Permanent powers that can be turned off

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Michael Tree
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:18 pm
Location: Wilmington, DE

Permanent powers that can be turned off

Post by Michael Tree »

Normally, non-permanent powers have a default of being off, and can be turned on. How would you create a power that is naturally on, but can be turned off.

For example, The Necromancer is a stylish ghostly magician and crusader for Undead-American rights. His natural state is that of Insubstantial 4 with the Innate power feat. However, with force of will he can make himself corporeal (duration: sustained).

Steve Kenson
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:20 am
Location: Freedom City, USA

Post by Steve Kenson »

I'd be inclined for simplicty's sake to treat that as a special case of sustained duration, where the power's default condition is "on" and the character has to concentrate to keep it "off."

So, in your example, the Necromancer has Insubstantial 4 (ghostly, Innate). He's normally incorporeal. If he concentrates, he can become solid, but any disruption to his concentration requires a Concentration check to remain solid.

Overall, the benefits and drawbacks largely even out. Although the Necromancer doesn't become solid when he's stunned or unconscious, a teammate also can't carry his unconscious (and incorporeal) form out of danger without an Affects Insubstantial ability, Necromancer may drop things he's carrying if his concentration falters, and so forth.

Actually, on further reflection, this would be a good power feat for a permanent power:

Controllable: You can turn a permanent duration power with this power feat off to a limited degree. Keeping the affected power "off" has a concentration duration (requiring a standard action each round). If your concentration lapses the power automatically turns back on. With two appications of this feat, you can turn the power off as a sustained duration. Anything further requires modifying the power's actual duration to Continuous.

This way, you pay a small premium for the ability, and characters lacking the feat can still do it as a power stunt (using extra effort to temporarily shut down a permanent power by concentrating fiercely).
Steve Kenson -
Green Ronin Publishing