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Thread: How do you build a charm or 'betrayal' power?

  1. #1
    Inceptor
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    4

    How do you build a charm or 'betrayal' power?

    Hi!

    So I'm building a character who I had intended to be a sort of... super powered social engineer. Through physical contact, he's supposed to be able to alter the memories of people to suit his whims, making them view him and his allies favorably, or viewing their own allies with suspicion or outright anger to make it much easier to convince them to help the party, or directly hinder the party's enemies.

    The problem is, I'm not sure how to do it. I suppose I COULD make it a mind control effect that I voluntarily limit myself with, but I feel like that's trying to brute force my way into it, while there should be a more elegant -- and efficient -- means of making this power.

    So with that, I turn to you, this community, to give me some ideas on how YOU would build a power like this? What am I missing? And what's the most cost effective way to do this without it being nigh-useless.

  2. #2
    Keeper of Secrets
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    305

    Re: How do you build a charm or 'betrayal' power?

    If an Affliction feels too heavy-handed, how about Enhanced Skills or Enhanced Presence, possibly with Resisted (Will)?

  3. #3
    Inceptor
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    25

    Re: How do you build a charm or 'betrayal' power?

    Quote Originally Posted by thechainedman View Post
    Hi!

    So I'm building a character who I had intended to be a sort of... super powered social engineer. Through physical contact, he's supposed to be able to alter the memories of people to suit his whims, making them view him and his allies favorably, or viewing their own allies with suspicion or outright anger to make it much easier to convince them to help the party, or directly hinder the party's enemies.

    The problem is, I'm not sure how to do it. I suppose I COULD make it a mind control effect that I voluntarily limit myself with, but I feel like that's trying to brute force my way into it, while there should be a more elegant -- and efficient -- means of making this power.

    So with that, I turn to you, this community, to give me some ideas on how YOU would build a power like this? What am I missing? And what's the most cost effective way to do this without it being nigh-useless.
    M&M is an effect-based solution. He can change people's minds and actions, both of which are Afflictions. He transforms their memories (a third-stage affliction), which indirectly transforms attitudes. It's a touch-based effect, Subtle and Insidious. Note that making an affliction "permanent" is very difficult in 3e, and the "disease" extra doesn't seem to exist in 3e.

  4. #4
    Keeper of Secrets JDRook's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    1,428

    Re: How do you build a charm or 'betrayal' power?

    My interpretation of the game mechanics of trust or "being viewed favorably" falls into uses of Deception and Persuasion. To make subjects more inclined to trust you, I'd use Affliction (Impaired/Disable/Transformed, Will Resisted), with Impair/Disable being a -2/-5 circumstance modifier, Flawed to be Limited to resisting Bluffs and Persuasion checks. Transformed would be to make the subject either have the equivalent of Absent* in whatever trait they would resist with (Persuasion, Deception, Insight, etc), thereby auto-failing whenever checked while under the influence. This of course would be Limited to Checks against the PC group, but I don't see that as being worth a full Flaw: possibly a -1p Quirk at best, or just a +0 modifier. The memory-altering aspects would be Descriptor.

    That all works out to 2p + 1p/2ranks, so a rank 10 Affliction would cost 7p. It would be incredibly effective against minions and bystanders, but easier to resist for more powerful minds or those on par with the PCs.

    To do the reverse where the group's enemies are distrusted, I'd probably fudge something as an Alternate Effect with all the same costs but different Limit definitions and positive resistance to enemy Bluffs and Persuasion. I might also require something like an Activation Action to represent the time taken to identify who the subject is supposed to hate. That might be better for both versions actually.


    *Some GMs might consider Absent/Autofail too powerful, so maybe just lower the resisting trait to 0 ranks and remember that 3rd degree conditions can only be resisted once per minute at most.
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