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One of my players has a neat concept and I need some help fleshing it out.

 

The character is a scientist who had an epiphany about quantum mechanics and how to apply those effects on a macroscopic level. Namely, those wacky quantum mechanical effects that seem counter to classical mechanics, such as uncertainty and entanglement. So far, I've got:

 

-Quantum Teleportation, AKA the Infinite Improbability effect: Teleports by seizing on to the small probability that all his molecules are really over there and making it a very large probability.

 

-Uncertainty Defense: He can be hard to hit effectively because you just aren't sure where he really is. Either a bunch of DCV levels or Damage Reduction.

 

-Entanglement: He can entangle two macroscopic objects so that effecting one will effect the other. This is a damage shield with usable by other, since he can cause any two objects to become entangled.

 

Before a physics guy starts ranting and screaming, I know that those are just wrong and nothing to do with real physics. But they sound neat, and I'm looking for that sort of flavor more so than rigorous scientific accuracy. Anyone else have any ideas for Quantum Powers?

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

One thing that occurs to me is that most of his abilities should have Activation rolls. Cuts the cost down, and makes sense here. :D

 

Also - Desolidification and Density Increase might work, based on an ability to adjust the distance between his molecules.

 

I'd use the DCV levels for his Uncertainty Defense.

 

Mind Link with Any One Mind - Quantum Entanglement between two minds that causes information in one to be instantly available to the other.

 

Possibly Mind Control of the same variety, though I'd stick it with RSR: Opposed Ego Roll and Side Effects: Mind Controlled by victim if he fails - he can Entangle his mind with somebody else's and force it to take on the characteristics of his mind, but if he's not careful, he'll end up taking on *their* thoughts and desires instead.

 

Duplication! We've actually got somebody with a perfectly (super) logical reason for it here! ("There's a slight possibility that my molecules could spontaneously duplicate themselves in *this* dimension, rather than in another one - and it just became a very large possibility!")

 

I'd skip out on the actual luck powers though, they don't make too much sense to me here.

 

Might look at a Triggered energy blast, limited to the amount of damage he or another being suffers, instead of the Damage Shield for his Entanglement - that way, it works against ranged attacks too.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

I created a character much like this many years ago. It's a very cool concept, but it can get expensive depending upon the range of powers you want.

 

To get really fun, add the following powers:

Quantum Leap: 6" teleport, 0 END, NCC, Only when nobody is looking

 

Schroedinger's Cat: 300 pt. Duplicate, NCC, activates/deactivates only when nobody is looking

 

And of course all duplicates have the Quantum Leap, so... Your GM will probably want to kill you :D

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

Once upon a time I thought about this concept... First, with this as the basis of your power, you can do anything. Transmutation, telekinesis, teleportation, spontaneous coronaries, disintegration, thermal manipulation... You name it, if you can cause essentially unexpected behavior at the microscopic or macroscopic level, you can do anything you want.

 

First rule... No Cosmic VPPs. The power is so flexible that a VPP allows anything and can be argued up to instantly lethal values. View every trick or power to be an application that you have practiced and the points you put into it represent the strength you have available to manipulate the universe. Buy powers separately or in a Multipower, not a VPP or an EC.

 

Depending on how detailed you want to be about the actual physics, you can define which forces he can manipulate and get a finer limit on what his powers might be or you can just go for four-color physics in which case the door is wide open...

 

Thermal manipulation either as Change Environment or Energy Blast.

Gravitational Manipulation as Telekinesis.

Quantum Momentum Shifting as Telekinesis.

Molecular Disruption as Ranged Killing Attack.

Hardened Air/Quantum Wind as Force Wall or Force Field.

Photon Scattering as Invisibility.

Photon Lensing as Flash(sight).

Quantum Soundwaves as Flash(hearing).

Transmutation as Change Environment. Maybe with a variable advantage for what you can make.

Chemical Manipulation of Brains as Mental Powers of all kinds.

Sensativity to the Universal Waveform as Clairesentience possibly with Precog and Retrocog.

 

If you can sense and manipulate the waveforms, especially on a large enough scale to be macroscopic, there are no bounds but the imagination.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

Whereas I disagree; a VPP is the only realistic way to go. If you're affecting everything at a quantum sub-atomic or even sub-sub-atomic level, you CAN do virtually everything. Not only can you do that, you can with skill and practice adjust what you're doing so as to refine your ability. That's something that's best frameworked by a VPP and a Power skill. Or is everything in the MPow going to have 'Variable Special Effects' and 'Variable Advantage' on it?

 

Otherwise, VPP, 0-Phase change, Quantum Effects Only (-1/4). Why -1/4? Because 'Magic' is a -1/4; so are 'Mutant Powers'. If someone can suppress quantum uncertainty, the power goes away.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

Whereas I disagree; a VPP is the only realistic way to go. If you're affecting everything at a quantum sub-atomic or even sub-sub-atomic level, you CAN do virtually everything. Not only can you do that, you can with skill and practice adjust what you're doing so as to refine your ability. That's something that's best frameworked by a VPP and a Power skill. Or is everything in the MPow going to have 'Variable Special Effects' and 'Variable Advantage' on it?

 

Otherwise, VPP, 0-Phase change, Quantum Effects Only (-1/4). Why -1/4? Because 'Magic' is a -1/4; so are 'Mutant Powers'. If someone can suppress quantum uncertainty, the power goes away.

 

If someone can suppress quantum uncertainty the universe falls apart in exactly the same way that someone who can manipulate it can break things. When all the electrons stop, bad things happen. That limitation is pretty meaningless as it is the equivalent of saying if you are in a 20d6 killing AE, then you can't use your powers...

 

The point I was making in my post was that if you try to model this with the intent of allowing everything that is possible to be done you rapidly wind up with Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen. A character who can do anything at any time with instant power-change. That's why I very carefully said, it's the right model and because there is nothing you cannot do if you manipulate things at the quantum level for macroscopic effect but if you really allow the character that latitude it's a campaign breaker.

 

So instead of viewing his powers as a generic ability. Work out what things he's practiced and limit him to buying individual powers. As you said, with practice, you can refine and perfect what you can do. My intention as a player and a GM is to say, explicitly, that without practice and thought you are loathe to try doing it because of the ramifications of even the slightest mistake. Otherwise this character just takes every single point he is given and puts it into a Cosmic VPP without any limitations or perhaps a limitation on how many powers he has running at once based on some sort of ability to concentrate.

 

To state it more theoretically... Quantum Manipulation is not a power. It's a background. If you try to build QM directly then there is nothing that it cannot do and it is equivalent to saying VPP - Exposed to Radiation.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

I used to play a hero based on this mechanic. Portis(the charecter) had a suite of teleportation powers. He had quantum probibility armor, bought as armor with the cost end to activate disad. He also had the ability to open a dimensional portal to "catch" an incoming ranged attack and open the other end of the portal to "aim" at another target(puchased as missle deflection usable at range on others). He also had teleport usable on others as an attack.

 

The big danger with quantum manipulation as a power base is that if your player is not respectful of the game balance if you were to use a VPP. We had a house rule with our charecters who might use VPP, you had to have powers prebuilt or be able to put them together with out delay or you lost your turn. This was to prevent the bog down while people are cranking many adds and disadds to tweek the power just right. You would see some simpler applications but it made things less disruptive(we had to in our games over the years, Edsel played a mage with a VPP, and I played a mentalist and the above teleport power charecter) The GM eventually asked me to retool the charecter away from the VPP to a MP based charecter. I would require some skill roll to change powers for a VPP( in this case a Quantum Mechanics skill roll) if you try to leave open a wider range of applications then require different skills for different power to simulate(thermal kinetics) for thermal manipulations dimensional mechanics for extra dimensional movement or t-port based powers. This would allow the ability to simulate a wider range of the powers you want without allowing the charecter to run roughshod over the campaign. I would also strongly recomend a hard cap for active points per power out of the VPP, If you have players who are rules mechanics(a couple of us would qualify out of our group) even a modest sized VPP could generate a bunch of powers with the various power mods attached.

 

Bottom line is the VPP is dangerous to game balance and speed unless you have a player that can self govern to a point.

 

If you want any specific power ideas I can try to find my notes from the charecter, I had built many physics manipulation related powers for him.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

Originally Posted by Jaxom View Post

If someone can suppress quantum uncertainty the universe falls apart.

Dude. Comic book.

Dude, disintegration NND (defense force field) does body. That's what happens if you suppress quantum uncertainty in a small area.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

Just for my own 2 cents: Quantum Manipulation is powerful special effect and can be used to justify almost anything. But like any other power you have to learn how to use it to do what you want. A computer programmer can get a computer to do anything a computer can do. But it takes time and skill to get it to do any one thing right or well. A character has to learn how to use Quantum powers to teleport, create instabilities, disrupt electron flow just as a character with Ice powers has to learn how to create ice slides, lower temperatures, or freeze the water in your blood.

 

If anything Quantum powers need greater justification to put in a power framework. Not because they're more powerful or versatile but because they work on a small scale. For example destabilizing a few atoms won't cause a very big explosion. It would hardly even be noticeable. In chemistry there is a number called "Avogadro constant" which is 6*10^23. It takes that many atoms of an element for its atomic weight to be that many grams. There are that many molecules in 18 GRAMS of water. That's about a teaspoon. Think about the types and number of atoms and molecules a quantum manipulator would have to work with AT ONCE to do anything.

 

If power special effects had prerequisites, this would be one of them. Microscopic vision x1000000, speed reading x1000000, lightning calculator, eidetic memory, high science skills, etc. I don't have Ultimate Energy Projecter on hand but I'd say this was worth at least a +1/2.

 

For powers, I suggest reading a little about Quantum Mechanics (a wiki article for example or PBS/Discovery special). Look at what it does on a small scale then let your imagination run wild on a larger scale.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

If you want to restrict what the person CAN do, then you restrict the pool's control cost. 'Must first mathematically figure out how to do X'. I very carefully did not put in 'zero-phase action' and 'requires no skill roll'; 'Quantum Power Skill' is necessary, etc. etc. Maybe he can do anything 40 points or less, if he can figure it out (i.e. rolls his skill to build the Power) with the more reliable things placed into a MPow or some such.

 

But with that ability, he should be able to do anything he can conceive of...

 

... as long as he makes the rolls.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

As well you can start the character small and work big. Start them out with a few powers in a multi or EC or both and then when they get more experienced turn the multi or EC or both into a VPP with the appropriate lims.

 

That way you get a character who works up to being omnipotent

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

Why does realism even come up in threads like this? :dyn

 

I generally veto Power Pools except when the system lacks the ability to replicate the power concept, as in the case of power copying. Gadget pools with appropriate Limitations are my only regular exception to this rule.

 

I consider the point cost of Multipower slots to represent the time and effort invested in learning a new power stunt. In fact, I'll normally permit a player with points saved up to come up with power stunts on the fly.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

I consider the point cost of Multipower slots to represent the time and effort invested in learning a new power stunt. In fact' date=' I'll normally permit a player with points saved up to come up with power stunts on the fly.[/quote']

 

And there's a point where a VPP point-cost is outweight by the sixty zillion points you're spending on each slight variant of a MPow stunt. While I am not disagreeing per se, I'm saying that there are times that it gets more than a little silly.

 

Which, as both a player and a GM, I like to set out what the character's 'normal' power stunts are. S/he knows these six (or sixteen, or sixty) tricks, and coming up with anything beyond slight variances (mostly removing Advantages and altering Disads) is going to require a moderate amount of study/research/thought -- i.e., not in the middle of combat.

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Re: Quantum Powers

 

And there's a point where a VPP point-cost is outweight by the sixty zillion points you're spending on each slight variant of a MPow stunt. While I am not disagreeing per se' date=' I'm saying that there are times that it gets more than a little silly.[/quote']Conversely, a long list of pre-cooked powers for the relatively cheap investment of the Control Cost can get pretty silly as well, especially when players of more traditionally built characters start to feel superfluous.

 

I'm not worried about keeping powers cheap. Imaginative players with half-decent math skills will take care of that angle nicely. Getting too much bang for your points is as damaging to a point-balanced system as getting too little.

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