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A set of three linked tabletop RPGs from White Wolf, the people who brought you The World of Darkness games. They're set in a world of super-science and psychics moving toward a future where that is the norm and Eldritch Abominations and Sufficiently Advanced Aliens clash with humans over space. Like most White Wolf games a edge of He Who Fights Monsters and World Half Empty form the periphery of the world view to varying degrees. (It's almost entirely absent in Adventure!, and most powerfully expressed in Aberrant.)

  • Adventure!: Set in the 1920s, you play as one of various pulp archetypes.
  • Aberrant: Some seventy-five years after the events of Adventure!, the explosion of the space station Galatea imbues people all over the world with superpowers, turning them into "novas".
  • Trinity: In the 22nd century, humanity is rebuilding from the Aberrant War under the "guidance" of the Aeon Trinity.

Contains examples of:

  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Aeon Society probably counts as this.
    • Well, by Trinity. In Aberrant it's only 70/80 years old and in Adventure! it's about 2 years old.
  • Badass Normal: Daredevils, under one interpretation. The other interpretation makes them superhumans with control over probability and time.
  • BFG: A sufficiently strong Nova can wield a cut-down 30mm gatling gun (normally found on A-10s) as a (super)man-portable weapon. In Trinity the Chameleon BioVARG is a 2 meter tall suit of Powered Armor that can mount a single mecha-sized weapon.
  • Big Eater: Novas tend to become this due to the amount of energy their powers take.
  • Blood Knight: Totentanz, or any other Elite.
  • Body Horror: There is a power set that lets you permanently grow a extra arm or 3, just for starters. The Teragen take this further, developing physical aberrations as a part of their transhumanist philosophy.
  • China Takes Over the World: Well, not quite. But they are by far the most powerful nation in settled space by Trinity. At one point China held the Earth at their mercy with nuclear satellites to get the Aberrants to knock it off already, but they were good enough to disarm them once the Aberrants left Earth.
  • Cyberpunk: Trinity hews very closely to classic Cyberpunk mixed with Space Opera and attempts to justify many of the more dystopian elements of the genre. In particular, the game generally rejects the idea that technology will make life better and that information will become freer over time.
    • Post Cyber Punk: Aberrant, by contrast, provides a setting that's rapidly building towards a utopia, as novas use their abilities to rapidly advance science and technology, terraform the Sahara, and decide the fates of nations by shootfighting on global TV. Of course, all of this is set up so that it can be torn down in the Aberrant War.
  • Deconstruction: Aberrant deconstructs the superhero genre, often abandoning or defying many of its standard tropes.
  • Doing in the Wizard: The publishers are quite adamant that the games -- especially Adventure! and Aberrant -- do not involve magic in any way, shape, or form. All superpowers possessed by the characters are due to the manipulation of new forms of energy ("Z-waves" in Adventure!, "quantum" in Aberrant). Given the properties ascribed to these energies, of course, it ends up working out basically the same way.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Aberrant corebook and the later Players Guide stress that the powers and abilities a nova gains when they "erupt" are usually a form of wish fulfillment. For example, a man who has never been particularly bright but has always wanted to be would become super-intelligent. However, under the rules, a nova cannot have a higher rating in a given "Mega-Attribute" than they do in its associated regular Attribute. So in order for a Nova to be a true supergenius (as opposed to just pretty smart), they would need to have had above-average intelligence to begin with. Similarly, a 98-pound weakling is never going to be able to juggle tanks as a nova, no matter how much Taint he collects to boost his powers.
    • This is not, however, entirely true. Because "Nova Points" (used to build a character's powers) can be spent to increase Attributes, and Mega-Attributes are...well...Mega (the first level of Mega-Strength allows one to life a ton), Novas can become pretty much anything they really wished to be. Although...one does wonder why Giuseppe Bennati wanted to become a walking sac of acidic viscera held inside by an invisible humanoid force field...
      • That's the subconscious for you. He probably had self-esteem issues.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Danguard Armored Warrior from Aberrant, and the VARGs from Trinity.
  • It Got Worse: Three times, no less. First the Aeon Society starts up to guide mankind to a beautiful future. They are betrayed from within (twice) and history took a a depressingly familiar route. Then the Novas arise and start turning Earth into a utopia. Sadly With Great Power Comes Great Insanity and that and Project Proteus caused the Abberant War. Millions die, several areas are rendered uninhabitable, communications are set back 100 years and the Novas only leave because China threatens to nuke everything if they don't. Humanity recovers and begins to shoot for the stars, setting up colonies on other worlds and even making friends with an alien race. Then the Aberrants return, start blowing up space stations and drop one such station on France, destroying most of it and two other less friendly alien races show up, intent on destruction and in one case rape. One wonders why humans bother anymore, really.
  • Knight Templar: Project Proteus. Many of the Teragen. Let's just say there were a fair few.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Oh, Divis Mal....
  • Magic Feather: An actual disadvantage in Aberrant.
  • Metaplot: A metaplot that stretched over three different game lines, no less!
  • Most Common Superpower: Actually an inherent part of the nova condition.
    • Lampshaded in the Mega-appearance picture and confirmed as a lampshade as Word of God.
  • Only Sane Man: Of the Proxies, the leaders of the Psi Orders, the Upeo Wa Macho are the only ones other than the Chibs who even concidered a peaceful solution to the returning Aberrants, involving making peace with the sane Novas that colonized other worlds. The other Orders began talks of dismantling their order as a result. And the Norca Proxy is the only one who has any kind of clue that the fall of the Chibs was due to outside interference and has been doing some digging. He also keeps many of the remaining chibs alive in secret.
  • Organic Technology: Any Psion can attune to powerful biotechnological devices. Also, the Eufiber used by Novas is actually living bacterial colonies which are extruded from the body of a powerful nova fashion designer.
  • Orphaned Series: The psi order books ended prematurely when the Trinity line was cancelled - Asia Ascendant, the Ministry order book, had been written, but lacked art and official layout. Free versions can be found floating around the net. (India Underground, the Quantakinetic order book, is a fan supplement.)
    • Likewise, there were plans for more Aberrant books before cancellation hit.
  • Powered Armor: The Vacuum Assault Suits from Trinity.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted quite fiercely in Aberrant -- superintelligent novas have revolutionized every industry you can think of (and several you probably can't), and any large corporation will have at least a few novas on their payroll. Not to mention that they've turned Ethiopia green, eliminated pollution, and generally done awesome stuff.
    • Also averted in Trinity: most industries have applied noetic science (the scientific theory behind psychic abilities) to their various fields in order to go further than would be possible without psionic talent. One of the Psionic Orders is a corporation, and yes, they do indeed make products for the mass market using psionics. Humanity in the 22nd Century has things like interstellar space travel and colonization solely because of psionic powers such as teleportation, including biotech "jump ships".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Upeo did this in fear of ending up like the Quantumkinetics. Effective when their bag is Teleportation.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Max Mercer is trying so hard, bless him...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Project Utopia, directed behind the scenes by Max Mercer, is trying so very hard to avoid the Bad Future by helping the novas who work with it make a better world... while one faction is secretly keeping them on a regimen of contraceptives so they can't breed more, possibly stronger novas, and killing those who find out about the program.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Being a nova is awesome, until you acquire so much Taint that you either go crazy, turn into a hulking abomination, or have your powers go wildly out of control. (Sometimes all three.) Of course, acquiring Taint is necessary for a nova to attain true power, so...
    • Actually, it's not entirely necessary. The only Taint a nova absolutely has to have is the 1 point of permanent Taint for each dot of Quantum over 4. This means that you can hit Quantum 10 (which, remember, is the Q-level at which you can access powers like Universe Creation) with only 6 permanent Taint, which barely qualifies as 'medium aberration'. Take the suggested medium aberration 'Vulnerability', whose only side effect is that you take +3 dice in damage from a particular attack form -- which at that level of power is about as comparatively threatening as a mosquito bite -- and shazam, perfectly sane Quantum 10 nova.
      • Sadly, as novas didn't have access to the rulebooks, most chugged down Taint like delicious superpower steroids for short-term gains (...such as being strong enough to literally move mountains) and consequentially used said superpowers to ruin the Earth.
      • Doyen propaganda! It was those damn Zips that fucked everything up. Except for the whole Fall of OpNet thing, that was a crazy abby, our bad.
      • Forget the Doyen, it was all Aeon's fault! The instant Novas showed up, they set up unofficial technology police and Super Registration! Project Utopia stomped hard on any tech that would rock the boat too much, and the Mazarin-Rashoud clinics that ostensibly provided specialized training and medical care to help Novas Shot Web actually secretly sterilized every Nova they got their hands on! Is it any surprise that when the Novas discovered this, they went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that pretty much wrecks the entire world? Think planet-wide Watts Riot. Afterwards, the authorities destroyed all records of their crimes, claimed that all Novas inevitably go insane, and systematically killed them from that point on.
        • Double subverted in Trinity, for while most Aberrants that psions run into are the Eldritch Abomination kind (or the Colony) there have been in-universe whispers of Aberrants returning from exile who look quite...beautiful. And there's the power Quantakeneitcs, Psions who could manipulate Quantum, who ran a Aberrant Treatment Center until the Knight Templars came and wiped them all out.
          • And a minority of Novas maintained their sanity and humanity despite all this and either colonised other worlds peacefully or stayed at the edge of the Solar System to guard against the others (Didn't work, but good effort).
    • Somewhat unusually, the insanity is not soley the result of the increased power itself. Increased power for a Nova means a larger M-R node and eventually you end up with a lump of flesh larger than an apple pushing on your brain. This is unlikely to do one's brain much good...
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