This is a selection of psionic powers available for player characters inmy Reliquary Space setting. They replace the psionic rules in Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes, with inspiration from GURPS Basic Set, 3rd Edition.
Each psionic skill costs 3 Skill Points. They have no IQ minimum, but higher IQ gives you a higher chance to gain mastery over your skills—otherwise, they are latent. To check for mastery, make a Level 2 Saving Roll for each skill, combining your IQ with your level in the chosen skill.
Latent skill: GM uses the skill erratically as though it were controlled by an distracted and unreliable, but otherwise benevolent NPC. Such powers may manifest in stressful situations (with a Saving Roll) or otherwise, at the GM’s whim. If you spend significant downtime training under a master of a given discipline, you may check for mastery again at the end of your training regime, taking a +1 bonus for each fortnight of unbroken, focused practice in a single skill.
Psionic skills are divided into disciplines: Telepathy, Psychokinesis, Psi Static, and Chorochronometry. Any of the psionic skills within the same discipline may be taken as Specializations stemming from any other skill in the same discipline, provided the esper meets all other requirements.
The range of all psionic skills can be extended by use of clairvoyance or senses gained via mind-reading.
Psionic Skills at a Glance
- Psi Sense
- Mental Blow
- Mind Shield
- Mind Control
- TK Shield
- Energy Medicine
- Psi Static
Telepathy – 3 pts.
Reach out to other minds within the range of your daylight vision.
Battle of Wills.
Many telepathic skills call for a Battle of Wills, pitting the telepath’s power against their target’s grit and mental integrity.
This struggle is resolved like that of fighters in hand-to-hand combat: Both sides roll dice, add their Will, and compare the totals. The side with the higher total wins. (Groups may combine their totals on each side before comparing totals.)
If you’re a telepath, your Will rating is equal to half your current Intelligence score. Everyone else figures their Will the way fighters figure Missile Adds, based on the character’s current Charisma or Intelligence, whichever is higher: For each point the attribute exceeds 12, they get +1 Will. For each point the attribute falls short of 9, they get -1 Will.
Roll dice equal to your Telepathy skill level, and add your Will. The target gets dice equal to their Mind Shield skill level, if any. A telepath may choose to counterattack instead, rolling dice equal to half their Telepathy skill. Either way, they add their Will to their roll.
Compare these totals: The higher side wins, and the difference between the rolls becomes either hold or damage.
If you win, you gain hold over the target. Otherwise, you suffer non-lethal damage to your Strength score. If your hold is no less than the target’s Will, the target is unaware of your telepathic intrusion.
- Send your thoughts to a single recipient. If the target isn’t a telepath, you may use Mind-reading to receive their response.
- If the target is unaware or unwilling, resolve a Battle of Wills to enter their mind. If you succeed, you get a number of “search queries” equal to your Telepathy skill level before the connection closes. Ask about their thoughts, sensory information, or memories. After each query, they may burn Strength equal to your hold to expel you from their mind.
While you see through another entity’s senses, you may include their visual range within the range of any psionic powers you use.
Telepathy allows you to use the following skills untrained—Mental Blow, Mind Shield, Sleep, Illusions, and Mind Control—but doing so costs you Strength equal to the Telepathy skill level they require, in addition to any Strength usually required to use the skill.
Psi Sense – 3 pts.
You can feel the presence of other espers. If you actively sniff for espers within your range, make an Intelligence Saving Roll plus your skill vs. the other esper’s Luck score. If they are actively using a psionic power other than Psi Static, add their skill to your roll!
When you sniff while multiple espers are in range, roll vs. the esper with the lowest Luck score.
Mental Blow – 3 pts. (Requires: Telepathy)
- Spend 1d6 Strength. Everyone within range must make a CON Saving Roll (modified by their Mind Shield) against your skill level or be stunned for a number of rounds equal to the amount they missed by. They can attempt a Charisma Saving Roll each round after the shout to snap out of it before then.
- Direct mental attack.
- After you win a Battle of Wills, your hold becomes lethal Strength damage against your target, plus a bonus equal to your Mental Blow skill.
Mind Shield (Requires: Telepathy)
Passive resistance against telepathic intrusion. Your Mind Shield gives you dice equal to your skill level in a Battle of Wills.
Sleep (Requires: Telepathy 3+)
After you win a Battle of Wills, the target falls into a sleep lasting up to your Sleep skill in hours unless awakened.
Illusions (Requires: Telepathy 6+)
Create an illusion in the target’s mind. After you win a Battle of Wills, you imbue the target’s perceptions with the illusion you describe, using as many major details as your skill. The illusion persists for your skill in Turns (minimum 1 round), or until they leave your presence.
The target may burn Strength equal to your hold to shake off the illusion if they examine it or interact with it substantially—such as when it would damage them or vice versa, or when it would be disrupted by their actions.
Subtle details that conform to their expectations may pass unnoticed, while blatant psychedelic visions or phantasmagoria might provoke ongoing resistance.
Mind Control (Requires: Telepathy 9+)
Hypnotize someone and make them follow your verbal or telepathic orders. After you win a Battle of Wills, the target falls into a trance. They will take no action apart from following your commands, and you may operate them like a puppet if you do nothing but concentrate. Your grip over them lasts your skill in Turns (minimum 1 round), unless you command them to wake, you lose consciousness, or leave their presence. They remember everything.
If any command would violate their animal survival instincts or ruling passion, the target may burn Strength equal to your hold to throw off your influence.
You may instead give them a post-hypnotic suggestion. After you win a Battle of Wills, describe a trigger and an action you want them to take. The target will come out of the trance and behave normally until they encounter the trigger you described. At that time, they will automatically obey your suggestion, unless it would violate their animal survival instincts or ruling passion. In that case, they may burn Strength equal to your hold to fight off the impulse.
Player characters targeted may choose their actions, earning Adventure Points equal to your Mind Control skill any time they fulfill the telepath’s commands contrary to their own character’s interests.
Telekinesis (TK) – 3 pts.
- Move items with your mind!
- Move up to 10TK times the Strength you spend in pounds, at a Speed rating equal to your Telekinesis skill times the Strength you spend. You can move smaller weights at greater speeds by multiplying Speed by the factor you divide the weight by.
- When you launch an item at a target, treat it as a missile attack with a Dexterity equal to your Basic Basic TK skill times the Strength you spend. On a hit, treat your Basic TK skill as a Monster Rating to determine damage.
- Range: As Telepathy, or any unseen item you have seen within a radius of your IQ in yards.
TK Shield (Requires: Telekinesis, Precognition)
- Deflect a physical or telekinetic attack.
- When you are hit by an attack while conscious, and subtract your TK Shield level from each damage die. You may spend Strength to absorb additional damage, 1-for-1.
- Pocket atmosphere.
- If you are ejected out of an pressurized environment, submerged underwater, or otherwise sent from a breathable space to a place where you can’t breath, you can make a Charisma Saving Roll plus your TK Shield skill to take enough oxygen with you as if you were in a space suit. If you make it, the bubble holds for TK Shield skill level in combat rounds.
Energy Medicine – 3 pts. (Requires: Telekinesis)
- Healing ministration.
- Touch someone who is injured to heal their wounds. Make a Charisma Saving Roll plus your Healing skill level: If you make it, the target recovers lost CON up to your Energy Medicine skill level. On a miss, you lose 1d6 Strength. If you roll less than 5, the target also suffers 1d6 damage!
- Directed Energy Attack.
- Use your psi to squeeze a target’s blood vessels or similar. You must see or touch the target and make a missile attack with a Dexterity equal to the target’s CON. On a hit, roll a number of dice equal to your Energy Medicine skill for damage.
Psi Static – 3 pts.
Psi static disrupts espers from using their powers, within the radius of your daylight vision.
- When you activate your power globally, anyone within range must make a Charisma Saving Roll against your Psi Static skill level before using any psi powers except for Psi Static.
- Focused Disruption.
- When you target a specific person you can see, they must make a Saving Roll as above. If they make it, they may use their power—but it costs them additional Strength equal to their skill level.
Clairvoyance/clairaudience – 3 pts.
You can perceive the folds of spacetime and the forms that occupy the space around you in your minds eye, and reach for the sights, sounds, and other sensory impressions in other locations you have previously visited. Make an Saving Roll IQ Saving Roll plus your skill level:
- Level 0 if view is within your visual range, but obscured in some way.
- Level 1 if the destination is on the same celestial object as you, out of sight.
- Level 2 if the destination is is on a different celestial body in the same system.
- Level 4 if the destination is in a different system in the same sector.
- Level 8 if the destination is in a different sector in the same quadrant.
- Level 16 if the destination anywhere in the galaxy outside your current quadrant.
Failure means the vision is confused and blurry, or you see an alternate location of interest, chosen by the GM; and your Clairvoyance is disabled for 1d6 hours.
A blind clairvoyant can see unobstructed surfaces to a range of their IQ in yards without a Saving Roll, but a roll is required to see through exterior layers, such as inside envelopes or containers.
Autotesseract – 3 pts. (Requires: Clairvoyance 3+)
Fold space to teleport yourself and no more than 5 pounds of worn gear to any place you can see (including through Telepathic or Clairvoyant vision). Make an IQ Saving Roll plus your Teleport skill, with the Saving Roll level determined by the range, per Clairvoyance.
Failure means you teleport to an alternate destination of interest, chosen by the GM; and your skill is disabled for 1d6 hours. Failure to roll at least a 5 on the the dice means you also splinched, and suffer damage equal to the amount you missed the Saving Roll by.
Exotesseract – 3 pts. (Requires: Autotesseract)
Same as Autotesseract, but you can teleport persons and objects you touch, weighing up to 10 to the power of your Exotesseract skill, times the Strength you spend, in pounds. Alternatively, you can teleport remotely viewed persons and objects to your current location.
Psychometry – 3 pts.
You can pick up the echoes of significant past events that radiate from certain objects and locations. Items associated closely with a person may convey details about that person’s current location and condition. Such impressions typically come in the form of vague flashes of imagery and information.
Make an IQ Saving Roll plus your skill. For each level of success, you may ask the GM one question about the vibrations of this object or place; including what happened here, and what happened to any significant people who interacted with the subject.
Failure means your skill is disabled for 1d6 hours. Repeated attempts cost 1d6 Strength.
Precognition – 3 pts.
You can pick up the shadows of what may happen. Make an IQ Saving Roll plus your skill. For each level of success, you may ask the GM a question about the current direction of fate—in general, or concerning specific people, places, and things. The GM will answer honestly to the best of their ability.
Failure means your skill is disabled for 1d6 hours. Repeated attempts cost 1d6 Strength.
If you are caught by surprise, make a Luck Saving Roll plus your skill vs. the danger’s level in Precognition. On a success, you had a feeling just in time and you get to act first.
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