gladiusdei
 member, 616 posts
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 05:31
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
I'm looking to see what systems are good for games centered on psychic powers.  I mean the more real world view of them, not the D&D magic as psionics type.  Stuff like telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, etc.  Sort of looking for a system that fits the modern world, and has varying degrees of power, as opposed to stuff like white wolf's single level merit based powers.
Dirigible
 member, 199 posts
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 06:15
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
What do you mean by real world view of them?

Ironically, White Wolf's Trinity was a sci-fi game with a focus on psi powers, and didn't use merit-based powers - they were rank based, like disciplines and spheres of magick in the other games.
evileeyore
 member, 67 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 06:28
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
GURPS is the best system I've found for Psi.  But it is not for the faint of heart.
gladiusdei
 member, 617 posts
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 08:28
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
by real world I meant more based on modern ideas of psychokinesis, instead of stuff like D&D psionics, whee they are effectively a different type of magic, and function very similarly.
Dirigible
 member, 200 posts
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 09:07
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
What are modern ideas of psychokinesis, though? You're talking about something with no real-world referent, so all the things people imagine or ascribe to that word are equally valid and/or invalid.

To put it another way: which of the various and contradictory models of psychic phenomena are you trying to recreate? Charles Fort's wild talents? Carrie and Firestarter? The X-Men? The weaponised New Ageism of Project Stargate/MKULTRA? Hindu or Theosophical siddhis? Uri Gellar? Any of the interminable psychometric forensic dramas from the early 2000s?

The answer to that will determine whether you want a superhero game, a horror game, a conspiracy game, a sci-fi game, etc.

This message was last edited by the user at 09:10, Mon 12 Feb.

Mad Mick
 member, 939 posts
 GURPS beyond measure,
 outlander
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 10:20
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
I'll second the suggestion for GURPS.  The Basic Set has, well, the basics, but if you want to dig deeper, check out GURPS Powers.
NeverMage
 member, 9 posts
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 12:55
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
I might recommend checking out Stars Without Number. My table's GM recently decided to switch over to SWN from Starfinder, and we're really enjoying the Psychics systems and rules in the game.

They definitely have power spikes, but the game is fairly lethal all around.
Bornite
 member, 37 posts
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 16:41
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
Another vote for Gurps.  It works well but has a bit of a learning curve to get it down.  Plus side there is the Steve Jackson Games forum where you can get any questions answered by folks who have played for years and there is a Gurps group here also available for advice.
Arbentur
 member, 116 posts
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 17:14
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
Haven't played Gurps enough to know the merits or flaws of their Psi but I have played Trinity and their layout that Dirigible mentioned.  Worked more than well enough for the idea at hand though if you don't like White Wolf's overall mechanics then it kinda is a break point.
McLugh
 member, 23 posts
Tue 13 Feb 2018
at 03:49
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
Might not fit your definition of "real world" but you could cap and house rule Mutants and Masterminds to be very psychic powered focused. All about getting a group who'll focus character creation in the right direction. That being said, have never been GM for this, so mileage may vary.
icosahedron152
 member, 844 posts
Tue 13 Feb 2018
at 07:10
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
Classic Traveller had a good psi section.
horus
 member, 387 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Wed 14 Feb 2018
at 05:43
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
I'm with Mr. 20-sided:  Classic Traveller had a simple, straightforward system that respected the nature of the various psionic talents and still made management of them in game fairly easy.
jdtucker
 member, 44 posts
Wed 14 Feb 2018
at 06:39
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
The Anima RPG has a good level based psychic system that has a completely different feel than magic, or martial arts, or anything else its system.

Classic traveller is simpilar.
jamat
 member, 526 posts
 P:5 T:7 W:0 F:0 B:3
Wed 14 Feb 2018
at 08:51
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
You might want to have a look at this

https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/17/17166.phtml

This message was last edited by the user at 08:55, Wed 14 Feb.

jwneil
 member, 32 posts
Wed 14 Feb 2018
at 13:48
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
How about the old ShadowRun system.  Forgive me, I can't remember if it was first or second edition.  But you had 10 slots of mental fatigue/stress.

SR used it for spells - but it might be pretty easy to convert to psychic slams.

So you could toss low level stuff around all day, but doing the Jean Grey level stuff would wear you out before long.
praguepride
 member, 1232 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Wed 14 Feb 2018
at 22:30
What is a good system for portraying psychic powers?
The Superhero genre has a bunch of options for psionic powers thanks to stuff like the X-men.


GURPs Supers, GURPS Psionics, Mutants & Masterminds, Champions etc. all have systems for both hard psionics as well as information on how to build powers based on end effects and then skinning them as psychic powers.


The White Wolf Mage games can be psychic based to an extent. Many of their powers are subtle and not waving around magic wands despite the name of the game.

Another way to look for games is to find IP's that fit your view of psychic powers and work backwards. As mentioned if you want psychics like Professor X then super hero games are the way to go. If you want something like Dune then games like Numenera or hell the Dune RPG are the way to go. If you want something else well then another system to look at is d20 Modern.

Oh, also the old AD&D Dark Sun setting is much more in line with Conan style rather then a poor re-skinning of magic magic.