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Psychic Abilities and Powers

Download these rules (Psychic Abilities and Powers),  Player Character Reference Sheet and the Psychic Power Summary Sheet.

INTRODUCTION:

In the early 1970s the US government began experimenting with psychic Powers. You probably have heard of some of these projects by now: Stargate, Sun Streak, Grill Flame, Center Lane and SCANATE.  They were sponsored by various organizations: CIA, DIA, and INSCOM to name a few.

Officially, all research ended in 1995; however, in 2001, a breakthrough occurred. A small group of well-funded government scientists managed to locate the genetic centers for all latent psychic phenomena. This has led to a reliable and repeatable way to determine psychic potential in any individual.

 As a result, a Committee on Psychic Phenomenon (CPP) was created with the task of investigating these claims. The research undertaken by the CPP verified the existence of at least five different types of latent psychic phenomenon in a minority of the population. To prevent a major panic, the government took steps to regulate and monitor all those citizens who developed psychic ability.

 The 'Metasensory Administration Agency' (MAA), a quasi-governmental organization formed out of the Committee on Psychic Phenomenon, was created to help these individuals harness and use their powers for the benefit of the US government.

Once an individual displays latent psychic ability (usually during childhood or in early adolescence), or discovered during DNA testing, they are taken to an MAA testing center, where their psychic potential is measured, and rated against a Psychic Ability scale from P1 to P12 depending on their power. If they score well enough, they are trained for service, usually in support of a covert group.

THE PSYCHIC PLAYER CHARACTER:

Actual background skills are detailed in Character Generation. Psychic abilities are generated as follows:

Chance of Psychic Ability: The base chance of an individual having psychic ability is to have a WIS stat of at least 10, and to make a successful WIS check (no modifiers). A player can only make this check once.

Starting Talents and Levels: Ever since the MAA began evaluation, there has never been recorded a psychic possessing abilities in more than one of the four classified Psychic Talents.

A player creating an Investigator with psychic ability must immediately choose their particular Talent. They can alternatively roll on the following table:

01-50

Telepathy

51-75

Precognition

76-85

Adjustment

86-00

Telekinetic

 The Psychic Ability Scale:

An Investigator with a WIS of 10 is rated P1 on the Psychic Ability Scale. For each point of WIS over 10, this rating increases by 1. So for example a starting Investigator with psychic ability who has WIS 16 is rated P7 by the MAA. The highest rating an Investigator can start with is P9 (WIS 18).

 Psychic Ability determines what kind of psychic effects the Investigator is capable of creating, as each Talent is broken down into Abilities, which require a certain Psychic Ability Level (P1-12) to perform.

 Ability Scores: Once an Investigator has established his/her starting Talent and Psychic Ability Level, they have a base score of 0 in each ability. The Investigator distributes his/her WIS in points among the chosen abilities.

Metasensory Academy training means an Investigator gets an additional number of points equal to their INT to allocate between the abilities associated with their chosen Talent. All the abilities do not have to have points given to them, but points undistributed are lost.  No skill can start at higher than WIS (including stat bonuses).

Psi Points (PP): Equal to WIS stat. Psychic Abilities require the expenditure of Psi Points, with further points needed to perform Effects depending on the range.

Recovery: Expended Psi Points are recovered at a rate of 1d6 per hour.

THE PSYCHIC TALENTS:

There are five recognized classifications of psychic ability:

1. TELEPATHY

The most frequently manifested Talent amongst Psychics, Telepathy is the ability to contact other minds directly. In rudimentary forms, it allows the communication of feelings and emotions; in advanced forms, it allows the transfer of information.  There are several levels of telepathy, which depend on the psychic strength and experience of the user.

Shield: All Telepaths learn how to create a mental shield, which protects the mind against unwanted telepathic interference.  Such a shield is automatically active and requires no PP to maintain. Shield also gives the Telepath protection from any attempted Psychic Assault from a fellow Telepath. For full details of how this affects an attempted Psychic Assault by fellow Telepath, see ‘Assault’.

Sense Life (P1): The most elementary form of telepathy is the ability to detect the presence of other minds.

The Psychic with this ability can sense the presence of other minds, the number of minds present, the general type of minds (animal, human etc.) and their approximate location.

Sense Life is a P1 Ability, requiring 1PP to perform (plus any additional for range). Activity may last for up to 60 seconds. Shielded minds are undetectable.

Telempathy (P2): The communication of basic feelings and emotions. This ability serves well in the handling of animals.  Emotions of others can be read using Telempathy.

Telempathy is a P2 Ability and requires 1PP to perform (plus range costs). Activity may last for up to 60 seconds.

Read Surface Thoughts (P4): The most commonly known feature of Telepathy. Only active, current thoughts are read by this ability, with the subject (if themselves not a Telepath) unaware of the activity. Shielded individuals may not be read in this fashion.

This Ability is P4 and requires 2PP to perform (plus range costs). Activity may last for up to 60 seconds.

Project Thoughts (P5): Complementary to the above ability is the ability to send thoughts to others.  Telepathic individuals are normally open to such transmissions, but may close their Shields against them if they become bothersome.  A thought transmission may last up to 120 seconds.  This is a P5 Ability, and requires 2PP to perform, plus normal costs for range.

Probe (P6): The application of great psychic strength will enable a telepath to delve deep into the mind of a subject and then to read their innermost thoughts.  Questioning can be used in this procedure to force the subject to divulge specific information.  Lies can be easily detected by the telepath.  Probe cannot be used against a shielded mind.  Probe is a P6 Ability, costing 4PP to perform.  Probing takes 10 minutes.

If the Psychic succeeds in their Ability skill check, they must make a WIS vs WIS check against the victim of the Probe. See below for results:

WIS vs WIS

Effect

Critical Success

Telepath retrieves all the required knowledge required. Victim is left injured (-1d4 HP and -1d3 WIS) and unconscious for 1d6 hours.

Special Success

Telepath gains 2d3 items of information. Victim is left unconscious for 1d3 hours

Normal Success

Telepath retrieves 1d3+1 items of related information. Victim is left stunned for 1d3 minutes.

Failure

Telepath fails to gain any information. Cannot Probe victim again for 8 hours.

Fumble

Telepath fails to retrieve any information and loses 1d6 extra PP. Cannot Probe victim again for 24 hours. Fails to gain any information. Cannot Probe victim again for 8 hours.


 Assault (P8): Violence may be dealt by a Telepath.  Against and unshielded mind, the result is often unconsciousness and possible death.  If the Telepath succeeds in their Assault skill check, they must make a WIS vs WIS check against the victim of the Assault. See below for results:

WIS vs WIS

Effect

Critical Success

Victim is rendered unconscious* immediately for a number of hours. -1d4 HP and -2d6 POW (regained at 1 point per hour). If this reduces the victim’s POW to zero or below, they must make a WIS roll or die. Success means the victim is in a coma for 20-POW days.

Special Success

Victim is stunned* immediately for a number of minutes. -1d3 HP and -1d6 POW (regained at 1 point per hour).

Normal Success

Victim is stunned* immediately for a number of rounds. -1 HP and -1d3 WIS (regained at 1 point per hour).

Failure

No effect.

Fumble

Telepath receives psychic

feedback and stuns* self.

 *to calculate how many melee rounds, minutes, or hours a victim of a Psychic Assault is stunned or unconscious; deduct the victim’s WIS score from that of the Telepath.

Assault is a P8 Ability, and requires 5PP to perform (plus any range cost).  The assault takes 1 round to occur.

A Psychic Assault against a fellow Telepath is difficult, because all Telepaths learn early on how to create a mental shield. In game terms, the Shield gives a Telepath +1 WIS per 2 points of WIS they possess over 12.

Mass Assault (P10): Powerful Telepaths can project an Assault attack against more than one individual at a time. Mass Assault only works at Medium range or less, and affects up to a maximum of the Telepath’s WIS/2 of minds

within a 3m radius (round down).

 Mass Assault is a P10 Ability, and requires 10PP to perform (plus any range cost).  The effect takes 1 round to occur.

Read Psychic Imprint (P12): When a person dies, they leave a residual psychic imprint that can linger for several hours after death. Powerful Telepaths can detect this psychic imprint, and gain an impression of the last thoughts and feelings of the recently deceased. This impression usually comes in the form of cryptic flashes of words and images (the Keeper should decide as to what these images and words actually are). A psychic imprint fades after a number of hours equal to the deceased’s WIS. To successfully gain any useful information, the Telepath must make a WISx5% roll, with their WIS reduced by 1 for every hour it has been since the person died.

 Read Psychic Imprint is a P12 Ability, and requires 12PP to perform. The effect takes 1d6 minutes to occur.

2. PRECOGNITION (NPC ONLY)

Precognition is the direct knowledge or perception of the future, obtained through extrasensory means. Precognition occurs most often in dreams. It may also occur spontaneously in waking visions, auditory hallucinations, flashing thoughts entering the mind, and a sense of "knowing."

There are several levels of precognition, which depend on the psychic strength and experience of the user.

Sixth Sense (P1): Precogs sometimes get spontaneous flashes of events in the immediate future, allowing them to anticipate and react a split second earlier than a normal human. This split second can mean the difference between life and death.

In game terms, Sixth Sense allows the Precog to re-roll a skill check to get them out of danger. Only reactive, non-offensive Skills can be affected by Sixth Sense. Obvious ones are Dodge, Vehicle, Hide, Sneak. Other Skills may be affected at the Keeper’s discretion.

Sixth Sense can be used a 1/day per 3 points of WIS that the Precog has over WIS 10.

e.g. a WIS 16 Precog can use his/her Sixth Sense ability twice in any 24 hour period. The Precog player can declare use of the skill before a skill roll.

Sixth Sense is a P1 Ability, and requires 1PP to perform.

Hint (P2): The basic ability to sense things at some point in the distance that the Precog will visit. The Precog will become aware of the most rudimentary characteristics of a location (e.g. beyond a sealed pressure door).  The Keeper will give a basic description (e.g. “a room, containing 4 entities”). 

 

Hint is a P2 Ability, and requires 1PP to perform (plus any range cost).

Foresee Outcome (P4): This effect allows the Precog to actually see the outcome of an action before doing it, and then choose whether or not to perform this action.

The ability is limited to single, immediate physical actions, such as firing a pistol, jumping a pit, sneaking past a guard etc. This ability does not allow a Precog to see the results of more complicated actions, like what would happen if they entered a room, or read aloud from a mythos tome, for example.

If the Precog makes his Ability skill roll before performing an action, they can then choose whether or not to perform the said action dependent on the result of the action skill roll.

Example:

Serena the Precog is confronted with a deep, dark pit, which blocks her progress inside an alien temple. She isn’t sure if she can jump across the pit, but it is the quickest way to escape the creatures pursuing her.

Serena has 15 in Foresee Outcome, and chooses to use her power to see if she would make it across the pit if she chose to jump. She rolls 19 – success.

Serena looks into the future, and makes her Jump roll. She has 10 in Jump, but alas rolls a 3. Seeing that attempting to jump across the pit would result in her plummeting to her death, Serena wisely decides to look for another way out of the temple before her pursuers find her…

Foresee Outcome is a P4 Ability, and requires 3PP to perform.

Prediction (P6): This ability allows the Precog to receive portents of the future, usually in the form of waking visions and auditory hallucinations. The portents received normally concern events up to a maximum of 24 hours into the future.

It is up to the Precog player to interpret them. If they are having trouble, a generous Keeper could allow a WISx5% roll for some hints. The Keeper should prepare the information that the Precog receives, as revealing too much can ruin the player’s feeling of free-will and limit the Keeper’s choices also. The information should be no more than a few words and images.

 Prediction is a P6 Ability, and requires 5PP to perform.

Vision (P8): The ability to dream of possible future events. A Precog has no power over the exact nature of these dreams. Sometimes they can reveal portents of the near future, sometimes vague foreshadowing of events months into the future. The further into the future these events, the vaguer they are.

As with Prediction, the Keeper should prepare the information that the Precog receives carefully. Dreams can be surreal, and Vision often provides information in the form of strange images and words.

Prediction is a P8 Ability, and requires 5PP to perform.

3. ADJUSTMENT

Adjustment is the talent that allows control of one’s own or another’s body, through psychic manipulation on a cellular level.

Heal (P1): Wounds and injuries may be healed rapidly using this Ability. Hit Points may be restored by the application of this ability, exchanging 1PP to regenerate 1HP. Body parts that have been maimed or severed cannot be repaired using Heal.

Heal is a P1 Ability, and requires the Adjuster to be in close physical contact with the wounded person. Healing occurs at a rate of 1r/HP healed.

Suspend Animation (P2): Personal body activity may be suspended for varying periods of time.  An Adjuster with this Ability may enter a suspended animation state by willing themselves into it. Such a state continues for 7 days, without need for food or water, and with minimal air needs.  Suspended animation may be stopped at any time by external stimulus.

Suspend Animation is a P2 Ability, and costs 3PP.

Enhance STR (P4): Psi Points may be converted into physical strength points on a temporary basis. 1 PP can be converted into 1d3 STR up to a maximum of the Adjuster’s current level of Psychic Ability. Enhanced STR takes effect immediately, and lasts for 1d20 minutes (determined in secret by the Keeper), then declines at the rate of 1 STR point per minute until normal levels are reached.  

This is a P4 Ability, and requires the Adjuster to be in close physical contact with the recipient of the enhanced strength.

Enhance CON (P5): Psi Points may be converted into physical constitution points on a temporary basis.  1 PP can be converted into 1d3 CON up to a maximum of the Adjuster’s current level of ability in Adjustment. Enhanced CON takes effect immediately, and lasts for 1d20 minutes (determined in secret by the Keeper), then declines at the rate of 1 CON point per minute until normal levels are reached.  

This is a P5 ability, and requires the Adjuster to be in close physical contact with the recipient of the enhanced constitution.

Enhance DEX (P6): Psi Points may be converted into physical dexterity points on a temporary basis.  1 PP can be converted into 1d3 DEX up to a maximum of the Adjuster’s current level of ability in Adjustment. Enhanced CON takes effect immediately, and lasts for 1d20 minutes (determined in secret by the Keeper), then declines at the rate of 1 DEX point per minute until normal levels are reached.  

This is a P6 ability, and requires the Adjuster to be in close physical contact with the recipient of the enhanced dexterity.

Tap (P7):

Adjusters with this Ability can actually drain Psi Points from anyone they come into close physical contact with. Once the skill check is made successfully, a WIS vs WIS roll is required for every round that the Adjuster wishes to continue tapping a victim for Psi Points. If this roll is failed, the Adjuster can drain no more Psi Points from the individual for 24 hours. Each round the Adjuster makes his WIS check allows 1d6 PP to be drained. If a victim reaches 0 PP, they fall unconscious.

Tap is a P7 Ability, and requires 3 PP to perform.

Cure Poisoning (P8): 

An Adjuster with this Ability can use their psychic Power to neutralize poisons and toxins in their or someone that they are in close physical contact with the poisoned person’s bloodstream.

 If the Adjuster makes their skill roll, they must match their WIS against the POT of the poison. If successful they purge the body, and restore 1d3 HP.

 Cure Poisoning is a P8 Ability and costs 5PP to perform.

Cure Disease (P9): An Adjuster with this Ability can use their psychic Power to cure themselves, or someone that they are in close physical contact with, of disease.

The Keeper must assign the disease a Fort Save, and match this against the Adjuster’s WIS. If successful, after a time equal to the disease’s Fort Save in hours, the Adjuster can rid a body of disease.

Cure Disease is a P9 Ability, and requires a number of PP equal to the Fort Save of the disease to perform.

Psychic Surgery (P9): Adjusters with this ability can reattach recently severed or maimed limbs. The Adjuster must perform this ability within 10 minutes of the limb being maimed or severed, and must expend enough PP equal to the amount required to bring the limb back into positive HP. Psychic Surgery is a P9 Ability.

 Regenerate (P10):

Powerful Adjusters are able to use their Powers grow new limbs to replace lost ones. To perform this Ability takes a long time, requiring the Adjuster to perform this ability once per day for a number of days equal to the number of HP possessed by the missing limb. Regeneration is a P10 Ability, and costs 10PP per day to perform.

4. Telekinesis

Telekinesis is the talent that allows objects to be manipulated without physical contact.  Telekinetic Power is rated by the number of grams weight the Telekinetic can manipulate/affect.  All of these abilities start at the P1 level.

 Telekinetic: Any manipulation is treated as if the person were physically handling the item, but physical danger; pain or other stimuli are not present.  Telekinesis includes a limited amount of sensory awareness, sufficient to allow intelligent manipulation.  See the table for details on weight allowance.  Any one telekinetic feat may last up to 60 seconds.

 If a Telekinetic wishes to move a person using his/her psychic ability, the Keeper may allow a relevant WIS vs. WIS rolls.

 Pyroknetics: Telekinetics with this ability can excite molecules into generating heat. If the material is combustible or touching combustible material, it can cause a fire. The amount of material affected and costs associated are the same as moving the item. However, the time required is proportional to the amount of material affected.

 Example: Heating a cup of water to boiling that you are holding in your hand, would take 60 seconds and cost 1PP and no range cost.

 Quantumkinetics: Telekinetics with this ability can manipulate atomic structures thus making the item softer, harder or more brittle. Note: this is not transmutation of materials; it merely re-arranges what is there to achieve this effect. The amount of material affected and costs associated are the same as moving the item. However, the time required is proportional to the amount of material affected.

Examples of this power would be to harden your fists so that instead of 1d3 damage, they can do 2d3. A lock hasp that is made brittle with a normal hardness of 30 could have it reduced to 15. 30 grams is roughly equivalent to 12 pennies or 6 nickels…

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