Rule
Rule Category:Powers
Rule Name:Limitation: Charges
Source: 5th ed. rev.

Value: See Charges Table

A character can only use a power with this Limitation a limited number of times per day. Examples include a gun that only has ten bullets or a magic spell a wizard can only cast once per night. The character decides how many times per day (or per adventure) he can use the power, and finds the resulting Limitation on the Charges Table.

A power that has Charges does not cost END to use. If the character wants a power with Charges to use END, he can apply the Costs Endurance (-1/2) Limitation. A character does not get any additional or separate Limitation value if he takes Charges for a power that ordinarily costs no END (such as Life Support).

Charges define how many times per day the character can use the power. The exact time needed to regain Charges varies depending on the special effects of the power. If a character has Charges which are bullets for a gun, the GM may allow him to go home to get new bullets. If the Charges represent a magic power that only works three times a day, all three Charges may be magically restored at dawn. The GM and the player should decide on a mutually agreeable method for the Charges to return. At the GM's discretion, the value of the Limitation decreases if it's especially easy for the character to regain his Charges, or increases if it's particularly difficult. If it takes longer than a day for the Charges to recover, the Limitation's value increases (see below).

Each Charge normally only lasts for one Phase. Therefore Charges of, say, Force Field or other Constant Powers aren't very useful (but see Charges Options, below, regarding Continuing Charges).

Since powers with Charges don't cost END to use, a power with a large number of Charges is better than one bought normally - so at a certain point Charges becomes a Power Advantage. The Charges Table shows the value of different amounts of Charges.

CHARGES TABLE
Number
of Uses
Charges
Value
Boostable
Charges Value
Recoverable
Charges Value
1
-2
N/A
-1 1/4
2
-1 1/2
-1 1/4
-1
3
-1 1/4
-1
-3/4
4
-1
-3/4
-1/2
5-6
-3/4
-1/2
-1/4
7-8
-1/2
-1/4
-0
9-12
-1/4
-0
+1/4
13-16
-0
+1/4
+1/2
17-32
+1/4
+1/2
+3/4
33-64
+1/2
+3/4
+1
65-125
+3/4
+1
+1 1/4
126-250
+1
+1 1/4
+1 1/2
251-500
+1*
+1 1/2
+1 3/4
...and so forth.
*: The value of the standard Charges Advantage is capped at +1 (equivalent to 0 END cost on an Autofire attack). See the text for how Charges Options such as Continuing Charges or Recoverable Charges affect this.

CHARGES OPTIONS

Characters can use Boostable Charges, Clips, Continuing Charges, Fuel Charges and Requires Multiple Charges to better customize Charges for the power they have in mind.

Boostable Charges
This option represents a power that becomes more powerful if the character spends extra Charges. Every extra Charge spent increases the power by +1 Damage Class (or +5 Active Points for non-Attack Powers). A character can spend no more than four Charges (+4 DC/+20 Active Points) per power per Phase this way. The value of Boostable Charges is 1 level down on the Charges Table. (The cost keeps increasing as it goes down the table; it's not capped at +1.)

The first time a character uses Boostable Charges in a given adventure, the power automatically requires a 15- Burnout roll (see Activation Roll, above). Each time thereafter that a character spends extra Charges to Boost his power, the roll decreases by one (after the second use, it's a 14-; after the third use, a 13-; and so on). If the power already has Burnout, then using Boostable Charges in this manner decrease that roll each time, as described above. If the power has a normal Activation Roll, the first use of Boostable Charges converts it to a Burnout roll, and later uses reduce the roll as described above.

    Example: Lazer buys his Laser Rifle as an RKA 2d6, 32 Boostable Charges (+1/2) (45 Active Points); OAF (-1) (total cost: 22 points). During a tough fight against some armored cops, he decides he needs a little extra firepower, so he increases the gain on his Rifle (which drains its battery faster). By spending an extra four Charges (in addition to the one Charge spent just to use the power), he can do 3d6+1 Killing Damage. However, this causes some strain on his Rifle. for the rest of the adventure, it has a 15- Burnout roll. If he Boosts its power again, the roll becomes a 14-. If the Laser Rifle already had a 14- Activation Roll, the first use of Boostable Charges would convert it to a 14- Burnout roll, and the second would reduce it to a 13- Burnout roll.

When a character uses Boostable Charges to increase the Damage Class of a power with an Advantage, he must account for that Advantage when applying the increased Damage Classes (see page 404). He must also account for the value of Boostable Charges, if it is an Advantage instead of a Limitation. For example, consider an Energy Blast, Armor Piercing. For an Energy Blast AP it takes 7.5 points to add 1d6, so each 1d6 of damage equals 1.5 DCs - thus, each 3 DCs adds +2d6. So by spending +3 Charges, the character can do +2d6 damage. (To speed up game play, the GM can waive this rule and let the DCs from Boostable Charges add directly, without accounting for Advantages.)

INCREASED RELOADING TIME
ValueIncreased Reloading Time
1/4 more Limitation2 Full Phases
1/2 more Limitation1 Turn
3/4 more Limitation1 Minute
1 more Limitation5 Minutes
...and so on.
A character with Fast Draw can reduce the increased reloading time bby half with a successful roll.

Clips
This represents a power whose Charges are broken down into several smaller "clips" of fewer Charges. Charges are normally purchased in a single "clip" - that is, all the Charges are available at all times. By taking a Limitation Bonus one level down on the Charges Table (i.e., by reducing the value of the Limitation by 1/4, for most steps), the character can have 2x the number of Clips of those Charges. For standard Charges, this increase in cost is affected by the +1 cap - don't increase the value of the Advantage beyond +1. On the other hand, Boostable Charges, Continuing Charges, and Recoverable Charges can increase beyond the +1; continue to increase the value of the Advantage by +1/4 for each step down the Charges Table (as already shown for Boostable and Recoverable Charges). When a character calculates the value of Charges, the effect of buying Clips should be added in last, after all other modifiers (such as Continuing Charges and Increased Recover Time) are added in.

If moving one level down the table means Charges goes from being a Limitation to an Advantage - for example, when you move from 13-16 Charges (-0) to 17-31 Charges (+1/4) using standard Charges - the character receives 4x the number of clips. Below that, the standard rule (double the number of clips for eac 1/4 reduction in Charges value) applies.

It takes a Full Phase for a character to change Clips (unless he succeeds with a Fast Draw roll, see page 59). If a character wants reloading to take longer than that, he can increase the value of the Charges Limitation as indicated in the Increased Reloading Time Table.

Continuing Charges
Charges normally last for, at most, a character's Phase. If a character wants a power with Charges (a smoke grenade, for example) to last longer than this, he should use the Continuing Charges option. Characters can only use this option with Constant or Persistant Powers. The Uncontrolled Advantage is not required. The duration of a Continuing Charge depends on the Time Chart.

Continuing Charges are bought by taking a lesser Limitation (or a larger Advantage) on the Charges Table (see the accompanying Continuing Charges Table and Continuing Charges Quick Reference Table). The value of Continuing Charges is not capped at +1 the way standard Charges are; it keeps increasing by 1/4 per step (inherently Persistent Powers, such as Life Support or Knockback Resistance, are an exception; for them, the value caps at -0). The additional Limitation value from other modifiers (such as Increased Recovery Time or Never Recovers) is part of the overall Charges calculation, not a separate Limitation; the Continuing Charges cost could partly or fully "cancel out" the benefit of those modifiers.

CONTINUING CHARGES TABLE
DurationChange in Chage Limitation
Full PhaseNo Change
Extra Phase-1 level on Charges table
1 Turn-2 levels on Charges table
1 Minute-3 levels on Charges table
5 Minutes-4 levels on Charges table
20 Minutes-5 levels on Charges table
...and so on.
A character who's affected by an attack with Continuing Charges takes damage when the power is first used, and on each of the attacker's Phases thereafter on the attacker's DEX. If the power covers an Area Of Effect, the effect remains in all Segments (it does not exist only on the attacker's Phases). Any character who enters the area takes damage or suffers the power's effects on the Segment when he enters (no Attack Roll is required) and on each of the attacker's Phases thereafter until he leave the area.

All powers bought with Continuing Charges must include a reasonably common way to turn the power off. If a power with Continuing Charges is turned off for any reason, the Charge is used up; the character must use another Charge to reactivate the power. To simulate a power with Continuing Charges that a character can turn on and off at will, buy a Fuel Charge (see below).

A Continuing Charge remains in effect and continues to function even if the character using the power is Stunned or Knocked Out. A character could specify "I become Stunned or Knocked Out" as a condition to end the Charge, if appropriate.

If a power with Continuing Charges is bought through a Multipower or VPP, and the character switches the Framework to another slot after using a Continuing Charge, the Continuing Charge does not immediately turn off. It continues to affect the target or area until its duration expires. The GM should examine Continuing Charges in Multipowers carefully to ensure that they don't unbalance the game. For example, a character shouldn't be allowed to buy a Framework with several slots that have lengthy Continuing Charges just so he can activate all the powers at the beginning of the game and have them remain in effect for a long time.


CONTINUING CHARGES QUICK-REFERENCE TABLE
Number of Uses
Full
Phase
Extra
Phase
1 Turn
1 Minute
5 Minutes
20 Minutes
1 Hour
1*
-2
-1 1/2
-1 1/4
-1
-3/4
-1/2
-1/4
2
-1 1/2
-1 1/4
-1
-3/4
-1/2
-1/4
-0
3
-1 1/4
-1
-3/4
-1/2
-1/4
-0
+1/4
4
-1
-3/4
-1/2
-1/4
-0
+1/4
+1/2
5-6
-3/4
-1/2
-1/4
-0
+1/4
+1/2
+3/4
7-8
-1/2
-1/4
-0
+1/4
+1/2
+3/4
+1
9-12
-1/4
-0
+1/4
+1/2
+3/4
+1
+1 1/4
13-16
-0
+1/4
+1/2
+3/4
+1
+1 1/4
+1 1/2
17-32
+1/4
+1/2
+3/4
+1
+1 1/4
+1 1/2
+1 3/4
33-64
+1/2
+3/4
+1
+1 1/4
+1 1/2
+1 3/4
+2
65-125
+3/4
+1
+1 1/4
+1 1/2
+1 3/4
+2
+2 1/4
126-250
+1
+1 1/4
+1 1/2
+1 3/4
+2
+2 1/4
+2 1/2
251-500
+1 1/4
+1 1/2
+1 3/4
+2
+2 1/4
+2 1/2
+2 3/4
...and so on.
*: For a Fuel Charge of a given duration, reduce the listed Limitation value for 1 Continuing Charge by 1/4 (or, if Continuing Charges is an Advantage, increase it by 1/4). See the text for additional information

Fuel Charges
Characters can also use Charges to represent the fuel that powers a vehicle, the supply of air provided by a gas mask, or the like. Generally, character should only buy Fuel Charges for Movement Powers and other non-offensive abilities; they're not intended for Attack Powers and the like.

Creating a Fuel Charge is a two-step process. First, buy the power with 1 Continuing Charge, with the Charge lasting for however long the power can continuously operate. For example, a vehicle might buy the Continuing Charge to last 1 Day, since it can operate for an entire day on one tank of fuel.

Second, reduce the value of the Limitation by 1/4 (or, if Continuing Charges is and Advantage, increase it by 1/4). This represents the fact that this type of power's Continuing Charge can be turned off and on without losing any "operating time". A Continuing Charge, once turned off, cannot be turned on again; it's been used up. However, a Continuing Fuel Charge doesn't work that way - the character can turn it on and off again. Each Phase of use counts as 1 second subtracted from the operating time. For example, suppose a gas mask (LS: Self-Contained Breathing) has 1 Continuing Fuel Charge for 5 Minutes. The base Limitation's value is -2, reduced four steps to -3/4 for Continuing Charge, and reduced another 1/4 for Fuel Charges, for the final value of -1/2. The gas mask works for a total of 5 Minutes, but the character can wear it for one minute, then turn it off and save the rest of its "fuel" for later.
      Example: Lazer has a jetpack. He buys Flight 20", 1 Continuing Fuel Charge (enriched jet fuel, easy to obtain, 1 Hour; +0) (40 Active Points); OIF (-1/2). Total cost 27 points. Lazer is SPD 5. He flies for one full Turn (5 Phases), then lands. He can turn his Continuing Fuel Charge back on again and fly some more later; when he does, he'll have 59 minutes, 55 seconds' worth of fuel left.

For powers that cost no END - either inherently, as with Life Support or vehicular Movement Powers, or because they're bought with the Advantage Reduced Endurance (0 END) - a Fuel Charge cannot become an Advantage. It's maximum value is a -0 Limitation, unless the GM rules otherwise. (If the power has a modifier to Fuel Charges for difficult-to-obtain fuel, calculate the value in the normal manner. If it's an Advantage, it's still a -0 Limitation, but if it becomes a normal Limitation the power gets that Limitation value.) For other powers (such as a character's jetpack Flight that would cost END if not bought with Charges), Fuel Charges can become an Advantage in the standard manner, and is not capped at +1.

In some cases, you can divide a Fuel Charge among several characters. For example, if a starship's escape pod has enough food (Life Support) for one person for a week, that "fuel" could be divided up to feed seven people for one day each.

Characters can refuel a power with Fuel Charges as circumstances allow. If the fuel needed is Difficult to obtain, increase the Limitation's value by 1/4; if it's Very Difficult to obtain, by 1/2; if it's Extremely Difficult to obtain, by 1 (see Focus - Expendability; below for guidelines for those terms).

Typically, Dispelling a power with Fuel Charges uses up all the fuel, but the GM can alter this to take into account the special effects involved.

Characters who want to have multiple powers drawing from the same reserve of fuel should buy an Endurance Reserve rather than Fuel Charges.

Requires Multiple Charges
If a character has a Multipower with an overalll number of Charges for the entire Framework (or a similar grouping of powers that all draw from the same "pool" of Charges), he may want some slots to use up more than one Charge per use. If so, that qualifies for a Limitation on the slot; the accompanying table lists the value of the Limitation.

REQUIRES MULTIPLE CHARGES
Limitation Value
Number of Charges Used
-1/4
2 per use
-1/2
3-7 per use
-3/4
8-12 per use
-1
13-17 per use
...and so on.
This chart assumes the character has a fairly high number of Charges - 65 or more, in one or more clips - for his Multipower. For each step up the Charges Table, add an additional -1/4 Limitation value (though a slot can never require more Charges than the entire Multipower has at full strength). Thus, for a Multipower that has 16 Charges for the entire Multipower, a slot that costs 4 Charges per use gets a -1 1/4 Limitation.

RECOVERING CHARGES
The following options affect how a character recovers Charges.

The additional Limitation value from these options is part of the overall Charges calculation, not a separate Limitation. Other modifiers could partly or fully "cancel out" the "Limitation value" they provide.

Increased Recovery Time
Characters don't recover some forms of charges after a day (or an adventure) - it takes a week or longer, before the character can use the power again. For every step down the Time Chart below 1 Day which it takes before the character can use the power again, increase the value of the Charges by -1/2. (The maximum value that Charges with Increased Recovery Time can have is -1 3/4, since Charges which Never Recover (see below) are worth -2.) The character may not "apportion" the recovery of Charges over the defined time period; he has to wait for the entire time period to pass before recovering any Charges. The GM can allow apportionment if he wishes, but if he does so he should reduce the value of the Limitation/increase the value of the Advantage by 1/4 (or more) to reflect the beneficial change.

Restricted Recovery
Some forms of Charges only replenish themselves if the character does something expensive, dangerous, or otherwise difficult. Examples include performing a human sacrifice, waiting for a particular event to occur (such as the full moon), or having to pay large sums of money. If so, increase the value of Charges by -1/4 (or more, in the GM's options). Characters generally should not take Restricted Recovery for powers with Expendable Foci.

Never Recover
Charges which Never Recover are worth an additional -2 Limitation. This is a good way to simulate magic scrolls whose writing disappears after the spell on it is cast one time, a gun for which there is a limited supply of irreproducible ammunition, and so forth. Characters cannot take this additional Limitation together with Increased Recovery Time.

There's no restriction on how many Charges a power with Charges which Never Recover can have, but the GM should approve the number to ensure it doesn't unbalance the game. Charges which Never Recover are primarily intended for intriguing power constructs with a small number of Charges, like a one-time-use magic scroll.

Recoverable Charges
This option represents Charges that aren't expended when the character uses the power - instead, he can recover them and use them again. Some examples include a knife the character throws, arrows he shoots, or a dust he can later sweep up and recover. The value for Recoverable Charges is 2 levels down on the table; Recoverable Charges is not capped at +1.

Ordinarily, characters can only recover their Recoverable Charrges once combat has ended, although this depends on the special effect of the power. In the GM's descretion, a Charge might be broken or lost, in which case it must be recreated like normal Charges. Generally a character should not be allowed to use Recoverable Charges to simulate Charges that return to him on a quicker than once-per-day basis, but the GM can allow this if he thinks it's appropriate.

Generally speaking, a power cannot have both Recoverable Charges and Increased Recovery Time or Never Recovers for its Charges. Recoverable and Never Recovers are by definition exclusive. In most cases, the special effects of Increased Recovery Time and Recoverable are also so incompatible as to be exclusive. The GM can let a character combine the two if he feels it won't cause game balance problems.

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