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  • Thomas.Bagley
    started a topic Aberrant - Superhero Fiction

    Aberrant - Superhero Fiction

    Question about the Aberrant universe. Does it have our worlds (or their own) superhero fiction? Does it have Superman comics? Do the marvel movies exist etc?


  • BrilliantRain
    replied
    So, in Aberrant, the Terats basically assert that they are above the laws of humans and can do whatever the hell they want. That said, right now, being a Nova pretty much automatically makes you a celebrity, so going out and getting a publicist will probably get you more money and fame in the long run than knocking over banks or whatever. So there’s less motivation to just go and do crimes with your newfound power.

    That being said, Novas who go too deep into their powers can develop psychological issues, including an increasing detachment from humanity that often presents like a form of sociopathy. So, if I was planning to do a super hero fighting series, I’d probably look at Batman’s enemies for inspiration (though they’d probably need to have their power boosted for this game). People who have become increasingly alien in mindset.

    Alternately, take a look at the various Marvel and DC movies and TV series. Most of those plots should work ok in Aberrant.

    I’d love to try running a Nova squad that’s sort of a cross between a Disaster Rapid Response Rescue Squad and the Global Frequency.

    Leave a comment:


  • Queen Anne Country
    replied
    There was a great on concept, less-great on execution Image comic called "America's Got Powers" that seems like it could fit in Aberrant. Kind of American Idol meets Hunger Games meets Rising Stars with a dash of X-Men.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluecho
    replied
    It's worth remembering first that there's a lot more to comic books than just superhero fiction. Comic books are a medium, not a genre, and can be used to tell a wide variety of stories. One of my favorite series (back when I bought comics on a weekly basis) was Giant Days, a mostly normal (maybe Magical Realism) comedy series about three young women in college in England, and the wacky shenanigans that would spiral out from their personalities and the people around them. It's great, everyone should check it out. Point is, in the Aberrant universe, the presence of Novas probably led to the genre being redefined, yes, but also led to the medium being opened up to more and different kinds of stories. Basically, what in the Real World sits at the periphery of comics publishing, that orbits around the monolith of superheroes, suddenly becomes more the norm.

    So basically, it becomes like every other storytelling medium.


    And second that when superheroes become real, what is considered "normal" changes. Suddenly, even a grounded story that would otherwise not enter into the fantastical can depict Nova characters or situations. It's not fantasy or science fiction, it's just a literary reflection of the real life world the people of Aberrant live in. Things like police procedurals, sitcoms, thrillers, and mystery stories can be tinged by the element of superbeings, even if their presence isn't the centerpiece of the work. I imagine works similar to Gotham Central or Gotham Academy become more ubiquitous.

    Leave a comment:


  • johntfs
    replied
    Getting a bit back to the earliest post, we had one adventure with a Nova playing Superman in a movie because he actually had MegaSTR, Mega STAM, could fly and use eye lasers. Basically the director had hired him and other Novas to save on the FX budget because they could actually do the stuff. Alas, "Superman's" Taint made him flip out and kidnap "Lois Lane" so that the PC "villains" had to save her and Burbank from an out-of-control "Superman."

    Leave a comment:


  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    Originally posted by Thomas.Bagley View Post

    For those that have run games in this setting before. What threats/enemies antagonists did your group of players have? Like what would a typical adventure/mission/conflict/scenario look like?
    I recall my usual go-to antagonists being Novas who somehow erupted and immediately went off the deep end for some reason or another (cracking under the stress, suddenly deciding they were going to get revenge on whomever, or just having no control whatsoever). Also the occasional individual who was just a sociopathic asshat who decided they could do whatever they wanted now, regardless of who they hurt.

    I also did a lot with the pro-wrestling analog, having what were basically one on one or group fights for the entertainment of spectators or just bragging rights interspersed with a lot of character driven drama and comedy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thomas.Bagley
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post

    If you think there are about 2k novas in the world, you can go around without finding a Nova pretty easy. You would see them on the news (scientific, political, celebrities, everything) all the time, and they are everywhere in the media (they are in the outdoors, in the big screams in Times Square, etc.), but MOST of the novas are not flying around on super suits.

    There is no hard rule on the conflicts, you can put T2M fighting Aberrants anywhere you want as many times as you wish, but usually, when the game goes around violence and physical conflict I suggest a story around a team of Elites (nova mercs), fighting wars or assassinating /protecting people for money. You can even think about a nova dictator in a small country, and sending T2M to put him down, but it would not be the most common event.

    Terats in 2028 are usually more focused on philosophical aspect of the Nova condition than about killing people. Aberrants are an exception, but they are against killing Novas, they only kill baselines, and even them don’t go out killing people, usually they have reasons.

    Another option, is take your game a few years in the future 2040s when novas are getting crazy and the Aberrants are openly killing baselines for no reason. You can have a group of Aberrant Hunters going after novas that went crazy, or just too violent.

    My last game went around finding a Nova Inventor that start selling his inventions just to get more money to invent more. A gang of Narcos start selling his inventions in the black market and kept him locked on a laboratory they build for him (he was kind of Savant, and didn’t care about anything other than inventing stuff). They fought some baselines with nova tech and in the end had some issues to arrest the inventor (as he had Mega Stamina 5 and nothing could pass thru his skin).
    Oh you perfectly answered my question while I was writing my last post.!

    Disregard previous post, this sums it up nicely and gives me a greater understanding thank you so much

    Leave a comment:


  • Thomas.Bagley
    replied
    Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

    Yeah, this is a world where even someone with a seemingly odd or unspectacular power (think characters like Cypher or Gypsy Moth from older Marvel comics, or a bunch of characters from My Hero Academia) can turn themselves - or be turned by a company - into a marketable commodity and recognizable brand name with a bare minimum of effort, especially in the early days. Novas who become criminals are usually either mentally unwell or fanatically devoted to some sort of cause.
    That's a very fair point. I mean there ARE plenty of criminals that don't do crime for money (murderers serial killers etc). But money (or lack of it) is a BIG motivator for crime.

    The cause thing would be a BIG one for criminal antagonists I can imagine. Like "I have the powers of a god so now I'm going to eradicate my local KKK group. Or assassinate this world leader I feel is a evil dictator etc etc".

    For those that have run games in this setting before. What threats/enemies antagonists did your group of players have? Like what would a typical adventure/mission/conflict/scenario look like?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    Originally posted by Thomas.Bagley View Post
    That's interesting. I figured it was less of a heroes VS villains set-up which is cool, but I guess I still assumed that different Nova factions or groups would still clash violently every once in a while.

    I suppose I'm trying to wrap my head around where the conflict in the game comes from? Like what would the goal a typical Aberrant adventure/scenario be?
    If you think there are about 2k novas in the world, you can go around without finding a Nova pretty easy. You would see them on the news (scientific, political, celebrities, everything) all the time, and they are everywhere in the media (they are in the outdoors, in the big screams in Times Square, etc.), but MOST of the novas are not flying around on super suits.

    There is no hard rule on the conflicts, you can put T2M fighting Aberrants anywhere you want as many times as you wish, but usually, when the game goes around violence and physical conflict I suggest a story around a team of Elites (nova mercs), fighting wars or assassinating /protecting people for money. You can even think about a nova dictator in a small country, and sending T2M to put him down, but it would not be the most common event.

    Terats in 2028 are usually more focused on philosophical aspect of the Nova condition than about killing people. Aberrants are an exception, but they are against killing Novas, they only kill baselines, and even them don’t go out killing people, usually they have reasons.

    Another option, is take your game a few years in the future 2040s when novas are getting crazy and the Aberrants are openly killing baselines for no reason. You can have a group of Aberrant Hunters going after novas that went crazy, or just too violent.

    My last game went around finding a Nova Inventor that start selling his inventions just to get more money to invent more. A gang of Narcos start selling his inventions in the black market and kept him locked on a laboratory they build for him (he was kind of Savant, and didn’t care about anything other than inventing stuff). They fought some baselines with nova tech and in the end had some issues to arrest the inventor (as he had Mega Stamina 5 and nothing could pass thru his skin).

    Leave a comment:


  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    Originally posted by Reighnhell View Post
    Generally speaking, the default mode on Aberrant is not the traditional 4-color style supers. The game assumes the characters are relatively normal people granted extraordinary power, but there is no mandate to put on a costume, maintain a secret identity and punch bad guys. The same applies to so-called "villains". Why rob a bank when your inventions and product endorsements can make you fabulously wealthy with little personal risk.
    Yeah, this is a world where even someone with a seemingly odd or unspectacular power (think characters like Cypher or Gypsy Moth from older Marvel comics, or a bunch of characters from My Hero Academia) can turn themselves - or be turned by a company - into a marketable commodity and recognizable brand name with a bare minimum of effort, especially in the early days. Novas who become criminals are usually either mentally unwell or fanatically devoted to some sort of cause.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thomas.Bagley
    replied
    Originally posted by Craig Oxbrow View Post
    In Aberrant first edition, the XWF has comics, action figures and games, like the real-world WWE, presumably based on the 'kayfabe' characters rather than the real Novas' lives. (And figures of other Novas were licensed by various groups, some of them presumably made as 'satire' like the real-world toys of political figures, so there are underground Teragen webcomics and the like as well.)

    Also, Trinity Continuum has some real-world fiction actually happening in the setting, like The Most Dangerous Game, while other fiction is established as fiction. So bookshelves are going to be different before Galatea, and you get to decide how!

    And Adventure! first edition had Dracula as a book-style vampire, and a passing reference to Henry Jones Jr. It also had the opening fiction presented as coming from the Aeon Society's own magazine (an idea which didn't really catch on but could be interesting to explore).

    I imagine the current boom in superhero live-action media would peter out when actual superhumans show up - though maybe not entirely due to its popularity, like we still have car chase movies as well as new footage of real car chases.

    Superhero media becomes one of the inspirations for Nova style, and Nova characters start appearing in 'regular' media. And they can look forward to unfavourable comparisons to the most popular fictional supers...
    Agreed that that is all SUPER cool . I do love me some meta fiction stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • Penelope
    replied
    Craig Oxbrow thanks. I didn’t know all that stuff. That’s awesome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thomas.Bagley
    replied
    That's interesting. I figured it was less of a heroes VS villains set-up which is cool, but I guess I still assumed that different Nova factions or groups would still clash violently every once in a while.

    I suppose I'm trying to wrap my head around where the conflict in the game comes from? Like what would the goal a typical Aberrant adventure/scenario be?

    Leave a comment:


  • Reighnhell
    replied
    Generally speaking, the default mode on Aberrant is not the traditional 4-color style supers. The game assumes the characters are relatively normal people granted extraordinary power, but there is no mandate to put on a costume, maintain a secret identity and punch bad guys. The same applies to so-called "villains". Why rob a bank when your inventions and product endorsements can make you fabulously wealthy with little personal risk.

    That being said, for action-oriented campaigns, there are organizations across the government and private spectrum eager to employ novas for high-risk endeavors . This is is not even counting the nova's in question pursuing personal agendas that may bring them into conflict with other novas.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thomas.Bagley
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    I would keep Marvel and DC focused in their own multiverses, with maybe some special edition of Novas crossing into their universes, or their heroes coming to TC, much like those specials where a hero crosses to an universe with no other supers, a reader crosses into the comic universe.

    Also, as Datawever suggested, I would move the characters to a more space or inter dimensional setting, bringing more heroes to Guardians of the Galaxy / X-Force (I am not sure if its X-Force they have mutants going around the universe... there are so many X-men...), or exploring Ghost Rider cosmology, for Marvel, for DC I would go to the Green Lanterns (not the ones on Earth) and the Dr Fate. It would put the comics in the same condition as in ours world.

    By 2028, most of the novas are still mentally sane, only a few are crazy and even the guys from Aberrant (in 2e) have a pretty good reason for what they did (overreacted, for sure, but they had a good reason, prejudice is a serious thing), so there are no Big Nova Battles around the town or anything. Nova battles happens between mercenaries in wars (far from public, or at least the public that they care) or in the XWF (inside a controlled environment), so there is no reports for nova battles in the news, at least not often.
    I agree, going cosmic/extra dimensional would be the way to go.

    Forgive a possibly stupid question (I'm just reading over the pre-release PDF book now for the first time) but just to clarify, there aren't many superhero battles in cities in Aberrant? The classic superheroes battling super criminals in downtown New York or whatever is uncommon? What do PC Novas typically DO in the setting? Are they more mercenary military forces or emergency response etc?

    Leave a comment:

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