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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Rules for mind control.

    Hey, are there any good rules for mind control? The concept is always really frustrating and arbitrary. Players don't like it, the rules to be saved from mind-control are super vague, and everyone generally dislikes it.

    I can't stop it from being a frustrating concept, but I can at least make it better by putting concrete, understandable rules to agree on.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    I don't know of any specific rules but something I imagine might make it better is if the rules were a bit more detailed than a single roll. In most systems I've seen, it's usually only about rolling the dice once or twice and that's it. You're either mind controlled or you're perfectly fine. Imagine if combat was just one roll and then you're either dead or victorious, that probably wouldn't be that fun either. Maybe someone knows of rules like that out there somewhere?

    That said, it doesn't really deal with what's probably the biggest issue with mind control from a player perspective - that you don't get to control your character. I'm not sure if any amount of rules can solve that problem.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    What paradigm of play do you want?

    Do you want mechanics that'd force a player to perform certain game action? Or do you just want to create stories with mind control in them?

    The first is hard, but the latter borders on trivial. The rules go: the attacking player describes the action and what they are attempting with it, the defending player decides if it succeeds and to what degree.

    Simple example:

    Player A moves: "Kneel before Zod!"

    Player B responds with: "Yes, Zod is my lord and master!"

    OR

    "No, I resist such false compulsions!"

    ---

    If you're squirming in your skin because you can't think of why a player would agree to kneel to Zod, just stop. You don't need to figure it out. It happens if it happens.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    There's a few options, and they could all exist in the same game with different spells or methods.

    Total mind control- the character exerting the control now fully controls the actions of the character being controlled. That means the player or GM exerting control can make the other player's character do anything they want for the duration of the control. The controlled character's player sits there and watches. Very simple to adjudicate, but frustrating if it happens very often or for more than a brief duration to a player. No ability to "trick" or surprise the other players past the point where the control is announced, character reactions will be player affectation only.

    Action fiat- the affected character is controlled by their normal player until the mind controller wants them to do something different. The mind controlling player can retcon/interrupt any action they didn't want to happen and force the character to do what they want instead. Then control goes back to the original player. Pretty simple to adjudicate, slightly less frustrating but still annoying when it comes up frequently. Less effective than total control in game terms, since the player can potentially try to mitigate effects in between fiats (which might result in repeated fiats, basically becoming total control)
    Also no surprise for the other players past the initial action fiat.

    Collaborative/partial mind control- the affected character is controlled by their normal player, they are allowed to interpret how they think the character would act under the mind control. The mind control conditions and initial orders can be communicated secretly to the affected player, so the other players may be genuinely surprised or confused about what's happening for a little while. Problems are that this requires total player buy-in: if they want, they can effectively eliminate any negative effect the controlling party wished to impose on them or their allies, barring an OoC convo about following the spirit of the game in these situations.
    Least frustrating for players, though can still become exhausting if it comes up frequently.

    Overall, mind control is problematic for these sorts of games unless the players are all really good sports and buy into the situation. If there is any sort of adversarial attitude (be it friendly or otherwise), mind control effects would need to be total and should be very rare.

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    Telok's Avatar

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Big list of questions to consider. No answers in this post.

    Types of "mind control"...
    Bonus/malus to social rolls: makes someone more or less likely to accept another persons influence.
    Goal imposition: target is compelled to accomplish, interact, avoid, etc., with something but the method is left up to the target.
    Though control: target has specific thoughts & ideas imposed on them but their actions are unrestrained.
    Emotion control: target is compelled to feel a specific emotion.
    Meat puppet: target has the parts of their mind related to movement controlled but can still think for themselves.
    Memory control/modification: create, erase, or change what the target remembers.
    Sensory control: affecting how the targets mind perceives & senses, like causing auditory hallucinations or psychosomatic blindness.
    Mental state: force a state of mind on the target like confusion, sleep, attention focus.
    Afflictions: apply actual mental dysfunctions to the target, insanity, phobia, multiple personality.
    Replacement: mind swaps, alter egos, possession, personality reversals.

    Is/can control be partial or is it all-or-nothing? Can it increase or decrease over time, or it is instant? Are there obvious side effects or is it unnoticable? Something in between? Is there a prerequsite for it like a piece of the target or a pre-existing* mental state? Does the target know when their mind is attacked? When they're under control? Do they realize afterwards? Is it automatic or a check? Can they recognize the attacker somehow? Can they differentiate between different attackers? Is there a possibility of contested control? Are certain things immune for some reason? Is there any way to gain immunity? To block control? Can it be applied before, after, or either?

    Is the game system predicated on simple once-and-done actions? D&D does cast spell -> saving throw, but supers systems can accomidate extended/repeated actions that slowly build to a full effect level. How about a degree-of-success system? You could have it for both the enscrollment and for the resistance check. If the game has one or more metacurrencies how do you want those to interact with it?

    Just an open ended & system agnostic "how to" is hard with something as wide & variable as the concept of mind control.

    Edit: I'm not even touching "how". Magic, drugs, hypnosis, torture, technology... lots of ways.

    * read a cthulhu mythos style short story where there was a srmi-mind control spell that eventually upgraded to a complete mind swap, but the target had to love the caster until the spell had been cast enough times. Yeah, get someone to love you then steal their body. Nice and solid "evil" territory.
    Last edited by Telok; 2021-09-01 at 06:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    The easiest way is probably to move away from the 'I look at you and dominate you' model, especially for PCs. If mind control takes a long time then PCs won't suddenly lose their character to a psion in the middle of combat.

    If you do want infant mind control in your games, the biggest thing to take from media is that it rarely works on major characters. The Master makes a strong claim to best mesmerist in Doctor Who who can control most minds with a look and a sentence, but he rarely even tries out on Marion characters (and I'm not sure if he's ever successful when he does). It's inconvenient in battle or for long form tasks, but still an incredibly powerful tool that a villain can use to get out of a tight spot or set up a scheme.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Mind control has never been an issue at the tables I've played in, and no matter who has been the DM it has always been run the same: the DM tells the player "you're now being controlled by X, you will do your best to protect them..." or whatever's suitable for the situation, and the player still gets to participate in the game. Everyone's on board with it, there's never been a problem. If the DM wants a specific action, like "Y hands over the Macguffin to the villain..." then they do that, otherwise it's in the player's hands, and it's usually a good time.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    That said, it doesn't really deal with what's probably the biggest issue with mind control from a player perspective - that you don't get to control your character. I'm not sure if any amount of rules can solve that problem.
    The solution lies in the player group.

    I absolutely have no problems using mind control in my games. Why is that? Because the players don't lose control, they just change which side of the screen they are playing for. When I "take control" of a player, I tell them what I want of them, and I let them play the villain for the scene. There is no sitting and watching, they are still playing just as much as before. I don't need to micromanage them and assume control, because they are happy to play under the restricted parameters of the spell. And the rest of the group don't hold it against the controlled player for playing against them; its just part of the game (though i have in the past pretended i am exerting a greater level of control over a controlled players actions in order to protect them from recriminations for their actions)

    Now, I know this wouldn't work at every table; there are many a player out there who, instead of playing into the 'controlled' role, would try and weasel around such an open attitude, trying to still play on the good side. And likewise, there will be players who take someone playing (even temporarily) for the bad guys badly, and who think the 'controlled' player should be trying to weasel around the control, and take offence if they don't. Sadly, there is very little you can do in such a situation (other than not play with those types of players)

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    As a kind of light mind control flavored thing which doesn't have the same kind of issues as direct takeover, I'm a fan of abilities which basically allow the target to avoid the effect of the ability if they do what the user of the ability wants them to do. So instead of 'I attack them, if I hit I deal damage' you'd have 'I attack them, if I hit then I apply a condition where so long as they do what I say, the damage from that hit is held in abeyance, but if they ever go against my word or will then they take all damage I've piled on them in that fashion; damage held in abeyance is reduced by any natural or magical healing the person receives, but is otherwise not directly detectable to others than the subject of it'. You could also do a light Suggestion-style effect with something that works like 'as long as you follow the suggestion, you gain a bonus to defenses against other attacks or effects from the person who issued it' - in some sense that's no different than someone just saying with words 'if you play along and leave my friend alone, I'll go easy on you, but if you target them I'll get serious' or something along those lines so it doesn't even have to be 'magical' per se.

    For more overt or heavy effects, I prefer sensory modification (things the controller wants their victim to attack appear as monsters, things the controller wants their victim to ignore are masked from their sight, etc) or things where the victim still takes actions and makes decisions as normal, but aspects of their abilities can be redirected - so if you choose to cast a fireball, the controller is going to be able to move your targeting location; but they can't make you cast the fireball. Action exclusion is another one that can work since there's a game to figuring out a way around it - a control effect 'you cannot attempt to harm this person' or 'you may not do anything which would break Invisibility while in the area of this ward' or things like that still leave open the possibility of lateral thinking to find other options to achieve one's ends. Though I think those are best used in circumstances with natural time limits, otherwise you risk getting a perverse incentive thing of 'forget what we were doing or what our priorities were, this effect has challenged us and we're going to beat it'. 'No one may raise their hand against me' is fine for a 1-2 round protection as someone walks through a pitched fight; if you put it on a guy who sits out there for days, someone is going to start to go through a list 'So does kicking him work? How about collapsing a nearby building in a way that happens to land on him? What if ...' just to test the effect, even if the guy is just there and not doing anything.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    Now, I know this wouldn't work at every table; there are many a player out there who, instead of playing into the 'controlled' role, would try and weasel around such an open attitude, trying to still play on the good side. And likewise, there will be players who take someone playing (even temporarily) for the bad guys badly, and who think the 'controlled' player should be trying to weasel around the control, and take offence if they don't. Sadly, there is very little you can do in such a situation (other than not play with those types of players)
    Yeah, I was about to bring this up after reading the first half of your post. I do think it would work pretty well with most people I've played with (personally, I think I might enjoy playing the bad guys a little too much if it happened to me ) but a sollution that depends on the personality on the individual players isn't really ideal.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Personally, I prefer soft control methods - mind control doesn't force a player to do something, but it does impose penalties if the player acts outside of the compulsion.

    This is especially good if the compulsion only lasts for a given number of "interrupts"/"penalties". For instance, "pursue this goal. If you don't, I can inflict <n> hp of damage at any time, up to four times. Once the goal is met, the hold ends"

    The player can decide not to do so and suffer the consequences.... after they deal with enough, they're free of the compulsion. Or they can just comply and get rid of the compulsion that way. It creates a lot of interesting decisions on both sides - how much is resisting worth? If I make a suggestion that's better aligned, the target is more likely to comply, so how can I do that? Etc...
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    .* read a cthulhu mythos style short story where there was a srmi-mind control spell that eventually upgraded to a complete mind swap, but the target had to love the caster until the spell had been cast enough times. Yeah, get someone to love you then steal their body. Nice and solid "evil" territory.
    Or… get someone to love you… then give them your body. Could be exalted good, if you die their death for them, and give them a decent life.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    The solution lies in the player group.

    I absolutely have no problems using mind control in my games. Why is that? Because the players don't lose control, they just change which side of the screen they are playing for. When I "take control" of a player, I tell them what I want of them, and I let them play the villain for the scene. There is no sitting and watching, they are still playing just as much as before. I don't need to micromanage them and assume control, because they are happy to play under the restricted parameters of the spell. And the rest of the group don't hold it against the controlled player for playing against them; its just part of the game (though i have in the past pretended i am exerting a greater level of control over a controlled players actions in order to protect them from recriminations for their actions)

    Now, I know this wouldn't work at every table; there are many a player out there who, instead of playing into the 'controlled' role, would try and weasel around such an open attitude, trying to still play on the good side. And likewise, there will be players who take someone playing (even temporarily) for the bad guys badly, and who think the 'controlled' player should be trying to weasel around the control, and take offence if they don't. Sadly, there is very little you can do in such a situation (other than not play with those types of players)
    This is absolutely what I came in to say. The simple rule of charm, mind control, and even doppelganger shenanigans is that you never take control away from the players. Treat them like kids and they will behave like kids and fight every step of the way and you'll all find it unpleasant, while treat them like adults and they lean in and have a whole lot of fun with the new situation, and possibly take it places you never pictured.
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    To summarise what others have said and offer some thoughts of my own:
    We can give you better answers if you tell us more about what you want.
    • More player agency/involvement? Don't take control of the character, tell the player what the character's goals are. But that requires players willing and able to "play the game" and the rest of the table need to accept that without hard feelings.
    • More player control but your players can't/won't/dislike being acting on how their character feels? Apply bonuses or rewards for acting according to "The Influence" and/or penalties for ignoring it.
    • Less "all or nothing" ? - Make a mini-game for mental combat. Each time the attacker scores a hit, they do damage and get more influence over your actions. Maybe first hit let's them control a free action, 2nd one lets them prevent a move action, 3rd lets them control a step in the move. And so on. A character can choose to spend a turn doing other things or fighting back the influence of their attacker. This could, if done well create a real feeling of fighting for your character's mind. I've never done this, or seen it done, but if I ever run D&D again I might do this!
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Let people buy in. In Masks: A New Generation, mind control is a superpower just like any other. A mechanic presented in the Halcyon City Herald Collection for representing mind control goes as follows:
    When you resist Dante's mind control, treat it as rejecting Influence. On a hit, you cannot cancel his Influence. On a miss, instead of shifting your Labels and marking a condition, you must either follow Dante's commands or mark a condition and take a powerful blow.
    As you can see here, actually having agency taken away from the player character is something they opt into as an alternative to taking damage, as the system represents it. There's some stuff like this in some editions of D&D, and I've also seen it in the Spheres of Power magic system for Pathfinder 1e.

    There are a bunch of other ways you could swing it in the system, operating within the framework that the game lays out for GMs and for players. When a player with a mind control power wants to use it on somebody, they use the same conflict resolution rules as any other player would, with any other power. Mind controlling an egomaniac supervillain to step away from the button that'll activate their doomsday device uses the same rules as provoking them to step away, or picking them up and hurling them into the wall, based on the intentions of the player character.

    Frankly, I don't think that it's a problem that begins and ends with the group and with the table - the system you're playing with exists to be the arbiter of conflicts, to put everyone on the same page, to make sure that things run smoothly and enjoyably.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    The solution lies in the player group.

    I absolutely have no problems using mind control in my games. Why is that? Because the players don't lose control, they just change which side of the screen they are playing for. When I "take control" of a player, I tell them what I want of them, and I let them play the villain for the scene. There is no sitting and watching, they are still playing just as much as before. I don't need to micromanage them and assume control, because they are happy to play under the restricted parameters of the spell. And the rest of the group don't hold it against the controlled player for playing against them; its just part of the game (though i have in the past pretended i am exerting a greater level of control over a controlled players actions in order to protect them from recriminations for their actions)

    Now, I know this wouldn't work at every table; there are many a player out there who, instead of playing into the 'controlled' role, would try and weasel around such an open attitude, trying to still play on the good side. And likewise, there will be players who take someone playing (even temporarily) for the bad guys badly, and who think the 'controlled' player should be trying to weasel around the control, and take offence if they don't. Sadly, there is very little you can do in such a situation (other than not play with those types of players)
    I think the trick is if they're playing honestly. The rules aren't super specific about how a character needs to behave when mind controlled, only that (and I'm generalizing across many games here) they do what they are commanded to the best of their abilities. A normally cautious warrior could become reckless, allowing their companions more OA's in order to take them down quickly. A clever rogue may only knock out enemies, attempting to argue with their new master that they would make excellent servants. Maybe the mind-control effect draws out the inner dark feelings in a given character.

    So long as their approach to their mind-controlled condition is fun and engaging for the table, I'm not super worried how a player goes about it, and it's up to the NPC to be specific if they want specific tactics.

    But yeah, I shouldn't have to argue with my players when they're clearly trying to be dishonest about their approach to being MCed.
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    Planetar

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    The easiest is to have the player's collaboration.

    A lot of players are just waiting for an opportunity to:
    + backstab their friends in spectacular ways
    + have some weird RP together with it
    + have no negative social consequences OOC since "they were mind controlled so they just did what the GM wanted them to do"
    + have very few bad consequences IC since once their mind control has been reverted, they're back to normal
    => If you have that kind of players, you can just have a quick discussion with the player whose character you mind control, giving them a free pass to have some fun they usually can't have because of table conventions like "no PvP". And if you do it rarely enough, the other players should also find it fun or at least tolerable.

    [This can also work with imposters, not just mind control. If the true PC was captured and replaced by a shapeshifter, with the adequate kind of player you can just let the player RP the shapeshifter]

    If you don't have player's collaboration, it's much more difficult, you can probably try a "carrot and stick" method: The PC still has agency, but each time they disobey or oppose order, they suffer damage or some other negative consequence (and if the PC prefer to die rather than backstabbing their friends, let them do so, it's their choice). You can also give a carrot of promised power from the puppeteer (if you play with XP, the puppeteer could give bonus XP to the PC each time they obey a major order).

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    [This can also work with imposters, not just mind control. If the true PC was captured and replaced by a shapeshifter, with the adequate kind of player you can just let the player RP the shapeshifter]
    A long time ago, I ran a Ravenloft Adventure called Hour of the Knife.

    [Spoiler Alert!]

    The first Act of the adventure was a Jack-the-Ripper style serial killer investigation, but half a dozen Dopplegangers were involved. A rule in the adventure was that if ever a major NPC or PC was caught alone with a Doppleganger, he was immediately killed and replaced. Obviously this was intended to have a snowball effect as the number of live 'real' humans rapidly diminished until the party was wiped out. At that point, Act 2 would kick in, the parties bodies would be recovered by the old head of the Doppleganger and ressurrected to take out the new head Doppleganger who had unseated him (there was some magical ritual stuff related to the murders which would put the party on a clock).

    A bit railroady, sure, but my players had an absolute blast. Knowing in advance that their dead character would be ressurrected, the first ones turned really went for it to turn the rest of the party. A particular highlight of the session was when two Doppleganger-PC's got in an arguement over who would accompany one of the few remaining real human party members on a Stealth mission, much to the confusion of the unwitting victim, as they both wanted to be the one to claim the kill.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Personally, I prefer soft control methods - mind control doesn't force a player to do something, but it does impose penalties if the player acts outside of the compulsion.

    This is especially good if the compulsion only lasts for a given number of "interrupts"/"penalties". For instance, "pursue this goal. If you don't, I can inflict <n> hp of damage at any time, up to four times. Once the goal is met, the hold ends"

    The player can decide not to do so and suffer the consequences.... after they deal with enough, they're free of the compulsion. Or they can just comply and get rid of the compulsion that way. It creates a lot of interesting decisions on both sides - how much is resisting worth? If I make a suggestion that's better aligned, the target is more likely to comply, so how can I do that? Etc...
    I like this, it pretty elegantly models how breaking free of mind control works in most fiction I've read. Especially if you just lump a negative modifier on rolls instead of adding an additional setback.

    I might steal this for a homebrew system, have mind control duration measured in infractions instead of time. Good motivation to keep up with the minions' brainwashing regimen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I like this, it pretty elegantly models how breaking free of mind control works in most fiction I've read. Especially if you just lump a negative modifier on rolls instead of adding an additional setback.

    I might steal this for a homebrew system, have mind control duration measured in infractions instead of time. Good motivation to keep up with the minions' brainwashing regimen.
    I pretty shamelessly lifted the core concept from Apocalypse World.

    IIRC it allows the penalty to either be a modifier to a roll, or direct harm. I feel like giving options of how to best apply pressure is probably a good idea in general.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2021-09-03 at 01:16 PM.
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    If your group isn't into being on the receiving end of mind control, just make permanent Amulets of Protection from Evil a thing and hand out one to each player character. This is for D&D 3.5, but I'm sure there are equivalent spells in most systems.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Yeah, I tend to use mind control that just gives people new impulses or changes something about their personality temporarily, then let the players play it out. They are for the most part quite happy to do so.

    For example, a few sessions ago, a player in an urban fantasy game fell under the influence of an artefact of dionysus. I just passed him a note saying "You have lost all impulse control and will do the first thing that comes to mind, even if dangerous or destructive" and let him run wild. Next scene, he was shouting abuse at a priest of a different religion and then crashed his car trying to race some random people on the street.
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    All the "no problems here, my players are great" are nice, but I and some others have players who basically won't engage or can't effectively interact with stuff that doesn't have mechanics attached.

    For those players hard control is fine, no complaints, full on mental domination isn't an issue. They failed the save/resist/whatever and have to do something specific, usually exactly what the controller says. Its the softer controls they can't or won't do, and having a 5 minute negotiation over every casting of a basic forced friendship magic isn't any good.

    My best shot at a fix in DtD40k7e relies on the metacurrency (hero points, used mostly for rerolls), the social combat "hp" (resolve), and the fact that saves vs effects are essentially an opposed roll against the casting/using roll with degrees of success and failure. The rule basically says that if you fail the save/resist by less than 2 degrees the target can lose a resolve point to follow instructions to the letter or otherwise be imperfect in following what you're suppoaed to do. If you spend a hero point instead you get to actually try to subvert instructions. If the resist roll failed by 2 or more degrees, or the target doesn't/can't spend the resources, then you have to follow the intended spirit of the spell effect.

    Its trying to accomidate both the people who can rp well or just don't try to screw with the effects, and be an explicit rule about when you can screw around vs when you need to go along for the people who need a rule in order to understand what they are supposed to do. Naturally there's no way to import this sort of thing into, say D&D, if it lacks non-binary effects and social/mental systems.
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Pathfinder's Ultimate Intrigue has some useful advice for adjudicating mind control effects (charm and dominate) that you may want to take a look at.
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    I have played with several players who like USING mind control. I have played with very few who openly accept BEING mind controlled.

    Problem is, it is extremely hard to hide so it always results in the afflicted demanding rolls until they break free. The best way is to get the whole party, make them do stuff, and they don't remember. At that point, results happen and they need to find the culprit, prove their innocence and run damage control.

    If you don't get the whole party, it becomes a rescue mission.

    Any other attempt at mind controlling PCs will result in whining, cajoling and demanding of more saves.

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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    I have played with several players who like USING mind control. I have played with very few who openly accept BEING mind controlled.

    Problem is, it is extremely hard to hide so it always results in the afflicted demanding rolls until they break free. The best way is to get the whole party, make them do stuff, and they don't remember. At that point, results happen and they need to find the culprit, prove their innocence and run damage control.

    If you don't get the whole party, it becomes a rescue mission.

    Any other attempt at mind controlling PCs will result in whining, cajoling and demanding of more saves.
    Look at my earlier post for an example.

    Mind control is generally, IMHO, poorly done in D&D, at least applied to PCs.
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Mind control and similar influence is one of those things that apply very differently to PCs and NPCs, with its application to NPCs also having varying effects based on how plot-critical they are. And yes, it is poorly done in D&D (like most magic in general), which colors people's perceptions.

    People have already mentioned better ways of doing it than just handing off control to the GM. Giving players an out that comes with a risk or rewarding them for going through with it both work well. Also, mind control works better if it's limited to short and direct commands. "Drop your weapon" or "stay where you are" are easier for players to work with than "you do everything the NPC says for however many rounds/minutes/hours".
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Mind control and similar influence is one of those things that apply very differently to PCs and NPCs, with its application to NPCs also having varying effects based on how plot-critical they are. And yes, it is poorly done in D&D (like most magic in general), which colors people's perceptions.

    People have already mentioned better ways of doing it than just handing off control to the GM. Giving players an out that comes with a risk or rewarding them for going through with it both work well. Also, mind control works better if it's limited to short and direct commands. "Drop your weapon" or "stay where you are" are easier for players to work with than "you do everything the NPC says for however many rounds/minutes/hours".
    Yeah, extremely-short-term mind control can be done with hard control, but for long-term control aimed at PCs, I'm going to argue for soft control Every. Single. Time.
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Yeah, extremely-short-term mind control can be done with hard control, but for long-term control aimed at PCs, I'm going to argue for soft control Every. Single. Time.
    I'm inclined to agree about long-term control. Though I admit I only had experience with mind control used on PCs in Dark Heresy, where it's as bad as in D&D if not worse (because it's nigh-impossible for a non-psyker to win an opposed Willpower check against a psyker).
    Last edited by Morty; 2021-09-09 at 09:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Rules for mind control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Though I admit I only had experience with mind control used on PCs in Dark Heresy, where it's as bad as in D&D if not worse (because it's nigh-impossible for a non-psyker to win an opposed Willpower check against a psyker).
    While true, the moment I had an Eldar Warlock take control of a character and had him blow off an power-armoured NPC superior officers head with a Melta Pistol has got to rate of one of the bigger "oh ****" moments my party ever came up against. Sometimes that exercise in pure unrestrained power has its place

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