As a nova's ability to manipulate the quantum fabric of the world grows, he begins to experience Taint, the side effects of channelling larger amounts of energy. Taint is the 'non-humanness' side of quantum manipulation and at higher levels novas begin to show either physical or mental defects. These defects vary widely; examples might include a tentacle growing from one's stomach, sociopathic disorders, hair made of flames, odd skin composition (such as rubber), a power that is "always on", megalomania, or continual radiation.
Aberrant is unique among the publisher's game-lines for having no particular castes or character classes. Aside from this, it shares with many other White Wolf games a tendency to embrace "shades of gray" morality and reject the traditional superhero trope of "heroes vs. villains".
Aberrant is the middle game of the Trinity Universe, and is thus the prequel to Trinity and the sequel to Adventure!. Trinity details the future history of the novas, over a 60-year span of time, while Adventure! covers the dawn of this setting in the 1920s.
Several books were in the works for Aberrant at the time of its cancellation, most notably the three "Mega-Books," each of which focused on what it might be like to have Mega-Social, Mega-Mental, or Mega-Physical Attributes, while also shedding light on some other element of the Aberrant setting. The first of these Mega-Books, called Aberrant: Cult of Personality, took a close look at Social Mega-Attributes and also examined the rise of nova-led cults. This book was complete and waiting for art at the time of the game's cancellation. The second of the Mega-Books, called Aberrant: Brainwaves, was going to examine Mental Mega-Attributes and provide comprehensive rules for "gadgeteers," those novas who use their vast minds to build amazing devices. The last of the Mega-Books, tentatively titled Aberrant: Brute Force, would address the standard Physical Mega-Attributes while also providing players with background and rules for civic defenders, novas employed by cities to act as crime fighters/public relations operatives.
Various smaller groups exist, most of which are focused on more specific goals. Players' characters generally belong to one of the above factions, work for a specific corporation, or hire themselves out for odd jobs, often as mercenaries or troubleshooters.
The first major difference with Aberrant is that in addition to normal attributes such as Dexterity, Manipulation and Wits, novas have what are called Mega-Attributes. Scores in such attributes may be added as dice every time a character makes a roll using the linked mundane attribute, but Mega-Attributes are much more powerful. Every success rolled using mega attribute dice count as 2 normal successes, and rolling a 10 counts as 3 successes. Alternatively, the scores in a Mega-Attribute may be used to reduce the difficulty on a one for one basis, though never below needing one success. The player can choose each turn which way to use his Mega-Attribute, and can even split the points between the two ways. (Statistics Note: A rank of a regular attribute gives you approximately .4 of a success per roll. A rank of a Mega-Attribute used as a die gives you approximately .9 of a success per roll. Reducing the difficulty of a task is the same as subtracting 1 from the needed successes.)
Powers are treated almost exactly like skills except that they come in different levels of power. Level 1 powers are comparatively weak, while level 6 powers can do nearly anything (one level 6 power is 'Universe Creation'). Lower level powers are cheaper to purchase with experience, while higher level powers cost more. There are a wide range of powers from controlling any single element (fire, gravity, entropy, quantum, magnetism, etc...), to flying, to mental domination, to imperviousness, to time travel, and teleportation.