Redoing Psionics

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
ShawnDriscoll said:
Alex. I think you bought the wrong RPG.
No, I'm pretty sure that it's Traveller.

'Course, I won't be inviting some people to some of my games, even those set in the OTU with no psionics at all.
 

Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
My problem with the existing Psionic system is that essentally EVERYONE is psionic, they just don't know it.

I use 2d6-10 for Psionic Potential. If you roll 0 or less, you are not psionic. Your Psionic strength is based on the roll of 2d6-10, thus if you rolled an 11 - you roll 1d6 for your PSI, if you rolled a 12 - you roll 2d6. This is for PCs. Normal people are usually Psionic about 1% of the time. My game is more like Babylon 5 (Which is also TRAVELLER) than the OTU.

I also do not normally run games in the OTU, but my game is INSPIRED by the OTU and I do use some of the aliens etc.

Keep up the work Alex!
 

tneva82

Mongoose
Another thought that came up regarding new stat generating. Apart from simply tasks becoming simpler because average DM goes from +0 to +1 this will also lead to increased skill levels. GM's would need to up the difficult tasks artificially by about 2-3 levels...
 

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
tneva82 said:
Another thought that came up regarding new stat generating. Apart from simply tasks becoming simpler because average DM goes from +0 to +1 this will also lead to increased skill levels. GM's would need to up the difficult tasks artificially by about 2-3 levels...
Whatever for? If your character's a career bureaucrat and has obtained lots of Admin and Persuade skill levels, it doesn't mean the Referee has to artificially bump up his skill difficulties to compensate for the focus of the character's skill set.
 

hdan

Mongoose
Rikki Tikki Traveller said:
My problem with the existing Psionic system is that essentally EVERYONE is psionic, they just don't know it.

The reason for that is, in Traveller, Psionics is not a magical power, it's a science of how to use mental powers all people are assumed to possess. Given the difficulty of some disciplines, you need to have a relatively powerful mind to do all but the basic stuff, and if you haven't trained as a kid, you're not going to have enough potential left to do much, but everyone can in theory do psionics, just like everyone can in theory jog or swim.

The roots of that idea are in the 70's "new age" culture, along with other Ancient Astronauts/Chariots of the Gods and "Sumerians were Aliens" stuff that lead to Grandfather and the Vilani culture, respectively. There's a reason Droyne look like little gargoyles or devils, after all.
 

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
hdan said:
The roots of that idea are in the 70's "new age" culture, along with other Ancient Astronauts/Chariots of the Gods and "Sumerians were Aliens" stuff that lead to Grandfather and the Vilani culture, respectively. There's a reason Droyne look like little gargoyles or devils, after all.
That, and MWM had to have watched "Quatermass And The Pit" at some point.

Also, the origin of psionics goes back a lot further than the 1970s. Hard sf writers were hardwiring telepathy and psionics into otherwise (kind of) plausible sf settings as far back as the turn of the century. Odd John, Sirius, the Lensman series, the Family d'Alembert, the Midwich Cuckoos, Asimov's Second Foundation, James H Schmitz' Telzey Amberdon / The Hub / Agents of Vega, Larry Niven's Future History / Known Space, Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People, and later on Babylon 5 and The X Files ... you name it, and chances are you'll find psionics in it in strict defiance of all known models of evolution and laws of what we know as physics, biology and chemistry.

And some of those psionic talents displayed are very powerful indeed - The Mule derailed Hari Seldon's psychohistoric model in the second Foundation book, only for the model to be refined in his third Foundation book when they realised there were two Foundations, one for the physical sciences and the other for psionic sciences.
 

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
The thing about putting Psi and the psionics sections in right at the start alongside chargen is that it keeps everything together - even if the psionics part is still entirely optional, and remaining firmly at the Referee's discretion - control over whether to include psionics or not in a campaign remains as firmly in the Referee's hands as ever, though it'd be a somewhat lacklustre Third Imperium if they ignored the Psionics Institutes, the Psionic Suppressions, the Zhodani, the Droyne ...

The changed psionics rules would not make psionics suddenly ubiquitous, and every player character suddenly a Jedi - remember, Referee discretion and official demographics of the 3I would still conspire to make psions a rare breed, lurking in the shadows, and powerful psions as rare as Droyne rollerskates. Most psions are likely to be in the 6-8 range, average ability, with a power range that is comparable to the current abilities of psions in the current CRB. And most player characters, Patrons and casual encounters are liable to be non-psions, with a general rarity low enough as to make an encounter even with a low-level psion a significant event.

It'd be good to be able to retool psionics to permit their appearance in the weirder psi-heavy sort of campaigns, along the line of Agents of Vega or even the Second Foundation.
 
alex_greene said:
Psionics, like ...I am unable to address the points raised, and cannot understand the difference between real world concepts, like physical exhaustion, and game inventions like magic, only being able to generate misinterpretations of the rules and irrelevancies, so I will amend someone elses post for laff ...to fit with most classic sci-fi.

Amended for clarity.


OP, you have yet to demonstate that the current psionic system is broken, all you have pointed out is that it uses a system which is not the same as that used to cover endurance!

You also need to look at the post, above, about gaining psionic talents, the core system is much better than you seem to think, perhaps you should read the rules more carefully.

Egil
 
Rikki Tikki Traveller said:
My problem with the existing Psionic system is that essentally EVERYONE is psionic, they just don't know it.

I use 2d6-10 for Psionic Potential. If you roll 0 or less, you are not psionic. Your Psionic strength is based on the roll of 2d6-10, thus if you rolled an 11 - you roll 1d6 for your PSI, if you rolled a 12 - you roll 2d6. This is for PCs. Normal people are usually Psionic about 1% of the time. My game is more like Babylon 5 (Which is also TRAVELLER) than the OTU.

I work on a somewhat similar basis, but reduce natural access to psionics, so at the end of a period in the Psionics Institute, you roll 2d6, if you get a 12, then you can roll for psionic strength in the normal way, if not, no psionics. Basically, that is a 1 in 36 chance that, after assessment, a Vilani or Solomani will have some psionic powers, use slightly different rules for the Zhodani, though they tend to feature as NPCs, usually baddies, in MTU.

Egil
 

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
Egil Skallagrimsson said:
Use my name. Not "OP." You would be offended by this vulgar behaviour if someone applied it to you. Call me by my name, and put paid to this offensive behaviour.

Egil Skallagrimsson said:
, you have yet to demonstate
And as we are deteriorating to the point where we are casting aspersions on our reading comprehension and throwing ad hominem attacks impugning the intelligence of people with whose viewpoints you disagree, might I recommend that you spellcheck before you concede defeat in this argument?

I don't have to satisfy you - you would abolish the whole concept of psionics from Traveller altogether, so no amount of arguing, reasoning, cajoling, pleading or other means of persuasion could possibly change your mind since you'd already made it up a long time ago.

If you can't honestly agree to disagree, your whole argument is invalid so go and troll somebody else.
 
alex_greene said:
Egil Skallagrimsson said:
Use my name. Not "OP." You would be offended by this vulgar behaviour if someone applied it to you. Call me by my name, and put paid to this offensive behaviour.

Egil Skallagrimsson said:
, you have yet to demonstate
And as we are deteriorating to the point where we are casting aspersions on our reading comprehension and throwing ad hominem attacks impugning the intelligence of people with whose viewpoints you disagree, might I recommend that you spellcheck before you concede defeat in this argument?

I don't have to satisfy you - you would abolish the whole concept of psionics from Traveller altogether, so no amount of arguing, reasoning, cajoling, pleading or other means of persuasion could possibly change your mind since you'd already made it up a long time ago.

If you can't honestly agree to disagree, your whole argument is invalid so go and troll somebody else.

OP, yet another contradictory post that runs straight from platitudes, "I don't have to satisfy you" to deliberately mis-stating my ideas (no, I would not abolish psionics, it is fine as it is, have you not read any other posts?) through suggesting that "no amount of reasoning" would persuade me, when I have yet to read any, is another example of your inability to make your case.

However, OP, you will be pleased to know that I am done with this thread, I concede nothing, but really can't be bothered to waste more time watching you blandly fail to address point which were genuinely meant.

Oh, well done on spotting the typo, you must have been very pleased with yourself there.

Egil
 

Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
Egil Skallagrimsson said:
Rikki Tikki Traveller said:
My problem with the existing Psionic system is that essentally EVERYONE is psionic, they just don't know it.

I use 2d6-10 for Psionic Potential. If you roll 0 or less, you are not psionic. Your Psionic strength is based on the roll of 2d6-10, thus if you rolled an 11 - you roll 1d6 for your PSI, if you rolled a 12 - you roll 2d6. This is for PCs. Normal people are usually Psionic about 1% of the time. My game is more like Babylon 5 (Which is also TRAVELLER) than the OTU.

I work on a somewhat similar basis, but reduce natural access to psionics, so at the end of a period in the Psionics Institute, you roll 2d6, if you get a 12, then you can roll for psionic strength in the normal way, if not, no psionics. Basically, that is a 1 in 36 chance that, after assessment, a Vilani or Solomani will have some psionic powers, use slightly different rules for the Zhodani, though they tend to feature as NPCs, usually baddies, in MTU.

Egil

I actually thought about the 12 thing as well, but FOR MY SETTING, I wanted psionics to be a bit more common amongst my PCs.

One of my favorite characters had a PSI of 2 and one Talent - Telepathy. He could use "LIFE DETECTION". I was actually surprised how often that came in handy...
 

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
Rikki Tikki Traveller said:
One of my favorite characters had a PSI of 2 and one Talent - Telepathy. He could use "LIFE DETECTION". I was actually surprised how often that came in handy...
Indeed. Tracking someone, keeping tabs on your buddies' locations (and any unshielded enemies') in a pitch dark, smoke filled room, or simply pinpointing the exact location of a target hiding behind cover. Sometimes, it is the smallest abilities which turn out to be the most useful.
 

rust

Mongoose
Rikki Tikki Traveller said:
He could use "LIFE DETECTION". I was actually surprised how often that came in handy...
I once made the questionable decision to make Animal
Empathy a career skill for the dolphin handlers of a wa-
ter world setting and soon learned that the players we-
re able to turn this seemingly minor talent into a quite
powerful tool during each and every wilderness adven-
ture.
 

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
One of the tweaks I had had in mind was that, for a character with a low Psi, the Referee could decide to give them a single Talent, typically Telepathy or Clairvoyance, though Awareness would do - and then give them one ability within that Talent, a minor one such as Life Detection, Telempathy, Shield, Clairvoyance / Tactical Awareness or Awareness / Enhanced Awareness - one that they could perform automatically as a single Significant Action, something like that. Assume that the maximum Range is something like 1 kilometre, or whatever, and the ability to pick up a particularly strong psionic signal from any range is assumed as a given.

(Also, for any of these abilities where the Psi DM is added to something, assume a minimum +1 DM is applied instead by default).

They would have a useful Talent, they could use the ability to good effect and considerations such as Psi and range costs could be waived.

This option could be extended to newbie Traveller players new to gaming who want a psion character for who might consider the psionics rules too fussy and fiddly.
 
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