Psionics System

5W Prewrite of Pions, Psionics, & Koans

While reading Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! last night, I came across a passage about “pions,” which Wikipedia defines as

any of three semistable mesons, having positive, negative, or neutral charge, composed of up and down quarks/antiquarks,

so of course I looked up “mesons” next, and I was delighted to discover several definitions, the first being what pions talked about,

an elementary particle that is composed of a quark and an antiquark, such as a kaon or pion,

and it’s frustrating when definitions are cyclical, yet enlightening when considering meson’s second definition,

the mesial plane dividing the body into similar right and left halves

or the synonym “mesotron,” which is defined as,

meson, anagrams: monteros, montrose, somerton, monteros, neomorts

What sent me into this pion/meson/mesotron rabbit hole, beyond curiosity (and a love for Feynman), was the curious relationship between “pion” and “psion” in terms of spelling. This is why I decided to continue my search by Googling “psion etymology” and lo and behold, a “psion” is

the psi-meson, a subatomic particle

with a second and almost useless definition,

a person with psionic abilities

and the definition of “psionic” being

of or relating to psionics

but to go back to the earlier mention of “kaon,” perhaps all of this is intentionally entangled, as the definition of a “koan”—again, the wordplay of merely a letter—takes me to the origin point of this spiral-shaped search,

a riddle with no solution, used to provoke reflection on the inadequacy of logical reasoning, and to lead to enlightenment.

Where this matters, in terms of preparing a 3.5e Dungeons & Dragons campaign, is structuring a story around the differences of psionic disciplines. I’d like to create a setting that supports a group of pure psions, or a mixed bag of psions, wilders, soulknives, psychic warriors, and lurks.

Who cares about these details, at the end of it?—maybe only me, trying to find a fantastical means to learn more about molecules, particles, and subatomic particles; but if I can sync my learning with a world brimming in psionics, I wouldn’t have to start my philosophical work from scratch, given it’s already there, in physics, waiting for whatever scientific or loose interpretations I want to make from it.

Why am I on this arcanepunk movement at all, though?—why is it so important to worry about the drawing board beneath the surface of gameplay?—why try to justify magic with science, when magic is, by definition, a “pass” from scientific explanation?—is it a pass?

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