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streetangelj
Somebody asked for a tradition that had Task Spirits as Materialization options, and its been in four editions with no rules for it, so I developed the psionic tradition to fit both criteria. Let me know what you guys think.

THE PSIONIC TRADITION:

Concept: A Psionic Magician, or Psychic (as they are commonly referred to), believes that magic is an expression of Man’s force of will over the “ether?. They use a combination of pseudoscience, pure will and stubbornness, or “historical evidence? to explain the powers they are capable of replicating. For additional information, see Street Magic p. 45.

Combat: Beasts
Detection: Guidance
Health: Guardian
Illusion: Man
Manipulation: Task

Drain: Willpower+Intuition

Note: In almost all cases, Psionics is a Materialization tradition

Psychics have always believed in the presence of “auras?, “ghosts? and “spirits? and thus easily accepted Assensing and Conjuring as part of their paradigm. Enchanting was also easily absorbed, since most psychics used tools and fetishes to aid them even before the Awakening when their powers were suspect to much debate. Sorcery falls into a “greyer? area, since many physical spells are hard to rationalize with the body of “Psychic Powers? documented throughout history. Most modern Psychics chalk these powers and the return of “mythical? creatures up to a state of hyper-mutated evolution, claiming that such events have occurred countless times in the biological history of our planet. Common Metamagics for initiated Psionic Magicians are Centering, Divination, Cleansing, Geomancy, Psychometry, Sensing, and sometimes Channeling. The trappings of Psychics are usually a mix of technology, nearly hermetic pseudoscience, and hedge magic and superstition. It is not uncommon to find a Psionic Magician’s Lodge to be a sterile lab-like environment festooned with strange electronic gadgets, arcane tomes, and new age crystal widgets. (Psychics do not possess shamanic masks or mentor spirits, but they often categorize their powers into “disciplines? which are mechanically the same as mentor spirits.)

(I'd also like to point out that although I wrote it up as a full fledged Tradition, there would be very few full Psionic Mages in the Sixth World. Most Psychics would be people with Knacks, Adepts, Aspected Magicians, and Mages with the Mentor Geas in their chosen Discipline. It should still be considered an oddity, since most Magicians fit into the two most common Traditions.)



PSIONIC DISCIPLINES:

Kineticist: Kineticists are among the rarest of Psychics. Prone to violence and often lacking self-control, they rarely master their often highly charged emotions; but those that do can be truly frightening indeed. They also are often the youngest and least scientific-minded of Psionic Mages, commonly manifesting their powers first in early puberty.
Advantages: +2 DP Combat and Physical and Environmental Manipulation Spells.
Disadvantages: -2 DP Arcana Tests; Must make a Composure (3) test when placed under duress or lash out in a manner determined by the degree of failure and the GM.

Clairvoyant: Seers, as they are often called, are the most common of Psychics and run the gamut from crystal ball consulting neo-gypsies to hardcore pseudo-scientific “parapsychologists?. They often develop their skills from an intuitive “hunch? at a young age to a practiced art/science as they grow older, often receiving “formal? instruction from a mentor or scientific study (or both).
Advantages: +2 DP Detection Spells; +2 DP Assensing Tests
Disadvantages: -1 DP Combat Spells; Clairvoyants can become overwhelmed by their acute senses or overly reliant on their technology; increase their chances of having a Crisis of Confidence by reducing their DP by 2 dice.

Chiurgion: Psychic healers focus on the well-being of others, although sometimes they have been known to use their healing arts to (efficiently) harm those they could help. Many are also skilled natural healers as well as magical ones. They often study holistic medicine as well as modern high-tech techniques.
Advantages: +2 DP Health Spells; +2 DP First Aid or Medicine (player's choice)
Disadvantages: -2 DP Combat Spells; After successfully casting a negative Health Spell, a Chiurgion must succeed at a Composure (2) Test or the spell fizzles and (s)he must resist Drain normally. (It really is against their nature to use magic to harm, the GM may apply this same test to other spells if he feels it appropriate.)

Mesmer: Mesmers focus on tricking the minds of their targets into whatever is necessary to achieve their goals. They range from selfless therapist types to entertainers and tricksters to self-serving egotists.
Advantages: +2 DP Mana Illusion and Mental Manipulation Spells; +2 DP Con or Negotiate (player’s choice).
Disadvantages: -2 DP Combat Spells; Almost all Mesmers suffer from inflated self-egos and superiority complexes and therefore expect their ideas and opinions to be held in higher regard than those of others. If they perceive otherwise, they will make their displeasure obvious, providing a -2 DP penalty to all non-intimidation social tests. (If the GM allows it, this part of the disadvantage may be bought off as a 5pt. Positive Quality.)

CyberPsi: CyberPsi are a relatively new phenomenon, focusing on the manipulation of physical objects rather than living beings. CyberPsis feel that machines have "spirits" much as many others believe that all living things possess a soul, They have trained themselves to "see" and manipulate these "spirits of the machine" into aiding them in their endeavours. They often get along with Technomancers, which they see very much as some new sort of CyberPsychic Adepts.
Advantages: +1 DP non-Health Physical Spells; +2 DP Task Spirits; +1 DP B/R Skills
Disadvantages: -1 DP Mana Spells; -1 DP Social Skill Tests

NegaPsi: Also relatively new to the field of Psionic Magic, NegaPsychics are experts in anti-magic and magical defense.
Advantages: +2 DP Counterspelling; +2 DP Banishing
Disadvantages: -1 DP Spellcasting; -1 DP Summoning; Considered to have Magic Resistance Level 2 if a willing target of a spell.

Medium/Channeler: The second most common type of Psion, Mediums specialize in dealing with spirits. Channelers do this as well, but use Possession spirits instead (primarily on themselves). Unlike most Psychics, with the possible exception of Mesmers, they tend to be very social individuals.
Advantages: +2 DP Conjuring; +1 DP Enchanting and Arcana Tests related to Spirits
Disadvantages: -2 DP Spellcasting; Mediums are often targeted by Free or Wild Spirits and are always considered to be a Prepared Vessel (see SM p 86) for the purposes of Inhabitation. (Such is the price of opening oneself up to the spirits.)

Psychometabolism: While not a Discipline like the others, this is the category that Psionic Magicians use to describe Adepts, often with additional description fitting their powers. For example, a Social Adept would likely be classified as a Psychometabolic Mesmer, an Astral Adept as a Psychometabolic Seer, and a Mystic Adept who had Astral Perception, Pain Relief, Empathic Healing and focused on Health Spells would be classified as a Psychometabolic Chiurgion.


EDIT: Based on people's sugestions, I've changed the spirit types and modified some of the disciplines. I also added to the descriptive text in a few places to clear some things up.
Synner667
QUOTE (streetangelj)
Psychics have always believed in the presence of “auras?, “ghosts? and “spirits? and thus easily accepted Assensing and Conjuring as part of their paradigm. Enchanting was also easily absorbed, since most psychics used tools and fetishes to aid them even before the Awakening when their powers were suspect to much debate. Sorcery falls into a “greyer? area, since many physical spells are hard to rationalize with the body of “Psychic Powers? documented throughout history. Most modern Psychics chalk these powers and the return of “mythical? creatures up to a state of hyper-mutated evolution, claiming that such events have occurred countless times in the biological history of our planet. Common Metamagics for initiated Psionic Magicians are Centering, Divination, Cleansing, Geomancy, Psychometry, Sensing, and sometimes Channeling. The trappings of Psychics are usually a mix of technology, nearly hermetic pseudoscience, and hedge magic and superstition. It is not uncommon to find a Psionic Magician’s Lodge to be a sterile lab-like environment festooned with strange electronic gadgets, arcane tomes, and new age crystal widgets. (Psychics do not possess shamanic masks or mentor spirits, but they often categorize their powers into “disciplines? which are mechanically the same as mentor spirits.)

Hmmm..

Not sure I agree with your basic, fundamental reasoning.

A sportsman with phychokinetic abilities may not know they have them - they might just jump higher and longer without knowing it's a psychic talent aiding them.

Since when do most psychics use tools and fetishes to use 'the powers of the mind' ??
Almost every psychic I can think of uses just their talent to do things [though GURPS Psi-Tech does introduce some nice things].

Almost by definition, psychics can't 'cast' spell-like effects, as their mental paradigm doesn't believe in them.

In general, documented psychics have but a single 'power' and that is much more flexible than spells as all they'd need to do to change things is just visualise it.

Also, some of your definitions are a bit wonky - The Invisible Girl isn't "Prone to violence and often lacking self-control", a parapsychologist doesn't need to have any psychic ability to do his job, wouldn't your Adepts just be 'naturally gifted' ??


Just my thruppence..
mfb
he's basing it off new age thought/practice. accordingly, they are certainly capable of spell-like abilities, and they do frequently use tools and fetishes.
Dashifen
Not bad. I like that the inclusion of mostly a conjuring tradition for psychics seems to lead toward a potential resurgence of psychic mediums for contacting the dead. Not that these new media would need to be any less phony than the media from the 50's and 60's biggrin.gif
Cynic project
Just have to ask...Why?
streetangelj
@ Synner667: Kineticists (of the Pyro- and Psycho- kind) in most "scientific" studies and the fiction I've seen tend to be VERY unstable individuals; to use another comic book "hero" as an example, look at Phoenix, she was massively emotionally disturbed.

To answer the question of "Why?"- Well it's pretty simple, I like Psionics and have been mildly irritated that SR has been mentioning them since first edition, but never put out any rules for them; add to that I wanted to see what the new spiriits could do without forcing a Possession Tradition down anybody's throat (my players are mostly against that very concept) and then add the basic nature of writing up new Traditions in SR4 and it seemed like a no-brainer for me to finally put them together.

I'd also like to point out that although I wrote it up as a full fledged Tradition, there would be very few full Psionic Mages in the Sixth World. Most Psychics would be people with Knacks, Adepts, Aspected Magicians, and Mages with the Mentor Geas in their chosen Discipline. It should still be considered an oddity, since most Magicians fit into the two most common Traditions.
streetangelj
Well, 150 views and only 5 comments... I was hoping for more feedback. Even negative feedback would be preferred over the mass amounts of silence I've gotten so far, or do most of you agree with Dashifen and therefore see no reason to add anything? Just curious. - J
NightmareX
Well, aside from the fact that I'm dubious about the use of Fire and Water (mainly Water) spirits, it looks fairly decent to me. I especially like the idea of disciplines as quasi-mentors, although I would have done some of them differently.
Ravor
Meh, personally I like the version that appeared in Magic in the Shadows, but that's just me. cyber.gif
streetangelj
I was leary about water spirits too, but water has always been traditionally associated with change and illusion in many belief systems, so that's what I went with. What do you think might work better? As far as fire goes, it seemed the only logical choice for combat since pyrokinesis is the only "common" elemental psychic effect.

How would you have done the disciplines differently, feel free to PM me if you don't wantt to clutter the board with your suggestions. I welcome them, since I'm not completely happy with them either.

I had totally forgotten about MitS version of Psionics; I just looked it over and while not bad, it was awful limiting to be a type of Full Magician so my version addresses that discrepancy by making it closer to the other traditions.
mfb
i think water works, if you think of ectoplasm as water.
Ol' Scratch
Man would be a much better association for Illusions.
mfb
i dunno, i really like the ectoplasm thing. apparently that link wasn't actually intended, but it's what occurred to me as soon as i read it.
Ophis
Not sure on associations but I'd go for an 'all spirits of the dead' set up Man, Guidance, Guardian, Task and Beast. Though that might lead to a more circa 1900 spiritulist tradition.

Ol' Scratch
It's kind of odd that he doesn't have an association to Man anywhere. And then you have the whole "cloud men's minds" aspect going on with illusions and invisibility.
Ddays
I would take that tradition in a heartbeat, best drain stats as well as most of the "good" spirits. Cool background as well. If they had Spirits of Man, I think most mages I make will be a psion.
NightmareX
QUOTE (streetangelj)
I was leary about water spirits too, but water has always been traditionally associated with change and illusion in many belief systems, so that's what I went with. What do you think might work better? As far as fire goes, it seemed the only logical choice for combat since pyrokinesis is the only "common" elemental psychic effect.

As Ophis suggested, I'd go with:

Combat - Beast spirits (manifestations of the Id)
Detection - Guidance spirits (manifestations of the Superego)
Health - Guardian spirits (manifestations of one's physical ideal)
Illusion - Spirits of Man (man is the source of deception, plus the cloud men's minds bit wink.gif )
Manipulation - Task spirits (thought forms)

if I were making this tradition. Fire is great for pyrokinetics, but in psionic fiction you rarely see the fire acting in an independent spirit-like manner (except when Pyro's controlling it wink.gif ). Mfb has a point with the water = ectoplasm thing, but frankly I like things a tad less snotty ("Someone blows their nose and you want to keep it?").

QUOTE
How would you have done the disciplines differently, feel free to PM me if you don't wantt to clutter the board with your suggestions. I welcome them, since I'm not completely happy with them either.


No prob, I was just dropping a quick note earlier.

Chiurgion: giving a bonus (even one die) to the entire Biotech skill group and related knowledge skills (even at GM discretion) is a bit much. I'd go with +2 to either First Aid or Medicine (character's choice).

CyberPsi: this one is rather ill defined background wise. Perhaps a bit more fluff description? Otherwise I'd consider dropping it.

NegaPsi: drop the +1 to Assensing, since it puts it over the line into the realm of too much bonus, plus it has no real place

Medium/Channeler: Bonuses are way too much. Drop the +2 dice to Enchanting and Arcana and consider "always a possession tradition" as a bonus in and of itself

The others are fine IMO. Just my two nuyen.gif

QUOTE
I had totally forgotten about MitS version of Psionics; I just looked it over and while not bad, it was awful limiting to be a type of Full Magician so my version addresses that discrepancy by making it closer to the other traditions.


Same here - the MitS tradition translates poorly to SR4 without major modding (which is what I consider this tradition in a way). Personally I really like that you consider full psionics to be rare - gives it just the right flavor IMO. Perhaps a note on that in the text?
streetangelj
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll fiddle with them and see how they work; although I'm a little worried that changing to the recommended spirit types might unbalance the Tradition. DDays has a good point. I'll also search my other stiff for more fluff for the CyberPsi.
NightmareX
QUOTE (streetangelj)
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll fiddle with them and see how they work; although I'm a little worried that changing to the recommended spirit types might unbalance the Tradition. DDays has a good point.

Oh, I agree with Dday in a way too - with the inclusion of Spirits of Man psionics become a very desirable tradition (every bit the equal to Hermeticism, Shamanism, or Vodoun). However, that only makes it unbalanced if one considers some spirit types "better" than others. While Magical Guard is potent ability, having two spirits with that ability plus Spirits of Man (with their Innate Spell) really is the same set up as Vodoun. You get a lot of defensive potential, but pay for it in terms of versatility that other spirit type would give. Thus, I wouldn't consider the suggested set up unbalancing.
Cynic project
QUOTE (streetangelj)
@ Synner667: Kineticists (of the Pyro- and Psycho- kind) in most "scientific" studies and the fiction I've seen tend to be VERY unstable individuals; to use another comic book "hero" as an example, look at Phoenix, she was massively emotionally disturbed.

To answer the question of "Why?"- Well it's pretty simple, I like Psionics and have been mildly irritated that SR has been mentioning them since first edition, but never put out any rules for them; add to that I wanted to see what the new spiriits could do without forcing a Possession Tradition down anybody's throat (my players are mostly against that very concept) and then add the basic nature of writing up new Traditions in SR4 and it seemed like a no-brainer for me to finally put them together.

I'd also like to point out that although I wrote it up as a full fledged Tradition, there would be very few full Psionic Mages in the Sixth World. Most Psychics would be people with Knacks, Adepts, Aspected Magicians, and Mages with the Mentor Geas in their chosen Discipline. It should still be considered an oddity, since most Magicians fit into the two most common Traditions.

For starters psionics were in third Ed, also in forth ed if I recall right .They just sucked. They should. Psionics is based on being insane. To use psionic power you must deep down know that dragon,magical spears, and countless other things in the world around you are fake. It is more reasonable to believe that elvis is alive in a retirement home kicking with black JFK going all midevil on mummy ass in the real world than it is to be a psionicist in shadowrun.

Shadowrun has more proof that magic is real, than we do that bubba hotep is false.
Ravor
Eh, although I tend to agree that Psions shouldn't qualify as a full Tradition, I can see the point of view arguing the "Magic" isn't the mumbo jumbo that we've been told it was and is instead something else entirely, and dragons, ect exist as they are in part because people believe they do.
Particle_Beam
Well, the problem is, the appearance of the Great Dragon Ryumyo was the first sign of the return of magic. It was not that magic returned and people believed dragons should exist, it's because dragons showed up and people started to believe (again) in magic. Here, the hen does indeed preceed the egg.

Though I surely wouldn't mind that there are still people who believe otherwise, because in SR, there are no definit proof in the end.
Ol' Scratch
It also depends a lot on what type of psionics you're talking about.

Is their view of the tradition based upon sci-fi works or its real origins? The latter being merely a way to classify and measure magic and similar phenomenon in scientific terms, and thus would simply be Chaos Magic.
streetangelj
I designed it as a cross of both. But Chaos magic is a very different animal, paradigm-wise.

Also Rumyo's appearance may have been the biggest indicator of the Awakening, but what about Spike Babies and the Century Ferret (which we should have already found biggrin.gif )?
NightmareX
QUOTE (streetangelj)
But Chaos magic is a very different animal, paradigm-wise.

Very, very much so. Contrary to popular opinion, Chaos magic is not simple eclecticism.
NightmareX
QUOTE (streetangelj)
But Chaos magic is a very different animal, paradigm-wise.

Very, very much so. Contrary to popular opinion, Chaos magic is not simple eclecticism.

I do like the changes btw, Streetangel wink.gif
Ol' Scratch
Chaos Magic's primary goal is to find the underlying, scientific principles of magic. That's almost exactly what psionics was originally about. Chaos Magic is just a 21st century update of a Victorianish-era "tradition." The only significant difference is that psionics was about classifying magic scientifically, not using it as such.

Sometimes you don't need to cook up new rules for everything under the sun. "Tradition: Psionics (Chaos Magic variant)" would do the trick just fine with the only necessary change being in the "flavor text."

That is, again, if you were choosing to go the original route with the tradition. The vast majority of this thread is about the sci-fi variants, which does require its own tradition in the same way Jedi Knights and Hogwart Student traditions do.
NightmareX
QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
Chaos Magic's primary goal is to find the underlying, scientific principles of magic. That's almost exactly what psionics was originally about. Chaos Magic is just a 21st century update of a Victorianish-era "tradition." The only significant difference is that psionics was about classifying magic scientifically, not using it as such.

Sometimes you don't need to cook up new rules for everything under the sun. "Tradition: Psionics (Chaos Magic variant)" would do the trick just fine with the only necessary change being in the "flavor text."

No, the point of Chaos magic is that belief - any belief, including one that magic has underlying scientific principles (which is Peter Carrol's current thing, the tradition he form ed has outgrown him) - is simply another magical tool, to be used and discarded at will. Chaos magic is all about results, period. Given that I'm a practicing chaote I should think I know the goal of my own "tradition".

Further, the idea that psionics is a sub-tradition of Chaos magic is patently laughable. What could be called "psionics" nowadays is rooted in the 19th century with the spiritualism movement and parapsychology (which begin in 1889). In contrast, Chaos magic didn't even exist as a "tradition" until 1976. You may as well have said Christian theurgy is a sub-school of Chaos magic, since that claim has as much validity as the one you just made.
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