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Aberrant RPG - How much hope


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The whole divergence issue has brought a question to my mind. How much hope is there in Aberrant, or how much should there be? What I mean is that White Wolf presents novas as "doomed beings of great power". Taint is presented as an ever-increasing downward spiral. Should this be so?

I know that, in some sense, this is a question each storyteller has to answer, but I guess I'm trying to get a consensus. What are you guy's thoughts?

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Personally, I run my stories with the inevitability of the Aberrant War. I feel the cause of this is that novas do not get along. Be it politics, taint, Mal, or Proteus/Utopia, novas are on a collision course with destiny. I run victory as how well the characters succeed in their own goals. If an incredibly creative player wants to keep the peace, fine. Their plans do not automatically fail, but the challenges keep building as the clock ticks. How long can they keep the peace? How many lives can they save? The choices get harder and the options narrow (but never to just one. I hate being led around by the nose and I try never to do it to my players.)

I have never considered the Aberrant War a baseline vs. nova affair. Something happens to Baharain, but I do not like White Wolf's answer of the Chinese nuking it.

When the Elite book came out, it gave me some ammunition for my theories. It hints that novas are prone to violence and instability. It isn't like novas want to be comic book characters, but they like what they like and like getting what they want. It comes with godhood. Sadly, understanding and enlightenment comes later and only to a few.

Yes, I like it tragic. Despite the Teragan's attempts, most novas will succumb to taint. Fighting for your survival causes you to push yourself, which slowly incurs more taint. Likewise, you 'need' to increase your node and your quantum. More taint. Note, there is no "survivor" template in Chrysalis. Most novas will just not get it.

On a side note, hanging around here for so long has really crystalized my "dread" of Mega-Int.. Mega-Str 5, hah! It is the super brains that are the most dangerous. I both limit super-geniuses advancement and push its detachment from normal life and even 'less enlightened' novas. My best analogy is the college grad in a WORLD of first graders. The CG has no one but first graders to interact with. Life becomes somewhat maddening, don't ya think?

Well, this is my input on this one.

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Well, I'm getting close to starting up my own chronicle sometime soon. (activate Happy Dance mode) Got a couple players and working on a couple more.

It's gonna be an Elite based game and I think it's gonna be moderately dark. Gonna have to speak up for the Elites on one thing tho' Jags. Whomever wrote the Elite's Book had a pretty dim view of combat. Some hippie, liberal, pinko, commie, vegan, wussy, educated elititst probably. I actually don't think that an Elite game has to be all that dark or that Elite combat would be all that horrific. Now, I don't think it would be a walk in the park, but not the midnight in a coalshaft that was presented.

As to whether there is much hope. Nope. THERE WILL BE A WAR! CANON SAYS SO!! BOW DOWN TO THE CANON YOU DOGS!!! ugh, pant pant pant, wheeze.



Actually I really don't think there would be much hope for avoiding a war. The major differences between novas and baselines would just be too jarring to allow a growing nova segment of the population to feel like anything other than responsible for the good of all mankind. And that much responsibility I believe would lead to resentment.

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I have quite a bit of hope and I think so do some of my players. The players that are in the know, so to speak, have hope of avoiding the Aberrant War altogether. The rest still have it looming overhead. Frankly though, the fact that it is in the canon future really does not come to bear In Game too much; most players feel it isn't their characters problem anyhow as they will be room temperature by then.

Lucinda, in my world, was one of the few privelaged ones that was leaked some details from the future. She gained a bit of hope from that I believe. But even before that, she was on the track of Divergence. The philosophy is taught with that same hope.

But as far as the CANON being that the War is to take place , I just state this. If your gonna play Trinity as it is written, you have to have the War. If your just gonna try to see if you Nova can live for the thousands of years that his Mega Stamina will provide, let the players have a chance of changing Canon. All changing canon will do is affect how Trinity is played after all. :P

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James, what can baselines really do to novas outside of nukes? Even that is shaky.

Have a blast STing. Every game should be unique and fun.

Okay, on Elite combat; what do your Elites do? What kind of assignments do they go on? In the story I am working on, both Elite encounters are black to "dark side of the moon, never seen the light kind of blackness". Not really, but that is close. Also, aren't baseline interests the fuel for Elite combats?

Both of the encounters I am using are taken from recent world events. Rueters news service, the BBC World, and Jane's (it deals with weapons and weapon sales) are all good sources.

What follows is me venting some spleen, so ignore it if you like.

I know is has a happier, feel-good aspect to it, but how many Elites and Elite missions involve killing the "bad guys" and destroying some evil group/plant/cult/whatever? If the situation is that bad, why isn't Utopia being called in? They do it for free. Usually, the poor, oppressed masses are poor and oppressed because they have neither money or power. Ergo, no Elites.

I think the ratio is 25 mercs/soldiers (plus their arms, transport and other equipment) to one Elite, as a matter of cost analysis. A group is going to be freaken expensive.

It isn't that lots of money makes one evil, but good people with money tend to have hoards of legal charities and endowments they can contribute to. Evil ones want to use their money to bend/break the law to accomplish their goals. They hire Elites. If their target is also wealthy, the target hires Elites to protect them. An enormously costly stand-off.

More likely, Employer #1 hires a group of Elites to destroy a target (let's say a government building). Employer #2 hires another group to retaliate. They do a slash and burn raid through the property of Employer #1. #1 Retalitates to that retaliation. #2 Counter-Retaliates and so on. The Elites on both sides get paid (isn't working for DeVries fun?). They don't have to risk their lives by fighting each other and the countryside gets wasted. Eventually, one side can't afford the Elites anymore and capitulates or both employers agree to a nova on nova fight with winner take all. Real proxy combat.

The economic devastation should be staggering.

I see Elites being most commonly hired for things like:

Counter-Insurgeancy: (like what the Indonesians attempted in East Timor, the struggle going on in the Southern Phillipines, the religous war in the Sudan, Liberia's 'Diamond War', long suffering Angola.)

Industrial Sabotage: (undersea mining operations, petroleum platforms, air transport, frieghters, docking facilities, Labs)

Military Surgical Strikes: (government/administrative centers, military bases, Airports, ground troop concentrations, communication centers)

Defending things is much harder. Attack 10% of a corporation assets, and they probably go under. Were ever you place Elites to defend, the opposition his somewhere else. Defend the factory and they hit the transportation network, or some key workers at their homes, or some other weak point. Your insurance rate skyrockets.

Defense is a losing proposition.

Rant over.

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The Aeon Society lying? eekeekeek

Say it ain't so, Jack! Say it ain't so!

Funny how they sort of gloss over the whole Proteus plot to sterilize novas. Do you think it might make them somewhat less sympathetic?

If anything good comes out of the war, it is that fewer people trust Aeon in the Trinity timeline.

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Originally posted by Jack Chance:
Another hair to split is how bad the war really is going to be. Most of the events, not all, that really stand out in Trinity's history books are misunderstandings or blantant lies about what actually happened.

Yeah I'd have to agree with that. We know that enough of the events didn't happen as shown in Trinity to be suspicious about the rest. The OpNet crash is the obvious one of course.

And if you take the rules for creating Trinity era aberrants/novas in the Aberrant rule book at face value then something must have gone seriously wrong during the war. Something that had a severely adverse effect on novas.

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Adventure hints at what that might have been. The running conspiracy theory is that Divas Mal recreated the experiment that made him back in 1921. In 1998, he causes a momentary spike in the quantum which allows novas to appear. That spike fades over time, thus fewer novas are created and it becomes harder (more taint-related) to use quantum.

By the Trinity timeline, that spike is toast, but then the Norca do their thing and both novas and psions become a 'normal' part of existance.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, int he Wrold I normally play in a NPC came form the future to stop the war.He wasone the frist novas in true deep space, long story short..He was goign to go public that he erupted 1989,and was black mailed to keep silent..He left earth for many years, cam back after the war, and was dvastated at what happened.. he somehow went back in time, threw of his powers he never knew about.. saw the war..At least glimppes of itt, at frist it started at utopia and the human verus the tarats,then it turned into basselines ,utopia and trats fighting..in the end only a few novas were figthting for the baselines anymore.

In his time in space he learned a new way to clense himself of taint..And ways to use it..It took much longer than the way the trats did,and didn't give as much power but it was a more clean way to .. but back to the point.THe war was coming, the only things that we as players could change was the outcome, and the time of the war.In the longest game the we played, the war was won..novas left earth still, but some the most powerful novas on the good guys stated in the sol system

Most note worthly wuld have been the "daughter" of Mal.His DNa was Mixed with a the dna of a female nova.

Then you had the30 odd novas on venus..and others in the less friendly planets...At last record there were 200 novas int he Sol sysytem,att least 10 of them having q of 7+

but then agian my group was a bit into power gaming sometimes...

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