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Mind Melters finally get an Iconic Edge but is it worth taking?

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  • Mind Melters finally get an Iconic Edge but is it worth taking?

    So I'm looking at building a Mind Melter. It's a character I've always wanted to play but in SR 1.0 they were so MEH I never tried it. In the current edition they are much improved so I'm wanting to give them a shot. Anyway I have the Tomorrow Legion field manual and in it there is a Iconic edge for Mind Melters called Bio-Manipulation. When using certain powers like blind, confusion, lower trait, silence, sloth, slumber or stun you can cause fatigue IF getting a raise and IF they don't fail to resist they take an level of fatigue which can incapacitate.

    Of course it occurs to me I am not sure how many levels of fatigue it takes to incapacitate an Extra. I did a search through the core rules and came up empty so I'm not sure if it would be one or three. If it were one that would make it a good way to quickly and quietly incapacitate a group of Extras. That would make this power a lot more useful in my estimation.
    Last edited by Radecliffe; 08-27-2020, 08:36 PM. Reason: Clarifying only ONE level of fatigue per use of power.

  • #2
    Fatigue is the same for both Extras and Wild Cards. It goes: Fatigued ---> Exhausted ---> Incapacitated

    Comment


    • Radecliffe
      Radecliffe commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, a Discord discussion came up with the same conclusion which, for the record, I think is kinda dumb but not worth going on a crusade over.

  • #3
    Yeah, given that even Extras can't be taken out using this edge I just don't see the value in spending an advance on it. In my own opinion it is about the most meh iconic edge available. In a way though this is really a victim of how fast combat is in SR. In most cases you don't have time to spend 2-3 rounds trying to incapacitate a bunch of mooks. Of course some IF's still don't have any iconic edges but it's still disappointing IMO.

    I did have an idea that I thought would be a marked improvement. Make the edge like Psi-Blade, Telemechanics, Possession, etc. where a power such as stun is the prereq and it modifies the power so that on a raise it (fatigue based) incapacitates rather than stuns. Just a thought.

    Comment


    • PEGRoberson
      PEGRoberson commented
      Editing a comment
      not a bad suggestion. please add it to the Feedback forum.

  • #4
    It can be a headache to try Incapacitating Extras this way, but inflicting Fatigue-based penalties to their Trait rolls can still be pretty helpful, especially in you cast those powers on multiple targets at once.

    Comment


    • #5
      werenimal That was my initial thought as well. An AoE could be useful. Then I looked at cost. Bio-Manipulation works with blind, confusion, lower Trait, silence, sloth, slumber or stun. To maximize the effect as well as maximize your chance at a raise can cost up to 13 ISP (for Stun) per attempt. That includes paying 2 ISP for the Fatigue modifier for an extra level of fatigue and +4 ISP for a +2 to your roll. Silence is the cheapest at 2+ ISP.

      Still in my experience it's too slow to do anything useful. By the time you expend 30%-50% of your ISP trying to knock them out the rest of the party has already killed them all especially given they only need to deal out one wound.

      In short if I just want to deal some extra fatigue there's already a modifier (+2) that works on any power that does damage or is resisted so I'm still having trouble seeing the value on spending an advance on Bio-Manipulation.

      Comment


      • PEGRoberson
        PEGRoberson commented
        Editing a comment
        Well the main difference it that it can kill/Incapacitate. This can be super powerful against Wild Cards or physically tough enemies. That said, as I mentioned above please post about it in the Feedback forum

    • #6
      Here are 3 custom mind melter edges I had come up with prior to SWADE. Ultimately the image I was thinking of was the scene in Akira that Tetsueo splatters the squad of troopers against the air lock.

      Mind Jab
      Requirements: Mind melter, novice, Telepathy power
      This mind melter can tap into their natural psionic abilities to test an enemies mental limits. When a
      mind melter uses their psionics skill to test an enemy, spend 1 power point per adversary. If the
      adversary is shaken, then they must make a roll to avoid being knocked out, per the drop, but using
      Smarts instead of vigor. This is considered a power for purposes of defenses against powers. This edge
      may be combined with any other edges that apply to Tests. In addition, the mind melter may is their
      psionic skill level in place of Taunt skill levels for the purpose of purchasing social edges.

      Mental Judi
      Requirements: Mind melter, seasoned, mind jab
      When the mind melter succeeds with a Test from Mind Jab, each raise adds a wound to the target in
      addition to shaken. This also applies to the Creative Combat setting rule as well. This ability cost an
      additional power point per adversary.

      Melted Mind
      Requirements: Mind melter, veteran, mental judo
      Is a mind melted successfully ko’ed an adversary using mind jab, the next turn the mind melter may
      spend 1 power point per rank per adversary (1 for extra or novice, 2 seasoned, etc) for a follow up Test
      using Psionics, If the mind melter succeeds with a raise the mind melter performs a finishing move
      against the target. This may be combined with Rabble Rouser.

      Comment


    • #7
      Originally posted by Radecliffe View Post
      In short if I just want to deal some extra fatigue there's already a modifier (+2) that works on any power that does damage or is resisted so I'm still having trouble seeing the value on spending an advance on Bio-Manipulation.
      Why the fixation on Extras? As you say, they drop like flies anyway. Consider using Bio Manipulation against a Wild Card, especially one with high Toughness. Spending the +2 PP for the Fatigue modifier and getting a raise on a power would instantly Incapacitate the target. Spend a few more PP to add a bonus to the Psionics roll and you're golden.

      Full disclosure: I don't have any SR 2.0 books. Is the Fatigue from BioManipulation lethal? If so, this Edge is actually pretty dang good. If not... well, there's always houserules.
      Last edited by Deskepticon; 08-26-2020, 09:19 AM. Reason: Clarified language

      Comment


      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        Radecliffe
        You need three fatigue to incapacitate actually.
        Oh, maybe I misunderstood how the Edge works (again, I don't actually have any of the books). From your description above, it sounds like the Edge deals one level of Fatigue if the power succeeds, and another if it hits with a raise (for two levels total). Adding the Fatigue power modifier would add a third level.

      • Radecliffe
        Radecliffe commented
        Editing a comment
        Nope, to get any effect you have to get a raise and they have to fail to resist so the most you can get in one go is 2 fatigue assuming you are using the fatigue mod.

      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        Radecliffe Ah, ha! I see. Thanks!

        Although that's not what the OP says:
        When using certain powers... you can cause fatigue IF getting a raise and IF they don't fail to resist they take an extra level of fatigue which can incapacitate.
        "Don't fail to resist" = power is not successful
        And "extra level of Fatigue" suggests two total.
        _____

        Anyway, I think I need to agree with you then. It's a pretty weak Edge.
        Last edited by Deskepticon; 08-27-2020, 12:13 AM. Reason: Whoops! Forgot word "not"

    • #8
      Originally posted by Salcor View Post
      Here are 3 custom mind melter edges I had come up with prior to SWADE.
      I've got to be honest, these are terribly convoluted. They mash together completely different mechanics, breaking rules in the process, and create some type of Frankenstein Edge that is just inferior to already existing mechanics.

      Mind Jab
      Requirements:
      Mind melter, novice, Telepathy power
      This mind melter can tap into their natural psionic abilities to test an enemies mental limits. When a
      mind melter uses their psionics skill to test an enemy, spend 1 power point per adversary. If the
      adversary is shaken, then they must make a roll to avoid being knocked out, per the drop, but using
      Smarts instead of vigor. This is considered a power for purposes of defenses against powers. This edge
      may be combined with any other edges that apply to Tests. In addition, the mind melter may is their
      psionic skill level in place of Taunt skill levels for the purpose of purchasing social edges.
      First off, why mention multiple targets when Tests can't be used against multiple targets? Even with the Rabble-Rouser Edge, the character is limited to Intimidation and Taunt... Psionics cannot be used.

      The Edge evokes the Knockout Blow rules, bypassing the normal prerequisite of having the Drop first. This isnt really a big deal, considering the circumstance, but I can't help wondering why the MM wouldn't just use slumber instead? It lasts twice as long as Knockout Blow (and can be maintained for longer), requires only one roll from the opponent, can legitimately affect multiple opponents, and doesn't require the MM to get a raise on their Psionics roll first. It's also more cost effective if targeting more than 4-5 foes.

      In short, the Edge sounds impressive, but it's really a giant trap, one which requires fudging the rules on Tests to make full use of.

      Mental Judi
      Requirements:
      Mind melter, seasoned, mind jab
      When the mind melter succeeds with a Test from Mind Jab, each raise adds a wound to the target in
      addition to shaken. This also applies to the Creative Combat setting rule as well. This ability cost an
      additional power point per adversary.
      Alright, this Edge isn't that bad, since it can cause Wounds without needing to beat Toughness. However, it requires the awful Mind Jab Edge as a "tax." And because it technically builds off of Mind Jab, it's just as much of a trap. The MM would be better off using the two Advances to increase Psionics, or pick up Mentalist or Power Points. Anything that would make their normal powers more effective.

      Also, it's unclear from the last sentence if this Edge is supposed to cost 1 PP per target (same as Mind Jab) or 2 PP per target.

      Melted Mind
      Requirements:
      Mind melter, veteran, mental judo
      If a mind melter successfully ko’ed an adversary using mind jab, the next turn the mind melter may
      spend 1 power point per rank per adversary (1 for extra or novice, 2 seasoned, etc) for a follow up Test
      using Psionics, If the mind melter succeeds with a raise the mind melter performs a finishing move
      against the target. This may be combined with Rabble Rouser.
      This Edge requires Mental Judo, meaning it can functionally never be used on Extras. There's no point mentioning Extras in the description since the Wound that Mental Judo deals would preclude the Extra from resisting the KO Blow in the first place. They'd already be Incapped before making the roll.

      So, basically, the benefit of this Edge is to spend Power Points after KO'ing a Wild Card so the MM can make another Test the following round, killing the target on a raise. Umm... the target is already Knocked Out and helpless... they can't make an opposed roll. The MM can't make a Test against him. Honestly, he'd be better off just walking over and putting a bullet in the guy's head.

      Besides, you can perform a Finishing Move on a sleeping target, so we're right back to where we started: why wouldn't the MM just cast slumber instead?
      Last edited by Deskepticon; 08-26-2020, 10:37 AM.

      Comment


      • Salcor
        Salcor commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the feedback. Somethings to consider. The idea was generated to give mind melters that ability to affect people unseen from a distance. It was originally written under deluxe.

        Salcor

      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        Salcor
        It was originally written under deluxe.
        But obviously rewritten for SWADE.
        Still, slumber existed under Deluxe so I imagine the original versions of the Edges having the same issues.

    • #9
      Here's something I came up with a few years ago, reworked a little. The base Edge is something available to all psychics.

      Mind Block
      Requirements: Novice, AB (Psionics), Spirit d6+
      As a Free Action, you can shut off your mind from psychic influences. You get a +4 to rolls resisting psionic powers, and +4 armor against psionic attacks that don't involve a purely physical trapping (such as a Burster's pyrokinesis). However, as long as the block is up, you cannot use your own powers. Dropping the Mind Block is also a Free Action.

      Mind Block Auto Defense
      Requirements: Seasoned, Mind Melter, Mind Block, Smarts d6+
      Your Mind Block can go up without having to use a Free Action when someone uses an applicable psionic power against you. Any powers with a duration you are currently using automatically end when the block goes up.

      Group Mind Block
      Requirements: Seasoned, Mind Melter, Mind Block, Spirit d8+
      You can extend your Mind Block to a number of allies equal to one half your Smarts die type, so long as they're all within a Large Burst Template. This has to be consciously done, so it requires a Free Action even if you have Mind Block Auto Defense.
      You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

      Comment


      • #10
        I do think there is some utility in Bio-Manipulation, but you do have to focus resources into it and realize you are dependent on the rest of your party to really make it shine. Its too slow only when the Mind Melter is on his own and needs to take down a foe quickly. That's a bad situation for a Mind Melter to be in anyway. I guess the value depends on the group and what you are trying to do.

        That being said, I really would like to see a way for a Mind Melter to do a taunt/intimidation Test with no multi-action penalty. Taking a page from Elemental Manipulation's Exalted Manipulation modifier and applying it to Empathy:

        Exalted Empathy (needs a better name) (+2): The mental effect lashes out at the caster’s opponents. Once per round the caster may use a free action to initiate an Intimidate or Taunt Test on a target within Range using his arcane skill in place of his Taunt or Intimidation skill.

        Couple this with humiliate, menacing, rabble rouser, etc. and you have a cool maintainable option that is more 'mind-melting'. Add the fatigue modifier to it and with a successful raise on a Bio-manipulation you could incapacitate a foe on your turn.

        Yes it is still very resource intensive, but something that powerful probably should be.

        Comment


        • Salcor
          Salcor commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks that is actually pretty elegant. Perhaps make it an Iconic edge that gives that special.mega power modifier to the MM.

      • #11
        I hope yall don't mind I'm taking notes for possible future Edges
        Sean Owen Roberson
        Line Manager, Rifts for Savage Worlds

        Comment


        • Deskepticon
          Deskepticon commented
          Editing a comment
          You'll be hearing from my lawyer.


          Haha, just kidding! I can't afford one.

        • PEGRoberson
          PEGRoberson commented
          Editing a comment
          Haha!

      • #12
        I really like the option of just being able to melt minds. Direct brain damage, whether organic or artificial.

        Melt Mind: You attack the target's mind directly. Make an opposed psionics roll against the target's smarts. Success causes a wound. Additional successes cause the target fatigue.

        Or maybe a custom version of fear, playing on the Mind Melter's ability to access and manipulate their opponent's innermost reality and manipulate their own auras.

        Nightmare: Innate ability. No ISP cost. The Mind Melter reaches deep into their opponent's minds and becomes their greatest fear. Usable only during combat. Takes an action to activate. When activated this ability triggers a fear test at -4 among all enemies who can sense the Mind Melter and who are not immune.
        Last edited by Aarron; 10-29-2020, 05:15 AM.

        Comment


        • PEGRoberson
          PEGRoberson commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting ideas!

        • Ndreare
          Ndreare commented
          Editing a comment
          I think Success would be shaken and a raise would be a wound. (Like with Banish or Illusion, which both follow this pattern.)

          However maybe allow multiple wounds with multiple raises like with normal damage.
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