Not all characters endowed with psionic powers are emaciated mind batteries propped up with stilts attached to their oversized noggins. (Just the real powerful ones are.) Science Fiction has also provided us with an archetype of more active action and adventure-ready psychics. (Who are nowhere near as powerful as the heads propped up with stilts guys.) These action psychics fall into three broad categories: (1) People who are marginal as psychics or marginal on the extranormal scale—“gifted” stock market prognosticators and street corner fortune tellers; (2) Characters who are mostly martial artists or gunslingers—at some point both cowboy and kung fu expert dovetail into the mystic; and (3) Heroes/Bad Guys who have one fabulous psychic power and then trickle out a bunch of little seemingly extrapolated skills as the plot winds on. It is for the one stop shopping ease of these characters that we have conceived the MENTAL ADVANTAGE suite. (While we do not place any preconditions or restrictions as to what type of characters can allocate for this suite, that is the intention of the design.) This is what the truly minor mentalist has in his kitchen drawer.
Mechanics: This power cost 55 points plus SAVE. Unlike other suite type powers, any and all applications of the MENTAL ADVANTAGE may be used at any time or in conjunction with each other on any action. (See rules below.) Treat each individual aspect as a separate power. For an additional 25 points, the aspects can be linked to different BASESTATS. The functional aspects of this power are:
- Avoid /Block /Counter/Prevent: User literally draws fire. At the user’s option, he can draw any projected damage causing attack from its target and at himself. The user is endowed with a damage reduction barrier, a variable DEFL rating equal to the ACT in dice. The user may use the barrier to reduce the damage of an attack on him or drawn his way. The user may also use the Avoid ability to reduce damage from attacks on other people. The range of this ability is equal to the SAVE in meters from the user. When used to block attacks on the user or others, the power functions on any roll other than two 1s. On the roll of any other doubles, the damage inflicted is nullified entirely—otherwise the damage is simply reduced. This aspect may only be used on one attack per action. It may be deployed on the user’s initiative or after the user’s initiative.
- Amuse/Annoy/Bargain/Calm/Gossip/Instigate/Mislead/Panic/Horrify/ Startle/ Intimidate/Tame: Our user is a virtuoso BS artist, a Michelangelo of claptrap, a highly persuasive communicator. Or he seems to be. To people with IQs and WILL ratings of Below Average through Above Average, the user seems utterly sincere. People with Skilled level or above ratings in IQ or WILL are entitled to a stunt roll using either level as active level against MENTAL ADVANTAGE’s level. A successful roll will allow the target to examine our user’s statements critically and evaluate them on their own merits. Persons with a Mutant or better level in both IQ and WILL are immune to this aspect. Certain powers, such as LIE DETECT, may serve as a defense against this ability. Ability may only be used to produce one of the titled effects. Power works on all people the user intends to effect within the ACT in meters.
- Attract/Fetch: User is in possession of a weak tractor beam, a minor telekinetic force, which can be projected up to the SAVE in meters. It has a maximum lift of the ACT in pounds. This force may lift objects and move them at a rate of 1/10th the ACT per action. It may not operate held items nor attack with them.
- Audit/Map/Reveal/Frisk/Lick/Memorize/Recall/Record/Picture/Postulate. This is the power to perform a comprehensive sweep of a set area. It records the position of people and objects within the SAVE of the user. The three-dimensional image can then be recalled and displayed as an illusion at any later ime the user chooses. Power bestows a Conditional Advantage of ACT when attempting to detect hidden or concealed targets. (Including targets protected by CLOAK, DISPLACEMENT and any other concealing powers.) In passive mode, it counts as the user’s SUPER SENSE (or an additional SUPER SENSE) providing that the user has a PERC level of Mutant or better. The power may not describe everything about in detail in real time, but it does preserve a perfect record. At the user’s choice, he can hone the scan to Frisk or otherwise sense an individual target. This will yield a specific description of what the target is composed of or may be carrying. (It may not be able to describe the object’s function, but rather how it appears and what it is made of.) Honing in on a target prevents the user from deploying any other ability in the Mental Advantage Suite. Finally, the user may call on the power to determine the context of the events transpiring in the area or to predict what is about to happen next. Using the power in this mode prevents the user from using any other power, moving or attacking. Honing in or Postulating takes a full action.
- Awaken/Disbelieve. User is immune to ILLUSION and cannot be stunned (STUN=HTK). He has a defense equal to MENTAL ADVANTAGE’s level against all mental attacks. This entitles the user to a stunt roll for each action he is held under the sway of a mental ability. The user may also use his Awaken ability to help others. The user may cancel the stun of a person within the SAVE in meters from him. This function activates on a double ones roll. The user may also dispel illusions, using the power’s linked level as the active level against the level the illusion is created by.
- Indirect Conceal. The user is specifically good at evading detection by indirect means. When active, this power prevents the user from being picked up on cameras or sensed by electronic or mechanical means. The user cannot be detected by mental means, except as a result of a critical success roll by a person whose mental powers are at least on the same (BASTAT linked) level as his own. At the sacrifice of deploying the ability to protect himself, the user may project this defense on others within the SAVE in meters away. The power does nothing to conceal the character from being seen or sensed in person.
- Exploit. User has a knack for picking out a target’s weakness. If the target has some sort of secret weakness, such as taking damage from a type of element, an eversion to flame or not being able to defend himself from objects made out of yellow wood, our user has a chance to stumble on it. The user otherwise has a 1 in 6 chance per action to detect something of more actionable use. Player rolls two dice. On a roll of double 2,3,4,5, the user is granted 1 to 36 points which he may use as a Conditional Advantage in combat, a bonus to next action’s initiative or as bonus dice of damage to be used on an attack. On a roll of two 1s, the user also gains insight into the target’s secret weakness. On a roll of two 6s, the user also is awarded maximum damage to his next attack or a next attack which bypasses a target’s DEFL or other defense. As opposed to using this advantage himself, the user may gift it to another person within the SAVE of meters away.
- Gag/Muffle/Quiet/Sleep/Strangle. User can muffle sounds around him. He can quiet an area of SAVE in meters around him. As an attack, the user can stop a person from talking. This requires a standard combat roll and lasts one action. With a separate combat roll on the next action, the user can put the target to Sleep or start to Strangle the target. A target who is put to sleep will generally topple to the floor and then awaken as a result of the fall. A person who is put to sleep in an otherwise comfortable position will remain asleep for 1 to 6 minutes or until someone wakes them up. Strangle inflicts the ACT in dice of damage and usually bypasses DEFL. A target can break the hold of Strangle by stunning the user or moving out of the user’s range. Targets endowed with BODY CONTROL and CONTAINMENT (and perhaps a few other powers) are immune to Strangle.
- Hallucinate/Memory Manipulation. User is capable of causing a target to have a one image, short dream-like fabricated vision. Alternatively the power may be used to implant a false memory or remove the memory of one event from the target. Requires a standard combat roll (or a roll using the power’s level as the active level and the target’s WILL as the defending level.) In combat, this power inflicts a stun on the target. What happens after that is dependent on the target. Targets with certain mental defenses may be able to discount the effects of this power.
- Harmonize. At the expense of performing any other activity or using any other power, the user may coordinate the attacks of others. Requires a willingness on the part of each teammate. A Harmonized attack will go off on the user’s initiative. All damage successfully inflicted on the target by the Harmonized attack will count as one attack from one source for purposes of calculating DEFL and STUN and HTK loss on the target. Alternatively and without any condition, the user may choose to match the initiative order of any ally.
- Man/Operate/Pilot. At the expense of not using the Attract/Fetch function, user may remotely operate a piece of equipment, pilot a vehicle or man a weapon. The object being operated may not be further than the SAVE in meters from the user. User cannot operate a piece of equipment which is currently being used by another party. This power does not convey any skill, merely the remote capacity to sense at the object’s area and distend force to push buttons, move levers and turn wheels. If you can’t fly an airplane to begin with, you won’t be any better at flying it remotely.
- Tutor/Teach. The user is a natural, efficient conveyer of instruction and information. (Even if the player isn’t.)
- Trouble Shoot. User has a knack for determining why an object is not functioning. With focus, he can make quick repairs. Repair uses the power’s level as the active level and the level of complexity as the defending level, providing the user has the tools or parts that may be needed. Simply figuring out what is wrong is a double ones roll.