Jump to content

Karpomatic
 Share

Recommended Posts

Full stats aren't provided for Divis Mal in any book. You can find partial stats for him in the Aberrant Worldwide Phase I book in the 'Into the Arms of the Angel of Wrath' chapter.

It's safer to just assume that there is nothing Mal can't do and no ass he couldn't kick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Between the APG and AB:WWI you can get a feeling for what he can do, and one of those things is manipulate his own stats. As in, if he needs a power he can litterally snap his fingers and get it. Getting a power perm is harder but he can do that too.

In theory, within a matter of years (and he's had decades) he could get every single power in the book with Mastery. Likely he hasn't bothered since he can still snap his finger if he's overlooked anything. However it's likely he has already hit the high points. I.e. he's used that Mega-Int 8 brain of his to think of ways he could be defeated and then taken the appropriate counter measures.

For all that the dude does have flaws, big time, but they are all self inflicted. He has serious aberrations, and/or personality quirks, and/or insanities, whatever you want to call them. IMHO he's a seriously bad leader, and he only wins because he can't be beaten.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He also wins because Pax is fighting the wrong fight. As someone once said, "Can you imagine how that fight would have gone if Pax had looked at Mal and simply said 'Dude! You are so gay.' instead of trying to take him down because he was Pax the unbeatable."

Another way to look at it Karpomatic, is Mal is not unbeatable. But beating him isn't a matter of quantum or powers. He's the expert there and even if you could beat him, the moment he realized it was possible he'd just shut off your powers and drop you out of the game. He's the god background of the game. You beat him by appealing to his pride or making him work for something. He's also a lazy bastard you see and if presented with a real problem is just as likely to decide he doesn't want to beat you anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mal isn't lazy, he's simply letting his children decide how they'll shape the Teragen. As soon as they gain a focus (after the Night of Long Knives) then he steps up as the leader. The Teragen book says he even becomes more of a dictator, not having patience for the weaker or slower Terats.

Also remember that Mal is the one that set off N-Day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also remember that Mal is the one that set off N-Day.

Exactly, that puts his getting Q-Supreme back into 1998, assuming he used the power as soon as he got it. Assuming he experimented with the power for a few years, we might be talking about 1995.

Mal isn't lazy, he's simply letting his children decide how they'll shape the Teragen. As soon as they gain a focus... then he steps up as the leader....

The whole "leadership" thing includes deciding where to go. Mal isn't a leader, he inspires the Teragen, but he doesn't lead it.

I don't see how Mal *can* be a leader. Mal has something like a +8 diff to communicate with his followers because of all of his trips into Chrysalis. This is not a good thing for issuing detailed instructions. Mal created Chrysalis, but Scripture and Fong had to work out a translation for lesser mortals (and that was before his most recent Chrysalis).

And this is even before we drag aberrations into the picture. If we put some kind of explanation on his +8 (i.e. the aberrations behind the man), in my view we probably come up with Megalomania and/or Schizophrenia (also note these last two don’t really change the character… with Q8 he really can operate on a grand scale, as a visionary with a +8 diff to social mods he really is dealing with a different reality than the rest of us).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other vague possibility is that he built machinery to jump start N-Day. This would still require the Quantum Supremacy power, effectively, but he could build it at Q7.

As for leadership, yeah. The problem is that, while Divis Mal could probably *manipulate* the Teragen into doing what he wants, that would essentially reduce them to just extensions of his will, which isn't what he desires.

So, he's stuck basically being the god-figure for the movement, offering ideas and lessons that have to be interpreted, and end up being so interpretted in a ton of different ways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some clarification here:

Mal is lazy?

If it walks like a duck and quackes like a duck... wink

Okay, Mal isn't actually a couch potato hanging around for Ruffles to announce its new flavor. That's true. But he's stuck in the situation he's created without many options. Teras is an interim bandaid on the problem of humans having god-like powers not knowing how to act as anything but human. So he, with Scripture and Caroline Fong doing the grunt work of putting pen to paper, have offered up what he hopes is a way for novas to decide how to act without defaulting to simply human values and esthetics. Some, maybe a lot, won't make the transition to anything approaching being workable since even humans with god-like powers are still human and therefore messed up creatures but some will make it work. And that's what he wants; people that have made the journey to a state of existence that cannot be comprehended by the minds of those that are simply human. Of course that puts between a rock and hard place because he can't force anyone to act as only human and his teragen experiment is founded on the idea of independence. He has damn few choices now without screwing up what he's already put into motion and any action he takes will likely contaminate what's currently happening. So the joke of Mal being lazy comes from the fact that once he's inspired it doesn't matter if he's sitting on a couch watching reruns of Wil and Grace or simply trapped by the structure of his own actions. The result is the same: he can take big fat cosmic actions or sit on his ass. No inbetween.

Not that he won't consider tossing a match into the pile of rags or putting a magnifying glass to the ants to give them a little something to deal with now and again. Complacency is counterproductive to his goals and his patience is nearing the end of an almost century long wait for others like him.

But what does he want?

A contradiction that he himself seems unaware of. He wants to be dominant but he wants equals. In any case what he wants can only be given but never be taken. He's in a position to step into dominance in whatever faction or ideal wins out in the end but anyone approaching his ideal is going to question him. While he appreciates that, he does want equals, he's not yet been in a postion to be told he's wrong and his plan is effed up. We've yet to see how he deals with that.

Sucks to him.

Your personal mileage may vary of course especially since its Mal we're talking about. Everybody has their own ideas on what he is or why he does what he does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: metaphysician
The other vague possibility is that he built machinery to jump start N-Day. This would still require the Quantum Supremacy power, effectively, but he could build it at Q7.
That's already been settled by the nice lady who wrote Mal's stuff in A!, who was given insight into N-Day by Baugh so as to understand where the character of Donighal was going. Tying it all in with Primoris waxing eloquent on radioactie materials being augmented by telluric energies, the dark god Mal used artificial means to recreate a Hammersmith event aboard the Galatea that would center squarely on the quantum end of the spectrum without bleeding into the areas of psi or probability.

Why did he use Galatea? Maybe because he'd been working on unraveling the Hammersmith event for fifty years before he developed plot abilities?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

the dark god Mal used artificial means to recreate a Hammersmith event aboard the Galatea that would center squarely on the quantum end of the spectrum without bleeding into the areas of psi or probability.

This is the first I've heard about it being "artificial", and it conflicts with what others have said.

I.e. that the Galatea was purely a result of N-day, not a cause. Portman wasn't the first nova, some poor guy on the Galatea was first and he's still stuck in orbit.

Supposedly what Mal did was an effort of pure will at the peak of his powers (or somesuch... basically a powermax).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry but... The nice lady, who's name escapes me at the moment though I'm sure there's a credit in the A! book, seemed very coherent and Baugh didn't contradict her despite being active on the same forums at the same time. At the time it was just a nice little tidbit of information and I was more concerned with another poster that was trying to take her to task. Check with some of the old guard on the WW Aeonverse forum or over at Eon. I'm sure you'll find someone else will recall it.

I don't know what you heard or feel particularly responsible for it but if you heard it from Baugh or Bates then we have a mystery of sorts. Personally I don't see it being very "telling" one way or the other. Either way it happened it still happened, by 2008 Mal has any power he needs so he could do it today even if he didn't do it in 1998, and he's still a plot device.

Mileage will vary of course. wink

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing is that I also remember someone from the d-team stepping forward and saying it had been a pure effort of will.

I also remember the nova-on-Galatea thing being more than a posibility, i.e. that it was confirmed.

On the other hand it's been a *very* long time and we could easily be simply seeing different d-team opinions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh, doesn't matter to me much. I actually favor the "act of power" explanation anyway. Just pointing out the alternative way that is possible ( and almost certainly was what Donighal tried when he was working along similar lines during WWII ).

OTOH, I tend to rank creator comments and statements that don't actually make it into canon books, as rather a bit lower than the contents of canon books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quoted from Asia Ascendant:

"Dr. Michael Donighal, who'd begun calling himself Divis Mal sometime in the latter half of the twentieth century, deliberately created a more powerful quantum disturbance in 1998. The so-called Galatea Incident was not an accident at all, but the result of careful planning and years of preparation on the part of Donighal and his allies. Unlike the Hammersmith incident, the 1998 disturbance was concentrated almost exclusively in the quantum medium. Dr. Donighal had apparently learned enough about Hammersmith's work through various channels, including studies of Donighal's own growing power, to concentrate on producing a more limited range of effects. Thus there was no boom in the population of psions to correspond to the sudden increase in the ranks of novas.

(Unlike Dr. Hammersmith, Dr. Donighal didn't rely on machinery to create his disturbance. He built up the power to do it in himself, with assistance from others in the still-secret Teragen movement. Instruments helped Donighal look for auspicious moments in the quantum medium, but the work itself was an act of sheer nova-class will.)

Where the Hammersmith event took a few years to wind down, Donighal's effect lasted for decades. Some scholars of the Trinity era speculate that he and/or others renewed it from time to time; at this point it's impossible to say for sure, since nobody in a position to discuss workings of Teragen inner councils remains both alive and available for examination in the 2120s."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hmmm. All very interesting I'm sure. But please correct me if I am wrong, but surely Mal isn't actually a Nova? Of any style or description. And thus the stats provided for him are rather analogies to the powers an actual nova would possess rather than what they actually are. Thus making it even harder to counter him. And I always read him as not being a Leader at all, let alone a bad one. Wasn't that the whole POINT of the Null Manifesto?

My two cent.

And no, despite the profile, I'm not a newb, my old account has gone mental so here I am again, formerly known as Coriolis from WAAAY back.

Ta ta now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wasn't that the whole POINT of the Null Manifesto?

Yes and no. In 2008 it that’s a good approximation.

Ignore for a minute that the Night of Long Knives will eventually show Mal's tolerance for people who just don't get it has its limits.

The Manifesto has a great deal proclaiming independence from baselines and baseline thinking. That has NOTHING to do with independence from Mal. Whatever we do, he's waiting for us.

IMHO...

Mal wants equals who worship him.

Mal wants people to independently decide to go where he isn't really leading them.

Mal wants free thinkers to come to the conclusions he has.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps. I don't see Mal as some analogy of Milton's Satan though. The fact that the only real mention of him in the Trinity era is the incineration of the United Nations dude surely tells us something though. Why isn't he the leader in the Trinity Era? And sure, there could have been more books and I would have loved to have seen Nexus come out but...

Amyway.

Thats enough of that

(Formerly Coriolis)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Um, whats this about Divis Mal not being a nova?

Yeah, he's a nova. He's an exceedingly powerful nova, but he's still a nova. And technically, post PG, you could entirely stat him up; I've seen a writeup that covers everything the books have said he could do, using only power constructs from the books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, he isn't. Divis isn't a Nova in the same way that Max Mercer isn't a Psion or a Proxy. As Michael Donighal he becomes imbued in the Hammersmith explosion as something...other. Very Nova like but not a Nova. As per TPG his relationship to novas is similar to that of Psiads to Psions. Though far more powerful.

And sure, you could stat him up, but why bother? Once you've finished attaching the PG to his character sheet, no one will want to face him.

"Sorry GM, just hit me with the book, it will be shorter."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Scarlock
Perhaps. I don't see Mal as some analogy of Milton's Satan though. The fact that the only real mention of him in the Trinity era is the incineration of the United Nations dude surely tells us something though.
Yes, it tells us that the Aeon Trinity's plan to selectively wipe out pre-War history has worked pretty damn well. Also remember that it's history written from a baseline point of view, and other than eventually deciding to wipe them out, it's not like he would have wanted to leave records for their historians or anything like that.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, thats all dandy too. However, there is no OOC mention of him anywhere in the Trinity era, other than as "what has gone before". And as for wanting to leave records? Well, you could be right, though I do spot enough vanity in Mal to believe the opposite when the mood takes me. To each their own. Isn't speculation wonderful?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Um...Divis Mal is a nova. Not just any nova...THE nova. This has never been brought into question or disputed. The books repeatedly call him one, both in-character and out-of-character.

When the Hammersmith explosion went off, he became a stalwart/nova. Stalwarts and novas are basically the same thing, only seperated by the theme of the different games they're in (this was Bates' intention anyway; Baugh had a different take). But even during the Adventure era, Mal was the equivalent of a 30 NP nova. He was to stalwart-level characters what stalwarts were to normal unInspired characters, or so I remember the book saying. The only character in the entire Aeon line to ever fall out of the three Inspired categories (daredevils, psi-users, quantum-users) is Mercer.

And he was a leader...actually, he was a dictator to be exact (that's the exact word the Teragen book uses too). Not in 2008, when the Aberrant line starts. But later, when he purposefully sets off the Night of Long Knives (which was a real event that Hitler performed, you guys should look it up on-line sometime to give you an idea of what he was trying to do). Mal's patience gets the best of him, and he starts pushing Terats into different directions, getting them to fight each other and kill each other. He even sanctions the assassination of prominent Terats that he feels are keeping the movement held back. Eventually, every Terat has to follow Mal's word and opinion exactly, or they face death or banishment. His personality changes significantly during this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I recall, there are a number of statements in the Teragen book to back up most of what Blue Thunder said. Minor quibbles as follows.

Eventually, every Terat has to follow Mal's word and opinion exactly, or they face death or banishment.

I suspect just understanding Mal will continue to be enough of a problem that "exactly" won't be the right word here, but the gist is pretty close.

His personality changes significantly during this time.

Unsure. AB:Teragen makes it clear that Scripture is holding him back a lot. And Script is one of the people who might get killed in the NOLK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...