Esper powers can be divided into two broad groups; telekinetics (or psychokinetics) and telepaths (or psionics). Most espers are telekinetics, with a typical individual having the ability to mentally lift great weights, projects bolts of kinetic force, surround himself with a protective field, and leap great distances (or outright fly). Other abilities are possible, with some espers being able to knit their own (or another’s) damaged tissues together, survive environmental extremes with no ill effects, or in some rare cases, instantaneously transport themselves from one location to another.
Telepathic espers are far less common and have more unusual powers. They can read minds, project their thoughts, control the actions of others, assault another mind with pure mental force, and so on. Some can project their thoughts in such a way as to create highly believable illusions, while a few rare individuals apparently have the ability to see (or dream of) events before they happen.
All esper powers, whether telekinetic or telepathic, are mental in origin. When dealing with telekinetic powers, this means the power itself is effectively invisible. Energy Blasts don’t manifest as colored beams of energy, an esper using Flight doesn’t leave a glowing trail, Force Fields don’t produce bright auras, and so on. At the same time, these powers affect the environment around the esper. The aforementioned Energy Blast will rip up the ground it passes over, a flying character will pull small objects along to swirl around his body (or cause objects he passes by to bend or break), Force Fields will push small objects away, while a Force Wall will crack the ground along its path. Known as Esper Side Effects, this phenomenon is explained in greater detail in the next section.
Espers have a number of unique side effects associated with their abilities. An esper’s power is never under his complete control and in many cases the more powerful the esper the more disruptive his powers are when he chooses to use them. See Kazei 5 for several esper-specific HERO System Disadvantages and an in-depth description of the Esper Side-Effects Limitation.
Many examples of esper powers can be found in Kazei 5, The Ultimate Energy Projector, The Ultimate Mentalist or the UNTIL Superpowers Database I and II. Your GM has all of these books and will be happy to let you look them over, just ask.
FREQUENCY OF ESPER POWERS
This table gives a rough idea of the frequency various esper powers. Game Masters should feel free to modify (or even ignore) this chart to suit their own campaign settings. In addition, this list doesn’t try to present all possible esper powers.
END for Esper Powers: Powers can draw on the personal END of the esper or the esper can create a separate END Reserve for their powers. Remember that powers must specify their END source when they are written up. Any psionic END Reserve must take the Limitation Personal REC (-½).
Very Common: Energy Blast, Force Wall, Leaping, Telekinesis
Common: Flight, Hand Attack, HKA, RKA
Uncommon: Damage Reduction (versus other esper powers), Missile Deflection, Running, Telekinesis with Fine Work
Rare: Life Support, Teleportation
Very Rare: Healing, Regeneration
Any Force Wall or Force Field generated by an Esper gains the Advantage Hardened for free.
As a rule, telepathic espers are much rarer than telekinetics. This list would start at around “Rare” on the Telekinetic Powers list.
Very Common: Mind Scanning, Telepathy
Common: Ego Attack
Uncommon: Mental Illusions
Rare: Mind Control
Very Rare: Precognition
Much this section was excerpted from the HERO System sourcebook Kazei 5, written by Micheal Surbrook.
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