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Rifts B.net RPG
Occupational Character Classes (O.C.C.'s) Psychics

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The Time Before Rifts
A World Overview
The Coalition States
Occupational Character Classes (O.C.C.'s) Men of Arms
Occupational Character Classes (O.C.C.'s) Mercenaries and Spies
Occupational Character Classes (O.C.C.'s) Scholars and Adventurers
Occupational Character Classes (O.C.C.'s) Practitioners of Magic
Occupational Character Classes (O.C.C.'s) Psychics
Racial Character Classes (R.C.C.s) Mutant Animals
Racial Character Classes (R.C.C.'s) Supernatural Creatures
Psionics
Magic

A mind is a terrible thing to waste

Many of the life forms, both human and non-human, possess psionic powers. Psionics or psychic abilities are still paranormal phenomena which can not be fully explained in science. The powers seem to come from the individual rather than being drawn from a foreign energy source such as magic. However, there is some sort of connection or similarity between psychic energy and magic (both use Potential Psychic Energy). This is evident in numerous ways. Psychics can instantly and intuitively operate devised creatures through techno-wizardry, while others can not. They can also sense the supernatural and magic, just as supernatural beings can sense (and are drawn to) them. Also like the men of magic, the psychic's powers are enhanced when near a ley line nexus point (rift).
In the world of Rifts, many creatures possess some small degree of psi-powers; they are considered to be minor psionics and are of little consequence. IN the section that follows, we examine the master psionic. Beings with exceptional psychic powers in their many different and powerful forms.
Generally speaking, psychics of all kinds are feared. The reason is that they are indistinguishable from normal people. The paranoia is that a psychic could be sitting among you and you would never know it. Further paranoia and loathing arises from the notion that the psychic could be reading someone's mind, or mentally manipulate others, or destroy a person with a thought. Unlike the practitioners of magic, who must usually speak a spell or take some noticeable action before they strike, the psychic does not have to make any indication of his true nature to attack. He can be sitting down, drinking a cup of coffee, and kill somebody without so much as blinking, and nobody will be able to tell where the attack came from. Or so the theory goes. In actuality, few psychics have the power to kill so easily, but those few are about to fuel the flames of hate and fear.

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The Coalition, who is truly terrified of psychics, has capitalized on those fears by convincing normal humans that all psychics are not "true" humans, but a mutation and a potential danger to ordinary people. After a masterful propaganda campaign, the people overwhelmingly (88%) approved the institution of the Psychic Registration Program (PRP) and the creation of the Psi-Stalker enforcement officers and their Dog Packs. The PRP requires that all citizens must registers if they exhibit paranormal abilities. Those who register are thoroughly examined, 2-8 days, to determine the extent of their powers, and placed in the PRP file. Minor psionics are simple recorded on the computer log. However, major and master psionics are required to submit to Identification Coding (IC).
IC is a process in which a special, scannable bar code, about two inches square, is tattooed into the skin on the back of the neck and a tiny, scannable implant is placed under the skin in the chest. Both the tattoo and the implant (a double fail-safe system) will activate psi-scanners to alert security that a psychic is present.
Psi-scanner mechanisms are located at all government facilities, at most industrial complexes, and even at many businesses, stores, restaurants, and private homes. When a registered psychic passes by the scanner (usually placed in or near a doorway), an alarm, silent or audible, is activated to alert the owner, or security, to the presence of a psychic, and identifies the psychic by code number and photograph. This can often be an embarrassing situation and many establishments will not allow psychics on the premises. Frequently, government facilities require that a psychic be escorted by a pair of psi-stalkers or a dog pack, especially in restricted areas, even if the authorities have authorized their access to the area.
To refuse identification coding means being branded as a dissident and expulsion from the city. A known dissident is never allowed into any Coalition city. Likewise, the removal of the bar code and/or implant is a crime. If the offending party has not committed any other crimes, the individual will be required to resubmit to IC, is placed on a suspected dissident list, must periodically report to an IC center for inspection, and pays a fine of 10,000 credits. If the psychic was involved in a criminal activity, he will serve the normal sentence for that crime, plus an additional two years for removing the IC code and implant, and it automatically re-encoded. Upon release, the convict is placed on a suspected dissident list and monitored. The penalty for a second offense in the removal of the IC and/or other crimes is time served for the crimes (four years, this time, for removing the IC) and permanent expulsion from the city. A serious crime may mean life imprisonment or execution. Criminal cases involving psychics are always highly publicized.
Psychic visitors to a Coalition city must also report their psychic nature and are given an identification card that must be carried on their persons at all items. Failure to report one's psionic nature, or failure to carry the ID card, will result in an arrest and quick trial. If no ill intent is perceived, the character will be fined 2000 credits and issued a new card. If the psychic is even suspected of foul intent, he or she will be fined, belongings gathered, and escorted out of the city. The character will not be allowed entry into a CS city for a period of six months. Additional incidents will lead to permanent blacklisting, and possibly imprisonment or execution as a spy. If the ID card is lost or stolen, the psychic ust immediately report to the nearest IC center to get a new card issued. A fine of 100 credits is charged as a reprocessing fee. The ID card functions exactly like the permanent IC implants, registering on all psi-scanners and alerting personnel to the presence of a psychic.

Burster

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A physical psychic whose powers manifest themselves in the area of pyrokinesis, the creation and manipulation of fire, is called a "Burster". As the name suggests, these psychics can create fire out of thin air, causing things to simply burst into flames. This rather spectacular display of power has made the burster one of the most feared of all the psychic characters, second only to the Mind Melter.

Soaker

Soaker's were born of necessity. Bands of Bursters roamed the southeast in the years following the coming of the rifts, and offered their services as protectors. When towns refused, the bursters retaliated and would raze the town. Fire brigades were powerless against such power. It all began with one man. His friends called him Soaky, because of his innate ability to control water. A small group of Bursters had entered his town and demanded a protection payment within three days or the town would be destroyed. When the day came for the payment one man stood before the group of Bursters. When he refused to pay the Bursters began to torch the town, only to have each of their fires extinguished. The Bursters then turned their flames at their opponent only to have their own flames extinguished. The town cheered for their hydrokenetic, who disposed of the group of bursters, and became the town protectorate. Later in his life Soaky left the town to seek out others who shared his abilities, and he founded the School of Water. The School of Water is located in old North Carolina, in what was once the pre-rifts city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It currently houses 70 student Soakers, Soaky's great granddaughter being the School's headmaster. The School has a natural rivalry with all bursters. Once Soakers learn to use their abilities (between ages 13 and 20) they are sent out into the world to use them for good. At the age of 30-35 a Soaker returns to the school to teach.

Mind Melter

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The Mind Melter is the most powerful and feared out of all psychics. They are one of the few characters that can obtain psychic powers from absolutely all psychic genres, including the highest abilities and skills of those categories.
Like most psychics in the world of Rifts, the Mind Melter relies more on his super psychic powers than education of anything else. The more arrogant Mind Melters may even refrain from using more than a handful of modern weapons and devices as a sign of just how powerful they are, or believe they are. But this is more than sheer arrogance, for the mind melter is far from foolish, they are truly powerful beings. The telekinetic force field is equal to any man-made or magic body armor and can be invisibly erected with a thought. The psi-sword is an incredibly damaging weapon that can be created out of thin air, as can fire and water. Yet, the most terrifying power are the Melter's ability to influence and control the minds of others. It is these powers of mental manipulation from which the name Mind Melter is derived.
Mind Melters are forbidden entry to all Coalition cities. Their strong psychic essence is easily detected by Psi-Stalkers and Dog Boys, and they are always pursued by them.

Psi-Stalker

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The Psi-Stalker is a mutant whose psychic sensitive powers enable him to sense other psychics, psychic energy, and magic. The character can be human, or a D-Bee, or a Mutoid. Unlike normal humans, the psi-stalker is a natural predator and Potential Psychic Energy vampire! The predator sense the use of psychic energy (Inner Strength and Potential Psychic Energy) and can follow the distinctive energy trail like a bloodhound following a specific scent. Even though all creatures have a certain level of potential psychic energy, the psi-stalker can tell the subtle differences between normal energies and psychic and magic energies. Some innate instinct draws the stalker to those creatures who are psionic or magic. This same instinct makes the mutant want to KILL his prey and drink it's potential psychic energy (which, for a brief instant, doubles when the victim dies). Fortunately, psi-stalkers can train themselves not to kill, although they prefer to kill and feed, and love the thrill of the hunt!
The Coalition States (CS) have trained people with the psi-stalker instincts and abilities to become an elite military police force, specializing in hunting down psychic and magic criminals, supernatural beings, and paranormal interlopers. In addition to the stalker's natural abilities, the warriors are trained in the basic military procedure and combat skills. They are also trained to control their urge to kill. The coalition Psi-Stalkers will not kill unless the soldier is given authorization to use deadly force, which is always approved when stalking a demon or other supernatural being, and frequently when in pursuit of dangerous criminals. NOTE: Because of the Coalition's stand against non-humans, most of their psi-stalkers are completely human in appearance. They can be distinguished from other Coalition soldiers by their spiked helmets and letters "PSI" emblazoned on the chest of their armor and uniforms. ALL psi-hunters are registers psychics with the IC and bear the IC bar code and implant.

Coalition Stalkers generally lead a Dog Pack, or are given easy access to a Dog Pack. The Coalition Dog Pack is a group of four to six specially trained, intelligent mutant dogs used specifically to hunt down and eliminate psychics, practitioners of magic, and supernatural menaces.

Wild Psi-Stalkers are humanoid predators usually encountered in the wilderness and among the ruins of ancient cities. Fifty percent of these are cannibals who eat part of their victims or tear them to shreds. The act of cannibalism, or unnecessary violence, is a manifestation of the predatory killing instinct, because the psi-stalkers only have minimal need for flesh and blood nourishment or water. Remember, they feed on psi-energy. Even those occasional stalkers who live along a ley line, where Potential Psychic Energy is available without killing, are instinctively driven to hunt for living prey. The Coalition scientists hypothesize that the psi-stalker is an evolutionary answer to the politeration of psychic and magic creatures. No one really knows. NOTE: With rare exception, the psi-stalkers never hunt or kill a fellow psi-stalker.

These characters, whether socialized or wild, tend to be very primal and combat oriented. Even the most intelligent is rarely literate. Most are interested in skills that are generally physical in nature of deal with piloting, weapons and combat. Stalkers often speak in low, guttural tones, and have a habit of grunting and growling.