Mega-Attributes represent the extremes of nova nature (and thus, some would say, of human nature as well). Nowhere is this more apparent than Mega-Appearance. It shows, in the most obvious and up-front way possible, just how much better – and how much worse – novas can be than humans.
Typically, Mega-Appearance represents a nova who is extraordinarily handsome or beautiful. In this case the nova should have a standard Appearance score OF 3 or higher, and 5 is not uncommon. Unlike the “Unearthly Beauty” aberration, the good looks deriving From MegaAppearance generally are not especially unnerving to normal humans. They may inspire many emotions – love, lust, envy, worship, you name it – but they usually do not give rise to the feelings OF unease, disquiet and even disgust that Unearthly Beauty does. Indeed, Mega-beautiful and -handsome novas are among the most popular OF the “new humans,” and they are frequently featured on television, in advertising campaigns and other media outlets.
Each dot of Mega-Appearance representing good looks grants an additional die on all Style rolls. The character’s beauty or handsomeness is such that he is able to make even the worst clothes look good (not Fashionable, maybe, but good). Similarly, the character usually makes a good first impression on looks alone.
In some rare instances Mega-Appearance can represent the opposite extreme, signifying a nova whose looks are Mega-ugly, even Mega-horriFying. In this case the nova’s standard Appearance rating cannot be higher than 1 without special Storyteller permission (perhaps a half-beautiful, halF terrifyingly ugly character could have a high Appearance and high “ugliness” Mega-Appearance, For example). Mega-ugly characters typically have high Taint ratings, and they often become as mentally twisted as their bodies are physically twisted – antisocial and cruel, and all too ready to destroy any beauty which confronts them. A Mega-ugly character is an exception to the rule that Mega-Attributes cannot transcend their normal human Attribute analogs; a character can have an Appearance of 1 and Mega-Appearance of any level so long as it is defined as Mega-ugliness. Mega-ugly characters do not receive bonus Style dice. However, they receive a like amount of bonus dice to any lntimidation rolls.
- 1 – Stupendous: Miss or Mister America looks plain next to you. You receive one extra die for all Style rolls (in addition to your MegaAttribute dice).
- 2 - Amazing: A face that can launch at least a hundred ships, if not more. You receive two extra dice for all Style rolls.
- 3 - Incredible: Okay, at least 500 ships. You receive three extra dice for all Style rolls.
- 4 – Spectacular: Helen of Troy, Adonis. You receive four extra dice for all Style rolls.
- 5 - Godlike: Aphrodite, Freya. You receive five extra dice for all Style rolls
Appearance Alteration: Don’t like your looks? If you’re a nova with this enhancement, you can do something about them. Appearance Alteration allows a nova to make minor changes to his or her appearance. This can be done simply on a whim, or for fun. However, one of its main uses for novas who rely heavily on their good looks is to make sure they live up to a particular person’s or culture’s idea of what is “beautiful.” Someone who is beautiful in, say, America may not meet the standards for beauty among certain Third World tribes; great beauty in China may be ugliness in Argentina. Even more importantly, individuals’ ideas of what is beautiful differ wildly. One guy is a “leg man,” another goes wild for women with red hair. Some women like men with “tight,” muscular bodies, others look at the eyes or some other feature instead of the figure. A nova with Appearance Alteration can satisfy all of these people. He can make minor changes or subtly remold his body to conform to the desires of those around him. “Minor changes” include: changing hair, eye or skin color; gaining or losing up to about 50 pounds; gaining or losing up to about Four inches of height and increasing or decreasing any particular aspect of figure or appearance by no more than 20% or so. System: The nova can make changes in his appearance within the aforementioned guidelines, either consciously or unconsciously. Any changes other than those listed require the Storyteller’s permission. In no event can the character reshape his body to grow claws, wings or eyestalks, for example. Only outward physical appearance can change. Since this enhancement depends upon the perceptions and tastes of those observing the character, it cannot function as a disguise or to conceal the character’s identity. To change his appearance consciously, the nova need only pay the one quantum point and will the changes into effect. To change appearance to match what a particular person or group of people find desirable, the nova must pay the quantum point and be in that person or persons’ presence for a minute or two. During that time the changes will slowly but surely take place. The nova can draw the changes out over a period of up to a day if he prefers, which is sometimes done to keep from frightening people who are not used to nova powers. A nova cannot use Appearance Alteration to make himself resemble a specific other individual; that requires the Copycat enhancement. Nor can he use it to hide particularly grotesque aberrations unless the Storyteller specifically permits it. For example, some forms of Aberrant Eyes might be affected by Appearance Alteration; Vestigial Limbs could never be hidden this way. The power lasts for one scene.
Awe-Inspiring: Many myths tell of gods and demons whose visages are too “awful” (awe-inspiring) for mortals to gaze upon directly. A nova with this enhancement has taken a page from that book, for his appearance, too, inspires awe. A nova with the Awe-lnspiring enhancement has looks that, for whatever reason, give rise to awe, admiration and even worship. Normal humans often have trouble dealing with him in a straightforward manner. Weak-willed people feel more inclined to edge away nervously or be worshipful; even stronger-willed people feel intimidated, inadequate and cowed. It’s not uncommon for an Awe-lnspiring nova to be surrounded by an entourage of fawning, adoring lackeys wherever he goes. System: This effect works only when the people are in the nova’s presence and looking at him; when they are away from him or not looking at him Awe-lnspiring cannot affect them. Of course, they may come to worship and revere him anyway, even if they are not near him, but that depends upon the individuals in question. Awe-lnspiring is not Domination; it’s far weaker than that, and it shouldn’t be played that way. For each dot the player of a nova with Awe-lnspiring has in Mega-Appearance, he receives one automatic success when making lntimidation, Command and Interrogation rolls (in addition to the standard Mega-Attribute bonuses for Mega-Appearance). He should get similar bonuses to any roll related to persuading or inspiring people. This enhancement is one of many reasons why government officials are terrified of the idea of novas becoming heavily involved in politics or religion. Awe-lnspiring is afFected negatively by Taint. For each aberration the nova has, reduce the Awe-Inspiring automatic successes by one. If the nova’s aberrations ever exceed his dots in Mega-Appearance, his Awe-lnspiring enhancement no longer has any effect on people. Similarly, a character with Awe-lnspiring generally should not be Mega-ugly; that does little to inspire worship in anyone. This enhancement costs one quantum point to activate and lasts for a scene. Even when it isn’t actively “on,” the nova is still phenomenally captivating, and the Storyteller should keep this in mind (servers are deferential, groupies throw themselves at the nova, etc.).
Copycat: Being yourself gets kind of boring sometimes. Why not be a famous model or actor? Or the President? Copycat will let a nova do just that, at least as Far as outward appearance goes. After studying the subject to be imitated (either in person or from a good photograph), the nova can make himself look like that person – even a person of the opposite gender. However, these changes are purely cosmetic; no changes to internal organs occur. System: Copycat allows a nova to shape himself into an exact duplicate of another person. Making the change does not require a roll. However, the nova must be in the presence of the person to be duplicated, or have a highquality visual representation of him or her to work from. It takes about one minute to make the changes; the nova can cut this time in half by making an Appearance roll. Copycat costs one quantum point to activate, and the changes last for a scene. Copycat does not allow the character to add to or remove anything From his physical form. He can’t grow a tail, lose his Vestigial Limbs, create a sixth finger on his left hand, change his fingerprints or retina prints, or do anything similar.
Face of Terror: A nova with this enhancement can resemble something out of a horror movie. His appearance becomes so terrifying that few people can stand to spend any time with him. Instead, they run screaming in fear; if prevented from fleeing, they may gibber in terror, Faint or suffer a heart attack. System: Face of Terror allows a nova to assume a terrifying appearance. This ability is most common among novas who are Mega-ugly, but it is not restricted to them. Sometimes it is even more horrifying to see a form of great beauty slowly warp itself into something terrifyingly hideous. To use this power, the nova simply spends a quantum point. 1F he is ordinarily ugly, the terrifying changes to his appearance may be slight, or even nonexistent – but something about his appearance becomes not just bad-looking, but very frightening. It’s as if an aura of fear surrounds him. If the character is normally beautiful (or at least not ugly), the changes to his appearance will be much more extreme. They will take place over no more than a minute, and sometimes, it happens much more quickly than that. In either case, the nova’s appearance remains terrifying for a scene; this time limit can be extended by spending more quantum points. While this enhancement is in effect, the player receives three automatic successes when making lntimidation rolls or other rolls based on fear or disgust. This bonus includes any power or ability that allows the character to inspire those emotions in others. To a certain extent, this power depends upon the psyche of the person(s) looking at the nova. Ugliness and horror, like beauty, are often in the eye of the beholder, so the nova’s Face of Terror may look different when he confronts, say, a group of Asians instead of Americans.
First Impression: First impressions are just as important as everyone says. A character with a high Appearance rating is typically quite good at making them; one with Mega-Appearance even more so. However, a nova with this enhancement beats them both. Unless he deliberately tries to offend or annoy someone whom he is meeting, he always makes just the right impression. Depending upon what the person he meets is seeking, he may seem to be an enjoyable, likable person; someone who can get the job done; a potential mate; you name it. Whatever the other person is seeking, she will find it in the nova. System: When meeting someone for the first time (or perhaps after a long time apart), the nova may spend one quantum point to activate this enhancement. If he does so, the other person automatically gains a good first impression of him. He may deliberately say or do something to negate this effect, but even an accidental faux pasor unthinkingly tactless remark will not be enough to shake the good impression he makes. That good impression will remain with the other person until the nova does something to ruin it (whether in the person’s presence or not; bad reports about the nova in the media, for example, may ruin many uses of First Impression) or other people convince the target of First Impression that he has the nova all wrong. Of course, even a good first impression may not get the nova what he wants – making a good impression on the guards at the White House doesn’t mean they’ll let you in. Furthermore, this effect also makes the nova seem like just what the other person is looking for. If the nova is on a job interview, First Impression will make him seem to be perfectly suited for the job. In a singles bar or nightclub, it will make him seem like the perfect date, potential spouse or one-night stand (depending upon what the other person is there for).
Mr. Nobody: In some ways, this paradoxical power is the opposite of Mega-Appearance, since it allows a nova to make himself look completely normal. The otherwise beautiful, handsome or ugly nova is able to convert his features into the unobtrusive ones of Joe or Jane Average. The bright side to this anonymity is that it becomes easy to pass for a normal human. System: By spending a quantum point, the nova is able to mask his Mega-Appearance. For all intents and purposes he has an Appearance score of 2 – average. He looks just like the everyday man on the street. AIthough he cannot hide the fact that he radiates quantum energy (which other novas can often detect), to the average person he will seem like just another average person. Alternatively, the character can simply spend a quantum point to become completely unobtrusive (“I’m not the droid you’re looking for.”). However, a character with this enhancement still may have difficulties passing for normal if he has acquired any aberrations. Mr. Nobody masks two point of Taint, plus one extra point per dot of the character’s MegaAppearance. Additional points of Taint still affect the nova’s ability to interact with baselines without disturbing them. Furthermore, Mr. Nobody will not hide grotesque physical aberrations such as Vestigial Limbs or Sloughed Flesh; it will, however, cover up Unearthly Beauty. The effects of this power last for a scene.
Seductive Looks: A nova with this enhancement has the ultimate in sex appeal. He looks just like the man (or woman) of the target’s most lustful dreams. If the target is aroused by leggy women, for example, a female nova with this power would seem to the target to be a bit taller and leggier than she might really be – she’d be “just right” as far as the target is concerned. System: By spending a quantum point, the nova makes himself seem extremely sexy and seductive to the target. (Note that the target need not be of the opposite gender as the nova.) The target perceives him as having hose attributes that the target finds most desirous or rousing, and the nova’s appearance subtly changes to latch that perception. The changes fade as soon as the target is no longer in the nova’s presence; activating them gain requires another quantum point. While this enhancement is active, the nova receives three automatic successes on any roll to seduce or persuade the target. If there is any question, it is the Itoryteller’s discretion as to whether the bonus applies. Players and Storytellers should remember that this enhancement is based entirely upon the nova’s appearance. It does nothing to change his habits, attitude, or personality – as sexy as he looks, he may still turn the target off. However, Seductive Looks, and the bonuses t provides, can be used in conjunction with the Seductive enhancement for Mega-Charisma. Used together, the wo enhancements make the nova both look and act like he target’s ultimate sexual fantasy. The effects of the power last For a scene.