Was looking at Power Profiles and found some interesting information on the Fire Power: Flame Aura (pg. 69, nice)... Attacks with Reaction: When Touched don't need a Attack Check since they're already touching you.

Range's Definition (pg. 310, PHB) declares that Close Effects only work on subjects the user touches, meaning "when touched" effects would be invalid if it did not also mean that you touch them. This should mean any touch regardless of who initiates triggers these Reactions, and that hitting someone also triggers them, applying like a Triggered 8: On contact Contagious Effect applied to yourself that can spread to anyone you hit or are hit by. Considering this is a Flame Aura it makes sense, given it should just be continuously enveloped around you and doesn't magically stop working when you want to touch somebody, but it means that this can potentially trigger several times a round via Extra Effort, more Triggered/Reaction Attacks, and controversially but possibly Full Force Leaping into a targets before your movement ends.

So again, does Reaction: When Touched effects trigger when you hit a Close Attack?? RAW seems to indicate this works but under this definition you get the can of worms of Insubstantial Objects (Water, Gas, etc) quite blatantly triggering the Reaction whenever you move through them and Area Damage Effects with these as a result becoming very weird.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I’ve removed the [gm-techniques] tag since it doesn’t appear to have anything to do with this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


Good question. In my experience, this has come down to GM decisions. I think that there was some official guidance in 2E, when Reaction based on touch was called Aura, that it would normally stack with regular Close Damage, including PL limits. So, much like our discussion on Triggered, you couldn't use it to "hit with Damage twice", but you could target two different saves (for example, charging your fist with lightning and punching for your Strength Damage and an Affliction that's your Reaction on touch). Unfortunately, I'm not finding that at the moment. So, as per the text of the rule, it's up to the GM to decide, "The GM is the final arbiter as to whether or not a triggering circumstance is suitable for a particular effect in the context of the series. Caution should be used to keep this option from being abused."

Short answer? It's a GM call, but my experience has been that people have shied away from having it apply multiple times on a player's round on the player's own volition. It could trigger multiple times in a turn (say, the player turns on the fire aura, punches someone, gets punched by a villain and gets knocked silly, then a teammate tries to haul them to safety, resulting in 3 activations).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if you could make it like Secondary Effect or Cloud Area under the ruling that it can only apply the damage/effect once per turn, but the effect of getting hit more than once still lingers to apply on following rounds. Could be fun and feels fitting for the playstyle. Any thoughts on Insubstantial Touch in terms of RAW? I was thinking of using it with the Growth/Insubstantial concept from before to do a kind of continuous Cloud Area that follows you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12 at 22:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that kind of comes into where the GM needs to handle the trigger. Are you the sort of person who sets air on fire? Why? :-D \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 13 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why not? I prefer mechanics as narrative, if your fire can ignite anything despite not being hot enough to do so maybe your descriptors aren't as simple as you think they are. Perhaps there's a secret in how the world works, perhaps it's a hint to the origin of your powers, or of the origin of all powers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 13 at 3:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ {nods} If the GM is fine with that sort of trigger, then that's the kind of game they will play. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 13 at 3:31

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