5647 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

DC Heroes RPG – New Rules – Powers – A to G

Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


As per our design philosophy (almost) all of these were created since we needed them to model published characters (usually from super-hero comics). One day in the unknownable future we may have time to add material designed for gameplay reasons, though.

Index for part 1

The rest is in the second part of the New Powers for DC Heroes RPG article.

Special note – Defensive Powers stacking

Commenter: Ray Winninger
Helper(s): KalEl el Vigilante, Mike Winkler

“When I wrote the 2nd Edition rules (which are essentially the same as the 3rd Edition rules) my intent was that multiple powers that *add* their APs to AV, EV, OV or RV don’t “stack.”

“In other words, a character with APs of both Force Field and Force Shield can add only one of those powers to his RV, not both. That’s certainly the way I’d run it if I was GMing. If we had seen this problem crop up frequently in playtesting I would have written it into the rules. Additive powers are already a little dicey – allowing multiple adds runs too much risk of abuse.”

Mr. Winninger added that he would apply the same rule to multiple characters stacking their Powers. For example, if a character projected Force Field to protect another character with Skin Armor, the other character would use the higher of the applicable Powers rather than both.


As a more forgiving alternative suggested by KalEl and Mike Winkler, the GM can mitigate abuse by adding the highest applicable Power normally and then adding the others using AP math.

For example, a character with BODY 10, Flame Immunity: 08, Force Field (Self Only): 05, and Skin Armor: 07 might have :

  • An RV of 18 versus a punch (BODY 10 + Skin Armor: 07 + 1 AP for Force Field).
  • An RV of 15 versus most energy attacks (BODY 10 + Force Field: 05).
  • An RV of 19 versus heat-based attacks (BODY 10 + Flame Immunity: 08 + 1 AP for Force Field).


Author: Peter S Piispanen and additional unknown author
Helper(s): John Colagioia, Roy Cowan, Eric Langendorff, Michael A. Ficklin, Adam Fuqua, Jackson.
Mental Power
Link: INT
Range: Special
Type: Auto/Dice
Base Cost: 350
Factor Cost: 10

Acuity grants a Character every form of extra-sensory perception and information-gathering possible. The Character may mimic any Power used to gain information, or divide his/her APs of Acuity among several Powers. No use of Acuity may have a physical effect, or any effect other than the transfer of information to the Character using it.

This Power may represent several different phenomena. A Character using Acuity may have some blanket form of extra-sensory awareness and thus not actually ’see‘ through walls or ’hear‘ distant conversations, but just ’knows’ what is behind said wall and what the conversation was about.

They thus do not have any single mimicked ability, but instead an intuition of what is occurring.

Acuity may also represent a panoply of different perceptual abilities used in tandem, such as the vaguely-defined sensors often featured in science fiction. In this case Acuity often presents a summary of the relevant information rather than specific data points, though the latter is also available.

Acuity may sometimes automatically activate at GM discretion (even overriding current attempts to use the power) in cases where there is information of interest to the Character. In such cases, the Character may suddenly have an astounding insight into his or her situation or a particular circumstance may have drawn their immediate attention.

Powers mimicked through Acuity are subject to all limitations and rules normally associated with them. When Detect is mimicked through Acuity, it is limited to a physical object, energy form, or condition. For instance, Detect The Best Way to Vanquish the Evil Villain will not work. Using Microscopic Vision to spy out the weak point in his armour will be much more effective.


The powers that may be mimicked by use of Acuity include:

  • Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent.
  • Danger Sense.
  • Detect.
  • Directional Hearing.
  • Empathy.
  • Extended Hearing.
  • Full Vision.
  • Hypersensitive Touch.
  • Life Sense.
  • Microscopic Vision.
  • Object Awareness.
  • Radar Sense.
  • Remote Sensing.
  • Sonar.
  • Superhearing.
  • Telescopic Vision.
  • Thermal Vision.
  • Truesight.
  • Ultra Vision.
  • Weakness Detection.
  • X-Ray Vision.

Additional sensory Powers may also be mimicked depending on the GM’s judgment.

Acuity may be purchased with the following special Bonus: Supernatural (+1 FC), allowing the Character to also mimic mystical detection powers such as Awareness, Comprehend Languages, Danger Sense, Magic Sense and Postcognition. This Bonus requires Acuity to be Mystic Linked.

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) flying in space

Green Lantern Hal Jordan’s ring has the Acuity Power.


Author: Peter S Piispanen (revised, original creator unknown)
Helper(s): Roy Cowan
Mystical Power
Link: AURA
Range: Normal
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 1000
Factor Cost: 10

The Bestow power allows the user to give special abilities to another being. Any Power, Skill or Attribute may be given to others, regardless of whether the bestower himself has those abilities.

For each Power or Skill bestowed, the bestower must pay the ability’s Base Cost in HPs. Attribute Base Cost is as per the Gadgetry rules. No single ability given can have a higher BC than 100 HPs.

The total maximum number of APs that can be given is equal to the APs of the Bestow power. Bestow can be used to empower more than one person at a time, but the cumulative amount of APs that can be granted is still limited to the APs of Bestow.

Advantages bestowed upon another have the same cost as they do during character creation and each Advantage counts as 1 AP toward the maximum that can be Bestowed. Advantages that provide an effective AP bonus to specific actions can only be Bestowed as long as the total APs of the Bestow Power used is equal to or greater than the AP level that the Bestowed Advantage reaches.

Example: Bestowing the Iron Nerves Advantage, which provides +2CS to RV versus Intimidation Attempts, upon a character with SPIRIT 02 would require a Bestow Power of at least 6 APs (2 APs plus two Column Shifts).

The duration that these abilities are in effect is equal to the character’s APs of Bestow or until the user chooses to remove the abilities. The given abilities can be retaken at any time by the bestower as long as the subject is within the Power’s Range.

Partial retaking is also possible, leaving the subject lessened but not powerless. Once bestowed abilities are retaken or the duration expires, the bestower regains half of the HPs spent on the original bestowment.

Bonuses and Limitations

Bestow can be purchased with the following standard Bonuses and Limitation: No BC Restriction (+5 FC), No AP Restriction (+5 FC), Full HP Refund (+5 FC), Permanent (+5 FC), Can Only Bestow certain abilities (variable) and Can Only Bequeath (variable).

No BC Restriction

A Character with the No BC Restriction Bonus to Bestow can provide any ability to others, regardless of the Base Cost. Thus powers such as Sorcery (BC: 750), Omni-Power (BC: 500) or Mutation (BC: 200) can be bestowed also. The bestowal works as normal for these abilities and the bestower should have hundreds of HPs handy to give away such abilities.

No AP Restriction

The total number of APs that can be bestowed on another being aren’t limited by the number of APs of the Bestow Power, though no single Power can exceed the APs of Bestow. The bestower can give away as many abilities as he likes as long as he pays the BC for all these abilities.

Thus a being with Bestow: 05 and the No AP Restriction Bonus could bestow Superspeed: 05, Martial Artist: 05, Iron Will: 05 and Skin Armor: 05 simultaneously for a total cost of 25+25+5+50=105 HPs.

Full HP Refund

When the character takes back bestowed abilities from a subject or the Power’s Duration expires, he regains all of the HPs spent rather than half of them.


A Character with the Permanent Bonus can bestow powers to another that will never expire. To do so, the bestower must pay the normal Base Cost plus the Factor Cost based on the AP Purchase Chart (not the Increasing Attributes Chart).

Thus permanently bestowing Flight of 10 APs would require 10 HPs (Base Cost) plus 48 HPs (10 APs at Factor Cost 3) for a total of 58 HPs. Once Permanent the Power, Skill, or other ability is added to the subject’s Character sheet as a permanent stat. The bestower still has the ability to retake the power from his subjects as usual but regains no HPs for doing so.

Can Only Bestow certain Abilities

The character can only bestow abilities in certain categories. Possible Limitations include Can Only Bestow Powers (-3 FC), Can only Bestow Skills (-4 FC), Can only Bestow Advantages (-4 FC), or Can only Bestow Attributes (-4 FC).

Can Only Bequeath

Characters with this Limitation can only bestow abilities that they themselves possess and can only do so up to the APs of that ability or of Bestow, whichever is lower. This reduces the Base Cost of Bestow to 750.

Further reductions include Can only Bequeath Attributes and Advantages (BC 500), Can only Bequeath Skills and Advantages (BC 500 BC), and Can only Bequeath Advantages (BC 250).

Galactus preparing his machines

Galactus has the Bestow Power.


Author: Sébastien Andrivet based on a concept by Peter Piispanen
Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Eric Langendorff
Physical Power
Link: BODY
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 10
Factor Cost: 03

This Power is usually used to represent flexible lightweight but puncture-proof body armour, such as the costumes of some super-heroes and early generations of concealable body armour. This Power turns RAPs of Killing Combat inflicted upon the Character into RAPs of Bashing Combat, up to a number of RAPs equal to the APs of the Blunting Power.

APs of the Blunting Power can be used against most Physical Attacks – i.e., attacks that are not Mental or Mystical. Physical Attacks using gas, radiation, drowning, and other impact-free media cannot be defended against with Blunting.

Remaining RAPs in excess of the APs of Blunting remain Killing combat RAPs. A Character with Blunting: 04 receiving 6 RAPs of Killing damage still receives 6 RAPs of damage, but the first 4 of those become Bashing damage and last 2 remain Killing damage.

The Killing combat RAPs are applied first, followed by the Bashing combat RAPs. This is important if a Character is reduced to 0 BODY or less. If the Killing combat RAPs are not enough to reduce him to 0 Current BODY but the following Bashing RAPs do so, the Character is simply knocked out as per a Bashing attack, not a Killing one.

The conversion of RAPs from Killing to Blunt is done before Last Ditch Defense can be applied. If mixed RAPs are received, the Killing combat RAPs are the ones that are negated first by LDD.

A common Limitation is the -1 FC “Cannot Blunt Energy Attacks”.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson) jumping, over a white background

Nightwing’s costume has the Blunting Power.

Broadcast Empath

Author: Sébastien Andrivet
Mental Power
Link: WILL
Range: Normal
Type: Dice
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 05

The Power allows a Character to make another Character feel any emotion the user wishes. For example, the user could make an opponent run away in fear (see Aura of Fear and Phobia for Powers that only induce this), feel too sad to do anything, or feel blissful and calm.

The brute force use of Broadcast Empath is to impose a feeling on the target’s mind. This use of Broadcast Empath is treated as a normal Mental Attack with AV/EV equal to the user’s APs of Power. However a successfully attacked victim takes no Mental damage.

Instead, if the RAPs earned by the attack roll are greater than or equal to the opponent’s Mind, the opponent succumbs to whatever emotion the user broadcasts. This emotional state will last for RAPs of time (or the Power user may choose to release the opponent at any time beforehand).

A Character will normally realize he is affected By Broadcast Empath, and may attempt to break free through willpower. This is an Action Check with the Int/Will as AV/EV and the RAPs of the Broadcast Empath attack as OV/RV.

A more subtle approach is to permeate the target’s mind with a vaguer feeling and then use conventional Persuasion. The user of Broadcast Empath can choose to improve (or degrade) the target’s Attitude.

This is also a normal Mental Attack with AV/EV’s equal to the user’s APs of Power. The target’s Attitude can be shifted according to the following table:

RAPs Effect
½ target’s MIND 1 step
Full target’s MIND 2 steps
Twice target’s MIND 3 steps

Thus, if a broadcast empath is about to be arrested by a policeman for gross disorderly conduct (MIND: 03, Suspicious Attitude), he can attempt to change the policeman’s attitude. Using his Broadcast Empath power, he gets 4 RAPs against the cop – which is more than the full MIND score of his target, but less than twice the policeman’s MIND.

He chooses to move up the cop’s Attitude two steps – from Suspicious to Friendly. The policeman is now willing to discuss the matter and will probably let the Character go after a stern lecture and a warning.

The subtle approach to Broadcast Empath can also enhance Intimidation and Interrogation. This is also a normal Mental Attack with AV/EV equal to the user’s APs of Power. The Character doing the Interrogation or Intimidation against the target will then benefit from bonuses according to the following table :

RAPs Effect
½ target’s MIND -1 CS to OV/RV of Intimidation/Interrogation Check
Full target’s MIND -2 CS to OV/RV of Intimidation/Interrogation Check
Twice target’s MIND -3 CS to OV/RV of Intimidation/Interrogation Check

A Character will not necessarily realise that they are affected by these subtle applications of Broadcast Empath. If they have serious, substantial reasons to doubt that their emotions are their own, they can attempt an INT/WILL check against the user’s INT/Broadcast Empath.

Gaining RAPs will allow them to realize something is not kosher. If so, the target can then attempt to break the control as above.

Early Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) gliding over the city

Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) uses the Broadcast Empath Power for subtle influence.

Claws Being

Author: Sébastien Andrivet
Helper(s): Roy Cowan
Physical Power
Link: BODY
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 04

This Power usually represents a Character covered with spines, quills, or other sharpened protrusions. Anyone or anything touched by or touching a Character with an activated Claws Being Power, including contact made in hand-to-hand combat, incurs a Physical Attack with AV/EV equal to APs of Claws Being.

This special attack form does not count as an Action for the Claws Being Character. The APs of Claws Being may also be substituted for a Character’s STR as the EV of any hand-to-hand attack.

Depending on which set of Genre rules are in play (see page 219), use of the Claws Being Power on another Character could automatically constitute Killing Combat. Gamemasters are encouraged to determine this before play.

Characters with non-retractable protrusions should buy this Power with the Always On Limitation.

The Slasher fleeing with his loot in an alley

The suit worn by Slasher a.k.a. Razorblade has the Claws Being Power.

Continuum Control usage notes

Commenters: John Colagioia & Chris Cottingham

What differentiates Continuum Control from a simple “bundle” Power (a Power that simply mimics several other Powers) or from purchasing all of the applicable Powers separately is that all of the mimicked abilities can be combined into a single Dice Action.

In other words, it allows the simultaneous use of abilities that would otherwise have to be activated separately, probably over several phases. This is stated in the Power description, but deserves emphasis because it is a fairly unique distinguishing ability.

Crystal Production

Author: Pufnstuff
Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Azrael, William Chamberlin, Chris Cottingham, Roy Cowan, Gareth Lewis, Peter Piispanen
Physical Power
Link: STR
Range: Normal
Type: Auto/Dice
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 08

This Power allows a Character to spontaneously generate crystalline structures using trace elements in the atmosphere. These structures may be created in any shape the user wishes, such as bridges, melee weapons, or enclosures, with a BODY score and maximum total volume equal to the APs of Crystal Production.

The colors and opacity of the crystals produced by the Character should be determined at the time of the power’s purchase. A Character with an appropriate Artist Skill can even create aesthetically pleasing mosaics using a variety of colors.

Note that stone is also a form of crystal and can thus be generated by this Power. Once chosen, the opacity or transparency of the crystals remains fixed unless the Character has purchased the Selective Opacity Bonus.

Specific applications include :

  • Creating barriers or enclosures around the user or other objects. These are treated as inanimate objects with a BODY equal to the APs of Crystal Production. Destroying or breaking through them thus requires a Physical Attack with the AV/EV equal to the EV of the attack and an OV/RV equal to the BODY/BODY of the barrier.
    A single RAP is sufficient to shatter such objects unless the Crystal Production Power is purchased with the Hardened Defenses Bonus.
  • Trapping targets in blocks of crystal. This requires an Action Check with AV/EV equal to DEX/APs of Power versus an OV/RV equal to the target’s DEX/STR. RAPs from this Check equal the BODY and volume of crystal that has trapped the target. The target’s DEX and movement speed is reduced by the RAPs achieved.
    To break free, the target must make a successful Physical Attack using STR/STR as AV/EV against an OV/RV equal to the RAPs of the original Check.
  • Making crystalline projectiles to Physically Attack others with DEX as AV and the APs of Crystal Production as EV.

Objects made with Crystal Production will dissipate after APs of time equal to the character’s APs of Crystal Production. Crystalline structures have a -2CS to their RV versus sonic or vibratory attacks.

Those encased in an airtight crystalline structure may suffocate once the oxygen within runs out, depending on Genre. This can be avoided by purchasing the Porous Limitation.

Other options to avoid suffocation include the purchase of Sealed Systems (Only Usable by those within Crystal Production Structures) to represent the crystalline enclosures generating a breathable atmosphere or Suspension (Only Usable within Crystal Production Structures) to allow the character to force those enclosed in his crystals to enter a state of hibernation.

Crystal Production may be purchased with the following special Bonuses and Limitations :

Selectively Opaque (+1FC)

The character can choose whether or not to make the crystals transparent or opaque, and can also opt to make some segments of a single structure opaque while other parts remain transparent. This can be used to practical or artistic effect.

Porous (-1FC)

The crystals created by this character are porous, allowing free gas exchange. There is thus no possibility of people within a crystal structure being suffocated, but those same structures cannot be made airtight to protect against gas attacks or other atmospheric hazards.

Porous crystal structures also suffer a -1CS to their RV as the porosity weakens the structures’ overall integrity.

Selectively Porous (+1FC)

The character can choose whether or not to make any given crystal object Porous. This cannot be purchased in conjunction with the Porous Limitation as it already includes that option.

Sliding (+1FC)

The Character may create a crystalline slides and chutes to move along the ground at a speed equal to her APs of Crystal Production (maximum movement speed of 8 APs).

Permanent (+3FC)

By exerting extra effort, the character can make a crystal structure that will not dissipate when the normal time limit has elapsed. However, this structure still counts against the maximum total volume of crystal that can be created until the normal duration has elapsed, after which it is no longer counted against the total volume.

Ubiquitous Source

The crystals are not derived from atmospheric trace elements but instead come from another inexhaustible source such as extra-dimensional summoning or solidified psychic energy.

This allows the creation of crystals in any environment including total vacuum and allows the Character to ignore the maximum total volume restriction, though the total volume of crystal that can be created per phase is still restricted to the APs of Crystal Production.

Characters with this Power include Krystalin of X-Men 2099, Kole of the New Teen Titans (pre-Crisis), Legion of Super-Heroes associate Crystal Kid, the Star Sapphires, and Superman X of the Legion of Super Heroes Animated Series.

Krystalin blocks an energy blast with a crystal shield

Krystalin has the Crystal Production Power

Damage Absorption

Author: J.D. Marquart for Pulsar Games based on Mayfair
Physical Power
Link: BODY
Range: Self
Type: Dice
Base Cost: 75
Factor Cost: 08

This Power allows a Character to absorb APs of damage from Physical attacks and add it to his own Attributes and/or Powers.

Every time the Character is hit by a Physical attack, he makes an Action Check using the APs of Damage Absorption as AV/EV against an OV/RV equal to the RAPs done by the attack.

The resulting RAPs are subtracted from the RAPs done by the attack. If any attacking RAPs remain, they are applied against the Character as normal.

The subtracted RAPs can be distributed among one or more of the Character’s Powers or Attributes. This increase in APs will last for a time in APs equal to the APs of Damage Absorption.

The Powers and Attributes that Damage Absorption applies to must be defined when the Power is purchased. 5 Hero Points must be added to the Base Cost of Damage Absorption for each eligible Power or Attribute past the second.

Damage Absorption may be purchased with the following Limitations: Only Useable Against Hand-to-Hand Attacks (-1 FC), and Only Useable Against One Energy Type (Electrical, Light, Sonic, etc) (-2 FC).

The Growing Man vs. the Avengers

Kang’s Growing Man has the Damage Absorption Power

Damage Capacity

Author: By Patrick Good and Paul “Z” Ewande
Helper(s): Andrew J. Aitken, Mark Ayen, William Chamberlin, Roy Cowan, Phil Dixon, Adam Fuqua, Kal-El el Vigilante, Phillip John Mason
Physical, Mental, or Mystical Power
Link: Body, Mind, or Spirit
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 25
Factor Cost: 06

Damage Capacity increases the amount of damage the user can sustain and still function, without increasing the user’s resistance to damage. These Powers, purchased separately for each type of damage, raise the user’s maximum Current Resistance Condition (Body, Mind or Spirit) by the APs of the power.

The type of Damage Capacity should be noted (Damage Capacity (Physical), for example) but can be assumed to be Physical if unlisted. Damage Capacity has no affect on the user’s RV and the Character cannot use more than his base Resistance Value in HPs to bolster his RV.

While Damage Capacity does not enhance the Character’s RV, it does add:

  • To the Resistance Attribute when determining the point of death.
  • The amount of RAPs that can be negated by Last Ditch Defense.
  • When determining Stun results on the Character.

Example: A Character with BODY 10 and Damage Capacity (Physical): 10 starts with 20 Current Body Condition, has a base Physical RV of 10, can add up to 10 APs to his RV with HPs, can negate up to 20 RAPs with LDD, is only Stunned if taking 20+ RAPs in a single attack, and dies upon reaching -21 or lower Current BODY.

Note that Damage Capacity doesn’t necessarily means suffering more damage. It could be :

  • An ability to deflect damage (but one that only goes so far).
  • An ability to non-ablatively absorb damage (a personal force field that shuts down when it has taken too much damage, but simply needs to be rebooted, vent heat, etc. to get back online).
  • An ability to erase damage (a limited stock of lightning-fast regeneration nanites ?).
  • An ability to make it so that the damage is “retconned away”, like some applications of Last Ditch Defence going “let’s just say I narrowly dodged that attack after all” or “it was just a grazing hit after all”.
  • Others.

As always we encourage players to focus on what Powers, Attributes, Skills, etc. actually do in the system, rather than on the way they’re framed in the description.


Damage Capacity can be purchased with the following Limitations:

  • No Negative Capacity (Power does not affect point of death, -1 FC).
  • Negative Capacity Only (Power only affects point of death, -3 FC).
  • No Extra LDD Capacity (-1 FC).

Recovery Rolls

By default, the Current Condition of Damage Capacity is Recovered at the same rate as the corresponding Attribute’s Current Condition (BODY, MIN, SPI). This means that Genre Rules about the delay for Recovery Rolls, some Powers (e.g. Regeneration) and some Schticks apply.

However, Desperation Recovery can only be performed for either the Attribute’s Current Condition or the corresponding Damage Capacity’s Current Condition. A single Desperation Recovery doesn’t allow for a Recovery Roll of both Current Conditions at once.

The Recovery Roll for a Damage Capacity’s Condition is performed using the corresponding Attribute (BODY, MIN, SPI) as AV/EV against the Current Condition of the Damage Capacity Power as OV/RV. The OV/RV is capped at one CS below the corresponding Attribute.

For instance if you have a BODY of 06, the OV/RV of your Physical Damage Capacity Recovery Roll can never be higher than 04/04 (the Column under the 5-6 Column your BODY score belongs to).

Alternative Recovery options

Depending upon what Damage Capacity is modelling in-universe, the Recovery might be completely different. Here are some Optional Bonuses and Limitations :

Instant Recovery Bonus (+3 FC). A simple check from a person with appropriate but basic tools and know-how, lasting at most a minute, is sufficient to Recover the entire Damage Capacity Current Condition. This is often associated with “make damage vanish” abilities, such as a personal skin-tight force field being rebooted, a psychic exoskeleton being re-grown, a “burst regeneration” power, or re-adjusting a suit of magical leather armour that is just that tough.

Full Recovery Bonus (+2 FC). When a germane Recovery Roll is done for the Damage Capacity’s Current Condition, the result is automatically a full Recovery. The Current Condition shoots back to its maximum. This may require some work, tools, medical examination, drugs, ritual, meditation, food and/or drink, a fresh ballistic vest from the pile in you car’s trunk, a nanites injection, etc. but nothing genuinely bothersome or requiring outside help.

Full Recovery With Infrastructure Bonus (+1 FC). As above, but this requires access to some sort of common infrastructure such as a forge, a leatherworking shop, a hospital or doctor’s office, a lake, an electrical grid, a garage, etc. and may require a payment to use these facilities. Ordinary Recovery Rolls can be done in the meanwhile.

Limitations are also possible, with pricing depending upon the constraint.

For instance, if your super-car has Damage Capacity but it can only be Recovered by dropping it to one specific garage for one week of expensive body work no car insurance will cover, it sounds like a -2 (perhaps more if the costs are challenging to your Wealth APs).

Most “No Recovery possible without access to a common resource” Limitations (often repairs facilities or a clinic, where Recovery Rolls can be done normally) would be -1 ones.

Designer’s note:
For those who think that the BODY of stock vehicles in DC Heroes is high, Damage Capacity is a good solution — lower BODY a bit and add Damage Capacity APs so vehicles are easier to damage but not necessarily easier to wreck.

The Thing (Ben Grimm) transformed back to his rocky form

The Thing of the Fantastic 4 famously has the Damage Capacity Power


Note by Sébastien Andrivet, Tiago Quintana, Black Adam, Eric Langendorff

The Darkness Power includes what seems to be an editorial mistake — “anyone within the Darkness field has his AV and OV of all Physical Actions reduced by the APs of Darkness”.

How to parse this sentence is unclear, as nothing affects both the AV and OV of a given Action in the system.

There are two main possible interpretations :

  • The Southern interpretation is that the OV of all Physical Actions taking place within the Darkness field are raised by the APs of Darkness, and that the mention of OV is in error. This is a conservative approach. If you take the Southern interpretation, we suggest lowering the Factor Cost of Darkness by one or two to better align it with, say, the Flash Power.
  • The Northern interpretation is that the AV of your Physical Actions in the Darkness is increased (people can’t defend efficiently against you) and your OV against others’ Physical Actions is raised (they can’t really aim at you since it’s dark). This is a generous approach.
    If you take the Northern interpretation, the BC and FC of Darkness are probably best raised, since with Devastating and Critical Attacks it could easily lead to abuse.

Other variants

Beyond these, there are two approaches to the Darkness Power quandary, but there are more akin to house rules than interpretation of what’s in the rulesbook. To wit :

  • The Eastern variant is that the OV for the Characters who can’t see in the Darkness is increased by APs of Darkness, and they are automatically Blindsided – a flat modifier – by opponents whom they can’t perceive.
  • The Western variant is that any Character within the Darkness field whose vision is blocked has the OV of all physical Actions increased by the APs of Darkness. Likewise, any Character whose vision is blocked and who attempts to target a Character or object within the Darkness field has his OV similarly increased. (Characters in the Darkness field attempting to target another Character or object within the field have the OV increased only once.).
    See Eric Langendorff’s rules file in the Yahoo! ;Group for more.

Blackout (Lilin) from his TSR character sheet

Blackout has the Darkness Power

Data Storage

Author: Sébastien Andrivet and Roy Cowan
Helper(s): Clarkus, Elias dosSantos, Adam Fuqua, Eric Langendorff, Dr. Peter S Piispanen
Mental Power
Link: WILL
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 01

This Power represents the ability to store data, commonly in a computerized format. Basic playback and access is included in the Power, but detailed searches of the data included therein may require use of the Recall Power at the GM’s option.

The Base Cost includes 20 APs of information capacity, so 1 AP of Data Storage is 20 APs of data or 1 GigaByte.

Data Storage can be bought with the Low Tech Limitation, which reduces Base Cost to 1 and eliminates the bonus +20 APs of Data that the Power typically begins with.

The Increased Capacity Bonus adds 4 APs to the starting Bonus APs for each +1FC. For example, +8 Increased Capacity (for a total beginning base capacity of +28) would cost +2 FC.

APs of Data Data Capacity Examples
22 4 GigaBytes (GB) Single-Side Single Layer DVD (4.7 GB) ~130 minutes (11 APs) of high quality audio/video*
25 32 GB Blu-Ray DVD (25 GB)
30 1 TeraByte (TB)
39 500 TB Internet Archive  as of 2004 (300 TB)
40 1 PetaByte (PB)
43 8 PB Google’s Server Farm  Capacity as of 2004 (5.625)
48 250 PB Total printed information on Earth as of 2004 (200 PB)
60 1 ZetaByte
61 2 ZB Information density of 1 gram of DNA (2.25 ZB)

*Different durations of similar quality recording can be determined by adding or subtracting the difference in APs of time. One day of recording capacity (15 APs of time) would require an additional 4 APs of data storage. Lower quality recordings can reduce the total needed APs of data capacity by 1 to 3 APs while higher quality recordings will add at least as many APs.

Estimates of the data storage capacity of the human brain vary greatly. Common suggested numbers range from 3 Terabytes (Tb) to 1,000 TB (32 to 40 APs of data), though there are some higher and lower estimates. Sufficient capacity to hold not just a person’s total memories but a functioning mind will likely require a thousand-fold increase (an additional +10 APs).

A complete copy of a single human genome is 2.9 Gb (22 APs of data). Up to 80% of the human genome may be entrons (“junk” DNA that serves no purpose) or redundancies, so a more complex lifeform could still have a smaller genome sequence by virtue of less “wasted space.”

Conversely, simpler lifeforms may have much larger genomes because of an even greater abundance of those fillers. The genome sequence of common e coli bacteria is 4.7 Gb (23 APs of data) and that of wheat is 16 Gb (25 APs).

Developer’s note: This Power replicates (with some adjustments) the original functioning of Recall, which was changed in the later editions of the game from being simple storage of information to an information retrieval Power.

Commander Shepard using her omni-tool

Commander Shepard uses her wrist holo-computer’s Data Storage Power.

Digging (Tunnelling Only)

Physical Power
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 5
Factor Cost: 1

This is a packaged Limitation for the Digging Power. The Tunnelling Only Limitation means that APs of Digging are only usable to dig a tunnel with a 0 APs diameter, at a 1 AP land speed. Doing so takes up all Actions for that Phase. None of the other effects of Digging apply.

If the Character slows down to a 0 AP land speed, the tunnel becomes lasting. Otherwise it will be unstable, though a handful of persons progressing closely behind the Character with Digging (Tunnelling Only) should be fine even with a 1 AP speed.

The APs of Digging (Tunnelling Only) determine the hardest type of material that the Character can progress through :

Snow 1 AP
Sand, packed snow 2 APs
Dirt 4 APs
Packed dirt 5 APs
Rocky soil 6 APs
Very soft rock (e.g. gypsum) 7 APs
Soft rock (e.g., most limestones, marble) 8 APs
Medium rock (e.g. most travertines, sandstone) 9 APs
Hard rock (e.g. granite, Led Zeppelin) 10 APs
Veins of ores or gemstones (e.g. iron, quartz) 11 APs
Extremely rare, very hard and/or alien minerals 12 APs

Digging (Tunnelling Only) is limited to natural materials. If the Character happens an artificial obstacle (such as a steel wall) it needs to be attacked through other means (raw STR, Claws, Flame Project…)

Both the movement speed and the tunnelling action being Automatic Actions, they can be Pushed to, respectively, go faster or bore through harder material than is normally possible for the character.

Digging (Tunnelling Only) can be bought with the following Bonuses :

  • Consolidation (+1 FC) – the tunnel is stable without slowing down the Character.
  • Navigation (+ 5 BC) – the Character has an instinctive awareness of their current depth, their angle and direction of digging, and the shape and length of their current tunnel (“straight ahead and level for 3km, then straight ahead and 15° upward for 1km….”).
  • Earth sense (+5 BC) – the Character has an instinctive sense of what lies ahead, such as gaps, lava, water, gas, etc..

And the following Limitation :

  • Unstable (- 5BC): the tunnel collapses immediately after the Character. Slowing down to O APs of speed produces the normal tunnel described above, and to minus 1 AP of speed produces a stable tunnel.

Higher speeds may be better handled by different limitations to Digging, but if you want to use Digging (Tunnelling Only) the clearest approach is a Running Power that is Combined With Digging (Tunneling Only). This is usually used for borer vehicles, such as the Mole in Thunderbirds.

Designer’s notes – Digging is a straightforward power, and does a good job with characters who can blast away or otherwise annihilate large amounts of soft matter. However, it doesn’t model many “borer” characters, machines and vehicles particularly well, producing some absurd results compared to the source material.

Digging (Tunneling Only), on the other shovel, uses fixed values and an absence of rolls to produce results matching generally observed behaviour.

Night Girl (Lydda Jath) digging a tunnel using her super-strength

Night Girl of the Subs, tunnelling by night

Dimension Travel (Tesseracts Only)

By Sébastien Andrivet
Helpers: Nicolas Lemaçon, Leroy Van Camp III, Quintanads, Gareth Lewis

The Tesseract Limitation is a series of packaged Limitations for the Dimensional Travel Power. A Tesseract  is a sort of miniature dimension  to which only the Character, and perhaps some allies, have access to.

It replaces the Tesseract Limitation for Dimension Travel (BoH:SE p69) as it provides more details and options.

With the Tesseract Limitation, any use of the Dimension Travel Power can only take place between this dimension and the dimension the Character is currently in.

Tesseracts can receive additional properties, such as Security Systems (protection against cross-dimensional intrusion) or Obscure (protection against cross-dimensional detection). These are bought just as if the Tesseract were an Artefact or Gadget (depending on the dimension’s nature) that cannot be Taken Away, but does not need a BODY Attribute.

Dimension Travel (Micro-Tesseract Only)

With this packaged Limitation, Dimension Travel has a Base Cost of 10 and a Factor Cost of 3.

A Micro-Tesseract (abbreviated as µT) is limited to holding 1 to 3 Gadgets or Artefacts, which the Character can have appear and disappear from thin air. The maximum weight of the whole is equal to the APs of Power, minus 4. Examples include Rom the Spaceknight’s Neutralizer and Analyzer, or the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) elf-made armour, Shield of Night and Sword of Light.

Due to the very limited size, the only possible operations are Summoning or Banishing the Gadgets or Artefacts – there is no Travel equivalent. Hand-held Gadgets and Artefacts can appear ready to use in the Character’s hand, and worn Gadgets and Artefacts can be summoned around the Character’s body, already fitted.

An Area Knowledge can be acquired for this micro-tesseract, which turns Summoning and Banishing into Automatic Actions. Though it is an Advantage and is listed as such, this Area Knowledge is not bought separately – rather, it raises Dimension Travel (Micro-Tesseract Only)’s Base Cost to 20 and the Factor Cost to 4.

If the Gadget or Artefact under consideration has no meaningful Powers, Attributes, Skills, etc. (e.g., it is cosmetic) then the Insta-Change Advantage may be a better fit than Dimension Travel.

Dimension Travel (Mini-Tesseract Only)

With this packaged Limitation, Dimension Travel has a Base Cost of 10 and a Factor Cost of 5. Acquiring an Area Knowledge for it is possible just like with the Micro-Tesseract, raising the Base Cost to 30 and the Factor Cost to 6.

A Mini-Tesseract (abbreviated as MT) works much like a Micro-Tesseract, but the Volume of the MT is equal to the APs of Power. To place an item into the space requires a Dice Action against an OV/RV equal to the mass of the object plus 2 APs (minimum value is 1) added to the distance from the Character (linear addition, so for instance 3+4=7).

Thus, for instance, placing an item weighting 2 APs and located 3 APs away would have an OV/RV of 2+2+3=7.

If the item is held by a resisting person, they can instead use their SPI/SPI as the OV/RV if this is higher.

Reclaiming an item doesn’t require a roll, but nevertheless consumes a Dice Action (barring an Area Knowledge). Items that are physically linked (such as a sheathed sword or a quiver full of arrows) can be called in as one.

The item can appear within a Range equal to the APs of Power minus the mass of the item, but this appearance occurs with very low force – it can only displace gasses and perhaps some liquids (GM’s call). Worn items can appear on the Character’s body, fully fitted.

The MT space is assumed to be an airless, lightless, gravity-less void at about 10°C (50°F). Time passes as normal in the space, and things like bombs, computers and robots function normally inside. Damage done inside the space does not affect the Character.

If an outside party attempts to locate and/or enter the MT (usually with a Dimension Travel Power), the OV/RV is equal to the APs of Dimension Travel (MT Only) plus the INF/SPI of the MT’s owner. Various additional measures such as the Obscure Power or Mystically-Linked Security System APs might add to that.

Special Bonuses and Limitations include :

  • Transdimensional (+1 FC). The MT is also accessible from other dimensions. The Travel Distance may be greater, and certain dimensions may make it harder or easier to reach the MT dimension.
  • Can Store Other Living Beings (+3 FC). The subject can resist using SPI/SPI, plus their mass and their distance away from the Character (linear addition as per above). This Bonus is often taken along with a Suspension Power modified to be used on MT-stored subjects.
  • Self-Storage (+3 FC). The Character is capable of storing themselves, effectively withdrawing from the normal universe, even if they do not have Can Store Other Living Beings. The OV/RV is the Character’s own mass. When the Character chooses to reappear, they do so in the same spot he disappeared from – though the MT provides no way of monitoring the outside. Again, the MT space is in inhospitable and further measures or Power are needed for lengthy stays.
  • No Location Jumping (-3 FC). The MT is only accessible from a specific place, often corresponding to a specific object (a wardrobe, an altar, a magic lake, etc.). Note that if an object is necessary but can be moved (a Bag of Holding or Portable Hole, to quote from classic Dungeons & Dragon) then this Limitation doesn’t come into play – rather the Power is part of a Gadget or Artefact.

Dimension Travel (Macro-Tesseract Only)

To be written in a fantastic future full of wonders.

Rom fights Dire Wraiths

Rom the Spaceknight stores his weapons in a tesseract.

Dispersal v2

Author: Sébastien Andrivet
Mental Power
Link: WILL
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 100
Factor Cost: 02

This Power enables the Character to become intangible – for instance by dispersing their atoms, or somehow becoming out of phase with the normal world. An intangible Character can freely move through physical objects and other Characters. They cannot affect matter and matter cannot affect them.

Likewise, energy in the physical world (fire, electricity, etc.) is normally irrelevant for the Character. They cannot affect it and it cannot affect them. Somehow, the Character remains able to breathe when in a Dispersed state.

Characters with Dispersal are frequently, but not always, able to use the Air Walking Power. This Power should be bought separately, and possibly made Contingent Upon the Dispersal power.

Force fields (such as those produced by the Force Field, Force Wall or Force Shield Powers) can stop a Dispersed Character. To pass through one, the Character must pit their Dispersal APs as AV/OV against the force field’s AP value as OV/RV. If RAPs are scored the Character can pass through the force field, which takes an amount of time equal to the APs of the force field minus the RAPs.

In some campaigns, Dispersal-resistant material exists as a plot device to stop intangible Characters. Such material would have APs of Force Wall in addition to its BODY, possibly with the Only To Oppose Dispersal (-2FC) Limitation.

Dispersal makes a Character tougher to locate using Radar, Sonar or Thermal Vision. Any Perception Check using this Power against a Dispersed Character have the activated APs of Dispersal added to the OV/RV.

Two Characters capable of Dispersal may be able to physically interact with each other. This is automatic if both Characters are willing to interact. If a Character with Dispersal is attempting to affect another Character with Dispersal without their consent, this requires an Action Check.

Such an attempt takes an Automatic Action and pits the attacking Character’s Dispersal APs as the AV/OV against the defending Character’s Dispersal as the OV/RV. One or more RAPs allow the Characters to physically interact with each other, yet both remain intangible to the real world.

The “solidify inside a target” ability and Partial Dispersal Bonus remain unchanged from the standard rules.

Wallpass Limitation (-1FC)

Wallpass makes it harder to pass through matter. When walking through an obstacle, the Character takes an amount of time equal to the BODY of the obstacle minus his APs of Dispersal. If the object has APs of Density Increase, those are added to its BODY for the purposes of this calculation.

Only To Affect Dispersed (BC becomes 10)

The Character cannot use Dispersal to become intangible or make themselves harder to locate via Radar, Sonar or Thermal vision, but only to attempt to affect Dispersed Characters. The APs of Dispersal for such a Character can only be used to touch a Character with Dispersal, as explained above.

Kitty confronts Dracula with a crucifix

Kitty Pryde of the X-Men is intangible

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) v1.1.1

Author: Bryant Berggren
Helper(s): Unknown
Physical Power
Link: STR
Range: Normal
Type: Dice
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 03

This Power allows a Character to generate a powerful burst of electromagnetic energy, which disrupts electrical equipment and radio transmissions. The Character makes an Action Check, using the APs of Power as the AV/EV against the target’s DEX/BOD as the OV/RV.

RAPs gained by the attack are subtracted from the APs of any electronic-based Power or Attribute the target possesses. This includes Mental Attributes, the Data Storage and/or Recall Power of computers, and any Radio Communication or similar Power. Any equipment being carried by the target is automatically “hit” as well.

Developer’s Note: This power was written to replace the modified application of Magnetic Control for atomic weapons in earlier editions of the game. Another version of EMP rules can now be found as part of BoH:SE’s Electrical Control Power.

The two differ primarily in that EMP is an active energy discharge while the damaging portion of Electrical Control uses electricity already existing in the target (and thus uses BOD/BOD as its OV/RV instead). As with the earlier use of Magnetic Control, Electromagnetic Pulse can substitute for Electrical Control in nuclear weapons at the GM’s preference.

Radioactive Man (Dr. Chen Lu) transforming

The Radioactive Man (Chen Lu) has the EMP Power

EMP Shielding

Author: Bryant Berggren
Helper(s): Unknown
Physical Power
Link: BODY
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 05
Factor Cost: 04

This Power allows a Character or Gadget to protect himself from an Electromagnetic Pulse. The APs of Shielding are added to the RV against any EMP attack. APs of Shielding are not transferable unless purchased with the Usable By Others or Area Effect Bonuses.

EMP Shielding normally will not protect equipment the Character has on his person. To do so the Power must have the Bonus: Protects Personal Items (+1 FC).

MJOLNIR armor model sheet, male and female

MJOLNIR power armour  in Halo games has the EMP Shielding Power

Energy Control

Author: Dr. Peter S Piispanen
Helper: Roy Cowan
Mental Power
Link: INT
Range: Normal
Type: Dice
Base Cost: 150
Factor Cost: 10

A character with Energy Control can project, modify, or cancel out electromagnetic energies of all types, including heat, light, electrical, radio waves, gamma-rays and exotic high energy particles.

A character with Energy Control can perform a variety of actions and may even split the APs of power between the various uses listed. A character with 10 APs of Energy Control could fire a 06 AP blast while adding 04 APs to their RV versus energy attacks.

Energy Control can be used for the following effects:

  • The user may fire beams or bolts of energy as a Physical Attack using the APs of Energy Control as AV/EV and the target’s DEX/BODY as OV/RV. The type of energy used for each attack must be specified and any relevant resistances the target has are treated normally.
    For example, if the energy controller fires a heat beam and the target has Flame Immunity, it bolsters the target’s RV as usual.
  • The Character can add APs of Energy Control to the RV of themselves or others within the range of their Power versus any energy-based attacks. This can be done at the start of the turn as an Automatic Action or during the Declare Actions step of a phase in response to an opponent’s declared attack. In the latter case it is still an Automatic Action but does count as the character’s Dice Action for that Phase.
  • The character can mimic the Electromagnetic Pulse, Flash, and Radio Communication Powers. Flash can be used for non-visible energy perception abilities as well. For example, an infrared Flash could be used against an alien that sees in Thermal Vision or a microwave Flash might be used to disable the sensors of a robot with Radar Sense.
  • The character can perceive electromagnetic energy as if they had the Detect Power for this purpose. 
  • Energy Control can be used to change the frequency of energy waves and thus the energy type. A radio beam could be converted to a beam of visible light. This requires an Action Check using the APs of Energy Control as AV/EV versus an OV/RV equal to the APs of the energy being altered.
    The RAPs gained are the APs of the new energy type. Changing a damaging energy type to a non-damaging one, such as turning an Energy Blast into harmless radio waves) or vice versa adds +2CS to the OV/RV of the Check.

Energy Control is available with the Limitation: Can only control one type of energy, which reduces the Base cost to 50 and the Factor cost to 05.

Depending on the type of energy chosen (GM’s judgment) or by the player’s choice, some of the standard abilities of Energy Control listed above may not be available. This is a -1 FC Limitation for every two effects that cannot be used. A character with Energy Control (Infrared Only) might have an additional -1FC for not being able to mimic Electromagnetic Pulse or Radio Communication.

Superman X (Legion of Super-Heroes animated series) among flames with energy shields

Superman X has the Energy Control Power

Enhanced Initiative v1.1

Author: J.D. Marquart for Pulsar Games, edits By Sébastien Andrivet
Mental Power
Link: INT
Range: Self
Type: None
Base Cost: 18
Factor Cost: 01

Enhanced Initiative APs are added to the Character’s APs of Initiative when determining Initiative. Since this is applied automatically at Initiative, Enhanced Initiative does not require any Action.

The Base Cost is based on the Lightning Reflexes Advantage, and the Factor Cost is based on the Superspeed Power and Attributes.

Note: In its sole Pulsar Games appearance, this Power was called Enhanced Reaction.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) crawling on the ceiling, over a white background

Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man has the Enhanced Initiative Power

Extrasensory Perception (ESP)

Author: Roy Cowan
Helpers: Sebastien Andrivet, Pawsplay, Peter Piispanen
Mental Power
Link: INT
Range: ½ APs, rounding downn
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 15
Factor Cost: 4

When this Power is active, which requires the expenditure of an Automatic Action each phase, it allows its user to perceive the environment around them as if they could see it clearly despite visual impediments. Such characters seem to have eyes in the back of their head, reacting to events behind or above them as if they were looking directly at them.

It is impossible to Blindside someone with this Power unless the attack originates outside the Power’s Range and they can Block or otherwise respond to attacks and other events taking place out of their line of sight as if they were in view.

The APs of this Power can also be used to overcome penalties for visual impediments such as the Fog or Flash Powers or being blindfolded or in darkness. When these penalties are measured in APs or RAPs, the APs of ESP can offset them on a one-to-one basis. If the user has 6 APs of ESP and takes 7 RAPs in a Flash attack, he can reduce the result to 1 RAP.

If the penalties take the form of Column Shifts, then the APs can be used to lower the OV and/or RV to normal levels. If the user is suffering a +2CS to OV due to natural darkness, then APs of ESP can be subtracted from the OV to reduce it to its pre-modifier column.

Perceiving the environment with Extrasensory Perception does not count as eye contact for purposes of Powers and other qualities triggered by directly viewing the phenomenon in question. However, it does count as telepathic contact in cases where that is a factor.

This perception attenuates rapidly with successive solid physical obstacles the character is attempting to see past. Sensing events in this instance requires a Perception Check with an AV/EV equal to the APs of ESP and an base OV/RV equal to twice the APs of the distance using normal math.

Thus, no Check would be needed within 0 APs as it will automatically be fully successful, while anything taking place 1 AP away would have an OV/RV of 02/02, and so forth.

Each intervening obstacle such as a wall adds +1CS to the OV/RV, possibly more if said obstacle is especially thick or dense or the material has an unusual resistance to penetration by psychic abilities (GM’s judgment).

If the above Perception Check achieves at least 1 RAP the Character has a vague sense of what they are “seeing”, as if through a dense fog. RAPs equal to at least half the RV (rounding up) give a strong general perception as if viewing the scene through a slightly out of focus lens. RAPs equal to or greater than the RV gives the Character a crystal-clear image.

This Perception Check is considered part of the Automatic Action spent to keep the Power active and does not prevent the Character from making another standard Perception Check with their normal vision at the same time.

Blind psychics often purchase this Power with the Compensatory Bonus (+2FC). This gives ESP a Normal Range and using it no longer consumes an Automatic Action each phase — it is treated as being Always On. Characters with Compensatory ESP treat blindness as a MPR, as the Power eliminates most of the disadvantages of that Drawback.

Many Jedi have this Power between 4 to 8 APs. Madame Web from the Spider-Man comics also had this Power.

Sabra Shulvu - Jedi Knight - SWTOR - in a spaceship

Sabra Shulvu the Silent Knight, being a Miralukan Jedi, has the Extrasensory Perception Power

Extra-Sensory Tracking

Author: Chris Cottingham
Helper(s): Eric Langendorff, Frank Murdock
Link: WIL
Range: Special/Normal
Type: Dice
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 04

This Power allows a Character to hunt down other characters through the use of extra-sensory insights, independent of any physical tracks or traces. It may function through a variety of methods, depending on the character.

The hunter may be telepathically detecting the quarry’s mind, following psychic or ectoplasmic residue, be guided by clairvoyant or precognitive visions, have a subconscious knowledge which gradually surfaces at need, etc. It may simply be a highly developed intuitive sense, where the tracker has ill-explained hunches guiding his/her steps.

The Extra-Sensory Tracker must be within Normal Range of the quarry in order to initially “tune” his or her particular brand of insight to follow a particular quarry. Once a quarry has been tuned in, Range no longer matters, so long as the Character is following the trail.

Note that this Power does not immediately reveal the quarry’s location, as Life Sense or Detect might. The Power reveals the trail, the Power user must follow the trail step by step to arrive at the target’s current location.

The AV/EV of a Telepathic Tracking attempt is the APs of Power; OV/RV are the quarry’s INT/MIND. Any active APs of Mind Blank are added to RV while Obscure adds to OV and RV. A +2 CS OV/RV penalty applies if the Character is unfamiliar with the quarry.

(GM discretion on what constitutes “familiarity” with a quarry, it may be through a personal relationship, through a prior psychic contact such as a telepathic communication or a vision via Precognition or Postcognition, etc.).

If the Character has a limited familiarity, or is operating from a detailed description and/or a photograph, then the OV/RV penalty is reduced to +1 CS.

RAPs of a successful check are the length of time the Character can follow the trail before a new Action Check is needed. Typically, a failed Action Check simply means a delay, as the Character can try the next Phase to pick up the trail again.

Some versions of Extra-Sensory Tracking may have a Decaying Limitation (-1 FC) where a failed action check means the psychic trail has faded beyond the point where it can be followed.

In that case, the quarry would have to be reacquired through the “tuning in” process mentioned above before tracking could resume. (This explains why many police psychics might carry a photo with them, in case they need to “tune in” on the target again.) If the quarry has gone outside of normal Range in the interim, then the trail is lost.

Extra-Sensory Tracking would be possessed, most famously, by Dawnstar of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Dr. Strange, or his amulet, often seems to use this ability, sometimes following a trail in astral form. Other characters who have or could develop Extra-Sensory tracking include many police psychics and fictional “psychic detectives”.

Saturn Girl has a Limited version of it, Derived from her Telepathy and requiring her to have had previous telepathic contact with the quarry. Many other characters may have this Power with similar Limitations.

For example, some police psychics may have Extra-Sensory Tracking Contingent on clairvoyant or psychometric skills such as Postcognition or Object Awareness. (Think again of that police psychic who carries a photo or something from the crime scene to “tune in” the quarry.)

Rachel Summers, with her ability to detect psychic residue and her skill as a telepathic “hound” might also develop this ability.

Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen), Superboy and Cosmic Boy during the Silver Age

Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes has many Powers, including Extra-Sensory Tracking.

Flight (OV clarification)

Commenters: Sébastien Andrivet, Roy Cowan & Dr. Peter S Piispanen

For two or more objects using Flight along the same rough vector, the GM may wish to subtract the pursuer’s Flight APs from the pursued’s Flight score before calculating OV substitution (with a minimum result of 0).

This prevents oddities such as one supersonic jet pursuing another at the same speed suddenly needing to beat an OV of 11 to hit even though they are both in relatively static positions (or in more extreme cases, two FTL  ships suddenly needing to beat an OV of 30 or more under similar circumstances), which does not seem to fit the source material in most such cases.

Fluid Form (Only To Squeeze Through)

Author: Sébastien Andrivet
Helper(s): Ethan Roe, Eric Langendorff, Roy Cowan
Link: BODY
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 10
Factor Cost: 02

This is a packaged Limitation for the Fluid Form Power. The Only to Squeeze Through Limitation means that APs of Fluid Form are only usable to pass through small passages and holes, or fit into small spaces. The APs are checked against on the Shrinking table to get a sense of what is possible.

None of the other effects of Fluid Form apply.

For instance, Fluid Form (Only to Squeeze Through): 05 can be used to fit through any aperture, or hide into any space, something the size of a house cat could reasonably fit in – since house cats have 5 APs of Shrinking (though most house cats also have APs of Fluid Form (Only to Squeeze Through) of their own… okay, assume a small dog instead. Let’s move on, heh ?).

Such movement is performed with 1 AP of speed. However, some Character may have a +1 FC bonus to a suitable movement Power (such as Running) to have it apply to Squeezing movement.

A Character can have both Shrinking (often Always On) and Fluid Form (Only to Squeeze Through). Do a linear addition (e.g. 3+3=6) to see what the Character can Squeeze Through.

Fluid Form (Only to Squeeze Through) is often the produce of flexible bones (or being an invertebrate !), but can also be used to describe Characters who have a very limited form of Fluid Form or Anatomical Separation, some advanced form of circus contortionist training, etc.

Designer’s notes: For years we gave characters who can do that one or two APs of Fluid Form, but it gradually became obvious that it didn’t really work. In fact it created more problems than it solved. Fluid Form (Only to Squeeze Through) emerged as the best approach after trying numerous angles to model Characters with flexible bones such as the Cobra, Ragdoll, Hepzibah, Morbius, etc.

Cobra squeezes into a narrow opening

The Cobra demonstrates the Fluid Form (Only to Squeeze Through) Power

Force Wall v1.4.1

Author: Sébastien Andrivet and Eric Langendorff
Helper(s): William Chamberlin, Roy Cowan, Kal El el Vigilante
Physical Power
Link: STR
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 15
Factor Cost: 07

The Force Wall Power allows a Character to erect a simple defensive barrier in the form of a wall or a bubble. The barrier has a Body equal to the APs of Force Wall and is usually composed of the same types of energies as those created by the Force Manipulation Power, but without the flexibility of Force Manipulation.

A wall is a flat or slightly curved structure with a maximum surface area of 2 APs (2 square yards) that must be manifest within arm’s reach of the user.

A bubble is spherical in shape, centered on the user, and contains a maximum volume equal to the APs of the Force Wall Power (unless such a volume is insufficient to contain the Power user, in which case the bubble’s volume is the minimum necessary to contain the user himself).

Force Wall with the Ranged Bonus enables a Character to create a Force Wall at Normal Range (not just around himself), and changes the Action Type to Auto/Dice. Projecting a Force Wall at Range allows the user to entrap another Character within a bubble. Trapping an unwilling target is a Dice Action with an AV/EV equal to the Character’s Dex/APs of Force Wall, and OV/RV equal to the target’s Dex/Str.

Force Walls are attacked as inanimate objects, using the Character’s Str/Str or APs of an appropriate Power as AV/EV vs. the wall’s Body/Body as OV/RV. Unless the Force Wall has Hardened Defenses (see below), 1 or more RAPs is sufficient to shatter (“breach”) the Wall, although the Power user may apply Last Ditch Defense against the damage.

If a Force Wall is breached, the Wall disappears and the Power takes an AP of damage, which must be Recovered normally.

An Attacker may attempt to Multi-Attack the Force Wall and one or more targets behind it (provided all such targets are within Range of the Attack), but the Attack must inflict enough damage to shatter the wall. If the Multi-Attack would have different AVs vs. the individual targets, use the lowest AV.

If a Force Wall is breached, the Power user’s Actions on the following phase take place at the end of the Initiative order as if the Character had been Intimidated (although no other effects of Intimidation apply as a result of this effect).

Players should decide when the Power is purchased whether the Force Wall is transparent or opaque to sight, sound, or gas diffusion. Force Wall bubbles that are opaque to gas diffusion may protect against gas attacks, but also carry the risk of eventual suffocation from lack of fresh air.

Airtight Force Wall bubbles are considered to have Sealed Systems (Only Versus Gas Attacks) with APs equal to the current APs of Force Wall.

Force Wall may be purchased with the following special Bonuses:

  • Variable Transparency (+5 BC per factor, defined at the time Force Wall is purchased): the transparency of the Force Wall to sight, sound, and/or gas diffusion may be defined at the time the Force Wall is created.
  • Air Supply (+1 FC): Characters enclosed within a Force Wall bubble are supplied with air for an amount of time equal to the Force Wall’s APs plus 4.
  • Increased Size (+1 FC per additional AP of surface area or volume).
  • Can Attack Through Wall (+30 BC, +2 FC): Characters on one side of a Force Wall (defined at the time the Wall is created) may freely Attack targets on the other side of the Force Wall.
  • Hardened Defenses (+3 FC): Force Walls with Hardened Defenses are not breached unless they accumulate damage equal to their APs of Body (i.e., their Current Body Condition reaches 0).
  • Continuous (+1 FC): RAPs of damage to the Wall are not applied to the Power itself so long as the user spends one Automatic Action each phase to maintain the Power.

Force Wall may be purchased with the following special Factor Cost Limitations:

  • Force Wall Loses 2 APs Per Breach (-1 FC).
  • Force Wall Loses 4 APs Per Breach (-2 FC).
  • Force Screen (-3 FC): Force Wall loses 1 AP per RAP of damage taken to the Wall.
  • Wall Only (-2 FC).
  • Psychic Feedback (-1 FC): any RAPs of damage applied to the Force Wall are used as the AV/EV of an immediate Mental Attack using the Int/Mind of the Power user as OV/RV. RAPs scored on this Attack are taken as Mental Bashing damage against the Power user.

Developers’ Notes: This serves as a rewrite of sorts for the Force Field and Force Shield Powers, which normally provide only RV additions. Force Wall can either substitute for those Powers or supplement them to represent different types of force fields.

The well-known example of the official version of Force Field is the shielding of most science-fiction ships. It makes the vessels harder to damage but allow some damage through even when they are not breached.

An example of Force Wall would be standing shields which completely block damage until they are overloaded or the generator itself is destroyed, at which time the field collapses completely.

Traci 13 blocking a spell

Traci Thirteen sees her magical Force Wall shattered.

Geoforce v1.1

Author: Sébastien Andrivet
Mental Power
Link: INT
Range: Normal
Type: Dice
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 06

This Power allows a Character to sense and control local tectonic activity and volcanism such as faults, subterranean geography and magma flow. A Character with Geoforce may use the Power toward a number of applications, including :

  • Awareness of major conditions underground within a distance equal to the APs of Power. With concentration the Character can determine local volcanic activity, presence and location of fault lines, underground temperature, large caves of any origin, presence of specific minerals or bodies of water, especially large beings moving underground or other large sources of underground vibrations, etc.
  • Create earthquakes. Those earthquakes are centered around the Character, who is immune to the direct effects but not incidental ones such as falling buildings and other earthquake hazards. The maximum intensity is equal to half the APs of Power on the modified Mercalli scale  (see below), rounding down.
    The maximum radius is equal to ⅔ of the APs of Power. For instance, a Character with 14 APs of Geoforce can create an Intensity VII earthquake with a radius of 9 APs around them.
    The effects of such artificial earthquakes drop sharply at the end of the radius. Note that in some regions, near tectonics edges, an artificial earthquake may well trigger an actual quake.
  • Diminish the intensity of earthquakes. As above, but the Mercalli rating of the earthquake is lowered.
  • Grow volcano. This feat takes about an hour. The maximum above-ground height of the volcano is ½ the APs of Power – for instance 8 APs is sufficient to create a volcano that is about 150 feet high. This may or may not be accompanied by an earthquake effect as above, at the Character’s discretion.
    The artificial volcano appears in a state of eruption, and will remain eruptive for APs of time equal to the APs of Power.
    If the region has no history of volcanism, the volcano will then cool and shut off. If not, it is now considered to be a normal volcano. Congrats.
  • Widen or close natural fault lines. A clear natural fault must exist in order to perform this. A Character able to manipulate the ground by creating faults of his own has Earth Manipulation.
  • Redirect flows of magma. Magma will have the Flame Being power ranging from 10 to 17 APs according to temperature.

Modified Mercalli scale

This is adapted from the pamphlet The Severity of an Earthquake prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1986.

  • (I) – Not felt except by a very few under especially favourable conditions.
  • (II) – Felt only by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings. Delicately suspended objects may swing.
  • (III) – Felt quite noticeably by persons indoors, especially on the upper floors of buildings. Many do not recognize it as an earthquake. Standing motor cars may rock slightly. Vibration similar to the passing of a truck.
  • (IV) – Felt indoors by many, outdoors by few during the day. At night, some awakened. Dishes, windows, doors disturbed; walls make cracking sound. Sensation like heavy truck striking building. Standing motor cars rocked noticeably.
  • (V) – Felt by nearly everyone; many awakened. Some dishes and windows broken. Unstable objects overturned. Pendulum clocks may stop.
  • (VI) – Felt by all; many frightened and run outdoors, walk unsteadily. Windows, dishes, glassware broken…books off shelves… some heavy furniture moved or overturned; a few instances of fallen plaster. Damage slight.
    Standard Action modifier: Challenging.
  • (VII) – Standing is Challenging (OV/RV 02/02). Furniture broken. Damage negligible in building of good design and construction; slight to moderate in well-built ordinary structures; considerable damage in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken. Noticed by persons driving motor cars.
    Standard Action modifier: Difficult.
  • (VIII) – Standing is Difficult (OV/RV 04/04). Damage slight in specially designed structures; considerable in ordinary substantial buildings with partial collapse. Damage great in poorly built structures. Fall of chimneys, factory stacks, columns, monuments, walls. Heavy furniture moved.
    Standard Action modifier: Strenuous.
  • (IX) – Standing is Strenuous (OV/RV 06/06). General panic… damage considerable in specially designed structures, well-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.
    Standard Action modifier: Extreme.
  • (X) – Standing is Extreme (OV/RV 08/08). Some well-built wooden structures destroyed; most masonry and frame structures destroyed with foundations. Rails bent.
    Standard Action modifier: Extreme.
  • (XI) – Standing is Pushing the Limit (OV/RV 10/10). Few, if any (masonry) structures remain standing. Bridges destroyed. Rails bent greatly.
    Standard Action modifier: Extreme.
  • (XII) – Standing is Herculean (OV/RV 12/12). Damage total. Lines of sight and level distorted. Objects thrown into the air.
    Standard Action modifier: Pushing the Limit.

These rules can replace those on pp 151-153 of BOH:SE if you want.

The Basilisk fights Spider-Man and the Thing

Basilisk has the Geoforce Power


The Gliding Power may be purchased with a +1 FC called Air Current Riding. Characters with the Air Current Riding Bonus to Gliding possess the ability to catch updrafts and thermals to glide higher into the air.

This is considered a Dice Action. The AV is equal to the APs of Gliding and the EV is the APs of Gliding minus the character’s weight in APs (most adult character’s weigh 2 APs.) OV/RV is a universal modifier set by the GM based on current weather conditions.

A calm, cool afternoon in an area not known for extreme weather (San Francisco, perhaps ?) might have an OV/RV of 08/08 while a January day in the windy city of Chicago might rate an OV/RV of 01/01. RAPs equal the amount of time in APs that a character may remain airborne before requiring another Air Current Riding Dice Roll Check.

While airborne in this manner, the Character may move a distance per Phase equal to his APs of Gliding in any direction as if they possessed the Flight Power. Characters may even use Air Current Riding to take to the air from the Earth.

If a character who is Air Current Riding fails an ACR Check, they have lost the updraft and will begin descending, landing in APs of time equal to his altitude in APs – as per the normal Gliding rules. GMs may allow subsequent Air Current Riding Dice Checks during the following Phases while the character is descending. RAPs would represent the character catching another updraft.

Note: Characters who have had their weight reduced below 0 APs through Shrinking, Dispersal, or other means gain the full benefit of lowered mass. For example, if Tiny Tom (Gliding: 08, Shrinking: 10, baseline weight 2 APs) activates his full APs of Shrinking his AV/EV for his Air Current Riding Dice Roll Check would be 8 APs of Gliding / 8 APs of Gliding – (-8 APs of weight) or 8/ 16.

Gliding’s Movement APs are reduced by APs of Shrinking just like any other Movement Power.

Spider-Woman (Marvel Comics) (Earliest version) gliding in the night


As noted in our Character Interaction New Rules file, allowing an extra target for Intimidation per AP of Growth would be reasonable.


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Compiled, formatted, edited, etc. by Roy Cowan and Sébastien Andrivet

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