Telepathy [power]

Cost: 6CP
Activate: 1PP; move action
Sustain: per round/hour; varies by use
Range: 30 feet
Save: Will (negates), Charisma-based

This power grants you the ability to monitor the surface thoughts of a subject, as they flash past the subject’s conscious mind. Subjects get a Will save either every round (in combat) or every hour (as per the activation cost). If they fail, you can sense whatever they are thinking in that moment, including imagery and sensory information (a picture, a smell, a sound) or abstract data (numbers, words). If they succeed, they block your attempt to Listen, but don’t notice that you tried. If they succeed by more than 5, they recognise your attempt for what it is and act accordingly.

You can sense the surface thoughts of only living, biological creatures that have organised thoughts. In essence, you can read the mind of anything with language. If you attempt to read any creature with an Intelligence score of 5 or below, you default to the Empathy limitation (see below) because such creatures don’t have thoughts that are ordered enough to read in detail.

You do not hear voices or read thoughts like text, but instead holistically sense what the subject thinks; therefore, language barrier is not an issue. If you spoke only Japanese, and the subject spoke only Swahili, you could still sense her thoughts. In this way, you can sense untranslatable concepts, for which you personally might not have words.

No physical barrier blocks Telepathy. It reaches to its maximum range regardless of what’s in the way. Regardless of Origin, the feat Closed Mind grants a +2 to any save against this power.

Enhancements

Enhancement: Broadcast
Cost: 3cp
Prerequisite: Send
Activate: 1PP; move action
Range: 30 ft.

You can psychically “yell” and anyone in radius “hears” you (in their minds). In one move action, you can Broadcast anything you could say out loud in the same time.

 

Enhancement: Converse
Cost: 2cp
Activate: 1PP per round/hour; use-activated (conversing)
Range: 30 ft.
Save: Will (negates); Charisma-based

You can now open a two-way channel of communication between yourself and a subject.  You cannot hear thoughts that aren’t deliberately sent to you, and others sense only the thoughts you send to them. You can “speak” double the number of words/ideas that you normally could in the same span of time, and you can Telepathically Converse while performing other actions (e.g., moving, attacking, using a skill, etc.). You need only be within 30 ft.

Subjects get a Will save either every round (in combat) or every hour (as per the activation cost). They can choose to wave their Will saves, in which case they can end the conversation any time they like, as if they were hanging up a telephone. Those who do roll the save and beat the DC have successfully blocked your attempt to connect to their minds.

 

Enhancement: Relay
Cost: 2CP
Prerequisite: Converse
Activate: +1PP per round/hour; use-activated (relaying)

You can now have Telepathic conversations between several conversants. You simply act as relay, sensing and then sending each person’s thoughts to the group. This costs 1PP extra per round/hour, on top of the cost of Conversing.

 

Enhancement: Increased Range
Cost: 3CP per rank

This enhancement increases the range of your Telepathy  by 30 ft. You can take this enhancement up to 4 times, to a maximum of 150 ft.

 

Enhancement: Extreme Range
Cost: 3CP per rank
Prerequisite: Increased Range (4 Ranks)

This enhancement increases the range of your Telepathy to 1000 miles / 1500 kilometers, and then each additional rank grants another 1000 miles / 1500 kilometers. You can take this enhancement multiple times. Its effects stack.

 

Enhancement: Instant Therapy
Cost: 10CP
Activate: 4PPs; 10 minutes
Save: special (voluntary only)

This enhancement allows you to delve into a subjects’ mind and illuminate their innermost traumas and joys such that they suddenly see their own lives with such sharp clarity that they no longer seek out self-destructive (or just plain destructive) behaviours. Subjects of this effect must enter into the process voluntarily; it requires that they participate just as much as you do. A subject under the influence of a mind-altering effect or substance does not have the ability to take part in the process. Only a genuinely free mind can do it. Even a subject manipulated to take part in the process―through Bluff, Intimidate, or Diplomacy, for example―will find that because they were sold a false bill of goods, they cannot benefit from it.

The rules that follow apply only in those situations where time is a factor or the results have in-game consequences. If you want to use this enhancement essentially for narrative flavour, then GMs are strongly encouraged to not sweat the details (e.g., reforming a career criminal, curing someone’s eating disorder, allowing them to come to terms with their trauma). However, if the subject is an important NPC, then play it by the book. 

The process takes 10 minutes, during which time you just sit quietly with the subject, both of you free from distractions of all kinds. Some quiet music would the most you could tolerate. You roll a Behavioural Sciences check and so does the subject. If, between you, you make the DC, then the subject is relieved of one major neurosis, on-going trauma, or the like. The DC starts at 10, for garden-variety emotional difficulties, and can go as high as 40 (see table, above).

DC Condition
10 a source of frustration, but not life-changing (e.g., difficulty communicating with family/friends, relationship/job frustration)
20 a distraction that alters the way the subject lives (e.g., miner phobia, tendency to addiction, etc.)
30 seriously impacts the subject’s ability to hold a job, have adult relationships, and the like (e.g., major phobia, full-blown addictive behaviour)
40 subject is almost unable to take care for him/herself (e.g., severe phobia to every-day experiences, acute anxiety, extreme bipolar disorder)
50 subject is unable to function, cannot care for him/herself, requires full-time care by a family member or medical professional

 

Enhancement: Listen In
Cost: 2CP
Activate: 1PP; move action
Save: Will (negates), Charisma-based

If you are within range of a telepathic conversation, you get a free Sense Motive check (DC 15, not including the +20 bonus for Listening) to notice the conversation. If you succeed, you notice the Conversation happening and you can attempt to Listen to it, which prompts a Will save. The Will save is made by the participant with the highest Will modifier, and every member of the group can aids the roll (potentially adding +2 each). As with Listen, if they succeed, they block you but don’t notice you. If they succeed by 5 or more, they do notice you. If they fail the save, you are now a participant in the conversation and hear all sent thoughts. You can send a thought of your own, of course, but that would blow your cover and the participants could all “hang up,” if they so desired.

 

Enhancement: Psychic Scream
Cost: 2CP
Activate: 3PPs; standard action (attack)
Save: Will (negates), Charisma-based

You can direct a psionic cacophony straight into a single target’s mind and potentially render them stunned for 1d4 rounds. Targets get a Will save to resist the effects. People who are stunned get no actions, drop anything they hold, lose their Dexterity bonus to Defence (if any), and take a -2 penalty to Defence for standing there like slack-jawed morons.

 

Enhancement: Short-Term Reading
Cost: 3CP
Activate: 1PP per round; move action
Sustain: move action
Save: Will (negates), Charisma-based

You can dig past surface thoughts and examine a subject’s memories and impressions. You have access to the subject’s short-term memory (about the last week). You can call up what she had for breakfast or what conversations he had yesterday, for example, but not long-term memories like bank account numbers, childhood memories, or knowledge that’s a result of schooling.

In a move action, you can collect 4 specific pieces of information about a subject, which take the form of four questions you can ask the GM. You can ask each question after  you hear the answer to the previous question, and thus tailor them to hone in on a particular piece of information, but every question you ask about the subject counts toward your total, including clarifications of previous questions.

 

Enhancement: Long-Term Reading
Cost: 3CP
Prerequisite: Short-Term Reading
Activate: 2PP; move action
Save: Will (negates), Charisma-based

You can dig past the short term and examine a subject’s long-term memory to retrieve extremely personal information about the subject’s life, like old phone numbers, the smell of a former lover, formative childhood experiences, or a book he or she has read.

In a move action, you can collect 4 specific pieces of information about a subject, which take the form of four questions you can ask the GM. You can ask each question after you hear the answer to the previous question, and thus tailor  them to hone in on a particular piece of information, but every question you ask about the subject counts toward your total, including clarifications of previous questions.

 

Enhancement: Swift Action Telepathy
Cost: 3CP

You can use any of the various Listen or Broadcast modes of  Telepathy as a swift action.

 

Limitations

Limitation: Empathy
Value: 3CP

Instead of hearing fully-formed, language-like thoughts, you sense only the emotions of your subjects. Broadly speaking, you can sense any emotion that has a single name, like fear, anxiety, anger, lust, happiness, contentment, or frustration. You cannot sense physical states like hunger, sleepiness, or arousal. All modes and enhancements function normally except that you are limited to sensing emotions. This limitation is incompatible with Monoglot because basic emotions aren’t expressed in words.

 

Limitation: Monoglot
Value: 2CP

Your Telepathy literally taps only into people’s “inner monologues,” therefore you hear them in whatever language they speak. If you don’t speak that language, you won’t be able to understand them. This limitation is incompatible with Empathy because basic emotions aren’t expressed in words.

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