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AE Troubles


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I have a question about something...

 

Area Effect Surface is a pretty neat addition and idea (its how to build damage shield, for instance).

 

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This Area Of Effect allows a character to apply a Power to a surface or surfaces, such as a wall, his own skin, or an enemy’s pistol.

 

Its primarily intended for effects that coat something.

 

But its... very, very expensive.

 

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For a +¼ Advantage, the character can apply the Power to any area or object up to human size (consider this a 2m “radius,” for surfaces like walls; if applied to a character, the +¼ level of Surface covers any
character, even if he’s larger than human size).  The size of the Area that can be “covered” by the Power doubles for each additional +¼ Advantage.

 

That means its more expensive than even Radius, for a tiny fraction of the area effected.  Like Area Effect (any) the volume covered is very small for the cost, which seems awfully odd to me.  I can buy an area of 8m radius (over 2000 cubic meters) for a +½ advantage but for that same advantage, Surface gives me about 12 square meters coverage, and 16 cubic meters of area covered by Any Area.

 

This... does not add up well.  I get that area can be a drawback as well as an advantage but to this degree?  Its never made sense to me.

 

6th edition made a big step in the right direction with its cost structure for area effects but this is just all wrong.

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Well, it's more expensive, but only an extra +1/4.

 

I think the rationale is, well, a personal surface is treated as "2 meters" even tho it doesn't matter what the size of the person actually is.  So "AoE surface" must start from a 2m radius in all cases.  The mistake, IMO, was saying they were the same thing.  "Personal surface" should be an option in and of itself;  then Surface becomes the 2D equivalent of Radius and can be priced the same.  

 

 

 

 

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The reason it is more expensive is you have greater flexibility over who is affected.  I can use it to affect the ground but not affect my flying teammates.  I can also bend it around an object to affect things that would not be affected using a radius.  For example I could cover a small structure and affect all four sides.  A normal area of effect is blocked by objects, but if the object is the area that is obviously not the case.  

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The reason it is more expensive is you have greater flexibility over who is affected.

 

I mean... that's like arguing that a smaller AE radius is better because it doesn't hit as much of an area.  Yes technically it can be an advantage, but hitting more targets is a bigger advantage (hence, why the advantage goes up as you buy larger areas).  Its not better to have a bomb that only hits the ground instead of a large area.  That's technically a limitation, or at least a smaller advantage.  It might be more strategically valuable in certain circumstances, but its not overall an advantage.

 

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I can also bend it around an object to affect things that would not be affected using a radius.  For example I could cover a small structure and affect all four sides.  A normal area of effect is blocked by objects, but if the object is the area that is obviously not the case.  

 

Except the rules state that you cannot hide behind something and be safe from AE radius, it wraps around:
 

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HSR Book 1, Pg 139:

Area Of Effect attacks completely fill the affected area. There are no “shadows” created by obstacles that a target could take shelter behind

 

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11 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Except the rules state that you cannot hide behind something and be safe from AE radius, it wraps around:

 

To me that's a glitch. If the attack/power can go THROUGH the object then it can affect the person. So if a blast has enough dmg to break down the wall sure.

 

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The closest reasoning I can think for it's pricing is that it provides both mobility and "immunity" to the effect in one. The target of the effect doesn't suffer from the effect is what I mean by the "immunity." As for the mobility, the other Area of Effect options require the Mobile Advantage to move, and that even requires one to use  their Attack Action to move it.

 

Surface instead just... coats something. Provides a Shell of some sort. If that something is a person, they can move of their own will and "Impact" others with the Power. While that may be an explanation for why it is useful on it's own, it doesn't explain the scaling issue for it though. No matter the size of the person (GM Fiat not withstanding) you only need the +1/4 for it to effect the whole of a person.

 

Any specific thought I have for Surface Area of Effect is often done better or more uniformly with Any Area Area of Effect, with the exception of the Shell and Damage Shield like effects. So, not certain why. I treat it more as an Area of Effect Option than a Type all its own. 

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One problem with AoE is that it bundles two separate benefits - covering a bigger area, and rolling to hit a flat DCV of 3.    Expanding the area is valuable overall, but I challenge the theory that losing the auto-hit only reduces the benefit by 1/4.

 

In fact, with "Accurate" priced at +1/2, perhaps AoE should be re-priced to only allow a normal roll to hit against all in the area - you want to hit the area and everyone in it at DCV 3, pay an extra +1/2 for Accurate.  You want to choose who in the area is not affected, that should be a separate additon to the advantage (say +1/2 as the difference between Selective and Non-Selective).  Break them out from the size and shape of the area covered.

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There is something to that; most of the benefit or use of AE is the ease of hitting, although it does make sense.  Horseshoes and hand grenades, as the saying goes.  There aren't very many source or real world applications of a large area use that are not the typical concept of a cloud or explosion.

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