Basic Information

Psionics is the scientific study of Psychic Powers and related phenomena. It only exists in settings where the existence of these is accepted by the scientific community. For the fringe real-world counterpart, see Parapsychology.

B. P. Wiesner and Robert H. Thouless first proposed the term "psi" in 1942 as a more general term to include both extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. The original terminology proposal divided psi into psi-gamma, for cases of cognition, and psi-kappa, for cases of action. These terms were later modified into "passive psi" and "active psi".

Later, John W. Campbell proposed the term "psionics", from psi (psyche) + electronics (machine), which implied that the powers of the mind could be made to work reliably.


2. Article on how quantum theory may explain (and allow) for psychic powers.

Game and Story Use

  • Psionics can involve a body of public knowledge covering such things as ways to enhance and control powers, ways to counter and limit them and knowledge of what psychic powers can and cannot do.
  • Psionic experiments may go awry in all kinds of disastrous ways.
  • Psionics and Magic are generally held to be incompatable in that the former lies in the realm of Science and the latter doesn't. There are, however, always exceptions.
    • In some game worlds, psionics might be mistaken for magic by the superstitious, as in The Warlock In Spite of Himself.
    • In others, Magic might be the source of Psionic powers
    • Or, Magic spells can be used to produce Psionic effects, such as mind-reading or clairvoyance.
    • If both Magic and Psionics exist in a world, they might have different sources of power or reflect different disciplines.
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