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Mark Hall
2015-06-17, 01:28 PM
I worked up a psionics system for new Hackmaster, and was wondering if there was anyone familiar enough with it to give me feedback?

AuraTwilight
2015-06-17, 04:21 PM
Well, posting it would be nice?

Mark Hall
2015-06-17, 05:51 PM
Well, posting it would be nice?

Wanted to see if there was interest. If there's no one who knows Hackmaster, posting it doesn't do much good, does it?


MindHacks

Making the Most of the Least Mental Powers

Psychic powers are accessed via first possessing the Psychic Talent Talent. This talent costs 30 BP, and represents a character having a glimmer of psychic ability, but not having any specific, developed abilities. This glimmer of psychic ability manifests as a touch of precognition, and an inability to roll the highest number on the initiative die (i.e. if their initiative die is 1d12, they will be considered to have rolled an 11 on an 11 or 12; if their initiative die is a d3, they will be considered to have rolled a 2 on a 2 or a 3).

Manifesting more potent psychic powers, however, requires development and training in one of several psychic disciplines. Those psychics who have developed their talents more fully are able to achieve more, while those who devote themselves to several endeavors can achieve a wide variety of effects. Much like a fighter must choose between becoming a master of a single weapon, or competent with several, so must a psychic choose whether to focus their powers, or be widely capable. Much like a craftsman must choose between working in several mediums or specializing only in one, so must a psychic choose between becoming a virtuoso of a single psychic art, or a handyman capable of getting by in several.

Initial familiarity in a psychic discipline requires 6 BP. This grants access to some basic powers associated with that discipline, and provides the groundwork for all future advancement. Developing one’s first psychic discipline requires a further 10 BP for the first “tier” of power (as with skills, this is the “novice” level), 20 BP for the second tier (“average”), 30 for the third (“advanced”), 40 for the fourth (“expert”), and 50 for the fifth (“master”); someone who is a master of a psychic discipline has devoted a significant portion of their development to using these powers. Developing one’s second discipline of psychic power requires more; 12 BP for the first tier, 24 for the second, 36 for the third, usw. One’s third discipline begins at 14 BP, the fourth discipline at 16, the fifth at 18, and the sixth at 20, which each tier requiring the next multiple of the base cost. While some psychics will gain familiarity with multiple disciplines, few will progress past basic mastery of more than one.

Because psychic power is both relatively unstudied (the Disciples of Avrynnner being relatively new), and a deeply personal manifestation of one’s mind, psychic categories are somewhat fluid. Unlikely magery, with well-studied effects and discrete schools of thought, psychic power can manifest in several ways, and what some may consider a relatively logical and reasonable association of powers seems to others to be complete nonsense. Perhaps future generations will benefit from a more comprehensive psychic science, a type of magery that views today’s psychic powers are rank sorcery, but that is not today upon Tellene. Provided below are some sample disciplines that individuals may manifest:
Beguilement: Using psychic power to influence others, from gently guiding emotions to post-hypnotic suggestions.
Divination: Sensing the past and future.
Pyrokinesis: The manifestation of heat and fire through psychic power.
Somatics: Controlling the physical body through psychic discipline.
Telekinesis: Moving objects with one’s mind.
Telepathy: Communication with others, understanding their thoughts and feelings

Psychic Powers
Psychic powers are exhausting to use; each use of a psychic power is a Fatigue check, and exhausting yourself with profligate use of energy is a very real danger for a psychic. Experience and expertise can help with these, but the most successful psychics are either very wise, have fantastic constitutions, or both.
Using powers means creating the power from scratch. The less powerful the ability, the less exhausting it is. To increase your likelihood to succeed, psychic feats can take more time, work at a shorter range, or have smaller effects. Each psychic feat is made from five parts: Concentration Time, Range, Duration, Area of Effect, and Effect. Concentration, Range, Duration, and Area of Effect are standard modifiers, while Effect varies depending on the discipline used. Each section adds a modifier, and allmodifiers are totalled, then added to other fatigue factors for the fatigue test.
The die rolled for the fatigue test for psychic powers serves several purposes. First, it is a fatigue test, same as any other, rolled on a d20p, with a bonus for the level of expertise with that psychic discipline; failure on the fatigue test means that the psychic is fatigued. Furthermore, failure on the fatigue test means that the psychic power fails unless the psychic chooses to take a wound equal to the number of points by which the power failed, along with 5d10 fractional damage to both Constitution and Wisdom. Damage taken to Constitution and Wisdom in this manner recovers at 10 points per day, provided no psychic powers are used on those days. If any powers are used, only 1d10 points are healed each day. If further damage to Constitution and Wisdom happen from botched psychic powers before the damage is completely healed, then any healing done is lost; the psychic must start again to heal all of the damage taken, including the partial damage already healed. If a 1 is rolled on the die, no recovery is possible, and a 1 point wound is taken from strain. Lastly, should the power be one that requires a saving throw, the die is used as the basis for the opposed test, with the psychic adding their level and the target adding any relevant save modifiers.

Concentration Time (Modifier)
20 minutes (1)
10 Minutes (2)
1 minute (3)
10 seconds (4)
1 Second (5)

The longer spent considering the use of a power, the easier it is to both prepare for the shock to the system that using psychic powers entails, and the more thoroughly the power can be developed. A power can be considered for as little as one second, allowing an instant response, or up to twenty minutes. During concentration, nothing can be done except for quiet meditation, conversation directly related to the problem, and a speed no greater than a walk. Defense during concentration drops to 1d12p against both ranged and melee attacks, and neither shields nor bonuses may apply (though shields still apply cover value, and a psychic may take cover behind a shield before concentration begins, and thereby gain its advantages). A psychic who is concentrating may drop concentration at any time to defend themselves or move more quickly, but loses any accumulated concentration time.

Range (Modifier)
Personal (1)
Touch (2)
Close (3)
Medium (4)
Long (5)

Range is the distance at which the power’s primary effect will take place. A psychic attempting to gain a clairvoyant vision of a distant place will have a far more difficult time than one attempting the same regarding an object in their possession. “Personal” range powers affect only the psychic. “Touch” range powers affect those that the psychic is in direct physical contact with. “Close” powers are those concentrated within ten feet of the psychic, and “Medium” range extends out to 60’, and Long range are effects within 300 feet.

Duration (Modifier)
1 second (1)
10 seconds (2)
1 minute/Momentary/Concentration (3)
10 minutes (4)
20 minutes (5)

Psychic feats do not have permanent or long-lasting effects; only effects designed to return something to its natural state (usually healing) have “permanent” effects. Such effects are termed “momentary”, though, and carry a more severe load than a power that lasts only an instant. Momentary effects can only take place once every minute; even with a team of psychics, there are limits to what can be achieved, and momentary effects need to “set” before they are considered finished. Effects that last for the concentration of the psychic are similarly difficult, and concentration on maintain the effect is the same as concentration on producing a power, with the same limitations.

Area of Effect (Modifier)
Each Individual Affected (1)

Few psychic effects work beyond the level of one or several individuals; even the best of beguilers work best on small groups, or work to improve their own persuasiveness, rather than the gullibility of a number of people.

Effect by Discipline
Discipline effects add their level to the difficulty of psychic powers; effects from the Familiar line, the only effects available to rank amateurs, add +1. Much like skills, one cannot use abilities from above one’s own tier; a novice of Animal Empathy cannot calm a savage beast, and someone merely familiar with pyrokinesis cannot cause a grand conflagration with the snap of their fingers. Since the difficulty of powers is determined by the line from which the power comes, and the bonus to use the power is based on the psychic’s expertise, many psychics find it useful to work below their maximum potential; a master of Beguilement who uses the ability of the Familiar line gains an effective +4 on their fatigue roll (+5 from their expertise, and -1 due to the difficulty of the power).
Note that these are not exhaustive lists of what can and cannot be done with psychic powers at the various levels of expertise, only illustrative. Someone familiar with Pyrokinesis is usually only considered a particularly adept fire-starter, but they may try to use psychic power to light objects on fire by sheer will… it simply won’t be the instant burn of even simple-to-light objects that a novice can achieve.

Beguilement: Using psychic power to influence others, from gently guiding emotions to post-hypnotic suggestions. Beguilers tend to have excellent Charismas, and, at the most basic level, can use psychic ability to bolster their existing ability. Nearly all beguilement powers allow a Mental saving throw.
Familiar: Beguilement can be used to reduce Resist Persuasion of the target by 5% per expertise level (minimum 5%). Gentle suggestions can be used to reduce the resistance of targets to further beguilement powers (equal to the expertise level).
+1: The psychic can adjust encounter reactions by their expertise modifier; if done before the other individual has a chance to react (because they do not notice the psychic, or the psychic enacts the power with a 1 second concentration), then it can be made permanent via a momentary duration; otherwise, the effective reaction will drop when the duration ends. Can cause a surge of emotions, similar to the Mage spells Enrage or Frighten.
+2: The psychic can give simple, one-word commands that a target failing their save will follow for the duration, similar to the clerical spell “Command”.
+3: The psychic can effectively Charm (as the Mage spell) the target.
+4: The ability to charm expands to include the equivalent of the mage spell Induce Fratricide, as the beguilement is powerful enough to overcome one’s usual objections.
+5: The psychic is able to replicate the mage spell Beguile Creature.

Divination: Sensing the past, present, and future. Divination of the past works best if the subject is present, and the duration determines how long of a vision the diviner receives. Divination into the future is incredibly difficult, with short-term divinations being useful for self defense, and longer-term divinations being more subject to change due to the butterfly effect. Note that while higher expertise abilities allow the detection of psychic powers and magic, these can still be deduced if viewed through divination; you may not know that Bob is charmed, but if you see a wizard cast a spell on him in your divination, then it might be reasonably inferred that’s why Bob is acting weird.
Familiar: The diviner can sense up to one day in the past, or one minute into the future. If precognition is used for defense, it provides a bonus to Initiative or Defense equal to the expertise level.
+1: Up to one week in the past, or 10 minutes into the future. Can detect things physical things beyond the psychic’s normal senses (effectively reducing penalties due to reduced senses by the expertise modifier, or providing a bonus to skills such as Notice, Listen, and Scrutiny of 5% per expertise level).
+2: Up to one month in the past, or 1 hour into the future. Can be used to shift the psychic’s point of view to a different point within range. Can be used to offensively predict the future, providing a bonus to strike equal to expertise level.
+3: Up to one year in the past, or one day into the future. Can be used to detect the influence of psychic powers. Can be used to understand written text as if with the Mage spell Translate.
+4: Up to one decade in the past, or one week into the future. Can be used to detect the influence of mage magic.
+5: Up to one century in the past, or one month into the future. Can be used to detect the influence of clerical magic.

Pyrokinesis: The manifestation of heat and fire through psychic power. Many powers in this discipline allow Dodge saves, and ignore armor. If a damaging power is given a duration, damage will reoccur every 10 seconds. Double the modifier for any duration over 10 seconds for damaging powers.
Familiar: Those familiar with Pyrokinesis can always function as if they have flint, steel, and dry tinder when using the fire-building skill.
+1: Damage from fire attacks is 1d4p+expertise bonus. Instantly light class A items. The psychic can gain DR against fire damage equal to their expertise bonus.
+2: Damage from fire attacks is 1d6p+expertise bonus. Instantly light class B items. Extinguish 5’*5’ of fire per point of area of effect (so a 3 point area of effect modifier would allow extinguishing 75 square feet of fire).
+3: Damage from fire attacks is 1d8p+expertise bonus. The psychic can gain DR against fire damage equal to twice their expertise bonus.
+4: Damage from fire attacks is 1d10p+expertise bonus. Instantly light Class C items.
+5: Damage from fire attacks is 1d12p+expertise bonus. Instantly light Class D items.

Somatics: Controlling the physical body through psychic discipline. This is very difficult to do to others; double the modifier for any range above personal.
Familiar: Successful use of Somatics adds the psychic’s expertise to Feats of Strength and Feats of Agility tests, or +5% per expertise level to skills that have Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution as relevant abilities (subject to GM approval; it is unlikely that your somatic powers will aid your Artistry to write a sonnet, though it may come in handy if you are a basketweaver).
+1: Provide an Expertise bonus to Physical saving throws when used, or gently promote healing, with 5% per expertise level added to First Aid skills (duration must match or exceed the critical care time of whoever is working on the subject.)
+2: Provide a bonus or penalty to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution or Looks equal to expertise level. Such bonuses and penalties cannot be made permanent, nor can they cause attributes to exceed 18/00. Temporarily hamper the Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Looks of others by expertise level.
+3: Provide direct healing of a number of days equal to the expertise modifier (must have momentary duration for permanent healing). Directly heal strains, sprains, and hyperextensions (frequently caused by criticals or fumbles). Cause direct physical damage to a target equal to twice the expertise level (no DR).
+4: Provide a bonus or penalty to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution or Looks equal to twice expertise level. Such bonuses and penalties cannot be made permanent, nor can they cause attributes to exceed 20/00. Repair damage to those attributes at 10% per expertise level. Directly heal tears and reattach severed but intact minor appendages (fingers, toes, ears), provided it is done immediately (within 10 minutes per expertise level).
+5: Heal broad systemic damage, such as that caused by poison or disease. This allows another saving throw against disease or poison, with another test for severity of disease, with a bonus equal to the psychic’s expertise level. Provide direct healing of a number of days equal to twice the expertise modifier (must have momentary duration for permanent healing).

Telekinesis: Moving objects with one’s mind. Attacks using telekinetically controlled objects are usually resolved using normal attack rolls, using the effective telekinetic strength and dexterity instead of the character’s actual strength and dexterity, and with a bonus to strike and defense equal to the expertise modifier. A psychic capable of lifting her own weight is also capable of vertical levitation; one capable of carrying their own weight is capable of flight. Movement in flight is similar to movement on the ground, with a walking pace in feet per second equal to their effective dexterity, modified by encumbrance based on their effective strength (someone who weighs 65 pounds can fly at Familiar level, but will be moving through the air as if Heavily encumbered by their own weight… including fatigue modifiers on other psychic powers).
Familiar: The telekinetic can function as those they have a 10/01 strength and 10/01 dexterity for telekinetic manipulations (telekinetic dexterity has no effect on Initiative).
+1: Effective strength is 12/51, and effective dexterity is 12/01.
+2: Effective strength is 13/51, and effective dexterity is 12/51.
+3: Effective strength is 14/51, and effective dexterity is 13/01.
+4: Effective strength is 15/51, and effective dexterity is 13/51.
+5: Effective strength is 16/51, and effective dexterity is 14/01.

Telepathy: Communication with others, understanding their thoughts and feelings, and control of parts of the target’s mind. Unlike beguilement, this is seldom overt control, but simple editing that fits in with natural processes; where a beguiler can make the target their friend for a while, a telepath can cause their mind to simply note them as “not important”. Many telepathic powers are resisted with Mental saving throws, but powers with limited immediate harmful effect do not receive a saving throw.
Familiar: The psychic can accurately judge the feelings of another, providing a bonus to Charisma-based skills of 5% per expertise modifier.
+1: The psychic can project feelings onto others, similar to the clerical spell Influence, Minor (including the second saving throw if there are severe repercussions for acting in the influenced manner). The psychic can also project thoughts or emotions to others for communication; such thoughts are recognized as being foreign communications, but the target will not necessarily recognize the psychic’s “voice” unless they have heard it before.
+2: The psychic can accurately read the thoughts of others, similar to the 6th level mage spell “Mind Reading”. A similar effect can allow them to understand others spoken words as if with the mage spell “Translate” (but they cannot understand written words). The telepath may also attempt to make a target sleep, as with the mage spell Doze, with a maximum effected hit points of 15 per expertise level.
+3: The psychic can begin to edit the thoughts of others in minor ways. This can be similar to Memory Wipe, Lesser or the clerical spell Innocuousness. The telepath can also limit access of the brain to the senses, similar to the mage spell of Inflict Temporary Blindness. The psychic can also use Telepathic Mute, as the mage spell of the same name, and attempt to negate Telepathic Mutes that others have placed (granting another saving throw with a bonus equal to the psychic’s expertise level).
+4: Telepathy begins to allow for the broadcast of “mental noise”, reducing the target’s reaction times as though under the spell “Retard Reaction”, or cripple the mind of others, as under a “Paralysis” effect. Furthermore, devastating psychic attacks become possible, reducing Intelligence, Wisdom, and/or Charisma by the expertise level for the duration.
+5: The psychic can delve deeply into the thoughts of others, equivalent to the mage spell “Thought Probe.” Psychic healing (of attacks by the expert level power, or spells such as Idiocy) is now possible, either countering temporary damage and penalties, or providing permanent healing of long-term effects.



Psychic Character Class
Some psychics go beyond mere dabbling in the psychic arts, and devote their lives to it. While many in this class are counted among the Disciples of Avrynner (and may refer to this class as Disciples), others develop their mind powers on their own, sometimes in secret (as psionic powers are illegal in some states, such as Pekal).
Those who are part of the psychic character class all possess the talent, Psychic Talent, for free. Furthermore, they find it much easier to learn and master psychic powers; familiarity costs only 3 BP per discipline, and the cost to master each discipline is halved (so their first discipline starts at 5, their second at 6, their third at 7, and so forth), as is the cost of the Natural Psychic talent(s). They gain their first mastery die in Psionic Lore at 1st level, and additional mastery in the Psionic Lore skill equal to their intelligence modifier (minimum 1) each level thereafter.
As psychics grow in skill, they are likewise able to better enact their psychic powers, gaining a bonus to the die roll, similar to an expertise bonus. This bonus does not indicate that the psychic is able to accomplish more with their psychic powers; a novice telekinetic of great experience is still a novice telekinetic; but they are more likely to succeed with their powers, they less likely to be fatigued, and effects keyed off the expertise modifier are more potent.
This focus comes at a price, however. Psychic characters suffer from a small hit die, for though their constitutions may be tough, they suffer frequent damage due to the vicissitudes of psychic power use. They are likewise unpracticed with weapons, having given over great time to the study of their minds. While they have no penalties to learning proficiency with weapons, specialization begins at 10 BP per category, like a mage. They are likewise untrained in armor and shields but, unlike mages, have no inherent difficulty wearing or using armor or shields, save for their effects on fatigue.


Psionic Lore (New Skill)
Relevant Abilities: Intelligence, Wisdom
Cost: 20 BP
Universal: No
Prerequisite: None
Materials/Tools: Yes
Psionic Lore is the study of psionic powers, both their history, their theory, and their application. This skill is rare and expensive, with few available teachers and few available texts. Many psychics develop this knowledge on their own, leading to an idiosyncratic body of knowledge that has not yet been formalized into a true science.

Fetishmaker (New Proficiency) (10 BP)
Prerequisite: Psionic Lore of Average mastery or greater, Artistry (fetishmaking) of Average mastery or greater
Using stones, crystals, wood, and other natural materials, a knowledgeable person can create fetishes that will aid in using psychic powers. These fetishes are keyed to an extremely specific psychic power; the Concentration time, Range, Duration, Area of Effect and Discipline effect must be identical (though it can target another individual or group of individuals), and require a number of days and or silver pieces in material equal to the total modifier of the fatigue test (minimum of 1 day of work and 1 silver piece of materials). Possessing the fetish provides a +1 to attempts to use that power, but the possessor must be able to use the power on their own merits.
For example, a fetishmaker creates a fetish that will enable a psychic to Charm five targets instantly. This means that the concentration time is 1 Second (5), the range is Medium (4), the duration is 10 minutes (4), the Area of Effect is 5, and the effect level is +3, for a total modifier of 21. The fetishmaker must spend 1 day and 1 silver piece, and a combination of 19 days and/or silver pieces to create the fetish (he might spend 20 days and 1 silver piece worth of materials, 1 day and 20 silver pieces worth of materials, or any combination thereof where d + s = 21, and both d and s equal at least 1). A psychic possessing this fetish and the fetish proficiency for Beguilement can use the fetish to gain a +1 on their attempts to use the power… but only if the concentration time is 1 second, the range is no greater than medium, the duration is no more than 10 minutes, and there are no more than 5 targets being effected with a Charm effect.
Note that fetishes have no innate power of their own; they are a memory and concentration aid for psychics to use. The fetishmaker, or someone proficient in the fetish who has been trained by the fetishmaker, must show a psychic how to use a particular fetish before it can be used. It is also possible for a psychic Diviner to learn how to use a fetish, provided it has been used within the time the diviner can access, or the diviner uses a +3 expertise level effect.

Fetish Proficiency (New Proficiency) (4 BP)
Prerequisite: Psychic Talent talent, familiarity with the discipline.
The psychic is familiar with the use of fetishes related to a single discipline. The fetishmaker, or someone proficient in the fetish who has been trained by the fetishmaker, must show a psychic how to use a particular fetish before it can be used. It is also possible for a psychic Diviner to learn how to use a fetish, provided it has been used within the time the diviner can access, or the diviner uses a +3 expertise level effect.
Proficiency with a fetish applies only to a single discipline. Each discipline requires a separate proficiency. Those of the Psychic character class, and its multiclasses, may learn this proficiency at half cost (2 BP).

Natural Psychic (New Talent) (20 BP)
A natural psychic has an innate talent for a single psionic discipline, gaining a +1 bonus to their roles to use psychic powers. While this will increase effects predicated on expertise level, it does not allow the use of more advanced techniques; someone with this talent and a +1 expertise will only be able to use powers from the Familiar and +1 list, but will add +2 to the roll. This talent may be purchased multiple times, but each time must apply to a different discipline.


Psychic Talent (New Talent) (30 BP)
Those possessing Psychic talent have a bare glimmer of psychic ability, and are able to use their talent to sense danger a moment before it happens. This means that, regardless of their initiative die size, they are incapable of rolling the maximum value on the die; if their initiative die is a d12, both an 11 and a 12 count as having rolled an eleven. If their initiative die is a d4, then a 3 and a 4 are both counted as a 3.