Brainburn is the result of a failure on any use of a Psionic power. There are two levels of Brainburn, Light Load and Heavy Load. Both Light and Heavy Load Brainburns are preceded by the Power using the Power Points, but failing to do anything.
Light Load Brainburn results from the Psionic failing the use of any Psionic power that costs up to half of his Psionic Skill Die in Power Points. For example, Lilith attempts to use Push (3PP), and rolls a one on her Psionic check. Her Psionic Skill is d6, so she only suffers a Light Load Brainburn and is automatically Shaken. On a critical failure, the character lets out a psychic scream that causes him to be Shaken along with all allies in a Large Burst Template who fail a Spirit roll. This can cause a wound.
Heavy Load Brainburn results from the Psionic failing the use of any Psionic power that costs over half of his Psionic Skill Die in Power Points. For example, Lilith then decides to use Entangle (4PP), and rolls a one on her Psionic check. Her Psionic Skill is d6, and the threshold for the loads is 3PP. She suffers a Heavy Load Brainburn, so she much roll a d10 and consult the chart below for the result of the failure:
|1-3||Psycho Short||A flash of light, popping sound, and the smell of ozone signifies the collapse of the Psychic Matrix underlying the power. The Power Points are expended, but nothing happens.|
|4-6||Traumatic Insight||Something horrible stares into the mind’s eye of the Psionic and brings devastating understanding. The character is Shaken.|
|7-8||Arc Burst||Uncontrolled power surges through the character’s body, and fries anyone near her. The caster takes her smarts+d6 points of damage and anyone within a medium burst template takes caster smarts+d4 points damage.|
|9||Dissonant Outburst||The caster experiences a twisting of sensory input as his synapses are literally scrambled. The character is Shaken, blinded and deafened for 2d6 rounds.|
|10||Nullified||If the character rolls a 10, reroll and take the second roll. If he rolls a 10 again, the power the character used that caused the Brainburn is removed from his list of powers.|