The Manhunter trait says to use the Aura Reading obstacles, but only allow the non-spell-based actions. I’m not 100% sure where one is supposed to draw the line.
Here’s a list of all the ones I think could apply, based on just that description alone. I’ve flagged the ones that seem rather magical in bold:
Detecting if the subject is alive, dead, from this plane or another, Ob 1 Reading an aura trait (like Aura of Fear), Ob 1
Reading mood (angry, calm, etc.), Ob 2
Seeing a character trait, Ob 3
Seeing a die or call-on trait, Ob 4
Sensing a person’s intent (to deceive, for example), Ob 4
Seeing an Instinct, Ob 6
Seeing a Belief, Ob 7 Seeing a character’s past, Ob 8 Seeing a character’s future, Ob 9
My inclination is that none of the bolded ones should apply. Presumably you could still see Aura traits with an Ob 4 (as any other die trait), and seeing how the past or future is written into a character’s personality (which is the extent of Manhunter’s ability) really ought to be covered by reading BITs, right?
How have y’all been playing this Trait in your games?
Also, does anyone have good examples for how to apply “sensing a person’s intent (to deceive, for example)”? We’re wondering how broadly applicable that is.
I think of it as a trait that Wolverine or Batman might have. You can smell when someone is lying. Read microexpressions, discern all sorts of things about them and their past from their mannerisms. Maybe you’re ultra sensitive to pheromones. Or maybe you’re incredibly observant and make amazing deductive leaps based on those observations.
Does a player’s description make sense to you in that context? Then roll with it.
One of my players in a previous game had a character with the Manhunter trait and we pretty much played it as the un-bolded set of things in the list above. The in-game rationalle was similar to Thor’s in that he’s spent so much time following and reading people that he almost knows what they are thinking based on posture and behavior. It was fun and helped that while he had the trait, he didn’t have the perception to back it up (and didn’t care) so got everyone in heaps of trouble, every time.