Has anyone added to the powers list?

I am thinking particularly the other elements like water, air,earth. Has anyone actually done this in their games yet? and if so what have you added?

after all the powers and qualities are only effectively descriptors for play.

Yup. Tried all three. It all depends if you count them as elements/energy or as materials. Depends on how your hero uses them more or less. I also used Hallmark Power for them sometimes. As you said, they are mostly used as descriptors.

I changed Cold to Water for one hero. She still deals cold damage when attacking with the power, just to interact properly with other mechanics, but Principle of Water has a very different application than Principle of Cold would.

Well, Earth already pretty much exists in the Stone (Materials) Power, so that one’s covered.

Weather (Element/Energy) can easily be used for Air, and perhaps Water.

Plants and Metal (both Materials) can be used for the Asian Elements Wood and Metal, respectively. Though @deanjday didn’t ask about those, I always hate to see them go ignored.

As for making completely new ones, I would respectfully disagree with @JoeSteeloak; I think that, seeing as all the existing Element/Energy Powers are more Energy-like (i.e. they’re mostly just forces, not actual physical objects, e.g. Fire, Cold, Cosmic, etc.), Air, Earth, and Water should be used as Materials Powers. Now, of course, if one needs to use one of them as an Element/Energy for mechanical reasons, by all means do so. I (literally) can’t stop you.* I’m merely saying what I think makes the most logical sense.

*Well, I guess I could detonate that bomb I hid in your house . . .

Haha well you are not disagreeing with me as I said it depends if you count them as elements or materials :slight_smile: Not sure I would count Air as either Elemental or Material though.

so as a sort of exercise, I went through all the characters I’ve built and compiled the custom powers (look in the second tab). didn’t end up with much in the way of “other elements” like you’re looking for.

I did expect a higher percentage to be Signature Weapons/Vehicles (as those are the ones you rename anyway), but it turns out several of the things that really should have been Sig Weapons flavor-wise work better mechanically as whatever energy/materials they’re emulating.

the two I really couldn’t categorize both boil down to Time Control, which… feels mostly like a Psychic power, but with a little Mobility/Self Control/Materials/Energy mixed in.

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I took Necromantic as a sort of off flavour “Darkness”.

I have used a bone material power for a necromancer character i made and a luck manipulation hallmark power, thought i could also see it being psychic

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I’ve added a few. For the nameless one from the video game Planescape-Torment I added the self-control power “Without Mortality.” When starting up Dr Medico I made the “Life Energy” energy power. Also “Haka” as an energy type when starting up Haka, and the Hallmark power “Extreme Luck,” for Setback.

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If I remember correctly, I just gave my Necromancer Robotics and renamed it Necromancy. The difference is totally narrative, so she gets all the Minion Maker abilities.

Also used Cold for Water for another hero, and marked it as such on the sheet so she has normal damage-type interactions with other characters. Changing the principle from Cold to Water is actually much more interesting.

I’ve done (and seen done) similar things with Gadgets. People have renamed it things like “mini-artifacts” or “Artifice” to turn gadgets from a tech-based power to a series of magical trinkets.

Generally, when builing Heroes, I find it helpful to think in Power classes rather than individual Powers.
This also helps to realize that sometimes, the Power you have in mind is maybe a bit to broad, and should in fact be several Powers.

I made a reality shaper type scientist Hero, who would generate macroscopic quantum effects to bend the laws of spacetime around himself. There is no Power for ‘Spacetime meddling’, obviously. Adding that as a hallmark power (or even shoehorning it into the ‘energy’ class, as some sort of a natural force) seems the straightforward route, but I realized that would basically create a catch-all megapower.

So I split it up into its self-control aspect (Intangibility, renamed superposition), the tech-equipment part (Inventions) and the spatial uncertainty (Teleportation) as well as the slight temporal advantage (Awareness).

I realize that this is ‘using up’ a lot of powers, but feels so much more rounded, and in the spirit of how the game works.

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Yes. One character described the ability to redirect kinetic energy, sort of a physical Absorption, so I have created a new energy power called Kinetic. It can be used like other energy powers, to defend, attack etc.

I’m looking to add a “negative/darkness” energy type like from City of Heroes. It is anti-life and makes the target sluggish and clumsy. I had tried to make it fit with Infernal, but it really is almost the opposite. It is like the cold side of evil instead of the hot side.

Our games have mostly ignored the book definition of Infernal and just used it as generic “unpleasant magic” effects, which has included hellfire, life-draining/pain and shadow/darkness effects depending on who was using it. Similarly, Radiant gets used for mundane lasers at least as often as “good magic” functions.

The principle danger with adding a bunch of new element/energy categories instead of broadening existing ones is that each new type reduces the many abilities that let you ignore, invert, or boost off of a single E/E type. It’s already hard to benefit from those with any kind of reliability (barring combos with your own powers) and it’s worse the more E/E types there are to choose from.

All-new powers and qualities also cause some minor complication when picking Red abilities. You really can’t shove all the new stuff in the Hallmark category for that - that Red chart is written so that three of the four options are restricted to Signature Weapon or Vehicle, and the one other choice isn’t particularly appropriate for many things you might add as new powers, like (say) Tunneling or actual Shadow Manipulation as its own thing.


I have no intention of adding this to a generic SCRPG game. It is specifically added to my Two Tickets to Paragon campaign because nearly a third of the villains use it and there are other groups that use Infernal and they are very distinct in flavor and capabilities. Otherwise, I believe you are right and most of the other types get lumped under energy in my way of thinking.


The lack of a canon “shadow” power (either as an e/e or materials) is an odd gap, but I suspect C&A weren’t the biggest Legion of Super-Heroes readers. Their loss, many a young lad grew up on Shadow Lass cheesecake. :slight_smile:

Outside of her I can’t think of many heroes who do shadows. Villains, sure, Eclipso and the Shade spring to mind, but heroes are few and far between.

There’s also Alan Scott’s kid, Obsidian.

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Forgot that one. Marvel probably has a mutant or two as well - haven’t paid much attention to them since New Mutants was still in single digits. And Cloak of Cloak & Dagger probably qualifies.

On the villain side, that Karkull guy (who I’d never heard of) that corrupted Obsidian seems to be another shadow user, and Hawkman’s old foe the Shadow Thief as well.

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Yeah, I’ve not heard of him before either, although apparently he is the villain who was responsible for making the JSA semi-immortal — I was aware that someone did that, but I didn’t know that it was him.

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