Josh Peters
▶ Stars Without Number

Telekinesis ruling:

PC has an Instapanel (p. 75). Wants to use it as a personal elevator: unfold the panel, step on it, and lift-off! Now, it's 20m/round, so it's not flight, and the PC was using it basically as a glorified cargo elevator to get himself and some allies up and down from their ship to a captured cargo freighter ship at sea. THis was not used as some personal conveyance. But was I being too lenient in letting him use TK this way?

The sentence that says yes is on p.38: "The psychic cannot use this discipline to lift their own person without special techniques."

Then, later on down the same page: "A telekinetic force can be maintained over multiple rounds without expending further actions, such as holding a metal platform in place under a group of allies..."

So he wasn't lifting himself, per se, but the panel under him. I do trust this player to not abuse this stunt in the future, so I'm not overly concerned. Just curious.


Kevin Crawford

The psychic cannot bootstrap himself without a special technique. If an instapanel beneath him was enough to do it, his literal boots would be enough to do it.

The example given was specifically of the psychic holding a platform under allies , and not himself. If he wants to fly without a special technique, he's got to make a telekinetic friend and mutually levitate each other with all the coordination difficulties that would ensue.

Dave Sherohman

The justification I've seen for this type of limitation is to treat telekinesis as an additional (invisible and very long) arm. You can use your arm to pick up a coffee cup and, if you're strong enough, you can grab your friend and lift them off the ground, but you can't grab yourself and lift yourself off the ground no matter how strong you are.

At first glance, this justification may appear to fall apart if you consider that you can use your arms to lift yourself off the ground by pushing away from the ground or pulling yourself towards an object above you, but telekinesis in general tends not to generate reactive forces on the user - when you telekinetically push someone away from you, it doesn't also push you away from them (unlike when you push them away with a physical limb), so pushing the ground away wouldn't push you away from the ground, either.

Josh Peters

Thanks guys! Makes sense.

Thomas Huber

Speaking as a player who has this ability. I do not think the logic is sound on the effects. If I can teleport 10,000km yet cant lift myself off the ground until lvl4... seems silly and unrealistic.

Solution though seems easy enough if you have panels you can make a set of stairs that follow you. You still have to walk up the stairs, but the panels cant lift you once you place them in a spot.

But seriously, the rules are just there because they decided to make flight a big deal and a lvl4 action. I honestly do not see any issue with someone lifting their own self, via shoes or whatever, at a simple and unimpressive 20m movement... It really isnt a big deal considering at that lvl you can walk on water or walk on a wall with Kinetic Transversal.