every young spitfire wanting to be among them. They were the ones who busted heads, took names, and got things done. This persisted right up until people realized that those whose heads were being busted and names were being taken were people, too. People who had generally gotten the shaft throughout history. As history has gone on, the attitudes of the Navigators were increasingly tied to now-outdated ideals of imperialism that few would be willing to admit to believing in today. This has resulted in a decline in the Navigator's numbers and public image, with some being decried and imperialist anachronists or even outright racists plundering other societies. It wasn't until the Navigators were able to capitalize on the rise of superheroes in pop culture that they were able to reclaim some of their reputation, with many of them retooling the group into crusaders for justice, with a few groups bitterly opposing this shift.
What They Believe
Navigators believe that the only way to make the Opus happen is through their own direct action. Navigators are fiercely self-reliant, sometimes to the point of myopia, placing themselves at the center of everything. Navigators would much rather do things themselves, their way, rather than rely on others, and when they are in a group, they tend to act either as the leader or as a lone wolf on the periphery.
What They Do
In a sentence, Navigators do whatever the Hell they please. Their Wonders are alway in service of what they are doing. Some may say that the Wonders of a Navigator are the least relevant to their ideals, compared to the other Foundations, but this is only true at a surface level. There is a clear, long-term purpose to the Wonders of an experience Navigator. A Navigator doesn't make a raygun to kill Martians. She makes a raygun to impose her will on the world with deadly force. The Navigator's Wonders are an expression of the world they want to impose.
Grant: Actions Over Words
It's hard to ply a Navigator with words, and they can easily ruin the grandiose speeches and flowery soliloquies of their less daring colleagues. Once per Chapter, you can turn an attempt at a social roll into a Clash of Wills between yourself and the character making the roll, using your Presence + Brawling or Weaponry vs. their original dice pool. If you win, the opponent fails at what they were attempting to do, and if you choose, you can deal damage as if you had attacked them, provided your successes on the roll surpasses their Defense.
- Artificers: I'll bring it back in whatever condition I please. Because I'll also bring back results.
- Directors: We don't need your, we don't need your rules, and we don't need your freaky cult. Leave before I make you.
- Progenitors: I took down the old guard. Don't think I'll hesitate to take you down.
- Scholastics: Can we get to the part of this shaggy frog story that's supposed to be relevant?
The Progenitors as they currently exist are the newest part of the Peerage, and they have a long way to go before they get any respect. While a few of the more moderate members of the original Progenitors returned when the Foundation reformed during the Cold War, most are part of a new wave of humanists, transhumanists and posthumanists seeking to reclaim the name "Progenitor." Understandably, many older Genii are leery of the Progenitors, seeing as they had once been so awful that they united the Peerage and Lemurians against them, at the height of their mutual hatred of each other. The Progenitors of today are more than game to shake off the evils of their predecessors. If you're willing to take what they say at face value.
What They Believe
Individuals make society, and so to a Progenitor, the way to the society they want is to change people, or make new ones to their liking. Progenitors believe in the power of people, or in their potential power. They want to teach, to improve, and to redeem what they see as the failings of humanity, which could explain why they chose to take the name of the most detested group in Inspired history. They want to redeem and transcend their name like they want to redeem and transcend humanity.
What They Do
Progenitors believe in improving humanity, and their Wonders do the same. Progenitors are usually more likely to build on the capabilities of its subjects. They often augment people, sometimes temporarily, sometimes more permanently. Progenitors tend to be the best at improving the body and mind, and have something of a reputation for replacing bits of themselves with Wonders, a reputation not entirely unearned. They maintain that they never modify without consent, but there are always...outliers.
Grant: Teach the World
Progenitors are unusually good at communicating. Perhaps it's because of their desire to be teachers to humanity, or more likely because they constantly have to defend themselves. In the end, this means they have a knack for clearly explaining things. Once per Chapter, a Progenitor can nullify the Untrained penalty of another character's roll, provided she is able to maintain communication with them during the roll and is not untrained in the skill herself. If the Progenitor spends a point of Willpower while doing so, she can also apply a relevant Specialty on the roll for the character.
- Artificers: This fabricator is amazing. I don't suppose you'd be willing to help me with my synthetic organ project?
- Directors: Your goals are admirable, but you can't really change a society while ignoring the individual.
- Navigators: I have told you once, and I'll tell you again, I'm not a Nazi. i wasn't even born when the old Progenitors were around!
- Scholastics: Listen, this is all too esoteric. I know you're gonna hate it, but you need to simplify it if you want to be heard.
The College of Scholastic Theory is one of the more diverse Foundations in terms of discipline. It's home to mathemeticians, logicians, mystics, mediums, philosophers, cranks, ascetics and, of course, scholars. Despite this, it tends to be the most difficult to really get into. The Scholastics have a weird rhythm of praising each other's work and then assaulting it once they leave earshot. You might think that they're all a bunch of esoteric weirdoes that only stick around because nobody else gets them, and you'd be right and wrong in equal measures. Despite being the most fractious Foundation, they tend to also be the most stable in terms of dynamics. They deal almost entirely in thought and ideas, and so the introduction of a new paradigm doesn't really affect them so much, as they are almost exclusively the dealers of paradigms. You can't just say you have an idea and become the darling of the Scholastics. You need to believe your ideas, and be able to push the ideas of others past their breaking point, to be respected among the Scholastics. It's not enough to come up with a theory that solves morality. You need to prove that the last solution is irretrievably wrong.
What They Believe
Despite their extremely wide and diverse sets of personal theories and philosophies, Scholastics share a single core belief that, in this world of mostly unconscious matter and mindless animals, it's thought that truly matters, and consciousness that molds the world. Even if the idea is dumb, stupid, and obviously wrong, there's power in the idea.
What They Do
At first glance, the answer to the question of what Scholastic do is...muddy. The issue is that it's sort of the wrong question. You can't monolithically answere what Scholastics do, because what they do is driven by the ideas they hold close. It's more useful to ask why the Scholastic does what he does. The Wonders of a Scholastic are unpredictable and weird, always built around reinforcing and "proving" his ideas. They are also the most willing to deal with the abstract and downright supernatural. Early software Wonders were usually written by Scholastic computer scientists, but among their ranks are also found psychics, pseudo-religious fanatics and existential cosmologists seeking the unified truth of reality, or seeking to prove their unified truth is the real deal.
Grant: Fringe Theory
Scholastics seem to be the least-bound by reality in what they do. Maybe they really are onto something, or maybe their off-kilter perception lets them slip through loopholes others fail to consider. A Scholastic can, once per Chapter, apply a skill to a task not normally suited to it, provided they can justify it in their paradigm. For example, a Scholastic practitioner of fringe medicine might try to use Occult in place of Medicine to treat an illness.
- Artificers: It's not the thing, it's the principle it represents!
- Directors: You can't control society. Society is too much bigger than you.
- Navigators: You have no respect for the ideas you trample.
- Progenitors: Perhaps, when you remake mankind, try to make them think more?