Storm over the Bay
This is a great rule to add to your game if you’re the kind of Game Master who’s a little stingy in awarding Bennies. It slightly ups the heroics and is a lot of fun for the group.
When a player character draws a Joker during combat, he receives his normal +2 bonus to Trait and damage rolls. In addition, all player characters receive a Benny!
No Power Points
Instead of using Power Points, characters with Arcane Backgrounds simply choose the power they want to activate and make an arcane skill roll. The penalty to the roll is half the power’s usual Power Point cost (rounded down). Casting the armor power, for example, which costs 2 Power Points, is an arcane skill roll at –1.
Once cast, check the results below:
• Success: The power activates as usual.
• Raise: A raise on the roll grants any additional bonuses
to the power stated in its description. Armor, for example,
grants a +4 bonus to Toughness with a raise.
• Failure: All currently maintained powers are cancelled
and the caster is Shaken.
Backlash: Channeling magic, spiritual, and even tinkering with unstable technology. If a caster rolls a 1 on the arcane skill die and his wild die when using one of his powers it automatically fails and he suffers 2d6 damage. Replace each Arcane Background’s specialized backlash rules with these:
• Glamour: Standard backlash.
• Magic: Use the above Backlash results. (instead of damage the caster takes fatigue)
• Miracles: As above, but the damage is reduced by half
the priest’s Faith skill.
• Weird Science: As above and the “device” is destroyed and must be rebuilt. This typically takes 1d3+1 hours, minus one hour for every success and raise on the Repair roll.
Maintaining Powers: Characters can maintain powers as long as desired, but each power maintained inflicts a –1 to cast any new powers. Thus an invisible mage can keep the power going indefinitely, but suffers a –1 penalty if he then attempts to hurl a bolt.
Interrupting Powers: If a character with an activated power is Shaken or suffers a wound or Fatigue level, he must make a Smarts roll to maintain all his powers. If the roll is failed, all powers are instantly dropped. A wizard with armor who suffers a Shaken result, for example, must make a Smarts roll. If the wizard suffers two wounds from an attack, he must
make a Vigor roll at –2. Powers shut down automatically if the caster sleeps or is
Power Preparation: A caster may prepare a spell by concentrating for a round (no movement or other actions and avoid interruption, as described above). If successful, he ignores 2 points of penalties on all powers cast with his next action. If he does not enact any powers on his next action, the preparation is lost.