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So, just what ARE the "advanced" mental powers - Telekinesis, Telepathy and ESP-really good for? My race has a moderate level of one of these, mostly because it "fit in" with the concept. So far, I have seen no signs of any kind of advantage from it, unless it is allready invisably rolled into the Life Form Modifiers. Invisably, because there are no modifiers listed in the main rules.


I know that these "powers" are listed as being only really useful with "proper training and equiptment", but the only different equiptment Ive noticed is a specific type of MMD. I am currently researching this weapon, as well as more advanced Psychology (since it says that it helps with "technologies relating to mental functions), but Im wondering if Im missing something that would make this power a little more functional.


As I said, I bought the ability because it fit the racial concept, however, I would be disappointed if I just wasted a bunch of points that could have been used for an ability that DOES something, or saved as SRPs for later developement.

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There's been many discussions about this, over the years.

Do a search for mental powers, on the SN:ROTE forums, for all the relevant threads.


Best answer I can give you, is a post by Pete:


Mental powers are essentially tech advances, similar to horizon techs such as Social or Space Science. They can open up other technologies in the tech tree, such as mental power-based mass destruction devices. Mental powers can also provide fairly substantial bonuses to exploration. They are also useful in ground combat as they comprise 3 out of the 35 ground combat tactical areas--those are areas that non-mental-power races will have a very hard time achieving bonuses.

Which can be found here.

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So far, despite having several empires with max mental powers and delving into several areas of technology in hopes of finding those special paths that the rulebook speak of as available to mental powers we've only found that mental powers enable you to build mental MDDs with no other techs being present. So basically we think most of the stuff in the rules about

The true rewards for having a mental power come only when you have devoted the research & development time necessary to bring

out the potential of that power. R & D efforts dedicated toward such goals, however, can only come at the expense of projects dedicated to

technical achievements so the price for developing such powers will be an increasing reliance on those abilities and the capabilities they provide

you with and less dependence on technical solutions.




Telepathic mental powers involve the use of the mind as a sensory organ, as a means of communication and, ultimately, as weapon of control.

Telepaths typically utilize their powers in an indirect manner, improving communications between themselves, gathering intelligence from their

enemies and as an edge in diplomatic situations. The use of their abilities as a direct weapon, requires considerable natural ability (at least Class 4

potential) and training.


ESP (extra-sensory perception) mental powers convey the ability to perceive events in paranormal ways. ESPers typically utilize their powers to

gather information at range. Intelligence gathering abilities of this nature can be of great value, particularly in combat & exploration situations

where dealing with the unknown is a constant. A powerful ESPer may be able to perceive events out of time as well which could allow for the

acquisition of knowledge which could not be obtained in any other way.


Telekinetic mental powers allow for the manipulation of matter and energy by the mind. Telekinetics deal primarily with inanimate objects,

unlike telepaths, and their abilities serve as a tool as well as a weapon. Powerful telekinetics can be extremely dangerous in combat situations and

their powers have obvious scientific & industrial advantage potential as well.


Is just fluff from what we've seen in the game so far, it may that it is something that wasn't implemented in time for the game start and that Pete decided they should just be MDD and ground units which is a pity since they were promising as an alternate way to progress in the game. One of the things one has to painfully learn in this game is that there is a lot of fluff and "color" in the rules, ANZ etc and come to terms with that :rolleyes:





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Well, that would really be a shame if that is the case. Alot of the stuff that is apparently just "fluff" or "color" would be marvelous, interesting additions to the game if they were properly filled out.


From a very long time ago, one of Supernova's distant ancestors, Starmaster, allowed for telepathic or psionic (ESP) type species. If you were one of these types, your ground combat unit's development followed COMPLETELY different paths than those of the more "common" mind types. Of course, there was no option for building different types of weapons (Armor, Artillery, Aircraft, ect); each Army "unit" of the same type of technology was the same at the same "Tech Level".

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I used to play StarMaster as well and played a telepathic hive mind race of Shamali Saluki (hairless dogs) and agree with you. One of the reasons I chose lvl 4 in all mental powers was that I hoped there would be a way to develop unique techs for them. And there is really nothing unique in the new ways of blowing people up I found :rolleyes: So basically they're overpriced ground techs. since the rules say that they don't affect your species ability bonuses in any way



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I used to play a telepathic hive-mind myself, and have something similar in SN. It's too bad that apparently there is no benefit to it now.


Pete stated (in another, old, thread I just found) it wouldnt be fair to give huge bonuses or advantages to races with mental powers, over those who spent that same amount of points on other things. This is, of course, true. Soooo.....maybe the mental powers should cost more?


Just the fact that there are races (and this is no criticism of THEM, but of the system) that started maxed out in ALL THREEE mental powers, indicates that they are way too cheap. Even a Brain-in-a-Jar type lifeform probably shouldnt start out maxed in all three. But as they developed, they should be truly scary.


Now this is not to say that races with advanced mental powers should be INNATELY superior to those without. But they SHOULD be significantly DIFFERENT. Consider the "tech trees" that they should have...and the ones they would likely never develop. Do telepaths have the same need for a telegraph, and all the communications equiptment that evolved from it, as a non-telepath? Are Telekinetics more likely to develop material armor...or advanced force screens based on TK? Would Telepaths or ESPers create vast networks of electronic computers...or would they form neural nets of minds? These technologies, be they considered Horizon Techs or other kinds of tech, would replace many of the technologies that non-Telepath, non-TK, or non-ESPers would have.


Of course, this is true of many things, that are not taken into account in the system. Aquatic, Subterranean, or Flying races would develop different technologies than standard "ground pounders". Its true that you CAN simulate this yourself with the choices of technologies you research, but it would seem that with the way technologies and combat are set up, an Avian race that chooses not to research any Armor or Tank technology, or the Subterranean race that chooses not to research any type of aircraft, is putting themselves at a disadvantage when faced with those who disregard their "type" and simply research for the best mix of units.

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I too have been searching in vain for a path that leads to 5th Generation mental powers. :blink:


But I have feelings of hopeful expectation :unsure: that our racial extraordinary sensory powers lead to more exciting archeological finds. :drunk: One must have faith that some undisclosed and unverifiable combat bonus :robot: is gained from telepathic timing of coordinated actions, premonitions, and sub-conscious common purpose. :alien:


600 startup points has to be worth something. :pirate:

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I too have been searching in vain for a path that leads to 5th Generation mental powers.  :robot:


But I have feelings of hopeful expectation  :unsure:  that our racial extraordinary sensory powers lead to more exciting archeological finds.  :drunk:  One must have faith that some undisclosed and unverifiable combat bonus  :alien:  is gained from telepathic timing of coordinated actions, premonitions, and sub-conscious common purpose.  :unsure:


600 startup points has to be worth something.  :pirate:


About to get a 4th Gen mental power out of the research que. You are telling me 5th Gen doesn't pop up automatically? Time to rethink the research priorities once again. Perhaps need higher life, medical, psych and/or social tech generations to prompt the next mental power tech level? Or does one need to research the most advanced available WMD in that mental power? Perhaps black market, consumer goods and advances in food concentrates fit in somewhere? These are expensive research considerations. :blink:


Octus Imperium

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Well, I can tell you for certain that the option to research 5th Gen mental powers doesnt appear after you complete 4th Gen. What disturbs me a bit is that apparently Sargon STARTED with 4th Gen in all the available powers (hence the 600 startup points) and has been reseaching this for...3 years? (from the date he joined the forum) Without success. So either he is doing something SERIOUSLY wrong, or the prereqs are Many, High Level, and Obscure. Im not complaining...but hopefully the results of success are a little more useful than the first 4 levels are.



Speaking of obscure technologies....has anyone come across Psychohistory Horizon Tech? :) Research that Psychology and Social Science!! Be the first one to build a new Foundation!!

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I have been researching almost all of the horizon technologies. Which means I haven't progressed very far on any of them. (I only have one at 5th Gen)


Whatever the prereqs are - I'm assuming I will have to get them up to 6th Gen before I gain access to 5th Gen Mental.


So I think it will be a long, long time.

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