For some people, keeping track of Power Points is just too much of an annoyance to enjoy the game. The Act-Roll System (“act” for “activation”) is an optional rule that you can use if you’re one of those people. In it, you don’t have power points. Instead, you have an Act Bonus, similar to a Save or a BAB. Every power has a corresponding Act DC. Your Act Bonus is determined by your class and it is not modified by any of your ability scores. See the table below for the Act Bonus progression by level.
The Act DC of any power equals the CP cost of the effect you are trying to activate , including enhancements, limitations, and discounts. On your character sheets, you need to record the total CP cost of your power before adding any of the variable units―damage dice or weight for example―and then add the units on the fly. For example, if you had a Ranged Energy Attack (50 ft., 10d6, Knockback), the base activation would be DC 2 for the Knockback effect. For every die of damage you add, the DC would rise by 2. A 5d6 blast would be DC 12, and a 10d6 blast would be DC 22. Your Act Roll is not modified by an ability score, but you can raise it by taking one of the feats listed below.
Act Bonuses by Class and Level
|Phoenix Classes||Thinker (Inventor, Mentalist, Mystic)||Adventurer, Martial Artist, Mastermind, Sidekick||Champion, Sleuth, Sneak, Socialite, Soldier, Warrior|
|Base Classes||–||Fast, Smart, Dedicated||Strong, Tough, Charismatic|
|AdvancedClasses||Acolyte, Battlemind, Mage, Telepath||Field Medic, Field Scientist, Negotiator, Personality, Techie||Gunslinger, Infiltrator, Investigator, Martial Artist, Soldier|
Act Roll Consequences
If your Act roll would result in an automatic success (i.e., your bonus equals the DC), then you can activate that power at will. If you build your character right, you could never have to make an Act check by making sure that your Act Bonus always equals or is greater than your various Act DCs.
If the DC is higher than your Act Bonus, then you have to make an Activation Roll: d20 + Act Score. If you meet or beat the DC, then the power activates normally. If you fail the roll, then the power does not go off. If you fail the roll by more than 5, then you take a Fatigue penalty to your Act Rolls for the rest of the encounter or scene. For every 5 points by which you fail the roll, you take a cumulative -2 to your Act Rolls. This penalty represents your decreasing ability to channel powerful energies. Your will slackens, your muscles tire, your tech overheats, etc. Your Fatigue penalty lasts until the end of the encounter or until you go five rounds without activating any powers. Instantaneous healing―anything with an Origin―also counters this penalty. Instead of restoring HPs, every die of healing reduces your Act-Roll penalty by 2 (e.g., 3d6 would take a Fatigue penalty of -10 to -4).
You can score a Crit on your Act Roll. If you roll a natural 20 and confirm the success, you then get a x2 multiplier on your damage or you increase your power’s Save DC by +4 or you double the numerical value of the power’s effect(s) (whichever the GM deems appropriate).
There are a few changes you need to make to the game to make the Act Roll system work.
Remove the feat Hidden Power. Add the following feats:
Activation, Improved [General]
You have deep reserves of spiritual energy.
Benefit: Your over-all Act Bonus improves by +2.
Activation, Awesome [General]
Your inner strength is unreal.
Prerequisite: Improved Activation
Benefit: Your Act Bonus improves by an additional +2, for a total of +4.
Activation, Supreme [General]
You can move mountains with your force of will.
Prerequisite: Improved Activation, Advanced Activation
Benefit: Your Act Bonus improves by an additional +2, for a total of +6.
Focused Activation [General]
You are skilled at activating a particular power.
Benefit : Your Act Rolls gain a +4 bonus with one power.
Special: You can take this feet multiple times. Each time, it affects a new power.
Focused Activation, Improved [General]
You excel at activating one of your powers.
Prerequisites: Focused Activation, Character Level 6
Benefit: Your Act Rolls gain an additional +4 bonus with the power you picked for Focused Activation, for a total of +8. You can take this feet multiple times. Each time, it affects a power for which you have taken Focused Activation.
Focused Activation, Awesome [General]
One of your powers is bonded to your very soul.
Prerequisites: Focused Activation, Awesome Focused Activation, Character Level 8
Benefit: Your Act Rolls gain an additional +4 bonus with the power you picked for Focused Activation, for a total of +12. You can take this feet multiple times. Each time, it affects a power for which you have taken Improved Focused Activation.
Focused Activation, Supreme [General]
One of your powers is bonded to your very soul.
Prerequisites: Focused Activation, Awesome Focused Activation, Character Level 10
Benefit : Your Act Rolls gain an additional +4 bonus with the power you picked for Focused Activation, for a total of +16.
Special: You can take this feet multiple times. Each time, it affects a power for which you have taken Awesome Focused Activation.
Act-Roll Crit, Improved [General]
You have over-achieving powers.
Prerequisite: Act Roll +6
Benefit: The critical threat range for your Act Rolls increases to 19-20.
Act-Roll Crit, Awesome [General]
Your powers pack unusual punch.
Prerequisite: Act Roll +6, Improved Act-Roll Crit
Benefit : The critical multiplier for your Act Rolls increases from x2 to x3.
Change Power Leech to the following:
Power Leech [Metapower]
Cost: by mode
Activate: by mode
Range: by mode
Save: by mode
This power allows you to Leech the Act Bonus of other characters. The Origin of their powers does not matter; your body can simply convert the vital life force, radionic batteries, crystalline will (or whatever) into energy that you use to drive your powers. This power has two modes, Offensive Leech and Defensive Leech.
Mode: Defensive Leech
Cost: 4CP per rank (3HPs)
Activate: free; use-activated (take damage)
This mode allows you to absorb energy-based, Super attack damage and convert it into an Act-Roll bonus. In any given round and for every rank in the power, you can absorb 5HPs of damage and gain a temporary +1 enhancement bonus to your Act Rolls. You must forgo your Saving Throw in order to use this mode. You retain this bonus until the end of your next turn, at which point the energy dissipates harmlessly if you don’t use it. You Leech power reflexively, whenever you take damage from a Super attack. You cannot direct powers at yourself in order to recharge.
Mode: Offensive Leech
Cost: 2CP per rank (Act Bonus +2)
Activate: use-activated (attack)
Save: Fortitude (negates), Constitution-based
You can Leech other people’s Act Roll bonus with a touch. For every rank in this mode, you Leech 2 points off of their Act Roll. You must hit your target with a touch attack to use this power. The touch attack requires precision and a small amount of concentration, so it cannot be an unarmed strike. You can use this power only once per round. Your target gets a Saving Throw to avoid the power’s effects. If she fails, you Leech her Act Roll bonus. She takes a -2 penalty and you gain a +2.
Limitation: Non-Lethal Defensive Leech
Cost: 1CP per rank in the base power
When you Leech incoming Super damage, you take a number of NL equal to half the bonus you Leech (e.g., if you Leech +4, you take 2 NL). If you take non-lethal, energy-based, Super damage, then you avoid the damage entirely and gain a bonus.
Enhancement: Ranged Offensive Leech
Prerequisite: Offensive Leech
You can now Leech powers at a distance, using a ranged touch attack with a maximum range of 20 feet.
Limitation: Active Defensive Leech
Value: 1CP per rank in the base power
Activate: free; free action
Your body does not automatically Leech in-coming damage. Instead, you must consciously activate the power, which you can do only when you can see or otherwise sense an incoming attack. Absorbing damage in this way qualifies as an action in combat, so afterwards, you are no longer flat-footed.