The use of mental powers to manipulate matter and energy, to sense, and to communicate. It has been demonstrated that minds (human or non-human, conscious or unconscious, intelligent or unintelligent) contain some capacity to operate without apparent use of physical facilities. Until circa – 1000, psionics was little studied in most regions, except on a disorganized level (parapsychology, the occult, spiritualism, and so on). It was known and practiced among the Zhodani, and by some minor races, but it was by no means widespread. However, during the Long Night, many races, (human and others) turned introspective. As a result, many finally began to engage in serious research in psionics, which revealed much about the empirical nature of the phenomenon, although the principles involved were, and remain, little understood.

However, even though it assumed scientific validity, psionics remained a backwater science until about 650, when it underwent a tremendous burst of popularity. Psionics within the Imperium reached its peak in the latter half of the 700’s. In the 790’s, however, the crest of popular opinion broke with the revelation of scandals within the Psionics Institutes; the result was the Psionics Suppressions (800 to 826), which shifted public opinion away from support of psionics.

While not explicitly outlawed in the Sword Worlds, the Sword Worlder culture does not embrace psionics. The recent alliance with the Zhodani, an alliance of convenience a realist or cynic might say, has done little to change the perception of psionics.

Psionics falls into several talents: Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Telekinesis, Awareness and Teleportation. Although psionic activity generally lends itself to classification, some individuals defy this very classification. Individuals with special talent are capable of some activity which is not described here. Some special psionic abilities include: abilty to spontaneously start fires (pyrokinesis), the ability to teleport others instead of one’s self, the ability to perform an assault on inanimate objects, the ability to telepathically communicate with computers or robots, the ability to induce visions or hallucinations in others (either audial, visual, or combined), the ability to use awareness to affect others (to either increase or decrease characteristics, or to heal), and the ability to use awareness to influence Dexterity or Intelligence.


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