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Building Powers

The awesome variety and imagination behind Atomic RPG System Powers is at the heart of the Atomic Role Play Game system. The Atomic RPG System Power creation and implementation system is adaptable, fun, and infinitely expandable. Not only will you find a huge amount of predefined Atomic RPG System Powers in the Atomic RPG System Power Database, but you will also be able to create anything that your imagination can create.

With the Atomic Role Play Game Power System, you will be able to make any Power, with any flavor, for any character, no matter the genre.

When building powers for a character, first and foremost look in the Atomic RPG System Power Database for Powers that fit your character. If you happen to find a Power with the effects you want, but the name and/or description doesn’t reflect your character, go ahead and add the Power  to your character anyway. Then, you can easily go into your character and add your own name and description, adding the customization that fits your specific character. If you can’t seem to find the Power you want, just make your new Power with the Atomic RPG System Power Generator. But first, make sure you are familiar with Powers and the process a player should use to create one.

Powers are added or created when you create your character, when your character levels, or has some Game Master-approved time to be able to modify and change Powers. Atomic RPG System Powers cannot be changed or modified on the fly and are not something that you will be able to change during a battle or other active time during a Atomic RPG System game. These will be somewhat fixed during play, but will be able to be tweaked, modified, and otherwise changed when certain opportunities present themselves. Usually Atomic RPG System Powers will be modified when you level up your character or have extended downtime during Real Time.

The Steps of Building Powers

To create a power you need to follow these steps.

Take a look at the Discipline for which you are designing your power. Your choices will be narrowed down based upon the Discipline.

Is the Discipline Offensive or Defensive?

If it is Offensive, it will be focused on harming things (enemies).

If it is Defensive, it will be focused on helping things (allies).

What Archetype is the Discipline?

Each Archetype has a specific set of effects that can be used in their Powers.

For example, if you’re creating a Power for an Aggressive Combatant character, you know the Power must affect enemies with Combatant effects only. So make sure to select the majority of the Power’s effects from the Offensive Combatant area in the Power Generator.

All characters, whether player characters (PC) or non player characters (NPC), will have a certain amount of Power Points that can be used per Power. The Atomic RPG System Character sheet will display the Power Cap amount for each of the characters Disciplines. This will be the maximum the character can spend on a single Power.

PCs and NPCs also will have a total allowable Power Points they can use for a Discipline. All Powers the character has in a Discipline are added together to make sure that this total is not surpassed. This means a character should have at least two strong Powers in a Discipline. This works out so characters can have a couple very strong Powers or many Powers that are not as Strong.

There’s no need to worry about how to calculate the different Power Point totals as the Atomic RPG System Character Sheet will do all that for you. It’s best to go to your character sheet, click the Powers tab, then click Edit Powers. On the Edit Power navigate with the links at the bottom to the Power Database or Power Generator. Your character information will be loaded and sorted making choosing and creating Powers much easier.

Now that you know what you are creating, here are the steps to follow.

Step 1: Determine Targets of the Power

How many targets do you want to affect?

Do you want to affect a single target?

Do you want to affect several specific targets?

Do you want to affect an area?

Do you want the affected area to have a specific shape?

(Specific Targets)

This target type hits a certain number of creatures anywhere within the range of the Power.

This can be any target you want, be it friend or foe. However, when choosing the Target's type, all effects chosen will be multiplied by the number of creatures to be affected by the power. Therefore, if you want three Targets, the cost for the Power's effects will by multiplied by three.

Example: Healing or hitting one person near you.

Area of Effect

This target type hits an area the size of the number listed.

An AoE of 3 is a 3x3 area. This hits enemies and allies alike. Players may choose to take the Specialty Exclude Targets to leave an ally out of the effects. The larger the area the more Power effects will cost. This is the most cost effected way to hit many creatures though it comes with the risk of hitting targets you do not want to hit.

Example: Setting an area on fire.

(Specific Shape)

This target type hits a certain number of contiguous spaces.

The shape must be determined ahead of time for the Power. A Power with Spaces of 16 can be a 4x4 block of squares, a 2x16 line, an "L" shape of 1x16 and 1x16 at a 90 degree angle, a 1x4 zig zag, or any other shape you can think of as long as the squares touch. The shape of the power can only be changed when Powers are able to be modified such as when you level or with a the Specialty Shape Change. They cannot be changed at a whim to suit the situation.

Example: Shooting a long thing energy beam.

(Radiates Outward)

This target type hits radiates from character affecting only allies or enemies.

This shape of power radiates out from the person using it. If it is an Offensive Power it hits enemies. If it is Defensive it hits allies. It can stretch out up to 5 spaces. This is the most expensive type of target since it automatically excludes those you do not want to hit where the Area of Effect target type does not inherently exclude anything in the affected area.

Example: Healing all allies near you but not enemies.

See this handy Atomic RPG System Power Target Guide for examples of the many possibilities a Atomic RPG System Power can have depending on the Target Type the Power may have.

Step 2: Determine the Duration of the Power

How long is this Power going to last?

Is this Power going to be instant like an explosion or a heal?

Is this Power going to have a duration such as granting allies bonuses for a few rounds?

The effect cost of the Power will be multiplied by the duration of the Power. There is also a small additional Power Point cost due to the enhanced strength of an ongoing Powers. So if you find a Power costs a little more that you want you can try to lower the Duration some to adjust the Power Points needed for the Power.

Step 3: Determine the Range of the Power

Now you need to determine the range of your Power, which is determined in spaces.

If you purchase a range of 4, anyone within 4 spaces of the character using the Power can be affected by this Power.

Range of 0/Self

This is a Power that is centered on the character.

Range of 1

This would be a Power to target another character right next to the one that uses the Power.

Range of 2+

This is a Power that is considered to have a longer range or distance it can travel.

Range is a great place to modify the Power Points. If you only have a few more or less points to spend, you can usually put your points in the range, in order to hit the target Power Point cost.

Step 4: Determine the Power Effects

Now we are getting into the really fun part of the Atomic RPG System system! Now you are going to determine the affects of your Powers. Make sure that you are selecting Power effects that match the Archetype of the Discipline of your character.  If you go to the Power Generator from your character’s Edit Powers page, the Power Generator will automatically filter out effects your character cannot have for that Archetype.

All characters must meet the level requirement for any effect on a Power in order to use it. If you go to the Power Generator through the character you’re building, (which would be the recommended method), the system will help you determine if you meet the level requirement. If you go in another way, use the filters to make sure you do not add effects your character isn’t the correct level to use.

If you are unfamiliar with what type of Archetypes have access to what kind of Power effects, I would suggest browsing each Archetype to see which one may have effects you would like to utilize for your character.


Primary focus on combat abilities.
Examples might include a sword master, sniper, or brawler that focuses on being a martial expert.


Primary focus on skills and utility abilities.
Examples might include a rogue, a bard, or hacker that likes to use skills and buffs to aid or harm others.


Wizard(ish) / Cleric(ish)
Primary focus on magic or supernatural abilities.
Examples might include a sorcerer, psionisist, or cleric that uses the mysterious unseen forces of the mind and magic.

Step 5: Effect and Description are Separate

The Atomic RPG completely separates the numerical in game affects from the roleplay of the Power. 

This allows almost limitless freedom to describe and play out your Powers effects.

Now that you have a good idea of how the Atomic RPG System Power System works, it’s time to let your imagination run wild! Look at existing Powers to get some ideas of what Powers can do along with the many different types of descriptions they have. The mechanics of Powers is separate from the names and descriptions you choose for them. This means that players can name their Powers and describe what happens when they use them whichever way they want. This means that players are free to describe the look, feel, and impression of their Powers. The name and description of Powers is for fun and role play flavor and should never be used to determine what a Power actually does. What a Power actually does is determined by its stats only. So let your mind run free and see what kind of awesome Powers you can come up with for your characters and the Atomic RPG System community!

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