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Aberrant RPG - Chrysalis Cocoon (and a power)


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Anyone played a game where PCs eventually went through Chrysalis?

I recently thought of a nasty power that would allow a character to convert permanent Taint into permanent Chrysalis and thus force the target into the cocoon state of Chrysalis. I haven't written it up yet because I don't have enough PCs in my group who are in danger of entering Chrysalis yet, but I was also wondering if anyone else reading this has created their own Chrysalis-themed powers?

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I am not sure you can force a target into Chrysalis state, even if you could somehow manipulate another's taint. For starters, the target decides when they go into a caccon state for starters, and even by the base mechanics, you have to have a Chryalis rating of 5 before you can even consider entering it.

Of course, manipulating another's taint is a BIG, BIG thing in and of itself. Think about it for a second. If you can convert it to Chrysalis points, what else could you then do it? Could you transfer it to another person temporarily? Permenently?

The other side of the coin is that this mechanic becomes a Chrysalis Engine. Why use it on an enemy, when you can do it on an ally and help then not only reduce their permanent taint, but achieve a high Chrysalis as well? It allows you to accumulate Chrysalis Points without staying within Archtype, thus meaning any taint you aquire is going to become Chrysalis, voiding the whole need for a Teras Philosophy.

This would become a great tool for non-Terats to use to effectively buy down their permanent taint, which they would otherwise be stuck with.

Now, before you say this would be a Terats-only power, I would remind you that both DeVries and PU have the resources to study Chryalis Terats and how that process works. Some of their novas could figure this power out on their own, and then the genie is out of the bottle ... in a big way.

The game changes, as really, honest "Taint Clinics" open up and cure novas of their taint.

Personally, unless you want your game to go way outside of canon, don't do this. If you want to attempt to keep it in-line, make it a Level 5 power on the same scale as Quantum Authority ... at the very least. If you make it level 3, then give serious consideration to what happens when this power gets out.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Preston:
I am not sure you can force a target into Chrysalis state, even if you could somehow manipulate another's taint.
Well the official, canon books already give a precedent for such powers. Sin-Eater, a character described in the Teragen sourcebook, has a power detailed in the same book, Aberration Transfer. Its a level 2 power (Quantum minimum 3) that can be purchased with the "Permanency" extra, making it level 3 (Quantum minimum 5).
I'm looking at the book right now.
Its not too far of a stretch to say that somehwre along the lines a Teragen might develop a keener understanding or control of Taint itself and how it relates to Chrysalis.

Quote:
Originally posted by Preston:
...the target decides when they go into a caccon state for starters, and even by the base mechanics, you have to have a Chryalis rating of 5 before you can even consider entering it.
Well, the book never states that explicitly. It says "triggering this process requires the nova to subject herself to stress." Which, to me, implies that it is harder than simply deciding to go into it.
You are right, a character needs a Chrysalis rating of 5 before they can even attempt it, but thats part of a game mechanic designed to enhance characters when they enter Chrysalis.

Quote:
Originally posted by Preston:
The other side of the coin is that this mechanic becomes a Chrysalis Engine. Why use it on an enemy, when you can do it on an ally and help then not only reduce their permanent taint, but achieve a high Chrysalis as well?
Well, the way I envisioned it is that if someone forces a lot of Taint onto a character then puts them into Chrysalis, the character doesn't necessarily know what happened. Part of Chrysalis involves the nova undergoing a very delicate meditative procedure that, under controlled circumstanbces, has a goal at the end of it - but if a nova has no idea what Chrysalis even is and suddenly gets cocooned into a Chrysalis shell, they may not be able to bleed off Quantum in a controlled manner and may just be effectively inert and helpless, for months.

Anyway, it was just an idea. I may not actually write this up since it wouldn't really fit for my campaign's final bad guy fight anyway.
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Translating temp taint into temp Chrysalis and then into Chrysalis goes hand and hand, undeniably, with the philosophical concepts of Teras. Basically you have to accept that you are not human before you can embrace taint (thus allowing you to use it rather than be used by it). If you still think of yourself as human you can't comprehend whats going on inside you well enough to control the process. Remember, Chrysalis doesn't avoid most aspects of Taint. You still get aberrations, you still get social penalties. All you really get out of it is the ability to control the nature of your Aberations, a longer lifespan (you can get rid of Chrysalis occasionally by undergoing the cocoon, though you keep the aberrations and the social penalty) and a limited opportunity at increasing your power (remember, exp spent in Chrysalis is VERY limited in how it can be spent. It's got to be in line with your Path. Ergo, no matter how much I want Prodigy to come out with 5 dots of Quantum Bolt:Bad Assedness, he's not going to.)

Since that understanding is so intrinsic to Chrysalis how do you force Chrysalis on someone? Especially considering that Chrysalis does not allow you to alter Taint you already possess (poor Sloppy Joe.)

I second Preston's comment, that, even if you wanted to ignore the above, this power is most likely in the neighborhood of PL 5. Aberation Transfer doesn't touch Taint. It doesn't get rid of the social penalty. All it does is touch up the canvass so the flaws aren't so obvious. You do Aberration Transfer for Sloppy Joe and besides killing whomever gets his Aberrations you are still going to be left with a Taint 8 dude who's just a couple of dots away from ceasing to exist.

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a longer lifespan (you can get rid of Chrysalis occasionally by undergoing the cocoon, though you keep the aberrations and the social penalty)

Maybe a longer lifespan, Teras seems hellishly risky. You are encouraged to get more taint (so you can convert it into Chrysalis).

The good news: If you follow your archtype closely, then most of that taint becomes Chrysalis and you become a winner of the Teras game. You can enter Chrysalis, and buy off the Taint that you couldn't convert.

The bad news: If you don't follow your archtype closely, or if you spend your Chrysalis experience to pick up toys rather than to pay off Taint, then you will fry in Taint a lot quicker than anyone else.

The Ugly: Aberrations and social difficulties.

Something to consider, with Divis' power to give himself more nova points, the ONLY reason for him to develope Chrysalis is to buy down his taint.

And on that subject, this power is one of the few that seem beyond Divis and his Quantum Supremacy. Meaning I also think it's Level 5, Q8. He can create novas, you can "cure" taint. You could call it "Taint Supremacy" or something like it.

Considering *someone* changed the level of default taint from low to high, I don't know how "uncannon" this is if one PC with Q8 gets it.

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Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:
Something to consider, with Divis' power to give himself more nova points, the ONLY reason for him to develope Chrysalis is to buy down his taint.
There is a dual purpose to chrysalis. The philosophy of Teras is to encourage novas to act in a way that does not automatically default to human social normal. If done properly, it would eventually allow the nova to "chrysalize" into some more representative of the archetype as that nova sees it, instead of the chance circumstance their former life and eruption put them into. This is the "controlled evolution". The second purpose is to provide a means for the nova to avoid succumbing to insanity while seeking to fulfill the first purpose. In simple terms, taint is the fuel for the engine of controlled evolution.

Divis, possibly with assistance, explored chrysalis prior to 1998 and its unknown what his level of power was so saying he could "give himself more nova points" is baseless. Given what we know of Mal and his background, it seems likely he'd attempt to use chrysalis to overcome his humanity even if the possiblity of taint were not part of his makeup.
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Alex Craft: Teras doesn't encourage you to gain Taint - it encourages you to act in accordance with your archetype, so that when you would normally gain Taint, most of it instead goes into Chrysalis.

True in theory, untrue in practice.

Just look at the core Teragen novas, i.e. the ones who have gone through Chrysalis. There is about a dozen, in 2010. In cannon many of them went into their first cocoon between 2002 and 2005 (book not here).

In order to go through Chrysalis you have to have a rating of AT LEAST 5, which means you have to EARN +50 points of temporary taint, over and above whatever you erupt with. If you manage to convert 85% of your taint, a high number IMHO, to get that +5 Chrysalis you needed 61 points of temporary taint.

And the followers of Teras generally manage to do this in a few years. Considering how hard it is to generate temporary taint, Terats MUST power-max a couple of times a day (which also means they aren’t burning off unconverted temporary taint).

Harry Black: The Magician: Divis, possibly with assistance, explored chrysalis prior to 1998 and its unknown what his level of power was so saying he could "give himself more nova points" is baseless. Given what we know of Mal and his background, it seems likely he'd attempt to use chrysalis to overcome his humanity even if the possiblity of taint were not part of his makeup.

We know that he had Q8 and Quantum Supremacy (and thus the ability to give himself nova points) way back in 1998 (N-Day). Presumably he had it before that. But he was still entering Chrysalis cocoons in 2003 or so. So… why? Why go into Chrysalis if he could grant himself points? Again, the only thing he can do with Chrysalis that he can’t do with Quantum Supremacy is get rid of Taint.

Harry Black: The Magician: There is a dual purpose to chrysalis. The philosophy of Teras is to encourage novas to act in a way that does not automatically default to human social normal. If done properly, it would eventually allow the nova to "chrysalize" into some more representative of the archetype as that nova sees it, instead of the chance circumstance their former life and eruption put them into. This is the "controlled evolution". The second purpose is to provide a means for the nova to avoid succumbing to insanity while seeking to fulfill the first purpose. In simple terms, taint is the fuel for the engine of controlled evolution.

A good part of this philosophy was created by Caroline Fong. Meaning Divis was able to enter Chrysalis 3 times before the “dual purpose” existed.

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Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:

We know that he had Q8 and Quantum Supremacy (and thus the ability to give himself nova points) way back in 1998 (N-Day). Presumably he had it before that. But he was still entering Chrysalis cocoons in 2003 or so. So… why? Why go into Chrysalis if he could grant himself points? Again, the only thing he can do with Chrysalis that he can’t do with Quantum Supremacy is get rid of Taint.

You're forgetting something here. Mal doesn't know the rules. He's living in that world. He hasn't read the core-rule book or any of the subsequent books. He's going through Chrysalis not to buy off "dots" of taint or buy "dots" of power. He's doing it as a form of evolution. He's moving farther and farther away from the human norm. He's trying to burn away all remnents of his human persona and replacing it with pure Nova.
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Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:
We know that he had Q8 and Quantum Supremacy (and thus the ability to give himself nova points) way back in 1998 (N-Day). Presumably he had it before that. But he was still entering Chrysalis cocoons in 2003 or so. So… why? Why go into Chrysalis if he could grant himself points? Again, the only thing he can do with Chrysalis that he can’t do with Quantum Supremacy is get rid of Taint.
Which still overlooks some important points. He entered his first chrysalis before that, and if he'd had those abilities at his disposal at the time of his first chrysalis would he have waited around twiddling his thumbs? What we know about him so far makes that seem far fetched. It seems more likely he developed his increased understanding of quantum after his first chrysalis.

And taint isn't eliminated by chrysalis, its transformed into something seen as desirable by the nova while still having negative aspects if your goal in being around baselines. Since Mal doesn't have that goal, quite the opposite, why wouldn't he use it to influence his existence down through the subconscious level?
Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:
A good part of this philosophy was created by Caroline Fong. Meaning Divis was able to enter Chrysalis 3 times before the “dual purpose” existed.
"Mal gave voice to what we already believed to be true" is what I remember Orzaiz saying at the meeting but I'm not looking at my book at the mooment. Caroline penned the document with its explanations and assumptions, but it was Mal and Scripture that brought crysalis to the Teragen as a proven fact. In other words, the philosophy is a written explanation to the uninitiated that haven't been through a chrysalis of Mal had done and was continuing to do. The book goes on to explain that Teras is a way of teaching novas to act other than human when that's the only way they know to act.

Lemmy Chillmeister already beat me to the punch on pointing out that Mal is ignorant of the game mechanic but I say again he's using a process that isn't a "teragen creation". He brought it to them and they (Caroline Fong) wrote the explanation that became Teras based on what Mal was doing with it.
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Lemmy Chillmeister: You're forgetting something here. Mal doesn't know the rules. He's living in that world. He hasn't read the core-rule book or any of the subsequent books. He's going through Chrysalis not to buy off "dots" of taint or buy "dots" of power. He's doing it as a form of evolution. He's moving farther and farther away from the human norm. He's trying to burn away all remnants of his human persona and replacing it with pure Nova.

RE: “Mal doesn’t know the rules”

He has M-Int 8. I’d guess he has a good idea.

RE: “He's trying to burn away all remnants of his human persona and replacing it with pure Nova.”

So he really wants the negative social modifiers? Even when they apply to other novas?

And again, he had Q-Supreme before his 4th (and possibly 3rd, we don’t know) Chrysalis. If all he wants is more nova power, Q-Supreme is a better and faster way to go.

Harry Black: The Magician: Which still overlooks some important points. He entered his first chrysalis before that, and if he'd had those abilities at his disposal at the time of his first chrysalis would he have waited around twiddling his thumbs? What we know about him so far makes that seem far fetched. It seems more likely he developed his increased understanding of quantum after his first chrysalis.

Assuming you meant “his fourth chrysalis”, the problem is we KNOW he had Q-Supreme in 1998 because he used it to create N-Day. The developers have said that this didn't involve a device (although act of pure nova will might mean a powermax). More, the other L5 powers are mostly used to alter the environment of the Earth. They make it hotter, wetter, more radioactive, etc. Q-Supreme made the Earth "filled with more quantum" or some such. Q-Supreme was built to create N-Day.

Harry Black: The Magician: And taint isn't eliminated by chrysalis, its transformed…

Permanent taint can be bought off with experience points while in Chrysalis, 10 experience reduces your Taint by 1.

Harry Black: The Magician: …I say again he's using a process that isn't a "teragen creation". He brought it to them and they (Caroline Fong) wrote the explanation that became Teras based on what Mal was doing with it.

Which doesn’t address the question. Why did Mal invent the process? What was his motivation? For that matter, why enter a 4th Chrysalis when he already had Q-Supreme? Let’s turn back the clock. In the 1920’s Mal erupts during the Hammersmith incident. According to the developers, he only has 10 to 15 nova points.

My guess is he gets:

1 Elemental Anima: Plasma (used to save himself and some others from the fire)

1 M-Intelligence.

Some other stats (I think the developers said he was heavy on this).

Taint = 4 (Aberrant Eyes) (Look at the pictures of him in A!)

Q=4.

Starting out with Taint 4 back in the 1920’s, he has a real problem. Note that if Mal ever gets Taint = 10 he is just as hosed as anyone else. Note also he couldn’t control his aberrations any more than anyone else. But he can see they are getting geometrically worse and he doesn’t have anyone around saying “taint is good” or “aberrations are evolution”.

So, does he then say, “I’ve got to invent something that will take away my humanity, dealing with my out of control aberrations is a minor side note?”

I’m guessing the answer is “No”, he went looking for some way of getting taint under his control, and was willing to abandon humanity if that’s what it took.

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Alternately, Michael Donighal could have been looking for the "door", that philosophic entry point to transcendence, and when he found it he also found it allowed him to consciously control the taint he'd acquired by channeling it into the process of transcendence.

Unfortunately for resolving the question between Black and Troll, we will never know for sure.

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You might be able to develop a power that turns temporary taint into temporary Chrysalis, however you wouldn't be able to force them into Chrysalis. I imagine the only way to force them into Chrysalis is to Dominate them. I imagine this would be about a level 3 power with a Quantum minimum of 5. I'm starting to think a lot of people on this forum do not understand how powerful level 4, 5, and 6 powers are. Now if you wanted to be able to turn permanent taint into Chrysalis, that would be an amazing feat. Could be a technique for either Quantum Authority or Quantum Supremacy, if your ST even allowed such a power. If I allowed such a power I would require that you have undergone at least 1 Chrysalis first.

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Quote:
Originally posted by The One Winged Angel:
I'm starting to think a lot of people on this forum do not understand how powerful level 4, 5, and 6 powers are.
Generally speaking, the response to level 4/5/6 powers fall into one of two categories. Either the player will want it so badly they'll say anything to get it including how they can be trusted not to abuse it, or they'll attempt to put it on the top shelf out of everyone's reach. My experience has been that when faced with problematic situations of power, most will attempt to "explain" the power should be 1-3 levels of power greater than they can actually justify.

Mileage varies of course.
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The One Winged Angel: You might be able to develop a power that turns temporary taint into temporary Chrysalis. I imagine this would be about a level 3 power with a Quantum minimum of 5. I'm starting to think a lot of people on this forum do not understand how powerful level 4, 5, and 6 powers are.
Sure I do. You just created a cure for any failed/botched roll for a powermax, Nodespark, Stamina/juice recharge, and/or Q-Bolt+Supercharge. Basically, short of buying things tainted, no amount of quantum abuse by you or any of your friends will result in taint.

To put that into perspective, the only thing similar involves permanently giving up your humanity, and was invented by a guy with a Q of 8.

Sorry, that just doesn't scream, Q5 min to me.
Quote:
The One Winged Angel:
Now if you wanted to be able to turn permanent taint into Chrysalis, that would be an amazing feat. Could be a technique for either Quantum Authority or Quantum Supremacy, if your ST even allowed such a power.
Actually, no. Quantum Authority and Quantum Supremacy let you manipulate Quantum. The power(s) you are talking about would come from the manipulation of taint. So let's call it Taint Authority and Taint Supremacy (presumably an out growth of Aberration Transfer... which is something else you can't do with Quantum Authority/Supremacy).

Actually I like the idea a lot, except it seems like the sort of thing to give to a Trinity big time villan. Someone who runs around turning baselines into taint monsters and can threaten to turn his taint monsters into baselines (or normal novas).
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Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:
Someone who runs around turning baselines into taint monsters and can threaten to turn his taint monsters into baselines (or normal novas).
Uhhh.... That is exactly what's happening in Trinity. They're not doing it on Earth yet, but would greatly appreciate the opportunity.
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  • 2 months later...

Quantum Supremacy cannot be used on oneself to alter one's own quantum signature. Only Planck Scaling can do that. Mal's archetype is not portent, no matter what Scripture does to cast him in that role. Mal is a marvel. His mega intel is not officially rated in Storyteller, although Worldwide states that all his megas are at least 3. Several are at 5. He has most enhancements. Adventure does not say that he erupted at Hammersmith with any aberrations or with the ability to control plasma. All his base attributes became maxed out. He gained Adventure's versions of megas & enhancements. He also gained stalwart versions of psychic abilities as well as ability mastery in science, medicene, and engineering. He kept the full extent of his abilities shielded even from Mercer. Even then, Mal was a Sphinx, abeit one that manipulated humanity to one seeking transcendance from humanity (by manipulating novas.)

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