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In Wild Talents 2nd Edition, I've been wondering on how to model a superpower that grants superpowers permanently. Obviously this would be completely overpowered in an unadulterated form, but adding in mitigating factors should be the easy part. My understanding of how to model such a power would be an A D U quality power with Variable Effect, Permanent, and If/Then (Only for Variable Effect) and If/Then (Only for Granting Superpowers). I'm also curious as to what archetype a power like this would grant and how that would work. I recognize Wild Talents powers are often up for a great deal of interpretation, but I'm looking to make sure I'm not breaking any system rules on this. My goal here is to have a generic power that can be given extras or flaws to more accurately represent its use, sort of like the Miracles in the Miracle Cafeteria.

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This makes me think of characters like Rogue who can absorb others' powers for a short time. –  SevenSidedDie Apr 18 '13 at 18:17
Her power is more closely modeled by Power Mimic with an Attached and Automatic Nullify or something similar. What I'm asking here is how to grant someone (yourself or others) superpowers permanently. In other news, I probably should have posted this on the 29th. –  shatterspike1 Apr 18 '13 at 18:19
Oh, so something more like the ability (in Marvel-verse terms) to reach into someone's genetic code and activate latent mutations or create new ones that will give them powers? Some kind of "awakening" superpower that turns people into supers? –  SevenSidedDie Apr 18 '13 at 18:23
Yes, that's one potential application of such a power. In the campaign I'm running, one NPC grants powers as a sort of infection. Another potential use might be the guy who grants people random superpowers just by being near them at random intervals. The power may or may not necessarily be able to be used on someone only once. To clarify, I'm looking a sort of "Metapower" which can be modified as necessary into more flavorful (and less broken) versions of such a power. –  shatterspike1 Apr 18 '13 at 18:25
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Since this question hasn't recieved any answers, I went ahead and asked the Cult of ORE. Here's a cleaned up version of what they had to say plus some thoughts of my own.

Because this is interacting so much with the metagame, most of this is under the broad umbrella of "If your GM allows it" or "If it fits your game". Wild Talents 2nd Edition is a system that allows you to be fairly creative in how you develop powers for it, so here's a few suggestions of how a "Grant Superpowers" miracle might work.

The completed version I came to would look something like this:

Grant Superpowers
Cost: 20/40/80
Attacks C/E/F: Permanent +4, Variable Effect +4, If/Then (Only for Variable Effect) -1, If/Then (Variable Effect Only for granting superpowers) -1, Touch Only -2
Defends C/E/F: Permanent +4, Variable Effect +4, If/Then (Only for Variable Effect) -1, If/Then (Variable Effect Only for granting superpowers) -1, Touch Only -2
Useful (Grant Powers) C/E/F: Permanent +4, Variable Effect +4, If/Then (Only for Variable Effect) -1, If/Then (Variable Effect Only for granting superpowers) -1, Touch Only -2
Useful (Grant Archetype) C/E/F: Permanent +4, Attached (Grant Powers Qualities) -1, Automatic -1, Touch Only -2
Effect: You touch someone and grant them the dice rolled in any superpower you wish on a successful roll, along with an Archetype to go with those powers. Here's how it works: you spend willpower for the dice you roll along with points of base will. This is the usual 1 willpower for a normal die, 2 for a hard, and 4 for a wiggle. You spend one point of base will per power granted in this way, to coincide with improvement during play. You also spend willpower to cover the point cost of the Archetype you chose to grant, with the first source remaining free, as always. The permissions on the Archetype you grant must cover the powers you grant. Finally, pay willpower for the extras you put on the powers you grant, as per Variable Effect. Once you've paid all of these costs, you've granted the target in question superpowers along with an archetype to manage them. They will develop willpower as any super would, unless you grant permissions that don't allow them to. You may only use this power on individuals without powers; you cannot keep adding powers to someone who already has them.

This power doesn't receive any cost reduction from having to pay base will OR willpower; it's just that awesome. Obviously, allowing or not allowing those flaws is a matter of taste; what I'm doing here is trying to model the in-game improvement characters can already do with willpower and the mutable permission. This power can be made considerably cheaper by adding flaws like Delayed Effect (-2) and Exhausted (-3); it will still be expensive in terms of willpower and base will, however. Since the description of effects is long and probably somewhat confusing, here's an example of the power in action.

I have 7d+2hd+1wd in Grant Superpowers and want to grant 2HD of heavy armor and 1wd+3d of flight to my friend. These miracles are straight from the book. I would end up rolling 1wd+2HD+3d, so this would cost me 11 willpower and two points of base will for the two powers. I'm counting flight with its two power qualities as a single power in this case, since the defends and useful qualities of flight are rarely advanced separately, and we're strapping it to another defends quality (Heavy Armor). The Extras and Flaws on Heavy armor total to 4 points, so it will cost us 16 points of willpower for the two hard dice of heavy armor because of variable effect. Flight, fortunately, doesn't have any cost for variable effect, so the total there is 0 willpower. Now we grant them an archetype to fit these powers. Source doesn't really matter here; let's just assume we're granting a typically five point source for free. Let's give them the Super Permission for fifteen points, and the Mutable intrinsic for another 15, totaling the cost to 30 willpower. We could have given him a Power Archetype (Flying Brick) for cheaper, but we wanted him to be able to develop different powers that didn't fit the theme later on. Our friend now has superpowers, and can develop more when he needs to. Our total point cost comes to a whopping 57 willpower total along with 2 base will to grant these powers and this archetype. The point cost this would normally have in terms of character building would be 82, so even if this looks expensive, the alternative is more so. I'd still consider it balanced, because you can only grant the powers once per person, and only to those without powers already.

Alternatives include: Getting rid of base will and willpower costs (for extremely high powered campaigns), requiring willpower equal to character point cost to be spent in addition to base will (for lower powered campaigns), the ability to grant archetypes or powers multiple times (for absurdity), or the ability to grant only a single archetype (for consistency).

If anyone has a different take on this miracle, I'd love to see it.

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I actually got a somewhat official answer from one of the writers at arcdream.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=969 . –  shatterspike1 May 10 '13 at 3:59
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