Choosing to activate a power on a character or on a displayed card also counts as playing that card.
Doing something with a card that does not use a power on that card does not count as playing that card. For example, Seelah has a power that allows her to discard an armor to add to a check. Since she’s using a power on her character, it’s being played. Since she’s not using a power on the armor, it isn’t being played.
If a character power applies when a specific thing happens, you may use it each time that happens; otherwise, you may use each power no more than once per check or step.