Mindscapes

Telepathy, and many other Psychic powers, allow direct interaction between minds. However, the mind is a complex creation. While connected to the brain, it's is more than an organ in the body. The mind is the seat of a beings persona. When a telepath interacts with the mind of a target, he may contact one of the four areas of the mind. These areas are the Surface, the Conscious, the Subconscious, and the Core. These regions are all distinct and are protected from outside and within by a barrier of some sort. The nature of the mindscape is heavily metaphorical.

Characters with Astral Travel or similar powers may explore these mindscapes, possibly bringing others with them.

The Surface


The Surface contains what a creature is currently thinking, expressed in words and images. The appearance of every creature's Surface is unique and mutable and reflective of its persona and mood. Some possibilities include:

  • An open sky filled with sounds and ghostly images of what the creature is experiencing.
  • The regular world is gray and dull as the creature's thoughts are expressed in vivid colors and word balloons.
  • A movie theater where what the creature sees is protected on the screen as its Psychic Presence, popcorn bucket in hand, whispers about what it truly feels.

When a creature is unconscious, its Surface displays its dreaming scenarios.

The Conscious


The Conscious contains everything a creature knows but isn’t currently thinking. Most all that it has observed, perceived, or comprehended is inside its Conscious. The target’s memories, ideals, desires, experiences, fears, knowledge, and even outside influences are all attainable here. However, the Conscious is a big place. Finding anything here requires an Intelligence (Investigation) check from visitors. The DC is based on how relevant the item is to the target, and how far removed they are from cycling the item into the Surface. Finding information important to the target (connected to a proficiency, background, occupation, or about an allegiance or a person close to them) is DC 10. Finding an item of passing interest is DC 15. Finding something of no interest is DC 20. Information discovered here is only as accurate as there memory of the event.

There is a 10 in 20 chance, modified by the target’s Intelligence and Wisdom modifier, that the memory is somewhat flawed.

Personality greatly affects the way the Conscious appears, and there are many analogies. Some ways the Conscious may appear are:

  • A desolate, ruined library where information is stored in dusty tomes and yellowed scrolls.
  • A room lined with small drawers containing index cards where every thought and notion are written in the creature's handwriting.
  • A mall filled with shops devoted to the topics of varying interests. Those of greatest importance might be in a bright, central area, while those of no interest in the dim basement.

The Subconscious


The Subconscious is where memories are stored that the target doesn’t know that it knows. It exists just below the threshold of the Conscious. Here are dreams and nightmares, unrealized motivations, repressed memories, and things it doesn’t admit to itself. Searching the Subconscious is similar to searching the Conscious.

Monsters often lurk here as well. The personifications of painful memories and fears given nightmarish qualities. These beasts vary wildly. The GM is encouraged to set Encounter Levels at the Character Level of the target, but can certainly make them higher if it seems appropriate.

The Subconscious realm always appears as a finite and complex area with poor illumination. Most everything appears here as an analogy. Some possibilities are:

  • An underground labyrinth.
  • A dark factory.
  • A bustling circus.

The Core


The Core is the center of a creature's persona. From here it directs its thoughts and actions. The Core is located within the Conscious, but from here the Surface can be viewed, and the influence of the Subconscious can be felt. In order to mind control, possess, or otherwise mentally influence a target you must gain access to her Core. Even if the influence is indirect, the Core must be accessed, and a phantom of the influencer can be found here.

There are also three other beings who dwell here: Id, Ego, and Super-Ego. There actual names and appearances will vary, but they are the influencing guides of the target. Id is the personification of the target’s base impulses. It might appear as a wretched troll, a demon, a shrewd rogue, or a portly frat brother. Super-Ego is the creature's source or morality and ethics. It might look like an angel, a barefoot poet, a shining knight, or a floating ball of light. Ego is a pragmatist who determines what makes sense. It may seem like a professor, a wizard, a lawyer, or a child. Which is in charge is determined by the target’s persona, but all three typically seek dominance.

The Core may appear in a number of ways, but some possibilities are:

  • A throne room.
  • A bassinet.
  • A control room where several versions of the target are manning consoles.

Barriers


The Mind is protected by varying degrees of barriers. If the target is willing to allow you entrance, you find a door in the barrier and may pass through it freely. If the target is unaware of your activity or unwilling to allow you in, you can bypass the barrier by activating the Astral Travel power and making a power check against the target's Wisdom saving throw. If successful, you see an opening appear such as a hole or a crack. You can enter both the outermost barrier (the Mind Wall) to access the Surface, or the second barrier to access the Conscious in this way.

The Core, located in the Conscious, requires you to activate Astral Travel as a 5th-level power and succeed at a power check. A willing target cannot grant you free access but can grant you advanatage on your power check against its passive Wisdom save.

Below the Conscious and Core is the Subconscious. Its barrier requires you to activate Astral Travel as a 5th-level power and succeed at a power check. A willing target cannot grant you free access but can grant you advanatage on your power check against its passive Wisdom save. If the target is asleep you need only activate your Astral Travel as a 2nd-level power.

Familiarity and trust can help bypass many barriers. Close friends lower the DC to bypass barriers by 2. However, if the target is hiding something from those entering its mind, the DC is not lowered.

Dangers of the Mindscape


The mind is delicate. Traveling into the mindscape of a living being can be dangerous. By interacting with memories, you can change how a creature recalls certain events.

If aware of the presence of others within its Conscious, a creature may alter the appearance of the mindscape at will, effectively taking on the role of the GM, with all objects and creatures treated as Illusions and a maximum Challenge Level equal to the creature's level or Hit Dice.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License