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The description of Quickness indicates that it only works with Routine actions.

You can perform routine tasks—anything that can be done as a routine check (see Routine Checks in The Basics)—fast, perhaps very fast. Subtract your effect rank from the normal time rank to perform a task to determine how long it takes you. So, for example, if you have Quickness 7, a routine task normally taking an hour (time rank 9) takes you (9 – 7 = time rank 2) 30 seconds. Non-routine checks are not affected by Quickness, nor is movement speed.

Without Skill Mastery, which allows routine checks in non-routine situations for a skill, does that mean that, under pressure, the person with Quickness can't employ their skills? That when The Flash is being shot at, his ability to quickly perform normally routine tasks goes away? That seems counter to the source material, and also counter to the Time Stop ability in the Time Powers Power Profile, which includes Quickness with a Quirk that only routine actions can be performed.

Time Stop: Quickness (Subtle 2), Speed (Subtle 2), Quirk: Limited to routine actions while active (–4 points) • 2 points per rank

The 2E version instead used a version of routine tasks based on the "Take 20" mechanic which applied to skills where there was no penalty for failure and included on the chart which skills that could be used for.

You can perform routine tasks quickly. For purposes of this power a “routine task” is one where you can take 20 on the check. At rank 1 you perform such tasks at twice normal speed (x2). Each additional rank moves your speed one step up the Time and Value Progression Table (x5, x10, x25, and so forth). At rank 20, you perform routine tasks at 5 million times normal speed! Tasks where you cannot take 20 (including combat actions) are unaffected by Quickness, nor is movement speed

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After much discussion with fellow players, I have decided that Green Ronin likely intended Quickness to only apply to non-combat skill checks in situations where it makes sense to be able to use Quickness (despite the common comic trope of a super-fast person trying all of the passwords, if the ATM takes 5 seconds to process the PIN before deciding whether it matches, you're not going to be able to make the process any faster) and that, outside of that, they probably intend to allow players to roll for a skill check for a quickened action even when in combat.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any support for this, or is it just personal interpretation? \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Oct 16 '20 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Personal interpretation. RAW indicates that you can't use Quickness for any skill unless you can do so as a Routine check, which means it's unusable in combat and it doesn't look like they ever issued a correction or clarification on the matter. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Duggan Oct 16 '20 at 16:08

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