[SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

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Fponkdamn
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#41 Postby Fponkdamn » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:09 pm

Faster power use actually lines up with Palladium psionics well. In Palladium, casting a spell took up half your actions for the round, typically that meant 2-3 actions spent "casting" while you were vulnerable to disruption. (Later rules also introduced the idea that more powerful spells took even longer but cheap spells could be cast quickly, though this was an optional, if widely adopted, rule.) By comparison, using a psionic power was always a single action, no matter the power level.

I still feel like restricting Master to only the specific IFWs (and the "Mental Might" trapping) is the easiest and cleanest way to make sure MMs have their place. It fits in the lore well - lots of things could have psionic powers, but if you weren't a "Master Psionic" R.C.C. you either only had access to the lesser psionic abilities, or you specifically had access to one or two Supers. Making "Master of Magic" and "Master Psionic" Edges that only upgrade one power to Mega allows that to happen while leaving the MM with ALL Mega powers. You can still make virtually any concept you want, you just can't make a MARS that's straight-up better than a MM, which I think is the core goal of all this.

For the specific concerns: I agree with downgrading the prerequisites for Energy Control, Psi-Blade and Telemechanics to Major Psionic rather than Master. With each of those powers, there's still a benefit if you DO go Master with specifically Telekinesis or Smite (better effects, damage, etc.), so you can still easily make an Elemental Fusionist with that ability. Of course, if your concern is that an Elemental Fusionist as a MARS won't hold up, I think it's perfectly acceptable to actually create an IFW for them, but that's a separate project beyond the scope of this discussion.

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#42 Postby Damian Magecraft » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:06 pm

Fponkdamn wrote:Faster power use actually lines up with Palladium psionics well. In Palladium, casting a spell took up half your actions for the round, typically that meant 2-3 actions spent "casting" while you were vulnerable to disruption. (Later rules also introduced the idea that more powerful spells took even longer but cheap spells could be cast quickly, though this was an optional, if widely adopted, rule.) By comparison, using a psionic power was always a single action, no matter the power level.

I still feel like restricting Master to only the specific IFWs (and the "Mental Might" trapping) is the easiest and cleanest way to make sure MMs have their place. It fits in the lore well - lots of things could have psionic powers, but if you weren't a "Master Psionic" R.C.C. you either only had access to the lesser psionic abilities, or you specifically had access to one or two Supers. Making "Master of Magic" and "Master Psionic" Edges that only upgrade one power to Mega allows that to happen while leaving the MM with ALL Mega powers. You can still make virtually any concept you want, you just can't make a MARS that's straight-up better than a MM, which I think is the core goal of all this.

For the specific concerns: I agree with downgrading the prerequisites for Energy Control, Psi-Blade and Telemechanics to Major Psionic rather than Master. With each of those powers, there's still a benefit if you DO go Master with specifically Telekinesis or Smite (better effects, damage, etc.), so you can still easily make an Elemental Fusionist with that ability. Of course, if your concern is that an Elemental Fusionist as a MARS won't hold up, I think it's perfectly acceptable to actually create an IFW for them, but that's a separate project beyond the scope of this discussion.

You have me on the restricting "Master of"
Right up until you include magic into the equation.
The problem is that Master of Psioncs has an intermediary step (major psi) edge but magic does not. You are spiking the power levels of psi and not just nerfing but handicapping magic users in the process.

Your discounting MARS as a valid concern where certain magic classes are concerned disturbs me as well.
While I agree with your assessment that the fusionist should have its own IFW there are other magic classes whose fluff makes the MARS concept a better fit. (Temporal Warrior, Temporal Wizard, etc...).
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#43 Postby Fponkdamn » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:14 pm

Well, no reason you HAVE to include magic. Since the caster IFWs like Ley Line Walker and Mystic have a number of special abilities that can't be duplicated with Edges, there's less of a danger of a magic-focused MARS stepping on their toes the way there is with Mind Melters. So you can keep Master of Magic the way it is and still enact the change on Master Psionic. I don't see a problem with it.

(Though I don't consider it "spiking" the power level of psionics - the point is to keep the top-level psionics the same and just keep the MARS from nipping at their heels - or straight-up overtaking them - but your point is valid.)

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#44 Postby Damian Magecraft » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:26 pm

Fponkdamn wrote:Well, no reason you HAVE to include magic. Since the caster IFWs like Ley Line Walker and Mystic have a number of special abilities that can't be duplicated with Edges, there's less of a danger of a magic-focused MARS stepping on their toes the way there is with Mind Melters. So you can keep Master of Magic the way it is and still enact the change on Master Psionic. I don't see a problem with it.

(Though I don't consider it "spiking" the power level of psionics - the point is to keep the top-level psionics the same and just keep the MARS from nipping at their heels - or straight-up overtaking them - but your point is valid.)
Thinking on it...
rather than restrict and creat a second version of the Master Psi edge (lots of potential player confusion and upset there)
the creation of a couple of Iconic Edges might be a more elegant solution since IEs are automatically restricted to specific IFWs.

Another piece of my reasoning is that in Classic Rifts even a the non-master psis have access to some pretty devastating powers just from the three "minor" power categories.
so allowing a MARS psi access to Master isn't going to be too over balancing. Especially if there are IEs available only to non MARs psi IFWs.
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#45 Postby Fponkdamn » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:45 pm

I just always try to opt for the "past of least resistance" when it comes to homebrew. If we add new Iconic Edges to the Mind Melter, we increase its power and have to deal with the potential imbalance of everything we do. And Mind Melters are plenty powerful - the issue isn't that they aren't, it's that you can essentially "build a better Mind Melter" with the MARS framework. So if we add anything to Mind Melters, we potentially imbalance them, but if we just restrict Master Psionic as a core edge to just upgrading one power per Edge, then we keep Mind Melters the same compared to everything else, and we don't actually weaken the MARS any, since there are a bajillion different ways to make a MARS that aren't touched by that change. Even if you DO want one or two "Super Psionics" as a MARS you can still get them (so if you have a MARS concept that revolves around a specific power - say you're trying to build a Zapper - you can still do it); the only thing you CAN'T do is just take everything a Mind Melter gets and them some.

Again, the concern isn't that Mind Melters aren't powerful enough - they're plenty powerful. The concern is that if your concept is "mind melter" and you're aiming for power, you're actually better off choosing MARS and taking AB (Psionics), Major Psionic, Master Psionic, and every other edge you need to just blow Mind Melters out of the water. MARS shouldn't be able to just straight-up duplicate-only-better an IFW. And while Iconic Edges would help alleviate that concern, I just think it's the worse option over the very simple tweak of adding that restriction to Master Psionic.

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#46 Postby Damian Magecraft » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:21 am

Fponkdamn wrote:I just always try to opt for the "past of least resistance" when it comes to homebrew. If we add new Iconic Edges to the Mind Melter, we increase its power and have to deal with the potential imbalance of everything we do. And Mind Melters are plenty powerful - the issue isn't that they aren't, it's that you can essentially "build a better Mind Melter" with the MARS framework. So if we add anything to Mind Melters, we potentially imbalance them, but if we just restrict Master Psionic as a core edge to just upgrading one power per Edge, then we keep Mind Melters the same compared to everything else, and we don't actually weaken the MARS any, since there are a bajillion different ways to make a MARS that aren't touched by that change. Even if you DO want one or two "Super Psionics" as a MARS you can still get them (so if you have a MARS concept that revolves around a specific power - say you're trying to build a Zapper - you can still do it); the only thing you CAN'T do is just take everything a Mind Melter gets and them some.

Again, the concern isn't that Mind Melters aren't powerful enough - they're plenty powerful. The concern is that if your concept is "mind melter" and you're aiming for power, you're actually better off choosing MARS and taking AB (Psionics), Major Psionic, Master Psionic, and every other edge you need to just blow Mind Melters out of the water. MARS shouldn't be able to just straight-up duplicate-only-better an IFW. And while Iconic Edges would help alleviate that concern, I just think it's the worse option over the very simple tweak of adding that restriction to Master Psionic.
if I were building a Zapper I would just ReTrap the Burster and call it a day. (Pretty much the same for a Soaker).
Same goes for creating niche protection on the MM. one or two Iconic Edges and done. (Not all IEs have to be over powered just exclusive/unique).
In Classic if I wanted to play a Mind God I wouldn't go the Melter Route anyway (PFRPG Mind Mage is a far more superior pick... all powers by level 8 vs all powers by level 13).
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#47 Postby Sitting Duck » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:37 am

ValhallaGH wrote:I think you're better off going back to earlier in the thread, and making an Edge that lets them ignore one level of multi-action penalties for using powers. They can draw a gun and use a power at no penalty; they can swing a sword and use a power at no penalty; they can use two powers per turn at no penalty. Same concept (awesome power user) but simpler and more elegant mechanics.


Doh! Sorry for misreading your earlier statement. How about this?


Speed of Thought
Requirements: Seasoned, Mind Melter, Spirit d8+
Your character can activate two Novice psionic powers on the same turn with a standard -2 MAP.

Improved Speed of Thought
Requirements: Veteran, Speed of Thought
As Speed of Thought, but there's no MAP.

Though perhaps the Rank requirement for the latter should be Heroic.
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#48 Postby Brickulos » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:55 am

RAW every caster can already cast powers with the usual MAP.

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#49 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:21 am

Brickulos wrote:RAW every caster can already cast powers with the usual MAP.

Yep.
Savage Rifts setting rules allow casting multiple powers at standard multi-action penalties. See the "Casting More than One Spell Per Round" sidebar on page 110.
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#50 Postby Fponkdamn » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:32 am

The problem with the IE approach is that I don't think it actually solves the problem.

The problem as stated is that you can build a MARS that is a better "mind melter" than the Mind Melter. One component of this is that Mind Melters have very few unique abilities either built into the class or available as IEs the way Walkers or Mystics do. So since Mind Melters are essentially just a combination of Edges available to anyone, MARS can just TAKE those Edges (and then some!) and be better brainiacs than the Melters. This is a dilemma, as the MARS should be versatile, but not straight-up-better than the other IFWs at their specific niche.

Given that, if you try to solve the problem by giving Melters some new IEs, you have a problem: If the IEs are cool/powerful enough to put Mind Melters seriously ahead of MARS posers, then you're ALSO putting Mind Melters seriously ahead of other IFWs, where they're already pretty balanced.

The other problem is that there are LOTS of good Edges for Mind Melter-types. So even if your MARS-Melter can't take the IEs specifically, they'll still be just as good if not better because of the Edges they CAN take (and take more of!) such as Sixth Sense, Energy Control, Psi-Blade, Telemechanics, Mentalist, New Power, Power Points, Rapid Recharge, etc. In other words, adding IEs to the Mind Melter either gives them a cool minor thing that MARS can't take but doesn't really address the fact that MARS are just better at their job than they are, OR the IEs you add are so cool and powerful that they're TOO cool and powerful compared to everything else.

Overall, of the various options for addressing the MM/MARS disparity:

1. Give MM new IEs.
2. Give MM new actual abilities built into the IFW.
3. Restrict Master Psionic to one Mega each when taken by non MMs.
4. Give MM more Heroic Journey rolls and/or more (regular) Edges built-in (like Sixth Sense)

I actually think option 1 is the worst of the four. Number 2 and 4 both have the balance issues of number 1 with regards to other IFWs, but do a better job balancing them against MARS.

Here's an example:

Brainiac
Requires Mind Melter
You may activate psionic powers as a free action.

Okay, so that Edge is NUTS. No one would argue that if that Edge existed, that MARS could be "as good as" Mind Melters. No way! But obviously that Edge is way too powerful to exist. So here's another example:

Concentration
Requires Mind Melter
You ignore up to -2 in penalties to Psionics rolls, whether from MAP, wounds, etc.

Okay, that's pretty cool and it's probably balanced against the other IFWs, no real complaints. BUT, it doesn't put Mind Melters out of the reach of MARS - a MARS-melter with 3 more powers, 10 more power points, a handful more edges to spend and more Fortune and Glory rolls is still going to be a better Master Psionic than a MM with "Concentration."

So that's the dilemma with the IE approach. Either the IEs don't realistically make them better at their role than a MARS would be, or they do but also imbalance them heavily against other IFWs.

It's POSSIBLE to find EXACTLY that sweet-spot middle ground, but it would take a lot of work, a lot of tweaking, and you'd probably never get a consensus.

Anyway, since all of this is a discussion about folks' homebrews, it's not something we have to settle, just bouncing ideas around. For my own games, I already know the way I'll do it, and everyone should do whatever their own games/groups enjoy the most. But I figured I'd throw out there my "mental math" (pardon the pun!) so you can see where my reasoning comes from.

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#51 Postby Freemage » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:33 am

I'm going to add one other option for the MARS v. MM disparity; I'm not sure if it's ultimately any better than the four listed by Fponkdamn, but I figure it should be on the table:

5: Give MARS Psis a more limited power-list.

Specifically, you'd go through the MM list and identify those specific powers that really seem to be what the class is about. My first choice would be Puppet. Once you've identified them, strike those from the MARS list.

In fact, I'd say a MARS psi might be limited, in general, to a list of 15 powers built around their concept (similar to what I was advised for a MARS spellcaster), and the concept would be limited, at my tables, to ones that did not steal the MM's niche. You might even get some powers that the MM doesn't get, but that's the point of the MARS approach--versatility, rather than filling one of the big iconic roles.

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#52 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:28 pm

So, there is a design space that doesn't provide direct power but does make an Iconic Framework more unique and effective. The Ley Line Walker lives in this space; away from a ley line, a M.A.R.S. wizard is just as good (Master of Magic, 5 powers, 15 PP, Rapid Recharge) with all the M.A.R.S. benefits. The Mind Melter already taps into this design space, with the Expanded Awareness and Mental Resistance abilities; what the Mind Melter lacks is something akin to the Walker's various ley line mastery abilities (Magic Mastery, Rejuvenation, Sense, Transmission, and Walking, plus Expanded Awareness).

The problem with weakening M.A.R.S. casters is that now those characters are no longer effective. To shore up a problematic Framework, a couple of posters have proposed neutering a framework that's been performing perfectly.

What the Mind Melter framework needs is something interesting and unique that seals its place as the top of its field. Expanded Awareness and Mental Resistance are excellent starts on that, but not enough by themselves (especially given how many posters ignore the existence of them). Adding in a couple of benefits that the other pure casters have (free the Power Points and Rapid Recharge Edges, five Hero's Journey rolls) would help a lot, and extend the Melter's longevity without increasing momentary power. Then it's just a matter of finding cool things that fit the Melter's theme, giving them balanced mechanics, and being done.
Personally: Letting them ignore two points of multiple action penalties for using psychic powers would be a huge step, and with the previously mentioned benefits provide enough numbers power that they should be "close enough".
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#53 Postby Fponkdamn » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:53 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:To shore up a problematic Framework, a couple of posters have proposed neutering a framework that's been performing perfectly.


See, I think you and I are trying to solve two different problems. I think we've been talking past each other.

I don't agree that the Mind Melter is "problematic." I think the Mind Melter is perfectly fine, in terms of how it interacts with the game as played as well as how it holds up compared to other IFWs. I'm very specifically NOT trying to make the Mind Melter more powerful because I think it's fine.

The ONLY thing I'm convinced is an issue is that side-by-side, a MARS Psionic build character can be better than a Mind Melter at being a Mind Melter.

So I also don't agree that MARS "perform perfectly." I think MARS are super awesome, but I think the one thing they shouldn't be able to do is be better than a different IFW at that IFW's thing. Two examples:

1. Glitter Boy versus MARS Power Armor Pilot. This one came up a lot during the initial release; the idea that a MARS pilot was actually way better than a GB Pilot at actually piloting power armor. The only thing the GB IFW had was... well, actually having a GB. However, a Glitter Boy is SO GOOD compared to anything a MARS pilot can start with that it works out, as long as the GM doesn't allow any cheesy way of a MARS Pilot to just get a Glitter Boy in the first session.

2. MARS Headhunter versus Combat Cyborg. Folks have done the math on this one, but imagine if a MARS Headhunter could, through the right use of Edges, rolls, etc., start with MORE and BETTER cybernetics than the Combat Cyborg. That would need fixing, and the fix wouldn't be to increase Combat 'Borg's power if they were already balanced against the other IFWs. The answer would be to tone down what cybernetics MARS had access to. As it stands right now, a MARS can get a lot of cybernetics if they want, but not as many as the 'Borg, because having a crap-load of cybernetics is the Borg's thing - it's their niche.

So the same applies here. Now I agree that if you gave a bunch of cool new IFW abilities to the Mind Melter that would ALSO solve the problem, I just don't think it would solve it as well. You'd be solving one problem but creating another; namely the potential imbalance you'd create between MMs and the other IFWs.

If, instead, you limit Master Psionic as I described, you certainly don't "neuter" MARS, because a.) there's a bajillion different ways to build a MARS and b.) if you were building a MARS specifically to be a "better Mind Melter" I'd be making this face at you: :/

Like, remember when folks pointed out that you could technically make a MARS PA Pilot, take Sidekick, have your Sidekick be a Glitter Boy, and then trade armors with your Sidekick? Good for a laugh, but ridiculously cheesy if anyone tried it? Same concept here - if someone was like "I have an idea for a MARS character!" And what they took was AB (Psionics), Major Psionic, Master Psionic, Power Points x2, New Power x2, and spent all their rolls on the Psionics table it would be reasonable to treat them the same way as the Glitter-Cheater. "If you want to pilot a Glitter Boy, play the Glitter Boy IFW" is a reasonable statement, and so is "If you want to play a Mind Melter, just play a Mind Melter."

So I guess what it comes down to is how you think the Mind Melter stacks up. Like, it's perfectly reasonable to go the route of increasing MM power if you think the problem is that they're weak overall, compared to other IFWs. I don't happen to think that, but it's not unreasonable for a particular GM/group to feel that way. If you do feel that way, increasing their core power is probably the way to go. I happen to think they're NOT underpowered compared to other IFWs, so my only concern is keeping someone from being able to "backdoor" them. But I think both approaches are totally reasonable depending on where you see Mind Melters falling in terms of comparisons to other choices.

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#54 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:09 pm

Fponkdamn wrote:So the same applies here.

It sure does. Which is what I was saying.

Mind Melter is very effective, but it is numerically weaker than every other framework. It's like the pre-errata Glitter Boy armor - it's good, but not good enough to compete on Rifts Earth.
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#55 Postby Fponkdamn » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:25 pm

Ah, okay. Word. That's a totally valid thing, I was just like, one block over. :)

Then I'll fall back on something I said at some point earlier about how I'd fix that: Automatically get Sixth Sense, well-defined "Mental Might" trapping, and ignore up to -2 penalty on Psionics roll. I still wouldn't do IEs (or at least, I wouldn't JUST do IEs), because if the issue is that MMs are weaker overall, then you want to increase their core power, not just the after-market stuff they have to spend Edges on (and thus NOT spend Edges on other things like New Power, etc.).

Though now that I've re-read your linked thread - has there ever been a mention of why Mind Melters seem to have such a lower pool? I mean, a lot of their actual power is in versatility, but still.

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#56 Postby Café Truck » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:33 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:Mind Melter is very effective, but it is numerically weaker than every other framework. It's like the pre-errata Glitter Boy armor - it's good, but not good enough to compete on Rifts Earth.


I second this sentiment. The Mind Melter sounds so cool, until you dig a little. Still a perfectly acceptable role playing choice, but not quite on par with the rest of the frameworks and, ultimately, a little frustrating to build.

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#57 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:45 pm

Fponkdamn wrote: ignore up to -2 penalty on Psionics roll.

The only reason I'm not saying the same thing is that language gives odd side effects, such as allowing Mind Melters to have up to 2 Strain of cybernetics with no drawbacks or ignore 2 Wounds on any Psionics roll. I don't think Mind Melters should be that good at psionics.
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#58 Postby Fponkdamn » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:06 pm

Ooooh, good call on the Strain. Although technically that still means Strain hurts them, since they'd be constantly "using up" that ability just to counter the Strain, with none left over for other uses... but no, I agree with you. Although now that I'm looking closer, I'm not sure ignoring Psionics roll penalties is the right way to go at all - I mean, they can already spend ISP to get bonuses to Psionics rolls, and "getting a bonus" and "ignoring a penalty" are REALLY close neighbors. It just might not be the best avenue considering.

Honestly, I think that the way to bring Mind Melters in line with everyone else might just be to give them a BUNCH more Power choices. I mean, that's what they were in Palladium - no special abilities beyond Psionics, but they got more psionics than anyone else by a huge margin (yeah, unless you cheat and use Mind Mage from another game :P ). Since "New Power" already has an accepted "cost," we wouldn't really be worried about balance issues, we'd solve the problem of MARS being better, and we'd bring MMs up to everyone else. So maybe just the custom Trappings and like 3-5 more power choices?

Ooh, or how about this:

"Versatile and Powerful: Mind Melters have the most expanded and versatile set of abilities - no two are alike. Select any (3-5) Power Edges. If New Power is taken with this ability, the power may be from any list. Power Points may be chosen any number of times, and does not count against the once-per-rank requirement."

That way you can do whatever! More powers, or more power points, or start with Sixth Sense or Energy Control, or some combination of them all. It allows any kind of build without shoe-horning them into a particular role, and since we already have a set "cost" for new Edges, we know how good such a power is in comparison to other IFWs. It pushes them above MARS psionics in the same way 'Borgs are pushed above MARS headhunters - with just more raw access to their main thing. Borgs:MARS Techno-warriors::Mind Melters:MARS Psionic option.

Thoughts?

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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#59 Postby pkitty » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:23 pm

Fponkdamn wrote:I don't agree that the Mind Melter is "problematic." I think the Mind Melter is perfectly fine, in terms of how it interacts with the game as played as well as how it holds up compared to other IFWs. I'm very specifically NOT trying to make the Mind Melter more powerful because I think it's fine.


I actually disagree. While I have minor quibbles with a few of VGH's benchmarks, I think that the breakdown of IF costs shows that the Mind Melter is weaker than other IFs. So IMO this is one case where beefing up the MM is the right way to go. (If this were a different issue, like say if MARS pyros were threatening the Burster, I'd feel otherwise.) I also don't want to restrict MARS characters unless absolutely necessary, since Personal Concept is the only legitimate way to build certain Rifts-appropriate character types, some of whom should logically be master psis.

Given all of the discussion in this thread so far, my current thoughts are that this is fair (all added to the MM):

1. Extrasensory Perception: The Mind Melter's subconscious awareness extends throughout the area and even into the future. He starts with the Danger Sense and Sixth Sense Edges.

2. Mental Force: Mind Melters have access to a special Trapping, "Mental." Powers with this Trapping have no obvious link back to the psi, and require no ritual or effort on his part. The effect of beneficial abilities are completely invisible. Ranged attacks also cause an unseen effect, unless the target is normally able to defend himself, in which case they are visible but originate some distance from the Mind Melter (usually close to the target). Touch-ranged abilities require subjects to be within reach (adjacent, on a map), but the psi does not have to actually touch them. The net result is that Detect Arcana is the only way to definitively tell that the psi is responsible for the effect; however, anyone who can clearly observe both the target and the Mind Melter may roll Knowledge (Arcana) at -4 or Notice at -4 to make an educated guess that the Mind Melter was behind it.

3. Compartmentalized Mind: A Mind Melter is adept at managing countless mental powers at once. He ignores up to two points of penalties (to any Trait, not just Psionics) caused by activating or maintaining multiple psi abilities.*

#1 is two Edges, #2 is a free Trapping, and #3 is worth an Edge. So the net result is adding three Edges, bringing the Mind Melter up from 25 build points (per VGH's builds) to 31. Because that still leaves the MM weaker than any other option, I don't think there's any potential for abuse.

* For the record, I think the suggestion "choose one power each Rank that you can activate as a free action" is commensurately useful and power, and could be swapped in here. I just don't like that it makes the MM feel like the Cyber-Knight, so I'd much rather do something unique for this IF.

[EDIT: Slight rephrasings, 9/6.]
Last edited by pkitty on Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Fan of Deadlands, quickly becoming a fan of Savage Rifts.
My Savage Rifts house rules, resources, and sample characters.

Café Truck
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Re: [SR] Making the Mind Melter worth choosing

#60 Postby Café Truck » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:43 pm

pkitty wrote:
Fponkdamn wrote:I don't agree that the Mind Melter is "problematic." I think the Mind Melter is perfectly fine, in terms of how it interacts with the game as played as well as how it holds up compared to other IFWs. I'm very specifically NOT trying to make the Mind Melter more powerful because I think it's fine.


I actually disagree. While I have minor quibbles with a few of VGH's benchmarks, I think that the breakdown of IF costs shows that the Mind Melter is weaker than other IFs. So IMO this is one case where beefing up the MM is the right way to go. (If this were a different issue, like say if MARS pyros were threatening the Burster, I'd feel otherwise.) I also don't want to restrict MARS characters unless absolutely necessary, since Personal Concept is the only legitimate way to build certain Rifts-appropriate character types, some of whom should logically be master psis.

Given all of the discussion in this thread so far, my current thoughts are that this is fair (all added to the MM):

1. Extrasensory Perception: The Mind Melter's subconscious awareness extends throughout the area and even into the future. He starts with the Danger Sense and Sixth Sense Edges.

2. Mental Force: Mind Melters have access to a special Trapping, "Mental." Powers with this Trapping have no obvious link back to the psi, and require no ritual or effort on his part (not even a furrowed brow). The effect of beneficial abilities are completely invisible. Ranged attacks also cause an unseen effect, unless the target is normally able to defend himself, in which case they are visible but originate some distance from the Mind Melter (usually close to the target). Touch-ranged abilities require subjects to be within reach (adjacent, on a map), but the psi does not have to actually touch them. The net result is that no one can definitively tell that the psi is responsible for the effect, unless the onlooker is using Detect Arcana.

3. Compartmentalized Mind: A Mind Melter is adept at managing countless mental powers at once. He ignores up to two points of penalties caused by activating or maintaining multiple psi abilities.*

#1 is two Edges, #2 is a free Trapping, and #3 is worth an Edge. So the net result is adding three Edges, bringing the Mind Melter up from 25 build points (per VGH's builds) to 31. Because that still leaves the MM weaker than any other option, I don't think there's any potential for abuse.

* For the record, I think the suggestion "choose one power each Rank that you can activate as a free action" is commensurately useful and power, and could be swapped in here. I just don't like that it makes the MM feel like the Cyber-Knight, so I'd much rather do something unique for this IF.


I am a big fan of these house rules. If my current character goes the way of the dodo, I might try to convince my GM to adopt some or all of them and roll up a Mind Melter (with the free activations option, natch :wink: ).


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