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Old 07-12-2014, 04:13 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage Of the Week (#1): 360° Vision

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Next Week: 3D Spatial Sense; Absolute Direction

In the vein of johndallman's threads discussing the Skills of the Basic Set, I shall attempt similar threads for the Advantages. My own references are Limited to Basic Set: Characters, Basic Set: Campaigns, Powers, and the odd "freebie" like Lite or Update. I'll be more or less following the list found on p. B297-298, but I have not decided if it is better to cover Advantages that are listed separately there but have a joint entry in the main text alongside each other or not: feel free to indicate your own preference.

We begin by looking at 360° Vision (p. B34, Powers p. 39). By default it is an Exotic, Physical Advantage that costs 25 character points, and as the name implies expands a the character's field of vision covers the entire area around them... at least with the usual vertical limits. I am uncertain about how vertical field of vision is affected, but I did find a Kromm post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Given the actual span of human vision, it would be fair to say that the useful horizontal and vertical arcs are approximately the same, accounting for comfortable scanning motion and range of binocular vision, so it wouldn't be broken to generalize that GURPS vision arcs are irrespective of plane. Given that the overwhelming majority of combat as gamed out is 2D, though, I wouldn't give more than -10% for "no vertical arc."
In terms of game mechanics, 360° Vision removes the penalty to defend against attacks from the side or rear; you also can attack to your side or rear with only a -2 penalty (the the angle is still an issue unless its a strike designed to attack behind you) and aren't forced to make said attacks as a Wild Swing. You can only be surprised from behind if whatever it is doing the surprising is concealed, and you get a +5 bonus to detect Shadowing attempts.

Powers answered a question I had; in the Basic Set it states that the number of eyes a character has is merely a special effect, and Powers confirmed that it could be produced by other effects (chi, psi, magic, etc.) but also listed two Enhancements: Panoptic 1 (+20%) and Panoptic 2 (+60%). The former has your 360° Vision work with the need to move your head or eyes or possessing extra eyes; you see just using your default amount of eyes. Panoptic 2 ties your 360° Vision to something else, allowing you to see while your eyes would otherwise be blocked, though you still need light unless you also have Dark Vision. There is also a -20% Limitation to reflect if you do have especially vulnerable sensory organs, like eyes on stalks that swivel around to allow you to see.

I am curious if any version of 360° vision has proven useful in your characters' adventures, if anyone believes it to be under or over priced, creative uses, etc.
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Last edited by Otaku; 10-28-2014 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

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I am curious if any version of 360° vision has proven useful in your characters' adventures, if anyone believes it to be under or over priced, creative uses, etc.
Based on circumstantial evidence, it seems to be overpriced. None of our group has ever taken it. FTM, Peripheral Vision was taken only once that I can recall. I guess we're just narrow-sighted.
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

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Based on circumstantial evidence, it seems to be overpriced. None of our group has ever taken it. FTM, Peripheral Vision was taken only once that I can recall. I guess we're just narrow-sighted.
Checking Compendium I from 3e, it was 25 points then as well... and I don't think anyone ever took it, at least as something they officially paid points to receive. Due to certain magical or ultra-tech devices, someone might have had it, but then again that might not even have been a GURPS campaign. Peripheral Vision was pretty rare unless it was part of a racial package as well; I took it once I think, for an archer (back in 3e) where I was prioritizing the various "Vision" Advantages and realized... it didn't help much for archery since I was usually in the back and had time to turn and aim.

With the Panoptic 2 Enhancement, it seems nice but not worth the price: 40 points with no other Enhancements or Limitations, enough to buy Flight! Peripheral Vision might be overpriced, and if so, that probably explains 360° Vision being so expensive.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

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I am curious if any version of 360° vision has proven useful in your characters' adventures, if anyone believes it to be under or over priced, creative uses, etc.
In statting up one of my alien races (curious amorphous blobs with lots of eyes), I was pretty much forced to use 360 degree vision as an advantage to fit the species concept. I didn't like it, because the advantage seemed far too overpriced for what it gave.

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Old 07-13-2014, 07:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

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I didn't like it, because the advantage seemed far too overpriced for what it gave.
Are there additional benefits that would fit the advantage and help "fill up" the point cost? If not, what would be a more fair cost, in your opinion?

I've had similar problems trying to stat up sci-fi races, especially for those with racial DR or Innate Attacks. But that has more to do with the setting TL than with the advantages being intrinsically overpriced.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

I think I see where the apparent pricing problem comes from. 360° Vision is absolutely great in low-tech melee combat, since it makes it much harder for people to attack without you getting a defence. But it's fairly rare for characters to have a good excuse to buy it in fantasy settings.

It's much more an "exotic science-fictional race" kind of advantage, but SF settings tend to have much more ranged combat and less melee, where using cover is more important and a character's range of vision less so.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

I think some of the 'overpricing' is due to the fact a lot of us (including me) don't actually use maps and thus usually don't use the vision rules unless someone is making a deliberate effort to come from behind.

But I agree, its not worth 5 DR in low tech, Its not even close to healing, or, closer to home Hyperspectral vision, which gives +3 to a huge range of rolls and can see in the dark.

Its true value? 10 or 15. you might be able to argue me down though.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

I would agree with 360° Vision extending vertically also, but mainly because it's simpler to make the symmetrical case the base and treat the asymmetrical one as a restriction. "I can see all around in every direction" is a very general statement.

Now when it comes to achieving it with added eyes, I think you'd need to put two eyes on the back of the head to get a full arc (180° in front, 180° in back, meeting at the sides). But if all those eyes were in the same plane, realistic geometry would require their limitation to a 120° arc vertically, which would mean taking the -10% limitation. It would take a fairly weird geometry to get a full vertical 180°—either that or else compound eyes, like the old cartoon (http://i.imgur.com/EWwOYjU.jpg) that shows a man with two compound eyes a yard in diameter! (You could get smaller compound eyes if you accepted low-res vision; shrink them to 4.5 inches in diameter and you'd have about the visual acuity of a cat or a jumping spider.)

I suppose you could give your frontal eyes Peripheral Vision, for a 240° arc, implying that each eye had an extra 30° to each side, for 180° overlap in front. And then you could take just one occipital eye; the same arc would give it overlap with both frontal eyes, for full binocular vision in 240° and then monocular vision at the rear. That would probably be a Nuisance Effect worth -5%, and you'd still have restricted vertical arc.

Or you could put an eye on top of the head. That still wouldn't give you downward looking eyes, though.

Other treatments would involve superpowers that evade being specific about the physics, or alien sensory configurations where sight isn't localized to discrete eyes—maybe you have nanoscale cameras all over your body surface. For that you might want not only 360° Vision with Panoptic 2, but also No Eyes.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
Are there additional benefits that would fit the advantage and help "fill up" the point cost?
It is hard to imagine what it would be. Conceptually, you just get "see equally in all directions", which is certainly nice but not overwhelmingly so.

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
If not, what would be a more fair cost, in your opinion?
If I was re-writing the GURPS costs, I might go with 5 points for Peripheral Vision and 10 points for 360 Degree Vision. I wouln't quibble too much with 10 and 15 points for each, respectively, however.

Luke
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage Of the Week: 360° Vision

1) So... anyone actually feel 360° Vision is actually worth the CP?

2) I am wondering if its price (and that of Peripheral Vision; I should have done the two together) are relics of a time when miniatures combat was a bigger part of the rules. If you're allowed non-human Advantages, Danger Sense is competing with Peripheral Vision; it won't improve what hexes you can target but in many other areas of overlap, it will give you similar or better results.

3) The RAW is a bit nebulous about physiological Peripheral Vision and effectively having it via training; I wonder if that carries over at all to 360° Vision:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Re: Peripheral Vision

The advantage certainly doesn't automatically assume "bug eyes." It assumes superior situational awareness and the discipline to keep scanning for threats even under fire; e.g., by doing quick shoulder checks. It's intended for career warriors and nervous rogues who are always checking their backs. Those with bug eyes can take it as well, but the game doesn't distinguish between training and physiology here . . . these are special effects of how you ended up with the trait.
Unless whatever provides your vision is rigidly fixed (like fixed cameras on a vehicle) or is clearly Enhanced so it won't be an issue at all, I would take this to imply that those with 360° Vision have an allowance for just being in the habit of moving their heads enough to fake the effect with less eyes than would be indicated, including for above and below the characters, adjusted for one's own body possibly being in the way.
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