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Old 02-25-2020, 04:00 PM   #351
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Power-Ups for PCs

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Second is an ability to project his mind like a spirit, in the Spirit World, which touches this world during the night, but may also extend into areas which humans don't sense, even with Medium or similar traits. Is this remained Astral Projection from Psionic Powers, Jumper (Spirit World) or something else?
Astral Projection from Psionic Powers will do this job nicely. Obviously, you'll want to change the power modifier, and it would be wise to think a bit about the organisation and layout of the spirit world before you need to describe it to the players.
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:18 AM   #352
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Default Re: Power-Ups for PCs

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Astral Projection from Psionic Powers will do this job nicely. Obviously, you'll want to change the power modifier, and it would be wise to think a bit about the organisation and layout of the spirit world before you need to describe it to the players.
Yes, I am leaning toward that.

The player has indicated that he would be happy to begin by learning a ritual that projected his consciousness (with limited effects beyond snooping), as that would only come to 1-3 points, and then he could gradually improve the power and versatility of his spirit projection, adding it as a Power with heavy limitations, then buying off limitations as it became dramatically appropriate.

As the end-game for this particular power, he wants to be able to do everything the most powerful spirits in the campaign do; travel vast distances quickly, influence emotions and minds, possess mortals and have rituals affect the physical world.
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:17 PM   #353
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Default Re: Power-Ups for PCs

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Then there is Lucien Lacoste. He'll spend a number of points reducing the worst of his PTSD and survivor's guilt complexes to hopefully more functional levels. In game terms, increase Self-Control for On the Edge and Impulsive to 15-. He also has many ideas about new powers, most of which are straightforward (partial possession like a voudon cheval granting physical gifts or increases sensory perception, etc.), but some of which are more involved.

One is an ability to Detect spirits, which the player would also like to work on minds currently in control of bodies, even if they are just living people. After all, Lacoste views spirits as disembodied souls. As the setting is agnostic about whether human minds and spirits are related or identical things, I don't want to give him a power that can confirm or refute it. However, Detect spirits is fine and allowing it to apply to human minds with a much reduced range, precision or analysis should pass muster. Is there any Power like this written up in a supplement already to use as a basis or would anyone care to assay a try at the first level?
Looks like Lacoste's player wants to prioritize his Detect, so I should define the ability better.

First of all, I'm pretty sure that Spirits + Minds are a Very Common category.

However, I want to apply different modifiers to the Detect depending on whether Lacoste is detecting disembodied or possessing spirits or the minds of living creatures. I'm fine with the detection of spirits for miles around, with diminishing precision and analysis with range, but I don't want to allow minds to be detected at any great range.

Also, I don't want any detailed analysis of human minds to be possible with this ability. It can justify Empathy (Magical -10%) as a related ability, but that should be about the extent of the possible depth of insight into the thoughts of living creatures.

Do I do this by applying different modifiers to different levels of the Advantage, like one does with Luck, or would it be better to use Alternate Abilities, with Detect bought twice, one Detect (Spirits) and one Detect (Minds)?

And if I use Alternate Abilities, are those two Very Common categories (making this fairly expensive compared to doing it as one Detect that combines both) or can either or both be considered 'just' Common?

Does anyone recall good spirit- or mind-detection powers written up, either officially or unofficially?
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:22 PM   #354
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Default Re: Power-Ups for PCs

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Looks like Lacoste's player wants to prioritize his Detect, so I should define the ability better.

First of all, I'm pretty sure that Spirits + Minds are a Very Common category.

However, I want to apply different modifiers to the Detect depending on whether Lacoste is detecting disembodied or possessing spirits or the minds of living creatures. I'm fine with the detection of spirits for miles around, with diminishing precision and analysis with range, but I don't want to allow minds to be detected at any great range.

Also, I don't want any detailed analysis of human minds to be possible with this ability. It can justify Empathy (Magical -10%) as a related ability, but that should be about the extent of the possible depth of insight into the thoughts of living creatures.

Do I do this by applying different modifiers to different levels of the Advantage, like one does with Luck, or would it be better to use Alternate Abilities, with Detect bought twice, one Detect (Spirits) and one Detect (Minds)?

And if I use Alternate Abilities, are those two Very Common categories (making this fairly expensive compared to doing it as one Detect that combines both) or can either or both be considered 'just' Common?

Does anyone recall good spirit- or mind-detection powers written up, either officially or unofficially?
If both Mind and Spirit are Very Common, it's not really appropriate to combine the two into a Very Common category; Alternate Abilities (with a modifier to get rid of the Ready, so you can functionally use both at once) is probably a better option. That, or make some sort of Super Very Common category that is -10% rather than the -20% of Very Common (or for Detect, as it doesn't follow the normal trend, maybe a base cost of [40]?). If they're both Common, combining them into Very Common is probably appropriate. I'd probably go with the two being Common, and the combination being Very Common.

For building them, it sounds like you want Mind to have a shorter range and no ability to analyze. Unfortunately, there's no "No Analysis" Limitation, but there is Vague, which automatically includes such, but makes most forms of Detect very nearly useless, so we don't want it. I'd roughly say No Analysis is worth -20% or so. To reduce its range, something roughly akin to Easily Resisted might work, at -5% per -1 to the character's detection roll (if the target has an ability that makes it harder to detect with Detect, -5% is x2 to the penalty, -10% is x3, etc). Alternatively, you may want to play around with the sort of range modifiers the Detect abilities have to deal with. By default, these go by the Size and Speed/Range (SSR) table. For +50%, you could make Detect (Spirits) be Long-Ranged (going off of the Long Distance Modifiers table), while for -10% you could make Detect (Mind) be Close-Ranged (-1 per yard of distance).

So, let's say you want Detect (Mind, Common; Close-Range -10%; No Analysis -20%) [14] and Detect (Spirit, Common) [20]. You could do these as Alternate Abilities, for [3] and [20], respectively (total [23]; optionally, boost this to [25] for a nice multiple of 5 and to account for them working together). Or, you could do it as something like Detect (Spirit, Common) [20], keeping in mind Detect (Mind and Spirit, Very Common) [30] is worth [10] more than the lesser version, and apply Close-Range -10% and No Analysis -20% to that, for a total of [27]. In either case, we're looking at somewhere around [25] for the trait.
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:11 PM   #355
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Default Detect (Spirits) for Lacoste

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If both Mind and Spirit are Very Common, it's not really appropriate to combine the two into a Very Common category; Alternate Abilities (with a modifier to get rid of the Ready, so you can functionally use both at once) is probably a better option. That, or make some sort of Super Very Common category that is -10% rather than the -20% of Very Common (or for Detect, as it doesn't follow the normal trend, maybe a base cost of [40]?). If they're both Common, combining them into Very Common is probably appropriate. I'd probably go with the two being Common, and the combination being Very Common.
After reviewing some examples of Detect categories, I think Spirits being common and Minds being common fits well enough.

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For building them, it sounds like you want Mind to have a shorter range and no ability to analyze.
Well, definitely shorter range and worse analytic ability, but perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if Lacoste could tell whether someone had a strong mind (high Will) or a petty one (Bully, Jealous, Selfish, etc.).

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Unfortunately, there's no "No Analysis" Limitation, but there is Vague, which automatically includes such, but makes most forms of Detect very nearly useless, so we don't want it. I'd roughly say No Analysis is worth -20% or so.
Hmmm... Vague seems too imprecise, you are right. I'm not sure whether I want No Analysis, I just want the analytic detail that is revealed about living minds to be about an order of magnitude less precise than that about incorporeal spirits.

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To reduce its range, something roughly akin to Easily Resisted might work, at -5% per -1 to the character's detection roll (if the target has an ability that makes it harder to detect with Detect, -5% is x2 to the penalty, -10% is x3, etc). Alternatively, you may want to play around with the sort of range modifiers the Detect abilities have to deal with. By default, these go by the Size and Speed/Range (SSR) table. For +50%, you could make Detect (Spirits) be Long-Ranged (going off of the Long Distance Modifiers table), while for -10% you could make Detect (Mind) be Close-Ranged (-1 per yard of distance).
Long-Ranged for Detect (Spirits) fits well and then unmodified range for Detect (Mind) yields a great contrast.

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So, let's say you want Detect (Mind, Common; Close-Range -10%; No Analysis -20%) [14] and Detect (Spirit, Common) [20]. You could do these as Alternate Abilities, for [3] and [20], respectively (total [23]; optionally, boost this to [25] for a nice multiple of 5 and to account for them working together). Or, you could do it as something like Detect (Spirit, Common) [20], keeping in mind Detect (Mind and Spirit, Very Common) [30] is worth [10] more than the lesser version, and apply Close-Range -10% and No Analysis -20% to that, for a total of [27]. In either case, we're looking at somewhere around [25] for the trait.
The working together part sounds like Linked +10%.

I don't want Reflexive, so needing to use a second of Concentrate to Detect is fine. With Link, I think that both Detects should work at once, but, of course, that is technically not compatible with Alternate Abilities.

However, combining the Spirits + Minds categories into one Very Common category makes it hard to affect only part of the power with Limitations or Enhancements.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:47 PM   #356
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Default Re: Detect (Spirits) for Lacoste

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However, combining the Spirits + Minds categories into one Very Common category makes it hard to affect only part of the power with Limitations or Enhancements.
Eh, not really. Let's call the reduced analytical ability as being worth -10%*. What you're looking at, then, is Detect (Spirits; Long Ranged +50%) [30] + Detect (Minds and Spirits; Reduced Analysis -10%) [9], for a total of [39]. Again, Detect (Minds and Spirits) functionally has a cost of [10] because you've already paid [20] for Detect (Spirits), and Detect (Minds and Spirits) costs [30]. The resulting combined trait would be one where, if the target is a spirit, it uses long-range modifiers and has normal analysis, but if it's a mind, it uses normal range modifiers and has some sort of reduced analytical ability. As they are functionally just levels of the same ability, no Link is necessary for them to work together.

You could run into a problem if you give different Enhancement and Limitations to each (rather than Enhancements to one and Limitations to the other); in that case, I'd suggest building it as Detect (Spirits) + Detect (Minds and Spirits), and then building it as Detect (Minds) + Detect (Minds and Spirits), and using whichever is more expensive.

*Alternatively, have Minds use normal analysis, but spirits are much easier to analyze, having the Analyzing Enhancement (which makes basic analysis automatic, and allows for a roll for more in-depth analysis). That would make the above Detect (Spirits; Analyzing +100%; Long-Ranged +50%) [50] + Detect (Minds and Spirits) [10], for a total of [60]. That may be a bit out of budget, however...
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Old 02-27-2020, 02:24 AM   #357
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

A suggestion for Detect (Minds), that may get you closer to what you want.

Take basic Detect (Minds), with normal range penalties, which mean it's pretty local.

Then take an Alternate Ability to it, of Detect (Minds) Long-Range +50%, "Only in Unpopulated Areas", -50%.

The latter custom modifier is one RogerBW came up with. The idea is that human minds (and to a lesser extent animal minds) generate some "static", so that in a heavily-populated area, you can tell there are lots of minds about, but that's all, you can't focus on a particular one. But on a prairie, or out at sea, with very few minds about, the Long-Range works fine.
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:29 AM   #358
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Default Mogwai Weaknesses

If an ethnic Cantonese sorcerer summons mogwai evil spirits as tulpas made out of magic and thought-stuff, what are good weaknesses for them?

The sorcerer is not influenced by the Gremlins movies, but some similarities creep in due to the use of local thought-stuff.

If these are in some way evil fey, they should be vulnerable to iron. I think that's possible, but other possibilities include silver, gold, copper, jade, ash, salt, certain woods, certain herbs or more than one of these options.

What would best suit Chinese/Cantonese culture?
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Old 02-27-2020, 04:06 PM   #359
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

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Eh, not really. Let's call the reduced analytical ability as being worth -10%*. What you're looking at, then, is Detect (Spirits; Long Ranged +50%) [30] + Detect (Minds and Spirits; Reduced Analysis -10%) [9], for a total of [39]. Again, Detect (Minds and Spirits) functionally has a cost of [10] because you've already paid [20] for Detect (Spirits), and Detect (Minds and Spirits) costs [30]. The resulting combined trait would be one where, if the target is a spirit, it uses long-range modifiers and has normal analysis, but if it's a mind, it uses normal range modifiers and has some sort of reduced analytical ability. As they are functionally just levels of the same ability, no Link is necessary for them to work together.

You could run into a problem if you give different Enhancement and Limitations to each (rather than Enhancements to one and Limitations to the other); in that case, I'd suggest building it as Detect (Spirits) + Detect (Minds and Spirits), and then building it as Detect (Minds) + Detect (Minds and Spirits), and using whichever is more expensive.

*Alternatively, have Minds use normal analysis, but spirits are much easier to analyze, having the Analyzing Enhancement (which makes basic analysis automatic, and allows for a roll for more in-depth analysis). That would make the above Detect (Spirits; Analyzing +100%; Long-Ranged +50%) [50] + Detect (Minds and Spirits) [10], for a total of [60]. That may be a bit out of budget, however...
Hmmm... much to ponder.

What is certain is that the combination of Detect (Minds) with an effective range and resolutipn somewhere between the human senses of smell and hearing, possibly ranging up to sight at best + Detect (Spirits) with a range and resolution way better than natural senses should cost significantly less than Detect (Consciousness), which would be Very Common, with the Long-Range enhancement. Having the Detect ability be much less effective for the vast majority of foes that might actually kill you should be good for a significant cost reduction.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
A suggestion for Detect (Minds), that may get you closer to what you want.

Take basic Detect (Minds), with normal range penalties, which mean it's pretty local.

Then take an Alternate Ability to it, of Detect (Minds) Long-Range +50%, "Only in Unpopulated Areas", -50%.

The latter custom modifier is one RogerBW came up with. The idea is that human minds (and to a lesser extent animal minds) generate some "static", so that in a heavily-populated area, you can tell there are lots of minds about, but that's all, you can't focus on a particular one. But on a prairie, or out at sea, with very few minds about, the Long-Range works fine.
I agree that the normal range modifiers seem better suited than -1/yard, which seems pretty useless as a sense. I could get behind a slight extra penalty over and above normal range penalties (maybe based on Mana, but it seems that -8 to -10 on average and No Mana for much of modern cities during the day would make the Magical -10% limitation an insufficient limitation to be fair for that kind of penalty). But I don't think I want a mind 25 yards away to be utterly undetectable, even for the greatest spiritualist who ever lived.

That being said, I don't think I can use Only in Unpopulated Areas, as it has been narratively established (without me writing up the Power, because at the time, no PC had it) that some particularly coherent, powerful and aware spirits can detect various spiritual phenomena such as mass congregations of mindless qlippoth spirits for miles around, even within a town like Galveston.
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:51 PM   #360
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

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Hmmm... much to ponder.

What is certain is that the combination of Detect (Minds) with an effective range and resolutipn somewhere between the human senses of smell and hearing, possibly ranging up to sight at best + Detect (Spirits) with a range and resolution way better than natural senses should cost significantly less than Detect (Consciousness), which would be Very Common, with the Long-Range enhancement. Having the Detect ability be much less effective for the vast majority of foes that might actually kill you should be good for a significant cost reduction.
It's an issue with the resolution of the system, yeah. Note the difference between Detect (Spirits) or Detect (Minds) and Detect (Consciousness) is itself fairly small - only [10]. There's also the issue that Detect (Spirits) and Detect (Minds) are the same price, although the latter is likely much more useful (Spirits can be problematic, but fewer of them can seriously harm you in the same a way a Mind that has a rifle can). If you wish to give the player a larger discount with all this in mind, you'd certainly be well within your rights. Given the reduced utility of Detect (Spirits), treating it as Occasional wouldn't be a terrible option. Perhaps the character has Detect (Spirits, Occasional; Analyzing +100%; Long-Range +50%) [25] + Detect (Consciousness, Very Common) [20] (Very Common is [20] more than Occasional), for a total of [45] (while he'd have to pay [75] to have Detect (Consciousness, Very Common; Analyzing +100%; Long-Range +50%)). The character's Detect works normally for Minds, but for Spirits he has a much longer range as well as markedly improved ability to analyze them.

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I agree that the normal range modifiers seem better suited than -1/yard, which seems pretty useless as a sense.
-1/yard is mostly useful as a backup for your other senses, letting you know where something is if it manages to sneak in close. Only getting -10% for it is pretty disappointing, of course. You can also choose to make certain things more obvious to the Detect ability, much as rapid movement and bright colors are more obvious to our eyes, loud noises more obvious to our ears, and strong scents more obvious to our noses. Perhaps more powerful minds or spirits are more obvious to Detect (Consciousness)?

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I could get behind a slight extra penalty over and above normal range penalties (maybe based on Mana, but it seems that -8 to -10 on average and No Mana for much of modern cities during the day would make the Magical -10% limitation an insufficient limitation to be fair for that kind of penalty). But I don't think I want a mind 25 yards away to be utterly undetectable, even for the greatest spiritualist who ever lived.
I feel -5% per -1 to Detect works.
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