The first, most noticeable change in the new Powers and Abilities Card is that it now contains all of the abilities along with all of the powers. I have pages 17-18 of the Fantastic Four Rulebook taped to the edge of the PAC as a fourth foldout in order to have a complete PAC in one place. Now, everything is included, so I couldn’t be happier.
Like other PACs, each all of the different combat symbols are shown at the beginning of that slot’s list of powers. New in this PAC is the information of what abilities those combat symbols give you.
Most of the powers have been through some wording tweaks. For the past few years, if a question came up a lot, it would often get incorporated into the wording of the power for the next PAC. Our approach to the PAC this year was to remove answers to questions that we knew were clearly stated in the rulebook. For example, the new Rule of Occupancy makes it clear that no mechanic allows a character to occupy blocking terrain at the end of its move. That’s text that we could then remove from Leap/Climb and Phasing/Teleport.
The biggest change to powers and abilities on this PAC is to Move-and-Attack. This power used to take up its own paragraph to describe, well, how this character could use Hypersonic Speed with a bit of a twist. So with the new PAC, that’s all we said – Move and Attack allows the character to use Hypersonic Speed, but with a -2 penalty to their attack value, they cannot start adjacent to an opposing character, and on the plus side, they do not halve their range. The biggest consequence of this is that it is no longer a move action, it is a power action.
There are some other subtle changes to powers and abilities that have small impact, if any, to the way they are played:
Charge and Running Shot – the attack portion of this power has been worded so that it is optional. So if you target a Shape Change character who rolls a 5 or a 6, you do not have to target something you don’t want to as a result.
Plasticity – the wording of break away in the rulebook has changed slightly to indicate that you need to roll a 4 or better to break away. This allowed us to simplify Plasticity to adjust the die roll with a plus/minus rather than stipulating it means only successful break away on a 6. You’ll see this change affects characters with Giant Size as well.
Carry – we tried to make it more clear how icons affect a characters ability to be carried. In a nutshell, the carried character must only have 4 of these 7 icons: . If they possess any other icons (instead of or in addition to) then they cannot be carried.
Unlike powers, many of the team abilities got tweaked in an effort to make the game simpler to learn and play. Presented in ascending order of excitement:
Wild Cards – are returned to their former glory. As you saw in my last article, some parts of being a wild card got a little weaker. However, you will see that all team abilities are worded to characters who use the team ability. No distinction is made about characters possessing the ability versus ones who only use it. Batman Enemy and JSA characters, for example, can share their values with wild cards and those wild cards can share their values back.
Mystics –one of the most common questions we get at HeroClixRules@gmail.com is to ask if damage reducers can reduce the damage from this team ability. The truth is, the wording on old PACs made this clear by referring to it as “takes damage.” We are hoping that using the term “unavoidable” damage will stem that particular tide.
Outsiders – this ability always led to questions abouhow certain modifiers would affect the character versus other modifiers. Powers were affects but feats weren’t – it always led to less experienced players not knowing for certain which modifiers were affected and which were not. We made things easier, and gave Outsiders a bit of a bump, by simplifying the power to function against all modifiers. Replacement values remain unaffected by Outsiders – but any/all modifiers are ignored.
Police – this ability has not really changed that much. One of the more common questions that comes up in regards to this ability is what happens if the ranged attacker is multi-targeting, but the Police team member can only see one of the targets. By changing the effect from “increasing the attack” to “decrease the defense” it makes the line of fire discussion more clear.
Quintessence – in order to simplify things, the team ability itself can now be countered. Not there are all that many ways to accomplish that, but at least you’ve got a chance now, right?
Superman Enemy – knowing that The Brave and the Bold was going to have a nice array of new characters for this team ability, we wanted to give it a bit of a boost as well as simplify it. The general concept of the team ability remains the same: 2 adjacent Superman Enemys lets the higher point character use Outwit. Only now, adjacency does not need to be maintained – you only need it to activate the power.
Injustice League – saving the best for last. When we were reviewing the team abilities, we knew that this was the one that needed a change. Like its predecessor, Masters of Evil, the team ability as worded just never sees very much play. Instead of just making it change to follow Masters of Evil, we tried to make the team ability more functional within the spirit of its original intention. In short, the change allows all of the actions you use to target an character opposing character use up one and only one action from your action pool for that turn. The first attacker using this team ability eats up one of your actions from your action pool, as normal. But any other attack against that character this turn (by another Injustice Leaguer) does not reduce your action pool.
P.S.: Drew mentioned a surprise. I hear that there may be more surprises soon.