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, to make a fireball spell that can only be used Area of Effect is a +1, Piercing is a +0.5, and Conditional is -0.5. The adjustment total would be 1 (1 + 0.5 – 0.5), and since the Damage effect costs 3 CP per rank, the total cost per rank would be 4.
The Afflict ability enables a character to force another character to suffer from a negative status, such as having a disease of loss of one of their senses. Afflict cannot directly kill a character, but some of its uses, like spreading diseases and suffocation can produce death as a side effect. Afflict is a targeted ability resolved by an attack roll.
Once the attack is ruled a success and the NDV is determined, the only thing remaining is to apply the appropriate condition. Afflict gives Status conditions, which are, in order of least to greatest: Simple, Minor, Major, and Extreme. For examples of each, see the chart bellow. In all cases these afflictions only last as long as the primary character sustains the ability. The effect begins as soon as the attack roll is successful and ends as soon as the caster stops focusing on it. If the player adds the Instant aspect, the only way to remove the effect is through conventional (roleplaying) means or the Cure ability.
- Simple: The Simple condition applies if the NDV is between 0 and 2. These are small cosmetic changes and those with no mechanical effects.
- Minor: The Minor condition applies when the NDV is between 3-5. These are small changes that offer only 1-2 points of benefit or penalty.
- Major: The Major condition applies when the NDV is between 6 & 8. Larger changes that offer greater alterations, however the changes or alterations are still within the realm of nature.
- Extreme: This condition applies when the NDV is greater than 9. Purely supernatural changes, changes that cannot be undone, or changes that completely change one thing into another.
Afflict costs 3 CP per rank.
The Alternate Form ability allows a character to assume a completely different shape or form, complete with any inherent abilities the other form may have. In all respects the character takes on the physical (and physiological) aspects of this other form, although by default the character retains their mental and social attributes and personality regardless of their current form.
Ranks of Alternate Form form a pool used to define any changes to the character that occur because of the transformation, such as enhanced physical attributes or new abilities. A character cannot gain mental or social attributes or skills via Alternate Form because it is a physical transformation only. The character still thinks and acts the same and still knows the same things. Only their physical form changes.
To use the ability, choose the new form that the character wants to go towards, then spend the ranks in the Alternate Form pool matching the attributes of the new form as closely as possible (for example templates see the appendices). As a +0.5 aspect the character is free to assign their ranks as they wish, no longer being constrained to pre-constructed templates. As a -0.5 aspect the character only has one single form with a predetermined template.
Alternate Form costs 3 CP per rank, and cannot be tied to an attribute.
The Clone ability allows a character to create an exact physical replica of himself. These clones are physically identical in appearance to the original although they are typically less powerful. The number of ranks in Clone determines the number of clones and their base power level.
By default each clone is an individual and acts on their own, although they share the same personality and experience up to the moment of their creation. Note that a character cannot make a clone that is more powerful than himself. If the character is PL1, even if his GM were to give permission for him to take 5 ranks of Clone, he could still only create a clone with a PL of 0 or 1, although he would be able to create the larger numbers of these lower powered clones allowed by such a high rank. Also, a character can mix and match the power levels of their clones. In this case, always start with the most powerful clone that a character wants to create and work down using the simple equation of a clone PL is equal to 2 of the next PL down (A 5 is worth two 4s, each of which is worth two 3s, etc).
For +1 CP per rank the creating character has full control over their clones, sharing senses and all experiences with them even after creation. A -1 CP per level makes each clone unique with their own personality, usually exaggerating a small part of the creator’s overarching personality, making them even less controllable or predictable.
Clone costs 5 CP per rank, and cannot be tied to an attribute.
The Command ability allows a character to plant suggestions in another’s mind, or even completely control their actions. This could be described as a form of hypnotism, a drug-induced weakened mental state, or even a magical geas that compels the hero to action against his will. No matter the form it takes, Command is a mainstay of fiction.
Once the attack is ruled a success and the NDV is determined, the only thing remaining is to apply the appropriate condition. Command gives Status conditions, which are, in order of least to greatest: Simple, Minor, Major, and Extreme. In all cases these commands only last as long as the primary character sustains the ability. The effect begins as soon as the attack roll is successful and ends as soon as the user stops focusing on it. If the player adds the Instant aspect, the only way to remove the effect is through conventional (roleplaying) means or the Cure ability.
- Simple: The Simple condition applies if the NDV is between 0 and 2. These are small commands such as "smile" or "set aside" that would not make a difference to the target. In other words, they would suffer no ill effects from complying.
- Minor: The Minor condition applies when the NDV is between 3-5. These are like encouragements goading a victim into actions they were already predisposed to, like getting the aggressive guy to throw the first punch in a brawl, or the parolee to commit another crime. Any actions that are against the victim’s better judgment but in line with their flaws, concept, or not going to harm them in any obvious way also fall in this category.
- Major: The Major condition applies when the NDV is between 6 & 8. A command on this level would be any actions that are obviously going to hurt the character’s interests like getting someone to embezzle funds and leave an obvious trail, or start a fist fight with a police officer. At this level the character will not actively harm themselves or those they love but they may act carelessly in such a way that the consequences of their actions end up harming them indirectly.
- Extreme: This condition applies when the NDV is greater than 9. Extreme uses of Command would entail any actions that will directly harm or even kill themselves or their loved ones, such as driving them to commit suicide or to set a bomb in their house while their children slept. There is no question, an extreme action will hurt or kill themselves or those dear to them.
Command costs 3 CP per rank.
The Communicate ability allows a character to create a direct two-way conversation between two characters that can neither be overheard or interrupted and which does not require proximity to use. This could be a hidden transmitter implanted in the character’s ear, telepathy, or something more exotic. Normally the target of Communicate is a willing target, although this is not a requirement. If used against an unwilling target, treat it as a mental attack.
A character’s ranks in Communicate determine the number of simultaneous connections she can have as well as from how deeply the character can draw the shared information. Assign these ranks when purchased and they cannot be reassigned after creation without GM permission. If the character does not assign any ranks to number of connections she is only able to make one connection at a time. Similarly, if information level has no assigned ranks, she can only share emotional information.
Communicate costs 3 CP per rank, or with GM permission each rank could raise both Connections and Information, and would cost 5 CP per rank.
The Conceal ability allows a character to prevent themselves from being perceived by a particular sense (chosen at creation) such as any of the normal senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, or taste) or a more exotic sense such as infrared vision, ESP, or lie detectors. Use the character’s ranks in Conceal as a penalty on any Perception skill rolls of the corresponding type. The character must decide to use their ability before the GM calls for a Perception roll. As a sustained ability it takes up a Focus slot while it is active.
Conceal costs 3 CP per rank.
The Cure ability is able to remove any affliction from a target, whether they are naturally occurring through roleplay or as the result of an Afflict ability. Regardless of the source of the affliction, the Cure ability grants the target an immediate recovery action as well as a bonus on the attempt equal to half the degrees of success. Cure can even resurrect the dead with the GM’s permission in the right type of setting.
Cure costs 3 CP per rank.
The Damage ability is the primary method for harming a target. It can give Injuries, Focus, or Morale conditions. When doing physical damage, it is important to remember the trade off between damage and defense. Damage abilities that do not rely on muscle power to wound (guns, laser swords, plasma torches, etc) do not get the benefit of Strength, however the opponent also does not get the benefit of using Dodge to defend, instead using the lesser of Agility or Intuition. Both cases can get bonus EV from stunts depending on rolls.
Damage costs 3 CP per rank.
The Deflect ability allows a character to anticipate the actions of an attacker and block the attack with weapon or even a part of the body. With enough degrees of success (and an attack ability that makes sense) the character can even reflect the attack back at the attack.
To use Deflect the character must hold their action to actively defend. When actively defending against muscle-powered attacks the character adds his ranks of Deflect as a modifier to his Parry. Deflect even allows the defender to deflect non-muscle powered attacks such as gunshots, but they still do not get their Parry skill on the attempt. Once the ranged attack is declared the defender rolls their modified competence, with success meaning that the attack was deflected in a random direction, see the following chart, and can strike anyone in those directions as appropriate. With five or more Degrees of Success the defender can aim the deflected attack as he desires.
Deflect costs 2 CP per rank, and cannot be tied to an attribute.
The Delude ability allows a character to create and maintain the façade of objects, people, places, or events that do not actually exist or that are not actually happening. The illusions can represent real objects or events or they may be entirely fictitious. These manifestations are real to all mundane senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch), although a character may disbelieve them given circumstances. Delude is mental attack resisted by Perception instead of Discipline, determining if the character sees through or disbelieves the delusion.
Once the attack is ruled a success and the NDV is determined, the only thing remaining is to apply the appropriate condition. Delude gives Status conditions, which are, in order of least to greatest: Simple, Minor, Major, and Extreme. In all cases the target believes the illusion until the ability user stops sustaining it or they interact with it in a way that proves it is not real. The effect begins as soon as the attack roll is successful and ends as soon as the user stops focusing on it. If the player adds the Instant aspect, the only way to remove the effect is through conventional (roleplaying) means or the Cure ability.
- Simple: The Simple condition applies if the NDV is between 0 and 2. These are small illusion such as the sound of a footstep outside or something moving out of the corner of their eye.
- Minor: The Minor condition applies when the NDV is between 3-5. This is the type of illusion that includes changing small details, such as masking the writing on paper, making a neutral person view you as an ally, or disguising an item as something else.
- Major: The Major condition applies when the NDV is between 6 & 8. An illusion at this level would be like changing your looks to someone else, masking the presence of a creature, or creating the illusion of a person than can speak.
- Extreme: This condition applies when the NDV is greater than 9. An illusion on this level would be something like the illusion of a creature attacking the city, or of a whole host of warriors.
Delude costs 3 CP per rank.
The Desolidify ability allows a character to change into various other states of matter, some of them fictional. Desolidify could also be used as an attack to change others instead, although note that all the advantages of the new forms are given to the victims as well. Each rank of Desolidify represents a new dimension to the ability. A character must choose at ability creation what substance their Desolidification resembles (liquid metal, water, mist, light, ghosts, etc). This cannot be changed after ability creation. Unlike most other abilities, having higher ranks does not give access to lower ranks without GM permission. Instead the higher ranks balance the costs with the increased advantages of the more powerful types.
One rank makes a character mostly solid, but she can reform body parts into new shapes, move through gaps normally too small for a human, and gets a +1 bonus to Protection and uses of Deception to impersonate others. In this form the character no longer needs food.
Rank two allows a character to become fully liquid. In this state they can pour through any non-waterproof gap, cannot be physically damaged nor can they physically attack someone else, and are more prone to freezing in extreme temperatures. Similarly, rank three allows a character to become a gas, able to move through even the tiniest gaps, move through the air, and are similarly unable to attack or be attacked physically, although fans or the wind may disperse them for a time. In either of these forms the character no longer needs sleep, food, or water.
Four ranks of Desolidify allows a character to become pure energy, such as living electricity, light, or even sound waves. Determine this form when the ability is first created; it cannot be changed thereafter. Also note that while most energy can move at extreme speeds and even through some solid surfaces, energy is also somewhat easily constrained. For example, rubber or glass are effective against electricity, as are specially designed Faraday meshes and cages. Light can pass through any transparent surface but a room with no windows is an inescapable trap. In this form the character no longer requires sleep, food, or water, but can only exist in mediums that the energy type could exist in (such as sound cannot exist in a vacuum).
At rank five, the Desolidified character no longer reacts to normal physics, passing through objects as if the strong and weak nuclear forces no longer affects them at all. Physical attacks are completely ineffectual against the character although the character is also completely incapable of attacking or interacting with physical objects themselves. In this form the character no longer requires sleep, air, food, or water.
Desolidify costs 5 CP per rank, and cannot be tied to an attribute.
The Dispel ability removes the effects of other abilities. The successful use of Dispel immediately deactivates the targeted ability, although the target can restart the ability next turn. Dispel can only be used against instant duration (by holding an action) and sustained duration abilities. Dispel is an active roll against the opponent’s ranks in the targeted ability. A successful roll counters or turns off the targeted ability. The targeted ability remains unaffected on a failed roll. Inherent abilities cannot be Dispelled, only Suppressed.
Dispel costs 3 CP per rank.
The Duplicate ability allows a character to directly copy another character’s ability. A Duplicated ability acts just like the original, with all the same manifestations although changing the color or have another distinguishing characteristic could fit the flavor of the setting or the ability. Each rank of Duplicate goes into a Duplication Pool. A character can allocate ranks from the pool to directly copy any or all abilities that a touched character has. The character does not have to allocate the same number of ranks of the ability as the target. Allocating a single rank gives the character the ability, albeit possibly a weaker version.
Each copied ability takes up a Focus slot, which does not count toward using any sustained abilities, either that the character has natively or that the character has copied from a target. For instance, if a character has only one Focus slot available and she Duplicates an ability based on the Suppress effect, that Duplicated ability takes up her Focus slot. This would leave her without a slot to actually use the ability until she drops some other sustained ability to make room.
Duplicate costs 3 CP per rank, and cannot be tied to an attribute.
The Elongate ability allows a character to enhance his reach, height, etc, without changing his Size. Whether this is because a dense plasticity material makes up his body or because he has extensible cyborg arms, each rank of Elongate allows for an additional rank of height (distance) or a +1 to reach. Players can mix and match these bonuses, for example, using 3 ranks of Elongate to get a +2 to reach and a +1 to height. This bonus can also be used as a bonus to Grapple, either to maintain or to escape a grapple. These bonuses can also be switched or altered as a free action and the character is under no obligation to use all any or all of their ranks at any one time. Also note that a character’s Size, mass, and density do not change using this power, he only alters the configuration of his body. At GM’s discretion the character may use Elongate to change the proportions of the rest of their body as well, such as forming a sail or similar.
Elongate costs 2 points per rank.
The Heal ability allows a target to better recover from damage to physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual damage. The target gains a bonus on their next recovery action equal to half the degrees of success on the roll, as well as an immediate recovery action, regardless of whether they would normally get one. The user must decide what type of status their Heal ability targets when creating it, Focus, Injury, or Morale. With GM permission it can even be used to remove Damage conditions on objects. A character can resist being healed if they wish, making the roll active.
Heal costs 3 CP per rank.
The Manipulate Fate ability allows a character to attempt to alter the outcome of a roll, either to help a roll he makes succeed or help a roll an opponent makes fail. Each rank gives a character an additional use of the ability in a session. Each time a character uses this ability, the bonus (or penalty) they give is equal to their total ranks in Manipulate Fate. In other words a character with 4 ranks in Manipulate Fate could use the ability 4 times each session and each time they did would get a +4 bonus or give a -4 penalty.
Manipulate Fate costs 5 CP per rank, and cannot be tied to an attribute.
The Modify Trait ability enables a character to increase or decrease an attribute or skill temporarily, including Size. Modify Trait can only affect one attribute or skill, chosen at creation. Changing multiple attributes or skills with a single ability requires a +0.5 Aspect per additional attribute or skill. Upon successful use increase or decrease the targeted skill or attribute by half the Effect Value, although the character is never required to use the full EV if they do not want to.
Modify Trait costs 3 CP per rank.
The Prophecy ability enables a character to have prophetic visions of possible future events. There are two ways to use this ability: passively allowing the visions to come as they will (as the GM deems them dramatically appropriate), or the more aggressive methods of actively seeking answers directly. Passive visions most often occur when running across new information or people. Typically this type of vision takes the form of a flash of insight (“this person seems important”) although anything the GM finds appropriate but vague will work. A character can also go into a Meditative state (succeed on a passive Meditation roll with full Focus) and hope that an insight will come to them. In this state the GM may decide to give a hint to get the character on the right track, or point them to a plot point they may have missed. This information should be vague but useful.
The more aggressive use of Prophecy is to actively attempt to force the future to reveal itself. This also involves a Meditative state, but the difference is that the character has a specific focus. The player makes a passive Meditation + Prophecy roll with a penalty equal to any Focus damage they currently have (or any potential environmental Focus damage, such as distractions, etc). The DR for this roll has a base of 5, plus any additional for specificity. On a success they may ask a number of direct questions equal to the Degrees of Success to the GM that the GM must answer (although cryptic vagueness is encouraged). Failure does an amount of Focus damage equal to the ranks in Prophecy and the Degrees of Failure. Depending on the setting the GM may also give the player a temporary psychological Flaw.
Prophecy costs 5 CP per rank.
The Remote Manipulation ability enables a character to move objects without physically interacting with them. A character can use Remote Manipulation to catch and throw objects, lift them, push them, or even crush them. Manipulate Object is also able to perform direct attacks such as a long distance punch or kick.
Remote Manipulation has both a Strength rank and an Agility rank, both independent of the character's attributes of the same name, although if the ability is tied to an attribute it should be a power attribute and gives a number of free ranks that can be assigned to either category. Once assigned these attributes can only be changed with GM’s permission.
Manipulate Object costs 2 CP per rank.
The Restrain ability completely stops Movement as opposed to Suppress which could be used to slow down a character’s rate of Movement. A Restrained character is also considered unable to move his body enough to effectively fight. A Restrain ability in which the character has full use of his body otherwise get a -0.5 Aspect. A successful Restrain roll immobilizes the target. Each turn the victim may make a roll to break free, taking the original EV as the penalty on the roll. Typically for physical Restrain abilities, this roll will be Strength or Agility and Contortion. More esoteric types of Restrain may use Discipline or some other even stranger method, but there must me a method to break free.
Restrain costs 3 CP per rank.
The Shield ability allows one character to intercede and protect another. This could take the form of a physical shield, a wall of ice, or the energy shields on a starship. Shields have two separate components: Area and Hardness, and they take Damage conditions as an object. In essence, they are a summoned object that interposes between the character and his attackers. These components can be set at the time of use, each rank of EV able to be placed in one category or the other.
Shield costs 2 CP per rank.
The Summon ability allows a character to call on another creature for aid. These creatures are friendly to the character although they are typically less powerful. The number of ranks of Summon a character has determine the number of Summoned creatures and their base power level. By default each Summoned creature is an individual and acts on their own (like any other NPC).
Note that a character cannot Summon a creature that is more powerful than he is without GM’s permission. So, if the character was a PL 1, even with 5 ranks he could only Summon a creature with a PL of 0 or 1. Also, a character can mix and match the power levels of their Summons, perhaps Summoning a PL 2 creature and two PL 1 creatures at the same time. This would work identically to the chart for the Clone ability.
With +1 aspect per rank the Summoned creature will appear immediately, such as a fantasy spell, or a sci-fi transporter beam, while a -1 aspect makes the Summoned creature less friendly, requiring negotiation before they will help.
Summon costs 5 CP per rank, and cannot be tied to an attribute.
The Suppress ability reduces a target’s capacity to use their abilities, even inherent abilities. This effect is temporary, however, and goes away as soon as the character stops sustaining it. To use this ability, the suppressing character rolls their ranks of Suppress using the target’s Protection (if applicable) as a penalty. If successful, the target of Suppress takes a penalty on the abilities in question equal to the Suppress ranks plus any additions from stunts. This EV either applies as a penalty to the roll to activate the Suppressed ability or reduces the EV of the Suppressed ability if it is already active. Any ability reduced to 0 or less EV is effectively off, however it will automatically reactivate when removing the Suppress effect.
Suppress costs 3 CP per rank.
The Transfer ability allows a character to reduce one attribute or skill by up to the EV and increase another by the same amount. The affected attributes do not have to belong to the same character, although the player sets the target attributes or skills at creation. In other words, you can Transfer from a target to yourself, yourself to a target, between two different targets, or even between two different attributes of your own, but this can only be decided when creating the ability, and cannot be changed later.
Transfer costs 3 CP per rank and cannot be tied to an attribute.
The Transform Environment ability allows a character to alter the environment around them, changing solid ground into quicksand, turning a fallow field verdant and green, and calling up a thunderstorm on a sunny cloudless day. These changes are on a large-scale, affecting a circular area with a diameter of 64m at the smallest.
Once the roll is ruled a success and the NDV is determined, the only thing remaining is to apply the appropriate condition. Like most other transforming effects, Transform Environment relies on the standard four tiered condition hierarchy. Unlike normal, however, the environment does not have a condition tracker. The tiers are simply used to determine the magnitude of the effect based on the EV. These tiers are, in order of least to greatest: Simple, Minor, Major, and Extreme. In all cases these transformations are real changes, not illusions (that would be Delude).
- Simple: The Simple condition applies if the NDV is between 0 and 2. These are small changes such as changing the color of a building, making all the grass in a field faintly glow (however, too dim to offset darkness penalties), or filling the air with a pleasant fragrance.
- Minor: The Minor condition applies when the NDV is between 3-5. This is the type of transformation that can give bonuses and penalties (only 1 or 2 ranks), and includes things like filling an area with a terrible stench, turning a cloudless sky cloudy, creating a dim light, or changing salty water drinkable.
- Major: The Major condition applies when the NDV is between 6 & 8. This would be a transformation that would offer greater bonuses or penalties (as much as 4 ranks) or are otherwise much more impressive. Examples include filling an area with tear-gas, turning a clear sky into a storm, making a bright light, or making polluted water drinkable.
- Extreme: This condition applies when the NDV is greater than 9. This is a transformation that can grant tremendous bonuses or penalties (up to 6 ranks) or are otherwise awe inspiring. Examples would be filling the air with a mind control agent that turns foes into allies, summoning a tornado, creating a blinding flash over an entire battlefield, or changing water into a deadly poison.
Transform Environment costs 5 CP per rank.
The Transform Object ability lets a character turn one thing into another thing, such as lead into gold or even a box of parts into a working radio. This change must have a way to undo it (such as another Transform Object ability to turn gold into lead, or disassembling the radio back into a box of parts).
Once the roll is ruled a success and the NDV is determined, the only thing remaining is to apply the appropriate condition. Like most other transforming effects, Transform Environment relies on the standard four tiered condition hierarchy. These tiers are, in order of least to greatest: Simple, Minor, Major, and Extreme. In all cases these transformations are real changes, not illusions (that would be Delude).
- Simple: The Simple condition applies if the NDV is between 0 and 2. These are small changes such as changing the color of something, change its flavor, or similar purely cosmetic change.
- Minor: The Minor condition applies when the NDV is between 3-5. This is the type of transformation that can give bonuses and penalties (only 1 or 2 ranks), and includes things making a sword sharper, making a material transparent, making it emit light, or mending a whole in an item.
- Major: The Major condition applies when the NDV is between 6 & 8. This would be a transformation that would offer greater bonuses or penalties (as much as 4 ranks) or are otherwise much more impressive. Examples include drastically changing an items shape, removing impurities from base ore, or changing an animal into a different kind of animal.
- Extreme: This condition applies when the NDV is greater than 9. This is a transformation that can grant tremendous bonuses or penalties (up to 6 ranks) or are otherwise awe inspiring. Examples would be changing a person into a tree, lead into gold, or making a gorilla as intelligent as a human.
Transform Object costs 5 CP per rank.