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Gemphyre

Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

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OK, I am looking for opinions here.

 

I have a character in my campaign with the power Detect Life Force w/ Analyze and Discriminatory. The character is a Biokinetic/Egoist. Besides an ego attack, the character has Drains, Aids, Healing, empathy detection and manipulation, and is a "living medical tricorder" (can detect and analyze the physical symptoms of a humanoid person. Does not have Microscopic, so cannot directly detect bacterium). The character is a surgeon in "real life".

 

The question is, what is covered by the life force detection specifically? Obviously, it can tell if the subject is alive or dead. But what else can it determine?

 

I remember seeing something about this in one of the books, but I cannot remember which one and where.

 

Opinions are appreciated, as well as any other discussion.

 

Gemphyre

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

With discriminitory, a general level of health is detected. Analyze would give specifics about what's wrong. You might limit it based on what the character has encountered before (if they've never seen an Ebola victim, they would recognize a 'severe viral infection' from the detect, but would have to diagnose it from it's symptoms). Note that this is not actually detecting the microscopic organisms, but detecting their effect on the macroscopic organism.

 

As far as how wide-reaching it is, that kinda depends on the GM. Terrestrial animals, quite likely. Aliens with similar anatomy/biochemistry, possibly. Dissimilar Aliens, maybe not. Crystalline life forms, probably not.

 

Robot/androids? No way.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

The character would, IMHO, be able to identify people by their unique 'life force' signatures (Discriminatory) and have some general insight into their physical well-being (Analyze).

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

Well, if depends if you count androids as robots shaped like humans or synthetic life forms (such as the Vision - "synthezoid").

 

I always read a detect life force power as being more for actual life forms, rather than what might be wrong (as a medscanner, perhaps - what is the basic power for that?). For me, discriminatory and analyze might give me information on what a creature is, and in finer details it might allow detection of microbes and such inside another creature.

 

Just checked, the bioscanner was detect life, medscanner was detect medical condition. Not that big a deal - it all depends on what is agreed upon.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

Well, if depends if you count androids as robots shaped like humans or synthetic life forms (such as the Vision - "synthezoid").

 

I always read a detect life force power as being more for actual life forms, rather than what might be wrong (as a medscanner, perhaps - what is the basic power for that?). For me, discriminatory and analyze might give me information on what a creature is, and in finer details it might allow detection of microbes and such inside another creature.

 

Just checked, the bioscanner was detect life, medscanner was detect medical condition. Not that big a deal - it all depends on what is agreed upon.

 

She actually has both detects. She has one detect that is for life force, and another for medical condition. Both powers are innate, and interrelated. They also explain why she got into medicine. :) She does have Paramedic and Medicine as skills, as well as a License to Practice Medicine. It is this ability to detect what is going on inside of a being that forms the basis of her other powers, although those powers are not dependent on the detects.

 

Gemphyre

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

She actually has both detects. She has one detect that is for life force, and another for medical condition. Both powers are innate, and interrelated. They also explain why she got into medicine. :) She does have Paramedic and Medicine as skills, as well as a License to Practice Medicine. It is this ability to detect what is going on inside of a being that forms the basis of her other powers, although those powers are not dependent on the detects.

 

Gemphyre

 

I'd go with detect life force as the "bloodhound" - she might be able to tell where a person is buried under rubble, and with disc/anal (boy that looks really kinda obscene written that way :) ) might be able to tell that it is a 5 year old human male with tapeworms, and maybe that his life force is flickering, but would need the other to get to the problem itself.

 

edit - I think that Star Hero might have something, since they do the "tricorder' bit as technology. Either that or Terran Empire (I found the powers under the TE-STK folder in Hero Designer).

edit 2 - also, the USPD might have something similar.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

After reading the first set of replies, I think it might be easier to explain things if I post the power as it is currently designed:

 

Living Medical Tricorder: Detect Health Status, Physical Symptoms, Physical Integrity / Detect Life and 18- (Mental Group), Discriminatory, Analyze (30 Active Points); Extra Time (Extra Phase, Only to Activate, -1/2)

 

The first set (Health Status, Physical Symptoms, Physical Integrity) are all basically the same thing, and bought as such. The "Life" is bought as a second, related detect. I have also included a series of notes defining what it can and cannot do. Notes which apparently did not transfer. :( As a note, it is defined as not being able to see microscopic life since the "Microscopic" Adder was not (yet) purchased for it.

 

The Health/Symptoms side is pretty obvious. It is what can be determined with the "Detect Life" side that I would like advice on, besides the obvious "Is it alive?".

 

Gemphyre

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

Here's a short example, edited to leave out source specifics (I'm not sure what the policy is):

 

The character’s powers

attune him to the presence and nature of life forces

in general, allowing him to perceive when other

living beings or manifestations of life force are near.

The character can distinguish the type of life force

(e.g., human, dog, cockroach...), and to some extent

the strength and quality of the life force.

 

That is with discriminatory. I don't know how much more you can get out of such a general power :shrug: - the best way that I can see such a power being is:

 

A. Is there life?

B. What kind of life? (animal, plant, etc)

C. What general information (carnivore, sessile, etc) - may include movement or being able to track (see below).

D. What species?

E. What sex, age, general health (sick, healthy)?

 

A real good roll would probably allow the character to recognize individual life signs ("Oh, Dr Death is beyond the door, and he has Mighty Munchkin with him"), or allow the character to track individual life signs (with appropriate related powers or a power stunt).

 

Obviously, the broader the detect, the less information should be gained; otherwise, why go into a deeper focus such as the other one she has.

 

If that doesn't help, then I don't think I can come up with any more.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

With discriminate, the PC would be able tell people apart, and once he/she has encountered another hero/villain, he/she would be able to identify them in their ID.

 

That could be a little unbalancing, if the PC is constantly being able to pick out heroes/villains in disguise.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

With discriminate, the PC would be able tell people apart, and once he/she has encountered another hero/villain, he/she would be able to identify them in their ID.

 

That could be a little unbalancing, if the PC is constantly being able to pick out heroes/villains in disguise.

 

No more than telepathy or some kinds of enhanced senses (tracking with scent, you'd be able to identify them by their smell). If the bad guys know of this, suitable countermeasures could be made. ;)

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

Here's a short example, edited to leave out source specifics (I'm not sure what the policy is):

 

 

 

That is with discriminatory. I don't know how much more you can get out of such a general power :shrug: - the best way that I can see such a power being is:

 

A. Is there life?

B. What kind of life? (animal, plant, etc)

C. What general information (carnivore, sessile, etc) - may include movement or being able to track (see below).

D. What species?

E. What sex, age, general health (sick, healthy)?

 

A real good roll would probably allow the character to recognize individual life signs ("Oh, Dr Death is beyond the door, and he has Mighty Munchkin with him"), or allow the character to track individual life signs (with appropriate related powers or a power stunt).

 

Obviously, the broader the detect, the less information should be gained; otherwise, why go into a deeper focus such as the other one she has.

 

If that doesn't help, then I don't think I can come up with any more.

 

I agree with pretty much everything above. Disc/anal (and yeah, that does look dirty) would allow a person to not only know what sort of life force they were detecting (a middle-aged male in reasonably good health), but would allow them to recognize that particular life force again. Which could be problematic at some point, especially when the middle-age male in reasonably good health has the same exact life force as a particular hero or villain in your campaign...

 

The one thing I don't agree on is the "is there life" question. If you're looking at a body yeah, you can say "is that alive?", but if you're casting about in the dark and there's nothing but corpses (whether you know they're there or not), then no, nothing happens, not "you detect vessels that formerly held life forces". Not sure if Badger was goin' for that or not, but I thought I'd offer my opinion anyway :)

 

Discriminatory would allow the person to filter out bacteria, insects and so on, too, so you could concentrate on "big" life forms/forces. Probably.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

I agree with pretty much everything above. Disc/anal (and yeah, that does look dirty) would allow a person to not only know what sort of life force they were detecting (a middle-aged male in reasonably good health), but would allow them to recognize that particular life force again. Which could be problematic at some point, especially when the middle-age male in reasonably good health has the same exact life force as a particular hero or villain in your campaign...

 

The one thing I don't agree on is the "is there life" question. If you're looking at a body yeah, you can say "is that alive?", but if you're casting about in the dark and there's nothing but corpses (whether you know they're there or not), then no, nothing happens, not "you detect vessels that formerly held life forces". Not sure if Badger was goin' for that or not, but I thought I'd offer my opinion anyway :)

 

Discriminatory would allow the person to filter out bacteria, insects and so on, too, so you could concentrate on "big" life forms/forces. Probably.

 

For your second point, yeah - I agree - you would only detect living (or dying but not yet dead) creatures, not dead bodies or ex-parrots. I should have made that clear (I did think of it, then had to stop my puppy from chewing a gamebook, and lost that thought - books ok, just a few toothmarks).

 

I think the OP was correct - to even detect bacteria, I'd agree that microscopic should be needed. Which does make me think that the character would need that to be more effective. Not having to run a culture to detect a virus or pathogen could be a lifesaver. Not sure of the point cost, though.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

Sorry to post so much on this, gemphyre, but the more I look at it, the more I like your idea. I may have to...borrow...it. I'll give it right back. Promise. :thumbup:

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

With discriminate, the PC would be able tell people apart, and once he/she has encountered another hero/villain, he/she would be able to identify them in their ID.

 

That could be a little unbalancing, if the PC is constantly being able to pick out heroes/villains in disguise.

 

In keeping with genre traditions of secret IDs being feasible, I would rule that force fields, exotic compound armored suits, etc. would hinder the readings of such a detect, so secrets would remain so as long as the appropriate defenses remained in place...

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

In keeping with genre traditions of secret IDs being feasible' date=' I would rule that force fields, exotic compound armored suits, etc. would hinder the readings of such a detect, so secrets would remain so as long as the appropriate defenses remained in place...[/quote']

 

You could make a simple images vs detect or a negative penalty for PER when disguise or secret IDs are involved (maybe the character in the super form changes slightly - even if they have their powers full time, they change when they "power up".

 

How about:

Secret Secret ID: Mental Group and Detect Images 1" radius, +/-10 to PER Rolls, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2), Persistent (+1/2) (76 Active Points); Limited Power Power loses almost all of its effectiveness (Only to protect secret ID; -2), No Conscious Control (-2), No Range (-1/2), Self Only (-1/2), Only In Secret ID (-1/4) Real Cost: 12 point

 

Maybe a Set Effect is also appropriate. I put it in mental and detect (for detect life, etc). A bit clunky, and it doesn't protect against telepathy, but it should work for general detects.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

I disagree with the "detect boy buried under rubble" scenario.

 

shouldnt the power work when you can see skin ?

 

does the detect work though armor ? force fields ? walls ?

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

I disagree with the "detect boy buried under rubble" scenario.

 

shouldnt the power work when you can see skin ?

 

does the detect work though armor ? force fields ? walls ?

 

I'd say that generally that would be up to SFX, but you can always say that some things prevent it from working, or give a minus to the PER roll due to that (-2 per 1m thickness material, or -4 for force fields). Maybe require the power to be Penetrating or AP to work through solid objects. That could work, but it would mean that it requires hardened armor or force field to stop that detect.

 

Given that such a Detect is a staple of Sci-fi stories, and they seem to have no problem working through objects (although some force fields and powers can block the). It would be hard for a spaceship to scan another ship for life if the detect couldn't get through armor, or for the same ship to scan for life on a planets surface if it couldn't penetrate buildings.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

You could make a simple images vs detect or a negative penalty for PER when disguise or secret IDs are involved (maybe the character in the super form changes slightly - even if they have their powers full time, they change when they "power up".

 

Whenever I'm faced with a choice of revising the way one power works on one character and rewriting every other character and villain in a setting, I go with the former.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

I'd say that generally that would be up to SFX, but you can always say that some things prevent it from working, or give a minus to the PER roll due to that (-2 per 1m thickness material, or -4 for force fields). Maybe require the power to be Penetrating or AP to work through solid objects. That could work, but it would mean that it requires hardened armor or force field to stop that detect.

 

Given that such a Detect is a staple of Sci-fi stories, and they seem to have no problem working through objects (although some force fields and powers can block the). It would be hard for a spaceship to scan another ship for life if the detect couldn't get through armor, or for the same ship to scan for life on a planets surface if it couldn't penetrate buildings.

 

Perhaps N-Ray percption is involved?

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

Perhaps N-Ray percption is involved?

 

I actually thought of making that a linked power, but the whole "unusual senses" thing is a bit on the fuzzy side. There aren't any guidelines on what it can or cannot do. Whether the detect is active or passive, you can always adjust the PER roll for difficulty.

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

Hunh. Just looked it up. I thought that when they changed it to N-Ray perception, they changed it to a sense modifier. My bad.:o

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

You could make a simple images vs detect or a negative penalty for PER when disguise or secret IDs are involved (maybe the character in the super form changes slightly - even if they have their powers full time, they change when they "power up".

 

How about:

 

Maybe a Set Effect is also appropriate. I put it in mental and detect (for detect life, etc). A bit clunky, and it doesn't protect against telepathy, but it should work for general detects.

 

In my case, it was already in the Mental Sense Group since the character is a biokinetic, and most of her attacks and powers are based on Ego.

 

After reading the current posts, I think that I have an answer for many of the questions (my opinion of power as GM). Since the power is in the Mental sense group, and is NOT meant to take the place of Mind Scan, it would not work well on "Search for life signs in area." More than a couple feet of material would almost certainly block the sense. (based off of combat rules that say that you must see the target to attack it, eased up since the power is non-combat and not targeting (i.e. dramatic sense).) However, it would work through most powered armors, since they are not very thick, and you can attack the occupant with mental powers without any special penalty.

 

Force Fields in general do not change matters for the powers, but mental force fields and force walls do since they extend past the person's skin. The penalty for a reading is -1 per 2 Mental DEF.

 

The same penalty and restrictions apply to the "Detect physical health/ Status/ injuries" side as well.

 

Gemphyre

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

With discriminitory, a general level of health is detected. Analyze would give specifics about what's wrong. You might limit it based on what the character has encountered before (if they've never seen an Ebola victim, they would recognize a 'severe viral infection' from the detect, but would have to diagnose it from it's symptoms). Note that this is not actually detecting the microscopic organisms, but detecting their effect on the macroscopic organism.

 

As far as how wide-reaching it is, that kinda depends on the GM. Terrestrial animals, quite likely. Aliens with similar anatomy/biochemistry, possibly. Dissimilar Aliens, maybe not. Crystalline life forms, probably not.

 

Robot/androids? No way.

 

Of course the fact that you can't detect anything is a hint in itself. "Hmmm, your results are unusual, have you found yourself reacting badly to sunlight? How about allergies, garlic maybe?"

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

In my case, it was already in the Mental Sense Group since the character is a biokinetic, and most of her attacks and powers are based on Ego.

 

After reading the current posts, I think that I have an answer for many of the questions (my opinion of power as GM). Since the power is in the Mental sense group, and is NOT meant to take the place of Mind Scan, it would not work well on "Search for life signs in area." More than a couple feet of material would almost certainly block the sense. (based off of combat rules that say that you must see the target to attack it, eased up since the power is non-combat and not targeting (i.e. dramatic sense).) However, it would work through most powered armors, since they are not very thick, and you can attack the occupant with mental powers without any special penalty.

 

Force Fields in general do not change matters for the powers, but mental force fields and force walls do since they extend past the person's skin. The penalty for a reading is -1 per 2 Mental DEF.

 

The same penalty and restrictions apply to the "Detect physical health/ Status/ injuries" side as well.

 

Gemphyre

 

:thumbup:

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Re: Opinion wanted about coverage of Detect Life Force power

 

After reading the first set of replies, I think it might be easier to explain things if I post the power as it is currently designed:

 

Living Medical Tricorder: Detect Health Status, Physical Symptoms, Physical Integrity / Detect Life and 18- (Mental Group), Discriminatory, Analyze (30 Active Points); Extra Time (Extra Phase, Only to Activate, -1/2)

 

The first set (Health Status, Physical Symptoms, Physical Integrity) are all basically the same thing, and bought as such. The "Life" is bought as a second, related detect. I have also included a series of notes defining what it can and cannot do. Notes which apparently did not transfer. :( As a note, it is defined as not being able to see microscopic life since the "Microscopic" Adder was not (yet) purchased for it.

 

The Health/Symptoms side is pretty obvious. It is what can be determined with the "Detect Life" side that I would like advice on, besides the obvious "Is it alive?".

 

Gemphyre

 

Just realized that I have a second question with respect to this power AS CONSTRUCTED. Can both detects be used at the same time on the same subject without taking the time to switch them? If it had been bought as a Sense (i.e. a zero phase action to use the detect), my answer would be "yes". However, I am not so sure about this case where the detect takes an extra phase to start up. Obviously, once it gets started/tuned in, details can be picked up as quickly as a normal detect, however, the question is only about Detecting Life switching to Detecting Physical Health/Injury/Symptoms or visa versa.

 

Gemphyre

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