Saturday, August 9, 2014

Playing a Psychic is RIFTS, Part 8: Sensitives

We've got our Telepaths. Sensitives are a step down from Telepaths in that they aren't literal mind-readers, and most of what the Sensitive is sensitive to stems from a thinking entity of some sort. The rest of what they sense is environmental presences that, usually, are the result of thinking entities' activities. If Professor X is a good Telepath example, then Counselor Troi is the cut-rate version that typifies Sensitives.

Playing a Sensitive usually means that your psychic man is not a power-player; for truly powerful psychics, Sensitive powers are secondary abilities that logically follow from their primary power(s). (Mind Melters always develop useful Sensitive powers, and are often logically derivative of Telepathic or Telekinetic ability, for example.) They usually aren't Gishes either, but instead take up the third (and, statistically, most common) approach to the practical employment of psychic power: as Augmentation to ordinary professional development.

So, your Empath is likely to also been a skilled negotiator, counselor, mediator or other strong interpersonal profession or role due where being an Empath greatly facilitates the development of such skills and easily integrates into such practices. One that can Detect Evil/Magic/Psi is often found as an investigator, tracker, bounty hunter, etc. and specialize in dealing with what they detect (e.g. Psi Stalker, Dog Boy). You can see the pattern: the powers point to useful practical occupations wherein the powers can be best employed.

In larger terms, Sensitives--as with Telepaths--are very likely to be found in some form of Intelligence or Military position, often as an asset run by a trained operative instead of being one themselves (unlike Telepaths; they're valued as operatives, and as a class always rise to the top of any society wherein they exist given time and no effective opposition). They're equally valued on both sides of the Great Game, and often concealing as best they can their true nature (even in the Coalition or similar hostile states), as they become targets for removal when an opposing operation makes its move; Sensitives suddenly breaking contact are a reliable signal to savvy operations that an enemy attack has come.

So, playing one means that--while you are often considered to be better than the common man--you're on the level of a soldier with some basic augmentation, or at best on the level of a well-built Cyborg, or a Juicer or Crazy; far more common is a status akin to a Headhunter, in that a Sensitive possesses relevant skills and complimentary powers that augment performance significantly, but are not themselves a big game-changing presence in and of themselves (as Telepaths, Psycho-Kinetics, or certain Gishes can be). You're not a super-hero level presence, but instead a solid pillar of a team whose collective performance can approximate such individuals.

No comments:

Post a Comment