Thursday, May 21, 2020

Psi Battle

I drew this for Dyson Logos' Psi World zine Communiques From the Psi Underground. This came about because one day I happened upon some Psi World art and within a day or so I had purchased the PDFs and we were playing the game.

Here's the thing we've learned about this game. It doesn't want you to do psionics. I know this because if you create new characters by the book and you try to use your powers in the game you will very very quickly run out of juice. It feels like the starting Power Points are just too low for lots of psi action. Characters tend to have 20 or 30 PP, but even relatively minor powers often eat up 10-20 points per use. It feels like the equivalent of an old school D&D first level Magic-User... one zap and you need 8 hours sleep.

There are other weird things about the game. For example, the power called Detect Emotion costs 5 PP and lasts for a minute. Which sounds OK, except that you can't just detect emotions in general. You have to name an emotion and then detect it. So if you say "fear" and the GM decides the NPC is not afraid but is angry, you won't detect anything at all. Which, to me, seems to fly in the face of classic psychic characters. I want my PC to pick up on emotions in general. I want to scan a person and say "He's feeling scared, but more so... angry!". You can't do that with rules as written.

They do not want you to use psionics. They make the game very punishing to Psis.

Oh there are other oddities. The hit point calculation system is bonkers, for example. But overall it's a fine little game. It runs pretty smoothly. Just has some hiccups.

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