Jump to content



Photo

(Subtly) Probing for Answers


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 HappyDaze

HappyDaze

    Member

  • Members
  • 5,762 posts

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:58 PM

Mind Probe has been used quite often in my games lately, and I'm beginning to think it might be problem. The psyker using it is a Rank 4 Astropath Transcendent will WP 56 and Psy Rating 4. He uses the power at Fettered, so Psy Rating 2 and takes the -20 penalty to make the probing subtle giving him a Focus Power score of 46, resisted by the target's WP. He has Mind's Eye which extends the range to 20 metres. Full use of the power require 5 rounds = 25 seconds. So, if he's within 20 metres for 25 seconds he has a fair chance of reading someone's entire mind like a book without them ever noticing.

My concern is that this one power can really disrupt many storylines and there's not really any reasonable way to prevent him from using it on almost everyone he comes into contact with. I know that I can make some targets harder with either psykers of their own or untouchables, but both of those are fairly rare within the setting. The player is also fairly careful and smart and uses Psynisciece to check for such things regularly.

I think the Mind Probe power is fine so long as it's doing the forcible mind **** approach, but the subtle ability to plunder thoughts at will (until Fatigue eventually saps him and makes him spend a few minutes in quiet Meditation) seems really disruptive to many storylines.

Anyone else have similar experiences with this power? Any good solutions that don't unnecessarily gimp the Astropath?


Ignore, Ignore, you must learn Ignore!

 

Now Ignoring: Nobody.


#2 TiLT

TiLT

    Member

  • Members
  • 175 posts

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:49 PM

I would say that a sanctioned psyker should know better than to use psychic powers just because he can, even if the rules say it's safe. A sanctioned psyker has been taught to be extremely careful with his powers. Others will know this too, and those with psyniscience are bound to discover the astropath's careless use of his powers, perhaps making him a target for the Inquisition or other powers.

While the power doesn't directly describe this, you could also try burning the astropath's hand, so to say. A corrupt mind could corrupt the astropath as well, and there's no guarantee that a victim of the mind probe actually knows anything of importance or even knows the truth. An opponent could be purposefully feeding his minions with wrong information in case they get caught and interrogated, intending to lead enemies into a trap. 

It's a powerful psychic power, as it should be, but those with strong will can resist, and in my experience a lot of communication in the game takes place either ship to ship ("let's hail the captain on that ship!") or via proxy ("my master asks me to convey a message, Lord") or even, ironically, via astropath. All of those situations make it impossible to probe minds. 

You also need to consider who this power is being used against. A rival rogue trader is probably going to be highly suspicious of someone who brings his astropath everywhere and will take steps to protect himself, either by staying at a distance or by shielding himself, perhaps, or even just telling the astropath to leave. He may have his own astropath(s) join a meeting, looking for signs of psychic powers being used or even using mind probe himself. 

 



#3 HappyDaze

HappyDaze

    Member

  • Members
  • 5,762 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:00 AM

TiLT said:

 

I would say that a sanctioned psyker should know better than to use psychic powers just because he can, even if the rules say it's safe. A sanctioned psyker has been taught to be extremely careful with his powers. Others will know this too, and those with psyniscience are bound to discover the astropath's careless use of his powers, perhaps making him a target for the Inquisition or other powers.

 

 

He's fairly cautious about using the power in the presence of other obvious psykers. He's also a Witness of Dusk, so he's not well-regarded by either the AAT or the Inquisition (for obvious reasons). Psyniscience only reveals that a power is being used, not what power is being used. It will reveal the source of the power and the target, so this is often enough a give away.

I think I may have found an answer. While not everyone in the Expanse can get a psyker or an untouchable, getting a Footfallen-born individual with Psyniscience (they all have it) as a 'psy-detector' is something even criminal lowlifes can do. For some of these people, even a single 'blip' might be enough to change the encounter dramatically.


Ignore, Ignore, you must learn Ignore!

 

Now Ignoring: Nobody.


#4 Alox

Alox

    Member

  • Members
  • 284 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:16 AM

Or let tet the psyker meet som deranged minds that nets him insanity points from mind reading. Entering someone elses mind should not be taken lightly - its not an entertainment channel.

 

 



#5 HappyDaze

HappyDaze

    Member

  • Members
  • 5,762 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:29 AM

Alox said:

Or let tet the psyker meet som deranged minds that nets him insanity points from mind reading. Entering someone elses mind should not be taken lightly - its not an entertainment channel.

 

 

I'd rather not invent new ways of penalizing him outside of the rules. As it stands, the power doesn't normally expose the user to any harm. It might be possible that the target has a special Trait that would cause such issues, but that shouldn't be a common thing.

Realizing that the Footfallen can easily detect the use of psyker powers means that a cheap and easily available psyker-detector counter is avaialble. It may not (directly) stop him from reading minds, but it will cut down on abuse since it will be much harder to just do it on the sly with everyone. Trying that at the wrong time will get the pointing and screaming of "wytch!" in no time.


Ignore, Ignore, you must learn Ignore!

 

Now Ignoring: Nobody.


#6 Regis Eisen

Regis Eisen

    Member

  • Members
  • 39 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:15 AM

As someone who plays a Psyker Interrogator imbedded in an RT crew, Mind Probe can be awesome when used subtley, but it takes time and patience to do properly.  As a rule, I'll do an awareness or scrutiny check, then a psyscience check, then run aura reading… and only after I do those things do I even attempt Mind Probe.  Of course, that's cause we use the "Under the Skin" or whatever it's called rule from DH.  Looking into craziness or corruption can taint you as well.  And there have been consequences in the past too.

 

Additionally, there is the fact that running around reading minds is generally considered mind ****.  So, you'll need a damn good reason to.  And, if you're caught, there are likely a number of things that could happen.  Hell, my Interrogator has fully probed both Winterscale and Chorda while negotiating a compact at Lucien's Breath, but he needs to be careful about how and what he does with all that information…  otherwise knowledge of the deeds becomes known and there will be consequences.  Does anyone really think that a RT wouldn't burn 10 PF to ensure that a data thief that knows everything about them, all their assets, all their secrets, all their goals, was utterly and brutally killed?

 

Just cause you can do something, doesn't mean its a good thing to always do, or even something that's useful in the long term.



#7 TiLT

TiLT

    Member

  • Members
  • 175 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:46 AM

HappyDaze said:

I'd rather not invent new ways of penalizing him outside of the rules. As it stands, the power doesn't normally expose the user to any harm. It might be possible that the target has a special Trait that would cause such issues, but that shouldn't be a common thing.

Just because the rules for Fear and Corruption aren't listed along with the power, doesn't mean that they don't apply. In fact, looking at the Corruption rules I'd say they very much apply (see Blasphemous Lore on page 299) when looking into the mind of the corrupted, or even worse, a sorcerer. I'd be a little more careful with Insanity Points unless someone you're mind probing is utterly deranged, and I wouldn't ask for a Fear Test. 



#8 HappyDaze

HappyDaze

    Member

  • Members
  • 5,762 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

TiLT said:

HappyDaze said:

I'd rather not invent new ways of penalizing him outside of the rules. As it stands, the power doesn't normally expose the user to any harm. It might be possible that the target has a special Trait that would cause such issues, but that shouldn't be a common thing.

 

Just because the rules for Fear and Corruption aren't listed along with the power, doesn't mean that they don't apply. In fact, looking at the Corruption rules I'd say they very much apply (see Blasphemous Lore on page 299) when looking into the mind of the corrupted, or even worse, a sorcerer. I'd be a little more careful with Insanity Points unless someone you're mind probing is utterly deranged, and I wouldn't ask for a Fear Test. 

True, Blasphemous Lore does sound like it could be applicable at times. I guess this might be the advantage of the Round Two revelation of the target's Corruption Points - it might give you a warning that it's unsafe to probe more deeply and give you time to abort going deeper and seeing the worst of the target's secrets. Depending on the content of the memories, I actually could see a Fear Test at times, especially if the target is Jaded and the Astropath is not.


Ignore, Ignore, you must learn Ignore!

 

Now Ignoring: Nobody.


#9 Zacronos

Zacronos

    Member

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:10 AM

Sorry for resurrecting this thread -- but I wanted to point out (for future readers if no one else) that Mind's Eye doesn't actually work as described in the original post, and that has a big impact on the scenario described.  The core rulebook does describe Mind's Eye as a passive 10x to range, but it was heavily modified by errata (version 1.4 here).

 

Now, Mind's Eye must be activated to use, requiring a Half Action to focus with Willpower check.  It then must be sustained while using other techniques in order to get the effects.  This means your Astropath will have to become more powerful before they can attempt what you describe.

 

At Psy Rating 4, using Fettered power yields an effective Psy Rating of 2, but then minus 2 for having 2 powers active at once is an effective Psy Rating of 0, which means Mind Probe can't be used at Fettered level while sustaining Mind's Eye.

 

At Psy Rating 5 and 6, using Fettered power yields an effective Psy Rating of 3, minus 2 for having 2 powers active yields an effective Psy Rating of 1.  This is a range of only 10 meters, and a Focus Power score of 41.

 

To get a range of 20 meters and a Focus Power score of 46 would require being a Psy Rating 7 or higher, not Psy Rating 4.






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS