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I'm sorry you feel that way. The "crystals" are a fun way of referring to the 4-sided dice while also sort of tying them into the world of the game. The more crystals (dice) you have, the more powerful you are and can roll more of them to do more things. The powers are the things each character can do, "powered" by the crystals, or mechanically, by rolling dice. If you have any suggestions on how to make that more clear, please let me know! Thank you. 

Hey, thanks for the quick reply! You said, "The powers are the things each character can do," but what are the things characters can do? You mentioned Star Wars, Firefly, and Dune as some of your inspirations; the things considered to be "powers" in those settings are quite different from one another! Since it seems like your game implies a setting, I'd love to know what kind of things you picture PCs capable of doing in that setting! 

I do really like the supply/pool dynamic and the failing forward, and will probably use something like it in a game I'm running!

The different abilities given to a character by their Essence and Background, as well as all action covered by the basic mechanic of the game. The setting is implied so you can play it how you want; it's not supposed to be tied to any one universe or genre.