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So this topic spun this question off for me. If a power is taken with a Limited Power: Not versus XXX or Only works on XXX, are those limitations based on only the perceptions of the character who has the power? So to use Hugh's example, if it is Only Versus Women, would a passing (ie, undetectable to the character via normal senses) drag queen be affected? Or a more explicit example: Only affects people who are color blind. Would the player need a detect for those who are color blind or is the limitation sufficient?

 

- E

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For purposes of this answer I am ignoring the specifics of the thread you linked to, and just answering the question as you put it here. I don't believe I've addressed this issue in detail before, but if I have I will come back and edit this answer as necessary once I find the first text.

 

For purposes of this discussion I will use as an example a spell:  RKA 4d6, Only Works Against Orcs. (I’ll call this Orc-Killer.)

 

The issue of what a Limitation (or other game element, or in some cases Adjustment Powers, see 6E1 135, 137-38) allows a character to “perceive” is one best left to common sense, in some cases dramatic sense, as well as the GM’s sense of game balance in his campaign. The issue with Orc-Killer is, what can a character determine before he uses it, and then when he uses it?

 

1. Of course, the power as written up provides no sensory capabilities whatsoever. It doesn’t include a Linked Sense Orcs ability, or Images (Focus glows only in the presence of Orcs), or any other thing of the sort. (A character could buy those, of course, but for this discussion let’s assume he doesn’t.) So if the question is, what does Orc-Killer let the character directly perceive, the answer is:  nothing at all.

 

2. But that’s not the end of the question. The Limitation on the spell makes it only work against Orcs, but it doesn’t say characters can only cast it on Orcs. So a character who suspects that there’s an orc present could cast the spell on him, and if he drops dead (or at least suffers agonizing pain), then by definition he’s an Orc. We can think of this as the spell have a sort of “indirect” perceptory effect.

 

To put it another way, having Orc-Killer doesn’t allow a character to detect who’s an Orc and who’s not just by looking at them. He has to use the power on a suspected Orc and determine from what happens whether the target’s an Orc or not.

I think that’s about as far as the game should go in analyzing this issue (though someone may come up with another question to prove me wrong ;) ). Beyond this, the GM’s judgment will have to suffice.

 

 

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