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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.


%%* {{Aesoptinum}}
* AgeWithoutYouth: You can't die, but you continue to age until there is little left.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Trying to climb the social ladder tends to knock everyone else down a rung; therefore, it is evil and shouldn't be done.
* ArmorAndMagicDontMix: Mages can't wear armor.
* ArtifactOfAttraction: You'll be compelled to kill for it and be killed over it.
* ArtifactDomination: Use it at the risk of your own free will.
* 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.
* 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: Physically blind, but "sees" with other means.
* 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.
* CloneDegeneration: You can clone a person, but the clone won't be as good as the original.
* 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: You'll feel morally compelled to use it to help others.
* 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 terrible cost.
* TheDarkArts: Skills deemed forbidden for any of a number of reasons.
* TheDarkSide: [[EvilIsEasy Easy power]] at the expense of [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope morality]].
* DeadlyUpgrade: Eventually your new form will kill you.
* DealWithTheDevil: Never obtain magic from malevolent/mysterious entities or {{trickster}}s.
* DeusExitMachina: You are written out of any story [[StoryBreakerPower that you could anticlimactic solve]].
* DirtyMindReading: You can read minds, but you're {{Squick}}ed out by what you see.
* 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 one type and weak against another, usually in a cycle or in {{foil}} pairs.
* EmpathicHealing: Your HealingHands take the pain from another and inflict it on yourself.
* EmptyLevels: When the power actually makes your character weaker or increases the difficulty disproportionately.
* EquivalentExchange: If you want great power, prepare to make a great sacrifice. Nothing is free, you know.
* EverythingButTheGirl: You can do ''anything'' except win over your OneTrueLove.
* ExplosiveOverclocking: pushing the Phlebotinum beyond its safety limits can be hazardous.
* EyeOfNewt: Magic requires magical components.
* FantasticFragility: Building in weaknesses to boost power.
* FragileSpeedster: Sacrificing defense for mobility
* FuelMeterOfPower: Superpowers are a finite resource. Don't use them all up.
* GlassCannon: You can dish it out, but can't take it
* 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.
* GodJob: The power of a god comes with correspondingly large duties.
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: Weak in itself; amazing in its applications, but only if you have the imagination.
%%* HeroicFatigue
* ImHavingSoulPains: Too painful to use this power for long.
* ImmunityDisability: Because sometimes being immune to something may be a detriment instead.
* 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.
* 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: The person can see the future can't relate to the present
* 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]].
* MasterOfNone: Not bad at any one thing, but not really good at anything either.
* TheMedic: You can use magic or items defensively (healing, [[StandardStatusEffects Spe]][[StatusBuff lls]]) but often at the expense of damage output, and your vital role on the team makes you [[ShootTheMedicFirst likely to be targeted early]].
* MightyGlacier: Sacrifices mobility for strength.
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: You can read minds, but it's very disturbing.
* 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]].
* PentUpPowerPeril: When your power builds up inside you and you have to release it regularly, lest it harm you.
* PowerBornOfMadness: Madness causes power.
* PowerDegeneration: Having superpowers will accelerate your aging and kill you.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: It requires an ethically repulsive component to function.
* PowerfulButInaccurate: Hits hard, when you can land it.
* 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}}: A high option of your abilities blinds you to your limits [[BreakTheHaughty until you fall]].
* PsychicNosebleed: Overuse or misuse of psychic powers results in physical injury.
* PsychoSerum: The same potion that gives you power takes away your sanity.
* 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: You need more powers just to deal with your "main" power.
* SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining: ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* SacrificialRevivalSpell: This spell can bring someone back to life, but it will kill you.
* 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 allies means the GenreSavvy will take you out first.
* SituationalDamageAttack: This attack's damage will vary depending on how you set it up.
* SituationalSword: You can't always use it when you need to.
%%* SoulPoweredEngine
* SquishyWizard: Magical mojo but physical fragility.
* StoneWall: Can take it, but can't dish it out.
* StraightForTheCommander: You will be targeted early [[DecapitatedArmy in the hope that your army will fall into chaos without you.]]
* SuperPoweredEvilSide: Your power comes with an alternate, nasty, side.
* SuperPowersForADay: Powers for the price of time. Powers can never be gained again.
%%* ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow
* TimeDissonance: You aren't in sync with the rest of causality.
* TooFastToStop: For when you have SuperSpeed without [[RequiredSecondaryPowers Super Brakes]]...
* TooPowerfulToLive: You get offed because [[StoryBreakerPower nothing can stand up to your powers]].
* UnhappyMedium: You're powerful but really unhappy.
* UnholyHolySword: It's TheMole of artefacts.
* VirginPower: You must remain a virgin to use your powers. Better hope no one finds out about that...
* 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 it control of your body.
* WhiteMagic: Not as powerful as BlackMagic, but less noxious.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Power causes madness.