The Three Design Concepts for Powers Part II

This is the Second part of the explanation of the Three Design Concepts for Powers (Portions I and III found at the other end of their links) Although this is focused on V&V House rules these  fundamentals are the underpinnings of nearly any game system.  This section is about the flavor of a power expanding upon the ideas introduced in the Title of the Power.

The second part of the design of a power is the Description. Never one to abandon a dramatic moment these should add to the original or iconic qualities of the character as well as help tie the character to the world and his background and should add some dramatic opportunities to the sheet itself.  Other things the power descriptor should do are give a sensory impression of what the power impacts in the game universe. This is an opportunity to give insight into the character as an icon as well as what does the power look like when being used/displayed but even such more uncommonly used senses like smell, touch and taste, again helping to bring the character into the players imagination more so than a pile of raw stats valued for their mechanical utility. In addition some descriptors can have a bigger impact than the Mechanics themselves after all if the character has an ‘unobtainium’ descriptor and other highly powerful characters have weakness to that particular flavor of Description then the characters power is more powerful against those targets even if the base mechanics seem to indicate the power is the least efficacious of the character or the assembled characters abilities. 

Of special note is that the Power Commentary elsewhere does not contain much in the way of power description. This is deliberate because by choosing instead to focus upon Title and Mechanics, which need some unity across the gaming spectrum, the Descriptors should be made very personal to the character and the world (tying the character into the GM’s vision).  A Homium Steel Baton would not help against characters Challenged by Truartz materials even if the mechanics for the Truartz and Homium materials are exactly the same.  In some universes the character should carry Truartz Batons in others Homium Steel Batons because that is a part of the flavor for each universe. 

This also explains why this is the Shorter of the three sections.  I am perhaps not the best person to write a guide on how to write, and there is plenty out there elsewhere.

The Artwork continues displaying counters from my own V&V Campaign, as first seen in the Expanded Powers post.


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