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Jefepato

What happens when the Jedi Mind Trick wears off?

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Hello everyone.  I'm working on plans for GMing a game, and I'm pretty sure at least one of my players is looking to pick up the Influence power, so I'd like to be sure I understand how it works -- specifically the 10-XP Control upgrade that causes targets to believe something untrue, i.e. the classic Jedi Mind Trick.

So, suppose Steve Stormtrooper is confronted by a Jedi and two droids.  The Jedi waves his hand and informs Steve that "these aren't the droids you are looking for," and moves on.  Steve lets them go because obviously those weren't the droids he was looking for, but what happens five minutes later?

Option A - Steve immediately thinks, "Wait, those were the droids I was looking for!" and sounds the alarm.

Option B - Steve continues to assume that the droids he saw weren't the ones he was looking for, but if someone (like his commanding officer) asks/reminds him about what he saw during his shift, he'll realize that he was wrong (and he'll certainly realize he was wrong if he sees those droids again).

Option C -  If anyone asks, Steve remembers seeing two droids, but they weren't the right ones.  However, if he actually sees them again he'll realize he was mistaken.

Option D - Something else I haven't thought of.

I'm a little torn here.  My initial assumption was C, because A seems a little harsh -- but on the other hand, the Mind Trick is a really powerful effect and I imagine things could get really out of hand.  (Also, there wouldn't be four Duration upgrades available if the duration running out wasn't supposed to be a problem.)  Anyone have thoughts on how this plays out?

(I recall that in Saga Edition d20, victims of the mind trick specifically didn't think anything had been amiss afterwards, but I can't see any clear statements on the topic in the FaD book's description of Influence.)

...it also occurs to me that the PC who's likely to have this power is a gambler.  He could be an absolute terror at the sabacc tables if he abuses it properly.  (I suppose he's going to have a lot of people convinced he's cheating if he wins that much, though, even if they can't really prove how.)  I suppose he'd need the "fine manipulation" upgrade for Move to actually mess around with dicechance cubes at a gambling table, though.

Edited by Jefepato

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I think it would work on similar priciples to hypnosis in real life, the average person when the effect wears off would likely not even think about it without something bringing it up like someone saying "hey what was that" or "What were those droids walking by" he may not think they were the right droids cause his memory of that moment is a bit fuzzy unless he focuses on it for a bit

 

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On 7/7/2018 at 11:28 AM, Jefepato said:

Hello everyone.  I'm working on plans for GMing a game, and I'm pretty sure at least one of my players is looking to pick up the Influence power, so I'd like to be sure I understand how it works -- specifically the 10-XP Control upgrade that causes targets to believe something untrue, i.e. the classic Jedi Mind Trick.

So, suppose Steve Stormtrooper is confronted by a Jedi and two droids.  The Jedi waves his hand and informs Steve that "these aren't the droids you are looking for," and moves on.  Steve lets them go because obviously those weren't the droids he was looking for, but what happens five minutes later?

Option A - Steve immediately thinks, "Wait, those were the droids I was looking for!" and sounds the alarm.

Option B - Steve continues to assume that the droids he saw weren't the ones he was looking for, but if someone (like his commanding officer) asks/reminds him about what he saw during his shift, he'll realize that he was wrong (and he'll certainly realize he was wrong if he sees those droids again).

Option C -  If anyone asks, Steve remembers seeing two droids, but they weren't the right ones.  However, if he actually sees them again he'll realize he was mistaken.

Option D - Something else I haven't thought of.

I'm a little torn here.  My initial assumption was C, because A seems a little harsh -- but on the other hand, the Mind Trick is a really powerful effect and I imagine things could get really out of hand.  (Also, there wouldn't be four Duration upgrades available if the duration running out wasn't supposed to be a problem.)  Anyone have thoughts on how this plays out?

(I recall that in Saga Edition d20, victims of the mind trick specifically didn't think anything had been amiss afterwards, but I can't see any clear statements on the topic in the FaD book's description of Influence.)

...it also occurs to me that the PC who's likely to have this power is a gambler.  He could be an absolute terror at the sabacc tables if he abuses it properly.  (I suppose he's going to have a lot of people convinced he's cheating if he wins that much, though, even if they can't really prove how.)  I suppose he'd need the "fine manipulation" upgrade for Move to actually mess around with dicechance cubes at a gambling table, though.

I would say, in the confines of this game system, it would depend on the skill check results that would accompany the Influence usage.  If the PC got nothing but successes and advantage, then nothing would seem amiss to Steve, and it wouldn't come up at all.  If enough threat was generated, he might question it later, but not really remember much in the way of details.  It was a super hot day in the desert, and he was wearing a full suit of body armor, doing a mundane task, perfectly reasonable for him to draw a blank about details, but recall enough to think something was fishy later.  
If a Despair was rolled, then I would say he would likely figure it out, likely at the end of that scene, and take immediate action.  Either to rally his squadmates to go track down that speeder, thus possibly generating a random encounter/chase for your PC's to deal with.   Or putting in a call to dispatch, and having another squad, perhaps some fighters tail the ship after they took off.  Basically I would have exactly what happens in the film (troopers attack them at docking bay 94, and then proceed to chase them in orbit later) be what likely happens to the players, just that it was because of the Despair on the Influence check, and not because an informant called the cops.  Though you could also totally use that as a result too.  Perhaps Steve didn't notice the droids, but LongNose McAntEaterFace DID notice them from a nearby alley, when they went through that checkpoint, and called the cops.  

There isn't one answer to this question, it depends on the dice, that's the whole point of the skill check, to allow for fluctuations and variances like that.

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WotC developers addressed this when they were producing their SW game.  Their conclusion was essentially option C But it depends wholly on the influenced target.  Their prime example was the death sticks dealer in episode 2.  He goes home and rethinks his life, but if in the course of his contemplation he decides he likes his current life and is ok with being a drug dealer then he continues being scum.  

So for the Stormtrooper, those weren’t the droids he was looking for, three days later he may have seen a picture again and think, “ Hmm, I did see two that looked like them...probably coincidence, besides I have scum and villainy to police.”  

If it was successful against Thrawn, then you have an NPC that realizes they were tricked and potentially hunts the pcs down.

TLDR Once the duration finishes the individual will act normally whether that means realizing they were tricked or going on their merry way is up to you and how you believe that npc would react.

 

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I handle it as Option C, in that that target won't suddenly realize they were mind-whammied, especially if they're not well-versed in the Force (most galactic denizens aren't generally aware of the nuances of the Force).

So your average no-name NPC that gets mind-tricked probably won't ever cotton onto the fact that they got mind-tricked, and if looking back on the incident might just ultimately chalk it up to "Huh, not sure what I was thinking when I made that decision."  After all, real life people often have moments like that, and as far as is known there's nobody with mind-control abilities running around.

Zod's example of the deathstick dealer in AotC is a good example, as odds are he went home as Obi-Wan suggested, rethought his life, and most likely went right back out to continue peddling deathsticks while not really ever dwelling on why he suddenly got reflective on his life choices up to that point; likely he chalked it up to what alcoholics refer to as a "moment of clarity" but for him the moment passed and it was business as usual, and never the wiser that he'd gotten mind-whammied by a Jedi.

A reasonably well-informed person that knows a fair bit about the Force might be able to conclude that they probably mind-tricked if a decision they made seems suspiciously really out of the norm for them, but they won't really know for certain if they were mind-tricked or not unless the actions they took were seriously out of character for them.

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In my group I have a character with that ability. In one of our sessions he used it to tell a spaceport officer that they had already registered the ship and paid the fees so the officer let them leave. After a while the effect wore off and he stared questioning if what they said was true. So he checked the records and discovered the lies. He then reported them to the administrator who then reported it to the governor. Within a few days they found themselves in custody. 

In the whole, "These aren't the the droids you're looking for." thing, I would do it as if he realized he never actually checked and if it ever came back around they would have to run the encounter again with stronger people there so the ability won't work again.

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25 minutes ago, HistoryGuy said:

In my group I have a character with that ability. In one of our sessions he used it to tell a spaceport officer that they had already registered the ship and paid the fees so the officer let them leave. After a while the effect wore off and he stared questioning if what they said was true. So he checked the records and discovered the lies. He then reported them to the administrator who then reported it to the governor. Within a few days they found themselves in custody. 

In the whole, "These aren't the the droids you're looking for." thing, I would do it as if he realized he never actually checked and if it ever came back around they would have to run the encounter again with stronger people there so the ability won't work again.

My only issue with this result is that it makes using Influence pretty much a dangerous thing every time.   Considering we never see any canon examples in the films of people going "omg, those WERE the droids I was looking for!!" I don't see why it should now become the default reaction.  Yes I know it's become a funny meme and gif for people to post, but the reality is, that nothing about the actual scene, would suggest that they would think twice about what happened.  The mundane nature of the situation, the fact that everything he was influenced to do was completely within the scope of his natural responses to that situation, make it seem unfair to say that THIS one time, out of all the other times that same day he likely said "these aren't the droids we're looking for, move along".  It's not very realistic to me, based on the situation.  Which is why I say their is no one answer to this.  It depends on the situation, and what's being done.   If Ben had Influenced Steve the Trooper to strip naked and dance the jig, then sure I'd say he'd probably remember the moment as odd in later recollection.  But to have him just do the same thing he'd been doing all day?  Nah.  As someone who has done repetitive jobs like that many times, asking me to recall specific details about Random Customer 27 of 183 that day, when nothing about the exchange would likely seem out of place, yeah it's just not happeneing.

 

  If the GM just decides that every Influence is instantly realized to be false, it's far more dangerous than just simply doing a Deception/Charm check.  Which is why I think it's best to let the dice results dictate if they remember or not.  If the PC succeeds without any negative dice results, why should there be a negative result to the check?  You wouldn't have it happen with a normal skill check, so why should Influence be any different?  I think it makes it a bit unfair to the PC who decides to use that power, instead of the more flashy, and martial powers.   

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The force ability doesn't need a check other than to get the LS pip which is easy for a character with a force rating of 3. Plus this character was always using like a get-out-of-jail-free card. So I finally decided to slap him with some consequences. The ability doesn't last for ever so it will wear off. And having an unregistered ship in an imperial spaceport, I felt, warranted that kind of response.

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25 minutes ago, HistoryGuy said:

The force ability doesn't need a check other than to get the LS pip which is easy for a character with a force rating of 3. Plus this character was always using like a get-out-of-jail-free card. So I finally decided to slap him with some consequences. The ability doesn't last for ever so it will wear off. And having an unregistered ship in an imperial spaceport, I felt, warranted that kind of response.

In order to make them believe something Untrue, they have to have the Control upgrade, listed on the right side of the tree, and it specifically states they have to do a Discipline vs Discipline check to pull it off.  So if you aren't having him roll Discipline to do it, then he's not going up against the proper challenge for the ability.

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1 hour ago, KungFuFerret said:

In order to make them believe something Untrue, they have to have the Control upgrade, listed on the right side of the tree, and it specifically states they have to do a Discipline vs Discipline check to pull it off.  So if you aren't having him roll Discipline to do it, then he's not going up against the proper challenge for the ability.

Well is discipline check is something along the lines of YYYGG or YYYYG. So unless its at least 3 difficulty the discipline check is almost unnecessary.

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35 minutes ago, HistoryGuy said:

Well is discipline check is something along the lines of YYYGG or YYYYG. So unless its at least 3 difficulty the discipline check is almost unnecessary.

The key word there being "almost". As long as there is even a remote chance of failure, make him roll. 

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1 hour ago, HistoryGuy said:

Well is discipline check is something along the lines of YYYGG or YYYYG. So unless its at least 3 difficulty the discipline check is almost unnecessary.

So 3 difficulty is a target of above average willpower but no discipline.

Someone in a trusted position of authority might be 3 willpower and 1 or 2 discipline (RPP or RRP).

A Nemesis known for strong will might be 4 Willpower and 3 discipline (RRRP) or even higher.

These dice get pretty random. Even against that 3 difficulty YYYGG is only 78% chance of success, YYYYG is only 82%. A couple of setback dice because they are wary or suspicious would drop that another 10%.

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I too support Option C for the most part. There's a rare occasion where something more like B might apply, but that's kinda beyond your typical narrative.

 

That said the GM also has to adjudicate as normal. So like:

5 hours ago, HistoryGuy said:

In one of our sessions he used it to tell a spaceport officer that they had already registered the ship and paid the fees so the officer let them leave.

Ok... I'll allow you to do that, of course. But explain to me why I shouldn't give you conflict for the "theft" of those fees and services. Explain why if you roll threat or something I shouldn't put a timer on this, and have a different officer come by after shift change or something?

 

But again... how far do I go before I get beyond the narrative? How much should you being parked here even matter to the Adventure/Campaign? It'll depend heavily on the narrative in question. If you're sitting on a reserved VIP pad near an objective of some kind so you can be properly positioned for a hot extraction when things inevitably turn sideways later in the adventure... yeah ok, a short scene like this might matter. But if it's just an encounter for the sake of an encounter...yeah, I'd just dump it and move the story forward. You never see Han arguing over taxes with a customs agent, or Chewie pumping gas, why should the players be subjected to it?

 

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1 hour ago, HistoryGuy said:

Well is discipline check is something along the lines of YYYGG or YYYYG. So unless its at least 3 difficulty the discipline check is almost unnecessary.

As the GM, you can add things like setback dice because what he is trying to convince the person to do is WAY out of character.  You can spend DP to upgrade the difficulty to include red dice, and you can have the people he's actively trying to Influence be Non-Minions, which makes them much tougher.   I mean, if he's spoofing a nameless mook, then is it really worth the effort?  If it's something important that you don't think he should just be able to handwave his way past it, put someone more difficult, and by extension mentally more Disciplined in charge of it.    Influencing the bouncer at a night club shouldn't be something that causes big problems on the worst of nights.  influencing the seasoned lieutenant of a mob family who moonlights as a bartender should be something entirely different.

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I'd go with C as well. If it's a completely plausible statement in the circumstances then the subject isn't going to realize anything was up, and no one else looking on is likely to think anything odd of it either. I can think of a couple of ways that Obi-Wan could've been a good deal more subtle in using the mind trick on the Stormtroopers re the droids even to the point that an 'Are you sure you checked everyone?' later might well have been answered with a yes. The viewers needed an obvious tell that something odd was going on; that wouldn't be an issue if it was occurring as an RPG scene.

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I lean more towards option A.  If you want option C then you use the upgrade on the left for a force boosted deception check.  So it depends on what you are going for.

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7 minutes ago, Ahrimon said:

I lean more towards option A.  If you want option C then you use the upgrade on the left for a force boosted deception check.  So it depends on what you are going for.

I agree. I like Options B & C, but it makes me question the need for the duration bit. If the effect is ongoing for 5+ minutes (outside of action/combat), then it suggests it hard ends when the duration expires (Option A). Options B & C are more for an instantaneous effect that lasts until something comes up to dispel the mistaken belief.

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The Duration upgrades are probably less for "believe an untrue statement" and more for prolonging various emotional states, an aspect of the Control upgrade that a lot of folks tend to ignore in favor of the classic "Jedi mind trick."

So if you want that hyper-violent Wookiee bounty hunter to remain calm for as long as possible (if only so you that you get more distance between yourself and said Wookiee bounty hunter), then Duration upgrades will let you stretch out that period of enforced tranquility past the initial five minutes that you get.

Or have the enemy commander be utterly perplexed and in a prolonged state of confusion during a battle (and as such not able to make good use of various talents/abilities that bolster the commander's underlings)?  Duration upgrades let you stretch the effect beyond the initial round without you having the spam Influence each round.

Or if going dark side, you inflict a state of such utter terror in an otherwise deadly opponent that they cower before you or quite possibly even run away to avoid fighting such a fearsome/awesome specimen as yourself, using the Duration upgrades to keep that opponent in a state of fear for more than a single round.

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It is also worth generally stating that a mind trick only generally works on the weak willed, and likely only on suggestions that might be considered natural. "Oh? These aren't the droids we are looking for? Fair enough seems legit" rather then "There are no droids in the speeder? Dude I can see them!" this is the social check aspect, of making a social check and adding the force pips to slightly sway the result to the players favour, but if it's a social check that the character would never entertain, then it and the force just won't work.

The right side of the tree caters more to more giving an emotional impact. That is a little trickier to place but I imagine that is more effective in a long social encounter. An angry smuggler cheated out of a deal comes onto a ship brandishing a blaster, yet is somewhat confused by this serene individual that speaks calmly to them, who understands that the deal might have been particularly rough on them, but if they could just sit down for a few minutes they can talk it out. Those kind of situations either end as an A or a C. If the PC isn't able to convince them around, then they are likely to adopt the former outrage at a moment that may be particularly inconvenient, or that they may continue to habour resentment. A successful talk out following the calming would have them settle into a more lasting positive state of mind so that even without the mind tap; they are willing to accept that the deal was particularly bad but that they never meant for it to turn out that way. The main use of this particular aspect is to either get them to slow down a bit or alternative terrify them out of their pitful little mind and flee.

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So in our Group we got one force sensitive Teenager Charakter who is able to do the mind trick.

All other Chars are non-force sensitive. It is Pretty obvious to me that sooner or later the Teeen will try to get his will by manipulating us by the force.

So for our Campaign it is Pretty essential to know if the target is aware

- during the mind trick that he is manipulated

- after the mind trick that he was manipulated

- or does he never never know that he was manipulated.

- or does it all depend how well the skill check was performed?

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2 hours ago, dreenan said:

So in our Group we got one force sensitive Teenager Charakter who is able to do the mind trick.

All other Chars are non-force sensitive. It is Pretty obvious to me that sooner or later the Teeen will try to get his will by manipulating us by the force.

So for our Campaign it is Pretty essential to know if the target is aware

- during the mind trick that he is manipulated

- after the mind trick that he was manipulated

- or does he never never know that he was manipulated.

- or does it all depend how well the skill check was performed?

First of all, PCs always get to resist the Power. And unless he has a bunch of Manitude upgrades, he wouldn't be able to do anything unless he catches you alone.

As to your questions:

- No. You absolutely do not know you're being influenced when you're under the effects of the power.

- The majority concensus seems to be (and I agree with it): No. You do not automatically know you were influenced after the power wears off.

- IMO, you will realize you were influenced if you're confronted with the facts of the scenario.

- IMO, absolutely, Threat, Despair, and/or a Destiny Point could all be spent to change the effectiveness of the successful power check once it's wore off.

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It would depend on what happens after-the-fact, I think.

Case A:  The character is never questioned about what happened.  In the classic film example, no one ever follows up with that specific stormtrooper or his squad about if they're absolutely positive they checked everyone's identification and examined the purchase documents/registrations/whatever of every pair of droids that went past their checkpoint.  In this case, the incident just doesn't stand out in their memory, and they have no reason to question it ever again.

Case B:  The character is questioned about what happened.  Again in the classic film example, someone follows up with that Stormtrooper and asks if he's absolutely certain he checked everyone thoroughly.  Then I might allow a roll to remember that there was one person they just decided to let through because. . . well, whatever seems reasonable to the character in question.  If they fail, then it would be "(shrug) I'm pretty sure we checked everyone, but I don't remember specifically every single ID we looked at and every single person who passed through."  Only if they are confronted with visible proof that something was amiss would they think something else was going on.  If they were just told "We know for a fact those droids went through your checkpoint, how did you let that happen?" They'd simply try and think back to a reason why they might have been less-than-vigilant and let something slip through that shouldn't have.  If they're shown a recording of those droids on that landspeeder getting "moved along," and realize they're parroting exactly what the old guy is telling them, then they'd probably realize something hinky happened.

Thus, the case with the spaceport landing fees.  You use the Jedi Mind Trick to say that you're cleared to land here and the docking fees have been paid, well then that's a lie that's very easy to disprove if the port in question keeps any kind of records at all (and they very nature of a spaceport means they do).  So all it takes is someone checking those records, which might happen automatically depending on how efficient and thorough the place is being run, for someone to realize something's wrong.  And then again it becomes "Why hasn't that ship paid their docking fee?" "They said they had." "They haven't, see?" "Why, those lying little liars!"

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Posted (edited)

You ever have a normal, everyday encounter that you really remember having? Think of the Jedi Mind Trick like that.
The truth about memory is that unless we have a reason to remember something or the incident is so uncommon or special that we can't help but to remember it essentially just gets tossed. What the Jedi mind trick does is pretty much like turning an important memory into a nothing special to see here, routine, no need to store any details kind of memory. It's not erasing the memory it just tags it as not important enough to keep.

The five minute RAW as I understand it is if the PCs are still present when the effect comes to an end it essentially needs to be reset. The victim may have a vague deja vu sort of feeling when they approach the situation with the PCs again but in any case it'll require another Mind Trick very possibly adding a few Setback dice. The point is that unless the PCs stays around or their trick involves something tangible that can be easily confirmed the PCs aren't ever penalized.

So in Case A, B, & C, After five minutes they don't even remember the event happened or maybe vaguely remember the encounter but was not of interest.

Case D: If presented with physical evidence after the fact (Camera recording, documents, eye-witness report, or some other obvious thing) it's essentially the same thing, they literally don't remember there having been anything wrong with the encounter. Think about it like this, have you ever thought you paid a monthly bill but you get a statement that has two months charge on it? You're sure you paid it but you don't actually remember paying and when you check your statement online and lo and behold there is no payment? It's like that.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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