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  • proindrakenzol
    started a topic [2E Legacy] Mentats

    [2E Legacy] Mentats

    Named after the human computers of Frank Herbert’s Dune, the Free Council’s Mentats perfect the ability to control their own minds and the ability to interface with computers and other electronic devices.
    Mentats are a new legacy, created in the mid-1980s by a Los Angeles Libertine Obrimos (shadow) named Paul Atreides. A computer engineer and science fiction fan in his Sleeper life, Paul realized that digital storage and computers would come to dominate Sleeper life, and by extension that of the Awakened. But, no matter how useful, these devices would ultimately be vulnerable to Magical manipulation, thus Mentats gather Sleeper knowledge and preserve it in their own minds against manipulation or loss.
    Mentats also plant information into computers where Sleepers can find it in the hopes of advancing Sleeper culture towards Awakening.
    In Awakened society Mentats act as recorders, witnesses, and advisors, ensuring the integrity of privileged information.

    Origins
    Parentage: Obrimos, Free Council
    Background: Many Mentats are computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians, engineers, and other math oriented professions. Some are simply sci-fi fans, but those quickly acquire the skills of the others or find their progress stalled.
    Appearances: Most Mentats garb themselves as normal for their professions; in Los Angeles older Mentats tend towards business-casual whereas the younger crowd, influenced by Silicon Valley culture, wear more casual clothing.

    Doctrine
    Prerequisites: Mind 2, Computers 2, and the Eidetic Memory merit
    Initiation: The prospective Mentat is given different portions of a complex equation to memorize, one normally requiring a computer to solve, over the span of five days. On the fifth day the Mentat must reconstruct the entire problem from memory and solve it.
    Organization: Mentats engage in loose correspondence, but as a new legacy have too few members to warrant a more formalized structure. There has been talk of organizing in a manner similar to the IEEE when membership warrants and coming up with a code of ethics and standardized fee structures when hired by other Awakened.

    Magic
    Ruling Arcanum: Mind
    Instruments: Stimulants (+1 or +2 if a negative condition is imposed), computational tools (+1), server farm (+2)
    Oblations: Solving a complex equation in their head, “copying” the contents of an electronic storage to their mind, teaching someone about computers.

    Attainments

    First: No Data Lost
    Prerequisite: Initiation
    The Mentat doesn’t just remember life events or have better recall than average, they can perfectly recall even the most minute and specific details with perfect clarity and astounding resolution. Mass, dimensions, color, everything can be brought back with computer-like precision. This Attainment emulates the spell “Perfect Recall” with reach assigned to Instant casting.
    Optional: Forces 1
    By spending a scene attuning themselves to the Aether, the Mentat can pick up and interpret all EM spectrum based data around them as the “Tune In” spell with Advanced Duration factors. The Mentat can also read data directly off of electronic storage devices by touching them and optical storage devices by viewing the data side in direct light while this ability is active.

    Second: Multi-Threading
    Prerequisite: Mind 2, Computers 3
    By meditating for a scene, the Mentat can gain the ability to process two distinct lines of thought at once, performing two separate mental or social extended tasks or two mental instant tasks at their full mental capacity. This Attainment replicates the “One Mind, Two Thoughts” spell with reach assigned to Advanced Duration and performing two Mental instant tasks at the same time. This Attainment also allows the Mentat to "run" programs and "view" data mentally as if using a computer (for example videos can be watched and computer programs can be compiled and executed). This mind-computer provides an equipment bonus equal to Potency on any task where a mundane computer would provide an equipment bonus.
    Optional: Forces 2
    It’s not enough to simply read the data off of a computer, sometimes the computer must be commanded to perform a specific task or new data must be written. This attainment allows the Mentant to give an electronic device any command that it can perform and have that command performed without the need of passwords or administrative access. This include writing or deleting data, scheduling tasks, or even creating entirely new programs hidden from users. More complex tasks, such as creating programs, may require an Intelligence + Computers or Wits + Computer roll.

    Third: Inviolate Mind
    Prerequisite: Mind 3, Computers 3, Academics or Science 2
    The integrity of their mind is of utmost import to a Mentat, it is their life and the data they hold is often of a sensitive nature. By meditating for a scene the Mentat shields their Mind from outside influence, any attempt to use a mind affecting Supernal or other Supernatural power on the Mentat provokes a Clash of Wills. This spell should be treated as a Shielding spell with primary factor Duration and reach assigned to Advanced Duration and Advanced Potency.
    Optional: Forces 3
    Listening in to the various and sundry broadcasts in the Electromagnetic spectrum is enlightening, but sometimes the Mentat needs more than passive reception. With this Attainment the Mentat can replicate the effects of the “Transmission” spell with reach assigned to Instant casting and Encryption.

    Fourth: Mind out of Body
    Prerequisite: Mind 4, Computers 4, Good Time Management merit
    Sometimes the physical world can be too distracting, other times it helps to enter a dreamscape where thoughts and ideas can take shape. By spending a scene focusing the Mentat can project themselves into either Twilight or a Dreamscape. This Attainment functions as the spell “Psychic Projection” with reach assigned to Advanced Duration.
    Optional: Forces 4
    With this level of control over Forces the Mentat can instead project their Mind into electromagnetic form, entering and travelling through computers, routers, cellphones, and other devices. The Mentat’s Mind can change between forms when going through a converter; a fiber-optic modem will take the electrical form and turn it into light, and a wireless router or cell phone can likewise convert the Mentat’s Mind to radio waves, but the Mentat cannot dynamically change themself. While in this state the Mentat ignores mundane security protocols and can freely manipulate any electronic aspect of the device they’re in, redirecting packets, rewriting software and firmware, even shutting the device down (though this last one ends the spell). Magical security provokes a Clash of Wills. Certain complex manipulations of an inhabited device might require an Intelligence + Computers roll.

    Fifth: Install Knowledge
    Prerequisite: Mind 5, and either Academics or Science 3 or Academics and Science 2.
    Computers gain knew “knowledge” and “skills” from simply installing software, so too does a Mentat, after a fashion. After a scene of focus and concentration a Mentat can concentrate all the data they’ve gained on a subject through even the most casual of contact into useful and practical knowledge gaining ranks in a Skill they’ve never had or improving a Skill they do have. This attainment mimics the effects of “Gain Skill” with reach assigned to Advanced Duration and changing Potency to the Primary factor.
    Optional: Forces 5
    "Thou shalt not create a machine in the likeness of a human mind" is the core tenant of the Butlerian Jihad that necessitated the creation of Mentats in Dune. While Awakened Mentats do not subscribe to that fictional philosophy it can still be useful to deny others the use of their "thinking machines". With this attainment a Mentat can unleash an electromagnetic pulse over a wide area, destroying all electronics not sufficiently shielded. This Attainment mimics the effects of Electromagnetic Pulse with reach assigned to Advanced Scale: Area and Instant casting.
    Last edited by proindrakenzol; 05-08-2018, 01:12 AM.

  • dman1123
    replied
    Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post

    I'd be stoked to hear your play experiences and any suggestions you might have based on play!
    Of course! I'm going to be running a game soon, so I'll definitely include a few in my consilium. Let's see my players deal with someone who literally never forgets anything and can pick up their cell phone communications. Oh the possibilities for absolute EVIL are endless

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  • Mr.F.I.X.
    replied
    Originally posted by dman1123 View Post
    As a diehard Dune fan, I 10/10 will play this legacy at some point. As a fan of Mind mages, I 10/10 will play this legacy.
    The spice must flow.

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by dman1123 View Post
    As a diehard Dune fan, I 10/10 will play this legacy at some point. As a fan of Mind mages, I 10/10 will play this legacy.
    I'd be stoked to hear your play experiences and any suggestions you might have based on play!

    Leave a comment:


  • dman1123
    replied
    As a diehard Dune fan, I 10/10 will play this legacy at some point. As a fan of Mind mages, I 10/10 will play this legacy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Charlaquin
    replied
    Am I the only one who thinks the name sounds like a delicious breath mint?

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by Joker View Post
    Maybe Electromagnetic Pulse with Reach spent on Instant and casting via remote viewing?
    Or instant and extra Scale, fry an entire room at once!
    I like this, and it ties in to the Dune's Butlerian Jihad prohibition on thinking machines. Going with Instant and Advanced Scale: Area. I'm assuming that the Primary Spell Factor will be erratad to Potency since Scale is not a valid primary factor.

    Thanks so much for the ideas!

    Leave a comment:


  • Joker
    replied
    Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
    I don't think increasing Potency gives you more Goetia, it just makes it harder to dispell. But the "assistant AI" idea is a good one, and was my other choice for the Fifth attainment.
    Right, sorry. Meant extra Target factors, not Potency. Got the term wrong.

    Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
    If only I could think of something for Forces 5. I'm starting to think maybe just saying "fuck it" and give them Transform Energy with Instant and Sensory.
    Maybe Electromagnetic Pulse with Reach spent on Instant and casting via remote viewing?
    Or instant and extra Scale, fry an entire room at once!

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by Joker View Post
    Looks good, neat concept!


    You can just write +3 to skills, as the number of spell factors you can apply and thus your final potency is fixed.

    And alternative you could use that 2nd Reach to switch primary spell factor to Potency and apply the the two spell factors to Duration. That gives you +5 to a skill for a week which is enough for most uses, and because you need such a high Gnosis for the fifth attainment Gnosis imposed limitations shouldn't be much of a problem anyway (unless your character spent lots of xp on raising skills). (Edit: I mean, you need Gnosis 8 for the 5th attainment. Unless you raised your base skill above 5 your variant won't touch the Gnosis skill limit anyway.)
    Yeah, that would probably work better.

    Other alternative: Psychic Genesis with Reach on advanced Duration and Spell factors on Potency, for three servant Minds that you could fluff as AIs that serve the character for up to a year.
    I don't think increasing Potency gives you more Goetia, it just makes it harder to dispell. But the "assistant AI" idea is a good one, and was my other choice for the Fifth attainment.

    If only I could think of something for Forces 5. I'm starting to think maybe just saying "fuck it" and give them Transform Energy with Instant and Sensory.

    Leave a comment:


  • Joker
    replied
    Looks good, neat concept!
    Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
    Fifth: Install Knowledge
    Prerequisite: Mind 5, and either Academics or Science 3 or Academics and Science 2.
    Computers gain knew “knowledge” and “skills” from simply installing software, so too does a Mentat, after a fashion. After a scene of focus and concentration a Mentat can concentrate all the data they’ve gained on a subject through even the most casual of contact into useful and practical knowledge gaining ranks in a Skill they’ve never had or improving a Skill they do have even beyond their normal limits. This attainment mimics the effects of “Gain Skill” with reach assigned to Advanced Duration and allowing skills to be boosted beyond normal Gnosis imposed limitations.
    Optional: Forces 5
    You can just write +3 to skills, as the number of spell factors you can apply and thus your final potency is fixed.

    And alternative you could use that 2nd Reach to switch primary spell factor to Potency and apply the the two spell factors to Duration. That gives you +5 to a skill for a week which is enough for most uses, and because you need such a high Gnosis for the fifth attainment Gnosis imposed limitations shouldn't be much of a problem anyway (unless your character spent lots of xp on raising skills). (Edit: I mean, you need Gnosis 8 for the 5th attainment. Unless you raised your base skill above 5 your variant won't touch the Gnosis skill limit anyway.)

    Other alternative: Psychic Genesis with Reach on advanced Duration and Spell factors on Potency, for three servant Minds that you could fluff as AIs that serve the character for up to a year.
    Last edited by Joker; 05-16-2016, 06:15 PM.

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  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Added some instruments.

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  • BrilliantRain
    replied
    I feel like a computer might be the best kind of Yantra. Alternately, speech?

    I mean, they're kinda about doing stuff in their heads, so it's hard to imagine what their external tools are.

    ....Oh, right, duh. Various spoken oaths and mantras, like the Mentat oath, as well as various drugs/stimulants, perhaps.

    And I'd probably play a character with this legacy.
    Last edited by BrilliantRain; 05-13-2016, 07:57 PM.

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  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    So here's my first go at a 2e Legacy now that I've had time to really digest all the rules.

    Things I'm still iffy on: what would appropriate instruments (yantras) be? What should the optional 5th Attainment be?


    Feedback welcome and appreciated. This Legacy is going to be for one of the NPCs I plan on having in the next game I start (which will hopefully be soon). He'll be part of a cabal of other "support type" Mages and I'll probably post the entire cabal when I'm done designing them.
    Last edited by proindrakenzol; 05-12-2016, 08:55 PM.

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