I'm trying to build a hero with telekinesis capable of creating a force field in an area for protection, like a wall or even a dome.

My first thought was to use Protection effect with Area (Burst), but, as described in the rules:

The Area modifier interacts with different ranges as follows:

Close: An effect must be at least close range in order to apply Area (personal range effects work only on the user by definition).

Protection has Personal Range, so apply Area to Protection would not be possible. I would need to increase the range to be able to use Area, but as described in Increased Range Extra, it would be needed to use Affects Others or Attack Extras:

Increasing the range of an effect from personal to close requires either the Affects Others or Attack extras (see their descriptions)

Since this is a defense effect, Attack does not apply. But, Affects Others has issues in its statement for the purpose of creating the force field as I required because:

  1. it requires that the user touches the others to work (but I think is possible to just assume that, if I combine Area with Affects Others, the Area "touches" everyone in the affected area)
  2. the affected individuals can control the power, which does not fit in the concept


This extra allows you to give someone else use of a personal effect. You must touch the subject as a standard action, and they have control over their use of the effect, although you can withdraw it when you wish as a free action.

I saw that some people do combine Affects Others with Area. In addition to that, in DC Adventures Hero Handbook, Green Lantern has an effect called Force Bubble that was built in the same way (but using Immunity instead of Protection, although Immunity has Personal range also).

Considering that this is an official book from the same designers from M&M and that others have applied the same thing, I would like to understand if my reading of the rules is correct. The rules do not seem to work in a way that Personal range powers can be combined with Affects Others and Area Extras. Affects Others seems to me that is directed to build powers that you can "lend" to others.

Am I misunderstanding something here?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ As a relative novice with M&M, was the create power considered and rejected? If so, why? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point. I've already considered that and it seems to be reasonable to use Create instead of Protection, but I noticed in DC Adventures that Green Lantern uses the same tool of combining Affects Others+Area (but for a different but still Personal Range power) to make something similar to my force field effect. Since this is an official content from M&M designers, it makes me wonder if I'm not getting those modifiers rules right \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 16:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps pose a new question about the mechanical legality of Green Lantern's power? Or mention that published example in your question? Or both? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a fine question as it stands. As noted, Affects Others seems to require a touch and more give the ability to use the power to others than to just apply its effect. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 17:44

2 Answers 2


This was a matter clarified in 2e by Steve Kenson:

Miles Craven wrote:
I want to create a character who can generate a forcefield in an area around himself, protecting everyone in the radius. Obviously, this is Force Field with the Area (likely Burst) extra. I assume that I have to also take the Affects Others extra at the +1 modifier, since the field is granting me protection, as well as everyone else within the affected area. Do I also have to take the Progression feat to allow me to protect a specific number of people in the field, or is this already assumed to be part of the area effect?

Affects Others and Area are required. You don't need Progression: the field protects everyone within its affected area.

3e no longer has Progression, but I'd say otherwise the answer still applies. Area changes it from "close target" (the touch) to "affected if in the area". And yes, the people in that area can choose to reject the Protection without a need to make any sort of save, which is the "ability to use the power".

And, as noted, Create might be a better use case for creating such a force field, for various reasons. I will note, though, that you probably will have to grapple with the common issue in d20-based systems that a barrier technically always blocks the first shot, even if it breaks (a wall of tissue paper will block a gunshot) but that's usually easily house-ruled when it gets ridiculous.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As I stated in another answer does not make much sense to me grant individuals inside the affected area to just ignore the Protection. I wonder if this is an aspect not considered by the designers and thus not stated in the rules. And regarding the Create power, why a barrier would block the first shot? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 18:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ The rules do not have a provision for an attack penetrating actual Total Cover. A common house rule is that, if the barrier fails by two degrees (hole punched in it), it reduces the attack effect by its Toughness, and if it falls by the (Destroyed), the steaks goes through at full power. Whatever makes sense for you and your players. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ As regards resisting the effect, using Attack instead does create a resistance check they must roll, or which they can choose to fail. Or your GM just says that Affects Objects with an Area "just works that way", which seems to be how Green Ronin is treating it. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ It at least makes a little more sense than their "Attack Area Concealment" to model smoke clouds... \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 18:49

Yes, You're Getting Confused

The confusion seems to stem from trying to apply Affects Others after Area.

Affects Others changes a Personal range to effectively Close range. I say "effectively" because it's not an attack effect so there are some minor but important differences.
Area would then center the effect on the user and affect all characters within the Area.

If you wanted to be able to place that area at range then you'd need to also apply the Increased Range extra.

So one build of what you've proposed would be:

Protection (Affects Others +1, Area (Burst) +1, Duration (Sustained) +0)

This creates a Protection effect, centered on the character, that increases Toughness by 1 per Rank for all characters within 30' radius, for as long as the character maintains it. Power Level limits still apply. The protected can refuse protection (somehow) but otherwise don't control the power.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So, a person inside the affected area can just simply refuse the protection? I would consider legit the case this character just moves away from the area, but the description seems to enable an individual INSIDE the affected area to simply ignore the Protection that is invoked and controlled by another person, like a hole opening in the force field (or just letting attacks cross the force field). It does not make much sense to me. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2020 at 18:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrunoEstrazulas The descriptors and trappings of how the characters can not be protected is weird. So weird that I ignore it when I run M&M. But that's how the rules indicate they work; Sustained Protection has one control - on or off. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Jan 28, 2020 at 23:09

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