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Trinity RPG - Telepathy Questions


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Ok, hopefully one of you guys will be able to help answer this, or at least get some opinions...

I've always been unhappy with the description for how Will Control in Psychbending works - initially it seems to just be a Resisted Psi and Willpower roll, but it also mentions that your ability in Psyhbending comes into it as well, but without describing how.

As a straight resisted roll it basically makes the power/mode useless as it's unlikely you would ever get enough sucesses to do anything usefull, Average Psi =4, Average NPC (Extra) Willpower = 3. I'm considering adding the level in Psychbending as auto successes so you are more likely to get onto the chart at a level that actually is possible to do something.

On a different issue, I'm thinking of adding a new power for putting illusions into a targets mind, should it be in Mindshare or Psychbending?

As an additional Basic Technique, or perhaps Lvl 1 Mindshare power I was thinking of something equivalent to Biosense, but rather than lifeforms it picks up on sentience, so only lifeforms with complexity of thought at say the dog/cat level or higher. Range for a Basic Technique would be the standard Psi m radius, for a Lvl 1 I might give it a variable range as the characters lvl in Mindshare increased. I'd also make it a targeting sence for other telepathy powers.

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My take on the power is that it has the capability of being extremely potent for a two dot power. It has the capacity to cause a person to do the power user's will for an indefinite duration if composed correctly, or just simply causing the victim to remove them self from the game permanently. The fact that it is a straight Psi versus Willpower roll somehow balances out the severity of this power. The added feature of the victim being able to buy down the effect attempts to balance it even further.

All that being said, I do agree with you that the power is perhaps useless given the average stats of individuals. It is my thought that the designers intended it to be this way though. Subjects can initially resist this power with ease as long as they have some Willpower. However, as their current Willpower rating drops in attempts to resist, the subject will eventually succumb to the power user. It may take a telepath several turns and expenditure of their own Willpower to wear down a target to the point of compelling them to act out a four or five success Command Intensity. Also, a very strong willed telepeth [i.e. one with a high Willpower] will likely abuse this power right and left, contradicting your argument.

I do like your solution to the power's description. I initially interpret the description of a psion's dots in the Psychbending mode affecting the intensity of this power as follows. You can only issue a Command Intensity success level equal to or lower than your dots in the mode. This means a psion with three dots in the mode can only cause up to a Command Intensity of Major/Noteworthy. The rest of the power's description either doesn't demonstrate this or contradicts it though. Your idea seems to fix the problem, but does make this power extremely useful to those focus on it.

Ultimately it is up to you as a Storyteller as to how you want the power to be used. I personally don't like powers, abilities, combat maneuvers, etc. that as written will never be used or selected by my players. Sometimes these features need tweaking to become useful or appealing. I think it could work either way. As a player I would only be concerned that the Storyteller was aware of the potential a psion with a high Willpower and Psychbending mode had with the redesigned Will Control. It might take some extra planning on the Storyteller's part to counteract any abuses or game breaking actions by the aforementioned psion.

So can I change my character for your Stepping From The Light game to a telepath?!

Just kidding.

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Ok two versions, one that limits the highest effect you can do by your dots in Psychbending, the other that adds those dots to what you can do.

1. Average Psi 4 rolls average of 1.6 successes, resisted by Average Willpower 3 for generic NPC/Extra who gets 1.2 successes, so the Psion only has a 0.4 chance of getting a one success level over the NPC, insufficient to do anything in practise, and the NPC could still spend a Willpower to negate it. Since he can get a maximum of a level 2 effect (unless he is better than intially getting this power) there is little reason to spend any Willpower on it.

2. Same guys, but this time the Psychbending is added to the effects, so the psion averages a lvl 2 effect and could push it higher with Willpower, but the target could spend Willpower to reduce the effects.

Personally I prefer version 2, because i think it is actually useable, while version 1 just doesn't strike me as very useable, so why bother learning it?

Note: I believe that multiple use of the same power for the same purpose incurs the normal 'try again' rules of +1 Difficulty per additional attempt, this would apply to multiple uses to drain the target of Willpower.

I agree it could be open to abuse by certain Psions, but then the normal balance of the target probably knowing he did it against his will, and possibly knows who made him do it. The authorities all take a very dim view of this sort of thing (Any use of Psychbending, outside of the official business of the Ministry, is generally classed as mental rape in most countries), as do the Orders (if the psion gets caught or it is used against their people).

Any comments on the other bits?

Yep, you could change to aTelepath if you wanted to, Upeo had a fair chun of them in the early days for transferring Psi Coordinates from the Clears to a Jumper. however they have a piece of biotech now that can do that. So you could have transferred before the biotech came out, or kept with the character concept a bit and gone for investigation/combat alongside the Long riders and/or Monitors.

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Your version is definitely an improvement. I think it will work fine. I also like your idea of applying the "Try Again" mechanic to a repeated use of this power against the same target.

Going back to your original post, I think an illusory effect should be under Psychbending. The psion would be trying to force the target to see something that isn't there and believe it. It isn't just conveying a "message" in the form of contacting the visual cortex of the target's brain.

The Basic power is a good idea too. Would it apply to SI or maybe AI subjects as well. I am inclined to say no. Trinity states pretty clearly that inorganic objects don't have a lot of psi flowing through them or something to that effect. I would think a target would need a sufficient amount of psi to detect with this new power.

I was just kidding about changing my character. I like my concept of a combat oriented clear. That being said, my main concern is for the story all together. If you as a Storyteller think that the party needs a certain element or has something it doesn't need, I am more than willing to make accommodations as a player. I am pretty flexible when it comes to my character. I'll stick with the clear unless you decide something else would work better for your story.

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Illusion - straight resisted Psi vs Awareness + Perception or Willpower, and should it have degrees of success like Will Control or just work/no work?

Mindsense- not on hardtech AI but shovld pick up the biotech ones, like the Jumpships.

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