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How do play a better Psyker?


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#1 antiviewer

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 07:38 AM

 Hey there fellow servants of the Dark Gods!

I've been playing a psyker in a BC campaign and have hit a bit of a creative block concerning the use of my powers. See i'm running a telepathy psyker (with a fair bit invested in telekinesis) and she's fluffed as being heavy into mind control/manipulation to get her ends, but the only thing i can think of doing with my powers (I.E. Compel) is "shoot your friend" during a fight. That and i don't use Mind Probe nearly as much as i think i should (can't think of any reasons to). But the thing is, my character isn't really a subtle infiltrator (more like a mad scientist really), and most of our time isn't spent in Imperial space (we're actually organizing a meeting between various chaos factions to aid a newly rebelled subsector at present).

Can you guys suggest better/more creative uses for these telepathy powers? I'd also like to know if there's anything (stats/talents/skills) i could use to make myself more effective in my role.

tl;dr, how do i Mastermind better?



#2 Chastity

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 12:49 PM

From what you say here, it sounds like your game is quite combat-heavy? If the only use you're getting out of Compel is using it in fights to make people shoot each other, then you might simply not be in a game where a telepathy-heavy Psyker works well. Do you have a lot of non-combat encounters with NPCs? Are there things you want to get out of said NPCs that you aren't currently getting? Do you ever need to find information or solve problems non-violently?



#3 antiviewer

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 04:51 PM

Chastity said:

From what you say here, it sounds like your game is quite combat-heavy? If the only use you're getting out of Compel is using it in fights to make people shoot each other, then you might simply not be in a game where a telepathy-heavy Psyker works well. Do you have a lot of non-combat encounters with NPCs? Are there things you want to get out of said NPCs that you aren't currently getting? Do you ever need to find information or solve problems non-violently?

Well its actually pretty balanced in terms of combat vs. interaction, the last session we had was nothing but treating with NPCs, and the one before that had only a token (quickly glossed over) fight. I don't really know if they have information i would need though, since our objective is not to subvert any of these factions (at least not yet), and have no reason to use compel for the moment (other than to mess with NPCs, which might end up being annoying the other players). I guess it might be a mix of what you suggested and my own lack of creativity.



#4 Reverend mort

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:19 PM

 Note the subtle usage of mind probe. Even when you fail, they don't notice. You must fetter, so there's no phenomena risk. There is no reason NOT to use it all the time. You got the entirety of a person's being 30 seconds of squinting and a decent wp roll away.



#5 Ramaloke

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:52 PM

 I have a great use for compel in four easy steps.

  1. Find or buy an Explosive Collar + Controller (They are Rare).
  2. Throw the collar towards your target.
  3. Compel with the phrase "Put the Collar On."
  4. Profit.

It's totally worthwhile.



#6 Chastity

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:46 AM

Having taken another look at the writeups…

Compel is tricky, the way the power is written it's either absurdly limited or obscenely powerful. You can make somebody perform any "simple" task that they can reasonably complete within a "single round". This is fairly straightforward to adjudicate in combat (and basically "shoot your friend" or "jump out of the window" is about the best you can do)  but outside combat it gets a lot more difficult. Is "trust me" a simple command? Can it be completed in a single round? What about "let me through" or "give me the passcodes"?

In terms of subtle powers, Delude is actually a good deal better because it's long-lasting. I think Compel is supposed to be kind of a blunt instrument.

As Reverend points out, you can use Mind Probe undetectably, which is absolute gold.

What I might suggest is asking your GM if they'd be willing to accept a more generous interpretation of Compel, such that if you use it to Compel somebody to do something which they might reasonably have done of their own free will anyway, then they'll carry on thinking it was their own idea. So if you compel somebody to "Follow Me" or "Go Take a Break" or whatever, they'll carry on doing it even after the power has worn off.

I think Telepathy powers probably work best when they're bundled together with each other, and with Interaction skills. Compel on its own can't do that much, Compel combined with Delude, Mind Probe and Thought Sending and good Charm and Deceive skills could allow you to turn people into your willing puppets.



#7 Kiton

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:41 AM

Don't forget, in combat, that powers aren't all you have. Its a similar deal to magery in Shadowrun: you have that pistol or rifle for general work, especially while you're not yet all maxed out and powerful.

The mind probe suggestion is a good one. Having a plasma pistol pointed at your head is one thing, but a stranger doing so while asking them how their family's doing [with plenty of details] can be just as effective at turning a negotiation or standoff to your advantage, rather than to just another firefight.

Things like Compel can be used inventively, though. Try screwing with the heavy weapon or special weapon guys. A 4-Full weapon forced to reload in round 1 is effectively out of the fight.

Overall however, you're really not "the combat guy" unless you've got a bunch of thralls at your command. Fighting's not what you do: far fewer situations should result in it thanks to your knowlege. If you can probe a guy for access codes or passwords [even perhaps the one ASKING them of you], you don't need to beat security in, and all that stuff.



#8 antiviewer

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:34 PM

These are some good suggestions! It's a shame the Tome of Fate doesn't expand the telepathy power selection, id've loved to have a power similar to the Reprogram (from Rogue Trader i believe) since it would fit my character's fluff (she makes monsters and brainwashes them into being fanatically loyal to her). It sucks that there's no long-term mental domination power in Black Crusade.

As for combat, one thing i've been doing is holding up my pistol and using precision telekinesis to fire the gun (replacing my BS roll), its a pretty fun way to contribute in a fight. Another way is by using force push and blowing people over ledges and into warp anomalies (that was a fun fight!). I recently picked up Doombolt too, because its always good to have a direct damage power handy. I'm also aligning my Psyker to Tzeentch, so i'm thinking of picking up some of his powers, do you guys have any suggestions?



#9 Kiton

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:38 PM

Well, the tzeench things like Bolt of Change are sick, sick things, but forget not that Doombolts is basically a high RoF Semi-Auto Plasma… Eventually. Unless you're pushing it of course, but I don't think I need to remind you what a human psyker that's always pushing does within a handful of sessions at the *MOST*…

Consider that Pushing at +5 puts your Perils of the Warp chance at 50%. Best to just twitch an extra shot out of the Heretek or something or whatever than keep risking yourself this way. Once its "plasma" while just unfettered though, that's not bad at all.

Powerwise go for what seems fun, but when looking at destructive ones go for what you can't easily just do with guns. Large Blasts, Anti-Tank devastation [did I say Bolt of Change? I meant Bolt of Change. By the way, you should probably think of getting Bolt of Change]. Slightly earlier comes Warptime, which is like Hammer Time but better. Its made primarily of "I like ridiculously high RoF values on my heavy weapons, someone get me an assault cannon", or of course those sick force-weapon bastards with the Lightning strikes… You know, the guys dual-wielding force-somethings and getting like fifteen hits of Crushing Blow on some poor hapless little runt [like a Chaos Space Marine or Greater Daemon of Nurgle]…



#10 Chastity

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 01:29 AM

I'm actually pretty okay with there being no long term mental domination power, since it strikes me as a bit too easy to just be able to roll a few dice and say "this guy is now fanatically loyal to me".

Fluffwise, I'd suggest talking to your GM about letting you use your Telepathic Powers as a means to justify points spent on Minions. You could also see if they'd let you use Compel/Delude/Inspire to do long-term brainwashing (after all, the rules only say what the power *does* not what you can do *with it*).






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