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Aberrant RPG - novas for real


harlequin
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just out of curiousity, what do you guys think about how white wolf wrote the reaction of the world to novas... how realistic do you think their vision of n-day was? would the governments really have reacted the way they did? would a nova have been able to get elected as american president so shortly after the novas appeared? just fishing for ideas and opinions here...

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hmm....  honestly I think people would react very very badly initially......  

Sure governments would try to control Novas's........  but realise soon enugh that they can't, and perhaps the Aberrant War would be quicker in coming.....

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In the real world we don't have an Aeon society which knows what's going on and can react to it accordingly, set up a deal with the UN and basically stay 80 years ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to strange dealings and mysterious powers. I'd say it would be pretty messed up really fast.

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I think the core Aberrant book did a marvelous job of showing how diffuse public opinion toward the novas was. As I recall, pardon me should the recollection be inaccurate,each poll had one or two folks kneeling and genuflecting at the altar of novahood, one or two loading their shotguns and cursing E-day, and then a final jaded pair saying, "Yeah, yeah whatever! It's all about action figure sales, right?"

As for the governments attempts to control the novas...

Of course they would;control is the business of governments and to think otherwise is somewhat naive. As far as the success of said control, that depends upon the nature and extent attempted, i.e. if every nova had to get an identification tatto and was banned from working in certain industries, that wouldn't fly. If, however, all that was required was that the individual in question have their special status noted on their driver's license, I doubt anyone would notice. Portman being elected President scant years after eruption seems to be unlikely. This is, after all, the country that has yet to have either a black or Jewish or a woman president, so the liklihood of almost any minority getting elected is laughable. The last time America DID elect a non-wasp, we shot him, so I'd say Portman's chances were slim to none. Enough mad ramblings on my part, good day.

   

    Fawkes

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I have to agree with Fred, without the Aeon society /or/ a Mega-Int Nova errupting on day 1 who figures out how best to "spin" the issue (and I'd seen him going wacko later and try to take over the world as a serious potential) then I think that the world would have serious problems with Novas existing.  We (the collective human race, not necessarially the small subsection represented on the boards) just can't handle that sort of thing well without someone "holding our hand" so to speak, IMO

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In my alternative setting where there is no Aeon society, I had a mega-intelligent nova show up in the UN soon after everyone started erupting to tell the world leaders what was going on and that if he got the funding and support of the UN he could make sure everything would be alright... And of course he will go absolutely mad with power eventually and the characters who are part of his outfit will have to take him down.

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I'd say that the only way these things could happen per canon would be if a low-power, Joe Hologram good guy erupted first doing some heroic act...like, say, Randal Portman...wait a second....

In all seriousness, unless novas erupted a lot faster (I'm talking 10 years in one month faster), radical religious groups (seperately, or, in some cases, in conjunction with, the governments) worldwide (well, everywhere but Japan ^_-) would eliminate the nova "threat".

(Edit:) With my predictions, if I was the first erupting nova, I'd keep everything as secret as possible ("No, I don't know what I did, I guess it was a one-time adrenaline thing"), and train up in secret until I decided I was invulnerable enough to take over France (hey, I want a country...France is established already...Americans don't like the French and would thus stay the hell away from me...).  Then, I'd rule, go insane with India Syndrome, and eventually die.  Yeah, I've thought this over too much.

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With my predictions, if I was the first erupting nova, I'd keep everything as secret as possible (\"No, I don't know what I did, I guess it was a one-time adrenaline thing\"), and train up in secret until I decided I was invulnerable enough to take over France (hey, I want a country...France is established already...Americans don't like the French and would thus stay the hell away from me...).  Then, I'd rule, go insane with India Syndrome, and eventually die.  Yeah, I've thought this over too much.

::eh you're right, you have thought about it too much...   ;)

so france, huh? see, i'd just be happy with my own little island out in the middle of the pacific or something... would like the quiet and such...  (i know, i'm a bit boring)

::withbeer

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France is icky, who would wanna be there...

But in all seriousness, I think world wide reaction would be a lot more sinister than demonstrated through Aberrant Canon...I know in my alternate world the Chinese Ministry of Paranormal Affairs is working desperately to try to bring Novas under control with the illusion of stability (But it is of course run by xenophobic chinese baselines)--and the Ministry has the 2nd highest number of novas in the world (second only to the Vatican--long story).

I think Nova registration, etc. (ala X-Men) would be a common practice.  I think use of a lot of powers without a liscense would be a violation of the law (flight comes immediately to mind).

Not only that, I see breeding programs in "real-world" novas' future.

As for Portman for President...come on, keep dreaming.  I think there are places in the world that might very well accept a nova head-of-state.... the United States is one of the least likely.

-Breearg

::beer  ::downmal

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Here's my thoughts on this.

I DO think that very soon something like the Directive would spring up, and also something like Utopia. If a Utopia like organisation arose I can see it would do stuff like the Ethiopian terraforming and Triton Foundation research, but I doubt it would be able to spin the media as much as they do in the books, even if they did bribe a way into the UN. It would take years and years to be trusted enough to release pollution eating GMO's into the environment.

As for Nova politicians, hmmmmm, Mega charisma 5 anybody?

Tons and tons AND TONS of pseudo-mystical cults would spring up, Church Of The Soon to be Announced Endtimes, Church of Wevil Demons trying to End The World Inc. etc. etc.

The world situation would rapidly grow more complex as Nova's start wars by attacking countries they don't like, take over countries they do like and start terrorist organisations both for 'traditional terrorist issues', and a broader Terragen like movement. Conflicts like Kashmir and the Trans-Tanzanian wars as described in the books would arise, not just in current hotspots but on a global level. The increased complexity, and baseline xenophobia would virtually ensure that.

The baseline/government/directive reaction would be to clamp down hard on all Novas in a variety of ways, (Probably pushing more of them to the 'Popular Front For Nova Liberation' or whatever), ID Cards, Conscription, Tracking down all reports of errupting Novas, etc. The Directive like organisation, would have been doing all this undercover anyway.

All in all I'd give it maybe 10-15 years before global (meaning United Nations sanctioned) warfare against the novas/abberants/whatever.

Hey... this would make a great (meaning nasty to players) alternative timeline ::devil

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Really? Don't leave me in suspense (not having that venerable tome) what duz it say? Not that I ever listern to sourcebooks for my own campaign, if I wannna do something I do it as long as its self consistent. ::alien. I can imagine Megacha wouldn't come across so strongly on TV or Radio, but its gotta be great at  rallies and on the local political level, when this politician goes out an' presses the flesh, the votes come rolling in thus reversing voter apathy.  An MC politician would certainly make any election more complex and my argument goes; increased complexity = decreased stability = increased conflict, doesn't always happen, coz humans can cooperate, but usually does. Just look at the increased complexity and decreased stability of the world since the 'fall' of the Soviet Bloc... An MC politician wouldn't even have to win, just get a sizable proportion of the votes, consider Le Penn in 'icky' France recently, got all the other politicians rilled up didn't it?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not M-Chr, M-App(Almost Live).  Then you can use your abilities over the TV.  Combine that with lots of money to buy air time, and the Directive would have you shot.   :(

I think that something that doesn't come across in the books well is how rare Novas are supposed to be.  With only 250 or so "native" US novas, and lots of pressure for them to use their powers contructively, I think they would do fine.

Consider: Joe Nova #1 works for a Drug company.  He invents 20 new drugs *every* *year*.  That is doing a lot of good for the US economy, and for that company (i.e. Trillions).  A single good drug for a drug company can earn it 100's of millions (or even billion's).   With that kind of money at stake, you almost have to use some of it to influence polliticians.

Multiply that times 200 novas, and you see why the war took so long to start.

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Well, I know what *I* would do if I got superpowers: not much.  I honstly can't think of a use for the majority of powers I could get other than just making my life a whole lot easier.

Though there is one thing that any fliers should have to get anyway:

Permits.  Yeah, I was thinking about that as I was crossing the border last week.  I was like "Wow, if I was able to fly...I'd have to ask for an airspace permit otherwise they'd send those damn interceptors after me."

Oh, and maybe permits for combative powers as well.  If you're found using your power without a permit showing that you are "trained in it's use", it's illegal.  Sort of like a firearms permit.

And of course it would be listed on your driver's lisence, and social security info, and medical history.  I mean, it's all for your protection and the protection of the public, right?

I mean, if Big Brother isn't watching you, how can be protect you?

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Bard, I love you. In a purely fraternal way, of course. Harle beware! Ideas are forming.  ::devil

Those are some great ideas, Bard. You reminded me of a similar thought I had regarding airspace. Along similar lines, what about passports and the like for Teleporters and Warpers?

-Joseph

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Hmm, yeah, I could see Passports (Citizen of the World) type things for teleporters and warpers, or perhaps a law that before teleporting anywhere in a foriegn country you must first register yourself with their border officials.  Hmm, maybe a phone in number.  And of course if you're caught without the passport or without calling you'll be arrested and drugged up so you can't use your powers.

Hmmm.

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I'd hate Nova's.  Second I found out that they existed, I'd go out and try and buy the most powerful legal weapon I could.  I'd seriously fear these guys, and do everything in my power to make sure our society had ways of dealing with them.  

I'm a fanatic for human survival in general, so I'd do the same to anything else. ::priest

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I'd hate Nova's.  Second I found out that they existed, I'd go out and try and buy the most powerful legal weapon I could.  I'd seriously fear these guys, and do everything in my power to make sure our society had ways of dealing with them.  

I believe that a Nova's reply to your shotgun would be "Comets and stone may bruise my bones, but bullets will never hurt me".  ::devil

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Actually, I believe the reply of 95% of all the novas on the planet would be "AHHHHHH!  Holy crizzap!  That guy has a shotgun!" followed by a dive for cover... because only 5-10 percent of all novas are immune to small arms fire.

But I totally agree on legal requirements... I have to brainstorm for this kind of stuff because I am thinking about running a controling (much more realistic than canon) kind of Aberrant game... y'know, where the Directive (or something akin to it) can actually do stuff.

+Flight permits are a thumbs up, I thought of that ages ago.  Problem is, if a nova has hyper-movement he is really hard to catch.

+How about teleporters have to teleport into a designated area or they are in error of the law?

+obviously all offensive powers would have to be registered

+Telepathic powers would be treated as aggravated assault if used on someone without consent

+Information garnered through something such as telepathy or clairsentience without consent would probably be inadmissable in court (because it cannot be proven to anyone else).

What else do you guys think?

-Breearg

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All Nova's when even charged with a crime get their M-R Node cut out almost immedietly, despite the damage it may cause their brain.  The international community would need to follow certain laws to supress Nova's and the only legal jobs for Nova scientist would agriculture, that is heavily supervised by normal scientist.

I'd also elect to have a cure for Abberant Syndrome cured as quickly as possible.  Abberants would clearly be a threat to a stable human society even worse then Nuclear weapons. ::withbeer

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I personally am a big proponent of the "Novas die when they have their nodes removed"--I think it says something to that effect under the description of soma, but I may have heard it elsewhere and developed it into a belief structure, heh, but that's the way it is in my games.

-Breearg

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Hmmm.... Then I guess that would be to Spartan, then drugs like those used by the Directive would need to be used to Sub-due them.  

I guess exploiting them for a technological leap wouldn't be bad either...... *Cough*

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+Flight permits are a thumbs up, I thought of that ages ago.  

+How about teleporters have to teleport into a designated area or they are in error of the law?

+obviously all offensive powers would have to be registered

+Telepathic powers would be treated as aggravated assault if used on someone without consent

+Information garnered through something such as telepathy or clairsentience without consent would probably be inadmissable in court (because it cannot be proven to anyone else).

Lets say nova Str/Dex/powers are lethal weapons and should be registered.  Nova App/Manip/Chr/Telepathy/etc are assault.  Nova Per/Precog/ESP/etc are invasions of privacy.  Basically we have just said that being a nova is illegal.  

Why not just say;

(1) The right to privacy doesn't apply to novas.  

(2) All novas *must* keep the government informed of their where abouts at all times.  

(3) All novas must have permission to change their location.  

(4) All novas must inform the government of everything that they can do.  

(5) All novas must wear yellow trinangles displayed publically on their persons at all times.

There are some problems here.  

+First we don't license people to live.  

+Second, the equality clause of the consitution says you aren't allowed to selectively apply laws.  

+Third, normally in America, the law is supposed to say what you cannot do and everything else is legal.  Not what you can do and everything else is illegal.  No one has every thought to make telepathy illegal.  And murder and such already are.  

+Fourth, NOVAS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY, JUST LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE.

Some specifics:

+Flight permits won't pass.  But it will be illegal to fly into certain airspaces (like high up where the airplanes are).  

+Information gained through clairsentience is no more inadmissable because it can't be proven than a normal witness' testamony would be.  I.e. if only one person witnessed a crime, we don't toss that person out saying "we can't verify that".  We evaluate it and look for other evidence.

+Telepathy is hard to say.  We allow normal people to look at other people's expressions.  Worse, proving that someone is a telepath, much less that they used it, is probably impossible.  "Hey he is a nova, let's sue him for telepathy."

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you make some really good points DBuss.

I'm sure different countries will handle the situation very differently. Some countries would definately try to have all of those regulations passed, and even push for other countries to do the same. If the US doesn't, there would be a huge influx of Nova illegal aliens and it would be nearly impossible to even monitor, let alone control.

But I think you're right, the US would never get away with so many regulations.... until an extremest went nova and we suddenly found ourselves under some sort of terrorist attack iniated by a nova. Opinions change drastically when people fear for their safety or their lives.

We would though have to do something though. There's no way the government would sit on their hands so idly while people were in large numbers becoming Novas and gaining such powers. Too many people would be upset and there would be an outcry for action.

Any other thoughts??

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Well, as far as selectivity laws are concerned, ok:

"Anyone capable of destroying large amounts of property by will alone must register themselves as lethal weapons." etc. This obviously only applies to novas, but its "includes" everyone ,etc. I mean, they do that stuff with some martial artists.

As for flight permits, uh... why wouldn't that pass?  Don't you have to have a permit to fly? (not being a smart ass, I just thought you did).

Pretty much though, this is not regular reality and I am just looking to create an interesting not-so-nova-friendly world and lots of bothersome, even ridiculous laws, can be applied to make the point (Bioluminesence cannot be used while traveling in a road vehicle because light may blind drivers, etc.)

-Breearg

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As for flight permits, uh... why wouldn't that pass?  Don't you have to have a permit to fly? (not being a smart ass, I just thought you did).

well, you have to have a piloting liscense to fly a plane, but you also have to go through so many hours of training and such. I see it as different only because for Nova's it would be a natural power. But then, that's just what I think...

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You could just publish a new Amendment on the Human Brain that basically say's that the general structure of the brain defines a human and when anything signifigant is added or taken away, they are more or less under stricter laws because they are outside the species.

Infact, I'd just consider them a different species, and they would have to be treated well for the time being to keep them from rioting, but the government would need a way of controlling them effectively, but not to much.

It's a hard balancing game to keep extremist from rising up.  Prehaps then, some type of node "clipping" or some painful but non-fatal surgery would become  essential for Nova's.

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Ahh, I disagree with it being a "natural power" kind of thing.  Rashoud Facilities are there to help Novas get new powers under control.  

Novas need "training time" to get their powers under control, at which time they are registered as liscensed "flyers."  Just like normal pilots.

I like that Amendment idea, but do you think it would be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (the can do that, right?)?

-Breearg

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It's kind of like the Teragen philosophy.  Since Novas are a different species they live under different laws.  I don't see it as anything that would be hard for most people to accept.  These people just (d)evolved rapidly, that's all.

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Screw the Zurich Accord!  ::smiley1

I'd make sure that was out the window first.  I'd convinced a few nations to pull out of the agreement, so then the US wouldn't be alone in the laws against, and lots of crazy stuff would need to be done.  Needless to say, I'd need to be the Emperour of North America for this to work.  ::sly

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You could just publish a new Amendment on the Human Brain that basically say's that the general structure of the brain defines a human and when anything signifigant is added or taken away, they are more or less under stricter laws because they are outside the species.

Good example.  But here is the problem: How do you keep that from applying to various disabled kids?  "Human" is a *much* more flexiable term than we like to think.  Would you call Down's syndrome kids human?  Are you willing to take flack from their parents for saying they are not?  

And by the way: There is a birth defect where someone is born without much of a brain.  They have a brainstem but not much else.  And yes, they do die pretty quick after being born.

As for flying, this has come up in real life.  About 10 years ago some idiot tied 40 or so weather baloons to his lawn chair, strapped himself in, and off he went.  He almost died and ended up in air space that airplains normally use.  Which is what the government eventually tried him for.  Apparently, no one has ever thought to make "flying" itself a licenced activity, just flying a airplane.  Just like breathing underwater isn't illegal.

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I think if a reasonably large group of people began to fly--especially if they didn't have fully developed abilities--it would become a law in a flash.  

Hmm ::thinking of more stuff::

Breearg

Who knew about the balloned lawn chair maneuver  :D

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...if a reasonably large group of people began to fly...

The USA has about 250 home grown Novas.  Someone on another forum claimed about 15% of Novas could fly.  That would be 37.  If they don't have Adaption, it will be darn uncomfortable flying at the altitude that airplains use.  Just at a guess, most of them will be using flight at lower levels than we bother regulating too much.  For that matter, unless a nova has hyperflight, warp, or teleport, they will probably rely on planes and such for most long term travel.  It simply won't come up that much.

Example: My character wanted to fly to another city, but he was afraid of getting lost.  So he went 100 feet over the highway and followed it.  I'm just guessing that is lower than radar.

On the other hand, it is easy to imagine demogog pollitians using that issue, or fear of that issue, to pass assine laws.  Real Life: Michigan had a couple of babies die in hot cars because the parents forgot about them.  Solution: Law that says we can't leave kids alone in cars.  Does anyone really think that will help against poor judgement or absentmindedness?

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