… this question by blut_und_glas was attempted to answer by Shadom, Blut_und_Glas, Hasran und ApokalypseTest. This time we offer ideas, concepts and plot-hooks for The Dresden Files, Blue Planet, Warhammer Fantasy, Eclipse Phase and other cyberpunk and science fiction games.
A mind-expanding disease is:
Blue Planet (Blut_und_Glas):
A small but increasing number of brainchildren (FM 79-80) on Poseidon experience episodes of extremely heightened awareness quickly culminating in painful sensory overload. This seems be due to a loss of unconscious filter functions in the brain, though the aetiology of this disorder seen only in Cognitive Synergist genies is currently unclear.
Common theories range from rare inherited diseases re-activated by the modification over medication issues to principal faults in the genetic redesign process. Of these, post-modification iatrogenic causes (e.g. stabilization treatment side-effects or interactions) are viewed as the most credible at this time. How much of that is due to the lobbying of major biomod Incorporates is anyone's guess.
Some researchers, pointing to an apparent prevalence of cases on Poseidon, suspect an as of yet unknown pathogen native to the colony world as the cause or even draw parallels to the well documented Lesear Effect. These lines of thought have gained virtually no traction outside their circles of origin, though.
Brainchildren subject to this disorder increase their Chemical, Hearing, Touch, and Vision scores by the same amount as their Intuition. They suffer an additional -2 to Will on top of their other modifications and are subject to a permanent -1 impairment penalty due to the overwhelming amount of sensory information. In addition, all impairment modifiers due to wounds are increased by a further -1 (i.e. -2 for a minor, -3 for a serious, and -4 for a critical wound).
Dresden Files (Shadom):
A spirit of illness which crossed over from the Nevernever and sustains itself by infecting mortals. As the spirit gets a hold on the victims life force and drains it, he also gets access to their minds. Even if he cannot exert full control at first he gradually influences their actions.
The illness itself has the same symptoms as Ebola, is highly infectious but doesn't react to normal means of therapy. Whenever a victim dies the spirit can keep it alive, now in full control of its host. All of the undead hosts are possessed by the same spirit, so they act as hive mind.
The spirit never keeps more than a few hosts alive, as he needs at least a handful of ill victims to sustain one of his undead hosts.
Warhammer Fantasy (ApokalypseTest):
In an especially vile alliance, forces of Nurgle and Slaneesh threw their lot together. The cooperation between a master of pestilence and a master of hedonism resulted in a new and most contageous disease.
This mind altering plague started to ravage the borders of the Empire early last year and spreads faster and faster towards Altdorf ever since. Major signs of infection are hallucinations of lustful experiences combined with most severe pain and serene happiness.
The infected are in fact so happy about their new state of being that they do whatever is in their powers, to spread the gospel and bring this mind expanding disease to as many new victims as possible. Within one year, a cult of infected has spread from the furthest reaches of the northern imperial borders, all the way to Altdorf itself.
The imperial witch hunters are hot on their heels, but the hunt of an enemy who can convert new and willing members with but one night of hot passion, a long kiss or just a few trickles of saliva can be very dangerous. Only a few months ago a whole village had to be handed over to the cleansing flame, only a few days of travel north of the capital. That measure did not stop, but merely slow down the progress of the disease.
It remains to be seen if the Empire manages to deal with this new thread or will finally succumb in a crescendo of happiness, lust and pain.
Or maybe it is:
In 1985 the CIA started a covert program of infecting American citizens with mind altering diseases. (Modern conspiracy games, Blut_und_Glas)
An interdisciplinary project between the theological and epidemiological faculties seems to indicate religious beliefs are indeed propagated via airborne infection. Search for the germ continues. (Unknown Armies, Blut_und_Glas)
Megacorp researchers are investigating claims of awakened viruses causing episodes of involuntary astral perception in infected mundanes. (Shadowrun, Blut_und_Glas)
Jovian hypercorps are rumored to be working on several multi-vectorial viri that can be used to attack hostile forces on all levels by altering their sensorial and mesh perception as well as muse inputfilters and altering perception centers in the victims minds. It is further rumored that these bioweapons are specifically geared towards the altered mind structures of Uplifts and highly enhanced human morphs. (Eclipse Phase, ApokalypseTest)
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