[CROSSOVER] Aberrant (White Wolf) vs Paragons (Green Ronin)

General discussions about role-playing games. Share stories, ask for advice, talk about the industry, etc.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2621
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:40 am

Re: [CROSSOVER] Aberrant (White Wolf) vs Paragons (Green Ronin)

Post by Ares » Tue May 22, 2018 10:05 pm

Kreu isn't kidding when he says he was the inspiration for this thread. When he started posting up Paragons builds over on RPG.net I got it in my head to start that thread, and here we are.

Regarding Kreu's prefered take, that's more or less the non-Red Skies variant I mentioned earlier. There, the events of both Paragons and Aberrant happened up to a point. There has always been this mystical side of things, one the Pact was formed to exploit. There was an age of mythology and gods that came and went. Then in the 1920s/30s the Hammersmith explosion happened and we got the age of Adventure! With Adventure!, we saw the return of some Paragons, but they started small, building up to the return of demi-gods. However, decades passed and Divis Mal basically kicked off the New Age of Wonders, seeing if he could use his powers to create more beings like himself. This caused him to basically imprint his "power type" onto innumerable potential Paragons, causing them to erupt as Novas, which caused some of the issues I mentioned above regarding Taint. However, this upsurge of superhuman activity basically kicked the Imageria into high gear and Paragons have started popping up like crazy. All of the various factions and players exist, but it'll be up to the GM to decide exactly how they interact.

As far as adding new stuff, I'd actually hold off on introducing anything too purely superheroish into the setting. I sort of see Paragons and Aberrant as akin to the Wildstorm universe, the New Universe, the Valiant setting or TV shows like Heroes, where you have superpowered people in costumes flying around doing heroic things, but you rarely have "pure" superheroes the way Marvel and DC do. Even Silver Age Sentinels might be too "four color" for the setting.

If you were going to add things beyond Paragons and Aberrant, I'd recommend maybe:

- Scion: A big part about Paragons is the idea of old gods coming back, with several Paragons like Patriot and Gaia gaining power from worship. Maybe the return of the old powers means the old gods will return, possibly the Titans and Titanspawn as well.
- Street Fighter: Because hey, it's another White Wolf property, and I love me some martial arts.
- Feng Shui: Again, martial arts, plus some mysticism and gunplay. Something the Pact could be involved in.

And maybe some others as I think of them.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2621
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:40 am

Re: [CROSSOVER] Aberrant (White Wolf) vs Paragons (Green Ronin)

Post by Ares » Sat May 26, 2018 4:55 am

The talk about adding more settings to the Aberrant/Paragons (Aberrant Paragons? I'm just going to call it AP from this point) setting as either part of a Red Skies crossover, a "This is how its always been" setting, or a "The Crisis Came and This is What's Left" setting, has made me re-think what would qualify as "good" additions to the world setting.

Aberrant and Paragons, to me, make interesting crossover pieces because they're two companies different takes on the same idea: what happens when the world outside your window suddenly has superpowers thrust upon it. Both of them have individuals that try to act like superheroes, people using their powers for crime, and a lot of people just using their powers for fun and profit. Its generally not a typical superhero setting where most people take one side of the hero/villain divide, or a setting where most people feel the need to be superheroes.

In Aberrant, a lot of people wear costumes and have code-names, but that's for branding purposes, where each Nova entity is basically trying to make a name for themselves. Many of them do act as heroes, there is even a "City Defender" job where you basically are paid to be a superhero for a city, but many of them just go to work in science labs, as artists, ecologists, try to save the world in different ways, or in the case of the Elite, get paid. Then you have the Teragen, who for all the effort the book tries to put into making them more than supervillains . . . are just a group of supervillains.

One major way Paragons differs from Aberrant is that Paragons has different superpower origins in types. In Aberrant, everyone is a Nova, everyone's powers are science based, there is no magic, no mythology, just humans with the ability to tap into either psionic energy or quantum energy. In Paragons, magic is real, and has been real for a while. There are other dimensions like the Imageria that function much like the Dresden Files' Never Never. There are conspiracies that have been around longer than the modern age of Paragons. There are demons. There are monsters. There are old gods. And not every Paragon likes to identify themselves as such. Some of them actually like to keep things low-key, because their abilities aren't always helpful.

In short, Aberrant felt somewhat akin to what several Image Comics series like Youngblood and Savage Dragon were meant to be like: a world where superhumans were celebrities, frequently worked for the government, and whether or not they were even actual heroes was up for debate.

Meanwhile Paragons felt like a combination of several TV series, from the Incredible Hulk to Heroes to Supernatural to The 4400, with even the feel of some of the CW shows like Arrow and The Flash. Actually, given the general portrayal of magic and superpowers, Paragons could almost be the "CW-Arrow/Flash-verse: The Game". Though certain elements like the Vanguard could definitely have the feel of the MCU Avengers series. And to be fair, Paragons has something of a MCU feel if you ignore the Guardians of the Galaxy side of things and include the Netflix shows.

So when adding settings to that combination, you have to then look at the settings, see what they have in common, then see whats different to see what kind of wiggle room you had.

As I mentioned, I wouldn't include Silver Age Sentinels because that seeing might be too "Four Color" for AP. Sentinel has been a hero since WWII, you have a lot of more obvious superheroes throughout the years, etc. At best, the AP setting has a Marvel Cinematic Universe vibe to its heroes, were Captain America is maybe the only real Four Color hero there, while only Spider-Man and Daredevil are really involve in "crime fighting". Everyone else is super agents, spies, fighting hidden cabals or involved in their own agenda. Contrast with cartoons like Justice League/Unlimited or Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which are much more four color in nature.

Naturally, both settings have superhumans in them, and not all or most of them act remotely like superheroes. There's relatively few other superhero games I'd consider a good fit for the world, as Marvel, DC, Champions, SAS and the like all tend towards typical comic book style heroics. It's also apparently somewhat important that there were no public superheroes before the modern era, with the only heroes of the 1920's, 30's and 40's being "Pulp" style heroes you'd find in Adventure!. To maintain the feel of the world, you'd likely need to keep it to where someone like the Fireman was the first public display of real superpowers. Novas should likely be the most numerous type of Paragon, since "Paragon" can mean anything from a science-based superhero to a mystic spellcaster to a demon-possessed priest to person wearing power armor. Basically, "Novas" are sort of like the "mutants" of the setting in that they're way more numerous, but I'd say that Paragons are more varied and, on average, tend to be more powerful or skilled.

One thing both settings have in common is the ideas of conspiracies, a lot of things going on behind the scenes. Settings with those kinds of conspiracies could easily fit in here. Secret government organizations, groups that are trying to manipulate things from behind the scenes, criminal groups, cabals, etc.

Paragons has a heavy mythological feel to it, and some characters like Gaia and Patriot are (as Kreu pointed out) very likely literal gods or demi-gods, given their power actually grows with worship/faith. One Paragon also gained the ability from a magic gem to tap into the essence of certain gods, being able to basically Kamen Rider Decade herself the powers of various archetypes. So settings with some mythology

Paragons also has magic, so settings that feature it could also be included to contrast the Novas of Aberrant. And with magic comes other potential types of mysticism or esoteric abilities, such as chi-based martial arts, psychic powers, demonic heritage, etc.

So with all of that said, what settings, RPG or otherwise, might make good additions to this AP world?

Gargoyles: One of the first things I add to almost any setting, but the Gargoyles universe is very diverse, and could easily fit into a Paragons style game. The only thing I'd tweak would be how Greg turned all major mythological creatures into "Children of Oberon", and would tweak things so that while Oberon's Children are a thing, they don't account for every supernatural being out there.

The Dresden Files: Another setting I include in almost everything, The Dresden Files fits in well with the general magical aesthetic established by Paragons. It fleshes out the world nicely, has a good magic system, and some established characters everyone knows. It'd frankly be my default pick over either of the Mage games.

Hellboy: Hellboy works as a sign that there's always been weirdness in the world, though with the movie approach in that Hellboy is a secret government agent that the world doesn't know about. Helps add another dimension to the magical side of things.

Atomic Robo: The science counterpoint to Hellboy, Robo has a lot of conspiracies that he deals with, and his own advances in science could help explain why people adapt to the science Novas introduce so easily.

Stargate: SG-1: Another conspiracy heavy show, this one adds aliens to the setting (at least before Trinity), features some good old science action, and could make for some interesting encounters.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Whether it's the Palladium RPG or your favorite version of the TV series, the Turtles would fit in well in a Paragons setting, since the acceptance of superhumans doesn't mean obvious non-humans like the Turtles would be instantly accepted.

Changeling: The Lost: One WoD setting I'd definitely consider adding, given how well it fits in with the Dresden Files.

Hunter: The Vigil: Another NWoD setting that fits in well with the Dresden Files and Paragons, and allows for outright monster hunting.

Feng Shui: More conspiracies, magic, has its own flavor of superhumans, and adds some martial arts action to the game. The time travel aspect can make things a bit wonky, but some tweaks could likely fix that.

Street Fighter: Another White Wolf production, includes some conspiracies, and Nova/Paragons could be used to explain some of the "mutant animals" and "superpowered freaks" that appeared in later supplements of the book.

Scion: Like I mentioned before, conspiracy heavy, and the godly influence can work with Paragons and the Dresden Files.

Spycraft: Because why not throw the superspies a bone?

Castlevania: Just because its one of my favorite takes on the Dracula character, and adds another layer to the supernatural side of things.

User avatar
Batgirl III
Posts: 2429
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:17 am
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: [CROSSOVER] Aberrant (White Wolf) vs Paragons (Green Ronin)

Post by Batgirl III » Sat May 26, 2018 5:06 am

Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and Angel might all fit pretty well.
BARON wrote:I'm talking batgirl with batgirl. I love you internet.

Post Reply