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Old 05-28-2017, 01:00 AM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentality

Previous Week: Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep
Next Week: Pending

After much delay and technical difficulties, we will be covering Dominance and Infectious Attack today. I had intended to include Mind Control, as it strikes me as being not entirely dissimilar to Dominance, but not only did it prove to be too much (we already need two posts for today's subjects), I was already running very late with this thread. As I was rushing, let me know if anything looks odd; at the last minute I had to cut out a good third of the post, which means I easily could have deleted something I referenced elsewhere.

Thank you for your patience!

If you need help finding something we've already discussed, johndallman is maintaining an index of which traits we've discussed.

Basic

Dominance (p. B50) is a Supernatural, Exotic trait that costs 20 CP. It is very dependent upon the GM, who has final say over almost everything about the trait; I mention this now so that I don't have to constantly say it throughout the rest of this write-up. Those with Dominance can infect others with a supernatural condition and control those they infect. The wording strongly implies that the character with Dominance shares this condition, which is often how it is handled in fiction; a vampire making other vampires, a werewolf making other werewolves, etc.

You may only infect those of the same race* and (possibly) those of similar races. How you infect them is determined when you first gain the Dominance trait; select an inborn attack your character possesses, and that becomes the one method with which you may infect others. Whenever you damage someone susceptible to your condition, you roll 3d6 versus the amount of injury taken. Rolling under means they are infected and will change within 2d days, possibly sooner, without intervention (possibly even with, depending upon the specifics). There may be additional conditions for spreading the condition as well, either instead of the attack or in addition to it.

Once the process is done, the infected character gains the corresponding supernatural racial template, and you must make a decision; pay the points to take the newly infected character as an Ally with the "Minion" and "Special Abilities" (p.B38) Enhancements. Minion is because anyone you infect and buy as an Ally gains not just the appropriate template, but the Slave Mentality Disadvantage (p. B154) with you as their master. This also means the Enhancement is worth 0%, due to the drawbacks of Slave Mentality (which I'll explain in the next paragraph). Special Abilities is because it can, in turn, infect others, which then also fall under your say if you can afford to buy them as Allies. This is worth +50%. The Frequency of Appearance is up to you, and it can be raised in the future if you wish with earned CP.

For the character receiving Slave Mentality, it is a Mental Disadvantage worth -40 CP. It can be Mundane, but probably not in this case as it is was caused by Dominance (which is not Mundane). A character with Slave Mentality needs a master to give it orders, as it has no initiative of its own. The trait does not restrict the character's IQ or Will but does provide penalties for certain situations. Will rolls to assert one's self or resist social influence skills fail automatically, though under GM determined circumstances, a roll at -6 may be permitted. Taking any action that isn't part of an established routine or a direct order requires an IQ-8 roll. This includes rolls for things that seem simple and are necessary to survival. The text provides the example of a starving character with Slave Mentality finding $10; if its master hadn't established it as part of the routine, or didn't give the order to do so this character would still require the IQ-8 roll to pick up the money to purchase food.

There are a few ways you can lose your infected servant. If either you or they suffer a permanent death is the simplest. If your servant grows in power and you either can't or won't spend the CP needed to maintain them as an Ally when they grow in power, you also lose them. The text doesn't specify if you can opt for a lower Frequency of Appearance than they were initially purchased with, but even if that is the case, 6 or less is still the minimum. Finally, if they are cured, they are also freed from your control. With that last option - possibly all, as I find the text a bit ambiguous - the points invested in a former Dominance-based Ally may be spent on a new Dominance-based Ally.

So what happens to the infected if you do not pay for them as an Ally, cannot afford to keep them as an Ally, or the GM allows only the "Slave Mentality" aspect of the curse to be broken? They still gain (or retain) the supernatural template in question but won't gain (or retain) the Slave Mentality Disadvantage. This can be very dangerous if your victim resents you; whatever other powers it gained, it will have Dominance as well, and thus could raise its own slave army!

This brings us to the related trait Infectious Attack (p. B140), a Physical, Supernatural Disadvantage worth -5 CP. All it is is "Dominance" without the dominating; Use all the same rules as with Dominance except your victims lack Slave Mentality. Careless use of whatever the infecting attack is for your template can result in survivors who have motivation for revenge and received a powerup. Yes, this means you could infect other PCs for a power up, but they have to pay the CP appropriate to the template or gain the appropriate Disadvantages to balance things out.

Other Supplements


If you know of a Supplement that features one of today's traits, or something very closely related, feel free to either PM me or post about it in the thread, and I will add it here. Please remember the page references, but don't sweat stuff like CP cost or percentage, as I usually won't mention those.

GURPS Zombies covers these extensively; just read Bruno's post below for the details. ;)

GURPS Powers only mentions Dominance in relation to other traits, and I didn't find any mentions of Infectious Attack at all. GURPS Social Engineering brings up Dominance in the first chapter, but only to explain it was outside the scope of the text. The only other supplement I own to mention Dominance and Infectious Attack is GURPS Update, bringing us to the next section.

Third Edition

Dominance and Infectious Attack are still counterparts under the Third Edition rules. I am specifically referencing Compendium I page 53 for Dominance and page 97 for Infectious Attack. Dominance is listed in the Racial And Super Advantages chapter, with a base cost of 5 CP plus 15 CP per 100 points controlled, bringing us to the major difference; instead of being purchased as Allies, the price for controlling those you infect is baked into Dominance directly. Next is that you don't get a choice about assuming control of those you infect; you either fork over the CP and/or are forced to take new Disadvantages (as is appropriate).

The text for Dominance also stresses that once a PC is freed from his master's control, it must buy off Slave Mentality immediately and purchase (the Third Edition) version of Dominance, which might actually still be true if I misunderstood the Fourth Edition rules earlier when I stated it would be included in the supernatural template for the condition. Instead of forcing new Disadvantage on a PC who can't afford to actually buy off Slave Mentality and purchase Dominance, these rules states that all CP will be applied to the remaining point balance until it is paid off. For the record, the Third Edition version of Slave Mentality from page 94 of Compendium I is more or less the same as its Fourth Edition counterpart.

Lycanthropic Dominance and Regancy are also listed in the same Chapter of Compendium I, on pages 60 and 64, respectively. Lycanthropic Dominance is probably only listed separately because it first appeared in GURPS Bestiary (no page number given) with slightly different rules, but Compendium I informs us to use the rules for Dominance instead. Recency is a special version of Dominance that first appeared in GURPS: Vampire the Masquerade (again, no page reference), and its price is just 15 CP per 100 CP worth of characters controlled. Vampiric Dominance is listed in Appendix 2 - Advantage Listings, but the page reference is for regular Dominance. An interesting note in their GURPS Update Entries is that these Allies may be purchased with the Unwilling (p. B38) Limitation, which is worth -50%. That is a nice discount but seems to clash with the "Minion" Enhancement, as Slave Mentality ought to prevent the major drawback of Unwilling (your Ally despising you for controlling them and scheming to get free). Perhaps that means these alternate forms of Dominance don't force Slave Mentality on those you Dominate?

Infectious Attack has few differences, with the main one being additional text that (in Fourth Edition) is part of Dominance. It is listed in the Chapter for Supernatural Disadvantages.

*GURPS definition of race; so things like human, elf, dwarf, etc.
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Last edited by Otaku; 05-28-2017 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Rewrote introduction.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentalit

Useful Links
Please feel free to suggestion additions to this section. ^^'

Discussion Starters

This is a generic list of questions if you need them; if you already know what you want to say, feel free to just chime in.
  • Have you ever taken any of these traits for one of your PCs or NPCs? How'd it go?
  • Is there anything these traits do really well?
  • Is there anything you think these traits should do different, whether it means adding, subtracting, or just changing aspects of it?
  • Any thoughts on how the 4e version of these traits compares to them in earlier editions?
  • Feedback about BAotW threads in general, such as how I structure them?
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Last edited by Otaku; 05-28-2017 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 05-28-2017, 12:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentalit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Other Supplements


If you know of a Supplement that features one of today's traits, or something very closely related, feel free to either PM me or post about it in the thread, and I will add it here. Please remember the page references, but don't sweat stuff like CP cost or percentage, as I usually won't mention those.
GURPS Zombies extensively delves into Dominance and Infectious Attack, and provides an alternate feature, Infectious. It also looks at how you should price this kind of ability for a "Zombie servitor that makes more zombie servitors for its master" - rather than "serving itself, who serves its master" heirarchy. This is on page 56, and gets into the Pestilence perk and Afflictions.

It presents two new enhancements for Dominance: p.51

No Injury Required - The attacker doesn’t need to injure the victim at all, but merely has to touch, speak to, or otherwise interact with the subject, (who must then roll to resist). This entirely replaces the "roll 3d6 under damage" mechanic. For zombies this is intended as a sort of Zombie Miasma, but it's useful in other situations.

No Onset Time - Exactly what it says on the tin. Instant infection. Effectively a form of Cosmic that removes a standard restriction.

It presents 2 new limitations for Dominance: p.51
Fatal Beating - Obviously, you can't take this with No Injury Required. You must kill the victim, and the killing blow must be struck by your infectious unarmed attack. Otherwise it doesn't work.

Horde - Requires No Onset Time. You don't really Dominate your victims. Instead, they act as an Ally for the rest of that combat, and then wander off as independent NPCs. There's a strong implication that they don't harbor resentment for this (unless that conflicts with other mental disads, your actions, etc).

It presents three new enhancements for Infectious Attack. p62
Instant Karma - Like No Onset Time, but for Infectious Attack and with a catchier name. If they're inclined to be ******, well you've probably upgraded them, and they're RIGHT here RIGHT NOW, and ******.

Serial Curse - THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE... person with whatever curse you're carrying. When the new zombie comes into being (in 2d days, or faster with Instant Karma) you drop dead!

Survival of the Fittest - A variation on Serial Curse - Your victim gains a temporary Obsession with hunting you down and murdering you (temporary until either you die, or it dies). THERE CAN STILL ONLY BE ONE. It doesn't get any magical or mystical sense of your location, however - it has to find you the hard way.

It presents one new limitation for Infectious Attack. p62
Fatal Beating - As per Dominance.

It provides the new feature, Infectious. p67. If you don't create slaves for yourself or for your master, and you don't create rivals or enemies for yourself, AND your curse/disease/whatever doesn't cause significant penalties in combat time, it's a 0 point feature.
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentalit

I'm trying to remember which book has it, but some book has the option of Dominance that only gives an Involuntary Duty rather than full Slave Mentality. We had to argue a lot with Kromm about that.

Something I think is badly needed is Dominance that gives something like Sense of Duty - some vampire novels (including Dracula!) show the servitors as being coherent and loyal, or even loving. The World of Darkness vampires risk passing on Obsession instead of Sense of Duty, I forget under which conditions. Someone blood bonded to you might decide to keep you safe by locking you in a safe and jealously guarding it.
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentalit

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Perhaps that means these alternate forms of Dominance don't force Slave Mentality on those you Dominate?
AH! Yes, that's where I remember it from.

Yes, the -50% is because you don't give them Slave Mentality, you give them the Involuntary Duty - which means on the one hand they have a lot more independence and generally can be more useful, but on the other hand they have a lot more independence and hate you.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentalit

I seem to remember someone who once wanted to use no wounding on an attack as part of dominance/Infectious attack build: he would attack with corrupting only, rather than trying to kill them.

On second thought, that might be a munchkin trick, not a valid build.
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Old 06-01-2017, 04:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentalit

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Fatal Beating - Obviously, you can't take this with No Injury Required. You must kill the victim, and the killing blow must be struck by your infectious unarmed attack. Otherwise it doesn't work.
There's also the similar "Accessibility, Fatal Attacks Only" in GURPS Horror, which is half the limitation cost of Fatal Beating. I assume since GURPS Zombies is the newer title it would take precedence.
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Old 06-02-2017, 04:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentalit

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
There are a few ways you can lose your infected servant. If either you or they suffer a permanent death is the simplest. If your servant grows in power and you either can't or won't spend the CP needed to maintain them as an Ally when they grow in power, you also lose them. The text doesn't specify if you can opt for a lower Frequency of Appearance than they were initially purchased with, but even if that is the case, 6 or less is still the minimum. Finally, if they are cured, they are also freed from your control. With that last option - possibly all, as I find the text a bit ambiguous - the points invested in a former Dominance-based Ally may be spent on a new Dominance-based Ally.

So what happens to the infected if you do not pay for them as an Ally, cannot afford to keep them as an Ally, or the GM allows only the "Slave Mentality" aspect of the curse to be broken? They still gain (or retain) the supernatural template in question but won't gain (or retain) the Slave Mentality Disadvantage. This can be very dangerous if your victim resents you; whatever other powers it gained, it will have Dominance as well, and thus could raise its own slave army!
I'd like to point out that RAW Dominance doesn't seem to make use of the to the rule that Allies not having their own Allies UNLESS supernatural powers or the like are involved, meaning that when your servant uses its Dominance, you have to pay for the new Allies. This means that your new enemy doesn't have an existing army to start with.

One thing I would like to see is an expanded treatment of these traits, especially cultural factors, a species that reproduces in such a manner may well regard the newly created as children, and the person who created them should treat them as such.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#43): Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentalit

Hello veryone. I've tried to convert the Gibberling Brood infectious attack in Gurps terms, but find some difficulties.

Power description :

"...the brood gibberling, which gives birth to larvae called gibberslugs, which writhe beneath the skin of the brood gibberling. They are injected into the flesh of anyone the brood gibberling bites, including other gibberlings. The slugs then grow steadily and consume the body of their host from the inside, eventually bursting out through the skin. A brood gibberling can actually control those it has created, leading to the development of "clans" of the monsters."

Now : Dominance advantage -> but the transformation is caused by a slug (delivered by bite or spit ad distance) that must reach the skin, burrow in and then reach the brain. After that the victim lapses in a coma and mutates in a gibberling in 24-hour time.

So i add enhancement No onset time and a limitation to keep the fact that the victim mus t be "slain" to activate the transformation and the following domination.

In modelling the attack i used the innate attack 1d toxic , blood agent, follow up, but i have to add cyclic, but it does not work well since once inside the worm start eating the way to the brain, but it not takes a specificed amount of time.

Any suggestions?
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