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Old 03-02-2017, 10:42 AM   #41
Anthony
 
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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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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
There's always Charisma for the non-obvious one (which also happens to have a game-mechanical effect worth mentioning). Voice is probably not quite obvious too (it's probably easy to notice that a voice is 'not bad', but it's much harder to identify when it's good enough for a +2 bonus in everyday speech as opposed to singing).
Both advantages probably don't actually exist, though if you added subliminal messaging to your voice it would be illegal in some jurisdictions (subliminals probably don't actually work, mind you).
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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Food scents seem to belong to the 'obvious' group. So if they're regulated because of their persuasive effects (I'm not an FDA legislator/lawyer/etc.), that at least seems to cast doubt on the hypothesis that the obviousness-vs-subtlety is the major factor here.
They're generally regulated on grounds of air quality, but enforcing air quality laws on scents many people find pleasant implies a secondary concern. In any case, laws are generally required to have two properties:
  1. A reasonable person would be aware that they were violating the law (and would have the ability to stop doing so).
  2. The violation is something provable in a court of law.
Using designer pheromones (either from a bottle, or because parahuman) clearly fits both constraints. Voice or Charisma likely doesn't (some specific methods of achieving those advantages might be illegal).
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:57 AM   #42
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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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They're generally regulated on grounds of air quality, but enforcing air quality laws on scents many people find pleasant implies a secondary concern. In any case, laws are generally required to have two properties:
  1. A reasonable person would be aware that they were violating the law (and would have the ability to stop doing so).
  2. The violation is something provable in a court of law.
Using designer pheromones (either from a bottle, or because parahuman) clearly fits both constraints. Voice or Charisma likely doesn't (some specific methods of achieving those advantages might be illegal).
Why would a society ruled by Guardians have laws that restrict them? This whole thing is nonsensical. The designers of the Guardian are canonically some of the worst outlaws in the setting; Mara Omakage didn't care if someone in the EU, US or PRC sued her because they were at war with them and had nothing but contempt for conventional legal systems besides. After the war they don't care if someone sues them because they are the freaking Martian Triads. If they were successfully arrested the extensive war crimes and capital criminal offenses would have priority.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:50 PM   #43
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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 a society ruled by Guardians have laws that restrict them?
The Guardians would, of course, have additional rules exempting them, much like the secret police in typical dictatorships are allowed kill and torture people. I didn't think we were solely talking about one single society, though.
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Old 03-02-2017, 02:50 PM   #44
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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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The Guardians would, of course, have additional rules exempting them, much like the secret police in typical dictatorships are allowed kill and torture people. I didn't think we were solely talking about one single society, though.
The intent of the Guardian was to be the ruling caste in an engineered society according to the description. Presumably that society would have institutions supporting the ruling caste.
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:19 AM   #45
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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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Both advantages probably don't actually exist, though if you added subliminal messaging to your voice it would be illegal in some jurisdictions (subliminals probably don't actually work, mind you).
First, I must say that postulating that 'differences in how attractive, charismatic, pleasant-sounding etc. people are do not exist' seems to be an extraordinary statement, and even if proven true (I have no idea how that is possible) will make many discussions including this one meaningless.

Second, much of the 'should/will these things become lawyered out of existence' (i.e. whether they are a violation) depends heavily on whether they are indeed closer to "like a pleasant voice" (or like modern chocolate shower gels and pheromone perfumes, only TL9-TL10) or "like subliminal messages" (but actually working).

The local forum consensus seems to assume they're like the latter, but the texts seem to be written from a more neutral PoV. In fact, THS says that an aerosol that afflicts down to -10 points of Disadvantages is still a CR4 item, which seems to imply that they aren't considered all that bad.
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:13 AM   #46
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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.
Even if the whole meme is impossible, I could see a moral panic getting them outlawed.

In fact, moral panics are great toxic memes for memetic warfare.

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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.
Or getting out of bed in the morning.

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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.
I've been reading some Medieval English History lately and remember Shakespeare and Chaucer, so I think foolish pride will win out in the end.
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:50 AM   #47
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Default Re: Parahumans: What types do you think the canon needs, what type would you like to

I also doubt that the Bioweapons Directorate cared much about moral panics, or morals, or panics, except as they could be weaponized, when they designed the Guardian.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:39 AM   #48
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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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First, I must say that postulating that 'differences in how attractive, charismatic, pleasant-sounding etc. people are do not exist' seems to be an extraordinary statement
Differences exist, but not on the scale of the GURPS advantages.
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Second, much of the 'should/will these things become lawyered out of existence' (i.e. whether they are a violation) depends heavily on whether they are indeed closer to "like a pleasant voice" (or like modern chocolate shower gels and pheromone perfumes, only TL9-TL10) or "like subliminal messages" (but actually working).
Any bonus that's more than a situational +1 is like the latter.
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:11 AM   #49
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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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Differences exist, but not on the scale of the GURPS advantages.

Any bonus that's more than a situational +1 is like the latter.
If we remove differences on the scale of GURPS traits, then we can no longer meaningfully game-mechanically distinguish the talker from the average joe. If we accept that postulate, then we'll effectively be discussing something very non-GURPS in a context of trying to evaluate traits of GURPS, at which point I have to ask why even look at GURPS traits if we're trying to use them in unGURPSy ways?
And if we don't accept that postulate, then you run into the situation that anyone with a modicum of charisma is a powerful willbender. Which is something that I'm willing to accept, but in that case the ship of will-bending has already sailed.
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:58 AM   #50
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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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If we remove differences on the scale of GURPS traits, then we can no longer meaningfully game-mechanically distinguish the talker from the average joe.
The talker has actual skills (fast talk, diplomacy, etc). If you delete the concept of a reaction roll (there are only reaction skills) charisma becomes less silly.
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