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Daemons vs psykers


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#1 Twillera

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 01:21 AM

So me and a friend of mine, who plays a psyker were discussing force weapons, and how powerful of a weapon they were. He was not aware that daemons do not get the double toughness vs psychic powers and force weapons. We are not at the point in our campaign where im going to be throwing hordes of daemons at him, but he mentioned using it in a big boss battle, and that got me thinking. How would you balance out a fight where your party has to fight a large daemon (lets say this is like the final battle). Psykers are very good at dealing daemons. they do a lot more damage then other classes to them, and have high willpower to resist fear. While I am okay with the idea of psykers doing maybe more then average damage, I still want the other members to feel as if they are impactful in a fight.

 

Im pretty new to DMing, so im not very experienced in this, so does anyone know how I could write (If I so felt the urge) to write up a big battle with a daemon with a psyker where I dont run the risk (If there even is one) of the psyker stealing the spotlight?


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#2 Magellan

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 01:42 AM

Give the daemon armour. Most psychic powers don't ignore that.


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#3 ColArana

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 01:44 AM

Give the daemon armour. Most psychic powers don't ignore that.

 

As the psyker in question to whom he is referring.

 

....Dat pen 2+Psy Rating on a Force Sword might mitigate the effects of armor.

 

 

Though absolutely valid point for using standard psychic powers.



#4 Magellan

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 02:44 AM

Good point, but the answer is more armour. As the GM, you can give them basically whatever you want, since it'll disintegrate afterwards anyway. Though in my opinion, if you're going toe to toe with a daemon boss, you should be in enough danger that penetrating its armour shouldn't make it too easy.

 

You could also give it mortal allies.


Edited by Magellan, 19 July 2014 - 02:45 AM.

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#5 ColArana

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 02:50 AM

Good point, but the answer is more armour. As the GM, you can give them basically whatever you want, since it'll disintegrate afterwards anyway. Though in my opinion, if you're going toe to toe with a daemon boss, you should be in enough danger that penetrating its armour shouldn't make it too easy.

 

Now here's the flip side of that.

 

Let's say you give the daemon Armor of say.... 15+TB (so we'll say a damage reduction of around 23).

 

...How is anyone in the party that ISN'T the Psyker brandishing a Force Sword gonna carve through that.

 

 

The issue we're trying to avoid is, as the first post suggested. Less: "Making the daemon a challenge to the Psyker", and more: "Making the daemon a challenge to the whole party, while the whole party gets time to shine in the lime light, and not have the fight be an episode of Dragonball Z, where the Psyker and Daemon duke it out and the party sits on the side lines giving moral support."


Edited by ColArana, 19 July 2014 - 02:53 AM.


#6 walcurayfort

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:49 AM

Find some way for the rest of the team to get sanctified weapons or ammo. Maybe have their Inquisitor, aware that your team is likely to be the closest available first-response team to deal with the daemonic incursion, pull strings to have blessed ammo sent to your Acolytes.

 

There's also one other advantage of being shooty - you're less likely to be RIP AND TEAR'D by a Daemon while it's focusing on the psyker.



#7 ThenDoctor

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:06 AM

Sometimes magic supply drops just wouldn't make sense for the adventure they're in. Being ranged also doesn't fix the problem because they generally won't be able to shoot through the enhanced armor the Psyker is trying to deal with, and if they psyker goes down they have to pray Warp Instability takes effect and the daemon goes back into the warp.



#8 walcurayfort

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:22 AM

Hm, in that case - and this is assuming that they haven't yet gotten to any fighting and are still preparing to fight the daemon and/or its allies - I would assume that this is where investigation has its value. Pretty sure all daemons have that one weakness that should be exploited. Known weakspots where a called shot deals increased damage? Warp presence tied to summoner or focal item? Any prophecies related to the daemon that can be used to your advantage?



#9 Askil

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:19 AM

Easy. Let the psyker be the magic deamon slaying macguffin but make the rest of the encounter a massive pain in the arse for him.

 

Throw a curveball at him, make him more vulnerable to the deamons due to his gift. Let them do Dam+WPB on him or give him a penalty on his fear tests or on manifestations because his psychic senses are swarmped by deamon chatter.

 

Make it the duty of the group to protect the psyker until he can get close enough to land the knockout blow on a Nurglite deamon while throwing hordes of lesser plagued up mooks, swarms of flies, rivers of pus and other distractions in their way.

 

Hell you could even make the deamon intangible or conceptual, try fighting a spectral idea with a sword.


Edited by Askil, 19 July 2014 - 07:23 AM.


#10 doomande

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:35 PM

My first and best reply would be to let the demon run around in some armour that casts an "Weaken Veil" like effect on him, and lets him get something positive instead of negative out of the Psychic Phenomena table, or simply make your own little table. We are talking about creatures of the warp after all, they do a lot of funny thing to the real world after all.

 

Beside that would I say flying/hover. Sure that would properly be a little bit cheaty, but drop hints to the teams shooty character about how aimed shots work and see how big a smile he/she gets when the big flying thing lands on the ground so the others now can reach it, teamwork being the key here!

 

If you want better advices should you maybe say what kind of demon they are... but with players on the site reading into your posts (bad player bad! Meta gaming and spoilers will do you no good in the end!) can I see how that could do more good than harm.


Sure some say blood for the blood god, skulls for the skull throne... I say muffins for the muffin god! Derp for the master derper!


#11 ColArana

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:09 PM

 

If you want better advices should you maybe say what kind of demon they are... but with players on the site reading into your posts (bad player bad! Meta gaming and spoilers will do you no good in the end!) can I see how that could do more good than harm.

 

It's all good, this is nothing we haven't already discussed in person. The idea of a demon as some big final boss was a purely hypothetical idea as to a reason my Psyker might actually have to bring out the Force Sword, which quickly evolved into a realization of how insane Force Weapons are ESPECIALLY against Daemons.

 

If I see him making threads about campaign plot details I'll be sure to steer away~


Edited by ColArana, 19 July 2014 - 09:14 PM.

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#12 Gregorius21778

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 02:44 AM

Here it is again..the "oh my, the Psyker might totally outshine the rest of the party in combat" topic.

Yes, Psykers do that! That is what they are. You can have the build in a way that allows massive damage output since this RPG is base on the background of a table top wargame were the Psykers were the "one man heavy special weapon things".

How to deal with it? As it was already pointed out: hardly!
Besides the mechanical side effects, what good is it to offer a player the options to become "mighty combat thing X" when I cut him back as soon as he needs to be "might combat thinig x". Had the same with my Biomant in my last group. Hard to deal with it.

My approach: do not have boss fights! No, seriously! This video game concept is the source of a lot of balancing issues and GM headaches. "If I make boss X that tough, nobody but Y can deal with it. If I do not make X that tough, the characters will simply wade through it".
My advise: have a group of enemies (about three times or four times the characters in number) to be battled. Some of them "minor enemies", some of them "major enemies".


 



#13 Gregorius21778

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 06:57 AM

The easy "oh, I cut back the Psyker" answer is: make it a "herald of Khorn" and give him a "Collar of Khorne" (see "Daemon Hunter, P. 95)

==================================================================================================
Collar of Khorne: The daemon wears a thick brass collar that pro te cts him from Pyschic effects. Any Psychic Powers used
against the Daemon have their Threshold increased by 10. The daemon's takes dam age from a Force Weapon as if it
were a mundane weapon of the same type, he does not take additional damage and his Daemonic Trait is no t ignored.
==================================================================================================
But if you ask me that is really really really lame because it punishes the player for having chosen a build you did not denied during character creation.


Better Option is this "vanguard thing" already mentioned earlier. Have the Daemon be accompanied by a number of Fleshhounds of Khorne (who wear the same collars; see Creature Anathema...by the by, THESE collars have an entry of the Daemonic Trait being ignored unless the Psyker passes a -10 Willpower test.

Still, this limits you to a Khornite Daemon and to what the writers of FFG pulled up. I will see if I can brew up something here...hmm.. that might take a while



#14 Gregorius21778

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:09 AM

The following is not rounded in regard to stats, but the concept shows a way to put something up that is challenging and gives the players something to deal with without using Armour, TB or negating the Force Weapon entirely. I hope it is useful as food for thought.  Simply ramping up stat X is usually only adding to the arms race.


“The Rip that Tears itself” (Unaligned Warp Entity/Daemon)
The kind of thing a doom cult like the Pilgrims of Hayte would seek to summon. “The Rip that Tears itself” appears as bright, billowing web of  edged “rips” in reality with writhing tendrils of light growing out of them, turning into rigid  “cracks” that add to the “web” and making it more solid while half-heared whales and mad laughter appears and grows louder...
 

WS:(w+15) BS(w)  S::(w+10) T::(w+20)
AG::(w) Int::(w) Per::(w+10) WP:(w+15)
Fel:25  Wounds:45*

Skills: Dodge+20*
“The Rip that Tears itself” is not really “Dodging” but becomes ghostly insubstantial. Different name, same effect

Traits:
Daemonic; Daemonic Presence*((w) in Meters; -10 on Willpower); Fear 2; From Beyond; Warp Instability, Hulking; Hoverer

Psychic Attacks:  “The Rip that Tears itself” uses the equivalent of “Bio Lightning” and “Flash Bang”. It has “Psychic Trait” equal to (wounds divided by 10, round down, minimum of one)

Trait: The Rip widens
[Half Action] “The Rip that Tears itself” adds 1d5 wounds to its current number of wounds at the end of its turn. This may increase it Wounds beyond the 30 “starting wounds”.

Trait: That what is me, spawns me
Every time another entitiy uses a Psychic Power or Sorcerous Power within the Range of the Daemonic Aura, 1d5-1 “Rip Moths” (see below) will manifest at the beginning of the next turn. Ignore this trait if the “The Rip that Tears itself” was destroyed or banished at the end of the round that the Psychic Power or Sorcerous Power was used in.

Trait: “IT IS OPEN! IT ! IS !! OPEN!!!!
What happens if “The Rip that Tears itself” reaches 100 wounds? Having it turn into a warp rift with 1d10+2 daemons of chaos manifesting is a nice option, but so is anything else the GM wants to brew up. 

Rip Moths:
Treat them as “Flying Creatures” (DHcr;349) with the “Daemonic”; “From Beyound” and “Warp Instability” Traits. Every “Cut Fluke” starts its existence somewhere in the Daemonic Aura Radius of the “The Rip that Tears itself”. Its first action will be to attack the nearest living thing in reach, then it will spend its further actions to reach “The Rip that Tears itself”. If it does, it “melts” it and adds 1d5+1 wounds to it.


 



#15 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:41 AM

I like my "boss" enemies to lead a squad of followers and buff them in some way. A renegade IG officer might give orders to his men to boost their effectiveness (bonus armor from cover, extra move actions, etc). A Nurgle champion might penalize enemy actions with his pestilent cloud of flies, allowing his allies to better resist the players' attacks. In DH, it is way too easy to build a character capable of demolishing an enemy in one-on-one combat (such as a nigh-unhittable dual-wielding assassin), and big boss fights end up very unsatisfying.

If your daemon boss has some autogun-wielding cultists supporting him, your force weapon psyker can't just charge into melee combat unsupported. The rest of the party will need to take out or supress the other enemies before the psyker can move in for the kill. If you design your encounter in this fasion, your players will appreciate the tactical challenge rather than resenting the psyker for hogging the spotlight.
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#16 Magellan

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:41 AM

Then I have one more suggestion. Give the daemon a moderate amount of armour and make it fly. The obvious drawback is that your force-weapon-wielding psyker is now useless.

 

On the other hand, if your psyker has a force sword, why doesn't the rest of your unit have plasma guns and power weapons? A regular old power axe has +7 damage/penetration, which is more than a PR6 psyker.


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#17 ColArana

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:55 AM

Then I have one more suggestion. Give the daemon a moderate amount of armour and make it fly. The obvious drawback is that your force-weapon-wielding psyker is now useless.

 

On the other hand, if your psyker has a force sword, why doesn't the rest of your unit have plasma guns and power weapons? A regular old power axe has +7 damage/penetration, which is more than a PR6 psyker.

 

Actually, a Power Axe only has equal penetration to a PR5 Psyker. Force Weapons are basically good (or was it best?) quality versions of the mono-edge weapon of the same name (so a Force Sword, by its base is 1d10 damage, pen 2). In a Psyker's hands, you then add the Psyker's PR rating to that. So a Psyker with PR6, would have a Force Sword with 1d10+6 damage, and Pen 8. And then you add in Strength bonus and the Force Sword's special Threshold 6 power on top of that.

 

 

EDIT: Excuse me. Apparently Force Swords base are 1d10+1, Pen 2. So actually, the force sword would be doing 1d10+7+SB damage, with pen 8, if used by a Psyker with Psy Rating 6.


Edited by ColArana, 21 July 2014 - 03:01 AM.


#18 Quietus1

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:36 AM

To be completely fair, a Psyker is by definition the best way to deal with a daemon, by design. I would let the Psyker shine away here. Design other encounters later that highlight other characters' abilities.



#19 Magellan

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 12:40 AM

Things

Oh, right.

 

I suppose that in theory, your close combat-specced non-psyker would have been able to put more XP toward close combat talents and such to compensate, but we all know how that sort of thing works out in real life.

 

Wizards.


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#20 Twillera

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:46 AM

To be completely fair, a Psyker is by definition the best way to deal with a daemon, by design. I would let the Psyker shine away here. Design other encounters later that highlight other characters' abilities.

 

Oh I totally agree, and would not want to take that away from the psyker. Honestly if you were to go and try and deal with all the things psykers do better then other classes, it would probably be easier just to tell people not to play psykers. 

 

I suppose I should try and clarify what the intent of all this was. Big battle was a poor choice of words on my part. I mean more of a: We are all rank 8, not doing accession, and what to end with a climactic daemon mission, involving a large/powerful daemon, before we go off to become inquisitors or more likely die terrible terrible deaths. I want to make sure that were I to ever run such a mission, by the end all members felt as if they contributed heavily to the daemons defeat. Doing X cool things to prepare are fine and cool, but if your psyker goes up and does crazy damage and kills it quickly, like psykers can do, im concerned the actions of the other party members could feel underwhelming. 

Thanks for all the helpful advise so far. Things such as flying and having a small horde instead of one massive guy will surely help make the mission overall feel better, as well as adding some points in the mission before where the other members can shine, which I will have to figure out what those will be should I ever decide to write up such a battle.