Thinker is one of the twelve power classifications created by the PRT still in modern day use. Thinkers have powers related to knowledge, skills and enhanced perception. Thinker powers do not necessarily make an individual smarter, although increased intelligence is considered a Thinker power.
Trigger events usually produce Thinkers when the parahuman experiences large amounts of emotional and mental strain while a crisis point is reached in a short period of time. This contrasts with Tinkers, where issues remain unresolved over a large amount of time before they culminate in a crisis moment. Crushing revelations, moments of mental or emotional anguish, great fear, anger, and self-loathing are frequent causes of Thinker triggers.
The PRT employs a large amount of Thinkers in their operations. They are used to vet applicants, but were also used to screen individuals during the outtake process for the Madison quarantine zone.Watchdog, a PRT-subgroup focused primarily on preventing economic and political disruption by parahumans, employs think-tanks of Thinkers, using them to sift through large amounts of information.
↑It is worth stating that thinker powers do not make individuals smarter as a rule, though they can. In fact, if one doesn’t count those who had their intelligence or wits augmented by their power, thinkers might well be less intelligent on average, given they’re drawn from the subset of the population that got themselves into the stressful situations in the first place. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 4.04.1Thinker - Advanced perception, knowledge, data-collection, or skills. Thinkers manifest from emotional or mental strain, reaching a crisis point in a short time. - WD Rulebook: Character Creation
↑ 5.05.1Combat thinkers. Worse in a lot of ways than fighting someone like my mom, with her energy weapons. She could slice a grown man in half with her weapons. A combat thinker? There were ones who could hammer at you psychologically by mirroring mannerisms of people you knew or feared, ones who could hit your nerves or arteries any time, with any strike or weapon they had at hand, and there were ones who could win most fights without trying, because they had the fighting skills without working for those skills, combat precognition, or they saw the fight move at a hundredth the speed. - Excerpt from Pitch 6.5
↑The following pages detail the various types of thinker and what triggers lead to that particular type. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 7.07.1Combat thinkers arise from intense rage and angry frustration or resentment. They have thinker powers that enable them to fight more effectively. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 8.08.1Environment thinkers arise from bad situations; ambient, contextual or environmental stressors. They are particularly good at using or reading the surroundings effectively. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 9.09.1Scan thinkers arise from confusion, missing pieces of a puzzle, or ignorance. They are capable of effectively gathering information about a subject or area. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 10.010.1Sense thinkers arise from regression; they faced a bad situation, and it tore them down, leaving them a little more than a child or an animal. They came back from it, in part or in whole. They have enhanced or augmented senses. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 11.011.1Skill thinkers arise from helplessness or questions of competence, often scenarios where the thinker is out of their depth. They have powers that enhance their abilities to perform, learn, or execute techniques (all generally in the realm of human capability). - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 12.012.1Social thinkers arise from triggers with emotional factors that are often master-like, but dwell more on the emotions at hand than the isolation or betrayal component (with such things being there, but not highlighted). Guilt, shame, self-loathing, etc. They have powers that enable them to manipulate, study, or control others, but which do so purely by giving them the right information or skills. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 13.013.1Esoteric thinkers are thinker powers that work with other powers (and are thus trump-like) or approach the types of thinker listed above with an abstract angle or twist. Their triggers involve thought processes or understandings that are abstract or distant from the usual human scope. Their anguish is one that involves faith, conspiracy, superpowers (but not so connected to powers in active use that it’s trump) and the like. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Tinker - Building alien or advanced technology.
Thinkers arise from solutionless problems over long periods, culminating in crisis moment.. - WD Rulebook: Character Creation
↑Thinker triggers involve a component of mental or emotional stress. The stress arises and culminates in a relatively short period of time compared to tinker triggers, in a moment or in the course of hours or a few days. Crushing revelations, moments of mental or emotional anguish, great fear, anger, self-loathing and the like are frequent causes of Thinker triggers, but the mind is a complex thing and there are a great many other causes that can factor in. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑The following pages detail the various types of thinker and what triggers lead to that particular type. Because thinker triggers are so very commonly secondary powers, and because many thinkers are liable to have a breadth of awareness rather than one focused power, the individual power listings break things down into specific powers by scale. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Split Thinker One mid-tier execution of a thinker power and then a weak to mid tier execution of a non-thinker power. There should be overlap in theme/sentiment where possible. Secondary Thinker Has a distinct, powerful (high tier) execution of a non-thinker power, and then gets a secondary thinker power. - THINKERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Three years after the incident, the PRT restarted the process of outtake, each individual undergoing a background check and screening by a PRT-approved thinker. To minimize the effects of cumulative influence, the PRT rotates out directors and teams. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑Watchdog - A group based primarily in San Francisco with offices elsewhere, Watchdog is focused primarily on preventing economic and political disruption by parahumans. Think tanks of thinkers are employed to sift through large quantities of data using their individual talents, while non-parahuman staff works on ways to gather the data in question. Watchdog regularly launches investigations or sends individuals as a sort of internal affairs within the PRT, sometimes overt, sometimes covert. - PRT Master Reference - Subgroups in the PRT
↑ 21.021.121.221.321.421.521.621.721.821.9Thinker capes, all numbers assumed to be equal, take the highest priority in engagements. Threat level 2+: Team is notified as to thinker classification. Communication should be limited and the thinker should be cut off from teammates where possible. Encrypted or coded communications may be necessary. Failing that, the operation may need to be silent (noncommunicative team). Threat level 5+: Maximum disruption to the senses, with flashbangs and nonlethal truck emplacements put into regular effect. All possible measures should be undertaken to keep the thinker threat from communicating. Pre-prepared thinker countermeasures (false information) should be entered into play. PRT thinkers should be contacted remotely to maximize counter-thinking. Threat level 9+: Contact the head office to discuss needs and resources available. - PRT Master Reference - Classifications - Thinker
↑ 22.022.1Accord was a thinker, and the running theory on his power was that he got naturally smarter as the problems he was addressing got more complex. It gave him an intuitive understanding of groupthink, politics, and convoluted designs. - Excerpt from Migration 17.8
↑ 23.023.1Power: Maintenance. Thinker power makes him more effective at maintaining and fixing gear. He can reroll craft checks, and is assumed to have a grounding in all non-niche craft types. - Playtest Capes, document by Wildbow.
Tattletale blinked once or twice. “Where the fuck are you getting these references from?”
Imp only allowed herself the smallest giggle, exceedingly pleased with herself.
“I think… it was maybe one of the big reasons I wanted to do this,” Tattletale said. “It was important that I showed her that Taylor was dead. I had to convince her.”
“Convince her?” Imp asked.
“You’d think she’d be really good at figuring that basic shit out on her own.”
“You’d think,” Tattletale said. “But no. We’re really good at lying to ourselves. Take it from another thinker.” - Excerpt from Interlude: End
↑Dinah Alcott (Alive and Well)– Kidnapped by Coil with the unwitting assistance of the Undersiders during the Agitation Arc, Dinah is a parahuman with the ability to calculate the chances of a particular event occurring. Was kept docile by a regimen of drugs administered by one of Coil’s assistants, recently freed. - Cast (In Depth)
↑ 26.026.1Alexandria had originally named herself after the Library of Alexandria, though she’d ceased mentioning that, choosing to leave enemies in the dark instead. As strong as she was on a physical level, her mind was equally formidable. She never forgot a detail, absorbed information quickly, reading two pages of a book with a glance, and she learned quickly, retaining everything she picked up. She knew most commonly spoken languages, no less than ten styles of martial arts and she could match some of the best non-tinkers in the world hen it came to computers. Not only was she rated well in the brute classification, but she held high scores in the mover and thinker categories. - Excerpt from Interlude 14.y
↑ 27.027.127.227.327.427.5“And you won’t have another,” Miss Militia cut in. She’d stepped out of the Director’s office next door and into the doorway. “We’re not here to socialize. We got in touch with some thinkers. Eleventh Hour says he gets an ‘eight’. Appraiser’s read says we’re ‘purple’. Rule for any pre-situ call is we get three points of reference, going by thinkers alone, that means a third thinker. The first they were able to get in touch with was Hunch. Your old teammate, Weld.” - Excerpt from Queen 18.4
↑ 28.028.1Rime explained. “She’s a social thinker, in addition to her minor blaster and shaker powers. Her danger sense is mild at best, not something she can react to immediately, but it makes her aware of associated individuals and the threat they pose. She wouldn’t be able to see much from Pretender alone, but she knows that there’s a moderate to high danger posed by those closest to him-” - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
↑ 30.030.1It was a piece of the puzzle, but that puzzle was still far from complete. Until they had more to work with, it was merely data. Glimmers of memories and dreams, the conclusion had been, after long discussions with Eidolon and the parahuman researchers. An effect of the thinker power required to manage his own ability, tied to trigger events in some fashion. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.x
↑And the images, the glimmers, they showed the mouse-ears girl laughing. For her companions, there was a strange writing system patterned on one boy’s skin, and the other boy swirled with a smoke that wasn’t there.
The images weren’t an unfamiliar thing, but this was the first time he’d been confronted with so many in one place. It was distracting, unnerving.
↑Two-six-five. No name. The Number Man knew him well enough, regardless. He’d been too young a subject when he’d taken the formula, his brain too malleable for the required changes, too slow to form natural immunities and defenses. Not a problem with regular trigger events, as it was. The boy’s eyes had burned out of his sockets as he’d tried to process the vast amount of information he was capable of perceiving. Even now as he was reaching his late teens, the boy’s mind had never developed beyond the mental age of eight, and his eyes remained like twin ashtrays.
A partner to the Doormaker, capable of granting clairvoyance, seeing whole other worlds at once. It left most subjects incapacitated for a week after use, and it overrode any other perception powers. - Excerpt from Interlude 21.x
↑ 34.034.1Codex was a blaster-thinker hybrid. Tattletale had speculated that the woman caused permanent brain damage and memory loss , briefly augmenting her own processing power in exchange. - Excerpt from Imago 21.6
↑I could only think of one powerful individual who was on a par with the others she’d named. Contessa and Glaistig Uaine were easily twelves or higher on the power-ratings scale, and I could look to others with powers in that neighborhood to figure out who she was referring to. Panacea, Labyrinth… - Excerpt from Extinction 27.4
↑She could see each individual step, looking forward to see what it entailed. She could see it evolve as time passed, accounting for her starting it later. - Excerpt from Interlude 29
↑ 38.038.1Crane the Harmonious has a sphere that redirects motion/orientation, as well as a keen thinker ability that allows understanding of motion and ranges of motion. Using her second power, she developed a specialized martial art style for herself, given her body type, powers and combat style, and then did the same for her 'students', training them rigorously until it was ingrained in them. - E-mail by Wildbow, posted on Spacebattles.
↑“I see through everything,” Crystalclear said, tapping the chunk of crystal that stood out from the lower edge of his eye socket. “As if everything was crystal. I’ve learned there’s a lot of nuance to it. A little bit of seeing into the past, a little bit of seeing into the future, a little bit of a sense of people’s focus.”
“He has a blaster power too,” Tempera said. “Goes through walls and the ground. Synergy.” - excerpt from Daybreak 1.3
↑Crystalclear will get poached because decent thinker powers are in demand. - excerpt from Daybreak 1.3
↑Thinker in basis, tinker in execution. Execution is technically what matters but is misleading for the purposes of the conversation at hand. When in doubt, best to call her a thinker. If you're a PRT trooper or cape on the ground and you're up against Dragon, you can call her a tinker. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑ 42.042.1A lot of the components and technology she utilizes mirror those of tinkers we're familiar with, and that it makes sense that she'd maneuver to be in a position where she'd have access to records and analysis of tinker work as a tertiary member of the PRT and its databases. I can say that it matches up with the trend that people who trigger in circumstances where powered individuals are present or involved get powers that often relate to powers; trump powers (see Grue). Dragon is a thinker who co-opts and draws inspiration from other tinkers' work. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑➥ DREDGE; Real name unknown Disposition: Villain (B) Classification: Thinker 5 Last known location: Vancouver (Captured)
Dredge is a subordinate in the Anchorage faction of Tuurngait. Apparent crimes include Robbery
Dredge supports the team as safecracker, as well as other tertiary roles. Largely a noncombatant, he proves more vulnerable than a non-parahuman due to a lack of awareness regarding his surroundings. In interview, suspicions came up that Dredge has a pattern and history of murder in cold blood, though evidence has yet to corroborate. Dredge is now in custody. - PRT Quest (Anchorage)
↑Dredge Object reader, gathering memories from touched objects. - parahumanList, bolded edit by Wildbow.
↑“Tentative ratings, based on what we know, we have her down as a brute eight, a changer two and a combination of striker and master with a rating of ten.” - Excerpt from Queen 18.4
↑“Chevalier, take your team, follow after my Wards. If she can detect capes, we’ll need to assign her a thinker classification, and we’ll need to assume that any isolated groups are at risk. Undersiders? Take Myrddin’s Wards and pursue Flechette and Parian. Ensure they aren’t intercepted. The rest of us will track down Noelle. Any indications about her location from the video?” - Excerpt from Queen 18.5
“Oh. There aren’t more? The Undersiders didn’t get in touch with you?” Noelle sounded funny. Her voice was hollow, almost disappointed.
“It’s just us right now.”
“Because I smell more,” Noelle said. “Which makes it hard to believe you. But you can lie if you have to.”
“You can smell us.”
“Not you. But it doesn’t matter,” Noelle’s voice broke. She stopped. - Excerpt from Queen 18.4
↑“Toronto, Ontario. Canada. Yonge Street. Just behind a place called Greenway. I’ve commissioned a thinker-investigator calling himself Gleer to track them down. If only some of us make it, do me a favor, and remember that Saint is the one who fucked with one of our biggest truces yet. Saint took down Dragon, and he just left us to die. The Azazels are apparently better deployed elsewhere.” - Excerpt from Sting 26.6
↑A connection formed in my head. I knew, in an instant. Harbinger.
Cauldron had collected some of the remaining clones from Jack’s army.
↑ 51.051.1HORIZON; Maria Whitworth Classification: Thinker 3; Striker 1-12*
Maintains one of three types of enhanced perception at any given point in time. Has an explosive touch linked to perception. - PRT Quest (Anchorage) - Horizon
↑ 52.052.152.2“Let’s face the facts, Simurgh. Ziz. Israfel. Ulama. Whatever you want to go by. You started acting funny pretty much right away, after Eidolon bit it. Maybe that’s mourning. Maybe you respected him as an enemy, ’cause he was one of only two individuals who could really give you guys a run for your money. Or maybe you had a different relationship.” - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.4
“Or is it about doing something significant? Does killing Scion count?” - Excerpt from Interlude 26b
↑Question: We do see that Imp's power rendered her undetectable to almost every single one of the Nine (excepting Cherish and maybe Hatchet Face, if she got too near him). Would Jack still have gotten around her by somehow always ducking or standing in the wrong place or even slashing out at apparently empty air?
Answers by Wildbow: A combination of what Jaki said (Imp gets nudged away by her shard, she gets a bad feeling as she prepares to attack, and if and when she does attack her attack is off-target, or she hesitates, creating a window), intuition on Jack's part (suspicion, a hyperawareness of odd details, the movement of air in the room, 'it's too quiet', etc., happening to move to another location just as Imp strikes out), and leverage of the broadcast... Crawler wakes to initial commotion, he uses his full senses with his shard happening to kick into full gear (a la Skitter and her varying range) and/or moves across room, forcing Imp to back up from Jack, Shatterbird lashes out in a blind attack that happens to connect. - Posted on Sufficient Velocity
↑ 55.055.1“Kismet, balance thinker,” the Caucasian said. He wore a white robe
with a hard, faceless mask that had only slits for the eyes. - Excerpt from Crushed 24.3
↑ 56.056.1Secondary powers of sound detection and sound manipulation, adjusting select things to be up to twice as loud or absolutely silent. It gave him a stranger classification, a thinker classification.His third power was a mover power. - Excerpt from Venom 29.6
↑Because she fits in the same category as Eidolon, I thought. Too dangerous to allow her to make contact with the man.
I wasn’t even that comfortable with them helping here, but there weren’t a lot of excellent options for thinker capes who could simply cut right through the layers of deceptions the enemy had been using. - Excerpt from Sting 26.5
↑Child’s play, all of it. The money, with its imaginary value, it was something he breathed. Setting up the tools to manipulate it had taken a little time, but that was it. Numbers were the fundament of the universe, as much a fabrication as money in some ways, more real than anything else in others.
↑Roulette can, in her words, ‘shotgun precog’. She views a spread of futures in a matter of moments, with the number of events and the length of the viewing periods varying depending on the time since the last ‘shotgun’, her emotional state and her degree of rest. The number of futures viewed and the duration of each viewing vary from six to two and hours to seconds, respectively. The ability hits a ceiling at the point where she is incapacitated for longer than the visions last. - PRT Quest (Anchorage) - Roulette
↑ 62.062.1Shen yu Thinker, maintained expert tactical abilities and understanding of movements and maneuvers, giving a pseudo-clairvoyance regarding battlefields - parahumanList, bolded edit by Wildbow.
↑Trainwreck is a case 53 tinker. No proper limbs/body, had to build it.
The Simurgh is another case of a tinker as a secondary power. Picked up details from tinkers and executed it via. a thinker/trump sort of approach. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑The Simurgh is the third. She's only 15 feet tall but has a massive wingspan. The key to understanding her is her psychic 'scream' - this is basically a kind of psychic echolocation allowing her to scan her surroundings while exerting a psychic pressure to alter behavior, implant messages or create compulsions. She has precognition, perfect awareness of the immediate future, and the more she sings/scans the further it reaches. The byline for dealing with the Simurgh is that you'll probably win the fight but you'll lose the war. She uses these scans to make long-term predictions of behavior and activity (in the order of months and years) to turn human beings into rube-goldberg devices, with whole streams or strings of horrific events occuring in areas she's been active. This includes laying the groundwork for major heroes to be attacked at the opening of a future crisis, or the creation of supervillains of international notoriety. She's a telekinetic capable of tossing buildings, she flies, and her scanning ability lets her borrow and copy techniques and mental powers from others - including the power of tinkers (essentially scanning Iron Man and gaining the ability to make what he can make, then telekinetically pulling together a macro-scale version of his devices from surrounding materials). - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑“She’s a villain,” the PRT uniform cut me off, touching his way through some blackberry device with his free hand. “Designation Master-5, specifically arthropodovoyance, arthropodokinesis. No super strength.” - Excerpt from Extermination 8.5
↑“Prescience. Interesting,” the Director called out, as I ducked low and used the cubicles to hide. “We assigned you a thinker-one classification, but perhaps we fell short.” - Excerpt from Monarch 16.2
↑“Arthropodokinesis, arthropodovoyance,” the Deputy Director said. “She’s on record as a master eight, thinker one. The thinker classification is key here: ex-Director Piggot noted Skitter can see through her bugs’ eyes.” - Excerpt from Cell 22.1
↑Long story short, Taylor’s sensory input from the bugs is vastly different depending on whether she’s giving them a general ‘find your way to me’ impulse or whether she’s focused enough on them individually to have them navigating their way into somebody’s underpants. In the former case, she’s drawn her bugs in while really stressed (such as when Bitch attacked her) without really noticing she was doing it. Things are that thin, that easy to block out. - Shell 4.3, comment by Wildbow.
↑ 70.070.1“I remember you,” Spur said. He smiled. Teeth that had been professionally done, no doubt. He wasn’t bad looking, but not quite my type. Spiky hair, and a costume that mingled barbed wire tattoos with real barbed wire, where his skin was exposed. Mid twenties, with hair bleached to a near-white and acid washed jeans. His mask was simple, black, covering the upper half of his face, with only a circle of barbed wire at the brow. A trademark of thinker powers, to do the whole forehead thing. A precog who was most effective in the midst of chaos and heightened emotions, and fairly competent otherwise. “Bad Canary?” - Excerpt from Venom 29.3
↑Weld took the folders and opened the one for the Wards, glanced through it to memorize the faces of his new team. Then he went to the next file, “Then the top priority as far as opposition goes is… the Archer’s Bridge Merchants? Superpowered drug dealers. A Shaker 2, Tinker 2/Mover 3 and a Shifter 4. These aren’t big numbers. Am I missing something?” - Excerpt from Sentinel 9.1
↑ 72.072.1Power: Driven - Squealer’s thinker power gives her 5 in Drive. She can take a -1 penalty to her skill ranks to operate it at full capacity while still maintaining some physical contact with the controls, and take a full-round of actions while controlling the vehicle (ie. shooting a full round with a machinegun while steering). - Playtest Capes, document by Wildbow.
↑“The one that is speaking is Tattletale, member of the Undersiders,” Armsmaster spoke, his voice a hair away from being a growl, “A master manipulator, penchant for head games, likes to pretend she’s psychic but she isn’t. We don’t know her power, possibly clairvoyance, psychometry, or some combination thereof, but we’ve got her pegged as a Thinker 7.” - Excerpt from Extermination 8.7
↑Tattletale, Lisa Wilbourn (Also Sarah Livsey) – Controls central Downtown, though she doesn’t show much presence. Seventeen years old, Tattletale possesses enhanced intuition, with the ability to close gaps in her knowledge or draw natural conclusions from related areas of knowledge. This renders her a master at obtaining information, cracking encryption and playing head games with her enemies. - Cast (In Depth)
↑The Wards, their powers, how to use them? I thought. If I went by the PRT classifications, Tecton was a tinker with shaker capabilities. Wanton was a breaker, someone who altered themselves or their relation to the world by some characteristic of his power, becoming a shaker effect, a telekinetic storm. Annex was the same, only he became a living spacial distortion effect, a living application of Vista’s power. Golem, no doubt a shaker. - Excerpt from Crushed 24.1
↑ 76.076.1“Tinker and thinker both. Architecture and geology sense. Armor lets me ‘ground’ kinetic energy like you might do with electricity. These are piledriver gauntlets,” he patted one gauntlet, “For creating fissures, generating localized earthquakes and other controlled demolition.” - Excerpt from Queen 18.5
↑Über and Leet (Missing) – A thinker with the ability to be a master at anything he tries, and a tinker with the ability to build anything, the two only barely managed to be b-list supervillains with a video game theme. Disappeared after working with Coil. - Cast (In Depth)
↑Victor – Has the ability to steal learned skills and talents through proximity to others. Victor retains these talents indefinitely, while his victims may recover some of what was lost over weeks, months or years. - Cast (In Depth)
↑“I would have,” Forrest said. “I know Skitter. Taylor. Weaver. Whatever you call her. We’ve talked, talked a lot. I’ve heard her side of things, and I know you’re off base.” - Excerpt from Interlude 22.x
↑Teacher had once specialized in renting out capes that could shape, limit or refine powers, or using his power to do the same. Thinkers would go to him for a subordinate capable of ridding them of their perpetual migraines, or capes would seek him out to achieve more power at the expense of control, or vice versa. - Excerpt from Interlude 28
↑“My power is a form of precognition,” she said. “Unlike most such powers, other precognitive abilities do not confuse it. That said, there are certain individuals it does not work against, the Endbringers included.” - Excerpt from Crushed 24.2