This article presents an alternate system of powers for the nova’s of White Wolf’s Aberrant RPG, based on the magick rules from their Mage: the Ascension Storyteller game. Storytellers take note, these abilities are broader and more open-ended than the powers from Aberrant. Novas using this system can quickly realize the “godlike” levels of power talked about in the Aberrant setting. In order to make full use of these rules, the Storyteller should have access to the second edition of Mage: the Ascension.
Powers in this system are divided into quanta, distinct areas a nova can manipulate using the fundamental forces of the universe. There are nine different quanta, each described below. Each quanta has five ranks of ability, just like other abilities in Aberrant. A nova’s rank in a particular quantum determines what he or she is capable of accomplishing.
Buying Quantum Powers
Use the Nova Points from Aberrant (p. 117) normally, treating the quanta like Level 3 Quantum Powers, such each dot in a quanta costs 5 Nova Points. A nova cannot have more dots in any of the quanta than his or her Quantum score. Note that a nova cannot start with a Quantum higher than 5, and increasing Quantum to 5 gives the nova a point of permanent Taint.
When increasing Quantum Powers through experience, treat all quanta as Level 3 Powers, costing (current rating x 7) points to increase.
Using Quantum Powers
In order to use a quantum power, a nova spends Quantum Points equal to the Rank of the power’s effect (or the highest Rank in the case of powers that involve multiple quanta). Roll Ability + Quanta to determine the effect. Generally speaking, each success with a damaging effect does one Health Level of damage. The Storyteller determines the appropriate Ability for any given quantum power based on the situation, although some suggestions are given below.
Entropy allows a nova to sense and manipulate the forces of entropy and probability on the quantum level. Entropy effects do no direct damage until Rank 4, at which point it can inflict damage normally.
Rank 1: Sense Probability
The nova can sense the quantum flow of probabilities, choosing the “right” or “lucky” option, or sensing potential weakness.
Rank 2: Control Probability
The nova can influence the outcome of random events. The greater the odds, the more difficult the event is to influence.
Rank 3: Affect Inanimate
At this level the nova can affect the entropy of inanimate objects, protecting them or causing them to break down and decay. Eroding matter and crashing or glitching machines are some of the simplest effects.
Rank 4: Affect Life
This level applies the power of entropy to living beings, causing living matter to decay or age rapidly or protecting it from such effects.
Rank 5: Affect Thought
At this level, the nova can infuse entropy into the quantum nature of thought itself, changing the course of a person’s thought patterns, for example.
Gravity is one of the fundamental forces novas can control, allowing them to affect the weight and movement of objects.
Rank 1: Gravimetric Sense
The nova can sense gravity waves, and can detect the displacement caused by objects as they move. The less massive the object, the more difficult it is to detect.
Rank 2: Gravitational Field
The nova can alter the local gravity, equivalent to the Gravitation Field ability (p. 199)
Rank 3: Focus Gravity
The nova can focus gravity waves into blasts of pure force or protective shields, the same as the Gravitic Blast and Gravitic Shield powers (p. 199-200).
Rank 4: Flight
The nova can negate gravity and fly through the air like the Flight power (p. 198).
Rank 5: Manipulate Gravity
The nova can use gravity waves to move objects like the Telekinesis power (p. 224).
Novas can affect the complex and delicate biological processes of life, from their own bodies to other life forms. They can heal or harm, or even create new life, using this ability.
Rank 1: Sense Life
The nova can sense the presence and functioning of life forms on the quantum level. By “scanning” a life form, the nova can learn a great deal about its biology and the state of its health.
Rank 2: Control Simple Life
The nova can manipulate simple forms of life: plants, fungi, insects, and invertebrates; healing or killing them, mutating or altering them at will. The nova also gains enough understanding of the body’s processes to heal his or her own body.
Rank 3: Simple Transformations
The nova can make minor changes in his or her own body. Simple life forms can be transformed completely at wil, even creating them out of nothing using Magnum or other quanta (such as Life and Matter to turn rocks into bugs). The nova can also heal (or harm) other people.
Rank 4: Complex Transformations
The nova can alter the forms of more advance life (including humans). The nova can shapeshift into any other form or roughly the same mass.
Rank 5: Metamorphosis
The nova can alter the forms of any living being (including herself) at will into any other shape. Transforming things into non-living forms requires additional quanta (turning a person into stone, for example, requires Matter as well as Life).
Magnum is a nova term refering to quantum energy, also known as “juice” or “jolt”. This ability involves the sensing and manipulation of quantum energy at the most basic and fundamental levels. It includes most of the powers in Aberrant with “quantum” in their name.
Rank 1: Quantum Sense
The nova can sense quantum energy and its fluxuations. Among other things, he can sense when others are manipulating quanta, and the lingering effects of such manipulations.
Rank 2: Virtual Particle Control
The nova can manipulate quantum particles to “fuel” the creation of matter or energy out of the primal “soup” of the quantum realm. Used with Life, Matter, or Spectrum, the nova can essentially create things out of “nothing.”
Rank 3: Quantum Recharge
The nova can speed the rate at which his or her Quantum Pool recharges like the Quantum Regeneration power (p. 219).
Rank 4: Drain Quantum
The nova can drain quantum energy from an object or person, like the Quantum Leech power (p. 218).
Rank 5: Quantum Imprinting
The nova can copy or even steal the quantum signature of another being, like the Quantum Imprint or Quantum Vampire powers (p. 218-219).
With their control over the strong and weak nuclear forces, novas can learn to affect matter in many different ways.
Rank 1: Sense Matter
The nova can sense the structure and composition of non-living objects down to the quantum level.
Rank 2: Basic Transmutation
At this rank the nova can turn one substance into another without altering its other qualities like mass or shape. The more complex an object is, the more difficult it is to create it. Using Magnum 2, novas can even create matter out of “thin air.”
Rank 3: Shape Matter
The nova can change the shape or state of an object, bending and twisting it as desired, turning solids to liquids, and so forth.
Rank 4: Complex Transmutation
The nova can turn pretty much anything object into anything else; turning air into steel, creating a banquet from rocks, and so forth.
Rank 5: Alter Properties
The nova can change the physical properties of objects to create entirely new materials, changing density or even rendering matter intangible, allowing it to pass through other objects.
Scientists have often speculated about the quantum nature of thought and the mind. Novas prove at least some of that theory true, using their quantum powers to interact directly with the minds of others.
Rank 1: Sense Thought
At the most basic level, the nova can sense the presence of other minds, and pick up strong emotions. The nova can also read the psychic imprints people leave on objects. The nova can shield against the mental probings of others as well.
Rank 2: Basic Telepathy
The nova can read the surface thoughts of other people, and project thoughts and emotions to them. The nova’s mental shields can also disguise his or her true nature from psychic detection.
Rank 3: Advanced Telepathy
The nova can telepathically communicate with other minds, create convincing mental illusions, and influence the dreams of sleeping people.
Rank 4: Domination
The nova can take over another person’s mind, plant suggestions, alter memories, and otherwise tamper with another’s mind at will.
Rank 5: Master Psyche
The nova can project his or her consciousness and awareness away from the body in a form of astral projection, duplicate or delete a person’s entire mind and memories, and even create artificial intelligence, granting sentience to computers or a new being made using the Life quanta.
The quantum powers of novas gives them the ability to influence space in many ways, lending to the quantum theory that three-dimensional space as we know it is only an illusion created by our perceptions.
Rank 1: Spatial Perception
The nova has a strong sense for spatial relationships and can sense nearby space without using the normal five senses. The nova can also detect the presence of any spatial anomilies, like those created by this quanta.
Rank 2: Clairsentience
The nova can extend her senses into distant locations, block the spatial perceptions of other novas, and even teleport small items in conjuction with Life or Matter 2, making them appear out of nowhere.
Rank 3: Teleport
The nova can warp space in order to teleport, and to teleport other objects, The nova can also seal spatial rifts and warps.
Rank 4: Warp
The nova can open a spatial warp large enough for multiple people to pass through.
Rank 5: Spatial Distortion
The nova can mold space like clay, stretching or compressing distances and sizes of objects. A hallway could be made to stretch on for miles, while a tank could shrink down to the size of a toy.
The electromagnetic spectrum is one of the fundamental forces novas can manipulate. It includes radio waves, visible light, electricity, magnetism, microwaves, and radiation.
Rank 1: Spectrum Sense
At the most basic level, the nova can sense different forms of energy, “seeing” up and down the EM spectrum.
Rank 2: Minor Spectrum Control
At this level, a nova can exercise control over the forces of the EM spectrum, directing them at will. This allows novas to overload or shut down electrical equipment, jam radio signals, bend or negate light, and many other effects. The nova only controls the energy, however, she does not create it.
Rank 3: Major Spectrum Generation
Novas next learn to generate energy on their own, drawing it directly from the quantum realm. The nova can project bolts of pure energy, generate electricity, electro-magnetic pulses, and so forth. With Life 4, a nova at this level can transform his body into pure energy, a being of living electricity or fire, for example.
Rank 4: Major Spectrum Control
This level is similar to Rank 2, only moreso. The nova can dampen the electricial power of a small city, shed enough light to see for miles, drain the heat of an entire forest fire, or power a small city entirely on their own.
Rank 5: Major Spectrum Generation
At this level, a nova is master of the energies of the spectrum, generating them at will. A nova with this level of power is like a living tactical nuke, able to create explosions powerful enough to devestate more than a dozen city blocks.
Scientists have long studied and speculated how time fits into the quantum model of the universe. The power some novas have over time and its flow suggests a definite relationship between time and the quantum energies they command.
Rank 1: Time Sense
The nova has a precise sense of time, an infallible internal “clock” based on sensing quantum flux. The nova can also sense any unusual temporal phenomena created using this quanta.
Rank 2: Precognition/Retrocognition
The nova can shift her perceptions forward or backward in time. This ability is often used in conjunction with other quanta, such as Entropy 1 to see differernt possible futures, or Space 2 to observe other points in the space-time continuum.
Rank 3: Time Dilation
The nova can slow or accelerate time at will, like the Accelerate or Dilate Time abilities (p. 227-228).
Rank 4: Freeze Time
The nova can stop time in an area or around a particular person or object, like the Stop Time ability (p. 228).
Rank 5: Temporal Immunity
At this level, the nova can actually step “outside” normal time altogether, into a world where everything else appears frozen in a single moment.
Existing Quantum Powers
The following list shows the quanta ranks necessary to duplicate the power effects from Aberrant.
Absorption (Forces 3)
Animal/Plant Mastery (Life 2)
Armor (Life 3)
Bioluminescence (Spectrum 2)
Body Modification (Life 3)
Bodymorph (Spectrum 3, Life 3)
Boost (Life 3)
Claws (Life 3)
Clone (Life 4, Mind 1)
Cyberkinesis (Spectrum 2)
Density Control (Matter 5)
Disintegration (Entropy 3 or Matter 4)
Disorient (Mind 2)
Disrupt (Magnum 3)
Domination (Mind 4)
Elemental Anima (Matter 2-3)
Elemental Mastery (Matter 4)
Empathic Manipulation (Mind 2)
Entropy Control (Entropy 3+)
ESP (Space 2)
Flight (Gravity 4)
Force Field (Gravity 3)
Gravity Control (Gravity 2+)
Healing (Life 2-3)
Holo (Spectrum 2)
Homunculus (Life 5)
Hypermovement (Space 5 or Time 3)
Hypnosis (Mind 3)
Immobilize (any of Gravity 2, Matter 2, Life 3, Time 4)
Immolate (Spectrum 2)
Intuition (Entropy 2)
Invisibility (Spectrum 2)
Luck (Entropy 3)
Magnetic Mastery (Spectrum 2)
Matter Chameleon (Matter 2, Life 4)
Matter Creation (Magnum 2, Matter 4)
Mental Blast (Mind 3)
Mirage (Mind 2)
Molecular Manipulation (Matter 2+)
Poison (Life 3)
Premonition (Time 2)
Pretercognition (Time 2)
Psychic Shield (Mind 1)
Quantum Bolt (Spectrum 2)
Quantum Construct (Magnum 2, Life 4)
Quantum Conversion (Magnum 2, Spectrum 2)
Quantum Imprint (Magnum 5)
Quantum Leech (Magnum 4)
Quantum Regeneration (Magnum 3)
Quantum Vampire (Magnum 5)
Sensory Shield (Spectrum 2)
Shapeshift (Life 4)
Shroud (Spectrum 2)
Sizemorph (Space 5)
Strobe (Spectrum 2)
Stun Attack (Mind 2)
Telekinesis (Gravity 5)
Telepathy (Mind 2)
Teleport (Space 3)
Temporal Manipulation (Time 3+)
Warp (Space 4)
Weather Manipulation (Spectrum 2, Matter 2)