Powers
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The Super-FantasyTM Power System

Our goal with the Super-Fantasy Power System is to create a balanced, complete, and easy to use system that allows for level-based improvement as well as individualization.


How Powers Work

The Prime Power Rule
"A character with a power can do anything that seems logical with that power."

The Prime Power Rule

The Prime Power Rule is a basic guideline for using powers in the game. "A character with a power can do anything that seems logical with that power." Some tricks might be harder to pull off than others, and some aren't logical. The GM makes the final call on whether a power can be used to create a specific effect.

Power Concept

The most basic question that has to be answered when determining what a power is capable of is "what is the nature of the power?". This can seem somewhat esoteric, but it's really an exercise in logic. If you've ever had an argument with a friend over which of two superheroes would win in a fight, then you already understand the basics.

To determine the nature of a power, first, we need a power theme. A power theme is similar to a character concept, except that instead of looking for the Big Idea behind the character, we're just focusing on the power.

When you create your character, think about the nature of his power. Where does it come from? What does it look like when he uses it? What science or fantasy rules or traditions does it follow? You might decide your character has the Arctic Adept power, but how exactly does his power work? How does it look? Where does it come from? Determining this will not only help you decide on your entire power suite, it will help determine what tricks you can attempt and how the power feels. Yor power concept is important when determining how the rules affect your powers.

To understand it better, let's develop a few characters with similar powers to see just how different they are.

For Example…

Let's come up with power concepts for three characters with the Arctic Adept power; Freezer Burn, Ice Queen, and Permafrost.

  • Freezer Burn is an Empowered mercenary who sells his skills to the highest bidder. When he was fifteen, he and his family were exploring the Candian Rockies when they were caught in an avalanche. He was the only survivor. But since then, his body temperature has remained below freezing and he grows jagged icicle-like shards from his arms.
  • Permafrost is a robot designed to assist with Arctic exploration, however, a strange surge of energy from the Aurora Borealis granting him some semblance of sentience. Permafrost shoots freeze-rays from his eyes.
  • Ice Queen is a heartless, Faerie mastermind who came to the mortal world to destroy humanity before global warming can melt her realm into the ocean. She typically sends her minions to do her work. However, when facing a hero, or keeping her minions in line, she employs her frost waves, which cause her eyes to shine and snow to swirl around her.

While each of these characters has the Arctic Adept power, they use that power in different ways. Freezer Burn splits the damage of his Cold Blasts dealing half cold and half piercing and calls it "Ice Shards", but wouldn't have the Arctic Wind power. Permafrost has the Gaze Attack modification and couldn't produce the Cold Control or Ice Ramp powers. Ice Queen has access to every aspect of the power, but her abilities are considered magic, and defenses against magic would protect her targets.

While statistically, these characters have the same power, the power concept makes them different and helps every character feel unique. While this isn't meant to limit characters in a negative way, setting boundaries can spawn creativity and make a character stand out from the crowd.

Power Effects

Powers have two kinds of features - static and fluid. A static feature is a statistic that's set (durations, range, saving throw DC, etc.). A fluid feature (damage type, power ability modifier, etc.) can be changed without upsetting the mechanical balance of the power.

When you choose a power for your character, you get the static effects of that power. You can change the static effects with upgrades or downgrades.

Names are a good example of a fluid feature. You could change your Cold Blast to Ice Beam or Freeze Ray without affecting the mechanics at all. Damage type is another. The ability used to determine the power save DC or power attack is fluid. If you take the Fiery Inferno power but change the damage type to Lightning ("Lighting Tempest"), you haven't interrupted the balance of the mechanics.

A power's casting time, range, duration, conditions it causes, save DCs, and the amount of damage it can do are static effects. In fact, any numeric value is a static feature.


  • Power ability is the ability associated with your power. Constitution and Wisdom are most common, however, your power ability can be any ability that makes sense in accordance with your power concept.
  • Power attack bonus is your power ability modifier + your proficiency bonus
  • Power save is 8 + your power ability modifier + your proficiency bonus
  • Power check is a d20 roll + your power ability modifier + your proficiency bonus

Power Checks

When you use your power, sometimes the effect is set. Other times, however, like when you're opposing another power or trying to manipulate someone or something a power check is required. To do this, you'll need to know your power modifier.

Your power modifier is your proficiency bonus plus your relevant ability modifier.

Making Power Checks: A power check is a roll of 1d20 + your power modifier + any other relevant modifiers. This roll is made against a Difficulty Class (DC). In most cases, if you meet or exceed the DC, you succeed.

How much above or below the DC you roll sometimes determine how well you succeed, or how tragically you fail.

Unless otherwise stated, ties go to the character taking the action (e.g.: attacker) over the subject of the action (e.g.: defender, DC set by the GM). This is true whether you're rolling against a DC determined by the rules, the MI, or another player. If both characters are "attackers", roll again to break the tie.

Oppose Power Check: This check is opposed by a target’s power check. You roll your power check, and your target does the same. The highest total wins. In an opposed check, the higher result succeeds, while the lower result fails.

Oppose Set DC: Sometimes the DC is a set number, such as an Armor Class. The GM will know what this number is.

Power Tricks

A power trick is something that makes sense within the concept of your power, but that you don't usually do. This could be a power that you don't have prepared, or it could be a power or effect not listed or even covered by the rules.

To attempt a power trick, the player first checks with the GM to make sure the effect is even possible. If the GM is in agreement, the player spends a power point and proceeds to use the power.

You may still be required to roll a power check or an attack roll to succeed.


For Example…

WildFire emits a flammable gas from her pores and his immune to the negative effects of fire. She has the Fiery Inferno power.
During a battle with the Jade Serpent Cult she is poisoned. Her player reasons that she should be able to burst into flame and burn the poison away and remove the Poisoned condition.
The GM agrees and allows her to try a power trick, spending a power point, then making a power check against the poison's DC. If successful, the Poisoned condition is removed, as she's burned it out of her body.

For Example…

Death To You All! is an undead metal band using their concert as an opportunity to mass hypnotize the crowd. Ruckus wants to use his Sonic Waves power to blast a massive tower of speakers and create a deafening feedback to negate their commands.
This isn’t really covered under the Sonic Waves rules, but the GM decides that it makes sense. Once Ruckas is in range of the speakers, he spends a power point and blasts the speakers. The GM makes a new group Wisdom save for the crowd but adds Ruckas' power modifier their saving throw.

For Example…

Fiasco has a Fire Slam and an Ice Slam. He can normally use these powers to punch foes and deal either fire or cold damage.
Fiasco finds himself trapped in a metal box that he can't break out of — the hardness of the box is too high and absorbs all the damage he can do. He decides to use his ability to generate heat and cold on the lock in hopes of making it brittle, alternating the temperature in rapid succession.
The GM agrees that this makes sense and decides to allow Fiasco to make one power check with each power and sets the DC at 15. If Fiasco succeeds at both power checks, by spending 1 minute repeatedly heating and cooling the lock, the GM decided to let him make two new damage rolls that bypass the lock's hardness.

Power Boost

You can also spend a power point to trigger a power at a higher level than you normally could. First, state that you're doing so before the action is resolved. Then, treat the power as if it had been triggered at up to 6 levels higher. Once the power's effects have been resolved, you receive a number of levels of exhaustion equal to the number of levels you added to the power. You can not add more levels than you have available levels of exhaustion.



Getting Super-Powers

Whether you've been bitten by a radioactive June-bug or you were born with abilities beyond the typical scope of humanity, all powers work the same.

Powers are grouped into power suites, each containing a list of powers that your character can use. The power suite will grant certain powers or features for free and will list additional powers which you can use if you meet the prerequisite (usually a character level) and spend a power point.

Each power within a suite will have a casting time, range, and duration along with other rules.

You can select a number of powers within the power suite which your character has prepared equal to your character level + your power ability modifier.

You gain a number of power slots as shown on the Powers by Level table below. You can use these slots to trigger (or "cast") your powers. You regain all expended slots once you've completed a short or long rest.

Powers by Level

Level Cantrips Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 3 2 - - - - - - - -
2nd 3 3 - - - - - - - -
3rd 3 4 2 - - - - - - -
4th 4 4 3 - - - - - - -
5th 4 4 3 2 - - - - - -
6th 4 4 3 3 - - - - - -
7th 4 4 3 3 1 - - - - -
8th 4 4 3 3 2 - - - - -
9th 4 4 3 3 3 1 - - - -
10th 5 4 3 3 3 2 - - - -
11th 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 - - -
12th 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 - - -
13th 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 - -
14th 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 - -
15th 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 -
16th 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 -
17th 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th 5 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

Additionally, you may expend a power point to trigger a power from your power suite even if you haven't prepared it.

Some powers listed on your power suite may not make sense with your power concept. In these cases, you can't use these powers. However, you may find other powers, not listed, that do make sense with your concept. You can add these to your list of powers with your GM's approval.

Powers aren't a static category. You can use any power that makes sense within the parameters of your power concept simply by spending a power point.

At Higher Levels. At every odd level (3rd, 5th, 7th, etc), you gain a power proficiency. You can also trade out powers in which you have prepared any time you gain a level, exchanging old ones for new.

Power proficiencies can be used to do any of the following:

  • Gain Power Focus in a power increasing the power attack, save DC, and power check by +1.
  • Gain Power Initiate adding two additional cantrips, one additional 1st-level power slot, and the ability to prepare one additional power.
  • Gain an additional feature suggested in your power suite.

Power Points

If the duration of an effect is Concentration, up to 1 minute or longer, you can spend a power point to continue the effect for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier after you stop concentrating.

Power Suites

A power suite is the group of powers available to your character. These powers share the same source.

Each power in your power suite costs one power proficiency (unless otherwise stated in the power's description).

If one power in a power suite is negated or made less effective, all contingent powers are reduced by the same amount.

Your first power suite is free. All additional power suites const one proficiency point.

Base Powers

Some powers don't need to be triggered. Super-Strength, Flight, and Immunity to Fire are good examples. These are base powers. If a power can be taken as a base power, the power description will be tagged as "base power". Otherwise, you can't take it as a base power and must use it normally.

Base powers are always considered to be in effect. You don't need to "cast" them, and therefore they can be used when a normal power can't (e.g.: when raging).

If you want a power to be permanent, you have to pay for it by giving up a prepared power and a power slot of that power's level. Thereafter this power is always active.

When you unlock a new power level you can increase the potency of a base power by trading it for a higher level slot and prepared power, regaining your previously spent slot and prepared power, or you can leave it at the original level.

Cantrips

Attack cantrips are considered weapon attacks when determining how often they can be used. If a feature allows you to make multiple attacks in a single round, then you can use attack cantrips to make these attacks.

The only exception is when attacking



Format

Powers are described with a set format. Some categories are static (s) and some are fluid (f). A static category is one that cannot be changed without taking a feat, class feature, or upgrade that allows you to do so. Static categories include Base Cost, Casting Time, Range, and Duration. These categories are often represented by numeric values.

A fluid category is generally a descriptor and can be changed without unbalancing gameplay. Fluid categories include the names of the power or its features, the type of saving throw, and the damage type.

Each category has several options, and what those options mean is described as follows:

Namef

Powers described in this section are given names for ease of reference. You may change the name of a listed power. For example, Fiery Inferno could be called Fire Control or Dragon's Rage and be statistically the same power. Giving it a unique name can make the power feel more personal to your character.

The same is true for the power's features. You can call your Fire Blast "Flame Jets", "Fire Bolts", or "Cinders" without changing the way it works.

Level Requirements

A level requirement is the minimum character level you must be to use this power of feature. It's at this level that you can use power points to trigger the power or select the feature as one you can utilize without spending power points.

Casting Times

Casting time is the time required to activate a power. Most powers require a single action to trigger, but some require a bonus action, a reaction, or much more time to trigger.

Bonus Action
A power triggered with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to trigger the power, provided that you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. You can’t use power points to trigger another power feature during the same turn, or any power feature with a casting time greater than 1 action.

Reactions
Some powers can be triggered as reactions. These powers take a fraction of a second to bring about and are triggered in response to some event. If a power can be triggered as a reaction, the power description tells you exactly when you can do so.

Longer Casting Times
Certain powers require more time to trigger: rounds, minutes, or even hours. When you trigger a power with a casting time longer than a single action or reaction, you must spend your action each turn building the power, and you must maintain your concentration while you do so (see “Concentration” below). If your concentration is broken, the power fails, but you don’t expend power points. If you want to try triggering the power again, you must start over.

Ranges

The target of a power must be within the power’s range. For a power feature like Fire Blast, the target is a single creature or object. For a power feature like Mighty Clap, the target is the point in space where the thunderous force erupts.

Most powers and their features have ranges expressed in feet. Some can target only a creature (including you) that you touch. Other spells, such as the Psychic Shield, affect only you. These powers have a range of self.

Powers that create cones or lines of effect that originate from you also have a range of self, indicating that the origin point of the spell’s effect must be you (see “Areas of Effect”).

Once a power is triggered, its effects aren’t limited by its range, unless the power’s description says otherwise.

Durations

A power’s duration is the length of time the power persists. A duration can be expressed in rounds, minutes, hours, or even years. Some powers specify that their effects last until it's dispelled or destroyed.

Instantaneous
Many powers are instantaneous. The power harms, heals, creates, or alters a creature or an object in a way that can’t be dispelled, because its effect exists only for an instant.

Concentration
Some powers require you to maintain concentration in order to keep them active. If you lose concentration, such an effect ends.

If a power must be maintained with concentration, that fact appears in its Duration entry, and the power specifies how long you can concentrate on it. You can end concentration at any time (no action required).

Normal activity, such as moving and attacking, doesn’t interfere with concentration. The following factors can break concentration:

  • Triggering another power that requires concentration. You lose concentration on a power if you trigger another power that requires concentration. You can’t concentrate on two powers at once. Triggering a second instance of the same power effect doesn't typically cause you to lose concentration, however, these specifics are covered in the power's description.
  • Taking damage. Whenever you take damage while you are concentrating on a power, you must make a Constitution saving throw to maintain your concentration. The DC equals 10 or half the damage you take, whichever number is higher. If you take damage from multiple sources, such as a bullet and a psychic blast, you make a separate saving throw for each source of damage.
  • Being incapacitated or killed. You lose concentration on a power if you are incapacitated or if you die.
  • The GM might also decide that certain environmental phenomena, such as a wave crashing over you while you’re on a storm-tossed ship, require you to succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration on a power.

Targets

A typical power requires you to pick one or more targets to be affected by it. A power’s description tells you whether it targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect (described below).

Unless a power has a perceptible effect, a creature might not know it was targeted by a power at all. An effect like crackling lightning is obvious, but a more subtle effect, such as an attempt to read a creature’s thoughts, typically goes unnoticed, unless a power says otherwise.

Line of Effect
To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can’t be behind total cover.

If you place an area of effect at a point that you can’t see and an obstruction, such as a wall, is between you and that point, the point of origin comes into being on the near side of that obstruction.

Targeting Yourself
If a power targets a creature of your choice, you can choose yourself, unless the creature must be hostile or specifically a creature other than you. If you are in the area of effect of a power you trigger, you can target yourself.

Areas of Effect
Powers such as burning hands and cone of cold cover an area, allowing them to affect multiple creatures at once.

A power’s description specifies its area of effect, which typically has one of five different shapes: cone, cube, cylinder, line, or sphere. Every area of effect has a point of origin, a location from which the power’s energy erupts. The rules for each shape specify how you position its point of origin. Typically, a point of origin is a point in space, but some powers have an area whose origin is a creature or an object.

A power’s effect expands in straight lines from the point of origin. If no unblocked straight line extends from the point of origin to a location within the area of effect, that location isn’t included in the power’s area. To block one of these imaginary lines, an obstruction must provide total cover.

Cone
A cone extends in a direction you choose from its point of origin. A cone’s width at a given point along its length is equal to that point’s distance from the point of origin. A cone’s area of effect specifies its maximum length. A cone’s point of origin is not included in the cone’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

Cube
You select a cube’s point of origin, which lies anywhere on a face of the cubic effect. The cube’s size is expressed as the length of each side. A cube’s point of origin is not included in the cube’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

Cylinder
A cylinder’s point of origin is the center of a circle of a particular radius, as given in the power description. The circle must either be on the ground or at the height of the power effect. The energy in a cylinder expands in straight lines from the point of origin to the perimeter of the circle, forming the base of the cylinder. The power’s effect then shoots up from the base or down from the top, to a distance equal to the height of the cylinder. A cylinder’s point of origin is included in the cylinder’s area of effect.

Line
A line extends from its point of origin in a straight path up to its length and covers an area defined by its width. A line’s point of origin is not included in the line’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

Sphere
You select a sphere’s point of origin, and the sphere extends outward from that point. The sphere’s size is expressed as a radius in feet that extends from the point. A sphere’s point of origin is included in the sphere’s area of effect.


Effects

Simply put, the effect of a power is what it does. This section of the power's description gives a mechanical rundown of how you can use the power.

It is possible to use a power in ways not mentioned in the effects, such as when attempting a power trick. Rules for using Telekinesis to perform the Heimlich Maneuver aren't given, but this seems feasible. In any case, the GM determines if what you're attempting is possible and, if so, lets you pay a power point to attempt this action, and sets the DC for your power check.

Powers and Magic
Unless determined by your source, powers are not considered magic. Therefore, immunity or resistance to magic, or effects that dispel magic don't affect most powers. Creatures resistant or immune to charm are resistant or immune to certain effects.

Saving Throws
Many powers specify that a target can make a saving throw to avoid some or all of a power’s effects. The power specifies the ability that the target uses for the save and what happens on a success or failure.

The DC to resist one of your powers equals 8 + your power ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers.

Attack Rolls
Some powers require the user to make an attack roll to determine whether the power effect hits the intended target. Your attack bonus with a power attack equals your power ability modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Most powers that require attack rolls involve ranged attacks. Remember that you have disadvantage on a ranged attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature that can see you and that isn’t incapacitated.


Modificationsf

Modifications are tweaks to powers that don't affect the cost and don't make the ability more or less powerful.

This includes changing the saving throw from one ability to another or granting both an advantage and equitable disadvantage.


Upgradesf

Upgrades are improvements to powers, but they increase the power's cost. Your power concept may not allow some upgrades listed under that base power’s description. Likewise, your power concept might allow for upgrades listed under other powers (but always run this by the GM).

Upgrades generally affect all powers in a power suite unless otherwise noted.


Downgradesf

Downgrades are negative aspects of powers. Taking a downgrade gives you an extra power proficiency. While suggested downgrades are listed on most powers, your power concept may make some of these illogical or might make downgrades listed on other powers seem reasonable.

Downgrades generally affect all powers in a power suite unless otherwise noted.



Using Powers

Due to their inhuman nature, there are special game effects that can be achieved with powers.

Now that you have the basics of the rules as they relate to powers, try picking out some powers and building a power suite or two. Using the rules will help you understand how they work far better than just reading them.

When you're ready to start building your characters power suite, follow these steps:

  • Start with your power concept.
  • Select a core power.
  • Add a contingent power or two.
  • Apply some upgrades and downgrades.

It's best, especially the first few times you create a character, to work it out with your group or GM. If you have questions, the first person to ask is your GM. Other experienced players can be a valuable resource as well.

If you can't find a power suite that you have in mind for a character, remember that you can always create new powers and power suites using the guidelines presented under Creating New Powers with help from your GM.

The effects that your power suite and its powers can achieve are listing under the power's description. However, this is only part of what your power can achieve.

The statistics and effects of most powers are similar to spells with two important differences. 1) Spells often require components, but powers generally don't. 2) Spells are magic, but unless the powers source is elemental, faerie, or magic, then the power isn't.

To emulate the effects of a spell using your power do as follows.

1) Find a spell that works with your power concept. You can change any of the fluid features of the spell, such as damage type or saving throw ability to fit your power concept.
2) Ignore the components.
3) You must be at least the required character level in order to emulate a spell. So, if you'd like to emulate a 5th level spell, you need to be 9th level.
4) You have to spend a power point to emulate the spell.
5) You can add this spell's effects to your power suite as a power by selecting it as a prepared power when you gain your next level.

Spell Level Required Character Level
1 1
2 3
3 5
4 7
5 9
6 11
7 13
8 15
9 17

Combining Power Effects

Combining power effects can be a creative way to overcome obstacles or opponents.

The effects of different powers add together while the durations of those powers overlap.

The effects of the same power triggered multiple times doesn't usually combine. Instead, the most potent effect—such as the highest bonus—from those triggerings applies while their durations overlap.

Characters can often spend power points in order to add their power ability modifier to the save DC or power check of another character.

Some powers can stack effects on top of other effects. You might increase the intensity of your Fire Blast with Fire Control, or your Super-Intelligence with Ability Boost. You might also combine the effects of your power with someone else. This can greatly increase your effectiveness, however, there are limits.

For two or more characters to combine powers requires a delayed action. One character states they will hold triggering their power until another character uses theirs. These two powers are then triggered simultaneously.

A single character stacking his own powers can only do so if both powers can be used in the same round.

When stacking damage, the attacker with the highest potential damage rolls full damage. All other participants roll only a single damage die. All of these dice are added together as a single instance of damage.

Powers which cause the same condition have the same limitation are handled similarly. The highest save DC is used, but all other participants add +1 to that DC.

Non-damaging effects that cause different conditions are resolved separately even if they occur at the same time.


Knockback

Sometimes, when a strong creature hits someone, they take an impromptu trip, flying across the battle field. The telekinetic blast of a powerful psionic can throw his enemies for a loop as well. This is called “knockback”. When a target is hit by a creature with superhuman strength or a power that deals Bludgeoning, Force, or Thunder damage, there is a chance he’ll be knocked backward. Use the following rules to clarify.

Dealing a Knockback. In order to knock back a target, you must have a Strength score of 25 or higher or a power with a total power modifier of +7 or greater. You must then make a successful attack with a -4 penalty. If the target is your size category or smaller, there is a chance of knockback.

Your attack deals damage as normal. The target must then make a Strength save opposed by your Strength (Athletics) check or power check, depending on the nature of the attack. If you win, you knock the target back your Strength modifier or power modifier x 5 feet and is prone. If the target succeeds at his saving throw, there is no knockback.

If knockback is used against inanimate objects, the target receives no save.

Crashing. There is a threat of damage from landing and crashing into objects and creatures along the path. There is a 50% chance that the target will crash into an object in his path. If the object covers the path entirely, the chance is 100%. Crashing into an object causes damage equal to being hit with that object plus the attacker's Strength modifier or power modifier to both the target of the knockback and the object he smashes into. Creatures in the path may make a Reflex save (DC 15) to avoid the target suffering knockback.

If the object is broken or destroyed, the creature continues along their path, losing 5 feet from the total distance. The creature may continue to crash through additional objects in the same way.



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