Characters and Powers all have ratings of a 0, 1, 2, or 3.
All player characters will be defined by a Rating of 1, 2, or 3 during character creation. This will generally not change during a campaign. A character may only buy powers of his Rating or lower; however, any character may buy any Spec, regardless of level, so long as they meet its prerequisites.
Examples of characters
0-Gritty- Commissioner Gordon
Players and storytellers should decide at the beginning of the game which rating each character will have. Characters are limited to purchasing powers of their rating or lower, but lower rating characters will have more points to spend.
0. Gritty characters often have no business in a fight with more powerful characters, but often find themselves in one anyway. Still, other more powerful characters could hardly succeed without people to fetch their coffee, sell them their weapons, or against which they could fight.
1. Heroic characters do not have superpowers, but make up for this with advanced training. Their natural abilities are often well above average, but not preternaturally so. Most powers for heroic characters will have a coincidental or technological skin. Such characters tend to complement this with a wide array of Skills and Specs.
2. Superheroic characters are just that: superheroic. They can do things normal mortals only dream of doing. Still, they can prove all-too mortal if not careful. Most Superheroic characters will have a few powers, supported by a decent amount of skill training.
3. Godlike characters have such powers that they defy easy understanding by normal humans. Such characters may very well be immortal in some sense. Still, given their detachment from the rest of humanity and the ease with which their abilities often allow them to resolve confrontation, they tend to learn more slowly than others.
All Rating 1 and higher characters start with four Levels on the Damage Track. Certain beings, especially non-humans, may have more or less.
A character’s Stat Chart represents their innate raw ability. Each Stat will have a die type associated with it. A d6 is considered the average of human ability, d4 is below average, and d12 is considered the pinnacle of human achievement. Stats without the benefit of Skill training often are not terribly consistent, thus even the most talented individuals can fail easily and often without the proper training.
Each character has three aspects: Physical, Mental, and Social. Each of these will have two Stats: Might and Finesse
Might is generally used to affect or resist things through direct means, whether brute force, raw intelligence, or sheer force of personality. Might governs perceiving things reflexively without actively looking for them, remembering things, and Passive defenses, which are always in effect even if a character is unaware of an attack.
Finesse is generally used to affect or resist things through indirect means, whether quick reflexes, a sharp wit, or subterfuge. Finesse governs actively searching for something, perceptive examinations, and Active defenses, which are not useful versus attacks of which a character is not aware.
All characters start with a base d4 in each of the six Stats. During character creation, the player receives (13 – Character Rating) one-step upgrades. Each upgrade progresses the Stat one higher on the progression below. Upgrading from a d8 to a d10 costs two upgrades; upgrading from a d10 to a d12 costs three upgrades. Players may buy them higher w/ XP later.
Physical Mental Social
Might d4 d4 d4
Finesse d4 d4 d4
For reference, this is enough for a Rating 1 character to start with all of his stats at d8, or slightly above average, as player characters generally should be more impressive than the average person on the street.
These reflect the specific training and life experiences a character has undergone. The full skill list will vary considerably depending on the campaign; the GM should provide a comprehensive list of the skills needed for a given campaign at the start of character creation, highlighting the ones likely to be most important.
When buying skills, it is important to notate whether or not they are Useful in Combat at the time of purchase, as this will affect their cost. This is defined by the player, in conjunction with the GM, as a skill which may be used for attack or defense, though some skills are always purchased as if they were useful in combat. A skill normally used for combat provides academic knowledge but no skill when purchased as a non-combat skill. For example, non-combat Melee may represent skill in Yoga or Tai-Chi meditation. While useful for keeping in shape, such a skill would never help one in a fight. Non-Combat Ranged Attack would allow for forensics work in ballistics, or represent a hobbyist familiar with many different types of firearms, but would not help someone actually take a shot in combat.
Defensive skills, including Athletics, Resilience, and Resolve, are never used to Attack, and Ranged Combat Skills are normally never used for Defense. Melee may be used to calculate an Active defense in the form of a Parry. All are purchased as Combat Skills.
Social encounter skills are not purchased at the rate of Combat skills, though they may often be used in combat to negotiate or intimidate.
All skills start Untrained. At the first die upgrade, they start at d4. Each character starts with 30 – (Character Rating x2) skill upgrades. At the DM’s option, certain campaigns may raise or lower this starting total, particularly if the available skill list is larger or smaller. Fantasy-themed games may generally have fewer skills available, while modern and futuristic games might have more. Each
Upgrading from a d8 to a d10 costs two upgrades; upgrading from a d10 to a d12 costs three upgrades. Combat Skills cost one additional upgrade per die type.
Common Skill List:
Academics – This is an Area of Study. It may be purchased more than once. When purchasing, specify a type of academia: History, Theology, Literature, Occult, Early 21st Century Pop Culture, etc.
Athletics – Combat skill. Used to calculate Movement speed and throwing distance, as well as used as an Active defense with Physical Finesse to evade attacks.
Diplomacy – Social Encounter Skill
Expression – This is an Area of Study. It may be purchased more than once. Each time, specify a type of Expression: Singing, Dancing, A specific Musical Instrument, Writing, Oratory, etc.
Ranged Attack* – Combat Skill. Used with all ranged attacks. Not normally used for Defense.
Intimidation – Social Encounter Skill.
Medicine – While useful in Combat, not purchased as a Combat skill. See Damage Types for more information.
Melee* – Combat Skill. Useful for everything from Swords to Unarmed Attacks to telephone poles. May be used to Parry.
Perception – While useful in Combat, not Combat Skill. Used to avoid Surprise.
Resilience* – Combat Skill used to endure damage and environmental effects. Used with Physical Might to calculate a Passive defense.
Resolve* – Social encounter skill, used for Defense with Mental Might or Mental Finesse, and to defend against psychic attacks.
Science – This is an Area of Study. It may be purchased more than once. When purchasing, specify a type of scientific study: Biology, Geology, Physics, Engineering,
Stealth – Useful in Combat, but not a Combat Skill
Subterfuge – Social encounter skill. Can be used with a Finesse-based defense.
Tactics – Useful in Combat, but not a Combat Skill. Can often be used with Social Might or Finesse to Aid another’s attack in Combat.
Wield Power* – Combat Skill. All of a given character’s powers from the same source will normally use the same Wield Power skill. This skill may be purchased more than once. Each time, it governs powers from a different source.
- Denotes Combat Skill. (*) Denotes non-combat skill that may be purchased for combat for additional applications.
Experience Points (XP)
The character gains a number of Experience Points to spend on Specs, Powers, and further upgrades for his Stats and Skills. This XP total may vary depending on the needs of the Campaign and the starting desired skill level of the characters. Recommended Starting Skill Level XP:
75 – (Character Rating x 5)
Stat Die: New Maximum Die Result x3
Combat Skill Die: New Maximum Die Result x2
Non-Combat Skill Die: New Maximum Result
Spec: Rating x4
Power: (Rating x12) per Rank.
Power Mod: 6 per Rank of the power per point of mods.
Costs given for Stats and Skills are to upgrade a die by one type. Thus, a character with a d4 in a Stat would pay 18 points to upgrade it to a d6. Later, the character would pay 24 points to upgrade their d6 to a d8. A character buying a new skill would pay 4 or 8 points respectively to purchase a new d4 in a non-combat or combat skill, then later would pay 6 or 12 points respectively to upgrade their d4’s to d6’s.
Some specs are tiered, meaning a higher rating spec may have a lower rating spec as a prerequisite, requiring a character to progress through the specs in order from lowest to highest when purchasing them.
A power may only have as many Positive mods as would double its base unmodded cost. A power may have as many negative mods as are appropriate, but may not lower its cost to less than half its base unmodded cost.
At the end of every session, the GM will award a number of experience points to each player based on the following criteria. GM’s may adjust this amount, or add or subtract additional criteria, depending on the needs of the campaign.
- Showing up: 6 – Character Rating
- On-time +1
-In-character e-mails +1
-Moment of Genius +1
-Player MVP +1
-Learning Curve +1
Players spend the following amounts to purchase new traits for their characters. New traits are purchased during extended downtime, most often between sessions. Purchases should make sense, reflecting a character’s recent experiences and training he has recently undergone. The GM may refuse a certain purchase if it does not make sense. Players should make an effort to “telegraph” their future trait purchases through the actions of their characters, showing their character acquiring the life experiences to justify their improvement in a particular area. At the GM’s option, players may purchase a trait at a dramatically appropriate moment as well; this option makes particular sense within certain genre that make particular use of Powers.
A character may only upgrade any given Stat or Skill one die type per session.
At the GM’s Option, you may sell off traits which have not seen use in some time. Once per session at the START of that session, you may sell off one trait. You gain a number of experience points equal to the amount it would have cost to purchase that trait at the END of the session AFTER you sold off the trait, minus a 1 point surcharge.
You may add a Mod to an existing power, or buy off a negative one, simply by paying the difference. If adding a negative mod, you must do so at the START of a session. You then gain a number of experience points equal to the amount it would have cost to buy it off at the end of the session AFTER the one in which you acquired it, minus a 1 point surcharge.