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Lie as mind control


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If you are allowing the Lie spell to do things that are way overpowered, the abuse is on you as a GM for indulging the Trickster too much. A Lie does not make a person hallucinate, or make it react against its own nature (except for undermining suspicion). There are bound to be other (more costly) spells able to do that.

"You feel like" is at best a suggestion. It does not create any sensation, but a listener may still indulge an urge to scratch that sensation.

"X feels like raping all of you" is a possible Lie, working on everybody but X. Whether X may feel any urge to engage in non-consensual intercourse depends on his predelections alone. It may get X to reflect on such a possibility, but that's as far as the power of a Lie goes.

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If you use Lie and say "this statement is a lie", Mostali will have a meltdown. Or so I've heard.

Yeah. But like Joerg said, it doesn't change people's personalities -- they will still act according to everything else they know and believe in. In many cases, what Lie does is create confusion

All the Eurmali in Sartar who know the Lie spell emphatically and convincingly deny the existence of this alleged shrine.

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

"X feels like raping all of you" is a possible Lie, working on everybody but X. Whether X may feel any urge to engage in non-consensual intercourse depends on his predelections alone. It may get X to reflect on such a possibility, but that's as far as the power of a Lie goes.

If X is not present, people might be very worried. If X is present, all he needs say is "Oh, no I don't" and the Lie disappears.

Lie can be handled as an overpowering superpower, it can also be completely nerfed by GMs. Neither work for me. I use it when necessary and allow it to work when used creatively.

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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Lie can achieve things I would not allow even on a Fast Talk crit.

Yeah.

But like Joerg said, it doesn't change people's personalities -- they will still act according to everything else they know and believe in. In many cases, what Lie does is create confusion and arguments until the dust settles and people realize what happened.... which, arguably, is still very useful for the cunning Trickster, and exactly what they meant to do.

It would take a lot of Lie on many people to, say, force a clan to go to war. Even then, some spirits witnesses might intervene to tell the Clan Ring members that they're being duped (ancestor spirits, the wyter, some guardian spirits, whatever, assuming they were able to witness something suspicious).... or... you know, a simple chat with one of the thanes ("Why are we going to war?" - "The Grey Dogs are the ones who stole our ancient relic!" - "How do you know that?" - "Igsmar told us!" - "You know Igsmar is a trickster, right?" - "Yeah? So? What... oh" - "How about you wait half a day before gathering the warriors, I'm going to have a talk with Igsmar first"). Just because someone believes something doesn't mean they'll stop being cautious or pragmatic (if they naturally are), stop listening to trusted companions (who might have conflicting things to say), or generally stop doing all the things they usually do.

One last thing that people may have missed from one of my earlier messages: Lie doesn't alter memories either. That is, if the Trickster says "Harbast wants to kill you all", it won't make them automatically retroactively hate X and want to kill X or whatever. It will make them believe what the Trickster is telling them right now. This is news to them. They will react to it by being shocked or having to think about it or getting angry or whatever. They may not ask the Trickster to justify himself or give proof of those claims (because they implicitly believe him), but they will surely have more questions, like, say, about Harbast's plans, about his motivation for wanting to kill them, about who his allies are, etc. How they react (keep an eye on Harbast, bring him in front of the council, send a party to capture him, etc.) is really up to them.

The Trickster can't use Lie to say "You need to kill Harbast before he kills you". Lie is only for giving (false) facts IMHO. Which is how it is decidedly not "mind control", and how the GM can keep it from becoming over-powered and game-breaking.

Edited by lordabdul
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6 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

The Trickster can't use Lie to say "You need to kill Harbast before he kills you". Lie is only for giving (false) facts IMHO. Which is how it is decidedly not "mind control", and how the GM can keep it from becoming over-powered and game-breaking.

This is the kind of guidance that I was looking for when I started this thread, a somewhat objective limitation on the spell.

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12 minutes ago, Scorus said:

This is the kind of guidance that I was looking for when I started this thread, a somewhat objective limitation on the spell.

I wouldn't have arrived to this conclusion without reading the discussion that came before it, so you (and everybody else here) actually helped me too :)  I'm curious what other conclusions people reach, though.

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Don't let an asshole play a trickster. A good roleplayer, who has a focus on making the game successful and enjoyable and fun, can absolutely rock as a trickster. It can be an experience that nobody would ever forget, and will fall about laughing over for years.

As to the OP, I'd say any lie beginning "You believe that..." or "You want..." will instantly fail. You are being made to believe that you believe/want it, but you don't believe it, so the belief that you believe it will instantly be disproved by your lack of actual belief. †

† Read that in the voice of Wallace Shawn playing Vizzini in The Princess Bride.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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On 11/5/2020 at 12:09 PM, PhilHibbs said:

Don't let an asshole play a trickster. A good roleplayer, who has a focus on making the game successful and enjoyable and fun, can absolutely rock as a trickster. It can be an experience that nobody would ever forget, and will fall about laughing over for years.

This, absolutely!

 

On 11/5/2020 at 12:09 PM, PhilHibbs said:

...

As to the OP, I'd say any lie beginning "You believe that..." or "You want..." will instantly fail. You are being made to believe that you believe/want it, but you don't believe it, so the belief that you believe it will instantly be disproved by your lack of actual belief. †

† Read that in the voice of Wallace Shawn playing Vizzini in The Princess Bride.

But not so much this.

In particular, belief is at the core of Lie.  When a Trickster Lies, you DO believe.  A Lie that begins "you believe that... [X is true]" may fail, but it's a kind of absurd example -- the Trickster would just say "[X] is true" and you'd believe.

But I'd put "want" into a different category.  I think we're all familiar with the phenomenon of doing something habitually, automatically, because we often/usually DO want the thing... only to realize that we DON'T want the thing this time, in this moment.  One more bite of that very-rich food; or grabbing a book to sit down with, only to find the body wants to move, dammit.  We think we want the thing, but we don't.  When we reflect for a moment, when we bring a bit of self-awareness to bear, we have the "a-ha!" And generally then do the thing we actually want (n.b. not guaranteed to be the thing that will be best for us, or make us happiest, because people can be very stupid; even smart people).

All of which gives me the interesting(?) Eurmali sub-plot where s/he Lies to one/both of a loving pair, "You don't love your partner."  So they believe that, but it's wrong, and in effect they have an experience (over a bit of time) much like falling in love all over again, ending up with a much stronger relationship.

Edited by g33k
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3 hours ago, g33k said:

But I'd put "want" into a different category. 

 

3 hours ago, g33k said:

"You don't love your partner." 

 I think these two cases are good, and for both I would not allow lie to change them directly

I don't see  "lie" able to change directly a passion or a desire.

For example :

I would not allow "you don't love your partner" but I would allow "your partner was with XXX last night" (even if the victim of "lie" was with her/his partner) Then maybe the victim will lose passion point because wrongly accusing the partner, or killing XXX or something like that.

I would not allow "you, Yelm priest, don't love your god" but allow " Yelm considers you a bad worshipper". Then maybe the desperate priest will decide to retire, or to betray Yelm or to become the best worshipper in the world

For me It is not a "domination" spell, it is a "manipulation" spell, the trickster should not be able to determine what will happen, but able to create a funny (?) but hazardous situation, leaving the victim manage this false truth

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

In particular, belief is at the core of Lie.  When a Trickster Lies, you DO believe.  A Lie that begins "you believe that... [X is true]" may fail, but it's a kind of absurd example -- the Trickster would just say "[X] is true" and you'd believe.

Yeah exactly.

Quote

All of which gives me the interesting(?) Eurmali sub-plot where s/he Lies to one/both of a loving pair, "You don't love your partner."  So they believe that, but it's wrong, and in effect they have an experience (over a bit of time) much like falling in love all over again, ending up with a much stronger relationship.

I wouldn't allow it personally. I can't lie to you about what you feel for your partner... but I can lie to you about what I (supposedly) heard her say about you, or do behind your back, or whatever.

What I could maybe lie to you about is stuff you may have done and don't remember. "When you were drunk two nights ago, you told me you don't love your wife anymore... oh you don't remember? Yeah you were pretty drunk, but you looked sincere". That might throw some doubt in your heart and in your head: you will totally believe that you said that while drunk, but you will be thinking hard why the hell you said that. Soon, you probably will realize you don't feel that way at all -- that's not how lying works, either with an uppercase "L" or a lowercase one. It might be enough to confuse you for a little bit, though, which might be useful.

When in doubt, I think a good rule of thumb is to think about how lying works. Then you know how Lying works.

Edited by lordabdul
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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

I wouldn't allow it personally. I can't lie to you about what you feel for your partner... but I can lie to you about what I (supposedly) heard her say about you, or do behind your back, or whatever.

I would rule that as that you experience the sudden thought and belief, but then your experience of your actual emotions will prove the belief incorrect. This isn’t different than telling someone the sky is green and orange plaid - they will believe you only until they see the sky next time, and even while they believe you, they will still remember that it used to be blue and that this new state of affairs sounds really unusual.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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29 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I would rule that as that you experience the sudden thought and belief, but then your experience of your actual emotions will prove the belief incorrect.

Yeah, effectively... although at a meta gaming level, I would be a bit of an asshole GM to let the player spend the Rune Points only to immediately show them it was a waste :)  But yeah that's probably what would happen if they tried anyway.

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On 10/21/2020 at 8:46 PM, g33k said:



2.  I actually don't see very much scope for Trickster in most PC parties; it's a bad option (and frankly I'm sorry to see it in the core book).  Eurmal is an asshole!  He cannot be trusted.  He's very Loki-like, the "Loki" of myth (not the one in MCU who was redeemed, and died in a tragic effort to save his brother), who betrayed the Aesir&Vanir to ally with the Jotuns & other monsters.  This is the guy who will  F_@K S#1T UP  just to see it happen, who will betray you for no better reason than that you shouldn't have trusted him ... and he wanted to teach you that lesson!  Eurmal didn't steal Death to give to Orlanth to HELP Orlanth; he DUPED Orlanth into using an unknown disaster, because Eurmal knew, not the details, but that it would BE a disaster.  In RPG terms, he is a pure PvP "spoiler" character, and I've never had or seen a good game with one of those.

 

I think you need to read up on the role of Tricksters in IRL myths, it is waaaay more complex than that. Snorre did not get much right in his interpretations of the nordic mythology and Loke may be one of the worst. Later christian propaganda to liken him to the devil did not make anything better. Look at Coyote and Anansi myth for better preserved source material. 

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3 hours ago, Hteph said:

I think you need to read up on the role of Tricksters in IRL myths, it is waaaay more complex than that. Snorre did not get much right in his interpretations of the nordic mythology and Loke may be one of the worst. Later christian propaganda to liken him to the devil did not make anything better. Look at Coyote and Anansi myth for better preserved source material. 

There are definitely real-world myths of the "benevolent" trickster; no argument from me!  But while it's true that Loki wasn't 100% villainous in all his actions (even occasionally heroic), the overall impact was seriously on the wrong side of things.  Baldur's death, birthing the two god-killing ubermonsters Fenrir & Jormungandr, and a huge amount of gratuitous trouble, insults, etc.


Eurmal is Disorder... anti-cooperation.  If Chaosium were to lean-in on the "benevolent trickster" tropes & model them in Glorantha, I'd like Eurmal a lot better as a PC option!  But I'm not much seeing it, frankly...  When it all turns out for the best, that isn't because Eurmal was *trying* to fix things, it's because of some deeply fated "destiny" (unknown/obscure even to the gods) or something much like it; the (eventual) Good Outcome happens despite Eurmals bestworst efforts... 

But if Eurmal is to be rehabilitated, I return to the other element -- Eurmal's Rune Special spells look pretty OP/broken, if Trickster is mythically deprecated down to a D&Desque "Rogue" type PC, the fully-cooperative party member filling the stealth-and-trickery roles.

 

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But by calling Erumal ”Trickster” and not destroyer, or deciver or the devil, you have to draw upon what the Trickster are.

And that is not a general pain in the ass when looking at it objectively, the pain is the purpose of the Trickster, but either a side effect or the a necessary tool to achive a important rebalance or opening a new way. Often the cost of this is payed by the Trickster too.

So by calling Erumal the Trickster and not the Joker there is a heavy mythic baggage addet to it. More so than any other “character class”. Playing an Erumalite is playing a facilitator of the impossible, breaking rules by necessity and breaker of stagnation.

if it happens in a fun way, so much better.

i think Greg had a purpose calling Erumal the Trickster, that is a bit wider than, slapstick comedy at the gaming table (but including that too).

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This thread has been very illuminating.

On 11/7/2020 at 4:40 PM, French Desperate WindChild said:

I don't see  "lie" able to change directly a passion or a desire.

For example :

I would not allow "you don't love your partner" but I would allow "your partner was with XXX last night" (even if the victim of "lie" was with her/his partner) Then maybe the victim will lose passion point because wrongly accusing the partner, or killing XXX or something like that.

I would not allow "you, Yelm priest, don't love your god" but allow " Yelm considers you a bad worshipper". Then maybe the desperate priest will decide to retire, or to betray Yelm or to become the best worshipper in the world

When I saw the two examples of what you would allow I thought, yes that sounds exactly like something Coyote said or would say.

Edited by Bren
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On 11/11/2020 at 6:04 PM, g33k said:

There are definitely real-world myths of the "benevolent" trickster; no argument from me!  But while it's true that Loki wasn't 100% villainous in all his actions (even occasionally heroic), the overall impact was seriously on the wrong side of things.  Baldur's death, birthing the two god-killing ubermonsters Fenrir & Jormungandr, and a huge amount of gratuitous trouble, insults, etc.

Yepp, and thats the reason I dislike to use Loki as a example of a Trickster, because we know that the major part of the Norse mythology is lost. What is left is obscured by what Snorre made up himself and other christian priests willfully misunderstood and wrote down. 
A essay ( I sadly have lost ) tried to glean a bit of the origin of Loki, the connection to spiders and fate, probably in an even older bronze age mythology. The connections of how seeing the strands of fate makes the trickster do things that seems illogical and contrary to the outsider, but avoids tangling the strands or snapping essential lines. That is the interesting stuff with Tricksters, and is much more apparent in those Trickster mythologies that not have been as mangled as Loke, or Lokkes as is closer to how it should be pronounced if I remember correctly.

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12 hours ago, Hteph said:

... A essay ( I sadly have lost ) tried to glean a bit of the origin of Loki, the connection to spiders and fate, probably in an even older bronze age mythology ...

The whole Aesir / Vanir thing hints rather broadly of a blending / co-opting of mythologies ...  And that was before the Christianization.

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On 11/24/2020 at 7:31 AM, g33k said:

The whole Aesir / Vanir thing hints rather broadly of a blending / co-opting of mythologies ...  And that was before the Christianization.

If so, it happened super early, as in before PIE migrations. The Aesir/Vanir divide is present in Indian and Persian religion as well (Devas and Asuras, where hilariously they each decided differently on which are the good guys).

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On 10/29/2020 at 1:59 AM, soltakss said:

If X is not present, people might be very worried. If X is present, all he needs say is "Oh, no I don't" and the Lie disappears.

Lie can be handled as an overpowering superpower, it can also be completely nerfed by GMs. Neither work for me. I use it when necessary and allow it to work when used creatively.

It doesn't just disappear. He has to make a persuasion roll of some kind. If the lie is implausible, the GM should give him bonuses on the roll. OTOH, if some of his past actions have made the lie sound plausible...

On 11/5/2020 at 12:09 PM, PhilHibbs said:

Don't let an asshole play a trickster. A good roleplayer, who has a focus on making the game successful and enjoyable and fun, can absolutely rock as a trickster. It can be an experience that nobody would ever forget, and will fall about laughing over for years.

As to the OP, I'd say any lie beginning "You believe that..." or "You want..." will instantly fail. You are being made to believe that you believe/want it, but you don't believe it, so the belief that you believe it will instantly be disproved by your lack of actual belief. †

† Read that in the voice of Wallace Shawn playing Vizzini in The Princess Bride.

Basically, don't let an asshole play period. There are myriad ways for a jerk to destroy a game, no matter what character he or she is playing. Good point on "you believe" but for a different reason. Most people realise that just because you believe something doesn't mean it is true, and just because you want something doesn't mean you should have it. Some folk are exceptions to those rules however, and a Lie like that would work on them, but a simpler Lie would work better. The best Lies are like the best lies, namely ones that have an element of plausibility in them, so they are harder to dispel. Good Lying, like good lying, is a fine art.

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On 11/7/2020 at 1:40 PM, French Desperate WindChild said:

 

 I think these two cases are good, and for both I would not allow lie to change them directly

I don't see  "lie" able to change directly a passion or a desire.

For example :

I would not allow "you don't love your partner" but I would allow "your partner was with XXX last night" (even if the victim of "lie" was with her/his partner) Then maybe the victim will lose passion point because wrongly accusing the partner, or killing XXX or something like that.

I would not allow "you, Yelm priest, don't love your god" but allow " Yelm considers you a bad worshipper". Then maybe the desperate priest will decide to retire, or to betray Yelm or to become the best worshipper in the world

For me It is not a "domination" spell, it is a "manipulation" spell, the trickster should not be able to determine what will happen, but able to create a funny (?) but hazardous situation, leaving the victim manage this false truth

You, the Yelm priest, don't love your god, should work, briefly, for a couple minutes, during which you would be in the equivalent of what happens when you fumble a Passion role. But then, your lifelong memories of loving Yelm would come back to you, and the Lie would break down, in the same fashion that a Lie that the sun won't rise the next morning breaks down next morning when it does anyway (on Glorantha, the sun not rising is perfectly possible though highly disturbing to Yelm worshippers, unlike trolls).

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On 11/7/2020 at 4:06 PM, lordabdul said:

Yeah, effectively... although at a meta gaming level, I would be a bit of an asshole GM to let the player spend the Rune Points only to immediately show them it was a waste :)  But yeah that's probably what would happen if they tried anyway.

Eh, speaking as somebody currently running a Trickster myself, a player arrogant enough to try to do something as overpowered as that kind of super effective Lie spell way beyond what the rules say, really ought to lose those rune points.

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3 hours ago, Glorion said:

Eh, speaking as somebody currently running a Trickster myself, a player arrogant enough to try to do something as overpowered as that kind of super effective Lie spell way beyond what the rules say, really ought to lose those rune points.

An Eurmal cultists worried about the consequences of their actions shouldn't really be an Eurmal cultist, or is already in chains.

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