Ascendant Frequently Asked Questions

Chapter 1 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 1 will be found here.

Do you round before or after subtraction when calculating Absolute Limit, Wealth, and so on?
When adding or subtracting fractions to and from whole numbers, round before performing the operation. For instance, to calculate Absolute Power Limit, you divide PL by 2 and add 3. Therefore, Power Limit 27 has an Absolute Power Limit of 27/2 + 3. 27/2 is 13.5, which rounds to 14, yielding an Absolute Power Limit of 17.

When adding or subtracting fractions to and from other fractions, round after completing all the operations. For instance, the Radius of an Explosion is equal to the SPs/2. The Volume of an Explosion is its Radius + Radius + Radius + 2. Imagine that for some reason you need to find the exact Volume of an Explosion of 15 SPs. The Radius as 7.5, so the Volume would be 7.5 + 7.5 + 7.5 + 2. You would first add the fractions to get 22.5. This would round to 22. You would then add 2, to get 24. Note that if you had rounded the Radius up to 8 before the operation, the Volume would be 8 + 8 + 8 + 2 = 26, which is four times greater.

Chapter 2 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 2 will be found here.

Chapter 3 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 3 will be found here.

Chapter 4 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 4 will be found here.

Control Powers
Earth Control, Ice Control, and Water Control all allow you to Run at Power SPs minus weight. Since they are based on the Power Set rules, which would give Running a Base Score of zero, I’m not sure why weight is subtracted from the Running speed. It seems you are being penalized twice, the Base Score is already zero, why subtract your weight on top of that?
When simulating the physics, a character who has X SPs of some Control-kinesis can pick up and move a target of Weight Y SPs at a Speed of X - Y SPs. With 12 SPs of Earth Control, you can pick up 4 SPs of earth and move it at a Speed of 8 SPs. Since you are using the same power to move yourself, that same math ought physically to apply. Your Speed is therefore purposefully set to (Power - Weight). All sorts of strange results occur if you ignore this! E.g. a character with Telekinesis becomes able to fly himself carrying an ally faster than he can move the ally using his Telekinesis, even though he is using Telekinesis to move himself and his ally in both cases.

But what about CP Cost? In terms of CP cost, the base cost of a Movement Power is determined by the character who purchases it, partially based on the utility of the movement and partially based on the character’s Weight. This, too, is essential – otherwise the Titanic and a minnow pay the same cost for Swimming! However the Control powers are generic - we do not know the character’s Weights. Therefore to handle this, from a CP cost perspective, when building those Control Powers, the various Movement Powers usually do not have a Base Cost for Weight applied, often resulting in a Base Cost of 0. All of these Base Costs then feed into the total cost of the Control Power as it is built out.

This has several benefits. It makes the Control Power work sensibly. If Bob weighs 3 SPs, and I weigh 3 SPs, we can both get moved by my Power at the same Speed. It avoids ultra-heavy characters finding a workaround wherein they purchase a Control Power and get cheap, affordable Movement Power that ignores their Speed.

However, two caveats must be added. The first is that this does result in Running being slightly more expensive when purchase via a Control Power. The difference is, however, quite small since Running is so inexpensive and Power Sets are paying only a fraction of that. In general, some Powers are more expensive when purchased via Control Powers (e.g. as noted on p. 177, you always use the higher Variable Cost for a Power in a Power Set even if the character would normally pay a lower one.) and that’s the case here.

The second caveat is that when Cosmic Control was set up, it was built with a cost of 15 CP for Flight at Weight 3 because it is supposed to “defy the laws of physics.” That means Cosmic Control is a bargain for an entity of vast Weight. Given how incredibly expensive Cosmic Control is, I deemed this acceptable. (If we wanted to be very strict about it, Cosmic Control lets you fly at a Speed equal to your Power in SPs up to Weight 3, -1 SP per SP of Weight thereafter.)

There’s many decisions like this hidden behind many aspects of the game, and it would have doubled the size of the book to explain them all. It’s why Ascendant shouldn’t be described as an effects-based point build system. A whole layer of decisions functions in between the CP cost and the rules-as-physics. That said, if you want a generic rule to apply for custom power building, try this:

“When building a Power Set that allows the character to emulate Burrowing, Flight, Gliding, Jumping, Running, Swimming, or Wall Crawling, the character may choose to treat the Base Cost of that Movement Power as 0 CPs. He gains the ability to emulate that Power at SPs equal to his SPs of Power - his Weight.”

What effect is used in the various Control powers (“move a volume of air,” “move masses of earth,” “extinguish an electrical current,” “modify the magnitude of an electrical current,” “extinguish a fire,” “move a fire,” and so on)?
These effects are modeled with some combination of the following.

  • Create Fire (Base Cost 65, Variable Cost 14) is used for creating fires from thin air (first bullet in Fire Control).
  • Ranged Concentration Noncombatant Superstrength [substance] (Base Cost 10, Variable Cost 2) is used for picking up and moving masses of the substance.
  • Ranged Superstrength [substance] (Base Cost 15, Variable Cost 5) is used for hurling objects of the substance.

We do not recommend that you make those effects available as powers separately from the Control Powers (and hence do not list them as such). In the context of the physics-based gameplay of Ascendant, being able to e.g. create fire should necessarily include the other effects listed. However, it can be useful for GMs who want to reverse-engineer those Powers to devise alternatives.

Movement Powers
How do Powers that permanently affect your Weight interact with the Base Cost of Movement Powers?
Movement Powers which have a Base Cost modified by your Weight do not have their Speed reduced by permanent effects that increase the character’s Weight, such as Permanent Growth or Permanent Hyper-Density. However, their Base Cost must be calculated based on their Weight after these Powers are applied.

Absorption Field
If I use Absorption Field for a Power Stunt, do I have to expend points from my Current Capacitance to fuel SPs of the Power I’m stunting?
It depends. If the Power Stunt is based on and modifying the Absorption Field itself – for instance, projecting it to protect another character, forming the Absorption Field into a shape, or so on – then you would not have to expend Current Capacitance. If the Power Stunt is based on or emulating an Absorption-Fueled Power, then you would have to expend Current Capacitance.

Can I use an Absorption Field to exceed my Power Limit?
Your Absorption-Fueled still have to obey your Absolute and Combinatorial Power Limits, except when performing Power Stunts.

How can I use a Power Stunt from Absorption Field to exceed my Power Limit?
A Power Stunt can exceed a character’s Power Limit, but the Hero Point cost of the Power Stunt is increased by 1 Hero Point per SP over the character’s Power Limit.
Imagine a PL20 character that has Combat Sense 7, Marksmanship 10, Absorption Field 13 (Blast). The character can use his Absorption Field at full SPs defensively (7+13 = 20) but when charging Blasts from his Absorption Field, he can only use 10 SPs.
If the character declares a Power Stunt to emulate 13 SPs Blast from his 13 SPs of Absorption Field, he would first expend 5 Hero Points (for emulating an Offensive Power from a Defensive Power) and then expend an additional 3 Hero Points for exceeding his Power Limit by 3. Thus, for 8 Hero Points, the character could attack with AV 10, EV 13.

Continuous Blast
*Imagine a PL18 character built with AGI 6 and Continuous Blast 12. Could that character aim at a point in space or other easy-to-hit target in order to therefore strike harder-to-hit targets in the path of the beam using Blast as the EV, thus getting an AV 12 / EV 12 attack, at PL24?"
No. The AV and EV cannot exceed the character’s PL. The SPs of Blast against targets in the Continuous beam would be reduced as necessary (for both AV and EV) until their sum is below the character’s PL.
In the example above, the primary target would be attacked with AV 6. If the attack hits, the target would be dealt damage at EV 12. If the attack misses, it would scatter. Any targets in the beam would then be attacked at AV 9 and EV 9. It’s harder to score a direct hit with the beam, but it does more damage.

Emotion Adjustment
Why do the Moderately and Extremely Agreeable conditions have the same description?
They don’t! Moderately Agreeable characters will agree to “unusual or dangerous requests”, while “Extremely Agreeable characters will agree to unusual, dangerous requests.”
A Moderately Agreeable soldier might agree to put on a chicken costume (an unusual request) or attack the enemy (a dangerous request), while an Extremely Agreeable soldier will agree to wear a chicken costume while attacking the enemy (unusual, dangerous request).
As a lawyer, this seemed like perfectly common sense rules writing to me. But this is why everyone hates lawyers.

*Can a Targeted Intense Explosion be used to circumvent PL by ‘targeting’ a point in space and then affecting all characters in the blast radius with AV and EV equal to the SPs of Explosion?"
No. The AV and EV cannot exceed the character’s PL. Anytime the Explosion power carries both the Intense and Targeted modifiers, the AV and EV used to attack any characters in the blast radius is always the same (before modifiers). The AV is the character’s SPs of AGI or AGI-substitute and the EV is the character’s SPs of Explosion. Obviously, it would make no sense for an Intense explosion to massively increase in accuracy by missing.

Force Control
When a Force Controller makes a construct with Aura, Blast, or Strike, what damage types can it deal?
A Force Construct will deal either Bludgeon, Lacerating, or Penetrating, depending on the shape of the Construct. A Power Stunt (1 Hero Point) will permit other damage types.

If my character is Stuck by Glue such that my Speed is reduced to 0 SPs, is my DV reduced to 0 if I am defending myself with Deflection?
No, Deflection is not affected by Glue. As noted in the rules, “The foregoing notwithstanding, Glue does not affect Deflection.”

Can a Hazard be moved?
Yes, provided it is not an Instant Hazard. Moving a Hazard functions exactly like moving a Fog: As a subsequent Challenge Action, you can move the Hazard you created to another point within Range and LOS.

Imagine a character that has the Invention Power and Singular Invention Perk. Could the character invent his own Singular Inventions, changing them over time? For instance, assume he has 200 CP of Invention and 500 CP worth of Singular Inventions. Could he invent a 200-CP Invention, move it “out” of his Invention pool and into his Singular Invention pool, and then Invent something else, repeating until he has a total of 700 CP of Inventions?
Yes, he can. Invention + Singular Invention is an excellent combination for such characters. Don’t forget, however, that the character’s Power Level limits will be reduced by having Singular Inventions, so what he gains in breadth he will lose in depth of power.

Does Invisibility affect the Devices, Inventions, or Objects a character carries or picks up?
A character’s Devices are always affected by his Invisibility. Other Objects worn or carried by a character when he becomes Invisible, or picked up while Invisible, will be or become Invisible if the following criteria apply:

  • The Object has a Weight at least 3 SPs less than the character’s Weight
  • The Object has a Height no greater than the character’s Height
  • The Object does not have the Cumbersome or Long Reach modifiers and carrying it does not encumber the character.

For instance, an Invisible character with Height 0 and Weight 3 could wear a ballistic armor suit (Height 0, Weight 0) or a spy catsuit (Height 0, Weight -2) without compromising his stealth, but if he wore a Hazmat Suit (Height 0, Weight 1) the Hazmat Suit would be visible. He could carry a Submachinegun (Height -2, Weight -2) undetected, but a Flamethrower (Height 1, Weight 1) would be visible.

Mind Domination
If you use Mind Domination and succeed with a particular color (e.g. Yellow), can you try again later in order to get a better color result? If so, would the Dominated character still get to use its RES as the DV? What happens if you get a worse color result? Does the Dominated character have to break free of the original or later color result?"
Yes, you can try again. The Dominated character can still use its RES as the DV, and can still spend Hero Points to decrease the RV. If you get a worse color result, you still retain your original (better) result. The Dominated character has to break free against the best color result you achieved.

“If a Mind Dominator has Dominated a target, and orders the target to walk into traffic, or otherwise commit self-harm, does the target get an opportunity to break free before it carry out the order, or only at the end of its Panel?”
Normally, a target attempts to break free from Mind Domination at the end of its Panel. If the target is ordered to take an action that will irrevocably harm itself or a loved one, the Gamemaster could permit the target to make its Challenge Check to break free just prior to the action. If the target succeeds, he breaks free and his panel immediately ends. If the target fails, he carries out the action(s) and his panel ends. He would not get another attempt to break free at the end of that panel.

Mind Reading
Is the target of Mind Reading aware of the attempt?
By default, the target is not aware of the attempt. (The target may still ‘subconsciously’ spend Hero Points, however.) A Mind Reader might possess a Power Flaw that makes their Mind Reading obvious to the target, however.

Can you attack through a Portal with Blast, Cone, or Explosion?
Yes. “Powers can used through the Portal, subject to the limitations of Spotting.” However, the distinct geometry of a Portal would have interesting implications for the area of effect on the far side, depending on where the attacker is standing when he uses his Power.
In general, an Explosion used point-blank at a Portal would manifest as a Cone on the far side of the Portal; the explosive sphere on this side of the Portal would be missing the “pie slice” created by the Portal’s obstruction.

Power Dampening
If you Power Stunt with a Power that has been Dampened, can you still use the Power’s full CP cost to calculate the Power Stunt?
Yes. However, the Power Stunt is limited to the SPs of the Power after Dampening is applied. For instance, if you use a Power with 15 SPs that costs 200 CP, which has been Dampened to 5 SPs, you still have 200 CP to build your Power Stunt but your maximum SPs for the Stunt will only be 5 SPs.

Since Superspeed has a Permanent Duration, does that mean that a character with Superspeed can never communicate with other characters?
No! The rule does state that “the character using Superspeed cannot communicate with other characters.” The key word is “using.” A power with a Permanent duration is always activated (p. 73) but that does not mean the power is always being used. Using a power occurs when an Action is taken with a Power, when it is used or modifies AV, DV, EV, Protection, or other Attributes, or with each Movement Action (p. 73). Superspeed is only being used when those conditions apply. The power’s description is clear that this is voluntary on the part of the character - the character “can add” Superspeed to his various Attributes. Anytime the rules use “can” it means the choice is voluntary.

Super-Speed/Time Control
Can a character with Super-Speed or Time Control undertake several Automatic Actions on his Panel?
A character with these Powers can add his SPs of Power to his Time spent performing Extended Actions. But, by virtue of the logarithmic math of Ascendant, an Extended Action is nothing more than an Instant Action performed repeatedly. For instance, a character with 5 SPs of INS can read 5 SPs of Information (a paragraph) as an Automatic Action in 0 SPs of Time. This can be understood as reading INS SPs of Information per Page, or as reading SPs of Information as an Extended Action equal to INS + Time spent.
Therefore, under the canon that “Physics Fills the Gaps,” it makes sense to allow the character to use his Automatic Action to undertake several sequential Instant Automatic Actions instead of one Extended Automatic Action of 0 SPs, provided the sequential Automatic Actions could be understood as part of a larger Extended Auction. For instance, if it takes one Automatic Action to stack a box in front of a door, a character with 4 SPs of Super-Speed or Time Control might stack 16 boxes in front of a door with his Automatic Action. That’s essentially just saying “stack boxes” is an Extended Action with SPs of boxes stacked equal to Time spent.
Sometimes Automatic Actions are linked to specific game mechanics that relate to the character’s interaction with his own Powers or with other game mechanics. Such examples include (a) concentrating on a Power, (b) changing allocation of SPs in a Power Battery, (c) activating and deactivating a Power, and so on. In these cases, Super-Speed or Time Control cannot be used to undertake multiple Actions. It is never permitted to break the action economy for such purposes.

My speedster wants to drop a line of grenades as he zooms across the battlefield. How would that be handled?
This would be handled as a Multi-Attack with no EV, meaning you double the Multi-Attack Penalty to the AV. The DV would be based on the average Range from the character to the grenade’s drop-off points; that will always be the character’s Speed -1. The AV will be the character’s AGI or Marksmanship, increased by his SPs of Super-Speed or Time Control. The AV and EV of the grenades, when they detonate, will not be affected – each will go off individually.
For instance, imagine the hero has AGI 5, Super-Speed 7, and Running Speed 12. He wants to drop 8 grenades, one every 20 feet (2 SPs), over a total Distance of 8 x 20 = 160 feet (5 SPs). His AV is 5+7 = 12. Since he’s dropping off 8 grenades, his Multi-Attack penalty is -3, doubled since the EV isn’t effected, to -6, for a final AV of 6. His DV is the average Distance to his grenade drop-offs, which would be 5 - 1 = 4 SPs. His RV is +2, meaning he’ll have little problem dropping the grenades off accurately. When they go off, the grenades’ SPs of Explosion will determine the AV/EV, without being affected by his prior Multi-Attack.
If the hero wanted to drop off 32 grenades (-5 Multi-Attack Penalty) over 640 feet (7 SP Distance), his AV would have been 12 - 10 = 2, and his DV would have been 6. With an RV of -4, he’d have likely had many of his grenades scatter as he threw them.

Technology Control
What is the difference between a hacker using a computer with Deep Networked Tech Control and a hacker using Science (Computers)?
The intent of the rules was that the hacker has to have SPs of Science (Computers) at least equal to the SPs of Deep Networked Tech Control on his computer or other object, similar to how a doctor using a Methodical Biochemical Lab needs X SPs of Science to use X SPs of the Power. This has been addressed in the errata.

Chapter 5 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 5 will be found here.

Alternate Form versus Vulnerable State: Caught out of Costume
If I want to build a character like Shazam, do I use Alternate Form or Vulnerable State?
For a character like Shazam (Captain Marvel), you would use Vulnerable State: Caught out of Costume, as Billy Batson is much weaker than Captain Marvel. You would get a decrease in CP cost because of the fact that you sometimes have to be Billy Batson and not have access to your powers.

I think the math for Minions may be broken. Imagine I have a Power Limit 30 character with a Challenge Rating of 1000. If I spend 80 CP on Minions, I gain Minions with a Challenge Rating of 500. My own character is now Power Limit 28 with a Challenge Rating of 500. So the total Challenge Rating remains 1000, as it should. But if I spend another 80 CP, I gain another set of Minions with a Challenge Rating of 500, while I drop to a Power Limit 26 with a Challenge Rating of 250. The total is now a Challenge Rating of 1,250 – the total Challenge Rating now exceeds my character’s Challenge Rating. The problem only gets worse from there.

It is true that the rules do permit you to spend more than 80 CP on Minions. “A character can spend more than 80 CP on Minions if desired. Each additional 80 CP grants another 80 CP worth of Minions.” However, the next sentence states “Because Minions puts additional characters under the player’s control, it affects the character’s Power Limit.” In the example above, when you spend another 80 CP on Minions, you gain additional Minions based on having a Power Limit of 28, not a Power Limit of 30 – so you get Minions worth 250 Challenge Rating, not worth 500. The total Challenge Rating is thus 250 (your character) + 500 (your first set of Minions) + 250 (your second set of Minions) = 1,000.

Missing Perks
What Perk would I use to sustain powers while asleep but not otherwise unconscious?
No such Perk is available in the rules. The Lucid Dreamer perk, below, could be used with your Gamemaster’s permission.

Lucid Dreamer: The character can sustain Sustained powers when enjoying natural sleep. He cannot sustain his powers when knocked unconscious by damage or effects, however. Cost: 10 CP.

Missing Drawbacks
What Drawback would I use to model a socially-clueless character? He’s not Unlikeable, just inept at judging the emotional state of the room, as it were.
No such Drawback is available in the rules. The Oblivious drawback, below, could be used with your Gamemaster’s permission.

Oblivious: The character is unable to observe social cues. When interacting with NPCs, he never knows their Attitude, and cannot tell the difference between Friendly, Indifferent, Avoidant, and Hostile NPCs. His DVs for Charisma checks to persuade, intimidate, or interrogate NPCs and Crowds are always secret. Refund: 2 CP.

Chapter 6 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 6 will be found here.

Damage to Objects
If I have an Aura, does it damage my own or other character’s Devices, Inventions, Singular Inventions, and carried or worn Equipment? What about If my character uses a Self-Targeted Explosion against which I am not immune?
Your Devices will never be damaged unless you have the Destruction of Device Vulnerable State, and the Device is then targeted mechanically according to the rules that apply to that Vulnerable State.

For Singular Inventions, Inventions, and Ordinary Objects, refer to the rules for Worn Objects and Externally-Crewed Objects carried by the character (p. 221). Damage and Special Effects from Attacks that affect the wearer only apply to the wearer, except if the Object gives the wearer Protection. In this case the Object’s Protection applies to the wearer, but the Object simultaneously takes Durability Damage equal to the amount of Damage it stops.

Thus, an effect that does damage to you will not damage any of your Carried or Worn Objects unless they are separately targeted (in a Multi-Attack) or those Objects provide Protection against the effect.

If you want a slightly more realistic rule, then Area of Effect Attacks should damage your Carried or Worn Ordinary Objects. This will allow a grenade to blow up your assault rifle, for instance. I do not recommend having Area of Effect Attacks damage Carried or Worn Singular Inventions or Inventions, as it doesn’t seem to work that way in comic books.

Repairing Objects
Could I build a self-repairing wearable object by purchasing Regeneration that applies to the object, even if I have already purchased Regeneration as a power that applies to the object’s wearer?
Yes. You’d purchase Regeneration twice, paying the additional cost for the SPs of Regeneration that would repair the object itself.

Chapter 7 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 7 will be found here.

Taking Actions
Can a character undertake a Challenge Action, spend Hero Points to increase his RV to where he can automatically succeed, and thereby only expend an Automatic Action?
Yes. This use of Hero Points is an excellent way to gain a temporary boost of Speed, for instance, by Moving All-Out automatically.

Is a character required to use his full SPs of his Attributes, Powers, or Skills when taking Actions?
No. A character can usually use less than his full SPs if he wants to. Remember canon #2: “Physics Fills the Gaps.” A person capable of slapping someone enough to break a brick is certainly also capable of just gently patting his dog on the back. There are some things worth noting, however:

  • You cannot simultaneously reduce the SPs of a Power for one aspect of the Power while treating it as full SP in another aspect (absent some modifier such as Variable Volume). For instance, if you have Blast at 12 SPs, you cannot reduce its EV to 4 SPs while still claiming it has a Range of 12 SPs.
  • You cannot reduce the SPs of a Transformation power with the Permanent modifier.
  • You cannot reduce the SPs of any Permanent power if the Power’s description states that the SPs of the Power “are added” to Attributes. You can do so if the Power’s description states that the SPs of Power “can” apply to particular Attributes.
  • You cannot reduce the SPs of Super-Intelligence. You are forced to accept the existential dread that comes with being smart enough to see the world as it truly is at all times with no respite save the certainty of your own mortality.

The GM should use his judgment with regard to Objects. You can certainly drive slower than maximum speed or turn the radio down. You cannot make the fragmentation grenade blow up with less power.

Power Stunts
Can I make a Power Stunt using a Skill?
Yes, you can Power Stunt with a Skill as if you were Power Stunting with an Enhanced Attribute, using the CP cost of the Primary Attribute plus the CP cost of the Skill. The maximum SP of the Power Stunt is equal to the Skill. The plausible Power Stunts will, of course, be limited by the Skill used.
For instance, you might plausibly use Intimidation to Power Stunt Emotion Adjustment (fear) and Persuasion to Power Stunt Emotion Adjustment (agreeableness) but not vice versa.

Spotting, Listening, Hiding, and Sneaking
How many SPs of Flash/Illumination or Noise does an Aura, Blast, Explosion, or Strike make?
Because these Powers can take on many physical forms, it depends – “Physics Fills the Gaps” in the most case. Here are some possible rulings that might be useful:

  • An Aura might produce SPs of Illumination and Noise equal to its SPs - 12 while it is active.
  • A Blast such as a gun might produce momentary SPs of Illumination equal to its SPs/2 and momentary SPs of Noise equal to its SPs x 1.5. A firearm with 8 SPs of Penetrating Blast might produce 4 SPs of Illumination and 12 SPs of Noise for an Instant. (A real-world firearm is about 12 SPs of Noise or 135 decibels.)
  • A Blast such as a lightning bolt might produce momentary SPs of Illumination equal to its SPs and momentary SPs of Noise equal to its SPs. 10 SPs of Electrical Blast might produce 10 SPs of Illumination and 10 SPs of Noise for an instant - about 24 million candelas and 120 decibels.
  • A Cone or Explosion might produce momentary SPs of Illumination and Noise equal to its SPs.
  • Other Attacks might produce momentary SPs of Illumination and Noise equal to one-half their SPs each, or just one of the two at equal to SPs. For instance, a Bludgeoning Strike of 3 SPs might produce 3 SPs of Noise (e.g. 80dB fight sounds) while a Bludgeoning Strike of 10 SPs might produce 10 SPs of Noise (e.g. 120dB thunderclap).

These are just guidelines and the GM should be the adjudicator of the light and sound produced by effects, following canon #2. If they are used, characters who have purchased Invisibility and Inaudability should be able to reduce the SPs of the incidental Illumination and Noise produced by their Powers just as they reduce their own image and sound’s presence.

Chapter 8 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 8 will be found here.

What would happen if a Totally Surprised character were knocked back into an obstacle?
A character knocked back into an unintentional Collision with an object conducts a Ramming Attack using the Speed of the knockback as the AV and his own AGI as the DV. However, if the character were Totally Surprised, his DV would (barring Intuitive Combat Sense, etc.) be reduced to 0.

If my character collides with a really huge Object, it feels unrealistic to me to use the Weight of that Object as the EV. After all, it’s full Weight isn’t bearing down on me, just part of it. Is there a realistic way to handle that?
Yes! When a character or object collides with or rams a target with fewer SPs of Height than itself, subtract 1.5 times the difference in Height from the taller character or object’s Weight for purposes of the EV.
For instance, if a hero (Height 0, Weight 3) collides with a kaiju (Height 7, Weight 24) at Speed 4, the EV of the ram would normally be calculated as 28 SPs. Using this optional rule, you would subtract (7 x 1.5) = 10.5 SPs, putting the collision EV at 17.5 SPs, rounding to 18 SPs.
Since it involves multiplying by fractions I didn’t include this in the game but you can consider it an official “optional” rule. Not only does it address size discrepancy, it also addresses the discrepancy I noted in the Designer’s Notes between damage being based on the square root of kinetic energy for projectiles and on momentum for collisions.

What are the mechanics for breaking through an obstacle to attack someone?
If you want to break through an obstacle to ram a target, you compare your MIG/Super-Strength or your Weight + Speed versus the obstacle’s Break DV. If your AV is equal to or greater than the DV, then you can simply expend an Automatic Action to break through the obstacle and continue your movement.
Alternatively, you can make a Ramming Attack against the obstacle, using your Ramming AV against its DV (usually 0). If you deal enough Damage to Destroy the target, you can continue to move at your current Speed -2 to ram the target behind it. Note that this results in a -2 penalty to your Ramming EV, and is equivalent mathematically to multi-attacking the wall and your actual target simultaneously (-1/-1).

What are the mechanics for shooting through an obstacle to hurt someone taking cover?
If you want to shoot or stab through an obstacle, then the obstacle’s SPs of TOU is simply treated as SPs of Protection against your attack. (If the obstacle itself has SPs of Protection that are higher than its own TOU, then use the obstacle’s Protection instead.) In this case the obstacle is just acting like armor.
If the “obstacle” is actually a vehicle, and the target is actually Crew inside its Interior Capacity, then the target is better protected by space, chassis, etc. The EV of your attack is reduced by the difference between the vehicle’s Weight and its Interior Capacity, and then Protection is applied based on the vehicle’s Protection. (The EV is not reduced if the attack is an Area of Effect attack.)
If you cannot see the target on the other side of the obstacle when you make your attack, the attack will count as a Blind Attack, suffering a -2 AV if Melee and -4 AV if Ranged.

What happens if I am caught in the area of effect of an attack, but am sheltering behind an obstacle?
Both you and the obstacle you are sheltering behind are attacked. The obstacle is attacked and damaged using its own DV, Protection, TOU, and Durability. You are attacked using your own Attributes, but you damage you take is also reduced by SPs of Protection equal to the object’s SPs of TOU/Protection.
For example, imagine a rubbled downtown warzone. You are sheltering behind a 5’ x 5’ wall from a brownstone townhouse. The wall has TOU 7, Durability 120, Protection 5. An 8 SP grenade blows up next to the wall. The wall is attacked at AV 8 vs DV 0, for a Red result that deals 256 Damage. After subtracting its 5 Protection, 249 Damage destroys the wall. Meanwhile, you are attacked at AV 8 vs your AGI/Combat Sense. You will receive an additional 24 points of Protection from the wall’s 7 SPs of TOU.

Reserving Actions
Am I allowed to take my Automatic Action and/or Challenge Actions at any point during my Movement Action?
Not usually. By default, each of your Actions takes place sequentially. However, you can Reserve one (and only one) Action to take place when a trigger condition is met. By Reserving an Automatic or Challenge Action to do X when Y occurs prior to undertaking your Movement Action, you can interrupt your Movement Action when the trigger occurs, take the triggered Action, and then complete your Movement Action.

Can I have more than one Action reserved? Can I have more than trigger?
You cannot reserve more than one Action at a time. However, you can have multiple triggers used in conjunction such as “If X or Y, then…” or “if X and Y, then…”

When I undertake a Movement Action, do I have to decide my destination before I start moving, or can I just roam around as desired, deciding each SP or Battle Area I move what I’ll do next?
You have to decide your destination before you start moving.
However, you can make your destination conditional on what happens as you move. E.g. “I will fly across Capital City until I reach the Statue of Fortune or until I spot Maximum Leader, whichever comes first.”
You can also Reserve an Action to undertake during your Movement, and condition your Movement on the trigger for that Reserve Action. “E.g. I will reserve my Challenge Action to blast Maximum Leader with my Annihilating Blast, then I will fly across Capital City until I reach the Statue of Fortune or until I spot Maximum Leader.”

Team Attacks
Character 1 has Extra Attack. Character 2 has reserved his Challenge Action to Team Attack with Character 1. If Character 1 Team Attacks with Character 2, can Character 1 still use his Extra Attack afterwards?
Yes. Character 1 can use his Extra Attack after his Team Attack with Character 2. Character 1 could also use his Extra Attack as part of the Team Attack, if that were advantageous.

Trick Attacks
How do I strangle somebody?
Choking or Strangulation isn’t explicitly addressed in the rules. In some cases, it could be handled as a Touch-Range Targeted Physical Incapacitating Paralysis power stunt. In general, you have to reduce a character’s Health to 0 to knock them out; it can’t be bypassed without a Power.

How do I dismember a foe, or break his back, or otherwise permanently disable someone?
The rules do not explicitly describe how to permanently cripple your enemies, but the means to do so can be inferred from Not The Hero He Once Was (p. 444). In lieu of slaying a target, you may instead maim the target in some manner, permanently reducing his Character Point total by 10 CP or more (usually by inflicting a Drawback).

For example, imagine that Helen Killer ambushes Dr. Quantum and reduces her to -320 Health. Instead of slaying her, Helen Killer stabs out her eyes. Dr. Quantum is left at -319 Health and gains the Blindness drawback, effectively losing 20 CP.

Whether or not this is appropriate to your Series will depend on the tone the GM establishes. Check with your GM about the Combat Lethality rules being used in their campaign.

Chapter 9 FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Chapter 9 will be found here.

Appendix A FAQ
FAQ questions relating to Appendix A will be found here.

Some of the Attributes for animals seem too low. Shouldn’t they be 1 to 2 SPs higher?
The animal templates are primarily designed for you to use with Skinchanging. The way the Skinchange power works, when you transform you add the animal’s attributes -3 to your own attributes, because 3 SPs is the human average. Therefore the animals are all their species’ equivalent of an average human with 3 SPs. They are NOT necessarily the biggest and toughest of its kind of the sort that get used as benchmarks, just as a 3 SP human isn’t the biggest and toughest human. Animals at the peak of their species based on age, sex, weight, and dominance hierarchy can be up to 2 SPs more than what’s shown in MIG, AGI, or VAL, just as peak humans can be up to 2 SPs more than average. (Some animals might be even more variant than that, if one believes in the allegations of 30ft+ great white sharks and so on.)

As an example, most lions are female and weigh 275-350 lbs, even though a huge male lion could be up to 575 lbs. But that 575lb lion could have MIG 6 and Lacerating Penetrating Strike 7. Female grizzlies weigh 290 lbs to 400 lbs even though a huge male grizzly could weigh 800 lbs. And that 800lb grizzly could have MIG 7 and Lacerating Penetrating Strike 8. A chimpanzee can range from 60 to 110 lbs (female) or 90 to 150 lbs (male), with Super-Strength 5 – so a 110lb chimp is four times as strong as an average 150lb person. The 150lbs Arnold Schwarzenegger of chimps will have Super-Strength 7.