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					                                                          ABERRANT




A BREED APART
                                                                     exploitation or assassination by the various factions of the Nova
Perilous Beginnings                                                  Age. Faced with these threats, will the nova families try to make
                                                                     peace with a society that too often only seeks to either exploit
      According to some thinkers, the reproductive drive             or kill them? Will they lash out against baseline humanity in
underpins all of human society. From that somewhat reductionist      genocidal warfare? Or will they abandon Earth for new homes
viewpoint, the myriad aspects of human life – agriculture,           and lives out among the stars, leaving baseline humanity and
commerce, science, entertainment, et al. – can be boiled down        Terran “civilization” to their fate?
into ways to either attract potential mates or care for the young.        With all of these questions, only one thing remains certain.
In a very real sense, a human’s spouse and children are his or her   Conflict is at hand.
stake in the gamble of civilization. If a society does well and
advances, a family is more likely to survive and prosper. If a
society fails and regresses, a family is more likely to be
endangered and face difficult circumstances. So what happens          Lexicon
when a human lacks either spouse or children, and appears to                   Applegate: Slang term for novas who live incognito in Nova
have less of a stake in society? Surprisingly, just having one of     Age society by passing themselves off as baselines, many of which
these blessings can often make up for not having the other.           are also “breeder” novas. This is because many breeder novas
Happy, committed couples that are childless can be found almost       have decided to live undercover and raise families free from the
everywhere humans live. Likewise, if some people didn’t find          interference of the various factions, and because many novas who
parenthood deeply fulfilling, there wouldn’t be single and            erupted and immediately went undercover avoided being sterilized
widowed parents out there raising their children (either their        in the first place.
own or adopted) as best they can. But still, that leaves those                 Breeder: Somewhat derogatory (and occasionally envious)
who are either unwilling or unable to both attract a long-term        slang term for both fertile baselines and fertile novas that
mate and have children, even through indirect methods such as         developed after the reality of widespread infertility among novas
adoption. For these people, one of the activities of human life       became public knowledge in the nova community.
(such as religion) instead becomes a way to sublimate the                      Delivery Boy/Girl: Slang term for operatives who “deliver”
reproductive drive. Sometimes that proves sufficient to fill the      (read: rescue) breeder novas and their offspring from the threats
void caused by not having a family of their own, and they can         posed by motherhunters and other hostile parties.
benefit society (and vice versa). Sometimes it doesn’t, resulting              Harpy: Derogatory slang term for sterile novas of either
in a tendency for these people to endanger themselves and             gender who have a hatred of breeder novas and their offspring,
others, if not society as a whole.                                    which often extends to baseline parents and children as well.
      In the world of Aberrant, novas would seem to both have                  Jaffa: Self-referential slang term used by sterile novas of
their cake and eat it. They’re often wealthy, glamorous, and are      both genders. Originally British slang for infertile men, derived
eagerly sought after by marriage-minded suitors. As celebrities       from the “Jaffa” variety of seedless orange.
they’re globally famous, and their scientific achievements                     Mare: Short for “brood mare”; derogatory slang term for a
advance baseline society by leaps and bounds. Upon closer             fertile female nova.
inspection, the perks of being a nova tend to turn out hollow in               Motherhunter: Derogatory slang term for operatives who
the long run. Fame and glamour are fleeting, wealth is too easily     track down breeder novas and their offspring (if any), typically
lost, and yesterday’s hot prospect for marriage becomes today’s       with sinister intent.
has-been. Scientific achievements are relegated to history as                  2ndGen: Slang term for the second generation novas, the
new discoveries come to light, and the human need to tear down        offspring of two nova parents. These novas are divided into three
their celebrities makes no exception for novas. That wouldn’t be      separate clades (Trues, Terats and Trogs), depending on how their
so bad if the pressures of nova life and the mystery of nova          parents dealt with Taint.
sterility didn’t make successful long-term relationships and                   Stud: Somewhat derogatory, occasionally complimentary
parenthood pipe dreams for most novas. Combine the sheer              slang term for a fertile male nova.
power of novas with the lack of any real stake in human society,               Terat (second definition): Slang term for second generation
and the conditions for potential worldwide catastrophe are met.       novas born to the Teragen.
And yet, despite the odds against them, some novas have                        Trog: Slang term for second generation novas born to
managed to bear and raise children of their own. These new            highly-Tainted nova parents.
families face an entirely new level of danger, as the “second                  True: Slang term for second generation novas born to nova
generation” novas have the potential for power that will dwarf        parents with little or no Taint.
their parents’, which in turn makes them targets for either



                                                  ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                                 ABERRANT

                                                                            will not be able to reproduce at all without the aid of either
Disclaimer                                                                  specialized medical assistance (and a surrogate mother, in some
                                                                            cases) or certain quantum abilities.
     Much of the material presented in this sourcebook deals with
mature issues, and may not be suitable for some Aberrant players.                 With just the normal nova metabolism, a nova’s fertility
As such, this material is entirely optional. Storytellers are               rating is 5% greater than that of a healthy baseline human with
encouraged to discuss the subjects covered in this sourcebook               the same base Stamina rating. Possessing Mega-Stamina will
with their players before introducing them into their Aberrant              increase a nova’s fertility rating by an additional 5% per dot;
chronicles. If a player has personal issues with these matters, then        with a nova’s base fertility rating being increased by 10% at
show that player some respect and don’t press his or her buttons            Mega-Stamina 1, 15% at Mega-Stamina 2, and so on. Also, fertile
through his or her character. Aberrant is a game, and games are             novas have a certain advantage where their gametes are
meant to be fun.                                                            concerned. The sperm of fertile nova men can survive for up to
                                                                            seven days, and fertile nova women can produce several new
                                                                            ova on a monthly basis. This enhanced fertility is an optional
                                                                            part of the basic package of being a nova, and has no cost (in
   Nova Reproduction                                                        either freebie or nova points) for two reasons. First off, any
                                                                            novas who are dosed with adrenocilin or moxinoquantamine at a
        While a great many novas do suffer from a currently                 Rashoud clinic or by a Utopian Intervention Team are also
   inexplicable form of sterility in 2015, that isn’t true for all novas.   exposed to the Utopian sterility cocktail. This makes it easy to
   And like other humans, these fertile novas will eventually turn          sterilize novas who either seek training at a Rashoud clinic or
   their thoughts toward settling down and starting families. For           have only just erupted and aren’t in a position to defend
   those Aberrant chronicles where these matters will be explored,          themselves, assuming that said novas lack certain Mega-Stamina
   we’ve provided new rules to cover this essentially human                 enhancements. Second, fertile novas who are publicly known to
   phenomenon.                                                              have either become pregnant or caused a pregnancy may
                                                                            become targets for assassination or kidnapping by Utopia,
                                                                            Proteus and many other groups.
   Nova Fertility                                                           Contraception
         Provided that a nova isn’t sterile due to either the Utopian
   sterility cocktail or Taint, he or she will possess enhanced                   Given how widespread the Utopian-induced sterility is
   fertility. As human fertility is an extraordinarily complex matter,      among the nova population, it’s ironic that most fertile novas
   characters in an Aberrant chronicle are assigned a “fertility            tend to have difficulties with keeping their fertility in check.
   rating”, which is a simple percentage chance roughly equal to a          With how easily novas can shrug off the effects of drugs tailored
   character’s base Stamina rating. (Mega-Stamina isn’t counted,            to the baseline metabolism, it’s only to be expected that many
   as it figures into the fertility rating in a different way.) The         contraceptives are ineffective for fertile novas. Hormone-based
   percentage chances of both partners in a sexually-active                 contraceptives (such as birth control pills and hormone-infused
   relationship are added together, and a roll is made against the          implants) are completely useless, as a nova’s body will process
   combined percentage rating to see if conception occurs. In the           the hormones too quickly for them to have any effect.
   case of nova couples where both partners have superhuman                 Contraceptive drugs must be cut so that they are just as pure as
   fertility ratings, the maximum possible combined fertility rating        other drugs intended for nova use for them to be effective. This
   is 100%. The conception roll is always made by the Storyteller in        will make nova contraceptive drugs toxic to baselines, which in
   secret, with the results revealed to the players only when               turn can make using a nova-strength spermicidal agent with a
   appropriate (Storyteller’s discretion). The Storyteller is always        baseline sexual partner potentially fatal for the baseline. This
   within her rights to fake the roll when a given result would either      leaves physical contraceptive devices as the only option for
   help or hinder the plot. Variable factors such as drug use,              most fertile novas, provided they lack any aberrations that
   mundane fertility treatments, advanced age, a character’s level          cause damage to matter. If either partner has Mega-Strength,
   of sexual education and level of physical activity (among many           physical contraceptive devices can easily be damaged to the
   others) can also alter a character’s fertility rating in any way the     point of uselessness.
   Storyteller sees fit. Mundane fertility treatments cannot
   increase a character’s fertility rating above 10%, however.                 Paternity
          Assuming that a couple has sexual encounters on a regular                  In the case of nova women who become pregnant after
   basis, the percentage roll should be made once per month of                 encounters with multiple male partners, the Storyteller will either
   game-time, barring unusual circumstances. If either or both                 assign percentage chances to the males in question in order to
   members of a couple are experiencing high levels of stress                  determine paternity with a dice roll, or she may simply choose one
   and/or physical hardship, the percentage roll might be made only            of them. In either case the choice is made in secret, and the result
   once every three months or even waived completely. Characters               will be kept from the players until it could be plausibly discovered
   that are sterile are typically considered to have a fertility rating        in the events of the story.
   of zero and cannot conceive in ordinary circumstances, although
   the Storyteller might assign a fertility rating of 1 or 2% in certain
   marginal cases at her discretion. Of course, homosexual couples



                                                                       RULES
                                                             ABERRANT

                                                                        metabolisms. This changes if a nova mother and/or her partner
Nova Pregnancy                                                          (usually a male nova) has a permanent Taint rating of 6 or
      In most cases, the pregnancy of a fertile female nova is          higher. If one of the parents has a Taint rating of 6-7, the base
much the same as those of fertile baseline women, except that           chance for complications is 10%. If both parents have a Taint
her optimized body will lessen the strain that the developing           rating of 6-7, this chance rises to 20%. If one of the parents has
fetus will place on her system.                                         a Taint rating of 8-10, the base chance for complications is
      First Trimester: The nova mother-to-be will become                40%. If both parents have a Taint rating of 8-10, the chance
hypersensitive to smell and taste, receiving -1 to her difficulties     rises to 80%. The Fertility enhancement can reduce the chance
on Perception rolls involving smell or taste. This is a mixed           for complications, although nova mothers will gain the most
blessing, as she will also suffer a penalty of +1 on Stamina rolls to   benefit from it. A nova’s Chrysalis rating will have no effect on
avoid becoming severely nauseous when exposed to strong                 his or her chances for pregnancy complications.
unpleasant smells and/or tastes. Fortunately, most nova women                 The kinds of complications that a nova mother can face in
are better able to stave off the resulting morning sickness than        her pregnancy not only include the mundane varieties known to
baseline women. She will also experience sudden cravings and/or         baseline obstetrics, but also many bizarre conditions caused by
aversions to certain food items. Aversions will lead her to reject      either parent’s Taint. Mundane complications that can occur
a given type of food item, even if it was previously one of her         include (but are not limited to) birth defects of all kinds, a
favorites. Cravings can be for just about any food item, ranging        diminished Attribute on part of the infant, rhesus factor
from the stereotypical (pickles and ice cream) to the exotic            mismatches between mother and child, stillbirths, footling
(such as dirt).                                                         position, miscarriages, natural abortion, terminally ill infants,
      Second Trimester: The nova mother will begin to gain              tubal pregnancies, false pregnancies, and premature deliveries.
weight in order to better support her pregnancy. Her body will          Complications arising from parental Taint can be literally
become increasingly awkward, which in game terms translates             anything that the Storyteller’s twisted imagination can conjure
into a -1 die penalty on Dexterity rolls for moving around. She         up, although the Storyteller is advised to determine remedies for
will also develop the famous “motherly glow” as hormonal                such beforehand in the case of the pregnancy of a player
changes make her skin become rosy and her hair thickens and             character or an important Storyteller character.
becomes lustrous. In game terms, she receives -1 to her                       One unique variety of pregnancy complication that merits
difficulties on Appearance rolls involving being physically             special attention is prenatal eruption and power usage on the
attractive.                                                             part of a nova fetus. While this is most often seen in second
      Third Trimester: A nova mother’s augmented metabolism             generation nova fetuses, it is possible for unborn nova offspring
makes her better able to withstand the general aches and pains          of baseline parents as well. In either case, this phenomenon
experienced in the third trimester, but it’s (usually) not enough       typically occurs in response to a threat (real or perceived) to
to let her just shug them off. In game terms, she will suffer a         the survival of the mother and/or fetus. Unlike other pregnancy
penalty of +1 on all of her Stamina rolls due to general lethargy       complications, the chance of prenatal eruption and power use
and exhaustion. Fortunately, a nova mother won’t suffer from            are not affected by the Fertility enhancement. Maternal stress
insomnia as a result of that. Also, the nova mother will also           will also increase the chances for this to happen (the details are
exude an “aura of neediness” at this stage of her pregnancy, for        left to the Storyteller’s discretion), especially if the mother is
lack of a better term. This gives her -1 to her difficulties on         threatened with physical and/or emotional harm on a regular
Charisma rolls that involve getting other people to help her. In        basis. The Storyteller is always free to fake the roll and apply
the last few weeks before delivery, the mother’s nesting instinct       whatever result she deems best, however. In game terms, a nova
will take hold. She will suddenly become both quite energetic and       fetus and its mother are automatically considered to be attuned
nearly obsessed with getting things ready for her baby’s arrival.       to each other, as per the Attunement background. Pre-natal
      Postpartum (birth to approx. 6 months afterwards): After          power use is treated as though the mother had the
the birth, the nova mother will begin to lose the excess weight         “Uncontrollable Power” quantum aberration (Aberrant Players
gained during her pregnancy. This will happen faster than it does       Guide, p. 95), with the Storyteller having complete control over
with baseline mothers, but it’s still a fairly slow process which       the quantum power and other nova traits manifested by the nova
breastfeeding the infant will accelerate. Speaking of which,            fetus. This allows the Storyteller to employ pre-natal power use
lactation in nova mothers is almost as uncomfortable as it is for       as a convenient deus ex machina to help the storyline of the
baseline mothers, as even the nova metabolism won’t do much to          chronicle along in whatever way she sees fit. While this usually
impede the natural function of the mammary glands. Fortunately,         means protecting the mother and/or her unborn child from
it does make the period of her hormonal flux drastically shorter,       actual threats, it can also cause complications if the fetus lashes
allowing the nova mother to escape the resulting altered                out at someone its mother perceives (mistakenly or not) as a
psychological states (severe depression, anxiety, loss of self-         threat to her or her child.
esteem, intense worrying about the infant, and the rare                 When Genetics Goes Boink
psychotic break) experienced by baseline mothers.
                                                                             Despite their powers, the breeding (and interbreeding) of
Pregnancy Complications                                                 Homo sapiens novus is still a natural process for the most part.
     Nova women also face the risk of complications during              As such, Nature (or the Storyteller) can throw a monkey wrench
pregnancy, although their chances for such are much lower (1%           into the reproductive processes of novas on occasion, leading to
at most) than those of baseline women thanks to their optimized         anomalous births. While this generally means having a child that


                                                     ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                              ABERRANT

   isn’t “a chip off one of the old blocks” for baseline couples, it     taint levels, as a multitude of factors can act and counteract with
   can become much more dire in the case of nova offspring.              each other to influence the developing child. One such influence
   Fortunately this tends to be rare, with it having roughly the same    that deserves special mention is the Fertility enhancement,
   chance of occurring as complications in nova pregnancies. (The        which can shift the percentage chances in the following
   effects of the Fertility enhancement and high levels of Taint will    guidelines in the favor of the parent with that enhancement. In
   affect the chance for anomalous births normally.) Of course, the      game terms, the chance of having the “wrong” type of 2ndGen
   Storyteller is always within her rights to fake the roll and choose   child is just another type of pregnancy complication as far as the
   a result she feels would add some needed drama to the chronicle.      effects of Fertility are concerned. For low- and intermediate-
   That said, the Storyteller is strongly encouraged to discuss this     taint novas, Fertility reduces the chance of having a Trog 2ndGen
   topic with the players before introducing it into the chronicle.      child. For high-taint novas, Fertility reduces the chance of
   Also, it’s a good idea to limit these events to Storyteller           having a True 2ndGen child.
   character couples, although nothing is wrong with players                   Astute readers may have noticed that the Terat 2ndGens
   wanting to explore these circumstances through roleplaying.           have been ignored in the following guidelines. This is a
   Examples of anomalous nova births for nova couples include            deliberate omission, since due to certain established facts in the
   birthing the “wrong” type of 2ndGen nova infant (low-Taint            Aberrant setting, Terat 2ndGens cannot just crop up out of the
   novas birthing a Trog 2ndGen nova or high-Taint novas birthing a      woodwork the way that True and Trog 2ndGens can. Unlike their
   True 2ndGen nova), or having a “normal” (a latent, High-              True and Trog peers, Terat 2ndGens derive more of their
   Quantum baseline, or an actual baseline) child. In the case of        distinctiveness from the novacentric (and isolated) upbringing
   nova interbreeding, the standard guidelines for determining the       and education provided by the Teragen than they do from the
   chance of conceiving offspring (and the status of said offspring)     effects of the Chrysalis on their Terat parents. Like other human
   are tossed out the window in favor of random chance and/or the        infants, the Terat 2ndGens are extremely impressionable in their
   Storyteller’s whim.                                                   early years of life. This is why Bounty and Scripture have taken
                                                                         such extreme pains to sequester them in their formative years;
New Parent Syndrome                                                      as instilling the philosophy of Teras to the point where it
      Just like expectant and new baseline parents, expectant and        becomes natural (as it has become for the Terat 2ndGens)
new nova parents are often nearly incapable of either thinking or        requires serious indoctrination from a very early age. Unless
talking about anything other than their new child and parenthood.        both parents in a breeding nova couple are Terats with a
While this is only somewhat annoying in baseline parents, this           Chrysalis rating and give away their child to Bounty for her to
behavior can become extremely dangerous for nova parents.                rear, the status of any offspring should be determined
Without the aid of psychic or hypnotic blocks to suppress this           regardless of a parent’s Chrysalis rating.
tendency (or living in seclusion), nova parents who indulge                       Low-Taint Nova father & Low-Taint Nova mother:
themselves in this behavior are effectively making excellent             100% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring, barring
targets of themselves and their child for the motherhunters of the       any anomalous births.
major factions.                                                                   Intermediate-Taint Nova father & Intermediate-Taint
                                                                         Nova mother: 80% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova
                                                                         offspring and a 20% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova
   Tainted Heritages                                                     offspring.
         As we have shown, taint can throw quite a few monkey                     High-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova mother:
   wrenches into the otherwise optimized reproductive processes          100% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring, barring
   of a nova couple. So it should come as no surprise that taint can     any anomalous births.
   also affect the 2ndGen offspring of such couples on some very                  Low-Taint Nova father & Intermediate-Taint Nova
   basic levels. While this is most obvious when highly-tainted          mother: 90% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring
   novas give birth to Trog 2ndGen novas, the children of nova           and a 10% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring.
   couples with intermediate levels of taint can also be affected.                Low-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova mother: 65%
   Things become even more confusing when the parents of a               chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring and a 35%
   2ndGen child have differing (sometimes to a radical degree)           chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.
   levels of taint. Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to hammer out               Low-Taint Nova mother & Intermediate-Taint Nova
   some guidelines for these situations.                                 father: 95% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring
         Barring anomalous births, all offspring of a first-generation   and a 5% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring.
   nova couple will be 2ndGen novas. Nova parents who both have                   Low-Taint Nova mother & High-Taint Nova father: 55%
   little or no permanent Taint (5 dots or less) will bear True          chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring and a 45%
   2ndGen children, while nova parents who both have high                chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.
   permanent Taint (8 dots or more) will give birth to Trog 2ndGen                Intermediate-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova
   progeny. The question of what any possible children will be like      mother: 95% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring
   becomes a little dicey in the case of nova parents that both have     and a 5% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.
   intermediate permanent Taint (6 or 7 dots), as they will usually               Intermediate-Taint Nova mother & High-Taint Nova
   produce True 2ndGen offspring, but have a chance to produce           father: 90% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring
   Trog 2ndGen infants as well. This matter becomes even more a          and a 10% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.
   matter of chance when a pair of nova parents have differing


                                                                     RULES
                                                             ABERRANT

                                                                        desires, only to abandon his newly-impregnated conquests in his
Dormancy                                                                search for even more women to sire offspring on. Male breeder
      While most breeder novas most commonly use this ability to        novas with the Copycat enhancement or the Shapeshift power
pose as baselines and stay under the radar of the motherhunters, it     could easily impersonate a woman’s husband or boyfriend in
does provide an unexpected benefit for those with moderate to           order to seduce and impregnate her. While the Casanovas are
high levels of permanent Taint. Female breeder novas are                the more common of the r-type breeder novas, they’re also the
perfectly capable of conceiving and bearing children - including        ones whose offspring have the best chance of evading the notice
2ndGen nova children - while dormant. Pregnant breeder novas            of the motherhunters. In many cases, the offspring of a
that remain dormant for the full duration of their gestational          Casanova will be baselines, and even those who are latent first-
period (conception, pregnancy and labor) use the basic mechanics        generation novas will attract little or no attention to themselves
for nova pregnancy, despite their inability to actively channel         prior to their eruptions.
quantum in that state. The benefit gained from following that                 The second – and far more dangerous – category of the r-
course of action is that the breeder nova’s permanent Taint is          type breeders are the “Hatchers”, which is comprised of highly-
considered to be 1 dot lower than normal per dot of the nova’s          tainted breeder novas. While most of these monsters still follow
Dormancy rating for all reproductive purposes, including                the “k-type & situational limited r-type” strategy preferred by
determining the clade of any 2ndGen nova offspring. In this way         baselines, a few have adopted an extreme r-type strategy little
breeder nova mothers with Dormancy ratings sufficient to counter        different from that of insects and fish. Thanks to their taint-
most or all of their own Taint can avoid the risks of pregnancy         derived mental disorders and problems with social interaction,
complications and birthing Trog 2ndGen novas. Breeder nova              establishing the family bonds required for the k-type strategy
fathers with moderate to high levels of Taint should also be            can be extremely difficult, if not outright impossible for these
dormant at the time of the encounter in question, as they can also      novas. Highly-tainted breeder novas following an extreme r-
receive lowered permanent Taint ratings for all reproductive            type strategy will seek to produce as many offspring as they
purposes. Depending on the circumstances of the chronicle (and          can, and will invest little or no resources or time in said
the Storyteller’s discretion), breeder nova fathers with serious        offspring. Depending on the details of a highly-tainted breeder
Taint may also find it necessary to remain dormant during their         nova’s powers and aberrations, the specific method of
partner’s full gestational period while within her immediate            reproduction and treatment of resulting offspring will vary
vicinity, due to the potential risk of paternal Taint contamination     wildly. A telepathic high-taint breeder nova might use the
affecting the unborn child.                                             “changeling” method and use her mental powers to brainwash a
                                                                        baseline couple into thinking that one of her many offspring is
   Inhuman Upbringings                                                  actually their child, after which she abandons the child for good.
                                                                        A female high-taint breeder nova with the Parasitic Gestation
         Despite the proclamations of the Teragen, most novas still     body modification might use a method like that used by the
   have more than a little in common with their baseline forebears,     spider wasp, which involves paralyzing a well-fleshed baseline,
   including their reproductive strategy. Baseline humans and most      implanting him with one or more of her parasitic fetuses, and
   novas are considered “k-type breeders”, in that on the average       leaving him in a convenient attic for her offspring to feed off of
   a breeding couple will produce only a few offspring and are          him. Others might abandon their many offspring after birth to
   willing to invest much time and resources in their children. In      live or die on their own, in the hopes that at least few will
   times of stress and danger where the family bonds cannot be          survive to reach maturity. In these cases, the offspring will
   relied on, humans can temporarily adopt a limited “r-type            always be born with whatever Mega-Attributes, enhancements
   breeder” strategy, where producing as many offspring as              and powers that will let them survive on their own. It should also
   possible while investing few resources (at least on the father’s     be noted that the surviving children may have at least some
   part) is favored. When peaceful times return and general wealth      psychological problems of their own due to their abandonment
   rises again, humans will return to following the k-type strategy.    even without taking the influence of parental Taint into account.
   This is not the case for certain breeder novas, as they have         Despite the rarity of extreme r-type breeder novas, Project
   adopted varying levels of r-type breeding strategies for full-       Proteus and the other motherhunters spend a disproportionate
   time use. The first category of r-type breeder novas – the           amount of time and resources hunting them because the math
   “Casanovas” – is comprised of lecherous and ethically-               behind a quantum powered extreme r-type strategy is
   challenged heterosexual nova men. Just like certain of their         terrifying. According to one of Proteus’ worst case scenarios, a
   baseline counterparts, these nova men prefer to follow the           heavily tainted breeder nova could reproduce asexually by
   limited r-type strategy which most humans reserve for                generating exact copies of itself, and create 10 such “offspring”
   emergency situations at all times, regardless of the                 a month, each of whom could possibly reach maturity in as little
   circumstances and consequences. These conscienceless jerks           as 6 months. Assuming a 50% survival rate among the offspring,
   see nothing wrong with “loving and leaving” whatever women           there would be roughly 600 such novas “born” after a year, and
   that they can become physically intimate with. In the case of        45,000 in two years. If this theory of Proteus’ researchers ever
   certain male breeder novas among elites and Teragen, this            became reality, baseline humanity could be facing extinction.
   course of action can seem quite reasonable, especially if they
   have no other way to sire children without endangering said
   childrens’ lives. The classic example of this situation is a Mega-
   Social male breeder nova who seduces any fertile women he


                                                     ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                           ABERRANT

                                                                      there is a 100% chance that the child will be a 2ndGen nova.
Interbreeding                                                         100% chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R
       Throughout human mythology, gods and goddesses have            sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. 20%
often dallied with mortals. This state of affairs (pun intended) is   chance of pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily
little different in the Nova Age circa 2015, as few novas – aside     Tainted.
from the Teragen and those novas who are highly Tainted –                     Baseline mother & Baseline father: 1% chance of having a
have shied away from enjoying intimate relationships with             first-generation nova child. 5% chance that baseline offspring
baselines. Widespread sterility among novas has ensured that          will carry the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum
the consequences of most of these encounters are limited to the       baselines.
emotional and social varieties, but what happens if the nova is               Baseline mother & High-Quantum Baseline father: 5%
fertile? For that matter, how often can the potential to erupt as     chance of having a first-generation nova child. Baseline
a nova crop up in a family of (ostensibly) normal baselines?          offspring will have a 50% chance of carrying the M-R sequence
What if a fertile nova’s sexual partner happens to be something       as either latents or High-Quantum baselines.
more than a baseline? What will the resulting children from such              Baseline father & High-Quantum Baseline mother: 5%
unions be like? Here are a few guidelines for when this situation     chance of having a first-generation nova child. Baseline
comes up in an Aberrant chronicles.                                   offspring will have a 50% chance of carrying the M-R sequence
       In most cases, first generation novas are the ones who will    as either latents or High-Quantum baselines.
be interbreeding with baseline humans and members of the other                High-Quantum Baseline mother & High-Quantum
Inspired human subspecies. As former baselines, most of these         Baseline father: 10% chance of having a first-generation nova
novas remain close to their baseline roots (unless they start         child, 1% chance of having a second-generation nova child. 50%
racking up permanent Taint), and are much less likely to shun         chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as
baseline suitors. The following entries on possible matches with      either latents or High-Quantum baselines.
novas have been written with the first generation in mind. As far             Nova father & Psiad mother: 0% chance of viable
as second generation novas are concerned, things are not nearly       offspring; any pregnancies will result in stillbirths or
as clear-cut. Some arguments have been made that 2ndGen novas         miscarriages. This assumes that the parents are active novas and
– especially the Taint-altered Terat and Trog clades – have           psiads, as latent novas and psiads can interbreed as normal
diverged far enough genetically that they could be considered         humans.
new species of humanity, and therefore are incapable of                       Nova mother & Psiad father: 1% chance of viable
interbreeding at all. Others reject this, saying that one             offspring, in which case the child will be a sterile baseline human;
generation of breeding isn’t nearly enough to cause the               otherwise any pregnancies will result in stillbirths or
necessary genetic alterations, even where novas are concerned.        miscarriages. This assumes that the parents are active novas and
From that viewpoint, 2ndGen novas are just as capable of              psiads, as latent novas and psiads can interbreed as normal
interbreeding as their parents. For this reason, the question of      humans.
whether or not 2ndGen novas can interbreed at all with either
baseline humans or the non-eximorph varieties of Inspired                A Daredevil By Any Other Name...
humans has been left to the Storyteller’s discretion.                         In this sourcebook, we’ve gone along with Bruce Baugh’s
         Nova father & Baseline mother: 25% chance (at best) of          ideas on the nature of daredevils. According to him daredevils are
having a first-generation nova child. 50% chance that baseline           paramorphs, capable of subconsciously manipulating perpendicular
offspring will carry the M-R sequence as latents or High-                time (also known as probability) to perform extraordinary feats.
Quantum baselines. Small chance (5-10%) of pregnancy                     Max Mercer happens to be a highly advanced example of the
complications if the father has moderate Taint, guaranteed               breed, as shown by his ability to consciously control linear time. As
pregnancy complications if the father is heavily Tainted.                such, we have posited daredevils as the third known Inspired
         Nova father & High-Quantum Baseline mother: 50%                 subspecies of humanity, occupying a middle branch between
chance of having a second-generation nova child. 100% chance             eximorphs and psychomorphs on the evolutionary tree of Homo
that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either            sapiens. For those Aberrant Storytellers and players who prefer
latents or High-Quantum baselines. 20% chance of pregnancy               Andrew Bates’ ideas on daredevils (daredevils are just exceptional
complications if the father is heavily Tainted.                          baselines, and Max Mercer is the only known paramorph), we
         Nova mother & Baseline father: 50% chance of having a           encourage you to change these rules to suit your own Aberrant
first-generation nova child, unless the mother has 2 levels of the       chronicles. It’s your game, after all.
Fertility enhancement, in which case there is a 100% chance that
the child will be a second-generation nova. 100% chance that                 Nova father & Daredevil mother: 50% chance of having
baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either latents      a second-generation nova child. 100% chance that other (non-
or High-Quantum baselines. Small chance (5-10%) of pregnancy          second generation nova) offspring will carry the M-R sequence
complications if the mother has moderate Taint, guaranteed            as either latents or first-generation novas. 5% chance of
pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily Tainted.             pregnancy complications if the father is heavily Tainted.
         Nova mother & High-Quantum Baseline father: 80%                     Nova mother & Daredevil father: 80% chance of having
chance of having a second-generation nova child, unless the           a second-generation nova child, unless the mother has 2 levels
mother has 2 levels of the Fertility enhancement, in which case       of the Fertility enhancement, in which case there is a 100%
                                                                      chance that the child will be a 2ndGen nova. 100% chance that


                                                                 RULES
                                                               ABERRANT

   other (non-second generation nova) offspring will carry the M-         or have hard evidence of just how powerful these “2ndGen”
   R sequence as either latents or first-generation novas. 5%             novas will be when they mature. This has made 2ndGen novas –
   chance of pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily             and their parents – targets for either exploitation (if deemed
   Tainted.                                                               useful) or assassination (if deemed a threat) in the view of many
                                                                          of these well-informed and influential people. Other such
   High-Quantum Baselines                                                 “power players” may seek to protect 2ndGen novas and their
                                                                          parents, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how successful their
         It’s technically possible for an otherwise-normal baseline
                                                                          efforts will be. The second factor that has altered this conflict is
   character to have a Quantum rating of 1 by spending 7 bonus
                                                                          the excessive levels of Taint which are slowly becoming more
   points for it at the time of character creation. About 1 in
                                                                          common among the first generation novas. Along with the
   500,000 baseline humans is a High-Quantum baseline. Such a
                                                                          “normal” nova couples that manage to somehow settle down and
   baseline cannot actively use his single dot of Quantum but will
                                                                          have kids, there are also Taint-ridden novas whose offspring
   enjoy certain small benefits derived from having it, such as a
                                                                          will redefine baseline humanity’s concept of “monstrosity” for
   slightly-increased resistance to certain quantum powers. That
                                                                          centuries to come. These mockeries of nova families pose a
   said, a High-Quantum baseline is not a latent nova and won’t
                                                                          threat to humanity and the entire world unlike any seen before.
   ever erupt as one, barring the use of quantum powers such as
                                                                          Between the potential power of the 2ndGen novas and the
   the Quantum Transformation technique of Quantum Supremacy.
                                                                          growing influence of Taint among the first generation, the
   High-Quantum baselines do have an increased chance of
                                                                          stakes can only go higher.
   producing nova offspring, especially if the other parent is a
   nova.
   Latents
        Latents are baselines who are born carrying the M-R gene
   sequence but lack any predisposition to eruption as a nova. Such       Project Utopia’s Sterility
   baselines could become novas, psiads or paramorphs depending
   on what sort of telluric energies they are exposed to later in life.   Cocktail
                                                                                We’ve taken the time to come up with what we feel is the
Surrogate Mothers                                                         most plausible explanation of what the Utopian sterility cocktail
     It is possible for baseline surrogate mothers to carry a nova        actually is, how it works and why it hasn’t been cured by some
fetus to term safely, so that both the surrogate mother and the           medically-inclined nova hypergenius prior to 2015. Of course, all
infant nova survive childbirth. This requires that (1) the surrogate      this can easily be changed by the Storyteller to suit the
mother receives quality medical OB-GYN supervision & assistance           individual needs of his or her own Aberrant chronicle.
during the pregnancy, and (2) the unborn nova isn’t the offspring                 What is the Utopian sterility cocktail, and how does it
of a moderately or heavily Tainted nova father. If either condition       work?
cannot be met, complications with the pregnancy can occur.                      The Utopian sterility cocktail is actually a pair of
                                                                          bioengineered retroviruses that were developed in secret by
                                                                          Proteus agents in Project Utopia’s Nova Medicine section.
                                                                          Acting under the command of Director Thetis, those Proteus
                                                                          agents had their Triton researchers genetically engineer

   Wicked Aunts                                                           components of the retroviruses’ genomes, which were then
                                                                          assembled into the two finished retroviruses by Proteus
                                                                          scientists for later mass production. The retroviruses were
   and Uncles                                                             designed so that they would specifically target and infect all the
                                                                          cells of a nova’s gonads within thirty minutes after exposure.
              The process of choosing a spouse, starting a family         Once there, the retroviruses attack two different targets in the
   and raising children has always been a timeless cycle in the           nova’s DNA, both of which are involved in the genetic basis for
   course of human life. Likewise, there have always been social          nova capabilities. The first retrovirus directly attacks any and all
   deviants who seek to harm or exploit families and children, and        existing gametes, altering the targeted DNA so that they carry
   people with sufficient courage and moral fiber to stand up             what amounts to an encrypted genetic sequence. The second
   against these predators. Even in the Nova Age, this conflict           retrovirus alters the cells that produce gametes, ensuring that
   hasn’t changed very much. When fertile novas manage to pair            any gametes produced in the future will also carry the encrypted
   off and start families, there are many people out there who will       genetic sequence. Their dirty work accomplished, the viruses
   gladly use, abuse or kill them and/or their children. Fortunately,     are then quickly eliminated from the nova’s system. The altered
   there are novas who seek to protect (some of) these new                gametes are now genetically dissimilar to the rest of the nova’s
   families, and ensure the future of novakind. The future of             body (with the potential to eventually become cancerous), and
   baseline humanity is another matter entirely...                        for this reason are quickly destroyed by the nova’s own
   The first factor that has altered this conflict where novas are        leukocytes. As of 2015, there is no known cure for the effects of
   concerned is the potential for unimaginable power which is the         this retrovirus. Director Thetis’ interest lies in controlling the
   birthright of the “second generation” novas. There are those           nova population by preventing their reproduction, so creating a
   among the factions of the world of Aberrant who either suspect


                                                       ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                             ABERRANT

cure (a key to the genetic encryption) was deemed both                  covertly provide Utopian novas with several doses of
unnecessary and counterproductive. Proteus began the nova               moxinoquantamine that have been laced with the sterility
sterilization program on June 1st, 2000, and it has been                retroviruses. As a rule, Utopian novas won’t hesitate to use mox
successful for the most part.                                           on their foes, and so end up doing Proteus’ work for them. On
         Why were two retroviruses necessary?                           the other hand, Proteus agents are routinely issued sterility
      Proteus has hard evidence that the basic nova metabolism          retrovirus-laced doses of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine (or
grants fertile novas two advantages unavailable to baseline men         the “sterility retrovirus mickey”, in the case of Proteus
and women. The sperm of fertile nova men can live for up to             bartenders) as Director Thetis deems necessary, usually to
seven days, where that of baseline men only lives for 72 hours at       sterilize novas in other organizations that Proteus has infiltrated.
most. Likewise, fertile nova women can produce several new              Note again that most Proteus agents don’t know what the
ova on a monthly basis, which baseline women cannot do at all           sterility retrovirus-laced drugs or mickeys that they are dosing
according to current gynecology. So any effective nova                  novas with really are. As far as they know, they are either using
sterilization agent would have to ensure that both any existing         standard adrenocilin and/or mox, or as bartenders are covertly
gametes in a nova’s body and any gametes a nova’s body                  testing experimental medicines intended to retard Taint
produced in the future would be destroyed. Director Thetis is           accumulation in novas on Director Thetis’ orders. No matter how
nothing if not thorough.                                                they are used, sterility retrovirus-laced doses of adrenocilin and
         If Utopia’s retroviruses are the true cause of nova            moxinoquantamine or the sterility retrovirus mickey are only
sterility, what about the claims of Jennifer “Slider” Landers and       used once or twice on any given nova. Since the sterility
Director Iktome that there are sterility-inducing chemicals in          retroviruses typically need only one chance to do their dirty
the Utopian nova drugs?                                                 work, one or two doses are all that’s required. Batches of
      Slider and Iktome were confusing the cause of the sterility       adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine that are distributed through
with it’s method of transmission. Proteus long ago buried the           other channels will lack the sterility retroviruses, and the
secret of the source of nova sterility, but it still has to actively    sterility retrovirus mickey is only distributed by Proteus.
put the sterility retroviruses into batches of adrenocilin and                   If the sterility retroviruses are so weak in terms of their
moxinoquantuamine on occasion. That’s what Slider and Iktome            Virulence Ratings, why don’t novas resist them?
found.                                                                        Most exposure to the sterility retroviruses occurs when
         Are the two sterility retroviruses triggered by                novas either take adrenocilin or moxinoquantamine for the pain
channeling quantum energy?                                              of eruption or training in the use of their quantum powers,
      No. That tidbit is another piece of disinformation created        respectively. Proteus agents working as bartenders also use a
by Proteus. The retroviruses will do their dirty work regardless        “sterility retrovirus mickey”, which they slip into hyper-
of whether or not a nova is channeling quantum energy at the            intoxicating drinks such as Amp Wells. In both cases, a nova
time of exposure.                                                       would not even think of attempting to resist the drugs or the
         Are the sterility retroviruses present in all of the Utopian   drinks, especially since relatively few novas will have any clue
nova drugs?                                                             that they’ve just been infected by the sterility retroviruses. The
      They aren’t, for two reasons. First off, the sterility            exception to this are novas with the Body Awareness
retroviruses were deliberately made too weak to survive for             enhancement (from Aberrant: Brainwaves), who will instantly
very long outside of a specialized laboratory environment – in          notice the sterility retroviruses entering their systems. They can
game terms, they both have a Virulence Rating of 2 when used            then make a Resistance roll to purge the sterility retroviruses
on a nova. This allows the retroviruses to be used safely – in          from their bodies. Alternatively, the Mind Over Matter
most cases – on novas without the risk of mutation and                  enhancement (also from Aberrant: Brainwaves) can be used to
subsequent transmission to the baseline population. This                retard the onset of the sterility retroviruses, and the Healing
changes if the retroviruses are used on a heavily-Tainted nova          quantum power can aid in the Resistance roll to purge the
(8-10 dots of permanent Taint), as the nova’s Taint can easily          sterility retroviruses. Use of the Suspension enhancement (New
cause severe mutations in the retroviruses. This unforeseen             Body Modifications, p.XX) can also halt the onset of the
circumstance will prove to be the source of some of the                 retroviruses, as can the Stop Time technique of Temporal
infamous “Taint diseases” that will ravage the baseline populace        Manipulation.
both during the upcoming Aberrant War and in the Trinity Era.                    How else can novas resist the effects of the Utopian
Second, both adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine are readily               sterility retroviruses?
available to novas (with a prescription), making it all too easy              Having the Health enhancement is the most obvious
for them to end up being examined in some nova mastermind’s             defense novas can have against the Utopian sterility
biology lab. For this reason, the only Utopians that are regularly      retroviruses, although having dots of Invulnerability: Disease
issued doses of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine that have              works just as well. The only problem with these defenses is that
been laced with the sterility retroviruses are Project Utopia’s         a nova must gain them upon eruption for them to be effective. If
Intervention Teams and the doctors at the Rashoud clinics. The          they are developed after a nova erupts and is sterilized by the
only exception to this is when Utopian novas are tasked with            Utopian retroviruses, they cannot restore the nova’s fertility.
subduing what Aeon terms “rogue novas” (read: dissidents,               What’s worse is that those defenses can also prevent any future
suspected Aberrants or Terats, and novas too paranoid or cagey          attempts to use retroviruses to cure the nova’s sterility. The
to go anywhere near a Rashoud clinic). In that case, Proteus will       Fertility enhancement (found later on in this sourcebook) is also



                                                                   RULES
                                                           ABERRANT

a viable defense, and is more useful as developing it after a         to eventually develop that power are Antaeus, Regina Mundi and
nova’s eruption will actually allow a sterilized nova to regain his   Belladonna. It is speculated that one of these novas not only
or her fertility.                                                     restored the fertility of the nova population in the 2030s, but
         Why haven’t any medically-inclined nova masterminds          granted all novas the equivalent of one level of the Health
discovered this before 2015? And why haven’t any of those             enhancement as well.
masterminds come up with a cure for it?                                             How did Proteus manage to sterilize nearly so many
      Certain Mega-Intelligent novas have known about the             of the known novas prior to the Slider scandal in 2008?
Utopian sterilization program for quite some time, with Antaeus             Soon after their recreation in January of 1999, the first
being the most notable of them. Knowing that a problem exists         real project of the Aberrant-era incarnation of Proteus was the
and doing something constructive about it are two different           creation of the sterility retroviruses. By late May in 2000,
things, however. Provided that a mastermind can see through           Proteus began mass-producing the sterility retroviruses, and
the disinformation put out by Proteus (several Proteus agents         quickly built up respectable supplies of sterility retrovirus-laced
churn out fanciful and lurid stories for the tabloid industry, for    adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine. Before Jennifer “Slider”
example), she will then have to investigate other possible ways       Landers was murdered, relatively few novas had any reason at
to induce sterility in novas. If the mastermind suspects a genetic    all to be distrustful of Project Utopia. Many novas, often still in
cause of nova sterility, she will then be faced with strong           pain from their eruptions, either sought help at Utopia’s
evidence that it is apparently linked to the genes that allow for     Rashoud clinics or gladly welcomed the aid offered by Project
nova capabilities to develop in the first place. If said mastermind   Utopia’s Intervention Teams. Those few that weren’t eager to
thinks to compare the DNA from a sterilized nova’s gonads to          accept this Utopian aid were deemed “rogue novas”, and were
that from the rest of his body, she can verify that nova sterility    typically dosed with sterility retrovirus-laced mox at least once.
is not a natural part of the nova genome, leading her to suspect      Proteus agents infiltrated many other organizations that counted
that retroviruses have been at work. That leaves her with the         novas among their ranks, often under the cover of working as
task of locating the genetic alteration caused by the retroviruses    either paraphysicians or more frequently as pharmacists. Some
within the nova genome, and the task of “decrypting” the              even operated as “street paraphysicians”, offering their
genetic alteration once it’s been found. That’s when attempting       discreet medical services to criminal novas. Other Proteus
to reverse nova sterility becomes a truly Herculean labor. First      agents found employment as bartenders at various nightclubs
off, Proteus’ genetic encryption has no “key”, making it a one-       frequented by novas, where they would occasionally add a
way process, as Director Thetis never intended nova sterility to      sterility retrovirus mickey to the hyper-intoxicating drinks
be reversible. Second, since a gamete has only half of a human’s      formulated for nova consumption, such as the Amp Wells of the
genetic code and the individual chromosomes of that code are          Amp Room.
randomly selected, the encrypted message is non-determinate.                   How did Proteus manage to create the sterility
This leaves developing another retrovirus to correct the genetic      retroviruses so quickly?
alteration made by the Utopian sterility retroviruses as the only           They actually got lucky, believe it or not. One of the first
conventional way to cure nova sterility. Once you add in the          novas recruited by Proteus had become naturally sterile as a
difficulties of evading Utopia’s Technological Regulation agents,     side-effect of her eruption. Thanks to her superhuman
Proteus saboteurs and industrial espionage in the course of           awareness of her own body (the Body Awareness enhancement
developing said retrovirus, it becomes all too easy to see why        from Aberrant: Brainwaves), she realized that her own immune
even nova masterminds have made little progress in the matter         system had not only wiped out her existing supply of ova, but
of curing nova sterility through conventional means.                  was also systematically killing the new ones that her ovaries
         Are there any unconventional ways to cure the effects of     were somehow generating as soon as they were released into
the Utopian sterility retroviruses?                                   her Fallopian tubes. Distraught, she went to a Rashoud clinic
      Yes, but they’re not widely available to novas in 2015.         seeking medical assistance, where she was examined by Proteus
Developing the Fertility enhancement will allow a nova to             doctors. Intensive medical investigation revealed that the
correct the Utopian-induced sterility without any medical             eruption trauma had created two separate genetic defects in the
assistance. Healing simply will not work, as it doesn’t affect a      nova’s DNA, which combined to make both her original ova and
subject’s DNA. Biomanipulation can allow normally-sterile novas       any newly-generated ova into precancerous cells. Director
to produce offspring by means of the Body Manipulation                Thetis realized this for the golden opportunity it was, as
technique (to induce brief hyperfertility). This technique is what    attempting to deliberately engineer those genetic defects from
has allowed the Teragen to secretly produce a small brood of          scratch in the lab would have easily taken decades of hard,
nova children. The catch to this method of sidestepping nova          expensive work. Duplicating them, however, only cost Proteus
sterility is that this technique doesn’t alter the parents’ DNA, so   scientists a few days’ effort. Proteus had the weapon they
that the offspring will inherit their parents’ induced sterility.     wanted, so all they needed was a delivery system. Proteus then
Powers that directly control the DNA of other novas (such as          arranged for separate parts of the sterility retrovirus
possessed by the Terat Altaz “The Apothecary” Zia) are                development project to be farmed out to many extremely
capable of correcting the effects of the retroviruses in a single     talented researchers at Triton Pharmaceuticals, who worked
nova. The Mutation technique of the Ecological Supremacy              either as individuals or in tiny groups. The Proteus agents at
power is capable of restoring the fertility of the entire nova        Triton (some of whom were in management positions)
population with a single use, but the only novas known in canon       deliberately misled the researchers as to what the actual use of



                                                   ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                           ABERRANT

their products would be. With the resources of Triton at their        have instead sought to attain it for their children. And despite
disposal (which included unethical medical experimentation            the best efforts of Project Utopia, Project Proteus and the
performed on Proteus novas), completing these “mini-projects”         Directive, certain organized crime syndicates have stepped in to
only required a few months. Formulating adrenocilin and               claim a share of that highly lucrative market. Caveat emptor
moxinoquantamine didn’t even take that long, since they’re            applies especially to such proscribed services and shady
basically baseline drugs cut so that they’re strong enough to         providers, however. Both the DeVries Agency and the Teragen
affect novas. Once the “parts” were all completed, all Proteus        also have implemented their own plans to covertly increase the
had to do was have their own scientists assemble them                 nova population, the ramifications of which will not become
correctly, check that the finished sterility retroviruses             apparent to the world at large until 2025. The seeds have been
performed as intended, and ensure that they could make more           sown, and all that remains is to see what will grow from them.
of the sterility retroviruses as needed. The unwitting Triton         More Precious Than Gold
researchers got a nice fat bonus on their paychecks, and started
                                                                            When the genetic basis for becoming a nova was revealed
work on their next projects in blissful ignorance.
                                                                      to the scientific community in late 1998, savvy individuals
         Was Max Mercer behind the Utopian sterility
                                                                      quickly realized the extreme value that would eventually be
retroviruses?
                                                                      placed on viable homo sapiens novus sperm. Unfortunately, the
      Certainly not. As written, Max Mercer is not someone who
                                                                      majority of novas at that time were either still trying to adjust
would countenance the mass sterilization of an entire group of
                                                                      to their new powers or had yet to erupt, so chances to acquire
humans, even one as powerful as the novas. Aeon was left to its
                                                                      samples of said tissue were nearly impossible to come by. As the
own devices after Mercer vanished in the mid-1950s. Others in
                                                                      phenomenon of novas as celebrities began to develop during
Aeon attempted to carry on what they thought was his dream,
                                                                      1999, there was a brief window of opportunity for covert
but they wound up shifting focus to their own personal agendas.
                                                                      sampling as certain male novas indulged in debaucheries that had
Said personal agendas have diverged greatly from Mercer’s
                                                                      previously been restricted to rock stars and their like. When the
original vision of what Aeon’s ideals, goals and methods should
                                                                      mysterious problem of nova sterility became widespread in late
be. When Mercer returned to Aeon in the mid-1990s, he did not
                                                                      2000, the whole matter became moot as far as the most of the
like what found. To Mercer, the lengths to which Aeon projects
                                                                      world at large was concerned. One of the first people to realize
like Utopia and Proteus have gone indicates that he screwed up
                                                                      the potential of this new commodity was one Doctor Takeshi
royally somewhere. Mercer retains much control over Aeon, but
                                                                      Maeda, a skilled medical doctor and cutting-edge geneticist who
he’s got a lot of work to do before Aeon can really be
                                                                      also happened to be born to a yakuza family and loyal to the
considered “his group” once again. So while Mercer would not
                                                                      Nakato Gumi. He then drew up plans to use a few suitable male
have aided in the development and use of the Utopian sterility
                                                                      novas to supply a nova sperm bank, the services of which the
retroviruses, he was also far too busy regaining control over
                                                                      Nakato Gumi could then reap extreme profits from. Having
Aeon to rein in Thetis’ premier atrocity.
                                                                      alerted his superiors in the Nakato Gumi to this opportunity in
         That explanation is all very nice, but it doesn’t suit my
                                                                      December of 1998, Maeda’s proposal was deemed both feasible
Aberrant chronicle. Are there any alternatives?
                                                                      and profitable, yet was shelved as a low-priority project during
      Of course! At the Storyteller’s discretion, the Utopian
                                                                      the Nakato Gumi’s rise to ascendancy over the Japanese
sterility cocktail may truly be an assortment of sterility-inducing
                                                                      underworld. By 2010, however, Maeda’s project finally got
drugs tailored to affect novas instead of a pair of engineered
                                                                      approval from the oyabun and was implemented. Five years
retroviruses. Alternatively, the sterility-inducing drugs could be
                                                                      later, Maeda’s project has paid for itself scores of times over,
too expensive and/or too difficult to produce for it to used
                                                                      and has given the Nakato Gumi a near-monopoly on one of the
widely, leading it to be used in only the adrenocilin and
                                                                      most precious commodities of the Nova Age.
moxinoquantamine issued to Project Utopia’s Intervention
                                                                            Dr. Maeda’s operation currently uses three Japanese “stud
Teams and the doctors at the Rashoud clinics. Also, the Utopian
                                                                      novas” as unknowing sperm donors for the Nakato Gumi sperm
sterility retroviruses or drugs can also have a more exotic
                                                                      bank. The stud novas came to the attention of the Nakato Gumi
source than we have indicated, again at the Storyteller’s
                                                                      by means of their contacts in the Japanese medical system, and
discretion. It’s not impossible for a mad scientist from the
                                                                      have been tricked into their current predicament though use of
Adventure! Era to have developed either engineered viruses or
                                                                      unspecified family obligations. One of the stud novas’ own
special drugs with the Super-Science rules.
                                                                      inclinations helped to lure him in – he is a confirmed lecher
                                                                      whose interest in sex borders on satyriasis. The powers of these
Seeds of Divinity                                                     novas are quite low-key – in game terms they are all “stealth
                                                                      novas” (Aberrant core book, p. 155) with many Mega-
     For most baselines in these early decades of the Nova Age,
erupting as a nova is seen as something of a Holy Grail of worldly    Attributes at low ratings. They have also become very attractive
success. Unfortunately, most of them also know that the               to women in some way or another. Having been relatively normal
capacity to erupt is an extremely rare genetic mutation. (Those       young Japanese guys (very late teens to early 20s in age) before
who don’t accept the latter fact fill the ranks of baselines who      their eruption, the stud novas decided (with parental urging) to
end up either crippling or killing themselves in misguided            hide their novahood and attempt to lead reasonably normal lives.
attempts to induce their own eruptions.) With no known reliable       The Nakato Gumi has secretly helped them with the prior, but
means of gaining novahood for themselves, wealthy baselines           made the latter impossible. All three of these novas have been
                                                                      unknowingly set up in living situations that had previously only


                                                                 RULES
                                                            ABERRANT

been seen in Japan’s various “harem” anime and manga series.           resulting child’s chances of eruption as a nova, it also means
As far as the stud novas know, they have somehow found stable          bearing a provable bastard who could disgrace their family and
jobs as building managers of one sort or another – one runs a          reveal the ostensible father as a cuckold. The considereably
boarding house, another oversees a small apartment complex,            greater production costs involved make the M-R gene sequence
and a third somehow wound up managing a small girls’ dormitory.        implantation not quite as profitable for the Nakato Gumi as their
All three establishments are owned by the Nakato Gumi through          nova sperm bank operation, but it still rakes in plenty of money
several shell companies. Leaving little to chance, Dr. Maeda had       for their bank accounts. It can safely be assumed that Professor
the three establishments filled with a pre-screened selection of       Ikeda will be performing this procedure for the Nakato Gumi’s
young female tenants. Aside from being very attractive and             paying clients for decades to come.
generally pleasant – if somewhat eccentric – in personality, the             Purchasing the services of the Nakato Gumi’s nova sperm
young women chosen by Dr. Maeda were all fleeing unpleasant            bank requires a minimum of Resources                and Contacts
family situations and were romantically unattached. Tenants still           , with the latter representing a major contact in both the
attending high school have mysteriously inherited sizeable             Nakato Gumi and the Japanese government. Those who wish to
savings accounts (actually provided by the Nakato Gumi), while         have the M-R gene sequence gengineered into their unborn
the older tenants have luckily found jobs at local businesses that     offspring instead need Resources               and Contacts      .
the Nakato Gumi has full or partial ownership of. After settling       Clients from Japan’s upper social strata (generally powerful
into their new lives, the managers and the tenants got                 politicians, successful business families and Japan’s “blue
acquainted with each other, and Nature eventually took its             blooded” gentry and nobility) may substitute dots of Influence
course. Being lonely young women faced with a superhumanly             (based in Japan) to lower the actual price to Resources       and
attractive guy on a 24/7 basis, it wasn’t too long before the               , respectively. For purposes of determining the status of
tenants actually fell in love with their respective manager (and       any offspring of the Nakato Gumi nova sperm bank, the stud
vice versa). All of the tenants have lost any qualms they might        novas are all first generation novas with no permanent Taint.
have had about seducing their particular “Mr. Right” (or being         Most of the children that have been gengineered with the M-R
seduced by their tenants, in the case of the stud novas)               gene sequence won’t erupt as novas – in game terms, they are
whenever possible. The free medical care the residents are all         considered to be High-Quantum baselines. Only about 10 to 3%
provided with by the Nakato Gumi – which includes the services         (Storyteller’s discretion as to the exact percentage) of such
of skilled gynecologists who handle the sperm harvesting from          children are born as latent novas. If the mother of such a
the female tenants – allows the managers and their tenants to          gengineered child happens to be a High-Quantum baseline
carry on in their accustomed lifestyle without any inconvenient        herself, there’s a chance that the child will be born as a 2ndGen
fears of pregnancy. It is important to note that neither these         nova, as per the “Nova father & High-Quantum Baseline
young men nor the young women they live with have any clue             mother” listing in the Interbreeding tables.
that their surreal lifestyle is all a setup for them to be exploited   Fools’ Gold
by the Nakato Gumi. If the truth were revealed to them, their
                                                                            The demand for viable nova sperm hasn’t gone unnoticed
reactions would be nearly impossible to predict. Dr. Maeda also
                                                                       by the rest of the underworld. The Camparelli-Zhukov
keeps a close watch over the tenants’ medical reports – he has
                                                                       Megasyndicate also discreetly offers the services of their own
theorized that regular intimate contact with a nova might be
                                                                       nova sperm bank to certain customers. These are generally
sufficient to trigger eruption as a nova, and is eager to gather
                                                                       marks who are rich enough to be worthwhile targets, foolish
any evidence that would confirm his theory.
                                                                       enough to be conned and not powerful enough to mount serious
      Kuro-Tek’s covert research into nova genetics has also
                                                                       reprisals against the Megasyndicate. The main difference
resulted in a technique that allows the M-R gene sequence to be
                                                                       between the Megasyndicate’s operation and that of the Nakato
genetically engineered into a human blastula either before
                                                                       Gumi is that most of the Megasyndicate’s “product” is actually
conception or during the first month of pregnancy. This project
                                                                       taken from baseline sperm donors. When the children resulting
has only been somewhat successful as far as Professor Sayo
                                                                       from the couterfeit nova sperm fail to erupt, the Megasyndicate
Ikeda, Kuro-Tek’s premier hyperintelligent nova gengineer is
                                                                       plans to place the blame for that on the mothers’ baseline
concerned – the genetic implant is completely safe and stable,
                                                                       genetics. It’s possible to buy the real thing from the
but very few of the resulting children seem likely to ever erupt
                                                                       Megasyndicate – for a much steeper price, naturally – but that
as novas later on in life. Professor Ikeda also seems to be the
                                                                       option has its own problems. The few fertile male novas in the
only gengineer – nova or otherwise – on the planet capable of
                                                                       service of the Megasyndicate all have medium to high levels of
performing the required genetic manipulations reliably and
                                                                       permanent Taint (five dots or higher), which can lead to all sorts
without any errors. In game terms, the M-R gene sequence
                                                                       of pregnancy complications for the unfortunate mothers who
implantation technique is essentially a gadget useable only by
                                                                       purchase the Megasyndicate’s “premium” sperm bank services.
novas (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 143-148), which also
                                                                       Purchasing the basic services (and counterfeit nova sperm) of
requires extensive training in human genetics and genetic
                                                                       the Megasyndicate’s nova sperm bank requires a minimum of
engineering to use. Despite all this, the implantation procedure is
                                                                       Resources        and Contacts , with the latter representing one
considered preferable to using the Nakato Gumi nova sperm
                                                                       or more minor contacts within the C-Z Megasyndicate.
bank by those upper-class couples who deem matters of good
                                                                       Purchasing the premium services requires Resources
breeding and legitimate birth to be vitally important. While using
                                                                       and Contacts        , with the latter representing two major
a sample from the nova sperm bank drastically increases the
                                                                       contacts within the C-Z Megasyndicate.


                                                    ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                           ABERRANT


Anna’s Stud Service                                                   compensated date are also charged a much smaller fee, and
                                                                      those in sufficiently good standing with the DeVries Agency may
      Ever since DeVries Agency President Anna DeVries
                                                                      also have their fees waived entirely. If Rachel Alinsky ever hears
decided to find a way for her become pregnant, medical
                                                                      her biological clock ticking and decides to apply for a
researchers within the amoral elite agency have taken a keen
                                                                      compensated date, not only would Anna eagerly grant her as
interest in matters of nova sexuality and fertility. It soon became
                                                                      many compensated dates as she wanted, none of the stud novas
apparent that while fertile male novas were more commonly
                                                                      would even dream of refusing Rachel’s application. Anna has
found among the ranks of elites than in the general nova
                                                                      also set up a discreet nova sperm bank, for those women who
population, their often extremely hazardous lifestyles also made
                                                                      either feel uncomfortable with applying for a compensated date
it highly unlikely that they would survive to sire any offspring.
                                                                      or have had their applications rejected by one or more of the
When combined with the hedonistic attitudes that many elites
                                                                      stud novas. This isn’t generosity on Anna’s part, but is a vital
develop – “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” –
                                                                      part of her long-term schemes. Like the Teragen with whom she
most people would see it as proof positive of the essential
                                                                      sympathizes, Anna DeVries wishes to increase the population of
emptiness of the elite lifestyle and its vaunted glory. Anna
                                                                      novas, but she also wants to take advantage of the new novas
DeVries never was “most people”, and quickly spotted the
                                                                      that her scheming produces. Anna has used her influence over
highly profitable business opportunity that the situation offered.
                                                                      DeVries’ recruiters to ensure that attractive, healthy young
Instead of suggesting to the fertile male heterosexual novas
                                                                      women who want to bear nova children are more common
among her elites that she wanted them to moonlight as gigolos,
                                                                      among the employees than they would be if standard hiring
she has set up a very discreet “compensated dating”
                                                                      practices were followed. If a female DeVries employee becomes
arrangement for them. Anna takes applications for
                                                                      pregnant as a result of a compensated date, she is encouraged in
“compensated dates” from interested women, many of whom
                                                                      person by none other than Anna DeVries herself to relocate to
are DeVries employees – fertile female novas employed by
                                                                      the DeVries Compound at Pretoria, South Africa. To date, none
DeVries receive a special discount. The chosen elites then get to
                                                                      of the employees have refused Anna’s offer. Once they have
pick and choose which women they will “entertain” from their
                                                                      transferred to the DeVries Compound, the new mothers willingly
pool of applicants. The ladies receive several nights of passion,
                                                                      sign up any resulting children into a special child care and
the elites receive some sexual relief and the lion’s share of the
                                                                      educational program sponsored by DeVries at no charge. By
money (minus a matchmaker’s fee for DeVries), and the
                                                                      indoctrinating the children to see DeVries as their trusted friend
transaction is finished as far as the world at large is concerned.
                                                                      from an early age, Anna hopes to ensure that a healthy portion
      As could only be expected, Anna’s ambitions go far beyond
                                                                      of the next generation of novas will be loyal DeVries employees.
arranging hot dates for some of her elites. What everyone not
                                                                            Assuming that a woman meets with the approval of the
involved in the transaction doesn’t know is that the women the
                                                                      elite she has applied for, purchasing a compensated date for
DeVries elites are being paid to entertain in compensated dates
                                                                      three days with a DeVries stud nova requires both Resources
aren’t just after some romance and sexual satisfaction – they
                                                                               and Contacts , with the latter representing a major
are also attempting to become pregnant. The elites who work
                                                                      contact within the DeVries Agency. Purchasing a compensated
for Anna’s compensated dating service have not only been
                                                                      date for seven days requires Resources               . If the woman
informed of their state of reproductive health, but are
                                                                      in question is either a “person of interest” or a DeVries
unanimously willing to sire children in this manner. These men
                                                                      employee, purchasing a compensated date only requires
have long realized their own mortality, and yet cannot abandon
                                                                      Resources         (three days) or          (seven days) and either
the life of the combat elite. They see Anna’s compensated
                                                                      Contacts       (DeVries) or Backing       (DeVries). Female novas
dating operation as a way to leave behind some sort of legacy
                                                                      that are fertile only need Resources          (three days) or
after their deaths other than battlefield tales, empty mansions
                                                                      (seven days) and Contacts             (DeVries) or Backing
and fat Swiss bank accounts. The parental rights of the DeVries
                                                                      (DeVries) to purchase a compensated date. Applicants with
stud novas aren’t usually an issue, as the elites will only rarely
                                                                      Backing         (DeVries) or higher or a good Reputation with
enforce them. On the other hand, most of the elites also take a
                                                                      DeVries may have their fees waived entirely at the Storyteller’s
very dim view of “their” children being manhandled, regardless
                                                                      discretion. Acquiring a sample of viable nova sperm from the
of whether or not they have been involved in the child’s
                                                                      DeVries nova sperm bank requires Resources                 and either
parenting. In the case of women from outside the DeVries
                                                                      Contacts       (DeVries) or Backing       (DeVries), with the cost
Agency who apply for her compensated dating service, Anna is
                                                                      lowered to Resources          for fertile female novas. The only
generally content to charge a very stiff fee for the services of
                                                                      catch to using the DeVries sperm bank is that fertilization is
her elites. She does make regular exception for women Anna
                                                                      always performed in the main medical clinic in the DeVries
deems “people of interest”; who tend to be blood relatives of
                                                                      Compound at Pretoria, South Africa – they never ship their
novas, women that are otherwise highly likely to bear nova
                                                                      samples. Any resulting children from a DeVries employee’s
children, friends of either Anna herself or the DeVries family,
                                                                      compensated date or use of the DeVries nova sperm bank are
female novas who have been proven fertile by DeVries’ resident
                                                                      then typically signed up by their mothers for Anna DeVries’ free
paraphysicians, and women to whom Anna feels indebted in
                                                                      child care program, which later on includes education and
some way. Anna charges these ladies a much smaller fee, and
                                                                      indoctrination. For purposes of determining the status of the
may even waive the fee entirely in certain cases. (In this
                                                                      children resulting from a compensated date or use of the
situation, the elite’s fee comes from the general company
payroll.) Female DeVries employees who apply for a


                                                                 RULES
                                                          ABERRANT

DeVries nova sperm bank, DeVries’ stud novas are all novas           male nova. Refer to the appropriate listings in the Interbreeding
with little or no permanent Taint (zero to four dots).               tables for details.
The Hagar Procedure                                                  The Cuckoo Gambit
      Like most novas, Anna DeVries was unknowingly dosed                  With their plans for eventual nova domination of baseline
with the Utopian sterility cocktail and rendered unable to           civilization, it was only a matter of time before the Teragen
conceive. Unlike most other novas, Anna DeVries also had the         hatched their own plots dealing with reproductive technologies.
resources to do something about this problem. Anna started           Certain medically knowledgeable Terats within the Casablanca
DeVries’ research program on the nova infertility problem            faction have been gathering viable sperm samples from the few
immediately after finding out she was sterile. The researchers’      fertile male novas scattered throughout the ranks of the
first big break was the discovery of the small handful of fertile    Teragen since 2003. These Terats have also infiltrated many
novas among DeVries’ nova employees. While this quickly              normal sperm banks in the First World nations and secretly
resulted in the establishment of a profitable side venture for       replaced selected baseline sperm samples with those from the
DeVries (see Anna’s Stud Service, above); finding a way to use       Terat stud novas. The only criteria that has to be met is a rough
fertile novas to solve Anna’s problem took several more years of     match between the racial characteristics of the original donor
research, many millions of dollars and a breakthrough on the         and his nova replacement. As far as the Teragen is concerned,
part of one nova gengineer by the name of Harold Manders,            the ranks of novas must be replenished by any means necessary.
M.D. With Dr. Manders’ skills at their disposal, DeVries now has     If doing so means causing potential emotional harm to the
a procedure to sidestep nova infertility that works fairly well –    couples they deceive, then so be it. The natural process of
sometimes. The procedure begins with an egg cell donated by          evolution is cruel, so why should they be any different? It is also
one of DeVries’ few fertile female novas, from which all of the      important to note that Divis Mal and Jeremiah Scripture not only
nuclear genetic material has been removed. Several stem cells        have full knowledge of this scheme, but have given the
are then taken from the sterile female nova who is attempting to     Casablancas the blessing of Mal for this project. The Terat
conceive. The 23 chromosomes that would ordinarily be split off      donor novas can have any level of permanent Taint desired by
into an egg cell are taken from the stem cells, with the             the Storyteller, with the effects on the resulting pregnancies and
chromosome carrying the maternal M-R gene sequence singled           offspring being as stated in the Interbreeding tables.
out for special attention. The mother’s M-R gene sequence is         Exposure
removed from that chromosome, and replaced with the M-R
                                                                           As of 2015, only the C-Z Megasyndicate has been unlucky
gene sequence from the donor’s egg. The maternal
                                                                     enough to attract any official attention to their sperm bank
chromosomes are then transplanted into the donor’s egg, which
                                                                     scam. As far as Utopia, Proteus and the Directive knows, all that
is then fertilized by donated sperm in a standard in vitro
                                                                     the Megasyndicate has done is fraudulently sell viable baseline
procedure. Special medical nanotechnology developed by Rachel
                                                                     sperm as that of nova donors, which is fairly trivial when
Alinsky is then implanted along with the fertilized egg into the
                                                                     compared to their other crimes. This state of blissful ignorance
mother’s womb. If all goes well, the medical nanites will prevent
                                                                     cannot last. Revelation of the operations of the Nakato Gumi, C-
the fertilized egg from being rejected by the mother’s immune
                                                                     Z Megasyndicate, DeVries Agency and Teragen involving
system.
                                                                     reproductive technologies would immediately draw intense
      Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to the Hagar
                                                                     hostile interest from many factions. Utopia and Proteus would
Procedure. First off, Rachel Alinsky’s special medical
                                                                     take a dim view of any operations intended to increase the nova
nanotechnology is in game terms a gadget useable only by novas
                                                                     population, and would seek to shut them down with extreme
with medical expertise. Second is the fact that the genetic
                                                                     prejudice. The Directive would seek to immediately shut down
manipulations and nanotech operations involved in the Hagar
                                                                     the operations of the C-Z Megasyndicate and the Teragen, but
Procedure are both unwieldy enough that the nova gengineer
                                                                     would assuredly leave the Nakato Gumi and DeVries to their own
must have Luck              and Attunement           , in order to
                                                                     devices. The Teragen would seek to subvert the operations of
literally shift the odds for successful conception and pregnancy
                                                                     the Nakato Gumi and C-Z Megasyndicate (along with any stud
in the favor of the would-be mother. Third is the failure rate of
                                                                     novas involved) for their own purposes. The Aberrants would
80%; for every successful pregnancy resulting from the Hagar
                                                                     want to rescue unwilling stud novas in the Nakato Gumi’s
Procedure, there are four cases of stillbirth or natural abortion.
                                                                     operation, and prevent the C-Z Megasyndicate stud novas from
Fourth, Anna DeVries has kept a very tight rein over who gets
                                                                     being used as such due to their (and presumably their offspring)
to use her new medical miracle. Using the Hagar Procedure
                                                                     being highly prone to taint. Interference with the DeVries or
requires Backing             with DeVries. There is no Resource
                                                                     Teragen operations is unlikely, though possible victimization of
rating required, as Anna expects the resulting children to
                                                                     the resulting offspring would be an issue for the Aberrants. Most
literally be raised as part of the DeVries “corporate
                                                                     elite agencies would be ambivalent or disgusted by the
community”. Finally, it can’t do a thing to help infertile male
                                                                     operations, but would refrain from interfering with them unless
novas father their own children. As of 2015, eight ostensibly
                                                                     hired to do so. As far as the baseline factions are concerned,
sterile nova women have managed to conceive and successfully
                                                                     their reactions would range from alarm and concern (at best) to
bear children by means of the Hagar Procedure, including Anna
                                                                     subversion attempts or witch-hunts (at worst). Many national
DeVries herself. The status of children created with the Hagar
                                                                     governments and corporations would leap at the chance to
Procedure depends on the status of the biological father; who
                                                                     breed and raise their own force of novas, while the Church of
will usually be a baseline, High-Quantum baseline or a fertile


                                                  ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                          ABERRANT

Michael Archangel would see the donors, parents and children         the motherhunters is another good way to enter into conflict
involved in these operations as yet more targets to eliminate.       with them. Enlightened self-interest is not unlikely, as any
                                                                     breeder nova who becomes known as such will be targeted by
                                                                     the motherhunters sooner or later, so why not take the fight to
The Motherhunters                                                    them beforehand? Recruiting freshly-rescued breeder novas to
      Utopia, Proteus, and other groups have agents that track       join the operatives’ faction has been known to happen, as timing
down any proven “breeder” novas that those organizations             can be everything in a sales pitch. And as money can buy nearly
uncover or otherwise become aware of. Utopians might seek to         anything in 2015, greed can pull an operative into the thick of
take their quarry and their offspring into custody (where            this conflict, provided that the client he’s working for can afford
Proteus can execute and/or experiment on them with impunity),        his services. The common thread here is that the delivery boys
while Proteus agents may likely kill them as soon as is feasible.    and girls agree that breeder novas and their offspring are worth
Agents of other groups may or may not have other plans for           protecting. This can lead to problems when said breeder novas
“breeder” novas and their children, depending on the goals of        are either tainted monstrosities or remorseless criminals. If
their organization. Who are these people, and how do they            delivery boys and girls aren’t careful in choosing which novas to
operate? And how can a budding nova family avoid their notice,       protect, they could wind up bearing partial responsibility for any
or failing that, avoid being captured and/or killed?                 unwarranted deaths and destruction their erstwhile charges may
Sinister Actions                                                     cause in the future.
      The experiences of taking a spouse and having children are
                                                                             Utopia: Motherhunters. At the
arguably two of the major cornerstones of human society, and
                                                                     very least, Utopians will seek to
are assumed to be common goals for most people. So what could
                                                                     establish & maintain surveillance of
make a nova capable of doing harm to a couple or family of
                                                                     suspected breeder novas. If direct
breeder novas? Sadly, there are many things that can cause a
                                                                     action is deemed necessary by their
nova to become one of the true “motherhunters”, with
                                                                     superiors, Utopians will typically seek
sociopathy and sadism being only two of the more obvious
                                                                     to take their quarry and their
reasons. Simple greed can also be enough, as most organizations
                                                                     offspring into custody (where Proteus
that sponsor motherhunters can afford to pay them very
                                                                     can execute and/or experiment on
handsomely for performing this particular brand of dirty work. A
                                                                     them with impunity, if Thetis so
desire for revenge on a particular nova can all too easily expand
                                                                     desires). This isn’t the case where
in focus to cover novas in general. Misguided religious zeal has
                                                                     highly-tainted breeder novas are
led devout baselines to commit atrocities for centuries, and
                                                                     concerned, as Utopians will use deadly
devout novas are no less vulnerable to it. It’s not unheard of for
                                                                     force against obvious threats.
some sterile novas to become so envious of their fertile
                                                                             Proteus: Motherhunters. Proteus agents’ aims will vary
brethren that they can’t bear the thought of breeder novas
                                                                                               with their mission parameters. They
having children and starting families. Even simple mistaken
                                                                                               will depend on Utopian surveillance for
beliefs about the nature of novas and/or their 2ndGen offspring
                                                                                               the most part, with Proteus’ spies
can be enough, given sufficiently unpleasant prior experience
                                                                                               performing surveillance in those areas
with a nova. The one thing that motherhunters all have in
                                                                                               beyond Utopia’s reach. When actively
common is a willingness to dehumanize their prey, to see them
                                                                                               motherhunting, Proteus agents will
as objects to either be used or disposed of instead of thinking,
                                                                                               typically attempt to capture their
feeling humans. Of course, dehumanizing other novas is much
                                                                                               quarry for live experimentation. If any
easier when the novas in question are either heavily tainted or
                                                                                               discovered offspring are young
prove themselves monstrous by their deeds. In these latter
                                                                                               enough, Thetis might have them sent
situations, an erstwhile motherhunter will have more in common
                                                                                               to Dr. Toiho at the Bahrain clinic for
with the monster hunters of past centuries, and is more liable to
                                                                                               comparison to his artificially-produced
come away from such hunts with a clean conscience.
                                                                                               nova children. Otherwise, they will kill
     Opposite Reactions                                                                        breeder novas and their offspring as
      Just as the motherhunters seek to harm or exploit breeder      soon as is feasible.
novas and their families, there are those nova operatives who                Teragen: Delivery Boys. By their way of thinking, every
also track those novas down in order to aid and protect them.        nova they rescue from baseline oppression is a
The motives of these “delivery boys and girls” are almost as         future Terat – the only variable is how long it
varied as those of the motherhunters. Moral integrity and            will take said nova to see the light (read:
idealism have often inspired ordinary people to stand against        accept the Terat viewpoint as the truth). Only
wrongdoing, as have religious conviction, ideology and               those breeder novas known to have harmed
possession of a strong sense of justice. A need for vengeance        other novas will be denied Terat aid. Of
against motherhunters – or the organizations that employ them        course, the price of Terat aid is often to
– can easily lead a nova into this kind of protection work.          become Terats themselves (or at least allies of
Revulsion and outrage over the despicable goals and tactics of       the Teragen).



                                                                RULES
                                                          ABERRANT

         The Directive: Motherhunters. The only thing preventing     makes their effectiveness questionable. And of course, the
these operatives from being as                                       Church of Michael Archangel will be fanatic (if mostly
vicious as Proteus agents is their                                   ineffective) motherhunters.
tendency to obey civil laws, even if                                       One such group that deserves special attention where this
only in the breach. In the eyes of                                   conflict is concerned is the Daedelus League. Most of the other
too many Directive agents, novas                                     factions believe that this loose association of nova space travel
are       threats     to     baseline                                enthusiasts is of little importance and even less relevance to the
governments and society just by                                      conflict between motherhunters
virtue of their existence, and are                                   and delivery boys. They couldn’t be
therefore just as guilty as any                                      more mistaken. The Daedelus
international criminal or petty Third World dictator. They won’t     League’s sympathies makes them
seek to kill breeder novas and their offspring if unprovoked, but    delivery boys in most cases, much
a lifetime of imprisonment and interrogation isn’t that much         like the Aberrants, although their
better than death.                                                   facilities for relocating breeder
         Aberrants: Delivery Boys. Aberrant operatives will seek     novas aren’t for everyone. As all
                             to protect breeder novas who aren’t     they currently have are a few
                             obvious threats to humanity, who        covert asteroid bases, the Daedelus
                             will either have high levels of taint   League lacks any offworld refuges for novas who cannot handle
                             or are harmful criminals. Recruit-      life in a space habitat and don’t have Adaptability. (The
                             ment of breeder novas rescued by        hyperactive metabolism of novas fortunately makes them
                             Aberrant operatives isn’t unknown       immune to low-gravity aggravated osteoporosis, so artificial
                             – the Aberrants tend to be fugitives    gravity isn’t a necessity for the residents of the League’s
                             as well, so it isn’t that much of a     asteroid bases.) This will change in upcoming years, however.
lifestyle change for a breeder nova.                                 After his talks with Thomas Sering and the Protectors on
         DeVries: Variable. Anna DeVries has instituted a quiet      establishing an offworld colony (Aberrant Players Guide, p.
program of offering sanctuary to “employable” breeder novas          178), Cyrus Katrak has slowly become convinced of three things.
and their offspring in return for hiring on as DeVries employees.    First is the fact that those novas who wish to lead a relatively
DeVries elites have been known to accept offers to hunt down         normal life – a surprisingly large minority – instead of becoming
breeder novas who are obvious                                        celebrities and commodities have almost no chance of doing so
threats, but Anna has also directed                                  on Earth, thanks to the influence of the various factions of the
them to discreetly capture their                                     Nova Age. Second is the growing certainty that the existing
offspring. These children are then                                   social order between novas and baselines as of 2015 cannot be
adopted by loyal DeVries employ-                                     sustained over the long term without risking catastrophic
ees, in hopes that they will become                                  damage to either Terran civilization (at best) or Earth’s
DeVries employees themselves                                         biosphere (at worst). Third is the knowledge that advances in
when they grow up.                                                   Terran space exploration will certainly lead to most of the Solar
         Other Elite agencies: Variable. Agencies such as Argus,     System being claimed by various Earth governments, making
Peacekeepers and NovaCom will likely seek to protect breeder         asteroid and interplanetary colonies stopgap measures at best
novas that aren’t violent criminals or tainted monstrosities. The    for novas wishing to live free of their entanglements.
Janissaries and other agencies who focus more on combat for                For these reasons, Katrak and certain other Daedelus
profit without regard to morality will tend to act as                League members have started a long-term covert operation of
motherhunters more often than not.                                   space exploration beyond the Solar System, with the goal of
         National governments: Variable. Depending on the            finding new worlds for humans – both nova and baseline – to
attitudes towards novas held by a given regime, breeder novas        inhabit. Although the Daedelus League has always paid lip
could find themselves deported, marked for execution, or             service to the idea of eventually finding extrasolar planets
recruited for (often lucrative) government service. National         capable of supporting human life, Katrak’s recent conclusions
nova groups such as Nordlysene, Nippontai or Australis will act      have given them motivations for that search beyond scientific
as directed by their government superiors. Any motherhunter or       curiosity and the urge to explore. They have also managed to
delivery boy operatives lacking an organized nova group will         keep this operation a secret (so far) from the scientific
come from the security agencies of the given country.                community and the various other factions of the Nova Age.
         Other groups: Variable. Groups that specialize in a         After fending off repeated recruiting attempts from Project
certain activity, such as the Gestalt does in the use of psychic     Utopia, Katrak has no intention of allowing the Daedelus League
abilities or Greenwar in ecoterrorism, won’t have much to do         to be subverted by any of the other factions, especially since
with either motherhunters or delivery boys. Isolationist groups      that would put the survival of both the known human subspecies
such as the Protectors could offer sanctuary to “suitable”           at risk. Currently, the Daedelus League has drawn up plans for
breeder novas and their offspring. The Queer Nova Alliance           expeditions to certain star systems and has quietly recruited
would be most likely to act as delivery boys where matters of        warper novas capable of reaching those star systems as quickly
conflicting loyalties don’t apply, although their lax security       as possible. Their hope is that they will find at least one



                                                  ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                           ABERRANT

habitable planet before the situation on Earth between novas          as the Copycat or Mr. Nobody Mega-Appearance enhancements
and baselines degenerates and breaks out into global warfare.         are the best disguises available to them. The only alternative for
Once one or more such planets are found, they can then be             an Applegate nova who cannot pass for baseline is the
colonized by those novas and baselines who wish to live together      unenviable life of a shut-in. Living undercover is hard enough for
in peace, far away from the madness and devastation that              adults, but it’s even harder for young children. Once the
threatens Earth and all who live there. That way, something           expected difficulties of raising one or more nova children while
worthwhile of humanity and its civilization will survive, even        remaining undercover become apparent, most Applegate
should the Earth itself be reduced to a radioactive cinder in the     families tend to become fairly transient in order to minimize the
upcoming conflict.                                                    risks of exposure. Jobs where an employee’s family must move
                                                                      on a regular basis are coveted by Applegate novas, as the
                                                                      constant relocation provides a ready explanation for their
Dangerous Prey                                                        reluctance to form social bonds with their current neighbors.
      Finally, we come to the focus of the conflict between the       Jobs where the employee can work from home using the OpNet
motherhunters and delivery boys, the breeder novas and their          are also valued, as it allows an Applegate nova parent to keep an
children. Forswearing the easy fame and glamor that most of           eye on his or her kids during work hours. Due to their largely
their kind are accustomed to, these novas instead do their best       unofficial nature, employment in many of the criminal
to live free from the interference of a world that sees them as       occupations also works well in the Applegate lifestyle. While
commodities, media icons and political pawns instead of the           Applegate novas and their kids prefer not to make casual friends
people that they really are. Ironically, their disengagement from     and acquaintances for security reasons, they do sometimes
the typical nova lifestyle has made these recluses even more          manage to make real friends on rare occasion. Applegate nova
important to the world than their more public brethren. Thanks        children tend to be fairly isolated from the communities they live
to their shunning of the media’s limelight, these hidden novas        in, with much of their education either given them by their
have managed to avoid Utopia’s nova sterilization program.            parents through home schooling or acquired online through
Against all odds, the majority of these isolated novas have           OpNet-based educational institutions. Provided that an
managed to pair off into breeding couples and have had children.      Applegate nova couple has enough discipline to only use their
The nascent power of these “second generation” novas is what          nova capabilities when necessary, and that they can teach their
has made them and their parents into some of the most highly          children to do the same, they can go on for several years
sought-after novas on the planet. With so many of the factions        without being discovered by their enemies... if they’re lucky.
of the Nova Age bent on either exploiting or killing them, how        Country Cousins
have the breeder novas and their offspring managed to remain
hidden and survive on their own for as long as they have? And               The second option available to breeder novas is to establish
for how much longer can they expect to keep their hard-won            some sort of homestead in a region on Earth that is at least
freedom?                                                              somewhat removed from baseline civilization. Breeder novas
                                                                      taking this “backwoods” route tend to be either those who
The Applegates                                                        cannot pose as baselines in civilized society due to personal
      For breeder novas attempting to live their lives and raise      circumstances or those who just don’t want to do so for some
their children free from unwanted interference, there are four        reason. The main benefit of this route is that they won’t have to
main options. The first option is what some have referred to as       keep as quite a low profile as the Applegate breeder novas.
“the Applegate route”. An Applegate nova is one who has               They still have to be wary of remote surveillance and the like,
abandoned all ties to her pre-eruption life, gone underground         but both the breeder novas and their 2ndGen children can use
and is currently living under an assumed identity as a baseline.      their powers somewhat more openly and put in more of their
The main benefit of this approach is the (usually) convenient         spare time into practicing their use. They might have to pose as
access to the goods and services offered by baseline society.         baselines when visitors come calling or when they go to town,
Provided that an Applegate family remains as anonymous as             but they can be themselves at other times. The drawback to all
possible, they can enjoy the comforts that too many baselines in      this is the physical and social isolation that’s required. Novas
the First World take for granted. The main problem with               attempting to live apart from baseline civilization are put in
adopting this lifestyle is the constant secrecy that an Applegate     much the same position as the American pioneers of the 19th
family must maintain at all times in order to keep from blowing       Century, as they will typically be living with little or no readily
their cover. Applegate novas must have some way to pass for           available support from society. Basic competence in a wide
baseline, possibly for long periods of time. Fortunately, the         array of skills such as construction, medicine, cooking and
Dormancy background is tailor-made for this situation. Provided       agriculture – just to name a few examples – will be required for
that the nova using it hasn’t accumulated too much taint,             a backwoods nova family to survive. Fortunately, a nova can
“dorming down” will allow a breeder nova to effectively revert        literally have several lifetimes’ worth of skills, making this way
to his or her previous baseline self for as long as necessary and     of life much more feasible for a backwoods nova family. If all or
with little risk of detection. The only problem with this tactic is   even just a few members of a backwoods nova family has
that second generation novas cannot use Dormancy at all –             superhuman survival advantages such as the Adaptability
since they were essentially born erupted, the 2ndGen novas            enhancement, the cards used in the game of survival are stacked
literally have no baseline selves to revert to. If the 2ndGen nova    even more in their favor. Unfortunately, the members of a
child in question isn’t a “stealth nova”, temporary solutions such    backwoods nova family will need all of those advantages sooner


                                                                 RULES
                                                              ABERRANT

or later. Unlike the Applegate breeder novas, backwoods                  pioneers, as the surrounding environment is far more hostile
breeder novas have no one but themselves to rely on in an                than the American Old West ever was, making the colony
emergency. They may live at a distance from the towns and                extremely dependent on highly complex technology for their
cities, but can visit them when necessary to obtain needed               survival. If the colonists fail to get along and work well together,
goods, services and social contact. The basic tenets of civilized        the social environment of a space colony will resemble a
life are respected – sometimes – and occasionally with more              potential forest fire, as even the smallest faux pas or
sincerity than is normally found in mainstream baseline society.         indiscretion can threaten the survival of the colony as a whole.
Personal honor and integrity (or the appearance of such) are             Without ready access to Earth’s markets, all food, medicines and
also valued, as they are marks of someone who can be relied              other consumer goods must be either produced at the colony,
upon in a pinch and will reciprocate aid given to him. Education         imported in large quantities or simply done without. Even simple
for the children in such families tends to be of the home-               luxuries such as chocolate or coffee are few and far between.
schooling variety, but a wealth of practical knowledge and skills        The maintenance of a colony’s technological devices will be of
are also part of the curriculum. Backwoods breeder novas                 prime importance, as a breakdown in either of the life support
following this lifestyle tend to have little or no Taint, as they rely   systems or the power plant, for example, is the stuff of
on being able to cooperate with each other and interact                  nightmares for space colonists. Living inside a sealed habitat can
successfully with their family members (and with their                   also lead to outbreaks of cabin fever, which may or may not be
neighbors, on occasion) in order to survive. Backwoods breeder           alleviated by going outside the colony in a spacesuit or small
novas who refrain from drawing attention to themselves can               spacecraft. Nova space colonists are extremely likely to either
expect to live unmolested for years before eventually being              have or develop Adaptability, as the ability go simply go outside
discovered.                                                              the colony without risking immediate death makes for a welcome
Settlers of the Solar System                                             psychological release valve. Education for the children of a
                                                                         Daedelus League or Protectors space colony is excellent, as both
      The third option is to become a space colonist. Only two of
                                                                         groups have members who are well capable of and willing to
the factions of the Nova Age have managed to establish
                                                                         provide quality instruction up to the university level. In other
operational offworld colonies by 2015, although they are not
                                                                         space colonies education will be of the home-schooling variety,
currently open to habitation by baselines. The Daedelus League
                                                                         although instruction related to techonology and living in space it
has established secret habitats hollowed out from the cores of a
                                                                         will likely be of high quality thanks to their extreme importance
few of the larger stony asteroids (the smallest is 12 km in
                                                                         to space colonists. Breeder novas living in a space colony will
diameter) found within the main Asteroid Belt. The habitats
                                                                         always have little or no Taint, as the survival of everyone in
were designed by the League’s resident Mega-Intelligent nova
                                                                         their community often depends on their being able to cooperate
space scientists, and are surprisingly livable for a microgravity
                                                                         and get along with each other, even in the most difficult of
environment. The Protectors have established a subsurface
                                                                         circumstances. If they don’t draw attention to themselves, space
Mars colony with the aid of the Daedelus League, which is buried
                                                                         colonists can expect to go for decades without fear of attack.
somewhere beneath the bottom of Hellas Planitia. While only a
few Protector novas are living there in 2015, the Protectors             The New Barbarians
eventually plan to relocate their entire organization en masse to               The fourth option is a reversion to a savage lifestyle, which
their Mars colony, abandoning both their Antarctic base and              is all too often the only feasible choice for breeder novas that
Earth by 2020. The only thing holding them back is their current         have developed excessive amounts of taint, with all the insanity
lack of a reliable artificial gravity system. With such a system in      and social difficulties that entails. Savage breeder novas tend to
place, the Protectors’ baseline members will be able to live and         rely on their Mega-Attributes and quantum powers for their
work right alongside their nova brethren, just as Thomas Sering          survival, although only some of them have completely abandoned
had always intended. Three of the Protectors’ best                       the use of technology. Provided that the members of a savage
hyperintelligent nova scientists have been working on                    tribe all have the Adaptability enhancement, just about any
developing such a system for several months, and a                       isolated and rarely-visited locale on Earth (and many places
breakthrough is expected soon. The other space colonies tend to          offplanet) can make suitable refuges for these monsters. Denied
be the residences of either powerful individual novas or small           the benefits of being part of a civilized, humane society, these
nova groups. The Teragen have made tentative plans to                    breeder novas have adopted a degraded tribal sort of existence
establish a new enclave somewhere on Luna (see Aberrant                  that many 21st Century baseline tribal cultures would find
Worldwide: Phase I, p. 84), but with events such as the “Night           apalling. In this way of life might literally does make right,
of Long Knives” in their immediate future, it remains to be seen         outsiders are either allies of convenience or victims to be
whether those plans will ever make it off the drawing board.             exploited, and baselines are seen as ready-made peons to
Aside from their extreme isolation, the main benefit of this             dominate however one wishes. Social norms can vary wildly
lifestyle is becoming part of a tightly-knit small community             from those of modern baseline society, and transgressions
where the colonists don’t have to hide their nova powers and             against said norms may either be punished severely or merely
can engage in honest social relationships with other colonists           winked at and ignored. In this social environment, it can only be
than their immediate family group. Despite minor differences             expected for dysfunctional personalities and relationships to
such as location and exterior environment, all space colonies            become the rule instead of the exception. Cruelty and a basic
present similar challenges for the colonists who live there. The         lack of empathy for others – including their fellow tribe
basic situation is even more difficult than that of historical           members – are all but universal in savage breeder novas, as


                                                     ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                            ABERRANT

these qualities allow them to take advantage of whatever               relocating a space colony is a massive undertaking, and will only
opportunities fall their way without wasting time on debates           be considered in the most dire circumstances. Lethal force will
over morality. Education for the children in a savage tribe is         almost always be used against motherhunters, as a motherhunter
widely varied at best, and often tends to be short on cultural and     attack against a space colony requires serious material and
technological knowledge. Backwoods breeder novas who take up           financial support. Aside from their own nova powers, space
this lifestyle are always those who have accumulated large             colonists will not hesitate to use any technological weapons that
amounts of taint, as their various mental disorders and                could feasibly kill the attackers. Depending on the level of
difficulties in social interactions with baselines can make it near-   resources and scientific expertise among their members, space
impossible to operate in civilized society. With their mental and      colonists could plausibly deploy large-scale monofilament
social problems derived from their taint and a casual contempt         weapons, kinetic railguns, DeVries Nanokill (see Aberrant:
                                                                       Brainwaves), nuclear warheads and bomb-pumped x-ray or
for outsiders, a tribe of savage breeder novas is fortunate if
                                                                       gamma lasers. If the space colonists are fortunate, the fate of
they have the sense to avoid drawing hostile attention to              any motherhunters they kill will become just another unsolved
themselves. If so, they can probably manage to engage in their         mystery of the Nova Age. As most space colonies will have been
brutal activities for years. If not, they can expect to be attacked    established under the provenance of benevolent factions such as
in short order.                                                        the Daedelus League and the Protectors, the aid of delivery boys
Exposure                                                               from the colony’s parent organization or their allies will always
      No matter which lifestyle they adopt, all breeder novas and      be welcomed by space colonists. Savage breeder novas will most
their offspring must make plans for when they will eventually          often fight any motherhunters who attack them, although some
come under attack from the motherhunters. Unless breeder               of them will certainly have enough sense to flee in the face of
novas have access to telepathic means of altering the memories         overwhelming opposition. Lethal force will be used on any and
of inconvenient people, their reactions can be boiled down to a        all motherhunters, unless a savage nova thinks that one of the
simple choice: fight or flight. Applegate breeder novas will seek      attackers might be more desirable as a captive instead of a
to flee at the first sign that they have been compromised,             corpse. In this case, a captive might prefer death to becoming a
although they will fight in the defense of themselves and their        slave, torture subject or concubine. Discretion in their fighting
children. If the threat posed by the motherhunters is dire             usually won’t be a concern for savage novas, as almost all of
enough, Applegates will have no compunctions about using lethal        them really like the idea of being feared by outsider novas and
force against their antagonists if they can do so discreetly or in     baselines. Relocation is a haphazard affair at best for tribes of
a manner that can’t be connected to them. After escaping from a        savage novas, as they will end up losing their accumulated wealth
motherhunter attack, Applegate novas will abandon their                just as often as they manage to save it. Assuming new identities
current identities and lives and establish new ones elsewhere.         is rarely done, as most savage novas are either too twisted by
For this reason, it’s common for Applegates to keep most of            Taint for that to be feasible or too egotistical to even consider
their wealth and personal records in forms that are either easily      it. Likewise, any delivery boys who offer aid to a tribe of savage
transported or disposed of, as the situation warrants. They also       novas are walking a fine line – the savages might accept the
try to limit the amount of possessions they have, for much the         offer, or they might consider it an insult to be repaid in blood.
same reason. Aid from delivery boys will be
gladly accepted, provided that they have won
the trust of the Applegate family in question.
Backwoods breeder novas will flee from a
mother-hunter attack only if they have no other
choice – their roots often go a good bit deeper
than those of Applegate novas, making
relocation much more difficult for them. With
their isolation from baseline society, backwoods
novas have a much better chance of fighting
back against motherhunters without blowing
their cover. Lethal force is also more likely to be
used against motherhunters, especially if it can
be made to look like the fault of someone or
something other than themselves. If their cover
has been irreparably blown, backwoods novas
will seek to relocate to some region where they
are less likely to face further motherhunter
attacks. If necessary, they will shed their
current identities and assume new ones,
although they typically won’t be as proficient at
deception as Applegates. Also like Applegates,
aid from delivery boys will be welcome,
provided that the backwoods novas consider
them trustworthy. Space colonist breeder novas
will always fight against motherhunters –


                                                                  RULES
                                                             ABERRANT

                                                                        scaled down a bit. This makes feeding an infant nova a Herculean
“And Baby Makes                                                         task, not to mention dealing with huge amount of dirty diapers
                                                                        that will be produced. Clothing for a 2ndGen nova baby had best

Three…”                                                                 be inexpensive and bought in bulk, as only Mega-Intelligent
                                                                        infants with the Precocity enhancement will have the mental
                                                                        acuity to attune a eufiber colony to themselves. Having a
       For quite a few breeder nova couples attempting to
become parents, bearing a healthy nova infant is often                  paraphysician with training in pediatrics as a loyal ally is the best
considered the ultimate prize. Considering all the hurdles placed       possible situation as far as the infant’s medical care is
in their path by Project Proteus and other factions, it’s not           concerned, especially as modern medical ethics frowns upon a
surprising that breeder novas often romanticize their goal of           medical doctor treating her own relatives. Education is also a
becoming parents, as the fantasy of achieving domestic familial         concern, especially in the case of Mega-Intelligent 2ndGen
bliss can sustain them in difficult situations. Unfortunately, that’s   children – if the parents aren’t careful, a 2ndGen child prodigy
still just a fantasy, and one that’s only loosely connected to          could wind up learning things unsuited for young and overly
reality at best. Lots of new parents can easily be that naïve, and      impressionable minds. As if that wasn’t enough, the various
new nova parents are no exception. Getting pregnant and giving          powers and Mega-Attributes a 2ndGen infant can manifest will
birth is only the beginning. For new baseline parents, the              add new and wicked little wrinkles to this situation. The playpen
experience of having a child will either make or break their            of a 2ndGen baby with any form of flight will have to come with a
relationship as a couple and a family. The basic situation isn’t        lockable lid. Keeping clothes on a toddler can be hard enough
that much different for new nova parents, as 2ndGen nova                without the toddler being able to use Bodymorph or Shapeshift
children are usually just as troublesome as their baseline              to escape from them. 2ndGen kids with destructive powers such
counterparts – it’s just that the problems (if not the joys) of         as Immolate can also go through a lot of outfits in short order. A
raising a 2ndGen nova child can be and often are very different.        telekinetic 2ndGen child can always reach the cookie jar. Pity the
                                                                        parents of a 2ndGen nova infant that develops the Adaptability
                                                                        enhancement, for while the kid possibly won’t have to consume
Nova Parenting 101                                                      as much food as other infant novas must, she could possibly also
      With the birth of their first child, a breeder nova couple        remain awake and crying for attention 24 hours a day. If a
will experience a permanent lifestyle change of a truly radical         2ndGen child manifests a dangerous power at too early an age (or
degree. The responsibilities of caring for a completely                 one that would draw attention from motherhunters, in the case
dependent child will almost entirely divorce the new parents            of families living on Earth), his or her parents will have to create
from the hedonistic and often irresponsible lifestyles practiced        a complex inhibiting use of that power in the child’s psyche,
by the majority of other novas in the early Nova Age. Combine           much as is done in the course of toilet training. The complex will
that with either having to go underground or leaving Earth to           usually be removed by the parents once the child is old enough
evade the motherhunters, and you have an adjustment which can           to use the power responsibly, even though this tactic tends to
be truly hard for even novas to make. The pleasures most novas          result in overcompensation when the complex is undone. (The
take for granted will become things of the past for nova parents,       age-based cap on a True 2ndGen child’s Mega-Attribute and
especially if indulging in them would risk exposing their family to     quantum power ratings is a welcome blessing in this situation.)
the motherhunters. Socializing with casual friends and                  When a 2ndGen child is older, her parents must also train her in
acquaintances will become a danger to be avoided instead of a           such things as self-discipline, combat and the use of her nova
way to relieve pyschological stress. The idea of freedom can            capabilities. Depending on where a breeder nova couple decides
also become an near-alien concept for nova parents, as living           to settle down, they will also have to train the child in either
undercover or in the wilderness precludes hiring a babysitter or        maintaining secrecy or living in a space habitat. Neither situation
going to child-friendly restaurants on a regular basis. Nova            is free of problems for a 2ndGen child’s development; growing up
parents in the space colonies have it only slightly easier in terms     undercover can result in social inexperience, while growing up in
of their social lives, as the isolation and pressures of living in an   space limits the child’s social exposure to their own tiny
asteroid colony or interplanetary base will make up for the             community.
increased opportunities for safe social contact. Even engaging in              Fortunately, the rewards of parenthood and family usually
combat is seen from a different perspective, as the risks of            balance out the problems and restrictions, even for novas. When
fighting deadly foes are thrown into sharp relief when one has a        compared to the hollow pleasures of most novas, the sense of
spouse and children depending on them.                                  fulfillment that comes from having a family of one’s own stacks
      All of that would be difficult enough if the offspring of a       up surprisingly well. The enduring love of spouse and children
nova couple was a powerless and easily-handled infant.                  will always beat out transitory fame and the fickle adulation of
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on one’s point of              the global media. When the 2ndGen novas come into their own in
view), most breeder nova couples will bear 2ndGen nova                  upcoming decades, one can be sure that some of them will have
offspring, who are literally born with their quantum powers.            parents filled with pride over their exploits and achievements.
Nova parents will have to provide all of the expected necessities       Closer allies than one’s own spouse and children cannot be asked
(food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc.), which can be quite a     for. As adults, a nova couple’s grown-up children can typically
hassle even with the aid of quantum powers. Nova infants                be relied on for both the little things (helping their parents move
typically share the enormous appetite of adult novas, even if it’s      into a new home) and the great (taking care of their elderly



                                                     ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                          ABERRANT

parents). The True 2ndGens’ high resistance to Taint will also       some way is a waste of time and effort. It’s not a question of
prove a comfort to their parents, who will have seen far too         Trog 2ndGens being either born as or made into monsters, as
many former friends and colleagues become irreparably twisted        both nature and nurture conspire to make them into
by the taint. Finally, breeder novas with children have a more-      abominations.
or-less concrete legacy that will remain in the world when they
pass away, and they will (hopefully) be remembered by their
descendants with love and respect. This is especially ironic,        L’Enfants Terrible
considering that knowledge of so many of the heroic novas and              On rare occasion, a couple comprised of latent novas
their good deeds has either been forgotten or deliberately           and/or High-Quantum baselines will manage to give birth to a
suppressed by Aeon by the Trinity era.                               2ndGen nova infant. Even if the baby is a True 2ndGen, the
                                                                     hapless parents are going to be in for a very difficult time. (Trog
                                                                     2ndGens will either be abandoned or possibly killed at birth by
Scions of Teras and Taint                                            their parents, if they can manage it.) Lacking any way to defend
      Much of what has been said on the parenting of nova            themselves against the infant’s nova capabilities, the baseline
children has been mainly applicable to the True 2ndGen novas         parents of a 2ndGen nova child at best will be living under the
and their parents. But what of the progeny of the Teragen, or        constant threat of injury, mental domination or death due to
the spawn of the highly-tainted breeder novas? As could only be      inadvertent or deliberate power use. At worst, the parents can
expected for novas who have either rejected their baseline           easily find themselves trapped in a nightmarish existence
human heritage or lost it to taint, their “family” situations are    straight out of a horror movie. In these situations, most such
quite different. For the Terat 2ndGens, the main differences         baseline couples will gladly give up their nova offspring to be
from their True counterparts is an increased vulnerability to        adopted and raised by other novas.
Taint and having no limits on their Mega-Attribute and quantum
power ratings, both of which makes raising Terat 2ndGens...
difficult, at best. There also hasn’t been much in the way of        Playing 2ndGen Novas
family bonding for Terat 2ndGens, as the only parents they have            Despite the best efforts of Director Thetis and Project
ever known are Bounty, Jeremiah Scripture and Divis Mal. (Plans      Proteus, the second generation novas have been born and are
have been made to have the 2ndGens adopted by Terat foster           now available as player characters (at your Storyteller’s
parents at Badanah in coming years, but it remains to be seen if     discretion). The progeny of two fertile novas, these children can
anything will come of that after the Night of Long Knives.) Given    attain levels of power that few outside of the Teragen have any
up to Bounty’s care by their biological parents, these nova          inkling of in 2015. However, the 2ndGens’ potential for extreme
children have literally been raised in the ways of Teras and the     power is counterbalanced by their immaturity and inexperience.
Chrysalis by Scripture, thanks to his powers over                    Barring the odd 2ndGen nova with an accelerated growth cycle,
communication. Having been raised free from baseline                 in 2015 even the oldest known 2ndGen novas will only be in their
expectations and connections, the Teragen’s stated intention is      mid-teens, with the vast majority of 2ndGens being either pre-
for these children to become living exemplars of Teras, for          adolescent or still in diapers. Not only will the 2ndGens face the
other novas to rally around when the conflict between novas and      difficulties of nova life, they also get to deal with all the “joys”
baseline humanity breaks out into open warfare. The reality of       of being kids. Add in a whole grocers’ list of people who want to
the situation is that too many Terats have little if any parental    either recruit, exploit or kill these child-gods, and you have what
bonds with their 2ndGen progeny, and see them only as useful         could only be called an “interesting” (as in the Chinese curse)
pawns in the continuing conflicts both with baseline humanity        childhood and a certifiable roleplaying challenge. If that sounds
and between the Terats themselves. Aside from Bounty, the            appealing to you, read on...
Terat 2ndGens have few if any defenders within the Teragen,          The Basic Template
and their survival is by no means assured, especially as they will
likely turn out just as egomaniacal as their elders. For the Trog          2ndGen novas are created much like other Aberrant
2ndGens, their family situations tend to range from “bad” to         characters, except for having several additional benefits and
“worse” to “abysmal”. These nova offspring are not only born         limitations that are unique to these “natural born novas”.
mentally warped by taint, but also by the experience of being                2ndGen novas do not erupt, but are born with their
raised by insane, dysfunctional and quite possibly abusive           quantum powers and will grow into them naturally.
parents. Highly-tainted breeder novas also tend to either lead               2ndGen novas start with +20 nova points in addition to
dangerous lives or tend not to be strong believers in permanent      the level of nova points used in the chronicle (Aberrant Players
mating relationships, which results in a higher than average rate    Guide, pp. 66-68). As the other characters in an Aberrant
of single mothers among these novas, with all the additional         chronicle usually won’t be the parents of a 2ndGen character, this
problems that implies. Add in the fact that these little monsters    shouldn’t be taken a reliable indicator of the power levels of a
don’t have any limits on their base Attribute, Mega-Attribute        2ndGen character’s parents.
and quantum power ratings, and you have the makings of a truly               2ndGen novas cannot gain Taint from having a high rating
hellish family life. As most Trog 2ndGens will only receive          of the Node Background. The individual farahcyte cells that
cursory care from their parents at best, they quickly learn that     would form the M-R node in a first generation nova’s brain are
caring for other beings who cannot immediately benefit them in       instead evenly distributed throughout the grey matter of a
                                                                     2ndGen nova’s brain, so there is no possibility of brain damage.


                                                                RULES
                                                               ABERRANT

            2ndGen novas have their life expectancy increased by        Apotheosis, the Storyteller can then switch to awarding that
    +50% longer than that of first generation novas, even before        character experience points just like any other Aberrant
    any dots of Mega-Stamina are factored in.                           character. The third method is to award experience points to
            2ndGen novas cannot buy Tainted Quantum, Mega-              2ndGen nova characters normally, but let them use the following
    Attributes, enhancements or quantum powers with either nova         chart for purchasing quantum-related items with experience
    points or experience points.                                        points after they undergo Apotheosis. Storytellers who want to
            2ndGen novas cannot take the Dormancy Background, as        really emphasize the extreme potential of the 2ndGen novas may
    they literally have no “baseline selves”.                           also use the first or second methods along with the third, at their
            2ndGen novas cannot have an active Quantum rating           discretion.
    higher than 5 until they undergo Apotheosis and come into their
    full power. However, a 2ndGen nova character can purchase
    more than 5 dots of Quantum, with the additional dots                  Trait Increase                               Cost
    representing “untapped potential” that the character cannot use             Mega-Attribute                         CR x3*
    until Apotheosis takes place.                                               Quantum Power (Level 1)          current rating x 2*
            2ndGen novas must take one of the Clade packages (True,             Quantum Power (Level 2)          current rating x 3*
    Terat or Trog).                                                             Quantum Power (Level 3)          current rating x 5*
            Unless your Aberrant chronicle takes place after 2015,              Quantum Power (Level 4)          current rating x 7*
    all 2ndGen novas must take some level of the Adolescent/Child               Quantum Power (Level 5)          current rating x 9*
    Flaw. 2ndGen characters who have already reached maturity via               Quantum Power (Level 6)          current rating x 12*
    the Accelerated Maturation enhancement might also be allowed,               Quantum                          current rating x 6*
    but only at the Storyteller’s discretion.                                   Quantum Pool                          2 per dot
                                                                           New Trait                                    Cost
Apotheosis                                                                      Background                               1**
      Despite having been born with the ability to manipulate                   Enhancement                               3*
quantum, 2ndGen nova children won’t start to develop their true                 Mega-Attribute                            3*
potential until sometime during puberty. At that point, 2ndGen                  Quantum Power (Level 1)                   2*
children will undergo a process called Apotheosis that’s similar to             Quantum Power (Level 2)                   3*
the eruptions of their parents, if far less traumatic. While there is           Quantum Power (Level 3)                   5*
no physical trauma associated with Apotheosis, a 2ndGen nova                    Quantum Power (Level 4)                   7*
must still adjust to her greatly expanded powers and capabilities.              Quantum Power (Level 5)                  9*
The exact details of the effects of undergoing Apotheosis have                  Quantum Power (Level 6)                  12*
been left to the Storyteller’s discretion, but they all involve a
dramatic increase in a 2ndGen nova’s power. The exact time at                   * Cannot be purchased Tainted.
which Apotheosis will occur will vary (and will also be at the                  **(This reduced cost applies only to available quantum-
Storyteller’s discretion), as some precocious 2ndGen might                 related backgrounds such as Attunement and Node.)
undergo it as soon as they hit puberty, while late bloomers could               Extras for an existing quantum power are bought at 50%
undergo it during their mid- to late-teen years. Many other                (round up) of the difference between total normal cost with &
factors can also influence the timing of a 2ndGen’s Apotheosis,            without the Extra (Aberrant core book, p. 230).
similar to the factors that can trigger eruption in first generation
novas.
                                                                        clade [kleyd] - noun, Biology
                                                                             A taxonomic group of organisms classified together on the
    Fast-Track Development                                              basis of homologous features traced to a common ancestor.
          There are three ways to depict in game terms the rapid
    increase in power that 2ndGen novas will exhibit as they grow
    into their full power. The first method hews closely to the         The Clades
    speculations of Dr. Toiho (see Aberrant: Project Utopia pp. 138-         The tendency to see all individuals belonging to a given
    139), as 2ndGen characters will use the standard experience         category as a unified group – especially if the category in
    point costs, but will also be granted a windfall of anywhere        question is seen as dangerous and/or just very different – is a
    between 50 to 100 additional nova points (Storyteller’s             common human failing. Even in the Nova Age, things are no
    discretion) when they undergo Apotheosis. The second method         different, especially when it comes to such a small and
    is to grant a 2ndGen character a variable amount of nova points     mysterious category as the 2ndGen novas. Despite their potential
    instead of experience points at the end of every story until that   power being more theorized about than documented, the 2ndGen
    character undergoes Apotheosis. Over the duration of a 2ndGen       novas are commonly considered by those few who know of them
    nova’s pre-Apotheosis “adventuring” life (which can be              to be monolithic in what they have to offer humanity, either in
    anywhere from four to ten years of game time), the Storyteller      aid or harm. As always, the situation is more complex than most
    should expect to to grant that character the allotment of 50 to     people realize. 2ndGen novas are not one homogenous group, and
    100 additional nova points. After a 2ndGen nova undergoes           never were. Most of them aren’t even organized into formal



                                                       ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                            ABERRANT

groups at all, which is understandable given how many of them          overcome this difficulty after the initial meeting. Keep in mind
are still under the age of 10 by 2015. Instead, they are split into    that this penalty will always be applied to a True’s initial social
three separate populations, with their membership in a                 interactions with baseline humans, however. Trues will find
population being largely determined by how their parents dealt         xenophilic and/or “marginal” baselines (eccentrics, minorities
(or failed to deal) with their own Taint. Each clade has their own     and other “fellow outsiders”) the easiest to get along with.
special assortment of perks and problems, with the only common         Baselines who are xenophobic can’t overcome their aversion to
factor being that these children of the Nova Age will all              a True without appropriate psychotherapy, while
eventually be hunted for the sake of their potential power. To         prejudiced/bigoted baselines will refuse to do so without the
those who seek to either establish or maintain their rule over the     psychological impact of a “life-changing event” or something
Earth, the 2ndGen novas appear to be the ultimate commodities...       similarly dramatic.
or threats. Conflict is assured.                                               Ironically, Trues also have problems when socially
Trues                                                                  interacting with both heavily Tainted novas and Terat novas.
                                                                       Sensing the increased power of a True without the
           The children of two nova parents with little or no
                                                                       accompanying Taint that they’re accustomed to can put heavily
permanent Taint. These are the 2ndGens that one of the
                                                                       Tainted novas and Terat novas on edge, as something about the
Aberrant writers hinted at in the “Very Low Taint” rules on p.
                                                                       True just seems off-kilter, impossible or just flat-out wrong. In
68 of the Aberrant Players Guide. They are sometimes known
                                                                       game terms, Trues suffer a difficulty penalty of +2 on rolls for
to inherit parental aberrations by manifesting them as false
                                                                       social interactions with heavily Tainted novas and Terat novas.
aberrations (a.k.a. taking aberrations as Flaws), but are
                                                                               Trues can take false aberrations as Flaws to reduce their
otherwise highly Taint-resistant. (It’s the player’s choice as to
                                                                       Adversarial Background ratings, with each point from a false
whether or not this happens, as is which aberrations the 2ndGen
                                                                       aberration Flaw replacing 1 dot of an Adversarial Background.
character will manifest.)
                                                                       These false aberrations can be either inherited from a parent or
     Benefit:
                                                                       be original to the True. In the latter case, the false aberrations
        Increased Taint Resistance: Trues cannot gain Taint
                                                                       can be reflective of a parent’s quantum powers if desired. In any
from purchasing high Quantum, and automatically have the Taint
                                                                       case, a True cannot develop mental aberrations in this manner.
Resistance Merit (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 76). Trues use the
                                                                       Physical aberrations which aren’t repulsive to baselines are
“Very Low Taint” rules on p. 68 of the Aberrant Players Guide,
                                                                       allowed, as are quantum aberrations which are not harmful to
as they can gain temporary Taint from Power Strain & Rapid
                                                                       the True or those around him or her. Trues will be most likely to
Recovery, but only in the most extreme cases (such as Power
                                                                       have “special effect” aberrations, although aberrations which
Strain caused by maxing a Level 4 power several times in the
                                                                       can make a True’s life interesting (in a non-threatening,
space of an hour).
                                                                       comedic sense) are also possible.
     Problems:
                                                                               As an adaptation to aid their survival to adulthood, pre-
        The main problem faced by True 2ndGens is the intense
                                                                       Apotheosis Trues have an age-based maximum limit on the dot
interest that certain factions of both nova and baseline society
                                                                       ratings of their quantum powers and Mega-Attributes. This
will have in using them, once they become aware of their
                                                                       makes them somewhat less of a hazard to their parents’ health,
existence. The combination of a potential for extreme power
                                                                       wealth and peace of mind; and also forces them to develop a
and a lack of Taint will make these kids either extremely
                                                                       wider base for their future quantum power development. Pre-
valuable or dangerous in the eyes of the various factions. Some
                                                                       Apotheosis Trues of 13 to 16 years of age are limited to 3 dots,
of the factions won’t hesitate to recruit, indoctrinate & exploit
                                                                       those from 7 to 12 years of age are limited to 2 dots, and those
these young novas by any means necessary; and they simply
                                                                       who are 6 years and younger are limited to 1 dot. Also, Pre-
won’t care to hear any objections from their parents. Other
                                                                       Apotheosis Trues in these age ranges are unable to develop the
factions will see a True as posing just as much of a potential
                                                                       Mastery Extra. The silver lining to this cloud is that these Trues
threat as the Terat and Trog 2ndGens, and may decide to strike
                                                                       are better able to manipulate their quantum energies at this
at a True while he or she is still relatively weak. For this reason,
                                                                       reduced power level, and can ignore botches on their power
the Storyteller will assign True 2ndGens a variable number of
                                                                       rolls, treating them as simple failures instead. This mixed
dots in the “Skeleton in the Closet” or “Wanted” Adversarial
                                                                       blessing/curse is lost when the True undergoes Apotheosis & his
Backgrounds as appropriate. The True will receive no
                                                                       or her full power kicks in. At that time, the Storyteller may make
compensatory points for this burden. These dots cannot be
                                                                       up for that loss by assigning the True additional dots of the
bought off, as the factions’ interest in either exploiting or
                                                                       “Skeleton in the Closet” or “Wanted” Adversarial Backgrounds,
eliminating a known True 2ndGen will only increase in the years
                                                                       to reflect an increased interest the factions will have in a True
leading up to the Aberrant War.
                                                                       once his or her full power becomes evident. Mega-Intelligent
        Just from being born as novas (and never having been
                                                                       pre-Apotheosis Trues with the Precocity enhancement still
baseline humans), Trues can seem very strange to baseline
                                                                       qualify for this limitation, despite their accelerated intellects.
humans at first, and they can also sometimes lack insight into
and/or sympathy for the problems that baseline humanity has to         Terats
deal with. In game terms, Trues have a +2 difficulty penalty on             These are the offspring of two 1stGen Terat novas that
their initial social interactions with baseline humans. In both        have gone through the Chrysalis. The Teragen always intended
cases, sustained positive social interaction (which includes such      for their offspring to grow up free from baseline influences and
things as empathy, respect, compassion and good manners) can           expectations, and they have succeeded for the most part.


                                                                  RULES
                                                           ABERRANT

      Benefit:                                                                As children of the Teragen, Terat 2ndGens are essentially
        Born to Teras: Due to the influence of the Chrysalis on       born with bull’s-eyes on them. From the viewpoint of Aeon and
their parents, Terat 2ndGens do not have the same resistance to       the rest of the baseline world, Terat 2ndGens are a deadly threat
Taint that the Trues do. Terats do not gain permanent Taint           to be “nipped in the bud” whenever possible. For this reason,
from having too much Quantum or Node; and cannot buy Tainted          the Storyteller will assign Terat 2ndGens a variable number of
Quantum, Mega-Attributes, enhancements or quantum powers.             dots in the “Skeleton in the Closet” or “Wanted” Adversarial
Terats can (and will) gain permanent Taint from accumulating          Backgrounds as appropriate. The Terat 2ndGen will receive no
excessive temporary Taint. Terats can gain temporary Taint            compensatory points for this burden. These dots cannot be
through Power Strain, Rapid Recovery and Mental Disorders.            bought off, as the collective reputation of the Teragen will only
Also, they cannot have the have Taint Resistance Merit. This          grow worse in the years leading up to the Aberrant War.
vulnerability to Taint is necessary for Terat 2ndGens to engage               Terat 2ndGens can also inherit actual aberrations from
in the Chrysalis. Since they have been schooled in Teras almost       their parents to reduce their Adversarial Background ratings.
from birth, Terat 2ndGens automatically have both an archetype        Inherited aberrations will be priced as Flaws (for this purpose
and 1 dot of Chrysalis. This is what allows them to accumulate        only), with every 2 points from inherited aberrations replacing 1
Chrysalis as 1stGen Terats do when performing actions that are        dot of the “Skeleton in the Closet” or “Wanted” Adversarial
in line with their archetype, although Terat 2ndGens only pay 5       Backgrounds. These aberrations can be of any kind, but must be
quantum points to turn a point of temporary Taint into                ones derived from a parent’s Chrysalis. Ironically, this will
temporary Chrysalis. They also do not use the Chrysalis               increase the chance that the parent an aberration is inherited
experience point chart on p. 125 of Aberrant: Teragen, as they        from may actually take an interest in his or her offspring’s well-
instead use the experience point chart from “Fast-Track               being, and perhaps might act as a Mentor to the child. That the
Development” for all purchases of quantum traits. They do find        child would also inherit the emnity of the parent’s Terat rivals is
entering a Chrysalis somewhat easier, as they roll against their      only to be expected. In game terms, the Terat 2ndGen with a
Chrysalis without the normal +2 difficulty penalty and only have      parental Mentor rating gained in this way must also have an
to pay 8 quantum points. The amount of time that a Terat              equal rating of the “Rival” Adversarial Background.
2ndGen will spend in a Chrysalis is also drastically shortened, as            As their conception is a direct result of Bounty’s fertility
the duration of the Chrysalis will only be 1 day per experience       powers, nearly all Terat 2ndGens have inherited the genetic
point spent while in Chrysalis.                                       alteration that Utopia inflicted on their parents. Save for those
      Problems:                                                       few whose parents have either never been exposed to the
        The main problem of being a child of the Teragen is that      Utopian sterility cocktail or erupted with the Health
it’s somewhat like being born into the European aristocracy           enhancement, Terat 2ndGens are naturally sterile from birth.
during the Renaissance. Despite having the potential for great                Terat 2ndGens also tend to be more than a little self-
power, Terat 2ndGens are often viewed as pawns by their elders;       absorbed, which isn’t surprising given how egomania runs
to be cultivated, manipulated, and when necessary (or desired)        unchecked among their elders. Terat 2ndGens must make a
sacrificed for personal gain. Aside from Bounty (and perhaps          Willpower roll (without penalties) in order to put aside their
Divis Mal and Scripture), few of the 1stGen Terats feel any           self-interest for the sake of anyone who isn’t a Terat or could
parental bonds with their 2ndGen offspring. This makes for a          become one in the future.
dangerous situation for Terat 2ndGens to live in, especially as       Trogs
Bounty has few true allies amongst her fellow Terats. Many
                                                                           These are the offspring of two heavily-Tainted novas, and
Flaws and Adversarial Backgrounds can be used to reflect the
                                                                      conform closely to the true “aberrants” seen in Trinity. Trogs
perils that Terat 2ndGens will encounter from within the
                                                                      are generally considered to be Taint-ridden abominations by
Teragen.
                                                                      baselines and other novas. Even the Teragen (save for the
        From birth, Terat 2ndGens have been taught to reject
                                                                      Harvesters) look down on them for their inability to deal with
their baseline heritage and to view baselines as lesser beings.
                                                                      their Taint. These “Funky Taint Babies” practically reek of
Combined with the fact they they have never been baseline
                                                                      Taint, and baselines are far more likely to refer to a Trog as “it”
humans, this makes for a marked lack of sympathy, compassion
                                                                      rather than “him” or “her”. Unless a group of Aberrant gamers
and respect for baselines among many Terat 2ndGens. Even
                                                                      (and their Storyteller) really want to play in an angst-fest
those who aren’t openly contemptuous and/or dismissive of
                                                                      chronicle, these 2ndGens are best left as Storyteller characters.
baseline humanity will still tend to treat baselines with an air of
                                                                           Benefit:
superiority and noblesse oblige, and will see baselines as
                                                                              Born Aberrant: Unlike other novas, Trogs are not taken
animalistic creatures who shouldn’t be expected to know any
                                                                      out of play when they finally accumulate 10 dots of permanent
better and are perhaps to be pitied. Even the most tolerant
                                                                      Taint. Instead, they face the unenviable prospect of becoming
baselines will take offense at this, resulting in Terat 2ndGens
                                                                      even more Tainted. A side-effect of this allows Trogs to
suffering an additional +2 difficulties on their rolls for social
                                                                      sidestep the normal limits on physical Attribute ratings imposed
interactions with baselines. And since a belief in nova superiority
                                                                      by the Adolescent/Child Flaw. Thanks to the Taint, Trogs aren’t
(if not outright supremacy) is a cornerstone of Teras, Terat
                                                                      exactly children and don’t share all of their limits.
2ndGens will almost never seek to remedy this fault in their
                                                                           For each dot of permanent Taint gained after the tenth, a
education.
                                                                      Trog will:




                                                   ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                          ABERRANT

             suffer an additional +1 difficulty penalty on social    difficulties of growing up as a Trog, and it’s easy to see why so
rolls with baseline humans (and most other sapients).                many Trogs wind up becoming monsters by deed as well as birth.
             develop two high-level aberrations, or the                      Last but hardly least, Trogs are surprisingly sensitive to
equivalent in lesser aberrations. In this case, one high-level       noetic energies. Not only can they (and any use of their powers)
aberration is equal to two medium-level aberrations or four low-     be detected with psionic Attunement and the Cognitive Modes
level aberrations. The Storyteller is free to “mix and match”        (Telepathy & Clairsentience), but Trogs will also be quite
aberrations of differing levels to inflict on the Trog as she        vulnerable to psionic attacks. Attempts to detect a Trog by
pleases.                                                             psionic Attunement will receive a difficulty modifier, with
             suffer from an increased vulnerability to noetic        penalties to detect the weaker Trogs and bonuses to detect
energies beyond that of other Trogs. In game terms, Trogs with       strong Trogs (Storyteller’s discretion as to which Trogs qualify
permanent Taint ratings of 11+ are twice as likely to be detected    as “weak” or “strong”). Psions will receive an automatic success
through psionic Attunement, and their vulnerability to psionic       to detect a Trog powerful enough to be rated as a “Prime
attack becomes even greater.                                         Threat” in Trinity terms. The details of a Trog’s vulnerability to
      Problems:                                                      psionic attack have been left to the Storyteller’s discretion; her
        Unlike other 2ndGen novas, Trogs are not highly resistant    options include reducing a Trog’s soak rating, adding dice to
to Taint – in fact, they’re even more vulnerable to it than their    psionic attacks made against the Trog, and treating the damage
parents! Trog 2ndGens can gain temporary Taint through Power         a Trog takes from psionic attacks as lethal if bashing and
Strain, Rapid Recovery, and mental disorders just like 1stGen        aggravated if lethal.
novas, and can gain permanent Taint by accumulating temporary
Taint. Trogs also use the “High Taint” rules on p. 68 of the
Aberrant Players Guide (they automatically receive 1 dot of
permanent Taint per dot of Quantum possessed), but cannot
                                                                     Aberrations,
gain Taint from the Node background. Trogs cannot have the
“Taint Resistant” Merit.
        Trogs don’t inherit Taint as such from their parents, but
                                                                     Enhancements &
they will be born with a number of aberrations (and the
accompanying social penalties) equal to the combined total of
                                                                     Powers
their parents’ aberrations in addition to those derived from their
own Taint. These inherited aberrations will usually match those
of the parents, although the Storyteller is within her rights to     Existing Aberrations &
prohibit incompatible combinations of aberrations. Trogs will
also start out with at least one mental aberration chosen for        Enhancements
them by the Storyteller (with the player’s input, in the case of a         Very few aberrations, Mega-Attribute enhancements,
PC Trog). The Storyteller is within her rights to forbid a Trog      quantum powers or body modifications factor into either the
from taking the “Mega-Attractive” form of the Mega-                  reproductive or maturation processes of novas directly.
Appearance attribute. Similarly, the Storyteller may make Trogs      Common sense is your best guide in deciding whether a given
incapable of using Mega-Charisma in a positive manner with           aberration will interfere with a nova’s attempts to reproduce,
baselines who are not insane.                                        although the Storyteller still has the final say in this matter. A
        Like the Terat 2ndGens, Trogs are also considered            nova whose body has been permanently transformed into some
threats to be disposed of ASAP by Aeon & the rest of baseline        living inorganic substance will certainly be sterile, as will a nova
humanity. For this reason, the Storyteller will assign Trogs a       that continually emits dangerous levels of radiation or other
variable number of dots in the “Skeleton in the Closet” or           energies. Novas with the Sexless aberration (Aberrant Players
“Wanted” Adversarial Backgrounds as appropriate. The Trog            Guide, p.93) are completely incapable of reproduction. As for
will receive no compensatory points for this burden. These dots      the existing enhancements, only two are known to have much
cannot be bought off, as the collective reputation of Trogs and      effect on a nova’s fertility. Health (Aberrant Players Guide,
other Taint-ridden novas will only grow worse in the years           p.103) not only allows a nova to better resist the sterility
leading up to the Aberrant War.                                      cocktails of Project Utopia, it also adds +5% to his or her
        Highly Tainted novas can theoretically make halfway-         fertility rating. The other relevant enhancement is Fertility, a
decent parents for a Trog, but that is rare in the extreme. A        revised version of which replaces the previous version and is
Trog could (and likely will) have all sorts of personal problems     fully compliant with the new material. None of the existing body
(Flaws, mostly) stemming from parental abuse and/or neglect.         modifications have any direct effect on a nova’s fertility.
Even without those problems, Trogs are deeply dysfunctional          Likewise, none of the existing aberrations, enhancements or
people (to use the term very loosely). Codependencies,               body modifications have any direct effect on the maturation of a
perverted affection and twisted love-hate relationships are          nova child.
what Trogs have in place of the healthy social relationships         Fertility (Mega-Stamina)
enjoyed by most baselines. In general, Trogs are incapable of             The bodies of novas with Mega-Stamina are optimized to
functioning in any reliable or healthy way. Add in the expected      function marvelously well, resulting in a degree of physical
                                                                     health that baselines and novas lacking Mega-Stamina simply



                                                                RULES
                                                           ABERRANT

cannot achieve. There is a glaring exception to this, though:         motherhunters. Even the use of powers such as Shapeshift,
many novas are sterile for some reason. Despite this, some            Sizemorph, Bodymorph, or Matter Chameleon will not harm the
independent paraphysicians theorize that certain novas could          child. If the mother accumulates temporary or permanent Taint,
possess or develop superhuman reproductive capacity, although         her child will remain unaffected.
these claims are inevitably ridiculed and dismissed by Utopia-                 The nova’s chances for pregnancy complications are
backed paraphysicians and researchers into nova biology. If a         either reduced to 25% of the normal value (rounded up) in the
nova did have such an ability, he or she would do well to keep it a   case of moderate to heavy parental Taint, or negated
secret for as long as possible, or risk being hunted down and         completely if the chance was only 10%.
murdered by Utopian (and Proteus) deathsquads...                               All of the nova’s offspring will be second-generation
      System: The basic form (one level) of this enhancement          novas, regardless of the father’s specific classification
provides several advantages. First off, it subtracts the nova’s       (assumuing that there is a father).
Mega-Stamina from the Virulence Rating of any contraceptive                    If desired, the nova can spend a quantum point to release
or sterility-causing chemical, disease or effect; including those     2 or 3 eggs prior to conception, resulting in the birth of healthy
caused by quantum powers. This is wholly cumulative with the          fraternal twins or triplets, respectively.
effects of the Adaptability and Health enhancements. Second, it                If the nova still wants to become a mother but cannot
makes the nova more likely to either become pregnant (if              find a suitable nova male to father her child, she can spend 2
female) or cause a pregnancy (if male) after a single                 quantum points and roll Stamina. Even 1 success on the roll
unprotected sexual encounter, as the nova’s fertility rating is       means that the nova becomes pregnant through
increased by 20%. If two levels of this enhancement are taken,        parthenogenesis. The pregnancy will be normal (for a nova
the nova’s fertility rating is increased by 40% instead. Third,       pregnancy, anyway), but the resulting healthy female infant will
the nova’s reproductive span is increased, allowing the nova to       effectively be a genetic clone of her mother. If the nova mother
sire or bear children without difficulty until he or she has lived    also has the Yin-Yang Mega-Appearance enhancement, she can
through 90% of his or her total lifespan. (This limitation can be     spend an extra quantum point (for a total of 3 q.p.) to conceive
sidestepped if the nova is restored to physical youth with the        and bear a cross-gender clone of herself. The resulting healthy
Age Alteration technique of Temporal Manipulation.)                   male infant will be a genetic clone of his mother except for
Fortunately, the fourth benefit gained by the nova is complete        having a “Y” chromosome instead of a second “X” chromosome.
control over his or her own fertility rating, as he or she can        This form of reproduction does have its advantages, but can
switch between being sterile (fertility rating of 0%) or being        seriously deplete a population’s genetic diversity over the long
fertile (normal fertility rating) as an automatic action. This        term, making this an emergency measure at best.
benefit functions regardless of any other fertility-inducing                If a male nova buys two levels of this enhancement, he
effects – including this enhancement, if the nova’s partner           gains the following benefits:
happens to have it as well! Female novas with one level of                     By selecting which gametes to release, the nova can
Fertility will also have their chances for pregnancy complications    choose the gender of any children he sires.
either reduced by half in the case of moderate to heavy parental               The chances for complications in any pregnancy the nova
Taint, or negated completely if the chance was only 1%. Finally,      causes are either reduced by half in the case of moderate to
novas of both genders that have been sterilized (by the Utopian       heavy parental Taint, or negated completely if the chance was
sterility cocktail or by other means) can permanently overcome        only 1%.
the induced sterility by purchasing one level of this enhancement              If he wants to, the nova can spend 2 quantum points and
with experience points.                                               roll Stamina when causing a pregnancy. Even 1 success on the
      If a female nova buys two levels of this enhancement, she       roll means that the nova’s partner will give birth to healthy
gains the following benefits:                                         identical twins – 4 or more successes indicates healthy identical
         The nova no longer has to menstruate, nor does she           triplets! For best results, the nova’s partner should be a nova
suffer from PMS or the later problems of menopause.                   herself with two levels of the Fertility enhancement. The nova
         After conception, the nova does not have to endure           should also tell his partner about this beforehand – otherwise,
many of the problems of both pregnancy and delivery. She              he risks being skinned alive, horsewhipped, or strangled by his
doesn’t suffer from morning sickness at all. Her nervous system       justifiably irate sweetheart!
automatically adjusts for the changes in her center of balance              Note: Depending on how your Storyteller decides this
and her musculoskeletal system, making her much less awkward          enhancement should function, female novas with both Fertility
than a pregnant baseline woman. The nova’s metabolism kicks           and the Adaptability enhancement may need to resume a regular
into high gear, allowing her to remain physically active during       diet of healthy food and drink for the duration of the pregnancy.
pregnancy when other mothers-to-be would find themselves              The details of a “healthy diet” may vary for nova mothers-to-be
exhausted. The nova’s pelvis becomes inhumanly flexible and           with the True Omnivore enhancement or the Altered Diet body
certain arrays of pain receptors are temporarily shut down            modification. Just imagine the weird food cravings they could
during labor, allowing for deliveries that are nearly painless        get! To heck with pickles and ice cream – what if such a
when compared to those of baseline mothers.                           pregnant nova started craving uranium?
         The nova may use her quantum powers to the fullest                 This enhancement is permanent, and ordinarily has no
while pregnant without the slightest risk of harming the unborn       quantum point cost. The exceptions to this have already been
child – a definite plus when defending oneself against Utopian        noted above.



                                                   ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                           ABERRANT

                                                                      extremely rapid, and he will be able to learn things with speeds
New Enhancements                                                      normally seen only in Mega-Intelligent novas. (The Storyteller is
Accelerated Gestation (Mega-                                          encouraged to waive the matter of training times completely in
                                                                      this situation.) Depending on how the nova’s player and/or the
Stamina)                                                              Storyteller decide this enhancement should function, the nova
      Prerequisite: One level of the Fertility enhancement.           may either simply develop quickly or he may go through one or
      With all the dangers posed to nova parents and their            more periods of metamorphosis. In the latter case, the nova will
offspring in the Nova Age, taking a full nine months to conceive      pupate at certain stages of his development, forming a cocoon
a child and carry it safely to term can be just too much of a risk.   very similar to that developed by novas undergoing the
In response to this evolutionary pressure, certain Mega-              Teragen’s Chrysalis. The nova will only remain in the cocoon for
Vigorous novas have developed an appropriate countermeasure.          a short period of time (determined by the Storyteller), from
      System: This enhancement allows a female nova (or a nova        which he will emerge noticeably older. When the age of maturity
with either the Yin-Yang enhancement or the Hermaphrodite             is reached, the nova’s aging rate will slow down to the normal
aberration) to safely carry a fetus to term in a dramatically         rate for a nova with his Mega-Stamina rating, or even slower if
shorter period of time than a baseline woman can. Fertile male        he has either of the Adaptability or Unaging enhancements. The
novas with the three nova point version of the Parasitic              nova will lose all levels of this enhancement when he reaches
Gestation body modification can also take this enhancement, in        maturity, which will be replaced with different Mega-Stamina
which case it affects the prenatal development rate of any            enhancements of the Storyteller’s choosing. At the Storyteller’s
children they manage to sire. Up to four levels of this               discretion, the nova may have to consume huge quantities of
enhancement can be taken, with each level reducing the time           food (equivalent to the amounts consumed by novas with the
period used to measure the duration of a female nova’s                Ravenous aberration) for the duration of his period of
pregnancy by one category. So where a typical baseline woman’s        accelerated growth in order to ensure normal development. This
pregnancy (from conception to delivery) would last for nine           enhancement has no quantum point cost, and lasts for the
months, the pregnancy of a nova with one level of Accelerated         duration of the nova’s period of immaturity.
Gestation would last for only nine weeks. This becomes nine           Mental Prodigy: Survival
days with two levels of this enhancement, nine hours with three
levels, and nine minutes with four levels. Not only does this make    (Mega-Intelligence)
pregnancy more convenient for a nova mother, it also allows                No matter where on Earth a Survival Prodigy finds himself
fertile novas to reproduce at considerably faster rates than          (or elsewhere, in some cases), he will be able to survive with the
baseline humans. At the Storyteller’s discretion, a pregnant nova     ease of an experienced outdoorsman. A nova with this
with this enhancement may have to consume huge quantities of          enhancement has a natural genius for living without the comforts
food (equivalent to the amount consumed by novas with the             of civilization, as he can provide for himself – and for others, if
Ravenous aberration) for the duration of her pregnancy in order       need be – using the natural resources around him. If he actually
to ensure the normal development of her fetus. This                   has formal survival training (the Survival Ability), he can thrive
enhancement has no quantum point cost, and lasts for the              in the harshest of wildernesses and other inhospitable
duration of the pregnancy.                                            surroundings.
Accelerated Maturation (Mega-                                              System: Whenever the character is involved with situations
                                                                      or problems concerning survival in wilderness or hostile
Stamina)                                                              environments (a highly-tainted nova forced to live like an animal
      For the second generation novas (the offspring of two nova      would consider a baseline human community a hostile
parents), the times of childhood and adolescence are when they        environment), the player may make an Intelligence roll. For each
are the most vulnerable. Given the wide assortment of dangers         success achieved, he may roll an additional die when making
that they will face in the Nova Age, having to spend almost           Survival rolls and any other rolls related to surviving in
eighteen years in states of immaturity and adolescence before         uncivilized circumstances. (The Storyteller has full discretion as
becoming a capable adult can be more than some of these novas         to what qualifies as a “related” roll.) Activating this
can really afford. Certain Mega-Vigorous novas of the second          enhancement requires spending 1 quantum point, with the
generation have found a radical solution to this problem.             effects and bonuses lasting an hour or longer at the Storyteller’s
      System: This enhancement grants a second-generation             discretion.
child nova a dramatically shortened period of immaturity. Up to       Precocity (Mega-Intelligence)
four levels of Accelerated Maturation can be taken, with each
                                                                            Certain Mega-Intelligent second generation nova children
level shortening the duration of the nova’s childhood and
                                                                      have a hyper-accelerated rate of intellectual development,
adolescence in a not-quite-smooth curve of progression. For
                                                                      allowing them to achieve mental maturity long before their peers
purposes of this enhancement, “maturity” is defined as the
                                                                      will. Sadly, those novas are still every bit as emotionally
equivalent of seventeen years of age. With one level of
                                                                      immature as their peers, and they will not have the wisdom that
Accelerated Maturation, the nova would reach maturity at only
                                                                      only experience can grant. Even so, this can be a vital edge in
five years of age. This is reduced to one year with two levels,
                                                                      the conflicts that all second generation novas will face long
three months with three levels, and a mere twenty days with
                                                                      before they reach adulthood, especially if they can keep their
four levels. The nova’s development in all areas will be



                                                                 RULES
                                                          ABERRANT

adult antagonists ignorant of the true state of their intellects.    Awareness roll; with every 2 successes scored allowing an
Being underestimated has its benefits...                             additional conception roll to be made per month. This will
     System: Unlike other second generation nova children,           require the nova to stay close to his or her partner on a 24 hour,
those with this enhancement aren’t restricted to a maximum           7-days-a week basis until the partner reaches a point of peak
rating in their Intelligence-based Abilities, allowing them to       fertility. Couples attempting to conceive at that time will receive
function at an adult intellectual level. This enhancement is lost    a +5% bonus to their combined fertility rating. Alternatively, the
for good when the character reaches maturity (about 17 years of      nova can attempt to detect times of peak fertility in any
age), when it will be replaced with another Mega-Intelligence        potential mate he or she meets and gain the same bonus,
enhancement of the Storyteller’s choosing. This enhancement is       although whether or not that tactic is successful is up to random
permanent, and has no quantum point cost.                            chance (and the Storyteller’s whim). This body modification
                                                                     operates by detecting the natural pheromonal cues given off by
                                                                     the person in question, and the nova must come within three
New Body Modifications                                               meters of the subject in order to use it. At the Storyteller’s
        Augmented Fecundity (one nova point/ three experience        discretion, the nova may also determine the general nature of a
points)                                                              problem that makes a subject reproductively unfit (disease, drug
      This body modification allows a female breeder nova to         abuse, a serious genetic defect, etc.) with an Awareness roll.
consistently bear four offspring (on the average) per pregnancy.           Storyteller Note: Novas with the Fertility enhancement
Unlike female breeder novas who induce multiple births with two      who are currently sterile by choice will be detected as such by a
levels of the Fertility enhancement, a nova with Augmented           nova with this body modification, and cannot be differentiated
Fecundity does not have to make a Stamina roll or spend              from other sterile novas.
quantum points to produce these multiple offspring. This body                 Genetic Sampler (two nova points/ four experience
modification may be taken multiple times by female breeder           points)
novas whose bodies and/or methods of reproduction differ                   A nova with this body modification is capable of acquiring a
greatly from baseline human women.                                   sample of another human’s DNA through simple physical contact
        Enhanced Vomeronasal Organ (two nova points / four           with the target. All that’s required is for an area of the nova’s
experience points)                                                   bare skin equal to one fingertip to touch the bare skin or the
      The nova has an augmented vomeronasal organ (also              blood of the target for one turn. Even mundane clothing can
known as the Jacobson’s organ), which grants him an increased        prevent a target’s DNA from being sampled via the skin,
ability to detect pheromones by their scent. Not only can the        although such coverings offer no protection if they’re soaked
nova consciously detect and interpret the unconscious                with the target’s blood. Novas who either cannot be touched or
pheromonal signals of other humans, but he can “listen in” on        who don’t have DNA (due to using Matter Chameleon or
the interspecies pheromonal communications of the rest of            Bodymorph) cannot be sampled. While the genetic samples
Earth’s animal and plant populations. In game terms, the nova        gained can easily be used in conventional forensics or genetic
can detect pheromones and decipher the pheromonal                    testing (there’s no possibility of sample contamination), most
communications of humans and all other Terran organisms (and         novas with this body modification are female breeder novas who
certain alien ones, at the Storyteller’s discretion) with an         can use genetic samples from other humans (of either gender) to
Awareness roll. These communications will be extremely basic,        fertilize themselves without engaging in coitus. If the target
with most of them indicating the organism’s physical (and in the     human is a male, the female breeder nova can choose the gender
case of the higher animals, emotional) state. The range of these     of any children she conceives in this manner with a simple
pheromonal communications tends to be very short; in the             Perception roll. If the target is a woman, any children “sired” by
nova’s case he will be able to detect pheromones within a            the target in this manner will also be female. The nova is capable
number of meters equal to the nova’s (Perception) + (Mega-           of storing up to (Stamina) genetic samples acquired with this
Perception x 2). Finally, with this increased ability to notice      body modification for a duration of (Stamina + Mega-Stamina)
pheromones comes a better chance to resist their effects, as the     days, after which the samples will irreversibly degrade and
nova will automatically notice any pheromone-based effects that      become useless. Only one level of this body modification can be
others may try to use on him.                                        taken.
      As this body modification allows the nova to detect and                 Gestation Pouch (one nova point/ three experience
interpret the natural pheromone signals given off by other           points)
humans, it’s very useful for evaluating both potential mates and           This body modification is basically a large pouch that’s
potential sexual rivals. The nova can detect both the status and     specifically designed for only one purpose: to carry a human
fitness (in terms of reproduction) of humans of both genders. A      fetus safely to term. Much like the Pouch body modification, this
subject’s reproductive status will include facts such as actual      extra physical structure is typically located on the abdomen at
gender, sexual maturity, and current fertility. If the subject is    stomach level, although female novas will have it sited on the
female, the nova can also detect whether she’s pregnant or           upper back instead. The pouch will function just as well as (if not
lactating. Reproductive fitness will include the presence (or lack   better than) an actual uterus, although the fetus will have to be
of same) of problems such as genetic damage, disease, drug           transplanted into the pouch from the mother’s uterus, either by
abuse and chemical contamination. It’s also possible for the nova    means of the Parasitic Gestation body modification or through
to detect when his or her partner is most fertile with an            surgical procedures. Fortunately, the birth of the transplanted



                                                  ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                              ABERRANT

infant will be unbelievably easy, as the nova’s pouch will simply        fetus, resulting in a +2 difficulty penalty on all Stamina rolls. The
(and painlessly) open up on its own at the correct moment.               host will also find his or her body becoming awkward as this
Despite certain cultural preconceptions, novas of either gender          parasitic pregnancy progresses – male hosts get a -2 dice
can have this body modification. Male novas with this body               penalty on Dexterity rolls for moving around starting at the
modification that are hosting a fetus will be slightly more              second trimester, while female hosts will suffer the normal
awkward than a female nova would, as the male body isn’t really          difficulties of pregnancy. At the time of birth, the fetus’ mutated
designed for carrying an unborn infant around as internally-             placenta will literally rip open both itself and the host’s
stored cargo. In game terms this translates into a penalty of -2         abdominal cavity from the inside, inflicting three levels of
dice on Dexterity rolls for moving around, beginning at the start        unsoakable lethal damage in the process. Most hosts subjected
of the second trimester. Male novas in this situation will also be       to this sort of treatment will not survive the birthing process
certain to draw a good number of stares, especially in the               without immediate medical aid. For this reason, novas with this
second and third trimesters. At the Storyteller’s discretion, one        form of Parasitic Gestation will sometimes keep their host(s)
or more additional levels of this body modification can be taken,        imprisoned and reasonably well cared for until the birth.
although a male nova whose body is both normal-sized and                 Removing the parasitic fetus prior to birth requires a fully-
passably human will likely be limited to two levels. Female novas        stocked surgical bay, along with the services of a doctor with
cannot take additional levels of this body modification if their         the Medicine Ability at 3+ dots and the Surgery specialty. If the
bodies are both normal-sized and passably human.                         fetus is to survive, it must be developed enough for the surgeon
        Parasitic Gestation (one nova point / three experience           to perform a modified Caesarian section on the host. Please note
points, or three nova points / six experience points)                    that at this level, this body modification can also be combined
The one nova point version of this body modification allows a            with the Accelerated Gestation enhancement. In this case, it will
pregnant female nova (or novas with either the Yin-Yang                  reflect the extraordinary speed at which the parasitic fetus will
enhancement or the Hermaphrodite aberration that are in the              develop. This will put an incredible strain on the host, as he or
same situation) to implant a fetus that she has conceived within         she will suffer 2 levels of unsoakable bashing damage per day
the first 14 days of the first trimester of her pregnancy into a         with one level of Accelerated Gestation. The damage will still be
female nova or baseline human, who will then carry the fetus to          inflicted one level at a time over the course of the day, so the
term as a host mother in the normal human manner. (Novas of              host will still be able to survive and heal the damage normally. If
either gender that have the Gestation Pouch body modification            the nova has two or more levels of Accelerated Gestation the
can also serve as “host mothers”.) If for whatever reasons the           parasitic pregnancy will pose a far greater risk to the host’s life;
nova isn’t carrying a fetus, then this body modification will not        as the damage inflicted will be counted as one level of
function. If the nova retains her fetus past the 14 day limit, it will   unsoakable lethal damage. The damage will occur on an daily
become too large for her to transfer safely, and she will have to        basis with 2 levels, every hour with three levels, and every
carry it to term herself. The nova uses a short, retractable             minute with four levels. At the Storyteller’s discretion, a
sharp-tipped ovipositor to implant the fetus, which will cause no        baseline host’s appetite will grow to nova proportions and a
physical damage to the host mother but can be a traumatic                nova host’s appetite will match that of novas with the Ravenous
experience if she is both unwilling and conscious during the             aberration for the duration of the pregnancy, as their
implantation.                                                            metabolisms go into overdrive in an attempt to meet the nutrient
      The three nova point version of this body modification is          demands placed on them by the parasitic fetus.
available to both fertile male novas and pregnant female novas.
A pregnant female nova will be able to use the aforementioned
ovipositor to implant her fetus into the abdominal cavity of any         New Quantum Powers
adult male baseline human she can either convince, trick or force
into submitting to her designs. It should be noted that the
ovipositor cannot normally be used to implant male novas, as all         Quantum Conception
novas possess some level of lethal soak. The exceptions are                    Level: 3
when the implanting nova has some means of breaching her                       Quantum Minimum: 5
victim’s defenses (such as using the Claws quantum power) or                   Dice Pool: Stamina + Quantum Conception
can take advantage of an open wound that has already breached                  Range: (Quantum) meters
the victim’s abdominal cavity. Fertile male novas will only need               Area: N/A
to engage in coitus with a fertile female human in order to use                Duration: Instant
this body modification. Neither method of implantation will                    Effect: Character can impregnate a woman without
directly cause physical damage to the host by itself, but the            requiring physical contact.
fetus will have a mutated placenta that will literally feed off the            Multiple Actions: Yes
host’s body in a parasitic manner. In game terms, carrying a                   Description: This power allows the nova to impregnate a
fetus in this manner will cause the host 2 levels of unsoakable          woman of childbearing age without physical contact. Effectively,
Stun damage per day, with the damage inflicted one level at a            the nova creates an undamaged partial copy of his or her own
time over the course of the day to allow the host to heal the            DNA – just as when happens when gametes are formed – which
damage normally. In addition, hosts will also experience near-           is then implanted into an ovum inside the target’s uterus. In this
constant fatigue from the stress of supporting the parasitic             way novas who have been affected by Project Utopia’s sterility



                                                                    RULES
                                                            ABERRANT

cocktail can “sire” offspring without using their damaged                    Range: Touch
gametes. Female novas using this power to reproduce will only                Area: N/A
be able to “sire” female offspring, however. If the nova also has            Duration: Instant
the Genetic Sampler body modification, he can use any samples                Effect: Character’s touch can induce sterility in another
he’s collected with that body modification to impregnate women         person or lifeform.
with this power, instead of just being limited to using his own              Multiple Actions: Yes
DNA. What really makes this power so insidious is its subtlety. If           Description: This power allows the nova to render another
the target has no way of detecting the use of this power or the        being sterile with a touch. When used on novas, this power
state of her own reproductive system (such as Body Awareness           functions in much the same manner as Project Utopia’s sterility
or active use of Quantum Awareness), she will have no clue that        cocktail. Unlike the Utopian sterility cocktail, this power will also
she has been impregnated until she either has her next medical         work on baselines, animals, plants and fungi. When used on small
examination or first episode of morning sickness.                      lifeforms such as insects, small plants or fungi, it’s reasonable
      Using this power on a willing target just requires a straight    for the nova to be capable of sterilizing an entire field’s worth of
power roll. Only one success is needed for the nova to                 such targets rather than a single small lifeform. (In that
successfully impregnate a willing target, with each additional         circumstance, treat this power as having the Area Extra.) Even
success on the power roll reducing the target’s chances for            worse is the extreme subtlety of this power. If the target has no
pregnancy complications and anomalous births by 5%. Using this         way of detecting either the use of this power or the state of his
power on an unknowing or unwilling target requires a resisted          own fertility (such as Body Awareness or active use of Quantum
roll, pitting the target’s Stamina + Resistance against the nova’s     Awareness), he will have no clue that he’s just been sterilized
Stamina + Quantum Conception dice pool. The nova can add a             until his next medical examination.
number of successes equal to his Quantum rating to the power                 Using this power requires a resisted roll, pitting the
roll, and need only achieve one net successes against the              target’s Stamina + Resistance against the nova’s Stamina +
target’s Resistance roll in order to impregnate the target. In         Sterilize dice pool. The nova can add a number of successes
either case, since the nova is effectively creating something          equal to her Quantum rating to the power roll, and must achieve
permanent (the 23 “paternal” chromosomes) from nearby                  two net successes against the target’s Resistance roll in order to
inorganic matter, using this power requires spending a                 sterilize the target. Nova targets with either of the Health or
permanent Willpower point along with the normal quantum cost.          Fertility enhancements will automatically subtract (the target’s
It should also be noted that if the target is already pregnant, is     Mega-Stamina) successes from the nova’s power roll. Likewise,
not of childbearing age or is biologically male, uses of this power    each dot of Invulnerability: Disease possessed by the target will
will automatically fail – don’t even bother rolling. Nova targets      grant six successes to the target nova’s Willpower roll and make
with the Fertility enhancement are also immune to this power,          the roll automatic (see below). The Adaptability enhancement is
unless the target wants to become pregnant in this manner. If          of no use against this power. Targets who are aware of the
the target has the Mind Over Matter enhancement (from                  attacking nova’s sterilization attempt may make a Willpower roll
Aberrant: Brainwaves), she can spend 1 quantum point and make          to actively resist this power’s effect, with each success adding
a Wits roll to self-induce a natural abortion and rid herself of the   another die to the Resistance dice pool. Successes from a
unwanted fetus. Unwilling nova targets who are aware of the            Healing roll can also be added to the target’s Resistance dice,
attacking nova’s impregnation attempt may make a Willpower             provided the target and/or the nova with Healing is aware of the
roll to actively resist this power’s effect, with each success         attacking nova’s sterilization attempt. Healing cannot be applied
adding another die to the Resistance dice pool. The nova can           retroactively and cannot be used to correct this power’s effect.
even impregnate a normally sterile non-nova woman of                   The sterility induced by this power is permanent, unless the
childbearing age by paying double the normal quantum point cost        target is a nova who either has or develops the Health or
(6 quantum points). If successful, the target can conceive and         Fertility enhancements, in which case the condition will heal
carry the resulting healthy child to term just as if she were          normally. For this purpose, induced sterility is counted as 2
fertile. Unfortunately, sterile nova women cannot be                   levels of bashing damage. Female targets who are sterilized
impregnated in this manner.                                            while pregnant will have a miscarriage within 24 hours.
      Extras: Affects Sterile Novas (requires Quantum 6) – The               Extras: None.
nova can impregnate a nova woman that has been dosed with the
Utopian sterility cocktail, at the cost of spending 12 quantum
points and a permanent Willpower point. Nova women whose               New Flaws and
sterility is not the result of the sterility cocktail (such as those
with the Sterility aberration/Flaw) cannot be impregnated unless       Aberrations
the aberration or Flaw is corrected.                                   Adolescent/Child
                                                                       [1, 4 or 6 point Flaw]
Sterilize                                                                    A character with this Flaw is younger than 17 years of age.
     Level: 2                                                          As such, the character will have certain social and physical
     Quantum Minimum: 4                                                limitations which are described below. In addition, the character
     Dice Pool: Stamina + Sterilize                                    is limited to a maximum rating (which varies with age) in her



                                                    ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                            ABERRANT

Intelligence-based Abilities. The Storyteller is also within her       normally remains taut & unusable except when she’s carrying an
rights to forbid nova characters with this Flaw from taking            infant inside it. For this pouch to be useful for anything other
either of the Seductive Looks and Seductive enhancements,              than carrying her infant, the nova must purchase the “large
along with any other enhancements that depend on sexual                pouch” version of the Pouch body modification. Another
attraction. At the Storyteller’s discretion, characters with this      example is becoming oviparous (an egg-layer), with the egg
Flaw may have fewer dots of Abilities than adult characters,           being carried internally for 9 months before being laid, after
although Mega-Intelligent characters are exempt from that              which it will hatch within 24 hours. With medium Taint, the
limitation. Immature novas with the Adaptability enhancement           system used is noticeably more burdensome. An example of this
may require regular periods of sleep and a diet of healthy food        is being oviparous and laying one or more eggs shortly after
and drink in order to grow normally. This Flaw will decrease in        conception, which will then require constant care (such as being
value naturally as the character gets older, and cannot be bought      placed within an incubating machine) in order to hatch. Other
off with experience points. Second-generation nova children            examples include having to remain within a specific environment
with the Accelerated Maturation enhancement will still suffer          or being dependent on a chosen substance (or being) in order to
the effects of this Flaw, but do not receive any freebie points        carry a fetus safely to term. With high Taint, the system used is
from it due to their drastically-shortened period of immaturity.       far more burdensome. This would cover being oviparous and
      At the 1-point level, the character is an adolescent (13 to 16   laying one or more eggs shortly after conception, which will then
years of age). The character will not have any limits on her base      require constant physical contact & care from the nova in order
Attribute ratings, but is limited to a maximum rating of 3 dots in     to hatch. Another possibility is for the nova’s offspring to be
her Intelligence-based Abilities. She will have obvious social         born in a larval form for the duration of its infancy, which must
limitations; which include various legal difficulties, curfews, a      eat voraciously before pupation & metamorphosis into juvenile
lack of intellectual respect from adults, and not being able to        human form. Alternatively, the nova’s egg or larvae may require
legally engage in certain adult activities.                            some substance that’s hazardous or offensive to human
      At the 4-point level, the character is a pre-adolescent          sensibilities in order to develop properly. Finally, the nova’s
child (7 to 12 years of age). The social limitations the character     body may simply create offspring through budding, which will
will face will become even more onerous, as children are even          look quite grotesque to human eyes.
more restricted in their activities than teenagers are. The            Estrus [physical aberration]
character’s base Strength rating can’t be any higher than 3, and
                                                                             The sexual responses of a nova with this aberration are
her base Stamina score can’t be any higher than 4. She is also
                                                                       dependent on a specific trigger chosen by the Storyteller, and is
limited to a maximum rating of 2 dots in her Intelligence-based
                                                                       unresponsive sexually without it. At low levels of Taint (4-5
Abilities. Finally, the character will have the Short Flaw
                                                                       dots), this aberration can make the nova go into estrus during a
(Aberrant Players Guide, p.70), the cost of which has already
                                                                       specific large time period per Terran year (such as a season) or
been factored into this Flaw.
                                                                       when the nova experiences a specific emotion or sensation. At
      At the 6-point level, the character is a very young child (6
                                                                       medium Taint (6-7 dots), the trigger can be a short time period
years and younger). The character can walk, talk and has hair on
                                                                       per Terran year (like a month), a highly unpleasant emotion or
his head, but none of that matters very much as she will only be
                                                                       sensation, or an actual physical substance. With high Taint (8-10
about a meter tall at best. The social restrictions faced by the
                                                                       dots), the trigger can be a very brief time period per Terran
character will become extreme, which is only to be expected.
                                                                       year (anywhere from four to seven days), or an extremely
The character’s base Strength and Stamina both can’t be any
                                                                       intense and highly unpleasant emotion or sensation. If the trigger
higher than 1 dot each, and her Dexterity can’t go above 2 dots.
                                                                       is a physical substance, it’s either very hard to acquire,
She is also limited to a maximum rating of 1 dot in her
                                                                       hazardous or offensive to human sensibilities. Aside from the
Intelligence-based Abilities. The character is also small enough
                                                                       problems (social and otherwise) caused by this aberration, both
to suffer the equivalent of an extreme version of the Short Flaw,
                                                                       hormonal states experienced by the nova will be more extreme
as her running speed will be reduced to 25% of normal and she
                                                                       than the human norm. While in estrus, the nova will be noticeably
will encounter severe difficulties in using equipment designed
                                                                       more eager to engage in sexual activity than is typical for
for people with average builds, the cost of which has already
                                                                       baseline humans. At low levels of Taint this is equivalent to the
been factored into this Flaw.
                                                                       Lusty Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 72). At medium Taint,
Altered Gestation [physical                                            this state is indistinguishable from the “Hormonal Imbalance –
aberration]                                                            Lust” aberration (Aberrant core book, p. 152) during estrus. At
                                                                       high Taint the nova will also suffer from a 2-point version of the
     Manifested only by fertile female novas, this aberration
                                                                       Dependence Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 70), as not
gradually mutates the nova’s reproductive system as she
                                                                       engaging in sexual activity while in estrus will cause actual
accumulates permanent Taint, forcing her to give birth in some
                                                                       physical damage. When the nova isn’t in estrus, his total lack of
other manner than the typical human fashion. At low levels of
                                                                       sexual interest makes him unable to enjoy sexual relations and
Taint, the system used is no more burdensome than mammalian-
                                                                       makes him immune to seduction attempts.
style live birth. One example is becoming a marsupial, and giving
                                                                             Storyteller Note: While most of the material in this
birth to a small fetus which is placed in an exterior pouch in
                                                                       sourcebook is considered “sensitive topics”, that goes double
which it will develop for the rest of the “pregnancy”. In this case
                                                                       for this aberration. Be very sure to discuss it with your players
the nova has an actual marsupial pouch on her belly, which
                                                                       before using it in a chronicle.


                                                                  RULES
                                                           ABERRANT


Regressive Node [4 point Flaw]                                        very much as he will only be about a meter tall at best. The social
                          nd                                          restrictions faced by the nova will become extreme, which is
     Unlike most other 2 Gen novas, a character with this Flaw
                                                                      understandable since baseline society isn’t really set up to
was not born with his farahcytes evenly distributed throughout
                                                                      handle the possibility of small chidren with adult minds. The
his brain’s grey matter. Instead, he was born with an M-R node
                                                                      nova’s base Strength and Stamina are both lowered to 1 dot
comparable to those of the first generation novas. The
                                                                      each, and his Dexterity can’t go above 2 dots. If the nova’s prior
character will be subject to all the drawbacks of having a high
                                                                      ratings are above these limits, then the nova will gain 1
rating of the Node Background, including the possibility of brain
                                                                      experience point per dot lost upon developing this condition.
damage caused by M-R node growth and the resulting mental
                                                                      The nova is also small enough to qualify for the equivalent of an
Taint and aberrations. This Flaw is most often found among
                                                                      extreme version of the Short Flaw, as his running speed will be
2ndGen novas who were born through genetic engineering or
                                                                      reduced to 25% of normal and he will encounter severe
whose births were anomalous.
                                                                      difficulties in using equipment designed for people with average
     This Flaw is only available to 2ndGen nova characters.
                                                                      builds.
Retarded Aging [2, 5 or 7 point                                       Sterility [1 point Flaw, or low-
Flaw, or physical aberration]                                         level physical aberration]
      Found exclusively in novas who are born erupted, erupt
                                                                           A nova with this aberration is still capable of normal sexual
prior to adulthood or that have been physically regressed in age,
                                                                      function, but cannot conceive children in the typical human
this condition leaves the nova’s body stuck in an immature state.
                                                                      manner. This aberration most often results from having dots of
What’s worse is that the nova’s aging process comes to a
                                                                      Tainted Mega-Stamina. Even Inspired fertility treatments
standstill for all practical concerns. As a Flaw this condition can
                                                                      cannot help a nova with this aberration conceive, as only the use
reflect any one of an assortment of problems; including such
                                                                      of quantum powers that directly affect a nova’s Taint and/or
things as a growth hormone deficiency, arrested aging or an
                                                                      aberrations will be effective.
extremely slow rate of aging that would be logical for a being
with a lifespan of several centuries or more. Inspired medical
treatments and/or the use of the Age Alteration technique of
Temporal Manipulation can correct this condition, provided that
the nova also buys off this Flaw with experience points. As an
aberration, this most often develops from Tainted Mega-               The Family
Stamina or Temporal Manipulation. Nothing the nova tries in the
way of medical treatments – Inspired or otherwise – will make
him or her grow any older at all. Age Alteration is also
                                                                      Scrapbook
ineffective in correcting this aberration. In any case, the nova            Now that you’ve finally got the inside information on the
will eventually have a mature mind trapped inside the body of a       breeder novas, their friends and their foes; it’s time to put that
teenager or child, which can make for social problems and much        information to use in your Aberrant chronicle. In Storytelling,
frustration on the nova’s part. Also, people who don’t know any       we’ll touch on some basic themes, moods and conflicts for
better will treat the nova as the teenager, child or infant that he   scenarios using breeder novas, and provide some plot hooks that
appears to be.                                                        can be used in your Aberrant chronicle with a minimum of effort.
      As a 2-point Flaw or a low-level aberration, this condition     The clandestine efforts intended to aid breeder novas against
leaves the nova as an adolescent (13 to 16 years of age). The         their many enemies are detailed in The Sixth Column, along with
nova will not have any limits on his base Attribute ratings, but      guidelines for Aberrant Storytellers (and players) to create their
will have obvious social limitations. These will include various      own such operations. Finally, we’ll round things off with a small
legal difficulties, curfews, ignorant adults refusing to take the     rogues’ gallery of Family, Friends and Fiends.
nova seriously, and not being able to legally engage in certain
adult activities.
      As a 5-point Flaw or a medium-level aberration, the nova
                                                                      Storytelling
has the body of a pre-adolescent child (7 to 12 years of age).              When running a breeder nova scenario, it always helps to
The social limitations the nova will face will become even more       keep several core concepts of their situation in mind. No matter
onerous, as children are even more restricted in their activities     whether your players take the parts of valiant delivery boys,
than teenagers are. The nova’s base Strength rating can’t be any      grim motherhunters or the besieged breeder novas themselves,
higher than 3, and his base Stamina score can’t be any higher         all of these concepts will be important factors in your series.
than 4. If the nova’s prior Strength and/or Stamina ratings were
above these limits, then the nova will gain 1 experience point per
dot lost upon developing this condition. The nova will also have
                                                                      Themes
the Short Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p.70), the cost of which           Just about any theme has some potential for use in a
has already been factored into this Flaw.                             breeder nova scenario, and examples of such can be found in any
As a 7-point Flaw or a high-level aberration, the nova has the        family drama or comedy on the bookshelves or in the video
body of an very young child (6 years and younger). The nova           store. That said, here are the four themes that are most
can walk, talk and has hair on his head, but none of that matters     appropriate for a series using breeder novas.



                                                   ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                              ABERRANT


Parenthood                                                               Discernment
      For most baseline humans, becoming a parent is one of the                When running an Aberrant chronicle dealing with breeder
events that science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein termed a           novas and their children, the theme of discernment should
“cusp”, a decision point at which one’s life can (and usually            always be present. Comprised of both sound judgment and keen
does) change drastically according to what choices are made.             insight, this quality is of extreme importance to breeder novas
For some breeder novas who manage to become parents, the                 wishing to live and raise their children free from the
only real difference in their situation is that just about               interference of outside interests. It is also useful for novas in
everything baseline parents have to deal with – the joys and             service to certain of the factions, who otherwise might not
difficulties of raising a child, the various threats posed to the        question the commands of their superiors until it was far too
family, the importance of one’s offspring – is magnified many            late. Discernment is what allows a human to realize what things
times over. Fortunately, the various quantum abilities that              are truly important, and discard what is merely trivial. In the
breeder novas possess will give them a good shot at overcoming           case of a nova, it lets him see the ultimately empty nature of the
what would be insurmountable obstacles for baseline parents, if          perks of celebrity offered to them by baseline society, and
they have a conscience and sufficient discipline. Instead of             spurn them for the less glamorous yet far more lasting rewards
indulging their desires and seeking thrills, conscientious nova          of having a family. Discernment is what allows a nova to
parents will accept responsibility for their newborn children and        recognize her own worth, and refrain from signing away her
modify their lives accordingly. In return, they will hopefully reap      self-determination (and possibly her soul) to a faceless
the rewards of successful parenthood; which include loving               organization. Without discernment, a nova cannot judge whether
parent-child relationships and personal fulfillment. Other nova          or not baseline humanity and its world truly merits any or all of
parents will neglect their children to varying degrees, with             the sacrifices that novas are urged to make in their name by
consequences ranging anywhere from soured parent-child                   Aeon and others. And without discernment, a nova cannot
relationships to the premature death of the child. What throws           accurately determine the value of humanity, both in terms of an
all this into sharp relief is the potential for extreme power that’s     inherent quality within herself or in terms of the entire
the birthright of the 2ndGen novas. Like it or not, the parents of       population of homo sapiens. Finally, novas lacking in discernment
a 2ndGen nova child are in an unparalleled position to influence         are more likely to develop excessive levels of Taint thanks to
the development of that infant god. If they do well by their             mistakes resulting from their poor judgment, which can have
offspring (or are far luckier than they deserve to be), they will        horrifying effects on their offspring...
leave behind a legacy – either for good or ill – that will prove         Freedom
more lasting than the fame of any Team Tomorrow member or
                                                                              At the core of the breeder novas’ effort to live undercover
novox star. If not, the child’s much-vaunted potential could
                                                                         is the desire for freedom. It’s important to note that most
easily go unrealized, leaving the parents as just another minor
                                                                         breeder novas don’t equate freedom with “running roughshod
footnote in the history of the Nova Age.
                                                                         over the baselines” in the manner of the Teragen. Instead, they
Childhood                                                                choose to avoid being detected as novas in the first place, either
       Just what is it like to grow up as a 2ndGen nova child? Not       through posing as baselines or living in remote areas. This way,
only do these wunderkinder have to face the usual hurdles of             breeder novas can divorce themselves and their children from
growing up, but they must do so while both learning to master            the expectations placed on novas by society at large without all
their inborn quantum abilities and surviving in a social climate         the furor aroused by the Teragen’s open rebellion. This in turn
that is certain to grow ever more hostile to novas in the coming         makes it easier for them to reject the often-inaccurate beliefs
decades. True 2ndGen kids will also have to deal with varying            and opinions of baselines (and the more ideological novas) as to
levels of isolation from either baseline society or their 2ndGen         what novas are and what they should be. By maintaining their
peers, depending on what approach their parents took in living           cover, breeder novas can remain free from media exposure and
undercover. Terat 2ndGens have no real refuge from danger, for           the consequent manipulation and exploitation by outside
not only are they faced with a hostile world, they must also learn       interests. Of course, the price for all this freedom is either
to live and somehow thrive in the treacherous garden that is the         constant vigilance or isolation, as any lapse in maintaining them
Teragen. With Bounty as their only confirmed Terat protector,            can place the breeder novas at serious risk of capture and/or
it remains to be seen if any of these children will escape the           death. The savage breeder novas are the exception to all this, as
egomania-driven plots of their elders in the Pantheon. Trog              could only be expected. These 21st Century barbarians take the
2ndGens progeny must survive in the harshest social climate of           idea of freedom much too far to suit the majority of baselines
all; as nearly all of baseline humanity and many novas will oppose       and other novas. The only thing keeping these novas from total
them, and the support of their insane parents cannot be relied           anarchy is a primitive tribal structure most often seen in baboon
upon. These little monsters may have the cards stacked against           troops. The only law is the whim of the troop leader, which will
them now, but the survivors will be sure to repay baseline               often be inconsistent at best. In the end, savage breeder novas
humanity’s hostility with interest. And all of that still does not       are truly free – free to abuse others and be abused, to harm
take into account the pressures and influences that being the            others and be harmed, to kill and be killed – and all without any
child of nova parents will bring into their lives. It’s not like these   possibility of real justice for these crimes.
kids’ parents couldn’t have very colorful histories, after all...




                                                                    RULES
                                                           ABERRANT

                                                                      seeing their children grow up and start families of their own. In
Moods                                                                 contrast, the motherhunters (and to a lesser degree the
     The emotional tone of a breeder nova scenario can and will       “celebrity” novas) exemplify a loss of hope. Whether it is
vary just as much as the themes. Nevertheless, these four moods       manifested as personal cynicism, a conviction that all novas are
are highly appropriate and should crop up on a regular basis.         inherently doomed to become taint-ridden monsters or a belief
Danger                                                                that nothing they do matters; they are denying the hope that
                                                                      novas can have a fairly bright future ahead of them both as a
      Thanks to a world that simply refuses to leave them be,
                                                                      people and as individuals, if they so choose. This is one of the
breeder novas of all stripes will always be faced with the threat
                                                                      reasons why motherhunters are willing to kill innocent nova men,
of danger and violence with little or no warning. Much like the
                                                                      women and children. This is why so many nova celebrities while
players in a Teragen series, players in a breeder nova series
                                                                      away the years in hedonism and debauchery to fill the emptiness
should be kept on their toes at all times. Even breeder novas
                                                                      in their personal lives. It should also be noted that where highly-
living in the space colonies are not exempt from this, as their
                                                                      tainted breeder novas and their Trog 2ndGen offspring are
extreme isolation from Terran society only means that when an
                                                                      concerned, the tones are reversed. The growing numbers of
attack comes, it will be all the more shocking. On the other side
                                                                      Trog 2ndGens in the world is an excellent damper for feelings of
of the coin, consider that there are few beings as dangerous as a
                                                                      hope in general, as they really do pose a huge threat to humanity
parent fighting to defend spouse and offspring. Those who
                                                                      as a whole. Likewise, the motherhunters tasked with stopping
attack breeder novas can expect no mercy.
                                                                      those monsters are excellent reasons for hope as far as baseline
Trust and Distrust                                                    humanity is concerned.
      Those breeder novas who manage to survive and remain            Love
free quickly learn that there are few if any people who they can
                                                                            Despite over five decades’ worth of saccharine-sweet
trust. Any seemingly friendly nova could be a motherhunter just
                                                                      greeting cards and sappy songs, the idea of love cannot be
waiting for the right moment to strike. That nice middle-aged
                                                                      discounted in a breeder nova scenario. The need for love is one
neighbor couple two doors down the street could be spies
                                                                      of the basic motivations for humans to take spouses and raise
working for the Directive or another baseline intelligence
                                                                      children, and breeder novas (in most cases) are no exception.
agency. A breeder nova’s own baseline relative could be a closet
                                                                      What else could make all the toil of raising a nova child
member of the Church of Michael Archangel. Worse, even if
                                                                      worthwhile? Why else would breeder novas endure the stresses
these people are what they appear to be they still probably can’t
                                                                      and dangers of living underground in order to raise their
be trusted. Relatives can be watched. Everyone wants their 15
                                                                      children without interference? What other reason would
minutes of fame. Nice people can talk to other nice people and
                                                                      breeder novas have for being willing to abandon baseline
start rumors. And any mistakes made or rumors started will end
                                                                      “civilization” – and possibly Earth itself – in order for their
up in the ears of the motherhunters. Faced with such a wide
                                                                      children to have a brighter future? This becomes even more
array of potential threats, it’s no surprise that most breeder
                                                                      obvious when the fickle affections of one’s fans and/or
novas reserve most of their trust for their spouses and children.
                                                                      worshippers are measured against the honest love of one’s
This in turn makes family bonds especially strong in breeder
                                                                      spouse and children – there simply is no comparison. The lack of
nova families, sometimes comparable to that displayed by the
                                                                      love in a nova’s life is also important, as the resulting emotional
Norse clans in the Nibelungenlied and Volsungsaga. Again,
                                                                      anguish can easily drive a nova into mental illness and a
savage breeder novas are the exception, as they all too often
                                                                      consequent increase in taint. The most telling example of this is
have little or no trust in each other. In more than a few cases,
                                                                      found in the savage breeder novas, among whom love is rarely
the only thing keeping a savage breeder nova tribe together is
                                                                      found and is never healthy – such states include obsessive love,
their total distrust of outsiders.
                                                                      codependencies and delusions of being loved. To compensate
Hope                                                                  for their relative lack of love these monsters tend to develop
     While this is the major theme of Adventure!, this emotion        narcissistic disorders, taking self-love and egomania to new
takes a different tone in a breeder nova scenario. Instead of a       extremes, with horrific results.
pulp-era sense that anything is possible, the efforts of breeder
novas exemplify a hope that with sufficient effort and good
acumen, worthwhile rewards can be attained regardless of what         Conflicts
other people think they should be allowed. For many baselines,             As the driving engine of every story, the importance of
the event of settling down and starting a family is considered a      conflict cannot be downplayed. The following are the basic
good example of hope in the course of human life. For the             conflicts which are most suited to an Aberrant series using
majority of breeder novas this event is possibly the premier          breeder novas.
example, considering the numerous obstacles arrayed against                   Motherhunters vs. Breeder Novas and/or Delivery Boys:
their achieving some form of domestic bliss. Between the              Many people consider the family unit to be the basis for human
recruiters, the motherhunters and even the media, breeder nova        society. So what happens when powerful elements within human
families are plagued with legions of corrupt jerks who are willing    society seem hellbent on either killing or enslaving families
to harm them in order to turn a profit or follow their beliefs. Yet   whose only crime (in most cases) is to possess godlike power?
despite such dire circumstances, many breeder novas have not          By having remained fertile and produced children, breeder
only managed to start families, but they have a good shot at          novas are in a position to draw much hostile attention from



                                                   ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                             ABERRANT

those powerful groups and individuals who see them as a threat          results in them making more and greater demands of novas. By
to their designs. Even with the aid of delivery boy allies, there is    living undercover, breeder novas have a much better shot at
never any guarantee that a family of breeder novas will go              meeting their personal needs, but at what cost to the world? Can
unnoticed by the motherhunters, much less escape them.                  a balance be struck between novas’ personal needs and their
        Novas vs. Baseline Humanity: While this conflict is             altruism, or will the increasing demands of the baselines only
present to a degree in all Aberrant stories, it takes on special        serve to further alienate novas from them?
significance where breeder novas are concerned. In the opinion
of too many baselines, novas are little more than servants whose
only purpose is to entertain, fight for and clean up after the          Story Seeds
common run of humanity. Those novas who refuse to serve as                       An Offer You Can’t Refuse: If any of the player
collective caretakers of baseline humanity – such as breeder            characters are fertile, this becomes known to someone or some
novas – are considered selfish and evil. Other baselines take           group that is not only willing to attempt blackmail, but is
note of the power and potential of novas, and see them as the           powerful enough to have a shot at getting away with it. The
possible evolutionary successors to homo sapiens sapiens. The           threat this poses to fertile player characters is exposure –
incredible potential of the 2ndGen novas only serves to heighten        either to the global media at large or one of the factions – as
the threat these baselines see novas posing to unerupted                breeder novas, which can have serious, possibly lethal
humanity, leading them to consider breeder novas a direct cause         consequences. Exactly what the blackmailer wants is up to the
of a possible baseline extinction. Baselines who reject those two       Storyteller, as some will just want to coerce “favors” or large
viewpoints and all their preconceptions, leaving them free to see       amounts of money from the fertile player characters. Other
breeder novas as the people they are instead of commodities or          blackmailers will have more unconventional goals. The C-Z
threats to humanity’s survival, tend to be on the scarce side.          Megasyndicate might want to recruit fertile male player
What will it take for the rest of baseline humanity to learn the        characters as donors for their sperm bank operation. A
errors in their ideas about novakind? Are they even willing to          scientific research firm could want the player characters to
learn, or will they just cling to their mistaken beliefs all the more   serve as lab subjects in their quest to solve the puzzle of nova
tightly?                                                                infertility. The blackmailers could even be other fertile novas
        Generational Conflict: The event of parents being               that are sufficiently obsessed with having children to see the
eclipsed by their grown children is a common thread throughout          fertile player characters as convenient breeding partners whose
the human condition. As the parents grow old and their                  compliance must be obtained by any means necessary. In any
importance wanes over the passing years, their children take            case, the player characters must find a way to deal with their
advantage of new things and opportunities their forbears never          would-be blackmailers without risking exposure as breeder
had. Worse, the children will have new experiences and do new           novas.
things that were either unknown or merely dreamt of during                       Unscheduled Delivery: In the course of their other
their parents’ glory days. While some parents learn to take pride       activities, the player characters run across a family of breeder
in their grown childrens’ accomplishments, others become bitter         novas who ask for their help in escaping from a group of
and jealous of the new generation. This situation becomes               motherhunters. (Devious Storytellers may arrange matters so
especially problematic where novas are concerned. With                  that the player characters are directly responsible for blowing
considerable numbers of the first generation novas being both           the family’s cover, adding in an element of guilt to the story.)
sterile and given to severe egotism, they’ve grown very                 Provided that the player characters aren’t completely callous,
comfortable in their place as (some of) the most important              they can be drafted into service as impromptu delivery boys for
people of the Nova Age. Now toss the breeder novas into the             the duration. In the midst of their possibly quite lethal conflict
mix, whose lifestyle choices not only invalidate the worth of the       with the motherhunters, the player characters must find answers
egotists’ privileged lives, but have given rise to the 2ndGen           to a whole host of questions. Are the parents of the family the
novas. When the first generation egotists realize that the 2ndGen       innocent victims faced with unjust persecution that they claim to
novas will make most of their predecessors look like second-            be, or are they hiding a history of criminal activity? If their
stringers (at best) when they come of age, their reactions will         parents are remorseless criminals, does that also make the
not be pretty.                                                          children criminals as well? What faction are the motherhunters
        Personal Needs vs. Selfless Altruism: While altruism is a       working for, and why are they after the family of breeder
virtue, it can easily be taken too far, and that’s just what too        novas? Do they intend to capture the family for interrogation or
many baselines are demanding from novas. Almost from their              lab research, or summarily execute them? And if the player
eruptions, most novas are constantly bombarded with the notion          characters do manage to rescue the family, what will they do
that their powers are meant to serve humanity, regardless of the        then? Will they part ways from necessity, or can the player
personal sacrifices novas must make to perform that service.            characters set the family up in a new life to replace the one they
This is no small matter, as this requires giving up all semblance       lost?
of a normal life and its associated benefits. In return for that,                Hatcher Hunt: The player characters are approached by
novas receive the transitory and hollow rewards of nova life,           a group of motherhunters from one of the more public factions
which do little or nothing to assuage their personal needs and          (Project Utopia, the Directive or a national government) for
increases their risks of developing Taint. Making the situation         their aid in hunting down a highly-tainted Hatcher nova. The
even worse is that giving in to the baselines’ demands only             player characters have been identified as the only novas having



                                                                   RULES
                                                            ABERRANT

the right mix of quantum abilities to track down and deal with         giving birth to their child (a male True 2ndGen nova named
the Hatcher nova before it has a chance to produce offspring.          Peter) in 2012 only served to intensify the potential for conflict;
The motherhunters can provide a limited amount of equipment            as Frank plans to steal away enough DeVries employees to start
and plenty of good information on the target, but ultimately           his own mercenary company and take sole custody of their son.
they’ll be working as the player characters’ backup. And the           Anna’s response to this premeditated personal and professional
catch to all this is that this is a covert operation, where they       betrayal will not be restrained, to say the least. And caught up in
must do their job without attracting the notice of the media. If       the middle of this mess is young Peter, the other DeVries nova
the player characters prevail, they will have averted a deadly         children and their parents. The player characters are all DeVries
threat to all human life and will be richly rewarded, assuming         employees – possibly with spouses and children of their own –
that they survive the mission. If they fail, humankind is looking at   that find themselves front and center when this situation breaks
their own possible extinction as the Hatcher nova’s offspring          out into open conflict. Not only will the player characters have
begin reproducing as well. If they fail to be discreet in either       to deal with the expected boardroom maneuverings, but they
case, the resulting public relations disaster could wreck              also risk being caught up in actual combat as the resident elites
baseline-nova relations for decades to come.                           choose a side and matters escalate. Will loyalty to their
        A Woman Wronged?: A female baseline relative of one            employers cause them to take part in the conflict, or will the
of the player characters has an encounter with a Casanova, and         player characters seek to protect Peter and the other innocents
winds up pregnant by him. What’s more, she says that it                from this madness? And what will the consequences of their
happened against her will. Claiming to have no other recourse,         choices be, both for themselves and for DeVries?
the woman turns to the nova in her family for help in resolving
this matter. How are the player characters going to handle this?
Did the Casanova actively choose to seduce and impregnate the
woman in question, or was she attempting to induce her own
                                                                       The Sixth Column
eruption by having unprotected sex with a nova? If the Casanova             At its most basic level, the setting of Aberrant is a world of
has Mega-Social Attributes, did he use them to impair the              mystery & conspiracy; where very little is as it appears and
woman’s judgment and make it appear as if she was willingly            threats to all but the most powerful novas lurk behind
seduced by him? Was the encounter the result of an unplanned           benevolent façades. This is especially true for the breeder novas
social meeting, or was it planned as part of a medical experiment      and their 2ndGen children, as many powerful people – even
for which the woman was paid to participate in? If the woman’s         certain directors of the Aeon Society itself – seem hellbent on
claims are valid and the Casanova is indeed guilty of what             doing away with them. Even so, the breeder novas do have a few
amounts to date rape, what will the player characters do in            conspiracies that seek to aid them in whatever ways necessary
order to seek justice on her behalf? Will bringing the Casanova        for their survival. With the stakes piled so high against them,
to trial result in his receiving a well-deserved prison term, or       few breeder novas would balk at accepting this aid, even if it
will he just receive a slap on the wrist and walk away a free          might come from questionable sources. We have detailed two of
man? Seeking vigilante justice might bring more decisive results       the more notable of these “helpful conspiracies” for ready use in
albeit at greater risk, especially if the Casanova is a combat-        an Aberrant chronicle, and have provided guidelines for
hardened elite with a few colleagues on call.                          Storytellers (and ambitious players) who wish to create their
        Outlaw’s Brood: The player characters are elites hired by      own helpful conspiracies.
a law enforcement agency to track down a criminal nova living in
hiding, who also happens to be the head of a family of breeder
novas. Things start getting complicated when the player
                                                                       Sophia’s Scheme
characters realize that they may have been tricked into working              By all reasonable estimations, the number of breeder novas
as motherhunters, and it doesn’t get any better from then on.          who manage to form marital bonds and produce 2ndGen nova
After watching the family for a while, it soon becomes obvious         offspring should be miniscule to the point of nonexistence.
that the family head has apparently reformed and forsaken his          Novas are hardly commonplace in 2015 to begin with, and the
or her criminal past. Has the family head really gone straight, or     fertile ones are even less so. Then there’s the fact that almost all
is he or she just lying low until the heat dies down? If the family    of the potential mates that a breeder nova will encounter will be
head’s reformation is authentic, does he or she deserve to be          baseline humans or sterile novas instead of other breeder novas.
arrested and sent before a jury? What about the rest of the            Add in all the obstacles that have been placed in their way
family? Are they also criminals who deserve to be hunted down          (knowingly or not) by Project Proteus and other groups, and it
and arrested, or are they innocent victims in this affair? Who’s       becomes apparent that the number of breeder nova families in
footing the bill for hiring the player characters? Do the player       2015 should be somewhere in the very low end of the double-
characters’ clients honestly want to see the criminal nova             digit range. That’s the conventional wisdom among most who are
brought to justice, or do they have other motives for having this      both “in the know” about breeder novas and in a position to do
family captured?                                                       something about the situation. It’s a comforting opinion, as it
        The DeVries Dynasty: Ever since DeVries diversified            greatly reduces the apparent threat posed to the baseline
from its beginnings as a purely mercenary company, a power             Establishment by breeder novas and their 2ndGen children.
struggle has been brewing between Anna DeVries and Frank               Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on one’s viewpoint),
Carrington. (See Aberrant: Elites pp. 21-24 for details.) Anna’s       this is yet another instance where the conventional wisdom is
                                                                       gravely mistaken. Against all odds, a sizeable number of breeder


                                                    ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                          ABERRANT

novas actually have managed to form marital bonds and produce        by redirecting the attention of the motherhunters to those
2ndGen offspring. What’s even more astounding is that the            nascent broods of monsters, which has resulted in yet another
majority of these families have also managed to conceal their        batch of mixed consequences. On one hand, no matter who
existence from those who would seek to harm or exploit them.         prevails in the deadly conflict between motherhunters and
What’s going on here?                                                malignant breeder novas, a threat to the survival of the non-
      There’s a saying among the military and intelligence           malignant breeder novas will have been eliminated. On the other,
communities: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three       this understandable bit of misdirection can easily cause baseline
times is enemy action. And in this case, the “enemy” is none         “experts” on novas (and the powerful people they advise) to
other than Sophia Rousseau. As the “power behind the throne”         develop the mistaken notion that all novas are doomed to
of the Aberrants, Mme. Rousseau has been aware of the various        become taint-ridden monstrosities and/or extremely dangerous
threats posed to breeder novas for quite some time now, and          psychotics. Without knowledge of the non-malignant breeder
has been working in two ways to derail said threats. The first       novas to act as a counterweight, the majority of baseline humans
way is instigating the “delivery boy” activities of the Aberrants,   are all the more likely to consider all novas to be incipient
which has been detailed earlier in this book. The other ways all     monsters.
involve her unmatched command over the forces of entropy,            Using “Sophia’s Scheme” in
chaos and probability. Employing a form of probability alteration
of which only the truly powerful novas are capable, Rousseau         your chronicle
has effectively rewritten the “destinies” of breeder novas on a            Inserting this subplot into an Aberrant chronicle isn’t
grand scale. There is no game mechanic for this effect, but          difficult, as there are only one question that must be answered:
Storytellers who use this subplot in their Aberrant chronicles       Are some or all of the player characters fertile? If any of the
should feel free to not only have breeder novas (especially          player characters are breeder novas, Rousseau’s predestination
fertile player characters) “coincidentally” encounter other          can affect their lives in radical ways. What happens when a
breeder novas on a regular basis, but for them to eventually find    novox star meets her “perfect significant other”, and vanishes
their “dream mates” in this manner. (This applies to homosexual      from public life in order to settle down and start a family in
breeder novas as well, the only difference being that producing      secret? Not only will the motherhunters be after the former
offspring will be a bit more difficult for a same-sex breeder        novox star and her loved ones, but her fans and agent are
nova couple.) Those breeder novas who do find mates will show        definitely going to be on the lookout for her as well. What if it’s
a strong tendency to adopt a low profile, becoming highly            a highly-placed agent of Utopia (or Proteus) that gets bitten by
reclusive if not going underground. As Rousseau can sense            Rousseau’s love bug? Can he defect and escape from his former
breeder novas as a result of her tampering with their destinies,     allies without getting himself or his loved ones killed in the
she will use her powers to “cloak” families she approves of from     process? What happens if a player character encounters a
hostile attention (typically by decreasing the odds of accidental    malignant breeder nova who is under the delusion that the player
exposure to near-zero) and redirect hostile attention to those       character is his “intended”? How far will the malignant breeder
she doesn’t. Generally, breeder nova families that Rousseau          nova be willing to go in order to claim the player character for
doesn’t approve of are those in which the parents are malignant      himself? What happens if the player character is a
in some way; such as being highly-tainted, vicious criminals or      motherhunter, and finds himself lovestruck for the breeder nova
simply very poor parenting material. She will attempt to save the    that he’s been ordered to either capture or kill? In all of these
progeny of such unfit parents if she deems such children             cases, the question can be boiled down to this: What is the
salvageable, but will otherwise write them off along with their      player character willing to sacrifice in hopes of gaining a loving
parents. Rousseau also keeps a close watch over those families       spouse and children? If the player characters are not fertile,
she’s “cloaked”, and will dispatch Aberrant delivery boys to aid     Rousseau’s predestination can only affect them indirectly.
them as needed.                                                      Typically, the player characters will be given the choice of
      It is important to note that Mme. Rousseau’s quantum-          either aiding or hindering the survival of breeder novas. As
powered “mass matchmaking” effort has had mixed                      usual, context is everything: aiding non-malignant breeder novas
consequences. On the positive side, Rousseau has given novas a       is generally heroic, while doing the same for malignant breeder
much better chance of long-term survival as a people and as a        novas threatens humanity as a whole. The only real question in
human subspecies. The problem with this is that her “destiny         these cases is what sacrifices the player characters are willing to
rewrite” didn’t affect only those breeder novas who weren’t          make on the behalf of other peoples’ survival.
what she considers malignant- it affected all of the breeder
novas. Making breeder novas much more likely to encounter
each other sounds fine at first, as it greatly increases their       [Terat thinktank on
chances for finding a suitable mate. Unfortunately, there’s no
guarantee that a breeder nova won’t be one of the malignant          nova sterility]
ones, in which case cool aloofness is the best that can be hoped          <Insert material on “Terat thinktank” here.>
for. Along with ensuring the survival of non-malignant breeder       Using “Title” in your chronicle
nova families, Rousseau has also made it possible for families of
                                                                          <Insert material on usage of “Terat thinktank” here.>
malignant breeder novas to take root and pose a serious threat
to humanity in general. Rousseau has attempted to mollify this



                                                                RULES
                                                          ABERRANT

                                                                     such a conspiracy, as do the covert space colonization efforts of
Alternate Sixth Columns                                              the Daedelus League.
      As you may have noticed, both “Sophia’s Scheme” and                  In either case, there are several questions about the culprit
“<Terat Thinktank>“ are listed as completely optional additions      and the deed that must be answered for these subplots to work
for your Aberrant chronicle. The reasons for this are twofold.       well.
First, not all Aberrant Storytellers keep the storylines of their            Who is the culprit?
games in strict conformity with game canon, nor should they.               Of the known canon novas in the “Quantum 6+ club” circa
There’s no guarantee that Sophia Rousseau will appear as one of      2015, only Caestus Pax, Divis Mal, Antaeus and Sophia Rousseau
the “good guys” in any given Aberrant chronicle - or that Mme.       are known to still be alive. (Gabriel Melchior died in December of
Rousseau will even exist, for that matter. Some Aberrant             2009, and there’s little evidence to show that Bounty is
Storytellers and players will always prefer to use their own         powerful enough to be counted among them.) Going by their
“homebrew” subplots instead of those provided for them.              canon roles and personalities, Mme. Rousseau is the one of this
Second is that fact that even without Director Thetis and            quartet most likely to attempt to aid the breeder novas. Mal and
Project Proteus to act as their main collective nemeses, breeder     Antaeus are also possible benefactors for the breeder novas,
novas and their 2ndGen nova children in any alternate version of     despite their being somewhat detached from the experience of
the Nova Age will eventually find themselves targeted by             starting families. Finally, Pax is guaranteed to not even consider
motherhunters of some sort. The faces may change, but the            helping the breeder novas. Unless his personality diverges
basic situation remains the same: the breeder novas must hide        greatly from canon, Pax will certainly be on the side of Proteus
from (and fight off, when discovered) a planetful of powerful        and the other motherhunters. Ironically, Storytellers whose
organizations and individuals who seek to exploit and/or harm        chronicles diverge from the canon setting and metaplot enjoy a
them. These quantum powered families are just that important;        much greater degree of freedom in their choice of culprit, at the
as few governments, multinational corporations or powerful           cost of having to create said nova from the ground up. Choosing
people in any world would hesitate to either take whatever           a canon group to be the culprit is only somewhat less daunting.
advantage of them they could - or attempt to dispose of them, if     Unless the players have started their own faction (which isn’t
they appear to pose a threat. And that’s why we’ve provided          unheard of), only those canon groups which have been known to
some handy guidelines for interested Storytellers who want to        engage in “delivery boy” operations will be likely to form
design their own helpful conspiracies, in response to whatever       conspiracies to aid the breeder novas. Non-canon groups have
motherhunters are present. There are two main types of               no such official history constraining them, of course.
subplots that can be inserted into a breeder nova chronicle,                 What is the culprit’s motivation?
which are described below.                                                 For all but the most powerful novas, thwarting the efforts
Acts of God                                                          of the motherhunters and their powerful patrons is no small
                                                                     thing. Depending on the nature of his or her nova capabilities,
     This subplot is centered around the actions of a very
                                                                     the culprit’s attempt to aid the breeder novas may very well
powerful nova who has decided to use his or her powers to aid
                                                                     amount to putting his or her neck on the proverbial chopping
breeder novas and their children, either in an overt or covert
                                                                     block. So what is it that has driven the culprit to take such a
manner. In game terms, this means that the culprit must be a
                                                                     risk? Does the culprit feel an idealistic need to protect “his own
nova with a Quantum rating of 6+ and at least a few dots of a
                                                                     kind” against baseline aggression? Does the culprit have a
Level 4+ quantum power that could plausibly be useful in this
                                                                     grudge against the motherhunters and/or their patrons, and
situation. As a result, this subplot will typically be used by the
                                                                     consider aiding the breeder novas to be her most effective
Storyteller, unless the players are using 100+ nova point
                                                                     means of taking revenge? Has the culprit soured on all of
characters in the chronicle. “Sophia’s Scheme” is a good
                                                                     baseline humanity, and seek to ensure the survival and
example of this type of subplot; as is the theorized mass
                                                                     prosperity of novakind as the only real alternative culture for
restoration of nova fertility in the 2030s by means of the
                                                                     her to belong to? Does the culprit see himself as a destined
Ecological Supremacy power on the part of either Antaeus,
                                                                     leader of novakind, and regard his effort to aid breeder novas as
Belladonna or Regina Mundi.
                                                                     a way to garner support for him to become an authority figure to
Old-Fashioned Skullduggery                                           them in the future? If the culprit is a breeder nova himself, does
      The other subplot involves the actions of novas who lack       he aspire to starting a family of his own, and see aiding the
the godlike capabilities of Divis Mal and Sophia Rousseau, but       breeder novas as a way to help himself and his hypothetical
make up for that lack by acting as a coordinated group. Instead      spouse and offspring? These questions are only a little different
of making sweeping changes with an überpower, these nova             for the members of a culprit group, which must have a broad
groups must form functional conspiracies in order to aid the         goal that all of its members support. If anything, their collective
breeder novas. Not only is this subplot more readily available to    motivation will have to be powerful than that of a powerful lone
players in an Aberrant chronicle, but indulging in this sort of      culprit, especially since they’re a good deal more vulnerable to
intrigue can also be more fun for them as well. Changing the         reprisals from the motherhunters. Individual members of the
world with an überpower can be fun for the nova who has it, but      group will also have their own motives for joining the
good conspiracies are collective efforts, where the fun can be       conspiracy, which will keep things interesting.
spread around. “<Terat Thinktank>“ provides a good look at




                                                  ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                           ABERRANT

        How does the culprit plan to aid the breeder novas?           novas, a culprit group will not be able to afford being overt and
      This is the real “nuts and bolts” question for a powerful       daring the motherhunters to interfere with them.
nova: what does the culprit’s quantum powers allow her to do                  What are the consequences - both good and bad - of the
that could help the breeder novas? In “Sophia’s Scheme”, Mme.         culprit’s deed?
Rousseau uses her powers over entropy and probability to not                In all but a few cases, the culprit’s deed will have both good
only dramatically increase the chances for breeder novas to           and bad consequences. Case in point: In “Sophia’s Scheme”,
encounter each other and form viable marital bonds, but also          Mme. Rousseau’s “mass matchmaking” effort affected all of the
makes it far less likely that those breeder novas she approves of     breeder novas, including those who would spawn Trog 2ndGens
will be noticed by the motherhunters. If they are ever so             and future criminals. Likewise, her “cloaking” of breeder novas
inclined, Mal’s command over quantum signatures of other novas        of whom she approves from the motherhunters and baseline
and Antaeus’ power to control ecological and biological               authorities does much to ensure their safety, at the cost of
processes on a grand scale can also allow them to “stack the          creating a misperception among baselines that all breeder novas
deck” in the breeder novas’ favor in their own ways with a little     can only give birth to the monstrous Trog 2ndGen novas. That
forethought. As for Pax, his control over kinetic energy makes        mistaken belief will make it very easy for baselines to condemn
him unsuited to aid breeder novas in both personality and power.      all novas as monsters; regardless of their deeds or actual status.
Non-canon culprits have other options available to them; as an        For the mixed consequences of a culprit group’s actions, the
über-telepath could use Consciousness Supremacy to inspire            Daedelus League’s relocation of suitable breeder novas to their
cautious behavior and a tendency to conceal their identities in       asteroid colonies is a good example. On the positive side, the
newly-erupted breeder novas. A precognitive nova of this              Daedelus League has provided what are clearly some of the
caliber could predict the eruptions of breeder novas, and make        safest refuges from the motherhunters that exist in 2015. These
arrangements to have pre-emptive measures in place to ensure          asteroid colonies are also an important first step for the
that they don’t get noticed (much less caught) by the                 eventual colonization of suitable extrasolar planets by the
motherhunters. If the motherhunters are employing sterility           Daedelus League, Protectors and whatever other groups of sane
retroviruses as part of their arsenal, a nova with Disease            novas that may arise in the decades leading to the Aberrant War
Authority to destroy or even subvert those bioweapons. Culprit        and the Exodus. In short, these novas have a potential for power
groups will lack the extreme power of the lone culprits, but can      and growth of all kinds that is astronomical (pun intended). On
draw on the wider range of capabilities possessed by their            the negative side, the Daedelus League and their fellow space
members instead. Combined with an appropriate strategy,               colonists have for the most part negated themselves as factors
culprit groups can be startlingly effective. Groups can provide       in the ongoing power struggle between the various factions of
breeder novas with new identities and livelihoods, relocate them      the Nova Age. Also, there is an element of rejection in the
to any refuge that can be found on Earth (and a few that are off      Daedelus League’s plans to abandon Earth. In addition to the
of it), work to find ways to restore the fertility of sterile novas   desires to lead more satisfying lives and raise their families
and/or immunize breeder novas against the Utopian sterility           without undue interference, they have effectively decided that
retroviruses, and generally hinder the motherhunters’ efforts at      Terran civilization and baseline humanity are not worth
every turn.                                                           protecting. Why should they risk their lives and those of their
        Is the culprit’s effort to aid the breeder novas overt or     children in an effort to defend a society that - for the most part
covert?                                                               - only wants to use them as disposable beasts of burden? The
      Depending on the circumstances, the culprit may either          Daedelus League and their fellow future space colonists have a
conceal or reveal (even if only to the breeder novas he’s             very bright future ahead of them and their children, but it will
attempting to help) his effort to aid the breeder novas. Overt        come at the cost of some very dark times on Earth.
efforts have the advantage of letting the affected breeder novas
know how and why they’ve been helped by the culprit, as well as
letting the culprit take the credit for his deed. The downside to
being overt is that some breeder novas may resent the culprit’s
                                                                      Family, Friends and
help (rightfully or not), and they will know exatly who to blame
for the “unwanted interference”. Also, overt attempts are
easier for other novas - like the motherhunters - to thwart.
                                                                      Fiends
                                                                            As could only be expected, breeder novas have proven to
Covert attempts are harder for the motherhunters and other            be an extremely diverse lot. Aside from their ability to channel
enemies to interfere with, as even those breeder novas aided by       quantum energies, the only thing that binds them together is
the culprit’s deed probably know about it. The problem with this      their capability to sire or bear the extremely powerful 2ndGen
is that it creates a mystery in the lives of those breeder novas      nova children. Those novas who either seek to aid or harm
affected by it, and some of them are certainly perceptive and/or      breeder novas and their children likewise have little in common.
intuitive enough to notice it. If an attempt to investigate a         The following trios of breeder novas, delivery boys and
culprit’s covert deed isn’t quickly derailed, it can easily expose    motherhunters have been designed to show the different paths
both the culprit and the breeder novas he helped to the               that novas can follow in this conflict, and are ready to use as
motherhunters. Culprit groups will typically have no choice but       Storyteller (and possibly player) characters. As always,
to keep their actions covert, as secrecy is absolutely vital to the   Storytellers and players should feel free to alter these
proper functioning of any conspiracy. Unlike the powerful             characters to better suit their Aberrant chronicles and/or



                                                                 RULES
                                                            ABERRANT

personal tastes if desired, but they can also provide story hooks      as you know there aren’t any around here. Most of the novas
that are ready-made to be inserted into a breeder nova                 who erupt in places like your neck of the woods either head out
chronicle.                                                             to New York or the West Coast if they don’t leave the country
                                                                       entirely, and good for them. You have a good, stable life, and
                                                                       that’s the important thing. Your husband makes a good living
Family                                                                 selling insurance, business at your bridal shop has been brisk and
Susan Bellson                                                          the two of you love each other. Other people can have their
                                                                       interesting lives, you are long past the pain of growing up and
       Background: Up until Susan was well into her fifth year of
                                                                       have no interest in revisiting it. If you’re “about” anything, you
childhood, things were fairly happy for the little girl and her
                                                                       are about the joys of stability. You like your life, and beyond
parents in their isolated town in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
                                                                       accommodating the needs of your upcoming child you see no
That all changed when Susan’s mother died of pancreatic
                                                                       reason to change.
cancer, and her father became an alcoholic in a misguided effort
                                                                             Nature: Caregiver
to cope with his wife’s death. While the man was never outright
                                                                       Allegiance: Independent
abusive to his daughter, this did make Susan’s life very unstable
                                                                       Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 3,
while she was growing up. When Susan was 17, her father was
                                                                       Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 3, Charisma
driving her home - while drunk - along a winding mountain road
                                                                       4
at night in a sudden windstorm. As stress built, the two of them
                                                                       Abilities: Academics 1, Arts 4 (wedding design), Athletics 2,
started an argument about his drinking and their rotten lives in
                                                                       Awareness 2, Biz 3, Bureaucracy 1, Diplomacy 2, Drive 1,
general. The distraction was enough for their car to go over a
                                                                       Endurance 3, Etiquette 2, Firearms 2, Navigation 1, Rapport 4,
cliff. While her father died in the crash, Susan erupted, and was
                                                                       Resistance 3, Ride 1, Science 1, Stealth 2, Style 4, Subterfuge 1,
found by a search party a few days later wandering around the
                                                                       Survival 1.
countryside in shock. She told the authorities about her father’s
                                                                       Backgrounds: Attunement 3, Dormancy 5, Node 4, Resources 3
drinking, their argument and the storm. Everyone assumed that
                                                                       Merits & Flaws: Common Sense (1 point Merit), Secret (dormant
Susan had been thrown clear of the car just before it had been
                                                                       highly tainted nova, 3 point Flaw).
blown off the road. That was seven years ago. The money from
                                                                       Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 8 (Albinism,
her father’s life insurance policy, along with some modest
                                                                       Chilling [The ambient air temperature in Susan’s vicinity is
financial support from her mother’s family proved sufficient for
                                                                       lowered by 8 degrees Celsius], Energy Emission [cold wind],
Susan to put herself through college. It took Susan a few months
                                                                       Hormonal Imbalance [Rage], Permanent Power: Bodymorph)
after the accident to realize she’d erupted as a nova, whereupon
                                                                       Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength          (Irresistible Force), Mega-
she was appalled and quickly decided to walk away from her
                                                                       Stamina       (Adaptability, Regeneration), Mega-Intelligence
powers. It wasn’t a hard choice. When Susan began to
                                                                       (Eidetic Memory)
experiment with her powers, she found herself transformed into
                                                                       Quantum Powers: Bodymorph: Air                   (one dot each of
a living incarnation of the windstorm, an uncontrollably
                                                                       Density Decrease, Flight, Force Field and Immolate [cold wind,
destructive force of nature prone to fits of rage and tormented
                                                                       inflicts bashing damage]), Elemental Anima: Air
by memories she didn’t want to deal with ever again. It was
                                                                       (Enhance/Diminish, Lethal Blast, Sphere, Storm).
obvious to Susan that she’d eventually wind up leveling buildings
                                                                             Methods and tactics: “How about this dress?” As befits
and killing people if she tried to live as a nova 24/7. Fortunately,
                                                                       someone who doesn’t think of herself as a nova, Susan’s
she also knew how to shut down her nova powers and revert
                                                                       methods are fairly baseline and would revolve around common
back to a near-baseline state. After she learned to control her
                                                                       sense. If something unpleasant happens she will flee, call the
powers somewhat, Susan dormed down one day and has
                                                                       police, an auto mechanic, her husband, or whoever else is
remained dormant ever since then. Susan considers giving up
                                                                       appropriate. It is extremely unlikely in the normal course of
her powers a fair trade. When dormant, she could live and enjoy
                                                                       things that she’d ever “let her genie out of its bottle”, especially
life like any other normal person. Maybe she got some small,
                                                                       with Susan currently being pregnant. If Susan ever did transform
useful things out of eruption like not getting sick, but the bulk of
                                                                       into her nova self, she would be extremely destructive to any
it was better left alone. Susan doesn’t even consider herself a
                                                                       buildings and any baseline humans nearby, and her secret would
nova anymore. Not only has she never told anyone her secret,
                                                                       be out. On the other hand, although the lethal force of her other
it’s been more than 6 years since she has activated her M-R
                                                                       self isn’t going to be the first club out of the bag, it is there.
node, and she’s tried very hard not to think about it. Now Susan
                                                                       Transformed, Susan could attune small objects (a small child
is happily married to an insurance agent, runs her own bridal
                                                                       perhaps) and flee, flying through any walls or other barriers. She
shop, and is four months pregnant with her first child.
                                                                       could reduce the amount of air around large areas to near-
       Description: When she’s channeling quantum, Susan is a
                                                                       vacuum and induce suffocation. She could employ the storm
white ghostly figure made up of, and surrounded by, icy winds.
                                                                       technique to bring down buildings and/or hamper people.
Similarly, her personality is also wild and volatile in this form.
                                                                       Although Susan’s nova self is violent and (by baseline standards)
When dormant, Susan is a very attractive Caucasian blue eyed
                                                                       crazy, she isn’t actually a different person and her motivations
blonde. Eruption made her healthier and bleached out her hair
                                                                       would be the same. It is unlikely anyone could convince Susan to
from her prior dull brown shade, but she had bleached her hair
                                                                       transform into her nova self without physically threatening her
even before so her appearance didn’t change much.
                                                                       family, but if they did, they’d find themselves as the targets for
       Roleplaying Hints: Novas? You can honestly say that as far



                                                    ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                          ABERRANT

Susan’s rage and deadly force.                                       Smile mysteriously, give a wink and a nod, and let people see
     Note: Unknown to Susan, her husband David is also a closet      what they want to see in you. Make small talk and make sure
breeder nova. For his part, David strongly suspects that Susan       their glass is half full. Other novas, especially elites are better
has erupted, but has decided to avoid that topic until Susan feels   left “prankless” and avoided, not so much because you’re afraid
comfortable enough with it to “come out” to him. Also, Susan’s       of them… okay, maybe exactly because you are afraid of them,
unborn child will be born as a True 2ndGen nova, provided that       but also because some of them are better at the social thing than
she remains dormant for the remainder of her pregnancy. If she       you are and some of them are able to effortlessly see through
does not, she risks pregnancy complications and having her child     your attempts to disguise.
become a Trog 2ndGen nova.                                           Nature: Somewhere between Hedonist and Jester
Andy “Loverboy” Smith                                                Allegiance: DeVries
                                                                     Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 4,
(formerly Mitch Falwell)                                             Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Appearance 5, Manipulation 4, Charisma
      Background: Mitch was the illegitimate son of an unwed         5
teen mother, and the other residents of the small Kansas town        Abilities: Athletics 1, Awareness 3, Carousing 3, Disguise 1, Drive
he grew up in never let him forget it. Mitch was always getting      1, Endurance 3, Investigation 5, Legerdemain 1, Linguistics 1
into unearned trouble as a result of his neighbors’ prejudices, so   (English native, French), Martial Arts 1, Perform 1, Resistance 3,
early on he decided he might as well become a troublemaker in        Seduction 5, Stealth 1, Style 2, Subterfuge 3.
truth and have as much fun as possible. While in high school,        Backgrounds: Backing (DeVries) 1, Cipher 3, Eufiber 2,
Mitch was being busted for underage drinking when he erupted.        Resources 3
His new powers let him pass the blood test, and the charges          Merits & Flaws: Speedy (7 point Merit, +7 to Initiative), Lusty (1
were dropped. It wasn’t long before Mitch figured out that he        point Flaw), Secret (teenage serial deadbeat dad and former
could also beat up jocks and score with their babes. He could        thief, 3 point Flaw).
even become someone else to pull off some awesome practical          Quantum 1, Quantum Pool 22, Willpower 6, Taint 0
jokes… like knocking up the daughters of both the local head of      Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength             (Quantum Leap), Mega-
the Church of Michael Archangel and the local sheriff. Mitch was     Stamina        (Health), Mega-Perception (Bloodhound), Mega-
never implicated in the following investigations, but he still       Appearance         (Appearance Alteration, Copycat, Seductive
decided that his hometown was in danger of becoming too hot          Looks), Mega-Charisma (Seductive)
for his liking. Mitch was on a Greyhound bus headed for New          Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal
York City a few days later, with his few belongings and a healthy    Organ, Intuition .
amount of stolen cash. Immediately dismissing Project Utopia as            Methods and tactics: Andy is always careful to not wear his
unsuited to his tastes, Mitch instead applied at DeVries’ New        own face when pulling off his “pranks”, especially those that
York office. Mitch was signing a contract with some very nice        involve seducing women. Combined with his Cipher rating and
benefits right after the interview. After helping Mitch reinvent     investigative skills, this makes fingering Andy as the culprit
himself as “Andy Smith”, DeVries set him up as a paid escort for     close to impossible. If Andy is caught while pulling a prank and it
baseline ladies around the party circuit. Andy has also been         looks like it’s getting violent, he’ll use Quantum Leap and a quick
acting as a stud nova in DeVries’ “compensated dating” program       use of Copycat to escape. With the exception of his
since its’ inception. A year’s worth of working for DeVries          “compensated dates”, Andy is also careful to never get any of
hasn’t stopped Andy from indulging in his favored pastime of         the women he “escorts” pregnant, as that would bring the
hell-raising, he’s only become much more discreet about it.          DeVries gravy train to a halt, but other than that the sky is the
Whether or not Andy will eventually grow up is an open               limit. One of Andy’s favorite tricks is to “date” women who are
question. When Andy gives thought to the ethics of what he           currently fertile. He especially delights in knocking up the
does (which is rare), he thinks that novas like him are              daughters and/or wives of the more straight-laced and
responsible for creating the next generation of novas, especially    moralistic members of society, as Andy considers “loosening up
since most other elites are so busy killing off so much of the old   their world” to be great fun. The irony of such “upstanding
one… or something like that. He didn’t really follow all the logic   pillars of the community” becoming implicated in the resulting
of the “queen bee” theory one of the scientists at DeVries went      scandals is just desserts as far as Andy’s concerned. Fortunately
into when Andy joined DeVries’ “compensated dating” program.         for Andy, his definition of “straight-laced” does not include
But Andy knows that it’s his duty to get as many women               elites or other novas, and he takes considerable pains to avoid
pregnant as possible.                                                targeting them and their relatives with his pranks. Andy’s
      Description: In his “default” form Andy is a drop-dead         methodology is very flexible and he tends to make it up as he
gorgeous Caucasian male, noticeably taller than average with         goes along. Common techniques he uses are:
sandy-blond hair and hazel eyes. He typically appears to be in                First scoping out the babes, picking one, figuring out
his early twenties thanks to his near-constant use of                what she wants, then leaving. A little later he’ll come back
Appearance Alteration, but is actually only 16 years old.            wearing a different face, clothes, and mannerisms and make his
      Roleplaying Hints: The world is yours now, but the one         move. This can range from looking like someone he wants to
thing you learned from eruption was that getting caught sucks,       blame to being a generic ‘other person’ and leaving no trace, or
so no bragging about it. Subtlety rules. Continue to research        even looking like someone’s significant other to put the moves
your project(s) and be sure to take lots of time off for “breaks”.   on them. If possible he’ll wait to make his move until the two of



                                                                RULES
                                                          ABERRANT

them are alone or alone in a crowd.                                  caliber, being slightly taller than average with satiny black hair
         Andy’s powers prevent him from getting drunk or             and sapphire blue eyes. As Insecta, she’s gone from “model” thin
drugged. Thus he can engage in drinking contests or just wait        to “starving model on crack” thin and she now smells pleasantly
for the party to supply alcohol. He can and will use his social      of fresh honey. She dresses surprisingly well when on the hunt
skills to encourage drinking, typically more on the part of          for either mates or funds.
obstacles to his schemes than on his “dates” (if his social skills         Roleplaying Hints: People? There are no people, just
can’t get someone to say yes then it must be a seriously messed      objects. Those things walking around on two legs are either
up situation).                                                       potential mates or (more often) threats to your survival. Try not
         As a matter of habit Andy doesn’t tend to leave             to talk with them any more than is necessary, insects make more
fingerprints whenever he can avoid doing so.                         sense.
        If a woman says no and means it, Andy will assume she’s      Nature: Survivor
an elite and walk away (this was beaten into him one night).         Allegiance: Independent
         Andy tends to function at one of two levels, either         Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5, Perception 4,
determined or opportunistic. If all he’s looking to do is score      Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Appearance 5, Manipulation 4, Charisma
with a hot babe then opportunity rules and there are lots of fish    5
in the ocean… well, make that singles bars and college campuses.     Abilities: Animal Training 1, Athletics 2, Awareness 5, Disguise 1,
But a well-crafted prank can take weeks or even months of            Endurance 3, Intrusion 4, Investigation 3, Martial Arts 2,
determined research and preparation before it can be pulled off.     Medicine 2, Navigation 2, Perform 1, Resistance 3, Seduction 5,
Jean “Insecta” Whittaker                                             Stealth 3, Style 4, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 1, Survival 2.
                                                                     Backgrounds: Attunement 2, Cipher 5, Node 2, Resources 2
      Background: A year ago, Jean Whittaker was an
                                                                     Merits & Flaws: None.
unattractive young spinster who worked as a registered nurse at
                                                                     Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 8 (Altered
Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. During
                                                                     Gestation [Insecta must implant her fetus into a large, healthy
a home invasion of her three-room apartment, Jean was raped
                                                                     young man in order for it to develop properly, & cannot bear it
by the robber and became pregnant. After enduring the
                                                                     to term herself], Estrus [Insecta is driven to mate once a month,
unwanted fetus inside of her for nine months, Jean erupted while
                                                                     with healthy men only], Painfully Thin, Sociopathic, Strange
she was recovering from her labor. At first eruption was
                                                                     Scent [smells like honey])
wonderful for Jean, as not only was she no longer fat or ugly, she
                                                                     Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength                (Precision), Mega-
was now superhumanly attractive and charismatic. She could fly,
                                                                     Dexterity       (Catfooted), Mega-Stamina             (Accelerated
and command insects with her mind. She also gained a bizarre
                                                                     Gestation x2, Fertility, Health, Regeneration), Mega-Perception
power to make men pregnant with her children, which she
                                                                            (Bloodhound, Ultraperipheral Perception), Mega-Wits
regarded as an embarrassing secret. Flush with a newfound self-
                                                                     (Mind Over Matter), Mega-Appearance             (Seductive Looks),
confidence from her eruption, Jean found the strength of will to
                                                                     Mega-Charisma          (Seductive)
give her child up for adoption. After mastering her nova
                                                                     Quantum Powers: Animal Mastery           (Weakness: Insects only),
capabilities, Jean then tracked down her rapist via her
                                                                     Bioluminescence , Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal
superhuman senses and insect servants, and proceeded to beat
                                                                     Organ, Body Modification: Parasitic Gestation (3 nova point
him to death with her bare hands. Jean was never even
                                                                     level), Claws       , Flight , Immobilize (webbing)         , Poison
suspected of the murder. Maybe it was residual anger she had
                                                                          (Extra Duration x2: effect lasts for days, Weakness: Only
from being raped, maybe it was the guilt from killing her rapist
                                                                     produces a single poison type, reduces victim’s Strength dice
and getting away with it, maybe it was the guilt from giving her
                                                                     pool), Psychic Shield .
child up for adoption (on some level this felt like abandoning
                                                                           Methods and tactics: Once a month Insecta’s instincts drive
him), but since her eruption Jean has become absolutely riddled
                                                                     her to try and reproduce. So far she has made five attempts,
with taint. (In game terms she has been buying things tainted,
                                                                     with four of the men dying before her offspring could come to
most recently her fifth dot of quantum). Now she is a very
                                                                     term and the fifth being recovered by the police (he was sterile).
twisted reflection of all of her guilts and wishes. As Insecta she
                                                                     Insecta’s fifth victim is still paralyzed and is currently
seduces (rapes?) men, leaving them pregnant with her fetus
                                                                     hospitalized. Insecta has figured out that leaving men in hot
inside of them and then once again she just walks away from her
                                                                     attics results in their death after a couple of days, so she won’t
offspring. She’s also rebuilt her psyche into that of a sociopath
                                                                     be doing that anymore. She’s also figured out that her “partner”
so that this inhuman behavior feels natural to her now. Having
                                                                     needs to be extremely fit and big (in game terms, have the Huge
quit her nursing job, Insecta supports herself as a transient by
                                                                     Size Merit) to survive long enough to bring her offspring to
preying (mostly) on Chicago’s criminal population. This is more a
                                                                     term. Now she will look for young, large men (the bigger the
matter of convenience to her mind than justice or compassion -
                                                                     better) to serve as her mates. When stalking humans for their
killing and robbing criminals instead of “solid citizens” attracts
                                                                     cash, Insecta typically disguises her attack as a seduction
less attention from the police. Usually.
                                                                     attempt. Once she’s gotten her victim alone, she quickly kills him
      Description: Before her eruption, Jean Whittaker was a
                                                                     and helps herself to his cash. If forced into combat, she almost
short, unhandsome Caucasian female in her mid-thirties with
                                                                     always strikes from ambush to minimize any risks to herself.
frizzy brown hair and watery blue eyes, and had become
                                                                     While Insecta can talk normally she doesn’t bother to do so
noticeably obese as a result of her pregnancy. Just after her
                                                                     beyond the minimum necessary to make purchases or seduce
eruption, Jean was an absolutely stunning beauty of supermodel


                                                  ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                            ABERRANT

men, as she now finds communication with humans fairly                 began observing the young woman in question. Soon enough
pointless and confusing. If Insecta senses another nova, or even       observation became outright attraction, and they started dating.
the police, she will flee. Insecta only goes out at night and is       A few years later, David and Susan got married while attending
always on the lookout for empty homes that she can squat in and        college. By his sophomore year in college the dreams had turned
use as “love nests” for her mates. If she can’t find an empty          into full-blown visions that came to him even during his waking
home then she will find an abandoned car or building or                hours, and after a while David figured it out. Somehow, he had
somewhere else to lair. For money she sometimes raids criminals        erupted as a nova and had gained the ability to see visions of
after asking her insects to look for drugs, other times she pulls      both the past and possible future events. Although he briefly
money from the wallets of her victims or money stashed in              considered telling people about his eruption, it seemed best to
houses where she lairs. She used to visit soup kitchens but the        keep his “ace” hidden until he figured out what he could and
social interaction was too much for her. When the urge to mate         would do. After a while David decided that he’d just stay hidden,
is on her she will fly around and look for suitable mates. Insecta     as he noticed that all sorts of unpleasant people took notice of
prefers to seduce a chosen mate so that he’ll accompany her to         novas and made preparations to deal with them. Considering
her lair under his own power. If her seduction attempt fails (or if    that those “preparations” ranged from social pressure and
she’s feeling too desperate to bother with seduction), she will        blackmail to bringing in other novas and cold-blooded murder,
simply grab the first suitable mate she finds, poison him so that      David felt that living openly as a nova wasn’t for him. He also
he can’t struggle, and fly off with him. Then she will carry him       realized that his power of pretercognition fell into the category
off to her current lair, mate with him, web him up, and leave to       of “way too useful for his own good”. It didn’t take precognition
find herself a new lair. As bad as the threat posed by Insecta is      to see that certain people with secrets to hide could assume that
now, potentially it could be much worse. At the moment it’s            he knew too much and would try to do something permanent
unclear whether or not her “children” would inherit her powers,        about the threat he posed to them. Only slightly less distasteful
but if she picks up a second level of Fertility her offspring would    was the prospect of finding himself conscripted by some covert
most likely be Trog 2ndGen novas. If Insecta develops the              government agency, where he’d likely end up living in a gilded
Adaptability enhancement, she could become almost impossible           cage while using his visions “for the good of national security”.
for a group of novas to deal with. Finally, if Insecta gains further   David decided to keep his nova status secret, and he has never
dots of permanent taint, she could become driven to mate on a          seen a reason to alter this choice. After college David used his
daily basis, possibly reproducing asexually and making clones of       powers to become a very well-paid insurance salesman, and
herself.                                                               nowadays he owns his own insurance company. His
                                                                       pretercognition has allowed him to avoid otherwise-profitable
                                                                       contracts for people and properties that are highly likely to be
Friends                                                                seriously injured, killed or damaged in the future, as he’ll see the
David Bellson                                                          trouble coming and not take up the contract in the first place.
                                                                       David found that the ability to check the future and make the
Background: David came from a typical boring Colorado upper
                                                                       right choices in a business environment is extremely profitable.
middle class family composed of a mother, father, three children
                                                                       His company has been extremely profitable and tends to avoid
and a dog. Dad was a high-level manager for a local mining
                                                                       serious losses in the wake of major traffic accidents and natural
company, while Mom stayed home and raised the kids. As the
                                                                       disasters, including collateral damage from other novas’ quantum
middle child of a family made up of stable, well-off people his
                                                                       battles. Luckily for David, as a private company he doesn’t need
family life was fairly idyllic, even if it was like having Ward &
                                                                       to post his profits and as a small company it’s easy to avoid
June Cleaver for parents at times. Everyone got along and was
                                                                       publicity. To date David has never told anyone he is a nova, not
reasonably comfortable and happy. David never managed to pin
                                                                       even his wife Susan. Since he doesn’t really look the part and
down the exact time of his eruption, as he’d never had anything
                                                                       doesn’t have any flashy powers, it’s been fairly easy to stay in
more than minor headaches. It’s possible that it took years, since
                                                                       the closet so far.
far back as he can remember he’d always considered himself
                                                                             Despite the success of his insurance company and his
lucky. At some point in high school David blossomed in several
                                                                       happy marriage to Susan, there are still several things that
ways, which included becoming both a talented athlete and a
                                                                       continue to worry him. After preventing the traffic accident
knack for dealing with people really well socially. With his father
                                                                       where he’d first seen Susan in his dreams, David thought he’d
being a noted former jock and varsity baseball team captain
                                                                       prevented her from erupting into the enraged elemental
during his own high school days, he wrote off his talent for
                                                                       creature he’d seen in his vision. His later visions of Susan in her
sports as “inherited good genetics” at the time. During his
                                                                       elemental form quickly threw that conclusion into dispute. David
senior year of high school, David’s life began to take a turn for
                                                                       now suspects that Susan must have erupted at some point in the
the bizarre that he couldn’t explain away. The young man started
                                                                       past, but he isn’t totally sure whether or not she’s aware of it.
to have dreams that told him things about the world that he
                                                                       When he looks at those futures where he brings up that subject
couldn’t possibly have learned through normal means, although
                                                                       in private conversation, Susan gets very upset. David’s decided
telling the prophetic dreams from his normal ones took him a
                                                                       that when Susan is ready she will come to him, as it seems like
while. It was at this time that he dreamed about a female
                                                                       this is a sore subject that he shouldn’t touch. A few years ago he
classmate of his getting hit by a car, only to transform into an air
                                                                       noticed something else very disturbing in his visions. In every
elemental and start killing people afterwards. David intervened
                                                                       future where he and Susan go public as novas, they end up losing
and prevented the accident from taking place, after which he



                                                                  RULES
                                                           ABERRANT

their unborn child to a miscarriage and become unable to have         across a nova he makes sure that he doesn’t. This limits some of
any more children. In every future where they go public as            his activities, but the price of exposure as a nova is just too high
fertile “breeder novas”, an accident of some sort occurs and          for him to accept. For example, David could run for public office,
they (and their child) end up dead. The conclusion that the more      but sooner or later this course of action would require him to
vile rumors about some conspiracy being behind novas’ fertility       meet other novas publicly, which in turn would result in his being
problems were true was fairly obvious to David… so without            “outed” as a nova. When dealing with baselines David makes
telling his wife he made plans for them. Plans to flee. Plans to      sure to be a good businessman and only sell people what they
hide. Plans to establish secret caches of money and supplies.         need. As a soft target with no combat abilities, in theory David
Then David figured out that they weren’t the only closet              should be an ineffectual player in the grand game of power in
breeder novas facing this problem.                                    the Nova Age. In practice David has proven to be a force
      Description: David appears to be a fit and moderately           multiplier in the factional struggles. David’s visions led him to
handsome Caucasian man, perhaps in his early thirties. He has         contact the head of the Aberrants, Sophia Rousseau. Now he
brown eyes which are beginning to develop crow’s feet, and            acts as a private oracle for Mme. Rousseau, and gives her his
wavy black hair that has noticeably thinned. He typically dresses     precognitive “advice” via a mind link. It’s been a profitable
in whatever business or casual attire is appropriate for the          relationship for the both of them; as David gets to aid the
occasion, and wears wire-framed eyeglasses (which he doesn’t          Aberrants (and receive the same from them, if needed) while
actually need).                                                       staying firmly in the closet. In return, Sophia gets timely
      Roleplaying Hints: The reason why people say “don’t shoot       forecasts from David on a variety of concerns, letting her see
the messenger” is because the messenger is usually shot.              what’s coming and make appropriate plans.
Similarly, telling people you made ten times what they did last       Sally “Rebel Yell” Seashore
year is unlikely to convince them to buy insurance policies from
                                                                            Background: Sally Seashore was born in the spring of 1994
you. You get more money by being humble than by being self-
                                                                      to a neo-hippie couple in San Francisco, California, but early on
important; so never brag, or talk about money, or mention what
                                                                      in her life they “found Jesus” and made a radical lifestyle
the future will bring. Be sure to gamble for small stakes and lose
                                                                      change. Moving out of their apartment in the Haight-Ashbury
on purpose (this can be hard, but do it anyway). Go hunting with
                                                                      district, they reinvented themselves as social reactionaries and
the guys and let the other guy get the first shot… but be good
                                                                      Christian fundamentalists, and resettled in a small house in the
enough that they respect you. Giving money opens doors, this
                                                                      outskirts of Daly City. They didn’t change their family name
specifically includes political ones. Be active in church, and be
                                                                      however, which pretty much ensured that Sally would regularly
sure to meet lots of people. When making big decisions examine
                                                                      be picked on at school by her peers. This unearned mistreatment
the issue from several viewpoints, specifically Susan’s and the
                                                                      caused Sally to develop a rebellious streak at an early age, much
future.
                                                                      to her parents’ consternation. That consternation became
Nature: Architect
                                                                      outright dismay as Sally also developed other “undesirable”
Allegiance: Aberrants
                                                                      traits such as disrespect for authority, rejection of traditional
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Perception 5,
                                                                      values, and a total unwillingness to accept her divinely ordained
Intelligence 5, Wits 3, Appearance 3, Manipulation 5, Charisma
                                                                      role of “meek, obedient housewife”. Things only became more
4
                                                                      strained when Sally hit 14 and became a devoted fan of novas
Abilities: Animal Training 1, Athletics 2, Awareness 5*, Biz 5*,
                                                                      (and a would-be nova groupie). Their tolerance for Sally’s
Bureaucracy 2, Drive 2, Endurance 3, Firearms 2, Gambling 1,
                                                                      freethinking ways reached the breaking point in Sally’s 16th
Interrogation 1, Investigation 5*, Martial Arts 1, Might 1,
                                                                      year, when they discovered that she was three months pregnant.
Navigation 2, Perform 2, Rapport 3, Resistance 3, Ride 1,
                                                                      Aghast that their willful daughter had been having sex without
Stealth 1, Style 2, Subterfuge 5, Survival 2, Tradecraft 3*.
                                                                      their knowledge or permission and had shamed them in front of
      Abilities marked with * are heavily dependent on David’s
                                                                      their congregation, Sally’s parents promptly disowned her and
precognitive powers, and if he loses them through being moxed
                                                                      kicked her out of the house. It wasn’t but 24 hours later that
or dorming then he functions at three dots less.
                                                                      Sally erupted just a few blocks away from Golden Gate Park in
Backgrounds: Allies 2 (Susan Bellson, Sophia Rousseau), Cipher
                                                                      respose to a mugging attempt. After beating the hell out of her
2, Contacts 3 (various business contacts), Dormancy 2,
                                                                      assailant with her newfound superhuman speed and mastery of
Followers 3 (his office staff), Influence 2, Node 1, Resources 5
                                                                      the martial arts, the would-be mugger was arrested by a nearby
Merits & Flaws: Common Sense (1 point Merit).
                                                                      police officer and sent to a hospital for his injuries. In the throes
Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 0
                                                                      of a typically horrible eruption headache, Sally allowed herself to
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Perception             (That Creepy Feeling),
                                                                      be whisked away to the San Francisco Rashoud clinic for medical
Mega-Intelligence         (Mental Prodigy: Strategic), Mega-
                                                                      assistance. The whole experience of registration and testing
Manipulation (Persuader), Mega-Charisma (Perfect Guest).
                                                                      somehow felt a bit off to Sally, but having nowhere else to go,
Quantum Powers: Intuition           , Luck           , Premonition
                                                                      she ignored her uneasiness. Even though Utopia’s smile-faced
(Others) , Pretercognition , Psychic Shield **.
                                                                      authoritarianism quickly began to grate on Sally’s nerves, her
      **Attempts to read David’s mind tend to result in the
                                                                      determination to master her nova capabilities allowed her to
gathering of a great deal of mind-numbingly boring accounting
                                                                      hold back her natural recalcitrance while they trained her. It
information.
                                                                      wasn’t until Sally suddenly had a miscarriage and found herself
      Methods and tactics: If David senses he’s going to run
                                                                      sterile that her constant unease blossomed into the certainty


                                                   ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                              ABERRANT

that Project Utopia had deliberately killed her unborn child. Sally      timely information, but someone must really on the ball as she’s
then left Utopia without a word, and disappeared into the                usually the first person on the scene. She will then make first
streets of San Francisco. It wasn’t soon afterwards that Sally           contact with the breeder nova couple and explain to them that
found herself recruited by the Aberrants, and things finally             the motherhunters and/or Utopians and/or other unsavory types
started going right for her. Now she works for the Aberrants as          are only a step behind her. Hopefully Sally can convince them to
a delivery girl, operating mostly in the western regions of North        flee, allowing her to just pick her charges up and rocket off at
America. As far as Sally is concerned, every breeder nova and            superspeed, leaving an empty house with the lights on. Sally is
nova child she saves from the motherhunters is another dollop of         extremely convincing and she will use that to her advantage. She
revenge against Utopia and Aeon. It remains to be seen when              can attune one or more people (depending on their weight) so
Sally will consider herself and her unborn child to have been            they will gain immunity to side effects of her speed, and anyone
avenged.                                                                 over that weight limit can be carried. Sally will then take her
      Description: Sally is a fashion model-caliber caucasian            charges to a safehouse where other Aberrants will take over and
woman with straight black hair and cherrywood-brown eyes. As             see to relocating the breeder novas somewhere safer. Sally’s
she’s a bit shorter than average and looks younger than she              other type of mission can be called “covert social calls”, and
really is, she can easily pass herself off as still being in her late    involve her making contact with breeder novas or Aberrant
teens instead of her true age of 21.                                     sympathizers whose covers have NOT been blown. The
      Roleplaying Hints: Stay calm. Stay cool. Smile. And be the         objectives for this type of mission vary; Sally’s tasks have
first one to act, there’s no point to having all this speed if you let   included talking Aberrant sympathizers into setting up a
the other guys go first. You are not “over” what those jerks at          safehouse and warning breeder nova couples against “coming
Utopia did to you and your unborn child, but you have come to            out of the closet”. On these missions Sally often chooses to
terms with it. You even know that most people aren’t ready to            make contact gradually. Sally still looks young enough to pass as
accept the truth about Utopia so mostly you don’t talk about it.         an older teenager, and she takes pains to reinforce that image
What you do now days is stop others from making your                     by doing her hair up in a ponytail and keeping up to date with the
mistakes… even if that does sound too much like your damn                latest teen fashions and fads. This form of social camouflage
parents for your comfort. Just be sure to take advantage of your         allows Sally to walk up to someone quite openly in a large variety
infrequent downtime to go clubbing and pick up a boyfriend now           of public settings without attracting undue attention. If other
and then.                                                                (usually hostile) novas show up during a mission, given the
Nature: Rebel                                                            choice Sally will simply zoom off and let them eat her dust. If she
Allegiance: Aberrants                                                    must engage in combat, Sally prefers to take full advantage of
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5, Perception 3,            her speed to attack and then move out of range of any
Intelligence 2, Wits 5, Appearance 5, Manipulation 3, Charisma           counterattacks. Sally also has the ability to give a nerve-
4                                                                        shattering “rebel yell” (thus her name) which overloads her
Abilities: Athletics 5, Awareness 3, Brawl 2, Command 1,                 opponents’ nervous systems for a few moments. If she thinks
Disguise 2, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Firearms 1, Intrusion 2,               she’s dealing with other novas sometimes she will open with her
Linguistics 2 (English native, French, Spanish), Martial Arts 5          “rebel yell” as a prelude towards running away.
(specialty), Medicine 1, Navigation 2, Rapport 2, Resistance 3,          Bene “Bounty” Manata
Stealth 2, Streetwise 2, Style 1, Survival 2, Tradecraft 1.
                                                                              Background: Bene Manata was married when she was 14.
Backgrounds: Allies 2 (Aberrants), Attunement 5, Backing 2
                                                                         She then proceeded to have miscarriage after miscarriage until
(Aberrants), Cipher 2, Eufiber 3, Node 2, Resources 2.
                                                                         her husband divorced her when she was 18. Alone and lacking
Merits & Flaws: Speedy (7 point Merit, +7 to Initiative),
                                                                         any direction in her life, Bene’s curiosity led her to the Ethiopian
Intolerance (of Utopian/Aeon agents & employees, 1 point
                                                                         outback, where Project Utopia’s Operation Eden was underway.
Flaw).
                                                                         Once there, Bene got caught up in a Utopian terraforming
Quantum 2, Quantum Pool 26, Willpower 8, Taint 0
                                                                         accident that triggered her eruption. She was ‘rescued’ by
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength            (Quantum Leap), Mega-
                                                                         nearby Utopian novas, who convinced her to sign on with the
Dexterity          (Rapid Strike), Mega-Stamina          (Durability,
                                                                         Project. With her power over plants Bene was assigned to work
Regeneration), Mega-Wits           (Quickness x3), Mega-Charisma
                                                                         closely with Antaeus in his efforts to further Operation Eden.
    (Seductive).
                                                                         However, shortly after starting work with Antaeus, Bene was
Quantum Powers: Armor , Strobe                (Sensory Deprivation
                                                                         exposed to the Utopian sterility cocktail and she recognized it
Wave), Hypermovement (Running)              , Intuition , Psychic
                                                                         for what it was. After very quietly informing Antaeus about the
Shield .
                                                                         Utopian sterility cocktail, Bene fled from Project Utopia. She
      Methods and tactics: Sally generally gets two types of
                                                                         then approached Count Orzaiz for advice on joining the Teragen
missions. In a “grab the goods and run” mission, somehow the
                                                                         and was promptly recruited by him. From that point on, Bounty
Aberrants have discovered that some breeder nova couple
                                                                         became the Teragen’s de facto fertility goddess and has been
who’ve been living in the closet has had (or maybe that’s ‘will
                                                                         accepted (albeit a bit grudgingly) as a member of the Pantheon.
have’) their cover blown. Typically Sally is told to get to a
                                                                         Bounty’s claims to membership in the Pantheon are that she has
breeder nova couple and to get them (and their kids, if any) out
                                                                         gone through a Chrysalis and she cares for, and has helped
of whatever danger they’re facing before the shit even has time
                                                                         conceive, the Teragens’ children. One effect of Bounty’s
to hit the fan. Sally isn’t sure how the Aberrants are getting such
                                                                         evolution through Chrysalis has been a tendency to care so


                                                                    RULES
                                                             ABERRANT

deeply for ‘her’ children that she can’t let go of them. It is for      Biomanipulation technique of the same name.
this reason Bounty insists all Terat novas who make use of her                Methods and tactics: With her powers Bounty could easily
services must leave the resulting children in her care.                 feed an army, a pity she doesn’t have one. On occasion she has
      Description: Bounty is a striking woman with African              been assigned bodyguards from the various Terat factions or
features, with dark eyes and green leaves instead of hair. Her          from her charges’ parents, but she has found that having more
skin has a delicate covering of leafy vines and moss growing            than one promotes conflict and causes her to spend too much
from it, which also gives off the pleasant scent of fresh-cut           time mediating disputes. She allows one, and only one, nova
grass. As this vegetation provides her with what she considers          guard at her Nursery. Typically this is a parent of one of the
adequate coverage (and she rarely associates with baselines),           children. Other than that she uses her powers to turn nature
Bounty typically goes without clothing of any sort.                     against the few baselines who wander too close to the Nursery
      Roleplaying Hints: You don’t have much interaction with           until they leave.
the ‘outside’ world because the children come first. Your time is
mostly spent entertaining and educating them. They are the
reason you exist and your life’s calling. The only reason you           Fiends
don’t have more is to concentrate on the ones you already have.         Alice “Anguish” Nyce
When you do interact with the outside world you advocate
                                                                              Background: On the madness of the first anniversary of N-
peace among your fellow Terats. Peace would allow the children
                                                                        Day, a nova who was ‘celebrating’ his eruption raped Alice. She
to grow up and mature and eventually take their place among the
                                                                        found out she was pregnant shortly thereafter. This put her
most evolved. While your calling has been your source of
                                                                        under enormous emotional stress, as she both wanted the baby
strength and direction, it has also blinded you to some of the
                                                                        badly and didn’t want it at all. Deeply religious, abortion was
maneuverings of your more ruthless fellow Pantheon members.
                                                                        something she wanted and needed badly, and she was absolutely
Nature: Caregiver
                                                                        opposed to the idea with every fiber of her being. After a few
Allegiance: Teragen
                                                                        weeks of the anguish of this mental deadlock, Alice erupted.
Archetype: Portent
                                                                        This solved one set of problems, but at a cost. Alice became
Stage: Second
                                                                        sterile, had a miscarriage, and gained powers that revolved
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 5, Perception 4,
                                                                        around sterility. Distraught, she went to Utopia and came to the
Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 2, Charisma
                                                                        attention of Director Thetis, who turned Alice’s physical and
4
                                                                        mental issues into assets for Proteus. With some psychological
Abilities: Academics 1, Animal Training 1, Arts 1, Athletics 1,
                                                                        counseling, Alice came to the conclusions that her barrenness
Awareness 1, Command 1, Diplomacy 1, Endurance 3, Etiquette
                                                                        was God’s will, and that her nova powers were tools with which
1, Interrogation 1, Instruction 3 (Children), Linguistics 4
                                                                        to perform the service God had commanded from her. Alice now
(Orominga native, Amharic, English, Arabic, French), Medicine
                                                                        considers her job of covertly sterilizing other novas to be her
2, Rapport 5, Resistance 3, Ride 1, Stealth 2, Style 1, Survival 1,
                                                                        calling, and sees the phenomenon of nova sterility as God’s
Seduction 1
                                                                        divine judgment on novas as a whole. After meeting Mary
Backgrounds: Attunement 1, Backing 3 (Teragen), Contacts 3
                                                                        Armstrong (see below), Alice has found further justification for
(Teragen), Influence 2 (Teragen), Node 3, Resources 3
                                                                        her beliefs.
Merits & Flaws: None.
                                                                              Description: Alice appears to be an unremarkable woman in
Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 7, Taint 3, Chrysalis 2
                                                                        her mid-30s. Her race is unclear, and most people will describe
(Fur/Feathers [skin covered with a thin layer of leafy vines &
                                                                        her as being the same race as they are.
moss], Obsession [rearing/protecting ‘her’ children], Psychic
                                                                              Roleplaying Hints: Remain silent, be humble, let people
Feedback*, Strange Scent [smells like freshly-cut grass])
                                                                        think you a servant or just no one. Few could understand, fewer
      *Bounty is so “in tune” with living creatures that she
                                                                        still could believe. Your cross is your own to bear, it is your
experiences their pain as her own. In game terms, treat this as
                                                                        calling, your punishment, and your destiny.
the 4 point “Passive” flaw combined with a pathological
                                                                        Nature: Martyr
aversion to consuming animal-derived foods (requires
                                                                        Allegiance: Project Proteus
Willpower roll to overcome). Psychic Feedback is a medium-
                                                                        Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 5,
level mental aberration.
                                                                        Intelligence 3, Wits 4, Appearance 5 (Face in the crowd),
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina                (Adaptability, Fertility
                                                                        Manipulation 4, Charisma 4
x2, Health), Mega-Perception                   (Body Awareness,
                                                                        Abilities: Academics 1, Athletics 1, Awareness 3, Bureaucracy 1,
Bloodhound), Mega-Intelligence (Mental Prodigy: Medical),
                                                                        Disguise 3, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Etiquette 2, Firearms 1,
Mega-Charisma (Seductive)
                                                                        Intrusion 1, Martial Arts 1, Medicine 1, Meditation 3, Might 1,
Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal
                                                                        Perform 1, Resistance 3, Stealth 1, Streetwise 2, Style 1,
Organ, Fertility          *, Animal/Plant Mastery           (Nature
                                                                        Subterfuge 2, Survival 1, Tactics 1
Mastery), Growth         **
                                                                        Backgrounds: Attunement 1, Backing 5 (Proteus), Cipher 5,
      *Fertility is a Level 2 quantum power derived from the
                                                                        Influence 2, Node 2, Resources 3
Body Manipulation technique of Biomanipulation, and is limited
                                                                        Merits & Flaws: Sterility (1 point Flaw).
to briefly increasing a subject’s fertility.
                                                                        Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 9, Taint 2
      **Growth is a Level 2 quantum power identical to the
                                                                        Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength           (Quantum Leap), Mega-



                                                     ABERRANT: A BREED APART
                                                           ABERRANT

Stamina           (Regeneration), Mega-Perception             (Body   3
Awareness, Bloodhound), Mega-Appearance            (Ms. Nobody).      Abilities: Academics 1, Athletics 1, Awareness 5, Biz 5, Brawl 2,
Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal               Bureaucracy 1, Computer 1, Drive 2, Endurance 3, Firearms 2,
Organ, Intuition      , Poison (Projectile)      , Psychic Shield     Interrogation 1, Intimidation 1, Intrusion 1, Investigation 5,
   , Sterilize (Range)      .                                         Linguistics 1 (Spanish), Medicine 1, Melee 2 (nightstick), Might 1,
      Methods and tactics: Alice normally uses tactics akin to        Resistance 3, Stealth 1, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 5, Survival 1,
“shooting fish in a barrel”. Most of her targets are in jail, under   Tactics 1
medical restraints in a clinic, or otherwise physically unable to     Backgrounds: Backing 2 (Proteus), Cipher 5, Contacts 3 (Church
do anything even if they figure out what’s happened. She uses a       of Michael Archangel, The Directive), Resources 2
combination of Ms. Nobody and her connections to see people           Merits & Flaws: Vengeful (2 point Flaw)
under conditions where they have no effective choice but to           Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 1
take her attack, if they even notice it and if they understand        Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina             (Adaptability), Mega-
what it means, both of which are extremely rare in any event.         Intelligence            (Eidetic Memory, Mental Prodigy:
For example, a target in the XWF that was identified would            Investigative), Mega-Perception          (Electromagnetic Vision,
receive a visit after the match while they are still unconscious,     That Creepy Feeling)
and if the ‘wrong’ guy wins, then at least she got to see a fight.    Quantum Powers: Luck            , Pretercognition
Alice has no way to undo the effect of her power, even on                   Methods and tactics: Mostly Adam just follows the money.
herself. Project Proteus is extremely careful about exposing her,     For days on end he will sit at a computer, run multiple
and will hire bodyguards and/or transport appropriate for the         information sifting programs and connect the dots. It’s really
mission (normally a nova with Attunement 5 and some kind of           scary how easily things tend to just fall into place for him, and
transport power).                                                     with his flashes of ‘insight’ even a perfectly hidden trail can
Adam Smith                                                            grow hot.
      Background: Once upon a time, Adam’s life was perfect. He       Mary “Kinslayer” Armstrong
was a police officer in Tampa, and his deeply loved wife Sandra             Background: It has been said by some that children are little
was a secretary at City Hall. On June 6th, 2007, they had just        monsters. Mary has lived through the reality of that saying. Her
found out that Sandra was pregnant. Two days later, Geryon            son Joshua erupted when he was only 18 months old. He acquired
walked through her office en route to killing the Mayor, and he       superhuman intelligence without any of the ethics that an adult
pushed her through a wall for not getting out of his way fast         develops later, superhuman charisma and manipulation without
enough. The Terat killed her like a man would step on a bug.          the empathy that an adult has, and the ability to force his desires
Over the next two years Adam became obsessed with novas,              on others through some fairly scary mental powers. Many young
became an alcoholic, got kicked off the police force, joined the      children accidentally(?) hurt their pets, so maybe Joshua was a
Church of Michael Archangel, had a mental breakdown (not              normal child who ignored the consequences of misusing his
necessarily in that order), and finally erupted. Ideally he’d have    abilities, or maybe he was always destined to be a monster. In
erupted with enough power to kill Geryon, but that didn’t             any case, for the next two years Joshua’s small world was his
happen. Someone who slugs it out with Lotus Infinite and Core         playground. It was also a living hell for his parents, as Joshua
on a regular basis would make short work of Adam Smith. But           discovered that he enjoyed the pain of others. Josh had
with his enhanced intelligence came the realization that killing      monstrous mental powers of telekinesis and he could also
Geryon would have been putting an end to the Terat’s pain,            control others and even animals. Worse, he had the social
instead of the beginning of his torment. What Adam really             abilities to make others enjoy their torment. Eventually Mary’s
wanted to do was to hurt Geryon, as Geryon had hurt him.              husband Robert killed himself to escape Joshua’s torments, and
Studying the reports of Geryon’s public appearances brought           Mary erupted and killed her son. The one idea that this
the realization that Geryon had an alternative identity. Perhaps a    experience really ground into Mary’s psyche was this: nova
“normal”, civilian identity as a baseline… with a family. Adam        children aren’t human, and they should all be killed ASAP. Mary
now spends his time hunting down closet novas, Teragen                considers this revelation of hers to be sad and perhaps
members, and their families. Once he’s found them out, Adam           counterintuitive, but in her mind it is nothing less than the
delights in dropping dimes on the unfortunates. Turnabout is fair     undeniable truth. She also understands the fact that most people
play, after all.                                                      will never agree with this idea, but she is utterly convinced that
      Description: Adam appears to be a fairly typical white man      only novas who have developed stable personalities prior to
in his late 30s with brown hair and eyes.                             their eruptions can avoid becoming monsters.
      Roleplaying Hints: Follow the money, and when you find                Description: Mary is an attractive woman of mixed race in
someone, one properly placed Op-mail, letter, or more rarely,         her late twenties or early thirties.
phone call through your double blinds and history will repeat               Roleplaying Hints: Don’t bother trying to explain things,
itself with the correct ending. It’s a pity you can’t be there to     unless they’d been through what you had, people just can’t
watch, but vengeance is a dish best served cold.                      understand. The reality is that under the cute façade, child
Nature: Fanatic                                                       novas are little monsters. If you have to talk keep it small, the
Allegiance: Project Proteus                                           weather, sports, whatever. Scout things out for a while from a
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4, Perception 5,         long distance using animals, wait until people are asleep, then
Intelligence 5, Wits 4, Appearance 3, Manipulation 5, Charisma        sneak in. It’s really for their parents’ benefit, you’re sparing


                                                                 RULES
                                                            ABERRANT

them and the world the hell that the small ones would bring.
Nature: Visionary
Allegiance: Project Proteus
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 4, Perception 5,
Intelligence 3, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 3, Charisma
3
Abilities: Animal Training 3, Athletics 2, Awareness 4, Drive 1,
Endurance 3, Firearms 2, Instruction 1, Intrusion 5, Martial Arts
5, Melee 2, Resistance 3, Ride 2, Subterfuge 3, Stealth 5,
Streetwise 1, Style 1
Backgrounds: Attunement 4, Backing 4 (Proteus), Cipher
5,Followers 1 (random animal that she’s psychically linked to),
Node 2, Resources 4
Merits & Flaws: None.
Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 9, Taint 3
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength              (Crush, Unstoppable),
Mega-Dexterity          (Catfooted, Enhanced Movement), Mega-
Stamina (Hardbody, Regeneration), Mega-Perception
(Quantum Awareness, That Creepy Feeling)
Quantum Powers: Animal Mastery , Armor , Disintegration
   , Invisibility , Invulnerability: Willpower resisted effects
    (Broad Category), Psychic Link .
      Methods and tactics: Formerly a dog trainer, now Mary is
an ambush assassin. Normally she will watch and/or scout out a
location with a local animal, a bird or rat or something. Then she
uses her powers to sneak in, scan the target with Quantum
Awareness to make sure they don’t have a defense, and then
uses the ambush combat maneuver in combination with
Disintegration. If possible she will then sneak out, if not possible
she will use her Enhanced Movement to run away.




                                                    ABERRANT: A BREED APART

				
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