Assigning Preps to an Ability
Now that we have a basic understanding of what a Prep Post IS, you might be wondering: how do I use them? The first step in using Prep Posts is assigning a number of preps to each of your character's abilities. Keep in mind that the number of Preps you assign to your abilities really just based upon what you think is reasonable. So, select something that seems fair and adequate for each ability right off the bat.
The weaker an ability is, the fewer Prep Posts it needs. Weak abilities are those that have small effects, are non-lethal, and not very threatening. Weaker abilities can be assigned 0 or 1 prep.
Here is an example:
Thought-Sensing - Can occasionally pick up surface thoughts of others who are not actively warding against thought invasion. This is limited to the general chattering a mind makes all hours of the day, even while sleeping. She cannot pick up more profound information unless a target is specifically thinking about something at that very moment. For example, this character could read the thought "I'm hungry," or "My plan to assassinate the King is working!" if her target is presently thinking about it, but she could not read anything such as childhood memories, information about loved ones that is stored in the mind, etc.
Can read deeper thoughts of others who are not actively warding against thought invasion, such as memories about recent events, loved ones, current plans, etc. Limited to regularly-used thoughts, things that are kept 'handy,' so to speak. The person must have thought about the subject at hand within the past 7 days.
[0 preps needed]
Note that this ability has been assigned ZERO preps in order to use it. This is what would be considered a passive ability, or one that works all the time, day or night, without effort. This is because the ability very rarely has a damning effect on those the character directs his ability toward, and because the parameters are very specific.
Other 0 Prep abilities might include:
Flight (for winged characters)
Reading Tarot Cards (for Psychics)
Unsheathing of Claws (for those with claws, of course)
Creating Small Sparks (for Pyrokinetics)
Lifting a Lightweight Object (for Telekinetics)
Controlling One or Two Water Droplets (for Hydrokinetics)
Some 1 Prep abilities might include:
Creating Small Flames
Lifting Somewhat Heavy Objects
Diverting a Small Stream of Water
Casting a Minor Spell
Predicting the Near Future (1 day ahead or less)
Shapeshifting from a Small form to a Large One
Healing a Small Wound (such as a cut or scrape, one that does not require stitches)
A moderate ability is one that could cause damage, or has a wider area of effect than a weak ability. It could also be an ability that causes moderate changes in the character's body, the world around him, or someone else's body. Moderate Abilities are ones that are assigned 2 - 4 Preps.
Moderate Flame - A larger flame, about the size used for torches, small campfires or similar.
[2 preps when flammable material is present] [3 preps when flammable material is present, but wet] [4 preps when flammable material is scarce] [5 preps when attempting to light non-flammable material]
Note that the ability has been assigned definite parameters. The size of the flame created by this moderate ability is compared to an everyday use. This prevents the player from claiming that larger, more dangerous fires are still considered Moderate.
Additionally, you can see how the ability changes based on what's available to the character. In real life, it is easier to light a torch on fire when it's been soaked in kerosene, isn't it? And lighting that same torch would be very difficult if the torch was wet, or if it was a torch made of iron that did not have any fuel available to burn. Therefore, the character must work harder to light a fire based on these real-world facts.
Other 2 - 4 Prep abilities might include:
Healing Deep Wounds
Reloading a Magical Weapon
Draining a Victim of Blood (Vampire)
Possessing a Host (Demons)
Predicting the Future a Few Weeks Ahead
Lifting Heavy, Awkward, or Bulky Objects (Telekinesis)
Drawing Water from the Air (Hydrokinesis)
Diverting Water Away from a Target (Hydrokinesis)
Casting an Offensive Spell (Mages)
Shapeshifting from a Large Form into a Small One
A strong ability is one that will
cause damage, or drastically change the character, his environment, or the bodies of other characters. These require so many preps because the character must invest so much time, energy and focus into them to get them to work. Strong abilities are ones that are assigned 5 - 8 Preps.
Thought-Sensing - Can read hidden thoughts of others who are actively warding against thought invasion.
[6 preps standard] [5 preps if in physical contact with the target]
In the above example, we can imagine that the character is going to have to work pretty hard to break down the 'walls' or 'shields' that someone has put up to keep invaders out, especially if they're at or above her current level of skill.
Other 5 - 8 Prep abilities might include:
Healing Severed Limbs
Predicting the Far Future (Months or More Ahead)
Exorcising a Demon (Angels, Mages, etc)
Mind Control of Unwilling Subject (Mages)
Controlling Large Bodies of Water (Hydrokinesis)
Opening a Chasm in the Ground (Terrakinesis)
Creating a Wall of Flame (Pyrokinetic)
There are some instances where an ability might be really amazing, and you want your character to be able to use it -- but the effects are so drastic that there's really not a suitable number of preps to make it work, or the number of preps is so high that you'd have to RP for ages
before anything really happened. You know, kinda like a DBZ fight scene that spans many, many episodes.
In those instances, we have what's considered a Permission-Only Ability. With these, you are only permitted to use that ability when you have OOC permission from the people you're RPing with, and sometimes from Admin too.
Examples of Permission-Only Abilities include:
Abilities that result in the death or dismemberment of someone else's character
Abilities that cause mass destruction of an IC area
Abilities that drastically change a character's core nature (for example, a spell that put's someone else's character under your control and turns them into a murderer)
These abilities should be used infrequently
and only after
you've been granted permission.