SURGE (Sudden Recessive Genetic Expression) occurred as Halley's Comet passed Earth in 2061. The first case took place on September 9, 2061 and a great number of the successive changes took place in the coming days. By mid-2062 the number of new changelings, those affected by the SURGE, had dwindled to a trickle. After a momentary panic, many changelings were able to use their new forms for profit and blend in with the rest of the cybernetic and phenomodified citizens of the world.

SURGE also brought about what appears to be new species or at least modified existing species with new forms, powers, and other changes. Metahumans typically exhibited the following changes: claws, fangs, eye changes, skin and hair color changes, tails, enhanced senses, and in some cases paranormal abilities. Many were also stricken with harmful or less advantages effects, such as alarming creatures with their presence, bioware and cyberware rejection, damaged senses, feathers, horns, tusks, scales, and so on.

Why this happened and what it all means are one of the unanswered questions of the decade, just behind the Awakening. There are those that believe it is proof that the 'Awakening' is a misnomer, as we are not yet fully awake. Others believed it to be a curse, or some form of genetic damage caused by fallout from the Comet. Whatever the answer, the effects have stopped. For now.

Game Notes

Like the wave of Unexplained Genetic Expression (UGE) that produced dwarfs and elves, and the wave of Goblinization that produced orks and trolls, SURGE is a byproduct of the slowly rising level of ambient mana In the Sixth World. Just as with the effects of the first Awakening, SURGE is a wake-up call that says the world is still transforming, and the wild ride to the future is just beginning.

Unlike UGE and Goblinization, SURGE has not created entirely new species of metahumanity (though the situation with other creatures seems to be different). Instead, SURGE merely seems to have brought Out more variants and differentiations - or as some would view them, mutations. A person who is stricken by SURGE. does not transform into a new creature, he simply manifests a new set of features or abilities that did not express previously. SURGE effects are permanent: a person who has undergone SURGE - known as a "changeling" - will never return to his unaltered self.

In reality, the actual percentage of those affected by SURGE In the world of Shadowrun is quite small - less than 1
percent. However. because SURGE coincides with the appearance of Halley's Comet and the previous waves of UGE and Goblinization had such a large impact on the world, the SURGE phenomenon plays directly into the fears and prejudices of an already agitated populace. The first cases of SURGE are hyped so strongly by the media, and harped upon so furiously by Humanis and other fear-mongers, that SURGE becomes the spark that lights the powder keg.

House Rule on Surge

SURGE is allowed on Denver Shadowrun MUSH only in chargen, and only as follows:

It has been decided that cosmetic surge effects can be taken in CG, any of them, but the changes do not change stats in any way. Tails don't give balance, claws don't cut, osteopustis doesn't make your punches stronger, or give you pain resistance.

Furthermore, you may have one alt that is surged at any time. Surge effects that let you see the astral, etc, do not apply to this.

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