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THE NEW FLESH

Titans. Swifts. Dynamos.

INTRODUCTION
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or sloes Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And waterd heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? - The Tyger, by William Blake

What Is The New Flesh?


The New Flesh is EONs third fanbook for the Aberrant setting, and is also the third in a series of sourcebooks that take a close look at the potential and ramifications of the Mega-Attributes in the Nova Age. Having been preceded by the unofficial Brainwaves and EONs Forceful Personalities sourcebooks, The New Flesh in turn focuses on the Physical Mega-Attributes. As with all EON fanbooks, this piece of science fiction was inspired by the writers and creators of the Aeon Continuum gamelines over at White Wolf. Mega-Physical novas (and novas in general) are still a very new class of beinga new fleshin these early decades of the 21st Century. Gifted with nearly unparalleled might, agility and vigor, the Mega-Physical novas have amazed the world for over a decade with their athletic and martial feats. From the Mega-Strong Titans to the Mega-Dexterous Swifts to the Mega-Vigorous Dynamos, they have turned their superhuman physical capabilities towards whatever ends theyve seen fit. Due to the efforts of the more altruistic of these novas, disasters have been blunted, natural disasters averted, famines ended and innocent lives protected. Unfortunately, other such novas have used their gifts to wage unjust war, destroy innocent peoples homes and businesses, engage in wanton violence, commit murder and take advantage of those weaker than themselves. In both cases Mega-Physical novas have given (at least some) baselines reason to fear them, and it is only natural for such fears to spread to the general baseline population. The new flesh and the old flesh have managed to coexist for nearly two decades, albeit with some cost and discomfort. Whether or not this state of coexistence can be maintained or is doomed to degenerate into open conflict remains to be seen.

Biotechnology in Aberrant
While they are the premier example of such, MegaPhysical novas arent the only new flesh to have come onto the scene in the early Nova Age. Despite the best efforts of Project Utopias Technological Regulation Department, certain organizations and individuals have managed to make great advancements in the field of biotechnology. In addi-

INTRODUCTION

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tion to the expected advancements in medical technology and military bioweapons, certain nova biotech researchers have also explored means of augmenting animal species to attain full baseline-caliber sapience. Genetic engineering can also be employed to create new species of animals, plants and other lifeforms, the purposes of which vary as wildly as the desires of their creators. Faced with the prowess of Mega-Physical novas, much biotech research has focused on human augmentation in an attempt to give baselines an edge against nova foes and competitors. New drugs, cybernetics, bionics, biotech implants and genetic engineering now provide such edges, although they tend to be pitifully small ones when compared with nova capabilities and often impose a heavy cost on the user. The Heaven Thunder Triad has likewise not been idle, as they have expanded the range of drugs created though their processing of nova bodies quite a bit. With the potential for such novel lifeforms to be introduced into Earths ecology, often without any hope of recall and containment, the world can only wait for the consequences to unfold.

How to Use This Book


While seeing how physically powerful novas will fit into an ongoing story is pretty straightforward, there are some non-obvious ramifications that need to be taken into account. This book is intended to help you on how best to both keep your Titans, Swifts and Dynamos from wrecking the plot and ensure that they get their chance to shine along with the Mega-Mental and Mega-Social novas. Page through Chapter One for a small sampling of what the biotechnology of the Nova Age has to offer your players, both in terms of advantages and threats to their lives. If youre a player, look through Chapter Two for expanded information on playing combat-specialized characters and Chapter Four for more information on the Physical Mega-Attributes and the new enhancements and aberrations. Also of interest to players will be the Appendices, which hold a grab-bag of new options for their characters and expanded listings for the Mega-Mental and Mega-Social Attributes. If youre a Storyteller, check out Chapter Three for advice on handling Mega-Physical characters in your Aberrant chronicle, along with story hooks and ideas for chronicles focused on Mega-Physical characters. After that, browse through the other chapters for additional material to use in your chronicle, and judge for yourself which abilities you will allow in it, based on the advice presented here and your own vision of Aberrant.

Combat in Aberrant
Fighting, warfare and the martial arts have always been popular themes in the comic books, as they are literally packed with characters with backgrounds in the military and/or the martial arts. Captain America, Batman, Nick Fury, Wonder Woman, Wolverine, and Green Arrow are only a few of the better-known examples. Things are only a little different in the world of Aberrant, as more than a few Mega-Physical novas find themselves attracted to the life of the soldier, combat elite or faction field operative. Others who eschew such activities can all too easily find themselves in circumstances where such training is necessary for their survival. The martial arts are doing well in the early 21st Century, as they have proved popular among novas of all stripes. Although some poorly informed novas dismiss them as ineffectual, weapons both new and old are often brought into play on the battlefields of the Nova Age. The New Flesh takes a closer look at all of these aspects of combat in the world of Aberrant, examines their implications and provides guidelines for integrating them into your chronicle.

Breakdown
The New Flesh is divided into four chapters and three appendices: Chapter 1: Unnatural Selection talks about the biotechnology of the Nova Age; of which new drugs (novaderived and otherwise), bioweapons, gengineered lifeforms and augmentation cyberware are only a few examples. Background details on the individuals and organizations behind such developments, their customers and their foes are also examined. Chapter 2: Blood and Thunder gives expanded rules for combat in Aberrant. Also included are expanded listings for weapons, new combat-oriented Mega-Mental and Mega-Social enhancements and an array of new combatoriented Body Modifications. Chapter 3: Storytelling offers advice for Storytellers on how to rein in Mega-Physical characters when necessary and how best to integrate them into a chronicle. Also shown is what it takesin Aberrant termsto accomplish the feats that the Mega-Physicals are famous for. Rounding out the chapter is a closer look at the public defenders of the Nova Age.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye, Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? - The Tyger, by William Blake

INTRODUCTION

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Chapter 4: This Different Flesh provides a close look at all three Physical Mega-Attributes and their associated perks and drawbacks, along with new enhancements, aberrations and some good strategies for using the Physical Mega-Attributes to their best effect. In keeping with the expanded rules presented in the Aberrant Players Guide, Physical Mega-Attribute listings for ratings at 6 dots and higher have been established and are ready for use in higher-powered Aberrant chronicles. Also included are an in-depth look at the Body Modification quantum power, an array of new Body Modifications and a collection of new physically-oriented quantum powers. Appendix 1: New Miscellanea contains a variety of new physical and/or combat-related items; including Merits, Flaws, a Background, Background Enhancements, new nova-only Abilities and a nova-only language. Appendix 2: Mental and Social Mega-Attributes beyond 5 dots details the Mental and Social Mega-Attribute listings for ratings at 6 dots and higher, ready for use in higher-powered Aberrant chronicles. Appendix 3: Mental and Social Mega-Attribute feats presents a look at the bare-bone basics of what novas with a given Mental or Social Mega-Attribute should be capable of in real-world terms. Brick: A derogatory term for a stupid and slow-witted nova that has both Mega-Strength and Mega-Stamina, along with protective powers such as Armor and/or Invulnerability. Cyberware: A term for bionic, cybernetic and biotech implants. Dynamo: A nickname for novas with Mega-Stamina. Other nicknames include everlasts and Rasputins. Energizer: A Mega-Vigorous nova who can keep going and going and going. A couple of energizers were laying into each other and we knew it was going to last all night. Frankenstein: A nickname for baseline humans who have had excessive amounts of augmentation cyberware implanted, usually in a vain attempt to match the capabilities of a nova. Gee-Jay: Someone who has little or nothing in the way of defenses and can usually be knocked out with one or two hits. Derived from glass jaw. Herc: Derogatory nickname for Mega-Strong novas who show off their ability to bend, crush and throw heavy objects with little effort for attention and/or money. Roll: To easily and playfully defeat someone, typically used in casual conversation. Im going to roll that guy! Swift: A nickname for Mega-Dexterous novas. Other nicknames include Houdinis, prowlers, sneaks and stalkers. Speedster: A nickname for Mega-Dexterous novas capable of moving at extreme speeds, typically via the Hyper-Movement power. Other nicknames include blurs and speed demons. Titan: A nickname for Mega-Strong novas. Other nicknames include blockbusters, John Henrys, powerhouses, and tanks. Wall: A nova with high defensive capabilities, but little or no offensive capability.

Lexicon
Accessorized: A term for baseline humans (or more rarely novas) who have been implanted with augmentation cyberware. Amazon: A nickname for female Mega-Strong novas. Other nicknames include battle-axes and Buffys. Boosted: Slang term for an animal that has been either bioengineered or altered via nova powers in order to attain baseline human-equivalent sapience.

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE: UNNATURAL SELECTION


Biotechnology of the Nova Age
In the 19th Century, an Augustinian monk by the name of Gregor Johann Mendel discovered the laws of heredity though experiments with controlled breeding of pea plants. Ever since then, the notion that humans would one day be able to alter the mechanisms of life itself in any earthly lifeformhumankind includedhas inspired equal measures of dreams and nightmares in the public imagination. The optimists among them hoped of using that potential to alleviate human suffering, protect against famine and remedy some of the worst aspects of the human condition. The pessimists feared the possibilities of engineered diseases that could wipe out entire nations, the abuse of defenseless humans for medical experimentation and the alteration of people into abhuman creatures. Many religious leaders decried the idea of Man attempting to alter the designs of the divine creator(s) as hubris, and deemed those who would practice and advance this new science as blasphemers. Twisted souls realized the possibilities the new science could one day offer to sate their darker desires, which general society condemned as barbaric, decadent and degrading. Some pragmatists and realists noted that tinkering of this sort had been going on ever since humankind began practicing agriculture and domesticating animals, albeit in a very clumsy hit or miss manner. By the second decade of the Nova Age, much more about the sciences of biology and biotechnology has been discovered, yet the general attitudes of the public towards them are little changed. Over a centurys worth of such achievements and atrocities by baselines have seen many of the optimists hopes and the pessimists fears become concrete reality. With the coming of the novas biotechnology has advanced considerably in both the beneficial and detrimental areas. While the efforts of novas (Mega-Intelligent and otherwise) have bestowed an array of medical wonders (some of them derived from unethical practices), agricultural blessings and gifts of environmental recovery, they have also loosed many new highly addictive drugs and horrifying bioweapons. The Nova Age has also seen the development of genetic engineering, bionic prostheses and cybernetic implants, the likes of which had previously only been seen in science fiction. Perhaps the two most frightening advancementsas far as baseline society is concernedhave been the potential to create novel types of sapient life and artificial novas. (Readers can refer to pp. 60-69 for details on these creatures.) As of 2015 the rate of biotechnological advancement is only becoming faster, despite the best attempts of Project Utopias Technological Regulation division and Project Proteus to slow it down. As with all else in the Nova Age only one thing is certain: conflict is at hand.

Biotech Producers, Customers & Enemies


As with any other field of human scientific endeavor, the motivations behind the advances in biotechnology are many and varied. Heres a quick and dirty overview of who the players (legal, illegal and extra-legal) are in the biotech scene circa 2015.

Whos Making It?


Given the vast rewards to be reaped from biotech research, its almost easier to make note of who isnt working to produce new biotech of one kind or another. Practically all of the major nova factions have reasons to engage in biotech research, adding them to the list of governments, biotech corporations and criminal organizations that have been engaging in it for decades on end. Mix in a sprinkling of Mega-Intelligent nova biotech researchers toiling in their individual hidden labs, and you get a very fertile ground from which anything could sprout. Terraforming: Project Utopia has been the undisputed leader in this field of biotech for nearly two decades, as the effects of the Zushima macrobe, CFC-eating bacteria and

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organs and human neural repair. The medical corporations have competed as best they can, producing gene therapy viruses such as ILGF (Aberrant: Year One, p. 77) among other small medical miracles. As for the darker side of medical biotechnology, Kuro-Tek is the king of that particular hill. Illegal human cloning procedures and black market human organ transplants are just two of their more notorious services. Under the guidance of the Apothecary, the Terat Harvesters have been conducting much research on nova genetics and the effects of high levels of taint on the same. There is simply no telling what their efforts may have resulted in. Drugs: Thanks to Triton Pharmaceuticals access to nova biochemistries, Utopia has patented nearly too many truly beneficial drugs to be easily counted by the average person on the street. They also still produce the majority of the worlds supplies of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine, although some novas have lately begun to quietly shun their use. Faced with such a flood of superior and often cheaper Utopian product, the older pharmaceutical corporations havent remained very competitive, with several of the older companies going bankrupt. The other field of pharmaceutical innovation has been that of illegal drugs, recreational and otherwise. Kuro-Tek, the Terat Pandaimonion and C-Z Megasyndicate lead the underworld in the discovery of new designer drugs, most of which are intended for baselines but with a few nova drugs as well. The Heaven Thunder Triad remains by far the major producer in the hideous industry of nova-derived drugs, with the C-Z Megasyndicate, Kuro-Tek and the Terat Pandaimonion having only minor small-scale operations. Biotech Materials: This field of biotechnology had never attracted much notice before the Nova Age, and still has remained in the background for the most part. Biotech companies have produced wares such as bioengineered hard transparent resins that are as strong as surgical steel, safe high-quality biodegradable plastics based on polysaccharides (sugar polymers) and the first truly economical means of creating spider silk using gengineered cutworms. The creation (read: secretion) of eufiber by Anibl Buendia was until recently the only remarkable advancement (by early Nova Age standards) in the field. That changed with rumors of a new and improved version of eufiber that leaves Buendias glorified hair shirts for dead. Substantiated reports of a few independent novas utilizing this neofiber has garnered much interest, as has the hearsay that the C-Z Megasyndicate has an effective monopoly on its sale and production. Bioweapons: While the First World nations have always regarded biological warfare as a method of last resort, they have never hesitated to develop weaponized agents either

metal-sequestering plants can attest. PUs scientists have repaired much of Earths prior ecological damage; neutralizing pollutants and introducing bioengineered and/ or cloned wildlife into empty ecological niches. They have also attempted to make permanent improvements (from the viewpoint of the average person) in the form of Operations Eden and Genesis. Unfortunately for them, the departure of Antaeus from their ranks in 2009 has slowed their progress down considerably. Others such as nova Levia Mindel (Aberrant: Project Utopia, p. 20) have made the most of this opportunity to catch up and take the lead away from Utopia. Agriculture: Even though a myriad of bioengineered livestocks and crops have been produced by Project Utopia, they are only at the leading position of a close race and only for the moment. One of their major achievements was the creating strains of gengineered tobacco and coca that provide a wide array of drugs to Third World residents who could not afford them when they could only be synthesized in expensive factories. Most of the First World nations and biotech corporations have not been idle in the meantime, as their bioengineered agricultural wares have always provided PU with stiff competition. Russia has been no exception to this. After their creation of the first reliable strain of nonseasonal fruit genomes they have made further advances, creating vegetable and grain crops designed to thrive in the harsh climes of the steppes and tundra. The success of bioengineered of livestock has also resulted in certain biotech producers branching out into the market for bioengineered pets. While most such tweaked pets are perfectly innocuous, others are close to being considered blacktech by Project Utopia. Medicine: Project Utopia remains the hands-down leader in this field. They have produced cures for many - if not all - forms of cancer, STDs and other diseases and continue to do so on a seemingly monthly basis. Project Utopia biologists pioneered the fields of cloning synthetic human

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Wildcard Producers
There are two possible sources of biotech that havent been discussed in the preceding list for one simple reason. Those groups are the Aberrants and the Mathematicians Terats at CORE Technologies. Since they lack any predilection for or against producing biotech save for their personal ethics, their possible efforts in and reasons for the production of biotech are highly unpredictable. Along with the individual Mega-Intelligent biotech researchers, biotech researchers from their ranks could plausibly produce any biotech item that the Storyteller wants them to, given sufficient time and resources. themselves or by a subcontracted corporate supplier. The coming of the Nova Age has only given them more incentive to discover newer and usually more lethal weapons to protect against the perceived threat posed by novas. With the increasing level of conflict in the Nova Age, its becoming a question of whennot ifsuch weapons will be used. Project Utopia has also made advances, albeit their bioweapons such as their Virally Tailored Poisons (Aberrant Worldwide: Phase I, p. 115) are usually intended for individual targets instead of entire populations. DeVries produces quite a variety of poisons and gases for use by their combat elites. Kuro-Tek has been the most innovative bioweapon producer on the planet; with an array of poisons, gases, weaponized diseases and biochemical weapons that even the First World governments of 2015 cannot match. The only other organized crime group to have a bioweapons program is the C-Z Megasyndicate, and like Utopia they focus on weapons that affect individuals rather than masses of people. Cybernetic Implants/Bionic Prostheses: Project Utopia has publicly made a distinction between those mechanical implants and prostheses intended to restore disabled humans to a normal level of function and those intended to raise humans beyond that level. The prior kind of such devices (commonly labeled as therapeutic cyberware) has been allowed to develop with minimal Utopian restriction and is available to the public. Unsurprisingly, Japan is by far the most advanced producer of therapeutic cyberware on the planet, and their prices reflect that fact. The latter kindwhat PU calls blacktech or augmentation cyberwareis heavily suppressed by PUs Technological Regulation section and Project Proteus. Its even less of a surprise that Kuro-Tek currently produces most of the worlds blacktech cyberware, although the Heaven Thunder Triad has taken second place in the market. Biotech Implants: Project Utopia initially pioneered this field with the creation of novel synthetic glands such as the disulfram implant (Aberrant: Year One, p. 75), but hasnt gone beyond the initial concept of what amounts to an automatically-regulated internal supply of one specific drug. Most of the research along those lines by other groups have also remained small-scale, with the C-Z Megasyndicate proving to be the surprising exception. Their biotech operation has been producing a potent array of bioengineered organs and limbs that easily qualify as augmentation cyberware by Project Utopias standards. Although they havent implanted it in anyone save a select group of their more reliable enforcers, the Megasyndicate has yet another potent edge to use against their enemies. Novel Sapient Lifeforms: While the major factions, governments and corporations are certainly all aware of the possibility of creating new forms of sapient life through biotechnology, they have little incentive to do so themselves. Aside from the ethical questions and human rights issues, why go to the trouble when disposable baseline human labor is so cheap? This field of biotechnology has thus been left to the organized crime groups and those MegaIntelligent nova biotech researchers who have an interest. The prior will certainly seek to market them as truly exotic pets/slaves for the extremely wealthy and decadent. The motivations of the latter can and will vary wildly - one such researcher could regard her creations as nothing more than specialized guardians or servants, while another might see his creations as literally being his children. The research projects in question are not known to have produced any such creatures, but if a success has been achieved it hasnt been advertised. Artificial Novas: In these early days of the Nova Age, every government knows that novas have the potential to be most flexible (if willful) weapons of mass destruction ever seen on Earth. The dream of finding some way to make their own novas from their most loyal and dedicated soldiers has been the impetus behind many black ops research projects. Given that humankinds current knowledge of the eruption process and its genetic antecedent is still quite murky, the extreme risks involved in such a process are considered by most to be purely hypothetical. As far as is known, all of those research projects have remained fruitless. However, with that much money and effort behind the researchers, all that would be required is a little luck at the right time and place for a critical breakthrough to be made... if it hasnt been already. The question is whether those efforts will produce gods or monsters.

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Whos Buying It?
The field of biotech research and production would never have gotten off the ground if there hadnt been an eagerly waiting market for it beforehand. Just about everyone on the planet has purchased many wares that are either directly or indirectly derived from the beneficial products of the biotech industry, even if its just gengineered produce from the local grocery or farmers market. On the other hand, those who purchase the varieties of biotech that are resticted if not outright illegal tend to be a far more select clientele. Nova Factions: The major organizations among the erupted populace sometimes do have uses for restricted biotech, though they are often only minor customers at best in that market. Project Utopia/Proteus: When agents of Utopias TechReg section (or their Proteus counterparts) want to examine a potentially suspect item of biotech, they can and sometimes do buy it, albeit using a series of dummy companies to do so. In this way they can examine the product thoroughly without alerting the sellers to Utopias possibly hostile interest in their operation. Both groups also make a habit of quietly purchasing biotech items intended for use against novas, the better to learn how to defend against them and for possible use against hostile novas. Teragen: As is to be expected, the subgroups of the Teragen vary wildly in their purchases of restricted biotech. Those Harvesters working under the Apothecarys direction make frequent use of unapproved (and very risky) transgenic gene therapies and drugs intended to help them control their excessive Taint. The Primacy has shown interest in large-scale bioweapons that could be used to subjugate the baseline masses instead of causing mass death. Discreetly providing access to needed unethical medical procedures & medical drugs has allowed the Casablancas to acquire many loyal baseline servants, whose lives or those of their loved ones would otherwise have been lost without such intervention. As for the Pandaimonion (and the Cult of Mal, to a much lesser degree), they are always on the lookout for new addictive drugs with which to recruit junkies/thralls from their horde of baseline party people. DeVries: Combat elites on Anna DeVries payroll quickly learn that staying on it requires them to take advantage of every edge they can get hold of, legal or otherwise. Among the edges available from restricted biotech, DeVries elites have been known to employ augmentation cyberware, various drugs useful on the battlefield and even small-scale bioweapons on rare occasion. Other elite agencies vary in the stances on restricted biotech. Some tend to shun such items for professional and/or ethical reasons, while others lack the financial and legal resources required to get away with using them with relative impunity in the manner of DeVries. The Directive: Despite their well-hidden connection with Kuro-Tek, the Directive is willing to purchase anything they consider useful for their goal of controlling the nova population. Aside from the variety of anti-nova biotech purchased by Project Utopia, the Directive also has strong interests in augmentation cyberware and new drugs that could be used for interrogation and brainwashing. Aberrants: Despite their general good guy perspective, there is simply no telling what future circumstances and problems the Aberrants may end up facing that could be resolved with restricted biotech items. Here again the Aberrants are an unpredictable wildcard in regards to the restricted biotech market. National Governments, Corporations and Organized Crime: Given their limited access to nova capabilities, these groups share a great interest in any items of restricted biotech that they deem potentially useful. That said, they do have individual tendencies as to what kinds of items they are more likely to buy. National governments prefer items that could increase their military capabilities, bolster their economies and ensure the productivity of their citizens. Profitable items are what corporations most often buy, with items useful for protecting their investments coming a close second. Organized crime groups also go for the profitable items, especially when the restrictions on said items can help drive up the street resale price considerably. Items suited for small-scale warfare are also favored by organized crime groups, as they can literally come under attack from either law enforcement or their competitors at any time. Just about the only items these groups are leery of using are the large-scale bioweapons that could conceivably eradicate their own citizenry/customer base. Terrorist Groups: In the hands of those with sufficient ingenuity and/or insanity, nearly any item of restricted biotech can be useful in carrying out acts of terrorism. While bioweapons have always been a top draw for terrorists, the potential of other items havent been ignored. Addictive

Story Seed: Bioterror Alert


A terrorist group has either acquired or is seeking to acquire a very nasty bioweapon in order to fulfill their goals, and the player characters find out about this somehow. Depending on the terrorist group and the bioweapon in question, the player characters either can stop them publicly and make a big media splash, or they may have to take them out quietly and avoid causing a mass panic. The local authorities must also be taken into account - are they worth cooperating with in hopes of containing the threat, or will they make a blunder and inadvertently cause the bioweapon to be released?

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drugs are favored to subvert people in important positions, while the offer of unethical medical treatments is preferred when those being subverted must retain their full wits to be of use. Aside from the expected tactic of creating enhanced operatives, augmentation cyberware has also allowed suicide bombers to become living bombs themselves. A few recent terrorist incidents have seen the use of nonhuman living explosives. The biggest limiting factors on bioterrorism have been that 1: its expensive, 2: it attracts unwanted attention to the suppliers and 3: law enforcement agencies spend a disproportionate amount of their budgets to preventing it. However with biotech becoming both cheaper and more easily available, further examples of biotech terrorism are sure to crop up in the coming decades. Wealthy Individuals: With extreme levels of personal resources on hand, the more amoral among the wealthy have not hesitated to explore new avenues for decadence offered by restricted biotech. Unethical medical procedures of all sortsespecially the anti-aging treatmentshave always been in demand by the wealthy, often as a consequence of their experimentation with new recreational drugs. The opportunity to own near-human slaves (or conditioned fully-human slaves for the traditionalists) has likewise appealed to those who lust to have total control over other people, while others relish the idea of having super-pets at their beck and call. A particularly selfish wealthy person could even deploy a large-scale bioweapon purely out of spite - if I cant have what I want, Ill ruin the world for everybody else! Despite all that, the biotech items currently most favored among the wealthy are the gene-boosting process and personal augmentation cyberware. The prior item literally allows the offspring of the wealthy to have literal inborn advantages over their lower-class peers, while the latter has become de rigeur among wealthy people who feel must remain competitive with novas by any means necessary. That isnt a baseless worry for those wealthy people who must still work for a living, as losing their high-paying jobs to novas is a genuine risk. For example, nearly all of the top baseline actors have had cosmetic augmentation cyberware installed, while few among the ranks of the top baseline CEOs circa 2015 are not using mental augmentation cyberware in order to compete with nova business tycoons. Ordinary People: Unsurprisingly, the only real difference between the wealthy and everyday folk is the amount of money (and its associated social power) they possess. Aside from their own consciences and personal ethics, the only thing keeping Joe & Jane Sixpack from making frequent purchases of restricted biotech is lack of funds. This doesnt mean that ordinary people wont be buying restricted biotech, however. Instead, such items will be bought as a means to remedy what these people see (correctly or otherwise) as major problems in their lives. There are still many diseases and health problems that Project Utopia has yet to find cures for that unethical medical procedures and drugs can heal. Gene-boosting ones children is also popular, given how so many people either have genetic flaws or simply want to give their kids a better shot at becoming wealthy. Augmentation cyberware is favored by people who feel that their natural capabilities are not up to the (actual or perceived) challenges they face or who hunger for the closest thing they can get to the power of a nova. This even extends to the use of cosmetic augmentation cyberware, which threatens to replace traditional plastic surgery as the favored ultimate makeover. Finally, more than a few ordinary people are obsessed enough with the idea of owning a near-human slave or super-pet to make such a purchase in any way they can.

Whos Trying To Shut It Down?


Any organization involved in any sort of law enforcement or humanitarian (novatarian?) efforts can get involved in the regulationofficial and otherwiseof this technology. Similarly, any organization which sees the potential profit and benefit of biotech can get involved in using it. Many groups can and will get involved in both. Notes on groups with a special animus toward the market in restricted biotech are as follows. Nova Factions: Projects Utopia and Proteus are the biggest enemies of the restricted biotech market circa 2015. The Aeon Society knows full well the potential for dangers that illegal biotech offers, and seeks to eliminate such threats by any means necessary. The Directive will act against illegal biotech operations (barring those owned by Kuro-Tek, naturally) for much the same reasons. The Teragen takes a dim view of biotech intended to specifically incapacitate and/or kill novas, and often acts on that distaste. The pro-nova and fairly humanitarian viewpoint of the Aberrants will lead them to act against biotech that threatens either

Story Seed: Businessmen Gone Bonkers


The CEOs of two important Fortune 500 companies go spectacularly insane as a side-effect of their mental augmentation cyberware, and being long-term business rivals immediately attempt to engage in corporate warfare against each other. This wouldnt be more than a passing concern if said CEOs didnt insist on dragging their respective (and unwilling) companies into the conflict. The player characters are either businessmen or hired elites seeking to defuse the situation and/or remove the insane CEOs from office. Alternatively, they could be seeking to exacerbate the situation and cause the downfall of the two Fortune 500 companies, either at the behest of competitors or to further their own business goals.

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humanity in general and novas in particular. National Governments: As far as most sane world leaders are concerned, the restricted biotech market is the second biggest cause of nightmares, with nova subjugation of baseline humanity being the first. If they get wind of a genuine biotech threat within their territory, they will typically use all the forces and means at their disposal to end the threat and put the people behind it in either prison cells or body bags. Terrorist Groups: More than a few religiously-motivated terrorists have an anti-biotech agenda and would not hesitate to strike at a biotech operation if they could plausibly cripple or put it out of production. Whether such activities are dangerous threats to humanity in themselves or (much more rarely) laudable efforts depends on the biotech item involved. Ordinary People: Despite the stereotype of Joe Sixpack, quite a few everyday people can and will recognize the threats posed by restricted biotech. The questions are how will they get wind of such threats, and what they can do to oppose them. Given the right place, the right time, some ingenuity and a little luck, a single baseline human can bring a restricted biotech operation to a screeching halt. Everyday people can also form mass social movements and political activist groups which can have a dramatic impact on society, provided that they dont get written off as cranks and crackpots. Biowarfare: Bioweapons are real and unlike nukes (for example) once unleashed they can spread out into the global ecosphere all on their own. Historically plagues have killed untold numbers of people; bringing the magic of the scientific method into the picture is rightfully a fearsome thought. Intentional Misuse: Unfortunately many civilian uses of biotech are dual use. Whether a device helps or harms people can come down to the intention of the bioengineer using it. As this technology spreads and gets cheaper there is a strong likelihood that some unethical (or insane) practitioners will get involved. Destabilization of Society: Among the baseline population pretty much everyone has genetic flaws and limitations, but biotech can change that... provided one can afford it. Imagine a world where the rich really are superior because their parents paid for the genes to make them smarter, stronger, more attractive and possibly even more likely to erupt as novas. Thats what the early Nova Age is facing circa 2015. As if the possibility of a true genetic upper class wasnt enough, the potential for genetic subclasses has arisen as well. Slavery is officially illegal for humans, although it certainly still exists. Pets such as dogs on the other hand have fewer (if any) rights and responsibilities. Mixing the genes of the two threatens the boundary between the two classes of beings. Nova Age society wont want to legalize slavery or give dogs full citizenship rights, but it might face a choice of one or the other. Accidents: All the problems seen above were simply the risks of biotech when it works correctly. When it doesnt work correctly; society may have to deal with accidental plagues, warped children, or even insane para-novas. When biotech and human stupidity collide, the risk of catastrophe is too much for any rational society to bear.

Why is Joe Sixpack afraid of restricted biotech?


The general public tends to be afraid of biotech because its new... but there are a few solid nuggets of truth behind the normal irrational fear here.

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CHAPTER 1: UNNATURAL SELECTION

Lecture notes excerpt

Project Utopia Technological Regulation department


OK rookies, lets talk about the C-Z Megasyndicates biotech troublemakers. As a rule of thumb, they have two types of bioengineers working for them. The first type is the unjustly shut down mad scientist types. Most of these guys will have a prior record with us. They signed up with the Megasydicate because theyre visionaries who want to do good things for the world, and someone - usually us - cant see the full scope of their work and either shut them down or refused to fund them. The problem is that while 90% of their work would do good things, that last 10% is a real horror show. Either they dont think people would really use what theyre making like that, or they figure you have to break some eggs to make an omelet, or maybe they blame us for not supplying them with sufficient funding. These are the guys running the bio-enhancement stuff. Designer kids, boosted baselines, attempts to make people erupt, attempts to extend lifespans and prevent aging, that sort of thing. Their successes can be breathtaking, but their failures are even more so. Usually theyll have some ethical problems with how their work is being used, but they figure its our fault for not funding it in the first place. So in their minds, the one kid in four that winds up crippled and the two baselines out of five that they drive nuts is also our fault. Of course after the Megasydicate gets their hooks into them its just a matter of time before theyre working on things like new and improved slaves and addictive drugs. The other type of bioengineer the Megasydicate tends to get is the burned-out drug abuser who has hit rock bottom. The good news is that they tend to be less brilliant than the mad scientist types, who typically have better things to do than experiment with drugs on themselves. The bad news is these guys also wont have any illusions about who theyre working for or qualms about how their products are going to be used. Something else to point out is that the Megasydicate is money-driven above almost all else. We probably arent ever going to find them making any superbugs, as theres no real profit in destroying the world.

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OpNet conference call

Encoded OpNet conference call between Camparelli-Zhukov Megasyndicate lieutenant and superior
Voice 1: Good evening, sir. The situation regarding the missing shipment to Sydney has been resolved. The shipment has been recovered and all those responsible for it have been dealt with. Voice 2: What about that prick Sowell? He was the brains behind that little clusterfuck. Voice 1: Sowells brains - along with the rest of him - are being harvested as we speak. The finished products ought to fetch about three times what the shipment is worth once the processing is done, going by the current market prices for Mite and such. On the bright side, he did make for an excellent guinea pig to test my latest anti-nova prototype on. It worked like a charm, Sowell was incapacitated very quickly. He lost consciousness before he could realize what was happening to him and counter the attack. Voice 2: Did Maggie the Meathook get any hard facts out of Sowell before you tossed him in the grinder? Voice 1: Yes sir, Sowell was dealing with two verified Nakato Gumi soldiers. Theyve both been captured and are currently being held by the boys youve lent me. Maggies in the middle of interrogating them, Ill have whatever information she digs out of their skulls sent to you immediately. Voice 2: Ill see about giving Kuro-Tek another reminder to keep their fingers the fuck out of our pie and stay over on their side of the Pacific. Speaking of your pet project, whats the latest word on it? Voice 1: The latest word is infeasible if were talking about mass production of the higher mammals and large reptiles. The growth rates of the latter are just too slow for our purposes, and the neurological development problems of the prior have yet to be resolved. Other than continuing to provide specimens of such as luxury items, I recommend that this line of research be tabled for the forseeable future. The other lines have much more potential for profit, especially the rats and insects. Voice 2: All right then, well be working the dogfighting circuits in the old-fashioned way. Dwyer, send me a review of whatever new stuff you and your boys have cooked up in the past six months. The junkie crowd is starting to thin out thanks to Utopias education initiatives, and relying on the traditionals just isnt as profitable as it used to be. Voice 1: On it, youll have a review of our latest synthetics within five days. Voice 2: Fine. Dwyer, one last thing. Have your boys ramp up production of the collars, the demand for our conditioned wares in that market is spiking and spiking big. Well need three more dedicated labs to handle the production increase, so find some new recruits and make damn sure theyre more trustworthy than Sowell was. Voice 1: Understood, sir.

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The Camparelli-Zhukov Megasyndicate Biotech Operation


While Kuro-Tek has long held the position as the worlds top producer of blacktechbiotech includedtheyve got some competition from an unexpected source. The Camparelli-Zhukov Megasyndicate has been running a covert biotech development operation since 2009, and this specialization has allowed them to achieve things that few of Kuro-Teks bioengineers can match in 2015. This success hasnt gone unnoticed, as many others would love nothing better than to shut the Megasyndicates foray into biotech down for good, with Project Utopias TechReg department and Kuro-Tek being only two of them. Conflict is at hand.

equipment, lab supplies and research materials of all kinds as well as providing security for their labs. The Megasyndicates smugglers handle the transportation of products both between the labs and to their sellers, in the case of their new drugs.

Research & Development


The biotech researches done by Dwyer and his underlings are ultimately guided by only one ideal: pure profit. While many of Dwyers underlings rationalize their working with criminals as a necessary evil for the greater good, its still just a rationalization. Proof of this is evident in what theyve produced in their labs. Aside from the expected array of new drugs, Megasyndicate bioengineers have created many new genetic engineering procedures. This in turn has allowed the Megasyndicate to market designer children, anti-aging therapies, small-scale bioweapons, a biotech implant that can reduce fully-grown men and women to docile slaves and even a genetic therapy intended to induce eruption in baseline humans. Dwyer himself has created biotech implants which rates as augmentation cyberware, weaponized animals and the truly bizarre textile/lifeform known as Neofiber in addition to his impressive array of new drugs.

Humble Beginnings
The C-Z Megasyndicates biotech operation began in 2007 with one Dr. Morgan Dwyer, who erupted as a result of the cumulative stresses of attaining his medical doctorate. He became a mastermind with the functional equivalent of multiple doctorates in the life sciences among his other capabilities. A close encounter with a Proteus operative and the subsequent deaths of his wife and newborn son scared him enough to cash in on his family ties to the old Irish Mob (which had been subsumed by the Megasydicate) and go underground. After creating several highly profitable new drugs for the Megasyndicate, Dwyer proposed that his operation expand to take advantage of his non-pharmaceutical researches. Vor Camparelli agreed, and the rest has been highly-profitable history. Having nearly a decades worth of unrestricted biotech research allowed Dwyer to produce many major advancements in biotech. Now his operation is an extremely valuable cash cow for the Megasyndicate.

Dwyers Facility
Dr. Dwyers personal lab is disguised as a secluded private clinic located in the outskirts of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. As a well-established resort town with a high transient population, Whistlers year-round tourist trade ensures that the traffic going to and from Dwyers facility remains unnoticed. Dwyer has also taken pains for the clinic to not only appear unremarkable but downright boring as far as the outside world is concerned. The ironic thing is that the facility actually is a functional private clinic in part, as Dwyer keeps a small retinue of fully-trained doctors and medical personnel to tend to the patients. The only real differences are that the patients are all Megasyndicate made men or operatives, and that all the clinics medical personnel have skeletons in the closet which Dwyer knows about and uses to keep them under his thumb. Dwyer lives and performs his work in his personal labs, which are in the hidden sub-levels of the clinic. Aside from concocting new drugs and exploring new avenues of biotech research, it is here where he creates and implants all of the augmentation cyberware used by the Megasyndicate. While he is content to farm out the production of his other established biotech work as needed, Dwyer has yet to train any others in the creation and implantation of his own brand of cyberware. He chalks this up to insufficient competence on his underlings part, and Camparelli hasnt seen fit to press him on the subject... yet.

Structure & Organization


As with all other Megasyndicate operations, their biotech operation is a hierarchy headed by vor Dr. Morgan Dwyer, who answers directly to Vor Luciano Camparelli and is also the Megasyndicates top bioengineer. Aside from his own lab facility, Dwyers territory consists of the various covert R&D labs and production facilities which are used by his subordinates. Its important to note that aside from the production of restricted biotech items, Dwyers organization is dependent on a cadre of Megasyndicate made men and soldiers for all their needs. This was a deliberate choice on Vor Camparellis part, as he knows full well that Dwyers people often need a constant reminder of whos footing their bills in order to keep them disciplined and productive. Camparellis men handle the procurement of medical

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Standard Facilities
Most Megasyndicate bioengineers will have facilities that are disguised as small private clinics or medical labs, with their personal labs hidden in sub-basement levels. The clinics handle all the medical procedures performed on non-Megasyndicate patients, and even the least of them can provide medical care up to and including outpatient surgery. This is important, as these clinics also handle the implantation of the chemical collars (see pp. 24-25) into baseline humans enslaved by the Megasyndicate. The labs are tasked with the production of the majority of the Megasyndicates biotech items, with most of them specializing in drug production. Those bioengineers who have made their own profitable biotech advances are rewarded by Dr. Dwyer with bigger personal labs and increased research funding. More driven than brilliant, he worked hard to get an education and harder to make sure it was at the right institutions. He also developed a taste for reading the cyberpunk novels of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, which was his only leisure activity for many years. He immigrated to the U.S. by getting married to a nice Irish-American girl from Boston, and graduated from both college and medical school at Harvard. The next step in his life plan was to complete his medical internship and become a doctor. The pressure of Morgans medical internship was intense. He often had to tough out 100 hour work weeks with little money, and things only got worse when his wife Maeve got pregnant. The keystone was when he dozed off while filling out a stack of papers, allowing a lab rat to escape from its cage. Morgan panicked and in his certainty that this latest stroke of bad luck was going to get him kicked out of the program, he erupted. At first, becoming a nova was wonderful for Morgan. He gained the power to order the rat out into the open and back into its cage, and the ability to lie convincingly about it so the rats escape never happened. His other powers were mostly research related, or at least he figured that was how hed use them. For a while, life was perfect. He very quickly found himself out on the bleeding edge of science with medical and biotech research companies begging to shower him with money. This brief period of happiness ended when he got a job offer from Project Utopia. From the first time the Utopian recruiters opened their mouths, Morgan got an extremely weird vibe coming from them. Judging their offer too good to be true, Morgan politely declined their offer and showed them the door. Things too good to be true usually are, and a few weeks later Morgan learned that things in the USA werent really so different from the old country. The offer had clearly been one he couldnt turn down because someone tried to kill him. Morgan saw the car accident coming, but not early enough to save the lives of his wife and infant son. When his family died, so too did his illusions that the United States was any different from the rest of the world. It was obviousat least to someone like himthat the police were going to claim it was an accident, and it was equally obvious that hed joined the rough game despite his best efforts. Proving a link between his job offer and his traffic accident would have been impossible, so Morgan didnt even try. He quickly went underground, thanks to some American relatives who had ties to both the old Irish Mob and the Camparelli-Zhukov Megasyndicate. Accepting that human society really was as depicted in the cyberpunk novels, no matter what propaganda may tell the masses otherwise, Morgan stepped deliberately into a life of crime. Nowadays although his Megasyndicate superiors may think theyre using him, in reality hes using them. They supply him with what he needs to live and advance his work,

Dr. Morgan Dwyer


Background: Dr. Morgan Dwyer had the misfortune of spending his early years on a small farm in the Black Triangle region of the Republic of Ireland, specifically in County Mayo. With the difficulties of attempting to farm land that consisted mostly of stones and swamp, Morgan quickly learned that the difference between pet and meal was mostly a question of timing. He and his parents moved to the city of Dublin when he was 12. Crime, especially organized crime, was pervasive there and America was a beacon of hope that things could be different. With crime being far too dangerous and farming a quick ticket to poverty, early on Morgan decided to become a rich American medical doctor.

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and they even thank him for the privilege of playing target for the rougher players out there. Image: Eruption did little or nothing to or for Dwyers looks, as he is the spitting image of an overworked medical doctor. His hair is a reddish-brown sprinkled with grey and is starting to thin. He forgets to shave for days at a time and often wears lab clothes. He is an obsessive note-taker and always has a pen and pad of paper handy. Roleplaying Hints: Be cold and logical. Your life is now all about thinking and making whatever progress you can. Eventually, any improvement in technology will help mankind no matter where it comes from so ironically what youre doing is technically good. The celebrity novas of Project Utopia are just targets as far as youre concerned, likewise your so-called superiors but never let them know thats their assigned role. Always make sure you have them give you the orders you want. Let them have it your way, and make them think thats the way they wanted it in the first place. Your family is dead, in no small part because you were too stupid to see the world for the amoral quagmire it really is. Never admit this, even to yourself. Your work distracts you from that distressing line of thought, so work hard. Animals may be useful and friendly, but theyre not people. Animals exist to serve a purpose, nothing more. When that purpose is over and done with, its off to either the glue factory or the dinner table for them. Gear: Notepad, pen, Walther P-99 loaded with alternating hollowpoint & AP rounds. Nature: Analyst. Allegiance: Camparelli-Zhukov Megasyndicate. Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3, Perception 5, Intelligence 5, Wits 4, Appearance 2, Manipulation 5, Charisma 2. Abilities: Athletics 1, Animal Handling 5*, Awareness 3, Brawl 1, Computer 3, Endurance 5, Engineering 5 (Medical Devices), Firearms 2, Linguistics 4 (Gaelic native, English, Latin, Japanese, Russian), Medicine 5 (Genetics, Pharmacy, Veterinary), Rapport 5 (Discern Motivation), Resistance 3, Science 5 (Biology, Chemistry), Streetwise 4, Subterfuge 5 (Deception). *Dr. Dwyers Animal Handling rating depends greatly on his Animal Mastery power; if Dwyer is moxed or otherwise denied access to his quantum powers his Animal Handling rating drops to 2. Dr. Dwyer has Ability Mastery in Medicine, Science and Subterfuge (Adventure! core book, p. 138). Backgrounds: Allies 3, Attunement 2, Backing 4 (Megasyndicate), Contacts 3, Cipher 2, Devices 5 (drug arsenal, various bioweapons), Followers 3, Menagerie 5 (weaponized animals), Node 2, Resources 4. Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 9, Taint 2. Mega-Attributes: Mega-Dexterity (Fast Tasks), Mega-Stamina (Adaptability), Mega-Perception (Electromagnetic Vision), Mega-Intelligence (Medical Prodigy, Scientific Prodigy), Mega-Manipulation (Persuader, Trickster). Quantum Powers: Animal Mastery , Intuition , Luck , Psychic Link (Reduced Quantum Cost, 3 pt. weakness: animals only).

Just Waiting For The Hammer To Fall


Despite its relative smallness compared to the rest of the Megasyndicate, Dr. Dwyers biotech operation has attracted considerable hostile attention from the Megasyndicates competition and enemies. As this will only increase as the Megasyndicates forays into biotech become more widely known, the effectiveness of the distributed nature of Dwyers hierarchy will be put to the test, possibly to destruction. Dr. Dwyers minor biotech labs and production facilities can be and often are replaced as necessary, just as Dr. Dwyer and Vor Camparelli intended. But when Dr. Dwyers personal facility is uncovered, the whole operation could easily collapse like a house of cards. And while neither Dr. Dwyer nor the Megasyndicate have noticed anyone investigating the resort town of Whistler, that doesnt mean that their presence hasnt been discovered... In the final analysis, both Dr. Dwyer and the Megasyndicates biotech operation are targets just begging for someone to take a shot at them. The only questions are these: when will the attack come, and who will be attacking them? The most likely candidates are listed below. Nakato Gumi / Kuro-Tek: Yoshiro Nakamura didnt become the oyabun of the most successful Yakuza gang in Japanese history through friendly business competition, and his practices havent changed. He sees the Megasyndicates biotech operation as a direct challenge and an insult to the primacy of Kuro-Tek in the global market for blacktech. Nakamuras goal is to crush the operation beyond hope of recovery while simultaneously appropriating as much of the Megasyndicates biotech items (and their creators, when possible) for analysis and reverse engineering by Kuro-Tek. The duplication of the drug used in the Megasyndicates chemical collars is a particular sticking point for Nakamura, as not only is it cheaper to produce and use, its much more effective than Kuro-Teks cybernetic implant equivalent. All of Kuro-Teks attempts to reverse-engineer and synthesize it have failed, so capture of the manufacturing process has become the only option left to them. Heaven Thunder Triad: While not as prideful about their blacktech resources as Kuro-Tek, the leadership of the triads also considers the Megasyndicates biotech operation as both unwelcome competition and a source of valuable biotech. Aside from their expected intense interest in the

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Megasyndicates new drugs, the triads consider capture of their meat-based augmentation cyberware implants to be their highest priority. With metal detectors becoming ubiquitous in important buildings across the globe, a metal-free alternative to traditional augmentation cyberware is very desirable. Project Utopia / Project Proteus: As far as Project Utopias Technological Regulation department (not to mention Director Thetis) is concerned, the Megasyndicates biotech operation is some of their worst nightmares of rampant blacktech come to bloody life. While Thetis does see some use for a few of the Megasyndicates biotech items, even she agrees that the majority of it is so socially disruptive that it needs to be stamped out with extreme prejudice. The Directive: Director Petr Illyanovich has always nursed a personal grudge against Alexi Zhukov ever since his SOBRE days, but has always been prevented by his fellow Directors from using the Directive against Zhukovs organization. That changedsomewhatwhen intelligence on the Megasyndicates biotech came to their collective notice. Faced with a collection of such clear threats to their respective nations that was obviously the product of nova bioengineers, the Directive has made the location and destruction of the Megasyndicates biotech facilities a high priority. Its not as satisfying as a direct attack on Zhukov would be, but Director Illyanovich will take what satisfaction he can in bringing down the Megasyndicates biotech operation and harming Zhukov by proxy. Teragen: Not counting their limited trade in novaderived drugs, the Megasyndicates creation of highly effective anti-nova biotech items is the main reason the Teragen takes a very dim view of their biotech operation. While they wont care to engage in open conflict with the Megasyndicate, more than a few Terats wont hesitate to drop dimes on whatever Megasyndicate biotech facilities they discover. If the Terats can influence the resulting conflict so that those troublesome anti-nova items (and their blueprints) are destroyed in the fighting, so much the better. National Governments: The Megasyndicates biotech operation creates small-scale bioweapons and addictive drugs, facilitates the trafficking of enslaved baselines and engages in unapproved genetic therapies. None of those activities endear them to the governments of the First World nations they operate in, for obvious reasons. While law enforcement and intelligence agencies can be expected to clash with the Megasyndicate over this, more than a few military training exercises, war games and missile malfunctions have resulted in demolished Megasyndicate biotech facilities. Victims and their loved ones: Dealing in addictive drugs, risky medical procedures and conditioned slaves means that the Megasyndicate has harmed countless numbers of ordinary people in the process, along with the victims families and friends. While the vast majority of these unfortunates are everyday people and thus relatively powerless, those few who have some power or influence in baseline society can cause real damage to the Megasyndicates biotech operation, given enough ingenuity and luck. If one of these people happens to erupt, the threat he or she will pose will be increased by a few orders of magnitude. If nothing else, everyday people can fight against the Megasyndicates biotech operation by acting as an intelligence network and passing vital data to the Megasyndicates enemies.

Planning for the Big Takedown


From the beginning, both Camparelli and Dr. Dwyer have known that the Megasyndicates biotech operation would have all sorts of powerful people wanting to see it subverted and/or destroyed. Camparellis strategy was to make the operations componentsnova bioengineers includedas modular and redundant as possible. The way Camparelli sees it, Project Utopias restrictions on technology arent going to be repealed any time soon, so there will always be a demand for restricted biotech. Provided that they can continue to acquire the services of enough unethical nova bioengineers to churn out and improve their established products and develop new ones, the Megasyndicates biotech operation will become just another reliable and proven source of revenue, like any other highly profitable racket. By that point, the only way to stop it would require crushing the entire C-Z Megasyndicate. For his part, Dr. Dwyer has no illusions about the risks both he and the Megasyndicates biotech operation are facing. While the Megasyndicates previous criminal activities were already more than enough to earn them a spot on the Global Public Enemies list, the illicit biotech items that Dr. Dwyer and his underlings have produced pose a threat that the current Powers That Be will simply not tolerate for long. With that in mind, Dr. Dwyer has entrusted a few reliable underlings with a small cache holding all the scientific knowledge (formulas, DNA sequences, schematics etc.) required to reproduce a portion of Dr. Dwyers biotech achievements. When the inevitable attack comes, those underlings have been instucted to take their caches and lie low in some obscure country. If Dr. Dwyer survives the attack, he will recontact the couriers through a prearranged Swiss bank account and reclaim his work. If Dr. Dwyer is killed or otherwise rendered incapable of continuing his work, the underlings are to use the contents of their caches for their own benefit. As a point of historical interest, at the time of the attack Dr. Dwyer will have entrusted the cache containing all his drug research to a personal friend and Megasyndicate soldier by the name of Anton Sbaria...

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Story Seed: The Wizards Apprentice... or some Seriously Unfortunate Events
Some time ago Dr. Dwyer developed several techniques to create mega-animals that have not only been implanted with his personal variety of augmentation cyberware but will obey his every command. In theory making a super-strong or fully intelligent dog or whatever is seriously asking for trouble. However none of his mega-animals has ever shown anything other than total loyalty to the good Doctor. His staff speculates that part of the process creates a mental link between the human operator and the animal. Some things are just too good to be true. Dr. Dwyers mega-animals do show loyalty to him and can mentally communicate with him, but they dont come out of the implantation machine with those capbilities - they go into the implantation machine with them. Similarly the high percentage of animals that survive the implantation has more to do with his powers than the process itself. Dr. Dwyer has the quantum powers of Animal Mastery, Psychic Link (limited to animals), and Luck. Dr. Dwyer has never admitted to anyone that he has these powers and he has no intention to do so. In his view luck is an anti-scientific concept and using it would be an admission that he needs it and thus a confession of incompetence. He writes up every lucky break to his brilliance. Further, in his view animals are tools, not conversationalists. He thinks admitting he can talk to cows would be embarrassing and not fit the image he tries to project. However hes also a practical man so he uses these abilities to his advantage when he can. Birds and squirrels make good spies and there are a lot of them running around. He also owns the larger animals living around the township of Whistler too, just in case he should ever need a black bear. He developed the augmentation cyberware to witness its effects from the viewpoint of the subject and later develop cyberware that could be used by people. A useful side effect was it let him more fully make use of some of his powers. But although the implantation machine is usable by baselines, its still a quantum gadget and not a true biotechnological breakthrough. Worse, none of his subordinates realize just how key the Doctors powers are to its successful use. Dr. Dwyer correctly claims the mega-animal project isnt fully developed and that he has other things on his platesuch as refining his human augmentation cyberwarewhich are more important. As far as he is concerned that project has been on hold for years and will remain so indefinitely. However one of his subordinates has seen an opportunity for advancement and recently stole the machine. Dr. Dwyer is currently working on something else and hes such a busy man that it might be months before he notices. Said subordinate was feeling frustrated with the routine of performing gene therapies and patching up injured Megasyndicate goons at his clinic, which was noticed by a savvy Nakato gumi talent scout. They met clandestinely, started talking and one thing led to another. The subordinate intends to go into business with Kuro-Tek, but he doesnt quite realize the kind of people hes dealing with or how the process will turn out without Dr. Dwyers guiding hand. In his vision hell be paid big bucks to create super-pets for the rich and the mortality rate will be less than 50%. In reality the fatality rate will be more like 90% and the Nakato gumi already intend to use the animals to win illegal dog fights. That this scheme is a disaster waiting to happen hasnt occurred to anyone yet.

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The Biotech Bazaar


Despite the biotech industry having received both extraordinary support and hindrances from the world at large, it continues to offer a very wide array of products for sale. What follows is a collection of highlights of the more remarkable products that either already are or could become available, circumstances and the Storytellers preferences permitting. Storyteller Notes: The following items are categorized as either advancements or innovations, as established on p. 176 of the Adventure! core book. For those lacking that book, advancements are direct linear developments of existing concepts, and can be considered mundane technology. Innovations are the full-blown super-science items, and those produced by novas are also known as quantum gadgets (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 143-148). Also, item costs and the exact identities of the independent producers have both been left to the Storytellers discretion. Finally, as some of these items deal with sensitive subjects like human reproduction, we strongly encourage you to discuss them with your players before introducing them into your Aberrant chronicle.

petent Megasyndicate arsonists. Traditional arsonists will cause what are called rat fires by taking an ordinary live rat, dousing it in kerosene and lighting its tail on fire. The unfortunate rat is then released to run throughout the spaces between a buildings walls, causing a major fire to spread much more quickly throughout the building than a typical accidental fire would. Dwyers bioengineered rats secrete a waxy burnable fat in their fur. They are effectively living candles. They can be set on fire with a match and will continue to burn after they are dead. Their skin is also somewhat resistant to burning damage and heat, which prolongs the time they can run and spread the flames in their futile attempts to escape being burned alive. System: Arson Rats have 2 dots of lethal soak against flame damage, which doesnt prevent them from being lit on fire by an arsonist, but only lets them survive & run a while longer than a normal rat could. Otherwise they have identical stats to normal rats. Using an Arson Rat to start a rat fire will lower the arsonists difficulties by 2 on the roll used for committing arson - usually Intelligence + Intrusion or Demolitions. Arson Rats require no special care beyond that required to keep a normal rat alive and healthy, are an advancement and usable by baselines.

Agriculture & Terraforming


Even with the successes achieved by Project Utopia, there are still many problems with the global ecology that must be addressed. Many of the more reputable biotech firms have built their fortunes upon either augmenting the planets capability to sustain human life or repairing the ecological damage inflicted by previous generations. Even so, there is still a dark side in this field of biotech to be wary of.

Bomb Bugs
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Bioengineered fauna Description: Just as the name states, Bomb Bugs are bioengineered fast-growing insects which can detonate as high-grade explosives when triggered. Created by Dr. Morgan Dwyer strictly for use by competent Megasyndicate assassins, these creatures have proven to not only be efficient weapons but are fairly difficult for conventional forensics to identify. System: Bomb Bugs are controlled and triggered by a special radio transceiver (also designed by Dr. Dwyer), as they are unduly sensitive to signals on certain little-used radio frequencies. Controlling the movements of the Bomb Bugs is much like controlling an RC toy, except that the control transceiver will also have a graphics display for building schematics and showing the Bomb Bugs positions in real time. Bomb Bugs can be employed in two configurations: standard explosive and shaped-charge. One kilogram of Bomb Bugs in standard explosive configuration inflicts 10 dice of Lethal damage on everything within three meters, dropping to half-damage at up to six meters. In shapedcharge configuration one kilogram of Bomb Bugs inflicts

Arson Rats
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Bioengineered fauna Description: Another creation of Dr. Morgan Dwyer, these bioengineered rodents are strictly for use by com-

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nine automatic health levels and 10 dice of lethal damage to the target, which must be within 30 centimeters. Finally, until the mid-2030s (by which time baseline forensic science will have learned to recognize the chemical traces involved) all attempts to identify the traces left by Bomb Bugs using conventional forensics are rolled at a +3 difficulty penalty. Fortunately, as literal living explosives Bomb Bugs require special care and attention to keep them in optimum condition for use. Bomb Bugs must be kept in an RF-shielded hive until ready for use, and must be fed on the special foodstuffs concocted by Dr. Dwyer and his underlings. As an additional mentod of keeping control of the technology, all Bomb Bugs are effectively sterile without a special trigger pheromone kept under lock & key by Dr. Dwyer himself. If neglected, Bomb Bugs will not be able to explode as intended, resulting in either a weakened explosion or simply turning into harmless (if disgusting) goo when triggered. Bomb Bugs are also at risk for premature explosion if exposed to a strong radio signal on the correct frequency. Novas with Hyperenhanced Hearing can determine the frequency and control the Bomb Bugs with a Perception + Awareness roll at a +2 difficulty penalty, although simply triggering unshielded Bomb Bugs just requires an automatic action once the frequency is known. Both the exact species of insect being used as Bomb Bugs and the radio frequency used to control them will vary with the hive being used. Bomb Bugs are an advancement and are usable by baselines. If stats for Bomb Bugs are required, they will be identical to those for normal insects of the type in question. risk of breaking the bond. A Bonded Animal will carry out whatever commands its owner gives it, and will never willingly attack or harm its owner. There are two downsides to this situation. First, if the bond between animal and master should ever be broken, either by distance or psychic interference from a telepath or Mental Noise Generator (Aberrant: The Directive, p. 57), both animal and master will become despondent and listless until the bond is restored. In game terms, the animals depression will limit it to eating, sleeping and crapping, while the owner will effectively be operating at -1 to his or her permanent Willpower. Restoring the link merely requires the owner and animal to come within 20 meters of each other. The second drawback is the severe emotional codependency between owner and animal. The owner must make a Willpower roll at +1 difficulty to knowingly send the Bonded Animal into a dangerous situation. Furthermore, if the owner dies the bonded animal will die as well. If the animal dies instead, the owner must make a Willpower roll at +2 difficulties to avoid losing a dot of permanent Willpower. Bonded Animals are an Innovation, and can only be created by novas.

DNA Overstamp
Producer: Independent biotech firm Category: Genetic alteration Description: Initially developed to speed the reintroduction of cloned wildlife into refurbished ecologies, this procedure alters the reproductive organs of a host animal to begin producing the gametes of a different (although of a closely-related species) animal. Use of this procedure is now commonplace among wildlife conservators, zoo breeders and livestock breeders. Unfortunately, the nova who initially developed it has also been working on a variant procedure useable on humans, and has managed to create a working prototype of it. His intentions are good, as he intends to use the procedure to alleviate the sterility problem of most novas. While there are some legitimate uses for it, it is far more likely to be used by the unscrupulous on other people without their knowledge or consent. While the existence of the human DNA Overstamp has been kept a secret so far, an item with such a nightmarish potential for abuse cannot be kept under wraps indefinitely, since sooner or later someone will find out that the children they have conceived arent really theirs. System: The animal DNA Overstamp is considered an advancement, and users will only have to deal with the expected (minimal) regulations intended to prevent animal cruelty. The human DNA Overstamp is currently not only an innovation, but is plagued by several minor flaws. At the Storytellers discretion, a human host has anywhere from a 3 to 15% chance of developing reproductive health problems

Bonded Animals
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Bioengineered fauna Description: These are otherwise normal animals which have been implanted with a small portion of human DNA from the owner at the time of (in vitro) fertilization in a process known and mastered only by Dr. Morgan Dwyer. When done correctly, this transgenic implant mentally bonds the human donor to the resulting animal in a fashion that can only be called psychic. The C-Z Megasyndicate markets this as a high-end luxury/personal security item to wealthy customers. Most Bonded Animals are created from predatory mammals such as large attack dogs or big cats, but using bears or wolverines isnt unheard of. System: Dr. Dwyers transgenic implant creates what amounts to one dot of the Psychic Link quantum power between the bonded animal and its owner. After its birth the animal in question must remain within 20 meters of its owner for the bond to develop properly, which happens when the animal reaches adolescence. After that the animal and owner can be separated by up to 2,000 kilometers without

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such as reduced fertility, sterility or even ovarian or testicular cancer. Even if no health problems develop, the emotional anguish of an unwilling human host discovering that he/she has been subjected to the human DNA Overstamp can be extreme. Its even worse if this is discovered in the aftermath of a pregnancy, which makes the human DNA Overstamp perhaps the ultimate form of cuckoldry. And if that wasnt enough, the nova inventor and his/her associates are currently working to both eliminate the flaws or the existing prototype and to make the final version useable by baselines as well as novas (read: make it into an advancement). four to eight years of unrestricted growth (Storytellers discretion as to the exact amount of time required), a planting of Feedweed originally intended to support a thousand head of cattle will reach a tipping point and can begin a cycle of exponential growth. When that happens, the Feedweed will begin to overrun the pasturage around it at the rate of 200% of its previous area per month. Feedweed is also very hardy, as those herbicides that can kill it are also dangerous enough to be banned for use in most First World Nations. The threat it will eventually pose to human agriculture and the global environment as a whole will be extreme if left unchecked. Feedweed is an advancement produced by baseline scientists.

Feedweed
Producer: Independent biotech firm Category: Bioengineered flora Description: By the turn of the 21st Century the combined pressures of public boycotts, honest governmental oversight and Utopian sanctions put an end to the practice of feeding livestock a cheap diet rich in harmful antibiotics and hormones, animal wastes and slaughterhouse scraps. Those livestock producers who bowed to the pressure switched to switched to free-range organic grazing, while those who didnt quickly found themselves driven out of business. The problem with that was the greater expense of free range grazing compared to the banned industrial feeds, which threatened to drive up meat, poultry and dairy prices and further reduce their profit margin. That all changed when a biotech firm in Alabama put Feedweed out on the market with Utopias full approval in 2012. Given the blessing of such an inexpensive and efficient source of high-quality organic livestock fodder, the livestock industry has been making a strong recovery ever since. System: Feedweed is a bioengineered kudzu vine which can grow and thrive in all but the poorest soils, given sufficient groundwater. It also grows quickly, sprouting and regenerating its heavy foliage nearly on a daily basis in optimum conditions. The profuse leaves make excellent feed for nearly all kinds of ruminants, swine and poultry. The only exceptions are camels and llamas, who have exhibited a severe allergic reaction to Feedweed. The developers have no plans to correct this, given those animals arid native climes and relative unpopularity outside the Middle East and South America. Unfortunately, there is a subtle problem with Feedweed that has yet to be noticed by anyone as yet. Feedweeds ability to produce high-quality foliage is dependent on its extremely wide-ranging root system. While this makes Feedweed a highly reliable source of fodder, it also means that it will strip away all available nutrients in the soil, even to the point of actively predating on any fungi and other plants that come into contact with Feedweed roots. Given

Genocide Genes
Producer: Independent biotech firm Category: Genetic alteration Description: Originally developed to eliminate a number of human parasites, this procedure fatally skews the gender ratio of the affected creatures descendants so that no females will be produced. These male descendants then spread these genes throughout the wild population and eventual extinction of the population is inevitable. Although ineffective against hermaphroditic or asexual parasites, use of this procedure has saved many human lives in the Third World nations and elsewhere. Despite that, use of this procedure remains regulated due to the potential for it to be adapted for use on populations of wildlife, livestock and even humans. While no such development has been noticed as yet, there could easily be some (likely deranged) nova bioengineer attempting to make than nightmare into a reality in some hidden lab... System: Genocide Genes intended for parasites are

Story Seed: The Nightmare Becomes Flesh


Before being arrested by Project Utopias Tech Police, an insane nova bioengineer has given humanity a very nasty little present: the introduction of fully-functional human Genocide Genes into the gene pool. The nova bioengineer only managed to alter the genetics of a few people before being caught, but if left unchecked the Genocide Genes will, generation by generation, spread throughout the general human population. As the only novas who are both capable of and available to counter this menace, the player characters are faced with the choice of killing, sterilizing or otherwise dealing with these unfortunates. Are they willing to kill or sterilize innocent people - some of them children - in the name of protecting humankind as a whole? Or is there another, less ruthless way for the player characters to neutralize this threat?

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an advancement and skew the sex ratio of an affected creatures offspring to nearly 100% male. Genocide Genes intended for use on valuable animals are currently innovations, but could plausibly be developed into an advancement given sufficient backing and protection. Genocide Genes intended for humans are considered innovations and will remain so for the entirety of the Nova Age, due to the extreme resistance to its development from the authorities and other hostile parties. No sane baseline or nova will countenance the threat posed by human Genocide Genes, and given how long humans take to reproduce the crazy ones will hopefully try something else. Pets Living Fossils do not face any restrictions beyond what is normally applied to exotic pets. Aside from the expected market demand from pet owners, Living Fossils have also been popular with many zoos and wildlife conservation programs worldwide. Living Fossils will have the same basic stats as their contemporary analogues; i.e. dodos arent much different from a domestic turkey, while thylacines are similar to wolves. Mini-Lions: These are domesticated dwarf versions of the various African lion species, and are similar in size to the Maine Coon variety of domestic housecat. While they retain a good deal of the sociability of their full-sized cousins, increased neoteny makes Mini-Lions surprisingly affectionate pets, almost to the levels displayed by dogs. Unfortunately they cant be kept around domestic herbivores, as they will gang up on the obvious prey animal and try to kill it at first opportunity. That said, they will also happily share the kill with their human owners. Mini-Lions have unexpectedly proven to be especially good pets for families with small children, of whom they can be quite protective. Mini-Lions require a diet of fresh raw meat and clean water (plus the occasional bit of greenery) to stay healthy. Aside from having an extra dot of Strength and Stamina, MiniLions share the same stats as domestic housecats. Minisaurs: Gen-Pets latest line of Exotics are bioengineered midget recreations (using recombinant DNA from several reptile and bird species) of a few of the more intelligent herbivorous dinosaurs. The bipedals are about the size of a large goose, while the quadrupeds are the size of a typical St. Bernard sheepdog. Gen-Pets Minisaurs have proven to be affectionate pets, if a bit dim-witted compared to your average dog. Minisaurs are best kept on a diet of fresh greenery, making them best suited to those pet owners who are also gardeners or who make frequent trips to the grocery. Fortunately for their owners, Minisaurs sense of smell has been increased through bioengineering so that they will refuse to eat any plant that is toxic to them. Minisaurs will share most of the stats of large geese and dogs respectively, save for being less effective in combat and less aggressive.

Gen-Pets Exotics
Producer: Gen-Pets Ltd. (Independent biotech firm) Category: Bioengineered fauna Description: Given the thriving market for exotic pets, it was inevitable that bioengineers would attempt to create some truly exotic animals for the more jaded pet fanciers. That happened in 2010 when an independent firm from Vancouver created a brief storm of controversy by putting out a line of glowing housecats, songbirds and small dogs on the market. Circa 2015, Gen-Pets Ltd. is the bestknown and most respected producer of such bioengineered housepets, which are considered to be the gold standard by exotic pet fanciers. System: Gen-Pets produces several varieties of exotic pets, which are detailed below. All kinds of Gen-Pets are considered advancements and may be used by baselines. Glo-Pets: Gen-Pets original line of Exotics has been expanded greatly in the five years since its initial debut. These are otherwise ordinary domestic housepets - available types include cats, dogs, songbirds, parrots and many species of aquarium fish - which have been bioengineered with various forms of luciferin in their fur, feathers or scales. As long as they remain fairly healthy and well-fed, they can glow in the dark (for up to 1 hour) as if they had 1 dot of the Bioluminescence quantum power when desired. Except for the fish, which will glow whenever its dark enough, Glo-Pets can be trained to glow on command. Glo-Pets are available in any color of the basic visible light spectrum, and research towards creating multicolored Glo-Pets is underway. GloPets are not sterile, but as their luciferin mutations are all recessive most people are content to buy them from GenPets instead of breeding their own. In all other ways, GloPets will share the same stats as typical members of their species. Living Fossils: These are recreated specimens of recently-extinct species such as the dodo, thylacine, passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet. As they have not been bioengineered beyond restoring them to life, Gen-

Hazmat Weeds
Producer: Zushima Biologicals (a Project Utopia subsidiary) Category: Bioengineered flora Description: With the success of their metal-sequestering plants (Aberrant: Year One, p. 76), Zushima Biologicals began development of similar plants designed to leach out and sequester hazardous chemicals from the soil. Hazmat Weeds have been developed to deal with a legion of environmental poisons such as banned pesticides and herbicides, Agent Orange and mercury. There have been

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attempts to develop Hazmat Weeds that can handle substances such as depleted uranium and nuclear waste, but they have yet to hit the market and may never do so. System: Hazmat Weeds are used much like metalsequestering plants are: theyre planted in a plot of contaminated ground and left to grow to maturity. At that point, instead of being burned on site (the chemicals are only sequestered, not neutralized) the plants are harvested roots and allthen carted off to special facilities for safe disposal. Most Hazmat Weeds are advancements, and are available for sale worldwide. The exceptions are the two Hazmat Weeds designed to sequester depleted uranium and nuclear waste, which are considered innovations and will not be available for sale until versions usable by baselines can be developed. Earth-normal temperature range. All strains of Mindel Metal Bugs are considered advancements.

Mindel Methane Bug


Producer: Levia Mindel Category: Bioengineered microlife Description: Levia Mindel has also developed a countermeasure to another highly dangerous oceanic contaminant: the frozen deposits of methane underneath the ocean floors. If they were to be released into the atmosphere as methane gas, the resulting ecological damage from climate shifting and global warming would be enormous. After acquiring samples of a naturally occuring methane-eating extremeophile Archaea microbe with the help of a DeVries deep-sea specialist elite, Mindel developed a bioengineered version of it that both reproduces and devours methane deposits with extraordinary speed. As Mindel Methane Bugs can operate in a variety of harsh environments, they have also been used to eliminate the dangerous methane underneath the permafrost of the Russian Confederation and other arctic nations. System: Mindel Methane Bugs are pretty much a fire and forget solution for inconvenient deposits of underground methane. Once released into a methane deposit, they begin to eat voraciously and reproduce at an exponential rate. Depending on the size of a given methane deposit, the Methane Bugs could completely devour it in anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. Mindel also designed them to die off quickly once their methane supply is exhausted, after which they become harmless biomass and excellent food for whatever natural predatory and/or scavenger microbes may be nearby. Mindel Methane Bugs are an advancement.

Mindel Metal Bugs


Producer: Levia Mindel Category: Bioengineered microlife Description: After having her initial achievement eclipsed by Project Utopia, nova Levia Mindel turned her attention towards a class of aquatic contaminants that neither the Zushima macrobe nor her own pollution-eating microbe could affect: the metals dissolved in seawater. Her researches led her to develop several strains of bacteria that are each designed to seek out and sequester a specific metal, then form colonies for easy retrieval. While her Gold Bugs have yet to eke out much of a profit, Mindel has made a tidy sum from the metal refiners who buy the resulting gelatinous ores. Surprisingly enough one of her biggest successes to date has been the Mercury Bugs, the continued production and use of which has been officially subsidized by the Japanese government. System: Mindel Metal Bugs are sold in the form of decaliter-sized bacterial colonies which look like cloudy gray jelly. Once released into seawater, a given strain of Metal Bugs will immediately begin to seek out and sequester their preferred metal. The time required for this can vary widely, depending on the amount and density of the dissolved metal in the vicinity. For instance, accumulating anything more than a tiny amount of gold could take several days, while cleaning up a pool of mercury would only require a few minutes. After either sequestering all the available metal or coming up empty, the Metal Bugs will reform back into a gelatinous colony that will have a predesignated color to indicate their status. Colonies rich in their specific metal will have vibrant shades, while those with less of the metal will have pale shades. Colonies with no metal at all will remain their original cloudy gray. Its also important to note that Metal Bugs are completely unable to sequester any nondissolved metal other than mercury, which is a liquid at the

The Purple Plastic Eater


Producer: Zushima Biologicals (a Project Utopia subsidiary) Category: Bioengineered fungi Description: After their success in cleaning up the global environment, some Utopian scientists decided to take on the household environment. Recognizing the health hazards posed by many of the chemicals found in old-fashioned plastics (such as Bisphenol-A), they developed a fungus designed to break down those plastics and sequester the dangerous chemicals for safe disposal. Packaged as part of what are essentially carbon-fiber rubbish bins of varying sizes, Utopia attempted to market it as the New Beginnings plastic disposal system. That branding failed as everyone except PUs marketing executives began calling it the Purple Plastic Eater, due to the very bright violet hue of the fungi. The product was swiftly renamed and has been a popular household item in the First World nations ever since.

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System: The Purple Plastic Eater is extremely simple to use and requires no electrical power: just toss in a plastic item that will fit in it and seal the interior envelope and exterior lid. If given a liter of fresh water once a week, the mat of bioengineered fungi within will break down the plastic within 20 minutes to 6 hours, depending on the items size. A set of chemically-triggered telltales on the bins front indicate when the bin is ready to break down plastic, is currently breaking down plastic, the health of the fungi and when the bins detachable resevoir is full. Full resevoirs are taken back to a licensed dealer for safe disposal of the contents and to get a free fresh resevoir. Since fresh resevoirs also contain vital nutrient supplements that the fungi cant get from their diet of plastics, customers have a strong incentive to keep the cycle going instead of just tossing full resevoirs in a landfill or a burn pile. The Purple Plastic Eater is an advancement and is usable by baselines. Carnosaurs are all about the size of a small tiger, and are nearly as intelligent. All of these creatures are chemically castrated, requiring an introduced enzyme to become fertile (which is costly). It should also be noted that keeping a Mini-Carnosaur is much like keeping a big cat or bear as a pet: an extremely risky and dangerous practice. More than a few governments are putting laws on the books that would allow police and private citizens to shoot Mini-Carnosaurs (and other dangerous exotic pets) with impunity if they pose a threat to life and/or property. Some social commentators have noted that the shoot with impunity laws might need to be extended to cover the owners of such dangerous beasts as well. Mini-Carnosaurs are an advancement and are usable by baselines. Traits: Strength 4, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4, Abilities: Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Brawl 2, Stealth 2, Intimidation 3 Willpower: 3 Health Levels: Ok, Ok, Ok, Ok, -1, -1, -2, -3, -4, Inc. Attacks: Bite 5L, Tail Slap 5B, Claw 4L (Deinonychus only).

Pet Chimera
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Bioengineered fauna Description: A brand-new byproduct of his research into augmenting humans with transgenic DNA implants, Dr. Morgan Dwyer bioengineered these mammals with sections of transgenic human DNA. The resulting animals are odd-looking in the extreme, but are as intelligent as a dim baseline human. Pet Chimeras dont truly qualify as sapient and will be legally considered animals once their existence becomes widely known. The Megasyndicate is currently touting Pet Chimeras as the ultimate luxury for the wealthiest (and most eccentric) of exotic pet fanciers. Pet Chimeras are most commonly derived from domestic dog breeds and housecats, although any higher mammal could be used. Needless to say, the existence of these creatures will upset both human and animal rights activists but fall into the middle ground as far as legality is concerned, being product rather than pet or person. System: Pet Chimeras look like bizarre mixtures of animal and human traits, with the animal traits predominating. The stats of Pet Chimeras are those of the base animal, with the following added traits: Intelligence 1, Perception 3, Wits 2, Appearance 2, Manipulation 1 and Charisma 2. Pet Chimeras also share the same lifespans and maturation rates as their base animal species. For an added cost (an additional 2 Resources dots would be the minimum), Pet Chimeras can also be created as Bonded Animals (see the listing above). Pet Chimeras are an advancement and are usable by baselines.

Mini-Carnosaurs
Producer: Independent biotech firm Category: Bioengineered fauna Description: When Gen-Pets put their Minisaurs out on the market, a few pet fanciers were disappointed that Gen-Pets had not only restricted themselves to herbivorous dinosaurs but refused to even do research on developing carnivorous Minisaurs. Sensing an opportunity, in 2013 one of Gen-Pets less-than-ethical competitors managed to lure away one of the top Minisaur bioengineers from Gen-Pets with promises of increased freedom of research and a very fat salary. Two years later, the Mini-Carnosaurs have just now hit the gray market for exotic pets. Only Mini-Carnosaur versions of Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Deinonychus are currently available as of 2015, as the possibility of expanding the line is up in the air until the Mini-Carnosaurs profitability can be determined. System: Much like Gen-Pets Minisaurs, Mini-Carnosaurs were created from recombinant DNA from several reptile and bird species, but the similarities end there. Mini-

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Quantum-Powered Animals
Producer: Independent nova bioengineer Category: Bioengineered fauna Description: Ever since humans first domesticated animals as something other than a source of food, the idea that some fantastic beasts could also be made to serve clever men has been one of their most common fantasies. It wasnt a big leap of imagination to figure that the gods would likewise have wondrous animals at their beck and call. With the novas status as de facto gods of the 21st Century, it is inevitable that one or more nova bioengineers will seek to make that fantasy into concrete reality. Although the possibility of animal novas is laughed off by nearly all baseline experts on nova powers as of 2015, the potential for them to be created does exist. Its only a question of if and when it will happen. System: Although the exact means used to create them can vary with the individual nova bioengineer, whats required to create Quantum-Powered Animals is a quantum gadget capable of replicating the Mutation technique of the Ecological Supremecy power. (Details for these can be found on pp. 143-148 and pp. 129-130 of the Aberrant Players Guide, respectively.) This restricts the creation of the required quantum gadget to nova bioengineers with Quantum scores of 7 or more. The nova capabilities of the transformed animals will be determined as set out in the Mutation technique listing, with successes being pooled as the user (usually the nova bioengineer) desires. One success can grant the animal one nova points worth of a power. Two successes can grant an enhancement (without the accompanying Mega-Attribute dot), while three successes can grant a Mega-Attribute dot (without enhancements). QuantumPowered Animals will not have an actual Quantum trait, but will be treated as having the minimum Quantum to use its power and a pool of 5 quantum points per dot of Quantum. Quantum-Powered Animals cannot increase their nova capabilities, but neither can they gain Taint or aberrations, save perhaps when one or more botches are made on the initial Mutation roll. The technology required to create Quantum-Powered Animals is an innovation and can only be used by novas. Storyteller Note: As the idea of super-powered animals is a very four-color concept, they could easily clash with the tone of your Aberrant chronicle and/or the expectations of your players. As a highly optional story element, we recommend that the concept be discussed with your players before introducing it. On the other hand, if your Aberrant chronicle is four-color to begin with, this may not be such a problem...

Story Seed: REVOLUTION!!!!


In this case, its an entirely different reclusive nova bioengineer who develops Quantum-Powered Animals, and he isnt a nice or ethical person in the least. Instead he is a world-class sociopathic bastard, as he immediately sold his first trio of super-dog pups to an organized crime group for the purpose of engaging in illegal dogfights, mostly out of curiousity as to what would happen and general irresponsibility. The crooks trained their super-dogs for three months. After some mishaps and two human fatalities (as well as LOTS of dead normal dogs) they finally had three well-trained fighting super-dogs. Inspired by this they asked the nova bioengineer to make fifteen more super-dogs for them... and then three months later disaster happened. One of the super-dogs decided he was in charge, and much worse, the rest of the super-dogs backed him up. The end result was bloody revolution, a massacre of all the baselines present, and the formation of a pack of 18 vicious super-dogs which fled the scene. The good news is that this particular batch of Quantum-Powered Animals wont breed true. The bad news is their leader is fully sapient, rather intelligent and very insane as well (Storytellers discretion as to his exact mental disorders). Any sane nova with Animal Mastery would have realized this and had him euthanized as a pup. As it is the new pack leader has declared war on humanity.

Story Seed: Adventures in Keeping Super-Pets!


A reclusive, kind-hearted nova bioengineer friend of one of the player characters has managed to create the worlds first Quantum-Powered Animal, but has also somehow kept the achievement a secret from the rest of the world. Citing a need for covert field testing, he bestows this affectionate little bioengineered beast to one or more of the player characters... as a housepet. Fortunately (or not), its close to the average power level (read: nova point count) of the player characters, so they will have a decent shot at keeping control of it. Living with an ordinary dog or housecat can be frustrating enough without tossing quantum powers into the mix. A super-dog could not only chase cars, but catch them with ease. Where normal dogs dig up small gardens, a super-dog could literally dig up entire yards. As far as super-dogs are concerned, anything less than a steel bank vault door is a pet door waiting to happen. Super-cats arent much better, as one could literally raid the pantry whenever it felt hungry, instead of having to wait for its master to give it food. Normal cats only scratch their owners wardrobe and/or furniture with their claws, but a super-cat could demolish both with relative ease. And if all that wasnt bad enough, the player characters must keep the super-pets existence a secret while dealing with its antics.

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Medicine
Ever since humans first realized that they could do things to help themselves recover from injuries and ailments, their drive to advance the field of medicine has been relentless and its practitioners admired. Likewise, the potential of medicine to be abused has also been recognized since Hammurabis time. This situation has not really changed with the coming of the novas, only its aspects both positive and negative - have been magnified.

Accelerated Healing Gel


Producer: Triton Pharmaceuticals Category: Life support Description: Inspired by the use of synthetic breathing liquids, one of Tritons nova medical researchers came up with a gelatin that not only transfers the required level of oxygen directly to a patients lungs and/or bloodstream, but also transports nutrients to and wastes away from the patients cells. The fact that the gels viscosity can keep lungs from collapsing and relieves nearly all harmful pressure on damaged tissues is considered a crowning touch. As this kind of unprecendented life support allows formerly radical medical techniques to be used safely, injuries that would have been guaranteed death certificates can be healed in a matter of hours. As of 2015, medical tank beds full of Accelerated Healing Gel can be found and are used in all the best hospitals and private clinics of the First World nations. System: If used in tandem with advanced medical treatment (Aberrant core book, p. 255), Accelerated Healing Gel will multiply its effect threefolda patient fortunate enough to receive both will recover Health Levels at six time categories higher on the Health chart. Note that the normal minimum times for healing damage still apply here: each level of Bashing damage will take five minutes and each level of Lethal damage will take one hour to heal. Accelerated Healing Gel may only be used once before having to be replaced with a fresh supply, as supporting the quickened healing consumes most if not all of its nutrient supply. Accelerated Healing Gel is an advancement and can be used and duplicated by baselines.

Advanced Cosmetic Surgeries


Producer: Many independent medical firms Category: Surgical techniques Description: Thanks to the wide array of medical advances brought about in the early Nova Agemost notably the creation of synthetic organ transplantsthe field of cosmetic surgery has seen dramatic improvement by 2015. Not only are the better cosmetic surgeries available much

more natural-looking than those available circa 1997, they also keep looking good as the patient ages. Even so, there is still a risk that the surgerys effect can backfire, harming the patients erstwhile good looks or even ruining them completely. System: Advanced Cosmetic Surgeries covers everything from breast augmentations and reductions, hair restoration and penile enlargement to full-scale facial reconstruction and major skin grafts. They also come in three categories: Minor (i.e. nosejobs & the like), Median (such as breast augmentation) and Major (such as facial reconstruction). The roll for performing Advanced Cosmetic Surgeries is Intelligence + Medicine, with a difficulty penalty of +1 added when attempting a Median surgery and +2 for a Major surgery. Attempts to redefine a patients Ugliness as standard appearance adds a flat +2 difficulty penalty. If all goes well with the surgery, the patients Appearance can be raised by up to 2 dots with cheap surgery, or by up to 3 dots plus addition of the Sexy Merit (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 75) with expensive surgery. If the surgery is botched, a patient undergoing cheap surgery could have her dots of Appearance redefined as Ugliness and gain the Bad Vibe Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 76) at the 1 point level. If a expensive surgery is botched, the patient could lose only one or two dots of Appearance. It should also be noted that patients whose Appearance is defined as Ugliness are handled differently. If successful, such a patient undergoing cheap surgery can lose up to 2 dots of Appearance, while one undergoing expensive surgery could have his Appearance rating redefined as standard attractive Appearance and also gain the Sexy Merit. One drawback that hasnt changed is that having had prior Advanced Cosmetic Surgeries makes undergoing further surgeries more difficult. In game terms, each prior Advanced Cosmetic Surgery the patient has undergone successful or notwill take away one success from the roll for all Advanced Cosmetic Surgeries performed in the future. Finally, since undergoing Advanced Cosmetic Surgery involves the implantation of synthetic organ tissue grown from the patients own stem cells, theres none of the risks associated with traditional synthetic implants. Advanced Cosmetic Surgeries are advancements and can be performed by baselines.

Chemical Collar
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Medical implant (synthetic gland) Description: With their long history of trafficking in humans for the slave trade, the Megasyndicate has always kept an eye out for ways to make their human wares more

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docile and less likely to rebel against and/or escape from their would-be owners. When Dr. Morgan Dwyer entered their service, his superiors gave him that problem in order to test his competence and capabilities. Dr. Dwyer created the Chemical Collar, which let him pass the test with flying colors, to the detriment of humanity as a whole. As of 2015, Chemical Collars are routinely implanted in the highest quality of women, children and handsome young men that have been enslaved by the Megasyndicates procurement operations. System: The Chemical Collar is a tiny synthetic gland like the much simpler Disulfram Implant (Aberrant: Year One, p. 75). Surgically implanted next to the spinal cord, the gland produces a highly complex mix of neurotransmitters, inhibitors and endorphinsunimaginatively named Slavedrugthat makes the implanted slave extremely submissive to whoever holds his or her leash. (See the drug listing below for details.) The implant also has a tiny radio transponder and neuron chip which lets the owner control the slave by means of the handheld radio transceiver leash. The leash has three functions, the first of which automatically triggers the Chemical Collar to deliver a standard dose of Slavedrug on a weekly basis, keeping the slave submissive and docile. The second function makes the Chemical Collar deliver a massive overdose of Slavedrug, killing the slave and destroying the Collar. The third function will automatically deliver the Slavedrug overdose if the slave moves further away from the leash than 20 to 50 meters (owners choice as to the exact range), restricting the slaves range of movement. As an additional measure, many owners also like to have locator chips implanted into their slaves to make hiding futile. Fortunately, slaves need not be doomed to live out lives of servitude and degradation after being implanted with a Chemical Collar. Stealing the leash works quite well, provided that the slave realizes that the thief has it and not the former owner. If the antidote to Slavedrug is concocted, the slave can be injected with it on site before being taken to a good hospital or clinic for prompt removal of the Chemical Collar. Chemical Collars require only outpatient surgery to be implanted into and removed from baseline humans. Chemical Collars are an advancement and can be duplicated and used by baselines.

Eruption Catalyst
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Genetic alteration (via retrovirus) Description: While performing personal research on analyses of several thousand DNA samples (including his own), one of Dr. Dwyers more capable nova underlings by the name of Dr. Kirill Mirsky made a startling discovery. While the actual M-R gene sequence remained as rare

The C-Z Slavedrug


Toxin Rating: 3 Vector: Injected (via synthetic gland) Duration: 7 days Effect: One dose of Slavedrug lowers the victims Willpower by six points when trying to resist and/or disobey the commands of his or her recognized owner (read: whoevers holding the leash). Victims who are reduced to zero Willpower do not fall prey to the base impulses of their Natures. Instead, such victims will obey and carry out their owners commands even when they conflict with their ethics, personal preferences and sexual orientation. Slavedrug also heightens the natural production of endorphins in the brain when submitting to an owners commands, making the victim feel strong involuntary pleasure (both sexual and otherwise) when obeying. Finally, victims of Slavedrug lose two dice from all Wits-based dice pools for the duration of its effect. Addiction: 2. Antidote: The neurotoxins present in the venom of certain Australian snakes can negate the effects of Slavedrug for 8 hours. This is best done with the venom pharmaceutically diluted and administered by a trained doctor, who will have determined the exact dosage required for the spinal injection. Attempting to get the venom directly from the snake will be dangerous in the extreme. Detox: +2 difficulty on all Willpower rolls to control any aggressive impulses - combative, acquisitive and sexual - for 24 hours after successful removal of the Chemical Collar as the victims normal neurochemistry reasserts itself. Overdose: Make a Stamina roll at +1 difficulty to avoid dying from a massive brain seizure. Notes: Slavedrug is a fiendishly complex mixture of some very obscure neurochemicals, of which Dr. Dwyer has done his best to prevent any reverse engineering. As it can currently only be produced by Dr. Dwyers specialized synthetic glands, attempts to recreate it without nova aid will not show any success until the mid-2040s. It is also completely ineffective when used on novas. Slavedrug is an advancement and can be duplicated and used by baselines.

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as ever, exposure to elevated levels of ambient quantum energy could cause it to develop spontaneously in ordinary baseline human DNA. After locating a few normally-inactive genes responsible for the spontaneous mutation, he managed to develop a retrovirus that made them much more sensitive to ambient quantum energies. Further experiments with tissue samples have proven that Dr. Mirsky had created a true eruption catalyst that dramatically increases a baselines chances of eruption, as well as those of his or her children. Dr. Mirskys research also indicates that while the global level of ambient quantum as of 2015 is still too low for the Eruption Catalyst to function, the conditions will be right for it by 2020. Even so, the Eruption Catalyst has quickly become one of the Megasyndicates priciest biotech items. Quite a few Megasyndicate made men are even saving up to buy it for themselves. System: The Eruption Catalyst does just what the name implies - it helps baseline humans to erupt when they ordinarily would have little or no chance of doing so. In game terms, from 2020 onwards a baseline treated with the Eruption Catalyst will have a flat 5% chance of erupting when directly exposed to quantum energies. Unfortunately, it accomplishes this by causing genetic damage which guarantees that such baselines will erupt as high-Taint novas (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 68). Baselines who erupt with the aid of the Eruption Catalyst are those who should never have erupted at all. Even worse, such baselines will pass on the Eruption Catalysts effects to whatever children they have after being treated. The Eruption Catalyst retrovirus is an innovation and can only be created by novas.

Gene-Boosting
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Genetic alteration (In vitro gengineering) Description: With a ready-made market of people eager to give their children whatever advantages they can afford, it was inevitable that the C-Z Megasyndicate would attempt to profit from them. Created by Dr. Kirill Mirsky, this process overwrites select portions of a human embryos DNA at the time of (in vitro) conception. Aside from the usual control over gender and minor physical traits such as hair & eye color, the process also augments a few of the resulting childs basic capabilities, as chosen by the parents. Unfortunately the process is far from being perfected, as the Gene-Boosting process has a 25% chance of inflicting physical defects and/or mental disorders on the altered children. Despite this, Gene-Boosting remains highly popular with parents who are wealthy, obsessed with genetic superiority or simply wish to ensure that their kids wont be burdened with their more obvious genetic defects. System: If all goes well with the Gene-Boosting process (read: the Intelligence + Medicine or Science roll is successful), the altered infant will enjoy an additional 3 Attribute dots to be allocated as desired, with maximum Attribute ratings of 5. However, there is also a 25% that the infant will also develop the equivalent of a physical or mental aberration (Storytellers choice) in some way related to the augmented Attributes. If the roll used for the Gene-Boosting process is botched, the infant will instead either have 3 less Attribute dots than normal or will lose 3 dots in other Attributes (Storytellers choice) than those being augmented. The Gene-Boosting process is an advancement and is usable by baselines.

Buying Novadom
With eruption as a nova being regarded as the ultimate status symbol in the early 21st Century, its ironic that it has remained perpetually out of reach of even the wealthiest baselines for so long. Thanks to the efforts of Project Utopia and most First World governments, attempting to openly purchase novadom for oneself is much like trying to buy a tactical nuclear warhead for personal use. At best, the would-be buyer can expect to be arrested, thoroughly interrogated, slapped with huge fines and given a long prison sentence for his trouble. At worst, the wouldbe buyer can expect to be quietly assassinated and given a quick burial in an unmarked grave. If anyone is planning to make colossal sums of money by turning full-grown baselines into novas, the transaction will be as covert and discreet as possible. Information about purchasing potential novadom for ones unborn children (not to mention lots of other information on nova genetics and reproduction) can be found in Aberrant: A Breed Apart.

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Human Cloning
Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Medical procedure Description: Long held as a trope of science fiction, the cloning of human beings was made a concrete reality in 2011 by the bioengineers of Kuro-Tek. Given a viable sample of humans complete genetic code, Kuro-Tek can create both partial and complete human clones. Despite the prevalence of synthetic organs for transplants, partial clones are a handy source of those tissues and organs that have yet to be duplicated with that technology. Some wealthy eccentrics have even paid to have heads cloned from their personal enemies for the purpose of having an unethical taxidermist stuff and mount them as trophies. Complete human clones are most often created as infants for those who wish to resurrect a deceased loved one or just want to have children, even to the point of creating cross-gender clones of the genetic donor. For an additional cost Kuro-Tek can also accelerate their growth to create complete human clones of any physical age desired. In either case, complete clones will only have a newborn infants mentality when decanted unless a Personality Recording (see below) is downloaded into them. Fortunately the cloning of novas is currently beyond Kuro-Teks reach and is likely to remain so. System: Most clones produced with this technology will be separate human organs, baseline newborn infants or baselines of any physical age with a newborn infants mentality. Successful production of a clone only requires the bioengineer to make one Intelligence + Medicine or Science roll. Producing a cloned organ will take one to three months and newborn infant clones are produced in the standard nine months. Creating older complete clones requires a second Intelligence + Medicine or Science roll, and will take one to nine additional months, depending on the target age. In both cases, a failure on the roll indicates that the clone will have one or more minor genetic defects from genetic copying errors. Botching the roll will inflict the equivalent of a physical or mental aberration of the Storytellers choice upon the clone. Cross-gender clones may also be created with no additional effort beyond securing a healthy X or Y chromosome sample from a genetic donor. Due to interference caused by their quantum energies and highly unusual biochemistries, novas cannot be cloned with this technology. Human Cloning is an advancement, and can be duplicated and performed by baselines.

Human Programming
Producer: DeVries Medical Category: Neurological therapy Description: Derived from the same basic technology as the Mood-control Helmet (Aberrant: Elites p. 72), Human Programming was originally touted as a means to improve the general mental health (and head off any resulting medical expenses) of DeVries baseline employees. When the technologys potential for abuse became clear, it quickly joined the arsenal used by DeVries elites, used for ends both fair and foul. The technology has been outlawed in all First World countries except South Africa, not that this stops DeVries from using it. System: A Human Programming device is a bit more complicated to use than the Mood-control Helmet, as the crown of elecrical leads must be firmly attatched to the subjects scalp and the programming device itself booted up and synchronized with the subjects brainwave patterns. Normally, this takes at least two turns of game time. Human Programming uses the same mechanics as the Domination quantum power (Aberrant core book p. 191), except that the users Manipulation + the devices dice pool is used for the power roll in a resisted action against the subjects Willpower. The devices have a dice pool of six to ten dice depending on their size, with the man-portable units having 6 dice. The standard clinic units will have 8 dice and the most advanced clinic units (kept safely at DeVries regional headquarters) have 10 dice. Each success on the power roll allows the user to subtract or add 1 point of a psychological or neurological flaw from the subjects mind. Eligible Flaws for Human Programming include Addiction/Compulsion and all Mental Flaws except for Uneducated. (Flaws may be found in the Aberrant Players Guide pp. 69-76.) The effects of Human Programming may be undone through telepathic memory alteration, with each success on the Telepathy roll negating or restoring the Flaw or Merit in question. Depending on the tone of your Aberrant chronicle and the Storytellers whim, Human Programming may also be able

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to affect the True Love Merit, as some psychologists consider romantic love to be a socially-condoned mental disorder. Human Programming can be resisted with the Psychic Shield quantum power (and other means of resisting mental powers). Due to the more-or-less permanent effects of this technology, Psychic Shield and other mental defenses will grant double their normal protection against Human Programming. In any case, Human Programming has no effect whatsoever on mental aberrations - dont even bother rolling. Human Programming devices are advancements and may be used by baselines. ing the active careers of a select few of their best special ops troops and top espionage agents who often lacked family ties or didnt have any worth keepinga coalition of the United States military and many intelligence agencies eagerly accepted that offer. The rest has been (highly classified) history. The inventor of the technology still has all the data and blueprints for the hibernation technology however, and theres no telling where it may pop up next. System: A baseline human placed into Induced Hibernation has all aspects of her metabolism (including her heart rate) slowed, reducing her required levels of life support and nutrients by a factor of 20. When locked into the airtight freeze tube, a hibernating subject is supplied with a special atmospheric mix and special drugs mixed in with the nutrient fluid (delivered via intravenous feeding) that keeps her body tissues strong and healthy throughout her time of hibernation. Refrigeration is sometimes also required, as the subjects body temperature will drop to about 5 Celsius (or 42 Fahrenheit). Best of all, the subjects aging rate is practically reduced to zero while hibernating. Most novas may be placed into Induced Hibernation as well, as they will only require 5 times the standard nutrient feed and the hibernation drugs tailored to the nova metabolism. Of course, all that is rendered moot if a nova has any powers or aberrations which would either inhibit the procedure or make it impossible. Placing a subject into Induced Hibernation (or awakening a hibernating subject) requires an Intelligence + Medicine or Science roll, and takes one hour. Failure on the roll means the subject will remain awake, while a botch indicates that the patient will suffer a bout of extreme nausea and suffer three health levels of unsoakable bashing damage as her metabolism clashes with the hibernation drugs. Unfortunately the technology is a heavy power consumer, as a bank of 40 Induced Hibernation units (each of which are about the size of a late 20th Century van circa 2015) requires a dedicated power plant that would otherwise capable of powering a small town for it to function. If the power supply fails, hibernating subjects can easily die if aid isnt given to them in time. Unless a major breakthrough in energy producing technology is made, use of Induced Hibernation will be limited to wealthy national goverments, major international corporations and the occasional eccentric billionaire. The Induced Hibernation technology is an advancement and can be used by baselines.

Induced Hibernation
Producer: Independent nova researcher, United States government (military/black ops) Category: Life support Description: Early in 2009, an unnamed nova biologist discovered a method of inducing a state of long-term hibernation in mammals without causing them any cellular damage. After performing a few human trials with paid volunteers, the biologist knew that the technology was both ready for production and safe for human use. Unfortunately the equipment involved required far too much electrical power for even large hospitals to use it without bankrupting themselves. Undaunted, the nova biologist discreetly offered to sell the technology to the United States government for a very tidy sum. Thrilled at the possibility of extend-

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Personality Recording
Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Neurological procedure Description: After achieving their first successes with Human Cloning, Kuro-Teks nova medical experts immediately began research on one of its major drawbacks - the fact that all complete clones they created would have the mentality of a newborn infant upon being decanted. While this wasnt a problem when such clones were decanted as physical newborn infants, it made producing clones at the later stages of maturity highly inefficient. That changed when a Kuro-Tek nova researcher stumbled on a method to literally record a humans complete personality and memories, which could then be stored and downloaded into the otherwise blank mind of a newly-decanted complete clone. While the process is far from being perfected, it has allowed Kuro-Tek to make the most out of their Human Cloning technology. System: The creation of a Personality Recording involves scanning the subjects complete nervous system using a modified MRI scanner, with the subject preferably being unconscious at the time of recording. This allows the subjects personality and memories to be stored as data within a special crystalline matrix which is the actual Personality Recording. Downloading a Personality Recording into a newly-decanted clone (or a human whos been completely mindwiped through use of Telepathy) merely reverses the process. In both cases, an Intelligence + Medicine or Science roll is required to perform the process, with success resulting in complete personality and memory transference. Failure on the roll means that the transferred personality and memories will be incomplete, which may or may not be a good thing depending on the circumstances. Botching the roll means that there will be major distortions in the transferred personality & memory data, which can result in the creation of mental disorders in an originally-sane personality or the removal of mental disorders from an insane personality. In most cases, Personality Recordings will be downloaded into complete clones of the subjects original body that had been aged to a sufficient stage of physical maturity. This need not be the case though, as the blank clone being used for downloading can be of any age or genetic donor source. This can make for tragic results when a personality is downloaded into a clone body of an inconvenient physical age, or one that carries serious genetic flaws in its DNA. Its likewise best to download a recorded personality into a body of the same gender as the original subject, except in the case of subjects who are gender dysmorphic. Most subjects who find themselves inhabiting an oppositegender body can suffer extreme psychological stress and discomfort. Those subjects who were gender dysmorphic will instead quickly grow quite comfortable in their opposite-gender bodies. Personality Recordings can also be used for multiple downloads, resulting in two or more personalities that were identical until the time their original was recorded, which can raise all sorts of questions and conflicts over issues of personal identity. The Personality Recording storage devices themselves are about the size of a small toolbox and weigh four kilograms. After being imprinted with the scanned data, Personality Recording storage devices require little in the way of upkeep beyond the care normally given to fragile electronics. Personality Recordings are an innovation and can only be created by novas with Quantum 4 or higher.

Pigment Alteration
Producer: DeVries Medical Category: Genetic alteration (via retrovirus) Description: Originally developed to aid in disguises, the existence of DeVries Pigment Alteration technique was revealed when the nova medical researcher who created it was caught trying to sell it under the table to Kuro-Tek by a team of DVNTS elites. With the incident caught on live OpNet video, DeVries made the best of an embarrassing situation by rebranding the technique as a novel form of cosmetic medicine. Despite the backlash from racists, ethnocentrists and the cosmetic industry, Pigment Alteration has become the latest hot must have item to be found on the high fashion scene in 2015. System: An application of a Pigment Alteration retrovirus can change the color of the patients hair, skin or eyes to a new color chosen by the patient. The only limitation is that the new color must be selected from the naturallyoccuring hues found in the relevant body parts of baseline humans. (Pigment Alterations capable of granting unnatural new hair, skin and eye colors such as seen in anime characters are limited to the realm of innovations, and can currently be developed and performed only by novas.) DeVries geneticists have a wide library of baseline DNA samples to choose from, and have been known to pay very well for samples from baselines with rare and/or unusual hair, skin or eye colorations. The process itself is a simple injection - the complicated part is creating the specific retrovirus, using Intelligence + Medicine or Science for the roll. Success means that the patients hair, skin or eyes will change to the new color in about eight days - skin and irises will simply change, while a patients hair will begin growing in the new color from its roots. Most patients undergoing Pigment Alteration of the hair prefer to shave off all body hair and most scalp hair to make sure that they have as little hair of their previous color as possible after the new color has

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grown in. Failure results in the patients new color becoming some other random natural hue, while botching means that the new color will make the patient look odd in some way. Possibilities for botches include multicolor results (including piebald), making the hair turn white, causing massive skin wrinkles or having the new color just be highly unappealing. Additional Pigment Alterations of the same body part will increase the chance of failure, with each previous Pigment Alteration adding a +1 difficulty penalty to the Intelligence + Medicine or Science roll. As a somatic genetic alteration, Pigment Alterations can not be passed on to ones children in the usual manner. Pigment Alterations are an advancement, and may be created and administered by baselines. System: The Rejuvenation Treatment modifies genes to extend the human lifespan. While it doesnt technically make people younger, in general it has the same basic effect of the Age Alteration technique of Temporal Manipulation. Each success on the nova doctors Intelligence + Medicine roll results in the patient having 2 years subtracted from her physical age. Botches on the roll will cause all sorts of horrible side effects to the patient. Possibilities for such include (but are not limited to) the equivalent of physical aberrations, developing a nasty genetic disease or physical handicap or even immediate death. Even worse is that fact that even when successful, the treatment gives the patient an increased chance to develop mental disorders. Each year of reversed aging from the Rejuvenation Treatments will add 2% to that chance. If the patient already has a mental disordersuch as sociopathy, for exampleeach Rejuvenation Treatment will either cause the patients mental disorder to increase in severity or grant him a new one (Storytellers choice). As novas have slightly different genetics from baseline humans and already have an enhanced lifespan, they can not benefit from or be harmed by Rejuvenation Treatments. Because the treatment only extends ones lifespan, it is not possible to youthen someone into a baby or other pre-mature age, nor will they cease aging. Multiple Rejuvenation Treatments are possible but every treatment after the first suffers from a -1 success per treatment and the 2% chance per year of dire results is calculated on the subjects total time over all treatments. Rejuvenation Treatments are an innovation, and can only be duplicated and administered by novas with a Quantum of 4 or higher.

Rejuvenation Treatment
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Medical treatment Description: One of Dr. Morgan Dwyers most notable achievements is an unperfected treatment that can extend the lifespan of an adult human. Extrapolated from the research that produced the Megasyndicate Anti-Aging drug cocktail, this combination of genetic therapies and drug treatments has proven highly popular with the elderly among the baseline social elites. Despite the occasional accident and deletrious side effects that the treatment sometimes produces, it brings in considerable revenue for the Megasyndicate. Even Vor Alexi Zhukov himself has made plans to undergo the treatment before his age can begin to take a serious toll on his capabilities.

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Drugs
Drugs have a history of use by humans and their ancestor species that predates human sapience - much less human civilization - by a very wide margin. No force in recorded history has ever been able to change this, so its no surprise that drugs remain a notable element by the Nova Age. If anything, the presence of novas has only kicked the drug industries - both legal and otherwise - into high gear. New drugs derived from the genius of nova researchers and studies of novas biochemistries have given baseline humanity a wealth of miracle cures, with new ones being discovered on an almost daily basis. Sadly, the dark side of this pharmacopoeia also includes insidious new addictives that ruin human lives and the horrifying drugs produced by vivisecting living novas. The eventual consequences - both good and bad - of drug use in the 21st Century remain to be seen.

General Rules
The Toxin Rating was originally introduced in the Trinity core book (p. 255). And while the Aberrant setting books often make mention of the mechanic it is never explicitly defined. The following is a set of optional rules for use with Aberrant that makes full use of the Toxin Rating mechanic. Toxin Rating: Toxin Rating is a measure of relative potency of a chemical agent. This is usually expressed in a rating from one to five; with mild substances (such as aspirin and weak alcoholic beverages) having Toxin Rating 1 and powerful substances (crack cocaine and many tailored pharmaceuticals) having ratings much higher ratings. Poisonous substances may have ratings even higher than five and deal an amount of bashing or lethal damage equal to its Toxin Rating. Each success on a Resistance roll reduces the Toxin Rating by 1. A substance that has had its Toxin Rating reduced to 0 has no effect. Novas have an increased resistance to all chemical agents, and can negate entirely the effect of any drug or chemical not specifically tailored to work on their physiology with only a single success on the Resistance roll. Novatailored drugs are extremely potent, and most function as a lethal poison with a Toxin Rating of (10-Stamina) if ingested by a non-nova. Novas resisting the effect of a nova-tailored chemical agent make their Resistance roll at +2 difficulties, with each net success reducing the Toxin Rating of the chemical agent by 1.

Vector: This is the method that the chemical agent is most often administered. Particularly insidious agents often have several vectors. Contact: The substances take effect when it comes into contact with the subjects skin. Injected: The substance must be forcefully injected into the subjects body to have any effect. Ingested: The substance must be chewed, imbibed, swallowed, or otherwise consumed to have any effect. Inhaled: The subject must breathe in the chemical agent for it to have any effect. Duration: The amount of time the chemical agent remains active in the subjects body. Many drugs do not take effect immediately have also have an onset time before the chemical takes effect. Effect: The general description of the specific effects experience while under the influence of the chemical agent. Antidote: Some chemical agents have a counter-agent that negates the chemicals effect (although some antidotes may have their own side-effects). Addiction: Failing a Resistance roll against a chemical with an Addiction Rating requires a Willpower roll with a difficulty equal to that substances Addiction Rating. If the roll fails, the character becomes addicted. For most substances, the addicted character gains the Addiction flaw (+1 modifier to all difficulties for each 24 hours after the first 24 hours that has passed since they last time they indulged their craving). A character may spend a Willpower point to negate this penalty for 1 scene. Some substances impose other drawbacks and penalties. If the Willpower roll is successful, the subject does not become addicted. Mixing drugs is incredibly dangerous. Chemical cocktails have an effective Addiction Rating equal to the combined Addiction Rating for each drug that is part of the cocktail. Detox: Detox measures additional side effects suffered between doses while coming down from a high or while purging oneself of an addiction. Overdose: Taking large amounts of drugs (even normally safe ones) can be dangerous. Certain compounds have additional effects if multiple doses are taken (assume if additional doses are taken while a previous dose is still in effect). These effects can range from the inconvenient to the lethal.

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The Stash
Adrenocilin
Producer: Triton Pharmaceuticals Toxin Rating: 1 (nova-tailored) Vector: Ingested Duration: 4 hours Effect: (Aberrant core book p. 281). Adrenocilin functions as a (10-Stamina) lethal poison for baselines. Addiction: 2 Antidote: Moxinoquantamine (one dose neutralizes the effects of Adrenocilin, but the nova may still develop an addiction). Detox: +2 Difficulty to the use of all Quantum Powers. Overdose: Adrenocilin is relatively safe and has no overdose side effects.

Nova Tranquilizer
Producer: Several independent pharmaceutical companies Toxin Rating: 3 (nova-tailored)/ 10-Stamina L (Baseline) Vector: Injected Duration: 100 minutes, - 10 minutes per dot of Stamina/Mega-Stamina Addiction: N/A Effect: Loses 3 dice from all dice pools. (Aberrant: Year One, p. 106) Detox: N/A Antidote: None; each dot of Mega-Stamina reduces the tranquilizers effect by 1 die. Overdose: None.

Soma
Producer: Heaven Thunder Triad, C-Z Megasyndicate, Kuro-Tek, Teragen Pandaimonion Toxin Rating: 5 (nova-tailored)/ baselines die outright unless they make a successful Stamina roll at +1 difficulty. Vector: Ingested Duration: 4 hours Addiction: 0 (Nova)/ 2 (Baseline) Effect: (Aberrant core book, pp. 281-282) Detox: N/A Antidote: None. Overdose: Overdosing on Soma has a 5% chance of the user suffering temporary (for novas) or permanent (for baselines) paralysis.

Eclipsidol
Producer: Kuro-Tek Description: see Aberrant: The Directive, pp. 55-56. Toxin Rating: 5 (nova-tailored) Vector: Contact, Ingested, Injected, or Inhaled Duration: 30 seconds (or 10-Node Rating turns), 5 minutes (or 5 Node Rating Minutes) Effect: (Aberrant: The Directive pp. 55-56). Eclipsidol has no effect on baselines (effectively Toxin Rating 0 for baseline subjects). Addiction: N/A Antidote: None, Counter-Eclipsidol Drugs can prevent the effect for up to 3 hours. Detox: None, as a novas normal neurochemistry quickly reasserts itself after the effect fades. Overdose: Eclipsidol has no overdose side effects.

VTP (Virally Tailored Poisons)


Producer: Triton Pharmaceuticals Toxin Rating: 4 Vector: Contact Duration: 12 hours Stamina/Mega-Stamina Addiction: N/A Effect: Nova falls unconscious and his quantum pool is depleted. (Aberrant Worldwide: Phase 1 p. 115) Detox: N/A Antidote: None. Overdose: N/A

Moxinoquantamine (Mox)
Producer: Triton Pharmaceuticals Toxin Rating: 3 (nova-tailored)/ 10-Stamina L (Baseline) Vector: Ingested Duration: 6 hours Addiction: N/A Effect: (Aberrant core book, p. 281) Detox: N/A Antidote: Adrenocilin. Overdose: None.

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New Drugs
Amor
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Description: Originally developed as a drug to aid in emotional therapy, official concern over its potential for abuse forced the developer to throw in his lot with the C-Z Megasyndicate. Now sold on the streets as Amor, those official concerns have been turned into cold, hard reality. With so many lonely and unloved people in the world, the Megasyndicate has an eager supply of customers. Some people have even taken to surreptitiously dosing their established romantic partners with Amor in an attempt to strengthen their relationships. Toxin Rating: 3 Vector: Ingested Duration: 6 hours. Addiction: 3 + number of doses beyond the first. Effect: Amor induces a neurochemical state in the user which is functionally identical to that of humans in healthy long-term romantic relationships. Amor users will exhibit the same behaviors of lovesick humans, differing only in that they will have no obvious focus for their affections. Amor users will instead focus on an individual of the appropriate gender as their partner, who will usually be a well-known friend. Particularly lonely users can even choose acquaintances who have only shown the user momentary kindness, affection or friendship as partners. Some of the more intelligent Amor users will even pair off with each other to ensure that theyll have a receptive and understanding partner. Once a partner has been chosen, the user will seek to establish a romantic relationship with him or her. In some instances this can develop into an actual romance with the partner, but thats exceedingly rare. While some partners can and will exploit an Amor users affections, many more will either try to turn down the user or try the lets just be friends tactic. Amor users will then begin to either court or stalk their reluctant partners, and will turn to increasingly extreme tactics in both should the partner remain uncooperative. Aside from the sort of tactics seen in the movie Fatal Attraction, this can easily include dosing an unwilling partner with Amor. Amor isnt a nova-tailored drug but novas can be affected by it if they fail their Resistance roll. Detox: Once a given dose wears off, Amor users will experience emotional distress of the kind normally associated with heartache. In game terms, this is equal to an increase of two steps on the Sadness column of the Empathic Manipulation chart (Aberrant core book, p. 196). Unless physically prevented from doing so, Amor users in that state will seek to dose themselves as soon as possible. Antidote: There is no known pharmaceutical antidote

Getting Clean
With all the drugs to be found in the world of Aberrant, sooner or later the issue of overcoming the Addiction Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 71) is going to come up. Provided that everyone in your chronicle is comfortable with exploring this through a roleplaying game, we have a game mechanic to allow that. If your Storyteller allows Flaws that could plausibly be corrected to be bought off with experience points, the addicted character must go cold turkey and actively prevent himself from giving in to his addiction. The required experience points will usually be twice the Flaws bonus point value, although your Storyteller has the final say on that. Depending on what hes addicted to, the addicted character may also need to enter rehabilitation therapy and be prescribed counter-drugs such as methadone. If the Storyteller desires, another requirement is a higher-than-average quality of roleplaying from the player of the addicted character - overcoming an addiction can have serious dramatic potential. Otherwise, this could be accomplished during a characters down time. The Storyteller should keep close track of the characters progress towards buying off the Flaw, as any stumbles made will have a cost. During the characters rehabilitaion, resisting any opportunity to get a fix requires the character to make a Willpower roll. Depending on the nature of what hes addicted to - such as an extremely addictive drug - the Storyteller may add a difficulty penalty to the Willpower roll. Success on the roll means that the character manages to keep himself from backsliding, although he will likely seek to get away from the temptation as soon as possible. Failure on the roll not only means the character gives in to whatever hes addicted to, but that the Storyteller will dock one or more experience points from the characters pool of experience points thats been set aside to buy off the Flaw. Botching is even worse, as it effectively wipes out the characters pooled experience points and forces him to start over from scratch. Rehabilitation will come in stages as the Flaw is bought off one point per period, the length of which is also predetermined by the Storyteller. Once the last experiences points are spent, the player can remove the Addiction Flaw from his character sheet. Its also common for former addicts to develop aversions towards their former addictions, although this is by no means mandatory. A final note: Addictions that are aberrations instead of simple Flaws cannot be overcome in this manner - dont even bother with it. As with all other true aberrations, the novas permanent Taint is the root of the problem of a nova with an Addiction aberration, and no known rehabilitation therapy can counter that. for Amor. Overdose: Users who take more than one dose of Amor during the six hour duration must make a Resistance roll with a difficulty penalty of + (number of extra doses taken). Failure on the roll means that the user will suffer a temporary

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bout of severe erotomania (the delusion that another person is in love with the user). Botching the roll means that the users erotomania has become a permanent mental disorder. In both cases, overdosed users will seek to win and/or retain their partners affections at any and all costs. Cases of such users stalking their partners are not unheard of. that tinkering with ones biochemistry on this level can be very risky. Users must make a Resistance roll with +2 bonus dice once every six weeks they take the Anti-Aging drug cocktail, with success meaning it works as intended. Failure on the roll means that the user gets no benefit at all, while botching means that the user develops permanent sociopathy (as per the aberration in Aberrant: Brainwaves). Subsequent botches on the Resistance roll will inflict whatever other permanent mental disorder or metabolic problem the Storyteller deems appropriate. In all cases, the Anti-Aging drug cocktail has no effect on novas. Detox: If unable to get their daily fix, users of the Anti-Aging drug cocktail will experience a temporary mental disorder of the Storytellers choice for 24 hours as their neurochemistry slowly returns to its normal state. Any and all permanent mental disorders and metabolic problems gained through prior use of the drug cocktail will be retained, of course. Antidote: None. Overdose: Overdosing on the Anti-Aging drug cocktail requires taking more than one dose in the same 24 hour period. In that case, users must make a Resistance roll at +3 difficulty to avoid immediate death by the failure of their brain metabolism. Users who survive an overdose can expect to lose one or two dots of their Mental Attributes and/or Willpower (Storytellers discretion).

Anti-Aging Drug Cocktail


Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Description: Description: One of Dr. Dwyers earliest (if mixed) successes, this drug cocktail literally halts the aging process in baseline humans. Unfortunately it also tends to cause sociopathy and other mental disorders in long-term users. In a rare show of honest cooperation, Project Utopia and the Directive quickly had it banned in all of the First World nations and many other nations as well. Despite all that, this flame is still attracting wealthy moths and has made respectable amounts of money for the Megasyndicate in the process. Toxin Rating: 4 Vector: Injected Duration: 24 hours. Addiction: 4 + the number of doses taken beyond the first. Effect: Users of the Anti-Aging drug cocktail will have their aging processes effectively halted, provided that they can keep taking it on a daily basis. The problem with this is

Baraka
Producer: N/A Description: Baraka isnt a drug per se, but rather the result of a grisly practice started by certain extreme baseline cults. Baraka has become the name on the street for nova body tissues harvested from still living novas, which are often consumed raw. The tissues are saturated with the hormones and byproducts of the nova metabolism and often carry residual quantum (and sometimes taint) energies. Needless to say, most novas consider themselves to be above prey animals and would be horrified (and angered) to find out that such a practice exists. Toxin Rating: Baraka has a Toxin Rating equal to the donors Quantum or Taint score (whichever is higher). Toxin Ratings higher than 3 are poisonous to baselines and deal bashing damage, while Toxin Ratings of higher than 5 deal lethal damage. Vector: Ingested. Cooking the flesh reduces its Toxin Rating by 1. Duration: Baraka is a short-lived high and only lasts for about an hour. Effect: For those willing to indulge in such horrific cuisine Baraka is a euphoric, and the user feels energetic and excitable (how much of this is an actual chemical process

Tainted Highs
Recently, the Heaven Thunder Triad took possession of a nova that they have dubbed Endless Bountiful Harvest. This pathetic wretch has been completely twisted by Taint so that it isnt much more than a mewling, screeching wreck of an entity thats barely able to move or function on its own. Its sex, race and age are indistinguishable beneath the vast and awful aberrations that twist its being; and any identity, powers or life it may have had before its eruption are gone, leaving only this howling shell. It is so awful to look upon that it shakes the sanity of weak-willed men just to see it. The nova harvesters of the Heaven Thunder Triad are not weak-willed men however, and never hesitated in carrying out their work upon this twisted pile of flesh that had once been a human being. Along with the plentiful hormones and other secretions that are so useful when refined into drugs, this creature also yielded a 6th instar node, a rare find indeed. It was when they had finished their work that the harvesters discovered the true glory of this pathetic being. It fully regenerated its massive wounds in less than twenty minutes. Thus was born its name and the production of some of the most vicious, addictive and dangerous drugs of the Nova Age.

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and how much is simply psychosomatic is open to debate). This provides no noticeable in-game effect. When the high wears off the user gains a point of temporary Taint for each point of Toxin Rating remaining after the initial Resistance roll. Addiction: 1+ the number of doses taken beyond the first in a 7 day period. Each dose of Baraka is the equivalent of 0.5kg of tissue. Antidote: None; effects wear off over time. Detox: The long-term side effects of eating nova flesh have yet to be documented, but it is theorized that such cannibals would steadily accumulate taint energy and start to display physical mutations or contract bizarre illnesses. Overdose: In addition to any other side effects of consuming Baraka, users who eat more than 2kg at one time on a regular basis experience the same benefits and penalties as someone using Mite. Intelligence with the Taint Resistance enhancement and a high threshold for pain. All of this was necessary, for much of the research on this drug involved the researcher cutting open the brains of his own clones to take samples. This drug is built around the observation that dorming down decreases taint, even that which is caused by having a large M-R node. Thus it isnt the entire story that very large nodes cause taint simply by their physical size by pressing on the rest of the brain. What must be happening is that very large nodes expose the rest of the brain to quantum, and as it cant deal with it the side effect is taint. Thus when a nova with this condition dorms down, the rest of the brain is less exposed to quantum and functions better. This drug is absorbed by the other (non-node) portions of the novas brain and then proceeds to absorb excess quantum, shielding the rest of the brain. Since it mostly stays in the bloodstream it largely doesnt affect normal brain function... at correct dosages. Toxin Rating: 2 (nova-tailored) Vector: Ingested, Injected Duration: Duration at the correct dosage is 8 hours. However the dosage level can vary wildly depending on how much Mega-Stamina the nova has. Effect: As long as a nova has this drug in his body, he has the equivalent of the Mega-Intelligence Taint Resistance enhancement with one dot of Mega-Intelligence. This gives him a +1 on Willpower rolls to resist mental aberrations, or +2 to his Willpower if he has a Node rating of 3 or above. Novas with more than one dot of Mega-Intelligence do not gain any extra effect. Novas that already have the Taint Resistance enhancement gain no positive effect but still suffer the side effects. Baselines should not be exposed to this drug; since it migrates to the brain and stays there since there is no quantum to make it decay; it is treated as exposure to nerve gas. Addiction: Anti-Taint drugs have not proven addictive. Antidote: None; effects wear off over time. Detox: While this drug is in effect the novas total quantum pool is reduced by 10%. Novas with a full quantum pool who take this drug will find that their excess quantum energy will simply leak out of them at a rate of 1 quantum point per minute. Overdose: If the dosage is too high then the drug will replace oxygen in the novas brain, causing his base Intelligence to be lowered by one dot for every extra dose the nova gets.

Crimson
Producer: Heaven Thunder Triad Description: Developed using similar techniques as Red-7, Crimson is made from the hormones and adrenaline of Endless Bountiful Harvest and other highly-Tainted novas. Strangely, Crimson is slightly less lethal in the short term than Red-7, but the tradeoff is that users of it are far less in control of themselves than users of Red-7. Toxin Rating: 3 Vector: Injected Duration: 1 hour Effect: Crimson increases the Physical Attributes of the user by 3 dots (Anything over 5 translates into Physical Mega-Attributes with no enhancements) for an hour. While under the effects of Crimson, the user suffers from a penalty of +1 difficulty to all Willpower and Intelligence rolls as well as the aberration Hormonal Imbalance - Rage. This drug has no effect on novas other than to grant a point of temporary Taint. Addiction: 2 + number of doses beyond the first. Antidote: None; but the effects wear off with time. Detox: Every dose of Crimson carries a cumulative 3% chance of killing the user outright from massive heart failure and stroke as soon as the duration elapses. Overdose: Crimson has no additional overdose side effects.

First Generation Anti-Taint Drug(s)


Producer: Triton Pharmaceuticals Description: This revolutionary drug was developed by a Utopian nova medical researcher with high ratings of the Node Background, the Clone quantum power, Mega-

Green Honey
Producer: Heaven Thunder Triad Description: While everyones heard about people who are said to be addicted to their lovers, this extrapolation of the infamous date rape drugs takes that idea and makes

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it a horrifying reality. Developed by triad pharmaceutical experts from certain sexual hormones and glandular secretions derived from nova body tissues, Green Honey is a binary drug that has little direct effect on its users. Instead, it reacts with the users biochemistry to make some of the users secretions literally addictive to people of the correct sexual orientation. Since it hit the black market in 2013 Green Honey has been declared a controlled substance, with its use punishable as both a serious drug offense and rape in the First World nations. Toxin Rating: 3 (both user and victim) Vector: Injected (user), Ingested and Contact (victim) Duration: 6 hours (user), 4 hours (victim) Addiction: 1 + number of doses beyond the first (user), 3 + number of doses beyond the first (victim). Effect: Green Honey is sold in both male and female versions, as differences in sexual biochemistry make them useless to members of the incorrect gender - men cant make direct use of female Green Honey, and vice versa. Once its reacted with the users biochemistry, Green Honey becomes a potent aphrodisiac and disinhibitor with euphoric side-effects. Active Green Honey is then secreted through the users saliva, sweat and sexual fluids, where it can affect any other human who is sexually oriented towards the users gender. For this to happen, a prospective victim must ingest and/or come into direct physical contact (bare skin at the minimum) with the users secretions. After that, the victim must make a Resistance roll to avoid intense sexual arousal and a strong addiction to that specific user of Green Honey. Addicted victims have a +3 difficulty penalty on all Willpower rolls to resist any opportunity, invitation or request to engage in sexual activity with their user. Most novas can use Green Honey, with the risk of inevitably developing satyriasis or nymphomania (as appropriate). Most novas can also become addicted to users of Green Honey, provided they dont have protection against it. Having Mega-Stamina or Mega-Stamina with either of the Adaptability or Health enhancements will make the nova immune to Green Honey, while novas with certain other Mega-Attributes and/or enhancements may be able to avoid the drugs effects at the Storytellers discretion. Likewise, novas with aberrations that would make addiction to Green Honey impossible (again, Storytellers discretion) are automatically immune. Tinkering with ones own biochemistry in this manner is very risky for baseline users, who must make a Resistance roll at +1 difficulties to avoid being irreversibly poisoned by the drug that their own bodies have been producing. Such users will suffer the effect described in Overdose, below. Detox: For users, the effects will gradually fade once he or she stops taking Green Honey. Victims must make a Willpower roll to avoid developing temporary satyriasis or nymphomania (as per the Addiction/Compulsion Flaw) upon being deprived of physical intimacy with their user. Antidote: None for the user; the effects wear off gradually if he stops taking the drug. As for the users victim(s), a standard dose of Kuro-Teks Nemukame drug will completely negate the effects of an initial dose of Green Honey. Victims who have taken multiple doses of Green Honey via their user must enter a program of drug rehabiliation that includes a regimen of Nemukame to break their addiction. Overdose: If the level of active Green Honey in a baseline users system becomes too high - say, about four times the normal dose - it will drastically impair his or her mental processes. Baseline users who overdose on Green Honey must roll Stamina at +2 difficulty to avoid falling into a form of permanent catatonia where they can only respond to and engage in sexual activity. On the bright side, they are no longer addicted to Green Honey and wont require any further doses. Nova users who overdose on Green Honey will only suffer this state for (24 - {Stamina + Mega-Stamina}) hours before recovering. Green Honey has no additional overdose side effects on victims.

Hyperzine X (a.k.a. Brain Juice)


Producer: Heaven Thunder Triad Description: Not many people in the general public realize that within the publish or perish world of academia, the pressure to be the smartest of the smart is enormous. Countless brilliant minds have fallen to using various narcotics and other treatments in the hope of granting them an edge in performance over their competitors. Hyperzine X (or brain juice as its called on the streets) is a nootropic drug derived from a selection of neurotransmitters harvested from nova brains. This drug vastly increases the cognitive effectiveness of the human brain. Use of the drug clears away the mental effects of time and fatigue, allowing the user far greater clarity than before. Its currently a controlled susbstance in many First World nations, yet it remains popular among the more driven - and reckless - among the baseline intelligentsia. Toxin Rating: 3 Vector: Injected. Duration: 6 hours. Addiction: 1 + number of doses taken beyond the first. Effect: Baselines who ingest Hyperzine X are overcome with great mental clarity (treat as the Concentration Merit) and have their Intelligence ratings temporarily increased by one dot. Regular use combined with a rigorous study regimen and a high level of mental stimulation over several months will make these effects permanent. Hyperzine X can dramatically increase a humans intellect in other ways as well. While continuing to use this drug, the baseline user

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may purchase Mental Merits (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 71-72) with experience points at a cost of (Merits bonus point value) x 3. Use of this drug is both illegal and dangerous. For every week of use the baseline must make a Stamina roll at difficulty +1 or suffer from the effects of a fatal brain aneurysm. Antidote: None; the effects wear off gradually if the user stops taking the drug. The loss of increased Intelligence and Mental Merits gained through use of Hyperzine X may possibly be prevented with a regimen of Kuro-Teks nootropic drugs (see Aberrant: Brainwaves) and certain neurotherapy drugs. The Storyteller has the final say on whether this is possible. Detox: Users of Hyperzine X will develop Polar Disorder (Aberrant core book, p. 153) as they feel their mental capabilities slowly diminishing. Overdose: Overdosing on Hyperzine X has no additional effect other than the usual risk of suffering a lethal brain aneurysm. able activities - if they cant derive any pleasure from it, why bother? Non-addicted users will only suffer these effects for one hour after the duration elapses. Antidote: A dose of endorphin inhibitors can negate the effect of an initial dose of Joy Buzz without any ill effect. Addicts will require either intensive neurotherapy or use of the Healing power (equivalent to healing three lethal Health Levels) to regain normal pleasure center function. Overdose: The user must make a Resistance roll at +3 difficulties or enter a temporary comatose state from the pleasure overload. Botching the roll means the comatose state is permanent.

Long Pig
Producer: N/A Description: Much like Baraka, Long Pig isnt an actual drug but the continuation of an ancient and horrifying human practice. Long Pig is the common name for human flesh used as a foodstuff, typically harvested from a recently-perished or still-living human. Understandably this practice has been widely reviled (if not illegal) for centuries with few exceptions, as nobody in their right mind wants to risk becoming someone elses dinner. The social and legal punishments for cannibalism are typically the most severe available. Toxin Rating: Raw human flesh has a Toxin Rating of 2. Failing the Resistance roll means theres a chance the cannibal will contract a nasty disease such as kuru or KreutzfieldJakob Syndrome from eating human meat. Vector: Ingested. Cooking the flesh reduces its Toxin Rating by 1. Duration: As with Baraka, eating human flesh provides only a momentary high of 30 minutes. Addiction: 1 + the number of doses taken beyond the third in a 7 day period. Each dose of Long Pig is the equivalent of 0.5kg of tissue. Effect: Engaging in cannibalism causes euphoric and aphrodisiac effects in humans, with users feeling highly energetic and often sexually aroused as well. The question of whether this reaction is biochemical or psychosomatic has yet to be answered, although the Storyteller may see fit to inflict the Lusty Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 72) on the cannibal for the duration of the high. This provides no other noticeable in-game effects. Antidote: None; effects wear off over time. Detox: Other than the increased risk of contracting diseases such as kuru, none. Overdose: None, other than the expected social problems that crop up when a cannibal has learned to consider other humans as the tastiest meat to be found on the hoof.

Joy Buzz
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Description: Prior to 2015, the Megasyndicates revenues from illegal drug sales had been suffering noticeably, thanks to Project Utopias education and anti-drug use initiatives. When Joy Buzz hit the streets, the Megasyndicate recouped much of their previous losses within a few months. Despite a rapidly-developed Utopian propaganda campaign against its use, Joy Buzz has become the number one drug fad among the glitterati, professional party people and other social butterflies. Toxin Rating: 2 Vector: Ingested Duration: 4 hours. Addiction: 2 + number of doses beyond the first. Effect: Joy Buzz alters the users neurochemistry so that the endorphin releases triggered by any kind of pleasure she experiences are magnified several times over. The pleasure can come from any activity; with sex, victory in social brinkmanship and enjoying a fine meal being only a few of the more obvious sources. Users of this drug (called joybuzzers on the street) have a difficulty penalty of +3 on all Willpower rolls to resist enaging in any activity that they find enjoyable. Joy Buzz isnt a nova-tailored drug but novas can be affected by it if they fail their Resistance roll. Detox: Addicted Joy Buzz users will derive much less pleasure from their activities than is normal. If prevented from getting their Joy Buzz fix, many addicts will either desperately indulge in increasingly extreme bouts of hedonism in a vain attempt to kickstart their brains pleasure centers. Others will give up and avoid even the mildest of pleasur-

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Producer: Independent nova pharmaceutical researcher, C-Z Megasyndicate Description: This is a counterdrug specifically designed to protect against Kuro-Teks Lethe (see Aberrant: Brainwaves). While it cannot restore memories lost to Lethe, Mnemosyne does protect against that effect provided that the users been taking it on a regular basis. It also provides some minimal defense against telepathic memory alteration. Prior to 2014, this drug was considered another urban legend of the Nova Age. That changed when the inventor sold the Mnemosyne formula to the C-Z Megasyndicate, who now produce large quantities of it for sale. Kuro-Tek has made finding (and either recruiting or kidnapping) the inventor of this drug a top priority. Toxin Rating: 1 Vector: Injected Duration: 24 hours. Addiction: N/A. Effect: Where Lethe breaks down the chemical links involved in recently formed memories, Mnemosyne shields and reinforces those same links. One minute after being introduced into the users system, the user is rendered immune to the effects of Lethe for the period of duration. Telepaths (nova and otherwise) will also have a +2 difficulty penalty applied to all rolls made to alter the memories of a Mnemosyne user. Mnemosyne isnt a nova-tailored drug but novas can be affected by it if they fail their Resistance roll. Detox: After discontinuing Mnemosyne use, a user will experience some minor memory problems (treat as the Absent-Minded aberration, Aberrant Players Guide p. 93) for 24 hours as his neurochemistry readjusts itself. Antidote: N/A. Overdose: None. off their libidos can become psychologically addicted to it. Such addicts will also gain the Lusty Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 72) if prevented from dosing themselves with Nemukame, although any resulting sexual encounters tend to be as unsatisfying and repellent as those with sex addicts. Effect: Nemukame reduces the users sexual drive & responsiveness to near-zero by artificially stimulating the production of certain natural inhibitors that do so in hazardous situations such as famines. The user is rendered unable to become sexually aroused and is completely immune to seduction attempts. Nemukame isnt a nova-tailored drug but novas can be affected by it if they fail their Resistance roll. Detox: After the duration elapses, the users neurochemistry will overcompensate a bit as it returns to its normal state. For one hour, treat the user as if he had the Lusty Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 72). This can be averted by taking another dose of Nemukame, but that can lead to psychological addiction. Antidote: None. Overdose: None.

Noctisol-3, (a.k.a. Everwake)


Producer: Independent nova pharmaceutical researcher, the United States Army. Description: For centuries, military planners have sought to minimize the risks posed by one of the most basic human requirements: the need for sleep. With the aid of the nova pharmaceutical expert who created Mnemosyne, the United States Army has found a fairly workable solution to that problem. Production and use of Noctisol-3 is currently restricted to the United States Army and Marines, but that hasnt stopped organized crime groups from attempting to steal the formula from them. Toxin Rating: 2 Vector: Ingested Duration: 72 hours. Addiction: N/A, Noctisol-3 was deliberately designed to be non-addictive. Effect: Taking Noctisol-3 allows the user to remain awake and physically active (if needed) for nearly three days, with only 4 hours worth of catnaps being required. Users will also be somewhat more agitated, resulting in a +1 difficulty on all rolls to avoid following orders to engage in combat, even when said orders are clearly stupid. Noctisol-3 isnt a nova-tailored drug but novas can be affected by it if they fail their Resistance roll. Detox: After the third day of using Noctisol-3, the user will suffer +1 difficulties to all rolls per day, as exhaustion begins to set in. Getting at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep will remedy this.

Nemukame, (a.k.a. Sleeping Turtle)


Producer: Kuro-Tek Description: Long familiar with the honey trap tactic used in espionage, the leaders of the Directive knew that their V-R Lenses (Aberrant: The Directive, p. 59) werent going to be enough to protect their agents from the wiles of Mega-Seductive novas. Kuro-Tek was quick to come up with an effective countermeasure and offer it up for use by Directive field agents. Its also one of Kuro-Teks better selling grey market drugs, especially among workaholic business executives and some of the clergy. Toxin Rating: 1 Vector: Ingested Duration: 4 hours. Addiction: N/A. Nemukame is not physically addictive, although users who attempt to use it constantly to turn

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Antidote: Other than putting the user in physical restraints or shooting him with tranquilizers, there is no known antidote to Noctisol-3. Overdose: Overdosing on Noctisol-3 is possible if the user tries to take it more than once per week. When this happens, the user must make a Resistance roll at +2 difficulty to avoid falling into a coma of indeterminate length (Storytellers discretion).

Super Mite
Producer: Heaven Thunder Triad Description: Surrounded by urban legends and sought after by unintelligent Mitoids, Super Mite is exactly like Mite, except that it works faster and more easily. Naturally the side effects of this Tainted drug are far more dire as well Toxin Rating: 3 Vector: Injected Duration: 1 hour Effect: Super Mite has the same effects on baselines as Mite, but on a vastly quicker time scale. The bonuses accumulate over the course of weeks until the MegaStrength 1 point is reached (+1 Strength and Might per week until they reach 10 total, then Mega-Strength 1). Nova users of Super Mite can buy one dot of Mega-Strength for a quarter of the normal experience cost, but gain 1 point permanent Taint and five points of temporary Taint in the process. Addiction: 1 + number of doses beyond the first. Antidote: None; the effects wear off gradually if the user stops taking the drug. Super Mite mutants are permanently warped. Detox: The side effects can be far more exotic if the user botches the Stamina roll to avoid cardiac arrest. If the Stamina roll is botched, the baseline mutates in the same manner as a user of Tainted Soma (see below) but also loses all but one point of Intelligence and Wits, goes hopelessly insane, and gains the aberrations Hormonal Imbalance: Rage, Sheer Hideousness, and Bulging Muscles. Such mutants keep their bonuses from Mite use permanently and no longer require fresh doses to maintain their strength, nor are they addicted to it any longer. Overdose: Super Mite imposes no additional effects for overdosing other than the usual chance for cardiac failure.

Suish (a.k.a. Crystal)


Producer: Kuro-Tek Description: Kuro-Tek has long been at the forefront of nootropic drug research, so it was only a matter of time before they came up with a memory-enhancing drug. Known on the street as Crystal, this drug has become one of the hottest items in academic and scientific circles. Others use it to make permanent memories of their loved ones, particularly satisfying achievements and pleasurable experiences. Despite it being produced by Kuro-Tek, law enforcement agencies tend to look the other way where Suish sales are concerned. The drug itself is remarkably safe, nonaddictive and has no side-effects. That isnt to say it cant be abused, as certain truly sadistic people have used Suish on their victims to ensure that their memories of the consequent pain and trauma will remain fresh for decades to come. Toxin Rating: 2 Vector: Contact (cut with DMSO, packaged in adhesive tabs). Duration: 4 hours. Addiction: N/A. Effect: Suish allows the user to change anything in her short-term memory into permanent memories. After dosing herself, the user will have perfect recall of anything she perceives in the next four hours. If used for academic study, this allows the user to cram a weeks worth of unassisted study into the four hours that Suish is enhancing the memorization process. If used on a victim to record traumatic experiences, Suish will impose a difficulty penalty of anywhere from +1 to +3 on all Medicine (Psychology) rolls made to provide the victim with psychotherapy. Suish isnt a novatailored drug but novas can be affected by it if they fail their Resistance roll. Detox: N/A. Antidote: Kuro-Teks Lethe drug (see Aberrant: Brainwaves) and telepathic memory alteration are the only ways to eliminate memories made permanent through Crystal use. Overdose: N/A.

Tainted Soma
Producer: Heaven Thunder Triad Description: This variant of Soma is taken from the ever-regenerating node of Endless Bountiful Harvest and other heavily Tainted novas. The highs produced by this version of Soma are far more intense than the incredible rush given by the normal variety. For baselines however, the risks of this venomous brew far outweigh the pleasure and power to be had. For novas, there is no risk of death, but the dangers to body and sanity make it far too risky for all but the uninformed and foolhardy. Of course, the Heaven Thunder Triad does all that they can to make sure that the world at large remains uniformed

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of the side effects. The foolhardy are easy to find and often, when they are hedonistic or power hungry novas, have more money then sense anyway. Toxin Rating: 5 (nova-tailored) Vector: Ingested Duration: 4 hours Effect: For baseline users, Tainted Soma is probably one of the most nakedly dangerous drugs that it is possible to ingest. A baseline taking a hit of this deadly brew must make a Stamina roll at +2 difficulty, failure on this roll means instant death as their brain liquefies and pours out through their eye sockets. A baseline botching this roll is in for an even worse fate as the drug mutates them with vicious abandon. Baselines who have botched the Stamina roll endure crippling and painful spasms over the course of (7-Stamina) days and develop the aberrations Hormonal Imbalance: Rage, Sheer Hideousness and one other of the Storytellers choice. Such mutants often carry some small physical bonus (+1 or 2 to Strength and/or Stamina and a Body Modification) as well. The newly mutated baseline is no longer considered addicted to Soma, for all the good that will do them... The other effects on baseline users are the same as for regular Soma (see p. 281, Aberrant core book). Ingested by a nova, Tainted Soma produces the same effects as regular Soma and also effectively enhances the users Quantum score by +1 (This augmentation can increase the effects of powers that have effects based on Quantum, as well as the dice pool for a power max, but it does not allow the purchase of Extras or level four powers, nor does it increase the users Quantum Pool). The user is, however also gripped by a powerful euphoria and suffers from extremely poor judgment (+2 difficulty on all appropriate rolls). Addiction: 1 + number of doses beyond the first dose of any type of Soma; botching the roll also imposes another point of temporary Taint. Tainted Soma is instantly and totally addictive to baseline users, inflicting the Addiction flaw with the first dose. Antidote: None. Detox: After the four hour duration has elapsed, the nova user must roll their Quantum just as if they had initiated a power max, each 1 on this roll will inflict 1 point of temporary Taint. Overdose: A baseline suffers a +2 increase to the difficulty of the stamina roll to avoid being killed outright for each dose of Soma (Tainted or otherwise) taken within a 4 hour period. A nova can withstand a number of doses within a 4 hour period equal to his Resistance; each dose after that is treated a Toxin Rating 5 lethal poison.

Biotech Materials
When compared to the flashier fields of scientific endeavor such as high-energy physics or genetic engineering, material science has often been given short shrift. This is no different in 2015, as most denizens of the Nova Age take the existence of the wondrous new materials being put out on the market for granted. That attitude is not only dismissive but is downright dangerous. Despite being regarded as background elements, the new materials produced through biotechnology can and will change Terran society in subtle ways. The only questions are these: what effects will these wondrous substances have on human society, and will anyone even bother to notice those effects before its too late?

Artificial Spider Silk


Producer: Independent conglomerate (biotech and textiles subsidiaries) Category: Bioengineered animal product Description: Finding a way to make the mass production of artificial spider silk commercially feasible has been a long-held goal of biologists, clothing designers and textile magnates. As cannibalistic carnivores, spiders can not be farmed in sufficient numbers to make silk farming viable, so another way had to be found. In 2010, a transnational conglomerate solved the problem when one of the baseline researchers in their biotech division made a breakthrough by creating transgenic cutworms with working spider silk glands. With just a pittance of low-quality flour and green plant matter, the cutworm grubs could each produce the same amount of silk as sixty normal silkworms before pupating. The resulting product has become a mainstay of the textile industry and a very tempting target for industrial espionage. As of 2015 none of the conglomerates competitors have managed to steal the secret behind their artificial spider silk. The conglomerates recent introduction of reinforced spider silk armors that are both lighter and slightly stronger than Valamid fiber-based armors (Aberrant: Project Utopia, p. 51) has only increased their competitors efforts. System: The original variety of artificial spider silk has the best qualities of both dragline and aciniform (used by spiders to wrap prey items) silk; and is used for clothing, medical sutures and all kinds of threads, lines and ropes. The most remarkable property of these items is their reduced weight in comparison to similar items made from other substances. The new spider silk armors provide protection thats slightly better (+1 to Soak values) than that of Valamid fiber armors yet have only half the weight (the penalty for bulkiness is reduced by 1, to a maximum of zero). That said, spider silk armors are not only slightly less durable

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than Valamid armors (-1 to the Destruction rating) but are biodegradeable. If stored in anything less than hermetic conditions, spider silk armors will begin to rot away into uselessness in anywhere from two to twenty years, depending on the conditions. (Valamid-based armors have the same Soak values and mass as their normal Kevlar based analogs, while adding +4 to their Destruction ratings. Valamid armors are also non-biodegradeable, and can be kept for many decades in normal storage and remain useable.) Details on armor stats can be found on p. 277 of the Aberrant core book.) Artificial spider silk is an advancement and can be used and duplicated by baselines. fix will not biodegrade on its own and requires a special solvent to remove it once its adhered to something. The solvent is completely harmless and will dissolve Permafix without causing any stains within thirty seconds of application. Separating two items glued together with Permafix by using brute force requires an effective Strength of 6+ and is very likely to damage the glued items. QuickTack: This bioadhesive has replaced spirit gum in the fields of cosmetics, disguises and stage makeup. Designed to harmlessly bond with and detach from human skin, QuickTack cannot be removed by anything other than 10 seconds worth of mild sustained physical pressure. QuickTack allows the skin its bonded with to perspire, secrete and radiate heat normally, making it very comfortable to use.

Bioadhesives
Producer: Independent baseline bioengineer Category: Bioengineered animal product Description: Derived from several species of genetically engineered molluscs by a baseline bioengineer in 2005, these are slightly improved versions of the natural protein-based glues produced by these creatures wild relatives. These surprisingly inexpensive products are mostly used in the fields of medicine, manufacuring and cosmetics, and have made their inventor extremely wealthy. Rumor has it that the U.S. Army is negotiating with the inventor to explore possible weapons applications of bioadhesives, but if anything has come of those hypothetical negotiations it isnt widely known as of 2015. System: There are currently four kinds of bioadhesives on the market, which are described below. All bioadhesives are waterproof and fully biodegradable unless specified otherwise. Bioadhesives are advancements and can be used and duplicated by baselines. Biobond: This bioadhesive is used with inorganic medical implants of all kinds, as it not only adheres strongly to the implant but also provides a porous framework of tough proteins that the patients body tissues can literally grow into and anchor themselves. Aside from making inorganic medical implants much more reliable, Biobond is a key supporting technology for the use of inorganic cyberware. InstaStitch: The predecessor to Biobond, this bioadhesive has become a standard part of the medical repetoire worldwide. This bioadhesive has replaced old-fashioned surgical sutures, as the patients own body tissues will grow through and assimilate the Instastitch. Not only does this eliminate the need for physical removal of a suture, it also allows the patients wound to heal with only faint scarring at worst. Permafix: The Nova Ages answer to SuperGlue, this bioadhesive is used as an all-purpose permanent adhesive for manufactured products ranging from furniture to sports equipment to plywoods. Unlike other bioadhesives, Perma-

Biofactory
Producer: Novelty Consulting Category: Bioengineered microbial product Description: Before 1998, quite a few impressive new materials had been invented, holding out a promise of stunning technological progress. With the coming of the Nova Age, this situation only became more pronounced thanks to the discoveries of Mega-Intelligent nova scientists. Unfortunately, those impressive new materials also had equally impressive production costs, making mass production infeasible in many cases. That changed in early 2015, when Novelty Consulting patented a process that used several species of bioengineered microbes to literally assemble a prechosen material from base chemical stocks. System: Biofactories are cooperative multispecies microbe colonies that are kept in what are essentially computer-controlled automated vats the size of commercial beer kegs. The microbes are designed to respond to chemical signals released by the biofactory computer, which guides them in their production of a prechosen material. The computer also controls the release of the required chemicals and food for the microbes. The fact that this means of material assembly requires nothing in the way of combustion or intense heat has made it especially attactive to manufacturers who have a sense (or wish to present a faade) of environmental responsibility. The range of materials that can be produced by a biofactory is very wide, with metamaterials and all kinds of ceramics being only two possibilities. Given 24 hours of uninterrupted operation and sufficient resources, a biofactory can produce anywhere from 10 to 40 kilograms of the chosen material, with the materials level of molecular complexity limiting how much of it can be produced. Materials with highly complex molecular structures will take longer to produce. Biofactories are an advancement and can be used and duplicated by baselines.

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Biosmelter
Producer: Novelty Consulting Category: Bioengineered microbial product Description: Released in mid-2015, these devices are highly specialized versions of Novelty Consultings Biofactories. Each biosmelter uses a specific species of bioengineered extremeophile bacteria that literally feeds off of the impurities found in a single type of metal ore, leaving behind refined metal. While they arent quite as profitable as their standard biofactories, Novelty Consulting has still made a handsome amount of money through sales of these devices. If Amanda Wu has her way, biosmelters could replace most traditional smelting operations within twenty years. System: As simplified biofactories, biosmelters operate on the same basic computer-controlled microbe colony in a vat concept. Thats where the similarities end. A biosmelter is the size of a dumpster, with very thick walls and protections against leaks and accidental spillage. Thats due to the very nasty chemicals used and produced by the extremeophile bacteria in the refining process, which could pollute the local soil and groundwater if left unchecked. Given sufficient power and resources, a biosmelter can refine 20 metric tons of ore within 24 hours. Biosmelters are an advancement and can be used and duplicated by baselines.

Neofiber
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Novel bioengineered lifeform Description: Upon first learning the origin of eufiber, Morgan Dwyer was utterly revolted by the idea of wearing a novas skin excretions as clothing. After his eruption and subsequent recruitment by the C-Z Megasyndicate, he decided to act on that revulsion and create a superior version of eufiber that had a much more palatable method of production. Dr. Dwyers new version of eufiberdubbed Neofiberis grown in seed pods on a bioengineered organism that shares characteristics with both fruiting plants and slime molds. Neofiber differs from normal eufiber in a number of interesting ways, it is more aware and trainable than normal eufiber, bearing more than a little resemblance to vampiric eufiber in how it functions. In addition, properly cultivated neofiber has shown the ability to defend and assist its wearer in various ways when the wearer is in extremis or incapacitated, such as manifesting tendrils to drag the nova to safety or spines to prevent the nova from being manhandled. System: Properly cultivating neofiber requires the wearer to take points in the Neofiber Background, which is functionally identical to the Eufiber background in most ways, with the same soak enhancement and Quantum storage abilities, etc. After acquiring a suit of neofiber, a nova may then spend the time needed to cultivate the neofiber colonys smarts. This works by the nova spending experience points to buy the new Ability called Cunning (see below). The difference between Cunning and other Abilities is that Cunning represents the developed instincts, relationship and trained responses of the characters neofiber colony. With a rating in Cunning, a colony of neofiber can then assist its wearer by reshaping itself when needed using its Cunning + (the novas Neofiber Background) as a Weave dice pool to invoke the effects described on p. 82 of the Aberrant Players Guide for the Weave skill. This effect is normally under the control of the player, but the Storyteller can have the colony take action on its own when appropriate. The advantage to Cunning is that the neofiber colony is taking the action instead of the nova, so that it can assist in various activities (combat, climbing, etc.) without counting as an action for the character wearing it. Neofiber can also be manipulated directly with the Weave skill. Like vampiric eufiber, Neofiber will also attempt to keep itself full to its background point limit on quantum points and will instinctively attempt to drain its wearer of quantum points or Health Levels if it becomes depleted. In that situation, the Storyteller rolls the Neofiber background rating + Cunning vs. the wearers Wits (Aberrant Players Guide, p.

Hyper-Resins
Producer: Independent biotech firm Category: Bioengineered plant product Description: In 2009, a small collaboration of independent baseline bioengineers discovered several new kinds of resins that when dried could rival many metals (including surgical steel) in terms of hardness and tensile strength while being much lighter. Even better, resin-based items had no harmful chemicals and were biodegradeable after 10 years. After they bioengineered a few otherwise useless weeds to produce the hyper-resins, the group patented the technology and became very wealthy. As of 2015, items made from the relatively cheap hyper-resins have replaced some comparable metal items, especially surgical instruments intended for use in poor Third World nations. Hyper-resin items have also become popular as components for sports equipment and short-term emergency gear. Unfortunately, others have abused the technology to create hyper-resin weapons that metal detectors cant pick up. System: Hyper-resin items have almost the same stats as their metallic analogs, save for their weight. For items made from all but the heaviest metals (such as lead), a hyper-resin equivalent will have only 25% of the metal items weight. Hyper-resins are an advancement, and can be used and duplicated by baselines.

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81). Unlike vampiric eufiber, there is no background point discount for Neofiber. Because Neofiber is biochemically very different from Eufiber, all poisons, diseases or other chemical cocktails designed with Eufiber in mind (such as Eu-Freezesee Aberrant: The Directive p. 56) are ineffective when used against Neofiber. Neofiber is an innovation and can only be created and used by novas.

Story Seed: Rogue Web


The inevitable has happened: a cyberkinetic nova with more curiousity and money than common sense has created a neofiber cyberkinetic web. After several weeks of being used to the cyberkinetics advantage, the continuous information flow and repeated close-range exposure to quantum powers have caused the web to spontaneously develop animal-level sentience. After turning on and devouring its user the web begins to grow, searching out both natural eufiber to consume and replace and new sources of quantum energy - novas - to drain. And then it wakes up completely into full sapience, a truly inhuman intelligence born from quantum power and pure information with a natural talent for manipulating the OpNet and anything its connected to... And its hungry. The player characters are given the task of finding some way to deal with the rogue web before it kills anyone else, and without causing any more damage to the local OpNet than is really necessary. its user might even attain some level of actualif not even remotely humansapience and go rogue.

Cunning
Though used mostly like an Ability, Cunning is actually a measure of how well a nova has developed and trained the rudimentary mind of their neofiber colony. A colony of neofiber with well developed Cunning can act and react to help or defend its wearer without prompting, sensing his desires though attunement when needed. As the neofibers Cunning grows, it becomes more responsive and quicker to react to changing circumstances. System: In addition to the functions described under Neofiber, Cunning can also be used as a crude form of Perception or Intelligence when the Neofiber must act without the conscious guidance of its wearer. In this case, the neofiber colony can roll its Cunning as an Awareness dice pool at +1 difficulty or at +2 difficulty as an Intelligence dice pool to make connections on an animal level. Cunning is also used in place of Dexterity to determine the colonys movement speed when it is moving its wearer without assistance or if it is moving on its own for some reason (Walk or Run speeds only). Finally, if someone wishes to steal the neofiber colony off of a nova or otherwise take it off of them unwillingly, she must roll Strength + Might vs. the Cunning + Neofiber background of the nova to pry the colony loose from the wearer. Even then, the colony will attempt to escape from its new owner until the new owner has attuned it to herself and trained it by buying Cunning with experience points.

Oilgourds
Producer: Independent nova bioengineer Category: Bioengineered plant product Description: Early in 2015, an independent nova bioengineer created an altered gourd plant which could replicate any industrial oils (which are mainly used in lubricants and detergents) known to current terrestrial science. After patenting the invention and working out a royalties contract with a major transnational agricultural corporation, these oilgourds hit the global market. Many nations loved the idea of being able to literally grow their own industrial oils, and environmentalists praised it as being much more earthfriendly than refining industrial oils from petroleum. Despite strident (and futile) protests from the OPEC nations, the production and use of oilgourds is only expected to increase as time goes by. System: Oilgourd plants are much like their natural cousins, except that their fruits are uniformly inedible (even to insects and fungi). Each oilgourd plant must be exposed as seedlings to a sample of the industrial oil they are intended to replicate. When mature, a ripe oilgourd will have anywhere from one to three liters of the chosen industrial oil stored within it, depending on the length of the local growing season and the level of care given to the oilgourd plants. Oilgourds are an advancement, and can be used and duplicated by baselines.

Neofiber and Cyberkinesis


Just like natural eufiber, a colony of neofiber can be used to create cyberkinetic webs as described on p. 81 of the Aberrant Players Guide. The only difference is the neofibers Cunning rating, which allows it to supplement its masters Cyberkinesis rolls with its own Cunning + (the novas Neofiber Background) dice pool. That said, using this tactic does pose a risk to its cyberkinetic user. Just as with neofiber clothing, cyberkinetic webs of neofiber can turn on their users by draining quantum points and Health Levels from them as described above. It should also be noted that given how little is known of the properties of neofiber, its not far-fetched that a neofiber cyberkinetic web that killed

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Smartgels
Producer: Independent nova bioengineer Category: Bioengineered microbial product Description: The byproducts of a nova bioengineers foray into proteomics research, these bioengineered proteins have just hit the global market, with Project Utopias full approval. Sold in compressed form, these protein-based aerogels will rapidly inflate into their preprogrammed forms upon being deployed. System: There are currently four types of smartgels available on the market. All forms of smartgels are advancements, and can be used and duplicated by baselines. Blob round: Usable in grenade launchers (Aberrant core book, p. 276), this smartgel will engulf a target in a blob thats similar to rubber cement, except that its considerably stronger. Much like the Foamthrower (Aberrant: Year One, pp. 107-108), a blob round has the same effect as two dots of the Immobilize quantum power (assuming a Quantum of 1), reducing the Dexterity of the target. The attacker uses Dexterity + Firearms in a resisted roll against the targets Dexterity, with the result determining how many dots of Dexterity the target loses. It is also impossible to suffocate a breathing person or animal with a blob round, as the protein is designed to avoid growing over sources of carbon dioxide gas. The last two differences are that a blob round will have an effective Strength of 5 and four health levels due to its somewhat elastic structure. Blob rounds will dissolve on their own 15 minutes after being used. The use of blob rounds is currently restricted to the military, law enforcement agencies and wildlife management agencies. Gelcast: This normally opaque smartgel acts as an instant medical cast and limb/body immobilizer, and is quickly becoming standard equipment for medical professionals around the globe. In addition to providing support equal to the best traditional casts, gelcasts can form resealable apertures through which surgeons can easily operate when exposed to a specific frequency of ultrasound. Another ultrasound frequency can be used to make the gelcast literally scratch at an itchy spot on the encased body part. Due to being a specialized form of aerogel designed with working pores, gelcasts both allow the skin to breathe and wick away perspiration and skin secretions. Finally, gelcasts can temporarily become transparent so that medical doctors can examine the encased body part just by looking at it. Before being used, gelcasts come in small packs ranging in size from a cigarrette pack (for the neck or a limb) to a coconut (full body cast). Hullpatch: Just as the name says, this smartgel is designed to quickly seal small to moderate-sized breaches in the hulls of air vehicles. When sold, a hullpatch resembles a plastic dumbbell with two small D-rings attached to one end. To use it, the hullpatch is placed halfway through the breach (easily done, since its fairly gelatinous) and the D-rings are pulled. When deployed, a small hullpatch can cover up and adhere to two square meters of a vehicles inner and outer hulls, centered on the hull breach. Large hullpatches can cover up to six square meters of a vehicles hull in the same way. As the protein-based aerogel is designed for extreme tensile strength, hullpatches have been proven capable of maintaining cabin pressure at altitudes of up to 15 kilometers. Hullpatches are permanent, but users are still advised to have repairs made at an aircraft hangar as soon as possible. Attacks against the aircraft will gain +2 dice if the hullpatch is targeted. Researchers speculate that hullpatches could be used on spacecraft without difficulty, but as of 2015 this hasnt been tested in actual spaceflight. Seapatch: Developed at the request of the U.S. Navy, this smartgel is designed to quickly seal small to moderate hull breaches in sea vessels below the waterline. Before use a seapatch resembles a platter-sized drain plug with fluted edges. The reason for this radical difference in design from the hullpatch is simple. Where a hullpatch reacts to lowered atmospheric pressure and has to keep the air inside the plane, seapatches must function against the water lathe effect, where water is shooting in through the breach and will cut anything in its way to pieces. The design of the seapatch allows it to be jammed up against a hull breach while diverting the incoming water away from the person(s) using it. When deployed, a seapatch can cover up to 8 square meters of the vessels exterior and interior hulls. Seapatches are permanent, but users are advised to place their vessels in drydock for repairs as soon as possible. Attacks against the vessel will gain +2 dice if the seapatch is targeted. Seapatches can withstand water pressures of up to 30 fathoms.

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Sucrochemicals
Producer: Independent nova bioengineer Category: Bioengineered plant/microbial product Description: Soon after the introduction of Oilgourds, the independent nova bioengineer responsible for them recently patented several new manufacturing processes using bioengineered microbes to create safe biodegradeable plastics from ordinary plant-derived sugars. Even better is the fact that not only are these new processes are much less polluting than producing old-fashioned petrochemical plastics, they are considerably cheaper as well. Sucrochemical technology is rapidly being accepted and used in all of the First World nations, with the rest of the planet expected to follow suit in the next few years. Petrochemical-based plastics are being phased out of use as a result of this, leading to futher problems in the OPEC nations. One particularly irate Saudi oil tycoon has even tried (unsuccessfully) to put out a bounty on the inventors head. System: Sucrochemical technology can be used to create sugar-based analogs to any of the traditional petrochemical-based plastics, with the two minor differences that the sugar-based plastics will not harbor any harmful chemicals and will biodegrade at the same rate as normal plant matter. Sucrochemical plastics are an advancement and may be used and duplicated by baselines.

The End of Big Oil


While nova Tetsuo Yamatos invention of the hypercombustion engine in 2004 (Aberrant core book, p. 12) did deal a serious blow to the OPEC nations, they were still able to count on the markets for petroleum-derived plastics and industrial oils to keep them (barely) afloat. With the introduction of oilgourds and sucrochemical-derived plastics, OPEC now finds itself in the position of a drowning man whos just been tossed an anvil instead of a life preserver. While both oilgourds and sucrochemicals will do much to improve the public health and local agriculture interests, the increased social instability and economic downturns they will cause in the Middle East will be catastrophic for their current local social order.

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Cyberware
From the first time a human with a wounded leg used a long stick to aid in walking, people with crippling injuries and deformities have always been developing tools that would mitigate their handicaps. Circa 2015 this has been taken to a new level with the recent advances in cyborg technology. With the support of Utopian medical charities, many crippled humans have the option of permanently eliminating their handicaps by accepting therapeutic cyberware. Other people who feel threatened by the capabilities of novas have also created a market for cyberware that can give them an edgeno matter how smallagainst their erupted rivals. With augmentation cyberware having been banned as blacktech in all First World nations, organized crime has stepped in to fill that demand. The full ramifications and consequences of cyberware use in the Nova Age - legal or otherwise - have yet to be seen.

Autolocation Module
Producer: Heaven Thunder Triad Category: Inorganic Description: A specialized relative of the Symbiotic Brain Data Implant (Aberrant: Underworld, p. 38), this item can literally grant a Triad member the home field advantage when it comes to getting around a neighborhood. Combining with a host of active sensors with constantlyupdated 3D digital maps, Triad members can evade pursuit, find Triad safehouses and sneak past security cordons with ease. The Autolocation Module is identical to the Symbiotic Brain Data Implant in terms of cost, implantation, operational lifespan and upgrading. System: The Autolocation Module combines several minor items into a very effective means of keeping constant track of the users location. The active sensors include GPS, an inertial motion tracking system, a magnetic microcompass and a micro-gyroscope. In conjunction with the onboard 3D digital maps, the user only has to make a Perception + Awareness roll to determine his general location in terms of direction and proximity to known landmarks, even if hes been moved while unconscious. If the user has an 3D digital map of his current locale, he will also receive anywhere from +1 to +3 bonus dice (depending on how up-to-date the map is) on attempts to get around the area, evade pursuit and find local Triad establishments (if there are any). The micro-gyroscope component also gives the user a somewhat augmented sense of balance. Users of the Autolocation Module may stand, walk or even drive vehicles across treacherous surfaces as if they had the Perfect Balance enhancement (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 102). Unfortunately the Autolocation Module provides no enhanced ability to land on ones feet after a fall. This device does have a few defects, however. First, the 3D digital maps are updated by the Heaven Thunder Triad on an irregular basis, depending on how often the HTTs cameramen can drive through an area without being harassed by police or rival criminals. Many areas of the

Cyberware Varieties
What follows is an assortment of the more remarkable items of augmentation cyberware that the players are likely to come across in an Aberrant chronicle. The inorganic variety covers the traditional kind of cyberware composed of metal, silicon & plastic components. Organic augmentation cyberware items are those composed of living tissues which are either surgically implanted into the user or grown in his body as a symbiont. In either case these items will have equivalent dot ratings, capabilities and drawbacks as detailed in the Cyberware Background (see Appendix #1 of this book, p. 241). As for therapeutic cyberware, the vast majority of it is inorganic but is otherwise considered innocuous by law enforcement and security personnel. Those people with obvious therapeutic cyberware might get a second look in rural and/or backwards regions, but their cyberware wont be thought of as unsettling or even out of the ordinary in the major metropolitan and surburban areas of the early 21st Century.

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Other Cyberware Items
To avoid confusion, weve assigned Cyberware dot ratings to those items of cyberware that have been presented in previous Aberrant sourcebooks. In all cases, items that are therapeutic cyberware will have no dot rating at all. DeVries Brain-implant Data Connection (Elites, p. 72) Basic model: With multiway communication: With full OpNet connection: Symbiotic Brain Data Implant (Aberrant: Underworld, p. 38): Synthetic Transplant Organs (Aberrant: Year One, pp. 73-74): None Synthetic Glands (Aberrant: Year One, p. 75): None planet have yet to be mapped in this way by the HTT, especially as the majority of their funds are earmarked for more vital operations. The Storyteller retains full discretion as to the accuracy of the HTTs 3D digital maps. Second, anyone capable of hacking into the GPS system can not only locate the user at will, but can also feed him false GPS data to draw him into a trap. Distortions of the local magnetic field can likewise render the micro-compass useless. The Autolocation Module is a three-dot Cyberware item. It is also an advancement, and may be used and duplicated by baselines. explosion does an automatic twelve health levels of lethal damage plus another twelve dice of damage, with the victims lethal soak being reduced to one-third of its normal level (round down) against it. Due to size restrictions, they cannot be equipped with quantum scanners (see Aberrant: Underworld) as explosive collars can. Finally, they can also be tuned to a central transmitter to prevent the victim from straying. Conventional bomb implants are one-dot Cyberware items. In contrast antimatter bomb implants are tiny, about the size of an average seedless grape. Aside from the housing and control circuitry, it has an array of microscopic quantum capacitors surrounding an even smaller quartz crystal of a specific structure and dimensions. When activated the quantum capacitors temporarily change a few atoms of the quartz crystal into antimatter, resulting in an instantaneous explosion that obliterates both the user and everything around him. In game terms, this is 15d10 [20] levels of Lethal damage from the heat blast, pressure wave and gamma radiation caused by the matter/antimatter reaction. On the bright side, there is no appreciable nuclear fallout as with old-fashioned nuclear weapons. Due to the extreme difficulties involved in producing the antimatter, antimatter bomb implants arent used as a means of controlling captives. Instead they are designed as last-ditch suicide weapons for use by novas, and are typically designed to be set off at will by the user himself. Antimatter bomb implants require 5 dots of the Cyberware Background with the Ultrablack Cyberware Background Enhancement. In both cases the bomb implant blasts are considered to have the Explosion Extra (Aberrant core book, p. 231) for determining the blast area and damage reduction at distances away from ground zero. Also, bomb implants are typically designed to go off when tampered with. Bomb implants using conventional high explosives are advancements, and may be duplicated and used by baselines. Bomb implants using antimatter are Innovations, and may only be created by novas with a Quantum Trait of 6+.

Bomb Implants
Producer: Kuro-Tek, Heaven Thunder Triad (conventional), Independents (antimatter) Category: Inorganic Description: Before the Nova Age, the concept of literally placing a bomb into a persons body had been a trope of science fiction for many decades. With the recent advances in cybernetics that trope has become a terrifying reality. As the next logical step beyond Kuro-Teks Explosive Collar (see Aberrant: Brainwaves), bomb implants have become a favored means for both national governments and organized crime to control difficult people such as novas. While most such devices rely on conventional high explosives, there are some rumors that one or more Mega-Intelligent nova scientists have created extremely small bomb implants that use shielded antimatter instead. Whether true or not, those rumors have caused many novas and baselines more than a few nights of worry and uneasy sleep... System: Conventional bomb implants are metallic devices the size of a small childs fist that can be surgically implanted wherever in a victims body there is sufficient room for it. Such spots are usually close to one or more of the vital areas of the victims body, limiting the bomb implants use to killing the victim instead of just maiming him. They are also equipped with remote controls with a radio base that allows an operator to detonate the explosives at will. The

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Genomorphic Armament Symbionts, a.k.a. GEAS
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Organic Description: After getting mixed results from ZGH (see p. 53 of this book), Dr. Dwyer realized that he was going to have to take another route toward his goal of human augmentation. The breakthrough came in 2013 when he discovered a means to create symbiotic organisms which would literally grow into their mature state as bioengineered augmentation cyberware in a human host. Dr. Dwyer created a wide variety of organic HAUGS, which he knew would not give the Megasyndicates enforcers anywhere near the edge they needed. Returning to his data from the ZGH project, Dr. Dwyer combined the best of it with his symbiotic implants to create the GEAS. While they were strictly bioengineered weaponry at first, Dwyer soon expanded the technology to grant other useful capabiltiessuch as enhanced movement and redundant organsas well. Vors Camparelli and Zhukov have done their best to keep news of their enhanced underlings quiet, but rumors of Megasyndicate thugs with beastlike capabilities have begun to spread like wildfire. As of 2015, Dr. Dwyer is still the only master of this organic augmentation cyberware technology. System: Each GEAS is either a 2- or 4-dot Cyberware item, as they are bioengineered analogs of the 1- and 2nova point Body Modifications. While still in an embryonic state, the GEAS is surgically implanted into the human host. The GEAS will then grow to maturity in either three or six weeks (for 2-dot and 4-dot GEAS, respectively). The host must remain under medical supervision for that period to ensure proper development. Once mature, the host can use the GEAS just like a nova could its analogous Body Modification. The GEAS has two drawbacks, with the first being the need of the host to take a cocktail of special nutrients on a daily basis in order to keep her GEAS healthy and fully functional. If the host is deprived of the nutrient cocktail, her GEAS will enter a dormant state and cannot be used until its nutrient supply is restored. Even worse is the fact that a nutrient cocktail must be specifically tailored to both the host and the GEAS, as taking another hosts nutrient cocktail will only result in the host suffering violent nausea and GEAS dormancy for 24 hours. As of 2015 Dr. Dwyer is the only source for GEAS nutrient cocktails. GEAS are an advancement, and can be used by baselines. Duplication of the GEAS by baselines will require at least two decades worth of research and experimentation.

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Gun Implants
Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Inorganic Description: With the increase in the use of advanced prosthetic arms for both therapeutic and augmentation cyberware, it was inevitable that someone would figure out how to build functional guns into them. To no ones surprise, Kuro-Tek was the first to achieve that milestone. Ever since 2004, several Nakato gumi soldiers have turned the formerly crippling loss of a flesh-and-blood arm into a deadly advantage. With the introduction of hyper-resin in 2009 (see p. 42 of this book) into the global market, the newer gun implants can even bypass standard metal detectors with ease. System: As far as their stats are concerned, all gun implants are direct analogs of either pistols (light or heavy) or small submachine guns as described on p. 275 of the Aberrant core book. Pistol-grade implants are 3-dot Cyberware items, and small SMG-grade implants are 4-dot Cyberware items. Some gun implants fire tranquilizer-style darts instead, and have the same stats as Trank Pistols (Aberrant: Year One, pp. 107-108). Dartgun implants are typically used to deliver doses of poisons, drugs or disease-causing microbes. A very few gun implants even fire paintballs, which will usually carry drugs or poisons mixed with DMSO to work as contact agents. Other possible paintball loads include fluorescent marking dyes, skin irritants and plastic explosives equipped with microtriggers. Plastic explosive paintball loads will inflict two automatic health levels of lethal damage plus two dice of lethal damage when triggered, and are generally used for sabotage or breaking and entering. Paintball gun implants have the same stats as Trank Pistols save for inflicting Bashing damage instead of Lethal. Dartgun and paintball gun implants are both 2-dot Cyberware items. As of 2015 all gun implants are only built into inorganic arm prostheses, due to the problems of properly maintaining and reloading the implant. Using a gun implant requires the Firearms Ability, with new users suffering a +1 to all Firearms rolls made until they become accustomed to these unusual weapons. That usually requires a full weeks worth of intensive practice in using and maintaining the gun implant, but the Storyteller is encouraged to alter that as she sees fit. Gun implants manufactured after 2009 will also be manufactured out of hyper-resin and advanced polymer components, making them undetectable to metal detectors. At the cost of an extra dot of the Cyberware background, such gun implants may also be disguised to look like harmless components of the arm prosthesis in order to fool other varieties of security scanners. Gun implants are an advancement, and may be used and duplicated by baselines.

Hibiki Implant, a.k.a. the Echo


Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Inorganic Description: Originally developed by a lovesick teenaged Japanese inventor to aid his cute (if shrill-voiced) girlfriend attain her dream of becoming a pop idol, this artificial larynx implant has instead become an espionage tool for Kuro-Tek and the Nakato gumi. Users of the Hibiki implant can literally reprogram their voices to sound like any other person whos spoken in their vicinity. The damage Nakato gumi operatives have caused through bypassing voiceprint security devices and impersonating other people over the phoneand the resulting profits theyve reaped in doing soare immense. System: Users of the Hibiki implant can replicate any sound that is within the audible range of baseline humans, granting +3 dice on all rolls for mimicry or singing. Duplicating a specific voiceprint will require the user to have recorded the subjects speech with the implants short-range microphone component, which has a maximum range of six meters in optimum conditions. The implants memory can store up to six different voiceprints at one time. Finally, as a last resort the user can roll Stamina + Resistance to produce an intense ultrasonic squeal that is inaudible to baseline humans but will agitate and irritate all four-legged animals within hearing distance. In game terms, every two successes on the roll will increase the attitude of the affected animals by one step on the Anger column of the Empathic Manipulation chart (Aberrant core book p. 196). Botching this roll will damage the implant, rendering the user mute until it can be repaired or replaced. The Hibiki implant is a 2-dot Cyberware item. It is also an advancement, and may be used and duplicated by baselines.

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Human Augmentation Systems, a.k.a. HAUGS
Producer: Kuro-Tek & Heaven Thunder Triad (Inorganic), C-Z Megasyndicate (Organic), Independents Category: Both Inorganic and Organic (various implants/prostheses) Description: This listing covers the various cyberware items that are designed to raise one of a humans basic physical, mental or social capabilities to peak human or even slightly superhuman levels. These are also the most popular items of augmentation cyberware sold , as many baselines have turned to them as a way to remain competitive against nova rivals. Rumors are told of HAUGS that can augment multiple Attributes, but there is currently no widely-known evidence that such advanced cyberware has been made functional. Despite the efforts of Project Utopia and law enforcement agencies worldwide, sales of the HAUGS are going strong and will likely remain so. System: Most HAUGS will be rated as 3, 4 or 5-dot Cyberware items as per the Background; granting +1, 2 or 3 dots to a specific Attribute respectively. HAUGS that can provide more dots to one or more of the users Attributes will require the Ultrablack Cyberware Background Enhancement (see Appendix #1 of this book, p. 243.) A HAUGS will have all the logical and expected components required to support its function - for example, one that provides enhanced strength will also include a strengthened skeleton and hyperstrong ligaments. HAUGS are an advancement, and can be used and duplicated by baselines.

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Kizuna Implant, a.k.a. the Yoke
Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Inorganic Description: With the release of the C-Z Megasyndicates Chemical Collars (see pp. 24-25 of this book) into the black market, the Nakato gumi knew that their own share of the trade in enslaved humans was at risk. Oyabun Nakamura personally charged a team of Kuro-Teks best neurologists and cyberneticists with developing their own device to ensure a slaves docility. What they came up with was the Kizuna implant, which essentially dampens the victims emotional responses and self-will to very low levels. Slaves with Kizuna implants have often been described as living love dolls instead of docile humans, which most potential buyers find creepy but has proven a selling point with others. While oyabun Nakamura considers it inferior to the Chemical Collar, the Kizuna implant has nevertheless made the Nakato gumi quite a lot of money. As with most other KuroTek products, possession and use of the Kizuna implant has been banned in most First World nations except Japan. System: The Kizuna implant is a one-dot Cyberware item and consists of a tiny plastic nodule with a dozen small electrodes linked to very fine wires coming out of it. The device is surgically implanted at the base of the skull with the needles inserted into specific points in the victims cerebellum and pituitary gland. Once successfully implanted, this device lowers the victims Willpower by four points when trying to resist and/or disobey the commands of his or her designated owner. (The identity of the owner is programmed into the Kizuna implant prior to being installed into the victim.) Victims who are reduced to zero Willpower do not fall prey to the base impulses of their Natures. Instead, such victims will obey and carry out their owners commands even when they conflict with their ethics and personal preferences. Overriding a victims sexual preferences is beyond the Kizuna implants capabilities. The victims entire range of emotional responses is also decreased by three steps on the Empathic Manipulation chart (Aberrant core book p. 196), making the victim nearly autistic in terms of personal interaction in most cases and reducing all Social dice pools by 2 dice. The Kizuna implant does have three very serious flaws, however. The first is that it was designed to control baseline humans with what is deemed normal mental function. Victims with neurological and/or mental variancessuch as mental disordersare less affected by the implant, as their Willpower and emotional responses will only be lowered by two points and two steps respectively. Second, novas cannot be affected at all by the Kizuna implant. Third, the Kizuna implants circuitry can be surprisingly sensitive to electromagnetic interference in rare circumstances. Depending

The Mega-Flex Syndrome


Some baselines are so desperate to become novas that they will literally gamble with their own health and lives in order to erupt. When HAUGS were released into the black market, these fools only saw them as yet another possible avenue towards novahood. One very graphic example of how this situation can go wrong was provided in late 2014 by an unknown individual and obvious novaphile calling himself Mega-Flex. One fine winter afternoon, Mega-Flex entered the limelight during an attempt to foil the mugging of a newlywed couple by a Mitoid. Unfortunately, the costumed novaphile suffered a catastrophic seizure throughout his clearly augmented musculature. Both the newlyweds and the Mitoid ran away screaming (in different directions) when Mega-Flexs body literally tore itself apart before the horrified eyes of the other bystanders. Ironically, the security camera footage of the hideous incident became one of the 10 most downloaded videos on the OpNet for that following week. The subsequent autopsy revealed that Mega-Flex had not only illegally used steroids, human growth hormone and the ILGF virus (Aberrant: Year One, p. 78) in apparent attempts to self-erupt, but had been implanted with a prototype HAUGS that boosted his strength and stamina to mildly superhuman levels. Ever since that day, the Mega-Flex Incident has been one of Project Utopias premier examples of the dangers posed by augmentation cyberware. on the factors involved (and the Storytellers discretion), the Kizuna implant can choose a random bystander as the victims designated owner or disable the emotional dampening in regards to a random person. In extreme cases, the damage to the Kizuna implant can limit it to suppressing all outward signs of emotional response while leaving the victims actual emotions and self-determination unhindered. The Kizuna implant is an advancement, and may be used and duplicated by baselines.

Shizukane Implant, a.k.a. the Quiet Bell


Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Inorganic Description: Given how useful the cellular phone has proven to be in facilitating long-range interpersonal communication, it was only a matter of time before someone created an implanted version of it. One of Kuro-Teks first and most popular items of augmentation cyberware, this device allows users to make cellphone calls using either normal or subvocalized speech. With military-grade signal scrambler technology to prevent others from eavesdropping on their signals, Nakato gumi operatives can act as a literal smart mob.

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System: Implanted in the users mastoid cavity, this device uses neural links to the users auditory and optical nerves and an internal microphone next to the larynx for output and input. Dialing is a matter of either selecting a preprogrammed number or using a virtual keypad to enter a new number. Text messages are created using the same virtual keypad. The Shizukane implant has a range of two kilometers in areas without cellular phone network coverage. As it has no metal components, the Shizukane implant will not register on airport security scanners. The implants battery allows the device to be used for 48 hours before recharging (via a port in the mastoid cavity) is required. Finally, the built-in signal scrambler imposes a difficulty penalty of +4 on all attempts to decode the encrypted signal. The only real drawback to the Shizukane implant is that its still vulnerable to all the problems which can hinder normal cellphone transmissions. At the Storytellers whim, electromagnetic interference and problems with the local cellular phone networks can limit this devices usefulness or render it inoperative. The Shizukane implant is a two-dot Cyberware item. It is also an advancement, and may be used and duplicated by baselines. tum interference device linked to a microcomputer implant thats grafted to the users spinal cord. When activated, this allows the user to interface with any electronic or computerized security device by touching it. Once contact has been established, the user can open them with ease. System: The Zenbukagi implant can be used 4 times per scene without drawing upon its quantum battery and grants the user +4 dice on all Intelligence + Intrusion rolls made to circumvent most electronic or computerized security measures available in the 2010s. It can also be used to commit credit card fraud if the user has access to a source of forged unactivated credit cards. Fortunately, the Zenbukagi implant was originally designed to counteract only security measures that are considered state of the art during the 2010s. Advancements in security technology will quickly render the 2011 version of the Zenbukagi implant obsolete at a rate of -2 dice per following decade, forcing the user to either have the implant upgraded to keep pace or removed. Hypertech security measures designed by Mega-Intelligent novas or other Inspired beings will typically eliminate the Zenbukagi implants bonus entirely (Storytellers discretion). The Zenbukagi implant is powered by a quantum battery with a capacity of 10 quantum points. In an effort to ensure the implants longevity, the user cannot use the stored quantum points for additional uses of the implant without a special bypass code. The bypass code is unique for each Zenbukagi implant, and will only be revealed to the user by his superiors in dire circumstances. The Zenbukagi implant is a 5-dot Cyberware item and also requires the Ultrablack Cyberware Background Enhancement. It is also an innovation, and can only be duplicated by novas.

Zenbukagi Implant, a.k.a. the Universal Key


Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Inorganic Description: This device represents the pinnacle of Kuro-Teks augmentation cyberware circa 2015. Developed by a team of Kuro-Teks top nova scientists in 2011, the Zenbukagi implant uses a dedicated superconducting quan-

Hey, This Cyberware Is Second-Rate!


Readers familiar with the cyberware seen in Trinity: Asia Ascendant will quickly notice that the cyberware in this book doesnt really measure up to the cybernetic marvels of 22nd Century Nippon. Were very glad you folks noticed that. Thank you for paying attention. Circa 2015 cyberwareespecially augmentation cyberwareis still a very new field of technology. Even with the aid of those few Mega-Intelligent novas who focus their research on cybernetics and bionics; Aberrant Era cyberware is clearly more primitive, underpowered, less efficient, blatantly obvious and clunky in general in comparison to their counterparts in Trinity. One reason for this is the huge effort that Aeon, Project Utopia and Project Proteus put into hindering the development of all kinds of blacktech, including augmentation cyberware. Another is the fact that Trinity Era Nippon will have had more than a centurys worth of unhindered and honest technological progress by their Mega-Intelligent novas and mentally-enhanced Superiors to develop their cyberware to heights only dreamt of in the Nova Age. Barring the use of time travel, the only way Aberrant characters are likely to get their hands on 22nd Century Nihonjin cyberware is to live long enough for it to be developed. Of course, that assumes they can establish and maintain good contacts in the Japanese government during the Aberrant War, Exodus and the Crash.

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Zootropic Growth Hormone (ZGH), a.k.a. Morph
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Organic Description: An early result of Dr. Dwyers early research into human augmentation through transgenics, Zootropic Growth Hormone (ZGH) is a synthetic amino acid, single chain polypeptide hormone derived from nova physiology. When used for gene therapy in baselines it allows for genetic material from a selected animal to be introduced into the baseline subject, who will then begin to develop advantageous body features of that animal. Despite its initial potential, Dwyer rejected it for use by Megasyndicate operatives due to the unacceptable side effects. Instead, in 2012 Dwyer got the Megasyndicate to begin selling it on the black market. Known on the street as Morph, ZGH has become one of the hottest must have items for baselines seeking to augment themselves to (mildly) superhuman status. Morph was quickly banned in all First World nations, but as of 2015 all efforts to suppress the Morph trade have only kept the price high and the money rolling into the Megasyndicates coffers. System: The initial dose of ZGH counts as a 4-dot Cyberware item. It must also be loaded with the DNA of the template animal, and is administered via multiple deepmuscle & bone marrow injections by trained medical technicians. Subsequent injections of blank ZGH (delivered to a limb muscle) must be self-administered on a weekly basis. ZGH has no effect on novas, but baseline users will gain four nova points to spend upon Body Modifications and may purchase additional Body Modifications with experience points as novas can, provided that treatment continues. The only limitation is that all the Body Modifications must match analogous features possessed by the template animal. The type of animal is determined from the start of the process and cannot be changed. There are three drawbacks to using ZGH. The first is the irreversible alien appearance that the ZGH treatment causes, as the user will also develop features resembling those of his chosen animal type. In game terms the Storyteller will assign the user one or more fitting physical aberrations as Flaws (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 91-92). The second drawback is the need for continued ZGH injections to stabilize the users altered metabolism. If the user fails to get his weekly dose of ZGH, he will suffer from the effects of either the Hormonal Imbalance (Lust) or Hormonal Imbalance (Rage) aberrations. The hormonal imbalance will persist until the user can obtain more blank ZGH and begin dosing himself again. The third is the fact that after the user receives the initial dose of loaded ZGH, each dose of ZGH loaded with the DNA of any other animal becomes a deadly poison inflicting (12 Stamina) levels of lethal damage.

Bioweapons
The use of biological weapons has been a tactic of human warfare ever since 1500 B.C.E., when the Hittites discovered that driving plague victims into the lands held by their enemies made their conquests easier. Later people throughout the ancient and medieval periods werent shy about using natural poisons and diseases to wreak indirect havoc on their foes. The atrocities only grew during the 19th and the early part of the 20th Centuries, as the testing and use of biological weapons was avidly pursued by all nations that could afford it. Improved public awareness of the threat posed by bioweapons did little to stop them, although the national governments own fear of bioweapons did make them a method of last resort. The signing by the United States of the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention in 1972 raised the possibility that bioweapons would be banned worldwide, but later events proved that to be a false hope. With the dawning of the Nova Age, there are only two changes in this lethal equation. The first is that all but the poorest nations - and even some private individuals - can gain access to bioweapon technology. The second is that the power of the latest bioweapons - and the fear that sane, rational people have for them - is increasing at an almost-daily rate. The only certainty is that in the conflict to come, bioweapons will be used. Whether or not humanity will survive that event remains to be seen.

CDM-83, a.k.a. the Zombie Plague


Producer: Project Utopia Category: Bioengineered bacteria Description: Scientific research has a long history of accidental discoveries. While most such cases are beneficial or at least harmless, others are horrors that have made sane researchers wish that disinventing something was possible.

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CDM-83 is a textbook example of this, as it developed from a Utopian researchers experiments with using a special kind of symbiotic bacteria to extend the period that donated human organs could be kept alive and usable for transplant. Instead the researcher ended up creating a strain of parasitic bacteria that caused severe and irreversible brain damage to its infected hosts, reducing them to mindless beasts with an insatiable hunger for healthy human flesh. All it took was one mistake by a careless baseline lab technician for CDM-83 to get its first trial run. Fortunately it could only be transmitted by bites from infected hosts, so Team Tomorrow Americas was able to contain the initial outbreak without much difficulty. Afterwards a few samples of CDM-83 were relegated to Project Utopias maximum security cold storage facility, with all other specimens (and the cadavers of the infected hosts) promptly incinerated. The incident was covered up without fanfare, but the threat posed by CDM-83 is just waiting to be unleashed once more. Vector: Injected (via bite from an infected host). System: Once introduced into a baseline victims body via a skin break, CDM-83 requires thirty minutes to reproduce itself in numbers large enough for symptoms to develop. Initially the victim will develop an unhealthy pallor and slight nervous tics as the bacteria begin interfering with his metabolism and causing gradual brain damage. In game terms this reduces the victims Appearance by 1 dot and his permanent Willpower by 2 dots. Those reductions are cumulative with each additional thirty minute period, as the victims skin will break out in slimy weeping lesions and generally appear to be rotting away. Once the victims permanent Willpower reaches zero, his mind is effectively gone for good. The former human will then seek to hunt down and devour the nearest available source of healthy live human flesh. Due to their brain damage, zombies created by CDM-83 infection do not suffer any kind of pain penalty and are completely immune to Mega-Social Attributes, telepathy and mind controlling powers - theres just not enough mind left for those powers to affect. CDM-83 zombies also have the equivalent of two levels of the Dispersed Organs Body Modification (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 109) , as the bacteria will do their best to keep most of the zombies organs functional. The exception is the zombies brains, which CDM-83 was never designed to deal with. CDM-83 zombies can be killed with targeted head shots without any additional difficulties. Unless disposed of beforehand, CDM-83 zombies have a lifespan of only 24 hours before their infected bodies literally fall apart snd shut down completely. Novas are immune to CDM-83, and the bacteria cannot affect nonhuman lifeforms or human cadavers. CDM-83 is an advancement, and may be created and duplicated by baselines. Antidote: Short of cleansing all traces of CDM-83 from a victims body with the Healing quantum power before they lose all their Willpower (which requires 1 point of quantum for every half hour of infection), there is no antidote.

Damper Polyps
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Bioengineered sea jelly Description: With the likes of Team Tomorrow breathing down their collective neck, Dr. Dwyer was tasked with finding an effective anti-nova weapon from the moment the Megasyndicates biotech operation was created in 2009. After writing off Eclipsidol (Aberrant: The Directive, pp. 55-56) as both far too conspicuous and much too likely to cause inconvenient property damage, Dr. Dwyer took a different path. Combining some of his old pre-medical school experiments on sea jellies with the Eruption Catalyst (see pp. 25-26 of this book), Dr. Dwyer created the first damper rounds and promptly field-tested them on a traitorous nova underling. The results spoke for themselves, and damper rounds are now issuedif only on rare occasionto the Megasyndicates best nova operatives. System: As the name implies, damper polyps are the immature form of a transgenic sea jelly bioengineered by Dr. Dwyer. In their mature state these jellies are little different from their wild cousins, and are kept in a display aquarium at his personal clinic for breeding purposes. The resulting polyps are placed in a form of chemically-induced suspended animation and individually encased in a round of protective putty. The final preparation must be made by the user, who must charge each damper polyp she intends to

Story Seed: The Devils Playground


Thanks to a shocking lapse in their security procedures, one of Project Utopias bioengineers has not only managed to steal a sample of CDM-83 but has also gone underground. From what little remains of his lab journal and notes, the bioengineer appears to have been fascinated - if not obsessed - with CDM-83 for quite some time. As if another CDM-83 outbreak wasnt enough of a threat, the notes indicate that the bioengineer was thinking of the possibilities of expanding the bioweapons capabilities. The player characters are assigned the task of apprehending the rogue bioengineer and destroying his supply of CDM-83, hopefully before he releases it or finds a way to make the bioweapon transmittable via air and/or water. In the worst case scenarios, the player characters will also have to contain the outbreak and deal with the infected hosts by whatever means necessary to keep the Zombie Plague from spreading any further. In all cases, the player characters may also have to deal with agents of national governments and other groups who would like to add CDM-83 to their existing bioweapon arsenals.

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use with one of her own quantum points - this only requires a simple Willpower check to accomplish. The charged rounds are then ready to be fired from a modified soft projectile gun (Aberrant: Year One, pp. 105-108) at the target nova. The round is much too soft and low-powered to inflict any physical damage on the target nova, but the impact does jar the encased damper polyp into full activity. Upon making contact with the target novas body, a damper polyp will immediately attempt to drain his quantum points. In game terms this is equivalent to a Quantum Leech attack using a dice pool of 8 for the power roll against the target novas Willpower. If the attack is successful, the damper polyp will drain off six quantum points from the target novas Quantum Pool to fuel an instant hyperaccelerated growth spurt into a medium-sized sea jelly. After that the former damper polyp dies and falls off the target nova, quickly decaying into useless slime. As one-use items, users typically fire multiple damper polyps at a target nova. Damper polyps are innovations, and may only be used or duplicated by novas. implant. The cyst must either be physically ruptured by the user or have an attached radio microreceiver and automatic micromechanism to release the trigger via remote control. The amount of the damage caused by a Glory Bomb explosion is 10d10 [15] Lethal damage, and is treated as having the Explosion Extra (Aberrant core book, p. 231) for purposes of blast area and damage reduction. There is no way for a Glory Bomb user to survive the explosion, short of having his mind transferred into a new body via nova powers or a Personality Recording (see p. 29 of this book). Aside from the prospect of instant death when the explosion is triggered, the Glory Bomb does have two other drawbacks. First is the fact that a baseline humans biochemistry simply can not be altered in this manner without serious health consequences. Starting from the time he is first infused with the Glory Bomb, the user has exactly seven days to live. If the user should make it to that deadline (pun intended) without blowing himself up, he will die - without exploding, fortunately - as his body finally surrenders to the strain of operating with the Glory Bomb in his system. The second drawback is that radio-triggered Glory Bombs can be set off prematurely if someone managed to determine the precise frequency that the trigger implant is set to receive. Novas with Hyperenhanced Hearing can determine the frequency set off the Glory Bomb with a Perception + Awareness roll at a +2 difficulty penalty, although simply triggering a Glory Bomb only requires an automatic action once the frequency is known. The Glory Bomb compound is an innovation, and can only be created and administered by novas. Antidote: It is possible to for novas with the Healing quantum power to cleanse the Glory Bomb compound from a users body, but this requires healing seven bashing Health Levels and doubles the quantum point cost.

Glory Bomb
Producer: Independent nova bioengineer Category: Binary chemical compound Description: The product of an unknown nova hypergenius, this radical extrapolation of the suicide bomber concept literally turns a baseline humans body tissues into a surprisingly high grade of explosive. What little is widely known of it was derived from Project Utopias chemical analysis of a Glory Bomb users remains in mid-2015. The bomber managed to infiltrate a small mosque in southern Saudi Arabia during evening prayer before deliberately setting himself off. The blast demolished the mosque and killed 200 Wahabist clergy and worshippers. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are frantically attempting to develop a means to detect Glory Bomb users before they go off, but have had little progress as yet. The only certainty is that the Glory Bomb will be used again, and soon. Vector: Injected Toxin Rating: 5 System: The Glory Bomb compound is comprised of two separate substances which react violently when they come into direct physical contact with each other. The first substance is a quantum-charged chemical that alters the users biochemical makeup to produce explosive biomatter and is administered to the user by means of a dialysis machine over a period of eight hours to achieve total body saturation. The second substance acts as a trigger to set it off when released into the users bloodstream. To prevent premature explosion, the trigger chemical is stored in a tiny artificial cyst that only requires minor outpatient surgery to

Judas Kiss
Producer: C-Z Megasyndicate Category: Bioengineered virus Description: Created by one of Dr. Dwyers deceased nova underlings, this item has proven a nasty surprise for someone who thinks hes safe inside a security barrier. Often just referred to as the kiss, this bioweapon is a virus genetically designed to kill one specific person. All the user has to do is infect a convenient third person, making her a carrier (who unaffected by it) until it dies in a few days as carriers immune system clears it out of her body. But if the carrier comes into physical contact with the target before that time, the victim will contract the illness and most likely die soon after. The Judas Kiss gets its name from the fact that if the carrier kisses the target the chances of him being exposed to it are 100%. The virus is keyed to the targets gene sequence

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and as such it has the keys to their entire immune system. Despite the Megasyndicates best efforts, the existence and artificial nature of the Judas Kiss virus have been discovered (via autopsies of the victims) by both Project Utopia and the Directive. As of 2015 this data has only just been revealed to law enforcement agencies worldwide, but it has only given them yet more reason to take down the Megasyndicate by any means necessary. Vector: Contact System: Creating a dose of Judas Kiss requires a verified sample of the targets DNA. The completed virus is then injected into a handy carrier, who will transmit the Judas Kiss through skin secretions and body fluids. A version of Judas Kiss that can infect a carrier through ingestion has been in development for a few years, but nothing has come of that as yet. Fighting off the Judas Kiss requires a standard Resistance roll at a +2 difficulty penalty. The target must make three successes on the roll or perish as the virus attacks his nervous system. Even novas arent automatically immune to the Judas Kiss, but many of them can throw it off with relative ease. There is no medical treatment for the Judas Kiss after exposure short of using the Healing quantum power on the target. Unfortunately the accuracy of this bioweapons targeting is somewhat overstated. Truly massive for a virus it targets a specific gene sequence, which means that everyone who shares the gene sequence is also targeted. Parents, children, or siblings of the target will have a 50% of having the correct gene sequence, and members of the general population have roughly a 1% chance. The Judas Kiss is an advancement, and may be used and duplicated by baselines. Antidote: There is no known vaccine or cure for the Judas kiss as of 2015, but that doesnt mean that they dont exist. Any high-quality medical institution could produce both, given sufficient time and resources.

Ketsuki Nekky, a.k.a. Blood Fever


Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Bioengineered bacteria Description: Despite his eagerness to exploit the opportunities and benefits available in the Nova Age, Yoshio Nakamura still maintains some very reactionary Japanese attitudes. One of those is the historical disdain that the Japanese have long held for their neighbors in East Asia, especially China. While most modern Japanese are wary of having such a large, powerful and not very friendly nation on the other shore of the Sea of Japan, Nakamura considers the Peoples Republic of China as a threat to Japan that must be dealt with decisively. Mindful of Japans advantages and limitations, Nakamura plans to make the Chinese literally turn on themselves and watch the PRC collapse in on itself. His means of accomplishing this task is the Ketsuki Nekky or Blood Fever, which Kuro-Teks top bioengineers have developed at his request. Sometime in the winter of 2015, selected Nakato gumi agents will release the bioweapon in China and reduce the nationand the Heaven Thunder Triad, with any luckto a disorganized and ineffective shambles. Vector: Inhaled Toxin Rating: 8 System: After the initial infection, the Ketsuki Nekky bacterium has an onset period of 24 hours before the bacteria can invade the victims brain and cause symptoms to manifest. As the disease is airborne and uses the victims lungs as its main breeding ground, this allows the disease to spread over a good-sized area before the outbreak becomes obvious. Despite the English translation of its name, Ketsuki Nekky does not cause its victims to bleed or exhibit fever symptoms beyond the normal flushed skin caused by physical excitement. Instead of causing Health Levels of damage to the victim, the bacteria infects certain structures of the victims brain. Said victim will develop the equivalents of the Sociopathy (see Aberrant: Brainwaves)

Story Seed: Maintaining Wa


As anyone familiar with the Trinity setting knows, while the Peoples Republic of China did experience troubles and disasters in the time leading to the Maoist regimes fall in 2018, the outbreak of a cannibalism-inducing disease was not one of them. Yoshio Nakamuras jingoistic plan to use bioweapons against the ailing PRC is nothing more than hubris that has blossomed into megalomania, and it has been revealed to the Japanese government by sympathetic novas. This revelation will once and for all prove to the Japanese that the Nakato gumis activities can no longer be tolerated. If your Storyteller intends to keep her Aberrant chronicle close to the canon metaplot, this means that the Japanese government and what allies it has must take down the Nakato gumi quickly, decisively and above all else covertly. If any hint of Nakamuras plans were to become known to the public at large, Japan would likely end up facing severe legal penalties and economic tariffs at best. The worst case scenario would have Japan facing war with the Peoples Republic of China, which is still strong enoughfor the moment, anywayto harm Japan and its people severely. The player characters can be tasked with the capture and/or execution of key Nakato gumi officials (including their nova operatives and Yoshio Nakamura himself), shutting down Nakato gumi and Kuro-Tek operations and facilities, and seizing the Nakato gumis funds for consciption by the Japanese government. Player character Directive agents can also take part in the purge of Nakato gumi sympathizers from the Directives Japanese branch, starting with Mitsu Nakamura.

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and Hormonal Imbalance: Rage aberrations (Aberrant core book, p. 152) as well as an addiction to eating still-living or freshly-killed human flesh (as per the 4 pt. version of the Flaw on p. 71 of the Aberrant Players Guide). From that point on, the victim will seek to hunt down and feast on any other humans he can take down, infected or otherwise. The normal social bonds of romantic love, family, friendship and respect are meaningless to victims of Ketsuki Nekky - to them, all other people are just meals on the hoof. The only limitation victims will have on their cannibalistic appetite is that the human flesh they consume must be no more than three hours dead, with any cadavers older than that being rejected in favor of fresher prey. Novas are completely immune to Ketsuki Nekky due to their hyperactive immune systems. Ketsuki Nekky is an advancement, and can be used and duplicated by baselines. Antidote: Kuro-Tek has developed both a new drug and a vaccine that will cure Ketsuki Nekky infection and immunize humans against it, respectively. They have produced impressive stocks of both, and are under orders to dispense them to Japanese citizens and foreign residents of Japan free of charge. This exercise in false altruism is intended to protect Japans citizenry against the Ketsuki Nekky bioweapon and garner some covert (and unearned) goodwill for the Nakato gumi. Other national governments will be charged modest fees for supplies of the drug and vaccine. The curative drug can be administered via syringe or trank dart as circumstances require.

Story Seed: Red Moon Over Beijing


For those Storytellers who are happiest with the canon metaplot tossed out the window, we offer the following nightm... (ahem!) roleplaying opportunity for their Aberrant chronicles. Yoshio Nakamuras agents have been ordered to release Ketsuki Nekky in Beijing, and the operation goes undetected almost to the point of dispersal, when the player characters catch wind of it. If they want to intervene in time to prevent the outbreak, they must find a way to covertly enter Chinas capital city and deal with the Nakato gumi operatives without drawing any hostile attention to themselves. Sources of said hostile attention include the PRCs law enforcement agencies and military, the novas of the PRCs Heavenly Exploding Mandate and members of the Heaven Thunder Triad. If the player characters arent careful, the resulting international incident could make them persona non grata in most of the First World. If they either fail in that or decide not to intervene without official approval, the player characters get the lovely tasks of preventing the Blood Fever from spreading beyond Beijing, finding a way to cure the surviving infected and creating a vaccine to immunize people against further outbreaks. In either case, the Nakato gumi will have to be eliminated in order to defuse the worst of the resulting international tensions between Japan and the PRC. collection of single-celled organisms that can move and act collectively. As such it can infect and migrate through a baseline humans body with astonishing speed, and can reproduce itself almost as quickly. Unless a baseline victim is wearing a full environment suit such as used by the U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control), Lot Epsilon-12 will infect her within three seconds of physical contact with the slime mold or inhalation of its spores. Lot Epsilon-12 is considered a Toxin Rating 5 poison for purposes of Resistance. Infected baselines are considered to be Berserk as per the Anger column of the Empathic Manipulation table (Aberrant core book p. 196), and will seek to attack any other persons they notice. Victims will also develop a noticeable thin layer of slime on their skin a few minutes after being infected. Traces of Lot Epsilon-12 left on objects (including corpses) will revert to a state of dormancy as powdery spores. Lot Epsilon-12 is an advancement, and can be duplicated and used by baselines. Antidote: Fortunately Lot Epsilon-12 reacts poorly to ethyl alcohol, which kills it on contact. Drinking any alcoholic beverage of 10 proof or higher will immunize a baseline human to Lot Epsilon-12 until the alcohol is eliminated from his system. Hard liquor will be more effective than beer or wine, for obvious reasons. Infected baselines can be forcefed shots of liquor, after which they will recover from the infection in five minutes as the alcohol spreads through their systems.

Lot Epsilon-12, a.k.a. Rage


Producer: DeVries Category: Bioengineered slime mold Description: In 2015, all one has to do to learn of the technological successes achieved by DeVries researchers is look through one of their advertisements. Their failures are much less well-known, and Anna DeVries fully intends to keep it that way. Such is the case with Lot Epsilon-12, a failed experiment aimed at creating a symbiotic slime mold that could enhance the physical capabilities of baseline soldiers. What actually resulted was instead a parasite that drives its baseline hosts into a frenzy of mindless aggression. Anna DeVries had the project terminated and all but a few samples of what the researchers now called Rage destroyed. What little remains of the parasite is kept in DeVries maximum security cryogenic storage facility. If any of it should ever get out, the resulting legal and public relations fiasco could bring severe consequences to bear on the DeVries agency as a whole. Vector: Contact or Inhaled Toxin Rating: 5 System: Lot Epsilon-12 is a parasitic slime mold, a

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Momoiro Kiri, a.k.a. Pink Mist
Producer: Kuro-Tek Category: Chemical weapon Description: While Kuro-Tek has come up with quite a few new lethal bioweapons, they havent limited themselves to finding new and horrifying ways to just kill people. As an arm of the Nakato gumi, Kuro-Teks researchers have also kept their eyes out for nonlethal items that could aid their more traditional yakuza brethren in their various illegal endeavors. Momoiro Kiri is one of those discoveries, a true aphrodisiac toxin with disinhibitory effects. While this bioweapon sees the most use in ensuring the compliance of their enslaved sex workers, the Nakato gumi have also used it on inconvenient Japanese citizens of high social standing (and/or their family members) for purposes of blackmail. One Nakato gumi pornographer has even used this weapon of mass degradation on the students (and some of the faculty) of a Japanese high school and turned the recordings of the goings-on into a full-length reality porn OpNet movie. That incident was covered up, but its anyones guess as to how much more of this abuse Japanese society will take before turning on the Nakato gumi as a whole. Vector: Inhaled Toxin Rating: 4 System: Momoiro Kiri is delivered in aerosol form as a slightly pink-tinged mist, either through handheld sprayers or (on rare occasion) gas grenades. The toxin increases the victims sex drive to levels normally seen in animals that have mating seasons. In game terms this is the equivalent of an increase of three steps on the Lust column of the Empathic Manipulation table (Aberrant core book p. 196). The victim will also be at +2 difficulties to resist Seduction attempts from anyone of the correct gender who the victim considers even vaguely attractive. Its possible for novas to be affected by Momoiro Kiri, but most of them will shrug off its effect with ease. Momoiro Kiri is an advancement, and can be used and duplicated by baselines. Antidote: A standard dose of the Nemukane drug (see p. 38 of this book) will negate the effects of Momoiro Kiri instantly. For this reason Nakato gumi operatives who use Momoiro Kiri will either have dosed themselves with Nemukane beforehand or will keep some on hand in case of accidental exposure. In cases where whole areas have been gassed with Momoiro Kiri, standard gas masks will provide adequate protection.

Niankoro Bees
Producer: DeVries Category: Bioengineered insects Description: The African honey bee has a well-earned reputation for ferocity when disturbed, so it didnt take long for DeVries to see its potential as a bioweapon. Named after a mythological Malian shaman who used African honey bees as a weapon against enemy warriors, the bioengineered descendants of those insects have proven effective both on the battlefield and as an assassination tool. Since theyre identical in appearance to their unaltered siblings Niankoro Bees are also very subtle, which is a plus when ones targets are expecting to face things like Dr. Alinskys Nansects (see Aberrant: Brainwaves). As long as DeVries elites will make war on African soil (or elsewhere), the Niankoro Bees are certain to see increasing use in the coming decades. System: In most respects Niankoro Bees are identical to the African honey bee in appearance, traits and behavior. The differences are in their venom, diet and attacking behavior. Niankoro Bee venom is a neurotoxin with a Toxin rating of 8 and inflicts 3 Health Level of Lethal damage per dose. The venom also causes misfires of the victims neurons, imposing +3 difficulties to all non-Stamina based dice rolls. As Niankoro Bee venom is not tailored to affect them, novas can negate its effect with a single success on a Resistance roll. Niankoro Bees also do not have any enhancements to their stingers, so targets with a natural Lethal Soak of 2 or more simply cannot be stung by them. Fortunately, large doses of tetrahydrocannibol (THC) will completely neutralize the Niankoro Bee venom if administered to the victim(s) immediately after being stung. Niankoro Bees also react badly to THC, and will quickly die after being exposed to any form of THC. The production of Niankoro Bee venom is dependent on a diet of nectar and pollen from several rare African and Asian flowering plants, none of which grow together in a natural environment. Instead, DeVries botanists cultivate these plants in dedicated greenhouses next to the (hermetically sealed, for safety reasons) hive of Niankoro Bees. If a Niankoro Bee queen and drones ever escaped into the wild, they and their offspring would quickly lose the capacity to produce their special venom. As could only be expected, Niankoro Bee honey is inedible for both mammals and birds. Niankoro Bees are genetically designed to be controlled by means of two pheromones which do not occur in natural Terran lifeforms. The first pheromone is applied to whomever is using the Niankoro Bees, and will make them remarkably docile towards their user. Unless ordered to by by means of the Animal Mastery quantum power (a

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feat requiring four successes), Niankoro Bees will not attack anyone emitting this first pheromone. The second pheromone directs the Niankoro Bees to their target(s), who must have been sprayed with it beforehand. The Niankoro Bees will unerringly home in on a sprayed target and sting him at first opportunity. Other than killing them, there is no way to dissuade the Niankoro Bees from attacking a designated target. Both pheromones are applied as ultra-fine colorless and odorless mists. Targets must roll Awareness at +3 difficulty to notice the pheromone mists unless they have the Bloodhound enhancement or an appropriate Body Modification. The first pheromone is issued in spray cans or atomizers (for cologne and perfume) when discretion is required. The second pheromone is issued in gas grenades (for spraying groups of enemy combatants) or atomizers for discreetly tagging the target. Both pheromones sprays have a duration of six hours and will cancel each other out if both are applied to the same person. Niankoro Bees will react to non-tagged humans just as African honey bees wouldthey will attack with aggression if molested and will otherwise ignore them. Assassins using Niankoro bees will only have four to six bees issued to them, as theyre best used for one- or two-person hit jobs. Elites using Niankoro bees could easily have anywhere from fifty to several hundred bees, depending on how many baseline combatants the elites are expected to face. For obvious reasons Niankoro Bees are popular among elites who have the Animal Mastery power. Niankoro Bees are an advancement, and may be used and duplicated by baselines. charged metabolisms. PGE-8 is injected into a primary target baseline with a retrofitted Trank Pistol dart (Aberrant: Year One, pp. 107108). If the dart can deliver its payload, whoever is unlucky enough to be the primary target is a walking dead man. Ten minutes after injection, the primary victim will suffer severe lethargy and -3 on all dice rolls as the PGE-8 begins consuming his bodys store of ATP. Fifteen minutes after injection, the primary target begins taking one Health Level of lethal damage every minute as the PGE-8 begins consuming some of the phosporus in his cellular walls and skeleton. Its at this point that the primary victims body also begins releasing phosphine gas, which not only finishes off the primary victim but begins poisoning everyone else within a thirty meter radius of him. After his death, the primary victims corpse will not have any odd features aside from being permeated with phospine gas and having bones that are slightly more fragile than normal. The only bright side to this is that PGE-8 cant survive very long outside of a living human body or the specialized culture its grown in at the lab. Not only is PGE-8 incapable of being contagious, it will also die off very quickly after the primary victim does. Phosphine gas inflicts 2 dice of unsoakable lethal damage per minute and is a Toxin rating 7 poison. It must be inhaled to be effective, although concentrated doses can pass through the skin. Novas with Mega-Stamina or higher are immune to phosphine gas. PGE-8 is an advancement, and can be used and duplicated by baselines. Antidote: Aside from cleansing the PGE-8 from the victim with the Healing quantum power (a feat which requires healing the eqiuvalent of 5 lethal Health Levels) no more than fifteen minutes after the initial injection, there is no antidote for PGE-8 itself. The phosphine gas created by PGE-8 can be protected against like any other respiratory agent with full environment suits, or gas masks at the absolute minimum.

PGE-8
Producer: DeVries Category: Bioengineered bacteria Description: Whenever a DeVries operative discovers something that could theoretically be handy, it usually doesnt take too long for DeVries resident nova hypergeniuses to turn it to practical use. Case in point: in 2014 a DeVries deep-sea surveyor acquired samples of a naturallyoccuring extremophile bacteria that consumed phosphorus compounds and excreted PHphosphine gasas a waste product. After some extensive bioengineering, the result was PGE-8: a bacteria that can turn a baseline human into a living (if inefficient) phosphine gas emitter. DVNTS elites have been very discreet in using this bioweapon, but sooner or later its existence will be revealed to the world. Vector: Injected System: PGE-8 is designed to work on baseline humans, although it can work on other large mammals reasonably well. Novas are not affected by it, thanks to their quantum-

RT-66, a.k.a. Kansas Hemorrhagia


Producer: United States Army Category: Bioengineered Rickettsia bacteria Description: When hyperintelligent nova bioengineers came onto the global scene, the U.S. Army was one of the first organizations to see their potential and hire them. One result of this was RT-66, a bioengineered relative of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and several forms of typhus. Tests on lab animals proved that RT-66 was both sufficiently lethal and containable enough to justify adding a supply of it to the Armys bioweapon arsenal. As of 2015 a supply of aerosol missiles containing RT-66 is kept in one of the U.S. Armys covert underground bases

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located somewhere in mid-Kansas. Vector: Inhaled System: RT-66 is delivered via aerosol dispersal, and baseline victims must roll Resistance with a +2 difficulty penalty immediately upon inhaling it novas are unaffected by it. If a victim succeeds on the Resistance roll, she will be able to act for 5 turnshopefully to grab some kind of gas mask and/or get into a CDC-grade decontamination shower - before having to recheck for RT-66 infection. Baseline victims who fail the Resistance roll will develop symptoms within thirty minutes to an hour, depending on individual body mass and quality of health. Symptoms of RT-66 include an intense fever and general lethargy, which inflict a +2 difficulty penalty on all rolls made by an infected victim. The most serious symptom is the gradual hemorrhaging of blood through all the victims pores and orifices, which literally bleeds the victim dry at a rate of 1 unsoakable health level of lethal damage every thirty minutes. Continuous transfusions of whole blood and electrolyte fluid can halt the health level loss, but its like filling a leaky bucketstop refilling it and the draining continues. Fortunately, standard precautions such as biohazard suits and decontaminants are fully effective against RT-66. RT-66 is an advancement, and can be used and duplicated by baselines. Antidote: Large doses of tetracycline antibiotics can save an infected victim if shes kept on life support and it is delivered within six hours of hemorrhaging. The problem is that it must permeate the victims body as quickly and thoroughly as possible. This is achieved by mixing the antibiotics with DMSO and smearing it all over the patients exposed skin. Alternatively, phage therapy using bacteria that can prey on Rickettsia bacteria is a viable option.

Novel Sapients and Artificial Novas


For much of recorded history, the creation of new life - especially life that was human or could otherwise be considered people - was thought to be the sole province of deities. All that changed when Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection in 1859, as many educated people came to two shocking realizations. First was the knowledge that instead of being an immutable form, humankind was part of the animal kingdom and was subject to the same laws of natural selection as any other creature on Earth. The second was that all living creatures could and often would change over time through natural selection. It wasnt long before certain scientists began promoting their own interpretations of Darwins work as a means of improving humankind, which led to both an improved understanding of human ailments and the atrocities performed in the name of the pseudo-science of eugenics. Over a century later, the science of the Nova Age has finally made it possible for bioengineers to create new forms of sapient life. One facet of this situation that deserves special attention is the possibility of creating novas through artificial means. While there has been little interest in creating novel sapients outside of certain individual bioengineers, many scientists around the globe devote at least part of their research towards the safe inducement of eruption in baseline humans. With the best of those scientists having either their own nova capabilities or the support of a powerful organization (such as a First World government or corporation) to aid them, the idea of laboratory-produced eruption has become a strong possibility instead of a pipe dream. In both cases, whether the potential for novel sapients and/or artificial novas will be realized or stay relegated to the realms of myth and fiction - and what the results will be - is anyones guess.

To Be Or Not To Be
While the categories of new beings were presenting in this section are all certainly possible in the Nova Age, they also have the potential to change the tone and focus of an Aberrant chronicle in radical ways that some Storytellers and players will like and others wont. Some people will also have preferences for one or more types over the others. Tastes and roleplaying styles differ, which is as things should be. So who gets to decide whether these creatures can exist or not in your Aberrant chronicle? You do. As the Storyteller, you have total control over whether any of these new beings can ever be a part of your Aberrant chronicle. We have presented them only as potential

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story elements, for you (with some feedback on your choices from your players) to pick and choose from as you see fit. If you do see fit to use them, weve kept their listings as generic as possible so that you have as free a hand as possible in determining both the circumstances and status of the origins of a given class of beings. Whether or not a class of new beings is introduced as fully-operational, still in development or remains theoretical is up to you. This approach also opens up some exciting options for storytelling. The player characters could find themselves in the position of either preventing or aiding a nova scientist in her efforts to create these new beings. In addition to the expected roleplaying potential for Utopian Technological Regulation agents and industrial spies, the existence of new beings can have a dramatic impact on future timelines that wouldnt be immediately obvious. It wouldnt be inappropriate for time travelers from future Aberrant or Trinity timelines that would be affected by the new beings in question to journey back for various reasons. Also, what if one of the player characters is the nova scientist in question? A second option is presenting the player characters with a viable production operation for new beings, which they must shut down, preserve or co-opt for their own purposes (or those of their faction). There are many reasons why all sorts of groups and organizations would want to hinder, aid or exploit such a factory, which will vary even more with the given category of new beings being produced. Finally, there is the option of exposing the existence (or delaying the same) of a category of new beings to the public at large. The resulting media storm will be immense as baseline society is faced with the question of how they should treat the new beings. Baseline society has had to contort itself to coexist with only the novas living among them. How much more contortion can it take before something gives way?

Sons and Daughters


Children often have complicated relationships with their parents. Love, hate, and a sense of owing ones parents for good or ill are all normal. But feelings of gratitude towards ones greatgreat-grandparents are usually non-existent. The same is true for any newly created sapient species. They may love humanity. They may hate humanity. But normally any feelings of gratitude for their mere existence will be limited to the first generation, if that. Eventually the reaction will be one of self interest, their self interest. Are they better off with humanity around? Is humanity a trading partner that enhances their lives, or does humanity expect to be masters to their slaves? Do they need humanity for their survival, or does humanity threaten their survival? Humankind likes the idea of being in control of its own destiny. It is madness to expect that other species wouldnt want the same, or that they wouldnt resent mankinds top spot. Children expect to grow up and take their place as adults and be equal... and these children may very well have good reason to think themselves superior. Other sapient species may be humanitys friends, allies, slaves, enemies or even all of those things. The potential for conflict and conflicting agendas is huge. All too often one of the first things a newly sapient species decides is that theyd be much better off without the existence of the old one.

Boosted Animals
Producer: Independent nova bioengineers Description: Ever since animals were first domesticated animals to serve them, humans have always sought to improve their bestial helpers. This was historically done through usually through training and controlled breeding, which produced widely varying results but left most of the animals natures unchanged. No matter what new breeds were produced or tricks they managed to learn, they were still only animals and were not even close to being considered people. This might change in the Nova Age, as advances in genetic engineering has raised the possibility of creating animals with near or even full sapience. Even so, they will also have somewhat alien viewpoints and psychologies due to their nonhuman origins. Combined with beneficial physical mutations to ameliorate some of their unaltered

relatives limitations, some of these super-animals can approach and even match the best baseline humans in their capabilities. Whether or not baseline human society will allow them such creatures the chance to do so is an open question. System: Aside from their base species, Boosted Animals come in two categories - near-sapient and full sapient - and are handled differently. Stats for some of the most common animals can be found in the Adventure! core book (pp. 247-248). Several old World of Darkness books such as Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom will have stats for the more exotic animals which can be imported into your Aberrant chronicle without much difficulty. While most mammals (including cetaceans) and birds can be Boosted to near-sapience, certain species of monitor lizards are the only reptiles with enough neural complexity for the process. Cephalopods are also good candidates for near-sapience Boosting. Near-sapients are just improved animals; they will have the same base Physical Attributes and Willpower Traits as their unaltered kin, but unless raised in their natural environment (or a very close approximation) their Abilities must be taught. Few will have base Intelligence scores higher than 2, but they all have a minimum base Perception score of 3. Near-sapients derived from notably cunning base species will also have a base Wits

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score as per their base species. The Intelligence and Wits Attributes of a near-sapient is also inferior to that of a baseline human or comparable sapient; as it only indicates how easily the near-sapient can be trained to perform simple tasks or (for Wits) improvise the use of tools of quickly find an escape route. Social Attributes are subjective and not really a factor. Player characters can take the Menagerie Background (Adventure! core book, p. 147) to have one or more near-sapient Boosted Animals at their command - Storytellers discretion as to how many. Full sapients are another matter entirely, as they are created as characters instead of simple beasts. Animals that make especially good candidates for full-sapience Boosting include African gray parrots, baboons, Barbary apes, bonobo chimps, brown bears, chimpanzees, coyotes, dolphins, domestic dogs, domestic housecats, elephants, foxes, gorillas, orangutans, otters, pigs, raccoons, octopi and wolverines. Other animals can be Boosted to full sapience, but that requires extreme (and quite risky) measures. Full sapients receive 13 dots for their three Attribute categories and have a base Willpower equal to that of their base species. It is generally recommended - but not mandatory - that full sapients should have Physical Attribute scores that are at least close to that of their base species. The Storyteller is encouraged to set minimum and maximum rating limits for a full sapients Physical Attributes according to his base species. There is no reason for a Boosted full sapient elephant not to have a high Strength rating, and many reasons why a Boosted full sapient housecat should not have the same. Also, errors or redesign tradeoffs made in the Boosting process can easily cost a full sapient some physical capability, especially when musculoskeletal or metabolic changes are attempted. They also receive 27 Ability points, a variable number of Feature Points (see below), 7 Background dots and 21 Bonus Points. Full sapients use the same price list as baseline humans for spending Bonus Points. Full sapients cannot have Ability scores above four at the time of character creation. Most full sapients will have some level of the Mentor Background, representing a nova or human that is either their creator, legal owner or older friend with enough influence to keep him out of a government research lab. As characters, full sapient Boosted Animals can be Allies, Contacts, Followers, Nemeses and even Mentors themselves in certain circumstances. Full sapients may also be required to take certain Adversarial Backgrounds (Aberrant: Forceful Personalities, pp. 39-46) to reflect their tenuous social and legal status and unwanted interest from the scientific community. Unless the Storyteller declares otherwise, no Boosted Animal can have Inspired Traits of any sort. Each Boosted Animal template has a variable number of Features that represent the beneficial mutations induced in them by their creator. If the creation process is being roleplayed, treat the Boosting process as a quantum gadget (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 143-148) with each Feature Point requiring three successes. Otherwise full sapients will get 20 Feature Points and near-sapients will get 15 Feature Points to spend on Features, which are listed below. Full sapients are automatically considered to have a superior version of the Full sapience Feature that does not come with any increased chances of developing mental disorders. Physical Attribute dot: 5 per additional dot. Strength and Stamina scores can be higher than 5 for Boosted Animals derived from appropriate base species. Mental or Social Attribute dot: 2 per additional dot. Willpower dot: 1 per additional dot. Posture change: 2 per posture change. One change is required to either make a horizontal creature semi-erect or make a semi-erect creature fully erect. Manipulator upgrade: 1 per upgrade, with baseline human hand equivalence as the upper limit. Crude hands (as those of primates), and tentacles or trunks only need 1 upgrade. Grasping paws like those of raccoons require 2 upgrades, while walking paws like those of housecats require 3 upgrades. Cloven hooves like those of pigs will require 4 upgrades. Running hooves as horses have will require 5 upgrades. Vocalization upgrade: 2 per upgrade. One upgrade will make an animal-grade voicebox equivalent to that of a baseline human. Two upgrades are required to grant a human-equivalent vocal structure to creature that cannot make any vocalizations at all. Size increase: 4 points to double the creatures size. The creature gains an additional dot of Strength and Stam-

Boosted Animals vs. Pet Chimeras


When comparing Boosted Animals with Pet Chimeras, one is justified in asking what the difference between them is supposed to be. Theyre both animals granted greater-than-normal capabilities through genetic engineering, so the processes used to create them ought to be interchangeable, right? Wrong. These two varieties of super-animal originate from different kinds of bioengineering, namely advanced and Inspired, and use radically different techniques. While Pet Chimeras do have a (low-grade) sapience, its the result of transgenic human genes related to brain development and is a marginal success at best. The techniques used to create Boosted Animals rely on induced mutations in the animals own DNA to grant enhanced brain function, among other advantages. Unless the Storyteller decrees otherwise - and the players are prepared to deal with the resulting horrific consequences - the two technologies cannot be combined.

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ina. This may only be taken once and is typically applied only to the smallest base species. Storyteller approval is required for this Feature to be applied to Boosted Animals derived from larger base species. Extended lifespan: 1 to 3 points (depending on base species lifespan, Storytellers discretion) to achieve an average lifespan equal in length to that of a baseline human. Dietary alteration: 1 point, typically to turn a carnivore into an omnivore. Drawback amelioration: 1 point to remove a minor limitation of the base species (mating season, minor metabolic vulnerabilities), 2 points to remove a major limitation (improving gills to also breathe air, altering an aquatic creatures skin to prevent drying out in non-humid conditions). Storyteller discretion applies to all interpretations and uses of this Feature. Full sapience (near-sapients only): 7 points, plus a flat 50% chance of developing a mental disorder of the Storytellers choosing. This Feature represents several radical modifications to the base species brain structure and increased neoteny, so its very easy for mistakes to be made. Boosted Animals will also possess the natural capabilities of their base species at no cost, but in turn will also have a number of species limitations (chosen and defined by the Storyteller) to deal with. These limitations will mostly be the obvious problems a Boosted Animal would have. For instance, a Boosted full sapient elephant would only have one arm (its trunk), be much too large to make use of most vehicles and equipment, and have a food bill equal to or exceeding that of most novas. Boosted Animals will have their reproductive status determined by their creator and their circumstances. Depending on what a creator has in mind for a Boosted Animal and his competence at gengineering; the resulting creature could be sterile, fertile but limited to producing non-Boosted offspring, or could even breed true with other Boosted Animals of the same base species, type and model. Boosted Animals are Innovations, and can only be created and duplicated by novas. The creation of their 22nd Century analogs (BEngiBeasts, Trinity Technological Manual p. 106) will require the misguided efforts of psions equipped with noetic biotech. Producing Boosted Animals is an extremely expensive process, especially when dealing with very large animals. Project Utopia is certain to have the Boosting of dangerous predatory animals such as killer whales, brown bears and the great cats made illegal at their first opportunity. Boosted Animals also cannot also be Bonded Animals or Pet Chimeras (see pp. 18 & 22 of this book).

Human Chimeras
Producer: Independent nova bioengineer Description: The idea of creating hybrids of humans and animals is a hallmark of mythology - not to mention furry fetishists - so its not surprising that at least a few nova bioengineers would have an interest in making Human Chimeras real. These part-human beings will have no legal status other than property at first, creating a wide range of potential uses and abuses for Human Chimeras. Some would-be parents would gladly accept a Human Chimera cub as a substitute for adopting a human child, while very lonely or misanthropic people might want a Human Chimera to serve as a source of companionship and affection. Whether companionship will be interpreted as pet, roommate, sibling, spouse, live-in concubine or sex slave will vary with the people in question. Pharmaceutical companies will see them as a new variety of guinea pigs for medical testing, as they are more convenient in legal terms than the human orphans and mental institution inmates they have abused over the decades. Military officers would see them as potential synthetic soldiers who could be indoctrinated and trained as desired, without any of the objections human conscripts would have about human rights or conscientious objection. Pornographers would see them as a source of new performing talent who could only be given basic room and board in return instead of a salary. If the creation of Human Chimeras ever happens a

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furious debate over their legal status is sure to erupt, with Project Utopia likely to either establish some level of minimal rights for these near-humans (when applicable) or have their creation and sale outlawed. Are they human? Animal? Both? Human Chimeras are the product of brutally unethical science gone mad. In theory they are the mix of two or more species good qualities, but often they mix the worst aspects as well. If Human Chimeras were ever human they are no longer. This issue and any assorted complications (appearance, fertility, etc.) is in addition to their drawbacks below and they get no extra points for it. The debate will only intensify when some Human Chimeras inevitably escape, are freed from bondage, are unleashed or simply abandoned by their owners. If Human Chimeras are outlawed, any Human Chimeras which come to the attention of law enforcementincluding and especially Project Utopias Technology Policeshould expect either protective custody & analysis or euthanasia. Whether the dawn of the Human Chimeras will arrive - and what the future may hold for themis unknown. System: Human Chimeras are created through implanting specific sequences of transgenic animal DNA into a synthesized human genome, which is then transferred into an empty human ovum. Provided the ovum begins dividing, the resulting zygote is implanted into a host mother of some sort. Because of the complications of involving human host mothers, most but not all Human Chimeras are born of animal or mechanical wombs. Human host mothers are usually forced into their condition by debt or outright slavery. Human host mothers are also delivered of their Human Chimera infants via Caesarean section when said infants sport features such as claws or horns that would make natural birthing problematic. Human Chimeras come in two varieties, Domesticated and Wild. Domesticated Human Chimeras have been raised by one or more human caregivers and taught basic life skills. They will also typically receive an education of varying degree - some might be well-learned with sufficient home and OpNet schooling, while others may be deliberately kept illiterate. Wild Human Chimeras are little more than wild animals, and will have no education beyond the School of Hard Knocks. Character Creation: Human Chimeras are created as baseline humans with the following differences. Attributes: All adult Human Chimeras receive the (7/5/3) spread. Abilities: Adult Human Chimeras get 23 points, and cannot have any Ability rating above three dots at the time of creation. Wild Human Chimeras cannot buy dots in any Intelligence based Abilities except Survival at this stage. Backgrounds: 5 points. Wild Human Chimeras cannot add to this with bonus points. Advantages: Human Chimera characters have 6 nova points to spend on Body Modifications. Unless the Storyteller says otherwise, Human Chimera characters cannot buy additional Body Modifications with experience points. All Human Chimeras soak Lethal damage as novas do, using 1/2 their Stamina score. Human Chimeras have a starting base Willpower of 3. Drawbacks: All Human Chimeras suffer from the equivalent of a medium-level aberration of the players choosing (Storytellers discretion) and the Bad Vibe Flaw at the 1-point level. Human Chimeras are also assumed to have some combination of the Secret Flaw (Human Chimera ) and/or the Enemy Flaw (TechReg agents and most law enforcement agencies). The more public a Human Chimera is the smaller the point value of his Secret Flaw will be, at the cost of his Enemy Flaw having a higher point value. All these Flaws can be found on pp. 75-76 of the Aberrant Players Guide. Bonus Points: 15 bonus points to be spent as deemed appropriate. Human Chimeras cannot have any Inspired Traits beyond what has been previously described. Human Chimeras are an Innovation, and can only be created and duplicated by novas.

Pseudo-Humans
Producer: National government or independent nova bioengineer Description: When humans first realized that it would be possible to alter living creatures through genetic engineering, some of them quickly began to speculate about improving humankind in general. While that line of thought produced mixed results at best, a few took a more pessimistic view of humanity and its potential. In their eyes, humanity was far too flawed for any lasting improvements to be made, with or without genetic engineering. Instead, they proposed that humanitys best genetic scientists should instead seek to create a new sapient species

Human Chimera Rights!


At the moment that the existence of Human Chimeras is revealed to the world, no court will have given Human Chimeras legal rights comparable to those of humans as the issue has been considered hypothetical up until that point. Several politicians and legal scholars are likely to state that the Zrich Accord does not apply to Human Chimeras, for varied reasons. Its also likely to be assumed in elite circles that Human Chimeras can literally be killed like dogs but this also hasnt been tested in any court of law. The Storyteller should feel free to expand or alter this as fits her needs.

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to replace humankind, most of which they thought were too weak and moronic to be allowed to live and breed. While those few were dismissed as cranks at the time, the idea that humanity did not deserve to survive found enough adherents to keep it alive until the Nova Age. With the capabilities offered by Nova Age biotechnology, the Pseudo-Humans are now a probability instead of an abstractif very twistedideal. Whether someone will be misanthropic and/or foolish to make that probability into a concrete reality remains to be seen. System: Despite their name, Pseudo-Humans have no place in the genus Homo. Instead, these creatures are bioengineered from the DNA of several different primate species and a few more exotic animals. The result is a primate that looks just like baseline humans and can behave as such, but cannot interbreed with them. Pseudo-Humans are slightly superior to baseline humans in their Attributes and lifespan, and are also naturally immune to 95% of the diseases that affect baseline humans. Pseudo-Humans are also more efficient at reproducing themselves than baselines, as pregnant Pseudo-Human females will give birth to a litter of 4 to 6 fairly well-developed infants. Pseudo-Human offspring require less care (if more food) than baseline human infants, and will grow to full maturity in eight years. Psychologically, Pseudo-Humans are strikingly different from baseline humans in several ways. The first is that they have no real emotions to speak of - Pseudo-Humans have responses that look like hate and anger, but they are only pragmatic reflexes meant to aid against threats. This is reflected in the care they will give their offspring, who are treated like pets at first and later on as military conscripts. Pseudo-Human parents and caregivers will quickly kill any offspring they deem defective, and will even feed the cooked meat of culled offspring to their siblings when feasible. In situations where maintaining their upkeep threatens their group survival, Pseudo-Humans will even cull nondefective offspring without hesitation. Pseudo-Humans will never willingly keep pets or care for non-Pseudo-Human infants. Secondly Pseudo-Human society is based on a pack or troop structure instead of the nuclear family of baseline humans, which has resulted their developing an exceedingly strong group identity and individual egos that are notably weaker than the human average. Not only will Pseudo-Humans put the survival of their own kind above their own or each others (except when they both coincide), they have a revulsion for other sapients that could be seen as pathological xenophobia. Furthermore, this unchecked pack instinct has given Pseudo-Humans the collective delusion that not only can they exterminate and replace all other sapients on Earth, but it is their purpose to do so. The third difference is that Pseudo-Humans have an enhanced neurology as compared to baseline humans. This not only makes them natural combatants but also gives them a knack for detecting and recognizing emotions in other Terran sapients, making them gifted actors and manipulators. Finally Pseudo-Humans exhibit a lower level of neoteny than baseline humans, as they have little interest in humor and playful behavior upon reaching adulthood and often scorn such activity as frivolous. This has given them a strong preference for utilitarian aesthetics and a disinterest in things like art, music, fashion and fiction except as camouflage to help them pass as baseline humans. Character Creation: Pseudo-Humans are created as baseline humans with the following differences. Attributes: All adult Pseudo-Humans receive the (7/5/3) spread. All Pseudo-Humans will have 120% of the baseline human lifespan. No Pseudo-Human can have any Inspired Traits whatsoever. All Pseudo-Humans have the Combat Veteran Merit and receive +1 die on all Wits and Manipulation rolls, except those which depend on artistic creativity. All Pseudo-Humans are immune to 95% of the diseases which affect baseline humans. This is counterbalanced by the fact that they can catch diseases which humans cant, leading them to avoid close contact with animals whenever possible. Storytellers discretion as to what diseases (human and otherwise) Pseudo-Humans are vulnerable to. All Pseudo-Humans suffer from the equivalents of the Phobia and Delusion aberrations (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 93) with the specifics as described above. They also have a modified equivalent of the Cold aberration (see Aberrant: Brainwaves) that allows them to recognize emotions in others (through keen observation instead of emotional connection) and mimic them through their acting skills. These mental disorders are natural to Pseudo-Humans and cannot be cured. Pseudo-Humans are an Innovation, and can only be created and duplicated by novas.

Spark Soldiers (a.k.a. Bastards)


Producer: National government or independent nova bioengineer Description: When the Nova Age arrived, national governments were quick to realize that novas had the potential to be the most effective and cheapest weapons of mass destruction ever known. Unfortunately for them, they also learned that only a few novas had any interest in becoming super soldiers. Some radical elements proposed to subsidize nova couples to have nova children who could then be enlisted when they came of age, but the nova sterility problem made that idea moot. It was clear that if governments

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were ever going to have reliable, loyal nova soldiers, they would have to make their own. All of the First World nations have black ops research projects that are devoted to achieving this goal. The only questions are which government will be the first to hit paydirt, and what the consequences of creating these artificial novas will be. System: The procedure used to create a Spark Soldier is officially referred to as Bio-Quantum Augmentation (BQA). By grafting a small part of cloned M-R node tissue to the medulla oblongata or cerebral cortex of the recipient, as well as extensive synthetic chemical and hormone treatment, the BQA process can grant nova-like abilities to baseline subject superior to what could be gained from existing drugs such as Mite or Soma. The operation for grafting the tissue is only about 4 hours and the chemical treatments take roughly a month to take effect. The BQA process is dangerous, as only about 1 out of every 5 recipients will actually survive long enough to receive any enhanced capabilities. The surgery itself is invasive brain surgery, the tissue graft is unstable and can quickly overwhelm the fragile baseline physiology resulting in an excruciatingly painful death, and the chemical treatments can cause spectacular physiological meltdowns as uncontrolled quantum energies flood the baselines body, often causing impressive (and brief) bursts of quantum ability. Assuming the recipient survives the BQA process, he will develop a degree of nova-like capabilities. This is itself a mixed blessing as the powers are invariably tainted and the baseline will eventually die as the taint warps him from the inside out. Those rare few subjects of the BQA process who possess the Mazarin-Rashoud genetic sequence can and will erupt as a result of it, but they will all erupt as High-Taint novas (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 68). The BQA process will mostly be used to create temporary (some even go so far as to say disposable) super soldiers out of the ranks of senior special ops and black ops troops who are nearing mandatory retirement age. Baseline mercenaries who learn of the BQA process may volunteer for their chance to compete on an even playing field with the novas they often battle against. At the extreme, the BQA process may even become known to a few professional athletes looking for an edge.

The Making of a Bastard


In many ways, undergoing the BQA process is much like playing a very twisted parody of Russian Roulette. Eighty percent of the people subjected to it die, leaving the survivors to enjoy a brief period of existence as an increasingly Tainted quasi-nova before burning out and dying themselves. The sick joke here is that those who died during the BQA process are the real winners. So what could possibly make a (somewhat) sane and rational baseline soldier volunteer for it in the first place? Prior to the Nova Age, the special ops and black ops troopers of the worlds militaries were the closest thing in existence to Hollywood-style action heroes. They were by definition the baddest of badasses, performing feats and doing things that the average citizen could only dream of doing (and getting away with it). Of course, achieving all that required massive amounts of intense training, but that was considered a fair price. It wasnt an indefinite state of affairs - special ops and black ops troopers get old like every other baseline human - but if one had the brass and patriotism (or fanaticism) to make it into a special ops or black ops troop, it could still be counted as a lifetime achievement. All that changed in the years following the first N-Day in 1998, as novas - especially the elites - stole the spotlight. Faced with opponents who were not only literal superhumans but gained their capabilities in one blinding moment of revelation, more than a few of these soldiers soured on novas at the start. Those who had invested greater than average portions of their self-image as de facto badasses became envious and bitter toward novas. Of these envious and bitter old soldiers, a depressingly large percentage of them will leap at the chance to show up novas by any means necessary. Where their ethics and morality is concerned, these individuals are the worst of the worst of the special ops and black ops troopers and will consider their tainted gifts worth the risks and sacrifice. Newly empowered and with one very large chip on their shoulders, its easy to see why the erstwhile Spark Soldiers will quickly earn their nickname Bastards.

Spark Soldier Abilities


Spark Soldiers are created as highly-skilled baselines, as most of them will be drawn from the older and more experienced members of a nations elite special ops and black ops troops. Each Spark Soldier has the equivalent Quantum Rating of 2. This is an artificial Quantum score and can never be increased. Otherwise, this is used in the same way as a novas Quantum score as to determine power effects, powers that can be purchased and Mega-Attribute limits. Each Spark Soldier starts with 3 points of permanent Taint, and gains +1 permanent Taint for every following year of life as a Spark Soldier. Spark Soldiers will develop aberrations and the associated social problems just as regular firstgeneration novas do. Spark Soldiers cannot have the Taint Resistant Merit (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 76) or the Taint Resistance enhancement for Mega-Intelligence (Aberrant core book, p. 168). A Spark Soldier has 12 nova points. These nova points may be used to purchase Attributes, Mega-Attributes, Enhancements, level 1 quantum powers and level 2 quantum powers. Spark Soldiers cannot purchase Level 3 quantum powers by any means. Spark Soldiers may purchase Mega-Attributes and quantum powers tainted at a reduced

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nova point cost. A Spark Soldier is limited to a maximum ratings of 2 dots for Mega-Attributes, 4 dots for level 1 quantum powers and 3 dots for level 2 quantum powers. Spark Soldiers do not gain any free enhancements from purchased Mega-Attributes but may select them separately. Unlike true novas, Spark Soldiers must spend quantum points to use their Mega-Attributes. A Spark Soldier spends 1 quantum point to use his Mega-Attribute dice or MegaStrength automatic success for the duration of the scene. Spark Soldiers have a smaller quantum pool than novas. A Spark Soldier starts with a quantum pool of 10 quantum points. Once spent, these quantum points will be recovered naturally, but Spark Soldiers only recover 1 quantum point per hour of full rest. No quantum points can be recovered from partial rest. A Spark Soldier who is out of quantum points can continue to use their abilities by drawing on his bodys internal reserves, but each point of reserve quantum spent gives the Spark Soldier 1 point of temporary taint. Every 10 points of temporary taint earned will convert into 1 point of permanent taint, as with true first-generation novas. Spark Soldiers cannot have the Dormancy or Node Backgrounds. Spark Soldiers may spend experience points to improve their nova capabilities just as true novas can, although they are still bound by their limits on purchasing quantum powers and Mega-Attributes. They may also buy their nova capabilities as Tainted for half the normal price. If a Spark Soldier ever develops more permanent Taint than his Stamina + Resistance rating or earns a permanent Taint of 10whichever comes firsthe dies. This death is often spectacular, as the Spark Soldier can explode in a quantum fire, turn to stone, dissolve into a sizzling acidic puddle or suffer some other dramatic effect. Spark Soldiers are an Innovation, and can only be created and duplicated by novas.

Spark Juice
The creators of the BQA process have also developed a chemical to supplement the limited quantum pools of the Spark Soldiers. Called Trans-Adrenine Faracythol (or Spark Juice by its frequent users), Spark Juice restores an amount of quantum energy when injected. Each use of Spark Juice increases the users Strength and Dexterity by 1 (maximum of 5) for the duration of the scene and restores 5 quantum points. Each use of Spark Juice also gives the user 1 temporary taint. If the user takes enough Spark Juice to go beyond his normal Quantum Pool limit, he gains 1 point of temporary taint for each quantum point by which he exceeds this limit. This formula only works properly with a user that has been through Bio-Quantum Augmentation. If used by novas, they will gain no attribute bonuses and will earn 2 points of temporary taint per use. Novas with an advanced M-R node (Node Background of 3 or better), the Health Enhancement or the Taint Resistance Enhancement gain no effect from Spark Juice (positive or negative). If used by an unmodified baseline it is a deadly poison that inflicts (10-Stamina) lethal damage. Spark Juice is an Innovation, and can only be created and duplicated by novas.

Story Seed: Unwelcome Competition


Whichever national government is producing Spark Soldiers has started putting them to work as elites. Nova elites from DeVries have run into these bargain basement super-soldiers one too many times for Anna DeVries liking. While the Spark Soldiers are notably weaker and more prone to Taint problems than naturally-erupted novas, theyre also charging much less than is typical for elite services. Anna isnt pleased and wants someone to do something about this. The player characters are DeVries elites, given a mission to find out whos paying for the Spark Soldier production operation and shut it down for good. Alternatively, they may want to do a media expos on the Spark Soldiers and their many problems, allowing the Directive and Project Utopia to do all the heavy work for them.

Story Seed: Bastards Gone Barmy


The inevitable finally happens as an entire group of Spark Soldiers go violently insane en masse. This would be bad enough in ordinary circumstances, but they were also infiltrating a remote township known to harbor some notably unpleasant terrorists. (Storytellers choice as to the townships locale and terrorist group involved.) Disregarding their original orders, the now-psychopathic Spark Soldiers have literally conquered the township and made themselves feudal overlords of the terrified residents. They havent crushed all the local resistance to their rule, as the terrorists are still more than willing to fight against them. The player characters are a combat team of novas who have the task of resolving the situation. Depending on the circumstances, the player characters may have to temporarily ally themselves with the terrorists in order to defeat the Spark Soldiers or may end up in a three-way battle against both the terrorists and the Spark Soldiers. And if that wasnt enough, the player characters must also do their best to protect the other residents of the township from the fighting, terrorist sympathizers or not. If the player characters prevail, they are faced with the decision of either exposing the Spark Soldiers for who and what they are - and creating a media firestorm in the process - or covering up the incident.

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Sub-Aberrants
Producer: Mega-Intelligent nova with Quantum 6+ Description: From the first days of the Nova Age, certain novas who hold anti-baseline sympathies for various reasons have speculated about waging a race war against the unerupted population. Whether said conflict is seen as a war of punishment, subjugation or genocide varies with the nova in question. Two factors have kept these anti-baseline novas from making their dark hopes into horrid reality. The first is the fact that even seventeen years after the first N-Day, baseline humans still outnumber novas to an extreme degree. The second is the certainty that unless something changes drastically in either the global situation or the inherent nature of the erupted, more than a few novas would seek to aid the baseline humans against them in that conflict. es the Adding in the nova sterility problem only makes rspecequation even more bleak from the anti-baseline perspective. Sooner or later, Mega-Intelligent anti-baseline novas ures in are going to investigate methods of altering those figures their own favor. volves One such method that will be discovered involves inert using the properties of taint radiation to transform inert seline baseline humans into useful servants. As normal baseline ed for humans dont have the M-R gene sequence required t only them to directly control quantum energy, theyre not hysical much weaker than true novas but develop severe physical mutations and mental disorders. None of that will be seen em as as a problem by their nova creators, who will see them d conuseful cannon fodder against the baseline hordes and e true venient breeding stock for replenishing the ranks of the ty will novas. The only question is when - not if - this atrocity take place. umans System: Sub-Aberrants were ordinary baseline humans iation who were subjected to massive amounts of taint radiation by a powerful nova. Overloaded by the taint, these unforeyond tunates bodies and minds are massively distorted beyond human capacities. AberCharacter Creation: Somewhat like novas, Sub-Aberrants are created in two stages. er with Stage One - Baseline Human: Create the character round the (6/4/3) Attribute spread, 27 Ability points, 7 Background ts. No points, a starting Willpower of 3 and 21 bonus points. ay be nova-specific Abilities, Backgrounds, Merits or Flaws may purchased. g Stage Two - Sub-Aberrant: Now the following changes are applied to the vict- ahh, character. Depending on the extent of their mutations, er Sub-Aberrants may have their Appearance ratings either lowered to zero or redefined as ugliness. All Sub-Aberrants start with a permanent Taint score n their of 3. Sub-Aberrants have no Quantum Trait and rely on Taint to fuel their superhuman capabilities. Sub-Aberrants will have Quantum Pools and quantum points based on taint energy. Sub-Aberrants can be given anywhere from 5 to 15 nova points, with 10 as a standard amount. Depending on how closely the Storyteller wants Aberrant-era Sub-Aberrants to match their Trinity-era counterparts, Sub-Aberrants may be prohibited from puchasing Mega-Attributes. In that case Sub-Aberrants can instead raise one or more of their base Attribute scores above 5 by spending nova points. Sub-Aberrants are limited to buying a maximum of 2 dots in a Mega-Attribute or quantum power. Sub-Aberrants must purchase their quantum powers from the following list, which the Sto Sto-

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ryteller may add to at her discretion. Purchasing a quantum power other than Body Modification will inflict both an additional dot of permanent Taint and a biological alteration that will produce the quantum power. Available Powers: Armor, Bioluminescence, any Body Modifications, Boost, Claws, Disorient, Flight, Force Field, Immobilize, Immolate, Invisibility, Mental Blast, Poison, Quantum Bolt, Sensory Shield, Shroud, Sizemorph: Grow, Strobe, Stun Attack, Warp. Due to their transformation, Sub-Aberrants are likely to lose some or all of the Backgrounds they had during their baseline existences. The Storyteller is encouraged to allow Sub-Aberrant characters to trade in their dots of lost Backgrounds for new ones. Sub-Aberrants cannot have the Attunement, Eufiber, Dormancy or Node Backgrounds. In addition to the aberrations caused by their Taint, Sub-Aberrants also suffer severe psychological damage from their transformation. All Sub-Aberrants will have the Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder mental aberration (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 94), representing an overwhelming loyalty to their creator and/or leader. Sub-Aberrants will also be given a second mental aberration of the Storytellers choice. Provided that they arent rendered sterile by the transformation, Sub-Aberrants will have a 40% chance of siring or bearing first-generation nova offspring. Said offspring will also be High-Taint novas (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 68) in most cases. While Sub-Aberrant males can plausibly sire baseline human offspring on baseline women, Sub-Aberrant females will either give birth to nova offspring or produce stillborns. Sub-Aberrant pregnancies are also subject to the problems that can occur with nova pregnancies, as described in Aberrant: A Breed Apart, pp. 27-28. Sub-Aberrants are an Innovation, and may only be created or duplicated by novas with a Quantum Trait of 6 or higher.

Story Seed: Stolen Lives


The inevitable has happened over fifty years earlya very powerful and Taint-warped nova has developed the capability to create Sub-Aberrants, and has begun experimenting with her new power on a group of abducted baselines. The player characters are a group of nova operativesofficial or otherwise who must investigate the kidnappings and shut the perpetrator down. How this is to be accomplished will depend greatly on how closely the Storyteller wants her Aberrant chronicle to conform to the canon Aeoniverse metaplot. If the canon metaplot is adhered to, the player characters must keep the existence and nature of Sub-Aberrants a secret from either the general public (at the minimum) or the entire world. If the canon metaplot is considered irrelevant, the player characters will have a much freer hand in stopping the perpetrator but also face the risk of setting off a media firestorm that could ruin baseline-nova relations for decades if it doesnt set off the Aberrant War early. In either case, the player characters will have an enormous job on their hands. In addition to dealing with an insane Quantum 6+ nova, they must also determine how they will deal with the Sub-Aberrants that she created. Is a quick and painless death the only thing the player characters can offer these unfortunates, or can some means be found to restore them to humanity and rationality?

Making Sub-Aberrants For Fun... and Profit!


While creating Sub-Aberrants as characters has been explained neatly, what does an aspiring would-be global (or interstellar) nova conqueror need in order to create them? The capability to create Sub-Aberrants is a new technique of the Quantum Authority quantum power (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 125-126), and is described below.

Taint Infusion
Area: One person Duration: Permanent The nova can forcibly infuse large amounts of harmful taint radiation identical to that produced by novas with the Black Thumb and/or Taint Bleed aberrations (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 94-96). Unless the target is willing or not actively resisting, he can resist this technique with a Willpower roll. Even one net success means that the nova has a new Sub-Aberrant minion. Failing the roll means that the Taint infusion attempt fails, while botching means that the target cannot be infused again for a full 24 hours afterward. When used on baseline humans lacking the M-R gene sequence it mutates them into Sub-Aberrants as described above. Every success the nova gains over the victims successes on a Willpower roll gives the Storyteller (not the nova or the Sub-Aberrant) 3 nova points to spend on the Sub-Aberrants powers. Successes over 5 still only give 15 nova points but allow the nova some degree of choice on what abilities the Sub-Aberrant develops. If the victim has any latent Inspired capabilities, those will be lost as the nova literally redesigns the victims biology. Active Inspired beings other than novas - psiads, psions, daredevils, etc. - cannot be transformed into Sub-Aberrants. Instead, the technique acts as an attack doing (Quantum + power rating) levels of aggravated damage to the Inspired victim, which is usually enough to kill him outright. Active novas cannot be affected with this technique.

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Biotech Nightmares
All of the previous listed advancements and innovations of biotechnology were designed with a clear, useful purpose. Whether it is a powerful weapon, a biosmelter or even a virulent disease, all of these were designed by (mostly) sane minds for understandable purposes. The following nightmarish creations were created by twisted minds for unfathomable purposes or to satisfy inhuman desires. The following items are the dreams and nightmares of the most twisted minds of the Nova Age given form, if not purpose.

Daphne Biocomputer
Producer: Unknown nova bioengineer/computer engineer Category: Transformed baseline human/biological petaflop supercomputer Description: Even by 2015, the truly powerful conventional supercomputers are still very much like IBMs Roadrunner and Blue Gene series circa 2009huge arrays of delicate components that consume multiple megawatts of electricity in order to function. By way of comparison, the brain of a typical baseline human already operates at a petascale in the course of supporting human-scale cognition, and does so much more efficiently if at a slower pace. In late 2015, evidence discovered by the Aberrants and relayed to sympathizers in the F.B.I. revealed that some deranged nova hypergenius had decided to take advantage of that untapped natural resource in a truly horrifying manner. Normal baseline humans were being abducted then transformed into quasi-vegetative lifeforms for the express purpose of using their brains as living supercomputers! Although agents of Project Utopia, Project Proteus, the Directive and law enforcement agencies worldwide are doing their best to hunt down the originator of this atrocity, the perpetrator remains at large. As of December 2015, only a few individual Daphne Biocomputers have been recovered and euthanized, since no method to reverse the transformation has been found. System: The process of making a moderately healthy baseline human into a Daphne Biocomputer involves a regimen of hypertech medical procedures involving tailored retroviruses and bacteria as well as several exotic drugs and synthetic neurotransmitters. Provided that the victim is kept sedated and on full life support, the process takes about three weeks to complete if not interrupted. The result is a slow metamorphosis of the victim from baseline human to a 1.5 meter long cylinder with a bulging dome at the top and thick roots sprouting at the bottom. The midsection is festooned with many leafy stalks and about twenty vines.

If planted in fertile soil and kept in a decent greenhouse environment, a Daphne Biocomputer can perform as the equivalent of a conventional 1 petaflop-range supercomputer with only the maintenance required by any humansized temperate region plant. Peripherals can be attached by way of the vines, although most will require separate power sources. Daphne Biocomputers can also be networked with each other for increased computing power. While no hard data has been documented, it is hypothesized that a networked array of multiple Daphne Biocomputers (Storytellers discretion as to the exact number required) could perform as an exaflop - 10 to the 18th power floating point operations per second - supercomputer. As for the brains of transformed victims, they will spend the vast majority of their time in an insensible fugue state. Not only is their processing power being used in distinctly nonhuman ways as biocomputers, but they will also have no sensory input aside from that incorporated into the biocomputer peripherals. Brief flashes of individual consciousness may occur when the biocomputer is in idle mode (not being used for anything), although most - those lacking Willpower ratings of 8 or higher - will be too traumatized and deranged by their transformation to accomplish much. Fortunately, the transformation process can be reversed if the victim is taken off the supporting regimen within the first week and given proper medical attention. Victims in the second week of transformation can only be saved by novas with Healing , while those in the third week cannot be recovered without the use of Biomanipulation. Another surprise is that the transformation simply will not work at all on any baseline human with even a partial Mazarin-Rashoud genetic sequence. Novas and other Inspired beings are automatically immune to the transformation. Daphne Biocomputers are an innovation, and can only be created and duplicated by novas.

Headhunter Trees
Producer: Unknown nova bioengineer/botanist Category: Botched(?) bioengineered flora Description: When nova hyper-intelligence and taintspawned mental disorders mix, the results are not guaranteed to be of any practical use. A fine example of this are the Headhunter Trees, the first of which was discovered during the spring of 2013 in Oklahoma by novas working for the United States Army. A few Headhunter Trees hidden in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area managed to decimate a Southern Baptist church travel group before the Army novas could deal with them. The Headhunter Trees victims did not survive the creatures subsequent deaths. Only a few more plantings of Headhunter Trees have been found throughout the southern United States since

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then, but law enforcement and wildlife agencies worldwidenot to mention Project Utopiahave been keeping an eye out for them and their still unidentified creator elsewhere. System: Headhunter Trees spend their first decade of growth as harmless saplings essentially identical to others of their base species. Their dormant mutations finally become active in their eleventh year, resulting in creatures with the following statistics: Physical: Strength 4, Dexterity 2, Stamina 5 Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 1, Wits 1 Social: Appearance 2, Manipulation 0, Charisma 0 Abilities: Awareness 1, Brawl 3, Might 1, Stealth 2 Willpower: 1 Health Levels: OK, -1, -1, -1, -2, -2, -2, -3, -3, -4, -4 Attacks: A Headhunter Trees branches can perform a Hold attack of seven dice on any human-sized target within 3 meters. Once the hold succeeds, the victim can be repeatedly bitten for 4 dice of Lethal damage per turn each time until the victim either dies or escapes. Although its branches can move, Headhunter Trees are otherwise sessile. Cranial Integration: A Headhunter Tree can take the head of a freshly-killed human victim and affix it into one of several special cavities within its trunk. Once affixed, the head will be kept alive and conscious by the Headhunter Trees special life-support organs. Despite being covered with a thin protective layer of bark, affixed human heads will face outward from the trunks core and can both view and hear their surroundings. While their mental capabilities are greater than those of normal trees by an order of magnitude, Headhunter Trees are still quite stupid when compared to nonsapient animals such as reptiles or marsupials, much less birds or mammals. It should also be noted that while Headhunter Trees have direct neural links to the brains of the human heads they affix to themselves, they have no capacity to comprehend or use any of the knowledge of their victims. However its possible a nova with Plant Mastery could access the skills and knowledge of a Headhunter Trees victim. It is currently unknown whether Headhunter Trees can affix the head of novas to themselves successfully, but that is considered unlikely by Utopian paraphysicians. Headhunter Trees are an innovation, and can only be created and duplicated by novas. the victim undergoing a spontaneous sex change. Since carriers of Heras Revenge normally have no idea that theyre contagious this disease can and has spread. No one has claimed credit for creating this bioweapon and the effects seem too extreme for Mother Nature to be the culprit. Some Utopian scientists speculate that it was someones idea of a joke that went too far. There are rumors that some people have deliberately infected themselves, then their partners, as a form of revenge in a dysfunctional relationship but thus far thats an urban myth. Vector: Contact (sexually transmitted) System: Victims exposed to Heras Revenge must make a standard Resistance roll. At the Storytellers discretion, victims with the Lusty Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 72) must make the roll at +1 difficulties. Success on the roll means theyre not infected. Failure means they become a carrier of Heras Revenge. A botch means over the course of a week the victim will be transformed by Heras Revenge. Victims undergoing transformation will experience no symptoms for the first two days, after which they will develop flulike symptoms during the third through sixth days. On the seventh day the victim will lapse into a 24 hour coma as the transformation process kicks into high gear, after which the victim will wake up physically transformed into a member of the opposite gender. Victims transformed by Heras Revenge are automatically considered carriers of the disease until they are cured of their infection. That said, clearing their systems of the virus will not reverse their transformation. Whether or not transformed victims of Heras Revenge will have their sexual orientation altered by the virus will vary widely with the individual victim (Storytellers discretion). Some will experience no such change at all, others may have repressed orientations come into full flower, while others can experience radical orientation shifts. Oddly enough, transformed victims are fully fertile and can bear or sire children (as appropriate) without difficulty, even if they were sterile before their transformation. Novas are naturally immune to Heras Revenge and cannot be infected. Heras Revenge is an Innovation, and can only be created and duplicated by novas. Antidote: Carriers and early-stage victims of Heras Revenge can be cured by anti-viral measures such as standard antibiotics, phage therapy or the use of quantum powers such as Healing or Biomanipulation. Restoring transformed victims of Heras Revenge to their original gender can be done by the Form Manipulation technique of the Biomanipulation power or, to a lesser degree, gender reassignment surgery.

Heras Revenge
Producer: Unknown nova bioengineer Category: Bioengineered virus, type unknown Description: Heras Revenge is a sexually transmitted disease that has no effect on most people but occasionally (roughly 10% of the time with normal baselines) can lead to

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The Murder Weapon
Producer: Unknown nova bioengineer/armorer Category: Ranged weapon Description: This item was first seen in late 2014 the hands of a disgruntled corporate middle manager in Chicago, who managed to hunt down and kill most of the corporations board members over a period of two weeks before being shot and killed himself by Chicago police. Project Utopia was quickly alerted once the police forensics examiners realized what the perpetrator had been using in the murders. Ever since, U.S. law enforcement agencies, Project Utopia, Project Proteus and the Directive have all been on the lookout for the nova who created what has been dubbed the Murder Weapon. Three more incidents involving Murder Weapons have occurred in Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City and Atlanta, but any clues as to whoever is making them and why they are being made have yet to be found. System: The Murder Weapon is a vaguely gun-shaped lump of flesh with a sphincterlike orifice at the tip of the barrel. This device can emit a blast of harmful bioelectricity which acts as a lethal Quantum Bolt once per scene without any costs, although not without inflicting side effects on the user (see below). Any further use of the Murder Weapon in the same scene requires that the user pay one point of temporary Willpower. Normally the Murder Weapon functions as the equivalent of Quantum Bolt at Quantum 2, but if the user pays a point of temporary Willpower he can add + and +1 Quantum to the Quantum Bolt. The user can also sacrifice a point of permanent Willpower to gain any one of the following extras on the Quantum Bolt; Aggravated, Burning, Extra-Range, Explosion, or Homing. The user can sacrifice as many temporary dots of willpower per use as he wants, however only one point of permanent Willpower can be sacrificed per Quantum Bolt. If the user is reduced to zero temporary Willpower, he will not only be subject to the compulsion of his Nature (Aberrant core book, p. 145) but will enter a psychotic break where the user will use the Murder Weapon on anyone he finds the slightest bit displeasing. If the user is reduced to zero permanent Willpower, this state becomes irreversible. The second drawback to the Murder Weapon is that using it on other humans is literally addictive. Upon first using the Murder Weapon, the user must make a Willpower roll at +3 difficulties. If successful, the user can get rid of the Murder Weapon without any further ill effects. If the Willpower roll fails or botches, the user gains the Addiction Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 71) at the 4 point level, focused on using the Murder Weapon to kill other humans. The Murder Weapon is an innovation and can only be created or duplicated by novas. It may be used by either baselines or novas.

Neurosupport Tanks
Producer: Unknown nova medical engineer Category: Life support system Description: The concept of disembodied human brains being kept alive and aware of their state has haunted the dreams of science fiction audiences for decades. While the technology would offer a means to survive past the death of the body - if one can truly call that state survival - the primal revulsion that sane humans have for it had fortunately stymied its development. It was inevitable that this atrocity would be made real in the Nova Age, as some novas will certainly have both the capability coupled with the lack of both medical ethics and sanity required to produce and use these monstrosities. The uses for Neurosupport Tanks include unethical experiments in neurology, keeping important people available for consultation past the deaths of the natural bodies and as perhaps the ultimate form of imprisonment. The Aeon Society will make a special point of keeping this horrific technology under wraps, going so far as to give both Utopia and Proteus standing orders to shut down anyone attempting to produce and/or deal in it by any means necessary. They will have no set policy for dealing with the victims of this technology, although euthanasia tends to be the only viable option. Not only are most such victims are driven insane by the trauma, as of 2015 brain transplants can only be performed by nova surgeons and human cloning technology is in the exclusive possession of Kuro-Tek. System: Neurosupport Tanks are total life support systems for sustaining either a humans disembodied central nervous system or a partially-vivisected human in a tank of support fluid. The former variety is about the size of a large automatic dishwasher, while the latter takes up as much space as a small bathroom. In both cases Neurosupport Tanks will require an uninterrupted supply of electrical power and constant medical supervision in order to keep the victims alive. Plumbing hookups for nutrient supply, suspension fluid and waste disposal are also required. Most Neurosupport Tanks will also have cybernetic nervelinks to provide the victim with audiovisual sensory input - those victims lacking nervelinks will still have their original eyes with which to view their surroundings. Occasionally victims will also be nervelinked to a computerized speech synthesizer so that they can communicate with their captors/keepers. At the extreme a victim can be nervelinked to a virtual keyboard and multimedia graphic interface. Victims will sometimes even have nervelinks to their pain and/or pleasure centers as a means of inducing cooperation with the touch of a button. In other cases, doses of certain drugs may be administered via the nutrient feed for similar reasons.

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Successfully preparing and installing a victim into a Neurosupport Tank requires an extended Medicine (Surgery) roll at +4 difficulties. Victims of Neurosupport Tanks will have negligible Physical Attributes and Appearance ratings in either case, as even those who retain portions of their original bodies other than the central nervous system will have been rendered physically helpless by their surgery. As the disembodiment process is traumatic in the extreme, only victims with Willpower ratings of 8 or higher can avoid developing one or more mental disorders as a result. At the Storytellers discretion, the victims may also suffer the equivalent of the Cold aberration (see Aberrant: Brainwaves) as most emotional responses are triggered by glands which the victim may no longer possess. For most victims the only escape from a Neurosupport Tank is death, although novas may have other options and can offer them to others as well. Neurosupport Tanks are advancements, and may be used and duplicated by baselines. additions and/or subtractions from the same Attribute are possible. Its unknown how long the victims have to seek medical attention before their Attributes begin to shift, but attempts to locate the disease post-shifting have thus far failed. Novas are immune to PDS due to their quantum-charged metabolisms. PDS is an Innovation and can only be created or duplicated by novas. Antidote: Its assumed that PDS can be cured by normal antibiotic measures or the Healing quantum power, but so far no one has attempted medical treatment until after the parasite has died. After Attributes have changed the effect is permanent, although nothing prevents the victim from spending experience to raise them or seeking out a nova with the Form Manipulation technique of the Biomanipulation quantum power.

The Ragadoz Symbiont


Producer: Unknown nova bioengineer Category: Bioengineered symbiont, origins unknown Description: Most medical advancements of the Nova Age are just as they appear - honest methods to restore full health to the sick and injured. This bioengineered lifeform dubbed the Predator Symbiont by the Hungarian Proteus agent who first encountered it in the fieldis not one of them. All cases of Ragadoz Symbiont infestation start out in the same manner: a terminally ill or severely injured patient who cannot receive a cloned or compatible donor organ transplant is offered an unofficial miracle cure. Lacking any other options other than succumbing to their injuries or sickness, more than a few such patients agree and take it. It works as promised for the first few weeks. The patients make recoveries that are nothing short of astounding. Its when the patients are restored to full health that the trouble starts, as the Ragadoz Symbiont begins seeking out new sources of diseased and or damaged flesh to consume. Things turn truly ugly when patients infested with the Ragadoz Symbiont begin seeking each other out, as their symbionts literally fuse their bodies into shambling monstrosities driven by an inhuman hunger. Thankfully, the Ragadoz Symbiont seems to be totally incapable of reproducing itself through either victims infecting others or producing spores. So far Proteus has dealt with two such infestations (both in Eastern Europe) and kept them and the associated collateral damage covered up, but its only a matter of time before the existence of the Ragadoz Symbiont is revealed to a horrified world. Proteus is still trying to figure out who is distributing Ragadoz Symbionts and stop them. So far they think he, she or they offers it to ten to twelve hospitalized patients in a city and then leaves.

Physiological Distortion Syndrome, a.k.a. PDS


Producer: Unknown nova bioengineer Category: Unknown but probably a bioengineered parasite similar to malaria. Description: PDS is believed to be a parasite akin to malaria which randomly subtracts and adds to its victims attributes. Its known not to be spread by person to person contact but its exact method of transmission is unclear. It might be some kind of parasite on mosquitoes but thats a guess. The disease itself is very subtle and so far victims have only sought out medical attention after the infectious agent has completed its work and then died. Vector: Unknown. System: Victims exposed to PDS must make a standard Resistance roll. If they make three or more successes there is no effect. For every success they have less than three, one Attribute will increase by one while another Attribute will decrease by one. Thus if a victim rolls one success they have two pair of Attributes affected. On a botch five pairs of Attributes will be effected. For every pair of Attributes affected, randomly select two different attributes with the first getting a +1 (limit 5) and the other getting a -1 (limit zero). Re-roll any Attributes above 5 selected for addition or any Attribute at zero selected for subtraction. Any Attribute rated at zero cannot be used by the victim, with the Storyteller choosing what specific effects having an Attribute at zero will have. A zero Appearance rating is either sheer hideousness or an utterly forgettable and boring visage, depending on which interpretation of the Attribute is used. A zero Stamina rating means that the victim is on the brink of death, etc. Multiple

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Vector: Ingested (comes in capsule form) System: Victims who unwillingly ingest a capsule of Ragadoz Symbiont cells must make a standard Resistance roll to keep it from infesting them. Success means that the Ragadoz Symbiont cells are destroyed by the victims own stomach acids and enzymes, and failure indicates infestation. The Resistance roll is waived if the victim takes it willingly. The Ragadoz Symbiont has a life cycle comprised of four stages, described below. Stage 1: After being activated by exposure to the victims digestive fluids, the Ragadoz Symbiont cells begin migrating through her body towards whatever organ or body part that is either severely diseased or seriously injured. Upon arrival the Ragadoz Symbiont cells will begin consuming and replacing the damaged/diseased tissue and mimic its normal functions. Within two to four weeks, the Ragadoz Symbiont will have restored the victim to full physical health. Stage 2: With the victim now healthy, the Ragadoz Symbiont begins producing excess Ragadoz Symbiont cells. Depending on the victims age and general physical health prior to their illness or injury, this stage can last anywhere from two to three weeks. The only abnormality victims will show at this point is a subconscious urge to be around severely ill and injured people (Willpower roll to resist), which they will usually rationalize as a desire to offer comfort to others who are suffering as they had been. Stage 3: The Ragadoz Symbiont begins to seek out new sources of diseased and severely injured human tissue. Toward this purpose the excess Ragadoz Symbiont cells have developed into a retractable tentacle tipped with a circular fanged mouth for devouring the diseased/injured flesh of other baseline humans. In game terms, this is the equivalent of the Tendril (Aberrant core book, p. 184) and Maw (see p. 153 of this book) body modifications. The victim will also develop the Addiction/Compulsion Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 71), focused on seeking out sick or severely injured baseline humans so that the Ragadoz Symbiont may feed on them. In most cases the tentacle will emerge from the victims abdomen, but cases have been known of it emerging from the victims mouth. This stage will last until victims encounter each other. Stage 4: If two stage three victims of the Ragadoz Symbiont meet, they will feel a compulsion to engage in close physical contact in a private location. This will happen without any regard for the victims emotional commitments, sexual orientation or personal opinions of each other. Once they are in physical contact, the victims will lapse into a coma for eight hours as their Ragadoz Symbionts fuse their bodies together into a single conglomerate creature. Said creatures formed from two victims will resemble bipedal tentacled mushrooms with the faces of its victims spaced out equidistantly on the mushroom cap. Creatures formed from two victims will have Physical Attributes and Perception equal to the higher of its component victims plus one. For example, the fusion of a Strength 1 and a Strength 3 victim would result in a Strength 4 creature. The creature will also have all the collective Health Levels of its victims and can soak lethal damage as a nova. The conglomerate creature will not have arms or sexual characteristics, but will develop two additional mouthed tentacles (for a total of three per victim) almost identical to that described in Stage 3 save for not being retractable. The conglomerate creature will possess Intelligence and Wits ratings of two and three dots respectively and will also be totally insane by baseline standards. Conglomerate creatures will have ratings of zero in all their Social Attributes. Conglomerate creatures will retain the compulsion to merge with whatever other conglomerate creatures and Ragadoz Symbiont victims they encounter. The new conglomerate creature will gain further Physical Attribute and Perception dots, additional Health Levels and tentacles as described above. Fortunately this growth does have limits, as seen below. Conglomerate creature maximum stats: Physical: Strength 8, Dexterity 4, Stamina 8 Mental: Perception 5, Intelligence 2, Wits 3 Social: N/A 24 Health Levels, 12 tentacles. The Ragadoz Symbiont cannot affect novas, who are automatically immune to it. The Ragadoz Symbiont is an innovation, and can only be created and duplicated by novas. Antidote: In the first two stages of its life cycle, a victims body can be purged of the Ragadoz Symbiont with the Healing quantum power. This requires healing the equivalent of one lethal Health Level at the first stage, or two to three lethal Health Levels at the second stage depending on the body part the symbiont has replaced. Once purged of the Ragadoz Symbiont, the victim will require either further healing or an organ transplant to replace the missing tissue. Curing a victim at the third stage requires healing six lethal Health Levels, as the symbiont will have made some radical alterations to the victims body by then. At the fourth stage little can be done except to give the victims a quick, painless death. Even if the Ragadoz Symbiont could be purged from the victims at this point without killing them from the stress, the psychological and neural trauma inflicted by the symbiont will have driven them quite insane.

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The Transformation Engine
Producer: Unknown nova bioengineer; unsubstantiated rumors hint at it having an extraterrestrial or extradimensional origin, but no one seriously believes that. Description: The Engine looks like a lump of chitinous flesh about twice the size of a grapefruit with a pale length of flesh roughly an inch in circumference extending about eight inches from the middle. System: The Transformation Engine attaches itself to the base of an unresisting (willing or incapacitated in some way) users spine, extending cillia into the body from that point and linking itself to the users central nervous system, this process would normally be excruciatingly painful, however the Engine causes a large amount of endorphins to be released, negating the pain and making the process very pleasant indeed. The engine can only attach itself to baseline humans. The users link to the Engine has four stages and the powers derived from it have a base dice pool of 4 plus an additional 2 dice for every stage past the first (10 dice at the fourth stage). The user of the Engine will, after initial attachment heal like a nova, which is useful as each use of the Engines powers costs a level of Bashing damage. The powers of the Transformation Engine may be used 5 times per scene. The Engine allows users in this first stage of attachment to use the Biomanipulation technique Body Manipulation by touch (small, almost invisible tendrils extend from the fingers). The user may also use the power on himself. After using the power 10+1d10 times the user progresses to the second stage of use. During the first stage the Engine may be removed simply by severing the tendril or by killing the blob of flesh with no physical side effects on the user. At the beginning of the second stage the user is incapacitated by a massive endorphin release from the Engine as it invades the users body, taking up residence in the abdomen, appearing as a large lump under the navel. The physical invasion takes roughly an hour. During the second stage, the user may now also make use of the Form Manipulation technique on himself. However, to fuel and sustain the changes made he must consume five pounds of raw, bloody meat daily to feed the Engine. The need for raw meat can be reduced if the user eats human brains instead, needing only one brain per week to sustain the Engine. After using the Body Manipulation power 15+1d10 times, consuming their Staminax3 human brains or having Stamina x 20 weeks pass after the beginning of the second stage the user will progress to the third stage of use. The Engine may be removed by either surgery (requiring an extended roll at +3 difficulty and requiring 10 total successes) or by use of Healing or the Health Manipulation technique at +2 difficulty. After extraction the user may suffer from lingering pain and malaise, giving a +1 difficulty on physical actions for six moths afterward unless further Healing or physical therapy is undertaken. In the third stage, the users flesh toughens granting +3/3 bashing and lethal soak, the users fingers, toes, arms and legs all lengthen noticably and they aquire the aberrations Hormonal Imbalance: Lust, Black Thumb and Feeding Requirement: Human flesh and brains (must be indulged weekly or begin starving to death). The abdominal lump from the Engine also grows 50% larger at this time. (if it comes up, a third stage or higher user counts as a Highly tainted nova for breeding purposes). In the third and fourth stages the user may use the Form manipulation power on others as well. To remove the Engine in the third stage requires an extremely difficult surgery, likely only performable by a nova surgeon (a +5 difficulty extended roll requiring 20 successes), the use of Healing or using the Form Manipulation and Health Manipulation techniques at +2 difficulty each. After removal, the user will be permanently down by one Health Level as well as still having the visible mutations without the extra soak or the aberrations. After Stamina x 15 weeks the user progresses into the fourth and final stage. In the final stage, the user mutates further, his flesh becomes misshapen and chitinous with a total soak bonus of +5/+5 basing and lethal, the users appearance is effectively 0 (or 5 if using Appearance variant Ugliness). The Engine is unremovable once the fourth stage has been reached. However, the user of the Engine now begins breaking down physically and mentally losing one dot of either Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Perception or Willpower per week, each week a different Attribute loses a point and no Attribute may be chosen for two weeks in a row. As soon as either Perception or Willpower are reduced to 0 the user becomes hopelessly psychotic and contiues to lose dots from other Attributes, as soon as any of the Physical Attributes are reduced to 0 the user convulses and dies, their bloated abdomen splitting open to reveal anywhere from two to five new Transformation Engines waiting for new hosts... The Transformation Engine is an innovation which can only be created or duplicated by novas but is usable by baselines.

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Gods and Monsters
As time goes on the occasional nova will attain a permanent Taint of 10 and becomes totally, completely and incomprehensibly inhuman. No longer novas, the term aberrants (as used in the Trinity setting) now fully applies to the creatures in question. Some become consumed by their powers, or become their powers, or transcend this universe or even die or kill themselves. Unfortunately for mankind death for aberrants reaching Taint 10 is rare. All aberrants are howling at the moon mad by human definitions, and some of them stay around to plague mankind. Aberrant antagonists with Taint 10 present unique problems for player characters and challenges for the Storyteller. For the Storyteller the issue is how to realistically present something that can often be mind-numbingly alien. Even something as absurd as he declares war on all things purple understates how divorced from reality an aberrants mindset can be, and with sufficient power the aberrants mindset might actually become the local definition of reality. Assuming that the player characters dont simply take the view of how do we kill it, they could be in the position of trying to relate to, understand or manipulate something totally beyond the ken of the players (although not necessarily the player characters). To make matters more complicated the Aberrant in question might actually be a former player character who has been watched by his fellows walking further and further down the twisted path of Taint accumulation. What follows is an attempt to make Storytelling that situation easier. Also provided are a few sample Aberrant Storyteller characters with Taint 10 ready for use either in your Aberrant chronicle or as handy examples for creating your own Taint-wracked abominations.

Ahriman, a.k.a. the Ahriman Hivemind and the Soul of the Beast
Summary: The entity that calls itself Ahriman began in a mindless state as a quantum-powered disease that created a unitary group mind for itself from the darkest portions of its hosts minds. Now that it has infected enough hosts to regain consciousness, it seeks to satisfy all the foulest desires and urges of its hosts in a succession of orgies of malevolent and self-destructive behavior. Then it starts over with freshly infected hosts, leaving the old ones to die. Background: Unknown. While clearly a nova who has developed a permanent Taint of 10, there is no information on who this being might have been before his or her eruption. A telepathic probe of an Ahriman host by a Proteus agent revealed remnants of a very reactionary (if twisted) Christian belief structure incorporated as part of its delusions, but no memories of existence as anything else. Allies and Enemies: Project Proteus considers Ahriman a serious threat to be dealt with immediately upon detection, which is difficult given its capabilities. Ahriman has also shown a strong interest in the Church of Astaroth, as such already damned humans are obvious allies in its infernal crusade. For their part, Ahrimans contacts via its hosts with the Church of Astaroth have left the Domitori - especially Mammon - more than a little unnerved. They wonder if this demonic being is truly their sixth Domitor (which theyve already identified as the Soul of the Beast) or a dangerous rival to the True Astaroth, but havent refused any of its requests yet as the sheer chaos it has causedand gotten away with!is so delightful... Concept: The Evil Within Nature: Monster

Allegiance: Church of Astaroth Attributes: Manipulation 5 + varies (drawn from baseline hosts) Abilities: Varies (drawn from baseline hosts) Backgrounds: Allies 5 (the Domitori), Backing 3 (CoA), Followers 3 (CoA), Node 2, others as per baseline hosts. Quantum 6, Quantum Pool 32, Willpower Varies + N/A, Taint 10 Aberrations: Allergic Reaction (raw ether, loses one Health Level of Lethal damage per turn of exposure), Amnesia, Delusion (believes self to be a discarnate demon, infernally appointed to irrevocably damn all humanity to Hell), Mindless (depends on the unitary group mind it creates for its sapience), Obsession (evoking human evil in all of its forms), Permanent Power (Bacterial Consciousness), Sociopathic. Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina (Suspension), Mega-Manipulation (The Voice), Mega-Charisma (Dreadful Mien, Natural Agitator). Quantum Powers: Bacterial Consciousness* (Extra: Affects Novas, requires spending 4 quantum points and 1 temporary Willpower point, Limitation: eventually kills baseline hosts), Groupthink (as the Consciousness Supremacy technique, Target Restriction: limited to the subjects dark side, Linked x2: Bacterial Consciousness). *Bacterial Consciousness: The nova can spread his consciousness to others by touch, destroying the minds of any victims as it asserts control. The minds remain linked in much the same manner as the Psychic Link quantum power, but there is no central point to the web of consciousness that opponents can target - they must destroy a significant proportion of the host bodies. The nova can dominate up to one thousand baseline humans without penalty, though

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unless the nova has the Affects Novas extra, novas are immune to this power and other Inspired beings can roll an appropriate Trait (Psi or Inspiration) + Willpower to resist. This is a Level 4 quantum power, with the roll used being Manipulation + Bacterial Consciousness. Method of Operation: Ahriman is spread through unprotected physical contact with an infected host, with nonporous garments being sufficient to prevent infection. Once it has infected a sufficient number of hosts (Storytellers discretion), Ahriman will start planning on how best to indulge the collective and varied depraved desires and urges of its hosts. If any of its hosts should survive the fun planned by the Ahriman Hivemind it ejects them from the mental fusion, leaving them emotional wrecks as the enormity of what theyve been doing sinks in. Former hosts have only a short time for remorse, as Ahriman will have caused severe and irreversible damage to their central nervous systems, leading to death within one hour. If left unchecked, Ahriman can and will depopulate small towns and wreak havoc on larger communities. Despite Proteus best efforts Ahriman hasnt died since its first awakening yet, thanks to its habit of keeping several Stage 2 hosts in reserve by means of its Suspension enhancement. System: Victims exposed to Ahriman may resist it in two ways (Storytellers discretion as to which applies). If treated as a disease, the subject can make a standard Resistance roll at +1 difficulties. Success on the roll means theyre not infected, with failure means theyve been infected. If treated as a form of telepathic possession, the subject can resist with a Willpower roll. Novas are immune to Ahriman unless it spends 4 quantum points and a temporary Willpower point. The usual nova defenses against disease and telepathic attacks still function as normal. Ahrimans life cycle is as follows. Stage 1: The host has been infected by Ahriman but is not yet able to infect others. This stage can last up to 1 week. Ironically at this stage its a good thing. Hosts with mental disorders or other mental Flaws get extra Willpower dice to deal with their problems (how many depends on the size of the Hive). Hosts are also cured of any personality problems and general impolite or unsociable behaviors. This is due to Ahriman literally sealing off the darker portions of the hosts personalities for later subsumption into the nascent Ahriman Hivemind, and are lost when a host is activated by it. Hosts at this stage are considered to have Charisma ratings two dots higher than normal (to a maximum of 5). Stage 2: Hosts infected by Ahriman must roll Willpower to resist joining the Ahriman Hivemind. The rare few who do manage to resist will purge Ahriman from their systems, but will suffer a -2 dice penalty on all rolls from the stress until they can receive skilled medical care. Hosts will feel a subconscious urge to touch other people in whatever manner is locally considered friendly and/or socially acceptable, infecting them with Ahriman. Ahriman can also tap into the perceptions and knowledge of its hosts and will begin making plans for the next stage. This stage will last until Ahriman feels it has enough hosts, but usually 1 to 3 weeks depending on population density and the difficulty of making unprotected physical contact. Ahriman can also use its Mega-Attributes and enhancements via its hosts at this stage. Stage 3: At this point Ahriman will deem itself to have infected enough hosts to ensure its survival, and will begin to indulge itself by activating some of its hosts. Such hosts will be used to satisfy all the depravity of its mental disorders without regard to the consequences to its hosts or uninfected bystanders and victims. Note that the activated hosts can still infect other people during this stage, but anyone infected will start at Stage 1. Due to the over the top outrageousness of many of the self-destructive behaviors the activated hosts will be engaging in, this stage will last for either a week or until the Ahriman Hivemind runs out of hosts that its willing to lose, whichever comes first. If confronted with a credible threat to its existence (typically the prospect of all of its hosts being cured or killed), the Ahriman Hivemind will activate all of its hosts in attempt to kill whoever is threatening it and/or escape to a new population center to start its lifecycle all over again. Stage 4: After Ahriman is done, it withdraws from any surviving Stage 3 hosts. If a host lasts long enough to reach the fourth stage, the Ahriman Hivemind will discard him and he will revert to his pre-infection mental state. Unfortunately by this time irreversible damage will have been done to the hosts central nervous system, resulting in the hosts inevitable death one hour afterward. It is possible for the Ahriman Hivemind to die if all of its hosts at Stage 2 and later are either cured or killed. If left alive and uncured, the remaining Stage 1 hosts will start the cycle all over again, resulting in the creation of a brand-new Ahriman Hivemind without any knowledge of its predecessor other than that provided by its Delusion aberration. If the hosts are separated by more than 500 kilometers, they can even end up forming two or more separate Ahriman Hiveminds. Fortunately for humanity (baseline and otherwise), Ahriman Hiveminds will react with implacable hatred toward their own kind and will seek to eliminate each other by any means necessary and/or available. Thanks to their quantum-powered immune systems, novas are automatically immune to Ahriman in normal circumstances. Antidote: Hosts infected by Ahriman can be cured by making them inhale the fumes from raw ether. Raw ether fumes will be disorienting to any hosts, but lethal to Ahri-

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man. Thirty seconds of exposure will kill Ahriman without harming the host. This does not deal with the brain damage done to Stage 3 or 4 hosts. A talented enough Healer nova might (Storytellers option) be able to save one but so far this hasnt been attempted. If a live sample of Ahriman could be captured and safely cultured in a medical lab, a permanent vaccine for it might be created by a medicallyskilled Mega-Intelligent nova. acquiring new baseline hosts, such as Seduction. Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 5, Taint 10 (Distractible, Fragile, Obsession: pleasurable activities, Permanent Power: Sizemorph, Sheer Hideousness, Sociopathic). Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina (Adaptability), Mega-Charisma (Seductive). Quantum Powers: Incorporation (Biological Amalgam) , Sizemorph (Shrink) . Health Levels: Hurt, Injured, Wounded, Maimed, Incapacitated. Soak: 7 Bashing, 3 Lethal. Brainspawn with hosts will usually have access to the hosts Resources and other Backgrounds. They tend to avoid a hosts Allies whenever possible, as such people who knew the host well could quickly notice the changes in the hosts behavior and intuit that something is very wrong. Brainspawn are treated as having the Deaf Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 71) as well as equivalent Flaws for touch, taste and smell when not inhabiting a baseline host. They also do not suffer dice pool penalties from pain when not inhabiting a host. Taking over a baselines body is accomplished through use of the Brainspawns Incorporation quantum power (see p. 230 of this book). If successful, the Brainspawn literally merges itself into the hosts cranium, destroying the hosts brain without killing the body. The Brainspawn also absorbs much of the hosts memories, allowing it to learn personal details about the host as well as steal the hosts Abilities, to aid in impersonating the host. When inhabiting a baseline host, the Brainspawn uses the hosts Strength, Dexterity and Appearance in place of its own. It also replaces the hosts eyes with its own, thus most Brainspawn try to pick new hosts based on the color of their eyes or failing that wear colored contact lenses or sunglasses. For the same reason, Brainspawn will never willingly undergo retinal scanning while inhabiting a host. Fortunately a Brainspawn has only a limited time to inhabit a host, as a combination of tissue rejection syndrome, adverse reaction to quantum energies and the self-destructive consequences of the Brainspawns own hedonism will cause the host body to die ten days after being taken over. Once a host body is dead, the Brainspawn will detach itself from it and begin searching for a new host. Most Brainspawn will make sure to have an incapacitated baseline on hand at the time for a quick and easy transfer. Brainspawn can never improve their quantum capabilities and can only learn new Abilities by stealing them from their baseline victims. Novas (or any other kind of Inspired being) cannot be taken over by a Brainspawn. The Brainspawn are an innovation and can only be created or duplicated by novas.

The Brainspawn
Producer: Unknown nova bioengineer Category: Botched(?) nova clones. Description: As far as anyone can determine, the Brainspawn are the result of a failed attempt of a nova mastermind (presumed to be highly Tainted) to clone him- or herself. The idea that the Brainspawn were deliberately designed to be as they are is something no one has been willing to talk about openly. A Brainspawn is a disembodied human central nervous system with about six thick nerve fiber bundles, four of which serve as tendrils and two short ones sporting human-looking eyeballs with blue irises at the end. They also have limited nova capabilities and firstinstar M-R nodes, which allows them to survive and move around without any need for items such as life-support tanks. Brainspawn are fully sapient, but their minds are just as inhuman as their physical forms. As disembodied brains, these creatures cannot feel pain and have no senses other than eyesight. This is especially frustrating for them since all Brainspawn are also sociopathic hedonists obsessed with physical pleasure in all its forms. They solve this quandary by invading the bodies of living baselines, after which the Brainspawn will seek to engage in a spree of pleasurable activities. It should be noted that as they have no human inhibitions, hosted Brainspawn will have a considerably wider definition of pleasureable activities than baseline humans. No kink or fetish is unappealing to them, no matter how extreme or depraved it may be. Most nova factions and baseline law enforcement agencies have made finding the creator of the Brainspawn and shutting his or her operations down - lethally, if need be - a high priority. As for the Brainspawn, they will be considered a threat to be disposed of immediately. System: In its natural state, a Brainspawn will have the following statistics. Nature: Hedonist Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 3, Stamina 5, Perception 4, Intelligence 3, Wits 3, Appearance 2 (Ugliness), Manipulation 4, Charisma 3. Abilities: 15 dots plus another 15 from whatever victim is currently hosting them. Brainspawn will typically retain whatever Abilities that are useful for obtaining pleasure and

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Crackhead
Summary: Once a stone-bodied nova, the taintwracked creature known as Crackhead has been shattered into a large amount of tiny pebbles that have literally been strewn across the North American continent, spreading his intoxicating effects with them. Background: The origin of the former nova known as Crackhead isnt a mystery at all; but he remains an ongoing headache for Project Utopia, law enforcement agencies and public health officials across Canada and the United States. A junkie in his baseline life, Crackhead erupted by blowing his mind on an overdose of illegal drugs and got the power to make people, including and especially himself, high and/or stoned. He also developed the Homunculus power, perhaps to reflect his increasingly fractured and unstable personality. As an attention seeker and rebel, it was perhaps inevitable he would end up in combat with Team Tomorrow. His final action as a nova was to pit his full power against Caestus Pax, who literally shattered Crackhead into small pebbles during their brief aerial combat two miles above Wisconsin. Unfortunately this wasnt the end of Crackhead. Thanks to the nature of his powers and his taint, being shattered and spread over a large area was simply trading one set of problems for another. In effect Crackhead has become a large number of cursed pebbles that call to people and then make them high. Normally this results in dysfunctional people, but every now and then he (apparently at random) produces a mixture of PCP, Mite, Soma, and attunement, resulting in a drug-fueled stoned werewolf rage with expected and unfortunate consequences. After the baseline victim burns out on Crackheads drug, the pebble fueling the problem is found by some new unfortunate baseline, typically starting the cycle all over again. Project Utopia has confiscated and destroyed a few Crackhead pebbles , but theres still a lot more of them out there. Worse, unknown to Utopia, destroying one Crackhead pebble just causes another one to expand and split into two new ones. Allies and Enemies: Project Utopia (and Proteus) have issued standing orders to their agents to confiscate and destroy any Crackhead pebbles they may come across. The Directive and other law enforcement agencies in North America have done likewise. As Crackhead has lost any cognizance of reality he has no allies to speak of, although some compassionate Terats might want to see if he can be euthanized as a mercy-killing. Nature: Rebel Allegiance: Independent Attributes: Strength N/A, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5, Perception 1, Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Appearance N/A, Manipulation N/A, Charisma 5. Abilities: N/A - what few skills Crackhead once possessed are long forgotten. Backgrounds: Node 3. Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 40, Willpower N/A, Taint 10 Aberrations: Absent-Minded, Obsession (drugging people), Permanent Power: Bodymorph, Permanent Power: Center of Attention, Permanent Power: Homunculus*, Schizophrenia and Uncontrollable Power: Poison. Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina (Adaptability, Regeneration, Resiliency), Mega-Charisma (Center of Attention). Quantum Powers: Bodymorph: Stone (Density Increase ), Flight (Reduced Quantum Cost), Homunculus , Poison (Reduced Quantum Cost, limited to drugs). Details: *- Crackheads Homunculus quantum power has him permanently locked into the homunculus swarm form, with Crackhead pebbles as the insect-sized creatures.

Nova X a.k.a. the Healer


Summary: Nova X is effectively living blood that gets passed from person to person, giving each in turn nova abilities and driving them mad before killing them. Background: Unknown. Obviously this is a nova who has developed a permanent Taint of 10, but exactly which nova has fallen to the taint is unclear. The known data on Nova X doesnt match up completely with any known historic nova. Its possible she(?) simply erupted this way but thats unlikely. Allies and Enemies: Project Utopia, the Directive and the Teragen believes Nova X is a high taint homeless nova with the powers to heal other people, shapeshift and teleport. They also are sure that she has some serious mental problems including an obsession with healing people. All of these groups have better things to worry about than a nova who wanders around healing people although some members of the Teragen occasionally try to recruit her. Project Proteus has a somewhat clearer idea of whats going on but isnt sure what to do about the situation and also has higher priorities. Nova X normally has a cult of followers that builds up around her. Nature: Martyr Allegiance: Independent Attributes: Stamina 5 + Varies Abilities: Meditation 5 + Varies Backgrounds: Cipher 5, Node 5, Followers 5 (cultists or randomly chosen baselines who have crossed her path), Resources 0 (sometimes varies). Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 40, Willpower Varies + N/A, Taint 10

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Aberrations: Nova X has no body, existing instead as ever-living blood that must inhabit a baseline host body. Her Taint also eventually destroys her host body, forcing her to switch hosts on a fairly regular basis. Nova X also has Amnesia (doesnt remember previous lives), Anima Banner (stigmata: bleeds when using her powers), Obsession (giving/using her blood), Rapid Hair Growth (the hosts scalp hair grows 2 inches an hour) and Schizophrenia. Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina (Regeneration), Mega-Charisma (Soothe). Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Dispersed Organs x2*, Body Modification: Universal Bloodtype, Healing (Reduced Quantum Cost, linked to Homunculus), Homunculus (Reduced Quantum Cost, limited to node and blood, linked to Healing), Incorporation (Biological Amalgam, Reduced Quantum Cost), Quantum Regeneration . Details: *- Nova Xs Body Modification: Dispersed Organs x2 is limited to her M-R Node and her blood which are functionally the same thing in her condition. - Body Modification: Universal Bloodtype (one nova point / three experience points): The novas blood can be transfused to any other baseline or nova without risk of rejection or toxic shock. - Nova X pays two quantum points per health level for her Healing power instead of one because of her linked powers and to fuel her regeneration of the damage she takes from using Homunculus. Any use of Healing on a baseline also infects the baseline with one Health Levels worth of her blood. Normally this blood will remain dormant and slowly die and/or be processed by its host body over the course of a year. - When Nova Xs current host dies, one of her seeded blood nodes will activate her Incorporation quantum power. If successful the seeded host ceases being a baseline with some nova blood and becomes nova blood with an Incorporated baseline. No matter how strong a hosts Willpower may be, Nova Xs Taint will overwhelm the hosts mind and eventually destroy her body. Most hosts will only last a week or at most two before their bodies die from Nova Xs Taint. Method of Operation: A baseline suddenly realizes that she (its not always a woman) has both the power to heal and the calling to do so. Unfortunately with her healing comes stigmata (her blood has to make contact with whoever she wants to heal) but even so at first this is a good thing. Perhaps shell heal her friends and family and make long range plans for her new life... obviously shes erupted as a nova. Quickly she gets caught up in the glory of healing and shell become more and more divorced from her old life. As time (hours, perhaps days) goes by her former personality is warped as her Nature changes and she gains all the listed aberrations. Shell realize that she needs to purge the world of illness and use the power of her blood to wash away sin. As a Martyr shell regain Willpower by using her powers to help others at her own expense, and shell go on huge binges of healing where she burns through Willpower points and Health Levels until she dies. And then one of the people she (or her predecessor) touched with her blood will begin the cycle anew. Normally a cult grows pretty quickly around Nova X but occasionally the nova will jump far enough away that they lose track of her. Cult members who become favored by God or who erupt with the powers of our founder instantly become the next leader but also tend to burn out faster. Project Proteus captured her once thinking theyd put her in a room by herself and prevent her from Healing (and contaminating) any more baselines, but the baseline host died anyway. Right now they think the only way to permanently deal with her would be to kill everyone shes healed over a several month period of time. This would be hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, most of whom arent cult members since many of the people who cross her path go back to their own lives afterwards. Clearly this would likely become a huge public mess so theyre resigned to living with the situation for now and just try to keep Nova X and her exploits out of the papers. Attempts at telepathic contact with Nova X have only reached the baseline host, as the Nova X herself has totally merged with her blood. Its been theorized that a host of Nova X could be cured of the contamination by replacing all of his or her blood, but implementing this would difficult if not impossible. Worse, even if it worked it would only make Nova X start transforming her next host. Proteus isnt sure what would happen to a nova host but Utopian novas are instructed to steer clear of her anyway. Its unknown how she picks a host with hundreds of candidates.

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CHAPTER ONE: BLOOD AND THUNDER


Combat in the Nova Age
If the only certainty of the Nova Age is that conflict is at hand, its to be expected that fighting will break out soon after. Some novas relish that opportunity, making it a major focus - if not the main focus - of their post-eruption lives. Other novas see it as a grim inevitability to be prepared for, while still others futilely attempt to avoid it altogether. In all three cases, its only a question of when - not if - they will face physical combat of one sort or another. For those Aberrant Storytellers and players who prefer more of an emphasis on physical combat than is given in the core book, here is a completely optional selection of combat-related material to broaden that focus. Included are new maneuvers, new rules for combat styles and their associated techniques, new stunts for novas to pull with their powers, new Merits and Flaws and expanded weapons listings. If conflict and combat are both inevitable in the lives of novas, there is one more question that must be answered: will they be ready for it?

Bite
An elementary maneuver that is often used in desperate, close quarters situations. While in a clinch or hold, rather than deal clinch damage or attempt to escape the hold, the character may make a contested Brawl roll. If successful he tears into his opponent with his teeth. A bite deals minimal damage (Strength -3, minimum 1 damage). On an exceptional success (5+), the damage dealt is lethal, but their opponent may still use their bashing soak to resist this damage. Ability: Brawl Difficulty: Normal Accuracy: Normal Damage: Strength-3 (minimum 1) bashing

Body Slam
Halfway between a Hold and a Throw, a Body Slam consists of simply picking up an opponent and then dashing him against the ground. A Body Slam can only be performed after a successful Hold has been established on the target. Once the hold is established, the following turn on her initiative rating, the fighter makes a Brawl roll resisted by the opponents Might. If successful, her opponent is driven bodily into the earth, dealing Strength +3 damage and automatically knocking the victim down. If this Brawl roll fails the victim takes no damage and may make an Athletics roll to avoid knockdown. A Body Slam cannot be performed against a target thats too heavy for the fighter to lift. Ability: Brawl Difficulty: Normal Accuracy: Normal Damage: Strength+3 bashing

New Maneuvers
Here are some additional choices for player characters to use in Aberrant chronicles with a heavier focus on combat than is average.

Absorb Blow
Sometimes, just being tough is enough. A character, rather than parrying, blocking or dodging, may steel themselves against a blow in order to gain a better position. The character may add their rating in Brawl (rounded up) + any Combat Style Specialty bonus dice to their bashing soak for the purpose of soaking a single attack. Using this maneuver doesnt cost an action, but does cost a Willpower point. Ability: Brawl 3+, either Stamina 4+ or Mega-Stamina 1+ Difficulty: none Accuracy: none Damage: none

Breaking Blow
Martial artists often demonstrate their skill by breaking items with a single blow. Wooden boards, sheets of ice, even bricks and cinder blocks can be sundered by experienced martial artists. By concentrating for 1 round then spending a point of Willpower, the martial artist can reduce the soak of the material they are striking by 3 points (minimum soak of

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1). This ability is only effective against rigid materials such as glass, ice, wood, or masonry. It is entirely ineffective against more pliant materials or living opponents. As a wise man once said, The board doesnt hit back. Ability: Brawl 3+, Martial Arts 2+ or Firearms 3+. Difficulty: Normal Accuracy: Normal Damage: Special

Feint
The attacker pretends to strike at one area, and then quickly strikes at a different area. Rather than making an attack, the attacker rolls Manipulation + (Archery, Brawl, Firearms, Martial Arts, Melee or Throwing). The opponent resists with Wits + (Archery, Brawl, Firearms, Martial Arts, Melee or Throwing). If the character is successful, their opponent loses two dice on their next defensive action against the character. The penalties from a successful Feint do not stack, but may be repeated. Ability: Archery, Brawl, Martial Arts, Melee Difficulty: Normal Accuracy: Normal Damage: None

Catch Limb
Sometimes, a fighter simply has to show his opponent whos the boss. Few things do that as well as catching your opponents attack. A fighter acting at a higher initiative may chose to delay his action in order to intercept his opponents hand to hand attack. The fighter makes a Brawl, Melee, or Athletics roll at a +2 difficulty instead of a normal defensive roll and spends a Willpower point. If successful, the fighters immediately make contested Might rolls (the defender gets extra dice equal to his net successes on the Brawl/Martial Arts/Athletics roll). If one opponent has Mega-Strength and the other does not, he wins without making a roll. If the attacker loses the Might contest, he is considered to be in a Hold (resolve as normal). The fighter may also make an Intimidate test against his opponent with a +1 die bonus. Ability: Brawl 4+ or Martial Arts 4+, either Might 3+ or Mega-Strength 1+ Difficulty: +2 Accuracy: Normal Damage: none, resolve Hold as normal.

Flying Kick
The character launches himself into the air and uses the added momentum to deliver a powerful kick. Additionally, both combatants must roll Athletics at a +1 difficulty or suffer a knockdown. Ability: Brawl or Martial Arts Difficulty: +2 Accuracy: Normal Damage: (Strength) +5

Head Butt
The classic bash them with your noggin maneuver. The fighter drives his head into the face of his opponent. An opponent successfully damaged by a Head Butt must roll Resistance at a +2 difficulty or be Dazed until their next initiative. The attacker must also make the Resistance roll, but at no difficulty modifier. Ability: Brawl Difficulty: +1 Accuracy: -1 Damage: (Strength) +1

Ear Box
The fighter slaps both of his hands against an opponents ears, causing air pressure to rush into his ears and inflicting both intense pain and temporary deafness. This attack is ineffective against targets lacking the proper organs. Ability: Brawl 2+ Difficulty: +1 Accuracy: -2 Damage: (Strength) bashing. The victim must also roll Resistance at +2 difficulty or be Dazed until their next initiative.

Joint Lock
A modified Clinch, in which the fighter focuses on a particular extremity of his opponent (popular targets include knees, elbows, shoulders, ankles and fingers). Rather than inflict the standard clinch damage (Strength +2), the fighter may instead make a contested Dexterity + Martial Arts roll against the targets Dexterity + Martial Arts or Strength + Might, as appropriate. Each net success scored by the attacker inflicts a -1 die penalty for any skill checks the opponent makes using the damaged limb (maximum -5). Damage to parts of the leg reduces the targets Dexterity by 1 per die of penalty for the purposes of calculating walking, running, and sprinting movement rates. Recovery from

Eye Gouge
Desperate and dirty as hell, the fighter rakes his opponent across the eyes with his fingers. This attack is ineffective against targets lacking the proper organs. Ability: Brawl, Martial Arts Difficulty: +3 Accuracy: Normal Damage: (Strength) -3 bashing, targets damaged by this attack are considered Blinded until their next initiative.

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these penalties is at a rate of 1 per day. Novas can apply their increased healing rates to their recovery times, and novas with Mega-Stamina reduce the penalties inflicted by a Joint Lock by 1 per dot of Mega-Stamina. Ability: Martial Arts 3+ Difficulty: Normal Accuracy: Normal Damage: Special throat or genitals). This attack is ineffective against targets lacking the proper organs. Ability: Archery, Brawl, Firearms, Martial Arts, Melee Difficulty: +3 Accuracy: Normal Damage: Normal for the attack, the victim must also roll Resistance at +2 difficulty or be Dazed for (damage taken) rounds.

Kip Up
The character may regain her footing immediately after a knockdown. Successfully using this maneuver allows the character to ignore the initiative penalty suffered after a knockdown. Requires the expenditure of a Willpower point, but is not counted as an action. Ability: Martial Arts 3+ and Athletics 3+. Difficulty: +1 Accuracy: Normal Damage: None

Quick Attack
The character sacrifices power for speed, lashing out with a quick, light blow. When using a Quick Attack, the character acts at 2 initiative points higher than what he rolled. This may only be attempted with punches, kicks, and weapon strikes. Ability: Brawl, Martial Arts, or Melee (must be taken as a specialty) Difficulty: (normal Maneuver difficulty) +1 Accuracy: Normal Damage: (normal Maneuver) -2

Lunging Strike
The character commits to an all-out attack, putting his full weight behind the blow, whether it be a haymaker punch or the deadly arc of a blade. This can cause massive damage but leaves the attacker exposed. Using the Lunging Strike maneuver with a Strike, Kick or Weapon Strike adds a +1 difficulty modifier to the attack, but grants a +2 dice bonus to damage. A Lunging Strike may only be attempted once per round and requires the expenditure of a Willpower point. In addition, the attacker also takes a +1 difficulty modifier to any other actions until their next initiative. Ability: Brawl, Melee Difficulty: +1 Accuracy: Normal Damage: (Normal Maneuver) +2

Riposte
The attacker makes a swift strike at an exposed opponent immediately after a parry. The Riposte takes a additional action and is made at +1 difficulties and +1 accuracy with normal damage. This can only be performed after a successful Parry of a melee weapon attack and may be defended against as normal. Ability: Melee 2+ Difficulty: +1 Accuracy: +1 Damage: as (Strength + weapon)

Shove
A shove is similar to a throw, with less of intent to injure and more to push an opponent down or away. The character simple pushes his opponent away. If successful the shove deals minimal damage (Strength bashing) but pushes the target back 1 meter for each point your (Might + net successes) total exceeds your opponents Might total. The opponent must also make an Athletics rolls at +2 difficulty modifier or suffer knockdown. An opponent who suffers knockdown takes an additional die of damage for every 2 meters they were pushed back. Characters with MegaStrength hurl the target back an additional meter per automatic damage success. Ability: Brawl, Martial Arts. Difficulty: Normal Accuracy: Normal Damage: Special

Mounted Fire
The character has mastered the art of using ranged weapons from the back of a riding animal or from a moving vehicle. Ability: Archery, Firearms, Throwing. Difficulty: +2 if firing at speeds less than 19 kph, +4 if firing at speeds of 64 kph or higher, +5 and higher if attempting difficult shots at speeds of 64 kph or higher. Accuracy: Normal Damage: Normal

Pressure Strike
The character strikes their opponent in a pressure point or other sensitive area of the body (such as the temple,

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Strangle
Simply choking the life out of an opponent. The character enters a clinch with her opponent. On the following turn, the character pits her Strength + Brawl/Martial Arts in a contested roll against her opponents against her opponents Endurance or Might dice pool, whichever is better. This otherwise functions as the Asphyxiation Attack maneuver (Aberrant core book, p. 246). This is ineffective against opponents that dont have to breathe. Ability: Brawl, Martial Arts, Melee. Difficulty: Normal Accuracy: Normal Damage: Special

Combat Styles
Given that the world of Aberrant can easily be seen as a time when myths and legends have been made flesh, its no surprise that the arts of personal combat - themselves a rich source of myth and legend - fit into it quite well. While they are overshadowed by the quantum capabilities of novas, the special feats that true masters of these formalized fighting systems are capable of should never be underestimated. Aside from giving highly-skilled baselines a fighting chance against the lowest-powered novas, the combat styles can reach heights previously seen only in the most outrageous anime and Hong Kong wuxia movies when mastered by novas. A few novas are even known to have created their own combat styles, with the Terat Geryon being the most well-known. With conflict being a certainty in the Nova Age, mastery of the combat styles could make the difference between survival or an untimely demise.

Target Leading
The attacker can track a moving target and predict his actions by reading his body language, allowing her to shoot at where she thinks the target will be and hit him. For each turn spent leading the target the attacker can add one die to her accuracy, limited by her total Perception rating, on a single shot. The use of scopes may or may not add to the attackers pool depending on the circumstances (Storytellers discretion), if they do using a scope will add two dice. If the attacker has Mega-Perception she may add those Mega-dice to her dice pool if shes already added in her base Perception dice.

Combat Style Specialties


Combat style specialties are a modification of the rules for skill specialties that apply specifically to Combat Abilities (Brawl, Firearms, Martial Arts and Melee). The following are the general guidelines of how combat style specialties work. These are used for both interpreting the styles presented below and for providing a framework for creating styles of your own. A character gains a combat style by taking an Archery, Brawl, Firearms, Martial Arts, or Melee Ability specialty in that style. A character may normally have only 3 specialties per Ability, but unlike other specialties a combat style specialty may be selected multiple times for the same style. This is a special exception to the regular rules for skill specialties. The intensely specialized nature of combat style specialties requires much more training to learn. Each combat style specialty costs 2 experience points (or 2 bonus points, or 1 nova point) to learn per specialty, rather the usual 1 experience point (or 1 bonus point) per specialty. Combat styles are associated with a particular combat Ability (Brawl, Martial Arts, or Melee). A character may only take combat style specialties for that associated Ability. Combat styles require a certain amount of basic ability or fitness to be properly learned. Each style has a list of prerequisites that must be met before a specialty can be taken in that style. The first combat style specialty selected grants the character 3 style maneuvers. Each specialty after the first grants an additional style maneuvers, up to a maximum of 5 maneuvers per combat style. Certain advanced techniques or Merits may grant even more style maneuvers beyond this limit. Additional style maneuvers can only be selected from

Weapon Bind
The character attempts to entangle his opponents weapon with his own. This is treated as a Hold maneuver with Melee used instead of Brawl (or Martial Arts) and can only be used against an opponent armed with a melee weapon. If the target remains immobilized, on the following turn the attacker may make a Disarm attempt with an additional bonus die. The target may always automatically escape a Weapon Bind on their action by dropping their weapon. Ability: Melee Difficulty: Normal Accuracy: Normal Damage: None

A Question Of Authenticity
What follows are our best interpretations of several of the more widespread martial arts found around the globe. That said, were only human and there are sure to be some inaccuracies in them that weve failed to spot and correct. If any readers who are well-versed in said martial arts should find any mistakes in our interpretations, we encourage you to change them as you see fit before using them in your Aberrant chronicle.

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the bonus style maneuvers listed for that combat style. Characters are not restricted to a single combat style. As long as they are not at their maximum of 3 specialties per Ability, they may select their specialties for different Combat Styles. A Character could have up to 3 specialties in a single combat style, 2 specialties in one combat style and 1 specialty in another or 1 specialty in 3 different combat styles. A character with Ability Mastery (Adventure! core book p. 138) can have 4 specialties for the relevant Ability, but is still limited to a maximum of 3 specialties in any one style. The 1st and 3rd combat style specialties for specific style grant the character a (cumulative) +1 accuracy die bonus to those styles maneuvers. The 2nd combat style specialty for a specific style grants a +1 damage bonus to a specific maneuver (determined by combat style). Combat style maneuver bonuses only apply to rolls made with that styles associated Ability. Characters using a style associated with multiple skills must select which associated skill they are using when the Combat Style is learned. This cannot be changed later. The maximum style maneuver bonus that can be applied to any given combat maneuver is +3. Each combat style has a number of associated advanced techniques. Characters pay 2 fewer experience points when learning advanced techniques associated with their combat style specialty. of ki (the Japanese term for chi) energy and places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement. While Aikido is known as a peaceful martial art that eschews the punches and kicks of other forms, some variations do employ strikes to set up an opponent for a throw or joint lock. Some Aikido practitioners also train with the bo staff, tanto and bokken for offensive and defensive purposes. Associated Skill: Martial Arts; Aikido is focused on being able to neutralize an opponent without either sustaining or inflicting harm, which requires a degree of finesse most brawling styles lack. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2 and at least 3 dots of Wits and Dexterity. Some schools also teach weapons so a few dots of Melee are common but not mandatory. Time to learn: 6 months per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Block, Hold, Throw. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Catch Limb, Disarm, Joint Lock. Advanced Techniques: Falling Technique, Kata, Kihon, Meditative Form, Multiple Assailant Method, Soft Hand Technique, Swift Grapple. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Throws; learn 1 style maneuver from the Aikido bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Aikido bonus style maneuver list.

Aikido
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to by his title O-Sensei or Great Teacher) in the mid-1920s. The name Aikido means The Way of Harmonious Spirit, which embodies the principles O-Sensei adopted from the Omoto-Kyo religion (neoShinto movement). O-Sensei is said to have been greatly influenced by the martial arts of Aikijutsu (also known as Aiki-jujutsu) and Kenjutsu. The central tenet of Aikido is to control aggression without inflicting injury, and much of the arts underlying philosophy is to defeat an opponent without truly injuring them. Many practice the art as both an effective method of self-defense and for its value as a philosophical metaphor for peaceful conflict resolution. The art is also popular with Japanese law enforcement and police officers frequently learn it so they can subdue suspects without injuring them. On a purely physical level Aikido is an art involving some throws and joint locks that are derived from traditional Aikijutsu as well as some throws and other techniques derived the sword movements of Kenjutsu. Along with incorporating elements of these older arts, Aikido emphasizes evasion, redirection of an opponents attack and development

Archery
One of the most ancient combat styles, archery developed wherever good wood - or at least horn, bone and sinew - to make bows could be found. Originally an efficient way to hunt game animals, early archers quickly adapted it to use in battles with their enemies. The bow and arrow remained the standard of ranged combat for centuries until they were eclipsed by reliable firearms. Despite this, archers still practice this style as a sport, meditative practice or simply a handy way to bring down prey in the wild. The two most notable forms of archery as a combat style are Japanese Kyujutsu and European foot archery. Kyujutsu emphasized shooting at targets with very small gaps in their armor and shooting from horseback at a full gallop. Some kyujutsu masters were said to be capable of striking a victims pressure points with an arrowshot with surprising effects. Most European archers fought as infantry, providing massed volleys of arrows to wreak havoc among their enemies, damaging flesh and their morale. As individuals, they often displayed feats of extreme bowshot accuracy. Both forms had masters develop methods of hitting targets that were hidden or considered too distant (by most people) for an archer to hit. Modern Olympic archery and Kyudo

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have been refined into competitive sports, with the latter retaining significant cultural importance in modern Japan. Associated Skill: Archery, occasionally Melee and/ or Ride. Many archery styles make a point of being able to shoot from horseback, while certain historical Western archers are known to have used the bow as a last-ditch melee weapon against close combatants (the bow is treated as a club in this case). Historical archers will always have a medium or small melee weapon to act as a backup, even if its only a knife. Prerequisites: Archery 2, three dots in Dexterity and two dots in both Strength and Perception. Archers attempting to use the heavier bows or crossbows may need Strength 3 at the Storytellers discretion. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Aiming, Combat Reload, Dodge, Multiple Shots, Combat Reload, Special (Archers gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have either the long bow or short bow as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique). Bonus Style Maneuvers: Blind Fighting/Fire, Feint (Archery attacks only), Mounted Fire, Pressure Strike, Target Leading, Two Weapons (variant, covers firing two arrows from the same bow at the same time, sometimes at different targets). Advanced Techniques: Counting Coup, Kiaijutsu, Pressure Secret, Zen Targeting. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Archery attacks; learn 1 style maneuver from the Archery bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Archery bonus style maneuver list. foe. Students training in Bojutsu will receive some training in Naginatajutsu - even the men - although only those masters who emphasize traditional jojutsu (Japanese club fighting) will also train their students in the use of the O-Dachi or NoDachi greatswords. Associated Skill: Melee, Bojutsu/Quarterstaff is a style defined by its main weapon. Bojutsu/Quarterstaff stylists will often have dots of either Brawl or Martial Arts for when they dont have a weapon at hand. Prerequisites: Melee 2, Martial Arts 1 and at least 3 dots in both Dexterity and Wits. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Feint, Shove, Weapon Length, Sweep, Weapon Strike, Special (Bojutsu/Quarterstaff practitioners gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the staff as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique.) Bonus Style Maneuvers: Clinch, Disarm, Hold, Joint Lock, Lunging Strike, Pressure Strike, Riposte, Strangle, Two Weapons, Weapon Bind. Advanced Techniques: Combination, Multiple Assailant Method, Expanded Technique, Pressure Secret, Stop Hit. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Weapon Strikes; learn 1 style maneuver from the Bojutsu/Quarterstaff bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Bojutsu/Quarterstaff bonus style maneuver list.

Boxing
The origins of boxing dates back to ancient times and versions of this type of fistfighting can be found the world over. Boxing (as it is known today), gained prominence in England during the 18th Century. While primarily a sport, boxing is a formidable combat style and its striking techniques have been adopted by many other styles. A boxer will stand with her feet a shoulder length apart. From there she will bob and weave around her opponents strikes in order to get into a good position, and then come in after their target with a series of jabs, punches and uppercuts. Footwork is an extremely important part of this as they have to be able to move from the knees quickly and stay stable at all times. Associated Skill: Brawl or Martial Arts; powerful welterweights and heavyweights tend to rely on overwhelming power while lighter weight classes rely on footwork and hand speed. Prerequisites: Brawl 1 or Martial Arts 2, Strength 3, Stamina 3.

Bojutsu/Quarterstaff
Another ancient weapon found worldwide, the use of fighting staffs was very popular until the introduction of reliable firearms. Not only was the basic weapon relatively easy and cheap to make, improvised versions were created whenever the head was broken off a polearm weapon such as a pike, spear or naginata. Staff-fighting reached its greatest heights in historical Japan and Europe, and is still widely taught in modern Japan where it holds considerable cultural value as a core element of classical martial arts training. The historical European martial arts movement has also revived training in Western staff-fighting, but has yet to match the spread of Bojutsu. Many lengths of staffs were used, although quarterstaffs ranging from 1.8 to 2.4 meters were most common. The use of short staffs and spears were also taught, typically for when ones quarterstaff was broken by a

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Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Strike, Block, Dodge. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Head Butt, Hold, Lunging Strike, Quick Attack. Advanced Techniques: Combination (Striking), Conditioning, Footwork, Iron Hand, Knock Out, Rugged. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Strikes, learn 1 style maneuver from the Boxing bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Boxing bonus style maneuver list. ives, Israeli Krav Maga and Chinese San Shou. Such training is available of many military and para-military organizations across the globe. Commando Training is properly a mixed Martial Art and borrows techniques from a variety of other styles, emphasizing a mentality of using whatever works. The fighter will usually stand with his legs a shoulder length apart and his fists up near his shoulders. From there he will use a series of basic kicks, punches, or throws. Commando Training also includes a number of painful holds and locks. Associated Skill: Brawl; The intense physicality of military hand to hand combat training favors the power typical to Brawl-based combat styles. Prerequisites: Brawl 2, Firearms 2, 3 dots in all Physical Attributes (or at least 1 dot in the equivalent Physical MegaAttribute) and a military or paramilitary background. Time to learn: 6 months per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Strike, Kick, Throw. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Clinch, Disarm, Joint Lock. Advanced Techniques: Conditioning, Hard Target, Knock Out, Lethal Force, Master Lock, Mixed Martial Arts. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Throws, learn 1 style maneuver from the Commando Training bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Commando Training bonus style maneuver list.

Capoeira
Capoeira was developed in Brazil by slaves shipped from Western Africa. Capoeira is a martial art, but it is also played as a game or ritual dance. While the specific origins of the style are under debate, Capoeira was used not only as a form of self-defense, but a way to share culture, lift spirits and defy oppression. The fundamental movement of Capoeira is the ginga, a rhythmic motion (often in time to music) made by maintaining both feet approximately shoulder-width apart and then moving one foot backwards and then back to the base, describing a triangular step on the ground. This movement is done to prepare the body for other movements. Capoeira focuses on feints, kicks, and sweeps, as well as acrobatic motions such as somersaults, flips, and cartwheels. Capoeira does not frequently use hand strikes, often substituting elbow strikes when necessary. Associated Skill: Martial Arts; Capoeira is centered on agility, fluidity, rhythm, and finesse. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2, Athletics 3, Perform 1 (with a specialty in Dance); Dexterity 3. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Kick, Sweep, Dodge. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Feint, Head Butt, Flying Kick, Kip Up. Advanced Techniques: Acrobatic Evasion, Au Batido, Combination (Kicks), Falling Technique, Footwork, Torque. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Kicks; learn 1 style maneuver from the Capoeira bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Capoeira bonus style maneuver list.

Escrima
As used here, the term Escrima covers an ancient body of hundreds of the martial arts originating in the Philippine Islands. Known collectively as the Filipino Martial Arts, this includes styles such as Arnis, Kali and Dumog among many others. In all cases, the motions of Escrima are all based on the use of Escrima sticks, which range in length from 15 to 91 centimeters (treat as clubs). In addition to weapon strikes which can cripple or kill a target, skilled escrimadors can use the sticks to disarm immobilize and choke foes to death. Once the guro (the Escrima master) is satisfied that the sticks are mastered, students are taught to use the same maneuvers with blades, which range from knives to machetes and the kris (a short wavy-bladed sword). Only after then will escrimadors be trained in unarmed combat maneuvers. Escrima is a notably aggressive combat style and works from the assumption that ones foes will be armed and must either have their capability to attack destroyed or be killed outright. Many Escrima strikes are targeted to the foes hands and arms, in hopes of severing the controlling tendons and/or nerves or breaking the supporting bone. Other Escrima strikes target the foes legs or eyes for the same reason. Escrimadors are also taught to be very

Commando Training
Commando Training is a generalized type of hand to hand combat taught to soldiers and military personnel the world over. Such disciplines include the U.S Army Combat-

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cautious, as foes are assumed to be highly trained and prepared with lethal surprises such as a hidden knife. For this reason there is no such thing as dirty fighting according to this philosophy as even biting ones foe is accepted as a desperation tactic. Associated Skills: Melee and Martial Arts. As it developed as a means to make ordinary villagers into effective combatants training in Escrima always starts with Melee, with instruction in Martial Arts reserved for more advanced students. Escrimadors will also have some dots in Tactics (Aberrant Players Guide p. 88), as Escrima relies heavily on it. Those trained in more traditional schools will also have dots in Archery, Throwing (with knives) and Medicine with the First Aid specialty. Prerequisites: Melee 2, Martial Arts 1 and a minimum Wits of 3. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Dodge, Disarm, Parry, Riposte, Two Weapons, Weapon Strike, Special (Escrima practitioners gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the club as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique.) Bonus Style Maneuvers: Bite, Clinch, Hold, Joint Lock, Lunging Strike, Pressure Strike, Strangle, Weapon Bind. Advanced Techniques: Cheap Shot, Combination, Expanded Technique, Footwork, Killing Stroke, Master Lock, Mixed Martial Arts, Multiple Assailant Method, Pressure Secret. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Weapon Strikes; learn 1 style maneuver from the Escrima bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Escrima bonus style maneuver list.

Fencing
Fencing is a combat art derived and descended from the rapier combat and dueling forms popular throughout Europe during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Fencing focuses on rhythm and timing, with each motion of the sword representing a single tempo and combinations being thought of in single, double, or even triple time. Depending on the fencers school or methodology, blade strokes involve both cutting and thrusting, which more modern methods (such as Olympic fencing) focusing almost entirely on the far deadlier thrust of the blade. Of the several style and schools currently in practice, the most common is Olympic fencing. Olympic fencing is a distillation of the principles of swordsmanship into a competitive sport. It focuses on the use of specialized weapons such as the foil (a light thrusting weapon), the epee (a heavier thrusting weapon that is modeled after the rapier) and a sports-modified version of the saber (a light cutting and thrusting weapon). Olympic fencing is widely practiced and is one of only four sports to have been featured in every modern Olympics. Classical fencing is a martial fencing style and is considered a much more authentic combat art. It has little emphasis on sport competition and traces its roots back earlier than Olympic fencing, as it is patterned on the fencing methods of the 16th and 17th Centuries. These fencing schools focused on cut and thrust style swords (which were popular for both ornamentation and self-defense, which eventually evolved into the rapier, which enjoyed prominence during the 17th Century. Individual masters also published treatise on the use of a much wider variety of weapons, including the main-gauche style, which used a weapon or object in the off-hand (usually a buckler, dagger or even a cape) to aid defense or provide additional offense. Associated Skill: Melee, Fencing is a signature weaponbased style. Prerequisites: Melee 2, Athletics 1 and at least 3 dots in Dexterity and Wits. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Dodge, Parry, Special (Fencing practitioners gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the foil as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique.) Bonus Style Maneuvers: Disarm, Feint, Lunging Strike, Riposte. Advanced Techniques: Combination, Counting Coup, Defensive Pattern, Finesse, Footwork, Press the Advantage, Stop Hit. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Weapon Strikes; learn 1 style maneuver from the Fencing bonus style maneuver list.

Combat Styles Are Not Childs Play


Success at having learned a Combat Style represents not only a good chunk of the students life, but also indicates a level of personal focus and dedication that is generally found only among most adults and some adolescents. While they may have dots in the Combat Abilities, children will not have any Combat Style specialties. Nova children (and other Inspired children, at the Storytellers discretion) are an exception to this, and most likely will have been trained from birth in their Combat Style by a master who is also the childs parent, mentor or other caregiver.

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3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Fencing bonus style maneuver list.

Jujutsu (Judo)
Jujutsu (and its more modern offshoot Judo) are Japanese martial arts that focus on soft techniques of leverage, indirect force, and using an opponents strength against them. The older Jujutsu was a more direct combat art originally used by the samurai. It employs a large variety of fighting techniques, including maneuvers that would be considered dirty such as eye gouges and hair pulling. Judo methods are gentler (so to speak), and rely more on refined throws and grapples. In addition to Judo, Jujutsu has spawned dozens of individual schools and variants. Both Jujutsu and Judo are widely practiced as sports and for self-defense, and have spawned techniques used in mixed martial arts competitions. Associated Skill: Martial Arts; Applied force, leverage and position are more important than raw power for judo and jujutsu. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2. Characters must decide to specialize in either Jujutsu or Judo and access the bonus style maneuvers for that form. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers (Both): Clinch, Hold, Throw. Bonus Style Maneuvers (Jujutsu): Eye Gouge, Joint Lock, Pressure Strike, Strangle. Bonus Style Maneuvers (Judo): Joint Lock, Submission Hold (see Aberrant: XWF p. 23), Strangle. Advanced Techniques: Expanded Technique, Falling Technique, Kata, Kihon, Kiaijutsu, Leg Scissors, Master Lock, Reversal. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Clinches (Jujutsu) or Throws (Judo), learn 1 style maneuver from the Jujutsu or Judo bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Jujutsu or Judo bonus style maneuver list.

Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do is a martial art developed by the famous martial artist/actor Bruce Lee. Its name means Way of the Intercepting Fist and embodies the martial philosophy of the late master. Feeling that more traditional martial arts were overburdened by the weight of tradition and a over-reliance on static, inflexible form, Jeet Kune Do was designed to be formless, focusing on fluidity of motion and the use of simple, direct and efficient maneuvers. Lees opinions of more traditional martial arts (which he once referred to as a classical mess) were controversial at the time, and many masters of older styles still look upon JKD with disdain. Jeet Kune Do is a synthesis of Kung Fu principles, blended with Boxing, Fencing, Wrestling and many other styles and is considered by many one the foundations of modern mixed martial arts. The heart of JKD training involves contact sparring and athletic cross training over the traditional repetition of forms, and adheres to the principles of efficiency, directness and simplicity. JKD fighters strive to remain adaptable, to use force to interrupt or throw off an opponents attack, and to waste as little energy or motion as possible. As such, JKD fighters tend to keep moving in order to best anticipate, counter and intercept the maneuvers of their opponents. Associated Skill: Martial Arts. Jeet Kune Do stresses speed, reflexes, and finesse. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2 and at least 3 dots of Athletics, Dexterity and Wits. Jeet Kune Do artists frequently have at least a dot of Melee as well. JKD practitioners are encouraged to adapt methods and techniques from other styles and many have the World Warrior Merit or buy the equivalent technique. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Strike, Kick, Block. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Clinch, Dodge, Feint. Advanced Techniques: Combination, Expanded Technique, Finesse, Footwork, Mixed Martial Arts, Stop Hit, Trapping Clinch. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to a style maneuver of the Jeet Kune Do artists choice, learn 1 style maneuver from the Jeet Kune Do bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Jeet Kune Do bonus style maneuver list.

Kalaripayit
Kalaripayit is a word that roughly translates to battlefield practice. It is an ancient system of combat that originated in India at least 1,300 years ago. It is thought by many to be the oldest martial art in the world, and some credit it with inspiring Chinese Buddhist monks to develop their own martial arts styles. It is an enormously well-rounded style, with 4 main areas of training; Maithari (body training), Kolthari (stick fighting), Ankathari (metal weapons) and Verumkai (empty-handed fighting). True gurus of the form master the additional areas of Chiktsavidhikal (holistic medicine and massage), Manthrathantra (meditation and religious training) and Marmagnanam (pressure point techniques, individually known as marma). The two primary

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methods are the Northern Style and Southern Style, but a wide range of other variations exist. Northern Style techniques focus on high leaping and kicking, as well as striking and blocking with the hands and arms, and are almost always taught indoors and at night to maintain secrecy. Northern Style is especially noted for extensive use of medicinal massage. Southern Style focuses on developing empty hand and weapon techniques, uses more circular motions and are usually taught outdoors in simple training pits. Southern Style is well known for its use of offensive pressure marma techniques. Training for both schools consist of grueling regimens of strenuous exercise, body-twisting forms and full-contact sparring. Kalaripayit was expressly forbidden by during the British occupation of India, and degenerated into a form of ritual dance during most over the 20th Century. However, a revival movement began in the late 1970s and the style has experienced an enormous upswing in popularity in the following decades. Kalaripayit is often used as the combat art of choice for the heroes of Bollywood action films. When the aspiring guru selects a style, he must choose his bonus style maneuvers from either Northern or Southern Style listings. Certain advanced techniques may only be selected by gurus of the appropriate style. Associated Skill: Martial Arts; the wide body of techniques taught by Kalaripayit favor flexibility, speed and conditioning over raw power. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2, Melee 2, Athletics 3, Endurance 2, Medicine 1; Dexterity and Stamina at 3 or better (or at least 1 dot in the equivalent Mega-Attributes). Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Strike, Kick, Special (Kalaripayit practitioners gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the club or staff as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique.) Bonus Style Maneuvers (Northern): Block, Flying Kick, Lunging Strike, Pressure Strike. Bonus Style Maneuvers (Southern): Clinch, Parry, Pressure Strike. Advanced Techniques: Acrobatic Evasion (Northern), Chi Respire, Conditioning, Kata, Meditative Form, Pressure Secret, Torque (Southern). 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to a style maneuver of the Kalaripayit practitioners choice; learn 1 style maneuver from the Kalaripayit bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Kalaripayit bonus style maneuver list.

Karate (Hard Technique & Soft Technique)


Karate is a Japanese style developed from a variety of Chinese and indigenous combat styles. It is credited to have begun in Okinawa, but has spread across the world in the decades following World War II. Like many other combat forms, it is popular as a sport and method of exercise in addition to its self-defense uses. Karate is primarily a hard style, employing punches, chops, kicks, elbows, and knees; but soft techniques, employing grapples and throws are also prominent. Karate training methods focus on kihon (basic or fundamental techniques), kata (set forms and repetition of techniques) and kumite (sparring). Karate also employs training in weapon techniques. Karate has many schools, ranging from the direct force Kyokushin and Shokotan-Ryu, to the indirect force principles of Wado-Ryu. Karate also has a philosophical element, and karateka (karate practitioners) are taught to be gentle and humble, and to use their fearsome skills only when sincerely endangered. Associated Skill: Martial Arts; technique is extremely important in Karate. While power-based fighters can learn karate, it is difficult and most favor hard-style techniques. Most karateka also posses one or more dots of Melee. Prerequisites: Brawl 3 (Hard Technique only) or Martial Arts 1, each Physical Attribute at 3 or better (or at least 1 dot in the equivalent Physical Mega-Attribute). Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Strike, Kick, Throw. Bonus Style Maneuvers (Hard Technique): Block, Quick Attack, Sweep. Bonus Style Maneuvers (Soft Technique): Clinch, Dodge, Pressure Strike. Advanced Techniques: Iron Hand, Kata, Kihon, Kiaijutsu, Killing Stroke, Knock Out, Lethal Force, Weapon Forms. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to a style maneuver of the karatekas choice, learn 1 style maneuver from the Hard Technique or Soft Technique bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Hard Technique or Soft Technique bonus style maneuver list.

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Kendo/Kenjutsu
The word Kendo means the way of the sword and is descended from the older combat form of Kenjutsu. This style of fencing was originally developed from traditional methods of Japanese swordsmanship and focused on the weapons of the samurai (such as the no-dachi, wakazashi, and katana). Both schools employ similar methodology and equipment, with Kendo being more regulated and sports oriented, while Kenjutsu focuses on more practical combat arts. Modern kenshi of both methods make use of wooden swords (bokken) and bamboo swords (shinai). Kenjutsu students commonly use the bokken, with the shinai being considered a beginners weapon. Kendo students make use of padded armor (bogu) and use bokken only while practicing kata, while relying on shinai for sparring and competition. The methods employed by both schools were originally designed to be used with live steel and experienced kenshi are deadly swordsmen when armed with actual blades. Kenjutsu practitioners often add training in Iaijutsu (sword drawing techniques) and rudimentary unarmed techniques to their curriculum. Certain schools teach two-swords methods (nitojutsu) as well. Kendo (and Kenjutsu) methods focus on a variety of strikes, cuts, and thrusts, and favors dodges with the occasional quick, deflecting parry. Building stamina and a strong spirit are also crucial aspects of training and kenshi are the foremost users of Kiaijutsu techniques. Traditional starting position in both forms is one with sword drawn and at the ready, although certain Kenjutsu methods and techniques start with sword sheathed. Associated Skill: Melee, Kendo/Kenjutsu is a weaponbased style with open-handed techniques comprising a very small portion of the overall training. Prerequisites: Melee 2, Martial Arts 1 and at least 3 dots in both Dexterity and Wits. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Dodge, Sweep, Weapon Forms (kenshi gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the katana as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique.) Bonus Style Maneuvers: Disarm, Lunging Strike, Weapon Bind, Weapon Length. Advanced Techniques: Iaijutsu, Kata, Kiaijutsu, Kihon, Killing Stroke, Torque. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Weapon Strikes; learn 1 style maneuver from the Kendo/Kenjutsu bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Kendo/Kenjutsu bonus style maneuver list.

Kung Fu
The term kung fu (which refers to skill or accomplishment) is used to describe an incredibly vast body of combat arts (properly called wushu) developed over the course of centuries in China. The origins of kung fu are traced back to self defense, hunting, and military training techniques. While its most famous practitioners were the legendary Shaolin Monks, kung fu has also influenced, and been influenced by Taoism, Buddhism, astrology, medicine, and other principles of Chinese philosophy. While literally hundreds of styles exist (subdivided into sects, schools or families), most revolve around a combination of external (representing physical training and conditioning) and internal (representing meditation and refining the practitioners energies or chi), as well as regional variants. Northern styles favor rapid, fluid motion, powerful kicks, and high leaps. Southern Styles focus of hand and arm techniques, immovable stances, and deft footwork. When the kung fu artist selects a style, they must choose their basic style (northern or southern). Kung Fu artists must also decide which list they can select their advanced techniques from (External or Internal), once selected this cannot be changed. Associated Skill: Martial Arts; Kung Fu is considered the quintessential martial art, and focus on conditioning, flexibility, and a mastery of forms and stances. Kung Fu artists often posses one or more dots of Melee as well. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2, Athletics 2, Endurance 2; Dexterity and Stamina at 3 or better (or at least 1 dot in the equivalent Physical Mega-Attribute). Time to learn: 2 years per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers (Both): Strike, Kick, Block. Bonus Style Maneuvers (Northern): Dodge, Flying Kick, Quick Attack, Sweep. Bonus Style Maneuvers (Southern): Catch Limb, Dodge, Throw. Advanced Techniques (External): Acrobatic Evasion (Northern Only), Drunken Boxing, Expanded Technique, Footwork (Southern Only), Iron Hand, Kata, Lethal Force, Weapon Forms. Advanced Techniques (Internal): Chi Respire, Drunken Boxing, Expanded Technique, Kata, Lethal Force, Meditative Form, Pressure Secret, Weapon Forms. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to a style maneuver of the Kung Fu artists choice, learn 1 style maneuver from the Northern or Southern bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Northern or Southern bonus style maneuver list.

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Muay Thai Kick Boxing
An infamously brutal style, Muay Thai Kick Boxing is referred to as The Science of Eight Limbs, as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. While certain techniques have changed and become modernized over time, the roots of Muay Thai are ancient and have been an integral part of Thai culture for centuries. Similar fighting schools are prevalent in other Southeast Asian countries. Muay Thai Kick Boxing focuses on using a series of rapid jabbing punches followed by long sweeping attacks with the shin, foot and knee. Elbows are often employed to cut the opponent or to deliver finishing blows. It is close to Boxing in the stance a normal user takes (with both feet shoulder length apart and the hands near the head). Blocking is usually performed but bringing the forearms together and a knee up to absorb the blow. Associated Skill: Brawl or Martial Arts. Muay Thai has several regional styles; some emphasis power (such as the northeastern Muay Korat style, with its Throwing Buffalo Punch), other favor speed (such as the rapid kicks of the Northern Muay Pra Nakom style). Prerequisites: Brawl 3 or Martial Arts 3, Athletics 2, Endurance 2; Each physical attribute at 3 or better (or at least 1 dot in the equivalent Physical Mega-Attribute). Time to learn: 2 years per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Strike, Kick, Block. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Absorb Blow, Clinch, Flying Kick, Sweep (kickboxers may use Sweep with the Brawl Ability). Advanced Techniques: Conditioning, Knock Out, Rugged, Torque, Trapping Clinch, Wounding Strike 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Kicks, learn 1 style maneuver from the Muay Thai Kick Boxing bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Muay Thai Kick Boxing bonus style maneuver list. Japanese perception that men use the katana and women the naginata became an almost ironclad taboo of gender segregation, to the point that Naginatajutsu was taught almost exclusively to women. This has lessened somewhat since the late 20th Century, although in modern Japan nine out of ten naginata-ka are still women and women comprise almost the entirety of the higher ranks. This is not the case outside Japan, where the (admittedly scarce) numbers of naginata-ka split roughly evenly between the genders. As of 2015, France still has the largest numbers of naginata-ka outside of Japan. With the Nippontai nova Michiko Naginata Kasai (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 151) as a public practioner of the style, Naginatajutsu is currently enjoying a resurgence of popularity among Japans young women that will likely continue for decades. As with Kendo/Kenjutsu, Naginatajutsu is an offensive style where practitioners seek to strike down their foes as quickly as possible. Both the naginata and nagamaki lend themselves to swift wheeling motions, which the style employs to full effect. Feints are used to draw out foes, whose legs and bodies are then struck to disable and/or kill them. Lunging strikes are very popular, as they make good use of the weapons length. Associated Skill: Melee, Naginatajutsu is a weaponbased style with open-handed techniques counting for little of the overall training. Aside from the two associated polearms, naginata-ka are taught how to wield staffs (in case the naginata breaks) and spears (some naginata will have a sharp spike for this). The use of knives and short swords is also sometimes taught for their utility as backup weapons. Prerequisites: Melee 2, Martial Arts 1 and at least 3 dots in both Dexterity and Wits. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Dodge, Sweep, Weapon Forms (Naginata-ka gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the naginata as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique.) Bonus Style Maneuvers: Disarm, Feint, Lunging Strike, Weapon Bind, Weapon Length. Advanced Techniques: Kata, Kiaijutsu, Kihon, Killing Stroke, Multiple Assailant Method, Torque. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Weapon Strikes; learn 1 style maneuver from the Naginatajutsu bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Naginatajutsu bonus style maneuver list.

Naginatajutsu
This polearm-based fighting style was developed by Japanese samurai for use against both infantry and cavalry and is closely related to Kendo/Kenjutsu; with which it shares many techniques, training methods and philosophies. Unlike its sword-based relative, Naginatajutsu only remained popular until it was eclipsed the arrival of firearms on the Japanese battlefield in the 16th Century. After that the style was left to samurai women to practice, both so that they could defend their households and as a source of physical exercise in a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Over the centuries since the

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Ninjutsu/Taijutsu
The first practitioners of this combat style arose in historical Japan as a counterpoint to the ideal of the samurai caste. In modern terms, one could consider ninja to be the Special or Covert Ops soldiers of their time and place. Where the samurai held to ideals of overt and honorable combat and lived near the top of the social order, the ninja were assassins, saboteurs and spies who had no official place in the social order at all. Where the samurai could depend on the bonds of family and privileges of their status, all that was just parts of a temporary cover identity used by the mercenary ninja when living outside a clan village. Where a samurai could have interests and pastimes outside of his duties, the intensive training required by the ninja ensured that he would have no time at all for such things. As for morality, while the samurais code allowed them to murder their social inferiors at will, most ninja found any morality beyond honoring their current contract and remaining loyal to their clan to be a hindrance to their work. Even so, the Japanese shoguns made good use of the ninja to resolve situations where the samurai would have been of no use. The Iga and Koga ninja clans had lapsed into obscurity well before the Meiji Era, but members of those clans could easily have kept their traditions and martial art alive in private. With the beginning of the Ninja Craze started by both the Japanese and U.S. media in the early 1970s, many frauds and con artists professed to teach the secrets and fighting arts of the ninja, scamming money from many gullible fools in the process. Certain serious martial artists have done their best to recreate historical Ninjutsu, with their degrees of success impossible to judge without an established standard to measure them by. Despite all that chaff and the sensationalism of Ninjutsu promoted by bad movies, outrageous manga and cheesy comics, practitioners of authentic historical Ninjutsu might still be found somewhere out in the hidden corners of Japan... if they wish to be. What will happen after that is anyones guess. The actual combat style of the ninja is called Taijutsu (meaning body combat art, which is only a part of the collection of skills that comprise Ninjutsu. (For the full rundown on what comprises Ninjutsu, see Associated Skills below.) Taijutsu relies on quickness and flexibility to defeat opponents and evade their attacks. Strikes and kicks - often used with a Pressure Strike - that can take down foes as quickly as possible are preferred, as are Feints. Weakened foes are then brought down with even more strikes, or may be grappled or thrown before a finishing move is made. Schools teaching recreated forms of Taijutsu may or may not use weapons associated with the medias conception of ninja to varying degrees. Joining one of the schools that teach an honest attempt to recreate historical Ninjutsu is not easy, while finding one that teaches an authentic version is nearly impossible. Unfortunately, finding a fraudulent school is all too easy. Associated Skills: Martial Arts, Melee, Throwing, Stealth, Meditation and Athletics are required for the basic combat style. Stylists will also have Firearms if they either work for the Japanese government, are criminals or operate mainly outside of Japanese jurisdiction. If stylists are receiving anything like the training of historical Ninjutsu

Historical Mystery vs. Media Hype


Ever since they first appeared on the pulp manga page and the cinemas silver screen, the media on both sides of the Pacific Rim has defined the ninja in the popular culture for decades. In recent years, some portrayals of ninja have become so wildly mutated as to bear little or no resemblance to the historical archetypes. When using actual ninja in an Aberrant chronicle, the difference between them and the media-influenced ninja wannabes should be kept in mind. Historical ninja wore hooded kimonos and hakama (which were sometimes reversible, being a dark color on one side and the more common blue or grey on the other) when working without using a cover identity. The black costumes favored by Hollywood are actually stagehands uniforms of Japanese kabuki theater, where they served as a sign that the audience was supposed to ignore them. In modern times no actual ninja would even consider owning, much less wearing, such outdated and impractical garb. As with their historical counterparts, modern ninja will rely on social invisibility to keep themselves from being noticed. This means dressing in clothing appropriate for their current cover identity or what the local professional thieves would wear. Any weapons used will usually be appropriate for the stylists cover identity, which in modern times will often mean using either concealed weapons or modern hardware and tools as improvised versions of the traditional weapons. From their viewpoint, the traditional weapons are usually best left in a museum display case or storage rack. As far as the modern world is concerned, the ninja died out with the Tokugawa Shogunate and modern stylists wont want to do anything that might prove otherwise. When facing ninja wannabes decked out in the famous kabuki stagehand outfits and using the weapons widely associated with media-style ninja, it means one of four things. One, youre facing mooks who arent very bright. Two, youre facing people who have been deluded - possibly by brainwashing or nova powers - into believing that they are ninja. Three, youve stumbled into the production set of yet another bad ninja movie. Four, youre facing an actual martial artist who has gone insane and believes that he is a media-style ninja. That last situation can be much less laughable than the others depending on the martial artists capabilities, and the humor dies completely if the lunatic in question is also a nova...

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(albeit with modern updates), they will also have dots in at least a large fraction of the following Abilities: Academics (Geography), Analysis, Animal Training, Archery, Awareness, Demolitions, Disguise, Drive, Endurance, Etiquette, Hypnotism, Interrogation, Intimidation, Intrusion, Investigation, Legerdemain, Linguistics, Medicine (Poisons), Navigation, Perform (Impersonation), Rapport, Resistance, Science (Meteorology), Seduction, Shadowing, Streetwise, Style, Subterfuge, Survival, Tactics and Tradecraft. If traditional Japanese attitudes towards women are adhered to by the school, female stylists (called kunoichi) will also have the Arts Ability with a focus on the traditional Japanese forms of cooking, flower arranging or the tea ceremony. Instruction will also be mandatory for stylists deemed worthy to train the next generation. In addition to this many stylists will also be trained in one or more of the other Japanese Melee-based combat styles: Kendo/Kenjutsu, Naginatajutsu, Bojutsu or the Kyujutsu form of Archery. This is useful in establishing a cover identity and as an easily explained reason for being skilled in weapons use. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2, Melee 2, Throwing 2, Stealth 2, Meditation 2 and Athletics 2. These are just the bare minimums, as stylists will generally have higher ratings in those Abilities. Time to learn: 2 years per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Dodge, Kick, Hold, Strike, Weapon Strike, Special (Stylists gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have one associated weapon of the stylists choice as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique). Bonus Style Maneuvers: Breaking Blow, Clinch, Ear Box, Eye Gouge, Feint, Joint Lock, Kip Up, Pressure Strike, Strangle, Tackle, Throw. Advanced Techniques: Acrobatic Evasion, Expanded Technique, Falling Technique, Finesse, Footwork, Hard Target, Kata, Kihon, Lethal Force, Multiple Assailant Method, Pressure Secret, Reversal, Swift Grapple, Takedown. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Ninjutsu/Taijutsu bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Ninjutsu/Taijutsu bonus style maneuver list. from Jujutsu and Victorian-era Boxing (from England) added strong hand strikes and improved grappling techniques to round out the hand-to-hand capabilities of savateurs and savateuses (male and female Savate stylists, respectively). It is important to note that in Savate, grappling is used to set up a foe for a strike or to avoid attacks instead of locking or immobilizing foes. Many Savate schools (known as salles) added cane and baton-fighting techniques for the advanced students; with a few expanding on this to include swords, knives, straight razors, whips, guns and even improvised weapons. A ranking system using gloves with colored patches was introduced, with new students earning the blue glove after mastering the basics of Savate. Students would then advance through the green, red, white and yellow glove ranks as their skills increased. Especially advanced students could attain the silver glove which had four levels of rank; the first three were for technique, while the fourth (professeur) identified those qualified to instruct new students in Savate. Unfortunately, Savate as a full-fledged combat style had reached its peak by the start of the 20th Century. With the devastation caused in France by two World Wars, there were fewer than three dozen surviving silver glove holders by the 1950s. Most Savate professeurs began to change the style into a sport form known as La Boxe Franaise (French Boxing) that omits the weapon training and emphasized moves that were safe for the boxing ring. While not totally useless in actual combat it is by no means a match for historical Savate, which may still be discreetly practiced in the French cities where it was born. Most salles teaching La Boxe Franaise are in France, but may be found worldwide. Associated Skills: Brawl or Martial Arts, Melee, occasionally Firearms. Savateurs and savatueses play to their individual strengths, as Savate can be used by large bruisers and wiry scrappers alike. Prerequisites: Brawl 2 or Martial Arts 2, Resistance 2, a minimum Stamina and Wits of 3. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Dodge, Hold, Kick, Strike, Sweep, Special (Savateurs and savatueses gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the club as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique). Bonus Style Maneuvers: Block, Clinch, Disarm, Feint, Flying Kick, Head Butt, Quick Attack, Lunging Strike, Weapon Strike. Advanced Techniques: Cheap Shot, Combination, Conditioning, Expanded Technique, Footwork, Knock Out, Lethal Force, Mixed Martial Arts, Rugged, Torque. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Kicks, learn 1 style maneuver from the Savate bonus style maneuver list.

Savate
Originally a form of Street Fighting practiced by French sailors and street punks from as far back as the 15th Century, this style was formalized in 1877 by Joseph Charlemont and his son. In addition to the established kicks, influences

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3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Savate bonus style maneuver list. ing hand-foot way in Korean) quickly spread worldwide, becoming especially common in the United States where it is often confused with Karate by the uninformed. Tae Kwon Do schools will either teach a competitive sport form (which became an official Olyimpic sport in 2000) or a self-defense form. In the sport version kicks (to the opponents waist level or higher) are the favored strike, with hand strikes (limited to the opponents chest) considered secondary. Use of the Breaking Blow maneuver is also taught in order for stylists to show off their strength - advanced stylists must be able to break boards and concrete with all of the Combat Styles kicks and strikes. Schools teaching the self-defense version are different in that they offer intensive training and full-contact matches, although stylists will wear padded armor in the latter. Also, kicks and punches are taught with equal emphasis and are not restricted in their targets as those in the sport version are. Associated Skill: Martial Arts; the sport and self-defense versions of Tae Kwon Do still share much in common and the dividing line between them is still very blurred. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 1, each Physical Attribute at 3 or better (or at least 1 dot in the equivalent Physical MegaAttribute). Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Block, Dodge, Kick, Strike, Sweep. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Breaking Blow, Flying Kick, Joint Lock, Pressure Strike, Lunging Strike, Quick Attack, Throw. Advanced Techniques: Expanded Technique, Falling Technique, Kihon, Knock Out, Lethal Force, Torque, Wounding Strike. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Tae Kwon Do bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Tae Kwon Do bonus style maneuver list.

Street Fighting
Street Fighting is a catch-all term for informal combat styles learned by those who have been in many fights but may have never seen the inside of a dojo or gym. There is little art to street fighting, with the primary goal being to put your opponent out of action before he does the same to you, or at the very least showing anyone watching that messing with you would be a bad idea. Experienced streetfighters make for dangerous and unpredictable opponents, often adopting moves that have been used against them previous brawls. They tend to favor aggressive maneuvers that work in a wide variety of situations, whether it be trading blows outside a bar or grappling in the mud. Streetfighters are notorious for using tactics that many more formally trained fighters dont expect or would consider cheating. Beyond that, its anyones guess what a streetfighter will bring to the battle. Associated Skill: Brawl or Martial Arts. Streetfighters play to their strengths; with large and powerful bruisers leaning towards Brawl while wiry, scrappy types favor Martial Arts. Prerequisites: Brawl 1 (or Martial Arts 2), Resistance 2, Streetwise 2 and at least 3 dots of Stamina. Many streetfighters also have at least a dot of Melee with a specialty in Improvised Weapons, but it is not required. Time to learn: 6 months per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Strike, Kick, Tackle. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Block, Clinch, Hold, Pressure Strike. Advanced Techniques: Cheap Shot, Expanded Technique, Knock Out, Mixed Martial Arts, Rugged, Trash Talking. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to a style maneuver of the streetfighters choice, learn 1 style maneuver from the Street Fighting bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Street Fighting bonus style maneuver list.

Tai Chi Chuan


One of Chinas best known Neijia or internal martial arts, this Combat Style is currently thought to have originated in the 17th Century. However the principles upon which Tai Chi Chuan is based are much older than that, allowing the combat style to possibly predate the 17th Century by centuries or even millennia. Tai Chi Chuan utilizes physical balance, chi flow and qigong breathing techniques combined with the basic tactic of complimentary reactions to defeat ones foes. The stylist attains a point of balance and will react to his foes actionscategorized as either

Tae Kwon Do
Officially founded in 1955, this Korean Combat Style is thought to have derived from several Korean martial arts which date back as far as the Fifth or Sixth Centuries C.E. or even earlier. After being brutally suppressed (along with all other aspects of indigenous Koren culture) by the Japanese Occupation during World War II, Tae Kwon Do (mean-

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strong or weakwith an opposed maneuver. Strong attacks are yielded and stuck to instead of being met with strong force, while weak attacks are met with strong countermoves. Tai Chi Chuan masters also seek to instill their students with a sense of wu te - martial virtue or heroism - so they will protect the defenseless and show mercy to their opponents. There are many benefits that Tai Chi Chuan stylists can derive from its application of chi flow and qigong breathing techniques. Even practicing the modern sport form (Tai Chi) can correct many physical and mental health problems and grant longevity. In game terms this means that the Storyteller can permit Tai Chi Chuan stylists to buy off appropriate Physical and Mental Flaws with experience points, albeit at whatever rate per point of the Flaw she deems plausible. Tai Chi Chuan masters are also said to have learned and developed many Advanced Techniques beyond those listed below - there is literally no telling what such skilled worthies may be capable of in combat. Associated Skill: Martial Arts, Melee and Meditation. Tai Chi Chuan requires the student to master his mind as well as his body. The use of melee weapons was taught as a practical matter of self-defense in the period before reliable firearms became widely available. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2, Meditation 2, Melee 2 and at least 3 dots of Wits and Dexterity (or at least 1 dot in both of the equivalent Mega-Attributes). Time to learn: 2 years per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Block, Shove, Strike, Throw, Weapon Strike, Special (Tai Chi Chuan stylists gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the sword as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique). Bonus Style Maneuvers: Catch Limb, Clinch, Dodge, Feint, Joint Lock, Pressure Strike, Sweep, Kick, Riposte. Advanced Techniques: Chi Respire, Expanded Technique, Finesse, Kata, Kihon, Meditative Form, Pressure Secret, Rooting Stance, Stop Hit. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Tai Chi Chuan bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Tai Chi Chuan bonus style maneuver list. tling styles and a method brought to the Americas from Europe and Asia and refers to a style largely practiced in the period of time between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Catch Wrestling was popular as an athletic event at carnivals, where the carnivals champion would accept challenges from local grapplers and quickly defeat them using submission holds popularly called hooks. The submission wrestling of mixed martial arts is considered a direct descendant of Catch Wrestling, while styles such as the Russian Sambo and the Chinese Chin-Na employ similar methods and philosophy. Catch Wrestling focused on attacking any body part the Catch wrestler could grab and achieving victory by pin fall or submission. Most Catch styles begin in a wrestling stance employed by Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling, while others begin in some form of initial face to face or collar and elbow hold. Associated Skill: Brawl or Martial Arts; Catch Wrestling is loose enough that some practitioners focus on overpowering opponents while others work to outmaneuver opponents. Prerequisites: Brawl 2 or Martial Arts 3, Athletics 2, Endurance 2 and 3 dots in all physical attributes. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Clinch, Hold, Submission Hold (see Aberrant: XWF p. 23). Bonus Style Maneuvers: Catch Limb, Joint Lock, Strangle, Tackle (Catch wrestlers may use Tackle with the Martial Arts Ability). Advanced Techniques: Leg Scissors, Master Lock, Mat Technician, Reversal, Swift Grapple, Takedown 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Clinches, learn 1 style maneuver from the Catch Wrestling bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Catch Wrestling bonus style maneuver list.

Wrestling (Freestyle & Greco-Roman)


Wrestling has been part of Western culture for as long as there have been people around who were able to scrawl pictures on a wall. This form of combat has evolved and adapted through ages to become the sport it is today. The Greco-Roman style of wrestling was actually a French form of grappling that formalized in 19th Century France, and was a refinement earlier (and often more brutal) European wrestling styles. Freestyle Wrestling was a looser form favored by English and American wrestlers. Both variants have grown to become a common sports practiced in high schools across the United States, as a way of keeping fit across Europe and as Olympic sports across the world.

Wrestling (Catch)
Catch Wrestling (short for Catch as Catch Can Wrestling) is considered the forerunner of professional wrestling, as well as heavily influencing freestyle wrestling and mixed martial arts. Catch Wrestling itself is a synthesis of folk wres-

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The wrestler will usually start close to the ground, and get into grappling range with his opponent. From there he will use a series of tackles, grapples and throws in an attempt to pin or outscore his opponent. Greco-Roman wrestling favors throws over holds and strictly forbids attacks below the waist while Freestyle Wrestling allows attack to the lower extremities and favors mat-based techniques; otherwise the two styles are remarkably similar. Associated Skill: Brawl; the heart of wrestling is to outmaneuver and overpower your opponent, and wrestlers train to be capable of quick bursts of overwhelming strength. Prerequisites: Athletics 2, Brawl 1, 3 dots in all physical attributes. Characters must decide which form of wrestling they specialize in and access the Starting and Bonus style maneuvers for that form. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers (Greco-Roman): Hold, Tackle, Throw. Starting Style Maneuvers (Freestyle): Clinch, Hold, Tackle. Bonus Style Maneuvers (Greco-Roman): Body Slam, Clinch, Piledriver (see Aberrant: XWF, p. 23) Bonus Style Maneuvers (Freestyle): Body Slam, Catch Limb, Strangle, Throw. Advanced Techniques: Falling Technique, Master Lock, Mat Technician, Reversal, Rugged, Takedown. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Clinches, learn 1 style maneuver from the Greco-Roman or Freestyle Wrestling bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Greco-Roman or Freestyle Wrestling bonus style maneuver list. The purpose of Professional Wrestling is to entertain; as such professional wrestlers take pains to not actually injure their opponents, but to look convincing at the same time (with a preference for flashy maneuvers that demonstrate power, skill or agility). However, most wrestlers can cause significant injury if they so choose and most have at least 1 combat style specialty in a different combat style (most often Catch, Freestyle or Greco-Roman Wrestling, but more exotic fighting backgrounds are very common). Beyond that, a wrestlers style is often unique to the individual. Associated Skill: Brawl or Martial Arts; Professional Wrestling encompasses a wide range of performers, from massive bruisers to agile aerialists and everything in between. Prerequisites: Brawl 1 or Martial Arts 2, Athletics 2, Performance 1, and either Intimidation 1or Style 1. Professional wrestlers also require at least 2 Physical Attributes at 3 or better. A high Appearance or Charisma is also recommended but not necessary. Time to learn: 6 months per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Body Slam, Hold, Tackle. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Clinch, Kick, Piledriver (see Aberrant: XWF, p. 23), Strike. Advanced Techniques: Conditioning, Falling Technique, Reversal, Rugged, Stage Fighting, Trash Talking. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to a Style Maneuver of the professional wrestlers choice, learn 1 style maneuver from the Professional Wrestling bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Professional Wrestling bonus style maneuver list.

Wrestling (Sumo)
Sumo Wrestling is a Japanese martial art and sport that has roots going back centuries and is steeped in Shinto ritual and traditions. Sumo wrestlers (called sumotori or rikishi in Japan) are known for their impressive size and power. Sumo training is intensely formal and regulated, with their daily lives proscribed by the august body of the Japan Sumo Association (comprised almost entirely of former wrestlers). Wrestlers live in communal stables with other wrestlers where everything from diet, to training, to even hairstyles and wardrobe are determined by a strict adherence to traditions and policies. Sumotori also adopt a shikona, or wrestling name, although this practice is falling out of favor as more wrestlers use their given name. Sumotori traditionally begin a match with a ritual purification that involves casting salt, and higher ranked sumotori often have elaborate ring entrances and ritual dances. The traditions of the sumotori have been and remain exclusively masculine, and female

Wrestling (Professional)
Professional Wrestling made its debut during the 1940s in Tampa, Florida, where it evolved out of the practice of Catch Wrestling champions challenging the local champions for cash and prizes. Eventually wrestlers from different regions would organize into promotions and take their performances on the road. Since then it has evolved to be more of an extravagant performance more than an actual athletic contest (complete with scripted outcomes, outrageous gimmicks and soap-opera worthy drama). Numerous styles exist, from the traditional American Style that focuses as much on developing a character as in mastering moves, to from the Japanese Shoot style which is closer to a sincere martial contest to the high-flying Mexican Lucha Libre style. For a better history about how Professional Wrestling fits into the Aberrant timeline, pick up a copy of Aberrant: XWF.

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sumotori are currently limited to unapproved amateur competitions (although certain female novas may be inclined to change that). The goal of a sumotori is to force his opponent out of circular ring (called a dohyo) or make their opponent touch the ground with any part of their body other than the soles of their feet. To do so they employ a number of kimarite (winning techniques), which are most often brutal combinations of shoves, strikes, throws and sweeps, all designed to move their opponent back or take them off their feet. Associated Skill: Brawl or Martial Arts; while the traditional image of a sumotori is a massive powerhouse, it is known that smaller and quicker sumotori can defeat vastly larger opponents. Prerequisites: Brawl 2 or Martial Arts 2, Athletics 2, Endurance 2, Might 2 and at least 3 dots of Dexterity and 4 dots of Strength and Stamina. Sumotori almost universally have the Huge Size Merit as well. Time to learn: 1 year per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Strike, Throw, Tackle (Sumotori may use Tackle with the Martial Arts Ability). Bonus Style Maneuvers: Body Slam (Sumotori may use Body Slam with the Martial Arts Ability), Shove, Sweep (Sumotori may use Sweep with the Brawl Ability). Advanced Techniques: Conditioning, Falling Technique, Kata, Kiaijutsu, Rooting Stance, Rugged, Takedown. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Tackles, learn 1 style maneuver from the Sumo Wrestling bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Sumo Wrestling bonus style maneuver list.

Advanced Techniques
Advanced techniques are highly specialized skills that require time and effort to learn. In addition to meeting any listed prerequisites, characters who wish to utilize a particular advanced technique must also invest experience points in order to learn it. Once learned, the selected advanced technique is considered a regular part of the characters combat arsenal. Unless specifically stated otherwise, each advanced technique may only be learned once. Characters who practice a combat style specialty gain a discount when purchasing advanced techniques associated with their chosen style. If an advanced technique is associated with a combat style specialty, the character pays 2 less experience points when learning the technique. Some techniques are only available as an associated or non-associated technique. Few of the listed techniques require any specific superhuman ability, so any baseline or Inspired character who meets the prerequisites may learn them. Some Inspired types have additional benefits or considerations when learning advanced techniques.

Daredevils, Mesmerists and Stalwarts


If an Adventure!-style Inspired character has Ability Mastery in an Ability required as a prerequisite for an advanced technique, then that technique costs 1 experience point less to learn (to a minimum cost of one experience point). As long as the Inspired meets any other prerequisites they may purchase advanced techniques with transformation points. One transformation point purchases 2 experience points worth of advanced techniques. Any experience points left over from purchasing advanced techniques this way are lost.

Maneuver References
Certain of the basic maneuvers mentioned in the combat style listings are not found either here or in the Aberrant core book. As Aberrant: The New Flesh is an unofficial fanwork product legal hurdles prevent us from reprinting them, so heres a short reference guide instead. If you dont already have hardcopies of the books and cant find any to purchase, most (if not all) of the official Aeon Continuum gameline products can be bought as PDF downloads from DriveThruRPG. Aerial Splash Piledriver Submission Hold Weapon Length Aberrant: XWF, p. 23 Aberrant: XWF, p. 23 Aberrant: XWF, p. 23 Adventure! core book, p. 23

Novas
If an advanced technique requires a certain dot rating of an Attribute to learn, that prerequisite is considered met if the nova has at least 1 dot in the corresponding MegaAttribute. As long as a nova meets any other prerequisites they may purchase advanced techniques with nova points. One nova point purchases 2 experience points worth of advanced techniques. Any experience points left over from purchasing advanced techniques this way are lost.

Psions/Psiads
Psions and psiads have no special advantages when learning advanced techniques.

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Acrobatic Evasion (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)
Prerequisites: 1st Capoeira, Golden Gunplay, Kalaripayit (Northern), Kung Fu (Northern) or Ninjutsu/Taijutsu specialty, or at least 3 dots of Athletics and Martial Arts. When taking a full defensive action, you may make a Athletics roll at standard difficulty. If successful, until your next initiative round you gain a +1 die bonus to all Dodge attempts you make that round. In addition, all close combat attacks opponents make against you suffer a difficulty modifier of +1.

But I Want To Learn Dim Mak!


When a nova character seeks to improve his Abilities or expand on his quantum powers, he seeks an appropriate teacher for the former and engages in self-directed practice and experimentation in the latter unless he has a nova with the right powers for a mentor. Learning Advanced Techniques from ones teacher in a Combat Style is different in that it can not be and has never been an automatic process. Historical martial arts teachers were infamous for teaching their most powerful and/or dangerous Advanced Techniques only to their most prized and trusted students if they do so at all. More than one such teacher has carried the deepest secrets of his martial art to the grave due to a lack of worthy students. Very little of that has changed with martial arts teachers (and other instructors in Combat Styles) in the Nova Age. While some less-than-worthy Combat Style teachers will deny training to or even expel a student for petty reasons, more honorable ones will typically have very good reasons for doing so. The only other means of learning an Advanced Technique without the personal instruction of a master is to acquire a written record explaining how it works and how to perform it in exhausting detail. (Producing such a record requires the Master Thesis Advanced Technique.) If a prospective student lacks access to either source of instruction, hes not going to able to learn any Advanced Techniques beyond what he may have already learned, if any.

Ambidextrous (3 experience points Non-Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 3 or more dots in Dexterity and Wits. This is the same as Ambidextrous Merit (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 69). This is especially common for practitioners of Escrima or Kendo/Kenjutsu artists who use the katana and wakazashi simultaneously.

Arrow Cutting (5 experience points Non-Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 4 dots of Martial Arts and a base initiative rating of 10. You have reflexes so honed you can swat low-velocity projectiles from the air. You may use the Block maneuver at a +1 difficulty penalty to deflect low velocity projectiles (arrows, darts, and thrown weapons). If you score 5 or more net successes on a Martial Arts roll, you can catch the projectile without suffering any harm. High-velocity projectiles (such as bullets or items thrown by novas with the Velocity enhancement) cannot be deflected or caught with the use of quantum abilities.

Cheap Shot (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 1st Escrima, Savate or Street Fighting specialty or at least 3 dots of Brawl (or Martial Arts) and Streetwise. You have a talent for striking when your opponent least expects it. When using the Ambush maneuver (Aberrant core book, p. 242), you gain a +1 die bonus to your damage for close combat attacks. This bonus only applies if the Ambush is successful (you score more successes on the Stealth vs. Awareness roll).

Au Batido (5 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 3rd Capoeira specialty. You can quickly exploit gaps in your opponents defense. Anytime an opponent attacks you in close combat but scores no net successes, you may spend a point of Willpower to make an immediate kick or sweep attack against that opponent at an additional +1 difficulty penalty.

Chi Respire (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Kalaripayit, Kung Fu, Q Mng or Tai Chi Chuan specialty or at least 4 dots of Wits, Martial Arts and Meditation (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 88). You have learned to focus and recover your chi energy. Whenever you spend a Willpower point to accomplish a physical task (usually involving the Athletics, Brawl, Martial Arts, Might or Stealth Abilities), you may make a Willpower roll at a +2 difficulty penalty. If successful, the spent Willpower point is immediately recovered.

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Combination (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)
Prerequisites: 2nd Arnis/Escrima, Bojutsu/Quarterstaff, Boxing, Capoeira, Fencing, Jeet Kune Do or Savate specialty or at least 4 dots of Dexterity, Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts or Melee). You are practiced at throwing dazzling flurries of blows. You may reduce split action penalties by one when performing two or more strikes or kicks in a turn. You may take no other actions other than strike or kicks, but you keep any available accuracy bonuses. What type of attacks can be used in a Combination is limited by your chosen combat style. Arnis/Escrima: Weapon Strikes only. Bojutsu/Quarterstaff: Weapons Strikes only. Boxing: Strikes only. Capoeira: Kicks only. Fencing: Weapon Strikes only Jeet Kune Do: Strikes or Kicks only, decided when the technique is learned. Purchasing Combination a second time allows the JKD practitioner to use Strikes and Kicks interchangeably. of damage (after soak) or no damage at all to your target. Doing so allows you to make an immediate Intimidate roll with a +1 bonus die against your opponents Willpower. If successful your opponent loses 1 point of temporary Willpower and you gain 1 point of temporary Willpower. This may only be attempted against a given opponent once per scene.

Defensive Pattern (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 1st Fencing specialty, or at least 3 dots of Athletics and Melee. When taking a full defensive action, you may make a Melee roll at standard difficulty. If successful, until your next initiative round you gain a +1 die bonus to all Parry attempts you make that round. In addition, all close combat attacks opponents make against you suffer a difficulty penalty of +1.

Drunken Boxing (3 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 2nd Kung Fu specialty and Feint as a Style Maneuver. You have learned a specialized kung fu technique that employs disjointed, staggering movements reminiscent of a severely intoxicated individual. When you engage an opponent in hand to hand combat, you may make a Dexterity + Martial Arts roll (opposed by your opponents Wits + Awareness). If successful, all close combat attacks against you suffer a difficulty penalty of +1 for the remainder of the scene.

Conditioning (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Boxing, Commando Training, Kalaripayit, Muay Thai, Savate or Wrestling (Professional, Sumo) specialty, or at least 4 dots of Stamina, Brawl (or Martial Arts) and Endurance. Your style involves intensive full contact sparring as part of your training. This has made you hard and tough, capable of shrugging off blows that would flatten anyone else. You gain one addtional Bruised health level and treat your base Stamina as 1 point higher when checking for being dazed and/or knocked unconscious.

Expanded Technique (3 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 2nd Bojutsu/Quarterstaff, Escrima, Jeet Kune Do, Jujutsu/Judo, Kung Fu, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu, Q Mng, Savate or Street Fighting, Tae Kwon Do or Tai Chi Chuan specialty. Your style emphasizes an extensive arsenal of maneuvers. Whenever this technique is purchased, you add one maneuver to your list of Style Maneuvers (even if this takes your total number of style maneuvers beyond the usual limit of 5). What maneuvers you may learn are determined by your combat specialty. Bojutsu/Quarterstaff Specialty: All Bonus style maneuvers are eligible, but may not be available. Escrima Specialty: All Bonus style maneuvers are eligible.

Counting Coup (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Archery, Fencing or Golden Gunplay specialty or at least 4 dots of any Social Attribute, Brawl (or Martial Arts, or Melee) and Intimidation. You can demonstrate your prowess by showing your opponent that you could defeat them at any time. Whenever you score an exceptional success on an attack roll (5 or more net successes), you may choose to deal only 1 point

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Kung Fu Specialty: Feint, Joint Lock, Pressure Strike. Jeet Kune Do Specialty: Catch Limb, Quick Attack, Sweep. Jujutsu/Judo Specialty: Catch Limb, Strike, Sweep. Ninjutsu/Taijutsu Specialty: All Bonus style maneuvers are eligible. Q Mng Specialty: All Bonus style maneuvers are eligible. Savate Specialty: All Bonus style maneuvers are eligible. Street Fighting Specialty: Absorb Blow, Feint, Lunging Strike. Tae Kwon Do Specialty: All Bonus style maneuvers are eligible. Tai Chi Chuan Specialty: All Bonus style maneuvers are eligible.

Finesse (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Fencing, Jeet Kune Do, Q Mng, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu or Tai Chi Chuan specialty or at least 4 dots of Dexterity, Athletics and Martial Arts (or Melee). You have developed your combat ability to rely almost entirely on speed and reflexes. When using a Martial Arts or Melee-based maneuver you have as a combat style maneuver, you may use your Dexterity as the base damage modifier (rather than strength). If using this technique with Melee, it can only be used with weapons that have a Strength minimum of 2 or less.

Footwork (1 experience points AssoFalling Technique (1 experience point ciated, 3 experience points NonAssociated) Associated, 3 experience points Prerequisites: 1st Boxing, Capoeira, Escrima, Fencing, Non-Associated) Jeet Kune Do, Kung Fu (Southern), Ninjutsu/Taijutsu, Q
Prerequisites: 1st Aikido, Capoeira, Jujutsu/Judo, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu, Q Mng, Tae Kwon Do or Wrestling (Freestyle, Greco-Roman, Professional, Sumo) specialty or at least 3 dots of Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts). You have learned how to minimize the damage from falls. Whenever you would take damage from a shove, throw or sweep attack, you may instead make an Athletics roll at standard difficulty. If this roll is successful the net damage inflicted by the attack is (after soak) is reduced by half (rounded down). Mng or Savate specialty or at least 3 dots of Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts, or Melee). You have learned to stay light on your feet and are adept at avoiding blows. When engaged in close combat with an opponent, you gain an additional bonus die for dodging that opponents attacks. This bonus die is cumulative with any style maneuver bonus dice (to a maximum bonus of +3 dice).

Favored Pupil (3 experience points Non-Associated Only)


Prerequisites: Either of the Exceptional Talent or Martial Prodigy Merits; must have studied for at least 1 year with a master who has at least 1 combat style specialty in common with you and who knows the Master Thesis advanced technique (or must have studied the writings of that master for at least 2 years). You have trained intensely with a true master or otherwise become privy to advanced combat methods. Each time this technique is purchased you select one maneuver and 1 advanced technique. The chosen maneuver is added to your bonus style maneuver list for any combat style you have in common with that master and the advanced technique is considered associated with that same combat style. Training times derived from the Martial Prodigy Merit do apply to techniques learned with Favored Pupil.

Hard Target (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Commando Training, Golden Gunplay or Ninjutsu/Taijutsu specialty, or at least 4 dots of Dexterity, Athletics and Firearms. Opponents attempting to use a firearm or other ranged attack while engaged in hand to hand combat against you do not receive the +2 accuracy bonus for firing at point blank range.

Iaijutsu (3 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 1st Golden Gunplay specialty or 2nd Kendo/ Kenjutsu specialty. You have practiced the discipline of Iaijutsu. Iaijutsu is the method of drawing a katana from its scabbard (or in modern times, a gun from its holster) at the initial moment of combat, and was developed to be used when attacked

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in places other than a battlefield. When rolling for initiative during the first combat round of a scene, you gain a bonus to initiative equal to your style maneuver bonus. You also gain an additional +1 damage bonus to your weapon strikes. These bonuses last until the start of your next combat round. artists (4-5 dots of Brawl, Martial Arts or Melee) can use Kiaijutsu without making a sound.

Kihon (1 experience point Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 1st Aikido, Jujutsu/ Judo, Golden Gunplay, Karate, Kendo/Kenjutsu, Naginatajutsu, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu, Q Mng, Tae Kwon Do or Tai Chi Chuan specialty. You have drilled endlessly on fundamental techniques. You can perform your maneuvers with almost thoughtless ease. Any dice pool penalties applied to style maneuver rolls resulting from physical or mental impairment (such as wound penalties, poisons, or the effects of the Disorient power) are reduced by one.

Iron Hand (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points NonAssociated)


Prerequisites: 1st Boxing, Karate or Kung Fu specialty or at least 3 dots of Strength, Brawl (or Martial Arts) and Resistance. You have toughened your hands from repeatedly striking hard surfaces, until your fists are as hard as iron. All of your barehanded strikes ignore 1 point of soak, regardless of what that soak is derived from. Novas with the Impervious enhancement are immune to this soak reducing effect. Your intensive training has made your hands less sensitive, and you suffer a +1 difficulty modifier on Perception & Dexterity rolls involving fine manipulation or tactile sensitivity.

Killing Stroke (5 experience points Associated, 7 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 3rd Escrima, Karate, Kendo/Kenjutsu or Naginatajutsu specialty or at least 4 dots of Athletics, 5 dots of Melee and 6 dots of permanent Willpower. By focusing your concentration you may make a single, devastating blow with your weapon (or hand or foot, for karateka). To perform a killing stroke, you declare your action, spend a point of Willpower and spend a turn focusing your attack (during this turn you may take no action other than to defend against a single attack). On your following initiative you make a Weapon Strike (or Strike or Kick) at an additional +2 difficulty penalty. If successful your base damage (Strength +Weapon modifier, Strength +2 or Strength +3 respectively) is treated as a damage add rather than damage dice. Bonus damage dice from net successes, combat style bonuses, and other advanced techniques are rolled as normal.

Kata (1 experience point Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 1st Aikido, Jujutsu/Judo, Kalaripayit, Karate, Kendo/Kenjutsu, Kung Fu, Naginatajutsu, Ninjutsu/ Taijutsu, Q Mng or Tai Chi Chuan specialty. You constantly practice a wide variety of forms and stances designed to anticipate and counter the attacks of your opponents. While engaged in hand to hand combat with an opponent, you gain a +1 bonus to Initiative.

Kiaijutsu (3 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 2nd Archery, Jujutsu/ Judo, Karate, Kendo/ Kenjutsu, Naginatajutsu or Q Mng specialty. The kiai is a distinctive shout employed by many martial artists when performing a maneuver (although many masters agree that a strong kiai can be completely silent). It is thought to align the spirit and body and focus the fighters will. In less metaphysical terms, it coordinates the practitioners breathing and physical activities, amps the fighter for combat, and unnerves their opponents. Whenever you spend a Willpower point for an automatic success on a Brawl, Martial Arts, or Melee roll, you may make a Willpower roll at a +2 difficulty modifier. If successful, you are granted one additional automatic success. Most martial artists (1-3 dots of Brawl, Martial Arts or Melee) accompany uses of Kiaijutsu with a loud shout or war cry. More advanced martial

Knock Out (5 experience points Associated, 7 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 3rd Boxing, Commando Training, Karate, Muay Thai, Savate, Street Fighting or Tae Kwon Do specialty, or at least 4 dots of Athletics and 5 dots of Brawl (or Martial Arts). You can end a fight with a single well-placed punch or kick. A target damaged by your strikes or kicks checks for being dazed or knocked unconscious as if their Stamina was lowered by an amount equal to your style maneuver bonus for that strike or kick (down to a minimum effective Stamina of 1).

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Leg Scissors (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)
Prerequisites: 1st Jujutsu/Judo or Wrestling (Catch) specialty, or 3 dots of Dexterity, Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts). You have learned to use a leg scissors maneuver that makes escaping grapples difficult for opponents. Any rolls made to escape your clinches or holds are made at an additional +1 difficulty penalty. specialty in common and either studies directly under you for at least 1 year or studies your writings for at least 2 years may purchase the Favored Pupil advanced technique, but is limited to the maneuver and advanced technique of your choosing. Training times derived from the Martial Prodigy Merit do apply to techniques learned from Master Thesis.

Mat Technician (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Wrestling (Catch, Greco- Roman or Freestyle) specialty or at least 4 dots Wits, Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts). When acting on your initiative, if you are applying a clinch on an opponent, rather than inflicting damage you may make a contested Brawl or Martial Arts roll to turn the Clinch into a Hold Maneuver. If this roll fails the clinch is not broken but no damage is inflicted. Once the hold is applied it follows all the normal rules for holds. Likewise, if you are applying a hold, when acting on your initiative, you may make a contested Brawl or Martial Arts roll to turn the hold into a clinch. You also receive an additional +1 damage bonus to clinch maneuvers.

Lethal Force (5 experience points Associated, 7 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 3rd Commando Training, Karate, Kung Fu, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu, Savate or Tae Kwon Do specialty, or at least 4 dots of Athletics and 5 dots of Brawl (or Martial Arts). You are capable of killing with your bare hands. When making a clinch, strike or kick attack, you may spend a point of Willpower to make any damage inflicted by the attack lethal. Unlike other lethal attacks, this damage may be soaked with your opponents regular bashing soak.

Master Lock (5 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 3rd Commando Training, Escrima, Judo/ Jujutsu or Wrestling (Catch, Greco-Roman or Freestyle) specialty. Opponents caught in your clinches and holds cannot escape without bodily harm. If you have a clinch or hold applied to an opponent and they succeed in making a resisted Brawl (or Martial Arts) roll to escape, that opponent also takes an amount of bashing damage equal to your (Strength +3). Any damage bonuses you receive for clinch maneuvers apply. This damage is soaked normally.

Meditative Form (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Aikido, Golden Gunplay, Kung Fu, Kalaripayit, Q Mng or Tai Chi Chuan specialty, or at least 4 or more dots of Wits, Martial Arts and Meditation (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 88). You can remain serene and relaxed even in the midst of combat. Any attempts to upset, coerce, or distract you while you are engaged in hand to hand combat are made at a +1 difficulty modifier. This includes attempts at diversion or intimidation, as well as Mega-Social enhancements and quantum powers such as Domination or Empathic Manipulation.

Master Thesis (5 experience points Non-Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 3rd combat style specialty in any style, 3 advanced techniques, and 5 dots of Brawl (or Martial Arts or Melee) and Academics 2. You have formalized the training, techniques and philosophy of your combat style in a book, tome or scroll. Each time this technique is selected you may choose 1 style maneuver and 1 advanced technique you know. Any prospective student with either of the Exceptional Talent or Martial Prodigy Merits who shares at least 1 combat style

Mixed Martial Arts (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 1st Commando Training, Escrima, Jeet Kune Do, Savate or Street Fighting specialty or at least 2 dots of Brawl and 2 dots of Martial Arts. You may use martial arts maneuvers (such as Disarm, Joint Lock and Sweep) with the Brawl ability. Likewise, you

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may use brawl maneuvers (such as Absorb Blow, Head Butt and Tackle) with the Martial Arts ability.

Pressure Secret (3 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 2nd Archery, Bojutsu/Quarterstaff, Escrima, Golden Gunplay, Jujutsu/Judo, Kung Fu, Kalaripayit, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu, Q Mng or Tai Chi Chuan specialty and at least 3 dots of Archery, Firearms or Martial Arts, 2 dots of Medicine and Pressure Strike as a style maneuver. Your knowledge of pressure points is extensive, and you are an expert at causing a variety of effects by the application of force to the correct part of your opponents anatomy. Pressure techniques are ineffective against bodymorphed novas or creatures with a sufficiently inhuman anatomy. Each of the following pressure point techniques must be purchased separately. Dim Mak: The legendary death touch. In addition to the normal pressure strike effects, you may spend a Willpower point and make a Medicine roll at a +3 difficulty. If successful, the target must make a Resistance roll as if affected by a Lethal poison with a Toxicity of (relevant Combat Ability +2). The onset time of this poison effect is anywhere between instantaneous up to 24 hours per dot of your relevant Combat Abilityrating. Dim Mak costs 7 experience points to learn and you must know the Healing and Paralysis Pressure Secrets as additional prerequisites. Healing: You can re-align the chi of your patients body, granting good health. When treating a patient, you may spend a Willpower point and make a Medicine roll at a +2 difficulty. Each net success either adds 1 to your patients next Resistance or Endurance roll made that scene, or doubles their natural healing rate for the next 24 hours. This may only be attempted once per day on any individual patient. You may use the Healing technique on yourself, but doing so adds a +1 modifier to the difficulty of the Medicine roll. Massage Technique: Known as Uzhichil by gurus of Kalaripayit, you may employ a deep muscle massage and oil treatment to prepare your patients body for combat. When treating a patient, you may spend a Willpower point and make a Medicine roll at a +2 difficulty penalty. If successful, your patients body becomes limber and ready for physical exertion, and grants him either a +1 bonus to his bashing soak or a +1 bonus to rolls made to escape clinches or holds. Using this technique requires at least 30 minutes of massage and may only be attempted once per day on any individual patient. The effects of the Massage Technique last for one scene. You may use the Massage technique on yourself, but doing so adds a +1 modifier to the difficulty of the Medicine roll. Permanent Sensory Deprivation: You can inflict lasting impairments with your strike. When performing a pressure strike, rather than Dazing your opponent you may spend a Willpower point and make a Medicine roll at a +2 difficulty

Multiple Assailant Method (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Aikido, Bojutsu/Quarterstaff, Golden Gunplay, Naginatajutsu, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu or Q Mng specialty, or at least 4 dots in Wits and Brawl (or Martial Arts, or Melee). You train against multiple opponents, making it difficult for others to use numerical superiority against you. Any difficulty modifiers you receive for facing multiple opponents are reduced by 1. This is cumulative with the Combat Awareness enhancement. Characters with the One Man Army Knack gain +1 bonus dice when fighting multiple opponents instead.

Muscle Coordination (5 experience points Non-Associated Only)


Prerequisites: At least 2 dots of Brawl and at least 1 dot of Mega-Dexterity. You have a talent that allows you to simultaneously exploit your superhuman grace while employing your superhuman strength. When making Brawl rolls you may add your dots in Mega-Dexterity to your roll as bonus dice. These bonus dice are cumulative with any style maneuver bonus dice (to a maximum bonus of +5 dice). These bonus dice are not considered Mega-dice and are rolled for successes normally.

Press the Advantage (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Fencing Specialty or at least or at least 4 or more dots of Wits, Awareness and Brawl (or Martial Arts, or Melee). You are trained to capitalize on situations when your opponent goes on the defensive. As long as you make at least one Brawl (or Martial Arts, or Melee) attack against an opponent taking a full defensive action, you may spend a Willpower point and make a Brawl (or Martial Arts, or Melee) contested by your opponents relevant combat Ability. If successful, your opponent suffers a -1 initiative penalty per net success (maximum penalty of -3) on her next turn. Your opponent also staggers back one meter per net success (maximum distance equal to the opponents walking speed).

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against the targets Resistance. If successful, the victim loses the effected sense instantly and permanently. The lost sense can be restored by treatment from someone with Medicine 4+ or a successful use of the Healing Pressure Secret at an additional +1 difficulty modifier. Each time Permanent Sensory Deprivation is learned a different sense must be selected. The effects of the lost sense are the same as for Sensory Deprivation strike. Permanent Sensory Deprivation costs 7 experience points to learn and you must know the Sensory Deprivation Curse and Sensory Deprivation Strike Pressure Secrets, both for the same sense, as additional prerequisites. Sensory Deprivation Curse: When performing a pressure strike, in addition to the normal pressure strike effects the martial artists may spend a Willpower point and make a Medicine roll at a +1 difficulty against the targets Resistance. If successful, the victim loses the affected sense for 24 hours per net success. The loss of the affected sense occurs gradually with an onset time of 1 hour per net success. Each time Sensory Deprivation Curse is learned a different sense must be selected. The effects of the lost sense are the same as for Sensory Deprivation Strike. Sensory Deprivation Strike: When performing a pressure strike, rather than Dazing your opponent you may spend a Willpower point to temporarily rob him of one of his senses. The victim will lose the use of the affected sense for a number of rounds equal to the number of Health Levels of damage taken. Each time Sensory Deprivation Strike is learned a different sense must be selected. Hearing: Treat the victim as having the Deaf Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 71) for the duration of the effect. Mute/Taste: Treat the victim as having the Mute Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 70) for the duration of the effect. In addition, the victim automatically fails any tastebased Perception roll. This also affects the use of Analytic Taste/Touch and taste-based Mega-Perception enhancements. Paralysis/ Tactile: Your strike can render one of your opponents extremities numb and useless. This strike must be directed against a specific limb (called shot penalties apply). Any actions involving the affected limb (attack rolls with the affected limb, Ability rolls for a paralyzed arm or Dodge rolls with paralyzed legs) are performed with an additional +2 difficulty penalty. This also affects the use of Analytic Taste/Touch and tactile-based Mega-Perception enhancements involving the affected limb. Smell: The victim automatically fails any scentbased Perception rolls and suffers a +1 difficulty modifier to taste-based Perception rolls. This also affects the use of Bloodhound and similar scent-based Mega-Perception enhancements. Vision: Treat the victim as having the Blind Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 71) for the duration of the effect. This also affects the use of Electromagnetic Vision and similar vision-based Mega-Perception enhancements. Suffocate: You can cause the targets lungs to seize up, making them asphyxiate. When performing a pressure strike, rather than Dazing your opponent you may spend a Willpower point and make a Medicine roll at a +2 difficulty against the targets Endurance. This otherwise functions as the Asphyxiation Attack maneuver (Aberrant core book p. 246). Each turn the victim must make an Endurance roll at standard difficulty to draw breath and avoid taking damage that round. The suffocation effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the number of Health Levels of damage taken. This technique is ineffective against opponents that dont have to breathe. Stunner: You have heightened the effectiveness of your pressure point strikes. When using a pressure strike, increase the amount of time that your opponent is dazed by 3 rounds. This also adds 3 rounds to the effect duration of Sensory Deprivation Strike.

Reversal (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Jujutsu/Judo, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu or Wrestling (Catch, Freestyle, Greco-Roman, Professional) specialty, or at least 4 dots of Wits, Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts). You are talented at reversing clinches, locks and grapples. Whenever you escape from a Clinch, Hold or Joint Lock, you may attempt to make an immediate contested Brawl (or Martial Arts) roll against your opponent to establish a clinch or hold of your own.

Rooting Stance (3 experience points Associated Only)

Prerequisites: 2nd Kung Fu, Q Mng, Tai Chi Chuan or Wrestling (Sumo) specialty. You are trained in a variety of techniques that allow you to keep a stable footing. You may apply any style maneuver bonuses to Athletics rolls made to resist knockdown or knockback. As an added bonus, any penalties inflicted by being subjected to the Joint Lock maneuver are reduced by 1.

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Rugged (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)
Prerequisites: 1st Boxing, Muay Thai, Savate, Street Fighting, Wrestling (Freestyle, Greco-Roman, Professional, Sumo) specialty or at least 3 dots of Stamina, Brawl (or Martial Arts) and Endurance. You are trained to withstand blows. You gain a +1 bonus to your bashing soak.

Stop Hit (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Bojutsu/Quarterstaff, Fencing, Golden Gunplay, Jeet Kune Do, Q Mng or Tai Chi Chuan specialty, or at least 4 or more dots of Wits, Dexterity and Martial Arts (or Firearms or Melee). You can intercept an opponents blow with one of your own. When attacked by an unarmed opponent in close combat, you may make a Block attempt at a +2 difficulty. If you score more success than your attacker, you apply a damage effect to your attacker equal to your Strength+1 (plus any net successes from the Block). The Melee version of Stop Hit uses the Parry maneuver instead and allows you to treat an armed opponent as if they were unarmed for the purposes of dealing damage on a successful Parry. The Firearms version of Stop Hit uses the Parry maneuver to hit a foes bullet with your own, knocking them both harmlessly to the ground.

Soft Hand Technique (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 1st Aikido specialty or at least 3 dots of Dexterity, Wits and Martial Arts. You can strike or throw an opponent without injuring him. Whenever you would inflict bashing damage to an opponent from a strike, kick, or throw, you may instead have that opponent make a Stamina roll with a difficulty modifier equal to the number of damage successes you scored. If the Stamina roll fails the target loses one temporary Willpower point and suffers a -2 penalty to his initiative the following round. If the Stamina roll is successful, the target remains uninjured but may suffer other effects from the attack, such as knockdown. Soft Hand Technique cannot be used if applying extra damage successes from Mega-Strength to the attack or with hand-to-hand attacks that deal lethal or aggravated damage.

Supreme Mastery (7 experience points Non-Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 3rd combat style specialty in any style, 1st combat style specialty in a different style, Exceptional Talent Merit (either version), Master Thesis advanced technique, and 5 dots of Brawl (or Martial Arts or Melee) and Athletics. You have reached a pinnacle of martial prowess and have no doubt forgotten more about the arts of combat and war than entire dojos worth of lesser warriors will ever know. You may add one basic maneuver of your choice to your list of known style maneuvers, even if this takes you above the usual limit of 5 maneuvers. In addition, all advanced techniques that you meet the prerequisites for are considered associated techniques (even the ones listed non-associated only), except for certain techniques associated with the Inspired combat styles.

Stage Fighting (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 1st Wrestling (Professional) specialty, or at least 2 dot of Brawl (or Martial Arts, or Melee) and Performance. You can put on a convincing stage fight. Even though you deal little or no damage to your opponent, unless the outside observer already knows the fight is staged they may be convinced the combatants are actually fighting. Whenever the character chooses to subtract dice from their damage pool, they may make a Performance roll (contested by the observers Perception + Brawl, Martial Arts or Melee). Unless the observer scores more successes, they will be inclined to believe the character is in a sincere fight.

Swift Grapple (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Aikido, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu or Wrestling (Catch) specialty, or at least 4 dots of Wits, Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts). When a close combat opponent suffers a Knockdown, if they fail the Athletics roll to regain their footing you may make an immediate contested Brawl (or Martial Arts) to apply a clinch or hold on that opponent. The maneuver is resolved as normal once applied.

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Takedown (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points NonAssociated)
Prerequisites: 1st Commando Training, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu or Wrestling (Catch, Freestyle, Greco-Roman, Sumo) specialty or at least 3 dots of Strength, Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts). When using the Tackle maneuver, any opponent you tackle makes their Athletics rolls to resist knockdown at a +1 difficulty. You may apply any style maneuver bonuses to Athletics rolls you make resist knockdown when using the Tackle Maneuver. You can unleash a torrent of verbal abuse tailored to rattle or provoke an opponent. When attempting to verbally intimidate an adversary you may add your combat style specialty bonus to your Intimidation roll.

Weapon Forms (1 experience point Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 1st Archery, Arnis/ Escrima, Bojutsu/ Quarterstaff, Fencing, Golden Gunplay, Kalaripayit, Karate, Kendo/Kenjutsu, Kung Fu, Naginatajutsu, Ninjutsu/Taijutsu or Tai Chi Chuan specialty. You have been trained in the use of a variety of weapons. As long as you have at least 1 dot of Melee, you may select 1 specific weapon appropriate to your combat style. You may apply your style maneuver bonus to Weapon Strikes made with one of your selected weapons. At your 3rd dot of Melee you may select a second weapon and at your 5th dot of Melee you may select a third weapon. Archery Weapons: Blowpipe, Compound Bow, Crossbow, Long Bow, Pistol Crossbow, Short Bow, Speargun. Arnis/Escrima Weapons: Club, Knife, Nunchaku, Spear, Sword, Whip. Bojutsu/Quarterstaff Weapons: Club, O-Dachi, NoDachi, Naginata, Spear, Staff. Fencing Weapons: Epee/Rapier, Foil, Saber. Golden Gunplay Weapons: Firearms of all kinds, up to & including BFGs and rocket launchers. Kalaripayit Weapons: Club, Knife, Shield, Spear, Staff, Sword, Urumi. Karate Weapons: Bo Staff, Chain, Kama, Nunchaku, Sai, Tonfa. Kendo/ Kenjutsu Weapons: Bokken, Katana, NoDachi, Shinai, Wakazashi. Kung Fu Weapons: Axe, Chain, Club, Dao, Hook Sword, Knife, Spear. Naginatajutsu Weapons: Knife, Naginata, Nagamaki, Staff, Spear, Sword. Ninjutsu/ Taijutsu Weapons: Chain, Garrote, Knife, Kusari-gama, Naginata, Shuriken, Spear, Staff, Sword, War fan. Tai Chi Chuan Weapons: Rope dart, Spear, Staff, Sword, Three section staff, War fan, Whip, Wind-fire wheel.

Torque (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Capoeira, Kalaripayit (Southern), Kendo/Kenjutsu, Muay Thai, Naginatajutsu, Savate or Tae Kwon Do specialty or at least 4 dots of Dexterity, Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts). You can twist your body to add momentum to your blows. When using the strike, kick or Weapon Strike maneuver, you may add up to a +3 modifier to that maneuvers difficulty. Each point of added difficulty adds an additional die to the maneuvers damage. Adding torque to a strike, kick or Weapon Strike may only be done once per turn and reduces your initiative by an amount equal to the maneuvers total modified difficulty on your following turn.

Trapping Clinch (3 experience points Associated, 5 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 2nd Jeet Kune Do or Muay Thai specialty, or at least 4 dots of Strength, Athletics and Brawl (or Martial Arts). When you apply a clinch on an opponent, rather than deal normal clinch damage, you may instead make a Brawl/ Martial Arts roll at a +1 difficulty penalty. If successful, you pummel your opponents body with brutal knee strikes. This is considered a Kick Maneuver, and inflicts Strength +4 bashing damage.

Trash Talking (1 experience point Associated, 3 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 1st Wrestling (Professional) specialty, or 2 dots of both Intimidation and Performance.

Wounding Strike (5 experience points Associated, 7 experience points Non-Associated)


Prerequisites: 3rd Muay Thai or Tae Kwon Do specialty or at least 4 dots of Athletics and 5 dots of Brawl (or Martial Arts). You deliver blows that punish and wear down an oppo-

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nents body. When making a strike or kick attack, you may spend a point of Willpower. If at least 1 health level of damage is inflicted on the targeted opponent, any wound penalties they are currently suffering are increased by 1. Penalties from multiple blows are cumulative (to a maximum die pool penalty of -3). Each of these additional penalties last 1 hour (and are affected by increased nova healing rates). The regular penalties from lost health levels must still be recovered as the damage is healed.

Favored Pupil [3 point Merit]


As the Favored Pupil advanced technique, but for characters whose training under a master happened in their characters history.

Martial Prodigy [3 point/ 5 point Merit]


You are a brilliant student of the martial arts, mastering techniques in months that take others decades to learn. You learn combat specialties in 1/2 the listed training time. Inspired characters (novas, psiads, psions, stalwarts, daredevils and mesmerists) are already considered to have this Merit. The 5 point version is available to Inspired characters only, but allows them to learn a combat style specialty in 1/4 the listed training time.

World Warrior (3 experience points or 5 experience points, Non-Associated Only)


Prerequisites: At least 4 dots of Brawl, Martial Arts or Melee, must know at least 4 style maneuvers. These do not have to be from the same combat style specialty. This is the same as the World Warrior Merit, except it can be learned after character creation. The 3 experience point version is equivalent to the 3 point World Warrior Merit. Likewise, the 5 experience point version is equivalent to the 5 point World Warrior Merit.

World Warrior [3 or 5 point Merit]


You have traveled to arenas, dojos and gymnasiums around the world, adopting different moves and adding them to your arsenal. With the 3 point version of this merit, you may select an additional bonus style maneuver available to your combat style. The 5 point version allows you to select any combat maneuver and add it to your known style maneuvers.

Zen Targeting (1 experience point Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 1st Archery or Golden Gunplay specialty and 3 dots in Awareness. You have the ability to determine the location of your target without relying on your physical senses. Roll Perception + Awareness to intuit your targets location, with the degree of success determining the quality of the information gained in this manner. This effect lasts until the target is either dealt with, flees the vicinity or the scene ends, whichever comes first.

Dabbler [3 point Flaw]


While interested in your chosen combat style, you lack the dedication to achieve true proficiency. The maximum bonus you can apply to your style maneuvers is +1. Any character with more than 3 dots of Brawl, Martial Arts or Melee cannot take this flaw.

Dojo Rat [2 point Flaw]


The vast majority of your combat experience has been in controlled environments, such as sparring or athletic events, and you often forget your lessons in real life situations. When involved in combat outside of a controlled environment, you initiative rating is considered 3 points lower than normal (to a minimum of 1). This flaw may be bought off at the Storytellers discretion.

Combat Merits & Flaws


Exceptional Talent [3 or 5 point Merit]
You adopt fighting forms quickly and have trained in more than one discipline. You may have up to four combat style specialties for a given Ability (Brawl, Firearms, Martial Arts or Melee), rather than the usual 3. The 5 point version of this Merit allows you to have up to 5 combat style specialties per given ability. The effects of this Merit are cumulative with Ability Mastery (Adventure! core book p. 138). Please note that the maximum bonus that can be applied to any style maneuver is +3.

Glass Jaw [3 point Flaw]


You can dish it out, but you are not as good at taking it. When determining whether or not you are dazed or knocked unconscious from taking damage, your Stamina is considered 1 dot less than normal. Characters with Mega-Stamina add dots equal to their Mega-Stamina to their effective Stamina for determining if they are Dazed or Unconscious, rather than the usual bonus of double their Mega-Stamina dots.

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Rigid Style [3 point Flaw]
You have difficulty using maneuvers not employed by your Combat Style. You suffer a +1 difficulty modifier to the use of any maneuver that is not a Starting Style maneuver or on the Bonus Style maneuver list for your Combat Style specialty. This flaw may be bought off at the Storytellers discretion.

Mega-Attributes and Golden Gunplay


As can only be expected, there are many enhancements which can aid a Golden Gunslinger. Listed below are a few of the more obvious ones from the Aberrant core book. Your Storyteller has final discretion over the utility of enhancements from the Aberrant Players Guide and other sources (including this book). Mega-Dexterity: Accuracy and Physical Prodigy Mega-Perception: Blindfighting, Electromagnetic Vision, Hyperenhanced Hearing and Ultraperipheral Perception Mega-Intelligence: Analyze Weakness Mega-Wits: Enhanced Initiative, Multitasking and Quickness fights, it requires a solid foundation of mundane skill with and knowledge of all kinds of firearms. Prerequisites: Would-be Golden Gunslingers must have certain capabilities (superhuman and otherwise) before they can attempt to learn this combat style, which will vary depending on their type of Inspiration in addition to any other requirements. Novas must have a base Dexterity of 4, base Perception of 4, base Wits of 4, Quantum 1, Firearms 5, Athletics 3 and Martial Arts or Melee 2, although having dots of the relevant Mega-Attributes will ease the base Attribute restrictions. Trinity-era psions must have Dexterity 4, Perception 4, Wits 4, Firearms 5, Athletics 3, Martial Arts or Melee 2 and Telesthesia 1 in order to learn Golden Gunplay. In both cases, the Storyteller is encouraged to use Ability Mastery for Firearms as an additional requirement for students of Golden Gunplay if she has a copy of the Adventure! core book. Daredevils must have Dexterity 4, Perception 4, Wits 4, Firearms 5, Athletics 3, Martial Arts or Melee 2 with both the Lightning Reflexes and Trick Shot Knacks along with Ability Mastery for Firearms. Stalwarts and mesmerists from Adventure! can also take dynamic or psychic versions of the relevant Heroic Knacks to qualify. Time to learn: 6 months per specialty. Starting Style Maneuvers: Aiming, Dodge, Parry, Strafing, Two Weapons, Special (Golden Gunslingers gain the Weapon Forms advanced technique for free and have the pistol/revolver as a form weapon in addition to any others granted by this technique). Bonus Style Maneuvers: Breaking Blow, Combat Reload, Pressure Strike, Sidelong Shot, Weapon Strike (for pistol whipping). Note: Combat Reload and Sidelong Shot can be found in Nova Mega-Maneuvers, p. 141 of this book. Advanced Techniques: Acrobatic Evasion, Ambidextrous, Bullet Dodging Dance*, Counting Coup, Hard Target, Iaijutsu, Kihon, Longshot*, Meditative Form, Multiple Assailant Method, Pressure Secret, Stop Hit, Threading the Needle, Trajectory Twist*, Zen Targeting. *: This advanced technique can only be taken by novas

Untalented [2 point Flaw]


Perhaps you missed that lesson, werent paying attention or simply are not getting it. You can learn a maximum of 2 combat style specialties per given ability. If you take this flaw you cannot take the Exceptional Talent or World Warrior Merits.

Inspired Combat Styles


Given that novas have only been a global phenomenon for seventeen years as of 2015, its no surprise that the majority of nova martial artists have been trained in and practice the myriad combat styles developed by baseline humanity. What follows are two of the first exceptions to that rule: combat styles that only the Inspired can learn and master. Neither are officially known to exist, but unsubstantiated rumorssome of which go back for decadescontinue to be passed around in back alley bars and at underground martial arts tournaments. Like many other such urban legends, they are easily discounted and dismissed by most people as alcohol-marinated tall tales. Unfortunately for them, these urban legends are true. Conflict awaits.

Golden Gunplay
As any serious student of 21st Century combat could tell you, actual gunfighting is a group effort that revolves around lines of fire and available cover and depends on combined arms tactics and teamwork. The idea of a lone gunman laying waste to his foes while dodging their gunfire with ease is a myth best left to the films of John Woo, Chow Yun Fat and Kurt Wimmer. Unfortunately for those serious students, the Nova Age (among other such periods) is a time where myths have become living, breathing flesh... Practitioners of Golden Gunplay are those novas and other Inspired beings who have managed to take the art of gunfighting to heights unheard of by most people, Inspired or otherwise. While rumored to have originated sometime during the early 1920s, those who have truly mastered Golden Gunplay can still be found in certain places. Getting them to share their knowledge of the gun with a student is another matter entirely. Associated Skill: Firearms. While Golden Gunplay is centered around the use of superhuman capabilities in gun-

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and daredevils. : This advanced technique is useless for novas with Mega-Dexterity. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to Firearm attacks; learn 1 style maneuver from the Golden Gunplay bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Golden Gunplay bonus style maneuver list. tances that professional snipers would consider impossible. When using a sniper rifle with a tripod and either an astronomy-grade portable telescope or the Electromagnetic Vision enhancement, he can multiply his rifles effective range by his successes on a Perception + Firearms roll. Note that the character must have a relatively clear line of fire from his rifle to his target for the shot to make it to the target - minor obstacles such as mundane car and building windows will not impede the shot in any meaningful way. At the Storytellers discretion, the bullet used to perform this technique may need to be a quantum gadget or Innovation (in Adventure! terms). The details can and will vary with the individual Golden Gunslingersome might use exotic materials in the bullets construction, while others might use exotic designs such as multi-stage bullets. This effect lasts until the character makes his next shot, regardless of the results.

Boom, Boom, Boom!


There is one realistic consequence of a firearm-based combat style that deserves special attention: the weapons involved are very loud, especially if used in close quarters. A single gun discharge close enough to a baseline humans ear can cause bleeding from the eardrums as well as deafening him for life if precautions havent been taken. This typically means that non-nova Golden Gunslingers must wear earplugs or other sound-dampening devices when in a firefight. Fortunately for them, novas and other characters with natural Lethal soak have no need for such devices and are at no risk of being deafened or injured in this manner.

Threading The Needle (3 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 2nd Golden Gunplay specialty. The characters accuracy is such that he can shoot through any gap large enough for his bullet to pass through in whatever his targets are hiding behind. This includes gaps that the character creates himself with his gunfire or other means. This negates the benefits of cover (Aberrant core book p. 247) for the characters targets if there are any gaps in the cover to be exploited (Storytellers discretion).

Advanced Techniques
Bullet Dodging Dance (5 experience points Associated Only)
Prerequisites: 3rd Golden Gunplay specialty, 4 dots in both Awareness and either Athletics or Martial Arts. The character has mastered the art of dodging gunfire at short range in such a way that not only does it miss him, he can direct it so that it hits his targets instead. Any extra successes from the characters successful Dodge (using Dexterity + Athletics or Martial Arts) are compared with the successes of his attackers Dexterity + Firearms roll. If the character has at least one more success than his attacker, he may dictate what his bullet hits instead of himself, subject to the Storytellers approval. However, the character may not take any other physical action aside from Dodging while performing this advanced technique. It should also be noted that without extreme levels of Mega-Dexterity, this technique is useless against portable lasers (Aberrant core book, p. 276).

Trajectory Twist (1 experience point Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 1st Golden Gunplay specialty. The character can put an additional spin on a single bullet with a Dexterity + Firearms roll, allowing the bullet to take a curved trajectory towards his target and avoiding any obstacles in its path. Each success in the roll gives a potential curvature of 20% to the trajectory on the next shot you

Can This Be Used With Lasers?


Players in Trinity chronicles may already be drooling at the prospect of using Golden Gunplays advanced techniques with the hyper-tech arsenal seen in the Trinity core book and the Trinity Technology Manual. Unfortunately for them, Golden Gunplay isnt quite as useful with weapons such as personal laser pistols. The Storyteller is within her rights to declare any Golden Gunplay technique that relies upon the weapon shooting an actual physical bullet to do damage as incompatible with directed energy weapons.

Longshot (3 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 2nd Golden Gunplay specialty. The character can make deadly accurate shots at dis-

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fire, and the character can apply as much or as little of that potential as desired. While obviously useful for shooting people around corners and behind cover, this also allows the character to shoot around people between him and his target without harming them. own Taint: Q Mng, or Enlightenment. A style of Chinese internal martial arts with heavy Taoist influences, Q Mng emphasizes harmony of the users chi and quantum energies as well as that of his mind and body. The principles of Q Mng are summarized as seeing the nova as being like a fish. If the fish is healthy and in unpolluted waters it will swim effortlessly through them, a creature distinct from its environment yet perfectly adapted to it. From this viewpoint Taint is seen a noisy splashing, the sign of a diseased and distressed creature that is not just damaged but can pollute its environment as well. Trained Q Mng stylists can not only reduce their Taint and the other negative side effects of quantum use but also learn to better channel their quantum energies in the process, sometimes in nasty ways. Techniques of notable use in combat with other novas are also taught. Currently this combat style can be learned from only one person: a mysterious nova from Tibet known only as the Sifu. Whoever this person is, locating him or heras with nearly all else, the Sifus gender is unknownis almost impossible. The only way to find the Sifu is if the Sifu wants to be found. So far, the only people whove done so are novas that both needed to and were worthy of finding the Sifu. Those novas went on to become the Sifus first students in Q Mng. Only time will tell what will become of the Q Mng stylists and their Sifu. Associated Skills: Martial Arts and Meditation; as mastering Q Mng requires precise control over both mind and body. Qi Meng stylists will also have the opportunity to learn the new quantum-related AbilitiesChanneling, Modulate and Unifyfound in Appendix #1 (on pp. 243245) of this book. Some Q Mng stylists will have dots in the other combat Abilities if not a full-fledged Combat Styleas per their personal fighting preferences. Academics with a specialty in Philosophy is mandatory due to the styles extensive roots in Taoist teachings. Having at least three dots of Instruction (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 90) is also mandatory for stylists seeking to attain the second Q Mng combat specialty, as they will be expected to eventually train their own students in Q Mng. Attaining the third Q Mng combat specialty requires Instruction 5. As Q Mng also emphasizes taking advantage of a novas individual capabilities, Q Mng stylists are taught to adapt any maneuvers and techniques from other styles that may suit them. As such, many will either have the World Warrior Merit or buy the equivalent technique. Prerequisites: Martial Arts 2, Meditation 5, Athletics 2; Dexterity, Stamina and Wits at 3 or better (or at least 1 dot in the equivalent Mega-Attributes). Note that these are just the minimums for beginning students, trained Q Mng stylists will have considerably higher ratings. Time to learn: 2 years per specialty.

Whirlwind Barrage (5 experience points Associated Only)


Prerequisites: 3rd Golden Gunplay specialty. By spending a temporary Willpower point and making a Dexterity + Firearms roll, the character can unleash as many shots as his guns are capable of firing at multiple targets within a 360 area centered on himself, using his firearms short range as the radius. Unlike the basic Strafing maneuver (Aberrant core book p. 248), the characters difficulties are not increased on a per meter basis. In all other ways this technique functions just like the Strafing maneuver. Furthermore, even firearms not normally capable of being used with the Strafing maneuver can be used with the Whirlwind Barrage. The downsides to this technique is that the character cannot do anything else but shoot at his targets while performing the Whirlwind Barrage and that his clips will be emptied in the process.

Storyteller Discretion Alert!


The following Inspired Combat Style introduces an alternative option to some canon facts about first generation novas, which are reflected in both the official setting information and game mechanics. As such, it has the potential to change certain aspects of nova existence in ways that some Aberrant Storytellers and/or players will neither like nor accept. All the Combat Styles in this chapter are optional elements, but that goes double for this one. If you dont like it, consider the following listing null and void. If you do, go right ahead and use it. Either way, have fun!

Q Mng/Enlightenment
Although none have admitted to it publicly as of 2015, many novas have been seeking ways to stave off and/or remedy the problem of Taint accumulation. For every nova who learns how to bleed off her own temporary Taint there are four more who seek quick fixes, whether it be the services of Sin Eaters Purity Clinic or the latest (and typically ineffective) anti-taint drug to hit the black market. Others pin their hopes on the rumors about the Teragen having a cure for Taint, only to find that the Chrysalis is much more - and somewhat less - than advertised. A very few novas often those with a natural talent for the martial arts - hear a little-known rumor and find a means of actually curing their

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Starting Style Maneuvers: Block, Kick, Riposte, Shove, Strike. Bonus Style Maneuvers: Catch Limb, Clinch, Dodge, Feint, Flying Kick, Joint Lock, Kip Up, Pressure Strike, Sweep, Throw. Advanced Techniques: Chi Respire, Climbing the Mountain of Heaven*, Do Q Mng* (all Q Mng stylists get this Advanced Technique for free), Expanded Technique, Falling Technique, Finesse, Focusing Trance*, Footwork, Internal Balance*, Kata, Kiaijutsu, Kihon, Meditative Form, Multiple Assailant Method, Node Reconfiguration*, Pressure Point Divination*, Pressure Secret, Purge Permanent Taint*, Purge Psychic Trauma*, Purge Temporary Taint*, Restorative Trance*, Running Water Camouflage*, Rooting Stance, Stop Hit. * : This maneuver can only be learned by Q Mng stylists : This maneuver is useless for 2ndGen Q Mng stylists. 1st Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers. 2nd Specialty: +1 damage bonus to a style maneuver of the Q Mng stylists choice, learn 1 style maneuver from the Q Mng bonus style maneuver list. 3rd Specialty: +1 accuracy bonus to style maneuvers, learn 1 style maneuver from the Q Mng bonus style maneuver list.

Advanced Techniques
Climbing the Mountain of Heaven (5 experience points Associated Only)

Prerequisites: 3rd Q Mng specialty. When first generation novas become Q Mng stylists, they seem to make a great sacrifice as their potential to raise their Quantum - the very thing most novas believe defines them - to truly powerful levels is stymied. This is in fact a counterintuitive blessing, as continued improvement in Q Mng will eventually make it possible for them to attain those heights - if at a slower pace than other novas - without developing permanent Taint. After having learned this technique, the character can use the following chart to increase her Quantum Trait to ratings of 6 and higher. The downside to this is that she will automatically suffer an additional difficulty penalty of +1 (cumulative with that from Do Q Mng and Node Reconfiguration) on all rolls for social interaction with elevated Terat novas and highly-Tainted novas. Please note that only 1stGen Q Mng stylists have any use for this technique. Trait___________Experience point cost Quantum 6+__________Current rating x 16

Prerequisites: 1st Q Mng specialty. As part of mastering the basics of Q Mng, the characters (metaphorical) feet have been irrevocably placed on the Path of Enlightenment. In less poetic terms, her potential for development as a nova has been altered in several important ways. Any quantum capabilities involving Willpower, personal health, self-awareness & self-controlbe it physical, mental, social or Telluric in natureare now considered to be in theme with the characters range of quantum powers. This includes any and all Mega-Attributes with relevant enhancements. The character automatically loses the option to buy nova capabilities Tainted. If the character is a first generation nova, she automatically loses the capability to buy Quantum at 6+ and the Node Background at 3+. This can only be remedied by buying the techniques Climbing the Mountain of Heaven and Node Reconfiguration, respectively. If the character already has Quantum 5+ or Node 3+, those traits are instead frozen at that level until she has purged all of their associated Taint, after which Climbing the Mountain of Heaven and Node Reconfiguration may be learned. The harmony between the characters quantum energies and chi provokes a sense of unease in novas with high levels of Taint and/or Chrysalis. She automatically suffers a difficulty penalty of +1 on all rolls for social interaction with elevated Terat novas and highly-Tainted novas. For True 2ndGen nova Q Mng stylists, this is cumulative with their existing +2 difficulty penalty for social interactions with such novas. The character no longer suffers the massive headaches associated with learning new powers or the difficulty penalty associated with using newly developed powers (Aberrant core book p. 125).

Do Q Mng, The Path of Enlightenment (Special Associated Only)

Focusing Trance (1 experience point Associated Only)

Prerequisites: 1st Q Mng specialty. Before deciding to max a quantum power, the character can make a Wits + Meditation roll to convert excess quantum into a temporary buffer which lasts for only that single attempt, which will take place during the next turn. If the roll is successful this absorbs one point of temporary Taint generated by Power Strain per every three successes on the roll, and it also reduces the botched power effect to a simple failure. If the roll fails, she faces the normal risks of Power Strain. If the roll is botched, not only does it fail but it

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also momentarily disrupts the characters quantum energies as her attempt to max a power is negated.

Pressure Point Divination (5 experience points Associated Only)

Prerequisites: 3rd Q Mng specialty. The characters ability to maintain the balance between her quantum signature and chi has grown to the point that she can more readily fend off outside attempts to disrupt it. Whenever the character is attacked by powers or effects that would increase her Taint, inflict new aberrations or alter her existing aberrations, she can add her Wits + Meditation dice to her Willpower when attempting to resist. This technique is also effective against Disimmunize, as it disrupts the characters balanced quantum signature and chi in a typically fatal way. Internal Balance provides no protection against Disrupt, Quantum Imprint, Quantum Vampire and Quantum Leech, not to mention the effects of the high-level powers of Quantum Authority and Quantum Supremacy. This technique is also reflexive and does not require an action to perform.

Internal Balance (5 experience points Associated Only)

Prerequisites: 2nd Q Mng specialty. As a consequence of learning Q Mng, 1stGen nova stylists lose the ability to develop their M-R nodes past the third instar (Node Background rating 2). This is a blessing in disguise, as mastery of certain aspects of Q Mng can literally reprogram how a stylists M-R node will develop before its otherwise unrestricted growth can cause any damage to her prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that discerns right from wrong). When this technique is learned, the character can buy levels of the Node Background at ratings of 3 and higher using the experience point cost seen below. The altered growth pattern is slower than standard M-R node developmentit grows by diffusing and spreading itself throughout the brain tissues without harming or impeding them in any waybut has no risk of causing any permanent Taint. This technique does not alter the experience point cost of the N-Stage Node Background Enhancement (see p. 242 of this book). The downside to this is that the character will automatically suffer an additional difficulty penalty of +1 (cumulative with that from Do Q Mng) on all rolls for social interaction with elevated Terat novas and highlyTainted novas. Please note that only 1stGen Q Mng stylists have any use for this technique. Trait___________Experience point cost Node 3+________CR x 4

Node Reconfiguration (3 experience points Associated Only)

Prerequisites: 3rd Q Mng specialty, Pressure Secret, Pressure Strike. While capable of startling effects in the right hands, traditional knowledge of pressure points has always had one major limitation: it was only effective when used on baseline human anatomy. Historically this wasnt a problem, as most martial artists would fend off or kill hostile animals with edged or ranged weapons like everybody else. With the coming of the Nova Age, there are now superhuman foes whose anatomies and physiologies can vary greatly from those of baseline humans. The characters mastery of Q Mng has given her a solution to this, as she can intuit the locations and effects of pressure points in bodies with anything from somewhat to wildly inhuman anatomy. This requires a Perception + Meditation roll and one turn to observe the target through unaided eyesight - viewing a target through telepathic sense-sharing is feasible, but video surveillance wont work at all. The quality of the information gained through this technique is dependent on the number of successes rolled. One or two successes lets the character identify one pressure point that she knows the equivalent Pressure Secret for. Three successes lets her identify two such pressure points, while four or more grants knowledge of three pressure points. Once located, she can attack the targets known pressure points as normal with the Pressure Strike maneuver and the Pressure Secret advanced technique. This advanced technique is effective on Taint-ridden novas, biological aliens and terrestrial animals. Bodymorphed novas, robots and non-biological aliens cannot be affected by this technique without Storyteller permission.

Purge Permanent Taint (5 experience points Associated Only)

Prerequisites: 3rd Q Mng specialty, Purge Temporary Taint. Perhaps the most coveted secret of Q Mng, this technique allows the character to lose permanent Taint. The preparations for using this technique requires her to perform a regimen of special katas coupled with deep meditation for six hours daily for ninety days. Any interruption of the preparations will ruin them and force her to start over, although her saved experience points will be retained. For purposes of this technique, interruptions are defined as engaging in node abuse, being attacked during her daily katas and meditation and being unable to continue with the regimen. Gaining any additional temporary Taint will also count as an interruption and is to be avoided.

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Provided that the preparations are over, the character has no points of temporary Taint and has saved up sufficient experience points, she can then spend 1 point of temporary Willpower to induce a psychosomatic fever state in herself through meditation (no roll is required at this point). For the next seven days she will be reduced to a invalid (base Strength and Dexterity of 1, base Stamina of 1 for purposes of physical exertion) and will have no access to her nova capabilities other than her extended lifespan. As the character will only experience brief periods of semi-consciousness for the duration, hospital-grade bed rest complete with nursing and intravenous feeding will be required. During this time her Quantum Pool will be inaccessible as her quantum energies and chi are literally readjusting themselves to reach a more balanced state, which will completely drain her Quantum Pool in the process. At the end of this period the character must roll her base Wits + Meditation, with three success meaning that she loses 1 point of permanent Taint along with the attendant aberration and difficulty penalty for social interaction. She will also begin regaining quantum points at this time. Depending on the aberration in question and the players wishes, the Storyteller may allow minor cosmetic physical aberrations to be retained as false aberrations (1- or 2-point Flaws). Failing the roll or getting less than three successes means that the characters amount of permanent Taint is unchanged, but she begins regaining quantum points. Botching the roll means that the characters amount of permanent Taint is unchanged, her saved experience points are wasted and she cannot regain any quantum points for another seven days. The amount of experience points required to use this technique depends on what the particular point of permanent Taint the characters player wishes to get rid of is derived from. If that dot resulted from buying a quantum power, Mega-Attribute or enhancement Tainted, the character must have saved enough experience points to pay off the discount going by its cost in experience points as per the Experience Costs chart (Aberrant core book p. 124). If that dot resulted from accumulating temporary Taint or buying dots of the Quantum Trait at five or higher, the character must save 30 experience points to use this technique. If that dot resulted from buying a third, fourth or fifth dot of the Node Background without using the Node Reconfiguration technique, those dots must be bought again at their original experience costs to use this technique.

Given that Q Mng does offer an actual cure for Taint accumulation, it would be only natural for some highly-Tainted novas with a healthy fear of their own Taint to seek it out. Whether or not they can benefit from it is an open question and comes under the discretion of the Storyteller. If novas with medium (6-7) or high (8+) ratings of permanent Taint can be cured of Taint through mastering Q Mng, then the themes of personal redemption, dealing with an uphill struggle and attempting to beat the odds can be explored. Chronicles of Taint-ridden novas managing - or failing - to reclaim their humanity and sanity through their own efforts can provide much drama. In addition to Tainted 1stGen novas, Trog 2ndGen novas (see Aberrant: A Breed Apart) and victims of the Eruption Catalyst (see pp. 25-26 of this book) could also seek out the cure offered by Q Mng. In the most over-thetop optimistic four-color Aberrant chronicles, even a Spark Soldier (see pp. 65-67 of this book) might salvage his life by learning Q Mng, although that will prove impossible in any chronicle darker than that. Alternatively, other Storytellers might decide that Q Mng simply cannot help highly Tainted 1stGen novas, much less Trog 2ndGen novas or Eruption Catalyst victims. This state of affairs can lend a sense of urgency to would-be Q Mng stylists, as gaining any more permanent Taint could take them past the point of no return before they even find the Sifu. If Q Mng (or Teras, for that matter) cannot help these creatures - who will go on to cause many problems if left to their own devices - then preventing their development or delivering a mercy killing may be the only options left in dealing with them, barring use of the Quantum Transformation technique of Quantum Supremacy (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 135-136).

Seeking Redemption

Purge Psychic Trauma (1 experience point Associated Only)

Prerequisites: 1st Q Mng specialty. Through deeply introspective meditation the character can perform a kind of self-therapy, eliminating the psychological impact and stresses caused by mental and emotional trauma. Aside from removing the anguish associated with traumatic memories, this technique is also capable of curing any mental disorders (mental Flaws) not resulting from Taint that the character may be suffering from. Given an hours worth of uninterrupted meditation, the character can negate any and all mental and emotional pain caused by a traumatic memory with a Wits + Meditation roll. If successful, this negates the ill effects of other novas Mega-Wits and Social Mega-Attributes as well as the more mundane varieties of social attacks and indignities employed by baselines. Failing the roll indicates that shes only wasted her time, while botching means that the character gets to relive the traumatic memory in question all over again. When used to cure non-aberration mental disorders, the character must spend 1 point of temporary Willpower and a number of saved experience points equal to the mental disorders point value as a Flaw. In this case, failing the roll means

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nothing changes. Botching the roll means that not only does the character retain the mental disorder, but she also loses the saved experience points intended to buy it off.

Node Abuse
Perceptive players and Storytellers will have seen a few references in previous Aberrant books to quantum abuse as an insetting term for Taint accumulation. Q Mng stylists use the term node abuse to describe a range of similar self-destructive and unhealthy ways to misuse ones quantum energies. As all nova powers are based in their personalities, the novas intent is just as much a factor as overusing quantum in determining what counts as node abuse. Q Mng is concerned with a novas overall health, but does not see all quantum use as being unhealthy. Moderation is the key here. Below are some guidelines as to what does and does not count as node abuse. Node abuse is: Frivolous and/or foolish uses of a Q Mng stylists fullstrength powers, especially when employing more mundane solutions would be quicker, easier, more effective or more sensible. The philosophy behind Q Mng frowns on making unnecessary motions when acting and extends this to the use of nova capabilities. What counts as frivolous or foolish is left to the Storytellers discretion, though glaringly idiotic ways of using ones powers are always eligible. Depleting and recharging ones entire Quantum Pool once or more times daily when doing so is not necessary. Aside from wasting ones quantum energies, placing unnecessary strain on ones node and M-R coils can lead to gaining temporary Taint in the future and is to be avoided. Any use of ones powers which could result in the Q Mng stylist gaining temporary taint. This includes but is not limited to Rapid Recovery (Aberrant core book p. 150), maxing a power, using the Node Spark quantum power, using the Supercharge Extra of the Quantum Bolt quantum power, being the target of the Nova Proxy quantum power and using the Unify Ability to engage in Sparking (see p. 244 of this book). Using quantum energies while suffering from a mental disorder that inflicts temporary Taint on the Q Mng stylist. Fortunately, the Purge Psychic Trauma technique was developed to remedy that problem. Node abuse is not: Using full-strength powers in situations where doing so is warranted. Depleting and recharging ones entire Quantum Pool once or more times daily when doing so is necessary for the survival of the Q Mng stylist or those who he cares about. As baseline humans have exhibited extraordinary capabilities in crisis situations, it is to be expected that a Q Mng stylist can do the same. Minor uses of powers at half or less of their full rating, as they do not produce any real strain to speak of to the Q Mng stylists node and M-R coils.

Prerequisites: 1st Q Mng specialty. While all novas have some capability to bleed off temporary Taint (Aberrant core book p. 150), the character has mastered the principles of Q Mng to the point where she can do so in a much more efficient if unpleasant manner. The preparations for using this technique requires the character to perform a regimen of special katas coupled with deep meditation for three hours daily for thirty days. The character must also have saved up sufficient experience points to buy off the points of temporary Taint she wishes to lose, which have a cost of three experience points each. Any interruption of the preparations will ruin them and force her to start over, although her saved experience points will be retained. For purposes of this technique, interruptions are defined as engaging in node abuse, being attacked during her daily katas and meditation and being unable to continue with the regimen. Gaining any additional temporary Taint will also count as an interruption and is best avoided. After the preparations are finished, the character can spend 1 point of temporary Willpower to induce a psychosomatic fever state in herself through meditation (no roll is required at this point). For the next 24 hours the character will be reduced to a near-invalid (base Strength of 1, base Dexterity of 2 and base Stamina of 2 for purposes of physical exertion) and will have no access to her nova capabilities other than her extended lifespan. Aside from attending to her own physical hygiene and feeding herself, the character wont be capable of much. During this time the characters Quantum Pool constantly leaks away and will always be empty. At the end of this period the character must roll her base Wits + Meditation, for every two successes she lose 1 point of temporary Taint, provided that she have enough experience points to pay for them. The character will also begin regaining quantum points at this time. Failing the roll means that the characters amount of temporary Taint is unchanged, but she begins regaining quantum points. Botching the roll means that the characters amount of temporary Taint is unchanged and she cannot regain any quantum points for another 24 hours.

Purge Temporary Taint (1 experience point Associated Only)

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Restorative Trance (1 experience point Associated Only)
make their power usage blend in with the local environment, as the currents from a swimming fish can blend in with that of running water. After learning this technique, the character can generate enough chi from her excess quantum energy to not only prevent her quantum powers from polluting the vicinity but also make the traces of her quantum power use harder to detect. Whenever someone attempts to detect the characters power use through Inspired means (be it inherent powers or super-science), they suffer a difficulty penalty equal to her Meditation rating. Use of this technique is reflexive and is considered an automatic action.

Prerequisites: 1st Q Mng specialty. The character can enter a brief meditative trance that is highly conducive to replenishing her quantum energies. Whenever she makes a roll for Rapid Recovery (Aberrant core book p. 150) the character also automatically makes a reflexive Wits + Meditation roll. Every three successes on the roll will reduce the difficulty penalty on the Stamina + Node roll by 1 point. Failing the Wits + Meditation roll means that the Rapid Recovery attempt is rolled normally, while botching the roll prevents her from making any Rapid Recovery attempts at all for the next 15 minus (the characters base Wits + Meditation) turns.

New Pressure Secret: M-R Coil Disruption Strike


The character can temporarily disrupt another novas ability to actively channel quantum by forcing a large amount of excess chi (converted from her own quantum energies) into him. When performing a pressure strike against a nova the character may spend a temporary Willpower point and two quantum points to make a Medicine roll at +2 difficulty against the targets Node rating. If the roll is successful, the target nova will be unable to spend quantum points for one turn per success afterwards. This technique cannot affect nova capabilities which do not require spending quantum points in order to function. Also, since the character is striking at one of the target novas quantum pressure points, any variations from baseline human anatomy the target nova may have make no difference when using this technique.

Prerequisites: 1st Q Mng specialty. Whenever a fish moves through the water, currents are made and noisy splashing can occur. This principle is directly reflected when most novas use their powers, as it leaves traces that certain other novas (and some other Inspired) can detect and track. Even worse is the fact that in high enough quantities such quantum residueespecially when produced by highly-Tainted novascan be harmful to mundane lifeforms as it disrupts the natural flow of chi through the local environment. In contrast, Q Mng stylists learn to

Running Water Camouflage (1 experience point Associated Only)

Surprisingly, a currently unknown quality involved in practicing Q Mng tends to unsettle elevated Terats. Those novas will perceive Q Mng stylists as walking examples of... something that they find deeply disturbing. Matters will become even worse once those Terats learn something of the teachings promoted by Q Mng. From the stereotypical Teragen viewpoint Q Mng stylists have rejected everything Teras stands for and are beyond all hope of evolution. Not only are the philosophy and values of Q Mng almost completely opposed to those of Teras, no student of Q Mng can ever learn the ways of the Chrysalis (and vice versa). While Terat novas who havent undergone a Chrysalis cant sense just what is so disturbing about a Q Mng stylist, they are still likely to be influenced by and respectful of the opinions of the elevated Terats. While some Terats will judge Q Mng stylists on their individual merits, others who deem Teras to be the One True Way For Novakind will see Q Mng as nothing short of heresy against Teras and Divis Mal. This will make for strained relations at best, with extremist Terats eager to end the spread of such a highly offensive (to them, anyway) pack of false teachings by any means necessary before it can become widespread among the nova population. Either way, Terats of any stripe are unlikely to be big fans of a Q Mng stylist.

Opposed Paths

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Storyteller Information Alert!
The following information is best reserved for the Storytellers eyes only. If you are a player and your Storyteller plans on using Q Mng in your Aberrant chronicle, stop reading this right nowyour Storyteller will inform you of it when she deems it best. If not, go right ahead and enjoy! and practice, disciplined people can use it to accomplish startling feats. While currently dismissed as superstition by most of the scientific community circa 2015, this force will finally be identified as noetic energythe fifth fundamental force of the universein 2106. The important thing is while novas are unable to directly manipulate noetic energy - thats the province of Nova Age psiads and Trinity Era psions - they can still manipulate it indirectly through the medium of their quantum energies. Its an inefficient process, but the results can still be quite dramatic. Unfortunately the noetic energy of most novas is too often out of balance with their quantum energies, which leads to Taint accumulation and all its associated problems. Q Mng stylists can prevent themselves from gaining Taint and even remove any they may already have accumulated by deliberately bringing their noetic and quantum energies into a stable balance. This can even allow Q Mng stylists to prevent themselves from gaining permanent Taint in circumstances where it is otherwise considered inevitable, provided a sufficient level of mastery has been achieved.

The Q Mng F.A.Q.


Weve left a lot of mysteries and questions posed by the existence and origins of Q Mng in the preceding listing. Here is where well give the answers to the most important ones.

What martial art did Q Mng originate from?


As those readers who have more than a passing knowledge of the martial arts will have already figured out, Q Mng is a direct descendant of historical Tai Chi Chuan, modified to both suit the needs of novas and the demands of nova combat. Like its parent art Q Mng is both a healing art and a martial art. Combined with the combat styles deep roots in Taoist philosophy - all of which has turned out to be surprisingly important - this makes for a subtly powerful package. The two most notable differences between the combat styles are Q Mngs lack of emphasis on the Melee weapons associated with historical Tai Chi Chuan and the increased aggressiveness of Q Mng. The reasons for the first difference are twofold and rather obvious. First, a Q Mng stylist already has an array of natural weapons and defenses that must be mastered: her own nova capabilities. Second is the fact that without certain quantum powers and/or Mega-Attribute enhancements, mundane melee weapons have little use in nova combat. The reason for the second difference is that the philosophy of Q Mng advocates a balance between proactive effort and the complimentary reactions of historical Tai Chi Chuanboth have their place and correct uses, but one should never be favored over the other.

How does Q Mng work?


As part of its focus on improving a stylists overall health, the practice of Q Mng employs Taoist teachings that unwittingly tap into elements of noetic theory (as presented in Trinity Field Report: Noetic Science), primarily the effect of quantum manipulation on the noetic medium. By learning to use their noetic energies in concert with their nova capabilities, Q Mng stylists can reduce and even eliminate the negative effects that their own quantum energies can have on themselves and their environment. As with Tai Chi Chuan, the motions and capabilities of Q Mng lend themselves well to martial uses.

Does Q Mng really get rid of a novas Taint?


Yes it does, just as advertised. Instead of redefining a novas noetic template distortion as Terats do by means of the Chrysalis, using Q Mngs two Taint-purging techniques can and will get rid of a novas temporary and permanent Taint, along with the aberrations and difficulty penalties for social interaction. The techniques in question must be learned, are not easy to use and success isnt guaranteed, but the possibility is there waiting to be found and exploited.

What exactly is chi and how does Q Mng figure into it?
According to ancient Chinese belief, chi (known also as ki, prana and pneuma elsewhere in the world) is much more than the simple act of breathing. Instead, chi is an invisible force that permeates all living things (and the environment, to a lesser degree), including novas. Given proper training

What are the benefits of practicing Q Mng?

On its most basic level, the practice of Q Mng is intended to improve all facets of the stylists personal health

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by reducing the conflict within ones body and mind. Physical health is ensured by improving the stylists flexibility, balance, strength, breathing and circulation. Mental health is ensured by improving the stylists patience, mental focus and her ability to keep herself grounded in the present. Any emotional and psychological traumas a stylist may be suffering from are also brought out from the depths of her psyche, where the stylist is forced to confront and eventually overcome them. With sufficient mastery of Q Mng, a stylist can even rid herself of any mental disorders she may have, provided they arent the result of mental Taint. These benefits carry over into a Q Mng stylists social life, as superfluous exertions are curtailed and conflicts are reduced. The other benefits of practicing Q Mng stem from the freedom from the threat of developing Taint and its associated aberrations, particularly the mental disorders. Without that particular sword of Damocles hanging over them, Q Mng stylists may interact with baseline humans and society in general with little or no difficulties imposed by their own powers. As sane novas who will reliably remain so, they can work with governments, businesses and any other baseline organizations as is desired and/or necessary. This state of affairs is also highly conducive to Q Mng stylists getting married and starting families. tion are also reviled by Q Mng stylists as unhealthy and self-destructive. Likewise, Q Mng does not condemn the pleasures of life, as puritanism is also seen as a symptom of imbalance. Moderation is the key to maintain balance and avoid self-destructive extremes here. The second basic ideal of Q Mng is attaining and applying the perspective of realism to all things. The most important subject of this ideal is the stylist himself, as he must gain an accurate knowledge of his own capabilities and limitations through serious analysis and healthy introspection before he can judge what he can accomplish and what he cant. The stylist also comes to realize his self-worth; as a person, as a nova, as a martial artist and in all the other facets of his life. When this perspective is shifted to things, other people and the world around him the stylist can see them for what they really are, without the illusions of false beliefs, propaganda, prejudices, wishful thinking, popular lies and sentimentality to distort his judgment. This is especially important in the Nova Age, as deceptions and empty rewards pose some of the greatest threats that a nova will face. In this way a stylist can shed any unrealistic expectations for good or ill that he may have of other people (nova and baseline) and the institutions they have created. Q Mng stylists know if something (and someone) is or isnt worthy of their attention, their time, their effort and even their own lives. That last price is considered feasible in only the direst circumstances, as the needless and/or wasted sacrifice of ones lifemuch less those of a stylists loved onesis despised as the act of an utter fool. The third basic ideal of Q Mng is attaining wisdom, which it defines as having both accurate knowledge and the skill to use it effectively. Inherent common sense is one facet of this ideal, but the others must be developed to progress in mastering Q Mng. Too many people are burdened with all kinds of foolishness, ignorance, irrationality and general stupidity, with some hopeless people even prizing those faults as valuable. The general human populace has always suffered from those problems, but they seem to have become especially noticeable in the early Nova Age. As a nova and especially as a student of Q Mng, the stylist must excise as much of those burdens as is possible from his psyche in order to achieve mastery in the Combat Style. With good judgment, the ability to find solutions and the means to discover hidden truths, Q Mng stylists can survive and prosper when others see only bleakness and despair.

The philosophy of Q Mng can be boiled down to three basic ideals: harmonious balance, realism and wisdom. Sometimes jokingly referred to as the Three Diamonds by Q Mng stylists when in the presence of outsiders to confuse eavesdroppers, these ideals will shape this Combat Style for centuries to come. As one can guess from its description, attaining a harmonious balance is the first basic ideal of Q Mng. This ideal is applied globally to all aspects of the stylists self physical, mental, social, Telluric and otherwise - which leads to a remarkably improved state of personal health and peace of mind. It also leads to the stylist learning to not only control the power and potential of being a nova, but how to do so in ways which are less likely to damage himself and his environment. This ideal is one reason (out of many) why Q Mng stylists learn to detest Taint in themselves, as they view it as disharmonious and unbalanced in the worst of ways. Novas who are not Q Mng stylists are judged on their individual merits, but those with high levels of permanent Taint are hardly ever considered trustworthy or even safe to be around. This makes for touchy situations when dealing with Terats, especially those who are devout believers in Teras. Lesser symptoms of imbalance suffered by novas such as workaholism, excessive hedonism and addic-

What are the teachings and values of Q Mng?

Why do highly-Tainted novas and elevated Terats find the Q Mng stylists disturbing?
In terms of noetic science, a nova with any level of per-

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manent Taint has developed a serious imbalance between her quantum and noetic energies. As that imbalance increases it leads to distortion of the noetic component of her quantum matrix, which is commonly known as Taint. By that point the nova will have become accustomed to her own Taint (and that of her fellow unfortunates) and will regard it as what is normal for her. This becomes a problem when such warped novas encounter a Q Mng stylist, whose atypical harmony between his quantum and noetic energies will seem wrong to the highly-Tainted nova. Combined with the existing problems that Tainted novas have with novas who are less Tainted than themselves, any social interaction will be troubled at best. The situation is somewhat different with elevated Terat novas, who have undergone the Chrysalis. Although they share the same instinctual response to a Q Mng stylist that highly-Tainted novas experience, such Terats will sometimes find Q Mng stylists offensive for ideological reasons. If an elevated Terat sees Teras as something that all novas should embrace, then he will find the philosophy of Q Mng offensive in the extreme.

If the Aberrant War cant be stopped, how else will the practice of Q Mng affect the canon metaplot?
It wont, at least not in any of the obvious ways. Many novas will still become increasingly Tainted and nova-baseline relations will begin to break down. Project Utopias reputation will decline considerably and the Teragen will still become a dictatorship ruled by Divis Mal after the Night of Long Knives. If the Q Mng stylists wish to live through the coming global conflict and see their Combat Style and loved ones do the same, they will have to pick their battles carefully and play to their strengths.

How can the Q Mng stylists survive, much less prosper?


As they are incapable of growing in power quickly through either Taint accumulation or undergoing the Chrysalis, Q Mng stylists must play to their strengths: their sanity, an unimpeded ability to socialize and work with baseline humans and an accurate view of themselves and the world they live in. With those advantages a stylist can easily establish and maintain fruitful long-term beneficial relationships with those people and institutions who can be trusted and are worth associating with, while avoiding those who cant be trusted and arent worth the stylist becoming involved with. When coupled with her own nova capabilities, a Q Mng stylist can operate in baseline society like few other novas will be able to in the coming decades.

Can spreading Q Mng out into the world at large prevent the Aberrant War?
This depends largely on the tone the Storyteller has established for your Aberrant chronicle. If the canon metaplot has been tossed out the window in favor of another predetermined outcome or a freeform timeline, then the spread of Q Mng instruction could potentially have a dramatic impact on the future of the Nova Age. By retarding the spread of Taint accumulation, a larger fraction of the nova populace could manage to attain relatively normal lives and produce larger numbers of True 2ndGen nova offspring. With fewer Taint-mad novas to be dealt with, the Aberrant War could plausibly be prevented before it breaks out into a global conflict. Achieving that goal will not be easy by any means, but it is possible. If the canon metaplot is adhered to closely in your Aberrant chronicle, then the existence of the Q Mng stylists will not prevent the Aberrant War from breaking out. In the conflicts to come, the Q Mng stylists will more than likely either be too few to directly alter the major course of events or lacking in the raw quantum power to personally intervene in the coming quantum battles. Even so, they will still have the ability to alter the little events and circumstances which are usually overlooked from the historical viewpoint. The future history of the Aberrant War may be inevitable on a grand scale, but its in the small forgotten details where things can still be changed for the better.

How will Q Mng stylists interact with baselines and their society?

On a personal basis, Q Mng stylists will interact fairly well with most baselines due to their lacking the burdens imposed by Taint. On the other hand they will still have to deal with the effects of having Mega-Attributes and quantum powers, which will change their viewpoint and thinking in ways that are startlingly different from that of baselines. Provided that the stylists smooth over any unnecessary conflicts that will arise from that basic difference, cordial relationships with baselines can be maintained without difficulty. If Q Mng stylists have useful Abilities for this arena, they have the potential to form mutually beneficial (and highly profitable) relationships in the business world. Big business dances to the tune of economic forces, and while everyone - nova and baseline alike - is seen as a resource from that viewpoint, its also true that working a non-replaceable worker to death is stupid, illegal and will lose money. As long as a Q Mng stylist limits herself to working for companies which are trustworthy and not inclined toward

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employee abuse, she can do extremely well for herself and her associates. Any company that is foolish enough to mistreat the stylist can be abandoned at a moments notice, which can be disastrous for said business if the stylist was personally responsible for billions of dollars worth of their profits. This can also give a stylist serious leverage within a company, allowing her to get obstructive people fired even top executives if need bewith minimal effort. Add in the fact that qualified nova employees tend to be drawn to one another, and its clear just how important they can be to a companys well-being. If a company does well by its nova employees, it will reap immense profits. Mistreatment of those novas will lead to them seeking gainful employment elsewhere, resulting in immense loss of profits and possibly the companys demise. Baseline governments are a different matter where Q Mng stylists are concerned. Unscrupulous baseline politicians are going to see an incredible opportunity for political gain in promoting the mistreatment of novas and they will exploit it. Baseline resentment, fear and jealousy of novas will ensure that those efforts receive considerable popular support. This will typically take the form of special laws to restrict the legal rights of and opportunities available to novas, none of which will be palatable to the Q Mng stylists. As a result of this, Q Mng stylists will tend to be somewhat nomadic as far as their residency and will have plans for making quick emigrations should their current nation of residence become overly restrictive of novas. Instead of establishing ties with a government that could turn on them when deemed convenient, the stylists will tend to rely more on their business connections to retain control over their lives and livelihoods. and the tone of your Aberrant chronicle? An erupted Tibetan Buddhist monk or nun whose religious background formed the basis for new capabilities? A former peasant who lost his or her family to the genocide committed by the PRC Army? A former PRC soldier guilty of that same genocide, who now seeks some form of redemption by teaching Q Mng to worthy novas? A recent Chinese immigrant to Tibet who couldnt stomach the atrocities committed against the Tibetan people? Someone with completely different circumstances than whats been proposed so far? There is no one correct answer to this question. Instead, feel free to decide what kind of person would work best as the Sifu in your Aberrant chronicle and run with it. One suggestion: The Storyteller should always feel free to subvert the players preconceived ideas and preferences as to the the Sifus exact identity and even his or her personality. Are they expecting to find an aged Tibetan monk whose teaching methods and ideas on proper social conduct are straight out of the 19th Century? Imagine their surprise when at the end of their quest to find the Sifu, they instead find an energetic and gorgeous Chinese party girl who would like nothing better than to shop for the latest fashions in Paris, go clubbing in Ibiza and cause a dozen tabloid scandals in the process. Are they expecting the Sifu to be acting out of altruism or a desire for worthwhile martyrdom? Imagine their shock when they discover that the Sifus motivation for teaching and spreading Q Mng is nothing more than a desire for wealth, lasting fame or even doing so just for the sheer hell of insulting the Teragen en masse. Do they imagine that the Sifu is an ethical and honorable person? Spring a less-than-ethical version of the Sifu on them and watch as they struggle to fulfill her demands without heading down the primrose path themselves. The possibilities are limited only by the preferences and tolerance levels of the Storyteller and her players.

Who is the Sifu?


Thats a good question, especially as there is so little that is known about this person. As the creator and founding master of Q Mng, the Sifu is clearly one of the great martial arts masters of the Nova Age, and is definitely Mega-Intelligent, Mega-Perceptive and Mega-Witty as well. The Sifus language and accent points at a probable origin in Tibet or Western China. The Sifu is also a very savvy and crafty individual with a deep knowledge of both Taoist philosophy and human nature, and operates out of a very secure and hidden abandoned monastery unknown to anyone else since the 1700s. Finally, the Sifu can ensure that only those who deserve to find him or her will do so, which will involve a Quest for the Master such as those found in uncounted martial arts tales and movies. Unfortunately, its also the wrong question. A better question is this: beyond the rough outline provided above, who do you need the Sifu to be in order to suit your tastes

What are the Sifus plans and goals?


Whatever the base motivation behind it, the Sifu currently has only one main goal in life: to ensure that Q Mng will be taught to as many worthy nova students as possible for many centuries to come. This overarching feat must rest on a foundation of smaller goals, described below. 1: Find worthy novas to become prospective students, then start them on their quest to find you. Learning Q Mng is not for casual hobbyists or reckless fools. The best martial artists tend to approach their chosen Combat Styles as a lifetime occupation, and thats exactly what is required to master Q Mng. Only novas who are motivated enough to devote a large portion of their lives to the practice of Q Mng can hope to master it. Even so, novas given to recklessness and/or other foolish

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behavior cannot be trusted to use the capabilities granted by Q Mng wisely. This is the main reason for the quest to find the Sifu: any fools among the prospective students must be weeded out and removed before the quest is finished. Given that said quest will involve trekking through the Peoples Republic of China and/or Tibet, this will not be difficult. Within China itself there are many ways for a foolish nova to meet an untimely end. The Chinese authorities are just as corrupt as ever in the Nova Age (if not more so) and can call in the PRC Army when needed. Truly unlucky fools might find themselves facing off against the Heavenly Exploding Mandate or the Heaven Thunder Triad. Things are little better in Tibet, which is still an active hot spot for international conflict in 2015 and is likely to remain so. In addition to the aforementioned Chinese threats, insurgents and agents from India, Pakistan and Project Utopia can all be encountered if one is idiotic enough to draw their attention. Either way, as long as the fools are removed from the worthy students, their exact fate has little relevance. 2: Train the first students to a full mastery of Q Mng, who can then train the next students. For a newly-created Combat Style to survive and hopefully thrive, the first group of students must not only become proficient in it, they must also be able to teach it to their own students in turn and repeat the cycle. Q Mng is no different from any other Combat Style in this requirement. For this reason, the Sifu will put any students through years of intensive training, seeking to make each one into a viable substitute for the Sifu. Martial arts schools that limit themselves to a single possible successor risk dying out mere decades or even years after being founded. Aside from ensuring that at least one student will survive to carry Q Mng to the next generation, having multiple full masters of Q Mng means that the Combat Style has the potential to spread to hundreds of novas, given the right circumstances. 3: Ensure that any knowledge of the existence of the school, its students and Q Mng itself remains poorly known at best if not unknown as far as outsiders are concerned. Whatever the Sifu may turn out to be in your Aberrant chronicle, one thing he or she certainly is not is a fool. The Sifu knows full well that if news of this new micro-faction of novas were to become common knowledge, the Q Mngschool would be seen by the major nova factions and baseline governments as just another group of novas to either control, destroy or manipulate to their own ends. The Sifu would also be targeted for death by extremists among the Teragen - if not the faction as a whole - due to how offensive they will find the teachings of Q Mng to be. For these reasons, Q Mng stylists are forbidden to speak of the Sifu, the school and the capabilities of Q Mng to any outsider who isnt herself in the process of becoming a student of Q Mng. Even this Combat Styles name was chosen by the Sifu with this in mind. As q mng is a generic Chinese term for enlightenment, it can easily be confused with all other references to that term, which is handy given that East Asias cultures are literally drenched with all sorts of references to enlightenment and have been for millennia. Attempts by outsiders to track down this Combat Style should hopefully be like trying to find a single needle in several hundred fields worth of haystacks. The Sifu also knows that all this secrecy and misdirection cannot be relied on to keep the Q Mng school and its students safe indefinitely. Instead, its intended to buy the Sifu as much time as possible to train the Q Mng stylists up to full mastery, so that the school can survive the Sifus death. As far as the Sifu is concerned, its not a matter of if outsiders will seek his or her death - its a matter of when.

What does the future hold for the Sifu and the Q Mng stylists?
This depends on how closely your Aberrant chronicle hews to the canon metaplot. If the Storyteller is keeping the timeline in accordance with it, then the biggest event to come will be the death of the Sifu. Eventually, some Terat novas are going to discover the existence of the Q Mng stylists and will learn something of the philosophy behind their Combat Style. Depending on their individual attitudes and preferences, some might decide to sit on the information but most will pass it on to the Teragen Pantheon. When that happens a hostile reaction to this bit of news is guaranteed, with only the size of the Teragens response being in question. The most likely consequence is for Teragen extremists to attempt to assassinate the Sifu sometime from 2029 to 2039. Whether the assassination is successful or if the Terats have to engage the Sifu in a full-blown quantum battle instead, the result is the same. The Sifu is doomed, although it will be something of a Pyrrhic victory for the Terat assassins. With the Sifus death, the (futile) hope for peaceful nova/baseline co-existence on Earth that Q Mng engendered among most who knew of it will also perish. That said, the style will certainly not die with the Sifu, despite the Terats best efforts. The Q Mng stylists, by then having attained full mastery as intended, will carry on the school and the practice of Q Mng without the Sifus guidance. Although they will manage to escape the Teragens notice by entering lucrative positions in the business world, the Q Mng stylists (and their loved ones) are certain to join one or more of the relatively sane and non-Tainted nova factions that will organize covert extrasolar colonization efforts well before the Aberrant War

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finally breaks out in 2049. Once out among the nova colony worlds, the Q Mng stylists will finally be able to practice and teach their Combat Style openly as they never could and likely will never be able toback on Earth. If the canon metaplot has been discarded, what was stated above will simply not apply and can be ignored, although an attack by Teragen extremists on the Sifu is still possible. The only difference in this case is that the Terats success is by no means assured and could have serious consequences for the Teragen as a whole. Whether or not the Q Mng stylists and their school come out into the open or remain hidden from public view is also up to the Storyteller and the circumstances of your Aberrant chronicle. two-handed swords. A minimum Strength of 3 is needed to wield one of these blades, with Strength 5 needed to wield it with just one hand. Hatchet: This small axe can be used to chop at a target or be thrown at one. Mace: An unbalanced war club with a large head designed to crush a target. Smooth headed maces have been made since the Stone Age, while metal versions are used in several Chinese martial arts. Spiked or flange headed metal maces from Europe were intended to breach the plate armor of medieval knights. Machete: Any short chopping sword thats typically used to clear away inconvenient plants, either in a farmers field or the wilderness. Spear: Dating from human prehistory, this ancient weapon is still in use today by many cultures worldwide and is likely to remain so for many centuries to come. Trident: A weaponized three-pronged fishing spear used in ancient Rome and India. Very useful for trapping a foes weapon between the prongs to disarm him. The prongs of a trident are often barbed, making the weapon inflict an additional (initial damage taken / 2, rounded up) Health Levels of Lethal damage when yanked out of a targets flesh. Safely extracting a tridents prongs from a victim without causing any further damage requires a Medicine roll, which is made at -2 difficulties if basic surgical equipment is available. Whip: A long weapon typically made from tough braided leather, popular among circus performers, pulpinfluenced adventurers and S/M enthusiasts. Skilled users can use a whip to perform tricks such as snapping around corners and grabbing light items out of a foes hands. Whips can also be used to entangle a target, treat this as a hold (Aberrant core book, p. 244) using Dexterity + Melee as the dice pool. The typical whip is about 5.5 meters in length, although shorter versions are sometimes used.

Expanded Weapons Listings


Most melee weapons found worldwide differ very little in functionality from each other, and can be represented with the basic listings found on p. 274 of the Aberrant core book. What follows are only the most notable exceptions to that rule, both the variant forms of standard weapons and some others that have not been covered to date. The individual definitions below are grouped by either their region of origin or category.

Universal
Bolas: Usually thrown to trip up animals (and people) fleeing on foot, this weapon consists of at least two weights connected by knotted cords. Treat this as a Sweep maneuver (Aberrant core book p. 245). In a pinch, it can also be used as a makeshift flail. Fist load: Any weapon intended to increase the damage caused by the users punching fist. Examples include brass knuckles, the Japanese tekko and the Roman cestus. Most fist loads are blunt and will inflict Bashing damage, but variants with spikes and small blades do exist and will inflict Lethal damage. Combination fist load/knives are also common and include the Indian bagh nakh, the Japanese tekagi-shuko, fighting gloves with spikes and/or claws and certain varieties of the trench knife. The former three inflict Lethal damage as fist loads, while the latter inflicts Bashing damage as a fist load. Garrote: Any tough cloth, leather cord, rope or wire that can be used to strangle a human to death, using Strength + Melee as the dice pool for the Strangle maneuver (see p. 84 of this book). The Thuggee were infamous for using silk kerchiefs with a coin inside to kill their victims. Most garrotes inflict Strength +1 Bashing damage, but those made from wire or similar tough materials inflict Strength +2 Lethal damage. Greatsword: Ranging from the Japanese o-dachi to the Scottish claymore, this category covers all of the truly large

Europe
Fencing Blades: Classical fencing (as opposed to the modern sport version) employs three different types of swords, two of which are heavily specialized. The foil and epee are thrusting weapons with sharp points and no edge to speak of, with the foil being the lighter of the two. The saber is capable of both thrusting and cutting attacks. Foils are notably light and fragile weapons, as they have a tendency to break when used to parry heavier weapons. When a foil is used to successfully parry such a weapon, immediately roll one die. If the result is more than 3 + the number of successes rolled for the parry, the foil snaps and becomes useless. At the Storytellers discretion, fencers with high levels of the Melee Ability (ratings of 4+ including Ability

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Mastery) can raise the target number by 1 for each Melee Ability dot above 3, reducing the chance of the foil breaking. In all other cases, fencing blades are treated as per the standard sword (Aberrant core book, p. 274). Hurlbat: A combination hatchet/knife weapon made entirely of metal, with knife blades mounted opposite the hatchet blade and at both ends of the handle. The idea was that no matter how it was thrown, one blade would strike a target and hopefully cause damage. Very popular in Europe from the mid-15th to the mid-17th Centuries. Use the stats for either knives or hatchets as appropriate (Storytellers decision). Stiletto: A small narrow-bladed knife with a thick crosssection. Originally meant for breaching the gaps in medieval plate armor, this weapon has remained popular for its sheer speed of attack and ease of concealment. This highly specialized stabbing weapon is a historical favorite of European assassins, often poisoned and is not good for much except killing people. Its specialized design grants the equivalent of the Armor Piercing Extra (Aberrant core book p. 231) when used against foes wearing artificial body armor. stylists claim that the blade is tough enough to serve as a makeshift pick and a stepladder for physically lightweight users, while others claim that they were of inferior quality to other Japanese blades. The scabbard can also function as a blowpipe and primitive snorkel, and may have compartments for storing handy little things such as garrotes and doses of blinding powder. No-dachi: A shorter version of the o-dachi greatsword, essentially a katana that is 1.5 meters long. Nunchaku: A weaponized agricultural threshing flail for rice, consisting of two lengths of hard wood joined by a short cord or chain. Often used in pairs. Sai: A three-tined metal fighting club with a long central spike between two jutting side hooks for catching weapons such as swords. Disarm attempts using sai reduces the difficulty by two. Historically made with sharp points, modern versions are also made with blunt tips. Often used in pairs. The bladed sai made popular in martial arts cinema can be considered knives as per p. 274 of the Aberrant core book. Shikomi-zue: A combination staff weapon popularly associated with ninja, but used by anyone in feudal Japan who needed to carry a weapon discreetly. Appearing as a simple wooden or bamboo walking stick, the concealed weapon could be drawn very quickly when trouble was at hand. The most well-known version had a concealed sword blade functionally identical to the katana. Other versions had other retractable weapons such as spear heads, large hooks (treat as doing spear damage) and fighting chains. Some could also carry smoke bombs or other packets of fine powder used in combat by ninja. Treat as staffs, katanas, spears, or fighting chains as appropriate. Shinai: A practice katana made of bamboo strips, developed in Japans Edo period by swordsmen who considered the number of injuries caused by practicing with bokken unacceptable. While it inflicts less damage than the bokken, shinai with splintered or damaged bamboo strips can still cause serious injury. Shuriken: Japanese throwing spikes (bo shuriken) and stars (hira shuriken or shaken). Popularly associated with historical ninja but also used by samurai, they were considered a secondary weapon although they could kill a foe in the hands of a sufficiently skilled user. Shuriken can be thrown in groups easily, with each additional shuriken adding +1 difficulties to the attack roll and +1 die of damage, treat this as a single attack. Shuriken could also be used to deliver fatal doses of poison or tetanus bacteria. Tonfa: Originally a weaponized millstone handle, now a side-handled wooden or metal war club. Reduces the difficulty of Block attempts by -1, can be used to Block weapons safely. Often used in pairs by martial artists. The modern side-handled baton used by First World police officers is a direct descendant of the tonfa and uses the same stats. The

Japan
Bisento: A larger and heavier version of the naginata, historically used on the battlefield against cavalry. Bokken: A wooden practice version of the katana, which can still prove deadly in skilled hands. Also called bokuto. Kama: A weaponized hand sickle originally used to harvest rice. Has a straight pointed blade thats usually sharpened only on the inside edge. Kanabo: Also known as the tetsubo, this is a twohanded heavy war club that only the strongest warriors could use. Historically made of oak wood and shod with studded iron or steel on the business end, this weapon was often associated with the oni of Japanese myth as a sign of their superhuman strength. Katana: The traditional long sword of the samurai. Kusari-gama: A combination weapon consisting of a kama with an attached fighting chain. Typically the chain is first used with the Hold maneuver to entangle a target, who is then finished off with the kama blade. Naginata: A staff-length pole weapon with a swordlike blade head. Historically a weapon of the samurai, the naginata is now seen as a womans weapon in modern Japan. The nagamaki is a variant with a shorter staff but is otherwise identical in its capabilities. Ninja-to: While its unknown if historical ninja ever used this sword, modern Taijutsu stylists are certain to have developed it into a functional weapon. It is a straight bladed single-edged shortsword with a thick handle. Some Taijutsu

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bladed tonfa - a double-headed straight sword blade with a side handle - is considered a sword as per p. 274 of the Aberrant core book. Wakizashi: A shortsword variant of the katana and its traditional companion weapon. Very similar to the kodachi shortsword permitted to non-samurai in feudal Japan. Both weapons have the same stats, despite the kodachi having a longer, more curved blade than the wakizashi. Hold Maneuver, the latter weapons have no major difference in game mechanics from the rope dart. Three section staff: This larger Chinese sibling of the nunchaku consists of three 50-centimeter long rods linked by short chains. It can be used at full length like a flail or folded as a club against closer targets. Skilled users gain +1 die on all attempts to use the Weapon Block and Disarm maneuvers with this weapon. War fan: A version of the Chinese folding fan made of iron or steel, the use of which spread to Korea and Japan (where its known as gunsen or tessen) in historical times. Used by battlefield commanders as a symbol of authority, a means of signalling during combat, a handy backup weapon and a means of cooling themselves. Most war fans were blunt weapons, but a few had sharpened spoke tips to pierce or slash an enemy. Both kinds could be used to parry attacks with arrows, swords, spears and naginata. Wind-fire wheel: A steel ring approximately 45 centimeters in diameter, with one quarter-arc padded and fitted with a crossguard to serve as a grip. The opposite and adjacent arcs have flame-shaped blades protruding from them; which can be used to harm a target, parry his attacks and catch his weapons. Typically used in pairs.

China
Butterfly sword: A short single edged blade, used mainly to hack and chop other people into bits. It also has a short hook at the back that can catch the hafts of staff weapons. Often used in pairs. Hook sword: A martial arts sword popular among many Chinese combat stylists. The blade curves at the tip into a large sharpened hook and has a crescent moon shaped blade for a guard for the handle. The butt of the hilt typically has a small stabbing blade. Very handy for disarming or tripping foes (+ 1 die on Disarm and Sweep manuevers), often used in pairs. Meteor hammer: An ancient Chinese weapon, the modern version consists of two spherical weights connected by two to three meters of rope or chain. Easily concealed and very quick, a meteor hammer is very difficult to defend against due to its unpredictability (+1 difficulties to the targets Defensive maneuvers). Using the weapon requires swinging it around the body to build up speed - often briefly wrapping itself around the users neck, limbs, torso or waist in the process - before being unwrapped by a strong jerk of the users body. This results in the meteor hammer flying toward the target in a lightning-fast strike from any angle the user desires. Having two heads lets it be used to attack and defend at the same time. Skilled users can easily use a meteor hammer to strike, ensnare or strangle a target from a distance. Monks spade: A weaponized shovel developed by Buddhist monks in Old China, this double headed staff weapon has a flat spadelike blade at one end and a smaller crescent-shaped blade at the other. Historically associated with the monks of the Shaolin Temple. Rope dart: A close cousin of the meteor hammer, this is a smooth metal throwing spike attached to a 4- to 5-meter long rope, allowing the user to retrieve it after a throw. This weapon is extremely hard to predict in the hands of a skilled user, as the rope dart can attack the target from many different angles with almost no warning (+1 difficulties to the targets Defensive maneuvers). Related weapons include the dragon beard hook and the flying claws, which can also snag or literally grab a target to be reeled in. Aside from having 10 meter long ropes and allowing the use of the

India
Chakram: A steel or brass throwing ring with a sharpened outer edge, which is thrown by twirling it on the blunt inner edge with a finger. Nearly all actual chakram are been designed to act as airfoils, allowing them to be thrown for long distances and in windy conditions without being deflected. (Wind-based penalties for chakram attacks are reduced by 3.) Sizes range from thirteen to thirty centimeters in diameter. Developed by the Sikhs in historical India for use against the Moghuls, this weapon remains in use by Sikhs and others influenced by them. For obvious reasons, chakram cannot be thrown in groups the way shuriken can. Urumi: Also known as the chuttuval and the Indian whip-sword, this is a sword with a blade that can cut flesh yet is still flexible enough to be coiled tightly. The blade itself ranges from 120 to 165 centimeters in length and nineteen to twenty-five millimeters in width. While some urumi are single bladed, many will have anywhere from two to four blades. While the urumi is very useful as an easily concealed weapon and against multiple opponents, it can also be very dangerous to use. Botching an attack roll with an urumi means that it will strike the user instead of the target! A coiled urumi must be straightened before it can be used, which requires the user to twirl it around his body, usually in a vertical plane. Historically associated with Kalaripayit stylists, who reserve instruction in urumi use for their best students due to the difficulties of using it without harming oneself.

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Improvised
Bangstick: Developed as an anti-shark weapon for divers, this weapon consists of a sealed 12-gauge shotgun shell housed within a 60 centimeter collapsible metal rod. To use it, all one has to do is jam the muzzle end into the target. A firing pin within the rod strikes the shotgun shell, which blasts directly into the target. Botching with a bangstick inflicts its damage on the user, possibly blowing off his hand if three or more Health Levels of damage are taken. Bangsticks work equally well in air and water, but as one shot weapons are somewhat limited. At the Storytellers discretion, a spent bangstick may be sturdy enough to be used as a club. Bottle: Your average glass bottle, which can be used once as a blunt weapon before breaking. Depending on how it breaks, a fortunate user might find herself with the following item... Broken bottle: Specifically, a bottle with enough of a sharp edge to inflict damage and enough of it left intact for the would-be user to grip it safely. Its still very fragile, as it will break completely after three blows to a soft target or just one against a hard target. Botching means the bottle breaks in the users hand and cuts it, possibly quite badly. Chainsaw: A favorite of lumberjacks and horror movie aficionados, this power tool is loud, clumsy, does lots of damage and will terrify baseline opponents. Botching will result in the chain breaking - and possibly damaging the user if its an older model - which makes the chainsaw useless as a cutting tool until it is repaired. Chair: Another favorite of the barroom brawl, used to club ones foes. As furniture isnt really made for use as a weapon, it will break after three blows are made with it. Human body: Inevitably, some Mega-Strong novas will come up with the bright idea of using another adult person - hopefully someone who merits such abuse - as an improvised weapon. Aside from the shock value of seeing the nova use another human in this manner, theres not much in the way of benefits to this tactic. Baseline human bodies dont make for very durable clubs, theyre too flexible (unless the victim has been paralyzed beforehand) and theyre not effective against anything much tougher than other humans. After each successful strike, both the novas target and his unwilling weapon will have to check for damage. In the rare case of a nova being used in this manner, his utility as a club will depend on his weight, size and Soak ratings. Pool cue: These can be used as makeshift and seriously lightweight staffs, and will break after two blows.

Paired Weapons
Several of the weapons described above are noted as being used in pairs. This grants a slight advantage when using pairs of the weapons in questions in multiple actions, as a character doing so gains one additional die for each attack or parry. The price for this is a loss of one die from the dice pool for the first action and two dice from the dice pool for the second.

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Weapon
Bisento Bokken Bangstick Bottle Broken bottle Butterfly sword Chainsaw Chair Fist load: Garrote Greatsword Hatchet Hook sword Human body Kama Kanabo Katana Kusari-gama Mace Machete Meteor hammer Monks spade Naginata Ninja-to No-dachi Nunchaku Pool cue Rope dart Sai Shinai Spear Stiletto Three section staff Tonfa Trident Wakizashi War fan Whip Wind-fire wheel Urumi

Damage
+5L +5B 8d10L +2B +2L +4L +7L +3B +2B or L +1B/+2L +7L +3L +5L +4B +2L +8B +5L +2L +5B +3L +4B +5L +4L +4L +6L +4B +2B +3L +5B +1B +3L +2L +5B +4B +5L +3L +1B or L +2L +3L +3L

Str Min
3 3 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 3 3/5 1 3 5 1 4 3 1 2 2 1 2 2 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 1

Str Max
Mega 1 Mega 1 5 3 3 Mega 1 5 5 5 5/Mega 1 Mega 2 Mega 1 Mega 1 Mega 1 5 Mega 1 Mega 1 Mega 1 5 5 5 5 5 Mega 1 Mega 1 5 3 5 Mega 1 3 5 5 5 5 5 Mega 1 5 5 Mega 1 Mega 1

Conceal
N T T J P T N N P P N J T N J N T J T T T N N T N J N J J T N J T T N T J J T T

Mass
5.5 kg 1.5 kg 1 kg 0.5 kg 0.5 kg 1 kg 6 kg 2+ kg 0.25-0.5 kg negligible 3 kg 1.5 kg 1.5 kg avg. 45 kg 1 kg 16 kg 2 kg 2 kg 2 kg 1.5 kg 1 kg 3 kg 3 kg 1.5 kg 3 kg 1 kg 0.5 kg 2.25 kg 1.5 kg 0.4 to 0.5 kg 2 kg 0.1 kg 2.25 kg 0.7 kg 2.25 kg 1.5 kg 0.45 kg 2 kg 0.5 kg 2 kg

Special
N N Y N N Y N N N N N N Y Y N N N Y N N Y N N Y N Y N Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y

Special: Weapons marked with a Y have a special quality detailed in the relevant definition, those marked N do not.

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Masterwork Weapons
Although their utility in the early 21st Century has been overshadowed by the sheer power of the novas, the value of weapons created by master craftsmen is still recognized by the knowledgeable. This has reached new heights as some novas have not only attained master craftsmanship but have created weapons of extraordinary quality the likes of which have never been known outside of myth. Masterwork weapons are hand-crafted, typically using traditional methodsespecially in the case of weapons such as katanas as some aspects of the craft involved cannot be replicated with modern techniques. Nova craftsmen are nothing if not resourceful however, and can create masterwork weapons with advanced techniques and/or materials where appropriate. In the Nova Age, masterwork weapons come in four categories. Minor masterworks are those weapons of exceptional craftsmanship and near-perfect balance, which may be created by any craftsman of sufficient skill and resources. They add one die to their strike accuracy and may be bought on the open market at a Resources cost of one to two dots higher than their common counterparts. These can also be considered one-dot Devices in terms of that Background. True masterworks represent the pinnacle of baseline weapon craftsmanship - such as a Masamune katana - and mark the greatest craftsmen known to history. These rarities add two dice to their strike accuracies and one die to all other Melee maneuvers made with them. If such weapons are available for purchase at all, their cost will be three Resources dots higher than normal at a minimum. They can also be considered four-dot Devices. Great masterworks are weapons of literally superhuman craftsmanship, as it takes Inspired master craftsmen to produce them. These items add three dice to their strike accuracies and two dice to all other Melee maneuvers made with them. Creating a weapon of this caliber requires an Inspired weaponsmith to have Ability Mastery (Adventure! core book p. 138) in Engineering with the Weaponsmithing specialty, with additional requirements varying with the Inspiration type. Daredevils must also have the Gadgeteer Knack (Adventure! core book p. 158). Psions must have four dots in any of the Psychokinetic Modes or two dots in the Transmutation Mode of Quantakinesis. Novas must have at least one dot of Mega-Intelligence. As the equivalent of five-dot Devices these weapons can command obscene prices, but almost never are sold on the open market. Epic masterworks are examples of craftsmanship that only novas are capable of creating. Weapons of this magnitude add four dice to their strike accuracies and three dice to all other Melee maneuvers made with them. These weap-

ons are the equivalent of five-dot Devices with the Artifact Background Enhancement (Adventure! core book p. 149150) and are practically impossible to purchase. Local governments of the nation in which such items were made are fond of declaring them national treasures, to be stored in either a heavily defended repository or the most prestigious of historical museums. Masterwork items require high levels of skill and extended periods of time to create. The Storyteller has full discretion as to what extended means and whether or not that time can be reduced by way of the Fast Tasks enhancement and similar capabilities. Creating minor masterworks requires 6+ dice (minimum Ability of 3) and 6 successes. True masterworks require 10+ dice (minimum ability of 5) and 10 successes to create. Great masterworks require 11+ dice (minimum ability of 6 or 5 with a relevant Knack, power or Mega-Attribute) and 20 successes. The creation of epic masterworks requires the Storytellers permission in addition to whatever other restrictions she chooses to impose. Depending on her individual preferences, the creation of epic masterwork weapons might be limited to nova master weaponsmiths with Mega-Intelligence 5, Mega-Intelligence 1 or (at the extreme) even a twinked-out stalwart master weaponsmith from the Adventure! Era who has several years of uninterrupted free time on his hands. When attempting to create a masterwork weapon, the quality of the raw material and available tools has to be taken into account. For this reason most master weaponsmiths will go out of their way to acquire the best of both, with the only limitations being availability and their own level of Resources. If the weaponsmith is forced to use substandard materials or tools in the creation attempt, the Storyteller can inflict an additional difficulty penalty of +1 to +3 to the Engineering roll as she sees fit. If the weaponsmith is forced to make do with both substandard materials and tools, the Storyteller can raise that penalty to +4 or higher as desired. It is possible for all but epic masterwork weapons to be designed with radical new features in order to create a composite device. This is especially common with minor masterworks, as each additional feature raises the items Device Background value by one dot.

Thrown and Ranged Weapons


As with melee weapons, the following listings present some of the more notable items that were not covered on p. 274 of the Aberrant core book. Expanded listings for firearms can be found further on in this chapter.

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with the Japanese hankyu being the most notable. They have a shorter range and are less powerful than Range Rate of Weapon Damage Conceal Mass Special longbows, but may be used in tight Multiplier Fire quarters and can be concealed with Shuriken +1L x2 special* P 5 grams Y moderate effort. Chakram +3L x4 1 J 0.5 kg Y Bow, long: Any of the larger Bolas +3B x3 1 J 1 kg Y bows used around the world, from the African elephant bow to the *: Shuriken can be thrown in groups easily - see the definition for details. Japanese yumi. Aside from their Range Multiplier: This is the factor by which the users base Throwing traditional value, these bows are range (see p. 236 of the Aberrant core book) is multiplied due to the weapons lighter, shoot more quietly and are aerodynamic design. Note this is cumulative with the effects of Mega-Strength. easier to reload than modern compound bows. This is counterbalanced Ranged Weapons by their vulnerability to excessive Blowpipe: Used historically and into the present day by humidity and aridity, and the fact that they are best kept many cultures around the globe, this weapon is also used unstrung when not in use to avoid warping the bow. Characfor sport and the live capture of wildlife. Intelligence agents ters must have a minimum Strength of to use a longbow. find it useful for discreetly dealing with inconvenient people. Crossbow: Used in historical China and Europe, Unfortunately, the blowpipe is pretty much useless in windy modern versions of this bolt tosser are still used by certain conditions, rain and/or circumstances where the users vision armed forces and law enforcement agencies around the is greatly impeded. Using a blowpipe requires a Dexterity + world. Aside from providing a more silent kill than firearms Archery roll (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 87). offer, crossbows are also popular for use against snipers and Bow, compound: The dominant form of bow in the targets carrying explosives. They are also used to establish United States since its patenting in 1966, constructed with aerial ropeslides for crossing difficult terrain. modern materials and engineering. Notable for the extreme Crossbow, pistol: Widely considered more the provstiffness of the limbs, which require the use of a pully system ince of hobbyists and target shooters than combatants, at the limb ends to draw the bow. Combined with stabiliz- this small crossbow can still be effective in the right circumers and dampeners, this makes the compound bow highly stances. Aside from dispatching small game such as rabbits, accurate and immune to many of the problems which can some assassins find it handy for quietly dealing with a target, affect traditional bows. especially if poisoned bolts are used. A few novas have Bow, short: Any of the smaller bows found worldwide, developed forearm-mounted versions of it, some of which

Thrown Weapons

Ranged Weapons
Weapon
Blowpipe Bow, compound Bow, long Bow, short Crossbow Crossbow Pistol Harpoon gun Sling Speargun

Accuracy
+1 +3 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1

Damage
1L (max.) 4L (variable)* 3L (variable)* 2L (variable)* 5L (variable)* 3L (variable)* 15L/10L+8L explosive +2B 6L

Range
20 40 30 20 40 30 40 10 30 (underwater) / 50 (in air)

Maneuvers
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Rate of Conceal Fire


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 J N N T N J N P T

Mass
0.5 kg 4 kg 3 kg 2 kg 3 kg 2 kg 50 kg 0.25 kg 1.75 kg

*: The damage ratings given are for arrows with standard hunting heads. Variant arrowheads will provide different ratings as described below.

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can not only fold up to be hidden under a wide sleeve, but can fire with a simple thrust of the users arm. Harpoon gun: This small cannon is used on modern whaling ships, which have them mounted on the deck Mega Strength is required to rip one free and use it. Normal harpoon heads will inflict 15 Health Levels of Lethal damage. The explosive tipped heads will inflict 10 Health Levels of Lethal damage and will stick in the target if it takes three or more Health Levels of damage. At the beginning of the next turn, the harpoon head will inflict an additional 8 Health levels of Lethal damage the next turn from the explosion. As a specialized whaling weapon, all attempts to hit human-sized targets with harpoon guns are made at a +2 difficulty penalty. The Heavy Weapons Ability is required to use this weapon. Sling: An ancient weapon found worldwide, consisting of a pouch with two attached cords. Popular in modern times with survivalists (as a hunting tool and improvised weapon) and rioters (who use it to deliver stones and/or Molotov cocktails). Slinging requires only one rapid rotation before releasing the bullet, typically in an overhand or underhand throw. While historical sling bullets were stone, ceramic or lead, modern slingers will use large ball bearings or whatever is at hand. The Throwing Ability is required to use this weapon. Speargun: This weapon uses rubber bands, compressed gas or a small explosive cartridge to fire a small metal spear from its barrel. Mostly used for underwater sportfishing or taking tissue samples from large marine animals such as whales, it can be used as a weapon when the situation demands it. Spearguns will have a greater range when used in air due to the lack of water resistance. The Archery Ability is required to use this weapon.

Variant Arrowheads
Several cultures have developed specialized arrowheads and certain archery-obsessed novas have taken those efforts to entirely new levels. What follows is a highlight of the most notable variant arrowheads. Barbed: These nasty pieces of work are designed to embed themselves into a targets flesh, making their removal a tricky procedure. Yanking a barbed arrowhead free from a targets flesh will automatically cause (initial damage taken / 2, rounded up) Health Levels of Lethal damage. Removing a barbed arrowhead without causing the target any further damage requires a Medicine roll, which is made at -2 difficulties if basic surgical equipment is available. Blunt: These arrowheads inflict Bashing damage instead of Lethal, and are often used for target shooting and hunting small game where penetration by a normal arrowhead would ruin the meat. Frog Crotch: These Japanese arrowheads have a pair of blades in a U-, V- or Y-shape. While they inflict one less die of damage than normal arrowheads, they grant an additional die on all attempts to sever ropes, cords and wires with an arrow shot. Humming Bulb: Another arrowhead from Japan with a carved blunt wooden head. It inflicts two less dice of Blunt damage than is normal, but air inlets in the head allow it to produce a very loud whistling sound to serve as an alarm or spook prey animals. Piton: These arrowheads do one less die damage than is normal, but can bite into stone or concrete to act as the equivalent of a modern rock-climbers piton. Treat them as having the Armor-Piercing Extra (Aberrant core book p. 231) against hard stone and concrete. Safety: Designed for use in combat reenactment, these arrowheads are not only blunt but are wide and/or padded as well. Any damage caused by such arrows will only daze a target or render him unconscious. Details on dazed and unconscious characters can be found on p. 249 of the Aberrant core book. Trick: This broad category covers all the outrageous gimmick arrowheads used in the comics by superheroic and supervillainous archers. All trick arrowheads must be developed as super-science inventions - see the rules on pp. 143-148 of the Aberrant Players Guide or Chapter Five of the Adventure! core book, as suits your Storytellers preference. The vast majority of Trick arrowheads are considered advancements in Adventure! terms, with only the truly implausible counted as Innovations.

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Expanded Armor Listings


Despite the low opinion of artificial body armor and other protective devices held by many novas, there will always be some who beg to differ. Aside from novas who value the modest protection offered by body armor, there are also those who identify themselves with historical armored warriors and will seek to emulate them. In several cases, this has resulted in archaic armor designs being reinterpreted with Nova Age materials and engineering finesse. What follows is a brief snapshot of the fruits of these efforts.

Advanced Archaics
Advanced Mail: This category covers the flexible armors composed of many overlapping rigid pieces and worn over quilted padding. Examples include ring mail, scaled mail and the heavier varieties of chain mail. The rigid scales, rings or chain links are typically made of advanced steel or titanium alloys or high-strength polymers. The quilted padding underneath is normally Kevlar. Advanced Plate: Stereotypically thought of as the European knights armor, the 21st Century version has

What About Authentic Archaic Armors?


In the Nova Age, historically accurate body armors are the province of museums, art collections, hobbyist combat reenactors and family heirlooms. No one in their right mind would seriously consider wearing them in actual combat situations for two very good reasons. The first is the fact that they provide even less protection for their bulk than the commonly available modern body armors (Aberrant core book p. 277). The second and understandably more damning fact is that since they were designed prior to the introduction of reliable firearms to the battlefield, most archaic armors offer no protection at all from modern firearms. Only the heaviest plate armors will offer even a single dot of soak against modern firearms, which turns out to be a mixed blessing. Archaic metal plate tends to breach inwards from a bullet hole, making the resultant gunshot wound that much more painful (+1 to dice pool penalties caused by pain) for the hapless victim.

been redesigned to protect against firearm hits as well as the blows from melee weapons. The armor plates cover much of the users body, with modern chain mail used to protect those areas which must remain flexible for the user to move with moderate ease. A bodysuit of quilted Kevlar is worn underneath, much as is done with the advanced mail armors. Advanced plate armor is typically made from titanium for the sake of reduced weight. Advanced Lacquered Plate: Never to be outdone by the Europeans, several Japanese novas have developed modernized versions of most of the various armor pieces worn by feudal samurai. Historically these armors were made of steel or iron plates laced together with leather cords, then lacquered to protect against rust. The strips produced would then be laced together with silk cords. Later versions did away with much of the lacings, as the metal plates were riveted together. The 21st Century versions use titanium plates with lacings of extremely strong polymer cord or lacquered Artificial Spider Silk (see pp. 40-41 of this book). Most people wearing advanced lacquered plate will also have the traditional kimono (with the sleeves tied) and hakama underneath, although they will be made of the same materials as reinforced clothing (Aberrant core book p. 277) and a wicking bodysuit (see below) will be worn under that. In most cases, only advanced versions of the domaru, haramaki-do and the many varieties of tosei-gusoku will be created for combat use. Due to its specialized nature as armor for warriors fighting from horseback, the o-yoroi is considered too unwieldly for use in 21st Century combat and is still relegated to the status of display armor.

Modern Armors
Anti-Shark Chain Mail: A full bodysuit of modern steel or titanium chainmail, worn over a standard Neoprene wetsuit. While the standard version does protect the scuba diver from the cutting damage inflicted by any shark smaller than a Great White, many divers have suffered severe bruising and/or broken limbs from the force of a sharks bite. A heavier version capable of protecting against Great White sharks is available, which grants an additional 2 dots of

Super-Metals
Inevitably, a Storyteller will be faced with a player who wants his or her character to wield an item such as an indestructible throwing shield. Fortunately, Storytellers have two options in replicating the exotic metals of comic book lore without having them become yet another patented invention for the corporations to exploit. The first method is to treat a super-metal item as a Gadget (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 143-148), which can allow for all kinds of bizarre material properties up to and including near-indestructibility. The second method is to treat the super-metal as an advancement: a scientific achievement that will take baseline scientists decadesif not centuriesbefore they can understand its properties fully and replicate it. There is no reason why a nova hypergenius could not discover how to produce Element 114 - or any of the other missing trans-uranic elementsa century early.

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Lethal soak and has a cost of Resources . Unfortunately no version of anti-shark chain mail can protect against firearm attacks. Commercially available. Industrial Chain Mail: Commonly worn by slaughterhouse workers underneath their white coats and overalls to literally protect themselves against the tools of their trade. Provides no protection against firearm attacks. Commercially available. makeshift ones ripped off from a bank vaults walls or a large modern art piece - heavy enough to withstand bursts of machine gun fire. A few Mega-Intelligent nova metallurgists have developed radical new alloys that are almost as hard to destroy as they are for baseline metallurgists to duplicate. Heater Shield: This triangular shield is what most people think of as the shield of the European knight. These shields averaged roughly 70 centimeters tall by 53 centimeters wide. Used in battle from 1110 to 1450 C.E., and is part of many heraldic crests dating from the Middle Ages. Riot Shield: These modern shields are used by law enforcement agencies worldwide. Most are full-body shields, rectangular in shape with rounded corners and

Shields
Given the power of modern firearms, it should be no surprise that the use of personal shields as battlefield equipment had largely been abandoned by the 18th Century. Any piece of metal that could withstand the impact of multiple bullet impacts would be too cumbersome for extended use by baseline soldiers. While police officers used them in riot control and in SWAT operations, personal shields were otherwise considered museum pieces. That all changed with the coming of the Nova Age. Many Mega-Strong novas can and will use shields of modern steel or titanium - even

What About Helmets?


Unless stated otherwise a character wearing armor will also have appropriate head protection to go with it; be it a riot armor helmet, chainmail coif or Japanese kabuto. For our purposes, the protection granted by these devices are already factored into the statistics for their respective suits of body armor.

Armor
Class
Advanced Mail Advanced Plate Advanced Lacquered Plate Anti-Shark Chain Mail Anti-Shark Chain Mail, heavy Industrial Chain Mail

Bashing
5 7 6 1 1 1

Lethal
6 7 8 6^ 8^ 5^

Protection
Full Body Full Body Full Body Full Body Full Body Full Body

Penalty
1 2 1 0 0 0

Conceal
T N N T T T

Cost
n/a* n/a* n/a*

Destruction
13 15 14 13 14 13

*: Advanced archaic armors are not available on the open, grey or black markets. Instead they must be specially commissioned from an armorsmith - often a nova himself - who will charge whatever the Storyteller sees fit for his services. Thats assuming that the armorsmith can even be found in the first place, as novas whove mastered the art of forging personal body armor are exceedingly rare. More often than not, novas will either have to make their own suits or do without. ^: This type of armor provides no protection at all against firearms.

Shields
Class
Heater Shield Riot Shield Round Shield Throwing Shield

Soak Bonus
7 6 6 6

Damage
Str +3 B Str +4B Str +3 B Str +4 B

Protection**
1/3 4/5 1/3 1/3

Weight
7 kg 3 kg 6 kg 6 kg

Penalty
1 1 1 1

Cost
n/a* n/a* n/a*

Destruction
15 13 15 15

*: Like advanced archaic armors, advanced archaic shields are difficult to purchase. **: This is the fractional area of an adult humans body that the shield can cover from his front or sides. Attacks targeting body areas not covered by the shield or his back are unaffected by it. : Unless manufactured to SWAT specifications, riot shields provide no soak against firearm attacks.

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measuring 50 to 60 centimeters wide by 90 centimeters tall. Riot shields are typically either made of clear polycarbonates (for better visibility) or light metals. The latter variety will have a small inset polycarbonate windowslit for the user to look through. A few clear polycarbonate riot shields are round shields, much as described below. Finally, most riot shields were designed to protect against thrown objects, shrapnel and splash from liquid-based weapons such as the Molotov cocktail. Only those riot shields developed for use by SWAT officers (Aberrant core book, p. 283) will be able to withstand bullet impacts. Round Shield: Popular with European soldiers from the 13th to the 17th Centuries, this shield ranges from 55 to 75 centimeters in diameter. Despite the shape, it has no aerodynamic qualities to speak of. Throwing Shield: An advanced descendant of the round shield, this shield is designed with special aerodynamic qualities that allow it to be thrown like a frisbee. Truly skilled users can throw it to make multiple deflection shots and erratic ricochets that are difficult to predict and evade. If set up correctly, these trick shots can even send the shield flying back towards the user to be caught. loaded pistol, but still have advantages of their own. Theyre still readily available on the streets of most modern cities; in both light and heavy varieties. Light revolvers are usually small and light enough to be easily carried and concealed. Lacking the capacity of magazine-loaded pistols, most revolvers are limited to 6 shots maximum. Optional advantage for Storytellers: Revolvers are highly reliable weapons. On a botched roll, the effects are merely considered a normal failure, unless extraordinary circumstances are working against the attacker (such as trying to fire the revolver while hanging upside down from a power line in the rain). Common calibers: .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum Pistols/Autoloaders: Modern pistols have overcome early jamming problems and nearly replaced their predecessor, the revolver. A standard sidearm among lawenforcement officials and military forces. Pistols come in light and heavy versions, just like revolvers. Light pistols are generally smaller and in a lower caliber, and are more easily concealed. Heavy pistols usually use a larger caliber with a frame to match, and are therefore more difficult to conceal. Optional advantage for Storytellers: Pistols use a single magazine instead of separate chambers to hold ammunition internally. This makes a pistol easier and faster to reload, allowing for an exception to standard rules for reloading. At the Storytellers discretion pistols can be reloaded as a free action, allowing the attacker to reload her weapon and fire it in the same round without penalty. Common calibers: 9mm, .40 caliber, .45 ACP Submachine Guns: A compromise between hand guns and assault rifles. SMGs use the same ammunition as pistols, but provide up to fully automatic fire. They break up into two major sizes, the full sized SMG and the Machine Pistols (the latter being designed smaller to be fired with one hand). While the light weight of most SMGs tend to make the gun wildly inaccurate, its size makes it ideal for a sidearm or concealed weapon. Common calibers: 9mm, .45 ACP Optional advantages for Storytellers: More experienced gun fighters will use short bursts for control and accuracy. They can gain the +2 dice modifier for semiautomatic fire without suffering the +1 difficulty modifier for recoil, so long as they hold the firearm correctly (using two hands and the stock for full SMGs, one or two handed for machine pistols). Rifles: This broad category of rifles include an array of firearms from .22 caliber target guns to .50 caliber AMRs. Generally speaking this classification of firearm is not capa-

Miscellaneous Items
Nomex Layer: An additional layer of Nomex can be added to the Kevlar quilted padding worn underneath advanced archaic armors, granting some protection (+2 soak) against flame damage. Cost . Wicking Bodysuit: Developed for the military for use underneath body armor and adopted as sportswear, the fabric of this garment literally draws sweat away from the wearers skin. This helps keep the user dry and bolsters natural evaporative cooling, granting +1 die on all rolls made to resist the effects of heat. Cost .

Expanded Firearms Listings


With the coming of the Nova Age, hardly anyone fails to recognize how devastating quantum powers can be on the battlefield. Even so, firearms remain one of the most notable features of personal combat for all but the most powerful novas and must not be overlooked, either as useful weapons or threats to defend against. For those Storytellers and players with an interest, we have provided a slightly more in-depth overview of firearms than the Aberrant core book provides.

Firearm Categories
Revolver: The first modern handgun, these firearms are generally considered outdated by the newer magazine-

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ble of burst fire or fully automatic fire, however what it lacks in speed it more then makes up for with distance and power. Optional advantages for Storytellers: Rifles have an incredible accuracy at long distance ranges. In addition to being able to take full advantage of gun equipment like scopes, they can also eliminate the +2 difficulty to firing at maximum range if they are prone and spend 1 action aiming. They must be able to clearly see the target they are aiming at to gain the bonus (requiring the use of telescopic scopes or vision). This is in addition to any normal benefits to aiming. Common calibers: .22, .223, .30-30, .375, .458, .50 Assault Rifles: The primary military weapon of the modern era. Assault rifles are capable of burst fire and fully automatic, rifle-caliber ammunition, and fed from a detachable magazine. The design was meant to allow infantrymen to have a weapon that is easily handled, with a large magazine capacity, fully automatic and lightweight. The fully automatic capability comes at a price though, it loses some the range accuracy that rifles might otherwise give. Assault rifles are also available in Carbine variations, making it much lighter and smaller but harder to handle in combat. Civilian variations are also available to those users who are not part of a law enforcement agency or national military, given easy access to a black market. These models are cheaper, but only capable of semi-automatic fire. Common calibers: 5.56mm NATO, 7.62mm NATO Optional advantages for Storytellers: Assault rifles are perfect weapons for laying down suppression fire. Gain a +2 dice bonus to the users skill check for suppression fire when she fires a semi-automatic burst. Gain a +3 dice bonus if she lays down a fully automatic suppression fire. Shotguns: The ultimate close combat firearm. These firearms use large 12 gauge shells that allow a great variety for specialty ammo ranging from deadly to absurd. Its construction is simple and rugged, allowing it to continue working perfectly in situations where some pistols would wuss out. Shotguns also can have a wide variety of modifications made to them - ranging from from short barrels to pistol grips - allowing a great amount of freedom in making the firearm fit the users style of combat. The intimidation factor of a double barrel break-action shotgun with a bore big enough to fit over a grown mans thumb cannot be denied. Common calibers: 12 gauge. Other gauges exist that allow modifiers, noted later. Optional advantage for Storytellers: Shotguns are deadliest at short range. When the user shoots a target at short range, gaining a +2 dice bonus for accuracy, he also gains a +1 die bonus to damage. Machine Guns: These guns are designed for sustained periods of automatic fire... similar in lethality to the assault rifles, but requiring much more strength to wield accurately. Machine guns fall into three major categories, the frst being Light Machine guns or Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW), which is able to be fired by a single individual.The second are the General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), which usually are mounted on vehicles or carried and serviced by a dedicated three-man crew. The third are the Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs), which are exclusively used on vehicle mounts or fixed defensive locations, as they are so massive it is not practical for baseline humans to carry them. Novas with Mega-Strength have no such problem, however... Machine guns are problematic for baselines to use if theyre not either fired from a prone position or fixed to a weapons mount. Novas with one dot of both MegaStrength and Mega-Dexterity dont have that problem, but everyone else will suffer a difficulty penalty of +2 when firing machine guns improperly. Preparing to fire prone requires two actions (one for getting prone and another for setting the weapon), while preparing a machine gun on a weapon mount only takes one action. Common calibers: 5.56mm NATO, 5.45mm Soviet, 7.62mm NATO, .50 BMG, 12.7mm Soviet Optional advantage for Storytellers: While the guns are highly inaccurate on their own for individual shots, laying out a stream of hot lead can still make it difficult for enemies to get out of the line of fire. So long as the gun is mounted properly in place, either on tripod or bipods, the user can preform a fully automatic maneuver for the normal +10 dice to accuracy and only suffer a +1 difficulty penalty to the roll instead of +2.

Firearm Tables
Listed below are stats for generic categories in each weapon type. Listing stats for each and every individual gun in the world would be redundant in storytelling terms, since the slightest variations dont make a huge impact in how quick a target loses health levels. The chart is similar to the chart presented in the Aberrant core book (p. 275), with a few optional rules. Type: The generic type of gun. Acc: Accuracy indicates the number of dice added to the shooters dice pool. Damage: Indicates the damage dice pool of the weapon. Bracketed numbers represent the innate armor piercing against vehicles or super tough novas, or number of automatic successes to damage against human sized targets. Range: This gives the practical shot range in meters.

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Revolvers
Type
Gen. .22 LR Gen. .38 Special Gen. .357 Magnum Gen. .44 Magnum

Acc
0 0 0 0

Dam
3d10L 4d10L 4d10L 5d10L

Range
30 50 50 60

MNV
Ms Tw Ms Tw Ms Tw Ms Tw

RoF
2 2 2 2

Clip
6 6 6 6

Conc Mass Str. Min Cost


P P J J 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 1 2 3

Pistols/Autoloaders
Gen. Holdout Gen. 9mm Luger Gen. .40 S&W Gen. .45 ACP 0 0 0 0 3d10L 4d10L 4d10L 5d10L 30 50 60 70 Af/Ms Tw Af Ms Tw Af Ms Tw Af Ms Tw 4 4 4 3 6+1 15+1 12+1 8+1 P P J J 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 1 2 2 2

Submachine Guns
Gen. 9mm Luger Gen. .45 ACP 0 0 6d10L 7d10L 50 50 Af Ms Sa St Tw Af Ms Sa St Tw 33 31 32+1 30+1 J N 2.5 3 2 3

Machine Pistols
Gen. 9mm Luger 6d10L 40 Af Ms Sa St Tw 21 20+1 J 2.5 2

Rifles
Gen. Plinking Gen. Target Gen. Hunting Gen. Sniper Gen. Big Game Gen. Anti-Material 1 1 2 2 2 2 2d10L 5d10L 8d10L 8d10L 9d10L 10d10L 60 500 500 500 600 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 1 1 1 1 5+1 5+1 4+1 10+1 3+1 5+1 N N N N N N 1 2 3 3 5 20 1 2 2 2 3* 3*

Assault Rifles
Gen. 5.56 mm AR Gen. 5.56 Bullpup AR* Gen. 7.62mm AR 1 1 1 6d10L 6d10L 7d10L 200 200 300 Af Ms St Af Ms St Af Ms St 31 31 21 30+1 30+1 20+1 N T N 2 2 4 2 2 4

Shotguns
Gen. Break-Action Gen Lever-Action Gen. Pump-Action Gen. Semi-automatic 3** 3** 3** 3** 6d10L 6d10L 6d10L 6d10L 30 30 30 30 Ms Ms Ms Ms Sa 2 2 3 3 2 2+1 8+1** 5+1** T T T T 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Machine Guns
Gen. SAW Gen. GPMG Gen. HMG 0 0 0 6d10L [2] 8d10L [3] 10d10L [5] 400 600 700 Af Ms St Af Ms St Af Ms St 45 22 22 200 100* 50* N N N 7 12 50 3 3* 3*

*: Denotes special rules, see description **: Denotes special rules, see Variant Ammunition For Shotguns, below. Accuracy varies some on range and the ammunition used. This number assumes you are using a slug shot at medium range.

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MNV: Maneuvers list the special attacks available to the weapon. Effects of these maneuvers are listed in the Combat Section of the Aberrant core book. Af = Automatic Fire, Ms = Multiple Shots, Sa = Semiautomatic Burst, St = Strafing, Tw = Two Weapon. RoF: This represents the number of shots that can be fired in one combat round. Clip: The number of shots a gun can hold before reloading. Conc: Concealability of the weapon. P = Can be carried in a pocket, J = Can be hidden in a jacket, T = Can be concealed in a trench coat, N = Cannot be concealed on a person. Mass: The weapons mass in kilograms. Str Min: An optional rule, this represents the minimum strength a character must have to fire the gun without suffering from recoil problems. Characters suffer a -1 to accuracy for each dot of Strength less then the minimum required. Of course 1 dot of Mega-Strength negates this requirement.. Cost: Represents the value of the weapon in resource dots. ing weapon, to which most designers play to for full effect. Examples include the Colt Anaconda, Ruger Redhawk, Smith & Wesson Model 29 and the Taurus Model 44.

Pistols/Autoloaders
Generic Holdout Autoloader: These small compact guns sacrifice power, range, and clip size to be easily concealed almost anywhere. Examples include the Beretta 950 Jetfire, Browning M1906, Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket and the Seecamp LWS-32. Generic 9mm Luger Autoloader: The worlds most popular autoloader. New models tend to come out frequently and any gun store will have several models to choose from that vary slightly in clip size. Examples include the Colt 2000, Browning Hi-Power, H&K USP, Ruger P89 and the Daewoo DP-51. Generic .40 S&W Autoloader: These pistols bridge the gap between the power of the .45 ACP and the capacity of the 9mm and have found a niche in the arsenals of United States law enforcement agencies. Examples include the FN Browning Hi-Power, H&K USP, SiG-Sauer P229, Para-Ordnance 16, Ruger P94, Walther P99 and the Smith & Wesson SW99. Generic .45 ACP Autoloaders: As high-caliber pistols with potent stopping power, there is still a large market for these weapons despite the popularity of the 9mm Luger, as hundreds of manufacturers can attest. Examples include the Colt M1911A1, Beretta Cougar 8045, H&K USP, Ruger P90, Smith & Wesson 4500 series and the Taurus PT945. The Glock Optional Rule: Glocks have a popular reputation as being tough as nails and reliable to 10,000 shots (enduring stress tests including temperature extremes, crushing blows, and dirt - so long as the gun is cleaned, it continues to be reliable). Glocks are available in just about every size of handgun and as an optional rule, Storytellers can increase the cost by 1 and allow any botches made with them to be reduced to failures instead.

Revolvers
Generic .22 LR Revolver: This light revolver isnt a favorite for many serious gunfighters. However it is good for small game and training, especially with its low price. Examples include Freedon Arms Model 83 Varmint Class, Kora Detective, Ruger Bearcat and the Smith & Wesson Model 617. Generic .38 Special Revolver: From the 1920s to the 1960s the .38 special was the single most common police weapon in the United States. Many self defense advocates consider this the lightest caliber viable for combat use. It is perfect for smaller guns with little recoil. Examples include the Cimarron Model P Jr., Colt Detective Special, Colt Ploce Positive, Rossi .38 Special and the Smith & Wesson Chiefs Special. Generic .357 Magnum Revolver: This caliber gradually took the place of the .38 special in law enforcement, although some still hold the old styles due to tradition or lack of funding. Many experts believe that the .357 Magnum is the perfect balance of power, recoil, and size. Examples include the Colt Python, Manurhin, MR-73, Ruger GP100, Ruger Security-Six, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard and the Taurus Model 608. Generic .44 Magnum Revolver: These big cousins of the .357 Magnum are favored primarily as a hunting and sporting weapon. This round has considerable more kick to it as well, meaning it is restricted to heavier and sturdier guns. Any .44 Magnum is going to be a large intimidat-

Submachine Guns
Generic 9mm Luger SMG: The worlds most common SMGs are fitted for 9mm Luger cartridges. Examples include the Beretta M12, Colt Model 635, H&K UMP, IMI Uzi, MP-40, Sten Mk II, Sterling L2A3 and the Steyr TMP. Generic .45 ACP SMG: Some SMGs are fitted for the larger caliber .45 ACP cartridges, giving them a little more punch to the enemy and a little more kick to you. Examples include General Motors M3 Grease Gun and the H&K UMP.

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Machine Pistols
Generic 9mm Luger Machine Pistol: Almost every machine pistol is fitted for 9mm rounds. It is meant to be shot with one hand, and at 10 inches long, easily concealed or used as a side arm. Examples include the Glock 18 and the Micro-Uzi. position, the minimum Strength requirement is raised to 5 and the user must soak half the weapons damage dice in bashing damage (5 dice) with any success on that roll causing the user to suffer knockdown. Having a Mega-Strength rating of 1 or higher negates that problem, however its still very clumsy and awkward to wield. As the name suggests the rifle is meant to pierce armor. Examples include the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare 50, FN Hecate II, RSA KSVK, Steyr .50 HS, Black Arrow and the ZVI Falcon.

Rifles
Generic Plinking Rifle: Plinking rifles are slang for a very small caliber rifle, used primarily for backyard targets and small animals. The main use of this rifle is to teach new shooters, particularly children, how to shoot. Examples include the Cooper Model 57, CZ 452-2E, Rogue Rifle Chipmunk and the Sako 75 Finnfire Hunter. Generic Target Rifle: Small caliber rifles that are generally used to hunt small game and eradicate pests. It has some minor combat application when warranted. Examples include Anschutz Model 1740, Howa M-1500, Savage Model 10GY Youth and the Winchester Model 70 Coyote. Generic Hunting Rifle: The archetype deer rifle is available in a wide array of calibers. This is the worlds most common rifle, used from everything from shooting competitions to hunting to murder. Examples include the .300 Winchester Magnum, .308 Winchester, .338 Laupa, Colt Light Rifle, Dakota Model 97 Lightweight Hunter and the Ranger M77R Sako 75 Hunter. Generic Sniper Rifle: Typically the main difference between a sniper rifle and hunting rifle is the materials in construction and the price tag. The range is obviously meant for indirect contact at great distance. Examples include most of the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare rifles, FR F2, Mauser 86SR, H&K MSG-90, IMI Galatz and the Springfield Armory M21. Generic Big Game Rifle: Hunting rifles are fine for deer, wolves and humans... but there are more dangerous prey out there like bears, buffalo and mega-tough novas. These rifles are heavy hitters and kick back like a mule. The Strength minimum assumes that the user is holding the rifle correctly, with the stock tucked into the shoulder to absorb the recoil. If the rifle shot improperly, raise the Strength minimum to 5 and roll a standard Stamina roll to keep from being knocked over. Having a Mega-Strength rating of 1 or higher negates this problem. Examples include the CZ 550 Safari Magnum, Dakota 76 African, Ruger No. 1-H Tropical Rifle and the Winchester Model 70 Classic Safari Express. Generic Anti-Material Rifle: These rifles are chambered for heavy military calibers originally designed for antitank rifles. These rifles are generally 5 feet long and weighs 20-25 kilograms, thus making it impractical to shoot from any position other then prone with the bipod deployed. If a user attempts to shoot with this rifle from a standing

Assault Rifles
Generic 5.56mm NATO AR: The vast majority of the modern assault rifles are chambered for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge. The bullets are half the weight of comparable 7.62mm rounds meaning that a soldier could carry twice as many rounds without encumbrance. Examples include the Beretta AR-70, FN FNC, H&K HK33, H&K G36, HOWA Type 89, Ishapore INSAS, and the SiG 550. Generic 5.56 Bullpup AR: Similar to the regular 5.56, except much more compact and concealable. However this comes at a price. Most firearm accessories will not fit on the bullpups with the exception of collapsible stocks (making it even more compact). Examples include the Einfield L85A1, GIAT FAMAS G2, IMI Tavor TAR-21, ST Kinetics SAR-21, and the Vektor CR-21. Generic 7.62mm AR: More popular during the Cold War, these guns are heavier and more rugged then their smaller counterparts. While many still exist, they have largely been replaced by their lighter counterparts in military usage due to smaller capacity for bullets with only a minor increase in power. Examples include the CETME Model C, FN FAL, H&K G3 and the Springfield Armory M14. Assault Rifles come with a few optional variations: Civilian Variation: Many assault rifles are available for civilian consumption. These sporting models are only capable of semi-automatic fire but are available at -1 dot less than the standard Resources cost. Carbine Variations: These assault rifles are constructed to be much lighter and shorter than their standard brethren, but sacrifice range and accuracy in the process. Range is considered -50 and the Strength minimum is increased by 1. However the mass is reduced by 1 kilogram.

Shotguns
Generic Break-Action Shotgun: The typical farmers weapon. This weapon is a double barrel gun which is manually reloaded after each barrel is emptied. Cheap and effective, this gun can still put a dent in most novas who get too close for comfort. Examples include the American Arms Silver II, Beretta S682, Browning Citori and the Winchester Model 21.

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Generic Lever-Action Shotgun: These weapons unload spent shells after pumping the lever on the bottom side of the barrel. They were never common and were quickly overshadowed by pump action shotguns. Examples include the Marlin Model 210 and the Winchester Model 1887. Generic Pump-Action Shotgun: Common to both hunters and law enforcement for its high ammo capacity and reliability. Law enforcement generally finds the pump action shotgun to be more cost effective then automatic rifles. Spent shells are expelled with a pump under the barrel, which combines with the higher ammo capacity to make for a slightly higher rate of fire. The clip size can also be increased using smaller caliber rounds. See the optional ammunition for shotguns for more details. Examples include the Benelli Nova, Browning DPS, Ithaca Model 37, Mossberg Model 590, Remington Model 870 and the Winchester Model 1300. Generic Semi-Automatic Shotgun: Semi-automatic shotguns are capable of small burst fire, although have a tendency to jam easily (especially on a botch). The ammunition capacity can be expanded by using smaller caliber ammunition, see the optional rules for shotgun rounds below for more details. Examples include the Benelli M2 Practical, Benelli M3 Super 90, Beretta Model 1201FP, Browning Auto-5, Franchi 48 AL and the Remington Model 1100. weapon, a user must have it fixed to a permanent fixture such as a vehicle or tripod mount. These weapons are generally emplaced for use in bunkers or behind sandbag walls. A nova with Mega-Strength 2 and Mega-Dexterity 1 could conceivably wield this weapon accurately, however some modification work would need to be done to allow the nova to hold the machine gun properly. Examples include the CIS .50, RSA NSV and the RSA KPV.

Variant Ammunition for Handguns and Rifles


The following are a collection of variant handgun and rifle ammunition and their modifiers. It also includes the basic Resources Background rating - and sometimes other requirements - needed to purchase them. Full Metal Jackets (FMJ): These are the typical rounds used by most people when firing a handgun or rifle. The gun stats listed assume you are using these type of rounds. Cost: Resources 1 to buy a box of 50 handgun rounds or 20 rifle cartridges. They are legal wherever guns are sold, and available in all calibers. Blanks: A cartridge with no bullet, these are generally used in training or entertainment. While they generally are harmless, anyone within 10 feet will still take half the guns damage as bashing damage from the expelling gas. Cost: Resources 1 to buy a box of 50 handgun rounds or 20 rifle cartridges. They are legal and available in all calibers. Armor Piercing: AP rounds are generally used by military shooters who need rounds that can punch through armor, cover, and light vehicles. Pistol rounds have a Damage Add of [1] and rifle rounds have a Damage Add of [2]. Cost: Resources 2 to buy a box of 50 handgun rounds or 20 rifle cartridges. They are rare to find in anything except military grade calibers, and are illegal for civilian use in any country that has gun control laws. Also requires a minimum Backing rating of 2 from an organization that would use such bullets (DeVries, a national military) or a black market connection. Frangible: These delicate rounds are designed to shatter on impact with any solid object. It provides a better transfer of energy to the target causing more damage to unarmored living targets. Using Frangible rounds increases the guns damage by one die of Lethal damage so long as the target does not have lethal soak. In those cases the bullets do one less die of damage than normal.

Machine Guns
Generic SAW: Squad Automatic Weapons tend to use the same ammunition as assault rifles along side which the SAWs are deployed. Generally speaking these are 5.56 for NATO and 5.45 for the old Soviet Bloc. Examples include the Enfield L86A1 LSW, M249 SAW, H&K HK23E, H&K MG43, IMI Negex, CETME Ameil, RPK and the RPK-74. Generic GPMG: The General Purpose Machine Guns are a cross between the SAW and HMG, requiring the use of a bipod or tripod to fire the weapon. This weapon is generally operated by 2 people, 1 person to fire the gun from a prone position and one person to carry the ammunition. GPMGs are generally belt fed in strings of 100 rounds each which are linked together by the assistant. If users do not use the proper firing position for this weapon, the Strength minimum requirement goes up to 5... and even then reloading the gun is difficult. Examples include the M240, H&K HK21E, MAS AAT-52, RSA PK, and the Vektor SS-77. Generic HMG: The Heavy Machine Gun is the largest of all machine guns. Generally weighing 45 kilograms or more (not including ammunition), this weapon is not practical to transport via unaided humans. In order to fire this

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Cost: Resources 2 to buy a box of 50 handgun rounds or 20 rifle cartridges. They are available in most handgun and rifle calibers and are legal for civilian purchase and ownership. Hollowpoints: As the name says, these rounds have a hollow point in them which causes the bullet to expand like a mushroom when it hits a target. This allows a better transfer of energy and causes much more grievous wounds than standard bullets inflict. The problem though is the bullet expands on any impact on targets with Lethal soak or non-living targets causes it to lose a lot of the energy before it can do its damage. Use of this round increases the damage rating of a gun by 2 dice against targets without Lethal soak. However against targets with Lethal soak the damage is reduced by 2 dice. Cost: Resources 1 to buy a box of 50 handgun rounds or 20 rifle cartridges. They are legal for civilian use and ownership. The Hague Convention prohibits the use of expanding ammunition in wartime, so it is not generally not used by military personnel. Riot Control: These bullets are generally made from a medium hard plastic or rubber, and have a much lower velocity than standard bullets. When fired, they convert the guns damage from Lethal to Bashing. This is handy to break up small riots without resorting to lethal force. Cost: Resources 2 to buy a box of 50 handgun rounds or 20 rifle cartridges. They are generally used by law enforcement personnel only. Vendors limit sales to civilians, but they are legal and available in most calibers. Match Grade: Some shooters demand the most from their ammunition. These rounds are FMJ rounds, but specifically tested and made to exact specifications, increasing their accuracy for a shooter who knows what shes doing. So long as the character has 3 dots in Firearms, she may gain +1 to the guns Accuracy. If the shooter has a Firearms rating of 2 or less the ammunition is treated as normal FMJ rounds. Cost: Resources 3 to buy a box of 50 handgun rounds or 20 rifle cartridges. It is legal for civilian use, but generally not sold in quantities greater than 100 rounds due to low production numbers. Tracer Rounds: These rounds are normal FMJ rounds with a small amount of combustible material on the back end of the bullet. The result of this is a bright streak indicating the path of the bullet. This allows for the shooter to quickly readjust her aim. This provides no bonus to single shots or multiple targets. However when using a Semiautomatic Burst the user gains +1 to the guns Accuracy and when using a Automatic Fire maneuver the user gains +2 to Accuracy. Cost: Resources 2 to buy a box of 20 handgun rounds and 3 resource dots for a box of 100 rifle rounds. This is technically legal for civilian use, however rare to find since its benefits are generally for automatic rifles. Its calibers are generally for military rifles only.

Variant Ammunition for Shotguns


The following are a collection of variant shotgun ammunition and their modifiers. It also includes the basic Resources Background rating needed to purchase them. Size Variations: Pump action and semi-automatic shotguns can take alternative size rounds, reducing its damage and range but increasing its clip size. .410 Gauge: -3 dice damage; -20 range; +2 Clip; Str Min -1 28 Gauge: -3 dice damage; -20 range; +2 Clip; Str Min -1 20 Gauge: -2 dice damage; -10 range; +1 Clip; Str Min -1 16 Gauge: Same as 12 Gauge 10 Gauge: +1 die damage; +10 range; -1 Clip; Str Min +1 Slug: These are the standard rounds for most shotguns. Cost: Resources 1 for a box of 25 shells. Buckshot: A round filled with pellets, they are devastatingly accurate at close range. Add +1 to Accuracy for shots taken under medium range. Cost: Resources 1 for a box of 25 shells. Birdshot: Similar to a buckshot, but made with smaller pellets and meant for small game and bird hunting. At point blank range, the accuracy is increased by +1. At medium range the accuracy increases to +2, but the damage of the gun is decreased by 2 dice. At any range beyond medium it retains the same traits as medium range, but all damage is downgraded to bashing. Cost: Resources 1 for a box of 25 shells. Breaching: When a door needs to be opened now, law enforcement officers use these rounds. They are generally used by SWAT officers and only effective against objects within 7 meters. Against armor and objects, these rounds have an armor penetration rating of 5. Against living targets, the damage is unchanged. These rounds cannot inflict any damage at all at long range. Cost: Resources 1 for a box of 25 shells. Breaching ammunition is only available in 12 gauge.

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Flamethrower: A very exotic shotgun ammunition, these rounds explode on contact. On a successful hit, the target takes 2 points of automatic lethal fire damage along with the regular firearm damage. Please note that the attacks are soaked separately. Costs: Resources 1 for a box of 3 shells. They are rare and hard to find in any quantity over 15, but are legal for civilian use. Riot Control: Same as the pistol/rifle version of this variant ammunition. Telescopic Sight (Night Vision): This item grants same benefits as a Telescopic Sight while also also amplifying any ambient light, allowing the user to see in near darkness. Using this scope will negate the darkness penalties for shooting at night. Cost: Resources 3 Telescopic Sight (Thermal): Night vision sights have one big weakness... they still require a minimal amount of light to function. However Thermal sights uses infrared sensing to detect heat sources that register higher than the local ambient temperature. This item negates darkness penalties so long as the targets are giving off a detectable heat signature. Some novas have body temperatures that can vary considerably from those of normal humans, which should be taken into consideration. Cost: Resources 5. Speed Loader: Revolvers, many rifles and shotguns must be reloaded by hand, which can be clumsy in the middle of a firefight. A speed loader is a holder that allows the character to slam ammunition back into her gun quickly. It still takes a round to reload, but no longer requires concentration to do so. When used to reload as part of a multiple action it also reduces any dice penalties imposed by reloading by 2. Cost: Resources 1 Suppressor: The discreet killers favorite tool. While the sound of a bullet is still quite present, it can effectively remove most of the noise from autoloaders, rifles, and SMGs. Any attempt by witnesses to hear the noise of a suppressed shot are made with a difficulty penalty of +3 (max 10). While not practical it is possible to silence revolvers and shotguns, but the difficulty penalty is only raised by +1. Cost: Resources 3 Gunsmith Kit: An assortment of generalized tools used to maintain and repair a gun. Without this kit, assume a +1 difficulty to any repair or maintenance rolls. Cost: Resources 2 Reloading Bench: Some people prefer to make their own bullets. So long as they possess a Firearms rating of 2 dots or higher, they can take raw materials equal in price to the normal costs of ammunition and make 2 times the amount of ammunition, given a period of uninterrupted quiet time. Storytellers may allow for special rounds (not shown in this supplement) to be created, however it is significantly more difficult. Each success on an Intelligence + Firearms roll allows for 1 bullet to be created in an hours time.

Additional Firearm Accessories


Bipod/Tripod: Standard for most rifles, assault rifles, and machine guns. They provide stability for long range shots. Unless otherwise noted with optional rules, a bipod or tripod can decrease the roll penalty of shooting at long range by 1. Cost: Resources 1 Light Mount: Basically a flashlight bolted onto the barrel of a gun. As with a regular flashlight, you can see into dark rooms effectively removing any darkness penalties. Unfortunately this works both ways, and anyone attacking you is also no longer effected by darkness penalties. Cost: Resources 1 Fiber Optic Sights: A colorful replacement to the old iron sights, this item draws the eye a little easier and make it a tad bit easier to aim at the target. If the user spends 1 round aiming, she gets a +2 bonus instead of the usual +1 for the first round of aiming only. Any additional aiming bonuses are gained as normal. Cost: Resources 1 Laser Sights: A low-powered laser beam projects the path of the bullet for a short distance. Gain a +1 accuracy bonus for shots taken below the medium range of the gun. However the major problem with laser sights is they are visible both when they paint a target and in smoky or misty conditions, possibly giving the target and/or his nearby allies a chance to react. Cost: Resources 2 Telescopic Sight: The staple for long range shooting. As per normal aiming rules, a scope grants +2 accuracy on the first round of aiming. Cost: Resources 1

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DMSO
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is the chemical compound with the formula (CH ) SO. The chemical is harmless by itself, but it also rapidly spreads throughout a baseline human body upon skin contact. This makes DMSO a popular ingredient in many contact poison and knockout drug mixes. Its penetration power is no more then a BB gun... however the one advantage it has is silence. It may be a good choice for knocking out cameras and lights. Slingshots that are designed for hunting do an additional die of Bashing damage. Damage: 1 or 2d10B, Cost: 1, Range: 20, Clip: 1, Str Min: 1, Size: J Pepper Spray: A small spray canister containing pressurized capsicum gas that fits in a pocket or a purse. Often used for self defense against common thugs, although a nova whose powers dont protect against it might not be expecting the burning irritation. Once sprayed into the face and eyes, it causes irritation and partial incapacitation. The target is blinded and all dice rolls are made at +2 difficulties for a 5 minute duration or until the substance can be washed off. Damage: Special, Cost: 1, Range: 5, Clip: 1 use per can, Str Min: 1, Size: P Paint Ball Guns: An air powered gun that shoots plastic pellets filled with paint that splats the target on contact. Mostly used for recreational sporting matches and not generally considered harmful. They can sting though at close range - about 5 meters - doing some minor bashing damage. They can be useful for marking targets with paint at distance. With the exception of matter alteration powers, commercially available paint balls cant be filled with any other substance. They also dont tend to break skin reliably enough to make non-contact poisons and drugs worthwhile without mixing it with DMSO. Pistol: Damage: 1d10 B, Cost: 2, Range: 30, Clip: up to 20, Str Min: 1, Size: J Rifle: Damage: 2d10 B, Cost 2, Range 60, Clip: up to 120, Str Min: 1, Size: T

Miscellaneous Items
While most serious and common firearms are listed above, there are a few similar items that are less common, but have their specific niche. Ballistic Knife: A regular combat knife with a little surprise. This spring or gas loaded hilt can be released, shooting the blade out from it for 3d10 Lethal damage. Aiming a ballistic knife requires a Dexterity + Athletics roll, where using the knife normally still requires a Melee roll. Cost: 2, Range: 10 (for ranged shot), Clip: 1, Str Min: 1, Size: J BB Gun/Airsoft: These small rifles use compressed air to shoot a .177 caliber pellet, which can be enough to kill a small game such as squirrels or rabbits. It doesnt have enough power to pierce normal human skin (much less a novas). Airsoft models cost more than BB guns, but are replicas of normal firearms. Despite being useful as prop weapons, they are otherwise identical to BB guns. Pistol: Damage: 1d10 B; Cost: 1 (2 for airsoft), Range: 20, Clip: up to 50, Str Min: 1, Size: J Rifle: Damage: 2d10 B; Cost: 1 (2 for airsoft), Range 50, Clip: up to 100, Str Min: 1, Size: T Slingshot: A Y-shaped piece of wood, metal, or plastic that contains an elastic string that fires small projectiles.

Masterworks Revisited
The creation of masterworks has never been limited to the fields of melee and pre-firearm ranged weapons. Examples of masterwork body armor, shields, vehicles and artworks have been known for centuries, having lately been joined in the last few by masterwork firearms. The creation process of these alternate masterworks uses the same system as on p. 127 of this book. The only changes are the materials and tools which will be required, and often the relevant Ability (and associated Ability Mastery) as well. The benefits provided by masterworks will vary with the item involved. Minor masterwork armors will have a reduced penalty for Dexterity based dice pools, while their true, great and epic counterparts will also have heightened Destruction ratings. Masterwork firearms have increased Accuracy ratings, with the greater versions providing additional dice on Firearms rolls made with them. Vehicles worthy of being called minor masterworks will have either their Maneuver ratings or Speed ratings increased, with the latter figured at increments of 25% the normal Speed rating per dot. Greater masterwork vehicles will have increases in both. The benefits of owning a minor masterwork piece of art typically translates into bonus dice for Social rolls where being cultured and showing evidence of good taste are an advantage. Greater masterworks of art will provide a general bonus to all Social rolls made against those who appreciate such things. Other minor masterwork items will provide bonus dice for their relevant Abilities. The benefits of the greater masterworks in those veins has been left to the Storytellers discretion.

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Fire Extinguishers: Assuming its not filled with water, these fire safety items can make excellent blinding weapons in the heat of the moment. Targets must be in melee range to suffer any effect from a fire extinguisher blast. On a successful attack roll no damage occurs, but target is blinded and all dice rolls are made at +2 difficulties for 1 round per each success. Certain nova powers can protect against this (Storytellers discretion as to the exact details). Hairspray Flamethrower: With a can of aerosol hairspray and a working lighter, a person can make himself a small flamethrower. While this improvised device is nowhere near as powerful as the purpose-built military version, it can be enough to ignite flammable materials. The relevant dice pool is Dexterity + Firearms. Damage: 2d10 L, Acc: +2, Cost: 1, Range: 6, Clip: 8 rounds per can, Str Min: 1; Size: J Firehose: Provided that the local water pressure hasnt been lowered, firehoses can provide streams of water that can hit with up to 300 pounds of pressure per square inch, and is a potent tool for breaking up crowds. The potential for Knockback (Aberrant core book, p. 249) from a firehose jet can also be greatly increased at the Storytellers discretion, making targets much more likely to be knocked off their feet by the blast. Damage: 5d10 B, Acc: +1, Cost: N/A, Range 40 meters, Clip: continuous until water is turned off or runs out, Str Min: 3, Size: N Damage: None Note: Non-nova Golden Gunslingers in the Adventure! and Trinity settings are also capable of performing this maneuver.

Mega-Perception 1
Sidelong Shot: The attacker may fire at and hit targets at her flanks and to her rear without having to turn and face them. This usually requires the target to make some noise or other otherwise inadvertently draw attention to himself, but novas with relevant enhancements and/or quantum powers wont need it. Ability: Firearms 4+ Difficulty: +1 Accuracy: Normal Damage: Normal Note: Non-nova Golden Gunslingers in the Adventure! and Trinity settings are also capable of performing this maneuver.

Bioluminescence
Hypnotic Light
The nova may fluctuate the light he emits in an entrancing, hypnotic pattern. Prerequisite: Bioluminescence 3, Mega-Manipulation 1. Uses of the Hypnotic Light maneuver function as the Hypnotic Gaze enhancement, using Manipulation + Bioluminescence as the relevant dice pool. Using this maneuver costs 1 additional quantum point.

Nova Techniques
Nova Mega-Maneuvers
These maneuvers require the nova to posess a specified Mega-Attribute rating and/or quantum power in order to perform them.

Density Control
Juxtapose
Prerequisite: Density Control (Decrease) 3+ with either the Affect Others Extra or Attunement 5. System: After performing a successful Clinch or Hold Maneuver, the nova may make a (Manipulation + Density Control) roll, the target may roll Resistance to resist. If the nova is successful she may make a Might roll to maneuver the target into a nearby solid object and spend a Willpower point to return the target to his regular density while occupying the same space as the solid object. The victim of this attack is subjected to a host of unpleasant effects. First, the victim takes [Quantum] + (Density Control) dice of lethal damage. This damage cannot be soaked but can be resisted with a Resistance roll, with each success reducing the damage taken by 1. Second, he is considered immobi-

Mega-Dexterity 1
Combat Reload: The character has mastered the trick of reloading firearms while still in the middle of a firefight without having to concentrate or even take a full round to do so. The exact method used will vary with the user - the players imaginations can run wild here - but the end result is the same: a freshly reloaded gun ready to fire. Ammunition stored in clips and magazines is much easier to handle than loose ammunition, although with revolvers using a speed loader will reduce the additional difficulties by 1. Ability: Firearms 4+, Athletics 3+ Difficulty: +1, +2 for loose ammunition. Accuracy: Normal

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lized for (Density Control) rounds, as his body disengages itself from the surrounding matter. The target may make a Might roll to pull himself free, with every two successes reducing the duration of the Immobilize effect by 1. When the duration ends the target is ejected into the nearest open space. Third, the victim may suffocate while merged with a solid object, as per normal rules. A victim who dies while merged with a solid object remains trapped; a grisly testament to the attacking novas power. Creative uses of Flight, Telekinesis, or Teleport can free a trapped nova at the Storytellers discretion. Using this maneuver costs the nova 2 additional quantum points. book, a nova using the Aerial Slam or Hyperspeed Slam maneuvers is assumed to slow to a more controlled pace is order to make a successful attack. In some situations, however, the nova may wise to ram into an opponent at the fastest speed possible. A nova who wishes to do this move must expend a point of Willpower to initiate it, and must get a head start (taking at least 2 rounds to build up her speed). When in range, the nova makes the regular Aerial Slam or Hyperspeed Slam roll with an additional +2 difficulty. If successful, the nova inflicts the same base damage, but gets +3 for using the Enhanced Movement enhancement, and +4 for each dot of Hypermovement, and the damage is considered to be lethal. On the downside, the damage the nova attempting a Full Tilt Slam must resist is lethal as well, and her lethal soak is reduced by five points for this purpose. If the nova is not careful, attempting this maneuver could prove suicidal. Using this maneuver costs the nova 2 additional quantum points. This maneuver is not available if using the Unified Speed Rules.

Empathic Manipulation
Emo-Bomb
The nova causes a brief but overwhelmingly intense flare of emotion in a target. Prerequisites: Empathic Manipulation 3, Mega-Wits 1 with the Natural Empath enhancement. System: The nova spends a Willpower point and makes a Manipulation + Empathic Manipulation roll against the targets Willpower. In addition to the normal effects of Empathic Manipulation, the victim takes a +2 difficulty modifier to all actions for a number of turns equal to the novas net successes. The victims emotions will stabilize and return to normal at the end of the effects duration. Using this maneuver cost 2 additional quantum points.

Spinning Throw
The nova grapples a target, spins around rapidly and then releases the victim, hurling her now-disoriented adversary away at a great speed. Prerequisites: Mega-Dexterity 3+, the Enhanced Movement enhancement, Hypermovement 1+. System: After a successful Hold or Clinch maneuver, the nova may spend 1 Willpower point to spin their opponent rapidly and then release him. The victim suffers a knockback, with each dot of the novas Mega-Dexterity adding 2 meters of distance and each dot of Hypermovement adding 5 meters of distance. The victim must also make a successful Wits roll or be Dazed until his next initiative. Using this maneuver costs the nova 2 additional quantum points.

Homunculus
Disperse
A nova who uses this maneuver may reduce the amount of damage taken by breaking down into a Homunculus swarm. Prerequisites: Mega-Wits 1+, Homunculus 4+. System: When the nova is struck by bashing damage they may make a Stamina+ Homunculus roll, with each success reducing the damage by one level. This is calculated before soak is factored in. Using this maneuver costs 2 additional quantum points.

Velocity Distress
The nova grapples a target, and then accelerates to speeds that the opponents body cannot withstand. Prerequisites: Mega-Dexterity 2, Enhanced Movement, Hypermovement 2. System: Novas by nature are immune to the physical side-effects of their own abilities. Their opponents, however, are not. Velocity Distress can only be performed after a successful Hold has been established on the target. Once the hold is established, the following turn on her initiative rating, the nova spends 1 Willpower point and makes a Brawl (or Martial Arts) roll resisted by their opponents Might. If successful, the nova picks up and carries the target while moving at an accelerated rate. Each turn the target takes [Quantum] + (Hyper-Movement rating x 2) bashing damage. If the target also has Hypermovement he gains an additional

Hypermovement
Full Tilt Slam
Prerequisite: Hypermovement 1+ (using Hyperspeed Slam) or Flight 1+ (using Aerial Slam). System: As presented on p. 246 of the Aberrant core

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point of soak against this effect for each dot of Hypermovement he possesses. Targets with Enhanced Movement and a rating in Hypermovement greater than the attacking novas Hypermovement rating are entirely immune to this maneuver. A target that escapes the hold (or is released) must make a Athletics roll at a difficulty equal to the attacking novas Hypermovement rating or take damage as if stuck by a Hyperspeed Slam. If the attacker has Hypermovement (Flight), the target falls instead and takes regular falling damage +2 dice per dot of the attackers Hypermovement rating. Using this maneuver costs the nova 2 additional quantum points.

Quantum Bolt
Bank Shot
The nova may bank a quantum bolt of off several surfaces to bypass cover and strike a target from an unexpected angle. Prerequisites: Quantum Bolt 1, Mega-Dexterity 2, Mega-Intelligence 1, Mega-Wits 2. When firing a Quantum Bolt, the nova bounces it off of nearby surfaces, taking a +1 difficulty modifier to her attack roll and inflicting 2 fewer damage levels (or dice if no automatic damage is being dealt) for each surface she ricochets the quantum bolt off of. The target suffers an equivalent difficulty modifier to rolls to dodge (or block if possible) that attack. Difficulty modifiers from cover are not cumulative with difficulty modifiers from Bank Shot and only the greater of the two values is applied to the novas attack. Using this maneuver cost 1 additional quantum point/ per point of applied difficulty modifier. The Storyteller may chose to impose additional difficulty or bonuses depending on the materials the Nova is banking his shots off of (light-based attacks banked from reflective surfaces may be easier while deflecting sonic attacks off of soft or brittle structures may be more difficult).

Mental Blast
Derange
The nova inflicts a vicious psychic assault to shatter her victims sanity. Prerequisites: Mental Blast 3, Telepathy 2, Empathic Manipulation 2. In when making a Mental Blast attack, the nova may spend 1 Willpower point and 2 additional quantum points. If the mental blast succeeds in harming the target, he will also lose 1 point of temporary Willpower for each Health Level of damage taken. A target reduced to 0 temporary Willpower this way must roll their Willpower at a +2 difficulty modifier or gain a temporary mental disorder (chosen by the Storyteller). The inflicted mental disorder is negated once the afflicted target is restored to his maximum pool of temporary Willpower points. Mental disorders inflicted by this technique are often indicative of the victims Nature, such Analysts becoming obsessive or Bravos being prone to irrational rages.

Open Wide
A modified Clinch, the nova forces her opponents mouth open and fires a blast of energy into his vulnerable innards. Prerequisites: Brawl 2+, Strength 3+ (or Mega Strength 1+), Quantum Bolt 1. System: Rather than inflict the standard clinch damage (Strength +2), the nova may instead make contested Brawl roll at a +2 difficulty modifier. If successful the nova inflicts the base damage for their quantum bolt attack to their opponent. Extra net success from the contested Brawl roll do not add any additional damage dice, but does reduce the opponents soak by -2 per net success. Novas with the Hardbody extra, who are currently Bodymorphed, possess any applicable Invulnerability or lack necessary orifices are immune to this maneuvers soak reducing effect.

Psychic Shield
Psi Screen
The nova can extend her psychic defenses to her allies. Prerequisites: Psychic Shield 4, Telepathy 2. The nova spends 3 quantum points and concentrates while using this ability (as normal for a power with concentration-length duration). While in effect, one willing target (per dot of Telepathy) within the range of the novas Telepathy is treated as having Psychic Shield 2. If the target already has the Psychic Shield power at greater than 2 dots this maneuver has no effect.

Telepathy
Skinride
The nova uses a telepathic connection to experience a targets sensory input. Prerequisites: Mega-Perception 2, Mega-Wits 1, Telepathy 3.

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System: When using Telepathy to read a targets mind, as long as 3 or more net success were achieved on the Telepathy roll the nova may spend a Willpower point and 2 additional quantum points to ride along with the targets senses. The nova is limited to riding only the targets senses, and any Awareness rolls are made with the targets Perception + (Mega Perception and active enhancements) + the telepathic novas dots in Awareness. The nova also increases the difficulty modifier to other actions while maintaining concentration to +3. Without the Surreptitious extra, the target will be aware that he has a passenger and may make a Willpower roll each turn (contested by the novas Wits + Telepathy) to dislodge the novas telepathic intrusion. Unpleasant stimuli (such as nausea or injury) may also force the nova out of the targets mind (resisted with a Wits + Telepathy roll at any difficulty the Storyteller considers appropriate). This maneuver is popular with both telepathic spies and hedonistic skinriders. Chronic skinriders often develop Domination with the Parasitic Possession extra and a whole host of dissasociative identity disorders. ing nova then makes another Wits + Teleport (contested by the targets Brawl or Martial Arts) roll to release the hold and teleport to safety. The target suffers the regular effects of a falling from a great height. Using this maneuver costs the nova 2 additional quantum points.

Rapid Port
The nova grapples his target and teleports multiple times in rapid succession, disorienting the target. Prerequisites: Teleport with the Combat Teleport Extra, Attunement 5. System: The nova initiates a Hold maneuver on the target. If succesful, on his next initiative the nova spends 1 Willpower point and makes a Wits +Teleport roll (contested by the targets Willpower), initiating a rapid series of teleports with the intent to severely disorient the target. The novas successes are applied as a penalty to the targets dice pool and Initiative for a duration equal to (Teleport rating turns). If the successes scored exceed the targets Stamina + Endurance (each dot of Mega- Stamina adds 2 to this rating), she falls unconscious. The target may spend a Willpower point and roll Wits to reduce the penalty as a free action. Nova targets with any of the Teleport, Warp, or Spatial Manipulation quantum powers are immune to this effect. Using this maneuver costs the nova 2 additional quantum points.

Telepathic Mimic
The nova may temporarily gain a skill from a person whose mind they have read. Prerequisites: Mega-Wits 1, Telepathy 3+. System: The nova makes a Perception + Telepathy roll at a +2 difficulty (resisted by the targets Willpower). If the nova scores 3 or more net successes, he may substitute the number of dots they posses in a single ability (if any) for the number of dots the target posses in that same ability (up to a maximum number of dots equal to the novas dots in Telepathy). As always, the Storyteller may decide certain abilities cannot be mimicked. This knowledge lasts for one scene of use and the nova may only mimic one skill at a time. Using this maneuver costs the nova 2 additional quantum points.

Selective Teleportation
The nova can elect to teleport part of an object, rather than the whole item. Prerequisites: Teleport 3, Attunement 5. System: Against an inanimate target, the nova touches the item and activates Teleport. Doing so inflicts damage equal to [Quantum] + (Teleport) to the affected object, as the nova teleports away with a portion of the item. When used against living targets in combat, the nova must first initiate a Hold maneuver on the target. If successful, on his next initiative the nova spends 1 Willpower point and makes a Wits + Teleport roll (contested by the targets Willpower). The nova inflicts [Quantum] + (Teleport) lethal damage with extra net success from the Teleport roll added as bonus damage dice, as the strain of being shunted through space damages the targets flesh. In both cases soak is applied as normal. A nova who scores enough damage successes may even teleport away with a targets limbs, organs, or masses of displaced bone and tissue (such effects are left to the discretion of the Storyteller). Using this maneuver costs the nova 2 additional quantum points.

Teleport
Death Drop
The nova grapples his target and teleports upward, and then releases the target to plummet to his demise. Prerequisites: Teleport with the Combat Teleport Extra, Attunement 5. System: The nova initiates a Hold maneuver on the target. If successful, on his next initiative the nova spends 1 Willpower point and makes a Wits + Teleport roll (contested by the targets Willpower). Both the nova and the target are teleported 100 meters upward per net success. In order to avoid being carried to the ground with his target, the attack-

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Combat Enhancements
Despite what some armchair warriors may think, all of the Mental and Social Mega-Attributes have just as much of a place on the battlefield as the Physical Mega-Attributes. Below are some new Mega-Mental and Mega-Social enhancements that have immediate use in combat situations.

Mega-Perception
Electroreceptors (Mega-Perception)
The nova has some form of organs (typically either modified nerves under the skin or ampullae of Lorenzini such as possessed by sharks) that allow him to both sense electrical fields and emit weak electrical pulses. System: The nova can detect both any living creatures and electrical equipment within his sensory range with an Awareness roll, even if the creatures and/or equipment are hidden or are invisible to vision and hearing. While the degree of detail provided by this sense is quite rough (no fine or strictly visual details can be detected), its accurate enough to let the nova make attacks without any dice reductions or other penalties. The nova may also make a Perception roll to detect magnetic north, and can use emitted electrical pulses to communicate with other electrosensitive beings as an automatic action. The only problems with the latter are that 1: communications with electrosensitive animals such as sharks will be quite rudimentary at best, and 2: novas with this enhancement will have to know a common code (such as Morse) in order to communicate. The range of this enhancement depends on the novas current environment; 100 meters when underwater, or 15 meters when on land or in the air. Electroreceptors are of even less use underground, and cannot function at all in space or vacuum. This enhancement costs 1 quantum point to activate, and remains active for the duration of the scene.

acter. One success will grant knowledge of either a single category (Physical, Mental, or Social) of the targets basic Attributes and related abilities, or the targets Willpower Trait. Each further success will grant knowledge of either an additional category of the targets Attributes and related abilities or his Willpower. If used in tandem with the Quantum Attunement enhancement, the nova can also use this to accurately estimate a target novas Quantum, Taint, and Node Traits; as well as determining whatever Mega-Attributes, enhancements, and quantum powers the target nova may possess. In game terms, the novas player gets to see the listed stats for those traits, instead of having to settle for narrative descriptions. This enhancement costs 1 quantum point and lasts for the duration of the scene, but can only be used on one being at a time.

Stalker (Mega-Perception)
Some Mega-Perceptive novas have an uncanny instinct for hunting down people that theyve come in contact with. People who find themselves as the quarry of such a nova can run for as long as they like, but they cannot hide. The nova can unerringly track anyone she has tagged to the ends of the earth, and possibly beyond. System: The nova must touch the target, then spend 1 quantum point and make an Awareness roll. If successful the nova can plant a quantum tag on the target, after which the nova will be able instinctively know the distance and direction of the target in relation to herself for one week per success. A nova is limited to keeping track of a maximum number of targets equal to her Mega-Perception rating. Targets who know they are being pursued by the nova may make a Willpower roll to reduce the duration by one week per success.

Surefire (Mega-Perception)
While many people like big guns, a few like the really big guns. A nova with this enhancement has an affinity for the biggest guns of all, as he can use all kinds of indirectfire weapons with absurd levels of accuracy. The nova also knows instinctively how to best act as a forward observer, communicate with other forward observers and provide maintenance for artillery pieces. System: In addition to any other dice received for Mega-Perception, the nova gains three extra successes on any roll using the Artillery Ability (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 88). Using Surefire costs 1 quantum point per artillery attack when in combat, or 1 quantum point per scene in non-combat situations.

Estimation (Mega-Perception)
For centuries, there have been tales told in Asia of martial artists and other warriors who were able to estimate a persons capabilities and fighting skills simply by noting his attitude and posture. A Mega-Perceptive nova with this enhancement has taken that ability to superhuman levels, as she can determine whatever that any given person is capable of with only a glance. System: The nova may make an Awareness roll to estimate the capabilities of a single being that she can see clearly. In game terms, it lets the novas player take a look at some or all of the listed statistics for the targeted char-

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Mega-Intelligence
Discern Weakness (Mega-Intelligence)
Prerequisites: the Analyze Weakness and Mental Prodigy: Investigative enhancements Lots of novas can study a target and find a proverbial chink in its armor on the spur of the moment. A nova with this enhancement can not only find out about those weaknesses, but can also share that information with her friends and make long term plans around it. System: A nova with Discern Weakness has the capability to deduce a targets real weaknesses, and can share that knowledge so that others may exploit it (if theyre able to) as well. While this enhancement can easily be used to deduce the flaws of physical objects, planned routines and troublesome lower lifeforms (nonsapient animals, plants, fungi & microbes), assessing the weaknesses of other people is where its potential truly comes into full bloom. When used on a person, a nova with Discern Weakness can determine all of his existing weaknesses - physical, mental, social, telluric, etc. - provided that she has sufficient information on that person to serve as the basis for her research. For purposes of this enhancement, weaknesses includes all Flaws, all Adversarial Backgrounds and most aberrations. After studying a subject for hours (if the nova isnt in the targets presence) or minutes (if she is), the nova spends 1 quantum point to have the Storyteller make an Intelligence + Ability roll for her, with a difficulty penalty equal to the targets Cipher rating. If the nova is successful, she can deduce the nature of any weaknesses that the target may possess. If the nova fails, the Storyteller will instead give the novas player incorrect information on the targets weaknesses. In the case of a botch, the information gained will be disastrously incorrect. In both of the latter cases, the Storyteller is under no obligation to warn the novas player that the novas information is incorrect until the nova (or anyone shes shared the information with) attempts to use the information against the target. Precisely what Ability should be used is left to the Storytellers discretion; but Investigation, Medicine, Science or Awareness are suggested. This enhancement normally rquires the nova to take some time out for research for it to function, but with under appropriate conditions the Storyteller might allow it to be used in combat. If a nova with Discern Weakness witnesses a target having a phobic reaction, she could figure out the nature and strength of the targets phobia without much effort. Example: Investigator Olivia Stamp has been tasked with profiling David Goldstein, a mid-level operative for the Camparelli-Zhukov Megasyndicate who happens to be a

nova with considerable powers to control and manipulate rock and soil. Mr. Goldsteins recorded behavior reveals that he suffers from some sort of mental disorder, but Goldsteins Cipher rating of 3 has prevented the exact type of his disorder from being determined. Fortunately Investigator Stamp is also a nova, and has Discern Weakness. After researching the available data over a period of 3 days, Investigator Stamps player rolls Intelligence + Investigation and determines that Goldsteins mental disorder is acute acrophobia. Investigator Stamp then adds that information to Goldsteins psychological profile, where her superiors can use it in their plan to apprehend Mr. Goldstein.

Project Coordination (Mega-Intelligence)


Mega-Intelligent novas are known for being able to lay out a good plan, but novas with this enhancement turn procedure into an art form. The nova is capable of creating methods, procedures and policies that maximize productivity, minimize waste and keep smiles on the faces of the workers. When combined with Mental Prodigy: Administrative and Providence, the nova can create working environments with the apparently seamless efficiency of an ant colony. System: When working with others (at least one additional individual) to combine successes on an extended roll (see Teamwork, Aberrant core book p. 111) the nova may make an Intelligence Roll with a +1 difficulty penalty. If successful, the estimated time of completion (or time interval between rolls) is reduced by half.

Providence (Mega-Intelligence)
Mega-Intelligent novas with this enhancement have a special genius for anticipating the needs of other people. It doesnt matter if its a single person, a group or humanity as a whole; these novas can deduce exactly whats needed in any given situation and can figure out how to fulfill those needs quickly. For this reason, novas known to have this ability are highly sought after by humanitarian groups such as the International Red Cross, the Peace Corps and UNICEF. Other organizations have uses for them as well - no one can help keep the logistics for a business, army or covert operation running quite as smoothly as these novas can. System: The basic form of this enhancement (one level) allows the nova to make an Intelligence roll to determine both the short-term needs of a person or group and how to best fulfill those needs. One success on the Intelligence roll will only give a basic idea of whats needed and how to meet that need, while gaining more successes results in an increasingly clear knowledge of whatever is needed and how to fulfill it. In game terms, each success on the

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Intelligence roll grants an extra die to be used for all rolls related to fulfilling the need in question. A Mega-Intelligent nova can take multiple levels of this enhancement, which will allow the nova to anticipate peoples needs in advance on an increasingly long-term scale. A nova can only take as many levels of this enhancement as he has dots of MegaIntelligence. Two levels of this enhancement will let the nova anticipate peoples future needs by up to [the novas MegaIntelligence] years ahead of time. A third level increases the range of this enhancement to decades, a fourth to centuries and a fifth to millennia (1,000-year spans). Each further level taken increases the range by a factor of 10. This enhancement requires 1 quantum point to use, along with at least 1 full turn of uninterrupted thought. foes to defend themselves against it. Alternatively, if the foe is something other than a hostile being - such as a virulent disease or a problematic environmental hazard - the gimmick will instead reduce the difficulties on the novas Ability roll (down to zero difficulties) by -1 per success to overcome that challenge. The specifics of a gimmicks effect will vary with the Ability its used with (Storytellers discretion). Gimmicks involving personal combat Abilities such as Martial Arts would have the penalty imposed on their rolls to block, parry or dodge against the novas innovative attacks, while a gimmick used with Tactics would subtract from the opponents Initiative as she attempts to figure out a way to counter the novas radical new stratagem. Gimmicks affecting Abilities such as Computer, where conflicts are handled as resisted rolls, will result in the difficulty penalty being applied to the opponents Computer rolls. Innovation has its price, though. The Storyteller is under no obligation to reveal the actual result of the Intelligence + Ability roll to the novas player before the resulting gimmick is put into use. There is literally no way for the nova to tell if his gimmick will work beforehand. Also, secrecy is everything when attempting to use innovative solutions. If the novas foe gets any forewarning of what the nova is up to, at the Storytellers discretion she may be able to make a roll with an applicable Ability to counter the novas gimmick and negate its effect. Further if the novas foe has ever seen or heard of the novas gimmick before, the novas effort will simply fail. The first person to put a sword in a cane was unorthodox, the second was just a poser.

Unorthodox Thinker (Mega-Intelligence)


Prerequisites: At least 1 dot of Mega-Wits, and 4 dots of the chosen Ability. When confronted with a problem, most people prefer to rely on the customary and conventional methods for dealing with it. While this can help in dealing with problems that one has never personally encountered before, it also makes that person predictable. In some circumstances, that can be fatal. Some Mega-Intelligent novas have learned to go beyond the boundaries of conventional thought, coming up with ideas that at first appear utterly ridiculous and insane according to conventional thought, but that in practice are highly effective and make excellent sense when looked at in hindsight. Of course, the problem with such innovation is that a solutions effectiveness - or lack of same - wont be apparent until put into practice. System: The nova can apply her superhuman genius to come up with truly innovative solutions within his chosen field of expertise - in game terms, an Ability in which he has a rating of 4 dots or more. The Ability that Unorthodox Thinker applies to must be chosen either at the time of character creation or when this enhancement is bought with experience. Taking additional levels of this enhancement will allow the nova to use it with one additional Ability per level taken. To activate this enhancement for the scene, the nova must spend 1 quantum point to come up with a quick improvisational trick to be put into immediate use, or 3 quantum points if hes attempting to come up with something that would let him pull off a plan on a larger scale. The Storyteller then makes an Intelligence + (the chosen Ability) roll for the nova. After the roll is made, the nova can come up with a gimmick - an outlandish and seemingly ridiculous trick or tactic - to confound his opponents. The sheer novelty of the gimmick imposes a difficulty penalty of +1 per success to any and all rolls made by the novas

Mega-Wits
Combat Awareness (Mega-Wits)
Mega-Witty novas with this enhancement are able to put their superhuman quickness of thought to full use in combat and become expert at predicting their enemies moves before they make them. Such novas tend to appear almost precognitive when in combat. System: The nova spends a quantum point and rolls (Wits + Mega Wits). If successful, Combat Awareness grants a +3 bonus to the novas Initiative and the nova suffers one half the normal penalties for fighting multiple opponents (round down). In addition, while Combat Awareness is active, opponents the nova can perceive do not gain any bonus to accuracy for attacking the nova from the flank or rear (see Aberrant core book p. 245). Also, when defending against an ambush the nova gains an additional 3 dice to his Awareness roll. This enhancement lasts for one turn if 1 quantum point is spent or for one scene if 3 quantum points are spent.

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Coolheaded (Mega-Wits)
Too many people - baselines, novas or otherwise - tend to become hysterical nervous wrecks when they find themselves in a real combat situation. Whats worse is that those people who have become used to being in combat often become overconfident and mentally passive, which is an excellent way to get oneself killed in short order. Novas with this enhancement are able to keep themselves from falling into either one of these highly-inefficient mental states. System: A nova with this enhancement is automatically able to keep calm when in a combat situation, even if its unexpected. In game terms, the ratings of both mundane psychological warfare tactics and Mega-Social effects intended to either scare the nova or lull her into a sense of overconfidence (such as can be done with the Trickster enhancement) are automatically reduced by (her Mega-Wits rating) dots when used against her. This enhancement is always on and has no quantum point cost. tant to note that this enhancement doesnt work by forcing the nova to continually alter his plans whenever someone tries to predict his movements; instead it merely makes any such attempted predictions highly inaccurate to begin with. Anyone attempting to predict the actions of an Unpredictable nova must pit their relevant dice pool in a resisted action against the novas Wits + Quantum. This enhancement is extremely subtle, and inaccuracies by would be oracles and master tacticians will not be noticeable at the time of prediction. Expenditure of Willpower will often not be allowed as it should be rare for them to know they are in a resisted action. Please note that this enhancement provides no protection whatsoever from the Blindfighting enhancement. This enhancement has no quantum point cost and is always in effect.

Mega-Appearance
Costume (Mega-Appearance)
For those novas who dont wear eufiber colonies due to circumstance or choice, the matter of keeping ones clothing intact while using destructive quantum powers can be quite a problem. Novas in this situation who insist on wearing costumes face even more problems, as hauling around a supersuit or wearing it underneath ones street clothes can be really uncomfortable and awkward at times. Novas with this enhancement have found a way to sidestep those problems, if only on a temporary basis. System: The nova can spend 1 quantum point to roll Appearance + Style and imbue a set of clothing shes wearing with her quantum signature. Once imbued, not only will the set of clothing be fully attuned to the nova (as per the Attunement background), but it will be able to transform at the novas will into one alternate set of clothing (such as an elite-style costume) chosen by the nova. For each success gained on the Appearance + Style roll, the set of clothing will retain the novas quantum signature for one scene. Alternatively, the nova can transfer successes from the effect duration to allow her set of clothing can transform into one additional alternate set per success transferred. Its important to note that while such imbued garments might mimic a few of the functions of a living eufiber colony, it is not Eufiber in any way. Imbued garments provide no extra soak, cannot be used to store quantum points and are totally unaffected by Eu-Freeze. This enhancement costs 1 quantum point to use, and is available to novas with either version of MegaAppearance.

Lurker (Mega-Wits)
Following other people without being noticed by them is just as valuable in battle as it is in espionage. So its no surprise that a few Mega-Witty novas have not only mastered the art of shadowing, but have taken it to levels that Emma Peel or James Bond would have trouble matching. System: In addition to any other dice received for Mega-Wits, the nova receives three extra successes when using Shadowing (Aberrant: The Directive p. 55). Also, if the nova makes a Wits roll, she can alter her behavior and body language to blend in with the people around her and/or her surroundings, making her less likely to be noticed when shadowing someone. This is the mental counterpart to the Catfooted enhancement, and the bonuses of both enhancements are cumulative where applicable. This enhancement costs 1 quantum point to use and remains active for an entire scene.

Unpredictable (Mega-Wits)
In any conflict, an accurate forewarning about a foes intentions and actions is a powerful boon. Many have taken this to heart in the Nova Age; as precognitive powers, action-predicting computer programs and even old-fashioned human intuition have all been made to serve the aims of the various factions. Some Mega-Witty novas have found a countermeasure to this, however. The actions of a nova with this enhancement become almost impossible for others to predict - whatever the prediction says, the nova will do something completely different. System: This enhancement makes any predictions made about the nova (by paranormal, technological or mundane means) inaccurate to varying degrees. Its impor-

Decoy (Mega-Appearance)
The body switch has been a favorite trick of over-the-

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top ninjas and martial artists in both wuxia movies and anime for decades. More than one foe of a martial artist character from those stories has apparently struck down his target, only to find that it was a short log or rock hed attacked. Meanwhile, the martial artist appears out of nowhere, and attacks... It was inevitable that some novas would develop the same capability. System: The nova makes an Appearance + Style roll to create 2 simultaneous illusions for a single turn (this means about three seconds in a combat situation, or up to three minutes in non-combat situations). The first illusion is a duplicate of the nova, and requires a roughly human-sized inanimate object to act as a base for the decoy. Gaining 1 success on the roll results in a fair likeness of the nova, 2 successes is a good likeness, 3 successes is excellent, and 4 or more is superb. Although this illusion is extremely shortlived its quite complete - the decoy will seem to have a heartbeat and produce body heat, not to mention vocalizing and/or bleeding as the result of an attack on it. The second illusion effectively makes the nova invisible, albeit only for one turn - subtract a number of dice equal to the novas Appearance + Style roll from the Awareness of any onlookers, even those who are both actively looking for the nova and ignoring the decoy. Please note that there is no way to extend the duration of the illusions, no matter how many successes are rolled. These illusions will affect all 5 of the normal human senses, but can also affect other senses if the nova has the Blind Bewitchment enhancement. This enhancement costs 1 quantum point to use, and is available to novas with either version of Mega-Appearance. Copycat can have their husks duplicate other people, while those with Mr. Nobody can stack its Taint-masking benefit with that gained from this enhancement. In both cases, the husk will remain functional for up to (the novas MegaAppearance) scenes, after which it will dissolve in some way. The details of this dissolution are best left to the players discretion; some husks might turn to ash with a slight puff of smoke or small flames, melt into nothingness or collapse into a disgusting mess of slime and shreds of skin. The husk can even be used when the nova uses the Dormancy background. In this case, the nova uses this enhancement just before dorming down, leaving him wearing a husk that will continue to function for up to (the novas Mega-Appearance) hours before it dissolves. The Taint-masking effects of Dormancy are cumulative with that of the husk (and those of Mr. Nobody, should the nova possses it). Unfortunately, the husk created by this enhancement is somewhat fragile. The husk has only 1 point of bashing Soak and 1 Health Level, neither of which provide any protection to the nova. If the husk loses its single Health Level, it is ruined and the novas disguise can clearly be seen for what it is. Uniquely for novas, after creation a husk is not considered part of a nova and is not immune to their powers. It also cannot be attuned by the nova who creates it. This means that any use of a large number of powers (Quantum Bolt, Immolate, Sizemorph, etc.) will instantly destroy a husk. At the Storytellers discretion, a husk ruined in such a manner may also dissolve automatically after becoming nonfunctional. In combat, this enhancement is typically used to take ones foes by surprise by tearing out of the husk and attacking. Alternatively, the nova can choose to tear away the husk in a slower, more dramatic fashion as the basis for an Intimidation roll. The downside of this is that tearing through the husk will also destroy any clothing worn by the nova that isnt either a eufiber colony or attuned to his quantum signature. This enhancement costs 2 quantum points to use, and is available to novas with either version of Mega-Appearance.

Husk (Mega-Appearance)
Prerequisites: Either of the Copycat or Mr. Nobody enhancements. Many times, the most effective attacks are the ones which the target doesnt see coming until its too late. Novas with this enhancement have taken that bit of advice to heart, and have learned to literally put up a normal-seeming faade to deceive their foes. System: To use this enhancement, the nova must spend 2 quantum points and make an Style roll. If successful, he can generate a husk behind which the novas current form is hidden, which also provides some protection against being detected as a nova. Each success gained on the Style roll allows the nova to roll 1 die in resisted rolls against attempts to detect him as such while wearing the intact husk. Likewise, the husk will mask 1 dot of the novas Taint (and the accompanying aberrations) for each success on the Style roll. Any visible body modifications possessed by the nova will also be masked. Depending on what prerequisite the nova has, the husk can provide other benefits. Novas with

Obscurement (Mega-Appearance)
Novas with this enhancement have the ability to make themselves difficult for attackers to visually target them. Methods of achieving this feat vary; both telepathic visual alteration and bending light to either blur the novas image or displace it from her actual location being common. Other methods include being beautiful enough to distract the attackers or hideous enough to unnerve them, and leaving afterimages via time alteration or hyperfast movement. System: When activated, this enhancement will cause the novas attackers to lose (the novas Mega-Appearance) dice on all rolls made to target her through visual means.

BLOOD AND THUNDER

149

ABERRANT
If the nova also has the Blind Bewitchment enhancement, this enhancement will also affect attempts to target the nova through whatever other senses the novas Blind Bewitchment affects. This enhancement costs one quantum point to use for one turn or three quantum points for a scene, and is available to novas with either version of Mega-Appearance. cumstances of the primary and secondary targets. These circumstances include (but arent limited to) the targets personally knowing and/or trusting each other, deserved reputations for trustworthiness, and sharing common loyalties.

Mega-Manipulation
Command To Attack (Mega-Manipulation)
Sowing dissension among ones foes has always been a time-honored battlefield tactic, and it remains so even in the Nova Age. A Mega-Manipulative nova with this enhancement can turn his foes against each other - with possibly tragic consequences - and gain some room to maneuver while they waste time fighting with each other. System: A Mega-Manipulative nova with this enhancement can sow dissension among two or more of his foes by giving a false order for a chosen foe (the secondary target) to do something - often a violent act - on the novas behalf. This falsely paints the secondary target as the novas willing servant in the view of the novas other foe (the primary target). This usually results in the primary target believing that the secondary target is both hostile and intent on carrying out the novas order, and acting accordingly. Note the nova giving the false order doesnt need to have any relationship whatsoever with the secondary target, as all he is doing is trying to fool the primary target. To use this enhancement, the nova spends a quantum point and makes a resisted Manipulation + Subterfuge roll against the primary targets Manipulation + Subterfuge while giving the order to the secondary target. For every net success the nova achieves, the primary target will believe that the secondary target actually intends to carry out the novas order for one round, and will respond accordingly. While operating under this deception, the primary target will dismiss any protestations that the secondary target might make. It is also possible to use this enhancement on a primary target group for a cost of 3 quantum points. (The secondary target in this case can be either a single foe or another group.) In this case the Storyteller will assign a shared Manipulation + Subterfuge dice pool for the primary target group; a group of extras might use an averaged Manipulation + Subterfuge, while a group with a nova (or other Inspired being) acting as the leader could use would use the leaders Manipulation + Subterfuge. At the Storytellers discretion, this enhancement can either either work poorly (read: be rolled with a difficulty penalty) or fail completely depending on the personal cir-

Deceptive Defense (Mega-Manipulation)


In order to successfully attack a foe, figuring out beforehand how the foe is most likely to react to the attack can be vital. Some Mega-Manipulative novas have learned how to send out incorrect information of this kind, allowing them to better defend themselves against their attackers. System: The nova can use this enhancement as an automatic action whenever she is attacked in physical combat. The nova spends 1 quantum point to pit her Manipulation in a resisted roll against her foes Wits. Each net success scored by the nova allows her to add an extra die to her next defensive action (Block, Dodge, Parry or Power Block; Aberrant core book p. 243). If the nova has more than one action available, this will only affect 1 defensive action. This enhancement can only be used once per turn. This enhancement costs 1 quantum point to use, and lasts for the duration of the novas defensive action.

Improved Feint (Mega-Manipulation)


Prerequisites: At least 3 dots of a personal close combat Ability, an appropriate quantum power or the Tactics Ability. Despite the seeming straightforward nature of combat, deceiving ones foes has always been a cornerstone of strategy and tactics, both in group warfare and personal combat. A nova with this enhancement has a gift for deception on the battlefield that few can match. System: In personal combat, the nova can use this enhancement by spending 1 quantum point and performing a Feint maneuver (as listed in New Maneuvers in this chapter) using either a personal close combat Ability (Brawl, Martial Arts or Melee) or an appropriate quantum power (Storytellers discretion). If the novas Feint is successful, for each success she gains her opponent will lose 1 additional die on his next defensive action against the nova. Using this enhancement in group combat requires the nova to spend 3 quantum points and use Manipulation + Tactics to perform the Feint maneuver. Also, the nova must be in command of an organized group thats been trained to follow orders reliably in combat situations. Otherwise, the mechanics are identical. This enhancement costs either 1 or 3 quantum points to use, and lasts for the duration of the opponents defensive maneuver.

150

BLOOD AND THUNDER

ABERRANT
Paralyzing Pronouncement (MegaManipulation)
Every now and again, someone says something that stops a person dead in their tracks. A nova with this enhancement can utter a statement (from an obtuse riddle to a riotous joke) that stops the victim from taking any action other than walking a few feet (usually in a random direction). System: The nova spends 1 quantum point and rolls her Manipulation + Mega-Manipulation dice (resisted by the targets Wits & Mega-Wits). Every net success prevents the target from taking action for a turn (or for a minute per success outside of combat). However, any hostile action directed at the target snaps them from their stupor at no penalty. A target that cannot hear or understand the nova is unaffected. Attributes and enhancements that depend upon speech (such as the Voice), it cant be used with enhancements like Bellow or powers that are based on actual sonic energy. This enhancement has no quantum cost and can be turned on or off at will as an automatic action.

Drill Sergeant (Mega-Charisma)


The skill of molding average citizens into combat-capable soldiers has been treasured by military commanders for millennia. Although its certainly one of the less pleasant forms of personal instruction, Mega-Charismatic novas with this enhancement can provide military training like no one else. With time and effort, such novas can train even the most typical person found on the street into a crack soldier. System: The nova may supervise the training of up to ([Charisma + Mega-Charisma + Command] x 10) recruits in a given month (see Henchmen, Aberrant core book p. 282). Recruits trained for one or more months by the nova should be treated as elite soldiers. In game terms they are well-disciplined, have ratings of at least 3 in the relevant combat Abilities, at least one specialty, Willpower ratings of at least 5 and at least one Physical Attribute at 3. Soldiers whove had competent prior training or those trained by the nova for more than one month can develop still higher ratings. In all cases, the Storyteller has the final say on what areas the soldiers gain improved ratings in, and how much they can be improved. Novas (or any other variety of Inspired beings) cannot benefit from the training provided by means of this enhancement. Using this enhancement costs 3 quantum points per day of training the recruits, and the effect on the recruits is permanent.

Mega-Charisma
Clarion (Mega-Charisma)
A nova with this enhancement has the capability to make her voice be heard perfectly well over long distances, despite whatever other sounds may be present. A nova with Clarion never has to shout to make herself heard, as her voice can cut through the clamor of the noisiest environments (such as found near space shuttle launches, working jet engines or heavy metal rock performances) without ever having to be raised above normal speaking volume. Oddly, this effect doesnt seem to be dependent on the manipulation of actual sonic waves, as novas with Clarion are capable of normal speech even in environments that should make it physically impossible, such as the vacuum of space. System: The nova can make her voice be heard perfectly well over a range of (the novas Mega-Charisma) kilometers, regardless of any sonic interference (Inspired or mundane) or physical circumstances that would ordinarily make speech impossible in the novas current environment. The nova never has to raise her voice while using this enhancement (unless she just wants to), as shes not actually relying on vocalized sound in order to speak. Instead, a nova with Clarion is capable of producing waves of quantum energy when she vocalizes, which other beings will automatically (and mistakenly) perceive as audible sound. Other novas will do this via their M-R node, while other beings use their noetic templates to hear the voice of the nova with Clarion. This enhancement wont function through audio recordings or media unless the nova also has the Screen Presence enhancement (from the Aberrant Compendium). Clarion doesnt depend on telepathic contact either, as this effect isnt hindered by powers such as Psychic Shield. Finally, while Clarion does aid in the use of Social Mega-

Encourage (Mega-Charisma)
This nova is the one person you want backing you up. With this enhancement, novas may bolster the efforts of their allies through sheer force of personality. System: The nova spends 1 quantum point and rolls Charisma (+ Mega-Charisma). On a success, the nova may spend a temporary Willpower point to give an automatic success to an ally. A nova who uses this ability can take no other actions that turn (even defensive actions!). The targeted ally must be within visual range of the nova using this enhanceme