Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Whether it be Doc Savage, the Ghostbusters or the nameless narrator in HPLS The Evil Clergyman, scientist have been major characters in pulp and horror stories. The scientist has always a favorite career for Investigators. This is the classic science versus the unknown trope as embodied by Dr. Bertram Quatermass or Doctor Challenger.
CoC 7th ed has a good solid scientist career, but here I am giving five examples of specialist, that give players a large verity of skills but still allows them to focus on some aspect of the science skill.
The Field researcher was originally created for the 4th edition 1920’s Investigators companion, but I did not consult it when I made this version.
Field researcher: This is a scientist who is not content to only learn things in a lab, he or she will risk their lives to discover the truth. Because they have to do much of their research in less than sterile lab conditions, they have become experts in mending improvising and keeping faithful records while remembering the importance of the scientific method. Because they are away from high tech labs, they have earned to trust their senses more than their more academic fellows, but they never forget that the bottom line goal is proof that can withstand peer view. In the 192’s many field researchers were actually anthropologists.
Skills: Science (Any) , Any one interpersonal skill (Charm, Fast talk, Intimidate or Persuade) Arts; Craft (Phtography or Filmography) First aid, Spot hidden or listen, Other Language, Survival (Any) Any one personal skill.
Credit rating: 40%-75%.
Starting occupational skills; Education X2 + Intelligence X2.
Special: Anthropology can be swapped out for Science (Any) skill.
Examples: Diane Fosse or Luis Leaky.
Possible settings: Any past the192o’s, with Keeper’s approval may be played in a very steam punk Gas Light or Down Darker Trail setting.
Forensic scientist: These experts deal with evidence of crimes and work in a high-tech lab. Unlike the CSI who does most of their work at the actual scene of the crime. In addition to being trained in forensics the FS is usually trained in at least one other kind of science and is skilled on how to use that science to prove a case. This could be a soft science like anthropology or psychology or could be a hard science like Chemistry, biology or ballistics.
Skills: Science (Forensics), Science (Any other), Computer Use, Law, Library use, Spot hidden, any two personal skills
Credit rating: 40% -80%
Special: An Investigator can selecte Anthropology or Psychology as the Science (Any one) skill.
Example: Quincy from the TV show Quincy.
Possible settings: Any after 1920, if allowed in pre-modern settings trade Computer Use for an additional personal skill.
MOS 74D – CBRN Specialist: This is a military specialist that handles chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks. Their main job is to decontaminate people and areas after a nuclear, biological or chemical attack. The truth is that these type of attacks are not as common, nowadays as other kinds of threats, such as IEDs or snipers, so many 74 Deltas get stuck with guard duty, patrols or supply duty. 74D can be either an enlisted personnel or an officer. Though this career for COC 7th was designed with an officer who has at least a bachelor’s degree in science before enlisting, in mind. One of the reasons I developed this career for the game was the idea that a 74D officer might become the default scientist for a military unit stationed overseas far from a main base, when an eerie non-terrestrial entity is encountered. MOS 74D is a US Army term, but this specialty exists in the other military branches and services in other countries.
Skills: One of the following Science (Chemistry, Biology, or Physics) Drive (Automobiles) Firearms (Rifles), First aid, HAZMAT Procedures, Military science, Mechanical Repair, Spot Hidden.
Credit rating: 25%-60%
Starting occupational skills: Education x2, and Knowledge x2 or Strength x2.
Special: Must have been trained by or served in the military.
Example: Though not aq MOS-74, Samantha Carter, from Star gate SG-1, is a perfect example of a military scientist
Posible settings: Any after World War Two.
Oceanographer: This is a scientiest who specializes in the ocean. In reality there are many different sciences that make up oceanography, it could be chemistry, hydrology, geology or biological sciences. What makes Oceanographers different from other scientist is that they focus on creatures and phenomena that are underwater. This means they must be familiar and comfortable in water and traveling on it.
Skills: Science (one of Geology, Hydrology Chemistry or Marine biology), Dive, Mechanical repair, Pilot (Boats) Survival (Ocean), Swim, Two personal skills.
Credit rating: 45%-80%.
Example: Jaque Cousteau
Possible settings: Any after 1920, but a Keeper may allow in a Gaslight campaign.
Pseudoscientist: Many who opt for this career have a modicum of scientific training, some even have advanced degrees. However, at some point in their academic career they became enamored with a belief or theory that has been dismissed by mainstream science. Their loyalty to a discredited concept has cost them dearly among their more traditional peers, but in a universe where a giant winged cephalopod travels to Earth from the deepest reaches of space, maybe they be on to something.
Skills: Science (any), Art/Craft (any) Lore (Any of the following, Fortean events, Ufology, Fringe science. Conspiracy theory,) Or Occultism. Library use, Mechanical repair, or Electrical repair, Persuade, any two personal skills.
Credit rating: 20%-60%
Starting skills: Education X2 + Intelgencex2 or Appearance x2.
Special: May have a negative reaction by more accepted scholars.
Examples: Walter bishop in Fringe or Dr. Daniel Jackson in Star Gate.
Possible settings: Can be in any setting past the 1800’s, but this career is more likely found where they have a way to get their theories to a mass audience, such as cheap paperbacks, television or the internet.