For players, this guide is to show you what to expect in the grading process of psion apps and psionic ability apps, and for you to be aware of what staff’s standard is when it comes to grading. For staff, this guide is meant to guide you through grading a psion app or an ability app. This guide also serves to provide insight on what goes on after the grading process, such as improvements to abilities, asking for additional common abilities, and an awakening psion’s awakening event.
Psionics is a privilege, not a right. When grading a psion app, your graders will greatly consider how skilled you are at roleplay and how involved you are in roleplay in the community. The standards of roleplay for a psion are considerably high, meaning any instances of subpar roleplay may be alone enough to fail your application. Particularly, graders ensure that you are able to properly fear RP, be fair in combat RP, and treat mystery and the unknown with awe, respect, and fear that we want psionics to be perceived as: an unknown, dangerous and mysterious force that has gripped your character.
If your psion app has been failed for being unable to adhere to the RP standard, please don’t take it personally; your graders have a duty to ensure that psionics is being used for high quality roleplay, as it has a vast potential to be abused. You may reapply your psion app at a later date if you feel you have made improvement.
A psion app or an ability app can have varying levels of scrutiny, which is a general basis on how deeply a grader should look into an app.
Awakening psions are provided the most leeway in grading, because their abilities start out fairly weak and are meant to flourish in response to character development (and sometimes cause character development). Typically, the only standard for the passage of an awakening psion is the player’s RP experience and reasonable common abilities.
Most awakening psions should only start with one common ability or a unique ability, since you can only awaken one ability in your awakening event (exceptions include very minor common abilities such as molecule detection or molecule creation.) Psions awakening in a more passive aptitude (ESP/clairsentience) and with more passive common abilities may be given slightly more leeway in regards to the RP standard.
Existing psions are psions that start with their abilities, not requiring an awakening events. Existing psions are graded under a great deal of scrutiny because of their existing abilities. When grading existing psions, focus on the backstory.
Existing psions cannot be played until their app is approved!
Event psions are psions that are permitted to be exceptionally powerful (in some cases, even godlike) for use in an event. This means they are not characters, but rather NPCs - they do not have consent, and should be used as storytelling tools. As an event NPC, they should only be used in events (or otherwise, with express consent of every party involved in the roleplay). Staff should not see your event psion walking into a bar and having a chat, they are not meant for common roleplay.
The RP standard for event psions is held to the highest standard possible, but since they are event only their common abilities and unique abilities can be graded fairly leniently.
A common ability is a psionic ability that doesn’t require a unique ability application. The list of common abilities can be found here. Typically, an awakening non-event psion will only start with a common ability or a unique ability, unless they also have a very minor common ability such as molecule detection.
When grading your application, your graders will set the specific limitations of each common ability you have, such as the mass that you can lift telekinetically, or what a perceptive hallucination might make you look like. You can discuss with your grader if you want something specific with a common ability, such as detecting a specific molecule you want with molecule detection. When deciding the constraints of a common ability, event status and your psion’s aptitude will play a part in helping the grader decide. For example, a manipulator will be able to lift a larger mass than an esper. The limits largely depend on your aptitude and the subject of the common ability, using the Subjects Diagram in the psionics lore as a guide; the efficiency a psion has in a subject drops by 30% for each step away from their aptitude an ability’s subject is. For example, a neuroinvader that somehow develops telekinesis would only be able to lift around half the weight a manipulator could.
Speak with your grader if you want your psion to develop more common abilities down the line. Some are easier to develop than others, and could even develop accidentally.
Feel free to work with your graders to create a unique application or dynamic between common abilities; for example, one of your common abilities could only trigger when your molecule detection is active.
An ability app is an application for a custom ability that isn’t already a common ability. Unique abilities like this can either be awakening abilities or abilities that are learned later, and can essentially be whatever your heart desires. Their power level should be similar to common abilities and tech apps, and they are graded similar to tech apps (with more scrutiny for balance reasons).
Ability apps should be apped before the psion begins to develop it.
Ability apps are able to be modified after they are apped. Communicate with your graders if you wish to modify an ability.
If an ability is meant to be used in combat, graders should work with the applicant to determine how much flux a usage of the ability would use. Flux usage for abilities is specified as a percentage of the psion’s maximum flux reserve; for example, a common usage of molecular disassembly might use 5% of a psion’s flux per turn. Flux usage should be specified as for a single usage, or for a turn for abilities that can be used continuously such as telekinesis.
Of course, after a psion awakens, then they are able to further hone their power and develop more abilities. Generally, non-event psions are unable to increase the strength of their abilities, they can only develop different and more varied abilities, increasing their skill and knowledge. For example, a psion with telekinesis won’t be able to train to lift more mass. There are exceptions in regards to common abilities: for example, psions can train to be able to metacreate more objects with Minor Creation, or they can learn to scan more properties of objects with Flux Scanning.
Awakening psions will be unaware of how to expel flow at first, and will only be able to inspire flux accidentally. With training, they may learn how to expel flow and deliberately inspire flux.
Developing abilities is based around the desire and will of the psion, in addition to training and practice and gradual development of the ability into a finished ability. There is no specific length of time it takes to train an ability, as they can vary wildly, so just be reasonable. Part of the development process should be done onscreen, and some parts of development may even need to be done with other people such as certain neuroinvasion abilities that affect others. What lengths will your character go to in order to develop their ability?
Certain things may make it easier to develop an ability, for example circumstances specified under the “species-specific psionics” section of the psionics codex. Your aptitude also determines how complex developed abilities can be.
"..if you believe something to be, in your mind, undeniably true, then it can change your perception of reality. As above, so below," she began, "Thoughtforms are like.. imaginary friends. You slowly develop them in your own mind and continually nurture them into an independent mind. When the mind is ready, you can use simple sabotage techniques to manipulate it; copy it, modify it... and place it into a ready form outside of your own body."
It can be very beneficial for a psion to train under the supervision of another psion that is more skilled than them, as they can give advice and aid that make it significantly easier to develop an ability. Teachers are most effective when training those developing the same abilities of subjects they’ve developed; neuroinvaders will have an easier time training neuroinvaders, for example. Teachers can also show newly awakened psions how to expel flow and deliberately inspire flux in order to control their dangerous and sometimes uncontrollable abilities.
An awakening event is a major event in a character’s story line, where they are subjected to certain stimuli in a dire situation that suddenly and drastically awakens dangerous abilities within them, opening their third eye to an entirely new world. Someone in response to incomprehensible emotional trauma might suddenly develop a neuroinvasive tulpa without realizing, or some that is about to receive a killing blow from someone suddenly finds that the bullet had stopped right at the tip of their skin in stasis.
During an awakening event, the psion will awaken with their awakening ability; either a common ability or a unique ability that has been apped, along with any secondary abilities that are able to be obtained alongside an awakening event such as molecule detection.
Awakening events can only happen once, so you should be careful about deciding when it happens, as they tend to be very dramatic moments in roleplay. Events tend to be the most common place to awaken in, and you should feel free to work with the GM of the event or your graders to create a memorable awakening event.
|Awakening Event Examples (these are only examples, do whatever)
|Psion has a seizure in which they foresee a dire event occur to their future selves, such as their death or death of a loved one.
|Psion accidentally creates a tulpa as a result of trauma; it could be a benevolent figure that helps guide them, or it could be a demon that torments them with terrible hallucinations, appearing in their dreams and whatnot. Tulpa could potentially use another ability. Sapient tulpas can develop instantly from an awakening event.
|Psion has an intense desire to talk to somebody, but cannot for some reason until they suddenly find the words they wanted to reach reached anyways.
|Psion undergoes a traumatic emotional event.
|Psion undergoes a traumatic emotional event.
|Mind Control (animal)
|Psion spends a great deal of time around a certain species of animal. Suddenly, they find themselves controlling one so it comes to the psion's aid.
|Psion undergoes trauma and suddenly spaces out or enters a comatose state, instead finding themselves in a dream world as a form of psychic escapism.
|Psion has a desire to be seen as something they're not.
|Psion is paranoid and has a very strong desire to know what might be around them, or they want to feel the warmth of nearby minds to stave of lonliness.
|Psion has a strong desire to know how a person truly feels, such as during a tense argument.
|Psion is anxiously speaking to a crowd at a very important event and can suddenly feel the crowd's mood. Oops!
|Psion goes blind such as via injury and suddenly finds themselves looking through the eyes of their ally or attacker.
|Psion is breaking down after a heated screaming match with someone they love, when suddenly they begin to feel and experience everything the other person is feeling.
|Psion needs to suddenly recall vital information in the moment or great harm will befall them. Suddenly, every detail of the topic comes to them with vivid clarity.
|Psion is suddenly aware they they have been poisoned or drugged by someone they trusted.
|Can develop alongside another ability; typically something important to the psion that they have a liking to, or that they are exposed to in some way.
|Psion suddenly sees somebody behind them about to kill them.
|Psion must hear something but they can't; that is, until they suddenly find them able to hear things they normally wouldn't.
|Psion must lift a heavy object in a dire situation, such as lifting debris off of someone or catching somebody that would fall to their doom.
|Psion must save themselves or someone else from burning to death, when suddenly they find that the surface of their skin had frozen, the fire suddenly gone.
|Psion must break apart their restraints in a dire situation, when suddenly the restraints crumble around their wrists.
|Forced Endocrinal Stimulation
|Psion is attacked, and suddenly their attackers begin to fatigue themselves from muscle weakness.
|Psion needs to suddenly stop a moving object from killing them or put someone's mortal wounds in stasis so they can be healed.
|One of the psion's loved ones suddenly dies in front of them, and as the psion is grieving with the person in their arms, they suddenly open their eyes.
|Psion is grievously injured, and their screams seem to suddenly boom impossibly loud, rupturing the eardrums of themselves and everybody within a 60 ft range.
|Cuil Walking (metamanipulative faux)
|Psion is about to succumb to cuil sickness, when suddenly they begin to feel better.
|Psion requires an object to save themselves from death, when suddenly they feel the object appear in their very hands.
|Psion is about to die from a powerful attack, when suddenly they find a hardlight shield appear over them.
|Psion is about to die from a powerful attack, when suddenly they find the attack do a lot less damage than it should've.
|Psion is in a dire situation and suddenly a blinding light appears that blinds those around them.