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Reading Absorption

Sandman XI

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Choose physical or energy damage when you buy this effect. Subtract your Absorption rank from the damage bonus of the affected attack. If the remaining bonus is +0 or greater, make a normal Toughness save against the remaining damage bonus, otherwise you ignore the attack’s damage completely. Your Absorption rank counts as a bonus to your Toughness saves for power level purposes.
So, if I have Absorption 13 and get hit with a +14 Damage attack, my save DC would be 16. Am I reading this wrong or is it badly worded?
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I think the confusion we were reaching was not whether or not the remaining damage would get the save, it would be if the Toughness save on that would be at +13. Absorption counts as a toughness save for power level purposes, but does it add to your toughness save?

IE: I get hit with an attack and have 13 ranks of Absorption (Or Impervious Protection with the Absorption extra). The damage of the attack is +20. I absorb 13 of it and make a +7 damage save for a DC 22 toughness save. I roll a d20? or a d20+13?

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You are reading it right, Sand, which means the "Impervious Toughness" part of Absorption (which is Impervious Toughness + Reaction Boost or Heal) doesn't work the way Impervious Toughness normally does.

Unless it's been errata-ed. Which, from what I see here, it has not.

Slaven, you bring up an excellent point. I was assuming it did, but on closer reading I could see it go either way. I'll ask around.

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Absorption is an odd duck on two fronts:

First, yes, unlike normal Impervious Toughness, it actually reduces the incoming effect rank, rather than just setting a minimum threshold. Then you save against however many ranks of the attack effect remain. If none remain, you automatically make your save.

Second, although it should technically count against defensive PL limits for Toughness, Kenson has said you can pretty much handwave that away, as he has done with every official character build that has ever included Absorption (see Captain Thunder in Freedom City 2E for the most famous example).

Kenson has commented numerous times that he approaches power creation as an art as much as a science, so handwaved kludges like this aren't uncommon in M&M.

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But... but math is a Science!


If Absorption did add to the Toughness save, you've essentially got double the protection: Absorption reduces the DC of the attack by X, and also adds X to your save against the lowered effect. Basically, the defensive version of Corrosion/Disintegrate.

Ex no.1: Sponge (PL 10, Absorption 12) is hit by a full-powered blast from Hades, Lord of Tartarus (PL 15, Hellfire Control/Blast 18). Absorption would reduce that to a Blast 6 (DC 21 to save), and if Absorption is also giving a bonus to Toughness save (+12), then on an average roll (for a 22), Sponge wouldn't be damaged at all. At worst, if he rolled a 1, he'd be bruised & stunned.

Ex no.2: Sponge (PL 10, Absorption 12) is hit by a full-powered blast from Omega, Lord of the Terminus (PL 19, Blast 24). Absorption would reduce that to a Blast 12 (DC 27 to save), and if Absorption is also giving a bonus to Toughness save (+12), then on an average roll (for a 22, fail by 5), he'd only be bruised & stunned. On a good roll (11-14) he may only be bruised, and on a very good roll (15+) he would take no damage at all. At worst, if he rolled a 1, he'd be stunned & staggered (and disabled), but not unconscious (or dying)

That cannot be right.

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It doesn't add to your Toughness save. Not directly, anyway. It was built similarly, but not identically, to a Limited Impervious Protection. That's how it's priced. It works exactly like you think it does, Doc - it reduces the incoming damage, which you then save against normally with Toughness from other sources. It basically works like the Protection power from 1E.

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Right. That's what I was thinking, and what we were trying to clarify. Absorption itself never states that it adds to your toughness, it's just that absorption is an extra for Protection, which, that power, definitely states it adds a bonus to your toughness save. Therein, we had a dilemma.

One way it's overpowered, and one way it's balanced. But in a game of superheros and villains, we were just looking for the official ruling.

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