03 February 2010

Psionic Powers

Total geek.  Standing in front of the role playing game manuals at the used book store.  Then... sitting on the ground in front of the stacks paging through some.  And... avoiding eye contact with anyone.  I just love these things.  I don't play role playing games.  I just love the manuals to monsters, wizards and the sort.  Don't turn your nose up.  There is a diaper-load of imagination that goes into these games.  Here's a description of a prestige character you can play in Dungeons and Dragons:

"Ah––it all becomes clearer now.  I can see... I can see!"
Alienists deal with powers and entities from terrifyingly remote reaches of space and time.  For them, magical power is the triumph of the mind over the rude boundaries of dimension, distance, and often, sanity.  With knowledge and determination, they pierce the barrier at the edge of time itself.  In the Far Realm, outside of time, Herculean minds drift, absorbed in the contemplations of madness.  Unspeakable beings whisper terrifying secrets to those who dare communication.  These secrets were not meant for mortals, but the alienist plunges into abysses of chaos and entropy that would blast a weaker mind.

Role playing games are collective stories written by players and a healthy dose of the dice.  These manuals are guides to imaginary worlds yet to be written.  As an early teen, I gathered together the sickly and bookish boys of the neighborhood to play a few games of D & D.  Never got past, "A rotting stench emanates from the wet dungeon walls.  3 trolls attack you."  Even then, I was more interested in the illustrations and descriptions of magical beasts in the manuals than actual play.

In my recent nostalgia under the guise of anthropological research, I've found some points of fascination.  Magic, mind you, the type wizards use, are powers over aspects of the physical world.  Summoning fire, creating storms, wielding lightening bolts.  Psionic powers aren't magic like this at all.  No no no.  Psionic powers originate from inside the mind itself.  You see, the mind, through visualization techniques, taps into a dimension of psi energy.  Control of psi energy can be powerful enough to effect the real world. 

Ho ho.  This got me going.  Magical techniques depending on ones own strength of visualization.  How does one do this?  I hit the internet.  A basic exercise is the energy ball.  Moving your hands with palms facing each other as if molding or creating a ball.  Concentrate and perhaps you will start to feel some warmth emanating from the ball.  : )  Moving on, this type of collected 'psi' energy can be programmed.  Yes, like a robot or a software routine.  This is called a "construct."  Constructs can be simple like placing one outside your window and programming it to make your elbow itch if someone walks by.  Constructs can be a shield that surrounds your body.  Constructs can also be programmed like living beings that seek out places or people or things in the ether.

Breaking psionic power down to it's bare logic, control over your life originates in the mind.  Psi energy is brain.  Visualization (imagination) is an obvious tool of thinking.  Really, this is like some kind of metaphorical folklore of thinking.  Fascinating!

Run of the mill telekinesis, ha!  Get your Latin book out because there is an encyclopedia of things you can have psionic power over:  LINK

The believing practitioners also want you to see this: LINK


Kyle Bronsdon said...

Love it. LOVE it. You know what the most badass D&D monster is? The illithid, or "mind flayer". They're depicted as humanoids with an octopus for a head. Those tentacles strike out with psionic attacks - could there possible be a cooler image for psionics, eight suckered tentacles?

Kyle Bronsdon said...

I mean, how about the Vulcan mind meld?! Spock's got his one hand attached to your mind through your FACE...how about EIGHT of them? With SUCKERS?!

Tom Baumgartner said...

Illithid, truly a badass foe!

Doug said...

wait a second! Was I one of the sickly or bookish boys?!?

Tom Baumgartner said...

Yes Doug. I specifically remember you playing a Neutral Good Bookish Sickly with a pocket protector (+9 against Ink Blobs) : )