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Old 06-29-2015, 02:10 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatural

Greetings, all!

There are different sorts of cinematic traits and options. Some are rather boring, such as negating this or that modifier and/or being allowed to buy it off. Others are quite peculiar, and add genuine new abilities to a character, such as Quick Gadgeteer allowing invention in a matter of minutes with a box of scraps. Or Gizmos allowing to whip out an item one needs. Serendipity. Or Signature Gear making sure that gear returns or is replaced through a conspiracy of coincidence. TbaM opening a bunch of skills such as Pressure Points and Body Control (also purchasable through Perk access). Gunslingers get exotica such as fireball-generating or knockbacking shotgun blasts.

Now, there are some things that qualify. Like Rapier Wit. Or there are some cinematic Techniques in Pyramid:SE that are neither pure penalty-negators nor outright mind control/supernaturalia*, and there are the speechless Influence perks. But it feels like there's some amount of empty space in the GURPS framework for more abilities that are social in nature, not outright mind-hacking/supernatural, not boring penalty buy-offs, but still cinematic. I'm looking primarily for things that open new options of some sort.

Thanks in advance!

* == An example of supernatural/mind-control cinematic ability is the bunch of Musical Influence skills and Persuasion/Captivate/etc. bardic magic.
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Last edited by vicky_molokh; 06-29-2015 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:40 AM   #2
Anders
 
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

The ability to Intimidate things (computers, coffee machines, cars, etc.) into working the way you want them to.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

It's actually pretty cheap in GURPS to break the reaction rolls system so badly it's almost impossible not to get a positive reaction from the grumpiest gate guard.

Charisma, Fashion Sense, Androgynous transcendent good looks, Voice and a level or two of Talent and you're laughing.

If you're after some cinematics, maybe add in Luck, Serendipity and so on, with Limitations that they apply in social situations only?

Or add Cosmic to your Voice. Then maybe your coffee machine will love you, like Anders suggests :)
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

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Originally Posted by Vynticator View Post
It's actually pretty cheap in GURPS to break the reaction rolls system so badly it's almost impossible not to get a positive reaction from the grumpiest gate guard.

Charisma, Fashion Sense, Androgynous transcendent good looks, Voice and a level or two of Talent and you're laughing.
That seems to be missing the point. Not everything high-powered is cinematic and not everything cinematic is high-powered. Leonardo da Vinci was high-powered but not cinematic; same with Hawking. Rugrats are cinematic but very low-powered.

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Originally Posted by Vynticator View Post
If you're after some cinematics, maybe add in Luck, Serendipity and so on, with Limitations that they apply in social situations only?
I suppose I should've written Serendipity in addition to or instead of Gizmo. I.e. it sorta fits, but doesn't seem to have the uniqueness for socials that e.g. Gadgeteer for nerds has.

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Or add Cosmic to your Voice. Then maybe your coffee machine will love you, like Anders suggests :)
I have to agree that the ability to intimidate (or charm, or whatever) things that are normally not susceptible to it is indeed an interesting ability. It's also funny that I missed that idea, because I've seen this very ability discussed in a thread dedicated to the upcoming 3e of Exalted.
Also, GURPS happens to have actual ways of building it, depending on the metaphysics of the setting:
The proper form of Empathy for campaigns where some targets are sentient but Indomitable (either as a trait, or de facto due to belonging to mutually indomitable categories). Medium and other spirit-related traits for campaigns where spirits of items exist. Etc.
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:12 AM   #5
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

Charisma with Area Effect (every party you throw has the most interesting people). Over-amped versions of Body Language, Detect Lies, Lip Reading, Disguise, and Acting. Subliminal use of Gesture. Social Status with No Signature (you're just that regal and noble). Social-aspected Luck advantages. Social Chameleon with Cosmic to help you slum as well as pose. A social Bang! skill. An Aura of mild euphoria. Mind-reading with limitations that make it non-telepathic but instead based on conversational gleaning (sense based, takes time, etc.). Switchable clothing. Your own soundtrack that people only hear in their heads and don't notice overtly. Afflict or remove personal social attributes. Modular Claim to Hospitality. Empathy with lots of enhancements.


Edit: Here's a few more - Allies of various kinds (summonable footmen, crowds of cheering fans, ...), real-time information (could be built in various ways) on who is who (add person-location tracking too), Detect: Advantages/Disadvantages.

Last edited by Donny Brook; 06-29-2015 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

An actual ability to detect lies, as opposed to the Detect Lie skill.

An ability to implant an idea in another person's mind, and have them think it was their idea in the first place (Inception but without the technology, essentially).

Everything that cinematic hypnotists do.

Persuading (heck, just talking to) plants, machine, and other inanimate objects.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

Well, most of the mentioned traits are already there:
  • "An actual ability to detect lies, as opposed to the Detect Lie skill." - somewhat limited Mind Probe or Mind Reading;
  • "An ability to implant an idea in another person's mind" - Mind Control (Conditioning, Suggestion)
  • "Everything that cinematic hypnotists do" - Hypnotism skill.
  • "Persuading (heck, just talking to) plants, machine, and other inanimate objects." - Appropriate Speak With Object and Object Empathy adavantages.

And don't forget Enthrallment and Musical Influence skills.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

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"An actual ability to detect lies, as opposed to the Detect Lie skill." - somewhat limited Mind Probe or Mind Reading;
Or Detect (Lies). Allows you to know pick up on when a lie is uttered, as well as the direction it came from, with Precise, you know the exact location, and with Analysing you know the nature of the lie. Kinda handy since villains are known for twisting the truth.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The ability to know (visualize?) the social structure of a social group or in a given gathering: who's friends with, who has the most influence, who hates who, etc.
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Seeking Cinematic Social abilities *short of* mind control / reading / supernatur

The supernatural levels of Attributes in Mummy: the Resurrection include various interesting effects that, occasionally, might be considered cinematic rather than explicitly supernatural:

Charisma 7: "Impressionable people roll Willpower against your Charisma or suffer from an ecstatic or psychotic episode."
Charisma 8: "Crowds of morals flock around you, and they are like sheep under your guidance."

Appearance 7: "Those who are attracted to you fall into a stupor as if you were their favorite rock star or fantasy celebrity. They must roll Stamina or actually swoon in rapture."

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Greetings, all!

* == An example of supernatural/mind-control cinematic ability is the bunch of Musical Influence skills and Persuasion/Captivate/etc. bardic magic.
Musical Influence just gives up to +3 to Reaction rolls. It's probably a supernatural skill, but it could also just be the (cinematic) skill of playing music that makes people more or less suggestible; e.g. calm music to calm people down.
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