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Old 08-21-2021, 08:15 AM   #21
Plane
 
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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Originally Posted by transmetahuman View Post
Unless the uncontrolled ability can't respond to changes in the situation any faster than the character would be able to.
You're still doubling your output plus it's unstunnable.

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Originally Posted by transmetahuman View Post
An Uncontrollable ability might be many things - subconscious impulses, sure, but it might be a possessing demon, or a curse.
Which sounds a lot like Compartmentalized Mind that's Unconscious Only.

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Originally Posted by transmetahuman View Post
If the ability has the Spirit PM, it might be a completely separate, free-floating spirit doing mischief - obviously that wouldn't affect the character's own ability to do stuff.
possessing spirits sometimes cause people to go into trances, using a maneuver could be like a brief semi-trance

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Originally Posted by transmetahuman View Post
It could be an energy beam that fires from the character's hand(s), in which case it wouldn't attack an obvious foe unless the character just happened to have his hand pointed that way - not likely.
If we're thinking a Cyclops-type "hits whoever I look at" then that'd probably be even worse than Uncontrollable due to not prioritizing enemies.

(I think in his case the will roll is to shut his eyes?)

He probably has some kind of Blind / Not Blind where "Not Blind" is an alternative ability to his attack, which is how he switches it off...

That or "I can shut my eyes to prevent attacking people" is a free benefit of Uncontrollable "Gaze" attacks?

Basically "it has to get through my eyelids" would prevent it from working since your power can't harm yourself...

To stop your hand-blasts from attacking people should requiring grappling it with your other hand though.

Last edited by Plane; 08-21-2021 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 08-21-2021, 11:25 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Nothing in the entry for Uncontrollable on p116 of the 4e Basic Set indicates that to me. The GM is in control of the ability, but I don't see anything in that entry that says the GM takes over the entire character. That doesn't mean that I can't be mistaken, though, nor that something elsewhere might say that, so please quote what you saw that gave you that idea, or at least tell us the book and page.
One thing that the editors of the GURPS line have hammered home again and again in their answers is that the general rules apply unless they are specifically called out as altered. If the description of Warp, for example, doesn’t say that it comes with an extra maneuver, it doesn’t. If a Limitation like Uncontrollable doesn’t say, the Power or Advantage to which this Limitation has two Maneuvers of its own for use while the underlying Power or Advantage is Uncontrolled, it doesn’t.

That being the case, and the character presumably not having additional independent maneuvers, the Uncontrolled Power or Advantage must be making use of the only source of Maneuvers available to it, those of the character that the Uncontrolled Power or Uncontrolled Advantage belongs to. If Uncontrollable is using the two Maneuvers per turn that every character gets, then the player doesn't have them available for his use and choice. Note that I did allow an exception if the character has additional independent Maneuvers available. In that case, the player gets to use them and the GM only uses the two everyman Maneuvers, but not every character has extra independent Maneuvers. Leaving Free Actions as still available to the character.

Granted Free Actions are a bit more of a stretch. I could easily see a character using speech as a Free Action to warn his comrades (and maybe even his enemies) that he’s no longer able to control himself, but I don’t think it’s in the spirit of Uncontrolled for the character to be able to counter Uncontrollable by his Free Actions, other than the Will roll provided for in the Limitation so the player should probably run proposed Free Actions past the GM for approval until a Will roll is made. Which isn't quite the GM taking over the entire character, but it does seem like it comes pretty close.

I don’t think that the rules support giving Uncontrollable its own maneuvers. All that said, it’s your game and you can interpret or change the rules as you see fit.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 08-21-2021 at 12:22 PM. Reason: added provision about Will roll as a Free Action
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Old 08-21-2021, 11:42 AM   #23
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
One thing that the editors of the GURPS line have hammered home again and again in their answers is that the general rules apply unless they are specifically called out as altered. If the description of Warp, for example, doesnít say that it comes with an extra maneuver, it doesnít. If a Limitation like Un controllable doesnít say, the Power or Advantage to which this Limitation has two Maneuvers of its own for use while the underlying Power or Advantage is Uncontrolled, it doesnít.
True, but the player makes the choice to do a maneuver.

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Granted Free Actions are a bit more of a stretch. I could easily see a character using speech as a Free Action to warn his comrades (and maybe even his enemies) that heís no longer able to control himself, but I donít think itís in the spirit of Uncontrolled for the character to be able to counter Uncontrollable by his Free Actions, so the player should probably run proposed Free Actions past the GM for approval until a Will roll is made. Which isn't quite the GM taking over the entire character, but it does seem like it comes pretty close.
I think at the point where all you are in control of is free actions it is effectively a GM character / NPC.

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I donít think that the rules support giving Uncontrollable its own maneuvers. All that said, itís your game and you can interpret or change the rules as you see fit.
The biggest problem I have is I do see merit in the case you are putting forward.
Uncontrollable says the GM controls the power not the character, that means the player must be able to have meaningful control of character in other regards. Otherwise they'd just say GM takes control of the character.
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Old 08-21-2021, 12:12 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
True, but the player makes the choice to do a maneuver.


I think at the point where all you are in control of is free actions it is effectively a GM character / NPC.


The biggest problem I have is I do see merit in the case you are putting forward.
Uncontrollable says the GM controls the power not the character, that means the player must be able to have meaningful control of character in other regards. Otherwise they'd just say GM takes control of the character.
Yes and no. The GM controls the power, but if the Power requires either a particular Maneuver or a limited set of Maneuvers in order to operate, then that choice belongs to the GM and not the player as it is part and parcel of controlling the Power. If the choice of Maneuver remained with the player, then the player could choose a Maneuver outside those allowed to the Power, thus preventing the use of the Power, which flies in the face of the Power being controlled by the GM.

Yes, while the Uncontrolled Power is in use, the character is effectively a NPC under the GM's control (again assuming that the character has only the two everyman Maneuvers per turn). That's rather the point of the Uncontrollable Limitation, which is a limitation on the Power.

Still, the player does always have the ability to make a Will roll as a Free Action to bring the Power back under his control, and with it control of the character.
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Old 08-21-2021, 05:25 PM   #25
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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However, do you have an opinion on if it should prevent free action or does it limit the player's maneuvers?
I'd treat the ability as an independent entity when it's not controlled. The ability activates itself, and effectively acts like it has a mind of its own*. The character can take Move Maneuvers to run away while the ability is doing whatever it feels like (smashing things around it if it's a damage ability -- or not, if that somehow works out to be more "prankish or hostile").

If the concept did call for using up the character's actions, I'd probably start by trying a build with Backlash that inflicts Berserk, or some other appropriate Disad, like Obsession, Fanaticism, etc, that details what the character is supposed to be doing while they're out of control.

I agree with Prince Charon that the classic poltergeist is the conceptual model for Uncontrollable. The character remains active and aware, and can still do things while the ability is wreaking its havoc.

--
* Merely "effectively", because if I just said "it has a mind of its own", someone will inevitably ask if you can (frex) Mind Control or Sleep the uncontrolled entity separately from the character. I wouldn't make them that separate, which means being able to put the rogue ability down if you put the main character down. So by default it's not quite a Compartmentalized Mind (X ability only, controlled by GM) or sort-of Possession or Ally.
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Old 08-21-2021, 06:52 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

Anyone feel like PMing Kromm to ask for an official ruling?
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Old 08-21-2021, 07:58 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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Anyone feel like PMing Kromm to ask for an official ruling?
He's on vacation right now and we need to not bother him so he can get some much needed rest.
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Old 08-21-2021, 08:13 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
Uncontrollable says the GM controls the power not the character, that means the player must be able to have meaningful control of character in other regards. Otherwise they'd just say GM takes control of the character.
One interesting thing to compare here might be someone who succumbs to Berserk (which might for example include Temporary Disadvantage: Berserk)

RPing a Berserk char still gives you some control over what they do, but limits the maneuver choice.

B124 for example forces you to take All-Out Attack, but it's player's option which foe you attack if BOTH are in range, and whether you take a Strong/Determined/Double option.

This also applies to someone suffering from Stun: you still control the character but are forced to take a "Do Nothing" maneuver.

So about the only thing you can opt to do is an active defense (at -4) but you still get that choice.

Being forced to take Attack or Ready maneuvers based on the demands of an Uncontrollable ability would be far less limiting since you can still take a Step of your own volition (not possible with Do Nothing) and your active defenses are unpenalized.

Like Berserk you also get a roll to snap out of a "my subsconscious is causing me to activate my uncontrollable ability" state, except it's Will instead of Self Control.

Compendium 1 (3e) also talked about Uncontrollable in a couple places:
pg 47 (Jumper) "will use his power involuntarily whenever he is in extreme stress"
pg 112 "has a tendency to manifest itself even when it is undesirable or inappropriate. Whenever the GM rules you are in a stressful situation, you must make a Will roll to keep control of your ability even if you did not intend to use it at all!"
Sorta sounds like you're still using it, just subconsciously.

Horror 62 also talks about applying "Uncontrollable" to Alternate Form. Shapeshifting takes a baseline 10 seconds to accomplish: so if Uncontrollable (and be extension Uncontrollable Trigger) actually gave "free maneuvers for ability use" then if the full moon starts turning me into a werewolf I can just go for a full sprint, cast spells while I transform, fire guns as my back erupts in fur against my will, etc...

OTOH if we view that as "you need to take the Readies you would normally take if transforming voluntarily" that much better suits our concept of turning into a werewolf: it's almost like being stunned (except you get 1 step per second and no -4 to defenses, and can retreat) while the ability activates itself.

It's not going to be a forever-stun because you'd regain control of your maneuvers once you passed one of your will rolls.

Also even if you didn't: sometimes the power will just remove the source of the stress. If TK activates in fear because someones' kidnapping you and the TK knocks out the kidnapper then the source of the stress is gone.

There should probably be some kind of bonus to the will rolls to regain control once sources of stress are removed.

Last edited by Plane; 08-21-2021 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 08-21-2021, 08:32 PM   #29
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Compendium 1 (3e) also talked about Uncontrollable in a couple places:
pg 47 (Jumper) "will use his power involuntarily whenever he is in extreme stress"
pg 112 "has a tendency to manifest itself even when it is undesirable or inappropriate. Whenever the GM rules you are in a stressful situation, you must make a Will roll to keep control of your ability even if you did not intend to use it at all!"
Sorta sounds like you're still using it, just subconsciously.
.
That's not the issue. The issue is whether you are paralyzed by pseudo-epileptic seizures while your subconscious is throwing a tantrum or playing a prank.
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Old 08-21-2021, 09:17 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Powers / Psionics] Help with Uncontrollable

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I'd treat the ability as an independent entity when it's not controlled. The ability activates itself, and effectively acts like it has a mind of its own*. The character can take Move Maneuvers to run away while the ability is doing whatever it feels like (smashing things around it if it's a damage ability -- or not, if that somehow works out to be more "prankish or hostile").

If the concept did call for using up the character's actions, I'd probably start by trying a build with Backlash that inflicts Berserk, or some other appropriate Disad, like Obsession, Fanaticism, etc, that details what the character is supposed to be doing while they're out of control.

I agree with Prince Charon that the classic poltergeist is the conceptual model for Uncontrollable. The character remains active and aware, and can still do things while the ability is wreaking its havoc.

--
* Merely "effectively", because if I just said "it has a mind of its own", someone will inevitably ask if you can (frex) Mind Control or Sleep the uncontrolled entity separately from the character. I wouldn't make them that separate, which means being able to put the rogue ability down if you put the main character down. So by default it's not quite a Compartmentalized Mind (X ability only, controlled by GM) or sort-of Possession or Ally.
Thank you. What you said is very helpful & I appreciate it.
What you said pretty much mirrors my base opinion & what Christopher Rice said.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2
That's not the issue. The issue is whether you are paralyzed by pseudo-epileptic seizures while your subconscious is throwing a tantrum or playing a prank.
This eloquently states what the problem is.

However, I can also see the merit of people saying "your power is powerful & now you get 'free' mental attacks for no points".
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