Powers

Rather than thinking in terms of individual powers, like "Level 3 This" and "Level 2 That", think of a character's Power as more akin to a certain friendly neighborhood wall-crawler's power—being a human spider! It's a collection of powers, sure, but they don't exist individually. If your character is a human cannonball—complete with speed, flight and explosivity—then that entire set of abilities is your power, Human Cannonball.

Once you have a relatively clear idea of your character's concept, you are ready to proceed into the actual design process.

If you are playing a Super, you get six points for Stunts and three Refresh. Naturals have three Stunts and three Refresh. Here you might think, "Hey, that's not fair!" And you're right... mostly. Supers do get flashy powers and more points to play with, but they also get what is effectively a second Trouble in the form of a Drawback. With great power comes a great ability to have the Narrator use that power against you.

POWERS: THE 30-SECOND VERSION

  • Start with 6 points for Stunts and 3 Refresh.

  • Choose a power to be the basis of your concept.

  • Upgrade that base power with Enhancements and branch out into new areas with Power Synergies.

  • Optionally choose a Theme for free to gain access to more options.

  • Choose two Special Effects for free. Get more for stunt points. One stunt point is worth two special effects

  • Spend a point for every Power, Enhancement and Synergy. Don't go below 1 Refresh.

  • Select a Drawback.

  • Choose a Collateral Damage Effect.

Basic Power

To start, think about what you want your power to do. What is your character’s shtick? What’s the big flashy thing you do that other people can’t do? Maybe you’re inhumanly fast, or super strong, or you can fly, or you shoot energy blasts from your hands.

Remember, this is just the most basic version of your character. If you were a spider lady, you might choose Super Dexterity here, or maybe Precognition if you think the senses of a spider are the real defining characteristic. Cannonball-Man would take Flight. Whichever power you feel matches your concept and buy its basic form. This is the stunt-like ability that covers the absolute minimum of what the power can do, and purchasing it costs one stunt. This is just the most stripped-down form of your power, so don’t worry if this sounds a little generic; you’ll make it more exciting in a moment.

Miles isn’t sure what sort of hero he’ll be playing, but he knows that he wants to fly, so he starts with Flight. After purchasing Basic Flight, he still has two stunts that he must spend on powers, three free stunts, and three refresh he can trade in for stunts if he wants.

Enhancements

An enhancement is an extra effect that you stack onto your basic power. Every enhancement costs one stunt. You can purchase as many enhancements as you can afford, and some enhancements can be purchased multiple times. For instance, most powers have an enhancement titled Master [Power Name], which just improves the basic power, usually by adding a +2 bonus to the appropriate rolls. You can buy that enhancement as many times as you want, knocking the bonus up to +4, +6, or beyond.

Miles wants to be a great flyer, so he invests in Master Flight, purchasing the enhancement twice. In total, this adds a +4 bonus to his Athletics rolls while in the air. He’s now used the three stunts that must be spent on powers, but still has three free stunts and three refresh left.

Power Synergy

A power synergy is another basic power added to your foundational power. You’re not making a new power from scratch: your power suite will still only have one drawback and one collateral damage effect. The synergy just adds a new facet to the power suite you’re creating. Purchasing a power synergy costs one stunt.

Each power has a short list of common synergies: powers that often work well with the foundational power. Your synergy might be a set of complementary powers—like being super strong and super tough—or perhaps your synergy lets you use a power in a specific, new way—like combining your abilities to summon fire and to shoot energy blasts in order to throw fireballs at your enemy.

You are not limited to the suggested synergies, though. You can take any other power you want, as long as you can justify how they’re part of the same power suite. For instance, Wall-Crawling and Energy Blast don’t necessarily go together, but if you explain that the energy blast is really a concentrated ball of the same sticky stuff you use to climb walls, then you have a power synergy.

When you purchase a power synergy, you can also purchase any enhancements that apply to your new power. In addition, when it comes time to pick special effects, drawbacks, and collateral damage effects, you can pull from your foundational power or any of the power synergies you’ve added to it.

Miles sees Super Speed on the list of power synergies for Flight, and thinks it would be a good addition: he’ll be able to move quickly when he needs to, though he’ll still focus on deft maneuvering. He purchases it, as well as the Improved Reaction Time enhancement for Super Speed, so he’ll be able to jump into a fight faster. He spent two stunts, leaving him with one free stunt and three refresh.