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40K/FFG Really needs to understand or settle on how Astropaths Work


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#21 susanbrindle

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 04:33 AM

The Navis Primer has rules for intercepting (and changing!) messages, and states that hostile psykers (Farseers, Sorcerers, etc)  are capable of doing so. There's a difficult check to decipher them, but it can be done.



#22 lurkeroutthere

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

well that was some of the point of my post without semireliable interstellar communication the empire just couldn't function but for some reasin they are really in love with the concept of astrotelepathy being really mystical when on a macro level in order for things to work it would have to be fairly mundane.



#23 HappyDaze

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:45 AM

lurkeroutthere said:

well that was some of the point of my post without semireliable interstellar communication the empire just couldn't function but for some reasin they are really in love with the concept of astrotelepathy being really mystical when on a macro level in order for things to work it would have to be fairly mundane.

It reminds me of the 'classic' period of BattleTech when ComStar ruled the interstellar communications unopposed. They added mysticism to the process despite there being no real need to do so. In the case of Astropaths, there is at least some support that the mysticism and rituals improve the ability to perform the task. Astrotelepathy is going to be widely used, but I don't think anything involving the Warp is supposed to be mundane (much like voidship travel is not mundane). That Astrotlepathy has a high risk of 'dropped calls' and other problems - including operator failure in some cases - says that it's not entirely reliable. Of course, none of the other forces of the galaxy (not even the Eldar) seem to have flawless interstellar communications either.


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#24 Blood Pact

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:36 AM

lurkeroutthere said:

 

So Navis Primer is finally up for purchase on drivethru, so I started reading it.

"But such communications are far from conventional, transmitting not words, but notions, emotions, and impressions. Even the strongest of astrotelepathic signals is little more than ritual and might very well cost the sender and the recipient their very souls."

Lets set aside for a moment a question on whether or not you could have a galaxy spaning empire without some form of FTL communication. This view is actually completely conflicted by all the examples we see in both the novels and the printed text of the books where you have messages being sent by astropaths that's eventually decoded as plain text.

 

 

Except in those self same novels, while the message is eventually spat out as plain text, it's up to the Astropath to determine the content of the message by interpreting the vision they are sent.

That's something that appears all over the place, though the best backup is in The Outcast Dead, since half the book is about Astropaths.

 

edit: oh, already covered, that'll teach me for not reading the whole thread…



#25 Blood Pact

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:02 AM

new post, cause the forum's edit feature sucks

 

Zoombie said:

Well, you'd never use astropaths to communicate with anyone you can contact via the vox.

There's still a light-speed lag within a solar system. For example, it takes 6 whole minutes for the light of our sun to reach our planet. So ships trying to communicate via laser link (setting aside how you'd even aim it right), or vox would still suffer from a communications lag unless they were within relatively close proximity to one another.

Astropathic communications, while marginally dangerous, are an altogether better option if you want to run real-time communications.

 

HappyDaze said:

I don't believe the claims that the typical Librarian is better at sending/receiving astropathic messages than an Astropath Transcendent. For most Librarians it might be a useful power to develop, but it's not their focus. OTOH, for almost every AT, it's their primary purpose.

It's more because Librarians are chosen as much for their raw power as they are for their worthiness of becoming a Space Marine. The Astartes and the Inquisition pretty much seem to get the first pick off the Black Ships, with everyone else getting to sort through those deemed unsuitable for whatever reasons. And no, this doesn't necessarily contradict anything written in the fluff. The psykers getting herded off to be fed to the Emperor or Astronomicon get the shaft because they're too weak to be safe, or of any other use. But in general, one can assume that the very cream of the crop, best and brightest, come to the scrutiny of those two groups before anyone else.

 

lurkeroutthere said:

well that was some of the point of my post without semireliable interstellar communication the empire just couldn't function but for some reasin they are really in love with the concept of astrotelepathy being really mystical when on a macro level in order for things to work it would have to be fairly mundane.

Really? I'm sorry but is there anything simple about the real world global telecommunications network? Hundreds, maybe even thousands of sattelites all linking the phones, internet, gps, and other marvels together in to one huge system. Yeah, so simple there.

Just because of the mystical trapping of Astrotelepathic communications, the need to interpret the visions that other Astropaths are, sending, etc.. Well for one it's a warp-based system, and anything involving the Warp is going to be wonky no matter what. It only has to be mundane for the people who are reading the end result, which has to be decoded from the Astrotelepathic message. What is so overwhelmingly complex about this concept that it causes the feasability of a galaxy wide empire to crumble? The Astropaths are all working from the same cipher, they have relay points, so a message does not lose the strength of its signal, travelling accross the galaxy. Your disbelief, because you didn't do a very good job of explaining it, seems to come down to "visions are silly".



#26 Gavinfoxx

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:16 PM

The problem with Astropaths is that they have to UNDERSTAND the message completely before sending it! So you need to tell them the actual unencoded message, so they can then translate it into a cypher.  If you don't understand why this is an INNATE HUGE SECURITY RISK… than, well, I can't help you…



#27 Blood Pact

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:14 PM

Yeah, no they don't.

It has, in fact, been stated in several different places throughout the fluff, that an Astropath does NOT need to have to understand the content of a message, to transmit it.



#28 HappyDaze

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:12 PM

Blood Pact said:

 

HappyDaze said:

 

I don't believe the claims that the typical Librarian is better at sending/receiving astropathic messages than an Astropath Transcendent. For most Librarians it might be a useful power to develop, but it's not their focus. OTOH, for almost every AT, it's their primary purpose.

 

 

It's more because Librarians are chosen as much for their raw power as they are for their worthiness of becoming a Space Marine. The Astartes and the Inquisition pretty much seem to get the first pick off the Black Ships, with everyone else getting to sort through those deemed unsuitable for whatever reasons. And no, this doesn't necessarily contradict anything written in the fluff. The psykers getting herded off to be fed to the Emperor or Astronomicon get the shaft because they're too weak to be safe, or of any other use. But in general, one can assume that the very cream of the crop, best and brightest, come to the scrutiny of those two groups before anyone else.

 

I grant that Librarians tend to be among the more powerful psykers, but I still say that Astropath Transcendents should far exceed them in ability where Astopathic communication is concerned. The Librarian has his focus on battlefield psychic powers, all manner of lores, and on the general super-killyness of being a Space Marine. That's a rather wide focus already, so I think giving the ATs one area in which they exceed the ability of Librarians is perfectly reasonable. I don't think any Librarian should be able to perform Astropathic communication on the level of an AT with a choir for backup because that's precisely what AT is literally made to do best.


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#29 Blood Pact

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

I agree actually, and I think their form of communication is more specialized than what Astropaths primarily use, at any rate. If only because they are more varied in their powers, and often focused on the martial applications of them.

Without cracking open my books, I recall a psychic power where two pyskers can make a telepathic connection than transcends distance, which would go a ways to explaining things. And it'd be much less useful on a wider scale than the method of using Astropathic choirs.






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