Jump to content

Alternate mental powers structure


Recommended Posts

  • 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

On 2/22/2021 at 3:39 PM, Grailknight said:

No, it makes those Characters who have 13 EGO and no Mental Defense weak to Mental Powers. I wouldn't expect to see the majority of the PC's at this level, but in the context of NPC's

 

You either skipped reading or forgot this part. The examples were given with the idea that the target was a typical NPC. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough.

 

16 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

These are not cases of the Powers in question functioning differently on a Hero/Villain vs an NPC. These are just special cases written to be as weak as an NPC.

 

Why are you pointing out that a Character written to be weak to a type of attack is weak to it? Seems kind of obvious but it doesn't change the way the attack works, you just purposely chose to have that hole in your defenses. The typical NPC has all those holes, I don't expect the typical Hero/Villain to have more than one and probably a less severe weakness .

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 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.

 

And here I thought we were having a nice discussion on ideas, debating meanings and so on.  See how I get the sense people become irate anyone dares question or suggest anything new?  People start to get personal and defensive instead of discussing the topic.  I'm trying to be polite and thoughtful, to consider what people have to say.  Some people here are suggesting ideas, debating concepts, and providing feedback.  That seems to me to be the best approach, rather than becoming upset, isn't it?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I fully admit that I am up way to late and tired but having read through all of this, there are certainly some interesting (if unfinished) ideas for alternate systems that I hope to review more after sleeping.

However, I had one thought as far as the all or nothing nature of Mental powers as they currently stand in the game.

Instead of the mentalist declaring the intended effect level and THEN rolling dice, what if they make their attack, roll the effect dice and see what level effect they CAN get, then declare what they want to do from there.   This would simulate the mentalist getting a "lock" but perhaps not as much a lock as they wanted but could still try to get some lesser effect if they choose.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, greypaladin_01 said:

I fully admit that I am up way to late and tired but having read through all of this, there are certainly some interesting (if unfinished) ideas for alternate systems that I hope to review more after sleeping.

However, I had one thought as far as the all or nothing nature of Mental powers as they currently stand in the game.

Instead of the mentalist declaring the intended effect level and THEN rolling dice, what if they make their attack, roll the effect dice and see what level effect they CAN get, then declare what they want to do from there.   This would simulate the mentalist getting a "lock" but perhaps not as much a lock as they wanted but could still try to get some lesser effect if they choose.

Sounds like my "Rephrase" advantage idea, except hardwired into the power and eliminating the need for Rephrase. I kinda like it. It does slow down the game a little bit, but hey, it does give what the OP is at least partially looking for.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Grailknight said:

 

You either skipped reading or forgot this part. The examples were given with the idea that the target was a typical NPC. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough.

 

These are not cases of the Powers in question functioning differently on a Hero/Villain vs an NPC. These are just special cases written to be as weak as an NPC.

 

Why are you pointing out that a Character written to be weak to a type of attack is weak to it? Seems kind of obvious but it doesn't change the way the attack works, you just purposely chose to have that hole in your defenses. The typical NPC has all those holes, I don't expect the typical Hero/Villain to have more than one and probably a less severe weakness .

 

I think you have overlooked my point, probably because I did not clearly state it.  PCs and notable NPCs virtually always have resistance to being KOd or killed far beyond the resistances possessed by "normals".  Therefore, a Blast or KA will be far less effective against them.

 

Most have far more potent attack powers that can be used to smash through an Entangle. 

 

Some (not all, or even most) have Flash Defense or enhanced senses enabling them to mitigate a Flash and/or Power Defense/high BOD to better resist a Transform and/or mental defense/high EGO to resist mental attacks.

 

If we made Hero like d20 - rising in level/xp grants steadily increasing resistance to every form of attack - then "6th level abilities" demolishing some poor L1 NPC across the board would make sense.  But that's not how most games I see work.  Being a Superhero does not come with automatic acquisition of every exotic defense in the book.  Many Supers are no more resistant to mental attacks, Transformations or Flash than the DNPC girlfriend or frail old Aunt June.  As such, and as we do not want those exotic powers to be instant game-winners, those exotic attacks do not have the same devastating impact on a normal.
 

7 hours ago, greypaladin_01 said:

I fully admit that I am up way to late and tired but having read through all of this, there are certainly some interesting (if unfinished) ideas for alternate systems that I hope to review more after sleeping.

However, I had one thought as far as the all or nothing nature of Mental powers as they currently stand in the game.

Instead of the mentalist declaring the intended effect level and THEN rolling dice, what if they make their attack, roll the effect dice and see what level effect they CAN get, then declare what they want to do from there.   This would simulate the mentalist getting a "lock" but perhaps not as much a lock as they wanted but could still try to get some lesser effect if they choose.

 

I think this is a much simpler approach to achievement of a "less than desired effect".  However, it does increase the power of mental powers when you can shoot for the moon, knowing that you will get a lesser effect anyway.  It's kind of like changing a Called Shot which misses due to the penalty from "you missed" to "you hit, but not the hit location you were targeting".

I am going to separate this from the merits of the discussion.  Unlike Duke, I do not have the wisdom or willpower to withdraw, so I will provide my stubborn commentary.  The Board will probably merge it, but at least anyone reading will know I am not going back to the substantive issues for the rest of this post.

 

There seems to be some confusion between "no one ever wants to discuss an alternative to the RAW" and "the heathens dare to challenge my interpretations - they must be dragged into the light".

 

11 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

And here I thought we were having a nice discussion on ideas, debating meanings and so on.  See how I get the sense people become irate anyone dares question or suggest anything new?  People start to get personal and defensive instead of discussing the topic.  I'm trying to be polite and thoughtful, to consider what people have to say.  Some people here are suggesting ideas, debating concepts, and providing feedback.  That seems to me to be the best approach, rather than becoming upset, isn't it?

 

 

Actually, I think you interpret the reaction to your approach being an unwillingness to discuss new options, rather than an unwillingness to accept that YOUR new option is clearly the best, if not only, answer.  As I see it, your responses to Duke, among others, was the point where we transitioned away from "having a nice discussion on ideas, debating meanings and so on".  It really hits home for me when it's directed at Duke.  He and I have had lots of debates on the Boards.  However much he disagrees with my, or anyone else's, opinion, he always makes a concerted effort to see and understand the other viewpoint and, even if he completely disagrees, he fully respects that the other viewpoint is no less valid.

 

Statements which lead me to this conclusion include:

 

Quote

I think people are ignorant of how the rules on mental powers work in this game. 

 

IOW, the only way anyone can disagree with me is because they are ignorant.

 

Quote

Seriously?  You've played this game how many years and think flight is an instant power?  You don't know the difference? 

 

IOW, dismissing a lengthy and thoughtful discussion post with "you must either be ignorant or, at best, tired and irritable, so it is not worth discussing your views".

 

Quote

I...is not true at all.

 

IOW, only Christopher has the ability to appropriately interpret the source material, and how it might reasonably be reflected in the game.

 

Quote

See the difference here?  Punching someone is not cumulative.

 

IOW, no one could actually understand what Christopher is saying and still legitimately hold a differing opinion.

 

Quote

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."

***********************

Do you... see the difference here?

 

IOW, if you disagree with Christopher, you are just wrong.  No differing view has merit.  It can only be solved by Christopher dispelling your ignorance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

I think you have overlooked my point, probably because I did not clearly state it.  PCs and notable NPCs virtually always have resistance to being KOd or killed far beyond the resistances possessed by "normals".  Therefore, a Blast or KA will be far less effective against them.

 

Most have far more potent attack powers that can be used to smash through an Entangle. 

 

Some (not all, or even most) have Flash Defense or enhanced senses enabling them to mitigate a Flash and/or Power Defense/high BOD to better resist a Transform and/or mental defense/high EGO to resist mental attacks.

 

If we made Hero like d20 - rising in level/xp grants steadily increasing resistance to every form of attack - then "6th level abilities" demolishing some poor L1 NPC across the board would make sense.  But that's not how most games I see work.  Being a Superhero does not come with automatic acquisition of every exotic defense in the book.  Many Supers are no more resistant to mental attacks, Transformations or Flash than the DNPC girlfriend or frail old Aunt June.  As such, and as we do not want those exotic powers to be instant game-winners, those exotic attacks do not have the same devastating impact on a norma

 

Ok, I see where we cross connected here.

 

My post that you responded was merely making the point that those attacks were instant wins against most NPC level opponents whereas Mental Powers on the same level were not. I was making an assumption that because they are not instant wins versus most of the Hero or Villains I've encountered in the campaigns I've run or played in that it was generally true. It might even be generally true but your response tells me it is not universally true.

 

I don't expect Heroes in my Supers Campaigns to have  all the holes in their defenses you mentioned. As a GM, I strongly advise all characters to have the capability of freeing themselves from a campaign standard Entangle in at two actions. Characters don't have to have EGO/Flash/Mental Defense to be functional but most have one out of three. I also don't see many 10 Body or EGO Characters, so Characters are harder to transform or mentally influence than your typical Normal. I guess it comes down to what level of genre simulation you use. The campaigns I've experienced as Player and GM tend to overlook small defenses that lean toward compensating for the fact that game play is not a scripted comic.

 

Hope that helps you understand where I'm starting from as the basis for my arguements. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, greypaladin_01 said:

I fully admit that I am up way to late and tired but having read through all of this, there are certainly some interesting (if unfinished) ideas for alternate systems that I hope to review more after sleeping.

However, I had one thought as far as the all or nothing nature of Mental powers as they currently stand in the game.

Instead of the mentalist declaring the intended effect level and THEN rolling dice, what if they make their attack, roll the effect dice and see what level effect they CAN get, then declare what they want to do from there.   This would simulate the mentalist getting a "lock" but perhaps not as much a lock as they wanted but could still try to get some lesser effect if they choose.

 

I think that would solve most of my discontent.

 

"I'm going to use my Telepathy." Roll dice and GM tells you the level of access you have then you figure out whether you're going to try to find out what he thinking right now or whether you're going to look for his 5th grade locker combination.

 

"I'm going to use my Mind Control." Roll dice and GM tells you the level of access you have then you figure out whether you have the policeman fires a warning shot in your general direction (as opposed to shooting you) or whether you've got a good enough grip on his mind to do something more entertaining like having him drop his gun and dance a tango.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is pretty much what I was thinking as well Archer.   I do enjoy toolkitting and the OP ideas for mental powers certainly are another approach, but I was offering this up as a way to give more flexibility to the mental powers as they exist as a compromise for people that are not satisfied but also don't want to build-from-scratch.

Also in comics there IS prescident for mentalists that are trying to Read/Control Minds but are just not able to overpower someone's defenses fully but can manage a lesser effect and rolling effect dice first and then just making the most of what you rolled for a phase seems a good way to simulate that.     "I wanted to make him surrender but my roll was only good enough to make him blow up a car and threaten instead of shooting at the crowd"

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/20/2021 at 8:43 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

  • Severe effects (turn someone into a complete puppet, read forgotten memories, etc); 15 points per d6


So if Joe Mentalist has 45 points of Telepathy, he can roll 9d6 to try for a trivial effect, or 3d6 for a severe one

 

Rolling greater an effect than the target's EGO results in success.  Rolling more than double their EGO allows success plus the target has no memory of the manipulation.
Breaking free of a long-term effect works, the same, but for every 5 points of effect you get past the EGO of the target, they are -1 to break free with EGO rolls over time.

 

 

So let's say that Joe Mentalist has a 75 point multipower with one of the slots being Mind Control.

 

So he wants a severe effect which gives him 5d6 to work with. 

 

His average roll is going to be 17.5

 

That would seem to be a problem to me because that average roll is far, far above the EGO of most written characters and there's a lot of published villains with Mind Control large enough that their average roll would allow them to easily, routinely get severe results (aka having 4d6 or higher to work with). 

 

Why worry about breakout rolls over time when a murderous villain can command the hero to immediately commit suicide (or a murderous player figures out his PC can command the villains to commit suicide).

 

That's not an argument for or against the RAW. 

 

Let's take a 60 active point RAW 12d6 Mind Control. The average roll is 42. A target with 10 EGO affected at the maximum level would require rolling an effect of 40 or better. So the average roll is just barely enough to get maximum effect on a dead average target. (The average roll is 5% higher than is needed in order to get the maximum effect.)

 

Looking at the proposed system, the 60 active point 4d6 Mind Control gives an average result of 14 which is measured against an EGO of 10. (The average roll is 40% higher than is needed in order to get the maximum effect.)

 

That's a rather dramatic increase in the efficiency of mental powers.

 

I could see that system working a lot better in a Fantasy Hero setting with no multipowers or VPP's and much lower point totals to work with.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, greypaladin_01 said:

That is pretty much what I was thinking as well Archer.   I do enjoy toolkitting and the OP ideas for mental powers certainly are another approach, but I was offering this up as a way to give more flexibility to the mental powers as they exist as a compromise for people that are not satisfied but also don't want to build-from-scratch.

Also in comics there IS prescident for mentalists that are trying to Read/Control Minds but are just not able to overpower someone's defenses fully but can manage a lesser effect and rolling effect dice first and then just making the most of what you rolled for a phase seems a good way to simulate that.     "I wanted to make him surrender but my roll was only good enough to make him blow up a car and threaten instead of shooting at the crowd"

 

In most source material, there is a lot of precedent for trying to shoot to disable, but instead severely injuri8ng or even killing the target, or swinging for the head or vitals, but striking an arm or a leg, rather than missing entirely.

 

Perhaps an Advantage a la "Partial Transform" would fit the bill.  That's the +1/2 advantage that causes, say, a Major Transform to inflict a Cosmetic Transform when it reaches 1/3 of BOD and Minor at 2/3.  Simply allowing the MC to reach the lower level of effect which it rolled sufficient to achieve for a +1/2 advantage would seem to create the desired gradual effect.

 

I am not sure I get how rolling 5/10/15d6 for three tiers of effect is intended to achieve this partial success, though.  And, once again, a look through existing rules provides a perfectly serviceable approach which does not achieve "target is instantly dominated for campaign average attack cost" - not achieving that is, by the way, a feature rather than a flaw in my view.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, archer said:

I could see that system working a lot better in a Fantasy Hero setting with no multipowers or VPP's and much lower point totals to work with.

 

This is another issue with mental powers - they are a variant of the "absolute effect" pricing challenge.  12d6 works pretty well in 60 point Supers when a lot of targets have 13 or less Ego and no or tiny mental defence.  But 8d6 does not work so well against opponents in Fantasy who also have 13  or less EGO and no or tiny mental defense.

 

Now a Bardic Song of 1d6 Mind Control, Area Effect (grow the Radius), IPE, Cumulative (several doublings), Penetrating (one never knows), No range, Extra Time, 1 turn, OAF (musical instrument), Incantations (sing and play the instrument)...

 

Don't like the mayor?  Write a 5 minute song about it.  87.5 points average effect means he's not going to be mayor for very long...
 

Thanks to Duke for reminding me of that old build!

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...