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Thread: Postcognitive Investigation

  1. #1
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    Question Postcognitive Investigation

    So I'm working on a concept where a character can use a psychic ability to investigate crimes. I'm wondering what the best way to go about that would be. Precognition with some sort of limitation? Enhanced investigation?

    Basically I want ti to be like a psychic version of Batman's investigation tool from the Arkham games, limited information pertaining only to a crime, used to give hints and clues but not conclusions. (The idea is to use certain minor powers to supplement a crime-fighter archetype and close some flaws with the idea)

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    OPA Belta Arthur Eld's Avatar
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    Re: Postcognitive Investigation

    Postcognition, with some sort of Flaw would probably work. Limited comes to mind, but Uncontrolled might work better. That way the GM can use it as a way to point players in the right direction without having to go so far as to give them a detailed street address.
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    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Postcognitive Investigation

    I had a game involving a highly trained investigator using what was essentially Postcognition and it went fairly smoothly. The key thing to remember, to me, for Precognition and Postcognition, is that it's still a Perception (or probably Investigate in this case) check, and even a high check won't see everything, or won't see it at once. A player might get a single insight in an instant check, but following a single course of events would likely default to requiring real-time scanning, and it could multiply as you need to search an entire area over time. Arguably, searching further into the past will likely involve harder checks much like how doing a visual scan of a field will have distant items be harder to spot, on top of the time/difficulty for scanning a large area.

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    Re: Postcognitive Investigation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad People View Post
    So I'm working on a concept where a character can use a psychic ability to investigate crimes. I'm wondering what the best way to go about that would be. Precognition with some sort of limitation? Enhanced investigation?

    Basically I want ti to be like a psychic version of Batman's investigation tool from the Arkham games, limited information pertaining only to a crime, used to give hints and clues but not conclusions. (The idea is to use certain minor powers to supplement a crime-fighter archetype and close some flaws with the idea)
    The Luck power helps with this a bit; by spending a hero point (or a luck point?) the hero can gain GM inspiration, so whatever they learn is under the GM's control. Characters still have to make Investigation and Perception checks. The GM needs to write up a "table" of clues ahead of time, which would be consulted whether the hero is using Postcognition or not. Postcognition just makes some things easier.

    Postcognition does not normally allow interaction, so NPCs who take basic steps to hide themselves can still avoid being caught too easily. The villain can wear a mask, and perhaps now the PC will recognize that character in the future, but only with a high Insight or Perception check (since they might notice the combination of stance, build, movement style, etc)... and that's not necessarily going to stand up in a court room or in the court of public opinion. Or perhaps the villain was invisible, but now by watching the scene after the fact, the hero figures out which way the villain went (they can see footsteps in the dust, or they see which people were shoved by the villain, etc). At some point the villain leaves behind evidence (so now the hero knows where to collect that evidence, if it's still there) or even took off their disguise, became visible, etc; this is all based on the villain's personality, intelligence and experience/skills.

    (Or even luck! I once read a novel where the killer wasn't very intelligent, unlike the detective, but stayed ahead by literally randomly rolling dice to determine who would be killed, and how, or in at least one case kidnapped someone and then let them go because of the die roll. It was a refreshing change from the usual supergenius vs supergenius conflict in that book series. Imagine the hero saying "he's... rolling dice...")

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    Re: Postcognitive Investigation

    So the entire point is to give investigative potential to a character who would not be, thematically, trained in investigation. I'm trying to shortcut some of the Batman elements so the character doesn't have to spend 15 years traveling the globe, and finding different masters to learn to do all the things.

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    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Postcognitive Investigation

    *shrug* If the whole point is that he is an investigator due to his powers, why not just give him Enhanced Skill (Investigation) with a Psychic descriptor?

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    Re: Postcognitive Investigation

    Well that's what I'm asking. Is that the best way to do it?

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    Re: Postcognitive Investigation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad People View Post
    Well that's what I'm asking. Is that the best way to do it?
    It certainly has the benefit of simplicity. Rather than having to house-rule how Precognition gives him Investigation results, you just use the Investigation rules. The chief drawback is that it only gives him the ability to do Investigate checks (so you couldn't really use Precognition to, say, do surveillance on someone in the past) and by default, it enhances all Investigate checks (should it be useful for gathering evidence? Evidence analysis? Searching?). Lastly, the hero would probably have a Complication that his results may or may not be admissible in court, since it's difficult to prove that he didn't just make up the answer.

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    Re: Postcognitive Investigation

    Well those limitations are sort of the limitations I want on it. It's not meant to solve the crime, it's meant to move the story forward. So I think that's what I'm gonna do. (Though I think I'll give it the preternatural descriptor rather than psychic. It's actually a better fit for what I have in mind)

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