Psionics
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Psychic powers do not occur naturally among the natural creatures of Rothea. But this does not mean that they don’t occur at all. Instead, all such displays of the powers of the mind can be traced to outside influences - most often from other planets of the solar system, where many creatures manifest such powers automatically. The sole exception seem to be the surathi, who apparently originated on Rothea - but the possibility exists that their progenitor was altered by creatures from other worlds somehow.

So if a person suddenly manifests psionic powers, this could mean that an extraplanetary entities, such as the daresh, experimented on him at some point in the past - or perhaps that he has a surathi ancestor lurking in a branch of his family tree. Whatever the reason for these powers may be, it is often disturbing and rarely wholesome.

While most people are unaware that psychics even exist - and often mistake them for some obscure variant of arcane magic - the learned can recognize them for what they are. And given the-near universal loathing with which civilized people hold beings such as the surathi and daresh, psychics can expect a strongly hostile reaction if their powers are identified correctly.

Adventure Ideas

  • If the GM permits it, players can take psionic character classes. However, players should be aware that psychic powers are mostly in the command of loathsome monsters, and that psychic characters will be associated with those.

Designer's Notes & Resources

Psionic character classes are not among the standard classes in the D&D Player's Handbook. Yet, as the Monster Manual shows, they clearly exist in the world. Thus, I had to come up with an explanation that explains the origin of such powers and allows players to play such classes, while still explaining why arcane and divine magic are so much more common in the world.

And the potential for discovering that a psionic character has a human-snake hybrid among his ancestors should be milked for all it is worth.

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