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Freeform Power


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In a games like Mage the Awakening you can have a power that isn't exactly a delimited power from a list. That is, the power has a general constraint based on the fiction and some theme and your level of power, and may even have a constraint, but within that the effect isn't a specific power or spell.

For example, you might have access to the Death Sphere of magic, so you can make effects proportionate with your power level and they have to involve Death (decay, etc) but it's something you can kind of make up on the fly. And there's a risk, the weirder and more powerful the effect the more likely it is it will blow back on you.

Is there a way to simulate that in Revolution D100

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Like all options aimed at tuning the level of crunch you wish to introduce in your game, it can be implemented in Revolution D100.

There are several ways you can freeform your powers. The first is ritual casting of a power which has a deterministic effects in Combat. There are some examples of this in the superhero package and there will be more examples in Wind on the Steppes 2.

Another way is that of allowing freeform Power Traits, roughly corresponding to Ars Magica keywords. These Traits can be used as support, or even to roll for effect, in Conflicts, and in Basic Combat. If you really need a numeric limit to be in place, the rules for the different power systems already provide several examples about how to calculate it: channelling, holiness, focusing etc.

The thing becomes a bit tricky if you wish to have freeform powers, and use them in Advanced Combat like the standard powers. MIght, Range, number of Targets, a possible characteristics to Overcome, all of this should be determined on the fly. You can use the guidelines provided for Divine Magic to make up your powers during play, but I do not recommend this solution.

In a few words: it is easily done, but only if your game is prevalently based on generic Conflicts and Basic Combat.


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I suppose it really depends on how loose or tight your definitions of the power are.

If you have a really tight definition then Freeform Powers are fairly easy to use, as they just become another Power.

If you have a loose definition then Freeform powers can present challenges to the Narrator, as Paolo has mentioned, with things being worked out on the fly.

So, for example, the Death Sphere that Archivist mentiones. You could say that the Death Sphere causes damage to any enemy within it, that means you can use Might, Range and Targets to work out how much damage and to how many people. Alternatively, the Death Sphere might have variable effects, allowing you to layer other Powers into it, so you could use a Cantrip against one target, or an Arcane spell against another and so on, this would be more flexible but more difficult to manage.

Personally, I prefer looser definitions of powers and abilities, that way players can use them in more creative ways.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 


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