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AREA Extra volumes

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  • AREA Extra volumes

    A small chart:

    BURST: A sphere 30' radius; volume = 113097 cu ft, half that on level surface (56548.5 cu ft)
    CLOUD: A sphere 15' radius; volume = 14137.2 cu ft, half that on level surface (14137.2 cu ft)
    CONE: A cone 60' long, high, and wide; volume = 56548.7 cu ft, half that on level surface (28274.3 cu ft)
    CYLINDER: A cylinder 30' radius, 30' high; volume = 84823 cu ft
    LINE: 6' wide, 30' long, presumably 6' high; volume = 1080 cu ft
    PERCEPTION: incalculable
    SHAPEABLE: 30 cu ft (rank 5 volume)

    Is the utility of a line really 52 times that of a burst or 26 times that of a cone (both on level surfaces)?
    Is the utility of shapeable really 36 times that of a line?

    I've always thought the area volumes were a bit uneven but doing the calculations makes it seem even more "unfair".

    Given that cones are 60 ft long, shouldn't lines be at least 120 ft long? (4320 cu ft)

    Shapeable has always been problematic. It should have been something like 10 6'x6'x6' contiguous cubes. (2160 cu ft) Move it up to rank 11 volume at least (2000 cu ft)

    Cut burst down to 15' radius. Eliminate cloud and create a lingering extra for +1 ppr.

    Cones would have 30' diameter and length of 30'. (7068.58 cu ft)

    Cylinders would be 15' diameter and 15' tall (10602.9 cu ft)

    Make Perception a +2 PPR extra? Maybe?

    Don't know. Don't think there's a clean fix that doesn't require rethinking the distance/volume chart. The area lengths are all based on the distance chart.


  • #2
    One of the other factors to consider is not so much volume, as collateral damage. Lines don't provide as much volume, but they do so in a very controlled manner, which makes it easier to target villains and not allies or the Institute for Orphaned Kittens and Retired Religious. Burst Areas and Cone Areas are more difficult to be precise. Selective, of course, eliminates a lot of those issues, although by RAW, you have to know who not to hit (although, for something psychic, it makes more sense that you'd have to decide who to hit. Again, 2E had rules for that, which also covered whether Concealment or Cover blocked the Area attack).

    That said, I think some of the problem is a combination of them trying to hew to the distance/volume chart, and eliminating the complicated rules 2E had for the volume scaling to the power's rank, and buying Power Feats to increase or decrease the size of it. Totally in agreement that Shapeable worked better as sets of contiguous cubes to allow you to sort of walk the area around in a reasonable way. As it stands, it's either overpowered (nearly infinite length with an infinitesimal cross-section that only intersects the squares you really want) or underpowered (if you assume everyone is in a 5 ft x 5 ft x 5 ft cube, you can't even affect one person, although I know GR suggested in one of the books a volume that made 6 targets near each other feasible). Based on the other measurements, and 2E ranks, it ought to be 6 5x5x5 cubes.

    Perception is another odd one for collateral damage. By default, it will get everyone in the area, which is often fine for Villainous sorts who don't mind if the residents of the nearby apartment are now tearing into each other after getting hit with a Maddening Shout. And it is also a bit weird since it depends on the other people being able to perceive it, which means a higher Perception could make you more vulnerable. And it is already sort of a +2 extra, albeit also carrying a -1 Flaw for being sense-dependent.

    The effect works on anyone able to perceive the target point with a particular sense, chosen when you apply this extra, like a Sense-Dependent effect (see the Sense-Dependent modifier). Targets get a Dodge resistance check, as usual, but if the check is successful suffer no effect (rather than half). Concealment that prevents a target from perceiving the effect also blocks it. This modifier includes the Sense-Dependent flaw (see Flaws) so it cannot be applied again. If it is applied to an already Sense-Dependent effect, it costs 2 points per rank rather than 1.
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    • #3
      Actually, Perception is truly weird because it isn't your perception it's the target's perception. Someone with Remote Seeing might be affected by your power without your knowledge. They need to make a Dodge roll to not perceive you. Shouldn't there be an Area (My Perception), too?

      But as I said, is the reduced collateral damage of a line versus a cone really worth a 26x reduction in potential area of effect? I don't think so.

      Illusion powers also suffer from the volume problem just like Area Shapeable does.

      Re: the measurement chart, why did they use 6 ft as the default instead of 5 ft. I understand they wanted it to be "everything up to 6 ft" is rank 0 but strictly that means people who are 6 ft 1 in are size rank 1. If the "up to" was supposed to be the rule. Then rank 0 should have been 8 ft (or 7.5 even). The other convenience there would be most children would be rank -1 if rank -1 was 4 ft instead of 3 ft. Yeah, I know there are probably a hundred threads that complain about the measurement chart. The time chart is haphazard. The volume chart is ridiculously "timid" since volume needs to 8x instead of double by rank.