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The Medium Mastermind


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I would love to see a Medium powerset for Mastermind. For pets, the Medium would call upon ghostly entities. Existing ghostly models would be decent choices for the base minions, but ghostly hounds for the lieutenant minions and something like a banshee or wraith for the final minion would make for a more unique powerset.

 

As far as the attack powers are concerned, psychic blast powers would be a thematic choice, but I would again suggest something more unique in a variation on gravity powers to represent poltergeist-like telekinesis. For the first two attacks, variations on Lift and Propel. Since this version of Propel wouldn’t be opening dimensional rifts, it would be very cool if the pool of assets it would throw at opponents was limited to what would exist in your current instance. For example, file cabinets and desks in an office, stone and crystals in caves, and mailboxes and fencing sections on the city streets, etc. Possibly a programing nightmare, I’m not knowledgeable enough to know, but it would be very cool thematically. For the area attack, a version of Psychic Tornado that incorporates Propel projectile assets to call to mind a poltergeist wildly flinging furniture around a room. It would be especially cool if the animations for these attacks originated not from the Medium, but from a poltergeist they are channeling, a ghostly form that appears floating behind them briefly during the attack animation.

 

So many games that include playable necromantic options focus heavily on the corporeal undead, disease and decay, or darkness as themes. Few games really represent ghostly aesthetics or ghost story inspired powers for players and I’d love to see more of these kinds of themes in my favorite games.

 

 

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Pfft, make a medium mastermind, people will want a high and low mastermind too. Then those won't be good enough, we'll need a supersized mastermind, a vente mastermind (all coffee attacks,) it'll be madness!

 

On the serious side, I wouldn't mind, though Propel feels... weird to me in this. Not sure what I'd put in its place.

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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I really really like this idea, particularly Lift/Propel/Psychic Tornado as the basis for the personal attacks. I'd lean into borrowing from Grav with the "boss" pet and use Singularity as a starting point for figuring out its powers, just reskinned to look like Spectral Terror, and stay away from Dark powers in general since those are part of Necromancy's shtick. This could be pretty easy to flesh out with existing assets and would have a lot of conceptual freedom as a mix of grav, psi, and maybe illusion elements, representing anything from spirit summoning to illusory phantoms to holograms and force fields.

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Posted (edited)

If you want a new MM primary based on being a medium and calling on the dead (or other spirits), without raising them like Necromancy, then the set's pets should revolve around the ghosts and Apparitions (Praetorian faction) for the models. Also, changing Propel to only throw objects based on the map/area your character is in is going to be a tall order for a game this old with code this notorious. I would recommend limiting the MM's 3 inherent attacks to psychic attacks, since many mediums claim to be psychics, and use the Mental Blast, Psionic Darts, and Psychic Scream attacks. (Edit: If you want to keep the Psionic Tornado, then it can be the T7 power in the tree.)

 

(Edit: I'm not aware of mediums being telekinetic. That's why I'm dropping Lift and Propel from my suggested alterations. Or if you want to have poltergeists for the set, make it a T7 power called Poltergeist that summons a short-lived pet that uses the Propel power.)

 

Edit again: Yes, I am aware of the billowing table cloths and other simple effects mediums use to make people think a spirit is present. However, that is not supposed to be the medium doing the effect, it is supposed to be spirits announcing themselves. Not under the medium's control. So for a poltergeist effect where enemies can be harmed, it should be a pet that can be summoned but not commanded rather than an attack power of the medium himself/herself/themselves.

 

Edit yet again: And if you want to further dissociate the proposed set from Necromancy, don't use the ghosts, just stick with the formless Apparitions.

 

Edited by Rudra
Edited again to add "(or other spirits)".
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On 5/3/2024 at 3:46 PM, Rudra said:

(Edit: I'm not aware of mediums being telekinetic. That's why I'm dropping Lift and Propel from my suggested alterations. Or if you want to have poltergeists for the set, make it a T7 power called Poltergeist that summons a short-lived pet that uses the Propel power.)

 

This was actually my point in choosing these attack powers over Psychic Blast; I don't think any of the powers from this powerset should come from the medium themselves. Hence the animation suggestion showing that the powers originate from a poltergeist being channeled by the medium instead.

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43 minutes ago, GhostlyLion said:

 

This was actually my point in choosing these attack powers over Psychic Blast; I don't think any of the powers from this powerset should come from the medium themselves. Hence the animation suggestion showing that the powers originate from a poltergeist being channeled by the medium instead.

Except mediums themselves have powers. In their claims to the gullible in the real world and in their portrayal in comics and other entertainment. So the MM would still get the normal 3 inherent attacks from the MM, and those attacks should match what mediums are capable of in the game. Summoning a pet, which is what you are basically talking about when you examine how you are portraying the powers, should have a duration of greater than instant. So keep the MM's inherent attacks to things the medium himself/herself/themselves may be himself/herself/themselves capable of. Any other poltergeist effects should be a supplementary pet power in the set's T7 power slot.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rudra said:

Except mediums themselves have powers. In their claims to the gullible in the real world and in their portrayal in comics and other entertainment. So the MM would still get the normal 3 inherent attacks from the MM, and those attacks should match what mediums are capable of in the game. Summoning a pet, which is what you are basically talking about when you examine how you are portraying the powers, should have a duration of greater than instant. So keep the MM's inherent attacks to things the medium himself/herself/themselves may be himself/herself/themselves capable of. Any other poltergeist effects should be a supplementary pet power in the set's T7 power slot.

I understand what you're saying, but I think that you're narrowing the concept too much by basing expectation on how real world mediums are portrayed. 

 

And I agree that mediums themselves have powers, my idea for the primary Medium powerset is that their power is channeling spirits. So all of their powers from the primary powerset should be represented this way. Psychic Blast represents telepathic capabilities, and I don't really think the powerset should be split between the two concepts of telepathy and spirit channeling.

 

As far as pet class design goes, it's not uncommon in games, or even in THIS game, for pet classes to have both summoned pets and temporary "pets" that are basically attacks with a pet animation. Look at Beast Mastery. Their attacks: Call Swarm, Call Hawk, Call Ravens, are all temporary "pets".

Edited by GhostlyLion
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2 hours ago, GhostlyLion said:
3 hours ago, Rudra said:

 

I understand what you're saying, but I think that you're narrowing the concept too much by basing expectation on how real world mediums are portrayed. 

Actually, I'm not. I'm also including mediums from cartoons/anime and comics in my reference. Which was part of my post you quoted.

 

2 hours ago, GhostlyLion said:

Look at Beast Mastery. Their attacks: Call Swarm, Call Hawk, Call Ravens, are all temporary "pets".

I hadn't thought of Beast Mastery. I can concede that.

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1 hour ago, Rudra said:

Actually, I'm not. I'm also including mediums from cartoons/anime and comics in my reference. Which was part of my post you quoted.

 


Ok, I could have been clearer in what I meant by that. I wasn't ignoring the fact that you mentioned other media, but you don't provide any examples of why you think mediums in fictional media support your idea that psychic blast should be the obvious choice for attack powers. Your examples mostly speak to real world mediums, specifically the stereotypes we tend to think of when calling to mind the various charlatans through history that have claimed to be able to channel the spirit world. Mediums in fictional media have displayed a wide variety of powers.

In the game The Medium, the protagonist, Marianne, can astrally project herself into the spirit world and manipulate spiritual energies to create shields or project destructive blasts.

In the TTRPG Geist: The Sin-Eaters, the players play characters who are bound to a ghostly entity and are able to see and speak to ghosts, allowing them to act as mediums. They can also manifest a host of powers that are all inspired by ghost stories from around the world: divination, possession, telekinesis, body horror inspired transformations, etc.

There are many examples in comic books and other works of literature of spiritual mediums who are also witches or wizards or other magical practitioners with incredible magical powers but no psychic leanings.

In movies like Ghost or The Sixth Sense, the medium characters have no powers or psychic capabilities outside the ability to interact with ghosts.

 

In modern culture, we tend to associate spiritual mediums with psychics because of our perception of real world examples, but fictional media, especially comic books which generally have a very loose relationship with what is possible in the real world, don't have to be bound to the idea of spiritual mediums being psychic. City of Heroes has plenty of psychic powersets already, I'd personally prefer it to be left out of a ghost channeling mastermind powerset.



 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, GhostlyLion said:


Ok, I could have been clearer in what I meant by that. I wasn't ignoring the fact that you mentioned other media, but you don't provide any examples of why you think mediums in fictional media support your idea that psychic blast should be the obvious choice for attack powers. Your examples mostly speak to real world mediums, specifically the stereotypes we tend to think of when calling to mind the various charlatans through history that have claimed to be able to channel the spirit world. Mediums in fictional media have displayed a wide variety of powers.

In the game The Medium, the protagonist, Marianne, can astrally project herself into the spirit world and manipulate spiritual energies to create shields or project destructive blasts.

In the TTRPG Geist: The Sin-Eaters, the players play characters who are bound to a ghostly entity and are able to see and speak to ghosts, allowing them to act as mediums. They can also manifest a host of powers that are all inspired by ghost stories from around the world: divination, possession, telekinesis, body horror inspired transformations, etc.

There are many examples in comic books and other works of literature of spiritual mediums who are also witches or wizards or other magical practitioners with incredible magical powers but no psychic leanings.

In movies like Ghost or The Sixth Sense, the medium characters have no powers or psychic capabilities outside the ability to interact with ghosts.

 

In modern culture, we tend to associate spiritual mediums with psychics because of our perception of real world examples, but fictional media, especially comic books which generally have a very loose relationship with what is possible in the real world, don't have to be bound to the idea of spiritual mediums being psychic. City of Heroes has plenty of psychic powersets already, I'd personally prefer it to be left out of a ghost channeling mastermind powerset.



 

Okay, you want specific examples of why I think psychic attacks are the most appropriate for the proposed primary set.

 

Pathfinder has the Medium class. A psychic class that uses psychic spells and abilities. All of which are derived from the invitation of a spirit into their bodies for power.

 

Mob100's characters able to see and speak with ghosts and spirits are psychic characters evidencing a wide array of psionic and psychokinetic powers.

 

I would like to cite mediums from DC comics, but those are all mages to the best of my knowledge. And magic can be any power set.

 

In the Pathfinder example, the character's powers are wholly derived from the spirit that has taken up residence in the person's body, most typically by that person's invitation. In the Mob100 example, the subdued spirit that survived purification can enter a person's body possessing them, granting them either access to psychic powers or bolstering their psychic powers.

 

(Edit: And yes, a psychic's only power may be to be able to interact with spirits. Just like a priest's/mage's only ability can too. One of the Morlocks from the X-Men had the sole mutant power of being covered in fur. [And he wasn't Beast, he was a Morlock and all he had different from normal humans was his fur.])

 

Anyway, setting that aside, I conceded your point that Beast Mastery shows that MM powers can be external to themselves beyond just their pets. So I'm not sure why this discussion is being continued.

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53 minutes ago, Rudra said:

Anyway, setting that aside, I conceded your point that Beast Mastery shows that MM powers can be external to themselves beyond just their pets. So I'm not sure why this discussion is being continued.

 

If you're not enjoying the discussion, I apologize. We can be done.

 

On 5/3/2024 at 3:38 PM, AlwaysAPrice said:

I really really like this idea, particularly Lift/Propel/Psychic Tornado as the basis for the personal attacks. I'd lean into borrowing from Grav with the "boss" pet and use Singularity as a starting point for figuring out its powers, just reskinned to look like Spectral Terror, and stay away from Dark powers in general since those are part of Necromancy's shtick. This could be pretty easy to flesh out with existing assets and would have a lot of conceptual freedom as a mix of grav, psi, and maybe illusion elements, representing anything from spirit summoning to illusory phantoms to holograms and force fields.

 

It would be awesome to have alternate visual skins for this kind of powerset for things like holograms or illusions. A great way to combine the mechanics of the set with different origin themes.

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On 5/2/2024 at 10:57 AM, GhostlyLion said:

I would love to see a Medium powerset for Mastermind. For pets, the Medium would call upon ghostly entities. Existing ghostly models would be decent choices for the base minions, but ghostly hounds for the lieutenant minions and something like a banshee or wraith for the final minion would make for a more unique powerset.

 

As far as the attack powers are concerned, psychic blast powers would be a thematic choice, but I would again suggest something more unique in a variation on gravity powers to represent poltergeist-like telekinesis. For the first two attacks, variations on Lift and Propel. Since this version of Propel wouldn’t be opening dimensional rifts, it would be very cool if the pool of assets it would throw at opponents was limited to what would exist in your current instance. For example, file cabinets and desks in an office, stone and crystals in caves, and mailboxes and fencing sections on the city streets, etc. Possibly a programing nightmare, I’m not knowledgeable enough to know, but it would be very cool thematically. For the area attack, a version of Psychic Tornado that incorporates Propel projectile assets to call to mind a poltergeist wildly flinging furniture around a room. It would be especially cool if the animations for these attacks originated not from the Medium, but from a poltergeist they are channeling, a ghostly form that appears floating behind them briefly during the attack animation.

 

So many games that include playable necromantic options focus heavily on the corporeal undead, disease and decay, or darkness as themes. Few games really represent ghostly aesthetics or ghost story inspired powers for players and I’d love to see more of these kinds of themes in my favorite games.

 

 

 

Genius.  I love everything about it.  I especially love that you're proposing ghosts without using Dark themed powers.

 

On 5/3/2024 at 4:38 PM, AlwaysAPrice said:

I really really like this idea, particularly Lift/Propel/Psychic Tornado as the basis for the personal attacks. I'd lean into borrowing from Grav with the "boss" pet and use Singularity as a starting point for figuring out its powers, just reskinned to look like Spectral Terror, and stay away from Dark powers in general since those are part of Necromancy's shtick. This could be pretty easy to flesh out with existing assets and would have a lot of conceptual freedom as a mix of grav, psi, and maybe illusion elements, representing anything from spirit summoning to illusory phantoms to holograms and force fields.

 

Singularity that looks like Spectral Terror?  That's just evil... and perfect.

 

On 5/3/2024 at 4:46 PM, Rudra said:

If you want a new MM primary based on being a medium and calling on the dead (or other spirits), without raising them like Necromancy, then the set's pets should revolve around the ghosts and Apparitions (Praetorian faction) for the models. Also, changing Propel to only throw objects based on the map/area your character is in is going to be a tall order for a game this old with code this notorious. I would recommend limiting the MM's 3 inherent attacks to psychic attacks, since many mediums claim to be psychics, and use the Mental Blast, Psionic Darts, and Psychic Scream attacks. (Edit: If you want to keep the Psionic Tornado, then it can be the T7 power in the tree.)

 

 

Having the medium call on his ghostly allies to perform the other powers is just fine as an explanation for the medium seeming to have the power. But it's something that could be left open to individual interpretation.  Is the medium tossing objects around with his/her own psychic powers or just directing the spirits we don't see to achieve those effects?  Also, you're probably not wrong about changing the code to get Propel to throw objects based on specific maps... but as a counterpoint to the OP, I'd say that there's nothing wrong with just using Propel as we have it and the spirits are pulling objects from outside the current location to hurl around.  "Where did this forklift come from? We're in an office building!!"  Well, maybe it came from a nearby warehouse.  We shouldn't try to overthink "fixing" stuff that isn't broken... just embrace the chaos of having Masterminds with Propel.

 

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1 hour ago, GhostlyLion said:
2 hours ago, Rudra said:

Anyway, setting that aside, I conceded your point that Beast Mastery shows that MM powers can be external to themselves beyond just their pets. So I'm not sure why this discussion is being continued.

 

If you're not enjoying the discussion, I apologize. We can be done.

I'm trying to avoid derailing the thread with a discussion about the different ways a person can manipulate spirits or be manipulated by spirits. I disagreed with having the MM's own attacks come from a source other than the MM because it did not make sense to me. You pointed out Beast Mastery already does this and it works. Any further attempts by me to pursue this discussion would require me to either ignore Beast Mastery or derail the thread for the sake of derailing it when I already know there are other means of controlling spirits.

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1 hour ago, Player2 said:

 Also, you're probably not wrong about changing the code to get Propel to throw objects based on specific maps... but as a counterpoint to the OP, I'd say that there's nothing wrong with just using Propel as we have it and the spirits are pulling objects from outside the current location to hurl around.  "Where did this forklift come from? We're in an office building!!"  Well, maybe it came from a nearby warehouse.  We shouldn't try to overthink "fixing" stuff that isn't broken... just embrace the chaos of having Masterminds with Propel.

 

 

A fair point, and I would be perfectly happy with the assets as they are.

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If Trick or Treat werewolves can throw coffins, then having propel launch other objects should be possible.  That being said, making it dependent on the particular zone or map you're in might be too much to ask.  Perhaps a better option would be to simply use a different, albeit pre-set, selection of objects - like maybe random environmental objects that could be found around dark astoria or the shadow shard...

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