Author Topic: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.2)  (Read 6960 times)

Offline Koval

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The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.2)
« on: August 09, 2013, 04:30:03 PM »
Download link here (v1.2)

Inspired, in part, by disagreeing with PDH over on the Ammobunker and changing my mind later (!), I decided to have a go at rewriting the Psychic Power rules. This is the end result.

So, what's new?
--I introduced Psy Rating, which rates a psyker's power level on a scale of 1 to 10. The idea was borrowed from 40KRP; here, Psy Rating has an impact on a power's Difficulty and overall effects. Thanks to the aforementioned PDH fellow for making the suggestion of splitting the Willpower stat.
--The actual cast-a-psychic-power process hasn't actually changed that much, but although I like short explanations when discussing ideas, I find I'm awfully verbose when writing rules as I want to avoid them being misinterpreted.
--As I mentioned above, if your Psy Rating is high enough, you can influence a psychic power's Difficulty!
--Psykers have the opportunity to supercharge their powers in several terrifying ways...
--The insertion of a Psychic Phenomena table, and the removal of Psychic Overloads. So you can now potentially fail a power and nothing bad will happen. Alternatively, even if you use the power successfully, something catastrophically fun could happen instead!
--We've gone from 34 psychic powers (in the rulebook) to 74. Many of these additions were inspired by The Sanctioning Brand.
--I've added a Special Abilities section with things taken from The Sanctioning Brand. (This isn't theft; Van Helser specifically told me to use as much or as little of it as I wanted to.)
--Willpower Recovery, with full credit going to Molotov.
--New rules for Untouchables, Sorcery, and Daemonic Possession!


I'd be very grateful for any comments and constructive criticism that anyone can offer. While this may be the release version, and while I may be happy with it, I'm open to suggestions on how to improve it (mostly to make it more concise without loss of meaning).

EDIT: New things in v1.1 include a simplified Psychic Phenomena table (which is now just a D10 roll), a reduced risk of generating Psychic Phenomena, and a few tweaks in Weaken Veil and some things in the appendices for the sake of internal consistency.

EDIT: v1.2 is now live and addresses the things Van Helser spotted.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 04:35:25 PM by Koval »

Offline Cortez

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (V1.0)
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 07:00:37 PM »
I've not had chance to study all the powers yet but here's my initial thoughts on it so far:

Psy Rating: I really like this, seems like a good way to grade a psychers overall skill and training level as opposed to just giving them a high willpower. I wonder if you want to add a negative modifier to level 1 and 2 psychers though as that would fit with the overall theme?

Psychic  Phenomenon: I like this idea too. I've always thought that rolling on a table with different effects made more sense than just a straight willpower reduction, however I don't like the fact that you can end up rolling on the table for a successful psychic test. Personally I'd like to see psychic powers become more commonly used and I think the added risk of rolling on this table for a successful cast will have the opposite effect.

Risky Action: While I do think that psychic tests should be a risky action I've always felt that the 2D10 penalty is a bit steep. There's no way to avoid it or reduce the risk and it can have a detrimental effect on the game in my experience. I can think of one Conclave game where the three main psychers on the board all were reduced to practically vegetative states by repeated risky action failures (which of course then made failure of the psychic tests more likely). While it was quite amusing I think the game would have been better if the penalties were lessened to maybe 2D6 or 1D10.



Offline Koval

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (V1.03)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 07:14:11 PM »
Hi Cortez. Thanks for the feedback. I'll look at each point in turn.

Psy Rating: I'd thought of it, but in my mind, that would unfairly penalise low-level psykers who are already not supposed to have many powers to start with. I might try to work out something else for low-level psykers rather than a Difficulty bump.

Psychic Phenomena: I'll try to work out a compromise, but the way the rules are at the moment, the psyker could cast a power... and perhaps do a little more than s/he'd anticipated. I'm a little hesitant to get rid of Psychic Phenomena altogether if you use a power successfully, but none of the compromises I can think of seem to work all that well in my mind. I'll have to think about it a bit more.

Risky Action: Good call, V1.1 will rein it in a bit, although I can't decide whether to tone the Willpower loss down, or just drop it altogether and leave the Phenomena roll.

EDIT: V1.03 is now live. I've not addressed any of these points in the new update, although that's because they require more thought than fixing typos :P
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 08:03:48 PM by Koval »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (V1.03)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 11:43:25 PM »
To address some of those notes:

Psy Rating: I'm not inherently opposed to low level psykers having additional penalty. I'm more wary of low psy ratings needing their own separate ruleset!

Psychic Phenomena: I'm worried that they might be a little common. Dependent on speed, about one in three action rolls is risky (Whether you actually reach risky actions later in the turn does affect things... it's one of the reasons I've largely nixed Risky Actions for the RIA, the fact the percentages are actually loopy). Add that to 19% of Wp rolls having a 9 in them...

So, a speed 4 psyker (casting with their first action) has a 45.2% chance of invoking phenomena. I'm with Cortez here - that's not going to encourage players to use psychic powers!
It might be less extreme were some of the results in the vein of the minor phenomena we see on the 40kRP tables (such as gusts of wind or a sudden temperature drop) with no real in-game effect beyond being a visual indicator.

I'm also moderately reluctant to introduce more tables to the game, particularly with such irregular categories. (It's a similar thing to what you validly pointed out regarding the old version of the RIA plasma weapons - the table is much simpler now). More tables means more things to look up.

I'd suggest rethinking the various percentages (lower percentage for manifesting, more even percentages for the table).

To share my own thoughts regarding the possibility of psychic phenomena in "my" 2nd edition ruleset - I had considered minor, major and perils phenomena.
Minor/Major occur on some criteria (possibly Hazard rules), and may be divided by a Wp test.
On a pass, minor (no real rules effect) - the GM can wing it, roll on some suggestions or some psykers might have "trademark" phenomena*. On a fail, major phenomena have some rules (such as darkness, earth tremors, etc).
*For example, Maya Avens manifests both of the earlier suggested wind and temperature drop effects fairly regularly. That said, Inquisitor Rhodes suspects it's partly a deliberate act to play up the "scary psyker" thing, seeing as it becomes a lot less frequent when she's not trying to be overt.

The really seriously damaging phenomena would only be associated with Perils of the Warp.

I wasn't ever planning on putting daemons on that table though. While possession is a known risk**, OMGWTFDAEMON often might as well mean the GM can throw out their game notes - the plot is near guaranteed to receive the attentions of the Adeptus Defenestratus. It's also very plot defining for that psyker - they get possessed... um... okay? What happens to them now?
It's one thing to write a "dead" result as a character's fourth near-fatal injury (particularly given good medical attention), but it's hard to write their fourth exorcism.
**It's a bit different with daemonswords, as the daemon's influence is at least resisted by Wp and control can be restored.

As it is, your rules have psykers turning into a daemonhost in a little over 1% of their attempts... that might be rare, but I'd be a little more reluctant to have psykers around if one in seventy attempts to "suggest" to a guard that these aren't the servitors they're looking for results in "COWER BEFORE THE WRATH OF ASD'FG'HJK'L!"

Risky Action Wp loss: I would say that Wp recovery (and the fact that many dedicated psykers will now have a psy rating to soften the harder powers) does make a 2D10 loss more palatable.

I think it needs to stay a reasonably large number for it to still have meaning rather than "meh, I'll have that back in three turns".

~~~~~

I'd also note one consistency problem. Having LoS for non-LoS powers is variably stated as +10 (in the text) and +20 (in the table).
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Offline Koval

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (V1.03)
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2013, 07:08:46 AM »
Thanks for chipping in, Marco :)

Phenomena: Yes, this will be toned down a bit. I'll have to do that tomorrow, though, as I'm off out today. (EDIT: I've just made some headway on a solution but I won't be able to finalise it until tomorrow morning at the earliest.)

Daemonhosts: I'll remove this from the Phenomena table if it's contentious, and just leave it as an appendix. That way, it's optional but there are still rules for it.

Risky Action Wp Loss: In that case, it'll stay, but won't necessarily stay at 2D10 (as failing the Risky Action roll still requires a Phenomena roll, and there's a distinct possibility of massacring your Willpower when that happens)

Line of Sight: Good catch. No idea what I was thinking there. It should be +20.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 08:11:58 AM by Koval »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (V1.03)
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2013, 11:34:20 AM »
I'm certainly not against having rules for daemonhosts and possession - it's a good thing to have rules for - but I think they'd be better as a deliberate part of a scenario or an effect that a GM actively chooses to use as opposed to something that gets dropped at random.

It can certainly be a good thing to have phenomena rather than the penalty for failing a psychic test*, as it does avoid discouraging players from taking a long shot (rather than going "that'll never work and I'll probably lose a few dozen WP trying"), but it's not something you want to be a less appealing option or something that derails games.

* If that penalty is gone, it's another reason it's not great to make Risky Actions too mild.
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Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
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Offline Cortez

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (V1.03)
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 02:12:07 PM »
You could have the possession thing work in the same way as the puppet master psychic power i.e with a willpower test each turn to see if the character can escape the deamons control.

I agree with Marco that the psychic phenomena table should be simplified in order to prevent tedious table referencing (I've noticed in some of the discussions regarding the possible new Inquiitor themed game the complaint that Inquisitor has too many tables already). I also quite like Marco's idea of minor and major phenomena.

Offline Koval

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.1)
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 08:46:49 PM »
I'll try to shrink the table down to, say, ten results. Some of them could easily disappear.

At present, I'm trying to work in the Minor/Major Phenomena split without bogging down the mechanics or the wording too much.

EDIT: So I had some more free time this evening than I thought I did...
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 10:12:29 PM by Koval »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.1)
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2013, 03:25:50 PM »
The new phenomena stuff seems to be an improvement. I might almost now wonder if the table's not that large a dissuader against Pushing a power, but I guess it's dangerous even so.

Still, as a suggestion, perhaps Pushing could be declared before the action roll*, rather than as the last stage - hence, that way, Phenomena could still happen even if the power is stopped by a Risky Action. (Risky actions seem not to do Phenomena automatically now?). That'd certainly help keep Pushing an appropriately dangerous risk.
*Much as one declares the mode of shooting before rolling actions, not after.
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Offline Koval

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.1)
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2013, 04:26:12 PM »
The new phenomena stuff seems to be an improvement. I might almost now wonder if the table's not that large a dissuader against Pushing a power, but I guess it's dangerous even so.
I'd wondered that as well, but the fact that things can still go very wrong (sometimes horribly so, cf. Psychic Burnout) should simulate the risks without overdoing it.

Quote
Still, as a suggestion, perhaps Pushing could be declared before the action roll*, rather than as the last stage - hence, that way, Phenomena could still happen even if the power is stopped by a Risky Action.
Good point, although the way the rules are currently written I'd need to restructure Section 2 a bit.
Quote
Risky actions seem not to do Phenomena automatically now?
On reflection, I figured that a big old Willpower hit was punishment enough for flubbing a Risky Action roll, but I can certainly change that if it's a problem.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.1)
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2013, 04:57:00 PM »
On reflection, I figured that a big old Willpower hit was punishment enough for flubbing a Risky Action roll, but I can certainly change that if it's a problem.
To be honest, the big punishment for a Risky action roll is very often simply that the power completely fails to work!

Still, it's not an invalid time for phenomena (doodoo-doo-doo-doo. Phenomena. Doo-doo-doo-doo.) to occur. I remain edgy about about the percentages, but it might be alright to do it as the power would normally cause phenomena. Hence, a normal power - although now automatically causing phenomena - gives a Wp test to avoid Major phenomena; but a Pushed power causes Major phenomena automatically.

That might be a touch messy to word and it would mean pushing the chances of phenomena quite high again... but it could work.
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Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Koval

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.1)
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2013, 06:12:16 PM »
At the moment, I'm bringing in the "test Willpower to avoid phenomena" if the psyker fails a Risky Action roll on a pushed power. He's already losing Willpower anyway, so I'm now a little hesitant to just smack a psyker round the head with 2D10 Willpower loss and automatic phenomena on top of that. We could interpret the 2D10 Willpower loss as special phenomena in and of itself -- and now the psyker's got to work hard not to make it worse.

I'll play around with different possibilities a bit later.

On a more positive note, I've changed Push to "decide when declaring actions" without any problems whatsoever -- it turned out to be much simpler than I thought.

Offline Van Helser

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.1)
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 03:05:16 PM »
I have had a read through things, and I've been generally impressed.  I've done some proof reading noticed a couple of things that might need some attention:

Nullification - it doesn't specifically state that a successful nullification roll will stop the power working.

Resist Possession power - there's no mention of a "Possession Rating" in the possession rules.

Catalyse - will the user suffer the negative effects of 'Slaught?  Both statistic decreases in game, and campaign-wise?

Debilitate - quite difficult to activate power for not that great an effect (in comparison to say, shooting). Would a lesser difficulty (such as 1/4 Toughness) be more suitable?

Regeneration - "psyker removes PR points from his injury total..." isn't immediately clear. How about: "the psyker removes a value equal to his PR from his injury total."

Distraction - in comparison to Psychic Scream, this power really seems overpowered. It's not Ranged, the victim doesn't get a chance to resist the power, and has the same difficulty. Okay, there's no points for the injury total, but it seems an awfully easy way to stun someone. Perhaps if the victim had a chance to resist with a WP test?

I'll have another couple of read throughs over the next few days.

Ruaridh


Offline Koval

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.1)
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 03:39:51 PM »
Some of those things are genuine derp moments (Nullification, Catalyse, Distraction) or bad copy-paste jobs (Resist Possession). I'll fix them.

EDIT: Fixed.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 04:27:19 PM by Koval »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The Revised Inquisitor Psychic Powers Archive (v1.1)
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 05:42:13 PM »
Distraction - in comparison to Psychic Scream, this power really seems overpowered. It's not Ranged, the victim doesn't get a chance to resist the power, and has the same difficulty.
Distraction has always been that way and I've long felt it's a poorly balanced power. It also doesn't need line of sight, so that bonus means it's at +10 to the psyker's Wp for anyone they can see.

Given that a character not acting for a turn can be a big decider, it's pretty beardy cheese. (And would be atrocious as a Wyrd power).
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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