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Old 08-05-2011, 05:25 AM   #1
Snaps
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Provo, UT
Default Psionic Powers: Awareness

So I have a player with a lot of of the Awareness power from Psionic Powers and tonight a few questions came up about it.

From reading the rules on the power we couldn't agree on exactly how detailed things "seen" with awareness were. I have been picturing the power sort of like radar or some high tech 3D imaging system. You know what there, but its not the same as actually seeing something.

The question came up when a pack of dogs were shadowing the party while they traveled through the forest. Should the player been able to tell that these weren't normal dogs by sensing them with awareness? (They were Cu Sith or Faerie dogs, with green spots and glowing green eyes)

Should the players have been able to tell that they had green spots? Can you make out colors with awareness?

If an assassin took a shot at a player from a rooftop with a crossbow and was detected and examined with Awareness could the player later on identify that assassin in a lineup or if he saw him on the street? Could he make out that the assassin had a crossbow? If the Assassin's **** said Dave on it would awareness pick that up?

Could you read a book with awareness? How about Braille?

Would camouflage work vs. Awareness?
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:30 AM   #2
chandley
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Psionic Powers: Awareness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
So I have a player with a lot of of the Awareness power from Psionic Powers and tonight a few questions came up about it.

From reading the rules on the power we couldn't agree on exactly how detailed things "seen" with awareness were. I have been picturing the power sort of like radar or some high tech 3D imaging system. You know what there, but its not the same as actually seeing something.

The question came up when a pack of dogs were shadowing the party while they traveled through the forest. Should the player been able to tell that these weren't normal dogs by sensing them with awareness? (They were Cu Sith or Faerie dogs, with green spots and glowing green eyes)

Should the players have been able to tell that they had green spots? Can you make out colors with awareness?

If an assassin took a shot at a player from a rooftop with a crossbow and was detected and examined with Awareness could the player later on identify that assassin in a lineup or if he saw him on the street? Could he make out that the assassin had a crossbow? If the Assassin's **** said Dave on it would awareness pick that up?

Could you read a book with awareness? How about Braille?

Would camouflage work vs. Awareness?
From your first paragraph, it seems like you have it pretty nailed down (at least, as far as reading p.16 of Psionic Powers myself, I agree with you). The description implies that this acts a lot like Para-Radar, only with Psionic waves, not EM waves. "Fine relief as perfectly as the human eye" is pretty good, actually far better than imaging radar/terahertz radar, etc.

So, no ability to distinguish colors, nor read a normal book, but yes to braille, and Id allow a really smashing sense roll to make out the indentations on the paper to read a normal book if it had been hand written or impact printed, by a printing press, say, rather than a deskjet or laser printer.

Yes to identifying the assassin in a line up (provided you could perceive him with Awareness!), yes to noticing the crossbow. You got filtered on what ever has "Dave" on it, but it would depend on if the Dave was carved vs painted, etc.

Camouflage COULD work vs Awareness, if the person using the skill knew they would need to break up their profile to Awareness as well as normal vision. Id assess a skill penalty, -4 seems about right. Make it a technique to buy it off. Someone in a Ghilie suit might not immediately look like a person to Awareness, but they would probably stand out from the background all the same unless they took extra care.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
Snaps
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Provo, UT
Default Re: Psionic Powers: Awareness

Thanks.

I completely missed Scanning Sense on pg. 17. I was trying to find out where "Extra-Sensory Awareness" came from and couldn't find it. I couldn't find the advantage that Awareness was based off of.

I kept thinking it was called ESP and was looking for that and forgot that in 4e it's been turned into Scanning Sense.

Scanning Sense on pg. 81 of characters says specifically that it:
Quote:
lets you discern size and shape, but not color or fine detail (such as writing).
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:03 AM   #4
Mithlas
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Default Re: Psionic Powers: Awareness

By my reading, it's a passive power that gives you an awareness of position but not particulars. You can tell "there are two people three meters from me" but would need modifiers (Analyzing, +100% in 4E according to Powers, p47) in order to get detail like you could at a glance with normal eyes in normal lighting conditions. It can be turned off so it can't be detected, but if you want it to have a duration (ie "activates for 5 minutes at a time") you'd need to apply a Limitation to it.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:59 AM   #5
T.K.
 
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Default Re: Psionic Powers: Awareness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
The question came up when a pack of dogs were shadowing the party while they traveled through the forest. Should the player been able to tell that these weren't normal dogs by sensing them with awareness? (They were Cu Sith or Faerie dogs, with green spots and glowing green eyes)
Unless they had a considerably different body or size, no he can't discern from normal dogs.

Can't see color or green spots.

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Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
Should the players have been able to tell that they had green spots? Can you make out colors with awareness?
Can't see colors as per B. 81, which is from what the power is made off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
If an assassin took a shot at a player from a rooftop with a crossbow and was detected and examined with Awareness could the player later on identify that assassin in a lineup or if he saw him on the street? Could he make out that the assassin had a crossbow? If the Assassin's **** said Dave on it would awareness pick that up?
He only discerns the relief of the assassin, so unless it has a considerably unique shape, he cannot discern it from a humanoid of the same type later on.

He can discern he has a ranged weapon of sorts, probably a crossbow by the shape of it.

Unless the Dave was deeply etched on the crossbow (and even then I'd require a heavy penalty roll to discern such minor detail) he cannot discern if its colored or painted.

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Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
Could you read a book with awareness? How about Braille?

Would camouflage work vs. Awareness?

I'd say it's possible, but would require penalized rolls or long tasks to do so.

It depends on the camo. Painted doesn't work because you're relying on contour for your waves to hit and get back to you, so image means nothing.

Leaves and whatnot might make it more difficult to be perceived but still noticeable.

Gotta remember most of camo, normally, is due to tricks to our eyes and vision capabilities and also how our brain identify colors, shapes and alike.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:32 AM   #6
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Psionic Powers: Awareness

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Originally Posted by Hellboy View Post
I don't have the clearest idea of how this functions in 3e. It has no stated duration nor distinction between active and passive use... should we assume it is a passive power? Or do you just randomly check it if you want to know if something is around?
There's considerable scope for confusion here.

Awareness in 3e was an advantage (15 points or 35 points) that let you detect "things that are not of the physical world, like the presence of spirits or magic." The name came from the old GURPS Mage: the Ascension and it's based on an ability from the White Wolf game Mage: the Ascension.

The ability to do that is one of the things you can buy with the Detect advantage in 4e. Preserving the details of the M:tA adaptation was not a priority for 4e, since the relationship between SJG and White Wolf had broken down, and the name got re-used for an ability based on the 4e Scanning Sense advantage in Psionic Powers, five years after 4e was published.
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:01 PM   #7
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Psionic Powers: Awareness

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.K. View Post
He only discerns the relief of the assassin, so unless it has a considerably unique shape, he cannot discern it from a humanoid of the same type later on.
"{Extra-Sensory Awareness} can distinguish fine relief as perfectly as the human eye.... Make a skill roll each minute to use Awareness, as well as to make out fine details, notice clues, etc."

That includes facial structures. This isn't a Scanning Sense with low resolution, like Radar.

Identification is going to be somewhat hampered by the lack of color. But would you rule that a color-blind person is unable to recognize an individual? Take a a look at the left-hand side of this MRI image, which not only loses color but eyebrows and other hair. Impossible to recognize? I wouldn't think so, though I would assess a penalty for missing detail. (Notice the right-hand side has been literally "de-faced"; the image is a demo of an algorithm that exists precisely to render MRI images unrecognizable, which wouldn't be necessary if the lack of color and detail were sufficient to prevent recognition on their own.)


Quote:
I'd say {reading a book}'s possible, but would require penalized rolls or long tasks to do so.
I'd disagree. Normal books are all about color contrast between the ink and paper. Perhaps heavily engraved or intaglio printing would be readable, but I doubt most print is thick enough to be discernable to the human-eye benchmark mentioned in the ability description.

Quote:
It depends on the camo. Painted doesn't work because you're relying on contour for your waves to hit and get back to you, so image means nothing.
Agree. Though the setting conceivably has "ESP camo", which scatters or alters the intensity of the return signal in much the same way as visible-light camo is intended to do for human eyes, or stealth for radar. Psi-hunters assassins might have access to such gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellboy
I don't have the clearest idea of how this functions in 3e
This is a different ability than the one you were asking about in the other thread, so unfortunately the responses here won't be relevant.
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:32 PM   #8
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Psionic Powers: Awareness

On a related point, look up Commonwealth v. Coutu, a 2015 Mass Supreme Court decision in scholar.google. Witness testified that she made an identification of the culprit by her ESP. Court says:

the gravamen of the defendant's argument is that it was error to permit the victim, by employment of her "sixth sense" or through extra sensory perception (ESP), to recognize the defendant as her attacker. We agree. "In general, a witness bases any identification [she] makes on [her] perception through the use of [her] senses. Usually the witness identifies an offender by the sense of sight but this is not necessarily so, and [she] may use other senses." Commonwealth v. Franklin, 465 Mass. 895, 910 n.24 (2013) (quotation omitted). However, when our case law speaks of "other senses," it was meant to limit those available for identification to the five found in the natural world. Indeed, by definition, ESP or a "sixth sense," is beyond the corporeal or numerical senses of convention. The evidence of the victim's supernatural recognition of the defendant as her attacker should not have been permitted.

Court then concludes the error was harmless based on other evidence in the case.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:13 PM   #9
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Psionic Powers: Awareness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellboy View Post
Now it's sounding like 3e had at least THREE different powers called awareness:
Can you cite the sources (3e book and page number) for those three? I'm too lazy to dig in the basement to find my 3e Psionics and Voodoo. (Edit: I see in another thread you mention that "Hellboy" has an "Awareness" power on p136. Alas, I don't have Hellboy.)

The 4e Update lists Awareness (from Mage) converting to Detect (Supernatural phenomena and beings), with the 35-point version adding Detect (Auras).

Update doesn't list any 3e ESP sub-power called "Awareness". (Just Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, Precognition, Psychometry.) Posters here have suggested 4e ESP powers as a possible base for building an "Awareness" ability, since the OP mentions Awareness from Psionic Powers. That's a 4e book, so conversion isn't necessary, and it also shouldn't be a point of confusion for 3e, since the book didn't exist then. The 4e Psi Powers "Awareness" is built on Extra-Sensory Awareness defined therein as a type of Scanning Sense, also mentioned upthread.

I'm not sure how something called "Spirit Form" could be confused with something called "Awareness". Not listed in 4e Update. Without knowing the description of the ability, it seems most likely that it's an Alternate Form.

In any event, Update explicitly points out that names might have changed. Check the effects of the power, and use that to choose the new name, rather than get hung up on the name itself.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 02-22-2016 at 05:19 PM.
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