Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Psions and Psionics

Cover of Mongoose Traveller Book 4: Psion - image lifted from Mongoose's website
Mongoose Traveller Book 4: Psion
By Lawrence Whitaker

I never used to be completely comfortable with the idea of Psionic abilities in Traveller. Consequently I never allowed them in my games. This is probably due to two reasons; firstly, while I like the concept of teleportation, psionic healing, telekinesis, etc, I don’t tend to think about psionic abilities naturally and so the sudden advent of a Psion is likely to grossly unbalance my game; and secondly, the Psionic rules in Classic Traveller’s Book 3: Worlds and Adventure and Mongoose Traveller’s Core Rule Book are very basic and, to me, rather uninspiring. Even the addition of a Psion Character career in Mongoose Traveller added little to what had been already written in both sets of rules, though it now becomes possible to sketch out Zhodani characters or NPCs.

With Mongoose Traveller’s Book 4: Psion, all my preconceptions have been turned on their heads, and I now want to actively encourage Psionic Characters in my RimWorlds campaign. Psion is pitched to a wider audience than that of the straight Traveller player, and draws inspiration from Science Fiction, Science Fantasy and Space Opera. This leads to an influx of fresh ideas and a general new look at Psions and Psionics, how they work and what they do, that hasn’t really happened with Traveller’s Psionics since the days of the Little Black Books.

While some of the concepts may fall far outside the traditional style of Traveller game, it is possible to draw inspiration from them and I can easily see myself running a very ‘X-Files-like’ game where Psionic characters know or learn things about the universe that conventional characters will never know.

This is a Mongoose Traveller supplement that I will have to get an actual copy of, rather than relying on a pdf.