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Old 02-06-2015, 02:12 PM   #11
Anthony
 
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
As opposed to having range modifiers? Is there any known biological sense that cuts off at a specified distance, rather than being limited by energy intensity, material concentration, and/or angular resolution?
Touch. Depending on how long you're willing to wait for an echo response, probably sonar.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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Touch. Depending on how long you're willing to wait for an echo response, probably sonar.
Touch is a trivial example; GURPS already has rules for nonranged abilities.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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I can only think of contrived realistic examples. Is the book not good for supernatural abilities? I can think of lots of those that have discrete cutoffs, which GURPS doesn't handle well at all.
Well, actually, I didn't think of this as a book about ESP (covered in Psionic Powers) or about magical senses. It has some unphysical things such as x-ray vision, but mostly taken from comics or space opera.

But that's not the real point here, as I see it. GURPS provides abilities that can be used to define pretty much any magical or paranormal or weird sense you can imagine; between Detect and Scanning Sense (Para-Radar especially) you're pretty well covered. But Detect assumes standard range modifiers, not a sharp cutoff; and Scanning Sense has a specified range, but takes a penalty for use outside that range—it's not a sharp cutoff either. I don't think there's any sensory ability in GURPS that has a maximum range, whether it's detecting water vapor or arcane metaphysics. And that, I think, is because the games that have such cutoffs do so as a matter of game mechanics, because they make things simpler to run, at the expense of realism—"No, I'm sorry, your Detect Undead has a range of 50 yards and the vampire was waiting 60 yards away, so you didn't notice her." That kind of arbitrary sharp cutoff isn't based on any actual theory of how magic ought to work, but purely on keeping things simple for the GM. And GURPS doesn't do that so much, because its style is to privilege realism.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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It's hard to say "errata: the description of this ability is completely wrong".
Realistic UV Vision [0]
You can see near ultraviolet. Allows using UV lamps (note that, due to fluorescence, these are not particularly stealthy) and UV dyes; otherwise has few practical applications. On the minus side, effects of atmospheric haze are doubled, and you have a -1 to resist eye damage from sunlight, such as snowblindness. UV penetrates water poorly, and is generally useless more than a few inches underwater.
Don't be silly. Quite a few real world animals need and use UV vision otherwise they wouldn't have evolved it.

And having lenses opaque to UV just means that's the part that gets damaged by intense light.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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Don't be silly. Quite a few real world animals need and use UV vision otherwise they wouldn't have evolved it.
It's relevant to a flower recognition, for those PCs who happen to be bees or hummingbirds. Otherwise, really, it's not useful, which is why the cornea blocks UV (we could otherwise see it, blue color receptors are sensitive in the UV) and why cameras generally block it.
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And having lenses opaque to UV just means that's the part that gets damaged by intense light.
It's a lot easier to make a lens durable than to make a detector durable.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

Adding a single color to our primate three improves color perception. It should be a nice perk, just like how lacking one of them is a nice physical quirk.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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..,
It's a lot easier to make a lens durable than to make a detector durable.
And it's trivially easy to just wear protective glasses. I fail to see your point.

Edit: I don't mean to sound rude or dismissive. I really just don't see what your apparent non sequitur means.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:02 PM   #18
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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Adding a single color to our primate three improves color perception. It should be a nice perk, just like how lacking one of them is a nice physical quirk.
You mean like Tetrachromatism, on p. 26 of Enhanced Senses, which gives +1 to Vision rolls?
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:38 PM   #19
Flyndaran
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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You mean like Tetrachromatism, on p. 26 of Enhanced Senses, which gives +1 to Vision rolls?
Sure. That's why I disagree with the previous poster's statement that UV vision is useless.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses

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Sure. That's why I disagree with the previous poster's statement that UV vision is useless.
What makes you think UV vision would give tetrachromatism? Most common real-world equivalents just give an extended blue band (old-fashioned film cameras were UV sensitive, and normally used UV coatings or filters to cut it out, because the major effect is to make landscape shots hazy. Electronic cameras probably do the same, as would human eyes if the cornea didn't block UV). In any case, it's not completely useless, it's just that it's mildly useful and mildly harmful, which adds up to zero.
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