I'm trying to use a swarm of insects as a Concealment effect, making the insects flying around the enemies and not let them see or hear (due to the buzz sound). but I faced some issues.

Concealment has a Personal range, so it will only work on me. To affect others, I should use Affect Others or Attack. Affect Others make it possible for others to disable the effect at will, which is not what I have in mind. Attack is imposing, but it has a problem: the power does not work on me anymore. I would need to buy Concealment again and maybe link it to use both versions of Concealment at the same time. A ranged or perception range should adjust the power to not need to touch in close range the others.

But here is the issue: Concealment controls who's been concealed, but not who's gonna have their senses affected. The concept of a swarm to block senses lies on this premise, that you choose who is going to be affected by the swarm and not who is going to be concealed. In other words, Concealment concealed some people from everyone, but my effect seems to be the opposite: you blind the senses of some people to prevent them from sensing everyone.

How can I build such power effect?


2 Answers 2


Two Approaches

What you describe has two probable sets of game mechanics. The first is to fill some space with swarming insects, blocking vision into and (mostly) out of the area. The second is to have your insects swarm over the visual sensors of a group of targets.

Smoke Grenade

Functionally, your desired power works like a smoke grenade. Some volume of space you choose is filled with vision blocking particles that prevent sight into or out of the area. Looking at the Smoke Grenade equipment, you'll find that it is a Concealment effect with Area (Cloud), Attack, and Ranged extras.

Flash Bang Grenade

The other interpretation is that you want to blind a group of foes. Again, the grenade equipment provides a useful model to build. The Flash-Bang Grenade uses a Area (Burst), Ranged, Affliction (Dazzle) effect; there's a minor variant called a Flash Grenade that only affects visual senses.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The smoke grenade case seems to be an issue for me. Concealment, as it stands, means that you can conceal from others. If you apply an Attack, and based on the description of the modifier and the effect, THEY can conceal from you. For example, if you have Teleport and apply Attack, you teleport them, not you anymore. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 14, 2020 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrunoEstrazulas Yes, you do conceal them, along with everything else in the area. That includes the light they were going to use to see out of the area. No one can see them and they can't see anyone. It's not intuitive but it does work. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Feb 14, 2020 at 22:15

For the use case you want, to be able to target people and make them unable to see or hear, you want Affliction, Limited to those few senses, probably as Impaired/Disabled/Unaware, limited to Visual and Hearing. Depending on how badly they fail their save, they get a -2 to checks that require seeing/hearing, a -5 to checks requiring seeing/hearing, and then become completely unable to use those senses. To affect multiple people at once, you'd probably need Area with Selective.

If you wanted the case of being able to prevent everyone in a particular area from being seen, 3E does treat that Obscure as an Attack Concealment that has custom modifiers so that there's no save, applies to people trying to look into/within the area of effect, etc. One of the Power Profiles suggested going back to the 2E setup where it's its own power (albeit very similar to Environment Control) rather than trying to hack it into place. People on the old boards also pointed out that a permeable but opaque Create effect has similar effects as well.

But here, just use Affliction if your GM is alright with that limitation. Yes, it means you will very seldom totally blind people unless they're well below PL, but given how powerful blinding someone is (they become Vulnerable, have penalties to hit, have to pick a square to target on top of that without necessarily knowing if anyone is there, etc), maybe that's alright.


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