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[[quoteright:200:[[WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mozenrathpowersandprice_312.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:200:[-You mean magic ''isn't'' for free? -] ]]

->''"All power demands sacrifice."''
-->-- '''[[EvilSorcerer Sindri Myr]],''' ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar''

Power. The ability to influence, create, change, and even destroy. Things, places, ''people.'' It is by nature highly contentious: Some want it and would kill for it, others do not want it, or would gladly give away such a burden. Therein lies the rub. For all its force, blessings, or ability to change, power is not free... of responsibility, consequence, or cost. Some people think the exchange [[EquivalentExchange has to be "fair."]]

Drama derives vigor from the quandary of how power, seemingly free of any strings, has inherent costs. Whether they are hideous mutations, social alienation, or even death varies by story, genre, and kind of power. But the underlying basis is the same: Power at a Price.

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!!Tropes:
[[index]]

* {{Aesoptinum}}
* AgeWithoutYouth
* AGodAmI: Power will make you think that you're invincible. Regardless of whether or not it's true, you're gonna have a lot of enemies.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Trying to climb the social ladder tends to knock everyone else down a rung; therefore, it is evil and shouldn't be done.
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: You can read minds, but it's very disturbing.
* ArmorAndMagicDontMix: Mages can't wear armor.
* ArtifactOfAttraction: You'll be compelled to kill for it and be killed over it.
* ArtifactOfDeath: Use it at risk of death.
* ArtifactOfDoom: Use it at risk of becoming evil.
* AssimilationBackfire: Sometimes you absorb something harmful or gives you a weakness.
* BareFistedMonk: Does not need weapons, but, therefore, does not benefit much from better gear.
* BeneficialDisease: When a disease provides you superpowers/immunity
* BlackMagic: Very powerful magic, at a moral and material price.
* BlessedWithSuck: You'll think it's worth it, but it isn't.
* BlindSeer
* BribingYourWayToVictory: How much in RealLife dollars are you willing to pay for a Top Tier deck in a CCG, or for enhanced equipment in an MMO?
* CantStayNormal
* CastFromHitPoints: Magic fueled by sacrificing your current health (i.e., causing your body damage).
* CastFromLifespan: Magic which shortens the user's lifespan.
* CastFromMoney: These powerful powers requires in-game money to work.
* ClingyMacguffin: Throw it away, and it will come back.
* ClippedWingAngel: Eventually, the "new form" turns out to be a bust.
* CloseRangeCombatant: You can handle things up close, but you're useless at a distance.
* ComebackMechanic: Being ahead of the other players means you make the other players stronger.
* ComesGreatResponsibility: No inherent price except using it responsibly.
* ConditionalPowers: When the power comes with something you must (or must not) do
* TheCorruption: Uncanny powers are just a symptom of a malignant infection.
* CrazyAwesome: You're insane, but in a cool way.
* CripplingOverspecialization: Really, really good at one thing; [[AwesomeButImpractical really, really bad]] at everything else.
* CursedWithAwesome: You'll think it isn't worth it, but it is.
* CurseThatCures: A sick or injured character is cured as a side effect of a {{Curse}}.
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Upgrading your hardware [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman downgrades your humanity]].
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique: A powerful ability, with a powerful cost.
* TheDarkArts: The skill is deemed forbidden for any of a number of reasons.
* TheDarkSide
* DeadlyUpgrade: Eventually, your new form will make you die.
* DealWithTheDevil: Never obtain magic from malevolent/mysterious entities or {{trickster}}s.
* DeusExitMachina
* DirtyMindReading: You can read minds, but it's very disturbing in ''that'' way.
* DisabilityImmunity: Rather than granting you powers to compensate, you are protected from something that would harm more able individuals.
* DisabilitySuperPower: Power at the price of one or more faculties.
* DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength: When you can't judge how much power you're using.
* DrunkWithPower: It's addictive.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: Every ability is strong against and weak towards at least one other, usually in a cycle or in foil pairs.
* EmpathicHealing: Yes, you can have HealingHands, but you'll ''take'' the same injuries you're trying to heal on someone else.
* EmptyLevels: When the power actually makes your character weaker or increases the difficulty disproportionately.
* EquivalentExchange: Everything does not come free; it has a (sometimes terrible) cost.
* EverythingButTheGirl: You can do anything you like, except win over your OneTrueLove.
* ExplosiveOverclocking: Or it will make your stuff explode.
* EyeOfNewt: Magic requires magical components.
* FantasticFragility: Building in weaknesses to boost power.
* FragileSpeedster: Sacrifices overall power for mobility
* FuelMeterOfPower: Limited usage of superpowers. Using them all up may cause death.
* GlassCannon: Can dish it out, but can't take it
* GodJob: Get the power of a god, but you've got a job to do.
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: Powers that require extreme out-of-the-box thinking in order to get any use out of it.
* HeroicFatigue
* ImHavingSoulPains: Too painful to use this power for long.
* InsertPaymentToUse: It'll let you use it, but you have to pay with [[LifeEnergy lifeforce]], money, or some other form of currency.
* InvisibleStreaker: You can't be seen, but you have to be naked.
* JackOfAllStats: Not bad at any one thing, but not really good at anything either.
* LevelScaling: Power that comes at a price of increased difficulty.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Wizards take longer to gain power, but gain more power in the end.
* LivingBattery: The living power supply pays the cost.
* LogicalWeakness: A weakness because of a power that actually makes logical sense.
* LonelyAtTheTop: The more powerful you are, the more isolated and lonelier you'll be.
* LongRangeFighter: Great at dealing with things from a distance, useless up close.
* LovecraftianSuperpower: It looks really weird.
* MadOracle
* MagicallyIneptFighter: Strong in physical combat but has weak magic, if any at all.
* MagicIsAMonsterMagnet: Using magic draws the wrong sort of attention.
* MagicKnight: A fighter who can cast, but usually isn't as good at melee as a pure warrior or as good at magic as a pure wizard.
* MagikarpPower: This character or ability can be ''very'' useful... if you bother to [[LevelGrinding grind for it]].
* TheMedic: Uses magic or items defensively (healing, [[StandardStatusEffects Spe]][[StatusBuff lls]]) while being physically weak
* MightyGlacier: Sacrifices mobility for overall power.
* MultiformBalance: When each of your forms has a power set suited for particular tactics and situations.
* NecessaryDrawback: For every advantage, there's a disadvantage.
* OneWingedAngel: Physical power at the cost of your physical form.
* ThePaladin: Good in a battle (especially against TheUndead) and has plenty of WhiteMagic power, but lacks offensive magic skills and is often [[ObstructiveCodeOfConduct constrained by a code]].
* PowerBornOfMadness: Madness causes power.
* PowerDegeneration: Having superpowers will accelerate your aging and kill you.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: It requires an ethically repulsive component to function.
* PowerIncontinence: Limited control over destructive or inconvenient powers.
* PowerLossMakesYouStrong: The flip side. By ''losing'' a superpower, you ''gain'' something. Namely, [[TookALevelInBadass extreme badassery]].
* PowerSource: They may need to be refilled frequently.
* PowerStrainBlackout: You faint after using your powers
* PowerUpgradingDeformation: You get loads of power, but it's because you got ugly add-ons.
* {{Pride}}
* PsychicNosebleed: Overuse or misuse of psychic powers results in physical injury.
* PsychoSerum: In the "GoneHorriblyWrong" sense.
* PsychoSerum: Potion causes Madness.
* QuantityVsQuality: The two are always inversely proportional
* RealityWarpingIsNotAToy: When RealityWarping proves hard to control.
* TheRedMage: Can use all kinds of magic, but [[MasterOfNone isn't the best at any of them]].
* RequiredSecondaryPowers: For all those extra powers you have (or ''don't'' have) to deal with your "main" power.
* SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining: ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* SacrificialRevivalSpell: This spell kills you, but it brings someone back to life.
* SensoryOverload: The drawback to certain SuperSenses.
* ShapeshifterModeLock: Inability to regain one's normal form.
* ShedArmorGainSpeed: Trading armor for speed.
* ShootTheMageFirst: High offense and low defense means you're going get targeted more than anyone.
* ShootTheMedicFirst: The ability to heal his allies means the GenreSavvy will take you out first.
* SituationalSword: You can use it, just not all of the time.
* SoulPoweredEngine
* SquishyWizard: Uses magic or items offensively (the nuker) while being physically weak
* StoneWall: Can take it, but can't dish it out.
* StraightForTheCommander: The commander is the biggest target, [[DecapitatedArmy hoping his army falls into chaos when he falls.]]
* SuperPoweredEvilSide: Your power comes with an alternate, nasty, side.
* SuperPowersForADay: Powers for the price of time. Powers can never be gained again.
* TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow
* TimeDissonance: You aren't in sync with the rest of causality.
* TooFastToStop: For when you have that SuperSpeed thing, but not that [[RequiredSecondaryPowers Super Stopping]] thing...
* UnhappyMedium: You're powerful, but really unhappy.
* UnholyHolySword: It's TheMole of artefacts.
* VirginPower: You must remain a virgin to use your powers
* WeaksauceWeakness: CompetitiveBalance taken to extremes to offset for winning the SuperpowerLottery.
* WeaponWieldsYou: To gain the weapon's (usually superior) fighting skills you have to give up control of your body.
* WhiteMagic: Not as powerful as BlackMagic, but less noxious.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Power causes madness.
[[/index]]

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