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Aberrant RPG - Mega-Appearance and 'Almost Live'


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Consider a nova with Mega-Appearance 5 but without the 'Almost Live' enhancement. Her physical shape is superb (perfect skin, great cheekbones, etc) but actual physical appearance can only have so much of an effect. I assume part of Mega-Appearance is a telepathic ability tickling the brains of admirers to react intensely.

So what do people make of these novas who are incredibly beautiful on TV, but capable of virtual mind control in person? Wouldn't this be treated with incredible paranoia and fear? Those who have been in their presence might not be willing to act against them, but I would think that everyone else would be paranoid with fear, seeing people reduced to obsequious minions on TV. Or is the public tolerance of what amounts to mind control due to exercise of such control by Utopia/the Teragen/whatever?

Narcosis is known to have the 'Almost Live' enhancement from the Teragen book, so shouldn't she have literally millions of obsessed stalkers?

Basically it seems to me that Mega-Appearance without TV projection means the beautiful novas will be quarantined, while novas (and other Mega-Socials) with that enhancement should have Quantum and Mega-Appearance 8.

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Since when was having a mind or emotion-controlling power a reason for being quarantined in Aberrant? Didn't Bender (or whoever) from Utopia have emotional manipulation out the wazoo?

Still, your kinda weird opinions on Mega-Appearance sound kind of cool for a campaign shaped around it.

On a side note, have you ever seen a Supermodel get interviewed on Television? It strikes me as kind of close to what you were describing. And no, it didn't make me paranoid and want to quarantine all Super-models.

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I want to make most super-models eat..Damn a lot of them are skinny..When i see those show,I think about running up on stage with apizza in hand and force feeding them,,,

But back on topic, the only thing new about good looking novas is the level in witch they look. You have people who get cult followings for little or no reason at all.

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Quote:
billy Horrorshow:Since when was having a mind or emotion-controlling power a reason for being quarantined in Aberrant? Didn't Bender (or whoever) from Utopia have emotional manipulation out the wazoo?
Corbin had the "bender" power, and that was outright emotion manipulation.

The Mega-Social powers are supposed to be pretty subtle... not that this doesn't make the less scary.

One problem is the conversion between the game text and the game mechanics. You know and I know that a baseline with a willpower of three has NO chance to avoid manipulation from a high level nova, even without the enhancements. But the real world doesn't know about dice or willpower ratings. It isn't all that unusual an idea for a Con man to be able to fool the typical person.
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I think that the analogies to real world supermodels are bogus. Someone with Mega-Appearance 1 is as attractive relative to the supermodel as the latter is to the girl next door. Someone with Mega-Appearance 5 is several orders beyond that, like seeing the face of God. If some centrefold girl can get thousands of admirers, then the Mega-App 5 nova should lead to everyone who meets her becoming obsessed: if she has almost live then 50+% of the ENTIRE WORLD (I remember one character was described as unsure whether her attraction to another female nova was due to Mega-Appearance, as she had previously had only heterosexual impulses) might fall into that category. If she expresses distaste for someone it is likely that dozens or hundreds of admirers will attempt to assassinate the boor. Rejected suitors should be committing suicide all the time.

If the nova doesn't have Almost Live, then people who haven't met her will notice the extreme difference between their own reactions to her beauty and the insane reactions of those who actually meet her. Then you get the paranoia about mind control because there is clearly more than the physical appearance.

On Bender: consider the difference between someone who CAN influence emotions for a very short time but who usually does not versus people who do it continually to everyone they meet and move in rareified social circles where they are likely to encounter very influential individuals.

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From a mechanics perspective, you should remember that there is a maximum success level (usually 5) for most things, and the enhancements that generate auto-successes require quantum to be spent (I would assume one per target, since auto-successes are ridiculously powerful). So, the best a mega-app 5 nova can do is still only as good as a supermodel on a good day (5 successes).

From an in-character perspective, it's much the same. There will always be stalkers and obsessives. But these people are generally mentally unwell (they get treatment for mental illness and get better), so there are limits to the number of people who will become that suicidal/homicidal over you. Everyone else will just find you completely compelling, but once they stop looking, the obsession is over (aside from daydreams).

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Alchemist, that's a decisive point. So most high Mega-App novas will have the maximum impact attraction can have on you, but that will be limited by the person's psychology. OTH, 5 successes is a supermodel on a VERY good day, so we would expect novas to attract a very high proportion of the potential stalker pool, but that's to be expected.

That does limit the potential for fanatical followers. OTH the political impact (which requires only light influence, but exerted over a great number of people) would seem to be undiminished.

So what do people think 5 successes should allow?

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It's a White Wolf convention. I don't know the Aberrant rulebook specifically well enough to state that it exists as such in there without going and looking.

The 5-success cap appears to apply to anything where different levels of success grant different effects (such as social effects, or perception successes). It does not seem to apply where the effects are mathematical (successes for teleportation/telekinesis), or just add dice/extras (combat-related rolls, powermaxing).

I think that this rule applies to Aberrant, but I might be remembering wrong.

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maximum success level (usually 5) for most things...

The only place where that is a general rule is for damage dice. 5 is the maxium extra damage that you can get from "extra" succ, i.e. over and above the other guy's dodge (if any).

For everything else, that's after people's willpower, or dodge, or something. Meaning that it can be argued getting 9 succ over someone's willpower roll on Dominate isn't that much different that 5 succ, since with 5 you can already make them kill themselves.

Basically that's an argument that says "you are totally hosed at 5 succ so we stopped counting..."

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Please remember there are durations attached to these things. "One scene" is usually pretty good.

So you go to a movie with the mega-app 5 (Almost live) actress makes you fall in love with her... and then the movie ends, or at worst, you wake up the next morning not in love with her.

Yes, there will be obsessed fans, but not all that many more than normal. The obsessive people will just lock onto novas instead of baseline media types.

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Novas with Mega-Appearance are probably not "so beautiful my eyes cannot fill the void left by her presence" (ie drives humans to obsession), or at the very least are not always that. After all, that's the domain of Awe-Inspiring, if such a thing happenned with standard M-Appearance, it would be a far more reduced form.

Of course, another way of dealing with this issue (and one that I prefer to use) is to use Adventure!'s Appearance scale - Appearance is not how attractive you look, but how memorable you look. In this case, it becomes much easier to extrapolate what, exactly, Mega-Appearance is likely to do to people. Novas with Mega-Appearance are people who are never forgotten. Even if they're wearing god-awful clothing, You still don't forget that they themselves surpass that. Even if someone's thrown paint in their face, They may it look good, perhaps even to a new fashion statement, if they pushed it. Even if they're wearing a balaclava to stop people from recognising them, their body shape, their grace, even their eyes will stay with the people who watch them. It's not an obsessive thing, merely a heightened memory sensitivity to an obviously attractive individual. You may not remember their name, but you will remember exactly what they looked like. Noone could forget a body like that.

There probably will be fawners, but they are far more likely to be attached to those with Mega-Charisma, not Mega-Appearance. Mega-Appearance doesn't grant automatic likeableness (although doubtless it'll help immensely), but Mega-Charisma... Ever been "overwhelmed" by a person's presence? Even if they are calm, demure and retreating, Their presence in the room will almost make it seem like they're the only person in the room - the entire social situation will revolve around them, whether they want it to or not...

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