Malarbor Says
Malarbor says: Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outward, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and of the greater Race are transcendent, and to embrace them is to achieve enlightenment.

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  • Psionics

    Psionics

    Postby Alicorn » Sun May 22, 2011 6:35 pm

    Psionics did not appear in Mevwan prior to the Zaee landing. 9 professional psions, and 16 people with measurable psionic power but no career ambitions in that direction (including 3 children), were among the survivors of the crash. The natural incidence of psionics in Zaee is not quite 4%, but only half of these individuals have enough control and power to make use of the ability in applications of interesting scale. Control factors are weakly trainable; strength less so, although not zero. Individual factors composing one's strength or control are correlated, but some psions have good control/strength in one aspect of their discipline and poor control in another. For example, a perturber might be able to move very large objects, but only slowly. Human Mevwani children conceived after the crash, concentrated on the island (although sheer geographical proximity to Zaee seems not to be a factor), exhibit only a 2% rate of psionic power, but nearly all of these turn out to be as powerful as the more powerful half of Zaee psions. Psionic powers come in four types, which appear independently and may appear in combination. It is not unheard of for extremely high-control psions to be able to develop an additional type "via" a type one is born with, but this is uncommon in the extreme, and apart from one perturber-turned-telepath on the original colony ship, has not been documented in Mevwan. The types are these:

    Perturbation:

    Or, telekinesis. The ranged movement of objects. There is variance in power (maximum size of objects movable, and the maximum speed and force with which they can be moved) and control (minimum size of objects movable, whether objects must be moved in their entirety or can be adjusted piecemeal, minimum speed and force with which they can be moved). Most pertubers can move living things, and this carries no special risks, but is more likely to cause hurt feelings if one's control is inadequate to the task of keeping the moved thing intact, so low-control high-power perturbers are advised not to make the attempt. Some perturbers cannot achieve the feat of making living objects move at all; the cause of this deficit is unknown.

    Telepathy:

    Mental communication. There is variance in power (maximum range, maximum "volume"/obtrusiveness of communication; range and volume may differ for sending and receiving) and control (varies person to person - in general, the more control one has, the more modes of communication one can use, but a given low-control telepath might be restricted to words, meanings, mental images, emotions, memories, etc. Control is also considered to cover one's tendency to "leak" communiqués or perform non-deliberate reading, either without intending to use telepathy at all or without intending to broadcast to/read everyone in range.) Most telepaths can only work with people, but there are no cases of a telepath who can work with only humans or only Zaee but not both. Some telepaths can work with non-sentient animals at a reduced degree of precision; this ability is not correlated with strength but is more common in telepaths with greater control. AIs which have special crystalline peripherals installed (in chassis or in stationary computers) can duplicate some telepathic feats and be acted on by living telepaths almost as though they were human or Zaee minds.

    Astrapition:

    Energy manipulation. There is variance in power (volume of energy one can create or dissipate; whether one needs a "seed" energy source to start with; which energy types [light, heat, electrical charge] one has affinity for) and control (ability to precisely guide energy along desired channels without letting it get out of hand; tendency to inadvertently cause energy spikes in one's vicinity when one is trying to accomplish something else or not trying to do anything at all). Mythically, astrapitors are rumored to be able to manipulate the energy of souls and move from place to place without their bodies (and re-inhabit their bodies at will), but this has not occurred in recorded history. High-power low-control astrapitors are extremely dangerous - unlike high-power low-control perturbers they may use their abilities by accident; unlike anticipaths the harm they can do is not confined to themselves; and unlike telepaths their harm is not merely annoying.

    Anticipathy:

    Precognition. There is variance in power (temporal range, detail, accuracy) and control (ability to hedge out involuntary visions and solicit desired ones, and ability to see "conditional" visions, e.g. what would happen given some specified circumstance). No anticipath has perfectly reliable visions - in fact, one that did would be less useful, as his or her visions would not be avertable given warning. Despite the common word "visions" to describe their anticipations, different anticipaths experience their impressions of the future through different senses, often synaesthetically. (Synaesthesia in non-vision contexts is extremely common in anticipaths.) Low-control anticipaths are often overwhelmed by involuntary visions and, if training fails to improve their control, may need lifelong care.
    Last edited by Alicorn on Thu May 26, 2011 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: Psionics

    Postby Alicorn » Sun May 22, 2011 6:35 pm

    Perturbation Details:

    Summary: Telekinesis. The ranged movement of objects. All perturbers can move and rotate a controlled object. They use their vision to provide feedback about its location, and their precision varies accordingly (they will be clumsy if they can't see what they're doing). Range is limited by vision; blind perturbers can only move themselves and things they're touching.

    Control Factors: (Minimum likely — Human average — Maximum likely)
    Weight: Cannot move anything lighter than 1 ton — Cannot move anything lighter than 50lbs — Cannot move anything lighter than 1lb
    Speed: Cannot move objects slower than 20mph — Cannot move objects slower than 5mph — Can move objects arbitrarily slowly
    Force: Will automatically break a moved object's attachment to another thing and arrest its momentum — Can stop moving an object before breaking its strong attachment or seal to another thing or arresting its strong momentum — Can stop moving an object before breaking its weak attachment or seal to another thing or arresting its weak momentum
    Piecework: Can move only entire contiguous objects — Can move attached but separate (moving) parts of objects — Can move attached parts of objects

    Power Factors: (Minimum likely — Human average — Maximum likely)
    Weight: Cannot move anything heavier than 100lbs — Can move up to 60 tons — Can move up to 150 tons
    Speed: Can move things at up to 5mph — Can move things at up to 35 mph — Can move things at up to 80 mph
    Force: Cannot dislodge objects which are at all stuck or held by anything other than gravity — Can dislodge objects from weak obstacles and reverse small amounts of momentum — Can move objects regardless of how they are attached to other things and how they are moving when caught

    Other Factors: 80% can move living things (including, if they are within the weight range, themselves). This is seemingly uncorrelated with any other factors.

    Accidents: Perturbers never unleash their powers accidentally, or spill over to unrelated objects they didn't mean to take control of. However, those with low force control or low piecework control, or poor vision, may cause problems with the structural integrity of an object they didn't adequately assess beforehand.

    Other: Two or more perturbers may fight for control over an object. The one with the greater force strength will win, barring factors like distraction. Speed and weight control and power factors could theoretically overlap in such a way that a perturber could not manipulate any objects (for instance, minimum control and minimum power regarding weight would result in someone who could not move anything under 1 ton or over 100lbs) but in practice all perturbers have some range open to them, and there are no statistical effects suggesting that some perturbers are not being identified as such just because they can't lift anything.
    Last edited by Alicorn on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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    Re: Psionics

    Postby Alicorn » Sun May 22, 2011 6:35 pm

    Telepathy:

    Summary: Mental communication and allied powers. The most complicated discipline - the below factors cover most, but not all, ways in which telepaths may vary.

    Control Factors: (Minimum likely — Human average — Maximum likely)
    Modes: One mode, any — Two or three modes, usually including words — All modes
    Leaking: Anyone within half the telepath's maximum sending range is affected whenever the telepath tries to send anything, and anyone within a quarter of the telepath's maximum sending range is liable to hear the telepath's unintentionally broadcasted thoughts — People within a quarter of the telepath's maximum sending range may be affected when the telepath tries to send things — The telepath affects only who (s)he wants to affect
    Eavesdropping: The telepath will unintentionally pick up others' thoughts from within a quarter of their maximum reading range whenever (s)he tries to read anything — The telepath picks up more than (s)he means to from persons (s)he tries to read — The telepath reads only exactly that which (s)he means to
    Obtrusiveness: The telepath will make wild errors of volume, within the relevant range, and is highly noticeable when reading — The telepath may tend to be either a bit too "quiet" or too "loud", but rarely makes the opposite error, and is detectable but not intrusively so when reading — The telepath can be as subtle or conspicuous within his/her volume range as desired, and may read unnoticed if desired
    Min Volume (Sending): Roughly as noticeable as directed audible speech — Negligible whisper — Undetectable (useful only in certain modes)
    Min Volume (Reading): Read thoughts always drown out other sensory data — Read thoughts are at least as detectable as nearby audible speech — Thoughts may be as soft as negligible whispers

    Power Factors: (Minimum likely — Human average — Maximum likely)
    Range (Sending): Touch only — 25' — 2,000'
    Max Volume (Sending): Negligible whisper — Roughly as noticeable as directed audible speech — Attention-consuming shout
    Range (Reading): 5' — 50' — 5,000'
    Max Volume (Reading): Can barely hear thoughts at all without strain — Thoughts are about as detectable as nearby audible speech — Thoughts can drown out other sensory data

    Other Factors: 40% can work with non-sapient animals. Correlates with good control factors.

    Accidents: Telepaths with poor leaking and eavesdropping factors sometimes send or receive thoughts they did not intend. This is more likely when the telepath is bored or tired.

    Other: As with perturbation weight and speed factors, telepath volume factors could theoretically overlap in such a way as to leave the telepath with no sending or reading power at all, but in practice this does not happen. Telepathy can be blocked by certain materials, most notably lead.

    "Modes" are loose groupings of possible ways in which mental communication may happen. Some factors vary from mode to mode in telepaths who have several. They are:
    Words: Mental representations of words - not precisely auditory (and can be used with subjects/by telepaths who only know sign language) but most readily understood that way. Requires a common language to be useful. (Because telepathically conveyed words are not really auditory, a subject who does not know what the words are cannot speak them aloud to someone else who does.) Does include "tone of voice" and similar adjustments. The most common mode.
    Meanings: Like words, but do not require a common language to be understood, and lacks some of the nuance possible with words (no tone of voice).
    Images: Mental visual communication. May be as vague or as detailed as the telepath's native mental imagery (sending) or as the subject's native mental imagery (reading). Does not require a common language.
    Emotions: Affect and emotional reactions to various other stimuli.
    Memories: Genuine recollections of events. Skilled memory-using telepaths can piece together tiny snippets of memory to compose any message. Telepaths who use memory do not quite have perfect recall, but they are markedly better at dredging up desired memories in themselves than others are. Memory-using telepaths can recover forgotten things in subjects as long as they know approximately where to look.
    Koyoge: Iozwe word most nearly translating as "adjacency": connections between facts/beliefs/memories, or the supposition that two such things are relevant to one another. Koyoge users can detect but not affect the presence of the beliefs between which koyoge exist.
    Impressions: Stored, but not experienced, recordings of any other mode(s), up to and including entire possible brainstates. Impression-using telepaths cannot decipher the contents of impressions in themselves or others unless they use the mode(s) it contains (even if they created the impression themselves), but they can copy or delete them, or compare them with each other to confirm equivalency. Impression-users can choose to "install" an impression on themselves or in someone else instead of just storing it. This is hazardous if the impression has been tampered with or comes from an unstable source, and impression-users are generally advised to keep copies of known-sane brainstates from themselves in animals or telepathically equipped AIs so they can load from backup if necessary. This is the least common mode.
    Last edited by Alicorn on Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:19 am, edited 5 times in total.
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    Re: Psionics

    Postby Alicorn » Sun May 22, 2011 6:36 pm

    ==Placeholder: Astrapition==
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    Re: Psionics

    Postby Alicorn » Sun May 22, 2011 6:36 pm

    ==Placeholder: Anticipathy==
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