Psychics got you down?
Are you tired of your players walking all over you with what seems like munchikin psychic abilities? A G.M. with little experience or poor reading habits might find this a common feeling. In fact, some will go as far as to outlaw certain psionics from their game. I admit that at one time, I felt as you do. But fear not! I have come up with solutions to a G.M.'s most hated and a munchkins most loved psychic powers.
How To Get Around Psychic Powers
Hydrokinesis: Sense Water: This is a particularly nasty way for a G.M. to pave over a character who loves the automatic ability. Water elementals are a lot of fun to fight. Next time the character is using the ability, lead it to a water elemental. While that part is not particularly appealing, there are some more interesting variations that I have come up with. While tracking a mutant with Alter Physical Structure: Liquid, my hydrokinetic friend was tracking him with said power. He traced the mutant to somewhere in a small, dark room. There was a large puddle on the floor. My said hydrokinetic player decided that his tazer would do the trick and proceeded to electricute the puddle. Unfortunately for the brilliant player, the room had an ordinary sewage leak and did not see the man standing in the closet armed with a Naruni Plasma Cartridge Pistol trained on his back. You can see tons of variations on this, I'm sure, so lets move onto the next one.
Sense Evil: Lets face it, who wouldn't want this psionic ability? It will help locate all the supernatural menaces before they can locate you. Furthermore, it's I.S.P. free for the basic detection of the supernatural evil. When they feel ready to kill it, they can just activate the power and track it down. Too bad many gung-ho characters don't realize is that just because a creature is supernatural and evil, it does not mean that they are out to get the character or anybody else. I kept plaguing a character once with a diabolic Syphon entity who was inhabiting a rock nearby the player's campsite. He went nuts, shooting everything around him, until, quite by accident, a giant redwood was eaten away by his bullets and lasers, crushing the rock and freeing the Syphon entity to inhabit his survival knife in his boot leg. Not only that, but that same redwood came crashing down not just on the rock, but on his only mode of transit, the Big Boss A.T.V. Not only that, but the sound alerted a sleeping hatchling dragon who was sleeping a mile away. The character would have been left undisturbed, as the hatchling was in a period of hibernation. Now, the character had no way to get away, minimal ammmunition, and a very angry dragon on his hands. Always check your targets, I suppose. Again, there are tons variants you can play on this. Like having the supernatural evil approach so the character uses the power, and keep using the power to keep track of the evil. With all this usage without rest, the character's I.S.P. reserves will be eaten up in no time. This power has a particularly sadistic twist if the character is in a group of psychotic munchkins. I would assume one or more would have something granting supernatural strength. Furthermore, if they are evil, then the character will always be getting alerted by Sense Evil power. While that might not sound that big of a deal, it is. Just think "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." Soon the character won't notice the supernatural evil surrounding him, and also won't notice the monster coming to get the party. A case of a power that is too good.
Sixth Sense: Probably the biggest munchkin power of them all. This is also one of the easiest for the G.M. to get around. First of all take a look at the text. Whats it say it is set off by? Thats right, any "unexpected, life-threatening event." Thats 3 rather difficult criteria for a good G.M. to meet. First of all, unexpected is a very specific term. That means that when they know of the sniper, the mad bomber, or the psycho on their heels, the power will not kick in. Second, and my personal favorite is life-threatening. A good G.M. will not put the players into a life-threatening event that the players cannot get out of. So sure, they might be a little better prepared for that sniper on the rooftop across town, but what about that Splugorth Slaver? The slaver isn't looking to kill the player, only capture him or her. Not exactly life-threatening unless the character puts him or herself into the position that it is life-threatening. And by the time that happens, its no longer unexpected. Aint I a stinker. Third, and the most difficult to understand is it must be an event. That is to say that it must take up both time and space. Whereas I have not yet found something dangerous to characters that did not take up time and space, that does not mean a more competent and imaginative G.M. couldn't. Energy beings and temporal magic both take up time and space, so thats right out, but in any case, there is probably something out there, that someone will think of that does not. I pity those who have that person as a G.M.
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