Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mind Games: The Gadgets!

Yeah, I know I was going to start right in on the characters, but I think the gadget section bears more attention than a brief mention.  Mind Games takes the time to detail equipment carried by PSI villains, and - more importantly - the PSI Guard, their cadre of agents.  Some of the equipment is fairly prosaic (Kevlar vests), but we get some pretty crazy stuff, and if you ran an all-mentalists game, or one that focuses heavily on PSI, I could see an arms race of sorts cropping up as the good guys try to develop tech to counter PSI's.

First up are the Psiphon Grenades.  These are gas grenades that suppress the victim's willpower (EGO Drain).  Officially, these are used primarily in the kidnapping of potential targets for PSI "recruitment," but I could see a crew of agents supporting some PSI villains using them to soften up the heroes.  They're particularly effective against enemy mentalists, since Life Support and Power Defense aren't typically high priorities for that power profile.

Next up are their Energy Pistols.  Nothing particularly exciting about these: just a Multipower that shifts between an RKA and a NND.  They're a useful enough weapon for an agent whose not expecting superpowered opposition, but nothing scary.

The Psi-Visors are pretty cool.  They're mirrorshades that allow UV vision, along with a decent amount of Mental Defense. The Mental Defense technology shows up in a couple of the villains' write-ups, as personal Foci.  There's also a version of this gadget PSI hands out to potentially untrustworthy allies.  It scans the wearer constantly for signs of betrayal and triggers a nasty little killing attack should they surface.

Paralysis Webs are just plain nasty.  It's just a one-shot Entangle, but it's got that lovely "Entangle Takes No Damage" Advantage.  Bloody annoying.  It's also part of the PSI Guard "Capture Kit."

But how does PSI find the mentalists in order to recruit capture them, you ask?  Why with PSI-Scanners, of course.  A handy-dandy detection array.  Sort of like a miniature Cerebro, but for Mental Powers.

(It's worth noting that PSI are kind of like the evil mentalist version of the X-Men.  Of course, they're less nice when it comes to recruiting.  But it would be very easy to slot them in as a group of oppressed "freedom fighters" using whatever means necessary to protect their own.)

The last two pieces of tech are used in unison:  First up is the Teleportation Platform.  This sucker is pretty much what it says on the tin: a medium-range (1.8 km) mass teleportation device (it can handle up to eight people at a time).  PSI recovered it from a government installation that was examining a crashed alien spacecraft).  The platform is immense and heavy; PSI keeps it in a moving van in order to transport it.  It's also effectively one-way, however their in-house technical genius (Brad "Gizmo" Richards) developed a means of overcoming this limitation: the Panic Rings.

These rings communicate with the Teleportation Platform, allowing the wearer to return teleport to it.  The ring is a 38 point OIF and is worn by every PSI villain.  It's costly, but entirely worthwhile, as it allows PSI to hit and vanish quickly.  I could see acquiring one of these rings as a major plotline in campaign featuring PSI.  Perhaps a heroic gadgeteer could find the the rings use to communicate to the platform, allowing the heroes to find it, or prevent them from returning to their getaway point.

So, that's PSI's tech.  Cool stuff, IMO.  Next time, we'll get into characters, I promise.

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