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Old 08-29-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
Mgellis
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Flushing, Michigan
Default Force field questions

This is following up to a couple of earlier threads on this topic because I want to make sure I've got this right before I help a player with his character...

Option 1:

DR 10 (Force field, +20%) [60] is, for all practical purposes, super-skin. It provides a sheath of power that covers your skin, your eyes, the insides of your mouth when you're talking, etc. It's always on, but it somehow knows when it's supposed to let things like air and food through.

Am I getting this right?

Option 2:

DR 10 (Force field, +20%, Switchable, +10%, Area Effect, +50%, Nuisance Effect, "two-way fence," -5%) [88] is a more typical force field, the kind you might use with a spaceship or a superhero like Sue Storm. You can turn it on and off at will. In fact, you often have to turn it off because it tends to get in the way of things. It's a two-way fence. It's hard for you to reach stuff outside the field. It's like a wall surrounding you. You can wear armor. And if something is inside the field when you turn it on, you can manipulate it or pick it up. But if you move around, your force field moves with you, pushing things away, etc. Shooting through it is as hard for you as it is for people outside. And if something is so large and you couldn't normally move it with your ST, you can be blocked by it while your field is on if you can't get around it.

Does this sound right or is there another way to build this?

Option 3:

How would you handle a "sealed, but eventually you run out of air if you leave it on too long" limitation? Still just part of a nuisance effect (which is the simple way to do it) or something else?

Thanks.

Mark
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:21 AM   #2
jeff_wilson
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Default Re: Force field questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgellis View Post
This is following up to a couple of earlier threads on this topic because I want to make sure I've got this right before I help a player with his character...

Option 1:

DR 10 (Force field, +20%) [60] is, for all practical purposes, super-skin. It provides a sheath of power that covers your skin, your eyes, the insides of your mouth when you're talking, etc. It's always on, but it somehow knows when it's supposed to let things like air and food through.

Am I getting this right?
Not quite - it is not skinlike in that it also protects "everything you’re carrying or wearing (up to Extra-Heavy encumbrance)". Since it says "everything" rather than "objects" as the similar Can Carry Objects, this presumably could include other people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgellis View Post
Option 2:

DR 10 (Force field, +20%, Switchable, +10%, Area Effect, +50%, Nuisance Effect, "two-way fence," -5%) [88] is a more typical force field, the kind you might use with a spaceship or a superhero like Sue Storm. You can turn it on and off at will. In fact, you often have to turn it off because it tends to get in the way of things. It's a two-way fence. It's hard for you to reach stuff outside the field. It's like a wall surrounding you. You can wear armor. And if something is inside the field when you turn it on, you can manipulate it or pick it up. But if you move around, your force field moves with you, pushing things away, etc. Shooting through it is as hard for you as it is for people outside. And if something is so large and you couldn't normally move it with your ST, you can be blocked by it while your field is on if you can't get around it.

Does this sound right or is there another way to build this?

Option 3:

How would you handle a "sealed, but eventually you run out of air if you leave it on too long" limitation? Still just part of a nuisance effect (which is the simple way to do it) or something else?
Option 2 needs Affects Others or it will be limited to your Extra-Heavy Encumbrance. I'm not sure that the proposed nuisance effect is truly a limitation unless people are free to leave the field without having to overcome its DR, as that would make it a useful trap as well. For Option 3, I would recommend linking Sealed and Vacuum Support to Option 2 with the same modifiers except for the Nuisance Effect.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:40 AM   #3
Mgellis
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Flushing, Michigan
Default Re: Force field questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_wilson View Post
Not quite - it is not skinlike in that it also protects "everything you’re carrying or wearing (up to Extra-Heavy encumbrance)". Since it says "everything" rather than "objects" as the similar Can Carry Objects, this presumably could include other people.
Okay, so it somehow automatically extends itself to anything touching your body or held in your hands, up to a certain encumbrance level. That is both very playable (you don't have to remember what is protected and what isn't) and very silly...you grab Lois Lane and suddenly she's protected by your DR? Huh? What? :) Of course, it does prevent the "Man of steel...costume of Kleenex...Explosions = Cheap thrills for onlookers!" problem. :) In other words, the basic +20% force field represents Four Color physics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_wilson View Post
Option 2 needs Affects Others or it will be limited to your Extra-Heavy Encumbrance. I'm not sure that the proposed nuisance effect is truly a limitation unless people are free to leave the field without having to overcome its DR, as that would make it a useful trap as well. For Option 3, I would recommend linking Sealed and Vacuum Support to Option 2 with the same modifiers except for the Nuisance Effect.
I'm assuming the Nuisance Effect covers situations where the force field protects an area and doesn't keep you from picking up things inside the force field, etc. So you don't have Temporary Disadvantage: No Fine Manipulators. It is like being inside a fence. But once it is on, if you try to move around, it moves with you and is kind of like wearing a tent or a giant hoop skirt from the 1700s. It bumps into things! :) To avoid that, you have to turn it off and turn it back on when you've moved to a new position, which does leave you vulnerable.

If the field is "smart" and adapts itself to doorways, lets people in and out, lets you breathe, etc., then there is no Nuisance Effect. I figure -5% is reasonable for "things that really are a limitation or even a danger but are either not very serious or not very common."
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:01 AM   #4
GoldenH
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Default Re: Force field questions

Why should you even be able to walk in a force field? You shouldn't be able to use any reaction drives, either. And aren't most force fields transparent (so you can see through them, use scanners, etc) and thus wouldn't block lasers?

These are bigger problems to me than having to have an air supply (solved by flickering it off for a second when you think it's safe) or not being able to manipulate things through the device (adaptive permeability is just pretty much required for cinematic force shields).

A two way fence should also protect against vacuum, temperature, high pressure, metabolic hazards, and so on. As it is, getting DR from a Force Field seems mostly like it is a force dampener than a literal bubble. eg any energy that is projected into the field is absorbed until it reaches a harmless amount of momentum/energy. Powers suggests that is a repelling field, either of which means that you won't have any problem breathing or grabbing anything though there might be some comical nuisance effects like, some featherweight tool jumping away every time you reach for it.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:00 PM   #5
Not another shrubbery
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Force field questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenH
Why should you even be able to walk in a force field? You shouldn't be able to use any reaction drives, either. And aren't most force fields transparent (so you can see through them, use scanners, etc) and thus wouldn't block lasers?
Are you asking rhetorically?
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:15 PM   #6
Mgellis
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Flushing, Michigan
Default Re: Force field questions

In other words, the basic Force Field, +20% modifier is meant to cover your typical Four Color hero, where the hero is simply able to soak up damage and (mostly because it is convention of the comic book genre) costumes, gear, etc. are protected as well while the hero is using them.

For Sue Storm (or someone like her...I'm sure her force field is a lot stronger than this example) perhaps the build should be...

DR 10 (Force field, +20%; Affects others, +50%; Area Effect, 2 Yards, +50%; Requires Concentrate, -15%) [143]. The ability is normally OFF, and requires a Concentrate maneuver to activate, and continued Concentration to maintain, but will protect everyone and everything within two yards of the person generating the force field for as long as the person maintains it.

I had missed a few points in Powers...you don't need Switchable when an ability has Requires Concentrate because that presumes the power is usually off and must be activated (even when it's a passive ability, see Powers p. 112).

Am I getting this right?

Mark
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:33 PM   #7
Not another shrubbery
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Force field questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgellis
I had missed a few points in Powers...you don't need Switchable when an ability has Requires Concentrate because that presumes the power is usually off and must be activated (even when it's a passive ability, see Powers p. 112).

Am I getting this right?
Looks like it. The text of Requires Concentrate or Ready by itself doesn't necessarily support that, but such limitations have been established as making traits Switchable. I have some issues with giving an increase in functionality as part of a limitation, but that's just me.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
vitruvian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Force field questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
Looks like it. The text of Requires Concentrate or Ready by itself doesn't necessarily support that, but such limitations have been established as making traits Switchable. I have some issues with giving an increase in functionality as part of a limitation, but that's just me.
Of course, if that weren't the case, you'd have 1 level of Costs FP accidentally killing characters.
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:13 PM   #9
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: Force field questions

I found this type of force field much too expensive especially at useful levels. DR seems to be priced for fantasy :)

Instead I used Innate Attack: Crushing w/Wall to build Sue Storm's powers. Since it also comes with a range it works much better.

Invisible Wall DR 90 HP 15 (IA-Crushing 30d, Area 5 = 16 hexes +200%, Hardened 4 +80%, No Obvious Effect +20%, Persistent +40%, Wall +60%, 1 Fatigue/Use -5%, Requires Constant Concentration -15%, Super -10%) [638]

My final version, though, used a house rule for SuperEffort on DR where bracing it requires 1 fatigue and only lasts while concentrating:
Force Field 14/500 (Affects Others +50%, Area 4 yds +100%, Force Field +20%, Hardened 5 +100%, Ranged +40%, Super-Effort* +400%, Super -10%) [560]

Last edited by naloth; 08-31-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:45 AM   #10
Not another shrubbery
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Force field questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by vitruvian
Of course, if that weren't the case, you'd have 1 level of Costs FP accidentally killing characters.
I know... You'd have to either require Switchable to be bought separately, or build it into the modifier and adjust the cost accordingly.
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