Thursday Night Delvers
Trappings are the life and soul of the powers system. Many “new” powers are just existing powers with a specific trapping. For instance, if you want a power to ward off “supernatural evil,” just use barrier with a trapping where it only affects such creatures; obviously, it won’t affect anyone else (or ranged attacks) so the caster’s allies will be able to cross it and attack through it, but so will foes who are not “supernatural evil” or those with ranged attacks. It’s a benefit with an inherent limitation as well. Some powers will have their effect changed by trappings, and some will not. Even if a trapping doesn’t have a specific alteration to the power, the Game Master should keep in mind minor benefits and drawbacks that could affect the story. Trappings are an opportunity to be creative, and players should be rewarded for creative concepts. Just remember to keep the rewards balanced.
For instance, a Minor Effect is an advantage added to a power that doesn’t change the basic rules for its use. The Game Master will rule some of these based on the specific situation and others may be pre-determined. In that case, the advantage should be limited. It could be an effect that always occurs but has limited usefulness (like a subject ignoring difficult ground penalties only for ice). Or it could be a slightly more useful ability that occurs less often (like a target randomly catching on fire or having limited movement only if a raise is achieved on the power). The advantage of a Minor Effect should never mimic the full consequences of another power unless extremely limited. A Major Effect alters the basic rules of the power more significantly, directly affecting the game mechanics for the listed power. They are a little trickier to regulate if the change is more subjective (as with the barrier example above), but both Game Master and player should be open to later adjustment of the power based on usefulness in play.
Major Effects of a trapping may duplicate the results of another power, though this should usually be on a lesser scale (armor only versus a particular attack or a damage field of lower damage). They could also be used for a more powerful version of the given effect (bolt damaging on the following round or stun with a –2/–4 penalty to resist instead of 0/–2). In exchange for such benefits, the base power then has some other variable such as its range, duration, effect, or damage reduced. Alternatively, the power may gain a significant benefit with no other alteration in effect, but the Power Point cost is increased. To help, below are listed some ideas for Minor and Major Effects of common trappings. These are just suggestions and not required by any means as a trapping could be defined to specifically not cause that Effect (such as an acid that instantly neutralizes). Many of these Effects can be used equally for different trappings by simply changing the description.
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