Feb 6, 2015

Psionic Combat Rules

From the psionics document I'm working on. A power pool is composed of dice of equal type and number to a creature's hit dice, and are expended to manifest powers, and dedicated (removed from the pool temporarily) to maintain powers. Powers can't be maintained when a creature rests.

Psionic Combat

Any psionically active creature may engage in psionic combat, even with creatures that are not themselves psionically active. Creatures must have minds, even if very rudimentary ones. Constructs, unintelligent undead, and most plants are immune to psionic combat.

To begin psionic combat, a psionically active creature must have line of sight, or must be able to perceive the creature through some other means (clairvoyance, seeing through dimensions, a psionic scan, etc.)

Creatures attacking in psionic combat are dazed during the round psionic combat occurs – they may not move or act, but are not helpless for the purposes of being easily coup-de-graced.

Psionic combat occurs in normal initiative order.


The psionic attacker chooses a target, and an attack mode. The defender chooses a defence mode, if they possess any. Only one attack or defense mode may be chosen by each side in a single exchange of psionic combat. If the defender is not aware of the attacker, is surprised, stunned, asleep, unconscious, etc., they may only defend themselves if they possess the Cognitive Labyrinth defense mode.

Spellcasters with memorised spells may choose to sacrifice memorised spells to add a bonus to their defense roll equal to the total level of memorised spells sacrificed.

Participating in psionic combat does not count as manifesting a power, and does not cause dice used in it to be expended.

Each side rolls their current power pool. They may choose to only roll a portion of their available power pool if they wish. Each roll is summed, with the higher total winning the combat.

If the attacker wins, the defender comes under their psionic control. If the attack mode causes any additional effects, they take place. The effects of attack modes that endure beyond the initial attack last so long as psionic control is maintained.

If the defender wins, the attacker loses a die from their power pool and is stunned for one round. Any psionic control the attacker is exerting over other creatures ceases immediately. The defender may move and act normally (including launching their own psionic counter-attack if they wish to and are capable.


Attacker chooses target and attack mode
Defender chooses defense mode
Spellcasters defending choose whether to sacrifice memorised spells
Each side rolls their current power pool and sums the rolled dice
The attacker either establishes psionic control or is rebuffed and loses a die from the current power pool

Attack Modes

Mental Stab: Mental stab is a blast of focused psionic energy lashing out at the conscious thoughts of the opponent. The die type used by the attacker is upgraded by two using the following scale. 1d4 – 1d6 – 1d8 – 1d10 – 1d12 – 1d20

Personality Invasion: The attacker attempts to replace the defender’s personality with their own by merging their minds. Upon a successful mental attack the target is mentally possessed by the attacker, who may operate their body as if it was their own. The puppet receives a saving throw if commanded to perform actions that endanger them.

Psionic Wave: The attacker radiates a wave of willpower affecting multiple opponents. The attacker may attack multiple opponents simultaneously. The defenders count as conducting a group psionic operation. Upon a successful attack, the attacker may use a single action to maintain psionic control of all of the defenders simultaneously. When relinquishing psionic control, all defenders must be released simultaneously.

Subconscious Subversion: The target’s basest impulses are turned against itself. Upon a successful attack, the attacker may choose to frighten the opponent, as per the Fear spell. This effect persists even after the attacker ceases psionic control.

Synaptic Overload: The target’s own psionic energy is redirected against itself by the force of the attacker’s will. Upon a successful attack, the defender takes damage equal to the sum of the dice it rolled to defend itself.

Defense Modes

Barrier Mantra: The defender fills their mind with repetitive images and phrases which provide a decoy for the attack. If the defender loses the psionic combat, they are stunned for one round instead of falling under the psionic control of the attacker.

Blank Mind: The defender empties their mind to make it harder for attackers to locate. The attacker must make a saving throw. If they fail the saving throw, the attack automatically fails, and they lose a die from their current power pool.

Cognitive Labyrinth: The defender’s mind is a warren of mental traps and illusions. The defender may defend even when unconscious, surprised, resting, asleep, dazed, etc. so long as they are not already under psionic control.

Imagination Swarm: The defender creates a swarm of imaginary thoughts that seek out nearby minds. The defender may choose draw allied non-psionic creatures into the psionic combat. The defenders count as conducting a group psionic operation. The allies are dazed for one round. If the attack is still successful, then the attack affects all equally. Psionically active creatures may also use this defence mode to participate in a psionic combat that is targeting an ally they can see.

Pinnacle of Will: The defender beats back the attack through willpower. The die type used by the defender is upgraded by one using the following scale: 1d4 – 1d6 – 1d8 – 1d10 – 1d12 – 1d20

and on psionic control:

Psionic Control

Psionic control is the state a creature is in when their mind has been successfully attacked through psionic combat.

Once established, psionic control over a creature may be maintained either by dedicating a die from the controller`s current power pool to it, or by the controller using an action each round. If the controller is dedicating an action to maintain the control, they must remain able to perceive the creature each round, but if a die is dedicated to it, the link will be maintained until the controller chooses to relinquish it.

A creature under psionic control has their current power pool reduced to 0, and they are helpless unless the controller permits them to act. The controller may not dictate the creature`s actions, they may merely declare whether they are allowed to act or not.

Any psionic powers the creature is maintaining cease when psionic control is established over it, and dice used to maintain them are expended.

Psionically attacking a creature under psionic control automatically attacks the controller, even if they cannot be seen or otherwise detected.