Telepathy Tricks for Trinity

The following are some additional ideas for techniques for telepaths in the Trinity RPG, feel free to use them as you like.

Empathic Interrogation [Sense Emotion]: Although empaths cannot read thoughts or memories, they make very effective investigators and interrogators using their abilities. A telepath with Sense Emotion who asks the right questions can determine a great deal about what the subject knows by reading the emotional response. For example, asking “did you steal for your employer?” might elicit a feeling of guilt, which is a good indication the subject is concealing something.

Deathscream [Mindspeak]: A telepath who is killed can send an intense psionic “scream” through the subquantum level that is detectable to other psions. The range of the deathscream is equal to the telepath’s maximum Mindspeak range. The deathscream has the normal effects of a dramatic flux in the psionic field on any psion in range able to sense it (see p. 192).

Mental Duel [Mindspeak]: Two telepaths in mental contact with each other can engage in a “struggle of wills” to determine dominance. Both sides must agree to the struggle for it to take place. This mental combat is nothing more than a harmless game, unless the telepaths choose to bring their other abilities (like Psychbending) into it. Both sides roll Psi. The winner does levels of Bashing damage to the loser equal to the net successes. The contest continues until both telepaths decide to break it off or one of them falls unconscious. Mental duels cannot do Lethal damage, but the unconscious loser is certainly at a disadvantage.

Total Rapport [Mindspeak]: Mindspeech normally takes place at the rate of normal speech. Two telepaths using Mindshare on each other can achieve a state known as total rapport, a melding of two minds, allowing for faster sharing of information. At two dots in Mindshare, the telepath can only achieve the basic level of rapport, which still permits the telepaths to speak and share information at ten times the rate of normal speech. It is impossible to lie in rapport, the telepath’s conscious thoughts are completely open to each other, and any attempt at deception is immediately clear. It is possible to withhold information, however. At three dots, the telepaths can enter into a deeper level of rapport, sharing memories and experiences. Consult the table for Pilfering (p. 224) to determine the level of rapport. Very deep rapport is an extreme intimacy, not undertaken lightly. It can also prove dangerous to the telepaths involved. A botch on an effort to establish a rapport often involves in the telepath picking up and retaining psychological quirks, even Derangements, from the other person.

Death Reading [Pilfer]: The psi-field of a living being dissipates quickly after death, but it is possible, although difficult, to glean some memories from a dead mind immediately after death. The difficulty of the Pilfer attempt increases by +1 for every minute the subject has been dead. After ten minutes, there is simply nothing to recover from the subject. Telepaths botching or even failing an attempt at a death-reading often develop Derangements, and telepaths are very reluctant to attempt death-readings unless absolutely necessary.

Dreamscaping [Pilfer]: By establishing a mental connection with a sleeping person, a telepath can perceive and enter the subject’s dreams. This can provide useful clues about a subject’s subconscious and can even for the basis for a short adventure in the subject’s dreamscape.

Remote Sensing [Pilfer]: With two or more successes, the telepath can pick up what the subject senses, seeing through the subject’s eyes, etc. As usual, an unwilling subject increases the difficulty by two.

Illusion [Will Control]: Rather than assuming direct control over a subject’s thoughts, a telepath using Psychbending can influence a subject’s perceptions. The telepath causes the subject to hallucinate in whatever manner desired, affected by the number of successes. One success would be enough for a minor or subliminal illusion – an itch, a quiet sound, or something seen out of the corner of the eye. Five or much successes can completely alter the subject’s environment, making him think he was on the surface of Io or that Aberants had just blown up the moon, for example. If the subject has any reason to believe the illusion isn’t real (in the Storyteller’s opinion), the subject can spend a Willpower point and make an Awareness roll. If the successes on the subject’s Awareness are greater than the telepath’s, the subject sees through the illusion.

Mind Trap [Mindshield]: At 4 Psychbending, a telepath can create a Mindshield that creates a psionic backlash against the intruding telepath. Roll Psi as normal to resist the intrusion attempt, but if the defender rolls more successes, the intruding telepath takes that many levels of Bashing damage from the failed attempt.

Deathblock [Mindshield]: A deathblock is a mind shield that cannot be overcome by another telepath without killing the user. It is used by telepaths like spies who cannot allow their minds to be read by another. The deathblock operates like a normal Mindshield, but if an outside telepath roll enough successes to overcome the Mindshield and enter the user’s mind, the user dies instantly. Any attempt to perform a Death-reading (above) on the dead telepath automatically fails because the deathblock causes rapid and total psi-field collapse.

Personality Transfer [Mindwarp]: It is possible for a telepath using Mindwarp, over a long period of time, to build a completely new personality for a subject. This persona might replace the subject’s own, “overwriting” the existing self, or it may simply push the normal personality down into the subconscious at times, much like a suggestion (see below). The new personality can be one of the telepath’s creation, or an existing personality and memories the telepath has read through Pilfering. In this way, a devoted telepath could give a spy the complete memories and personal information of a subject. Rumors abound of the Norça using this technique to improve impersonations or “replace” important people.

Psychic Lobotomy [Mindwarp]: One of the things a telepath can do with Mindwarp is cause psions to forget about their psionic abilities. This requires at least four successes, and prevents all conscious use of psi by the subject. Unconscious and automatic effects like Attunement or Adaption still operate.

Psychic Surgery [Mindwarp]: A telepath can also un-do any change made through Mindwarp by making a Psi roll. The roll is at +1 difficulty for every dot in Psychbending the altering telepath has over the restoring telepath, and the second telepath must score at least as many successes as the original Mindwarp effect required. The vitakinetic ability of Knit Psyche can achieve the same effect.

Suggestion [Mindwarp]: Instead of implanting or altering a memory, the telepath implants a command deep in the subject’s mind, like a powerful post-hypnotic suggestion. Roll Psi against the subject’s Willpower and use the Will Control chart (p. 226) to determine the difficulty of the command. The telepath can also set a “trigger,” either a particular time interval or some stimulus that will active the command. The subject may “buy down” the effects of the suggestion by spending Willpower, just like Will Control.

Willbreaking [Mindwarp]: A telepath can attempt to break a subject’s mental resistance before using Mindwarp on that subject, in order to make the mode more effective. The telepath rolls Psi against the subject’s Willpower. Each additional success the telepath gains reduces the subject’s temporary Willpower by one point. Subjects reduced to 0 Willpower are subject to Compulsion (p. 190) and are much easier to affect with modes like Psychbending.

Non-Human Telepathy

Telepathic Modes do affect non-humans like animals and aliens like the Qin. In fact, telepaths have proven that many animals are far more intelligent than humans thought. Most animals do not have developed language structures or understanding of abstract concepts, so communicating with them can be difficult. Empathy tends to work better on animals than Mindshare. Empaths often make skilled animal handlers and trainers.

Telepathic Modes used on non-humans may increase in difficulty, depending on the mode and the subject.