Psychic Powers
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Basic Information

Psychic Powers are amazing powers of the mind. Possibilities run the gamut from the subtle enough to be doubted to the superheroically blatant. Psychic powers are surrounded by a pseudo-scientific air that allows them to be used in settings where magic or generic superpowers would be inappropriate.

They may also exist in parallel with magic (for kitchen sink settings1) or 'explain' it2. Where used in parrallel they have a nasty tendency to end up as "different but the same" as the magic system - or to introduce another completely different system of complexity, both of which have their disadvantages.

Psychic powers also become conflated with spiritualism in many cases with mediums often being referred to as 'psychics'.

Where psychic powers exist, the pseudo-science that explains them may be sufficiently understood (if not explained) for various technological devices to be interfaced with them (generally amplifiers, long range transmitters, jammers and screens) - these may or may not be the same as psychotrons. Even in low-tech settings some "psychic technology" or "psychic tools" might exist to amplify or assist powers, such as dowsing rods, ouija boards or other ritual tool.

Stock Psychic Powers

Where psychic powers exist, abilities are typically chosen from among the following:

  • Astral Projection - the ability for the mind to leave the body and wander around on its own; may include time- and dimension travel
  • Extra-Sensory Perception - seeing or otherwise sensing faraway things
    • Precognition - the ability to see or otherwise predict the future
    • Postcognition - similarly for the past
    • Psychometry - the ability to read objects and/or places for the psychic traces left on them by others.
  • Empathy
  • Psychometabolism - psionic control over the users own body, usually for purposes of enhancement.
  • Psychotronics - involved with the creation of "psionic items" … similar to magic ones but powered by psychic energies and often referred to as psychotrons. May be a psychic power or just a branch of engineering.
  • Telepathy, including
    • Mental communication
    • Mind Control - may or may not work on animals. In some settings you need an empath instead on account of animals working on an emotional rather than an intellectual level.
    • Mind Reading
  • Telekinesis/Psychokinesis - generally the ability to move physical objects, but also including
  • Teleportation

Some or all of these fields might overlap or support one another - for example, "psychic healing" might actually require study of psychometabolism and empathy first and teleportation might require telepathy or remote viewing skills plus silly levels of competence in telekinesis.

See Also



Game and Story Use

  • These are really common in science fantasy and more fantastical sci-fi genres: anything involving The Greys is almost legally obliged to include them.
  • Sort of cheesy and out of place in fantasy, although your mileage may vary on this one.
  • Bear in mind that several governments - including the USSR and USA spent a great deal of money, time and effort into trying to get these things to work. Officially they failed … unofficially however…
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