Aspects

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VERS -> Book I - Player Rules -> What Can They Do -> Abilities -> Aspects


Common Aspects
Name Description Adjustment
Ablative EV is reduced when used, only sustained or inherent -0.5
Area of Effect Affects everything in area, radius determined by EV +1
Battery Maintains Focus for sustained abilities +0.5
Charges Allows a set number of uses of instant abilities -0.5
Conditional Abilities work only if specific circumstances occur -0.5
Deadly Damaging abilities effects are one level more severe +2
Delay Allows instant or sustained ability to be saved for later +0.5
Effect Over Time Makes an instant effect sustained +2
Extended Activation Ability requires extra time to activate (turn on) -0.5
Extreme Range Ability can target anyone, line of sight not necessary +0.5
Fatiguing Sustained ability takes up 2 Focus slots -0.5
Indirect Ability can ignore some amount of cover +0.5
Instant Sustained ability becomes an instant one -0.5
Multiple Effects Ability can work in multiple ways +0.5
Multiple Targets Ability affects multiple targets without regard to space +0.5
Others Only Ability can only affect someone else -0.5
Ranged Ability works at a range, instead of requiring touch +0.5
Reinforced Resistance abilities downgrade incoming damage by one level +2
Requires Movement Ability requires a certain physical motions to work -0.5
Requires Speech Ability requires certain spoken words or phrases -0.5
Self Only Ability can only affect the user -0.5
Side Effect Ability use triggers a negative secondary effect -0.5
Uncontrollable Character has no control, activation at GM discretion -2
Weak Damaging abilities effects are one level less -1

When the basic version of an ability does not quite fit the concept, sometimes it’s necessary to use Aspects to customize the ability to fit. Aspects are ways to take simple effects and alter their standard behavior with a new keyword, such as Long Range, which allows an ability to attack distant enemies (all abilities are, by default close range).

Aspects change how much an ability costs per rank via very simple arithmetic. Each aspect has a cost based on how much it alters the overall usability of the ability. This falls into 3 broad categories: minor (0.50), major (1), and extreme (2). When making aspects use these guidelines to determine the category and thus the value.

Once all the aspects have been added together round the sum in player favor. This is the Adjustment Total. Add the adjustment total to the base effect’s cost per rank to get the Total Cost, which is how much the modified ability costs per rank. Now the character just buys up the desired number of ranks at the adjusted cost. One last rule: No ability can cost less than 1 point per rank.

For example, a fireball spell which can only be used as an Area of Effect attack would cost 4 CP per rank. This is because it would be built with the Damage effect and have a number of positive and negative aspects. Damage costs 3 CP per rank. To make it Area of Effect, add 1. To make it Piercing, add 0.5. However, because it can only be used as an Area of Effect, the ability is Conditional, which would reduce the cost by 0.5. So figuring the final ability cost would go something like this: 3 + 1 = 4. 4 + 0.5 = 4.5. 4.5 - 0.5 = 4. Therefore the total adjusted cost is 4 CP per rank.

Or to state it more simply: (3+ 1 + 0.5) - 0.5 = 4.

Aspect or Property

The rule of thumb is that if a feature of an ability is both mechanically effective and intended to happen on a regular basis, then the player should pay for the appropriate aspect. However the natural byproduct of an ability is considered a property, even if it does have some slight mechanical effect. This is because the effect happens naturally due to the nature of the ability itself and cannot be controlled. For example, if the player wants to use their lightning abilities to stop someone's heart, then they would need to buy that aspect for their Damage effect. Electricity, and by extension lightning, naturally have a stunning or conductive effect that can only be suppressed with special physical properties or equipment, therefore that temporary stun would be considered a property of the characters lightning-based abilities. With GM approval, properties may be used to produce an appropriate one time effect (such as stopping someone's heart). However, to use the effect more than once would require the player to build an ability with the appropriate effect and aspects needed to fully replicate the ability.

Common Aspects

Below are some of the most common aspects. This list is not exhaustive, and your GM has final say on what is appropriate in her game.

Ablative

The EV of an ablative ability reduces with each use. Typically this is -1 per use, but more is possible by applying the Aspect multiple times. Ablative must always have some way to return the ability to its original status, such as a recharge time or other such. Ablative is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -0.5. Ablative can only be applied to Sustained or Inherent abilities.

Ablative is useful for creating sci-fi protection shields, armor cobbled together from miscellaneous items, and weapons that lose their power quickly.

Area of Effect

An instant or sustained ability affects everyone within a certain area. Determine the affected area based on the EV of the ability and the shape of the area in question (line, cone, or sphere). Area of Effect is only for ranged attacks unless the GM allows otherwise. Area of Effect does suffer a fall-off effect which means that the ability is most effective in the center (or origin, in the case of cones and lines) and radiates outward losing force as it travels. Treat the EV as 1 rank less per each rank of distance from the origin it travels. Area of Effect is a positive aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +1.

Area of Effect is useful for creating mutagenic bioweapon gases, fireball spells, bombs, and mass hypnosis spells.

Area of Effect - Area

  • Line: 1 rank/EV
  • 60° Cone: 1 rank/2 EV
  • Circle: 1 rank/3 EV (radius)

Battery

A sustained ability uses an external power source instead of Focus to operate. This external source of power must have some method of renewing or restoring its charge, such as a literal recharging, filling up the gas tank, or reloading the magazine. Each rank of this aspect doubles the turns the ability is active. Battery is a positive aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +0.5 per rank.

Battery is useful for creating futuristic weapons with charge packs, electronic devices and motorized machines that use fuel.

Charges

Charges
Rank Max Charges
1 32
2 16
3 8
4 4
5 2

An instant ability uses an external source of power to function and once depleted the ability no longer functions until recharged. All abilities with the charges aspect must have a way of recovering used charges, whether that is refilling the magazine, recharging a battery, buying new arrows, or something completely different. Each rank of the charges aspect reduces the number of uses the ability has before it is out. For more information, see the chart below. Charges is a negative aspect with an adjustment modifier of -0.5 per rank.

Charges is useful for creating firearms, grenade bandoliers, quivers of arrows, and similar abilities.

Conditional

An ability works when and only when meeting certain conditions. The character still has control over the ability and can choose to activate it or not, however it only works if conditions are right. Conditional is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -0.5.

Conditional is useful for creating an ability that turns a character into a werewolf during a full moon, or for abilities that said werewolf only has during the change, such as claws and enhanced scent.

Deadly

Any damage landed by an ability with this aspect is automatically one Condition level worse. Can be taken multiple times. Deadly is a positive aspect that has a +2 adjustment modifier. Deadly can be applied to any ability that gives conditions.

Deadly is useful for creating advanced weapons, finishing moves, or attacks that have great accuracy as part of their concept.

Delay

A character activates an instant or sustained ability as normal, but the effect of the ability is not seen until the user choices. This ability is only available within a frame of time determined by the ranks of the aspect or go into effect automatically or become inert, as is appropriate to the concept. Each rank of delay adds an additional rank of time before the effect begins. Delay is a positive aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +0.5 per rank.

Delay is useful for abilities like potions and bombs.

Effect Over Time

An instant or inherent ability becomes a sustained ability, applying its EV every turn as long as the character sustains the ability. Effect Over Time abilities take up a Focus slot just like a normal sustained ability. This automatic effect occurs at the start of the user’s turn. Effect Over Time does not affect the initial attack, however, on subsequent turns the EV is applied again without need for additional attack rolls. This effect does still benefit from any stunts earned on the initial roll. Similarly, the ability does still have to penetrate the target’s Protection each turn to get any effect. Effect Over Time is a positive aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +2.

Active is useful for creating things like tear gas grenades, sticky magma or napalm blasts, and airborne pathogens.

Extended Activation

An instant or sustained ability takes longer to activate than a normal ability. Each rank of this aspect increases the time required to activate it by 1 rank. Extended Activation is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -0.5 per rank.

Extended Activation is good for creating spells that require complex rituals or martial arts techniques that involve meditation before they will work.

Extended Range

An instant or sustained ability is able to target foes at any distance from the user, not just line of sight. The actual limit of Extreme Range is up to the GM and the genre and tone of the game in question, perhaps being anywhere in the city, the country, the hemisphere, etc. Extreme Range does not allow an ability to ignore cover however, and any bullet, ray, etc must travel to the target in the most straightforward path possible, be it a straight line, a ballistic arc, or some type of complex orbital maneuver. Also note that the attack must still be aimed, usually via some sort of extra sense or technology. Extreme range is a positive aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +0.5.

Extreme Range is useful for creating long-range missiles, scrying spells, and clairvoyance.

Fatiguing

A sustained ability is more difficult to maintain than typical, giving two Focus conditions instead of one. Fatiguing is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -0.5.

Fatiguing is useful for representing abilities too powerful to control, at least at the current level of mastery.

Indirect

An instant or sustained ability can ignore objects intervening between the user and the target. The effect may go around the intervening obstacle (like a flail or rope weapon) or may simply go through it (like a sci-fi weapon that passes through solid matter). Regardless, the effect is the same and the ability halves cover penalties. Indirect is a positive aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +0.5.

Indirect is useful for the above concepts, as well as for spells that call down lightning or superhero powers that raise sharp spike of stones from the ground.

Instant

A sustained ability that is only in effect for a split second as opposed to being sustained over multiple Turns. These abilities do not take up Focus slots, and thus deactivate immediately after being activated. Instant is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -0.5.

Instant is useful for creating cheap magical trinkets or experimental technology.

Multiple Effects

An ability is not bound to a single effect from creation but are instead used to create several different effects. These effects are still chosen at ability creation, and cannot be changed. Multiple Effects is a positive Aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +0.5.

Multiple Effects is good for creating a potion that increases Strength and Agility, a scope that can give thermal vision as well as zoom in, or a spell that summons multiple monsters at the same time.

Multiple Targets

An ability affects more than just one target. If used with Long Range the additional targets need not be adjacent or otherwise grouped together, as long as each is within sight (or other targeting sense). Each rank doubles the number of affected targets. Multiple Targets is a positive aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +0.5 per rank.

Multiple Targets is useful for making an Affliction that curses every person who disturbed the mummy’s sleep, a magic spell that doesn’t affect innocents, or a salvo of smart missiles.

Others Only

An instant or sustained ability is only usable on others and not the user. By default all instant and sustained abilities can target either. Others only is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier or -0.5.

Others only is useful for creating a priest’s ability to heal others with a touch, or a doctor’s ability to operate on others but not himself.

Ranges

An instant or sustained ability becomes a ranged ability (all abilities start as close range). It is important to note that this aspect has no effect on Damage and Stun effects. They have an automatic trade off between additional damage and ability to be dodged that is intrinsic to them. Ranged is a positive aspect, with an adjustment modifier of +0.5.

Ranged is useful for creating a cleric’s ability to heal teammates from across the room, or for a device to erase a hard-drive from down the hall.

Reinforced

Any damage resisted by an ability with this aspect is automatically one Condition level less than normal. Can be taken multiple times. Reinforced is a positive aspect that has a +2 adjustment modifier. Reinforced can only be applied to Protection.

Reinforced is useful for creating advanced armor prototypes, comic-book style invulnerability, or blessings of protection.

Requires Movement

An instant or sustained ability requires certain movements for activation. Simple movements like raising an arm, or complex movements like making certain yoga poses are equally valid, and requires a description at creation. Anything that prevents the movements prevents the functioning of the ability. Requires Movement is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -0.5.

Requires Movement is useful for making wizard spells which require certain gestures to cast, or with esoteric Buddhist rituals that require a complex chain of detailed and exact finger movements.

Requires Speech

An instant or sustained ability requires certain vocalizations to activate, either actual words with meaning or nonsensical ramblings (the nature of which must be determined at creation). If the user cannot speak then the ability does not work. Requires Speech is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -0.5.

Requires Speech is useful for creating magic spells that require incantations in an ancient tongue, or for activating the powerful A.I. controlled guns of a star cruiser.

Self Only

An instant or sustained ability is only usable on the user. By default all instant and sustained abilities can target either the ability’s user or a touched target. Self only is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier or -0.5.

Self only is useful for creating personal concealment cloaks, a paladin’s ability to purge himself of curses and disease, or a ritual that grants the caster extreme strength.

Side Effect

The ability has a negative effect on the character activating it. Mechanical effects such as a penalty on a skill or roleplay effects such as revulsion from NPCs are possible, as are combinations. Side Effect is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -0.5.

Side Effect is useful for creating cheap potions or experimental spells.

Uncontrolled

An instant or sustained ability is outside the character’s control, turning on or off at the GM’s discretion. Sustained abilities activated this way are also deactivated this way, unless the ability due to lost Focus. Uncontrollable is a negative aspect, with an adjustment modifier of -2.

Uncontrollable is useful for creating a psychic’s ability to pick up random bursts of insight, or a character’s transformation into a hideous monster at random intervals.

Weak

Any damage landed by an ability with this aspect is automatically on Condition level less. Can be taken multiple times. Weak is a negative aspect that has a -1 adjustment modifier. Weak can be applied to any ability that gives conditions.

Weak is useful for creating training weapons, non-optimized prototypes, or warning attacks.

VERSIcon.png VERS Playtest v19.7 - Online Rule Reference
Book I
Player Rules
Basics What is Roleplaying? - Characters (Ranks, Character Points)
Time (Conflict Driven, Dramatic Time, Flashbacks) - Dice and Rolling
Who is Your Character? Character Concept - Momentum - Talent - Anchor - Motivation - Flaw - Relationships
What Can They Do? Power Source - Power Level - Attributes (Mental, Physical, Social, Figured, Other) - Skills (Skills in Detail)
Advantages (Mental, Physical, Social, Universal) - Abilities (Controlled Effects, Inherent Effects, Aspects) - Gear
Gameplay Combat (Mental, Physical, Social) - The Chase - Stunts - The Environment
Book II
GM Information
Optional Rules Complex Combat (Attack Locations, Stances, Fatigue and Energy, Damage Trackers)
Rules Add-Ons, System Tweaks, System Overhauls
Gamemastering
Storytelling and Drama
Advanced Techniques
Antagonists Antagonist Creation (Sentient or Beast, Building Blocks) - Hierarchies of Villains (Minions, Grunts, Elites, Nemesis)

The Cause (True Evil, Evil for a Good Cause, Social Evil, The Players are Evil?, The Rival)

Book III
Appendices
Gear Examples