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    I'm planning to a run an Aberrant campaign for some players, likely three consistent. I'm looking to update the timeline to have novas begin to erupt in response to the ISS exploding, analogously to the Galatea. The characters are going to some of the first novas to erupt. Any advice?

  • #2
    are you starting with the standard 30 nova point character creation, or going higher or lower?



    • #3
      I did something kind of like that. I kept normal character creation rules but I wanted it more like Heroes and not the Xmen so I forbid any blatant powers at the start. Also, I limited purashing with taint. We had an ex-military guy that survived a copter crash. Other that being able to walk thru walls and later fly, he was all about the dexterity. Another was a street kid that had telekinesis. Another with telepathy and cyberkenesis that the group named Google.


      • #4
        Last time I did that I gave the PCs more starting NP in order to have them be the equal of any of the NPC luminaries in the setting (which I had to carefully scale yearly so they gained power gradually). One thing you may want to think about is whether you want your players to be on the same level as the movers & shakers of the nova world.


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies so far. I'm going for a standard 30 point buy but I want to portray them coming to terms with their new abilities, so might slowly let them activate their powers. They will be erupting within the first week, and the campaign will focus on their interactions with the government and media initially. I'm thinking them being the initial American novas and running with that.
          I think they players will likely be rebellious towards that, and including the beginnings of the Directive coming after them might be fun.
          I've got two character ideas from the players; Moe-mentum is one of the few overweight novas, which is funny considering his super speed. An IT worker, one day he got up for lunch and ran a mile before he realized what had always been difficult for him was just the beginning. Quasar is an everyman who has even been a mercenary at one point, his powers are absorbing energy and emotions, throwing firebolts, and flying if forced. He loves to be the center of attention and is pretty sure he's half alien.


          • #6
            I've played this concept several times, with several variations of the rules. Here are a few observations:

            1. Mega Attributes make a *huge* impact on "perceived power". I never really realized this until I played a game where we disallowed all Megas. When your characters can't dodge bullets from a standstill, sway hearts and minds by simply talking, or outsmart a bank of super-computers, you're suddenly a lot less "alien" to normal humans. Additionally, the relative power of powers themselves drops significantly, because you no longer have all of those bonus dice (and their ability to add 2-3 successes per die) amping up power effects. A brand new telekinetic with 2-3 dots in Mega-Dex can probably lift small airplanes without effort; that same TK without Mega-Dex can probably only manage to lift a car when she's just starting out.

            Limiting new players to 1-2 dots of Mega attributes at start will make Novas seem more approachable to baselines.

            2. Capping powers at game start also significantly tones down starting characters. Basically same as above; limiting players at start to 1-2 dots keeps starting novas from seeming like all powerful new gods, which in turn makes their arrival on the scene slightly less nightmarish to "normal" humans.

            3. Decide early on how much conspiracy you want to invest in the game. I've played more than a few games of Aberrant where we basically got rid of Aeon and the entire "manipulating Novas" subplot. The results played out in two entirely different ways:

            - Without Aeon (and Utopia) sterilizing Novas, you actually have a world where the "us vs. them" mentality is less focused. Novas run afoul of the individual agendas of nations and powerful people, but they lack the rallying focus of a monolithic "conspiracy" to unite them. Divis Mal ends up being a straight revolutionary/terrorist, rather than a visionary.

            - However, without Aeon "minding" Novas, you end up with more of a free-for-all in how Novas are engaged by society. In my games, the cult of celebrity seems to still play out mostly the same; Novas are new, and cool, and very bankable, so they still tend to become media darlings. However, they don't have a central coordinating force in Aeon, so you don't see that same "progress toward the future" in regards to Ethiopian terraforming, Team Tomorrow, etc.

            Of course, your game will progress exactly as you want it to, so the above results may be irrelevant to your ideas.


            • #7
              Some updates, tomorrow is going to be a session zero, where we character build for those who haven't(I have Moe the speedster's sheet) and run a prelude for the characters. I'm looking at events to tie the characters together, any thoughts? A summons from the UN?


              • #8
                You mentioned that your premise is that your PCs are among the 1st eruptees, in order to intro them all you could have them all erupt in the middle of the same city, and react to some kind of trouble. One idea is to have some kind of accident happen where a building is on the way down, or something is about to explode and take out a city block. You can gauge how they react to that kind of thing and see how creative they are at using their powers outside of combat. If you want to be cruel (like I am) have their powers manifest, but not the control so they end up causing as much chaos as they try to stop.