Terminology

aberrant: An individual whose breakout caused them to change significantly, usually resulting in physical mutations, altered mental or psychological states, or other comprehensive changes to the person. Also used to refer to powers or traits that are not under the person’s control or may be physical features of their body.

awaken: To activate or stimulate the development of a paranormal’s power, becoming paranormal is awakening; a more common term for this is breakout.

breakout: To become a fully functional or capable paranormal. “Breaking-out” is the moment when a paragon’s powers or paranormal abilities surface. Some call a particularly traumatic breakout a “freak-out” (especially if it results in freakish or aberrant traits). Less common is “awakening,” often used by paragons with more spiritual or mystical overtones.

break-through: A deliberately triggered breakout, involving a peak experience that “breaks through” from the normal to the paranormal. Break-throughs are extremely rare, most attempts to trigger a breakout fail (often with tragic consequences). See origin chaser.

centipede effect: The theory that a paranormal’s powers work best (or at all) when the user doesn’t overanalyze them. This is related to the Dumbo effect.

channel: A paranormal medium capable of “channeling” disembodied intelligences so they can act or communicate through the channel’s body. The personality of the channel is usually suppressed while channeling. See also walk-in.

Dumbo effect: The theory that a paranormal’s powers work because they believe (on some level) that they do. Named after the cartoon character that believed it could fly, so it could.

flatscan: Derogatory term for a human who does not have paranormal powers, largely used by paranormal supremacists and bigots.

freak-out: A breakout resulting in crazed behavior or freakish or unusual physical traits. See also aberrant

impossible: Something a paragon hasn’t done yet.

normal: Non-paranormal. Sometimes used ironically or derisively by paragons to describe non-paranormals, also used proudly by non-paranormals to describe themselves in relation to “not normal” or “unnatural” paranormals. “Norm” and “norman” are common slang terms among paragons. See also flatscan.

origin: A common term for the circumstances under which a paranormal first breaks out or manifests powers. Sometimes used as a synonym for breakout

origin chaser: A person who deliberately tries to trigger an origin, hoping to become a paranormal. More than a few origin chasers end up dead or seriously injured, and the practice is commonly viewed as a creative means of committing suicide.

para-: Prefix meaning “above” or “beyond,” thus paranormal means “beyond normal” or supernatural. Since the Wave, the prefix is commonly applied to create terms dealing specifically with paragons in one fashion or another.

paranormal: Scientific name for abilities beyond the understanding of science, and the people who possess them.

parascience: Most branches of science have elements studying the paranormal. Parapsychology studies the mind and “psionic” powers. Paraphysics is the study of paranormal powers acting upon the physical world. Parabiology involves paranormal biologies and forms of life (although no biological differences have been isolated as yet). Parapsychiatry is the study of mental health among paranormals. Paratheology is the study of the effect of paranormals on religious and spiritual belief as well as the role of paranormals and their powers in faith and religious doctrine. Parascientific disciplines—even “established” ones like parapsychology—are in their infancy, with a lot of questions but few, if any, answers as yet.

parasensory: Also extrasensory. Sensory information that comes by means other than the normal five senses possessed by most people.

peak moment: The precise moment at which a normal human has a breakout and becomes paranormal. A peak moment can be anything from a feeling of joy or fear to an extreme sense of Zen-like calm. An individual’s state of mind during a peak moment often has a significant impact on the type of abilities developed and their power level.

psionic: Paranormal powers of, or affecting, the mind. It’s possible all paranormal powers are psionic in nature; generally, however, the term refers specifically to “mental” powers like telepathy.

quiet breakout: A breakout that lacks a stressful or dramatic trigger. Quiet breakouts are generally achieved during moments of bliss, peace, and calm. In all other ways it’s the same as any other breakout.

reality comics: A genre of comic books and “graphic fiction” based on actual paranormals; the biggest publishing trend in modern comic books.

savant: A paranormal with super-human capabilities in a particular skill. There is a very fine line between savants and highly skilled normals, so fine, in fact, that it’s unclear exactly where it lies.

shutdown: When a paragon’s powers cease working, temporarily or permanently, often due to a crisis of confidence or similar mental impairment.

sleeper: Also sleepwalker. Paranormal term for a non-paranormal, one who has not “awakened” like a paragon has. Not in common use, it crops up more among paranormals of a mystical bent.
spark: To trigger a paranormal’s breakout is to “spark” or “jump-start” that paranormal. “Awaken” is also used in conjunction with awakening.

spark-party: Also a spark-rave or a breakout: a group event where people attempt to provoke a breakout. Most spark-parties involve extreme-sports type challenges, drugs, psychedelic music, pyrotechnics, or all of the above, and most of them end in injury or death for one of more of the participants.

spook: A spy, particularly a paranormal working in intelligence or espionage.
stealth paragon: An individual with paranormal abilities that are impressive, but not obviously superhuman, allowing the paragon to “pass” as a normal (albeit a highly capable one).

super-science: A common term for scientific discoveries or technologies made by paranormals. Some make a distinction between “normal” science and technology developed by paranormals and true “super-science,” which is technology dependent on a paragon’s power in some fashion to function.

walk-in: Also avatar. Where a different personality or “spirit” appears to possess someone accompanied by the manifestation of paranormal powers. Some walk-ins claim to be gods, spirits, or aliens, while others believe they are psychological conditions like disassociative disorder or multiple personalities.

Terminology

Paragons - Next Gen EricZenith