Hulling someone that a Psychologist has a link to

I might be hulling a PC next week. The complication is that the PC currently has a link to a PC Psychologist. What happens? If I missed this in the book a reference page would be great. Does the link drop entirely? Does the link stay and even extend to the worm? Can the worm fake being the former mind of the human host so it isn’t obvious to the Psychologist that the hulling has occurred?

My gut says the link remains to the hulled PC’s brain but the Psychologist only has access to the surface thoughts of the former human, not the worm itself. So the Psychologist can watch out the “window” along with the now otherwise vegetative human but not have access to intended actions of the worm. My only problem with that is that it gets messy logically because the worm isn’t conscious without the human brain. :confused: Also does the headcase have the ability to stun the new Vaylen? Does the Vaylen get the extra dice? My gut says “yes” to both of those too.

Our group has discussed it a bit at the end of the last phase because we all realize it is a possibility. So we don’t have a consensus yet and I don’t think they are ready to come to one until we know this is an area we are outside the rules on. And even then we might settle the final details with a Worm-wise roll. I’m going to review my book again later tonight but any help would be much appreciated.

I think she goes link dead, but I don’t think I ever got a canon answer on this one. Msr Moeller, any thoughts?

We need Chris for a definitive answer, but I’d say the link goes dead as well. While the personality still exists in the back of the brain, it’s no longer in control.

If psychologists could reach that personality, it would be far easier for them to discern whether a person is Vaylen or not than our current information seems to indicate.

Since connections are a game-construct, I never thought about this in terms of canon. As a practical matter, you can’t hide a hulling from the controlling psychologist, since he’s going to experience the entire lead-up to the hulling through the victim’s eyes (assuming the hulled fellow was conscious). Once the worm’s inside, my gamer’s instinct is to have the connection go dead.


Wait a second, you’ve got a species of parasitic worms purpose built and are ravenously hungry for the experiences of organisms they’re connected to, and you want the connection to go link-dead? Bah!

What if the psychologist stays connected to the suppressed personality, and can feel the worm’s vice-like crush around their own mind. And what if the worm, wise in neural ways, can perceive the psychologist? What a rapturous experience that would be, to experience a host that’s connected to another being!

GDW’s AD2300 had an alien species, Kafers, that had an adrenaline-like response to stress but which increased intelligence instead. Normally they’re a little thick; officers (selected from those who’ve been stressed enough to be smart most of the time) beat them with sticks to make them smart enough to understand their orders.

There’s mention of a Kafer officer in a captured human space station, coming across Sartre in the computers and marvelling at his appreciation of that fundamentally Kafer experience of feeling most alive when under mortal threat.

This situation seems like a potential Burning Empires equivalent. Two parasitic organisms sharing a brain, studying one another at intensely close range. The psychologist has the advantage of distance, some detachment, but the Vaylen has reflexes honed by millions of years of evolution - and a comfort submerging itself in the host mind that could unnerve even a psychologist.

Could they find an eerie common ground? Could the Vaylen send the psychologist a squirt of delicious experience, making its case in a way that words can’t express? (The first hit is free.)

Imagine what ideas this would spark in the Vaylen! Imagine its appetite whetted by the idea of psychic, remote hulling? The potential for new experiences would be unbelievable - worm gods, floating above their garden worlds in specially engineered, eight-brained gas creatures (force-evolved from the genes that produce amniotic sacs, plus a dash of hydrogen-emitting bacteria), plucking experiences from the minds of the unknowing in the garden world below.

Thanks for the insight guys. I’m guessing we’ll say the link goes dead then. Pity it would have been interesting to see if the one PC would have been willing to screw up the other PC just to get a mole. I hadn’t mentioned that possibility but it had occurred to me afterward. :smiley:

So you assume that the Psychologist is always aware of what is going on with the other? What about when the Psychologist were for example, asleep? Or very busy with something else? Interesting. Is that mostly a game/story concession, it is just handwaved that they are aware of something important?

FWIW I’m pretty sure that Prince Faisal’s connection to Weller in the Agra playtest went linkdead in the coda. (Or some connection to someone - Eidetic Memory, please!)