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Fantasy Games Unlimited's PSI World.

Fantasy Games Unlimited's PSI World.

Still on my FGU kick from my Top Five FGU Classics, I decided to pull down another game that didn’t make the top 5 list, make a character or two for it, and get a new feel for the game. This time it’s the venerable PSI World. Not as old as Starships and Spacemen, PSI World is a game set in a dystopian future where psionic powers are rare but quite present, and illegal. Two campaign models are given in this 32 page rule book, playing either rogue psions or the police who have to hunt these rogues down to keep society safe.

For teenage Dyson, it was really reminiscent of the classic Cronenburg movie, Scanners, and I loved the concept… although I never got to play it (and my players were non-plussed by the size of the game at a ‘mere’ 32 pages). The game itself uses D&D-like stats (like most games of it’s day) and a percentile skill system, with some skills being a flat “Yes / No” skill instead of a percentile chance of success.

With the choice of creating a psionic or non-psionic character, I go psionic. After all, what’s the point of making a character for a game called PSI World if the character can’t test / take advantage of the cool psionic powers available? Since psions are hunted rogues, my character idea is to make a bike courier character who has always worked as a cog for “the man” who is suddenly hunted because of her discovery of her own psionic powers.

I start by rolling 2d10 seven times and assigning the rolls to the characters stats. These rolls are 11, 9, 9, 10, 20, 6, and 8. Pretty boring except for that nice high 20 there. My first inclination is to put that 20 in Anne’s Psionics stat, but instead put it in Agility, used for control and balance, perfect for a high speed courier. Her lowest stat, 6, gets burried in her Will, so she’s not very good at defending against psionic attacks.

From these stats we also determine Anne’s initiative factor (ok), defense bonus (excellent), and combat bonuses (meh). Finally we determine Hit Points by averaging STR + WIL, then averaging that number with END, and rolling that many d3, then modified again by Strength, Will and Endurance according to a set of tables. In the end we get 8d3-1 which nets Anne 20 hit points. This seems rediculously convoluted to me, but in keeping with the oddities of many FGU hit point systems (like the huge collection of fractional hit point modifiers used in Villains & Vigilantes). Then we have to use that 20 hit points to determine the character’s hit points per body location. Damage is subtracted both from total hit points and from the location hit. What is interesting about the ability score system in the game is the ability to raise ability scores through training, and also through very good attribute saving throws.

Next we get to the Skills chapter where we check Ms. Ranger’s educational background. As a psionic character, she is quite disadvantaged in this roll compared to nonpsionic characters. She gets a General Education, roughly the equivalent of High School. Since we’re going with her as a Courier, she gets the Drive skill from the Technical group, and any other skill points have to be spent on General Skills. She has a total of 18 skill points to spend (from the roll of 4d10).

Since Drive (Bicycle) is a non-level skill, she spends one skill point to acquire it. Her remaining 17 skill points go into Acrobatics (3 – 30%), Balancing Feats (2 – 20%), First Aid (1 – non-level skill), Stealth (1 – 10%), Streetwise (6 – 60%), and Unarmed Combat (4 – 40%).

Aha, here we go! Chapter 3, Psionics! Since I don’t have a definite feel for what psionic power will suit her, I decide to go for random powers. I have the choice of either 1 major power or d2+1 minor powers. Her 2 rolls on the minor powers table come out a 12 and a 1, giving her Time Shifting and Invisibility. Time shifting allows her to travel 1 day forward or back per 5 points spent and stay there for 1 hour per 5 points spent. Invisibility is even more short-lived, costing 10 points per turn, but granting a -50 defense bonus that turn.


Anne Ranger, Rogue Bike Courier

STR (Strength): 8 | AST 32
AGL (Agility): 20 | AST 80
DEX (Dexterity): 11 | AST 44
END (Endurance): 9 | AST 36
INT (Intelligence): 9 | AST 36
WIL (Will): 6 | AST 24
PSI (Psionic Power): 10

Initiative Factor: 13
Defense Bonus: -15
Bonus To Hit: +0
Damage Bonus, Projectile: +0
Damage Bonus, Hand Held: +1
Shock Resistance: 50%
Heal Rate: 1/day

Hit Points: 20
Head: 7
Chest: 11
Abdomen: 11
Right Arm: 6
Left Arm: 6
Right Leg: 6
Left Leg: 6

Psionic Power Points: 20
Psionic Powers:
Time Shifter

Non-Level Skills:
Drive Bicycle
First Aid

Level Skills:
Acrobats 30%
Balancing Feats 20%
Stealth 10%
Streetwise 60%
Unarmed Combat 40%