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Old 10-06-2020, 05:22 AM   #1
OddGamer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Default How far 'up' can one see?

So I'm running a supers/high-tech/high-magic setting and someone has just decided to try teleporting a bad-guy 'as far up as they can'. Questions of energy cost and penalties aside (which aren't going to be an issue in this case)... the spell says you can only teleport something to somewhere you can see or are familiar with. So... how high up is that, assuming a relatively clear day? I mean... technically you can see the sun, so... that's millions of miles away. Does that count?
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Old 10-06-2020, 05:42 AM   #2
Aldric
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

Well, you can see the stars for that matter, so penalties and energy cost might end up being an issue.
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Old 10-06-2020, 06:51 AM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

The primary issue is safe stand off distance. You can easily see a specific location around a reference point, but a specific location without a reference point would likely require the Blind modifier. In addition, light lag becomes an issue at extreme distances, as you are seeing a position years, decades, etc. in the past for interstellar objects. Even going to Alpha Centauri, the position that you see now has moved almost 3 billion km, so you have no idea what is there right now.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:04 AM   #4
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OddGamer View Post
the spell says you can only teleport something to somewhere you can see or are familiar with. So... how high up is that, assuming a relatively clear day? I mean... technically you can see the sun, so... that's millions of miles away. Does that count?
The sun is 93 million miles away. B550 "etc" seems to add a 0 for every -6 (compare -24 for ten miles v -30 for 100 miles) so for simplicity let's say I want to change 100 miles to 100 million miles, I need to add six zeroes, or another -36 in penalties, for -66 in distance penalties.

That would normally be IMPOSSIBLE to see, except that there is a size modifier bonus.

The sun has a diameter of 865,370 miles or 4569153600 feet.

B19 seems to similar use +6 per x10, compare 45 feet +5 to 450 feet +11 (next would be 4,500 feet +17).

For simplicity I'm going to round down sun diameter to 4,500,000,000 feet, so I need to add six zeroes, giving +36 to the +17, for a total of a +53 SM.

Then I would add +2 to SM for it being a sphere, for +55 total.

The net modifier to make a vision roll against the sun based on distance and SM would be 55-66 = -11.

That seems pretty fair. Keep in mind that +10 modifier for 'plain sight', you can get that as long as it's not cloudy out. Net modifier is then only a Per-1 roll to spot where the sun is.

If you woke up and didn't know the direction or time of day (where to look) it might take you a couple seconds to locate it, either meaning you're rerolling your Per/Vision until you spot where the sun is, or using 'Time Spent' to get a bonus to a single roll.

I guess if you could manage the distance to the sun you could teleport a foe into it.

This actually does not appear that difficult using the Warp advantage...

B98 increments -1 per 10x beyond 10 miles, so the 100 million mile distance to the sun is six zeroes atop the -6 penalty for 100 miles, meaning a -12 roll.

using the +10 for 8 hours of prep, another 2 FP spent for +2 to skill would get you a raw IQ roll to attempt that.

This makes me wonder about the "be able to see" requirement though. It would be possible to briefly glance at the sun without serious damage to eyes (like maybe if teleporting as a free action at -10) but doing so for prolonged periods is probably going to cause some problems...

So when we talk in terms of "Preparation Time", do we think someone needs to have destination in view the ENTIRE time, or just at the last second?

If it's not the last second, most people w/o Protected Vision would probably need to look at the sun via removal (like on TV or pinhole camera ... would sunglasses work?) and take another -2 penalty. Otherwise you'd go blind before your prep was done.

You mentioned "spell" so I guess we're looking at M147 though? You said penalties "aren't going to be an issue" , but why is that? This appears to use very similar penalties to warp... it's -6 by 10-99.99 miles, -7 by 100-999.99 miles as opposed to -6 for 11-100 miles and -7 for 101-1000 miles. It seems like it's only off by 1/100 of a mile, or 52.8 feet, about 18 yards.

Pretty huge energy cost too. That's 9+6=15 energy I think.

More interesting failure results. "fail by 1" is a success that damage you... failure by more than 1 sends you someplace unintended (GM choice) although interestingly enough that should only cost you 1 energy.

I guess that's one interesting tactic for a "panic teleport". Since the spell usually costs a minimum of 3 energy (<10 yards) you could opt to intentionally fail the roll by picking a destination so far off that the penalty near-guarantees it, so that you'll teleport somewhere random for merely 1 energy.

The GM is encouraged on a crit fail to teleport mages to interesting places which injure them (forbidden from killing them OUTRIGHT but could always die of blood loss in minutes to come...)

Warp by contrast seems safer: normal failures don't teleport you at all, only crit fails send you to wrong places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
light lag becomes an issue at extreme distances, as you are seeing a position years, decades, etc. in the past for interstellar objects. Even going to Alpha Centauri, the position that you see now has moved almost 3 billion km, so you have no idea what is there right now.
In theory anything we see has some inconsequential light lag so we are ALWAYS perceiving the past...

Based on this we could just assume that perception inherently works like P109 Time-Spanning +50% (just the past) -50% (doesn't work in the present) ?

B241 "days for miles" means a -1 penalty for anything that happened up to half a day ago (12 hours). The "0 penalty" (200 feet) is 200/5280 = 20/528 = 10/264 = 5/132 = ~3.7% (rounding down) of a mile/day, so about 53 minutes, meaning no penalty to perceive something so long as it happened up to 53 minutes ago. This is ONLY for sensory (you need cosmic +50% for attacks)

That actually seems broken, why would you ever take present-only abilities instead of this 0% feature? Maybe the -50% for "doesn't work in the present" should instead be a limited enhancement reducing +50% or +100% to +25/+50 ?

That makes more sense to be especially if you wanted to define these as separate enhancements. This way they would still sum up... and I don' think the inability to affect the present is really worth such a steep discount, so I like seeing it reduced.

I'm really not understand what you LOSE by taking either as a 0% modifier.

Maybe there should be some kind of "Minimum Range" blindspot here? Like perhaps if we take "have a penalty" as meaning "you can't take -0" then perhaps they are only usable at a point which could cause at least a -1 penalty (>53 minutes in past or future) meaning "can't use in present" forbids you from using your ability in the 106 minute period we define as "present" because it causes a -0 penalty to target?

It takes 499 seconds for light from sun to get to earth so that's still very much in "present" span, but Alpha Centauri is 4.3 light years away, so that's about 1571 days/miles for Time-Spanning which would be a -9 penalty.

I could see it making sense to do that, for anything that would be more than 0.37 light-years away to require Time-Spanning to target.

That would be "past-only" for sensing and "future-only" for attacking though, I think? You're perceiving where it WAS, and predicting where it WILL BE.

That or maybe some kind of skill could substitute for having these 0% enhancements.

Last edited by Plane; 10-06-2020 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:37 AM   #5
Rolando
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Panama
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

In that particular case, I would ask the player how far exactly it is going to be. A simple "you can see the sun or the stars at night, so be more specific please" is enough.

The player may say something like "until my roll is equal to 12 or less", then factor the maximum penalty and time available to the player, attribute level, etc and find the distance. It may be outside the atmosphere if the character have a high attribute/skill total.
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Old 10-06-2020, 11:02 AM   #6
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

My take on stuff like that is you can only qualify for being able to see something if you can make out something on the scale of the thing of interest on a maximally good PER roll. In this case that "thing" is an area about as big as you are, i.e. the space you are going to teleport into. Take your PER, add 10 (for in plain sight), add your SM (probably 0), subtract 3 (you can't try to roll if your target number is less than 3), look that up on the Speed/Range Table and that's your answer. This is a mile for somebody with PER 10, which is actually less than the distance to the horizon, so it limits you even in directions other than up.

There does need to be a limit like this, so the presence of a monster that causes anyone seeing it to go irreversibly mad flying above the clouds of Jupiter does not cause anybody on Earth who can see the planet to go insane.
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Old 10-06-2020, 11:29 AM   #7
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

For teleporting to a place you can 'see', I interpret that as being able to see clearly enough to have a solid idea of where you're actually going, and that your accuracy is equal to the accuracy with which you can visually tell. Which means you can't teleport if you don't have a decent idea of the range, and even if you can tell, your accuracy is limited to visual resolution of about 0.03% (so if you teleport an AU, your accuracy is about 28,000 miles).
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Old 10-06-2020, 03:08 PM   #8
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
that "thing" is an area about as big as you are, i.e. the space you are going to teleport into. Take your PER, add 10 (for in plain sight), add your SM (probably 0),
There's a +4 for targeting a hex precedent. I could see making it "add your SM+4" based on that. At some point SM>1 creatures become multi-hex creatures but I'm not sure when.

Maybe beyond the point (SM8) where your foot is +4 to hit (like a hex) instead of -4 to hit? That would be SM 9 or higher I think.

I would think even less since you probably need to fit both your feet in the hex to avoid being multi-hex.

One idea I like is to apply SM and reach rules to MINIMUM ranges (ie C punches become reach 1 punches, not reach c,1 punches... same with knees) and have that represent your "resting weapon length" (where it can be targeted) implying they dangle outside your hex. That's not legal of course.

The benefit to that is you could still let people "tuck their legs" by just doing something akin to defensive grip (-1 to reach) so they aren't dangling forward so much.
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:09 PM   #9
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

I think the “you could see the target if it were there” interpretation is optimal. If you need to make a roll to do the teleport, I’d suggest actually having that same roll serve to limit your range as though it were the relevant Sight roll. For example, a character with Per 12 teleports an SM+0 target up into the sky, and rolls a 13. For a 13 to see the target, it needs to have an end modifier of +1 to see. That would be +10 for Plain Sight, and -9 for Range 70 yards, so you send them 70 yards up. If you instead rolled a 5, the end modifier can be -7, for -17 from Range 1500 yards. Optionally, there could be a “silhouetted against the sky” modifier (+5, maybe?) that would be boost this further.
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Old 10-07-2020, 01:01 AM   #10
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: How far 'up' can one see?

That does not make much sense. The modifier for anything silhouetted against deep space (the sky) is +24 and in plain sight is +10, so a total of +34. Automatic success is assumed at +10, so a range of 10 miles up would be automatic unless there is cloud cover. When you are talking about large objects, like the Moon, you would +40 to that roll (+38 for SM and +2 for being a sphere), so you could target the Moon from over 10 million miles away.
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