New Year, New Character Day 23: Aberrant
New Year, New Character
AberrantAberrant was White Wolf's take on the comic book/super-hero genre. It was the 2nd game in their "Aeonverse" trilogy, which reimaged a new "pulp" history for our world. In this world, a disaster on a research space station led to a dousing of the world with radiation, and the people began to change, and to exhibit strange, superhuman powers. While still relatively rare, the presence of these "Novas" fundamentally altered the world.
Unlike traditional comic books, or those games that seek to emulate the like Mutants & Masterminds or Heroes Unlimited, Aberrant is an attempt to explore "what would really happen." There are few, to almost no, "supervillains." Sure, there are super criminals, but they don't dress up in gaudy outfits and rob banks--they control or are top-enforcers for crime syndicates and cartels. Those that do dress up in gaudy outfits are more likely to be hired mercenaries--dubbed "Elites"--as interested in their Q-Rating as anything else. There is a few "superheroes" but these are more likely to be employees of a given city or nation or, among the best of the best--members of the official UN super team "Team Tomorrow." But there is darkness in the world, as well. There are "Teragens"--radical Nova supremacist's who believe that they are destined to inherit the earth, and willing to use terrorism and violence to bring that inheritance about. And Team Tomorrow is far from perfect, something that rebellious "Aberrants" have only recently come to understand. Most aren't really part of any of these factions, instead using their powers for profit. Why rob a bank, when you can be hired by the bank and make seven figures starting, complete with benefits?
There was a Kickstarter for a new edition back in 2019, but I haven't received my copy yet. So, I'll be using the first edition of the rules for this.
At its core, Aberrant is based on the typical "White Wolf" system. Character have Attributes and Abilities (what other games call Skills), rated on a scale of 1-5. Each "dot" is these translates to a die that the player rolls to accomplish something. So, if attempting to climb a ladder, one might roll Strength and Athletics. If both of these were rated at 2, then the players would roll 8 die.
Character creation is point based. Though, rather than a large pool of points, each step of character creation gives a number to be spent to buy various levels/dots in the appropriate area. The process is divided into two Phases, each with various Steps. Phase 1 is creating the person as they were prior to "erupting" into a Nova. Phase 2 is the "super" phase of creation. As with all point based character creation methods, the Concept is the major decision a player needs to make.
Phase 1: Human
At this step, I need to figure out the characters Concept (the rough description of who the character is), their Nature (who they are at their core), and their Allegiance (which of the various factions in the world they belong to). I'm going to use the Universal NPC Emulator to come up with a random Concept, but two things I want to note first. Based on a coin flip, this character will be a woman. Secondly, I want to have a solid contrast between her Human and Nova nature--her powers won't exactly "fit" the character. If she's very physically focused, maybe I'll go with odd nature or energy powers. Whereas a more scholarly type might end up with super-strength.
With that out of the way, I roll on the UNE and get:
Sensible Mercenary who wants to Establish the Government
That's a...pretty solid character for Aberrant. I decide to split this up in two ways. As a human, she was a "nation builder"--a consultant hired by various corporations to advise various nations in the best way to keep their nation stable enough for the companies profit. As a Nova, this has become a more active and, well, violent focus. For her Nature, I pick Bravo--there are winners, and losers, and she is a winner. For her Allegiance, I choose Corporate, making a note of the "suggested backgrounds" of Allies, Backing, Influence, and Resources.
Needing a name, I flip to the Everyone, Everywhere List. Based on the concept, I want her to be a westerner, but in the global and diverse world of Aberrant, playing another American just feels wrong. I decide to go with a French character, as I don't think I've made one yet. Simone Bremond is her name.