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  • The 4 pillars of Psionics

    Hi everybody, I am writing this post because I would like to get your feedback on a new power system that I am working on. This system is essentially built around the idea of psychic powers as they would fit into a “four pillars” system, like what is presented in dark ages mage.

    For many of my games in which psychic phenomenon was a player controlled capability, I used a modified version of the powers and paths that are found in Sorcerer, revised edition, as well as a few other powers of my own design.

    This usually worked well, and I had a list of about 20 different psychic powers that I would generally allow players to have and maybe 10 more that were pretty mystical or on the edge of being out right supernatural. I also used this system for a Star Wars game using oWOD rules.

    Now, I decided to do something new and different that would consolidate most of the 20 or so powers into 4 powers that would have a single foundation, “Psi”

    The 4 powers are called: Astralism, Psychokinesis, Mentalism and Clairvoyance.

    Note that these do not try to replicate or replace the spheres nor are they a low powered psi power set like what is in Sorcerer: Revised.

    These powers are pretty incredible by comparison and work using a success splitting system, much like magic in Mage Revised. The dice pool, however, is basically Foundation + Pillar, like in Dark Ages. Players typically can spend willpower for auto successes and “psi energy” in place of quintessence, difficulty is usually 4 + highest power is use and powers can be combined for mixed results.

    Note that this list is a draft!

    Psychokinesis: This power allows the psychic to manipulate the major energies found within the human body, kinetic, electrical, thermal and chemical.

    1) basic body control and the telecasting of your own motion and energy for low range telekinesis.
    2) Heal self, telekinesis now doing 2 points of damage (must be rolled as normal bashing) per success on an effect ie. 2 successes gives you a 4 damage dice roll. The projection of heat (often in the form of fire, for pyrokinetic effect) and electrical energy, note that these energies stem from your person at this level and can be projected outwards but do not appear at range. Damage is the same for all kinetic effects (electrical is lethal and fire is agg).
    3) Ranged creation of energy and increased damage (3 dice per success spent on damage). Heal or harm other (humans only at this stage, 2 lethal damage per success. 2 bashing, 1 lethal, 1/2 aggravated healed per success for all healing effects). Minor cosmetic shape shifting as per life 2 now available. Increase of physical attributes and appearance now possible, one success = 1 dot, duration must be spent for as well.
    4) major shape shifting within normal human parameters. Healing and harming other mammals as per level 3. Damage increased to 4 dice per success spent on damage for kinetic effects ie. 4 successes spent on a level 4 power would garner 16 dice on a damage/strength roll.
    5) shapeshifting beyond normal human parameters (limits to be determined). Linear damage increase for kinetic effects as per above. Manipulation of all flora and fauna now possible at least on a basic level.

    Mentalism: This power does a lot of what the mind sphere does, but not all those things.

    1) sense presence of other minds nearby. Sense emotions. Basic mind shield. Basic mind empowerment.
    2) read surface thoughts. Sense basic mental impressions. Create psychic impressions on places or objects. Basic telepathy at one word sent per success.
    3) full telepathy with one target per success (must spend for duration and clarity of projections as well). Scan of recent memories. Basic mind control “these are not the droids you’re looking for” is possible, “shoot yourself in the foot” is not. Experience another’s senses. Direct attack on psyche (can be lethal). Basic memory alteration “blurred memories” like being very drunk with possible some suggestion as to what happened (much like dominate 3, the vampire discipline). Minor invisibility ie. people won’t notice you in a crowd and with enough successes you may even evade someone who is looking for you while you’re standing in front of them but it’s unlikely. Lucid dreaming and dream invasion and some manipulation of others dreams is possible. Minor mental illusions (picture small alterations to the way something looks, brief but drastic changes like a wall appearing out of nowhere for a single turn, the eppearance of small objects that aren’t really there).
    4) Deep memory scan. Major mind control “shoot yourself in the foot” is now possible and “kill someone who you strongly dislike” is too. Significant memory alteration/rewriting. Conditioning as per the dominate level 4 vampire discipline. Major mental illusions (walking into an empty room only to find yourself on the edge of a cliff or in the deep savannah).
    5) total access to all memory. Complete alteration of all memory and person’s psyche and personality. Possession of another’s body.

    Many of the low level powers can be made to effect large groups of people at a time with higher levels.

    Clairvoyance: powers that allow extra sensory perceptions pertaining to time and space and ultimately the alteration of time and space.

    1) Spatial awareness or intuitive knowledge of local surroundings. Time sense. Sensing of any anomalies in space and time. Sense probability/random chance.
    2) remote viewing. Trans-temporal cognition: seeing into past and future. Object read/psychometry. Prevent remote viewing and trans-temporal cognition on self. project power use to another location (no power higher than level of clairvoyance in use, so at this stage level 1 & 2 powers only).
    3) Projection of power use into the future (so the effect of using the power occurs later), limits as per previous entry. Teleport small object to or from self. Quick step (essentially allowing a short range teleport to a place that is in view).
    4) teleport self and/or objects. Time flow manipulation (slowing or speeding up time as per time 3). Rewind self (go back in time to a previous point in which you still possess your memories of the future, typically one turn per success). Step out of time/space (causes you to cease to exist in this dimension for a brief time in which you can not think or act until a later date or specified event, limited by duration).
    5) co-locate self. Teleport others/group (limited to one other person at a time or a small group that you take with you). Alterations to time and space on a fundamental level (limited in scope), exact effect to be determined. Possible travel to alternate dimensions. Creation of a small pocket dimension that only you can inhabit.

    Note that this power scheme was used in a sci fi game in which wormhole technology existed. In that setting, this power could be used to detect and influence many such alterations in space-time.

    Astralsim: This power covers many aspects of prime, mind and spirit in the given setting it is intended. In that setting the astral plane is real and entities of a non physical nature do exist and can be interacted with using this power.

    1) sense entity. Sense aura. Sense psi energy and psi power in use. Consecration (as per prime 1 effect). Detect possession by entity. absorb psi energy (node like ‘nexus points’ of psi energy exist in the intended setting.
    2) create “psi focus” (essentially the equivalent of a device that helps you to use a single effect that you already know), note that these can be used to psychically find or link to you. Communicate with entities (telepathically). Ward off entity (on self or location you are in presently). Shield against psi power used against you.
    3) Harm/heal entity. Create body of light (as per prime 2). Astral projection (as per mind 4). Astral attack (creates a bolt of pure psychic energy with powerful destructive results, at least on humans and sentient beings). Share psi energy and will power. Create psychic gestalt (group cooperation in psi power use). Create “psi tool” (a more advanced version of the psi focus that can also allow other psychics to use a power they do not currently have). Awaken inanimate (as per spirit 3). Cloaking (can not be detected with other psi powers). Psi shield on one other (as well as self with enough successes). Compel entity (basic control in a opposed die roll).
    4) advanced psi tool (can allow normal non psychics to use a psi power). Bind entity. Transform body into psychic energy field (previous astral projection allowed out of body experience, this allows transformation into non physical entity that can reform at later date and in other location).
    5) Permanent transformation into entity (see previous ability). Create entity. Create psychic nexus point.

    Many low level powers can be imparted onto others at higher levels. Also some powers become more powerful at higher levels and may not be listed here to due to not being fleshed out.

    Give me your thoughts on the draft!

  • #2
    A few mixed power combos

    Astralism = A
    Clairvoyance = C
    Psychokinesis = P
    Mentalism = M

    Probability manipulation as per Entropy 2 (C2 & P2)

    Undertanding how a technological device works (M2 & C2)

    Working a device at range that you know how to operate using accessible controls (P2)

    Using a device with no available controls or one which you can not see (C2 & P2)

    Mentalling linking with a technology for large scale control (C2, M2 & P2)

    Mentally projecting into a machine/computer or virtual a reality (A2, C2 & M2)

    Invisibility (Basic, so light goes through you P3 & C3) Advanced so that other psychics can not perceive you as well and so no one will notice you regardless of what sensors say (ALL POWERS AT 3).

    Levitate and long range jump (P2)

    Flight (P3)

    Force field (P3)

    Electrical/anti electronics field (P3)

    Matter manipulation (P3-5 & C3-5)

    Many Entropy effects are replicated with a combination of psychokinesis and clairvoyance ie. machine breakdown, organic break down, etc.

    Comment


    • #3
      Bump

      Please help! I need feedback and advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh, goodness...

        I stopped in for just a few minutes (not at the right computer, on the go) and am always on the look out for any DA:M-related foundation/pillar questions as I used to write/post quite a bit relative to that over the past two decades. I noted your inquiry.

        *No*. Just no.

        While the general concept/idea of what you suggest is perfectly fine (I have a couple variants of a similar theme for some players in an old notebook), the list as you provided is *very* overpowered in many instances, and thematically off-point (*especially* with aspects of Clairvoyance, though Astralism and Psychokinesis are both off base in some regards too). A number of abilities that you include in a single, given Pillar should, in fact, be the result of conjunctional effects between two or more Pillars (particularly translocative effects, or anything that directly violates space/time in a physical sense beyond the character's immediate person).

        That's likely why nobody else has commented as of yet. (That, and that the DA:M system/mechanic is one of those things that, historically speaking relative to this forum across its several incarnations, is a "you either love or hate it" thing for a number of people.)

        When I get home, I'll search for one of my old notebooks and see what I can transcribe for you to give you some help/guidelines. In short, though, the only one you've got basically "right", in terms of relative balance-to-concept, is Mentalism (which is essentially just Mind with thematic redressing). (I have a character I had run for many years -- as well as based for a few other people's characters -- whose foundation of Metaconsciousness has a Pillar system that is similar to what you are conceptualizing, if different in a few spots/concepts, as essentially True Magic(k) guising itself as a mix-form of seemingly static/hedge magic: Biometabolics, Clairsentience, Ephemera, Mentalism, Psychokinetics and Transcendentals. Different characters had different emphases in terms of magic -- for my character Andreas, it was Biometabolics, Clairsentience, Ephemera and Psychokinetics. I should be able to find his work up and the list-mechanics should be in the same book/folder... *should*...)

        I'll try to get back to you overnight, if possible.





        I have been around here for waaaayyyy too fucking long...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Just John, Forever... View Post
          Oh, goodness...

          I stopped in for just a few minutes (not at the right computer, on the go) and am always on the look out for any DA:M-related foundation/pillar questions as I used to write/post quite a bit relative to that over the past two decades. I noted your inquiry.

          *No*. Just no.

          While the general concept/idea of what you suggest is perfectly fine (I have a couple variants of a similar theme for some players in an old notebook), the list as you provided is *very* overpowered in many instances, and thematically off-point (*especially* with aspects of Clairvoyance, though Astralism and Psychokinesis are both off base in some regards too). A number of abilities that you include in a single, given Pillar should, in fact, be the result of conjunctional effects between two or more Pillars (particularly translocative effects, or anything that directly violates space/time in a physical sense beyond the character's immediate person).

          That's likely why nobody else has commented as of yet. (That, and that the DA:M system/mechanic is one of those things that, historically speaking relative to this forum across its several incarnations, is a "you either love or hate it" thing for a number of people.)

          When I get home, I'll search for one of my old notebooks and see what I can transcribe for you to give you some help/guidelines. In short, though, the only one you've got basically "right", in terms of relative balance-to-concept, is Mentalism (which is essentially just Mind with thematic redressing). (I have a character I had run for many years -- as well as based for a few other people's characters -- whose foundation of Metaconsciousness has a Pillar system that is similar to what you are conceptualizing, if different in a few spots/concepts, as essentially True Magic(k) guising itself as a mix-form of seemingly static/hedge magic: Biometabolics, Clairsentience, Ephemera, Mentalism, Psychokinetics and Transcendentals. Different characters had different emphases in terms of magic -- for my character Andreas, it was Biometabolics, Clairsentience, Ephemera and Psychokinetics. I should be able to find his work up and the list-mechanics should be in the same book/folder... *should*...)

          I'll try to get back to you overnight, if possible.


          Thanks John, I appreciate your feedback. I had a feeling you’d weigh in on this eventually because I know of your love of dark ages Mage.

          I just want to add that this system is not in any way intended for use in a mage game and that the psi powers of the setting that these powers are intended for are supposed to be quite powerful.

          I’m not trying to make something that is for use in a Mage or world of darkness game, this system was actually used for a sci fi game I ran.

          Please do give me your feedback, I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Zennis View Post

            Thanks John, I appreciate your feedback. I had a feeling you’d weigh in on this eventually because I know of your love of dark ages Mage.

            I just want to add that this system is not in any way intended for use in a mage game and that the psi powers of the setting that these powers are intended for are supposed to be quite powerful.

            I’m not trying to make something that is for use in a Mage or world of darkness game, this system was actually used for a sci fi game I ran.

            Please do give me your feedback, I look forward to hearing your suggestions.
            Good news: I believe the old notebooks still exist and are mostly intact.

            Bad news: they're almost certainly in storage as they're not among my books on the shelf, so I'll have to wait until I get around there to get them out (I need to get some gaming stuff from there, anyway, for a game in a couple weeks so it's not like I'd be going out of my way in that regard).

            I'll bookmark this and get back to you after I dig them out...


            I have been around here for waaaayyyy too fucking long...

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry late in responding -- been busy, and the site was down the other day(s) when I went to log on.

              *****

              Found a few of my older books, but not the one with Andreas'/Caray's similar pillars. But I'm going through more old gaming notes tomorrow for another game, so it's bound to show up. (Plus, no plans tomorrow, so I can sit on my ass and type up/transcribe old notes for gaming... because gamer-geek... lol)


              I have been around here for waaaayyyy too fucking long...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Just John, Forever... View Post
                Sorry late in responding -- been busy, and the site was down the other day(s) when I went to log on.

                *****

                Found a few of my older books, but not the one with Andreas'/Caray's similar pillars. But I'm going through more old gaming notes tomorrow for another game, so it's bound to show up. (Plus, no plans tomorrow, so I can sit on my ass and type up/transcribe old notes for gaming... because gamer-geek... lol)
                Thank you John, you have earned a place of true gratitude in my heart.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd suggest that other groups of Psions might have other pillars like Probability Control (Entropy), Teleportation (Correspondence), or Ectoplasmic Control (certain Aspects of Spirit). Not every psion would have the same pillars. Note: you'll need foundations. Might I suggest Focus, Consciousness Expansion, and Enlightenment.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, a Foundation is needed here in addition to the four Pillars.
                    I think that a good name for the Foundation of Psionics would be some paraphrasing of ' Mind over Matter ' .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I feel lame because I just decided to call the foundation psi

                      It was simple and easy and I did write a write up for it which I probably should’ve included in this post but foolishly didn’t!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zennis View Post
                        I feel lame because I just decided to call the foundation psi

                        It was simple and easy and I did write a write up for it which I probably should’ve included in this post but foolishly didn’t!
                        Don't feel lame. Celebrate the opportunity to be creative. Also, let me suggest more than one foundation. Each foundation is a basic way to see the whole truth and purpose of their Art. Have different factions for different foundations.

                        Enlightenment could be a foundation for those for whom Psi is a religious path. Perhaps a Buddhist goal of moving beyond illusion. NeoPlatonic psions might seek their inner spark of divinity. Christian psions might see it as an emulation of Christ.

                        Consciousness Expansion would be the more secular philosophic foundation.

                        Unity might be a Gaian psion's. Unity with Gaia being the goal.
                        Last edited by Astromancer; 09-13-2018, 09:55 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zennis View Post

                          Thank you John, you have earned a place of true gratitude in my heart.
                          Grrr -- working and a basement flood have kept me offline for a while. So sorry to not have transcribed my notes yet -- unfortunately, Reality(tm) is having its way with me. I will do my best to try to do "x" by this weekend, after I get some work done for my business...


                          I have been around here for waaaayyyy too fucking long...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Just John, Forever... View Post
                            Grrr -- working and a basement flood have kept me offline for a while. So sorry to not have transcribed my notes yet -- unfortunately, Reality(tm) is having its way with me. I will do my best to try to do "x" by this weekend, after I get some work done for my business...
                            Thank you John, I appreciate the effort you’ve already put in, it is people like you that have made this online community flourish as a place of mutual creativity. I look forward to seeing all your notes soon and I’m sure they will be inspiring and helpful to me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is this Foundation and Pillars meant to be primarily or only for Technocrat Mages ? Can Technocrats of all five of the Technocracy's Conventions use it, or only some of them ?

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