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Old 02-05-2020, 12:52 PM   #31
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Really? I have never had a campaign where the average psychic had less than 100 CP of psionic talents and abilities. 10 CP is not even Danger Sense, Empathy, Intuition, or Luck with Psionic (-10%).
Average PC psychic isn't likely to be the same as the average psychic. It's not a big problem if most people who get trained are pretty much duds. But since training should be worth something I'd go with "the average trained psychic has 15 points". Of course I would be very surprised indeed if Austria got functional psychic training and Britain didn't. They were really into that stuff in the late 19th century.
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:15 PM   #32
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

Well, it depends on investment. If one government invests in psychic powers and the other government does not, then the one that does not will probably not have too many psychics. Since the subtler psychic abilities are arguably the most useful psychic abilities, it is unlikely that the British government would have spent any real money, since the MPs at the time were absolutely devoted to building up the Royal Navy.

As for CP level, you would have to have fairly significant abilities in the first place to be noticed with TL6 technology (it is not like they have genetic testing). As mentioned before, less than 25 CP in the subtler abilities will likely not be noticed and less than 25 CP in obvious abilities could be discounted as tricks (especially since many psionic attacks must have Malediction and No Signature or are already undetectable by mortal senses). Beyond that, training could improve abilities greatly, as a character could gain 1 CP worth of abilities per week of Intensive Training, meaning that an extra 25 CP per year of abilities would not be impossible.

If a psychic needs 25 CP to begin with to be noticed or not discounted, and then can receive an additional 25 CP during a year of training, 50 CP is not unreasonable. Older psychics, trained with the initial methodologies, may have fewer points in abilities, as their training may have been less comprehensive or intensive. There would also be a population of untrained psychics, people who never manifested sufficient abilities to be detected or to not be discounted, as well as psychics too dangerous or too criminal to allow to keep their powers. In those cases, conditioning could suppress their talents and their abilities, and even remove the memory of them being psychics.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:31 AM   #33
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Well, it depends on investment. If one government invests in psychic powers and the other government does not, then the one that does not will probably not have too many psychics. Since the subtler psychic abilities are arguably the most useful psychic abilities, it is unlikely that the British government would have spent any real money, since the MPs at the time were absolutely devoted to building up the Royal Navy.

...
Thing is with that is in terms of investment it's going to hinge one how quickly it's realised there is real potential, and getting to that point might not depend on the kind of massive resource expenditure as ramping up a national system would.

There's also the point that the UK by itself (so not counting the empire) in 1900 has double the GDP of the AH empire.

If you include the empire it also has a vast population to draw from, although this has issues as well as benefits in this context. Among them is nationalism in the British empire is as much of a thing as it is in the AH empire!
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 02-06-2020 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:12 AM   #34
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Well, it depends on investment. If one government invests in psychic powers and the other government does not, then the one that does not will probably not have too many psychics.
Why is psychic training expensive?
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:31 AM   #35
Aldric
 
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

I see a room, 2 chairs, a table and a deck of cards.
Could be part of a general medical exam for the military, could also be done in schools.

What I really can't understand is psychic abilities develop in one country and no other, unless there is some reason the potential appeared recently and in a small region
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:44 AM   #36
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

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I see a room, 2 chairs, a table and a deck of cards.
Could be part of a general medical exam for the military, could also be done in schools.
Just beware so you don't get Peter Venkman on your team.

They also need a method to sort out magicians, illusionists, flim-flam artists - the Uri Gellers and Sylvia Browne's of the world.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:51 AM   #37
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

Which abilities would you be testing with that set up? If you are testing an ESP or Telepathy ability, reliable Clairvoyance or Mind Reading is more than 25 CP. Of course, a psychic with TK 1 would be capable of flipping the cards, but such parlor tricks are much less useful for espionage than the subtler powers.

While the British have more people and a larger economy than the AHE, that is the reason why disinformation is essential. With a few psychic agents skilled with conditioning, the AHE can cause enough high profile frauds and lunatics in Great Britain (and other nations) to claim psychic powers to inhibit the development of effective training protocols. Untrained psychics would still exist in those nations, but a successful disinformation campaign would hinder any government investment in psychic training.

If nothing else, psychic agents can be sent to discredit politicians who support public investment in psychic training. While foreign nobility may have a high likelihood of antipsi due to breeding with AHE nobility, their servants will not, and their servants can be conditioned to turn their loyalty or to change their memories. If his servants claim that the Prime Minister is a secret homosexual who has been taking money from the Germans in exchange for intelligence, he will be too busy refuting the charges to care much about developing a psychic training program.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:28 AM   #38
TGLS
 
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

I think the problem here is that it is strains credibility that Austria manages establish an effective Psionic intelligence service that operates everywhere, and uses said service to keep psi secret everywhere, before anyone else even begins to start investigating psi phenomena at all. Moonshots by great powers are sometimes based on dubious propositions, but they are usually based on something. Surely any scientist who investigated psi phenomena would have published instead of keeping it quiet for the Austrians. The most plausible answer I can come up with is that somebody in the Austrian government is a powerful psi, who creates a psi training program, knowing it isn't completely dubious even though it would appear to be.

On how this would affect WW1:

1) The war is delayed, giving Austria time to prepare for the war. Maybe they manage to isolate Russia and engage in a war over the East.

2) The war isn't delayed, but Austria keeps the British out of it. France may be defeated early, and the war could end in a couple years.

3) The war isn't delayed, but Austria pulls an unimaginable number of rabbits out of their hat and the Central Powers defeat the Entente.

4) The war isn't delayed, Austria loses, but they manage to keep the minorities in line and avoid being broken apart.

5) The war isn't delayed, Austria loses, and the country disintegrates. A bunch of psychics join up with the new nations and many plot revenge against the Entente.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:28 AM   #39
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

What about if the war isn't delayed, but AHE intelligence helps the Germans more effectively deploy their forces against the Entente? If the AHE can defeat the Serbians earlier, they can deploy more troops with the Germans against the Russians, forcing the Russians out of the war by Spring 1916. Without the Russians in the war, the British and French forces collapse by Fall 2016, before the USA can enter the war. If it looks like the Entente is guaranteed to lose, the US Congress would be unlikely to declare war against the Central Powers.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:23 PM   #40
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Default Re: World War One Psychics [Powers]

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Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
...
On how this would affect WW1:

1) The war is delayed, giving Austria time to prepare for the war. Maybe they manage to isolate Russia and engage in a war over the East.

2) The war isn't delayed, but Austria keeps the British out of it. France may be defeated early, and the war could end in a couple years.

3) The war isn't delayed, but Austria pulls an unimaginable number of rabbits out of their hat and the Central Powers defeat the Entente.

4) The war isn't delayed, Austria loses, but they manage to keep the minorities in line and avoid being broken apart.

5) The war isn't delayed, Austria loses, and the country disintegrates. A bunch of psychics join up with the new nations and many plot revenge against the Entente.
That's what I have been grappling with.

1. AD Franz Ferdinand was a catalyst and not a cause. That lay with British and German interests in the Middle East (Hobsbawn's argument)

2. Ferdinand is not shot but still the outrage of the attempt and war continues.

3. AH is in no way able to match economic might of its rivals. It doesn't do too well in the 1912-3 wars in the Balkans and in the last instance loses out to the Serbs.

4. The inspiration of the Russian Revolution leads to the Hungarian revolution with leaders such as Bela Kun: 1918-20 including the Republic. Revolution in Germany over the Kiel Mutiny

5. It all goes according to history and the psychics join a certain Corporal in Germany and help build and occult following for the Nationalist movement, maybe they move from the Freikorp and assassinations of Luxembourg and Liebkneckt to supporting the NSDAP... da, da, daaaa....
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