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Old 05-27-2021, 05:00 PM   #21
Otaku
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

First a disclaimer; I don't own all the books cited and even the ones I do, I may not have read completely or retained what I've read.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
That would definitely be abusive....
I would allow that, in the spirit of the trait, a 2 CP Sense of Duty to the one that healed you, which you acquire by choice, isn't inherently abusive. People often feel indebted to your caregivers, and as long as the character can earn CP at a reasonable pace or you count acting upon their Sense of Duty like "study time" to earn CP to pay down the trait, it can be paid off with a reasonable amount of effort.

The reason I thought it might be okay is

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Aspected (Only in accordance with the Hippocratic Oath, ‑20%)
So I'm assuming someone sincerely feeling grateful, not "Oh, hey! Let me switch your Addiction (Cigarettes) to feeling indebted to myself and enough others to be of equal CP value!"

It is a 15 CP trait, so being able to largely mitigate the party's mental Disadvantages provided there's enough time for counseling, is far too great a bargain. At least, if there's no additional cost such as buying off/down those traits. 15 CP to be a "Natural expert shrink" doesn't seem too outlandish to me. However, once again, I'm very much ignorant of the finer points; are there so many rolls that there is zero advantage to treating someone's mental Disadvantages this way instead of in the mundane manner? The time savings alone is very... super. :)
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Old 05-27-2021, 05:29 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
It is a 15 CP trait, so being able to largely mitigate the party's mental Disadvantages provided there's enough time for counselling, is far too great a bargain. At least, if there's no additional cost such as buying off/down those traits.
If you're doing this to PCs, I'd definitely expect the GM to require the disadvantages be bought down/off. But players are often attached to their characters' mental disadvantages, and won't them mitigated.
Quote:
15 CP to be a "Natural expert shrink" doesn't seem too outlandish to me. However, once again, I'm very much ignorant of the finer points; are there so many rolls that there is zero advantage to treating someone's mental Disadvantages this way instead of in the mundane manner? The time savings alone is very... super. :)
No, there's just one Quick Contest, of IQ vs subject's Will. With informed consent, the subject will hopefully not resist.
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:09 PM   #23
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Mind Control with limitations that required speech was scary enough so that an NPC with it was shot down in cold blood, unarmed and pleading for his life, because the PC had no way of knowing whether they might be trying to Mind Control people.

Well, also for other reasons, but in general, any character who is known to have Mind Control is going to have to deal with a lot of people reacting to their mere presence as someone threatening them with WMDs.
My players had a similar reaction in a game I ran eons ago. They found out he was one of the telepaths who could control people and the shootist in the team put a bullet in the telepath's head. No one objected.

On the other hand I've had PCs with Mind Control do some scary stuff. In my supers campaign, AEON. I had a PC with Mind Control basically "flashy thingie" witnesses to the team's actions so they could remain as covert as possible. That character going dark was the fear of many of the team he was on and for good reason.
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:17 AM   #24
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

When mind control altering mental disadvantages I don't worry about total CP cost of an NPC, unless they're on a PC's sheet in some way... and even then it would take a lot.

I think I've seen somewhere the rule(? statement? principle?) that if you live in a society that can cure a disadvantage you have, your disadvantage should be somehow resistant to the normal methods of curing it. Of course, if you picked up the disadvantage in play, then getting it removed in play is all good.

One house rule I use a lot (including for dreadstormers right now) is that penalties from previous conditioning attempts apply to future ones. I find it makes conditioning a little more strategic and a little more meaningful. I've never run that rule in a game that lasted more than a month of in-game time with an effecting PC though, so that penalty probably eventually fades.

One very interesting aspect of mind control is the delivery method: while people talk about walking up to a fortress and mind controlling all the guards, I've found that in play the mind controller needs to be more cautious than that, and get close to targets.

A lot of mind controllers in fiction have high levels of talent or reliable, or have some setting that lets them automatically succeed against "mooks".
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:46 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
My players had a similar reaction in a game I ran eons ago. They found out he was one of the telepaths who could control people and the shootist in the team put a bullet in the telepath's head. No one objected.
I have run a mage with Enslave and another one with Charm-30 and never had a problem with fellow PCs. Enslave takes 30 FP, so my mage could only cast it ceremonically with the other PCs helping. Charm has a short duration, so is useless to influence several PCs for long.
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Old 05-28-2021, 12:53 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

One thing I think could use some clarifiers is how we apply limitations for close-range mind control.

Standard innate attacks do not have a requirement to be able to see a target: you can fire blindly. So applying -30% melee C to it is reducing you from "ranged blind" to "close blind".

Mind Control however requires seeing or touching: you can't fire blindly. So should Melee C still be worth -30% ? You're only losing the ability to attack people you can see, unlike Innate Attack you're not losing the ability to make attacks against invisible foes.

Since you're losing less, it doesn't seem like it ought to be worth the full -30%.

If I had a melee-based ability (let's say possession) adding Ranged+40% w/ Sight-Based -20% would work out to +20%

So if we're removing that aspect, maybe it should just be -20% instead of -30% ?

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
This advantage does not provide telepathic communication, or anything similar. Buy that separately if you want it.
This still might be worth debating since the requirement of getting Cybernetic Only to work on those with Digital Mind seems to imply it is telepathic, unless Digital Mind only makes you immune to MC (telepathy -10%) [40] and not MC [50]

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Your victim is compelled to act as you tell them, but they use their own capabilities to do so; you donít have control of muscles (that needs Possession), but of motivations. The Reprogrammable disadvantage has the rules on victimsí ability to interpret orders.
B150 doesn't really talk about stuff like language, and B151 mentions:
If you are nonsentient (IQ 0), you have no interest in doing anything but following your programming!
This raises a question of how your master 'programs' you if you can't understand language though... B15 requires that you be sapient (IQ6+) to have language, at best you can have gesture/vocalization and simple commands per B458, but I think even that requires at least IQ 1, so I'm still confused how IQ 0 would work.

How would you even interpret program (even super-literally) at IQ 0? The only thing with IQ 0 that I've seen which can take actions without an external controlling mind is that man-eating plant in GURPS Fantasy.

Linguistic Programming's "a master language understood by all sapient minds" isn't Cosmic-enhanced which seems to imply that faculties of the target don't matter. The sound/hearing is even involved in that case is due to having the Hearing-Based limitation...

LP's implied "I can't use my power if gagged" isn't exactly how I understand Sound-Based to work though...

If however I had Sound-Based on something like Innate Attack (Malediction) the standard IA rules require me to pick a place where my attack comes from: so if I were screaming, "Breath" would make sense, whereas if I'm firing a sound cannon from my hand, it'd be Beam/Bolt.

Mind Control doesn't talk about that but it's probably be a good idea. I'm pretty sure you'd need to if you took "Weaponized" but even for non-Weaponized Mind Control it is appealing.

Like for example if you specify "breath" then you can't MC with your mouth covered, if you specify "gaze" you can't MC with your eyes bound, if you specify jet/bolt then you can't MC with your hands bound.

That might be overly limiting, so if that's not built in then Linguistic Programming deserves additional discounts, since it seems like you can't use it when you're a mute (can't talk) or have your mouth occupied (biting, chewing) which AFAIK aren't standard Mind Control limitations.

PP63's suggestion doesn't for example actually require that you have anything like Telesend accompanying it. P72's Beast Control is same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
If you are forced to stop controlling a victim (knocked out, moved to another plane, etc.) or you try to get a victim to do something against their principles or sense of self-preservation (harm loved ones, kill themselves, etc.) roll another Quick Contest, and if the victim wins, they break free of your control. They may well seek immediate revenge.
Also worth noting that taking active defenses forces a Will-3 check to keep concentrating, regardless of whether your next maneuver is a concentrate or not.

This wasn't in basic set, but the rules for treating Mind Control as if it were spellcasting (this also applies to anything with "Requires Concentration" limit) is from GURPS Powers

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Plausible limitations include Aspected (Only on opposite sex, or only on same sex), Sense-Based and Cybernetic Only (also from Mind Reading).
Sense-Based is one I think is worth dwelling upon, since there is an inherent requirement of EITHER touch or vision to use it, which is akin to Either/Or limitations of Sense-Based, Reversed.

I've seen both Hearing-Based and Sight-Based given -20%, even though I wonder about that.

Hearing-Based AFAIK doesn't explicitly remove the EITHER requirement, so you need to touch+beHeard or see+beHeard.

Super-Hypnotism (also P149) uses Vision-Based (your target must be able to see you) but "eye contact, a touch isn't enough" raises some questions.

This seems to imply eye-to-eye (you must see target, target must see you) so one of the inherent options of Mind Control (touching target instead of seeing them) seems to be removed without giving a reward for that.

Unless of course it requires specifying one of these from the outset, but I get the impression all chars with wild MC can choose either option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I don't think it's something on the metalevel. It's not that players react abnormally badly to the threat of Mind Control, it's that the mere suspicion that someone is capable of Mind Control will realistically cause a very high percentage of people (including almost all the powerful and/or violent ones) to fear and even hate them. Just the chance that someone may be able to Mind Control you means that you can no longer trust your experience, memories or even that you are, in any meaningful way, still you, while that person exists.
DC had some good examples of this, like Batman's distrust of Zatanna in Identity Crisis, or Superboy's distrust of Miss Martian in Young Justice.

- -

One thing worth pointing out about Reprogrammable, since it's tied to Mind Control explicitly, is the vulnerabilities that might exist for it.

M152 for example has it in the Undead templates who also have the Automaton trait.

B250 mentions that Mind Control doesn't work on those with the Automaton trait, because if you have EITHER an IQ of 0 or "no free will" (Automaton) you're not a valid target.

B263 defines that as Low Empathy / No Sense of Humor / Slave Mentality so I guess you need a combination of all 3 traits to be immune to Mind Control? Or is there some zero-point feature not mentioned in the meta-trait which bestows the immunity? "No free will" sounds most like Slave Mentality if I had to choose a single trait out of the three, but I don't know that SM would make you immune to Mind Control spells, if anything I would assume you'd be even MORE vulnerable.

Really only IQ 0 being immune makes sense since there "no mind to control". Having merely "no free will" doesn't really make sense for being immune to MC: that just sounds like you'd be very easy to mind-control, but it might be a waste of FP since you could probably just use Influence Skills for free to get the job done.

The undead templates do not have IQ 0 (skel/zombie are IQ 8) so what I figure is, the purpose of Reprogrammable is so that they can be given orders by their designated master, because they all enjoy the "Indomitable" advantage making them immune to social influence skills.

It seems like if you want to make undead immune to mind control magic, they ought to pay for it like the Demon does (M155) and not get it as a free benefit baked into the Automaton meta-trait. If that's a 30pt benefit then we should add some kind of -30 disadvantage to counterbalance if the price is to be kept at -85 instead of -55

Even making it a cost of IQ 0 things seems good: if you don't want it to cost points then someting akin to "Insensate" or "Nonautonomous" (toolkit 2 races pg 12) could be made -30 instead to balance it out?

Personally I think you gain so many points from buying IQ down that being forced to pay some points for immunity to mind control (even when you have no mind to control) wouldn't be the worst thing, and it would help in keeping 'equipment as allies' competitively priced.
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:59 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

It is in general my assumption that it isn't generally possible to remove disadvantages that cost points permanently using mind editing. The mind of the subject will revert to the mean. This seems firmly based in the source material where it is extremely rare for mind alteration to produce truly permanent changes and when they do, it's rarely for the better.
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Old 05-28-2021, 04:33 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

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Originally Posted by Pomphis View Post
I have run a mage with Enslave and another one with Charm-30 and never had a problem with fellow PCs. Enslave takes 30 FP, so my mage could only cast it ceremonically with the other PCs helping. Charm has a short duration, so is useless to influence several PCs for long.
My players would have probably been very wary of such a character.
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Old 05-29-2021, 03:05 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
My players would have probably been very wary of such a character.
Your players and every GURPS player I know, some extra FP maybe even reduced for casting only, than a small Powerstone maybe not bigger than 5 Points and voila, you get a Slave. After this you just need to recover and wait for the Stone to recharge, even better if your new slave is a mage himself and can use lend energy or similar spells.

IMHO Geas, Great Geas and Slave are real bargain Spells energy wise, considering you have a slaveholding Society every Owner want this cast on his Property. If you count 25$ per FP spent and 30 FP needed for 750$ you get a allways loyal Slave, and since the prize of a slave is around his normal income he had in 5 Years... .
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:15 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mind Control

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Your players and every GURPS player I know, some extra FP maybe even reduced for casting only, than a small Powerstone maybe not bigger than 5 Points and voila, you get a Slave. After this you just need to recover and wait for the Stone to recharge, even better if your new slave is a mage himself and can use lend energy or similar spells.

IMHO Geas, Great Geas and Slave are real bargain Spells energy wise, considering you have a slaveholding Society every Owner want this cast on his Property. If you count 25$ per FP spent and 30 FP needed for 750$ you get a allways loyal Slave, and since the prize of a slave is around his normal income he had in 5 Years... .
For my players it's the loss of agency that's the problem. I don't care how consummate a roleplayer you are it *hurts* when you no longer have control over your character. Depending on the situation and the player it might hurt a little or a lot, but it still hurts. At least that's been my experience.
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