(Note: potions of this article previous appeared in the Kazei 5 worldbook from Hero Games. Permission to duplicate select material has been granted by the author of Kazei 5.)

In the universe of Silent Möbius, a "yelper" someone with telepathic or telekinetic powers. Their powers and abilities greatly resemble those of the typical anime 'epser' or psychokinetic (such as Kyosuke Kasuga from Kimagure Orange Road and Tetsuo from Akira). In Volume 2 of the manga, Kia Asamiya states that"ylper" (or YLPER) comes from the term "ylem perception" and that the term ESP (and thus 'esper') is obsolete and no longer used.

Semantics aside, a Silent Möbius yelper is functionally identical to the generic anime psychokinetic. They are able to perform incredible feats of telekinesis, including lifting great weights, flying, deflecting bullets and other attacks, hurling blasts of telekinetic force, crushing objects (such as vehicles) and teleporting both themselves and others. Some look to possess various telepathic powers, including mind reading, telepathic communication, illusions and attacking another's mind with bolts of pure mental force. Such is the power of a ylper that often the only thing capable of fighting a ylper is another ylper.

Ylper Powers in the Silent Möbius Zeta Campaign

We seen two examples of a ylper in the Silent Möbius manga, Yuki Saito and Annie. Through most of the manga Yuki's powers are mainly limited to random precognitive flashes (until Volume 4 where we get to see here shred a Lucifer Folk with her abilities), while Annie tosses around a number of powerful ylper attacks almost willy-nilly, scattering the police and rending Kiddy helpless. The only thing that stops Annie is the fact that her powers end up backfiring on her, tearing her apart from the inside and killing her.

Although we only actually see Yuki and Annie in action, mention is made of a Doug and a Hiroko, two more yelpers and (along with Annie and Yuki) members of a government venture called the YLEM Project, the purpose of which was the creation of "ylper weapons". According to Annie (and there seems no reason to doubt her word), the Japanese (or , more likely, the Tokyo) government selected a number of orphans and implanted them with 'factors'. These factors are not explained exactly, but seem to be genetic in nature. It is likely that the factors were sections of DNA coding known to contain the commands to unlock latent ylper powers in the subject's mind and body. It so happens that Doug and Hiroko were killed and their 'factors' were implanted in Annie, allowing her to increase her already considerable ypler powers. As a side effect, Doug and Hirko's awareness was still active within Annie's body, allowing them to turn Annie's powers on herself and in the end, kill her.

The Nature of Ylper Powers

First, and most importantly, all ylper powers have the same special effect in that are telekinetic powers. This means that these are physical powers that affect a character's physical defenses (such as Armor, Force Fields, Force Walls and Physical Defense). The exception to this rule is ylper powers of a mental (ie. Ego-based) nature, which have a telepathic special effect and affect the character's Mental Defense.

Second, although these powers produce physical effects, they are mental in nature, and have—to some extent --, the Advantage "Invisible Power Effects (sight)" at no extra cost to the power. Thus, a ylper manifesting his powers does not create a visible force field, leave a trail of energy when he flies, or generate a visible energy beam when he unleashes an attack. On the other hand, ylpers do generate various undesired side effects when using their powers that make them recognizable to an outside observer. High-power force bolts tend to rip up the ground along their path of attack, while smoke or fog may reveal the presence of a Force Field or Force Wall. Other effects include weak, localized telekinetic manifestations (such as swirling debris) or even damage to objects in the character's immediate vicinity (such as cracking walls and floors). So, while the power itself is not physically visible, it will create enough of a disturbance that most viewers will know what is going on, or have a good idea of what type of power is being used.

It should be noted that the severity of these effects is often dependent on the ylper's state of mind. When performing simple telekinetic feats, these side effects are usually minimal to nonexistent. It's when angry, emotionally disturbed or in the middle of combat that the ylper begins to damage his surroundings as much as his enemies.

Most of the time, these destructive occurrences are merely special effects of the powers and have no real effect on play. Those who wish to further emphasize this sort of effect could consider buying such powers as Change Environment (low-power telekinetic effects), Telekinesis (usually with Radius of Effect, and usually centered on the character) or Killing Attacks (with power modifications similar to Telekinesis, but only affecting the inanimate), with the Limitations of "No Conscious Control" and "Linked to (x) Power."

If desired, GMs may choose to make these sorts of effects a variation of the Side Effect Limitation, applying the effects to the character's environment, rather then the character himself. If doing so, the GM should consider using the Side Effect limitation as follows: "60 Active Points, or the Active Points in the Power, whichever is greater (-1/4)." This form of side effect doesn't harm the character directly, but is destructive to his environment, annoying to have occur and makes the character rather conspicuous. The GM should also ensure that the side effects are bought with Radius of Effect and will affect the ylper's environment and allies as well as his enemies. Alternatively, the GM may award this side effect to all ylpers without allowing a limitation, to compensate for the relatively inconspicuous nature of their visual effects.

Finally, it is perfectly legal for a character to buy his powers with the advantage "Invisible Power Effects," representing powers that the character has under a great deal of control. These powers would be truly invisible, and would not manifest most of the effects mentioned above (or if they do, the effects will be very minor and only in the character's immediate vicinity).

Ylper Powers and Modifers

Ylper Awareness
With this power, the character can sense the use of another character's physical (i.e. telekinetic) ylper powers with a standard PER roll. Ylper Awareness is a subset of Mental Awareness; all ylper powers are visible to characters with Mental Awareness, but Ego-based powers are not visible to characters with Ylper Awareness. To be able to sense the use of mental (Ego-based) ylper powers, the character needs to buy Full Ylper Awareness, which costs an additional +2 points. This allows the character to sense both physical and mental powers in use. All characters with ylper powers have Ylper Awareness at no cost. Full Ylper Awareness should usually (but not always) be bought by characters who have mental powers to begin with.

Ylper Awareness is considered to work as a form of psychic "hearing." It is a non-targeting Sense that works over a full 360 degrees, allowing a character to "hear" or "feel" another character's power. Any attempt by the character to detect another ylper takes only the standard modifiers for range. There are no modifiers for barriers, as nothing seems to block a character's perception of other's ylper fields. The character also receives a bonus to his roll equal to (Active Points/10) in the target's largest active power. It should be noted that reasonably powerful ylpers can often be sensed by their mere presence alone! (See Distinctive Features below.)
Cost: 3 points for ylper Awareness, 5 points for Full ylper Awareness.

Energy Blast
Commonly, a ylper simply releases bolts of telekinetic force. Another method is for the ylper to use his telekinesis to crush the target with chunks of asphalt, concrete or other materials ripped up from the ground around the character. Buying a physical Energy Blast with the Limitation of "Requires Available Material" (-1/4), or "Requires Specific Material" (-1/2), is recommended.

Silent Möbius ylpers don't normally generate their own entangles. Instead they often use material such as wires, pipes, cables and tubing to wrap up their opponents. To simulate this, the character should buy his Entangle with the limitation of "Requires Available Material" (-1/4 to -1/2, depending on required material). Since these attacks usually originate from beneath the intended target, "Indirect" (+1/2) is also recommended. Characters who can immobilize opponents with nothing but ylper force should buy their Entangles with the Advantage "Transparent to Physical Attacks" (+1/4). Such an Entangle is unaffected by all physical attacks (guns, knives, punches etc.), but it can still be affected by ylper powers such as Telekinesis and Energy Blasts. Suggested limitations for such an Entangle include "Concentrate" and possibly "Backlash"; these Limitations represent the extreme effort a ylper must endure to mentally immobilize a target.

Force Wall
As wil all other Silent Möbius Force Walls and barriers, a ylper's Force Wall power is often centered directly on the character, and usually only defends the hexes immediately in front of or around him. This can be defined by utilizing the Limitations of "No Range" (-1/2) and "Limited Coverage" on the power.

Damage Reduction
Due to the nature of Force Walls, most ylper combats will be all-or-nothing affairs, where the character either deflects the entire attack or has his defenses overwhelmed, and the Force Wall collapses, leaving him fully vulnerable to any follow-up attacks. Also, Force Fields and Force Walls make it fairly difficult to physically harm an opponent, unless truly powerful attacks are used. An option is to consider linking low power Force Fields and various levels of Damage Reduction together. Such a combination will defend the ylper from most of the Stun damage, while still allowing some Body damage to leak through; this is a very genre-specific effect.

Missile Deflection
Aside from the more common defense of Force Wall, players may want to use Missile Deflection to protect their characters from ranged attacks. This is a perfectly valid option, as genre anime characters regularly deflect bullets, each other's force bolts and even lasers. Since this power is presumed to be an extension of the character's telekinetic abilities, it should be bought with the limitation "Costs End" (-1/2).

Precognition isn't usually a very dependable power in Silent Möbius (or the any anime for that matter). Its reliability is uncertain at best, and the power usually only manifests as unpredictable flashes, in dreams, or when the precognitive touches someone. To reflect this, it is suggested that characters buy the power with any or all of the following limitations:

  1. Uses Time Chart for Perception Modifiers (-1/4): this means that the further into the future the ylper tries to look, the more difficult things are to see. Each step on the time chart should be treated as a similar step on the range modifier chart. Thus, attempting to view the next Segment is at -0, while the next Phase is at -2, the next Turn is at -4, the next Minute is at -6, and so on. Taking extra time, or buying Perception Bonuses to Precognition can help alleviate this problem.
  2. Concentrate: 0 DCV Meditation Throughout (-1/2)
  3. Only While Sleeping (Dreaming) (-1): Note that this type of precognition usually requires several hours of sleep, and cannot be consciously activated.
  4. No Conscious Control (-2): this is the form of precognition is possessed by Yuki Saiko, as her precognitive dreams occurr almost at random.
  5. Extra Time (var): it is recommended that this power take at least a full Turn to activate. Note that this limitation should not be used in conjunction with "Only While Sleeping (Dreaming)."
  6. Side Effects (var): side effects can include Drains to Endurance or Stun, or just straight Stun damage, reflecting the shock that such visions can produce.

Aside from physically attacking one another, ylpers may try to counter an opponent's abilities through neutralization. By generating inverse telekinetic effects, a ylper can suppress an enemy's powers. Buying Suppress with the +1/4 Advantage of "Any Given Power of a Given Special Effect" will allow the character to effect any ylper power.

This is one of the most common powers among ylper individuals. To allow for the extreme feats of telekinesis seen in the anime genre, Telekinesis is priced at one Character Point per each point of STR in the Silent Möbius Zeta campaign. The minimum cost of Telekinesis is still 10 points.

A common advantage for Telekinesis is "No Range Modifier" (+1/2), simulating than an average anime ylper can affect anything he can normally see. Since Telekinesis is supposed to be a mental power in this genre, characters should be allowed to affect objects seen through windows and behind other semi-transparent barriers.

Note: Characters who want to give their ylper superhuman strength defined as "No Range Telekinesis " should simply buy (X) Strength "Doesn't Affect Figured Characteristics" (-1/2). Although a ylper can use his normal telekinesis at "no range," this power allows the ylper to retain a portion of his telekinetic strength even while using other powers.

Telekinesis with Fine Work
Fine Manipulation costs +10 points. The only change to the rulebook definition is in the character's Skill Roll. Instead of 9 + (Active points in TK/5), the character uses a standard DEX Roll. This roll can be bought up at a cost of +1 per 2 points. This change is meant to reflect the anime idea that the more powerful a ylper is, the less control they usually have over their powers.

Actual mind reading seems to be a very uncommon power in Silent Möbius, and most examples of 'telepathy' in the manga are better expressed using the power Mind Link. Still, ther is no reason to totlaly deny the use of this power and suggested modifiers to better customize telepathy are listed below:

  1. Only with Another ylper (-1): this means that the telepath can only contact someone who possesses some form of ylper power. As an option, GMs may want to set a minimum power level that the target must possess before contact can be attempted.
  2. Only with Another Telepath (-2): this means the character can only contact someone else who possesses the Telepathy power.
  3. Communication Only (no mind reading) (-1/4)
  4. Receive Only (i.e., character can only overhear other's thoughts, etc.) (-1/2)
  5. Transmit Only (i.e., character can only send thoughts) (-1/2)

Finally, it is recommended that the GM refer to the Psychic Trauma section under Telepathy in the Ultimate Mentalist for further telepathy modifiers.

Silent Möbius teleporters seem to be quite capable of transporting themselves to anywhere they want, regardless of whether or not they have been there before. They also seem able to teleport extraordinary distances, often having ranges measured in miles. Attempting to simulate this sort of power requires some allowances be made in the use of the Teleport power. GMs who find these rules too lenient should decide what effects, if any, they feel are appropriate for their campaign and use only those.

A character with Teleportation can safely teleport to any place he has recently been to if it is within his range, regardless of whether he can see it or not (i.e., ignore the Teleporting Blind rules). The character does not need to buy any form of fixed or floating locations. He must still obey all other rules restrictions (such as extra time) when teleporting. If attempting to teleport to somewhere the character has never been or hasn't visited in a long time, then the "Teleporting Blind" rules should be used.

Teleporting creates a great deal of psychic noise. Thus, a character attempting to detect someone teleporting into the area nearby gets a +10 bonus to their ylper Awareness roll (and due to the psychic wavefront this roll is made before the teleporter arrives!). This bonus suffers the standard modifiers for range. This wavefront is a circular effect originating from the point of arrival. It's very intense at its origin and slowly fades as it spreads outward. The wavefront is also directional, giving anyone who can detect it a general idea of where point of arrival is located.

Teleportation is very audible. Characters exiting via teleportation simply fade out or vanish with a minimum of noise (sometimes sucking small objects into the space they just vacated), but arrive with a loud "bang" of displaced air. Finally, Teleportation can cause physical damage to a character's surroundings, either when coming or going. Depending on the distance traveled, the damage may range from the negligible to highly destructive. Often, this damage takes the form of cracking windows and walls, shattering pavement and similar effects. Once again, characters who wish to emphasize this could buy an explosive Energy Blast or Area of Effect Telekinesis with the advantages of "Hole in the Middle" (+1/4) or "Personal Immunity" (+1/4), and the limitations of "No Range" (-1/2), "No Conscious Control" (-2) and "Linked to Teleport" (-1/2) as a side effect.

Ylper Limitations and Disadvantages

Besides having distinctive powers, anime ylpers have distinctive Limitations and Disadvantages, reflecting the often unstable nature of their abilities.

Many ylper powers are exhausting or even dangerous to use at their full effect. To reflect this, ylper characters may wish to limit or partially limit their powers. Purchasing powers with Limitations such as "Increased Endurance" or "Side Effect" applied to the last 20 to 40 active points of the power is an excellent way to simulate this problem, since many ylpers appear to pay dearly for their powers. Other Limitations such as "Concentrate" or "Extra Time" can be used to reflect the extra effort ylpers must use to reach their upper levels of ability. For the "Side Effect" Limitation, Drains affecting BODY, END or STUN are recommended, as well as Energy Blast, or, if the power is potentially lethal to use, Ranged Killing Attack.

Example: Kenichi has 40 STR Telekinesis. With effort, he can increase this to 60 STR or even to an awesome 80 STR, but it is physically exhausting to do so, and at the higher levels, potentially fatal. The power is bought as 80 STR Telekinesis with the Limitation of "Increased Endurance" (-1/2), on the upper 40 points of STR. In addition, the final 20 points of STR have the Limitation "Side Effect" (-1/2). Since this limitation is applied to final 20 points of STR, we only consider that part of the power when assessing the level of the side effect. The minimum for any Side Effect is 30 active points of effect and Kenichi's player decides that Killing Attack perfectly reflects the inherent danger in using his power at this level.

Thus, using 80 STR telekinesis costs Kenichi 12 END and subjects him to a 2d6 Ranged Killing Attack. Since Kazei 5 TK is priced the same as STR, this power would cost 40 + 13 + 10 or 63 points.

Distinctive Features
This limitation is used to represent the fact that ylpers can commonly detect one another. The more powerful (or unstable) the ylper, the easier they are to detect. In the Kazei 5 campaign, it is recommended that all characters have one of the following levels of Distinctive Features.

Powerful Ylper User (10pts)
The character generates such extensive ylper energy that almost anyone with ylper Awareness can detect him. All ylper Awareness rolls to detect the character are at +3; +5 if they are using their powers. This is defined as Distinctive Features—Not Concealable, Is Noticed and Recognizable. Normally this would be a 15-point limitation, but 5 points are subtracted since specialized equipment or ylper Awareness is required to detect the character.

Obvious Ylper User (5pts)
The character generates significant ylper energy, but can dampen his field by concentrating on it. The ylper can complete simple tasks while damping his power, but not complex ones, and may lose concentration if surprised. Concentration is presumed to be lost automatically if involved in combat, asleep or unconscious. All ylper Awareness rolls to detect the character are at +0: +2 if they are using their powers. This is defined as Distinctive Features—Concealable, Is Noticed and Recognizable. Normally this would be a 10-point limitation, but 5 points are subtracted since specialized equipment or ylper Awareness is required to detect the character.

Ylper User (0pts)
The character generates ylper noise when his powers are in use. The character can be spotted with a normal ylper Awareness roll if using their powers. To prevent detection, the character need only stop using his powers. This is defined as Distinctive Features—Easily Concealable, Is Noticed and Recognizable. Normally this would be a 5-point limitation, but 5 points are subtracted since specialized equipment or ylper Awareness is required to detect the character.

Physical Limitation "Ylper Powers are Occasionally out of Control" (Infrequently, Greatly 10pts)
This Disadvantage is applied those characters whose ylper powers are not always under their full control. Depending on the GM's desires, the character may generate undesired side effects to their powers at inopportune moments. Unlike a Side Effect, this limitation doesn't affect the character directly, and may in fact increase the character's powers temporarily. It is also somewhat more random than a Side Effect, which always occurs when set conditions are met. When applying this limitation during play, it is recommended that the GM choose a result based upon the power currently in use and the situation. Example situations could be if the character goes Berserk or becomes Enraged, if Activations rolls are failed, if a Susceptibility has been triggered, or any similar event has occurred. Side effects can include the power gaining an Area of Effect Advantage (although this should be balanced by the power losing appropriate dice of effect), being much more powerful than desired (i.e., adding dice to the attack), using an increased amount of END than normal, using STUN instead (or along with) the normal END usage, damaging the ylper as well as his target (treat as a Side Effect), and so on.

Using the disadvantage "ylper Powers are Occasionally out of Control" properly requires some thought. Even if the character manifests a power level greater than that which then normally are capable of, this increase in power should be balanced by some sort of undesirable or debilitating after effect.

Psychic Strain: Psychic strain is what happens when a ylper overextends himself when using his powers. A ylper who strains to hard while attempting to summon and control his power may run the risk of causing himself injury. Common symptoms include migraine headaches, dizziness, nausea, bleeding from the eyes, nose and ears, and vomiting. This is not a specific or required disadvantage, and players, if they desire such a disadvantage for their characters, can choose to simulate this in a variety of ways. If a power has an Activation Roll, then it may have a Side Effect triggered by the failure of the Activation Roll.

Example: Blade has a 75-point Multipower with a 15- Activation Roll. If she misses this roll, she suffers a 4d6 Ego Attack.

Sample Side Effects include Drains of DEX, END and STUN, Flash Attacks vs the Sight Group and the Hearing Group, and Stun Only physical attacks. A more simple method would be a Susceptibility triggered by the failure to make an Activation Roll.

Example: Takeda Johnson has a 60-point Variable Power Pool with a Control roll of 18-. If at any time he fails this roll, he suffers an overload effect that is defined as 2d6 EB (Stun only), a 4d6 Flash (vs Sight Group) and a 2d6 DEX drain.

A Physical Limitation of some sort could also be bought, simulating the effects of headaches, dizziness or nausea. This sort of Physical Limitation could cause a reduction of the character's CV, Perception and movement. A Slight Intensity Physical Limitation would only reduce the character's values by one to three, while a Great Intensity would halve them. A Total Intensity Physical Limitation would most likely render the character physically helpless, giving him a CV and movement of zero.

Example: Tenchi suffers from massive migraine headaches. These are defined as a 10-point Physical Limitation (Infrequent, Greatly) causing -3 to his OCV, DCV, Perception Rolls and Skill Rolls. His movement is also halved.

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