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Old 10-25-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Mind Control Questions

Originally Posted by JMason View Post
I always thought that was one of the drawbacks of mind control, you had to be clear on what you wanted.
That depends entirely on the flavor of mind control in the setting. On one end of the spectrum, we have something like binding demons, where they traditionally resent the constraint (on top of being Just Plain Evil), and so will actively seek to pervert their instructions and undermine their controller's intent. On the other, we have the sort of telepathic mind control that makes another person just like a limb of your own body. It just does what you want.

In fictional sources, the conditions vary a lot, as different authors invent different restrictions to try to make the power and their stories interesting. In games, those restrictions are generally invented partly by the setting design, and partly at character design time.

The basic GURPS Advantage, Mind Control, is in the middle of that spectrum. The "you just control them" would be Possession. The text of MC cites Reprogrammable, which says

Originally Posted by B150
If you have Slave Mentality (p. 154), you must obey slavishly, and remain strictly within the letter of your masterís commands. If you lack Slave Mentality, you may interpret his orders creatively, as long as you remain within either their letter or spirit (your choice). If you are nonsentient (IQ 0), you have no interest in doing anything but following your programming!
I take "your choice" here to mean a choice at character design time. The text normally refers to when you choose this Disadvantage during character creation. When inflicted upon you by MC, that's a dynamic event. But to me, the Mind Control concept should specify at design time whether it causes victims to follow the letter or spirit of the orders (where the victim even has that choice, thanks to IQ > 0 and no Slave Mentality). The seductive fairy "charm" might cause its victims to be much more willingly compliant than the domineering evil priest "command". "Your choice" probably doesn't mean selection by the victim, or at will by the controller, possibly changing every time the ability is used (though someone can probably come up with a concept where that makes sense).

So, in your games, you can choose to have the MC require the victims to obey only the letter of their instructions, if that's what you want. That's not necessarily a requirement of any ability built on top of Mind Control, though.

It's also worth keeping in mind that there are other ways to get mind-controlling effects. Possession and Afflicting a Duty or Sense of Duty come to mind. So when designing, it's also worth pausing to ask whether Mind Control is really where you want to start.
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