[SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

Information and comments on all Pinnacle licensed Savage Settings. Please note the product with an abbreviation in the Subject line (ex. [SR] for Savage Rifts®, [6G] for The Sixth Gun, [SK] for Solomon Kane, and so on). Note: Licensee settings by 3rd parties are below.

Moderators: PEG Jodi, The Moderators

Message
Author
Brickulos
Veteran
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:12 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#101 Postby Brickulos » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:04 pm

pkitty wrote:1. Mindwipe normally costs 3 PP and takes five minutes, during which you basically have to restrain the person. So the mega, Exalted Mindwipe, costs 15 power points and may be attempted as a standard action. (Yeah, that's really expensive, but it's a permanent change and this is adding huge utility to it!)

I'd change the success from five minute increments to a full hour and the cost tripled.

pkitty wrote:2. Telekinetic Squeeze normally costs 3 PP, is rolled at -2 to Psionics, and ignores non-magical armor. Since it's an attack from inside the target, I ruled that it can affect someone with magical M.D.C. armor (e.g., from Greater Armor). The mega, Telekinetic Slaughter, costs 6 power points, does not suffer the -2 penalty to Psionics, and affects everyone in a Small Burst Template whom the Mind Melter wishes to target. (I kept it SBT because I don't want CS squads to present zero challenge.)


If you make it an area attack, I'd keep the -2 to reflect the difficulty of attacking multiple targets. Personally I'd just increase the damage to d12 and remove the -2 psionics, but keep it to a single target.

ValhallaGH
Legendary
Posts: 8293
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#102 Postby ValhallaGH » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:15 pm

pkitty wrote:1. Mindwipe normally costs 3 PP and takes five minutes, during which you basically have to restrain the person. So the mega, Exalted Mindwipe, costs 15 power points and may be attempted as a standard action. (Yeah, that's really expensive, but it's a permanent change and this is adding huge utility to it!)

Holy crap that's scary. But, costing 15 ISP per use mitigates most of the abuse potential, so it's probably okay.
Psionics v. Smarts as an action. Delete 5 minutes of memory, plus 5 minutes per raise. That's freaking terrifying, especially since many of my most important memories are less than ten minutes long.
I like the route of making it cast faster a lot more than deleting larger chunks of time. Though you might want to make exalted mindwipe be a full round action, kind of like Aim or Defend, to show how much focus and attention it takes to find the specific memory and remove it.

pkitty wrote:2. Telekinetic Squeeze normally costs 3 PP, is rolled at -2 to Psionics, and ignores non-magical armor. Since it's an attack from inside the target, I ruled that it can affect someone with magical M.D.C. armor (e.g., from Greater Armor). The mega, Telekinetic Slaughter, costs 6 power points, does not suffer the -2 penalty to Psionics, and affects everyone in a Small Burst Template whom the Mind Melter wishes to target. (I kept it SBT because I don't want CS squads to present zero challenge.)

Wow. Ripping the hearts out of an entire fire team at once. That's mean.
+2 PP to be a SBT and +2 PP to ignore the usual -2. That sounds fair. A bit annoying, since each target resists individually and has a unique amount of damage rolled, but fair.
I wouldn't make the base effect Mega Damage; greater armor should absolutely make someone immune to telekinetic squeeze, but not telekinetic slaughter, much as it can make someone immune to bolt but not onslaught.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

User avatar
pkitty
Seasoned
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#103 Postby pkitty » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:07 pm

Thanks to both of you for the suggestions; I'm thinking them over. Two questions, though:

1. Brickulos, are you saying that you think it would be better to change the increment to an hour instead of changing the casting time to one action, or in addition to doing so?

2. It would probably be fair to keep Telekinetic Squeeze as standard damage, and Slaughter as mega, but that raises a question: If the subject has non-magical M.D.C. (let's say it's a Glitter Boy), should that stop it? Thinking back to how Hell on Earth intended this to work, could Telekinetic Squeeze bypass (non-magical) Heavy Armor?
Fan of Deadlands, quickly becoming a fan of Savage Rifts.
My Savage Rifts house rules, resources, and sample characters.

Brickulos
Veteran
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:12 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#104 Postby Brickulos » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:48 pm

pkitty wrote:1. Brickulos, are you saying that you think it would be better to change the increment to an hour instead of changing the casting time to one action, or in addition to doing so?


Keep the casting time and increase the increment. Or for added utility, make either option available.

pkitty wrote:2. It would probably be fair to keep Telekinetic Squeeze as standard damage, and Slaughter as mega, but that raises a question: If the subject has non-magical M.D.C. (let's say it's a Glitter Boy), should that stop it? Thinking back to how Hell on Earth intended this to work, could Telekinetic Squeeze bypass (non-magical) Heavy Armor?


It's hard to say for certain, because I don't think anything man-sized has Heavy Armor in HOE:R, but the description strongly suggests it would ignore heavy armor.

ValhallaGH
Legendary
Posts: 8293
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#105 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:26 am

pkitty wrote:2. It would probably be fair to keep Telekinetic Squeeze as standard damage, and Slaughter as mega, but that raises a question: If the subject has non-magical M.D.C. (let's say it's a Glitter Boy), should that stop it? Thinking back to how Hell on Earth intended this to work, could Telekinetic Squeeze bypass (non-magical) Heavy Armor?

Yes.
Hell On Earth has power armor in the setting, though very little survived to the Reloaded era. The thing is, power armor isn't magical so telekinetic squeeze gets to ignore it, and in Classic the powers that were simplified and unified into telekinetic squeeze all didn't care if you were wearing power armor.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

User avatar
pkitty
Seasoned
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#106 Postby pkitty » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:01 pm

Okay, after taking your feedback into account, here's are some revised versions. I'd still love any critique or further suggestions!

Exalted Mindwipe gives you two options. "Slow and sure" costs 6 ISP, takes the usual five minutes, but raises the time increment to one hour. "Quick and dirty" costs 15 ISP, leaves the time increment at five minutes, but works quickly enough to be attempted in combat. For the latter, the Mind Melter must take a full-round action (doing nothing else, even free actions); on the psi's next action, he makes the opposed roll with the target. If the Mind Melter is Shaken or wounded between those two actions, the wipe fails.

(Given how incredibly potent and useful this ability is, it feels like there should be some way for an active target to shut it down. Shooting the MM in the face seems like a fair way to achieve that, especially since it still requires the victim or his friends to beat the MM's next initiative and then Shake or wound the MM.)

Telekinetic Squeeze does standard damage, which means that magical/psionic M.D.C. armor stops it completely.

Evisceration costs 6 ISP, does not take the -2 penalty, and does d12 Mega-Damage (per success and raise) instead of d10. Moreover, it ignores non-M.D.C. arcane armor; only Toughness and arcane mega-armor protect.

(Rolling for a dozen different targets would get tedious, I agree, so this version only affects a single target as well. I keep waffling on the damage -- is one die type, a +18% expected bump, enough?)
Fan of Deadlands, quickly becoming a fan of Savage Rifts.
My Savage Rifts house rules, resources, and sample characters.

Brickulos
Veteran
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:12 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#107 Postby Brickulos » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:33 pm

pkitty wrote:Exalted Mindwipe gives you two options. "Slow and sure" costs 6 ISP, takes the usual five minutes, but raises the time increment to one hour. "Quick and dirty" costs 15 ISP, leaves the time increment at five minutes, but works quickly enough to be attempted in combat. For the latter, the Mind Melter must take a full-round action (doing nothing else, even free actions); on the psi's next action, he makes the opposed roll with the target. If the Mind Melter is Shaken or wounded between those two actions, the wipe fails.

(Given how incredibly potent and useful this ability is, it feels like there should be some way for an active target to shut it down. Shooting the MM in the face seems like a fair way to achieve that, especially since it still requires the victim or his friends to beat the MM's next initiative and then Shake or wound the MM.)


Looks good.

pkitty wrote:Telekinetic Squeeze does standard damage, which means that magical/psionic M.D.C. armor stops it completely.

Evisceration costs 6 ISP, does not take the -2 penalty, and does d12 Mega-Damage (per success and raise) instead of d10. Moreover, it ignores non-M.D.C. arcane armor; only Toughness and arcane mega-armor protect.

(Rolling for a dozen different targets would get tedious, I agree, so this version only affects a single target as well. I keep waffling on the damage -- is one die type, a +18% expected bump, enough?)


If you're concerned d12 is too weak, do 2d10 instead and keep the d10 on raises.

User avatar
pkitty
Seasoned
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#108 Postby pkitty » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:59 pm

Brickulos wrote:If you're concerned d12 is too weak, do 2d10 instead and keep the d10 on raises.

+100% damage out of the gate might be a bit much, though. I was considering whether to change it to 2d6 (per success and raise). Due to acing, that would be a +37% bump to expected damage rather than the +18% bump of d10 -> d12. I'm just not sure whether that's too good.
Fan of Deadlands, quickly becoming a fan of Savage Rifts.
My Savage Rifts house rules, resources, and sample characters.

ValhallaGH
Legendary
Posts: 8293
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#109 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:57 pm

Bolt is 2d6 per bolt (up to three) or 3d6 for the big one. Onslaught is 3d6 per bolt (up to four) and 6d6 for the big one. Average damage goes from 8.4 or 12.6 per bolt to 12.6 or 25.2 per bolt, an increase of 50% to 100% at double the point cost.
Greater blast deals two to three d10 (average +2 damage per die), no change to templates. That's four additional PPE for an average +50% damage to each target, and much better odds of rolling 20+ or 30+.
Greater burst upgrades 2d10 to 3d12, going from average 12.2 to 21.3 damage. Double the cost for +9.1 average damage (about +75%) to all affected targets (there is a roll to avoid it) in the cone template.

Going from 1d10 per Raise to 2d6 per Raise seems in line with blast, but blast affects multiple targets. The best metric is the big bolt, also a single-target power, which doubles in damage. Going to 2d10 plus 1d10 per Raise increases average damage by a flat 6.1, which seems a bit weak for a single target damaging power. I'd suggest going with 2d12 plus 1d12 per Raise; the initial average damage increases from 6.1 to 14.2 (getting a Shaken on anything squishier than a dragon hatchling) and increases by 7.1 per Raise. That's an average increase of 130% for a basic success and +15% for each Raise; one of those crazy-high five Raise hits would deal 7d12 (average 49.7) instead of squeeze's 6d10 (average 36.6), an increase of about 36%.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

User avatar
pkitty
Seasoned
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#110 Postby pkitty » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:08 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions; I've been carefully thinking them over for the past few days.

I'm not sure if Bolt is a perfect comparison, because Eviscerate adds two non-damaging benefits: dropping the -2 penalty (useful) and completely ignoring normal arcane armor (very potent). Greater Armor becomes the only real protection against it; even a dragon's M.D.C. armor is innate, not arcane! In other words, Eviscerate is a straight "my damage vs your innate Toughness" for the vast majority of threats you'll face, without even the "add half your Spirit" mitigator of Soul Blast. So I'm a bit scared of letting the damage inflate too much, lest this become an "I win" button. As such, I do think going from d10 -> d12 might be enough. I think I'll run with that for now, and tweak it later if it seems too weak.
Fan of Deadlands, quickly becoming a fan of Savage Rifts.
My Savage Rifts house rules, resources, and sample characters.

ValhallaGH
Legendary
Posts: 8293
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#111 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:35 pm

Fair enough. Good luck! :D
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

RogueRegault
Novice
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:43 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#112 Postby RogueRegault » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:46 pm

pkitty wrote:THE ISSUE

If you want to play a Mind Melter and are okay with Novice and Seasoned powers, you're usually better off building it with the M.A.R.S. Personal Concept option. The Mind Melter comes with eight Edges (AB, Major Psi, Master Psi, New Power* x 3, Arcane Resistance + Improved**), three skill points, three minor Hindrances, and four HJ rolls***, for a net 20 build points. The M.A.R.S. psionic ends up with six Edges, five skill points, no Hindrances, four M.A.R.S. rolls***, and three HJ rolls***, for a net 28 build points! As the footnotes below show, some of these benchmarks are estimates, but even if I'm off by a few build points, the disparity here is significant enough to bother me.

* One of which is Detect/Conceal Arcana with the trapping "can only detect, but does so for free."
** With the drawback "only against psi" balanced by the benefit "doesn't hurt friendly use."
*** I'm ballparking these at 1 build point for a HJ roll and 2 for a M.A.R.S. roll.

FIXING IT

I don't think the answer is to add 4 Edges to the Mind Melter, or anything so radical. I think what's needed is to give it something cool and unique that no M.A.R.S. build could ever have -- in the same vein as its free Detect Arcana and Mental Resistance. That way, players can choose between "iconic power" and "more experience."

Here's what I was thinking of adding. I'd really like to hear opinions on it.

Compartmentalized Mind: A Mind Melter is adept at managing countless mental powers at once. He suffers only half the usual multi-action penalty for activating powers while doing something else. For example, if he activated Boost Trait and Quickness on the same turn in which he made an attack, all of his rolls would be at -2 (instead of -4). In addition, Mind Melters do not suffer the usual -1 to Psionics skill for each maintained power.

(EDIT: This topic has turned into a discussion of whether M.A.R.S. characters should have access to the two Master... Edges. See posts #28-30.)


Did you consider that the Mind Melter's hindrances would all apply to any MARS character that was a Master psychic? The Coalition aren't going to check for an iconic framework id card before treating a master psychic with suspicion.

Isawarenshi
Seasoned
Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:22 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#113 Postby Isawarenshi » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:25 pm

So I think there might be one thing that would make the MM hands down better then the M.A.R.S. variant and is just in the reading of them getting the Major Psionic Edge. Simply put the edge itself states you get double your starting ISP. Note that magic users start with 15 PPE instead of the normal 10 from the base background. Assuming that the 20 is the same kind of difference as the caster PPE bump and not the pre included Major Psionics bump that would of bring a MM to starting 40 ISP and I think hands down ahead if not even broken.

User avatar
pkitty
Seasoned
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#114 Postby pkitty » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:21 pm

Isawarenshi wrote:So I think there might be one thing that would make the MM hands down better then the M.A.R.S. variant and is just in the reading of them getting the Major Psionic Edge. Simply put the edge itself states you get double your starting ISP. Note that magic users start with 15 PPE instead of the normal 10 from the base background. Assuming that the 20 is the same kind of difference as the caster PPE bump and not the pre included Major Psionics bump that would of bring a MM to starting 40 ISP and I think hands down ahead if not even broken.


That's not how it works. Their starting ISP pool already factors in the effects of the Major Psionic Edge. In other words, they start with 10 ISP, and then Major Psionic doubles that to 20. So any M.A.R.S. psi who takes the Major Psionic Edge (and why wouldn't they?) gets the same ISP pool of 20.
Fan of Deadlands, quickly becoming a fan of Savage Rifts.
My Savage Rifts house rules, resources, and sample characters.

Isawarenshi
Seasoned
Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:22 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#115 Postby Isawarenshi » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:32 pm

I understand that was the original intent but I was mearly putting forward an idea on differences in framework arcane background vs taking it as an add on for a MARS package. Lets look at the way the arcane users are differentiated from MARS taking it. Framework gets 15 PPE and add on gets 10. What if we did the same for MM? They get 15 base instead of the 10 they have now. Once given their bump from Major Psionic they would have 30 ISP that is good bump over the MARS variant.

ValhallaGH
Legendary
Posts: 8293
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#116 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:55 am

Isawarenshi wrote:I understand that was the original intent but I was mearly putting forward an idea on differences in framework arcane background vs taking it as an add on for a MARS package. Lets look at the way the arcane users are differentiated from MARS taking it. Framework gets 15 PPE and add on gets 10. What if we did the same for MM? They get 15 base instead of the 10 they have now. Once given their bump from Major Psionic they would have 30 ISP that is good bump over the MARS variant.

I proposed that in passing much earlier in the thread. Didn't seem to get any traction with this bunch. :lol:
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

User avatar
pkitty
Seasoned
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#117 Postby pkitty » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:22 am

Isawarenshi, thanks for clarying; I didn't understand your intent from your original post. But I don't think that would fix this problem at all, because all the MARS Major Psionic has to do is take a single extra Edge (Power Points). That's why that suggestion didn't "gain traction" earlier -- as written, the MM is several Edge-equivalents behind the MARS psi, so narrowing that gap by 1 Edge isn't bad, but it doesn't go nearly far enough. (And if we're going to go farther, I'd prefer to do so via interesting and unique new abilities, rather than a common Edge like Power Points.)
Fan of Deadlands, quickly becoming a fan of Savage Rifts.
My Savage Rifts house rules, resources, and sample characters.

Isawarenshi
Seasoned
Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:22 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#118 Postby Isawarenshi » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:43 am

Thinking about it due to the whole major giving 10 for the edge rather then 5 that is a good point. Lol I had been thinking it was worth more effective edges then that. And no worries!

ValhallaGH
Legendary
Posts: 8293
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#119 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:54 am

pkitty wrote:But I don't think that would fix this problem at all, because all the MARS Major Psionic has to do is take a single extra Edge (Power Points). That's why that suggestion didn't "gain traction" earlier -- as written, the MM is several Edge-equivalents behind the MARS psi, so narrowing that gap by 1 Edge isn't bad, but it doesn't go nearly far enough. (And if we're going to go farther, I'd prefer to do so via interesting and unique new abilities, rather than a common Edge like Power Points.)

Agreed. But the Ley Line Walker and Mystic do get +5 PPE and Rapid Recharge as part of those frameworks. The Mind Melter is the only primary caster framework that doesn't get those two edges built in (and the bonus PPE is better than a Power Points edge, since you can still take that edge at Novice). Giving Melters some additional ISP and Rapid Recharge is a small, and boring, benefit that doesn't adequately address the issue of weakness, but it's a start that gets them closer to parity and makes it harder for a M.A.R.S. psion to be better than a Mind Melter.

Add in a few of cool abilities, roughly five edges worth of cool stuff, and you'd have a solid Mind Melter that is actually worth using in addition to a M.A.R.S. psychic. A number of the suggestions in this thread would qualify as those cool things.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

Dragon3434
Novice
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:01 am

Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#120 Postby Dragon3434 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:46 am

Fponkdamn wrote:Now, onto what I consider the BIGGEST fix for the MMs. Best of all, this requires no rules changes at all, just the GM choosing to invoke authority over trappings. I allow MMs to take a specific trapping to their abilities that I don't allow any other Iconic Framework or any other character with AB (Psionics) - not even Masters. Call it "Mind Melting," and the basic premise of the trapping is that it's totally invisible, with absolutely no clue that the Mind Melter is responsible.

So a Ley Line Walker or Mystic casts "Bolt" - they draw together some blue or white energy, form it into a sphere or lance and hurl it at the enemy. A Mind Melter just sips his tea while someone a dozen yards away drops dead. A Ley Line Walker has to chant some strange words and wave his hands around to cast Telekinesis, while the object glows blue and he clearly manipulates it like a marionette. Meanwhile a Mind Melter is across the street when the pins all pull out of grenades on the belts of the soldiers guarding the CS convoy, and no one besides a Psi-Stalker would be able to have any idea what happened.

This reflects the way Mind Melters were in Palladium, and was one of the reasons they were so feared. Unlike magic-users or even Bursters, it wasn't obvious when a Mind Melter was using his or her powers. They could walk among you, controlling minds, altering memories, killing or stealing - an no one had any idea. It made them EXTREMELY dangerous.

By allowing that as a trapping for MM powers in Savage Rifts, you keep well within the rules (trapping selection is already an integral part of defining an Arcane Background user), but give Mind Melters that "something special" that makes them worth choosing over all the other options, even ones that can grant psionic abilities.


I like this. Also they should have soul blast.


Return to “SW Pinnacle Licensed Settings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest