Monday, June 02, 2008

By request: Power Level and power

Mike asked about the Power Level feat folks have been seeing in the NPC write-ups.

Ask and you shall receive!

Actually, since the Power Level feat doesn't make a lot of sense on its own, I'm including a power as well.

First, here's a power.

Control Sound
You can mute or intensify sound.
Duration: Instantaneous
Range: 20 ft. times your power level
Effect: By letting loose a sonic scream you inflict 2d4 points + 1d4 points of sonic, non-lethal damage times your power level.

The target of this attack may make a Fortitude saving throw to reduce the damage by one-half (DC 15+ your power level).

The target of this attack must also make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15+ your power level) or be deafened for 1-4 rounds.

Although you can use this power with multi-attack, you cannot attack the same target with this power more than once per round.

Cloak of Silence: You gain a bonus to Stealth checks equal to twice your power level. The duration of this stunt is 1 round times your power level and the range is you.
Earsplitter: Your sonic attacks can inflict lethal damage.
Resist Sonic Attacks: You gain a bonus to saving throws against sonic attacks equal to your power level. The duration of any successful deafening attack is reduced by one-half. The duration of this stunt is permanent and the range is you.
Sonic Immunity (requires Resist Sonic Attacks): You gain Damage Reduction against sonic attacks equal to twice your power level. The duration of this stunt is permanent and the range is you.
Vibration Wave: You inflict 1d6 points of damage times your power level to any inanimate object (including robots and vehicles but excluding cybernetic characters).

Now here's the Power Level feat.

Power Level
The strength of your powers is determined by the number of times you have taken this feat.
Effect: The effects of this feat vary depending on the individual powers you have selected. See the power descriptions below for the effects of this feat.

One effect of this feat that does not vary between individuals is that it grants access to the Power Control skill, which is added to your permanent class skill list upon selecting this feat.

Special: You may select this feat more than once. Its effects stack.

So in effect, the Power Level feat takes the place of the power points. The number of times you have selected Power Level acts as the power level for all your powers. If you want a power at higher than this baseline level, you can apply limitations to it, such as the Device limitation on all of Iron Man's powers except his Superhuman Intelligence.

For another example, you can also look at the Blast power that I posted earlier.

Using the aforementioned Iron Man sample NPC as an example, he has selected the Power Level feat 10 times. This means his power level, for purposes of the Blast power, is a base of 10 (+1 for the Device limitation), meaning he inflicts 11d4 damage.

His power level feats also power all of his other powers as well. So his Superhuman Intelligence power grants him +10 Intelligence for a power level of 10, his Flight operates at power level 11 (because it has the Device limitation) and so forth.

This one little feat is really the lynchpin of the entire design. It removes power points, and it removes the need for a PC's origin to function like a race or as a balancing factor. Since there isn't any extra layer of complexity added (the power points), the super PC is using the same resources as all other PCs, he's just using them differently.


Walt said...

This is an interesting way to do it and it would seem as it cleans up a lot of book keeping along the way.

Any word on a "street" date yet?


Chuck said...

Yeah, at first I was going to have the Power Level feat grant 10 power points.

Get that? You'd spend the feat to get points, and THEN you'd spend the points.


As for street date, Im making good progress, Id say less than a month for sure.

mikelaff said...

cool - thanks.

mikelaff said...

Just a thought...
Since the Power Level feat is essentially where the uber-damage will come from in this system - - seems like you could categorize different campaign types by how many ranks you allow in that feat.

For example:
SHIELD agent campaign limits you to 3 to 4 levels in this feat.

Pulp hero campaign limtis you to 5 or 6 levels in this feat.

Default superhero setting has 7 to 10 levels.

I mention the agent level because that seems moderately popular for MM - at least there are a few produts and a reasonable level of forum discussion of people playing agents in a SHIELD like organization. Might just be a niche that's well represented on the MM forums I suppose.

mikelaff said...

in retrospect "street level" (batman, daredevil et al) might be a better name than "agent level" for the 3 to 4 levels in Power Level feat campaign

Chuck said...


It's like you're in the room with me!

I'll do a post about this so more folks see it.


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