With the introduction of Dariana, I added a new type of power source to the human templates. Basically, I opened the door for psionics to enter Windemere stories. For those that don’t know what that means, think of Professor X, Jean Grey, and anyone else with mental powers. These don’t work like caster or priest magic, so defenses against those two types will do nothing here. It still functions off the aura system in some ways, but that depends on the exact powers. A telepath might not access as much energy as a body enhancer, but both would come in second to a psychokinetic or reality alterer. There’s a lot that can be done here. So here’s some tips:
- Giving your psionic everything is a mistake. Even worse if you give them mastery and full power. For one thing, it makes them unstoppable and unable to be tricked. A reader will see anything going wrong for this person as odd because of their power. How do you trick a telepath with no limits? Can you really beat up a telekinetic that can lift a mountain? This is an easy power category to lose control in.
- Never forget the range and limits. Line of sight can be useful for the characters, but so can a simple ‘they know each other’. One trick with psionics are mental tags that they can use to track people. Yet you should try to put a range on these. Could be anywhere from the same building to several mile radius.
- Side-effects! Remember that this is a mental thing, which puts strain on the brain and body. Nose and ear bleeds are the most common to show when things go wrong or are too tough. Headaches work too. Basically, things happening above the neck. Though one that I want to use for a later character is that the more they use their powers, the weaker their grip on reality.
- Exhaustion is another thing to factor in. I put this separately from side-effects because this is something that can (maybe should) happen over time. The previous section was more about immediate strain. Exhaustion builds up and can be undone by sleeping or meditation. The rate of fatigue depends on the powers and uses. For example, a simple surface scan for a telepath can have an imperceptible amount while rearranging somebody’s memory makes the character need a nap.
- Much like with casters and spells, psionics have a risk of backlash. This is probably more dangerous than a backfiring fireball. You can dodge or resist a spell even if it’s bouncing back. When your own mind ‘rubber bands’ on itself, you might not realize it’s about to happen until the world is upside down and you’re tasting the number 9.
- One thing that’s common with psionics is that they aren’t common. In fantasy settings, they get mistaken for casters. Many are because they use spells to copy the effects. A true, non-spell psionic should be an oddity that nobody knows much about. The basics are okay for a learned character to know, but not the details unless they previously admitted to studying them. In other words, give some mystery to the character in both power and origin.