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MyGURPS - Psionics In Traveller

Psionics In Traveller

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Just to be clear, these are the rules that I use in my personal GURPS Traveller games, not an interpretation of any existing rules. I feel that they keep psi useful without allowing it to become overpowering.

A psi in Traveller with fully developed abilities must take a 15 point UB ("Psi"). Being a latent psi (having Talent but having either no abilities or just latent ones) requires no UB, but until the UB is paid for, the character cannot upgrade his psi abilities. Droyne only require a UB to learn other psi besides their inborn abilities.

In addition, note that psi abilities cannot be added or improved unless the character has access to a psionics institute. This is bought as a 10 point Patron with the +50% Special Abilities enhancement, for a final cost of 15 points modified by Frequency of Appearance. The Frequency roll will determine whether or not they're in hiding due to a need to preserve their secrecy. Droyne may instead take their oytrip as a Patron, with the same +50% enhancement.

A psi must take a -10 point Secret. This turns into a a -10 point Social Stigma and a -10 point Enemy (Local Imperial Enforcers; Hunter; 6 or less) if discovered. (This secret is already part of the Droyne template; Droyne with further psionic training should not take it again.)

Zhodani are a special case. A Zho in Zhodani space needs no UB and has free access to plenty of psionic training. However, a Zho in Imperial space is rare enough to require a 15 point UB ("Zhodani"). Many of these traveling Zhos will have contacts amongst local psionics institutes and will take the appropriate Patron advantage. This is not a requirement, but without it, Zhos cannot advance their psionic powers any more than other humans can! Zhos also take a -10 point Social Stima ("Minority Group").

Power Groups

Note that any perceived omission is probably intentional. For example, ESPers do not have access to Precognition or Psychometry and none of the power groups contain Innate Attack. In addition, note that psi abilities typically cannot add Reliable (except for Warp) or Area Effect.

  • ESP: Clairsentience; Common Sense; Danger Sense; Detect (Psis or Psionic Activity); Intuition (but not with Inspired); Para-Radar; Penetrating Vision*.
  • Microkinesis (a.k.a. Probability Alteration): Affliction (with Based on Will, Disadvantage: Unluckiness, and Malediction); Luck; Serendipity*; Visualization.
  • Psychokinesis: Damage Resistance** (with Costs Fatigue: 1 FP/Second and Force-Field); Flight[1]; Stretching (with Force Extension); Super Jump*; Telekinesis[2]; Walk on Air; Walk on Liquid.
  • Psychometabolism: Breath Holding*; Enhanced Muscle[3] (with Costs Fatigue); Injury Tolerance (Unliving, with Costs Fatigue); Metabolism Control; Regeneration (Slow or Normal); Regeneration (Fast, with Costs Fatigue); Temperature Tolerance**.
  • Telepathy: Affliction (with Based on Will, Malediction, and Secondary Unconsciousness); Animal Empathy; Detect (Minds); Empathy; Illusion (with Mental but not Stigmata); Invisibility (with Glamour); Mind Control (with either Emotion Control or Suggestion); Mind Probe; Mind Reading; Mind Shield; Mindlink; Telesend; Terror (with Active).
  • Teleportation: Affliction (with Advantage: Warp[4] with Exoteleport, Malediction, and No Signature); Warp[4].
* The level of this advantage cannot exceed half the psi's Will, rounded down.
** The level of this advantage cannot exceed the psi's Will.
[1] Additional Air Move and Enhanced Move are not available. For simplicity, treat each -1 to Air Move as a -5% limitation. Droyne with wings should buy Levitation instead (see below.)
[2] The level of TK should not exceed the better of the psi's (ST + Will) or (HT + Will)
[3] A meta-trait from GURPS Bio-Tech consisting of Lifting ST and Striking ST together, for 8 points/level.
[4] Teleporters without the Intuitive Mathematician advantage must take Range Limit: 100 Miles (or less) on Warp, due to the difficulty of calculating momentum on a planet or moving ship. In addition, they cannot change their altitude by more than 500 yards when on a planet; if the psi's range limit exceeds 500 yards, treat this as an extra quirk.

Special Droyne Psionic Ability: Levitation. You can fly without using your wings, regardless of the local gravity (though heavy gravity still causes encumbrance penalties.) Since normal Droyne already have Flight, this just alters the advantage to Flight (either Gravity Restrictions and Winged or Psychokinetic, -4%) for a net cost of 15 points. Other races should buy Flight (above).


Anti-psi is also available, though it's usually only found in NPC "psi hunters" working for the Imperium. It is impossible to have both psionic and anti-psi abilities! The power modifier for anti-psi is just a -0% feature, as anti-psi cannot be cancelled or interfered with. With the exception of Mind Shield, the advantages below are always considered anti-psi abilities -- psis cannot possess them.

  • Anti-Psi: Damage Resistance (with Limited, TK); Mind Shield; Neutralize (but not with Power Theft); Obscure (Divination, Para-Radar, or Vision, with Limited, Psi); Psi Static; Resistant (Psionics, one Power Group, or one ability).

Anyone may take Resistant (+3 or +8). All other abilities require training, as does Anti-Psi Talent. Trained anti-psis must either take a 10-point Unusual Background, have an appropriate Patron (priced as for psionic institutes, above), or have 3+ levels of an appropriate Rank.

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