I recently had a player ask me if their Incorporeal hero would be affected by the cold weather around him. My initial thought was that the power protected against all effects of physical or energy descriptor, outside of the one common exception, but the text did not seem to actually indicate that, only stating Immunity to Damage. The text for the energy form seems very similar, only offering immunity to physical Damage, and to energy effects of the same energy that you are.
RANK 3 – ENERGY
You become coherent energy. You have no effective Strength, but have Immunity to Physical Damage. Energy attacks (other than the energy making up your form, to which you have Immunity) damage you normally. You can pass through solid objects permeable to your type of energy, but energy resistant barriers, like heavy shielding or force fields, block your movement.
RANK 4 – INCORPOREAL
You become an incorporeal phantom. You can pass through solid matter at your normal speed and you have Immunity to Physical and Energy Damage. Sensory effects (other than tactile) and those targeting Will still work on you, as do effects with the Affects Insubstantial modifier. Choose one other reasonably common effect or descriptor that works on you while you are incorporeal. You have no effective Strength and cannot affect the physical world, except with effects with the Affects Corporeal modifier. Your sensory effects work normally.
Unless you have Immunity to Suffocation, you must hold your breath while passing through a solid object, and you can suffocate. If you revert to solid form while inside a solid object for any reason, you suffer damage equal to the object’s Toughness, resisted by your Fortitude. If not incapacitated by the damage, you’re immediately ejected from the object into the nearest open space. If you are incapacitated, you’re trapped inside the object and your condition worsens to dying on the following round (making it very difficult for aid to reach you).
This feels a bit odd. Reading it by the book suggests that an Affliction effect, such as somebody using rope to tie up their opponent quickly, would affect somebody with Insubstantial 4, like a ghost. I plan to ask the people at Green Ronin about it, but didn't get a chance during the Monday livecast.
It does also lead to the question of environmental effects that are not Damage, but since it does call out the need to still be able to breathe while in physical objects, I am assuming that the cold around them will likely still affect them, except maybe in insubstantial 3, if you have a form that is of a corresponding energy type.