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Babylon 5 1e: The Psi Corps

The Psi Corps

The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Love it or hate it, see it as an organisation for good, protecting and nurturing telepaths or one for evil, forcing them into a restrictive regime of subservience, the Psi Corps is ever-present in the human-influnced parts of the galaxy and figures greatly in the minds of all human telepaths, wherher or not they are members. This book begins with an in-character history of the development of telepathy and the Psi Corps - from a Psi Corps perspective but with marginal notes from an insider with their own opinions. This section ends with a discussion of the organisation of the present day (2260) Corps and the layout of their main compound, the Metasensory Compound (or TeepTown) outside Geneva, Switzerland on Earth.

The next section, The Corps is Mother looks at what it's like to be a member of an organisation that provides for every need and basically takes over the nurturing role that is more expected of a parent than an employer. The text is again very pro-Corps in presentation (with further marginal notes in the same hand giving a counter-perspective), but explains the training of young telepaths and the work that will do once qualitied. There's sufficient detail here for you to either run Psi Corps members or adjudicate on their engagement to provide services by the party, including the laws governing telepath activity and much, much more. Most of the material in this section is intended for games in which relationshps with Psi Corps are cordial or at least businesslike, although some of the 'scribbles' suggest ideas for more nefarious situations.

The Corp is Father follows. This section deals with the Psi Corps second-largest facility which is on Mars. This is the home of the Science Department and some other things that the Corps would prefer kept quiet. Like the Metapol headquarters and associated gaol. There are extensive details of both the research that Psi Corps admits to and some of that which they don't, augmented by more 'handwritten' marginal comments. New skills, feats and even novel telepath career parths are to be found here too. Oh, and pay scales and all the other important things that Administration does for the Corps and individual telepaths. The Director of Psi Corps, their role and their office - which is in London, well away from congregations of telepaths (the Director is always a non-telepath, a political appointee) - are also discussed. Our mysterious note-maker goes to town here on the internal politics of Psu Corps, which makes for fascinating reading and maybe spawns a few ideas for an intrigue filled game, if that kind of thing takes your fancy. It's not complete, and someone else's notes suggest that the original writer is Byron.

The next chapter is titled Trust the Psi Corps. It rather intends the opposite, containing details of the stuff about them that the Corps never admits to and would rather that you didn't know about at all... even many Corps members are not aware of everything here! The GM may wish to restrict access to this chapter, whilst that which has come before could certainly be made available to players, especially those whose characters are in Psi Corps. There's some scary stuff here. Characters wishing to get involved must be powerful telepaths and devoid of any morality... at least, if they are there officially, appointed by the Corps. Again there is scope for campaigns based on intrigue and, at times, sheer horror!

This chapter also covers what seems the mundane operations of the Corps' Transport and Resources Depantments. They are far less innocuous than you might think. The section presents details and specification for Corps ships, some of which are completely unknown and kept hidden, lurking in hyperspace near beacons, emerging only when needed! There is even a secret colony known as The Refuge somewhere out beyond the border of human space. This is intended as a fall-back position should Earth sentiment ever turn against telepaths in general or the Corps specifically. Meanwhile, the Department of Resources runs the re-education camps for rogue telepaths. The real ones, not the couple of santised holiday camps that the public know about. They are horrific and you'll probably not want to use them in your game unless perhaps if it becomes necessary to stage a rescue...

Finally, there's Precognition. This section talks about the Vorlons and their influence on human telepathy. It also covers the rebellion led by Byron and the aftermath of the Telepath Crisis of 2264, difficult times for any telepath whether or not they are affilitated with the Corps. There are also a few alternative telepath organisations, and a discussion of why the Psi Corps is not completely evil! There's a need for such an organisation, although some bits are in desperate need of reform. Finally there's a section of advanced rules for telepathy including new skills and combat; and some ideas for telepathy and Corps-based campaigns.

Overall this book presents the Psi Corps warts and all, good and bad. In the TV show the bad side is more prevalent, they were used as villains and made good ones! You can maintain that or choose to run a campaign that is based in and around the Corps with the characters all being telepaths instead of the odd one within a mundane adventuring group. Or stick with a conventional party that interacts with the Corps... there are plenty of possibilities to conjure with here.

Return to The Psi Corps page.

Reviewed: 18 November 2021