The Semi Adept

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2007

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Psi Soldiers often dedicate their lives in the service of esoteric martial orders charged with protecting civilization"

On the HARP SF Beta forums, it has been suggested that in addition to the Adept profession, which is the foremost practitioner of psionic abilities within the HARP SF rules set, it would be useful if there were additional psionic professions. Semi-psionics, if you like, fulfilling similar roles to the Semis of HARP Fantasy and Rolemaster such as the Ranger and Warrior Mage. Hybrids of psionics and a particular area of human focus (such as combat or subterfuge) rather than hybrids of Arms and a realm of magic.

One of my design goals of HARP SF has been to achieve a purity of archetype that was exemplified in the articles (Philosophy of Professions and Irregular Realms from the March 1999 TGC). Given that HARP (both SF and fantasy) permits characters to advance in multiple professions, it was an easy decision to avoid cluttering HARP SF with hybrid professions such as combined Soldier/Pilot, Soldier/Scout, etc., options. With Skill Flexibility (see December 2006 TGC) to be added in as an alternate human species ability, there's even less need for hybrid professions.

Nevertheless, it is possible to consider that psionics could be a special case, particularly for settings where psionics-wielding characters of various types are integral to the universe. So here are three potential Semi-Adept professions that may or may not find their way into the final version of HARP SF Beta:

The Psi Soldier

The physical and mental abilities necessary to combine mastery of the mysteries of psionics with expertise in the manifold arts of combat are found in few individuals of any species. Psi Soldiers often dedicate their lives in the service of esoteric martial orders charged with protecting civilization; others seek to shape the universe to suit their own selfish desires.

Favored Categories

Athletic 2 General 3
Combat 6 Physical 4
Concentration 4 Vehicular 1

Key Stats: Agility, Constitution, Presence, Quickness, Self Discipline, Strength

Professional Abilities: At 1st level, all Psi Soldiers gain one Latent Psionic Field Talent and one Active Psionic Field Talent (same Field). (The SysOp determines which Fields are available in the setting.)

Beginning at first level, and then every fifth level thereafter (5th, 10th, etc), Psi Soldiers gain a +5 bonus to any one Combat or Concentration skill of their choice. No Combat or Concentration skill can have more than a +20 bonus from this ability.

The Psi Spy

The subtle application of psionic abilities to enhance mundane forms of subterfuge and deception gives Psi Spies an edge that they can ruthlessly exploit in their careers, legal and otherwise. Concealing their psionic abilities from others is frequently the best means of protecting their advantage; Psi Spies will commonly specialise in purely mental disciplines (such as the Fields of Extrasensory Perception and Telepathy) rather than showy physical effects.

Favored Categories

Athletic 2 Influence 2
Combat 2 Physical 3
Concentration 4 Subterfuge 4
General 3

Key Stats: Agility, Insight, Presence, Self Discipline, Strength

Professional Abilities: At 1st level, all Psi Spies gain one Latent Psionic Field Talent and one Active Psionic Field Talent (same Field). (The SysOp determines which Fields are available in the setting.)

Beginning at first level, and then every fifth level thereafter (5th, 10th, etc), Psi Spies gain a +5 bonus to any one Concentration or Subterfuge skill of their choice. No Concentration or Subterfuge skill can have more than a +20 bonus from this ability.

The Psi Tech

Frequently masters of the Field of Electrokinesis, Psi Techs have a more intuitive understanding of technology and can utilize their psionic capabilities to interact with devices on a wholly different level. Creating equipment that in turn can affect psionic abilities is a dream of many Psi Techs.

Favored Categories

Concentration 4 Scientific 3
General 3 Technical 6
Physical 2 Vehicular 2

Key Stats: Agility, Insight, Presence, Reasoning, Self Discipline

Professional Abilities: At 1st level, all Psi Techs gain one Latent Psionic Field Talent and one Active Psionic Field Talent (same Field). (The SysOp determines which Fields are available in the setting.)

Beginning at first level, and then every fifth level thereafter (5th, 10th, etc), Psi Techs gain a +5 bonus to any one Concentration or Technical skill of their choice. No Concentration or Technical skill can have more than a +20 bonus from this ability.