A Better Tomorrow
Often, heroes are called upon to perform feats beyond even their amazing abilities. This calls for extra effort.
You can use Extra Effort to improve your Effects at the cost of suffering some Fatigue (or spending a Hero Point so you don’t suffer Fatigue).
Generally speaking, you can only apply one benefit from Extra Effort to an Effect at any given time.
If using the optional rules for Extraordinary Effort or Last-Ditch Effort from the Mastermind’s Manual, multiple benefits and stacked benefits may be possible..
• Extra effort is a Free Action and can be performed at any time during the hero’s action (but is limited to once per round).
• The benefits of extra effort are not limited by Power Level.
• Extra Effort only applies to Active effects, since Passive effects by definition don’t require effort. At the GM’s discretion an active use of an otherwise Passive Effect might be eligible for Extra Effort
• Extra Effort may not be applied to Permanent Effects.
A hero using extra effort gains one of the following benefits:
• Check Bonus: +2 bonus on a single ability, skill, or power check. This does not include attack rolls.
• Increase Carrying Capacity: +5 effective Strength for determining the hero’s carrying capacity for one round.
• Increase Movement: The hero’s speed for all modes of movement doubles for one round.
• Increase Power: Increase a power by 2 ranks for one round. This only increases the power’s rank; you cannot apply power modifiers (but see the Power Stunt benefit).
Permanent powers cannot be improved in this way.
• Power Stunt: Temporarily add a Power Feat to a Power. This includes an Alternate Power of an existing Power.
Power stunts cannot be applied to Permanent powers.
The Power Feat must follow the normal rules for adding a Power Feat.
The temporary Power Feat lasts for the duration of the encounter or until you choose to stop maintaining it, whichever comes first. This includes turning off the power or switching to a different Alternate Power.
An Alternate Power stunt of an Effect with one or more Flaws on it may remain limited by those Flaws, at the GM’s discretion.
It may be possible to perform an Alternate Power version of an effect without its flaws, using extra effort to temporarily overcome them. This depends heavily on the flaw(s), the effect’s descriptors, and the Gamemaster’s judgment.
• Willpower: Gain an immediate additional Saving Throw against a power with a lasting effect, such as Mind Control or Nullify.
You get this save even if the Lasting power has a Continuous duration (which doesn’t normally allow for additional saves at all).
The save occurs as a Free Action on your turn and does not count as one of the normal saves you make, although it does add to the cumulative +1 save bonus if it fails.
If you’re entitled to a normal save on that round, you get to make it as well.
If you’re mind-controlled, the Fatigue from the Extra Effort doesn’t affect you until you’re free of it. This is primarily to stop characters from simply using extra effort successively each round until they pass out in order to deny their attacker control.
• Surge: Gain an additional Standard or Move action, before or after your normal actions for the round (your choice).
Using this extra action does not change your place in the initiative order. You can use a Standard Action gained from Extra Effort to start or complete a Full Action in conjunction with your normal actions for the round.
A particular example is the Power Stunt option of Extra Effort and the Heroic Feat option of Hero Points, which can stack, allowing you to temporarily acquire two Feats for one round, either two separate Feats or two ranks of the same feat.
Note that Power Stunts have to be Power Feats, while the Heroic Feat option extends to any non-fortune Feat available in the campaign.
So you can use Extra Effort to gain a Progression power feat and spend a hero point to gain another, for example.
Although you can potentially gain more than one Alternate Power feat, they’d have to apply to different Effects, since you can only use one Alternate Power in an Array at a time.
You can also use a Power Stunt to gain an Alternate Power feat and heroic feat to make it Dynamic, so you only need to allocate some of the power points from the base effect into the Alternate Power.
FATIGUE FROM EXTRA EFFORT
At the beginning of the round immediately after Extra Effort, the hero becomes Fatigued.
A Fatigued hero becomes Exhausted and an Exhausted hero becomes Unconscious the round after using Extra effort.
If you spend a Hero Point at the start of the round following Extra Effort to shake off the Fatigue, the hero suffers no adverse effects. Note, however, the character is still using Extra Effort in those cases, even if no Fatigue is accumulated.
Option: increase power and power cost
The increase power option of extra effort provides a flat +2 ranks by default. This ignores the power’s cost per rank and generally ignores power level limits as well. The fact that it’s more effective for high-cost powers is balanced against being less effective for low-cost powers and only lasts for a single use of the power at the cost of fatigue or a hero point.
Some Gamemasters may prefer to change the effect of increase power so it adds either 2 ranks or 4 power points to the power’s effect, whichever is less. So a power costing 2 points per rank or less gains 2 ranks but more expensive effects gain only 1, or even none, if they cost more than 4 points per rank. Alternately, the GM can set a minimum gain of +1 rank, regardless of cost. This makes extra effort a bit less efficient but more consistent across the board.
In either case, the increase power use of extra effort applies all the normal benefits of the additional ranks in the effect: more damage, greater range (for effects where range is based on rank), increased saving throw DC, and so forth. This is most effective for instant effects, since they only last for one use anyway, although a one round increase in a sustained or continuous effect can be useful at times.
There are two particular cases where the increase power option does not apply. The first is any effect that has or provides carrying capacity, such as Move Object. For this, apply the increase carrying capacity option instead (doubling the effect’s capacity for one round). For Affects Others effects, apply the power stunt option for a rank in the Progression power feat to improve the mass the effect can carry. Second, movement effects do not benefit from the increase power option; use the increase movement option instead to double the effect’s movement rate for one round.
Losing Control And Extra Effort
If you are in control of someone else or their powers (with Possession or Mind Control, for example), you can order them to use Extra Effort to enhance those powers, if you wish.
However, ordering this requires Extra Effort on your part too, and may constitute a strongly opposed order for some uses of Extra Effort (GM’s discretion).
So, for example, if you use Power Control to push a target’s Explosion Damage effect, either for additional damage or for a Power stunt, both you and the subject suffer a Fatigue result.
Both you and your subject may use a Hero Point (or GM Fiat) to negate the Fatigue for the Extra Effort; even a Mind Control or Possession victim may do so.
GM Fiat awards player characters a Hero Point normally, but it cannot be used to negate the Fatigue of the Extra Effort, since that falls under the clause of using a Hero Point to eliminate the setback that granted it.
Gamemasters, beware players attempting to use this as a scheme to “mine” extra Hero Points from a thrall! Fortunately, the character is either going to suffer increasing Fatigue or simply “break even,” spending his own Hero Points to overcome the Fatigue and replacing them with points earned from the victim offsetting his own.
Extra Effort And Lasting Results
The Willpower option of Extra Effort allows you to gain an additional Saving Throw to recover from the lasting result of a power.
You can spend a Hero Point to negate the Fatigue from the Extra Effort as usual.