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Old 05-01-2021, 11:53 AM   #21
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

As the name perhaps implies, Medium really seems to be designed for games with a "classical spiritualist" view of spirits, which is to say mostly spirits of the dead, which dwell in a very abstract and vaguely defined "spirit realm" in which distance doesn't mean very much - so if the spirit of Julius Caesar hears you (and hasn't Moved On to a Higher Realm, in which case, forget it), he can reach you if he chooses, even if you are on the Moon. But because spirits are so abstract and vaguely conceived, you can't really go statting them up as characters; they do very little conventional character stuff apart from talking to people.

And even if other spirits exist, such as angels, demons, or elementals, Medium may not even interact with them at all. That's the work of ritual magicians.

It might actually be better to restrict Medium to such settings, where "communication with spirits" is limited to seances performed by weirdo specialists and only achieves limited results. In a cosmology with lots of different spirits running around being stattable characters with Always On Intangible, powers that interact with them would be built in more specific detail.
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Old 05-01-2021, 01:01 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Medium [10] is a supernatural mental advantage. You can detect the presence of, and communicate with, immaterial spirits, including dead people, nature spirits, spirits of places, and so on. This advantage probably dates back to the first edition of GURPS Horror.

[ . . . ]

Has Medium been important in your games?
About a decade ago, in a campaign that died down after a couple of sessions, was my first attempt at playing a kannushi. At the time the mechanics were rather simple, represented by Medium among other things. I recall it coming in handy once, to talk to the spirit of an old abandoned (and possibly haunted?) house where the party had to stay.

In a way this case highlights the important question of what spirits exist in the setting. Because going into hardcore animism can make it more commonly applicable than a setting where only spirits around are the ghosts and those are rare.
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Old 05-01-2021, 01:22 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
How ranges usually work with traits is that the trait says exactly how range works with it. Medium mostly...doesn't. Medium only appears to distinguish two range bands: "nearby"/"in your presence", where you can detect and converse with spirits, and everywhere else.
Yeah, exactly. I'm not sure I'm supposed to interpret it as "within talking distance"/"anywhere ever" but it doesn't sound like that's wrong.

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
As the name perhaps implies, Medium really seems to be designed for games with a "classical spiritualist" view of spirits, which is to say mostly spirits of the dead, which dwell in a very abstract and vaguely defined "spirit realm" in which distance doesn't mean very much - so if the spirit of Julius Caesar hears you (and hasn't Moved On to a Higher Realm, in which case, forget it), he can reach you if he chooses, even if you are on the Moon. But because spirits are so abstract and vaguely conceived, you can't really go statting them up as characters; they do very little conventional character stuff apart from talking to people.
Hmm. That makes it seem like there can be a completely different approach to Medium of "I can gain information in a manner completely unrelated to me and my capabilities" or a very exotic Contact.
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Old 05-01-2021, 02:41 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

has anyone been able to construct medium like it was a metatrait built from other abilities like Detect and Affliction?
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:45 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

Medium seems like a 'plot device' advantage to a large extent. There's very little a PC can do to make it useful, because it's got almost no 'hard' effects. It just provides an opening for the GM to have spirits volunteer useful information.
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Old 05-02-2021, 11:31 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Medium seems like a 'plot device' advantage to a large extent. There's very little a PC can do to make it useful, because it's got almost no 'hard' effects. It just provides an opening for the GM to have spirits volunteer useful information.
Probably works best if you've also bought spirits as allies.

H17's "Visual" enhancement on medium only costs 5 points (50% of 10) compared to the 15 points that See Invisible (Ghosts) would cost and there's some clear overlap...

Perhaps the "while communicating with them" caveat is more limiting than See Invisible? Not sure what the parameters of that would be, like "I need to be hearing them talk" or "they need to be hearing me talk" ?

If we assume that See Invisible has unlimited sight range then inheriting some kind of 'communication range' from medium would explain why Visual would cost less.

Manifestation has a 1-yard range for example, so maybe it's See Invisible with a 1-yard max for +50% ?
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Old 05-02-2021, 04:41 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

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Probably works best if you've also bought spirits as allies.
Would you actually need it if you had a spirit ally? Telling the GM that I have a spirit friend who can't really help me out physically but is an 'exotic face' that can communicate with me sounds like a very competent Ally with Special Abilities, and that might more than make up for the entirety of Medium (which, at triple the cost, makes sense).

Of course, that might require an Unusual Background, which sounds like UB: Medium...
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:04 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

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Would you actually need it if you had a spirit ally?
If they aren't able to verbally communicate with you, then yeah.

Otherwise they'd just silently help you to the best of their ability.

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Telling the GM that I have a spirit friend who can't really help me out physically but is an 'exotic face' that can communicate with me sounds like a very competent Ally with Special Abilities, and that might more than make up for the entirety of Medium (which, at triple the cost, makes sense).
I was thinking that they might do stuff other than communicate
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:01 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

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If they aren't able to verbally communicate with you, then yeah.

Otherwise they'd just silently help you to the best of their ability.



I was thinking that they might do stuff other than communicate
Those both sound like different things that Ally can allow, albeit at likely higher point totals. Also, as a GM, I'm not sure I'd want the player taking a spirit ally that can't communicate with them aside from it being Secret (which I had assumed was a modifier for Ally but looks like it's only on Patron and Enemy).
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Old 05-04-2021, 01:35 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Medium

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Those both sound like different things that Ally can allow, albeit at likely higher point totals.
Allies helping you is pretty much standard I think.

The problem I guess is you can't exactly come to the aid of someone you can't perceive, so it might make sense to obligate someone to take the Minion enhancement so they're not docked CP for not rescuing the invisible ally they don't know about.

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Also, as a GM, I'm not sure I'd want the player taking a spirit ally that can't communicate with them aside from it being Secret (which I had assumed was a modifier for Ally but looks like it's only on Patron and Enemy).
You don't need to communicate with a vehicle if you take that as an ally.

B33's "Secret Advantage" might turn out to be an ally if the GM wanted it to be. If you don't take it as Secret then I think it means the player knows about the ally even if the character doesn't.

To reflect "player knows PC doesn't" situations, someone had suggested to me in a previous thread to take "Delusion: I don't have X advantage" to reflect that, as it's probably otherwise assumed that non-amnesiac characters are aware of all the traits they have.

IE if you have a ghost ally helping you and you think something other than a ghost could explain your good fortune then you have "Delusion: there's no ghost helping me out" perhaps?

That might be quirk-level though because B130 suggests reaction penalties when others notice the delusion, but I can't see anyone thinking badly of you for not believing in your ghost helper which you can't perceive (you can't see invisible) but the observer can (they can see invisible) since that skepticism is pretty standard.

For example if squirrels are actually messengers from God and you have "Delusion: squirrels aren't messengers from God" those who know the Truth of Squirrel probably aren't going to react badly to your skepticism because how could you possible know?
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