Through the magic of modern medicine it is now possible for a character to be either manufactured with or choose to improve upon himself with genetic enhancenments. These take the shape as mental or physical enhancements. While improving certain aspects of a persons abilities, these inhancements are not without risk. As a person extends himself further from "true humanity" his chances of insanity are increased. Each enhancement adds to the risk, and after a total of eight insanities are gained, the character is no longer playable and "retired."
Vatlings, or individuals manufactured with these enhancements, are not susceptible to these insanities, as long as they are fully aware of their status. If a vatling is unaware of his birth, he will suffer the same penalties as a "natural."
The cumulative penalty is referred to as the Humanity Quotient. Every charcter begins with a HQ of 0%. With each new enhancement, a "natural" must add the new penalty to his HQ. If the result is less than the new HQ, then a saving throw versus insanity is made. A failed roll results in a random (or GM's option) insanity. A successful save means that the character has adjusted well and suffers no penalties.
Players are allowed to choose from an existing "standard" Vatling variation or to randomly roll for initial enhancements. Naturals that wish may purchace specific enhancements if available, or for a flat fee, a generic mix. While considerably more cost efficient, this process has it's flaws. The enhancements are generated randomly, and all HQ rolls must be made before the character leaves the vat shop. Other penalties from the "bulk rate" are:
-1 to all attribute bonuses gained
-10% to any skill or save bonuses gained
+10% penalty per "bulk rate" to the HQ in addition to enahancement penalties
Physical Enhancements are much more strenuous on the body. Enhancements that directly affect physical attributes take 1 full week per level of enhancement to recover. This means Extraordinary PS 3 would take (3x1=3) 3 weeks before the enhancement was fully developed. Penalties are: