An empowerment artifact is a catch-all term for objects which impart superpowers on an individual. Be it a vial of nanomachines, a specific alchemical mixture, or something else entirely — if it grants powers, it’s one of these things.
When the team receives one of these artifacts, they can do one of four things:
1) Hand it over to the authorities. This will provide a considerable boost in reputation with law enforcement plus a significant chunk of Team Resource points.
2) Use it on a team member. The mechanics of how this will work will be covered a bit further down the page.
3) Use it on an NPC. Who knows what sort of consequences might come about from this?
4) Destroy it. This doesn’t provide much benefit really, but it’s definitely something you can do.
Unfortunately, empowerment artifacts tend to be fairly unstable. Storage requires very specific facilities to keep them from deteriorating for one reason or another. The team is unlikely to have these facilities available. Furthermore, multi-use artifacts are exceptionally rare. Unless otherwise noted, assume any empowerment artifact is one-use.
Using an Artifact
So the team has gone through some sidequest, obtained one of these items and wants to use it! But what does that entail?
Firstly: you must make a choice. Do you want a whole new, completely unrelated set of powers? If so, you’ll receive a 30 points boost with which to build these powers.
Or do you wish to bolster your already-existing powers? In this case, you’ll receive half (15) that number of points to enhance them with.
In either case, these points can only be used to create or bolster powers. If there are any left after doing so, they disappear forever.
Improving Pre-Existing Powers
Next, if you’re boosting your powers: what are your permissions?
Power Theme: you may buy new powers so long as they still fit within that theme. Example: Russ develops a new power to condense water vapor into thick fog.
Inventor: you may invest the points in a new or already existent focus. Consider it a burst of inspiration.
Super Equipment: in order to boost a piece of super-gear you started with, you need to also be an inventor.
Hypertrained or Peak Performer: you may not purchase new skills or hyperskills. You may spend your points on improving the ones you already have.
Prime Specimen: no restrictions apply.
Super: you’re probably not in this RP. The Super permission is not allowed at this point.
If you have any other permission, you’re stuck with improving what you already have.
Creating New Powers
If you’re going forward with creating a whole new set of powers, then we first have to determine the Source and the associated Permissions. The Source is free, the Permission’s cost is reduced by 1. That cost reduction CAN reduce the permission’s cost to 0.
The Source of these new powers ultimately stems from what exactly you’re using to empower yourself. If you’ve injected yourself with nanites, then the obvious choice is Technological. But maybe the nanites gave you cybernetic eyes? Then the Source is Cyborg. Or perhaps they radically altered your genetic code, giving you powers that way? Then the Source would be Genetic.
There’s a lot of versatility there, so you don’t necessarily need to match them incredibly closely. It simply needs to be taken into account.
From there, choose your Permission and build your power or powers as normal.
Empowerment Artifact – thing what grants powers.
Creating New Powers – 30 temp. points
Boosting Existing Powers – 15 temp. points
Sources for New Powers – Free
Permissions for New Powers – One point discount
Do temp. points stick around after power creation? – No.
Can exp. points be used, too? – Yes. If you’ve run out of temp. points, you can use the exp. you’ve built up.