Question on Life Detection (Psionics)

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SirGamingScotsman
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Question on Life Detection (Psionics)

Postby SirGamingScotsman » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:38 am

Psionics has just recently become a part of my game and I ran into an issue regarding the Life Detection power last night. The party was aware that they were being followed/spied on, and two of the party were repairing damage to their ship as the others were at a hotel. The two party members at the ship were kidnapped and taken somewhere within the city. When the rest of the party hadn't heard from them they went to the ship to see if anything was wrong. Knowing that they had been getting spied on they were cautious and the character with Psionics used the Life Detection power to see who/how many people were in their ship.

They passed and I was able to tell them that there were 3 humans on the ship, there should have been one human and one vargr, and that the character didn't know who they were as the power describes that if they know the people they detect then they know that it's them.

The issue was that the power can be used at Distant range, and for Psionics this is between 501m and 5km. What we were trying to solve is that when using Life Detection is the character aware of every life form up to 5km away or do they have to 'target' a specific area to detect any lifeforms. The way the power is written is a little vague and doesn't address this specifically but seems to read that the character can detect life up to the maximum distance and has a vague idea of where those life forms are. The main issue I have as GM is that there are thousands of life forms, at least, within that 5km and I don't know if the character could detect their friends within all those other people.

If they are able to detect every life form up to 5km away then do they know, roughly, where their friends are as the description states they would know them through the power. The kidnapped characters are within the 5km range, and depending on if the Psionic can tell where they are or not will determine what they do next. They might just try to track down their friends rather than risking a confrontation on their ship.

I couldn't find any information regarding this on the forum or elsewhere online.

Hoping someone can clarify this for me, thanks.
Garran
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Re: Question on Life Detection (Psionics)

Postby Garran » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:15 pm

Per the description, they do have a general idea of the location of their friends. It's not pinpoint, though, so in the case of a crowded city it would probably be necessary to 'ping' again when they're close(r) to that building/area/etc to get the specific spot. Not a big deal unless they've blown all their PSI in the meantime, but Life Sense is really, really useful for this sort of detective (detection) work.
SirGamingScotsman
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Re: Question on Life Detection (Psionics)

Postby SirGamingScotsman » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:41 am

Garran wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:15 pm
Per the description, they do have a general idea of the location of their friends. It's not pinpoint, though, so in the case of a crowded city it would probably be necessary to 'ping' again when they're close(r) to that building/area/etc to get the specific spot. Not a big deal unless they've blown all their PSI in the meantime, but Life Sense is really, really useful for this sort of detective (detection) work.
Thanks, that's the way I was going to go, I just wasn't sure if I had missed or misunderstood something. The character also has Clairvoyance so would be using that as well to try and give the most information to the group before they put any plan into action. The player is new to Psionics and this is the first time he's used any of his powers in a detailed way to try and solve a problem outside of combat.
Garran
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Re: Question on Life Detection (Psionics)

Postby Garran » Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:55 pm

That's totally valid. Psionics in Traveller is a great noncombat toolkit - much more so than it is a direct in-combat one - unless Awareness is your only talent, and even that has plenty of utility.

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