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Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum β

The Assignment

The Imperium measures and records the psionic activity and power level of psychic individuals through a rating system called The Assignment. Comprised of a twenty-four point scale, The Assignment simplifies the comparison of psykers to aid Imperial authorities in recognizing possible threats.[1]

Background

Beings which utilize psychic powers, or psykers, exist within many of the races residing within the galaxy. Human psykers, Eldar Warlocks, Ork Weirdboyz all fall into this category.[2] Beings such as Daemons of the Warp are made of purely psychic energies.[3] There are races, like the Tau, which are devoid of psykers or psychic powers.[4] There are even beings which could be called anti-psykers, Human Untouchables[1] and Necron Pariahs.[5] Due to their use in the armies of Man and their relative abundance in the Imperium's enemies, the Imperium has devised a way to classify all psykers it may come across.[1] The average Homo Sapiens Imperial is judged to have an Assignment rating of Rho or Pi. These individuals cannot consciously or subconsciously draw power from the Immaterium and are not able to become possessed without outside psychic influence. As the vast majority of Mankind falls into this Assignment level, the common Imperial citizen poses little psychic security threat.[1]

Nevertheless, uncommon individuals are birthed every day with Assignment ratings exceeding Pi. By Imperial Edict, these men and women are to be discovered and brought to the attention of the Inquisition to protect against harmful psychic events. With the multitude of threats besieging the Imperium, however, it is only truly practical to investigate those suspected of Iota level talent or greater.[1]

In the rarest of all cases, the twenty-four point scale of the Assignment does not adequately characterize a being of indescribable ability. Such individuals, for all intents and purposes, pass beyond the scale entirely. These subjects are known as belonging to a “plus” scale or a “reversed” scale, since the standard grading's naming convention is reversed.[1] When uncontained, plus psykers represent an immediate and catastrophic threat to the Imperium. In theory, there is nothing that a trained plus psyker cannot accomplish through force of will; from snapping a Titan in half to summoning a legion of Greater Daemons. A rogue plus psyker represents a great danger, the Ordo Hereticus of the Inquisition considers them among the greatest threats they can face. Their souls are poetically said to burn akin to supernova within the Empyrean, a beacon for daemons flocking and vying for the right to possess their unguarded minds.[6b]

Although rarely used, a precise terminology for a negative psionic, carries a "-Minus" at the end, a psionic of negative class Omega is thus properly called an Omega-Minus psyker.[7]

List of psionic levels

The below lists denotes the points of the Assignment, with their provided description.[1]

Numbers in brackets are not associated with the approved terminology, and exists within the table to illustrate a cardinal order of the terms, with 0 denoting the first psionically inert level, negative numbers indicating negative psionic levels, and numbers with plus indicating plus scale levels.

Ordinals Description
Omega (-7) Usually referred to as Untouchables. These individuals are so inert in the Warp as to actually exhibit negative psychic influence upon others.[1] Primarily manifested as a small region of “blankness” surrounding the individual, it is impossible for psychic powers or warp creatures to penetrate this space.[8] The Imperial science has shown the dead-area surrounding the subject interferes with natural electrical-mental functions. This often results in irrational fear and loathing for the individual from baseline humans.[9] For psykers, however, they are physically and mentally painful to be near.[8]
Psi
Chi
Phi
Upsilon
Tau
Sigma
(-6)
(-5)
(-4)
(-3)
(-2)
(-1)
Psionically-dense individuals who are oblivious to warp fluctuations and psychic probing. The range of this ability varies, with the highest class being just deemed 'blunt' to some of psionic effects, the lowest class being extremely resistant to effects of psychic activity, yet still considered touchable by a measurable extreme degree of psionic power.[1]
Rho (0) No manifestation of psychic talent (common human being).[1]
Pi (1) Second of the two so-called inert psychic levels.[1] Possessing however some degrees of psionic power. The manifestations are so insignificant that if they happen to be noticed they are quickly denounced as "good luck" or a pretension to a sixth sense.[7]
Omicron
Xi
Nu
Mu
Lambda
Kappa
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
Unconscious and minor level of psionic brain activity, of which the individuals and their surrounding are often unaware unless put to examination. Although those classes are technically by law under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, it is logistically unfeasible to exam every suspicion of them in the wide galaxy.[1]
Iota
Theta
Eta
(8)
(9)
(10)
As the individual is able to control abilities with effort, subjects of Iota level and higher are true psykers and upon discovery are immediately put under the care of the Inquisition[1] and the League of Blackships.[6a]
Zeta
Epsilon
(11)
(12)
Very high level of mental psychic activity.[1]
Delta
Gamma
Beta
Alpha
(13)
(14)
(15)
(16)
Occurring in approximately one-per-billion human births.[1]
Alpha Plus (17+) First of and numerically almost synonymous with "plus" scale, still occurring the rarest in a relation to all previous cases. Their state of mind always come with a perceivable level of dementation or insanity.[1]
Beta Plus (18+) Assumed to be the highest a human brain can withstand and be in possession of a fading semblance of sanity.[1]
Gamma Plus (19+) The highest registered psionic human level as to date. It is more widely achievable by some unspecified alien species and daemons, however not even them are known to exceed this rank.[1]
Delta Plus
Epsilon Plus
(20+)
(21+)
Never measured classifications, remaining only theoretical.[1]
Zeta Plus (22+) Considered the highest a living tissue can sustain.[1]
Eta Plus



Omega Plus
(23+)



(40+)
Levels considered requiring a being's mind to rely on non-corporeal structures for the being to survive.[1]

Sources