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Old 09-28-2013, 03:39 PM   #41
Kromm
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post

Traditionally, magic just... works. Stabbing people just... happens. But in GURPS and most RPGs, there's some sort of skill or combat roll involved. Fiction rarely takes time out to discuss probabilities, much less make die rolls, but that doesn't mean the abilities "just work" in a game context.
Agreed – and that's crucial here!

Games and fiction are not much alike. Games have multiple partners whose interests often diverge. The characters have agendas of their own, not dictated by a director or an author. Everybody gets a saving throw; everybody has the right to duck, luck out, oppose, resist, etc.

GURPS very explicitly does its best (or worst, if you see it that way) to ensure that you can't get "just works" abilities . . . even Cosmic can, at best, ensure a hit and avoid DR. The target still gets an active defense roll, still gets to absorb the badness with whatever FP or HP she bought, and still gets to break free, regenerate, or what-have-you. Similar efforts have been made to foil ultimate defenses, such as invulnerability, which are fine in auteur fiction but crummy in interactive, collaborative fiction. The game also has an implicit goose/gander rule, which means that NPCs enjoy similar benefits for the sake of plausibility and a good story, unless the GM expressly switches on mook rules to meet a different definition of "good story."

In this discussion, the problem very much seems to be that players expect TK to work as in films and novels, which is quite broken for games. In my long experience running and playing RPGs (34 years and counting), I've found that players tend to hate it when it's the PCs who are lifted up, no saving throw, and told they cannot do anything but lose the fight. As a designer, my belief is that efforts to eliminate such situations should benefit NPCs equally.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:12 PM   #42
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Traditionally, magic just... works. Stabbing people just... happens. But in GURPS and most RPGs, there's some sort of skill or combat roll involved.
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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Agreed – and that's crucial here!

Games and fiction are not much alike. Games have multiple partners whose interests often diverge. The characters have agendas of their own, not dictated by a director or an author. Everybody gets a saving throw; everybody has the right to duck, luck out, oppose, resist, etc.
I'm afraid you have both deeply misunderstood me. I was speaking in response to:

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Depends on how it works. Will would be good if on a failure you just lose control. IQ doesn't really work for me, but if in either case you maybe suffer a fright check instead of HP of damage that might work. HT would be if you're physically straining yourself.

Or maybe you fail your Will roll and you suffer FP instead of HP, or suffer a Pain affliction (headaches) instead of a Pain affliction (pulled muscle).

I'm OK with any, so long as it's a good story. :-)
I was talking about the use of Will in place of HT when using TG. The idea, that instead of rolling ST (which I agree seems a bit silly) you roll HT modified by how close to the limit of you ST the task is, is a new one. It seems like a fine idea but I'm a bit sceptical about introducing Will as the standard/only power source for TK and of introducing painful feedback into the default version of TK. That's all.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:13 PM   #43
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by MatthewVilter View Post
I was talking about the use of Will in place of HT when using TG. The idea, that instead of rolling ST (which I agree seems a bit silly) you roll HT modified by how close to the limit of you ST the task is, is a new one. It seems like a fine idea but I'm a bit sceptical about introducing Will as the standard/only power source for TK and of introducing painful feedback into the default version of TK. That's all.
What do suggest that you roll using default TK, instead then? You don't have a TK HT stat.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:43 PM   #44
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
What do suggest that you roll using default TK, instead then? You don't have a TK HT stat.
I have no idea. Will seems like it would be fine for a lot of characters but maybe it would be better just to stick to TK level and forget about the whole overstraining thing. Otherwise you end up with one and only one case where trying to use your TK can feedback and hurt you.
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:25 PM   #45
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by DangerousThing View Post
In order to duplicate your example of having a lifted subject with TK helpless you need another ability, Binding, that would be bought along with the TK and somehow linked to it. The Psionic Powers book creates a framework in which almost any fictional powers can be made. Binding is specifically mentioned at the end of the Pychokinesis chapter.
The main problem here would be that binding would need some extensive modifications to make sense as something linked to telekinesis.

Binding is a one time attack, you usually need not involve yourself with your Binding after you hit and entangled someone, Telekinesis however is NOT.

Thus I really don't think a link accomplishes much, especially since Telekinesis can already make someone helpless by the usual takedown and pin, use enough strength and even a regular contest should be over in a few attempts at best.
compartmmentalized mind or reduced time would allow it to happen quick enough to be highly cinematic too.

My problem is, as stated before, that as written, the rules force pushing to the ground instead of lifting up though if someone wants to do this.
This is basically the one problem of how to model the situation beyond the very sparse rules about it.



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What people keep missing is what I keep saying and what the rules say:
Picking someone up does penalize his Dodge horribly – he suffers the usual -1 for being grappled and cannot use retreat for +3!
But again, that is exactly what taking hold of him does...
And as described with the comparison of taking hold of a foe who stands on bad ground, lifting him could paradoxically even make it easier for him to dodge.
I think it is very unrealistic if being on shifty sand is worth than being in thin air.

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Unless your GURPS games look very different from mine, that's lethally bad. Making it even worse is possible: Use TK for a takedown on the turn after you pick up your foe and, if you win, ascribe whatever special effects you like to the results; the game effect is that your victim is now lying down, and gets another -3 to Dodge for that. Alternatively, use the rules for shoving people around on that turn and, if you win, declare that you turn him away from you; now he can't defend against you at all!
The shove is useful indeed, unless the foe has the special situation of being blessed with peripheral / 360° vision, but, regarding the takedown:

To me it seems that if it is this route, a takedown should be rather "mandatory" in a way.

Whether I am "lying" in the air or standing in the air, both situations should be about equally bad.
Personally, I am inclined to not require a roll (but the full time to lift before the penalty applies) and balance this out by having anyone breaking free being able to immediately resume standing position as part of the breaking free manoeuvre (The reason being that it is hard to resist being lifted into the air opposed to being pressed against the ground).

And lastly, as we play an around 450 point campaign with a vast array of exotic options available, opponents with high dodge score are not rare, comparable perhaps to some of the Vampire enemies from the monster hunter series.

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The key point is that the initial, one-second grapple doesn't immediately make defenses worse than if you had grappled with hands. You have to take a turn for an Attack to grapple him, then a turn for a Move to lift him, and then another turn for an Attack to put him in a bad position. The huge benefit of TK is that you operate as an invisible attacker, so the initial defense against the grapple is likely to fail. A lesser benefit is that TK can be made very cheap with limitations, so you can easily have enough effective ST to ensure victory at takedowns and shoving around. Another lesser benefit is that you can stand 10 metres away and be at zero risk from having your hands parried by weapons, or having an angry, grappled foe attack you to get free.

Players who are expecting TK to turn each grapple into three turns of actions are asking too much from their points. If they want to do that, then they should invest in Altered Time Rate with suitable limitations for mental-only actions. If they just want instant restraint (one attack and the target is defenseless), then yes, they do indeed need to take Binding . . . which, as an alternative attack to Telekinesis, is stupidly cheap.
None of the players really expects that, it is just that usually, they are encouraged to come up with ideas and I think this is a very important key aspect of the GURPS system in general.

As said before, binding to aid telekinesis makes sense, just, adding it in to simulate an effect that should be obtainable by high TK Strength, reduced time /altered timerate / compartmentalized mind (which would likely be better fits) seems unreasonable to me.

Quote:
And to be clear, a GURPS dodge is any movement that pulls the attacked body part out of the line of attack. It may well involve nothing more than twisting the torso 10° or moving an arm 3 cm to the right. Full, bodily dodging with footwork is what retreat represents, and TK already prevents that.
I only do want to point out here that any bad ground affects al dodge rolls, not only those made with retreat and acrobatic dodge, what exactly a dodge represents in a situation should always depend on the nature of the attack though.

This reminds me of a small tangential question about retreat...

For the purpose of dodging an area attack, does the defender have to use dodge and drop, thus going prone, or can he retreat, thus, just jumping aside avoiding to go to the ground?
I did, so far, rule the latter, but as diving for cover is under dodge and drop, it seems possible to rule against that.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #46
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

This kinda seems like one of those situations where things plainly are differently than expected. Since we consider that TK is basically invisible hands, then we can look at it as instead visible hands picking someone up. If the hands aren't big enough to engulf the person, they absolutely can dodge when held, just not well (the implied -4 does that from a normal grapple). It actually makes sense to me that it would be easier to dodge when you have a sturdy base (someone's hand picking you up) versus an unsturdy base (gravel combined with gravity).
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:29 PM   #47
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by Yako View Post
The main problem here would be that binding would need some extensive modifications to make sense as something linked to telekinesis.
Take Binding as an Alternate Ability of TK.
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My problem is, as stated before, that as written, the rules force pushing to the ground instead of lifting up though if someone wants to do this.
This is basically the one problem of how to model the situation beyond the very sparse rules about it.
Is this what the Pickup option that we are talking about is for? If the rules for grappling are still "very sparse" I can't imagine what you'd require for adequate rules on the subject. Do you think Technical Grappling needed to be 100+ pages?
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:56 PM   #48
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

In most fiction where characters use TK to render an opponent helpless that I've seen, the telekinetic uses their TK to slam them against a wall or something, "pinning" them with high TK strength vertically against that wall; I've seldom seen one hold another person in mid-air to remove their defenses.

Still, I'm kind of agreeing with those that feel being held in mid-air via TK should get the same penalty for bad footing. No footing seems to me to be really bad footing.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:21 PM   #49
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

Also, Takedown in this case doesn't need to mean that they are pressed to the ground or even made horizontal. One could just rule that once the TKed guy has been lifted and has failed to resist the contest for a Takedown, they now suffer the penalties associated with being prone. The fact that they are in the air vertically and contorted is ruled as a special effect.

If the GM still thinks it's unrealistic, cut out the need to spend a turn lifting the victim and rule that it only takes two turns. First you grapple with TK then you attempt a "Takedown". If you succeed, the victim is held a foot off the ground and suffers the penalties of being prone and grappled (-4 to dodge and can't retreat).
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:36 PM   #50
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Default Re: Dodging while being levitated by Telekinesis?

The penalty for being held with nothing to push off of should be similar to being in free fall without the nausea effects. That's -5 to DX, and (rounding up), -3 to Parry and Block. Since the free fall skill also impacts HT, that makes it a flat -3 to Active Defenses.

That makes "suspended in midair" like this on the Posture Table:

Posture Attack Defense Target Movement
Suspended -5 -3 Normal None
Lying Down -4 -3 -2 1 yard/second

So it's a bit worse than lying down for attacking, equivalent for defending, you're no smaller a target than you were standing up, and have no purchase so you can't move.

The Free Fall skill helps you buy this off; it'd be somewhat legit, I think, to treat this as a technique rather than a skill, since the only purpose of Free Fall is to buy off a penalty, much like Ground Fighting. Make it a Hard Technique like ground fighting.
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Last edited by DouglasCole; 09-29-2013 at 08:42 PM.
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