|Hi everyone, David.
It is always a treat when I post rules, that someone takes the time
to look them over and give feedback. A few days ago David was
that kind, and has prompted a revision of the psionic rules.
The infernate attack was planned early on, which makes having
a high PSI attribute vital. However, other than the infernate attack,
I had not noticed that PSI was not that important. I am revising this
section of the rules to make the RANGE of psionic attacks based
on the PSI attribute. Since my psionics have very short range,
this gives people a strong incentive to bump it up. In particular,
the Probe transfer mode (the work horse of low to mid level psions),
becomes much more useful as the characters PSI increases.
I've also slightly adjusted the rules for infernate attacks, (you now
have to lose more attacks before you risk the shakes).
PSIONIC TALENTS AND THE RANGE OF PSIONIC ATTACKS:
The psionic talents and your PSI attribute determine the range and convenience of psionic attacks. The low IQ talents give limited and difficult ways to attack others, as you gain more powerful talents, it becomes much more easy to affect others and you may do so at greater ranges.
Talents and Psychic Pool Size:
Note that each level of psionic talent gives the user 5 points to their Psychic Pool. So someone with Psionics 4, would have 4*5 = 20 extra points in their pool.
To use psionics, you must use a “transfer mode” to reach other minds. This requires great concentration, and requires a special effort. You can not do this all the time. There is one transfer mode for each psionic talent as described below.
IQ 12 Psionics 1 (1). This talent gives the Trance transfer mode.
IQ 16 Psionics 2 (2) coreq Psionics 1. This talent gives the Probe transfer mode.
IQ 20 Psionics 3 (2) coreq Psionics 2. This talent gives the Touch transfer mode.
IQ 24 Psionics 4 (2) coreq Psionics 3. This talent gives the Evil Eye transfer mode.
IQ 28 Psionics 5 (3) coreq Psionics 4. This talent gives the Mind Bridge transfer mode.
The Trance transfer mode required the psionic user (you) to go into a trance in order to use your psionic powers. It takes 3 turns to enter or leave a trance. While in a trance the you close your eyes, and loses track of your body, while your consciousness searches a dark mental space for others near by. You can sense figures within PSI/2 (round down, minimum 2) hexes of your body and attack them.
You are trained to kneel, while in a trance so you are not knocked over. (Of course, laying on a bed would be ideal.) Figures kneeling are easy to hit with melee weapons, attacks on their still, unresisting forms are at +6 DX. Missile attacks on their still forms are at +2 DX.
The Probe transfer mode also required the psion (you) to go into a trance in order to use your psionic powers, but you do not have to go so deeply into a trance. This is called a 'light trance'. It takes 1 turn to enter or leave a light trance. Like a trance, your body must lay down or kneel, it is not animated, it does not sense the world thru non-psionic senses, nor can it defend itself.
You may then spend one turn to send out a 'probe' up to X hexes away from your body (counting your own hex as range zero). X is equal to your PSI attribute. (e.g. If your PSI is 9, then the probe can be moved to any point within 9 hexes of your body.)
You do not need to see where the probe is being sent, you may simply say 'it will go north 5 meters and down 2 meters' and it will travel to that point ignoring intervening matter. A probe can freely cross magical defences such a wards or pentagrams. If you wish to move a probe to a new location, this may be done, but it requires one turn to do so.
From the end of the probe, you can sense all minds within PSI/2 (round down, minimum 2) hexes. Thus effectively the probe allows you to move your consciousness some distance from your body and attack figures close to that end point exactly like the Trance transfer mode.
The Touch transfer mode allows psionic attacks for people that you are touching, WITHOUT going into a trance. Thus you retain full consciousness. This can not be a momentary touch. An example touch would be shaking a hand, kissing someone, or gripping a leg, all of which must last 3 or more seconds. Skin to skin contact is required.
You may not move more than one hex when using this transfer mode.
Touch Transfer Mode: The Infernate Attack: Cost 5.
In addition to the normal psionic attacks, you can do a special attack when you have the Touch transfer mode. While touching your opponent who is a psion, you can attempt to psionically burn out his brain is a horrible form of mental wrestling called the Infernate. This is extraordinarily painful for both figures. Both figures must be psion, to set up the feedback loop. The attacker must spend 5 pyschic points from his or her pool to initiate the fight. Points spent on a defence mode are refunded.
While involved in this fight, both figures are prevented from taking any other action.
This attack is basically a Battle of Wills, but using the PSI attribute rather than the IQ attribute, and each round of combat takes 15 seconds. (Once initiated, the full 15 seconds must be spent as both figures are cut off from every sensory input other than total pain.) No skills help on this attack.
The attacker makes a X:XvsPSI roll. If it is a tie (both figures succeed or both fail), then after 15 seconds, the attacker can break off the Infernate attack. No one is permanently hurt, (tho both will be shaking for many minutes afterwards. To continue the fight, the 5 point cost must be spent again.
However if one figure blows his roll and the other succeeds, then there is a winner and loser. The winner survives but loses 3 points from his psychic pool, regaining one point per week. The loser is knocked into a coma which will last 3d+6 hours, loses 8 points from his psychic pool (regaining one point per week), can not use psionics for 3 weeks, and rolls twice on the major brain damage table.
If a figure dies while in an Infernate fight, finish the 15 second fight. The dying figure is half in the other's brain so the living figure can still take serious damage even as the other passes away.
People who have lost a couple score or more infernate fights, often develop 'the shakes' where they constantly tremble and shake from the cumulative brain damage while they are in constant pain. This reduces their MA by 0 to 1 and their DX by 1 to 6 depending on how bad the damage is. (Maximum DX is reduced by a similar amount.)
The Evil Eye transfer mode allows psionic attacks for people you can see, and who are within PSI / 3 (round down, minimum 2) megahexes of you. You do not need to go into a trance. You can move up to 1 hex and make psionic attacks with this transfer mode. People with the Evil Eye transfer mode are much feared.
Opponents you are trying to attack have +10 IQ on any IQ saving throws generated by your attack, if they can not see you back, for this transfer mode, attacking from stealth is less effective than if they can see their master's gaze upon them. The gaze is dominating and frightening, it can't be mistaken for anything else.
Even if no psionic attack is made, the Evil Eye can be effective in intimidating and dominating others. People affected by the Evil Eye feel helpless and fear those who command this ability.
The Mind Bridge transfer mode is the ultimate transfer mode. You need not go into a trance. You may move up to half you MA and still make psionic attacks. If you concentrate, you can sense all minds within PSI / 2 (round down, minimum 2) megahexes of you regardless of physical barriers. (This concentration does not require an action, but you must tell the GM that you are doing so.) You may psionically attack any figure within your range, regardless of line of sight.
Additionally you may initiate Infernate attacks with opponents within your range. (See above.)
Optional Rule: Lower IQ For Psionic Talents.
I have deliberately made it very hard to get the higher psionic talents (the top one requiring an IQ of 28). If you wish to make powerful long range psionics easier to gain, consider making the talents Psionics 1 thru 5, require these IQ's respectively: IQ 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22.
OTHER TALENTS WHICH AFFECT PSIONICS:
There are two other talents that people may take which effect psionics. These talents (Trained Will and Psychic Combat) are listed below.
IQ 11 TRAINED WILL (1) You are trained in the ways that people intimidate, fast talk, befuddle, seduce, use oration, or any of the many ways that people try to manipulate others. Any time someone tries to manipulate you into doing something that you wouldn't normally do, you get +3 IQ to resist this pressure. You also get +1 IQ to resist possession, panic, psionic & battle of will rolls.
Three years after you have learned this talent, you have more confidence in your decisions (or are at least more practiced at being stubborn) and you get +3 IQ to resist possession, panic, psionic & battle of will rolls.
Several results on the “Psychic Blast on Non-Defending Victim” table require saving throws against the victim's IQ or will require a battle of wills. Trained Will will give a +1 bonus (or +3) to IQ for use with these events.
IQ 15 PSYCHIC COMBAT [1+] In battle of wills, psychic combats, or possession rolls you get +2 IQ for each point spent on this talent. Humans (& most races) have a limit of 5 levels on this talent. Hobbits and Elves may only take 2 levels of this talent. Orks and other races who's societies are based on dominance and submission, may take 10 levels of this talent. Demons and other races where Psionics is common may take any number of levels of this talent.
Example: if you have spent 3 memory points on this, you get +6 when making these rolls.
This is the standard defence for people against mental domination. “Possession rolls” include the Control Person spell and its variants. Note, that most psionic attacks come under the heading of psychic combat.
Note that several results on the “Psychic Blast on Non-Defending Victim” table, and two results in the “Psionic Combat” table generate battle of wills.
These talents can be taken by non-psions and give no psionic powers.