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  • Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

    My main interest here is in designing a few Nullify powers.

    While reading Nullify, I saw the Extra "Broad". It makes sense to me that its in there. Unfortunately, the only other place I can find that attempts to put Descriptors into categories is Immunity. However, that power's text uses the words "Un Common" "Common" and "Very Common". To make matters worse, the two powers use separate lists of Descriptors as examples.

    1) So, I guess I'm asking, "What does "Broad" map to, 'Un Common', 'Common' or 'Very Common'? I'm inclined to think it maps to "Very Common".


    2) To be very specific, I saw a power called "Blackout" in Power Profiles. Blackout, unsurprisingly, causes a blackout in a small area by Nullifying all effects with the descriptor "Electrical". Blackout carries the Broad extra. I'm not so sure Electrical should be considered Broad. It is listed as Common in Immunity. (see 10 point Immunities)


    3) Also, does it make sense to have a "-1 Objects only" Flaw for Nullify? Seems to me like it would, but it's not listed.


    Thanks
    ManDrake

  • #2
    Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

    Defining if a certain descriptor should be labeled "rare","common" or "very common" is an inexact science at best (same goes for "Limited" flaws), so the rules leave these things open for interpretation.
    You cannot really compare Nullify with Immunity, as the latter works only on effects which actually affect you, and for your person only. Nullify affects everything matching its descriptor. Speaking of "Blackout", this power would not only counter Lightning-Lads powers or a cop's taser. It'll also shut down all electronics, vehicles (spark plugs!), or other electrical systems - i.e. causing a literal blackout. Sounds quite "broad" to me!

    As for your proposed "-1 Objects only" Flaw, the question would be if it's making sense in regard to the Nullify's descriptor.
    Let's assume the descriptor is "magic": What does "Objects only" mean in this context? Shut down the magic of enchanted objects? Stop magic from affecting normal objects? Or making magically Created objects vanish?
    Further, it's not relevant if a modifier is listed under an effect's entry - you may add any extra or flaw to any effect (& even invent your own), as long as it's making logical sense, it's fair, and your GM does approve it.
    https://roninarmy.com/forum/atomic-think-tank/roll-call/7149-bothrops-pit#post7149

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    • #3
      Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

      3: Keep in mind that using Nullify to disable a power allows a Will or Fortitude save*, both of which objects are inherently immune to. You need the Affects Objects Extra to turn off a phone, for example. Going from Nullify to Affects Objects Nullify is +1, going from Affects Objects Nullify to Affects Only Objects Nullify is -1, net is +-0.1

      *: Technically an Opposed Check, not a Resistance Check, so the Immunity doesn't apply by strict RAW, but I'd expect many GMs to ignore that.

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      • #4
        Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

        Originally posted by Man Drake View Post
        My main interest here is in designing a few Nullify powers.

        While reading Nullify, I saw the Extra "Broad". It makes sense to me that its in there. Unfortunately, the only other place I can find that attempts to put Descriptors into categories is Immunity. However, that power's text uses the words "Un Common" "Common" and "Very Common". To make matters worse, the two powers use separate lists of Descriptors as examples.

        1) So, I guess I'm asking, "What does "Broad" map to, 'Un Common', 'Common' or 'Very Common'? I'm inclined to think it maps to "Very Common".


        2) To be very specific, I saw a power called "Blackout" in Power Profiles. Blackout, unsurprisingly, causes a blackout in a small area by Nullifying all effects with the descriptor "Electrical". Blackout carries the Broad extra. I'm not so sure Electrical should be considered Broad. It is listed as Common in Immunity. (see 10 point Immunities)
        I think it is broad. Virtually every computer (not counting World War II era retro devices) are electronic. Some super-science computers in M&M might be biotech or something else, but largely, they're electronic. Lots of non-computer devices are electronic.

        Someone is using a gun with the Accurate descriptor due to a laser pointer. That laser pointer no longer works.
        An enemy soldier stalks you in the dark in their house at night, using their infravision goggles... no, they can't see. They can't turn on their flashlight either, that's electronic too. The light switch doesn't work, as that's also electronic. The phone doesn't work (landlines get power through the phone cable). The intercom doesn't work. The powered door (if they have one) doesn't work. The garage door operator doesn't work. The microwave doesn't work. The alarm clock doesn't work. The TV, DVD player, and sound system don't work. The thermostat doesn't work. The fridge doesn't work. You can erase a century of progress with that ability.
        You invade an enemy installation. The turrets don't pop up and fill you with lead. The alarms don't work. The security cameras don't work. The PA system doesn't work. Radios don't work. (At least, none within the range of your power.)
        Someone uses their smartphone to take video and call for help... no they're not. The smartphone is deactivated.
        The cyborg lifts up a dump truck and throws it at you... no they don't. You have deactivated all of their cybernetics except their internal armor plating, so they now have a Strength of 2, and only one hand (one replaced by a super-science chainsaw-like weapon). If they used cybernetics to overcome a disability, that disability now strikes them. If they replaced their perfectly good eyes with better cyber-eyes, they are now regretting that decision, since they are now blind.
        The Predator-style drone that flies around, following you, and has been launching missiles at you (at best) glides and cannot attack you, or even see you. Any missiles in flight (they missed, but are using Homing to attack you again) also either continue in straight lines or outright fail.
        Your enemy cannot start his car or turn on the headlights. The power window doesn't work. He cannot call CAA for help. He cannot use an ATM (since that's electronic).
        You step on a landmine, but it doesn't explode, because that critical circuit isn't working. (Old-fashioned booby traps do work, though.)
        The coffee maker stops working. The owner of the coffee maker is now irked.
        The mad scientist uses her super tech device to Create a forcefield of force around you. Create is a Sustained power. You use your Nullify Electronics ability to turn off her device. Now you're free. Her jetpack doesn't work either. Maybe she shouldn't have used a fancy laser gun, that has stopped working too.
        Surveillance bugs are electronic. If the bug is within your power radius (perhaps you have an aura?) they cannot overhear your conversations. They are taking a nap.
        The ninja that was following you isn't even aware that you're using a power. Nothing electronic on them!

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        • #5
          Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

          Originally posted by Nunya B View Post
          3: Keep in mind that using Nullify to disable a power allows a Will or Fortitude save*, both of which objects are inherently immune to. You need the Affects Objects Extra to turn off a phone, for example. Going from Nullify to Affects Objects Nullify is +1, going from Affects Objects Nullify to Affects Only Objects Nullify is -1, net is +-0.1

          *: Technically an Opposed Check, not a Resistance Check, so the Immunity doesn't apply by strict RAW, but I'd expect many GMs to ignore that.
          Umm, nope. Nullify is opposed EITHER by the effect-user's Will OR by the effect's rank, whichever is higher. As objects have Will zero, they use effect rank. And when you target an effect's subject instead of its user with your Nullify, then it's ALWAYS opposed by effect rank.
          https://roninarmy.com/forum/atomic-think-tank/roll-call/7149-bothrops-pit#post7149

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          • #6
            Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

            Originally posted by Bothrops View Post
            Nullify affects everything matching its descriptor. Speaking of "Blackout", this power would not only counter Lightning-Lads powers or a cop's taser. It'll also shut down all electronics, vehicles (spark plugs!), or other electrical systems - i.e. causing a literal blackout. Sounds quite "broad" to me!
            I think you are describing Simultaneous, not Broad. The base Nullify power works on all instances of only One Effect, with one descriptor, not instances of ALL Effects with one descriptor.

            Blackout has both Simultaneous AND Broad as Extras.


            ManDrake

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            • #7
              Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

              Originally posted by Bothrops View Post
              Umm, nope. Nullify is opposed EITHER by the effect-user's Will OR by the effect's rank, whichever is higher. As objects have Will zero, they use effect rank. And when you target an effect's subject instead of its user with your Nullify, then it's ALWAYS opposed by effect rank.
              By that logic, a Will Immune character with no further spending in Will is susceptible to a Nullify resisted by Will.
              Last edited by Nunya B; 08-02-2018, 10:39 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

                Originally posted by Nunya B View Post
                By that logic, a Will Immune character with no further spending in Will is susceptible to a Nullify resisted by Will.
                Um, yeah. I'm not sure why that's a bad thing, especially because it's not resisted only by Will or even requires targeting will all the time. Unless they by a flaw to make it only resistible by will I'm not seeing why it should. I'm not sure why you're arguing for gimping a power that's already been gimped into near uselessness unless you quintuple it's cost.

                And similarly by your logic if someone has variable descriptor on their power, say fire and ice, you shouldn't be able to affect someone immune to just ice because the power can be ice even if it isn't always ice.
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                • #9
                  Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

                  Originally posted by Squirrelly-sama View Post
                  Um, yeah. I'm not sure why that's a bad thing, especially because it's not resisted only by Will or even requires targeting will all the time. Unless they by a flaw to make it only resistible by will I'm not seeing why it should. I'm not sure why you're arguing for gimping a power that's already been gimped into near uselessness unless you quintuple it's cost.
                  Why in the name of god should a character immune to Will be not be immune to an effect resistible by Will?

                  Originally posted by Squirrelly-sama View Post
                  And similarly by your logic if someone has variable descriptor on their power, say fire and ice, you shouldn't be able to affect someone immune to just ice because the power can be ice even if it isn't always ice.
                  Justify this claim, because it does not follow from my statement.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

                    Originally posted by Nunya B View Post
                    Why in the name of god should a character immune to Will be not be immune to an effect resistible by Will?


                    Justify this claim, because it does not follow from my statement.
                    Because you don't always get a will resistance. check, if you don't have Will having higher ranks than the effect rank then it's not will resisted. In the same way a variable descriptor attack won't always have the descriptor a character is immune to. Your saying that because they could fall under the immunity's jurisdiction they always are.

                    Not a single officially provided power or build I can find makes any distinction about if it affects only objects or beings. Even the Area modifier only says that targets lacking the effect are unaffected, not a thing about resistances.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

                      Originally posted by Man Drake View Post
                      I think you are describing Simultaneous, not Broad. The base Nullify power works on all instances of only One Effect, with one descriptor, not instances of ALL Effects with one descriptor.

                      Blackout has both Simultaneous AND Broad as Extras.


                      ManDrake
                      In this case, Broad means "every form of electrical power": Possibly affecting everything I described above. Simultaneous means exactly that: Affecting all these things at once.
                      Also, Broad is dependent on your campaign: In a medieval scenario, I wouldn't consider Nullify Electricity as Broad (as the only forms of electricity encountered are natural lightning or someone's electrical superpowers/magic). Yet in modern times, electrical power & electronics are omnipresent, therefore Broad is justified.


                      Originally posted by Nunya B
                      By that logic, a Will Immune character with no further spending in Will is susceptible to a Nullify resisted by Will.
                      I just stated the corebook. And I think insisting on exact words is rather pointless, as these books ain't written as legal treatises. So I just interpret "whichever is higher" as "whichever is better", so the total Immunity always wins out (even if the nominal will rank is lower). IMHO the most practical solution.
                      Also, don't forget that Will defense (and thus Immunity) can only be used if the Nullify directly targets an effect's user:
                      Nullifying someone's superstrength (targeting the user) = vs will or effect rank (whichever is better)
                      Nullifying an Affliction affecting your buddy (targeting the subject) = vs effect rank

                      By the way, Immunity 30 (will) is extremely rare (& difficult to justify in a narrative sense). Objects, on the other hand, are only immune against mental effects & interaction skills - they don't have total will immunity.
                      https://roninarmy.com/forum/atomic-think-tank/roll-call/7149-bothrops-pit#post7149

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                      • #12
                        Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

                        Originally posted by Bothrops View Post
                        In this case, Broad means "every form of electrical power": Possibly affecting everything I described above. Simultaneous means exactly that: Affecting all these things at once.
                        Also, Broad is dependent on your campaign: In a medieval scenario, I wouldn't consider Nullify Electricity as Broad (as the only forms of electricity encountered are natural lightning or someone's electrical superpowers/magic). Yet in modern times, electrical power & electronics are omnipresent, therefore Broad is justified.



                        I just stated the corebook. And I think insisting on exact words is rather pointless, as these books ain't written as legal treatises. So I just interpret "whichever is higher" as "whichever is better", so the total Immunity always wins out (even if the nominal will rank is lower). IMHO the most practical solution.
                        Also, don't forget that Will defense (and thus Immunity) can only be used if the Nullify directly targets an effect's user:
                        Nullifying someone's superstrength (targeting the user) = vs will or effect rank (whichever is better)
                        Nullifying an Affliction affecting your buddy (targeting the subject) = vs effect rank

                        By the way, Immunity 30 (will) is extremely rare (& difficult to justify in a narrative sense). Objects, on the other hand, are only immune against mental effects & interaction skills - they don't have total will immunity.
                        Actually the Deluxe version changed it to full Will immunity.
                        "Constructs without Intellect and Presence are automatons,
                        operating on simple instinct or programmed instructions.
                        They are immune to Will effects and interaction
                        skills and automatically fail Intellect and Presence
                        checks."

                        edit: No wait, SRD says it too in the Constructs section so it's not just a Deluxe thing but part of the core.
                        Last edited by Squirrelly-sama; 08-05-2018, 09:59 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

                          Originally posted by Squirrelly-sama
                          Actually the Deluxe version changed it to full Will immunity.
                          "Constructs without Intellect and Presence are automatons,
                          operating on simple instinct or programmed instructions.
                          They are immune to Will effects and interaction
                          skills and automatically fail Intellect and Presence
                          checks."

                          edit: No wait, SRD says it too in the Constructs section so it's not just a Deluxe thing but part of the core.
                          Deluxe Corebook p.110
                          "Anything with no Intellect is immune to mental effects and interaction skills and has no Will defense."
                          "Anything with no Awareness is completely unaware and also has no Presence. It is an inanimate object, not a creature. Objects are immune to mental effects and interaction skills"

                          Gadget Guides p. 92
                          "In addition to their standard immunities (Fortitude and mental effects and interaction skills), robots may have additional immunities by virtue of their design."

                          Seems rules are conflicting here, so what's the wrong one?
                          The better question might be: What do YOU prefer?
                          MY point is that there are (non-mental) Will-effects constructs really shouldn't be immune against. Descriptors matter here: "Hacking" or "technopathy" for robots & computers, "necromancy" for zombies, etc.
                          https://roninarmy.com/forum/atomic-think-tank/roll-call/7149-bothrops-pit#post7149

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                          • #14
                            Re: Nullify and Immunity: Descriptor talk

                            Originally posted by Bothrops View Post
                            Deluxe Corebook p.110
                            "Anything with no Intellect is immune to mental effects and interaction skills and has no Will defense."
                            "Anything with no Awareness is completely unaware and also has no Presence. It is an inanimate object, not a creature. Objects are immune to mental effects and interaction skills"

                            Gadget Guides p. 92
                            "In addition to their standard immunities (Fortitude and mental effects and interaction skills), robots may have additional immunities by virtue of their design."

                            Seems rules are conflicting here, so what's the wrong one?
                            The better question might be: What do YOU prefer?
                            MY point is that there are (non-mental) Will-effects constructs really shouldn't be immune against. Descriptors matter here: "Hacking" or "technopathy" for robots & computers, "necromancy" for zombies, etc.
                            Just pointing out that flat out will immunity is a thing for constructs.
                            Honestly I hate the resistance immunities as a whole for situations like this everything about them just leads to confusing rules and interpretations like this.
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