Powers in Brave New Heroes – Effect


In a rough sense we might think of a power like this: trappings say what a power can do, aspects say how a power does it, and the effect says what a power just did. The effect of a power is what changes are wrought in the game by the shifts you scored.

The abstract mechanic of a trapping govern what effect a use of a power has, but there are a number of ancillary modifiers to an effect which are common across all or most of the possible abstract mechanics. These effect modifiers provide expanded reach and capabilities for the base effect of the mechanic.

The modifiers listed below are rather detailed but they tend to follow a simple pattern and if you are looking for speedy game play, or just can’t remember the exact values then go with the simple system.

1 shift – do something small
3 shifts – do something large
5 shifts – do something very large

Modifier Description
Area of Effect Extend the effect of a power to an entire area for 2 shifts per zone affected.
Usually the shape the zone determines the shape of the effect. Outside that the shape should be something simple like a platonic solid.
The manifestation may or may not allow for the shape of the effect to be altered while the effect is active. [though maybe for extra shifts you can.]
A character is not automatically immune to his own effects. [though maybe for extra shifts you can]
Armor Normal blocks are not cumulative with dodging. You can translate a block’s strength into an armor rating that is protect a character who fails to dodge or otherwise avoid an attack. Every 1 shift translates into a +1 armor rating.
[Armor might also have utility for mechanics other than block.]
Burnout The burnout modifier allows you to gain extra shifts for the use of a power but with the consequence that you won’t be able to use the power again for a period of time. This is more or less like taking a consequence for your power, and like a consequence, recovery has to be justified. This is usually relatively simple, but highly dependent on the manifestation of the power. In some cases it might be possible to speed the recovery of a power with some applicable skill. Repairing a jammed gun for example.
+2 shifts and the power can’t be used again for one scene after the recovery is justified.
+4 shifts and the power can’t be used again for a full session after recovery begins.
+6 shifts and the power can’t be used again for a scenario after the recovery begins.
Compound For powers with multiple trappings you could split the shifts of your effect between those trappings to create interesting combined effects.
Cumulative Under some conditions you can build up your effect over multiple rolls. Typically this can’t be done in a conflict situation.
Duration Extend the duration of the power’s effect by one extra exchange for one shift.
For 3 shifts you can make the effect last for a scene or longer but the entire effect must be attached to an appropriate aspect. The effect will last until some appropriate time for it to end, or some other character makes an appropriate maneuver to remove the aspect and so end the effect.
[Additional possibility would be adding shifts to give a long-term effect a stress track which can then be attacked, rather than simply being removed when it’s attached aspect is removed]
Investment You can accept stress and consequences to invest extra shifts into your effect. Or for some powers use the stress and consequences inflicted upon others.
Preparation or Delayed Effect Somewhat the opposite of duration, preparation is about taking extra time to build up an effect. Or having an effect that takes a while to come into effect.
For combat effects gain +1 shift for each extra exchange.
For out of combat effects gain +1 shift for each level up the time chart.
Quality Increase the difficulty to undo the effect. For every 1 shift of quality, the effect has a difficulty of 1 for other character’s to undo.
Range Extend the reach of a power.
0 shifts: 0 zones
1 shift: 1-2 zones
2 shifts: 3-4 zones
3 shifts: line of sight
Segmented If you’d like you can take your total effect and divide the shifts across multiple exchanges for a less powerful effect that will exist for longer then the current exchange.[this might get a +1 shift bonus]
Spread As an alternative to the indiscriminate nature of the area of effect modifier, you can split your shifts between multiple targets of your choice.
Subtly Hide the effect and the use of a power. Increase the difficulty for alertness and observation attempts to detect your power by one for one shift. This might also be used to hide the aspect to which a continuous effect is tied.
Weapon Trade some shifts for a weapon rating. +1 weapon rating per shift. A weapon rating for a single attack is not particularly useful because there’s no net increase in the stress inflicted. However the effect can be maintained for multiple exchanges with duration.
[Weapon might also have utility for mechanics other than attacking because it is especially an effect bonus for an action that is otherwise successful.]
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2 responses to “Powers in Brave New Heroes – Effect

  1. Pingback: Powers In Brave New Heroes – Basics « Brave New Heroes·

  2. Pingback: Building and Buying Powers in Brave New Heroes « Brave New Heroes·

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