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Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Divis Mal always seemed like a combination of Doctor Doom, Magneto, and all of the arrogance of them and Namor added together. He seemed like the insufferable OC of a generic WW fan.

He's all that and more, he's even more so than any of the rest of the Teragen members the avatar of 'The Worst Guy You Know Has A Good Point". He's factually correct about most of what he says regarding Novas but he's also a fucker even to the people who are ostensibly is friends and allies (to say he doesn't play well with others is a resounding understatement) and as noted in spite of having essentially infinite power Max-senpai is not going to notice him in this era and nothing he can do will change that.

Like let's be real the world suffers horrific apocalyptic ruin because some dude from the 20s was way into his best friend, but said best friend was way too busy being an awesome Renaissance Man to even notice his best friend wanted to bone. Somehow I feel like that's the most human possible way for everything to go to poo poo.

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MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Feinne posted:

He's all that and more, he's even more so than any of the rest of the Teragen members the avatar of 'The Worst Guy You Know Has A Good Point". He's factually correct about most of what he says regarding Novas but he's also a fucker even to the people who are ostensibly is friends and allies (to say he doesn't play well with others is a resounding understatement) and as noted in spite of having essentially infinite power Max-senpai is not going to notice him in this era and nothing he can do will change that.

Like let's be real the world suffers horrific apocalyptic ruin because some dude from the 20s was way into his best friend, but said best friend was way too busy being an awesome Renaissance Man to even notice his best friend wanted to bone. Somehow I feel like that's the most human possible way for everything to go to poo poo.

I think the most interesting thing about Divis Mal is just how petty his motivation ends up being.

His motivation ends up being basically that he's incredibly, massively lonely and wants someone who he can spend the rest of his life together with. It's probably the most sympathetic bit about him and he'd probably have been a better character if that had been emphasized more.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Mal's orientation was a big deal at the time, too. At least, there was a huge flamewar on the White Wolf forums of the time about it. One thread was titled "Divis Mal is gay??! WTF?!!?!!" and another, more popular thread was "Divis Mal has arms??! WTF?!!?!!"

The heady days of the 90s.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Ok what is with the arms thing

Am I just not getting the joke? It's come up twice now.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


It's mocking the fact that people are in uproar about something that's just a part of the person.

Edit: were in an uproar.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




The "ARMS!?!" thing was also in reference to a book's cover art (the core?) where it sort of looked like he had stumps, even though it was supposed to be his elbow in the fore due to him crossing his arms, if I recall correctly.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Ok, cool, the specificity of arms was what stood out. That art thing explains it!

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Let’s hit up some more Aberrant lore.

After the timeline we start with a Triton report trying to determine the genetic source of Nova abilities. They determine that all Novas have a particular sequence that had previously been believed to be an intron (i.e. non-coding). They’re able to pretty conclusively establish this is the cause when they find it in one of their own researches and she erupts several days later. Becoming a Nova causes a weird quantum tumor (the MR Node) to grow in your brain, which will get larger as you get more powerful. This is actually one of the Problems, because it’s really hard not to go insane at some point in the process of an increasingly large new lump of poo poo in your brain. One amusing thing, the writers seem to have been somewhat unclear on the state of DNA technology even as of when they wrote this, as they discount prenatal screening as possible but unreasonably resource intensive.

We get our first character blurb down below, about Andre Corbin. He’s a former soccer player who was a giant douchebag and erupted on the field. Team Tomorrow thought it would be a great PR move to hire him on, and to say this was a mistake was an understatement. He stirred a whole bunch of poo poo the whole time including being part of a porno movie and left the team after they suspended him. About his only friend at all was fellow T2M member Jennifer Landers. When she learned about Project Proteus, he’s one of the people she told and when she died for that knowledge, it proved she was correct as far as he was concerned. He’s now in hiding, wanted for her murder, and trying to rile up Novas to stand against Project Utopia. He’s got superhuman speed, strength, and reflexes, but his main power and nickname of “Bender” comes from his ability to inflict violent emotional shifts with his quantum powers.

We get some more science, with the main takeaway of the first being that Novas are largely limited in their powers by their own conception of them. It’s really hard to learn an entirely new power that you can’t somehow rationalize as an extension of what you already do because you don’t really know how your brain does what it currently does, never mind something with absolutely no relation. Think of it like this, one of them is like learning some new dance steps, the other is like having some new limbs grafted on and learning to control them. We also get a little background on quantum forces which is as bullshit as you’d expect from its source (an intro to physics textbook) but is fine for our purposes. We get an N! documentary on Nova powers next, but we’ll be covering all those later so I’m not going to do more than note it’s exactly the sort of powers you’d expect.

There’s a DoD memo next about how ripping loving scared they are about Novas, especially since more power is correlated with being unstable as gently caress. They give a nice little orientation speech from a Project Utopia facility then immediately move to internal memos that show they’re not quite so nice and idealistic as all that. They’re willing to use force in recruitment and bemoan that many of the Novas they run into are basically ignorant white trash fucks given unstoppable cosmic power they can’t understand or appreciate. They also consider some unsavory solutions they have come up with for dealing with potentially dangerous Novas who come in.

Next we have a delightfully 90s web site that’s some teenager’s OpNet site on how to become a Nova. Since it’s generally massive stress that causes you to erupt, doing a bunch of Jackass stunts is a great way to make it happen (as long as you don’t mind that your powers will probably mostly involve something that let you live through a failed Jackass stunt).

Our first comic section next! It’s scenes from a talk show where Nova biology is being discussed. Novas don’t work the same way as humans in a lot of ways, they’re just legitimately harder to injure and have weird metabolisms (many Novas eat ten times a day, but don’t actually gain any weight in spite of that). One of the side effects of being a Nova is that the MR node optimizes fat levels and processing of chemicals and the immune system. Of course, Aberrations (we’ll talk about them later) can throw some of this out the window. We get a bit on achievements and goals of Utopia, which we mostly covered in the timeline last time. One major note is a second orientation speech, which makes one of the real goals much more clear: Utopia exists to try and head off a war between Novas and baselines.

We get our second character profile, Team Tomorrow member Skew (Andrew Thomas Parker). Power wise Skew is basically Magneto, and when he erupted the EMP released caused a brief terrorism scare. He hosed up a local gang and brought them all to the local Project Utopia office, where he demanded a job. He’s been on Team Tomorrow since. He’s got a bad habit of casual property damage.

We get a page on the overthrow of that dictator, Yaroslav Radocani, by Team Tomorrow. Project Utopia being World Police is one of the things that is increasingly tense in the setting because on one hand everyone appreciates that when something good happens but on the other everyone worries the World Police are going to misuse their authority and there’s nobody to stop them. We then get a brief entry on a meeting with the Nova largely responsible for Utopia’s environmental efforts, Antaeus. Antaeus is probably Utopia’s most unnervingly transhuman Novas, since he’s maybe going Full Swamp Thing. We get some organizational information including the closest that Utopia will admit to being part of the same organization as Triton.

We then get a letter from ‘Raoul’ to an ‘Anastasia’, discussing where she can hide out from Project Utopia. This’d be Raoul Orzaiz, one of the more public Teragen members and their sort of spokesperson. He notes that the US and UK aren’t big fans of Utopia, India’s not feeling them much after Kashmir, Japan’s sort of doing their own thing and don’t give much of a gently caress, and China’s not terribly friendly to anyone. We get some man on the street opinions on how Utopia’s handling their power, where we see that average people trust them a hell of a lot more than people who really know poo poo about them do.

We then get an N! profile on prominent Team Tomorrow members from shortly before the murder of Jennifer Landers, which is important to say because she’s one of the four listed. The first is Caestus Pax, who’s basically Superman and would probably be the strongest Nova in the world if not for Divis Mal. Jennifer “Slider” Landers is a cool lady who could teleport and very well might have been the best hope for trying to find a path for Novas to exist alongside humans in the long term, whoops on that. Ana Graca Texeira I don’t remember much about. I’m sure we’ll talk about her in the Project Utopia book. Then we confirm Antaeus was behind basically all the ecological programs. We’ll meet a friend he made in the Ethiopia project during the Teragen book. We then get a couple of pages on the pitch for prospective Team Tomorrow members, which is basically that you get everything you could ever conceivably want and have a job where everyone thinks you’re a big drat hero, at the cost of having to put up with a bunch of bullshit.

We move on to some discussion of how Novas in practice actually use their power, because the majority of course do not work for Utopia. Besides Utopia, some work for governments, some corporations. Some do entertainment (we’ll see a profile on someone in that business next paragraph), some as mercenaries (the “Elites”). Crime remains a major human endeavor, and because this section is a History Channel documentary they consider the Teragen spooky international Crime King Terrorists instead of a bunch of jokers who need days of meetings to decide which urinal to use (they compromise on one of the stalls).

Next profile is on the Novox singer Alejandra. She’s just sort of a pretty cool lady who can generate essentially any sound she wants, and fortunately uses it for music instead of horribly killing people because she can go up to 200 dB. There’s an interview with her after and she’s pretty chill and nice except she’d probably gently caress you up if she heard you call her an ‘Aberrant’ because her life was super poo poo before she erupted and she does not have to put up with bullshit any more.

We get a corporate contract next, hiring a Nova to recover some stolen servers. Below that is a profile for Duke “Core” Baron, a Nova professional wrestler. He can generate plasma and his eyes and mouth constantly glow with it. He’ll be part of a comic later on depicting an XWF fight.

The next few move into the military. We have a press conference from 2000 on the success of Operation Desert Hawk, where Novas working for the US government carried out an operation on their behalf. Governments work to recruit Novas for their militaries, because having to pay some joker a few million a year or whatever is incredibly cheap compared to a new weapons program that turns out not to be able to fly in the rain. The next part talks about Elites. They’re mercenary Novas and generally wear masks, treating it sort of like Mexican wrestling (including that most of the time duels between them just end with the loser unmasked rather than killed). We also get an intro to Nova Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Elite Land “Stone Badass” Stryker, who leaned into losing a duel and getting unmasked hard.

We’ll stop for now by briefly learning about the DeVries Agency, a sort of mandatory topic when we discuss Elites. Most Elites work for what was already a gross mercenary corporation pre-Galatea, the DeVries Agency. It’s a family business and is run by sort-of-secret Nova Anna DeVries, who’s a big old cheater when we eventually see her power list. It would be best not to gently caress with her, let’s put it that way.

Okay, I think that’ll work for an update. Hopefully I can get through the rest of it next time.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Feinne posted:

loving with other people's Quantum to stop them using their powers (they have minimum Quantum rating to use) would be the big one (though honestly it's not as strong as just loving fragging them with a power), the Quantum scaling on powers is such that temporarily boosting your rating is not really quantum point efficient compared to just using your offensive power twice.
That makes sense, but "Divis Mal has all the powers and he can just turn your powers off" feels like such a slap in the face, y'know?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Sigmar's Heirs

The Pamphlet of Salvation

We're going to be repeating a normal pattern for this book of having information that's primarily a repeat from the stuff in the core book with just slightly more detail, and of repeating information I've already covered in detail elsewhere. We know the ten major Imperial Gods like the backs of our hands by now, so this is going to be a pretty short update because otherwise I'd be repeating myself an awful lot. I do that enough as it is!

One of our first interesting divergences is in the description of Morr and the subcult of the Fellowship of the Shroud. The Fellowship was a big deal in Night's Dark Masters, providing the scholarly Agent of the Shroud investigator and the extremely great Knight of the Raven warrior vampire hunter. The Fellowship of the Shroud is an active and aggressive splinter group of Morrites who want to go after Sylvania and put the Vampire Counts in the ground for good. The Fellowship actually has no direct support from the mainstream Morrite temples; its leader is a Tilean vampire hunter and ex-priest who left the church over their refusal to sanction offensive operations. They prefer to guard the graveyards and hunt vampires on a need to know basis, whil Bassanio Dutra (the leader of the Fellowship) would like to establish a bunch of Belmonts to go deal with any mighty castles and lethal vampires before they come into the Empire with an army of the damned.

The Church has a hard time dealing with the Fellowship because they're very popular. Dashing knights and investigators who fight the dark creatures of the night are thrilling figures, but the Empire also knows vampires are really goddamn dangerous and respects people who have success fighting them. Besides, these are holy templars of Morr, right? The fact that they are not, in fact, officially sanctioned is awkward and the church has benefited from their reputation, even as it's tried to petition the Emperor to ban them. For his part, Karl Franz sees no reason to ban an order of warriors and investigators whose main interest is 'find vampires, that insidious and serious threat to the Empire, then put a stake in the bastards', especially not when the Fellowship has had several notable successes. While the book isn't structured to suggest playing as a Fellowship team would be fun, it obviously would be if you want to fight some of the cooler villains in the setting.

Myrmidia and Manaan are basically as we remember them, though we get the interesting detail that no-one has any idea where Ranald actually came from. Some claim he's a Classical God, some claim he's the former God of a forgotten tribe, others claim he tricked Morr into smiling and now the Lord of the Dead is too ashamed of his levity to take him, while the most persistent myth remains that he somehow tricked Shallya into marrying him. She got out of the relationship by giving him immortality instead, in an act of mercy for herself. Shallya is much as she always is, doves and healing and generally trying to be decent to people. We do get an interesting little note that Shallyans sanction a sub-cult that believes mutation is a disease to be studied (and treated) and that mutants remain people. There's a hint that Shallyans may be protecting and hiding communities of sane mutants throughout the Empire, something the Sigmarite Hunters would dearly like to discover. I believe this is the first hint in the line of how mutation is going to be treated, so it bears mentioning. The cults protecting mutants and encouraging them to worship Shallya instead of the Dark Gods are strongest in the west and near Marienburg.

Good old Sigmar. Sigmar has the most important details compared to core and ToS because the Sigmarite writeup here focuses on the threats to Imperial unity caused by the priest Luthor Huss claiming he'd found a literal living Sigmar, then his Sigmar dying. We also get one of the amusing contradictions of the line: It can never decide if Volkmar or Esmer is currently Theoganist, only that they're in conflict with one another over Volkmar's escape and Esmer being a huge rear end in a top hat monodominant. Esmer is very, very clearly set up as a major Sigmarite campaign villain over no less than three books, the conflict is just muddled by none of the three (this, Realm of Sorcery, and Tome of Salvation) agreeing on the status of where it's at or where it's going (Esmer is currently Theoganist in Sigmar's Heirs but on the verge of being forced out). The biggest problem facing the cult is that Valten, the boy Luthor Huss claimed was Sigmar, died after failing to destroy Archaon the Everchosen at Middenheim. The claim was popular enough and widely believed enough that this is causing a crisis of faith: Huss claims Sigmar merely left now that the crisis is over and will return if he's needed, but seeing as Valten both failed and died, some of the priests are beginning to fear that Sigmar has abandoned his cult. Others are terrified that their God may well have manifested and then died, and may actually be genuinely dead. This, incidentally, is why you don't run around making idiot claims that you literally found your God reborn because a 17 year old boy killed a couple beastmen with a hammer and had the right birthmark: You risk a widespread religious panic if (when) it turns out Chosen Ones aren't a big thing in Hams (at least, Non End Times Hams) and he fucks everything up at his big hero battle. But then the official Luthor Huss is a complete lunatic obsessed with sainthood and wanting to be a living saint, so him making crazy claims and errors in the name of getting to be the hero of a religious movement isn't exactly out of character.

So at least things are interesting in the cult of Sigmar. Lots of room for campaign plotlines there. The books for the RPG don't go into much detail about Valten and this is one of the most substantial mentionings of Huss in the line, merely saying that there's no real confirmation either way about his claims about Valten. I think the RPG intended to leave them very open, a bit like the Lady of the Lake, so that you could decide how you wanted to take that event if you decided to make it part of your campaign. After all, you've got a ton of ways you can do the Valten plot depending on how cynical or idealistic you want to make things: Actual avatar of Sigmar who lost (and the implications thereof), fraud, young boy caught up in things beyond himself who got by on luck and a magic hammer until suddenly he didn't, genuine hero who wasn't a God but also wasn't enough, murdered by rats (the canon explanation), murdered by Karl Franz (the fanatical explanation), etc. I like it left open like it is in the RPG; it makes for a good campaign hook.

Taal and Rhya get the interesting detail that the elves actually think Taal is a female God and that there's extensive syncretism and even crossover worship among the Nordlanders and the Wood Elves of the Laurelorn. Rhyan worship, especially, sees humans and elves worshiping together on especially holy days. The link among these popular religions and the religions of another race provide a bit of commonality that helps keep tensions down. I love the little moments where things bleed across cultures in Hams, so this is interesting.

Ulric is how he is in ToS, except for mention that the Ulricans are upset that Middenheim had to be saved by Sigmarite reinforcements and that the Myrmidian soldiers and mercenaries among the relief army are starting to set up chapels to praise their Goddess for victory over Archaon, eating into the cult further. Also a lot of space devoted to the Sons of Ulric, who are as they are in ToS, but more indication you're meant to use them as campaign villains (or comic relief nazis).

The only real difference of note with Verena is that they're busy trying to rescue whatever books and knowledge they can from the formerly occupied or raided lands of the northeast. Otherwise, they are as they are: Owls, Books, Justice.

Next Time: Hide the sheep.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Halloween Jack posted:

That makes sense, but "Divis Mal has all the powers and he can just turn your powers off" feels like such a slap in the face, y'know?

Gameplay-wise Mal's basically spent the time in between WW2 and the present day doing the Nova equivalent of grinding for exp all day while muttering about 'those fools' with the same tone and frequency as Doctor Doom on the subject of 'RICHAAAAARDS'.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




i'm having a hard time getting a sense of what players are supposed to actually be doing in-setting in aberrant. the backstory already has superheroes solve world hunger and potable water scarcity, undo decades of ecological damage, create a free super internet and more efficient machines, etc. but then it still talks about crime running rampant and national govts fielding militaries and it seems incongruent.

i know the easy answer is "humans are innately unhappy with their lot in life, no matter how good they have it, and they'll look for other people to attack out of petty boredom if nothing else". but traditionally most sources of conflict originate from things like resource scarcity (whether that's food, water, land on which to cultivate food, etc.) and it seems like those problems are already fixed in setting. are national militaries now solely existing to prevent other countries from marching their novas into your base?

one of Godlike's conceits (hyperbrains can't actually fix the world for reasons) feels necessary, because it leaves the door open for our current paradigm of conflict to continue to exist. is aberrant based on the Kingdom Come model, where all of the world's problems are more or less solved but then superhumans get so loving bored they start blowing each other up just because?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Aberrant is based on the idea that the guy saying all these supers will eventually stop caring about human concerns and become murderous sociopaths like him is right, and that it's only a matter of years before it happens. What's happening in the moment is basically the good time before the crash.

E: So yeah, you're about right. They'll all get bored with mundanity like 'improving the world' or 'helping people' or 'being rich' and start collecting torsos in time.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:51 on Nov 8, 2018

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


What was the title of Stolze’s superhero book other than Godlike?

Edit: nevermind, it’s Wild Talents and i was thinking of the Progenitor supplement to it.

Foglet fucked around with this message at 17:58 on Nov 8, 2018

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




As near as I can tell, Progenitor completely throws out the premise of how Hyperbrains work (and don't work) in Godlike. There are multiple super-smart and/or super-charismatic people who are absolutely using their powers to get obscenely rich and effect political change.

By the same token, a lot of stuff from Godlike had to be more carefully considered in Wild Talents because it was out of the context of "being on a battlefield in the early 1940s." The changes in technology and the context of what the PCs will be doing made a huge difference.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Night10194 posted:

Aberrant is based on the idea that the guy saying all these supers will eventually stop caring about human concerns and become murderous sociopaths like him is right, and that it's only a matter of years before it happens. What's happening in the moment is basically the good time before the crash.

E: So yeah, you're about right. They'll all get bored with mundanity like 'improving the world' or 'helping people' or 'being rich' and start collecting torsos in time.

Yeah as the timeline hints at the end we're about to transition from 'boy everything's great and Project Utopia's novas have saved the world' to all the dirty poo poo behind the scenes of that effort slowly coming out. Including it being impossible to distinguish how many of the accusations of ways Utopia's attempting to limit the Nova population are unhinged conspiracy rants and which are legit true given they're definitely sterilizing anyone who comes into their facilities. So I think the actual tone is supposed to be kind of conspiracy-based in spite of it being a game about people with superpowers.

They do note that if you really want you could just loving play a normal superhero game with the rules, and try to be less bitchy babies than most spurned game devs most of the time so I can't judge their edgy late nineties poo poo too harshly. I'd hope most of them can look back on it and laugh.

Like Edgy Aberrant Thing Number <ERROR NUMBER OUT OF RANGE>: In the fluff for the Teragen book we're going to learn that one of the members of Team Tomorrow we haven't heard of yet is basically a serial killer. Like he picks up chicks in bars and then superstrength fucks them to death. If you could write that poo poo and then more than a decade later not go 'god drat what was I thinking' I don't even know.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 18:33 on Nov 8, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



I'm really wondering what they're gonna do with the new Aberrant given the...source material.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




They're pretty much Solar Exalted. That explains more or less everything to me. I'm sure you could draw some Dragonblooded and Sidereal parallels in there too for good measure.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Night10194 posted:

Aberrant is based on the idea that the guy saying all these supers will eventually stop caring about human concerns and become murderous sociopaths like him is right, and that it's only a matter of years before it happens. What's happening in the moment is basically the good time before the crash.

E: So yeah, you're about right. They'll all get bored with mundanity like 'improving the world' or 'helping people' or 'being rich' and start collecting torsos in time.

And if your players don't get bored with such, congratulations! They get to be the only thing stopping the ones who are playing super-powered Hannibal Lecter!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Mors Rattus posted:

I'm really wondering what they're gonna do with the new Aberrant given the...source material.

I'd guess they'd focus more on trying to integrate superhumans and humans without just creating a turbo .1% that rules over the earth as feudal God Kings.

Also I suppose you could play a normal superhero game with Aberrant but, like. It's the Storyteller system, right? Even with the classical problems of Supers games surely there's a better system for it than Storyteller, because there's a better system for every game than Storyteller (this is because Storyteller is trash).

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Night10194 posted:

I'd guess they'd focus more on trying to integrate superhumans and humans without just creating a turbo .1% that rules over the earth as feudal God Kings.

Also I suppose you could play a normal superhero game with Aberrant but, like. It's the Storyteller system, right? Even with the classical problems of Supers games surely there's a better system for it than Storyteller, because there's a better system for every game than Storyteller (this is because Storyteller is trash).

Somewhere I have the d20 version of Aberrant they made, which proves that there's at least one worse system for a superhero game than Storyteller. It does not do a good job of faithfully recreating the power level of the setting.

And I'm not trying to say a d20 superhero game is impossible, mind, but that adaptation was really loving bad. Instead of 'your starting characters are pretty weak compared to the bullshit we've slathered on a lot of the main characters of the setting' it's 'your characters are incomprehensibly weak compared to the bullshit that the main characters of the setting can do in the fluff but we can't even model in the rules anymore so don't ask us to give them a stat block'. Like at level 20 I'm pretty sure you're still less capable than original Aberrant characters could be at the start.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 20:10 on Nov 8, 2018

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Feinne posted:

Somewhere I have the d20 version of Aberrant they made, which proves that there's at least one worse system for a superhero game than Storyteller. It does not do a good job of faithfully recreating the power level of the setting.

Yeah. The d20 system is a downgrade in all respects. Even the levels of Mega-Strength don't go as high, by which I mean the max-rank of Mega-Strength in d20 means you carry far less than you do in Aberrant, which is 'lift up an aircraft carrier and throw it.'

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Feinne posted:

Somewhere I have the d20 version of Aberrant they made, which proves that there's at least one worse system for a superhero game than Storyteller. It does not do a good job of faithfully recreating the power level of the setting.

That is the version I played in early college, because the guy who GMed it loved 3.5 back then.

Yes, it is very, very different in tone just because you are significantly less of a God. Even then I was able to make a regenerator who essentially couldn't die no matter what the GM tried to do to him, and the increasingly horrible 'deaths' of 'Kevlar' were one of the running themes of the game. That's what I was able to get out of the system where you are extremely weak compared to the original system and concept of the setting. That says something.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Night10194 posted:

That is the version I played in early college, because the guy who GMed it loved 3.5 back then.

Yes, it is very, very different in tone just because you are significantly less of a God. Even then I was able to make a regenerator who essentially couldn't die no matter what the GM tried to do to him, and the increasingly horrible 'deaths' of 'Kevlar' were one of the running themes of the game. That's what I was able to get out of the system where you are extremely weak compared to the original system and concept of the setting. That says something.

Yeah if I can track my copy down I'll go over it a bit at some point, what I recall is that the broken powers skew the other way because d20 characters have relatively large amounts of health relative to their ability to deal damage whereas Storyteller is the other way around. So offensive powers are broken as gently caress in original Aberrant because they didn't need to scale much better than defenses to be way better (we'll see this later), but the opposite is true in D20 since as you note it's really easy to become nearly impossible to kill.

Good example the Mega-Stamina Regeneration enhancement is a 'thing', as is a Healing power that has a similar mechanic but can target others. These let you essentially trade Quantum Points (you'll generally have in the mid-twenties of these as a starting character) for health levels on a one-to-one basis which sounds like you've got deep loving pockets but doesn't mean poo poo if you take some aggravated damage (very much a thing unlike Adventure) or just literally get scragged in one hit (also very, very much a thing that can happen).

One thing I'll say about Aberrant is that the kind of power levels skip merrily past the 'how well can this rules system model The Flash and how broken does it let him be' to 'how precisely can this rule system model Goku' (the answer to that last one is 'very' and I'll definitely stat him up once we get to the Player's Guide and the Quantum 10 power that is literally a Dragonball Z Supermove attack power).

Feinne fucked around with this message at 20:27 on Nov 8, 2018

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Feinne posted:

Like Edgy Aberrant Thing Number <ERROR NUMBER OUT OF RANGE>: In the fluff for the Teragen book we're going to learn that one of the members of Team Tomorrow we haven't heard of yet is basically a serial killer. Like he picks up chicks in bars and then superstrength fucks them to death. If you could write that poo poo and then more than a decade later not go 'god drat what was I thinking' I don't even know.

https://twitter.com/dril/status/687446125457096704

To be fair, that's the plot of Marshal Law

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Feinne posted:

Like Edgy Aberrant Thing Number <ERROR NUMBER OUT OF RANGE>:

i guess it's a feat that WW found so many ways to be completely loving reprehensible, across all of their game setting fiction? even if this is supposed to be some poorly executed version of the clerks joke (superman ejaculating would still have the relative blast force of an actual shotgun) it's just completely unnecessary and tasteless

i know other WW setting like V:tM at least also had female characters doing hosed-up poo poo to dudes. does aberrant carry that tradition forward, or is it exclusively men doing horrible poo poo to women?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Freaking Crumbum posted:

i'm having a hard time getting a sense of what players are supposed to actually be doing in-setting in aberrant. the backstory already has superheroes solve world hunger and potable water scarcity, undo decades of ecological damage, create a free super internet and more efficient machines, etc. but then it still talks about crime running rampant and national govts fielding militaries and it seems incongruent.

i know the easy answer is "humans are innately unhappy with their lot in life, no matter how good they have it, and they'll look for other people to attack out of petty boredom if nothing else". but traditionally most sources of conflict originate from things like resource scarcity (whether that's food, water, land on which to cultivate food, etc.) and it seems like those problems are already fixed in setting. are national militaries now solely existing to prevent other countries from marching their novas into your base?
Aberrant came out in 1999. That sense of having created a new and durable status quo but wandering if anything lies beyond it, if it can't account for innate problems in human nature, if it's all an illusion and we're living on borrowed time...very suited to the zeitgeist.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




It turns out that on the other side of the status quo is crooked bankers and nazis.

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS


I forget if its already come up yet where you are in the core, but are you going to talk about how badly the writers failed at understanding the UN and how it works? Because that ends up making two factions (Team Tomorrow and the Directive) even more nonsensical than expected in the setting.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Desiden posted:

I forget if its already come up yet where you are in the core, but are you going to talk about how badly the writers failed at understanding the UN and how it works? Because that ends up making two factions (Team Tomorrow and the Directive) even more nonsensical than expected in the setting.

I mean I hope that's implicit from anyone giving a gently caress about anything the UN says while people with superpowers are jetting around. But yes in Aberrant world the UN is an inexplicably big deal.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Eh, that was common enough in pre-millenium fiction as it was. There was always this weird thought that we were heading towards a global government with the End of History (lol, Fukuyama should never be able to show his face in academic circles again) and all.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




In RPGs the UN has a huge amount of power, the FBI is good, and Interpol is actually a law enforcement organization. It's just a RPG thing.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Mors Rattus posted:

I'm really wondering what they're gonna do with the new Aberrant given the...source material.

I dunno about anyone else, but it sounds perfect for the The Boys RPG that I never wanted to run.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





"Turns out there was this one guy who had a really massive but low-key meta power forcing everyone to behave according to his personal anxieties and expectations about human nature, which were rooted in about what you'd expect for a well educated and vaguely progressive straight white guy who grew up in the Midwest! The effect was negligible on the individual level but statistically pretty big."

"What'd you do with him?"

"Why, we sterilized him and put him into a camp, of course! I'M KIDDING, we gave him a suppressor and explained to him what was going on. He's afraid it's going to ruin his promotion chances at work, poor guy."

As for the UN I remember that being a factor in the GURPS IST setting, though there was at least the backing that the UN, as an organization, was given the license for functional fusion power or something. So at least they had a revenue stream.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Night10194 posted:

Eh, that was common enough in pre-millenium fiction as it was. There was always this weird thought that we were heading towards a global government with the End of History (lol, Fukuyama should never be able to show his face in academic circles again) and all.

yeah between the UN and the WTO and NAFTA and a bunch of other Clintonian neo-liberal fiscal policies, a lot of people thought we were headed towards a global planetary govt.

especially if you were involved in conservative or evangelical circles (or had relatives who were) the idea that UN was going to sacrifice christian babies to satan on the altar of globalism was espoused with completely straight faces

it's actually a fairly uninspired take given the prevailing cultural zeitgeist. it'd have been a bigger script flip if the UN and T2M and Utopia et al were 100% sincerely committed to doing good, but that still wasn't enough to stop superpowered friend-zone hitler from royally pushing everybody's poo poo in

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


There's a secret illuminati organization that's trying to protect the world from a terrible danger: you.

My God it's oMage.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Freaking Crumbum posted:

it's actually a fairly uninspired take given the prevailing cultural zeitgeist. it'd have been a bigger script flip if the UN and T2M and Utopia et al were 100% sincerely committed to doing good, but that still wasn't enough to stop superpowered friend-zone hitler from royally pushing everybody's poo poo in

One of the keys of Old WW was that they were actually incredibly poo poo at 'flipping scripts' despite that being their entire schtick. They never actually pulled it off in ways that made it clear they actually thought through what they were doing rather than just did it to be contrarian edgelords.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Nessus posted:

As for the UN I remember that being a factor in the GURPS IST setting, though there was at least the backing that the UN, as an organization, was given the license for functional fusion power or something. So at least they had a revenue stream.

Yeah, I can't remember the specifics, but the UN had a stranglehold on the technology behind fusion reactors. They also had remote kill-switches, which came in handy when nations went rogue. One of the reasons why Operation Desert Storm ended up taking only a few days.

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS


Well, at least as I recall (its been a while), the UN actually provides the charter and legal permission for team tomorrow and project utopia to be able to go intervene all over the globe and do various beneficial and conspiratorial things, rather than being told to bugger off by local authorities of all stripes. Which went down as follows:

1. The UN decides it has has the power to actually do that in the first place
2. The UN vote passes, and every state on the security council decides to cede a big chunk of power to this random new organization of superheroes, despite any one of them being able to nix it and the security council existing mainly so they don't have to listen to any poo poo they don't want to.
3. The executive decisions of these respective countries are all approved by the other governmental institutions that would have to ratify it. There's an implication that maybe Utopia used mind control to get this through, but that would mean having to mentally influence at least dozens if not hundreds of people in each government to pull that off.
4. Most of these same governments almost immediately become suspicious and frightened of Utopia's power, despite being the ones that handed it to them.
5. Said governments decide to form an international conspiracy of their own in the Directive to deal with the situation. Rather than just backing out of the UN agreement, or passing a new measure to revoke Utopia's charter.

I remember that whole setup just bugged the poo poo out of me back in the day.

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MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


This was an accidental post.

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