Trying to figure out if the following is interpretation is RAW, disregarding rule 0 for clarity.

The intended mechanic is for a boss monster to use Growth (probably of some kind of inorganic/constructed body character or projections like Extra Limbs), using Insubstantial 1-2 (Precise), where you keep your original form on the inside surrounded by the Insubstantial material, trapping you and someone else within it by keeping the outer layer of your Growth substantial, using Precise to Teleport around as you make different parts of yourself Substantial within the body to keep hitting them and possibly some form of Contagious Fire Attacks to keep in contact with them.

The intended descriptor for this in particular was to make a kind of "forced duel" moment where those outside can't get in and those you trap can't get out until you are incapacitated or turn it off willingly. I was thinking of also invoking some kind of Contagious Damage/Affliction effect for those within it, probably with Triggered: On contact or something similar to also spread it to those that try to attack the outer layer in an attempt to get in.

Most noteworthy things are that while you are effectively using a Trapping Effect from Create or Transform, its with the benefits of making the Trap Movable, with Feedback since you still take damage, with constant contact due to Insubstantial Material still counting, and with the stat benefits gained from Growth, and if you leave small gaps through Precise you can potentially trap even more people.

I suspect you might need Morph and some special Senses to make sure the inner body is still a effective body but I'm not sure if you can't just solve that with the descriptors of how Growth works (maybe more Attack on Titan where its not actually your real body).

Not sure how about how RAW this and the means of making it not horrifying is, particularly in that I'm not sure if you're allowed to make your Growth 'projected' or constructed if you're looking for a less gruesome way of using this that is more object/suit based, though perhaps just being construct-like or plant-like yourself may be reasonable, expanding the influence of your mechanism (like Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy). Feels cool to me though I am concerned about trapping someone and then having Regeneration or Immunity so that no amount of damage they can feasibly deal would be enough to actually can allow them to escape.


1 Answer 1


Quick side note, 2e Ultimate Power offered this as a +0 Extra for Snare that it looks like 3e did not retain (or at least I could find no mention in the Power Profiles or Gadget Guides books):

Engulf (+0): You “snare” targets by grappling them. This includes creatures that swallow opponents whole or heroes able to engulf targets in an animated cloak. Your snare has no range and requires a melee attack roll. However, your target is rendered bound and helpless on a failed save, rather than entangled. Once you have engulfed the target, the snare has a sustained duration. You suffer Feedback (see the Feedback flaw description) from attacks against the snare, since you are the snare! If you are stunned, any engulfed victims are freed.

This could largely be reverse-engineered from the existing Snare version of Affliction. Snare already has Extra Condition and Limited Degree to provide two results, and no third degree. There is no explicit limitation for "only the second degree", but it does seem in between the -1 "Only 1st and 2nd, or only 3rd" and the -2 "Only first degree" versions of Limited Degree, maybe allowing it with -1 per rank and a Quirk. Adding Feedback seems like it fits what you're looking for, using either Reaction or a Grab-Based Attack Flaw on the "digesting effect" depending on whether you want it to happen automatically or as your Standard action. Maybe Reversible to model being able to spit up something which is more trouble than it's worth.

That seems like a much easier way to handle the situation than trying to cobble together Growth, Create, etc. If you're worried about targets being able to too easily escape by doing damage, you can always look at alternate saves. If you genuinely want to avoid them being able to resist, either be the GM where it doesn't matter, or use something like a Dimensional Attack to transport people to a "stomach dimension".

  • \$\begingroup\$ This...doesn't answer my question. I'm not using the engulf to restrain or anything, just insubstantial so that there's a area they can occupy that's still in contact with the creature. The trapping effect similar to Create is just limiting where they can move with no other afflictions. There are other ways of doing something similar, but I'm asking if this one by RAW disregarding rule 0 works. Grab Based Multiattacks with Affects Corporeal (if you need it) already works with Insubstantial idk why 3e would need Engulf. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 4 at 2:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FriendlyNeighborhoodChicken: To be perfectly honest, you're asking whether the rules allow something, while disregarding the primary rule, so I'm pointing out that there was something similar in another edition, and that if you choose to use Precise Insubstantial in such a way that allows this, that's the GM's purview, as per Rule 0. Are you asking specifically if the way things are defined makes it airtight that this would be allowed? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 4 at 3:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is correct yes. Generally I'm looking for the RAW rather than RAI since that's how I run things. Rule 0 to me has always been a excuse for when things in a ttrpg are mechanically sound in the same way they have to be for video games to work properly, and as someone who has played card games where wordings and definitions tend to be more sound I feel as though ttrpgs should be held to that standard, even if it's not meant to be the point of these games. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 4 at 4:19

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