Psyonics in Sciror and SoW
Design notes on using Wizards, Psykers, and other Magic-Users within the Sciror setting, and how the Spheres of War ruleset deals with these powerful beings. I'll not be covering the rules for using these powerful characters. Instead, I'll be discussing the underlying meta.
Within Sciror, all those who can use any form of 'psionic' or 'magical' power are said to be 'psytient' and has 'psytience' (the next step in sentience) . This term is used from a god's eye view of the Sciror settings, including the fantasy setting of Twistasy. There are many different types of Psytient beings; Wizards, Sorcerer, Mage, Demon, Avatar, etc. Collectively these powerful beings are called 'psycrats'. All humans are Psytient, but not all humans are psycrats. Psycrats are not 'aristocrats' as 'aristo-' means 'best', and psycrats are not all the best of us, but they do have power.
Terms used; Infinity is the magical power of creation. Psyonics is how a person controls that power. Psytient is the state of being for one who can use Psyonics. Matter conjured or manipulated through psyonics has sub-atomic particles within it called psyons. A living supernatural being created by psytients is called a 'psyant' (like 'servant') and is often controlled by the psytient that created it, but may lack psytience itself, or even sentience. An area affected by a psionic manifestation, where reality is distorted or remade, is a psycosm.
Psyonics is derived from 'psychic' and is closely related to that power. Normally psyonics are very low powered, as there is a lack of Infinity to drive the psytient's powers. The noun for a human being that is psytient is 'human', as all humans are psytient, so it is built in!
Spheres of War: Humans access their psyonic abilities through their force of will, and this is controlled by the Mentality Attribute. Therefore, there is no separate Attribute for psionics or magic use, as it is an environmental effect interacting with a human conscience. It is the power of the environmental effect that determines the power level of all humans within the psycosm saturated with the Infinity. Conversely, an area with no Infinity potential is devoid of all psyonics.
The Dichotomy Attribute of Mentality is what the Infinity interacts with. A person's potential (either in psionics or magic) is determined by their Mentality values. Higher mentality values produce herd- psyonics , and low Mentality values produce Individual psyonics and is used by wizards and 'psykers'.
Psytient humans: Those with a higher Mentality value are social and herd-like and have the weakest psyonics individually. The effects of their psyonics are only ever felt while part of an active collective, where they all share the same thoughts and mission. Together they generate herd psyonics. Homogeneity increases the Infinity transformation; the more alike everyone is, the more powerful the collective psyonics becomes. The higher the Mentality Attribute the weaker the Individual psyonics maybe, but the greater the unity, and unity is what produces the area effect. This is how the Psidemic comes about; unity of the human collective on a hive-world. As those with high Mentality cannot control the herd-psyonics most are unaware of their contributing part, and so they do not get a name like 'psycrat', because they do not know.
Psycrats: Those with a lower Mentality value are individualistic, and outside the herd structure. They do not contribute to the herd-psyonics, but they can tap into the psyonic-energy within a psycosm, that has been pulled into reality through herd-psyonics, though they cannot tap into the Infinity itself directly as herd-psyonics can (that really would create a god). The more Individualistic you are, the more powerful your personal psionics become, and your ability to absorb and convert local psyonic-energy. If your Mentality Attribute is negative, then you are psychotic, and many powerful wizards are psychotic, even if dress up in values of the 'greater good'. They may use this 'greater good' to infiltrate a herd collective, as highly individualist psytient humans have powerful charisma and manipulation skills. The fact they can feed off the Infinity that herd-psionics has brought into reality, also means they can tap into the herd and feed directly. All powerful Individualistic psytients are 'psycrats'.
Vampyres are an extreme form of psycrat, that takes this to the extreme and can feed of people within a herd. They tend not to like other Individualistic people, as they are rival psycrats consuming the energy they want.
Another Psycrat is the Necromancer who can control a herd of undead, where the spirits of the fallen who trapped within the psycosm, can re-inhabit their bodies and be resurrected. The rotting body and degraded brain is not exactly a perfect host, but because of their herd-like Mentality, and willingness to follow the leader who they depend on for life, and the lower intelligence of the undead, the Necromancer can control vast swathes of these psyants. This is because the undead all think the same, they have lost all individuality, and they become the perfect herd. The Necromancer can feed through the herd, and the herd is sustained by the feeding as the Infinity energy flows through them.
If using Sciror as a base for 40K: herd-like Psyonics can be seen in Orks and even in the Tau. The Tau are Psytient, but their Mentality is so high as to produce incredibility weak psyonics individually, to the point they seem to lack a 'soul'. Herd-psyonics of the Tau would only kick in if they managed to out terraform humans and our massive hive-worlds of Ecoria, to produce planetary populations well into the tens of trillions.
The Sisters of Battle through zealous devotion of doctrine, enslaving themselves to the collective whole, create herd-psyonics. Being in sync is what produces the area effects of blessings, sacred wards, and other holy effects. A sister who is a personification of dogma, the exemplar, can become the focus of the herd, and be elevated to being a saints.
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