Psychic House Rules
Clarification: The presence of an Anti-Psi means that all Psychic Powers are reduced to a chance die for activation/power pool. This applies even to psychic powers that are at a level where they would not normally require a roll to activate.
Believers are basically Retainers whose purpose is to help out with a Psychic's powers by being totally convinced of them.
To reflect this in a MUSH environment, Believers use the following rules:
- They are considered Retainers with the additional effect of assisting with Psychic power rolls if they are in proximity.This means they need to be noted and named the same as other Retainers.
- Even though Believers are enamored of their psychic they are not to the extent that they will sacrifice themselves. They are not mindless. They are everyday people with the same fears, responses and actions of a normal human.
- They must be present to enable their modification to apply. And to be considered present in a scene they must be posed as being there. No having them suddenly show up just to modify the roll.
- . Rate of Dissipation: After a psychic successfully applies cryokinesis or thermokinesis to a target and then stops maintaining the temperature differential, the rate at which temperature equalizes is 10 degrees Fahrenheit *per round*, not 10 degrees Fahrenheit per minute.
- . Cryokinesis and Composure vs Resolve: Any PC apping in with or acquiring Cryokinesis will be able to buy it up to the level of the lesser of their Stamina or *Composure*, not, as the book says, Stamina or Resolve.
The following are Custom merits to allow players who wish the source of their kinetics to be electrical rather than pyro/cryo.
Charging Station (**)
Effect: An electrokinetic need not be destructive, and with training their powers become quite useful in the modern age. A battery showing at 1% may terrify the average person, but in the hands of an electrokinetic with this merit, it's just a normal day at the office as a gentle trickle of charge repowers the device at hand.
The effects of this merit affect only one object at a time per activation.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Stamina + Crafts
Dramatic Failure: The psychic overcharges the device causing the battery to fail and the device to smoke out.
Failure: Nothing, thankfully, happens, aside from the device running out of power like normal.
Success: Success allows for the device to receive a full charge and be ready to run like normal.
Exceptional Success: The device will be fully charged and not even drop a percentage for the rest of the scene. Even Doubting Thomases will not curb your desire for a functioning phone.
Effect: Electrokinesis represents the ability to manipulate electrons as they move through conductive and nonconductive matter. Psychics with this power are usually referred to as electrokinetics.
An electrokinetic is fully attuned to the motion of electrons through materials from static electricity to devastating amounts of direct current. An electrokinetic can also drain a battery or ground a circuit just as easily, causing anything relying on that power to cease its function.
A character with Electrokinesis must overcome three difficulties in putting current into motion: the amount of current, the relative conductivity of the material to be jolted, and how much area the electrical effect is being applied to. The modifiers applied to an attack roll for each of these criteria are listed below.
Dice Modifier Current
0 Small Shock
-2 Damaging Shock (+1 damage)
-4 Full Blast (+2 damage)
Dice Modifier Conductivity*
+2 Conductive metal (copper wire, metal pipe, etc).
+1 Conductive Liquid (Regular old water)
0 Air/Living Bodies
-2 Ceramics, Glass
- A properly grounded substance will subtract 2 more dice
+The Conductivity represents the material of the target, the materials a target is touching, or materials embedded in the target. If multiple people are touching a material that provides a positive dice modifier, all are subject to the same attack. However, the electrokinetic needs to make a targeted attack to gain this benefit. If the target is in a fully enclosed vehicle, such as a car or tank, only the vehicle can be targeted in this way.
AREA SIZE OF ELECTRICAL EFFECT
+1 Less than six inches (not a targeted shot but rather a narrow blast. Any targetted attack sufferes targetting modifiers but does not gain this benefit)
0 Size 1-3
-1 Size 4-5 (Human)
-3 Size 6-9
-5 Size 10 (Maximum)
The roll to start a current involves Wits + Resolve. When the electrokinetic seeks to zap a person or some other target capable of movement, the attempt is treated as a ranged attack. Defense does not apply, but the electrokinetic suffers a -2 penalty when attempting to strike a moving target.
Short range for an electrokinetic attack is equal to a psychic's Intelligence + Wits + Electrokinesis dots in yards. Medium range is twice that distance and imposes a -2 penalty on an attack dice pool. Long range is up to twice medium range and imposes a -4 penalty on an attack dice pool.
The damage inflicted with a successful electrokinetic attack is equal to to one point of lethal damage for each success + damage bonuses from Intensity. This damage pool (minus the benefits of any electro-resistant armor) is inflicted every turn that the electrokinetic maintains concentration (and spends a Willpower point). The psychic can perform no other action while they are doing this - if they are attacked then their concentration is broken. They also have no defense while maintaining this concentration.
Note that unlike pyrokinesis or cryokinesis there is no physical effect - eg flames or ice - that continues once a electrokinetic turns off their power. This is why they must spend a point of willpower to maintain the flow. Alternatively they can roll again to create a new attack which replaces the damage of the other if it is successful.
Just as with normal Electrocution (see page 177-178 of World of Darkness), a target's muscles will lock up if exposed to voltage for multiple turns (ie the Psychic expends willpower to maintain the flow of electricity). If the target is subjected to continuous attack then they suffer from muscle immobility from the second round of attack which can be broken by either a reflexive successful Strength roll (representing getting away from the arc) or by being knocked out of the way by the successful grapple of another PC. The successful grappler suffers 1L from the contact unless properly insulated.
If a target breaks the contact then the psychic must attempt to hit as before.
If a target breaks the contact then its only other action that round is to move. They may resume actions as normal the next round if they are not hit again.
Draining a battery or grounding out an existing electrical line requires an extended Stamina + Resolve roll. Draining a cell phone battery will only require two successes, but for a normal electrical line, each success is a turn where the electricity is shut off in that circuit. This effect has the same range as an electrokinetic attack.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Resolve to start an electrical flow. Stamina +Resolve to ground it
Action: Instant to cause an electrical arc. Extended to ground it, with each roll representing one turn.
Dramatic Failure: The psychic suffers one point of lethal damage due to painful psychic feedback. Alternately, the psychic might produce an electrical arc of the desired intensity but not where he wants it to strike (or short out electronics on his person). An electrokinetic attempting to ground a circuit might increase the current through the line instead
Failure: The attempt to start or terminate an electrical surge is unsuccessful.
Success: The electrokinetic zaps his target and does damage/effect. If attempting to ground a circuit, the electrokinetic accumulates a number of successes with each success indicating one turn it is shut off.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward.
Electrokinetic Immunity (** or ****)
Effect: Your Electrokinetic is highly resistant if not completely immune to electricity. With the two-dot version, make a reflexive Stamina + Resolve roll when your character is exposed to mundane electricity, with each success providing one point of armor that protects against only electricity damage. With the four-dot version, you need only spend one Willpower point to render your character totally immune to electricity damage. If any Doubting Thomas (see p. 65 of Secondary Sight) is present when the four-dot version of this Trait is invoked, a successful Stamina + Resolve roll subject to normal penalties is required for unilateral protection to activate.
The effects of either version last for one scene, although clothes and possessions are not protected. No protection is provided against supernaturally induced electricity.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resolve for the two-dot version.
None for the four-dot version, unless a Doubting Thomas is present.
Dramatic Failure: The psychic is not protected from the shock, and electricity damage is increased by one.
Failure: The psychic is not protected from the shock, but she can try again in the next turn as a subsequent attempt.
Success: Each success provides one dot of armor with the two-dot version. With the four-dot version, total immunity is conferred despite the presence of a Doubting Thomas.
Exceptional Success: With the two-dot version, additional successes are their own reward. With the four-dot version, any Doubting Thomases present are treated as ordinary people for the duration of the scene and do not inflict any further dice penalties on the psychic during that time.
Energy Conversion (*****)
Prerequisites: Electrokinetic Immunity (4pt version), Charging Station
Effect: As an electrokinetic is highly attuned to converting his own strength of will into Electrical energy, and one with immunity can safely experience it without harm, one may wonder the relationship between force of will and electrical currents.
A powerful electrokinetic is able to reverse the process, restoring his own mental energies and force of will by acting as an electrical transformer and shifting the current hitting his body into pure will.
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resolve
Dramatic Failure: The psychic takes damage from the electricity, even if they would normally be immune through electrokinetic immunity.
Failure: Nothing happens to the psychic.
Success: Every two successes allows the electrokinetic to convert 1 damage from the electrical source into 1 willpower point. Willpower total cannot go higher than the maximum amount of Willpower for the character. Any excess successes are lost.
Exceptional Success: More successes are their own reward.
Toggle Switch (***)
Effect: With a fine enough understanding of electrical signals and electronics in general, an electrokinetic is capable of changing the state of an electronic device. For simple devices this can be a general on off toggle (such as a light switch, or detonator), or sending a change state signal (such as making a traffic light change from Red to Green, or changing the channel on a tv). More complex activities such as running computer programs are beyond this level of control.
The effects of this merit affect only one object at a time per activation.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Crafts
Dramatic Failure: The psychic overtaxes the device causing the device to smoke out and be damaged.
Failure: Nothing thankfully happens.
Success: Success allows for the device to change its state, toggling it on or off as desired.
Exceptional Success: The device remains under the electrokinetic's control for the rest of the scene, allowing them to continue messing with traffic lights, or annoy your friends by turning the light off and on when they sit down.
Postcognition - Uncontrolled
Postcognition now has an "Uncontrolled" Option that operates exactly like Uncontrolled Precogntion. Please be aware that this eliminates a PC's ability to use or target it at will.
We have HouseRuled this merit and associated costs as follows: the three-dot merit 'Telepathic Rapport' need only be bought once. Once it's on a psychic's sheet, that psychic is capable of establishing a telepathic rapport.
In order to actually establish a telepathic rapport with someone, the psychic must effectively lose and replace a permanent willpower dot - thus, the cost to establish a rapport with someone is 8xp, the cost of a permanent willpower dot. There is no cost to the psychic (or the other party) when the rapport is broken either by the psychic's choice or by the other party's death, because the cost has been paid up front.
The psychic may purchase any number of telepathic rapports at the additional cost of one willpower dot/8 xp per rapport. However, as in the canon, the psychic cannot maintain more rapports than they have dots in Intelligence. If the psychic is maintaining a number of rapports equal to their intelligence and wishes to create a new rapport, they will have to break one of their existing rapports. They do not get any of the spent xp back, and if they later want to reestablish a rapport with that person, they will have to purchase the rapport again.
For a detailed example of how to set the +notes for this merit, please see Boilerplate for Telepathic Rapport Notes
Psychic Vampirism vs Supers
Psychic Vampirism in Second Sight, pp. 49-50, is written in the book as ineffective against Mages, Werewolves, and Vampires. For consistency and adherence to theme, this has been clarified/HR'd on TR to applies to all supers, not just those three. Psychic Vampirism automatically fails when used against anyone with a powerstat.
This is a custom merit that goes along with Telekinesis and provides a new aspect of the power.
Telekinetic Shield (***)
Prerequisites: Telekinesis 5
Effect: The telekinetic has honed their power to the point where they can form a kinetic barrier or shield around them that blocks passage both organic and inorganic matter from passing through it. The shield manifests as an invisible bubble around the telekinetic, which moves with them as they move and protects anyone else inside, though those inside the bubble can also attack the psychic without penalty. However, a psychic must focus to maintain the shield. They can take no other action other than walking and talking or the shield drops. They do, however, only get half their Defense while so focused.
Cost: 1 Willpower + 1 additional Willpower after every lesser than Stamina or Resolve rounds.
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resolve
Dramatic Failure: Not only is there no shield, but the telekinetic takes a point of bashing damage due to the psychic feedback.
Failure: The shield doesn't manifest.
Success: The telekinetic is able to make a shield around them, with no larger a radius than Stamina yards. Any attempts to throw/shoot something past it are penalized by the successes on the activation.
Those trying to move through the shield are stopped unless they succeed on a roll of Stamina + Resolve - Activation Successes. The shield remains for a number of rounds equal to the lesser of his Stamina or Resolve, or until the psychic loses concentration. Spending Willpower extends the period in which the shield may be held.
Exceptional Success: The shield now remains for a number of rounds equal to the greater of Stamina or Resolve.
Psychic/Thaumaturge Defining Merit
Following the lead of Thaumaturges, who have a free 4 dot Merit according to the dictates of their Path/Tradition, Psychic characters on Fallcoast have a free 4 dot Defining Merit either from CharGen or from the time of their Becoming. (For specifics on the Thaumaturge Path/Traditions and their Defining Merits, please see the Merits List and the individual Path/Tradition pages.) Since psychic Merits can go up to 5 dots, psychics simply pick a particular power and gain four dots in it. A psychic could, however, take Biokinesis 5 with the first 4 dots set aside as their 'defining merit', and purchase the last dot with merit dots left over from CharGen or with XP.
Of all psychic merits (as with the thaumaturgic merits), the defining merit must be chosen first. That means it must be a 'base merit', one which does not have any psychic merit prerequisites. Thus, a telepathic character could choose Mind Reading at 4 for their defining merit, but could not choose Thought Projection, since that has Mind Reading as a prerequisite. The sequence of spending is very clearly defined: you must choose your defining merit first. Then you may spend your merit dots from chargen. Only when all of those are spent can you spend your starting xp.
If a power is chosen as a defining merit that requires 5 dots (e.g. Pyrokinesis), the fifth dot must be bought with two merit dots. If a power is chosen as a defining merit that can only go up to 3 dots, the fourth dot may become the first dot in another psychic merit, but again it must be spent before merit dots.