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Old 01-22-2011, 02:39 AM   #1
Belial666
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Default [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

Assume some super with enough tactile telekinesis to lift small buildings. What are the advantages/disadvantages of representing tactile telekinesis as Arm ST with the super-effort and psychokinesis modifiers? Would you do it another way?

The main goal here is that the hero is really strong but also capable of lifting large objects without breaking them apart.
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
Black Rose
 
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

Wouldn't that simply be really high Lifting ST? Or, if you're in a game that is more real-world physics than a "generic" Supers setting, really high Lifting ST with Cosmic (+50%) on it to exempt you from the usual consequences of trying to lift something that out to fall apart under its own weight.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:12 AM   #3
Fnordianslip
 
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

Really, just use whatever Strength you want. In Supers, the reason things don't break when super strong people lift them is genre convention, not type of strength. No need to sweat the details on that one.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:50 AM   #4
vitruvian
 
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by Fnordianslip View Post
Really, just use whatever Strength you want. In Supers, the reason things don't break when super strong people lift them is genre convention, not type of strength. No need to sweat the details on that one.
There are actually a range of options here. Generally, campaigns will fall neatly into either a four color or a more realistic genre, so will either be:

1) All Four Color, so characters with superstrength generally don't need to worry about:
a) Whether large things are structurally sound enough to be lifted or will break apart, either at the point you're grabbing them (e.g., try to lift a car by the bumper and just the bumper comes off) or buckling in the middle somewhere
b) Whether they have the right leverage to lift the thing, either from the point at which they're grabbing it, or from the perspective of what lifting it in any way but vertically from directly below its center of gravity would do to *your* center of gravity and whether you could remain standing (see https://www.wired.com/2016/09/lets-c...ixs-luke-cage/)
c) How collisions and shoving contests with larger objects work out for you, simply using your ST and HP in full for any such calculations - this is also relevant to whether you should be able to throw objects heavier than yourself in a mostly horizontal direction or would just end up throwing yourself backwards
d) Or even whether you're putting too much weight on your supporting surface, such that the floor might buckle or your feet might sink into the ground (although also having a Flight ability is the explanation for many superheroes having this issue)

OR

2) All Realistic, so in the first place human-mass characters with really high ST will probably be rare in the first place, but if any *do* exist, they're not exempted from any of the physics issues listed above, potentially limiting the applications of their ST score in some ways. One example would be the way that Golden Boy of Wild Cards fame tried to stop a jeep in its tracks, only to get flung away by the collision impact... he had more than enough ST to lift the jeep many times over, but that didn't change his mass relative to the jeep's, so he lost that particular contest (although on the other hand, he was swinging tree trunks at Swarm spawn in later appearances, so either his power didn't adhere to all the laws of physics or he just got really good at applying his ST in ways that didn't run afoul of them).

So, if it's all one way or the other, then it's just a campaign setting to reflect genre conventions... but if you've got some characters for whom it works one way, and others for whom it works the other (e.g., you have Golden Boy and the Superman of Superman III with Richard Pryor, able to freeze a lake and carry the whole thing in the air without it cracking till he drops it), then you need to decide how you handle the differences between characters. It's not just a 0 point Feature, since it has an impact on what characters can successfully do with the same ST score. I see two basic options:

1) The world is basically Four Color, and being limited to using super-high ST scores in ways that follow the laws of physics limits you in certain ways, which can be reflected with Disadvantages, Quirks, or Limitations on your ST. The individual GM will have to decide which is most appropriate and the severity of them, as well as whether 'Subject to Realistic Physics' is one thing or can be split into the four subcomponents I listed above. I personally would be inclined to consider it a small (especially if subdivided) limitation on ST, because it becomes more relevant as the ST goes higher.

2) The world is basically Realistic, and not having to follow the laws of physics in regard to using your ridiculously high ST is advantageous, so should be reflected with Advantages, Perks, or an Enhancement (probably Cosmic) on your ST (although not on other abilities you might buy such as TK). Again, I personally would be inclined to make it either a minor deal, so maybe just a Rules Exemption Perk for each subdivision of the Four Color physics described above, or if the campaign tries to stay resolutely realistic or speculative for the most part , perhaps a Cosmic +50% Uses Four Color Physics Enhancement, that would probably mostly be taken on Super-ST where you're already enhancing your ST quite a bit. (For those who have played Godlike and Wild Talents, this would be similar to the 'No Physics' Extra in Wild Talents or the separate 'No Leverage', 'No Inertia', and 'No Weight' Extras in Godlike)

Last edited by vitruvian; 04-27-2017 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

I tend to use tactile telekinesis as an explanation for Super ST in campaigns where the dials are more action-adventure than four-color - think X-Men (2000) or the MCU rather than Superman (1978).

For some characters - the clone Superboy (Kon-El/Connor Kent), introduced after they killed off Superman - their powers are explicitly this. Other characters may or may not have it as an explanation, but when the dials are turned down from four-color, it's more likely.

However, just because a character has unconscious tactile telekinesis to pull off otherwise impossible lifting and carrying stunts does not necessarily make them a full-fledged telekinetic, though admittedly the potential is there. It all depends on how the player wants to progress with it. Superboy at one point used his tactile telekinesis to blow stuff up. :) Superman, however, when they moved away from the psychokinesis angle never did develop any new stunts.

So, YMMV
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:00 PM   #6
vitruvian
 
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
I tend to use tactile telekinesis as an explanation for Super ST in campaigns where the dials are more action-adventure than four-color - think X-Men (2000) or the MCU rather than Superman (1978).

For some characters - the clone Superboy (Kon-El/Connor Kent), introduced after they killed off Superman - their powers are explicitly this. Other characters may or may not have it as an explanation, but when the dials are turned down from four-color, it's more likely.

However, just because a character has unconscious tactile telekinesis to pull off otherwise impossible lifting and carrying stunts does not necessarily make them a full-fledged telekinetic, though admittedly the potential is there. It all depends on how the player wants to progress with it. Superboy at one point used his tactile telekinesis to blow stuff up. :) Superman, however, when they moved away from the psychokinesis angle never did develop any new stunts.

So, YMMV
Thing is, I don't recall any feats of physical ST in the X-Men movies where you *need* tactile telekinesis as an explanation of why things don't fall apart when someone lifts them. In the MCU, it's debatable, since there are a few instances of characters like Thor and Luke Cage ignoring issues of leverage and relative mass. For the old Christopher Reeve Superman movies, it works quite well as an explanation, but it's only *needed* as an explanation if you don't suppose that's simply how things work in that universe.
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

First, I'll concur with the others and say that it's usually mostly down to genre convention.

However, if you want something to mechanically let you do it in a universe where that sort of thing is frowned upon by the forces of nature, I think I'd go with Area Effect. It essentially gives the TK "infinite hands" which would let you spread the load across the entire base of the building or whatever. It could get amazingly expensive tho.

Or Cosmic, I haven't done the math, but it might get cheaper, especially if you can get away with just the 50% version.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:25 PM   #8
vitruvian
 
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by DeathDaisy View Post
First, I'll concur with the others and say that it's usually mostly down to genre convention.
I agree, it usually is. When there are some characters for whom it works one way, and others for whom it works another, though, it isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathDaisy View Post
However, if you want something to mechanically let you do it in a universe where that sort of thing is frowned upon by the forces of nature, I think I'd go with Area Effect. It essentially gives the TK "infinite hands" which would let you spread the load across the entire base of the building or whatever. It could get amazingly expensive tho.

Or Cosmic, I haven't done the math, but it might get cheaper, especially if you can get away with just the 50% version.
Except nobody was buying TK in the first place, but rather ST. In which case, a +50% Cosmic 'Four Color Physics' should work just fine, but may be excessive. Probably in most cases it's just a handful of Rules Exemption Perks.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by vitruvian View Post
I agree, it usually is. When there are some characters for whom it works one way, and others for whom it works another, though, it isn't.



Except nobody was buying TK in the first place, but rather ST. In which case, a +50% Cosmic 'Four Color Physics' should work just fine, but may be excessive. Probably in most cases it's just a handful of Rules Exemption Perks.
Yeah, sure, perks are fine and good. But if it's too much of an exemption for a perk in that particular setting and/or if the GM/players enjoy detailed mechanics then alternatives might be wanted. If it's otherwise a fairly realistic universe, which I assume if buildings crumble when you try and lift them, then +50% Cosmic feels like cheating, which it is, because that's the whole point of Cosmic.

TK with Melee Range or Touch Only or something could maybe be cheaper than ST, TK is just the gameplay effect, in-universe it can be regular ol' superstrength, or subconscious TK or whatever.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:08 PM   #10
vitruvian
 
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Default Re: [supers] Tactile Telekinesis?

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Originally Posted by DeathDaisy View Post
Yeah, sure, perks are fine and good. But if it's too much of an exemption for a perk in that particular setting and/or if the GM/players enjoy detailed mechanics then alternatives might be wanted. If it's otherwise a fairly realistic universe, which I assume if buildings crumble when you try and lift them, then +50% Cosmic feels like cheating, which it is, because that's the whole point of Cosmic.

TK with Melee Range or Touch Only or something could maybe be cheaper than ST, TK is just the gameplay effect, in-universe it can be regular ol' superstrength, or subconscious TK or whatever.
Sure, but if you do it by buying actual TK in GURPS, then you have to deal with constantly using Concentrate, needing Compartmentalized Mind if you also want to take physical actions, all that stuff. External ST or even Super-ST is a cleaner build, and comparable in expense if you can cover it 'actually' being tactile telekinesis with a few Perks rather than bumping the cost up by +50%.

Alternatively, I suppose you could come up with a custom enhancement for TK making it usable as a 'physical' action not requiring Concentrate, maybe another use of Cosmic, which could then be combined with Melee.
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