Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Starpunk- Dumping Psionics

Yup. I'm dumping Psionics.


Because everyone that wants a little "magic" in their sci-fi setting uses "psionics". I really want a setting with a more unique flavor. If I'm just retreading a "typical" sci-fan setting then why even bother getting out of bed? I need to put a different shine on those abilities.

Another problem was that I approached psionics as strictly mind-affecting powers. It's not original but still a nice twist since everyone tends to go the "kitchen-sink" route with powers. However, in a sci-fi setting where there is gobs of technology that is immune to mind alteration, the setting was weakening the "magic".

I'm trying to let loose my logical side and get into that 70's/ 80's groove. I was re-watching the good episodes of Buck Rogers (80's version), and in between ogling Wilma and Ardala I noticed that the people with "powers" in the show typically just had one power. Even in the original Star Wars, there were only a few powers on display. It wasn't until the EU and the prequels that Jedi really became unstoppable badasses. Okay, Luke did do a lot of butt-kicking against Jabba's boys. The point is that these "powered" characters did a lot with just a little.

I think that I want that charm again, where even having one power made someone special. Looking at the SWDEX, the Arcane Background (Super Powers) fits the bill. I'm going to re-skin it to AB (Anomaly). I wanted to use Abberant but White Wolf beat me to the name. It will also be Spirit based in my setting since I want willpower to be driving these powers. AB (Anomaly) will be available to all races, but they are rare. Also, cultures will view Anomalies differently so there's role-play shenanigans to be had. Then there is the mystery of what causes Anomalies. Could be a nice sized adventure arc.

The only powers that will be off limits for this setting will be:

  • Banish 
  • Detect/ Conceal Arcana
  • Drain Power Points
  • Quickness - Too powerful and allows one player to dominate combat.
  • Smite
  • Summon Ally
  • Warrior's Gift
  • Zombie

If your itching to enlighten me to the existence of the Super Powers Companion, I already own it. It's a great supplement but I want a lower power level. Also I want to stay with just one book requirement, namely the SWDEX.

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