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Aberrant RPG - Domination Question


Speed
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So...Puppeteer dominated Verdicte, telling him telepathically to "protect Caryn Sanders"...Luckily, he knew who Caryn Sanders was, and had the means to protect her, but HOW LONG is he supposed to do this? For the rest of his life? Now, the rules on Domination say that he can make a will roll/spend a will point to reduce the effectiveness by one, but Puppeteer got 7 net successes, needing only 4 for total domination. Would this reduction be available every round? every scene? And if so, Verdicte only has 3 Will, so his total eventual reduction would be to 4, meaning he's still under total control...so, again, HOW LONG does Verdicte protect Wraith, a.k.a. Caryn Sanders?

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Well, barring the Mastery Extra or stuff like that Domination is a concentration power. Thus, it lasts as long as the user concentrates on it (incurring the usual +2 difficulty for other actions).

An interesting question: Does Dominate still stay in effect if the target loeaves (or is commanded to leave) beyond the powers max range while the user is still concentrating...

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no...The description says that the dominated person will do extremely complicated tasks, "go home, write a letter, mail it to this po box in Boise Idaho.." etc. So, you're saying that the Dominator must concentrate THE WHOLE TIME to get them to do these tasks?

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Exactly. That's what concentration duration means. If you want something with lingering effect, get Hypnosis. Domination is powerful, but only lasts as long as the pressure is on. Hypnosis is weak and lets you implant lingering suggestions.

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hmmm...well, that's unfortunate, as Roger Wellington has put Puppeteer in a Time-Stop bubble, which must certainly have broken his concentration hold on Verdicte...poor Wraith is maimed already, can she hold out? We'll see next Saturday night...

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No, there is a "telepathic" extra where the dominator doesn't have to communicate his wishes to the victim. Otherwise you have to speak to them, and they have to understand.

This came up in one of Troll's earlier fictions. He got nailed by a mind controller, the controller got enough succ to make it work, but Troll was too dumb to understand English so the effect didn't actually do anything. With the telepathic extra not having a language in common wouldn't have mattered, nor would lack of intelligence, or even an inability to hear him on the battlefield.

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Domination is actually more limited than it seems at first glance. Even the telepathic extra only guarantees that you can give orders over a distance; I decided that one of my players should at least receive confirmation as to whether orders could be obeyed, but even that isn't guaranteed. There's no greater communication of thoughts or knowledge implied in the power description. Of course, he still was able to sit down and focus on the power for a few hours in order to get an annoying Nova out of town.

Though I've got a character in mind based around the Parasitic Possession extra (possibly an upcoming alternate character?), and the more I think about it, the more it seems like a completely different power from Domination. You stay in the person as long as you want, you can insert your own personality rather than simply forcing obedience, and of course the expenditure of Willpower makes it much more difficult to use. Unfortunately, it doesn't guarantee communication with the host any more than regular Domination does, simply obedience. And it's much riskier to use in battle than regular Domination is (after all, you can no longer just Dominate someone and tell them to blow their own head off).

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On the bright side, Troll, if you establish a strong enough domination, you can probably coerce your host into obeying commands such as "Tell me what your powers are." Of course, this depends on how convincing or ruthless you are in showing your host that it's in their best interests to work with you, and on having high enough Wits or Manipulation to know when they're lying (but Domination is paired with Manipulation, so it makes sense that the dominator would be able to tell).

I'd agree with Azdak on mental domination, for the most part. Since Domination never mentions telling someone what to think, presumably you can't force them to "open their minds" or what have you. And if you could, who knows what sort of mental feedback loop would occur, especially considering that Psychic Link changes the effectiveness of mental powers targetted against members of the link. It seems kind of moot anyway for the most part, since you couldn't link to someone without interrupting your concentration on Domination anyway.

I considered Telepathy, but it's so costly and based on Perception that I figured my character would have to pick it up along the way, hopefully along with a slew of other mind-based powers. Having your old tank friend suddenly turn on you with a Mental Blast or Telekinesis will certainly catch you off guard.

Which of course brings up a new question: quantum pool and possession. Does the possessor simply use his pool for his powers and the host's pool for the host's powers? Or is one pool completely replaced by the other?

Further, if the possessor uses the host to max out and taint is accumulated, who gets the taint? If I dorm down while possessing someone (so I can't be detected by a high-node Nova), does my control lapse, possibly even kicking me out of the host? Does my host dorm down, if he has that option? There are so many questions regarding this power.

What might be interesting is a sort of Mental Domination. You don't directly control their body, but you control what their thoughts are at the time. Like Emotional Manipulation, but horribly invasive and much more effective. The difference between inspiring somebody to trust you to the ends of the earth and making them think "I must tell them everything about my deepest secrets right now." God, that would be overwhelmingly powerful.

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I'd agree with Azdak on mental domination, for the most part. Since Domination never mentions telling someone what to think, presumably you can't force them to "open their minds" or what have you.

Since you can dominate people into killing themselves, and since the duration is long enough, I don't see why you can't dominate someone into dorming down or even lowering their Psi-Shield. Those are both character options, as opposed to player options.

Of course you have to get past their mental defenses before you can give that order, and I'd call that a 4+ succ requirement, which in turn means you don't really need to make them lower their defenses since you can already ignore them.

Psi-Link is more tricky, but Psi-link is also a character option and I see no reason it can't be formed under duress. Example: Joe Brick holds up the baseline by his head and says, "You except Jill's link or I'll squish your head."

On a side note, you should also be able to Dominate someone into telling the Truth, although I don't think I'd allow that with Parasitic Possession since you're replacing them.

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I think you could dominate someone into dropping a Psychic Shield, but not into forgoing their Willpower roll to resist a psychic power (or Quantum Leech, or anything like that). Psychic Shield can be turned on and off. Your 'will' can't, and unless the subject actually wants to open up, they still get their roll.

Note that this means that you can't dominate someone into letting you bypass Invulnerability (Mental), since Invulnerability has no on/off option - it simply buffs your Willpower roll, should you choose to use it.

Now, Empathic Manipulation might be usable in conjunction with Dominate or more mundane persuasion to make someone want to open up. But Dominate alone isn't capable of changing someone's desires.

All those questions about quantum pool, taint, etc are entirely up to interpretation, since nothing was ever written one way or the other. I tend to assume that you take all taint and all q expenditures (and I almost always give possessor characters Q. Leech with the weakness that it can only be used on a possessed host).

The 'Mental Domination' thing could be done with Domination (Surreptitious), stealing from the Telepathy extra. It kind of makes sense, but it's not in the rules, so that would be a GM discretion thing.

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Speaking of ST discretion...The way I read Domination, the instructions can be given telepathically if the Dominator has telepathy and the dominated is within the range of the Domination power. The reason I say this is that the Domination rules say something pretty close to, "The Dominator must be able to communicate with the victim, Domination is not inherently telepathic"...the key word there is INHERENTLY...if the character is telepathic already, I figure he can dominate telepathically, without the need for the telepathic extra...

Also, I decided that telepathy is automatically surreptitious..that's just me being arbitrary there, because the idea that the victim AUTOMATICALLY knows not only that their mind is being read, but WHO IS DOING THE READING, is complete and utter nonsense(Billy Smith in Akron, Ohio is IN MY MIND!!!)...I make it an awareness roll at +2 difficulty, +Power Rating dice if the victim is herself telepathic...

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Quote:
Originally posted by Azdak:
The 'Mental Domination' thing could be done with Domination (Surreptitious), stealing from the Telepathy extra. It kind of makes sense, but it's not in the rules, so that would be a GM discretion thing.
Quote:
Originally posted by Speed:
Speaking of ST discretion...The way I read Domination, the instructions can be given telepathically if the Dominator has telepathy and the dominated is within the range of the Domination power. The reason I say this is that the Domination rules say something pretty close to, "The Dominator must be able to communicate with the victim, Domination is not inherently telepathic"...the key word there is INHERENTLY...if the character is telepathic already, I figure he can dominate telepathically, without the need for the telepathic extra...
No, the rules are rather clear on this. Standard Domination must be spoken, period. The Telepathic Extra allows the instructions to be given telepathically as does Telepathy with the Telepathic Channeling Extra. Otherwise, just having standard Telepathy and standard Domination does not allow for telepathic commands under the rules.

Quote:
Also, I decided that telepathy is automatically surreptitious..that's just me being arbitrary there, because the idea that the victim AUTOMATICALLY knows not only that their mind is being read, but WHO IS DOING THE READING, is complete and utter nonsense(Billy Smith in Akron, Ohio is IN MY MIND!!!)...I make it an awareness roll at +2 difficulty, +Power Rating dice if the victim is herself telepathic...
I think you're reaching a little bit here. I agree that it's a little strange to know who is doing the reading but I'm perfectly cool with targets of standard Telepathy knowing their minds are being read. That way the Surreptitious Extra is still worth something and standard Telepathy is still closer to a level 2 power.
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Azdak: Note that this means that you can't dominate someone into letting you bypass Invulnerability (Mental), since Invulnerability has no on/off option - it simply buffs your Willpower roll, should you choose to use it.

Invulnerability has no on/off option, period. Thus unlike Armor and Psi-Link, you can't turn it off. So, no, you can't Dominate someone into dropping it.

This doesn't stop you from accepting a Psi-Link since Psi-Link isn't resisted by willpower, it is accepted or not accepted. It does however prevent you from being located by a friendly telepath. For this reason it's been my experience that INV:Mental is a very mixed bag. Psi-Shield's ability to pick and choose whether you want it up IMHO makes it the more useful power.

RE: Willpower

You can't dominate someone into lowering Willpower.

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This doesn't stop you from accepting a Psi-Link since Psi-Link isn't resisted by willpower, it is accepted or not accepted.
Right. That was more for the broader example of causing someone to drop mental defenses for, say, a follow-up Mental Blast.

You should still be able to deny a Psychic Link, though, under any circumstances - whether you accept or not is a matter of willingness, rather than action. Of course, it doesn't matter much, since having an open Psychic Link isn't good for anything but conversation, unless you take the unsupported option of buying Psychic Link (Telepathic Channeling).
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You should still be able to deny a Psychic Link, though, under any circumstances - whether you accept or not is a matter of willingness, rather than action.

I see nothing in the power listing that says the target must be “willing”. What it says is “either member can turn it off at any time”. I don't see why someone couldn't put a gun to your head and tell you he'll pull the trigger if you don't take the link. You can refuse the link and deal with the consequences, but you could also accept it.

Similarly, I see no reason a link can’t be forced on you by someone with Domination, or a Massively Mega-Social nova. Yes, you can turn it off, but if you are dominated correctly then you won’t.

Since it’s listed in the Errata, the power is Here http://www.nprime.net/downloads/errata.pdf

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Quote:
... you could also accept it.
Which is being willing. You want to accept the link because you are being coerced. Domination does not coerce you into a certain choice - it overrides your ability to choose.

And, no, it never says that it can link the nova and a 'willing target,' as it might, but it's pretty heavily implied.

However, I don't really have much interest in arguing the point, since again - it makes absolutely no difference. When's it going to come up? "You will accept this psychic link, because I'm kind of insecure and I need to know someone is listening to me when I talk."

Psychic Link can't be used to read the target's mind, nor can it be used to use another psychic power, including conveying commands by Dominate (see Mythic's discussion of Telepathy in the same role for why).
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harold 'Mythic' Anderson:
No, the rules are rather clear on this. Standard Domination must be spoken, period. The Telepathic Extra allows the instructions to be given telepathically as does Telepathy with the Telepathic Channeling Extra. Otherwise, just having standard Telepathy and standard Domination does not allow for telepathic commands under the rules.
I disagree. The rules say that Domination is not "inherently telepathic". That allows a bit of wiggle room on the telepathy issue. The telepathic Channeling extra allows telepathic domination, mental blast, etc. up to the RANGE of the telepathy, even if the victim is not in the range of the other power...so it's a range thing. If "the Dominator must be able to communicate with the victim"...and the Dominator can communicate telepathically, then why should I make him add an extra that does nothing for him, just to allow him to do something that common sense tells me he should be able to do? I still hold him to the Domination range, so what's the prob, Bob?

Quote:
SPEED: Also, I decided that telepathy is automatically surreptitious...

Harold 'Mythic' Anderson: I think you're reaching a little bit here. I agree that it's a little strange to know who is doing the reading but I'm perfectly cool with targets of standard Telepathy knowing their minds are being read. That way the Surreptitious Extra is still worth something and standard Telepathy is still closer to a level 2 power.
Yah, I know, that's just the way I wanted it to be, although I think that if I have never had my mind read, and had no training on how to discover if my mind was being read, then if something weird happened to my mind I think I would be very confused and worried about my sanity, but would probably not come to the immediate conclusion that my mind was being read.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Speed:
The rules say that Domination is not "inherently telepathic". That allows a bit of wiggle room on the telepathy issue. The telepathic Channeling extra allows telepathic domination, mental blast, etc. up to the RANGE of the telepathy, even if the victim is not in the range of the other power...so it's a range thing. If "the Dominator must be able to communicate with the victim"...and the Dominator can communicate telepathically, then why should I make him add an extra that does nothing for him, just to allow him to do something that common sense tells me he should be able to do? I still hold him to the Domination range, so what's the prob, Bob?

...

Yah, I know, that's just the way I wanted it to be, although I think that if I have never had my mind read, and had no training on how to discover if my mind was being read, then if something weird happened to my mind I think I would be very confused and worried about my sanity, but would probably not come to the immediate conclusion that my mind was being read.
Easy: why have the Telepathic Channelling and Surreptitious Extras if the base power can do what the extras do? When you look at all of the rules put together you can easily see the developers intent to keep Domination and Telepathy as separate powers unless those particular extras are taken.

To borrow from finding legislative intent, if the developers would have wanted base Telepathy and base Domination to work the way you read it to work, then why specifically create those two extras? I understand where you're coming from, but the developers wrote some stuff that implies something different.
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You can have Domination, and not have Telepathy. Thus, if you want your Domination to be telepathic, then you buy the extra. In order for your Telepathy to channel mental powers at the same range as your Telepathy, unhindered by the range of the original power, you buy the Channelling extra. I don't see a conflict.

Now, I have already stated that my take on Surreptitious Telepathy differs from the rules, so obviously I am not on point with the book there, but I get the sense from reading the Domination power description that with the power Telepathy, you can communicate your Domination mind to mind. If you do not have Telepathy, however, you cannot do this unless you have the telepathic extra on your Domination, which is cheaper than buying Telepathy, and rightfully so, as it is very much limited to the Domination only, and not normal mind to mind communication, and certainly not mind-reading. Remember, it doesn't say "must be able to speak to the victim", it says "must be able to communicate with the victim", meaning that a deaf Dominator could concievably use sign language to Dominate another deaf person. At least, that's how I read the rules. YMMV

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You have a problem with your theory, Speed. Domination is a power with a duration of Concentration. So is Telepathy. Therefore, you have to be concentrating on one or the other at any given time. Use Dominate and you can't focus on maintaining a telepathic connection (unless you have the extra, which is much more limited than Telepathy). Activate a telepathic connection and you lose your direct control (though you can still re-write memories bit by bit). You're trying to link two powers which, by definition, require concentration on only one power at a time.

If you wanted to communicate Domination through a Psychic Link, maybe that's a bit more workable, but again you've got this feedback thing going on that potentially makes your Domination more difficult to use (not to mention putting you at risk of being affacted by other mind-affecting powers).

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Apples and Oranges.

Domination + Telepathic ignores little things like lingistic barriers, or the noise of combat, or even the target being deaf. It still has a set range.

Telepathic + Channelling + Domination (note we don't need + Telepathic) has all of the same strengths, and it works over Telepathy's range which is insane. However,

1) You have to set up a telepathic link before you can use Domination.

2) If the Victim has any mental powers I suspect they could be used over the link as well. Keep in mind point #3 below probably affects willpower rolls.

3) And as previously mentioned, Telepathy is a concentration power. This means that *all* other actions, including other powers like Domination, now have a +2 Diff. This in turn means it's extremely difficult if not impossible to get the 4 succ over someone's willpower you'd need to make them kill themselves.

And No, there is no reason you can't have multiple concentration powers up at the same time. It's just that +2 Diff per power gets real brutal real quick.

Just for example if you are mentally domainating someone over a Telepathic Channel, then you have a +4 Diff and probably can't walk or talk. Presumably you are in a hidden room laying in bed with a trusted nova bodyguard around so no one kills you while you are helpless.

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