by David Pulver
These devices were originally to be included in Ultra-Tech – they will now appear in Psi-Tech, which will be a 1991 release. As with other Psionic gadgets, they may appear at whatever TL the GM wishes them to. If used for Supers they are Amazing complexity; in GURPS Uplift they would be at least TL 12!
"Psi-Amps" artificially augment the Power of a single psionic ability. A psi-amp is a throne-like chair, with helmet, biofeedback monitors, and monitoring computer. The user sits in the chair, and power floods through him and to be channeled into psionic energy. Machines amplifying teleportation move the user, but not the machine!
Each psi-amp is designed to only amplify a single power (e.g. Telepathy). Any skill which uses that power can be used with a psi-amp. The device increases the user's Power by up to +10, but is dangerous if improperly used. For every level by which power is increased when using a psionic skill, reduce that skill level by -1. If the skill roll fails by 5+ or is a critical failure, the user suffers psionic feedback, burning out the machine (which must be repaired) and causing 2d damage each turn (electrocution) to the user until he is pulled free. Armor does not protect at all (it's his brain that's being fried). Also, the user must roll vs. Will at -3 or suffer Brain Burn (see Ultra-Tech, p. 87), effectively being reduced to a mindless state, though recovery is possible given proper care and treatment.
A psi-amp is powered by a E cell, which works for 2 months of steady use. It weighs 1/2 ton, takes up 1 cy, and costs $200,000. Machines that can amplify more than one power at once are available – add $100,000, .5 cy, and 1/2 ton per extra power. A psi-amp is legality 4.
These devices work in the same fashion as standard psionic amplifiers, but use a smaller (backpack size) power pack connected to a helmet, and run off a D cell. Portable amplifiers can only increase power by up to 5, however (-5 to skill). The effects of psionic feedback are identical.
With enough Power, it is possible to autoteleport using a portable psi-amp designed for it, and bring the amplifier pack along!
The device runs for 6 months on a D cell. It costs $40,000, and weighs 20 pounds for a device that amplifies a single psi power. Add $20,000 and 10 pounds per extra power it can amplify. A portable psi-amp is legality 3.
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