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No defense against Mega-Presence and Mega-Manipulation?

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  • No defense against Mega-Presence and Mega-Manipulation?

    According to the Aberrant book Mega-Presence and Mega-Manipulation grants Leadership Scale on their respective rolls, but neither Mega-Composure nor Mega-Resolve grants Scale. I might have overlooked something, but this seem problematic to me.

    According to the Influence section in Trinity Core you can always block influence, but doing so should be reserved for extreme situations. So ignoring this the base defense is as follows:
    • Encourage or prevent behavior: Difficulty (Resolve)
    • Encourage or provent thought: Opposed roll (Skill + Resilience/Presence/Manipulation)
    • Shift attitude: Difficulty (Current Attitude)
    • Shift atmosphere: Difficulty (Current Atmosphere + Size of Crowd)
    The result of this is that a nova with Mega-Presence/Manipulation would get to apply their Scale against anyone when using encourage or prevent behavior or shift attitude. Even a Mega-Resolve Nova would have no added protection against encourage or prevent behavior despite using their Resolve to defend. This seems broken to me.

    A simple solution would be to have Mega-Resolve and Mega-Composure give Scale for defending against influence attempts.

    On a sidenote I find the lines between Resolve and Composure a bit to blurred for my liking. According to the section on influence Resolve seems to be the best defense, but according the attribute descriptions Composure is defined as "a character's ability to resist social manipulation". This seems misleading to me. Also given that Composure is "Social", while Resolve is "Mental" I really feel Composure should be the go-to resilience attribute for resisting social influence.
    Last edited by Mordekain; 10-31-2020, 05:00 AM.

  • #2
    I just noticed that having followers apparantly grants Leadership Scale according to p. 164. Does PC's get Scale from this or is it a NPC privilege? Does that Scale apply universally? Say a group of Teragen kidnap the american president. Can he apply his amazing Leadership Scale 7 to convince the Teragen to release him? Can he apply it to defend against being seduced in a bar? It isn't all that clear to me.

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    • #3
      Maybe its just me but I simply assume that upon having a Mega-Attribute its scale bonus is applied to all uses of the base attribute, even when its not specifically stated. Like it might not say Mega-Resolve is added to resist mental manipulation but as Resolve is used then to me Mega-Resolve is also used to increase resistance. The edge cases are those points where its not really the attribute but some other element.

      That said, yeah, this would be useful to have explained just in case.

      On your second point I could see the President using his national scale against the kidnapping due to 'Look, I'm the President and that means a huge number of highly trained people are going to try and find and rescue me, but if you let me go I will let you go." But I don't think him using it to resist being seduced - since he is just a person at that point. (Why is the President at a regular bar though, lol.)

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      • #4
        Scale applies where it makes sense and can be offset with opposing scale. Would the President get a Scale bonus to pick someone up at a bar? If they're not picky, yeah, they can probably find someone to go home with them because they're the President. If the President wants to pick up one specific person? A specific person might have their own Leadership scale to apply. I'd love to see the President try to convince Scripture to let him go using Leadership Scale. I would apply Divas Mal's Leadership Scale as opposition to that, given Scripture's devotion.

        And there isn't a good description of causality when it comes to the scale. Do you get scale because you have followers, or do you have followers because you have scale?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
          Maybe its just me but I simply assume that upon having a Mega-Attribute its scale bonus is applied to all uses of the base attribute, even when its not specifically stated. Like it might not say Mega-Resolve is added to resist mental manipulation but as Resolve is used then to me Mega-Resolve is also used to increase resistance. The edge cases are those points where its not really the attribute but some other element.
          In 1st edition all Mega-Attributes worked pretty much identically according the guidelines you suggest here. It seems intentional that that isn't the case in 2nd edition. That being said I do agree with your approach.

          Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
          On your second point I could see the President using his national scale against the kidnapping due to 'Look, I'm the President and that means a huge number of highly trained people are going to try and find and rescue me, but if you let me go I will let you go." But I don't think him using it to resist being seduced - since he is just a person at that point. (Why is the President at a regular bar though, lol.)
          The examples was mostly constructed to question if the Scale was valid in all cases or context sensitive. Basically the sort of situations that would appear in most sessions is probably a nova player attempting to convince someone important of something. If a town mayor has Leadership Scale 4 (and may apply this to defend against personal social influence) a player character would need very high Mega-Attributes to be able to convince him of anything... and characters without Mega-Attributes will never be able to influence him. That might be WAD, but it does seem kind of extreme to me.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mordekain View Post
            In 1st edition all Mega-Attributes worked pretty much identically according the guidelines you suggest here. It seems intentional that that isn't the case in 2nd edition. That being said I do agree with your approach.
            Gotcha. Honestly though it is what makes sense to me. The idea that a Mega-Attribute doesn't apply to all the same uses that the regular Attribute applies to makes no sense to me. If Intellect is used then Mega-Intellect is applied. Same with all the others. I think the rules given are more for when the rules apply slightly to the side - like how Cunning is about Initiative and Resolve is about sleep.

            That said, looking at the actual rules Mega-Attributes and Scale I see two paragraphs. The first paragraph is about which Scale each Mega-Attribute applies to, and it says look at the chart under each Mega-Attribute. The second paragraph says Mega-Attributes provide Enhancement on actions based on the scale of the attack. Which is where the defense against mind stuff might come in - you roll Resolve and gain Mega-Resolve in Enhancement and also the ability to boost scale a bit due to you having Mega-Resolve.

            I am not entirely sure, though I know I would go with the idea of benefiting the player due to them buying Mega-Attributes.

            Originally posted by Mordekain View Post
            The examples was mostly constructed to question if the Scale was valid in all cases or context sensitive. Basically the sort of situations that would appear in most sessions is probably a nova player attempting to convince someone important of something. If a town mayor has Leadership Scale 4 (and may apply this to defend against personal social influence) a player character would need very high Mega-Attributes to be able to convince him of anything... and characters without Mega-Attributes will never be able to influence him. That might be WAD, but it does seem kind of extreme to me.
            Ah, I see. So I think I would go context sensitive, erring on the side of players and playability. A nova player wanting to manipulate the mayor of a town isn't going to need Mega-Socials of 6 to push beyond the town's ability to prop up the mayor's will. Buuut an individual knowing that they have the full might of the government behind them might find themselves being able to be more resistant to the blatent act. It would definitely be one of those in-game context what is going on and what do both I (as ST) and the players want to achieve.

            This is an interesting question though. One that has me pondering the deeper truths about it. Which is fun. hehe

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            • #7
              I do agree that Leadership Scale from being the head of an organization could probably be applied to resist blunt social pressure such as intimidation and ultimatums. I'm far more sceptical about applying it against subtle manipulation or simply attempts at shifting attitude.
              Last edited by Mordekain; 10-31-2020, 12:59 PM.

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              • #8
                My understanding of the Leadership scale is number of people and less about power over people, so the character would be able to enter a room, grab a microphone and talk to everyone as if dealing with each of them personally, without loosing any advantage, or just smile and it works against a mob the same way it would against a single person, like a Sargent can command several soldiers at same time and none of them will think less of the orders because it was not personally given.

                In this case, Resolve and Composure would not increase the defense scale because there is no scale to defend against.

                Now, social mega-edges is another thing...


                House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                  My understanding of the Leadership scale is number of people and less about power over people, so the character would be able to enter a room, grab a microphone and talk to everyone as if dealing with each of them personally, without loosing any advantage, or just smile and it works against a mob the same way it would against a single person, like a Sargent can command several soldiers at same time and none of them will think less of the orders because it was not personally given.

                  In this case, Resolve and Composure would not increase the defense scale because there is no scale to defend against.

                  Now, social mega-edges is another thing...
                  I've considered that option as well. It does leave the social Mega-Attributes very lackluster on their own though... and makes the Mass Influence mega-edge sort of wierd.

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                  • #10
                    I was reading the table as groups having Leadership Scale based on the size of the crowd, in order to defend against persuasion. The Mass Influence mega-edge reduces the difficulty of affecting crowds. Of course, the numbers don't quite match between the table and the mega-edge...

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                    • #11
                      Mass Influence is a bit different because it’s all about atmosphere and not influence, that’s almost a different system.

                      But yet, I agree Mass Influence gets a bit useless if you can directly influence the entire group.


                      House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                      Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                      Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                      • #12
                        Think it should work depeding on what you are trying to do with the person, is it personal or something that influence what he is.

                        A local mayor get his scale, when he is speaking for his voters / political party. Same with the president when he is representing his country.

                        A nova with mega-presence will not convinces the president of the united state to start a war with another country or change the country system or get secret national information, without the president get his scale to protect with.
                        But a nova may very well seduce the president (having and affair) or get personal information out of him, where the president will not get his scale. Or atleast not all of it, depending on other factors, like body guards/advisors that gonna try to stop something from happening.

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                        • #13
                          Asolar I pretty much agree with that distinction. Attempting to change policy allows the authority to use their Leadership Scale. Attempting to influence the individual on a personal level does not. However, that does carry certain reprecussions. First of it means that someone without social mega-attributes or a political platform will never convince even a town mayor to change policy. I'm not sure that is terribly unrealistic, but it is a harsh world for player characters that rarely have the needed platform to gain Scale. Not to mention the fact that the mayor's spouse or parents could never influence his policy.

                          Secondly, some Social Edges should probably grant Leadership Scale. Specifically Fame and Followers seems to justify have Leadership Scale. Otherwise Scale from organizations become a NPC prerogative. Also it does give player characters without social Mega-Attributes a break. On the other hand this does deminish the value of social Mega-Attributes since those Edges will probably be cheaper to get. The Followers Edge does seem to allow this using either the "Number" og "Powerful" tags though it isn't explicit about it. Fame is even more ambiguous.

                          Finally, since Scale from Mega-Attributes doesn't stack with other sources of Scale this does cause the paradox that Mega-Social characters have less to gain from building organisations and political support. They already have the Scale based on their personal charisma. Again this might be perfectly fine and in line with the nature of most superhero comics, but it does strike me a bit wierd.
                          Last edited by Mordekain; 11-01-2020, 02:09 AM.

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                          • #14
                            As an aside the Hypnotic Presence Mega-Edge is Quantum + Mega-Manipulation so a Quantum 1 nova has max two dice in that power even if say his Manipulation is 4. The point of me mentioning this is that the powers themselves are not always that high up either.

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