Merge with subject Extra...

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Merge with subject Extra...

Postby ronyon » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:25 pm

What if one added this to Move Object, Transform, Create or just an Affliction that isn't some sort of mind control?
I have been using Dimensional Effects from a pocket dimension to represent animated objects.
Merge With Subject is a published solution that might work better. By default neither of them give the user feedback damge when the subject is hurt.
The Dimensional approach is easily countered, the Merge approach less so.
Dimensional is pretty cheap, Merge may be less cheap.

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby Greyman » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:27 am

It might help get replies if you add that the extra comes from the Possession effect in Power Profiles: Mental Powers.

I don't think its applicable. What you seem to want is to inhabit inanimate objects, animating them so that you acquire relevant powers and defenses.

The effect you want is more: Variable (Shapeshift), Limited to possessing an inanimate object. Whether that limit is part of the variable power itself or in addition to shapeshift's limit is up to the GM.

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby JDRook » Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:38 am

So you want to animate an object and be virtually unassailable while you make it do things? Or do you intend to build in some feedback? And what do you expect the animated object to be able to do?
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby ronyon » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:47 pm

Thanks for the replies.
I don't like Variable for this because inhabiting an object both grants the abilities of said object and denies the use of said object to anyone else.
Shapeshifting does only the first part.
The Merge Extra combines both.
One wouldn't accept a Shapeshifting Varible as a good way to model possesing a character, similarly it fails to mimic possession of an object.
As for feedback,yes, it is essential to avoiding the bathroom psychic effect.
Again, by default the Merge extra says the Possesed body suffers all physical attacks and the Possessor the mental, spiritual etc.
The animated object should be able to be used Iin its function as a Device, Vehicle, piece of Equipment or Headquarters. Or it might just an improvised weapon.
The Move Object effect would allow an object to be manipulated by the Possessor.If the object has some semblance of autonomy, an Affliction would allow that autonomousness to be brought under control of the Possessor.
Create with the Merge and Moveable extras could allow anything from a fly to a whale, or be Limited to Pink Elephants

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby JDRook » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:47 pm

To be honest, I find the "merge with" Extra to be a bit kludgy, but it is a simple solution for a relatively common form of possession in-genre. Applying it to other effects could get complicated.

ronyon wrote:I don't like Variable for this because inhabiting an object both grants the abilities of said object and denies the use of said object to anyone else.
Shapeshifting does only the first part.
The Merge Extra combines both.
One wouldn't accept a Shapeshifting Varible as a good way to model possesing a character, similarly it fails to mimic possession of an object.

This doesn't seem like a strong argument. Mechanically speaking, merge with doesn't grant access to any abilities; the Compelled/Controlled Condition does it, merge with just gets rid of your body and folds in some mental feedback. Also, there are several cases in M&M where characters and objects are treated with completely different rules (Transform being the most obvious), so I don't think comparing them directly is a compelling case.

That said, I suppose merge with could be used with the other Effects you mentioned. Using them on objects means they couldn't be resisted like regular possession, but the balancing factor is that you now have your mind in a "body" with no inherent movement (the definition of inanimate object). It may not quite work how you want, though:

- MO should allow you to move an object while your mind is inside it and the rank would be the maximum mass of the object, but unless it's a flexible or complex object, like a rope or a vehicle, that's about it. Possessing a solid marble human statue using MO would NOT make you into Marble Man, but a marionette or a jointed mannequin would work. If you want to control something like a vehicle, but "possess" it instead of pilot it, you would only need average human strength to operate it (ie STR 0) so even 1 rank of MO would be enough. An object with no inherent movement ability would technically travel by being "thrown", meaning it would vary depending on MO rank and mass of the object, and even then it is debatable whether you should be able to throw yourself since "Move Object has no action/reaction; a moving object cannot drag the character “holding on” to it, for example."

- Transform allows you to change something into something else, and you want your mind in it? Since you are possessing an existing object, I assume the goal would be to make the object flexible as described above, but Transform has no inherent movement. I suppose you could have a Transform that only changes the shape of existing material, so you could mold a humanoid form or use an existing humanoid shape like a statue and make it flexible, although technically that flexibility would require a Standard Action every turn to move, and since none of your physical abilities translate through, you could at best move at Speed 0 unless you bought an effect for movement. If you had full on Transform and your GM was really generous, you could use Transform to simulate other effects like Flight or Speed at the Transform rank, but if you're going that far you may as well use Variable.

- Create makes a volume of Toughness that can block, trap, drop on, or support things. Using this on an existing object and then possessing it has most of the same problems as MO and Transform. Moveable is still essentially a throw based on mass (if allowed), and changing shape in order to move with legs/wings/wheels/etc could require a Standard Action.

So MO is probably the most workable, but mainly for objects with some movement. If your primary goal is to possess Devices, Vehicles, or equipment and use them against others, your control should be resistible by a STR check vs your MO rank (for brute force wrestling of control to pull triggers, turn wheels or other physical controls) or possibly a Technology check vs your Technology skill (to bypass or hack around your control). HQs I'd have to be wary of since controlling an entire facility seems a bit much.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby ronyon » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:51 pm

JDRook wrote:To be honest, I find the "merge with" Extra to be a bit kludgy, but it is a simple solution for a relatively common form of possession in-genre. Applying it to other effects could get complicated.

ronyon wrote:I don't like Variable for this because inhabiting an object both grants the abilities of said object and denies the use of said object to anyone else.
Shapeshifting does only the first part.
The Merge Extra combines both.
One wouldn't accept a Shapeshifting Varible as a good way to model possesing a character, similarly it fails to mimic possession of an object.


JDRook wrote:This doesn't seem like a strong argument. Mechanically speaking, merge with doesn't grant access to any abilities; the Compelled/Controlled Condition does it, merge with just gets rid of your body and folds in some mental feedback.

Good point, I guess that is what I want, lose the body,keep the mind, what ever Effect "Merge" is tacked onto is what gains power for me/ denies power to the target
JDRook wrote: Also, there are several cases in M&M where characters and objects are treated with completely different rules (Transform being the most obvious), so I don't think comparing them directly is a compelling case.

My point is not that they must be the same, but rather that the same goals might me accomplished by the same means. I want to deny use of a resource, co-opt said resource , and hide my body.

JDRook wrote:That said, I suppose merge with could be used with the other Effects you mentioned. Using them on objects means they couldn't be resisted like regular possession, but the balancing factor is that you now have your mind in a "body" with no inherent movement (the definition of inanimate object). It may not quite work how you want, though:

- MO should allow you to move an object while your mind is inside it and the rank would be the maximum mass of the object, but unless it's a flexible or complex object, like a rope or a vehicle, that's about it. Possessing a solid marble human statue using MO would NOT make you into Marble Man, but a marionette or a jointed mannequin would work.


Agreed. Exactly as I understand it and would have it.

JDRook wrote: If you want to control something like a vehicle, but "possess" it instead of pilot it, you would only need average human strength to operate it (ie STR 0) so even 1 rank of MO would be enough.


True, but I will want more ranks than that, to power cars w/out gas, or to make planes do impossible maneuvers.

JDRook wrote: An object with no inherent movement ability would technically travel by being "thrown", meaning it would vary depending on MO rank and mass of the object, and even then it is debatable whether you should be able to throw yourself since "Move Object has no action/reaction; a moving object cannot drag the character “holding on” to it, for example."


I agree that the lack of action/reaction means that the character using Move Objects on say, a boulder is not affected by the movements of the boulder. This does not mean he cannot stand on said boulder as it moves under his power. There are arguments, but there is also an authoritative answer:

Create Object - Movable wrote:Scholz wrote:
Here you show that you can use Create Object Movable to make a platform that carries passengers.

1. Could the creator of the object be one of the passengers?

I don't see why not.

2. How fast can it move? [As per Telekinesis Throw 5ft+1 step on TVPT per 5 Str over what is needed? If so, a rank 10 Create Object Movable could move 800 lbs (25str) 5 steps or 250ft per round (25mph).]

I'd call that a good guideline.

3. Can you use Telekinesis on an object and stand on that object to be carried at the speeds above?

Sure.

http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=17212&p=257121&hilit=Move+Object#p257121

JDRook wrote:- Transform allows you to change something into something else, and you want your mind in it? Since you are possessing an existing object, I assume the goal would be to make the object flexible as described above, but Transform has no inherent movement. I suppose you could have a Transform that only changes the shape of existing material, so you could mold a humanoid form or use an existing humanoid shape like a statue and make it flexible, although technically that flexibility would require a Standard Action every turn to move, and since none of your physical abilities translate through, you could at best move at Speed 0 unless you bought an effect for movement. If you had full on Transform and your GM was really generous, you could use Transform to simulate other effects like Flight or Speed at the Transform rank, but if you're going that far you may as well use Variable.


Yeah, I would probably just put Move Object and Transform into a Dynamic Array and link them.
The more I changed the object, that turn, the less It could move.
The visuals could be go from a rolling boulder to a dragon made out of molten boulder.


JDRook wrote:- Create makes a volume of Toughness that can block, trap, drop on, or support things. Using this on an existing object and then possessing it has most of the same problems as MO and Transform. Moveable is still essentially a throw based on mass (if allowed), and changing shape in order to move with legs/wings/wheels/etc could require a Standard Action.


Yeah,this wouldn't be for use with an existing object. Rather it would be a Movable Create, either limited to a specific object(Godzilla, Giant Robo, Atlas of Rhodes) or left open ended for a truly Humpfalump or Woozel type character.

So MO is probably the most workable, but mainly for objects with some movement. If your primary goal is to possess Devices, Vehicles, or equipment and use them against others, your control should be resistible by a STR check vs your MO rank (for brute force wrestling of control to pull triggers, turn wheels or other physical controls) or possibly a Technology check vs your Technology skill (to bypass or hack around your control). HQs I'd have to be wary of since controlling an entire facility seems a bit much.


I plan on using MO for mechanical items and Affliction for more high tech items. In cases where the item has a mechanical control, I could see it a Strength contest. In cases of more subtle control, keyboards or voice commands, cybernetics or such, I see Will as a more appropriate Resistance.
Maybe Will all the time would be better. Technology is fine as an alternate Resistance, but I don't see the need for it on the attackers end.
Controlling an entire HQ isn't much a big deal, it's great to have power, but the action economy still stands.

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby JDRook » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:04 pm

ronyon wrote:I agree that the lack of action/reaction means that the character using Move Objects on say, a boulder is not affected by the movements of the boulder. This does not mean he cannot stand on said boulder as it moves under his power. There are arguments, but there is also an authoritative answer:
...
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=17212&p=257121&hilit=Move+Object#p257121

I'll admit there's a logic to that, but the balance of it completely breaks down when you apply the merge with Extra. Riding a flying object is equivalent to Flight with the Platform Flaw since the rider can be knocked off. The merge with Extra would mean that the "rider" can't even be seen, let alone knocked off, making it far more effective.

Also, the question is for 2nd Edition M&M, and while it's similar to 3e in most respects, the details vary in some significant ways. For instance, the example from that question is using the throwing rules from 2e and is equivalent to about 3e Flight 3 (250ft/round), but if calculated using 3e's throwing rules it comes out as Flight 6, or roughly 8 times faster.

And using throwing rules to define Flight for a variable mass (ie any random object you decide to possess) that has no effective minimum since merge with removes your body from the equation, you could theoretically possess a penny and whip around at several times the speed of sound, so you might understand my concern with the possibility of imbalance. That's an extreme example, but it's not unreasonable when you can possess a hand weapon, struggle out of the wielder's hand and float there in space or fly off (or straight up, or through something) at high speeds with no possibility of being physically hurt by supersonic collisions.

I think these possible secondary effects of MO + merge with are just too troublesome to get for free. Something needs to balance that out, like buying Flight limited to Possessed Objects to avoid the inversely proportionate speed-to-mass problem, or increasing the cost of merge with, or defining it much more carefully, or something.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby ronyon » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:12 am

Thanks for taking the time to respond.



JDRook wrote:
ronyon wrote:I agree that the lack of action/reaction means that the character using Move Objects on say, a boulder is not affected by the movements of the boulder. This does not mean he cannot stand on said boulder as it moves under his power. There are arguments, but there is also an authoritative answer:
...
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=17212&p=257121&hilit=Move+Object#p257121

JDRook wrote:I'll admit there's a logic to that, but the balance of it completely breaks down when you apply the merge with Extra. Riding a flying object is equivalent to Flight with the Platform Flaw since the rider can be knocked off. The merge with Extra would mean that the "rider" can't even be seen, let alone knocked off, making it far more effective.


Riding an object could be the same as Platform Flight, or it could be floating along in a force bubble as a Green lantern and passengers might do. Balance isn't much of an issue,Concentration Flight would be cheap, and an Array slot away. Also, Kenison shows little concern over balance, but seems to respond based on what makes sense to him.This makes sense as movement isn't even factored into Pl calculations.

JDRook wrote:Also, the question is for 2nd Edition M&M, and while it's similar to 3e in most respects, the details vary in some significant ways. For instance, the example from that question is using the throwing rules from 2e and is equivalent to about 3e Flight 3 (250ft/round), but if calculated using 3e's throwing rules it comes out as Flight 6, or roughly 8 times faster.


I'm skeptical that the amount of pseudo flight gained was an issue when Kenison made his ruling.Flight simply isn't expensive, hard to come by or much of a balance issue.It isn't limited by PL at all.
Of course perhaps the biggest reason this "flight" seems non-threatening to balance that it basically requires Concentration, since it needs a Standard Action to use. So no moving and shooting in the same turn, for example.Pretty limited as flight.




JDRook wrote:And using throwing rules to define Flight for a variable mass (ie any random object you decide to possess) that has no effective minimum since merge with removes your body from the equation, you could theoretically possess a penny and whip around at several times the speed of sound, so you might understand my concern with the possibility of imbalance.


I suppose one could do this but I see no real advantage in doing so.A thrown object is still an object. If a penny hits almost anything at mach 3,all that would be left is vaporized zinc with a hint of copper. What happens to the Merged hitchhiker? Well at best, they pop back into the world, with no relative velocity. But there is no reason to think they would shed that velocity by default. So, they may be falling, or be thrown upward, or they may hit something immediately. This also assumes there is no Feedback on the power, the presence of which is mandatory in my mind( I think it should be inherit to the Merge extra as well, but YMMV).


JDRook wrote:That's an extreme example, but it's not unreasonable when you can possess a hand weapon, struggle out of the wielder's hand and float there in space or fly off (or straight up, or through something) at high speeds with no possibility of being physically hurt by supersonic collisions.


Couldn't one just one just use a Non-Merging Move Object to grab and throw the hand weapon at like speeds? Or is the point that the character can fly away? If so the points saved from not buying Merge could just as easily go to Flight, in which case the character could wrest control of the weapon away and fly away in the same turn, something the Merged character couldn't do.



JDRook wrote:I think these possible secondary effects of MO + merge with are just too troublesome to get for free. Something needs to balance that out, like buying Flight limited to Possessed Objects to avoid the inversely proportionate speed-to-mass problem, or increasing the cost of merge with, or defining it much more carefully, or something


Flight limited to Possessed Objects somehow seems worse than the Move Object, as it allows a possessed aircraft carrier to fly as fast as a possessed bullet.


Merge With Subject has been described as a Extra version of Side Effect, and as such it seems prime for a +2 modifier, especially as it faces no resistance as often as not.

As far as defining it goes, I was considering a Complication that would discourage "inappropriate" uses of the power.
Anything that would violate the nature of the object would Exhaust the user. Tiring would be good, but as a Complication consequence, it would be easily countered by the resulting Hero Point.
This would strongly encourage sticky holsters,death trap malfunctions, hand weapons misfires,melee weapon mishaps, semi trucks going into gear, cars making amazing but just barely plausible jumps and aircraft with extraordinary maneuverability, without excluding the possibility of an occasional flying dagger or motorcycle that rides up walls.
Or, a Flaw might be better, excluding anything that is against the nature of the object.
I don't think either is needed to keep the power from being abusive, but either option would be good for the flavor I want.

As I probably want this power to belong to a Summoned Minion, the Flaw option seems like it would be the better choice.

Thanks again for taking the time to talk with me about this.

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby ronyon » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:27 am

OK, taking into account some of your suggestions :
~Affliction :Affects Only Objects,Concentration,Sustained,Contagious,Merge With Subject Side
Effect(Always Happens),Linked To Move Object,Feedback(When Controlled Targets Are Damaged),
Limited(third degree only),Instant Recovery,Subtle,Insidious,Precise
~Move Object:Contagious,Linked To Affliction,Close Range,Limited(Objects Only),Limited(Technology),
Subtle ,Insidious,Precise
~Flight: Limited to Possessed Objects(not sure if this is worth a full flaw)

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Re: Merge with subject Extra...

Postby JDRook » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:32 pm

Ok, let's break this down:
ronyon wrote:~Affliction :Affects Only Objects,Concentration,Sustained,Contagious,Merge With Subject Side Effect(Always Happens),Linked To Move Object,Feedback(When Controlled Targets Are Damaged),
Limited(third degree only),Instant Recovery,Subtle,Insidious,Precise

- Afflictions apply Conditions to a target. From the previous discussion I assume the condition is Controlled. Controlled should really only be effective on targets with their own free will, and since you've limited it to Only Affecting Objects, that would require that the target be an AI of some type, at least for this part of the power to have any effect. There also needs to be a Resistance which you haven't defined.

- Concentration and Sustained are both Durations of an effect, so one effect can't have both Durations. I hope this was a typo.

- Contagious is an interesting choice, allowing for control of other subjects in contact. If it's not limited to Close contact (ie physically adjacent) but allows you to infect other systems at range, I'd be inclined to increase the cost to +2, or even +3 if it works like Perception Range (ie no penalty for distance requiring only Accurate sensing). The combination of merge with and Contagious could turn into a free Teleport if this was done right, which I would want to avoid or balance for, either buying that as a separate power or just applying Fatigue whenever it was used that way (effectively like using a power stunt).

- I don't disapprove of your increase of merge with subject to a +2 Extra, but I don't know if I buy the Side Effect logic; Side Effect defines something negative happening to your character that is on par with the power you are using, and 2 ranks simply means it's unavoidable. If you mean the Controlled subject is incapable of resistance, I wouldn't say that's an aspect of merge with subject. 2e had a +2 Extra No Save that was recommended for very limited use and never made the cut for 3e, so use that at your own peril.

- the rest of the Affliction modifiers are fine, although I'm not sure what you would need Precise for. What would be different if the Affliction effect didn't have Precise?
ronyon wrote:~Move Object:Contagious,Linked To Affliction,Close Range,Limited(Objects Only),Limited(Technology), Subtle ,Insidious,Precise

- For the Move Object, I might be okay with either Limited to Objects or Limited to Tech, but I don't buy both. I'd recommend sticking to one, probably Tech. Then again, if Tech is relatively uncommon, at least the kind your PC can control, then +2 might be appropriate.
ronyon wrote:~Flight: Limited to Possessed Objects(not sure if this is worth a full flaw)

- The Flight would not be usable by the PC normally. If you really don't see the PC operating out of his own body regularly (say because he is otherwise completely mundane, or even physically disabled), I suppose you could make it a Quirk or Complication.
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