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Old 10-05-2019, 08:47 PM   #1
Leynok
 
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Default Help with intense heat

One of my players brought this to my attention, since they have temperature control as one of their main powers and now we're both confused how the rules are meant to be read.

Most of the section on intense heat is simple enough, but the first line about human skin combusting at 160 F flat is just confusing to us.
It seems awfully low for spontaneously combusting flesh and isn't even affected by your comfort zone at all (I can't find any indicator of how high over your temperature Intense Heat as a whole is), especially odd since the FP part in intense heat refers to needing you to be over 6 times your comfort zone to kick in!

It redirects to Making Things Burn, which only seems to address how to make things catch fire from an existing fire source or incendiary attack, so that isn't helpful either.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

Skin burns at 160 degrees, but sweating, for example, can keep you un-burnt even if the air is much much higher.
But it is an interesting fact that doesn't matter much for gaming, IMO.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

Pretty sure that means 'temperature at which you generate burns', not 'temperature at which flesh ignites'. I can't find solid figures for the ignition point of flesh, but based on fat and hair, it's probably not less than 450F.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Pretty sure that means 'temperature at which you generate burns', not 'temperature at which flesh ignites'. I can't find solid figures for the ignition point of flesh, but based on fat and hair, it's probably not less than 450F.
You'd think, but the exact phrasing is "Human skin starts to burn at 160; see Flame (p. 433) for damage." That seems to imply that it's the equivalent of being on fire. I might be misreading it, but I don't see how.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

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Originally Posted by awesomenessofme1 View Post
You'd think, but the exact phrasing is "Human skin starts to burn at 160; see Flame (p. 433) for damage." That seems to imply that it's the equivalent of being on fire. I might be misreading it, but I don't see how.
"Burn" in English has more than one meaning. Applied to fuel, it means "catch fire." But I can say that food in a pan burned without its catching fire, if it dries and chars. And I can say that flesh burns if it reddens, or blisters. This last can happen even with no prospect of combustion, as when a light-skinned person spends a day at the beach without sunblock.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Pretty sure that means 'temperature at which you generate burns', not 'temperature at which flesh ignites'.
Indeed. A Medium steak typically has a peak temperature of around 160F in its core - it gets hotter nearer to its surface - and certainly doesn't catch fire during cooking (unless the drippings cause a flare up). Oddly, the fact the rules in question reference Flame imply that it is indeed intended that a person literally catch on fire (for 1d-1 burn every second) at such a temperature. I'd probably drop it to 1d-3 - a quick search online indicates 160F is indeed the temperature at which you can develop a thermal burn in only one second, but this is probably a relatively minor one. This is more for being in contact with, say, a chunk of metal of this temperature, being in an oven should probably take a bit longer to start hurting you.

Regardless, being within your comfort zone protects only against FP loss, not against physical damage from thermal burns. For that, you'll need DR (and/or IT:DR) of some sort.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Pretty sure that means 'temperature at which you generate burns', not 'temperature at which flesh ignites'. I can't find solid figures for the ignition point of flesh, but based on fat and hair, it's probably not less than 450F.
It takes 30 points of burn damage to set flesh on fire, one is more likely to die from straight fire damage than catching fire.
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:36 AM   #8
Leynok
 
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

Thanks everyone, this helped me put my thoughts together.
I still think the damage is a bit much and a bit fast, so I'm dropping it to 1d6-3 damage per minute, and will figure a way to increase it from there with the temperature(I think that any steak cooked at 1d6-1 per second would be charcoal within the minute).
But also objects left in the super heated area would start doing burning damage themselves if they make contact, potentially more than just the air itself if left for long enough.
Also thanks to Varyon, it makes sense why it's not linked to your comfort zone now.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

I work with a surface that cooks steaks, and it can give me a nasty burn from a sub-half-second brush against it. If it was actually applied to a larger surface area than my knuckle for a full second, it would be doing serious damage pretty quick. Granted, it's way hotter than 160.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Help with intense heat

If I were the GM, I would also look at building a fatigue attack with low/no signature and cosmic (bypass armor). Possibly linked.

Who can fight, run etc. for 10 seconds at 160 degrees? I know the thought of doing the 100 yard dash at 95 degrees sounds like no fun to me.
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