More Constructs

Instructor: Rainsong
Date: August 18, 2007 (Saturday)

<Rainsong> Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

<Aphanas> Evening, Rain.

<EverLearning> Evening

<Rainsong> Tonight’s seminar is a follow-up to the Construct seminar we did a few weeks ago.

<Rainsong> If you are looking for an RPG, rather than real-life psionics, you might want to leave before you get weirded out

<Rainsong> As usual, I will be conducting the seminar in lecture format. Because some attendees have requested an interactive class, tonight, we’ll have interactive bits between lectures. Please hold questions until I ask for them. This will make it easier for everyone to follow what’s going on.

<Rainsong> If you are planning to take part in the interactive parts, please have a snack at hand. Any questions at this point?

<Jael> none here.

<Aphanas> *shakes head*

<Psicho> Nope.

<EverLearning> Nope.

<InnerFire> Hmm, am I going to be lost if I wasn’t at the last class?

<Raven> none from me.

<Rainsong> IF: only if you’ve never made a psiball and/or a bubble shield.

<InnerFire> k, nevermind then

<Rainsong> We’ve already taken a look at the basic psiball, which is a ball of psi-stuff. Balls are not the only shape that can be made, however.

<Rainsong> We’ll start by making a psiball. Once it is nice and steady, roll it between your hands to make a long oval shape,…sort of like making worms out of clay.

<atglenn> hello.

<Rainsong> Got that? Cool.

<Rainsong> Now, roll it back into a ball, and flatten it into a plate or Frisbee.

<Rainsong> From this simple demonstration, we can see that you can shape a construct by moulding it.

<Rainsong> You can also “imagine” a framework of the shape you want, and fill it with psi-stuff. This can be easier than doing a “sculpture” if you are doing anything big or complex. How about trying a puppy-shape or a bunny? Have the little construct walk or hop around like a wind-up toy, if you like.

<Rainsong> A construct does not need to be filled with psi-stuff. It can be hollow like a glass bulb. Once again, imagine a frame of a shape: a bell, this time. Now send psi-stuff over it, like thick frosting or a coating of green slime. Once it is covered, check the thickness of the shell, and adjust it until it is smooth and even.

<Rainsong> “Congeal” the frosting by imagining it hardening, once it is nice and even. If you’ve ever had the kind of chocolate ice-cream sundae in which the chocolate sauce hardens into a shell, this makes a good basis for your visualization. Blowing glass is another good example. If you do not want your construct to be as hard as that, use gelatin as your example.

<Rainsong> Questions?

<Aphanas> None so far.

<Jael> none here

<InnerFire> I’m good

<Psicho> Dito

<FxChiP> would it be wrong to ask if I’m doing it right

<Raven> none that come to mind.

<Rainsong> Fx: no, it’s fine to ask, but I’m not actually seeing a little construct in/around your field at the moment. Not sure why, but your field itself is fairly bright.

* FxChiP headdesks.

<FxChiP> thank you

<Rainsong> No problem.

<Rainsong> Alright, continuing, then: Yoyo’s. I like playing with these when walking between offices at work…

<Rainsong> Once again, start with a nice, sturdy psiball. Flatten it slightly to a hamburger shape, and pull a string or tendril out of its side to loop around your finger.

<Rainsong> * * Now, flick it downward and pull it back up again. Try this a few times, and then go on to try more complicated yoyo tricks.

<Rainsong> * * As always (or almost always), colour and hardness are optional.

<Rainsong> And, of course, there are spikes.

<Rainsong> A spike is, as the name implies, a small simple construct, sort of like a psiball rolled into a pointy dart and thrown at someone’s mind or against their Shields. It is a fairly minor weapon, at the level of skill most novices have. But, with enough density and thrust behind it, a spike can cause enough damage to leave obvious physical signs and symptoms.

<Rainsong> So-called because of the effect they produce (an illusion of a splash of water on impact), a water-bomb construct is a shelled “psiball” variant which is programmed to explode harmlessly on impact with a Shield, Ward, Force-bubble, or solid object producing the aforementioned illusion as it explodes. The programming requirements include holding its shape when thrown, a shell, the triggered illusion, and the navigation required to use it as

<Rainsong> These are only used for play, really: they make an effective – if startling – Ping; they are great for stress-relieving games of “psiball splat”; and they are good for sparring when practicing still-uncertain defensive maneuvers because they can be felt but cause no damage.

<Rainsong> Any questions?

<FxChiP> Could water energy be put into the water-bomb as well?

<InnerFire> could a water bomb be enough to annoy/discomfort a particularly sensitive person?

<Rainsong> Fx: Can’t see why not, but I’m not sure what purpose it would serve… I presume you mean elemental magic? That kind of thing _is_ done, for constructs,

<Rainsong> (oops, part of a section got snipped: The programming requirements include holding its shape when thrown, a shell, the triggered illusion, and the navigation required to use it as a distance weapon.)

<Rainsong> IF: Yes, indeed. Water-bombs are very useful for annoying siblings…particularly in long car trips

<Jael> lol

<InnerFire> O_o meanie

<Rainsong> I’m being reminded to warn you against practicing your spikes on random passers-by.

<Rainsong> It is not only rude and obnoxious, you can seriously hurt people that way.

<Vladimir> How badly can a person be hurt by a spike, and is it fake pain, or actual damage?

<Vladimir> If you understand what I mean.

<Rainsong> A few years ago, I put someone in the hospital with spikes

<Raven> (Or people could seriously hurt you in return.)

<Rainsong> So, it’d fall into the category of actual damage

<Rainsong> Raven: very true

<Rainsong> Any other questions?

<Jael> none here

<FxChiP> I think I’m good for now.

<Psicho> Nope

<Vladimir> Nope

<InnerFire> nope

<Aphanas> *shakes head*

<Rainsong> Whapping Game

<Rainsong> Each player chooses a target from within the class, but tells no-one who it is. As the game leader calls in each player in turn, that player whaps his or her target upside the Shields with a minor construct. Ideally, the one so whapped calls out, signifying that s/he felt the whap, which is confirmed or denied by the whapper.

<Rainsong> This game practices and tests both whapping and sensitivity of the person being whapped. Set Shields so that whaps can get out, while incoming whaps are deflected. Also, set them to notify of incoming whappage, while deflecting. This may sound obvious, but is often overlooked by beginners

* FxChiP nods

* EverLearning opts out of said Whapping Game (still getting the psi ball down)

<Rainsong> If folks are wanting to, we can play a Whapping game after the seminar is over.

<Rock> Sounds fun.

<FxChiP> Sweet.

<Rainsong> Psiball Splat

<Rainsong> This is one of Skywind’s psi-games for children. It is good for practicing the throwing of constructs, and it’s fun, besides. It’s also a great way to let off steam after an exasperating day dealing with the Department of Transportation.

<Psicho> sounds great

<Rainsong> The game itself is simple: make a series of psiballs of whatever variety pleases you, and throw them against the wall. Observe the mess you made of splattered psiballs. Then, Clean it up by flowing a stream of psi-stuff at it, like using a garden hose, to wash the wall. Ground the resultant “flood” of psi-stuff to earth or otherwise dispose of it.

<Rainsong> Paintball

<Rainsong> Paintball is a variation of the water-bomb construct. In its most basic form, a psionic paintball is a water bomb with an impression of colour added to it. It still splashes on contact, and it does not need to be visible in the usual sense of the word.

<Rainsong> When playing with these, in the manner of a water fight, you can simply throw them at each other. It is up to you whether you make each one at the time you throw it, or prepare a stockpile ahead of time. This game was “invented” in one of my classes not long after the turn of the century.

<Rainsong> It was a natural result of teaching a group of teenage guys how to throw water bomb constructs at each other. I suspect that the game has been “invented” in other places at around the same time, because of the popularity of the regular paintball and the rudimentary nature of the skill being practiced.

<Rainsong> There is no reason to limit the constructs to balls. Balls are the standard ammunition in paintball, and they may be thrown or shot from a construct of a firearm. You also have the option of the construct version of a water gun, to shoot a steady stream of psi-paint.

<Rainsong> It is expected that anyone playing psionic paintball will maintain a Shield around him- or herself. Only constructs which do not cause injury are permitted in the game, generally speaking. It may be played long-distance over the internet or in person equally easily. It can be useful to have a referee keeping an eye on things.

<Rainsong> Obviously, these games are not particularly complicated, but they pass the time, and are decent practice.

<Rainsong> Questions?

<Raven> none from me.

<InnerFire> I’m good

<Aphanas> None here.

<Vladimir> Do people really run around with construct guns in hand?

<Jael> no questions here either

<FxChiP> None.

<Psicho> Dito

<Rainsong> Vlad: yes

<Vladimir> Do people make fun of them?

<Rainsong> It can get quite hilarious.

<Rainsong> Again, yes.

<Vladimir> Good.


<Jael> lol

<Rainsong> There’s a fairly good chance that most of you have heard of the Star Wars movies and the Jedi who figure heavily in the storyline.

<Rainsong> For quite a while, the question of whether it is possible to make a construct of a light saber would come up frequently, in any discussion of constructs. I don’t suppose it will surprise you that the answer is “yes”.

<Rainsong> In its most basic form, a construct light saber is nothing more or less than a psi-shape in the form of some kind of sword or shinai.

<Rainsong> Most often, it is a long narrow straight rod, which might or might not taper toward the point. The hilt can be any shape you like. Each Jedi’s hilt was different. Give your light saber psi-shape lots of oomph, and you might as well give it an impression of colour, while you are at it.

<Rainsong> As usual, there are several ways to form the psi-shape:

<Rainsong> 1) * Imagine a shape and “pour” psi-stuff into it.

<Rainsong> 2) * Make a psi-ball and mould it into a new shape.

<Rainsong> 3) * Send the psi-stuff out to form the shape; then add a shell or freeze the shape in place.

<Rainsong> There are other legitimate methods, but these should do nicely, to start with.

<Rainsong> What good is a light saber construct? It’s a toy, really. If you want to, you can fence with your buddies, but the basic version we just discussed doesn’t actually do anything.

<Rainsong> If you want to actually do something with it, it will require further programming. Here, you have two basic choices.

<Rainsong> The first choice is to make a modified force-bubble. If you have some ability in PK, add an outward push to the blade. Program the blade to push back at anything it contacts.

<Rainsong> The other choice is to add other regular construct programs to it: produce a splash sensation on contact, absorb other constructs, glow, etc.

<Rainsong> If you are very ambitious, you might try making a hilt from an easily-chargeable material, and charging the hilt with a slight saber construct. Ideal materials include quartz, jade, copper, and wood.

<Rainsong> If you put a stored force-bubble light saber in the hilt, you will have made a real light saber of the practice sort. If you can make it glow, so much the better.

<Rainsong> You’ll need to give it heat and a cutting edge to make a functional battle-ready saber.

<Rainsong> As you might imagine, this would involve rather a lot of skill and effort. If you choose to pursue this, I strongly suggest testing the edge against paper or firewood, rather than your thumb.

<Rainsong> (For the record, I have not made a hilt, nor have I made a saber with heat and a cutting edge. These are merely the logical extensions of the basic toy, for the Jedi-obsessed.)

<Rainsong> Questions?

<InnerFire> for the light saber construct couldn’t the energy density be dangerous enough similar to how a spike construct can be dangerous?

<Raven> Just one note, from me.

<Psicho> Can one add sound to a construct?

<Rainsong> IF: yep

<Psicho> that would need pk ability I’m guessing?

<Rainsong> Raven?

<Raven> If using quarts, make sure it’s not a family heirloom or such, since psioncs can change the coloration of it over time.

<Rainsong> Good point, as it is very true.

<FxChiP> I ask again, feeling kinda like an ass: am I doing this one right?

<Rainsong> Running too much psi-stuff through a clear quartz will make it milky. Likewise, the colours of amethysts and such will be messed up by too much oomph.

<Rainsong> Psicho: It can be done. It is easier to cause an illusion of sound than to actually cause a recordable one, but both are possible.

<Rainsong> The latter would involve PK, yes.

<Psicho> *nods* thanks

<Vladimir> *By definition, affecting the physical world is always PK

<Rainsong> Vlad: exactly.

<Psicho> But in terms of just progremming the construct bird for example to sing, instead of building actual vocal chords etc..

<Rainsong> Fx: when I look, this time, I do get an impression of a longish narrow construct. Hopefully, it is not my imagination playing tricks on me.

<Rainsong> Field is still bright.

<Rainsong> Psicho: with the bird construct, it is still easier to make an illusion than to actually produce sound.

<Psicho> Alrighty

<Rainsong> Some of you may have seen items for sale on Ebay which have constructs charged into them.

<Rainsong> Some people are selling simple crystals charged with very basic “protection” constructs for close to a hundred dollars a piece.

<Rainsong> And people buy these things.

<Rainsong> Generally speaking, the item description implies that charging an item is a complicated and difficult process.

<Rainsong> It is not.

<Rainsong> If you can ground and you can make a construct, you can charge an item.

<Rainsong> First, choose an item. Common choices are jewellery, pieces of crystal, weapons, and clothing. (Yes, I know this sounds like something out of Dungeons and Dragons or Harry Potter….)

<Rainsong> Second, decide what you want to do with it. A good basic place to start is to store a Shield or a stash of water bombs in the item, for future use.

<Rainsong> Third, either make the construct and put it into the item as though you were grounding the contruct into the earth, or make the construct directly in the item (again, as though grounding into the item).

<Rainsong> Include a long duration in the construct’s programming, and some kind of trigger to get it out again, if it is something like a water-bomb.

<Rainsong> In the case of a Shield, you can trigger it to work whenever you are wearing the item, if it is something like jewellery.

<Rainsong> For the water-bombs, a pulling motion might be used (as though retrieving water balloons from a box) or a word (Cowabunga!). Your choice.

<Rainsong> More general charging involves pushing psi-stuff into the item while holding onto the thought of what you want it to do (attract good luck, repel fluffbunnies, or whatever).

<Rainsong> “Healing” intentions may be charged into an item in this manner. For some reason, puffy cotton holds it well, and will release it when held on a hurt or injured area.

<Rainsong> You can also charge cotton puffs with emotional feelings for practice in empathy and psychometry.

<Rainsong> Questions?

* InnerFire has two

<InnerFire> in terms of having a vocal command for these, does it actually hear you or does speaking the word send a command to the construct (important difference in some situations)

<Rainsong> Ok, what’s the first one?

<Rainsong> As far as I know, it does not hear you, as such, because it is inanimate.

<Rainsong> It functions as a trigger.

<InnerFire> *nods* may I ask the other now?

<Rainsong> SO, it is closer to “sending a command to the construct”

<Rainsong> Sure thing. Second question.

<InnerFire> would a “battery” crystal be viable (I know it should be possible), to hold energy for later?

<Rainsong> It’s fairly common, as charged items go. It isn’t too different – in terms of process or effect – from the “healing” cotton-puffs

<Rainsong> Any other questions?

<Jael> none at this point.

<Psicho> dito

<FxChiP> I got nothin’

<InnerFire> I’m good

<InnerFire> wait scratch that, one more question

<Raven> Actually have one.

<Raven> Any handy tricks to completely drain quartz, if you want to start with a fresh crystal.

<Raven> ?

<InnerFire> does it have to be quartz or some kind of crystal? Is there something to stop me from putting it into a coin is what I mean

<InnerFire> or some other normal object

<Psicho> Raven, I’ve read you can run it under cold water upside down

<Rainsong> IF: Most metals will hold a charge, as will agates and other species of quartz. Wood and cotton both hold charges.

<FxChiP> Does anything *not* hold a charge?

* Rock mutters about “hematite”, and wonders about spelling

<Rainsong> Raven: Bury it in salt for a day or two. Or, rattle around it, and run energy through it into the ground, much like in a fatigue-banishing spell.

<Rainsong> Salt-water will also clean crystals, but it can damage many of them.

* Rock suspects sthat doing this while “water is running” across said crystal probably wouldn’t hurt.

<Rainsong> *nods* But it depends on the crystal….some, such as sugar and salt, will dissolve.

<Rock> LOL… True.

<Rainsong> Fx: Yes, there are things that don’t hold charges well. And some that hold the charge, but you can’t do much with it. Diamonds, for example, hold a charge, but using the construct afterward is….problematic.

<Rainsong> Apparently, plastic sometimes is a problem, too.

* Rock mutters about “cubic zirconium”…

<Jael> that makes sense

<Raven> Same with hematite, seems to hold a charge fairly well, but getting it back out can be problematic.

<Rainsong> Yep. Works well as a damper, too. Same reason, I expect.

<Jael> hematite is shiny in more ways than one.


<Rainsong> I am unfamiliar with zirconium’s properties in that regard. Have you done anything with it, Rock?

<Rock> No.. Just noting that it shares many features of Diamonds. THough not quite so dense. But the crystal latice is similar so may well have similar properties.

<Rock> Based on that, I’d expect simlar issues.

<Rainsong> Makes sense.

* Rock has been known to speculate on occasion.


<Rock> Have you tried using Jade by any chance? It being a fairly dense material?

<Rock> And, I’ve heard many people find “rubbing” a piece of “jade” soothing.

<Rainsong> Yes, jade holds a charge well.

<Rainsong> Doesn’t seem to matter qhich kind of jade, either….I’ve used real jade, and cats-eye (one of the North American jades)

<Rock> *nods* Interesting. Does it seem to be the density of the stone that is important or some other aspect?

<Rainsong> Density doesn’t seem to correlate well. Salt does the problematic thing, for example, and I am fairly sure it is less dense than quartzes

<FxChiP> Salt tends to be a lot of tiny crystals as opposed to big solid ones

<Rock> *nods* Might be interesting to see what correlates between those items that are very good vs. very bad at it.

<Rainsong> It would be interesting.

* Rock looks at a psiball, and looks over at Chip, wondering if it would look good splattered over his back…

<Jael> hehehe

<Rainsong> Rock wants to get to the games, I think

* Rock looks around innocently

<Jael> lol

<FxChiP> ?

<Jael> Innocence doesn’t fit on your face any better than Maria’s….

<FxChiP> Dunno


<FxChiP> Don’t really think I’d feel it.

* Rock doesn’t look like a Maria.

<FxChiP> Who’s Maria?

<Jael> ( or was it Eri? can’t recall)

<Rock> I don’t think

<Jael> a character in one of the rpg’s we used to play

<Rainsong> None of my characters did “innocent” particularly well, Jael

<Rock> Ahhh…

<Jael> true. They did try though

* Rock stands rocking and twiddling thumbs.

* Rock doesn’t suggest being “target for the day” as a good idea for “psi games”…

<Raven> Ehhh, think I’ll wander off before the games start

<Rock> But at one time, I effectively did that…

* Rock got lucky tooo…

<Rock> I didn’t get hurt.

<Rainsong> mmhmm

<FxChiP> hee

<InnerFire> we concluding the lecture then?

<Rainsong> Yes, I believe thus endeth the lecture. IS there interest in a game?

<Jael> think I’m going to head off as well. not able to do a general scan at this point. likely not a good idea to be around for games.

<Psicho> YES!

<Aphanas> Thanks much for the lecture, Rain.

<Jael> have fun!!

<InnerFire> ok see you later Jael

<Jael> thanks lots for the seminar, Rain. Very nifty.

<Rock> Define General Scan Jael?

<Psicho> thanks Rain, it was very insightful

<InnerFire> I think I’ll opt out of the game too, I got one last thing that I’ll address in general chat then I’ll prob go

<FxChiP> Thankee-sai, Rainsong

<Jael> taking a peek at someone.

<Jael> *waves*

<Rock> Peeks one thing… Recognizing a paint ball splat… Quite another… (for me)

<Aphanas> I`ll watch, I think… I`m going to be working on my computer system, so no lobbing highly-charged constructs in my direction that have any PK effects.

<Rainsong> Thanks for coming, folks.

* EverLearning has a fundamental question

* Rock thinks Aphanas needs an “extra” kittie…

<Rainsong> ok?

<EverLearning> Would you reccomend biofeedback as the starting point for one that is just learning to manipulate psi?

* FxChiP nods

<Rainsong> Not necessarily as the starting point, but it is very, very useful early on.

<FxChiP> No, not saying I recommend it

<Rainsong> Whether you’d start with it depends heavily on why you are learning psionics.

<EverLearning> I’m guessing it’s more useful if studying the more scientific aspects?

<Rainsong> It’s useful regardless of approach. However, if you’re learning psionics in an attempt to control rampant poltergeist phenomena, I’d recommend learning at least one good solid Shield and how to ground, first…then handle the other bits, such as biofeedback

<Rainsong> Otherwise, it is among the first four or five things to learn, in any order.

<Rainsong> Does that make sense?

<EverLearning> I’m just having a bit of trouble manipulating psi as of yet…no geisting with me… and yes, it makes sense.

*Game followed*

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