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Ken Filewood

How do I make a translucent cloud that affects both those in and outside the cloud?

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I lack experience with 6E and I'm having trouble making a dust cloud power for a supers game.  Probably there is a standard solution that I am not seeing, so if someone could help me discover it, that would be great.

 

What I want is a power to represent a billowing haze of electrostatic dust that obscures - without completely blotting out - vision, radio waves etc. for a turn or two before dispersing naturally.  A bit like a less than 100% obscuring smoke bomb.

 

The part I am having trouble is that the cloud is not completely opaque to the affected senses; although it affects people trying to see into or through the area, it doesn't completely block senses for anyone involved.  Ideally the degree of obscuring would depend on how many metres of cloud you are trying to see through.  

 

So it's not Darkness, but something else?  

 

Then I was thinking it should be Change Environment area effect with a -X PER roll and -Y OCV/DCV for certain sense groups.  But the dust should  affect the ability of those OUTSIDE the area to see and/or shoot into or through it just as much as a person inside (without affecting their generally ability to defend themselves).  The dust isn't getting in the vicims' eyes or making them sneeze or anything, it's clouding up the air and absorbing/ diffusing EMR.

 

Am I right in thinking that Change Environment will only affect people inside the area?

 

What should I be using to get the symmetrical obscuration effect?

 

Ideally this power is not limited by charges, but the user pays a 1-off END cost to launch the power, which then hangs around for a turn or two before switching itself off.  So I'm thinking this will involve a Time Limit condition, but I'm not sure.

 

Finally, in the ideal scenario, the cloud can be dispersed before its time is up by a strong breeze.  Is there a way I can do this without having to model an industrial fan as an ad hoc Dispel or Drain power?  Or is that the easiest way to handle it?

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Ok a couple of points. CE affects those outside looking through the area, think fog. You can buy limited duration for the power. I would look to see if CE is instant or Constant. If instant then a continuing charge of a turn or two would be fine. If CE is constant then a limit on time is fine. Lastly for the wind, just use dispersed by strong wind -1/4 custom limitation.

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Yeah, ninja-bear has it nailed.  I always think of the penalties of CE relating to anyone interacting with that area.  This is almost always the person inside the area but the change you describe could just as easily affect those outside targetting people inside as well.

 

You would be adding bureaucracy to your game if you want increased penalties depending on how many metres but that is really my only argument against it - buy the CE with the highest possible penalty to those interacting and limit it with (reduced proportiionally on how many metres of cloud you are firing through (I would possibly be open to giving up to a -1 limitation on that basis).

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3 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Ok a couple of points. CE affects those outside looking through the area, think fog. You can buy limited duration for the power. I would look to see if CE is instant or Constant. If instant then a continuing charge of a turn or two would be fine. If CE is constant then a limit on time is fine. Lastly for the wind, just use dispersed by strong wind -1/4 custom limitation.

 

2 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

Yeah, ninja-bear has it nailed.  I always think of the penalties of CE relating to anyone interacting with that area.  This is almost always the person inside the area but the change you describe could just as easily affect those outside targetting people inside as well.

 

You would be adding bureaucracy to your game if you want increased penalties depending on how many metres but that is really my only argument against it - buy the CE with the highest possible penalty to those interacting and limit it with (reduced proportiionally on how many metres of cloud you are firing through (I would possibly be open to giving up to a -1 limitation on that basis).

Thanks guys, much appreciated!

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Why would you not just use Darkness with a Limiter, say -1, for Partial Effect? Then apply the modifer-per-hex and duration however you've decided to do it anyway. I ask not because I think the suggestion above is wrong, but choosing the best right way seems to be the trick to grokking Hero System and I'd like to know the decision process for why Change Environment is better for the purpose.

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48 minutes ago, dialNforNinja said:

Why would you not just use Darkness with a Limiter, say -1, for Partial Effect? Then apply the modifer-per-hex and duration however you've decided to do it anyway. I ask not because I think the suggestion above is wrong, but choosing the best right way seems to be the trick to grokking Hero System and I'd like to know the decision process for why Change Environment is better for the purpose.

 

My personal thought as to using something other than Darkness with a Limitation is that there's no mechanic there to specify the penalty to the PER relative to the Limitation.  For example, should a -4 PER be a -1, or a -1/2 Limitation? 

 

Personally, if it was just the PER roll being modified, I'd suggest Images (kind of like an anti-Light effect) AoE.  But if you're also going to modify OCV / DCV, then yeah, I'd go with CE.

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Fighting blind has a default penalty that you'd use with Darkness, so I figured you'd set it up as fractions of that per increment, or half outright if doing it the reduced-bookkeeping way. My personal inclination would be to take whatever the effect radius is and divide that by two, so there would be effectively four bands if you were looking through it, the outside where you have 1/4 the penalty, the near inside with 1/2 the penalty, the far inside with 3/4, and beyond that total concealment. This gives a reasonably graduated effect without lots of gnarly math and a huge table to check against. Three bands would also be effective enough mechanically but halves and quarters tend to be more intuitive than thirds. I guess you could do 25%-50%-100% but that would probably be a smaller Limiter, -3/4 or -1/2.

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