Not all psionic powers are equal in the eye of the law. While some powers can be manifested freely by anyone who knows them, others are restricted to licensed psionics, or even banned outright. While the legality of individual powers can vary widely from country to country, the following list can be used under most circumstances. The use of psionic powers in a wilderness area does not normally fall under the jurisdiction of the law.
The list uses the following abbreviations:
Legal: (L) The power can be freely manifested by anyone who knows it without fear of legal repercussions. These powers have mostly fairly harmless effects, or effects that are solely centered on the psionic himself.
Civilian Licence: (CL) The power can be manifest by a registered psionic for his personal use only. He may not charge money for manifesting it - that requires a professional license. Anyone, whether citizen of a country or a visitor, may get a civilian license, though convicted felons are usually denied one. A civilian license costs 25 Wages times the highest power level squared. So someone who wants a license to manifest up to third-level civilian powers would have to pay 25 Wages x 3 x 3 = 225 Wages.
These powers might be used for mischief, but the government trusts responsible citizens to use them correctly (and usually, those who apply for such a license are lectured on what constitutes "correct usage" and what doesn't).
Professional Licence: (PL) This is required to charge money for psionic services, as well as being allowed to manifest professional powers. A civilian license is required to purchase a professional license, and professional license costs 50 Wages times the highest power level squared. It is also possible to purchase professional licenses for single schools of magic. This costs 10 Wages times the highest power level squared. Professional licenses for a single power cost 5 Wages times the power level squared.
Holders of professional licenses must usually give a full list of all the powers they are able to manifest to the authorities. These powers either hold potential for abuse or are a major money-maker for organized psionics, and as such are tightly monitored. Also included are a number of offensive powers that bodyguards and other non-military or non-guard professionals might require in their line of work.
Military Licence: (ML) These powers are usually only legal for military forces, city guards, and similar organizations. In some cases, mercenary company may get licenses for their own combat psionics, in which case the license costs then company 50 wages times the highest power level squared. Private individuals may be able to get military licenses if they join a city's reserve forces. In this case, the license doesn't cost them anything, but they must join military exercises (which usually last for a week and take place two times a year on average), and they will be drafted in times of war.
These powers have vast potential for abuse, and are often hard to justify for use in a civilian context. Examples include powers that cause devastation in a large area such as energyball, powers that deny the target its free will, such as psionic charm, or powers that might help wanted criminals to avoid the authorities, such as .
Banned: (B) These powers are illegal to manifest for anyone with the possible exception of trusted government agents (and even then it often must be kept a secret from the general population). In some rare cases private individuals or non-government organizations may be granted permission to manifest these powers, but there is no fixed price for this - it usually requires hefty bribes combined with huge favors for those in power.
Banned powers include those that create undead, permanently slay the living (i.e., those that prevent the victims from being raised), and anything that might significantly alter the status quo, such as wish.
A number of special cases are explained below:
Government employees: Psionics who work for the government of a city-state don't usually have to pay for any licenses - the government usually gives them the necessary licenses for their profession free of charge. However, professional and military licenses are usually invalidated once the psionic leaves government service.
Licences in other countries: Countries that have established firm diplomatic relations with each other (this usually means that they are within the same region, or within a neighboring region close to the regional border) and aren't hostile to each other will honor each other's civilian licenses for up to three months, and each other's professional licenses for up to 30 days. After this, the visitor will have to acquire an additional license in the new city to continue manifesting psionic powers.
Countries will not honor each other's military licenses unless they are actively allied.
Magic Items: The production of magic items for sale requires at least a professional license. If the power effect created by the item would require a license, the buyer must usually show proof that he has the appropriate license as well.
Priests and spellcasting: Priests of all recognized faiths in a city (i.e., all faiths that have established a permanent and official temple in a city, as opposed to small shrines or hidden temples) are considered to have the equivalent of a civilian license. Priests of major faiths (usually the two or three most popular or influential faiths, though the exact number can vary considerably) are considered to have the equivalent of a professional license for all power levels, while priests of minor faiths are considered to have the equivalent of a professional license for powers up to power level four. Priests of faiths without official representation in the city will have to purchase civilian and professional licenses like other psionics. This also applies to druids, whose faith isn't recognized in most cities and often is, in fact, illegal. Druids who bother with acquiring licenses will usually pretend to follow another faith.
Renewing licences: Professional and military licenses (in the case of mercenaries) must be renewed each year in most cities. This costs 10% of the original price for each year.
Self-defense: It is usually permissible to use PL powers in self-defense even if the psionic does not have a professional license. The psionic must have clearly been the victim in this situation, however - manifesting such a power when defending himself from thieves breaking into his home is one thing, while manifesting a power when running from the city guards is quite another! Manifesting ML powers is seen less leniently - the manifester will be held responsible for any collateral damage, and unless he has very good explanations for his actions, and why he even knows the power in the first place, he will have to face large fines, exile, or even imprisonment.