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Old 02-28-2017, 12:55 PM   #21
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

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Pheromones only increase the potential for sexual harassment and would probably be lawyered out of existence even if they were possible.
Why would that matter to Mara Omikage and the Bioweapons Directorate?
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:36 PM   #22
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

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Why would that matter to Mara Omikage and the Bioweapons Directorate?
It wouldn't matter to them but it probably would to the GRA.

So if pheromones did get lawyered out of existence the GRA would be hunting down anyone offering such a template and adults found with such glands would probably be forced get a nanosurgeon-powered glandectomy.

So no real "normal" populations of persons with such a template. Just maybe a few individuals living on the run. Not the sort of thing I would spend time on to design templates that would end up that way.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:06 AM   #23
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

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It wouldn't matter to them but it probably would to the GRA.

So if pheromones did get lawyered out of existence the GRA would be hunting down anyone offering such a template and adults found with such glands would probably be forced get a nanosurgeon-powered glandectomy.

So no real "normal" populations of persons with such a template. Just maybe a few individuals living on the run. Not the sort of thing I would spend time on to design templates that would end up that way.
And if memetics did get lawyered out of existence, the Memetic Regulatory Agency would be hunting down car salesmen and politicians.
But both of those statements hinge on the implicit assumption that they will get lawyered out of existence. Which is not a given at all: an aerosol nanodrug that afflicts 10 points worth of disads or less is LC4, one that afflicts more is LC3. Crybaby, a drug which does nothing but make targets more vulnerable to fear and intimidation, is LC3 (i.e. okay for anyone except convicted criminals etc.). Having them be a part of you should not reduce the legality, but in fact increase it, especially when talking about things like Charisma boosters, the same way as it isn't illegal to be naturally charismatic or beautiful or good-smelling.

----

On a broader scope, I'm starting to entertain the notion that a clear-cut game-mechanical split into 'natural mental influence' and 'unnatural mental influence' is a bad thing, because players, in their metagame omniscience, start making in-world evaluations (such as "this should be illegal in the setting") based on their game-mechanical knowledge of how things work (which in-world characters don't have).
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:17 AM   #24
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

One other logical problem with magic pheromones (or not-really-"pheromones") in a setting like TS is that, if you can genetically engineer a parahuman who can excrete them from a small gland, you can synthesise them industrially in large quantities, cheap, and package them in small aerosols. The occasional problem with mad scientists working for mad dictators cranking out annoying children is as nothing to the way that every urban bar would become uninhabitable after 8pm for anyone not looking for an orgy, thanks to all the unattractive wannabe players surreptitiously topping up their "aftershave".

Or possibly not, because (a) everyone would be wearing noseplugs, (b) the bar would have a chemosensor package feeding alerts direct to the bouncers' earpieces, and (c) misuse of pheromones/"pheromones" would likely be classified as assault (or rape) in short order, so it'd be the cops wearing the sniffer alert packages.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:32 AM   #25
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

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One other logical problem with magic pheromones (or not-really-"pheromones") in a setting like TS is that, if you can genetically engineer a parahuman who can excrete them from a small gland, you can synthesise them industrially in large quantities, cheap, and package them in small aerosols.
That is an observation that I have agreed with for some while. I think in general, biomods or parahuman/bioroid models should be more likely to have 'drug slots' (whether for internal or external use) instead of drug glands, because it makes upgrading more convenient.

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Or possibly not, because (a) everyone would be wearing noseplugs, (b) the bar would have a chemosensor package feeding alerts direct to the bouncers' earpieces, and (c) misuse of pheromones/"pheromones" would likely be classified as assault (or rape) in short order, so it'd be the cops wearing the sniffer alert packages.
This, on the other hand, seems like another of those things where player/writer/designer/editor knowledge of game-mechanical classification of those things into 'unnatural mental influence' (afflictions etc.) influences thinking.
Consider: Diplomacy and Fast-Talk are yet another form of influence that everyone should be paranoid about in much the same way, since it gets people to do some of the stupidest things (like buying a car on a highly detrimental credit payment plan, or going for a joyride with friends, or be seduced by someone, or many other things), but tell me: how many people in THS are wearing earplugs with an antisocial filter? How many people nowadays become hermits in order to safeguard themselves from such risks? How many jurisdictions outlawed diplomacy and fast-talk? Do people with Charisma 4 (natural, no limitations) get psychosurgically nerfed in the same way as you propose surgically 'disarming' those with Charisma 4 (Sense-based: scent)?
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:08 AM   #26
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

Consider; few societies today lock people up for being smooth-talking charmers who can get other people into bed against their better judgement. Slipping someone a roofie, on the other hand, can get you a few years inside and a permanent presence on the sex offenders register.

Aerosol pheromones/"pheromones" are, I think, going to get classed as easily-dispensed roofies.

Conversely, if you could build an unobtrusive earpiece filter that blocked smooth doubletalk, cheap, I think a lot of people would buy one before venturing into a used car dealership. As it is, well, people just have to rely on their judgement - and people do like to think that they're hard to fool. If anti-pheromone/"pheromone" noseplugs (or whatever) are available, a lot of people will wear them on a precautionary basis - and it's easier to admit "I might well be affected by these new mind control drugs" than "I have normal human susceptibility to smooth talk", so fewer people would be prevented from taking available precautions by foolish pride.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:45 AM   #27
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

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Consider; few societies today lock people up for being smooth-talking charmers who can get other people into bed against their better judgement. Slipping someone a roofie, on the other hand, can get you a few years inside and a permanent presence on the sex offenders register.

Aerosol pheromones/"pheromones" are, I think, going to get classed as easily-dispensed roofies.
That, it seems to me, is a jump to conclusions based on metagame classification of the trait. Because their effect seems close enough to the effect of some modern shampoo/perfume/etc. scents on some people; the difference being that instead of "provide +4 against 1% of people" or "invoke lecherousness in 1% of people", THS-era products can do so with an about 50% success rate.

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Conversely, if you could build an unobtrusive earpiece filter that blocked smooth doubletalk, cheap, I think a lot of people would buy one before venturing into a used car dealership. As it is, well, people just have to rely on their judgement - and people do like to think that they're hard to fool. If anti-pheromone/"pheromone" noseplugs (or whatever) are available, a lot of people will wear them on a precautionary basis - and it's easier to admit "I might well be affected by these new mind control drugs" than "I have normal human susceptibility to smooth talk", so fewer people would be prevented from taking available precautions by foolish pride.
Some people maybe will wear them, but I think most will consider it a paranoid, antisocial/asocial kind of behaviour, similar to how people like me refuse to use Facebook.
And again, you're using the already-negative 'drugs' for the scent-things, but the already-positive 'smoothtalk' for using language to hotwire/hack a person's decisionmaking parts of the brain. It's kinda weird to read this coming from someone who was involved in the making of Madness Dossier, BTW.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:31 AM   #28
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

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How many jurisdictions outlawed diplomacy and fast-talk?
Actually quite a lot of them do outlaw Fast-talk. Laws against fraud often do include deals where both parties didn't correctly understand the terms. Admittedly it can be tough to prove you were clueless, and most people are reluctant to go to court to prove beyond a reasonable doubt they were idiots, so cases rarely go to trial unless you fast-talked a child or somebody else who is already legally incompetent (and hence already "enjoys" the legal presumption of being an idiot). But still you often theoretically could sue somebody for fast talking you.

I suppose they'd apply to Diplomacy too, but I usually wouldn't let you attempt Diplomacy to convince people of stuff that has *no* upsides for them. If you can't frame something as at least arguably win-win for the other guy, I generally wouldn't let you sell it with Diplomacy.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:32 AM   #29
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

The deciding factor won't be the degree to which any social interaction-affecting thing is natural or un-natural it'll be whether or not it's undesirable, coercive or just annoying.

For example, un-moderated human-to-human major financial transactions are probably exceedingly rare in the TS world. You can already get all sorts of computer-based assistance in the buying of cars, homes or even just the booking of trips and accommodations. TS people will indeed be minimizing financial predators ability to use memetic techniques (old-style or new style)on them.

I think it's canon that you can already face criminal prosecution and civil liability for improper use of memetics. Even today many ...let's call them "aggressive" uses of proto-memetics can result in fraud charges and lawsuits. So the idea that the use of pheromones or airborne nanodrugs would go unregulated is unlikely.

It's one of the TS settings thematic underpinnings that it isn't the "Wild West" for _anything_ on Earth and its' closer suburbs. You've got to go farther out for that sort of thing. Cyberprep v. cyberpunk.

There may be distinctions based on degree of effectiveness. Fast Talk at 12 and conventional cologne may be in the same categories. a nanodrug that didn't do much and/or work very often might be similarly unregulated. Someone who'd managed to get his Fat talk up to 20 might find his use of it quite regulated. It might even need to be a Secret and used with appropriate caution.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:43 AM   #30
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

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Actually quite a lot of them do outlaw Fast-talk. Laws against fraud often do include deals where both parties didn't correctly understand the terms. Admittedly it can be tough to prove you were clueless, and most people are reluctant to go to court to prove beyond a reasonable doubt they were idiots, so cases rarely go to trial unless you fast-talked a child or somebody else who is already legally incompetent (and hence already "enjoys" the legal presumption of being an idiot). But still you often theoretically could sue somebody for fast talking you.

I suppose they'd apply to Diplomacy too, but I usually wouldn't let you attempt Diplomacy to convince people of stuff that has *no* upsides for them. If you can't frame something as at least arguably win-win for the other guy, I generally wouldn't let you sell it with Diplomacy.
Not all fraud is Fast-Talk and not all Fast-Talk is fraud. But the point of diplomacy is to make the target accept a deal where the upside for the target is less good and/or the upside for the Diplomancer is more good than the target would accept if the target's better judgement wasn't compromised.

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Someone who'd managed to get his Fat talk up to 20 might find his use of it quite regulated. It might even need to be a Secret and used with appropriate caution.
Whoa, that's . . . borderline dystopian-sounding. You need licensing for casually talking!
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