Charging an Energy Blast


One of my players wants a spell that effectively is a kamehameha blast from Dragon Ball Z. They want to charge it over turns and unleash a huge blast of kick-assery. I am seeking help from the shield wall to make this work and “feel” right.

I like the idea that the other players will have to protect the player who is charging their attack, and if its interrupted it has some negative effects. At first I just thought of adding a die to their attack per turn they charged, bur realized that is effectively the same thing as attacking once each turn. I also am trying to sort out hitting will work: I don’t want them to feel bad after spending 3 turns charging a super attack just to miss.

So far I have this:

Charge Blast: spend one of your actions to “charge” your attack. This attack starts with 1d4 and for each turn you “Charge” you add the next level of dice (1d6,1d8,1d10,1d12-max charge) to the attack roll plus +1 to hit and effort. The range of the attack starts at Close then increases 1 range increment per “charge” at a max of Double far. (close, near,far,double far). If you are hit or interrupted during the charge you must make a (int/wis) check or lose a “charge”. You may use your second action to buckle down and negate this penalty.When you have as many “Charges” as you would like, roll (int/wis) against the Room Rating to hit.
Example: after 3 charges you would roll 1d4,1d6 and 1d8 at Far, with +3 to hit and +3 effort.

this seems clunky but is the best I can come up with on the fly. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

also, for raw coolness I think if they crit on the roll they would instead roll Xd12 for each charge they have


I would just use the rage die system from altered state. On your turn, make an int roll to bank a D6 rage die. In any successive turn, spend all accumulated rage dice with a successful attack.

So, let’s say I bank a D6 on turn one, a D6 on turn two, and a D6 on turn three. On turn four, I attack. If I miss the attack roll, no worries. The charged-up dice aren’t lost. On the fifth turn, I attack, this time easy to hit (a success!), and now I pour all the banked rage dice into my damage, which is now d10 + 3d6.

There is no limit to the number of rage dice that may be banked in this way, and they carry over session to session.


Simple and clean. The answer was under my nose the whole time, this is great! Thank you!


Can you use the rage die for anything? I’m just thinking that sounds like a cool way to make int a really valuable stat.


IIRC, in Altered State Rage dice specifically augment PSYCHIC effort; there’s a separate feature/mechanic called Surge Capsules that let you buff other stuff.


In Altered State, it is the primary way a psychic might go full Tetsuo; that being said, some weapons also use the rage die mechanic.

But in your game, rock on! Use rage dice for anything that makes sense. Master Edition kind of employs a similar mechanic for the Memory Ring for spellcasters. And I’d love to see someone use this in a vigilante city supers game.

Basically, use it anywhere where a character might store a burst of power and unleash it later. Change the D6s to D10s if it suits your game. Go nuts.


Gotcha, that’s a nice mechanic.

I think my instinct also would have been to add a damage die for each turn charging. Then I would realize a week later that it’s the same as attacking each turn.

I like that you can bank as many rage die as you want, and then decide to release them on a successful hit. I think for players that will be really cool and help them feel like they don’t have to waste all their charged up power.


Is the risk of accidental overload on a natural 1 (which I assume is on the D20 INT roll for each die banked) the only limitation placed on the Rage mechanic? I use the Memory Ring from Alfheim at my table, and that has a six-slot limit, but I know Rage dice can be banked with no limit.


Correct. If you roll a natural 1, all of that spent power immediately and irrevocably explodes in all directions, up to FAR. That is the limiter.

And for memory ring, yes, it’s bank up to 6.

All potential options for a charge-up type of situation.



  • 5% chance of overload per roll = 95% chance of a successful D6 bank
  • 3.5 points average bank per D6
  • Expect 13 to 14 “safe” banking rolls before overload, as (0.95)^13 = 51.3%
  • Expect to be able to bank about 46 points on average before overload

That’s a lot of buff.

Assuming successful banking (which is pretty likely), does all the Rage bonus need to be expended at once when the bank is tapped?


No. You can spend it as you see fit.

Expect to be able to bank about 46 points on average before overload

LMAO. This conclusion doesn’t hold up in actual play. I’ve never seen a character yet have the time to continuously bank a rage die every turn ad nauseum. No one spends every roll doing that in actual play, and not every roll to bank will be successful against the target. In the altered state campaigns I have been a part of as a player and DM, the max I have seen is maybe 6 or 7 banked this way before being spent or lost through overload. Players just don’t have time for more than that, usually, unless the DM isn’t challenging them at all.


Nice use of bullets, though. :smiley:


Thanks for explaining that.

With respect:

  • That was not a merely conclusion, but an actual probability statistic under specific conditions.
  • In actual play and practical usage, it sounds like overload is not nearly as much of an actual limiter as time or other factors, which was my implied point.

I think I now have a little better handle on how your mechanic actually works at the table.


Risk of overload really cranked the tension up in our Altered State game: every time the psychic banked a die, we all held our breaths - especially after three or four die were in the bank. A natural 1 would have exploded that character, and taken all of us out with him!

Even if you know the probabilities, the implications at the table aren’t trivial!


Hey Chris,

In my opinion, the risk of overload is the limiter. This is just like delving deeper and deeper into a dungeon. At first, the overall risk is rather low. At worst, I blow a turn with a failed roll. But later, let’s presume I’ve spent a few turns banking the dice - I’m on my 5th turn now. That roll could still fail, and I could overload. Now, the overload is still only 5% chance… but the cost is much higher as it invalidates my last four turns!

That’s the same as in a dungeon. Sure, a few points of damage in the first tunnels isn’t so bad. But three hours later, when we’re out of spells and potions, and have a longer way back to the surface (more random encounters), the cost of a failed roll (perception, surprise, whatever) is far higher - even if it only happen oh-so-often - because it overrides our prior successful investments (overload in this case, death in the dungeon case).

Finally, players are aware of those risks. That awareness is itself a limiter.

Nonetheless, valid points well presented.



Without thinking too hard about it, I would have the charge double the number of damage dice, or add +3 to the attack; having the charge interrupted reduces bonus to hit and damage dice by the amount of damage done. Charging character cannot move.


I’m currently working on a DBZ campaign using ICRPG so this is very much appreciated. Thank you!