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Old 01-29-2013, 04:38 AM   #1
Mailanka's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
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?
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
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philosophy, psi, psionic powers

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