Accelerates to Great Speeds

Published June 1, 2014 by

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You’re fast. Faster than anyone you know. Moving at incredible speeds seems so natural to you that anything less than a full sprint seems slow. Whether your speed comes through mechanical augmentation, altered genetic code, or even an unconscious ability to slow down time it seems that you are forever moving past others. Over time you have mastered the ability to move your mind at the same pace as your body, and can now exploit it in ways you never knew were possible.

You most likely wear energetic colors and clothes that don’t inhibit you ability to move. A quick witted personality is most likely in your domain and your always moving/fidgeting around.

This Focus is inspired by DC Comic’s The Flash.


GM Intrusion: You might be fast, but the physical laws catch up with you eventually. Some of your equipment was never meant to travel at such high speeds and breaks apart.


Pick one other PC. This PC is somehow able to understand you when you use Speed-Talk.

Additional Equipment:

A set of clothes treated to never wear down at high speeds.

Minor Effect Suggestions:
You are able to move immediately after you complete your action.
Major Effect Suggestions:
For a brief moment you break the sound barrier and cause two ambient damage to everyone within immediate distance of where you have been this round.
Tier 1:

Speedster: Your body is a finely tuned machine. Conditioned for endurance and enhanced to near inhuman levels of agility, you gain three points into your Speed Pool and one point into your Speed Edge. Enabler.

Speed-Talk: You are able to vocalize at such high speeds (if you wish) that only a handful of creatures in the Ninth World are able to decipher your speech. Enabler.

Tier 2:

Acceleration (2 Speed): You move with astounding agility and unnatural reflexes. During the round that this ability is activated you gain an asset on Speed Defense and all movement related tasks. Enabler.

Tier 3:

Massive Acceleration (3+ Speed): You have found how to channel your speed into its purest form and run faster than the wind. During the round that this ability is activated your base movement speed is altered to long range (100 ft). Levels of Effort can be spent to increase your base movement speed by an additional 100 ft for each level of Effort applied. Enabler.

Tier 4:

Quantum Tunneling (4 Speed points): You can slowly pass through physical barriers at a rate of 1 inch (2.5 cm) per round (minimum of one round to pass through any barrier). You can’t act (other than moving) or perceive anything until you pass entirely through the barrier. You can’t pass through energy barriers. Action.

Quick Work (4 Speed points): You are able to accomplish a task in no time at all thanks to your superior processing, and motor function speeds. Any non-combat task that would take a half-hour or less to accomplish can be done in a single action. Action.

Tier 5:

Flash: Your body is even more refined and powerful than before. The long leagues behind you have given your feet confidence and clarity for what’s ahead; you gain another three points into you Speed Pool and one into your Speed Edge. Enabler.

Tier 6:

Impossible Acceleration (8+ Speed points): You push yourself beyond what should be possible and move faster than the eye can see. Upon activation, you are capable of making three actions. (Each action taken is a separate action from the others. Thus, levels of Effort can be spent on each one separately). For every additional three Speed points you spend, another action can be added onto the original three. No action gained through this ability can be used to reuse this power within the same round. Action.

12 thoughts on “Accelerates to Great Speeds

  1. tskaiser says:

    Overly verbose, too many “abilities within abilities” making it too flexible, and ridiculously overpowered.

    Mechanically I have a nitpick with Tier 2. The third option of Greater Acceleration is already the default by the Core Rulebook page 91: “Melee attacks can be Might or Speed actions — player choice.”

    While balance is a loose term that should not get in the way of fun, the two are not orthogonal. Tier-wise my issues are these:

    Tier 1: While I understand the thematic reasoning, I would limit the movement to Short. This still makes the character fast, but a base speed of long means a character can take an action and move 100 feet on the same turn. It is still horribly powerful as an enabler on tier 1, but I’d let it slide for the theme as long as the player doesn’t get too many ideas with ranged weapons.

    Tier 2: Since this is an enabler, by tier 2 you strike a very high likelihood of this always being on for all the options since this is an enabler and thus does not take an action to activate and can count edge separately for each activation. Option 1 aggravates the issue of Tier 1, Option 2 is completely acceptable and should be kept, Option 3 is moot as per page 91 of the Core Rulebook.

    Tier 3: Same enabler issues as Tier 2 except for Option 2, which has a duration and thus makes it essentially an enabler also. Option 1 aggravates Tier 1. Option 3 grants the player a free reroll each round as they most likely will have Speed Edge 3 by now, or at least they will inevitable get that later.

    Tier 4: Quantum Tunneling is fine mechanically but a little bit of an odd duck. Only problem might be stepping on the toes of “Exists Partially Out Of Phase”. Flash is fun but a little arbitrary, overall it seems well placed for the Tier.

    Tier 5: 2 Speed Edge would be “fine” spread out over two Tiers (beginning and end). Nothing wrong with it in terms of power given the Tier and that there is no other Speed Edge increases in the Focus. I’d consider redistributing it if you rework the Focus.

    Tier 6: Simply put this is the Grand Jewel that breaks the entire thing. Stand-alone it is stupidly powerful, but adding up all the previous Tiers it completely breaks any semblance of being fun in the context of a party. To illustrate: at tier 6, building a Focus that emphasizes Speed, there is no way the player will not have a Speed Edge around 5 and quite possible 7+, making this free. Added to this is the Wields Two Weapons inspired “Effort counts for all attacks”, the effective base movement of 400 ft., and a free reroll.

    This makes Mr. Flash capable of hit-and-running 400 ft., making 3 attacks with shared effort pool, and rerolling in case he needs it.

    That will not be fun for the rest of the party to deal with.

    1. Nicholas Johnson says:

      If you didn’t catch it in the description. This focus is based entirely on the powers of the Flash. With that in mind I will address a few of the problems you spotted and tell you the reasoning behind some of things you disagree with. You’re very right about the “too many abilities within abilities”. I was just trying to encompass all of the powers of the Flash. I’ll get rid of some of them simply to balance out the focus for game play. I do however require the movement be changed from short to long (at some point (suggestions for tier?) otherwise the point of being faster than others is forgotten with the focus. Quantum Tunneling is a signature power of the Flash so It has to be in there somewhere. For the third option of tier two I thought for melee actions were always might actions. I will now take that out as I somehow missed the one line on page 91. (Thank you so much for pointing that out!) For the Tier 6 ability I wanted to give the player a taste of how incredibly fast you can become. Maybe boost up the cost, because I deeply want to keep the sixth tier power. All in all I always appreciate an honest review and thank you for clearing up some of my misconceptions. I tend to make overpowered foci, get told whats wrong then adjust. THANKS 🙂

      1. tskaiser says:

        Gave it a quick read-through and can’t find anything offensive. As it is right now, it’d be something I would be interested in playing myself, so good work on the rewriting! In this more trimmed down version the “hit-and-run” aspect of moving long distances as an enabler seems much more reasonable, especially as it first comes into play at Tier 3. It also helps the Focus that it is now less verbose and complex and thus reads well. Wording can still be trimmed (see other conventions for how to word giving out Pool points and Edge points eg. Tier 1 Fuses Flesh And Steel pg. 64) but it is a non-issue and just advice 😛

        The progression feels more leveled out and it seems more like “becoming the Flash” rather than “starting out as the Flash”. The cap-stone ability at Tier 6 is still very potent in combat terms, especially depending on reading (I would read the “grant action” cost as being separate from the individual action costs, thus edge applies separately), but it is very much balanced against more combat-oriented Foci eg. Wields Two Weapons At Once Tier 6: Whirling Dervish. In such a party the Accelerating player is a more potent single-target combatant, while the Two Weapons player is better with crowds.

        1. tskaiser says:

          And of course this reply was meant to be a reply to your other post saying you had updated the Focus 😛

    2. Nicholas Johnson says:

      I have changed the focus. I think this is far more balanced than before. Feel free to tell me if there is anything else you disagree with.

      1. tskaiser says:

        Whoop. A single loophole that any sane DM will disallow: technically the 3 actions granted by Impossible Acceleration can be used to… Do further invocations of Impossible Acceleration. At Tier 6 maxxing out Speed Edge you would sit at exactly 8 Speed Edge, making these invocations free and infinite. But it is very much obvious that this is not the intention, so the wording is probably fine as-is 😛 just an example of the dangers of playing with extra actions abilities!

  2. Nicholas Johnson says:

    Alright! After so much revision and help from tskaiser I think it’s done. Would appreciate it if people came back and reconsidered votes 🙂

    1. tskaiser says:

      Currently it would seem you cannot recast your votes on the site. I’ve contacted the owner to see if we can get that remedied :o)

      1. Nicholas Johnson says:

        Doesn’t seem to matter. No one likes it, looks to be.

        1. David's Perspective says:

          It seems okay. Not really interesting to me. I mean I enjoy The Flash more as a character than for his powers. It’s who he is, not what he does with it that was fun.

          Mechanically I like that you avoided some of the more ridiculous Flash stuff, the tornadoes and the variation on flying he’s supposed to be able to do. Since that’d have a different thematic vibe to it. Speed talk seems odd, but it’s different and that’s neat. Just a thought, the major effect could be an ability, Sonic Boom. I like that tier 1 and tier 5 set you up nicely to be able to perform the tier 6 ability once a day.

  3. Joshua Dudley says:

    It’s okay, but the quantum tunneling power seems out of place. Also, it seems overpowered to me.

    1. Nicholas Johnson says:

      As I said, the focus is based off the flash and that is one of his iconic powers. He moves so fast that he is able vibrate through the space between matter

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