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Old 05-20-2021, 06:32 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

I've been trying to figure out how to build certain abilities in the broad category of "mind control", and I've noticed that while you might think "fire and forget" mind control requires Independent, it's not clear that this is the right call. Independent doesn't mean "maintain Mind Control without concentrating", it means "you can't concentrate to extend the effects of your Mind Control." The actual benefits are as follows:
  • No penalty for multiple targets. This seems like a must if you want a horde of mind-controlled minions, but if you only plan to mind control a handful of enemies at a time, you could just add Reliable +10, Only To Counteract Penalties For Multiple Victims, +25% or something.
  • Victims get no re-roll if you're knocked unconscious. Nice, but kind of situational.
  • A critical failure to control a new minion doesn't cause existing minions to be released. As with the first benefit, how useful this is mainly depends on how many people you hope to have mind-controlled at one time.
Looking at these benefits, it looks like Independent is arguably a must if you plan to combine Mind Control with Area Effect, especially multiple levels of Area Effect, but is a poor deal otherwise. If your only goal is to be able to dominate victims for extended periods without taking Concentrate maneuvers, Extended Duration x30, +60% is cheaper and longer lasting in most situations (unless you get knocked unconscious). That looks like the right way to build "fire-and-forget" effects. Or am I missing something?

Last edited by Michael Thayne; 05-22-2021 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 05-21-2021, 09:00 AM   #2
Not another shrubbery
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

The *main* benefit is the elimination of the penalty per controlled target after the first. As you inferred, that makes the enhancement attractive to controlling characters that plan to take advantage of that and use the power on multiple targets. Duration is not a concern specific to Independent, as being able to extend the duration by taking repeated Concentration maneuvers is inherently limiting. Extended Duration will be just as attractive to someone with Independent as to someone with vanilla MC. Perhaps more so, since managing multiple targets might consume more time.

I would not allow Reliable to buy off the per victim penalty. I am notably reluctant to allow many canonical uses for that enhancement, but I note that PK specifically ruled it out in Psionic Powers. That should take something like a Cosmic, which might account for the cost of Independent.
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Old 05-21-2021, 10:11 AM   #3
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
I would not allow Reliable to buy off the per victim penalty. I am notably reluctant to allow many canonical uses for that enhancement, but I note that PK specifically ruled it out in Psionic Powers. That should take something like a Cosmic, which might account for the cost of Independent.
As a general rule I would be sceptical of any limitations applied to Reliable, it is already a very cheap way of getting a bonus to rolls for an advantage.
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Old 05-21-2021, 01:33 PM   #4
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

I think the interpretation in the OP matches the text as its written.

If you wanted to make the price of Independent more worthwhile, you might treat MC without it as Reprogrammable with Slave Mentality (that is, exactly following the orders given and only those orders), while if you also have Independent, your victim will also act on their own initiative according to the spirit of your orders and intent (as best they understand it) even when you're not actively ordering them around.

(The base Advantage says that you treat the target as if they were Reprogrammable, but it doesn't specify which flavor.)
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Old 05-21-2021, 09:49 PM   #5
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
The *main* benefit is the elimination of the penalty per controlled target after the first. As you inferred, that makes the enhancement attractive to controlling characters that plan to take advantage of that and use the power on multiple targets. Duration is not a concern specific to Independent, as being able to extend the duration by taking repeated Concentration maneuvers is inherently limiting. Extended Duration will be just as attractive to someone with Independent as to someone with vanilla MC. Perhaps more so, since managing multiple targets might consume more time.

I would not allow Reliable to buy off the per victim penalty. I am notably reluctant to allow many canonical uses for that enhancement, but I note that PK specifically ruled it out in Psionic Powers. That should take something like a Cosmic, which might account for the cost of Independent.
Even without limiting Reliable, Reliable +10 is only +50% and is as good or better as Independent as long as you have no more than ten victims at once. Also, I have Psionic Powers, but I don't remember where PK ruled out that use of Reliable—or did he mention it in "designers notes" type comments somewhere?

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Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
As a general rule I would be sceptical of any limitations applied to Reliable, it is already a very cheap way of getting a bonus to rolls for an advantage.
We have canonical builds like that, including from PK himself, specifically in the build for Lay on Hands (Enhanced) in Divine Favor.
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Old 05-22-2021, 12:57 PM   #6
Plane
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Victims get no re-roll if you're not unconscious. Nice, but kind of situational.
Do you recall where it says unconsciousness still ends the Independent +70% version of MC ?

All I'm seeing on P61 is "incapacitating you changes nothing" which makes me wonder if it'd even continue not just after getting KO'd but even after death.
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Old 05-22-2021, 06:19 PM   #7
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Do you recall where it says unconsciousness still ends the Independent +70% version of MC ?

All I'm seeing on P61 is "incapacitating you changes nothing" which makes me wonder if it'd even continue not just after getting KO'd but even after death.
Whoops, meant to say "knocked", not "not".
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Old 05-23-2021, 10:12 AM   #8
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I think the interpretation in the OP matches the text as its written.

If you wanted to make the price of Independent more worthwhile, you might treat MC without it as Reprogrammable with Slave Mentality (that is, exactly following the orders given and only those orders), while if you also have Independent, your victim will also act on their own initiative according to the spirit of your orders and intent (as best they understand it) even when you're not actively ordering them around.

(The base Advantage says that you treat the target as if they were Reprogrammable, but it doesn't specify which flavor.)
Reprogrammable's flavor depends on whether you also have slave mentality right? So by default I'd assume it's the version that isn't based on that unless using it on something with slave mentality. Thus a mind controlled target may interpret orders within either the letter or the spirit, their choice, unless they have slave mentality, in which case they must follow the letter slavishly.
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Old 05-23-2021, 11:12 AM   #9
Plane
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
If you wanted to make the price of Independent more worthwhile, you might treat MC without it as Reprogrammable with Slave Mentality (that is, exactly following the orders given and only those orders)
You mean without giving the Puppet -40% discount (B69) or just making it mandatory to take that limitation wit the Independent enhancement so that it's a net +30% package?

B154's automatic failure of Will rolls to assert self actually seems like a big plus for maintaining normal Mind Control... doesn't this basically mean you're also at no risk of them breaking free when they're doing things contrary to their morals or if you're incapacitated?

If this were a limitation you could switch on and off it'd be pretty beneficial... a limited enhancement like No Memory +10% applying Puppet -40% would make it only +6%, and then to switch NM on and off would be Selectivity +5%, so a total of +11% if you could mind control normally (they remember) or opt to put them in amnesiac-slave-mode.

That kind of trick also seems like a cheap workaround for Conditioning Only if that imparts conditioning as an option (or does the -50% cancel out the +50% so it's like a 0% feature?) since +10% -50% = +5%, +5% selectivity is only +10% which is cheaper than +50%...

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Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
Reprogrammable's flavor depends on whether you also have slave mentality right? So by default I'd assume it's the version that isn't based on that unless using it on something with slave mentality.
It's definitely assumed they don't work like Slave Mentality since it's the -40% Puppet limitation on Mind Control (B69) if you impart that in addition to imparting Reprogrammable.

I'm actually wondering if we could maybe divorce these aspects from Mind Control and instead use Affliction to impart those disadvantages whereas Mind Control is more the aspect of "I am able to program someone with the Reprogrammable disadvantage" so it could be cheaper to use on someone who already has that.

Affliction could probably also emulate Conditioning too though that's be trickier since you can do a slew of different mental disadvantages, so you'd either need to define a limited number or else use something like Modular Abilities (build difference Afflictions on the fly) or Variable Enhancements on Affliction.
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Old 05-23-2021, 02:15 PM   #10
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Is Independent on Mind Control worth it?

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Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
Reprogrammable's flavor depends on whether you also have slave mentality right?
Yes. Normally, those are the different results you'd get depending on the target. To make that +70% for Independent worthwhile, I was suggesting treating the targets behavior similarly, but depending on whether your MC had Independent, rather than whether the target had Slave Mentality.

A strict means to the same end would be adding a Linked Affliction of SM or "No SM" with Accessibilities depending on the target's possibly existing SM to always deprive the targets of creativity or make sure they always had it, as the case might be. But that's pretty clumsy. Since you'd presumably normally want your MC victims to be able to independently initiate activity to help you out, that might be a houserule way to interpret Independent; it costs some more points, but you always get a subject independently doing their best to help you.

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
You mean without giving the Puppet -40% discount (B69)
Sort of, but the other way around. Puppet makes sure the target always has SM for the purposes of following the MC, a Limitation for the MCer. I was suggesting having Independent be the opposite, an Enhancement that ensures the target does not have SM with respect to your MC, so they help you on their own.

Sticking to the more strictly RAW Linked Affliction version, you might use Puppet to get a consistent base case and save some points to apply to the Affliction of "No SM" to remove it for all, rather than fuss with opposed Accessibilities to Limit the Affliction of "No SM" only to those that had SM, while also requiring that Affliction of SM to all targets (like Puppet), though you could squeeze to a tiny amount of CP by also using Accessibility to limit the Affliction of SM only to those that didn't already have it. Clumsy, as I said, if strictly legal. But possibly worth doing as an exercise just for price comparison if you were also contemplating changing the Enhancement value for Independent. (Or adding a new Enhancement to that end, though I like the name "Independent" for referring to that independence of target action, whereas the utility of the current Enhancement just for controlling many targets as noted by the OP would probably be better with a name like "Mass Control".)

The tortuous nature of the conversations shows why you might rather just reinvent the existing modifiers rather than trying to build the effects out of existing ones, even though that's possible. Since it's all a houserule anyway, you might just note the end effects you want the ability to have directly.
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