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Old 02-06-2018, 11:15 AM   #11
Kromm
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

Penetrating Vision isn't an automatic success on Vision-related rolls. Clairsentience gives "+2 to Diagnosis, Lockpicking, Surgery, and similar skills in situations where being able to see inside the subject would be useful" (GURPS Powers, p. 163). Penetrating Vision would do the same in this role. However, Clairsentience explicitly says, "Your vision ignores darkness penalties completely"; Penetrating Vision has no similar capacity, and in fact its description says it "works in conjunction with all your other vision advantages (Infravision, Ultravision, etc.)," which implies that those would serve some purpose.

The short version is that if you're looking in the right direction, if you can see through enough material in that direction, and if what's on the other side of that material isn't hidden by darkness, fog, or whatever, you get +2 to rolls to be aware of things there, whether that means hidden attackers or hidden objects. In general, this is about as useful as +2 to Perception (to notice outlines, hear attackers, etc.), which also costs 10 points.

The really important thing is that you don't get 360° Vision or Dark Vision as part of the deal. The GM is always free to say, "The bad guys were behind the wall to your left, and you were looking ahead," or, "The area behind the wall/inside the desk is completely dark, so you can't see anything." I agree that the 360° Vision [25] + Dark Vision [25] + Penetrating Vision 1 [10] combo is sick, but at 60 points it probably ought to be. (And if I were going for that, I'd add See Invisible [15], because none of those other advantages does a thing against invisibility.)
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

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Originally Posted by Terwin View Post
If you have penetrating vision, would that help with things like smoke or fog?
Are there modifications you can take to improve it's effectiveness against smoke(or silt under water)?
It hels seeing through its rated distance.

A less overkill and more efficient option would be to take polarised eyes (Acute Vision (Accessibility, Only to compensate for glare and haze, -50%) [1/level]), as recommended on Space page 162.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

A person stealthing probably gets a -5 vs the penetrating vision if it's able to see through all the hiding spots. It's under the stealth skill modifier list.

But penetrating vision doesn't give you a highlighter to say "THAT GUY IS RIGHT HERE!" like the X-ray in Total Recall =)
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

As others have said, it is about right, but is has other, less common bonuses as well.

I had a 3E supers gadgeteer with the advantage and got some real use out of it.

I got a bonus on figuring out other people's gadgets because I could see through the outer shell (unless it was armored thickly).

I also bought hyperspectral vision and 10 levels of microscopic vision and took the M-VH languages DOS and Macintosh so that I could visually read computer media.

I'd make sure to have a high perception and observation to get the most out of the advantage as well as look for good combos like these.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

Penetrating vision is dubiously priced (the first level is far more valuable than subsequent levels), and should probably have a higher base cost with a lower per level cost, but it's certainly not unbeatable.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

Stealth covers hiding and moving silently, usually at the same time – it's about being undetected, not merely unseen. Moreover, hiding isn't just about standing behind obstacles. It's about using shadows or dazzling light (same essential effect); staying behind, above, or below the person you're trying to hide from, and thus outside of their field of vision; blending in by not getting silhouetted by light or color; and capitalizing on distractions (e.g., darting to the next hiding place when a door slams and your prey turns reflexively to look).

"Natural hiding places" definitely does include fog, shadow, smoke, dazzling/distracting lighting, and any place in plain sight but not in your victim's field of vision (ask soldiers and cops about checking corners . . .) – not just obstacles Penetrating Vision might pierce. Such hiding places are limited to obstacles only if the area is uniformly well-lit and the person using the advantage has a viewpoint that doesn't permit someone to be anywhere but on their level, in front of them. A gym with bright lights has tons of natural hiding places; you're not likely to see the ninja in the shadows way up above the lights' glare, flattened unmoving against the ceiling, wearing clothing the same color as the paint.

But all told, I wouldn't worry about those details. I'd just give the usual +2 for using an ability to enhance a skill when people with Penetrating Vision roll a Quick Contest vs. Stealth, as long as hiding is at least part of the Stealth-user's goal and there could be obstacles in the way.

Penetrating Vision is only a flat-out Stealth-killer when the skill use is 100% for hiding and 0% for moving silently, and when the only option for hiding is standing behind a obstacle directly in your rival's line of sight. In a well-lit 10'×10' room with a low ceiling, a door in one corner, and a large potted plant, pretty much the only hiding place from someone standing in the doorway is going to be that plant, so I'd say Stealth isn't useful against Penetrating Vision then.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Penetrating vision is dubiously priced (the first level is far more valuable than subsequent levels), and should probably have a higher base cost with a lower per level cost, but it's certainly not unbeatable.
Take a look at how much Superman has to spend on Penetrating Vision and you can get answers in the thousands of pts. Its 130 pts for 13 levels (6 adn1/2 feet) just to b able to pull off the "Is there actually a body in that coffin?" stunt.

You get 90% of the value of Penetrating Vision with the first level and 95% with the second but after that it starts being many, many levels that you need.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:23 AM   #18
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Take a look at how much Superman has to spend on Penetrating Vision and you can get answers in the thousands of pts. Its 130 pts for 13 levels (6 adn1/2 feet) just to b able to pull off the "Is there actually a body in that coffin?" stunt.

You get 90% of the value of Penetrating Vision with the first level and 95% with the second but after that it starts being many, many levels that you need.
Yeah, it probably needs the "exponential range increase" treatment. Though at some point that lets you start seeing through the earth...
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

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Yeah, it probably needs the "exponential range increase" treatment. Though at some point that lets you start seeing through the earth...
Which in and of itself isn't terrible, as your vision still suffers its other ordinary limits -- like being unable to resolve any details or even differentiate objects when they're 8000 miles away. (I can see stars that are >10,000 light-years distant, for all the good that does in my knowing what goes on there.) A character that's going to get any use out of that level of Penetrating Vision is also going to need Telescopic (at least 15 levels counting the "zoom in" bonus, or another 75 points).
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:43 AM   #20
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Default Re: Is Penetrating Vision a bit OP?

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Yeah, it probably needs the "exponential range increase" treatment. Though at some point that lets you start seeing through the earth...
Eh, not sure how that's a problem. Still doesn't mean you can actually see anything useful. Suggestion:
Penetrating Vision (40)
You can see through solid materials; at base cost, 2 yards (+0 on the range/speed chart). You may adjust this by taking Increased Range or Reduced Range (the GM may permit you to take more than 3 levels of Reduced Range). You still suffer all other normal effects of range.
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