NERPS: Shadows of the Mind

What is N.E.R.P.S.: Shadows of the Mind?

N.E.R.P.S.: Shadows of the Mind is an unofficial supplement for the role-playing game Shadowrun, published by FASA. Standard disclaimers and other information does of course apply to this document too.

History of N.E.R.P.S.: Shadows of the Mind

On July 9, 1994, Ken Dye asked the members of the ShadowRN mailing list, "Are you guys familiar with the GURPS and Cyberpunk psionic rules? What do you guys think of running these in SRII? Sounds like it might be neat."

This set off a rash of posts, talking about the best ways to implement mental powers in Shadowrun. Over the next four days, over 600 kilobytes' worth of discussion took place on the mailing list. Then the discussion moved over to the NERPS mailing list, where another 600 kilobytes of Psionics material was developed over a period of about two weeks.

What is Shadowrun Psionics?

Only the header was supplied for this. I, however, filled it in with my own interpretation of what Shadowrun Psionics was.

Psionics in Shadowrun is merely a form of Awakening, though it does folllow its own particular set of rules. It is only logical, so far as logic does apply to magic, that the increasing mana level in the Sixth World will bring about changes in the internal structure in magic, and enhance subdivisions too subtle to properly detect in the existing framework of rules, and how the Awakened world of the 2055+ understands and cathegorizes magic.

Psionics is, in this context, therefore merely another aspect, or expression of, magical power, though it is unique and not necessarily readily recognized as magic.

History of Psionics in the Sixth World

by J.D. Falk

By 2050, thermaturgical scientists had finally finished proving that magic exists according to laws which conventional scientists did not totally understand. Though this was considered a major breakthrough and received a lot of media coverage, it still did not answer the underlying question of how magic acutally works to the satisfaction of the largely mundane (non-magical) general scientific community.

At this point, a small series of papers was released which showed something even more confusing. While testing large numbers of people who had proven themselves to be magically active, researchers at MIT&T had discovered that not all "mages" used the same - or even similar - methods to acheive similar effects.

Much of this could be explained by the differences between hermetic and shamanic practices, so they removed all shamanic mages from the test group and tried again. And again. And again.

After some time, it was found that the majority of the so-called hermetic mages worked according to well-known and mostly understood formulae, gathering their energy from the Astral plane. But some neither followed these formulae or used Astral energy. As if that wasn't enough of a surprise, it was found that the more powerful of this type could access and travel through Astral space just like any other mage!

Through continued research, a new magic-like discipline was discovered, which is called Psionics becuase the energy seems to come mainly from the persons' own mind. There are very few people, human or metahuman, with Psionic abilities -- though some of the figures may be attributed to general ignorance of the differences between Hermetic magic and Psionic abilities, it is generally thought that the development of Psionics is unrelated to The Awakening, and has actually been an ongoing process throughout the history of mankind.

Short Fiction

Geoffrey Dawson
an unfinished work by Kyle Kohler

"What object am I holding in my hand now?"

Geoffrey Dawson looked over the metal barrier and met the technician's eyes.

"Mr. Dawson?" the technician said in a tone indicating that he expected an answer immediately.

"Look, I've been in this damn training program for a month now and all you've done is this one test! Haven't I proved that I can tell what's in your hand yet?"

"We need to establish if you do in fact have any special abilties, Mr. Dawson."

"Fine. You are holding a clipboard. On it are the words, 'Red, Dog, and Corporation.' The words are in red ink. Attached to the clipboard is a pen containing blue ink."

Noticing the technician's eyes widen in surprise at all the information being revealed, Geoffrey decided to have a little fun. "Mr. Dawson, why haven't you told me you could tell all of this. This means..."

"Your full name is Frederick Rasputin Sanders. You were born in 2021. Your parents died when you were 18. You joined the Aztechnology six months later. And, you can frag your findings!"

The door to the testing room opened and two burly guards walked in. "I think it is time for you to go eat lunch now, Mr. Dawson. You musn't lose any energy."

Geoffrey nodded his head. "Yeah, lunch time."

"It's not because I just scared the hell out of you with the revelation of my powers," he thought to himself. He quietly stood up and was accompanied by the two guards to the cafeteria, where he stood in line with the other "potential subjects." Closing his eyes, Geoffrey concentrated on envisioning the testing room he was just in. It slowly appeared in his mind. He saw the doctor still seated. He looked rather pale. Concentrating more, he saw s

[NOTE: this part was cut off. Any idea what Kyle had in mind?]

were th" the doctor sputtered out. "Test subject number 456-09D just exhibited major psionic abilities. Judging from just this brief witness of his power, I would have to say that he is at least a rank 3 Psi. We had our magical staff assense him, to make sure he wasn't a mage trying to fool us. No magical aura whatsoever. He is definitely a Psi."

The exec's brow creased, "Hmmmmm. That would make the eighth one we've discovered this month. And a rank 3 you say? Most of the ones we found could barely lift a pencil or pick up on strong emotions. What powers has he exhibited?"

Shaking with excitement, the doctor forced himself to calm down and said, "Well, up until now, he has exhibited a low level mind probe ability. He could tell what a person's favorite color was or on a rare day, what their name was. But today, he displayed a highly focused mind probe along with possible clairvoyant abilities.

Alternately, the clairvoyant ability could have been a mind link. I felt no probe in my mind, but that does not neccessarily mean anything. I will need to run more tests, of course." The doctor leaned back in his chair, practically beaming.

"I'm afraid not, Dr. Sanders. We will be moving all of the subjects that have displayed reasonable powers to a different testing facility. You've done a good job, but the matter is now out of your hands."

"But . . . but you can't do this! This is my job! My life! How do you think you can just up and move all the subjects out of here? They must stay and be tested! By me and the rest of the staff!" The doctor flew up from his seat and stood in front of the executive.

"We have decided that due to recent developements by other corporations in the study of Psionics, it would be best to make this project a secret. All of our top researchers have already 'vanished' along with the prime subjects. Now, if you will excuse me, I have arrangements to make." The executive stood up and walked towards the door.

"But what about me? I've devoted my entire life to the study of Psionics. What am I supposed to do?"

The executive stopped with his hand on the door knob and turned. "Oh, don't worry Dr. Sanders. You will be vanishing too." He smiled slightly as he left the room.

Dr. Sanders sighed in relief at hearing the news, thinking of how glad he'd be to move out of his crummy apartment downtown. "Why are you two still here?" he asked the bodyguards. Their only reply was to pull out their pistols and shoot the doctor in chest.

Geoffrey's attention was snapped back to his body as he felt a nudge on his shoulder. "Are you okay, Geoff?"

Geoffrey opened his eyes and waited for them to focus on his surroundings. He saw Janet standing next to him, a concerned look on her face. She was dressed in the same thing that all the subjects wore, grey pants and a grey shirt. "Oh, I'm fine, Janet. Let's go sit down." As he walked with Janet to an empty table, he thought to himself, "What the hell have I gotten myself into?"


an unfinished work by Kyle Kohler

Bane leaned back in his chair and shook his head. "200,000 nuyen. 50 of it right now, the rest when I give you confirmation of the kill."

He patiently waited for Mr. Johnson's response. Sure 200,000 was a lot for the assassination of a researcher, but he could get away with asking it. As far as he knew, he was the only Psionic Assassin around. Because of his uniqueness, he could ask for prices like this and not be laughed at. Besides, after the brief scan he had done of Mr. Johnson's mind, he knew the man was willing to pay up to 250,000. He was just giving the corper a break.

Mr Johnson thought for a second and then said, "Fine. Everything is in this briefcase. I expect this job to be done in less than . . . "

"Three days. Yes, I know."

Somewhat startled at having his thoughts read, Mr. Johnson stood up and left the table, vanishing as he was engulfed by the crowd of dancers. Bane grabbed the briefcase and left the club through the back exit. He walked a few blocks to where his Rapier was parked. He stuck the briefcase in the small luggage compartment, hopped on, and keyed the engine.

He rode to his apartment and went inside. He sat down on the small sofa and put the briefcase on the coffee table. He popped it open and looked inside. A credstick and a small chip were all that it contained. He took the chip and slipped it into his telcom. Typing a few commands, the data on the chip was accessed and displayed on the telecom monitor.

" my target is an Ares boy. Let's see, head researcher in the experimental division of the Magical Branch in the Bellevue district. Says here, he's a mundane. Pure drek. You don't get to be the head researcher of any magical branch unless you've got hands on experience. You'd think if these fraggers want me to kill him, they'd at least give me good info."

Bane spent the next few hours going over every last bit of data on his target. He then called up his decker buddy.

"Hey Wraith. How's biz? Same here. Look, I need you to get me any info that you can on Doctor James Rutherford Daniels. And I need it yesterday. One more thing, keep this quiet. He's with Ares. Yeah, yeah, I know you're called Wraith for a reason. Just reminding you okay? Alright, contact me when you've got something. Thanks chummer"

Bane put down the phone and went to sleep. He slept peacfully until he was interrupted by his door being smashed in. He got to his feet, still groggy from sleep. Two men forced their way in and pointed large pistols at him. Before he could react, they shot him in the head.

Bane sat upright in bed. Sweat covered his body, and his head still hurt from where the men in his dream had shot him. "Jesus! That was so real." He glanced at the clock and saw that it was ten in the evening. He climbed out of bed and got dressed. "Time to go make myself seen in the shadows," he thought to himself. He walked into the living room and started making some soycaf. The sound of a car door caught his attention. He walked over to the window and peeked out. He saw two large men get out of a Eurocar WestWind and approach his apartment building.

Two men that looked strikingly familiar.

"Drek!" Bane ran over to the telcom and left a message for Wraith to contact him at Dante's Inferno. He then grabbed the briefcase still lying on the coffee table and ran into his bedroom. He popped open the briefcase and shoved a change of clothes, all his data chips, and his Colt Manhunter inside. Closing the briefcase, he reached into the closet and grabbed his katana. As he slid it onto his back, he reached into a shoebox and smiled as his fingers clasped around his Ingram Smartgun. He grabbed the two clips that were also inside.

Sliding on his jacket and slipping the two clips in his pockets, Bane closed his eyes and concentrated.

Allowing his awareness to extend, he reached out with his power and envisioned the front of his apartment building. "Damn" he thought to himself as he saw the two men were already outside of his door and had their pistols drawn. He snapped his attention back to his body as he heard the first smash against his door. He heard the thin wood begin to give. Concentrating again, Bane envisioned a large bar going across the door. He grabbed the briefcase and made his away to the window and opened it. The strain increased on his mind as the two men outside smashed again on the door, this time braced with Bane's telekinetic powers.

As he slid half of his body out the window, a bullet whizzed by his head. "There's three of them?" Bane expanded his senses to the alley outside and saw a third man positioned at the alley entrance. His head began to pound with the pressure of keeping the door shut and expanding his senses. Bane scurried back inside. Slipping just his Ingram outside, he carefully aimed, guided by his expanded senses and fired a few bursts. None hit.

Unable to concentrate enough to hit his target, Bane came to a decision. He stopped bracing the door, burned the clip into the man in the alley, and leaped out the window. He now concentrated all of his energy into slowing his fall from the three story building. He slowly descended and hit the ground running. Bullets gouged the asphalt near his feet as he reloaded his sub-machine gun.

He sprinted past the crumpled body of the man in the alleyway, sparing only a quick glance. He ran across the street to where his bike was and hopped on. Revving the engine, he opened the throttle and took off.

The game was on. The opening gambit had failed. But who were the players?

Creating the Psionic Character

Priority Tables
compiled by J.D. Falk and Kyle Kohler

There was much arguing over the priorities table; many good ideas were posted, yet it was well night impossible to come to a consensus.

Therefore, we've listed a number of tables here below; the Game Master should choose which one to use.

This is a chart that would allow old characters to be introduced to the system with no change. At all. 'F' rating is supposed from what was already there in the system.

Priority Race   Magic   Psi   Attrib   Skills  Resources
A        M      Full    Full  30       40      1M/50
B *      M      Adept   Adept 24       30      4M/35
C *      M      --      Wild  20       24      90K/25
D        H      Spo.    --    17       20      5K/15
E        H      --      --    15       17      500/ 5
F        H      --      --    14       15      200/ 0

This chart adds a letter between the old D and E. It doesn't work perfectly, but it does allow old characters to be added without trouble . . . their Psi priority was D.

Priority Race   Magic   Psi   Attrib   Skills  Resources
A        M      Full    Full  30       40      1M/50
B *      M      Adept   Adept 24       30      4M/35
C *      M      --      Wild  20       24      90K/25
D        H      Spo.    --    17       20      5K/15
E        H      --      --    16       18      2K/10
F        H      --      --    15       17      500/ 5

Tim Skirvin came up with this one, which is slightly more interesting for converted characters. They would all be Wild Psis, but they would have NO way of knowing this. At all. They could train a little bit, if they found a master (yeah, right), and get that one ability...but they wouldn't know what to take, what the mechanics are, what the hell is going on at all.

Priority Race   Magic   Psi    Attrib   Skills  Resources
A        M      Full    Full   30       40      1M/50
B *      M      Adept   Adept  24       30      4M/35
C *      M      --      Wild   20       24      90K/25
D *      M      Spo.    --     18       22      20K/20
E        H      --      --     17       20      5K/15
F        H      --      --     15       17      500/ 5

With a full Psi, karma can be spent on new abilities, upgrading abilities, learning new disciplines, etc.

Now, psionic adepts are similiar, but are limited to only one Discipline and don't get astral.

Wild psionics represent that person that either A) has a very limited and unique 'gift' and/or B) has never received any of the proper training.

They essentially have only one ability and this 'class' of psi is included here to kinda represent the 'civilian' rogue psi. Karma can be spent to improve this one ability, of course. And there is no astral projection.

Psionics-Related Skills

by J.D. Falk, Kyle Kohler, and Eric Trager

Psionic Manipulation: This skill enables the character to control psionic energy and manipulate it to produce effects (psionic powers).

Concentrations: Each Discipline will be a concentration.

Psionic Theory: This skill gives the character a general understanding of the functions and functioning of Psionics. It is vital in the developement of new psionic powers (those devised during game play), and in "hacking" (using powers which the psi has not specifically learned, but are in a know discipline -- see below.)

Concentrations: Power Design (Disclipline), History (Post-Awakening, Pre-Awakening, by Culture), Philosophies (Scientific, Spiritual.), Hacking

Psionics Pool

by Robert A. Hayden

The Psionics Pool is that measure of raw talent inherent in every psi. It is treated just like the Magic Pool, in that it refreshes each action (after drain.)

Psi Pool = Psionic Manipulation Skill Level + 1/2 Base Willpower + Mastery Level

Psionic Disciplines

by Robert A. Hayden

TELEPATHY: This is the ability to read, effect, and manipulate the minds of other people.

TELEKINESIS: This is the ability to shape, move, and manipulate physical objects by the power of thought.

CLAIRVOYANCE: With this class of abilities, you can see and hear into locations that you could not normally, or that might be many miles away.

PSYCHOMETABOLICS: This is the ability to effect change in your own body. Note that the abilities to change other people's bodies are usually telekinetic in nature.

DIVINATION: pre/postcognitive powers, danger sense, etcetera. Many of these powers will be triggered automatically during the course of the game; when this happens, exactly, is up to the G.M.

CYBERPSIONICS: This is the ability to project psionic energies into the computer networks (this is optional due to much arguing; see below for further explanation).

                                                  Telepathic Abilities


                                                 Telekinetic Abilities


                                                Clairvoyance Abilities


                                             Psychometabolic Abilities


                                                    Divining Abilities


Cyberpsionic Abilities

Psychic Grep
by Robert A. Hayden

This ability allows the user to attempt to read the headware storage of the target decker. The target number is equal to the target's willpower plus deck hardening. If successful, the GREPper can copy that memory into his own for study at his liesure.

by Robert A. Hayden and J.D. Falk

The ability allows the user to seize control of the target decker's mind. The target number of the attack is equal to the target's willpower plus any deck hardening. If successful, the target will be unable to refocus their attention on the real world (to jack out, for example) and will be unable to make any actions in the matrix. This is a sustained ability. The target can attempt to break out each turn using dice equal to his willpower, with a target number equal to the caster's suppress rating.

It is worth noting that the recipient of the SUPRESS effect does not know that it is another decker using mental powers on them, or even that there is another decker there (unless an analyze or visual contact has already show the Cyberpsionicist's presence); all the target decker knows is that they cannot think clearly enough to do anything. Of course, another Cyberpsionicist will be able to recognize the effect.

A Description of Cyberpsionics

by Robert A. Hayden, J.D. Falk, and "Darth Vader"

We know that magic and technology do not mix, because magic is the antithesis of tech. Psi on the other hand, the the power of the mind, and what beter represents much of that power than tech.

The concept of psionic matrix access (Cyberpsionics) is not that psionics allows you to run the matrix, but that you can use your psionic abilities against other PEOPLE in the matrix. Essentialy, that the net can become a medium for the transmission of telepathy energies, for example.

A psionic would not be able to blast Black ICe, for example, because Black ICe doesn't actually exist. It is only an iconic representation of a security program. The only thing REAL in the matrix is another person.

There are a number of theories as to why some forms of psionics seem to work in the matrix. Obviously, the workings are not actually in the matrix -- but it seems that way to both the psionic and the recipient.

Aura in the Icon theory

by Darth Vader

One theory, technically impossible according to most computer engineers, is that a deckers' aura (his mental signature) can me divined from his matrix icon (as he practically plugs his brain in, when he jacks into the matrix). This way a psi-decker that meets another decker in the net, will have the chance to try to remotely-influence/control him if he wants to. This has nothing to do with tech or the matrix, and is just another use of standard psi abilities.

Searchin' the Worldmind theory

by J.D. Falk

Another theory, widely misunderstood, has to do with the "worldmind" concept (described in the 'What Is Psionics?' section) Following this theory, there is no discernable distance between any two psyches on or near Earth (not sure about elsewhere, but we'll blast that alien when we come to it.)

In order for a psionic to affect another psyche in the worldmind, then the psi needs to be able to locate that person's "frequency." Due to limitations of the human mind at our current stage of evolution, the psi needs some sort of visual or emotional representation in order to make that first contact. A person's Matrix icon would, to a psi experienced with the Cyberpsionics discipline, work as well as a photograph -- they would use that so that the concious mind could tell the subconcious mind (or, in some books, higher self) where in the Worldmind to look in order to affect the target psyche.

Cyberware and Bioware

                   not written yet

Basically, same as with Magic, right?
Actually, I disagree. I believe that the synergic qualities inherent in some bioware should not overly disrupt any of the paranormal powers of a psionicist. Perhaps something along the lines of the Nega-Magician could be developed.

Cyberware and Bioware (optional rules modification)

by Tim Skirvin

Cyber TechEssencePsi
Chemical Analyzer0.20.2
Cortex Bomb--0.5
Data Filter0.30.5
DataJack (SR)0.20.3
DataJack (Shadowtech)
Level 10.10.15
Level 20.150.2
Level 30.20.3
Level 40.250.4
Data Lock0.20.4
DataSoft Link0.10.15
Level 10.51.0
Level 20.751.5
Level 31.53.0
Level 41.753.5
Gas Spectrometer0.20.2
Int.Voice Mask0.10.0
Memory (FIFF)MP/300MP/225
Olfactory Booster0.20.3
Orientation System0.51.0
Sense Link2.04.0
Internal Transmitter0.61.0
Level 10.150.25
Level 20.20.3
Level 30.250.4
Level 40.30.5
SPU: Data Management
Level 10.10.2

         Level 2        0.15      0.3

         Level 3        0.2       0.4

         Level 4        0.25      0.5

     SPU: Input/Output

         Level 1        0.1       0.2

         Level 2        0.15      0.3

         Level 3        0.2       0.4

         Level 4        0.25      0.5

     SPU: Math

         Level 1        0.1       0.2

         Level 2        0.15      0.3

         Level 3        0.2       0.4

         Level 4        0.25      0.5

     Tactical Computer

         Level 1        3.5       6

         Level 2        4         7

         Level 3-4      ??        ??

     Video Link         0.5       0.75

     Internal Transmitter 0.4     0.6


     CommLink II to X   0.3       0.6

     Crypto Circuit HD  0.1       0.15

     Radio              0.75      1.5

     Radio Receiver     0.4       0.8

     Scramble Breaker   0.2       0.4

     Telephone          0.5       1.0


     Cosmetic Mods      --        --

     Cyber Replace.     0.3       --

         (Note: no free Psi additions)

     Damper             0.1       0.1

     Hearing Amp        0.2       0.3

     High Frequency     0.2       0.3

     Low Frequency      0.2       0.3

     Modification       0.1       --

     Recorder           0.3       0.5

     Select Sound Filter 0.2      0.3


     Camera             0.4      0.8

     Cosmetic Mods      --       --

     Cyber Replace.     0.2      --

         (Note: no free Psi additions)

     Display Link       0.1      0.15

     Spott SmartCam     2.0      2.5

     Eyecraft. OptiCam  0.5      1.0

     Flare Comp.        0.1      0.15

     Low-Light          0.2      0.3

     Rangefinder        0.1      0.15

     Retinal Duplication 0.1     --

     Thermographic      0.2      0.3

     Vision Mag

         Optical (1-3)  0.2      0.3

         Electronic (1-3) 0.1    0.15


     MPCP               (Rating/10+1)


     Persona Module     0.3      0.6

     Hardening          0.3      0.6

     Memory/Storage     MP/300   MP/225

     Transfer           0.1      0.2

     Response           0.2      0.4


     Bone Lacing

         Plastic        0.5      0.4

         Aluminum       1.15     0.92

         Titanium       2.25     1.72

     Fingertip Compart. 0.1      --

     Hand Razors        0.1      --

     Hydraulic Jack     0.25     0.2

     Muscle Replace.    Rating   Rating*1.5

     Retractable Razors 0.2      0.1

     Retractable Spurs  0.3      0.1

     SmartCam Link      0.5      0.75

     SmartLink I        0.5      0.6

     SmartLink II       0.5      0.75

     Spur               0.2      --

     Voice Modulator    0.2      0.3

     Playback           0.2      0.3


     Built-In Device    --       --

     Built-In SmartLink

         Level 1        0.25     0.4

         Level 2        0.25     0.5

     CyberGuns          --       --

     Cyber Limb         1.0      1.0

     Increased Strength --       --

     Simple Replace.    1.0      --

     SimRigs            2.0      3.0

     SimLinks           ??       ??  (Hmm?)

     Boosted Reflexes

         Level 1        0.5      1.0

         Level 2        1.25     2.5

         Level 3        2.8      5.6

     Dermal Plating

         Level 1        0.5      0.25

         Level 2        1.0      0.5

         Level 3        1.5      0.75

     Filtration Systems

         Air            Rating/10 Rating/10

         Blood          Rating/5 Rating/5

         Ingst. Toxin   Rating/5 Rating/5

     Skill Hardwires

         Level 1-4      Levelx0.2 Levelx0.3

         Level 5-8      Levelx0.25 Levelx0.4

         Level 9-10     Levelx0.3 Levelx0.45


         Rating 1-3     Ratingx0.1 Ratingx0.3

         Rating 4-6     Ratingx0.2 Ratingx0.6

         Rating 7-9     Ratingx0.3 Ratingx0.9


         Level 1        2.0       4.0

         Level 2        3.0       6.0

         Level 3        5.0       disallowed

     Wired Reflexes

         Level 1        2.0       4.0

         Level 2        3.0       6.0

         Level 3        5.0       disallowed

BioWare                 Body Idx  Psi

Adrenal Pump

     Level 1            1.25      2.5

     Level 2            2.5       5.0

Cerebral Booster

     Level 1            0.4       0.8

     Level 2            0.8       1.6

Damage Compensation     0.2/Level 0.5/Level

Enhanced Articulation   0.6       0.5

Extended Volume

     Level 1            0.2       0.2

     Level 2            0.3       0.3

     Level 3            0.4       0.4

Mneumonic Enhancer      0.2/Level 1/Level

Muscle Augmentation     0.8/Level 1.2/Level

Nephritic Screen        0.4       --

Orthoskin               .5/Level  .25/Level

Pain Editor             0.6       1.5

Pathogenic Defense      0.2/Level 0.2/Level

Platelet Factory        0.4       0.3

Reflex Recorder

     Concentration      0.1       0.5

     General            0.25      1.25

SupraThyroid Gland      1.4       2.1


     Level 1            0.4       0.4

     Level 2            0.7       0.7

     Level 3            1.0       1.0

Synaptic Accelerator

     Level 1            0.3       1.5

     Level 2            1.6       8.0


     Level 1            0.2       0.2

     Level 2            0.3       0.3

Tailored Phereomoes

     Level 1            0.4       0.6

     Level 2            0.6       0.9

Toxin Exhaler           0.6       1.0

Toxin Extractor         0.2/Level 0.3/Level

Tracheal Filter         0.2/Level 0.2/Level

Trauma Damper           0.4       2.0

Special Functions of the Psionic Mind

"Hacking" Psionic Abilities
by Robert A. Hayden

Psionic Hacking Pool:

Psionic Theory (Hacking) Rating + Mastery Level

How to Hack
Allocate dice from your Psionic Hacking Pool. Each dice allocated represents one for level of force. Maximum force of power to be hacked cannot exceed 1/2 the dicipline rating.

Any sustained hacked power gives a (force)+1 penalty to additional power uses (instead of the standard +2).

Drain resistance for hacked powers can only be augmented by dice in your Psionic hacking pool, not by dice in your standard Psionic Pool.

Trog the Troll is a Full Psionic with the following Psionic abilities.

Telekinesis: 7
General Telekinesis 4
Finite Manipulation 4
Telekinetic Punch 2
Levitation 3

Divinitation: 4
Combat Sense 4
Precognition 2

Telepathy: 4
Detect Lie 2

Psionic Pool: 6
Psionic Hacking Pool: 5

Trog is in the middle of a fierce fire-fight, and he is currently is systaining a force 4 Combat Sense (which he knows). Trog has decided that his standard armour isn't enough, and so he wants to erect a Bullet Barrier (telekinetic) to stop that hot lead with his name on it.

Because he doesn't know Bullet Barrier, he must hack it. To do this, he can allocate up to a maximum of 3 dice from his Psionic Hacking Pool (1/2 of his telekinesis Dicipline rating, rounded down) to erect a Bullet Barrier.

The GM assigns a target number of 4 to the task. Trog rolls his three dice, getting a 2, 4 and 9; two successes. Trog easily resists the drain with the help of his last two Psionic Hacking Pool dice. The hacked Bullet Barrier winks into place just as a .44 slug comes into range.

On the next turn, Trog decides that he wants to sustain the hacked Bullet Barrier. This causes an addition +4 sustaining penalty (force + 1). So, to sustain both of the powers, he has a +6 penalty to deal with, which can make things rather miserable.

A Psionicist with the 'Divided Attention' meta-ability could allocate pool dice to partially or totally negate the penalties that sustaining a psionic power produces.

Telepathic Communications (PsiNet)

by J.D. Falk and Keith Graham

This ability, dubbed "PsiNet" by an historian working as a freelance journalist, allows any number of Psis to chat telepathically. It is not a seperate ability; rather, every full Psi with access to the Telepathy discipline, and all Telepathic Adepts, can utilize it.

Range of the ability is currently unknown, but as with other Telepathic abilities you must either know the target well or be able to see them clearly in order to trigger that little tug in the back of the mind which means another Psi wishes to converse.

This power can be used to tell other psis when to "trigger" their own abilities for a concerted effort, or to help focus the use of some other telepathic power; telepaths linked in this fashion gain a +2 to all powers practiced upon others in the link.

The only real drawback to using this ability is that it counts as a sustained telepathic power, with all appropriate modifiers fully in effect.

There is no known limit to the number of psis which can be linked in this fashion.

Mental Combat

by Keith Graham

Given that PSIs can merge powers, it seems likely that there is some "pathway between minds" available. If that is happening, then using the same mechanism, you can "attack" someone and disrupt their power (and therefore their mind/brain/body.)

If you've not got any PSI powers, you're immune. (Just like you're immune to Astral Combat if you're mundane.)

Again, this may be limited to full PSIs, which might be the edge that I'm looking for under Robert's system that a full PSI might have over a TK adept.

It just seems rather strange to me that, given the "wrong" choice of abilities, 2 PSIs locking in mortal combat might be best off trying to strangle one another. And the decker/mage locked into mortal solo combat with their counterpart while the rest of the party desperately needs their skills "in the real world" makes for good role-play. Might as well let the PSIs in on the fun. :-)

reply from Robert A. Hayden

Only FULL psis should be able to do this. Target number would have to be reflected by the force of the power, the willpower of the user, or a composite of both.

Keith Graham adds

The correct solution to this might be to allow "direct PSI combat" to bypass shielding. (Or else make it a factor, but not as serious of a factor as it is if you use a power directly on a PSI.)

more from Robert A. Hayden

Psionic "shielding" could be both your willpower AND your Psionic Rating (remember, this rating decreases as you currupt your body with bioware or cyberware). This means that a PSI that was pure could whomp on one that was nothing more than a mass of wires.

final words from J.D. Falk

So, how are we going to work this? No consensus was reached AFAIK.


by J.D. Falk and Kyle Kohler

Not much on the stuff behind it yet. This will probably just end up mimicking the Magic rules, using similar/identical karma costs and gaesa (maybe add or delete a few). Some want you to have the option of either gaining a Mastery Level, or gaining a meta-ability when you fork out the Karma. While reasonable, we have an awful lot of meta-abilities proposed. Perhaps gaining the level and getting one power would work better.


by Robert A. Hayden

Powers that involve the control of Psionics and/or more powerful abilites that are reserved for Initiates. The format for such powers, once we start submitting them are:

NAME: Obvious

COST: This is the number of points of karma you spend in order to get this ability. In addition, there is a time listed that is the base number of days or weeks it takes to learn this ability. This time can be decreased by successes based on intelligence (and maybe my the amount of ł spent on training.)

PREREQUISITES: This are the MINIMUM levels of ability you must have in various areas. This includes not just the diciplines you have, but also the initiate "Mastery" Rating. If your current ratings are below this, you will have to raise them before you can get this ability.

EFFECT: Again, obvious.

SPECIAL NOTES: Basically, anything additional needed or weird that a person needs to be aware of.

The World Around a Psi

The Beings


Chuck in some critters


                                                            The Places


Astral Space, Worldmind


                                                             The World


PsiCorps, PsiHunters, Renegade Mentalists


                            Psionic Design

                                                       How Powers Work


Force, plus specifics for each Discipline


                                                       Psionic Formulė


Inspiration, Design, Usage


                                               Inventing New Abilities


Defining a Power


                                                    Examples of Design




                         Directory of Powers






Taken from the pages of Jens-Arthur Leirbakk