Hello all! I have lurked on these forums for about a year now, as long as I have been running a DH campaign, and I have decided to post because I do need help. I have trouble makeing challanging scenarios for the party, as it seems like the psyker is vastly OP. Perils doesnt seem to balance anything because the psyker is least corrupt one in the group (we have nearly ascended and hes at 20) So without further ado...
1: Templar Calix: Wow, what a class. Why would any psker not take this? A large amount of high level skills (step aside, wall of steel, counter atack, armour of comtempt) become availible early, and you trade INT for WS.
2: Soul Killer: Arguably the best damaging power in the game, this power just rolls through every kind of bad guy, and is undogeable. Makes every high level boss a chump, unless they are a pariah (not all that common in the 40K)
3: Tainted Psyker: If a psyker takes the Sorcery talents they get benifits of just +1 psy rating, and no corruption. Not even an increase in Psychic pheanomenon. Seems like a safe bet, and with a certain background package, their mind can't be read.
4: Chamelion: A minor power that cause -30 to hit? Combined with a certain biomancy skill that allows flight, mooks are at -40 to hit with shooting. Again, no wp saves even.
So thats the psyker I deal with, basically flys around, is nearly unhittable with ranged, kills everything easily with soul killer, and has buffed up psy rating equil to the class that focuses on Psy rating, and has Seal Wounds, which makes him immune to being whittled down. Oh, and inspiring arua means NPCs HAVE to say nice things about him, just to rub it in, lol. Frankly I need help to challange this guy, as he makes the rest of the party look useless. The game generally goes like: let the psyker fly in a kill all the bad guys while they shoot back ineffectually. My other players are getting bored, so help please!
PS the party is just getting ready to ascend, to give you an idea about power level.
Seems like every 6 months or so, we have a new GM come in who feels that the Psyker is unbalanced, overpowered, yada yada yada....
Sorry to say it guy, but you have to have take the time to READ the rules on how Psykers work, and NOT to go with how your player tries to explain it. That's your first mistake.
The other guy made some good points... I will try to just add to that, not copy him.
1) Simple. If you're playing more as lots of abilities as a Psyker, then you play the scholastic one. Lots more abilities, which gives a lot more flexibility. Some key abilities, like Favoured by the Warp are available much earlier, and you can get to a Psy rating 6 instead of 5 pre-Ascension.
3) If the Psyker has this package, then he had better have a radical or at least a moderate Inquisitor, or he will find himself on a very short leashe. No Puritan will put up with that (wild and random uses of psyker ability) ... so the simple fix is to be sure that the player who is going to be your Inquisitor when the group ascends is going to use that leashe. This is something the other guy did touch on, I just expanded it a bit. This may go as far as Mind-Cleasing your Psyker in game if need be.
Be very, very careful to keep your Psyker honest. I have seen some players who get in the habit of not rolling the dice they need to when trying to activate their powers. Remember that stacking abilities cost a lot extra to activate another ability. Adding a second ability increases the Threshold by 4. Adding a third by 8, and if your guy tries to add a 4th then its 16. And remember that 4 abilities is the limit. If he forgets to roll at the higher cost, don't let him skate by, too bad, you just dropped all your other powers.
I've seen Psykers who skate by on GMs. Usually it's something small, like activating Unnatural Aim and then trying to use it on the same turn.
One more thing. A lot of these abilities have been erratted. Seal wounds for example is now a 20 threshold to activate, not a 10. If he's maintaining a lot of abilities, and trying to get that one off on a Psy rating of 5, and then if he's doing it all the time, and you're not watching his rolls it's your fault for letting him do it.
Do the math: he's a Templar, and not ascended so his max Psy rating is 5. Most players will have this WP at 60 by this point if not higher. So 5d10 +6, trying to get a 36 or higher to Seal Wounds (3 other abilities maintained so +16 to a base of 20). Oh wait you said the Guy's a Sorceror, right? So this will let him roll an extra die... but the threshold goes up 2; now he's rolling 6d10+6 trying to get a 38. The averages should activate it, but in doing so he has 6 chances for a 9 to be rolled, with a bonus to the chance to get phenomena to happen. Remember also, that the Rules as Written does NOT allow a reroll for this roll... this is not a test like other player's abilities. Even with Favoured by the Warp, with 2 rolls at +20, about half the time he's going to end up on the BAD table. Remember that EVERY time a player rolls on the BAD table he gains a CP, Armour of Contempt not withstanding. Sooner or later, if run correctly, the player's going have some major issues, requiring Fate Point burns. Once that happens, then he'll be controlled... because he may become too scared to do anything.
Which is the way it should be.
One last point. This is a roleplaying game. In the 40k universe Psykers are some of the most down-trodden of individuals. No one (except sometimes another Psyker) trusts them. If a player displays his powers wantonly, without restraint, people living day to day will have nothing to do with the party, Inquisition or no. Doors get slammed in their faces, people run away... think the Salem witch trials of the 1600s. Remember too the simple fact, mentioned in the Core book. The player's party members may become their executioners. You HAVE to keep your player honest on this one. This one little thing, when forced to roleplay the issues, makes having the machine-gun Psyker a liability for the group, not an asset. Now this changes slightly in Ascension, as a Psyker has gained some controls on his abilities, but by and large the general populace still doesn't trust them.
The threshold don't go up by 2 for psykers that pick it up.