Jump to content

Alternate mental powers structure


Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

This is a misunderstanding of cumulative.

 

Cumulative stacks over time until reaching the desired result (like transforming a cat into a fencepost)

 

All or nothing either works as intended or fails to have any effect at all (like trying to mind control someone into giving you their cake, and failing to roll high enough so they just get angry at you for trying to mind control them)

 

The word you're looking for here is perhaps "incremental" (you do some damage each blast).

 

I don't want mental powers to automatically be cumulative, I want them to have some minor effect when they don't achieve their maximum roll.  That's an entirely different principle.  Making them cumulative does not address that issue.

 

That may actually just be the two of you using the same terms with different understandings. Cumulative is pretty much just like damage. In one case you add the attacks until unconsciousness and or death  is reached and in the other until a level of control is reached.

 

The problem here is that HERO has no widely used mechanics for being hampered by damage(aside from Flash which is again a special case).

 

Obviously Mental Powers that fail to meet their threshold should have no effect, but what about those that do reach the level but are instantly overcome? Perhaps a breakout roll should be a half-phase action so the attacker gets some utility?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 61
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I wish I had my gaming group active and had the energy to run games these days, so I could playtest ideas.  Often when I suggest something new or alternate like this, I get jumped on with both hobnail

Heretic.  HERETIC!  BURN THE HERETIC!!!   Oh yeah...social distancing.  Stupid pandemic...  Guess we're stuck with a semi-rational discussion instead...😉   What are the problems? 

For what its worth, there was zero animosity in anything I said, save my dislike for Combat Luck; that dislike was genuine.  What was also genuine was my empathizing with your frustration.  Thats why

I've had similar issues, and some of the conversation hit on my points of concern, but nobody else reached the conclusion I had.

 

Discussion mentioned a Blast that can inflict a few points of Stun, render the target Stunned or completely Knocked Out.  So why can't mental powers be graded on a similar scale instead of EGO, EGO +10, EGO +20, etc. which generates its own set of discussion.   I'm more partial to EGO levels of effect, describing them like this:

 

Can't exceed Mental Defense + EGO?  Plink, no effect at all.

Exceed Mental Defense + EGO, you leak a minor effect through - something they wouldn't mind doing anyways.

Exceed Mental Defense + EGO by their EGO, you get a serious effect (the equivalent of Stunning them) - something they are opposed to doing.

Exceed Mental Defense + EGO by double EGO, you get the major effect (the equivalent of a KO) - the things they are violently opposed to, or will die before doing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the interests of moving the goalposts :D , comparing the effects of mental powers against superhero PC's as they're being written up using the current rules is missing the mark.

 

Back when you used to have to get multiples of EGO in order to measure effects, players with no mental powers or particularly strong willpower would buy EGO up to 12 or 13 "just because". It wasn't particularly expensive and it kept dead-average mentalists from pulling your strings.

 

When the system changed to +EGO to measure effects, character sheet write-ups went back to 10 EGO because you didn't get a free multiplier effect from buying up your EGO a little.

 

Whatever system is designed, you're going to have to take into account how most players are going to write up their character sheets in response to those changes. And the system is going to have to have the desired effect against those future character sheets rather than the character sheets already written up in your binders.

 

====

 

Now I'd like to gripe about Telepathy. 

 

Telepathy Boy reads Grond's mind and finds out Grond is planning on hitting him. 

 

By the time the Telepathy happens, T-Boy's phase is over and he can't move. The Telepathy didn't give him extra defense or extra DCV even though T-Boy knows that Grond will fake left then try to nail him with an uppercut. The Telepathy can't be used to convince Grond to "don't do that" and the Telepathy can't be used as any kind of attack.

 

If the Telepathy is in a multipower, it's likely locked out T-Boy's other mental powers until his next phase. If the Telepathy isn't in a multipower, buying it has chewed up a pile of points which won't likely ever have any combat effects.

 

The player can use Telepathy for a lot of non-combat things which mostly involve ruining the play session by revealing the identities of murderers, dirty cops, and the like.

 

Telepathy hits that sweet spot of crappy execution by being MUCH too costly for it's effects during combat and MUCH, MUCH too cheap for it's effects (and headaches it creates for the GM) outside of combat.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It should be noted that most mental powers are more a non-combat thing. They are an explanation for things the villains do to non-player characters. 

 

How did Mister Mental know the combination of the company safe? He read it off the mind of someone he knows has the combination. Why is that armed guard shooting at you? He got mind controlled by Mister Mental.

 

So, should the powers cost no points? Heck no! Should the effects be hand waved if done out of combat against someone who can't fight back? Definitely. 

 

Note: Most NPCs are not expecting a mental attack, so there natural DMCV would be 0 (easy to hit), and they wouldn't put up any Mental Defense (and don't forget, without a mental power of their own, they can't tell if a mental attack power is coming at all).

 

In non-combat situations, the GM can state that the victim can only get their causal EGO as opposed to their full amount. 

 

In comic books, mental powers are easily applied out of combat against those who cannot defend against them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/21/2021 at 5:35 PM, steriaca said:

 

Then what we need is a system which allows the player to choose a lesser effect based on the original effect. Let's say your an evil mentalist who wants that cop aiming his gun at you to redirect it to his own head. This is something he is definitely against. He fails to make that effect but does have him in a basic Mind Control.  He may decide to forget it and eat the bullet aimed at him. Or he could instead redirect the cop"s aim to a part of his body which won't instantly kill him. Or redirect his aim to your partner in crime (a brick who is rather ticklish, and bullets make him tickle), someone he wouldn't mind shooting. All without a second roll.

 

Should this be hardwired into all mental powers? Or an advantage to redescribe in case of partial success?

 

I had hoped to be able to really dig into this tonight, but I have a pressing matter to attend shortly.

 

I will still attempt a brief skip across the highlights, and hope the conversation is still lively tomorrow.  :)

 

 

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

See, that's just it though. I exaggerated how long it takes (in an apparently vain attempt at humor),

 

 

Got that.  The specifics of time, Phases, etc were for those playing at home.  You never really know how many neophytes are just lurking, and I didn't see any reason to leave them confused.  ;)

 

 

Quote

but there's no support whatsoever in the source material for someone having to hit the target over and over and over to get the effect they want.  Sometimes the effect (like hypnotism) takes Extra Time to accomplish but there's no "give me a few more shots guys and I'll have the monster under control!"

 

Takes Extra Time: one additional Phase.

 

Cumulative, make two attacks: one additional Phase.

 

Takes Extra Time: one minute

 

Cumulate, make SPD x 5 attacks.

 

 

Reasoning from effect, as opposed to reasoning from mechanic.

 

It takes Lamont a few moments to cloud someone's mind.  Presumably he's not just staring off into the sunset waiting for it take effect or snapping his fingers waiting for them to make eye contact.  He's working it.  He's digging into that psyche.   He's using that power, burrowing through the defenses of their mind, stacking his power by weakening theirs.

 

Cumulative takes extra time by default.  Nothing in any of the source material (caveat: "that I am aware of;" remember that I am not a comic book guy.  If they aren't "had a cartoon show my nieces and nephews watched while I was babysitting" famous or "had a movie made about them" famous, I probably have no idea who they are, with only a handful of pop culture exceptions (I knew who Cyborg was before he was in a movie, for example.  Though the guy he was in the movie is _not_ what I thought he was, so....)

 

 

Reasoning from effect, if Takes Extra Time will work, so will Cumulative.  Honestly, who's to say that the cumulative nature _isn't_ why it takes extra time?

 

Comic book guys who may be following along:  has their ever been any running dialogue of the wheelchair x-man working his way into another mind?  Like it was taking some sort of effort beyond flipping a switch?  That might help us find an answer right there.

 

 

Quote

 

The goal, for me at least, is to accurately simulate the source material, and cumulative does not do that.  There's a place for cumulative, but using it as the kludge to fix some of the problems does not accomplish that goal.

 

I am not going to argue the right or wrong of it with regards to the source material (except Lamont, of course.  I will maintain forever that his hypnosis is in fact cumulative, which is why it takes extra time, simply because of the number of times the narrator would break in to describe the scene as Lamont peered deeply through his eyes an into his psyche, etc.

 

Actually, I'd probably rule the same with Ghost Rider's "Pennance Stare" as well (bet you didn't think I knew that one, did you, folks?   :lol:   I've got a soft spot for Ghost Rider, particularly the 70's occult-filled books  ;) ).   If it was just a swing and a hit, I don't think he would be holding them, staring into their souls for multiple panels.  I maintain that he was non-stop pouring it on, digging around, burning down everything as he went.

 

 

As for any other comic-book sources, I can't say.  Though anything chemically-induced?  Oh yeah; cumulative is perfect there, too.

 

Still: I don't know enough about the source material to say that all the supers are doing this.  Linda Carter's lasso seemed to work instantly, but I don't recall her using it on anyone who wasn't completely normal.  And, uh...  well, being tied up by Linda Carter isn't something one struggles too much against anyway.  ;)

 

 

 

 

 

Quote

Well reverse that: why must it be all or nothing?  What does that simulate?

 

Succeeding or failing.  

 

But you're clearly an intelligent guy, and knew that already, so I'm going to assume this was a rhetorical question to introduce the others.

 

 

Quote

 

 

 

  Does that make for a superior gaming experience?

 

I haven't changed it in a few decades, but I'm a sample size of roughly One, and as such am statistically irrelevant.

 

 

 

Quote

Is it like we see in comics, etc?  Should we make Blast and Flash work the same way? 

 

I can't answer you about comics (except Ghost Rider, where I maintain that what we see there meshes up quite beautifully with Cumulative.

 

As for the second part:

 

They _do_ work that way.  Either you do damage, or you don't.  The Iron Man v machine gun example comes to mind.  If you hit someone, you are _not_ guaranteed to affect them.  You're just not.  Yeah, there's lots of talk about "you should plan your adventures so that your defenses absorb at or just below a certain amount of damage, so that when you buy an attack, you can assume an average die roll of 3.5 and therefore by enough dice so that on an average roll _some_ of your damage can be expected to get past defenses--"

 

Dude, I won't even go into _that_ conversation; I have avoided it since discovering the internet, and I think I can continue to avoid it for the fifteen or twenty years I have remaining.  (Frankly, I think it's a bit nutty.  I mean, we all do it, but seriously:  Buy defenses that let you shrug off _most_ of a typical attack?  Buy attacks that let you apply _some_ damage?  Sure: we all do it, but honestly, it makes _zero_ practical sense:  If I had some ability to know that "I will regularly be exposed to this level of damage," my next thought is _not_ going to be "how do I protect myself from _some_ of it?"    :rofl:   )

 

Even if you _do_  decide to buy enough of an attack that you can expect to get "some damage" through assuming 3.5 per die, suppose you average 3 per die?  or 2.5?  It happens.  You have a successful roll to hit, and your attack does _nothing_.  It's because of defenses.  

 

I could digress and move into "the problem you are having here is the exact same problem I have with calling extra DEF "luck" and defining it as "you hit, but no; you missed."  I frikity-frakin' _HATE_ it-- I hate it with the intensity of a thousand-thousand suns, and find it to be not just apocryphal, but outright _blasphemous_ to the spirit of the "to hit" roll.

 

But I _understand_ it.  I _get_ it.  The end result is identical: you did no damage.  So what if it's a straight port out of D&D and Armor Class where the guy in a cotton jerkin misses the guy in plate mail because having his plate mail makes him harder to hit for some reason?  (sure: the reason is "you hit, but it didn't do any damage."  Exactly reverse that: "You didn't do any damage, so you didn't hit," and you've got Combat Luck.  )

 

 

I _understand_ it.

 

I accept that people like it and will use it (at other people's tables).

 

 

 

Quote

OK you want to blind them how many segments?  Oops, too bad, you didn't get a good enough roll, your flash has no effect at all.

 

 

 

Precisely!  That's it exactly!

 

Oh, he was looking the other way, so was unaffected completely.

 

He had Flash Defense that was higher than your Effect Dice.

 

That's at least _two_ ways that your Flash was, as I think was mentioned up thread, an "Endurance waster" or a "turn waster."  Whatever it was; you shot your shot and nothing happened.

 

If the GM ruled that half the guys had averted their eyes or just weren't looking the right way, and so nothing happened to them, or that they all had their goggles on and the Flash Defense did nothing, you wouldn't be nearly as bummed, I don't suspect.  Well, other than the wasted END and such-- that's a bummer for any of us, really.

 

 

It bears mentioning that Flash has its own unique mechanic.  It has to, or it's not really flash: it's just some other attack being called Flash.

 

It has a unique mechanic because there is something unique about it-- not just it's effects (Drain CV; Transform to Blind), but in whether or not it actually _does_ effect:

 

If I'm looking the wrong way, you can still shoot me.  You can take me out with a pistol, or an eye laser, or a poisoned dart, or whatever Energy Blast or Ranged Attack you want.  You could even Teleport over and stab me in the kidney-- it would actually be _easier_ to do if I was looking the wrong way!

 

Not Flash.  If I'm sweeping drag on the patrol and I happen to be turned to double-check behind us when you Flash the column, I am _completely unaffected_.  If I avert my eyes in time, I can reduce the effects I suffer-- all without actually having a special defense (though there is one available, should I wish to buy it).  You can't do that with other attack powers; there is something different about Flash, and a different mechanic was created to better emulate how a Flash would work.

 

 

And your example is bad: you blind someone based on your roll; you don't define the length of time for which they are blinded.  I mean, I get what you're saying, but Flash doesn't work that way (unless you choose to take a series of Advantages and Limitations that make it work that way, of course).

 

 

There is something that works that way, though:

 

Mental Powers work that way.

 

 

Mind Control; Mental Illusions, what-have-you.

 

"I want to mind control him!'

 

Okay.

 

I rolled a 46!  is he mind controlled?

 

How would you know?

 

Is he doing what I tell him to do?

 

Tell him to do something.  It's not like he put on a sign or anything.  He didn't even stiffen up and moan "Yessss, Master....."

 

So what's he doing?

 

What he was doing before: shooting your doods; wrecking your plans.

 

But I have him Mind Controlled!

 

What did you do with it?

 

With what?

 

The Mind Control; what did you do with the Mind Control?

 

I rolled some dice.  I got 46.

 

So he should....

 

Well he should stop shooting my doods!

 

Did you _tell_ him to stop shooting your doods?

 

Well, no.

 

So tell him to stop shooting your doods!

 

"Stop shooting my doods, Dude!"

 

He keeps shooting your doods.

 

So I don't have him mind controlled?  I rolled a 46!

 

GM stares at "psychotic killer" and "hatred of costumed heroes" in Disadvantages list.  "You don't have him mind controlled enough to change his mind about shooting your doods; no."

 

 

I _get_ that you are having a difficult time with why this is different from Flash or Killing Attack or any other power.  Seriously, Christopher:  I really do get it.   And I sincerely want-- in addition to seeing what sort of alternate versions of mental powers might come out of this-- to help you get your mind wrapped around it.  To that end, I have attempted to approach it with several different methodologies between this post and the previous one.

 

You are dead set against Cumulative or against allotting a points budget akin to the powerful mentalists found in comics (at least those with which I am familiar, all of whom kind of suck at everything that isn't being a powerful mentalist.  Again: I am certain there hundreds of others who do not suck at things other than being a powerful mentalist)

 

The reason it works this way, I suspect, is because it's demonstrating that you _don't_ know how good a hold you have on them until you try to make them do something.  There is no part of the mechanic akin to an ammeter or a fuel gauge.

 

 

Now, if you want something like that, then there's no reason you can't build one.  The obvious thing that presents itself is "Detect: level of Mind Control," or "Detect: target's 'Strength of Will' (ie, EGO score)."   Then you can go straight-up meta (which really, almost _any_ "I know how much mind control I have over him before I actually try to use it" is going to be meta; there's just not a way I can see (yet) around that) and compare your roll to his EGO and know before hand just what level of control (if any) you have over your target.

 

 

Problematically, it requires the GM to dismiss the "Make your command before you roll your effect dice" rule.

 

You could consider an Adder: "Feedback Loop" that lets you know approximately how "in control" you are (I'd advise the GM in this case to use vague terms, but that will likely not be what you're after) before deciding what sort of command to give.

 

There are lots of things, really.

 

Essentially it's akin to doing damage, but rather than chipping away, you have to do overwhelming damage: 0 BODY means dying, but you have to get to -10 kill (or -original BODY score in the earliest editions).  In these cases, EGO is both the "damage stat" and the defense, rolled together, which is just another reason the mechanic is different.

 

 

Ultimately, it's all about Iron Man and machine guns, though: If you want big results, you have to buy big dice.  There's nothing inherently unbalanced about that as a concept.

 

As opposed to Killing Attack of Flash or anything else--

 

Points balance, I have said many, many times, and will say many, many more-- is a fabricated fantasy: it's a Holy Grail for the mathy types.  No amount of Killing Attack is ever going to be equal to "breathe underwater" and no amount of "fly through the vacuum of space" is ever going to be equal Tunnelling; no amount of Mind Control is ever going to be equal to any amount of "howitzer shells burst harmlessly against my skin."

 

Trying to find it-- or to force it-- isn't going to solve the problem.  Ultimately, what Mind Control is buying you is the ability to pick another character in the game and run him, too.  you are paying for the ability to create the Zombie Problem for your GM:

 

Ten guys versus Ten Zombies.

Nine guys versus Eleven Zombies.

Eight guys versus Twelve Zombies.

 

Wait-- we were evenly matched; now we are outnumbered by 50% !

 

Five guys versus fifteen Zombies--

 

we're outnumbered three to one!  What the heck?!

 

Having to buy a few more dice to deprive one team of their guy and add him to your team isn't an unfair deal.  It's just not.

 

7 hours ago, Jhamin said:

I would argue that "If you can kill someone you can make them into something else for that cost" is only sort of on-point.

 

Agreed.  I find it absolutely just in all cases where that something else has equal value and utility to the dead thing it would have been.  Beyond that; no.  It is not the same.

 

 

Quote

Well, now you are tying up two people for the price of killing one.

 

 

It's more than that.  It's the Zombie problem:  You now have two characters in the game /  an extra guy on the team, while the other side has one less.  Further, what can you learn from that guy?  What does his fingerprint or retina pattern give you access to that you didn't have before?  What powers have you taken away from the other side and added to your side?

 

It is certainly more than a dead guy, and this sort of thing should not be as easy or as inexpensive as making a dead guy.

 

 

 

5 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

At present, mental powers are all or nothing by default, while damaging attacks are cumulative by default.  A cumulative mental ability is no longer all or nothing by default.  It gets the target closer to being controlled, memories read or seeing what you want them to see.  They are not impaired when you are part-way there. Neither is a character at 1/3 of his normal STUN and BOD.

 

Right.

 

 

 

Quote

I recall breakout rolls in the earliest editions.  Duke would know for sure since he still runs with those rulesets.

 

Thanks for remembering, Hugh!  :D

 

 

Breakout rolls existed in the first edition: every time you changed commands, you bumped up against a Psych Lim, you stopped spending END, or re-rolled the attack, the target got a breakout roll.

 

They were replaced in 2e (though I still use them a bit, particularly when it is a PC that is being targeted.  Players like to roll dice, and NPCs don't know what dice are  ;) ) .  In both 2 and 3e, the Breakout roll was replaced with the idea that you were required to re-roll your attack (not your Effect Dice; these remained in play so long as you spend END) any time you wanted to change commands, bumped up against a Psych Lim, etc.

 

No reason was ever really given, but I suspect it was the same reason I allow Breakout rolls for PCs under the effects of Mental Powers:  Players like to roll dice.  Why have the NPCs roll for Breakout when a Player can re-roll his attack?  The end results were more-or-less the same (target is out from under the effect of the Mental power), so let the players have the dice fun.  Yes: that is a one-hundred-percent unsubstantiated hypothesis which I will probably never be able to test, but it seems as likely as anything else.

 

Breakout rolls went _nuts_ in 4e, where targets got to make an attempt every Phase after the first Phase in which he was Mind Controlled.  I can only suspect that Harlick got targetted with a _lot_ of Mind Controls when he was playing.  :lol:   As the Breakout roll was based on just how powerful the Mind Control effect dice were _and_ received a cumulative +1 bonus _every Phase_, this was really nothing more than a Tax that effectively undermined everything 3e achieved by making the change of EGO x X to  EGO + X, as characters wanting to build a Mind Control with the effectiveness of a 3e Mind Control had to really pile on the dice just to get that Breakout roll as low as they possibly could (since the Breakout could be attempted every Phase, and the Law of Large Numbers dictates that with enough chances....   Additionally, the target number for the breakout roll went up by 1 for each step up the Time Chart.  Keep in mind that this did _not_ require the attacker to give a new command or make any changes whatsoever; it just _happened_, even if the attacker was still paying END for his Effect Dice.

 

To compensate, 4e added in some "bonuses" for really high Effect rolls-- "target won't remember," etc.  Honestly, those were just "gimmies," being as how you had to buy so many dice anyway just to ensure your target wasn't going to walk across the room and shoot you in the face three Phases from now.   :lol:

 

 

 

Quote

There's no support in the source material that the mentalist is not striking multiple times with their imperceptible mental attack either.  Often, the target is portrayed as reacting slowly,  not immediately. Does Prof X, in the movies, appear on scene and Magneto simply surrenders.  Or even the Toad or the Blob immediately surrenders?  They are no more strong-willed than an average person, as I see them.  I do see mentalist in the source material taking some time while the target attacks other team members, still trying to break through those mental defenses.

 

And thanks for the confirmation of that.  I suspected as much, but I just don't know a lot of comic book stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher:

 

I am sorry I couldn't really play with your proposed system, but I've already been here too long.  :(   Hopefully, I will have time to look it over tomorrow night.

 

 

Peace!

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I allowed rephrasing a Mind Control, the user should have Detect: Willpower power AND a +1 Advantage "Rephrase", which allows the user to rephrase a Mind Control once per use without a breakout roll for no time, after you know the level of control you have. The GM can tell the player that the effect you rephrased is a higher level or lower level ("Your command is working but is slammed against that pesky wall of sense of self. You have one rephrase to get him to do something your target can do without thinking to hard about it.")

 

If it seems to be too much of an advantage, then it probably should be +2 instead. I don't have a game and well, haven't played for a long time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Succeeding or failing.  

 

No, that describes what happens in the rules as written, I didn't ask how does it work.  I asked why does it have to be that way?  What is the justification, the basis for this rule and structure, what in the source material we're allegedly simulating, what in the meta design drew the writers to this position?

 

As for extra time vs cumulative, here's my take, for what its worth:

 

Extra Time: continual action without breaks, or a sustained effort.  In Hero terms: special effects go off once.  (lifting a heavy weight)

Cumulative: repeated actions, over and over, with breaks between them. In Hero terms: special effects go off every new attack.  (shooting a gun) 

 

In other words:

 

Quote

There's no support in the source material that the mentalist is not striking multiple times with their imperceptible mental attack either.

 

...is not true at all.

 

Quote

Right.

 

Wrong, as I pointed out above.  You're mistaking incremental for cumulative.  Incremental can look like cumulative, because you're building up to a target (knocking them out) but that's not cumulative at all.  Cumulative is a power that doesn't do anything until you finally succeed.  Incremental does something each time until you succeed.

 

Here's how it works out in actual play.

 

-I do an incremental attack (punching the target with my fists).  Each hit does x STUN damage and y BODY damage.  Their STUN and BODY are reduced each time this exceeds their defenses.

If anyone else hits them, they are dealing damage to that person at that reduced level of STUN and BODY.  Eventually, the target either wins, gets away, or is knocked out/dies, which is the goal of the incremental attack.

 

-I do a cumulative attack (make them think I turned into a stuffed teddy bear).  Each hit does x amount of Mental Illusions but until they do not see me as a teddy bear, they have had no effect on them.  If someone else hits them with a mental Illusion, it does nothing to mine, and does not move them toward that goal, because they're using a different cumulative effect. 

 

See the difference here?  Punching someone is not cumulative.

 

 

Quote

Precisely!  That's it exactly!

 

No, its not.  Lets not play semantics games.  You're confusing "had lots of defenses" or "the attack didn't land" with "it hit and took effect but I didn't roll enough to do anything."

 

See, if Flash was just like Mind Control, you'd choose a certain number of segments the target was blinded and if you didn't get that much the flash does nothing no matter what their defenses were.

I'll explain more since apparently I'm not doing a good job with this.

 

Flasher hits a Taxi Driver with their Flash attack of 6d6.  If this worked like Mind Control, Flasher would have to state a level of effect they were attempting to accomplish: I want the Taxi Driver to be blinded for 10 segments. Whether he hits or not, or they have defenses, or looked the other way, or the planet Venus got in between them is irrelevant, lets just put all that to the side.  You have to get x amount of effect minimum.  So Flasher rolls really badly and gets a 9.  If this works like Mental Powers, (Telepathy, Mind Control, Mental Illusions) then now the flash attack does nothing.  Not 9 segments of blinded, not x segments minus flash defense, NOTHING NO MATTER WHAT.

 

Do you... see the difference here?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In any case, this is way off topic.  How about this for a cost structure:

 

  • Trivial effects (do something you already would like to do, read surface thoughts, just locate a mind, etc); say 5 points per d6
  • Major effects (do something you're opposed to, read deeper thoughts, show something unexpected or out of context); 7 points per d6
  • Severe effects (turn someone into a complete puppet, read forgotten memories, etc); 10 points per d6

That way, the top end stuff is 6d6 for a 60 active point campaign (average roll 21, that's double a normal person's EGO and you can basically hold them for a whole combat, or easily make them forget).  Against a high EGO target like a martial artist with mental training, say 18, that's still going to get them, but not hold them for long.  Against another Egoist its just going to bounce.

 

7 points per d6 is awkward to do with 5 point dice, but its a compromise ability.  I'd go with the Transform structure but at 3 points per d6 for trivial effects, 20d6 is ridiculous, it would let you get solid control even on a powerful mentalist.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

In any case, this is way off topic.  How about this for a cost structure:

 

  • Trivial effects (do something you already would like to do, read surface thoughts, just locate a mind, etc); say 5 points per d6
  • Major effects (do something you're opposed to, read deeper thoughts, show something unexpected or out of context); 7 points per d6
  • Severe effects (turn someone into a complete puppet, read forgotten memories, etc); 10 points per d6

I like this staggered method. You can use those dice for a lesser effect, but not for a greater effect. If you can't change the power of effect, this would probably be a -1 Limitation (or valueless -0 Limitation if your simply buying the 5 point level, since your stuck at that level).

 

Don't forget that "Mind Control" can also be a special effect. Professor X's "stop everyone in the room except..." power is a Mental Entangle with the special effect of Mind Control. Merrick from Yu-gi-oh has a "Make Mindslave" power which is obviously a Mental Transformation with the Mind Control special effect. If your looking for Mind Control to be that catch all, it is not. Cause there is no catch alls in Hero.

 

...well, maybe except for Variable Power Pool...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

No, that describes what happens in the rules as written, I didn't ask how does it work.  I asked why does it have to be that way? 

 

 

 

You asked, and I quote:

 

 

Quote

why must it be all or nothing?  What does that simulate?

 

 

It simulate success or failure.  Given that you show tendencies to lead to your actual question or questions with a rhetorical one, I felt comfortable enough answering that second one first.

 

The entirety of the rest of the post is an attempt to answer the first part of the question-- or at least, to answer _why it is_.  "Why must it be" is not something I can answer, as it's game, and there is no "must be."  See my absolute hatred of the new Combat >ahem< _"Luck"_ for proof of that.

 

Point blank, it can be any way you want it to be.  Have fun with it.  It doesn't affect anyone who is not at your table, and if they all like it, then it's an improvement.  If they don't like it, back up, regroup, and try something else.  No one here is going to force, require, demand, or strong arm you to do it a certain way.  The same way that I like it and have no intention of changing it, I encourage you to find something you like better.  All I can do is attempt to make you understand why this is valid, and why I think it emulates comics-- the same way I understand why Combat Luck is valid.  I encourage you to to find mental powers mechanics you like, if you don't like the ones available.  I even encourage you to share them around-- we all like to see new ideas.

 

I also encourage you to understand that I am probably not the only person here who isn't going to change the way they work; I am probably not the only person here who finds the current mechanic to work precisely how I need it to work in my games: it provides a handsome boon for those willing to really invest in it, yet doesn't create an inexpensive temptation requiring every Tom, Dick, and Batman to buy EGO: 40 and twenty points of Mental Defense-- just in case.

 

It's absolutely meta balance, but it does balance well enough for my needs.

 

I did the same thing with Combat Luck:

 

Combat Luck: 5- pts.  This Skill Level applies directly to your CV, making you harder to hit and upping the odds that you will actually hit someone.  Cool!  He missed me by one!  Yep.  I reckon you got lucky....

 

 

34 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

What is the justification, the basis for this rule and structure, what in the source material we're allegedly simulating, what in the meta design drew the writers to this position?

 

You tell us.  You are the one arguing that it doesn't suit the source material.  I gave the only source material references I am familiar with, and the current mechanic jibes quite nicely with them.  Hugh raised some excellent questions on that front, too.  His examples also seem to play quite nicely with the source material, at least those instances to which he referred.  It's your turn.  Tell us why it doesn't.

 

 

 

34 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

As for extra time vs cumulative, here's my take, for what its worth:

 

Extra Time: continual action without breaks, or a sustained effort.  In Hero terms: special effects go off once.  (lifting a heavy weight)

Cumulative: repeated actions, over and over, with breaks between them. In Hero terms: special effects go off every new attack.  (shooting a gun) 

 

So Flight is Extra Time, then?  Because to sustain a Flight, he'd have to turn it off and on over and over and over?

 

We are stumbling over reasoning from effect.  Unless 6e has done something really whacky, the only requirement for SFX is that they are detectable by X senses, where X varies by edition (I think.  Didn't 6e drop it to 2 senses?  I really need to set aside a massive block of time to re-read it, but Lord!  What a slog when my "free time" is like forty minutes every couple of days).

 

At any rate, I know that Instant Powers are activated, do their thing, and are done unless certain modifiers make them work otherwise.  I do not recall reading anything that says "must go bang every half phase and kick in anew."

 

I also know that Mental Powers are Constant Powers: you have to continually expend END to maintain the effect.  You don't have to re-roll the attack to keep the effect.

 

Hey, I know!

 

Let's look at a sunburn!

 

If I take my naked Irish butt outside and run around in the sun for a few minutes, probably nothing will happen to it.  If I do it for thirty minutes, it will probably color up a bit.

 

If I throw it on the front lawn and leave it there for four hours, it will likely get tender, red, blistered, and all kinds of unpleasant things that I will enjoy for several days to come.

 

Did the sun turn off, turn back on, attack again, turn back off, attack again, turn back off, attack again, turn back off, etc, etc, ad nauseam until the accumulated damage took effect?

or did that damage continue to accumulate the whole time that I left my butt out there in it, in one, single hours-long onslaught?

 

 

Now let's all remember that I do not sarcasm without blatant indicators.  I have gone to an extensive, years-long effort to remove sarcasm from my life, as I have seen in my life and that of others the sort of very real damage it does to people and relationships.  I have to say that-- out loud-- _constantly_, because the accursed razor that is sarcasm is so damnably ubiquitous today as to make social interaction unsettling in some cases.  I have to say that out loud because you can neither see nor hear me, and the odds are high that, given the atrocious ubiquity of it, you will read it into what I have to ask next.  It's not there; don't assume it is:

 

 

Is it _possible_-- just possible, mind you, that you are reading something into Cumulative that simply isn't there?

 

 

I am going to assume that you are using 6e.

 

Even on 6e1 p 80, the word "cumulative" is used to refer to adding bonuses from Linguist and known languages to gain a point reduction for buying a new language.  They aren't firing off one at a time; they both exist simultaneously, and they work together.

 

But that's not the Advantage, is it?

 

So, 6e1 p 153--

 

First, I want to say that I really, _really_ dislike the "each possible advantage is listed after every single power" approach of this edition.  It just drives me nuts, and kind of works _against_ creating a single, unified definition of the power modifiers.

 

There.  That's out of my system now.   :lol:

 

 

Anyway, back to p 153:

 

Quote

If a character buys this Advantage for a continuing-effect Mental Power, the target is not affected by it, and does not get to make a Breakout Roll, until the first Phase in which the total rolled by the attacker equals or exceeds the amount needed to achieve the desired effect. Until that time the Power has no effect (though the target realizes he’s being attacked with that Mental Power). If he wants, a character can declare when he starts using the power that he wants to attain an extra effect to impose penalties to the Breakout Roll — but the Breakout Roll doesn’t occur until he hits the full point total he’s indicated in advance.

 

 

The one advantage of the list-every-possible-modifier-and-how-it-interacts-with-each-kind-of-power style of 6e is tailored discussion.

 

Given that there are still conversations on message boards, I don't know that they payoff was worth the trouble the author and printer went to.  :lol:

 

At any rate, "the target is not affected by it... until the first Phase in which the total rolled by the attacker ...  exceeds the amount needed to achieve the desired effect."

 

That seems pretty cut and dry that the power is building to a point-- you can define that any way you want: Lamont is peeling away your psychic resistance; the wheelchair psychic is summoning a large enough "mental push," the dragonball guys are floating over a field for eight episodes talking about how badly they are going to mess each other up-- whatever.

 

The power is one, ongoing thing that is growing more and more powerful.  Follow it with "Until that time the Power has no effect," and I really think that Cumulative is the answer your looking for, unless the desired outcome is nothing short of instant one-phase domination of whoever it is your are targeting, even if they have a really high EGO.  In those cases, the only real solution is "buy lots of dice," and as I said before, I believe that to be rather justified.

 

I didn't skimp or edit; that is the entire commentary about Cumulative with regard to Mental Powers.  At no point is there direct mention or slight suggestion that the Mental Power is cycling off and on.  There is every suggestion that the Power is growing in... well, in power!   :lol:  It's _one_ attack, or one contest for mental domination, or however you choose to define it.  Just one.

 

 

Just for kicks, I skipped ahead to Dispel (because I halfway remembered what it said  ;)  ), and I found this:

 

 

Quote

Cumulative removes the “one roll all or nothing” aspect of Dispel. A Cumulative Dispel can have its effect roll totals added together until the target power is Dispelled or the character reaches the Cumulative point ceiling.

 

 

Sure; it's talking about Dispel, but the point is that it reinforces the idea that Cumulative does nothing but take "Extra Time" and add a real good reason for taking extra time.  ;)  It turns it into one long power that builds and builds until it is where you want it to be (or it hits your points ceiling).

 

 

 

 

 

Again: I get where you are coming from:  you don't want it because it doesn't _feel_ right.  I get that: I have that problem myself-- I was pretty up front about Combat Luck, as a show of good faith that I _do_ think I know where you're coming from.

 

All I am asking you to do is take a hard look at what you believe cumulative means and compare it to what cumulative actually says it is, and to remember that mental powers are _not_ exactly "instant" powers to begin with.  I spend END to keep the effect running, just like a Force Field.  I can't do that with a gun.  Mind Control isn't a gun; it doesn't do what a gun does; it doesn't work like a gun.  That's why it has its own mechanic, and that mechanic plays quite nicely with Cumulative.

 


At any rate, I've been on here way too long tonight; I've got to be at work in something like....  six hours?

 

Good night, All.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah-- there were some new posts while I was typing.

 

I think I see the problem, and there isn't any solution except homebrewing something.  It seems that what you want is some level of effectiveness just because you paid some points, without actually having to buy enough of something to get the effectiveness designed into the mechanic.  If I understand the rest of your replies, it's an "I want to do damage to Iron Man because I paid _some_  points into my Strength, so I should be able to do _something_" kind of thing.

 

Granted, that may be sleep deprivation, in which case I recant it and accept that I am now too tired for proper reading comprehension.

 

Good night again, Folks.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

So Flight is Extra Time, then?  Because to sustain a Flight, he'd have to turn it off and on over and over and over?

 

 

Seriously?  You've played this game how many years and think flight is an instant power?  You don't know the difference?  I'm going to chalk up this entire post to "you're tired and irritable"

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2021 at 11:20 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Seriously?  You've played this game how many years and think flight is an instant power?  You don't know the difference?  I'm going to chalk up this entire post to "you're tired and irritable"

 

 

For what its worth, there was zero animosity in anything I said, save my dislike for Combat Luck; that dislike was genuine.  What was also genuine was my empathizing with your frustration.  Thats why there was no animosity in anything I said.  There still isn't.

 

At this point I have been reminded why we dont generally agree: I have the ereoneous tendency to believe that you are looking for discussion more than an echo chamber.

 

Before bowing out, I woukd like you to reconsider your reply, if only to save yourself a bit of dignity.  As it stands, you are asking everyone reading this to absolutely believe that what you quoted was your actual takeaway from from all that effort to help evaluate your viewpoint.

 

You want us all to accept that in spite of the number of us who have seen your work and your ideas, that you believe that what you replied above is what you one-hundred-percent believe I was saying.

 

If you can live with that, so be it.  I have very little time to share amongst my hobbies the past few months.  The time I waste is my own problem, but I do know when to stop doing it.

 

I do genuinely hope that you find the solution or whatever it is you are looking for, though, because despite your suggestions otherwise, I am a remarkably mellow person.

 

You folks have fun.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The other minor problem in how mental powers work in Hero is that its very difficult to get people to forget what you did.  Now, I understand this to a point - its a major annoyance for PCs and is pretty powerful.  But again,  its almost stock and with only very rare exceptions in source material that people immediately remember being messed with.  They are confused and uncertain what happened or have no memory at all of who did this to them.  But to get that effect in Hero is virtually impossible on 60 active points unless you buy cumulative which brings up the issues I've covered before, plus one more:

 

You'd have to make them forget every time you blasted them with mind control over and over to get the effect you want or use some kind of other restraint like tying them in a chair, because they know who is attacking them and what they are trying to do each time the cumulative power is used on them.  Again and again, until finally it gets control and you keep doing it until they forget who did it.

 

So we have basically three major issues:

1) almost useless against fellow heroes with even a slight amount of defense or moderately higher Ego

2) all-or-nothing effect where you get zero if you didn't roll what you meant to

3) almost impossible to even get a normal person to not remember the attack

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:
Quote

Obviously Mental Powers that fail to meet their threshold should have no effect

 

I confess that this is not obvious to me.  Why wouldn't they partly work, rather than do nothing?  Why must they be all or nothing?

 

This true of EVERY ATTACK POWER IN HERO.  If you don't roll enough STUN or BODY on Blasts or KA's, you get no damage past defenses and no KB, roll all 1's on Flash and nothing happens, don't have enough STR even with a push then you can't lift that I-beam off that trapped victim. Why should Mental Powers succeed if they can't exceed the EGO + Mental Defense  goal they are targeted at? What justification is there for an exception?

 

18 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

So we have basically three major issues:

1) almost useless against fellow heroes with even a slight amount of defense or moderately higher Ego

2) all-or-nothing effect where you get zero if you didn't roll what you meant to

3) almost impossible to even get a normal person to not remember the attack

 

1) This is a problem against minor NPC's. Against Heroes and Villains, buy more dice or ambush them for the  Non-Combat surprise 2x Effect. Effective Mental Powers are just better than straight attacks  because they tip combats by switching the team balance and strategy and for their enormous out of combat usefulness. They should be harder to use.

 

2) Just like every other Power. The frustration comes from the fact that a good roll might not be good enough while a bad roll on some other Power may still have an effect. 

 

3) See my last post on Page 1 of this topic. It works for me but YMMV. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

This true of EVERY ATTACK POWER IN HERO.  If you don't roll enough STUN or BODY on Blasts or KA's, you get no damage past defenses and no KB, roll all 1's on Flash and nothing happens

 

I think people are ignorant of how the rules on mental powers work in this game.  There's a huge difference between "you didn't roll enough to get past defenses" and "you got past defenses and did something but since it wasn't what you tried to do, nothing happens"  I went into pretty extensive detail above showing the difference and the problem here.

 

So again, why is this assumed to be the way it should be but only for mental powers?

Answer: it shouldn't be.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

I think people are ignorant of how the rules on mental powers work in this game.  There's a huge difference between "you didn't roll enough to get past defenses" and "you got past defenses and did something but since it wasn't what you tried to do, nothing happens"  I went into pretty extensive detail above showing the difference and the problem here.

 

So again, why is this assumed to be the way it should be but only for mental powers?

Answer: it shouldn't be.

But that is the way the game designers had it in the first place. Sometimes fareness outweighs the source material. 

 

And what everyone else has said, if you don't like a mechanic, you don't have to use it in your game. Your free to change it in your game. Just don't force the game makers to change it just because YOU don't like it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

And what everyone else has said, if you don't like a mechanic, you don't have to use it in your game. Your free to change it in your game. Just don't force the game makers to change it just because YOU don't like it.

 

At least you have tried to give a reason for why someone might make this rule decision.  But I don't understand how fairness really plays into this at all; how is it more fair for the Mental Illusion to do zero instead of "well they see something but its not as compelling or complete as you had in mind?"

 

Just plain Images works that way, you don't have to actually fool people for them to work, they work whether anyone is convinced or not.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that part of the issue is that mental powers can do a very wide array of things, and shoehorning them all into the "effects at EGP+10 etc." model doesn't reflect how diverse they are.  Look at how different Blast, Flash, and Entangle are handled.  Each has a specific effect on combat that requires a different mechanic.  I would argue that Mind Control, Telepathy, and Mental Illusions are also different enough to require independent mechanics to represent them in a balanced fashion (and as mentioned above, making them balanced might prevent them from accurately representing the source material, depending on what source you are trying to simulate).

 

I would argue that Telepathy should really be built like an Enhanced Sense, where you need to make a PER vs. EGO roll if the subject is unwilling and with Mental Defense creating penalties for that PER roll.  Because really Telepathy is just receiving and transmitting info, just using 'mental' waves instead of radio waves.  I think Chris Goodwin wrote up a Telepathy model built this way some time ago, but I don't know if it ever got play-tested.

 

Functionally, Mental Illusions isn't really different from Images except that you can potentially do damage with it, which is easier to model by just adding an actual attack power.  The main difference is a high PER roll lets you see through Images, while you would need a high EGO roll and/or Mental Defense to resist Mental Illusions.

 

Mind Control is the trickiest one to balance, because you can not only take someone out of a fight, but potentially make them a temporary ally.  And once you start adding in all the non-combat possibilities, Mind Control really should be a Stop Sign power.  My knee-jerk response would be to build it like and EGO-Telekinesis and resolve the effects with grappling-type rules, with bonuses/penalties based on Psych Lims.  Mental Defense would add to EGO, and to achieve effects like "make me believe it was my own idea" would require larger margins of success.  But I don't think this approach would give a very granular or balanced outcome, but I haven't really tested it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

I think people are ignorant of how the rules on mental powers work in this game.  There's a huge difference between "you didn't roll enough to get past defenses" and "you got past defenses and did something but since it wasn't what you tried to do, nothing happens"  I went into pretty extensive detail above showing the difference and the problem here.

 

So again, why is this assumed to be the way it should be but only for mental powers?

Answer: it shouldn't be.

 

Because there is no way to adjudicate that in a manner that maintains play balance.

 

I understand, you want to avoid this scenario:

 

GM: "What does Mindlord do?"

 

Mindlord's player: "I attack Bad Boy with Mind Control" -"Surrender or we will pummel you senseless." I rolled a total of 50!(on 12d6).

 

GM:  That's pretty good, you've got him unless.. ooh, a 7 on his breakout roll or alternatively "He's a Beserker and he's got a personal grudge against this target so that not quite enough. He snarls his defiance. Tough luck Mindlord. What does Zapper do after this?

 

Zapper's player: "I shock Bad Boy silly." I hit and roll 34 Stun and 9 Body(on 12d6) :( He probably laughs at me."

 

GM: "It's not your best but Bad Boy only had 3 STUN left and you got 9 through, he goes down! The bystanders shout your name!

 

Zapper's player: "Yay, me! but uhh I couldn't have done it without the help of my team"

 

Mindlord's player: ......

 

 

Been there, done that in all three seats and it sucks. But as Ockham's Spoon just laid out, the results of a successful Mental Power can be so much more than taking the target down, it has to be harder.

 

Plus each use of Mental Attack even if it's the same Power can be wildly from different any other. I can't see any GM letting you downgrade a failed +30 "Turn on your allies" to a +20 "Surrender" or a +10 "Run Away". I know I wouldn't as that's too much versatility. And how would you determine what the lesser effect was unless you stated it beforehand? There's just too many variables unless we make it something purely mechanical:

 

Attack doesn't exceed EGO + Mental Defense- No Effect

 

Attack exceeds EGO+ Mental Defense but misses stated level of effect

Missed by 10-???

Missed by 20-???

Missed by 30-???- to be determined but logically missing by 10 should give a better result than missing by 30

 

Attack exceeds EGO + MD  and reaches desired level but immediate breakout- Even harder to swallow at times but it shouldn't be more severe than the Missed by 10, otherwise missing the effect becomes an exploit.

 

We can go further with this but not if you're going to hold to the idea that not exceeding EGO + MD should still have a positive result.  Sometimes you have to accept that things work a certain way to establish where your baseline is. I await your suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alternatively, we could not change the system at all except thusly:

 

All Mental Powers(except Mental Blast) that hit have an effect that requires a breakout roll. The Attacker decides the level of effect  he wants and then rolls for effect. The rolled effect is then compared to the target's EGO + Mental Defense. For every 5 points the attacker higher than the desired effect the attacker achieves, a -1 is applied to the breakout roll's difficulty, every 5 points below the desired effect adds a +1.

 

This give a little leeway on close failures getting no reduced chance of working and more ambitious commands now have a small chance.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I would argue that Telepathy should really be built like an Enhanced Sense, where you need to make a PER vs. EGO roll if the subject is unwilling and with Mental Defense creating penalties for that PER roll.

 

I actually considered that but Telepathy goes a lot deeper than a sense, because it can pick out old memories, even things that the target has forgotten.  That's a bit more than collecting incoming sensory data.

 

But you have a good point about the broad flexibility of mental powers (its part of why I was suggesting moving more toward a transform type model of bild than Presence Attack one since that's the closest mechanic we have in the game for how to handle that sort of thing).

 

Quote

This give a little leeway on close failures getting no reduced chance of working and more ambitious commands now have a small chance.  

 

I think this idea has promise and its worth talking over.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2021 at 2:40 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

This is a misunderstanding of cumulative.

 

Cumulative stacks over time until reaching the desired result (like transforming a cat into a fencepost)

 

All or nothing either works as intended or fails to have any effect at all (like trying to mind control someone into giving you their cake, and failing to roll high enough so they just get angry at you for trying to mind control them)

 

The word you're looking for here is perhaps "incremental" (you do some damage each blast).

 

I don't want mental powers to automatically be cumulative, I want them to have some minor effect when they don't achieve their maximum roll.  That's an entirely different principle.  Making them cumulative does not address that issue.

 

Then you are asking for a significant power-up to mental powers.  When I hit that target and get 15 STUN past his defenses, I was not trying to reduce his STUN a bit.  I was trying to KO him.  I did not roll enough to KO him, so he is not KOd.  But the next hit will bring him closer to KOd until he is KOd.

 

Someone else may hit him and bring him closer to KOd.  If someone else Flashes or Entangles or Mind Controls or Transforms him, they are no more likely to succeed because he is down STUN.  I can certainly see using Cumulative mental powers to reduce resistance, or bolster it.

 

13 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

At this point I have been reminded why we dont generally agree: I have the ereoneous tendency to believe that you are looking for discussion more than an echo chamber.

 

Over time, I get the same sense.  You put forward some new build or mechanic, claiming to want to discuss it.  Anyone who does not wholeheartedly embrace it is clearly wrong, does not understand the source material, the game or your suggested modifications and/or is just an idiot.

 

8 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The other minor problem in how mental powers work in Hero is that its very difficult to get people to forget what you did.  Now, I understand this to a point - its a major annoyance for PCs and is pretty powerful.  But again,  its almost stock and with only very rare exceptions in source material that people immediately remember being messed with.  They are confused and uncertain what happened or have no memory at all of who did this to them.  But to get that effect in Hero is virtually impossible on 60 active points unless you buy cumulative which brings up the issues I've covered before, plus one more:

 

You'd have to make them forget every time you blasted them with mind control over and over to get the effect you want or use some kind of other restraint like tying them in a chair, because they know who is attacking them and what they are trying to do each time the cumulative power is used on them.  Again and again, until finally it gets control and you keep doing it until they forget who did it.

 

So we have basically three major issues:

1) almost useless against fellow heroes with even a slight amount of defense or moderately higher Ego

2) all-or-nothing effect where you get zero if you didn't roll what you meant to

3) almost impossible to even get a normal person to not remember the attack

 

Most of these issues arise because normals, heroic and superheroic characters tend to be normal in mental stats.  As such, if mental powers are beefed up against those targets, they are also beefed up against everyone else.  The Mentalist now rules the game, which is not the desired result.  If you look back at the very first X_men comics, Prof X is not there in #1, just guiding the team as they face down Magneto, and he eventually leaves.  In issue #2, they ineffectually battle the Vanisher, whose teleportation powers make the scenario an exercise in frustration until Prof X mindwipes his access to his powers. In issue #3, they battle Blobs circus cronies until Prof X can mindwipe Blob's memory that he is a powerful mutant.

 

After Issue #3, the players tell the GM they are no longer interested in a game that exists solely so their PCs can flail about ineffectively until Prof Mary Sue NPC X wins the scenario single-mindedly.  The GM agrees to pull Prof X back and let the PCs be the heroes of the story.  "Mental powers always win" is poor writing and poor gaming.

 

A 12d6 mental attack averages 42 on the dice, enough for EGO 12 + 20 = 32 + 10 to forget = 42.  You want absolute dominance (EGO +30) that they do not remember.  As Duke suggested, buy more dice as you want a more powerful effect.  Absolute domination of a target, who forgets it entirely, is a very powerful effect.  It is a one-punch Blast, and that is not campaign-average DCs.

 

7 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

I think people are ignorant of how the rules on mental powers work in this game.  There's a huge difference between "you didn't roll enough to get past defenses" and "you got past defenses and did something but since it wasn't what you tried to do, nothing happens"  I went into pretty extensive detail above showing the difference and the problem here.

 

So again, why is this assumed to be the way it should be but only for mental powers?

Answer: it shouldn't be.

 

You did some STUN and he keeps coming and attacks you.  You did some BOD and he keeps on attacking you.  Your Transform gives him a greenish tinge, but has no other effect - he's not a frog yet and he keeps on fighting.  Or you limit your Transform and it is all or nothing - just like your Mind Control is if you do not make it Cumulative.  Oh look - I am back to Cumulative making mental powers much more like all those other powers (except Entangle and Flash).

 

BTW, you do not get a breakout roll every phase.  Read 6e page 149-150.  Or I will provide some extracts:

 

Quote

Starting on the target’s next Phase after being successfully attacked with a continuing-effect Mental Power, he may attempt to break free from the Power. These attempts are subconscious and take no time — whether he succeeds or fails, he may still act in that Phase. Since he can only react to the effects of a Mental Power on his own Phases, and he gets to make his first Breakout Roll on his first Phase after being successfully attacked with a Mental Power, a character always gets one (but only one) Breakout Roll before he suffers the effects of a Mental Power.

 

Quote

After the initial attempt to break free, the victim can re-attempt the Breakout Roll at +1 for each step on the Time Chart. The character thus gets to roll at +1 after 1 Turn has passed, +2 after 1 Minute has passed, and so forth. (The victim does not get to make a Breakout Roll on each of his Phases — only when specified by the Time Chart.)

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2021 at 2:39 PM, Grailknight said:

60 AP Energy Blast or Killing Attack will leave them unconscious and bleeding out if the KB doesn't finish them.

 

And it does the same to a Super who has no resistant defenses.

 

Quote

60 AP Entangle will hold them until someone frees them.

 

Just like it holds a low-STR Super whose attack powers are restrainable or do no BOD.

 

Quote

60 AP Transform will turn them into whatever the user specifies in 2 shots and has a non-negligible chance to do it in one

 

A Cumulative Mind Control (8d6 +1/2) should get the full 48 maximum in two attacks.  13 EGO +30 = 43, so there's a -1 on the Breakout as well.  +20 on someone with a 10 -13 EGO is not negligible chance either.

 

Quote

60 AP Flash will affect them identically(mechanics wise) to any other target. The effects are actually less severe in actuality.

 

Yes, when the Super and the Normal have the same defenses (none in this case), they take the same effect.

 

Quote

So, aside from the squick factor(this can be very real concern in a social game so I don't discount it) that is associated with Mental Powers, why should they not be capable of taking out an NPC, not a PC, in one use like these other Attack Powers?

 

How does the mental power know whether it is targeting a PC or an NPC?  It has the same effect on a 10 EGO Incompetent Normal and a 10 EGO Super, which for 12d6 is Ego +30 on an average roll.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...