Psionic Abilities

From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki

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Numerous Star Trek episodes across all series used psionic abilities. Yet, in a sim, there is always the concern that telepathic or emphatic abilities might be overused. It could quickly become the tool for godmoding, which is is addressed in our General Rules. Therefore, the use of telepathic or emphatic abilities must be situational and given some rules that the sim should adhere to.

Star Trek: Theurgy Psionic Rules

  1. Keep it in the background mostly. Mention it in sim the way you would mention any other sense. For instance: if your character is in a rose garden, you might mention the scent of flowers in your sim. Essentially Telepathy is just another sense.
  2. No silver lining is without a disadvantage. Keep in mind the down-side of being a telepath serving among those who have little control over their minds and emotions. What is it like to be on the Theurgy with minds all crying out? Or if your character look into the mind of a killer, perhaps s/he cannot sleep for the next week, and end up in sickbay. Nothing is free.
  3. Assume your character and culture has a taboo about freely entering the minds of others. This will give you a reason for not uncovering everybody’s secrets.
  4. Remember alien minds are just that. Perhaps there is difficulty interpreting what a lizard people’s thoughts really mean. This gives you a chance to do highly symbolic simming.
  5. If you have a Telepathic or Empathic character, s/he can
    • Read another character's current thoughts
    • Feel another character's current mood (angry, sad etc.)
    • Do so at varying distances depending on the strength of their abilities, but not through monitors, obviously.
    • Do the above with varying clarity depending on circumstances and vividness of thoughts and emotions. Example: Reading a person's thoughts while he is fishing and isn't thinking about anything in particular will not yield much at all.
    • Only read thoughts and feel emotions that are made perfectly clear in another writer's post, and not read something that shouln't be there according to the writer. Being too presumptuous in this regard equals godmoding, so please... please don't overuse these abilities in writing telepaths.
  6. If you have a Telepathic or Empathic character, s/he can't
    • Read non-current thoughts or feelings. Think of a character's mind as a map, and as the character thinks, a spotlight is moving across that map. The telepath may only be able to read what the spotlight is shining on.
    • Click some button and 'download' the entire family history of a character, or know all previous acquaintances in another person's memory.
    • 'Download' all the knowledge of secret Starfleet Intelligence information from someone who happens to pass by. Unless, of course, the intelligence operative in question is explicitly trying to solve some secret puzzle in his head at that exact moment, where the telepath will be reading the fitting of those pieces of the puzzles and not the entire context and scope of the image.
    • Do what touch-telepaths do in a casual manner, where the shows several times show Vulcans delving into minds and learning things as if they are accessing a library. The mind-meld is very different from reading current thoughts. Doing it without touch takes time and focus, and in such case, see below rule #7.
  7. Lastly, strength/success of aggressive telepathic probing is determined via OOC agreement between writers prior to posting.

Various Forms of Psionic Abilities

A variety of psionic abilities were found in numerous species throughout the Milky Way Galaxy.

Telepathy

The most common of the psionic abilities, telepathy allowed individuals to communicate through either unspoken words or detailed images. Most telepathic species (i.e. Aenar, Betazoids, Vulcans) communicate with unspoken words. Imagery communication is less common (i.e. Cairn), but not impossible to learn. Certain telepathic species can read and influence the minds of other non-telepathic species. How intense these mind readings were depend on the specific species, individuals, and training.

Empathy

Another common psionic trait, empathy allowed individuals to sense, interpret, and influence the emotions of others. Many telepathic species also had empathic abilities. Empathy is quite common in offspring produced of a telepathic and non-telepathic union (i.e. Betazoids, Napeans, Vulcans).

Touch Telepathy

A less common form, touch telepathy required physical contact. The most famous form of touch telepathy is the Vulcan Mind Meld. The mind meld is a bridge between thoughts, emotions, ideas, and sensations. The link can be established with both telepathic and non-telepathic races, and sometimes multiple individuals at a time (i.e. Vulcan "Briding of Minds" ritual). Other species (i.e. Letheans, Elsarians) had evolved into touch telepaths. Touch telepathy had enhanced dangers, however. Melds between telepathic races were known to be risky (Vulcans and Betazoids). Various species (i.e. Letheans) could use touch telepathy as a way to cause cerebral trauma.

Strong Psychic Links

Most telepathic races could create strong telepathic bonds, both on a conscious and subconscious level. The Vulcan psychic bond is shared between bonded individuals; they could share thoughts, feelings, and images even with a non-telepathic mate. When Betazoids reach a deep, emotional connection, they can speak mentally with their beloved even if the other is non-telepathic. Something happened in that connection that altered the brain, both in the telepath and non-telepath so that, even if only subconsciously, a connection was there in a more permanent state than would be normal. Distance would mitigate, or even block the connection of these links. But it could operate over a longer distance than normal because of that familiarity connection. They knew what they are looking for in the sea of thoughts, rather than trying to sift through them normally to find a single voice.

Psychometry

A rare ability amongst telepathic races (i.e. Betazoids, Vulcans), psychometry allowed individuals to explore or even interact with past memories. Certain races (i.e. Ullians) had a natural affinity for it, however, and could even manipulate the memories of others. Psychometry rituals and therapy techniques are used to help heal psychic traumas.

Psychoprojectivity

A much rarer form, psychoprojectivity had two distinct forms: mental and physical. Physical psychoprojectivity allowed races (i.e. Aenar, Halanans) to manifest solid objects and even individuals (much like a hologram) into the real world. Mental psychoprojectivity, depending on training, allowed certain races (i.e. Botha, Reman) to create elaborate mental hallucinations within an individual’s mind.

Psychic Resistance

Some species (i.e. Ferengi, Breen, Câroon) naturally evolved to resist the many forms of psionic senses.

Psionic Rating

Telepaths can read thoughts, empaths can read emotions. The only exceptions are when reading the minds of species with four lobed brains, most notably, the Ferengi, or when a Câroon's energy body act as a kind of jamming field. The ability of a telepath or empath can be easily referenced using the following table:

Psionic Rating Range
0 No telepathic or empathic abilities N/A
0+ Extrasensory Perception (ESP) Short Range (Immediate Vicinity)
1 Same species, touch only Physical Touch
2 Same species, no contact required Short Range (Immediate Vicinity)
3 Any readable species, touch only Physical Touch
4 Any readable species, no contact required Short Range (Immediate Vicinity)
5 Any readable species, no contact required Medium Range (~100 m)
6 Any readable species, no contact required Long Range (~1000 m)
7 Any readable species, no contact required Short Subspace Range (~2500 km)
8 Any readable species, no contact required Medium Subspace Range (~25 000 km)
9 Any readable species, no contact required Long Subspace Range (Interstellar, Degrading w. Distance)
Readability
DM Disciplined Mind, specific training/rare brain, yields 50 % telepathic but 100 % emphatic readings. See also rules.
CWM Consciously Warded Mind, specific species and training, like Cardassian military officers. 0 % readings.
NR Non-readable entity; including Ferengi, Câroon, Soong A.I. (Thea) and sapient holograms (EMH and LMH).

List of Psionic Ratings for Psionic & Non-Readable Species

When writing the reference, include a T before the number for a Telepath (T3), an E for an Empath (E5) or P for Psionic, meaning both T and E (P4). Use DM, CWM and NR for readability rating. For instance, Ferengi would be listed as P0 NR because they possess no psionic abilities (P0) and are non-readable (NR) due to their four-lobed brains.

Species Ability Population % Rating Related Abilities
Betazoid Telepathy
Empathy
80 %
19,99 %
0,01 %
P4
T5 E6
T6 E9
Psychometry
Strong Psychic Link
Cardassian Military Training 5 % P0 CWM N/A
Câroon zi'naaq Energy Body All P0 NR N/A
Chameloid Morphogenic Matrix Brain All P0 DM N/A
Elsarian Touch Telepathy All T3 E0 Psychometry
Strong Psychic Link
Ferengi 4 Lobed Brain All P0 NR N/A
Gorn Reptile Brain All P0 DM N/A
Human Specific Training 2 % P0 DM N/A
Kzinti Empathy
Very Rare Telepathy
99 %
1 %
T0 E4
P4
Drug sthondat effect on the telepaths: T7 E4
Vulcan Touch Telepathy
Rare (Ranged) Telepathy
90 %
10 %
T3 E0
T4 E0
Psychometry
Strong Psychic Link

Psionic Ratings for Unique Characters

Using the same rating system as above, here are characters in Star Trek: Theurgy with unique ratings due to different reasons, making them stand out from the norm of their species. They could also be hybrids of different species, which might give them a unique psionic rating.

Character Ability Reason Rating Related Abilities
Drauc T'Laus Psionic "Sponge" Subject of Tal'Shiar Experiment P4 Unable to project thoughts
Deacon Empathy Kzinti/Human Hybrid E4 N/A
Samala Hybrid Telepath Romulan/Reman Hybrid T4 N/A

Disclaimer Notice

Some info, like the original layout of the rating system, is used with permission of USS Wolff CO - granted Nov 1, 2016
Rules inspired by The Basic Rules of Telepathy & Empathy by Fleet Captain Hollis and Fleet Admiral Wolf at Starbase 118