As I understand it the limitation is applied only to the initial point allocation when creating the character. So for instance in my campaign which uses 100point characters, each character starts with 60 points dedicated to the base stats, then the remaining 40 get divided up 10 each among 4 powers. So for my daughter's mostlyrandomlyrolled character, she went through the "roll for 6 powers, choose your favorite 4" process. As a human character, her power descriptions would have looked something like this:
CP Power
10 Heightened AG
10 Shaping
10 Willpower
10 Vibe blast
(Total: 40)
BUT, she really wanted to be a Saurid, which gives her 20 points worth of claws, speed, and armor, so to balance out those points she had to lose 5 each from her nonspeciesspecific powers:
CP Power
5 Heightened AG
5 Shaping
5 Willpower
5 Vibe blast
5 Claws
5 Speed
10 Armor
(Total: 40)
No need to muck around with ability caps or "hidden" costs  it's just about the initial point allocation.

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