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> Control Actions vs Control Thoughts, How are they different?
calypso
post Sep 29 2005, 03:59 PM
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How are those two spells different, other than the no -2 penalty to their actions with Control Thoughts? Oh, I guess you also don't have to give orders every round with Control Thoughts?

I guess the real question is, why do both of these spells exist? They accomplish the same thing.

Calypso
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Backgammon
post Sep 29 2005, 04:10 PM
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No... control actions makes the other guy your puppet. He will be very, very aware that he wasn't in control of his body when the spell ends.

Control thoughts is moe invasive. The target's actions come directed from his own "ideas". It's far more subtle, and if you don't make the target have unusual ideas such as "maybe I should release all the prisonners just for the hell of it" chances are he will never know he was being manipulated.

So it's a question of subtelity, though the immediate result is the same, yes.
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Dashifen
post Sep 29 2005, 04:10 PM
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If you're controlling actions, the target can still think something else and then later remember that they didn't want to perform those actions. Controlling their thoughts, as I run it, makes it such that they believe the action to be the result of their own choice, rather than the controling influence of a different person. YMMV.
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Dashifen
post Sep 29 2005, 04:10 PM
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Backgammon for the win :D
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Backgammon
post Sep 29 2005, 04:12 PM
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The time stamps need to show seconds on these forums ;)
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calypso
post Sep 29 2005, 04:17 PM
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OoOoh, I assumed that they still knew they weren't in control with Control Thoughts. If it works as both of you suggest, then I can see the difference :D

Thanks.
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calypso
post Sep 29 2005, 04:21 PM
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So then is there really any reason to have both Influence and Control Thoughts?
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Dashifen
post Sep 29 2005, 04:46 PM
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Don't have my book handy so one's drain code is probably cheaper than the other.

I always play Influence more like the Jedi Mind trick, if it succeeds, the target will follow it and it's permanently embedded into their consciousness. If someone points out how the influenced action is out of character for them, they may get a chance to realize something was up.

Control Thoughts, on the other hand, is sustained, which means you can cast it once and control their thoughts for an extended amount of time. But, once you drop the spell, the target may have the opportunity to realize that something fishy just happened without the assistance of someone else to point that fact out.
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Rev
post Sep 29 2005, 05:18 PM
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Control thoughts was also horribly broken in sr3 because of what other people are pointing out, it should have been removed.

Might as well have a "succede at shadowrun" spell.
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Nikoli
post Sep 29 2005, 05:27 PM
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Ah, but a Knowledge Skill for Spells (or potentially Security Procedures as well) might allow you to realize what up as you are familiar withthe effects of magic. So you'd have an idea that the funny taste in the back of your throat actually means that you weren't in control, not that this mornings dose of soy and StaLoyal was backing up on you.
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Shadow_Prophet
post Sep 29 2005, 05:58 PM
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Prehapse I'm wrong...but control actions gives them the ability to actualy resist what you command them to do giving the person a dice pool penalty equal to his willpower, where as control throughts you don't have that? Forgive me if i'm wrong there i don't have my sr4 with me today and i'm trying to recall the exact spell descriptions from memory.
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elbows
post Sep 29 2005, 06:08 PM
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Here's my take on it.

Control Actions:
The brute force approach. The target does exactly what you want him to do, but the downside is you have to micromanage his actions. You can make the security guard say, "There's nothing here, let's go get some coffee", and then walk out of the room.
The downside is that you have to choose his exact words, so his friends may realize that he doesn't sound like himself, and think something's up. Also, the target remains fully conscious and aware that his body is being used like a puppet.

Control Thoughts:
Somewhat more subtle. You control his thoughts but you only control his actions indirectly. You can make the guard think "It's probably nothing, and I really want some coffee", but he might decide to make a cursory search before he walks out of the room.
Also, if you give the person thoughts that are out of character for them, then after you drop the spell they will realize that something has been controlling their mind.

Influence:
The most subtle. You can only implant a single suggestion at a time so it's more limited than the other two, but it's also permanent, so you can implant a suggestion that takes effect later. The person can't usually tell they've been influenced, though if you make them do something unusual, they may wonder later what made them do it.

This interpretation isn't exactly cannon, but the spell descriptions as written are so vague that you basically have to fill in the details yourself.
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hahnsoo
post Sep 29 2005, 06:13 PM
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Sustained Control Manipulation spells have been slightly nerfed under SR4, as the victim can roll a resistence test every (Force) combat turns, and the hits from those are cumulative. Thus, unlike in SR3 (where you can sustain the spell for pretty much as long as you'd like), you'd have to have a high Force spell, which only will last a matter of minutes at most.
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Dashifen
post Sep 29 2005, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE (elbows @ Sep 29 2005, 01:08 PM)
Influence:
The most subtle. You can only implant a single suggestion at a time so it's more limited than the other two, but it's also permanent, so you can implant a suggestion that takes effect later. The person can't usually tell they've been influenced, though if you make them do something unusual, they may wonder later what made them do it.

My feelings exactly. Always a good time to influence your drinking buddies to go to the restroom. When they get there, they stop, confused for a moment, realizing they don't have to use the restroom, and by the time they return to the table, you've stiffed them with the bill. :D

Or, you could apply the same reasoning in a tactical way, but the Influence spell is always fun at parties.
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FrankTrollman
post Sep 29 2005, 06:42 PM
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Remember, Control Thoughts wears off. After a few combat rounds, they stop thinking whatever you put in their minds. Influence, on the other hand, is instantaneous. It's fire and forget.

That makes Influence a much better tool for any subtle action. Control Thoughts gives you fairly complete control over the victim, and it makes the victim believe that they are behaving normally for the duration. But the duration is measured in combat rounds (a few combat rounds per force point at the upper end). So control thoughts isn't good for much more than getting someone to authorize a bank transaction or open a door.

It takes a seriously hard core control thoughts to last more than 18 combat rounds - and that's not even long enough to get someone to leave a trid-show commercial break unmuted. Now, whether the victim is then aware that suddenly their thoughts changed back when they broke free is a GM call, but even if they aren't, control thoughts is profoundly limited in its application.

-Frank
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Egon
post Sep 29 2005, 07:49 PM
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QUOTE
 
Mental Manipulations: For Mental Manipulation 
spells, the caster makes an Opposed Magic + Spellcasting 
Test against the target’s Willpower (+ Counterspelling, if 
available). If the caster scores more hits, she controls the target 
as noted in the spell description. 
Every (Force) Combat Turns, the victim may spend a 
Complex Action to shake off the mental control. The victim 
rolls a Willpower (+ Counterspelling) Test; each hit reduces 
the net hits on the caster’s original Spellcasting Test. If 
the spellcaster’s net hits are reduced to 0, the spell no longer 
affects the target. 
 
Mob Mind (Mental, Area) 
Type: M • Range: LOS • Duration: S • DV: (F ÷ 2) + 4 
The caster seizes control of the target’s mind, directing everything 
the target does. The caster mentally gives commands 
with a Simple Action and the target is compelled to obey. 
Control Thoughts affects a single target, while Mob 
Mind affects any living targets within the area of effect. 
Victims of a Mob Mind may be manipulated individually 
(with separate Simple Actions) or issued the same command 
as a group (with a single Simple Action). 
 
COMBAT TuRnS 
In certain situations, such as combat or pursuit scenes, 
timing becomes critical. When this occurs, the Shadowrun 
game proceeds in turns. Each character acts in order, the fastest 
first, according to their Initiative Score. Characters act in 
a set sequence known as the Combat Turn that is roughly 3 
seconds long (see Combat Turn Sequence, p. 132). The point 
during each Combat Turn when a specific character can act is 
called a Action Phase. 
 
Initiative Passes 
Some characters may have magic or implants that allow 
them to act more than once in a Combat Turn. When this occurs, 
the Combat Turn is divided into Initiative Passes. Everyone gets 
to act during the first Initiative Pass (in order according to their 
Initiative Score), characters with two actions get to go again during 
a second Initiative Pass, characters with three actions get a 
third action during a third Initiative Pass, and so on. 


does any one else think this spell is a little harsh.

example:
You are are faced with 10 Lonestar officers.
You cast mob mind force 2 with magic 5 spell casting 5.
Will go low and say you get 3 successes on 10 dice.
You have 5s drain to deal with, not going to kill you even if you get no successes.

lets be nice and say Lonestar officers have a will power of 5. They still are not going to come up with the 3 successes they need to not be affected.

you give the simple action "shot your self between the eyes repeativly" and they spend every Int pass for the next 2 combat turns shooting themselves point blank in the face. Lets say 4 four times each. Then fall over dead.



now unless I am missing something like a modifier for more then one target or some thing this spell is really nasty. Shouldn't the force have to be at least = to the will power of the target.
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FrankTrollman
post Sep 29 2005, 07:56 PM
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It's a simple action to give directions, but a complex action to cast the spell. You don't have a simple action left in the initiative pass you cast it in. So they'll start capping themselves after your next initiative pass.

So you just took 5s drain to cast a spell that will definately give your enemies at least one initiative pass to shoot back before they drop.

That being said, I think the spell is overpowered. But I don't think it's a killer application for open combat.

-Frank
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Halabis
post Sep 29 2005, 08:06 PM
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That and you just comitted mass murder against 10 cops, probably got recorded on thier patrol car's camera, left some nast background count tat thier forensic team cant possibly miss, and pretty much screwed yourself for life as lonestar is now hunting for your multiple cop killing ass.
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Egon
post Sep 29 2005, 08:22 PM
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QUOTE (Halabis)
That and you just comitted mass murder against 10 cops, probably got recorded on thier patrol car's camera, left some nast background count tat thier forensic team cant possibly miss, and pretty much screwed yourself for life as lonestar is now hunting for your multiple cop killing ass.

Like some one would surrender, get stuck in a mage mask, and then go to trial for using magic in a crime. If the option is there they will use it.

I thinks there are a lot of spell in the main book that are far to power full.
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Rev
post Sep 29 2005, 11:06 PM
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Cool, sounds like it at least isn't horribly broken anymore. :)
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Halabis
post Sep 30 2005, 02:14 AM
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QUOTE (Egon)
Like some one would surrender, get stuck in a mage mask, and then go to trial for using magic in a crime. If the option is there they will use it.

Well, they could always use control thought to have the cops drop their weapons then run like a little girl. Or Make the cops perform lude acts with each other. Plenty of wase to escape without becoming a mass murder then possibly facing much harsher charges than what the cops were going to book you for.
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jervinator
post Sep 30 2005, 04:03 AM
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I find it odd that there is no longer a provision for allowing a bonus modifier or an immediate re-roll for resisting actions grossly violating the victim's deep-held beliefs. I mean, you might be able to get them to not shoot you, but I think they are concerned enough about not dying that they probably would not commit suicide inless the spell was hella strong/successful. Depending on how they felt about their co-workers, they may not even shoot each other.
Of course, if the GM doesn't want to re-instate that rule, then just remember that it cuts both ways. When the party swallows their guns and fires they won't get any second chance at resisting either ;)
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snowRaven
post Sep 30 2005, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE (jervinator)
I find it odd that there is no longer a provision for allowing a bonus modifier or an immediate re-roll for resisting actions grossly violating the victim's deep-held beliefs. I mean, you might be able to get them to not shoot you, but I think they are concerned enough about not dying that they probably would not commit suicide inless the spell was hella strong/successful. Depending on how they felt about their co-workers, they may not even shoot each other.
Of course, if the GM doesn't want to re-instate that rule, then just remember that it cuts both ways. When the party swallows their guns and fires they won't get any second chance at resisting either ;)

Yeah. In my games I will reinstate the rule of resisting things grossly against the victim's nature.
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Gondor
post Sep 30 2005, 10:07 PM
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In SR3 there was a threshold equal to 1/2 the willpower of the target, these counted as automatic successes. Does SR4 still have this?
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