Communicate power

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pathfinderq1
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Communicate power

Post by pathfinderq1 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:47 pm

So this will probably seem like a silly question, but I can't find a definitive answer:

Is the Communicate power one-way or two way? That is, can you send only (requiring Mind-Reading or something similar to receive a response)? Or can you both send and receive messages from the target without need for a further power?

It seems expensive (and clumsy) to require a secondary power to receive responses- especially since Communicate is already a bit pricy. But the power write-up uses words like transmit, which seem to indicate one-way sending only.

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Re: Communicate power

Post by FuzzyBoots » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:07 pm

By the book, it's one-way. Yes, that has typically involved a Mind-Reading power being Linked in to create a Telepathy power. Yes, that's messy. In 2E, someone asked Steve Kenson about it and he said that a +1 Extra to make the communication two-way with a given target seemed reasonable.
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Re: Communicate power

Post by pathfinderq1 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:39 pm

I suppose that kind of Extra would be easier- functionally the "Affects Others" extra. Especially with Area, for multiple subjects.

Communicate +Area +Selective +Two way/affects others is still 7 PP per rank, but that is better than trying to match Mind-Reading, Surface thoughts only, Limited to willing Communicate targets, never mind trying to match area sizes (Perception area, maybe? with 'Perception defined as 'hearing' the broadcast?)

Guess THAT'S going in an array...

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Ken
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Re: Communicate power

Post by Ken » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:50 pm

Based on the DC Adventures book, I consider it two-way. Specifically, the fact that Communication, along with Animal Comprehend 2, is used to build Aquaman's Marine Telepathy. The two ranks of Comprehend allows speak to and understand the "speech" of Animals. Aquaman's ability to converse with fish has always been shown to be two way.
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Re: Communicate power

Post by squirrelly-sama » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:26 pm

pathfinderq1 wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:39 pm
I suppose that kind of Extra would be easier- functionally the "Affects Others" extra. Especially with Area, for multiple subjects.

Communicate +Area +Selective +Two way/affects others is still 7 PP per rank, but that is better than trying to match Mind-Reading, Surface thoughts only, Limited to willing Communicate targets, never mind trying to match area sizes (Perception area, maybe? with 'Perception defined as 'hearing' the broadcast?)

Guess THAT'S going in an array...
Check my Power Talk for a more detailed breakdown on Communication but the cheapest, raw and spirit faithful way to build it is just for everyone to spend a point on the comm link power. Or com link with affects others. Or just doing like equipment and buying a rank for each teammate like you would an ear piece.

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Re: Communicate power

Post by catsi563 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:42 pm

Ken wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:50 pm
Based on the DC Adventures book, I consider it two-way. Specifically, the fact that Communication, along with Animal Comprehend 2, is used to build Aquaman's Marine Telepathy. The two ranks of Comprehend allows speak to and understand the "speech" of Animals. Aquaman's ability to converse with fish has always been shown to be two way.
Im with Ken here. Communication for me is by default 2 way you and one willing target. extras can include AOE and Selective and subtle among others
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greycrusader
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Re: Communicate power

Post by greycrusader » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:50 pm

I think 2-way is a better application of the power, regardless of RAW. Communicate is already expensive for the utility it has in most adventures.

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Re: Communicate power

Post by squirrelly-sama » Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:22 am

Again, I covered it's RAW limits and one of the things that sucks so hard about it is that by default it doesn't give you 2 way comms, it's strictly one way. They tried to patch this later by adding a modifier you can buy for 1-5 points PER RANK to get sensory feedback from the person you're talking too. Communication is just hilariously terrible, it got to the point where the designers realized they fucked up twice and tried to fix it with patches instead of changing the power. The first was even in the default book which outright tells you to ignore part of the restrictions they placed on the power because it's too restrictive and dumb and undermines the point of the power. The second was realizing that they never actually gave the power the ability to be 2 way and rather than add that in they made it a modifier you need to buy.

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Ken
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Re: Communicate power

Post by Ken » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:33 pm

It's not RAW. It doesn't say one way or another in the text.
You can communicate over a distance using a medium other than your normal voice. Choose a sense type as your Communication medium (see the list of examples). You may also use a special sense type (like neutrinos, gravi-tons, magical sendings, and so forth) noticeable only to an appropriate form of the Detect effect (see Senses in this chapter), at the GM’s discretion.
It doesn't say one-way. It doesn't say two-way. It doesn't indicate you are the sender. It doesn't indicate you are the receiver. It doesn't indicate you are both or that you can't be both.

And in the DCA book, at least, it's used on a sample character in a 2-way fashion with no modifiers.
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Re: Communicate power

Post by squirrelly-sama » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:47 am

Ken wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:33 pm
It's not RAW. It doesn't say one way or another in the text.
You can communicate over a distance using a medium other than your normal voice. Choose a sense type as your Communication medium (see the list of examples). You may also use a special sense type (like neutrinos, gravi-tons, magical sendings, and so forth) noticeable only to an appropriate form of the Detect effect (see Senses in this chapter), at the GM’s discretion.
It doesn't say one-way. It doesn't say two-way. It doesn't indicate you are the sender. It doesn't indicate you are the receiver. It doesn't indicate you are both or that you can't be both.

And in the DCA book, at least, it's used on a sample character in a 2-way fashion with no modifiers.
You are aware there is more than one paragraph of description for the power right?. It later states that it is point to point, from you to reciever with no elaboration that you provide an ability for them to also communicate back or mechanics on how to handle it. The closest it comes is saying you don't need a special sense to recieve other communication effects

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Re: Communicate power

Post by Ken » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:54 am

Yes. Which could mean only the person with the Communicate effect can initiate the conversation, e.g. only J'onn could initiate the JLA's mind link communication between members.

But beyond the part I quoted before and the part you referred to there is even more....
Communication is instantaneous with any subject within your range.

The recipient of your communication must be within range and have a means of receiving your transmission (super-sense, or a receiver of some sort; conscious awareness is all that’s needed to “receive” Mental Communication). You can receive Communication of the same medium as your own. Receivers can choose to ignore your Communica-tion, if they wish. Communication is language-dependent; you and the subject must share a common language (see Comprehend to communicate across language barriers). Your Communication is point-to-point (sent to a single re-ceiver within your range).

Activating your Communication effect is a free action. Communicating, however, takes the normal amount of time. You can apply the Rapid modifier to speed things up, provided your recipient is capable of receiving com-munication at that speed.

Others with an acute sense able to detect your Commu-nication medium can “tap into” your transmissions with a Perception check (DC 10 + your Communication rank). The eavesdropper must be within normal sensory range of you or the receiver. With two degrees of success on the check, the eavesdropper can also understand your transmissions. Effects like Concealment that target your Communication medium can “jam” or block your transmissions.

EXTRAS

Area: You can broadcast omni-directionally to every re-ceiver within your maximum Communication range at once. Note this extra is only strictly necessary to communicate with everyone over a wide area all at once; since using and maintaining Communication are free actions, the GM may allow a communicator to establish and maintain contact with multiple discrete receivers—such as the members of the same team—all in the same round. +1 cost per rank
What is the point of maintaining Communication if it is one-way and a free action? One could simply use a new free action each time one had something to say. The act of "Maintaining" says communication is contiuous, and it only needs to be continuous if both sides are 'speaking' and 'listening' in turn.
Dimensional: Communication with this modifier can bridge dimensional barriers, reaching into other dimen-sions and planes of existence. The Communication effect still has its proximate range, and the GM may rule certain subjects “out of range” of the effect, depending on their relative positions in the other dimension. Flat +1 point

Rapid: Your communication occurs 10 times faster than normal speech. Each additional rank increases communi-cation speed by a factor of 10. This is useful for high-speed computer links, “deep sharing” psychic rapports, and so forth. Flat +1 point
The inclusion of computer links REQUIRES 2-way communication. A "one-way communication" means Computer A sends a signal to Computer B that says "I'm ready to send". Computer B has to send back a "I'm ready to listen", before Computer A will send. And after the message is received or not Computer B sends back a message about if the message went through or not.
Selective: If you have the Area extra, you can choose which receiver(s) within range get your Communication, excluding everyone else. This allows you to go from a single receiver (point-to-point) to all potential receivers in range (omni-directional) or anywhere in between. +1 cost per rank
Again, what is the point of having the ability to select all, some, or one if each message can only come from the person with the Communicate power, and can be done as a free action? Bob could spend a free action telling Chief O'Hara item A with one free action. Bob could tell his team item B as another free action. And the Bob could tell everyone in the building item C as a third free action (assuming Bob has Area on his communication effect). Having Selective so one can tell the normal occupants of the building to evacuate without the invading terrorist hearing you is fine. But the act of switching within ONE Communication use again,
Subtle: Your Communication cannot be “overheard” (it is encrypted, scrambled, or otherwise protected). With 2 ranks, your Communication cannot even be detected. That is, no one can even tell you are transmitting, much less what you’re saying. Flat +1 or 2 points

FLAWS

Limited: Communication may be limited to only members of a particular group, such as a species, family, members of an organization, and so forth. This is in addition to limitations imposed by medium (that is, requiring subjects to have a means of picking up on the Communication). –1 cost per rank

Sense-Dependent: Communication itself is already sense-dependent (in that the subject(s) must be able to sense your communication medium to pick up your transmissions) and so cannot have this flaw. However, other perception range effects can be Communication-Dependent, meaning you must be in communication with your subject for them to work (using your Commu-nication medium as a “carrier” for the other effect). If your Communication is blocked in any way, the other effect doesn’t work. –1 cost per rank
I will admit that the RAW sends mixed messages. It leads to miscommunication. There are parts that lead to an interpretation of one-way, and parts that lead to an interpretation of two-way.

However, limiting Communication to one-way as the default essentially makes Communication a weak version of Illusion.

But, if one interprets the rules as being two-way, then they will accurately reflect how things like mind links and telepathic messaging are shown to work in published super-hero stories. And in the end, isn't that what the game is supposed to be doing?

I prefer the interpretation of the rules which allow the rules to fulfill their function. If you prefer an interpretation of the rules that essentially makes them broken, you are perfectly entitled. I prefer not to be that negative in outlook.
W: Professor Plum, you were once a professor of psychiatry specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur.

PP: Yes, but now I work for the United Nations.

W: So your work has not changed.

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Re: Communicate power

Post by greycrusader » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:08 pm

Hey guys, let's not get too testy about THIS subject.

I think it comes down to how useful a GM thinks the Communicate power is generally, as far as whether there should be any sort of extra point cost for 2-way communication. Personally I think a flat 1 pt. Extra should cover it if the GM thinks it necessary, maybe doubled if the power also has Area Effect.

All my best.

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Re: Communicate power

Post by squirrelly-sama » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:33 pm

Ken wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:54 am
Yes. Which could mean only the person with the Communicate effect can initiate the conversation, e.g. only J'onn could initiate the JLA's mind link communication between members.

But beyond the part I quoted before and the part you referred to there is even more....
Communication is instantaneous with any subject within your range.

The recipient of your communication must be within range and have a means of receiving your transmission (super-sense, or a receiver of some sort; conscious awareness is all that’s needed to “receive” Mental Communication). You can receive Communication of the same medium as your own. Receivers can choose to ignore your Communica-tion, if they wish. Communication is language-dependent; you and the subject must share a common language (see Comprehend to communicate across language barriers). Your Communication is point-to-point (sent to a single re-ceiver within your range).

Activating your Communication effect is a free action. Communicating, however, takes the normal amount of time. You can apply the Rapid modifier to speed things up, provided your recipient is capable of receiving com-munication at that speed.

Others with an acute sense able to detect your Commu-nication medium can “tap into” your transmissions with a Perception check (DC 10 + your Communication rank). The eavesdropper must be within normal sensory range of you or the receiver. With two degrees of success on the check, the eavesdropper can also understand your transmissions. Effects like Concealment that target your Communication medium can “jam” or block your transmissions.

EXTRAS

Area: You can broadcast omni-directionally to every re-ceiver within your maximum Communication range at once. Note this extra is only strictly necessary to communicate with everyone over a wide area all at once; since using and maintaining Communication are free actions, the GM may allow a communicator to establish and maintain contact with multiple discrete receivers—such as the members of the same team—all in the same round. +1 cost per rank
What is the point of maintaining Communication if it is one-way and a free action? One could simply use a new free action each time one had something to say. The act of "Maintaining" says communication is contiuous, and it only needs to be continuous if both sides are 'speaking' and 'listening' in turn.
Dimensional: Communication with this modifier can bridge dimensional barriers, reaching into other dimen-sions and planes of existence. The Communication effect still has its proximate range, and the GM may rule certain subjects “out of range” of the effect, depending on their relative positions in the other dimension. Flat +1 point

Rapid: Your communication occurs 10 times faster than normal speech. Each additional rank increases communi-cation speed by a factor of 10. This is useful for high-speed computer links, “deep sharing” psychic rapports, and so forth. Flat +1 point
The inclusion of computer links REQUIRES 2-way communication. A "one-way communication" means Computer A sends a signal to Computer B that says "I'm ready to send". Computer B has to send back a "I'm ready to listen", before Computer A will send. And after the message is received or not Computer B sends back a message about if the message went through or not.
Selective: If you have the Area extra, you can choose which receiver(s) within range get your Communication, excluding everyone else. This allows you to go from a single receiver (point-to-point) to all potential receivers in range (omni-directional) or anywhere in between. +1 cost per rank
Again, what is the point of having the ability to select all, some, or one if each message can only come from the person with the Communicate power, and can be done as a free action? Bob could spend a free action telling Chief O'Hara item A with one free action. Bob could tell his team item B as another free action. And the Bob could tell everyone in the building item C as a third free action (assuming Bob has Area on his communication effect). Having Selective so one can tell the normal occupants of the building to evacuate without the invading terrorist hearing you is fine. But the act of switching within ONE Communication use again,
Subtle: Your Communication cannot be “overheard” (it is encrypted, scrambled, or otherwise protected). With 2 ranks, your Communication cannot even be detected. That is, no one can even tell you are transmitting, much less what you’re saying. Flat +1 or 2 points

FLAWS

Limited: Communication may be limited to only members of a particular group, such as a species, family, members of an organization, and so forth. This is in addition to limitations imposed by medium (that is, requiring subjects to have a means of picking up on the Communication). –1 cost per rank

Sense-Dependent: Communication itself is already sense-dependent (in that the subject(s) must be able to sense your communication medium to pick up your transmissions) and so cannot have this flaw. However, other perception range effects can be Communication-Dependent, meaning you must be in communication with your subject for them to work (using your Commu-nication medium as a “carrier” for the other effect). If your Communication is blocked in any way, the other effect doesn’t work. –1 cost per rank
I will admit that the RAW sends mixed messages. It leads to miscommunication. There are parts that lead to an interpretation of one-way, and parts that lead to an interpretation of two-way.

However, limiting Communication to one-way as the default essentially makes Communication a weak version of Illusion.

But, if one interprets the rules as being two-way, then they will accurately reflect how things like mind links and telepathic messaging are shown to work in published super-hero stories. And in the end, isn't that what the game is supposed to be doing?

I prefer the interpretation of the rules which allow the rules to fulfill their function. If you prefer an interpretation of the rules that essentially makes them broken, you are perfectly entitled. I prefer not to be that negative in outlook.
JLA is also notoriously broken due to it's development cycle happening alongside 3e, which lead to many things in DCA not actually lining up with RAW. Likewise the whole free action and instant thing isn't really valid, the text plainly states that communication happens in real time. That's why it needs to be maintained, you don't send packets or bursts of data, you are basically just telephoning them and talking directly to the target. What is being said as that you probably don't need the area modifier since the writers realized they screwed up the limitations so are throwing you a bone in that you can at least talk AT all your friends at once instead of have to calculate how long it takes to send a quick message to each one individually to figure out if it will all fit in one turn.

Second, bringing up real world logic of the not at all common knowledge of how computers function isn't really a strong bit of evidence, it's the sort of logic that leads to "Create 1: Dark Mater" or the infamous "Temporal Sidestep" to ignore actual effects to say it to do something it doesn't actually say it does. Especially in comics and movies, which 3e is based off of which are infamous for getting those little details wrong by working with the laymans understanding that Computer A just tells computer b what to do without any other knowledge of the internal mechanics of how this stuffed is parsed.

On the 3rd bit, I'm not sure what you're trying to argue here. Are you basically saying that the area communication power, despite having no text that would even imply such, gives everyone on your team the the same ability? Because no, no it does not. Area is basically just a megaphone that sends out the signal to every receiver. That's it. Selective on that modifier exists to make it actually functional so that you are not constantly sending any message to everyone in the area anytime you use that power. It doesn't exist so there can be some sort of giant communication hub and honestly the logic behind this is flimsy and circular.

And lastly, the RAW doesn't really anywhere imply that it's two-way communication. The examples provided are flimsy at best and nonsensical at worst. The Power relies on the ASSUMPTION that it's two way with nothing in the text actually giving any indication that it is. It doesn't mater that being one way means that it's completely inferior to another power, since that's nothing new to MnM. There's tons of effects that are basically made worthless or nerfed due to weird restrictions or other effects just doing what it wants to do better. Reach is just a worse Elongation, Jump is just a worse version of Flight and at high levels a worse Speed because it has a max top speed for some reason. Defensive Roll is a worse Toughness. Most of Morph's default usage (ie not metamorph) is basically a very limited version of Illusion. The Energy Absorption power they make as an example is Sourced and Reaction giving it no cost benefit despite severely limiting it's usage. And communication as a power is beaten out by a single point Comm-link sensory power anyway. Balance is something MnM has problems with, and one power being weaker than another isn't really an indication of why the RAW would support something being stronger since it very clearly doesn't seem to care.

You can houserule it to be 2 way, you can houserule it to just be area and selective by default because jesus christ Communication needs all the help it can get, but that doesn't change the fact that the RAW doesn't state, nor imply, that the power works like that. It's probable that the designers themselves INTENDED it to do that, and so screwed up actually giving any indication it does because it SHOULD obviously work like that, and in doing so screwed up by not actually including it. Which is something that is also a huge reoccurring problem in 3e where a lot of bits of RAW just sort of lead to dead ends because they referred to something assumed to already exist which they never got around to adding to the book or were placed in very obtuse spots. Like Off-hand penalties, if the elongation grab bonus referred to the attack or effect check (when asked directly they basically just answered "Yes"), if continuous effects persist outside of an array and how that would interact with specific types of powers, etc. And there's a lot of things in MnM that SHOULD work a certain way but simply don't. Jump should just keep giving you added speed past 7 ranks. Move objects logically should move things attached to them (this ruling also makes the core element control power effectively useless by raw since they used the Limited instead of the Source flaw). Concealment should have a check to overcome it (some even house rule it so often they often think the Morph rule of a dc20 insight check also applies to it).

3E is like skyrim, it's a hotpot of issues, balancing mistakes, and tons of bugs but is still enjoyed because it's a good sandbox and very easy to just patch the bad stuff out or modify it slightly to make the whole thing much better but that still doesn't actually change the limitations of the base product.

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Re: Communicate power

Post by Ken » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:48 pm

greycrusader wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:08 pm
Hey guys, let's not get too testy about THIS subject.

I think it comes down to how useful a GM thinks the Communicate power is generally, as far as whether there should be any sort of extra point cost for 2-way communication. Personally I think a flat 1 pt. Extra should cover it if the GM thinks it necessary, maybe doubled if the power also has Area Effect.

All my best.
Agreed.
W: Professor Plum, you were once a professor of psychiatry specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur.

PP: Yes, but now I work for the United Nations.

W: So your work has not changed.

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Re: Communicate power

Post by CaptainKaulu » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:06 am

I dunno about RAW, but imo the power is expensive enough that it should allow two-way by default, and one-way should be a Limited flaw.

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