The powers of the mind have been portrayed in stories and legends which go back thousands of years and are present in many cultures. These are often confused with magic, or described as some supernatural ability. As defined in the Interworld gaming system basic rules, they are a strictly physical - and physiological - phenomenon. They are therefore defined there in a way that greatly limits their magnitude, because the primary power source is an organic, living brain. This is because the basic rules are intended to apply to as wide an assortment of genres as possible, and great mental powers would be out of place in most. More powerful mental abilities are reserved for the more extraordinary game settings, such as those defined in the "Gifted Saga" and "Modern Age" rules.
Even with this limitation, psionic abilities can be quite useful. Any Game Master who intends to allow their use should be aware that they can easily unbalance a game set in the mundane world, or anything close to it. Conversely, some genres justify - and may even require - psionic abilities more powerful than those from the basic rules.
This module expands on the material for use of psionics presented in the basic rules, and adds two levels of more powerful abilities.
The most common way of gaining psionic abilities is by rolling them as a Special Talent during the initial Character creation. In some game settings they may also be obtained in other ways. In either case, however, it is unlikely that a newly-created Character with psionic abilities will have them active. If a GM wants to allow a PC or NPC with active and controlled psionic abilities in an otherwise mundane game, perhaps the Character could be part of a research program which is studying and/or developing psionic abilities. In most Interworld modules, though, only people from societies where psionics are recognized, tested for and trained will have active psionic abilities and skills in using them.
By the Interworld rules, for most gaming genres some stimulus is required to activate the majority of psionic talents; the abilities will lie latent in the possessor until awakened. In the "Gateways" game, passing through one of the interdimensional gateways will sometimes do this. The chance is equal to the person's Will times the number of stimulating events in percentage points (yes, it is intended to be cumulative). In the "Gifted Saga" and "Future Gifted Saga" games, becoming Gifted automatically rouses any psionic abilities. In the "Ostland" module, except for young characters (less than 20 years old) it is assumed that anyone with potential has been discovered and trained. The same is generally true for civilizations in the "Outbound" game.
In the "Modern Age" game it is up to the GM whether any natural psionic abilities are already awakened at the beginning of the campaign. It is suggested that at least some abilities (such as Blending, Defense, Empathy, Healing, Machine Rapport, Precognition, Pyrokinesis, Remote Sensing, Telekinesis, Telepathy and Warning Sense) be active, since they fit the spirit of the module so well.
For a Character who has a background which makes at least some training in the use of psi abilities reasonable, assume that they are already activated. Assign the Character a level 4 skill in general use and another level 4 skill in one specific ability, through the environment rule. Then let the Player buy additional skill levels using points from the skill point roll or experience points.
Once activated, the powers may be used in the same way as any other natural ability. When using many of these abilities, the player must make a standard roll to hit. Skill in a particular talent will improve the chance to hit, the same as with weapons, as well as the degree of success. The Endurance spent to use the ability is the same whether the effort is successful or not. After a hit is made, the psi is "locked on" and can continue without needing another "to hit" roll, unless something happens to break the contact. Except where noted otherwise, all effects require only 1 Combat Phase (ten seconds) for completion.
can be active at the beginning of most types of campaigns. The abilities
Blending, Empathy, Machine Rapport, and Warning Sense may act on a subliminal
level (10% chance for each ability) without general activation of the Character's
psionic abilities. The PC should be aware that something is helping, but
not what. It is up to the GM to decide just how strongly an ability operates
in general and for specific situations, depending on how much the game
can tolerate. For campaigns set in strictly mundane worlds, the GM who
does not want to eliminate psi abilities altogether may choose to have
any psi powers which are possessed by Characters operate only on the unconscious
With the exceptions as noted, no starting player will have overt psionic abilities. Something is required to activate most psionic talents, and they will lie latent in the possessor until awakened. In the Gateways game, passing through one of the interdimensional gateways will sometimes do this. The chance is equal to the person's Will times the number of stimulating events in percentage points (yes, it is intended to be cumulative). In the Gifted Saga game, becoming Gifted automatically rouses any psionic abilities. In the Ostland module, except for young characters (less than 20 years old) it is assumed that anyone with potential has been discovered and trained. The same is generally true for civilizations in the Outbound game.
Note that many psi abilities can be easily abused, and that some may even be addictive. Careless or casual use will almost certainly backfire on the Character. This "temptation factor" may be applied as a disadvantage in modules where these are a factor.
Once activated, the powers may be used in the same way as any other natural ability. When using many of these abilities, the player must make a standard roll to hit. Skill in a particular talent will improve the chance to hit, the same as with weapons. The Endurance spent to use the ability is the same whether the effort is successful or not. After a hit is made, the Psi is "locked on" and can continue without needing another "to hit" roll, unless something happens to break the contact. Except where noted, all effects take only 1 Combat Phase (ten seconds) for completion. Exceptions: Blending, Empathy, Machine Rapport, and Warning Sense may act on a subliminal level (10% chance for each ability) without activation. The PC should be aware that something is helping, but not what.
Which abilities the PC gets is determined randomly. Roll 1D6 for the number of abilities, then roll for each on the following table.
01-05 Astral Projection
16-20 Cell Manipulation
41-45 Machine Rapport
46-50 Matter Manipulation
56-60 Probability Alteration
66-70 Remote Sensing
86-90 Warning Sense
91-100 Choose one
Astral Projection: The ability to project the consciousness to a distance from the body, and to perceive that distant area as if physically present. The range is equal to 3 X Will in kilometers. Endurance required is 3 points per Turn (one minute). This is somewhat more committed than Remote Sensing (see below); for instance, mental attacks on the Astral form will injure the Psi as if they had been made upon his person. On the other hand, the ability may be coupled with any other Psi talent, which can then be used as if the Character were physically present. The Astral form may be noticed by anyone making a Perception roll at -45 percentage points. Those with the ability of Telepathy or the Special Talent of Keen Senses make their rolls without this added penalty.
Attack: A form of mental assault. This has a range of 2 X Will in meters, and costs 1 Endurance per point of Will per use. It does 1D6 points of damage per five points of Will used.
Blending: This allows the user a modifier of 40 percentage points against being noticed. It has no range, but affects a volume of 1 meter in diameter per 5 points of Will. It costs 1 Endurance point per Turn (1 minute) of use.
Cell Manipulation: This ability
allows the user to alter the forms of living things. The mass affected
is one gram per point of Will. The Endurance required is 10 points per
gram affected. The power may simply move existing cells around (Level 1
difficulty), repair or cause damage (Level 2 difficulty), or change cell
type - I. e. fat into muscle - (Level 3 difficulty). Range is limited to
touch. Although this power does not give the user any knowledge of biology,
it allows a feedback which, through experimentation, teaches the Psi how
to make changes safely. The time required is 1 Turn per gram of matter
affected, and distractions may result in an unintended result.
A somewhat different application of the same ability is DNA alteration. This is a difficulty Level 4 task, and requires that all the DNA in an organism be altered at the same time. Since the DNA is only a tiny fraction of the total body mass, this is within the limits of most psis with the ability. The Character working the change must understand the function of both the existing DNA and the altered. Whether the changes will be expressed in the organism or merely passed on to the descendants depends on the nature of the change. For instance, coding a correction for the gene that causes cystic fibrosis will halt the progress of that disease. Coding for blond hair won't show until the next generation, because the hair follicles have already been grown and are set for the life of the organism.
This is a very useful ability. Given time, a Psi with Cell Manipulation can completely rebuild an organism, provided that all the intermediate steps are viable. Attacks may be made every Combat Phase. For attacks, the power does a maximum damage of 1D6 per 5 points of Will, at an Endurance cost of 5 per D6.
Defense: This is a mental barrier which allows the Psi to use Endurance to resist Attack or Domination, and to conceal emotions and thoughts against Empathy and Telepathy. It costs one point of Endurance per point of damage or effort deflected. Range is user only, and the ability can be set to operate automatically. For resisting Domination, each point of Endurance used reduces the effect by one point. (See below.)
Domination: This allows the Psi to pit his Will directly against another's. Once a successful "to hit" roll is made, subtract the (Psi's Will + (Skill Level) / 2) from the target's Will. If the remainder is between 10 and 6, the target is still aware and resisting, but can be compelled to perform simple acts which do not conflict with that person's morals or wishes. If the remainder is to 1 the person is Dominated, and probably will not remember what he does, but will unconsciously resist committing acts which are strongly counter to their morals or wishes. With a remainder of 0 to -4, the person is unconscious and fully compliant. For remainders of less than -4 the Psi is in complete Domination, possessing the target's body and sensing everything it senses. Endurance cost is 1 point per Turn for each point of Will used. Note that a powerful Psi, or a normal one attacking a weak mind, may conserve Endurance by using less Will than their maximum. Range = Will in meters. (Used in conjunction with Telepathy, range is the same as for that ability.)
Empathy: This ability allows the Psi to perceive the emotional state of others. It has a range of 3 meters per point of Will and costs 1 Endurance per minute of use. The user can focus on an individual, or simply perceive the consensus, with exceptions standing out.
Healing: A very specialized form of Cell Manipulation, this allows the user to repair 1D6 points of physical damage per 5 points of Will. Cost is 5 points of Endurance per die of healing done. Range = Touch.
Machine Rapport: The Psi with this ability can tune in to the workings of devices, be they mechanical, electronic or other. The user will normally have an area of specialty, such as computers, automobiles or firearms, and will operate at a 50 percentage point disadvantage on other types of devices. However, there is a 10% chance that the Psi has a general ability, and may use his power on any device without penalty. The advantages of this talent are a bonus of 5 percentage points per point of Intelligence when operating, repairing or modifying a device. Range is equal to however far away the Psi can clearly perceive the device. Machine Rapport costs no Endurance to use.
Matter Manipulation: This talent allows the Psi to change the structure of matter in various ways. The mass affected is 1 gram per point of Will, for an Endurance cost of 10 points per gram. The time required is one Turn per gram. Physical change - that is, altering the shape or form of something - is a Level 1 difficulty task; chemical change is a Level 2 difficulty task; elemental transmutation (a shift of one in any direction on the table of the elements) is a Level 3 difficulty task. (Mass remains constant for all changes.) Each Level of difficulty above 1 doubles the Endurance cost. Range = touch. While this offers a feedback similar to that which comes with Cell Manipulation, anyone who uses this ability on a living thing will almost certainly kill it. When used as an attack, this ability does 1D6 per 5 points of Will, and costs 5 Endurance per use.
Precognition: This is a very uncertain talent. While it is potentially very useful, it may also lead to great trouble, especially if the players use the information it provides at face value. Precognition shows what will most likely happen, not what will happen. The chance of a successful glimpse of the near future is one percent per point of Perception. The maximum time range is one minute ahead for each point of Will. The Endurance cost is ten points per minute ahead viewed.
Probability Alteration: This allows the Psi to subtly modify the chance that something will happen. It is similar to the Special Talent of Luck, except that it is selective and much more controllable. For each point of Will, there is a 1 percentage point modifier that things will happen the way the user wishes. The range is equal to the Will in meters. The Endurance cost is one per minute per cubic meter of volume affected, for each percentage point alteration. The maximum volume affected has a diameter equal to the user's Will in meters. Range = Will in meters.
Pyrokinesis: The ability to start fires with the mind. This will also raise the temperature of nonflammable objects. For instance, a mass of water equal to the Psi's Will in grams can be heated by 8 degrees C per 5 points of Will, at a cost of 10 Endurance points per 8 degrees. The temperature can be doubled by halving the amount of mass affected, and vice versa. In combat terms, and assuming there is something flammable to use the Power on, this ability can do a maximum of 1D6 points of damage per 5 points of Will, at a cost of 5 Endurance per D6. The range equals twice the user's Will in meters.
Remote Sensing: This involves being able to learn about an environment at a distance. Roll 1D6 for the number of senses simulated, with a 6 indicating something special to be decided by the player and GM. The player then chooses which senses will be used with the ability. The range = 50 X Will in meters, and scans a spherical volume with a radius equal the Character's Will in meters. Cost is 1 endurance point per sense used per Turn (1 minute).
Telekinesis: This allows the Psi to manipulate 1 gram per point of Will. That is, someone with a Will of 10 could just lift ten grams in a 1 g field. The range = 1 meter per point of Will, at a cost of 2 points of Endurance per gram per Combat Phase (ten seconds). As an attack this ability does 1D6 per 5 points of Will, at a cost of 5 Endurance per D6. A simple action, such as pushing or lifting a balanced object, does not require a skill role for manipulation. However, lifting several objects has a 10 percentage point penalty for each object to successfully move them as desired. Additional penalties must be applied for unbalanced objects and complicated maneuvers.
Telepathy: Reading surface thoughts will not alert a non-psi, and costs only 1 point of Endurance per point of Intelligence of the target per minute. Looking for a specific memory costs 5 points of Endurance per point of the target's Intelligence per minute, and will be noticed if the target makes a successful Perception roll. A deep probe costs 10 points of Endurance per point of the target's Intelligence per minute, and will certainly be noticed, unless the target is busy with something very important; then he will notice on a successful Perception roll. For all uses add 1 point of Endurance for each 10 kilometers range for each minute. Range = 10 X Will in kilometers. Psi's have a 20 percentage point bonus to notice the intrusion. The degree of familiarity with the target and how cooperative the subject is both influence how easy contact is.
Teleportation: A very useful and potentially very dangerous talent. Range = Will in meters, with horizontal movement counting as 1 and vertical movement two. That is, someone with a Will of 10 could move ten meters on the level, go up or down five, or any combination that totals to ten. Cost is 20 Endurance points for the initial activation, plus 10 per horizontal meter and 20 per vertical meter teleported. Teleporting inside a solid or liquid will cause the Psi to bounce in a random direction and for a random distance (up to the Psi's maximum), taking 1D6 points of damage per meter moved. This could easily be lethal.
Warning Sense: A limited form of Precognition, this automatically alerts the Psi to imminent danger. Direction is known if the player makes a successful Perception roll. This talent costs nothing to use, is automatic, and range is irrelevant. People who possess both this and regular precognition will sometimes have prophetic visions or dreams, which warn of events perhaps years in the future.
Psionic abilities may be purchased
with experience points, at a cost of 30 points each. Characters who possess
an ability which has a closely related ability (such as Cell Manipulation
and Healing; Attack, Defense and Telepathy; and Precognition, Remote Sensing
and Warning Sense) may purchase the related ability at a cost of 20 points.
These are slightly more powerful and specialized. They are also more likely to affect game balance, and so should only be used where psionics are common enough that countermeasures are available.
Determining whether a Character has any of these abilities, and how many, depends on the campaign. The GM may decide to give anyone rolling standard Psionics a percent chance of having 1D6 Advanced abilities. Or let them roll once on the table below for each five standard psionic abilities gained according to the basic rules.
01-05 Advanced Use
06-10 Animal Control
14-20 Basic Tap
21-25 Empathy II
26-30 Energy Sense
41-45 Life Support I
51-55 Mind Clouding
56-60 Physical Defense
86-90 Telekinetic Blow
91-95 Weather Witching
96-00 Choose One
Advanced Use: This allows the
psi to make use of a standard psionic power in ways or at levels beyond
what is normal. The ability may be applied differently in some way (in
addition to the normal uses) or it may have a longer range, or greater
effect or longer duration. Perhaps a combination of these could be defined.
Just remember that the Endurance cost will increase proportionately with
the improvement. Once the specific improvement is determined, it can be
applied to all appropriate abilities. There is no Endurance cost for using
the ability itself, but applying the Advanced Use bonus requires an extra
action and an additional success roll.
This ability is defined in very general terms to allow the Player and GM to customize it. Just keep in mind the affect on game balance.
Animal Control: A specialized form of Domination, tailored to non-sentient minds. It conditions the subject(s) to obey the user, and those the user designates, over long periods of time, without normally having to apply it for each attempt. As with Domination, it allows the user to "possess" the subject, using its body and senses.
Endurance, range and so forth are the same as for Domination.
Awareness: The person with this Power is in tune with the universe (or at least the local part of it), and is almost never caught off guard (add a 50 percentage point advantage for Surprise rolls, plus 2D10 (rolled once, when creating the Character) to Perception). Those who possess this ability often sense events of cosmic importance from a distance, and will tend to show up without being invited, and often without knowing exactly why.
Basic Tap: This allows psis to
use natural sources of energy to supplement their own Endurance. The psi
may apply (Will - 10) points for each Combat Phase of use. Also, this much
additional Endurance may be recovered each minute in addition to the normal
recovery. This can not be used to raise a Character's Endurance above the
If the ability of Energy Sense is used, this allows specific sources of energy to be tapped. In this case, double the rate of energy channeling, provided the source is sufficiently powerful.
Empathy II: This ability allows
the Character to perceive the emotional state of others. It has a range
of 3 meters per point of Will and costs 1 Endurance per minute of use.
The user can focus on an individual, or simply perceive the consensus,
with exceptions standing out. Additionally, the character can influence
others' emotions. Once a successful "to hit" roll is made, subtract (Psi's
Will + (Skill Level)/2) from the target's Will. If the remainder is between
10 and 6, the target can be gently and subtly guided toward the emotional
state desired by the psi. If the remainder is 5 to 1 the person will be
immediately shifted toward the emotional state desired (use a 50 percentage
point modifier to reaction rolls), though extreme shifts will be noticed
and resisted. For remainders of less than -4 the psi is in complete control
of the subject's emotional state. Endurance cost is 1 point per Turn for
each point of Will used. Note that a powerful psi, or a normal one attacking
a weak mind, may conserve Endurance by using less Will than their maximum.
Range = Will in meters. (Used in conjunction with Telepathy, range is the
same as for that ability.)
There are several cautions for the use of this Power. Not only is there great opportunity for abuse (making someone love you because you lust after them, for instance) but also for harm to the user. For instance, a Character might get so caught up in the emotions of another that they loose all sense of self. This sort of problem is much more likely at low skill levels than for an experienced user.
Energy Sense: This allows the character to detect and analyze various types of energy. Range = ((Perception + Will)/2) X 100 in meters.
Enhanced Perception: Add 4D10 to Perception.
Gestalt: The ability to share consciousness among several disparate bodies. This can vary in degree from simply acting as a method of rapid and easy communication to the creation of a single consciousness. Endurance = (Number of minds involved) X 10 per Turn. The base chance of success = ((User's Will) + (Skill Level X 5) - (Sum of Wills of those involved/Number of times this specific group has performed this activity) + 50)%. This assumes a cooperative group. Uncooperative members are twice as difficult as cooperative, and actively resisting members are five times as difficult to include.
Hunch: The ability to integrate information on a subconscious level, providing a bonus to the Perception and Intelligence rolls. The bonus = (Intelligence + Will)/2 in percentage points.
Life Support I: This is the Power to slow the body's metabolic rate by a factor equal to the player's Skill Level plus one. For instance, a character with two Levels of Skill in Life Support can triple his or her breath holding time.
Locate: Known by many names - skrying, divination, witching - this ability allows the psi to determine the direction and distance of an object, animate or inanimate. Use costs 10 points of Endurance per minute. Chance of success = Perception Roll, for a described or vaguely known object. Knowing the object well adds a 30 percentage point modifier. Having a similar object adds 20 percentage points. Having something associated with the sought object adds 50 percentage points. Each extra minute spent in preparation adds 10 percentage points. For all uses add 1 point of Endurance for each 10 kilometers range for each minute. Range = 10 * Will in kilometers. Accuracy of distance is [(Percentage Points by which the roll was made)/10]%
Mind Clouding: This is the mental ability to confuse the senses of living things. The character subtracts 10 percentage points per Skill Level from the Perception roll of the creature this is being used against. Each target is affected separately and must roll for perception separately. Cost = 5 Endurance per Combat Phase per target. Radius = Will X 20 meters. Focusing on one target multiplies this by a factor of (Will/5).
Psionics: The Character has all the psionic abilities listed in the Special Talent section of the Interworld Basic Rules, and they are fully active.
Physical Defense: A psionic parry which is effective against physical or energy attacks. This variation on telekinesis allows the psi to divert 1 HP of damage per point of Will. That is, someone with a Will of 10 could just counter a 10 HP attack. Base Endurance cost = 5 END per point deflected. Radius of effect = 1 meter per five points of Will. The effect may be projected at a distance, with range = 1 meter per point of Will, at a cost of 2 extra points of Endurance Combat Phase (ten seconds). Success roll is the same as for a physical parry.
Pooling: Often used with Gestalt, this allows the Endurance of a group to be shared. Endurance = (Number of individuals involved) X 10 per Turn. The base chance of success = ((User's Will) + (Skill Level X 5) - (Sum of Wills of those involved/Number of times this specific group has performed this activity) + 50)%. This assumes a cooperative group. Uncooperative members are twice as difficult as cooperative, and actively resisting members are five times as difficult to include.
Shapeshifting I: The ability to change one's form. Initial Endurance cost = 20 + (20 for each 10% away from the Character's normal mass). Maintenance Endurance cost = (10/Turn) + (10/Turn for each 10% away from the Character's normal mass). Depending upon the type of form assumed, multiply both Endurance costs by one of the following values: Same species = X 1; different species = X 2; different family = X 3; different order = X 4; different kingdom = X 5; inanimate object = X 10. The DNA and biochemistry automatically change to something appropriate for the new form. For the last level of this Power (inanimate objects) the change is complete to the atomic level. Changing shape without altering internal organization adds a 20 percentage point penalty to the skill roll (see below) but also reduces the difficulty and Endurance costs to the "same species" category.
Duplicating an existing creature of which the Character has knowledge entails a base success roll. For something known but not well there is a penalty of 10 percentage points. For something known only vaguely the penalty is 20. To change into something only remotely based on something known requires an Intelligence roll to get the form desired (shape, size, color, texture, etc.), plus a success roll on shapeshifting skill with a 20 percentage point penalty. The "design" roll may be modified by skills in art, anatomy or so forth.
Normally, the change is strictly temporary, and requires at least some concentration to maintain. If a Character using this ability falls asleep, a Will roll is required to see if they maintain the altered form. If rendered unconscious through injury or drugs, the Character automatically resumes normal form. However, for three times the initial Endurance cost and a skill roll at a 25 percentage point penalty, the Character may permanently transform into the altered form, requiring a similar act to return to their original form. In this case, the new form is their true one, and Calculated Characteristics should be refigured. There will be no maintenance Endurance costs.
Telekinetic Blow: This ability causes 2D6 per 5 points of Will, at a cost of 5 Endurance per D6.
Transformation I: The same as Shapeshifting I (see) except that it applies only to others. Roll to hit as normal. Range = (Will X 10) in meters.
Weather Witching: The Character
is able to predict the weather on a success roll of (Intelligence + (Skill
Level X 5) - (Time ahead in hours) - (Area in tens of square kilometers)
To change the weather is more difficult. Range = (Will + Fitness)/2 in kilometers. Radius affected = (Will + fitness)/5 in kilometers. Costs 10 Endurance Points per (radius affected squared) per Turn. May only change weather by 10% of original conditions per Turn. A skill roll using the same values as weather prediction (see above) is required to direct the weather towards the condition desired.
abilities may be purchased with experience points, at a cost of 50 points
each. (Note: buying the "Psionics" advanced psionics ability costs 200
points.) Characters who possess an advanced psionic ability which has a
closely related ability (such as Awareness, Empathy II and Locate; Basic
Tap, Energy Sense and Pooling; Gestalt and Pooling; and Physical Defense
and Telekinetic Blow) may purchase the related ability at a cost of 30
points. Characters who possess a basic psionic ability which has a closely
related advanced ability (such as Blending and Mind clouding; Cell Manipulation,
Shapeshifting and Transformation; Empathy and Empathy II; Healing and Transformation;
Precognition and Awareness; Telekinesis and Telekinetic Blow; and Warning
Sense and Awareness) may purchase the related ability for 30 points.
For those who wish to have a game with very potent mental powers, the following rules can be used.
05-08 Death Touch (Anti-Life)
09-13 Deep Awareness
14-18 Desolidification (Astral Form)
19-21 Dimensional Portal
22-26 Energy Control
27-30 Energy Manipulation
31-35 Environment Manipulation
36-40 Flight (Levitation)
49-52 Learning Transplant
53-57 Life Support II
58-62 Mental Blast
63-67 Mental Sensing
68-72 Mental Shield
73-78 Psionics, Advanced
82-86 Super Use
87-91 Telekinetic Force field
00 Choose One
Clairvoyance: This involves being able to learn about an environment at a distance. Each sense simulated (including the first one, to a maximum of five) creates a success penalty of 10 percentage points. The range = 50 X Will in kilometers, and scans a spherical volume with a radius equal to Will in meters. There is no endurance cost. Ordinary barriers do not affect this, but certain psionic abilities, spells and Powers do.
Death Touch (Anti-Life): This is the ability to directly attack the life force of something. It has no effect on non-living things, but will affect anything alive, even a living thing transformed into something inorganic. This Power does 1D6 damage per use for each two points of Will (roll for each attack separately), at a cost of 10 Endurance Points per die of damage. It may be used at lower levels for proportionately less cost. Range = touch.
Deep Awareness: The person with this Power is in tune with the universe, and is almost never caught off guard (add a 100 percentage point advantage for Surprise rolls, plus 2D10 (rolled once, when creating the Character) to Perception). He or she often senses events of cosmic importance from a distance, and will tend to show up without being invited, and often without knowing exactly why.
Desolidification (Astral Projection): The ability to project the consciousness to a distance from the body, and to perceive that distant area as if physically present. This is somewhat more committed than Clairvoyance and Remote Sensing; for instance, mental attacks on the Astral form will injure the psi as if they had been made upon his person. On the other hand, the ability may be coupled with any other psi talent, which can then be used as if the Character were physically present. The Astral form may be noticed by anyone making a Perception roll at -45 percentage points. Those with the ability of Telepathy, the Powers of Awareness, Mental Sensing or Enhanced Senses (if an appropriate sense is enhanced) or the Special Talent of Keen Senses make their rolls without this penalty. Range = Will X 4D10 kilometers (rolled once, during character creation). Sight is standard, with 1D4 of other senses also available. There is also a 10% chance of Telekinesis Type I with this Power.
Dimensional Portal: This Power allows the character to open doorways to other worlds. This can be used to visit alternate universes and strange planes of existence. With practice, it can also be used as a three-stage teleportation, as the character learns how to open a portal to a particular plane, move a short distance there, and return at a location far distant from the starting point. The chance of success is 3% per Skill Level, plus 1 percentage point per point of Intelligence, and 10 percentage points for each time the same trip is made. The Endurance cost is 30 points for opening a gate, plus 10 per Phase (10 seconds) to keep it open.
Energy Control: The character
has the ability to metabolize energy, absorbing it and utilizing it at
will. There are two forms of this Power, with only a 25% chance of the
character having the second, more powerful, version. Type 1 allows the
character to control only one type of energy or force, which must be set
at the beginning. It allows the character to absorb up to 3D10 points per
Combat Phase (rolled each time), storing up to (Skill Level X Fitness)
in total points. This can then be released as per Energy Blast, but only
as the same type of energy. As an example, Flame Master (Skill Level 2,
Fitness 15) has a total of 30 points he can absorb, and can therefore soak
up all 23 points of heat damage from the pool of burning gasoline. He then
uses this to aim a blast of flame at Rampage, who threw the tanker truck
at him in the first place.
Type 2 Energy Control is more flexible. It allows the same amounts of absorption and storage, but the character can absorb several types (2D4) (rolled once, during character creation) of related energies and transmute them from one to another. For instance, Dynamo grabs a power line, absorbs 18 points of electricity, and uses this to fire a magnetic blast at the giant robot. Or, Flame Monarch, Flame Master's big brother, absorbs the heat from the fire and uses it to create a blast of light, which blinds Rampage.
Both types of Energy Control provide immunity to the form(s) of energy the character can absorb. There is a 20% chance characters with this Power also have Energy Sense. The damage done with an attack using either version of this Power = (points absorbed) X (the percentage point gap by which the "to hit" roll was made).
Energy Manipulation: Similar to Energy Control, except that the energy is not taken into the character's body but is manipulated mentally, at a distance. This means that the Power does not grant the same immunity to injury from the energy. There is a 20% chance characters with this Power also have Energy Sense. Otherwise, the Character can only tell roughly where and how much energy is available, within the range of the Power. Range = Will X 50 in meters.
Environment Manipulation: The
character can change any one factor in the immediate surroundings (Radius
= Fitness in meters) by 10% per minute per 10 meters radius, to a limit
equal to the character's Skill Level X 10 in percentage points. More than
one factor may be changed at a time if the Character pays for each factor
The GM should try to determine some sort of absolute standard for the extent of the changes. For instance, percent changes in temperature should be measured on the Kelvin scale. This isn't always easy, or even possible. In many cases the GM and Player will just have to come to a reasonable agreement.
Note that this Power can be used to change any part of the Character's environment. Taken to its extreme, it can even be used to create a pocket universe, where the Character has absolute control over everything. Such an effort would require very special circumstances, however.
Flight (Levitation): A mental ability related to Telekinesis. This allows the character to fly at a maximum speed of (Will X 10) kilometers per hour, for a cost of 5 Endurance Points per Combat Phase for hovering plus 1 Endurance Point per Combat Phase per two kilometers per hour of speed.
Illusion: The ability to create realistic mental projections. The base chance of successfully deceiving someone is [(Character's Intelligence) - (Target's Intelligence) + (Character's Skill Level + Will) - (Target's Will)] X 10%, for a target who is not aware that an illusion has been cast. Unresisting targets increase the chance by 50 percentage points. The chance of success decreases by 10 percentage points per sense simulated; the cost is 2 Endurance Points per sense simulated per Combat Phase per person affected. Each person to be affected must be targeted separately.
Knowledge: This grants the user
with an innate understanding of how some part of the universe works. This
is normally equal to 4D10 points of skill levels in up to (Intelligence
- 10) different skills. However, this is one Power which the GM should
be extra flexible with. Negotiate, and be willing to listen to the Player's
For people who wish to have the knowledge of a fictional character, the detail of that knowledge depends upon how well the character has been thought out, and how well such knowledge is known by the general public. For instance, someone wishing to have the knowledge of Sherlock Holmes would draw upon the vast storehouse of Holmes lore built up in Humanity's group unconscious, taking the consensus as the truth. It should be ruled by the GM that when the Character has this sort of implant, that they should get all of the character's knowledge, including the personality. This means that, for a while at least, the Character will have trouble sorting out just who he or she is!
This can lead to a number of awkward and potentially distressing situations. For instance, a heterosexual female who is a fan of detective stories and wants the complete knowledge of Lord Peter Wimsey may find herself admiring other women from his viewpoint! However, this penalty is necessary to offset the large advantage that having Lord Peter's knowledge grants.
Learning Transplant: The ability
to copy knowledge from one mind to another. First, the psi must use Telepathy
to find the knowledge wanted. The copy process is then nearly instantaneous,
but requires a skill roll to accomplish successfully.
The difficulty varies with the difference between what is being copied and the user's own knowledge. For instance, each level of a skill being copied which is higher than what the psi already possesses causes a 5 percentage point penalty. Note that the transplant will fade in a few (1D6 X Int) hours, unless the recipient constantly uses the knowledge to keep it fresh, or meditates to reinforce the implant. (With meditation the time is multiplied by (Will X 1D6).)
Endurance cost is 10 points.
Life Support II:
Mental Blast: This Power allows the character to directly attack the mind of an opponent. This works much like the Power Energy Blast, except that it is only effective on creatures with minds and is not generally affected by barriers, even force fields. Damage = 1D6 points per Skill Level (rolled for each attack). This Power has a range of 5 X Will in meters, and costs 5 Endurance per die of damage.
Mental Sensing: Similar to Clairvoyance, except that the character is able to gather general impressions rather than specific sensations. With Clairvoyance, the character would "see" that the object is a black box, while Mental Sensing would give the impression of something dark, metallic and square, with a sinister air about it. Though less precise, Mental Sensing often gives more complete information. The Endurance cost, Range and so forth are the same as for Clairvoyance.
Mental Shield: This Power reduces the chance of successful Telepathy by 50 percentage points. It reduces the effects of Mental Blast by (Will + Skill Level) Damage Points, at a cost of 1 Endurance Point per point of attack deflected.
Psionics, Advanced: The Character has all the advanced psionic abilities.
Revivification: The ability to
raise the recently dead. This has the same limitations as standard medical
revival practices. In normal circumstances, if the person is dead for more
than five minutes, they will be brain damaged. In this case, there will
be some permanent memory loss, even if the Character is healed fully later.
The cost is 50 Endurance points; the chance of success is [(10 X Will)
+ (10 X Skill Level) - (10 X each minute since death)]%. Range = touch.
The revived Character is restored to 1 HP and 1 Endurance.
Note that Revivification combined with other abilities could be used to create zombies.
Super Use: This allows the psi
to make use of a standard or advanced psionic power in ways or at levels
beyond what is normal. The ability may be applied differently in some way
(in addition to the normal uses) or it may have a longer range, or greater
effect or longer duration. Perhaps a combination of these could be defined.
Just remember that the Endurance cost will increase proportionately with
the improvement. Once the specific improvement is determined, it can be
applied to all appropriate abilities. There is no additional Endurance
cost, but applying the Advanced Use bonus requires an extra action and
a success roll.
This ability is defines in very general terms to allow the Player and GM to customize an ability. Just keep in mind the affect on game balance.
Telekinetic Force field: Whereas Mental Shield is a parry effect, requiring an active defense, this is a passive defense. The Character establishes it and lets it work.
Transmutation: The ability to
change one element to another. The cost is 10 Endurance points per gram
per step on the periodic table moved, and the Character may affect 10 grams
per point of Will. Range = Will/10 in meters. The time required is one
Phase per gram. Each increase in Level of difficulty doubles the Endurance
cost. While this offers a feedback similar to that which comes with Cell
Manipulation, anyone who uses this ability on a living thing will almost
certainly kill it. When used as an attack, this ability does 1D6 (rolled
each time) per 5 points of Will, and costs 5 endurance per die. It is suggested
that the Game master declare that the life force prevents transmuting the
atoms in living creatures. Damage from this Power in combat may still be
done, by such tactics as transmuting air to poison gas, and will be equal
to Will/5 in D10 (rolled each time) at a cost of 10 Endurance points per
die of damage.
While there is nothing immoral about using this ability to make gold or diamonds for the money they can bring, keep in mind that such actions may attract the attention of people whom the Character would just as soon avoid.
Super psionic abilities may be purchased with experience points, at a cost of 60 points each. (Note: buying the "Advanced Psionics" super psionics ability costs 300 points.) Characters who possess a super psionic ability which has a closely related super ability (such as Clairvoyance and Mental Sensing; Energy Control and Energy Manipulation; and Knowledge and Learning Transplant) may purchase the related ability at a cost of 40 points. Characters who possess a super psionic ability which has a closely related advanced ability (such as Awareness and Deep Awareness; Basic Tap and Full Tap; Energy Sense and Energy Control or Manipulation; and Physical Defense and Telekinetic Force field) may purchase the related ability at a cost of 40 points. Characters who possess a basic psionic ability which has a closely related advanced ability (such as) may purchase the related ability for 50 points.
This material is Copyrighted 2001 Rodford Edmiston Smith, who can be reached at: Stickmaker@usa.net.