[Suggestion] Applied Psionics Department

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[Suggestion] Applied Psionics Department

Postby Marco_Barko » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:44 pm

Right. This might be a bit of a long one, so I'll do my best to format it properly so it's not an eyestrain to read.

I've had this idea stewing around in my head for about a month now, and I'd like to properly pitch it in the hopes that I catch someone's attention, and perhaps someone with the ability to do so might do something with it. At the very least, even if it doesn't look like a good fit for the station, I hope it gives someone some ideas!

With that said, let me propose to you:

The Applied Psionics Department.

I thought this up in the hopes of alleviating a problem that I've continually observed over my time in medbay: Activities run out very quickly, especially with a competent staff. Engineering and science have the ability to make their own fun once the engine and research are done in the form of constructing new areas or altering existing ones, the civilian sectors generally have jobs that require as much attention as you feel like giving them, but once medbay is setup, the round primarily consists of sitting in a chair with your forehead glued to whatever manner of crew monitor you've got available and hoping someone wants a NIF implanted.

Virology could potentially fix this, however in it's current state, all available symptoms are detrimental, meaning there's really no impetus to make a good virus unless you're looking to torture monkeys all round or get banned for releasing it onto the crew. Additionally, outbreaks straight up just never happen unless spawned by an admin. Chemlab fixes this in a way, but after a while you either run out of phoron or run out of interesting things to make, and generally end up with some 4 to 5 remaining hours of the round in which you've got very little to do, which more or less puts you right back at square one.


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As I'm sure most, if not all of y'all are familiar, many other SS13 servers feature this fun, if somewhat broken at times, department by the name of Genetics. A big part of it's draw is enabling medbay to serve as more than just a place to run screaming when someone snaps your arm in half with a toolbox, it lets them augment the crew in various ways, making their jobs easier, safer, and faster. Or just covers them in bees and turns them into monkeys. It takes all sorts.

As our station is a touch less prone to being swarmed with antag roles, and isn't really a good fit, for obvious reasons this feature hasn't seen use for as long as I've been here. However, I'd like to propose something in a similar vein, albeit with a different purpose, one that hopefully better meshes with the kind of station environment present on the adephagia, and maybe gives people some more mechanics to fall back on for the purposes of characterbuilding, RP, etc etc. In addition, I expect it may serve as a convenient aid to certain jobs onboard.

Psionics would be a semi-permanent upgrade to a given character, in the same vein as a NIF implant, and much like a NIF implant, would be able to serve a variety of purposes, with a few key differences present to set them apart:

- - Psionics have a focus on affecting the world around the user, as opposed to affecting the user themselves, the way a NIF does. Telekinesis, astral projection, telepathy, so on and so forth.

- - Only one psionic "kit" can be slotted at a time, mostly as a means to balance these effects in the same way that one can only purchase so many NIFsofts before running out of money, to keep folks from overdoing it. Changing kits would require the assistance of a medbay Psionic Technician, however, you would start the round with your current kit already available..

- - Unlike NIF implants, these wouldn't require materials from mining, just a player skilled enough to do the necessary work to make them available for the crew.

- - Using a kit would slowly degrade it, again borrowing from NIF implants, which should be unsurprising given they were my main inspiration for this idea to begin with.
- - - - - - -

I've brainstormed a few possible psionic abilities just to provide some examples of what I mean and what they could do for the players onboard the station. I'll preface this with saying I'm very, very aware each of these has the potential to be abused in one way or another, but there's a great many other features already available that carry those same risks, and we've been managing just fine so far, so I'm confident the crew can be trusted with these too. These are also still just examples, and should definitely be treated as such. If you've got better ideas, please say so!

Telepathy:
Basically the whisper commend but further targeted. Frankly if none of the rest of this sees use, I would love to at least see this one. NIFs have the messaging system already, but this still seems worth mentioning.

Astral Constructs:
Essentially a psychic toolbox. This would let you materialize an array of items at will, albeit only one at a time. Construction tools, maybe? Surgical tools? Variations based on your current job? Who knows. (I heavily took inspiration from the toolkit implants from TG, I absolutely adore everything about them)

Telekinesis:
I probably don't need to explain this one, but being able to move objects around from afar is a functionality I'm fairly certain is already present within the game somewhere, though admittably this one in particular has me a bit iffy, since I can imagine it has a bit of griefing potential. Nonetheless, I feel obligated to mention it here as it's a bit of a staple of any psychic themed work.

Hypnosis:
I shouldn't need to explain why I know y'all would use this one. A lot.

Astral Barrier:
This would be an on the spot solution for a player under attack by hostile mobs, a deep space miner running from carp for instance, it would provide a temporary barrier around the user that would essentially act as an additional layer of armor.



Obviously there would be far more than just these, but that's for if this makes it past the idea stage.
- - - -

--Implementation--

Obviously the main meat of the whole department would be how these upgrades are actually created. I've given it a lot of thought and I think I've boiled down a decent idea of how to make it somewhat unique, and keep the skill ceiling in line with other parts of medbay like chemlab and triage. One of my other inspirations for this department was the Genetics department of other stations like TG and Goon, which will likely be fairly obvious as I write this bit out.


The Psionics Console would be the main platform to develop, refine, and ultimately export psionic abilities to a master template disk, and from there to a usable format. Vials of some strange liquid would be produced containing the kit, and then loaded into a special surgical tool for use on the brain called the Imprinter. Psionic kits would be constructed under a mental load system, pivoting around how much maximum strain the brain can take before it becomes dangerous, with more powerful psionics causing more strain than lesser, inconsequential ones.

To actually construct psionics, particular virtual neurons would have to be linked together in a given pattern anywhere on a, say, 10x10 grid, and then pulsed to create a psionic ability. This ability would then be added to the kit in question unless later removed. Further abilities would require fitting their pattern in somewhere alongside the existing one on the grid, essentially meaning that to fit multiple abilities you would need to put together a sort of jigsaw puzzle to make the best use of the available space.

Finally, the kit would be exported to a template disk, which would be uploaded to the Neural Template console. This console would allow you to begin producing psionic kits for actual use on crewmembers, via the Imprinter, which would either just be done directly on an awake crewmember, or perhaps via some sort of surgical procedure. Imprinting a new kit onto a host would remove any existing kits, as a quick way to swap them out if necessary. It may even become prudent for field medics to carry an imprinter on them in the field for usage on their team on the fly, if they have the appropriate kits to bring along.

tl;dr:
(Because I know this is a lot to read)

Psionics would be a permanent upgrade to a given crewmember, produced via a special department in medbay, and would mainly focus on manipulating the world around the user as opposed to manipulating them user themselves, and would be a very pleasant activity to have available for slow shifts when nobody is getting injured or needs resleeving.
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Please do let me know what you think, I spent a frankly silly amount of time writing this.
Why are you locked in the bathroom? Maybe you should try getting a job.
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