Author Topic: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings  (Read 465 times)

ColdLogic

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Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« on: June 21, 2018, 04:17:20 PM »
Hello all. Now that I'm running a game with a brainer in it I'm just noticing the amount of overlap in these two moves.

Direct-brain whisper projection: you can roll+weird to get the effects of going
aggro, without going aggro. Your victim has to be able to see you, but you don’t have to
interact. If your victim forces your hand, your mind counts as a weapon (1-harm ap close
loud-optional).

In-brain puppet strings: when you have time and physical intimacy with someone—
again, mutual or 1-sided—you can plant a command inside their mind. Roll+weird. On
a 10+, hold 3. On a 7–9, hold 1. At your will, no matter the circumstances, you can spend
your hold 1 for 1:
• Inflict 1-harm (ap).
• They take -1 right now.
If they fulfill your command, that counts for all your remaining hold. On a miss, you
inflct 1-harm (ap) upon your subject, to no benefit.


To me, puppet strings is much stronger. You get pretty much all the desired effect of go aggro without risking the chance that they could barricade themself in or whatever. Granted, you need the violation glove to do it with minimal effort.

Why would anyone take Direct Brain Whisper instead?

And Vincent, why did you include such similar moves in the same playbook? Is the violation glove requirement that much that they seemed more different, or what?

Munin

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Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 05:57:04 PM »
While these moves do kind of the same thing (get someone else to do what you want them to do), they accomplish it by different methods and in different contexts. In the case of direct-brain whisper projection, you are putting the immediate whammy on someone. You make eye-contact and kapow! The effect is immediate, and is therefore limited to the immediate context; "Drop the weapon," or "Let the girl go," or "Give me the Loc-Nar." Further, the coercive nature of this move is also immediate. Once the person is out of your presence, there's no guarantee that they'll continue to do what you want them to do (just like any other use of go agro[/I] once the threat of immediate physical violence has passed).

In the case of in-brain puppet strings, however, you are planting a seed for future payoff. The phrase "no matter the circumstances" is important here. Time, distance, you name it - once that command has been planted, you have leverage over someone - they either do what you want (and thus discharge the hold), or you have carte blanche to mess with them (potentially lethally, in the case of NPCs). You don't have to be in their presence and the effect doesn't "expire." But the trick here is that the NPC is under no compunction to perform that command immediately, nor does the presence of that command prevent the NPC from otherwise acting counter to your interests (knowingly or unknowingly). Unlike the immediacy of go aggro (which is an attention-consuming, direct physical threat), the payoff for in-brain puppet strings is definitely best used "down the road."

Additionally, even with a violation glove, you'd still need to touch someone in order to pull off the latter move. With direct-brain whisper projection, they just need to be able to see you. That's a hell of a lot easier to pull off, and is useful in a much wider array of situations.

ColdLogic

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Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 07:42:35 PM »
Thanks. It seems the main difference as you see it hinges on the 'no matter the circumstances' clause, is that right? Its inclusion in puppet strings implies that the move is for down-the-road type commands, and is thus inappropriate for, say, 'get out of my way now' type stuff?


Munin

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Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 09:01:09 PM »
Yeah, that's generally my interpretation. "Hide this device in Rolfball's tank" or "At the end of your shift, turn off the shield-generator." That kind of thing. The coercive power of go agro is generally limited to being in someone's presence because its very trigger is predicated on doing immediate, one-sided violence to them. In-brain puppet strings has a much less immediate, much longer-term coercive effect.

Ebok

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Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2018, 03:41:40 AM »
You also asked why would someone ever take Direct Brain Whisper projection over Puppet Strings.

To be honest, there's a very different context during play as well. Imagine having your freedom stripped from you, pain or death planted inside of you that commands you obey someone. How would that make you feel? How might you treat the person that did that to you in the future?

Direct Brain whisper projection can be as simple as a hateful fucking glare, warning you not to go further. It doesn't always mean that this is a lasting offense, it's like threatening for real to hurt someone if they do that thing. This is as much an expression of seriousness as violence. Because I mean, instead of just hurting someone you're warning them off first, so it's actually asking them not to make you do it.

Do you see the difference in how these moves might be responded to IG?

Not only do you have contextually Direct Brain Whisper Projection reaps immediate rewards and is easy (therefore more widely applicable) to use, but depending on the circumstances, it also has much lower chance to causing real emotional damage or trauma.

Puppet Strings is seriously dark voodoo. People do not like being turned into puppets. Expect them to react accordingly once they get free.


Just as Important:
Quote
when you have time
Note this Line. Puppet strings cannot be done on the fly, it takes time to get into someone's brain. All the glove allows you to do is touch them as the intimate part of the trigger, but it still takes time. Thus the situations where you can use these moves have almost no overlap.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 03:47:17 AM by Ebok »

Munin

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Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2018, 02:48:59 PM »
Ebok, while I generally agree with the rest of your assessment, it's worth noting that the violation glove counts as both time and intimacy for the purposes of Brainer moves.

Ebok

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Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2018, 08:21:03 PM »
So it does. My bad.