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-   -   Consciousness in Low-Berth (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=38677)

Hilary_155 January 18th, 2018 11:42 PM

Consciousness in Low-Berth
 
How aware is someone in Low-Berth sleep? Could their minds be affected by Psionics?

epicenter00 January 19th, 2018 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hilary_155 (Post 580790)
How aware is someone in Low-Berth sleep? Could their minds be affected by Psionics?

While it's possible, I've never read any mentions of someone dreaming in the low berths. It seems unlikely - it's a method to put people into a kind of suspended animation. To dream or be aware would mean that various biochemical processes are still occurring in the brain which means that some biological processes are going on, which defeats the purpose of suspended animation.

From the POV of science:

Human consciousness and memory are not some mystical state of being that exists separately from the physical body.

My postulation:

For psionics to do what they do, you have to modify the biochemistry of the brain. This modification creates things like false memories, false perception, and so on.

My conclusion:

The actual consciousness of the subject is not necessary to use mental psionics on someone. You can modify their biochemistry without them being conscious or not.

Ulsyus January 19th, 2018 12:07 PM

While the mechanics of what's happening in the brain may not be reliant on consciousness, is't the idea that in coldsleep the functions of the body are reduces to a point where they have effectively ceased? That would include all cellular functions, otherwise wouldn't there be the risk of cellular failure and decay, which might not be an issue in a series of 1 week jumps but could be so for someone going into an emergency low berth who may not be found for several years.

From that perspective, is that too far a leap to suggest that psionic activity is pretty unlikely when a sophont is racked out in ca cryogenic state?

ShawnDriscoll January 19th, 2018 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hilary_155 (Post 580790)
How aware is someone in Low-Berth sleep? Could their minds be affected by Psionics?

I'll have players roll to see how things go for them in low passage, if a game session revolves around the medbay/cryobeds/experimenting onboard a ship. Rolls would have various skills added to them.

Grav_Moped January 19th, 2018 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulsyus (Post 580812)
While the mechanics of what's happening in the brain may not be reliant on consciousness, is't the idea that in coldsleep the functions of the body are reduces to a point where they have effectively ceased? That would include all cellular functions, otherwise wouldn't there be the risk of cellular failure and decay, which might not be an issue in a series of 1 week jumps but could be so for someone going into an emergency low berth who may not be found for several years.

From that perspective, is that too far a leap to suggest that psionic activity is pretty unlikely when a sophont is racked out in ca cryogenic state?

This sort of thing has in-universe impacts.
Could one cold-sleep though the Empress Wave?

Supplement Four January 19th, 2018 02:54 PM

I think I'd leave this up to plot. Is it good for your story if dreaming is allowed? Then, let them dream.

timerover51 January 19th, 2018 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grav_Moped (Post 580830)
This sort of thing has in-universe impacts.
Could one cold-sleep though the Empress Wave?

I still have no idea as to what the "Empress Wave" is.

As for manipulation by psionics of a person in cold-sleep, I would imagine that to prevent such tampering, the cold sleep berth would have a psionic block built into it. I do not naively assume that all psionic characters are good. I go with the reverse in fact.

Edit Note: I checked the Traveller Wiki on the "Empress Wave", but still do not fully understand the problem, if it affects only psionic individuals.

ovka January 19th, 2018 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timerover51 (Post 580835)
I do not naively assume that all psionic characters are good. I go with the reverse in fact.

Clearly you are not Zhodani. :D

Cheers,

Baron Ovka

timerover51 January 19th, 2018 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ovka (Post 580838)
Clearly you are not Zhodani. :D

Cheers,

Baron Ovka

They do not exist in My Traveller Universe. I go with the dictum: "Power corrupts". I do not view men (in the most general sense to include all intelligent life) as being basically good. I go with the reverse.

epicenter00 January 19th, 2018 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulsyus (Post 580812)
While the mechanics of what's happening in the brain may not be reliant on consciousness, is't the idea that in coldsleep the functions of the body are reduces to a point where they have effectively ceased?

It wouldn't matter in my opinion. A telepath could insert messages into the brain of a dead person. It just wouldn't do any good there and might quickly decay.

You can inject someone with some sort of chemical while they're in cold sleep, it may not have an effect until they wake up and life functions start going back toward normal, but you can still inject the chemicals.

Telepathy is basically the power in question here.

Telepathy in its useful forms basically allows you to create memories that the target never experienced. Human perception is never real-time. It's delayed. The information is taken in then processed by the brain.

If someone is in cold sleep, you can't have a conversation with them - they're not conscious.

You can "leave a message" for them. Your magical mojo mind powers leave a memory of the message in their mind by (very) fine manipulation of their brain's biochemistry by simulating the processes by which the ears hear something, the sounds are translated into something the brain recognizes as speech, then stored in the memory. When you use telepathy, you're skipping those first two steps and going directly to the third. The brain does not need to be active to do this.

Depending on the skill (and intent) of the telepath these memories may be obviously inserted or they might be accepted as the person's own.

(This, or something like this, is the only way I see psionics working, which is why I don't allow psonics in my campaign - if you have that fine of control of some trillions of molecules in a brain over the distance of light years in some cases makes me conclude that yes, the original writers of Traveller believe in the mystical version of "consciousness" where it does exist independently of the body or they really haven't thought through the implications of being able to do this stuff.)


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