Fireborn: Dark Phoenix
Key Items, Powers, and Legacies
Key Items (or simply, Keys) are items that can enhance a character’s repertoire and allow them to spend AP on related Powers. A character can gain multiple powers from one Key; and there is no limit to how many Keys can be used.
Gaining a Power from a Key requires spending a Ki Point.
Some Keys may have particular usage requirements; for instance, a technological jetpack that allows Mythic Leap for the character may need to be refuelled at regular intervals with a rare fuel; or a magical rune that grants the ability to breathe underwater might need to be ritually Bound to a character before it can be used.
Other Keys may have Drawbacks; a Jetpack could be delicate and easily damaged; or a powerful artifact might have a curse on it that hinders the character in unexpected ways. The need to have an item in hand (or equivalent) and activate it does not generally qualify as a Drawback, though if this is a significant change to the base power, it might qualify.
Drawbacks on a Key give a discount on AP expenditure to gain Powers from it; in essence, at any rank where the Drawback significantly affects the standard function of the power, the GM will nominate an AP discount based on the severity of the drawback. It costs this much less to acquire that rank of the power. (Some discounts may be ongoing).
If this Drawback would be significant, it may be preferable to create a custom/alternate power. This is encouraged anyway if existing powers cannot be simply amended or re-flavoured to suit the character; however the GM is the final arbiter.
If a Key providing a Drawback is later swapped for one that does not have this Drawback, the Power is limited in scope to the actual APs spent on it (which will generally lower its rank!) until the character spends the APs to make up the difference, and unlock its full potential.
It is possible to get rid of old Keys and replace them with new Keys. If Key Items are unbound, the character loses access to the powers associated with that Key, unless or until they can bind a new Key to allow access to that power again (e.g. the aforementioned character might have permanently lost their jetpack, but might manage to find a magical rune that allows them a similar flight-like power).
Note that Key Items can be bound to multiple powers; a powerful magical artifact might be able to grant multiple related powers to its user, for instance. Usually these powers are related (a magical artifact that allows Alternate Form powers might also allow Supernatural Physical Aspects, too, for example – representing their power to ‘idealise’ the character’s normal shape as well as completely overwrite it). Generally, the more powerful (and unique) the Key Item, the more that can be done with it.
Certain very powerful Keys can even grant Legacies; as a general rule a character can only have one of these at a time, and may only have one Legacy (unless specifically permitted otherwise). A character may not spend more karma on their Legacy at any one time, than their rank in the prerequisite power plus half their APL (i.e. half AP / 10), to a maximum of ten in total.
Please note that unlike standard Fireborn, characters do not have to choose a Legacy during character creation. Acquiring one is not guaranteed.