To activate one of your powers you must either make a Gesture or shout a Command Word. You pick which power and whether the Dramatic Activation is a Gesture, a Command Word, or both (see below). PP costs do not change. Sustaining the power does not require Dramatic Activation. The power must have an activation and a total cost of at least 5CP.
If you are gagged or otherwise silenced, you cannot use your command word. You also cannot whisper a command word. You must speak it at least as loudly as you would to a small group of people in a public place. If you use a command word while attempting to Move Silently, you take a -10 on your opposed check. Your command word can be in any language, and indeed, doesn’t need to be a word, per se. It can be a guttural grunt or a nonsense phrase.
You cannot execute your command word when grappled, entangled, or pinned. If you perform a gesture while attempting to blend into a crowd, you take a -10 to your opposed check (Stealth vs. Observe). Your gesture can be dance-like, martial artsy, or profane. You can flex a biceps, close your hands in prayer, or just flip the bird. It’s up to you.
Additional Comp: Complex Activation
Your Dramatic Activation is finicky and requires that you pass a Perform check (DC 15). If you pass the check, the power activates normally. If you fail, the power does not activate, but you do not lose any PPs for the effort. This Additional Comp does not increase the activation time.
Additional Comp: Disruptable Activation
Your Dramatic Activation is so precise that it can be disrupted, just like spell-casting (see the skill Concentration for DCs to maintain concentration). You can apply the feat Combat Casting to Dramatic Activation to get a +4 on your Concentration check. This does not mean that your Dramatic Activation provokes an attack of opportunity.
Additional Comp: Provocative Activation
Your Dramatic Activation provokes attacks of opportunity, just like spell-casting. Your Command Word or Gesture requires so much concentration that they distract you from the fight in front of you. This does not mean that your Dramatic Activation can be disrupted.
Additional Comp: Slow Activation
Your activation time increases by one step up the “action” scale: free/swift, move, standard, full-round. A move action become a standard action, for example. Slowed full-round activations turn into a full-round action plus a swift action, then a full-round plus a move action, etc.