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Offline Acid Drone

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Psychic Powers
« on: April 18, 2009, 10:00:01 PM »
 I really love the idea of Psychics in roleplaying, but I always see the same cliched powers. You know the ones, Telekinesis, Levitation, Telempathy, etc. I would love to see (and use) some new powers that dont cross over into mutant territory. Any ideas?

Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Psychic Powers
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 02:15:06 AM »
You are probably not going to find any.

The problem with that is the general categories of psionic powers have been discussed and used by believers, scientific researchers, and debunkers alike. The categories are fairly well thoguht out and defined (they are also quite generic).  That is why the vocabulary is used, it is there. If you read anything about the subject, you end up using those terms.

Aside: Very few magic systems bother to codify their power effects, or if they do, they do so with broad sweeping cateogries. This allows them to avoid the codification restrictions that psionics tend to have.

Mutant psionics tend to be general psionics with limitiations or foci. They are still the classic powers, just with tweaks.  Telekinesis, but only with sand,  a telekinetic forcefield (thus no range telekinesis fields), pyrokinesis (only to control existing fires), and so on give you that mutant feel. (Well, those tweaked powers and the hugely amplified power level).

So those new powers are really just old powers with tweaks attatched.   In fact, most new psychic powers found in games and movies are classic powers with different variations. Many people think they are "new powers" but really they are part of the classic sets that they have not thought about. 

So it really is all about building upon the classic six categories: Mind (telepathy, empathy, etc), Body (body amp/ healing/ etc), Soul (astreal/ spectral), Perception, Kinetics/ Energy, and Anti-psionics.  Then taking one of the powers in those categories and using it.

In fact, one of the best systems for doing psionic powers is Hero System.  It is a special effects driven system, so you buy an effect and apply any special effect you want.  The mental powers are well thought out and applied. If you want odd powers, you simply take the effect you want..(psionically causing the eye nerves to fire, but it as a flash (sight) that uses mental defense instread of flash defense.  You want hypercognition, you buy various knowledge skills, deduction, speed reading, and so on, with an uncontrolled limit. It is easy that way.

TriTac's Stalking the Night does a great job of psionics, allowing for maximum flexability inside the classic system of powers. It comes from one of the developers actually being a psychic researching/ paranormal investigator.

So to find you way out of the cliches, find new approaches to the old powers.
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Offline slartibartfast

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Re: Psychic Powers
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2009, 03:18:09 PM »
Might want to check out "Paranoia; the Mutant Experience".  Although many of the mutant powers are cliches on typical mutant/psychic powers, a handful are somewhat different and lend to some interesting role-playing, with hilarious results.
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Offline Acid Drone

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Re: Psychic Powers
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2009, 03:33:03 PM »
You are probably not going to find any.

The problem with that is the general categories of psionic powers have been discussed and used by believers, scientific researchers, and debunkers alike. The categories are fairly well thoguht out and defined (they are also quite generic).  That is why the vocabulary is used, it is there. If you read anything about the subject, you end up using those terms.

Aside: Very few magic systems bother to codify their power effects, or if they do, they do so with broad sweeping cateogries. This allows them to avoid the codification restrictions that psionics tend to have.

Mutant psionics tend to be general psionics with limitiations or foci. They are still the classic powers, just with tweaks.  Telekinesis, but only with sand,  a telekinetic forcefield (thus no range telekinesis fields), pyrokinesis (only to control existing fires), and so on give you that mutant feel. (Well, those tweaked powers and the hugely amplified power level).

So those new powers are really just old powers with tweaks attatched.   In fact, most new psychic powers found in games and movies are classic powers with different variations. Many people think they are "new powers" but really they are part of the classic sets that they have not thought about. 

So it really is all about building upon the classic six categories: Mind (telepathy, empathy, etc), Body (body amp/ healing/ etc), Soul (astreal/ spectral), Perception, Kinetics/ Energy, and Anti-psionics.  Then taking one of the powers in those categories and using it.

In fact, one of the best systems for doing psionic powers is Hero System.  It is a special effects driven system, so you buy an effect and apply any special effect you want.  The mental powers are well thought out and applied. If you want odd powers, you simply take the effect you want..(psionically causing the eye nerves to fire, but it as a flash (sight) that uses mental defense instread of flash defense.  You want hypercognition, you buy various knowledge skills, deduction, speed reading, and so on, with an uncontrolled limit. It is easy that way.

TriTac's Stalking the Night does a great job of psionics, allowing for maximum flexability inside the classic system of powers. It comes from one of the developers actually being a psychic researching/ paranormal investigator.

So to find you way out of the cliches, find new approaches to the old powers.

That helps immensely, thanks!