Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Psi-Tech Checklist

The addition of psi to the setting means that Psi-Tech should play some role. While the power damper collars we already have may well be enough, I'd like to take this opportunity to dig through other sources to see what else there might be. The following list is a compilation of ideas that either interest me, or seem particularly suitable to Psi-Wars. I don't know how I'll eventually use them, or even if I will. Given that most of them have no TL, some of them might be ancient or lost technologies, or experimental new technologies, or one-off wonders. But by having this post, once we get to thoroughly defining the setting, I'll have a point of reference complete with notes.

Psi-Testing Equipment: Psi-Tech 9
Things like Zener cards have become symbolic of paranormal research and psychic powers. Even Star Wars had something like Zener cards, despite the fact that one would think that Jedi, being able to sense other Jedi, would know at a glance if a kid had potential or not. This technology grounds players in the fact that we're using psionic powers, not the Force or space magic or something else.

Sensory Deprivation Equipment: Psi-Tech 10
Early prototype sensory deprivation gear
Sensory Deprivation technologies can be very spooky, even frightening, but the technology itself makes extensive use of Meditation, which definitely suits the themes of Psi-Wars: I love the imagery of a psi-master descending into a sensory deprivation chamber and losing himself in a psionic void in a sort of vision quest. We should also improve Communion petitions with this.

Psi-Amplifier Headband: Psi-Tech 12
Headbands are a bit of a silly-looking accessory, but little says “Space Opera!” like psions with crystal in the middle of foreheads. Having the ability to augment your psionic power in a reliable fashion like this would be highly useful. It should be noted that this will only apply to individual power talents, not to the Psi Sensitivity talent.
Ultra-Tech has a similar device (which is also noted as “Or a belt”) on UT 94. At TL 11, it would add +1 to one talent, while the one in Psi-Tech is +2. Both cost the same.

Psi-Amplifier Throne: Psi-Tech 13
For the psionic overlord! How great would it be to have a battle in the villain's courtyard while he rains down psionic terror from his throne? Ultra-Tech has a similar device on UT 94. At TL 11, it adds +6, while the one in Psi-Tech adds +8. Both cost the same.

Psi-Amplifier Citadel: 13
Oh man, even better for the psionic overlord! This creates a profound setting element, something on a scale appropriate to Psi-Wars, as they would need to infiltrate the vast complex and get to the carefully preserved psi-lord at its heart to defeat him. And the whole time, he has the vast, cosmic power that his Citadel grants him...

Psychotronic Battery: Psi-Tech 14
Because of our inclusion of God-Like extra effort and Energy Reserves (Psionic), we've made fatigue expenditures (of some kind) fairly central. Some players might appreciate access to more psionic juice. It does have a psychic vampire vibe, though, and it violates this idea that “psionics comes from within.” On the other hand, if this can also power devices, then we get a truly psionic-based technological infrastructure.

Symbiotic Crystal: Psi-Tech 15
The close, personal relationship between a jedi and his lightsaber might be nicely mirrored by the relationship between psion and symbiotic crystal. The Symbiotic Crystal was definitely inspired by the Lensmen lens, and Lensmen definitely served as an inspiration for Star Wars.

Electro-Psionic Neutralizer: Psi-Tech 16
What do you do when you capture a troublesome psion, but you don't want to kill him? You purge his powers and throw him into exile. This is a sufficiently dark approach that I think it might be suitable.

Null-Field Generator: Psi-Tech 16
At least one author in the Expanded Universe of Star Wars felt it vital to introduce a new creature, the ysalamir, as a countermeasure for it. We can just include the Null-Field Generator to get a similar result. The fear I would have is that if it became widely available, it would start being standard issue for all troops and such.

Null-Netralizer Node: Psi-Tech 16
If we have a Null-Field Generator, it might behoove us to have a Null-Null-Field Generator! It's expensive and has limitations, but you get a similar problem with the Null-Field generator, which is every psion will want one.

Psychotronic Para-Stealth: Psi-Tech 17
A weird-looking technology, but excellent for all the same reasons that Anti-Psi para-stealth is great!

Psionic Computers: Psi-Tech 20
My assumption has been that robots couldn't have psi. No droid jedi! But does that have to be so? If we're going to introduce robotic psions, what does that involve? What requirements are there? What limitations do they have?

Psi Scanner: Psi-Tech 22
The largest problem with countering psi is that you usually don't even know that it's going on. If you at least have a monitor that can blip when someone is trying to read your mind or spy on you, a mundane character has a better chance of figuring what's going on and countering it.

Aura Intensifier: Psi-Tech 23
An interesting psionic alternative to UT medical technologies. More of a background concern, though.

Biointensifier: Psi-Tech 23
Biointensifiers could serve as an alternative to Psi-Wars medical technology (though it would be a poor one, as you'd still only heal 2 HP a day while a TL 11 physician can heal you 4x a day, plus your own healing), but they're not mutually exclusive either.

Life-Transference Machine: Psi-Tech 24
These things will bring back the recently dead and heal someone far faster than TL 11^ medicine or a bio-intensifier... if you're willing to kill a few people (or just hurt lots and lots of people). An insidious device worthy of space opera!

Thanatos Field Generator: Psi-Tech 25
A suitably villainous safety device that is also slow enough that if players become trapped in one, they have sufficient time to figure out a solution.

PK-Sensitive Materials: Psi-Tech 25
An interesting and unique way to make PK a little more interesting and tempting. Items that are one-tenth their weight for the purposes of TK allows a character to psychokinetically (for example) weild a weapon, despite having very little TK-Grab.

Psychotronic Bodyshield: Psi-Tech 25
A good way to turn the nigh-useless PK- or EK-Shield into something more handly. However, multiple the value of the above shields by 5, rather than 2, to compensate for the higher armor divisors.

Memory Crystal: Psi-Tech 26
The Jedi and Sith both have “holocron crystals” which are unique to their orders, but as to why they'd have a unique form of data storage never made sense to me... unless it was psionic in nature! It isn't, but ours could be.

Mental Translator: Psi-Tech 26
In a galaxy full of languages, I'll never pass up yet another way to have those languages translated.

Mind-Disruptor: Psi-Tech 27
Another ranged weapon that competes with the neurolash effect, but with the added bonus of having the ability to wipe out psionic ability, or to purge memories. Worth noting.

Psi-Bomb: Psi-Tech 28
If you want to be a terrorist, why not literally use terror as a weapon?

Psionic Mind Shield: Psi-Tech 29
One of the few ways non-psionic or non-anti-psi characters can deal with mental intrusion.

Psychic Lock and Empathic Lock: Psi-Tech 29
Perfect for interesting challenges, ancient ruins, etc, where some lost order of psions locked things away, and only another psion, who can emulate the right brain-pattern, can open it. Or a way of checking to see if someone is “pure of heart,” etc.

Telepathic Switches: Psi-Tech 30
Similar to the above, but broader in scope, allowing for puzzles that require clever psi-use, or technologies that really exploit a psi's potential.

Thought Globe: Psi-Tech 30
A very cool and genre-appropriate effect.

Drugs: Starting on Psi-Tech 33
Psi-Drugs aren't particularly appropriate to Star Wars, but given Psi-Wars' whole-hearted embrace of Psi, and the presence of Communion (which wouldn't be affected by drugs), I feel it safe, even appropriate, to include some.
  • Blocker
  • Blue Fire
  • Brainstorm
  • Catalyst
  • Mind Hype
  • Monobloc
  • Psi-Booster
  • Trance
  • Window
Genetic Engineering and Cloning: Psi-Tech 35.
If we're going to have a full science-model of psi, and we like the idea of psionic bloodlines, then psi is genetic, and genetics can be manipulated and copied. People who understand the genetics of psi can breed their own sub-race of psi-warriors. The presence of Communion keeps this in check: We could outright state something like “All Genetically Engineered psi-characters must have a 1 point 'Faithful Aberrant' perk” to explain why natural characters are superior to genetically engineered characters and clones, who may have great psionic potential, but are cut off from the greater world of Communion by its refusal to get in touch with them.

Drones: Psi-Tech 37
Perfect for our evil psionic overlord.

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