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Old 05-20-2021, 02:26 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mimicry

Mimicry [10] is an exotic mental advantage which gives you the ability to imitate sounds, including voices, convincingly. It makes the Mimicry skill unnecessary. This advantage first appeared in GURPS Aliens for 3e.

To imitate a simple sound, you need to have heard it before for at least a second, and to have made an IQ roll to commit it to memory. To imitate a voice, you need to have heard it speaking for at least 10 seconds (in person, over a communications link or from a recording), and made an IQ roll to memorise it. Using “Extra Time” from p. B346 seems a plausible way of improving the IQ rolls, and it seems clear that imitating a voice won’t get you far if you can’t speak the relevant language. You can’t use this advantage to produce sounds loud enough to deafen or stun – buy that separately – or to pronounce “impossible” words. Powers has a +50% enhancement, “Voice Library,” which lets you remember any number of sounds or voices: concentrate and roll IQ to recall one. It also clarifies frequency ranges, allows the use of Mimicry skill in place of IQ for this advantage and gives +2 to Acting for impersonation with successful Mimicry.

This advantage isn’t mentioned nearly as often in the GURPS corpus as the skill of the same name. Bio-Tech can engineer it as a species advantage, it’s part of the DF Bard-Song power, and can be granted by the right familiar. Horror uses the advantage, so that victims with good IQ can’t spot identity-stealers imitating voices; Mars Attacks undercover Martians use the same trick. Enhanced Senses has advanced hearing that boosts IQ for this advantage, but Totems and Nature Spirits Tricksters usually have the basic version. Template Toolkit 2’s Body of Sound meta-trait has this advantage, as do Ultra-Tech infiltrator robots.

I suspect this advantage is little-used, never having seen it in action. Have you?
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Old 05-20-2021, 03:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mimicry

I didn't put this on the Reign of Steel infiltrators because as I see it that's not how they work: they aren't the T-1000 listening to someone and then imitating their voice, they're the earlier models, explicitly designed to act (and look) like <i>a specific person</i>. If the zoneminds want to duplicate El Aguila, they make a robot that looks and sounds like El Aguila, not one that can be anybody.

I don't believe I've ever seen this advantage in play.
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Old 05-20-2021, 09:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mimicry

How exactly does this differ from what the Skill does?

It occurs to me that this ability would actually be game-shakingly powerful in a Dresden Files game.
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Old 05-20-2021, 10:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mimicry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inky View Post
How exactly does this differ from what the Skill does?
The skill has three different compulsory specialties for different kinds of sound. And probably needs at least one more, since none of the three can imitate non-animal sounds!

The skill always involves a quick contest if the mimicry needs to deceive people. The Advantage doesn't say anything of the sort - I'd infer that with the Advantage the mimicry is actually perfect (provided you make your rolls) and thus it doesn't matter how well a listener scrutinizes it.
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It occurs to me that this ability would actually be game-shakingly powerful in a Dresden Files game.
...Why?
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Old 05-20-2021, 11:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mimicry

(Oh, I see, thanks, very clear explanation.)

I exaggerated a little, and I've only read one of the books so I may not have the full story. But in that one, a True Name (the kind somebody can use to put a spell on you) was defined as your full name pronounced exactly the way you would say it yourself, which was supposed to be something that somebody else wouldn't be able to just copy without long practice or magic, even if they heard you say it. Wizards didn't usually avoid telling people their full names, for this reason. Just one True Name of another wizard or magical being was a valuable thing to have. I'd imagine that being able to collect up the True Names of anyone you heard saying their names, and they'd never see you coming, would definitely help a young wizard to get ahead.
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Old 05-21-2021, 12:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mimicry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inky View Post
How exactly does this differ from what the Skill does?
The difference seems to be that you don't have to roll to use it. With the skill, you have to roll each time, and the target(s) get an IQ roll to spot that they're being fooled.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mimicry

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
I didn't put this on the Reign of Steel infiltrators because as I see it that's not how they work: they aren't the T-1000 listening to someone and then imitating their voice, they're the earlier models, explicitly designed to act (and look) like <i>a specific person</i>. If the zoneminds want to duplicate El Aguila, they make a robot that looks and sounds like El Aguila, not one that can be anybody.

I don't believe I've ever seen this advantage in play.
i think that on ROS book of 1997 version says that Tarantula exterminator can imitate human voice or replicate them.
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