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Old 05-09-2007, 09:54 AM   #11
vitruvian
 
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

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Gurps (wisely) does not allow resistible abilities to become irresistible, but each level of reliable gives you a bonus on your roll, and enough can leave you effectively irresistible. It will be expensive, but the ability to know what everyone around you is thinking is powerful!
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Well, I guess the thing is a man of exceptional Will power will beat you. Putting Reliable 10, +50% on it will help overcome most people. And to overcome magical barriers, Cosmic: Irresistible can beat down those pesky Mind Shields. Otherwise though, gonna have to roll.
Even if a GM allows the use of Reliable on Mind Reading, you still run up against the Rule of 16, don't you? And if your effective skill for making the roll can never be higher than 16, then those with high Wills will sometimes be blank to you, because they'll win the Quick Contest; somebody with a 16 Will will resist something like 50% of the time.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:29 AM   #12
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

I'd say that Mind Reading (Reflexive, +40%) [42] is about right. Variations include adding Temporary Disadvantage, Supersensitive, -15% to that (makes cost 38 points) or taking Supersensitive [-15] full-time (makes overall cost 27 points), depending on what model you prefer.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

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Originally Posted by UncreativeNameMaker
My problem is that the RAW game mechanics are incompatible with many fictional examples of mind reading abilities. GURPS Mind Reading requires a second of concentration followed by a contested roll. That assumes an intrusion into the subject's mind that can be resisted.
Let's remember that GURPS is a game, and the rules have to be balanced. Every game I've seen requires you to make rolls against your target to get into their mind. It's a balancing mechanism.

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Originally Posted by UncreativeNameMaker
In many setting with telepaths, that's not how it works. They don't need to intrude into someone's mind to pick up surface thoughts. They just receive the thoughts broadcasting from all the mind around them. It would be like making a character roll a contested contest in order to hear someone speaking in front of him.
Well, if you're trying to emulate something specific, you can always add a level of Reduced Time to Mind Reading making it a free action (it's not an attack power, so it's legal). A couple levels of Telepathic Talent will help with the quick contest.
And, while it's not RAW or canon, if you're still trying to get something specific, you might ask your GM if you can put Cosmic (doesn't have to roll for surface thoughts) on it.

Otherwise, Kromm's Reflexive + Supersensitive is the way to go.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

Mind Reading with Reflexive is essentially "just another sense." Although Reflexive does mean rolling dice, that angle simply makes Mind Reading work like hearing, vision, etc.: you roll dice to notice easily missed or deliberately obscured items. The only difference is that the die rolling is a Quick Contest of IQ vs. Will instead of a Per roll. As with normal senses, there would be no special reason to roll for obvious stuff, where "obvious" here means everything that a non-mind reader could glean through mundane skills like Detect Lies and Psychology. The point cost (42 points) is on par with that of a sense that can look inside things and through light cover (Para-Radar [40]), perceive things that are normally too fast to perceive (Enhanced Time Sense [45]), or give spontaneous visions of the past (Psychometry (Immersive, +100%) [40]), which seems balanced.

Don't forget that no amount of Mind Reading is Mind Probe. Mind Reading gives surface thoughts -- things that an emotional person might accidentally say, and that anybody might rather clearly convey via body language and tone of speech. So passive Mind Reading isn't an ultimate ability to pry into the thoughts of everyone nearby, just a souped-up version of Empathy.
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

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Originally Posted by Kromm
Mind Reading with Reflexive is essentially "just another sense." Although Reflexive does mean rolling dice, that angle simply makes Mind Reading work like hearing, vision, etc.: you roll dice to notice easily missed or deliberately obscured items. The only difference is that the die rolling is a Quick Contest of IQ vs. Will instead of a Per roll. As with normal senses, there would be no special reason to roll for obvious stuff, where "obvious" here means everything that a non-mind reader could glean through mundane skills like Detect Lies and Psychology.
I imagine a Telepath with this advantage would hear thoughts as white noise. You hear it but you aren't listening like a radio playing softly in the background. You don't pay attentation to it until something interesting happens. It makes the advantage into a hidden check made by the GM.

John is sitting in a crowded cafe working on a report about his last mission. He can hear the thoughts all around him but it doesn't distract him from his work. Until he feels rage boil up from the corner of the room... the man sitting across the cafe is angry at his well dress dinning partner. John focuses his abilities and finds the angry man is planning on killing the well dressed man shortly after they leave the cafe.

Makes it almost a sixth sense.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

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Originally Posted by Bruno
One of the PCs in a supers game I'm in uses Mind Block to concentrate on Fabio in a speedo to foil/traumatize telepaths. Remarkably effective.
The horrifying part would be if the Mind Reader continued reading. . .
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

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Originally Posted by Bruno
One of the PCs in a supers game I'm in uses Mind Block to concentrate on Fabio in a speedo to foil/traumatize telepaths. Remarkably effective.
Hows about Fabio without the speedo? Talk about traumatic!
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

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Originally Posted by Bruno
One of the PCs in a supers game I'm in uses Mind Block to concentrate on Fabio in a speedo to foil/traumatize telepaths. Remarkably effective.
Gambit does one better, he bring up the memers of aseeing The Blob, Naked.
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:20 PM   #19
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

I like Kromm's summary. Mind Reading with Reflexive is how I'd do Matt Parkman's power in Heroes. He hears people's thoughts, usually without meaning to, but the concentrates to get a better reading (to get rid of the -4, that is)
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:04 AM   #20
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Default Re: Passive Mind Reading

The disadvantageous part could be accessinility to a point or two of IQ - not when around people (exluding other trained telepaths working with you and similar..).

But how to price it (I suppose it depends much on the range of the TP and wether sleeping people count or not) and would the possibility that if you somewhat lose the TP ability you also lose the distraction count as anything more than a perk. I suppose not - unless you hawe acces to psi block drugs or something like that...
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