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  • Life sphere controling body

    I found some threads with pretty good information about this, but not quite what I wanted to know.

    I know that Life can control some functions of the body, like putting someone to sleep, giving them convulsions or electrical impulses to control their muscles and thus their actions at some point.
    It also can control hormones and glands to make someone feel happier or angry and affecr directly their mood and maybe their opinion. Someone that have a "feel good" hormone rush might be more susceptible to orders or suggestions.

    So I'd like to know what kind of body (or mind) control is in the realm of Life effects by controling and reading hormones, body chemistry, synapses etc.

    Could a Life mage try to feel whats happening inside someone's mind by scanning its synapses or chemistry?

    Also, the thing about Life controlling someone's body by electrical impulses is that the target will freak out amd know that something is wrong.Could the mage drug the target to make himbnor notice something is wrong?

  • #2
    The firing of the synapses and electric nerve pulses directly is a forces-based process - and it'd be crude compared to controlling actions through Mind. You also couldn't use it for Mind Reading. Both those things are what the Mind Sphere is for.
    A Mage could sense if there is a lot or a little brain activity tho, if they have a scientific background, along with sensing in which parts of the brain the activity happens. They could also probably use the forces sphere to cause cramps in the way of using electrive force overload. Think "TASER".

    That said, Life can tell you a lot, in regards of the state of the body of course. The hormone levels, what kind of hormones are spiking, physical nervousness or excitement etc. And yes, it can manipulate that. chemistry. Using 'rewarding' hormones in itself can be quite effective along the lines of Pawlow's Dog, but it is not Mind control.

    However, is an excellent addition to the Mind Sphere - laying the groundwork for easier manipulation, or even making certain mundane social rolls easier (Which is a very coincidental way to go about it). There is a Technocratic Enhancement that is hormone based (if a bit cliche...) to make a target more easily manipulated through intimidation or other social rolls,
    for example. And of course, yes, druglike effects can be applied through Life itself, or the things you create with it - how much those stay coincidental depends on how subtle the application is, of course. But it is always a gamble in regards to how much the other's Mind can will them through the effects and distractions to some degree.


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    • #3
      Ambrosia Very interesting. So, what exactly could Life do, without the help of Mind, that falls in the realm of Mind, rulewise. Just like both Forces and Correspondence can be used to levitate, what could Life(and Forces if needed to fire electrical impulses) do that normally Mind do?

      As for our posts we have:
      -Control the target body by firing electrical impulses in muscles or brain.
      -Use hormones and body chemistry to affect the target mood, making him happy/druged to be easily manipulated
      -The same as above to make him scared and easily intimidated
      -Scan the brain activity and hormone or any other organic substance level to determine the state of mind or mood of the target. Whike this is not a direct mind reading, the mage could see what are the target's intentions: if he's lying, if he plans to attack, to flee or anything similar.

      Could Life/Forces also:
      -Erase memories by the use of drugs or overcharging the brain?
      - Make someone fall in love or worship the mage by influencing pheromones and "feel good" hormones when the mage is nearby the target. Giving slight pleasure for sexual/loving influence and joy for worshiping/idolise influence.
      - Avoid mind reading/control by changing the pattern of cerebral activity, maybe. Don't know exactly how this coule work.

      I know those are normally Mind effects but, as a lot of other effects, they can be made with another combination of spheres, varying the required sphere ranks and successes. All those effects can be made witha lower level of Mind and probably with less successes.

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      • #4
        I don't think there is any problem with using life to fire synapses or trigger muscle movement. Those are natural biological processes. Doing them with precision wouldn't be easy, but it should be possible.

        As for mental effects, I don't think it is reasonable to erase memories, but it is absolutely reasonable to keep someone from remembering something that is happening to them now. After all, that is something that we can do with modern drugs. You could not make someone fall in love, but you could manipulate the hormones that make certain feelings more likely.

        You can also look to the effects of brain damage to get an idea of what the Life Sphere can do by temporarily suppressing certain parts of the brain. There are people who have brain damage such that they can recognize faces, but those faces trigger no emotional response anymore. They frequently become convinced their loved ones have been replaced by duplicates. There are people who become unable to lay down long term memories. They can remember things that just happened to them and they can learn new skills but they can't remember what happened yesterday or the day before or any day after the damage. Life should be able to temporarily replicate both of those things.


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        • #5
          With Life, you can hijack someone's body and force them to move. If you're only controlling their arms to steer a wheel, for example, they'll shout out that something's happening to their arms and that they're not in control.

          With Mind, you can take control of the mind controlling the body's movements. This is more subtle, and if you're trying to get them to do something in a subtle way it can be extremely easy. The impulse to turn off at the next side road doesn't feel like mind control, it feels like a strange fancy.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
            As for mental effects, I don't think it is reasonable to erase memories, but it is absolutely reasonable to keep someone from remembering something that is happening to them now. After all, that is something that we can do with modern drugs. You could not make someone fall in love, but you could manipulate the hormones that make certain feelings more likely.
            I agree that it shouldn't be possible to erase particular memories with Life. But maybe whole past events, like the last hour, or the last day. Afterall, this happens in real life when someone suffer an impact in the head, or even with drugs.

            Falling in love would be a consequence. I imagine something close, but probably not as strong, as the blood bound in Vampire. Make someone worship the mage, by messing with the pleasure/happiness treigger inside the brain. I wonder how this could work rulewise.

            Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
            You can also look to the effects of brain damage to get an idea of what the Life Sphere can do by temporarily suppressing certain parts of the brain. There are people who have brain damage such that they can recognize faces, but those faces trigger no emotional response anymore. They frequently become convinced their loved ones have been replaced by duplicates. There are people who become unable to lay down long term memories. They can remember things that just happened to them and they can learn new skills but they can't remember what happened yesterday or the day before or any day after the damage. Life should be able to temporarily replicate both of those things.
            I'll take a look at that.

            Originally posted by 11twiggins
            With Life, you can hijack someone's body and force them to move. If you're only controlling their arms to steer a wheel, for example, they'll shout out that something's happening to their arms and that they're not in control.

            With Mind, you can take control of the mind controlling the body's movements. This is more subtle, and if you're trying to get them to do something in a subtle way it can be extremely easy. The impulse to turn off at the next side road doesn't feel like mind control, it feels like a strange fancy.
            Yes, but Life could also drug the target so he doesn't know exactly what is happening. Just like people get drugged with anesthesia before/after a surgery and just agrees with everything and can't remember anything later.

            Also, what about changing the way the synapses occur in the brain to make it harder for telepaths to read/control the mage's mind??

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            • #7
              Mind you that it's, again, moving hard into paradigm territory.
              Making the Life route considerable, a scientific-minded Mage miiiiiiiight be able to pull off a lot of these things, given their belief in the classic teachings of biology that they spread in the first place, but if it's feasable to a very traditional (lowercase t) Mystic mage is a whole different story. *if* this is what the ST allows in the first place.

              --

              Much more importantly, and speaking of spheres, this is moving very hard into the realm of the Mind sphere. And this is, IMO, a big problem.

              While Mage is, yes, *the* game of being able to skin a cat in 20 different ways (Including making the cat skin itself - I miss that thread...), this skinning in a dozen ways usually refers to general concepts - "Come into the possession of lots of gold" for example - more so than very specific processes like "Turn lead into Gold", which immediately, no question, limits the spiel to the Matter sphere as it covers the concept of "Matter transmutation".

              Now, it's the Mind sphere that covers "Mind reading" or "Blocking telepathy".

              In most cases and by the game mechanics, the *function* of a Sphere comes first - *then* comes the actual belief of the Mage, and the in-world actions of putting what the Sphere can do into the Mage's practice.
              As an example, when a Technocrat grabs the X9001 Brainwave Analyzer, and hovers the device over somebody's head, they are not using Life despite the word 'Brainwave' popping up. It is their Technocratic variant of a Mind sphere instrument - and an excellent one at that if the X9001 Brainwave Analyzer also comes with a "Modify" setting.

              Putting a Sphere's function first, and the actual in-world practice to put that function into effect second generates a much cleaner separation of spheres, and it also makes things simply easier all around. One of the big problems a lot of people have with the concept of the Entropy sphere *is* the very fact that it's edges are so blurry, allowing for many things you'd normally have other Spheres for.

              --

              Now, yes, due to the nature of the state of our body affecting our mind in biology, the Life sphere *can* be used to make Mental tasks harder.

              A lot harder. As you said, essentially drugging a person with Life will throw a wrench into many of their plans - but "Blocking Telepathy" with the Life sphere is akin to blocking telepathy with a punch to the back of the head - it's an indirect solution to the problem, it's a gamble due to that indirect approach, and it needs to stay that way. It simply does not direct affect the Mind magick.

              I.e. the rote would be "Drug the shit out of a person" moreso than "Block Telepathy" - with all the fuzzyness and lack of definite success that might entail. It starts with "Does Telepathy even need synapses for this Mage - or do they simply *know* because *Magick*?" and ends with "Oh dear, their Mind is shielded with the Mind Sphere and split up three Correspondence/Spirit ways between them, a beautiful vase and a rather annoying dog."
              That difference between an indirect attempt and a direct solution through the appropriate Sphere is very important, I think, since else the stepping on the Mind sphere's toes becomes too blatant.

              --

              There are STs (That I've met) that will outright block the notion of doing too much with Life what Mind's supposed to do simply for the sake of clear mechanics. Keep that in mind.
              From the Time 4 thread and now this one, I get the feeling that you are playing a very Life-heavy Mage somewhere and are (naturally) trying to make the most use out of that sphere
              But remember that trying too much to wiggle things through with intents of game mechanics vs. rules semantics and scientific biological concepts might cause some ire.
              Last edited by Ambrosia; 05-09-2019, 12:40 AM.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                Mind you that it's, again, moving hard into paradigm territory.
                Making the Life route considerable, a scientific-minded Mage miiiiiiiight be able to pull off a lot of these things, given their belief in the classic teachings of biology that they spread in the first place, but if it's feasable to a very traditional (lowercase t) Mystic mage is a whole different story. *if* this is what the ST allows in the first place.

                --

                Much more importantly, and speaking of spheres, this is moving very hard into the realm of the Mind sphere. And this is, IMO, a big problem.

                While Mage is, yes, *the* game of being able to skin a cat in 20 different ways (Including making the cat skin itself - I miss that thread...), this skinning in a dozen ways usually refers to general concepts - "Come into the possession of lots of gold" for example - more so than very specific processes like "Turn lead into Gold", which immediately, no question, limits the spiel to the Matter sphere as it covers the concept of "Matter transmutation".

                Now, it's the Mind sphere that covers "Mind reading" or "Blocking telepathy".

                In most cases and by the game mechanics, the *function* of a Sphere comes first - *then* comes the actual belief of the Mage, and the in-world actions of putting what the Sphere can do into the Mage's practice.
                As an example, when a Technocrat grabs the X9001 Brainwave Analyzer, and hovers the device over somebody's head, they are not using Life despite the word 'Brainwave' popping up. It is their Technocratic variant of a Mind sphere instrument - and an excellent one at that if the X9001 Brainwave Analyzer also comes with a "Modify" setting.

                Putting a Sphere's function first, and the actual in-world practice to put that function into effect second generates a much cleaner separation of spheres, and it also makes things simply easier all around. One of the big problems a lot of people have with the concept of the Entropy sphere *is* the very fact that it's edges are so blurry, allowing for many things you'd normally have other Spheres for.
                Well, I like to talk about effects trying to avoid mentioning paradigms, not because they aren't important, they are very much, but because they are so much a game changer that they could turn pratically any effect inviable deppending on what effect and paradigm is in question. I tend to attain rule-wise what is "possible" to do with spheres and if someone wants to add it to the game, the player will have to addapt (or not) to the character's paradigm.

                Having said that, we can always ask "what is the best/common way to get effect X?" and that's fine. But we can also always ask, "could spheres Z and Y replicate or come close to effect X?"
                While I know that the majority of the effects listed here are (easily) made with Mind, vould the rules as writen in the books allow such effects using other spheres?

                As you said, Mage is a game where there are more than one way (sometimes lots of ways) to get and effect done, even though one way may be harder/require more successes or sphere ranks than another.

                Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                Now, yes, due to the nature of the state of our body affecting our mind in biology, the Life sphere *can* be used to make Mental tasks harder.

                A lot harder. As you said, essentially drugging a person with Life will throw a wrench into many of their plans - but "Blocking Telepathy" with the Life sphere is akin to blocking telepathy with a punch to the back of the head - it's an indirect solution to the problem, it's a gamble due to that indirect approach, and it needs to stay that way. It simply does not direct affect the Mind magick.

                I.e. the rote would be "Drug the shit out of a person" moreso than "Block Telepathy" - with all the fuzzyness and lack of definite success that might entail. It starts with "Does Telepathy even need synapses for this Mage - or do they simply *know* because *Magick*?" and ends with "Oh dear, their Mind is shielded with the Mind Sphere and split up three Correspondence/Spirit ways between them, a beautiful vase and a rather annoying dog."
                That difference between an indirect attempt and a direct solution through the appropriate Sphere is very important, I think, since else the stepping on the Mind sphere's toes becomes too blatant.
                I understand completely and agree that Mind might not even use synapses in telepathy. But this also leads to other questions regarding mind reading/control. Does the target have to be awaken for the mage to read his Mind (I guess controling is not possible with someone asleep)? Does the mind/brain have to be human in nature, could a mage use telepathy on a dog or even an animal without counsciouness like an insect?

                Either way, it seems that the only way (the only I can think of, and I'll be very happy if you guys help me) to "shield" one's mind is to drug it or simply make it so fucked up or different that the mind being protected will not work properly, thus not worth to cast on the mage himself. Could work to "shield" someone else tough.

                And yes, I am looking for getting the most effects possible with Life and Forces spheres.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Futurama
                  Leela : Why would Fry be immune to the brains' attacks? Because he doesn't shower?
                  Fiona : The brains suppress intelligence by attacking the Delta brain wave. Every animal and robot generates this wave, as well as certain trees.
                  Nibbler : Fry, however, does not.
                  Fiona : Somehow he has cobbled together a random assortment of other brain waves into a working mind.
                  Leela : Like a prom dress made of carpet remnants!
                  Nibbler : Yes, like your prom dress.




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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                    [/FONT][/COLOR]
                    Hahahahahaah that's more or less what I had in mind. But maybe it's not a good idea to have a mind like Fry's

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                    • #11
                      An interesting way of messing with someone's free will and/or memory is simulating the effects of the drug scopolamine in thee target brain.
                      Looks like it's a substance that leave the user as a puppet that agrees to anything that is asked and might not remember anything afterwards.

                      I wonder how would this best be represented in rules, maybe a reduction in manipulation rolls, or maybe a roll against the targer Willpower?

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