Customizing Powers

One of the primary goals of the Beyonder system is the complete customizability of your character. You can tell whatever story you want and have it supported by the rules, not dictated by them. We have built nearly 500 premade Powers for you to start with, but feel free to make your own or add to ours.  

Your character’s Powers are a great example of the customizability available to you.  All of the Ten Races are Channels, the elite few born with the innate ability to directly manipulate the six Energies.  What’s more, your character has joined one of the six Guilds, which train Channels in the scientific study of their Energy.  The Guilds have already created hundreds of Powers.  They teach you how to channel them, and also how to modify them or invent your own.  They have developed a simple, highly standardized process for doing this to fit your specific needs.   

Following is an in-depth explanation of how to make your own Power.  Don’t worry if it sounds too technical —  the whole thing is automated on the Beyonder website (currently in beta mode).  You might want to create a Power, either by hand or using the system, as you read through this.

Powers have several qualities that you can customize including Energy, Base Effect, Magnitude, Range, Target, Duration, Medium, and Medium Effect.  Each is discussed in detail below.

1) Every Power channels one or more Energies.  The first step in making a Power is to decide which Energy (or Energies) you want to include in your Power.  You can select any Energy in which your character has one or more Barriers.  If you have only one Energy that is Barrier 1 or greater, then you can select only that Energy.  However, if you are Barrier 1 or greater, in more than one Energy, then you may select any one or more of these Energies.

2) Once you have chosen the Energy for your Power, you need to choose a Base Effect (or several Base Effects if you want to get fancy).  Each Energy has its own list of Base Effects, which includes a description of different degrees of success on the roll in the Minor/Moderate/Major/Complete format.  For example, the Base Effect might be “Deal target animated corpse 2/5/11/23 damage” or “Decrease gravity’s effect for target adding +1/+3/+6/+10 to Athletics Checks to jump and any other Checks the Moderator deems appropriate.”  Each Base Effect has a level that will determine the starting level of your Power.

3) Once you have a Base Effect, you can increase the level of your Power by changing the various attributes of that Power.  Generally speaking, the higher the level of the Power, the stronger the effect.  The attributes you can modify are Magnitude (the bonus to your roll); Range (how far away your target must be); Target (how many targets your Power can affect or the area it can cover); and Duration (how long the Effect lasts).  Magnitude starts at +0, Range starts at personal, Target starts at individual, and Duration starts at instantaneous.

Increasing your Magnitude is simple: it can be increased by +1 by increasing the level of the Power by +1.  This means that your Power is more likely to work on a given target.  The other attributes increase by steps.  For example, Duration can go from Instantaneous, to 5 minutes, to 1 hour, to 1 day, to 1 week, to 1 month, to 1 year, and finally to permanent.  Usually each step increases the level of the Power by +2.

There is one special case.  Each Energy has one attribute that it has trouble controlling called its Weak Attribute, which means that the first increase of that attribute costs +4.  The weak attribute of Emotion and Body is Range, of Mental and Spirit Energy is Target; of Physic and Shadow Energy is Duration.  For example, changing a Physic Power from a Duration of Instantaneous to 5 minutes costs +4 levels, but every step after that costs +2 levels.

4) Now you’ve got a Power with a bunch of attributes — but what makes your Power different from any other Power?  Each Power has a Medium through which it manifests.  There are six standard Media for each Energy: For example, the Media for Physic are Electricity, Force, Light, Matter, Heat, and Space.  You can have the exact same Base Effect and attributes with a different Medium, which creates a totally different feel.  Imagine the difference between an explosive ball of fire (Heat Medium), as compared to a shockwave (Force Medium), or a burst of lightning (Electricity Medium).  

Not enough choices for you?  You can chose an Exotic Medium which allows you to make up an additional Medium, at the discretion of your Moderator.   Maybe you want the Sound Medium for Physic Powers because your character is based around that theme.

5) But wait — there’s more.  You can add an extra side effect, called a Medium Effect.  This one is totally up to you to invent with the guidance of your Moderator.  It can modify the level by up to +/- 3 levels depending on how significant it is.  An increased level indicates that it is a good quality, whereas a decrease indicates a shortcoming.  For example, a burst of lightning could have a Medium Effect that does +1 damage to a target if they are wearing metal armor.  On the other hand, it could have an Effect that makes you lose control of the Target and will randomly target metal objects within range.  There is no limit to what this effect can be, as long as your Moderator feels it is appropriate.

6) Now you can add a few final touches to your Power.  Give it a name and some flavor text (a description, usually with a little in-game quote).  For example, there is a Mystic Power called Hinder Undead that gives Undead creatures a penalty to all actions; its flavor text says, “You’ve got to know how to deal with the undead.  My solution: slow them down while you run.”

Depending on the choices you made, your Power will be given a level.  If you made it using our online system it will be calculated for you, otherwise just take the Base Effect’s level and add all the modifications you chose.  The level of the Power and your character’s Barrier will determine how long it takes the Power to activate.  For example, for a Barrier 4 character can use up to a Level 2 Power as a Free Action, Level 3 in 0-m, Level 5 in 1-m, Level 11 in 2-m, Level 14 in 3-m, Level 17 in 4-m, Level 23 in 5-m, and Level 26 in 6-m. Powers above Level 26 are too complex for Barrier 4 characters.

That’s all there is to it.  It may seem like a lot, but if you make a Power or two you’ll see how easy it is, especially using the online system.  You simply adjust each quality to your liking and come out with the perfect Power for your character. 

Please feel free to post your Power on the Beyonder website and share it with other players.  It’s up to you, the players, to guide the world of Beyonder to fit your imagination. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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