Somantic Parapsychic Powers
The somantic class of parapsychic powers are differentiated from other classes of powers because the somantic class only function on or within the parapsychic using them. Their abilities are super local and cannot be projected, expanded, or otherwise used on anything other than their own body. It was the discovery of martial arts discipline evoking somantic parapsychic powers that caused the McDojo fad to explode across most of the Northern Hemisphere, along with the surge of Nipponism that followed in the wake of the CogNet and the rise of the Zaibatsu style megacorp.
The Samurai Tradition
The Samurai tradition was a Warrior Code that emerged in conjunction with the somantic powers. The discipline of the martial arts tied well into the warrior poet/artist ideal of Feudal Japan, and while the McDojos are diet fast food versions of honest to god dojos and schools, even the cheapest will do something, painting, calligraphy, poetry. Even if it is just for show, because the stunning martial artist must have an artistic side, the end effect is the same. The Samurai tradition has its downsides, a dark side to go with the warrior's ethos, and duty to his master and his sensei.
Where there are samurai, there are ronin, ninjas, and criminals.
The Ronin are somantic martial artists who have gone rogue. These are the students who embrace the power that flows through them, and become warped by it, they become bullies, monsters of their own design. Most somantic samurai will train with the idea that one day they will have to face a ronin, one of their own who has fallen and must be defeated and destroyed, or defeated and possibly redeemed.
There is a mysticism and romanticism around the ninja. In the Cosmic Era ninjas are associated with shadowrunning, and exploiting their somantic abilities (and often much more flashy powers along with cybernetic upgrades, exotic weaponry and so forth) for their own material profit rather than the loyalty and honor espoused by the samurai code. The ninja are split along gender lines, producing the male Shinobi and the female Kunoichi. The Shinobi is mediatypically known for packing exotic heavy weapons and being deadly with melee weapons, the personal hyperedge blade being a favorite. The media shinobi is a supersoldier who cleaves through power armor troopers like wheat, and can even carve up mecha with naught but wits, deception, and his trusty demon howling sword. The Kunoichi is an untrackable, untraceable fox, hyperagile and able to avoid detection by sticking to the ceiling, vanishing into ductwork, and even imitating important people before delivering lethal assassinations. The truth is much less glamourous. The real ninja of the Cosmic Era use basic deception and are lightly, if ever armed, and are more often than not, completely mundane and lacking any sort of parapsychic abilities.
Shugenja and Yamabushi are the practitioners of alternate parapsychic abilities.
A very common somantic power is enhanced agility. The agile power grants the user incredible balance and grace, allowing them to move very flexibly, fluidly. Practitioners of hyperagility are able to do feats of gymnastics and acrobatics that range from Olympic level athlete to comic book level stunts like running on walls and avoiding attacks and even, at the highest levels of the art, avoiding projectiles like bullets and such.
Another common somantic power, often found in conjunction with hyperagility, enhanced speed has the user moving much faster than should seem possible. Hyperspeed somantics move like blurs, an in practical game effects can take multiple actions per round. Average characters can take 1 action, fast characters can take 2 and the athletically trained can max out around 3 and that is pushing it. A hyperspeed parapsychic can easily do 3 actions per round, or more. They can also augment their base movement rate, meaning that a high end hyperspeed parapsychic can catch vehicles (slow moving, so 40-60mph) in short bursts.
A slightly less common somantic power, hyperstrength is a highly coveted ability, and one that the world governments and megacorps are spending large sums of money to replicate. Hyperstrength allows normal unarmored, unaugmented soldiers to punch through armor plate, heft power armor size weapons, and perform feats such as super jumping, power lifting, and other stunts. Hyperstrength typically comes in tandem with hyperendurance. Lacking this parapsychic durability, the parapsychic would be bodily torn apart the first time they attempted to do a German Suplex on a medium power armor trooper.
The Indo-European Tradition
The Indo-European Tradition has been a dismal failure, in comparison to the widespread popularity of Nipponism. The tradition is based around the feudal system of lords and vassals, and various names and ranks of relative nobility. In the power armor field, the tradition has been more successful, as the soldiers in their power armor are able to make a connotative connection to the medieval knight, likewise clad in the best armor in the world, at the time. The parapsychic, often unable to use their innate powers through a suit of armor, have not adopted the chivalric ideals of the Indo-European Tradition.
The first and most basic tier of the system is the Page, or Squire and corresponds to being a student. The page is expected to dutifully serve his or her master unquestioningly until they demonstrate a required level of obedience, and self discipline. Unfortunately, this training process more often than not becomes just being treated like crap for a certain amount of time. In the armor and power armor tradition, page is an informal rank held by trainees who are still working part of their time in maintenance and training exercises.
The Knight is the first true and full tier, recognized by their peers as having achieved both self control, and self discipline. The Knight can use their parapsychic powers without entering an uncontrolled burn, and with limited damage, collateral and otherwise.
Above the Knight there are many rankings, Baron, Count, Duke, King, with partial rankings between them, and regional variations for language, regional history, and other historically questionable reasons. This lack of conformity, and the non-standardized prerequisites for the rankings has largely limited the appeal and spread of the tradition beyond Western Europe and a few small pockets in North America. Who wants to be a Half-Baron, 3rd Order Pyromancer in the Demesne of Missouri?
There is a parapsychic art devoted to healing and repairing the human body, in a limited form and an open form. The Limited form of parapsychic healing is limited to the parapsychic in question. They are able to use the power of their mind and spirit to repair their own bodies, effectively having regeneration. The ability varies from user to user, with the strongest able to reattach severed limbs or disturbingly, force grow new ones seemingly from nowhere. Weaker parapsychic healers are able to heal faster (2 to 3 times) than normal people, so a broken leg is 2-3 months instead of 6. The Open Parapsychic Healer is very very rare as they are able to take a somantic power and use it on another person, but the healer has to be in almost intimate contact with the person they are healing. This power is more effective than just accelerating healing over time, it is the laying on of hands and removing pain and injury.
Parapsychic Healers and their patents will for a short time have a very intimate bond, as the function of the power effectively makes the two beings one conjoined cosmic entity. There is pain involved in the healing process, but the part that most remember more clearly is the fact that they have bonded to the healer, seeing them stripped away down to the core of their spiritual being, and knowing deeply and intimately that the healer has seen them in the same way. Being healed thusly is often a life changing or pivotal moment in common people's lives.
Biomorphism is the disturbing parapsychic ability of shapeshifting. This isn't a human turning into a wolf, it is a person changing who they look like, including changes in height, weight, gender, hair color, the works. A Biomorph requires a template that they are very familiar with, so most biomorphs are able to mimic friends, family, and celebrities, people that they see regularly, and in a variety of situations. Alternate aspects of biomorphism include elongating limbs, becoming rubber boned to slip through tight spaces, and altering parts of the body to emulate animalistic features, such as growing claws like a tiger for a fight, or devil horns or whatever the imagination can reach. Biomorphs in a cosmic burn lose control of their ability and either become mirrors, turning into whomever they are looking at at the time, or are afflicted with a cancerous like burst of their abilities. Tentacles are exceedingly and disturbingly common and equally disturbing in a cancer burn. Just as disturbing, the biomorph who endures their first cancerous burn can produce the tentacles afterwards with minimal effort, and many express that these appendages feel more natural than their original human limbs.
Some biomorphs retain vestiges of their preferred animalistic traits if they are prone to burning. The same goes for biomorphs who use their abilities for radically altering their body. One of the most famous biomorphs could grow eyes in the back of his head, and couldn't be sneaked up on. By the time he passed away, he had seven permanent eyes. Another example is currently detained and heavily sedated at Brushy Mountain Asylum for the Parapsychically Insane. She is now in a permanent burn from using her biomorphic ability constantly, and anyone who talks to her can watch as she turns into them over the course of three to four minutes. More disturbing is when more than one person is present, she will begin the futile attempt to subconsciously mimic everyone in the room.
There are a variety of names for this power, magnetism, animalism, hypercharisma, metapersuasion, presence, and so forth. The Parapsychic is able to manipulate their own pheromones and body chemistry to evoke certain reactions in their 'prey' such as becoming very seductive and irresistible, or becoming very frightening and predatory causing others to submit or back down from them. Heavy handed use of this power can cause lasting hostility and resentment, and continual use on a single person can cause permanent changes in that person, creating a lasting phobia or obsession depending on the use of the ability.
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? Responses (5)
There's a very X-men feel to this, and im sure even in the Cosmic era, SPP will have its fair share of bigotry and racism to go along with it.
Also, seeing as this is the more common of psychic powers, I'm sure there would have been a surge in vigilantism as this became more and more common; It would also have made life a hell of a lot harder for any policing force. Give someone a superpower and they'll more likely use it selfishly than for greater good - not everyone has an 'uncle ben' to share inspiring quotes about responsibility :p
Can people with these psychic abilities.be tracked, do you suppose? psycho perhaps they could.be sought out by the rarer form of psychics, which would lead to those psychics to be employed by enforcement agencies.
I felt a bit lost at first, as to what it was about, I guess you were going for making movie ninjas/samurais into a reality using these powers? That and the Knight stuff, felt like it belonged in another sub. But I guess it's because I'm not familiar with the setting.
And yeah, like SE said, those last parts felt very X-manish.
There are several dozen submissions associated with the setting, and a core concept is mixing the high energy and over the top action of fighting games with normal RPGs.
Yeah I know you've made a few of these. Sci-Fi isn't normally much of my thing, but I figured since so few people were voting on subs atm, and since it wasn't too long... Also, I see now that this is a systems submission, d'oh! Yeah, that explains it. :P
A good treatment of these powers, and thought provoking.