Powers and Supernatural Abilities

There are two fundamental power systems available:

  1. The freeform narrative Power/Weakness system
  2. The formal structured skill/feat based systems

Which systems, if any, are available to player characters, will be based on the GMs decision for the campaign setting. The narrative system is recommended for Comic Book type capaigns, Superheros, Mythilogical Heroes, Cartoon characters, or even pulpy noir where the powers and weaknesses might be more subtle. This system can be very difficult to balance for novice GMs. The structured system is better for epic fantasy, supernatural investigation or secret arcana type campaigns. Settings where it needs to feel like the supernatural follows rules or many characters do not have supernatural abilities.

The systems could even work together well, as long as the weaknesses properly balance the powers. This could allow a sorceror character in a superhero game to have the richer experience of the deeper spell system while being along side characters with abstract flexible powers. Normally a single character should not be able to combine both power systems. A GM may allow this with the addition of maybe an extra weakness or getting a feat that grants them access to the narrative power/weakness.

Structured Powers

Supernatural abilities can be aquired using the Magic, Psionics, Pacts and Karma rules. These systems are best if the GM wants to create a more formal feeling to the way powers work or provide a small taste of power. Such as the powers a mystical martial arts character might have. or a mystical society of space knights. Where training and advancement are a key part of the game.

There are two primary types of abilities: Powers and Effects.


Powers have a broad scope of effect that become more powerful as the character gets more ability. Powers are usually associate with psionics, granted abilties from a supernatural pact or karma abilities. Feats usually underlie the rules for powers.


Effects are tightly defined and have a particular effect that does not scale in any way. Effects are usually associate with spells or single purpose items. Skills or crafting rules usually apply effects.

Narrative Powers

This is particularly good for comic book superhero type games where powers should be loosely defined open to interpretation and balanced against weaknesses. This system does require a good amount of GM intervention, but it is a lot of fun. Choose a power and a counter balancing weakness, GM discretion. Choose a starting number for the power less than 20, GM discretion. Your weakness starts at the same level. This number represents how effective your power/weakness is when you try to use your power add this value to 1d20 to determine effectiveness, 20 should allow normal success. GM's when a weakness may come into play make the same roll with the weakness number, if it gets 20 or higher the weakness applies. The weakness can make aid another checks or roll off against the character if needed as well, GM discretion. The maximum for a power is not based on level. A character can have a set of related "sub-powers" form an overall power, but must have balancing "sub-weakness" for each. All of these would use the same common Power or Weakness level. It is heavily upto the GM to make sure that the relative power and weakness levels are balanced between the players. Remember the more a character uses his power the more his weakness should come into play.


Power Weakness
Blast Attack Device needed to contain power
Fire Form Fire Based
Flight Oxygen Deprivation Weakness
Heat Shield Sets things on fire
Blast attack Water
Paragon Hero Alien Nature
Flight Magic
Invulnerabity Obvious weakspot
Super Strength Certain colors
Sorcery Arcane Procedures
Force shield Device needed to use power(magic wand)
Magic missle Needs hands free to use powers
Reveal Truth Needs to talk to use powers
Flight Owe Demon God a couple favors
Banishment Owe another Demon God a couple favors
Hypnotism Eerie presense
Amazing Detective Overconfidant
No Weakness No Power

How might an Energy Blast work?

To hit: Dex + WU: Thrown + Power vs normal dodge

Damage: 0 HED (plus normal damage mod and hit excess)

Range: Throw + Power

Narrative Power Advancement

The character has a new stat PWD (Power Weakness Difference). To raise the PWD one point costs the new level of the PWD. Every time the PWD goes up the character can either drop their weakness a point or raise their power a point. PWD cannot be higher than half the character's level.

So a 6th level character could raise there PWD from 2 to 3 for 3 IP. This would then allow them to raise their power or lower there weakness so that the difference between them was 3.