Make people forget

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baixiwei
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Make people forget

Postby baixiwei » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:22 am

How would you build a power that makes people forget things in 3e? In 2e this would be mental transform, but that option is gone in 3e.

It seems like affliction should be the way to go, but none of the conditions really seem to match. E.g. You could build it as mind control limited to forgetting, but what mind control allows you to do is compel targets to take actions, and forgetting is not an action. It's also very unclear what the lesser success degrees should give you - how could you operationalize the idea of partially forgetting something?

Ideas?
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Re: Make people forget

Postby Monolith » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:28 am

A 3rd degree affliction choice is transform. There's nothing stopping you from making that a mental transform as the rules don't state what must be transformed. You could make the lesser conditions impaired and disabled, giving -2 to -5 on any memory check. You might want to throw in some increased duration, too. You could also just have it be a one condition ability: an all or nothing transform: Ranged Affliction X, limited to 1 degree (-2), (will; mental transformation), 1 point per 2 ranks.

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Re: Make people forget

Postby Murkglow » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:30 am

The sample characters in the book (for example Zatanna) use Transform (the 3rd Degree Affliction). It won't be permanent but then that's pretty normal for comics (Heroes are always remember things that they had forgotten or that had been altered) and vs lesser characters/mooks it should still stick pretty well. Of course if you want to be a bit abusive about it your transform could also dump their will save to the point where they could never make the resistance check to overcome it.

Anyway, if you felt the need to have a memory altering power then that's how I'd do it. Lesser degrees could be Impaired/Disabled (messing with their minds ruins their ability to concentrate) or perhaps Entranced/Stunned (they're mesmerized/their mind is blanked due to your tinkering) or perhaps some other combination depending on how your power works.

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Re: Make people forget

Postby danelsan » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:10 am

Might vary a bit depending on specifics of how the power works, but as a base I'd probably go with:
Affliction, Resisted and overcome by Will, limited to 3rd Degree (Transformed), Limited to erasing memory*. Cost of 1 PP for each 3 ranks (assuming you don't add any extras)

Since it only does anything at all if you get a 3rd degree result, I'd suggest making it cumulative or progressive.
If you can "lock eyes" with them to open their memories for your erasing, you could have:
Affliction, resisted and overcome by Will, Concentration, Cumulative, limited to 3rd degree (Transformed), Limited to erasing memory*, Perception Range, Sense Dependent, at 2 PP per rank

Add Precise if you can carefully delete specific details instead of just eliminating memories in broad strokes

*since Transformed can have such broad results, I feel that "altering memory" is a good base for a Transformed condition, thus I consider only being able to make people forget stuff a limitation. Just remove the limited flaw if you disagree.
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Re: Make people forget

Postby baixiwei » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:16 pm

Thanks for the ideas! In principle I like the last one the best, but the chance of success seems too low. I calculated that a progressive rather than cumulative version, at rank 10 aimed at a target with a will save of only 4, would only have a 60% chance of having any effect. It is a powerful effect, to be sure, so maybe that is reasonable, but I would think against such a low save it should really be more effective. Thoughts?
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Re: Make people forget

Postby pawsplay » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:24 pm

I would say entranced/stunned/transformed, Cumulative. And done.
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Re: Make people forget

Postby Shock » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:43 pm

Don't forget that the majority of the populace is going to be classified as minions and will take that 3rd degree immediately.

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Re: Make people forget

Postby JDRook » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:01 pm

Shock wrote:Don't forget that the majority of the populace is going to be classified as minions and will take that 3rd degree immediately.

Now that you have a basic build structure, you should consider how often you would plan to use it and on whom. Unless you plan on using it every session, or your character is specifically built around that power*, you might just want to keep it as a power stunt off of another power, with the cost and rank jotted down for easy reference. Even Zatanna's story-defining memory erasure would probably be considered a power stunt, since it's not like she uses it a lot (and IIRC it certainly wasn't effortless on her part). On the other hand, if it's a Men in Black-style setting where a group mindwiping is going to happen after every other encounter with public weirdness, a relatively low-rank Area effect version would be good for blanking a mass of mundanes, with a focused high-rank mindwipe for non-minion NPCs as an Alternate Effect or power stunt.

*EDIT - worst case scenario is you're making a character like The Silence from Doctor Who, which would probably have a Continuous Permanent Perception Area on the Memory Affliction.
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Re: Make people forget

Postby baixiwei » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:05 pm

In this case it would be pretty central to the character, so having its range of useful application limited to rare cases or minions could be rather dissatisfying.
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Re: Make people forget

Postby Stigger » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:45 pm

Well, just to toss the idea out there, you might consider a Concealment (Mental - Attack - Continuous - Precise - Limited to Memories) effect... seems a little out there I admit, but something to consider I guess.

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Re: Make people forget

Postby JDRook » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:26 am

Stigger wrote:Well, just to toss the idea out there, you might consider a Concealment (Mental - Attack - Continuous - Precise - Limited to Memories) effect... seems a little out there I admit, but something to consider I guess.

So the effect is that you can't "sense" the memories anymore and therefore "forget" them? That's not bad, actually, since for story purposes it also means that the memories are still there, just inaccessible, so it might be possible for another effect to Sense those memories or Counter or Nullify the Concealment, which of course for important memories is practically inevitable.

You still could do something similar with Transform, although countering or reversal might be a little more handwave-y. I think it really depends on how mindwiping should work in the setting, since in terms of affecting the storytelling it's one of those troublesome powers; not quite as bad as time travel, but easily on par with mind-reading. It would become important to define how effective the wipes are and how common recovery is, and that should be largely on the GM.
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Re: Make people forget

Postby The Fifth Wanderer » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:46 am

I personally favor the affliction route. and this is why: The ability to reach inside someone's head and make them forget things is pretty powerful stuff, and shouldn't be tossed around lightly. As a third-degree cumulative effect, it''s not something easily accomplished in combat but doable outside of combat.
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Re: Make people forget

Postby baixiwei » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:00 am

The Fifth Wanderer wrote:I personally favor the affliction route. and this is why: The ability to reach inside someone's head and make them forget things is pretty powerful stuff, and shouldn't be tossed around lightly. As a third-degree cumulative effect, it''s not something easily accomplished in combat but doable outside of combat.


I might agree with this, but How does affliction make it easier to do outside of combat that inside?

IMHO although there are some good solutions here, none are perfect. What is really needed in my opinion is a new set of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree affliction conditions. For example,

1st degree: remembering the target memory requires an Intellect check when it normally would not (eg a very familiar memory, or something that happened very recently), and an Intellect check at -5 when a check normally would be required (less familiar information or something that happened a long time ago).

2nd degree: as above, except the check is penalized at -5/-10.

3rd degree: remembering the target memory requires a -10 check when no check would normally be required, and is impossible if a check would be required.
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Re: Make people forget

Postby Monolith » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:15 am

baixiwei wrote:
The Fifth Wanderer wrote:I personally favor the affliction route. and this is why: The ability to reach inside someone's head and make them forget things is pretty powerful stuff, and shouldn't be tossed around lightly. As a third-degree cumulative effect, it''s not something easily accomplished in combat but doable outside of combat.


I might agree with this, but How does affliction make it easier to do outside of combat that inside?

I think his point was that it's not something generally done in a combat situation. It's generally something that's done more slowly and subtly in the genre. Professor X doesn't erase someone's memories on round 4 while he's fighting him in an 8 round combat. That's usually done after the person's been captured or surrendered: out of combat time. Out of combat the gm can impose circumstance bonuses and penalties, you can use extra time and such, or it can all be handled as a story point handwave.

IMHO although there are some good solutions here, none are perfect. What is really needed in my opinion is a new set of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree affliction conditions. For example,

1st degree: remembering the target memory requires an Intellect check when it normally would not (eg a very familiar memory, or something that happened very recently), and an Intellect check at -5 when a check normally would be required (less familiar information or something that happened a long time ago).

2nd degree: as above, except the check is penalized at -5/-10.

3rd degree: remembering the target memory requires a -10 check when no check would normally be required, and is impossible if a check would be required.

So add them if it makes you happy. Within combat, where this only really matters, any of the above suggestions in the thread work fine. What happens out of combat time is really all store/roleplaying: roleplaying not remembering and dealing with those consequences. But even then, I don't see why your system can't work with impaired, disabled, transformed? -2, -5, impossible isn't that much different from what you propose. Your penalties are just bigger.

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Re: Make people forget

Postby pawsplay » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:29 pm

If you are wanting a power that will reliably, in one round, cause an enemy to forget something, reliably, the problem is that the concept is too powerful. It's totally on par with controlled, which also allows you to neutralize or even reverse the effects of an opponent's actions.

A PL 10 character with Affliction 10 would be able to wipe a minion's memory reliably and easily. Even against an enemy of their own PL, the Cumulative trait will allow them to overcome the majority of foes. If you add Subtle, the character becomes extremely dangerous, especially if you make the Affliction Insidious, which seems appropriate.
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