Rules: Powers and Abilities

Powers are always printed on a combat dial, are visible through the stat slot, and are either standard powers (colored squares) or special powers (black-bordered white squares).
• Standard powers are explained on the Powers and Abilities Card.
• Special powers are explained on the characters’ character cards.
Abilities are always indicated by a symbol on the character’s base, never on the combat dial. These symbols grant certain abilities to your character that they possess at all times.
• Combat abilities are indicated by specific combat symbols on the base of the character, next to the stat slot. They are explained on the Powers and Abilities Card.
• Team abilities are indicated by a team symbol on the base of the character. They are explained on the team abilities card for that specific universe, which can be printed out at
• Trait abilities are indicated by a star symbol on the character’s base. They are explained at the beginning of the character’s character card, next to the corresponding trait symbol. Older characters might not have the star symbol on the base, but still possess a trait as explained on their character card.
Game effects remain a part of the game only as long as the character continues to possess the power or ability. If a power or ability is countered or lost, all game effects of that power or ability immediately end, but any actions already in progress are resolved normally. Tokens that are placed on characters or character cards for any reason are not considered a game effect. If ignoring a game effect would cause a situation where that game effect would not be ignored, then you do not ignore that game effect.

Powers are in effect when they appear on the character’s combat dial through the stat slot. Abilities are always in effect. Powers and abilities activate in a number of ways:
• Some game effects require that a character be given an action. These effects only activate when the character has been given the action specifically to activate the game effect. The game effect then overrides the normal activity of that move, close combat or range combat action.
• Some game effects activate as a result of something specific happening. The game effect will use the words “when” or “if” to describe the scenario required to activate the power or ability.
• Other game effects are always active or otherwise specify when they can be activated.
When a power or ability indicates that the character “may” do something, that indicates an option that the player of that character can make when the situation presents itself. Other than that, powers and abilities are not optional. A special power that says “Character can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and Stealth” does not allow the character to choose whether or not it is using Stealth (since that standard power’s description does not use the word “may”) but does allow the character to choose when it will roll a d6 for its close combat attack (since the description of that standard power does use the word “may”).

A character possesses a power or ability if that power is printed on their dial in the form of a white or colored square, or if an icon granting that ability is printed on their base. A character may also possess a power or ability if a special power or trait ability states that they “have” or “possess” that power or ability.
A character uses a power if a special power or an ability states that they “can use” or “uses” that power.
A power or combat ability that is possessed by a character can be countered. A power or ability that is only used by a character can’t be countered, though often the power or ability granting use of that power can be countered instead.
Certain game effects can counter powers or abilities. When a power or ability is countered, the targeted character is treated as if the power no longer appeared in the stat slot or the ability was no longer available through whatever means the character was able to use the ability.

Some powers and abilities use the term “area of effect.” An area of effect allows a power or game effect to target more than one character. Characters within the area of an effect are affected even though they may not be within the character’s range or line of fire. When it includes an attack, only one attack roll is made and the Attack Total is compared to each target character as well as any other characters specified by the area of effect. When a character is attacked exclusively as a result of being in an area of effect, it is not considered a target of the attack and it may be friendly to the attacking character. The game effect including an area of effect will define how damage is dealt to hit characters and may specify targeted characters’ damage differently from other hit characters. When a power or ability uses a ranged combat attack with an area of effect, if the game effect describes target characters, then the attacking character may multi-target normally, possibly creating multiple areas of effect.

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