Power Rules (Action)
|Templates for Action|
Powers are a framework for special effects in Action. Almost anything action-related can be done with the power rules.
Power use is divided int two main parts, power schticks and traditions. Power schticks are the actual powers, and define what you can do. Tradition define how you learned the power, what the source of your power is, what skills you use your powers with, and the conditions when your powers will be unusually weak or powerful. It is tempting to ignore tradition and focus on schticks, but doing so leaves you with only the skeleton of true power; tradition is the meat and bones that bring powers alive.
All power users need a Tradition, a framework for their powers. Tradition describes the difference between a primitive shaman calling spirits to cause his enemies to combust and a cyborg using a flame projector for the same purpose. Traditions also set powers off from other Schticks.
Traditions are one of the main tools used to build a world. Your GM probably has some traditions of magic for you to choose from. In some cases, you might be allowed to create your own tradition under heavy GM supervision, but generally you have to select an existing tradition to join. There might be variant traditions, tough, and not everyone in a tradition uses exactly the same methods.
Being part of a tradition often gives you a place in the world; allies and enemies shared by everyone in your traditions, or feuds between the different clans inside your tradition. And it is usually possible to break away from a tradition and become a rogue, which of course has its own consequences - some traditions let their rogues go while others chase them down and still others keep some kind of insurance they can use to control you later in the game.
Each tradition has a host of lore, giving it a place in the history of its world. Allies and enemies, phobias and favorites help flesh out the tradition and make it come alive. But when push comes to shove, it is the powers and how they work that needs to be defined, and all traditions use these rules to do that.
The origin describes the source of your powers. Each origin has many separate traditions and naturally there are border cases where one origin intersects another, but in general, each power derives from one origin. Origins donöät have all that much of an effect in Action except if the world suffers from [Divide]. They are mostly for flavor.
Each origin is also a Form, and this is where the main difference between the origins lie. Each origin form offers Meta Powers that affect how other powers work. Each origin does so in its own unique fashion, but it is possible to combine origins to gain access to more Meta Powers. The forms relating to origins are sometimes called metaforms because have powers that modify the effects of other powers.
Some worlds suffer from Origin Divide and in such a case, each character must decide where they stand in relation to this divide.
Tradition does not change powers directly - a fire ball is a fire ball regardless of if its caused by spirits or chemicals. Rather, the traditions are related to methods, that in turn influence how you use powers. Methods are the game effect of traditions. A tradition generally has one to four Methods, and it is the Methods, interpreted against the overall background of your tradition, that measures when you are powerless and when you are extra strong.
Each Methodhas a specified limitation and focus condition. The limitation causes you to lose your power under certain circumstances; the focus condition allows you to focus to use limit breaks, your strongest powers. These situations are often related, which means that a common limitation generally balances a common focus condition.
The use of methods can be modified by some Mind schticks.
This is how the tradition uses its powers, and what powers it can access. Some traditions teach many many powers, others are restricted to certain forms or techniques, others teach just a few, or forbid the teaching of certain powers completely. Unless there is a Method forbidding the use of certain powers, all such limitations are social ones - they tradition does not know or forbids the use of certain powers, but you can still use them if you manage to get them somehow. This might force you to become a renegade or form your own clan, but it is possible to do.