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Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)


phoenix240
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One of my players had gotten all his character's normal senses as Analytical, Discriminatory. What sort of information should the PC be able to get on a Perception roll? I'd imagine the character can emulate several of the sense based Talents (Absolute Range Sense and Perfect Pitch, for example) but what other details might apply?

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

Sight: the exact hue of any color (able to Color Match to a level that is indistinguishable to normal vision). Almost completely unable to be fooled by a disguise/illusions (even if he doesn't know what the person looks like he can tell subtle variances in skin tone, ridges from facial appliances, minor differences in shape etc.) Also VERY hard to be fooled by any optical illusion (he can easily see what the illusion WANTS him to see but he also sees the truth behind it.)

 

Sound: Can tell one trumpet from another (for instance). With an applicable skill roll could easily distinguish the make, model, and year of production as well as possibly any work done on a musical instrument. Cannot be fooled by mimicry or digital voice reproductions. Can listen into any conversation he could actually hear in a crowded room without having any problems understanding it. Can pick out and identify any distinct background noise in an area (could hear a particular persons footfalls and follow them in the middle of a stampede.) Note that this does not enable him to actually hear things he couldn't normally hear (he can't hear heartbeats at range, for instance) just to distinguish between and identify sounds he can hear. (You need +'s to your PER roll to hear things you can't normally hear)

 

Smell: can identify someone by their scent, even with perfumes or other scents being used to mask them. Huge bonuses to tracking based on scent. Can identify foods, flavors, etc just by smell. Can pick out a single person in a crowded room based upon knowing that they had onions/garlic for lunch or from recognizing their brand of cigarette smoke (again requires strong smells as this does not provide the ability to smell things they can't already smell.)

 

Taste: Can identify foods/drinks, including what country and what part of the country they are from (with appropriate skill rolls). Could tell you every ingredient in a dish, and what the ratio's are of each.

 

Touch: could read books just based on the difference in texture/depth of printed characters on the page. Can identify any substance he knows just by feel. etc.

 

A couple of notes: most of these abilities are heavily reliant on appropriate skills (if you don't know much about trumpets you can tell whether you have heard this particular one or not before, but can't tell much else about it.) Also, Analytical and Discriminatory allow you to get more information about whatever you can perceive, but they DO NOT allow you to perceive more than you could normally. For that as stated before you need bonuses to your perception rolls to counteract penalties for "difficulty of percieving". or to counteract the range penalties so that you can perceive farther than normal. Dogs, for instance, have both Discriminatory and huge PER roll bonuses for their sense of smell (possibly analytical as well, but the value of analytical to a canine mind would be miniscule.) This allows them to smell faint traces undetectable to the human nose (PER bonus) and pick it out from the myriad smells in an area (Discriminatory).

 

Hope this helps.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

Other possibilities for Hearing, based on psyber624's comments above:

 

Analytical hearing might allow specific vehicles to be identified from the sound of their engines once they're within hearing range (but before they're within line of sight) provided it's a vehicle the character has heard before. Animals with keen hearing have been known to do this. If the character has the Mechanic or a relevant KS or PS, they might be able to diagnose malfunctioning machinery just by listening to it. (Some particularly skilled people seem to be able to do this with normal hearing.)

 

Lie detection might be another possibility, although it's a potential game-breaker: in my game I'd make it an opposed roll against the liar's Persuasion skill. And even then, it could be over-powered: definitely a "GM's call" situation.

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Yeah, I'd say he's nearly omniscient in the area immediately around himself. He might never be surprised. He should probably get information from the GM unasked for. (I sort of feel he's a bit like Eagle Eye, one of the example superheroes from 5th.) He should be able to smell things like Wolverine, tracking, and basically giving chemical and "animal" analysis at a whiff. Lot's of Sherlocke Holmes stuff can be done with that.

 

I just read psyber's response, he seems to make the same points. I think the one thing where I'd deviate is taste. Identifying the area of a country where foods are from seems a bit much. However, even regular people can identify a lot of minerals and other chemicals by their taste. My college professor could. Lead salts taste sweet, for example, which is why the Romans added them to their wine. I think that's the angle I'd take with taste: identification of basic compounds.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

Surprise would be near impossible if it is perceivable. He would also be able to re-identify anything he encountered before basically. There would also be a chance of identifying anything that was in contact with anything he identified before. Without some kind of memory talent, this would become too much to manage. With the appropriate skill, he might be able to manage the increased knowledge in those areas only but still suffer from lack of memory ability. The GM would constantly be giving him a "deja vu" feeling since his subconscious would remember but he would be able to articulate it. These powers plus eidetic memory would be very powerful. As a GM, you could just say "deja vu" all the time and he would have to figure it out if he didn't have the appropriate skill or memory talents. It could be the girlfriend of a villain walking by or the girlfriend of the guy he stood next to on the subway today. He would never know.

 

Watch "Alphas" as they have a character like that but she can only "supe" up one sense at a time. Would this guy take extra damage from flash attacks? There are a lot of interesting aspects you could play up. He could end up arresting someone who was in contact with some smoking drugs or be easily given wrong information via "every contact leaves a trace".

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

gojira: I was basing the taste stuff off of real life wine tasters (I cannot remember what they are called right now, something french.) They can taste a wine and tell you what year it was made and what vineyard made it. I believe there are similar tasters for other things as well (chocolate springs to mind, but that may just be made up by the writers of Leverage, not sure.) Of course you have to have the knowledge (skills) to recognize the flavor. Maybe I didn't make that clear in that example :)

 

Bolon: with analytical and discriminatory I would wager that our guy never makes those kinds of mistakes (he can tell the difference between "contact" exposure and someone who uses it.) If you look at the examples given in 6e1 for analytical the level of detail someone is capable of accessing with these modifiers is just ridiculous.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

psyber624: Unless he is tasting the suspect, the smell of the substance is the same. If he never makes those mistakes, it would only be between court appearance for assault and a 72 hour psyc visit that he would do his crime fighting. My degree is criminal justice and I know a bit about the principles and theories of forensics. False trails can be created if you don't do your full homework. Remember the snowboarder who was tested positive for drugs based on second hand smoke. Smell is in the air and not analyzing the body of someone without contact. That would require the Adjacent modifier. Without the Rapid modifier, I would be keeping the character busy with overload from all the information he needs to get through. That is yet another reason he would need a skill or memory talent to sort and organize all that data.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

psyber624: Unless he is tasting the suspect' date=' the smell of the substance is the same. If he never makes those mistakes, it would only be between court appearance for assault and a 72 hour psyc visit that he would do his crime fighting. My degree is criminal justice and I know a bit about the principles and theories of forensics. False trails can be created if you don't do your full homework. Remember the snowboarder who was tested positive for drugs based on second hand smoke. Smell is in the air and not analyzing the body of someone without contact. That would require the Adjacent modifier. [b']Without the Rapid modifier, I would be keeping the character busy with overload from all the information he needs to get through[/b]. That is yet another reason he would need a skill or memory talent to sort and organize all that data.

Unless the player took a Complication and wants to roleplay that sort of thing it would seem like you would be punishing the player for a Power he paid for.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

In my opinion discriminatory and analyze would rarely cause "sensory overload". Those two modifiers simply allow you to do more with the information you have if you put your mind too it. +'s to PER on the other hand definitely sound like appropriate cases for overload, as you are getting more info all at once that you have to contend with. Rachel from Alphas has both (Modifiers and +'s) I would say. Also, in the real world we don't have truly discriminatory or analytical senses therefore at best we can guess at what the effects would be but its only theory. I personally believe that someone who uses drugs would have a different smell about them that could be detected with the above power (as opposed to someone who was just in contact with the substance.) The second person would smell "just like the drug" but the first would possibly be emitting a scent from his body metabolizing the substance, which our guy could detect. In any case that is how I would adjudicate it if I were GM. YMMV :)

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

I think the overall approach might be flawed. The usual way is to determine the game effects you want and then ask the GM how to "make them happen". When a player goes and buys something and the GM then tries to figure out how it works/what it does, things are on a very bad track.

 

One thing where I have to disagree with several posters before me:

Analyzing and Discriminatory does not allow him to ignore Illusions. It helps against normal Disguises, but not against anything built with the Images Power (I even asked Steve Long about this). Also he can be surprised - when you are silent enough/avoid his field of vision (Stealth) you will not be noticed. And of course all normal human senses are passive.

Images & Shape Shift (with Imitation adder) are absolute effects that can not be overcome with Sense Modifiers (the same way Invisibility and Flash can't be overcome by them). The only way around them is to use a different Sense altogehter (preferibly in the Unusual Group).

 

I actually think some of Sherlok Holmes feats could be modelled by this Power. Also androids tend to have similar powers (Data for Star Trek and Andromeda from Andromeda), but those also seem to have a lot of "Enhanced Perception", Microscopic and Telescopic in addition to that. And Eidetic Memory.

 

Sight:

He would penetrate all normal Disguises. He could also tell two Twins (and propably even two clones with memory copy) appart (Discriminatory). He would also know in wich points they differ (Analytical). He would not be fooled by a masterfull copy of a picture (if he has the original at hand or knows it well).

Absolute Range Sense could be possible. He could discern atempts to fake Handwriting (and even tell you exactly "where" the errors are) if he knows the real Handwriting and can remember it (Eidetic Memory or Int roll).

But if a normal human could not see it (too small, to far away, to well hidden, to little light) he won't be able to perceive it either. It is not Telescopic, Rapid or Nightvision.

 

Hearing:

He would detect atempts at Mimicri. He had no doubt perfect pitch. But he would still be succeptible to stealth (wich is trying to be not heard at all).

 

Touch:

He could propably tell the windspeed and direction. He could perhaps tell a persons profession from a Handshake - if he has met a person with the same profession and has Eidetic Memory.

He has at least the sense accuracy of a blind person, but that does not allow him to read braille (wich requires a Language Skill).

 

Smell:

It is not tracking. He has no hightened ability to detect people with smell. He could perhaps tell a person from another, if that one does not wear a perfume (wich could conceal the natural smell for most parts). Think how a dog can tell two persons from another or how dogs were used in Terminator (the first movie) to detect Terminators (they propably only used Disguise for the Smell, not Shape Shift as they did for Touch and Sight), but without Enhanced Senses.

 

Taste:

He can figure out wich spices were used and the exact flavor of wine, but otherwise mostly useless.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

I don't feel it is a penalty. He has only improved his perception with greater detail. That would include perceiving red herrings more as well as perceiving actual clues. It would remove many of the red herrings based on deception but not on the red herrings that don't have anything to do with the current case. Examples would be arresting the janitor with a substance abuse problem when checking out a place where the owner might be the drug dealer. It would sidetrack you with minor distractions you become aware of that would blow your cover or alert the "big bad" before you get to him if you take any action.

 

Rachel has had problems with sensory overload but it is a complication. Even without the complication, the player would be getting a constant stream of useless facts that he would have to wade through. For the GM, you might want to have a laptop with a few google windows open so you can bring up unique details. For game effect, all that extra detail means nothing unless you can retain it and then apply it properly. Simple facts would jump out more but minor details would be harder to sort out. The wine the "big bad" serves, comes from a small area of France so you travel there to find his evil lair or does he just have very good taste in wine. Is it important or not? Without the skills to sort that out and retain the information, he would need a very large suitcase of real sample to be constantly comparing things to.

 

Identification requires 2 parts. One is perception and those abilities would give the character in extreme capability but the other is a desire to note that detail. We ignore a lot of details in our daily life since we don't need to keep it. Think about driving somewhere. Do you remember every light, traffic sign or other car you encountered? You did as you drove but most will not be able to give specifics after the trip was over unless you had a need before the trip began. There is no reason to hold that memory and therefore it wouldn't be kept. Memory enhancers and appropriate skills might give you cause to remember more but without a reason or framework to hold that data, you would never keep it all. It is a memory overload so you dump unimportant data. If this case of perception, you are getting even more data and must be more selective about what you keep, hence data overload. It doesn't give you magic ability to know what is important and what isn't. We all cheat by just using what the GM says as important since he wouldn't mention it unless it was. Just like when you watch a tv show, you know who the bad guy is by recognizing bigger better actors for bigger roles.

 

Think of the lab in Bones. When something is analysed, it still needs to be run through a computer to map out areas where that is. They have to figure out what is valuable and would actually have a data base to probe to get that information. Hodges is a conspiracy nut and has the special KS of government data bases know how to use his information to gain more information. The character with these senses wouldn't need the large lab with all the wonderful toys but would still need the knowledges and skills to sort out the information.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

psyber624: Unless he is tasting the suspect' date=' the smell of the substance is the same. If he never makes those mistakes, it would only be between court appearance for assault and a 72 hour psyc visit that he would do his crime fighting. My degree is criminal justice and I know a bit about the principles and theories of forensics. False trails can be created if you don't do your full homework. Remember the snowboarder who was tested positive for drugs based on second hand smoke. Smell is in the air and not analyzing the body of someone without contact. That would require the Adjacent modifier. Without the Rapid modifier, I would be keeping the character busy with overload from all the information he needs to get through. That is yet another reason he would need a skill or memory talent to sort and organize all that data.[/quote']

 

Better yet, we had a case in the UK where these chaps were convicted of making bombs because their hands had a chemical on them from plastic explosives. Turns out years later that same chemical can get on your hands from the plastic coating of playing cards.

 

Discriminatory and analyse are not very practially defined in Hero and I would be very wary of letting a PC have a full site of senses enhanced that way without a very clear idea of what they can and can not do, and a very open discussion before we start between GM and player so there are no misunderstandings. They should be no more useful than any other power that costs what they do.

 

Bear in mind you might have enhanced smell and be able to act like a human mass spectrometer, but knowing that the chemical composition is two parts carbon to one part oxygen to 5 parts hydrogen is not going to help unless you know how ethanol is built, so you will need knowledge or science skills to back up these freaky senses of yours, and possibly extra INT (or eidetic memory) to place the particular information. Also a human nose with analyse and discriminatory is no better at detecting a smell than a non-enhanced human nose - it can just extract more data from when it does get. Equally you are not going to know if there is poison in the food unless you know what the food is supposed to taste like without poison in it - or you've tasted that particular poison before.

 

Mind you if you had 5 identically dressed gang members, Mr Discriminatory could tell them apart with ease. Disguise skills and ventriloquism would really struggle against this chap.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

I think the overall approach might be flawed. The usual way is to determine the game effects you want and then ask the GM how to "make them happen". When a player goes and buys something and the GM then tries to figure out how it works/what it does, things are on a very bad track.

 

 

The player wanted a character with extremely precise and acute senses. I know what they wanted but wanted to get some suggestions for what sort of information other wise "normal" human senses might gain with these modifiers as the book is somewhat vague, IMO, about that subjects (normal senses are noted as being "kind of" discriminatory by default, for example. So I wanted some clarifications and examples. Which have been provided in abundance. Thanks everyone and rep when I can!

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

Unless the player took a Complication and wants to roleplay that sort of thing it would seem like you would be punishing the player for a Power he paid for.

 

I tend to agree. I don't like hitting a player with a the negative aspects of their Powers constantly even if they're "logical". No the character isn't going to be omniscient but they should be capable of some very impressive sensory tricks taking into account the sheer amount of points invested (which could have been put into more directly obviously advantageous things like Attacks and Defenses) and the feats pulled off by normal animals and even humans with adept senses in the real world.

 

One way to short hand this for this character might be to allow her a Per roll as complimentary to many of her skill checks if it seems "reasonable". Thoughts?

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

I would agree perception to compliment a skill. If you look at my later post on this, enhanced perceptions allow you more data but without the proper skill set and data, you can't interpret it correctly. Look at the examples of easy mistakes that have been done interpreting data. The character might use inductive reasoning over deductive reasoning but needs to make a number of observations to create a hypothesis and prove a theory versus deductive that has a theory and uses the observations to prove it. That is the complication. Identifying is only the first stage. The character still needs to know what to do with the data and for that matter, which data to use. Without a skill, how would that person know?

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

It sounds like the player is going for a realistic version of Superman's senses (without All the bells and whistles: X-Ray/Penetrative, Infrared, Ultraviolet, Microscopic, Rapid, Telescopic and Ultrasonic). The protagonist on the new TV series Elementary could arguably be built with the Discriminatory and Analyze senses as well.

 

I think the former character would be an easy filter to use. Could he sense something important independent of his 'super' senses listed above? Height & Weight just by observation? Yes. Fast heartbeat (poor man's lie detector) without X-Ray vision? No. etc....

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

Yeah, he invested a good chunk of points in this aspect of the character so I want to be sure he gets what he paid for. In the interest of full disclosure and food for thought the character also has Night-vision and Ultrasonic hearing and enough per bonuses (some of them with conditional Limitations) for a maximum Perception roll of 20- (18- without Limitations).

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

......The protagonist on the new TV series Elementary could arguably be built with the Discriminatory and Analyze senses as well.

 

I think the former character would be an easy filter to use. Could he sense something important independent of his 'super' senses listed above? Height & Weight just by observation? Yes. Fast heartbeat (poor man's lie detector) without X-Ray vision? No. etc....

 

I know we have chewed this over before but I would argue that Sherlock Holmes senses are no more acute than Watson's (John or Joan). He gets no more information from his senses than anyone else, he just pays a lot more attention to what he senses and uses a lot more rigour in analysing it. I would argue that must be true or he could not do his famous explanations afterward.

 

For example if he sees a dark grey powder and deduces that it is gunpowder from various clues, he will know the (likely) chemical composition, not because he can 'sense' it, but because he knows how gunpowder is constituted. if this sample also contained traces of cement, he would never know without chemical analysis (although he MIGHT know various shortcuts to testing which might include the use of other senses).

 

Bear in mind that buying discriminatory and analysis for all normal senses costs 60 points. You need to get value for that, roughly equivalent to 12d6 of Telepathy or a brand new unusual sense that can 'see' through objects in 360 degrees and be used for targeting and tracking and such.

 

I think it is a difficult tone to run because any information gathering power is difficult to run. Can you detect heartbeat without X-Ray vision? Well, yes, sometimes: looking at my wrist I can see a pulse, but I'd be very hard pressed to tell if someone else's were varying if I was just chatting to them.

 

I think the thing to do is talk it through, player and GM, beforehand, and see what is expected and what can be delivered, without simply using that character to relay all the important information to the party.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

I definitely agree that most of these enhanced senses are of little value without appropriate skills (a point I actually made in my original post as well.) Also, while I never spelled it out (my fault for assuming that it would be assumed) I never intended to state that a character with these enhanced senses would in any way be able to retain the full range of information available or would just "know" without trying all of the relative data. Our senses are passive, but they also have some "active" traits as well. Most of the effects of Discriminatory and Analyze would generally only apply to active uses of the skill. Someone with Discriminatory Hearing will not ALWAYS hear EVERY conversation and be able to understand each one in a crowded area (passive use), but would easily be able to pick one out and listen to it (active use).

 

And while I hate to disagree with Christopher on anything (as he is somewhat of a rules guru around here), the description of Images most definitely states that

"Observers can attempt to perceive an Image as just that-an Image, not real - by succeeding with a PER Roll" [6e1 236]
Personally I would rule that Analyze would give such huge bonuses to the PER roll to perceive an Image that it would be next to impossible to fool our character with it. (S/he basically can get way more data from a real example of whatever you are making your Image of than the Image caster can recreate without these senses, allowing him/her to tell the difference.) Of course if the Image caster had Discriminatory/Analyze on his senses I would probably waive the bonus (or if he bought lots of the PER roll bonuses for his power I would require a roll.) Invisibility however I will agree with as it does not allow a PER roll to perceive. (and Mental Illusions, while we are at it, would also not be affected by D/A on senses.) Stealth as well would probably not be affected (as it would require bonuses to your PER roll to perceive, not interpretation of what you did see/hear/etc) although in some circumstances I might grant bonuses to the PER roll based on those modifiers.. I.E. if the stealthy person failed their stealth roll they may have made some "noise" which a normal person might dismiss but our D/A character would be able to identify (esp if s/he was a lookout and actively listening for someone.)

 

As always, just my opinions :)

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

While I agree the character is not going to be all knowing and infallible without some back up skills this did cost 60+ points so, IMO, should provide some substantial benefit without a raft of skills and backup abilities or senses need a significant cost reduction.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

Perhaps another example of exceptional hearing, are the Ferengi from Star Trek. Especially Nog used that at least two times:

He showed it in "The Darkness and the light" (identifiying a scrabeled voice as female, before it was completely descrambeled)

During "the Siege of AR-558" he was put into a scouting party because of his hearing.

In another episode he used it to crack a save (in a holoprogram playing in 1962).

 

I also noticed that you don't have to buy Full Discriminatory before you can apply Analyzing. The free discriminatory entitles you to buy Analyze directly.

 

Yeah' date=' he invested a good chunk of points in this aspect of the character so I want to be sure he gets what he paid for. In the interest of full disclosure and food for thought the character also has Night-vision and Ultrasonic hearing and enough per bonuses (some of them with conditional Limitations) for a maximum Perception roll of 20- (18- without Limitations).[/quote']

Of course that makes him a relevant bit more powerfull.

On the other hand, he has to apply the the Modifiers either to the entire sense Group (doubling the cost) or buy it again for the two special senses as well (so either way, he has to pay the double price for both hearing and sight).

 

I have been thinking about what Discriminatory allows you to do:

"A Detect provides two basic types of information about the object or phenomenon it can perceive: first, whether the object or phenomenon exists, or doesn’t exist, at the character’s current location; second, the “intensity” of the perceived object or phenomenon." Sight without Discriminatory could only tell you if it is bright or dark, or more specifically "how bright" it is.

The free Discriminatory allows you to keep things appart, as long as they are not extremely similar - twins, clones, how different bank notes feel (as opposed to look) - are examples of things that are "too similar" to be discerned automatically.

Analyzing seem to be able to obtain more detailed information than full Discriminatory and without a roll.

The examples given seem to be a lot like what can be optained by a laboratory analysis.

 

A detect Metal can give you the same information a laboratory analysis can give you.

 

 

Sight is detecting "visible light". Andromeda (the droid/ship avatar) once used her eyes and her knowledge of chemistry/mineralogy to make a spectral analysis on the spot (indentifying wich of four fake objects was wich one).

Hearing is "detecting pressure waves in the air".

Smell is a subform of Taste. "Detecting taste in the air".

Taste is a chemical analysis (evolutionary it is our final way to filter out inedible food). But it is limited as some parts of the food need time to be disolved by the salvia (there is an expierent we did in biology: keeping bread in your mouth long enough for the salvia to decompose Strach back to glucose [1-2 minutes] - wich means it suddenly tastes sweet). I even remember a story about a chemist who indentified chemicals by taste: http://survivingtheworld.net/Lesson619.html (a chemist I know told me this technique is not advisible, however).

Touch is "detecting heat transmission"* as well as "detection of surface texture" and "detection of vibration".

 

 

*We do not feel warmth or cold. We feel heat flowing away from us or into our body. The metal stapler and the wood table in your office actually have exactly the same temperature - just metal conducts heat better, that it why it feels colder. The same reason is why water feels colder - it conducts the heat away from your body.

 

And while I hate to disagree with Christopher on anything (as he is somewhat of a rules guru around here)' date=' the description of Images most definitely states that[/quote']

Of coruse, forgot that part.

 

But I explicitly asked Steve Long about Descriminatory providing Bonuses and the answers was no:

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php/85196-Sense-Modifiers

I guess it follows this reasoning: A character affecting "all Sight" with a Sense affecting Power (say shape shift), also affects Infrared Perception (bought in the sight group) with that same power - even if he does not has the sense himself.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

I agree with what most say now. I would like to point out that a piece of logic doesn't ring true to me. It shouldn't matter how much he paid for the ability whether 60 pts or 600. Everyone paid points for everything they are doing against him and the game design balances it. If it did matter, I would just ask my GM to make me a character with all my points on one thing and argue that I spent more points on it so I should win everything. There is a point where the amount of points spent don't justify the return. Personally, I feel that was done here. To argue that he should get more just based on the amount of points he spent, is against the logic and principle of the game. You only get what you pay for and nothing more.

 

It is 60 pts in senses and should give him that in perceiving. There is a point of overkill. You are as dead with a .22 to the head as a nuclear bomb blowing up at point zero. It would ensure that what he received was all that he could get from his senses and nobody in the party should get more but beyond that, it doesn't give anything beyond the ability to sense it. As a GM, I might say you get the chemical analysis of the food but what do you do with it? Sorry, no skill to interpret the data. The character then needs to find someone with the skill and recite his findings exactly. Without the necessary skill, he would still not present it in a manner that is precise and quick for the one with the skill. This could take a long time or miss vital information. Think of the wild goose chases you can send someone on. Remember, there are many things that are considered poisons or such that are considered acceptable in food and tobacco.

 

You need to sit down and sort this out with your GM on what you want it to do and how it would affect the game. The Americans knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbour but it was a matter of deciding what to do about it. Mistakes can still be made when you get all the facts. It is how you deal with what you don't know that is the most important.

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Re: Advice sought: Uncommon Sense(s)

 

To clarify my position, I'm not saying that "just" because he spent allot of points the character should get more use out of the ability. But I feel that points spent on something should be roughly equivalent in how useful they end up being overall. 60 points invested in enhanced senses should be roughly "equivalent" to 60 points invested in Telepathy or some other generally Noncombat ability or the less useful ability should be cheaper. That's what I feel is the balance of Hero System. 60 points in Enhanced senses isn't going to make you flawless and perfect but the character should be very good at perceiving and to some degree, interpreting what they perceive.

 

Of course, All abilities are not going to be equally useful in all situations. 12D6 EB or a 30/30 Forcefield is going to be more useful in combat than 12D6 Telepathy generally, but the telepathy will be more useful for utilitarian functions. If Enhanced Senses are essentially pointless (and will even screw you over) without a high number of points invested in Skills or even Powers it seems to be that they should be cheaper. If I can spend 10 points on something and get far more effectiveness and use out of it than something that cost 40 one of those items should be examined. I don't like point sinks and "newbie traps" in rpg chargen where something are just dumb to get because they're a waste of points so you can make characters of equal cost but one if less effective across the board because you "lost" the mini-game of character generation. Hero System is pretty good at avoiding that though.

 

As I said, I don't think the character is going to be flawless just because her player spent 60 points but for that 60 points he could have gotten some simpler ability at the cap for the game (the hypothetical Telepathy or Energy Blast) so I feel he should get a good return on his investment when applicable to a player that got 12d6 Energy Blast. If he can't or the times when it would be applicable are exceedingly narrow then it seems like some cost adjustment might be required.

 

As a thought if a character had Detect: Blood: Discriminatory what would you allow them to determine on a Perception roll without KS and Science skills in the area? How much more detail would they get if they added Analyze?

 

I don't think the character concept is bad. There are a number of characters in fiction that might be described with these mechanics. I think I'm willing to cut the player some slack in regard to "logic" to allow the ability to be useful and assume the Powers come with pseudo skills and safety measures like the person with high levels of Movement doesn't have to buy Defenses or Life Support to utilize his abilities to fullest or get their Dex to a certain minimum level to be able to maneuver correctly.

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