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Old 01-29-2013, 04:38 AM   #1
Mailanka
 
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Default (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

I've been tinkering with another setting that has highly codified and unique psychic powers that vary from faction to faction, and one of the driving differences between those factions, conceptually, is the philosophy behind their psychic powers.

Now, this is true of most techniques. After all, an aggressive martial art follows a different "philosophy" than a pacifist one, and that's shapes what techniques and skills one learns. But I mean this in an entirely difference sense.

Because a psychic power is a manifestation of the mind's power, the shape of that mind will affect the shape of that power. A devout follower of Nietzsche or Hobbes should manifest a different flavor of power than someone who follows the more compassionate teachings of Aquinas or Locke. The way one sees the world, the way one believes one should live their life, affects psychic powers in a way that it would not affect, say, martial arts.

So I've been pondering how I might manifest that mechanically, where philosophy both shapes ones powers, and mastery of a philosophy (that is, taking Philosophy-18+) has some tangible, mechanical benefit of the game.

Got any suggestions?

I've thought of a few. Perhaps philosophy can act as a "critical failure recovery skill" like you see in Thaumatology. Or, perhaps we can attach a pact modifier to psychic powers, making them cheaper (and thus more powerful on the same point budget), but if you violate that philosophy, you lose the benefit of that power, and succeeding at your philosophy skill would allow you to know the best way to stay true to your philosophy while getting the most of of your power.

Any other ideas?
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

Kant lends himself to Telepathy. We're all disembodied things-in-ourselves floating around in the idea world. And Plato could be Astral powers, traveling out of the cave into the world of Ideas.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

Sounds like a pact limitation to me.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Sounds like a pact limitation to me.
But I want to encourage people to explore their philsophies deeply, aka to buy lots of philosophy. Or, at least, reward people who do. A Yoda who has a philosophy of 20 isn't wasting his points, while a Luke Skywalker who barely has an idea of how his philosophy works can still function, but does so at a more limited level than Yoda does.

Surely, a lot of Yoda's power simply comes from having more points in psychic powers and more skill. After all, when he's training Luke, he's not always teaching him philosophy, sometimes he's just teaching him how to jump or levitate or what have you. He's teaching the skills and powers. But the philosophy matters as well.

So a pact limitation might be a good beginning, but where's the benefit to investing heavily into Philosophy? That's what I want to figure ou t.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

Use the Hyper-Competency rules similar to those in MH, applied to Philosophy. Those virtual points replenish every session, and can be used to improve the effects of powers (primarily Buying Success, but they can also be used as substitute for replenishing psi-spent FP/energy, Buying Effect, getting powerful one-time stunts . . . just read Impulse Buys).
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

Limit their skills in the power so it can't be higher than their skill in the appropriate Philosophy. This only works if you do Skills for Everyone, obviously.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Use the Hyper-Competency rules similar to those in HM, applied to Philosophy. Those virtual points replenish every session, and can be used to improve the effects of powers (primarily Buying Success, but they can also be used as substitute for replenishing psi-spent FP/energy, Buying Effect, getting powerful one-time stunts . . . just read Impulse Buys).
HM? D you mean Monster Hunters?

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Limit their skills in the power so it can't be higher than their skill in the appropriate Philosophy. This only works if you do Skills for Everyone, obviously.
I'll be using the Psychic Powers book, because why not use the Good Reverend's fine work?
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

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HM? D you mean Monster Hunters?
Typo. Yes, MH, Monster Hunters.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

I have treated psis as not wanting to know. So things are left best to social encounters and not to mind reading. The suprise of life would disappear otherwise.

Of course there are those other psis who want to manipulate and suggest people into doing their bidding.

It could be unnerving for psis to get into lifts or taxis and 'hear' the thoughts of others. I used empathy coupled with skill-5 to begin mind reading (using secondary rules), you no longer are feeling what other feel but start mind reading them, which can be awkward for psis.

In personal relationships when non psis may tell each other they are ok but are not the psis could 'read' right through that and would be treading on egg shells whilst their partners and friends could get annoyed at such a behaviour.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: (Psionic Powers) The Philosophy of Psionics

Otherwise I'd think Marx is a perfect fit for PK. Dealing with the material basis of the world.
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