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  • Shadow Shroud from Power Profiles

    I ran across this and I can't believe this power write up:

    SHADOW SHROUD
    You create an inky cloud of darkness, blocking out all light (and therefore vision) in the area. If you can only create the darkness in a radius around you, remove the Ranged modifier. Apply different Area modifiers for things like a lingering dark mist (Cloud Area) or a spreading “black light beam” (Cone Area).
    Shadow Shroud: Ranged Burst Area Visual Concealment 4 Attack • 16 points +4 points per +1 area distance rank
    Now, when I see Concealment (sight), area, attack, I see a bunch of people being forcefully turned invisible unless they make their resistance check. I do not see how this creates "darkness". Even if you interpret this as making the "area" invisible, that's not darkness because the area outside of the effect is still there and plainly visible. The main problem is people outside of the area can still see everything within the area (aside from those turned invisible against their will). They can still see things on the other side of the presumed "darkness". Concealment just doesn't work here.

    The only way to blind someone by RAW is Affliction. To me, this effect should be:

    Environment -5 visibility
    linked Affliction (impaired, disabled), Area, limited degree, limited: Sight Only, Quirk: Blindness ends if victim is removed from area of effect. Reaction (entering area of effect).

    The environment effect is there so the "darkness" actually takes up space and still hinders people who are unaffected by the affliction. Not sure if the Reaction part requires the Affliction to be sustained or not. Maybe use Instant Recovery instead of the quirk to save points if the GM is nice.

    Now, should there be additional degrees of the Environment power that allow for "total darkness"? Maybe, but that's a different discussion.

    Am I misinterpreting Shadow Shroud or Concealment for that matter? I can see a Descriptors argument, but not attached to Concealment.

  • #2
    Well, at first view I would agree with you, but it already states in the Visibility-Section of the Environment-Effect:
    For more significant obscuring of senses (via darkness, fog, etc.) use an Area Concealment Attack effect (see Concealment in this chapter).
    Following this lead we find
    Area: Concealment with Affects Others (previously) or Attack (immediately following) may have this extra, affecting everything in the area. To only affect some targets in the
    area, apply the Selective modifier as well. +1 cost per rank.
    So, everything (not just everyone) in the Area is concealed from everyone and since you cannot see the things in the Area (including the air), you would not be able to see through it.
    Last edited by Alresu; 14th November 2019, 01:11 AM. Reason: Formatting misstake
    GM-to-be who is new to M&M and Pen-and-Paper in generell and without a firm grasp of the english language. My apologies for questions and comments that sound stupider than you are used too.

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    • #3
      Yeah... 3E Obscure is an ugly hack. There's a reason that they offered the old rules back in one of the Power Profiles.
      [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

      [b]Current games:[/b]
      [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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      • #4
        I may stop playing the game over this. It is utterly stupid.

        Assuming it isn't utterly stupid, the construction shown is still not correct: If they are saying the "air" becomes invisible (isn't it invisible already?) then the power needs Affects Objects, doesn't it?

        Fuzzy, The power I listed above is from Power Profiles. Are you referring to something else in PP?


        Wouldn't it just be easier to make environment be able to do this without making concealment do stupid things? Extend the visibility penalties: -2, -5, -10, -20, -40 and say at -40, you get total darkness/silence/odorlessness. Of course, at 30 foot radius for 1 rank, this might be too cheap. Might need to shrink that to 15 or 6 foot radius to start. Light counters visibility at twice its rank, so you need light environment rank 3 to counter total darkness of visibility environment rank 5. Personal immunity is +1 rank.

        Hell, putting it under Illusion would be less onerous. And would reduce the area of effect to something more tolerable compared to environment.

        I've discovered a new house rule, I suppose.

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        • #5
          I might be suffering from thinking of Concealment as the specific effect Invisibility instead of just be a way to hide things. And yet, even knowing that, it still rubs me the wrong way. Need to do some mulling.

          Darkvision is my issue. Why is darkvision not written as "this is just flavor text for Penetrates Concealment (Visual)"?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jmucchiello View Post
            I may stop playing the game over this. It is utterly stupid.

            Assuming it isn't utterly stupid, the construction shown is still not correct: If they are saying the "air" becomes invisible (isn't it invisible already?) then the power needs Affects Objects, doesn't it?
            FWIW, they pretty much acknowledge that it's handwaved.
            Gamemasters can assume an Area Concealment Attack does not offer a resistance check, since successful resistance means everyone else gains concealment!
            And people debated it back in the day. Honestly, I think Green Ronin should have just admitted that Obscure didn't fit perfectly in their approach to powers building blocks.

            Fuzzy, The power I listed above is from Power Profiles. Are you referring to something else in PP?
            In the compiled Power Profiles, revised Obscure shows up under Sensory Power Profiles.
            Although the ability to block out one or more senses in an area is normally handled as a Concealment Attack in Mutants & Masterminds, Third Edition, earlier editions of the game dealt with it as a separate effect. For Gamemasters who prefer this option, consider the following: Obscure is a sensory effect requiring a standard action, ranged, and sustained. Cost is based on the senses affected, similar to Illusion: A single sense for 1 point per rank, two senses for 2 points per rank, and so forth, with visual senses costing double (2 points per rank) and 5 points per rank affecting all sense types. Obscure affects a default area with a 30 foot radius (distance rank 0). Each additional rank increases the distance rank of the area by 1. So Obscure 10 has a radius of 2 miles, while Obscure 20 has a radius of 2,000 miles!
            This makes the effect much cheaper. And indeed, uses ranks in much the same way as Environment Control.

            Wouldn't it just be easier to make environment be able to do this without making concealment do stupid things? Extend the visibility penalties: -2, -5, -10, -20, -40 and say at -40, you get total darkness/silence/odorlessness. Of course, at 30 foot radius for 1 rank, this might be too cheap. Might need to shrink that to 15 or 6 foot radius to start. Light counters visibility at twice its rank, so you need light environment rank 3 to counter total darkness of visibility environment rank 5. Personal immunity is +1 rank.

            Hell, putting it under Illusion would be less onerous. And would reduce the area of effect to something more tolerable compared to environment.

            I've discovered a new house rule, I suppose.
            Another suggestion made back in the day was using Create with a custom +0 Extra that has it permanent insubstantial (but still breaking line of sight) although that comes out too cheap, and too readily controllable, since you effectively get Shapeable with large ranks.
            [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

            [b]Current games:[/b]
            [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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            • #7
              Create is weird because the obscurity has a toughness of power rank. It and Illusion also suffer from vanishingly small size compared to Concealmen w/Area or Environment. Create and Illusion use the volume column of the size chart and it is ridiculously out of step with the distance chart. Area gives you a 30 foot radius that doubles per rank. Volume gives you a lunchbox that doubles by rank reverse cubicly. At 20 ranks a 1,000,000 cu ft volume is a cube 30 meters on a side (or so). At 20 ranks, area gets you a sphere of 4000 miles radius.

              I almost like the Obscure power in your "the day" link above. But the area of effect is still too big for my sensibilities. It should be rank - 3 on the size chart at a minimum. So you get a 3-foot diameter circle to start with and then you can double it up from there.

              The area of effect is too big in the power profile version as well. It should have started at rank - 2 or rank - 3 like I say above.

              I find the new power is needed. The devil is in the details. I've had this disconnect before. Kenson seems to have a much lighter trigger on his handwavium than some people (like myself) would prefer. Power Profiles displays this in other places, too.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jmucchiello View Post
                I find the new power is needed. The devil is in the details. I've had this disconnect before. Kenson seems to have a much lighter trigger on his handwavium than some people (like myself) would prefer. Power Profiles displays this in other places, too.
                I'm still a bit hazy on how much he was involved with 3E. At the time, Icons was coming out, and it seemed like he was less and less involved with the company. The Power Profiles was written by other contractors (which is pretty evident in how the same power is often implemented in different ways in different Profiles and even with different costs for the same effects).
                [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

                [b]Current games:[/b]
                [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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