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Aberrant 2nd Edition (Comic / Kickstarter is Running)

CrownedSun

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That's, in a way, my other issue. I mean, the fact that Transcendence 10 isn't playable is-- I don't agree with it, I don't particularly care,- but that is partly because it really doesn't matter by that point in so very very many ways. If you only start running into problems playing your character by the time you hit 10, then, you're playing the kind of character that probably benefits from the whole "you become something OTHER at 10" sort of thing.

Either as something to embrace, or, something to very very much AVOID.

Transcendence starts getting into the annoying territory way before you hit 10, and it's basically making your character unplayable once you get to 6+, in a lot of ways. CERTAINLY by the time you've gotten to 8, and are getting the third tier mutations, which are just absolutely miserable in so many ways. Nevermind the possibility of mental mutations, or things that otherwise cause issues, Transcendence ITSELF is a huge huuuuuge thing. The cut off at 10 is just an unnecessary formality in a lot of ways.
 

Tarion

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This. All this. If this situation is the case with "normal and average" novas, then so be it, but there should be a way to make the PC's exceptional if the players don't want to rocket to Cthulhoid horror. After all, not every Nova has to go Aberrant in order for a war to start. And IIRC, some do not. If the players are fine with it, okay.

Keep in mind: we're not asking to make Novas more powerful or more powerful sooner, we're just asking for the thematic shelf life to be increased.
I feel like I might be missing something here. It looks to me that this system is already in place.

Don't take Transcendence?

The only "required" points are for Quantum 4-10. That's 6 points. After that, everything else is avoidable. You need to take some downtime before you botch/max your powers 10 times in a row, but that should be perfectly manageable. It's also, I think, built into the setting. If a Nova can push their powers to the max 24/7, we'd see a lot more changes to the world.

Instead, Elites (even Elites with enhanced Stamina) need to rest, Aberrants sit around their lairs plotting and philosophising rather than rampaging and Team2Morrow do press events, and rescue kittens from trees. It gives an ebb and flow to the superpowered activity that stretches out how long it takes novas to re-write the world, unlike in 1st edition, where once you had the power to do something, you could do that day-in, day-out with no penalty.
Why have the Teragen be presented as a viable option for play if the end result is to become unplayable?
You could ask the same question about Promethean.

The other way to frame it is winning the game. For a Terat, Transcendence 10 is a victory condition.

That said, I'd probably make some minor changes to it - Going and living in inhospitable areas away from humanity (Sitting on Mars?) and naval gazing seems like a perfectly valid way to spend your time, or treating humanity like humanity treats other primates (Empathy and interest, even if they're not peers) - The "cruelly indifferent" bit doesn't really work for me. You can be distinctly other than human without being indifferent. Hell, some people have attachments to ant colonies, and I can't imagine that novas are that much further than humanity, than humanity is from an ant.
 

AliasiSudonomo

Trying to be a bird
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I admit, thinking about it akin to Alchemical Exalted - where a number of Essence 5 Alchies would decline to advance further because they liked their bits right where they were, rather than become a colossus then a city - helps.

Don't wanna max Transcendence? Then keep to Quantum 5-6 and invest in other things.
 

Calonnau

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I liked Glamourweaver's idea a couple of pages back for a touchstone system. As they were explaining it it sounded like a really good rules edition to help emulate the genre. It sounds like something that could maybe be an optional subsystem also, so that those people who didn''t like it could opt out without making the game unplayable.
 

MarkK

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Because the Terat's goal of Transcendence 10 is ultimately a "win state" end game for them, as opposed to the "lose state" end game of other novas. A Terat game is much more about the destination to inhumanity, rather than the end state of complete incomprehensibility. All of the Terat mechanics are about a Terat choosing their path to inhumanity, not delaying it, or disrupting it. I feel like a Terat game would be super fun, just absolutely cutting loose in service to the transcendence of humanity. Unless you truly believe that complete detachment from human comprehension is just one more stage of a character's evolution, but if that's the case I honestly don't understand where you go from there. I mean, by Transcendence 8, you already are nearly incapable of socially interacting with baseline humanity, and even the slightest Flux (which you don't care about, or are actively attempting to acquire) makes you actually dangerous for both novas and baseline humanity to be anywhere near you if they care even slightly about their own humanity. You're already close to being in solitary confinement, hitting Transcendence 10 basically makes you a permanent Flux Zone. Where the hell do you go from there? Where can that character's story go?
That was why myself and others had been noting that maybe there could more controlled ways to express their path of evolution than the one that makes them ungameable. The idea of saying it's a win state would not take away that all it does mechanically is put your character on a march to not playing your character. Saying "you're unplayable then, transcendence 10 is unaplayable" and talking about all the reasons that should be so, it misses the point of structuring this group such that playing them means that's what you're jumping towards.

On a level of "playing this concept in a game", it's not great.
 

Tarion

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That was why myself and others had been noting that maybe there could more controlled ways to express their path of evolution than the one that makes them ungameable. The idea of saying it's a win state would not take away that all it does mechanically is put your character on a march to not playing your character. Saying "you're unplayable then, transcendence 10 is unaplayable" and talking about all the reasons that should be so, it misses the point of structuring this group such that playing them means that's what you're jumping towards.

On a level of "playing this concept in a game", it's not great.
It's worth bearing in mind that mechanics that lead to you not playing your character any more are pretty common nowadays. Blades in the Dark, PbtA and Chronicles of Darkness all include options for defined story arcs - Your character has a beginning, a middle, and (If everything goes well) an end - They retire, they move on to other things, they complete their Pilgrimage. Then you stop playing them.

It seems perfectly reasonable that the group looking to escape their humanity are the player characters who exit the game, when the game is all about the interplay between superpowers and humanity. It's also not something that you have to do. You can ride the edge all the way to Transcendence 9 and hold there (Or before, if you've reached your character's ideal form before then). But if you want to truly ascend and move beyond humanity, then you've got to finish that journey.

EDIT: Also, I think people are underestimating the time scale of this game. There seems to be a lot of assumptions that you have bursts of activity and then downtime. That's just as essential for Team2Morrow, who need to bleed off Flux as it is for Terat, who need two years of Chrysalis time for Transcendence 7, 8 and 9 even if they're not actually making use of it. If you're spending experience and shifting your Transformations, you could easily be talking about double that. And that's not even with the time spent accruing Flux between Chrysalises.

Even at Transcendence 4, a Terat needs a minimum of a month for Chrysalis (Likely at least two). If you're not wanting to go the path of the gribbly monster, instead of Chrysalising you can use that time to bleed off Flux.
 
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MarkK

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Given that the system is structured that even advancing your character's abilities give you more risk of flux, you can't really hold at a particular place unless you do things like stop advancing your powers especially. The other note of "well then just do extended character downtime", you might consider it's not that enjoyable for some that your character's throughline is peaks and valleys of being able to pursue meaningful to concept things. The replies to these keep replying thematics, and I'm talking about mechanics as a game.

It's worth bearing in mind that mechanics that lead to you not playing your character any more are pretty common nowadays.
Not everyone enjoys the idea of enforced play ending, particularly in this sort of shape. As Transcendence 10 stands, it's basically just the game going "and then power made you an insane unplayable horror monster". The phrasing of it isn't especially benign.
 

Tarion

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Given that the system is structured that even advancing your character's abilities give you more risk of flux, you can't really hold at a particular place unless you do things like stop advancing your powers especially. The other note of "well then just do extended character downtime", you might consider it's not that enjoyable for some that your character's throughline is peaks and valleys of being able to pursue meaningful to concept things. The replies to these keep replying thematics, and I'm talking about mechanics as a game.
If you don't like extended downtime, you really won't like playing a Terat. You might not have seen my edit, but Terats require literal months of downtime from Transcendence 4 for their Chrysalis. From a balance point of view, it's probably fairly important that the good guys have some downtime too, or they're going to be fixing all the problems of the world while the Terats nap.

Not everyone enjoys the idea of enforced play ending, particularly in this sort of shape. As Transcendence 10 stands, it's basically just the game going "and then power made you an insane unplayable horror monster". The phrasing of it isn't especially benign.
But it's not enforced. It's a choice that you make. There are mechanics right there for getting rid of Flux, and the only non-optional Flux you pick up is from botches.

Yes, if you botch 10 power rolls in a row, you pick up a point of Transcendence. But, it was your choice to use a power at 9 Flux. It was your choice to use a power at 8 Flux too. If you're getting that high, it's time to start looking for opportunities to bleed off your Flux (or hoarding experience for your Chrysalis). Or, you can accept that the candle that burns twice as bright, etc, and damn the consequences, picking up a point of Transcendence.

It's really quite easy to bleed off Flux. A Dorm'd down Nova sheds 2 + [Successes on a Quantum roll] every two weeks. I suspect that most high-powered Team2Morrow capes burn off [successes on a Quantum roll] Flux every month they don't get into a city-destroying brawl, just by subsisting on half their power ratings (Although I'd have to see the power section before I was sure. I'm also assuming it rounds up, rather than down, otherwise anyone with just 1 point in a power/Mega-trait can use it at full power and still bleed of Flux).
 

MarkK

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The scale of downtime isn't being underestimated. When it's being included in gripes about "something you have to do just to function", that's as much for T2M as anyone.

It's really quite easy to bleed off Flux. A Dorm'd down Nova sheds 2 + [Successes on a Quantum roll] every two weeks. I suspect that most high-powered Team2Morrow capes burn off [successes on a Quantum roll] Flux every month they don't get into a city-destroying brawl, just by subsisting on half their power ratings (Although I'd have to see the power section before I was sure. I'm also assuming it rounds up, rather than down, otherwise anyone with just 1 point in a power/Mega-trait can use it at full power and still bleed of Flux).
Which makes dormancy load bearing just to function in a way the setting and the idea of gaming in it doesn't particularly play up as a load bearing thing. When you're saying "really it's easy to bleed off flux" the flipside is "you must behave this way, or further down the highway goes you". From the given presentation of novas, what all to do with them, this isn't played up as a thing, and for some people it really feels like it takes away from the play experience and enforces the whole "play this specific way or be effed."

But it's not enforced. It's a choice that you make. There are mechanics right there for getting rid of Flux, and the only non-optional Flux you pick up is from botches.
That turns things into "you chose to keep wanting to buy up your character's powers with xp". It's not great for basically feeling like this game has a very specific playstyle, and is willing to punish you for otherwise.

If you don't like extended downtime, you really won't like playing a Terat. You might not have seen my edit, but Terats require literal months of downtime from Transcendence 4 for their Chrysalis. From a balance point of view, it's probably fairly important that the good guys have some downtime too, or they're going to be fixing all the problems of the world while the Terats nap.
That the Terats have extended downtime (which again, doesn't actually help mitigate that transcendence point they just got) on top of their headlong rush to become an npc is in fact on of the weirder things about their play experiences that the game currently puts forward. It comes together as the game basically saying "this was a wrong choice, and now you pay for it in every way you can be made to pay for it."
 

IanWatson

Pharos
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Today's update may be relevant to many of you.

 
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