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Old 05-30-2019, 01:58 PM   #1
Captain Joy
 
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Default Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

In GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 59 only the Telespeak advantage with its Telesend skill has the Telecommunication (B92) limitation. The Telecommunication advantage doesn't come up at all in GURPS Psis. I would think that advantage would be the backbone of most telepath builds. What am I missing?
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

I dont know.
Telecommunication is mentioned as possible with ergokineses and the Telsesend subset in a few places,including the box you mention.
Here its a limitation on Mind Reading but I dont know what it actually does, seems like its covered in the Accessibility, Projected thoughts only limitation.
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

I think Psionic Powers doesn't use the Telecommunication limitation much because it's really supposed to represent something different than psionics, mostly. Telecommunication on advantages like Mind Reading or Mindlink usually turns them from something that just contacts someone on a "mental level" into something a bit more mundane, something that follows a more realistic communication channel.

For example, a cyberpunk computer hacker with a neural interface implant might have Mind Reading with the Digital modifier and Telecommunication (Cable Jack) limitations, representing the fact that she can read computers, but only while jacked in - it means Mind Reading isn't just an ethereal ability to scan computers at a distance, you've got to be plugged in. Similarly, a robot swarm with a distributed consciousness might have Mindlink with Telecommunication (Radio), representing the fact that all members of the swarm share an awareness, but only when they're in radio contact.

So, basically, I don't think that the Telecommunication limitation is very appropriate when its paired with the Telesend version of the Telecommunication advantage, because that's basically already the way most of the advantages that the Telecommunication limitation could be applied to already work.
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I think Psionic Powers doesn't use the Telecommunication limitation much because it's really supposed to represent something different than psionics, mostly. Telecommunication on advantages like Mind Reading or Mindlink usually turns them from something that just contacts someone on a "mental level" into something a bit more mundane, something that follows a more realistic communication channel.
I've never taken it that way.

Mind Reading has standard range penalties, so it doesn't work at any great distance. Telesend has theoretically unlimted range, and in practice takes long-distance modifiers. So Telesend is at no penalty at 200 yards, whereas any ability based on Mind Reading is at -12. If you go to a mile, Telesend is at -2, but Mind Reading is at -18. For 10,000 miles (not far short of "anywhere on Earth"), Telesend is at -10, which is really hard, but Mind Reading is at -42, which is utterly impossible.

Mind Reading is "Someone is close enough to see; I see them; what are they thinking?" You can extend it to "I want to think back at them." But Telesend is "I want to send my thoughts to someone far away." You have a small penalty if you can't see them, but for someone close to you it's only -1. Those are two different images of how telepathy works.
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Telecommunication on advantages like Mind Reading or Mindlink usually turns them from something that just contacts someone on a "mental level" into something a bit more mundane, something that follows a more realistic communication channel.


So, basically, I don't think that the Telecommunication limitation is very appropriate when its paired with the Telesend version of the Telecommunication advantage, because that's basically already the way most of the advantages that the Telecommunication limitation could be applied to already work.
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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post

Mind Reading has standard range penalties, so it doesn't work at any great distance. Telesend has theoretically unlimted range, and in practice takes long-distance modifiers. So Telesend is at no penalty at 200 yards, whereas any ability based on Mind Reading is at -12. If you go to a mile, Telesend is at -2, but Mind Reading is at -18. For 10,000 miles (not far short of "anywhere on Earth"), Telesend is at -10, which is really hard, but Mind Reading is at -42, which is utterly impossible.
I think your both misunderstand the ops question.
The box the Op refers to is Telespeak and bundles Mind Reading and Telsend together for two way communication.
The build makes the ranges the same on both abilities by using various levels of Short or Long Range.
What hes asking about is a -20% modifier on Mind Reading only called Telecommunication.
I looked it up in GURPS Basic and its a limitation on Mind Reading (p. B70).
From what I can tell given that it also has only read projected thoughts it appears to be acting as a kind of accessibility requiring them to be in communication with Telesend as well.


To the Op: After reading the entry in Basic I still dont see where it would apply to most telepathic abilities.
I could apply it to Illusion with the Mental modifier so you could only create illusions to people your talking with using Telesend.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
I think your both misunderstand the ops question.
The box the Op refers to is Telespeak and bundles Mind Reading and Telsend together for two way communication.
The build makes the ranges the same on both abilities by using various levels of Short or Long Range.
What hes asking about is a -20% modifier on Mind Reading only called Telecommunication.
I looked it up in GURPS Basic and its a limitation on Mind Reading (p. B70).
From what I can tell given that it also has only read projected thoughts it appears to be acting as a kind of accessibility requiring them to be in communication with Telesend as well.
Yes, thank you for clarifying Refplace.

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To the Op: After reading the entry in Basic I still dont see where it would apply to most telepathic abilities.
I could apply it to Illusion with the Mental modifier so you could only create illusions to people your talking with using Telesend.
That makes sense. But what I still don't understand is why the Telecommunication limitation is attached to the Mind Reading part of Telespeak (Psionis Powers, p. 59). It's not a part of the Telereceive (Psionis Powers, p. 59) or Telesend (Psionis Powers, p. 60) powers. Indeed, no other telepathic build in Psionic Power bothers with a Telecommunication limitation. What is so specially about Telespeak?

Also, to claim a -20% Telecommunication limitation, wouldn't you have to have the Telecommunication-Telesend (B91) as an advantage — a 30-point advantage? You'd have to have 150 points worth of telepathy powers to make that -20% limitation worth while.

I'm beginning to think the Telesend form of Telecommunication (B91) has no purpose in a full blown psionic campaign that makes use of a full suite of psionic powers. It's just in Basic Set as an easy way to give a character psi-eque Telesend without having to worry about setting up a psionic powers with skills and talents and yadda yadda yadda. It's inclusion as a limitation in Telespeak (Psionic Powers, p. 59) is an error. Dropping if from Telespeak wouldn't change anything about it, but its cost.

Last edited by Captain Joy; 05-30-2019 at 07:04 PM. Reason: added last sentence
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

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Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
Yes, thank you for clarifying Refplace.
Your welcome.
The telecommunication limitation is a way to limit Mind Reading so that its more like talking, it does not apply to Telsend.
Mind Reading is like hearing and Telesend is like speaking. You need both to have a conversation with most people. That is really what the Telespeak ability is. Actually a better explanation is Telsend is sending thoughts and Mind Reading is listening to thoughts.
Telesend without Mind Reading would only allow a full conversation with someone who also had Telesend. So two telepaths can talk much more cheaply than a telepath and a non telepath, just as you yourself noted.

The Telecommunication advantage is one of the areas I think would benefit from a rewrite or expansion.
The first few lines of Telecommunication explain its the ability to send information just as if you were talking.
Though several variants specify the advantage can receive info to.
Infrared allows those with it or a IR communicator to receive.
Laser, and Radio are the same, only Telesend in GURPS Basic sticks with the wording at the beginning of Telecommunication.
Personally I think an enhancement for it to receive projected thoughts is appropriate but I can see where people then might try to use it as surface mind reading. So it would have to be clearly stated.
PK appears to have wanted to stick with RAW as closely as possible rather than try that route however.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

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Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
Yes, thank you for clarifying Refplace.

That makes sense. But what I still don't understand is why the Telecommunication limitation is attached to the Mind Reading part of Telespeak (Psionis Powers, p. 59). It's not a part of the Telereceive (Psionis Powers, p. 59) or Telesend (Psionis Powers, p. 60) powers. Indeed, no other telepathic build in Psionic Power bothers with a Telecommunication limitation. What is so specially about Telespeak?
Quote:
Also, to claim a -20% Telecommunication limitation, wouldn't you have to have the Telecommunication-Telesend (B91) as an advantage — a 30-point advantage? You'd have to have 150 points worth of telepathy powers to make that -20% limitation worth while.
You would, in fact, need to have that or some other Telecommunication Advantage. It's the equivalent of, say, Hearing-Based, Reversed, except that it applies to "things I'm in telepathic contact with" rather than "things I can hear". If you don't have the sense in question, you can't get a discount based on needing to use that sense without also turning off that power entirely.

The Mind Reading part of Telespeak gets that Limitation because (a) Mind Reading can take that Limitation and (b) Telespeak includes Telecommunications (Telesend). It's entirely reasonable to take that Limitation in that instance. That's what's special about it, it has both the parts you need for that Limitation to be meaningful except as a "well maybe I'll equip a neurocomm and want to read someone's mind" contingency.

Telereceive doesn't have that Limitation because Telereceive doesn't include any Telecomm ability, and the authors can't assume that you have Telesend as well, because they're different Abilities and you can buy Telereceive without having to buy Telesend. If you did have Telesend, you could legitimately add that to Telereceive (reducing the cost by 10 points). It would mean that you'd need to use Telesend on them first, but hey, that's what you're getting the points for.

Telesend doesn't have that Limitation because it's a Mind Reading Limitation, not a Limitation on the Telecommunication Advantage, and "I have the power to beam thoughts into someone's head as long as I've previously started using my power to beam thoughts into their head" is kind of... weird. In a "total waste of points" kind of way.

Quote:
I'm beginning to think the Telesend form of Telecommunication (B91) has no purpose in a full blown psionic campaign that makes use of a full suite of psionic powers. It's just in Basic Set as an easy way to give a character psi-eque Telesend without having to worry about setting up a psionic powers with skills and talents and yadda yadda yadda. It's inclusion as a limitation in Telespeak (Psionic Powers, p. 59) is an error. Dropping if from Telespeak wouldn't change anything about it, but its cost.
I wholeheartedly disagree. The ability to beam thoughts into someone's head is a classic telepath ability. It's possibly the telepath ability aside from reading minds. If Telesend has no business being in a psionic powers campaign, neither does the rest of the Telepathy Power either.

Last edited by Quantumboost; 05-30-2019 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Telecommunications limitation: when and why?

Okay, I think I've discovered my disconnect: Telesend is Telecommunication (B91); it's the Telecommunication option appropriate for a psi-based ability. And Telesend is involved in every ability in which you "transmit your thoughts directly to others".

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
The telecommunication limitation is a way to limit Mind Reading so that its more like talking, it does not apply to Telsend.
Mind Reading is like hearing and Telesend is like speaking. You need both to have a conversation with most people. That is really what the Telespeak ability is. Actually a better explanation is Telsend is sending thoughts and Mind Reading is listening to thoughts.
Telesend without Mind Reading would only allow a full conversation with someone who also had Telesend. So two telepaths can talk much more cheaply than a telepath and a non telepath, just as you yourself noted.
Got it; and I agree. Except I think the Telecommunication limitation was added in the case of the Telespeak power (Psionic Powers, p. 59) because the Telespeak power includes the Telesend advantage in its build, so you might as well take advantage of the -20% limitation. I think part of my confusion was not realizing that when you see "Telesend" as part of a psionic power's build, it is the Telesend advantage from B91, not the Telesend power from Psionic Power, p. 60.

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You would, in fact, need to have that or some other Telecommunication Advantage [to claim a -20% Telecommunication limitation]. It's the equivalent of, say, Hearing-Based, Reversed, except that it applies to "things I'm in telepathic contact with" rather than "things I can hear". If you don't have the sense in question, you can't get a discount based on needing to use that sense without also turning off that power entirely.
Although, with the Telesend version Telecommunication it would be more accurate to say "things I can send thoughts to", as Telesend gives you no ability to receive thoughts (or detect locations).

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Originally Posted by Quantumboost View Post
The Mind Reading part of Telespeak gets that Limitation because (a) Mind Reading can take that Limitation and (b) Telespeak includes Telecommunications (Telesend). It's entirely reasonable to take that Limitation in that instance. That's what's special about it, it has both the parts you need for that Limitation to be meaningful ….
Brilliant, Quantumboost. Now I get it.

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Telereceive doesn't have that Limitation because Telereceive doesn't include any Telecomm ability, and the authors can't assume that you have Telesend as well, because they're different Abilities and you can buy Telereceive without having to buy Telesend. If you did have Telesend, you could legitimately add that to Telereceive (reducing the cost by 10 points). It would mean that you'd need to use Telesend on them first, but hey, that's what you're getting the points for.
That makes perfect sense now. (10 points because Telereceive is built with Mind Probe at 20 points + Mind Reading at 30 points, so a -20% Telecommunication limitation saves you 10 points.) Thank you, Quantumboost!

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Telesend doesn't have that Limitation because it's a Mind Reading Limitation, not a Limitation on the Telecommunication Advantage, and "I have the power to beam thoughts into someone's head as long as I've previously started using my power to beam thoughts into their head" is kind of... weird. In a "total waste of points" kind of way.
I would phrase this is "Telesend doesn't have a -20% Telecommunication imitation because it is built off the Telesend version of the Telecommunication advantage. I.e. The Telesend power (Psionic Powers, p. 60) is nothing more than the psi-appropriate version the Telecommunication advantage with "Telepathy, -10%" and range modifiers. And, obviously, you can't use Telecommunications as a limitation on Telecommunication.
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