optimal stat: Mind
6 levels, 3 points per level
not available to items of power
Telepathy is the classic psionic ability, and characters with traditional ESP will often possess it. It usually costs 3 points per level and is assumed to have universal ability to reach all life forms. If the ability is somewhat restricted (such as "only with humans" or "only with beasts"), reduce the point cost by 1 point per level. If the ability is very restricted (such as "only with canines" or "only with close friends"), reduce the point cost by 2 points per level.
This attribute allows the character to read and transmit thoughts, and at higher levels, to actually "invade" a person's mind and probe their memories or alter their thoughts. Telepathy normally works only if a subject is in sight, or can be otherwise perceived (touched, heard, etc). If the subject is beyond normal sensory perception, mental invasion is impossible.
A subject cannot detect a telepath reading thoughts or sensory impressions unless he or she has Telepathy (or Mind Shield) at an equal or higher level, or if the telepath informs him or her. If the victim is aware of it, he or she can choose to block the telepath, in which case the only way to get through is via mental invasion. A subject will always be aware of a mental invasion (although a non-telepath may not completely understand what is going on).
Level One: The character can, by concentrating, use mind reading to pick up the "loud' surface thoughts of a particular subject. A "loud" thought is something about which the character is thinking hard or that has a very strong emotional content. The character can also transmit a single feeling, such as "fear" or "love" to another person.
Level Two: The character can, by concentrating, use mind reading to pick up the ordinary surface thoughts of a particular subject. The character can only read what a person is actually thinking at the time. Two telepaths can communicate with one another at conversational speeds by reading each other's thoughts. The character can also transmit a word, simple image, or simple concept (like "flower" or a person's face) to a non-telepath on which he or she concentrates. It requires an entire round of concentration to convey one concept, which makes telepath-to-nontelepath communication slow.
Level Three: The character can, by concentrating, pick up a single subject's surface thoughts and sensory impressions (ie., see through a subject's eyes, feel what the subject feels, etc). The character can choose to edit out some senses if desired. Alternatively, the character can concentrate and read "loud" surface thoughts from 2-6 people. The character can transmit sub-vocalized speech to a single non-telepath at normal conversational speeds or send a single powerful image or word to 2-6 people.
Level Four: The character has the same capabilities as Level Three. In addition, he or she can invade another person's mind. This counts as an attack, and if the subject is unwilling or unaware, the victim can resist on a mind check at -1 per level of the attacker's Telepathy. If the subject is willing or loses the resistance check, the telepath can probe his or her memory for information that he or she needs. The character will also instinctively read "loud" surface thoughts of anyone he or she touches (unless deliberately blocking the ability) without any need for concentration. The character can transmit thoughts at conversational speeds to 2-6 people at a time, simultaneously.
Level Five: The character has the same abilities as Level Four, except that he or she can read "loud" surface thoughts of anyone in the general vicinity without any need for concentration, unless deliberately blocking the ability. A successful mental invasion can even probe memories that the subject can no longer consciously remember. The character can transmit thoughts at conversational speeds to 7-20 people at a time, simultaneously.
Level Six: The character has the same capabilities as Level Five. He or she automatically reads the surface thoughts of everyone in the vicinity and automatically shares the sensory experiences of anyone he or she is actually touching without any need for concentration, unless he or she deliberately tries to block this ability. The character can transmit thoughts at conversational speeds to 21-50 people at a time, simultaneously. If the character succeeds with a mental invasion, he or she may not only probe memories but may also alter them, deleting existing memories or giving the subject false ones.