The Brain Cage

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Jwok

  • 59
The Brain Cage
« on: November 21, 2012, 10:31:02 PM »
Hi all,

  So my player's spooky weird Savvyhead was kidnapped by slavers, but after acing a weird roll, got adopted as the slaver's dark sacred idol instead of being sold off with the rubbish (or much, much worse). Her main captor turned owner, Snake Bait, commissioned her to finish fine tuning a special tool intended for mind-controlling rebellious slaves. This dentists chair/computer/surgical-device hybrid is known as the Brain Cage.

Here's how it works:
When you want to use the brain cage to take apart someone’s mind, roll+weird. On a 10+, hold 2. On a 7-9, hold 1. Spend hold to pick an option off of the list below.
  • Take something away from them that made them who they were.
  • Put something inside them that becomes part of who they are.
  • Make them commit a single act (this works as though you scored a 10+ on a seduce or manipulate, without any promise).
  • Keep them from remembering what you did to them.
On a miss, still hold 1, but they break free during the process, and fight back or run, according to their nature.


Thoughts/Feedback? Sufficiently creepy and violating?
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Re: The Brain Cage
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 05:06:49 AM »
Those rules seem geared for the device being used by PCs and against NPCs. Is that the intention?

But it's a horrible device, and in that respect you've done the job spot on.

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Canoy

  • 10
Re: The Brain Cage
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 07:13:23 AM »
I like it, though I'm not so certain about the theme of a failure. If the roll involves weird, why should a failure result in the victim breaking out? Suggestions: How about it causing brain damage to those involved, count as a failure on open your mind for all involved, or is returned to the sender (ie., both victim and user gets hold 1 on each other on the same terms). Or, the risk of physical violence from the victim could be described by the maelstrom temporarily invading them, causing them to break free and either run on fight, etc.

I like that you restrained yourself to 2 hold, as the chair is so powerful. But I think it needs to be more costly or be more risky. An option which costs the user something, in addition to the option of causing amnesia, would make even a 10+ a difficult choice. Such a cost could be related to the theme of the cage (such as losing something, the effects being obvious for outside observers, the victim also getting 1 hold, or open yourself to the Maelstrom), or to the difficulties involved in using it (need to Act under Fire, difficult to insert or remove something with precision, etc).

Love it. Will use it.

EDIT: For use on PCs, the PC affected could potentially get some XP out of it. I'm not sure that is part of the flavour of the brain cage.

For when the victims are PC:

When someone uses the brain cage on you, roll +cool.
On 10+, Hold 3. On 7-9, hold 1. You can spend hold, 1 for 1, prevent the
user from doing the following:
* Take something away from you that made you who you were.
* Put something inside you that becomes part of who you are.
* Make you commit a single act against your will
* Keep you from remembering what they did to you.
On a miss, they do all four.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 07:26:30 AM by Canoy »

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Jwok

  • 59
Re: The Brain Cage
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 03:09:37 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys! Here are my thoughts:

Quote
Those rules seem geared for the device being used by PCs and against NPCs. Is that the intention?

That was definitely where my head was at the start, although the PvP options are definitely worth looking at.

Quote
I like it, though I'm not so certain about the theme of a failure. If the roll involves weird, why should a failure result in the victim breaking out?

I liked the idea that if you blow a roll, someone whose mind you've fucked with will be free to come after you, now or later. The reason it is still a weird roll (at least as I saw it), is that this person is likely struggling, mentally and physically. If the person using the machine can't get sufficiently dominate the person during the process, the person continues to struggle and eventually breaks out.

That said, I also like your idea if it being more brain oriented. I think it might be best here to leave a miss open, turning it over to the MC.

Quote
For use on PCs, the PC affected could potentially get some XP out of it. I'm not sure that is part of the flavour of the brain cage.

That's a neat idea. Maybe something like an extra option, i.e. "you take on part of who they are as your own. Mark experience and change your personality in some way."

This would include the "risks to the user" option, although not as much as you were suggesting Canoy. On that, I kind of like the idea of the brain cage user being the twisted doctor who works on the helpless victim (dark, I know), so the idea of risk on a success wasn't really what I was going for. I do like the idea of making it an option though.

Okay, so with these thought in mind, here is the revised version - tell me what you think:

When you want to use the brain cage to take apart someone’s mind, roll+weird. On a 10+, hold 2. On a 7-9, hold 1, but they hold 1 too. The person using the brain cage spends hold to pick an option off of the list below.
  • Take something away from them that made them who they were.
  • Put something inside them that becomes part of who they are.
  • Make them commit a single act against their will.
  • Adopt something about them into who you are (and mark experience)
  • Keep them from remembering what you did to them.
If the victim has hold, they can spend it to pick off the list here:
  • Adopt something about your captor into who you are (and mark experience).
  • Struggle violently, inflicting 1 harm (ap) on your captor.
  • Flee into the psychic maelstrom, forcing your captor's mind to follow you.
On a miss, the MC makes a hard move.

It's a little lengthy, but I think the new incorporations are good. With these changes, for PvP I'd probably just go with roll to interfere. If an NPC uses the Brain Cage against a PC, what about this:

If an NPC get's you into the brain cage, roll+cool. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7-9, hold 1. Spend hold 1 for 1 to choose options from the following list.
  • They can't take anything away from you.
  • They can't put anything inside of you.
  • They can't force you to do something
  • You will remember
  • You struggle violently, inflicting 1 harm (ap) to your captor.
  • You adopt something about your captor into who you are (and mark experience)
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Re: The Brain Cage
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 03:37:14 PM »
I like the new version. Although I didn't have a problem with the "risk-free" older version (which reminded me of the Chamber of Fun from the core rulebook), giving the victim experience and/or involuntary trips to the psychic maelstrom sounds like good times.

I also like the idea of a violent PC rolling a 10+ against an NPC Brain Cage user, and spending it all to do 3 harm ap (yewoch!).