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Cause Earthquake

Superpower (Power)


Cost 12 JP
Activate 6 PP; full-round action
Sustain 6 PP per round; full-round action
Range 60 feet; Power Resistance yes


The superhero can cause localized but extremely powerful earthquakes. He selects a target point within range and spends 6 PP to activate the power. The earthquake affects everything within a 10-foot radius. It knocks people down, collapses structures, opens cracks in the ground, and more! The shocks last for one full round, during which time people on the ground within the area of effect can’t move along the ground or attack. Spellcasters on the ground must make Concentration checks (DC 20 + spell level) or lose any spells they try to cast. The earthquake affects all terrain, vegetation, structures, and creatures in the area. The exact effects depend on the terrain and its features:

  • Cave, Cavern, or Tunnel: The power collapses the roof, dealing 8d6 points of earth damage to any creature caught under the cave-in. Affected creatures can make a Reflex save for half damage. An earthquake centered on the roof of a very large cavern could also endanger those outside the actual area of effect but below the falling debris.
  • Cliffs: Cliff edges crumble, causing a landslide that travels horizontally as far as it fell vertically. An earthquake centered at the top of a 100-foot cliff would cause the falling cliff to sweep 100 feet outward from the base of the cliff. Any creature in the path of the falling debris sustains 8d6 points of earth damage. Affected creatures can make a Reflex save for half damage.
  • Open Ground: All creatures standing in the affected area must make Reflex save or fall prone. Fissures open in the ground, and every creature on the ground has a 25% chance to fall into one. Affected creatures can make a Reflex save to avoid falling in. These fissures remain when the earthquake comes to an end. All fissures are 2d6 feet deep, and, if deeper than the occupant is tall, require a successful Acrobatics or Climb check to escape (whichever the occupant attempts to do).
  • Structure: Normal, one- or two-story structures collapse and deal 8d6 earth damage to their occupants, who can make a Reflex save for half damage. Particularly sound structures, those reinforced with stone, concrete, or steel, will stay standing, as will any structure that is three stories or more. However, flying debris and building materials still cause 4d6 worth of earth damage to their occupants, and they still get a save, as above.
  • River, Lake, or Marsh: Fissures open underneath the water, draining it away from that area and forming muddy ground. Soggy marsh or swampland becomes quicksand for 1 round, sucking creatures and structures down. Anyone in the area must make a Reflex save or sink into the mud and quicksand. At the beginning of the next round, the rest of the body of water rushes in to replace the drained water, possibly drowning those caught in the mud.
Enhancements and limitations
  • Enhancement: Enhanced Range (Cost: 3 JP per level): The range at which the superhero can cause a quake is extended by 30 feet for each level of this enhancement. The superhero can take this enhancement a maximum of 3 times.
  • Enhancement: Enhanced Violence (Cost: 1 JP per level): For every level the superhero purchases of this enhancement, he can spend one extra PP for one extra d4 of earth damage, in addition to any and all effects his earthquake would have caused otherwise. The DCs for Reflex saves are unaffected. The superhero can take this enhancement up to 8 times.
  • Enhancement: Standard Action Quake (Cost: 3 JP): Activate: 6 PP; standard action. Sustain: 6 PPs per round; standard action. The activate and sustain times for Cause Earthquake are now both one standard action.
  • Enhancement: Wider Area (Cost: 3 JP per level): Each level of this enhancement increases the radius of the affected area by 5 feet. The superhero can take this enhancement up to 8 times.