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Aberrant RPG - Wildcards Write-ups?


Ruckus
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As part of my recommended Material for Abberants; I hardily endorse the first six books of the Wildcard series. At one point it was not a problem, the books were out of print. This has recently changed (ironically by a white wolf subsidary) and i have a player who asked me about characters from wildcards. Anyone have some thoughts?

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For instance, this someone wanted to do Croyd "the Sleeper" Crenson.

For those of you who do not know the sleeper is a man who develops a new set of powers every time he goes to sleep. This leaves him usually amped up on Amphetimines to prevent him form sleeping since her is terrified that he will develop a body that will die before he sleeps again or in a form that needs no sleep.

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Typhoid Croyd, along with his other incarnations, is a PLOT DEVICE! Just say NO! ... unless your player allows you to be the one who continuously design his character for him ... and he likes "sleeping" through sessions.

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Oh i would definately design the point write up not him!!!!!!!!

And he is in complete agreement as far as sleeping through sessions remember a nova can go weeks or months in some cases without sleep especially if you take in the amphetimines factor

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I actually did this once as a player. Partly to offset some instability in our gaming troupe (not everyone could make it consistently) and partly because I simply couldn't find a character concept that I really liked. So I played "The Sleeper" instead.

Essentially you have one personality that becomes different novas over time. In classic Croyd style all starts well enough and life is good for a couple of weeks. Then the fear pushes him to eat the amphetamines like candy as he's terrified of falling asleep and morphing into a horrific form that can't sleep thereby trapping him. After a week or two of this the paranoia from the drugs eats at him until he finally drops in raging psychosis. Off the top of my head Croyd has been active anywhere from three days (horribly powerful, immune to drugs, but fell asleep) to six months (taint freak, resistent to psychosis but crashed eventually and did sleep).

He was only Typhoid in one particular incarnation. That was a plot device to replenish the ace/joker population and morphing some of the established characters into new forms.

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Draft for Croyd:

Croyd re-erupts every time he goes to sleep (build a new character from scratch). He sleeps (d10 x 2 Months) at a time. He normally has between 15 and 45 nova points but can get much more (or less). He can also have a taint rating of between 0 and 9.

He always has the following:

Various Skills

Backgrounds: 2 : Contacts (Jube the Walrus, Misc)

Allies: 1 : Girlfriend

Resources: 4

Flaws:

-2 : Addiction: Speed

+2 : Merit: Reduced Need for Sleep (cycle is figured on a weekly, not daily basis)

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I actually thought of using Node Spark with the sleeping concept and the ST assigning the points.

Anything else would be part of his baseline state. Remember what ever form Croyd took he often exhibited enhanced strength and resiliance

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Croyd is a tuffie, but most of them would be a breeze. Troll, Carnifex and the Harlem Hammer are just bricks. Poppinjay has Teleport with and "Other" extra and "Others Only" style weakness. The Turtle is an aberrated TK. Whazzername, the wingie chickie, well, she's got wings and can fly. PuppetMaster has a combination of domination and empathic manipulation along with some hefty mental aberrations. Mackie Messer has a great example of Claws:Agg and Density Decrease. FatMan (canna remeber his real name) has Grav Manip. The Howler has Q Blast:Sonic. Golden Boy is a brick with shitloads of soak and megastamina. Whazzisname, one of Golden Boys original partners, has a good example of MegaManip (his stuff doesn't last long).

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Mackie's "claws" were his body vibrating in such a way as to completely shred matter. He didn't 'cut' people, it was a like a thousand buzzsaws hitting and liquiefying flesh. It was impressive because it was impressive. Howler, Carnifex, Fortunato, Turtle, Harlem Hammer, Troll, the Oddity, all of these guys could just flat out kill folks. Mackie was on another level.

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Everyone in the list you mention is using Bashing attacks, but lots of it. I suspect Turtle should count as the most impressive guy on the list because he could easily have TK+Mastery.

Mackie's attack was indeed pretty darn impressive, but it only worked on low soak people, and it was *not* doing things like turning them into a paste while ignoring their soak. Again, the big issue is that he has a good, lethal, attack and pretty near no one has any lethal soak.

His attack bounced on the bricks, quite litterally with Golden Boy. Against Blot (sp?) and Carnifex his power did damage that healed normally and was not enough to kill. Carnifex took at least 2 hits and perhaps more.

The only person in the series I'd give an Aggravated attack to is Water Lilly. The power to *totally* remove all water from someone, at a range, converting them into a pile of dust, sounds a lot like Disintegration. I doubt someone like Golden Boy could have soaked it.

One other person came pretty close (but I have doubts). Gator Jack's sister (name?) was a brain stem telepath who could turn off *all* of someone's internal organs, and *all* was pretty near all she could do. That sounds like Mind-Blast + AGG... maybe.

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Thank you.

Let’s rough out some of them.

Tachyon (Psi-Ad)

Stam 3; Dex 4; Martial Arts 5 (decades of training by the best);

Telepathy 5;

Domination 5;

Mind Blast 3

Psyche Shield 2, can “Death Lock” it.

Mega-Perception 2 (???);

Mega-Int 2 (Scientific Gen)

Lethal Soak: Zero (ouch).

He really should have some Mega-Manipulation to pump up his Domination but I’m more inclined to cross link Domination to Intelligence.

Troll

Str 5; Stamina 4;

M-Str 2;

M-Stamina 1;

Armor 3;

Taint=5 (Hairless; Scaly Green Skin)

Merit: Large Size;

Soak: 14/12

Golden Boy

Str 4; Stamina 4;

M-Str 3 (Lifter);

M-Stamina 3 (Resist Aging; Durability);

Forcefield 4 (Reflexive).

Extra Bashing Health Level x1;

Quantum 3; Willpower 3; Flaw: Lusty

Soak (average): 22/19

Demise

Taint = 6 (Psychotic; Murderous)

Quantum 4; Willpower 6;

Stamina 4;

M-Stamina 2 (Resist Aging; Regeneration);

Extra Life Levels x2 Maimed

Mind Blast 4 + Burning (linked to Hypnosis; Burning only works on KO’ed targets)

Hypnosis 5 (Only to make people *only* look into his eyes and only if they already are)

Intelligence 5

Immortality

Soak: 6/3

Mackie

Taint = 6 (Psychotic; Hunchbacked)

Density Decrease 3

Claws 5 + Armor Piercing

Str 5; Brawl 4 (Specialties: Claw attack; Punch)

Mega-Dex 1 (?)

Mega-Wits 1 (Quick)

Quantum 5

Water Lilly

Quantum 6

Disintegration 1

Water Mastery 3

Mega-App 1

Taint = 3

A single Technique from Quantum Supremacy that lets her “unerupt” wildcards… perhaps only during s*x.

Healing + Toxin Reduction (perhaps linked linked to the above power).

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Oooh. I had forgotten about Demise. Man, he was such a cool bitter motherfucker.

Instead of psychotic and murderous I'd give him taint 5 with both of the lesser aberrations combined into a medium aberration: Death Memory. He couldn't get the memory and feeling of his own death out of his mind. His hatred and murdering was a reaction to that memory. He wasn't uncontrollably killing people, he was doing it because he was pissed off.

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Quote:
James 'Prodigy' Meehan:
Instead of psychotic and murderous I'd give him taint 5 with both of the lesser aberrations combined into a medium aberration: Death Memory. He couldn't get the memory and feeling of his own death out of his mind. His hatred and murdering was a reaction to that memory. He wasn't uncontrollably killing people, he was doing it because he was pissed off.
You say tomato, I say tomato.

The cause was that (and the origin of his power as well) but the end effect was he became walking death. I think there was a line from another write up which stated something like “when annoyed, and he annoys easily, he will kill the next passer by.”

Hmm. I’d wanted to give him Taint 6 rather than Taint 5 because I don’t think he ever was successful with his social roll. But I guess we could give him twos in all his social stats and only a single dot in the few social skills he has and then go with Taint 5.

Wait, what ever you want to call his aberration, we can’t call it minor. He leaves a trail of dead people anywhere he goes and that has to be at least medium.

I didn't read to the end of the series, did Water Lilly ever come back after she got her "unerupt" power?
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Croyd, the Sleeper, has got to be one of the hardest Wild Cards to write up since his power structure is essentially random. In fact, I would heartily recommend using random methods for determining what powers he has and how potent they are.

I don't have any of my Wild Cards books out at the moment so I suppose now I should go and look for them. :-P

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Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:
You say tomato, I say tomato.

The cause was that (and the origin of his power as well) but the end effect was he became walking death. I think there was a line from another write up which stated something like “when annoyed, and he annoys easily, he will kill the next passer by.”

Hmm. I’d wanted to give him Taint 6 rather than Taint 5 because I don’t think he ever was successful with his social roll. But I guess we could give him twos in all his social stats and only a single dot in the few social skills he has and then go with Taint 5.

[/QB]
Second item could simply be handled by the fact that he's an asshole with lousy social skills. Taint need not be the only answer to character flaws.

Taint based insanity should be hand in glove. The power must by it's very nature bring insanity. Much like the explanation that Magneto will always go mad because his powers affect his brain chemisty. That is Taint. The Green Goblin being driven mad by the goop that gave him power is Taint. Just deciding that you are pissed about the hand that was dealt with you and deciding your going to get even with the world by killing folks is just being crazy.
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Being a crazy isn't the same as being tainted. If killing people gave you a respite from the constant remembering of your own death that's probably taint. If you're upset over the fact that all of these other people on the planet don't know what you know and can be happy because of that then you're probably a dick. If killing them, i.e. making them experience your death, makes you happy and that's why you do it then you're sociopath.

Demise does it because he likes doing it and that's the trump card to the crazy or tainted argument. In my mind anyway.

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Let’s look at 4 crazy super types: Demise, The Astronomer, Malice, & Blaze (? Tachyon’s grandkid).

The question in every case is, are their mental problems coming from taint? If it is from taint, then when the taint increases they should get crazier. Similarly, if the taint decreased then they should get saner. Other ways to think about it, If they had dorm=5, would that help? Put another way, is their insanity part of their power or is it independent?

Blaze: Ignore that he doesn’t have any taint because he is a psi-ad and not a nova. Other people with his powers don’t have mental problems. It is real easy to see him raping people and the head of a gang even without his powers. If he were forced into Dorm 5, would he still be shooting people? I think yes.

My View: Insane but not from taint.

Malice: Malice was that very small nova who would addict people with his bite and control them the same way. Without his powers he wouldn’t be running around doing what he does (which is a clue but not indicative). He doesn’t have a “sane before eruption” background because he was born this way (another clue but also not indicative).

My View: Taint insanity, but he is so tainted and so insane it’s hard to judge… on the other hand, that is the very definition of a trinity aberrant.

The Astronomer: Insane because he telepathically reordered his mind into a mad man. That is a big clue that he had the same powers without being insane, which implies his mental problems aren’t taint related. Mind you, he also has “Feeding Requirement: Negative mental energy” which, I would guess, is the reason he reordered his mind.

My View: Insane but not from taint.

Demise: He kills to get rid of the memories of death in his mind (he is a projective telepath, what he projects is the memory of his own death). If his level of taint were to increase, his murderous activities would increase. If his level of taint were zero (i.e. if he weren’t haunted by his memories) he wouldn’t be a casual killer. Granted, with the power to easily and undetectably kill *anyone*, he *might* still be an assassin, but he wouldn’t be leaving the trail of death that he does. Here is another way to look at it, would *anyone* with his powers and problems be a casual killer? Before his powers he was just an average accountant, so I think “Yes”.

My View: Taint insanity.

A bit off subject, but there are two other people in the books who are perfectly average people with the power to easily kill without detection. Water Lilly (Disintegration) and Gator Jack’s Niece (Mind Blast + Agg) both have powers that make Demise’s look weak. But they are perfectly average people and perfectly average people don’t run around killing people.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Quote:
Originally posted by Ruckus:
Anyone have some thoughts?
There was a GURPS book that actually detailed a lot of Wild Cards characters and places. It wouldn't be too hard to convert the GURPS stats to an Aberrant character sheet.
For instance, The Sleeper (Croyd Crenson) is written up as follows:
ST varies
DX varies
IQ 12 (20 points)
HT varies
Speed varies
Move varies
Damage varies
Reputation +3/-3 as violent freelance criminal, 7 or less (0 pts)
Wealthy (20 pts)
Addiction: Amphetamines (-25 pts)
Impulsive (-10 pts)
Phobia: Sleep (-40 pts)
Reputation (after 1987) as plague-spreader, 10 or less (-5 pts)
Unaging (60 pts)

Skills:
Area Knowledge (NYC) 14 (4 pts)
Brawling DX+3 (8 pts)
English 12 (0 pts)
Gambling 13 (4 pts)
Lockpicking 14 (6 pts)
Running HT (4 pts)
Savior-Faire 12 (1 pts)
Shadowing 14 (6 pts)
Sleight of Hand DX+1 (8 pts)
Stealth DX+3 (8 pts)
Streetwise 16 (10 pts)
Traps 13 (4 pts)

He has NO powers listed at all. At the end of his character description there is a NOTE which reads:
"The Sleeper should be redesigned after every sleep period, uding (2d6-1)x100 character points. With rare exceptions, his IQ and listed advantages are always present. Some abilities tend to manifest themselves in most of his forms, especially high ST and DX. He often has a few joker features."

Perhaps you could work out a similar system, in Aberrant rules of course, for your game.
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  • 2 months later...

RE: Aberration

The problem with giving Gold Boy an aberration is he doesn't appear to have any social problems. He doesn't have social megas, but he ends up in bed with *many* women (like a rock star or sports figure). He also doesn't have a problem running his business and selling things to baselines.

My inclination is to make his "glows when using powers" a power signature and not an aberration (i.e. it's how you tell he is using his powers).

RE: Armor vs. Forcefield

It is stated that he can't keep his forcefield up forever. He does run out of juice, and when that happens he starts to "feel" punishment a lot more (i.e. his forcefield drops) but he is careful to leave combat before that happens.

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry, I came into this late...Golden Boy doesn't have any social problems? You mean other than the fact that he is ostracized by the rest of the Ace population? I mean, I get that that isn't taint related, but the kid has social problems. Plus, at low taint the 'anima banner' is a viable aberration, and doesn't need to cause any significant social malady...

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Golden Boy tries to, and for the most part does, sleep with every attractive woman he runs across. This doesn't lend itself to the idea that he has lots of taint. He also is successful at lots of other social activities (hobnobing with the rich and famous, etc). It isn't like his hair smells like cat litter or something.

What he has is a Forcefield, and that is supposed to have some kind of special effect associated with it.

As for him being ostracized, he earned that, and in the later books he finds out he's outlived it (i.e. the younger generation has forgotten).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting. What about the Jumpers, how could that be simulated? And the guy who turned into different people based on the drugs he took -Mark Meadows?

Pulse would be Bodymorph: Light, with teleport added for the Lightspeed flight. Mistral has Weather Control.

Isn't it great that they are continuing the series?

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What about the Jumpers, how could that be simulated?

Good one, Jumping is really really hard.

For the most part Jumping is Domination with the Possession extra, so that should be our base power. Other alternatives are some horrible combination of teleport (with “Castling” so you switch places) in combination with Bio-Manipulation’s Flesh molding to force your body into his shape and vise versa…. and even that has rather extreme issues (Health differences, carried objects, clothes).

So we’ll go with a modified Possession Dominate, which leaves the original body behind and forces the host’s personality on the original body… and also links to a Stun Attack for people who haven’t done it before.

The forcing of personality changes is the tough one, aberrant doesn’t really allow this but we could make a new power based on Telepathy (i.e. the old body’s mind is telepathically reordered into a new personality which is an exact copy of the victim). Weaknesses would be “all or nothing”, you get enough succ to make it happen (4+) or it doesn’t work.

This does a good job representing everything we observed, Jump a bar of soap and you die while your old body is mindless, enough of a mind-shield and you are immune. It’s also horribly broken as a power. Us never seeing anyone fail to Jump someone implies Mastery, and that “telepathic reordering” power sounds pretty Q6 min to me. Scary.

And the guy who turned into different people based on the drugs he took -Mark Meadows?

He’s easy. Mark is build-able with Shapeshift in combination with Hyde Syndrome (which includes Multiple Personality Disorder and Dorm). Every personality has a “different” body and “different” powers, but in reality Mark has *all* of them (and yes, this does make him insanely powerful and versatile but he’s also a taint monkey). Note that his first (and last) shift was into “the Radical”, and *all* of his other transformations were into super powered types who had a sub-set of the Radical’s powers.

Isn't it great that they are continuing the series?

I hadn’t heard that.

--EDIT--

Mark has:

Shapeshift

Q-Bolt & Flight (Starshine and JJ Flash)

Martial Arts (Moonchild)

Adaptability (Aquarius & Starshine)

Mega-Strength (Starshine)

Density Decrease (Cosmic Traveler)

Mega-Chr (Moonchild)

…and I wouldn’t be shocked at a forcefield or energy absorption in there.

Other powers were purely part of Shapeshift:

Regeneration (Moonchild, Monster)

Copycat (Cosmic Traveler)

Growth, Claws (Monster)

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quote from interview on September 13, 2005 with John J. Miller:

"I handed in the new Wild Card novel (DEATH DRAWS FIVE) last December. I have heard conflicting dates of publication, but it looks like either Jan. 2006 or March 2006. George is close to handing in a proposal for three more volumes, a traditional Wild Card triad in which there will be a linked theme for the first two anthologies and a full-blown mosaic novel to cap it off. Keep your fingers crossed."

I know mine will be wink

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Yep smile

As for the rest, Monster and Jumping Jack Flash had Absorption, as I remember. Starshine had both Absorption and Force Field.

Jumping Domination and Parasitic Posession is a good call I think.

How about Domination: Parasitic (Linked -3 levels of weakness, only works with:

Domination: Parasitic : Affects Others ( -5 levels of weakness, only one target -self. -3 levels of weakness, linked to the original Domination)

Only one target reduces the Affects Others Domination to level 3 again. Use the linked weaknesses to purchease the "permanency" strength. Which is horribly broken, but we know the end result is broken anyway, we might as well know why.

The bodyswitching effect could either be a special effect of the power, or be purchased with weaknesses gained from the jumper leaving all his original poweres behind, and the failiure consequences.

Only Blaise survived a failed jump, and he only did so once. But trying to Jump against a mindshield did not kill anyone, the Jump just failed to initialize.

Assigning it instant death on a botch seems right. Thus failiures according to soak, as from a shield works, but a messup kills you.

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Only Blaise survived a failed jump...

There were several others. Modular man, Snotman, and "Prime" (the Jumper's Creator) were all subjected to failed Jumps at one time or another.

The Bar of Soap incident was more what would happen if someone jumped a clone or other q-construct which then died. Meaning that the problem wasn't that the power failed, the problem was that the power succeeded. All the other failures were just "not enough succ to get past the mindshield".

RE: Linked Powers

I wouldn't let someone link a power to itself, and I'm not sure there is a point. Doesn't Parasitic Domination last forever anyway?

Bodyswitching is definately something that needs to be address specifically and not as a special effect. Do a triple jump and you've just hosed two people.

As for the rest, Monster and Jumping Jack Flash had Absorption, as I remember. Starshine had both Absorption and Force Field.

OK, so at a minimum, Trips has...

Shapeshift, Q-Bolt, Flight, Martial Arts, Adaptability (which also means Mega-Stamina), Mega-Strength, Density Decrease, Mega-Chr, Absorption, and Force Field. He might also have Regeneration. And he has most of these at seriously high levels as Flash and Starshine are extremely powerful novas.

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Quote:
I wouldn't let someone link a power to itself, and I'm not sure there is a point. Doesn't Parasitic Domination last forever anyway?
I think the example was two different powers. One Parasitic Domination that takes you to your target, and another Parasitic Domination with (Affects Others) which takes your target's mind to your body.

Of course, I've read maybe two Wildcard's shorts, so I have no idea what any of you are talking about. (c:
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Yes, that was what I meant. We basically have two separate Posessions going off at the same time.

I didn't realize Parasitic Posession lasts that long, but normal posession is listed as "concentration" while Parasitic only states how to leave the body.

I see what you're saying on the "failed" jumps. I meant that Blaise was the only one to have survived actually jumping and then failing.

The Bodysnatcher muses about jumpers who jumped "blind", i.e. without seeing their target, and none of them had survived.

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What's her name did. The bodybuilder who was blinded. Of course that was a touch ranged jump.

RE: Parasitic Domination with (Affects Others).

Ah. Now I see. That's not bad, but giving someone power implies they have some control over using it. Maybe worse, I'm reluctant to define this power such that it could be purchased and/or developed by a Q3 nova.

Jumpers are flat out terrifying. They can nail powerful novas and psiads. They can nail people like the president. This really should be a Q6+ power.

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And...just to complicate things further, the Jumpers were not themselves novas(aces), the nova was the one whose only (that I know of) power was that he could imbue these gangbangers(no pun intended) with the jumping ability...so put that in your pipe and let me know what you come up with, cause I'm stymied

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