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Aberrant RPG - Optional Rule: Quantum Specialization


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Theories about Quantum, Eruption and the abilities Novas gain abound. Many of these theories indicate that the fantastic abilities Novas gain are at least partially dictated by their subconscious minds. Theoretically, a Nova could manifest any ability. Some Novas seem to have a much easier time broadening themselves than do others..." taken from Dr. Abraham Stoker's Case Studies in Quantum Psychology published 2006 through Oxford University

Quantum Specialization is an option for character creation. To apply it, a player multiplies his Quantum score by 2 to generate a number of "specialization points."(SPs) The Player may then apply a number of these SPs to his Quantum powers according to their levels. When the SPs are applied, the level of the powers in question are reduced by 1. Reducing a power's level through SPs costs 1 SP per level of the power. Thus if a Player spends 3 SPs on Elemental Mastery, he can purchase it as though it were a level 2 power (3 Nova pts per dot). Also, a Player may raise a power with experience points as though it were one level lower. Level 1 Power which receive an SP are purchased as though with the Extra Quantum Cost Reduction. They cost no Quantum to use.

While primarily used at character creation, SPs may be retained for use latter in the game. Should a player raise his Quantum, he accrues additional SPs which he may spend. Should his new Quantum be sufficient to gain level 4 or higher abilities, please note that such awesome powers surpass Specialization. SPs may not be spent on Level 4 or higher abilities. A power is designated as Specialized or not at the time of purchase. A Player whose has designated a power as non-Specialized may not later Specialize in it.

Concentrating so much potential into a few areas makes it difficult for a Nova to "branch out" into different capabilities. This means that every non-specialized power is effectively raised by 1 level. So, a Nova who wants to buy dots in Quantum Bolt purchases them as though the power were 3rd level instead of 2nd level. This means that without a very high Quantum (6 or more) or some fairly severe applications of the Weaknesses from the Aberrant Players Guide, a Player is effectively unable to purchase Level 3 powers that aren't specialized.

Incidentally, applications of SPs to a power must take place before any "tinkering" (application of Extras, strengths, Weaknesses, etc.) is done to it.

As an additional option, a Player may use SPs to lower the Quantum minimum by 1 per SP spent. A recommended "floor" for such lowering is the level of the power (level 3 powers can have their Quantum minimums at no lower than 3). A player may even apply SPs in this way to a power he does not intend to Specialize in. However, the cost of purchasing a power nonspecialized is the same as usual despite this application of SPs.

As a prerequisate, an ST might also require a heightened WP score. I'd suggest 3 + Quantum at the beginning of play with the required WP topping out at 10.

Roleplaying Specialized Powers

Power Specialization isn't (or at least, isn't only) a way to cut point costs. It's an expression of the Nova as an individual. A player whose character has specialized powers should have a fairly significant backstory. After all, the urges in his subconscious during his eruption were so strong, they managed to shape that eruption in some very specific ways. Thus, a nova's specialized powers should be expressions of his innermost dreams, fears, desire and Nature.

Also, more than for other Novas, Specialized Powers feel very good and natural to use. The Flaw, Addiction: Power Use (from the Aberrant Player's Guide) would be very appropriate for a Nova with a Specialized Power.

So, what does everybody think of this idea?
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