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Stat This: Time Fugue (Super Power)


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How would you describe or otherwise stat an ability like "Time Fugue" (name lifted from "Wild Talents" and "GODLIKE")? Like this guy. :D

Time Fugue: By manipulating time, a superpowered individual with this ability can slow down objects to a standstill. This ability cannot be used to cause damage in any way.

Roll D100 and let the percentiles sort them out.

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Someone published a "Time Wizard" supplement a while ago. I'd have to look through my stuff at home to find a reference. IIRC abilities (spells in this case) slowly escalated from minor precognition (bonus to attacks and stuff) to faster movement, to greater power.

The balance is really ticklish. One of the characters in my game is looking for a Time Rune, and I'm hoping that the player knows that he'll never find it, 'cause as the GM, I'm pretty clear he won't find it (except maybe in one of the climax scenes).

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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As I understand it, "Time Fugue", as described, is like "Time Stop" from That Other Game: the world is temporarly frozen, while the character can take extra actions.

I'm not sure of the power cost or the point cost, but one technique to avoid abuse is to regard the character's time frame as a bubble around him. Touching an object pulls that object into his time frame, and releasing it puts it back into "frozen time". So, for example, he could fire an arrow (or a gun), but the shot wouldn't be resolved until time unfroze again. (To prevent point-blank shots, perhaps the time bubble has a radius of 3m/1yd/one hex) By extension, a physical attack would pull the target into his time frame ... and the opponent would then get to counter-attack.

Perhaps the Fugue is limited to a specific area, rather than to the individual. In that case, he can take any action that doesn't involve moving from that spot. The moment he does, the fugue ends. That would eliminate the possibility of walking over to someone frozen, and capping them.

Or maybe "freezing" time is too drastic. From an external point of view, the Time-Fugued individual might be blurred, perhaps with several "selves" super-imposed on each other during that eternal second ... but an observer could still see an attack coming his way, and take evasive manoevers.

Or maybe we stick to the letter of the power: any attack directed at another person or thing ends the fugue. Why that would be so I don't know ... but time is a ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.

Note that That Other Game, Fourth Edition, reduces "Time Stop" to extra actions a round, so that may be the way to handle it ... with an asymptotic power cost for each action taken while the world is "stopped".

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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While the trappings differ, Time Fugue is essentially super speed. So I would describe exactly so, but would add some limitations, such as requiring a full round of concentration to activate.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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I've seen it handled in a few games (Aberrant, Continuum, DC Heroes, etc.) and they're a good model for how to do it without unbalancing things. I haven't looked at 4E specifically, mainly because I'm uninterested in generic fantasy.

Here's how I'd handle it (reflecting some of the suggestions above):

It's absurdly expensive. Like 100 power points per level. Each level lets you "remove" your SIZ from the natural flow of time.

It costs an absurd amount to utilize. Like 20 power points per activation, per round of use. The range is your POW in meters from where you first activated the power. Go beyond that, your body readjusts to the normal flow of time.

It lasts as long as you've got power points to fuel it, or ends at the end of a combat round if you don't spend any more power points on it.

To do anything funky while the power is in effect, you've got to make an Idea roll to maintain concentration - it might be a Difficult roll if your action is really elaborate.

It's slightly more difficult to manipulate things while you're in time stop mode... perhaps for any resistance rolls, everything's SIZ is doubled (purely in terms of mass). Or it has a STR added to it based on any momentum and/or kinetic energy it may have stored (so it's not so easy to wrench a bullet out of someone's path).

Anything that leaves your own "radius" loses its kinetic force and freezes in time, and actually loses its momentum when you switch back to real time. So if you fired a gun, it would go as far as the end of the barrel and just hang there... and when you switched back, it would fall to the ground. (Yeah, the science on that one is complete hogwash.)

You could, however, wallop anyone as much as you'd like with melee weaponry. Having it "break on attack" is too inexplicable - aside from the fundamental psychological difference between attacking someone and manipulating something, there's little other than "the GM said so" as a reason to enforce that.

If you want to shoot someone... stop time, walk up to them, put the barrel of your weapon at point-blank range, end the time fugue, and pull the trigger.

I'd definitely be a stickler for anything that seems completely silly, like the Tomb Raider scene of "turning a time-stopped knife around in midair so it flies back to the guy who threw it". Make sure everyone knows the difference between momentum and kinetic energy.

Edited by Jason Durall
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I remember Gamma World had this as a mutation, I'll need to research and see how they handled it.

If I remember right, Gamma World's "Temporal Fugue" instead made duplicates of yourself by pulling copies out of the time stream. But it has been a while since I read it and this would have been 1st and 2nd edition, it may be different now.

Rod

Join my Mythras/RuneQuest 6: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RQCF/info

"D100 - Exactly 5 times better than D20"

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Someone published a "Time Wizard" supplement a while ago.

Steve

Anything that needs a whole supplement to itself seems like it is just asking for trouble and should be a no no.

A bit like fortune telling (seeing the future), it has to be too vague as to have any meaning opr it is far too potent.

"You will meet a tall dark stranger." takes on a whole new meaning with trolls in the game...

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