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Aberrant RPG - What is Energy? Is Time Energy?


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Background: I built a character for the 2008 board based around Bodymorph: Energy. I got heavily mauled in chat after presentation on the basis that “time isn’t energy”. This started me looking in the books and thinking about how Abby works on various issues, specifically What is Energy?. I found that the ground I’m on is a lot less firm than I thought… but some of the conclusions were counter intuitive and should be presented.

For this topic it is useful to have a book handy. Lots of what I'm going to bring up here is counter-Intuitive.

Conclusions:

1) In Abberant, Physics is not our friend.

2) When having discussions of this nature, have the core book handy. Some of the arguments that came up sounded correct but have no basis in the rules.

3) And, oh yeah, “Is Time Energy?” Answer: It depends. (See below for what it depends on).

General Conclusion: In Aberrant, Energy is any soakable non-Physical effect.

Note “Physical” also has a very different meaning than normal. In Abberrant, Physical is “kinetic damage (punches, knives or bullets)” (page 182).

Note also all resisted powers (mostly mental powers, & Q-Vampire) and effects are thus not energy (or physical).

Basically the big insight for the above general conclusion comes from Absorption, although Matter Chameleon also lends support. Absorption (and MC) work against soakable attacks. Not against Physical attacks, or against Energy attacks, but just against attacks (pgs 182 & 209). However, you have to choose Absorption to work against Energy or Physical. The implication, repeated with Invulnerability’s Board Catagories, is that all soakable “attacks” fall into one camp or the other. This is re-enforced by the existence of the various suite ‘Bolts’ and the existence of Quantum Bolt. If there were an “Other” category for Gravity and the like, then there would have to be an “Other” category for Absorption. There isn’t.

Note a LOT of attacks common sense tells us is “Physical” are by Abby definitions “Energy”. For example, Q-Bolt(Metal Shards) is an energy attack. Q-Bolt is always an Energy attack. This is stated in two locations, once in Q-Bolt and again in Absorption (pgs 182 & 216)

Suite Power ‘Bolt <==> Q-Bolt <==> Q-Bolt + Aggravated <==> Disintegration

Quantum Bolt is very flexible, you can define it as pretty near anything. Specifically, you can define it as any of the suite power ‘Bolt’s with more “oomph”. All of the various suite attacks can also be purchased as “Q-Bolt”. Q-Bolt(Gravity), Q-Bolt(TK), etc. From there we can buy the “Aggravated” extra for Q-Bolt with experience or even perhaps a powermax. Q-Bolt(Gravity: Black Hole)+Aggravated. Note Q-Bolt+Agg and Disintegration are virtually indistinguishable. Q-Bolt has a lower Q-min, and Disin does more damage, but as far as damage definitions go and the way it’s applied, they are the same.

From there we have to conclude the following: Q-Bolt is an energy attack. Gravity Control’s Blast is an energy attack. Spatial Manipulation's attack is an energy attack. Bio-manipulation’s attack is an energy attack. Direct Telekinesis is an energy attack. Disintegration is an energy attack.

Let’s branch off from here to some side issues:

Issue: Wait, power “X” really should be doing physical damage

Answer: Yeah, it seems odd Q-Bolt(Hurled Metal I-Beam) should be an energy attack. If you really want you can make a house rule allowing it to do physical damage, but it’s important to know what the default rules are so you know when you are changing them.

Issue: Absorption and Matter Chameleon don’t protect against Aggravated attacks.

Answer: Yes they do. Aggravated attacks ignore soak, not defenses. Absorption and MC reduce damage, they don’t provide soak.

Issue: Disintegration is special, you pay the juice and molecular bonds just break

Answer: No, it isn’t, and no it doesn’t. Disintegration isn’t defined as breaking of molecular bonds, that’s Molecular Manipulation’s Destruction technique. Disintegration’s book entry is extremely small, it’s simply a ranged attack doing Aggravated damage, and Aggravated damage is defined as “complete tissue destruction.” (page 254).

Aggravated damage isn’t special for any aspect of this thread’s discussion. There is nothing in the Disin power description that says, implies, or hints that there is anything special about it other than it being a ranged Aggravated attack whose damage isn’t reduced by dodging (which is pretty special right there but not relevant). Disintegration thus falls under the general power rules (pages 178-180) for how it behaves.

Issue: If Bio-Manipulation is an energy attack, then what happens when Matter Chameleon absorbs that?

Presumably in this case MC is allowing the nova to turn into the energies that allow Bio-Manipulation. It’d be really interesting to see, but there is no game mechanic that prevents this. The general answer is whatever the ST wants. The specific answer would probably depend on the exact theme of the Bio-Manipulative nova. If I were ST and running Gabriel I’d probably go with “Immolate(people touching you bleed)” and maybe even Growth (the power and/or the technique).

Issue: Bio-Manipulation is an energy attack? Does that mean I can buy Quantum Conversion: Bio-Manipulation?

Answer: Technically yes, but it really depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to make flowers bloom, and plants grow, then you’d probably buy “Growth”, the technique from Bio-Manipulation, as a standalone power. If you want to make light, buy Bioluminescence.

Issue: Bodymorph allows you to transform into your element.

(Page 185): Bodymorph’s effect is defined in the book as; Effect: Allows character to take on aspects of one specific type of matter or energy. A definition listed as “effect” out weighs the flavor text.

,,

Issue: So what about Time? Is it energy or what?

Answer: Temporal Manipulation is the odd duck out of all this. None of TM’s techniques are soakable, they are all resisted. Ergo you can’t use Absorption against TM any more than you can absorb Domination. So Temporal Manipulation has more in common with the Mental Powers than the Gravity Manipulation suite. HOWEVER… the moment you allow Q-Bolt(Time) or Disin(Time) you’ve made it a soakable effect. Mechanically that means that powers like Armor and Absorption and even Matter Chameleon work. Which in turn means it is “Energy”.

Basically there are several ways to go here. They all have strengths and weaknesses.

1) Disallow Q-Bolt(Time) or any other soakable effect that involves Time.

Strength: It makes the boundaries simple and clear. Invulnerability(BC:Energy) wouldn’t help at all with TM. INV Temporal effects would, so would INV(BC: Willpower resisted effects) would as well.

Weakness: Most of the games I’ve been in would probably have allowed Disintegration(Time) and the like. I’ve done it myself.

2) Allow Q-Bolt(Time) and the other soakable things but call it an “energy” in the same nonsense way that Gravity Manip and Spatial Manip are.

Strength: Well, once again it’s simple and clear.

Weakness: Counter Intuitive.

3) Do something else. Maybe a case by case evaluation on whether Time is energy or not.

Strength: Intuitive.

Weakness: Unclear. Subjective. “I know it when I see it” isn’t much of a rule.

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That is an exceptionally deep foray into the subject. Depth not withstanding, my view can be expressed simply by saying if time isn't energy then temporal manipulation techniques aren't possible as such. Beyond that, and despite the depth to you are taking this to, I am unclear on the goal of your argument. Is it solely the nature of temporal manipulations? If that's the case then mechanically there is an answer regardless of whether time is defined as energy to the satisfaction of all (re)viewing the character concept and there's no need to define "time" beyond the fact its a nonphysical effect.

You appear to be looking for a house ruling and I don't see a need. You are using the mechanics of the game as provided regardless of whether it meets the personal world view of someone else. I recall once having a similar but more limited discussion because I created a character for a Victorian based aberrant campaign with an aggravated attack that was basically Steam. He could superheat the fluid of the body causing cells to rupture. We actually spent at least two hours arguing it out before someone pointed out it was allowable under the rules, it wasn't unbalancing beyond the impact of any other aggravated attack, and there was a clear mechanic already in place in the game. Your real problem is not defining temporal energy per se, rather what are acceptable as aspects of time energy for your character to take on in the bodymorph. Were you to choose electricity there are examples of electrical effects and a great deal of evidence in the real world to make arguments for specific abilities and powers. Using something esoteric like "Time" there are no effects that would be universally accepted or acceptable to even a majority.

Points for originality though.

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Troll,

Matter Chameleon does provide soak depending on the substance mimicked. If I become metal, I would gain the soak properties of a metal, dependent of the number of dots in MC. The example in the book given is diamond.

Remember, according to the Laws of General Relativity, E=MC2, which means the matter and energy are the same but only when relativistic speeds have been attained.

According to Einstein's laws, both time, and light exist in the same dimension (4th). So, it is conceivable that you could have Time as an energy related power, but it must be very narrowly defined, which show the relationship between energy, matter(gravity) and time, and has powers that fit in this definition.

Gravity bends both light and time. If you have enough gravity, you can create a black hole, where light cannot escape. Since light and time are the same, time would also cease, as any movement within that dimension is halted due to the intense gravity.

A physical attack is a product of potential energy. When that potential energy moves, it become kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is described by the formula 1/2mv2, or 1/2 the mass times the velocity squared. Therefore, kinetic attacks are a type of energy attack in which a body with mass has been accelerated and has a certain amount of kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is measure in joules.

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Mr Frost: That is an exceptionally deep foray into the subject.

Thank you. shocked

Mr Frost:…if time isn't energy then temporal manipulation techniques aren't possible…

Interesting point.

Mr Frost: I am unclear on the goal of your argument.

To provide a common talking point. And when I broached the idea it was like 6-1 that my thinking was messed up for trying it. This puts that thinking down in a coherent, point by point form.

Mr Frost: …You are using the mechanics of the game as provided regardless of whether it meets the personal world view of someone else.

Thanks again.

The White Rat: Matter Chameleon does provide soak depending on the substance mimicked.

Granted, it can also do that. But we are talking about Aggravated attacks and their defenses. I’m referring to page 209, column 2, paragraph 3. ”If a nova wishes to use MC as a defense against an incoming attack… each success reduces the damage the attack inflicts by one die or level.

The White Rat: According to Einstein's laws, both time, and light exist in the same dimension (4th)… Gravity bends both light and time

Interesting. But this is starting to move off topic. Sorry, Physics isn’t our friend here.

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Here's my personal opinion. It is not the prevalent one, but it is mine nonetheless:

1. Time is not energy (and certainly isn't matter). Despite Timeslip believing that she throws off "chronotons" as her aberration, she does not do so; she merely leaks an uncontrolled though mild temporal effect.

2. Soak works on temporal effects normally (just like it does for gravitic and electromagnetic and various other funky effects). Now, one could view an Aggravated temporal effect as bypassing normal soak for the reason that it is temporal as an IC excuse (and Ag-capable soak as being that far above the mundane as to work on such a strange force), but that's neither here nor there.

3. Invulnerability (Broad Group: Energy) does not work on temporal effects, but Invulnerability (Temporal Effects) does.

4. As Time is neither matter nor energy, you cannot have Bodymorph (Time).

5. You can't have Quantum Bolt (Time), because of the requirement that Quantum Bolt be an energy attack; you could, however, have a bolt-like effect as a technique in the Temporal Manipulation suite. For the simple reason that there was no mechanism to add a new technique when I joined the boards, Timeslip's "Time Blast" is defined as a Quantum Bolt, but in my opinion it should not be such. That said, it would work dandy as Disintegrate (Time) (as there's nada in the Disintegrate description that describes it as energy)... and as it would be mechanically identical to the range, pools, etc of her Aggravated Quantum Bolt, such a re-labeling would fix that particular problem.

As I said, however, this is only my opinion. I'm well aware that said opinion is far from the majority, and that said opinion will not be adopted by the N!Prime community.

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Something people are forgetting...

An attack itself (in many cases) need not always be a form of energy or exist physcially. Depending on how it works and is defined, the result of the attack is what does the energy or physical damage while the attack itself is not energy.

For Example..

Under Elemental Mastery: Lethal Blast technique

"The character can 'throw' or project a lethal damage blast of the element - anything from a blast of freezing cold to a dehydration attack that sucks the water out of the target's body."

So Matter Chameleon can turn into "dehydration"?

No.

The attack need not always be energy itself but the result is still 'energy' or 'physcial' damage, which is what's soaked.

You can have a Disintegration attack that "breaks molecular bonds" or Time based one that "super ages a small area creating a 'wound' of decayed matter" or whatever. The attack itself is not energy nor does it need to be, so you cannot use MC to turn into it (just like "dehydration"), but the result is the source of the damage, which can be soaked.

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Troll, I'm not going to argue because basically what you are doing is unfair.

You're noting the problems in the system and trying to use those problems to justify your opinion. The system is garbage in a lot of instances. White Wolf developers should be pistol-whipped for the holes they left in Aberrent and thrice damn them for not giving us a 2nd Edition where they made at least some attempt at addressing all of these problems.

You're taking advantage of poor editing and bad through processes to justify what you want. The gut reaction of everyone in chat last night was that Time wasn't Energy and that Bodymorph:Time was absurd. Instead of recognizing the unanimous reaction and realizing that there was a logical disconnect with the concept you went rules-lawyer and tried to defend it. You're doing it again.

The rules are there to help us play a game, have a world, and make some stories. They aren't there to be manipulated until the mind reals so that you can pat yourself on the back for a combination of power effects that you wanted. I told you last night, you could come up with a different concept for Bodymorph, split out two of the powers on their own and basically be unchanged. You acknowledged last night the idea had merits and then you do this.

Decide right now whether or not you want to be someone who is going to be a partner for telling stories and running characters or if you're going to be a rules-lawyer who posts bible-lengthed arguments whenever people tell you that your idea is absurd. The fact is most folks here don't know you as a role-player. You've not been involved in IC interaction for a long time. This is going to paint who you are to folks.

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Sorry to butt in again but, Time in Newton Phys is more akin to a description than an actual thing.

1) In that it is a dimension, exactly like (and part of) Height, Width, & length! Time IS a/the forth of these dimensions in that, should you wish to figure out a location in space you must triangulate it based on the first three. BUT if it should move you must now add the dimension of time/movement into it all to figure it's new coordinates.

2) Time is also therefore in effect, the act of movement brought on by entropy(the loss of something) & or energy(the juice that is force).

Objects stationary (in effect, frozen in time) mean no force has acted upon them. If something pushes it, it now is not where it was in spacial reference.

Movement is time & time is the statement of where it came from, where it is, and where it will probably end up.

3) In Aberrant however, Quantum Physics is used instead,so as to allow for time travel, and since Quantum Physics is all theory, you get to make up the rules!

Downside to such freedom is consistency, in that you NEED the patches to rules whenever something comes up you didn't anticipate at the on set.

In closing, Time can be; Force (movement, gravity), Energy(the force applied to get movement, be chronotons or electrons),Entropy (in that space abhors a loss/vacuum and tries to fill), Dimension, or Other (Place Sci-fi made up name here_________.

However you like it, it will be based on how you want your character to say he/she/and or it (or Hesheit for short) to play out and develop.

Aberrant seems to view time as a thing that can be play around with, so should you.

Again sorry to butt in.

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I don't know what you mean by unaimous.

I would disagree on the contention that time is not a viable bodymorph. I do have concerns, however, with the way Dr. Troll drew it up and the powers he selected. If the correct correlations are made, it could work as a power.

If you understand the nature of time, then you understand that time is directly related to light. If light is a viable bodymorph, then time MUST be, because they are the same thing. Just like Bodymorph: Light must be carefully scrutinized, so must Bodmorph: Time.

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My instinct of rage towards the use of creative power descriptions to undermine basic game design along with overcomplicated mechanics used to justify said attempts at undermining is preventing me from composing a coherent post on the topic, Rat. I will refer you back up to Ultimax\'s post for an excellent summation on why a continued advocacy for this sort of a thing is a Bad Idea . For the moment, I cannot say this better than Ultimax did without including a long list of expletives that would threaten the structural integrity of my keyboard.

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Note that there is another type of soak that is not based off "engery" or "kinetic". Physic. You can take body more engery and then have physic powers from it,right? So, I don't think you should beable to pull time BS. Time in aberrant is an abstract and stupid thing, and is not interally constive, let along logical compared to what it really is.

Time is not like fire. You can't be it.

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Just to be very clear on this in case I wasn't earlier, let me repeat some things:

Troll: I got heavily mauled in chat after presentation on the basis that “time isn’t energy”. This started me looking... I found that the ground I’m on is a lot less firm than I thought...

It should also be instructive that two of the three approaches I look to solutions would result in an outright ban on the entire idea. And even if the third were adopted the mods would still be well within their rights to say I'm pushing the envelope far enough that they won't let me.

So statistically my odds of running him as he is, are pretty low. However that is a different discussion and a different issue. When the time comes I’ll present my character, I fully expect it to be shot down. I have several backup options.

However that should have little bearing on the above discourse.

Ultimax: You're noting the problems in the system and trying to use those problems to justify your opinion.

Then I’m not doing a very good job of it since a goodly amount of the reasoning I presented here works against me. The above dissertation is intended to be a fairly neutral talk about how the system works, so we won’t have people arguing from ignorance. This is what the rules say. Pure and simple.

And in case you missed it, one of the implications off all this is there is yet another defense for Aggravated attacks. It doesn’t appear that it’s possible to do Aggravated damage with a physical effect (or at least its rare and hard), so Absorption: Energy just became a viable alternative.

The big problem that you are referring to is this information is spread out and so hard to pick up. That soakable damage is separated into two, and only two, classes shouldn’t be a side note in a power. It should be part of the explained game mechanics. Similarly, the various drugs should come out and say what their toxicity level is, it shouldn’t be a side note in a power in a supplement (AB:WWI).

,,

Ultimax: The gut reaction of everyone in chat last night was that Time wasn't Energy and that Bodymorph:Time was absurd.

Tough cookies.

Here's a joke. 6 people are sitting around a table and 5 say something is true, but the 6th says it isn't. Question: Which side is correct? Answer: It depends which side has the engineer. None of the arguments presented last night went much further than “I don’t like it”.

Sometimes the majority is correct. Sometimes they are only the majority. Part of being an engineer is knowing this. The world used to be flat.

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Actually the arguments were also along the lines of "that doesn't make any sense." and you never backed it up with anything other than analogies to other errors in the game.

If you're the engineer you're refering to then show us that time is an energy outside of the game mechanics.

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Quote:
Posted by Dr. Troll:
Here's a joke. 6 people are sitting around a table and 5 say something is true, but the 6th says it isn't. Question: Which side is correct? Answer: It depends which side has the engineer. None of the arguments presented last night went much further than “I don’t like it”.
Your recall of last night was a little flawed; "I don't like it" was used, but I recall seeing "Time is not an energy" being tossed up. As Bodymorph only allows you to turn yourself into a "matter or energy (Aberrant Core Book, pg 185)." As Time is neither, it doesn't apply.

If you wish to play with time, a whole suite of powers already exists that will allow you to do just that. If they aren't what you are looking for, then I suggest you build and suggest new techniques for Temporal Manipulation rather than using a level two power to use the parts you like from a level three power. Also, from what I recall, Hugin's suggestions were quite good. smile

But the final reason that BM: Time shouldn't be allowed (or time to be considered a type of energy) is game balance. Temporal Manip is a level three power for a reason.
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Time is simply a vector. It is a direction in which objects with mass move. Energy, on the other hand, is simply matter which has been accelerated to relativistic speeds.

Time affects matter and energy. A human body ages as it moves through time. A rock in the sea erodes to a pebble as it moves through time. Energy will, over time, obey the laws of entropy and dissipate.

In other words, taking Bodymorph: Time is like taking Bodymorph: Up, Bodymorph: Growth, or Bodymorph: Erosion . These things describe a process in which matter and energy change. Time is the direction, and aging and erosion are the visualizations of our movement through time.

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Quote:
Originally posted by The White Rat:
Time is simply a vector. It is a direction in which objects with mass move. Energy, on the other hand, is simply matter which has been accelerated to relativistic speeds.

Time affects matter and energy. A human body ages as it moves through time. A rock in the sea erodes to a pebble as it moves through time. Energy will, over time, obey the laws of entropy and dissipate.

In other words, taking Bodymorph: Time is like taking Bodymorph: Up, Bodymorph: Growth, or Bodymorph: Erosion . These things describe a process in which matter and energy change. Time is the direction, and aging and erosion are the visualizations of our movement through time.
YEAH! What he said......I think...err, umm.......
I'm gonna go chew gum now :P
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You're talking to an engineer Machina. You can't generalize like that. wink

Dr Troll; for the purposes of the game, as physics is not our friend here, fire is matter in a state called plasma while wind is merely air molecules in motion. The best analog I can come up with is that you're trying to do the same as if you wanted to propose Body Morph: Motion. And the reaction would likely be much the same. You can't become motion, although there are ways you could create motion effects and justify control over motion. Ultimately I would think you would have to buy individual techniques from the Time Manipulation suite or the entire suite. The character wouldn't start out as powerful as you seem to be shooting for but would eventually get there.

Could you become something with an effect on time? Something like chronoton particals? Ummm... its possible but aberrant players as a group are highly cautious people when it comes to the game possibilities. That's why you see so much talk about canon references and wanting to see the page number where 'X' is implicitly or explicitly allowed. Personally I would decide what it is you want to actually accomplish and then use something a little less "out there". Something like Body Morph: Neutrinos. I would really like to read the eruption story of someone that resulted in that power but only to see creativity in play.

And to answer the original question posed in the topic title, I would say time is a by product or perception of energy changes.

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Tommy Tomorrow: Ultimately I would think you would have to buy individual techniques from the Time Manipulation suite or the entire suite.

I think you mean “will have to”, and that’s correct.

Tommy Tomorrow: Ummm... its possible but aberrant players as a group are highly cautious people when it comes to the game possibilities. That's why you see so much talk about canon references and wanting to see the page number where 'X' is implicitly or explicitly allowed.

I agree. I also agree with the mindset.

One of the ironies here is I didn’t think this was much of a grey area. IMHO it’s still “only” a deeper grey than I first realized, meaning some people would allow it and others would not. To put this totally into perspective I’ve had two characters with very similar bodymorphs approved, one of them on this forum (Multigate with BM: Warp), and the other actually had BM: Time.

And for that matter, If any of the voices raised in opposition were ST I’d have dropped the entire matter a long time ago... and there already is a BulletTime 2 who has a different BM.

BTW, Fire isn’t Plasma, nor is it “matter” (scientist?). Flame is matter (specifically a gas). Fire is a reaction. We could argue our opinions, but intuition is a poor guide when we can look it up. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/021122.html

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Tommy: OK, you've just got me thinking about this.

Time is not energy. The standpoint that time is energy is not supported anywhere in the game (not to mention physics. Really, don't bother mentioning it). Even according to Doc Troll's first post, the only way time becomes a form of energy is if you convince a GM to allow Q-Bolt(Time). Now, I don't know about you, but that sound like either a Q-Bolt that ages someone (in other words, the resisted technique from Temporal Manip), or a Q-Bolt that rips someone out of the timestream (which would, again, be a resisted effect, even if it were allowable). Or any other number of effects. But none of them would do straight-up damage to a physical body. They would cause change, but would all be resisted effects - and thus not applicable to the effects of a Q-bolt.

Let's look at this another way. Physical attacks can be defined as one physical body attempted to occupy the same space as another physical body. I can't think of a single physical attack that doesn't fall into that definition (feel free to change my mind, I haven't given it too much though, but it's not terribly relevent). Energy attacks can be defined as changing the amount of a specific type of energy within a specific object or area. Heat attacks can increase or decrease the heat of an object (fire and ice). Electrical attacks increase the electrical energy, magnetic attacks increase the magnetic energy, etcetera. If you greatly increase the time a person has, you are making them faster - increasing their actions, increasing their aging rate, etc. If you greatly decrease a person's time, you are taking away actions, locking them in stasis. Both of these abilities have game-defined effects - in Temporal Manipulation. As resisted effects. No other definition of Q-Bolt (Time) makes any sense.

Which means that simply having Q-Bolt (Time) is not a valid option. It's like saying Q-Bolt (Perception) - can you increase or decrease someone's perception, blinding them? No. Or Q-Bolt (Happiness), or Q-Bolt (Nova Scotia) or Q-Bolt (Infinity). Some things just don't make sense, and cannot apply. If a GM fails to catch that, it's not the game's fault, it's his and the players. So, even by Troll's original assessment, time is not energy.

Having said that, there are ways to get around it. Quantum (as in the source of a Nova's powers) is effectively a form of energy - and Quantum can be used to manipulate time. You can define a Q-Bolt to have damaging temporal effects, like Q-Bolt+Agg (Entropy from aging), Q-Bolt (Instant heat from friction or faster molecules), Q-Bolt (Opponent's body rips itself apart because some of it is 'caught in the timestream'). These are 'temporal effects'. But they are not raw time. They're Quantum effects. Anything else I can say on the subject would be raw speculation and justification. But the rules (as defined above by Doc Troll) back me up on this. You can play the same game with Disintegration. You can define your disintegration in terms of it's effects on time, but it's still a Quantum effect, and it's the Quamtum that you're soaking when you soak the Disintegration, not the time itself. It may not be stated outright in the rules, but everything Doc Troll stated above seems to imply this.

Now the fun stuff - breaking this rule. If time is not a form of energy, then what can we Bodymorph into that has interesting temporal effects, and how can we justify it. Yes, this is terribly backwards from a character building standpoint, but I feel that interesting powersets can often justify reverse-engineering an interesting character to use them.

So, let's take an easy one: Bodymorph (Tachyon). A Tachyon is a theoretical particle that travels faster than light, and because of that travels backwards in time. An obvious one to have temporal abilities and technically a form of 'matter'. Bodymorph (Tachyon) would give speed-based powers, because you're obviously 'faster' as a Tachyon entity than you normally would be. Also, any Temporal Manipulation suite powers you chose to use would have to have the Weakness "Useable on self only". Not necessarily a weakness for some powers, but then again those powers also happen to be the most appropriate for 'becoming a tachyon'. Like Delay Damage, or Accelerate Time. I'd allow some of the Momentum Control suite powers with the same weakness. How does one 'errupt' as a Tachyon? How about a Theoretical Physicist who's getting high and listening to Madonna's "Quicker than a Ray of Light"?

OK, Tachyons are fun, but how about something a bit more justifiable: Bodymorph (Photons). Guess what? Photons are energy. No one can deny it. They also have the odd effect of travelling at exactly the speed of light (well, duh). Something that, according to Einstein, has really wacky effects on time. So what do you get out of this? Just about exactly what I mentioned above in Bodymorph (Tachyon), except that the entire concept is a whole hell of a lot more justifiable. And the erruption is easier too - what sci-fi fan hasn't thought about travelling at the speed of light?

So, what if you want to 'reach out and touch someone' with temporal abilities? ...Buy temporal manipulation. Nothing short of a black hole has that much power over time in the real world. And Bodymorph(black hole) would get density/gravity related powers way before temporal ones. They tend to rip you to shreds through tidal forces a long, long time before you run into the reletivistic effects.

I realize that 'physics is not our friend'. But before you tear apart the above paragraphs on that basis remember that 'reality is our baseline'.

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Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll'

To put this totally into perspective I’ve had two characters with very similar bodymorphs approved, one of them on this forum (Multigate with BM: Warp)
Umm.. No. Multigate was approved for Zero's game, not the actual 2016 forum. What Zero, as a ST, wants to allow in his game (NOT the 2016 forum), is his choice.
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First of all, i think that anything is possible as long as you can make up an explanation for it. The reason for this is: Aberrant is a fantasy setting.

A concept like q-bolt (time) has the same game mechanics like a q-bolt (fire). So there is no balancing reason to forbid it. All you need is an explanation. Some Ideas were already made up. I think a wave of time alteration that ages cells to death is soakable - mega stamina lets you live longer, so your cells live longer and are more resistant to aging effects. Additionally, a wave of time still is a wave in physical matters - meaning it is subject to bending, breaking and reflection. That's good enough for me to let soak apply.

Bodymorph (Time) is more complex. I can imagine it as the character beeing present in multiple times at the same moment, giving him enourmous abilities to resist attacks, as he is shattered over multiple time instances, so his present instance carries only a part of his lifepower. As an alternative, he moves to a place without time, or just stops time for his instace, and heals some of the damage.

He could also dodge attacks by shifting to another time or just 0.x seconds to the future when being attacked. He could also be able to manipulate his age, so he could dodge by shrinking to a baby or even below (beware the nova sperm!).

I think this would allow game mechanic equivalents of Boost (Sta), density decrease and sizemorph (decrease) as parts of the bodymorph.

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I think Dorothy Roberts hit the nail on the head.

That is exactly the kind of reasoning and discourse I was hoping for… but it does leave BM:Time on the wrong side of the line. Well shoot. A pity about BulletTime, he didn’t even live long enough to get shot down by the mods.

(Feel free to gloat anyone). :P

On the subject of BM: Photons, I am impressed. You just described BT version #2. Bodymorph:Light, no Temporal anything. He’ll have to buy the Temporal Manip suite separately.

Dorothy Roberts: You can define your disintegration in terms of its effects on time, but it's still a Quantum effect, and it's the Quantum that you're soaking when you soak the Disintegration, not the time itself. It may not be stated outright in the rules, but everything Doc Troll stated above seems to imply this.

Interesting. And a good explanation for both Hardbody working on all forms of Agg, and why all Q-Bolts are “energy” based.

This also leads us to all Disins and even all Elemental-Mastery 'Bolts being energy.

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Dorothy;

A quantum bolt of "temporal energy" could indeed be conceived of having the effect of aging someone or pulling them from the time stream. That former sounds like a special effect or description of the damage while the latter sounds like something not of the quantum bolt variety. I very much like your arguments for the effects of time as an attack but here's another possibility. The bolt of "temporal energy" does not affect the person as a whole but instead creates randomly placed and fluctuating temporal ripples throughout the structure it hits. Imagine if you will that for a moment the area of your heart is momentarily in a zone of fast time of something like 10:1, while the rest of your body is still in 1:1. Imagine your hand being almost frozen in time while the rest of your body isn't; broken bones are a very real possibility. Now take multiple unpleasant affects, all based on the fact that parts of your body are experiencing random out of synch flows in subjective time, and add it together.

I have no problem with believing a temporal manipulator could learn to project of beam of temporal energy that could mess your world up and still use the mechanics of the quantum bolt. For that matter, I have no problem with a temporal manipulator learning a technique that is based off some of the entropic techniques.

Dr Troll;

You're right, fire is not plasma. I'm not sure what I was thinking at the time I wrote that but plasma is not the correct answer. The correct answer is that fire is (one) visible and (somewhat) tangible side effect of matter changing form in a type of chemical reaction.

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Tommy Tomorrow: A quantum bolt of "temporal energy" could indeed be conceived of having the effect of aging someone... Imagine if you will that for a moment the area of your heart is momentarily in a zone of fast time of something like 10:1, while the rest of your body is still in 1:1.

Now blow up a rock with that. Or make a hole through a wall.

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Quote:
Tommy Tomorrow:...I always thought of the power section in AB as a starting point or pallet to select from...
It is. But if you have a description that doesn't match the power, then you should match it against a different power.

As described, Q-Bolt(Time) can't break anything that isn't alive. It also appears to also have issues with novas with Adaptability but that's a side note. A Q-Bolt that can't break a plastic ruler is not a Q-Bolt.

Mental Blast would work well based on that power description. It would also continue with the "time is not energy" issue and even the "all temporal powers are resisted" business.
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Quote:
As described, Q-Bolt(Time) can't break anything that isn't alive.
Maybe not blow up a rock but certainly put a hole in a wall. Time would have different effects on different materials, the plaster and wood in a standard house wall would age, crack, and sag while a concrete wall would find it's materials aging and cracking to some degree. Metals might oxidize, organic materials would rot or weaken, etc. Plastics would become brittle or conversely lose their rigidity completely.

While the aforementioned power could not vaporize a ruler it would probaly reduce it to such a state that it would break/crumble the next time it was touched, a wall would weaken allowing a non-mega-strength character to break through it easily.

Then there are the more interesting uses for this power. Think of the Nova Whiskey Distiller who can age a barrel of fine Kentucky Bourbon in minutes.

Sure it loses some of the uses of a normal "Q-Bolt: Plasma Blast", but it gains the ability to permanently age a target or construct.
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