Intelligence, according to some, is the ultimate weapon. If that’s the case, a nova with this Mega-Attribute is ready to fight in any war.
A character with Mega-lntelligence is intelligent beyond the dreams of even most geniuses. His ability to make deductive “leaps” from unrelated facts to a conclusion, to solve difficult problems and to analyze situations is nearly unparalleled. In some cases, novas with high Mega-lntelligence ratings have put powerful computers to shame. In fact, even one dot of Mega-lntelligence effectively indicates that the human 1Q scale can no longer be applied to the Mega-intelligent nova.
Like lntelligence itself, Mega-Intelligence mainly represents the quality of a character‘s thinking processes – how clearly and precisely he can put facts together and draw conclusions from them. However, unlike lntelligence, to a certain extent it also measures the speed at which a character can analyze facts and perform calculations. Characters with high lntelligence solve problems quickly, but a nova with even Mega-Intelligence 1 makes them look like mental tortoises. When it comes to reacting fast under pressure, though, Wits and Mega-Wits still rule the day.
- 1 – Stupendous: You do advanced calculus problems in your sleep.
- 2 - Amazing: Supergeniuses look on you with envy.
- 3 – Incredible: An auditorium full of professors doesn’t have as much brainpower as you.
- 4 - Spectacular: Your memory for even the most trivial details never fails you.
- 5 – Godlike: You make supercomputers look slow and stupid.
Analyze Weakness: Virtually everything – every object, every system, every procedure – has flaws, weaknesses and vulnerable points. In many instances these problems are so minor as to be unnoticeable to the average person. A nova with this ability, however, is not the “average person.” By dint of her vast intellect and analytical prowess, she is able to detect where these weaknesses are, and she knows how to exploit them to her advantage. System: A nova with this enhancement is able to detect weaknesses in objects, systems and procedures. Sometimes this flaw is physical (a place where a crack is likely to develop) and sometimes a less tangible weakness (a part of a security net where protection is lightest), but in either case, the nova can locate the problem. To find and analyze a weakness, the nova must spend an action looking at and considering an object or system. Then she spends a quantum point and makes an Intelligence roll. The Storyteller can increase the difficulty of the roll if the nova is examining a particularly well made or relatively flawless object or if the system or procedure being analyzed is so efficient that it generally lacks any vulnerabilities. If the roll fails, the object or procedure is without weaknesses or working at peak efficiency as far as the nova can tell. A nova can try to analyze the weaknesses in a particular object or system only once per scene; if she fails it will be a while before she can try again. If the roll succeeds, there are several possible effects. If the nova is analyzing a physical object, such as body armor or a wall, the soak value of any armor provided by the object (both bashing and lethal) is reduced by one per success. This effect can be applied to anything that offers physical protection, such as another nova’s Force Field, even though it is not literally a “physical object.” If a nova succeeds in analyzing the weaknesses in larger objects, such as buildings, vehicles or bridges, she nows where the cracks, weaknesses and/ or stresses in he object are. This analysis allows her to place explosives where they will be the most effective, or to effect repairs as quickly and efficiently as possible. For each success the character achieves on his lntelligence roll, ;he receives an extra die (or sometimes more) for related Ability rolls to affect the object in some way. For example, if the nova’s player achieves three successes )n her Analyze Weakness roll when examining a space- :raft, she receives three extra dice for Engineering rolls :o fix or modify the craft – or three extra dice for rolls :o destroy the ship with a bomb, since she knows just where to put the bomb for maximum effect. If the nova succeeds in analyzing a system or procedure – such as a security system or program, a plan if attack, a tactical situation or a bureaucratic system – she knows what aspects of it are not as good as they :odd be; what parts of it are flawed, weak or inefficient; and how the system or procedure could be improved. For each success the player achieves on her Intelligence roll, she receives one die (or sometimes more) for related Ability rolls to affect the object in some way. -or example, if the nova’s player achieves two successes when analyzing the guard patrols and other security measures protecting a mercenary base in Africa, she gains two extra dice for lntrusion rolls to sneak into that base. If she were trying to get information out of the Federal court system, she would receive two extra dice For her Bureaucracy roll.
Eidetic Memory: Any nova with Mega-lntelligence has a well-developed memory. A nova with this enhancement, though, has a memory that’s virtually foolproof. He can remember in precise detail just about anything that has happened to him. Anything he takes the time to study remains lodged in his mind. However, just because he can store a particular fact in his memory does not mean he can recall it instantly. Sometimes a character with Eidetic Memory has to stop and think for several seconds or minutes, slowly reading down a mental page or through a mental file until he retrieves the fact he wants. System: A character with Eidetic Memory is assumed to have perfect, and nearly instantaneous, recollection of anything that has happened to him. For example, suppose that the characters have spent an hour working their way through the labyrinthine halls of some Teragen base. After the climactic encounter, the characters realize, to their dismay, that they cannot remember how to get out again. Fortunately, one of them has Eidetic Memory, and he can lead them back the way they came in without any problem. Remembering studied information works a little differently. Theoretically, the character has perfect recall of anything he has studied, from the phone book to advanced quantum physics textbooks. However, the problem with this in game terms is that it can provide the character with many Abilities for free – asituation that isn’t fair to the other characters. Therefore, the Storyteller needs to restrict this aspect of Eidetic Memory in a couple of ways. First, Eidetic Memory provides only academic knowledge. It doesn’t teach a character how to do anything. The character might have memorized an entire book on plumbing, but since he’s never actually put wrench to pipe in his life, he can’t fix plumbing systems. He’d be qualified to advise a character who does have such skills, though. Second, a character may not be able to recall a memorized fact quickly, as stated previously. Whenever the character wants to use his Eidetic Memory, the Storyteller should require an Intelligence roll. The Storyteller may increase the difficulty for particularly obscure facts. The Storyteller should also set a base time required for the nova to recall the fact; this base time can range from instantly, to one turn, to a minute or more. Each additional success achieved on the Intelligence roll cuts the recall time in halF. Characters with Eidetic Memory should be encouraged to spend experience points to buy Abilities related to facts they have memorized. Thus, this enhancement is an excellent justification for characters to buy all sorts of unusual and fun Abilities. This enhancement is always in effect and costs no quantum points to activate.
Enhanced Memory: A nova with this enhancement lacks the long-term brainpower that a nova with Eidetic Memory has, but what he lacks in long-term memory he makes up for in short-term recall. He can study a subject and, for a brief period, remember everything he studied almost exactly. Although this information fades quickly after that period expires, it’s there long enough for a character to make use of it – say, on a mission. Enhanced Memory is perfect for memorizing things like floor plans, guard patrol schedules and personal information about a target – just the sort of facts that come in handy on many missions. System: The character chooses a particular subject or collection of data to memorize. The subject must not be too extensive – he can’t choose the entire works of Shakespeare, for example. However, a complete mission briefing, or one or two textbooks, or the ability to speak a language enough to carry on a basic conversation, are all possible. The player must spend a quantum point and make an Intelligence roll at +1 difficulty to memorize the chosen information successfully. Once memorized, the information remains in the character’s short-term memory for a period equal to one day per dot of Mega-lntelligence. After that period has passed, the information begins to fade at the rate of about 25% per day until the character’s recollection of it is virtually gone. Characters may, if they wish, use their Enhanced Memory as a justification for buying a particular Ability, which reflects permanent recollection of a memorized subject.
Mathematical Savant: Calculator? Computer? Who needs them? A nova with this ability can run numbers in his head so fast that reaching for an electronic calculator is usually a waste of time. System: A nova with the Mathematical Savant enhancement can perform complex mathematical equations in his head almost instantly. Multiplication and division, even involving four- to eight-digit numbers, takes only a second or two. More complex algebra, trigonometry or calculus problems may take up to a minute. Extremely complex mathematical operations, such as all the calculations necessary to launch a rocket to Jupiter, may take up to an hour. Whenever the character is using a skill or Ability involving math, such as trying to decode an encrypted message, the Storyteller should allow the player to make an Intelligence roll. Each success bestows an additional die for any related Ability rolls. This enhancement is always in effect, and it costs no quantum points to activate.
Linguistic Genius: Quelle heure et il? ,j Habla espaiiol, seiior? Born dia! Sprechen sie deutsch? These phrases are all as good as his native language to a nova with this enhancement. A character with Linguistic Genius is, literally, a genius at linguistics and language interpretation. He can usually speak a lot of languages fluently, but more than that, he has an intuitive understanding of the structure and nature of language. Even if he has never heard a particular language before, if he listens to someone speaking it for a little while, he will be able to determine what the person is saying. He won’t necessarily be able to speak the language himself, so he might not be able to respond or participate in a conversation, but he will know what’s being said to him, and sometimes that’s enough to solve any problems. System: A character with this enhancement receives five automatic successes when the player makes Linguistics rolls. Furthermore, the number of language families with which he is familiar is quadrupled. Thus, a nova with Linguistics 5 and Linguistic Genius would be familiar with 20 language families. Even better, the character has a limited ability to comprehend speech in languages with which he is not familiar. When he hears a language he does not know, the player may make an lntelligence roll. The Storyteller should add a difficulty modifier for especially complex languages, situations where the character has difficulty hearing the language being spoken or when the character is not able to listen to the language for very long. This enhancement is always in effect and costs no quantum points to activate
Mental Prodigy: This broad enhancement is actually several different enhancements grouped under a common heading. Each of them represents a nova who has an innate talent for, “feel for” or skill at a particular type of lntelligence based (or -related) ability. The character must select a specific category of this enhancement. When a character spends a quantum point to activate this enhancement, the effects and bonuses received last for a minimum of an hour, and possibly longer at the Storyteller’s discretion. Catergories include:
- Engineering: An Engineering Prodigy is a certifiable genius when it comes to working with electronic and mechanical devices. He has an innate understanding of how such devices work, how to repair or improve them and the synergies that result when particular technologies are combined. He can make intuitive leaps that leave ordinary engineers scratching their heads in puzzlement. System: Whenever the character works with electronic or mechanical devices, the player may make an lntelligence roll. For each success he achieves, he may roll one extra die when making Engineering rolls or related rolls (it is the Storyteller’s discretion as to what constitutes a “related” roll, based on the situation).
- Financial: Economics isn’t such a “dismal science” to a nova with this ability. He has a natural understanding of economics and economic systems, high finance, market manipulation and money in general. Give him a Few dollars to invest and he’ll soon turn them into a fortune. Give him an economy to manage and it will soon be humming along efficiently and productively. Let him analyze the stock market for you, and you will be able to chart a productive investment strategy for years to come. System: Whenever the character is involved with situations or problems concerning economics and finance, the player may make an lntelligence roll. For each success achieved, the player gains an additional die when making rolls related to such subjects.
- Investigative: Sherlock Holmes has nothing on a nova with this ability. The character is a deductive and investigative genius, able to read volumes of information from the smallest clues. Although he does not necessarily have any knowledge of forensic science, he has an intuitive ability to figure out what clues mean. This ability makes him a matchless detective – or a nearly uncatchable criminal. System: Whenever the character is investigating a crime, interrogating someone, or trying to solve a mystery or puzzle, the player may make an lntelligence roll. For each success achieved, he may roll an additional die when making Investigation rolls, Interrogation rolls, Science rolls for specialties such as Criminology, Medicine rolls for the specialty Forensic Pathology or related rolls (it is the Storyteller’s discretion as to what constitutes a “related” roll, based on the situation).
- Medical: Marcus Welby, eat your heart out – and if you do, this character might just be able to patch you back up. A nova with this enhancement is able to diagnose diseases, treat injuries and heal the sick as well as an experienced physician. If he actually has formal medical training (Le., the Medicine Ability), he’s even better. System: Whenever the character is involved with situations or problems concerning medicine, healing injuries, fighting off illnesses and diagnosing diseases, the player may make an lntelligence roll. For each success achieved, he may roll an additional die when making Medicine rolls and any other rolls related to those tasks.
- Scientific: A Scientific Prodigy is to general science what an Engineering Prodigy is to working with technological devices. He has an intuitive understanding of scientific subjects in general, including the interrelationships of various scientific specialties and the best ways to perform experiments or analyze scientific data. System: Whenever the character is involved with situations or problems concerning science or scientific subjects (but excluding subjects covered by Engineering Prodigy or Medical Prodigy, unless the Storyteller rules otherwise), the player may make an lntelligence roll. For each success achieved, he may roll an additional die when making Science rolls.
- Tactical: A nova with this enhancement is a genius when it comes to analyzing tactical and battlefield situations, evaluating resources and determining the best way to apply those resources to achieve victory in that situation. His ability to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, beat numerically superior enemies and concoct brilliant strategic and tactical plans is nothing less than phenomenal. And this ability often works just as well when applied to less dangerous, but no less violent, “battlefields” – such as the cutthroat corporate arena. System: Whenever the character is involved with situations or problems concerning tactics, strategy or warfare (including such things as corporate economic warfare or political campaigns), the player may make an Intelligence roll. For each success achieved, he may roll an additional die when making rolls related to such subjects. The character also gains a permanent +3 to Initiative.
Speed Reading: A nova with this enhancement is able to process written and textual information far faster than the average reader. When he’s studying something, sit back and watch the pages fly past. System: The character is able to read text (whether in a book, on a computer screen or in any other medium) four times as fast as the average highly educated person without any loss of comprehension. Additionally, whenever he is using his Speed Reading ability, the player may make an Intelligence roll; each success adds one to the speed multiplier for his reading (one success means he is reading five times as fast, two successes mean six times as fast and so on). This enhancement is permanent and costs no quantum points to use.
Taint Resistance: This nova is able to make amazingly efficient use of his brain cells, squeezing every last drop out of the old gray matter. As a result, the nova suffers less from mental aberrations brought on by expansion of the M-R node and tends to be more stable mentally. System: When calculating permanent Taint from the Node Background, subtract the character’s dots in Mega-lntelligence from the Node level. Thus, a nova with Node 3 and Mega-Intelligence 1 with Taint Resistance gets no Taint from the Node Background, and would get only one point of Taint if she increased her Node to 4. Additionally, when the nova gains a mental aberration, subtract the nova’s dots in Mega-Intelligence from the character’s Taint to determine the severity of the aberration. This will not eliminate an aberration that is only mild, but will lessen the effect of higher Taint on mental aberrations, allowing the nova to function with less impairment as his brain reroutes around damaged areas. This enhancement is permanent and costs no quantum points to use.