New Telepath Feat

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BeronTheGrey
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New Telepath Feat

Postby BeronTheGrey » Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:06 pm

For my B5 game, I'm considering introoducing a new feat for telepaths that grants them an additional telepath ability known as a way of making telepaths slightly more flexible (and allowing commercial telepaths to be less than 4th level, if you assume that all commercial telepaths need to know how to do a surface and deep scan). Any thoughts? Too powerful?

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Postby mthomason » Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:37 pm

Given that the special abilities granted at each level each tend to be roughly equivalent to a feat, I'd say this sounds fair, as long as they still have to meet the ability prerequisites.
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Postby BeronTheGrey » Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:46 pm

mthomason wrote:Given that the special abilities granted at each level each tend to be roughly equivalent to a feat, I'd say this sounds fair, as long as they still have to meet the ability prerequisites.
OK. Thanks. I don;t know if anyone in my game'll use it, but it'd be useful to have there.

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Postby scottmage » Sat Sep 04, 2004 7:23 pm

There are many things that need to be reconsidered for player characters to accurately portray Telepath characters on the show.

There should just be classes that characters can play based on their P-level, not the other way around.

Commercial Telepath: P5 min.
Class Starting Feats: Mind Shield, Surface Scan, Sense Telepathy, Deep Scan, Communication (with other Telepaths only), Jamming (see Mindwar)

Accidental Scan should be a GM story development tool rather than a PC feat.
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Postby BeronTheGrey » Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:22 pm

scottmage wrote:There are many things that need to be reconsidered for player characters to accurately portray Telepath characters on the show.

There should just be classes that characters can play based on their P-level, not the other way around.

Commercial Telepath: P5 min.
Class Starting Feats: Mind Shield, Surface Scan, Sense Telepathy, Deep Scan, Communication (with other Telepaths only), Jamming (see Mindwar)

Accidental Scan should be a GM story development tool rather than a PC feat.
Well, that depends what level you think most commercial telepaths are; i.e. are trained telepaths only first level, or higher than first level? Talia Winters wasn't just out of training when she arrived at B5. Note that the Communication ability works on non-telepaths - I'd make communication between telepaths a freebie for all telepaths (note, again, that even Ivanova could speak mind-to-mind with her mother).

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Postby lastbesthope » Sun Sep 05, 2004 10:39 pm

BeronTheGrey wrote: Note that the Communication ability works on non-telepaths - I'd make communication between telepaths a freebie for all telepaths (note, again, that even Ivanova could speak mind-to-mind with her mother).

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Ivanova said that "sometimes" she was the one who entered her mother's mind. I don't think she could do it all the time.

IMHO and humble interpretation of the episode.

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Telepaths get scary

Postby B_Steele » Mon Sep 06, 2004 3:13 pm

I would say to leave it as the book suggests...as in the game we run here we have a couple of telepaths and they are SCARY once they get a level or two under their belts.

What I would possibly suggest (as from your other post seems a similar quandry), is that you do not start you PCs at 1st level. Both of your examples (this, and another post) have been due to a lack of feats matching their backgrounds.

I say start them off at 3rd level...this will get them an extra feat (or two in the telepath's case) and some extra skill points to reflect these substantial backgrounds they have come up with.

Whatever the case, good luck!

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Postby scottmage » Sun Sep 26, 2004 12:39 am

Ivanova said that she was a P1 or P2. She was able to tell when someone was scanning her and she could sometimes feel others emotions. She was never able to communicate with anyone other than her mother (telepath to telepath) and she never had any incident of Accidently scanning someone else.

A Telepath that is weak can send to another Telepath because the receiving Telepath is more sensitive to telepathic messages than a mundane. That is also explained in several of the B5 books on numerous occasions.

The whole Telepath system in this game seems to be buggered!

In the show it was a matter of Power (PSI Rating) and Skill (control of the abilities that a certain PSI Rating gives). JMS said that a P10 (such as Mr. Grey) could scan someone from across a crowded room, where a P5 is hard pressed to scan someone close to them.

This issue of taking subdual damage by using Telepathy is way off as well. Bester said that a Psi Cop should be able to scan for 60 minutes before they are field rated since most blips are not strong enough to block for that length of time. That would mean that a Field Rated Psi Cop would have at least 600 Subdual points (I don't have my books with me, 10 rounds in 1 minute x 60 minutes).

Telepathy ranges are all off as well. Everything else seems to be in the Metric system except Telepathy. Then it is really messed up. In Season 5 you really see more use of Telepathy. When the Bloodhound units come onto the station, all the Telepaths execept Lyta sense them. This is almost 2 miles away, out of Line of Sight!

Byron tells Lyta to lower her shields that she has to put up to be among the mundanes. When a Telepath lowers their shields, it increases their sensitivity, which also means they can get harmed easier. Bester did it trying to reach his lovers mind (can't remember the episode at the moment).

I would set up something like this:
1. PSI Rating can either be purchase (such as in Star Wars) or generated randomly D12 or GM approval
2. Telepathy is a Cross Class skill for anyone that does not have Psi Training Feat, i.e. Psi Corps, Mimbari Telepath Training, Rouge Telepath Training. Someone that has training would have a higher skill.
3. Telepathic Feats would be based on PSI Rating - not level based. "I have the prerequisites to be a Psi Cop, I just need to be high enought level so that I can do a Deep Scan" :?
4. I would fill in the missing Telepathic abilities that were seen show or the movies, i.e. the ability of a P9 to sense electronic surveillance "Thirdspace", etc.

This is a start if Mongoose wants to build a Telepath book with ALL of the Psi abilities in one book. I know that I would buy it :D
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Postby lastbesthope » Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:22 am

scottmage wrote:Ivanova said that she was a P1 or P2. She was able to tell when someone was scanning her and she could sometimes feel others emotions. She was never able to communicate with anyone other than her mother (telepath to telepath) and she never had any incident of Accidently scanning someone else.
I think she said she wasn't even a P1, not that it matters for the discussion but I'm a stickler for detail. I coulb be wrong though. It's been a while, my early season DVDs are on loan to a friend right now.
scottmage wrote:This is a start if Mongoose wants to build a Telepath book with ALL of the Psi abilities in one book. I know that I would buy it :D
Well the Psi Corps book is slated for Oct release. Keep your eyes open at your FLGS.

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Postby BeronTheGrey » Sun Sep 26, 2004 8:33 pm

scottmage wrote: 3. Telepathic Feats would be based on PSI Rating - not level based. "I have the prerequisites to be a Psi Cop, I just need to be high enought level so that I can do a Deep Scan" :?
Or you could put it this way: "I'm in training to be a Psi Cop. No, I haven't learned how to do a Deep Scan yet; my instructor teels me I have to work on the basics a bit more before I'll be ready to do it safely."

Now I think of it, that's an idea - Telepaths can attempt to use any telepathic ability they qualify for by P-rating, but they can only do so safely/effectively (after-all, how could danger sense be dangerous to attempt?) if they've learned the ability normally.

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Postby Dag'Nabbit » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:07 am

:twisted:
It could definitely be dangerous if attempted nutrained. Maybe you pick up on everyone's fears if they are within range of the danger sense ability. Now you're just too scared to move, and maybe if you keep failing you become psychotic.
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Postby Guest » Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:50 am

I think the untrained attempts are a worthwhile idea(with some utterly repulsive difficulty increase...) that way powerful and talented telepaths, who have most likely been exposed to all sorts of effects have a fairly good chance of pulling off low level abilities despite having not trained in them.

I think most people should remember the basic concept behind D&D classes, ellucidated quite well in the psionics handbook, wild talents are those with a single level or so in the special class. This is one of those things that bothers me most about the telepath class. No variety. The 1st level telepath is effectively untrained, yet he has a set list of introductory abilities. What about the stuff s/he picked up on her own before s/he started training?

Ivanova got a pretty potent mind shield for her psi ability, some ranks in telepathy skill, accidental scan(which could very well be universal), and possibly some other stuff I can't remember. But the point is not neccessarily the four they all start with, whether a P1 or a P12.
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Postby Guest » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:55 pm

As Barbara stated in another post, there is an example of a High P10 that is suddenly able to use Telepathy and she is able to do surface scans at least at 1st level.

She could not build a Mind Shield by default. In fact because she was so powerful, she could not block out any of the thoughts of those around her till Talia taught her how to build a Mind Shield.

So what, she was a 0 Level Telepath till Talia taught her how to build a Mind Shield?

Mongoose might want to look at how Wizards of the Coast do Jedi and consider that as an option.

Telepathy should be a cross-class skill unless a Telepath has the Feat: Trained. Then skill points could be balanced as well. Instead of Telepathic Feats, the Telepath could choose Skill Focus Feats for specific aspects of Telepathy, i.e. Deep Scan.

Telepaths in the show do not seem to develop above their current Psi Rating unless they are altered, i.e. Vorlon, Psi Corps experiment, etc. The way the game rules portray Telepaths they do develop in P Rating since a P12 cannot perform even a Surface Scan at 1st level.

The rules are broke and the Psi Corps book will not fix them, a new Telepath book with new rules will.
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Postby lastbesthope » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:13 pm

Anonymous wrote:The rules are broke and the Psi Corps book will not fix them, a new Telepath book with new rules will.
And the difference between the new Psi Corps book and a new telepath book is ...? Seem to me like the Psi Corps book is a new telepath book. At least for humans anyway.

Unless you've already seen the Psi Corps book?

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Postby frobisher » Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:33 pm

Anonymous wrote:As Barbara stated in another post, there is an example of a High P10 that is suddenly able to use Telepathy and she is able to do surface scans at least at 1st level.
Read up on the description of Accidental Scan, it covers the above situation quite neatly, no change in rules required...
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Postby Guest » Sun Oct 31, 2004 12:09 am

lastbesthope wrote:I think she said she wasn't even a P1, not that it matters for the discussion but I'm a stickler for detail. I coulb be wrong though. It's been a while, my early season DVDs are on loan to a friend right now.
http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries ... e/085.html

Under JMS Speaks "She's a latent telepath. About a P1. As has been established on the show in the past."
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Postby Guest » Sun Oct 31, 2004 12:15 am

BeronTheGrey wrote:
scottmage wrote: 3. Telepathic Feats would be based on PSI Rating - not level based. "I have the prerequisites to be a Psi Cop, I just need to be high enought level so that I can do a Deep Scan" :?
Or you could put it this way: "I'm in training to be a Psi Cop. No, I haven't learned how to do a Deep Scan yet; my instructor teels me I have to work on the basics a bit more before I'll be ready to do it safely."

Now I think of it, that's an idea - Telepaths can attempt to use any telepathic ability they qualify for by P-rating, but they can only do so safely/effectively (after-all, how could danger sense be dangerous to attempt?) if they've learned the ability normally.

Simon D. Taylor
From P. 101 of the Player's guide under Using a Telepathic Ability "Every telepathic ability detailed in this chapter has a listed P-Rating and only telepaths of this P-Rating or higher may use the ability – weaker telepaths simply do not have the mental strength to even attempt it."

Guess you missed that.
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Postby Barbara » Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:47 am

As put in by Guest:
So what, she was a 0 Level Telepath till Talia taught her how to build a Mind Shield?

No, she still is a 0 level Telepath. She can now take levels in the telepath class. Look in the main book, basic training at Psi Corp takes years. Death and injury rate is high due to training methods.(An example of which was shown in the series with the two young telepaths bashing away at each others sheilds. So the stronger you are the more likely you are to injure your opponent when their sheild goes.
Training also includes normal schooling and propoganda- sorry. rules & regs. It isn't 24hrs a day. Time is given for rest & recreation.

Which makes me very glad that my character had a Minbari teacher, who unfortunately has just left the game. One on one training, carefully without the other rubbish, sorry.. rules and regs.

Scottmage wrote:
This issue of taking subdual damage by using Telepathy is way off as well. Bester said that a Psi Cop should be able to scan for 60 minutes before they are field rated since most blips are not strong enough to block for that length of time. That would mean that a Field Rated Psi Cop would have at least 600 Subdual points (I don't have my books with me, 10 rounds in 1 minute x 60 minutes).

Check if the ability is continuous, in which case you only pay to start it, not per round. So if you keep it going ,it's cheap. Blocking on the other hand, is a seperate roll each time and that dreaded 1 is going to turn up sooner or later. Psi cops get 3pts/lvl, nml telepaths 1/lvl, who do you think is going to conk out first.
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Postby frobisher » Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:46 pm

Barbara wrote:Check if the ability is continuous, in which case you only pay to start it, not per round. So if you keep it going ,it's cheap. Blocking on the other hand, is a seperate roll each time and that dreaded 1 is going to turn up sooner or later. Psi cops get 3pts/lvl, nml telepaths 1/lvl, who do you think is going to conk out first.
Plus the Psi Corps book gives a whole lot of options for existing skills/feats which makes them easier to use under the right circumstances...
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Postby Guest » Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:57 am

frobisher wrote:
Anonymous wrote:As Barbara stated in another post, there is an example of a High P10 that is suddenly able to use Telepathy and she is able to do surface scans at least at 1st level.
Read up on the description of Accidental Scan, it covers the above situation quite neatly, no change in rules required...
I did re-read the description of Accidental Scan, and unless you have Errata that is not common Barbara is correct. The chances of an Accidental Scan increases, not decreases with the character gaining levels.

Perhaps you should re-read the description.

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