Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Avoid Vampire mind control

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Avoid Vampire mind control

    I am thinking in ways of avoiding mind control, especially from vampires, using only Forces 3, Life 3 , Prime 1 and Time 4 triggers from external sources (not Time 4, only the trigger).

    The main mind control powers from vampires are Dominate and Presence. You could add Chimerstry and Dementation, but let's not for now.

    So, my idea is also to avoid it in a way that would attract the least attention possible. Best scenario would be like Watto and Qui-Gon from Star Wars Ep1. when he simply says that mind tricks won't work with him. So, I'd like to avoid, if possible, burning everything down to avoid being affected.
    The mage's paradigm is a mixture of scientific and mystic: he is a science man, but believes in the supernatural as well. He cast effects using mystical ways, but affecting physics, biology, etc.

    Having said that, I believe there are two important components: detecting the attempt and dealing with it.

    Detection can be done with Life+Prime to identify any supernatural effect acting on the mage's brain. Any Ressonance that shouldn't be there, or something like that. I'm not sure this could be done with an always running effect, but surely can as a Time 4 trigger.

    I thought about two ways of dealing with it. Messing with the vampire or messing with the mage's brain.

    The first seems more efficient, but what can be done to avoid Presence? Getting the vampire blind+deaf+soundless would isolate him from reality making it impossible to give commands (thus avoiding Doninate) in a discrete way. However, I'm not sure this could stop Presence.
    So I ask, how can Presence be avoided?
    I know every Presence power can be avoided by rolling WP (diff. 8) and spending a WP point, but that requures a successful test and lots of WP points wasted, I would prefer another way, if possible.

    Now, messing with the mage's brwin can be very dangerous. I thought something about resetting the brain for a fraction of a second, like when you quickly fall asleep and wake up. Would that avoid the power? I believe both Dominate and Presence needs activstion, and if in the moment they are activated the mage's brain isn't "on" maybe this could work. The drawback is that the vampire could just keep activating the power.

    So, any thoughts?

    PS: I know that Mind 1 is enough to build a shield to avoid all of this, but I want to find a way to do it with those spheres. Bonus question: how would a Mind 1 dhueld work against powers that doesn't rewuire rolls, like Presence 5 Majesty?

    Oh, and consider a crossover of rules, using both M20 and V20.

  • #2
    I think with Life 2 and Forces 3, you could create a sensory filter around your own head that superimposes representative images of Vampires over the real ones and converts their voice to bland subtitles.


    He/Him... I just Love Witches. I am here for conversation rather than formal debate. My Hacks.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
      I think with Life 2 and Forces 3, you could create a sensory filter around your own head that superimposes representative images of Vampires over the real ones and converts their voice to bland subtitles.
      Hmm. You mean like an illusion of the vampire where he is, doing exactly what he does, but with subtitles instead of his voice? Would that help agains Presence?

      Could you elaborate the effect, please?

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't see how you can really stop mental Disciplines like this. Even the idea of monitoring your brain to detect manipulation is questionable. You can tell someone is thinking by watching their brain, but knowing what they're thinking, or that the thoughts aren't "natural" wouldn't show up in watching neurons fire. Life and Mind can overlap... but only so much.

        As you noted, shutting off your senses is pretty much your only option here, but that's impractical, and doesn't work against all of Presence (though I'm not sure how much of a problem it would be that it can't stop Summoning or Majesty for what you seemed concerned about).

        The big problem for me is that, even with Time triggers, you can't be targeted enough to counter like this. If you get hit with a Dominate command to jump, Life magic could make you incapable of jumping for a turn, sure. But you can't hang "turn off whatever part of my body is needed to execute a magical command" with just Life magic. You could protect yourself from "jump" but you'd still be wide up to, "duck," unless you have hundreds of hung effects, or just send yourself catatonic for a turn instead. That's going to be even worse for higher level Dominate with complex orders to follow.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          I don't see how you can really stop mental Disciplines like this. Even the idea of monitoring your brain to detect manipulation is questionable. You can tell someone is thinking by watching their brain, but knowing what they're thinking, or that the thoughts aren't "natural" wouldn't show up in watching neurons fire. Life and Mind can overlap... but only so much.

          As you noted, shutting off your senses is pretty much your only option here, but that's impractical, and doesn't work against all of Presence (though I'm not sure how much of a problem it would be that it can't stop Summoning or Majesty for what you seemed concerned about).

          The big problem for me is that, even with Time triggers, you can't be targeted enough to counter like this. If you get hit with a Dominate command to jump, Life magic could make you incapable of jumping for a turn, sure. But you can't hang "turn off whatever part of my body is needed to execute a magical command" with just Life magic. You could protect yourself from "jump" but you'd still be wide up to, "duck," unless you have hundreds of hung effects, or just send yourself catatonic for a turn instead. That's going to be even worse for higher level Dominate with complex orders to follow.
          The trick here is the Prime sphere in conjunction with Life. While Life indeed can't scan more than brain regions activations and neurons firing, Prime can detect the use of supernatural effects and their Ressonance. There is no need to scan thoughts. Just supernatural powers affecting the brain somehow. Life+Prime seems enough for that. A natural resction of the brain would show no sign of different Ressonance.

          I don't know what you mean by Summon and Majesty. Summon doesn't do much indeed, but Majesty do, right? I posted two options, "rebooting" the mage's brain or shutting down the vampire's senses (all of them including capacity of speech/making sounds). Do you think the disciplines are "always on" and thus making the "reboot" constant or are activated once? If tht last is indeed the case, maybe "rebooting" might work...

          Again, there is no need to cover all commands. Just the slightest hint (Ressonance) of a vampiric (or any supernatural) influence in the brain could trigger the effect. Or maybe, depending on what the effect will do, an always running casting instead of trigger?

          Comment


          • #6
            Dominate is easier than you think. Unless the vampire is an Elder with the specific powers to circumvent this, Dominate demands eye to eye contact all the time. So you only need to not see the vampire's eyes and that's it, a simple effect to blotch their eyes on your view is enough.

            ​Presence is trickier, and depends on how the ST runs it. Blocking all the original sensory input like HorizonParty2021 suggests may work, but isn't a given.

            The problem with most Presence powers is how they work. Instead of directing your thoughts or anything, the vampire simply broadcasts emotional waves non-stop. It isn't tied to a single activation moment or even is directed in some way. The whole shtick of Presence is that it is wild, directionless (the vampire do not actually control your actions, only giving very general guidelines), but unavoidable.

            Messing with the vampire's brain also depends on your ST. A lot of people, just like you here, assume that this does something, but the actual truth is that the vampire's brain is as dead as the rest of the body, their mental process doesn't come from there. Their heads are vital only because they're metaphysical symbols, not because of any biological need they fulfill. Dealing with a Vampire with Life should be completely meaningless.

            I'd say, for your intentions, focus on Dominate. Prime could give you a trigger for both Disciplines being activated, although you would probably need to study an actual vampire effectively activating them to get the right trigger. Time would also do, but then you may have better uses for that item. Whatever the case, Forces to blotch out the target's eyes from your view is enough to almost any Dominate user, and muffling the sounds of the commands will help against the others.

            For Presence, all in all, just knowing that your current feelings are preternaturally generated goes a long way, so just perceiving it with Prime 1 and then choosing your actions carefully should keep you safe and sound no problem.


            #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
            #AutismPride
            She/her pronouns

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post

              Hmm. You mean like an illusion of the vampire where he is, doing exactly what he does, but with subtitles instead of his voice? Would that help agains Presence?

              Could you elaborate the effect, please?
              The advantage of this spell is that it is self-targeted, avoiding the resistances of one or multiple Vampires in the encounter. You are using Life 2 to anchor the spell to your body and Forces 3 to transform light and soundwaves coming in, but only those originating from Vampires.

              For each of the five basic powers of Dominate and Presence, the Storyteller would have to read through the description and determine whether the effect would block or weaken the power being used by the Vampire. I think it would be quite effective against Dominate, since it prevents real eye contact and mutes the Vampire's voice. This is the best defense I could think of using your Spheres. Using
              Invisibility on yourself (same Spheres) to avoid Vampire encounters is a sensible option until you get some Mind.


              He/Him... I just Love Witches. I am here for conversation rather than formal debate. My Hacks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
                The advantage of this spell is that it is self-targeted, avoiding the resistances of one or multiple Vampires in the encounter. You are using Life 2 to anchor the spell to your body and Forces 3 to transform light and soundwaves coming in, but only those originating from Vampires.
                He also needs something to distinguish vampires from other people, as he wants to be prepared beforehand.

                With his options that would be either Prime 1, but learning first the Prime signature of those powers firsthand, or Time 4, but that's an item I know he have other uses for if he can avoid applying on this effect.

                But yeah, your effect would actually be overkill against almost every Dominate user on Earth. Against Presence, it would depend.


                #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                #AutismPride
                She/her pronouns

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                  Prime can detect the use of supernatural effects and their Ressonance.
                  And you don't need Life in the process. The problem is, when does the scan happen? Is this going to be contingent on some sort of Awareness roll? If you're scanning your brain for traces of vampire mind power use, you've already had one used on you. A hung spell needs a functional trigger.

                  I posted two options, "rebooting" the mage's brain or shutting down the vampire's senses (all of them including capacity of speech/making sounds).
                  I don't see how either would actually end Summoning or Majesty's effects. Rebooting does nothing because they're long duration effects that will just kick right back in; Majesty especially.

                  Summoning can target you from extreme range (and you don't have Correspondence in there) so sensory deprivation is meaningless until the power has run it's course (gotten you to the vampire). Sensory deprivation also isn't going to turn off Majesty even if it will be less effective (nobody can attack the Presence user even if they can't sense anything) and even trying to do so in the first place could be considered an offensive action and require a WP check for the mage to even get to roll.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                    ​Presence is trickier, and depends on how the ST runs it. Blocking all the original sensory input like HorizonParty2021 suggests may work, but isn't a given.

                    The problem with most Presence powers is how they work. Instead of directing your thoughts or anything, the vampire simply broadcasts emotional waves non-stop. It isn't tied to a single activation moment or even is directed in some way. The whole shtick of Presence is that it is wild, directionless (the vampire do not actually control your actions, only giving very general guidelines), but unavoidable.
                    The fact that one needs to spend WP every turn to avoid it indicates that it is a non-stop effect, yeah.

                    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                    Messing with the vampire's brain also depends on your ST. A lot of people, just like you here, assume that this does something, but the actual truth is that the vampire's brain is as dead as the rest of the body, their mental process doesn't come from there. Their heads are vital only because they're metaphysical symbols, not because of any biological need they fulfill. Dealing with a Vampire with Life should be completely meaningless.
                    It's my fault that i had not explained the effect enough. My plan for the first option (messing with the vampire) would be to use Forces to affect light and sound, making the vampire unable to see, hear wçand make any sound. Directly affecting the vampire would require Life+Matter.

                    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                    I'd say, for your intentions, focus on Dominate. Prime could give you a trigger for both Disciplines being activated, although you would probably need to study an actual vampire effectively activating them to get the right trigger. Time would also do, but then you may have better uses for that item. Whatever the case, Forces to blotch out the target's eyes from your view is enough to almost any Dominate user, and muffling the sounds of the commands will help against the others.
                    Yeah, Dominate is easy. Both approaches ("rebooting" mage's brain or screwing vampire senses) would work. The issue is Presence.

                    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                    For Presence, all in all, just knowing that your current feelings are preternaturally generated goes a long way, so just perceiving it with Prime 1 and then choosing your actions carefully should keep you safe and sound no problem.
                    Hm. Generally, the target do not know he's being affected. The WP expenditure and roll are due to a genuine attempt to contradict someone you really "like". Maybe by knowing that a power is in place and everything you feel is artificial one could ignore the effect? Unfortunately, there's no rule about that ..

                    HorizonParty2021, I'm not sure that filtering light/sound that comes from the vampire would affect the power. It seems some levels don't even need the vampire to speak. People simply get fond/in love/etc for the vampire mere existence.
                    For example, if a vampire uses Presence inside a small tent, where he's not visible to people outside, would that people be affected?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                      Yeah, Dominate is easy. Both approaches ("rebooting" mage's brain or screwing vampire senses) would work.
                      Rebooting the Mage's brain wouldn't work, the power would still be there, the same way that sleeping or getting an electroshock therapy does not work.

                      What works is a simpler approach, blocking your perception of the vampire. If you can't see the vampire's eyes, they can't affect you with Dominate. If you can't hear the commands, then even the few Elders with the power to not require eye contact can't order you around. There are exceedingly few powerful Elders that can still Dominate you through touch, or even mere thought, but you don't really stand a chance against them before being a Master in some Spheres either way, I don't think they're a likely issue for you to face.

                      Dominate is easy, but cut out Life from the equation or just use it to ease the use of Forces to limit your own senses. If you try to fight the power directly, then you need Mind, full stop.

                      Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                      Generally, the target do not know he's being affected.
                      First, if the target knows Presence is a thing, then they can reach this conclusion without a major problem. Vampires do that regularly. You don't have a roll to detect it, but the effects themselves do not stop you from understanding what you're going through if you know about it.

                      But more importantly, I was thinking about your detectors, either Prime 1 or the Trigger. If you analyse a use of Presence with Prime 1, you may get the primal signature of the power and be able to detect it later. On the other hand, you can put your Wonder to trigger any minor effect you want when Presence is used, so you'll know for a fact that you're under possible effect of Presence.

                      Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                      The WP expenditure and roll are due to a genuine attempt to contradict someone you really "like". Maybe by knowing that a power is in place and everything you feel is artificial one could ignore the effect?
                      If you really believe you like the person that much, you'll hardly have any reason to spend the WP anyway. As I said, Vampires go through this from time to time themselves, as they interact with Presence-using peers. The rule for resisting it when you know it is the WP expenditure.

                      The thing with Presence is to understand just how unobtrusive the power is on the thought patterns of the victim. Do not treat it like just another flavor of Dominate. Presence can't command your action or thoughts, just your emotions. It can't prevent you from reaching any conclusion whatsoever about what's happening. If you think your feelings may be due to Presence, it may be Presence. On one hand that conclusion won't stop the feelings at all, but on the other hands the feelings won't stop you from making informed decisions.

                      Hence why I recommend to not worry so much about Presence. It is a powerful ability on its own right, but a tricky one, and just knowing about it gives you a huge edge against it.

                      But this is what we can do within the constraints of your sheet. While you can do a lot being creative, you can't really be able to do everything just with your Spheres. Your best shot is to have a party member with Mind to protect everyone from those powers. Trying to make three Spheres and a Wonder cover all the angles of every Sphere only goes so far. Dominate is easy because of its own built-in limitations, but Presence really is beyond your options here outside a really favorable interpretation by the ST.


                      #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                      #AutismPride
                      She/her pronouns

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As I house-rule, if a player has the Spheres to detect something built into the effect they are casting, they can specify that thing as the target or thing defended against.

                        If the spell is "Filter any Vampires",
                        "Filter" is Life 2, Forces 3.
                        "Vampires" is Life 1, Forces 1 (a nonliving person whose heat signature is different from any other).

                        As for the specifics of Presence, I haven't looked at a Vampire rulebook in some time. When I played, the level 3 Entrancement was an Appearance + Empathy role. That would definitely be affected by masking the Vampire's appearance. Like I said above, check the description of each power, individually, in an up to date Vampire book. I am pretty sure being in a tent would limit the range of Presence to those inside the tent, the exception being level 4 Summon, for which the Vampire must know that you exist.
                        Last edited by HorizonParty2021; 01-15-2022, 11:29 PM.


                        He/Him... I just Love Witches. I am here for conversation rather than formal debate. My Hacks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                          And you don't need Life in the process. The problem is, when does the scan happen? Is this going to be contingent on some sort of Awareness roll? If you're scanning your brain for traces of vampire mind power use, you've already had one used on you. A hung spell needs a functional trigger.
                          It depends if it's an always running effect, where the scanning happens all the time, or a trigger that is activated. The trigger, however is "always running" waiting for the trigger situation to happen. I don't see the issue here.

                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          I don't see how either would actually end Summoning or Majesty's effects. Rebooting does nothing because they're long duration effects that will just kick right back in; Majesty especially.
                          I was working with the possibility of Presence being an activation power. It could work like a power that os activated once and has a duration. But it doesn't seems to be that way.

                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          Summoning can target you from extreme range (and you don't have Correspondence in there) so sensory deprivation is meaningless until the power has run it's course (gotten you to the vampire). Sensory deprivation also isn't going to turn off Majesty even if it will be less effective (nobody can attack the Presence user even if they can't sense anything) and even trying to do so in the first place could be considered an offensive action and require a WP check for the mage to even get to roll.
                          You guys are mixing the effects. The sensory deprivation is for the vampire, not the mage. The vsmpire will become blind, deaf and unable to make sounds (with Forces). Yes, summon can't be avoided that way, but summon doesn't do much. A blind, deaf and mute vsmpire can't give orders and won't know what is happening around him, so while Presence is active, it will do no good for him. That's just an idea, I would love to see better ones.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                            Rebooting the Mage's brain wouldn't work, the power would still be there, the same way that sleeping or getting an electroshock therapy does not work.
                            It could work because the mage wouldn't get the command (or part of it) and Dominate require the command to be given clearly and uninterrupted.

                            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                            What works is a simpler approach, blocking your perception of the vampire. If you can't see the vampire's eyes, they can't affect you with Dominate. If you can't hear the commands, then even the few Elders with the power to not require eye contact can't order you around. There are exceedingly few powerful Elders that can still Dominate you through touch, or even mere thought, but you don't really stand a chance against them before being a Master in some Spheres either way, I don't think they're a likely issue for you to face.

                            Dominate is easy, but cut out Life from the equation or just use it to ease the use of Forces to limit your own senses. If you try to fight the power directly, then you need Mind, full stop.
                            It can be extremely dangerous to make a vampire invisible to you. I would rather just cut all the vampire senses and speech, this way he won't be able to lock eyes nor give commands. Dominate have several ways to be avoided.

                            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                            The thing with Presence is to understand just how unobtrusive the power is on the thought patterns of the victim. Do not treat it like just another flavor of Dominate. Presence can't command your action or thoughts, just your emotions. It can't prevent you from reaching any conclusion whatsoever about what's happening. If you think your feelings may be due to Presence, it may be Presence. On one hand that conclusion won't stop the feelings at all, but on the other hands the feelings won't stop you from making informed decisions.

                            Hence why I recommend to not worry so much about Presence. It is a powerful ability on its own right, but a tricky one, and just knowing about it gives you a huge edge against it.

                            But this is what we can do within the constraints of your sheet. While you can do a lot being creative, you can't really be able to do everything just with your Spheres. Your best shot is to have a party member with Mind to protect everyone from those powers. Trying to make three Spheres and a Wonder cover all the angles of every Sphere only goes so far. Dominate is easy because of its own built-in limitations, but Presence really is beyond your options here outside a really favorable interpretation by the ST.
                            Well, nothing would work as well as Mind 1, but there might be some good workarounds.
                            I discarded the "rebooting" idea. And since you can't stop the vampire from activating the discipline, even if he gets his senses and speech completely screwed (the shock of being deaf and blind might stop the first time, but he could just activate the power again), my best bet would be to make the vampire unable to get any benefit from it.
                            That's why I think screwing the vampire senses would work better. So, the mage will be aware that he's being affected by the discipline and the vampire will be automatically unable to get anything from it, since he can't communicate with the external world at all. Well, at least until he drops Presence, in which case the mage can also drop the effects. Even if the mahe is somehow compelled to drop the effect while Presence is still active, he can just spend a WP and just not do it.

                            HorizonParty2021 levels 2 and 3 definitely needs the vampire to activate and interact with the target lvl 4 doesn't, but doesn't do much. Lvl 1 and 5 are the issue (Awe and Majesty). They don't seem to require anything for activation and work on area. So, even if the light/sound that comes from the vampire is filtered, it is active...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                              It depends if it's an always running effect, where the scanning happens all the time, or a trigger that is activated. The trigger, however is "always running" waiting for the trigger situation to happen. I don't see the issue here.
                              Tying a defensive Time trigger against mental intrusions to an always active Prime scan? Well, first there's a whole issue of how your mage knows how to key this to detecting "vampire" magic, but in the long run, it's still basically only good for one defense. Targeting the vampire with your reaction-defense without Correspondence is going to be limiting as well (which is why we keep talking about dulling your own senses instead).

                              I was working with the possibility of Presence being an activation power. It could work like a power that os activated once and has a duration. But it doesn't seems to be that way.
                              Presence is, generally, activated and has a duration, but it effectively creates a constant urge while it's active. If Dominate is throwing a fireball at someone, Presence is setting the room around the target on fire. Making yourself immune to fire for a turn isn't going to help if you're still in the room that's on fire (aka "rebooting" yourself).

                              The sensory deprivation is for the vampire, not the mage.
                              Which isn't going to matter to some powers... Summoning and Majesty don't require the vampire to do anything but think about turning them on. Majesty is less effective if you cut a vampire off from their senses (though again, even trying that could require a WP roll anyway), but the defensive effect that makes people have to roll to act against the Majesty user? That's just a supernatural aura that's going to still be there.

                              That's just an idea, I would love to see better ones.
                              I know you seem to hate this... but a lot of your threads seem to want to do everything except the obvious good answer the books already provide. In this case, buy Mind. That's the better idea. You character wants to work to defend themselves against vampire mind control? Then they study Mind. Some stop gap efforts in the meantime aren't bad, but they're all going to be inferior, and spending a lot of time and energy setting them up instead of finding a good Mind teacher is silly.

                              At a certain point you have to recognize that, "I want to figure out how to do X without buying dots in the thing that explicitly does X," is an exercise in frustration. Even in Mage's very flexible magic system.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X