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Old 03-07-2020, 02:09 PM   #1
ericthered
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Default Questionable Power Builds

I'm building some psionic power sets in the 60-80 point range and I'm finding some of the builds have some questionable elements. I could use some more eyes on if the builds are legit. The issues I'm coming across are as follows:
  1. I've currently using Maximum Duration with Possession. The package is centered on mind control, and the specific ability inspired by X-com. The character can turn enemy soldiers against their friends, and direct their actions with a tactical level of precision, but only for a short time. Maximum Duration is for abilities that are "Beneficial" and "Switchable" and "Usually On". I can see Possession fulfilling all of those requirements, but its also an attack. I don't want the character to have long-term control of the subject, but I do want it to be useful in battle. I do feel that the limitation is meaningful: the controller can't take over the guy's life, and has a limit time to do really anything with the new body. As a related note, how do you build a version of mind control that doesn't give the target a chance to break free when the first thing you order him to do is shoot his comrades?
  2. How do you feel about using alternative abilities on the same ability modified in different ways? Obviously its standard procedure for innate attack or affliction, but I feel a little weird about applying it to mind control or precognition. Mind control with conditioning that can be (but doesn't have to be) slow and sure is [95], but buying all three modes as alternative abilities only costs [64]. Which I suppose isn't a huge cost savings, but its substantial, and slow and sure takes 10 minutes and a restrained victim anyways, so the switching cost is negligible. I have a similar issue with Precognition, where its cheaper to separate the active and passive versions.
  3. Lastly, I'm debating using Obscure as a Psychokinesis ability to deflect bullets. The idea is that the psi isn't aiming for any specific bullets, but creating a field that curves off-center projectiles away from them. A really good (or lucky) shot can go right through. Obscure is the advantage that gives other people a penalty to hit you. I just know some people have strong opinions about it being used to change the path of projectiles. Though a mist bank can make it harder to shoot things behind it as well as around it, so the effect isn't entirely unlike the base of obscure. Maybe if I put a limitation on the damage of projectiles it could block. So where do you stand on obscure for bullet-deflection fields?
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Old 03-07-2020, 02:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

I strongly favor alternative abilities, and note that both Sorcery and Divine Favor are pretty much built around it.

Reduced or Maximum Duration seems ok on Mind Control or Possession, I'd want to see the build.

Obscure fits mechanically, not if you go by the fluff but in GURPS you get what you pay for and the fluff is very adjustable, its the mechanics that have real meaning. The fluff is more about how to justify something fitting a concept. If Its based on Mind Control I would probably add the Glamour limitation.
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
I strongly favor alternative abilities, and note that both Sorcery and Divine Favor are pretty much built around it.
Yeah, I really like alternative abilities as well. I'm just conflicted when its multiple versions of the same power. Your reaction does help though.

Quote:
Reduced or Maximum Duration seems ok on Mind Control or Possession, I'd want to see the build.
Right now the "Traitor Maker" Package looks like this:

Quote:
Mind Control (suggestion 5) (Rationalization +20%, cannot influence emmotions -10%, psi -10%) [50]
Posession (No memory -10%, maximum duration 30 seconds -75%, specialized Humans -20%, Telecontrol +50%, psi -10%) [35/5=7]
Mental Surgery (one minute) [33/5 = 7]
Quote:
Obscure fits mechanically, not if you go by the fluff but in GURPS you get what you pay for and the fluff is very adjustable, its the mechanics that have real meaning. The fluff is more about how to justify something fitting a concept. If Its based on Mind Control I would probably add the Glamour limitation.
The Obscure is for a TK character, not a mind controller. I'm looking at making around 10 packages players can pick from quickly, because building 100 points of powers, talents, and supporting skills from scratch is hard, especially on a time crunch. The Bullets are being deflected, so their motion is changed, the TK is just increasing the angle by which they miss his dead center.
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

For 3. you might like a build I used for a probability manipulator:

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DR 5 (Ablative-80%, Probability -10%, Must be able to move -30%,"Hardened"2 +40%, Net -80%) [5]
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Yeah, I really like alternative abilities as well. I'm just conflicted when its multiple versions of the same power. Your reaction does help though.
Well another thing that might help you feel more comfortable. Alternate Abilities came from Alternative Attacks where it was focused n variations of Innnate Attack, so there ya go. But another case is alternative enhancements.
I use them on my Shaman powers builds for Afflictions and its almost like skills as spells cost wise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
The Obscure is for a TK character, not a mind controller. I'm looking at making around 10 packages players can pick from quickly, because building 100 points of powers, talents, and supporting skills from scratch is hard, especially on a time crunch. The Bullets are being deflected, so their motion is changed, the TK is just increasing the angle by which they miss his dead center.
Yeah obscure darkness only makes sense for light here but obscure sand? That could deflect bullets,and if the obscure was something larger, like say a cloud of pebbles? even more reasonable.

But really special effect being that you can use TK to nudge things aside is fitting and seen in a few moves, the TK in Black Lightning did that for instance. And mechanically it works.


Posession (No memory -10%, maximum duration 30 seconds -75%, specialized Humans -20%, Telecontrol +50%, psi -10%) [35/5=7]

That is prefty hefty but one thing makes me ok with it. You cant use it again for five minutes.
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Last edited by Refplace; 03-07-2020 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

I question some of your limitations:

Specialized, humans, -20%

What are the alternatives to humans in this campaign?

Cannot influence emotions?

Mind Control doesn't influence emotions.

And a max duration of 30 seconds in combat is plenty. It is definitely not a -75% limitation. I wouldn't bet on this pawn surviving for seven seconds after he starts shooting his friends in the back.

Just my opinions.
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Old 03-07-2020, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I've currently using Maximum Duration with Possession. The package is centered on mind control, and the specific ability inspired by X-com. The character can turn enemy soldiers against their friends, and direct their actions with a tactical level of precision, but only for a short time. Maximum Duration is for abilities that are "Beneficial" and "Switchable" and "Usually On". I can see Possession fulfilling all of those requirements, but its also an attack. I don't want the character to have long-term control of the subject, but I do want it to be useful in battle. I do feel that the limitation is meaningful: the controller can't take over the guy's life, and has a limit time to do really anything with the new body.
How can you see Possession qualifying as "Beneficial"? ("Usually on" seems a stretch too.)

I'd agree that maximum duration is a meaningful limitation for Possession, but that doesn't mean that the specific Maximum Duration limitation you're using is appropriate.
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:17 PM   #8
ericthered
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post

Posession (No memory -10%, maximum duration 30 seconds -75%, specialized Humans -20%, Telecontrol +50%, psi -10%) [35/5=7]

That is prefty hefty but one thing makes me ok with it. You cant use it again for five minutes.
It occurs to me that possibly after using it the alternatives shouldn't be available for five minutes. I'm not 100% sure about that, but it sounds right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerousThing View Post
I question some of your limitations:

Specialized, humans, -20%
Cannot influence emotions?
Those are actually from the psionic powers book, and the specialized, humans was originally -40%, not -20%. I scaled it back myself already.

Quote:
And a max duration of 30 seconds in combat is plenty. It is definitely not a -75% limitation. I wouldn't bet on this pawn surviving for seven seconds after he starts shooting his friends in the back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
How can you see Possession qualifying as "Beneficial"? ("Usually on" seems a stretch too.)

I'd agree that maximum duration is a meaningful limitation for Possession, but that doesn't mean that the specific Maximum Duration limitation you're using is appropriate.
My thought was that the "Typical" Use of possession is the assumption of bodies, identities, and memories. That's primarily beneficial, especially from the character's point of view: using it to kill someone is usually a waste of points. Assuming someone's body or identity for 30 seconds is of limited utility outside of a fight, while the ability to do it for days at a time is a classic and terrifying horror theme.

The Base advantage actually kills you if you let your host die, so using it to acquire pawns in the midst of combat is a somewhat niche use.

Of course, I just realized that possession requires touch, which means that upgrading it to typical mind-control ranges costs a TON of points.

Anyone have any idea how to make taking control of an enemy soldier for a few seconds cost around [50] points and not give them a chance to break free every single round? (though I suppose I could just embrace the constant rolls to break free and assume the mind controller will have skill advantage most of the time, and that I only wanted a few seconds of control anyways)
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
My thought was that the "Typical" Use of possession is the assumption of bodies, identities, and memories. That's primarily beneficial, especially from the character's point of view: using it to kill someone is usually a waste of points. Assuming someone's body or identity for 30 seconds is of limited utility outside of a fight, while the ability to do it for days at a time is a classic and terrifying horror theme.

The Base advantage actually kills you if you let your host die, so using it to acquire pawns in the midst of combat is a somewhat niche use.

Of course, I just realized that possession requires touch, which means that upgrading it to typical mind-control ranges costs a TON of points.

Anyone have any idea how to make taking control of an enemy soldier for a few seconds cost around [50] points and not give them a chance to break free every single round? (though I suppose I could just embrace the constant rolls to break free and assume the mind controller will have skill advantage most of the time, and that I only wanted a few seconds of control anyways)
...Doesn't "Beneficial" mean beneficial to the target? There isn't a tag for Advantages that are beneficial for the user because if it wasn't beneficial it would be a Disadvantage.

Being possessed is not beneficial even in the case where it's not being used as short-term tactical move.
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Old 03-09-2020, 03:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Questionable Power Builds

Why not just take Mind Control? It's 50 points and lets you control someone that you can touch, or see.
I could see taking the Puppet limitation as well, and since it mentions Extended Duration, you can probably also reduce it, so that control lasts only seconds after you stop concentrating, instead of minutes
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