Power Imbalance Rules

In some game settings the imbalance in power from people are substantial.
There are the common folk, and then there are the superhumans. The Power Imbalance rules creates a simple way to give this imbalance a mechanical and quantifiable effect.
It works essentially the same way as the Tech Level system does, with some additions.

There are 4 ranks of power a character can belong to. They are called Power Ranks, shortened to PR. They are:

Power Ranks

PR 1 - Below average, Wimpy
PR 2 - Normal, Common, Ordinary folk
PR 3 - Extraordinary, Supernatural
PR 4 - Godlike, Mythical, Eldritch

Much like Tech Levels, Power Imbalance rules work much the same way.
The GM can specify the PR the setting of the game has.

Mixing Power Ranks

When Powers Imbalance plays a role, a blanket Advantage and Disadvantage is applied to actions equal to the difference where the imbalance would play a role.

Additionally, Power Level requirements are also increased or decreased according to the difference when trying to invoke them.
For example, a superhuman PR 3 attempting to Incapacitate a common man can do so even if they only have a score of 4 on the necessary attribute needed to inflict the Incapacitated bane. They also make the attack with advantage 1.
Likewise a common man trying to Incapacitate an eldritch being will need a score of 7 in order to inflict it at the lowest Power Level. They also suffer disadvantage 2 when attempting it.

A random thought I had one night. I doubt I’ll be using it in my current game.
I suddenly remembered that one time the topic I saw once in the community about attributes meaning different things to different characters.
“Like a Might of 3 to a superhuman is different to a Might 3 to a normal human!”
… Something like that?

Then I thought to myself, if they are so different, how come they both struggle equally mechanically with no difference when fighting each other?

So I made this!

Howzit? Like I said, I just thought it up just now but I thought it was worth sharing.


I like the concept, but I feel like Advantage 1 doesn’t really convey the power gap between a superhuman and an ordinary human. Maybe I’m missing something, but with a difference that small, I’d think you could just represent them on the same scale, with one just having a higher Might score. If you’re talking about a superhuman that is supposed to be as strong as 10 humans or something, I feel like you’d need a much more substantial mechanical difference than just 1 Advantage and 1 less PL requirement.

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Economies of Scale.

What makes sense.

These are what i use in my games. If you are a Superhero, than a common person just doesn’t do anything to you. Just let that part be narrative.

A small fighter jet vs a moon. Most likely not going to do anything unless you have a planet breaker missile on that thing, so it doesn’t do anything substantial. Just describe it firing at, but not really being effective.

A massive space battle ship, able to punch holes through other giant space ships? Vs a platoon on the ground? For that usually I multiple the damage by 5, 10, 20 (as makes sense for the specific situation and narrative). There is still ar oll to hit, b/c it is possible that while aiming, it isn’t as precise to hit after all.

The simple advantage 1 doesn’t make sense for these situations, and it is hard to assign something that will work blanket across all settings. this is part of the reason it isn’t addressed in OL rules specific, and left to be addressed in the settings that people create.

What a Ship of the Line can do in damage to a group of soliders on the ground, vs what a Star Destroyer can do vs power suited soldiers is going to be different.

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