Monday, July 19, 2010

Everyday Psionics - the Animal Whisperer

Wild psionics exist throughout society, and in a given campaign, can add great flavor to the role playing. Today: the Animal Whisperer.

The Animal Whisperer is a high-charisma individual who exhibits unconscious skills in the psionic type of Communication and Control***. In game terms, he is adept at Charm and Mass Charm. As a skill level 1 or 2 psionic, simple-minded creatures, like insects, reptiles, and fish, he can manipulate easily, while most mammals and birds respond to him readily enough with small efforts, especially when combined with mundane training techniques.

The Animal Whisperer typically advertizes his services as an animal trainer, and training hunting dogs and guard dogs is his stock and trade. He has also produced many prize-winning hunting falcons and messenger birds.

The Amimal Whisperer can also turn a nice profit as a caravan driver. The most stubborn mules move quickly and quietly when he is driving them. Veteran teams of docile draft horses seem to cover twice the ground per day under his guidance. Animals never spook or run away under his care, even when surrounded by fierce carnivorous threats that normally send pack animals bolting in panic.

The Animal Whisperer is also prized by ranchers at round-up time, and to bring back valuable animals which have escaped the herd. He can also be hired to break in wild stallions.

An Animal Whisperer of questionable ethics is also higly prized in the criminal underworld, being hired by thieves and assassins to neutralize guard animals.

The Animal Whisperer is always well-liked, with many would-be friends, including a large stock of female admirers. He attributes his luck with the ladies to his "charm and wit", but he secretly realizes that when he concentrates, he can subtely bend people to his will almost wordlessly. This power scares him, and he does not speak of it to anyone. [In game terms, the ability to Charm people is a skill-level 3 ability, so it is slightly beyond his power to control or exploit with confidence].

The Animal Whisperer is also secretly plagued with hearing voices inside his head, especially in crowds when he is tired or lets his mind wander. For this reason, despite his popularity, he tends to prefer solitude, and usually lives in untrafficked areas, alone with his menagerie of pets and animal companions.

*** Communication and Control type disciplines:
Charm, Confuse, Dispell Exhaustion, Emotion, Empathy, ESP, Hypnosis, Invisibility, Detect Lie, Dominate, Mass Charm, Mass Confuse, Mind Bar, Hold Creature, Sleep, Suggestion, Telepathy, Forget, Fumble, Hallucination, Possess, Summon, Feeblemind, Mass Dominate, Mass Hallucination, Commune with Dead, Contact Other Plane, Exorcise, Mass Possession, Commune with Divine, Commune with Nature, Geas, Hallucinatory Terrain.

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