Technopsi Powers

Technopsi powers are those which let their user work with technology to some extent - without all of the effort that is normally involved with such activity. They excel in the perception, manipulation, and alteration of artificial objects in the environment, those produced by sentient beings wielding their collective knowledge to date - in addition to some items that don't actually exist yet.

Arts of the technopsi persuasion primarily involve the creation of technological items - often from nothing. Whether one is manifesting a conventional item from the blueprints memorized in their head, or much smaller nanotechnology or even organic circuitry, these powers allow one to make almost anything they can imagine. And what they can't help a body build, technopsi arts can at least let them understand.

Technopsionic talents are geared more towards the modification of extant devices, instead of building them from scratch (or from nothingness, as the case may be). They excel in the repair of broken devices, the improvement of an ordinary device with the addition of psionic power, or even the destruction of an item by driving it so hard that it cannot help but burn itself out!

Skills in the technopsi discipline of power are, like most skills throughout the Manual of the Psi, rather utilitarian in nature. They can be used to learn a large amount of information about a device, such as how it works and whether or not it is functioning properly. They can also be used to disrupt the proper operation of electronic or mechanical items, or perhaps to simply render oneself invisible to such.

The following is a summary of all thirty-three known technopsi powers, collected into one place for convenience - without the abilities from the other eight disciplines interrupting their flow. This serves as a great tool for traditional psis focusing on the technopsi discipline, or maybe someone attempting to build a believer or natural psi whose abilities are centered on this type of power.

A C D E F I J K M N O P R S T U V

A

Artificial Power Source
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

One of the major weaknesses of advanced technology is the incredible power requirements involved. Whether you're talking about the immense energy necessary to fire a practical laser weapon or to propel a vehicle through the inky depths of space, high tech toys need a lot of juice to function properly. And on occasion, when one runs out of said juice, it's not all that easy to go and pick up more.

Enter the artificial power source ability.

Using this ability, a character can provide the energy a device requires to function. It can fuel technological effects that are less than or equal to its power rank, in addition to the normal amount of power drawn when the device is operational. An Incredible (40) ranked power, for instance, could provide for up to similarly ranked ground speed in a car, or like Armor Piercing Energy damage from a laser cannon.

The ability can be used to power a device that possesses a higher functional intensity, but it cannot fuel the item to its full potential. That Incredible (40) ranked artificial power source ability, indicated above, could move a car at up to its rank in ground speed (105 MPH), but if the car were capable of even greater speeds (any number of race cars fall into this category), artificial power source could not push it any faster.

Assimilation
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of assimilation allows its possessor to physically absorb a device into themselves. When absorbing items, an assimilator can take an amount of techno matter into his or her body that is equal to their own weight, storing the material in the spaces between their own atoms. If one attempts to absorb more devices (whether by a little or a lot), the excess mass will protrude from their body in an obvious fashion.

In addition to serving as a great way to stow items when not in use, assimilation allows its wielder to use any absorbed item as if it was an extension of their own body. This works whether a device is digital in nature (like a smartphone) or mechanically triggered (like a Zippo ™ lighter). All one needs to do to wield assimilated devices thus is to extrude them from their body - while retaining physical contact.

If an opponent attempts to forcefully remove an assimilated item while it is in an extruded state, he, she, or it must pass a FEAT roll, with whatever ability or power they are using against the assimilator, opposed by this power's rank first. Once an assimilated device is no longer in contact with its assimilator, it is no longer considered to be assimilated, and will behave normally.

A sentient device may be assimilated by this power, but it is allowed an Endurance (res) or Psyche (will) FEAT to resist such an affront. It is allowed another such resistance FEAT roll each time it is extruded for use by the assimilator, though it is by no means inert in the interim; assimilated sentient objects are fully aware of their predicament while being 'stowed away' inside someone, and can plan accordingly.

As an example of this power in action, let us look at the Swiss Army Arsenal, a technopsi who weighs in at 165 pounds. For convenience, he stores all manner of tools, weapons, and other miscellaneous devices (like his 3DS ™) in his body, which is handy for preventing theft. He carries about ninety pounds of stuff within him, and may thus add seventy-five pounds more before the excess begins to 'stick out'.

While adventuring, the Swiss Army Arsenal happens upon a more powerful beam weapon than one he absconded with last month; ejecting the older, weaker model, the Swiss Army Arsenal simply assimilates the new one and calls it a day. He could've kept both objects, of course, but he likes to retain a versatile roster of equipment on (or rather, in) his person at all times, to live up to his assumed name.

Later on in his adventuring career, the Arsenal finds himself on an alien craft, his only means of escape being to take it over. Not trusting the shifty aliens to take him home after defeating them, and lacking the ability to control technology from a distance, he decides to assimilate it. As it weighs several hundred tons more than he, he cannot absorb the ship, so his body merges with the ship's frame only to his ankles.

Even though he sticks out of it like a sore thumb and lacks mobility, he can control the craft as if it were a natural part of his body, using it to fly himself home. Were the craft intelligent, it could attempt to resist the Swiss Army Arsenal's assimilation of it with a Psyche FEAT (since ships usually lack an Endurance score), but if this FEAT failed, it would have to do his bidding until he released it from his grasp.

C

Computer Link
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

A computer link is a mental interface with a digital system. This may be granted by either a physical connection to one's body (like a data jack), or perhaps a remote networking with the computer in question (either with conventional wireless technology, or perhaps psychic prowess). While connected with a computer via this link, a character may communicate with it directly, using digital code.

This makes a computer link the opposite of device sympathy after a fashion, as the latter ability is almost empathic in nature, while this one is grounded in just what the computer can do (and whatever information it houses within). While this power is active, the linked character can understand the digital impulses the computer they're linked to makes - as if it were talking to them in their native tongue!

How well one can make this link work depends on the FEAT rolled when the link is initiated. A green FEAT lets one understand the active programs a computer is running, as well as what it is currently doing. A yellow FEAT lets one monitor and make transmissions with the computer and anything it is, in turn, networked to. Red FEATs are only required if the computer so linked is beyond the character's understanding.

If the information a linked character attempts to interact with is encrypted, he or she must pass the above FEAT roll at a negative column shift, ranging from -1 CS to -4 CS depending on its complexity, as the time spent decrypting the information makes it much harder to interact with data in real-time. This penalty can be reduced, if not transformed into a bonus, if the character also possesses the linguistics ability.

Computer link works within Very Near distance of the computer in question, though if delivered by a physical connection, contact is required (counting as a weak limitation).

Cyberspatial Projection
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Cyberspatial projection allows one to insert their mind into a digital stream of data, and interact with it environmentally. Functioning on equipment within Middle distance of its possessor, cyberspatial projection will extend the consciousness of its wielder into any computer or computer network within range - whether or not it is equipped to receive external communications.

Once they're in, the cyberspatial projector can then interact with whatever data is present in the accessed computer - whether it is resident or just passing through. This interaction is possible thanks to an environmental overlay the cyberspatial projector creates upon entering a computer system. This environment is a mentally created construct, and will generally behave consistently from one use of the power to another.

However, both the environment itself and the avatar the cyberspatial projector has assumed might change based on the nature of the infiltrated computer system - particularly if one interacts with a program especially suited to this ability. For instance, inserting oneself into an MMO game might cause a cyberspatial projector to assume the appearance of a standard character within that simulation.

While immersed within a digital environ, the cyberspatial projector can act normally, though the lack of a physical body means that one must resolve Agility FEATs with their Intuition score, Strength FEATs with their Reason score, and Endurance FEATs with their Psyche score. Such FEATs usually come into play when combat is initiated in cyberspace, most often as security programs try to eliminate the cyberspatial projector.

Or when dealing with the avatars of other cyberspatial projectors while in the 'net.

To better protect oneself while projecting into a cyberspace, one can develop the use of their other powers while their mind is in the digital realm. Each power so modified counts as a power stunt of this ability - and functions at the cyberspatial projection power's rank - not their own. Furthermore, if the character has cybernetic enhancements, they can make use of specialized programs while projecting, too.

A cyberspatial projector can generally maintain a number of such abilities, keeping an amount of such translated powers or c-space programs active equal to the normal amount of tasks they can manage thanks to their Reason (mem) score - minus one (for the cyberspatial projection itself). If one is maintaining other abilities in their 'real' body while projecting, this number is reduced accordingly.

D

Device Generation
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

A specialized form of matter generation, device generation gives its wielder the ability to spontaneously create, from seeming nothingness, a vast array of electronic and/or mechanical implements. Said implements are built using ambient subatomic particles, which permeate the environment around oneself in limitless numbers. The trick is that one can only generate so much material with each use of this incredible ability.

Device generation can create mass equal to its power rank, in pounds, each turn. Building something larger requires that one spend more than a single turn generating the desired object. For example, Incredible (40) ranked device generation can produce forty pounds of gear per turn. To make something that weighs two hundred pounds, that Incredible device generation would have to spend five full turns creating it.

Spontaneously generating devices is extremely stressful on the body. Wielding this power costs its possessor one Health point each turn it is used, Health that must then be recovered normally. This strain can be alleviated entirely with the use of the disintegration power, using it to transform external matter into fuel for device generation to bypass the staggering physical costs involved.

This power differs from standard matter generation in that it cannot produce matter willy-nilly; anything it creates has to come in the form of memorized patterns, technological matter that can be used in some fashion. In other words, the possessor of device generation can create a pair of handcuffs or a laser blaster with it, but they must commit designs for the components involved to memory first.

One can recall a number of distinct designs that is equal to their Reason (mem) score. Furthermore, the components of a sufficiently complicated device may actually require the memorization of multiple designs; a robot's 'brain' may necessitate one design, while its frame and moving parts require another, each kind of sensor consumes yet another, and any weapons involved might take even more.

One strategy to work within this system may involve developing common parts for the power to make use of, saving design 'space'.

Once a character has memorized his or her maximum amount of design patterns, they must either raise their Reason (mem) score or forget older designs to acquire more. The latter option is often the easiest, as not everyone can get smarter on demand. Of course, if one acquires the eidetic memory power during character generation (or at a later point), they can bypass this restriction on design memorization entirely.

When creating a device, the wielder of this power must first pass a FEAT roll of a difficulty determined by the form of materials they are generating. Devices made from a simple elemental material or alloy (such as chrome or bronze) require a green FEAT roll, while yellow FEATs are necessary when producing complex chemical compounds or artificial elemental material (such as semiconductors or bohrium).

A red power FEAT is only required when attempting to generate items out of fictional elements or compounds - these are most often materials that are campaign specific, or exist only within one's preferred fictional setting (things like Promethium, which is also a real element, but has fantastic fictional variants). Generating items out of such substances is incredibly hard, but not entirely impossible.

The amount of time such spontaneously generated devices persist is determined by a second FEAT roll, made after an initial success. A white FEAT makes it last for a number of turns equal to this power rank number, a green FEAT lets a device exist for a number of minutes equal to this power rank number, and a yellow FEAT allows an item to persist for a number of hours equal to this power's rank number.

Finally, a red power FEAT creates devices from nowhere that last indefinitely.

Device generation functions within Very Near distance of its wielder, and then only within one's direct line of sight. Wielding this power at Unearthly (100) ability, for example, would allow its possessor to generate matter anywhere within 100 yards of their person - assuming nothing lies between them and where they would like to create it. Created items have no inherent velocity, but gravity definitely affects them immediately.

Typically, a 'to hit' roll is not necessary when wielding this ability - it just makes something, approximately where one would like it to manifest. However, if one is attempting to create matter in a fashion that is opposed somehow, such as generating an armed stun grenade over someone's head, an Agility roll is required. Targets who are aware of such attempts may do everything in their power to avoid them.

Device generation is a bit expensive, but may be taken with a variety of limitations to reduce its cost somewhat - on top of those that are already indicated above, that is. One can easily limit it by reducing the kinds of materials it can generate; curtailing device generation to one kind of material (wood, plastic) is a weak limitation, while reducing it to a specific substance (ice, ytterbium) is a strong limitation.

Similarly, allowing a body to only build one item with this power - perhaps a trusty accessory - counts as a very strong limitation, extreme if it can only be made out of one substance, as well. Finally, removing permanence from the power also counts as a weak limitation; this reduces a red FEAT roll to a duration equal to the power rank number in days. This is still quite a while, but can be inconvenient nonetheless.

Device Sympathy
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Device sympathy is the ability to mentally communicate with non-sentient artificial devices. One can usually tell whether or not this power will work on a given item by the presence or absence of a Karma score - Karma denotes free will, the presence of a soul, and all that business. The target of this power, then, can include anything from a wristwatch to a smartphone, though the more complex it is, the better.

Mentally communicating with items driven by complex electronics (personal computer, industrial robot) requires a green power FEAT, devices controlled by simpler electronics need a yellow FEAT roll (digital alarm clock, stun gun), and machines that are mechanically programmed but lack electronics (player piano, music box) can be spoken with on a red device sympathy FEAT.

In many ways, this power is similar to object sympathy. Both interact with non-living objects and materials, after all, which means one must work with the personality (such as it is) of an item to squeeze any information out of it. On the plus side, the items this power can speak to generally enjoy being used - function follows form, after all!

Thus, it's usually not all that hard to redirect a conversation with a wristwatch from telling the time to, say, describing unique details about its surroundings a few hours ago. This still requires at least a little bit of clever role play, however, lest one wind up with a chatty wristwatch going on and on about how it kept its owner on schedule for years!

Generally, one must be within Near range of a device to communicate with it in this fashion, though handling a device, or even wielding it, may offer the best results.

Diagnosis
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Diagnosis is the ability to extend one's awareness into the workings of any device, whether mechanical, electronic, or both, to get a feel for how it functions. While standard visual cues might tell a body what is wrong, whether due to obvious physical damage or perhaps the readings an oscilloscope provides, diagnosis cuts out the 'middle man' and saves a body from hauling heavy test equipment around.

Usually, a green power FEAT roll is all one requires to determine whether or not a device is functioning properly - and if it isn't, what's gone wrong. A more difficult FEAT may be called upon when attempting to diagnose a highly intermittent problem, or perhaps when attempting to determine how to optimize or even overclock a system beyond what its design specifications would normally (and safely) allow for.

E

Electronics Disruption
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Wielding this ability, a character can induce failure in any one electronic device in his or her vicinity (as defined by Near range). This failure can take any number of forms, though most often it isn't permanent in nature; the effects of electronics disruption usually only lasts for 1d10 turns. Generally, it is induced by overwhelming electromagnetic interference - not a pulse, so much as enough RFI to cause malfunction.

An item subject to electronics disruption is allowed an operations check to resist its effects if non-sentient (such as a laptop computer), or an Endurance FEAT roll to resist its effects if sentient (such as a cyborg soldier). Generally, items so disrupted will resume normal operations once the duration of the disruption has expired, though they may require lengthy reboot sequences, depending on their nature.

Such restart processes often make this ability doubly effective!

Electronics Invisibility
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

Electronics invisibility is the ability to render oneself undetectable by sensors of various stripes. While this power is active, its wielder may stand in front of a video camera without being seen, can scream into a microphone without being heard, and can even avoid the awareness of seemingly foolproof devices such as a pressure sensor. To these digital senses, the character is simply not there.

Without additional forms of stealth, this ability may be revealed if 'boots on the ground' spot the electronically invisible individual when their equipment does not. Similarly, the power does not mask things once they leave a character's body (like the steamy breath one exhales on a particularly cold morning), or the effects they leave on the environment (such as a trail of footprints).

Finally, electronics invisibility only functions within Near range of its possessor. Thus, a satellite in orbit might still spot the electronically invisible character from on high, even if much closer opponents can't get a bead on him or her with their equipment.

However, even by itself, electronics invisibility is a great infiltration tool.

Empowerment
Type: Superpsi Art, Technopsi Art
Duration: permanent
Cost: 2 points per rank

The process of empowerment is similar to that of investment, for it involves installing super-human abilities within something besides its wielder. It differs, however, in that empowerment does not work on living beings - in fact, it only works on inanimate objects. As long as it is not currently considered alive under any normal definition of the term, empowerment can give an object access to super powers!

One can begin the task of empowering an object by deciding which object is to receive powers in the first place. It is generally a good idea to go with something that is of high quality workmanship, so that it does not easily break or malfunction. While the powered portion of it may retain usefulness, the mundane portion being non-functional reduces its overall effectiveness. And just looks silly.

Secondly, the bearer of this power must decide which super-human abilities he or she wishes to impart onto the device. In the same vein, they must determine whether the abilities instilled within an item apply to the item or its wielder. As an example, an invulnerability the item possesses might make it immune to being broken by Blunt Attack damage - but if applied to its wielder, would instead make them very hard to defeat.

Powers to be embedded into an item will function at a rank that is equal to that of empowerment itself - or less, if desired.

Third, there is the matter of special requirements. Permanent powered objects require a special requirement for each ability it will be empowered with. An empowerer may embed an entire super arsenal into an object, but this might require months of preparation. Each requirement will be related to the nature of the power to be added somehow, and one should work with their Judge to determine the nature of such.

Finally, there's the matter of actually empowering the device. This begins when the character with empowerment uses it on the item, which prepares it for the process of acquiring power. This often involves a period of special treatment both before and after, to attune the item to the power(s) to be installed within. Then, the power to be imparted within the item must be used upon it.

In the case of passive powers that cannot target others, such as regeneration, they must simply be in use while touching the soon-to-be empowered object.

If the empowerer lacks access to an ability he or she wishes to install within an item, they can usually acquire it temporarily through the use of the link ability, or can have someone else use the desired power on the item to be empowered instead. Once this is done, the new powers of the item must be sealed within with a red empowerment power FEAT.

Sealing super powers into an item will consume the special requirements (if applicable), and catalyze the creation of the ascendant object from the formerly mundane materials involved. This act also requires 500 Karma points from the empowerer. Additionally, if an item is graced with super powers that the empowerer cannot access themselves, they must pay the Karma cost for each one.

This cost is the equivalent to purchasing the power at the rank the item possesses it, -2 CS. This represents the empowerer gaining the super power with a potent limitation (that it's embedded within an item, with all the advantages and disadvantages this entails). This, of course, assumes the creator of a super powered item is not simply giving it to someone else; if this is the case, the Karma cost is then their concern.

If neither is done, the item is subject to the vagaries of Plot, as is normal.

In addition to super-human abilities, an empowerer may install the following special item powers into any object they empower:

* Enhanced Material Strength: an empowerer can infuse an item with an enhanced m.s.; after all, a glass sword with seven powers is neat, but is still only a Feeble m.s. item. An empowerer can increase the m.s. of their new item by acquiring a special requirement of the desired m.s. While this requirement is consumed upon the item's creation, it imparts its m.s. into the newly created ascendant item.

* Psychic Bond: an empowerer can install this power within the new super-powered item, which allows the device (sentient or not) to psychically link to its owner. This link allows the owner to sense whenever the item is being used, and to know the approximate direction the item lies in relation to themselves (if they are not currently wielding it). Doing this requires something enjoyed by the empowerer as a special requirement.

* Sentience: an empowerer can install a true sentience in the ascendant item they are creating. The item's Reason, Intuition, and Psyche ranks are rolled up randomly on table D. The personality of an item will generally reflect that of its creator, although this is not always the case (particularly if a link was involved in its creation). Anything representing intelligence can serve as a special requirement for this item power.

F

Fuel
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

A highly specialized form of matter generation, the fuel power allows its wielder to supply an item all the consumable materials it needs to function. When activated, fuel will attune the mind of its possessor to the item in question, allowing him or her to determine what expendable material it requires to work as designed. Then, the power will fabricate it on the spot - loaded in the device and ready to go!

Fuel can generate any kind of expendable material for an item, whether one needs paper for a printer, gasoline for an airplane, or even bullets for a firearm. Thus, one can really drive forever on a single tank of gas, or can endlessly fire a revolver like a Hollywood action star! To do this, however, one must be in physical contact with the item to be reloaded with whatever supplies it needs.

Like other matter generation powers, fuel costs its wielder one Health point per turn of use. Similarly, it can only generate so much consumable material on a given turn - an amount, in pounds, equal to its power rank number. If one needs to generate more matter at once than they can in a single turn, they simply need to use fuel for multiple turns - whether making many discrete items or a large, singular mass.

The amount of time spontaneously generated supplies persist depends on variables present when the power is used. A white FEAT makes them last for a number of turns equal to this power rank number, a green FEAT lets fuel exist for a number of minutes equal to this power rank number, and a yellow FEAT allows consumables to persist for a number of hours equal to this power's rank number.

Finally, a red power FEAT creates supplies from nowhere that last indefinitely.

Fuel of a transient nature may or may not be beneficial to the wielder of this power. Bullets that fade quickly would be very hard to trace by a crime lab, while temporary paper would make it difficult to keep records. At the same time, jet fuel (or whatever) that has been burned for energy will simply see its remnants return to their original state of nonexistence - making for a truly 'low emission' engine!

I

Interfacing
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of interfacing is one which allows its possessor to, well, interface technology with non-technological things. The process of interfacing can seamlessly integrate technology into a person, place, or thing without the need for serious construction work, surgery, or other applicable modifications. To interface technology with something, one need only pass a single FEAT roll to make the resultant combination function.

If this is a living being, the interfacer must pass a power FEAT roll against the Endurance (res) rank of the target - even if they are willing. If the subject of the power isn't alive or lacks an Endurance rank (often the case when wiring up an area), an interfacer must merely pass a power FEAT against the subject's material strength. If this FEAT is successful, the technology is successfully interfaced with the subject.

On the other hand, interfacing may be used in reverse, decoupling technology from a person, place, or thing. This requires a similar FEAT roll, and is generally a much more hostile action, as it involves undoing a considerable amount of work that others have undertaken. Of course, one can use interfacing in this fashion to repair the damage caused by others using the same ability.

It lends itself to 'mad scientist' work, after all!

J

Jury Rigging
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Jury rigging is the practice of making impromptu repairs to something on the fly - most often wielding whatever tools or supplies one has on hand. This ability assists in the process, giving its wielder an intuitive grasp of what is required to make a broken item functional again, thus giving the attempted fix a much better chance of working - even when conducted with seemingly improbable materials.

The difficulty of an improvised fix depends on how seriously damaged a device is, and what one attempts a repair with. A green FEAT is necessary when applicable parts and tools are on hand, even if not specifically designed for the task in question. A yellow FEAT is required when one lacks the proper tools but improvises with related parts, or lacks the parts but can pound something into place with the right tools.

A red jury rigging power FEAT is called for when one lacks both the parts and the tools necessary to make the repair under optimum conditions. Fixes such as these have been made famous by a legendary, mulleted television action hero, and often involve duct tape and/or wads of chewing gum.

The length of time these power-enhanced repairs last depends on a second power FEAT, made after the repair attempt succeeds. A white FEAT allows a repair to last for only 1d10 turns, while a green result extends this time to a number of turns equal to the jury rigging power rank number. Yellow FEATs allow a fix to last for a number of minutes equal to this power rank number, while red FEATs extend this to a like number of hours.

Which might be just long enough for someone to get the jury rigged device to a proper repair bay. Maybe.

K

Kit-bashing
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The process of kit-bashing is a tried and true 'emergency' tactic that inventors make use of when time is suddenly a critical factor. The idea is that, when one has the parts and know-how available, and a sudden need for a device-in-progress appears, they can 'kit-bash' the item involved to make it work - paring each day of development time remaining down to but a turn to produce a temporarily working prototype.

When an item is kit-bashed, it will generally only function for 1d10 turns before becoming inoperable - possibly spectacularly.

Wielding the kit-bashing power, a character can reproduce the effects of kit-bashing, making the required invention FEAT roll with either this power rank or their Reason (log) rank +1 CS, whichever of the two is higher. Furthermore, the kit-basher may disregard the Karma cost required when compressing the time spent in development that is normally called for when wielding this technological trickery.

This represents a heightened ability to improvise with technology above and beyond that of others with like intelligence.

Knowledge
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

This is the root ability of the technopsi discipline of power.

The power of knowledge embodies the very heart of technology - the skills and talents developed since the human race first achieved sentience! Knowledge is power, or so they say, and when invoking this ability one can make use of any applied know-how that anyone anywhere has ever evinced. This know-how is transient in nature, however, only staying resident in one's mind as long as the knowledge ability is active.

How it works is that, when a character needs to know how to do something, he or she simply activates their knowledge power. When doing this, the character may develop one talent for each power rank in knowledge they possess. For example, an adventurer with Excellent (20) ranked knowledge finds herself in a bind she can't talk her way out of. With knowledge, she can immediately manifest five (5) fighting talents!

Any talent in the Universal Heroes system may be adopted, however temporarily, by the use of this power. It readily lends itself to talent stacking, allowing a character to gain up to +3 CS on a FEAT roll if they can manifest enough talents applicable to the FEAT in question. This works great whether the character with knowledge intends to build something or to deliver an unholy beat-down on an opponent!

Alternately, a character might want to wield an 'enhanced' version of an ordinary talent. Adopting a level 2 talent (for an additional +1 CS on a given FEAT) may be done by counting it as two separate talents for the purposes of talent adoption, and a level 3 talent (for an additional +2 CS on the FEAT du jour) may be adopted by counting it as four distinct talents (minimum rank of Good (10) to do this, then).

Furthermore, it is a great avenue for a character to learn a talent in the normal fashion. By training extensively in the use of a talent over time, one can actually use this self-education to master the talent in question. This may or may not be cheaper than simply adding a +1 CS to the operating rank of the knowledge power through Karma rewards, but 'normal' talents don't count against the skills knowledge can grant a character.

Thus, the more talents a character with knowledge possesses normally, the more they're capable of when they actually bring this ability to bear!

M

Mechanical Disruption
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Wielding this ability, a character can induce failure in any one mechanical device in his or her vicinity (defined as Near distance). This failure can take any form, but most often it isn't permanent in nature; the effects of mechanical disruption usually only lasts for 1d10 turns. Generally, it is induced by overwhelming vibrational interference - not an impact, so much as movement sufficient enough to cause malfunction.

An item subject to mechanical disruption is allowed an operations check to resist its effects if non-sentient (such as a bicycle), or an Endurance FEAT roll to resist its effects if sentient (such as a robotic soldier). Generally, items so disrupted will resume normal operations once the duration of the disruption has expired, though they may require a bit of extra time to get all their moving parts properly realigned again.

Which often makes this ability doubly effective!

Mesmermechanism
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

Wielding mesmermechanism, a character may direct any electronic or mechanical item to do his or her bidding. This typically involves the character invoking the mesmermechanism ability, a process that ends by them literally telling the device what it must do. This can be as simple or as complicated as time permits; 'Get him!' works just as well as 'Run him over until he doesn't move anymore!', but is less evocative.

This power functions as a sort of technological counterpart to standard mesmerism, working in the same manner. A character may use it to give a device a momentary command ('Brakes!') or a continuous instruction ('Floor it and don't stop!'). The item in question will continue to perform the action commanded of it, until said action is complete (the car stops) or it cannot be continued (the car is hit by a train).

The latter, if possible, will continue for a duration in hours equal to the power rank number.

The impetus for this operation is provided by the mesmermechanism power, including any energy required. For instance, a car directed to drive for hours on end will continue to do so under mesmermechanism's influence, long after it has run out of gas. An item can be compelled to do anything it is physically capable of. A bicycle will happily pedal down the street, but it cannot fly - unless it has a built-in jump jet.

Compelling items to do the character's bidding usually only requires a green power FEAT, unless it is under the mental control of someone else (direct neural interface, another mesmermechanist) or is itself sentient (an artificial intelligence, or perhaps a golem). In either case, the item in question may attempt to resist an application of mesmermechanism, though it must defeat this power's rank to do so.

N

Nanotechnology Generation
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 3 points per rank

The power of nanotechnology generation allows its wielder to create themselves a small robot. This at first sounds like device generation - and it is similar, after a fashion - save for the staggering extremes of scale involved. You see, the 'small' descriptor is the major distinction, in that the power actually generates robots at the atomic scale - in other words, about as small as a mechanical item can physically be!

In practice, the power generates a large number of like atomatons (atomic scale automatons) at once; one could be built to do the intended work, but the time scale involved may very well be prohibitive. As is the case with all matter generation powers, nanotechnology generation costs its user one Health point per use, a strain on the body caused by the manipulation of extreme forces in the creation of physical matter.

Similarly, the amount of time an atomaton (or swarm of such) created by this ability varies, based on variables extant when it is utilized. A white FEAT makes it last for a number of turns equal to this power rank number, a green FEAT lets a nano-device exist for a number of minutes equal to this power rank number, and a yellow FEAT allows a microscopic item to persist for a number of hours equal to this power's rank number.

Finally, a red power FEAT creates nano-scale devices that last indefinitely.

One can only generate nanotechnology within Very Near distance of their person, and then only if nothing is physically between the nanotechnology generator and his or her target.

But what can atomatons do, you ask? Quite a lot, really, the tasks involved being limited only by the programming of the atomatons themselves. Wielding nano-scale robotics, one can easily engage in the fabrication of other items from the atom up - for as long as the raw materials are available. This often involves stripping extant objects in the environment for those raw materials.

Thus, one can wield atomatons for both constructive and destructive purposes. These effects simulate the device generation and disintegration powers - both functioning at the nanotechnology generation power rank. The benefit of letting atomatons build things, instead of wielding device generation directly, is that one loses just the initial Health caused by the atomatons' creation when manufacturing gobs of devices.

Mind you, atomatons are capable of more... a whole lot more. In truth, their function can be limited solely by the imagination - and programming ability - of their creator. The above uses for nanotechnology generation are the standard, of course, though a myriad of additional tasks can be given to atomatons, each of which can be mastered as a power stunt of this incredibly versatile ability.

Common atomatonic abilities include (but are by no means are limited to) the following:

* One can program atomatons to simply dismantle things for the sake of doing so. This invokes the disintegration portion of the atomatons' basic function, without the intent of reassembling the resultant molecular detritus into anything else. Against living beings, this inflicts power rank Metabolic damage against anything not resistant to like attack at a similar rank - or not encased in a force field.

* An expanded use for atomatons is to bolster and modify existing items on a molecular level. Using nano-scale robots to re-manufacture an extant item, one can drastically reduce its weight, doing so by subtracting a percentage equal to this power's rank number (to a minimum of ten percent). Similarly, by properly aligning the molecules of a device, atomatons can increase its material strength by +2 CS.

* Another involves introducing atomatons to a device on a permanent basis, giving an item the power of regeneration! These robots will act to trim wear and tear on a device, constantly working to keep it in a pristine, new state. Even direct damage to an item will be repaired in short order, the atomatons quickly acting to restore the device to its pre-damaged state (power rank regeneration).

* Alternately, one can introduce atomatons to a living system (i.e., an organism). When this is done, these machines can perform all manner of work inside the body, ranging from protecting it from poison and disease to repairing damage caused by natural aging and artificial events. This can thus give a body power rank resistance to disease and poison, or eventually even longevity or regeneration!

O

Optimization
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Optimization is the ability to bring a device up to its optimal operating conditions. This may involve the calibration of simple adjustments required to achieve peak performance, or may instead require opening up 'locked' capabilities through procedures such as overclocking. When executed properly, optimization will allow an item to function at its maximum design capability - and do so safely, at that.

The process of optimizing a device generally requires but a green power FEAT roll. If successful, the changes to its operation to maximize its throughput (or whatever) work perfectly, and were completed in a manner that will not cause damage to the device (as is the case with the overdrive ability). A failed FEAT roll means the item was damaged in the process of optimization, and is now in need of some sort of repair.

Organic Circuitry
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 3 points per rank

A variant form of both organism and device generation, this ability allows its possessor to create living machinery. This is done by using one's cellular matter as a template, and then wielding ambient subatomic particles in the vicinity to generate organic devices. Each use of this ability costs its wielder one Health point per turn, but the nature of its creations can mitigate this penalty somewhat.

Organic circuitry can take on one or two specific forms. The first is that of a modular sort of cell. These can be produced in bulk to build any device the wielder of this power knows how to. What's better is that these living building blocks can be reconfigured on the fly, much like a swarm of atomatons can be, allowing the stack of organic circuitry to serve multiple purposes, as determined before their creation.

Alternately, however, a character with organic circuitry can build a specific living device. These items cannot be reconfigured as can the 'building block' form of organic creations this power can produce, but they gain the benefits of being specialized devices. While organic circuitry stacks can only work at up to this power rank in effectiveness, a dedicated organic device operates at this rank +1 CS.

Caring for organic circuitry and devices is quite simple. They need food, water, air, and rest, but these are easy needs to fulfill. Usually, chemical solutions can be brewed that provide all the food and water needed, applied to a special 'port' designed to accept it. Air is only a problem if their creator hangs out in hostile environs often, and the device will let you know when it needs rest (when it stops working, usually).

The interesting thing about an organic device is, while it is an artificially built thing, it can easily repair itself. Such items have an effective Endurance score equal to the organic circuitry power rank, and will in time heal any damage taken. Also, organic machines can be designed so that they reproduce. This makes it real easy to stockpile a small arsenal of organic devices, provided they're cared for.

In fact, with a greater understanding of biology, a character can actually build organic devices that will hibernate if deprived of nutrition for a long period of time. This keeps them from starving to death, and subsequently forcing the organic circuitry creator to make themselves an all-new arsenal of living machinery. Which is a good thing, as making these devices is quite a drain on the body.

Organic circuitry can create mass equal to its power rank, in pounds, each turn. Building something larger requires that one spend more than a single turn generating the desired object. For example, Monstrous (75) ranked organic circuitry can produce seventy-five pounds of material per turn. To make something that weighs three hundred pounds, that Monstrous organic circuitry must spend four turns creating it.

Unlike most matter generating powers, the products of organic circuitry are almost always made of complex, carbon-based materials - unless one specifically attempts to produce something functioning on a different biochemistry. Green FEATs are required under normal circumstances to create organic circuitry, but more 'exotic' biochemistries require a yellow (or greater) FEAT, depending on how alien they happen to be.

As is the case with organism generation, this ability cannot produce living matter willy-nilly. Anything it creates has to come in the form of memorized patterns, organic circuitry that can be used in some fashion. In other words, the possessor of organic circuitry can make a stack of organic machinery cells or even a laser blaster with it, but they must first commit designs for the living creations involved to memory first.

One can recall a number of distinct designs that is equal to their Reason (mem) score. No matter how complicated or large it is (or will ultimately grow to be), an organic device counts as a singular being. If an organic device has other organic devices that can interface with it, however, these must be designed and memorized separately (such as smaller shuttle craft that will launch out of a larger carrier vehicle).

The amount of time such spontaneously generated living devices persist is determined by a second FEAT roll, made after an initial success. A white FEAT makes it last for a number of turns equal to this power rank number, a green FEAT lets a living device exist for a number of minutes equal to this power rank number, and a yellow FEAT allows an organic item to persist for a number of hours equal to this power's rank number.

Finally, a red power FEAT creates organic devices from nowhere that last indefinitely.

Organic circuitry functions within Very Near distance of its wielder, and then only within one's direct line of sight. Wielding this power at Amazing (50) ability, for example, would allow its possessor to generate living matter anywhere within 50 yards of his or her person - assuming nothing lies between them and where they would like to create it. Such things have no inherent velocity, but gravity definitely affects them immediately.

Overdrive
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

When subjecting a device to the power of overdrive, a character can crank it up to its maximum power or effectiveness - and far, far beyond. A device so overdriven operates at its normal rank +2 CS, but with each use at such a higher operating level, it will fail spectacularly unless it passes a yellow operations check. This is an expensive power to use on one's own devices, as it quickly burns them out.

On the other hand, it can be a great way to disable the technology of others. When using overdrive offensively, the device to be overdriven is allowed an operations check against the overdrive power if non-sentient, or an Endurance (res) or Psyche (will) FEAT roll (whichever is applicable) to resist if sentient. If the overdrive power overcomes any resistance, it is likely to damage just about anything it is used upon.

Assuming the item is actually used while in an overdriven state; if a device doesn't operate while overdrive is maintained on it, the power has no effect.

P

Positron Generation
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

A variant (and far less destructive) form of antimatter generation, positron generation allows its possessor to cast forth subatomic particles which are just like electrons, but have the opposite electrical charge. Positrons behave like electrons in every other aspect, but since our universe is comprised primarily of 'standard' matter, concentrations of positrons aren't long for this world.

Due to matter-antimatter annihilation, positrons generated by this power have a rather short range; the power only works within Very Near distance of its wielder. This annihilation leaves gamma radiation in its wake, a tell-tale sign of positronic usage. Not enough to cause damage, strictly speaking, but it could conceivably build up over time (or provide 'ammunition' for a radiation controller).

Positrons, as stated above, act just like electrons - other than their electrical charge. Thus, when used as a distance attack, positrons inflict power rank Stunning Energy damage. If used against any defensive ability primarily comprised of electrons (such as an electrical aura), a positron blast includes an Armor Piercing component. The Stunning component of positrons works against electronic devices as well as the living.

R

Reassembly
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

Reassembly is the ability to mold and shape all manner of technological devices. Something of a variant on standard topological control, reassembly can easily repurpose any device such that it can fulfill almost any other role desired. The power is solely limited by the materials at hand and the knowledge of its wielder; by itself, reassembly can only work with whatever machinery or circuitry is present.

With a green power FEAT, reassembly can mold the shape of a device, while allowing it to retain its original function and purpose. Such a change involves modifying the frame of an object such that it looks different but is still functionally identical within, or perhaps even repairing minor damage caused by wear and tear (micro-cracks in a wing surface, or maybe a bumper crumpled up by a high speed collision).

A yellow reassembly FEAT roll can be used to alter the function of an item on a small scale. Perhaps one wishes to change a laser pointer into a stun gun, or possibly a slingshot into a crossbow. Generally such devices need to work in a similar fashion both before and after reassembly, though sometimes this is a matter of semantics, if the work done by the device in question is the same - even if the result of such isn't.

Red reassembly power FEATs can be used to drastically alter the function of something. This may involve transforming a nuclear generator into a battle suit (or a battle ship), or something similarly different. Typically a red difficulty is only called on when the character using reassembly can't reasonably justify how a change retains any of the functionality of the old equipment, as compared to what he or she wishes to create.

While performing reassembly on an item, one need not necessarily keep its topology intact. A reassembler can transform one device into two, or merge several into a singular whole. This might entail warping a cargo van into two distinct motorcycles, or maybe combining a tape deck, CD player, and stereo receiver into just one unit. The difficulty for such FEATs depends on the changes made, as described above.

Repair
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Repair does precisely what its name implies, allowing its wielder a super human capability to fix broken items.

It can undo minor problems (microfractures, poor solder connections, broken circuit board traces) with a green power FEAT roll. More difficult repairs (open or shorted electronic components, broken gear teeth or screws, blown tires, or torn belts) can be undertaken with a yellow power FEAT. Extensive problems (shattered axles, bent aircraft wings, burnt PC boards) may be resolved with a red power FEAT roll.

The only form of damage this ability cannot overcome is that caused by a missing part (or parts). These must be replaced by either acquiring the missing components or jury rigging a replacement. If the nature of the missing pieces is unknown (a bullet hole through the circuit board, for instance), diagnosis may be required to sort out what is needed (assuming someone lacks the printed schematic, that is).

One repair may be made on a device at a time, each taking a full action, but any number of fixes may be applied to make an item work again.

S

Schema
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The schema power is related to technical intuition in function. Its use involves handling a device to study it properly, taking in details about both its obvious characteristics and how it works 'under the hood'. Where this power differs from technical intuition, however, is that schema takes a much more scientific look at how an item works - the better to reproduce it with!

With a simple green power FEAT roll, the possessor of schema can analyze and internalize all the physical characteristics of an item. A yellow power FEAT roll can observe the hard-wired programming of an item (whether on an EEPROM chip or set mechanically). A red schema FEAT even allows a body to take in any free-range code working on a device (material on a hard disk, or even floating around in its RAM).

This power is an excellent means of breaking down how a device works - particularly if it functions on a level above that which its possessor is accustomed to. One can then use this information to better reverse engineer equipment for one's own use. This can come in the form of conventional crafting exercises, or perhaps when 'memorizing' items to be produced with other powers, such as device generation!

Super Invention
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank beyond one's Reason (log) score

The character with this ability is something of a technological prodigy. Above and beyond their ordinary intellect (whether it is truly ordinary or already exceptional in some fashion), the super inventor has the ability to subconsciously create technological items leaps and bounds ahead of that which others of comparable intelligence can produce - and can do so in a fraction of the time otherwise required.

When a character with super invention is intent on inventing something, they may attempt the required Reason FEATs with this ability instead - before one considers any Column Shifts provided by the knowledge normally required to make whatever one is building. This often allows the super inventor to rapidly produce items that are well in advance of anything else on their world - even if he or she can't explain how they work.

Furthermore, they can do so quickly. A super inventor may reduce the time required to invent a technology or device, subtracting this power's rank number in days from the development time required - down to a minimum of one day. Finally, due to their ability to 'get by' with extant materials, a super inventor can typically reduce the Resources FEAT roll required to build something by -2 CS, greatly enabling their advancement.

Note that this ability does not remove any special requirements deemed necessary by the Judge when a character attempts to build something fantastic. While super invention can short-cut a large amount of the hurdles between a character and his or her death ray (or whatever), special requirements are still an important part of this process - or else, the super inventor might never leave the laboratory!

When one first acquires super invention, a character can limit it to further enhance their technical expertise in a specific area. Limiting super invention to a general class of technology (electronics, mechanics, structural engineering) counts as a weak limitation, while increasingly narrow classifications within each area can provide ever more potent limitations, at the Judge's discretion.

T

Technical Intuition
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This ability represents an inherent knack for understanding how devices work. The character wielding this power may not grasp the scientific principles behind such, but can easily suss out what makes an item function - and how to make that happen. Thus, technical intuition is a great way to determine how to operate anything - whether it be a Colt ™ 1911A1 handgun or an alien hyperdrive unit.

Just by handling a device, the character with technical intuition can infer how to use it. It can be electromechanical, or even be a thing made or empowered by psionic or magical means; its origin is irrelevant. They will also be able to sense any sort of booby traps or safeguards set against unwanted use, and can bypass them with a successful power FEAT roll against the intensity of the security mechanism.

Technological Sense
Type: Technopsi Skill
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

A technological sense is the ability to detect the result of living beings altering their environment, whether intentionally or otherwise. Most often this is done by sentient beings, or perhaps even by their creations, but can occasionally occur when merely 'clever' animals develop primitive technologies. Generally, this ability works within Near distance of its wielder, functioning on anything within that radius.

The nature of a technology determines how difficult spotting it can be. Active systems, whether as simple as a battery or as complex as an atomaton, can be detected on a green FEAT. Inactive manufactured items, ranging from an old highway to a machete, can be found on a yellow power FEAT. Red FEAT rolls are typically necessary only when looking for obscure items, such as a narrow path worn by animals over time.

Transception
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Transception is the ability to perceive, send, and receive electronic signals - whether of a digital or analog nature.

It allows someone to 'see' the radio waves carrying audio, video, and data in the air or within computer cabling, and then process it in their mind such that they may experience the information stored within. This is great for watching free cable, eavesdropping on mobile phone calls, or even checking out what the neighbor is doing on the Internet... though one may not be able to unsee what transception shows them.

One can similarly use transception to emit like signals, sending them to remote systems such as cell phone towers, satellite receivers, or even through normal network routers via conventional cabling. This allows one the ability to communicate in a truly anonymous fashion, or at least in a fashion that is rather difficult to trace back to its original source - particularly since no equipment is involved!

The range transception functions at depends on how it is being used. It can decipher any signal passing through a space within Near distance of its wielder - which is also the furthest range it can transmit data to remote systems through the air. If wielding cable to physically interfere with a network or other system, however, transception can send signals anywhere that network is connected to.

This ability is a great way to extend the range of (and the inherent danger posed by) the computer link power.

Doing all of this usually only requires a green power FEAT roll. If the signal a character attempts to interact with is encrypted, however, one must pass the required FEAT at a negative column shift. This penalty ranges from -1 CS to -4 CS, depending on the signal's complexity, as the time spent decrypting the information makes it much harder to interact with signals in real-time.

This penalty can be reduced - if not transformed into a bonus - if the character also possesses the linguistics ability.

Transient Psionics
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

Transient psionics are powers which have been temporarily placed within an inanimate object (or objects, depending). When charging an item with psionic power, the possessor of transient psionics may place any such ability they possess into it, doing so at any rank up to this power's. If sharing powers thanks to a link or other like ability, the wielder of this power can imbue items with any power the link grants access to.

This process takes some time, requiring a number of minutes equal to the rank number of the psionic to be deposited in an item. Creating transient psionics is quite time consuming, but nonetheless allows the character with this ability to share his or her powers with anyone else they desire - even those psionics which are not typically able to be used on others (like body armor).

Generally, transient psionics can sit idle for any amount of time, but there's only so much of them available to whoever holds the item imbued with mental might. These temporary powers can be used for 1d10 turns before running out. This is true whether the power granted has an instantaneous effect (such as a psi bolt) or can be maintained (such as a flight power).

U

Upgrade
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Using this ability, its possessor can safely enhance the operation of any electromechanical device. When this power is applied to an item, it will increase said item's operating rank by +1 CS, doing so by imbuing it with psionic energy that serves that purpose. Since the physical characteristics of the device are not altered, this power will not affect it detrimentally (unlike the overdrive power).

When applied to a device, upgrade will enhance its operation for a number of turns equal to its power rank number on a green power FEAT, a number of hours equal to its power rank number on a yellow FEAT roll, and semi-permanently on a red power FEAT roll. This boost is semi-permanent in that if applicable, the Karma cost for such an enhancement must be ultimately paid for by the device's owner.

This must be done, lest the enhancement in question be subject to the vagaries of Plot, as is the case with any other 'free' boost. If ultimately unpaid for, such a boost - possibly if the owner of a device was unaware it had been applied to their gear - will simply wear off after a number of days equal to the power rank number.

An item, while in an upgraded state thanks to this power, is considered a psitronic device - even if the amplification of its effects are only transient in nature. Once it wears off (if it does), an upgrade-granted improvement will leave tell-tale signs of its use for those who can perceive such psionic residue, but the item in question will no longer be considered psitronic in nature.

V

Variable Cybernetics
Type: Technopsi Art
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

A character with variable cybernetics can absorb the properties of any device into his or her body! When variable cybernetics is invoked, it can copy any technological device within Very Near distance, and incorporate its characteristics into all, or a part of, its wielder. Variable cybernetics does not affect the source of the technology so copied, and said source may not even know (if it's alive) that it was duplicated.

Once a variable cybernetic is set, it remains available to the wielder of such until they duplicate another technology. This inherent device functions at its original score (if applicable), not the variable cybernetics rank. If the power is idle, the variable cybernetic can be rendered dormant, fading from one's body until used again (though a strong limitation would remove this capability).

Once the wielder of variable cybernetics copies a new technology, they 'forget' the old equipment and 'learn' the new gear. When the old form of variable cybernetics is forgotten, it is gone forever - unless copied again at a later date. While variable cybernetics can be used to acquire any technological capability, it does not function on inherent powers, knowledge-based ascendant abilities, or talents.

In other words, variable cybernetics could copy a flamethrower, but not fire generation or an eldritch blast of flames. Copying the properties of a device merely requires a green power FEAT roll.

As a psionic, variable cybernetics has a unique duration. While the power has an 'instantaneous' activation time, its effects are continuous. Its wielder need not maintain variable cybernetics to keep what they have acquired in this fashion, and if it is somehow blocked (by, say, an EMP), it will return when that effect expires, leaving only when variable cybernetics is reused to acquire a new ability.

Variable Talent
Type: Technopsi Talent
Duration: special
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

The character with a variable talent is capable of trading in one skill for another. When variable talent is invoked, it can copy a skill that anyone within one area possesses. This new skill will function at the level its original possessor had with it. Variable talent will not affect the source of the skill, and said source may in fact have no idea that his or her knowledge has been duplicated.

Once the variable talent is set, it remains available to the wielder of such until they duplicate a new skill, at which point they 'forget' the old talent and 'learn' the new one. Once the old form of variable talent is forgotten, it is gone forever - unless copied again at a later date. While variable talent can be used to acquire any skill, it does not function on powers of any stripe.

In other words, it can copy something like the physics talent, but not a mutant power, psionic ability, magical spell, or even a high tech device. Copying the talents of another is automatic - no FEAT roll required (as the power lacks a rank to speak of).

As a psionic, variable talent has a unique duration. While the ability has an 'instantaneous' duration, its effects are continuous. Its wielder need not maintain variable talent to keep what they have acquired in this fashion, leaving only when variable talent is reused to acquire a new skill.

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