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Summon question

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The way my group uses  an obvious focus with an indirect power is that  an observer will know something is happening with the Helm, but will not know exactly what the effect is until  it manifests.. The GM might insist on an intelligence roll for someone to know an indirect power is coming from  the helmet.  Occasionally, hiding behind something might hide the source, but if used to often that tactic violates the rule that a disadvantage must give a disadvantage. That is a GM call.

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11 hours ago, Thumper said:

I believe the quoted statement is assuming an Obvious power that anyone can see.  If the character was using an Inobvious Power, then it would only be clear that the power  comes from the Focus to characters who can sense the use of the Inobvious Power.  Characters who cannot sense the Power cannot tell that the power comes from the Focus because they cannot tell a Power has been used at all.  The Obvious Focus limitation does not grant other characters extraordinary senses they don't possess.

 

First, the quoted statement says it's clear that "the power", not "any Obvious power or any power the viewer can perceive" comes from the object.

 

Second, read the description of the magic ring under each of Obvious and Inobvious.  The comparison makes it pretty clear that Obvious means "the object is clearly doing something when its power is used".  A magic ring which glows whenever its power is used is obvious.  One which sits quietly on a finger, doing nothing to attract attention to itself, is inobvious.  Why would a helmet that just sits on the wearer's head while its magical powers are used be any less inobvious?

 

An item detectable only by a search or an unsual sense (infrared being the example in the book) is noted to be inobvious. 

 

I don't think a Helm of Telepathy that is imperceptible in use unless one has special senses meets the criteria that:

 

opponents know where the power comes from and can attempt to disable the Focus or take it away.

 

If this were intended to apply only where the power itself is Obvious, that would be stated explicitly.  The rules discussions around Invisibility further support the view that Obvious foci remain Obvious.

 

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1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

First, the quoted statement says it's clear that "the power", not "any Obvious power or any power the viewer can perceive" comes from the object.

That strikes me as an oversight.  It's certainly not an explicit statement that Inobvious powers become Perceptible when bought through a Focus, a claim I can't find anywhere in the books.  If that's the case, then Obvious should be worth a greater limitation when applied to Inobvious powers.

 

Also, your theory has a significant problem in that it means Steve Long doesn't know how to write up Champions characters.  Look at all these completely useless powers taken from the published books:

  • Cornelius Liefield's Invisibility Potion: Invisibility to Sight and Mystical Sense Groups, Trigger (open or smash bottle; +¼), Usable By Other (+¼); OAF Fragile (potion and bottle; -1¼), 2 Continuing Charges lasting 1 Minute each (stopped by striking user with a magical attack; -¾). Total Cost: 15 points.
  • Eclipse's Shadow Stealth: Invisibility to Sight Group, No Fringe 0 Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½); OIF (Shadow Crown, -½), Only In Darkness/Shadows (-¼) Total cost: 26 points.
  • Ultrasonique's Stealth Enhancer: Invisibility to Hearing Group; OIF (-½). Total cost: 7 points.
  • Utility's Cloaking Mesh: Invisibility to Sight Group, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½); OIF (-½). Total cost: 20 points.

If you're correct, then buying Invisibility through an Obvious Focus is self-defeating, because "opponents know where the power comes from and can attempt to disable the Focus or take it away."  Which apparently means that if you look at Utility while he's using his cloaking mesh, you can -- without making a Perception roll -- know where he is and target him with attacks.  What an incredible waste of 20 points.  How silly of Steve to write it up like that.

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Let's start with

 and

 

9 hours ago, Thumper said:

That strikes me as an oversight.  It's certainly not an explicit statement that Inobvious powers become Perceptible when bought through a Focus, a claim I can't find anywhere in the books.

 

It is also not an explicit statement in the books that an Obvious focus which provides an Inobvious power would lose its Obviousness.  That seems a much greater stretch than "it does not specifically say that, when I have an Obvious focus, it can be perceived by someone who could not perceive the power itself if it were not limited with a Focus".

 

9 hours ago, Thumper said:

 If that's the case, then Obvious should be worth a greater limitation when applied to Inobvious powers.

 

I would suggest that your version reduces the limitation if the power itself is Inobvious.  Obvious is a greater limitation because everyone immediately knows that the object in question should be removed from the character.  Not that the system is perfect.  Charges should be a higher limitation if the power was 0 END to begin with, but it isn't.

 

Physical Manifestation and Restrainable both make Inobvious powers Obvious (6e v1 p126).

 

9 hours ago, Thumper said:

Cornelius Liefield's Invisibility Potion: Invisibility to Sight and Mystical Sense Groups, Trigger (open or smash bottle; +¼), Usable By Other (+¼); OAF Fragile (potion and bottle; -1¼), 2 Continuing Charges lasting 1 Minute each (stopped by striking user with a magical attack; -¾). Total Cost: 15 points.

 

Seems to me that the potion is visible and obvious.  Once the character is invisible, however, there is now a Continuing Charge running and the potion bottle can be dropped.

 

9 hours ago, Thumper said:
  • Eclipse's Shadow Stealth: Invisibility to Sight Group, No Fringe 0 Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½); OIF (Shadow Crown, -½), Only In Darkness/Shadows (-¼) Total cost: 26 points
  • Utility's Cloaking Mesh: Invisibility to Sight Group, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½); OIF (-½). Total cost: 20 points.

 

Seems like these ones are useless - a crown or mesh floating in the air.  I am thinking I would change them to IIF.  I also suspect they reflect characters who have been updated from prior editions with little attention paid to the builds.

 

9 hours ago, Thumper said:
  • Ultrasonique's Stealth Enhancer: Invisibility to Hearing Group; OIF (-½). Total cost: 7 points.

 

Her Stealth Enhancer can certainly be perceived by anyone looking at her.  That does not make her easier to hear, though.

 

 

 

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Oh, we can also look at 6e V1 p 241, in respect of Invisibility provided by a Focus, which states:

 

Focus: If a character has an Obvious Focus that provides him with Invisibility, the Invisibility doesn’t cover the Focus. Only Inobvious Foci are covered by the Invisibility they generate.

 

Is that explicit enough for you?

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On 8/12/2019 at 1:24 PM, Thumper said:

I would think that an Obvious focus that generated an Inobvious power would only Obvious to someone capable of sensing the Inobvious power.  Consider the following scenario involving four people, Allen, Bob, Charles and Dave, standing in a room:

  • Allen is wearing a Helm of Telepathy, an OIF that grants Telepathy, and is using his Telepathy to read Bob's mind.
  • Bob is the target of Allen's Telepathy attack.
  • Charles possess the Mental Awareness enhanced sense.
  • Dave is an ordinary human with no enhanced senses.

In such a scenario:

  • Bob, as the subject of the attack, would be aware that Allen was attempting to read his mind, and that the power originated from the Helm of Telepathy.
  • Charles would be aware that Allen was targeting Bob with a Mental Power, and that the source of the power was the Helm of Telepathy.
  • Dave would be unaware that Allen was attacking Bob or that the Helm of Telepathy provided Allen with powers.

 

In the case of the scenario described above, one of two things should happen:

 

EITHER, 1) the Limitation on the Helm should be Inobvious, not Obvious, Focus,

OR, 2) Dave is NOT aware Allen is attacking Bob, but IS in fact aware that the Helm is doing SOMETHING strange.

 

23 hours ago, Thumper said:

 

 

The Obvious Focus limitation does not grant other characters extraordinary senses they don't possess.

 

You are correct that the Obvious Focus Limitation does not grant other characters extraordinary senses. Then again, it doesn't need to.

 

23 hours ago, Thumper said:

Unless the rules explicitly state otherwise, Inobvious Powers generated by Obvious Foci remain Inobvious and cannot be perceived by characters who lack the appropriate senses, and thus a character cannot determine that a power they cannot see was generated by a Foci.

 

First point: Inobvious Powers generated by Obvious Foci remain inobvious - TRUE
Second point: A character cannot determine that a power they cannot see was generated by a Focus - FALSE.

 

10 hours ago, Thumper said:

It's certainly not an explicit statement that Inobvious powers become Perceptible when bought through a Focus, a claim I can't find anywhere in the books.

 

You probably can't find that statement, I won't deny it. But you CAN find a statement that an Obvious Focus is obvious.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I doubt you'll find a palindromedary in any of the Hero books, but you'll find them in my taglines.

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40 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

It is also not an explicit statement in the books that an Obvious focus which provides an Inobvious power would lose its Obviousness.

That's true, but since absolutely no one is arguing that point, it's also irrelevant.

Let's look at what Steve said in the first post you cited:

Quote

As stated on 6E1 376:  “If a Focus is Obvious, it’s clear to anyone looking at the character that the power comes from the Focus — no PER Roll is necessary.” As you can see (no pun intended ;) ), there’s no mention of whether the Obvious Focus is currently in use. However, the GM might rule that until the Obvious Focus is used, all a character can perceive is that it is an Obvious Focus. At best he can only guess at what powers the Obvious Focus might have, based on logic, prior knowledge, and other factors. But the fact that it is an Obvious Focus is plain to everyone who can see it.

 

 

spacer.png

Helm of Telepathy

A character wearing a Helm of Telepathy is obviously wearing a focus. That makes sense if you look at a Helm of Telepathy. That is very obviously some sort of magical helmet.  As a GM, I would assume that anyone who saw a character walking around with that on their head would assume it was magical.  Characters with KS: Magical Items or similar skills would have a chance to roll to identify it from sight alone, but most characters wouldn't have any idea what it does until they saw it in use.

 

The Power granted by the Helm of Telepathy, i.e. Telepathy, is both separate from the Focus and Inobvious.  It does not become Obvious because the Focus is Obvious, because the Focus is Obvious whether it is in use or not.  The "Obviousness" of the Focus is a modifier on the Focus, not on the Power.  Only characters who can perceive the power being used can identify the Focus as the source of the power, because you cannot know the source of a Power that you don't know is being used.  This doesn't contradict the claim that it's "clear to anyone looking at the character that the power comes from the Focus," as long as we understand that "looking" here means "perceiving with a sense capable of perceiving the use of the power," and not explicitly with Normal Sight. 

 

It would be clear to a character with Mental Awareness "looking" at the user of a Helm of Telepathy that they are using a Mental Power and who they are targeting.  It would not be clear to a character without Mental Awareness that the user of a Helm of Telepathy is doing anything at all.  It would be clear to both that the Helm of Telepathy is some kind of Focus ("magic item").

 

A reasonable analogy would be to consider the following power:

  • Silenced Pistol:  RKA 1d6, Invisible to Hearing Group (+1/2); OAF (-1), 8 Charges (-1/2) Total cost: 9 points

In this scenario:

  • Allen attacks Bob, a Noteworthy Normal, with a Silenced Pistol from Surprise and hits the Head location for maximum damage,  dealing 58 STUN and 12 BODY and leaving Bob Unconscious, Stunned and Dying.
  • Charles, an ordinary human with no enhanced senses, is a bystander to the crime.
  • Dave, an ordinary human with no enhanced senses and Physical Complication: Blind (All the Time, Fully), is a bystander to the crime.

Charles can see the power being used but cannot hear the power.  Assuming he is looking towards Allen, he perceives the power and identifies the Focus as the source of the power.  Dave cannot see or hear the power. He has no means of perceiving the power has been used and does not know that Bob has been shot, and thus cannot identify the Focus by the use of the power.  Is it your contention that Dave magically gains the ability of sight because Allen used an Obvious Focus, and thus can see the bullet?

 

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2 hours ago, Lucius said:

EITHER, 1) the Limitation on the Helm should be Inobvious, not Obvious, Focus,

OR, 2) Dave is NOT aware Allen is attacking Bob, but IS in fact aware that the Helm is doing SOMETHING strange.

Or option 3) Dave is not aware Allen is attacking Bob but is aware that the Helm IS something strange.

 

If Bob were to say "Allen is reading my mind!"  then it would be reasonable for Dave to conclude Allen was using the Helm to do it.

If Dave had captured Allen with the intent to imprison him, it would be reasonable for Dave to take the Helm away, regardless of whether he knows what it does or not -- it's obvious that it does something.

 

What if instead of a Helm of Telepathy, it was a Helm of Danger Sense?  Danger Sense is always in use.  Would a character with such a Helm be incapable of benefiting from Stealth?  What if they were standing in a field of Darkness (Sight Group)?

 

 

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God I really hate these arguments.  I can't even read the entirety of the thread without wanting to yell at people.

 

This is why every limitation I ever put on a character is just a variety of Limited Power.  I don't take Focus of any kind.  I take "Limited Power: Kinda like Focus but it works like this instead -- blah blah blah".  Or at least I'm going to treat it that way if I ever get into a discussion on this board again.

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13 hours ago, Lucius said:

2) Dave is NOT aware Allen is attacking Bob, but IS in fact aware that the Helm is doing SOMETHING strange.

This.

 

I don't like the idea that the helm looks magical even if it isn't doing anything. But, if Allen is actually using the power, it ought to glow (or something) making it, um, obvious, that he's doing something and it's happening through the helm. But, there's no "energy beam" (or some such) that goes from the helm to Bob so the power effect is still invisible per a Mental Power. Obvious focus with invisible power effect.

 

On the other hand, I guess a case could be made that part of the limitation of being an Obvious focus is that it makes the power(s) that require it also obvious (even if they normally wouldn't be). But, that seems too limiting to me, especially if there are a lot of powers that use the focus.

 

If I were GM, I would use the former and not the latter. YMMV of course.

 

Lee

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22 hours ago, Lee said:

I don't like the idea that the helm looks magical even if it isn't doing anything. But, if Allen is actually using the power, it ought to glow (or something) making it, um, obvious, that he's doing something and it's happening through the helm. But, there's no "energy beam" (or some such) that goes from the helm to Bob so the power effect is still invisible per a Mental Power. Obvious focus with invisible power effect.

 

This is also consistent with the "magical ring" examples in the Focus w/u.  To take this to our Summoning Focus, it is Obvious, so it must be Obvious in its usage.  Perhaps it is a wand he must wave about, or a ring which glows when he summons something, but it must be Obvious, not just look unusual.

 

Summon is a Standard power - I did not see a standard Perceptibility.  It does not use an Attack roll, but it does require a full phase.  Anyone find any clear rule on the default perceptibility of Summon?  [Found it - inobvious based on the discussion on 6e v1 p 125]

 

I would not grant a normally visible power less visibility because it is Indirect or has Range. 

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Just now, Hugh Neilson said:

This is also consistent with the "magical ring" examples in the Focus w/u.  To take this to our Summoning Focus, it is Obvious, so it must be Obvious in its usage.  Perhaps it is a wand he must wave about, or a ring which glows when he summons something, but it must be Obvious, not just look unusual.

Of course, just to muddy the waters, there's also foci that are Obvious because their form clearly indicates what they do.  A mundane sword doesn't glow or make fancy noises when you wave it around or any of that, it's Obvious for the entirely different reason of always looking like a sword. 

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12 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Of course, just to muddy the waters, there's also foci that are Obvious because their form clearly indicates what they do.  A mundane sword doesn't glow or make fancy noises when you wave it around or any of that, it's Obvious for the entirely different reason of always looking like a sword. 

 

Sure.  Armor is Obviously protective, and a helmet which provides protection to the head Obviously provides such protection.  It does not Obviously provide mind reading abilities.  Similarly, if that Sword provided protection, as well as being a weapon, it would need some means to Obviously provide such protection in order to be an Obvious focus of such protection.

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21 hours ago, Thumper said:

 

What if instead of a Helm of Telepathy, it was a Helm of Danger Sense?  Danger Sense is always in use.  Would a character with such a Helm be incapable of benefiting from Stealth?  What if they were standing in a field of Darkness (Sight Group)?

 

 

 

 

Stealth from Champions Complete states "using Powers while trying to be Stealthy is more difficult. Using an Obvious Power incurs a Stealth Roll penalty of -1 per 10 Active Points; using an Inobvious Power is at -1 Stealth per 20 Active Points"

 

6E1 376 as has been quoted before in the discussion states  “If a Focus is Obvious, it’s clear to anyone looking at the character that the power comes from the Focus — no PER Roll is necessary.”

 

The way I rule it is that if you've successfully made your Stealth roll, no characters are looking at you or your Focus...when you are successfully Stealthed, people aren't seeing you.

 

However, if you flub your Stealth roll, they see you plus the Focus and can tell that the Focus is doing something when you use it.

 

If you're standing in the dark so that you or your Focus can't be seen, they can't detect the Focus with their sight even if the Focus is obvious. If you're standing behind a wall while using your focus, they can't see through the wall to see the focus (no matter whether the wall is made of brick or is an opaque force wall).

 

If the character is always going to be standing in a Darkness field or behind an opaque force wall so that people can't see the Obvious Focus, it's the GM's responsibility to not let it be written up as an Obvious Focus.

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12 hours ago, archer said:

If you're standing in the dark so that you or your Focus can't be seen, they can't detect the Focus with their sight even if the Focus is obvious. If you're standing behind a wall while using your focus, they can't see through the wall to see the focus (no matter whether the wall is made of brick or is an opaque force wall).

 

If the character is always going to be standing in a Darkness field or behind an opaque force wall so that people can't see the Obvious Focus, it's the GM's responsibility to not let it be written up as an Obvious Focus.

 

I'd say few characters will always be in darkness, or behind an opaque force wall, and if they are, they likely paid significant points to be undetectable by certain senses without being blocked themselves.  There will clearly be characters in-game who can detect the character, or he will be unthreatened at any time, and the focus will be obvious to them.

 

To the question of an OAF which grants Danger Sense, yes, it would always be perceptible.  My question to the player would be "what does the focus do to make itself so Obvious?".  Normally, it is Obvious to sight but, just as the GM might permit Sight not to be one of the Sense Groups by which an Obvious power is perceivable, a similar ruling could be made for a specific Focus.  Just as the power ruling should not be a dodge to get IPE for free, the Focus should not get downgraded to Inobvious while benefiting from the point savings of an Obvious focus.  Maybe that OAF Danger Sense helmet is easily perceived by Hearing ("Danger, Will Robinson - DANGER!"), and that Telepathy helm whispers the thoughts it accesses such that it emits an easily heard murmuring whenever it is in use.

 

It must be Obvious.  We have to define what is sufficiently Obvious.

 

Oh, and Summon should be Inobvious by default, as it is a power which does not "directly affect another character".  So, with that Ranged Summoning (and no Obvious focus), it should be detectable, but may require a PER roll in some cases.

 

HOW DID WE MISS

 

Quote

A Power bought with the Focus Limitation (6E1 376) is governed by the rules for the Obviousness of Foci. Even an Inobvious Power becomes Obvious if it’s generated by an Obvious Focus.

 

That seems pretty explicit to me, although it does not specifically address an Invisible power with an Obvious focus.  There, it seems reasonable to require it be Obvious the focus is doing something, but not so Obvious precisely what that "something" is.  As Summon is not invisible, that clarifies the issue for that power.  OAF for Summon = Summon becomes Obvious.

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