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About Caldorian

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  1. Mungu Kuwasha was the first nova employee of Microsoft. Divis Mal was completely unknown until the Null Manifesto. Vladimir Sierka is Minister of the Treasury of the RusCon. ________ T2M - Caestus Pax - Psyche - Lightning - Ricardo Montoya-Bernal - Pratima Basham - Apollo Kid - Griffin Armstrong - Ragnarockette - Slag - Slider - Shadow Artist - Saxon - Geisha ... Project Utopia - Antaeus Business - Anibál Buendia - Anna DeVries - Mungu Kuwasha - Engineer Ardis "Artifex" Longley Politics - Vladimir Sierka Entertainment / Yellow Press - Alejandra - Ironskin - The Fireman - Christopher Andrew Gaal (first nova filmmaker) Elite - Totentanz - Pursuer What about Count Orzaiz? How famous is he before his connections to Teragen are reveiled? What about Enriche Meludos? The Avatar? Kikjak? How famous are they outside of their respective cities?
  2. Quote:Originally posted by Ashnod: Was Randall Portman a Utopian? I'm not aware of any reference to that. No, it's a mistake on my side... Sorry! I thought I read somewhere that the Fireman was among the first recruits of PU. Couldn't find it in the core book, nor in A:PU, though.
  3. Again, I need your help: What do you think are the most famous Novas by the time of 2004? I want to make a check list for my players. Maybe you can add to this list? T2M - Caestus Pax - Psyche - Lightning - Ricardo Montoya-Bernal - Pratima Basham - Apollo Kid - Griffin Armstrong - Ragnarockette - Slag - Slider - Shadow Artist - Saxon ... Project Utopia - The Fireman - Antaeus Business - Anibál Buendia - Anna DeVries - Mungu Kuwasha Politics - Vladimir Sierka Entertainment ??? (Was it ever mentioned who played in Spielberg's "Nova"?) Thanks!
  4. Given, the preference for novas could have been a logical conclusion of the baseline dissociation, thus not needing its own aberration. But it could also be seen as an antecedent to his dissociation, thus justifying its own aberration… ad 1.) A sexual aberration is a sexual preference. Why should Mal think that everybody else shares his own sexual tastes? He can't get aroused by baselines, Orzaiz still can... so what? Does a 'foot fetishist' think everybody has to feel the same way? But let’s assume this aberration is a development or an antecedent of his dissociation from baseline society: Mal doesn't think that he's different from baselines, but he knows it. (Just as a schizophrenic patient knows that the devil's sitting on his back and whispering in his ear.) He also knows that not everybody has gotten so far. The problem of the Teragen is that they mix politics with mysticism. I’m pretty sure that’s why the Pantheon is so divided. From a spiritual perspective, Orzaiz might be on the right track to 'get it', but I'm pretty sure that Mal doesn't consider somebody who has not even gone through one chrysalis yet to have completely 'gotten it'. First and foremost, (as with any other form of mysticism) Teras must be experienced. That is why it is so difficult to convey its meaning. Cognitively, Orzaiz could have understood Teras, but that's not important as long as he hasn't experienced it. On the other hand, Mal knows that everybody needs his / her own time to find the true meaning of Teras, so he’ll give people with strong baseline connections enough leeway in finding the truth. By the way, that’s the reason why people like Delorimier have their rightful place in the Pantheon -- because they have experienced Teras firsthand. From a political point of view, however, both Mal and Orzaiz know that killing baselines might be one means of many to reach nova independence and enlightenment, but it's hardly the the goal. It's not about nova supremacy as Shrapnel, Apostle, Confederate, Leviathan, etc. seem to think, but about novas finding their own way without baseline intervention. And this is what Orzaiz has understood; that's what makes the Count so different from other members of the Pantheon. ad 2.) With the little difference that novas and baselines have no problem of interbreeding. So physically, it's no problem for novas to take baseline partners and reproduce. Both subspecies even look almost exactly the same (ignoring Taint influence). So there is no reason not to chose baseline partners. But this sexual aberration keeps Mal from even thinking about sleeping with a majority of potential and 'compatible' mates. See, baselines are inferior to novas in their power, but they are not and never will be entirely seperable from novakind. Mal doesn't realise this.
  5. @Regan ‘Codex’ McLachlan: Thanks, Codex! ; As I said, I love the idea of the character... though I now prefer to use photos and photo manipulations of major (and some minor) NPCs in my Series. And thank you for your little characterisation! It made me smile broadly and helped me a lot to imagine a Donighal beyond the godly. Re: Mal’s Personality I guess I finally made up my mind about how to portray Michael Donighal / Divis Mal; all your comments helped me a lot to focus for a moment. I will play Michael as a social chameleon / Mega-Social, i.e. he instinctively knows which personality is expected and desired of him... When he's talking to the PCs he'll probably be warm and friendly (just because I know my players will want him to be), while when talking to others he will take different roles (mentor, father, guru, god). Additionally, I think Donighal loves Scripture; Jeremiah is the only one who can understand him spiritually. However, I don't want their relationship to be too perfect. Great men have great appetites... Gods even more so. And Jeremiah is probably the only one who doesn't take bullshit from his boyfriend and is not so much manipulated by Michael's charms. I think Scripture stays with Donighal because he loves him unconditionally and because they have become very dependent upon each other. Jeremiah tells Michael what he thinks of him, he keeps his ego in check and keeps him from losing grip of reality. Especially, if Michael suffers from a growing dissociative personality disorder -- feeling less and less like an individual, but more like a archetypal god or a force of nature. Michael, on the other hand, feels that Jeremiah is the only one he is able to trust, because he knew him before becoming the new Nova messiah. Much like a famous superstar still hangs out with old friends because he knows they like him, even if he's not a star anymore. But I see their relationship as kind of stale. If I imagine the two together in their home or someplace private, I always see them as not talking with each other anymore at all. Both doing 'their thing' next to each other, maybe exchanging words twice a day. Sort of like I imagine a president and his wife. @ Solas: My problem with Dr Manhatten is that he's too detached for Divis Mal. For me Mal is charged with energy, a man of passion and of vision. Manhatten, however, is passive, emotionless, calm, non-committed. I don't know Galactus. Never liked the F4! Re: Aberrations As to his aberrations, here’s my list of likely candidates: [* Mind that I have integrated certain non-canonical elements into his history.] - Aberrant Eyes: Glowing Green - Anima Banner: Plasma / Fire ?? - possibly more Anima Banners, e.g. Auditory / Temperature - Unearthly Beauty - Disturbing Voice: Perfect Voice / Majestic - Bad Temper - Amnesia: 1926-1943* - Obsession: Enlightenment / Quantum Mastery: Basically, what Dr Troll called ‘his theories’ - Obsession: Finding Equals: Stemming from his adoration of Max Mercer whom he idealises as an ‘equal’ - Some form of complete dissociation from baseline humanity ("Baselines are to Novas what chimps are to Baselines") - Sexual Aberration: Novaphile: Goes hand in hand with the dissociation from baselines… (after all, who would want to sleep with chimps?) - Sexual Aberration: Masochism: Reasonable for a person that is so powerful that nobody on this earth could harm him -- getting a kick out of submitting himself to another person's dominance and control in the security of a sexual relationship... - Permanent Power: Enhancement (M-Man) -- Conflicting Accounts: This could explain why it’s so hard to agree on anything Divis Mal said. Only Scripture, who understands beyond words, is able to discern the true meaning behind Michael’s statements. - Megalomania
  6. Hehe, indeed. Well, I made an outline of his history. Until I realised that it becomes the more difficult to flesh it out the less I know about his personality. Evidently, both biography and personality are interdependent. That's why I need your help. Because I'm totally confused how much of the godly Divis Mal and how much of the more human Michael Donighal I should put into all this... I try to stick to canon as far as it suits my needs. But the canon is somehow inconsistent. Of course, I could make it all up, but would it take Mal into a direction that changes him too much, make him incompatible? It's as if you had these two completely different personalities that had to fit together in one character, but they do not. And now you oscillate between both all the time: That's how I feel when I know I have to portray him in my game.
  7. You know, my problem with Divis Mal is less that he has no stats. I can make them, should there be the need for them. Same with the question whether he can be killed. Of course, he could be killed – somehow. But that’s not the intend of the story I want to tell. I wouldn’t allow the PCs to do that. After all, he is a plot device in many future stories. Actually, my problem is that *I* as a storyteller am absolutely at a loss at portraying the character Divis Mal. You see --as Jager already pointed out-- the PCs are supposed to be able to become part of the Teragen Pantheon. This possibility exists in my game more than in any standard Series, simply because I raised the power level for the PCs to make them equal to the powerhouses. Hence, there will come a point in my Series (or every Teragen Series) when the PCs encounter Divis Mal. And not only as the "wise man from the mountain" who speaks some cryptic prophecies and disappears (à la the Antediluvians in Vampire), but as someone they can have a real and good conversation with. Of course, I could play him as a god, same way I would play a god in Exalted or in another fantasy world. Incomprehensible and beyond mortal ken. Then he’d be an Archetype, two-dimensional, boring. The PCs could worship him or leave him alone. On the other hand, I could play him as a person. With a history that keeps on influencing his decisions. With feelings, joys and problems. With the possibility to fail or to make wrong decisions. With regrets, worries or petty feelings like envy or greed. In the books, he is portrayed as the first. But I want the latter. This is what I meant with an iconoclastic approach to him: Tear down the godliness of Divis Mal and see what personality remains under all these powers! First thing I tried to do was to give him a history. I used an integrative approach to his history, due to the fact I love the “Planetary” comic books (i.e. let the PCs discover the past glories of the A! era) and that I see no need to change something that’s not broken. Keep in mind that I have no need to integrate any mechanics from A! into my Aberrant Series; I can accept that the powers in both books have nothing in common. Should it become necessary, I will reinterpret the A! powers in Aberrant rules. I can also accept that A! has a completely different theme and tone than Aberrant, but if Warren Ellis can make it work in “Planetary” I can make it work in my Series, too! After I have given him a history, I now want to give Donighal a personality. What is he like? How does he react to other people? How does he feel about his surroundings? About new people? Does he get excited if he meets somebody interesting? What are his goals? What are his worries and his regrets? What does he cling to? How much does he actually love Scripture? Is Scripture just a convenience, is he a substitute, is he a real loved one? Is Jeremiah like a child to him or does Michael see him as an equal? Can Michael Donighal be self-ironic, can he be silly, can he lose his gravitas? Would he want to do that sometimes? Does he care about what impression he leaves? And don’t give me an answer like: “He has Mega-Int, therefore his personality is unfathomable!” What if Michael Donighal dormed down? How would he be? Whenever I read into the Aberrant books I get lost in his mystification, in his personality cult, in his philosophy. Surely, all that *is* Divis Mal, but it’s definitely not Michael Donighal -- who’s still deep inside that awful Divis Mal construct.
  8. See, there would be a big problem: Teras and the Chrysalis make only sense, if Donighal realised at one point or another that he changed -- to the worse. That’s the only reason for developing such a arduous physical, mental and spiritual process; because he needs to, if he wants to remain sane. If Donighal wasn't affected by Taint, he wouldn't have done it. Although I love the idea of "century children" (to the point I considered making Jenny Sparks and Elijah Snow NPCs ), in such a case there wouldn't have been a need for Donighal to develop the philosophy of Teras and the Chrysalis in the first place. As a matter of fact, it doesn't make much sense, if he is not just another Nova. And even if he wasn’t, why give him a Quantum score? Why give him powers that are accessible to all other Novas with enough experience? They could have made him like an Antediluvian in the old V:tM. Without stats, beyond the rules. (And don’t tell me, Antediluvians were “just” vampires with 10 dots in Disciplines…) Well, they didn't do it; they made clear statements about his Quantum progress and about some of his abilities. Second point: He could buy off Taint… Of course he could and probably did so, but he would still keep his aberrations. And again, the same as above holds true here. Donighal wouldn't have gone so far as to develop Teras, if he hadn't realised the bad side-effects of Taint. Therefore you can assume that he must have had a Taint of at least 6+ at one point; only then aberrations really go beyond the "cosmetic". That would make 2 minor aberrations and 1 or 2 medium aberrations, before he started (!) to develop Teras. Then let’s assume he transformed all his Temporary Taint into Temporary Chrysalis and didn’t buy any tainted powers. He underwent four times the Chrysalis, i.e. four times he went up to Chrysalis 5 -- which makes at least 8 further minor aberrations. And that is a most conservative estimate… I reckon he would at least have gone above the necessary five Chrysalis points once or twice. Otherwise, how would he be able to teach the Chrysalis to other Novas, if he understood it only barely himself? Well, even with this conservative estimate, we would have about 10 minor aberrations and 1 or 2 medium aberrations... And I want to stress it: Teras is nothing you develop on a lazy Sunday afternoon! Donighal might be a genius, but that is not necessarily something that helps you in spiritual practice like meditation (which is one means --as reported in the Teragen book-- to achieve the focus on one’s Archetype). @Jager: The Indecision Aberration is a good idea! Do you really think Donighal wants Mercer as the one to lead mankind? I would have guessed he wants to be the leader himself… And, yeah, the Multiple Personality thing is just my interpretation of the Aeon/Primoris-conflict. So this is something specific to my Series.
  9. Hi there. My first post... and such a long one. Excuse any rambling in this post, but I need your help! Well, I'm running this Aberrant-Series on a weekly basis now; the idea is that the PCs are among the first "test run experiments" of Divis Mal's planned N-Day. The series has started mid-1997, when both characters erupted, and is planned to go on until (at least) WW Phase II. Now the story has advanced up until shortly before N-Day. Anyhow, I want the PCs to be among the movers 'n' shakers of this world, en par with Caestus Pax, Antaeus or Sophia Rousseau. In addition, they are supposed to get to know all of the background story --basically the ideological struggle between Mercer and Donighal-- and to get between their factions. Now I'm trying to flesh out Max Mercer and Michael Donighal, since they are going to be very important in this series. Mercer a bit less so, because his influence during the Aberrant-Era is rather indirect. The PCs might get to know him, but he won't be such a problem to present -- he is covered quite well in “Adventure!”. The real problem is Divis Mal... (and I'm pretty sure, I don't tell anything new here!) I really love the idea of this character, but unfortunately he is utterly inapproachable as presented in the books. Almighty, hyper-intelligent, inscrutable, invincible, idealistic, yet myopic to the extreme. He has all the characteristics of a supervillain (à la Magneto), but some books do everything to present him as a well-meaning idealist. Actually, he doesn't make any sense to me. Not because he is supposed to be in a grey area between good and evil, but because he is just a two-dimensional character. “Adventure!” helped a lot in that respect, but it is only a beginning. I want a three-dimensional Divis Mal; someone the PCs can encounter, someone they can relate to – in any way. I want the approachable, “human” Divis Mal, who has dinner with his boyfriend and a friendly couple--Andy Vance and Jake Korelli--as presented in the APG. Unfortunately most of the sources present him as the “godly” Über-Nova who is too insightful to get involved. What I’d like you to to help me with is an iconoclastic approach to the “godly” Divis Mal, a demystification of him. All his godly powers have to be stripped away from him, until only a normal human being remains. And from that human being, from that basis we could reconstruct a believable and likable Divis Mal. Let me make a beginning: Michael Donighal is (despite all claims otherwise) neither almighty nor infallible. At his core he has this annoying combination of egocentrism, little patience, arrogance, aloofness, alienation and resulting loneliness, over-sensitivity to the old hurts from an unrequited love. He could be a bodhisattva of the Nova age, but he rather prefers to be a petty god. At his worst, he reminds me of a whining and rebelling teenager. Then there is the fascist angle, I’d find interesting to explore. As far as my series is concerned, Donighal has had a strictly authoritarian education and was more than sympathetic with the Nazis later on. Due to his taint, Dr Primoris developed into a split personality, a ruthless and emotionless scientist who sided with the Nazis in order to do his experiments on humans. Sort of Mengele on Quantum. Although Donighal lost the Primoris personality after his first Chrysalis, the deep-rooted fascist tendencies remained. These tendencies resurface again in his iconography, when he approves of the personality cult around him, or when he initiates the Night of the Long Knives. Another thing that bothers me is that Divis Mal doesn’t seem to have an adequate number of aberrations: Either he has a means to lose them or he should have at least about a dozen of aberrations. I thought about the possibility that he has Aberration Transfer with the Permanency Extra, but somehow I think this explanation is very cheap. On the other hand, I have tried to give him 18 aberrations and the result is quite gross. He’d be no monster, but he certainly couldn’t have the looks as presented in the books either. How many and what aberrations would you give him? Do you think Divis Mal would use Aberration Transfer, if he had it (regarding Teras)? How have you portrayed Divis Mal? How could he be portrayed at all? How do you approach a character that was so badly designed? I’m really at a loss here… the more I try to approach this character, the more he eludes me.
  10. Hey, thanks Professor! Never thought about it that way, but it's a far more elegant solution than the old shapeshifting trick... And it makes for a better story! ::biggrin But what about Mercer? Do you think he knows that Donighal is doing the Keyser Soze?
  11. I need your help! It's been ages since I last read Adventure and therefore my Metaplot-Fu is weak! I'm running an Aberrant storyline at the moment in which the PCs have the chance to uncover the history of the Aeon Society, Michael Donighal and their relationship. Problem is: I was always under the impression that it was common knowledge among the Aeon Society that Michael Donighal adopted the moniker "Dr Primoris" after the Hammersmith incident. But now I realised that Whitley Styles obviously doesn't know that they are one and the same... He knows Michael Donighal, but thinks of Dr Primoris as a completely different, albeit somehow familiar person. (p. 21 in A!) That must mean that Dr Primoris looks different than Donighal, i. e. Donighal uses "Man of many Faces" when in the presence of Styles (and the Aeon Society). So: How much does the Aeon Society really know about Primoris, other than that he is an old friend of Maxwell's? Do they find out about his being the Alter Ego of Donighal? Why does Donighal do this in the first place? Maxwell most certainly knows about it, so why does he play along? Given that Max Mercer and Michael Donighal are known to be friends, why does nobody wonder about Donighals absence from the Aeon Society? I hope somebody of you can help me with these questions!
  12. Hi there! ::smile I'm new to this forum, as well as relatively new to Aberrant. I'm an long-time WoD player and storyteller, so I know White Wolf and the Storyteller system quite well, but I took interest in the whole Aeon Continuum only recently. Originally, I bought Aberrant with the intention to transform it into a traditional Superhero game; the reasoning behind this was the familiarity that my players have with the system. But now, I decided to try a 'classical' Aberrant chronicle instead. At the moment, I have the Aberrant core book, the Aberrant Player's Guide and will soon have the Teragen book. (Additionally, I have 'Adventure!'.) My question is: Which books do you recommend the most? Which books are a 'must' in order to run the game smoothly? Which add the most flavour to the game? For example, I considered buying 'Project Utopia'. But is it really necessary? Is it worth the money? What about all the other books, like 'Elites', 'Year One' etc.? I have only a limited budget, but I would be willing to spend it on some good books -- before the d20 material replaces the old system. I understand that, what books are interesting to me, depends on what kind of chronicle I plan... My chronicle will take place in 2004, but I will change the 'canon' timeline, so that the events of 1998 take place in 2004. That means that much of the polical events presented in the Core book will change as well, in order to accomodate to our current worldwide situation. (11/9, war on terror, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) The PCs will be among the first Novas to erupt, and I will play the beginning years with them. The focus will lie on how they are going to cope with their god-like powers in an ultra-realistic world and how they decide to use it; the politics of Abberant, albeit interesting, do not play such a big role, yet. I'm not much of a metaplot fan, especially if the metaplot tends to railroad the actions of the PCs. I do, however, plan to keep the general events of the Aeon timeline, i.e. Hammersmith ---> Aeon Society of Gentlemen ---> Galatea ---> Project Utopia ---> Null Manifesto ---> ... ---> Abberant War So what do you guys think? Which books should I get? ::confused Hope you can help me!
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