The power of the mind.
I have a love/hate relationship with psychic powers.
I absolutely adore them in fiction. Some of my favorite characters in the science fiction genre have been psychic powerhouses, most notably The Mule from Isaac Asimov’s masterpiece, The Foundation Trilogy. When I play a sci-fi action game, I gravitate towards characters or classes that revolve around psychic powers. Even in sword-and-sorcery roleplaying games, if there’s an option to play a psychic/psionic character, I’m all over that option. (I have very fond memories of The Complete Psionics Handbook, a supplemental AD&D book.)
I detest “psychic powers” in reality because I don’t believe they exist. I don’t despise the idea of them so much as I get angry at the people claiming to be psychics or mediums who take advantage of others in the name of “otherworldly truths” and in the form of large sums of money. But that’s a lengthy debate I would rather have in person than on the internet.
My love/hate relationship with psychic powers is ever on the horizon when I’m writing scripts for STAR POWER. It’s no secret that Psychology Ops is heavily, heavily influenced by the Second Foundation from The Foundation Trilogy, and even though Asimov allowed psionic powers in his masterpiece (his explanation for The Mule’s power was more rooted in psychology than space magic) I resisted the temptation to make Psychology Ops agents actually mind-readers. The Star Power itself is as much space magic as Garth and I are comfortable with. If we had psychic government agents running around reading minds and spearing bad guys with mind-swords like Psi Cop, we would run the risk of turning STAR POWER into a story overpopulated with superpowers and extraordinary abilities, and that is something we agreed to avoid from day one. But I would be lying if I didn’t confess that I’m always a little tempted to have Agent Polgar break out some telekinesis when he appears.
Will I relent one day and include actual telepaths, telekinetics, psychics, or mediums in STAR POWER? Maybe. Who can say for sure? Well, maybe a psychic, but that’s a debate for another day.