Aberrant is a core rulebook and prequel to the Trinity science-fiction game that deals with the Aberrant Era. Set in the early 21st century, this complete roleplaying game allows you to be one of these doomed beings of vast power, and to experience their struggles to avoid the coming cataclysm. This edition contains an out-of-control full-color setting, and original art from some of comics greats, including Tom Fleming and Christopher Moeller.
In this book, you play novas, people who have manifested the ability to manipulate the fundamental forces of nature. Some novas wear masks and uniforms, protecting the world as "superheroes." Others use their powers for more practical purposes, or serve baser needs. The Æon Society attempts to use novas to guide humanity to a better future, but do they have everyones' best intentions in mind? The Aberrants don't think so.
This book is based on the softcover second printing, following the original limited edition hardcover release.
Releases: Aberrant was originally released as a limited edition hardcover volume with a blue leatherette cover in July 1999, followed up with the standard edition softcover later that same month.
Aberrant introduced many innovations now considered standard in Storytelling games, such as the practice of treating Bashing, Lethal, and Aggravated as distinct forms of damage measured on the Health Level track; or two-stage character creation, where a player first creates a normal human, and then adds a "supernatural" template.
The Cover: Tom Fleming created the cover, featuring several notable characters from the setting. Prominently featured are Divis Mal of the Teragen and Caestus Pax of Team Tomorrow, flanking the first nova, the Fireman. In the background are a few other elements: a silhouetted figure standing on a rooftop (the Gothic Knight?), and the XWF's Duke "Core" Baron facing against the Teragen's Geryon. The mercenary elite Totentanz can just be seen to the left. The back cover continues the piece, with Team Tomorrow's Addis Ababa HQ, and headshots of several other characters.
Whoops!: Aberrant was originally advertised in the back of Trinity, initially causing people to think it was a Trinity Era supplement about Aberrants. The ad simply had "ABERRANT" written in a graffiti or sketchy handwritten font, with the loops in the R's replaced by the number 9 (indicating that Aberrant was releasing in 1999). This is still visible as the inner handwritten part of the Aberrant logo, including the "99," although 1999 has no particular meaning within the setting. The logo continued unaltered throughout the life of the game line.
Art: While many of the artists used were standard White Wolf artists of the time, Aberrant used a number of up-and-coming comic book artists to help reinforce the feel of the setting. Many of them have since gone on to fairly lucrative careers within the comic industry.