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  • Firanai
    started a topic [Aberrant] More Teragen factions

    [Aberrant] More Teragen factions

    As the title suggest, I would like to create a new thread where we can share our Homebrew factions of the Teragen. I just feel like that there are too few in the manual, maybe they expand them in future supplements, but for the time being I would like to see your ideas and also share mine. Here's mine, let me know your thoughts.

    The disciples of the exalted path

    The greatest irony about this faction is that, although it's considered one of the factions that follows the original philosophy of Teras more closely, it started with someone who Divis Mal would have considered a joke at best and an offensive pest at worst.
    Philippe Allaire was many things to many people: Philosopher, new Age Guru, self-help author, professional counselor, charlatan, con man, cheater...but everything changed when he erupted. Before his eruption, Philippe was a college dropout from the Sorbonne university of Paris, it was his third time failing to graduate after trying with psychology and marketing. The issue wasn't so much a lack of intelligence but the fact that he didn't have the slightest idea of what he wanted to do with his life, something that bothered him but like the kids of many rich people he didn't really need, or wanted to, put the work to find out.
    That said, he was a social butterfly with an uncanny ability at helping people find their calling and improve their lives, or perhaps he just knew what so say to motivate people to go out and find those things. Quite the achievement for someone who (mostly) ironically described himself a professional slacker. In any case, using a combination of charisma, marketing, and a sincere desire to find meaning (while doing as little as possible) he decided to publish a self-help book that looked more like a collection of ramblings than a serious piece of reflection. Despite all odds, the book became a success and Philippe found himself catapulted to fame in record time.
    Soon there were calls for interviews, more book deals, and fans asking for advice or thanking him. His book became the start of a brand and a movement about self-improvement that combined the ideas of many philosophies without sounding like complete nonsense. Although the commercial nature of the movement was obvious, Philippe wasn't a complete cynic. More than anything, he wanted to believe in something and find his way, and he wanted to help others do the same. Then the pressure of the spotlight, the petitions of rabid fans, and a massive dose of impostor syndrome, pushed him to the edge and finally made him erupt.
    Perhaps as a result of his internal struggle, his quantum powers manifested in the form of a superhuman mind, with a level of composure, resolve and intelligence that no human could hope to achieve. At that moment, he gained a new sense of self awareness that finally, FINALLY, gave him the understanding he was looking for. Humanity was trapped, their potential closed within a mortal shell that limited their comprehension and forced them to wander through life without any deep meaning. It was his purpose, his destiny, to free humanity from their slumber and guide them into a new state of existence. Such ideals found a welcome home in the Teragen, which Philippe saw as the salvation of humanity and the stepping stone for novas to achieve their destiny.
    With this new perspective, he created the disciples of the exalted path, a philosophy that combined Teras, Buddhism, yoga, and new age self-improvement with the objective to transcend physical reality. He then used his fortune to create a series of spiritual retreats all over the world (some for humans, some for novas, and some mixed) to help them achieve transcendence. These places look like modern monasteries where through a combination of asceticism, study, meditation, science, and physical training Novas can search for transcendence in peace while humans can find ways to erupt. Nobody is forced to stay, members may join and leave at their leisure, sometimes trascendence has to be found out there in the world. It is also an open secret that Novas from all factions visit these places to relax and explore their powers.
    A simple life of quiet contemplation is not for everyone, especially for young Novas drunk on power and eager to leave their mark in the world. As a result, this is one of the smallest factions, but what they lack in numbers they more than compensate it with other facets. They are one of the most cohesive and organized factions which makes mobilizing that much easier, also although Philippe has mostly retired from public life he still commands a brand that has exploded in popularity since he erupted which brings money, reputation, and new recruits from all over the world. After all, wasn't the fact that he became a Nova proof that his teachings worked?
    This faction is for Novas who want to reflect on what it means to be a Nova by following a monk-like path without the distractions of modern society. This doesn't mean isolating oneself from the world, it's about understanding that, as a Nova, one should be above the "Basic", or "Petty", necessities and activities of baselines and don't waste time in things that don't have any deep meaning. Explore yourself and explore the world till you find your path to transcendence and be free.

    Last edited by IanWatson; 07-18-2021, 05:01 PM.

  • Baaldam
    replied
    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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  • Deadmanwalking
    replied
    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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  • Baaldam
    replied
    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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  • Darksol-aeternium
    replied
    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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  • Deadmanwalking
    replied
    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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  • Shalmaneser
    replied
    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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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Aeonstorm View Post
    That's one thing I have to keep reminding myself that's different from first edition, it's that there is no where near as many novas in the world. So it does make sense that groups of them wouldn't be as large or numerous.

    I imagine that because of this novas will probably be seen as being even more valuable, because of this countries and organisations will put more effort into preventing their novas from being poached others.

    Well, in the old game there were about 5K-7K Novas around in the world if memory tricks me not, so while there is a definite difference, the numbers seem to be in mostly the same scale overall.


    Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post
    Personally, I'd be interested in seeing a 'spinoff' of the Teragen who are more truly transhumanist. Baselines are inherently inferior to Novas, sure, that's objectively true, and limits the pool of real peers a Mega-Intellect Nova (for example) can have...but should the goal, then, not be to figure out how to turn Baselines into Novas, eventually solving the problem of a limited peer group in the most direct way possible? This should theoretically be possible for a powerful and dedicated enough Nova scientist...

    This individual (almost certainly a really high Mega-Intellect Nova if it's one guy) or group, would probably get on a bit better with random people than the Teragen, but only a bit (they're still fundamentally saying that Novas are better, and no longer human on some levels) and wind up actually pretty opposed to the Teragen in few ways (anyone who believes in 'destiny' or wants baselines around to serve and worship them...that's a lot of the Teragen), and be a real game changer if they start being able to actually make Novas, but not necessarily in a good way for the world at large in the short term (depending on how careful they were). This is especially true if they can only cause Latent Novas to Erupt (which would almost certainly be the first thing they figured out...turning ordinary humans into Latent Novas would be a lot harder), because then you get people going to them and trying to become Novas and it not working, and that breeds serious resentment and unpleasantness.

    Something like this seems to create a more interesting story seed than new factions that are fully Teragen.
    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.
    Last edited by Baaldam; 07-22-2021, 05:45 AM.

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    I like your numbers too. Make sense, indeed increasing the number of elites makes much more sense than my numbers. I was leaving most of the non combatant elites as unaffiliated, but it’s probably better to put them working for hire to the elite companies as consulting and super specialists.

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  • Deadmanwalking
    replied
    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.

    Personally, I think estimating 800 novas in Project Utopia is over by quite a bit and would peg it at more like 500-600 (including Team Tomorrow), another 400-500 Elites (which, remember, covers Novas doing independent work for hire in general, not just mercenaries), something like 300 Teragen, 100 in the Daedalus League, another 100 in the Aeon Society and Directive combined (which is just 100 in the Aeon Society if you go with the Directive not employing Novas), at least another 100 working directly for various governments (maybe more) then 400 'unaffiliated'. In reality, a lot of those last 400 would have an affiliation, but it's to some baseline-majority group like a political party or church, which has less (often much less) than 50 Nova devotees who would list it as their highest allegiance.

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    I put Utopia as 800ish because it has the largest structure (global, many training centers, many projects all around the world, and so many options of work) and is the one that actively go after new novas to help them.

    On the fighting capacity, Utopia is not Team Tomorrow, it’s more about finding and helping new novas, helping and funding nova researches and things like that, also, most if the novas are newbies and much less powerful than the Aberrants. Teragen have the intention of making novas powerful, and Aberrants are actively fighting against law enforcers and other military some times, but Utopia want to bring peace and prosperity to the world, so the novas are not induced to gain power, but to learn to control their powers to best benefit the group (that is the philosophy, there are novas going after brute power in every faction).

    If you prefer, you can switch 800 Teragen and 300 Utopia, it would make Teragen a bigger group and justify all the subdivisions among them, the largest groups would be 100 nova max, but I would not make Aberrants that numerous (at least not in 2028).

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  • Firanai
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    While conceptually I agree there are space and concepts to be covered, I still think there are not that many Novas in the world to properly cover all the possible sides and form groups around that concepts. I am not telling you can’t create groups, or change any way the numbers, I’m just pointing there are not that many novas around to cover everything they would if the numbers were big enough.

    If you use a few holistic theories, you have 80% of the population being present in 20% of the groups. Also, a good part of the Novas would not be part of any group, just because no, like a good part of general people have no connection to any religion, or political party or similar society.

    So the mathematics would be something like, 800 being related to Utopia, 300 being related to Teragen (including all the subgroups), 200 Elites, 100 Daedalus League, 100 Team Tomorrow, 100 Aeon. That sums 1600 Novas. The other 400 I would say there is no group with more than 50 Novas (small teams, city protectors, national protectors, or just consulting groups, and many solo or dark stars).

    Inside Teragen, the numbers are even smaller, I really doubt any of the subgroups have more than 50 members, even the most popular, and most are a very small selection of novas with a relatively open ended opinion on a subject. Sure there are divergences, but the numbers are so small that those divergences would hardly split any of them.

    They are all super stars, and super stars are always having issues with their friends, but they are not working together, they just meet each other every once in a while to do stuff or discuss ideas, so the chances of them splitting is very small, more like a team of old friends that play games on Saturday nights and less like rock bands during tours.

    Thanks for this. The numbers have really helped me put the faction generation in perspective. I would say that my disciples are in one of those small 50 groups, and as such not really that relevant. I'll have to think how to recycle them. The only thing that surprises me of your numbers is Utopia having that many Novas. I know it was the "first" faction, so it makes sense that they have a numbers advantage, but 800? If that's the case, how come the Aberrants haven't been wiped out yet?

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    That is the feel they intended. Our novas are far more important in 2e than in 1e just because there are too few of them.

    Of course we don’t need to make this info so important, I just want to point out that we can’t say they do everything in the world, most places can’t count on Novas to solve their problems or even for any help.

    Let’s use a real world example to make it more effective, with the floods all over Europe, China and Australia, there would be about 200 Novas able and willing to help all those people. It means the number of dead would be basically the same, the searches would be a bit faster, but still risky to the baselines envolved.
    Last edited by Mateus Luz; 07-21-2021, 02:41 PM.

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  • Aeonstorm
    replied
    That's one thing I have to keep reminding myself that's different from first edition, it's that there is no where near as many novas in the world. So it does make sense that groups of them wouldn't be as large or numerous.

    I imagine that because of this novas will probably be seen as being even more valuable, because of this countries and organisations will put more effort into preventing their novas from being poached others.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    While conceptually I agree there are space and concepts to be covered, I still think there are not that many Novas in the world to properly cover all the possible sides and form groups around that concepts. I am not telling you can’t create groups, or change any way the numbers, I’m just pointing there are not that many novas around to cover everything they would if the numbers were big enough.

    If you use a few holistic theories, you have 80% of the population being present in 20% of the groups. Also, a good part of the Novas would not be part of any group, just because no, like a good part of general people have no connection to any religion, or political party or similar society.

    So the mathematics would be something like, 800 being related to Utopia, 300 being related to Teragen (including all the subgroups), 200 Elites, 100 Daedalus League, 100 Team Tomorrow, 100 Aeon. That sums 1600 Novas. The other 400 I would say there is no group with more than 50 Novas (small teams, city protectors, national protectors, or just consulting groups, and many solo or dark stars).

    Inside Teragen, the numbers are even smaller, I really doubt any of the subgroups have more than 50 members, even the most popular, and most are a very small selection of novas with a relatively open ended opinion on a subject. Sure there are divergences, but the numbers are so small that those divergences would hardly split any of them.

    They are all super stars, and super stars are always having issues with their friends, but they are not working together, they just meet each other every once in a while to do stuff or discuss ideas, so the chances of them splitting is very small, more like a team of old friends that play games on Saturday nights and less like rock bands during tours.
    Last edited by Mateus Luz; 07-21-2021, 01:21 PM.

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