[ Freelance Traveller Home Page | Search Freelance Traveller | Site Index ]

*Freelance Traveller

The Electronic Fan-Supported Traveller® Resource

Legal Psionics: Some Ideas

Psionics: In stock GDW Traveller, psionics is outlawed; psi characters are pretty much in the closet, with haphazard help from an underground Psionics Institute. Most local Trav campaigns took just the opposite tack, with psionics legal and generally available.

Alternatives to these setups are:

  1. The Babylon 5 approach; a governmental Psi Corps with an enforced monopoly on psionics; non-Corps psis have the choice of closet, jail, Psi Corps, or forced merasha treatments. Psi Corps also seems to have connections with covert ops and "dirty tricks" agencies; in Wayne Shaw's words, their enforcement branch of "Psi Cops" becomes "a slimy bunch of psychic SS" in attitude.

    Under this setup, independent player-character psis would still be pretty much outlaws; the main difference is that the authorities will "make them an offer they can't refuse" rather than stamping them out. Underground psionics institutes - cracks in the Psi Corps monopoly - could still exist.

  2. With the less-centralized government of a confederacy, a governmental Psi Corps would have to share its monopoly with other powers, most likely megacorporations. Organized crime would also have its psis, under legit cover or no. Intrigue between Psi Corps, the megacorps, and the Mafia would follow.

    Independent psi institues may still exist, either over- or underground depending on local attitudes. The big boys (Psi Corps and megacorps) would be trying to freeze the small fry out instead of actively stamping them out.

  3. Three "special" psi talents are added by popular demand:
    1. The first special talent (and one of the hardest to run) is precognition - seeing the future. The only way to run it is as a probability function - the psi doesn't see the future, he sees the future that is the most probable at the time he uses the talent. "You can't change fate - but if you see it coming you can duck." Very incomplete notes in JTAS 5.
    2. Another is pyrotics (pyrokenesis) - the Firestarter talent. This would probably run similar to telekinesis. Notes in JTAS 5 need to be tabulated for ease of use.
    3. The third is psichometry - reading the past of an inanimate object by touch. Notes in JTAS 5; like pyrotics, need to be tabulated.
  4. In addition, teleportation could be downgraded to "special" instead of having its own specific slot. Earlier consensus was that teleportation seems to be a very rare talent compared to the others.
  5. JTAS 5 also includes notes on special psi talents Jaunting (interstellar-range teleport), Howl (area-effect psi-scream), Detect (psionic searching), and Empathic Healing.