Aberrant, MG Style

So I was tossing around the theory of running a setting like Aberrant with MG rules. In the setting some people have developed classic super powers by being able to manipulate Quantum do to having a particular brain defect. Quantum can in theory accomplish anything though most people are limited to a power theme do to human inability to grasp that level of reality bending. When a person has to much ability to manipulate Quantum in produces Taint, bizarre physical or mental problems stemming from the harnessed power.

Anyway, I could see the Nature equivalent in that being related to the ability to manipulate Quantum versus your actual level if humanity. Maybe have two stats, one normal that is shared with mundanes and Quantum for your powers. However much your Quantum + ?Humanity? overlap (I.e. their total exceeds 7) is Taint. Humanity descriptors would inlude things lke Make a Living, Blend With the Crowd, etc. Tapping it would naturally make it harder to function day to day. Quantum wouldn’t have descriptors as much as just serve as a dice pool for powers.

Anyway just scratching around some ideas. Thoughts so far?

I would simply replace Nature with Quantum, replace the aspects of mouse Nature with three powers, and let those differ from nova to nova. For example, one nova might have “fire blast”, “flight”, and “fire shield”. Let the nova use Quantum freely to achieve effects within her chosen powers, as Nature with the animal’s aspects. Let the nova spend Persona to tap Quantum to boost baseline skills and abilities as with Nature. If Quantum presses against the 7 limit, she gains Taint traits such as madness and deformity (that may also permanently lower Health and Will), and perhaps lose mortal skills as well as she comes to rely more on her Quantum powers than on her baseline skills.

Edit: The problem though is how different the theme is from Mouse Guard. In MG you are individually weak members of a team given orders and directions but being self-sufficient in a frontier environment. In Aberrant you are individually powerful, not necessarily a member of a team, and very probably not given orders, unless you limit play to Team2Morrow members, which might actually be pretty cool.

I’m of the opinion that the mechanics and approach of MG is solid enough to function in different themes: Maybe not every theme, but certainly more themes then “weak but noble creatures working together to defend an unappeciative low-tech populance”. As Luke pointed out in another thread, the goal of a GM is to “challenge the players’ Beliefs through obstacles so that the players have an opportunity to take heroic stand”. Characters in Aberrant are powerful compared to a generic human but they are struggling against shadowy organisations, beings who have dropped any pretense of humanity to gain power, shifting mundane opinion, and their own personal demons. All of these could be held to be more powerful then them, meaning there would be plenty to throw at them to challenge Beliefs.

MG to me looks like a wonderful potential toolkit for a super game. Its mechanics are streamlined so they wount distract much from the action. It has a resolution system that conveniently can provide detailed challenge for anything from negotiating with a villain to disarm a bomb, to disarming a bomb yourself, to building said bomb (okay, I apparently have bombs on the brain, wierd). Conflict actions are abstract and lend well to viewing each as a “frame” in a comic. Damage is abstract as well (hero games with specific damage systems tend to not feel comic booky, heroes aren’t that ablative), and death by design is limited to dramatic declared conflicts with it as a specific listed goal. That teams in conflicts can have different goals and you can extract a compromise from failure also works well for the genre (villains are usually trying to accomplish something other then beating down the hero, and rarely are cleanly defeated). The hindering self for checks mechanic would suberbly represent the little problems that prevent easy victory in super settings, and Players Turn seems tailor made for the opportunity to pursue some old villain, try to repair damage to your secret identity, or spend quality time building yet another in a long array of power-suits.

Anyway as far as mechanics, I sort of like the concept you have of having Nature be Quantum and the aspects be powers, but I avoided in my initial theories because I thought (from other discussions) that the nature/aspects were supposed to be more tendencies that drag you down from following your ideals: Basically establishing a central emotional and philosophical struggle between the typical and the heroic. While shooting fireballs all day would be a bit of a drag, it doesn’t seem like much of an emotional conflict for a super being to rely on his superness… I might be clearer if I had read more BW stuff, since I understand it has a wealth of different stats filling that niche. I’d certainly appreciate any clarifications on the matter.

Abberrant would do better directly under BWR with MaBu… just treat each power as a spell…

I may have miscommunicated the idea I was trying to get across. It’s not the power level that would be the major problem, it’s the implied team membership that makes the GM’s Turn what it is. Without missions and teamwork, the GM’s turn would lose a lot of meaning.

(Edit: Sorry, browser weirdness.)

I see… Oddly I’ve never had a problem with the team and mission dynamic forming very naturally in super games, and I’ve run such in TSR’s Marvel (with the color tables), Marvel Saga, Heroes Unlimited, Aberrant, Mutants & Masterminds, and a couple of small press games I don’t recall the names of. People forming complementary teams and relying on eachother to fill in strength/weakness gaps just always seemed to come naturally in those settings (probably because there are so many team based comics). Of course it could just be the groups I’ve been in… Though the same groups had a difficult time with forming strong teams in the World of Darkness games, so I’ve always assumed it was a genre specific tendency. shrugs

I thought it was genre-specific too, or at least reflective of the campaign concept, but that Aberrant is not like other supers settings, in that directed missions don’t really play a role. If you can pull it off though, great, and we’d like to hear how it goes.

I see what you mean. Aberrant did have a different vibe definitely: The players focused more on manipulating politics and media rather then hunting the villain of the month. Something like argument conflicts could have been really handy (the Television Interview Conflict?). Anyway, I’ll probably wait till I can get a hold if some BW stuff and see if it’s a better fit. I’ve never been satisfied with traditional game approaches to the genre structure wise so I’m always hoping to find that perfect game system to handle it with.

What’s the best way to get BW books anyway? Online order? Can big chains order them? MG is the only thing related I’ve seen outside conventions.

Best way to get the BW books is to order them from me!


Thanks Luke. Would the core be sufficient for judgeing the system (in general and / or from a super genre perspective) or would some others be recommended as well?

Jesus, if you just want to “judge” the system, download the free PDF samples on the website. Don’t waste $25!

Erm. Okay. Sorry if I offended you with my choice of wording. I just don’t find pdfs or even a stack of printouts to be pleasant to pour through from a comfy chair so I’d rather purchase the product to at least add to my collection, even if I don’t know I’ll actually use it till I can study it a bit. I bought MG blind purely on the strength if the comic source material, I just happened to like the rules I saw after the fact which is why I turned up here. I’ve never had much sales resistance to RPGs and games, which explains why own a copy of “Santa’s Secret Service”. Admittedly it has combat stats for the Bumble from the old Rudolph Christmas special, so that’s hard to feel to bad about.