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Raveled

Technopath

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I'm planning for my character Ironclad to eventually pick up technopathic powers -- sort of like telepathy, but for machines and electronics instead of human minds.

I'm looking at a whole array of powers. Right now, it looks something like this:

Container (Technopath/Mutant Power) [32 PP]

Communication 6 (Radio; 20 miles; Feats: Alternate Power, Subtle) [8 PP]

AP: Datalink 2 (Radio; 100 ft; Feat: Subtle) [3 PP] + Comprehend 2 (Speak to & understand machines) [4 PP]

Quickness 6 (x100; Flaw Mental actions only) [3 PP]

Super-Senses 1 (Radio; Analytical; Feat: Extended [1000 ft]) [4 PP]

Enhanced Feat 5 (Technopath; Contacts, Well-Informed, Online Research, Speed of Thought, Jack-of-All-Trades) [5 PP]

Enhanced Intelligence 10 (Technopath) [10 PP] + Comprehend 1 (Codes) [2 PP]

The Communication and Datalink should be self-explanatory, as should Comprehend related to machines. The power will let her Comprehend languages basically by letting her link her mind with the best translation software in the world and run it in real-time. The mental Quickness comes from being able to essentially "time-share" her brain with any machines around her, using their processing power and even connecting to the Internet if needed to look information up. The Super-Senses come from, again, connecting with machines around her, including GPS devices, clocks, and cameras. I'm considering some Knowledge skills, maybe some Variable Power based around that; say, 10 PP that can be used to buy any combination of Knowledge skills that she needs at a given point, representing the fact that she's accessing different databases at any given time.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Do some of these seem out of place, or maybe I'm forgetting something? Finally, I seem to remember a power that let people communicate very quickly; it was explicitly likened to a psychic mind-meld or machines sharing data very, very fast. Does anyone remember what that power is?

Container (Technopath/Mutant Power) [6 PP]

BE: Communication 3 (Radio; 1000 ft; Feats: Alternate Power, Subtle) [5 PP]

AP: Datalink 2 (Radio; 100 ft; Feat: Subtle) [3 PP]

Super-Senses 1 (Radio) [1 PP]

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The power you're thinking of is Quickness, and you already have it. Pretty much anything you could do with Communication or Datalink, or anything you could do with a computer, counts as a "mental task." Ultimate Power introduced a power feat called "Rapid," which is Quickness (Flaws: Limited 2 [One Task]), for 1PP per 3 ranks, which comes out to each rank multiplying the speed of the task by a factor of 10 - Rapid 1 (Quickness 3) = x10, Rapid 2 (Quickness 6) = x100, Rapid 3 (Quickness 9) = x1,000, etc.

Technically, Radio Communication gives you the Radio Super-Sense for free, since Communication includes a clause which states that you are automatically capable of receiving communication of the same type as the one you're capable of initiating.

There is no need to buy a "Detect Radio" sense, since picking up radio transmissions is what the Radio Super-Sense does.

I'd recommend adding Comprehend 1 (Codes) to the package. I'd also recommend buying the Quickness up a lot higher, and possibly arraying the Radio Communication and Datalink together. (Note, though, that if you do this, you can only receive Radio communications while the Communication AP is active.

One of the few feats we've allowed in the past from Mecha & Manga is "Online Research," which lets you substitute the Computers skill for the Gather Information skill. I'd recommend it for any "technopath."

Danger Sense and Uncanny Dodge are both their own sense, but for both of them, you have to specify which sense type they are. The available categories are Visual, Audio, Olfactory (Smell + Taste), Tactile, Radio, and Mental. Any foe with total Concealment against the same sense type as your DS or UD bypasses it.

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The power you're thinking of is Quickness, and you already have it. Pretty much anything you could do with Communication or Datalink, or anything you could do with a computer, counts as a "mental task." Ultimate Power introduced a power feat called "Rapid," which is Quickness (Flaws: Limited 2 [One Task]), for 1PP per 3 ranks, which comes out to each rank multiplying the speed of the task by a factor of 10 - Rapid 1 (Quickness 3) = x10, Rapid 2 (Quickness 6) = x100, Rapid 3 (Quickness 9) = x1,000, etc.

But I don't want Quickness limited to just one task, unless that one task could be "talk to machines." I want her to be able to do anything mental really, really fast. Boosted the power to x500, anyway. How high are you thinking it should go?

I'd recommend adding Comprehend 1 (Codes) to the package. I'd also recommend buying the Quickness up a lot higher, and possibly arraying the Radio Communication and Datalink together. (Note, though, that if you do this, you can only receive Radio communications while the Communication AP is active.

What do you mean by Codes? Do you mean decryption? Wouldn't that be something she could do with skills and her amazing mental Quickness?

I don't want to array Datalink and Communication, since it would give Datalink a much greater range than Comm. (2 billion miles at this point), and it doesn't make sense that she could talk to machines that far away, but not other people.

One of the few feats we've allowed in the past from Mecha & Manga is "Online Research," which lets you substitute the Computers skill for the Gather Information skill. I'd recommend it for any "technopath."

Don't have that book; thanks for the heads up.

Danger Sense and Uncanny Dodge are both their own sense, but for both of them, you have to specify which sense type they are. The available categories are Visual, Audio, Olfactory (Smell + Taste), Tactile, Radio, and Mental. Any foe with total Concealment against the same sense type as your DS or UD bypasses it.

Uh, I don't have UD. Put DR on Visual, to represent getting a 360 degree view of what's happening by hacking into camera feeds and the like.

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But I don't want Quickness limited to just one task, unless that one task could be "talk to machines." I want her to be able to do anything mental really, really fast. Boosted the power to x500, anyway. How high are you thinking it should go?

You misinterpret me. I was saying that, since you already have Mental Quickness, you don't need the feat you were asking about.

The only person who can answer the question "How high should it go?" is you. Read the descriptions of the skills you're interested in being proficient at. Pay attention to two things: 1) The time required for each task, and 2) whether or not you can take 20 on it. If the answer to question #2 is "Yes," then you can use Quickness to reduce the time. Personally, I'd take enough Quickness to reduce the time low enough that I can not only perform the task quickly, but take 20 on it quickly.

Also keep in mind that the way the timing works in combat, generally if you can reduce it to 6 seconds, that's a full-round action, 3 seconds is a standard action (maybe a move, depending on the task and the GM), and if you can reduce it to less than 1 second, it's a free action.

What do you mean by Codes? Do you mean decryption? Wouldn't that be something she could do with skills and her amazing mental Quickness?

It might only be in the Ultimate Power version, but you can take 1 rank of Comprehend to automatically break any code/cipher/etc. you look at, instantly. You see the pattern and crack it.

I don't want to array Datalink and Communication, since it would give Datalink a much greater range than Comm. (2 billion miles at this point), and it doesn't make sense that she could talk to machines that far away, but not other people.

You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. But also keep in mind that you don't have to use all of the points in an AP slot if you don't want to. If you have Super-Strength 10 with a Flight AP, you're allowed to voluntarily limit that Flight to 5 ranks, even though you could afford up to 10.

Uh, I don't have UD. Put DR on Visual, to represent getting a 360 degree view of what's happening by hacking into camera feeds and the like.

I know you don't have Uncanny Dodge. I can read, and I'm not an idiot. Both super-senses are similar, and often taken together, so I thought I'd save some time by making sure you understood the poorly-explained mechanics behind both.

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The only person who can answer the question "How high should it go?" is you. Read the descriptions of the skills you're interested in being proficient at. Pay attention to two things: 1) The time required for each task, and 2) whether or not you can take 20 on it. If the answer to question #2 is "Yes," then you can use Quickness to reduce the time. Personally, I'd take enough Quickness to reduce the time low enough that I can not only perform the task quickly, but take 20 on it quickly.

Also keep in mind that the way the timing works in combat, generally if you can reduce it to 6 seconds, that's a full-round action, 3 seconds is a standard action (maybe a move, depending on the task and the GM), and if you can reduce it to less than 1 second, it's a free action.

With Contacts, Gather Info checks take 1 min, or 20 mins to take 20. With Mental Quickness x500, I should be able to take 20 on such a check in 3 seconds, or a standard action. How long a Knowledge or Investigate check takes is up to the GM, so I can't really anticipate that.

It might only be in the Ultimate Power version, but you can take 1 rank of Comprehend to automatically break any code/cipher/etc. you look at, instantly. You see the pattern and crack it.

Found it. Very interesting. Modified her existing Comprehend so it doesn't take any more PP.

Added a Variable Power to let me rearrange what Knowledge skills she has, reflecting what kind of information she's looking at, at any given time.

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I'm pretty sure mental quickness doesn't apply to gather info since its an interaction skill and if you're moving at 500 speed people cant keep up.

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How long a Knowledge or Investigate check takes is up to the GM, so I can't really anticipate that.

According to the Skills chapter of the core book, taking 20 on a Knowledge check usually takes an hour (and access to a library).

1 hour = 60 minutes = 3600 seconds. At Quickness 8 (x500), you could do that in 7.2 seconds. Since each combat round is 6 seconds, that would take you a round and a half, two rounds at the most.

You have a few options for meeting the "library access" criteria. You could buy a Headquarters with the Communications and Library features, and use your Communication and/or Datalink power to access the QH library remotely. You could carry around a portable Device that contains the Library feature. One character on the board even took a 1PP feat version, to represent that he had a whole library's worth of knowledge inside his own head.

As for Investigate, analyzing a clue is a full action, and collecting a clue takes "at least a minute." However, that is irrelevant, since neither one is a task you can take 20 on, and therefore, it is not the sort of "routine task" to which Quickness applies.

Added a Variable Power to let me rearrange what Knowledge skills she has, reflecting what kind of information she's looking at, at any given time.

On a character with so many other powers, such a VP is unlikely to be approved. Instead, I'd recommend just taking a high Intelligence, with either Eidetic Memory or Jack of All Trades. That way, you have a bonus in every Knowledge at once.

And since that high INT also feeds Craft, Computers, and Disable Device, it's a very efficient purchase for such a character. INT costs 2PP per +1 bonus, and doesn't apply to anything but skills. Skills cost 1PP per 4 skill ranks. So if you're invested in 8 INT-based skills, INT becomes an "efficient" purchase - you're paying 2PP for +1 in 8 different skills, which is the same as paying 2PP for 8 skill ranks. If you have more than 8 INT-based skills, then buying base INT comes out ahead.

I'm pretty sure mental quickness doesn't apply to gather info since its an interaction skill and if you're moving at 500 speed people cant keep up.

I think Online Research, being based on Computers, might get around this.

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Last I checked we didn't allow online research.

At least one character has been approved with it in the past, so if we don't, that's news to me.

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Added Jack-of-All-Trades and Improvised Tools.

This is getting... expensive.

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Added a second version of the tecnopath container. Probably going to grab that one first, as it's less expensive.

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Aaaaand the latest version, muchly scaled back. Rolled Datalink and Comprehend into an AP of Communication. Gave her Enhanced intelligence, and fixed up the formatting. It's actually down to a workable number of PP at this point.

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