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Provoke Monologue


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Not every villain is prone to gloating about their plans, so how can you provoke them into talking, like Spider-man and James Bond seem to be able to do?

 

Here is my take on how it might be done as a type of super-skill. I used the Dark Champions super-skill "Tell Me What I Want To Know" as my starting point and tweaked it a bit.

 

Provoke Monologue:  Telepathy 10d6 (Human class of minds), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (75 Active Points); Extra Time (1 Turn (Post-Segment 12), -1 1/4), Requires A Roll (Conversation roll; Must be made each use; -1), Incantations (Requires Incantations throughout; -1/2), Language Barrier (-1/2), Receive Only (-1/2), Surface Thoughts Only (-1/4), Normal Range (-1/4). Real Cost: 14.

 

Any suggestions on other ways this could be done?

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I prefer the idea of making it a skill based roll as Rails has suggested. It's simpler.

 

Actually, I like the idea of a skill vs. skill roll. Interrogation or Charm or Conversation (at the active character's choice) vs. ... something.

Maybe charm vs deduction? (the villain has to deduce that the hero is trying to manipulate them.)

Something like that. I need to think about it more to get the right pairings.

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Conversation (21) usually if you make it by "10" it has powerlike qualities...?

 

Captain Perfection:

 

Power set: I do everything Perfectly!

 

+6 Overall  

Jack of all trades: Universal

Scholar: Universal

Scientist: Universal

Expert: Detective/Investigator; Conversation,Deduction, Compi sci, Lockpick, Security Systems

 

Martial Art: Several mixed in eclectic fashion...

+ 3 w/ HtH

 

Running +1", +7" running, only to half move (always in the perfect place)

 

Climbing, breakfall, Enviro Move: Narrow, Enviro move :Urban  (Parkour!) Escape artist, Demolitions, Paramedics

 

+15 Pres "the most interesting person in the world!" not for defense -1/4?

 

add in Steve Rodgers style Stats and you have a character...maybe use him as Ozamandius from Watchmen? Or Black Hood?

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Honestly, that is a genre convetion that simply "works".

It is like asking "how do I force my supers allies and adversaries to wear spandex?" They do or they do not, depending on the campaign and what the players expect.

 

However if I had to build it as a power (there is some utility if it is not the genre convention), Telepathy seems about right.

Mental Powers can be easily shifted to any NND defense. I think it was Tasha that wrote up a version of Rogue's "Draining Skin" that had NND: No Skin Contact. But I could not think of a fitting NND defense for this.

Maybe you could shift the OMCV/DMCV values around so it fits with Conversation Skills resolution? I mean in the end those are both 3d6 Rolls, so they should be somewhat interchangeable.

 

Finally, Social Combat Sysetms might work too. I think APG II had a few.

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Personally, I would treat "Provoke Monologue" as a Conversation roll, or maybe a Presence Attack (also known as poor man's mind control). In terms of effect, a successful conversation roll does exactly what the original poster is asking for. I would have Spiderman buy Conversation +6 (or more), then having him take the -3 penalty for rushing to reduce the action time down to 1 Turn, or -6 for 1 Phase. Since this is spiderman, he might have bought penalty skill levels against rushing interaction and intellect based rolls (considering how often he successfully makes rushed conversation, persuasion, and science skill rolls).

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i suppose a Mind Control effect would be another way to do it. I used Telepathy because that was the power used for the "Tell Me What I Want To Know" super-skill. That probably makes more sense for a one-on-one situation. Making the villain blab their master plan to a group would be more Mind Control.

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BTW Telepathy is for READING minds. If you want to make someone do something that's Mind Control.

 

I Agree that a good Conversation roll would be the ticket to getting the opponent talking and perhaps to start a monologue.  

 

i suppose a Mind Control effect would be another way to do it. I used Telepathy because that was the power used for the "Tell Me What I Want To Know" super-skill. That probably makes more sense for a one-on-one situation. Making the villain blab their master plan to a group would be more Mind Control.

What is the difference between "I read your mind in an instant and tell the group what your plan is" and "I force you to tell the group what your plan is"?

Effectively the whole group knows the plan in either case.

 

There are a few fringe cases (like a minute long plan, a henchmen overhearing this) but do those come up often enough to really mater?

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What is the difference between "I read your mind in an instant and tell the group what your plan is" and "I force you to tell the group what your plan is"?

Effectively the whole group knows the plan in either case.

 

There are a few fringe cases (like a minute long plan, a henchmen overhearing this) but do those come up often enough to really mater?

 

I'd say the potential consequences are distinct enough to warrant consideration.  For instance, getting the master villain to spill his plan aloud could reveal past misdirection and misinformation for all to hear (potentially clearing heroes of a frame-job or the like).  Having a bad guy spill the beans himself in front of other witnesses could be immensely useful to the heroes, whereas the hero reading his mind and sharing the info could leave witnesses saying, "why should we believe you?".

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I'd say the potential consequences are distinct enough to warrant consideration.  For instance, getting the master villain to spill his plan aloud could reveal past misdirection and misinformation for all to hear (potentially clearing heroes of a frame-job or the like).  Having a bad guy spill the beans himself in front of other witnesses could be immensely useful to the heroes, whereas the hero reading his mind and sharing the info could leave witnesses saying, "why should we believe you?".

Plus if you read his mind, you still have to take the time to explain it to others yourself. Although speaking may be a "zero-phase" action, it still takes time to do.

In my campaigns I pull out a stop watch when people want to say something in combat, if it takes longer than their phase say it, they have to either hold their action while they are speaking, or interrupt themselves to act. The same is true of my villains, if they are busy monologueing, they generally aren't blasting you into a super-smear. Its also important to note that most people have a tendency to stop what they are doing to listen to other people talk, even though it's rarely the most cost-effective use of their economy of actions. So I rarely have my minions or villains interrupt a speaking hero with their blasters. Even though it would be the prudent thing to do, it wouldn't be nearly as cinematic or as much fun.

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Not every villain is prone to gloating about their plans, so how can you provoke them into talking, like Spider-man and James Bond seem to be able to do?

 

Any suggestions on other ways this could be done?

To answer the OP, you need Mind Control as a Superskill (based on Conversation) to get the Villain to start to monologue. Telepathy just allows the person using the power to hear what is on the Villain's mind. I would look at how much the PC wants the Villain to tell about his plan to figure out how much the PC must exceed the Villain's ego. For most Villain Masterminds, I would probably give the PC a bonus to get the Villain Monologing.

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Conversation Roll vs. EGO Roll.

Yes, no need to overcomplicate things. I might let someone use Persuasion or even Acting if they didn't have Conversation. And I can see it working against EGO or INT depending on how the PC roleplays it.

 

I admit I do kindof like the granularity from using something like Telepathy: EGO+0 you get the villain's immediate plans; EGO+10 you get more details, EGO+20 you get his longrange plans; EGO+30 you get his computer password. But I think you could build something similar into a Skill contest.

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Yes, no need to overcomplicate things. I might let someone use Persuasion or even Acting if they didn't have Conversation. And I can see it working against EGO or INT depending on how the PC roleplays it.

 

I admit I do kindof like the granularity from using something like Telepathy: EGO+0 you get the villain's immediate plans; EGO+10 you get more details, EGO+20 you get his longrange plans; EGO+30 you get his computer password. But I think you could build something similar into a Skill contest.

 

That's nice for the person finding out the Villain's thoughts. It does nothing to compel them to actually speak. So the build doesn't work for the OP IMHO.

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I'd say the potential consequences are distinct enough to warrant consideration.  For instance, getting the master villain to spill his plan aloud could reveal past misdirection and misinformation for all to hear (potentially clearing heroes of a frame-job or the like).  Having a bad guy spill the beans himself in front of other witnesses could be immensely useful to the heroes, whereas the hero reading his mind and sharing the info could leave witnesses saying, "why should we believe you?".

And if you cast Mind Control on the enemy, you could force him to admit all these wrongdoings without having actually done them.

With MC build the question of what was actually his sayng and what you force him to say. With Telephaty, no such issues.

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Making someone speak their inner thoughts without controlling what those thoughts are kind of straddles the line between telepathy and mind control, I guess.

 

Using a power with a required skill roll does have the advantage of not letting the other person defeat your attempt to get them to spill the beans on their plan through their own skills, like a plain Conversation roll would do. Is it worth the extra points? Maybe.

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