Thursday, January 11, 2018

Psionic Disciplines of the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant

The Cult of the Mystic Tyrant concerns itself with more than just warfare. Beyond its mastery of Dark Communion, It requires the subtlety and majesty of Telepathy to enforce its dominion and secrecy and thus teaches many of its members in the arts of hiding their own thoughts, in controlling the thoughts of others and in ferreting out traitors and destroying them.

Discipline of Kings: 8 points

Most of the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant has moved past the ritualistic rulership of the Cult of Anthara, but nonetheless found many of its psionic techniques useful, and folded in the style and approach of the Ranathim’s psionic leadership with their own brand of social manipulation.

The Discipline of Kings is taught to anyone the Cult wants to move into a leadership position, and most Masters have learned at least the basics of the style before they reached the rank of Master. It focuses on a domineering form of social manipulation, where the character’s sheer weight or presence can seize control of a room and hold the gaze of others and extract concessions through polite intimidation. It then augments it with telepathic abilities, namely Aspect and Suggestion, allowing the character to directly control others.

Most schools also work the expand the characters’ facility with telepathy and teach students general principles of diplomacy, law and administration, and some go even further and include more of the Cult of Anthara’s ritualism.

This is both a Psionic Style and a Civil Style. In addition to the normal benefits of Psionic Style Familiarity, the Style Familiarity for the Discipline of Kings grants the character a +1 to resist influence attempts from influence skills learned via this style.

Required Skills: Intimidation, Leadership, Philosophy (Mystical Tyranny), Politics, Public Speaking, Savoir-Faire (High Society)

Required Psionic Skills: Aspect

Additional Psionic Skills: Mind Shield, Suggestion,

Techniques: Aura Extension (Aspect), Dangerous Request (Savoir-Faire), Elevated Speech (Savoir-Faire), Expansion (Mind Shield), Hinting (Intimidation, Politics or Savoir-Faire), Independent (Suggestion), Pressed Attack (Suggestion)

Cinematic Techniques: Beguilement (Politics or Public Speaking), Power Gaze (Intimidation)

Perks: Avatar, Cloaked, Fearsome Stare, Haughty Sneer, Honest Face, High-Heeled Heroine, Penetrating Voice, Ping, Soft-Spoken, Style Adaption (Cult of Anthara).

Optional Traits: Charisma, Fashion Sense, Fearlessness, Indomitable, Telepathy Talent, Voice

Optional Skills: Administration, Brainwashing, Diplomacy, Law (Any), Leadership, Propaganda, Psychology, Strategy

The Discipline of Secrecy: 4 points

By far the most common of the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant disciplines, some masters insist that their slaves learn it as part of their induction into the Cult proper. The Cult is well-aware of how easily others break to torture or mental intrusion, and given True Communion’s facility with telepathy, see it as utterly imperative that their members be able to protect their minds.

The Discipline of Secrecy involves a deep dive into his psionics work, and how interrogation works, and how to defeat both. It involves no knowledge of anything sensitive to the Cult, and thus may be taught to junior members in safety, though it does make them more resistant to the Cult’s own inquisitors. Masters of the technique go beyond merely feigned innocence, careful double checking to see if their mind has been infiltrated and careful double-think that prevents a superficial mind-reading from learning of their true intentions, and begins to expand telepathic awareness and adds hostile techniques that can trap those who would read the target’s mind.

Required Skills: Acting, Expert Skill (Psionics), Mind Block

Additional Psionic Skills: Mind Shield

Cinematic Skills: Mental Strength

Techniques: Camouflaged Mind-Block, Notice Psi Use

Additional Psionic Techniques: Mind Trap

Perks: Bug Hunter, Honest Face, Personal Awareness, Special Exercise (Mental Strength for resisting Telerecieve only).

Optional Advantages: Hard to Subdue, High Pain Threshold, Perception, Will

Optional Skills: Electronics Operation (Security, Surveillance), Escape, Fast-Talk, Gesture, Observation, Search

The Discipline of Silence: 7 points

The Cult of the Mystic Tyrant demands secrecy. Even when it rules openly, it buries many of its true policy decisions, alliances and powers behind layers of secrecy so as best to monopolize power. It guarantees this secrecy through the use of some of its most dreaded slaves: the inquisitors.

An inquisitor must have a facility with Telepathy, and the Discipline of Silence gives detailed instruction in the art of mind-reading, especially probes. This is combined with interrogation skill and Detect Lies to perfectly learn whether or not someone has betrayed the Cult, or whether a particular target knows anything about the Cult. This is usually combined with training in investigative skills, so the inquisitor can determine whether there has been a breach.

Once a breach has been discovered, the inquisitor must silence those who know or who betrayed the Cult. The latter typically involves death, and many inquisitors study combat skills as part of a separate discipline, though they often learn infiltration techniques to get close to their prey. The former typically involves training in intimidation, mind wiping (to erase memories), and forgery techniques to either fabricate evidence that points the authorities in a different direction, or they learn to destroy evidence so nobody can prove the involvement of the Cult.

This is both a Psionic Style and a Civil style. Those who have the Style Familiarity Perk for the Discipline of Silence, in addition to gaining the usual benefits of Psionic Style Familiarity, gain a +1 to resist interrogation, lie detection and intimidation attempts by a fellow inquisitor.

Required Skills: Detect Lies, Expert Skill (Psionics), Interrogation, Intimidation, Shadowing

Required Psionic Skills: Telerecieve

Additional Psionic Skills: Instill Fear, Mental Surgery, Mind Clouding, Mind Wipe, Telepathy Sense, Telescan

Techniques: Bulk Compensation (Mind Clouding), Deep Probe (Telereceive), Group Scare (Instill Fear), Indirect (Group Scare), Mass Wipe (Mind Wipe), New Approach (Instill Fear, Telereceive), Notice Psi-Use, Quick-and-Dirty (Mental Surgery)

Cinematic Skills: Mental Strength

Perks: Fearsome Stare, Forgettable Face, Intimidation Factor, Soft-Spoken

Optional Traits: Craftiness, Eidetic Memory, Perception, Telepathy Talent, Zeroed

Optional Skills: Brainwashing, Electronics Operation (Media), Expert Skill (Conspiracy Theory), Forensics, Forgery, Holdout, Housekeeping, Intelligence Analysis, Observation, Psychology, Search, Smuggling, Stealth

New Traits

Soft-Spoken: See GURPS Social Engineering, page 79




Default: Prerequisite Skill-5

Prerequisite: Voice and any of Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Performance, Politics, Public Speaking, Sex Appeal or Singing; May not exceed default skill.

See Pyramid #3-54 “Social Engineering” page 6

Dangerous Request


Default: Savoir-Faire (High Society)-3

Prerequisite: Savoir-Faire (High Society); May not exceed default skill.

See Pyramid #3-54 “Social Engineering” page 5

Elevated Speech


Default: Savoir-Faire (High Society)

Prerequisite: Savoir-Faire (High Society); May not exceed default skill+5.

See Pyramid #3-54 “Social Engineering” page 5



Default: prerequisite skill

Prerequisite: Any Influence Skill; May not exceed default skill+6.

See GURPS Social Engineering page 81



Default: prerequisite skill

Prerequisite: Any Influence Skill; May not exceed default skill+6.

See GURPS Social Engineering page 81

Notice Psi Use


Default: Expert Skill (Psionics)

Prerequisite: Expert Skill (Psionics); May not exceed default skill+5.

You may replace Per or Per-Based Expert Skill (Psionics) with Per-based Notice Psi-Use when using the “Noticing Psi Use” rules from GURPS Psionic Powers from pages 11-12.

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