Psychic Sense (3.5e Variant Rule)
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Psychic Sense (Wis)
You can sense the use and effects of psychic abilities.
Requirements: Psychic Ability feat, can be used untrained
Check: Make a Psychic Sense check to sense a psychic skill in use in your vicinity, to sense an attempt at mental contact, to detect and read the psychic “signature” left behind by psychic skill use, or to trace the source of a psychic manifestation.
Sense Psychic Skill Use: The GM makes a Psychic Sense check for you in secret as a reaction whenever a psychic skill is used in your general area. The base DC to sense skill use is 10 or the user’s Psychic Shield check result, whichever is greater, and the DC increases by +1 for every 10 feet between you and the user or subject of the psychic skill (whichever is closer). A successful result means you sense the psychic skill use and know which talent it falls under, but not necessarily the exact skill used. You also know the general direction and distance to the source of the skill and its target, if both are within your range. If you succeed by 5 or more, you know the exact psychic skill used. If you succeed by 10 or more, you recognize the skill user, if known to you.
Sense Mental Contact: You make a Psychic Sense check against the telepath’s Mental Contact check to know when someone is trying to secretly get into mental contact with you. If you win the check, you sense the attempt, although you may not be able to avoid it (depending on your Psychic Shield and Will save).
Sense Psychic Signature: If you have the Clairsentience and Telepathy feats you can sense old uses of psychic skills in a particular area. The base DC is 15 to detect that a psychic skill was used in the area in the past and 20 to determine what talent was used and roughly when. It is DC 25 to know exactly which skill was used and what (or who) it was used on.
Psychic Tracing: You can trace the origin or the target of any psychic skill use that you detect. Each requires a separate skill check. The DC is 10 or the result of the subject’s Psychic Shield skill check, whichever is higher. Distance is not a factor, but you must have detected the psychic skill use before it can be traced. When used on old psychic signatures, this gives you the skill’s origin and target at the time it was used; it doesn’t provide you with information as to their current whereabouts. You can use psychic tracing to locate the origin or destination point of a psychoportation skill or its user’s location at the time of use (if different from the first two). Any subject that you psychically trace is considered at least casually familiar to you (see Familiarity, page 183).
Special: You can take 10 or take 20 when using Psychic Sense. Taking 10 requires you to concentrate for a minute and not be engaged in other activities. Taking 20 requires you to concentrate for at least 2 minutes. Taking 10 increases the skill’s strain by 1, while taking 20 increase it by 2.
Time: Sensing psychic skill use and mental contact are reactions, taking no time. Sensing psychic signatures and psychic tracing require a full-round action.
Strain: 0 for sensing psychic skill use and mental contact, 1 for sensing psychic signatures and psychic tracing.
Option: Psychic Familiarity
The Psychic Sense skill can detect any psychic skill use in the character’s area. However, the GM may wish to keep some mystery to psychic abilities in the campaign, making it more difficult for psychics to detect skills they do not themselves possess. In this case, the option of psychic familiarity can be used.
The prerequisite to using Psychic Sense to detect a particular psychic skill is either having the psychic talent feat(s) that skill requires or (for an even more limited version of Psychic Sense) having ranks in the skill being detected. Therefore, a telepath can use Psychic Sense to detect telepathy skills, but not psychoportation or psychokinesis skills. In the restricted version, the telepath can only detect the psychic skills that he himself possesses.
This option may be useful if psychic skills are particular common in the campaign, since it means that a player character has her own unique set of skills that she can detect, giving her more reason to rely on others. It also makes it more difficult for any given psychic to detect another, allowing for some degree of mystery and surprise when it comes to psychic abilities.