What is Quantum?
Quantum is your raw power, and determines your classification as a Nova. Your Quantum directly correlates to the amount of energies you can manipulate at one time.
Quantum is a shorthand term used to refer to the energy that novas can access and manipulate, via the M-R node. In actuality, this energy is a combination of the four fundamental forces: the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic force, and gravity.
As these four forces are responsible for nearly all observed physical phenomena, being able to manipulate these four forces means a nova is theoretically capable of doing anything.
What is Taint?
Taint buildup within novas is common when novas over-extend their powers, or desire to learn a new power more quickly (i.e. getting an experience point discount).
Taint, is generally considered to be a bad thing due to the random physical and mental mutations it engenders. However, Taint may be the key to a Nova's evolution. If the Nova finds a way to properly channel their use of Taint) they may avoid mental aberrations entirely. In exchange, they get more frequent physical aberrations, but they may guide the development of these. A nova who sees himself as a representative of God, for example, might choose to become more physically perfect, and perhaps to manifest a glowing aura or halo, or even a set of wings.
However, such novas grow further and further away from baseline humanity, as their thought processes become more and more alien.
Although seemingly unknown Taint affects not just novas, but their surroundings as well. This includes humans, plants, and animals. In the environment, this can result in areas like the Blight. There are several places on Earth which display Taint to a greater or lesser degree.
Taint has the ability to corrupt Quantum Energies. When enough Taint has entered or been generated by the hosts body it binds to the M-R Node Tainting a point of Quantum. If an aberrants Taint rises above their level Quantum they can begin using that as Taint in place of Quantum. This however is slippery slope the use of Tainted Quantum will cause the nova to generate even Temporary Taint during combat. The more taint a character takes on the more Aberrations they will begin to develop. If a player character ever reaches Taint 10, they will effectively become a mindless beast, and NPC.
Bleeding Temporary Taint
There are several methods of bleeding off temporary Taint.
- Novas may bleed off temporary Taint after going 1 session or 1 week of downtime Power Maxing and without botching Quantum Power rolls. The nova can the roll [Willpower] at +1 difficulty. Each net success bleeds off a point of temporary Taint.
Burning Temporary Taint
- A Nova may attempt to "reformat" their biology and burn out temporary Taint. This empties the Nova's quantum pool and fills all but his last Incapacitated level with aggravated damage, but removes all temporary Taint from the Nova's temporary Taint track. Dumping temporary Taint in this fashion is always a spectacle, manifesting in a way which makes "sense" to the Nova. So a fire-wielding Nova may self-immolate, a cyberkinetic may seem to fuzz out into static, and so on.
- Taint Resistant Novas can add their dots in Taint Resistance to bleed-off rolls.
What is Chrysalis?
- Once per scene a character may pay 1 willpower and an additional 10Q per point of temporary Taint to convert this temporary Taint into temporary Chrysalis. A willpower roll is also required. If failed, the character gains that much temporary Taint and loses the quantum points. If botched, the character gains their Quantum in temporary Taint.
- If at least 7 of the characters 10 temporary taint are chrysalis the character gains 1 point of permanent Chrysalis, which behaves identically to permanent Taint except with the caveat that the character (and by extension, the player) gets to choose any aberrations or body modifications gained from this process.
- A character with at least 1 point of Permanent Chrysalis may attempt to go into Chrysalis, rolling (Willpower + Chrysalis), while exposed to a condition that challenges the character's preconceptions of his or her powers. If successful, the character is surrounded by a chrysalis based on their powers and paradigm, which protects them as they rebuild their body from the ground up.
- Characters inside Chrysalis are immobile and incapable of perceiving or acting in the real world, locked in dream or nightmare or death-like sleep. However, the Chrysalis gives the character the equivalent of the Regeneration and Adaptability enhancements, and grants an additional +10B/10L/10A soak against all attacks.
- For example, an ice manipulating Nova who undergoes Chrysalis may do so by jumping into an active volcano. Once the chrysalis ends though said ice Nova only has moments to get out of the volcano.
- It takes 1 week per 2 NP spent for Chrysalis to end. Ending Chrysalis leaves a character with full Quantum points and temporary Willpower.
- All Human and Meta-Human abilities only cost half.
- Taint may be removed at a rate of 1NP per point of Temporary Taint, or 10 per point of Permanent Taint.
- A Nova may purchase backgrounds normally only available at character creation.