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Support for gadgeteers, etc., in Aberrant 2E?

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  • Support for gadgeteers, etc., in Aberrant 2E?

    I've always thought that one of the biggest oversights in Aberrant was the lack of support for Iron Man-type characters, who have few or no innate powers but can replicate them with technology. Will this be remedied in 2nd edition?

  • #2
    You explicitly *can* be Iron Man.

    Or let me be clearer. I’ve just finished, and am about to submit, the final draft of a detailed Aberrant Super Science chapter that lets you build (or start with) tech-based powers. A starting character could make an Ant-Man or Wasp suit with a moderate amount of time and effort, and could definitely build the Mk1 suit pretty easily, and the Mk2 but that’s going to be a bit harder. (Using MCU as a guide for what each bit of tech has.)

    A highly experienced nova can go much further.
    Last edited by Bunyip; 08-28-2018, 06:19 AM.


    Writes stuff. Sometimes you like it.
    WoD | Changing Breeds, Umbra, Book of the Wyrm, Shattered Dreams | CofD | Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd ed, Idigam Anthology, The Pack, Demon Storyteller's Guide, Hurt Locker, Dark Eras Companion, Beast Player's Guide, Deviant: The Renegades, Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon, Mummy: The Curse 2nd ed | The Trinity Continuum Æon, Æon Æxpansion, Aberrant

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
      You explicitly *can* be Iron Man.

      Or let me be clearer. I’ve just finished, and am about to submit, the final draft of a detailed Aberrant Super Science chapter that lets you build (or start with) tech-based powers. A starting character could make an Ant-Man or Wasp suit with a moderate amount of time and effort, and could definitely build the Mk1 suit pretty easily, and the Mk2 but that’s going to be a bit harder. (Using MCU as a guide for what each bit of tech has.)

      A highly experienced nova can go much further.

      Very good.

      I wonder what Elon Musk would build if he were to erupt as a Nova.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by NullApostle View Post


        Very good.

        I wonder what Elon Musk would build if he were to erupt as a Nova.
        A submarine that accuses people of being pedophiles rather than do anything.
        Last edited by glamourweaver; 08-28-2018, 05:16 PM.


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        • #5
          It wasn't an oversight in the first edition; it was a deliberate omission. But I'm glad that 2e is changing this. I rather liked the West Coast Avengers version of Hank Pym, who's remarkably similar to the MCU Hank Pym: formerly Ant-Man, but now a Gadgeteer who carries around a literal arsenal of micronized gadgets that he expands to full size as needed, including an AI-controlled “flying car”. Much more interesting than a guy who can change his own size, IMHO.

          I'm wondering how Aberrant Super-Science will address the sheer diversity that inventions can potentially have. Pym tends to focus on inventions dealing with size control, but sometimes goes beyond that (e.g., his “ant control” technology, Wasp's wings and stingers, and his forays into artificial intelligence); Reed Richards tends to deal with dimensional technology, enabling his family to visit exotic locales, but doesn't do much of anything with size manipulation; Tony Stark's innovations tend to be very straightforward (no “new principles”, per se; just gear that does its job far better than it has any right to); and so on.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hakkonen View Post
            I've always thought that one of the biggest oversights in Aberrant was the lack of support for Iron Man-type characters, who have few or no innate powers but can replicate them with technology. Will this be remedied in 2nd edition?
            Since I started working on the Trinity Continuum, my goal has always been that characters like Iron Man would be possible. I think there are quotes from me floating around going back about five years which say as much. It was excusable during 1e, but after a large number of successful MCU movies featuring Iron Man, we don't really have a good excuse not to.

            Depending on how you see Stark -- as a nova whose primary abilities are various forms of super-intelligence, or as a Talent -- there are different ways to construct an Iron Man-style hero. Hopefully people have fun with it.


            Ian A. A. Watson
            Onyx Path Community Manager

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
              It wasn't an oversight in the first edition; it was a deliberate omission.
              I'm afire with curiosity: what was the thought process behind that decision?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hakkonen View Post
                I'm afire with curiosity: what was the thought process behind that decision?
                It isn't hidden, it's right in the books. Aberrant is/was a game about people who acquire superhuman powers and grow increasingly inhuman in appearance and mind over time. Asking why you can't be Iron Man is like asking to be a non-mutant in X-men.

                That said, even 1e noted there were people who were apparently gadgeteers who were actually just using the tech as a focus, even though they might not realize it. Given the new Trinity Continuum approach of being a bit more wide open, and given mega-intelligence isn't going to not be a thing, I presume, that's more flexible now.

                I would still expect most supertech is impossible for non-supersmarties to use unless the genius takes the time to make it user-friendly.

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                • #9
                  I do have to say that I have longed agreed with the 1E version in one sense - you can't be Iron Man in the sense that its your pure intelligence that lets you do the awesome thing (which is what Tony Stark has, he is intelligent, but not a metahuman). In the Trinity verse I would require said person to be some sort of Inspired - be it a Talent, or Nova, or Psion or some other type - and not simply a normal baseline human. How their Inspired nature manifests is something I'm willing to work with but not whether said character is an Inspired.

                  To me its a major themetic element and I would want to keep it as such.

                  Thus, to further explain, the Iron Man suit (in this example) is more than simply a normal set of battle gear, it is a piece of Inspired tech that requires an Inspired to work or it needs to be directly designed for a normal for their use (such as the War Machine armor which is 110% designed for James Rhodes, who in time might even awaken as an Inspired if that fits the story but probably starts off as baseline). A random dude cannot put on the suit and do all the things Iron Man can do inside it - they might be able to activate the 'get out of here oh my god I'm going to die" function,and the 'why is the engines firing and is that a missile launcher that just appeared' button, but not control it precisely. Its also why there are many claims throughotu the movies about how none of the other governments or corporations have gotten near his level in their designs (minus Vakko but he was clearly some sort of Talent himself).

                  Anyway, that's just my thought on this.

                  PS. The whole Tony Stark is some sort of Inspired is why his AI are sentient and sapient and in many ways even seeming to have souls, he is giving them a bit of a spark due to his power when he created them.

                  PPS. No matter what anyone says JARVIS is not dead! *grin*

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LordHeru View Post

                    PS. The whole Tony Stark is some sort of Inspired is why his AI are sentient and sapient and in many ways even seeming to have souls, he is giving them a bit of a spark due to his power when he created them.
                    I think a version of Iron Man, perhaps Ultimate Iron Man, had his intelligence described as a super power. There was something in the Ultimate Universe that his body was filled with additional, genius-making neural matter as a result of an experiment while he was in utero. And Howard subsequently had to create a bacterial armor to protect his sensitive hyper-sensitive tissue. Then his tumor which causes him to hallucinate a son is in actuality an infinity stone. And somewhere along the way the nanites in his bloodstream became controlled by his thoughts. There was a version of him in NewUniversal who had hyper-inventive powers too. All this is to say, explaining that Iron Man exists outside of what a human could create is well within various canon. I liked that Prototype from Malibu comics could only operate his suit because his body was a battery for Black Lightning-esque powers. We did something similar in a modified 1E campaign that Eufiber was used as a power source for battle suits and some weaker novas were kept as batteries to refill the quantum available in those suits.

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                    • #11
                      Well, it's not like we have to guess about this. We've got Super-Science rules in the TC core book.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                        Well, it's not like we have to guess about this. We've got Super-Science rules in the TC core book.
                        That's not the same thing as "do novas super-science", though it is suggestive.

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                        • #13
                          The nova Super Science rules are based on, and expand, the rules in the TC Core. Just as the rules for bioware Super Science in AEon are based on the TC Core rules.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                            The nova Super Science rules are based on, and expand, the rules in the TC Core. Just as the rules for bioware Super Science in AEon are based on the TC Core rules.
                            And I'm sure the rules for everything else for novas will be based on, and expand, the TC Core rules. Because that's how supplements work.

                            My point was more my curiosity on if the philosophy of how nova gadgeteers work is going to change. Even if it is managed in a similar way mechanically, there's "this tech can be used by anyone if they're smart enough, so a clever Iron Man-esque talent could analyze and use a nova gadgeteer's stuff", "nova gadgeteers are like Sparks; they put a bit of their quantum into it so their gadgets don't necessarily quite follow mundane laws of physics, so while other people can use them they can't be reverse-engineered", and there's the 1e "nova gadgeteers are just like any other nova, the tech is their focus no different than any nova technically being able to exhibit any power but most focus on a few particular things. The gadgets do not necessarily work for anyone else past a certain level of complexity."

                            My expectation would be a little of 2 and 3, simply to differentiate novas from talents, but I wouldn't be dismayed at all by 1.

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                            • #15
                              Then there's the Voltron philosophy. "It works, but it came with a builtin AI. There is definitely stuff inside that I didn't design, so I can't tell you everything it can do. Let's try some experiments". Or "it works, but the idea for this piece came from a dream and I have no clue what it does"

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