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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Palladium Game System: How I Would Redo it! Part 6: Psionics

Now for the final part of the actual rules! (Everything else is the laundry list of skills, talents, powers, and a few things I forgot like blast weapons and indirect fire weapons.)

Psionics: Regardless of if you are a magician, a mutant who neems people with your brain, or some kind of reality warping monstrosity, Psionics is what we call what you do.

To cast a Psionic power, you make an attribute check using your Ki stat plus the appropriate skill. Depending on the power level of the spell no matter if you made or failed the check you roll that power level in Psionic Points spent, with any extra points being taken from your Damage attribute. If your target has a Ki stat, they may negate your attack or effect by rolling the same die as your power level was and subtracting as many Psionic Points as they rolled, with extra being taken from their Damage. Otherwise the effect goes off as described.

Psionic Power Level: Spells (which if not already mentioned are skills and are otherwise treated as such for purposes of total known and improvement) all have a power level based on a die. From D2 to D20+. Lower end spells can be boosted by 50% (rounded down) in range, effect, and duration by increasing the power level. For every 2 power levels increased, it requires one extra combat action to cast (Normally a psychic attack costs 2 combat actions.) rounded down and it can take multiple combat rounds to cast if the power level is high enough. Also you can boost a spell 2 die codes and cast it as 2 simultaneous spells of the normal level at the same or multiple targets.

Rough explanations of what each power level is like. Note that the actual spells may be slightly different in their range, duration, and effect. These are guidelines for the actual spells when I get to writing them. (Estimate that like skills, talents, and powers there will be roughly 20-30 of them in total.) Also note that in some cases higher power level spells are in fact better than lower ones boosted to the same power level.

D2: Range 2 meters. Duration 5 seconds. Effect: Akin to a light breeze, moving a metal fork.
D3: Range 4 meters. Duration 10 seconds. Effect: Mild breeze, moving a large plate.
D4: Range 10 meters. Duration 25 seconds. Effect: Strong wind, moving a 20 pound object.
D6: Range 20 meters. Duration 1 minute. Effect: Tropical force winds, moving a 50 pound object.
D8: Range 50 meters. Duration 2 minutes. Effect: Hurricane force winds, moving a 100 pound object.
D10: Range 100 meters. Duration 5 minutes. Effect: Sound barrier breaking winds, moving a 250 pound object.
D12: Range 1 kilometer. Duration 10 minutes. Effect: 5 times speed of sound breaking winds, moving a 500 pound object.
D20: Range Earth Sized Planet. Duration: 1 hour. Effect: 1/10th speed of light breaking winds, moving a 1 ton object.
D20+: Range: A Solar System. Duration: 1 24 hour Earth Standard Day. Effect: Breaking the bounds of reality.

A Note on D20+ spells and boosting. For D20+ you roll a second D20 for number of points spent, though these are taken from your Damage attribute and not your Psionic Points. If you fail at making your Ki check when casting one of these spells both die rolls are considered to be a 20, and you PERMANENTLY lose 1d4 Damage and Psionic Points. This damage is counted as part of the 20 you lose for failing the check. Defending against D20+ spells works the same way. But better to take 1d20 damage than whatever the insane amount of damage you would take from the spell, right?

What happens if you go to zero or negative in damage when casting or defending against a spell? Well, in casting the spell's case you fail to cast the spell and are now probably dying as a result. In defending if you go to zero damage or below you not only fail to stop whatever spell is being cast, but you will probably be killed by the spell's effects if it is a damage type spell!

Regaining Damage and Psi Points: Damage is regained at 1 point per hour of uninterrupted light activity, or 2 points an hour while resting provided you are at 0 damage or higher. Negative damage requires medical care. Psi points regenerate at 1 point every 30 minutes of uninterrupted light activity, or 3 points every 30 minutes of resting.

Well, that's the game system. Now the long arduous task of writing well balanced and interesting skills, powers, talents, and psionic spells...

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