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Aberrant RPG - Death and powers.


Wakinyan
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Another stumper that came from my chat with Bandwidth and Prodigy was about powers after a Novas death.

Basically would one retain power and forms they had as a Nova in death. Would they retain any remnants of Quantum energy within them? Would someone like Gentle Giant remain huge if he died or would he revert to his human size once more? If andy vance died would he leave a nigh indestructible corpse behind. Would a taint transformed Novas like Leviathan or Totem return to their human forms once more? Or would all the power and transformations leave them the moment they left the earthly coil?

Is their any book support to back either case of this up? The only thing I can think of is the Expose' Aberrant cover showing a Nova dissection which supports the idea that they retain their quantum expressions even in death. Anything else?

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I can say that if GG dies, he's not reverting. That's part of why he can't learn dormancy. His node has actually BUILT his new body, it's not just a quantum projection.

It can go either way, I think. Energy effects are (IMHO) generated by the node and wouldn't stick around after death. Physical effects are either field-projections from the node, or else actual changes to the body's composition. Basically, it's player and GM discretion at that point.

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Anything with a duration (Bodymorph, Shapeshift, etc) would go away, and it would probably do so immediately upon death, rather than at the end of the duration (since they would probably require the nova to be quantum-active).

If it is a Body Mod, an aberration, or something permanent like that which manifests physically (certain manifestations of Armor and Invincibility, probably some other things), it would probably stick around, since those are actual physical alterations. There, though, there might be some last gasp of the nova's perception of his/her powers that makes the effect disappear upon death. (Probably not common.) As GG said, the body is actually different, and doesn't require quantum activity to sustain.

If it is something like a glow, or sparks, or some other phenomenon that isn't just a change to the body, but requires some level of quantum activity, that too would probably vanish as the nova died.

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I would say it depends on the circumstances regarding the character. Powers like Armor and Invunerability may be permenent but they do require that you be a Nova and actually have an active node to use. They can be disrupted, basically made to go away. Even powers that are made permenent by taint such as GG can be disrupted. I would say that death is a pretty potent form of disrupt.

Now, if the physical body has undergone a chemical change, such as Conduit becoming copper metal instead of flesh, that would need to be looked at under it's own light.

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How about rule supported?

,,
Quote:
Alex Craft: If it is a Body Mod, an aberration, or something permanent like that which manifests physically (certain manifestations of Armor and Invincibility, probably some other things), it would probably stick around, since those are actual physical alterations. … As GG said, the body is actually different, and doesn't require quantum activity to sustain.
All of these things actually require quantum to sustain, even things that don’t take juice like permanent powers or mega-stats. GG’s claims to the contrary, without quantum support his bones would break and his internal organs would collapse from his own weight.

In theory, there is nothing to prevent GG from getting four dots of Dorm and learning how to shrink. In theory, there is nothing to prevent Sloppy Joe from getting 5 dots of dorm and learning how to grow back his body.

In theory.

In practice the ST can and should make exceptions when appropriate.

Sloppy Joe dies and stays a puddle of acidic slime. In order to learn Dorm 5 the ST says he needs in game justification (like chrysalis).

After all, there is nothing in theory to prevent someone buying five dots of influence or mentor either.

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"All of these things actually require quantum to sustain, even things that don’t take juice like permanent powers or mega-stats. GG’s claims to the contrary, without quantum support his bones would break and his internal organs would collapse from his own weight."

Or maybe the quantum is what is sustaining the function? A more extreme example would be someone who is permanently metal or stone (or whatever). That body can't function without quantum, but is it the form of the body that is quantum powered, or is the quantum making the person live?

Really, you could argue either way, and the more likely truth is that it works both ways, depending on the nova and how that specific nova does what he/she does.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Sakurako Endeavor Hino:
Sakurako... she'll fade. Jedi style.

After all, our characters are Novas. We should die differently. It's the stuff of legend.
I disagree. Autopsies are routinely performed on nova corpses. A corpse in the real world is still a corpse.

Nothing in the AB books anywhere hints that something like that is possible. If so, there'd be far more of a "mystical" paradigm surrounding novas.
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I agree with Ashnod that a corpse is just that. Although I could certainly see someone with obvious energy-based taint that sticks around for a while and slowly fades out (like Ashnod's eyes/spatial rip, or Sakurako's hair). Kind of like a capacitor losing its charge once the current is cut off.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ashnod:
Quote:
Originally posted by Sakurako Endeavor Hino:
Sakurako... she'll fade. Jedi style.

After all, our characters are Novas. We should die differently. It's the stuff of legend.
I disagree. Autopsies are routinely performed on nova corpses. A corpse in the real world is still a corpse.

Nothing in the AB books anywhere hints that something like that is possible. If so, there'd be far more of a "mystical" paradigm surrounding novas.
Or perhaps it was the Nova's paradigm before they died that they had a more mystical bend to their abilities, and when they died... poof... gone.
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Seems extremely unlikely to me.

Dead is dead, and without some kind of effect put in place to accomplish any kind of "mystical" dissolution of the body, it isn't going to happen regardless of what is believed.

Aside from that, I was referring to the overall world paradigm of novas in general.

The only argument I can see you making convincingly on this point is a nova who has permanently transformed into energy already.

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Well, you could come up with other examples, like a nova whose body - while apparently normal - is molecularly unstable and will fall apart without the quantum flowing. However, these kinds of examples would be v. rare.

Mostly, I'd tend to agree - after the nova is dead, nothing weird should happen unless the nova had a very weird body beforehand. With no node working, quantum phenomena shouldn't be able to happen.

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I don't know, it just seems more cinematic for a nova's death to be determined on a case by case basis. Hell, anyone with weird body mods or obvious taint might effectively implode once cut off from quantum via death.

And we can't really blast any idea as being too "mystical"...since any quantum psuedo-science could eventually explain anything....even if someone's body turns to a hundred pink frogs as they die.

Then again, I don't play a game like this for the science of it. I think we're arguing a style thing here, since no one's cited any book support yet.

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Aberrations, Always On Powers, and Bodymodifications should/could remain.

Also, I don't believe Maintance powers fade until they are failed to be maintained, so that could lead to some funky resolutions ... such as a Density Decreased person sinking down into the earth, or a Bodymophed (eletricity) person falling into a body of water and dissipating, ect.

While I would like to feel we could leave each individuals corpse to their player's design, I think that in most cases, and explaination for the oddity of it should be explained.

If you dissepate into the air (jedi style), I would like to know why -rules mechanically, that is.

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The counter example for all of these is "SuperBeast". The guy can turn off his node and when he does his body drastically changes. If he died I expect he'd shift human.

I was going to site the Trinity Abbies as a counter example, i.e. they had to have their DNA examined to figure out they were human. But I guess it's possible all they had left was a red smear somewhere.

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Not sure about the Trin aberrants, but I suspect you're right - in the one or two cases in the published modules where the players fight aberrants, there certainly isn't any mention made of the dead bugs turning into humans. In fact, I think I recall the freakish dead body of an aberrant being found in the basement of a Lunar medical facility (Beaulac?).

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I think he was a cyborg... but that still indicates what the Trinity types expected to happen.

However, the majority of Trinity abbies are "3rd generation" weaklings. This probably means they are baselines converted into shock troops (i.e. cannon fodder) by the Colony or one of his minions.

If that is the case I would expect they wouldn't shift back since their aberrations aren't depending on a node anywhere. Similarly, if someone had their age altered by an Abby and then the Abby dies, they don't get their original age back.

This implies that some aberrations are "real" but some are just generated by a node. At a guess, most true novas aberrations are of the "generated" sort. If learning dorm=5 gets rid of them then that's a good hint.

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Quote:
Originally spoken by Ashnod:
If so, there'd be far more of a "mystical" paradigm surrounding novas.
Sorry but I just gotta be the one... You mean mystical like a shadowy arcane philosophy based on the supposed ability to channel poorly understood energies by "the power of thought" to achieve personal transformations?

laugh

Jokes aside, there are mystical elements in the game - Sluice's explanations to Leland concerning "quantum funneling" apply here - but the fact is that one man's mysticism is another man's science. Its all in how you want to see it as Juri or Lemmy would explain IC.

On topic and regarding corpses... Did (Chang?) blow himself up when he lost control in the company of Zim at the Kashmir battle or did he become radiant energy? Following the riots in Ibiza, why does the corpse of the electricity manipulating nova start discharging electricity when she'd been dead for hours? Its not as if her node actually stored electricity and since she was dead there should have been no conscious manipulation of quantum into faux electricity.

Personal opinion here but I'd say there's enough ambiguity to invoke the clause that every nova is different. Yes, the majority follow the rules you'd expect and leave corpse, sometimes even very aberrated ones. Just my opinion but I'd say the aberrated ones are examples of the 'taint' changing their physical makeup. There's usually (usually meaning there's no examples of it but that doesn't mean its impossible) no changes to the DNA, rather the changes from taint are physical reflections of something caused by changes to the energy signature of the nova. For instance a nova has horns because his quantum signature says he has horns not because his DNA has been rewritten to include horns.

Do some novas not leave typical flesh and blood corpses? Sure, why not. A great question someone asked already; is the coppery skinned nova using quantum to give his body the properties of copper or is he transformed into copper and using his quatum energy to maintain an organic existence when his form is no longer organic?

I personally use taint and its associated aberrations as a guideline as to whether that nova is going to leave a copper statue or a flesh and blood corpse behind.
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You never heard of blowing a roll? That gives us number three;

3) He lost control and something unexpected and "bad" for Chang happened. Possibilities are (not limited to) blowing up, merging with the energy field of the planet or transcending to a completely new state of being with his matter body subsuming into energy in his wake.

The only things I am willing to say for certain are that there was no corpse, he was throwing around some serious juice and no one has seen him since it happened. I don't especially lean towards any of the three possibile outcomes. One of them happened and that's enough for me since it wasn't my story to tell.

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Always a mistake to theorize from one example... wink

When you start collating many examples and theorizing, it seems that a single general trend emerges with many exceptions. You can disregard the exceptions by pointing to the developers, story over mechanics, or you can just acknowledge there are exceptions. Since the rules specifically state there are exceptions where quantum comes into play...

I have no problem with something happening that was not the result of rolling 2d10 and consulting the Official Random Fx Chart.

laugh

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