Into the Burning Wastes
Psionics, Contests of the Mind
Contests against Non-Psions:
Contests against non-psions are simple, you simply roll your psionic skill against a difficulty of the opponents (Will+any mental hardening). The exception to this is any psionic power than acts on the environment, such as telekinesis to throw a rock, in which case the target defends as normal for ranged kinetic attacks. It should be noted that each time a psionic action is made – the wielder must spend a FP from the extreme mental exhaustion.
Contests against Psions (Part I)
Contests against psions are much more complex – breaking through the defenses of a sentient awoken mind. Before the process is discussed, it is important to know the pieces on the board. Each psion has a mindscape that represents the defenses of their mind as determined by their own concepts of self; a stubborn dwarf might have a boulder rolled over the mouth of a cave to represent the domain of his mind’s eye. A flighty elf might have a mindscape of shadows moving silently through a sandstorm – which shadow is truth and which is lie? Each psion will as have the personification of their outward turned mind – the part of their mind that touches the world and other’s thoughts. This is often called the questing mind or one’s ‘avatar’. This can take many forms, but always the same one for each individual. The same dwarf might have the questing mind of the Setting Sun – impossible to stop and foreboding in its decent towards darkness…robbing senses and warmth as it slips under the horizon. The elf might have the questing mind of a cool breeze; forever sought, never found, it lands upon you in the infinite trackless wastes by its own fickle will for but a moment and is gone again.
The Sword (Swd): Strong and flexible, the Sword pierces defenses and slashes away deceit.
The Chatkcha (Cht): Swift and graceful, the Chatkcha circumvents defenses to strike its targets.
The Incantation (Inc): The power of the Incantation overwhelms resistance and erodes the will.
The Flame (Fla): Defenses are seared to ash by the pure touch of the Flame.
The Templar (Tmp): Signifying betrayal, the templar can destroy the most powerful mind from within.
The Noble (Nob): Scorn is the nobles weapon. exposing weakness to harsh scrutiny.
The Slave (Sla): Utter despair can defeat those who are too strong to overcome otherwise.
The Dragon (Drg): Grief and horror follow in the Dragons wake, swallowing the weak and defenseless.
The Wyvern (Wyv): Fierce and dangerous, the wyvern attacks with rage and blinding speed.
The Scorpion (Scp): Relentless in its pursuit of its prey, the scorpion never gives up the attack.
The Crystal Spider (Cry): Beautiful but deadly, the spiders mystic poison can destroy defenses easily.
The Silk Wyrm (Slk): The Silk Wyrm is stealth personified, slithering past defenses to attack.
Sand (San): The crushing weight of Sand has covered the green jungles and blue oceans of Athas.
The So-Ut (Sot): The insane rage of the Rampager sweeps frail human minds before it like dust.
The Mekillot (Mek): Strong and relentless, the mekillot cannot be stopped.
The Sloth (Slt): Slashing claws and relentless tenacity can carve a defense to pieces.
The Silt Horror (Hor): Powerful tentacles can drag even the strongest defender into death and madness.
The Boulder (Bdr): Shattering walls and crushing the weak, the Boulder cannot be stopped.
The Kirre (Kir): Graceful and strong, the Kirre fights with honor and skill.
The Tembo (Tem): Malice and guile can defeat skill and honor with ease.
The Void (Voi): Empty of substance, the Void is unassailable and cannot be harmed.
The Forest (For): A wealth of life misdirects the attacker, leading him astray.
The Mudflat (Mud): Liquid mud frustrates the attacker, miring him in featureless terrain.
The Ruins (Rns): Utter anarchy and destruction surrounds the mind with a pathless barrier.
The Shield (Shd): Swiftly moving to block any blow, the Shield is unbreakable.
The Rune (Run): Mystic defense halts the most determined attack with but a word.
The Armor (Arm): Impenetrable protection surrounds the psyche, defeating all assaults.
The Wall (Wal): An endless barrier that is continuously renewed as it is destroyed.
The Truth (Tru): Lies and deceit cannot withstand the pure light of the Truth.
The Will (Wll): Not in can overcome one whose Will is truly unbreakable.
Acceptance (Acc): Embracing the attack can often defeat it.
Denial (Den): If the attack does not exist, it cannot harm.
The Chathrang (Cha): Bristling with chitinous spikes, the cha-thrang is impervious to attack.
The Beetle (Btl): A rock-hard carapace surrounds the psyche, deflecting even the strongest blows.
The Drake (Dra): Sheer strength and mass shrug off the most dire wounds.
The Bramble (Bra): Razor-sharp thorns bar the passage of any attacker, guarding the psyche.
The Tower (Tow): Strong and tall, the Tower is unassailable.
The Rampart (Ram): Layers of defense upon defense can trap and destroy any attack.
The Gate (Gat): The path to the mind is barred with locks of steel and gates of stone.
The Crag (Cra): Lonely and strong, the crag resists all attacks.
Contests against Psions (Part II)
Psions attack and defend against each other at the same time – their divided mind sword and shield. The defenses of a psion are formidable however, and each must triangulate the Mind’s Eye of their adversary and blind it, only then can their opponents mind be touched. Once a Psion’s defenses have been defeated three times, that opponent has located their Mind’s Eye and may from that point on land psionic assaults as normal for Non-Psions. If another Psion enters the fray, they must also locate the Mind’s Eye, and are thus unable to affect the Psion even if an ally has already defeated the psion’s defenses.