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Aberrant RPG - How to handle gadgets in Aberrant


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Iron Man and his ilk are staples of the super-heroic theme In my opinion, but Aberrant does not support them.  :(

So my question is this: How would you go about building Iron Man (or Spider-man's webshooters even) without making them quantum related (i.e. no Nova who has 2 forms for IM and no Quantum devices for webshooters)?

I'm thinking of heroes who've created (illegal due to PU) high tech devices to help them hero... sure, straight Novas look down on them, but the populace might just love to see a baseline be able to go toe-to-toe with a Nova (a.la. Iron Man) and having a "power" that can't be stolen by another Nova would be a pretty good advantage in a fight (a.la. Imoblizing with webshooters).

I'm just curious how other people have done this... Also, I'm sorry if this is an old, over done topic, I'm a newbie here after all...  ::halo

OH, just so everyone knows, I only own the Aberrant book... I'll be borrowing PU, Tera and the APG from a friend again soon, but I don't even have them right now (I know that a way of doing gadgets is in the APG, but those require you to be a Nova... no good for the baseline armored dude idea).

Thanks in advance!


:D  :D  :D

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I would probably use quantum powers to represent the gadget's powers, because that's the easiest way to balance it. Each dot of a Gadget background could give you 3 nova points to spend on stuff for your machine. The gadget would have Quantum equal to its level and a quantum pool of 10 + level.

Naturally you can't build Iron Man's armor with these rules so you would have to create the armor piece by piece. A helmet with Mega-perception and some psychic shield and life-support, bracers with some sort of quantum bolt, legguards with flight, etc...

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::bigsmile ::bigsmile ::bigsmile ::bigsmile ::bigsmile ::bigsmile

Fred, that is excellent!

You gave me a great mechanic for how to handle this that works really well.  Just have to allow for the possiblity of more than five dots in that Background and it will do wonderfully! (I may limit novas to 5 dots still though, although that seems awfully contrived...)

Thank you very much ::exclamation


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I would use the exact same system as any other nova. Only the description changes. (Like energy whatever thingy (I don't have my book with me) ) Oh! Quantum Bolt! They mention that the actual bolt can take various forms. So:

Iron man: Purchase flight, quantum bolt mega-stamina and strength (I don't know much about Iron man so customize as you will). Buy a lot of dormancy background to represent the non-nova nature, describe as a robotic suit and voilà! Instant gadget guy.

In other words, pretty much what Fred said...

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ezekiel, thanks, but the subtitle had meant to belay mention of that option.  I would like to have a system that would allow for a baseline Iron Man, not just a Nova who thinks he wears a suit. :)

And actually Fred's idea was to create a new background to handle it...

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Heh, I blame the 12 hour work days... ::baaa

Though in that case...I think my idea is better. A high dormancy pretty much emulates/represents a non-nova (and the points spent compensate for not registering in quantum scanning powers) P.S. Characters that have 4-5 dots in dormancy have two forms: nova and baseline. So it'd be perfect for the iron-man concept: baseline and nova/armor form.

Also, using the same system is simpler and will guarantee equality of character creation. The powers in the books are vague to allow exactly this type of situation.

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I still have a problem using Nova Points/Node/etc. to emulate a character that is not a Nova in any sense of the term.  That is why I figure use a new background that generates a new pool of points (Gadget Points as apposed to Nova Points maybe)...

This is still definately a work in progress for me... and I actually do have the APG in my possession now so I can see about intergrating Quantum Gadgets in as well (they are different as I believe was discussed above).

I appreciate your imput though Zek, keep it up if you'd like. ::bigsmile

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The APG gadgets are different if you mean that they seem to require Mega-intelligence to understand. I've never bothered with them myself so I don't know if they are any good once you get past the rough exterior of evil mathematics. They might give a rough idea on how long time it would take to build various devices, and how much it would cost, and so on: something I've never bothered to get involved with too deeply.

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You could have an evil Mega-Int NPC making items for lackeys.

(From memory) A quote from Dr. Doom "Yes, he alone can handle the power [my machines will give him] without being destroyed... for perhaps as long as 4 hours. ::devil

The Mega-Int guy could then send out his Iron Men (using the items he paid for with points) to battle quantum gods.


Which raises another issue, i.e. a baseline, even a suped up baseline, is probably still going to get fried in combat with a god.  He won't have mega-stats, and he won't be able to resist many powers, and god help him if he runs into a cyber-K.

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Here's what I have come up with so far on this subject.

Basically I propose two ways of making Super Items. Use a Gadget Background and a Quantum Item Power.

The Gadget Background works like this. Each dot of this background creates 3 virtual Nova Points that can be be spent on Powers, Mega-Attributes, and Enhancments. (Gadgest can have the Enhancements without the corresponding Mega Attirubtte.) This should replicate such items as Web Shooters or Cap's Shield.

The Quantum Item Works like this. The Power is a Level 2 power. It is paid for with regular Nova Points. Each dot creates 6 virtual Nova points which can be used to buy Mega Attributes, Powers, Enhancments, Internal Quantum Supply. Item Abberations can also be bought to round out the ability. Examples would be Forced Dormancy, Worthiness, Breakable, Stealable, Addictive, etc. The premise for this power is this. When the nova erupts, rather that having their own bodies changed, they change items about them or create radical nova ideas that can become items.

Consider The Thor Example. When Donald Blake was trapped by the Stone Men from Saturn in the Norwegien cave he underwent his erruption. As part of his erruption he Quantumly(?) linked himself to a walking stick he found in the cave. Now he needs the stick to focus his powers. If he is away from it for too long he reverts to human form (Forced Dormancy). Also since it is the focus of his powers others cannot readily use it (Worthiness) unless they can Quantumly attune to it (A very difficult will power feat plus Quantum expenditure.)

Storytellers should also feel free to create prerequistes for Gadgets and Quantum Items, such as Having minimu ratings in Mega-Intelligence, Resources, and Backing.

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  • 13 years later...

I know that this is an old post, and is probably a dead topic now, but I am starting a campaign with some new players (never RP'd before) and would like to throw this idea out there for my gadgets.

M-INT Characters, are able to create new forms of technology at ease, as well as, improve upon existing technology, in ways that will make them far more efficient, than anything a Baseline human, may have ever thought possible. To represent this, we have the inventions section, for rules on creating or modifying technologies.
 For modifying existing tech, your character may have the tools already. A mad scientist is bound to have a lab full of improvised tools, however, the more outrageous the tech is, that a player wants to create, the more time will be needed to make the tools to use on your new device. A standard success is enough for minor things that a player is prepared to build, where a 5 successes, represents the time needed to rebuild your lab entirely, to build the new tech.
Successes here are the weeks needed to rebuild and modify your lab.
R&D Complexity
For inventions that are simply modified  versions of existing tech, it is a standard success to achieve the desired results. However, if you are creating a super-science, this should take 5 successes.
1) Low/1 hour
2) Medium/1 day
3) High/1 week
4) New superscience/1 month
5) Complex superscience/1 year
A nova may be able to mimic the effects of a Quantum Bolt, in a weapon, but the technology may be a bit clunky and hard to handle. A standard success multiplier of 1 is acceptable for a vehicle mounted Quantum Bolt weapon. For each success multiplier added, beyond this, the player can reduce the tech's clunkiness. 
1/8 hours    Vehicle Mounted Weapon, Heavy, Bulky, etc.
2/16 hours    Shoulder Mounted Weapon, perhaps needing 2 men to use it efficiently.
3/32 hours    Portable and able to be effective with a single person working it, like an RPG launcher.
4/64 hours    Portable and extremely efficient for single person use, such as a rifle.
5/128 hours    Portable and concealable, such as Tony Stark's Repulsor Beams on his gauntlets.
Additional Perks/Options A player may want more than a ray gun. they may want that gun to also have a range finder, or even a battery. A player may have as many mods on a gadget as he/she has in the related ability + specialty. So a maximum of 6 mods, can be placed on a device. Also, the mods should make sense for the gadget in question. Some times a gadget will have it's own dice pools, such as a mech or robot, however, a player may create a power armor, to enhance the wearers abilities. The player would spend one success on an attribute rating up to his/her own, but anything beyond that, would require more successes and XP to create. Also, some mods require different dice pools to use correctly. 5 dots in flight allows for the increased distance, you may fly/turn, but you would need a roll of DEX + Pilot, to make maneuvers, such as dodging. A player who created a Mech, would use a piloting skill to dodge, attack, etc. where a player with a power armor, would use the augmented dice pools (players dice pool, plus the devices dice pool) of the given abilities. Augmented dice pools are still restricted to the normal maximums. A player may not augment his attributes, abilities, or powers, beyond the standard 5 dots. Mods can be combined, however. If a gadget has Armor on it already and a player wants to add invulnerability, this does not count as an extra mod, but rather, an improvement on the mod. Here is a list of mod categories.
Attribute and M-ATT- each attribute counts as a mod, but the associated M-ATT is an improvement upon the base Attribute.
Powers- Usually, each power is a separate mod, however, some can be combined, such as flight and hypermovement flight
Enhancements- An enhancement can be a mod (bought separate) or an improvement to an existing M-ATT.
Abilities- Each ability is an improvement on an existing Attribute.
A player must perform routine maintenance, to keep a gadget running at full steam. Maintenance, is a roll of your related dice pool. Successes needed, are equal to the number of modifications plus improvements, on an existing device. Repair is equal to the number of health levels being repaired plus the usual maintenance.  Each success needed, represents a base of one hour of work. If a character has a mod that represents a self repair, such as buying regeneration, as nano tech, then repairs are automatic, but weekly maintenance, is still necessary.
A rebuild is the same, minus the Tools, Streamlining and R&D times.

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  • 7 years later...

Not the same but an alternative would be...

Take a Flaw such as Dependence (where your suit is your life support)((Stark's arc reactor in a sense)), or a made up one such as where you can't use your powers w/o the suit.

This way, your normal powers can only manifest while wear the suit, as you perceive it is the suit that has the powers not you.

Taking Attunement (background) is a must imho.  But Weave (Ability), Eufiber Attuned (Merit) could be helpful.

Weave can help you integrate other armors into your suit for that mech look and/or higher soak rates...really depends on your Storyteller ofc.

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