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Psionics in BRP


Greymagius

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I've a pretty good idea on 'Magic' and Sorcery for the BRP, but am curious if anyone can shed some light on the psionics system? I recall a psionics system from an issue of 'Different Worlds' for CoC. The powers were very low key, but well suited to a subtle game such as CoC. There was also a system in CoC D20, that was rather low key.

A few specific questions I have are:

Does BRP psi require skill or a stat based roll to use?

Do they require 'magic/psi' points based off power?

How do they compare to 'Magic' or Sorcery in usefulness?

Can they be improved and added to in play?

Is there an advantage in choosing 'Psi' over other meta-physical arts?

Any information wold be appreciated,

Thanks,

Grey

At Play in the Fields of the Fnord

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Tal Meta's psionic rules here, here, and here.

The psi rules for the new book are taken from the ElfQuest books. They cover subtle things like telepathy to overt things like pyrokinesis. I won't go into more detail because it's late right now and I don't have the book here, and I'll probably misquote it if I tried to give you accurate info.

70/420

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Does BRP psi require skill or a stat based roll to use?

Do they require 'magic/psi' points based off power?

How do they compare to 'Magic' or Sorcery in usefulness?

Can they be improved and added to in play?

Is there an advantage in choosing 'Psi' over other meta-physical arts?

BRP0's Psychic Powers are like this:

Require skill-rolls for each power;

Use Power;

Judge their usefulness for yourself (Astral Projection, Aura Detection, Clairvoyance, Cryokinesis, Danger Sense, Dead Calm (resiste mental shocks), Divination, Eidetic Memory, Emoption Control (in others), Empathy, Intuition, Levitation, Mind Blast (stunning), Mind Control, Mind Shield (prot.v.mental attacks), Precognition (!), Psychometry, Pyrokinesis, Sensitivity (to supernatural presences), Telekinesis, Telepathy (mind reading/communication));

Improve like normal skills, and new powers can be gained by training and POW sacrifice;

Not sure what you mean by 'other metaphysical arts'.

I hope this helps.

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I've found the BRP psychic powers (psionics) to be very smooth to incorporate. As everyone's said, they're basically treated as skills, with PP cost, sometimes resistance rolls as required, and are loosely (and informally) divided into telepathy-type and telekinesis-type powers.

They're very flexible, and it's easy to incorporate new powers. Having said that, my gut feeling is to treat these much more as "special abilities" rather than spell powers, with characters having probably fewer of them than they would spells - sort of viewing them almost as skills. I've created a couple of psychic characters, and it's worked best when you start with a concept - IE this guy is a powerful telepath - and then choose the abilities to fit.

As far as usefulness is concerned, that depends on your own choices. Are they interoperable with magic, for example? IE, would Pyrokinesis be resisted by a Resist Fire type spell? Personally, if you don't let the other power systems (esp. sorcery and magic) get too overblown, psychic powers (telepathy, emotion control, mind blast, telekinesis, etc) stand to give character's very special powers.

The big thing is not to think of D&D psionics. They're nothing like - if anything they're maybe more comparable to the old Traveller psionics, or maybe even Space Opera (now that *was* a psionics system!).

Cheers,

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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... or maybe even Space Opera (now that *was* a psionics system!).

Ah me! Lens and force swords and powering a ship in to TISA or FTL all by ones lonesome... Happy memories....

Oops! Sorry!

:focus:

I have somewhere some half finished notes on re-jigging RQIII Spirit magic / Shamanism as a psionic powers system (for a DArk Sun conversions). I'll see if I can find them tonight.

Cheers,

Nick

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:D thanks to all! Exactly the information I was looking for!

I sounds like a very complete basic list and quite possible to easily add any more esoteric powers, if needed. My current plans call for Magic, Sorcery & Psi in a Fantasy style setting. Not familiar with Traveler or Space Opera psi, but I've a much better idea now, which makes my pre-planning of game setting easier.

Many Thanks to All,

Grey

At Play in the Fields of the Fnord

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...or maybe even Space Opera (now that *was* a psionics system!).

Cheers,

Sarah

Mmm, now that's a good idea to copy from, err I mean, get inspiration from for expanding the BRP Psi abilities!

Skunk - 285/420 BRP book

You wanna be alright you gotta walk tall

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<Snip>

The big thing is not to think of D&D psionics. They're nothing like - if anything they're maybe more comparable to the old Traveller psionics, or maybe even Space Opera (now that *was* a psionics system!).

Cheers,

Sarah

Fantasy Games Unlimited

Dear gods, I loved that game! The only psi power it didn't do in some form was shapeshifting (a la the Fir Bolg from Julian May's the Saga of Pliocene Exile, or the Psychon Maya from Space: 1999). We used the weight from Teleportation as the base cost and multiplied the (ongoing) cost by 2 for every half-again bigger or smaller than actual weight.

It covered all my favorites well. The Lensmen, John Carter of Mars, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Hammer's Slammer, Ann Maxwell's The Fire Dancer trilogy, Gordon R. Dickson's Space Paw, Dune and, of course Star Trek & Star Wars (& lots more that I can't remember off-hand 8( ).

3-D space combat was first rate too!

But NPC's were a pain to write up (quickly).

Take care,

-Bander

Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan. One giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present... Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man. –The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu

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I'm a little surprised to find that no one has mentioned the psionics from Ringworld. I don't recall them particularly clearly at the moment, but they were far more subtle than the flash-bang style of psychic powers one might otherwise expect. I'll have to dig those out and have another look at them.

Did any of the Ringworld material make the collected and concatenated BRP?

!i!

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Did any of the Ringworld material make the collected and concatenated BRP?

It was influential for the science fiction aspects, and many of the appropriate spot rules (radiation, deep space exposure, zero-g combat) are from there or started from those rules.

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