Thursday, October 6, 2016

Anti-Psi Styles

In a world full of psionic powers, characters will seek to protect themselves from that power.  Mundane countermeasures (like Mind Block) exist and mundane characters will certainly seek to train themselves in its intricacies.  Anti-Psi characters will also seek to improve their talents, studying the art of anti-psi as deeply as psions study the arts of psi.

I originally designed the following styles with non-psions in mind.  They focus mostly on Expert Skill (Psion), Meditation and Mind Block.  However, given that Anti-Psi characters need something to counterbalance powers like True Communion or Psionic Witchcraft, I've added some Anti-Psi and Broken Communion powers as well.  Treat these as examples.  There might be simpler, smaller mundane styles, or more baroque and sinister anti-psi styles.

Mental Extinction: 3 points

Also called the hymn of the Void, this style focuses primarily on silencing all thought.  Characters learn to still their thoughts with Meditation, and therein, create a place of isolation that protects themselves from psychic intrusion.  What begins as a peaceful calm can be enhanced into a gaping void of thoughtlessness, which can be most disconcerting to stumble across for telepaths.  Masters of the technique have even gained something approximating a true Mind Shield.

Anti-Psi characters expand this power, creating endless mental landscapes of nothing in which one can become lost, or even blanking themselves completely, not just to telepathy, but to all psionic perception.

Required Skills: Meditation, Mind Block
Additional Psionic Skills: Psi Shield, Para-Invisiblity
Additional Skills: Mental Strength, Mind Shield
Techniques: Deep Trance, No-Mind
Psionic Techniques: Mind Trap
Perks: Gaze into the Abyss, Patience of Meditation, Personal Awareness, Special Exercise (Requires Mind Block and Meditation 15: May purchase Mind Shield), Special Exercise (No-Mind doesn't require Invisibility Art)

Optional Advantages: Danger Sense, Mind Shield.

The Principle of Noise: 5 points

This more scientific approach to psionic defense seeks first to understand how psionics works, and then seeks to uncover it where it is found, and then finally to use advanced-yet-intuitive principles to hide thoughts.  This allows the psi-hunter to openly hunt for nearby psis without tipping his hand as to what he is doing, though anyone reading his mind will certainly notice his unusual way of thinking.  This sort of defense tends to be a natural outcropping of societies where individuals take on heavy mathematical tasks (think "Mentats as psi-hunters").

Anti-Psi characters learn to expand upon this principle, taking the random numbers generated by the psychic cryptography technique and blasting it all around them.  The result showers those who interact with the anti-psi technique with weathering and mentally exhausting meaninglessness.

Required Skills: Cryptography, Expert Skill (Psionics), Mathematics, Mind Block
Additional Skills: Mental Strength
Additional Psionic Skills: Interruption, Screaming
Techniques: Coded Thoughts, Tiring Scream
Secret Technique: Tiring Interruption
Perks: Personal Awareness, Simple Defense, Skeptic, Special Exercise (May purchase Mind Shield), Tolerance (Any Telepathic Power), Stabilizing Skill (Anti-Psi; Mathematics), Standard Operating Procedure: Memory Check.

Optional Traits: Will;
Optional Advantages: Eidetic Memory, Intuitive Mathematician

New Techniques – Art of Noise

Tiring Interruption: Defaults to Interruption-5. May not exceed Interruption.
As Tiring Scream, but applies to Interruption. Any psi interrupted by your technique also loses 1 FP.

The Way of the Grey Mask: 5 points

This technique focuses on being someone else.  The practitioner doesn't learn to hide his thoughts so much as pretend he is someone else.  They learn to bury their secrets beneath persona so richly created, they temporarily forget who they actually are!  This is obviously a preferred technique among spies and shapeshifters.

In fact, this anti-psi technique is a faded remnant of a now-lost Cult to the Murmuring Angel.  Anti-psi practitioners learned to perfectly emulate someone else, even gaining a weird, twisted version of that person's powers, if they have any.  Broken Communion assists them by making their lies more believable, changing their features to match their internal image, and blanking the mind with horrifying images.  If one joins the Cult of the Grey Mask, they lose who they were, and slowly begin to lose any sense of identity to the corrosive power of the Path of Madness.

Required Skills: Acting, Dancing, Meditation, Mind Block
Additional Psionic Skills: Psionic Overload
Secret Psionic Skills: Power Theft
Additional Skills: Mental Strength, Mind Shield
Techniques: Camouflaged Mind-Block, Communion, Deep Trance, Mind Trap, No-Mind, Penance, True Sight
Additional Psionic Techniques: Crippling Attack (Overload), Crippling Attack (Precision Attack),
Secret Psionic Techniques: Improved Theft (Anti-Psi Power Theft), Precision (Anti-Psi Power Theft)
Learned Prayers: Servant of Unreality, Broken Window, Mask of Madness
Perks: Avatar, Body Discipline (Dancing), Controllable Disadvantage (Mind-Block Based; Delusions (False Memories) or Split Personality), Personal Awareness, Secret Power (Power-Theft as Anti-Psi), Secret Prayer (Mask of Madness without following the Path of Madness)

Optional Advantages: Compartmentalized Mind
Optional Skills: Occultism, Theology
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