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Old 04-23-2013, 04:12 PM   #75
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Targeting cone attacks

Cones are a subset of Area and Spreading attacks (pp. B413-414), and use all the "generic" rules for those things. They are aimed at a point, not at an opponent (SM is irrelevant) or an area (the +4 for attacking "an area of ground" doesn't apply, either . . . or to be precise, if it does, the cone is being shot at the ground). If they miss, they use Scatter (p. B414). Use the distance to the chosen point to limit scatter distance. Since the target isn't a person, his dodge roll margin is irrelevant. They inflict Large-Area Injury (p. B400) on anything in the area.

The main special thing about cones is that they have an unusual shape that makes it viable to aim very nearby and rely on spread. The target point can be at any distance from 1 yard to Max, and a hit means spread is to either side of the line from the attacker to that point, while a miss means spread is to either side of the line from the attacker to the scatter point. Spread is always the same shape: basically, a triangle of maximum width at Max, narrowing to the attacker's hex at the originating end.

The lesser special property of cones is that they're directional, so if there's no unobstructed line between the attacker and the target, that target is in the shadow of whatever is causing the obstruction, and that obstruction gives its usual cover DR. This is also why shooting at the ground is useless: you can do it, but the ground kind of gets in the way

Cones are also all-or-nothing: If you aren't in the area, or if you can dive out of it or behind cover, they don't affect you. If you are in the area, then regardless of your SM, all of you is affected with large-area injury. This is a simplification for easy of play, since deducing which body parts of a multi-hex figure are in an area is essentially a needless headache.

Note that cones based on Innate Attack still have Acc 3 and Range 10/100. The note "damage does not usually decline with distance" appears under Area-Effect Attacks but not Cone Attacks. A basic +60% (one-yard) cone affects a hex-wide strip 100 yards long, and past 10 yards, it does half damage. A huge +150% (10-yard) cone affects a triangle 100 yards long and 10 yards wide, and past 10 yards – where it's still just a yard wide – it still does half damage.
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