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Old 12-22-2015, 11:19 AM   #21
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Psionics] Pulp Psi-Phi

Psi-Tech

These lists cover items that I intend to be available at the start of the game, if I run it. Other GMs may have different lists. Psionic technologies not listed are either not invented yet, or are secret; only the GM knows which.

Psychotronics

Psi Amplifier Helmets (Psi-Tech p12) exist, but known examples provide only +2 or +3 to a single talent; in addition, fairly few are not dedicated to a single ability. They often require psychotronic batteries (see below). A few Psi Amplifier Thrones exist, granting +6 to a single power, or +8 to one or two abilities. Even fewer are able to boost multiple powers, but generally add +4 or +5 to each.

Psychotronic Generators (p13) are possibly the most common form of psi-tech, even if 'form' is not the best term for something so variable in design (anywhere from 'helmet with Jacob's Ladder, and wires connecting it to a backpack full of vacuum tubes' to 'fancy wand or staff' to 'ordinary-looking item that does something extraordinary;' see also some specific examples from the text-box on p14, though the Psiberdeck would not exist, and the Psycho-Surgery would need a more era-appropriate user interface). Most psychotronic generators are fetishes made by mystics using Astral Binding, and look and act like magic items, sometimes with apparent personalities of their own (which means they may be bought as an Ally, rather than as equipment or a Gadget). Psychographs may also be made by mystics, just as some scientifically-oriented psychics have made fetish-based psionic devices. In general, specific powers are about as common as seen in the list in On Talents, above. Many require psychotronic batteries (see below).

Psychotronic Batteries (p14) exist, but take in energy more slowly, requiring around half an hour to take in one FP; rather than preventing the target from regaining Fatigue, they double the time required. Most are dedicated, and storage capacity is variable (use characteristics other than price from the Batteries and Power Cells Table, p8, and see the Psychotronic Battery Table, below). It is not unusual for a device to require psychotronic batteries, with or without also needing electricity. Devices created by mystics are normally powered either internally, or by the user.

Code:
Psychotronic Battery Table

T 1FP $10 (rare)
XS 2FP $20
S 5FP $50
M 10FP $200
L 20FP $500 (rare)
VL 50FP $1,000 (rare)

Note that these are averages, not standardizations.
Note also that FP use by equipment may be fractional.
Electro-Psionic Neutralizers (p16) have a bulkier and heavier control panel (around two feet by one foot by one and a half feet, and about 30 lbs.) and require external power.

Overload-Field Generators & Psi Impeders (p17) are rumoured to exist. Any further detail is up to the GM.

Astral Barrier-Field Generators (p18) are believed to exist - or at least, the mirror-surfaced bubbles that have started appearing around various locations since mid-1929 are believed to be artificial.

Astral Duplicators (p18) are somewhat available, though most are mystical items incorporating mirrors - a mirror must be able to reflect the whole object or creature at close range, to create a duplicate.

P-Web Shields (p20) are one of the few examples of commercial psi-tech, though this is mainly due to the mistaken belief that they can provide any protection at all against Telepathy, which is very rarely the case. (The normal version disrupts the Confuse ability, and possibly other Ergokinetic attacks that the GM decides use a sufficiently similar vector, because of its structure, and requires little or no attunement. P-Webs that shield againse Telepathy must be attuned, or have a bound spirit, in order to provide this defence. Some individual Telepaths are unable to work through P-Webs, because they believe that they cannot; this is a -5% limitation on (normally all of) their telepathic abilities.)

Psi Scanners (p22) tend to resemble crystal-radio sets with a few dials on one side, and various rheostats and buttons or switches. Earlier models will generally be bigger.

Karmic Collectors (p23) may exist, but are so far only rumours.

Aura Enhancers & Biointensifiers (p23) work pretty much as seen in the book, though the latter are somewhat rare. All known biointensifiers require psychotronic batteries.

Psychospectral Cameras (p24, under Psychospectral Imaging System) are found at some universities and occasionally in private hands, but are film cameras (still or movie, usually still), not video. They tend to weigh about 15% more than a normal camera of the same type.

Thanatos-Field Generators (p25) appear in rumour and urban legend.

Fear Extractors (p26) have been used by a number of villains over the past few years. The devices keep getting destroyed, but someone always makes another (depending on the GM, this may be a single mad scientist, in which case they may be fairly standardized). Power is provided by a medium psychotronic battery.

Mind Disruptors (p27) tend to be bulky, fragile, and unreliable. The smallest known Mind Disruptor weapon is a dazer in the form of an awkward pistol weighing around 3 lbs (and having a Bulk of -3), and being about as effective (including number of shots) as a Holdout Mind Disruptor from Psi-Tech. Likewise, MD Rifles tend to be as effective as the book's MD Pistols, Heavy MDs as book MD Rifiles, and Tactical MDs, if available at all, as Heavy MDs from the book; likewise, add -1 to Bulk for all but the highest-quality units. The smallest Neutralizer Rays and Death Rays are rifle-sized (Bulk of -4). Most versions require psychotronic batteries, though some can be powered by the user, at approximately 2 FP per shot.

Mind-Transfer Machines (p27) are always rumoured, but there is no proof that they exist, as yet.

Mindscanners (p28) are readily available. Triple the weight of the Handheld Mindscanner, and add about 5-10 lbs to the Large Mindscanner. Like Psi Scanners, above, they resemble crystal sets (or tabletop vacuum-tube radioes, in the case of Large Mindscanners).

Psi Bombs (p28) can be found in hand grenade size and larger. They are somewhat unstable - two or more points of direct psi-based damage can set one off on a roll of 16 or greater.

Telepathic Switches (p30) have occasionally been built, although Secure Teleswitches are only theoretical... probably. Putting enough Basic Teleswitches together leads to a crude Telepathic Control Panel.

Necrophones (GURPS Horror p48) have been available from the Edison Company since 1930, as mentioned in the timeline. They aren't quite mass-produced, of course, and cost $2,100 per unit.

Electric Pentacles (Horror p48), inspired by those described in William Hope Hodgson's Thomas Carnacki stories, are available from several sources. The most reliable are made by Morgan-Tesla Ltd.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:52 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Psionics] Pulp Psi-Phi

Psi Drugs

Unless otherwise noted, these drugs require no attunement, instead affecting the target's psi powers by modifying the brain's biochemistry.

Blocker (Psi-Tech p33) is available in refined form, as of 1928.

Blue Fire (p33) is available as an herbal preparation from Japan, Korea, and eastern China ('blue fire' is a translation of the Japanese name, 'aoikasai'), but is only known as a deadly poison - if anyone is aware of its effect on psi abilities, they aren't talking.

Brainstorm (p33) is available as an alchemic preparation, usually in drinkable form, but takes 1d*5 minutes to take effect, and requires the user to fail a HT-2 roll. As usual, duration does not start until the effect begins.

Neurovine (p33) was patented in 1931, and is known to be an antidote for Blue Fire, among other poisons. Cost is $150/dose.

Psi-Boosters (p34) are found in a variety of forms, both alchemic and herbal, but must be attuned to the ability they are designed to induce, or anchor an astral entity with that ability (they are charms or single-use psychographs, in other words). Those who take Psi Boosters for the same ability multiple times may eventually gain that ability, as the elixir trains the mind for it. Normally found as incense, tea, or powder.

Shatter (p34) is available in hypo form only, and was refined in 1929. As everyone is a latent, it is not useful in detecting psis. Being new and fairly expensive, few police departments have access to it, though the FBI does. Cost is $90/dose.

Trance (p35) is available as a wide range of herbal and alchemic preparations, with varying abilities and prices. Traditionally, it was most often taken in the form of incense or tea, though nowadays you can put it in your pipe and smoke it (or roll it into a cigarette).

Window (p35) is available as an alchemic preparation, though several companies claim they'll have a refined version Real Soon, Now. Quality is somewhat variable. Available as a powder or potion.


Genetics of Psi

While genetic engineering is currently unknown, eugenics is not only known, but quite popular (prizes were given for the most 'scientific' or 'eugenic' baby at some state fairs, for example). While still too early to tell, attempts to breed more Talented psis are being made all over the world, but particularly in Germany and America.

Cloning is not yet possible, and neither are the Proteus Virus or Null Virus (indeed, they might never be possible).


Psibernetics and Surgery

Brain-tissue grafts are being experimented with, mostly on people who aren't part of the 'favored' race locally, but rarely have much, if any, effect on psi abilities. Most work is being done in Japan and the United States.

Drones are rumoured to exist, but there is no proof as yet.

Psiborgs do not exist at this time, but there are many rumours about them, and a sufficiently skilled psychographer or astral binder may be able to create them.


So, thoughts?
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:47 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Psionics] Pulp Psi-Phi

Just so you know, the above is all that I have, so far. I've been thinking of writing up some templates, or trying to do a stat-block for this worldline's Dracula, but if anyone has suggestions of things it would be useful to include (not limited to templates or stat-blocks), I'm open to them. I don't promise to be fast, though.
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:29 AM   #24
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Default Re: [Psionics] Pulp Psi-Phi

I hate to resurrect a thread, but this setting is really interesting to me. I wonder if you, or anyone else, has used it or done any more work on it. Not to say that there isn't a ton of material here already.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:14 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Psionics] Pulp Psi-Phi

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Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
I hate to resurrect a thread, but this setting is really interesting to me. I wonder if you, or anyone else, has used it or done any more work on it. Not to say that there isn't a ton of material here already.
I have yet to run a game in it, but I might post some thoughts soonish on the Dracula who would exist in this setting, as I'll need help to turn the ideas into a full character sheet.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:19 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Psionics] Pulp Psi-Phi

I agree this looks like it would be fun to play in.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:11 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Psionics] Pulp Psi-Phi

Uk should be CR3 but not the empire. Canada, Australia and New Zealand maybe better.

UK economy was below 1913 production from 1918 to 1932.

Moreover it was Hindemburg's decision to keep Germany safe from the SPD and KPD.

So who is the Leader of the Nazis? Streicher, Borman because you need someone 'sensible' at the top.

Do the psi stuff play into the ubermensch trope? Or are there dissenters and unionised psis of the various communist parties around the world?

Ok, I am running away with this.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:28 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by smurf View Post


Do the psi stuff play into the ubermensch trope? Or are there dissenters and unionised psis of the various communist parties around the world?

.
I can see it playing both ways with ubermensch. True men do, or don't, have these powers. In the spirit of the setting though I think "do have psi" group will prevail, but the "don'ts" can be used minor villains or even allies to help fight the Overmen. And of course ubermensch powers are much better than any other powers - maybe they concentrate only on select powers and equipment? They consider other powers/equipment/drugs to be inferior or tainted?

To a lesser extreme you can get union psis from around the world to concentrate on certain abilities, so you get schools or teams. Say pyro squads, or a telepathy trio. They could make a good villain of the week sort of enemy, or contact group.

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Old 01-22-2016, 06:53 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by smurf View Post
Uk should be CR3 but not the empire. Canada, Australia and New Zealand maybe better.
Meaning that they'd be CR2, or something else? 'Better' is somewhat subjective.

I tend to agree with Drifter that psi could go both ways. Gestalts are possible, but so are small numbers of powerful individual psis. Which one the PCs are is another matter, of course.

Going to do another post in a bit for Dracula, basing his powers, to start with, on Bram Stoker's novel.
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Old 01-22-2016, 07:51 AM   #30
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Quotes from Dracula, Chapter 18, by Bram Stoker:
Quote:
The nosferatu do not die like the bee when he sting once. He is only stronger, and being stronger, have yet more power to work evil.
So, he's likely got some level of Unkillable (I'd say Unkillable 3 or some variant of Unkillable 2, as he's a spirit that interacts with the world by controling or building a physical body, rather than by just 'materializing'), along with Unaging. May need help/summoning to come back.

Quote:
This vampire which is amongst us is of himself so strong in person as twenty men,
This is around ST 45, if we go by Basic Lift as the measure van Helsing is using.

Quote:
he is of cunning more than mortal, for his cunning be the growth of ages,
Lots of skills and Talents.

Quote:
he have still the aids of necromancy, which is, as his etymology imply, the divination by the dead, and all the dead that he can come nigh to are for him at command,
Depending on how literally we take this, he's either just really good at using his Charisma plus social skills to get ghosts to work for him, or there's outright mind control involved. Given his apparent hypnotic powers seen elsewhere, he's at least got Suggestion going for him. I'd say it's a mix, but that he also has the ability to Afflict ghosts with a Sense of Duty to himself (along with the Rationalization enhancement (Psionic Powers p15), of course), and perhaps one or two other Afflictions - but not full Mental Surgery.

Quote:
he is brute, and more than brute,
This either refers to his personality, or to his durability. I'm going to say that he has levels of Hard to Kill and Hard to Subdue.

Quote:
he is devil in callous, and the heart of him is not,
If these don't refer to his personality, I don't know what van Helsing is talking about. Thoughts?

Quote:
he can, within his range, direct the elements, the storm, the fog, the thunder,
Weather Control, though the level is uncertain. Probably fairly high as these things go.

Quote:
he can command all the meaner things, the rat, and the owl, and the bat, the moth, and the fox, and the wolf,
He has Animal Telepathy, and is both powerful and skilled at it... or he's just really good at getting the spirits of animals to convince living creatures to do his bidding (spirit Allies).

Quote:
he can grow and become small,
Because I've decided he needs a physical body to interact with the world, this is an illusion, most likely using a spirit Ally or two. EDIT: In fact, he's a plausible user of Modular Abilities (Allies with Summonable and a Ghost meta-trait Only).

Quote:
and he can at times vanish and come unknown.
Also an illusion (Sensory Control or Photorefraction), also probably involving a spirit Ally, though given the context, perhaps a less reliable one - or a powerful spirit Ally that can Teleport him, but again is less available than usual.

Not mentioned above, but obviously he has Domination. New vampires are going to be quite a bit weaker than this, of course, as most of the powers above are probably learned.


Note that Dracula would not be an exact match for the Count Dracula of the book; rather, he is the ghost of Vlad the Impaler, empowered by the myths and the popular perception of him, and given flesh by foolish humans who wished to pay him tribute... well, unless your GM has a different idea. The character sheet (or sheets) that's going to develop from this discussion is one of many options, and may not even be the one I use, if I use him in the game (after all, my hypothetical players might read this thread).


So, any suggestions?
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