Methods (Action)

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Heroic Action Role-Play

Contents

This is a Method for using Powers in Action. Methods are a part of Traditions and define how Powers are used in each campaign.

There are several schticks that modify how methods work.

Astrology

Astrologers observe celestial events, the stars, and the planets to draw power from them. Because of the strong and obvious effect the heavens have on fate and life on earth, this is very powerful. Astrologers can predict fortuitous moments to do different things, but that is only the beginning of their craft. An accomplished astrologer can actually change the future or cause some event to occur spontaneously by creating a mystic link between certain heavenly bodies.

Limitation

Inherent

As an astrologer you must know your location and the current date and time of day to configure your powers. You have sufficient sense of time and location that this is not a problem unless you have been blacked out for some reason, such as unconsciousness or traveling blind. If you can see the night sky, you can instantly learn both date and location well enough to overcome this limitation.

Astrology Focus

Focus

This method rewards research and preparation. If you know the astrological signs your target, you can focus, but that focus is only good if people whose astrological sign you know are among those affected by your Limit break. Knowing the birth place and location lets you calculate someone’s astrological sign, and you can use divination power or research to find it out.

Attention

Your power draws attention. Your powers have side effects; they either have distinct and visible physical side effects or send shivers down the spines of people all around.

Limitation

Whenever you use your power, it is obvious to everyone within ten meters times the sum of your and their Mind attribute that something odd is happening. This does not spoil illusion or invisibility; people can tell something is happening, but not exactly what or where. It is likely to make them more wary, however. Characters of your origin can sense your power ten times as far away. For those related to you, this sense can extend all the way across the world.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

When others are watching you do power and their auras resonate with yours, your power increases. Whenever there are a dozen or more spectators who can see you use powers you can focus. Spectators are those who are not involved in the action - either because they were unaware of your presence before your power called their attention, or because they are bystanders.

Bane

There is something that stops you from using your powers. Whether this is psychological or an actual power drain is immaterial; in the presence of your bane, your powers fail. Some banes are common, others rare; this is balanced because the limitation and focus condition are so tightly tied. It is secret what your bane is; guard this secret well. Iron Susceptibility is similar to a bane, but well known and much less severe.

Examples:

  • Holy symbols.
  • Some metal (e.g. silver, gold, cold steel).
  • Specific flowers or herbs (wolvesbane, garlic).
  • Types of wood (ash, yew).
  • Certain books (Bible, Koran, Torah, pulp novels).
  • Certain weapons.
  • Specific words.
  • Any memento of an old love.
  • The bones of a former victim.
  • Direct sunlight.
  • Running water.
  • Dogs with angel eyes (dark circles around the iris).

Limitation

When directly exposed to your bane you cannot use your powers. It must be within ten meters and there should be no significant barriers; it it is kept in a container or behind a wall your bane does not trigger.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

In any scene where you encountered your bane and survived, you can focus. You cannot focus when under the effects of the bane, but if the bane is somehow taken out of the action, the stress gives you focus.

Belief

Your power is tied to belief, and your belief is tied to a code of behavior. You must follow your ethos, or your power fails. It does not matter if you follow a god or a philosophy; what matters is that your ethos and tenets are central to all that you do. This is the basis of all divine power; if your god actually grants you these powers, or if your faith is just a psychological crutch you use to work your power is an open issue.

Limitation

Each Powers act must be a manifestation of your belief. You cannot work power unless it fits your picture of the universe. Your power cannot work contrary to your code of ethics, and if you grossly violate the tenets of your religion at any time, you lose your ability to work power until you atone. Most religion have a built-in antithesis; there are opposing gods, devils, the dark side and other negative, opposed forces in most mythologies. If you fall from the path of righteousness, you can usually pick up and continue your studies under a new master, but this will mandate a drastic change in role and personality, and may turn you into an NPC.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

When you are in the presence of others who share your faith and support your actions, you can focus. It generally takes about ten people to achieve this, but if you are acting directly in the interests of your faith even a single person will do. In extreme situations of faith, your own belief can be sufficient in itself.

Concentration

You are the linchpin of all your power; when you cease to concentrate your power dissipates. You cannot create power effects that continue to work when you are not paying attention to them.

Limitations

If you relax, fall asleep, or become unconscious all your power effects lapse. This includes any Inherent powers you have. Power effects end when a stance would normally end, such as when you are prevented from taking actions.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

Whenever you are not using any powers, including stances, you can focus.

Contagion

Contagion is the magical theorem of like attracts like. By manipulating a symbol, you can affect the real thing. You use this principle in all your power. Generally, it is sufficient to have rough substitutes; a person is symbolized with a small doll, a rock with his name on it or a rough image.

Limitation

You need your props in order to work power. These props are simple and easily improvised. You must also have some kind of link to your target; you usually arrange this by putting a name or symbol on a blank prop you are carrying. This takes no extra time, but requires that you have such a prop and an exact visual description of the target.

Focus Enabler

Inherent

You can use a Limit Break on those you have you have a personal object or former body part from; others are unaffected. Any such items you have against the target are consumed in use.

Costume

You have a special look you wear to work your power. This is distinctive, and marks you as odd; people in the know can learn things about your Tradition from it. It need not be a specific outfit, rather it is a range of outfits with some common and identifiable characteristic. The exact details vary, but specific colors, long robes, pointy hats, or embroidered signs and glyphs are standard. Variant costumes include extensive tattoos, nudity, a certain style of jewelry or accessories, or a very funky hairdo.

If your costume is damage and worn, burned or otherwise mishandled it still works and is still recognizable.

Limitation

You must be in costume to work powers. Donning your costume is a basic action. It is possible to use powers while wearing the costume under other clothes, but this counts as a Disguise stunt.

Costume Focus

Focus

You can always focus at any time when in costume, but it costs you a Fortune point to do so.

Dance

Your powers have an affinity with movement; this is usually dancing but could involve a wind mage having to run around to invoke his powers. It is very immediate; the movement is directly linked to power use.

Limitation

You must end each Basic Action at least 2 meters away from where you started it, or you cannot use powers with that action. This limitation is small and temporary, but always applies.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

You can focus when you involve someone else in a dance. This can be a successful Maneuver stunt, or it can be an ally moving along with you - synchronizing actions and moving side by side (that is you must act on the same shot, start the move adjacent, and end the move adjacent.

Degeneration

Your powers derive from an secret innernature shocking to common sensibilities. As you use your powers, your power origin becomes shockingly obvious, making people shun and dread you. Typical examples are necromancers and demonologists turning into the monstrosities they control, androids losing their skin to expose the machinery below, or energies bleeding out in a frightening display.

Limitation

Degeneration is measured in points; each time you take a Hit, roll a snake eyes or boxcars, use a Finisher, or use a Limit Break result when using a power, you gain one degeneration point. All Charm checks (but not defense values) suffer a penalty equal to the number of degeneration points you have. When you have degeneration points equal to your Mind, you are no longer recognizably human (or whatever creature you normally look like); sensible people will run from you. In more tolerant settings, your degeneration becomes more disgusting so that they still break the mold of "normal" sufficiently to have you ostracized.

This is a side effect of your powers; it never prevents you from using your powers, except that powers cannot hide your degeneration and Charm powers suffer the penalties mentioned.

Degeneration points reset to zero each game session. Full degeneration can be overcome/adapted to given time and care; this usually only happens between stories or when you take a time out from adventuring, not at the end of each session.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

You can focus at will as your current degeneration points are less than your Mind. Doing so gives you a degeneration point.

Echoes

Echoes add chance to your powers, and this does not stop at the effects you produce consciously. This can be because your powers affects the world in a very fundamental way, a form of backlash, a result of your rampant subconscious, or simply the workings of blind chance.

Your powers are subject to chance and strange effects occur around you constantly. What these side effects are can vary from time to time or have a set theme, as decided when you take the limitation. They are often origin-based. Echoes manifest spontaneously and outside your control. They are noticeable, and can give people in the know information they would not otherwise have. Technological powers cause technological side effects, such as brownouts or glitches. Mystic powers have effects similar to the ones you produce yourself. Echoes are generally funny, in a sadistic kind of way; they never obstruct the story, but can create setbacks and hindrances for you and (rarely) your friends. They are a great plot device for the GM to use when you are taking too much camera time or are using your power for tasks that should be role-played.

You can suggest echoes, or your game master can invent them. If you invent funny and annoying echoes, the game master will probably go easy on you with his own. In either case, it is the game master that has the final word on what happens.

Limitation

Echoes makes small odd things occur around you, but this is mostly flavor, tough they can sometimes provide clues to enemies or distractions to you. When you use your powers in obvious ways, they manifest more strongly; on a Snakeyes roll when using obvious powers you suffer a Setback from your echoes.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

If you invent a creative echo, you can focus. Alternatively, you can ask the GM for one, in which case it might be slightly more severe for making him think one up on his feet. In either case, it is a Setback and usually manifests at the end of the round - after you've had a chance to use the focus provided.

Handicap

Blind seers and lame but magically powerful smiths are a staple of legends. This is also something the GM can impose temporarily on players, due to damage or other complications of limited duration. Perhament handicaps should be left for the player to decide.

You have some physical handicap that is tied to your power. Perhaps you developed your power to make up for the handicap, or it is a side effect of having acquired the power. You can even have several handicaps if you like. Some examples:

  • Blind - Still has a general awareness of moving creatures within Mind meters.
  • Deaf - You cannot hear spoken conversation and are easily surprised. The perception element of all your skills are equal to your Mind, but you can use the perception element normally with actions, including as an active defense.
  • Lame - Prevent movement as a part of normal basic actions. On a full move action, you can take a normal move instead of a full move
  • Crippled arms prevent most physical manipulation and the use of weapons and implements.
  • Mute - Prevents mundane speech. Make sure to enforce this strictly.
  • Albino - Highly sensitive to sunlight, imposing visual penalties and causing Hits with extended exposure. Looks spooky.

Limitation

The handicap does not limit your power, instead the handicap itself is limiting. Your powers develop at the price of your physical prowess.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

Whenever your handicap causes you acute problems, actual penalties, setbacks, or damage, you can focus. Willfully provoking your handicap does work, but the situation must actually cause you some penalty or discomfort. Using powers to overcome your handicap prevents you from using it to focus, but often powers will only negate part of the handicap, in which case you can still use the remainder to focus.

Brian is lame, but has the magical ability to hover. He needs to kick a fallen branch out of the way to clear a path for his friends. Since he cannot, he can focus, despite that Hover negates most of the penalties of being lame.

Iron Susceptibility

Iron impairs your power, possibly for one of the following reasons. The strength, versatility, and magnetic properties of iron makes it very important to technology, which is opposed to magic. Fey abhor Iron, seeing it as a manifestation of human encroachment. Alchemists claim iron is an impure element, easily corroded, the opposite of gold. Iron is highly magnetic. Encasing something in a cage of iron insulates from all electromagnetic fields, hindering many technological devices. Science offers another theory: nuclei of iron have some of the highest binding energies per nucleon. In other words, you cannot gain energy by transmuting iron into into anything else. Iron is the end of the road; no further transmutation is possible unless you put in a vast amount of energy. Whatever the reason - you probably don't even know why - iron impairs your powers.

Iron susceptibility is common among mages. Many magical creatures can be hurt by iron weapons. Part of it's function lies in that it is very common and well known; everyone knows you can stymie a mage by making them hold a naked blade or wear an iron collar.

Limitation

Your powers are impaired by iron and iron derivatives, such as steel. You cannot use powers while in direct contact with iron or encased in iron, such as when wearing steel armor or inside a car. If you wish to use iron tools or weapons you must ensure that they don't get into direct contact with your skin; gloves, elaborate hilts and handles, and coverings such as gilding or tin coating are commonly used to overcome this. You can wear steel armor as long as it has been properly gilded; the noble metal negates the influence of the base iron. Of course, gilding is expensive, attracts attention, and is quite fragile meaning it can be accidentally scraped off.

Focus Enabler

Inherent

When not wearing any iron and using power on someone or something that has no metallic iron on them, you can use a Limit Break as if you were focused. In blacksmith technology or higher, this is rare and only happens in ritual circumstances or when you are fighting animals or monsters.

Justice

Your powers are strong against those who break rules or customs. Laws hold power, breaking laws makes people vulnerable, dishonest dealing and oath-breaking opens rifts in the soul and gives your powers leverage. Unlike faith, you need not believe in or be sympathetic to the laws you use; the magical laws are as immutable as the laws of nature, and you are using them, not judging them.

Which causes are just is very malleable. Anyone lying to you or breaking a promise is fair game. It does not matter if the promise was given in jest or under coercion. Customs, even evil customs, must be obeyed. Any oath breaker can be ensorcerelled freely, as can those who have betrayed the customs of fealty or hospitality, even if the rules were unfair. Those who owe gifts or favors are fair game, as well.

Limitation

This is a severe limitation, compensated by a liberal focus condition.

All Justice powers must have some cause; it is impossible to directly affect a character with your powers if the character refuses to accept it and has done no wrong. Powers that does not directly harm a character, such as trickery and illusion, can be employed freely, and is often used to entrap a victim before more insidious power is used to take control of him. But if the target refuses to be mislead, he cannot be directly harmed or affected by your powers. However, you can still use indirect powers that affects the environment, changes the stage, or fools the senses.

Focus Enabler

Inherent

If you fully fulfill the limitation, you can use a Limit Break as if you are focused. You cannot focus just because you can use illusion, trickery or other effects affecting the world rather than the target.

Loss of Control

You are channeling powers beyond your control: sometimes these powers take you over and force you to go wild. You must specify the nature of the power you are connecting to, as this will influence how you focus and what happens when you lose control. In general, this amounts to a specific vice; focusing means tickling this vice, loss of control is when you are overwhelmed.

The actions you do when you lose control can be nonsensical or even destructive. You lose sight of your normal goals and live out your vice in an immediate and direct way. Such actions can indirectly benefit your normal cause, but you pursue them beyond what is reasonable and productive.

Limitation

You risk losing control in certain situations, especially when doing things somehow relevant to the nature or source of your powers. When you roll Snakeyes on any task, the GM proposes an action your powers tries to force you to do. The GM can also make one such proposition of his own per scene. You can agree, and behave as suggested. In extreme cases, the GM might even take temporary control of your character. If you resist, you lose access to your powers for the rest of the scene.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

When doing the type of actions you do when you lose control, you can focus. This can either be because because you gave in to the GMs suggestion or because you came up with a course of action the GM agrees is in accordance with your vice. When you are taking the initiative and choose to skirt the danger, you have to continue to act out your vice until it plays itself out, or risk losing your powers.

Manual of Power

Your powers are recorded in some kind of manual, tome, or device; a large but portable object that you need to occasionally check up on in order to use your powers. Notice that a manual of power can itself be an implement, usually a Tome. If your power manual is lost, you can replace it, but that is a major undertaking and only happens between adventures; you are usually better off trying to find it again.

Limitation

You need to spend an hour with your manual each day, keeping your powers up to date. If you fail to do this, you suffer power failure. Note that you need not carry your power manual on your person, you only need to consult it once per day.

Focus Condition

Basic Action (Focus)

You can use your manual of power to focus, but this is a Basic Action for you.

Mark of Power

Your power has left its mark on you and you draw power from this monstrous nature. This can be a demonic or angelic form, sharp claws, obvious cybernetics, huge green muscles, or some other distinctive appearance of your choice. You look quite out of the ordinary and are likely to attract attention and be recognized. It is possible but difficult to disguise this, and it is always visible on close inspection.

Limitation

If you are transformed into a mundane shape, you lose your powers. Mere illusions won't do, it has to be a physical change. The most radical variant of this is if powers are used to alter your shape, but failing to maintain your supernatural form also triggers power loss. If your form depends on powers, such as Mutations or Cybernetic Implants and these are dispelled, all your powers fail. If you are constantly in disguise for long periods, your powers will gradually weaken, tough you get plenty of advance warning of this.

This kind of power loss has a duration based on the extent of the change; minor changes can cause a power loss for the round, while greater changes can cause power loss for a scene or even one or more sessions in extreme cases.

Focus Condition

When an NPCs reaction towards you changes significantly because of your appearance, you can focus. This creates the odd situation that you can often focus in less important confrontations on the street, but rarely when faced with cool villains - unless they have a particular prejudice.

Naming

Everything has a True Name, a key to its essence. Knowing this true name gives you power over the thing. Great power is given to those who know the true names of many things. If you know the true name of your enemy, you have him in your power.

Learning a true name is a difficult, often mystic experience. Visions and spirit quests play an important role, and an accomplished sorcerer can sometimes guess a true name through sheer intuition.

Only some intelligent creatures have individual true names. Each named creature has an individual true name, but faceless dimensional hordes do not. Unnamed creatures have one True Name per type of creature; all unnamed imps share the same true Name. Essentially one true name equals one set of creature abilities. Objects also share names with others of their type. You can learn the true names of your friends with their cooperation, becoming able to focus power on them but also giving you a potentially devastating weapon against them.


True names are also used in Binding powers. These are the same true names used for this method, but you can use Binding powers without the True Name method and vice versa. The Naming and Power Secret methods are related; naming magicians often have their own true name as their secret.

Limitation

You cannot target a named creature directly unless you know his true name. Mind control, transmutation and other effects which directly and dramatically changes a person require that you know the target's true name.

Focus Enabler

Trigger Action (Focus)

Whenever you know someone's individual True Name, you can use powers against them as if you were focused. A Limit Break used this way cannot affect a creature whose True Name you do not know.

Plausibility

Your powers work by controlling chance, manifesting as extreme luck or skillful use of available tools or other plausible plot elements. No obvious supernatural power on your part is involved. What is normal is based on the perceptions of the local populace; if intervention by faeries are everyday events where you are, you can camouflage your powers as such.

Limitation

Inherent

You cannot cause effects that clearly and observably violate the laws of nature in the setting or cause an effect outside of local technology. Having a technological gadget at hand can often enhance plausibility. Your powers can also seem to be the side effect of another power-user in the vicinity, as long as the effect is in line with what people expect such people to be able to to.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus, Combo)

You can focus at any time when you manage to cause a power effect that seem entirely reasonable and commonplace but still has a distinct and concrete effect on reality. Subtle effects do not count; only actions that other notice but assume to be natural events qualify. If you come up with a use of a Limit Break that would satisfy this condition, you can use this as a combo to enable you to use that Limit Break.

Power Explosion

You have an overabundance power within you. When you release your full power, it comes with an explosive release. This does no harm, but is loud, flashy, and usually causes you to float in the air. It changes your appearance, at the very ruffling your outfit and leaving you slightly crispy. Depending on the campaign and your role, it might leave you stark naked.

You can usually get yourself in order between scenes, but with short scenes you might not have the opportunity. While disheveled, people will consider you rude and vulgar, but depending on the observer you might also seem powerful and erotic.

Limitation

When you use a lot of powers rapidly there are side effects even when not used to focus. Your hands might glow, you are surrounded by glowing runes, levitate in the air, or glow in strange colors. You can avoid this almost completely by taking your time, using no more than a single power per minute.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

You can focus by invoking a power explosion, but only once per scene.

Power Overflow

Your problem has never been your lack of power. Power comes to you in abundance. Instead, it is control you lack - when your concentration breaks, your power flows wildly.

Limitation

Power overflow never causes you power loss. When you roll very low when using powers, they flare spectacularly. If your skill check for a power scores a result lower or equal to your Mind, your power misfires, a setback.

The usual effect is an explosion affecting you and all adjacent creatures. Make a separate attack roll using your skill value for the task that caused a power overflow,. This does the damage type associated with the Form you used. The GM is free to introduce a normal setback instead.

Focus Condition

You do not focus per se with the Overflow method. Instead, you can use any Limit Break that is an area power as if you were focused. In effect, you are always focused in regard to these effects.

Power Misfire

Your powers can cause you setbacks or activate outside of your control. This is similar to Echoes, but relates to specific powers. Some applications are also similar to Mundane Form.

Limitation

This limitation does not cause your powers to fail, instead making them activate randomly. You can pick up to three misfire triggers - and the power each of them triggers - when you pick this method. The advantage of having more triggers is that you can focus more often the more misfires you suffer. Typical examples of triggers can be when you roll snake eyes, when hit by a certain kind of attack, or when you see the full moon for the first time tonight. When this condition occurs, one of your powers activates outside of your control. Generally, this is the same or a similar power misfiring in the same way each time. Misfires are Setbacks and generally detrimental to you, tough they can sometimes have positive side effects. If the power allows some targeting roll or other way to avoid nasty side effects, you fail this roll. The chosen power is generally a Limit Break. Examples include a Fireball exploding in your face, an involuntary change into an Alternate form, or an accidental Demon Summoning.

Power misfires occur right after you have spent all your shots for the round.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

When Power Misfire triggers, you can focus. This focus cannot be used to undo the effect of the Power Misfire, but you can do your own Limit Break just before the power misfire triggers.

Power Reserve

You have a reserve of inner power, called mana for supernatural powers and by some technical term such as battery or capacitors for technology. You can use this reserve to fuel your power, but when you have done so you become weak and need to restore your power reserve afterward.

Limitation

When you have used your power intensely, such as in a fight, you grow tired at the end of the scene. Once the fight is over, you cannot use powers until you have replenished your power; a short ritual taking about 15 minutes. Exactly what you do to recover power reserve depends on your power tradition; eating, meditation, prayer, reading, recharging capacitors or connecting to a power outlet are all examples. If there is a condition placed on your recovery that is out of your control, such as sunlight, use of a power outlet, or high wind, your recovery varies - it becomes 5 minutes with access to this recovery aid, 1 hour without the aid.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

You can focus at any time. The first use is safe. Roll 1d6 when you focus this way. If the result is lower than the number of times you used this method to focus this session, the power limitation of Power Reserve kicks in immediately.

Power Secret

Hi-Mi-Tsu! - Xellos, the Mysterious priest, Slayers

You have some secret that must not become known. A magical secret can be almost anything. A technological secret is a wavelength, passcode or other sensitive data that is easily used. It can be nonsense, such as a particular number or the name of some higher being or your own secret name. It can be some fact about you, such as that you are a woman, your exact age or that you are the descendant of Zeus. It cannot be something people would ordinarily say; people will not accidentally blurt out your secret unless the GM is using this as a plot device.

It is possible to find your secret through research or investigation, but this is always an important story development and should have its own dangers and drama. You might intuitively feel when someone is close to discovering your secret, which often leads to dramatic confrontations at the point of discovery.

Anyone who finds out your secret can use it to blackmail you and to gain dominance over you, as you cannot effectively use your powers against them. If your secret ever becomes common knowledge, you are doomed. But this should never happen if you play your cards right; the GM can invoke this as a plot device, but as long as you play along, no villain would waste the hook he has on you by publishing your secret.

The Naming and Power Secret methods are linked; naming magicians often have their own name as their secret.

Limitation

Anyone stating this secret in your presence negates your powers for the rest of the scene.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

Whenever your secret is in immediate danger of being discovered or used, you can focus. This means that an involving secret is much more useful than an obtuse one.

Power Signature

Your powers give hints about you. Maybe your fireballs have your personal rune emblazoned on them or your electronic remote-control signals are poorly shielded. This can be very dangerous in combination with methods like Astrology, Power Secret, or Naming.

The information contained in your power signature for enemies to learn must be fairly important, and the GM decides exactly what it is. If you or they use secrets or information in methods, such information is a good pick. Other possible secrets include embarrassing facts that give large bonuses on interactions stunts, blackmail material, codes that give access to your telephone, bank, or internet accounts, personal information about loved ones that can be kidnapped, or your True Name.

Limitation

Anyone who knows about you can recognize your powers by sight. Know stunts made against you by someone who has seen your powers or their results have a difficulty equal to your Mind or Know, whichever is lower. You never suffer power loss from this limitation, but might clue others in on how to give you Power Loss.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

You can focus anytime, but all enemies get to do a Analyze Weakness stunt against you as a trigger action when you do.

Power Supply

You are dependent on an external supply of energy to work your powers. This could be an electric grid, the universal web of power, the stars being right, the mystic field of force that connects all life, or the attention and good will of a supernatural entity or god. This method tends to be universal; either everyone of a tradition uses it, or no-one does. This makes the method suitable for campaigns where mysterious and remote events dwarf the efforts of the heroes.

Limitations

When you are out of contact or favor with your power supply, your powers don't work. There might be means for others to disrupt this flow of power, but mostly its something between you and your supplier. Unlike similar methods, this supply is either turned on or off at a remote location; it is not something you can carry an inventory of and use as needed, though there might be ways of getting around it.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

Whenever you have been out of supply, your focus sharpens and you have an easier time focusing as your powers come back to you. This free focus lasts for about as long as the power interruption, measured in real-world time; if you were out of power for half a session, you can automatically focus for the remainder of the session.

Power Words

You focus your power in exclamations, battle cries, and sharp yells. It is not enough to mumble an arcane formula; you shout the name of your power, berate your target, and otherwise make a nuisance of yourself expressing your power.

Limitation

You cannot use your powers silently. Your words of power need to be audible over your surroundings; in a noisy place your powers themselves might roar. When using Power Words but not focusing, it is not obvious what specific power you are using, only that you are using powers.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

You must shout out what Limit Break you intend to use. You can only use this specific limit break this round.

Props

You use tools in your power; a variety of gizmos, diagrams, books, wands, sigils, dried insects, eye of newt, incense and so on. Depending on your tradition, your props have a theme: the props of a technomage are distinctly different than those of an alchemist.

Limitation

You cannot use your power without your props. You need to resupply or build new props during downtime; this is not generally a hassle, but can make for nice cut scenes. In an emergency, you can usually whip up the prop for a specific power with a little scrounging and a few minutes of work.

Focus Condition

Basic Action

You can focus by using your props, but it is a basic action instead of a trigger action, and you cannot move while using this action - tough you can still move later on.

Using props is pretty obvious, and stunts can be used to make you lose your props and thus the focus.

Restraint

Physical activity can hinder mystical ability; energies that could have been channeled into the mystical are used for base physical body needs. By applying restraint, the distractions of the physical body are eliminated, which frees your power. For technological origins, the same can apply; nerves and brain capacity are re-routed from body control to power control.

Restraint in an extended sense can be considered costume as well. If you are a submissive you might also want the Power Submission limitation.

Limitation

You must be physically restrained in some way or your powers become weaker. You cannot use Limit Break powers when not bound. Being bound involves at least one of the conditions below. You must be restrained in such a way that you cannot quickly free yourself; it should take at least 15 minutes for you to get free on your own, someone else can free you with a stunt. Note that it is possible, even encouraged, to use powers to overcome the handicap of restraints.

When you use your powers, there is a risk you will become further restrained; on a Snakeyes roll when using powers you must accept Power Loss or roll on the restraint table. Restraints last at least a scene, and often for the rest of the session. Physical restrain in Action does not completely prevent a hero from action, they only impose handicaps that can be overcome. Unless otherwise indicated, roll 1d6 for a random restraint, adding +1 for each previous restraint.

  1. Gagging prevents mundane speech. Stymies all Charm and Presence checks.
  2. Handcuffing is when your hands are tied in front of you, but not so tightly as to make them completely unusable; you can still use one hand effectively, such as using weapons or tools of Small size or smaller.
  3. Hobbling indicates restrained legs, but not fixed to each other. It means you cannot move as part of a normal Basic Action, and can only move your normal move when you do a Full Move action or otherwise do an action that grants extra movement..
  4. Immobilized, stuck to something, alternatively on a short leash which prevents movement beyond one or two meters. If you are stuck to a creature whose Body is greater than yours, you are forced along as it moves, otherwise you are both immobilized unless you two cooperate.
  5. Bound Legs you fall prone and cannot stand unsupported, which prevents and hinders many actions as determined by the situation and stunt description. Your Move is reduced to 1. Swimming and flying creatures are entangled, with similar effects.
  6. Bound Arms prevent most physical manipulation and the use of weapons and implements. You can still use tackles and head butts for (Body +0) damage or a Tiny Ranged Weapon, but limited to Close range.
  7. Blinded restricts your awareness, giving you only a rough estimate of objects and creatures in a diameter equal to your Mind; you are insensitive to things beyond this range. Everyone has enough concealment to Sneak on you, and against creatures beyond your perception range, you have to use Reflexes rather than Recon for defense against Recon stunts.
  8. (or more) Hogtie A hogtied character cannot act physically and can only move one meter as a standard action; no movement is otherwise allowed. This also prevents all Defense actions.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

You can focus when bound, but if you are not fully restrained, there is a chance the process will backfire. Roll 1d6 when you use this power. If you currently lack the type of restraint indicated by the roll, you are either thus restrained, or the focus fails. Which of these happens can vary depending on tradition, outlook, availability of restrains and even sometimes personal choice.

Pyrotesse has hands and legs bound uses this power. Since she lacks some kinds of restraint, she rolls 1d6, rolling a 5, adding +2 for her two current restraints for a total of 7, which indicates blindfolding, which she lacks. Since she has no blindfold and it just doesn't make sense for the scene, she is not blindfolded and focusing fails. She just wasted a shot, but can immediately try again.

Talisman

You have some unique item you must have to work your power. Talismans are reasonably large and obvious, like a staff, diadem, dowsing pin, special hat, gizmo or whatever. Without it, you are powerless. Unlike props, this is one specific item. Your talisman is a signature item; it will not disappear unless there is some plot-driven reason for it to disappear, and customs officials and other bystanders will generally ignore it. But its function is always apparent to others of your tradition and to everyone once you start using it for obvious effects. Those in the know might try to take it away from you.

This focus can be either destructible or indestructible. If it is indestructible, it cannot be replaced; you MUST get your unique item back. If it is destructible, it is still tough and hard to destroy, but it can be damaged, and you can replace it.

It takes a Basic Action and a Know roll against your Dodge to identify a talisman for what it is, except when you use it to focus whereupon it becomes obvious.

Limitation

You suffer power loss when you are without your focus item.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus, Combo)

When your focus item is directly involved in a successful use of your power, such as if you strike with your staff or throw your power diadem, you can focus. You can even do this as a combo with your Limit Break if the Limit Break itself fulfills the condition. This involves a bit of risk; you call attention to your talisman and could potentially lose it.

Tantrism

Your power is fueled by sexuality, both your own and that of your targets.

Limitation

You must have regular sex to replenish your power. You must engage is some sexual activity each day (even if it is as modest as masturbation or sexual fantasies), and you must have a full-fleshed sexual encounter with a partner at least once a week.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

Whenever you manage to create sexual tension you can focus. If this is with a friend, it must be a sexual act or a noteworthy development in your relationship. If it is with an opponent, a successful sexually-themed stunt involving Charm or Presence is sufficient.

Trance

Your powers work best when you are in a trance, and you are aware even when asleep.

Limitation

When you use your powers, you enter a trance until your next shot comes up. You cannot use Trigger Actions while in this trance. You do not sleep. Instead you trance as above, and you can still act in this trance.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

You enter into a trance (as above) for the rest of the scene. You can break out of the trance trough conscious effort - a basic action.

Vow

You have taken an oath, and your power only works while you maintain this oath. Stricter vows are likely to interfere much more with your power, but also to grant many more opportunities to focus.

  • Vow against killing
  • Vow against violence
  • Vow of abstinence (from drugs, eating meat, or similar)
  • Vow of celibacy
  • Vow of fasting
  • Vow of forthrightness (no sneaking, approach problems head on)
  • Vow of poverty (entrust your upkeep to others, handle no valuables)
  • Vow of silence
  • Vow of truth (no lying or deliberate deception; silence is acceptable)

You can stand by and watch others breaking the vow with no consequences for you, but in this case you cannot use your adherence to the vow to focus (see below) unless there was some personal stake or advantage you gave up.

Limitation

You must not have broken your vow recently to practice power. Willfully breaking the vow negates your power for a session, or longer for plot reasons. Breaking it because of coercion or necessity (and this might be frequent in case of such things as fasting) means you cannot use your powers for a scene.

Focus Condition

Trigger Action (Focus)

When your vow makes you behave in a way that is irrational or causes a loss in the long or short term, you can focus. This applies even if just one of these three conditions are met; taking a short-term disadvantage might well work out to a long-term advantage, but it still allows you to focus.