Thaumentalism: An Elucidation

The practice of thaumentalism formed as a result of general dissatisfaction with conventional psionic tutoring. Thaumentalists believe that sentient minds are capable of accomplishing literally anything, and that they simply need a little bit of a jolt, here and there, to figure out how. Sure, one could meditate for years to figure this stuff out, but why waste all of that time and effort?

A thaumentalist, by using magic to look into his or her own mind, can activate such mental abilities rather quickly. This is a subversion of the method psis use to gain their powers, and most of those meditative folks look down on your average thaumentalist. Nonetheless, thaumentalists are most definitely onto something, as their odd practices allow them to wield both psionics and spells.

Not that every thaumentalist need pursue psionic as well as mystic mastery. The school lends itself to a study of the mind and how it works, and a thaumentalist may very well be perfectly happy with spells designed for that purpose. However, should one wish to wield psionics but approach them from the more mystical side of things, the school of thaumentalism is right up their alley!

The Thaumentalist

Whether they study psionics in addition to their wizardry, or simply delve into the sorcery of sentience, thaumentalists almost always have the inside track on what people around them are thinking and/or feeling. This can make them thoughtful and compassionate, or selfish and manipulative, depending entirely on the thaumentalist in question... not to mention their mystic master.

This is not to say that thaumentalists are necessarily the most intelligent, wise, or self-aware people you'll ever meet. More than a few are content to leave their minds barely more potent than that of a human without skills that grant super human abilities, and let their school's special ability do the heavy lifting for them. After all, one usually only needs to be at their peak during a crisis.

But thaumentalists who develop their minds alongside their wizardry and psionics may very well appear almost alien, their preternaturally keen intellects being aware of what others will do seemingly before they themselves have such any idea. But then, understanding sentience in and out will have that effect on a body, for good or ill, and holding that tendency back is easier said than done.

Channeling

Above and beyond all of their mystical knowledge, thaumentalists benefit from a potent ability that makes them seem super human even before the effects of their spells are put into play. Namely, instead of manifesting a magical effect upon casting a spell, thaumentalists may channel the energy that would have been used to actualize it into their very minds, enhancing them considerably - if in a transient fashion.

In other words, a thaumentalist may cast any spell, and instead of utilizing it as intended, can substitute that spell's rank in place of one of their mental ability scores. A thaumentalist's Fighting, Reason, Intuition, or Psyche may be augmented in this fashion, as is desired, which can be particularly potent in all aspects of life if they possess even one spell that is of high rank.

The only catch is that this enhancement lasts for a but singular use of the ability score in question. For example, consider a sorcerer with Typical (6) Reason, who possesses a spell that functions at Unearthly (100) rank. By channeling that spell into their Reason, they may utilize that heightened ability score in, say, the attempt to resolve an invention FEAT, after which it immediately returns to its normal value.

Though intended for immediate use, thaumentalist ability enhancements can be prepared and maintained as if they were spells, if one wishes.

Balance

A thaumentalist is easily the counterpart of a psychoturge (a psi that dabbles in magic), in that his or her wizardry grants them mystic abilities as well as the power to mess with both psionics and the mental faculties of others. Essentially opposite sides of the same coin, the two have the potential to master both the psionic and mystical arts, and this makes them singularly dangerous beings.

At the same time, a thaumentalist is a similar foil to a physiomancer. While the latter can channel magical power into their physical abilities to achieve a one-shot usage at an enhanced level, the former can do this with their mental ability scores. This allows thaumentalists to be veritable mental giants, if only for short periods of time - but that's quite often all the brain power they need.

The ultimate trick with a thaumentalist is how they balance their open-ended spell and/or power selection. If attempting to master both spells and psychic powers, it can be all too easy to lean on one source of power over the other. This is often why a thaumentalist will save abilities that affect the mind for their magic, while they'll reserve influence over anything else to their psionics.

At least that way, they can keep their focus where they really want it.

the Percipient: A Sample Thaumentalist

Technically combination characters, thaumentalists are often a bit tricky to put together. Sure, you might have a mental picture of these sorcerers of sentience, fighting evil with both psionics and wizardry simultaneously, but translating that into a cohesive character description may take some doing. Thus, an example of such is provided, using the systematic character generation method.

Let's see what we can do with fifty points, shall we?

Determining the Percipient's Basic Abilities

Since we aren't using die rolls for this character, I need a basic idea what I'm going for. Thinking she'll be melee-centric in combat, I pick up Remarkable (30) Fighting for three points, Typical (6) Agility and Strength for no net points, Good (10) Endurance for one point, Remarkable (30) Reason for three points, and Excellent (20) Intuition and Psyche for two points each.

That's eleven points down. Filling in the rest of the character's vital blanks, I wind up with fifty two Health by adding the sum of her Fighting, Agility, Strength, and Endurance scores, and seventy Karma by adding up her Reason, Intuition, and Psyche rank numbers. I leave Resources at Typical (6), and Popularity at zero (0), in order to maximize points for spells and/or psionics.

Determining the Percipient's Background Information

Thinking I'd like this character to hold her own in battle even without her special abilities, I pick up Law Enforcement for two points. This background talent provides her Guns and Law inherently, along with the free contacts. I round that out with Martial Arts type B, to assist with corporeal combat, and Astral Combat, to lend her a hand during battle occurring in psychic planes. That's four more points!

Our nascent thaumentalist will take two level two mentor contacts, one for her wizardry and one for her psionics. She has two other contacts due to her Law Enforcement background, one being the department she belongs to, and the other being anyone she would like. I opt for that to be a source of information in the underworld, regarding 'weird happenings' she might want to look into. That's four more points.

Finally, let's talk quirks. I'd like this character to have a heightened, Learned Resistance to mental influence, which would cost one point, but since we're trying to save those, I'll balance that out with a deleterious quirk. Thus, I'll go ahead and take a Dulled Sense of Hearing, prompted by unanticipated firearm discharges occurring over the course of her career in law enforcement.

Determining and Quantifying the Percipient's Magical Abilities, Magical Appliance, and Psionics

With thirty one points remaining, it's time to settle on spells, powers, and things. I pick up Remarkable (30) ranked Enlightenment for twelve points, which is expensive, but opens up the potential for magically derived psionics. With twenty points remaining, I go with Excellent (20) ranked Astral Projection and Mesmerism (five points each), to round out this character's initial spells.

Having nine points left, I start work on the character's metapsi discipline; it seemed that if her wizardry works on the mind, her psionics can work on the body! Good (10) ranked Shape Change is a nice base for that discipline of power, as is Greater Resistance / Physical Attacks. Each of these cost four points, leaving only one more with which to come up with an artifact of some sort.

Rather than taking more quirks or limitations to come up with anything expensive, I opt to run with something unexpected yet utilitarian. A gift from her upsilon, the Circlet of Eyes is adorned with beautiful sapphires every thirty degrees around its circumference, which provide its wearer the power of strongly limited (portable) Circular Vision (her last point). While it is a device empowered by psionics instead of sorcery, it works.

Determining the Percipient's Origin Story

Most of the residents in the city where Janice Jacobs lives have never met her in her secret identity as a police officer, but far fewer have had cause to encounter her in costume, as the Percipient! Luckily, psychic crimes are few and far between where she lives, but a trusty underworld contact is happy to let her know when they crop up, because he doesn't want to deal with competition that wields mental powers!

Herself the victim of a heinous and sadistic psionic assault years ago, Janice was saved at the last minute by a sorcerous hero who had been tracking the fiend who had wronged her and numerous other people. Upon expressing the need to prevent this from happening to others if at all possible, this sorcerer referred her to a colleague of his, one who specialized in magic of the mind.

Studying with this sympathetic soul while not working as a seemingly ordinary police officer, Janice mastered magic which allowed her to directly open her mind. This required a second, psionic mentor, which makes advancing in either of her paths of power a difficult choice. Highly motivated, however, Janice is happy to put in the time necessary to develop her powers for the protection of everyone in her city!

Thaumentalist Spells

In keeping with this school's basic precepts, thaumentalism school spells are dedicated to expanding the mind of the caster - or someone else nearby - in one fashion or another. Their casting may, in fact, be one of the few times one sees a thaumentalist not simply blasting magic into their brain for a quick inspiration, and actually slinging spells!

Thus far, there are thirteen known thaumentalism school spells:

E M P T V

E

Eidetic Memory
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank beyond one's Reason (mem) score

Representing a super human level of recall, eidetic memory allows its possessor to recollect sights, sounds, and other experiences with vivid clarity. Without outside influence, such as brain damage, drugs, or certain psionics, eidetickers are literally unable to forget that which they have experienced in the past. It may take them a while to recall the specific details of something obscure, but in time they can remember anything.

Eidetic memory should have a minimum rank that is equal to one's Reason (mem) score +1 CS. One can either roll a rank for it in the standard manner or 'gamble' off of their Reason (mem) score to determine the eidetic memory power rank. Alternately, when using the point-based character generation system, simply add one point for every +1 CS eidetic memory has above its possessor's Reason (mem) score.

For the most part, one's power rank is incidental; if time is not critical, an eideticker will eventually dredge his or her mind for any memory they need. In order to recall anything when time is of the essence, however, the character with eidetic memory may need to make a power FEAT roll at the Judge's discretion, its difficulty dependent on how much one was concentrating when experiencing the data in question.

A green FEAT roll is necessary concerning most standard personal memories, while a yellow FEAT is required when recalling less direct, knowledge based information (something read once in the distant past). Red FEAT rolls are only needed when drawing up incidental data, such as the faces one saw in a certain crowd months ago. Failed FEATs, if time is important, may be attempted again once per turn.

Energy Doubles
Type: Thaumenalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

An energy double is a duplicate of oneself the possessor of this ability can spontaneously generate. These doubles are constructed from an imaginary form of matter known as psychoplasm, which is similar to the 'stuff' of the astral plane in nature. This material is psi-active in behavior, and readily accepts the imprinting of parts of one's own personality onto it, thus allowing these duplicates to generally do their creator's bidding.

Whether or not they're paying attention to such duplicates... or even conscious.

Energy doubles may or may not precisely match their creator's appearance, but generally all look the same. The principal ability of such duplicates is their knack for intangibility; an energy double may render itself immaterial at will, being comprised of imaginary matter. This can be done to pass through obstacles or to avoid attacks, as long as they are not of a Sorcerous, Karmic, or Deionic nature.

Energy doubles, when coherent, may attack physically as if they possessed ability scores equal to their creator's. Similarly, while tangible, an energy double has the ability to share its experiences with those it touches (or who touch it), relaying sensory input it has experienced thanks to the properties of its psychoplasmic makeup. But other than that, they possess no further inherent abilities - unless specifically assigned such.

During character creation, one can place their generated powers (or points) in an energy double instead, giving them abilities ranging from flight to energy blasts to anything else that fits their concept, really. Similarly, energy doubles can manifest 'new' powers at a later date, the Karma cost for a new power being paid normally, but the power itself being granted to the energy doubles instead of their creator.

The wielder of this ability can typically generate more than one energy double at any given time. For each rank one has in this ability, they may generate an additional double. Wielding this power at Feeble (2) rank only allows for one, while a character with Excellent (20) ranked energy doubles could simultaneously generate five. The only problem with creating several doubles is keeping track of all their personalities.

A curious side effect of this ability is that different doubles tend to reflect different portions of one's personality - one might be especially surly while another may be a consummate practical joker. Furthermore, these supposedly transient personalities tend to persist. One might generate three energy doubles, only to find their three different personalities are consistent from one use of the power to the next, over time.

Unless destroyed, that is. Energy doubles can be defeated despite their ability to become intangible - much less any other special abilities they have access to. Their Health score is equal to that of their creator (as are all their other physical characteristics), and if reduced to zero points they may well discorporate if not reabsorbed back into one's body. If this happens, the 'mind' of such a double is gone forever.

Oddly, this has no deleterious effect on their creator, aside from potential guilt at the prospect.

Even if undamaged, energy doubles have a finite shelf life. Generally, they can persist in the world for a number of hours equal to the energy doubles power rank number. If they don't return to their creator to be reabsorbed before this amount of time has elapsed, they will fade forever, as if torn apart in battle. Which is one way to get rid of a double whose negative personality traits remind oneself of their own faults too well...!

Enlightenment
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

A powerful tool in a superpsi or thaumentalist's arsenal, enlightenment can reach into dormant portions of the mind... and switch them on! This action can be performed either on oneself or another, which requires a FEAT roll against the Psyche (will) of the person who is to be augmented - whether they're willing or not. Furthermore, an unwilling target of enlightenment may also roll to resist the effects of this ability as well.

Once enlightenment has passed these hurdles, its wielder will activate a psionic within his or her target. This requires a second enlightenment FEAT, which determines precisely which power was switched on. A white FEAT roll means a random ability activated, but neither the enlightener nor their target will know exactly what it is. A green FEAT activates a psi power within the desired discipline - but not the desired ability.

A yellow enlightenment FEAT roll will not only get the right discipline for the chosen power, but will score something in the neighborhood; a random roll on the table including the desired ability is allowed, which may or may not get the exact power our enlightener wanted to switch on. A red FEAT roll, now, that's where the wielder of this ability activated precisely what he or she wanted to in the mind of their target.

Psionics generated by enlightenment function at its power rank.

Such abilities last for a minimum of 1d10 turns, though the enlightener may maintain this power in order to keep them going. This may or may not be long enough for the recipient of a temporary psionic to get used to it, but might be enough for him or her to at least make effective use of their new skill while they've got it. Furthermore, it allows a rational reason for a character to develop said power in the future.

Their mind did it once, after all. In order to develop transient psionics permanently, the target must attempt a FEAT per a power stunt; if they've only had the power once, this requires a red FEAT roll, two to five times makes this FEAT yellow, and six or more makes it a mere green FEAT roll. If successful, something of a mental 'channel' has been opened, and the character may attempt to develop it further.

He or she must pay Karma for the new power as would any other psi, but now has an avenue for acquiring it - even if they have no other psi (or other) powers to speak of. Until the Karma cost for this power is paid, it will be available but unreliable. It works, sometimes, and sometimes it works but not as desired. The Judge is encouraged to have fun with this (but not be unnecessarily brutal) until the books are balanced.

Abilities gained permanently by the use of enlightenment have the normal starting rank and cost for a casual psi - unless the character has some other psi-active abilities. If so, the newly gained power is accounted for (where cost and rank are concerned) within their ordinary power scheme (if it matches his or her discipline(s)). This can be quite handy for psis lacking a proper instructor.

Or perhaps those who have trouble with that whole 'meditation' thing.

M

Mental Doubles
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

Mental doubles are mirror duplicates of one's own mind that the wielder of this power can produce - inside his or her own head! The practical benefit of this is that one can lend their concentration to more than one matter at a time. Being of literally two (or more) minds, the mental doubler can usually get a lot more done at once, despite having to share a single body amongst their many selves.

Mental doubles all possess the same mental ability scores - that of their creator. The only metric of mental might that differs will be one's Mental Health, which is split amongst the many doubles one has created. This can be a double-edged sword if one is subject to psionic assault; while one of one's minds can be knocked out rather easily, there's usually one or more doubles handy to pick up the slack.

For every rank in this power one possesses, they can add an additional mental double inside their mind, if they wish. For instance, a character with Incredible (40) ranked mental doubles could have up to seven additional versions of their mind in their head. While all the doubles one has active must share the physical body of their creator between them, they each have their own 'copy' of their mental or skill-equivalent abilities.

When apportioning out the number of concentration-based powers one can maintain at any given time (such as spells or psionics that require maintenance), divide them up equally between the many mental doubles, though each individual double is allowed a minimum of one power. This allows the mental doubler to potentially increase the number of such abilities they can effectively wield simultaneously, which is quite a boon.

Each mind inside the head of a mental doubler is allowed one action per turn, though the physical body is bound to the number of actions it is normally allotted. That Incredible (40) ranked mental doubler, above, could manage eight actions, though most folks cannot do this without super speed, and thus only some of their doubles could wield their body each turn - the rest would need to utilize skill-equivalent powers instead.

Though if they had access to, say, telekinesis, they could do a whole lot at once!

Mental Repair
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Mental repair is a healing power of a sort, working to mend damage inflicted upon the mind. While mental repair in and of itself doesn't deal in numbers (like the ordinary healing powers do), this ability can be used to right any number of things going wrong within the mind of a sentient being. Anything from mental illness to deleterious quirks to the damage wrought by psionic powers can ultimately be healed by this ability.

When invoked, mental repair must pass a power FEAT against the Psyche (will) of its intended target. If this FEAT is successful, the character with this ability may attempt to undo any psychic damage the target suffers from. If the damage was inflicted by a psionic power, it can be undone with a second FEAT roll, this time against the intensity of the original power if known; if the original power rank is unknown, a green FEAT will do.

Such damage may come in the form of suggestions wrought by mesmerism, mind control, or crowd control, a loss of memory caused by forgetfulness or mind wipe, or any deleterious quirks acquired as a result of catastrophic Karmic damage (such as from psi bolts) - and so on. Once repaired, the target's mind will show immediate results of this, possibly resuming normal abilities or behavior within moments of the fix.

Alternately, mental repair can be used to treat more traditional, psychiatric problems. The main question when bringing mental repair to bear in this fashion is the nature of the problem to be fixed - namely because a lot of mental problems can be traced back to physical imperfections in the 'hardware' housing a mind.

Anything from chemical imbalances to brain damage to surgical procedures can impair one's mind, and if this is the root of a mental problem, mental repair can only fix the error in a transient fashion (usually for 1d100 turns). After this time, the target will resume operation under their normal parameters, though they might be appreciative of the moment(s) of clarity this ability can provide.

Mental repair can be used to bypass some physical limitations of the mind, though such therapy takes quite some time. Problems of a purely psychological nature can be treated in this manner as well. The difference between the two is that purely psychological problems, no matter how severe, can ultimately be fixed in most cases, while a physical problem can only be resolved so much.

And if such problems come in the form of quirks, one must work with their Judge to resolve how such issues are dealt with permanently.

Mind Duplication
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous or maintenance, depending
Cost: 1 point per rank

Mind Duplication is the process of copying the consciousness of another person into oneself. In order to duplicate someone's mind, the possessor of this power must be rather close to them, as the ability only functions within Very Near distance of its target. Luckily for the subject of this power, mind duplication doesn't actually take anything from its targets - it just copies the contents of their heads.

The quality of a mental copy depends on the FEAT roll made when it is used on its subject. A white FEAT roll will only duplicate the personality of the subject, while a green FEAT adds most major memories. A yellow power FEAT roll involves a comprehensive memory duplication, along with any talents the subject possesses. A red FEAT even adds in any talent-equivalent powers (psionics, spells) the subject knows.

So once you've got a copy of someone's mind, then what?

While the subject of this ability isn't affected by this power, and may not even know it was used, the copy of his or her mind inside the mind duplicator's head will. Whether it thinks it has been the target of mind transfer or some other psionic agency, this copied mind will lash out against the mind duplicator, and will usually try to take control of their body for itself (assuming no voluntary copying was involved).

This sort of activity requires a contest of wills between the duplicated mind and the mind duplicator. Of course, lacking the animating spirit of the original, the duplicate is at something of a disadvantage, and suffers a -2 CS to its 'real' Psyche for this purpose. If the duplicate fails, its mind is subordinate to the will of its creator, and can be picked at for information and such at one's leisure.

If this Psyche contest is a tie, the duplicate mind will merge with that of the mind duplicator for the duration of the power. While in this state, the character with this power should have mental abilities that are the average of theirs and that of the consciousness they copied. The combined personality should be a perfect blending of the two, but if each mind is at diametric purposes, it may war with itself.

Should the mind duplicator lose a contest of will against a copied consciousness, its personality will take over their body while the power is active. It has access to any knowledge and skill-equivalent powers that were copied with it, along with the physical abilities and powers of its 'host'. What actions it will take at this point ultimately depend on its relationship with the mind duplicator in the first place.

So how long does mind duplication last? This is determined by a second mind duplication FEAT, made after an initial success. A white FEAT allows it to last for only 1d10 turns. Green FEAT rolls extend this to a number of turns equal to the power rank number, a yellow FEAT extends this to a number of minutes equal to the power rank number, and a red ACT roll extends this to a number of hours equal to the power rank number.

These periods of time, of course, assume that the possessor of mind duplication isn't specifically concentrating on maintaining a duplicate consciousness inside their own head. At the same time, the temporary nature of mind duplication ensures that if some critical mishap occurs with the power, its wielder will not be forever beholden to any consciousness it has duplicated, in the event that it takes over and runs rampant.

A curious side effect of mind duplication is that, even after a copied consciousness has faded, it sometimes leaves an echo in the mind that housed it. This is because information is hard to truly remove from one's mind once it has been implanted, no matter how hard one tries - in fact, trying usually makes it stick harder. These echoes are generally harmless for the most part, but can clutter up one's subconscious a bit.

Luckily, they tend to lack actual talents and talent-like powers they may've possessed, but their personality will usually shine through, along with vague memories of their past (usually what the mind duplicator knows about them). But this can lead to particularly vivid dreams starring one or more personality echoes. Or, should the mind duplicator lose all of their Mental Health, they may rarely come to the fore.

Which might be something of a surprise to everyone around the mind duplicator - particularly whoever it is that knocked them out!

P

Polarization
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Polarization is the process of modifying another psionic such that, through intense concentration, it can be 'wired' to operate on antipsions, instead of the standard psions that most psionics are fueled by. This is incredibly difficult to pull off, and as such this skill counts as two powers for the purposes of power maintenance. But then it really is two psionics, when you get down to it: the polarization ability and the ability polarized.

Other than its power source, a polarized ability generally functions the same - save for one important difference. When its wielder is exposed to antipsions, this power will not be shut down by the resultant particle annihilation. Of course, the polarized ability could then be neutralized, in theory, by direct exposure to psions if its wielder fails a polarization power FEAT roll against the intensity of the psions leveled against them.

And even if this FEAT fails, the character can then turn off the polarization to negate that effect. This makes the polarization of a psionic a powerful tool a superpsi or thaumentalist can utilize should they expect to face a foe with like abilities!

Psi Sense
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

A psi sense is the ability to perceive psionic activity in one's vicinity.

This sense functions on the Near range table, allowing its user to detect the presence of and/or use of psi or antipsi particles within a considerable radius of his or her person. Typically, merely sensing the presence of psi requires but a simple green FEAT roll, unless its user is taking active steps to mask its use. If so, detecting the psi requires a FEAT against an intensity equal to the masking power.

Other than detecting the use of psionic power in one's proximity, a psi sense also has additional uses. A yellow psi sense FEAT allows the possessor of this ability to determine if the psionic in play was either natural or trained in nature and, if the latter, what discipline of power is in use. A red FEAT roll can be used to pinpoint exactly which psionic is being wielded (or was used recently) on a person, place, or thing.

Psionic Control
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

Psionic control is the potent ability to actively manipulate the very form and function of psionics. It only works on mental powers, whether inherent to the body or trained beyond mere biology, not other talent-based abilities (magical spells) or non-mental super powers (built-in powers that aren't psionics). Furthermore, psionic control can only affect the mental powers of others - not those wielded by its possessor.

If a psi-active individual or the effects of their powers are present within Near range of the character with psionic control, he or she can attempt to seize control of such. If attempting to use this ability on a psionic effect free of its creator's body, this only requires a FEAT against its intensity. If the power is not in use or is otherwise internalized to its target, they are also allowed a Psyche (will) FEAT to resist.

Once the possessor of this ability has taken control of another person's psionic, they can do any number of things with it. However, psionic control actions require a second FEAT roll, based on how complicated its wielder's intentions are. Redirecting the target of a psionic (pointing an empathic hammer away from oneself, or 'borrowing' the invulnerability of another) requires a green psionic control FEAT.

Activating or inactivating a functioning psionic requires a yellow FEAT. This can range from being a nuisance to downright lethal, depending on how vital the power being tinkered with currently is to the survival of its possessor. Yellow FEATs also allow one to change minor details of a power's nature somewhat (perhaps turning that psi bolt into something the psionic controller is more resistant to, like raw force?)

A red power FEAT grants the psionic controller the ability to drastically alter the nature of a psionic, being able to turn it from any one power into any other. This might transform armor into empathy, or propulsion into antimatter (almost guaranteeing a spectacular demise for the target). Such applications are by far the most dangerous uses of psionic control - and the most lethal.

Luckily for the opponents of a psionic controller, the effects of this power are highly transient in nature. They only last as long as the psionic controller is actively concentrating upon his or her changes. Furthermore, each turn someone is subject to psionic control (perhaps the psionic controller is 'borrowing' their psionics for a while), they may attempt another FEAT to resist its use on their person.

Psionic Vampirism
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

A variant on the standard ability, psionic vampirism allows its wielder to feed upon the very consciousnesses of other sentient beings in order to recover his or her own, lost Health. As do other forms of this ability, psionic vampirism requires contact with the would-be victim. Upon touching the target, a psionic vampire may drain an amount of their Reason, Intuition, and psionic power scores (if any) equal to this power rank.

This assumes the target is unable to resist. Psionic vampirism can be fought off by passing a Psyche (will) FEAT roll against its rank. If this FEAT fails, the psionic vampire may drain their victim of as much or as little consciousness as they wish, up to their rank number, each turn. Every additional turn they do so, the target is allowed another FEAT roll to resist the wielder of psionic vampirism.

If this resistance FEAT is successful at any point during the feeding process, the target will immediately repulse the psionic vampire, gaining immunity from further assaults with this power from this psionic vampire (though not from other characters with this ability or any other vampiric powers the assailant may possess). Upon managing this, the target should note this resistance in the event of future assaults (just in case).

A psionic vampire that is at full Health when they drain their power rank in consciousness from a victim receives a +1 CS to their Strength, Endurance, Psyche, and all their power ranks save for this one (additional drains do not enhance them further). This boost lasts for 1d100 turns, after which point the character with psionic vampirism will return to their normal capability. Gaining another, like boost requires another feeding.

The danger in using this ability is twofold. First off, there's the risk of contagion. Draining someone of their mind completely is considered a lethal attack. If the victim of such an assault fails their Kill check, they will begin to lose Endurance ranks until either first aid is administered or they die. If such an individual dies, they will rise again as an undead creature, a psionic vampire that feeds on the minds of others to survive.

Secondly, if a psionic vampire kills with this ability (whether accidentally or on purpose), they must pass a Psyche (will) FEAT against the intensity of their own psionic vampirism. If this FEAT fails, the psionic vampire will become addicted to the mental energy of others, and will require them to function as well. While addicted, the character with psionic vampirism suffers a loss of power each day they do not feed upon others' minds.

This loss comes in the form of a -1 CS to their Strength, Endurance, and Psyche scores, as well as all their power ranks (save for this one). In order to avoid this loss, the addicted psionic vampire must drain an amount of mental energy equal to their psionic vampirism rank each day, and if at a penalty, a like amount to recover each -1 CS lost. The only way to shake this addiction is to go cold turkey - and that's not easy.

Withdrawal from the mental energy of others causes the CS penalties to mount, until the character's indicated ability scores and power ranks reach Shift 0. This prompts an Endurance FEAT roll, per a Kill result. If this FEAT fails, the character immediately dies, and will eventually rise as a psionic vampire themselves. If it succeeds, they may attempt a Psyche (will) FEAT to overcome their addiction.

If this Psyche FEAT succeeds, the character is 'cured', and may begin to recover lost ability and power ranks at a rate of +1 CS per day. If the Psyche FEAT fails, however, the character must wait another day, and repeat the Endurance FEAT to see if they live long enough to attempt another Psyche FEAT to beat the urge. This continues until the character either dies or manages to defeat their addiction.

If a psionic vampire has ever been addicted to the mental energy of others, using the ability again may cause a relapse - even if they've physically recovered from the ordeal. Every time the character uses psionic vampirism afterwards, they must pass a Psyche (will) FEAT, the failure of which indicates an immediate relapse into addiction. If they pass this FEAT they'll be fine - at least, until the next use of the power.

Naturally, an undead creature dependent on the minds of others to live cannot shake this requirement. This process only applies to still-living wielders of psionic vampirism, and not its many victims.

T

Transfixture
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 points per rank

A transfixture is a mental state that allows its possessor to quickly recover from psychic injuries. When in use, it allows its wielder to recover lost Mental Health at rate equal to its power rank each minute. Divide this by ten to get the amount one heals each turn; an Excellent (20) ranked transfixture, for instance, heals two lost points each turn. Transfixture of less than Good (10) rank spaces healing out over several turns.

The effects of transfixture are applied at the end of each turn (if applicable). A character may initiate the transfixture ability at any time, but it will not function on any turn where its wielder activates psionic powers of any kind. Similarly, transfixture will not help its possessor on the turn after they suffer any loss of Health, Negative Health, or Mental Health.

Transient Psionics
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

Transient psionics are powers which have been temporarily placed within an inanimate object (or objects, depending). When charging an item with psionic power, the possessor of transient psionics may place any such ability they possess into it, doing so at any rank up to this power's. If sharing powers thanks to a link or other like ability, the wielder of this power can imbue items with any power the link grants access to.

This process takes some time, requiring a number of minutes equal to the rank number of the psionic to be deposited in an item. Creating transient psionics is quite time consuming, but nonetheless allows the character with this ability to share his or her powers with anyone else they desire - even those psionics which are not typically able to be used on others (like body armor).

Generally, transient psionics can sit idle for any amount of time, but there's only so much of them available to whoever holds the item imbued with mental might. These temporary powers can be used for 1d10 turns before running out. This is true whether the power granted has an instantaneous effect (such as a psi bolt) or can be maintained (such as a flight power).

V

Variable Psionics
Type: Thaumentalism Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

Variable psionics is similar to the variable power ability, save that it is used to duplicate psionics. These can be either the learned talent-equivalents used by psis, or natural psionics a character may have access to (whether due to a fluke of brain chemistry, physical mutation, or whatever). Variable psionics, when used, can copy a psionic possessed by anyone within Very Near range with a simple green FEAT.

This new psionic will function at the variable psionics rank, not its original score. This won't affect the source of the psionic, and unless they're a superpsi, said source may have no idea that one of their powers was duplicated. Once the variable psionic is set, it remains available to the wielder of such until they duplicate a new psionic, at which point they 'forget' the old one and 'learn' the new one.

When the old form of variable psionics is forgotten, it is gone forever - unless copied again at a later date. While variable psionics can be used to acquire any kind of psionic, it does not function on technology, regular or occult talents, or other knowledge. Furthermore, it cannot be used to copy non-psionic powers; while variable psionics could copy the metapsi body armor power, it couldn't copy the body armor spell.

As a spell or psionic, variable psionics has a unique duration. While the power has an 'instantaneous' casting time, its effects are continuous. Its wielder need not maintain variable psionics to keep what he has acquired in this fashion, and if the power is blocked in some fashion (such as an antipsion field), it will return when that effect expires, leaving only when variable psionics is recast to acquire a new ability.

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