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Trinity RPG - Quantakinesis For Dummies


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<H1>Quantakinesis For Dummies</H1>

<H2>One Theory of the Chitra Bhanu's Dark Aptitudes</H2><H3><A HREF="mailto:flagator@gate.net">By Steven Otte</A></H3>
<HR>The Chitra Bhanu hold a unique and seemingly self-contradictory view of the Implicate Order, the psi universe that ISRAns call the "Noetic Toality." Strongly influenced by the thinking of physicist/philosopher David Bohm, spiritualist Jiddu Krishnamurti and physicist Albert Einstein, Quantakinetic Proxy S.K. Bhurano developed a framework and theory of noetics that meshes soul with matter and spirituality with science. Otha Herzog's own views of the Noetic Totality were no doubt shaped during his numerous long, involved discussions with Bhurano, though even he may not have grasped the full implications of her theories.

The very name "Quantakinesis" holds a significance lost on most non-Chitra Bhanu. To them, a quantum is much more than a potential energy state of an atom. The Implicate Order is a name for the theory that the human mind's tendency to "fragment" and compartmentalize the universe by the perception of it is a false conceit. "Enfolded" within each fragment of the universe, each atom, each particle is an explicate expression of the Cosmic All, from which the order of totality can be implied -- ergo, the Implicate Order. A quantum state is the expression of that Order.

But Bhurano's studies took a step further Bohm's wedding of thought with matter. The psion particle was that link given form, conscious thought taking a physical shape. Quantakinesis, therefore, is the ultimate expression of Reality -- which is continually being formed, reshaped and destroyed by the constant interaction of consciousness, matter and energy on those phenomena's most fundamental levels.

To boil it down to laymen's terms, the psionic aptitude of Quantakinesis deals with the manipulation of matter, radiation and psi energy.

<H4>Basic Technique: Implicate Perception (a.k.a. Degrees of Separation)</H4>A Quantakinetic has the ability to not only perceive, but "understand," the Implicate Order -- the macrocosm of the universe enfolded within every fragment of it. These flashes of insight can give the Quantakinetic an idea of how the item or person being viewed fits into the "Cosmic All," revealing connections and interactions that may not be obvious.
System: Roll Psi. A successful roll gives the psion an "understanding" of the place in the universe of an object or person. This does not work quite like the Clairsentient aptitude "Find the Complement," to which it is related. Rather, each success rolled gives the psion an understanding of one relation the object or person has to something else. For example, three successes rolled on a scan of a laser pistol may reveal the gun to be connected to a building in Seattle, a gold necklace the Quantakinetic found, and Orgotek Proxy Alex Cassel. Though the general strength of the relationships can be sensed, this technique would not reveal the nature of those connections -- whether Cassell used the gun to kill the necklace's owner in Seattle, or whether it was simply manufactured in Seattle by Cassell's company using gold contacts from the same mine as the necklace. This technique is a good way for Storytellers to steer players toward important clues without revealing too much information. The technique can also be used to determine whether there is a relation between two things. Something a person created, owned or worked with daily over a long period would display a strong connection, detectable with only one rolled success; something only casually handled or used once, or owned by a person known to someone known to the person being scanned, would require more successes to reveal the connection. The difficulty depends on the Storyteller's judgment of how distant the relationship is.

<H3>Aptitude: Transmutation</H3><H4>* Subatomic Analysis</H4 >This technique gives the quantakinetic an intimate knowledge of the atomic structure of an object. Using this technique, a quantakinetic can analyze the structure, atomic and subatomic composition, interatomic and molecular bonds, energy state, physical properties and to some extent condition of an object.
System: Roll Psi. The quantakinetic can analyze approximately 10kg of matter per success rolled. Success allows the quantakinetic to know the basic size, shape, mass, fundamental structure, composition and energy state of a single object. Impurities, defects, microfractures, stresses, fluctuations, drains, surges, Taint and other anomalies can be detected. This technique can also be used to detect the psionic resonances left in an object if it has been changed or manipulated using Taint or any of the other powers of this Aptitude; each additional success beyond one gives full information on one transformation performed. If the object has been transformed more than once, more recent transformations are detected first. At the basic level, this technique works only on a single object, not complex systems. Objects formed from multiple substances bonded together on a molecular level, such as a computer chip, can be analyzed, but not those made of discrete components, like an entire computer. At higher levels of Transmutation, more matter can be analyzed; each level allows simultaneous analysis of one more object and double the mass (e.g., at Transmutation 3, a quantakinetic can analyze up to 3 objects massing up to 40kg total). The range is equal to 5x Psi in meters.

<H4>** Degrade (a.k.a. Entropy)</H4>Having mastered the ability to perceive the bonds that hold an object together, the psion can now mentally reach into an object and weaken or even snap those bonds. Generally, this ability weakens the target, making it vulnerable to other damage, but thin, weak, porous or brittle materials can crumble under its influence. The small amount of energy released by breaking these molecular bonds is released in the form of heat, light and inconsequential (but detectable) amounts of "soft" radiation.
System: Spend one point and roll Psi. Each success rolled inflicts 1 Lethal Health Level on the target object; any Soak based on the object's inherent durability applies. (For example, armor that provides its wearer +2 Lethal Soak would subtract 2 dice to resist this degradation.) This power does not work on living creatures or bioware, since the psionic field of a living thing interferes with the ability. The object must be within the quantakinetic's personal noetic field; basically, this means touch, but the ability will still work through a vacuum suit's gloves, for example.

<H4>*** Reshaping (a.k.a. Enthalpy, Reordering)</H4>Having mastered the ability to break molecular bonds at will, with this level of the aptitude, the psion can put them back together as well, in a different shape. Solids become malleable and flow like melted wax under the quantakinetic's will, returning to their original state upon completion, but retaining the new shape. The Quantakinetic cannot change the mass or state of the material; a 1-kg wooden block will still weigh 1 kg after it's been transformed into the shape of a duck. Likewise, volume can only change by expanding the shape to enclose empty space, such as changing a ball bearing into a larger, hollow metal sphere. It's a simple matter to use this technique to repair broken or Degraded (** Transmutation) items, earning it the nicknames "Enthalpy" and "Reordering."
System: Spend one point and roll psi. Each success allows the psion to reshape 1kg of matter. The Quantakinetic need not roll a number of successes equal to the entire mass of an object; partial effects are possible. (A Quantakinetic using this Mode to cut a hole in a hatchway, for example, need only reshape the metal around the edge, allowing the untouched middle to be removed.) This technique is useful for crafting mechanical replacement parts in the field, making melee weapons out of found objects, and disassembling objects and mechanisms. It does not work on "living" bioware or other living things; formerly living objects, wood for example, is affected though. The range is Psi in meters; at level 4, this increases to 2 x Psi; at level 5, range is 5 x Psi. The amount of matter that can be affected also doubles for each level of Transmutation above 3: Successes x 2kg at level 4, Successes x 4kg at level 5.

<H4>**** Chemokinesis</H4>At this advanced level, the bonds that hold atoms together in molecules are the psion's to manipulate at will. The Quantakinetic may change the composition of matter in any way possible within the bounds of a normal chemical reaction: solid carbon can be precipitated from the carbon dioxide in a spaceship's air supply to make the air breathable again, sea water can be broken down to extract hydrogen fuel for the fusion reactor, or a hatch that's rusted shut can be "uncorroded." Note that some reactions can release large amounts of energy and can be dangerous to be near; rapid metallic oxidation can generate enough heat to warp or even melt the substance. This Aptitude can also be used offensively; forcing the dissolved nitrogen in a person's blood to suddenly change to gas, for example, can be cripplingly painful, while making it combine with dissolved carbon dioxide and water to form nitric acid can be deadly.
System: Spend two Psi points and roll. The amount of matter affected is exponential: 1kg for 1 success, 4kg for 2 successes, 9kg at 3 successes, 16kg at 4, and so on. A substance has to be present in some quantity for a reaction to take place; a Quantakinetic can't "cast a fireball" by burning off the hydrogen in the atmosphere, since free hydrogen is extremely rare in normal air (just as oxygen is too rare for the same trick to work in a gas giant's hydrogen atmosphere). Chemokinesis also can't make something from nothing, or something from something else; steel can't be fashioned from sea water or air, or olaminium from steel. The basic elements must be present. When used directly against a living target, a Firearms roll is required to hit; undodged successes on the Firearms roll do not add to the Psi roll for the purposes of damage. If the attack is successful, the target takes Bashing or Lethal Health Levels (attacker's preference) equal to the Successes on the Psi roll. For either use, the range of this Mode is 10 x Psi in meters; it increases to 25 x Psi in meters at 5 Transmutation.

<H4>***** The Philosopher's Stone</H4>This Mode is the ultimate in matter control. Subatomic particles are the quantakinetic's playground. Protons, neutrons, electrons and the like can be removed from, added to or rearranged within atoms to make one substance into another. Such control is extremely difficult, so it can only be used on extremely small quantities of matter. With this mode, lead can truly be transformed to gold -- or diamond, or olaminium, or glass, or whatever. The Quantakinetic's control over subatomic particles and interatomic energies is so complete at this level of mastery that the release of heat or radiation from a transmutation is practically nonexistent.
System: Spend three points and roll Psi. The quantakinetic may transform 10 grams of matter into any other substance of equal mass per success rolled. Transmuting high-energy or high-atomic weight substances such as uranium, plutonium or olaminium is at +1 difficulty, as is creating complex organic substances, such as wood, blood or foodstuffs. Range is touch.

<H3>Aptitude: Radiakinesis</H3><H4>* Radiation Sense</H4>The quantakinetic with this ability is continuously aware of the radiation impinging on her personal noetic field. The psion learns to "tune out" the feelings of normal light and background radiation, but lasers, X-rays, gamma radiation, particle radiation (alpha and beta), microwaves, infrared and ultraviolet are immediately noticeable.
System: No roll is necessary for the psion to continually sense incoming radiation. A successful Psi roll allows the psion to also analyze the intensity, frequency, and direction of the radiation. Note that the radiation must strike the psion for the ambient sense to be triggered; to analyze a source behind a lead shield, or a particle accelerator pointing away from the psion, the quantakinetic must spend a Psi point and roll. The range of this kind of sense is 25x Psi in meters.

<H4>** Control Reaction</H4>The quantakinetic with this ability can affect the speed and direction of flow of free subatomic particles. Since this kind of particle flow usually does not occur in nature, this ability's primary use is to speed up or slow down atomic reactions. Coherent, high-energy flows such as that generated by particle accelerators can also be affected. The psion cannot cause a reaction to begin where one does not exist already -- detonating a nuclear warhead is impossible, for example.
System: Spend a point and roll psi. Each success rolled dampens or accelerates the reaction by 20 percent. Therefore, it would take 5 successes to completely stop a self-sustaining reaction -- or accelerate it enough to go critical. (Successes may be accumulated in an extended action, but if the quantakinetic ends her effort or is interrupted before 5 successes are gathered, the reaction will return to normal within a few minutes.) This level of effect is in relation to a hyperfusion reactor big enough to power a typical small spaceship (like a Trey or Raven) or a small town. Overloading an arcology's main reactor would obviously bring a difficulty penalty of up to +5 from the Storyteller, as would dampening the blast of a small battlefield nuclear weapon. (The primary difference between those two examples is you only get one try to stop the bomb.) The range is 5x Psi in meters. At 3 Radiakinesis, the range is 10x Psi in meters; at 4 Radiakinesis, the range is 15x Psi; at 5 Radiakinesis, the range is 25x Psi. (A Quantakinetic would be foolish to use this mode to cause a reactor to overload or melt down before reaching this level.)

<H4>*** Radiation Shield</H4>The quantakinetic can attune her psionic field to incoming radiation sources, accelerating the decay of that radiation before it has a chance to do her harm. The psion using this ability shimmers in a halo of IR, visible and UV light released by the decaying radioactive particles, the glow's intensity proportionate to the energy of the radiation being blocked. (Therefore, it's not a useful way to make oneself invisible by blocking incoming light.)
System: Spend one Psi point for protection lasting 5x Psi in minutes. "Soft" radiation sources can be safely ignored while the Shield is in place. The quantakinetic also can use her current Psi pool as "soak" dice against lethally concentrated or "hard" radiation sources, such as lasers, microwaves, gamma radiation -- or Aberrant Taint. At 4 Radiakinesis, this protection lasts 15 minutes per Psi point; it lasts 1 hour per Psi at 5 Radiakinesis.

<H4>**** Irradiate</H4>The quantakinetic mentally excites molecules in the environment, causing them to emit an intense burst of electromagnetic radiation ranging fromvisible and UV light to more damaging X-rays, microwaves and gamma radiation. This burst is not coherent, like a laser; it spreads out as it travels from the source, affecting all targets in a cone-shaped area. The effect drops off farther from the source as the radiation burst spreads out.
System: Spend 2 Psi; a successful Psi roll is needed to hit. A target within 10 meters of the attack takes the Quantakinetic's current Psi score (before spending the 2 Psi to do this) in Lethal damage; for every 10 meters away from the attack, this damage drops by 1 level. Radiation Immunity or Electromagnetic Shield (*** Photokinesis) provides Soak against this, as do radiation-proof cover (one Health Level for each 5cm of water, 2cm of structural-grade steel, 5mm of lead or 2mm of olaminium of FULL COVER; partial cover doesn't help) and some forms of armor. The area of effect is a 30-degree cone originating at the attacker. If the target takes 4 or more (not soaked) levels of Lethal damage from this type of attack (cumulative), the Storyteller may feel it appropriate to inflict long-term damage as well, such as radiation poisoning, cancer and/or reproductive system damage. Though the effective maximum range of the attack is 10x Psi in meters, such an attack is detectable by a Geiger counter (or another Quantakinetic with Radiation Sense) from a distance of 50x Psi in meters. This Mode has little to no effect on nonliving matter.

<H4>***** Detonation (a.k.a. M2E or The Bomb)</H4>This potent Mode harnesses the most fundamental forces of the universe to convert matter directly to energy. The smallest amounts of matter release staggering amounts of energy; even in the near-vacuum of space, there is enough material floating around to muster an impressive explosion. This is a Mode that was not thrown around lightly, even by the Proxy.
System: Spend 4 points and roll Psi. The explosion resulting from the conversion of matter to energy must furthermore be targeted with a Firearms roll, to a maximum range of 25x Psi in meters. The massive explosion does 2 HL of Lethal damage per Success rolled to everything within 5m of the blast center; damage drops off at 2 HL per 5m past this radius. Obviously, only a suicidal Quantakinetic would cause a detonation anywhere near herself, as Radiation Shield provides no protection against the deadly heat and force of the blast.

<H3>Subquantakinesis</H3><H4>* Attunement</H4>The psion with this ability is sensitive to the subquantum flow of the universe, and is able to feel disturbances in that flow caused by the use of Psi modes or Aberrants' Taint powers. With practice, he can learn to tell the difference between different kinds of Psi modes just from the "shape" of the ripples made in this flow. He can even feel the resonances left in a person or object after it has been subjected to Psi or Taint abilities.
System: Roll at least one success on a Psi roll to detect the use of Psi or Taint-based abilities in the quantakinetic's general vicinity. This works like a Perception roll, in that it can be triggered at any time by the use of such abilities. Every 10 meters past the first is a +1 to difficulty, making the effective maximum range of this sense 10x Psi in meters. Additional successes after the first gives the quantakinetic more information: +1 success tells what aptitude is being used and the rough distance to its source; +2 tells what Mode group is in use and the general direction to the source; +3 tells which exact Mode is in use and the precise location of the source; and +4 successes tells the power level of the source and the degree of success of that particular attempt, and allows targeting the source with other abilities (such as Redirection or Attenuation (Subquantakinesis ***)). Adding +1 difficulty allows the quantakinetic to attempt to detect the lasting effects of psionic abilities used earlier, such as a Norca currently disguised with Transformation, a psion carrying a formatted bioapp or anyone who's been healed with Iatrosis recently (read "recently" as: "within the amount of time it would have taken to heal the damage normally").

<H4>** Redirection</H4>Psions spend their lives immersed in the subquantum flow of the universe. Unlike other psions, the Quantakinetic with this aptitude can actually "stick his hand into" that flow, diverting, guiding, intensifying or even blocking it.
System: Spend one Psi and roll. Every two successes can be used as a +1 difficulty, or 1 automatic success, to another psion's psi action. Effective range is 10x Psi in meters. At higher levels, Redirection can be used against multiple targets simultaneously: two at Radiakinesis 3, four at Radiakinesis 4, six at Radiakinesis 5. A separate point expenditure and Psi roll is still required for each target.

<H4>*** Attenuation</H4>With this mode, the Quantakinetic can literally pull Psi energy from one living being and give it to another. She may redirect her own noetic energy to "recharge" her friends, or pull such energy from others -- willing or unwilling -- to replenish her own personal stores. This horrific form of "psychic vampirism" is rarely used, not only because of the terrible stigma attached to its use -- it bears more than a passing similarity to Taint, after all -- but because using it in this manner becomes subtly addictive.
System:Spend one point and roll Psi. Every 2 successes, rounded up, equals one point of Psi that may be transferred, in either direction, between the Quantakinetic and the target. Note that when taking points from a target, at least 3 successes are needed for the Quantakinetic to experience a net gain in Psi. This transfer takes 1 minute per Psi point transferred at the base level. At Subquantakinesis 4, it takes 15 seconds to transfer 1 Psi point; at Subquantakinesis 5, this transfer takes only 5 seconds per point. Range is touch.

<H4>**** Quantum Probability Manipulation (a.k.a. the Schrodinger Effect)</H4>"There's no such thing as luck -- merely the fortuitous arrangement of random circumstances." Or so the saying goes. Tell that to a Quantakinetic chaos researcher, though, and you'll get a half-hour lecture on subatomic events, subquantum linkages and quasi-randomness. And you probably won't be any clearer on the subject when it's over. But it can be boiled down to five points: 1) it is impossible to predict with accuracy any truly random event, such as the decay of a particle; 2) the act of observing a system changes it; 3) a system that can have a finite number of states, such as A or B, exists in an indefinite state of "subquantum flux," neither A nor B, until it is observed, and therefore "assigned" a state by the act of observation (the "Schrodinger's Cat" phenomenon); 4) events such as rolling a die or flipping a coin (which chaos scientists call "quasi-random macroevents") are actually not random, we merely call them so because their outcomes are determined by influences beyond our normal perception or control; and 5) if you're a Quantakinetic, you can both perceive and control those underlying subquantum phenomena, and thereby decide for yourself whether the cat is alive or dead before you open the box. (This Mode is responsible for the macabre joke that the real reason the Chitra Bhanu were wiped out is that they cheated at cards.)
System: Spend 2 points and roll Psi. A successful roll allows the Quantakinetic to "force" a random or quasi-random event to come out as the Quantakinetic desires, by directing subquantum energy to change the chaotic system that affects the event's outcome. Simple events, like determining a coin toss or the spin of a gun chamber in Russian roulette, can be forced with one success; a roll of several dice takes two; "jimmying" a slot machine or the "lucky guess" of a computer password takes three or four; hitting the Luna Lotto requires five or more. This cannot be used to influence non-random events, such as causing an opponent's gun to jam or finding an "extra" ammo clip you forgot you had, however "lucky" those occurances would be at the time. Range is 2 x Psi in meters at level 4, 5 x Psi in meters at level 5 (which means that unless you're in the studio on Olympus when the number is drawn, you still aren't going to hit the Luna Lotto.)

<H4>***** Transsubstantiation</H4>Subquantum energy comes in two forms, the "free" Psi energy that flows through all things, and the energy that is "bound" in the structure of reality, giving it form and substance. This most potent of psionic modes restructures matter and energy on the most fundamental level. Natural flows of psi energy can be shaped and directed, frozen into set patterns and woven into the very tapestry of reality, literally making "something from nothing." The Quantakinetic using this Mode may also extract "bound" subquantum energy directly from the fabric of the universe, causing affected matter to be structurally weakened, lose intrinsic physical properties such as mass, gravity or chemical properties, become partly insubstantial or even vanish from existence.
System: Spend 3 points and roll Psi. 10 grams of simple matter -- homogenous elements, such as oxygen, or simple compounds, like acids, alloys or ceramics -- may be created "out of nothing" per success rolled. This matter behaves in every way like its naturally occuring equivalents. Reducing matter to free, unstructured subquantum energy is considerably easier; 1 kg of matter may be utterly destroyed per success rolled. A contiguous object does not dissolve piece by piece; instead, the entire object becomes "less real" as successes are accumulated, until it is completely gone. Objects only partly affected by extraction of subquantum energy may manifest bizarre physical properties; the Storyteller should feel free to use her imagination. Unlike the Transmutation ** mode Degrade, an object affected by the destructive use of this Mode receives no Soak, and when it's gone, there's absolutely nothing left, as if it never existed. Only Attunement (Subquantakinesis *) can distinguish between the destructive form of this Mode and the effects of Taint; in fact, while this mode cannot cause direct damage to a living being, it is suspected to cause Taint-like diseases in humans.
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