Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-11-2021, 03:55 AM   #1
johndallman
Night Watchman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

Mind Shield [4/level] is an exotic mental advantage. Your levels of Mind Shield add to IQ and/or Will for resisting many psionic abilities and some forms of magic. This advantage probably appeared in the first edition of GURPS Horror, with the first psionics system, but was revised for 4e.

Mindlink [5, 10, 20, 30 …] is also an exotic mental advantage. You are linked to someone (or more than one, at higher cost) who you can reliably contact with Mind Reading or Telesend. This advantage appeared in GURPS Psionics for 3e, but changed considerably at 4e.

Mind Shield also adds to resistance rolls against attempts to locate your mind via magic, psionics, etc. You can lower your Mind Shield if you wish, if you want to allow someone you trust to read your mind. Lowering or raising it is a free action, but in combat you can only change your shield at the start of your turn. Mind Shield works while you are asleep or otherwise unconscious, provided it was up when you fell asleep, were knocked out, or whatever. You can limit it to only working against one power source (“Limited”, ‑50%, Powers p. 62) and the Cybernetic limitation in Basic is an example of that, representing strong computer security for a Digital Mind.

Powers advises that Mind Shield should work against Glamours, and just about all forms of mental attack more exotic than Influence skills, including ones where you resist with Perception. That’s probably because, in many settings, this advantage at [4/level] is not great value in comparison with Will [5/level], although it stands up fairly well against the Mental Strength and Mind Block skills. If the price of Will has been increased, or the characters are hitting campaign limits on Will or IQ, Mind Shield becomes far more attractive.

Psionic Powers adds more detail. It suggests that all psis should be allowed Mind Shield, even if they have no other Telepathy powers. Having one means you’re automatically aware of failed uses of Telepathy against you. There are several additional enhancements and limitations: Active, ‑25% means you have to maintain Mind Shield consciously, and it goes down when you’re asleep. Always On, ‑10%, does just that and is incompatible with Active. Feedback, ‑25%, or ‑50% if you have Always on, means it interferes with your own abilities. Lockdown, +100%, lets you trap mental attackers if you successfully resist them. Profiling, +10%, lets you identify psi abilities that you resist. Reflection, +100%, lets you “bounce back” telepathic attacks that you resist, so that the attacker is affected by their own ability! Psionic Powers also offers brute-force attempts to break through Mind Shield, and a way to expand your Mind Shield’s area to protect others.

Mindlink works for one designated person at [5], 2-9 people at [10], 10-99 people at [20] and so on, ×10 people per [+10]. When you try to contact someone you have Mindlink for with Mind Reading or Telesend, you automatically succeed if they don’t try to resist. If they do, you presumably roll IQ vs their Will, which is where Mind Shield comes in, if they have it. Since you can automatically succeed at ranges of up to 0.1 light years, we can presume that mental contact exceeds the speed of light by a large factor, and Mindlink exempts you from range penalties. However, it will not allow communication to other dimensions or parallel worlds, without some appropriate enhancement. You can, and normally should, buy Mindlink with the same modifiers as your Mind Reading or Telesend. The GM is strongly encouraged to limit Mindlinks to Allies (including familiars), Contacts, Dependents, duplicates of yourself, and other PCs, if their players are willing. This may require buying up availability, especially on Contacts.

These advantages aren’t heavily used in published GURPS material, apart from the books mentioned above. Mindlink is vital to the Ascended Ones of Banestorm, and Bio-Tech has a psi-drug that shuts down Mind Shield. Several DF templates provide Mind Shield, presumably from special training, and it’s used in DF’s own treatment of psionics. Mindlink is used for familiars, and Horror applies it for vampires’ thralls, pod people and Men in Black. Supers has the rules for subverting Mind Shields, and performing Power Blocks with them, while Ultra-Tech provides TL^ technological Mind Shields.

I haven’t made much use of these advantages: I have a GURPS 4e version of an AD&D character who has Mindlink with Cosmic, so that she can change who she has Mindlinks with, and I had a 3e Witch World character who developed Mind Shield after being moved there from Earth. I played the telepath in a 1960s psi campaign, but he didn’t have Mind Shield.

What use have you made of these abilities?
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2021, 04:52 AM   #2
WingedKagouti
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

It's worth noting that Mind Link is not a two way deal. If you have Telesend but not Mind Reading, you can't hear any replies if the target doesn't have a way to communicate with you.
WingedKagouti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2021, 08:17 AM   #3
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

I usually use the skill mental strength instead of mind shield. I'm not sure if that's because its a better deal, or because I just starting doing it at one point.



I often end up using Mindlink for builds. I've got this concept of a settingwhere twins share a split soul and have telesend with each other, but it never seems to get used.



I think the most common place I see mindlink in play is between dupes, letting the character freely talk to himself.
__________________
Be helpful, not pedantic

Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog

Check out the PbP forum! If you don't see a game you'd like, ask me about making one!
ericthered is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2021, 10:27 AM   #4
Not another shrubbery
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Mind Shield [4/level] is an exotic mental advantage. Your levels of Mind Shield add to IQ and/or Will for resisting many psionic abilities and some forms of magic. This advantage probably appeared in the first edition of GURPS Horror, with the first psionics system, but was revised for 4e.
I can't find my earlier editions of Horror (the old one I have is 3E), but Horseclans I think copied those rules and mentions Horror as the original source. GURPS 3E Psionics modified those older rules a bit, and you can see some resemblance with the 4E rules if you squint :)
Quote:
...
Mind Shield also adds to resistance rolls against attempts to locate your mind via magic, psionics, etc. You can lower your Mind Shield if you wish, if you want to allow someone you trust to read your mind. Lowering or raising it is a free action, but in combat you can only change your shield at the start of your turn. Mind Shield works while you are asleep or otherwise unconscious, provided it was up when you fell asleep, were knocked out, or whatever. You can limit it to only working against one power source (“Limited”, ‑50%, Powers p. 62) and the Cybernetic limitation in Basic is an example of that, representing strong computer security for a Digital Mind.

Powers advises that Mind Shield should work against Glamours, and just about all forms of mental attack more exotic than Influence skills, including ones where you resist with Perception. That’s probably because, in many settings, this advantage at [4/level] is not great value in comparison with Will [5/level], although it stands up fairly well against the Mental Strength and Mind Block skills. If the price of Will has been increased, or the characters are hitting campaign limits on Will or IQ, Mind Shield becomes far more attractive.

Psionic Powers adds more detail. It suggests that all psis should be allowed Mind Shield, even if they have no other Telepathy powers. Having one means you’re automatically aware of failed uses of Telepathy against you. There are several additional enhancements and limitations: Active, ‑25% means you have to maintain Mind Shield consciously, and it goes down when you’re asleep. Always On, ‑10%, does just that and is incompatible with Active. Feedback, ‑25%, or ‑50% if you have Always on, means it interferes with your own abilities. Lockdown, +100%, lets you trap mental attackers if you successfully resist them. Profiling, +10%, lets you identify psi abilities that you resist. Reflection, +100%, lets you “bounce back” telepathic attacks that you resist, so that the attacker is affected by their own ability! Psionic Powers also offers brute-force attempts to break through Mind Shield, and a way to expand your Mind Shield’s area to protect others.
...
These advantages aren’t heavily used in published GURPS material, apart from the books mentioned above. Mindlink is vital to the Ascended Ones of Banestorm, and Bio-Tech has a psi-drug that shuts down Mind Shield. Several DF templates provide Mind Shield, presumably from special training, and it’s used in DF’s own treatment of psionics. Mindlink is used for familiars, and Horror applies it for vampires’ thralls, pod people and Men in Black. Supers has the rules for subverting Mind Shields, and performing Power Blocks with them, while Ultra-Tech provides TL^ technological Mind Shields.
Psi-Tech has them too, natch.

I've ruled in my own games that your Mind Shield can only hide you as the *source* of psionic activity for the purposes of detection by Signature Sniffer, Psi Sense, or Telepathy Sense. The activity can still register to them. And on a somewhat related note, I also don't allow the penalties for the Hide Signature technique to be bought off. I've toyed with the idea of making it harder to use it to muffle your psionic signature but haven't pulled the trigger on any write-up.
Quote:
I haven’t made much use of these advantages: I have a GURPS 4e version of an AD&D character who has Mindlink with Cosmic, so that she can change who she has Mindlinks with, and I had a 3e Witch World character who developed Mind Shield after being moved there from Earth. I played the telepath in a 1960s psi campaign, but he didn’t have Mind Shield.

What use have you made of these abilities?
Mindlink... Not much, nor did it get used in my games except for a recent NPC family of supers who had mindlinks with each other. Mind Shield, I probably *over*use. When it's available I'll almost always buy as much as I can afford, or the campaign limit if that comes first. My players weren't AS fond of it, but still usually budgeted for some in games where it would be of use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I usually use the skill mental strength instead of mind shield. I'm not sure if that's because its a better deal, or because I just starting doing it at one point.
It can be a good deal compared to regular Mind Shield. It's about the same as MS with Active, so that latter is better if you buy at least 4 levels.
Not another shrubbery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2021, 11:33 PM   #5
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Lockdown, +100%, lets you trap mental attackers if you successfully resist them
introduced in Psionic Powers, ie the jail / prison created by "Cage of Thought" ie Mind Trap

this seems like one of those cases where they might've based an enhancement on some other advnatage but I can't guess which

reading more about this I'm not sure it's as bad as I first thought though...

PP66 says it functions as Daze on B428 and while that's "incapacitating" it also mentions "If you are struck, slapped, or shaken, you recover on your next turn."

would that make it easy for an ally to snap you out of a thought-cage similar to the B251 Mind Control spell?

Affliction (Daze +50%) [15] is perhaps the same way? Except that has a built-in duration cap (1 minute) whereas I don't think cage of thought does.

a single level of Mind Shield is only 4 points so +100% is a lot cheaper (4 points) than it is for Affliction (5 points)

Of course this is purely defensive since you have to resist a mental "attack" to use it against the attacker...

Makes me wonder if there's a back-door to that though. Like for example if you did Affliction (Advantage that allows mental attacks but is weak and super easy to resist) could you force a foe to 'mental attack' you, and then use Lockdown on them?

Last edited by Plane; 06-12-2021 at 12:02 AM.
Plane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2021, 01:17 PM   #6
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

I don't think I've ever used these "bare" (i.e. in the Basic Set mode). They came into Age of Aquarius (Psionic Powers in the 1960s) a little bit, but they weren't a huge part of things; the party only had one telepath and mostly they were going up against non-psionic opponents or ones using psi-tech.
RogerBW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2021, 01:48 PM   #7
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

When I ran Sovereignty, where one of the PCs was a mind controller, I mostly didn't bother with Mind Shield. Instead I gave a lot of NPCs high Will. It made sense, for example, for Indigeno (the Sicilian analog of the Hulk) to have IQ around 8 and Will around 18 . . .
__________________
Bill Stoddard

I don't think we're in Oz any more.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2021, 07:01 AM   #8
Phil Masters
 
Phil Masters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: U.K.
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

My ritual magician in Roger's Weird War II game has several levels of Mind Shield with the Magical limitation. It made sense to me that, when he decided he needed to protect himself against possible mental incursions, he'd construct a set of shields that secured his own brain while creating a disruptive maze that made it harder for others to work mental magic against him.

(And he already has highly respectable Will, so buying that up further would just have looked excessive.)
__________________
--
Phil Masters
My Home Page.
My Self-Publications: On Warehouse 23 and On DriveThruRPG.
Phil Masters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2023, 07:04 PM   #9
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

Mindlink says you can and usually should use the same limitations as you have on Mind Reading or Telesend. For the most part, no confusion here. There's one thing I'm not sure about, though. Racial sort of seems like a point crock here. Mindlink is inherently limited to a specific list of people, so adding an additional limitation for what amounts to accessibility seems questionable. What do people think?
awesomenessofme1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2023, 09:07 PM   #10
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Mindlink and Mind Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomenessofme1 View Post
Mindlink says you can and usually should use the same limitations as you have on Mind Reading or Telesend. For the most part, no confusion here. There's one thing I'm not sure about, though. Racial sort of seems like a point crock here. Mindlink is inherently limited to a specific list of people, so adding an additional limitation for what amounts to accessibility seems questionable. What do people think?
I hadn't considered that, but you have a good point, there. At best, it should be a very small limitation. Most likely, though, they just didn't think to include the extra information, due to wordcount.
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
advantage of the week, mind shield, mindlink

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.