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Aberrant RPG - Mega Appearance and shapeshifting


iamthedave
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I got to thinking about this. I'm designing what amounts to the ultimate seductress. But it occurred to me, wouldn't it be obvious that they're a nova instantly? Mega stats being what they are, they're not subtle. Wouldn't a nova with mega appearance betray their existence even with copycat?

Or can they 'turn off' their mega appearance? It always seems odd to me because Mega Appearance is an obviously physical thing. They just ARE gorgeous to a superhuman degree. But wouldn't that necessarily make shapeshifting into other people a lost cause? You might look like someone else, but that person is obviously a nova.

Or am I missing something?

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Well, both are qualities bestowed by the nova's ability to channel and hold quantum. My guess would be that since Shapeshift is an "active" power where the nova is consciously flexing their quantum, that it supersedes the "passive" quality of their Mega Appearance.

That's just my thought on it, and I'm quite the opposite of a rules expert. That's how I would run for rp purposes.

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Don't forget that Mega-Appearance also includes enhancements, like Mr. Nobody, making it hard for people to notice you, and don't forget the Mega-Manipulation enhancement, Subtle, which affects all mega-socials.

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If you're trying to build a woman more attractive than any on Earth, then yes, she's going to be obviously a nova. (All though the ST might rule that low levels of Mega-App just make you absurdly attractive without putting a sign on your neck).

Think of it this way; A high end baseline, say App=5 Style=5 is going to attract a lot of attention. With that attention maybe some people mistake her for a nova, others realize she's not, still others aren't sure.

On the other hand if you're actively trying to have it both ways, i.e. build a stealth nova seductress, then you don't *have* to have mega-app. Mega-Chr (Seductive) works pretty darn well too.

Or if you really want to be mean, you could get Mega-Chr AND Mega-App(Ms. Nobody) which drops your noticed App to baseline, but you're still rolling mega-dice for all app based rolls.

This is why that cannon satan worshiper nova works like he does.

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I was specifically thinking about the mega appearance enhancements Copycat and Appearance Alteration (though I know Appearance Alteration does specifically say you'd still be recognizable).

The character in question does only have Mega Appearance 1; but has pretty much every enhancement and several powers you could want to make her better at seducing people.

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Keep in mind that Appearance Alteration is just that: Appearance Alteration. There is no reason why, when used in conjunction with the Copycat enhancement, that the nova could not 'mask' their Mega-App by copying someone without that particular attribute. How could you copycat someone with Mega-App if they don't possess Mega-App? Assume that the Copycat enhancement bestows upon the nova whatever appearance score that's being copied (which may negate the nova's own Mega-App temporarily to assist in pulling off the illusion). Any use of Mega-App during this time, might very well break the disguise, since something is just too perfect about 'Average Joe' now.

Also, it should be noted, that the Mr. Nobody enhancement does not permit the use of Mega-App dice while activated. It specifically states "for all intents and purposes he has Appearance of 2 - average". 'Average' people do not have Mega-App scores, even if they did since the score is rated at 2 now all the Mega-Dice exceeding 2 would be negated by the ability reduction. While this enhancement is in effect you have only 2 dice, plus those gained from your abilities to apply to your Appearance based skill rolls.

On the plus side, it still removes 2 points of taint +1 per dot of Mega-Appearance while activated, providing they aren't obviously physical Abberations.

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Well what about the 'Seductive Looks' enhancement? That one's sort of shapeshifty as well, because you change to suit the desires of your target. More directly than Appearance Alteration as well, I assume.

Would that one be obvious you're supernatural, or not?

I suppose it's a wooly kind of area and I could just say 'this is how it goes' but I have a strange compulsion to figure out how it is 'supposed' to be.

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Originally Posted By: iamthedave
Well what about the 'Seductive Looks' enhancement? That one's sort of shapeshifty as well, because you change to suit the desires of your target. More directly than Appearance Alteration as well, I assume.

Would that one be obvious you're supernatural, or not?

I suppose it's a wooly kind of area and I could just say 'this is how it goes' but I have a strange compulsion to figure out how it is 'supposed' to be.


Well, lets put aside super powers for a second and talk science. First, I'm no expert on quantum physics or some super science buff. I am, however, a guy that enjoys studying things so that he can better understand the nature of the games her plays. Some good ole Science can actually help you to better understand some of the things you'd like your PCs or NPCs to be capable of doing.

Let's look at Seductive and Seductive Looks for a moment. What's the first question that springs to mind when you read those two Enhancements? Mine was:

Well, how does the nova know without some sort of telepathy or mind-reading power? How can the nova just know what someone is attracted to in someone else?

Here's an answer I heard once...

"They're a nova. Their node just 'scans' the other person and feeds the info to the nova."

That's shit was pretty weak in my opinion, so I started doing research into how people are are attracted to one another. Namely this stems back to everyone's favorite scientific excuse of pheromones. Yep, those. You know those things that for some reason people think that just because you have them men will go gay for you and women will sleep with animals just because they have a high pheromone output. Seriously, it's been said before.

Fact is, did you know that your body (not you, per se) knows if it likes someone within the first few moments of meeting them? It's true. So many things are going on in our brain, and while we may actually think so-and-so is a pretty decent guy or gal, our brain has already told the body 'narp' or 'yarp' long before we've even finished shaking hands. This doesn't mean that everyone we've like or disliked in our lives has been controlled by this process, as humans we have free will and more often than not we override this process for the sake of politeness. I mean, really, haven't you ever tolerated someone you felt kinda 'ify' about just because deep down you just wanted to give them a chance? Well, the longer you override that process and give them a chance, the more the brain adjusts itself to what you want.

So, let's get back into the enhancements and how a nova could use science to their advantage.

Seductive Looks: This is a physical change enhancement, but what does that mean? It states that the nova adjusts his or her features to better suit what the target finds desirable. Now the problem with that description is that it sounds way to broad. People, especially RPing geeks like us, have a habit of not thinking small. Take Courier for example, if I, the ST, said the target really thought spiders were the sexiest things on the planet than he'd assume Seductive Looks would allow him to look like a human spider and proceed to give a 10,000 word dissertation on why, according to canon, that makes sense.

Let's think small for a second though. When women, for example, are ovulating they end to look for men with square jawlines, thin lips and broad shoulders. This marks them as good gene carriers and better mates. Large waste lines generally mean lower testosterone production, which as men we know equals a lesser sex drive. So how does the woman know all this crap? Simple, she doesn't, but her body does. So how is the nova going to know this? Simple, her pheromones. These little beauties are inhaled and begin to tell the nova's brain everything he needs to know about what the target looks for, genetically, in her prospective mate. Slowly and subtlety these changes take place. The jawline doesn't just pop out and square itself, that'd be gross, but over the course of casual conversation the target barely notices that the shoulders are more broader than she realized, the pecs more defined, the jawline... just right. Remember, subtle changes are often not noticed by the mind, especially when the node compliments the subtle changes with a light dose of it's own pheromones to keep the perspective skewed.

So what can't it do? Simple, it can't make a woman want to have sex with a griffin. Period.

Seductive: Ah, the mental counterpart to Seductive Looks. So how's this little beauty work? No it does not make you suddenly know every hobby of the target or grant you some supernatural means of being able to carry your own in a philosophical debate on something you know nothing about.

Fact of the matter is, really hot women are attracted to rather ugly guys sometimes, do you know why? No, it's not because they have a chocolate cock that ejaculates diamonds. They are attracted to the mental aspect of what women want. Alpha males, so to speak. Guys who take the reigns and are not afraid to make decisions and speak their minds. Men who value themselves and broadcast through their body language that they possess a high self worth. No, I'm not talking about being an arrogant prick, I'm talking about a guy who can stand up and treat a woman as his equal, not be her lapdog and cower before her every demand.

90% of our communication is non-verbal. Did you know that? Kinda funky huh? That means that if you are a salesman that doesn't smile, you're never going to sell anything. The brain sees far more than we think and it processes all sorts of things about the way a person carries themselves as we interact.

Seductive takes that info, again which can be derived from the pheromones of a subject, and then subtly processes that info into something the nova can use to lure the person in through body language and confidence. Thanks to the targets preferences, which are actually encoded into pheromones, the nova doesn't accidentally come off as overbearing, or is just overbearing enough. It all depends on the target.

No mind reading is needed.

Now, I've used the man/woman example throughout this. Men are a bit different when it comes to what they desire in a woman, but honestly it's so little of a distinction that it shouldn't affect the game world you play in. Aside from the obvious jokes that men look for more physical than mental, remember that I'm not talking about what men want, I'm talking about what their bodies want. Under all the bullshit keep in mind that chemically a man desires a whole lot more than we give ourselves credit for. Think about that when you use a woman to seduce a man a man in your campaigns.

And that's my rant, hope it was informative.
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