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-   -   Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=117155)

Yako 09-26-2013 07:10 AM

Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
As my gaming group includes a telekinetic character, we did have the situation, several times, where an enemy is lifted into the air and the rest of the group uses ranged weapons on said foe.

The question is, what exactly does being lifted into the air by telekinesis count as?

For starters, of course anyone manipulated telekinetically is grappled, but where does it go from there?

1. Is he considered grappled and now, being in the air, as having very bad footing, none, to thus lower any dodge or other defence?
If so, how high should that penalty be?

2. Should it be treated as a form of pin, meaning, character establishes control first and then lifts the opponent up in the next manoeuvre by making a suitable contest of strength / skill / etc?
If so, as it takes 1, 2 or four seconds to lift an object depending on the weight and your strength, when would he be effectively pinned?

3. Alternatively, would it be able to "pin", effectively completely immobilize someone AFTER you levitated him?

Nereidalbel 09-26-2013 08:12 AM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
It's no different from a rather large character physically lifting him up, except that he can't strike his attacker to break free. And since he's being held up, it would be easier to just turn him around and give him 0 defense against attacks.

PTTG 09-26-2013 12:10 PM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
The big question is, is it overpowered? If it is, then work out how you can weaken it while respecting the rules, or increase its point cost and explain this to the player. Or simply put the PCs in situations where it doesn't work for in-game reasons. If the PC can only tele-pin one person at a time, then the enemies are going to figure this out and send three guys and tell them to shoot the psychic one first.

It's going to be boring for everyone if every combat encounter turns into pinata fight.

Nereidalbel 09-26-2013 12:18 PM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
Just remember that a telekinetic grapple still allows the contest of the victim's ST vs the TK to break free.

Kromm 09-26-2013 04:57 PM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
Telekinesis is just a grapple at a distance. It requires a roll to hit (it doesn't "just work"), it allows an active defense, and it permits attempts to break free. It has to win all the usual close-combat Contests to achieve a takedown or a pin, or even to turn someone around (per Martial Arts, p. 118, that's a Quick Contest); none of that stuff is automatic. The effects on Dodge are the usual -1 for being grappled (see Martial Arts, p. 121) – and if you have enough TK to lift the victim, he can't get bonuses for retreating or Acrobatic Dodge. Telekinesis is in no way an "I win" button; mostly, it's a "you can't run away until you break free" button.

MatthewVilter 09-26-2013 08:01 PM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 1651340)
Telekinesis...allows an active defense...

Really?

*goes and reads*

Okay yeah, targets can defend...at -4!

Looking at B 394 it looks like they can only dodge...or if they make a Hearing-2 roll they can block or parry... o_O

Does Telekinesis make a sound the way a normal attack does?

If it does can one parry or block it? If it doesn't is it impossible to parry or block?

Kromm 09-26-2013 09:28 PM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
It's treated exactly like an invisible person. It displaces air and makes noises. If you want it to be completely undetectable . . . well, there are enhancements for that.

Yako 09-26-2013 10:24 PM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 1651340)
Telekinesis is just a grapple at a distance. It requires a roll to hit (it doesn't "just work"), it allows an active defense, and it permits attempts to break free. It has to win all the usual close-combat Contests to achieve a takedown or a pin, or even to turn someone around (per Martial Arts, p. 118, that's a Quick Contest); none of that stuff is automatic. The effects on Dodge are the usual -1 for being grappled (see Martial Arts, p. 121) and if you have enough TK to lift the victim, he can't get bonuses for retreating or Acrobatic Dodge. Telekinesis is in no way an "I win" button; mostly, it's a "you can't run away until you break free" button.

But, any of those restrictions already do apply with any grapple, telekinetic or not, don't they?
According to Basic, you definitely cannot retreat if you are grappled and an acrobatic dodge should not be possible either.

Of course lifting someone up should not be an easy "I win" button, but it seriously violates the suspension of disbelief, mine and my players, if it is not affecting someone's defensive abilities AT ALL.

In the situation, I applied a malus akin to lying down since it seemed like a good fit for an equally disadvantageous situation, but I did want to know if there is anything aside from the rather unhelpful section about lifting people which is at least 50% redundant by the basic rules as stated before.

As fictional portrayals of people being lifted into the air usually involved them being more or less helpless, adapting a form of pin for that seemed like a possible fix, as stated.
And since that would be one attack with active defence (to initiate the TK grapple) and a quick contest of ST (for "pinning") with the extra nuisance of needing up to four seconds to lift the person up, it does not seem broken to me, unless grappling someone is considered broken.

Kromm 09-26-2013 10:28 PM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
Well, -1 to Dodge owing to being grappled at all, and losing +3 for retreat and +2 for Acrobatic Dodge . . . that's fairly severe. But note that a pin is not a Quick Contest. It's a Regular Contest, which means that the victim has to fail while the teke succeeds. That could take a while!

I'm just saying that grappling doesn't become special merely because you use TK to do it. Grappling is grappling, and TK simply lets you do it at a distance. If you want TK to produce severe penalties, such as for lying down, then you have to use it for takedown first (winning the Quick Contest to put someone in a prone posture), and then for a pin. Grabbing someone with it is completely identical to grabbing him with a pair of hands – the rules are very explicit on this point. Telekinesis is not meant to be better than that; its advantages are range and invisibility, not superior restraint.

Of course, TK lets you buy very high ST rather cheaply, so winning ST-based Contests becomes rather trivial if you really invest in TK. The key point is that it's no more effective than a person who goes hands-on with an equivalent level of ST.

A well-rounded psychokinetic character who wants instant restraint should be investing in Binding with the Psi power modifier and the Unbreakable enhancement.

Libertine 09-26-2013 10:53 PM

Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?
 
Here's a thought, just because someone can lift someone in the air doesn't mean they have the grip to hold a moving and wriggling target. Perhaps by struggling, the TK character loses a "psychic" grip and allows for the subject to be free. This explains the ST roll to break free. This also can explain binding and unbreakable being needed.


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