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TFT Psionics - Telepathy, Part 1

Psionics in TFT: Telepathic Science

© 2017 by Richard Smith


Telepathy is the ability to communicate with and control others. Note, that long distance telepathy is not a base ability, but it can be gained by combining Telepathy with planesman abilities. (By using Planesman to take short cuts thru other planes.)

Before you can use any of the disciplines below, you must put at least 1 mIQ into Telepathy. The amount of mIQ spent on Telepathy is its 'power'.

Each of the disciplines below cost 300 experience points to buy. That gives you an 7 skill for that discipline. The skill can be raised by 1 point by spending a further 100 experience points. (Note that points spend on gaining skill in these disciplines do NOT raise you attribute total.)

Note that any failure by 5 or more, or any roll of 16+ is a critical failure.

The descriptions below discuss being in 'contact' the subject's mind (you are able to reach them with your transfer mode), or you have 'linked' to them. See the Establish Telepathic Link discipline below for more information on creating a mental link to someone. If you are physically touching someone AND they are willing to help you, you may establish a link without the Establish Telepathic Link discipline. With this sort of link, neither character can take any other action other than the telepathic ability using the link.

Note, that these disciplines can only be used in three cases:

--- it may be used on non-psion whom you are in contact, – OR –

--- psions who have nothing left in their psychic pool (since an empty pool means that they have no psionic defenses) & whom you are in contact, – OR –

--- or a psion who lowers their defenses and allows you to contact them with these abilities. You must be in contact with them.

The disciplines are divided into basic and advanced. The PC will gain the chance at three basic and two advanced disciplines, which are chosen randomly. After they have taken one of these disciplines, a new one (either basic or advanced) replaces the one taken. If all of the basic run out, they are replaced with advanced techniques until all of the disciplines are known.

Basic Disciplines:

1: Borrow Skill, 2: Empathy, 3: Establish Telepathic Link, 4: Project Anger, 5: Project Fear, 6: Project Lust, 7: Receive Thought, 8: Send Thought.

Advanced Disciplines:

1: Adjust Aura, 2: Confusion, 3: Control Body, 4: Dazing Blow, 5: Dominate Reaction, 6: Emotional Manipulation (coreq Empathy), 7: Erase Memory (coreq. Send Thought), 8: Hide Thoughts (coreq. Receive Thought), 9: Psychic Healing, 10: Psychic Stealth,


Adjust Aura:

This allows you to temporarily make the subject (who may be yourself) give off a subtle aura that others will sub-consciously sense. This aura may be of: Good, Evil, Powerful, Weak, Forgettable, Friendly, Sexy, Un-sexy, Intelligent, Wise, Fun, Holy, or any other aspect the GM allows.

NPC's will be slightly influenced to respond to this aura as if the subject is actually like this. This ability is largely GM driven so there are few rules for it.

To use this ability, the psion must make a 3vs This Skill. The effect lasts for X hours where X is the power of the psion's Telepathy.

Borrow Skill:

First you must link to another mind. Then you must make a 4vsIQ. If you succeed, you are able to use a talent that mind knows as if it is your own. You must maintain the link for as long as you use their talent.

Any rolls that use the borrowed skill, which are made while you are borrowing the talent are at a –2 adjustment.

If you are studying that skill, and you Borrow the skill from someone who knows it at least once a day, you will learn the talent 20 times faster than normal.

This discipline does not allow you to borrow other psionic disciplines or spells.


You must make a 3vs This Skill to trigger confusion. You call up a swarm of memories, images and thoughts from the subject's past. They must attempt an X+1vsIQ where X is your power. (So if you had spent 2 mIQ on your Telepathy Science, then they would have to roll a 3vsIQ to avoid being confused.) If the victim has the talent Trained Will, their IQ is treated as being 3 higher than normal for the saving throw above.

If they fail, all rolls requiring DX or IQ are at a –3 penalty for 30 seconds. If they succeed they are unaffected for 30 seconds, and then you attempt to confuse them again.

On a critical failure, you may not attempt to confuse them again for 48 hours, and they have a sense of who is doing this to them.

Control Body:

To use this discipline, you must establish and maintain a Link while you are attempting to gain control and for as long as you control the victim.

This allows you to take over the victim and move his or her body like your own. It requires a skill roll to gain control. The victim can make Battle of Will contests to then break your control and regain control over his or her body.

To take control of the victim's body, you must make a 5vs This Skill to insinuate yourself in the victim's mind. This takes one turn. However, every extra 2 turns spent preparing, gives you a +1 IQ. If victim has the talent Trained Will, you get a –3 adjustment.

(Example: Your skill in 'Control Body' is 16, and Victim has an IQ of 12 with Trained Will. You effectively have a 13 skill, so you decide you want a +6 bonus. This takes one turn + (6 * two turns) = 13 turns. After 13 turns preparing, your skill is now 19. You roll, an 18 on 5 dice, and succeed.)

If you succeed you can move the opponent's body as if it were your own. Any ST or DX rolls made by that body are at a –3 modifier as you don't know it well. The victim can sense what is going on around him or her, thru the bodies' senses.

On the first turn of control, (before you can do anything with the body), at the start of the turn, the victim may attempt a contest to break your control. The victim can start an X:X+2vsIQ Battle of Wills. However, each level of power adds one to your roll. The talent Trained Will gives the Victim +3 IQ for this roll, and the talent Psychic Combat helps which ever side knows it by +2 IQ per memory spent on the talent.

The four results from this Battle of Wills are:

--- Victim makes roll and you blow it. Your control is shattered and the link is broken.

--- Victim makes roll and you make it. You maintain control, but for this turn you are frozen and can't move body, speak or take any action. Victim can attempt this roll again in (your power in minutes).

--- Victim Blows roll and you make it. You maintain control.

--- Victim Blows roll and you make it. You maintain control.

Example: Your IQ is 17 and you have 2 mIQ spent on Psychic combat and you have 3 power in Telepathy. The victim's IQ is 12 and he has Trained Will. He attempts a 4vsIQ to break your control over his body. He gains +3 IQ (for Trained Will), so his modified IQ is 15 and he rolls a 15 exactly, succeeding.

Your IQ is 17, +2 for Pyschic Combat talent, and you have spent 3 mIQ on Telepathy so your power gives you an additional +3. Your modified IQ for this roll is 17 + 2 + 3 = 22. You roll two dice more than him (it is an X:X+2 roll after all), so you are rolling 6 dice. Unfortunately you roll a 24.

The victim wins the Battle of Wills to break free. He gains control of the body. If you wish to control him again, you must start by reestablishing a Telepathic Link between you and then make the skill roll to regain control.

Dazing Blow:

You must make a 3vs this skill to trigger Dazing Blow. You send a surge of energy into the victim's mind trying to stun them or knock them out. They must attempt a 3vsIQ to avoid the psychic damage. If you spend 2 fST on this attack, they must make a 4vsIQ.

If they fail they lose IQ equal to your power for a minute. If they go below 5 IQ, they fall unconscious. This IQ loss will not affect language, or talents, but it does limit which spells can be cast, and affects all IQ saving throws.

Some creatures have psychic armor, which reduces the damage done by this attack. If the victim has the talent Trained Will, it will act as 3 points of psychic armor vs. this attack.

If they succeed in this saving throw, they are unaffected by your attack and you may not attack them with this discipline for one minute.

On a critical failure, you may not attempt to daze them again for 48 hours, and they have a sense of who is doing this to them.