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Power Profile: Light Powers

Shed some light on the world! From dazzling displays to

hypnotic patterns and laser beams, Light Powers tap into
one of the fundamental energies. Characters can control,
manifest, project, and even become light, with a full spectrum of powers at their command.

luminating light and the power to bolster, restore, or

manipulate life force may overlap.

Radiant: Similarly, light tends to be associated with

holiness and purity, and some light powers may have
a radiant or holy descriptor indicating they originate with a mystical or divine source rather than an
earthly one. Such light may trigger weaknesses in
creatures of darkness and mark the user as a champion of the forces of light in the setting.

Countering: Depending on descriptors, light powers

may be useful for countering a number of other
effects. The most obvious is the light versus darkness opposition: light powers can overcome darkness
effects from mundane concealment (due to lack of illumination) to manipulation of primal or essential dark
energies. Similarly, light powers may counter other
light powers, either depriving them of the light they
need to function, or bending or otherwise controlling
the light they are based on. Light powers may counter
visual effects requiring light as a medium, particularly
visual Illusions like the Holograms power (see Utility
Powers in this profile), but also light-based Communications like the Laser Comm power. Visual sensory
effects are generally not countered; instead they are
disabled by light-based Affliction effects such as those
in the Offensive Powers section of this profile. See
the Sensory Powers profile for further discussion of
countering sensory effects. Light powers with mystical
descriptors like life or radiant may be able to counter
powers with opposing descriptors like death, necromantic, unholy, and unnatural. See the Magic Powers
profile for some examples of such countering effects.

Light Descriptors
The following are important descriptors associated with
light powers, affecting how they appear and function.

Light: Naturally, light is illuminating, reducing or

eliminating the concealment granted by darkness
and shadows. Most light powers shed enough illumination to reduce darkness-based concealment by
one level within distance rank 0 (30 feet) of the effect.
Greater levels of illumination generally require a specific Environment effect: see Illumination under
Utility Powers for details.

Heat: Light can also generate heat, particularly in

the infrared and ultraviolet portions of the spectrum.
Focused light particularly can heat up targets, as any
kid with a magnifying glass can tell you, and lasers
primarily do damage through high temperatures.
The heat from some light powers can potentially
cause fires or set off explosive materials; see the Fire
Powers profile for details.

Life: In a mystical sense, light is often associated with

life, life-force, the soul, or vital energy seen as light
radiating from all living creatures. This makes light
a descriptor for various Life Powers involving that
vital energy, and the ability to create and control il-

Power Profile: Light Powers

Jonathan Lotzer (order #3687946)

Light Features
Potential Feature effects associated with Light Powers
include the following:

You have a minor degree of immunity to light effects,

enough that you never sunburn, need sunglasses, or
otherwise have trouble with any amount of full direct

You can emit a directed cone or beam of light at will,

as if you carried a powerful flashlight at all times.

You have a personal spotlight that can illuminate

you at will and follow your movements, putting you
in a continuous pool of light no more than distance
rank 2 (6 feet) across.

You can generate and refract light around you to

create a harmless, shimmering light show of color,
good for a circumstance bonus to interaction skills in
situations where it can impress others.
You can create minor, static holographic images
within arms reach and no more than volume rank 1
in size (about a cubic foot).

Offensive Powers
Offensive light powers take advantage of bright light to
blind or overwhelm targets, and focused light energy to
inflict direct damage.

Blinding Beam
You project a beam of blinding light into a targets eyes.
Blinding Beam: Ranged Cumulative Affliction (Resisted by
Dodge, Overcome by Fortitude; Visually Impaired, Visually
Disabled, Visually Unaware), Limited to Vision 2 points per

You similarly create a Blinding Burst of light, radiating in

all directions, much like a powerful flash-bulb or strobe.
The Blinding Burst originates from you; if it is something
you can cast out to a distance, where it bursts (like a flashbomb), apply the Ranged modifier as well.
Blinding Burst: Perception Area Cumulative Affliction
(Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Fortitude; Visually
Impaired, Visually Disabled, Visually Unaware), Limited to
Vision 2 points per rank.

With a Blinding Aura, you continuously emit light bright

enough to blind anyone looking directly at you. If you can
maintain the Blinding Aura as a free action while doing
other things, apply the Reaction modifier (increasing cost
to 5 points per rank).
Blinding Aura: Perception Area Cumulative Affliction
(Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Fortitude; Visually
Impaired, Visually Disabled, Visually Unaware), Limited to
Vision 2 points per rank.

Jonathan Lotzer (order #3687946)

A Blinding Field fills an entire area with light bright

enough to overwhelm all other visual input, rendering
anyone in or looking at the area unable to see anything
but pure, white light.
A lesser effect can be achieved with an Environment effect
which imposes a visibility modifier due to a bright (but
not completely blinding) light.
Blinding Field: Burst Area Visual Concealment 4 Attack (all visual
senses) 12 points + 4 points per +1 area distance rank.

Dazzling Burst
An explosion of light and color radiates out from you,
overwhelming the visual centers of nearby targets. For a
Dazzling Beam attack, replace the Burst Area modifier
with the Ranged modifier, allowing you to hit a single
target at a distance.
Dazzling Burst: Burst Area Cumulative Affliction (Resisted
by Dodge, Overcome by Fortitude; Dazed, Stunned,
Incapacitated), Sight-Dependent 2 points per rank.

Hypnotic Strobe
With a pattern of flashing light and color, you place
targets into a trance where they are open to suggestion
and obedient to your commands. For a strobe affecting
multiple targets, replace Perception Ranged and SightDependent with Perception Area. Add Selective if you can
choose which targets you affect and Insidious if targets
are unaware they are being influenced.
Hypnotic Strobe: Perception Ranged Affliction (Resisted and
Overcome by Will; Entranced, Compelled), Limited Degree,
Sight-Dependent 1 point per rank.

Laser Beam
You project a coherent beam of light able to deliver a
blast of focused energy. Due to a lasers ability to travel
great distances in a straight line, Extended Range is an
appropriate extra. Penetrating is also suitable for laser
Laser Beam: Ranged Damage (Laser) 2 points per rank.

Rather than a sustained beam, you might create a Pulse

Laser, firing off a series of high-intensity pulses you can
focus or scatter, as you prefer.
Pulse Laser: Ranged Multiattack Damage (Laser) 3 points
per rank.

A Laser Burst fires off beams in all directions around you,

allowing you to hit multiple targets in the area, but hard
on your allies. If you can control who gets hit within the
burst, apply the Selective modifier as well. Added ranks
of Area apply much like Extended Range for Laser Beam.
Laser Burst: Burst Area Damage (Laser) 2 points per rank.

Power Profile: Light Powers

Shifting the frequency of your beam out of the visible

spectrum to create an X-ray or gamma-ray laser (graser)
projects an Invisible Laser Beam targets wont even see

ent objects and shedding a bright enough glow to softly

illuminate the area around you (but making it difficult
to conceal your presence, particularly in dark surroundings).

Invisible Laser Beam: Ranged Damage (Laser), Subtle 1 point +

2 points per rank.

This power is often accompanied by other powers like

Lightflight, Lightspeed, or Blinding Aura to reflect the additional capabilities of a Light Form.

You may also be able to project a low-level Targeting

Laser to paint your target and provide a sighting path
for your beam, like a modern laser-sight.
Targeting Laser: Add Accurate to any Laser power 1 point per
rank (+2 attack bonus per rank).

Laser Weapon
You focus light into the shape of a melee weapon (like
a sword, although it can just as easily be a hammer or
other type of weapon). Some laser weapons may have
properties like their actual counterparts; see the Melee
Weapons table on page 165 of the Heros Handbook for
some ideas.
Energy-damage laser weapons may have the Penetrating
modifier, while laser weapons made of solid light may be
Strength-based Damage instead.
Laser Weapon: Damage (Laser) 1 point per rank.

Defensive Powers
Defensive light powers shield you from the harmful
effects of light or use light as a medium to protect you
from other effects.

Immunity to Light
Your power over light makes you immune to its harmful
Immunity to Light: Immunity 10 (Light Effects) 10 points.

Light Absorption
You can absorb energy from light and channel it to
enhance your light-based powers. You gain ranks in the
Enhanced Trait equal to the absorbed effect, then they
fade at a rate of 1 rank per round until gone or you absorb
light energy again. Traits enhanced with this power are
still subject to power level limits.
This power often has Immunity to Light in conjunction
with it, making you immune to the effects you absorb.
Light Absorption: Enhanced Trait, Fades, Limited to the lesser of
effect rank or absorbed energy rank As base trait 2 per rank.

Light Form: Insubstantial 3 (Energy Form Light) 15 points.

Photonic Shield
You surround yourself with a glowing aura of hard light
able to resist attacks.
Photonic Shield: Protection, Sustained 1 point per rank.

Like a living mirror, you can reflect light-based effects
back at their source. If you can reflect an attack onto a
target other than its source, apply the Redirect modifier
for an additional +1 point per rank.
Reflective: Deflect, Reflect, Close Range, Limited to Light Effects
1 point per 2 ranks.

Movement Powers
Given the speed of light, light powers are associated with
fast movement, and some light-powered characters are
speedsters as well. See the Speed Powers profile for additional details on super-fast movement.

You can fly through the air, surrounded by a glowing aura
and perhaps leaving a brightly glowing contrail of light.
Lightflight: Flight 2 points per rank.

Some charactersparticularly those with the Light Constructs power (following)fly via Light Bridge, a solid
ramp or platform of light.
Lightbridge: Flight, Platform 1 point per rank.

You can move from place to place at the speed of light!
True light speed is rank 29, but speed rank 24 is sufficient to go anywhere on Earth in a single move action,
with Space Travel 1 handling any movement away from
the Earth.
Lightspeed: Flight 24, Movement 1 (Space Travel 1) 50 points.

Light Form
You transform from a physical being into a form made of
coherent light, able to pass harmlessly through transpar-

Power Profile: Light Powers

Jonathan Lotzer (order #3687946)

Utility Powers
Light powers have numerous other applications, including the creation of images, enhancement of the senses,
and projecting light over an area.

Banish Darkness
You can counter any darkness effect in the area around
you by radiating a clearing light. You can use this power as
a model for creating other Nullify effects using light (see
Countering under Light Descriptors).
Banish Darkness: Burst Area Nullify Darkness, Simultaneous 3
points per rank.

Healing Light
You channel a light energy that restores life-force and promotes healing. This power typically has a mystical descriptor like life or radiant (see Light Descriptors).
Healing Light: Healing 2 points per rank.

Using projections of laser light, you can create holograms,
realistic three-dimensional images. Your holograms are
not solid and do not affect senses other than the visual.
Holograms: Visual Illusion 2 points per rank.

You can shed enough light to illuminate clearly over a wide
area. For 1 point per rank, your illumination is similar to indoor
lighting; for 2 points per rank, it is as bright as full daylight.
Illuminate: Environment (Light) 1 or 2 points per rank.

Laser Comm
You can project and receive pulsed, encoded laser transmissions as a form of communication. This power tends to
be restricted to rank 3 (Long Range), unless working with
a satellite network able to bounce signals around the
curvature of the Earth, and is limited to the speed of light,
so cannot achieve rank 5 (Unlimited) distance.
Laser Comm: Communication (Visual, Laser) 4 points per rank.

Light Constructs
You can create hard light constructs that function like
physical objects. Light constructs are either translucent
or opaque and generally glow softly. Apply other Create
modifiers to the power to customize it as desired (see
pages 102103 of the Heros Handbook). For animate constructs, use the Summon effect instead (and see the Summoing Powers profile).
Light Constructs: Create 2 points per rank.

Solar Sustenance
So long as you are exposed to light, you have no need to
eat or restthe light energy providing you with your essential sustenance.
Solar Sustenance: Immunity 2 (sleep and starvation), Source
(light) 1 point.

Vision Enhancement
Shaping, absorbing, and enhancing incoming light allows
you to improve your vision in a variety of ways, seeing
things others cannot.
Vision Enhancement: Senses: choose any of Vision Counters
Concealment (Invisibility), Vision Counters Illusion, Darkvision
(all requiring 2 ranks), Extended Vision, Infravision, Low-Light
Vision, Microscopic Vision, Radius Vision, and Ultravision 1
point per rank.

Warp Light
By bending and warping light, you can become invisible
to the naked eye or all wavelengths of light. If you can
also bend light to make other people and things invisible,
apply the Affects Others modifier. If you can do so against
their will, apply the Attack modifier. In either case, add the
Ranged modifier if you can make subjects invisible at a
Warp Light: Visual Concealment 2 4 points, 4 ranks (8 points) for
all visual senses.

Rather than warping visible light, you might bend just infrared (IR) light around you, allowing you to pass through
IR sensor or scanning beams without breaking them, rendering you essentially invisible to them.
Infrared Invisibility: Infravision Concealment 2 4 points.

Laser Hearing
Projecting a low-level laser against a source of vibrations
(glass, metal, water, etc.), you can hear distant sounds
causing those vibrations, such as a voice on the other side of
a pane of one-way glass or a conversation at a table in a cafe.
Laser Hearing: Senses 5 (Extended Hearing, Hearing Penetrates
Concealment) 5 points +1 point per additional rank of Extended

Jonathan Lotzer (order #3687946)

Other Light Powers

The powers in this profile primarily focus on the physical
properties of light, but it has other associations and connections to other types of powers.
Darkness Powers are the opposite side of light powers,
as darkness is merely the absence of light. The ability to

Power Profile: Light Powers

absorb or control ambient light can grant characters the

powers to create and control darkness as well.
Focused light can create considerable heat, so many Fire
Powers can also be light powers, such as Melt to represent the intense heat of a laser or Infravision for sensitivity
to the infrared portion of the light spectrum.
As the Holograms power shows, visual Illusion Powers
can also be light powers so long as they concern the physical manipulation of light rather than mental or psychic
influence. Similarly, the Decoys power from Summoning
Powers is suitable for a mirror image type of effect and
other summoning powers may involve the creation of animated hard light constructs.
Some Magical Powers rely upon the symbolic qualities
of light as purifying, revealing, illuminating, and healing.
Since vision relies on light, visual Sensory Powers can be
considered light powers, similar to the Vision Enhancement power.

Light Complications
In spite of the name, light powers are not always easy, and
can come with their own complications.

Given lights association with vision, it can be an interesting twist to consider the concept of a character gaining
light-based powers but also going permanently blind as a
result of exposure to such intense light! Perhaps the character gains some compensatory accurate sense, limiting
this complication to an occasional problem rather than a
constant disability.

Given the connection between light and higher powers,
light controllers often have enemies. Light and darkness
are naturally-opposed, so a foe with darkness powers is
one possibility (see the Darkness Powers profile for some
ideas) but the Enemy could just as easily be the characters
equal, with similar light-based powers, or a living manifestation of the characters shadow (physical, psychological,
spiritual, or all of these), given an independent identity
and powers of its own.
If light is associated with life-force, then predators that
feed on such energy may hunt those with an abundance
of inner light. Similarly, a light-wielder could threaten
(and earn the enmity) of darkness-loving creatures like
the undead and others which fear the light.

It is difficult indeed for those with light-based powers to
hide their light under a bushel and the spotlight truly
does seem to follow them wherever they may go. Whether

Power Profile: Light Powers

Jonathan Lotzer (order #3687946)

they seek the limelight or not, some characters have to

deal with the complications of it, including stalkers, wellmeaning (but troublesome) fans, lawsuits, and hangerson hoping to profit from the characters renown.

Fear of the dark is a common phobia for those strongly tied
to the light, especially if darkness has the potential to sap
their strength or take away their powers (see Power Loss).
Related to a fear of darkness is claustrophobia, the fear of
small, enclosed spaces, which are themselves often dark.

Power Loss
Those with the power to control light may also depend
upon it; in complete darkness, they lose all of their lightbased powers! In lower light-levels, the character may
retain a fraction of normal power, until exposed to full
daylight or the equivalent.
Weakened by darkness or not, light powers might need
periodic recharging (like a solar battery), leading to instances where characters run low on power, usually at
the least convenient times, an opportunity for the GM to
impose a complication and award a hero point.
Light controllers who draw their power from some higher
source, such as a divine or otherworldly patron, may also
lose the them if they fail to live up to their responsibilities
and codes of conduct.

When light powers come from an outside source, their
wielder is generally responsible to use them in a particular way, whether it is protecting the world from a certain
type of menace or fulfilling an ancient prophecy. These
responsibilities can be a heavy burden to bear, and
sometimes they clash with what the character would
prefer to do.

Light-wielders might suffer more from darkness than just
losing use of their powers (described under Power Loss).
A lack of sufficient light might cause other conditions,
ranging from the character being dazed to eventually
dying, if deprived of life-giving light for long enough.
Light characters may be vulnerable to darkness effects,
suffering at least an additional degree of effect, or even to
other light effects, if they somehow overload the character. Perhaps different spectra of light powers are vulnerable to each other, depending on how they are related.
Rather than darkness, other types of light can be weaknesses: for example, light controllers might suffer ill
effects from ultra-violent or infrared light, outside of the
visible spectrum, or other types of radiation.

Credits & License

Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile: Light Powers
Writing and Design: Steve Kenson
Editing and Development: Jon Leitheusser
Art Direction and Graphic Design: Hal Mangold
Interior Art: Kevin Stokes
Playtesters: Leon Chang, James Dawsey, Nathan Kahler,
Jack Norris, Aaron Sullivan
Publisher: Chris Pramas
Green Ronin Staff: Bill Bodden, Joe Carriker, Will
Hindmarch, Steve Kenson, Jon Leitheusser, Nicole
Lindroos, Hal Mangold, Chris Pramas, Evan Sass, Marc
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile: Light Powers is 2012
Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. References to other copyrighted material in no way constitute a
challenge to the respective copyright holders of that material. Mutants & Masterminds, Super-powered by M&M,
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Power Profile: Light Powers