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Psychic Sniper powers?


Sam On Maui
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I'm trying to formally make a psychic sniper for our supers game as a dangerous NPC enemy.

This is the core concept: the character (an enemy NPC) is a telepath. Using her powers, she zeroes in on enemies and shoots them from WAAAAY far off. Because she's telepathic, she has a better idea of what they're going to do, where they're going, etc.

The power I want to make is two-fold:

1. It targets enemies via DMCV / ECV. Essentially she's targeting their minds. Easy enough.

2. The longer she sits and "aims," the higher her OCV will be. Possibly her damage. However, I can't figure out how to do this.

 

Help? When I GM the players seem to like enemies that actually challenge them...

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Prepare for your players to hate you. :winkgrin:  Whether that's fun-hate or game-ending-hate depends on your players and how you handle it. Being challenged is one thing, but getting smacked around with no way to smack back can be very frustrating to a lot of players and in my experience a little goes a long way. You know your group best.

 

Either of Nolgroth's suggestion work fine. (I don't see any reason why Set or Haymaker wouldn't work with targeting through mental sense.) Another option would be an Aid with Extra Time.

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1. Naked Advantage of No Range Mods on her sniper rifle (RKA) and make it dependent on a successful mental attack roll with telepathy.

 

2. If she's a psionic, give her some ballistokinesis defined as CSL's with her rifle, costs END, extra time, only vs. targets against whom she has made a successful attack roll with telepathy and requires concentration.  To reflect that she can concentrate longer and hit better/do more damage, buy it again with increased END cost and increased extra time.

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Sweet :)

 

Prepare for your players to hate you. winkgrin.gif  Whether that's fun-hate or game-ending-hate depends on your players and how you handle it.

They generally seem to enjoy the combats I make where they've actually got a real threat they can't just plow through. No risk, no glory! In the past I've made:

 

* A squad of mercs with a specific specialty of anti-supers weapons and tactics.

* Nano-based robots that absorb physical attacks, turning the energy into an entangle (complimenting the anti-super mercs nicely).

* A 1,000+ point big-bad guy with ablative armor, damage reduction, and his main attack being a line AOE with no range mods that got his stun back when his followers self-sacrificed themselves.

* Aztec themed warriors who engaged in group tactics.

 

Two of the players are absolute monsters as well...

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First problem with Sniping is perceiving the enemy with a Targetting Sense. And Clairsentience does not count for this by default (see there).

 

Mind Scan is a combo Mental/Sensory power and can indeed create a full Targetting Perception "Lock" for non-mental powers:
"Mind Scan is a Sense (part of the Mental Sense Group). It operates in “360 Degrees” (in the sense that it searches an entire area at once) and is a Targeting Sense for other Mental Powers (and, at EGO +20, for other attacks as well)"

"[EGO +20] Mentalist knows the exact location of the target. He can attack with all attacks. If he wishes to attack the target with a non Mental Power, the attack must be able to reach the target, and the Range Modifer applies."

You could also buy any Targetting sense with lots of Telescopic and put it into the Mental Group. While it does cost a premium in Sense Modifiers, there is no way to break out of it like Mind Scan and no direct way to be attacked.

 

Secondly OMV vs DMCV:

It does not need to be that. With a Mind Scan lock,her chances of surprising them is still great enough, as effectively normal sight does not mater.
However obstacles still do mater for her attack and barriers/walls will normally affect her.

 

Increased OCV and Damage with time:
Set, Aim and Haymaker Standart Combat Maneuvers. This character can basically ignore Defense as a Sniper.

 

"Because she's telepathic, she has a better idea of what they're going to do, where they're going, etc."

That is plain extra OCV/OMCV, depending wich route you go. Maybe Limited to "only with Mindscan Lock".

Of course with Mind Scan you also know Surface thoughts, so you can play a bit with the turn mechanic - not attacking the guy having held a phase; attacking with AoE when the enemy is prepared to Dodge.

 

Prepare for your players to hate you. :winkgrin:  Whether that's fun-hate or game-ending-hate depends on your players and how you handle it. Being challenged is one thing, but getting smacked around with no way to smack back can be very frustrating to a lot of players and in my experience a little goes a long way. You know your group best.

That I have to reitterate:
Being attacked without proper defense (not being able to perceive enemy), much less being able to act agaisnt this enemy is no fun.

However Champions 6E does mention that one can use a "Force of Nature" villain as major plot background. A antagonist so powerfull the Heroes can not beat them in a straight up fight (or on his terms). With the whole plot being to reach a counter or do what the villain wants.

 

A swarm would be a similar example of this:
Yes, you can build something with "Desolidification" and an attack power that "Affets Physical world". I even thought about using that combo to make a swarm enemy. However unless the Desolid weakness is somewhat common (like every AoE attack), this can quickly get frustrating as well.

A common trap is the GM trying to "beat" his players or creating unbeatable combinations using his

 

On the other hand this character can be very weak if she faces a enemy Mentalist or Anti-Mentalist.

If you Mind Scan "into" a Mind Link you get results on everyone. But in turn you can be mentally attacked by everyone in the Mind link too - like the enemy Mentalist.

If the enemy has Darkness "Mental Group", he can cut the mind link or any other Mental Group Sense. Same with a Barrier that blocks the Mental Sense Group. I actually developed quite a few counters to mentalists that do not require mental powers yourself.

Also if they can get into range, she will be glass cannon. Due to the excessive focus on Sniping, she would be quite vulnerable.

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We've got at least one mentalist (got two-three new players coming in this week, so can't guarantee there won't be more). Almost every game he "does a mind scan of the area" to look for hostile threats and such. Honestly? I'm counting on that.

1. Per the story I've been laying out in this thread, there are people looking for the means to control telepaths.

2. She (and the others like her) are meant to be anti-super operatives. As such, he'll be exposing himself.

3. Her "tell" is that when she's doing this she's going to effectively look like the Eye of Sauron to another psi.

She'll be a glass canon, physically. Mentally? Not quite sure yet.

 

edit: I should note that I'm not even the hardball, OMG-LETHAL gm of the group. They freakin' LOVE it when he GMs!

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3. Her "tell" is that when she's doing this she's going to effectively look like the Eye of Sauron to another psi.

 

 

There used to be a lim called "Noisy" in 5th ed.

 

--

 

Perceivable is not strong enough.

 

--

 

An Images (mental; nontargeting) Side Effect would work.

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Is this supposed to be a 'one hit kill' power?

 

If it is NOT, then you can just use Mind Scan and Mental Blast.  Or Mental Blast with no range modifiers and increased range, and maybe some sort of super sense N-Ray Vision.

 

You feel a strange presence invade your mind, and suddenly your brain is awash with agony, which comes in waves, overwhelming your pain centres, as, slowly, you feel consciousness slip away...

 

So what happens there is you lock on with mind scan then keep attacking with mental Blast until you KO the target.  The description matters: it is actually multiple attacks but, given that most targets can neither get away nor counter attack, the effect is the same as waiting a while then hitting with a single big mental punch: they take enough damage to KO them or (if you add 'Does Body), kill them.

 

Not very heroic, butt his is a villain and presumably meant to be scary.

 

If it IS supposed to be a 'one shot' thing, how about Mind Scan + Mind Control (cumulative).  With cumulative mind control  the target does not know they are being hit until you reach the required level of effect.  The command could be 'become comatose'.  

 

In effect someone is minding their own business then just passes out.  The longer you can target them the higher the desired level of effect and the longer lasting the coma. 

 

I've got no problem introducing a seemingly unstoppable villain: it makes the PCs think a bit.  Mind you, there does need to be a way to defeat them: perhaps they can not mentally target someone wearing a tin foil helmet...or somesuch.  Or maybe anyone KO'd by the Psychic Sniper has dreams that contain clues to the Sniper's identity.  Or maybe...

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They generally seem to enjoy the combats I make where they've actually got a real threat they can't just plow through.

Again tho, there's a huge difference between "tough, challenging fight" and "unable to fight back." There are few things players hate worse than taking damage from an unknown source and having to way to return the favor. As long as the PCs have some way to locate the villain and fight back, you're probably okay. Just use caution.

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Again tho, there's a huge difference between "tough, challenging fight" and "unable to fight back." There are few things players hate worse than taking damage from an unknown source and having to way to return the favor. As long as the PCs have some way to locate the villain and fight back, you're probably okay. Just use caution.

Those times 1000.

With every player I play with you would be facing a giant middle finger followed by an empty table.

Player's love challenges they hate being toyed with.

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JIC people forgot this. Mental Powers have no range modifier. SIGHT has a Range Modifier, and barring Mind Scan you have to SEE the target to hit it with a mental power. This doesn't apply to powers that have changed from OCV to OMCV, those power would have to buy no range modifier.

Powers have a maximum range of 10x Active cost in meters (ie a dc12 attack with no advantages has a 600m maximum range). a -14 on a perception roll. Which is pretty hard to make even with bonuses to the roll to find an attack.

Unless someone is flying, it's hard to stand off that far without something being in your line of sight. It's possible for a segment(Phase), but most people will go and hide from any sniper after the first shot. In any town or city that would be pretty easy to pull off. In a big city like New York City or Downtown LA were there are lots of tall buldings, you can find a vantage that can see lots of the city, but again it's pretty easy to duck up an alley or a into a building for cover.

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If you really want them to hate you...

 

Margarita Man

Interesting, I had never read that thread. It seems likely that people would quickly invest in 10 points of invisibility to Mental Sense group. Or 6 points of mental defense with 4 levels of Impenetrable for 12 AP. Actually, it was not uncommon in our Unbound games for everyone to have 6-8 levels of hardened on their defenses of various types (this was 4e, so impenetrable did not exist). We actually had one that gained more mental defense the more he was targetted mentally.

 

- E

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Didn't I already answer this?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says it looks familiar

 

Yep. I find posting here and at RPG.net works best. Thank you for your post there!

 

Again tho, there's a huge difference between "tough, challenging fight" and "unable to fight back." There are few things players hate worse than taking damage from an unknown source and having to way to return the favor. As long as the PCs have some way to locate the villain and fight back, you're probably okay. Just use caution.

 

They do. Super speedster, a monster brick that can turn invisible (and if I understand her build correctly, even psychicly invisible), a mentat psionic attacks that don't have LOS restrictions, a super scientist who can erect force fields, and more. Add in a 4d6 RKA isn't actually highly threatening to most of the players, and we don't use hit locations...

 

As I recall a lock with mind scan is two ways (no book available at work).

So do not be surprised if the party telepath leads the party to her and helps tear her arms off.

 

That's the plan. Honestly, the psi doesn't even need the rest of the team to fight back...

 

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If you really want them to hate you...

 

Margarita Man

Margarita Man

 

Nibblin' on sponge cake

Helping a thug make

The smartest decision he's made in some time

Yeah he'll get off scott free

But that doesn't bug me

'Cause the three he'll turn in are the worst kinds of slime.

 

Savin' the day again, I'm Margarita Man

Scanning for some good deed I can do

Some people claim the fact I'm here is a shame,

But I know, that they don't have a clue.

 

That mugger was stalking

A young woman walking

But now he's freaked out and his mind's come unglued

She's a real beauty

A Mexican cutie

She's had a close call, but she hasn't a clue.

 

Savin' the day again, I'm Margarita Man

Scanning for some good deed I can do

Some people claim the fact I'm here is a shame,

But I know, that they don't have a clue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My fights, I must pick 'em

I can't save each victim

And dealing with psychopaths drives me to drink

But if you ask how come

Some killers get so dumb

And finally get caught, well now, what do you think?

 

 

 

Savin' the day again, I'm Margarita Man

 

Scanning for some good deed I can do

 

Some people claim the fact I'm here is a shame,

 

But I know, that they don't have a clue.

 

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Some people claim that Jimmy Buffet's to blame,

But I know, it's the palindromedary's fault.

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Lucius, there needs to be a button that goes beyond "LIKE"

 

Interesting, I had never read that thread. It seems likely that people would quickly invest in 10 points of invisibility to Mental Sense group. Or 6 points of mental defense with 4 levels of Impenetrable for 12 AP. Actually, it was not uncommon in our Unbound games for everyone to have 6-8 levels of hardened on their defenses of various types (this was 4e, so impenetrable did not exist). We actually had one that gained more mental defense the more he was targetted mentally.

While my usual comment would be on building to concept, given Margarita Man takes an abusive concept to an extreme in the first place, a "roll play, not role play" response would be considered. Of course, you don't get to see his character sheet, so you don't know how much impenetrable you need. And if you have 12 xp, he probably should as well, so he can up his Penetrating and we play "arms race", which looks like a situation you've been in before.

 

In any case, even if the entire Supers team is immune to Margarita Man's mental sway, there's about 6 billion or so other valid targets for him on the planet. Like the President, the Governor, the Mayor of your Fair City, members of the press, the police, the military and other Superteams, and your DNPC's and contacts. So I think he can find a way to do some damage even if you are directly immune to his powers.

 

hmmmm...now THAT might actually create a use for Margarita Man - imagine the Supers are among the very few people on the planet who cannot be controlled by MM - a whole world against them, and a campaign dedicated to rooting out this secret power behind all the thrones to take him out and restore freedom to a world that doesn't even know it has been lost.

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Hugh,

Don't be too proud of this psychological terror you've constructed. The ability to remotely harm or control people is insignificant next to the power of the Force, erm, I mean the GM who decides that Margarita Man is not viable in his/her world.

 

 

Character Name: Margarita Man

Description: A clear example of reductio ad absurdum ... wherein debate and/or argumentative references to Margarita Man are clear examples of argumentum ad absurdum.

Slogan: Take me like a margarita -- with a gain of salt.

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The most evil psychic sniper: Indirect and targeting clairvoyance with huge range.  Couple with an invisible detect to find targets for the clairvoyance.  With a big enough range he can sit home eating cheetos, sniping people on live TV.  Why, that guy had an aneurism while we were interviewing him...

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Hugh,

 

Don't be too proud of this psychological terror you've constructed. The ability to remotely harm or control people is insignificant next to the power of the Force, erm, I mean the GM who decides that Margarita Man is not viable in his/her world.

 

My first thought had been the much more straightforward Hundred Handed Man, with Extra Limbs and a lot of doubled foci.

 

Character Name: Margarita Man

Description: A clear example of reductio ad absurdum ... wherein debate and/or argumentative references to Margarita Man are clear examples of argumentum ad absurdum.

Slogan: Take me like a margarita -- with a grain of salt.

I wish I had thought of that tag line - consider it stolen!

 

The character was written in the context of "rules abuse characters - GO!", so it was never meant to be used in any game. Despite Lucius' delightful theme song, he was not envisioned as a hero, but a "GM frustrates players into a new gaming group" master villain. The suggestion of PC's all having the necessary magic bullet powers to be immune to him could potentially make him the theme of a campaign, but it seems one that would be tough to write a campaign-ender for - once the PC's know who he is, and can get close enough to him, he's helpless.

 

The most evil psychic sniper: Indirect and targeting clairvoyance with huge range.  Couple with an invisible detect to find targets for the clairvoyance.  With a big enough range he can sit home eating cheetos, sniping people on live TV.  Why, that guy had an aneurism while we were interviewing him...

Another variation on the theme. The N Ray Vision Mentalist Tunneler is another. "Tremble at the furrow of the Mind Mole"

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Managed to email with on of the other GMs. My replies are in italics.

 

I can see and agree with a lot of those comments. However, we are not the usual gaming group. Keeping it a normal 4d6 RKP isn't bad (add armor-piercing for extra PC-killing power), but the big thing is indeed the whole thing about taking damage without any way of knowing where it came from, or doing anything about it.

Gotcha. Hrm... Did you see that old Arnold Schwarzenegger film "The Eraser"? They had those rail guns with that left a trail behind them... also seen in Quake II, as I recall. There's also Unreal Tournament's Shock Rifle... basically there's an obvious straight line between point A and point B for a moment or two before it fades off.

The main tools we would have against this is Mysterio, and that's about it.  You could probably take out Mysterio first, then pick off the weaker heroes while we run about helplessly. He's the only one that would really detect where they are, so this could be a very effective build. I'm not saying "its too much" or anything, as we have a very resourceful group. We could do RPG rules-bending for things like having Pixel's imaging computers try to backtrack the bullet vectors, that sort of thing.  Or Crimson just brings down the city block.

Also, Aussiemandeous and his "get me a satellite image!" could happen.

That'd work for me as well. Its really hard to make something that you guys will actually have some degree of fear about and yet not make it totally game-wrecking. Of course, the sniper might be yet another in the anti-Crimson Corp. Per your suggestion, this is why I only do auto-fire and coordinated fire on Crimson and not anyone else. (note: Crimson is that GM's character, and he's explicitly told me multiple times not to be afraid to single his character out because of how powerful she is)

But with something like this, you do want to keep a Plan B in your pocket in case it turns out to be too overwhelming.  Limited umber of shots? A visible muzzle-flash that we might spot?

As above. I've been working on ideas to slow down her down her rate of attack. Also, needing to establish a clear LOS? Maybe a laser guide? Over the course of a mile or so that small laser spot should/could get a lot bigger...

And no, the "monster brick" is only invisible to SIGHT powers, so mental powers are unaffected.  Now, depending on how you want the sniper to target, does she need to SEE the target, and her mental abilities just help her aim better, or does she get a mind-lock on the target and lets the bullet go there?  And, of course, Crimson ain't afraid of 4d6. (note: Crimson probably wouldn't worry about anything short of a 10d6 RKA)

She'd need LOS for the rifle, but otherwise? No sight needed. So, if Pixel had holographic decoys? She wouldn't be fooled by that. If Crimson was invisible? Doesn't help. Pitch black? No worries. Also, the mental powers help predict movement - this is why I'm thinking OCV vs ECV/DMCV.

 

Hmm... so, maybe changing from a conventional high-powered rifle to something more comic-book/sci-fi-ish might help? It'd be in theme for the enemy group.

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