prev | toc | next

1.9 Psionics

The optional psionics system closely mirrors the magic system: both implement a special subclass of skills that allow characters to trigger supranatural effects.

The standard psionic abilities supplied with a base installation of Argo share several characteristics. All require the Psionic Aptitude advantage as a prerequisiste. Most have a specified level of the Mental Discipline skill as a further prerequisite. None use any tools or materials. Successful use of psionic abilities is based on a roll against Intelligence plus your skill level for the appopriate ability. Successful defence is determined by a roll against Presence plus the Mental Discipline skill. The effectiveness or intensity of a psionic effect is based on either the skill level for the Ability being used, or for the Mental Discipline skill, or a combination of these. Like the Mental Discipline skill, the Mental Resistance skill modifies the chance for success of a Psionic ability, but it is only useful for defensive applications (it is included to allow objects that defend against psionic abilities to be defined; there is no advantage for players to learn the Mental Resistance skill instead of or in addtion to the Mental Discipline skill.) Psionic abilities are inherently subtle: only players with Psionic Aptitude or the Perception skill have a chance to notice that they are being used, unless they are directly affected by the psiab or it produces a noticable physical effect.

To use a psionic ability in a way that triggers its coded effects, use the +focus command. The basic syntax is:

      +focus <psiab> at|on|vs <target>

If the <target> argument is omitted, the target is assumed to be you (except for the few psionic abilities which do not require a target).

A few psiabs allow you to target objects being carried by other players. For these, the syntax is:

      +focus <psiab> at|on|vs <target>'s <object>

In order to be able to use a psionic ability, you must know it. That is, there are no `default' rolls for psiabs.

Using a psionic ability normally takes one turn. When you enter the +focus command to use a psionic ability, the system checks to make sure you know the psionic ability and have a valid target. If so, then on your next action, the checks will be redone, to make sure the situation hasn't changed, and if you are still able to use the psionic ability, rolls will be made to determine success or failure.

The success or failure of the psionic ability is determined by a roll of 3d6 versus the base skill for the psiab (usually your Craft skill) plus your skill for the psionic ability itself. If the roll is less than or equal to this total, you successfully use the psiab; if it is greater, the psionic ability `fizzled out'. Most psionic ability that target players allow a defense roll (whether they want it or not). When a psiab is successfully used against a player, a defense roll is made for the target player. If the psionics user made her roll by more than the target player, the psiab succeeds, and any coded effects are applied. If the target player made his roll by more than the psionics user, then the psiab fails.

Immediately after using the psionic ability, its fatigue cost is subtracted from your fatigue level. This fatigue is regained normally, at a rate of 1 point per turn. If the fatigue cost of the psionic ability would take your fatigue level to zero minus your rested fatigue, or lower, you cannot use the psiab. For example, if your fatigue is 20 when fully rested, and your current fatigue level is 2 (you've spent 18 points of fatigue), then you could not use a psiab that had a fatigue cost of 32, because this would take your fatigue to -30, which is below your `exhaustion threshold' of -20. You could though use a psiab with a 16 point fatigue cost, taking your fatigue level to -14. You would be tired, and your future actions would be at minuses until you rested enough to get your fatigue level back above zero, but you could use the psiab.

The fatigue cost is applied regardless of whether the psiab succeeds or fails.

Like skills, psiabs have critical successes and critical failures. The nature of the critical effect is usually closely related to the psiab's normal effect: for psiabs that do negatively effect the target's stats, a critical success causes a more extreme modification, while a critical failure causes your stats to be lowered. The effect of many critical failures for psiabs is to cause you to be stunned.

The following page describes some of the psionic abilities supplied with a base distribution of Argo. Additional psionic abilities may bave been defined and coded by your RP staff. Type +list psiabs for a complete list of psiabs available on your MUCK. Type +info psiabs/<psiabs> for detailed information about the prerequisites and fatigue required by a specific psionic ability.

prev | toc | top | next