Volatile Creations

So we were theorycrafting and ran into some strange language.  Volatile Creations is clearly meant for your minions, but it also references Boosts and Hinders being destroyed.  So our question is this:  Does a Boost or Hinder get "destroyed" when it's used?  Or only when someone counter-Mods or Overcomes it?

A Bonus or Penalty is not destroyed when used, unless the narrative or a specific mechanic says that it should be.

I don't even think "counter-mods" or Overcomes destroy boosts and hinders. But there are specific abilities that use the language "destroy a Boost/Hinder", and I figure that's what'll set off Volatile Creations.

Quick terminology clarification for folks that can make a significant impact when reading how things work: Boost/Hinder are actions that are taken, while Bonus/Penalty are types of Mods, which are generated by Boost and Hinder actions. :-) 

As to what actually Destroys a Mod, I think catDreaming and TakeWalker nailed it: Something only destroys a Mod if it says it destroys a Mod. ;-) Using a Mod or using an Overcome to remove a Mod just remove the Mod. 

This might be a good question to send in to the Letters Page podcast to verify, but I'm pretty sure this is as intended. 

What’s the difference between “removing a Mod” and “destroying a Mod”?

My guess: What it triggers. :-)


I feel like it's not a big deal to just let Volatile Creations activate when the mod is expended; you're bottlenecked by number of reactions in any case.

You got it in one, though. Removing a mod means that whatever narrative object the mod represented is, well, removed from what it was effecting. It still exists, it's just not doing anything.

Destroying a mod means that whatever narrative object the mod represented is destroyed. That mod is gone.

There is notable difference in the game narrative between the two things. Remember: This is a game focused on the narrative, not on hard mechanics defining every little thing. 

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It really helps to remember that boosts can be more than just things…
They can represent tactical situations (eg: painting them with a guidance laser so Rockeboy can use his laser-guided missiles), Mental states (rage, focus, hate), morale boosts (TV crew coverage, cheering fans too clueless to leave proximity of a fight between supers), a big distraction to your target (flashbang grenade), or even a target’s mental state (they’re ignoring you as irrelevant).

When any of those ends depends a lot upon context. SC, in acknowledging the various sources for ideas in the Starter Kit, points a great big arrow in the direction, “Story First”…

One of the strangest boosts narrated in my last campaign (ended by the lockdown) was summoning a ghost to provide target “illumination” visible only to a specific ally. Absolutely brilliant, if creepy. W was giving a boost for Player A, but applying it to NPC 3…

This could have been represented other ways, as well, not just as a boost.
That story function could have been mechanicalized as

  • a hinder to reactions and/or damage saves
  • a boost to attacks
  • an overcome to remove the penalty of darkness (a scenewide hinder of 1 point; it wasn’t dark, just dim.)
  • an overcome to prevent reactions
  • A linked attack and boost (giving the ghost some teeth)

The boost ended when the NPC died, or had hindered or overcame the ghost boost. Mostly, when the target died. I didn’t think about it at the time, but it probably could have been overcome by dropping a roadside flare to prevent the faerie-fire like glow from being visible.