In Necessary Evil for Savage Worlds, the Mind Control power gives no indication of whether the victim is aware, either before or after the fact, that they have been controlled. However, the Mind Reading Power states "A success detects surface thoughts but the target is aware that someone is in his head."

Would it be reasonable to apply the same mechanism to Mind Control?

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    \$\begingroup\$ As a supplemental - @altazu is my referee and the question is from our game. The question is not "do they remember doing stuff but do they know there where controlled". \$\endgroup\$ Nov 22, 2014 at 10:59

3 Answers 3


The Mind Control super power in Necessary Evil already has a power modifier that takes care of this:

Mind Wipe (+3): The controller can manipulate the victim's memories so that he does not remember what he's done while under mind control.

Since you have to buy a modifier that makes them not remember that they were under mind control, it follows that not having this modifier means that they are completely aware of what they had done while under mind control. Thus there is nothing to add; the Necessary Evil rules already have a provision for exactly what you are looking for.

It could be argued that a target still remembers while under control and then forgets when the memories are wiped when the mind control ends, but that becomes a moot point because they are complete slaves while under mind control and can't do anything, even if they are aware of it in the moment.


Those affected by the Mind Control power are under complete control until released or they break free. Once no longer affected by the power they remember everything they did and said, and any information they gave out whilst under control.

It can also be inferred that they have some awareness of what they are doing whilst being controlled, as this explains why they are given the opportunity to break free if they are forced to do something that goes against their nature.

This is clarified in a number of official posts on the Pinnacle Entertainment Group forum, e.g. here


No, it wouldn't be reasonable to apply the same mechanism. Mind Reading says that — Mind Control doesn't.

By default, Mind Control doesn't notify the target that they're being controld... but you never, never play Savage Worlds with default powers. Powers are effects, not complete abilities that actual characters have. They are used to implement character abilities, and so you must always give them a trapping. The default Mind Control doesn't say anything about notifying the target, so maintaining that default or changing it is up to the specific trapping. And trappings aren't merely optional "paint" or "fluff", they're required and often have concrete game effects in addition to their fluffier significance.

Let's consider two of the suggested trappings and how they answer this question differently: mesmerism and voodoo dolls.

  • Mesmerism implies the old "swinging pocket watch hypnotism" or some kind of "swirly-eyes" mesmeric gaze. Either one is an event that a recovered victim might remember after they are no longer mentally controlled. They probably would notice beforehand too... but that no matter, because they're about to be mentally dominated.

    For this trapping, it's reasonable to say that the victim might remember, but recalling it and understanding the memory's significance is not automatic.

    Wha.. what am I doing here? The last thing I remember is... a pocket watch? Where was I... oh! That was just before I went to interview Doctor Weird! Did she hypnotise me?!

  • Voodoo dolls are a magical tool to control people that is used at a distance, possibly without the victim ever knowing what's happening to them or who is responsible. You control the doll — you control the victim. Even after they recover (maybe the doll is destroyed during a fight with the alien overlords?), they will have no clues as to what happened or who to blame for their condition.

As you can see, it very much depends on the trapping. If the application of the power leaves memory clues, or physical evidence, then the victim will have a way of knowing or guessing that they were mind-controlled, and maybe even who did it. If the trapping wipes their memory or is stealthy in some other way, then they won't.


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