Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Anti-Psi in Action

Anti-Psi in Action
Characters with Anti-Psi may not have Psi powers without special traits.

Recommended Powers

  • Cancellation: Exceedingly effective, though it needs the Psi present. Crippling is not the sort of thing you should regularly inflict on PCs, though.
  • Interruption: An excellent counter for psis who can affect people at long distances
  • Para-Invisibility: See below.
  • Psionic Overload: Frightening, and has obvious connections with Broken Communion
  • Psionic Shield: A great go-to power for anti-psi characters.
  • Screaming: The sort of thing one thinks of when it comes to Anti-Psi.
  • Psi-Static: Permanent Screaming
  • Resistant to Psionics: A better way of representing things like Psychic Armor.
  • True Sight: With the removal of hologram, this is only really effective against Mind Clouding and Sensory Control, both of which are better protected by Psionic Shield. Not a problematic power, but very situational.

Other Suggested Abilities

Perks
  • Gaze into the Abyss
  • Hostile Dampening: Pairs well. thematically with Gaze into the Abyss
  • Non-Threatening: Low-level Para-Invisiblity.
  • Personal Awareness: Should also be available to non-Anti-Psi, as it's a training technique.
  • Simple Defense: The best defense is a good offense; a nice, subtle defense
  • Tolerance: Obviously useful if you seek to defeat a specific kind of psychic trick
Power Packages
  • Basic Anti-Psi: 25 points, Psis 20.
  • Simple Screamer: 25 points, Psis 20
  • Perception Master: 50 points, Psis 20

Discouraged Powers Powers

  • Psychic Armor: Not particularly problematic, but highly situational. It'll protect against TK-Crush, which is very nice, but so will several other powers that have broader utility

Para-Invisibility

Para-Invisibility hides the anti-psi from all psychic senses. This means the character is immune (or resistant) to things like psychic Danger Sense, Detect Life, Telescan, Clairvoyance, Awareness, etc. But it also means he's immune to precognition and retrocognition. This has some fascinating implications!

If an ESPer cannot see someone because they're a Screamer, then that person creates an obvious hole in the vision. They can be defined by their absence, and the vision remains more-or-less valid. Para-Invisibility doesn't work like that. The vision should be flawed because it fails to take into account the presence, or actions, of the anti-psi! 

For example, if a screamer or a psychic null were going to murder someone in the future, an ESPer could detect the murder taking place, but when he tried to see who committed it, he'd only see static, or hear a scream, or otherwise have some kind of interference, but he'd still know the murder would take place and that someone with anti-psi capabilities was going to do it.  Someone with Para-Invisibility could successfully murder someone without detection by the ESPer.

For visions against a screamer or a null, apply only half the precognitive bonuses (ie +2 to tactics rather than +4) as the ESPer still has some information, and the ESPer may not apply any Destiny impulse buys directly against the screamer or null.  For a para-invisible character, the vision misses enough key information that the ESPer can apply no bonus from precognition against him.  He may choose to apply Destiny but the anti-psi gets an anti-destiny that says "You are wrong" that has an equal value to the ESPer's uncovered Destiny.  This can be used to cancel out the Destiny, one for one, or the anti-psi can announce one of the ways in which the ESPer is wrong and spend an impulse buy point to succeed in any way he likes against the specific Destiny.

General Anti-Psi Concerns

Defeating Anti-Psi

Mortals don't need to defeat Anti-Psi. That's the whole point of anti-psi! It's only a concern for psychics.

In general, anti-psi characters are less of a threat if they are not physically present. Powers like Psychic Overload and Cancellation require a touch, or at least the ability to see the psion. By simply avoiding most Anti-Psi characters, a Psion can remain fairly successful. Furthermore, standard physical countermeasures still work fine. A psion with a force blade might not be able to bring most of his psionics to bear... but he's still a guy with a force blade, more than capable of cutting down the anti-psi. In a lot of ways, anti-psi is more about leveling the playing field.

Finally, Anti-Psi doesn't work on Communion, which means that characters who have gained a connection to the great, global super-consciousness can rely on it to defeat an anti-psi... though see below!

Improving Anti-Psi

Anti-Psi lacks really useful technology or drugs that might assist it, but Anti-Psi characters are allowed to gain access to Broken Communion. Furthermore, Communion is a form of psionic energy, just several scales of magnitude more powerful and ubiquitous than an individual psi's power. Anti-Psi characters may buy cosmic versions of their abilities to gain the ability to affect Communion itself.

Niche Protection


Anti-Psi characters create a niche. A given psi will have spent a considerable amount of points on his abilities. An anti-psi character negates all of that advantage. A mortal character has the same point total, but has complete access to all of his abilities against an anti-psi. This creates a “rocks, scissors, paper” mechanism: Psi will often defeat mortals, point for point, while anti-psi will often defeat psi, point for point, but mortals will often defeat anti-psi, point for point. A good group will create a sort of “combined arms” for handling their threats. This means characters like Kendra become vital for protecting characters like Dun.
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