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Magic in an Aberrant/DC game

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  • Magic in an Aberrant/DC game

    So me and my group are playing Aberrant, using the Injustice storyline from DC comics, and we have run into a snag. Marvel works well in Aberrant since mutation easily translates into MR-node. DC is slightly tougher, since you have metas, technology (rules are there...just complicated) aliens, and MAGIC (There are quite a few main characters that their powers stem from magic only) the problem with magic in comics is that the powers shown can vary from "say some stuff, stuff happens" to "Lord of Chaos: in rhis dimension I am God" (which again...there are rules for...but they get real wonky when you need universe creation, but everything else should register at about a quantum 3.)

    Also, there are many different types of magic. The green and elemental magics, simply saying stuff backwards, un and re-ensouling (constantine) Dr. Fate and his Lord of Order powers...all the powers themselves can be recreated, but magic has drawbacks in DC. Sometimes powers just fizzle, they work but not as intended, they stop or start at inopportune me and the other main GM have decided that we need to have rules but we're not sure where to start.

    We could try stealing from Scion...converting (we have time. He's on a 100% disabled vet) powers from there into magic...we thought about trying the hedge magic and sorcerer rules from ChroD...wel I did. Or simply using the rules in rhe players guide for alternate styles (cheap powers and expensive megas or visa versa) and kind running with that, hoping the pc using magic doesnt lag behind or power ahead. Magic in DC tends to be hit or miss. Darkseid could care less about what Zatanna says backwards or forwards...but Supes is in a pickle when Shazam's lightning starts striking. (Meanwhile, supes and Darkseid go blow for blow page after page)

    So if anyone has tried (weither successful or not) to implement a magic system in Aberrant, please leave a comment, or an idea you just had. How should magic function differently both ingame and from a rules standpoint, so as to keep the feel of magic, but not bend, break, or cheat the Aberrant system?


  • #2
    I've heard people have ported over CWoD's Sorcerer Revised without too much difficulty.

    Ian A. A. Watson
    Onyx Path Community Manager


    • #3
      Honestly, 9 times out of 10 it is window dressing mixed in with plot device & MacGuffins. Consistency might be found in one title's take of some brand of magic, but its an exception more than a rule and even when it does hold under the test of time (usually because a character had the same team of writers for most of a decade) it tends to end there.

      Jim Starlin once made an awesome play with this kind of all-too-common lack of consistency in a spetacular/hilarious plot revealing that all Thanos' appearances in Marvel comics over the period of a decade had been the complicated, contradicting and inane plots & counterplots of a cabal of defective custom clones of the purple titan himself. So overall, don't worry to much about making everything fit nicely - because half the time the writers themselves didn't.

      Most of it relates to setting cosmology and character origins that have no effect whatsoever in actual mechanics, except maybe for mental limitations in the case of speaking backwards like Zatana or more "intoning arcane incantations" & such.

      Green or other element-based magic can be covered with Plant/Elemental Mastery and expanding one's range of options by turning some other level 1-3 powers into extra techniques (with some thematic limitations obviously).

      For super hero level type magic, that can replicate basically any power the plot says the magician can - or cannot - i suggest abusing the hell out of/re-dressing Node Spark (Teragen, pg. 127) to one's convenience.

      With more down-to-earth, slow, methodic and involved ritual magic of the type one would see in John Constantine and grittier characters, more grounded on actual esoterism, my advice is to treat rituals like inventions and use whatever ruleset you already have for those. Have done so for decades through a variety of systems and overall flows well enough to give it the right sort of vibe and up and downs.

      If you need something to "fake" supernatural entities, cosmic forces and such, remember that Aeon's Doyen are aliens, but also psionic/noetic energy entities. If noetic forces can generate a whole race of "personifications" why would the quantum energies apparently counter to it be incapable to?

      Not to mention whatever other mysterious forces might be hidden along with those two under the label of "Inspiration" in Adventure, that also speaks of "hidden lands" that might be alternate realities, pocket dimensions or who knows what else... Get you pieces together and tinker the hell out of them.

      PS: On the matter of magic affecting other beings, overall it works or is resisted like any other power - Superman being trounced by Shazam's lightning, Silver Banshee's scream and etc is an specific flaw of Superman's invulnerability, in that against something that is based wholy on magic or has no clear physical basis (like mind control, hypnosis, telepathy and other mental attacks), he's just as vulnerable as an average (strong-willed) person and would also apply to superbeings based on similar origin like other Kryptonians or Daxamites.
      Last edited by Baaldam; 04-02-2016, 10:48 PM.