Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-02-2014, 08:21 AM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

Three skills together, because they deal with the same subject, trance states, and are somewhat intertwined.

Autohypnosis appears to be useful, once you read the details, for anyone who does Research or any kind of craft skill. At about Will 13, 4 points in this, allowing you to get a +2 to any of your IQ skills on a success for less than 10 seconds of concentration, seems like amazingly good value. It isn't completely clear how much you can respond to your environment, which may limit it.

Autohypnosis may not be appropriate to all settings. DF confines it to characters with Chi Mastery, and Madness Dossier has it as an important skill for Chervals. Low-Tech Companion 1 has some alternative ways of getting the same effects.

Hypnotism lets you put someone else into a trance, which makes them suggestible, and acts as anaesthesia. It's also a prerequisite for several esoteric skills, such as Hypnotic Hands and Invisibility Art. Psis p8 reckons Hypnotism can give a subject the same bonuses as Autohypnosis, which seems reasonable, and has a lot else that it can do for psis. Madness Dossier has a lot of material about Hypnotism in the context of Anunnaki control programming. Space points out that Hypnotism possibly ought to be specialised by species. Powers has several suggestions for mind control powers based on hypnosis. Hypnotism is a medical skill, included in relevant talents, and Horror has some therapeutic applications for it.

Meditation is a bit different from Autohypnosis: it is specifically about calmness of mind and body. It is used for prayer, and to consult one's sense of, and/or training in, morality. It also provides defaults for Autohypnosis and Mind Block, and is a prerequisite for Body Control and Zen Archery/Marksmanship. While the basic calming effect could imaginably be part of Autohypnosis, I suspect that it isn't because they come from different real-world traditions, and because that would make Autohypnosis too large and attractive a bundle.

It also seems likely that different schools of Meditation in the same setting may have significantly different teachings. The Meditation of Madness Dossier, for example, probably isn't the same, within the character's mind, as that used with Chinese Elemental Powers. Psi-Tech provides rules for use of Meditation with sensory deprivation. Fantasy has meditative magic rules and Thaumatology has meditative enchantment. Meditation is also an important part of many Martial Arts styles, although it doesn't seem to get used that much in play, and of many possible Powers abilities. It can be used to remove Corruption in Horror, and to access Mystic abilities in Banestorm. LTC1 has material on realistic methods of inducing a deep trance.

The Autotrance perk lets you enter a trance on a Will roll, but this trance seems to be specific to contacting spirits. Again, a bonus to contacting spirits is something that imaginably could be part of Autohypnosis, but isn't, possibly for traditional reasons.

The working of these skills on or for Digital Minds is clearly a setting-design issue. Changing Times is silent on the matter, but I suspect they wouldn't work on THS *AIs, although they would on uploads.

I don't think I've ever used these skills in a game, as GM or player, although now I'm thinking about ways to introduce Autohypnosis. What have you done with them?

Last edited by johndallman; 11-14-2015 at 07:36 AM. Reason: fix typo
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 09:32 AM   #2
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

Autohypnosis certainly looks like very good value for anything except surprise situations; apart from research and craft skills, there's that bonus to Will (resisting interrogation and mental magic), and being able to keep going when low on fatigue or hit points. It doesn't have any intrinsic cinematic prerequisites (such as Trained by a Master). And while I've never seen a character with Epilepsy, there's a useful benefit there too.

The only character in my files with Autohypnosis is a Golden Child from Madness Dossier, who has it on the template. Hypnotism is in all the Madness Dossier templates, but apart from that it's not in my files. Meditation's another matter; it shows up on one of the psis from Age of Aquarius, the spirit medium from Irresponsible and Right, and a martial artist from Tempt Not the Stars. (It's also on a TS AI character of my own, but there it's really a colour skill; that particular AI considers itself a Buddhist.)

I suspect that the Visualisation ability on the AI templates in Transhuman Space is an appropriate substitute for Autohypnosis. The abilities do seem to have a fair bit of overlap, especially when one considers how Visualisation differs from simply taking lots of Extra Time.
RogerBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 10:25 AM   #3
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

Transhuman Space Martial Arts describes Hypnosis on AIs and uploads.

I have used and seen Meditation the most, then Autohypnosis and rarely Hypnosis.
Meditation for most martial artists and many magic workers.
Autohypnosis for a few spies, but mostly mages and spirit workers especially. Also a couple of Supers.
Hypnosis for real world stage magicians, a therapist, some bad guys and those using Hypnotic Hands.

I agree that Autohypnosis is a really good deal in many cases and Meditation is often as well.
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

I find Hypnosis as a prerequisite for those chi-based skills really awkward, as the cultures to which they're native don't seem to have the concept of Hypnosis.

Bill Stoddard
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 10:57 AM   #5
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I find Hypnosis as a prerequisite for those chi-based skills really awkward, as the cultures to which they're native don't seem to have the concept of Hypnosis.
That is a problem. Do they have other concepts that could be used?
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 11:51 AM   #6
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
That is a problem. Do they have other concepts that could be used?
Well, in Tapestry, for ghouls, I've substituted Sleight of Hand, for Hypnotic Hands, and Blind Fighting, for Invisibility Art. The latter's a bit of a stretch, but at least not culturally alien; it makes sense to me for ninja to know how to fight in the darkness.

Bill Stoddard
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I find Hypnosis as a prerequisite for those chi-based skills really awkward, as the cultures to which they're native don't seem to have the concept of Hypnosis.

Bill Stoddard
The perhaps did not have the concept of hypnosis in the old days but have adopted it quite enthusiastically in modern times.

You see it quite a lot in the Naruto anime where it ends up mixed with "chakra" energy and a circular 5 element scheme (though not quite the same ones you use in Chinese Elemental Powers).

I've seen "Mandrake the Magician" style hypnotically induced illusions in many other anime.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 12:12 PM   #8
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

I included all three in Cherry Blossom Rain. Weirdly, nobody ever used Autohypnosis, and I think I forgot about it halfway through the campaign. Meditation, however, was very popular. At least one character needed to meditate like 8 hours a day anyway, so he'd roll and ask me for moral advice. Other people started following suit. I only ever gave moral advice, but people still sought it out like it was common sense.

It also served as the basic skill for a variety of chi-powers I devised. Hypnosis did the same for some offensive powers.

According to the GURPS 3e/4e translation document, Tea Ceremony becomes an optional specialization of Meditation (so, Meditation (Tea Ceremony)), thus I allowed the geisha to assist other people in meditation. That swiftly made tea ceremonies a popular, in-game thing, both for the beautiful description the player would give of the ceremony itself, and the chance each player had to introspect and ponder the events of the game.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 12:20 PM   #9
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The perhaps did not have the concept of hypnosis in the old days but have adopted it quite enthusiastically in modern times.

You see it quite a lot in the Naruto anime where it ends up mixed with "chakra" energy and a circular 5 element scheme (though not quite the same ones you use in Chinese Elemental Powers).

I've seen "Mandrake the Magician" style hypnotically induced illusions in many other anime.
I like Naruto but would not call it a good source for cultural evaluation.
I have wondered why they changed the elements though.
I have used the idea of Ninja towns to inpire mage and warrior guild towns as border forts though.
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 12:26 PM   #10
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Autohypnosis, Hypnotism and Meditation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post

According to the GURPS 3e/4e translation document, Tea Ceremony becomes an optional specialization of Meditation (so, Meditation (Tea Ceremony)), thus I allowed the geisha to assist other people in meditation. That swiftly made tea ceremonies a popular, in-game thing, both for the beautiful description the player would give of the ceremony itself, and the chance each player had to introspect and ponder the events of the game.
That is really cool :)
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
autohypnosis, basic, hypnotism, meditation, skill of the week

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.