Passive Trappings on Powers In Brave New Heroes (or, what about armor?)

Most power trappings are active ones; casting spells or manipulating kinetic forces, for example. With active trappings the character intentionally chooses to use the power. He rolls and adds the associated skill and then gets to flexibility craft his effect using modifiers. However, there is another type of trapping that behaves differently; passive trappings. Passive trappings are for continuous effects such as having a body of ice or ash, the ability to constantly regenerate, or having superhuman strength and speed.

Passive trappings don’t require intentional action, they generally operate continuously. They are not associated with a skill so they don’t get the benefit of a skill rating or a roll in their effect. Passive trappings operate all the time but their effects don’t vary, making them less flexible. A passive trapping is essentially a stand-alone effect.

A passive trapping can be one of three types: bonuses, consumables, or continuous effects.


Passive trappings can be simple bonuses such as +6 Strength. These bonuses might apply all the time, or only in certain states depending on the power’s aspects. Bonuses should generally be limited to affecting three skill trappings. Bonuses are a way to buy skills outside of the normal restrictions on buying skills. Bonuses are cumulative with the character’s skills, but be warned that bonuses are a part of a power, which means that they are vulnerable to being shutdown or otherwise manipulated through that power’s aspects.

Bonuses cost 1 point per +1. The table may decide that some kinds, bonuses to dodging, cost more. Following stunt guidelines.


These are extra stress marks and consequences.

Each extra stress mark costs 1 point. Extra Consequences cost 1 Minor, 2 Moderate, 3 Severe.

Continuous Effects

You can build any effect, combining mechanics and modifiers, and buy it as a passive trapping for 1 point per shift.

Such effects will operate continuously within the aspects of the powers.
If applicable, the effect of the power are applied only once per turn. For example, the Ice Man has a body of pure ice so cold that it hurts anyone who gets too close. Any character who stays within hand to hand range of the Ice Man will take damage once on each of their exchanges unless they move out of range.
Continuous effects can be cumulative where appropriate. A character with a 2 point continuous healing effect can accumulate healing shifts from one exchange to another and after 3 turns, accumulate enough shifts to heal a severe consequence by one degree.
In general, the exact effects of a passive trappings are set and can’t be changed, but there are instances where this might be appropriate. For example, Ivy takes a 3 point maneuver effect as a passive trapping defined as being constantly surrounded by an aura of spring-time. Wherever she goes her passive effect attempts to apply a maneuver to her environment but she can commonly choose what exactly the aspect will be with in the context of her surrounds and the focus of her attentions.

2 responses to “Passive Trappings on Powers In Brave New Heroes (or, what about armor?)

  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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