Do you allow psionics?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Sigtrygg
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:36 am

Social Standing is your place in society, not some sort of charisma stat:
Social Standing notes the social class and level of society from which the character (and his or her family) come.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:27 am

Sigtrygg wrote: MWM has stated many times there is no genetic link to a high psi score.
Then my guess was wrong. But if psi is an inherent characteristic of humans with a physical base is has to be genetic in some sense, else it's just magic:
TrippyHippy wrote: Psi isn't a definable characteristic in any case as it's fictional. The paradigm offered in the OTU is that everybody has potential of differing levels, but it fades with time. It's as nebulous as Star Wars' Force beyond that - and damn those midiclhorians.

TrippyHippy wrote: Education and Social Standing aren't due to genetics.
Of course.
paltrysum
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby paltrysum » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:00 pm

Seems absurd to me that it would not be tied to genetics on some level, but hey, if that's canon, then that's canon.
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:15 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:00 pm
Seems absurd to me that it would not be tied to genetics on some level, but hey, if that's canon, then that's canon.
Which I ignore as being stupid and use my own rules for how this works.
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steve98052
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby steve98052 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:23 pm

Another point of canon about psionics is that they are present in almost every known living thing at some level -- but completely absent from Hivers. That is a mystery that puzzles Hivers and those acquainted with them, and a point of much frustration to Hivers, as well as an active area of research for them. (Or maybe the idea that Hivers lack psionics is the result of a Manipulation so successful that even most Hivers believe it?)

- - -

What about the genetic question? Not all characteristics are genetic or environmental. Some are developmental. An obvious example is fingerprints. We don't inherit them. We don't get the patterns from any predictable environmental influence. They're something fixed by genetic rules (we get them on our fingertips, they're mostly parallel at an approximately constant spacing, but loops and cusps and whorls appear when space runs out for going parallel, and they start forming in an apparently random way that makes them practically unique), but develop randomly according to those rules.

What about the links to intelligence (which is roughly half environmental), education (which is entirely environmental, except to the extent that there may be a genetic component to the motivation to seek education), and social standing (which is largely inherited, but not genetically inherited)? As far as I'm aware, canon doesn't say there's any link there; it's strictly a game mechanic.
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby TrippyHippy » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:22 am

Personally, I prefer the idea that Psionics are more egalitarian than inherited. I'd prefer to see it as some sort of cosmic energy that moves through everything, but some people are just more attuned to it than others. I don't see it as inherited (so, no psychic families), but more a case of awareness. It's why I see the psychic potential in individuals lessening with age - they just lose their openness to receive these energies as they become set in their ways.

And damn those midichlorians.
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:00 pm

The issue I have with everyone having psionics (except those pesky Hivers) is that if everyone has it, why doesn't everyone use it? Psionic Suppression aside, if everyone is psionic, why are WE psionic? If some event created psionics (I'm looking at you Vorlons of B5), there is no mention of it.

Instead of everyone being psionics but ignoring it, we shoudl have a universe more like the Instrumentality, where EVERYONE was telepathic to some extent.

The canon rules just make no sense on any level, they are internally inconsistent and do no match what we see today.
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Sigtrygg
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:34 pm

Psionics are a relic technology from one of the first starfaring races that disappeared over a billion years ago.

We know from MWM comments that Grandfather invented the first ever jump drive, and that there were races that pre-date the Ancients.

MegaTraveller has the intriguing 'First Starfarers' aside in the Referee's book. Races that existed long long ago and colonised their regions of space using various methods - all of which were STL. Some used electronic personality transfer, some used anagathic equivalents, some were just very long lived.

One of these races, as its technology delved into the higher dimensions of reality, built technology that could interface with what we would later come to call jump dimensions. Their final gift to the galaxy before they disappeared (see T5 to find out what happens to races that approach the OTU singularity) was to seed our galaxy with psionic interface machinery, which by now was no larger than a virus in our dimension.

Grandafther belonged to a race that evolved having being exposed to the psionic potential, and it was during his investigations into teleportation and higher dimensions he was able to create the first mechanical jump drive.
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby dragoner » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:46 pm

So what happens when you are a high level Zhodani noble, and your child is not psionic?
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:16 pm

Hereditary Nobles (those born with Social Standing B+ ...
Some hereditary Nobles have low Psionic Strengths and (even though they have psionic training) their abilities are low.
CT Alien Module 4: Zhodani

Nobles inherit their position, regardless of ability.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:32 pm

dragoner wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:46 pm
So what happens when you are a high level Zhodani noble, and your child is not psionic?
Psionic strength can be increased and new talents learned according to the CT Zhodani Alien module.

So even if a Zho noble born child tested as psi 2, by the end of character generation it could have increased a few points and a couple of useful talents learned.
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby dragoner » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:24 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:32 pm
dragoner wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:46 pm
So what happens when you are a high level Zhodani noble, and your child is not psionic?
Psionic strength can be increased and new talents learned according to the CT Zhodani Alien module.

So even if a Zho noble born child tested as psi 2, by the end of character generation it could have increased a few points and a couple of useful talents learned.
It's odd to have the CT module quoted here. I found in the mongoose book by ctrl-f:

Note that children of Intendants
and Nobles who have Psi 9− still receive psionic training
and inherit their parents’ Social Standing.

Alien Module 4 Zhodani, page 31
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:17 am

If genetics plays a part, noble scions from centuries of inbreeding should get bonuses when calculating this trait, and would be tested and trained as early as possible to maximize and/or optimize their levels and proficiencies.

I'd imagine that parents would have to provide massive dowries to get subpar offspring married.
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby ochd » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:08 am

For those that do use psionics, how do you have it play out in your campaigns?

For example, does the psion have to concentrate, maybe close their eyes? Do you allow certain things to get passively triggered (e.g., the psion is instinctively aware of someone else having a PSI score), or does the ability only come into play with active exertion by the psion? If psionic-suppression technology is in use, does the psion know this or are they just unable to use their abilities and not sure why?

Dan.
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Re: Do you allow psionics?

Postby Linwood » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:36 am

That’s pretty much up to the GM. Using or activating a Talent usually requires a Significant Action and concentration, but not necessarily eyes closed - maybe just a distracted expression.

I only allow a psion to passively detect another psion or psi-suppression technology if the other is broadcasting actively - using a Talent directed at the player or the psi-suppression device is more of a jammer than a shield. But YMMV.

As to how psi-suppression tech works - I think that would depend on the Talents the psion has as well as the tech itself. Telekinesis or Teleportation might simply not function; Awareness might provide a sense of something being “off”. Clairvoyants might get the sense of trying to peer through a fog. Telepaths might get a headache or maybe just feel things are too quiet (or a sense of loss) akin to a “dead zone.”

How the tech is perceived by the psion might depend on the tech level. Lower-tech psi-suppression gear would likely be “noisy” in some way, but as the tech improves it likely gets quieter and subtler.

Ultimately though it’s your call. And it may go to whether you think of psi as in part a natural attunement to the environment or an ability that must be consciously developed.

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