Jump to content

Aberrant RPG - Removing Taint


Recommended Posts

I know that this is a hot button topic around here. In another thread I mentioned that I had some ideas about removing Taint permanently and that I would post them later.

Well that time is now. In general I had been thinking in terms of any TT games I might run. I was tenatively thinking about having a small group of independant novas forming a tiny (intially 5 members or less) faction and trying to get their message out.

I tried to make the process of Taint removal difficult and costly in terms of power loss. IMO if you want power without taint then Chrysalis is what you are looking for. If you are looking to stay human then my method is called for.

The time constraints are also a big issue IMO. Can anyone really see Pax taking more than half a year off to deal with taint? Would Utopia or any of the other major groups tamely let their novas take that much downtime?

Anyway feedbacks and comments are welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Humanitis: the path of Humanity

“The Teragen are rumored to have ways to control or even remove the effects of what is commonly called ‘taint’. I don’t know about that, but I do know that we have a way that works. It requires sacrifice and patience, but in the end can take care of all the nasty things that ‘taint’ brings with it.” - Sam ‘Vitas’ Smith

The Teragen revel in their status as members of the ‘one race.’ They seek to master their own evolution as Marvels, Monsters, or Portends and by use of the process called Chrysalis. Through Chrysalis they gain power as they move further and further from their humanity.

Humanitis takes a very different approach. This process can strip away power and dramatically slow the evolution of a nova, but it will keep them close to their original human nature and drain away both taint and it’s effects.

Humanitis and Chrysalis are dramatically opposed paths and a single individual cannot follow both. Once a nova undergoes Chrysalis they can never start Humanitis. Similarly once a nova undergoes Humantis they are barred from Chrysalis.

Following the Path of Humanity can be difficult for some novas. To be eligible to undergo Humanitis a nova must spend at least half of their time ‘Dormed Down’ for a full six months. Spending time as a ‘normal’ human prepares the nova’s body, mind, and node for the full experience of Humanitis.

Novas who follow the Path of Humanity often spend time with their nodes dormant even when not preparing for Humanitis proper. They accept their novahood, but continually strive to balance their powers with their sense of what it means to be human. They fully believe that being a Nova does not mean that one cannot also be human.

Training in meditation techniques and the ability to turn ones node off are encouraged for all novas seeking to follow the Path of Humanity.


Prior to entering Humanitis a nova must have spent at least half of their time Dormant for six months and have at least 10 experience points saved up.

Once these requirements are met the nova must enter a state of deep meditation and then turn their node off. The nova then rolls Meditation + Dormancy and spends a permanent point of Willpower. Each success rolled enables the nova to remove one point of taint and any associated social penalties or aberrations.

However removing taint this way has a cost. Along with the taint whatever was causing it is also removed.

• First for each point of taint removed the nova looses one point of Quantum of 5 or more until their Quantum is reduced to 4.

• Then they loose one dot in a power that was bought tainted for each point of taint removed. This starts with the power with the most tainted dots and ends when all tainted dots have been removed or a power is reduced to one dot. If that last dot was also bought tainted then the nova must pay the experience point difference between buying that first dot of the power tainted and untainted.

• Next one dot in Node is removed for each point of taint lost until the Node rating no longer causes taint in the nova. This will be node 2 for all novas without Mega Intelligence with the Taint Resistance enhancement.

• Any remaining dots of taint are removed by spending 10 experience points per dot.

When taint is removed by Humanitis all of its side effects are removed as well including penalties for interacting with non-novas and aberrations.

The duration of Humanitis is one month per every two points of temporary taint the nova has upon entering Humanitis (round up) plus one month per ever point per every point of permanent taint removed.

During this period the nova cannot leave the dormant state. Their node is not only turned off, it is locked. It is simply not possible for them to use their powers at all until the Humanitis ends. This can be a particularly dangerous time for a nova who has made enemies.

It is possible for a nova to spend experience points on anything that does not give them taint at the end of the Humanitis. Many a nova has emerged changed by the experience. The end of a Humanitis has been compared to a mini-eruption.

A nova may buy back dots lost from tainted powers at half price at the end of Humanitis or at any time after. They are in effect regaining powers in an untainted way.

Lost Quantum and Node dots can also be bought back at half cost, but only well after their Humanitis had ended. They will gain taint normally when buying these traits back.

If a nova’s Quantum is reduced below the Quantum Minimum for a particular power they loose the ability to use that power until they regain the lost Quantum. If a nova is reduced below Quantum 6 then they loose the effects of any Mastery they have bought until their Quantum is once again 6 or higher, however they can still use the Mastered power.

One thing that is curiously unaffected by losing Quantum is the number and effect of “free Extras” that can be bought for powers by novas with high Quantum. Even if a nova’s Quantum is currently ‘too low’ to qualify for the free extra they can use any said extras that they have already bought. However they cannot buy new ‘free extras’ until their Quantum is permanently raised back to the needed level.

If a nova has more than 5 dots in a power or mega-attributes above 5 and their Quantum is reduced below 6 then they are restricted to a rating of 5 until their Quantum goes back up. They do not loose the ratings above 5, they just cannot use them until they have the appropriate Quantum score.

Interestingly a nova’s Quantum Pool also is not affected by having the Quantum score lowered. However the nova also does not gain extra points of Quantum Pool when buying back lost Quantum with experience.


Among other things Sam ‘Vitas’ Smith has Meditation -3, Dormancy -4, Quantum -6, Healing -4 (1 dot was bought tainted and he has the Mastery extra on this power), Biomanipulation- 1 (was bought tainted), Node -4, Temporary Taint-3, and Taint- 6. Sam has 2 minor aberrations, Odd Skin and Aberrant Eyes, and 1 midlevel aberration, Hormonal Imbalance, Rage. He has 16 unspent XP.

Sam can’t seem to keep when he is and isn’t dormed down straight so he spends 3 months solid dormant to qualify for Humanitis.

After 3 months Sam powers up and enters meditation. He rolls Meditation (3) + Dormancy (4), or 7 dice. Sam gets lucky and rolls 5 successes.

The duration of his Humanitis will be 7 months, 2 used getting rid of Temporary Taint plus 5 used to remove permanent taint.

When his Humanitis ends Sam will have lost 5 points of taint and have no temporary taint. However this will have cost him 2 points of Quantum (brining his Quantum down to 4), 1 dot of Healing, and 1 dot of Node. He will also have had to spend 5 experience points (the difference between buying the first dot of Biomanipulation tainted and untainted). Since his quantum is below 6 he will also be unable to benefit from the effects of Mastery on his Healing power.

Sam will loose all aberrations, since his taint is falling below 4, and will loose all social penalties from his previous level of taint.

Sam elects to spend his remaining 11 experience points to buy back the lost dot of Healing (half cost for buying Healing -3 to 4).

When all is said and done Sam looks like this after his Humanitis: Meditation -3, Dormancy -4, Quantum -4, Healing -4 (Mastery extra currently unusable), Biomanipulation- 1 (currently unusable), Node -3, Temporary Taint-0, and Taint- 1.

He will be able to buy back Quantum 5 and 6 at half cost later, but will gain taint for them normally. Once Quantum reaches 6 again his Mastery and Biomanipulation will both become useable. He may also buy back Node- 4 at half cost.

Including his preparation time he will have spent 10 months, nearly a year, dormant.

Quantum Boost

Level: 3

Quantum Minimum: Special

Dice Pool: Quantum Boost

Area: Self

Range: Self

Duration: Special

Multiple Actions: No


Quantum Boost is a power developed by novas on the Path of Humanity that allows them to temporarily boost their Quantum score back to the level it was before undergoing Humanitis. Using it allows them to access powers and extras like Mastery that they would otherwise be unable to use after having their Quantum score lowered.

A nova can only buy Quantum Boost after undergoing Humanitis. They may buy one dot of Quantum boost per point of Quantum above 4 that they have lost. So a if a nova had Q-7 prior to Humanitis and is reduced to Q-5 then they can buy two dots of Quantum Boost. Quantum Boost can never raise a nova’s Quantum trait above a level he had prior to Humanitis.

The duration of Quantum Boost is identical to the normal Boost power.

When using Quantum Boost the nova must spend 3 nova points and then roll a number of dice equal to their Quantum Boost score. Each success temporarily raises their Quantum score by one. It is possible to use Quantum Boost multiple times but the absolute maximum that Quantum may be raised is equal to the nova’s dots in Quantum Boost. So the a Nova with Q-4 and 4 dots of Quantum Boost could keep using Quantum Boost until he had a maximum of 4 successes, at which point his he would be at Q-8.

Quantum Boost has other major limitations. This power may not have any extras applied to it including, but not limited to, mastery. Strengths and Weaknesses also may not be applied to this power. A nova may never Max Out the Quantum Boost powe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did something like this.I did not come up with a name..But here is where it differs.

Well it is the same a Chrysalis,expect that ..You turn your taint into psi.You coudl use a diffent term if you want.The idea stays the same.

Now once this presses starts there is no turning back.

There are three paths,but you can come up with your own.So I will get to the core thigns I changed.

One psi does nto react to taint very well.Duh so you get the social things when dealing with taint and Chrysalis in novas.Not base lines.

You have to reduce your taint as soon as you can.. withc changed it from tainto to psi.

As soon as you have a psi of five, whenever you gain a termpary point of tain it is one of psi.

When you have a psi of ten you are not longer a "nova"..You Use the same powers but you can only have dots in powers equal to your"quantum" minus the minnal dots inthe power..IE no level six powers, but you can have level 5 power with like one too three dots?

In my world and the world I normal play in this how the proxies came to be. But it is jsut and idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RE: Humanitis

Expensive! I like it! It looks even better than Chrysalis. By that I mean that you really suffer for doing it, and it would be possible to actually do it (how often have *you* actually botched a power roll?)

Mind you, it is very table top-ish, which may make it unfeasable here in our shared universe, but this actually comes close to hopping that barrier. Considering that dorming for long periods of time is already the known way to get rid of (temp)taint.

One question, I assume the aberations get smoothed out with the lost of taint?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:
One question, I assume the aberations get smoothed out with the lost of taint?
Yep, they do.

Glad you like it.

I have lots of fun imagining the friction this would cause with the Teragen novas following their various paths. The Teragen folks would see the novas undergoing Humanitis as betraying their heritage as a member of the one race. Few of them would understand why a nova would choose to become more like a monkey and sacrifice power to do so.

The novas on the Path of Humanity on the other hand would probably view the Teragen folks as betraying the human society that gave them birth. The Teragen’s trade of humanity for power and ‘evolution’ would be viewed as a costly shortcut … almost as bad as simply falling to taint.

IMO something like this would add to the nature vs nurture argument that seems to be at the heart of the Teragen vs Utopia/etc. divide, and does so without making Utopia perfect or the Teragen just evil monsters. It sets up the possibility of having a real debate on how a nova should best approach their future development.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...