Familiarity vs. Distance (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Familiarity vs. Distance[edit]

Psychic skills as they are described in this book are assumed to transcend distance as we understand it. Many psychic abilities can operate over any distance. It’s not a matter of how far away the target is, but how well known or familiar the target is to the psychic. This makes psychic abilities more flexible and more like they’re often believed to work, but it can make them harder to limit, particularly when dealing with especially familiar targets. A teleporter can reach his home from anywhere in the world (anywhere in the universe, technically) and to a telepath, a close friend is only as far away as a brief mental contact, regardless of distance.

Some Gamemasters may prefer to limit psychic abilities by distance rather than familiarity. In this case, how well the psychic knows the target is irrelevant, it’s entirely a matter of the distance between the psychic and the target. Simply substitute the appropriate distance modifier from the Table: Distance Modifiers in place of the familiarity modifiers given on page 184. Adjust the values on the table as desired. For example, you may have the distances increase by a factor of 100 rather than a factor of 10. You can also set a maximum range for some or all psychic skills, beyond which they don’t work at all. For example, all psychic skills might require line of sight (making some, such as Sense Minds, almost useless) or they might only work out to a distance of 50 feet, 100 feet, a mile, and so forth.

The GM can also choose to combine the familiarity and distance modifiers, applying both. This means that psychic skills used in line of sight or on familiar subjects close at hand are basically the same, but distant or unfamiliar subjects are more difficult, and subjects that are both distant and unfamiliar are nearly impossible to affect with psychic skills.

Table: Distance Modifiers
Distance DC Modifier Strain
Line of sight +0 0
Up to 50 feet +5 1
Up to 500 feet +10 2
Up to 1 mile +15 3
Up to 10 miles +20 4
Up to 100 miles +25 5
Up to 1,000 miles +30 6

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