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Sprocket

Aberrant RPG - Mega-Stamina Feats

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OK folks, this is Sprocket here, speaking for the Mega-Physical project Development Team again. The brainstorming party for feats of Mega-Stamina has now been opened to everyone at EON. After about eight days of looking through the reference materials, I'm forced to admit that filling out this last chart without outside aid would be even harder doing so than the one for Mega-Dexterity would've been. ::brick ::wacko

The basic setup hasn't changed - dot ratings 1-9 are limited to a total of 5 feats each, while Mega-Stamina 10 will have a total of 4 feats. Likewise, all feats should reflect what a given dot rating of Mega-Stamina is capable of without using any of the associated enhancements.

The chart (complete with what little we've managed to fill in already) is currently as follows:

Mega-Stamina 1

• Can soak damage caused by disease.

• Ignore the dice penalties caused by the intense heat found in large fires.

• Immune to infection via open wounds.

• Immune to the common cold.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 2

• Immune to most forms of nerve gas.

• Immune to scorpion glass toxin (see Aberrant: Underworld, p. 62).

• Unaffected by subsonic pain/nausea fields (see Aberrant: Year One, p. 108).

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 3

• Immune to all forms of tear gas.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 4

• Can soak damage caused by radiation - soft radiation is considered bashing and hard radiation is considered lethal - without automatically losing Health Levels.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 5

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 6

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 7

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 8

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 9

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 10

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

To start things off, here are a few ideas for Mega-Stamina feats that are lacking dot ratings. Enjoy! ::wink

1- Immune to cancer.

2- Immune to AIDS / HIV virus.

3- Unaffected by ricin toxin.

4- Unaffected by blowfish toxin.

5- Immune to herpes.

6- Immune to the Ebola virus.

7- Swim across a large body of water (sea/ocean) nonstop & without rest.

8- Unaffected by radioactive thallium poisoning (a favored method of the KGB).

9- (for male dynamos) Exhaust an entire softball team's worth of healthy young baseline female athletes through sexual activity. (Baseline women already have a similar advantage in this over baseline men, so a female dynamo would require the services of either a male dynamo or a battalion of male baseline athletes.)

10- Unaffected by high/extreme levels of environmental pollution. RL examples of such places include Norilsk (Northern Russia), Seversk (Western Siberia, Russia), Katowice (Southwest Poland), the City of 10th Ramadan (suburb of Cairo, Egypt), Mexico City, Linfen (Shanxi Province, China), Kabwe (Zambia), Sumqayit (Azerbaijan), Sukinda (Rajpur, India) & Moynaq (Uzbekistan, central Asia).

<An article from issue #135 of BIZARRE magazine was the inspiration for idea #10.>

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I have to say that this seems even more redundant than the other mega physicals we played with. Strength was the most relevant in terms of stunting. Most of the things here can either already be done with only a dot or two of mega stamina or automatically with adaptability (heat, radiation, environmental toxins etc.)

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I have to say that this seems even more redundant than the other Mega-Physicals we played with. Strength was the most relevant in terms of stunting. Most of the things here can either already be done with only a dot or two of Mega-Stamina or automatically with Adaptability (heat, radiation, environmental toxins etc.)

Yeah, which is exactly why I was originally opposed to this idea. What changed my mind were the following facts:

1: Practically all of the Dynamo-equivalent characters in the comics - Wolverine, Hulk, Thing, Spider-Man, etc. - are much more noticeable for having enhancement-analogs than basic Mega-Stamina. This makes for much uncertainty as to what their Mega-Stamina alone allows them to do. While this vagueness is a boon to comic-book writers (who too often need whatever aid they can get), it makes for headaches among players of Dynamos & their Storytellers.

2: In the canon Aberrant books, the canon feats that Mega-Stamina allows Dynamos to perform are few & far between. A feat chart like this allows them to be compiled in a single place for a far greater ease of reference.

Bottom line, the capabilities of basic Mega-Stamina are insufficiently detailed in realistic terms. And that's just what a feat chart like this is intended to fix. ::smile

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1- Immune to cancer.

Probably basic package or MS-1 (Mega-Stamina 1). Cancer is pretty hard to get, although dealing with it harder yet. 20+ years of smoking, 30+ years of sunlight, etc.

3- Unaffected by ricin toxin.

Same as nerve gas. #2 unless it's tox rating is a lot worse than I think.

6- Immune to the Ebola virus.

I think this has a tox rating of 4, so you'd need MS5?

With Mega-Stamina 4 & Health you'd be totally immune... but with Mega-Stamina 2 and Health it's only a tox 2 substance, so wouldn't you be immune then too?

7- Swim across a large body of water (sea/ocean) nonstop & without rest.

The issue is how long does this take?

How much more is this than the English channel, and how long does it take to do that?

8- Unaffected by radioactive thallium poisoning (a favored method of the KGB).

MS 4. If you can soak radiation then you can soak it on the inside too, and that's how it gets you.

9- (for male dynamos) Exhaust an entire softball team's worth of healthy young baseline female athletes through sexual activity. (Baseline women already have a similar advantage in this over baseline men, so a female dynamo would require the services of either a male dynamo or a battalion of male baseline athletes.)

This is 9, right?

I suspect MS2 but I have nothing to back that up with.

10- Unaffected by high/extreme levels of environmental pollution. RL examples of such places include Norilsk (Northern Russia), Seversk (Western Siberia, Russia), Katowice (Southwest Poland), the City of 10th Ramadan (suburb of Cairo, Egypt), Mexico City, Linfen (Shanxi Province, China), Kabwe (Zambia), Sumqayit (Azerbaijan), Sukinda (Rajpur, India) & Moynaq (Uzbekistan, central Asia).

If there are baselines who are unaffected, then basic package.

If there aren't, then MS1, it isn't like baselines are dropping dead here.

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For flavor purposes, you could describe the level of damage one can survive at the various levels. Sort of like in the core book, but more specific(and accurate).

M-Sta 1: Can shrug off a heavyweight's bests shot.

M-Sta 2: Can shrug off a baseball bat to the head.

M-Sta 3: Can shrug off a 5 story fall.

M-Sta 4: Can shrug off being hit by a car.

M-Sta 5: Can shrug off being hit by a truck.

M-Sta 6: Can shrug off being hit by a semi.

Or you could give streamlined explanations of healing times. Yes, the core book mentions the healing rate, but then the ST has to calculate the actual recovery time needed.

M-Sta 1: Recover from crippling injuries in two months.

M-Sta 2: Recover from crippling injuries in a month and a half.

M-Sta 3: Recover from crippling injuries in a month and a week.

M-Sta 4: Recover from crippling injuries in one month.

M-Sta 5: Recover from crippling injuries in 27 days.

M-Sta 6: Recover from crippling injuries in 23 days.

M-Sta 10: Recover from crippling injuries in 15 days.

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Also...part of the problem is that the feats listed don't add up. Someone with M Stam 5 is supposed to be able to (without enhancements) bounce missles. It would be cool to see that rectified to actually work against the damage of missles. One way would be to make Mega Stamina's soak actually function like equivalent dots of armor but I don't know if that would be broken/unbalanced with the attack powers offhand.

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Re: Cancer, ricin-

That sounds about right AFA both of these.

Re: Ebola-

Considering that these feats are all "Mega-Stamina without enhancements", M-Sta 5 sounds like a good benchmark AFAICT. We might as well include Marburg fever & Lhasa fever in this feat since they're considered equally lethal.

Re: Swimming across oceans-

Still researching for this, but the color text for the Mega-Stamina 6 listing does mention "swimming across the Pacific Ocean" as being light exercise. That may or may not have to be changed, depending on how the research goes.

Re: Radioactive thallium poisoning-

It's actually a case of double jeopardy, as the metal thallium is already highly toxic before it's irradiated. (That's apparently required to reduce it to powder form, the radioactivity is a bonus.) I'd peg it as M-Sta 5 myself.

Re: Women's softball team-

It's 9 players for fast-pitch softball or 10 players for some slow-pitch softball teams, so M-Sta 2 likely would be enough. I'll rewrite the feat for greater clarity if we end up using it.

Re: Extreme environmental pollution-

Dying/becoming sterile/developing brain damage/etc. after 2 years of exposure isn't quick like "dropping like flies" implies, so M-Sta 1 it is.

Re: Damage survival & healing times-

Yeah, those will help quite a bit. Thanks! ::smile

Re: Color text hype vs. game mechanics crunch-

Looking at the M-Sta 4 & 5 listings, they say "bullets/missiles practically bounce off your chest". The "bounce bullets" feat isn't quite so hyped, as M-Sta 4 grants +4 Bashing/+2 Lethal soak. That's close to what a Kevlar vest provides (+2 Bashing/+3 Lethal). Agreed that the "bounce missiles" idea is clearly hype, though.

Re: HIV/AIDS-

Using Ebola as a benchmark, it seems that immunity to HIV (and leprosy, for that matter) would require M-Sta 4.

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Re: Swimming the English Channel-

OK, here's what I've found.

1- Pretty much all of the channel swimming attempts take place at the Straits of Dover, where the Channel is at its narrowest (34-38 km).

2- The fastest ever verified swim of the channel was by Petar Stoychev on 24 August 2007. He crossed the channel in 6 hours 57 minutes and 50 seconds.

3- The fastest verified female channel swimmer is Yvetta Hlaváčová in 2006. She crossed the channel in 7 hours 25 minutes and 15 seconds.

Assuming that these are top-caliber athletes (Stamina 4 or 5), we should now have a baseline (pun intended ::laugh ) to extrapolate from.

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Re: Swimming the English Channel-

OK, here's what I've found.

1- Pretty much all of the channel swimming attempts take place at the Straits of Dover, where the Channel is at its narrowest (34-38 km).

2- The fastest ever verified swim of the channel was by Petar Stoychev on 24 August 2007. He crossed the channel in 6 hours 57 minutes and 50 seconds.

3- The fastest verified female channel swimmer is Yvetta Hlaváčová in 2006. She crossed the channel in 7 hours 25 minutes and 15 seconds.

Assuming that these are top-caliber athletes (Stamina 4 or 5), we should now have a baseline (pun intended ::laugh ) to extrapolate from.

Figure maybe. . . double those speeds for each dot of mega stamina, roughly, *or* increase the maximum distance by a factor of 10 per dot?

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I dont think Stamina would let you swim any faster. It would make a person faster overall compared to a baseline though since one could maintain sprinting speed indefinitely.

I still say its redundant though...increaseing distance based on dots seems...superfluous and overly-ruley. I like to keep it simple. If someone has Mega Stamina 1 they have more reserves than any baseline athlete (Im also in favor of the house rule you cant buy Mega 1 until you have Base 5...takes care of a HUGE amount of inconsitencies...). If someone has Mega Stamina 5...they simply *never* tire. Its one of the only ways our mind can comprehend what a Mega 5 should do. Its so far off the scale the 5 dots dont do it justice. Logarithmic would be more appropriate but then it would take up too much space on the sheet so its basically encoded into the dots.

uh...yeah. ::blush

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Re: Swimming & Mega-Stamina-

Agreed that speed isn't the point of the feat; it's the long distance to be crossed before the swimmer gets too tired to keep swimming. As to never tiring at M-Sta 5+, that may be so. Establishing benchmarks for the lower dot ratings is still useful, though.

Also, it looks like the "swimming across the Pacific" color text will remain unchanged.

Re: Irradiated thallium-

I've changed my mind regarding this - apparently a large part of what made it oh-so deadly back during the Cold War was that it wasn't easily recognized until it was far too late. I'm re-pegging it as M-Sta 4.

Re: Cyanide poisoning-

Anyone care to take a shot at determining what M-Sta dot rating is needed to shrug off this stuff? Looking over my gaming references, they all rule it as "normal humans die when hit by this, don't bother rolling".

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Re: Irradiated thallium-

I've changed my mind regarding this - apparently a large part of what made it oh-so deadly back during the Cold War was that it wasn't easily recognized until it was far too late. I'm re-pegging it as M-Sta 4.

Re: Cyanide poisoning-

Anyone care to take a shot at determining what M-Sta dot rating is needed to shrug off this stuff? Looking over my gaming references, they all rule it as "normal humans die when hit by this, don't bother rolling".

The funny thing about this is that certain types of Cyanide are used as an antitoxin for Thallium poisioning as well as Caesium poisoning.

Not all types of cyanide are toxic to people (and most other animals), but the ones that are are nasty. Cyanide stops cells from producing ATP molecules through aerobic respiration (usually between 32-36, if memory of Biology serves), so the cells can only produce a vastly smaller amount (usually 2-4) through anaerobic respiration. Systems that use large amounts of ATP (such as the central nervous system and the heart among others) quickly find themselves without the means to keep going and simply shut down.

Given how rapidly it works in even a small amount, to be immune I'd say probably needs at least an M-Stm of 4.

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If we assume that Mega-Stam 5+ equals never tiring then its the same as if saying 5+ grants the Tireles enhancement for free. I personally have no problem with this as most mega-stam enhancements seem natural outgrowths of superhuman stamina.

I would postulate that the majority (i.e. make a good list) of stam enhancements should be considered for the lesser dynamos out there, as a way of showing uniqueness and slightly more advanced ares in thier nova biology. As a dynamo advances past mega-stam 5 he starts to natuarally aquire the enhancements from the list as just an inclusive part of his increasingly greater, by factors, stamina.

A dynamo that had previously purchased a now-useless enhancement could be refunded his points (not all would become useless as some increase with mega-stam).

Anywho, just a thought, I mean really, a lot of them would be natural to a mega-stam over 5.

Psi

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Actually Psilord I thought most of the newfangled "enhancements" in the APG were incredibly stupid...especially for Stamina. Tireless should be a built in feature, at least at the higher levels (2 or 3 and up). Health was redundant with what the attribute and adaptability already did. Immovable Object should be a Strength enhancment.

I think they just needed to write *something* and the best they could come up with was redundant and crappy. Stamina is one of those things that is almost complete unto itself. As i said before the only thing really lacking in terms of "feats" is for the soak of mega stamina to reflect more properly the flavor text...

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I dont think Stamina would let you swim any faster. It would make a person faster overall compared to a baseline though since one could maintain sprinting speed indefinitely.

I still say its redundant though...increaseing distance based on dots seems...superfluous and overly-ruley. I like to keep it simple. If someone has Mega Stamina 1 they have more reserves than any baseline athlete (Im also in favor of the house rule you cant buy Mega 1 until you have Base 5...takes care of a HUGE amount of inconsitencies...). If someone has Mega Stamina 5...they simply *never* tire. Its one of the only ways our mind can comprehend what a Mega 5 should do. Its so far off the scale the 5 dots dont do it justice. Logarithmic would be more appropriate but then it would take up too much space on the sheet so its basically encoded into the dots.

uh...yeah. ::blush

I actually don't like that house rule for one reason. There's lots of Aberrants who should have "superhuman" stats, that don't have that great of baselines one. I mean, having Mega 1 and Stat 1 might be a little far(Though even in intelligence, offers some interesting character ideas), but having say, Stamina 3 "naturally", then adding Mega-Sta 1 on top of that simply because the person develops in response to what's going on around them, shouldn't be discouraged.

Plus, that house rule severely punishes those with Stat heavy concepts(By making them buy much more then baseline, leaving less for powers and skills). Plus leads to heavier stat inflation, that cascades over into skills as well. Admittedly, it worsens when you're buying with xp rather then nova points.

As for the enhancement idea...hmm, I'm not really fond of the PG ones either, though I did buy them for Artemis. I figure that something like Tireless is, say...for something like day+ nova combat or something equally severe(Flying from Earth to the furthest planet of our solar system without rest physically, or heck, to the nearest star) And Health was a belated attempt to take Adaptability from a "must buy", to part of a suite of possible options. Immovable Object...I have no idea what they were thinking.

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Immovable Object...I have no idea what they were thinking.

AFAICT, they were thinking of the old "irresistible force meets immovable object" cliche.

Re: Cyanide-

Much thanks Anon for the background data, esp. for that bit about the irradiated thallium & caesium. I'll have to research that last one to see if it's comparably lethal to thallium.

Re: Feat listings, revised-

Here's the current version. If anyone can suggest a fatal disease (as definied in the Poison quantum power listing, core book p. 214) comparable to HIV/AIDS or leprosy, it'd be a help.

Mega-Stamina 1

• Can shrug off a heavyweight boxer's best shot.

• Can soak damage caused by disease, immune to infection via open wounds.

• Ignore the dice penalties caused by the intense heat found in large fires.

• Immune to anthrax, cancer and the common cold.

• Unaffected by extreme levels of environmental pollution.

Mega-Stamina 2

• Completely exhaust 10 or more baseline sexual partners in a single session.

• Immune to scorpion glass toxin (see Aberrant: Underworld, p. 62), ricin and most forms of nerve gas.

• Unaffected by subsonic pain/nausea fields (see Aberrant: Year One, p. 108).

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 3

• Immune to all forms of tear gas.

• Can shrug off the impact of a 5 story fall.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 4

• Can shrug off being hit by a car.

• Can soak damage caused by radiation - soft radiation is considered bashing and hard radiation is considered lethal - without automatically losing Health Levels.

• Immune to HIV/AIDS, leprosy and [insert appropriate fatal disease here].

• Recover from crippling injuries in one month.

• Unaffected by radioactive thallium poisoning.

Mega-Stamina 5

• Immune to Ebola fever, Marburg fever and Lhasa fever.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 6

• Recover from crippling injuries in 23 days.

• Swim across the Pacific Ocean nonstop.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 7

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 8

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 9

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 10

• Recover from crippling injuries in 15 days.

• x.

• x.

• x.

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Honestly, I'd say that after Mega Stamina 5, the healing rate bonus should kick into exponential growth, assuming it really matters much ( if you don't have Regeneration by Mega Stamina 6. . . ).

As for requiring Att 5 for a mega att, count me in as against. It'd render every single Mega Str 1 guy equally strong, every single Mega Sta 3 guy equally tough, etc. Attribute variance gives some way to distinguish between two competing novas. Going with, say, Att 4 instead of Att 5 is also a not-insignificant trade-off:

-Your down about a half a sux on every roll of that type ( which can make a *big* difference in even or worse combat )

-Greater likelihood of botching

-In the future, getting Mega 5 will be much more expensive

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RE: APG enhancements

It was a mixed bag. Some were solutions in search of problems (Omni-Dex comes to mind). Health is actually pretty huge and was needed as a way to by-pass the sterility drugs. Agreed about I-Object.

RE: Never Tiring at M-Stam 5+

Depends on what "never" means. Unless we're going to hand out Adaptability then you still need to sleep in order to let the brain dream. Ignoring that, can you walk forever? Sure. Run? Swim? Maybe. Sprint? You still have a "Endurance" skill, in theory it's possible to load it down with enough Difficulties to roll you over, even with 10 normal dice and 5 megas.

RE: Cyanide poisoning

Probably put it at MS-3, just so there is a range. This *isn't* my field but it doesn't seem to be in the same class as T-poisoning, and we need to put something at 3.

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RE: Adaptability

Adaptability does far too much IMHO. What they should have done, and probably meant to do, was have adaptability *only* let it allow you to ignore the environment.

Problem is someone realized that this implied an immunity to poisons, and they forgot that physics is not our friend in this system. Solution is that poison gases are an alteration to the environment, darts and foods are not. You already don't need to eat so if you eat poison (which varies from environment to environment) then you're screwed. Preventing aging should be a different enhancement, ditto sleeping.

Plus, that house rule severely punishes those with Stat heavy concepts(By making them buy much more then baseline, leaving less for powers and skills). Plus leads to heavier stat inflation, that cascades over into skills as well. Admittedly, it worsens when you're buying with xp rather then nova points.
The solution to preventing people from using nova points to buy all 5's in all attributes is to alter the XP chart. Novas should pay 2 exp for +1 dot of any attribute and have a darn good RP reason. This balances XP to Nova points.

This is counter intuitive, but if you don't nail down people's stats then they won't bother to min-max them.

RE: Enhancements

Makes sense, but do we want to give out one more "free" enhancement for every dot in any mega past 5? If it works for Stamina then it should work for the others.

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I actually don't like that house rule for one reason. There's lots of Aberrants who should have "superhuman" stats, that don't have that great of baselines one. I mean, having Mega 1 and Stat 1 might be a little far(Though even in intelligence, offers some interesting character ideas), but having say, Stamina 3 "naturally", then adding Mega-Sta 1 on top of that simply because the person develops in response to what's going on around them, shouldn't be discouraged.

Plus, that house rule severely punishes those with Stat heavy concepts(By making them buy much more then baseline, leaving less for powers and skills). Plus leads to heavier stat inflation, that cascades over into skills as well. Admittedly, it worsens when you're buying with xp rather then nova points.

,,

I don't buy your argument and even though there are plenty of canon charactyer writeup examples that are as you say it still doesnt hold in the face of logic...

Trouble is, we are talking about a continuous scale. This is one of the things I HATED about Rifts...they had 3 different strength "scales", one for normal folks, one for "robotic" strength and one for "supernatural.

Strength is strength. Their should be a scale and one is placed along that scale. Someone having Str 3 and Mega 1 or Str 1 and Mega 1 or anything like that...it just doesn't make any sense. And maybe you have to spend points to up your base stats..I'm okay with that. Such things as attributes are a scale and so to get to superhuman one would have to get to peak human first...makes sens.

The only thing the house rule needs is a caveat for a split between dormed and undormed ratings. So undormed you could have Str 5 Mega 1 but that way when you are dormed you only have 3 or something... I have actually done this for certain characters voluntarily, or made it so they are super beautiful in super mode but only average looking as a baseline, that sort of thing.

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Strength is strength. Their should be a scale and one is placed along that scale. Someone having Str 3 and Mega 1 or Str 1 and Mega 1 or anything like that...it just doesn't make any sense. And maybe you have to spend points to up your base stats..I'm okay with that. Such things as attributes are a scale and so to get to superhuman one would have to get to peak human first...makes sens.

Except, that isn't how Quantum works. And remember, we're not talking just strength, but all the attributes. How I view it, is that normal attributes are what you have as a baseline.(Though Quantum can obviously aid with that, for all purposes, once you have it, it's your muscle/brains/social stats if Quantum isn't there. And even there, Quantum helped make is so, say, your Str 5 female doesn't look like a heavy body builder, just has super efficient muscles.)

Mega Attributes are how you use Quantum energy patterns on top of your body/mind/social stats. They're not on a scale with your normal attributes, but more like an overlay over what you have. This is reflected by losing the effectiveness of your Mega Attributes if you're drained of Quantum, or dormed down.

Also, the scale argument bothers me for another reason. You could just as easily extend it to, say...Armor, or Invulnerability or Quantum Bolt requiring prerequisite powers/stats. Which could make for a very interesting game(One I might even like to see or play in), but at that point, you're not even close to default, which assumes you can buy which powers you want, mega attributes included.

The only thing the house rule needs is a caveat for a split between dormed and undormed ratings. So undormed you could have Str 5 Mega 1 but that way when you are dormed you only have 3 or something... I have actually done this for certain characters voluntarily, or made it so they are super beautiful in super mode but only average looking as a baseline.

Now, you see, this I could get behind. Though, it would be more in the style of a individual flaw, rather then any sort of house rule. And it would make a nightmare for bookkeeping(Especially if you're like me and buy stats with experience), unless you just said "These stats are capped in baseline form, period." But you see, the rules already allow you to have that last example(Appearance 2, Mega Appearance 2). There, you're super beautiful as a nova, and average looking as a baseline.

I guess my main objection to the rule is that it rules out too many possible character concepts for my taste, and skews costs for certain concepts way out of proportion. Plus, makes it so everyone buys high stats at character generation, and waits to buy powers gets an advantage. If they don't do that, they fall behind when buying things with xp, as those that spend their xp on powers later get much better buys then they do now. (Yes, the nova point costs for stats are already super buys, this makes them that much more vital)

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The solution to preventing people from using nova points to buy all 5's in all attributes is to alter the XP chart. Novas should pay 2 exp for +1 dot of any attribute and have a darn good RP reason. This balances XP to Nova points.

This is counter intuitive, but if you don't nail down people's stats then they won't bother to min-max them.

RE: Enhancements

Makes sense, but do we want to give out one more "free" enhancement for every dot in any mega past 5? If it works for Stamina then it should work for the others.

Well, I agree with you about adaptability being a bit too broad. Though...perhaps it should have been taken out and just made it's own power. It being an easy buy does add to the power of a god flavor of the game, though. As written, I'm happy buying Health and Adaptability for my own character, and so far they haven't overlapped that much.

On the xp chart, well, it would be nice, but that would be closer to a house rule, and I'm actually glad White Wolf stayed away from it for Aberrant, after seeing how "Buy when you have a good roleplaying reason" went in other games.(Varying from positive to exceedingly negative experiences, mostly with Mage and Arete.)

And, while I love my roleplaying group dearly, several of them min-max as naturally as breathing. Even in games that don't require it, they do. Just goes to show that we each have to skew our games to each individual group.

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It'd render every single Mega Str 1 guy equally strong, every single Mega Sta 3 guy equally tough, etc. Attribute variance gives some way to distinguish between two competing novas.

Uh-Uh. Don't buy it. Is every baseline with a Str of 2 equally strong? The dots are a simplified way of invoking a range.

xcept, that isn't how Quantum works. And remember, we're not talking just strength, but all the attributes. How I view it, is that normal attributes are what you have as a baseline.(Though Quantum can obviously aid with that, for all purposes, once you have it, it's your muscle/brains/social stats if Quantum isn't there. And even there, Quantum helped make is so, say, your Str 5 female doesn't look like a heavy body builder, just has super efficient muscles.)

Thats one way of looking at it. And perhaps some novas work that way, but not everyone. I don't fel it necessary to buy into White Wolf pseudo scientific mumbo jumbo of how things work.

Mega Attributes are how you use Quantum energy patterns on top of your body/mind/social stats. They're not on a scale with your normal attributes, but more like an overlay over what you have. This is reflected by losing the effectiveness of your Mega Attributes if you're drained of Quantum, or dormed down.

You don't lose your Mega atts when you run out of quantum, only when you dorm.

I guess my main objection to the rule is that it rules out too many possible character concepts for my taste, and skews costs for certain concepts way out of proportion. Plus, makes it so everyone buys high stats at character generation, and waits to buy powers gets an advantage. If they don't do that, they fall behind when buying things with xp, as those that spend their xp on powers later get much better buys then they do now. (Yes, the nova point costs for stats are already super buys, this makes them that much more vital)

Like what kind of character concepts? I don't think it skews the system..in fact I think it makes it more believable actually. Not everyone has to buy up their stats...just the ones that want those particular mega atts. To me this would make Mega Atts more "special" and rare and most Novas would only have their normal human atts to rely on and their powerset...It would actually be fun to see this house rule invoked for some kind of grittier low powered game. Make Mega att 1 and 2 seem awesome again and the real powerhouses and scary villains would have 3s 4s and 5s. Also since the xp system sucks for PbP games anyways we can award NPS after awhile so players could undergo apotheosis to the higher eschelons of mega attness...

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Like what kind of character concepts?
A Strength 4 or 5 babe should have the muscles to prove it. A Str 1, 90 pound nerd should likewise lack the muscles to prove it.

But there's nothing to prevent either from buying M-Str... but do we really want every one with M-Str to have to buy Str=5 muscles?

Mind you, that "improved system" that I bring out every now and then (where all M-Stats give 5 auto and you need a base stat of 5 to have a mega) would do that, but I fully admit this would be a side effect.

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Uh-Uh. Don't buy it. Is every baseline with a Str of 2 equally strong? The dots are a simplified way of invoking a range.

Thats one way of looking at it. And perhaps some novas work that way, but not everyone. I don't fel it necessary to buy into White Wolf pseudo scientific mumbo jumbo of how things work.

You don't lose your Mega atts when you run out of quantum, only when you dorm.

Like what kind of character concepts? I don't think it skews the system..in fact I think it makes it more believable actually. Not everyone has to buy up their stats...just the ones that want those particular mega atts. To me this would make Mega Atts more "special" and rare and most Novas would only have their normal human atts to rely on and their powerset...It would actually be fun to see this house rule invoked for some kind of grittier low powered game. Make Mega att 1 and 2 seem awesome again and the real powerhouses and scary villains would have 3s 4s and 5s. Also since the xp system sucks for PbP games anyways we can award NPS after awhile so players could undergo apotheosis to the higher eschelons of mega attness...

Hmm, a bit tired here, but off the top of my head replies....

I don't think of it as mumbo jumbo. It's the actual in setting explanation of how people's powers work. If you prefer a differing explanation of how powers work, that is your right, of course. I just find it useful to see it that way. And I thought we were referring to basic Aberrant.

Hmm, I'll have to look it up again, but I thought complete loss of Quantum did bring you down to baseline stats, I might have been playing that wrong.

And for concepts...well, how about all but one of our Ancient Aberrant characters. Artemis, for example, mortal wise wasn't that tough, though tougher then most modern people. Her Mega Stamina fit into her survival theme(And the raising of both stats later on reflected both her growing up and her growing experience with Quantum) Armor wouldn't have cut it, as it wasn't just combat toughness, but general all around Stamina. Plus, having a normal wits(To reflect that she doesn't find human social reflexes instinctive yet), yet having Mega Wits for Synergy(To work together with the "pack") fit.

Also, we might be talking at cross purposes. I mean, if you want a low powered game, that's fine. But...Mega Attributes, especially in a low powered game, should be common(As view WW's own suggestions in the main book on the matter.). And in a higher powered game, should be as common as dirt. There's never really been a time in the gameline when a Mega Attribute of one or two has been as impressive as you seem to want it to be. Also, there's too many enhancements that don't have any reflection in powers that people take for concept now(As view my example of Synergy, above), that would be locked out under this system, because the concepts don't call for high baseline stats.

So, a few questions back. Why do you see the need for Mega Attributes to be so impressive, rather then common? And how would you deal with the fallout from enhancements? And would this increase in Mega Attribute cost be matched by a corresponding increase in the cost of powers? Or, is this supposed to be a way to make powers more common then Mega Attributes?

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I am of the opinion that "Immunity to Nova Sterility Drugs" Should be at Stamina 4+ or higher, most likely no higher than Mega 5. The reason for this is as a person's immune system becomes more efficient, the more "aware" it is of alterations and things that alter the "self" function. Plus we are talking about psychological - quantum interactions and a human being subconscious would demand that reproduction be available, even if we consciously were unaware that we could not reproduce.

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Re: Mega-Stamina & the Utopian sterility agent-

Considering all the work the Development Team put into making Aberrant: A Breed Apart (Google for "a breed apart" & "mega-stamina" & you'll find the finished PDF easily), I don't think we'll be working with the Utopian sterility agent. Aside from the remote possibility of determining a 6+ dot rating where a dynamo is immune to it, that ground's been pretty well-covered AFAICT.

Re: M-Sta 3 & 4 feat listings-

These have been revised a bit. Thanks again to Anon for the mention of Caesium poisoning, Googling that is where I turned up the references to polonium poisoning.

Mega-Stamina 3

• Immune to all forms of tear gas.

• Can shrug off the impact of a 5 story fall.

• Unaffected by toxic cyanide compounds (i.e. hydrogen cyanide, sodium cyanide, potassium cyanide & mercury cyanide).

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 4

• Can shrug off being hit by a car.

• Can soak damage caused by radiation - soft radiation is considered bashing and hard radiation is considered lethal - without automatically losing Health Levels.

• Immune to HIV/AIDS, leprosy and [insert appropriate fatal disease here].

• Recover from crippling injuries in one month.

• Unaffected by caesium, polonium and irradiated thallium poisoning.

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Re: Mega-Stamina & the Utopian sterility agent-

Considering all the work the Development Team put into making Aberrant: A Breed Apart (Google for "a breed apart" & "mega-stamina" & you'll find the finished PDF easily), I don't think we'll be working with the Utopian sterility agent. Aside from the remote possibility of determining a 6+ dot rating where a dynamo is immune to it, that ground's been pretty well-covered AFAICT.

Re: M-Sta 3 & 4 feat listings-

These have been revised a bit. Thanks again to Anon for the mention of Caesium poisoning, Googling that is where I turned up the references to polonium poisoning.

Mega-Stamina 3

• Immune to all forms of tear gas.

• Can shrug off the impact of a 5 story fall.

• Unaffected by toxic cyanide compounds (i.e. hydrogen cyanide, sodium cyanide, potassium cyanide & mercury cyanide).

• x.

• x.

Mega-Stamina 4

• Can shrug off being hit by a car.

• Can soak damage caused by radiation - soft radiation is considered bashing and hard radiation is considered lethal - without automatically losing Health Levels.

• Immune to HIV/AIDS, leprosy and [insert appropriate fatal disease here].

• Recover from crippling injuries in one month.

• Unaffected by caesium, polonium and irradiated thallium poisoning.

Hmm, I have a difficulty with Leprosy being so high, given both the extremely low lethality of it(If you do have it, it can take decades for it to kill you, after all), and the rarity of even normally healthy people catching it. Also, defining immunity might make it much clearer. I mean, I can see being personally immune from the side effects of AIDS for Mega Stamina 1, then completely clear of the disease at 4, though the typhoid mary effect may be bleaker then you want.

Maybe switch leprosy with the appropriate staph strain(For the flesh eating bug), and for a nastily lethal disease, go for Ebola or one of the others with a 90%+ death rate.

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I am of the opinion that "Immunity to Nova Sterility Drugs" Should be at Stamina 4+ or higher, most likely no higher than Mega 5. The reason for this is as a person's immune system becomes more efficient, the more "aware" it is of alterations and things that alter the "self" function.
Cannon says otherwise.
Plus we are talking about psychological - quantum interactions and a human being subconscious would demand that reproduction be available, even if we consciously were unaware that we could not reproduce.
Just because you want to reproduce doesn't mean you can, nor does it mean your powers work that way. Worse, a strong argument can be made that with even one point of taint (or at the very least, one aberration), that you aren't human.

We already have Health (and the less cannon enhancement, fertility), I don't see why *all* novas with a certain level of Mega-Stamina should be forced to be able to have kids.

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Hmm, I have a difficulty with Leprosy being so high, given both the extremely low lethality of it(If you do have it, it can take decades for it to kill you, after all), and the rarity of even normally healthy people catching it. Also, defining immunity might make it much clearer. I mean, I can see being personally immune from the side effects of AIDS for Mega Stamina 1, then completely clear of the disease at 4, though the typhoid mary effect may be bleaker then you want.

Maybe switch leprosy with the appropriate staph strain (For the flesh eating bug), and for a nastily lethal disease, go for Ebola or one of the others with a 90%+ death rate.

Re: Leprosy-

FYI, I'm using the Poison quantum power (core book p. 214) as the basis for ranking leprosy & HIV/AIDS as being equivalent to keep things as simple as possible. You might have seen Alex Green's bit about physics not being our friend in Aberrant? That goes for biology as well. Besides, considering that only bioengineered germ weapons are likely to have a chance of affecting dynamos w/ Mega-Stamina 6+, I suspect that the "immune to disease feat" card is nearly played out.

Also, immunity to Ebola has already been pegged at Mega-Stamina 5.

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Apart of Nova Power, as I have read them, is that your physiology and personal limitations are what define your powers. A quantum user literally breaks physical laws in order to accomplish what they want. It is a strong underlining

theme that the only thing that limits a Nova is their own mind. Thus subconscious desires will be brought to the for front of what a nova would be able to do.

Oh, based on cannon. I could totally see a 6+ dynamo being immune to the sterility drug.

That is another thought for high end dynamos, being able to control your own sperm count or menstrual periods. You could go as far as saying that they can control when they do and do not get pregnant. This, of course, would happen around the 5 or better range.

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Apart of Nova Power, as I have read them, is that your physiology and personal limitations are what define your powers. A quantum user literally breaks physical laws in order to accomplish what they want. It is a strong underlining

theme that the only thing that limits a Nova is their own mind. Thus subconscious desires will be brought to the for front of what a nova would be able to do.

Oh, based on cannon. I could totally see a 6+ dynamo being immune to the sterility drug.

That is another thought for high end dynamos, being able to control your own sperm count or menstrual periods. You could go as far as saying that they can control when they do and do not get pregnant. This, of course, would happen around the 5 or better range.

I'll get to your other questions later but for right now I want to say that you and I clearly have a differing view of Aberrant cosmology. Novas don't break any laws of physics...in fact they use the laws of physics and the quantum forces of reality to accomplish their feats...if you subscribe to that technocratoc paradigm. I know of several Novas in rural India or Japan who who disagree with that paradigm and its that mysterious interplay that intrigues me about the setting. Science always thinks it knows and understands more than it does but the greatest scientists haven't lost their connection with mystery.

Having said that however, Novas are not Mages..they don't rewrite reality so much as work with the quantum nature of it on a level that seems like magic...and very well may be magic for all we know...after all, the ability to shoot plasma from your eyes is fantastic no matter where it comes from. The boundary between ultra-tech and supernatural is a matter of perspective. And in aberrant there is no definitive answer to whether or not God, Cain, Gaia or any of the other icons we use for Divinity are real or not. As in the real world, those are questions fo faith as much as science and science cannot answer everything.

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Re: Leprosy-

FYI, I'm using the Poison quantum power (core book p. 214) as the basis for ranking leprosy & HIV/AIDS as being equivalent to keep things as simple as possible. You might have seen Alex Green's bit about physics not being our friend in Aberrant? That goes for biology as well. Besides, considering that only bioengineered germ weapons are likely to have a chance of affecting dynamos w/ Mega-Stamina 6+, I suspect that the "immune to disease feat" card is nearly played out.

Also, immunity to Ebola has already been pegged at Mega-Stamina 5.

Eh, it still hits me as wrong, but you're right that the book puts them at that level, so I withdraw any objection. And yeah, the immunity to disease does seem to be played out by Mega Stamina 6 or so. Hmm, part of the problem I see is that most fatal diseases are covered under a lower tier. I mean, pneumonia is a heck of a killer, as is influenza, but kind of hard to put them at rank four with the listing. Smallpox/Scarlet fever, perhaps?

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Is not making the physical laws doing what you want, breaking them? Novas go against the "flow" of natural laws, either by increasing, decreasing, or redirecting them.

Novas are not mages because it not a matter of willpower. It a matter of understanding and psychology. This is why the Teragen have a leg up, they understand about a fraction more than others of how the human mind interacts with quantum forces.

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Is not making the physical laws doing what you want, breaking them? Novas go against the "flow" of natural laws, either by increasing, decreasing, or redirecting them.

Novas are not mages because it not a matter of willpower. It a matter of understanding and psychology. This is why the Teragen have a leg up, they understand about a fraction more than others of how the human mind interacts with quantum forces.

Again we disagree. Working within the purview of quantum laws is *not* the same as breaking them. And your argument about mages is flawed as well. Mages may act using will, but their effects are fueld totally by their understanding of spheres and the psychology of their paradigm.

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Then we are getting into the idea of what humans understand about quantum laws and their flexibility. That really is up to the individual ST running their aberrant game.

Concerning mages: Are we talking old WoD mages, then you are partially correct. NWoD mage is less about willpower and paradigm, as more about understand how supernal laws work and interaction with the fallen world. Though there is a measure of willpower that is needed.

I don't want to derail the main topic any more than already we have, so I would like to go back to that.

As you have already stated, looking at the different virulence/potency of diseases and poisons is a good way to gauge where their immunity should lie in the mega-stamina chart. Lets not forget about more mundane drugs (like Cocaine, Depressants, etc.) At a certain point those things become completely impotent as the dynamo's body metabolizes/neutralize them. Then there are higher end, specialized drugs that would harder to resist. (Red 7, Soma, and Mox).

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RE: M-Stamina 6+ granting control over your body's automatic functions.

I'm not sure. I think we're straying into enhancement territory since our staple examples (the Hulk, Superman) don't seem to do that. It is a staple of some of the martial arts zen type stuff I've seen though.

On of the things IMHO we need to work out here is how does sleep work? The books don't give us much guidance on this, nor on how quickly Mega-Stamina lets you go without it.

RE: What Stamina (and thus Mega-Stamina) does.

Resists drugs, poisons, pain.

Endurance. I.e. functioning for long periods of time or with less sleep.

Which of those would let you go with less food?

Would higher levels of Stamina imply a more efficient food processing ability? I.e. could you eat less than the normal nova?

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Sleep.

well, on average, the human body needs about 4 hours of rest for biological processing and about another 2-4 hours for mental recovery. A human can go with out sleep for 3 day before detrimental effects take their toil.

With this in mind, mega-attributes typical provide benefits that grow exponential as they go up in levels. Mega-stamina 1 states, in the base rule book, that a nova "can go weeks without sleep." The only other part that mentions sleep is in the Adaptability enhancement, which states that a nova does not need to sleep while the enhancement is active.

If you want to tackle the sleep issue, you need to create a system for sleeping and the effect it has on a characters that don't get sleep. I would suggest that every day a person goes with out sleep they need to make a Endurance check at standard difficulty. The difficulty goes up by +1 per additional day with out sleep. If they fail the roll the character incurs a -1 on all skill and attribute based rolls until they have a least slept for 6-8 hours. This recovering sleep will only remove one -1 penalty, so a character will need to sleep more to recover if they have more than one -1 penalty. If the character continues to push themselves after failing the sleep check, then they must continue rolling for sleep checks as usual, with the sleep dep. penalty. When the character has accrued a number of sleep dep. penalties greater than the character's stamina + mega-stamina, then they fall over unconscious due to exhaustion.

Since novas have Endurance 3 and generally good staminas, they can easily push themselves for a few days with out worry. Mega-stamina's primary benefit, when it comes to sleep, should be increasing the interval between sleep checks.

Mega-stamina 1: The character only needs to make a sleep check once every 2 days with out sleep.

Mega-stamina 2: The character only needs to make a sleep check once every 4 days with out sleep.

Mega-stamina 3: The character only needs to make a sleep check once every 6 days with out sleep.

....and so on.

This means a Mega-stamina 3 characters could easily go 3-4 weeks with out sleep by lowering the difficulty of the sleep checks to a standard difficulty. Not too shabby.

Food:

This has always been a funny thing for me. High end athletes have to consume large amounts of calories to stay in shape, but they also have systems that are incredibly efficient. I would agree that the higher the character's mega-stamina the less the dynamo needs to eat. Though it is not as dramatic of a curve when compared to sleeping. This is because as the character increases his/her mega-stamina they will have to use up more energy to support their heightened power. [side benefit: They wouldn't have to go to the bathroom as much ::biggrin ]

I would assume that your standard, nonmega-stamina, nova needs around 3 to 4 thousand calories a day to stay in good shape. A downside to a high demand of calories is that you would die of starvation faster. So a nova would starve in about 2 weeks or less if they went with out food. Most humans can go 3 weeks with out eating anything.

Mega-stamina 1: The character needs only to consume about 500 less calories than a typical nova per day.

Mega-stamina 2: The character needs only to consume about 1000 less calories than a typical nova per day.

Mega-stamina 3: The character needs only to consume about 1500 less calories than a typical nova per day.

Mega-stamina 3 is where a dynamo needs only to eat about as much as a normal human to survive. The higher levels would allow a nova to survive longer on less.

Mega-Stamina 4: The character needs only to consume about 2000 less calories than a typical nova per day, minimum of 1000 calories. The character can go a month with out food

Mega- Stamina 5: The character needs only to consume about 3000 less calories than a typical nova per day, minimum of 500 calories. The character can go a month and a half with out food.

At mega-stamina 5 the efficiency curve would cap out and 6+ would just dramatically extend how long the nova could survive with out food. This way it doesn't totally eliminate some basic biological functions, but always give a benefit nor does it step on the toes of enhancements that would eliminate such functions.

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his is because as the character increases his/her mega-stamina they will have to use up more energy to support their heightened power.

I'd suggest food intake increase with increasing Quantum, not Stamina.

Ignoring aberrations and enhancements...

The biggest food takers should be Q5 novas without Mega-Stamina.

Q1 types shouldn't be all that much more than human, Q1 types with Mega-Stamina 2 should be either human or less.

As for everything else, I'm still thinking about it.

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Mega-Stamina 7, 8, or 9

- The character can survive pressure loss or gain with out any ill effects. Example: Suddenly being exposed to the vacuum of space or sinking 200 meters to the bottom of the ocean.

Yes, this does edge close to adaptability but please note this feat does not keep you alive. A character would still die from lack of oxygen, cold, etc.

Example: The hulk goes out into outer space with out any space gear all the time. He either does this via adaptability or high mega-stamina. Since he regenerates very quick, I would suspect it's through high-end mega-stamina.

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