What is Classified Genetic Material?
Classified Genetic Material is a homeostatic container of biological material that is 'not of this Earth' This container is probably shiny polished steel with some blinking lights, and a temperature readout, and maybe some computer ports on it. The substance inside the container is where the proverbial biomagic is, but also plays a McGuffin role. While the material is important, and probably among the most valuable and expensive substances on the planet, in the hands of a PC it is useless. Opening the container is more likely to contaminate and destroy the sample inside than to release a new strain of super virus, spawn eldritch mutations and the like. At this stage, Classified Genetic Material is pretty much a space holder that can be filled with nuclear launch codes, Secret encrypted documents, or maltese falcons.
What role does Classified Genetic Material play?
CGM can play one of three major roles in a story; McGuffin, Handwavium, and Plot Device. As mentioned above, the McGuffin mode of CGM is that of the objective of the game. The goal is to acquire the cannister and prevent it from falling into baddie hands. Other than this, it is useless as a paper weight. The second role of the material is where it gets interesting. In its role as Handwavium the classified genetic material is a catalyst for building more advanced and alien biotechnologies.
- Human cloning rendered viable by applied CGM
- Meta-gene/mutant powers created by using CGM manipulation or gene splicing
- Synthetic materials created via biological means, such as trees that extrude plastic pellets, worms that sweat viagra, or ultrastrong steel beams grown from biological colony creatures.
- Monsters created from CGM, be it fusing with a human host, contaminating a biosphere and making super animals (insert about 66.6% of SyFy monster movies of the week)
- Applications of biotech too frightening or bizarre to be listed here, yet.
And finally, CGM can be used as a plot device. Contrary to the above McGuffin role, the cannister becomes an active item. The contents inside must remain inside, or the cannister must be destroyed in spectacular fashion to ensure the destruction of its contents. This cannister could be holding the alien pathogens that create zombies (and miraculous medical regeneration, but thats still tricky) to a hyperphagic space ameoba, to the remains of the monkey fired into space that is now a host to an infectious energy based lifeform that can become trapped in human nervous systems. Whatever is in inside is some seriously bad stuff. The players main goal is to protect or destroy the object, or in a grim twist deliver it to a target to be released. Zombie outbreak in Beijing? A nuke was a blessing.
Why is this a submission?
The primary reason is that this is a space holder for future submissions I have in mind. It is also a point of reference for metagaming elements, rather than something to be handed to the players in a flyer or game hand out. That is why there is no fluff text of characters interacting with, or over a cannister of alien goo. A second reason is to further expand on the basic idea of Classified Genetic Material.
Q&A to follow in comments, you ask, I'll answer and the end product will be better. Awesome ideas and applications will get co-author credit.