The ESPER (Elevated Scale for Psionic Energy Registration) scale is a means by which psionic individuals and populations are classified. Psionic aptitude is ranked according to measured values, related to the specific psionic discipline in question.
Psionics are divided between two disciplines: λ (lambda), relating to action performed on the physical world. The ζ (zeta) discipline relates to action performed on the minds of other organic beings. In a general sense, psi-lambda is telekenisis while psi-zeta is telepathy.
Research has shown that there is no true preference for what psi disciplines are expressed in the Verion Cluster. There are just as many species more competent at psi-zeta while weak in psi-lambda, and vice versa. Many species are also competent in both disciplines. In addition, species that demonstrate aptitude for psionics do not always have equal distribution of psi disciplines. A fairly well studied case is one in which the majority of the population is receptive to psionic powers, but only a minority of the population can actually demonstrate use of psionic powers.
In theory, there is also room for another discipline of sorts, classified as α (alpha), which has equal competency in both zeta and lambda powers, but no individuals of this classification have been observed. A few corollary theories suggest that individuals with the alpha classification might have far greater tolerances to exhaustion and other limitations to power usage, but their reasonings are still considered questionable for this claim.
The ESPER scale: Edit
An ESPER level relates to a documented level of psionic aptitude. Individuals and populations can have ESPER levels for different disciplines, such as zeta-5 and lambda-1. ESPER is based in averages; it is likely that a population rated at a certain ESPER level will contain numerous individuals above or below that aptitude.
ESPER 0: A total lack of psionic input and output. ESPER 0 populations tend to be artificial creations.
ESPER 1: Receptive to psionic input; higher ESPER psi-zeta users can communicate telepathically with ESPER 1 individuals. No obvious manifestation of psi-lambda powers.
ESPER 2: Psi-zeta users posess a 'sixth sense' that allows them to sense psionics. Psi-lambda individuals posess weak telekinesis, equivalent to causing a pencil to roll.
ESPER 3: Psi-zeta users capable of full telepathic communication face to face with another telepathic. Psi-lambda individuals can manipulate 10 kg masses with telekinesis.
ESPER 4: Psi-zeta users can communicate at longer range than zeta-3 counterparts, and have the additional ability to communicate with non-telepathic individuals. Psi-lambda users can manipulate 20 kg masses.
ESPER 5: Psi-zeta users begin to manifest powers of mind manipulation in addition to their telepathic aptitude, namely reading thoughts. Mind manipulation is able to be resisted by other psions. Psi-lambda users can manipulate 30 kg masses.
ESPER 6: Psi-zeta users can implant basic suggestions in the minds of others; this ability is able to be resisted. Psi-lambda users begin to see a rapid increase in their capacity, being able to manipulate 65 kg masses.
ESPER 7: Psi-zeta users can implant increasingly complicated and hard to shrug off suggestions in the minds of others, requiring an increased ESPER level to resist. The range of their telepathic communication dramatically increases to be within a few hundred meters. Psi-lambda users can manipulate 130 kg masses.
ESPER 8: Psi-zeta users can totally overpower the mental defenses of ESPER 1-2 individuals, and force them to act on whatever instructions are provided. The controller needs to be close at hand to the controlled individual. Psi-lambda users can manipulate 200 kg masses, and also demonstrate the ability to manipulate magnetic fields at close range to their bodies.
ESPER 9: Psi-zeta users can now overpower the mental defenses of ESPER 3 individuals, and can do so at more than a few paces away. Telepathic range increases to those within a few kilometers. Psi-lambda users can manipulate 300 kg masses and demonstrate the ability to sculpt energy fields similar to hard light at a close range to their bodies.
ESPER 10: Psi-zeta users can now overpower the mental defenses of ESPER 4 individuals within a few dozen meters. Psi-lambda users can manipulate 400 kg masses and demonstrate the ability to manipulate their fields at greater range.
ESPER 11: Psi-zeta users can overpower the mental defenses of ESPER 5 individuals at a few hundred meters. Psi-lambda users can manipulate 500 kg masses, and manipulate their energy fields as effectively as they would an object with mass.
ESPER 12: No populations or individuals studied in the Verion Cluster have demonstrated ability requiring an ESPER 12 classification. Such a classification would require the ability to overpower the mental defeneses of an ESPER 6 individual in the case of psi-zeta, or to lift 600+ kg and demonstrate even more sophisticated field control in the case of psi-lambda.
General roleplay guidelines: Edit
- Psionically capable races should have their powers in moderation; not everyone can be a zeta-10 lambda-10 superbeing. Try to have the species be pretty good at one thing or okay at both, and if you do need an ultra-powerful psion, keep them as an individual.
- Psionic powers require focused attention on a single task. Psi-zeta users have trouble invading the minds of multiple people, and telepathic communication begins to decay the more people are spoken to. Psi-lambda users suffer when manipulating many, many objects. Lifting sand is quite a mentally taxing task.
- Psionic abilities such as the manipulation of fields can lead to lethal strain if maintained for too long or subjected to far too much stress. There are no solid limits for this put forth currently, so just try to be reasonable with what limitations you set for your psions.
- Psionic powers are heavily limited by their range. A good rule of thumb is that you can't act on what you can't see. Higher ESPER psi-zeta users can work past that restriction, extending their telepathy a great range and their mind control a few hundred meters even if they can't see the target. Psi-lambda users must be able to see what they're manipulating.
- Psi-alpha characters are reserved to admin-approval due to their more versatile skillset and heightened resistance to exhaustion from their powers being overtaxed.