Psionics

Mind Master

In the post-apocalyptic world of Scorched Earth, some degree of psionic capability is surprisingly common. Centuries of tinkering with the human genome, as well as random mutation and the generally increased level of paranormal activity on the planet has seen to that. The unlocked potential varies greatly from character to character. Some barely understand the true nature of their latent mental powers, while others learn to master their gifts.

Many different mutations can unlock psionic powers which allow the character to perform extraordinary feats. Psionic powers gained from mutations are known as ‘innate psionics’. See the mutant perks table for common innate powers.

The following pages contain more detailed information on individual psionic powers:

Go To: Psionic Powers List

Go To: Minor Power Descriptions

Go To: Medium Power Descriptions

Go To: Major Power Descriptions

Manifesting Psionics:

To manifest a psionic power the character must first concentrate. If something threatens to interrupt your concentration while you’re manifesting a power, you must succeed on an Endurance check or lose Inner Strength Points (explained next) without manifesting the power. The DC for this Endurance check will be set by your GM.

Manifesting a psionic power can be a swift action, a standard action, or a full-round action, depending on the power. See the power descriptions for details. The targets, area of effect, and range are all listed in the power description. Most harmful powers allow an affected target a saving throw to avoid some or all of the effect. Each power lists which saving throw type applies and the DC of the save.

All powers have an Inner Strength Point cost. The point cost to manifest a particular power is also provided in that power’s description.

Inner Strength Points:

Creatures with psionics utilize an inner reservoir of power to affect change in the real world. Every psionic character has a limited pool of ‘Inner Strength Points’ (ISP) which are used to activate their mental powers. Characters without psionic powers do not possess any ISP.

A character with psionic powers starts with enough ISP to activate each psionic mutation once, plus his Charisma modifier (to a minimum of 0 ISP). The table below outlines the starting ISP by psionic grade:

Starting ISP

Psionic Grade Base ISP
Minor 1
Medium 3
Major 5

A character who has expended all his ISP is considered ‘non-psionic’ until he regains at least 1 point. You can ‘burn’ ISP (as a standard action) without manifesting a psionic power. (This trick is useful if you want to hide your powers from someone with the ability to detect psionics.)

Regaining ISP

Inner Strength Points are regained through contemplation and meditation; the character must rest for 8 hours then spend 15 minutes meditating to recharge his mind and ISP.

Advanced Manifesters:

While characters with innate psionics can tap the power of the mind, advanced manifesters embrace the total energy of consciousness by selecting psionic talents. Only those with a strong psyche (high Charisma) can learn most psionic talents. ‘Wild Talent’ unlocks a character’s psionic ability, while the other talents increase his power:

  • Inner Strength: You gain additional ISP to supplement those you already had. When you take this talent, you gain 5 ISP. This talent can be selected multiple times. (Prerequisite: One or more psionic powers.)
  • Practiced Manifester: You are an advanced psionic practitioner. Your non-psionic class levels count towards your manifester level, up to a maximum equal to your base Charisma bonus. (Prerequisites: Cha 13+, existing ISP pool.)
  • Psionic Knowledge: You add a new minor power to your ‘powers known’ list (but gain no additional ISP). Any power may be chosen, including those from the discipline lists. This talent can be selected multiple times. (Prerequisites: Cha 11+, existing ISP pool.)
    • Improved Psionic Knowledge: You add a new medium power to your ‘powers known’ list (but gain no additional ISP). Any power may be chosen, including those from the discipline lists. This talent can be selected multiple times. (Prerequisites: Cha 13+, Psionic Knowledge, existing ISP pool.)
    • Advanced Psionic Knowledge: You add a new major power to your ‘powers known’ list (but gain no additional ISP). Any power may be chosen, including those from the discipline lists. This talent can be selected multiple times. (Prerequisites: Cha 15+, Psionic Knowledge, Improved Psionic Knowledge, existing ISP pool.)
  • Resist Psionics: Your mind is better able to resist psionics than normal. You gain a +4 bonus on Charisma saves against psionic effects. (Prerequisite: None.)
  • Wild Talent: Your mind wakes up to a previously unrealized potential for psionics. You may select one minor psionic power from the general powers list (not the discipline lists) and gain an ISP reserve equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 ISP). (Prerequisites: Cha 11+, no psionic powers.)

These psionic talents are listed on the ‘Talents & Proficiences’ page, but are repeated here for easy reference. All these talents can be selected by savants with the ‘Mind Mage’ Field of Study. Note that ‘Wild Talent’ allows a non-mutant to gain psionic powers.

Manifester Level:

Most psionic characters will have a manifester level of 0 (zero). You can gain manifester levels by taking levels in a psionic advanced class or possessing the ‘Practiced Manifester’ talent. The variables of a power’s effect often depend on its manifester level. In addition, a power that can be augmented for additional effect is also limited by your manifester level (see Augmenting Powers, below).

In the event that a class feature or other special ability provides an adjustment to your manifester level, this adjustment applies not only to all effects based on manifester level (such as range, duration, and augmentation potential) but also to your manifester level check to overcome your target’s power resistance and to the manifester level used in dispel checks (both the dispel check and the DC of the check).

Refer to the specific power descriptions for details on the effect of manifester level.

Augmenting Powers:

Many powers vary in strength depending on how much ISP you put into them. The more ISP you spend, the more powerful the manifestation. However, you can spend only a total number of points on augmenting a power equal to your manifester level.

Several powers can be augmented in more than one way. For these powers, you need to spend ISP separately for each of the numbered options. When the power description specifies that the augmentation is in addition to the regular effects, you gain the indicated benefit according to how many ISP you have already decided to spend on manifesting the power.

Latent Psionics:

In contrast to an advanced manifester, a character with a low Charisma score receives a penalty to his Inner Strength Points. Unless the character gets bonus ISP from some other source (such as the ‘Inner Strength’ talent), he may not have enough ISP to activate his psionic power. Such characters are known as ‘latent psionics’. If the character possesses at least one ISP, they are still considered ‘psionic’ creatures with respect to abilities or powers that target or affect psionics differently, even though they are unable to use their psionic abilities.

If your PC has a low Charisma and you roll a psionic mutation during character creation, you might want to swap Attributes to ensure that you will be able to utilize your power.

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