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Hours of Active Powers: Mistborn

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  • Hours of Active Powers: Mistborn

    In Mistborn, Tineyes will be on the lookout for hours at a time using their powers to listen and watch for intruders. How would you simulate this in Savage Worlds? There definitely is not enough PP to Boost Trait Notice for hours on end. But No PP makes no sense when activating powers in Mistborn isn't risky .

  • #2
    Caveat: I have not read any of the Mistborn books.

    For long-duration power use, my preferred mechanics are:
    1. SPC powers with Activation flaws.
    2. Changing the base duration of powers.
    1. While a useful toolkit, SPC powers don't generally work well with power systems that have supplies limited less than days. For a setting where powers are routinely used for hours with only descriptive drawbacks, the SPC is excellent (most "finite power supply" supers, like the Green Lantern, fall into this category). For a setting where extended or intense use causes exhaustion, resource depletion, or other concrete drawbacks, the SPC is a bad choice.

    2. Changing the base duration of non-instant powers is so easy as to be trivial, but can have a profound affect on the setting. Multiplying all powers duration by 10 minutes (100 rounds) is simple, changing the default duration of boost Trait to 50 minutes (or 100 for a character with Concentration) and darksight to 10 hours (20 with Concentration). Combined with the generous Maintaining Powers costs, it would become easy for a character to use tineyes for hours at a time (five hours of boost Notice for only 7 PP).
    What multiplier to use is a real question, and one you'll need to seriously consider based upon the setting, the expected uses of powers, and the expected power points available to power users. If you want to keep duration simple to remember but longer then I would advise picking an easily-remembered baseline (30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.) and multiplying all the durations by whatever factor that is (6 minutes, 12 minutes, etc.).

    * While some will advocate for No Power Points, I've never found that rule to be effective or fun. It's good for spamming bolt for much of the day, or sustaining protection for the day, but it makes healing highly unreliable and greater healing effectively impossible, while making it catastrophic to try to both maintain "buffs" and cast attacks. Ultimately, I've always found it to make games less fun.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      1. If their power is just "They're very observant all the time", don't muck around with the Powers system. Have them take the Alertness Edge, and say that the bonus it grants are related to their Arcane Background. Maybe look at the Holy Warrior's soak bonus mechanics, and do something like that, but with Alertness.

      2. If you want to change Boost Trait so that it's longer-duration, it might work to impose limitations on Boost/Lower Trait in exchange for a longer base duration. This kind of mechanic was more common in older editions before the Power Modifiers and Limitations mechanics were introduced, but if you consider the pre-written powers as a baseline, you can adjust bits of them up and down, as long as things stay roughly balanced, and make that the only version of the Power that the character has. A self-only, Boost-only version of Boost/Lower Trait is significantly less powerful than the basic power, so if you bumped its base duration up, that might work OK.

      3. You could add an Edge that adds a new Power Modifier, Increased Duration or something. Require Concentration if you want to make them stretch for it, though honestly I might just replace Concentration as that's barely worth an Edge. Spend an extra couple of Power Points to increase the base duration of a 5 round base duration power to minutes or even hours, in exchange for a base +X increase in its cost. PP don't regenerate while you have Powers active, so balance-wise it's about the same as "You can cast this for free on the first round of combat" which exists in a couple of places.


      • Toa Lewa
        Toa Lewa commented
        Editing a comment
        I considered giving them Alertness, but the problem is that their super senses are powered by "burning" metal. When they run out of metal, their powers don't work. So, PP seemed like the way to go since they can get low on power reserves and their keen senses are not always on.

    • #4
      You could look at using a Ritual rules set, like in the Fantasy Companion or ETU,. I don't have my books with me so I can't give details from those books. A very simple system might be something like making the ritual a Dramatic Task and use each success as time multiplier; 1 success is standard duration, 2 successes turns rounds into minutes, 5 successes turns the turns into hours. The burning metal is consumed during the duration.


      • #5
        I would also give them Alertness and Danger Sense but then let them use Power Points for Boost Notice when "flaring".

        Tin eyes tend to have a high level of addiction because their power is cheap and efficient. So I would also suggest an addiction to the player.