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3 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Recalibrate the STR table.  You don't need that granularity. 

Reducing the DEX spread doesn't change the fact that DEX is initiative and makes the initiative maneuvers actually useful.  Or be really daring and rip out initiative too, it's not used in an interesting manner so switching to something more dynamic like popcorn initiative wouldn't hurt. 

Stunning is a terrible mechanic and should be excised.  "I'm sorry Billy, but you didn't take a superhuman CON because it was out of concept so now this 6d6 NND is going to also remove your next turn and half your DCV so you're gonna get dogpiled and KO'd" is another hot load. 

The current win instantly or do nothing model for mental powers is a terrible mechanic and should be excised. 

Presence Attacks are a terrible mechanic and should be excised and replaced with an actually functional social system. 

 

Being stunned happens in the source material, cinematic, comic books, and prose.

If you find mental powers "all or nothing" effect, then either your mental villains are too powerful (Menton) or your heroes don't have any reasonable defenses against them. Or vice versa.

Presence Attacks happen in the source material.

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27 minutes ago, Greywind said:

 

Being stunned happens in the source material, cinematic, comic books, and prose.

If you find mental powers "all or nothing" effect, then either your mental villains are too powerful (Menton) or your heroes don't have any reasonable defenses against them. Or vice versa.

Presence Attacks happen in the source material.

No, things that are currently represented as Stunned and Presence Attacks happen in the source material.  They can be represented in other, less bad ways. 

Presence Attacks for example could be moved from "I gave this guy 60 PRE, half of you don't get your first turn" to "Social combat!  During normal combat!". 

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20 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I'll use INT as an example. 

Currently INT costs 1AP/point.  There is no difference between having 8 INT and 12 INT.  Only points 3, 8, 13, 18, etc provide any benefit.  Every point in between is just padding that pretends to matter. 

To fix this, remove all the intermediate points.  Assuming INT was fairly priced, this means that INT should now cost 5AP/point, and every point improves your INT-based skills and PER roll by 1 instead of every fifth. 

 

 

Okay; my mistake.  Thank you for the clarification, by the way.  I _was_ parsing it correctly, it seems.  It wasn't making sense because I was too exhausted to remember that you're not playing the same edition I am.  Got in now; thank you again.

 

Oruncrest posted this really helpful list of possibly-invented-only-to-make-"useless"-values-useful mechanics:

 

6 hours ago, Oruncrest said:

 

Except every other primary stat loses some effect by doing this. And INT doesn't gain anything.

Every point of STR increases your lifting capability by 15% cumulative.

Every point of DEX improves your chances of going first. Indeed, this was determined to be so useful that the cost of DEX is 2CP per point.

Every point of CON decreases your chances of being stunned, which is determined per pip of STUN damage you take from attacks.

Every point of EGO decreases your chances of being affected by powers like Mental Illusions, Mind Control, and Telepathy, which is determined per pip of effect rolled by those powers.

Every point of PRE decreases your chances of being affected by Presence Attacks, which is determined per pip of effect rolled when a PRE Attack is made.

 

 

And he finished it up with one my my biggest 4e and up pet peeves:

 

6 hours ago, Oruncrest said:

 

INT is the only primary stat that doesn't gain anything per point.

 

 

 

This should not be.  This never should have been.

 

4e was 3e compiled with the outliers sanded off and whacked into an essentially-Champions format, right?

 

In 3e, there was Mental Illusions.  I think it's just "Illusions" now; if I get interested enough, I'll look it up.   There was also-- for anyone who either had Champions II ("the best supplement ever edited by someone" according to Bruce Harlick  :lol:   ) or "Images" for those who had Fantasy HERO.

 

Those of us who came in through the Capes and Cowls door understood instantly that it was Mental Illusions minus the "based on ECV."  Those who came in through the Hiking and Hacking trail likely figured it out on their own pretty quickly.  They also had an advantage: right there in the same book they could see that the two had the exact same mechanic: roll your effect dice and compare your results to multiples of the target's characteristic.  For the mental approach, you compared it to EGO.  For light-based stuff, you compared it to INT.  Yep.  Intelligence.  Every point of INT prevented you from being deceived by light- (you know, I'm just going to say "non-mental" ) illusions.  Huzzah!  It was useful for something other than skill!

 

The 4e came out and unified everything.  You know: group all the like things as like things and give them a group name.

 

 

Except for the _one_ case that we've decided to cock that all up and invent an entirely new and utterly baffling mechanic (which I have been ignoring-- with great success-- since 1989, because it's asinine):

 

If you fail your PER roll, then you believe it's real.

 

That's 'tarded, Dude.

 

What?!

 

If I fail my PER roll, I can't even see the damned thing.

 

No; you can see it.

 

Without a PER roll?

 

Right.

 

I need I PER roll to find the phone alcove (remember those?!) it's placed in, but I can see the illusion automatically.

 

Right.

 

You understand just how stupid that sounds?

 

Well that's the way it works, okay?  Now roll your PER dice to see if you _believe_ it or not.

 

That's not even how PER rolls _work_!

 

Well they have to make this one adjustment-- this special-circumstance kind of case, just for Images, okay?

 

Why?  Why would you, instead of inventing an new mechanic, create a special circumstance that damned-near _reverses_ the way I freakin' PER roll works in EVERY OTHER CASE?!

 

Well they had to.

 

Why?

 

Because they changed the mechanic for non-mental illusions.

 

So all Illusions work against PER now?

 

No.  Just the one.  The non-mental one.

 

If I get hit with a Mental Illusion, the attacker has to get like two or three times my EGO or something like that for me to believe it's real, right?

 

Something like that, but it's INT if we're doing Fantasy.

 

So how high does he have to roll to make me believe his Scooby-ghost-on-a-cloud is real?

 

He doesn't.

 

Why the Hell not?  I just automatically think it's real?

 

No, Mike; I _told_ you.  You have to fail a PER roll.

 

So I only think it's real if I can't f'n see it?  You do understand just how bull spittle that sounds, right?

 

 

Wait twenty years or so.  There will be a fifth edition.

 

Oh, thank the gaming gods!  Wait-- why does it take so long to fix something that used to work then got dicked with for no sensible reason?

 

Uhmm...   it won't be fixed.

 

Why the hell not?  And why would I want to wait that long for it to not be fixed?!  So what happens in that future book?  I trip over it or something?

 

No; don't be stupid.  It's just an illusion.

 

An illusion that I believe to be real if I can't perceive it.  So if I walk into it, I somehow know it's there without actually perceiving it, think it's real, twist my ankle, and fall off the stairs into the endless ravine.  Is that it?

 

Don't be like that.  This has nothing to do with Images.  It's just that you can't build your torches with Change Environment anymore.

 

Hunh?  Okay.  Why not?

 

You have to use Images.

 

Are you FRAKKIN' kidding me?!

 

No.  It doesn't matter, though-- it's just light.  

 

Light that I know is working but is totally useless to me because in order to perceive the light illuminating something, I have to fail to see the light illuminating something?

 

Not exactly; no.  Not in this case.  Think of it as a "special circumstance" kind of thing---

 

 

No!  No; I will not.  Up yours, and up the goofy special circumstance from a special circumstance for a special circumstance all born of the fact that someone thought it was perfectly practical to dick up a totally-tested and proven AND STILL USED IN OTHER CASES mechanic.  No; screw that, Jeff.  I am not doing this.  Break out the d10s and blood pool markers.....

 

 

So yeah.  INT once had a similar function, and it was taken away because someone decided this _one_ particular power needed to change from a solid mechanic to a damned sketchy one that required even more sketchiness from other parts of the system.

 

 

Can't tell you why, but I _can_ tell you it's damned irritating every time I remember that.

 

 

Short version, GB(i):  if you want INT to have a similar defensive granularity, then decide you want to make Images/Illusions work they way they were intended to.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

No, things that are currently represented as Stunned and Presence Attacks happen in the source material.  They can be represented in other, less bad ways. 

Presence Attacks for example could be moved from "I gave this guy 60 PRE, half of you don't get your first turn" to "Social combat!  During normal combat!". 

 

Social combat systems generally suck.

 

I wouldn't give anyone 60 PRE.

 

If they were represented in "less bad ways" then, honestly, they wouldn't be stunned or under the effects of a PRE attack.

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6 hours ago, Greywind said:

If you find mental powers "all or nothing" effect, then either your mental villains are too powerful (Menton) or your heroes don't have any reasonable defenses against them. Or vice versa.

 

There is an easy fix for mental powers.  Double the cost to 10 points per 1d6, but they are Cumulative with no limit to the roll.  Declare your desired effect, and you must build up enough points against the target to achieve it.

 

This would make mental powers very similar to doing Stun - it takes a few hits to remove the target from the battle. But having used that 6d6 Mind Control 3 times, averaging 21, you now have 63 points of effect, and can keep rolling to increase it (penalize breakout rolls).

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7 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Nah, per the rules you don't need to roll to see anything that's obvious in front of you, only to find hidden or easy to miss things.

 

Yeah, this.  And stop trying to turn Images into Mental Illusions. They're two different mechanics, with different effects:

 

An Image can affect anyone who can see the image, which is dependent on its size (base size is 1m × 1m × 1m, but you can use Area of Effect to make it bigger). You pay for each sense you want to affect. A PER Roll is used to spot the discrepancies (like you would use a PER Roll to find something hidden by the Concealment skill, success means you've found enough discrepancies to realize that the image is an image). And if an Image punches you, you can't feel it.

 

A Mental Illusion can only affect one person (although you can increase the number of targets with Area of Effect). All senses are affected. A breakout roll is used to disbelieve the illusion (wheupon the illusion vanishes). And if you roll high enough, a Mental Illusion  can punch you and actually do STUN.

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15 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

 

Okay; my mistake.  Thank you for the clarification, by the way.  I _was_ parsing it correctly, it seems.  It wasn't making sense because I was too exhausted to remember that you're not playing the same edition I am.  Got in now; thank you again.

 

Oruncrest posted this really helpful list of possibly-invented-only-to-make-"useless"-values-useful mechanics:

 

 

 

And he finished it up with one my my biggest 4e and up pet peeves:

 

 

 

This should not be.  This never should have been.

 

4e was 3e compiled with the outliers sanded off and whacked into an essentially-Champions format, right?

 

In 3e, there was Mental Illusions.  I think it's just "Illusions" now; if I get interested enough, I'll look it up.   There was also-- for anyone who either had Champions II ("the best supplement ever edited by someone" according to Bruce Harlick  :lol:   ) or "Images" for those who had Fantasy HERO.

 

Those of us who came in through the Capes and Cowls door understood instantly that it was Mental Illusions minus the "based on ECV."  Those who came in through the Hiking and Hacking trail likely figured it out on their own pretty quickly.  They also had an advantage: right there in the same book they could see that the two had the exact same mechanic: roll your effect dice and compare your results to multiples of the target's characteristic.  For the mental approach, you compared it to EGO.  For light-based stuff, you compared it to INT.  Yep.  Intelligence.  Every point of INT prevented you from being deceived by light- (you know, I'm just going to say "non-mental" ) illusions.  Huzzah!  It was useful for something other than skill!

 

The 4e came out and unified everything.  You know: group all the like things as like things and give them a group name.

 

 

Except for the _one_ case that we've decided to cock that all up and invent an entirely new and utterly baffling mechanic (which I have been ignoring-- with great success-- since 1989, because it's asinine):

 

If you fail your PER roll, then you believe it's real.

 

That's 'tarded, Dude.

 

What?!

 

If I fail my PER roll, I can't even see the damned thing.

 

No; you can see it.

 

Without a PER roll?

 

Right.

 

I need I PER roll to find the phone alcove (remember those?!) it's placed in, but I can see the illusion automatically.

 

Right.

 

You understand just how stupid that sounds?

 

Well that's the way it works, okay?  Now roll your PER dice to see if you _believe_ it or not.

 

That's not even how PER rolls _work_!

 

Well they have to make this one adjustment-- this special-circumstance kind of case, just for Images, okay?

 

Why?  Why would you, instead of inventing an new mechanic, create a special circumstance that damned-near _reverses_ the way I freakin' PER roll works in EVERY OTHER CASE?!

 

Well they had to.

 

Why?

 

Because they changed the mechanic for non-mental illusions.

 

So all Illusions work against PER now?

 

No.  Just the one.  The non-mental one.

 

If I get hit with a Mental Illusion, the attacker has to get like two or three times my EGO or something like that for me to believe it's real, right?

 

Something like that, but it's INT if we're doing Fantasy.

 

So how high does he have to roll to make me believe his Scooby-ghost-on-a-cloud is real?

 

He doesn't.

 

Why the Hell not?  I just automatically think it's real?

 

No, Mike; I _told_ you.  You have to fail a PER roll.

 

So I only think it's real if I can't f'n see it?  You do understand just how bull spittle that sounds, right?

 

 

Wait twenty years or so.  There will be a fifth edition.

 

Oh, thank the gaming gods!  Wait-- why does it take so long to fix something that used to work then got dicked with for no sensible reason?

 

Uhmm...   it won't be fixed.

 

Why the hell not?  And why would I want to wait that long for it to not be fixed?!  So what happens in that future book?  I trip over it or something?

 

No; don't be stupid.  It's just an illusion.

 

An illusion that I believe to be real if I can't perceive it.  So if I walk into it, I somehow know it's there without actually perceiving it, think it's real, twist my ankle, and fall off the stairs into the endless ravine.  Is that it?

 

Don't be like that.  This has nothing to do with Images.  It's just that you can't build your torches with Change Environment anymore.

 

Hunh?  Okay.  Why not?

 

You have to use Images.

 

Are you FRAKKIN' kidding me?!

 

No.  It doesn't matter, though-- it's just light.  

 

Light that I know is working but is totally useless to me because in order to perceive the light illuminating something, I have to fail to see the light illuminating something?

 

Not exactly; no.  Not in this case.  Think of it as a "special circumstance" kind of thing---

 

 

No!  No; I will not.  Up yours, and up the goofy special circumstance from a special circumstance for a special circumstance all born of the fact that someone thought it was perfectly practical to dick up a totally-tested and proven AND STILL USED IN OTHER CASES mechanic.  No; screw that, Jeff.  I am not doing this.  Break out the d10s and blood pool markers.....

 

 

So yeah.  INT once had a similar function, and it was taken away because someone decided this _one_ particular power needed to change from a solid mechanic to a damned sketchy one that required even more sketchiness from other parts of the system.

 

 

Can't tell you why, but I _can_ tell you it's damned irritating every time I remember that.

 

 

Short version, GB(i):  if you want INT to have a similar defensive granularity, then decide you want to make Images/Illusions work they way they were intended to.

 

 

 

 

13 hours ago, steriaca said:

Ok. Then we can have Mental Illusions and buy Based On INT for them. One of the APG has that, along with Based On PRE, Based On DEX, etc, etc, etc.

 

1 hour ago, Oruncrest said:

 

Yeah, this.  And stop trying to turn Images into Mental Illusions

 

I am.it trying to turn it into anything.  I still use the way it was introduced.  Ten years later, it was rearranged and given a mechanic that appears nowhere else,  and the reasons--  while we can retroactively invent as many as we want, because as humans, we are remarkablu good at that-  have never really been there: if the mechanic itself was broken, then why was it left in every other case? 

 

I'm not turning into anything.  I am not acknowledging cahnbgr without a valid reason. 

 

1 hour ago, Oruncrest said:

THey're two different mechanics,

 

Yes they are.  Now.  It makes zero sense, but we can pretend that this is the way it has always been, and that the APG instructions on putting it back are actually insights on doing something wonderful and new as opposed to-  well, as opposed to putting it back. 

 

1 hour ago, Oruncrest said:

with different effects:

 

No.  With one different advantage.  Same effect: see things that aren't there. 

 

I

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Images was, to me, a missing power.  Mental Illusion makes a target perceive something that is not there.  It's all in the target's mind.  Just like Mind Control makes the target follow commands and Telepathy digs into his thoughts, it is an attack on the mind, so the Ego mechanic works fine.

 

An Image is there.  It's not real, but it's there.  It's a sound recording, a movie or a hologram.  Maybe it's done with mirrors.  You're not going to break out due to strength of will.  You may notice it's not real, if you are perceptive enough.

 

When your cat chases the laser pointer dot, that's not a mental illusion - the cat sees the image, and reacts to it.  It does not realize it's just light.

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10 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Nah, per the rules you don't need to roll to see anything that's obvious in front of you, only to find hidden or easy to miss things.

 

 

Then you don't remember phone alcoves at all!  :lol:

 

But yes; I understand your point.  I was merely being annoyed at the "one off"perversion of a mechanic.

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I think what Duke is getting at is, in Champions II it was Light Illusions; you rolled dice and compared it to INT.  However, I did a bit of digging, and in 3rd edition at least, both Mental Illusions and Telepathy were compared to INT (not EGO) as well.  Mind Control and Mind Scan were both compared to EGO, as expected.

 

(It was called Images in FH 1e, with the same mechanic as in Champions II; FH also had Sounds, which was the same mechanic but for... sound.)

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1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Images was, to me, a missing power. 

  Sorry, Hugh;

 

I hit the wrong quote button and didn't get it all in one post. Mea culpa.

 

My question is "missing since when?"  

 

If first appeared in 1982 in the 2e supplement Champions II.  It used a mechanic similar too Mental Illusions, PRE Attack, etc-- compare the dice pool total to a specific characteristic of the target(s). If that number was equalled or exceeded, then the image was believable.  The target multiple was based on the complexity and size of the illusion.

 

The power was republished in 85 in the first edition of Fantasy HERO, and renamed as "Images."  It used the same mechanic, with the same verbiage about when the image is or is not believable.  The publishing of the spell "Sounds" added the idea of applying illusions against other senses.

 

I do not know where else (or if) it was published prior to 4e.  I do know that for some reason, in 4e, it was given a singularly unique mechanic: one which required assigning a singularly unique function to the PER roll.  I can't for the life of me figure out why.

 

And I see that as I type this, Chris has replied, so I'm going to just post this as-is because I'm really curious to see what he has to say.

 

 

Duke

 

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30 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

I think what Duke is getting at is, in Champions II it was Light Illusions; you rolled dice and compared it to INT.  However, I did a bit of digging, and in 3rd edition at least, both Mental Illusions and Telepathy were compared to INT (not EGO) as well. 

 

It (Mental Illusions /Light Illusions/ Images / (Sounds?  Didn't exist until 3e and FH, but the mechanic is the same)) was compared to INT in 2e as well.  {The "dialogue" above was meant to represent a player learning the rules (and thus guessing "Ego or something"), then giving up in frustration.  Sorry about that)

 

I much prefer the idea of comparing even Mental Illusions to INT, as it suggests that the caster was skilled enough to create the illusion and place it in the mind of his target, and also that his target is clever enough to understand that it is merely a deception.   Comparing it to EGO "works," mechanically, but gives a different feel:  it suggests that the caster was totally unable to create the illusion in the first place, which robs him of some of his schtick.  Yeah, it's a quibble: totally unimportant to tactician or the simulationist, but extremely critical to those for whom the "feel" of the game is important.  (No surprise that I fall into that last camp, is it?  :lol:  )

 

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47 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

My question is "missing since when?"  

 

If first appeared in 1982 in the 2e supplement Champions II.  It used a mechanic similar too Mental Illusions, PRE Attack, etc-- compare the dice pool total to a specific characteristic of the target(s). If that number was equalled or exceeded, then the image was believable.  The target multiple was based on the complexity and size of the illusion.

 

Well, missing until we got an "images" power.

 

38 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

I much prefer the idea of comparing even Mental Illusions to INT, as it suggests that the caster was skilled enough to create the illusion and place it in the mind of his target, and also that his target is clever enough to understand that it is merely a deception.   Comparing it to EGO "works," mechanically, but gives a different feel:  it suggests that the caster was totally unable to create the illusion in the first place, which robs him of some of his schtick.  Yeah, it's a quibble: totally unimportant to tactician or the simulationist, but extremely critical to those for whom the "feel" of the game is important.  (No surprise that I fall into that last camp, is it?  :lol:  )

 

 

Mental powers, to me, override the target's brain.  A Mental Illusion does not so much create the image the target is to perceive as it forces the target to adjust his own perceptions.  Mel Mentalist does not have Heightened Discriminatory Targeting Smell, but his Mental Illusion causes Captain Bloodhound to perceive the scent of the illusion just as he would if the illusion were real.

 

But Special Effects Man has a much more difficult time fooling Captain Bloodhound's 23- Smell PER roll, even if his Images include the sense of smell.

 

This would not work as a comparison to raw INT - Captain Bloodhound is not super-smart - he is super-perceptive.  That should reduce the odds that an Image fools him

 

All of that boils down to "the current mechanic works for me".  It could, of course, have been "change environment" -  make a PER roll or believe the image is real :)

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2 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Honestly I don't think having an ability go against INT instead of Ego when its a matter of perception rather than willpower is hardly a puzzler.  I mean it still goes against INT, its just a modifier to perception rolls now.

 

There is a distinct difference between the two:

 

Having to override INT with Mental Illusions:

 

From the attacker's point of view:  I am a masterful mentalist who has successfully implanted the image in my opponent's mind.  I have no been flat-out denied the use of my power.

 

From the defender's point of view:  Good Gods!  A dragon!  (if the attacker gets his pool high enough, of course).   If he does not, then it goes something like "Very clever.  But I won't fall for your deceptions!  Take that, vile sorcerer!"

 

 

Having to override EGO to actually make the illusion in the first place:

 

From the attacker's point of view (should the villain's pool be too low to overwhelm the target's Ego:  What?  I cast mental illusion!  Why the Hell is it not working?  I have wasted spell points three times for _nothing_!

 

From the target's POV, should the dice pool not be sufficient to overwhelm his Ego:   What's that guy doing?  Why is he waving his arms around and chanting like that?  Shouldn't something be happening?  Well, I'm not going to let this opportunity go by; I hear he's a powerful illusionist.  I hope he doesn't try casting an illusion into my mind....

 

From the target's POV should the dice pool overwhelm his Ego:   Crap!  Another dragon!

 

The absolute war-game results of either are : fooled by illusion / not fooled by illusion.  If I wanted to play a war-game, I'd be happy with it.  I am _not_ a mathematician, so I'm not sure how mathematicians feel about this.  Is it "the final number is identical; it doesn't matter how you arrived at it."?  If that's the case I can see why it wouldn't bother them: we can keep playing Taxes and Textbooks and remove all context or setting pretenses and have the exact same good time, right?  It's all about that final number.

 

Even as a non-mathemetician, however, I completely believe that some formulae are inherently more elegant or more beautiful than others; I believe the details of the process are equally-- and sometimes more-- important.  Those details are where the fluff comes from.  Those are the points that define the story because those points are what is _actually_ going on, moment to moment.  Those are the parts that separate RPGs from war-games, period.   Wargames are simple and dull: no matter how complex or complicated the mechanics, it all boils down that final number without regard for how you got there.  No matter how beautiful the miniatures, you could replace them with a handful of nuts and washers scattered across the table, or even poker chips-- some marked with X; some with O.  And it doesn't affect _any_ part of the game at all, because it's not about the story at all.

 

I would think that, particularly as I know I'm not the only writer on this board, I would find at least one other person who understands the value of the process itself.

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

Well, missing until we got an "images" power.

 

So, up until 1982?  Or 1985?

 

 

2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Mental powers, to me, override the target's brain.  A Mental Illusion does not so much create the image the target is to perceive as it forces the target to adjust his own perceptions.  Mel Mentalist does not have Heightened Discriminatory Targeting Smell, but his Mental Illusion causes Captain Bloodhound to perceive the scent of the illusion just as he would if the illusion were real.

 

But Special Effects Man has a much more difficult time fooling Captain Bloodhound's 23- Smell PER roll, even if his Images include the sense of smell.

 

I'm not going to say you are wrong, because your points are all valid.  But, if I may, _to me_, they do not work _quite_ that way: the attacker "gets what he paid for:" the ability to put the image in a target's mind.  It then-- _after_ the successful implantation of the illusion-- becomes a contest of his skill at creating an convincing illusion against the target's ability to realize he is being deceived.  I find the original mechanic much better represents how I see the power working.  Is that because I've used it that way from the get-go?  I straight-up cannot answer that and be assured that I am being completely impartial.  I can say, with reasonably impartiality, that I do _prefer_ the way it was introduced because at no point can the mechanic be interpreted as "your power doesn't work:" the illusion _is_ in the target's mind, and he is aware of it.

 

a couple of questions- and this is just a thought exercise; I'm not going to pursue it very deeply here simply because I haven't the time.  :(

Why does a Mental Illusion automatically work against all five senses, yet a Light Illusion / Image have to be bought per sense?

Does Captain Bloodhound get to use his "targeting smell 23-" when caught in a PRE Attack?  He should be able to smell when his attacker is bluffing, I would think.

 

Personally-- and, just as you noted your opinion on how this works; I am clearly admitting that this is my own opinion-- I find the old mechanic worked a lot better at explaining it:

 

If your image was so...  forgive the word, but I've used "overwhelm" a lot lately, and it grows trite-- so dazzling as be believable--

 

well, under the original mechanic, it's because it was so convincing that you didn't question it.  The "X times INT" made it a matter almost of an skill v skill:  this image was so instantly convincing-- to you-- that it just didn't occur to you to bother investigating it: it was just another apartment building on your walk to work; you knew it was there, and this time you just happened to notice it.

 

Gah-- I wish I could put that into better words.  Let me try this:  There are thousands of things that we perceive every single day and _never_ question, no matter what.  We take them as real, though.  For example, I have _never_ been to Europe.  I have never seen a a candiru.  I have never eaten brie.

 

However, I have absolutely no doubt that all of those things exist.  If I were knocked unconscious and taken to a strange new city before I awoke, and someone told me I was in the British town of -- hell...   What's a british town that isn't London?  Is there a Halifax?  Anyway, the british town of "Not London," I'd take that as a given.  Even if I woke up with a GPS in my pocket it wouldn't occur to me to question where I was for a bit.  There are other things more pressing:  Am I okay?  Am I injured?  Do I have my wallet?  Where is the nearest phone or police agency?

 

If I were swimming and attacked by the candiru in its famous fashion, I would not first roll my X-ray vision to verify that it wasn't actually some sort of alien probing device: I would---, well, from what I've heard, suffer immeasurable agony and beg for medical attention before doing _anything_ else, so this may-- no; actually, it's _not_ a bad example:  it's a _great_ example!  I totally believe that illusion I'm suffering to the point where something other than "fact checking" has become my number one priority.

 

I have never eaten brie.  Not once.  If someone fed me condensed and sweetened milk that has sat open on the front porch in the sun for eight days and thickened just slightly and told me it was brie, I would not demand a closer look or a comparison sample.  I would decide that I don't like brie, and never seek it out as long as I lived.  If I _had_ eaten brie before, or even just smelled it (it's a cheese, so I am making the assumption it has a distinct smell) and been fed this stuff anyway, I still probably wouldn't question that this was brie.  I would think "well this is terrible brie," and leave it at that.

 

The point is we fool ourselves daily by deciding that something is "real enough" and take it at that.  In a setting where the fantastical is ordinary, I heartily believe that we would simply do the same with more fantastical things and situations.

 

More to the point:  how many times when your players walk up to the castle do they announce "I make a perception roll to check if that's really a castle."?  Captain Bloodhound can have all the smelling in the world.  If he doesn't choose to use it, it's no good to him.  Announcing "make a perception roll!" leads to "oh; I better use my super-scenting, as it has the best PER."  Yeah, it's wrong, but we every single one of us do it, so let's just roll with the honesty of it.  Any time the GM asks "was your forcefield on?" the answer is _always_ "Well, yes; of course it is!" no matter what the reality is.  You're character could have just walked out of the hopper in the men's room at Home Depot; if the GM asks if your force field was on, you're going to say yes.

 

A mechanic that goes against INT allows the attacker a chance to overwhelm the target's common sense, if only for a moment.  Give the player the chance to decide "Wait!  Does it _smell_ like a decomposing zombie horde?"  Let him be his character.  Let him make decisions for his character.  Let him decide if his character is savvy enough to double-check what he's seeing.

 

If that doesn't work-- for some reason you prefer a playerless, dice-only resolution, use any PER above ....   well, a quick check says the average "high" PER in my player files is 16-, so let's say that anything over 16 becomes a modifier of some sort-- perhaps apply it directly to the INT score that must be overwhelmed.  Not my bag of sticks, but again: we each prefer different things. 

 

2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

This would not work as a comparison to raw INT - Captain Bloodhound is not super-smart - he is super-perceptive.  That should reduce the odds that an Image fools him

 

And I look at it differently:  If he is not super-smart, it should _increase_ the odds that he gets fooled.  If he is super-perceptive, that should increase the odds that he figures it out, and likely decrease the time it takes him to do so, particularly if he _is_ smart enough to double-check.

 

 

2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

All of that boils down to "the current mechanic works for me". 

 

I agree completely.  It does indeed come down to what works for the people playing the game.  The current mechanic doesn't work at all for me-- possibly because almost every super I run for has at least one schtick that grants them roughly 16- or less as a perception roll, making the 4e and later version of images a complete waste of points for any villain wishing to consider it.  "Sweet!  this power will totally work 1.9 percent of the time!"

 

(unless it's a flashlight, of course, in which case it will fool them into thinking there is light 100 percent of the time  :lol:  )

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

It could, of course, have been "change environment" -  make a PER roll or believe the image is real :)

 

Considering Change Environment doesn't require a PER roll to "disbelieve"  (sorry; that was my favorite thing to lovingly rip on in D&D.  There was just something about hearing a player hastily yell "I disbelieve!" that cracked me up every time.  We should build a HERO version of that. :)    ) and everything will be one-hundred percent real one-hundred percent of the time,  I think ultimately, at least in Supers, it's the far-more cost-effective method of successfully making heroes think they are sinking in quicksand: just put some quicksand there.  Boom.  Done. :lol:

 

 

 

 

43 minutes ago, dsatow said:

 

LOL, I remember when 5e was out, people complained about 5e saying it should just go back to 4e.

 

I can't find fault with that, in anyone, for any edition.  Everyone has a favorite edition, regardless of which it was or even why it was their favorite.  I tend to think that finding fault in that is very much the pot turning unto the kettle, hands raised defensively, shrieking "away!  Begone!  Get the away, Blackface-d Monstrosity!"   People like what they like, and it's silly to hold it against them.  The only real line I draw is when a discussion of differing opinions, like this one has become, moves to an attempt to either vilify the other opinion, or forcibly push an opinion to overrule the others.  That's just jackassery.  That is probably why Hugh is one of my favorite debate / discussion partners: he will carry on as long as you're willing to debate something, but I can't think of a single instance of him ever actually crossing that line.  :)   And he is exasperatingly meticulous, so if you're not careful, you might learn something about your own opinions. ;)

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dsatow said:

 

LOL, I remember when 5e was out, people complained about 5e saying it should just go back to 4e.

 

People on these boards love to rip on edition x because, reasons.  Truthfully, it usually just boils down to personal preference... at the risk of sounding like a hippy I will say live and let live.

 

Or to put it another way, it's highly unlikely that you ripping on an edition because you personally don't like feature x or y will change someone's opinion.  In fact it's more likely to have the opposite effect.  By all means though tells us all again about how hideous the damage shield rules are because that's going to be the critical flaw in 6th edition that will send those users into a book burning frenzy 🙄

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Late to the party, but here are my suggestions for a hypothetical 7e.

  • Create an SRD. This will be less of a functional game than a statement of principles and default assumptions. The core rules will follow these.
  • Heavily prune the skill list. It's bloated and overly specific in many cases. Some skills may be rebuilt as Talents.
  • Change Environment can be used to add or remove penalties, but only for defined environmental effects. "Create Light" is now here.
  • Images will only be used to create an image of something. No, "Images, only to create light." That's an environmental effect.
  • I am debating whether Size Change Powers would be better suited as Multiform.
  • Power Defense will be replaced by GM-defined, "Exotic Defense." If poisons or magic are prominent in a campaign, then the GM can define Poison or Magic Defense.
  • There will be a new section for, "Composite Powers." It is, fundamentally, powers built from other powers. Transfer would be one example, Reach would be another.

I'd probably also completely redo the default setting. Hero needs to be in charge of its own universe. 

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2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Having to override INT with Mental Illusions:

 

From the attacker's point of view:  I am a masterful mentalist who has successfully implanted the image in my opponent's mind.  I have no been flat-out denied the use of my power.

 

From the defender's point of view:  Good Gods!  A dragon!  (if the attacker gets his pool high enough, of course).   If he does not, then it goes something like "Very clever.  But I won't fall for your deceptions!  Take that, vile sorcerer!"

 

Having to override EGO to actually make the illusion in the first place:

 

From the attacker's point of view (should the villain's pool be too low to overwhelm the target's Ego:  What?  I cast mental illusion!  Why the Hell is it not working?  I have wasted spell points three times for _nothing_!

 

From the target's POV, should the dice pool not be sufficient to overwhelm his Ego:   What's that guy doing?  Why is he waving his arms around and chanting like that?  Shouldn't something be happening?  Well, I'm not going to let this opportunity go by; I hear he's a powerful illusionist.  I hope he doesn't try casting an illusion into my mind....

 

From the target's POV should the dice pool overwhelm his Ego:   Crap!  Another dragon!

 

We clearly see this differently.  How is "you did not get through his INT" any different than "you did not get through his EGO" or, for that matter, rolled too low to get damage past his defenses?

 

Mental Illusions either overrides the target's subconscious mind and his willpower, causing the target to truly believe there is a Dragon there - he can see, hear, smell, taste, etc. the dragon - or it fails.  Images appear, and the target is either fooled or notices a flaw in the illusion.  "Funny... dragons smell of sulfer, but this one does not smell at all."

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

The absolute war-game results of either are : fooled by illusion / not fooled by illusion.  If I wanted to play a war-game, I'd be happy with it.  I am _not_ a mathematician, so I'm not sure how mathematicians feel about this.  Is it "the final number is identical; it doesn't matter how you arrived at it."?  If that's the case I can see why it wouldn't bother them: we can keep playing Taxes and Textbooks and remove all context or setting pretenses and have the exact same good time, right?  It's all about that final number.

 

Even as a non-mathemetician, however, I completely believe that some formulae are inherently more elegant or more beautiful than others; I believe the details of the process are equally-- and sometimes more-- important.  Those details are where the fluff comes from.  Those are the points that define the story because those points are what is _actually_ going on, moment to moment.  Those are the parts that separate RPGs from war-games, period.   Wargames are simple and dull: no matter how complex or complicated the mechanics, it all boils down that final number without regard for how you got there.  No matter how beautiful the miniatures, you could replace them with a handful of nuts and washers scattered across the table, or even poker chips-- some marked with X; some with O.  And it doesn't affect _any_ part of the game at all, because it's not about the story at all.

 

I would think that, particularly as I know I'm not the only writer on this board, I would find at least one other person who understands the value of the process itself.

 

Whether a mental illusion overcomes EGO or INT, or whether an illusion is detected due to high INT or great PER rolls, does not change the story at all.  Beautiful miniatures or poker chips or dice sitting on the mat to represent the opponent makes no difference the GM describes them, and I imagine them.  My cardboard chit is not attacking the orange d6 showing a 5.  Cedric the Mighty is attacking the foul-smelling Orc to the left.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

So, up until 1982?  Or 1985?

 

From the first publication of Champions to the point we got a mechanic to create an image perceivable by anyone and everyone, regardless of whether they believed it was real, to go along with Mental Illusions which overrode a single target's senses to force him to perceive inaccurately.  Implanting a mental deception is not the same as creating a hologram.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

I'm not going to say you are wrong, because your points are all valid.  But, if I may, _to me_, they do not work _quite_ that way: the attacker "gets what he paid for:" the ability to put the image in a target's mind.  It then-- _after_ the successful implantation of the illusion-- becomes a contest of his skill at creating an convincing illusion against the target's ability to realize he is being deceived.  I find the original mechanic much better represents how I see the power working.  Is that because I've used it that way from the get-go?  I straight-up cannot answer that and be assured that I am being completely impartial.  I can say, with reasonably impartiality, that I do _prefer_ the way it was introduced because at no point can the mechanic be interpreted as "your power doesn't work:" the illusion _is_ in the target's mind, and he is aware of it.

 

Mental Illusions plants an image in the target's mind.  If his willpower is overcome by his attacker, his own mind fills in the gaps in the illusion, making it "real".  Even if the attacker is deaf since birth, the target still hears the illusion perfectly.  His mind, not the attacker, creates the sound.  The Mentalist can implant an image of a Dragon in Daredevil's mind, and he will perceive it as making the appropriate sounds, smelling right, feel the heat from its breath and detecting an appropriate radar image - even if our Wizard has no sense of smell, normal vision and no radar sense.

 

Images does not implant things in someone's mind.  It creates an image.  Everyone in range can see that image.  But if the image is a movie, it might well have sound and sight covered.  It does not create a smell or a radar image or the heat of dragonbreath.  Daredevil is not going to be fooled.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

a couple of questions- and this is just a thought exercise; I'm not going to pursue it very deeply here simply because I haven't the time.  :(

Why does a Mental Illusion automatically work against all five senses, yet a Light Illusion / Image have to be bought per sense?

Does Captain Bloodhound get to use his "targeting smell 23-" when caught in a PRE Attack?  He should be able to smell when his attacker is bluffing, I would think.

 

The Mental Illusion forces the target's own mind to craft the illusion.  Captain Bloopdhound's nose does not smell a dragon, but his mind tells him he does indeed  smell a dragon.

 

But Mysterio's hidden speakers and holographic projectors don't give off special aromas, nor does Mysterio know how any specific human being "should smell", so he is incapable of tricking Captain Bloodhound with scent.  Now, perhaps Captain Bloodhound rolls an 18 on his PER roll, greets his old friend and chats about the case he is investigating, only later realizing that his "old friend" did not smell right.

 

Since heightened smell does not, by the rules, detect a bluff, Captain Bloodhound would need a special sense to detect a bluff (just as Daredevil would need to pay extra to detect lies by hearing an accelerated heart rate).

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

well, under the original mechanic, it's because it was so convincing that you didn't question it.  The "X times INT" made it a matter almost of an skill v skill:  this image was so instantly convincing-- to you-- that it just didn't occur to you to bother investigating it: it was just another apartment building on your walk to work; you knew it was there, and this time you just happened to notice it.

 

You are describing the "PER roll to avoid being fooled by the image" as an orphan mechanic.  I suggest it is not.  It is, in fact, the exact mechanic which we use to determine whether less than obvious things are detected.  Just as a great PER roll might note a subtle bump in the carpet indicating a trap door beneath it (when no one needs a PER roll to detect the floor, or the carpet), a great PER roll might note a flaw in the image of your old childhood friend, enabling you to work out that it is an image.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Gah-- I wish I could put that into better words.  Let me try this:  There are thousands of things that we perceive every single day and _never_ question, no matter what.  We take them as real, though.  For example, I have _never_ been to Europe.  I have never seen a a candiru.  I have never eaten brie.


However, I have absolutely no doubt that all of those things exist.  If I were knocked unconscious and taken to a strange new city before I awoke, and someone told me I was in the British town of -- hell...   What's a british town that isn't London?  Is there a Halifax?  Anyway, the british town of "Not London," I'd take that as a given.  Even if I woke up with a GPS in my pocket it wouldn't occur to me to question where I was for a bit.  There are other things more pressing:  Am I okay?  Am I injured?  Do I have my wallet?  Where is the nearest phone or police agency?

 

What if the nearest phone was labelled "Bell", or the police officer were armed, or in the background you saw the famous image of Big Ben?  All of these things would be inconsistent with being in a British town which is not London.  This would be a PER roll which caused the image to be questioned.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

If I were swimming and attacked by the candiru in its famous fashion, I would not first roll my X-ray vision to verify that it wasn't actually some sort of alien probing device: I would---, well, from what I've heard, suffer immeasurable agony and beg for medical attention before doing _anything_ else, so this may-- no; actually, it's _not_ a bad example:  it's a _great_ example!  I totally believe that illusion I'm suffering to the point where something other than "fact checking" has become my number one priority.

 

But if that fish is just an image that you can see, why would you feel any pain at all?  Seeing a fish swim into your shorts causes you to feel agonizing pain?  A Mental Illusion could cause you to truly believe you were feeling great pain.  An Image could only leave you wondering why it did not hurt.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

More to the point:  how many times when your players walk up to the castle do they announce "I make a perception roll to check if that's really a castle."?  Captain Bloodhound can have all the smelling in the world.  If he doesn't choose to use it, it's no good to him.  Announcing "make a perception roll!" leads to "oh; I better use my super-scenting, as it has the best PER."  Yeah, it's wrong, but we every single one of us do it, so let's just roll with the honesty of it.  Any time the GM asks "was your forcefield on?" the answer is _always_ "Well, yes; of course it is!" no matter what the reality is.  You're character could have just walked out of the hopper in the men's room at Home Depot; if the GM asks if your force field was on, you're going to say yes.

 

First, the player should not have to "announce" an attempt to make a perception roll.  That is the old "I disbelieve, I disbelieve" you mock later in your post.  Rather, since the character presumably does open his eyes when he walks up, there should be a PER roll made.  Captain Bloodhound does not have to announce "I smell the air" to detect a nearby skunk, nor do I need to say "I will roll a hearing check" to have a chance of detecting that, just inside the door to the castle, a 500-person brass band is playing.

 

To the metagaming aspect, there is nothing wrong with asking for a 3d6 roll and knowing the PC's PER rolls.  If you ask him to make a PER roll, he rolls an 18 and begins an immediate and painstaking search of the room, then he's not really contributing to the story you described earlier - he's wargaming, and cheating to boot to override a poor roll.

 

And if the GM asks whether my force field is on, or I'm carrying my sword, in a situation where my character would not have his force field up, and would not be hauling around a sword, my answer is "NO".  If the GM takes that advantage to fire off a 5d6 RKA and slaughter my character, then I need a new GM - one that gets that whole "story" thing you belabour elsewhere.

 

And if the GM asks me to make a PER roll, I will candidly ask whether this is a sight roll (where my Poor Vision complication imposes a -3), a Smell roll (where my SuperScent provides a 23) or something else, so I make my normal roll.  The GM, however, should have known the basic capabilities of my character, and said "Make a Hearing perception roll" if this was something I could hear.  If he has just described the horrific appearance of the Dragon, he should really ask for a Smell PER roll, and then advise "there is no scent consistent with a dragon, or any other living thing, coming from the location of the dragon".

 

He also should know the PCs well enough that he has deliberately created an image my character can easily determine is not what it looks and sounds like.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

A mechanic that goes against INT allows the attacker a chance to overwhelm the target's common sense, if only for a moment.  Give the player the chance to decide "Wait!  Does it _smell_ like a decomposing zombie horde?"  Let him be his character.  Let him make decisions for his character.  Let him decide if his character is savvy enough to double-check what he's seeing.

 

Do I also need to tell you when my character breathes so he does not suffocate,, and schedule in bathroom breaks, or are these some things that characters are just assumed to be doing?  For me, perception and knowledge are pretty automatic.  The Necromancer knows that a decomposing zombie horde should reek, and all he smells are the lilac bushes.  This doesn't even need a PER roll.  The Image is tragically flawed from the outset.

 

I would also find it inappropriate to let the players fight the Dragon for several turns, without mentioning it makes no sound, and your swordblows just pass through it, with no resistance. 

 

But if it were a multi-target Mental Illusion?  The Necromancer may retch at the perceived stench of the zombie horde, and the PCs will hear the dragon's roar, feel the heat of its breath and their swords will clatter from its scales, or slash into its flesh, just as they would expect.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

And I look at it differently:  If he is not super-smart, it should _increase_ the odds that he gets fooled.  If he is super-perceptive, that should increase the odds that he figures it out, and likely decrease the time it takes him to do so, particularly if he _is_ smart enough to double-check.

 

If my character has a smell PER roll of 23-, and you do not note when the image of a dragon has no scent, I will chant "Captain Bloodhound sniffs the air" roughly every 10 seconds for the rest of the campaign.  Would you refuse to describe the dragon until someone at the table says "I open my eyes so I can look at the dragon"?  Would its roar be detected only by those trying hard to hear it?  Do I have to declare "I am listening" before I have a chance to hear an explosion leveling the building next door?

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

(unless it's a flashlight, of course, in which case it will fool them into thinking there is light 100 percent of the time  :lol:  )

 

Funny...I can perceive a movie even though I know it is only an image.  Why would light be different?

 

if every character has a 16- PER roll, you will need to pay for some penalties for your images if you want them to be effective.  Just as normal human punches will pose no threat when the PC with the lowest defenses has 20+ PD.

 

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Considering Change Environment doesn't require a PER roll to "disbelieve"  (sorry; that was my favorite thing to lovingly rip on in D&D.  There was just something about hearing a player hastily yell "I disbelieve!" that cracked me up every time.  We should build a HERO version of that. :)    ) and everything will be one-hundred percent real one-hundred percent of the time,  I think ultimately, at least in Supers, it's the far-more cost-effective method of successfully making heroes think they are sinking in quicksand: just put some quicksand there.  Boom.  Done. :lol:

 

Change Environment, as I recall, can force the target to make a roll, in addition to penalizing a roll.  A slick sheet of ice requiring a DEX roll with a -4 penalty to avoid falling down is one example.  If we did not have Images, a PER roll at -4 to avoid being tricked by the hologram would seem equally valid.

 

I've already noted your importation of "I disbelieve" in the form of "unless he says he is attempting to use his senses, they provide no information", so I won't revisit that here.

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3 hours ago, sentry0 said:

 

People on these boards love to rip on edition x because, reasons.  Truthfully, it usually just boils down to personal preference... at the risk of sounding like a hippy I will say live and let live.

Well said, sentry0. 

 

Personally, if invited to a table of Hero System, I wouldn’t mind which edition I would be playing at all as long as I’m playing it. 

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2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

We clearly see this differently. 

 

Clearly.

 

But I also think we have both already acknowledged that.

 

In an unrelated question:

 

Is it as difficult for you as it is for me than we can only quote each others responses, but not the quotes to which we are responding?  I find it makes tracking a particular point difficult.  

 

 

 

Quote

How is "you did not get through his INT" any different than "you did not get through his EGO"

 

For one, to create an image perceivable to the target, neither is relevant to the mechanic I prefer.  The image / mental illusion _appears_; the target perceives it, period, no matter what your results are.  Going by (and I am sorry i do not have the "quote of the quote; I guess the question above was more related than I thought it would be), you stated (and forgive the lack of direct quotes) that unless the mental illusion overcame the taget's EGO, then no image is created (or perhaps perceived?  I don't recall).

 

I disagree with that.  I prefer the old mechanic that the image is _there_, and perceivable, and that it falls to the character's INT to help him realize that what he is seeing is not real.  That is all.

 

 

Quote

or, for that matter, rolled too low to get damage past his defenses?

 

My attack _worked_, even if it didn't get through defenses.  Your suggestion of "making my PER roll means I don't see the illusion," however, means the illusion didn't happen. We could argue otherwise (I'm not going to), but if it exists entirely in your perception, and you don't perceive it-- well the only reason that makes sense is that it didn't happen.  My power simply didn't activate, period (in spite of the END expenditure).

 

 

In my games (as I use the older mechanic), it can get rather costly very quickly to increase the effectiveness of illusion-type powers: you have to buy enough to get yet another ten times the INT of the target.  Allowing a PER roll to simply nullify your power (you stated, if I recall, that making the PER roll means that the Mental Illusion effectively did not happen.  The target never got the image at all.  The feel of "Spe-yang!  Bounced off his armor!"  and "your power didn't go off" are radically different.  I have done everything I can to explain that, to the point of posting examples.  I do not wish to come off as coy or smarmy, but at this point, if you don't understand what I am saying then we need to just drop it because you never will understand it.  Suffice it to say that it is something that is damned important to me and my players, in spite of the fact that a number of other people flat don't get it.  And that's fine.  But if you're not going to get it, and I'm not going to do without it, then there is just no point in us continuing to discuss it.

 

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Mental Illusions either overrides the target's subconscious mind and his willpower, causing the target to truly believe there is a Dragon there - he can see, hear, smell, taste, etc. the dragon - or it fails.  Images appear, and the target is either fooled or notices a flaw in the illusion.  "Funny... dragons smell of sulfer, but this one does not smell at all."

 

Yes; precisely.  He would have to be intelligent enough to remain detached enough or practical enough to 1) take the time to think that and 2) realize that this one does not.

 

Intelligence.  The point of the old mechanic was that someone could potentially create an illusion so completely convincing as to at least momentarily overwhelm rational thought.  And this is found in the source material as well.  I wish I knew more about comics, as I'm pretty sure that I could come up with more than one example, but I remember Jim used to have comics lying about, and there was some X-men title that featured people wearing the old black-and-yellow costumes.  There was a long-haired red woman (alien?  Mutant?  X-men; probably a mutant) who could create illusions that were based on her opponent's nightmares or something like that.  I recall at one point she created a pair of giant snakes and her opponent turned tail and ran.  There is absolutely no doubt that his overwhelmed his Intelligence, simply because any moment of thought would have led to questions like "why are there giant snakes here at the docks?  Why are they floating in mid air?  Why are they just outlines of snakes with fog and mist passing through them? " and who knows how many other questions, any one of which (why don't they smell like guano?) would have cleared the whole situation right up.

 

For me-- again, for me-- the new PER roll mechanic turns Images into hypnotism:  you have to _want_ to believe it, or it won't work.  Seems like a lot of points to spend on a power that more than likely isn't going to do anything against a super (though I suppose it might work better in Heroic-level stuff)

 

 

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Whether a mental illusion overcomes EGO or INT, or whether an illusion is detected due to high INT or great PER rolls, does not change the story at all

 

If we continue to grant that EGO is, at least in part, force of will, then yes; it does.  Was the hero too clever to be deceived, or was his resolve so unflinching that he didn't see the illusion at all?

Was the illusionist able to get his message to the rest of the team, of were his years of training all a waste, as he could not penetrate the minds of is compatriots?   I ask this because we know there are uses _besides_ "attack attack attack" for illusions.  If, as you suggested, failing to overcome EGO to a "convinced me it's real" level means he didn't see it at all, then there's a very obvious shortcoming to using this power as anything _other_ than an attack:

 

"Here; I will show you the layout of Balakar's keep, and the secret passages within."

"Oh; that's amazing!  Quick; memorize this as best you can!"

"Amazing.  What's this here; is that a spike trap?"

"What the Hell are you people talking about? I can't see _crap_!"

 

An illusion (of any stripe) doesn't have to be convincing to be useful.  Nobody thought there was really a six-inch princess dictating a message into a robot.  It was still useful, though.  But had it been a mental illusion that had to overcome EGO in the way you suggest, well it was a pretty crappy illusion.  No one would have seen it, and Luke would be on his way back from Taschi Station with power convertors.  Of course, his aunt an uncle would still be alive, so it's not all bad.

 

 

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  Beautiful miniatures or poker chips or dice sitting on the mat to represent the opponent makes no difference the GM describes them, and I imagine them.  My cardboard chit is not attacking the orange d6 showing a 5.  Cedric the Mighty is attacking the foul-smelling Orc to the left.

 

I'm not sure if you're mixing my metaphors for me, or sort of making my point.  I'm going to have to pass on this one.  Sorry, my friend.  :(

 

 

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From the first publication of Champions to the point we got a mechanic to create an image perceivable by anyone and everyone, regardless of whether they believed it was real, to go along with Mental Illusions which overrode a single target's senses to force him to perceive inaccurately.

 

So 1982, then.  That's when we got the mechanic to create Light Illusions, which everyone could see, regardless of whether they believed it was real or not.

 

Our sticking point-- me and you, that is-- seems to be that you believe Mental Illusions override the target's senses.

 

I would, out of curiosity, like to ask to assess, as accurately as you can, if you believed that when you were playing the older editions as well.

 

I ask because 4e, there wasn't even a _suggestion_ that they worked this way.  The target saw an image in his mind, and if he was intelligent enough, he knew it wasn't real.  We've all seen an image in our mind and knew it wasn't real-- memories, daydreams, etc.  That moment when you are just snapping to from an especially vivid dream-- that briefest _instant_ when you're going who-wha--where the Hell am I what's happening?! right before you notice just how badly you need to pee?  _That's_ the almost point.  Nothing overrode your senses, per se: your brain almost attacked you successfully, getting almost your entire INT score.

 

Or maybe we dream different, too.  I cede easily, with the note that as long as I can remember, I've never had a dream that involved scent, warmth, or pleasant touch.  However, I'm not going to pretend I'm the yardstick by which humanity is measured, either.

 

The original text of Mental Illusions:

 

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This power allows a character to project Illusions directly into an opponent's mind. After making an Attack Roll based on Ego Combat Value, the character defines what 11lusion he wants the target to see. The character then ro11s 1D6 for every 5 pts. In Mental Illusions, subtracts the target's Ego Defense (if any), and the remainder is compared to the target's INT according to the fol lowing chart. 

 

[Chart redacted]

 

The particular Illusion can have an effect upon how real the target considers it. A well conceived 11 lus ion that fits wel 1 into the surroundings and events of the scenario is worth +1 level of effect (move down the chart one line). A poorly worded or absurd Ill usion is worth 1 or even 2 levels less

(move up the chart one or two lines ). 

 

The maximum amount of damage that a target may take from an illusory attack is half the number of dice in Mental Illusion. Thus a character with 1006 of Mental Illusion could do up to 5D6 (normal) to the target, if the target believed he was taking damage. 

 

Cost= 5 pts. for 106 of Mental Illusions. Minimum Cost 10 pts. Range is line of sight, no range modifier. 

 

[/quote]

 

 

 

There is nothing in there about overwhelming or short-circuiting the target's senses.  It specifically says "project illusions directly into an opponent's mind."

 

This would suggest to me that the target's senses are completely _bypassed_, and not overwhelmed.  The "compare to Intelligence" mechanic reinforces that for me: Is the defender quick-thinking enough to notice that there is a fire burning?  Does he notice it has no scent?

 

 

This would remain the mechanic right up until 4e, when it became this:

 

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MENTAL ILLUSIONS

A character with this Mental Power can project illusions directly into an opponent's mind. After making an Attack Roll based on Ego Combat Value (see Ego Combat) , the charac- ter defines what illusion he wants the target to see. The character then rolls 1d6 for every 5 Character Points in Mental Illusions and subtracts the target's Mental Defense (if any). The remainder is compared to the Mental Illusion T able.

If the attacker did not roll enough points to reach the desired level, the attack has no effect, but it does alert the target. If the attacker rolls enough to achieve the desired effect, then the illusion is established in the target's mind.

Starting on the target's Phase after a Mental Illusion is established, the target may attempt to see through or "disbe- lieve" it. These attempts are subconscious, and take no time - whether the target is successful or not, the character may still act for the Phase. To disbelieve a Mental Illusion, the character must make a successful modified EGO Roll (9 + EG0/5). The target's EGO Roll is at -1 for every 5 points of effect over the minimum points necessary to create the Illusion.

Once a Mental Illusion has been established at a given level, it does not cost END to maintain, and the target will remain under the influence of the illusion (at the given level) until he makes a successful modified EGO Roll.

After the initial attempt to disbelieve, the modified EGO Roll can be re-attempted at +1 for each step on the Time Chart. The character thus gets to roll again at +1 after one Turn has passed, +2 after one minute has passed, and so forth .

The attacker can prevent the Illusion from growing weaker by continuing to pay END each Phase; so long as the attacker pays END each Phase, the target gets no EGO Roll bonuses for the passage of time (but he does get to roll).

The target of a Mental Illusion will receive a bonus and a chance to reroll if the illusion performs in a way that does not meet the target's expectations (for example, if an illusory loved one did not recognize the character). At the GM's discretion, the character could get additional bonuses to his roll if his friends are trying to "snap him out of it.

 
 

 

 

 

 

I cut it off here; as you are aware, there is more to it, but it's about using the power to inflict damage, altering the illusion, etc.

 

 

The single biggest changes in 4e were the breakout roll (which I am in favor of, and use, as 2e has no such mechanic.  However, I changed it from an EGO roll to an INT roll both to fit better into the 2e mechanic and how I understand the power to work) and making Mental Illusions significantly less expensive overall.  In prior editions, Attackers had to get a multiple of the target's INT score.  In 4e, they had to get Characteristic plus a multiple of 10.  Much easier to do, particularly with the shift in emphasis from Intelligence to EGO, and a considerable number of published characters had lower EGO than INT.

 

 

One thing that did _not_ change, however, was that the illusion was planted directly into the mind.  Even the wording remained completely unchanged.  There is not even a reference to the senses. (there is the use of the phrase "disbelieve," however, and in light of the memories I conjured earlier, this made me smile.  :)   )

 

 

I am forced to believe that, at least until this point, senses had bugger-all to do with Mental Illusions, and that the illusion was planted directly into the conscious mind without regard to them.

 

 

Let me dig up 5 and re-5.  Well, re-5 anyway.  It seems fair to call that the final authority on 5, right?  Besides, I don't have a PDF of 5 yet, and I don't want to go digging through the bookshelves to find original 5.   I'm not lazy, just really tired, and I've wasted so much time today....

 

 

from re-five:

 

 

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A character with this Mental Power can project illusions directly into an opponent’s mind. Some examples of Mental Illusions include psionic illu- sion powers and hallucination-inducing drugs. Each 1d6 of Mental Illusions costs 5 Character Points. Mental Illusions costs END to use.   [\quote]

 

I cut this for a moment to demonstrate that there is no reference of sending the illusion in through the senses or in anyway defeating or overcoming them; there is only the at-this-time twenty-two year-old exact phrase "project illusions directly into an opponent's mind."

 

 

 

 

Now I don't want just not quote the rest; I genuinely have no idea just how much quoting of a specific thing I can do before it becomes sketchy or rude.  I don't want to be either of those things, but I do want to skip ahead two pages or so, toward the end of the entry, and quote this item, found under "Additional Rules":

 

 

 


 

Because Mental Illusions work on a character’s mind, they affect all of his Senses, even Senses he has which the character creating the Mental Illu- sions doesn’t know about.

Like Images, Mental Illusions react to the actions of the persons subject to them (unless the character using the Power doesn’t want them to
for some reason). For example, suppose a wizard confronts a troll with the Mental Illusion of a fierce warrior that’s attacking it. If the troll “attacks” the warrior and “hits” it, the warrior appears to take damage. That doesn’t necessarily impair the war- rior’s efficiency (
i.e., the power and effectiveness of the Mental Illusion), but if the illusion doesn’t react appropriately, it may give the victim a chance to make a Breakout Roll. 

 

And this, so far as I can tell, is the very first mention that Mental Illusions somehow "override" the senses as opposed to simply bypassing them.  No; that's not quite true.  There is a column just before this mentioning how mental illusions can be used to re-write sensory input.   Personally, I think this was a bad move on Steve's part  (Nothing against Steve!  Nothing at all.  I just think this idea leads to the break of the next one).  Logically, this will come back to bite the whole idea in its own ass:

 

There is no chance in Hell that Captain Bloodhound will notice the swamp beast doesn't smell like swamp beast if the Mental Illusion is overwhelming his senses as well.  That doesn't stand up to logic:

 

Your senses are not to be trusted, as the illusion is providing all sensory input to you.  Therefore, you will be able to use some of your senses to notice that things don't jibe with what other senses are reporting.

 

Even assuming that did make sense, which senses do you trust?

 

 

Skipping to 6e:

 

We see the "project illusions directly into an opponent's mind" again; I'll spare the extended quote.

 

While this seems to be lifted almost whole cloth from re-5, there is a new thing here:  there is mention of a PER roll.  Turns out that it doesn't break the illusion, though.  It is first mentioned in the paragraph just after breakout rolls:

 

 


 

Since a character’s ability to perceive that a Mental Illusion is fake may depend on his obser- vational abilities (i.e., his PER Roll) as much as on his willpower, at the GM’s option a PER Roll may be a Complementary Skill roll to the character’s Breakout Roll. However, since a Mental Illusion
is “all in the character’s head” it usually conforms to his beliefs and expectations automatically (see below). 

 

And below we find that this idea still falls victim to itself, in that we learn

 

 

 

Because a Mental Illusion is entirely “in the head” of the victim, unless the GM rules otherwise it’s not necessary for the character using Mental Illusions to have detailed knowledge of the Illusion he’s trying to create. He declares what he wants the target to perceive — say, “three trolls” or “a Mozart symphony.” Even if he knows little or nothing about what trolls look like or Mozart symphonies sound like, the target perceives the Illusion exactly as he expects it to be — it looks like trolls as the target believes trolls look, the symphony sounds the way he expects it to sound.

 

It goes on for some length, but it can be accurately summed up as "the victim's senses report precisely what the victim expects them to report with regard to the illusion.  The additional Rules section in the middle doesn't even mention PER has complimentary to a breakout anymore; it goes on to explain just how detailed the sensory input of the illusion actually is-- it even extends to "secret" senses the attacker doesn't know about!

 

 

 

I submit to you, Hugh---  and not lightly; don't think that for a moment!  I have enjoyed this, but I have sat here on this single post for three hours, and am _not_ going to finish the rest of it, at least not now.  But I submit to you, in compassionate sincerity, that the use of the PER roll as a "get out of illusion free card" is not just counter to logic, but quite possibly wrong according to the rules as well.

 

There's nothing to stop you from continuing to do it, of course, if that's what you and your group enjoy.  In light of what my meager search has turned up, though, I'm going to call that a House Rule.

 

It might be a week or two, but I'll try to find time to address the rest.

 

Night, All.

 

 

 

 

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I am.it trying to turn it into anything.  I still use the way it was introduced.  Ten years later, it was rearranged and given a mechanic that appears nowhere else,  and the reasons--  while we can retroactively invent as many as we want, because as humans, we are remarkablu good at that-  have never really been there: if the mechanic itself was broken, then why was it left in every other case? 

 

😕

 

That took me a bit to make heads of tails out of. So I ran it thru auto-correct, and this is what came out:

 

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I am not trying to turn it into anything.  I still use the way it was introduced.  Ten years later, Light Illusions was dropped and replaced by a power with completely different mechanics that didn't feel like a copy-and-paste of an earlier power. And the reasons--  while we can retroactively invent as many as we want, because as humans, we are remarkably good at that-  have never really been there: if the mechanic itself was broken, then why was it left in every other case? 

 

Was it even ten years? My copy of Champions II has a copyright of 1982. And as for the question, I was in the middle of a paragraph about how Light Illusions shared its resolution mechanic with mental powers while not being a mental power, and so could be the reason why it was dropped, but then I remembered, so do PRE Attacks, so in the end, I got nuthin'.

 

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I'm not turning into anything.

 

I should hope not. Then I'd have to comment about Images, self only Shapeshift. And we've got enough of a kerfluffle going on as it is.

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THey're two different mechanics,

 

Yes they are.  Now. 

 

 

I was about to drop a Dr. Strangelove joke in here, but it fell apart before I could properly visualize it. Sorry.

 

Also I should've written earlier that Light Illusions and Images are two different powers with different mechanics (one can only work if you're too stupid to escape, the other works by fooling your senses) that produce a similar effect, Images being more inclusive (up to 5 senses compared to only sight), and thus 'better'. My bad.

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