COM: Constellation Blast Solarian ability clarification request

Rules Questions

6 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Character Operations Manual page 87 wrote:

Constellation Blast PHOTON REVELATION

D When you’re fully photon-attuned, as a standard action, you
can create a momentary chain of bursting energy that burns
through the terrain. When you use this ability, you create
three 10-foot-radius bursts within 60 feet of you, each of
which cannot overlap and must be centered no more than
15 feet from the center of one other radius
. You deal 5d6 fire
damage, plus 1d6 for every 2 solarian levels you have beyond
9th, to each creature in each radius. An affected creature can
attempt a Reflex save to take half damage. At 17th level, you
can create three, four, or five bursts when using this ability.

The wording here is difficult to read, at best.

At first glance, myself and several other people immediately thought "this is literally impossible, you can't have two 10ft radius blasts centered within 15 feet without overlap"
The only way to make it work is by really reading and rereading it, and potentially mangling the stuffing out of it by applying the 15 ft outer limit to half the radius, or 5 feet away from the center of a burst, effectively 20 feet away... which also make the lower limit, 20 feet away from the center of the burst due to no overlap. Basically, jump through hoops to even make it work.

Which brings me to...
Is this ability intended to fix the center of a blast 20 feet from the center of another blast, or is there supposed to be some leeway?
Is it supposed to instead be diameter rather than radius?

Apologies if i've rambled a bit.

I believe that it is supposed to be a chain.

You have 3 explosions A,B, and C

A has to be 15 feet from B and B has to be 15 feet from C, but C does not have to be 15ft from A

That doesn't solve the issue. A must be no more than 15 feet from B, while also not overlapping with B. A and B both have 10 foot radii. It is mathematically impossible to have two circles with 10 foot radii not overlap if the distance between their centers is less than 20 feet. C and B have the same issue. That C and A do not have to directly connect to each other does not remove the issue they both have with B.

The questions in the OP still stand.

Dark Archive

That ability is needlessly complex, but I would like to know how this is suppose to work as well.

If I had to guess, they used to be 15' radius.

So, either change the radius to 15', or change the maximum distance apart to 20', or simply state that creatures only take damage once, regardless of how many blasts they are inside of.


I wonder if the simplest answer is simply that it should have been listed a 10' diameter blast. A simple typo slip would be easy to make on a description of such a complex ability. It also would make the rule easy to play.

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