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Creating a Chamber


BoloOfEarth
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I'm trying to figure out the best way to model a character (Champions) with stone / earth control, to create a chamber underground. 

 

My two thoughts are:

 

  1. Tunneling with AoE -- my thought for this is something along the lines of Tunneling 16m through 6 rPD, Variable Advantage (+1/2 worth of any AoE; +3/4), Extra Time (Full Phase; -1/2). That 16m would span an 8m Radius or a 16m Cone, and easily cover 4x 2m Areas.
  2. Transform with AoE -- my thought is something like Major Transform 3d6 (Solid Rock to open area, undo by removing support columns), Variable Advantage (+1/2 worth of any AoE; +3/4), Extra Time (Full Phase; -1/2).  

If #2, how much BODY does he need to transform?  Per 6E2 - 172, 2m of stone has 13 BODY. Would an AoE Transform effect be applied against each 2m area's 13 BODY?  Or would he have to surpass the total BODY in the AoE?  (For example, based on the "Wall BODY" table, it appears each doubling of the wall thickness adds 2 BODY, so 16m would have 19 BODY.)

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The tunneling would give you a cave unless your GM relaxed the definition of tunneling a lot.  The tunneling might need a barrier component to actually make the walls and supports, otherwise, the underground chamber might be unstable.

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For an AoE Transform, the effect would apply equally to every 2m area within the Area Of Effect. 5d6 Standard Effect (15-points) Severe Transform should be enough to transform Stone into Air.

 

However... given how expensive that is likely to be, AoE UAA Tunneling might end up being cheaper.

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I think either approach would work. Tunneling is likely to be cheaper/faster, but some people find using the "side effect" of a Movement power to create something to be a bit dodgy. The interesting difference is that Tunneling uses the PD of the ground but ignores the BODY, whereas Transform uses the BODY but ignores the PD.

 

Either way, they should be able to leave some support columns as they dig, especially if the character has Mechanics or SS: Structural Engineering or something like that. 

 

See the Create Pit Trap thread for a related conversation.

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Tunneling assumes you create a structurally sound tunnel, there are no rules or suggestions that it might collapse at any point.  The whole thing is kind of vague (does it leave a permanent tube?  Does it close in behind you or just at the ends if you buy the adder? How big is the tunnel? etc) but that's fine.

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Citation Provided Below:

 

Champions Complete 94

TUNNELING

Type:   Movement Power

...

Target:   Self Only

Range:   Self

...

Allows a character to move through the ground or other substances by creating a tunnel roughly his own size.

The definitions of Target [self Only], and Range [self] can be found on CC 44.

 

Champions Complete 97

​AREA OF EFFECT

...

Allows a Power to affect all targets in an area identically...

 

Just putting AoE on Tunneling allows it to "affect all [self Only]s in an area" with a Range of [self]... In other words it does nothing by itself.

 

In order for Tunneling to affect any target other than [self] you need to use some form of Usable On Others (CC 119) to change the Target from [self Only] to [Target's DCV] and the Range from [self] to [No Range] (I.E. Your Natural Reach) ... Standard UBO restricts the Target to [One Willing Recipient], and Standard UAA restricts the Target to [One Unwilling Recipient]. Since Objects and Unconscious Characters are considered Unwilling Recipients of powers which don't benefit them, and I don't consider having chambers and corridors drilled into it beneficial to a mass of stone, you would need Usable As Attack in my campaign.

 

In addition... in order for Tunneling to be a legal target for any of the forms of the Ranged Modifier (CC 109, 112, or 113), it cannot have a Range of [self], you have to use some form of Usable By Other to change its Range to [No Range] first.

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OK, fair enough. I was looking for a specific rule that said you can't put AOE on Tunneling, but your reasoning makes sense. (And Hero Designer agrees with you FWIW.)

 

In this case tho since Tunneling already has the ~side effect of "leaves a hole in the ground" I wouldn't have a problem with allowing an Advantage to make the hole wider, whether we call that AOE or something else. I agree that the character would still have to move through the area to dig out the chamber unless it was bought with some variant of UOO. (Or maybe Ranged?)

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Once you've used UAA to change the Target to [unwilling Target's DCV], then Area of Effect (Radius) can change the Target to [Area] so that it affects every Unwilling Target in the Area instead of just the single Target normally allowed by Standard UAA. Then just to ignore pointless shenanigans I would allow such a power to create tunnels of the radius defined by AoE as the user intended as opposed to still having to target object(s) or character(s) to use as the "drill-bit".

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I can see the value of that arguement, mostly in that there is no extant way to actually increase the size of the tunnel produced by Standard Tunneling in CC/FHC (except by Growth/Shrinking I suppose...). But by RAW that isn't what Area of Effect actually does. Area of Effect only causes the power to Target everything in the Area that it can... if the only legal target in the Area is yourself than the tunnel remains "roughly your size".

As a GM I can see myself allowing Tunneling to take Area of Effect (Radius) for the purpose of defining that is creates a tunnel larger than "roughly your size". However if I were looking to publish such a construct I would feel compelled to note the construct is technically illegal, and only permitted at the GM's option.

Likewise, if I were publishing an UAA AoE Tunneling power intended to create corridors, chambers, or pits at a distance, I would note that it should not need to target object(s) or character(s) to act as the "drill-bit".

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For an AoE Transform, the effect would apply equally to every 2m area within the Area Of Effect. 5d6 Standard Effect (15-points) Severe Transform should be enough to transform Stone into Air.

 

However... given how expensive that is likely to be, AoE UAA Tunneling might end up being cheaper.

 

I don't think you'd need a Severe Transform -- a Major Transform can create objects out of air, so I'd think creating air out of solid rock would be the flip side of that.

 

And the character doesn't need to create the chamber in one Phase, so I don't need the full 5d6.  Overall, I think I prefer the Transform route over the Tunneling route.  The writeup I finally settled on is: 

 

Create Chamber:  Major Transform 2d6 (Solid rock to open area, Undo by removing support columns), Partial Transform (+½), Variable Advantage (+½ worth of any AoE; +¾)  (45 Active Points, 4 END)  Extra Time (Full Phase; -½), Unified Power (stone powers; -¼) (26 Real Points)

 

Thank you all for your input. 

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Big Hole: (Total: 90 Active Cost, 15 Real Cost) Growth (+45 STR, +15 CON, +15 PRE, +9 PD, +9 ED, +9 BODY, +18 STUN, +7m Reach, +36m Running, -18m KB, hands/feet are Area Of Effect (1m Radius) attacks, 6,401-50,000 kg, +6 to OCV to hit, +6 to PER Rolls to perceive character, 9-16m tall, 5-8m wide) (90 Active Points); Limited Power Does not add to characteristics (-2), Concentration, Must Concentrate throughout use of Constant Power (0 DCV; -1), Limited Power only to make a bigger tunnel (-1), Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Limited Power No reach. (-1/4), Limited Power No knockback resistance (-1/4) (Real Cost: 15)

 

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary notes that this costs 9 END not counting the cost of Tunneling itself.

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Does anyone else find it odd that the Tunneling rules hand-wave the hardest part of real-world tunneling, which is removing whatever material you're digging into from out of your tunnel? I'd expect the Fill In option to be the default tunneling mode and make people pay +10 CP to have all that stuff magically disappear. At least with Transform builds I can see where you literally transmute the stone/soil/metal into air. I almost think Tunneling should come with a Side Effect (Whole bunch of loose material to move out of the tunnel). 

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Re: Tunneling with AoE needing UAA

 

I disagree.  Tunneling is a movement power.  UAA is only needed if you intend to *move* other people.  Tunneling creates a tunnel as a side effect of the power.  There's no reason why AoE can't simply make the tunnel wider, but it won't bring people along with you.  Anyone can pretty easily step out of the area - especially since you're adding Full Phase.  Any allies/innocents in the area might fall and take damage, which you probably don't want.  And you certainly don't want enemies in your chamber.

 

You might consider both Tunneling and Transform together - Tunneling to make the hole, and a Cosmetic/Minor Transform to turn the roughly tunneled dirt/rock into smooth and structurally sound walls.

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That has a lot to do with the system's superheroic roots. Mole-Machines (Vehicles or Automatons with Tunneling) and Tunneling Supervillains that never have to deal with the logistics of real world tunneling are fairly common in superhero comics.

 

True enough. They also don't have to worry about collapsing tunnels, running into gas lines, flooding, and a whole bunch of other stuff that real tunnelers have to deal with. It's just that Tunneling as Disintegration Touch seems like an odd default value to me. Of course I suppose it is no more odd than pondering how a tunneler can create a vertical shaft straight up without flight or climbing to counteract gravity.

 

I'd only expect the real world obstacles to intrude if and when the GM needs it to for a plot point or to curb rules abuse. "Are you sure you want to tunnel into the oil refinery?"

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I disagree.  Tunneling is a movement power.  UAA is only needed if you intend to *move* other people.  Tunneling creates a tunnel as a side effect of the power.  There's no reason why AoE can't simply make the tunnel wider, but it won't bring people along with you.  Anyone can pretty easily step out of the area - especially since you're adding Full Phase.  Any allies/innocents in the area might fall and take damage, which you probably don't want.  And you certainly don't want enemies in your chamber.

The fact that it is a principally a Movement Power is exactly why it needs UAA. The issue is with Targeting and Range. Tunneling's Target is "Self Only" and it's Range is "Self", and Area of Effect merely allows the power to affect every legal Target within the defined Area. Being able to Target every [self Only] within a 4m radius of a Range of [self] doesn't actually make the Tunnel larger than "roughly your size".

 

You need UAA in order to change Tunneling's Target to [unwilling Target's DCV] and its Range to [No Range] (i.e. Reach) so that when you apply Area of Effect the power grants every "unwilling target" (such as the molecules making up the surface of the medium to be tunneled through) within the defined Area Tunneling, and then forces them to use it at your direction.

 

Logic aside, Hero Designer supports my case. It will not allow you to place Area of Effect on Tunneling unless it already has some form of Usable On Others (such as UBO or UAA).

 

Rules as Written aside... if all a player wanted to do was make the tunnels left behind by their power as they moved larger, I would probably allow them to do so within reason as a +1/4 Advantage per doubling of the size of the tunnel as a house rule (but it wouldn't be called Area of Effect, most like it'd be called Larger Tunnel or something).

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Its pretty much cross-genre.  When the sci fi device digs a tunnel, it doesn't need to worry about shoring things up (or does it automatically).  The dirt is 'disintegrated' or used for fuel or something.  In magic, it just makes a tunnel, magicking away problems.  We're trying to simulate a game world here, not create reality on paper.

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Does anyone else find it odd that the Tunneling rules hand-wave the hardest part of real-world tunneling, which is removing whatever material you're digging into from out of your tunnel? I'd expect the Fill In option to be the default tunneling mode and make people pay +10 CP to have all that stuff magically disappear. At least with Transform builds I can see where you literally transmute the stone/soil/metal into air. I almost think Tunneling should come with a Side Effect (Whole bunch of loose material to move out of the tunnel). 

Yeah, Tunneling is an inherently unrealistic power in many ways. If you want realistic you're probably better off using KAs to bust up the ground one hex at a time and have a wheelbarrow brigade to haul the fill out. But a Limitation for loose material needs to be removed would work too.

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