Mentalists: Kartazia's Psionics
People who display psychic powers, in Kartazia, are known as "Mentalists". Mentalists have been around since the dawn of time and have always been integrated with society. They are MUCH rarer than mages: only one in each 100.000 individuals is born a mentalist, but they are widely accepted and, some times, feared.
Because they are few, they have ever found ways to be close to others of their kind, A mentalist's life is anything but easy, and close proximity with mages is often a problem for them, as they are invariable seen as a good source of study.
Anyone can become a Mentalist at any moment, and the process by which a person starts gaining psychic powers is called an "Awakening". Awakening usually happens during late adolescence, although there are also cases of late bloomers. Cases in which a child became a mentalist are less than 10 throughout history (and in most of these cases, they went mad during puberty).
Unlike Magery, psychic powers are not hereditary. A mentalist couple has as good a chance as anyother to have a mentalist offspring.
Awakening: 5 points
Every Mentalist must purchase a 5 point advantage: "Awakened". This means he can purchase psychic powers as outlined below. Mentalists can be mages, and nothing prevents them from ALSO buying Magery, but Magery and the Awakening are different things, and must be bought off separately.
However, each level in Magery DOES add up to a Mentalist's psychic power levels. So a Mentalist with Magery 4 adds +4 to all his psychic power skill levels.
In fact, the Parachronic Convention of Aasimar, in Arden, is known to preferrably employ Mentalist Mages, and actively seek them out. The rarity of those, however, prevents the Convention from being made up entirely of these individuals.
Psychic Talent and Magery
Every psychic power belongs to a specific group. Mentalists can by "Talent" for those groups at 5 points per level. This gives them a +1 to their skill rolls in powers from that group, only.
The seven psychic power groups are: Telepathy, Telekinesis, ESP, Mediumnity, Psychic Healing, Psychometabolism and Focus.
Magery, however, adds up to all psychic power levels. So up to Magery 4, it is more cost effective to invest in Magery than in specific talents. Mentalists, however, can buy Talent levels that go over the fourth. A Mentalist can have up to +10 bonus in his powers due to Talent or Magery. However, even if his levels of Talent + Magery goes over 10, he does not benefit from those. The maximum bonus he can get is +10.
Hubris and Psychic Powers
Hubris does not affect psychic powers. There are some of those which are exactly like spells. Hubris does not affect those either.
Psychic powers are bought as magics from GURPS Magic. Over these rules, the term "psychic power" equals "magic spell" when it comes to game mechanics. However, there are fundamental differences in the way they work:
- Psychic powers can be bought in any order, regardless of the spell's prerequisite tree.
- By default, no words or gestures are required to perform a psychic power.
- High skill level does not reduce the energy cost.
- High skill level does not decrease the time to cast.
- Psychic powers cannot be made ceremonial.
- A mentalist can increase his effective skill level with a tradeoff of energy for skill without the need to enter a ceremonial with another Mentalist, and without having to expand the time to cast ten times over.
In addition to those modifiers, a Mentalist can purchase specific modifications to each of his skills:
- Less Energy: 1 character point can be used to reduce the energy to cast and maintain of a single psychic power.
- Quickness: 1 character point can be used to reduce a psychic power's time to cast by half. If the power naturally takes 1 second to cast, this can allow it to be cast "blocking".
- Multiplicity: 5 character points can be used to allow a Mentalist to cast an already blocking power in 0 time, thus also allowing him to cast another power in the same turn.
- Regular Range: Character points can increase the range of "regular" powers. Each character point causes the range penalty to increase by 1 hex. For instance, the usual penalty is -1 per hex of distance. For 1 character point, this range penalty becomes -1 for every 2 hexes. For 2 character points, the penalty becomes -1 for every 3 hexes, and so on.
These power modifiers must be purchased separately for each known psychic power.
A focused item is an item who was empowered with a psychic power. Like a magical enchantment, but for psychic powers. Focused items follows the same rules as for magical enchantments found on GURPS Magic, but with a few modifications:
- All mentalists know how to focus items by default. They do not need an "Enchant" power for that.
- All mentalists know the psychic version of the "Power" and "Speed" enchantment by default.
- Anyone can use a focused item, not only a mage, even if the given power says that only a mage should be able to use the item.
- To focus an item, the mentalists has to use Essence, just like regular Kartazian mages. Each point of essence allows the enchantment of 200 energy points in 1 hour of concentration. However, instead of being limited in how many points of essence they can use by their "Magic Theory" skill, Mentalists are limited by twice their respective group Talent bonus. Thus, a character with "Telepathy +3" can only focus an item with a Telepathy enchantment of up to 6 essence points. Mentalists can pool their power together to enchant items with more essence at a given time.
Powers and Spells
Psychic powers can interact with magical spells. A "Detect Magic" psychic power, for instance, will show up ongoing magic spells, just as a "Detect Magic" spell will detect ongoing psychic powers.
Mana also affects both powers normally: Psychic powers do not work on Mana 0, and are improved on high mana areas.
However, a mentalist mage cannot use a one of his psychic powers as if they were spells, nor the other way around. If a Mentalist Mage has the "Command" spell, he cannot use it as a Psychic power to refrain from gaining Hubris, not unless he does have the same effect bought as a psychic power. Also, he could not use any of his psychic power enhancements on his magical spells, even if they are the same. He would have to purchase the same power twice if he wants to do that.
List of Powers by Group
|(Animal) Control||Agonize||Air Vision|
|Awaken||Alter Voice||Ancient History|
|Beast Possession||Balance||Dark Vision|
|Beast Rouser||Boost (Attribute)||Deflect Missile|
|Beast Seeker||Cadence||Detect Magic|
|Beast Soother||Catch Missile||Detect Poison|
|Beast Summoning||Climbing||Dream Viewing|
|Bird Control||Control Limb||Far-Tasting|
|Borrow Language||Control Person||Find Direction|
|Borrow Skill||Dexterity||Find Weakness|
|Bravery||Dull Ears||Gift of Tongues|
|Command||Dull Eyes||Glass Wall|
|Compel Lie||Dull Nose||History|
|Compel Truth||Dullness||Identify Plant|
|Dream Projection||Fumble||Know Location|
|Dream Sending||Hold Breath||Know Recipe|
|Drunkeness||Hunger||Know True Shape|
|Emotion Control||Itch||Mage Sense|
|False Memory||Keen Eyes||Rear Vision|
|Fear||Lend Strength||Remember Path|
|Foolishness||Night Vision||Reveal Function|
|Glib Tongue||Paralyze Limb||See Invisible|
|Great Hallucination||Perfume||Seek Air|
|Hide Emotion||Resist Pain||Seek Fire|
|Hide Thoughts||Retch||Seek Fuel|
|Hybrid Control||Rooted Feet||Seek Machine|
|Insect Control||Sense Life||Seek Plant|
|Lend Language||Sensitize||Seek Power|
|Lend Skill||Sickness||Seek Water|
|Madness||Steal Energy||Sense Danger|
|Mammal Control||Strike Anosmic||Sense Observation|
|Mass Daze||Strike Blind||Sound Vision|
|Mass Sleep||Strike Deaf||Tell Position|
|Mass Suggestion||Strike Dumb||Tell Time|
|Master||Strike Numb||Test Area|
|Mental Stun||Tanglefoot||Test Fuel|
|Mind Search||Total Paralysis|
|Peaceful Sleep||Conceal Magic||Glitch|
|Plant Speech||False Aura||Hinder|
|Possession||Magic Resistance||Ignite Fire|
|Repel (Animal)||Missile Shield||Lighten Burden|
|Repel Hybrids||Reflect Gaze||Lockmaster|
|Reptile Control||Remove Aura||Locksmith|
|Restore Memory||Remove Curse||Machine Control|
|Sense Emotion||Suspend Magery||Poltergeist|
|Sense Foes||Talisman||Slow Fall|
|Telepathy||Bless Plants||Winged Knife|
|Vexation||Lend Health||Astral Block|
|Vigil||Neutralize Poison||Astral Vision|
|Weaken Will||Recover Strength||Command Spirit|
|Wisdom||Relive Addiction||Death Vision|
|Resist Poison||Repel Spirits|
|Share Strength||Sense Spirit|
|Stop Spasm||Summon Spirit|
|Strengthen Will||Turn Spirit|