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Mind Control and Mental Illusions


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Mental Illusions is really just a limited, nuanced form of Mind Control; essentially Mind Control: "Only to make the target perceive something and believe it to be real". It can't directly control their reaction to or feelings about what they perceive, of course. But is there any reason (aside from division of Powers) that you couldn't use Mind Control to give the command "Think and believe you see your Aunt standing over there or think you're on fire"? There are some optional rules for Mind Control inflicting damage with commands like "Die!" but its just easier to use Mental Illusions to do so. The Powers really are very similar and could almost be combined into one. Not really important, just an odd thought I had.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

There's no reason (apart from an unreasonable GM) you could not use Mind Control that way BUT I'd say you'd probably need at least +10, maybe +20 more on the mind control to gain the same effect as you would with mental illusions (seeing something that is not there, for example). Moreover, I wouldn't allow Mind Control to cause damage in the way that MI can*. Rather than thinking of a MI as a limited and nuanced form of MC, think of it as a specialised and flexible form of MC. We don't want to give it a complex :)

 

 

 

* At present mental powers only really go up to Ego +30, but I suppose they could go higher and have correspondingly greater effect. I might consider it then.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

The difference between them is force and influence.

 

MC forces (or attempts to force) the target into taking some action or course of action.

 

MI tricks (or attempts to trick) the target into seeing something other than what is actually there.

 

I don't believe that the command to believe something false (like that the target is on fire) falls under the abilities of MC. That should be either MI, if you want them to perceive that they are on fire, or Telepathy if you want them to believe that they are on fire.

 

Mental powers (aside from Ego Attack) are already amazingly versatile as they are, I see no point in letting them overlap.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

There's no reason (apart from an unreasonable GM) you could not use Mind Control that way BUT I'd say you'd probably need at least +10' date=' maybe +20 more on the mind control to gain the same effect as you would with mental illusions (seeing something that is not there, for example). Moreover, I wouldn't allow Mind Control to cause damage in the way that MI can*. Rather than thinking of a MI as a limited and nuanced form of MC, think of it as a specialised and flexible form of MC. We don't want to give it a complex :)[/quote']

 

The Ultimate Mentalist suggests allowing Mind Control to do damage, by commanding the target to die. I think that for the command to do STUN takes an additional +10 to the effect roll above and beyond what you were normally shooting for, and for STUN and BODY +20. It otherwise does damage in the same way that Mental Illusions does.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Telepathy if you want them to believe that they are on fire.

 

Telepathy can't make a target do/believe at all.* It's strictly the ability to read thoughts, memories and optionally "psychic impressions". If you want to influence those things thoughts, alter memories and make other active changes it requires Mind Control (or Mental Illusions).

 

My thought was that Mental Illusions performs some tasks that are a subset of Mind Control. The "force" vs Trickery issue is a matter of special effects. I could say my mental illusions is my character overriding the Target's sensory nerves and parts of the brain or my mind control is subtly nudging their thoughts in line with what I want.

 

I wasn't complaining exactly it was just something that occurred to me that powers are a bit redundant and could possibly be folded together. I think it would be somewhat better fit than Instant Change being folded into Transform. But it's not something I think needs to happen.

 

*Edit: Unless I am missing some obscure rule which is not all together impossible. People rarely play mentalists in my games.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

I've always thought Mental Illusions should just be folded into Images, but what do I know?

 

MI covers perception, MC covers beliefs. For the most part, both will result in similar actions, with only slight degrees of variation between each other. MC will require a much higher roll to than MI to achieve the same effect in some cases.

 

For example, making someone perceive they are surrounded by enemies with MI only requires a roll of +10 over EGO, while making someone believe the same with MC would require +20. Similarly, making someone perceive themselves as on fire, and later remember really being on fire should need +20, while getting the same effect for MC should require +40. MI is also telepathic by nature. Having some woman screaming "Covered With Scorpions!" in your ear probably works as a tipoff.

 

Interestingly, the two powers will have different effects as far as they are described. It's way easier to tell a player what their character percieves rather than what they believe.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

As I understand it, the only way mental illusions can affect belief is that if that if successful, the target believes what they are seeing/experiencing is real. It might be impossible but as far as their minds go, it's happening until they make a breakout roll. The illusion not confirming to reality gives bonuses to breakout but doesn't shatter the effect immediately (without a limitation) and you can create mental illusions of things you've never seen before; Ex: You can make someone see their Aunt Sally even if you never met her. You can also make painful illusions ("You're on fire!") but unless you get a certain level of effect they do no Stun which could be consider a discrepancy and grant a bonus to break out. If the target still doesn't break out they believe what's happening is real (or their mind might fill in the blanks/explain the contradictions similar to what occurs in strange dreams).

 

Images have no such compunction to believe they are real. The character might not know they are an image (fail their perception check to see through it) but could try to ignore them (probably requiring some sort of roll or penalty). Images is probably best used subtly to trick and confuse while MI can be used to brute force things. I don't think Images provides the ability to create illusions of things the character has never seen before accurately. The character would have had to have seen the target's Aunt Sally, have a picture of her or at least a description/best guess to go on. This isn't to say you couldn't fold Images into Mental Illusions but there seems to be enough functional different between the Powers to keep them separate. Images and Change Environment might be able to be folded together though, come to think of it.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Mental Illusion also covers ALL of the senses, while you have to buy each effected sense with Images seperately.

 

For example, you buy Image for the sight sense only and make a wall suddenly appear around someone. What happens? The first thing they do is freak out and push on the "wall" image and pass right through it. You use Mental Illusion to make a wall appear around someone. What happens? The first thing they do is freak out and push on the wall and... they feel it. The knock on it and hear how it sounds. Sounds on the other side may even be muffled, etcetera. Sure, having a wall suddenly appear out of nowhere will give a pretty big bonus to the break out roll, but my point is, it's a fairly big difference between the effects of the two powers, no matter how similar they seem on a superficial level.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

With Mental Illusions being seperate, it's easy to compare with/contrast to Images. If Mental Illusions were added into Mind Control, you'd need a long section on "illusions" which would have to be compared with/contrasted to Images.

 

IOW, it wouldn't shorten the rules by even an iota.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Admittedly, unless they were phrased very succinctly, the limitations and modifiers to build Mental Illusions (As it currently exists) from Mind Control would probably be pretty lengthy too, another negative to folding them together.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Still seems like we have two powers that essentially do the same thing though. :straight:

 

It does, doesn't it?

 

There are, however, significant differences that, I believe, justify thre being two seperate powers.

 

The first is that MI is a mental power and Images isn't. You could certainly deal with that by tacking BOECV onto Images, but that is not a perfect substitute for something being a mental power right from the start.

 

Secondly we have perceivablity - MI happens entirely in the head of the target and no one else knows what is going on, other than that they may well appear to eb in distress. Images are visible, or perceiveable, to everyone.

 

Thirdly MI an cause damage directly, whereas Images can't.

 

Fourthly, the mechanical systems are very different.

 

There are other differences too, but those are the main ones for me, and I think it would be complicated to describe transforming one power into the other than simply setting them out seperately.

 

In fact there is a better argument for making Images and Shapeshift a single power: an adder or advantage for Images that the power is absolute (i.e. does not use the PER roll mechanic) and has to be self only would probably do it.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

I think what bothers me the most about this notion, is the way you phrase it: "Only to make the target perceive something and believe it to be real" (emphasis mine). To me these are two distinct effects and "commands." The first one defines the implantation of a scenario into the target's senses, and without a telepathic link, that would require complex and vivid description on the part of the Mind Controller. Note that the descriptions for levels of effect for Mind Control don't fit well with the criteria for fooling the senses -- how do you define what level of reality change a person would be "violently opposed" to?

 

The second command would cause the target to react to what they perceive as though it were real, and depending on what degree of "reality" you're trying for that could easily demand a higher level of effect on the MC dice than for implanting the perception. Again, the level of willingness to believe would need to be adjusted, unless you just use the standards for Mental Illusions anyway. And there's the crux of it for me: IMHO Mental Illusions is not a "subset" of Mind Control, because to achieve the complexity of what Mental Illusions does requires bending Mind Control quite a bit, and won't be as smooth as using MI. Unless, of course, the GM running the game is willing to broaden the range of Mind Control much further beyond how the rulebook defines it, than I would be comfortable with. YMMV and all. ;)

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Well, a less cumbersome way to put is "Believe you see a car barreling towards you." or 'Think that are you on fire" It the Mind Control succeeds to the proper level then the target would, in their mind, see a car coming at them or think they were on fire and react accordingly. Grond might smash the puny car or shrug off the flames but he'd perceive them.

 

Unless what you wanted to place in the character's mind is directly and obviously harmful to them ("You're on fire!) with Mind Control it would be odd for almost anything to require more then greater than Ego. Though oddly, if a character was in a situation were something was more likely to happen it might be easier in some cases to use Mental Illusions. Commanding someone to believe they're on fire might take a pretty high effect roll for MC but a lower one for MI if the target were in a fire or near open flames (not a drastic alteration of reality).

 

This could make for some interesting questions about sfx for other "Mental" abilities. If a Mentalist buys Base on ECV vs Ego entangle, can they give it the special effect that target experiences an psionic illusion that their limbs spontaneously fall off or that they've cast into dreamscape and have to fight their way out (the Entangle blocks all senses as well).

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Mental powers overall seem to occupy a weird niche between generic effect and sfx. I'm kind of big on the idea of cutting down on needless Mental versions of similar powers. I can't see the utility of Ego Attack being separate from EB or RKA either.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

(in regards to Mental Illusion VS Images…)

Still seems like we have two powers that essentially do the same thing though.

 

Um, not really, not at all. Let’s see. Use Image to make a ball of light in a dark room. Everyone can benefit and loses the negative PER caused by the room being dark. Now, make people “perceive” a ball of light with Mental Illusion. They get no benefit, the ball of light does not illuminate the room, because it’s ALL IN THEIR HEADS and if the MI is sophisticated enough they may even think that it illuminates the room, even though it doesn’t, and see what they expected to see in the room. I think that’s a fairly big difference.

 

To use a more complex example: You want to make people in a bank think they are being taken over by a group of armed gunmen. Let’s try it two different ways…

 

Images: First you have to pay for a fairly high-complexity of image to the Sight Group. But mute, gun toting thieves aren’t very scary, so we have to add Hearing Group to the Image. Now, everyone in the bank (and anyone looking in from outside) sees a group of gun wielding maniacs. What happens to the first person stupi,…err, brave enough to play hero and try to take on an armed gunman? He gets shot at, nothing happens, and everyone who saw it happen realizes that it’s all fake and gets the heck out of there. But maybe he just missed? Well, when his flying tackle sends him through instead of into the target, I think the Jig will be up...

 

Mental Illusion: You buy MI with the appropriate AoE, etcetera, to make a mass hallucination. The MI you send out is “You see a group of armed gun men and one of them chooses YOU as a hostage”. Now, every person there who the MI works on sees someone pointing a gun at them and several other people as well. They’ll feel the gunmen gripping their arms, feel the cold barrel of the gun pressed against the side of their head, they’ll smell the gunpowder and see the chunks of ceiling tile fall when warning shots are fired into the air. And if anyone tries to play hero, they’ll be shot. Even if the MI doesn’t beat their EGO by enough to do BODY, simply enough to do STUN and percieve themselves as shot, bleeding, and in pain will probably make it harder, not easier, to make a break out roll. And what if 3 or 4 people have high enough EGOs or are just lucky enough to not fall into the illusion? They won’t see what the others are seeing, and when 20 or 30 people start freaking out around them they’ll probably get the hell out of there. And if they stay and figure out what’s going on, what are they going to do? Run around shouting “There aren’t any gunmen, it’s all in your head!”? Yeah, that will convince a lot of people once the illusion shows them someone being shot and laying on the ground in agony bleeding. Heck, if the Illusion is complex enough they may not even perceive the people who it didn't work on.

 

In conclusion: I do not see any possible way these two powers could be considered “two powers that essentially do the same thing”. Not only are the SFX different, but the very CONCEPT of HOW and WHY the powers work are COMPLETELY different.

 

Lot’s of powers and effects in HERO can be done multiple ways using different powers with different Advantages and Disadvantages. When determining whether or not powers should be combined or not it’s important to look at the different things that are exclusive to each power, not the myriad of way you can overlap almost any set of powers if you think hard enough. It's almost like sayg RKA and EB are the same because you can add "doesn't do body" to a RKA, so they should be rolled together. Can you make a RKA that doesn't do BODY? Sure. Is it the best way to make an EB? No.

 

I also think that MC and MI are sufficiently different, but I’m at work and don’t have time to rant about that at the moment…but I’ll be back

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Creating light always seemed kind of tacked on. Light isn't an Image, it's Light. Seems more appropriate for Change Environment to me. I know RAW it's Images, but again, Light isn't an Image.

 

What I see: Images affects multiple people, one sense at a time. MI affect multiple senses, one person at a time. It's the same power made to work two different ways for no good reason.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Mental Illusions also feels in the blanks, so to speak because its all in the target's head. You can create MI effects of things you've never seen before and the illusions will adjust to some extent to the target's actions. Images are, for lack of a better word, holograms, projections that are only as accurate as their creator can make them

 

Mental Illusions also carries with it a compulsion to believe the image is real and react accordingly until the victim makes their break out. Images has no such compulsion and can even be seen through immediately with a good enough perception roll.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Creating light always seemed kind of tacked on. Light isn't an Image, it's Light. Seems more appropriate for Change Environment to me. I know RAW it's Images, but again, Light isn't an Image.

 

What I see: Images affects multiple people, one sense at a time. MI affect multiple senses, one person at a time. It's the same power made to work two different ways for no good reason.

 

That difference in and of itself IS enough difference to make it two separate powers. Furthermore, Image can not, to my knowledge, be used on only one person; it’s visible to anyone within range of sight of the Image. Mental Illusion, which by default only affects one person, CAN be expanded to affect multiple people. Did you even read my (admittedly somewhat poorly written) bank robber illusion example? You keep making blanket statements about them being essentially the same, but have yet to respond to a single example that illustrates explicitly that they are not. Can you honestly not see the difference between Image: “man with a gun” which everyone can see and react to, but everyone will see going the same direction, saying the same thing, etcetera; and Mental Illusion: “man aiming a gun AT YOU” with Area of Effect to affect more than one person at a time? In each example the people only see one “man with a gun” yet with Image they must all see the same one, whereas with MI they can each have their own personal threat/tormentor. Explain to me, SPECIFICALLY, how there is NOT a difference there.

 

As far as “Light isn’t an Image”. Rubber Bullets aren’t an Energy Blast either, but that’s how the book says to make them, because it works most fluidly with the game’s mechanics. Also, while Change Environment might work great for making a room magically become light up for no reason, it seems like it would be a bit more complicated to make, say, a flashlight.

 

Using your argument, or lack thereof, I could argue that HKA and RKA should be rolled into one power simply because it’s “basically the same power” the only difference being range. (Actually, I think someone might have advocated this in the past, so not the best example, but there are dozens others).

 

Lastly, you seem to not have a working understanding of the difference between Perceiving things and Sensing things. Let’s take a real life example. You go to one of those new fangled 3D movies. What do you see? You SEE something popping out of the screen at you, but you KNOW (i.e., PERSEIVE) quickly if not instantly that things are not, in fact, leaping off the screen at you. I’m not sure if this lack of understanding between sensing and seeing is a lack of realizing that there is a difference between the two in the real world, or simply a lack of the ability to grasp abstract thoughts, the confusion for you being caused because mental powers don’t really exist.

 

The difference between these two powers are not merely a matter of SFX. The price of the powers is different, the abilities of the powers are different, the natural DEF to the two powers are different (actually, technically speaking, Image doesn’t really have a defense since it is not, strictly speaking, an attack), the amount of Damage that can be caused be the two powers is different (none VS lots), and on, and on, and on...

 

If you are going to reply, PLEASE actually address some of these points rather than saying, “well, they’re still basically the same” without ANY logical reasoning, or backing to your statements.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Maybe a name change to the Images Power would help distinguish them. Make it Sensory Illusion as opposed to Mental Illusion.

 

I've always though the main reason creating light was under Images was because Change Environment can only inflict penalties not bonuses. Though I do generally think that conceptually lightening an region up seems more fitting under CE.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Personally, I've never seen the point to "creating" a flashlight via Powers, etc. Even in a superheroic campaign, where characters are supposed to buy everything with points, it's pretty silly to make PowerArmorGuy buy the spotlight on his tin zoot suit.

 

If he wants to "dial it up" bright enough for a Flash, fine, buy Flash. But for making the room/road/?? lit enough he can see, bah.

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Re: Mind Control and Mental Illusions

 

Creating light always seemed kind of tacked on. Light isn't an Image' date=' it's Light. Seems more appropriate for Change Environment to me. I know RAW it's Images, but again, Light isn't an Image.[/quote']

 

And in fact under Fourth Edition light was often built using CI; but for 5E it was decided (I'm guessing due to game-balance concerns) that CI would not be able to grant positive bonus benefits, as with increased Perception against dark conditions.

 

I do want to add a caution against getting hung up on the name used for a particular Power, as restricting the Special Effects of that Power. "Images" is just a name for an ability to affect the senses of people within the Power's Area Of Effect. The Image itself can indeed be a projection of light if that's how it's defined; it could also be smoke, dust, ionized atmosphere, or many other SFX (and that's just for visual Images). It can convey general visual illusions, or be Limited to extremely specific effects. In that "Images" is no more restricting than "Energy Blast" always having to be energy, or "Darkness" actually being dark.

 

What I see: Images affects multiple people' date=' one sense at a time. MI affect multiple senses, one person at a time. It's the same power made to work two different ways for no good reason.[/quote']

 

There are other significant mechanical differences which affect which Power would be most suitable for what you want to do. As a Mental Power MI uses EGO rather than DEX for targeting purposes. MI has to overcome EGO to be perceived, whereas Images are automatically perceived. MI has the potential to physically damage a target, while Images does not. MI functions over its user's Line Of Sight, while Images has a defined maximum range.

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