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Protean (New and Improved)


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Protean [ Standard Power, Constant, Self-Only ]

This power allows the character to move through porous barriers that would otherwise block them from passing (fences, pipes, wire screening).

The character may pass through the barrier as if no barrier existed at their normal movement rate.


Cost: 20 Points


Barrier Chart

Path / Porosity  Viscosity         Nonpliability  Examples (Human Height)

---------------  ----------------  -------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1/250 / 2%       20 Minutes                       8mm - Locked office doors (with tile floor), fan blade gaps, and old fashioned keyholes are bypassed.

1/125 / 3%       5 Minutes         -1/4           16mm (1.6cm) - Open sunroofs, large fan blade gaps, and medium pipes are bypassed.

1/64  / 6%       1 Minute          -1/2           32mm (3.2cm) - Large pipes, prison bars, and manhole covers are bypassed.

1/32  / 12%      Full Turn         -1             64mm (6.4cm) - Large mail slot and certain types of sewer entrances (not manhole covers) are bypassed.

1/16  / 25%      2 Extra Phases    -1 1/2         125mm (12.5cm) - ?

1/8   / 50%      Extra Phase       -2             250mm (25cm) - ?

1/4   / 75%      Full Phase                       500mm (50cm) - Air ducts, small windows, and sewer pipes are bypassed.


Path     - Size of a single path through the barrier (based as a fraction of the character's height).

           Applies to the character that Cannot Split their body to bypass barriers.


Porosity - How porous the barrier is (based as a percentage of empty space vs non-empty space of the barrier).

           Applies to the character that can split their body to bypass barriers.




Viscosity (-1 for Extra Time, x2 with Cannot Split) - Character requires more and more time to bypass smaller and smaller Path/Porosity.

Cannot Split - Character's body is contiguous and Porosity of a barrier may not be used to bypass barrier.

Nonpliablity (Varies) - Character is unable to bypass barriers after a certain point (see chart).

Hinders Movement (-1/4 50% Movement, -1/2 25% Movement) - When power is active the character may only use a percentage of their normal movement rate.


With the help of Hugh I think this is a workable mechanic.

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This appears to be Desolidification with the Cannot Pass Through Solid Objects (-½) limitation and the Does Not Protect Against Damage (-1) limitation.  Given that there's already a well-established way to build the effect of the proposed new power, I see the proposed new power as wholly un-necessary.


That said, I think the Barrier Chart you've provided is an excellent additional to optional rules to help govern what someone (who builds out the aforementioned Desolidification w/ its limitations) can move through -- for GMs who desire a pre-baked chart of such things.


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Funny you should mention Desolid.  The 20 base points is derived from Desolid, 1/2 END, No Damage Protection, Not through solid objects.


It reflects my own bias that, if you get no protection from damage, you should not require "affects solid world" either.


We can certainly argue "desolid does this", but we could also argue that Desolid should really be broken out between "cannot affect and does not get affected by the solid world" and "can pass through solid objects", rather than being a combination power of the two, or that Mental Attack should be deleted, as it is just a Blast with advantages.

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Desolid does not do what Protean does nor are the things that I wanted well established with Desolid.




Cannot Split



Even if you were to add these to Desolid, once you start stripping away most of the base mechanics of the power with limitations I think your starting to stray from the original purpose of the power.


Just my opinion.


Addendum: I would also agree that Desolid should really be broken up into two mechanics. It's a more Heroesque way of building things.


- Christopher Mullins


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Hinders Movement seems odd at 30% and 15%.  Practically, half movement is a lot like "full phase to make a half move", which would be Extra Time,. but a bit less limiting in that you could make a "quarter move" and take another half phase non-movement action, so -1/4 for "movement halved" seems reasonable.  -1/2 for "movement 1/4 or less" seems like a reasonable second stage.


There will definitely be slow characters better off with "hinders movement" and faster characters better off with "limited movement".


EXAMPLES:  I have 12m running and 20 points base Protean.  Slap on 1/2 movement and I save 4 points, which I could use to make my running 16m.  Now I move 8 using Protean and 16 if not.


I have 40 meters flight (40 points) and will save the same 4 points from halving that using Protean.  Cost:  40 + 16 = 56


Or I buy 20m Flight (20 points) and a Mulltipower of Protean and +20m Flight (20 for the pool + 2 for each slot) for 44 points.


If I go with Hindered Movement, do I pay END for my entire movement, then reduce it to the appropriate %, or only pay END for the reduced distance I can now move?

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What do you need clarification on?


Any particular column?


The Barrier Chart exists for the limitations that can be applied to Protean. 

Path/Porosity represents two ways to bypass a barrier.

Path is used for those characters that can't split their form to flow around and through a Porous barrier. The character must use a single opening to bypass the barrier (like a pipe or an opening in a wall/rock face.

Porous is used for those characters that can split their form to flow around and through a Porous barrier (like a fence or a lot of cracks/holes in a wall.


The rest of the columns are simply details concerning limitations.


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As an explanation of the chart, as I think we reached earlier in the other thread (for newer readers):


-          The base 20 points means you can pass through any barrier which air or water could get through at normal speed.

-          Viscosity – the character is slowed down by using Protean.  The time required depends on:

o   -1 limitation:  Porosity – what is the ratio of open space to blocked space?  For example, 75% would be a chain link fence – most of the space can be passed through easily; requires a full phase to pass through.  A screen door might be 50% air, 50% wire (need an extra phase), or a finer screen might be 25% air, 75%wire (2 extra phases).  At the extreme, it would take 20 minutes to get through an only slightly porous (less than 3% space to 97%+ blocked).  This would be a blob that splits and re-forms on the other side, a character made of water, or sand, or a swarm of insects, who can split his body up and flow through all the openings, reforming on the other side.

o   That becomes -2 if the character Cannot Split his body (maybe he’s just really stretchy).  He has to pass through a single gap in the chain link fence or screen door.  Now go to Path – a normal-size person takes a full phase to get through a space as small as 50 cm diameter, but that chain link fence probably has gaps 2” (6.4 cm) across, so he’ll need a full turn to squeeze through one of those tiny openings.

o   We did not slide the scale down for someone whose extra time starts at smaller gaps – one certainly could, probably dropping ¼ for each step up the chart (or every two steps up, if you prefer, but once we get down to 64mm gaps to slow him down, I’m not sure more than -1/4 is warranted, nor that getting smaller is much more limiting)

-          Nonpliability is worse than viscosity – once the gap is too narrow, he just can’t get through.  The bigger the gap he needs, the bigger the limitation.


-          Hinders Movement comments are above.

  That one is new to me.
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I was responding to Tech. But I think you did a better job.


I had it in the chart before but it was called Reduced Movement. I think Hinders Movement is more appropriate in this context.


Yes slower character's are less affected by this limitation But they're slow to begin with so I don't see that as a huge issue.

Faster character's (Higher Speed and/or Movement Rates) are more affected but then they are faster and will be able to travel faster (vs Slower Characters) even with this limitation and still gain the benefit of the power


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