Telepathic Guidelines

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Below you will find the guidelines for what is accepted when playing a telepathic or empathic character on Federation Space.

General

Ferengi and related races are psi-null, they neither can have or be read by telepathic means.

Federation Telepathic Races (Races with Telepathy for the purposes of our game): Vulcan, Betazoid, Human (in some rare case), Valtese, Kriosian, Deltan.

A full list of Telepathic Species can be found here.

Common Terms

Telepathy

This form of communication is used by telepathic races found in the Federation. Telepathic communication can be face to face, over a determined distance or from ship to ship. This form of communication can only be initiated by telepathic races and must be ignored by those who the communication was not directed toward. To use telepathic communication, simply italicize as you would for normal thought; the context is what will show that you are using that type of communication.

Mind-melds

An ancient Vulcan ritual in which two persons are telepathically linked, sharing each other’s consciousness. To Vulcans, mind-melding is a deeply personal experience, providing an intense intimacy. Scientifically the process is described as a synaptic pattern displacement. A mind-meld can be used to hone another’s telepathic skill, bear in mind that their must be some latent skill to start with.

Empathy

The ability to sense/feel another emotions or mood.

Telekinesis

The ability to move objects with the power of your mind. (This was unique to Captain Lorien and it not used anywhere else on Federation Space.)

Precognition

The ability to sense events before they happen. (Not used on Federation Space.)

Clairvoyance

The perception of things beyond the natural range of the senses. (Not used on Federation Space.)

All Telepathic character ‘powers’ are dependent upon approval, unless it is a standard species trait.

Etiquette and Rules for Telepathy

It is considered extremely rude to violate the privacy of another’s mind without their express permission. The exception to this would be under order of your Commanding officer, but that would bring ethical and moral issues to bear as well.

Social Telepathy

Telepathy is the central organizational theme of Betazoid society. Among their own people, Betazoids communicate telepathically. Betazoid towns and cities are filled with an undisturbed (some off-worlders may say eerie) silence. Many resort to speech among non-Betazoids, out of respect, though this isn't universal. Betazoids dislike species whose minds they cannot read, such as the Ferengi, Breen, and Dopterians, feeling uncomfortable in their presence; this remains their only unresolved prejudice. Betazoids who lose their telepathic ability feel handicapped, frightened, and alone, with many choosing to lead their telepathically mute lives off-world among other non-telepaths.

Code of Sentience

The Code of Sentience guides Betazoids in their use of telepathy among non-telepaths. Individual Betazoids follow it to a lesser or greater degree, each according to his or her nature. Like any social code, it outlines what is acceptable, proper behavior, to both reassure non-telepaths and safeguard Betazoids:

  • Reading the mind of another without his knowledge is taboo.
  • Even when permission has been granted, the code forbids reading thoughts separate from the purpose of the mind reading.
  • The code discourages a Betazoid from divulging what he reads to another without permission.
  • It is considered rude for Betazoids to communicate telepathically with each other in the presence of non-telepaths.

Acceptable Use in Game

  • Telekinesis, precognition, and clairvoyance are not allowed to be used by players of rated or non-rated characters on Fed-Space. They are completely in the realm of GM-controlled NPC’s.
  • Vulcans are ONLY touch-telepaths unless special exception has been made by site admin. Half-Vulcans where the other half is non-telepathic can only be touch telepaths under any circumstances.
  • Hybrid species abilities are only half as strong as their full-blooded cousins. If a hybrid character is made up of two telepathic species, their abilities do not "stack". Instead they only have half the ability of each species involved. Any exceptions must be on the BIO and approved via the standard BIO approval process.
  • There is no telepathic Universal Translator. That means if a Klingon is thinking to him or herself, a Betazoid is not going to be able to read that person's mind, unless they also speak Klingon. Same as with a Valtese trying to read the mind of a Betazoid, etc. A character cannot read and understand the thoughts of a character speaking in a language which the reader does not understand. Do not assume the character is thinking in Federation Standard just because the text is written in English.
    • It should always be assumed that a character is thinking in their native tongue unless otherwise specified in the post in which they are writing the thoughts.
  • Empathy also works the same way. If an empathic character suddenly came across an unknown alien race, they wouldn't be able to suddenly know what the aliens are thinking, as there is no point of reference. Anger may not feel like anger in every species of the galaxy. Be careful and use common sense when trying to use telepathy and empathy within the game. A character cannot read the emotions of another species which they are not familiar with and have not been trained to read.
  • Generally speaking, Star Fleet would not train officers to read emotions or thoughts of other species as it is considered invasive and taboo. Any exception to this must be approved as part of the BIO review process.
    • Betazoids are trained in reading basic emotions and thoughts of other Betazoids, along with being taught proper telepathic etiquette, as children.
    • When joining Star Fleet, Betazoids are taught to interpret basic surface emotions of major Federation core species. Any exceptions 'must' be listed on the BIO and approved via the BIO review process.
  • Referring to something posted in anywhere other than the current scene or in a character’s BIO as something you picked up telepathically is bad form and should be avoided.
  • If a player wishes to have their telepathic character read the emotions or thoughts of another character, you should ensure that what you are reading/reacting to in your posts is only the very superficial surface thoughts/emotions. 'Anything deeper than that is considered Telepathic invasion and is prohibited without permission from the player. When in doubt, talk to the other player, or avoid using information gleaned telepathically from another’s posts. Always follow the Code of Sentience above.
  • Unless the recipient is also from a compatible telepathic species, or there is an "Imzadi" type bond or some other exception has been approved, you cannot project thoughts into another being. That means you can't think to your colleague across the room, something akin to ~This is a boring meeting. Will the Captain shut up and let us just get on with the mission?~, unless it has been pre-established and approved that you and they can do so. This is in-line with established Trek canon.
    • Telepathic communication is written in game in italics and with a tilde (~) before and after the thought being shared. So, if you ARE communicating to someone that way (within the guidelines mentioned above) then you would write it like the statement above.
    • A character you are communicating with telepathically is under no obligation to respond to, or acknowledge said communication. Just like with speaking, they have the option to ignore your thought-speak.
  • In the case of GM controlled characters, your character can take the action to use their abilities, but you must ask for GM input on what they are able to read or sense in every case.
  • Ultimately if there is question as to the telepathic ability in a given situation, the GM should be consulted with an input request. If it is in a non-GM’ed subplot, then the players in the scene should discuss it before telepathy is employed. This will avoid any misunderstandings and issues.

Any exceptions to psionic abilities must be approved as part of the BIO review process.