Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Michael Peters

High Level Novas and How to Kill Them

Recommended Posts

Hello RPers!

Its been a long long time since I've darkened this forums doors, but when I ran into an issue regarding an Aberrant game, I knew exactly where I wanted to turn. I have been running a table-top game for five players for almost three years now and the player characters have gotten powerful. All of them are Q6+ with a pair of Q8s that are causing the trouble.

How the hell do I make meaningful physical challenges for these characters? One of them has the extra of mastery on his Armor and Elemental Mastery powers which, when combined with his mega-statistics, pushes his soak over 100! If I make an enemy that can actually hit that level of damage, it becomes a bad balancing act, where I need to do enough damage to be threatening, but not enough to vaporize the character (and the surrounding city) instantly. Said enemy would also be able to flatten the other PCs or most rank and file NPCs. A further thought is that I can only pull these mystery super-attackers out once or twice or it becomes fairly unrealistic that no-one else has heard of these guys, and their popping out of the woodwork with continent-slashing attacks.

I have been pushing non-combat encounters, but there needs to be some change eventually. Another worry is that the physical ninja type character is rapidly being left behind in damage by all the blaster characters. Mega-strength and claws seem to only go so far against the Elemental Mastery/Quantum bolt hurlers and I am worried they will begin to feel somewhat under gunned. Any suggestions on how I can rectify this?

 

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

someone with mastery on disrupt works pretty well.  I have alot of experience killing high power novas.  If you've got Q-8 quantum authority and supremacy are options too
 
As to explain why nobody's heard of them, you've got a Q8 nova with time travel pulling in other novas to fight them from other timelines, or just use crosstime travel with exotic worlds and extra targets, and you can bring in whatever you want.   You cannot beat aberrants defensive powers with its offensive powers.  It's annoying as shite.

Quantum leech and Quantum vampire are also highly effective, though you want to make sure it can be done at range..

Don't try to beat his strength, but attack where he cannot defend.    Another option is to make him fight himself straight up...See how he wins.. if he can.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like it's time to make them build new characters.

As for alternative challenges, someone with Aggravated Mental Blast. People don't know about it because for obvious reasons, our hit-psychic uses it sparingly.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually characters like this have exploitable weaknesses created by their point management techniques. In a mid-point level most tanks have several glaring holes in their defenses, psychology, or tolerances where the character can be easily brought low. At high-levels though, and I wager that is the power level we're dealing with, what Justin and Jeremy have noted is the best options.

The best way to deal with a power-gamed character isn't to allow it, unless it has enough of a concept where it works. And in high-power Aberrant (or other superpowered games for that matter) that sort of thing is to be expected to be honest.

The question is how the GM/ST will handle things.

 

As for equalizing a group, I wager your blasters are great at range, dead-eye shots. Ever thought of setting up scenarios where your zappers can support your up-close and personal characters? Sometimes the best way to make things a challenge is to toss tactics into the works. Throw in a crisis where indescriminate fire is a very bad idea.

If the group is mostly murderhobos though, that might not work out as they'll just destroy that orphanage anyways and walk away from that explosion saying "tactical necessity."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think creative tactic situations (can't just go guns-out or throw a Q-Imprint baddie in there that can return any attack thrown at them back at maximum power) are a good option for this, as is moving off-planet into "galatic scale" conflicts where your novas are facing off against other rediculously powered beings or things like battle cruisers and whatnot. In my experience, exploiting any social/mental weakness in a character that takes away player agency tends to lead to bad feelings and the dissolution of the game as players hate when another PC or GM dictates their character's actions. Also, Aberrant has shit for social/mental combat rules, or defenses. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the social-mental thing, it is rather crap for selections of defenses of the mind or protection vs. social attack, but there are some that are practically (as long as willpower holds out) 100% effective. But then if everyone gets them, then really you're at square one.

That and you have points being sucked out from where people want to place them into an issue I call the "1000 contingencies" build concept where every possible crisis that could come up is covered but you end up with a rather useless character.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate all the responses for this!

It's given me quite a few ideas on how to craft some new interested combat encounters. Thank you all very much for the input!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there are certain powers which are resisted rather than soaked, as someone had mentioned with mental blast. action attrition can also be effective, as well as disrupt. combined with things like strobe you can remove their ability to target anything, which shuts down 'blasters' fairly well. disrupt, deflect/redirect, and disimmunize can also be effective.  crosstime travel against a non crosstime travelling enemy can effectively remove the target from play (L4 power but very low quantum minimum).  biomanipulation can be used to deal non soakable damage or ravage a target's physical statistics. (limit of m-attributes is Q+1 or Attribute, whichever is lower, effectively taking a target out of the fight).  Psions can be doubly effective at removing Chrysalis motivated characters (taint penalty is doubled, all damage received is aggravated and non soakable with quantum powers although certain psionic related quantum powers can help (psychic shield or Immunity Psy).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been running Aberrant for years. My current team is all Q6 with Multi-Mastery powers. I avoided combat for four months and went hardcore RP. The group formed a very impressive extended team/base/allies/contacts/country. Now they are the UN team. At this point in the game they were way invested in Npc groups/team members. Now they fight a lot to save others from dying, even though they themselves are not in danger. I also forced the Qin into tthe game early. The Qin come from a "Game of thrones" world. The Qin also Biotech utterly destroys Human/Nova DNA. I also have them dealing with Terat time travelers effing with there accomplishments. Tech is great as well Gadgets that lower Q the closer you get. With Soaks ranging from 22 to 67. They are now dealing with China/India. Remember that each oppent they fight adds 1 to difficulty for EVERYTHING. Having a Q 6 nova fight 5 China\India novas with Q 6-8 is a very fun battle. I almost killed 2 of them recently. THEY RAN AWAY MUHAHAHHAHA. I also use all the tricks mention in this thread. That said it takes so long to make all the charaters and remeber every nunance during the game. I am having the Doyen currently se up shop on earth pushing the proxy storyline. Mastery 2 on claws lowers the soak by 10 per success. Absorbtion tied to Invunerblity with mastery and entropy control with luck is the next baddie I am working on. Also I am planing to have a evil team of power armor nerd novas give them a run for there money. I plan soon to have some quantumkisis scions reek havoc. The trick to running Aberrant is to spend hours/days/weeks making NPCs that are no joke for RP/Combat. With quantumkisis I plan to have a aspect of the power lower power ratings of powers. Sorry Mr. PC your six powers at 2 dots with mastery now have no dots and my suicide vest with a 50 aggravated nuke just went off. My team has kids being born and routed Utiopia/Proteous. I hope you the best and remember we stand with you in spirt! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...