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Old 06-23-2017, 04:50 PM   #61
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Slan are mutants. It's not a situation where everyone could learn to use woo-woo and yet there's a prejudice against those who do.
Ah, well "everybody is psionic" isn't very common at all. Usually it's a heritable talent or something. I didn't realize that everybody in Classic Traveller was a psi.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:15 PM   #62
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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Ah, well "everybody is psionic" isn't very common at all. Usually it's a heritable talent or something. I didn't realize that everybody in Classic Traveller was a psi.
At least in GURPS Traveller, "most Humans" have the potential for psionics. (So sayeth Alien Races 1, page 134.) I don't know about CT
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:09 PM   #63
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

"The Institute's comprehensive examination provides a measure of personal psionic strength... Each character has a basic potential ... Age constantly lessens this potential, however, unless training is undertaken to use it."

Book 3, p. 38 (1981 edition, but the 1977 version is identical). That this is not meant to apply only to PCs (cheers to the shade of Hans Rancke-Madsen) is indicated by:

"Some hirelings or citizens may have psionic training or ability (throw 12 to have any ability; then determine the actual ability). There is an equal chance that the non-character will be an informant or potential informant."

Ibid., p. 46. Note that this is plot-tastically high -- only one world in 108 even has a branch of the Psionic Institute by the RAW. But I take it as indicative that psionic abilities and training are widespread, despite the penalties associated with their use.

Last edited by thrash; 06-23-2017 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:14 PM   #64
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

I think "everyone is equally psionic" is the more unique thing then. Paranoia about telepathy in particular is definitely not so unique (even in 1977).
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Old 06-24-2017, 04:06 AM   #65
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

But it only applies to NPCs the player characters encounter...

Am I misunderstanding or are you trying to suggest that 1/36 of the entire population of the Imperium is a trained psionic?
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:13 AM   #66
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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Am I misunderstanding or are you trying to suggest that 1/36 of the entire population of the Imperium is a trained psionic?
You are misunderstanding. I specifically acknowledged that the raw result is ridiculous ("plot-tastically high") on the face of it.
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:15 AM   #67
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

Well, does the institute have to be on the "prime world" of a system? Can't it be on a moon, or some rocky Mars like world, or some body in the system other than what's listed on the map as "where people live"? I think that would explain the higher frequency of institutes.

Also remember that the rule is there as a guideline to help make such places hard to reach, but not impossible to find. Kind of like a Shao-lin monestary or similar place where your PCs (or NPCS) can go (or have gone) to learn the mysterious ways of "mentalists".

That was the vibe I picked up when I first read the rule way back in 81 or 79.

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Old 06-24-2017, 01:27 PM   #68
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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You are misunderstanding. I specifically acknowledged that the raw result is ridiculous ("plot-tastically high") on the face of it.
Player Characters are liable to run into more than their fair share of criminals, revolutionaries, spies, and other transients. They do not deal with a representative sampling of the Imperial population.
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:35 PM   #69
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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Slan are mutants. It's not a situation where everyone could learn to use woo-woo and yet there's a prejudice against those who do.
D'oh! Second Foundationists, post-revelation of course.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:08 AM   #70
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

Michael Andre-Driussi, in the article mentioned in the first message of this thread, says that Emperor Cleon I is the only thing Traveller draws from Asimov's Foundation series. An obvious first point where he's wrong is that there's also a Cleon II (or else Cleon I would just be called Cleon). But in reading more about the Foundation universe, I find that its influences on Traveller are pervasive. The only reason I didn't notice that right away is that I read the Foundation trilogy so long ago that it was still a trilogy, when I was a kid, something like a decade before Traveller was first published.

I don't have time right now to start a new Foundation and Traveller thread, but there is opposition to "Mentalics" in Foundation. The first is the Mule, and the opposition to him isn't very effective, and it's not because he's a Mentalic, it's because he's overthrowing the Empire. But the Second Foundation reinvents Mentalics as a way to perform its Manipulations to hasten the end of the Long Night -- and its Mentalics face a fair amount of opposition too, though my memory of just what opposition is lost in over four decades of faded memory.

Maybe someone with fresher memory of Second Foundation can elaborate. On the other hand, if anyone had read it recently enough, they'd have seen that and maybe added to this thread. But maybe someone else has the books closer than a library or buying new books, and the time to read them.

Edit: right after I posted this, I saw mention of Second Foundation in the immediately preceding message, which I initially overlooked. OK, consider this an elaboration on that point, though I wrote it as an independent thought.

Last edited by SteveS; 07-01-2017 at 10:12 AM.
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