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Making death look natural


Steve
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How would one make a death through a Killing Attack appear to be from natural causes? It should leave no toxicology trace or signs of violence. The person would appear to have died from something natural like heart attack or stroke.

 

I'm thinking it would be some form of Invisible Power Effect, but I'm not sure how to write it.

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How would one make a death through a Killing Attack appear to be from natural causes? It should leave no toxicology trace or signs of violence. The person would appear to have died from something natural like heart attack or stroke.

I'm thinking it would be some form of Invisible Power Effect, but I'm not sure how to write it.[/quote

Well, if you consider forensic exam to be a sense group, there you are.

 

RKA xD 6, invisible to forensic sense group?

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It's really more of a special effect thing.

 

There are a lot of limitations to forensic science.  Even a very good medical examiner is not going to be able to determine "magic curse" as a cause of death.  These are inherent limitations to the forensic science skill, so you're not going to have to buy IPE for the power.  The skill just can't detect that stuff to begin with.

 

So let's say I shoot a blue beam out of my hand.  And it's a "bio-disruptor ray".  Everyone can see it, so I don't need any Advantage there.  Once it hits, it does normal damage, so I don't need any special Advantages there.  But the damage it does is just defined as your body malfunctioning.  Strokes, heart attacks, or if you have high Defense it's just indigestion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How would one make a death through a Killing Attack appear to be from natural causes? It should leave no toxicology trace or signs of violence. The person would appear to have died from something natural like heart attack or stroke.

 

I'm thinking it would be some form of Invisible Power Effect, but I'm not sure how to write it.

 

 

Well, if you consider forensic exam to be a sense group, there you are.

 

RKA xD 6, invisible to forensic sense group?

 

I'm not sure if the is what you're looking for, but I read the thread title and thought of Vincent Schiavelli's character Dr. Kaufman from the movie Tomorrow Never Dies--

 

DR: KAUFMAN: "I am a professor of forensic medicine. Believe me, Mr. Bond, I could shoot you from Stuttgart und still create ze proper effect."

 

So I would go with what pinecone said, but add the Requires Skill Roll Limitation--the Skill in this case being Forensic Science or Forensic Medicine.

 

Hope that helps.

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Fully invisible and varible special effect

 

because if all your victims die of a heart attack that will be the link

 

 

That's an excellent point.

 

Would it still be enough of a clue if the deaths were in otherwise healthy people, even if one was from a heart attack and another was from a brain clot, etc?

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That's an excellent point.

Would it still be enough of a clue if the deaths were in otherwise healthy people, even if one was from a heart attack and another was from a brain clot, etc?

Possibly, but there would likely need a second connection...all served on the same jury, all survived a terrible accident...etc

 

I'd go with all took part in a cruel prank.:)

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I'm not sure if the is what you're looking for, but I read the thread title and thought of Vincent Schiavelli's character Dr. Kaufman from the movie Tomorrow Never Dies--

 

DR: KAUFMAN: "I am a professor of forensic medicine. Believe me, Mr. Bond, I could shoot you from Stuttgart und still create ze proper effect."

 

So I would go with what pinecone said, but add the Requires Skill Roll Limitation--the Skill in this case being Forensic Science or Forensic Medicine.

 That would also allow for skill vs skill, that might be a welcome complication.

Hope that helps.

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What sort of forensics work uncovers 'magic blast' as the cause of death?

 

"Clearly this man was hit by a magic death beam."

True, but I don't see how that would prevent a finding of homicide, by currently unknown means...." I don't know how the victim's heart was crushed, I am sure that it wasn't natural"

 

Besides in a comic book world, maybe testing for demonic auras etc is standard s.o.p....?

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True, but I don't see how that would prevent a finding of homicide, by currently unknown means...." I don't know how the victim's heart was crushed, I am sure that it wasn't natural"

 

Besides in a comic book world, maybe testing for demonic auras etc is standard s.o.p....?

 

Would you know it was crushed?  Or would it look like the guy had a malformed heart?  I think you'd have a lot of "I don't know what made it look like this".

 

Again, the special effects of a power can be anything.  I think someone earlier mentioned getting hit by a bus.  An ME isn't going to look past that.  If you've got a "fear attack" that makes them see the worst nightmare, and they have a heart attack, it's just going to look like they had a regular old heart attack.  Even healthy people have heart attacks occasionally, even young.

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Would you know it was crushed?  Or would it look like the guy had a malformed heart?  I think you'd have a lot of "I don't know what made it look like this".

 

Again, the special effects of a power can be anything.  I think someone earlier mentioned getting hit by a bus.  An ME isn't going to look past that.  If you've got a "fear attack" that makes them see the worst nightmare, and they have a heart attack, it's just going to look like they had a regular old heart attack.  Even healthy people have heart attacks occasionally, even young.

Some valid points...but...it also sounds like fishing for free effects based on special effect. If you want a magical fear attack ( that does body) no problem, if you want to conceal cause, or effect, you pay points for that, just like anybody else.

 

If you're a wizard, then the explanation for everything you do is " a wizard did it" but you still need to pay for your effects...

 

Example: magic fear attack, rka 3D6, can't detect cause +X...? Even if you diguise a attack as a malformed heart, it won't be too long before the odds get too long to believe it's " natural".

 

" Four people you had disagreements with have all died from a rare heart problem." "I'm going to be looking in to this, and just to let you know, I just had an echo cardiam, and I don't have any heart abnormalities"

 

Extra so, if there proves to be a connection between them.

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Some valid points...but...it also sounds like fishing for free effects based on special effect. If you want a magical fear attack ( that does body) no problem, if you want to conceal cause, or effect, you pay points for that, just like anybody else.

 

 

My point is that "concealing the cause" isn't something you have to pay points to do.  It happens automatically depending on the special effect.  You are treating the skill Forensic Medicine as if it were the power Detect: Cause of death.  It isn't.  That skill is limited in its abilities.

 

Look at it a different way.  Can someone with the skill Tracking follow a guy with Flight?  Does the guy with Flight have to buy it with Invisible Power Effects just so that he doesn't somehow leave broken twigs and stuff on the ground behind him for you to follow?  Of course not.  You just can't track him.

 

You'd need a different skill to determine the cause of death, depending on the type of attack.  If it's a mystical attack, you're going to need KS: Sorcery, or something like that.  A normal doctor won't have any idea something is amiss.  But a mystic character might recognize things.  

 

 

 

" Four people you had disagreements with have all died from a rare heart problem." "I'm going to be looking in to this, and just to let you know, I just had an echo cardiam, and I don't have any heart abnormalities"

 

"No heart abnormalities... that you know of."

 

What kind of paranoid detective thinks that way though?  Unless magic is an accepted part of the world, where normal people believe in it and understand it, who would make such a leap in logic?  What prosecutor is going to file charges based on "evil magic"?

 

Fact is, I can disintegrate a guy with a killing attack, and leave no body whatsoever.  I can throw him into space with my superstrength, and they'll never find the body.  I can teleport him into the sun, and leave no trace.  I don't have to pay for invisible vs forensic medicine on any of those.

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My point is that "concealing the cause" isn't something you have to pay points to do. It happens automatically depending on the special effect. You are treating the skill Forensic Medicine as if it were the power Detect: Cause of death. It isn't. That skill is limited in its abilities.

 

Look at it a different way. Can someone with the skill Tracking follow a guy with Flight? Does the guy with Flight have to buy it with Invisible Power Effects just so that he doesn't somehow leave broken twigs and stuff on the ground behind him for you to follow? Of course not. You just can't track him.

True, but an edge case doesn't prove the center. You evade a skill with a power, not because my boots are magic, so tracking can't work.

 

And it does not hide anything " the tracks just end, like he vanished, or flew away. I didn't find any trace he mounted up"

 

You'd need a different skill to determine the cause of death, depending on the type of attack. If it's a mystical attack, you're going to need KS: Sorcery, or something like that. A normal doctor won't have any idea something is amiss. But a mystic character might recognize things.

 

 

 

"No heart abnormalities... that you know of."

 

What kind of paranoid detective thinks that way though? Unless magic is an accepted part of the world, where normal people believe in it and understand it, who would make such a leap in logic? What prosecutor is going to file charges based on "evil magic"?

 

One that is investigating someone who when confronted, has the impossible luck of having them fall dead? A good "Hollywood" example would be the movie Black widow. A serial murderer has found a clever way to kill folks. Then an investigator finds the odds unlikely and starts a serious look.

 

Fact is, I can disintegrate a guy with a killing attack, and leave no body whatsoever. I can throw him into space with my superstrength, and they'll never find the body. I can teleport him into the sun, and leave no trace. I don't have to pay for invisible vs forensic medicine on any of those.

No body is Not no forensic trace. A body can be disposed of without special powers. And that doesn't stop folks from being prosecuted. Though it does tend to help to evade.

 

Just because it's magic...or meson rays etc does not mean it leaves no trace.

 

Magic doesn't exit in our world, so no experimentation is possible. But death curses might well leave chemical trace. The ME has no idea why the traces are present, but that doesn't make them go away.

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I wonder if a mental attack that does BODY might be one way to go? With Mind Scan to target it, you could be standing next to the Police Chief discussing something when the victim drops dead across town. And if they were in another state or country, you'd need people with special psi abilities to ever trace it back.

 

I think it was in Dark Champions that caseless ammo was built with a minor form of Invisible Power Effect (+1/4, I think) because there were no shell casings to ever examine.

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No body is Not no forensic trace. A body can be disposed of without special powers. And that doesn't stop folks from being prosecuted. Though it does tend to help to evade.

 

Just because it's magic...or meson rays etc does not mean it leaves no trace.

 

Magic doesn't exit in our world, so no experimentation is possible. But death curses might well leave chemical trace. The ME has no idea why the traces are present, but that doesn't make them go away.

 

At the end of the day, forensic science is a fairly limited skill.  I don't think there should be an assumption that a successful skill roll will always determine cause of death.  I think the default should be that forensic science works the same as it does in the real world, or at least like it works on TV.  Outside of commonly understood effects (fire, poison, blunt force trauma, etc), it won't reveal anything.  Now, if you're in a campaign where those sorts of attacks are common, then maybe forensic science could reveal something.  So in a weird martial arts anime world, maybe they bring in a kung fu master to check for traces of the Dim Mak technique.  "Oh, a concentration of negative chi here.  Very bad."  But I don't think that is the default setting for a world.

 

Now perhaps magic leaves a trace.  But it isn't a trace that normal forensic science is going to pick up.  I'm reminded of the movie "The Omen" (the original).  People who were going to die would have a small black mark appear on their recent photographs.  Or perhaps you should get on a white horse and try to jump over the corpse.  If the horse refuses, evil magic is at work (that's one way they used to test for vampire graves in certain Eastern European towns).  Or you could check the nests of birds in the area, crack the eggs open and see if any lizards are inside.  A sure sign of a death curse.  Of course, none of this is forensic science.  It's all mumbo jumbo.  Therefore, that would be the appropriate skill.

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