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The Teragen are canonically right?

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  • The Teragen are canonically right?

    Okay just got the Aberrant book and the first thing that strikes me is that apparently the Teragen are right? They're way to deal with being a Nova is the right way? And I was already aware a bit of the change from "Taint" to "Transcendence" and I was not a fan. I mean I suppose in universe it would make sense for a lot of Nova's to embrace their gradual change to gods but in general the constant developing evidence that when Nova's gain more power they grow further and further away from Baseline Humanity it seems like the general consensus is that it's something negative. At the very least it's something that needs to be managed.

    Is the switch from Taint to Transcendence just a change of names to match up with in character perspectives of most Nova's or is it more an out of character sign that any Nova who tries to hold on to their humanity is fooling themselves and are making their path to godhood more difficult?

    Related, how hard would it be to go for the heights of power and remain relatable to Baselines? What stats would you prioritize?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Planguy View Post
    Okay just got the Aberrant book and the first thing that strikes me is that apparently the Teragen are right? They're way to deal with being a Nova is the right way? And I was already aware a bit of the change from "Taint" to "Transcendence" and I was not a fan. I mean I suppose in universe it would make sense for a lot of Nova's to embrace their gradual change to gods but in general the constant developing evidence that when Nova's gain more power they grow further and further away from Baseline Humanity it seems like the general consensus is that it's something negative. At the very least it's something that needs to be managed.

    Is the switch from Taint to Transcendence just a change of names to match up with in character perspectives of most Nova's or is it more an out of character sign that any Nova who tries to hold on to their humanity is fooling themselves and are making their path to godhood more difficult?

    Related, how hard would it be to go for the heights of power and remain relatable to Baselines? What stats would you prioritize?
    If you want your Nova character to stay "relatable" to Baselines you "de-prioritize" Quantum and avoid Flux/Transcendence. But many/most Novas aren't going to do that because Quantum is the core of their power. So, sure, you can keep your Quantum/Transcendence low and stay relatable to Baselines, but you're also going to be limited in your power to protect those Baselines to whom you relate.

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    • #3
      Couldn't mega attributes help? Composure is used in the main book as the stat that you mechanically use to roll for bonds, does mega-composure help with transcendence related problems with dealing with Baselines? If the rules as written don't support that use for mega-composure anyone think it would make a good house rule? Like each dot of mega-composure you have let's you reduce the difficulty you have to bond with a baseline due to Transcendence related difficulty. For example if you have mega-composure 1 and Transcendence 2 you wouldn't suffer any problem with dealing with Baselines. You're ability to ability to understand yourself let's you see what you are doing that could be offputting to a Baseline and avoid it.

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      • #4
        Transcendence is defo a much more marketing-friendly term than Taint.

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        • #5
          I'll just leave this here. It's a house rule for those who think that Transcendence should still be a tendency, but shouldn't be hard-linked to Quantum.

          As for the reason for the change of the name from Taint to Transcendence: part of it, from what I've heard, was that the development team had a hard time using the term “Taint” without snickering. I don't present to understand it, myself; but apparently, there are some connotations to the word “Taint” that made it hard for them to take the word seriously.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
            I'll just leave this here. It's a house rule for those who think that Transcendence should still be a tendency, but shouldn't be hard-linked to Quantum.

            As for the reason for the change of the name from Taint to Transcendence: part of it, from what I've heard, was that the development team had a hard time using the term “Taint” without snickering. I don't present to understand it, myself; but apparently, there are some connotations to the word “Taint” that made it hard for them to take the word seriously.

            That's the reason? I am aware of what they would be chuckling about but that use of the word "taint" is not so front and center in my mind that it's the first thing that I think about when I hear the word. I'd think most people would hear "taint" and think of something being contaminated.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
              As for the reason for the change of the name from Taint to Transcendence: part of it, from what I've heard, was that the development team had a hard time using the term “Taint” without snickering. I don't present to understand it, myself; but apparently, there are some connotations to the word “Taint” that made it hard for them to take the word seriously.
              The development team was fine, but nearly every fan discussion online devolved into the aforementioned snickering at some point, so we circumvented the issue.

              Besides which, "taint" has negative connotations: it means contaminated, polluted, corrupted, something undesirable. "Transcendence" just means "exceeding your limits" or "being beyond comprehension" without a qualifier on whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. And that's much more the angle we were going for.


              Ian A. A. Watson
              Onyx Path Community Manager
              Trinity Continuum Content Lead

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              • #8
                Transcendence seems fairly firmly associated with positive connotations to me. If anything it has religious overtones. It was perhaps an over correction from the negative connotations associated with "Taint".

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Planguy View Post
                  Transcendence seems fairly firmly associated with positive connotations to me..
                  Well, there’s a good chance it was coined by Mal in his long study and introspection of the nova condition before anyone else had even started looking. He’s not the kind of guy who would associate his godlike evolution as being negative.


                  Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Planguy View Post
                    Transcendence seems fairly firmly associated with positive connotations to me. If anything it has religious overtones. It was perhaps an over correction from the negative connotations associated with "Taint".

                    Though my guess is the intent was probably more to bring to the fore the transhuman theme (that wasn't still much of a thing in the rpg scene during Aberrant's original run), i can definitely see how the term can bring some philosopical-spiritual connotations not unlike the word Ascension to mind.

                    My personal suggestion would be to replace the term with Metamorphosis in one's game then, if need be. more neutral though, tending to unintentionally undesirable through association with Kafka, imho.
                    Last edited by Baaldam; 12-05-2021, 07:29 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I mean you can rid of transcendence if you want in a game but I think in a way this sort of diminishes the setting. Its better if you view it as nothing more and nothing less than a mechanic to aid in tracking how much would power change a person, because in my opinion and feel free to disagree once you reach the power levels in which transcendence starts to actually effect gameplay humans simply can't wield if have that kind of power and not be changed by it mentally or physically.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Planguy View Post
                        Couldn't mega attributes help? Composure is used in the main book as the stat that you mechanically use to roll for bonds, does mega-composure help with transcendence related problems with dealing with Baselines? If the rules as written don't support that use for mega-composure anyone think it would make a good house rule? Like each dot of mega-composure you have let's you reduce the difficulty you have to bond with a baseline due to Transcendence related difficulty. For example if you have mega-composure 1 and Transcendence 2 you wouldn't suffer any problem with dealing with Baselines. You're ability to ability to understand yourself let's you see what you are doing that could be offputting to a Baseline and avoid it.
                        I wouldn't want to use something like. There are Mega-Atts that can let you get Baselines to do what you want despite social penalties. That said, I think allowing too much mitigation of them would be a mistake. As you gain Quantum/Transcendence you are becoming less and less like a Baseline. A Nova with a Mega-Attribute at any level is inhumanly good at stuff with that Attribute.

                        So, let's consider your idea for Mega-Composure. Say your Nova and a Baseline buddy end up at the aftermath of a massacre. Blood everywhere. Viscera hanging from buildings. Toddlers' heads in a big ol' toddler skull throne. Really sick, awful stuff. The Baseline is crying and puking his guts out. Your Nova has the bored expression of somebody in line at the supermarket. He may (and hopefully) does think the massacre is bad, but it doesn't get to him like it does the Baseline. You think stuff like that will help your Nova build Bonds with Baselines? I don't see it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Planguy View Post
                          I mean I suppose in universe it would make sense for a lot of Nova's to embrace their gradual change to gods but in general the constant developing evidence that when Nova's gain more power they grow further and further away from Baseline Humanity it seems like the general consensus is that it's something negative. At the very least it's something that needs to be managed.
                          Perhaps think about it like this- have you ever heard of someone who went off to college or the military or in some way away from their home, and when they came back all the old things seemed strange and unrelatable? Like you went away a dumb high school kid, and then a few years later you've been steeped in academic culture or the arts, or have seen things and cultures on the other side of the world (and been shot at by them), and the people who stayed in your hometown just seem plain? You understand things they don't, you can see things in ways that they don't seem to understand, and in general the world you came from seems so much smaller than the one you inhabit now? You're different, you're distinct, you don't fit in, but would you even want to go back to how you were?

                          Now amplify that manyfold and that's what accumulating Transcendence is like. It's not bad, but all of humanity's works and endeavors are going to start seeming like that small hometown to the nova. The nova also knows that they are increasingly incomprehensible to anyone but a few select peers- baselines just can't do it, even if they're friendly.

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                          • #14
                            I also feel there is a pretty significant distinction between the Terragen being correct about how they have the ability to grow their powers and them being in the moral right. Even if their views of how a nova shapes their powers is 100% correct they are still ethically ....problematic unless you accept all of their philosophy as also correct. And their philosophy, while tied into their understanding of quantum goes places that cannot be proven or disproven via empirical test. The philosophy of Teras has a lot more to it than how a nova shapes their quantum. Specifically all that stuff about being morally and ethically different from baselines and it being ok to not give any moral consideration to them. That is the core of the villainy of the Terragen. If they just believed in the shaping the quantum part and were just fighting for the oppressed they would be the X-Men. And while you can run them that way they are usually portrayed as significantly more violent than that, or at least significantly more ok with other than commit violence, even if they personally don't.

                            TL;DR: the quantum-shaping aspect ofTeras may be correct, the Terragen can still be wrong.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by satoshi View Post
                              The philosophy of Teras has a lot more to it than how a nova shapes their quantum. Specifically all that stuff about being morally and ethically different from baselines and it being ok to not give any moral consideration to them. That is the core of the villainy of the Terragen.
                              That's the crux of the difference between the Aeon Society and their side and the anti-Nova activists and the Teragen- are novas part of the same moral community as baselines or are they not?

                              For instance, a human might notice that the population of deer in an area had grown too high due to lack of predators and introduce some to cull their numbers for the greater good of the population as a whole. What if a nova with intelligence greater relative to a baseline than the baseline's was to a deer decided the same about humanity and introduced a predator of humans?

                              Worse, what if the reasoning behind using a predator instead of any other means is literally impossible for a baseline mind to understand? It might seem psychotically indifferent to a baseline, while the nova might state that it was in fact the best option, but can't prove it to anyone but another hyperintelligent nova.

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