An exemplar is a mutant whose body is controlled by a Body Image Template, or BIT. Many descriptions say that the BIT is formed from a subconscious ideal, other authorities claim that this is poppycock. The BIT may make them stronger, faster, tougher, smarter, and usually (but not always!) cuter. Many exemplars seem to represent the "ideal human" or perhaps the "next evolutionary step." Others seem to be the result of a demented mad scientist experimenting with radically divergent body types. Radical exemplar changes can happen in minutes, hours, days, or over the course of a year. Typically, there will be a smooth metamorphosis that lasts several months.
Definition of Trait Levels
|Level 1||Normal abilities, but body may be reshaped by the "exemplar effect". They're trim and strong, despite perhaps having a poor diet. This may shape people into alternate genders or give unexpected physical developments, without necessarily granting superhuman powers. Tend to heal quickly and are resistant to disease.|
|Level 2||Upper reaches of human physical and mental ability. The very tip-top of normal humanity may match or barely exceed them. They heal quickly enough that it is almost like a low-level regeneration.|
|Level 3||Just above human maximum in strength, agility, intelligence, etc. Better than any normal human, but not stunningly better. Their strength is much greater than human maximum, but they rarely exceed 500 or 600 pounds in a dead lift. At this level, we begin to see true regeneration, but it is a slow regeneration.|
True superhumans. They break the 1000 pound lift barrier. While not bulletproof, exemplars of this level have sufficiently resilient bone and muscle structure that low calibre bullet hits are unlikely to cause significant trauma unless a vital area is struck. Even without regen they are almost immune to illness and infection.
|Level 5||Lower lift limit: 1ton. At this level memory is fully eidetic.|
|Level 6||‘True bulletproof’ with low calibre shots unable to even penetrate skin, although the kinetic impact may slow them down a little.|
|Level 7||The highest level of exemplar ever seen.|
There's a bit of a dispute about what "the very tip-top of normal humanity" means in the exemplar 2 definition. Are we talking about a normal person in good physical condition, a Navy Seal, or a world or Olympic class athlete? If it's the latter, many of these people exceed the limit described for level 3 — without using steroids. However, they're mostly one-trick ponies — an Olympic weight lifter is usually not going to be a marathon runner, for example. In other words, these definitions may change, or at least get firmed up a bit.
The Exemplar effect can occur by itself or in combination with other abilities. Possibly a third of all mutants are Exemplars.
Exemplars usually show regeneration abilities two levels below their exemplar level. However, "usually" is not "always." A good description should show the regen level as well because there's a lot of variation.
Exemplar Trait's Mechanics
- Bek D. Corbin provided this information on Discord, in the #crystal-hall channel, on January 11th 2020.
For the most part, with Exemplars and PK superfolk, size and musculature simply provides foundation
the raw brawn is provided by PK in both cases, which is why Exemplar/ PK superpeople are so common
the Exemplar state is the mind using PK to guide the body's growth. It also provides the real brawn for the higher level Exemplars, which is why it's the rule of thumb for the scale
Kristin's Info from Forums
I've been meaning to get around to the rewrite of the power traits details/release but every time I think I'm going to have the time, something else comes up that I have to give more priority to. Mostly, though, the 'big picture' remains the same:
Rank 0 - The mutant exhibits some of the precursor abilities commonly associated with the trait but doesn't actually express the trait in a usable way.
Rank 1 - The mutant exhibits the trait in its simplest, most limited expression. Rank 1 traits are generally natural progression evolutionary steps and while they may provide the mutant with new means of going about their lives, they rarely do so in ways that couldn't also be done through advanced training/experience. Or in another way. Both baseline PSI and Mages are good examples of this... decades of skill allowing them to achieve feats of psychic ability or essence manipulation at a level that rank 1 mutants of the appropriate type can acquire with the slightest understanding of their abilities.
Rank 2 - The mutant trait is expressed at a level that is considered to be the fullest expression of the human genetic code. Rank 2 traits are most easily explained in comparison to the physical... the mutant inherently capable of performing on par with the best baseline specialists in every area, without need for significant training or understanding of the advanced techniques of the skill set. A rank 2 exemplar, for instance is simultaneously as strong, as fast, as agile, as intelligent, as witty, and has the endurance and willpower to sustain such things as a world class / Olympic athlete. A baseline gold medalist sprinter might, on a good day, beat the rank 2 Exemplar in a sprint putting the Exemplar in silver. However, the Exemplar could then go on a place if not win other races, field events, swimming, lifting, wrestling, and so on... while the sprinter would have no chance of competing outside of running. The expression of rank 2 traits rarely shows anything in the physical body's development that is non-human.
Rank 3 - This is the point at which mutant traits allow for superhuman actions, the realm of which is typically (historically) entered only through moments of heroic action... the mother who shifts the tree or automobile to protect her child, for instance. Unlike such spontaneous events, however, some unique evolutionary difference in the body allows the mutant the ability to consistently act in ways that are a step above what is possible even by trained world class baselines. A bad-ass normal might beat a rank 2 mutant one on one in a contest of ability... of limited scope. A bad-ass normal will only beat someone of rank 3+ using specially designed techniques that the mutant is unable to counter (by knowledge or will). A rank 3 mutant will be different from a human when it comes to basic anatomy/physiology, whether it is increased density tissue in muscles or skin, more responsive nervous systems, or completely new organ types; these differences are necessary to achieve the advantages over a baseline.
Ranks 4-6 - Each stage at this point is a further degree distant from the contemporary human baseline. It should be noted that most ranks, if evaluating a measurable scale of ability, tend to overlap the value of the ranks both below and above them... but are completely outside the ability to compete with the rank two above them (just as they are completely beyond the ability of the rank two below them). For example, if you lined up a bunch of rank 2 Exemplar of varying skill and performance level and had them complete with a rank 3, one or more of them might actually beat the rank 3 if the rank 3 was having an off day or was distracted. But none of them would come close to a rank 4 Exemplar. Similarly, a couple rank 4 Exemplar might out lift a rank 5 Exemplar who spends most of their time pushing speed and agility, but a rank 6 might out lift the 4's WHILE trying to outrun the 5.
Rank 7 - Rank 7 is a false rank. The scale actually ends at 6. However, an occasional unique mutation occurs in a way that doesn't fit the standard classifications for a given trait. As a result, that mutant can often do things that most of the others with the same trait cannot (those things aren't always 'higher on a scale', just different or unique). As a result, those mutants are classed at rank 7. This generally means 'consider them as strong as a six but be ready to adapt because they don't have the normal limitations'.
It's important to note that the ranks are not assigned based on the mutant showing an ability within the scale defined by that rank. Instead, for instance, a mutant whose bone strength and flexibility is increased due to an evolutionary change that replaces the calcium matrix with an alloy superstructure containing exotic metals... is an evolutionary change far enough from baseline that it is indicates rank 5. Rank 4's only have bones protected from the greater muscle tension/strain via a superdense layer under the normal bone surface. And rank 6 doesn't have 'bones' or a skeleton in the normal human fashion at all, the entire 'muscle' tension system independently holds the body shape without a need for a 'solid' superstructure that could be broken at all.
Or something like that. :)
However, certain evolutionary adaptations tend to provide quantifiable 'boosts' to the body's other measurable abilities... so, for certain types of bone and muscle evolutions; you can expect the mutant to be X times stronger than a baseline of the same size/build which leads to a measurable 'lift' weight.
As far as the differences between 'at manifestation' and 'fully developed'...
This is why understanding where ranking comes from that matters. Knowing that a mutant is evolving in a certain way classes them as a rank X... which lets you predict that they'll probably be able, for example, to lift a half ton. Obviously, if they haven't finished growing, they aren't going to be performing at full capability... but the rank isn't going to change just because at manifestation they can only lift 300 pounds but will be able to lift 1000 eventually... so there are 'false scales' like that. Ya, you can't toss around 1000 lbs right this second... but the fact that you can push 1000 lbs in the ideal set up on the machine using the strongest muscles you currently have.... means its really likely that once you are fully grown that you'll do so someday.
So the fact that you lift 300 lbs now and 1k fully developed doesn't mean your rank changed or that a specific rank scales from 300-1000.
Also, base body type/build matters. If you manifest at 4'5" 63 lbs... and fully developed, you are 6'2" 325 lbs in perfect heroic proportions... that impacts what you can lift (leverage, muscle size/shape, etc). And a rank 4 exemplar that is fully developed at 6'2" 325 and one who is 5'1" 90 lbs... are likely to place 'on the scale' how you might expect from their sizes... the much larger built mutant is going to lift more. Maybe not a lot more... but the smaller mutant is going to have to have more evolutionary steps to get the same absolute lift result... and if its too many more, they move from rank 4 up to rank 5.
And that's why the adjacent ranks overlap on the 'scales' but alternating ranks are exponential jumps. Once you start combining the more advanced evolutionary steps, they're a significant multiplier.
Physical and Mental packages
- Bek D. Corbin provided the physical and mental package information as part of Canon Material: Explanation of Power Terms
- Most exemplars show physical improvements across a wide range: improved reflexes, speed, strength, endurance, durability, heightened senses, exemplar kinesthetics and occasionally ambidexterity. And, of course, a more attractive appearance.
- Similar to the physical package, most exemplars share a wide range of mental gifts. These may include: speed reading, improved memory (up to eidetic recall at higher levels), increased intelligence (or at least, improved intellectual capacity, even if many don't apply themselves to it), mathematical skills (lightning calculator at higher levels), "danger sense," direction sense, and a "time sense".