Tag Archives: Psionics

Fate Core Psionics – Take Two

Take two of my Fate Core psionics draft, following feedback from various sources to the first draft I posted a couple of days ago.

I’ve reduced the skills to from ten to five by merging the three “mind” skills into one, ditto the three perception-type skills, and made matter manipulation into a stunt rather than a skill it’s own right. At the moment I’m not 100% sure about the Psychic Senses skill. It may need some of the “big” uses split out into stunts, but not sure which ones, and don’t want to leave the core skill too underpowered.

Psionics are extras; requiring a dedicated aspect defining the nature of a character’s powers, and one refresh for each skill.

The basic skills can be used for three of the four standard FATE actions, Overcome Obstacle, Create Advantage and Defence. An additional stunt is required to use any skill as an attack.

Telepathy

Covers sending projecting your own thought and emotions, along with sensing and influencing the thoughts of others.

Overcome obstacle
Communicate silently and privately with another willing (or at least not actively unwilling) person at a distance. Communication with another telepath is easier and faster, but two-way communication with non-telepaths can still take place with the non-telepath subvocalising replies.

Create Advantage
Read strong surface thoughts or determine emotional state of a target, or project emotions or plant suggestions in the target’s mind. Or even send distracting thoughts and images.

Defence
Read attacker’s surface thoughts so you know what they’re going to do and can counter their attack, or by mentally disrupting the attack itself.

Telepathy Stunts

Mental Blast
Use Telepathy for a direct mental attack, overloading their brain with static. Take them out and they’re knocked unconscious.

Mind Control
Use Telepathy for a direct mental attack, with the objective of taking control of their mind, If you take out your opponent in mental combat, they become a puppet under your control. You need to make another roll each time you try to force them to act against their nature, and they break free from your control if you fail the roll.

Mind Reading
Use Telepathy for a direct mental attack with the intention of reading their mind. If you take out your opponent in mental combat, you can search through their memories, rolling for each piece of information.

Psychic Senses

The ability to project senses into the past, present and future.

Overcome Obstacle
Passive “danger sense” that can give warning that something bad (like an ambush) is about to happen. Detect any actual use of psionics within range. Project your senses to see, hear or otherwise sense things a distance away.

Create Advantage
Create predictions as as Aspects on a target (or just “the future”) which can then be tagged. Persistant aspects stick around until either the foretold event comes to pass, or is prevented. Psychometry to determine one of an item or location’s Aspects.

Defence
Predict attacker’s moves in advance in time to counter them

Psychokinesis

The power of Mind Over Matter

Overcome obstacle

Anything that needs physical things to be lifted or moved. Difficulty based on a combination of weight, size and distance.

Create Advantage
Create obstacles, disarm, throw opponents off-balance, whatever…

Defence
Foil a physical attack

Psychokinesis Stunts

Psychokinetic Attack
An attack that causes physical damage to opponent, e.g psychokintically hurling rocks at them or throwing your opponent into the scenery.

Matter Manipulation
Destroy or alter unliving things by altering their chemical properties.

Lightsculpt

The power to manipulate light and create illusions

Overcome Obstacle
Conceal objects or people. Or for something completely different, use illusions for entertainment.

Create Advantage
Distract opponent with illusions

Defence
Distract opponent with illusions

Lightsculpt Stunts

Shock and Awe
Create an illusion sufficiently realistic and frightening that it causes mental shock, and counts as an attack.

Body Control

The power of Mind over Body

Overcome obstacle

Heal injuries to yourself and others.

Create Advantage
Push yourself past normal limits for feats of strength or endurance

Defence
You can soak up injuries

Body Control Stunts

Cause Injury
An attack cause physical hard to an opponent, essentially healing in reverse. Opponent must be in the same zone as you.

Advanced Stunts

These stunts require more than one skill as pre-requisites.

Energy Blast
Requires both Psychokinesis and Lightsculpt. Create a bolt of energy (fire, lightning, whatever) as a ranged attack.

Mindswitch
Requires Telepathy with the Mind Control stunt, and Body Control. You can swap minds with an opponent you’ve taken out in mental combat.

Shapechange
Requires both Lightsculpt and Body Control. You can change your appearance into that of another being. You don’t change size, and do not gain any special abilities of the new body shape unless you can simulate them with another power.

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Psionics for Fate Core

Yes, I know the RPG project has been on the back-burner for a long, long time. I haven’t completely abandoned it, and here are some thoughts on revising psionics to be more compatible with Fate Core.

I originally based the powers in the setting on the metapsychics of Julian May’s Pliocine Exiles saga, with the power level scaled back, since the setting is more pulpy science-fantasy than four-colour superheroics. Since the setting came from a long-running GURPS game from way back when there’s probably still a fair bit GURPS Psionics in it’s DNA too.

My original intention (from a draft that pre-dated Fate Core) was to avoid stunts entirely and represent psionic powers with skills. I came up with a list of skills representing different “powers”. Now I’m thinking in terms or making the more powerful applications of psionics into stunts based on those skills, and if possible reducing the number of skills in the process. The idea is that skills on their own can be used for Overcome Obstacle, Create Advantage or Defence (three of the four standard actions in Fate Core), but you need a stunt to used any power forAttacks.

I’ve taken my original psionic skill list and listed Fate Core actions attached to each one.

So, two questions. First, do any of these look overpowered or unbalancing as they stand? And second, which of these could be collapsed into fewer skills (such as merging the three “Mind” skills into a single “Telepathy” then breaking out the attack modes into stunts?)

Mind Control
Attack – Direct mental attack, taken out results in a puppet under your control
Overcome Obstacle – Control someone you’ve taken out.
Create Advantage – Project emotion or plant a suggestion in the target’s mind which you can then use to your advantage.
Defence – Foil a physical or mental attack

Mind Reading
Overcome Obstacle – Listen to another person subvocalising to communicate privately without being overheard. Read thoughts and memories of someone you’ve already taken out by mental attack
Attack – Direct mental attack, taken out lets you read their mind as Overcome Obstacle.
Create Advantage – Read strong surface thoughts or emotional state of target which you can use to your advantage.
Defence – Read attacker’s surface thoughts so you know what they’re going to do and can counter their attack.

Mindspeech
Overcome Obstacle – Speak to another person a significant distance away; communicate privately without being overheard.
Create Advantage – Send thoughts or images to an opponent to distract or confuse them to your advantage
Attack – Direct mental attack, taken out knocks the target unconscious.
Defence – Send thoughts or images to distract or confuse your opponent and disrupt their attack.

Precognition
Overcome Obstacle – Passive “danger sense” that can give warning that something bad (like an ambush) is about to happen.
Create Advantage – Create predictions as as Aspects which can then be tagged.
Defence – Predict attacker’s moves in advance in time to counter them

Psychometry
Overcome Obstacle – Learn something about past of an item or location
Create Advantage – Determine one of the item or location’s Aspects

Clairsentience
Overcome Obstacle – Project your senses to see, hear or otherwise sense things a distance away.

Psychokinesis
Overcome obstacle – Anything that needs physical things to be lifted or moved.
Attack – Physical attack on a target (anything that can cause injury)
Defence – Foil a physical attack
Create Advantage – Create obstacles, disarm, throw opponents off-balance, whatever…

Lightsculpt
Attack – Create illusions that frighten and cause shock for mental damage.
Defence – Distract opponent with illusions
Create Advantage – Distract opponent with illusions
Overcome Obstacle – Conceal objects or people. Or for something completely different, use illusions for entertainment.

Matter Manipulation
Overcome Obstacle – Destroy or create things by altering their chemical properties
Attack – Physical attack to cause injury either attacking the body directly or altering their environment
Create Advantage – Altering the environment to give you an advantage
Defence – Altering the environment to make you harder to attack.

Body Control
Overcome obstacle – Heal injuries to yourself and others.
Attack – Cause physical hard to an opponent, essentially healing in reverse.
Defence – Soak up injuries
Create Advantage – Push yourself past normal limits for feats of strength or endurance.

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