No announcement yet.

Create Object Volume Question

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Create Object Volume Question

    So I'm trying to create a traditional force field power, a-la Invisible Woman.

    I notice that if you use the most straightforward rules for Create Object you can't really get bigger than a 10x10x10 cube (i.e. 1000 ft^3) which is kinda dinky in comic book terms. I would wager that this is probably because the game designers just thought 1000 cubic feet sounded big without actually thinking about the corresponding linear dimensions. (Let's all have a sad moment of silence for the lost mathematical fluency in our country.)

    Anyhoo.... Is this legal for a PL 10 game?

    Create Force Object 30, Flaw: Proportional

    If you carefully read the Proportional flaw description (and it seems like less of a flaw and more like a straight modifier), it seems like you get to divide up the 30 create ranks into volume ranks and toughness ranks. So are 30 ranks legal at PL 10 provided I never spend more than 10 of them on toughness for the resulting force field? This seems to be the only way to get sufficiently big comic-book sized force fields.

    Alternatively can we simply create an Increased Volume Extra (there seems to be something similar for every other measurement).

    Note: I do not wish to go the Protection effect with Area modifier route because I want the capacity to make and shape actual surfaces, as exemplified by Marvel's Invisible Woman.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Mathlete; 11-30-2014, 11:08 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Create Object Volume Question

    I notice that if you use the most straightforward rules for Create Object you can't really get bigger than a 10x10x10 cube (i.e. 1000 ft^3) which is kinda dinky in comic book terms.
    By default, you can create an object with a maximum Volume Rank equal to your Effect Rank and Toughness equal to your Effect Rank.

    1,000 cu. ft. is merely Volume Rank 10; easily within the capabilities of a PL8-12 hero if you Toughness-shift them just a tad.

    That'll give you a half-sphere with a 15' radius (using close-enough-to-game-with math). Not too shabby.

    With the Proportional Extra, you can create an object with a maximum Volume Rank and Toughness equal to your Effect Rank. Subject to your PL's Toughness Cap. So with Rank 30 Create, you could indeed go with Toughness 10/Volume 20 if you wanted to...

    Or Toughness 1/Volume 29. Which is enough to enclose Mt. Everest in a forcefield.

    Or Toughness 0/Volume 30, which ain't much of a barrier but will cover the entire state of California if you made it one dimensional...

    What I would suggest, rather than going to the extremes of a Rank 30 Effect, would be to go with something in the Rank 10-12 range. Use the Proportional and Impervious Extras to really ramp up the protection offered and get clever with your shapes. Don't just use cubes! Use spheres, domes, cylinders, and flat screens.

    1,000 cubic feet covers a lot of space if you make it 1/1,000th of an inch thick but make the width and length as broad as possible.


    • #3
      Re: Create Object Volume Question

      Note that your Create effect (assuming it can't dodge, like it's a wall or something...) can have a maximum Toughness of PLx2.

      You can buy extra Create ranks with the -1 limitation: Only for added volume.

      Note that it is somewhat unclear what size of force field you can make with any given Create power. Create only specifies volume. What is the volume of an infinitely thin 2-dimensional wall? Now what happens when you wrap that wall around something... do you have to count the (empty) interior volume, or is it still just the (zero) volume of the wall itself that counts? I generally resolve this by assuming that the wall must count as being at least 1" thick... this generally means that you can make a force field that covers a very large area if you want to. I find very useful for such calculations.


      • #4
        Re: Create Object Volume Question

        I agree with Madwand on the minimum size. More accurately (or more vaguely if you think about it) I use the distance rank -7 thickness ("about one inch") that is used for material Toughness in the Damage section, while rank -4 is about a foot thick. Since ranks increases are approximate doublings and you're a Mathlete, you should be able to make all kinds of interesting shortcuts with that.

        Create 10 = 1000 cubic feet, most easily imagined as a 10' cube, could be a long pole about 1' wide and 1000' long like a massive caber, or like a cable about 1" thick and roughly 20 miles long. With Precise you could bend that cable so that it wrote your name in cursive big enough to see on Google Maps. It could also be a wall or platform 1' thick and 1000 square feet on its face (a bit over 30' wide for a roughly square or circular shape), or about 1" thick and around 10,000 square feet, about 100' wide. With Precise you could probably bend that into a 3-bedroom 2-bath ranch house.
        My old [URL=""]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
        My current character thread: [URL=""]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL=""]
        I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL=""]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL=""]your original concept[/URL]!


        • #5
          Re: Create Object Volume Question

          The "Material Toughness" rules (under "Damaging Objects" in Ch. 8) make it clear that listed Toughness is for "about an inch" of thickness. Therefore, to convert volume in cubic feet to surface area in square feet, you multiply by 12. For example, rank 5 is 15 cft.; multiply it by 12 to get 180 sft. (The volume remains the same.)

          If it helps, I have a table on my fansite (link in sig) that does all the math already, including how big of a dome or sphere you can create per rank. Scroll down to the "Force Wall" example power.
          [B][URL=""]My Collection of M&M (3E) House Rules[/URL][/B]
          Including . . .[LIST][*]Combat "Boosts," Investigation Montages, and more[*]New Powers, Advantages, and Gear[*]Worked Examples and Rules Clarifications[/LIST]