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Normally, ranged attacks have 3 range categories (short/medium/long) with different penalties to the attack roll (-0/-2/-5). Which one do you use if an effect doesn't have an attack roll? E.g. an area attack, or a non-attack effect such as Move Object or Create?

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Generally, it does not apply. Area Attacks don't have an attack roll. Dropping an object on someone doesn't have an attack roll. You just use them at maximum range. Move Object is actually an interesting case in my opinion since it ought to be a Ranged attack (unless you take it to Perception level), but I could see an argument for someone using it as a Close attack, much like with Elongation. For Area attacks (including dropping a Created house on someone), you could treat the range penalty as penalty on the Dodge DC so that targets would be easier to hit, but that would be a houserule. I could similarly see imposing a range penalty on using Elongation or Move Object to do something at a great distance, like make a skill check in Technology to disarm a bomb from around the corner.

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