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What can Nova powers do?

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  • What can Nova powers do?

    Hi everyone, I’ve never read Abberant or Trinity and I have an interest in running the games, possibly with a few tweaks. I need to understand the system and setting a bit better so if you could please help me out, that would be wonderful.

    I have a basic idea of what the psionics in trinity can accomplish.

    If some people could give me a basic breakdown of Nova powers that would be wonderful.

    Also, what is Qunatum? Where does it come from? How does it endow powers to the Nova’s and how do they use it or contorl it?

    The wiki provides insights but I’ve seen numerous incidents where it contradicted the facts I know from actual game books and thus, I’ve turned to you.

  • #2

    "Quantum" is a term referring to the four known fundamental forces of the universe: electromagnetism, gravity, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force. Thanks to a quirk of genetics, novas have a special node in their brain which allows them to manipulate these forces to create potentially limitless effects.

    Now, this doesn't mean each and every nova erupts as an unrestrained reality warper; what it does mean is that a nova's initial powers will be informed by their personality and their circumstances, and can manifest in practically any imaginable way.

    That said, you won't find any first-generation novas who jump immediately to powers with a global scope; it takes time to learn how to control and manipulate that level of quantum energies.

    What do I mean when I say 'potentially limitless effects'? Well, an experienced nova could time travel, travel to alternate universes, master Earth's biosphere, climate, or geology, create and enhance consciousness, create a bubble of reality shaped by the minds of those within, or create a whole new universe.

    More generally, a nova can manifest almost any possible superpower (although actual magic is off-limits - that's not how the setting goes).


    Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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    • #3
      For better or worse, Nova powers as a whole are capable of darn near anything you've seen someone with superpowers do in a comic book. As a whole they're extremely broad. I know that's vague, but I'm not sure there's a better answer there.

      As for Quantum, Novas have the ability to manipulate the fundamental quantum forces of the universe (gravitation, electromagnetism, weak interaction and strong interaction). When someone with the genetic potential for manipulating quantum forces falls under the right circumstance (which varies depending on the individual), a structure in their brain about the size of a grape (called the M-R Node) is activated. This, with the help of (IIRC) an altered nervous system, gives them the ability to reshape the forces in the environment in ways that, essentially, let a given Nova do one of a number of things depending on the individual. Does that make sense?

      (Edit: Whoops, I took my time composing my answer and got ninja'd. That'll teach me.)
      Last edited by MythicFox; 10-12-2017, 05:06 AM.


      Christopher Shaffer, freelancer. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. -Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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      • #4
        It sounds like they’re a cross between the individual super powers of various super heroes and the spheres of mage the ascension

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        • #5
          Well, you're buying individual powers, but you can invent some pretty broad ones. Spheres allow for dynamic combinations to get desired effects. Nova powers don't really have that "combo" feature.

          You are encouraged to use existing powers as a guideline to develop your own powers as a player, but in-game I don't think that the characters have the ability to spontaneously generate desired powers outside of something like Chrysalis (Chrysalis is something that the Terragen invented that lets you re-make yourself like a butterfly. Chrysalis is not common outside of the Terragen and the results are only broadly controlled)
          Last edited by Spaaace; 10-12-2017, 10:03 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zennis View Post
            It sounds like they’re a cross between the individual super powers of various super heroes and the spheres of mage the ascension
            It doesn't work that way mechanically, but in fiction the conceit is very similar to mages. Novas have the ability to do anything. At the moment of eruption they are gods. Then their frail, mortal minds limit them to keep them from going insane.

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            • #7
              Nova powers can theoretically do anything. However, they usually aren't terribly flexible, so a given nova is usually limited to a handful of related effects most of the time. A nova can be ridiculously powerful - blow up planets, travel through time, create matter from nothing, bring about the creation of new species - but generally they tend to be limited to certain effects, and they can't readily change those effects without a whole lot of effort. You might have a guy who commands plant life for instance. Chances are good he can heal plants, make them grow, desiccate them, allow them to flourish in a hostile environment, communicate with them, animate them, etcetera, but he won't normally also be able to say, start fires with a thought unless he has undergone some severe training or highly unusually circumstances.

              "Quantum" is supposed to be related to the four fundamental forces, but I prefer to think of it as a measure of "unreality" or "possibility energy". The world has certain set physical laws. Novas work by essentially ignoring or rewriting those laws wholesale - sometimes permanently! Their quantum scores and quantum pools ultimately measure their ability to do this.

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              • #8
                So how does training allow a Nova to go from a plant controller to one that can also start fires with their thoughts?


                It is a time for great deeds!

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                • #9
                  There's a reason that an rpg about novas is being rebuilt with the same mechanics being used to play a game about gods.

                  Eldagusto: Usually it doesn't, barring odd game circumstances, but then PCs are anything but usual.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                    So how does training allow a Nova to go from a plant controller to one that can also start fires with their thoughts?

                    On one level, it doesn't. On another level, it could with the right understanding of their powers.

                    A nova starts out controlling quantum forces in a very instinctual way. They develop a set of powers when they erupt, and they make those powers happen through control of fundamental forces. Our fire controller doesn't really know they're messing with the nuclear forces, they just know they can control flames.
                    With training they'll probably get better at controlling flames, they might branch out into some similar powers, that are just outgrowths of controlling fire.

                    If they really dig into how they do what they do, that's where it opens up more. Maybe they come to understand what's happening at the atomic level better, and they realize oxidization is a process not unlike something burning, and they develop limited control over plants by controlling the rate of oxidization inside plant cells.

                    If they can break through and really understand that controlling the strong and weak nuclear forces isn't actually that different from controlling gravity or electromagnetism the sky is the limit. It's just really hard. Taking it back to Mage, a Mage controls reality with their will, but it's really hard to grasp that, so most have tools and a paradigm they filter that through.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zennis View Post
                      If some people could give me a basic breakdown of Nova powers that would be wonderful.
                      Short answer: Yes. A Nova can, given time and effort, learn to do anything with their power.

                      Slightly longer answer: Novas have two primary areas of capability. Mega-Attributes, which represent mundane human abilities taken to superhuman levels, and Powers, which do stuff humans just don't do, like control fire.

                      Novas manifest Powers and Mega-Attributes in line with their sub-conscious fears and desires. They also tend to manifest powers involved in their eruption event. If a Nova got their powers while trapped in a burning building, it's likely (though far from certain) that they will be able to at least survive fire, if not manipulate it.

                      As time goes on, a Nova's understanding of their powers increases, and with it their power. Eventually they can learn completely new powers as an extension of their existing ones. A fire manipulator might realize they are just creating and destroying heat, which is just atoms moving around. Thus, they learn to control kinetic force, too.

                      Aberrant literally has a power called Universe Creation, so there really isn't an upper limit to what they can do, just a matter of what they believe they can do and what you ST wants to handle at the table.

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