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[Aberrant] More Teragen factions

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post
    Utopia's fighting strength is pretty much Team Tomorrow, which, as I understand it is about 25 Novas total (of which only 20 or so are actual combatants). There are also support personnel, but that's not the same thing. That's actually quite a lot, in absolute terms (it means that 1 in 80 Novas, more than 1% of them, are members of Team Tomorrow), but actually working for Utopia is a lot more common than that. The Aberrants are likely bigger than that philosophically, but smaller in terms of active 'nova level combatants', but maybe not, and certainly not by orders of magnitude or anything.
    If you think of Team Tomorrow as the "nova police", then those numbers are possibly a bit lower than needed- 1.25% of novas are "cops". Worldwide in the actual world right now, the average is 1.58% of the population as part of a police force of some kind, and most countries (by number of countries, not population) have more than that- Germany has 3.36%, the US has 2.39%, for comparison.

    With those numbers, no wonder things go to hell- the Nova world is a wild west because there's literally not enough enforcement to keep Novas from doing whatever they feel like.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
      Pretty sure such a faction existed in the first edition - they were called the Harvesters and led by Altaz “The Apothecary” Zia, with a secondary (and somewhat antagonistic) leading figure in the young and proactive Monster called Leviathan (also a Pantheon member back then), with ties on Nova Vigilance.
      I've just been rereading the 1E Teragen book and this was never really the Harvesters goal or what they did. They were (and maybe are in some fashion, since both Leviathan and the Apothecary still exist) a combination of 'social club for the truly inhuman-looking' and 'Taint-based research into improving Nova powers and changing how Taint manifests'. They were definitely the most research oriented arm of the Teragen, and one of the few groups with the skill set to look into the nature of Nova existence and what separates them from baselines, but their research was never focused on the baseline side of things or making them into Novas, which is the whole point of the faction I'm proposing. So similar skill sets, sure, but utterly different and, in some ways, even opposed actual goals.

      Originally posted by Shalmaneser View Post
      If you think of Team Tomorrow as the "nova police", then those numbers are possibly a bit lower than needed- 1.25% of novas are "cops". Worldwide in the actual world right now, the average is 1.58% of the population as part of a police force of some kind, and most countries (by number of countries, not population) have more than that- Germany has 3.36%, the US has 2.39%, for comparison.

      With those numbers, no wonder things go to hell- the Nova world is a wild west because there's literally not enough enforcement to keep Novas from doing whatever they feel like.
      As near as I can tell these figures are almost precisely an order of magnitude wrong. In 2019, there were just shy of 700,000 police officers in the USA, while there were over 328 million people. That's something like 0.2% of the population. Indeed, Police are usually calculated by how many people out of 100,000 are police officers, and only a handful of countries even hit 1,000 (which is to say 1%...Germany hits 336, which is to say 0.336%). The only two countries which hit even 2%, percentage wise are Vatican City and the Pitcairn Islands (which are both artificially high due to low populations).

      So really, it's a pretty high number percentage-wise (though perhaps reasonable due to the low population...low populations do often necessitate higher percentages of police, as noted above), and they're absurdly mobile due to teleporters, too. The real problem is that they aren't just police, having to also work as search and rescue, disaster response, and even diplomats at times, but the percentage is actually pretty high.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post

        So really, it's a pretty high number percentage-wise (though perhaps reasonable due to the low population...low populations do often necessitate higher percentages of police, as noted above), and they're absurdly mobile due to teleporters, too. The real problem is that they aren't just police, having to also work as search and rescue, disaster response, and even diplomats at times, but the percentage is actually pretty high.
        That's actually interesting, but as you've said they can't be more than 33% effective as police when they're also 1st-responders and diplomats. I'd have thought the Directive served better as nova police, though they seem more like nova-interpol.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post

          I've just been rereading the 1E Teragen book and this was never really the Harvesters goal or what they did. They were (and maybe are in some fashion, since both Leviathan and the Apothecary still exist) a combination of 'social club for the truly inhuman-looking' and 'Taint-based research into improving Nova powers and changing how Taint manifests'. They were definitely the most research oriented arm of the Teragen, and one of the few groups with the skill set to look into the nature of Nova existence and what separates them from baselines, but their research was never focused on the baseline side of things or making them into Novas, which is the whole point of the faction I'm proposing. So similar skill sets, sure, but utterly different and, in some ways, even opposed actual goals.
          True, you have a point. Leviathan's clique within the faction touched on the subject of transcending the human form but it was a kind of incipient thing still at best. To be expected in retrospect, considering the subject of postcyberpunk & transhumanist themes in sci-fi & specially rpgs would only make a splash about two years after the Teragen book came out.


          Also, where is Leviathan cited in the new edition? I don't remember seeing it and would like to know, since he's something of a favorite from old games (also, part of a transhuman cabal with a PC of mine, what is no doubt partly to blame for my previous confusion ).
          Last edited by Baaldam; 07-22-2021, 04:05 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Darksol-aeternium View Post
            That's actually interesting, but as you've said they can't be more than 33% effective as police when they're also 1st-responders and diplomats. I'd have thought the Directive served better as nova police, though they seem more like nova-interpol.


            Even at 1/3 effectiveness, that'd still be within the scope of reasonable numbers of police in most countries (that's something like 0.33-0.4% and thus right around what, say, Germany has), but yeah, it's fairly tricky given how few of them there actually are in absolute numbers, even with a decent percentage.

            And in terms of their actual responsibilities the Directive totally are more police-like than Team Tomorrow...but they're 'police for Novas', not 'Nova police'. Per the book, there are very few, if any, actual Novas in the Directives ranks (and if there are any, they tend towards the subtle and less powerful). Which makes it very difficult for them to police many Novas in a meaningful fashion. I mean, Team Tomorrow can do things about Geryon without widespread collateral damage, at least in theory, the Directive? Not so much (a Nova with even Toughness 4, which seems low for Geryon, can readily survive a nuclear blast, though not unscathed...it almost necessitates Nova level opponents to combat that guy without destroying the city he's in). There are a few exceptions (most notably Talents with 'The Bigger They Are'), but they're pretty rare.

            Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
            True, you have a point. Leviathan's clique within the faction touched on the subject of transcending the human form but it was a kind of incipient thing still at best. To be expected in retrospect, considering the subject of postcyberpunk & transhumanist themes in sci-fi & specially rpgs would only make a splash about two years after the Teragen book came out.


            Oh, they're definitely into transcendence, but it's the selfish sort, the transcendence of members of the group, not the transcendence of those outside it, and certainly not baselines.

            Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
            Also, where is Leviathan cited in the new edition? I don't remember seeing it and would like to know, since he's something of a favorite from old games (also, part of a transhuman cabal with a PC of mine, what is no doubt partly to blame for my previous confusion ).
            Leviathan has a full 'profile' at the bottom of page 59 (which means we'll eventually get an actual write up of him, that should be interesting), and is referenced on p. 57 and p. 61. He's pretty unchanged from 1E, though we find out a bit of new stuff (ie: he's apparently only attracted to people with scales). He's not a member of the Pantheon (at least not yet), but his position as one of those was always dubious.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post

              Oh, they're definitely into transcendence, but it's the selfish sort, the transcendence of members of the group, not the transcendence of those outside it, and certainly not baselines.

              Leviathan has a full 'profile' at the bottom of page 59 (which means we'll eventually get an actual write up of him, that should be interesting), and is referenced on p. 57 and p. 61. He's pretty unchanged from 1E, though we find out a bit of new stuff (ie: he's apparently only attracted to people with scales). He's not a member of the Pantheon (at least not yet), but his position as one of those was always dubious.
              Fair points in both things. And well, Leviathan, considering his 1st ed portrayal, the scales thing has a 50-50 chance of being serious or trolling.
              (Or a bit of both)

              Also, Leviathan's profile has some info on his father - and specially mother - that is fairly new. And might tie up with the second reference to him involving Directive agents on his tracks, it seems.
              Last edited by Baaldam; 07-23-2021, 12:05 AM.

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