Visual displays of Mind affecting powers...

This is specifically focused on Force powers such as Memory walk, Thought Bomb, and mind shard, but also on a multitude of noble talents and crime lord talents.

What are the visual/perceptable displays of MA powers?  Does Mind Shard create a perceivable crackle, chime, shattering, etc sound?  Is there a displacement wave for Thought Bomb?  When using memory walk should there be an outstretched hand or a finger to your own temple?

What about abilities such as born leader?  Does the Noble need to be a beacon of hope, or is it necisarily obvious where the bonuses are coming from? 

I'm curious what people think about this and how they run covert MA abilities, if any?
My Blog, mostly about D&D.
57304548 wrote:
I imagine that Majestic Moose plays a more "A team" type game than most of us. By that I mean he allows his players to make tanks out of a backyard playground set since the players have more "fun" that way.
Actually I much prefer The Losers.
Show
When I and my friends sit down we want a game of heroic fantasy. Rare is the moment when I have cried out in a video game or RPG "that's unrealistic." (Unless there is no jump button. Seriously makes me mad, single handedly ruined the N64 zelda series for me, but that's a digression of a digression.) I mean, we play games with the force in galaxies far, far away, with supernatural horrors, dragons and demi-gods, alternate cosmologies, etc. Reality and it's effects hold little sway to what makes a Heroic fantasy game fun IMO. Just repeat after me: You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are not how much you've spent on WotC products. You are not whatever RPG you play. You are one of tens of thousands of people that spend money on a hobby. You will not always get what you want
This isn't a video game.  If a noble used Born Leader, Inpire Confidence, or any host of other things he doesn't "magically" light up because he is using a "power."  These things just happen.  Now detecting the source of certain things may be an issue but that should be handled through things like Perception and/or an number of Knowledge skills; you may need Perception to "see" something and then a Knowledge check to actually know what you just saw being used.

In a video game the use of Force Grip is almost always going to include some kind of visual effect to let the player know what's going on but in the game there is nothing to say that the source, or even the cause, is obvious.  With Force Grip the target should know they are experiencing some kind of damaging discomfort but exactly why may be a mystery to them and even harder for some third party observer to determine. 

     I disagree with Steveno for the most part, not for his lack of imagination, but because in my experience a required level of communication is expected to properly translate an interesting and immersive experience. Sure things can ‘just happen’ but unless I am intentionally minimizing what the players are aware of for ‘story’ purposes… then I try to have each talent/feat use actively described cinematically. By the same token, a player that is distracted around the corner from the rest of the party who throws my words back at me ... ...simply is shuffled into the same boat of player knowledge vs. character knowledge… which is also incorporated cinematically, whenever possible.


    I think that unless deliberate precautions are made to deceive players (or NPC), the mind affect should be addressed exactly as Majestic Moose inquires. A finger to the temple, an insightful warning of caution from the Noble, a battle cry and skyward fist-pump, a series of hand gestures with an energetic declarative murmured into the hidden mic on the inside of the agents sleeve… or what ever. Is it in the FUCG (?)- there is a talent that allows a Force User to mask his attempts at making a Use the Force Check with a Deception check...this would be one of the exceptions 


     Masking a Nobles attempt at a turn encompassing morale boosting moment seems pitifully lackluster, but I suppose it falls back to a role-playing vs. roll-playing prospective. Fortunately I have players who absorb both the cinematic flare and decorative lingo, along side the mechanical ‘bottom line’ of turn progression ----Yet I’ve had rules lawyer player types that were not content with playing…they seemed to view their ever turn as a cooperative GMing opportunity…so I would hand them an index card-like scrap paper with all the information they were allowed to comment on. Soon they realized that they were out of synch with the rest of the playing circle and adopted a less controlling attitude.


     Memory Walk is actually a particularly interesting Force Power to cinematically embellish upon if used against a Player Character. Even with plenty of past gaming experience, it can be difficult to superimpose a terrifying moment or near death experience onto a player that seamlessly flows with the group (I ran into similar issues with Mind Probe and Echoes of the Force). But allow me to suggest that sometimes [looking to real life for inspiration] events that challenge the solidity of our identity are not ‘cinematic’ failings… They don’t always involve loss of limb or fall into a test-like obstacle… rather embracing moments, trepidation felt from an antagonizing superior, scorn from a loved one or in front of a loved one. I picture Aniken on Naboo when he is interrupted and admonished by Amidalia for his untimely interjection; I can relate to that feeling of fire in the belly from being force to submit in front of others fueling the fire from a prideful position.
      I think that having some in-game dirt (embracing character history) is a good request… hell, I might suggest that you ask each player to submit two or three things that illustrate their character’s demeanor being tested. IF yoyu wish to retain the element of surprise send each player a few situations (you made up) and ask them to write you back with the same thing worded from their first-person prospective.


As always, keep up the great work Moose.  

To pluck out a more salient example:

If a caracter is a noble/crime lord and uses the deception skill to create a deceptive appearance of being a non-combatant, but is feeding his actions to his allies via impel ally, and othe boosting talents, again like born leader, at what point do these things become obvious to the players? 

another example:

I believe we can all agree that using force grip is noticable.  the character using it generally looks at the target, uses a prominent hand gesture, and the victim is choking, sputtering, and sometimes even lifted off the ground.  Compared to a power like memory walk which I've only read about in a single novel (used by Jacen) who was directly in contact with his victim and making no show to hide his power.  so does memory walk have those teltale signs, and in fact what are the outward signs from the victim?  Are they simply disconected from the world for 6-18 seconds, do their eyes and nose bleed like in Resident evil: apocalypse?

Just musing about this really.

@stevenO

YOu're correct of course, this is not a video game.  However, I was more looking at it (but not entirely) from a POV of player/character informations, transparency between the players and GM, and also the actual in universe effects.

A good example is that Lucas in RotS specifically veto'd the use of visual displacement effects whe anikin and Obi-wan force push each other in the mustafar control room (commentary on blu-ray, the archival track). So for him, for Lucas, using the force telekinetically doesn't seem to have a visual displacement wave.  In the comics though using the force often has a visual cue (likely due to the medium, but that is also an artists choice to represent the force in that fashion) and in novels they regard the force powers on auditory, visual, and tactile levels.  Even the vorynskyrs, or voxyyns (can't remember which) "smell" the force.

So I take it in your games StevenO, you do not utilize any visual cues for force powers and araus and talents when describing them to players, or am I off base?

@jormundre
Thanks.  I'm glad you found this ineresting.  You touched on a lot of the areas that were rollign around in my brain. 
My Blog, mostly about D&D.
57304548 wrote:
I imagine that Majestic Moose plays a more "A team" type game than most of us. By that I mean he allows his players to make tanks out of a backyard playground set since the players have more "fun" that way.
Actually I much prefer The Losers.
Show
When I and my friends sit down we want a game of heroic fantasy. Rare is the moment when I have cried out in a video game or RPG "that's unrealistic." (Unless there is no jump button. Seriously makes me mad, single handedly ruined the N64 zelda series for me, but that's a digression of a digression.) I mean, we play games with the force in galaxies far, far away, with supernatural horrors, dragons and demi-gods, alternate cosmologies, etc. Reality and it's effects hold little sway to what makes a Heroic fantasy game fun IMO. Just repeat after me: You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are not how much you've spent on WotC products. You are not whatever RPG you play. You are one of tens of thousands of people that spend money on a hobby. You will not always get what you want
When it comes to what the players know effecting their PCs I'd be direct but when it comes to what the characters knows things may not be so clear.  When things are affecting NPCs I don't feel the need to tell the players what is going on.  While I may not immediately point out the source of things I will allow certain skill check to detect and identify what is going on.
And if those skill checks succeed, do you usually point out the source by saying, "he's doing it" or do you use a more in-universe descriptive method?
My Blog, mostly about D&D.
57304548 wrote:
I imagine that Majestic Moose plays a more "A team" type game than most of us. By that I mean he allows his players to make tanks out of a backyard playground set since the players have more "fun" that way.
Actually I much prefer The Losers.
Show
When I and my friends sit down we want a game of heroic fantasy. Rare is the moment when I have cried out in a video game or RPG "that's unrealistic." (Unless there is no jump button. Seriously makes me mad, single handedly ruined the N64 zelda series for me, but that's a digression of a digression.) I mean, we play games with the force in galaxies far, far away, with supernatural horrors, dragons and demi-gods, alternate cosmologies, etc. Reality and it's effects hold little sway to what makes a Heroic fantasy game fun IMO. Just repeat after me: You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are not how much you've spent on WotC products. You are not whatever RPG you play. You are one of tens of thousands of people that spend money on a hobby. You will not always get what you want
And if those skill checks succeed, do you usually point out the source by saying, "he's doing it" or do you use a more in-universe descriptive method?

It varies a little (so false positives can happen to make roleplaying more interesting) and I try to keep descriptions "in-universe" which can mean the players know exactly what's going on although their characters may only suspect what's going on.