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I just running an aberrant game. And i am having some trouble with the telepathy power, one of my players has taken up impervious to mental attacks, and telepathy with channeling extra and domination. He is using telepathy as described to in the book with the abilty to "find the nearest Un agent" bit to find terregen and proteus agents, wich is upsetting game play. any advice? Is telepathy that powerful and are the distance sucesses all thats needed to contact a known mind, or can the known mind try to hid itself and resist contact if he is expecting it?


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Yes... and no. Try these and see if any of them assist you:

First rule: Quantum powers cost quantum.

Impose the quantum costs religiously. It eats power to use telepathy in this manner. Sit down and read the description of the power completely several times. Do NOT take his word for how it works. This is a group effort but your job is challenging the players. If they didn't want to be challenged they would have different hobbies.

Second rule: Difficulty.

The difficulty for doing this kind of scanning is NOT +1. It is +1 or more at the discretion of the ST. Smack him by imposing difficulties and, unless you've always gamed that way, there is no need to tell him what the difficulty level is. Keep it reasonable but don't let him scan New York city without making him work for it.

Third Rule: The bigger shark rule. There is always someone out there meaner and nastier. I personally do not like to throw another of the same type out there, it's just another way of telling a player no matter how good he is there will always be someone better. Instead throw something out there a little more creative like the Telepath having emotional manipulation, or metal immolate attacks. Defenses? See rule 4.

Fourth Rule: Imperfect defense.

The only perfect defense that exists is conning your ST into believing your defenses are perfect. Invulnerability is not really invulnerability; its an extra six to your soak. Anything sufficient to overcome that is going to smack the character. Impervious only means that aggravated is treated like lethal and armor piercing attacks are blunted. Remember; this player is only powerful in a very narrow field. See rule 5.

Fifth Rule: Feed him to the sharks.

If you warn him of the holes in his techniques and he wants to 'John Wayne' anyway, then its time to eat him alive. He didn't take the surreptitious extra to his telepathy so it's two-way communications. If he can find mind A then mind A can find him as long as he holds the channel open. Put him in a psi duel with someone nasty that has powers different from his own. Have mind A's friends join in the fun. Have him go up against a group mind (APG) and wake up wearing a mini-skirt and lipstick. Don't hurt him, just humiliate him.

Addendum: Have him accused of psychic 'rape' as part of Proteus or Terragen setup. These guys are not supervillains and they do not play nice. This puts the cops on him as well as Team Tomorrow, Utopia in general ect... Of course he could possibly clear his name by turning himself in to Utopia but that assumes he's never misused his powers.

Sixth Rule: Of limited value.

1. Proteus isn't a fan club with cool little membership cards and pretty uniforms. Most of the people that work for Proteus don't know who it is that they work for, or think its something else. So how is he going to find that person?

2. Every nova punk with an attitude thinks they are Terragen. There are a LOT of posers out there and only a few that are really in the T-gen. Let him find a couple of posers, or even better, some whacked out kid that thinks he's Tgen and is just waiting to erupt.

3. The american civil liberties union is going to have a field day with this guy's operation. He's violated a hundred laws because it's the right thing to do? What is Utopia going to think of his little methods of operations especially when the public backlash starts against the use of domination and telepathic powers. In the AB world, the existance of these powers is played down because the public would lose its freaking mind if it were widely known that these powers are being used.

Addendum: Proteus or the Terragen start laying traps by using telepathy to alter the memories of a couple of hundred baselines.

Seventh Rule: Interesting sub-plots.

Utopia director (or the Directive, AEON, ect) have established an double-agent in Proteus or the Terragen. Your telepath just blew their cover so now they're dead and aside from annoying the infiltrated group, he has new enemies that think he's working with Proteus or the Terragen. Life just got a little more interesting.

Eight Rule: Chink in the armor.

This is the one nova in the world that is invisible to mental sense. Now give him a reason to go after the telepath.

Ninth Rule: The rule of NO.

This is the ST's perogative and allows him to remove twink character's like this at the onset. Forget the story, forget the difficulties; character's like this are boring.

Tenth Rule: My world, my physics.

Make him pay quantum based on the density of living minds in the scanning area. When he complains just tell him this is the way it works in your world and if he had a question why didn't he ask before. He'll still try the same tricks but it becomes more difficult when he's burning quantum 10 minutes into the game and out within an hour.

Questions: Why would you allow a player to achieve god-like levels of power and allow him an encompassing defense like this?

My recommendation: If its this much of a problem then tell the guy to roll up a new character, tell him why this is a problem, and scrutinize the new character before you allow it. I know players like this. Heck, I am a player like this.

If you don't feel you can do this, then set the guy up to be the target of Proteus and the Terragen, avoid mental powers in his opponents and take him out with other things. Like a homing quantum bolt locked on from the guy that knows where the telepath is because he was scanned by the telpath. Kill the character off and then be very careful about what this guy brings in the future.

Hope that helps.

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Just another note to you; In the event that he decides that it's no longer fun to play this character... Then tries once again to create a nightmare character, Look at the character sheet. Then look him straight in the eye and say "You know, this will be perfect for an antagonist. Could you make a slightly more Three-Dimensional character this time?" Continue this until he either Leaves, makes up a character that you're satisfied with, or until you have enough fantastically powerful characters to pummel any of his fantastically powerful characters in oblivion in about three seconds.

Note, that the gist of this advice is not mine, It actually came from someone else on the list whose identity escapes me right now. He'll probably pop his head up to take credit, and you (and I!) can thank him then.

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It was Jager. A truly evil ST by his own admission. smile

Here's a couple more thoughts for you, or rather an expansion of the previous rules listed.

My world, my physics.

When you apply this one it should be a case of making the world make sense as opposed to just smacking down a player. For instance; how can someone perfectly invulnerable/ impervious to mental powers scan across the world for someone? His own defenses should nullify his powers. Answer - they are opening holes in their own defenses to do so and allowing themselves to be attacked when they finally meet someone with mental powers. Same thing applies when they try to scan or read someone with a mental immolate. No soak from the invulnerabilities 'cuz they opened themselves up to it. Just remember to apply this to everyone, including your created antagonists.

If/when he starts to argue is the time to look him in the eyes and say "If you had a question about how this worked I wish you had asked before." That's the moment he's going to wish he had bought psychic shield instead of going for invulnerability.

My favorite, though, is the feeding him to the shark scenario. Let the telepath do whatever it is he's doing but create an antagonist in the background. A mention in a paper here. A garbled news report there. When he's ready to go searching for enough info to try and scan for the antagonist, that's when the fun starts.

Design the antagonist as a challenge for the team. Give him (or her) a worthwhile background and a good reason for doing what they are doing. Make sure they have a quantum bolt, homing extra and toss in mastery (limited to range). It's pretty much accepted they're a Q6 opponent.

To be fair, insure that you've given the Telepath enough of a description previously that he should realize he can be counter-detected (since he didn't take the surreptitious extra) when scanning.

When he finally scans for the antagonist let him realize that the antagonist is staring back through the link at him, apparently he has some psychic power as well (give him just a dot or two; there's no reason to try and smack your player yet). If anyone in the group has intuition let them know that their sense of imminent danger just red-lined. If you describe this right it will cause the telepath to break the link trying to figure out what is going on. They will begin discussing, talking, arguing ect...

What they are not aware of is that the antagonist has just launched two homing quantum bolts. The first one rips through the city, avoiding everything in its way and homes in directly on the telepath. Since this is an abject lesson don't sweat the actual damage but have the bolt destroy anything between the telepath and it, finally hitting the telepath. Do enough damage to put him directly into the hospital (not enough to kill today) and remark how lucky he was that the (wall, door, another player) soaked enough damage that it didn't kill him outright.

Then have the second homing bolt hit the nearest wall and burn the message "PISS OFF" into the surface.

They've been warned.

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Well we had a very similar problem in the games we were playing. Here are a few solutions:

1. If you allow impervious, then give the enemy telepath the "armour piercing" extra. This is not strictly legal but can kick some serious butt...in a metaphysical sense.

2. Proteus etc have their own telepaths and if they find out the PC has been doing stuff to their people they can set a trap for him.

3. In one game I ran the enemy telepath set up "mental bombs" in certain NPCs minds. Entering their minds killed the NPC in question. So no information could be gained and the Pc wound up with a headache. Alternatively the enemy could set up "mental tripwires" etc for some nastier purpose.

4. Let the Pc continue as he is but roleplay in detail every mental contact. Place the pc in a representation of the NPCs mind and let him figure out what he needs to do to control/read his mind. This takes a lot of the fun out of the mind jumping stuff.

5. Let the pc find a terragen agent...a very annoyed Divis Mal, who invites the Pc into his mind and restructures his powers changing telepathy for something physically based...like matter cameleon for example. This is very high handed and will probibly piss the player off. Then again if there is a power that the pc mentioned wanting to have this might work out ok.

6. Have the Pc jump into the mind of a multiple personality sufferer....the pc becomes trapped in the confusion and loses his telepathy...gaining some other powers but having a severly messed up mental condition also.

As noted some of these things really piss players off, I speak from personal experiance here. Might want to go for the more subtle stuff. Then again, if the player continues this rampage then someone is simply going to kill him QED.

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I had to go back to the rule book on this one.

Remember, beyond the "locating" someone ability (which merely tells you someone like that is nearby), Telepathy requires line of site to actually read someone's mind. Locating someone doesn't let you read their mind, initially.

Also, locating someone should be based on how well you know them, how aware they are concerning the information you are looking for (a doctor using his medical talents is easy while a deep cover agent who isn't actually reporting to someone should be difficult to find), population density (my favorite-finding a stranger in Shang Hai, Mumbai, or NYC should be +5 dif.), and how capable they are.

Start by adding the targets Cypher rating as a difficulty add. Next, if the target knows someone is looking for them, have them make a resistance roll with their willpower. Subtract their successes from the Telepath's roll.

Now, you have given the "average joe or jane" a fighting chance, get nasty. The opposition should rapidly figure out what your tepe is up to. Have them find some dupes and do some mind altering. Make them think that they are either Proteus or Teragen agents. Place psychic triggers in their minds that will trigger fatal cerebral hemoraging when your tepe contacts them mentally. Now, set it up so that remote cameras record their encounter with your tepe and that every major news concern on the planet catches the video feed, live.

"Man, did you see that tepe just mind-kill all those poor bastards?!?"

Complications? If some of the dupes are captured and turned over to the authorities, have their lawyer (another dupe) give them a command word which erases the mental tampering. He is a dead end and has no other contact with the bad guys.

The Tepe captures one? Remember that once you make contact with someone, it is much easier to locate them. Your bad guy tepe does the honors and the captive dies in the custody of the PC. Neat?

To get creative; Make Disrupt a Mental Powers only effect (it can only disrupt Mental effects). Now, pair it up with Telepathic Channeling. Let the PC make contact with the bad guy. Have him/her "locate the mind that is looking for me". Invulnerability won't help with that (its a soak add, not difficulty). Reach back down the path and Disrupt his Invulnerability. Now he is just as vulnerable as everyone else. Let the games begin.

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