Every character has access to special abilities. Mechanically, you use them similar to actions, but they allow you to break the normal rules or take control over the fiction. Each archetype has three core powers. For example, the Tech Jockey can use the powers of an Engineer, Synthetic Speaker, and Traveler. These core powers act like new actions, all grouped under your Soul attribute.
When you want to use a special ability, you roll the power like an action: your dice pool is based on the number of dots in that power; the results of the ability follow the same outcome breakdown (1-3: fail with consequences; 4/ 5: succeed with consequences; 6: succeed); and you can roll to resist consequences. Like any other attribute, your soul attribute is based on the number of actions (i.e. powers) you have at least 1 dot in.
Special abilities differ from normal action rolls in three primary ways.
First, you cannot overcome limits when making a power roll. You can resist consequences to mitigate bad fallout, but you cannot turn a roll into a success. You can remember this by looking at the playbook: there is no condition marker on the special ability page.
Second, you can only use an ability if you have enough dots in that power. Each ability has a number next to it; this number tells you how many dots you need before you can use it.
If you look at a playbook, you will see the core ability is unlocked with 1 power dot as marked by: . The abilities listed beneath it all require more power dots before you can use them as marked by: 2—, 3—, and 4—. You will notice that the special abilities all follow a similar theme, but become more powerful or flexible as you go down the list. This means that putting multiple dots into the same power has two benefits: you have better control over your powers (increasing the dice pool used for rolls), and you increase the ways you can use your power (through new abilities).
Finally, consequences with special abilities work slightly differently. Every archetype is powerful, but also comes with its own flaws. At the top of the special ability sheet you should see a list of five unique flaws and a space to write your own. Each time you unlock a new core power (i.e. fill in the first power dot), pick a new flaw. When your ability leads to consequences, you can describe how your flaw creates a complication and mark a segment in your defiance clock.
As a player, you can also choose to let the GM decide the consequences like a normal action roll. These consequences will not advance your defiance clock, and you give up narrative authority to the GM.
Your powers mark you as different, and in the world of Ruralpunk different means dangerous. Each soul attracts a different type of negative attention when they step outside the status quo. Cyber souls draw the hungry attention of the Wild; Wild souls draw the suspicion and hatred of the Metropolis; and rebelling mortals are seen as traitors by the Locals.
Each town phase, you’ll determine the consequences of your defiance level through relationship entanglements.
So why let your flaws complicate the situation?
First, the defiance clock also acts as an XP tracker for your soul attribute. When you fill it, you can pick a soul advancement. These allow you to add new dots in powers, access powers from other archetypes, and earn new crafting skills. See the Advancement chapter for more information.
Second, when your flaw complicates a situation the PC narrates the consequences. These consequences still follow the fundamental rule (all actions have an equal reaction), but it gives you narrative authority.
When you mark a defiance clock, fill it in clockwise, marking the inner layer, then the outer layer, before moving onto the next segment.