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Dr. MID-Nite

Clairsentience question..

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Can Clairsentience overcome Darkness? A character has a Darkness field(usable on others) placed on them....and now can't see. If they placed their clairsentience viewing point outside the darkness effect....would they be able to see? I said no...as my feeling is that the darkness field cuts the link between their regular senses and the viewing point. I also felt that you're still in Darkness...so anything your Clairsentience might perceive simpy isn't going to make it back to you. So...anyone who is more rules savvy than I want to chime in?

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You'll be able to see from where you've placed the viewing point. But it's going to be as awkward as using VR and having the feed coming in from a camera placed a distance away from you.

 

Darkness defines an area impenetrable to a sense, but Claisentience isn't trying to look through that area. If you turn the "camera" back you'd see a blob of darkness.

 

Potentially you could have Darkness vs Clairsentience to prevent you using the power to place viewpoints, though this is probably only valid if the GM is running Clairsentience as an actual sense group (or part of Mental). Normally this is not the case. In all cases you could have a drain or suppression field to prevent you using the power. 

 

And special effects are important. Clearly if you have a mystic Eye that flies around and telepathically relays what it sees to you, you're probably not going to be hampered by intervening smoke, but a psychic damper field is going to be an issue. And if your clairsentience is a camera drone relaying feed by wifi, Darkness to Radio would block it. The key point here is not what sense or senses the clairsentience itself uses, but what sense your character uses to gather the information. If your clairsentience is the ability to bend light so that you can see around corners... yeah, a smoke grenade is going to screw you up. 

 

If your clairsentience relays to your iPad screen or a crystal ball, darkness to sight will affect it - you can't see the focus. If it relays to the HUD in your power suit helmet or your All Seeing Third Eye, you'll probably be fine.

 

I'd also point out that you can normally place a viewpoint regardless of walls and other sight blocking obstructions; most Darkness fields would count much the same as a wall for the senses they block.

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I'd also point out that you can normally place a viewpoint regardless of walls and other sight blocking obstructions; most Darkness fields would count much the same as a wall for the senses they block.

 

This is by far the best reason to allow it (depending on special effect of how you're viewing the data, as mentioned).  What are Walls in the rules besides darkness to sight or Barriers with Opaque?  Half the point (if not more) of taking Clairsentience is to see what's inside something.

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I'd say that it works unless you've got a specific limitation on your Clairsentience.

 

The Iron Executive has a power suit that lets him fly, be super-strong, bulletproof, etc.  It also has a radar unit built into it.  Iron Executive flies into a Darkness field.  Now he can't see, and must rely on his radar.  Since the player wasn't really thinking about it, he just has OIF on all the suit's powers, including Radar.  Despite the fact that the special effect description is that he's looking at a heads-up display with little glowing dots on it, he didn't actually take "requires other senses to use" or any similar limitation.  He can use his Radar just fine while he's in the Darkness field.

 

Clairsentience would work the same way.

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I mostly agree with the group consensus.

 

I don't think there is an official ruling on this but I think Clairsentience would follow the same rules as Spatial Awareness which is under the Unusual Sense group by default (which is Penetrative by default).   Now, if either is assigned to another group like Sight then the Darkness would stop it.  Note that the Penetrative Advantage IS assigned a Sense Group at purchase

 

A similar example to the one above is my Rookie Superman.  He has "X-Ray Vision" built in 2 parts, short range and long range.

 

Darkness vs. Sight would stop the following:

 

17 7) X-Ray Vision: (Total: 35 Active Cost, 17 Real Cost) Penetrative with Sight Group (15 Active Points); Concentration (0 DCV; Only to Activate; -1/2), Costs Endurance (Only Costs END to Activate; -1/4) (Real Cost: 7) plus Discriminatory with Sight Group - Can identify, distinguish, and analyze an object if the character makes a PER Roll. (10 Active Points); Linked (Penetrative; -1/2), Costs Endurance (Only Costs END to Activate; -1/4) (Real Cost: 5) plus Analyze with Sight Group - Can determine an even greater range of information, with greater precision, than can a Sense with Discriminatory (10 Active Points); Linked (Penetrative; -1/2), Costs Endurance (Only Costs END to Activate; -1/4) (Real Cost: 5)
[Notes: From 6e1 page 209: The Discriminatory effect provided by the Sight Group is not the full Discriminatory obtained by buying that Sense Modifier, but rather an effect of somewhat cruder degree. For example, a character can tell two people apart based on their visual appearance, but cannot always determine a person’s ethnicity or religion through Sight. Characters can make Normal Sight (or the entire Sight Sense Group) fully Discriminatory by paying the usual cost.] - END=3

 

0 39) Super Senses: Clairsentience (Sight Group), +1 to PER Roll, Mobile Perception Point (can move up to 12m per Phase), Telescopic: +1, Costs Endurance Only To Activate (+1/4), MegaScale (1m = 1 km; VPP as 'Variable Advantage/Adder' - Megascale or Mobile Perception Point can be swapped out for other Senses like the Hearing Group as well as Advantages or Adders like varying levels of Increased Maximum Range, Analyze, Tracking, etc...; +1) (60 Active Points); Limited Power - Perception Point Always Faces Away From Character (Functions like the Penetrative Advantage. Can't see through Lead or hear through vacuum; -1/2) Real Cost: 30 - END=5

0 40) Super Senses v2: Clairsentience (Sight Group), +1 to PER Roll, Microscopic: x1,000,000,000, Costs Endurance Only To Activate (+1/4) (60 Active Points); Limited Power - Perception Point Always Faces Away From Character (Functions like the Penetrative Advantage. Can't see through Lead.; -1/2) Real Cost: 30
[Notes: +9 Levels of Microscopic as built. +13 Levels if Costs Endurance Only to Activate is removed.] - END=5
0 41) Super Senses v3: Clairsentience (Sight Group), Mobile Perception Point (can move up to 48m per Phase), Rapid: x10, Telescopic: +44 (60 Active Points); Limited Power - Perception Point Always Faces Away From Character (Functions like the Penetrative Advantage. Can't see through Lead.; -1/2) Real Cost: 30

 

HM

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Interesting question.  My initial thought was that a perception point outside the darkness and you could see normally, after all if you are in a dark room you could use your clairsentience to see into a light room just fine.  That would make sense (if you know what I mean).

 

However, assuming that the darkness applies to the clairsentience (i.e. we are talking about clairsentience that works with the sight group) then, reading Darkness, the power definition is that the covered area is impenetrable by the senses it affects.  This would suggest that, even if the perception point is outside the darkness, sight sensory data can not penetrate the darkness to sight.

 

Then you look at Clairsentience and it says that Claisentience itself is part of the Unusual Sense Group and that the effect of Clairsentience is that it works as if you were perceiving from the perception point as if you were standing there, so that would suggest that Claisentience is not itself affected by Darkness to Sight and you should be able to see with it, so long as you could see from your designated perception point.

 

Then you look at the Enhanced Senses power which talks about the simulated senses rule which says that an unusual sense that simulates another sense is subject to sense affecting powers that would affect the sense group it simulates.  That would mean that Darkness would block the clairsentience as it is a sense affecting power, and it blocks sight and you are in the darkness and using the power from there.

 

It is not the same as being in a dark room, because that is environmental darkness, not a sense affecting power, so I guess I was wrong: even if it makes sense, the sense is blocked.

 

You can get around this (in most cases) by building a sense from the ground up using the Detect rules and using your Clairsentience with that.  The Unusual Senses Group is not a group for the purposes of sense affecting powers, so it would be extremely unlikely that a given darkness build would stop it.  You might (and I would have to think about this one) also get round it using the 'indirect' advantage; clairsentience is already indirect, so I'm not sure if that should work, but I'd probably let you have it as you are paying points for extra utility.

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Sean, I think you're overthinking it. It's really a matter of HOW that particular "clairsentience" and that particular Darkness work. The special effects will inform you about what will and will not block it, as I discussed above. 

 

Your classic psychic power to see what's happening across town (let's assume it's been defined as Mental) won't be blocked by a smoke grenade where the user happens to be, but if the smoke is where the user is trying to view, it should block it. A Mind Damper that blocks Mental senses at either location would be effective.

 

A camera drone that relays A/V to your HUD by wifi can be blocked by darkness to Radio anywhere between it and the user. Because that's how you defined it.

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I think mrinku's original reply is the right one with the caveat that the darkness is not bought with the affected sense to include the Unusual Sense Clairsentience.

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1 hour ago, dsatow said:

I think mrinku's original reply is the right one with the caveat that the darkness is not bought with the affected sense to include the Unusual Sense Clairsentience.

 

Correct. It is technically possible to buy Darkness to Clairsentience. However, as with ALL powers you still need to define how that works and what special effects are involved. Even if that comes down to "By the Shaggy Shades of Sotek, hide myself from all scrying using the power cosmic!".

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Hmm. I'm famous for overthinking, but...you can't get round the rules with SFX, that has it backwards: the SFX explain how the rules apply, they don't change how the rules apply.

 

If you are in a darkness to sight field, you can not use the sight group to perceive anything within or outside the darkness field, because darkness to sight is impervious to sight.  If you want a form of clairsentience that you can use from inside a darkness to sight field, and you want it to work like sight, you can't ignore the effects of Darkness by simply saying the clairsentience is 'mental'.  If you want it to work like sight but not be affected like sight, you don't use the Simulated Sense rule, you build it as a detect and then apply your clairsentience to that sense: it costs more but is more useful, which is what point-buy is all about. 

 

Now you COULD decide that the fact that the perception point is outside the darkness means that you can perceive events outside that darkness to sight field with clairsentience, as discussed above, but YOU are still inside the darkness to sight field and, if the power you have bought relies on sight (i.e. you got a cost break) you still can not see.  If you want the power to project an image straight into your brain, bypassing the usual sight system, pay the cost for something that works that way i.e. pay for a sense that would work in a darkness field and use clairsentience with that sense, with appropriate modifiers to get precisely what it to do.

 

Nor can you build Darkness to Clairsentience because Darkness works against a sense group and Clairsentience is neither a sense group itself or in a sense group that you can define Darkness as working against.

 

Of course you can ignore all this if the GM is copacetic with doing so, as always, but I think that is how the rules actually work.

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It's not a mental attack so basically whatever works on the sense the 'sensor' is trying to relay:

 

Privacy Field:  Invisibility to Sight, Smell/Taste and Hearing Groups , No Fringe, UOO: Usable Nearby (+1) (80 Active Points); Limited Power:  Power loses almost all of its effectiveness (Only vs Clairsentience sensors) (-2) (27 RC)

 

They can drop the 'sensor' in but it can't see anything.

 

Drop a fuel charge on it and put it in your base to keep people from watching you in the bathroom.

 

Darkness might be slightly cheaper and is less messy than UOO:

 

Darkness to Sight, Hearing and Smell/Taste Groups 5m radius (35 Active Points); Limited Power Power loses almost all of its effectiveness (Only vs Clairsentience sensors) (-2) (12 RC)

 

It skirts the 'limitation as advantage' danger zone in my mind - using a limitation as a targeting restriction, like taking "Doesn't affect humans' on a fireball spell so you don't blast your party without having to take selective  - but at the end of the day it gets the price closer to Clairsentience AND it's hard to deny that a darkness field you can see through with anything except for one rare stop sign power is pretty limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clairsentience is a standard/sensory power and it works by (effectively) adding extra range and indirect to a sense or sense group.

 

Page 14 of 6e2 has a discussion on the interaction of sense affecting powers and clairsentience and suggests that clairsentience can be flashed or subject to darkness. *

 

That does not make any sense to me at all, given the vast array of possible explanations for clairesentience and its relation to senses and sense groups, I can not think of a sensible SFX that could affect both a remote camera and telepathically borrowing someone else's vision that does not also affect the sense that is being simulated.

 

You could certainly use an adjustment power (but same caveat) and invisibility to the relevant sense would work, but clairsentience is not necessarily a mental power unless it is simulating a mental sense and, even if it was, I doubt that mental defence would work unless the clairsentience was linked to telepathy or Mind Scan.

 

In effect the defence to clairsentience would be whatever would be the defence to the sense or enhanced sense being used to perceive: one way to view it is that it is just a different way to buy modifiers.

 

 

 

* Incidentally it also clarifies that darkness to the relevant sense at the view point or at the power user location will stop clairsentience.

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The thing is, Clairsentience in and of itself doesn't perceive anything. You build it by defining what senses it uses. Those are definitely subject to Darkness, Invisibility and possibly Flash at the viewing point., same as anyone who was actually at the viewing point.

 

As well, Clairsentience is an Unusual sense in its own right, and can be targeted. If you have Clairsentience (Sight) and someone puts up a Darkness (Clairsentience), it blocks your Clairsentience LoS from the point of view, but if your actual eyes can see the area they won't be blocked (it's not Darkness vs Sight). That's how I interpret it.

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They are subject to sense affecting powers at both the viewing point and the point from which the power is being used (6E2 14), so in the example of a sight based clarsentience, you would not be able to use it if either the viewing point or the viewer were in a darkness to sight area.

 

I think that the second bit is the right way to look at it by the rules, but it does not make much sense to me that you can buy darkness to clairsentience because of the huge array of different mechanisms by which clairsentience could operate - I can't think of a SFX (other than something completely Deus Ex) that could reasonably block both telepathic scrying and surveillance cameras and a crystal ball.  You can mechanically build a 'darkness to clairsentience' power, but I can not see how you would explain how it is supposed to work in the game.

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27 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

Surely that provides you with an immediate limitation, only against electronic surveillance etc.  Thereby bringing the SFX into the equation...

 

Absolutely and, like a lot of adjustment powers, I usually insist on some sort of SFX based limitation: electronic jamming field, mental interference generator, or whatever.  I just can not think of one (save perhaps the God of Surveillance favours you....) that would 'work' generally.

 

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1 hour ago, Sean Waters said:

They are subject to sense affecting powers at both the viewing point and the point from which the power is being used (6E2 14), so in the example of a sight based clarsentience, you would not be able to use it if either the viewing point or the viewer were in a darkness to sight area.

 

I think that the second bit is the right way to look at it by the rules, but it does not make much sense to me that you can buy darkness to clairsentience because of the huge array of different mechanisms by which clairsentience could operate - I can't think of a SFX (other than something completely Deus Ex) that could reasonably block both telepathic scrying and surveillance cameras and a crystal ball.  You can mechanically build a 'darkness to clairsentience' power, but I can not see how you would explain how it is supposed to work in the game.

 

Power Cosmic or Magic. Act of God could indeed be in there. Technological or realistic versions are probably limited enough to get a limitation bonus or have setup requirements (i.e. Hacking the security system to blank out the cameras covering a room). Remember that Darkness is inherently obvious, so would be to my mind a good way to cover cameras being taken offline (as opposed to hacking them to display a false image). There are other powers that will do this, but to blot out a specific area within a base Darkness vs Clairsentience is an elegant and easily defined solution. 

 

Setting also matters. In a hard science setting (historical or fictional) Clairsentience *will* only be technological. Conversely, in a fantasy setting it will be magical. In both cases you get no limitation bonus for the other special effect - but in a setting where both exist you would.

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