Suppose you have a telepath who wants to be able to soften up the resistance of targets with high willpower. The plan is to reduce the target's will score and then hit the target with Mind Probe or Mind Control.

This telepath might be interrogating stalwart warriors with IQ 9 and Will 16. To speak a language requires an IQ of 6. Thus the telepath does not want to reduce IQ very low. Ideally, the affliction should sap the target's Will without affecting IQ.

A possibility might be to use Affliction with Attribute Penalty. Presumably the cost for a penalty to Will would be the same as the cost for a penalty to IQ. I presume the Cumulative modifier would be necessary to make the effects stack.

Affliction (-1 to Will) level 1= 10 pts: Malediction/Ranged +190%, -1 attribute penalty +10%, Cumulative +400% Based on Will +20% =72 points

It would be much more expensive to use a version of Leech that saps Will instead of IQ. Presumably this would cost as much as a version of Leech that saps IQ.

Leech (drains Will) level 1 =25 pts: Malediction/Ranged +190%, Affects Will +300%, only heals FP -20%, Based on Will +20% = 148 points

Question: Is it reasonable to have an attack to Will cost the same as an attack to IQ?


As GURPS is a system where GMs are encouraged to tune their games to taste, I would say it is up to the GM to assess what the point cost should be, depending on the game world situations the GM wants.

In this case, the GM should consider the effects of such an ability in practice, given the other abilities available, and whether it is desirable as a GM designing a game situation to allow the ability to reduce Will and at what cost.

So for example if a GM likes the idea of telepaths being able to use this approach if they develop this ability, the GM should assign a cost that feels right and balanced, and yes, they might decide it should be about like the ability to reduce IQ.

But another GM might feel that they prefer the interesting situation where only reducing IQ is available, so things like your language consideration are a limiting factor. In that case they might not want to allow reducing only Will, or might want it to be a more difficult and therefore expensive thing to learn, since it so neatly allows breaking down resistance to other activities.

In the various games I've used or considered using psychic powers, deciding how much to allow or restrict their powers is usually one of my main concerns. As much fun as it may be to use psychic powers on others, unless you're the only psychic, it implies others will have similar powers, and it seems to me that psychic powers in particular can become quite overpowering. If psychic powers are fairly easy to get and become common in the setting, it can affect and even dominate the whole campaign and setting. If PCs can keep spending character points to get more and stronger powers, the limits on what the available abilities are and how much it takes to acquire them, will shape what the game is like.

If the game is intended to retain some focus on non-psychic characters, it can be important to not have psychic powers easily (i.e. for not many character points) greatly overpower non-psychics, so the GM may want to consider increasing psychic power point costs accordingly.

Sometimes "less is more" in the sense that what psychics can't do colors how interesting a game is, more than what they can do.

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