I found myself with a significant reaction when reading the new Telepathica Background Bonus that I'll share here.
I do like the general concept of Telepathica PCs being able to somewhat mitigate a Psychic Phenomena result - however, this new one from Update #6 necessitates a protocol that is so Out-of-Character. For every Phenomena event, it calls for the psyker player to go to that Table and compare three different results - the roll they got, their WPB higher and their WPB lower - and see which one they want. Again conceptually, I like Telepathica psykers being able to have a little edge on Phenomena results - but the mandatory table min-max’ing seems kind of an immersion killer. In my game, up to now, I’ve had the player roll and then I narrate the In-Character results to all the players. Per the new Telepathica Bonus, there’s no way I can do that anymore.
To further illustrate the point, I’ve considered doing my own Phenomena Table to better curtail the inevitable MetaGaming. To wit, say the player rolled something particularly low on the Phenomena Table & I describe that, for example, darkness envelopes them that Round. They typically reason that the “low roll” couldn’t be that bad and so they don’t worry much about it. Whereas, with the same description & a high roll they’d all be really worried - Metagame special. So I’ve considered doing my own table with random results below 75 so they’d have no idea based on the roll and so the narration maintains a lot of uncertainty & suspense. My point is that the Telepathica Bonus goes hard in the opposite direction having the player essentially check a menu of which result they want. Good Bonus concept but this particular execution seems uber rough on the immersion.
Conceptually, let me offer the opinion that of arguably anything in the entire universe of DH, psychic mishaps probably most call for “What in the hell just happened??” from the players, which is a fantastic situation whenever you can get it. So you want the system’s structure to support that uncertainty as much as possible - it is the warp, after all.
So the Telepathica Bonus automatically subtracting the psyker’s WPB from a Phenomena roll takes this out of the equation (though it still locks you into strictly graduated threat levels on the table, like it is now, which, as I've mentioned, I find causes quite a bit of metagaming). I assume FFG obviously considered this but I guess were concerned about the times the adjusted result, because of circumstances, would actually be worse in that particular case? But I don't think players choosing which Phenomena result they want off of the table is worth it.
Edited by seanpp, 10 January 2014 - 04:10 AM.