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Aberrant RPG - Problems with Mastery

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My apologies for the long post.

Over the years I've noticed a number of problems with Mastery in application, and I was wondering if anyone else had similar experiences or solutions. First though, a little background to explain myself.

My current group and I have been playing Aberrant for about five years now. In that time frame we have played a great many games, many of them going into Quantum 6+ territory. I personally have played multiple Quantum 6+ novas, ran stories with many of them, and rolled a great many combats. I've played a nova up to Quantum 10. Everyone had loads of fun with that game and everyone, ST included, was sorry to see them go. Our games tend to focus a lot on the ramifications of power. It's not about whether you can blow up a city, it's about whether you are willing to or not.

Also, we keep a running binder of novas. Our group generally awards experience for making novas for the ST to use, and we like to think that every time we introduce another one, we have added RP value to all our future games by creating one more nova in our little universe. I've made literally hundreds of novas at everything from mean-streets to hand-cramping Terats of doom in the year 2030.

My experience with Mastery has been that introducing the multiplier takes the game math out back and shoots it in the face. The issue I'll address in this post is soak vs. damage.

Soak vs. Damage: Before Quantum 6, soak adding together mitigates the relatively larger values on damage powers. Also, taking actions like dodging and power-blocking means novas of the same power level can throw down without it being a slaughter.

After Quantum 6, the Mastery multipliers add much more to damage powers, with their higher numbers, than to soak powers. For example, the quintessential lethal QB 5 does [24]+(40)=64 total damage at Quantum 6. A mastered F. Field 5, by contrast, will give [12]+4*sux. Assuming a nova has charged eufiber 5, and Stamina/M. Stamina 5, he will need 10.5 sux to reduce that to ping. 13 sux is certainly possible, but unlikely.

So, the likely result is the defending nova, who already spent more points, gets fried. He has maybe 10 health levels, and the QB could easily vaporize him. Even if he partially dodges, the huge numbers mean he will probably end up dead. This leads to a game in which high-quantum combat becomes more like a showdown at high noon than an epic super hero battle. Combat in Aberrant can be quite short, but this just isn't much fun.

Novas can of course compensate by having multiple soak powers, loads of health levels, etc. However, as Quantum increases and the Mastery levels increase with it, the amount of xp/np put in to counter a single power becomes absurd. Also, consider the even scarier value of a Mastered bashing QB at 5: [36]+(40)=76. At QB 6 84 total. Supercharged at QB 6: 108.

My group and I have tried various things over the years to keep it interesting, but I'm curious about other groups' experiences. Have you played high-quantum games and run into the same problem? How did you solve it? Did you have a different experience altogether with Mastery?

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Hummm... Honestly this never became an issue fer me an my group (s) as, unlike your clearly higher quality RPing group, they'd all go NukE CrAzY postal at QR 6+. Nice to hear that your group has good heads on their shoulders.

Frankly though, I've heard this discussion 110X's here on the board when discussing even Low powered QR 5- games. Damage is often much higher than what others can survive (soak).

Granted, someone with Invulnerability can survive your QR6/Q-Bolt5+Mastery 1 if they Too have Invulnerability 5+Mastery1 (which gives a Soak of 60), but yeah, even then that SO called invulnerable dude still gets hit fer 4 bashing.

The problem seems to stem from the fact that you Need to always combine Soaks from Multiple powers to get someone capable of resisting/suviving damage, but juxtaposingly you only need ONE power (IE;Q-Bolt & Mega Str) to do THAT level of damage. So where as your opponents Q6<+Mastery1> +Max Dots in a damage power (QBolt again), you must Pay fer Mastery on Multiple Soak powers... AND since one of the Biggest sorces to get soak (Mega-Stam) can benefit from mastery at all, it evenetually becomes Impossable for a Nova/Novus to survive attacks by seemingly "Equal" opponents.

The need to end up having five powers separtely mastered powers(+enhancments) just to fend off One single Mastered powers damages makes House Rules your only option/route. Sorry but true.

You may haveta consider going the rout of OTHER RPGs' in that, you need to start giving out HP (Hit Points) ala; AD&D, Rifts, and Final Fantasy, as the players progress, as well as allowing fer Mastery to be placed on Enhancement, just to Keep the feild reasonably in play.

Frankly, I just got creative with my Temporal Manipulation power and began FREEZING walls of air in place... Since said wall was invulnerable Period, this saved my Butt fer a lil longer... Untill that day I was just not fast enuff.

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Originally Posted By: Horizon
Also, we keep a running binder of novas. Our group generally awards experience for making novas for the ST to use, and we like to think that every time we introduce another one, we have added RP value to all our future games by creating one more nova in our little universe. I've made literally hundreds of novas at everything from mean-streets to hand-cramping Terats of doom in the year 2030.

Sounds like a great group you got there. I do something similar too, my current Aberrant binder runs over 100 NPCs most novas, but some baselines.

Quote:
Soak vs. Damage: Before Quantum 6, soak adding together mitigates the relatively larger values on damage powers. Also, taking actions like dodging and power-blocking means novas of the same power level can throw down without it being a slaughter.

After Quantum 6, the Mastery multipliers add much more to damage powers, with their higher numbers, than to soak powers. For example, the quintessential lethal QB 5 does [24]+(40)=64 total damage at Quantum 6. A mastered F. Field 5, by contrast, will give [12]+4*sux. Assuming a nova has charged eufiber 5, and Stamina/M. Stamina 5, he will need 10.5 sux to reduce that to ping. 13 sux is certainly possible, but unlikely.

Two flaws with your example:
1. Forcefield. The average roll you'd get with Mastered Forcefield at Stamina 5 + Mega-Stamina 5 + Forcefield 5 is 9.5 sux. My rolls randomized anywhere from 4 sux to 14 sux (15d10 rolled 100 times).

So, let's assume 10 sux average (9.5 rounded up). That's a total of 40 (sux x4) plus 12 (Quantum x2). So 52 (on average), just from your Forcefield power alone. Remember, Mega-Attributes count as 2 sux on a 7-9 and as 3 sux on a 10 or more. (Core, p.154: 'Mega-Attribute Advantages').

Now add that with Stamina soak and before you've even arrives at other powers you're only about 4-6 dice in difference with the attack. That's not too bad considering 1 or 2 dots in Armor could even that out.

Now, if you're dropping down attacks that you know PCs can't defend against... you're either a dick of an ST, or you didn't plan well enough. The battles should be a challenge, but never a 'one hit, enemy wins' scenario. You guys obviously have the math down, gear the numbers to be more in line with what you think is fair.

2. You're using the 'all 5's' examples. Character with 5+ in a power or Mega-Attributes are hands down the 'Masters' in the aberrant world. Now, 5's in base attribute or skills are piddly. Nova's are supposed to be better than humans (on average), some aren't, but they make for it in other ways.

Anytime you calculate a five or more into the mix, then yes, that five or six is going to most likely drop a hammer of pure whoopass into your stew of super-hero creaminess, especially if you've tacked on Mastery.

Quote:
So, the likely result is the defending nova, who already spent more points, gets fried. He has maybe 10 health levels, and the QB could easily vaporize him. Even if he partially dodges, the huge numbers mean he will probably end up dead. This leads to a game in which high-quantum combat becomes more like a showdown at high noon than an epic super hero battle. Combat in Aberrant can be quite short, but this just isn't much fun.

Novas can of course compensate by having multiple soak powers, loads of health levels, etc. However, as Quantum increases and the Mastery levels increase with it, the amount of xp/np put in to counter a single power becomes absurd. Also, consider the even scarier value of a Mastered bashing QB at 5: [36]+(40)=76. At QB 6 84 total. Supercharged at QB 6: 108.


A soak of 108 is not that hard to get with Mastery I.

Quote:
My group and I have tried various things over the years to keep it interesting, but I'm curious about other groups' experiences. Have you played high-quantum games and run into the same problem? How did you solve it? Did you have a different experience altogether with Mastery?


Gear the challenge to suit the players. If they're all sporting 5s in everything, but didn't think to buy health levels too, that's their own damn fault. If your player are averaging 2-4s in powers with Mastery I on them, then give them the same from their challengers.

But wait, why would you have Mastery I on a power you only have 1 or 2 dots in? I thought you said 5 was Mastered?
As far as the skill, yes. But Mastery is not about dots, it's about the power the itself. While a character may not have be a 'Master' in the power, it does not necessarily mean they are not a master of the quantum force behind the power.

So you can have lower powered quantum bolts, or lowered powered soaks that still gain the boost Mastery I provides without dropping a Nagasaki clearing QB every time your PC farts or coughs. But it will still be impressive nonetheless.

Here's some of the things that I've done to make the game more gritty or challenge high powered characters:

1. Disrupt (Mastery I) - If the attack or the defense on a PC or NPC is just too high for you, remove them. Very rarely will a Q6 Disruptor be outdone by a Q6 PC or NPC rolling their Quantum + Node. The advantage of the extra sux from rolling Mega-Intelligence really come into play here. Also, Mastery I will increase the duration from 'Maintenance' to 'One Scene' (Disrupt should never have a 'Permanent' duration). All for 1 quantum point. Add "Reduced Quantum Cost" as the character Q6 'freebie' Extra and they can Disrupt for no cost as often as they desire. Max the power for 1WP and 6QP and tack on a few extras... like 'Area' and 'Extra Power'. With Mastery I in effect the Area will be doubled and they'll be able to weaken 4 powers for one scene.

Not to shabby.

2. Remove the 5 Success cap rule. Only damaging powers are affected by this rule and frankly, it's lame. Simply allow any and all success rolled for a damaging power to be accepted in the final damage pool. So if you roll 10 successes on your attack with a quantum bolt, you apply all 10 to your pool, not just 5 of them.

This can get broken so you can make it an 'Extra' for damaging powers. 'Break Damage Limit' will allow anyone to keep all their successes and apply them to their damage pool.

3. Armor Piercing - Lower powered attacks against high defense characters is a pain. An attack with AP added to it removes 2 soak per success (4 if it's mastered). So you can on average remove 20-40 points of soak easily on most opponents. If you're tacking on 'Impervious' to everything just to negate this option, well, that's pretty weak. Not everything or everyone should be Impervious.

Which brings me to my next point...

4. Everything has a weakness. Forget the rules. Sometimes people have weaknesses that greatly reduce their ability to attack or defend. Use this and have fun with it.

For example we had a plant guy who had aberrated into a talking tree nova. A humanoid tree guy. Kinda cool. He was weak against Fire and copper (copper will kill a tree). Fire did an additional +6 damage to him regardless of the source and copper completely bypassed his power soak forcing to only use his soak gained from his Stamina + Mega Stamina.

It wasn't completely in line with the rules, but it sure as hell made the PC play smart.

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Forgive me for not using the quote function, never been any good with it. Thanks to both of you for replies.

El: We have considered significantly increasing the health levels as partial compensation in the Q 6+ arena. Unfortunately, that is a temporary fix, unless we are willing to go into the realm of dozens of health levels.

Dave: You are right about the math, but once again that delays the problem. As the power levels (and the Mastery multipliers) continue to increase, the "defender" must expend larger and larger amounts of xp to survive a single strike. Multiple soak powers, health levels, and all that DO work. The defender just needs more and more of them as the multipliers stack up. I didn't mean to mislead with my Mastery 1 example. You did a great job showing how it's not that hard. But, it's the tip of the iceberg.

You are right about the ST needing to tailor challenges. That's a factor in all games. However, ultimately we as a group are dissatisfied with how the Mastery multipliers play out. The soak vs. damage example is only the first part of a major list of issues we have run up against over the years. There are also problems with powers like Disrupt, Disorient, Stun Attack, etc with regards to Mastery. I was just opening with the most basic issue. That's why I'm asking for ideas and other experiences.

Using alternate powers such as disrupt is certainly part of the game, but it doesn't solve the essential issue.

As an example, we played a game from Q5 all the way to Q8-10 depending on the character. We had a soak monster survivor aptly named Roach, and a 2nd gen mega-social angel of death named Luke. When they emerged from their 1st Chrysalis, they kept pace with each other for the most part. The damage numbers had started to creep a bit, but it wasn't much of a problem. Luke had an Immobilize vs willpower that was pretty potent Mastered at 1 dot. But, overall everyone was having a good time.

Fast forward to Q8, and the numbers started to fall apart. The supposedly invulnerable Roach was burning lots of his xp trying to keep his character's role, while Luke discovered if he ever fought his clone he could vaporize himself without thinking. The ever-awesome QB of doom took far less XP to buy than the soak/health levels to deal with it. Many combats with other Q7-Q9 novas went sideways with alacrity. It became a total crap shoot. Who got off the first double Mastered debuff power that only needed to net two or even 1 sux to render the opponent an easy kill, or connected with the first QB. Luke's Immobilize, still at 1 dot and now rocking Mastery 2, was almost unstoppable. The introduction of a will shield helped somewhat, but even then more often than not using that power ended things.

I guess my point is the X2, X5, X20 model is great, in theory. It does an excellent job reflecting the awesome powers high-quantum novas wield. It shows just how much difference there is between Blitz-freeze and Jeremiah Scripture. However, the multipliers, sooner or later, break the math.

Should I do a breakdown of all the various problems I've seen? I could post up our "solutions," some of which have worked great, and others which just broke the game more.

When we make novas, we say "WHEN this guy hits Q7," not "IF this guys hits Q7."

I appreciate all the advice, but truth be told, I don't really need "gritty." I know how to make, play, and run novas. I know how to look for weaknesses. I'm wondering how do we keep the game from devolving into first shot is the last shot. Pre Mastery, with exceptions, the combats are fun, with potential for both sides to surprise, and a lot of fun. Post Mastery, too often the only die that matters is initiative.

As always, thanks for the replies.

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Quit taking Mastery, or change the multiplier on certain powers. Or cap, regardless of Mastery, how much damage or soak a single power is capable of.

We know the problems with the game, we've gone at length about them before. The thing is, Aberrant was not designed for when you hit Q6, the information in the Player's Guide is a bit misleading. See, those rules were specifically designed for the canon NPCs and not really meant to end up in the hands of actual players.

They had to justify how their meta-plot canon PCs would be able to run roughshod over anything you as a player created. If the first thing your PCs run to is Mastery I, II, or III... simply remove it as an Extra for awhile until you want those sorts of numbers in your game. The fact of the matter is is that you know how much Quantum Inferno can and will do for damage, and if knowing you still allow a PC to have it then you kinda got exactly what you asked for: surgery with a chain saw.

If the numbers are the issue, simply change the numbers.

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So, you're suggesting changing the Mastery multiplier for each power to even it out? That might be worth trying, but it would be a lot of work. I'm not afraid of hard work, especially if it lets my group keep the game we enjoy so much.

I totally agree the original game mechanics were not designed with the Mastery system in mind. The Mastery rules were either not play-tested or not play-tested enough. The "limited to Quantum 5" rule is pretty standard WW fare. They put a limit in place, then come back later and say "here are the big guns; think at least three times before you let players have them."

However, I have to disagree with your premise that the rules were only intended for STC's. WW has shown themselves perfectly willing to say "ST stuff only." They don't say that in the APG. In fact, they specifically talk about PLAYERS getting these powers.

WW doesn't generally give justifications for their canon NPC's. First, they don't stat them, then encourage the ST not to try. They give broad outlines of capabilities, and encourage ST's not to let rules get in the way. In fact, they almost make a joke out of those sorts of powers ending up in player hands. How many quips about killing Caine are interspersed throughout OWoD Vampire books?

So, Aberrant is, in theory, different. The game is "What would you do with the power of a god?" The back of the APG talks about "cosmic" powers. Heck, that is why my group loves Aberrant. We know ST's can do anything, so none of us are worried about actually letting players have some oomph. You want to work towards being able to whoop good ole' Caestus Pax? Go for it, sounds like a good story. Don't expect it to be easy, but part of the fun in RP'ing is overcoming challenges.

We know exactly how much damage Quantum Inferno does. I bought it once. I spent some hard-earned XP on it, and it sat on my character sheet. I used it once, when the ST specifically put a game element in place that called for that kind of world-destroying damage. It wasn't a power-gamer gumby move. In fact, that XP probably could have been better used on more mega-social enhancements. I spent much more time talking than fighting, and QI redefines "collateral damage." But, it was where my character would go, and I went there. The ST never regretted letting me take it, and I never regretted having it on my sheet. In the end, Awe-Inspiring and Lie Detector "hurt" the plot more than the ultimate damage power ever did.

I appreciate your help, but I know the numbers need to change, somewhere. That is exactly the help I've been asking for. HOW do I change the numbers around? Perhaps I wasn't clear in my OP, in which case I apologize for the confusion.

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Originally Posted By: Horizon
So, you're suggesting changing the Mastery multiplier for each power to even it out? That might be worth trying, but it would be a lot of work. I'm not afraid of hard work, especially if it lets my group keep the game we enjoy so much.

Yeah, it'll take some work, but it's good to know you're not afraid of that.

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However, I have to disagree with your premise that the rules were only intended for STC's.


Heh, I was kidding when I said that. Aberrant books are mostly WW blowing sunshine up the NPC's ass, and the 'adventures' are usually just you and your crew along for the ride as the NPCs just show off while you watch all slack-jawed and buggy-eyed.

Quote:
I appreciate your help, but I know the numbers need to change, somewhere. That is exactly the help I've been asking for. HOW do I change the numbers around? Perhaps I wasn't clear in my OP, in which case I apologize for the confusion.

One tactic that works for me is to look at what I'm up against. I jot down the PCs soak scores and I jot down the maximum possible damage they can dish out. I then design my NPC around those numbers.

If Zappa Da' Rappa (Hip-Hop/Gangsta Rapper Hero) can dish out about 45 maximum damage then Lars the BardBarian (Brutish Death Metal Master of Evil) will likely have a permanent soak that can handle a few attacks and maybe an activated power that would allow him to Ping that damage to make the fight last longer. Lars in turn would have attacks that would not obliterate Zappa Da' Rappa outright, but could certainly hurt him.

This keeps the fight interesting and adds the element of drama and mortality. As you pointed out: Mastery quickly makes it into a game of 'as long as I can shoot first, we can win'.

As for the actual math... well, that would take more time than I have at the moment. Rest assured once you start tweaking maximums and then applying multipliers you'll quickly see where some of the problems are. Just target those and do some tweaking. Maybe Add some extra soak to armor (+4 instead of +3), or tone down the multiplier in QBs math a bit.

As an example, write out the damage QB does with each multiplier (without mastery) on a Q3, QB 3 nova calculating the bashing damage... you may find that by removing one or two of the multipliers could reduce the damage to an acceptable level compared to the average soak totals in your game.

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I'll get to work playing with the damage numbers just as soon as I finish this huge Enhancement doc I've been working on. Thanks for the help.

I had considered pulling the Mastery multipliers completely, but that makes the investment/return curve on Quantum and most powers so steep hardly any novas would bother.

Most of Aberrant's adventure seem designed as an excuse to show off canon NPC's, as you said, or punish the player's with choose-your-own adventure style deaths at every turn. They seem to be so obsessed with the "story" they are telling they forget that RP'ing is a collaborative effort. Pax whoops your ass if X, a random person kills you with a satellite of doom if Y, etc. The rail-roading in Phase II is almost hilarious. Radu shows up in most of our games as a wily badass, but Dominion is so riddled with plot holes we don't even bother with it.

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If you don't mind me saying this suggestion too much, but I've always seen ONLY one problem with the game.... QR is a little too easy to get!

Don't get me wrong now, I LOVE the game as is and see very little fault with it (Other than the one's You mentioned) but I never like how easy it was fer me to get a high Q-Rating... I hardly felt the fun of the challenge at all. Sure it is still alotta XP (A heckavualot) but not to very ground breaking really... I've Never minded it when I or players spend 40 & 48 Xp to get to Q's 6 & 7 respectivily... but, after that, the x's 8 multiplier should increase to x'9 fer getting to QR 8 & 9, and should be x's 10 to level at Q10.

Just a thought really.

Its not that I'm against power play, but this would at least slightly increase the time in game till you Peak. Makes it less dry and flat feeling. I mean, it's QR8 & 10 fer pitty sake.... Those are the two Real holy grail levels.

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And as fer that damage to health... Well, it should be alot easier to get more health levels & QPool at QR 6,7,8,9, & 10... Just like how it gets easier to buy Extras fer powers.

Why have it so that only one grows.

Lastly, you need some better extras to add to Soak powers so that they match up with their name sakes (Like invulnerability). Give force feilds a means to Pump in MORE QPool into the sheild so as to double, triple and mega up & out the power so as to survive initial first strikes like the ones you been mentioning.

This is very JapAnimationaly movie like in it's Cinamatics, and is perfect fer such a game of "Over the Top" powers like Aberrant

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Next: Invulnerability... This is a power that NEEDS to live up more to it's Theme. You should allow players with it to buy up points of soak Via the "Strengths & Weaknesses" rule. This is great fer doing this on defensive powers, But Lousy fer buying up Damage dealing-ability fer powers Like Q-Bolt & DisinterGreat :P

The math is, U pay fer ONLY 1Damage die for Offensive powers (Which are rolled) BUT, you pay the same amount for Defencive soak powers (IE armor & Invulnerabilty) and get One point of guaranteed SOAK (Which, conversely, you do Not roll for in Aberrant, unlike other WW games).

PLAYER A) with a of QR8 levels a Leathel Q-Bolt8 Mastered Twice blast that does 16+ Whatever die Times 5 at a guy (PlayerB)who also has QR-8 and the power of Invulnerability Mastered II at 8Dots aswell...But he bought +plus 30 extra Soak "Strength", ALL of which is x5! That give him a 390Flat Soak... Ouch! More than enough to survive a hit now from that Energy blast, And a building falling on him to boot.

Even if you may not go with the powers over 5 thingy, the Strengths thingy IS Leagle.

As the Invulnerable one increase, consider reducing the cost to buy "Strengths" of Soak down a little (just like with extras getting easier)... But thats a suggestion only.

FYI-Yes I did say "8"Dots fer both QBOLT & Invulnerability! Don't forget that later on the books let you increase Mega-Atts Past the given rules of 5, which, since your Mega att can NOT exceed your normal att, means your normal Atts MUST also match your Mega atts... And SINCE there is NOTHING IN THE BOOKS TO SAY THAT NON-Mega ATT POWERS CAN NOT ALSO EXCEED 5 (I checked the books)... Go fer it!

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Well, we have played lots of Terats, if you want to talk about easy Quantum. This time around the current ST had this great idea to make gaining Q6+ more like old-school Mage Seekings. You have to "get it," in order to buy those levels. That has added a real interesting dimension to the game. Some novas who have been around for a long time (Tote) have started to slip a bit because they can't make the jump.

I like your idea of adding health levels based on Quantum. That might mitigate the increased damage somewhat.

I think about what you said with Invulnerability. Definitely needs some help as a power.

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Keep in mind also that the Mastery rules were never really thought out very well. Personally, I'd just allow Mastery I and just pretend the other two levels didn't exist.

Health Levels - You do get more Health Levels as your Quantum score in creases. Since the cap on your Mega-Stamina is increased beyond 5 you'll gain extra Health Levels every time you buy a dot in Mega-Stamina.

Invulnerability - The power is fine, four dots and you're pretty much immune to most Baseline standards of damage.

The real problem is that you're playing Q7-10 novas. Novas at this level are capable of leveling entire cities with a sneeze, that's just how it is.

The Strength/Weakness system was also not thought out very well and it's usually where people go bend the rules and twist the numbers into their favor. If you're going to use the S/W system, keep a close eye on the players.

Quote:
This time around the current ST had this great idea to make gaining Q6+ more like old-school Mage Seekings. You have to "get it," in order to buy those levels. That has added a real interesting dimension to the game.

That's how it should be. The core even explains that a bit and the players guide goes a little further in depth, but yeah, Q5 is supposed to be 'top of my game' and once you break the Q6 mark you're instantly a legend and done what most could only dream of. It depends on the table you're playing at though; some thing it's just another number to make their PC stronger or that's only the 1/2 way mark to making their character 'just right' for the challenges ahead.

In my games I allow the purchase of up to Q3 with XP, after that you don't get to raise it unless you've done something rather remarkable or really tested the limits of your capabilities.

Characters who never take damage, are never out done, and overall designed to be 'perfect' find their abilities actually hamper them in the long run because they lock away any possible means of learning from their mistakes or failures.

It helps PCs think about their purchases instead of just going for whatever is going to do the most damage or absorb the most damage.

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I know that this may not even be the advice that you are looking for...but if your gaming group is repeatedly reaching the upper ranges of Quantum capability, then maybe you should rethink your XP awarding.

By the Core Book, xp was only awarded at the end of every story, not session, with only 1xp being automatic and the rest being earned by various achievements in rping. Slowing progress would definitely keep the realm of Mastery at bay for the long haul. With the group of mature gamers that you have, that is more, 'RP than Hack n' Slash', (congratulations on having that btw) they should not have an issue with slowed progression.

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IMHO the solution to the "lots of xp" problem isn't "less xp", it's "PCs have strict themes and can only buy stuff that fits their theme".

If someone wants to have "big bolt the walking energy cannon", fine, let him. But given that's his theme, I don't see why he thinks he can automatically buy force field, flight, and teleport... or even Mega-Stats.

Even things like mega-stats can be in theme or out of theme, meaning if someone has Attr=5 AND an skill at 5, then that's in theme. If not, let him buy the theme first.

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The health level thing isn't just solved by M. Sta, cause it doesn't work for every concept, and I've never been comfortable with a power essentially being required in a game that is about unique expressions of power.

Now, the reality of the situation is most novas our players make have M. Sta, and the same mind-set bleeds into making the STC's.

We borrowed an idea from V:tM on health levels this time and had lethal damage not kill a nova, but loop over into aggravated. It makes the game actually play out the way the flavor says it should. Totentanz hasn't killed 100 novas because it's actually kinda hard. Works out well.

As far as XP goes, our group LIKES lots of XP. Whomever is running the game usually wants the players to advance so he can pull out the big guns and reveal whatever his mind has unleashed. That's part of the fun for us. Since nobody is a game-ruining gumby, it works pretty well. Our games usually don't last more than about a year at a time, so the fast advancement helps. That's why I'm working on fixing Mastery, because we like RP'ing the change that comes with advancement. If the group is mature and story-focused, then the ride all the way to Q10 can be great fun for everyone. Course, once you hit Q10, even the RP can get stale, because there is almost no plot hook that can motivate a god.

The XP works out well BECAUSE we stay within anima. Animas (or the characters' understanding of them) do change over the course of play, and often we set out to add something into our portfolio. Why not let players have what they want, in reason? I'd rather motivate a player by saying "work towards what you want" than shut them down. Course, power-gaming can ruin that sort of atmosphere quick. Our group is great about developing what the character would develop, and folding it into the story.

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Originally Posted By: Horizon
The health level thing isn't just solved by M. Sta, cause it doesn't work for every concept, and I've never been comfortable with a power essentially being required in a game that is about unique expressions of power.

If you look at other WW games, like Exalted, where you are actually playing a god on earth, you pay XP and you gain extra Health Levels. On the that same token, if your group likes oodles, and oodles of XP to be handed to them, and they aren't bothering to buy Health Levels with it... that's one of your problems.

Problem: "I don't like how much Health Levels I take when get hit with XXX Power, I can't take a hit like that. I'll die."

Solution: "Buy more Health Levels."

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Course, once you hit Q10, even the RP can get stale, because there is almost no plot hook that can motivate a god.

Quoted for truth.

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Why not let players have what they want, in reason?

If what your players wanted was within reason, your games wouldn't be unbalanced. By giving them whatever they want you're table is shooting themselves in the foot.

Problem: "Buying this will screw up the game and make everything too easy."

Solution: "Don't buy it."

Try playing lower powered games and see how it works out, but, buying Quantum is supposed to take years of practice (per dot, it took Mal almost 100 years to get to Q7 or 8). Do the PCs at the table really qualify for Quantum increases when looking back? Or was it just... I got enough XP, I'm buy a dot in Quantum.

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I'd rather motivate a player by saying "work towards what you want" than shut them down. Course, power-gaming can ruin that sort of atmosphere quick. Our group is great about developing what the character would develop, and folding it into the story.


Problem: "Mastery multipliers keep messing up the game."

Solution: "Stop buying Mastery."

Sometimes, you just have to excercise some restraint. You're seeing the probelms it can cause if you don't. If the problem is with the multipliers Mastery gives out... stop giving out Mastery and your problem is solved.

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Well, WW went to a great deal of trouble with Abbie making novas powerful, but limited by their animas. It's a bit like OWoD Mage. Now, they didn't do nearly as good a job erecting barriers in Aberrant, but the intent is there. The end result is we compromise between "gaming" the system to have an outcome we find enjoyable, and tweaking the system to fit our style while staying within the anima boundaries.

I have to disagree with the fundamental premise of the rest of your post. As far as I'm concerned, the game exists to make the group happy. We like Aberrant, and we like our play style. Ergo, we change the system. When we run into difficulties, we work on them. I asked for other input specifically about rules, because that is what we are looking for. We have lots of changes we have made molding the system to our liking. I haven't listed them because I was more interested in hearing other experiences. Some of them have kinda work, some worked perfectly, and some of them made things so bizarre we stole a page from DC/Marvel and ret-conned sequences out.

We have played "normal" power level games. I've run some, and at least two of the other people in the group have as well. It was a great way to learn the system, get used to the world, and all that stuff. However, we have Vampire, Mage, and to a lesser extent DnD for that feel. When we play Abbie, we want dynamic characters that can grow to godhood. For now, Aberrant is our go-to for that feeling. That might change eventually, but for now, we are content to work towards improving it.

I appreciate everyone's input. I'm finishing up my compilation (and revision) of enhancements; after that I'll start working out the individual Mastery idea. I'll also give some more thought to health levels, and see how it bounces around the room the next time we play.

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Originally Posted By: Horizon
I appreciate everyone's input. I'm finishing up my compilation (and revision) of enhancements; after that I'll start working out the individual Mastery idea. I'll also give some more thought to health levels, and see how it bounces around the room the next time we play.


The only real issue with the system is the multipliers. The designers never really put much thought into the Aberrant system and far to many paths cross when it comes to powers that makes things just not mesh well in terms of balance.

However, as far as health levels go... seriously, if you guys are into into handing a ton of XP and liking it that way, cool, more power to you. But it's 3XP to buy more health levels.

3XP...

For what it would cost me to raise a Level 3 power to 5 I could have purchased 52 Health Levels. Combine that with my soak and a few Q-Bolts don't mean squat.

That's cheaper than anything you'll find in he book when it comes to 'staying power'. If 3XP isn't worth it to you guys... hell, I honestly don't know what's going to make you happy.

'Free' Health Levels is not the answer. If there's something you can buy that will cover the solution to one of your problems, handing it over for free is never the answer.

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I think you have a point about the health levels. I hadn't really considered just how cheap they were as compared to the ability to take them away. We will have to alter the way we build the novas, but that's a small price to pay. I bet it will go a long to addressing some of the Q6 hilarity.

Thanks : )

The multipliers are THE issue, yes. Everything gets wonky, especially with the X5 multiplier. Reducing the quantum cost isn't a big deal in my experience. Even the absurd distances are almost a cinematic effect. There are very, very few instances when dealing 150 levels of bashing to everything in 500 kilometers is a good idea. Most of the threats novas face at Q6+ are other novas, which renders most of the other Mastery bonuses fun, but not-game breaking.

Of course, all you need is one twink with a double-mastered explosive Q Bolt to completely ruin a series' mood.

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Kick the twink in the head. He won't appreciate it, but the table will love you and women will want you. Chicks dig a well placed boot to the head... providing it's not their head your booting.

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I'll admit, I've noticed this discrepancy before. My first ever concept for a Nova was one who was simply, invulnerable, immortal, and could heal others. He had no special abilities except the ability to not take any damage, heal others, as well as the adaptation extra from M-Sta. He didn't have anything else. (Good Samaritan Anima/Concept)

Anyways, I was trying to remake him for one of the games here, and I was actually looking at the numbers, like for Q Inferno as well as more mundane things like anti-tank missles and howitzers. I was suprised by how many different defensive powers you would have to have maxed (and mastered) out in order to try and stand up to these things.

To be honest, besides doing something like my old ST did (took the invulnerability power to mean exactly what it's name implied and just say that you're invulnerable to that and not even bother rolling for it) or upping the soak per lvl, there is only one thing that I could suggest. I noticed, when looking at the Mastery examples, that FF in particular, only had the multiplier applied to the 40/sucess and not the Q, where as the QB had it applied to both.

Maybe to help even things out, apply the multiplier to both parts of the FF equasion. Also, as far as Invul goes, maybe, instead of making it +6soak/lvl, it might could be Q + 6 soak/lvl, which would help it live up to it's name more and also help ramp it up with mastery more inline with QB and other offensive powers.

Just a thought.

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Originally Posted By: Stargaizer
Anyways, I was trying to remake him for one of the games here, and I was actually looking at the numbers, like for Q Inferno as well as more mundane things like anti-tank missles and howitzers. I was suprised by how many different defensive powers you would have to have maxed (and mastered) out in order to try and stand up to these things.

You only need a 30 soak to 'ping' a SAM. That's one dice of damage against you. So... where do you get the math of needing several powers all maxed to get 30+ soak? If you can't get 30+ soak out of a 30 point nova... hang up your hat, it's time to quit.

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To be honest, besides doing something like my old ST did (took the invulnerability power to mean exactly what it's name implied and just say that you're invulnerable to that and not even bother rolling for it) or upping the soak per lvl, there is only one thing that I could suggest.

Of course... because games where no one ever takes damage certainly are fun... aren't they? Sorry Star, but that seems like it would get boring as shit real quick.

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I noticed, when looking at the Mastery examples, that FF in particular, only had the multiplier applied to the 40/sucess and not the Q, where as the QB had it applied to both.


Force Field does apply it to both the Quantum score and the Successes. Ig your Q is 6 and you have Mastery Force Field and score 11 successes you calculate 12+22, or 56 B/L total.

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Maybe to help even things out, apply the multiplier to both parts of the FF equasion. Also, as far as Invul goes, maybe, instead of making it +6soak/lvl, it might could be Q + 6 soak/lvl, which would help it live up to it's name more and also help ramp it up with mastery more inline with QB and other offensive powers.

I'm still of the mind set that that if your putting Quantum Inferno up against novas they're going to get hurt. Plain and simple. Quantum inferno does, at rating 10, 1,000B, 500L or 200A

However it also costs 693XP to max it out from the ground up and you can not place the Mastery extra on it.

You can max a Level 2 for 231XP or a Level 3 for 324XP. Can you reach 1,000 soak with Level 2 or 3 powers?

Invul w/Mastery III at rating 10 (a level 5 power) = 600
Armor w Mastery III at rating 10 (a level 5 power) = 300

That's 900 and I haven't even touched Force Field or any of the other soak granting powers/attributes. Raising a single level 5 power to 10 is still cheaper at only 555XP.

Compare that to an uber Q-Bolt (Level 5, Mastery III, 555XP), all 10s.
[300]450B = 750B
[200]450L = 610L

For only 555 you're getting just a smidge under Q-Inferno. Now, mind you, that's maxed out. This is the part where your Story Teller s supposed to do some math and know what his/hers players are capable of handling and gear the opposition to suit them.

If players are holding that kind of power, then the ST should gear the opposition to be able to take the punishment, if that means 4 out of 5 players can't hack it and get killed then it's the fault of the player for turning the scales of balanced play against them. Think of it as having 4 level 2 characters and ass wipe wants to play his 12th level character. Gear the encounters to challenge the party as a whole, but rest assures all 4 2nd PCs will be outmatched every encounter.

Eventually the players will learn balance and not be "one shot wonders" because they want the biggest body count.

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30 soak would be 5 lvls of Invul, thus maxing it out in a standard game. I'm sure that I could've gotten 30+ soak if I'd tried really hard and used an assortment of powers, but I was trying to only pick powers in his theme... and for some reason armor didn't seem to fit (though I found I could justify FF for some reason).

Also, I agree, games where nobody takes damage would be boring... but a game where only one person doesn't take damage, or where players have enough soak so that they don't get one-shoted (by other players, clones, or NPC's... not all of which the ST has control over) by anybody who has a grudge against them, those aren't boring.

And, actually, no. In the APG, page 119, the multiplier, in the example (lvl 3 mastery) is only applied to the sucesses, not the Q lvl (Q + 40/suc, not 20Q + 40/suc).

Lastly, I would just like to point out, that the whole point of this discussion is that the defensive powers don't scale with the offensive powers, and your example, where you need more than 2 defensive powers in order to withstand one offensive power just proves the point. I don't care if you can get them for less XP, there should be a defensive power that is just as uber and godlike as the offensive power. They should scale together... Clash of the Titans man, not whoever looses initiative dies.

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Mastery affects all calculable factors. The description states one thing, the example states another. The description generally takes precedence.

No, there shouldn't be one defensive power that absorbs everything... cuz then every twink would have that instead of the other powers.

If one did it all then why buy Armor, Force Field, Second Skin? What would be the point in those powers?

Why not just make Armor, which protects against both Physical and Energy based attacks just absorb [Q x 3] + (Power Rating x 4) Bashing and Lethal.

Now you don't need Invulnerability, Second Skin, or any other soak power and it's always just as powerful as the Q-Bolt you all fear so much.

Then when someone with Q-Bolt 4 attacks you while you only have New Armor 3 and you take a box or two of damage it'll be time to rewrite is all again...

The solution is simple... quit giving players Mastery and messin' up the balance of the game. If you allow it, and it screws up the number, you got what you asked for.

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You're right, if they made such a power then every twink who wanted it could get it, just like they made one super awesome destructive power that every twink who wants can get... wait, if your first power is Quantum Inferno, then that might make for a very odd game... Same with the defensive power I'm suggesting, make it the same level as the uber desctrutive power.

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Originally Posted By: Stargaizer
You're right, if they made such a power then every twink who wanted it could get it, just like they made one super awesome destructive power that every twink who wants can get... wait, if your first power is Quantum Inferno, then that might make for a very odd game...

Might need ya to fill me in on where you're coming from here... I was talking about defending against Quantum Bolt in my last post. How'd we get back here on Quantum Inferno?

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Same with the defensive power I'm suggesting, make it the same level as the uber desctrutive power.

I think you're missing my point though Star... your ONE defensive power that is to provide enough soak to stand up to high damage powers. If there was just one defensive power then there would be no point in taking any others, everyone would just buy this grand ol' soak power and the viola... the game is now just as unbalanced from the defensive stand point anytime the PCs or NPCs are in contest with something that can surpass that soak total... wait... it's designed to be on par with the major damage dealing powers so.... nothing is on par with it's defensive capabilities.

See? You end up with a circle... nothing can hurt those with it and nothing can protect those without it. You end up with a 'take this one power, or die' routine.

But that seems like the high powered themes you guys are used to, so whatever makes the game fun for you I suppose you should roll with it. Personally I'd get bored with a character who never took damage, hell when writing for Bastion his combat scenes will mostly take on the ping rule regardless of the soak difference between him and his opponent. I'm of the opinion that eventually only a nova can hurt another nova, regardless of power difference so they always get to roll at least a single die of damage. Would he live through a Quantum Bolt that's geared towards his power level (Q6)?

Yes, he could. He soaks 84B/74L and he's not even at maxed with only Armor and 1 rank in Invulnerability. A maxed Q-Bolt against him 74B/72L. And he's spend less XP than it would have to max the Quantum Bolt Power to rating 6 with mastery.

"But XP isn't the issue!"
Actually it is. If you can build your defense up faster than the offense can built their attack, you'll be prepared for the attack. By the time the offense has built up a 555XP quantum flinger you could have built up a character with two maxed defensive powers that are quite capable of defending against a powerful Quantum blast. Or at least one that will absorb most the damage and only walk away with (gasp!) minor damage.

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I wasn't saying that there should only be one defensive power, I was saying that there should be one, high level, defensive power that is designed to stand up against the high level offensive powers. And, the point in taking the others would be the same point as taking any of the other offensive powers. By your logic, nobody should buy QB because they can buy QI, I'm saying that just like QI is the ultimate offensive Power, there should be an ultimate defensive power.

To my mind, it makes sense, and would be balanced, to say that if there is one power that can blow a hole through a planet w/o killing the Nova, then there should be a power that allows another Nova to stand in the way and save the planet w/o killing him. And, just like not every PC/Nova will want or be able to take the former, not every PC/Nova will want or be able to take the latter.

And, I'll conceed, that if, for the same XP, you can make an equal defense and offense, then it would seem to be balanced. And, with the way that Aberrant works at defining the powers, multiple defensive powers could probably be made to fit a particular theme.

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Originally Posted By: Stargaizer
By your logic, nobody should buy QB because they can buy QI, I'm saying that just like QI is the ultimate offensive Power, there should be an ultimate defensive power.

I don't recall implying that... but, okay. In fact I recall saying that it's cheaper to buy Level 5 Quantum Bolt for 555XP instead of Quantum Inferno because you'll save 200XP and most likely still be able to wipe out anyone in a single blast, especially if you add Area.

I'm on the side of not giving players Level 4-6 powers in the first place. If my players want a Level 5 power they have to build a Level 1-3 up with Extras.

Still can't figure out where you keep getting these ideas Star. Are you even reading my posts or just in a hurry to reply? Relax dude, there is no wrong or right here.

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To my mind, it makes sense, and would be balanced, to say that if there is one power that can blow a hole through a planet w/o killing the Nova, then there should be a power that allows another Nova to stand in the way and save the planet w/o killing him. And, just like not every PC/Nova will want or be able to take the former, not every PC/Nova will want or be able to take the latter.


Okay, So make Quantum Barricade. Level 6, Min Quantum 10. The user of this power possess a soak equal to twice whatever the damage of a power inflicts to him, this way they may 'Puny Human' even the most powerful of novas.

See, guys... you still haven't said what an acceptable soak is? How much damage should a nova take from an attack for it to still seem fair, be it Q1 or Q10 what makes the damage 'fair'? How much damage should Johnny nova be allowed to inflict without someone whining that it's not balanced?

Now, forget Quantum Inferno, that power is bullshit on a stick. One of the writers was smokin dope and watching Dragon Ball Z and decided it'd make a great power. Well, it doesn't.

Any of the damage dealing powers (barring Quantum Inferno) can hold their own against soak powers. Is it cheaper to max out Quantum Bolt than it is to max out Two defensive powers? Usually, yes, but that doesn't mean the game is unbalanced, considering for the same to max Q-Bolt you can max Disrupt and the resistance to that power almost guarantees you'll win and shut down the Q-Bolt, hands down every time. Players have more options besides "I hit you!" "I defend!".

The shift in power comes into play when you bring Mastery I, II, or III into the mix, since your multiplying base numbers for defensive powers but multiplying multipliers on offensive powers.

Simple fix... remove mastery.

Seriously, at just Q6 with Disrupt & Mastery I, damage and soak would be no problem for me... since no one would have either.

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Originally Posted By: Dave ST
I think you're missing my point though Star... your ONE defensive power that is to provide enough soak to stand up to high damage powers. If there was just one defensive power then there would be no point in taking any others, everyone would just buy this grand ol' soak power and the viola... the game is now just as unbalanced from the defensive stand point anytime the PCs or NPCs are in contest with something that can surpass that soak total... wait... it's designed to be on par with the major damage dealing powers so.... nothing is on par with it's defensive capabilities.


Originally Posted By: Dave ST
No, there shouldn't be one defensive power that absorbs everything... cuz then every twink would have that instead of the other powers.

If one did it all then why buy Armor, Force Field, Second Skin? What would be the point in those powers?


Yes, DaveST, I read your posts. These are quotes from your last two posts that basically say, if I may paraphrase, that if there was one, high level, defensive power that had the possibility of soaking the high level offensive powers, then there would be no need for any of the lower level defensive powers.

I was saying that, by that logic, because there already is one offensive power that has the possibility of overpowering any defensive power (and even destroying a planet) then there's no need for any of the lower level offensive powers.

As far as the power (I like the name QBarrier), I would suggest something along the lines of: soak of (Q+PR)x50B + (Q+PR)x25L or (Q+PR)x10A damage, per m^3 within an area of (Q+PR) million km. Or, something along those lines.

From my numbers, instead of your outrageous and illogical ones, you should be able to tell what my 'acceptable soak' is. I can't speak for anybody else, but, for any "catch-all for
any power of godlike soak" or invulnerability, the maximum soak should be equal to the max damage of an equal offensive power. As such, basic Invul should give 7 soak (the basic max of QB). But, the 5th (normal max) lvl of Invul should give at least 200 soak (the max dmg of the largest baseline weapon, artillary shell).

That might be a bit out there, so I would settle for, probably, somewhere around 100, which should be enough for most nova powers, and a majority of baseline weapons (and if you want absolutely no dmg, you could get something like FF). This would have other ramifications, like increasing it's lvl. Maybe make an extra that would increase its' soak, making it more of a formula (on line with QB or FF), something like adding Q + 6 or Q + lvl to the soak, or something, for each time that you take the extra (which would also help with the mastery multiplier issue).

Lastly, I won't say that I'll be reiterating something, but I'll put forward, again, the purpose of this thread is to focus on mastery, for high powered games, and to try and even out the difference between offensive and defensive powers. As such, the 'simple solution' that you keep advocating isn't an option. I would also suggest that this thread be left for helpful and/or constructive comments about the problem (real or perceved) at hand.

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Originally Posted By: Stargaizer
As far as the power (I like the name QBarrier), I would suggest something along the lines of: soak of (Q+PR)x50B + (Q+PR)x25L or (Q+PR)x10A damage, per m^3 within an area of (Q+PR) million km. Or, something along those lines.


So it uses exactly the same formula at the most powerful offensive power Aberrant has to offer, but applies it to soak.

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From my numbers, instead of your outrageous and illogical ones, you should be able to tell what my 'acceptable soak' is.


It most certainly does. Your acceptable soak is exactly equal to (or greater) than offensive power used against you. Basically, the concept of a PC getting hurt, or losing must be a foreign one.

My illogical ones were tongue-in-cheek, but it's kinda funny how by your numbers the math comes out to exactly what I said. Heh.

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That might be a bit out there, so I would settle for, probably, somewhere around 100, which should be enough for most nova powers, and a majority of baseline weapons (and if you want absolutely no dmg, you could get something like FF). This would have other ramifications, like increasing it's lvl.


What baseline weapons are you talking about that are in common use that can inflict over 100 damage?

And yes, I agree it's a bit out there. The soak powers totals are fine as they are.

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Lastly, I won't say that I'll be reiterating something, but I'll put forward, again, the purpose of this thread is to focus on mastery, for high powered games, and to try and even out the difference between offensive and defensive powers. As such, the 'simple solution' that you keep advocating isn't an option. I would also suggest that this thread be left for helpful and/or constructive comments about the problem (real or perceved) at hand.


Duly noted, but it's not like there's much else going on around here. If I recall too, smartass, I offered him help, and he;s already ran off with it to go play somewhere.

But, pardon me, I thought some people might like to have a discussion. My fault, sorry to bug you. Since Horizon already thanked us for the info and assistance and already ran off, I'll consider the thread closed.

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This is somewhat of a sidebar to the debate you guys are having back and forth, but maybe the intentions of the powers of Aberrant were meant to mirror real life. It is far more difficult to defend yourself against weapons, damage, what-have-you, than it is to create a weapon that can deal said destruction.

Just a thought.

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Okay, some comments that only vaguely intersect with this existing debate:

-Remember to compare apples with apples. Quantum Bolt is, bar none, the most potent damage dealing power ( even Q-Inferno doesn't do as much raw damage, it just does it to every unit of area ). Armor, by contrast, is pretty much the weakest defensive power.

Assuming maxed dots for the applicable level, at Q6, Quantum Bolt does 72L, whereas Force Field provides 56L soak, that is cumulative with Stamina, at the least. This means the attack is doing maybe 12 dice of damage, which at the Q6 level, is hardly a one-punch ( and Resiliency is cheap, and reduces that even further ). Against an applicable Invulnerability, it fairs even worse, being reduced to ping.

-Defenses pretty much have to be more expensive, damage level per level, because they are both broadly applicable ( every attack upon you gets reduced by your defense ), and cumulative ( your Stamina adds to your Armor adds to your Force Field ).

-Not every Q6+ nova should have maxed mastery quantum bolt. Its not necessarily in theme.

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Wow, I turn my back for a while...

I'd like to say that a character that is nearly invulnerable to traditional damage doesn't have to be boring. There are still debuffs, Domination, and tons of other ways to turn it around. But, in any game where a player's nova can essentially ignore most direct damage, the other players will be quite capable of scary manifestations of boom. Dave is also right that it is easy for even a 30 point nova to pump up soak to the point it takes 1st world military hardware to ping him. The damage levels in the back of the book tell the tale.

As for tech-based damage, generally we take a tactical nuke to do in the area of 100 lethal or aggravated, and a strategic warhead can put out 150 or 200 depending on the exact tech level. This damage is of course dealt to every object, or every cubic meter.

I can say from experience that Dave is right that eventually it takes novas to hurt novas. Hell eventually it takes novas to even challenge novas. Mega-dice get high enough and all of a sudden no amount of baseline know-how or engineering can phase them. Against Q6+ novas with enough points to invest, the Directive is roughly like a kindergarten class tottling off into the woods to trap a grizzly bear. Elipsidol will work once, then some Brain will figure out how they did it, counter it, and proceed to wipe them out for their temerity.

Armor is only the weakest damage power is you ignore the suite techniques. There you only get 2 soak/dot. I know you get other things with it, but you pretty much NEED another soak power if you want to stand up to other combat characters. Also, armor can simply represent being resistant to damage, Star. Most of the incarnations of Orzaiz in our games circa 2015 or later give him some amount of armor.

As we discussed earlier in the thread, maxed, supercharged, bashing Q-Bolts can easily exceed 100 damage combined. Dave and I worked out that you can compensate, but it requires multiple soak powers/F. Field.

I agree that defenses have to be slightly weaker or any nova who had both armor and FF would ignore most fights. A ping slap fight is not only boring, but it hardly captures the mood of the game.

Not every Q6+ nova should have a mastered Q Bolt, but they will have some sort of high-level attacks and defenses. They may not be soak/raw damage, but otherwise they will be killed off by some other Q6 looking to narrow the field.

Sorry if that is disjointed.

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Those values for nukes are far too big. Trinity has tactical nuclear weapons doing less than 50 lethal, which means even the biggest conceivable realistic nuke is going to be 100 or less.

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Buy health levels and add +1soak via S/W like I said, it solve the problem and keeps the game some what real & Comiky at the same time.

Higher QR should=Lower cost for QP & HL

And, like Dave VERY wisely said, be Very careful with in allowing S/W anywhere else... They can be Very badly abused by players...

I should know, I abuse the HELL outta that system every day!!

I bought Molecular Man upto 5dots for just 5NP by taking the power at -9range and -1 ACC, then bought for -3duration & -3NP the extra "Reduced Cost"!

Of course, this was the characters ONLY powers and I dumped the rest of my NP off willingly as i was just going for a theme and Not power.

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Nobody in my group abuses S/W. Mostly it gets trotted out when someone says "I want to be able to do X," and the book lacks a power that fills that bill. Half the time we use S/W, the other half we just cobble together a new power.

On the nukes issue, I don't think (near) starting novas are supposed to be surviving nuclear strikes, which is why the values are up there. I'm an Aberrant guy, not a Trinity guy. I use Trinity where it fits well for Aberrant canon and ignore it where it doesn't. Also, if the people in Trinity actually use their nukes, it's possible they make them with lower yield intentionally. Finally, the Trinity values were conceived back when their "godlike" aberrants had 20 lethal soak.

As with all things WW, cross-over doesn't work well.

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Actually I've seen the WW Canon stats on a nuke, and while I'm not sure on the actual damage dice (50-100 d10, I can't remember) all of the damage from a nuke is unsoakable aggravated damage.

Meaning that it bypasses all defenses. ALL defenses, that includes the most potent nova you can think up. There are no powers in the Aberrant Universe that allow you to soak 'unsoakable' damage.

Not invul, not Mastery, not Impervious. Unsoakable damage is just that, unsoakable.

As an aside, if you guys are dropping nukes in your game like they're SAMs then you're tards. Nuclear weapons create a slew of problems that last for hundreds of years, if not longer.

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