"They are afraid of us. They see us for what we are, a superior future that can escape the borders of government control. Our minds are truly free to both think AND act as we wish, and our dreams can become reality. We must guard ourselves against them, for they cannot help but be envious. We are evolution in motion." -- Hiram Warner
An Esper is the common term used for a Delta Sapient who possesses unusual abilities that can be controled by the power of thought. This distinguishes them from Delta Sapients who possess unusual abilities designed for a specific environmental condition, or the even more common "Kents" who possess optimized human genetics, and whose abilities are constantly active and often sub-conscious (such as Immunity to a Disease, resistence to heat, etc.).
Espers began because of the original Delta projects, and the earliest Espers were Empaths, followed by Telepaths, caused by the tweaking of certain human genes of perception. Later, as the science of Paragenetics developed, the introduction of non-human and non-terrestrial dna (xeno-dna) from species that possessed natural psionic abilities (such as Telekinesis), this included the development of different methods of generating, storing and consciously manipulating the bodies energies, chemicals and in some cases even cellular capabilities.
Unfortauntely, with advancement, there has come fear on the part of non-Delta humans, and a certain amount of dislike by individuals and certain religious groups among the alien races (especially those who's dna was used to develop certain strains of Esper genetics.
It is important to note that it is believed that some Technomages have managed to duplicate some Esper abilities, thru the use of sophisticated technology, but that they are not necessarily espers themselves (but some may be). Additionally at least one alien race uses a technology that amplifies the abilities of Espers, and it is possible that they, other races or technomages may have developed such amplifiers as well.
The actual game mechanics involved may include several 'powers' under Hero. These may be bought as 'straight' abilities (especially if they are very few in the number of actual 'powers'), or inside an Elemental Control (Esper Powers) or Multi-Power, but should not be built within a VPP.
It's important to remember that Delta Espers, unlike Kents, are not limited to normal human maxima, and may have higher attributes (sometimes vital, such as in the case of END, to power their abilities).
Biokinesis is the ability to manipulate and control the cells, muscles, glands and chemical triggers of a living body.
This ranges in abilities from regeneration, to temporarily enhanced attributes (game mechanics ex: Aid) to healing abilities of others. The more commonly applied concept of this ability is that related to healing, and is generally caused by the character having or producing 'extra' cells and chemicals in their body that can excreted thru direct skin to skin contact to other living things to repair damage, fight off infections, repair damage etc. Because of this, Healing is always bought without Range in the setting, and must require skin-to-skin contact (an additional 1/4 Limitation) and cannot be bought down to a zero END cost. The reason for the no reduction of END to zero is because the character is giving up some of their own body chemicals and cells to achieve the functions involved, which need to be replenished afterwards, and personal END expenditure is the most realistic way of showing this (although some characters might also lose some Stun as well, which could be shown in game mechanics as a Susceptability whenever they use their own powers to heal, or a Side Effect Limitation on the power). Note That use of Biokinetic Healing on a drastically different biology may be weakened or ineffective - a normal carbon based character cannot heal a silicon based one, and an oxygen atmosphere character would have only 1/2 effectiveness on a Methane breathing character.
Is the ability to produce and manipulate measurable amounts of electrical current that may cause harm (like the
Asadi race), or may power equipment, create an electro magnet, or if very finely tuned, allow a certain amount of control of electronic equiment. It generally requires one or more organs to enhance the body's natural electricity generation capability, or enhancement equipment. It is said that some Technomages have found mechanical means to enhance the body's abilities this way, and it is known that some races have developed Implant technologies to create this result as well.
Empathy, like Telepathy, is an ability to sense, interpret and broadcast ELF (Extra Low Frequency)electromagnetics,
which nearly every known sentient species produces. The Empath uses these abilities to perceive and manipulate the
emotions of others. It is an enhancement and refinement of naturally occuring human genetics, not an inclusion of alien dna, that allows these abilities. It is theoretically possible to block or jam these signals, or for someone to have a sufficiently alien response system that their emotions cannot be easily or correctly interpreted.
This is the ability to manipulate photons thru micro-forcefields generated by the character, and even to temporarily absorb or convert them into part of the force field energy or to drain them of their energy charge. Photokinetics are rare among
Espers, and seem to be a branching from the strain that produces Telekinetics or Thermakinetics.
The future is not a fixed concept, it is a constantly changing series of potential directions that events may lead to.
A character with precognition has the ability to take in a wide range of variables and determine a likely result that the
future will take via conscious and subconscious calculations and understandings. Precognition is never perfect, and the further the distance in the future, the harder for abilities associated with this category to produce effective results.
Generally characters with this trait should have an above average Intelligence. Esper precognition is, in humans, caused by enhancing existing genetic capabilities, not by adding non-human DNA, in most cases. Many precognitive characters have additional senses, detection abilities, Spacial Awareness, Clairsentience and other unusual abilities that feed their brains more data to produce their knowledge of coming events. Players & GM should always remember that Precognition is NOT always correct, there will always be surprises and uncertainty.
The ability to sense, read, understand and broadcast coherant information is achieved thru refined and enhanced abilities to sense, interpret and broadcast ELF (Extra Low Frequency) electromagnetics. Nearly all known sentient species produce ELFs, the telepaths are able to process the information and broadcast at much larger scale then others. Note that some species are harder to work with than others, as their frequencies are different, and the meanings of their output may be very alien to a human. Like Empathy, Telepathy can theoretically be blocked or jammed by machines, and distance can
also reduce effectiveness or prevent it.
The ability to move matter with the mind is achieved by the generation of force fields/force walls of energy. These may be micro-forcefields (small enough to move a penny) or extremely large ones (capable of make a character appear to fly by raising them up on a forcefield 'pedestal'. They can also be used to protect (against Matter, energy or both), strike or crush an object. Telekinetics, like Photokinetics and Thermakinetics are varients from a single strain of dna development,
resultant from including xeno-dna. Many Telekinesis abilities have been duplicated by Technomage devices, and there is at least one sentient race that has natural telekinesis ability.
Teleportation is the ability to move an object, animal, person or oneself thru T-Space. Like T-Gates themselves, the actual Physics involved is not well understood. The Teleporter is basically opening a small, personal gateway and guiding whatever is being moved to a destination that they can perceive in some way. Teleporters normally can only travel short distances, a few dozen Kilometers at best. There is generally a poping sound when a teleporter leaves an area, and a rush of wind as they arrive, as they take a bubble of atmosphere with them when moving (along with attached items etc.) creating a vacuum that is quickly filled where they have left from. (The larger the teleported object, the louder the sound and the greater the rush of air).
A Thermakenitic is capable of agitating or slowing the movement of molecules in a limited space, causing heat or cold, fire or ice. They can also in the process cause some items to melt, freeze or explode. The ability is based on the manipulation of matter via generation of microwaves (for heat, flame, melting and explosion effects) and a micro-forcefield generation that halts the movement of matter dropping temperatures in the process.
Common Esper Disadvantages
There are a number of common disadvantages that Esper characters may have because of their abilities. Unlike Racial Disadvantages, since not all Espers suffer from all of them, these do count against a character's category maximums on Disadvantages if possessed.
Guardians of Quartermain is an outline of an unofficial science fiction setting for DOJ, Inc.ís Hero Systemô 5th Edition (ISBN 1-58366-000-3). It requires the use of the Hero Systemô 5th Edition rule book. It is not in any way authorized by DOJ, Inc. nor is it intended to in any way infringe on their copyrights or trademarks. Contents are Copyright 2002 by Joseph Teller & Kiralee McCauley. Permission is granted for all non-commercial usage and duplication, in part or in full. All other usage requires written permission by the authors.