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  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: Telepathy Boosts?

  1. #1
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    Telepathy Boosts?

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    Howdy folks,

    I'm in the process of scouring the message boards and recording those proposed new rules and house rules that I intend to play-test in my own games. In compliling my selections, I ran into a post by honestiago that contained some interesting stuff that we never got around to talking about in-depth.

    These included all sorts of suggestions about Regeneration, Telepathy, Elemental Control, Summoning and a few other powers. I've already swiped a modified version of what he proposed for Regeneration, but I thought I would reintroduce his other ideas for broader consideration. (Hope you don't mind, honestiago!)

    Here is what he suggested about Telepathy:

    Telpathy
    You have the ability to do all sorts of cool things just using
    your mind.

    Attack: You automatically have the power to attack a targetís
    mind at your purchased dice level. Mental attacks ignore most armor and
    invulnerability, and always attack and damage Willpower, unless the target has
    some other form of resistance.

    Astral Projection, 1d: gain this power
    with this purchase.

    Communicate with dead, 1d: you can speak with the
    deceased, though they may not wish to talk back.

    Create psychic links,
    1d: you can create links with people and communicate with them across vast
    distances. The maximum number of links you can create is one per dice in the
    power. You must be immobile and concentrating to use this option.


    Empathy, 1d: you can sense/feel emotions of others.

    Illusions, 1d: you
    gain this power as an additional option, but it only works at half your level
    (half the number of dice).

    Mental Shield, 1d: Your Telepathy can be used
    in defense of Mental attacks, at the level at which you have purchased it.


    Object Reading, 1d: you can handle objects to receive sense impressions or
    information about them (for example, who used them last, the history of the
    object, etc.)

    Possession, 1d: You can control others to do your bidding.
    This requires you reduce their Will to 0 first. Once you do, they must do as you
    ask.

    Repair Minds, 1d: You can heal mental damage equal to 1d per dice in
    your power. This MAY require a test, however.


    Personally, I like the broad way that Telepathy is written in the rulebook, and don't plan to adopt this reimagining for my own games. However, I think there are some interesting ideas here - especially when it comes to the Boosts. Which of the abilities listed above would you attribute to the RAW version of Telepathy? Which do you think merit new Boosts?

    For me, the candidates for new Boosts include:

    1) Communicate with Dead
    2) Object Reading

    I think everything else could probably be encompased by the Power as written. I do, however, think that honestiago provides some interesting guidelines for how to adjudicate certain manifestations of the power (like how many minds one should be able to include in a mind link, etc.)

    Anyway, thanks honestiago, for a very interesting set of ideas. Unless you have an objection, I'll probably present more of your work in posts later in the week. I really think they merit consideration.

    Cheers!

    Dragonfly

    ---------- Post added at 07:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:49 PM ----------

    Actually, upon further consideration, I think I would allow a character with Telepathy communicate with the dead without a Boost. The trick would be detecting the dead. I think Super Senses (Spirit Vision) + Telepathy would do the trick. A telepath who can ONLY sense the dead could take Telepathy with a Complication to that effect.

    I'm not sure about Object Reading. Super Senses (Postcognition) [Complication: Object Dependent] would probably do the trick. The trick would then be working out a difficulty chart to determine degrees of success.

    What say you?

    Cheers!

    Dragonfly

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    Not a fan of the suggested "gain another power for 1d" option, nor the "boosts". Also the power is Mind Control in the book, so be careful interchanging the names, it could be confusing.

    1) Attack: Mental Blast already does this.

    2) Astral Projection is it's own power, why should you get it for 1d?

    3) Communicate With Dead: Should be it's own power.

    4) Creat Psychic Links: No problem for me, works like Area of Effect, just renamed.

    5) Empathy: I would assume you could already do this with Mind Control. If all you can do is sense emotions, sounds like a Power Complication.

    6) Illusions: Once again, why should you gain another power for 1d? And why the arbitrary 1/2d compared to Astral Projection?

    7) Mental Shield: Can't you already defend with Mind Control?

    8) Object Reading: Needs to be a seperate power.

    9) Possession: Mind Control already does this. Possession is a bit misnamed in my opinion; for me, possession means you take over the person's body, leaving your own behind.

    10) Repair Minds: Healing already does this so I don't see the need to tag it onto another power.

    Just my two cents worth. I hate the idea of ending up with yet another game that has tables following each power with lists of other powers/abilities you can purchase at reduced costs. Of course I have very little tolerance for complicating a simple, elegant system so take it all with that in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustland View Post
    Not a fan of the suggested "gain another power for 1d" option, nor the "boosts". Also the power is Mind Control in the book, so be careful interchanging the names, it could be confusing.

    1) Attack: Mental Blast already does this.

    2) Astral Projection is it's own power, why should you get it for 1d?

    3) Communicate With Dead: Should be it's own power.

    4) Creat Psychic Links: No problem for me, works like Area of Effect, just renamed.

    5) Empathy: I would assume you could already do this with Mind Control. If all you can do is sense emotions, sounds like a Power Complication.

    6) Illusions: Once again, why should you gain another power for 1d? And why the arbitrary 1/2d compared to Astral Projection?

    7) Mental Shield: Can't you already defend with Mind Control?

    8) Object Reading: Needs to be a seperate power.

    9) Possession: Mind Control already does this. Possession is a bit misnamed in my opinion; for me, possession means you take over the person's body, leaving your own behind.

    10) Repair Minds: Healing already does this so I don't see the need to tag it onto another power.

    Just my two cents worth. I hate the idea of ending up with yet another game that has tables following each power with lists of other powers/abilities you can purchase at reduced costs. Of course I have very little tolerance for complicating a simple, elegant system so take it all with that in mind.
    This.

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the feedback! First - in regard to the power's name, "whoops!". I meant Mind Control.

    Second, I agree with the critique of the overall approach. As honestiago mentioned in his original post, that was just him playing around with some ideas that he wanted to share. I don't think he was recommending that his tinkering replace the RAW in a new edition.

    That being said, there were a few interesting tidbits in there that deserve attention. It seems like you guys agree on at least two new powers emerging from this:

    1) Communicate with Dead: Any idea of how this might work? It might make for a good broader power. Here is a suggestion:

    Communication
    A character with this power can communicate with an unusual being, entity (or even thing). The type of entity that the character can communicate with is specified when the power is purchased. The GM must approve these categories, but possibilities include: animals, spirits, cities, machines, the divine, etc. The power can be purchased multiple times, for different types of entity.

    2) Object Reading: Question - What do you think of using Super Senses to model this ability?

    Example: Super Senses 4d (Precognition 4d, Postcognition 4d) [Complication: Must Handle Object].

    The GM could then determine the TN of recovering a particular detail from the past or present. If this option doesn't work for you, what do you recommend?

    Finally, I like your thoughts on establishing mental links. Using the Boost: Area Effect solves the problem nicely.

    Again - thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Best,

    Dragonfly

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    I was thinking about a way to handle "object reading" yesterday (but didn't have time to reply), and I came to the same conclusion as yours. Meaning, to make it another facet of Super Senses. Your example is nicely fit.
    I suppose that it needs a specific TN to get some information.
    Depending on the kind and the quantity of information the GM can reveal, he can decide that some pieces of information are available at a TN of 6 for instance ; another piece more distant in the past or the future would be at a TN of 9, and so forth.
    It avoids also to create a chart for the degrees of success.
    Sorry for my English, but it's not my primary language.

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    Fracking wifi at Kinko's crapped out on my reply!!! Gah...

    I like the approach Nova started with, a fixed number. So here's my suggestion.

    Super Senses (Precognition, Postcognition, Remote Viewing):

    For every 6 points rolled, the Narrator reveals one piece of (hopefully relevant) information to the player. Since the future is fluid, "facts" revealed by uses of Precognition are usually vague and require interpretation on the part of the player (and may prove to be misleading if the likely course of events changes).

    All of the versions require some object to "read". Remote Viewing is no exception. The character must have something that was either physically attached to the target (blood or hair of a person), something that is generally a associated with the target object (the sheath of a missing dagger), or one of a collection of objects (one of the dolls from a doll collection).

    The character can only attempt one "reading" per sense type per object.

    Ex) The psychic detective Third Eye is investigating a building that burned down and someone is missing who was thought to have been there. Searching around, she finds an ancient coin with blood stains on it burried in the rubble.

    She decides to first read the coin since its presence is so unusual. She can try to read the blood later.

    Using her Precognition, she scores one success. She is suddenly looking at a mound of treasure through the eyes of someone else, a man she thinks. Atop it is something big, scaled, and terrifying. The man's hand darts out, grabbing a handfull of the strange gold coins...

    Hmmm, so the coin was part of some treasure? She then uses her Remote Viewing and scores another success. (Since the coin was part of a larger collection, the narrator allows it). She sees a number of coins similar to the one in her hand on display in a glass case. It looks like a store of some sort but the image fades...

    Great, that could be one of dozens of stores in the city, assuming that they're still in the SAME city.

    She reads the coin one last time, trying to get a glimpse of its future. She feels herself running through a familiar city street, people are screaming, pointing to the sky as something big, clawed, and scaled flies in pursuit of her. The coin digs painfully into her hand as she trips!

    She opens her hand and on reflex drops the coin. This is going to be a long day!

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    Thanks guys! Very helpful. As always, Dustland, your examples are very fun to read (and useful to boot)! (I love Third Eye!) :-)

    Any thoughts on the Communication power I suggested in the previous post?

    Cheers!

    Dragonfly

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    Thanks DF, I try to keep things entertaining.

    I've given it some thought and I think Communication and the Super Senses (Pre/Post/RV) could actually all be rolled into one power since they all seek to do the same thing, gather information, it's just the fluff that really changes.

    So how about something like...

    Information Gathering (lame name): For every 6 you score, the narrator reveals one more piece of info. How the information is gathered (or who it is gathered from) must be chosen at the time of purchase. Examples include ....(everything mentioned above).

    Certain sources of information will only be able to reveal facts that are relevant to their nature. For instance, if you choose Precognition, you can only learn about an object's past. If your source is plants, they would be aware of passing animals but would be unlikely to know if the human that passed by was armed or not. Spirits of the dead tend to haunt a specific location and will not be able to provide clues as to what is happening beyond their domain. Etc.

    Some sources may seem to be a bit too good, say Air Elementals, since presumably they are everywhere air is. The narrator should feel free to provide source-centric facts (ie something made of flesh passed through here, it had terrible breath). Also, if the source is intelligent and free to move about (like a demon), what's to keep it from selling the information to someone else (Mr Giovani, did you know someone's been asking about you and your business ventures? For a small favor, I'll tell you who it is, and where he was going...)?

    As a power boost, you may choose one more method of Information Gathering for every die you spend on the boost.

    Just a thought...

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    For Communication, I would use the same method Dustland used for Object Reading. Meaning, for every 6 points rolled, the character can get a useful information from the "target".
    And if the "target" is remote or distant, you can use a minimal TN above of 3 or 6 for example.
    Also, when Jack Hawksmoor from Stormwatch/Authority is far from a big city, his basic TN to contact the city is 6. If he rolls 12+, he can have a answer to his question. At 18+, he learns more precise detail.
    If a medium is trying to do a sceance to communicate with the dead spirit of a house. If this spirit died a long time ago, its ectoplasmic energy has faded away. The basic TN to get a contact with could be 6 as well. However, if the spirit was dead for a more recent date, maybe the TN could be 3. And every 6 point rolled, the medium succeeds to obtain a piece of information.
    Sorry for my English, but it's not my primary language.

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    Hey fellas!

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm totally cool with using the same TN's suggested by Dustland for the Object Read. I do, however, think that Communicate should be it's own power rather than an extension of Super Senses. Although both can be used to obtain information, speaking with things isn't exactly a sense. There is the potential for dialogue and negotiation. If I can talk to a wolf, I might be able to convince it not to attack me, or maybe even to help me. The social component merits a seperate power, methinks.

    Best,

    Dragonfly

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    i don't know why I overlooked the social aspect of the power. I'd be good with Communication being it's own power. just needs a better name!

    I'm the Communicator! Fear me, or I shall communicate the s*&t out of you

    Sorry, been a long week.

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    @Dustland: Ah Ah! :-)
    @Dragon: Indeed, Communication should be a separated power, allowing to communicate with sentient beings (e.g. animals), things (e.g. machines, dead spirits), concepts (like cities or desert), and so forth. The boost Area could be added. For huge areas like cities or desert, 1D in Area could "in sight", 2D "out of sight", 3D "on Earth", etc.
    This communication power is as much to establish a contact and talk with the "target" as to get some information.
    It's between Empathy and Contact (the way Contact is usually used in RPGs).

    Anyway, just a few quick ideas.
    Sorry for my English, but it's not my primary language.

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    @Dustland: LOL! Point taken about the name. I can't think of another one right now, though, so it'll remain Communication until I come up with something better, or until you guys do.

    @novaexpress: I'm not sure about creating an alternate version of Area for use with a Power like Communication. First, the Boost you suggest is different from the one in the RAW. Yours focuses on actual distances and areas, while the current version focuses on targets. Second, you'd now have two competing versions of Boost, one of which might be more powerful or effective than the other, but they'd both cost the same. That can get messy. Besides, to my mind, if you can communicate with Animals (for example), you should be able to communicate with all animals in your immediate vicinity (as long as they can see and hear you), just like you can communicate with a room full of people using your voice. I think it should be left up to the Game Master to set up Target Numbers for situations that might be a little more difficult to adjudicate. If Metroman,for example, is stuck in the middle of a desert, the GM could just flat out decide that he can't use his Communication (Cities) 4D to talk to Phoenix, Arizona. The GM could also, however, decide that Metroman has a chance of calling out to the city, and getting a response. He set's the TN at 20 because of the distance involved. Metroman has to roll very well, but at least he has a chance to succeed.

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    Guys:

    The way I presented telepathy is based on some of the stuff in the old Marvel Universe Roleplaying game. Again, it's just food for thought. I think there's something to learn from every system, so I don't take a conservative view to house ruling and combining this, that and the other (Supers itself combines aspects of d6 and Fate, if you think about it). And if you check out the rules, there is no Telepathy power. There's only the aspect of Mind Control, which is a pretty limited way of using TP. I would also forward here that Precog, Postcog, etc. are not Super Senses, but Extra-Sensory Perception. Semantics, I guess, but there'a a difference between enhanced hearing and speaking with the dead. Indeed, all of the powers on the SS list are just extensions of what the 5 senses can do, not the mind (unless Radar is a mind power).

    Since we're on senses, I must admit that I never have liked the way Senses are purchased. Everything else is 1-for-1. BUt SS's has this, "buy two, then if you add a d, you can add two more or boost," etc." Is there any reason you can't just purchase the pool and you get one option for each dice?

    Super Senses 4d (hearing, vision, X=ray, microscopic).

    That's as simple as you can get. It also brings the SS spending into line with everything else (it might actually be underpriced at the moment).

    (Also think if you're going to count successes, how aboute you get get a success for every 5 points instead of 6 -- this allows a 2d power the outside chance at a nice boon).
    Last edited by honestiago; 04-06-2012 at 01:26 PM.

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    Hi honestiago,

    I know your Telepathy suggestion was just food for thought. It did the trick too! As you can see, it got me thinking about a few powers that are currently not covered (at least not overtly so) by the rules.

    As to how to model those powers, we differ in our approach. I actually prefer to take a conservative approach. I like SUPERS! as-is, and am only interested in creating new Powers, Boosts, Complications, etc. when there is something that is clearly missing as an option.

    As you said - Telepathy isn't actually missing as a power. It's embedded in the Mind Control power. As a consequence, I'd rather not create a new power to model that effect. I'll just buy Mind Control with a Complication, if I want to limit the power to ONLY Telepathy.

    I also don't share your semantic concern over precognition and postcognition. For all intents and purposes, both of those those powers allow you to sense things that you normally couldn't. As far as I'm concerned, those are senses that are super. As such, they can be convincingly covered by the power Super Senses.

    I do, BTW, agree with you about speaking with the dead. Communication is not a sense, and therefore shouldn't be covered by the power Super Senses. That's why I proposed a new Communication power. Simply hearing (or seeing) the dead, however, would qualify as a Super Sense as far as I'm concerned. Remember, Super Senses covers all sorts of strange things, from Danger Sense, to Sense Gold, to Sense Lie, to Sense Minds, to Radar Sense - it's not just about enhanced hearing or enhanced sight.

    As far as the cost of Super Senses is concerned: it doesn't bother me. Again, I like SUPERS! as-is, so I'd rather not muck around with Simon's decisions about stuff like that. In the interest of making SUPERS! a comprehensive superhero game, I'm trying to create stuff that enhances the already existing system without changing anything about it.

    Mind you, I think your ideas are sound. One could certainly rebuild the game according to the way you prefer certain things to work. Would it WORK? Yes. Would the game still be GOOD? Yes. Would it be BETTER? I don't think so. Would it be WORSE? I don't think so either. It would just be different.

    Anyway, I'm not knocking you or your contributions. I'm just explaining my own goals and aims for the sake of clarity. As always, I REALLY appreciate your input. Again, it got me thinking about some missing options, and led us to A) come up with at least one way of modeling a power that we hadn't considered using the existing system, and B) come up with a potential new power to model an option not covered by the existing rules.

    Cheers!

    Dragonfly

    P.S. At your request, I posted Goggle Girl (and her partner, Ice Girl) over at rpg.net.

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