User Tools

Site Tools



Published by Samuel Penn.

Also, see my profile for things that interest me.

Glendale Website - My main web site.

Yags - Main site for yet another game system, a generic GPL'd tabletop RPG.

Yagsbook - Documentation on the Yagsbook RPG documentation format, a Sourceforge project.

Mapcraft - Documentation on world mapping tools, another Sourceforge project.

Midnight Saga - An Ars Magica campaign.

Active Topics

The current topics are currently under active development (relatively speaking).

Yags is Another Game System - Game design notes for Yags, a Free roleplaying game system I use as the core system for most of my campaigns.

Yagsbook - Notes on an XML based documentation system I use for documenting Yags and related campaigns.

Full Thrust - Notes on Full Thrust

Stargrunt - Notes on Stargrunt.



Telepathy is the ability to read and influence the minds of those around you, just by the power of thought. At the lower levels, Telepathy gives bonuses to normal social skills, but as you become more skilled so it actually enables you to delve into the mind of the target. For anything complex, you must learn techniques based on this skill.

Telepathy can use a number of attributes, including Perception, Empathy and Will.

Telepathy is affected by range, and you suffer a -5 to your skill check for each multiple (or part) of your Power in metres. You may also chose to give yourself a bonus to a check equal to your Power rating by expending one or more points of fatigue. You may spend up to half your Will (round up) in fatigue for each check.

General Notes


Humans (and other sophonts) are assumed to organise their thoughts using language constructs, so reading the mind of someone who you don't understand the language of is harder. No actual rules for this for now, but assume that thoughts and memories about conversations etc cannot be understood unless you understand the language.

This does mean you can't use telepathy to talk to someone who's language you don't understand, though it can still help.

Resisting Telepathy

It is assumed that most people are unable to shield their thoughts, so they do not get a 'psi resistance' check when someone tries to read their mind. A psionic character may put up psionic blocks etc, and a trained person may construct blocks using meditation (see the Psionic Block skill). If this is done, it adds to the default difficulty of any telepathic attempts.


Memory is not perfect, and is often made up of hints and suggestions which the mind then fakes when a memory is recalled. This means that telepathy cannot be used to find out details that a person doesn't recall. If you try and force memories, you are likely to get made up stuff.

This has the side effect that trawling through a target's memories of a past event can seem strange - you get concepts and partial images, with large blank areas which represent things the person wasn't paying attention to.

Basic Ability

The following effects are possible with basic Telepathic skill, without requiring any techniques. Self taught people are often limited to these effects.

Many actions require you to have locked onto a target before hand. This is an action which takes a round. For people in line of sight, it has a base difficulty of 0, and a base range of Power x 10m. Whilst locked onto a target, you may remain connected to them until you try locking onto another target. If they double their range from you, roll again to keep the lock (this is an automatic action). You should note the level of success you get against them, since this affects what you can do.

Mind Shield

You can keep up an permanent mind shield which blocks telepathic assualts against you. The base difficulty to read or affect your mind is increased by your Will x Telepathy. By concentrating, you can add your Power rating to your Will, but you are incapable of other actions at this time. This bonus is affected by wound, stun and fatigue penalties, but can never be less than zero.

If someone attacks you, make a Perception x Telepathy check, at a difficulty of how much the attack missed by. On success, you are aware of the failed attack. This means that you are nearly always (wound, fatigue and stun penalties affect this roll) aware of a successful attack, though won't necessarily know the nature of the attack.

To recognise an attacker, make an Empathy x Telepathy check against a target of 10. On success, you can recognise the attacker, and chose to let them in. Any attacker may opt to make an attack obvious, in which case the difficulty is halved.

Mind Sense

Detect minds around you. You can detect people and animals around you by concentrating. Base range is Power x 5m. Difficulty is 10, rolled on Perception x Telepathy. Takes a round.

Success Result
Moderate Detect roughly how many minds in each quadrant
Good Exactly how many people and where, as well as species
Excellent Recognise people detected

May lock onto a single target that has been detected, takes a further round. Base difficulty is as per mind sense.


Read a target's emotions. Roll Empathy x Telepathy:

Success Result
Moderate Vague idea about emotional state, +1 to Empathy for social skills.
Good Know feelings, idea of whether they are lying etc; +2 to Empathy for social skills.
Excellent Know the target of their emotions, read surface thoughts; +3 to Empathy.
Superb Read recent memories, partial view through senses; +4 to Empathy
Fantastic View, hear, feel through senses of target; +5 to Empathy


Send a message to someone you are locked onto. Base difficulty 10, range is Power.

Success Result
Moderate Send a vague emotion
Good Few words
Excellent Several sentances.
Superb Visual images, pictures of a place or image of someone talking.
Fantastic Fully immersive message, which can block their real senses.


You can try to broadcast static at someone, confusing them and making it difficult for them to act. Base difficulty is 10, range is Power. Must have locked onto them, and penalties last as long as you concentrate.

Success Result
Moderate -10 to all actions.
Good -20
Excellent -30
Superb Unable to act.
Fantastic Unconscious.


  • Combat sense (2): Bonus to initiative equal to Telepathy.
  • Sense attack (4; Combat sense): Bonus to dodge, Per x Telepathy v 10, +5 per success.
  • Sense weakness (4; Combat sense): Bonus to attack, Per x Telepathy v 10, +5 per success.
  • Mind delve (4): Requires a Good lock. Latch onto a surface thought for Intelligence x Telepathy of 10, and follow it. A strong link to a thought can be followed at +5 difficulty, a weak link at +10. Roll each time a link is followed, and successes gives indication of how detailed the memories are. Each time a new link is followed, a new check is made at cumulative difficulty.
  • Mind probe (8; Mind delve): Requires Excellent lock. As per delve, but can start elsewhere. 20 for recent memories, 30 for a general search of the mind, and 50 at a precise memory. Links can be followed as per delve.
  • Pain (4): Send thoughts of shock and pain at the target. Will x Telepathy v Health x 4 of target. Does fatigue damage.
  • Many minds (4): Lock onto multiple minds at once, one per round, +10 each subsequent one. Sending thoughts can be done to all locked targets, at +5 difficulty per extra target.
  • Join minds (6; Many minds): Allow conference call. Maximum range penalty, difficulty 5 * number of minds (including yours).
yags/psionics/telepathy.txt · Last modified: 2015/02/04 22:40 (external edit)