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Hello fellow gamers!

I have uploaded my first contribution to BRP Central. It is a document entitled Unified Powers, and can be found here http://basicroleplaying.org/files/file/516-brp-unified-powers/

Unified Powers was born out of a desire to have all powers in one place. I've played GURPS. I've played Savage Worlds. I like the way they do powers, but I prefer BRP/ D100 as a system. I want my players (and myself as a GM) to have as many options available for powering characters, and I feel that the different power categories with separate spells/powers/etc is too confining for my tastes. In Unified Powers, powered characters choose a 'Power Origin', a ruleset that governs how their powers work systemically and narratively in the game. Then they choose their powers from a generic list, flavor it all to fit the game, and voila! Your [wizard, sorcerer, priest, psi, super] is ready to go.

Here is how I have set up my Power Origins, in quick bullet point format:

WIZARDRY (Rote casting of magical formulae to create mystical effects.)
-Moderate amount of starting Spells (INT/2)
-Fast power progression: Buy a new spell with Experience (EXP) = PP Cost for one level.
-Very skill dependent; Powers are split across 5 different skills (Spell Colleges) with an occupation required.
-Access to a versatile craft skill that greatly expands the wizard's power and abilities (enables wizard to make staves, familiars, and scrolls).
-Can increase skill percentile by increasing casting time.
-Can cast spells silently with extra PP cost and successful simultaneous Stealth roll.

SORCERY (Fantastic manipulation of reality through improvisatory enchantments.)
-Lesser amount of starting spells (INT levels of spells)
-Moderate power progression: Buy a new level with EXP = PP Cost
-One skill (Sorcery), with disastrous fumble results. Armor penalizes skill.
-Metamagic can alter the statistics (targets, range, damage, duration) or link spells.
-Sorcerers can weave Power points into spell. Safely done with time, extremely risky if rushed.

DIVINE MAGIC (Channeling the power of a deity into the world.)
-Vast amount of starting powers, but limited PP to use (Deity Alignment = PP Cost limit)
-Slow power progression: Increase Alignment or gain further blessings.
-Less skill dependent: Faithcasting casts the powers, Knowledge (Religion) has supportive roles.
-Blessing: a free power gifted by the deity that fits the individual cleric's calling.
-Requires attention to the tenets of his faith for cleric to retain his powers.

PSIONICS (Unlocking hidden powers of the mind.)
-Small amount of starting powers (POW/5)
-Expensive power progression: EXP cost = 5x Power Point cost of new power.
-Skill dependent: Powers split across 3 Psionic categories.
-Higher skill means greater Power Point efficiency. Can further extend Power Points by Rending (1 HP = 1 PP)
-No limit to power level except Power Points available.

SUPER POWERS (Extraordinary abilities from a myriad of sources.)
-Moderate starting powers: Point-based budget from highest Characteristic to buy powers per level at outset. Power modifiers can increase budget.
-Laterally increasing cost to upgrade powers. New powers typically unavailable.
-Generally not skill nor Power Point dependent.
-Power Stunts enable super to use powers in creative ways and temporarily mirror effects of other powers. Requires Power Points.

 

Unified Powers is a draft, and comments/ideas are welcome.

Edited by Akerbakk
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The idea is good and helpful for game writers (I wished I had something like this available). Anyway many BRP powers from the different lists look quite the same and the rest could be ported to the other lists, as you did.

They are doing something similar with Revolution D100.

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On 11/1/2015, 9:05:06, Zit said:

They are doing something similar with Revolution D100.

I am eager to see their take on powers. I've liked a lot of what I have seen on the crowdfunding site.

Any feedback or ideas me to consider for Unified Powers?

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On 11/5/2015, 1:15:23, ORtrail said:

Mutations, like for a Gamma World campaign?  Or would a combination of Psionics and Super Powers be enough to cover it? 

Hmm... on the surface, I think mutations could be built using Super Powers - the key element that I see missing is the randomness of mutation.

Until someone comes up with a better idea, I think the best way to do this would be to roll on the Mutation Summary chart (BGB p. 105) and model the Super Powers after what you roll. Adverse Mutations could be powers such as Diminish or Hindrance re-framed as passive effects - depending on the setting they can give bonuses to the Power Budget or just be handled as "yeah man, tough luck!" with no reciprocal benefit.

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Hey all - I uploaded a new version of BRP UP.

No huge and sweeping changes - just clarifications, a few added powers, some revisions here and there, and I updated all of it to support the d100 homebrew I use, which is an amalgam of OQ & BRP with some FATE elements thrown in.

Cheers!

It can be found here: 

 

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Hey all, I just dropped v1.2

For those of you interested in rolling on random charts for gaining super powers, you can now find them in BRP UP. Hope this makes gaming more fun at your table.

 

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Going on most superhero comics, I think superpowers and mutations are largely entwined with each other. I always felt it was a mistake to separate the two in the BRP rules actually. Indeed, I felt they needed to chose one or the other in the Magic/Sorcery split too actually.

 

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2 hours ago, TrippyHippy said:

Going on most superhero comics, I think superpowers and mutations are largely entwined with each other. I always felt it was a mistake to separate the two in the BRP rules actually. Indeed, I felt they needed to chose one or the other in the Magic/Sorcery split too actually.

 

Going on superhero comics, sure.  But that isn't the only metric to go on... as noted above, Gamma World explicitly uses "mutations," but has no "superpowers."  Sci-fi in general prefers at least the veneer of science that is "mutation" vs "superpower"...

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4 hours ago, TrippyHippy said:

 Indeed, I felt they needed to chose one or the other in the Magic/Sorcery split too actually.

 

Depends on your definitions of the two. Personally, and this goes all the way back to Stormbringer 3rd edition, I've always taken Sorcery as "dealing with supernatural entities", elementals, demons and all the way up to the gods themselves, while Magic aligns with the way @g33k defines it. It takes different mindsets (in character) to manipulate natural energies around you (Magic) versus risking your soul dealing with demons (Sorcery). 

But then, this is only my opinion, speaking as an old f*rt.

Colin

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22 hours ago, g33k said:

Going on superhero comics, sure.  But that isn't the only metric to go on... as noted above, Gamma World explicitly uses "mutations," but has no "superpowers."  Sci-fi in general prefers at least the veneer of science that is "mutation" vs "superpower"...

Well, that's the entire X-Men series discounted then...

Seriously though, in mechanical terms the only difference between Mutations and Superpowers in BRP lies in the point that mutations include negative effects as well as positive. If it were me, I'd simply make a universal advantages/disadvantages style system and integrate the whole into one.

 

21 hours ago, ColinBrett said:

Depends on your definitions of the two. Personally, and this goes all the way back to Stormbringer 3rd edition, I've always taken Sorcery as "dealing with supernatural entities", elementals, demons and all the way up to the gods themselves, while Magic aligns with the way @g33k defines it. It takes different mindsets (in character) to manipulate natural energies around you (Magic) versus risking your soul dealing with demons (Sorcery). 

Ditto Magic/Sorcery, noting that RQ manages to divide magic systems on a genuinely philosophical level, whereas the differences in BRP are mainly arbitrary mechanical differences that we, as players, then invent narrative reasons for separation.  There are lots of ways that magic systems can be done, but for me it's a design flaw in BRP core that it's so disparately pick and mix. I'd prefer a more integrated holistic approach to powers in the core rules, generally, with more alternative options in supplements and specific settings. This may be just me of course. 

 

 

Edited by TrippyHippy
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13 hours ago, TrippyHippy said:

...whereas the differences in BRP are mainly arbitrary mechanical differences that we, as players, then invent narrative reasons for separation.  There are lots of ways that magic systems can be done, but for me it's a design flaw in BRP core that it's so disparately pick and mix. I'd prefer a more integrated holistic approach to powers in the core rules, generally, with more alternative options in supplements and specific settings. This may be just me of course. 

Well said! That is what inspired me to work out BRP Unified Powers in the first place. That, and to reduce the amount of literature to sift through when creating and powering a character.

I've successfully used UP in Star Wars, Vampire the Requiem, and Iron Kingdoms adaptations to BRP. In each, minor tweaks were needed to get the flavor of each setting...about a page for each defining HOW powers work within the setting (usually hodgepodged from existing origins- for example, Jedi are Psis with bits of the Divine Magic rules slotted in) with a list of powers available to the characters. Pretty easy prep in my book.

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Isn't Blast really overpriced when compared to Energy Control ? I mean, the second basically allows you to cast an effect similar to Blast at will during POW Minutes, at no cost. Sure, Blast has "enhancements", and it can create energy out of thin air, while Energy Control can't, but is it worth 3 MP/d6 ?

By the way, it seems to me your page references are all wrong.

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On 5/17/2016 at 5:15 AM, Mugen said:

Isn't Blast really overpriced when compared to Energy Control ? I mean, the second basically allows you to cast an effect similar to Blast at will during POW Minutes, at no cost. Sure, Blast has "enhancements", and it can create energy out of thin air, while Energy Control can't, but is it worth 3 MP/d6 ?

By the way, it seems to me your page references are all wrong.

Blast has a range advantage over Energy Control. I think that was my justification. I struggled over that very issue when I started compiling this project. I'm open to suggestions to fix. I'd like to avoid reducing PP cost to keep in line with other offensive powers.

Thanks for the catch on the page numbers. I'll upload a corrected version today.

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How often do you want a GM to set out that either only one power category actually exists in the campaign, or no chartacter can take powers out of more than one category?

In RQ3, it seemed like everyone knew at least a little Spirit Magic (heck, peasants cast spells like Bladesharp on their implements to make plowing more effricient) and if you got high enough in your cult heirarchy you learned a Divine spell that was powerful and nigh-automolatic but costy you a permanent POW expenditure to cast (so it is rarely used). Sorcery comes along and attempts to provide secular magic, but I'm not remembering whether knowing Sorcery meant you couldn't use Spirit Magic spells anymore. My memory of RQ3 is incomplete at best.

I would think that in a supers campaign Superpowers would be about it -- just with different flavoring. Dr. Strange's eldritch bolts and Cyclops' eye-beams do the same thing (Blast) but feel different. So is there a reason to model Dr Strange with a different power structure?

 

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