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musungu

Force weapons and Frenzy

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I have a Blood Angel Librarian in the party, The character recently obtained the Frenzy talent, and I need some help to clarify some minute details.

The description of Frenzy (Core Rulebook, p. 119) says this: Unless the character has a Talent that allows him to do so, he may not use Psychic Techniques whilst in Frenzy.

Now it is clear enough that using Psychic Powers while frenzied is out of the question, until Mental Rage, the talent specifically allowing this, is on the character sheet. It is easily justified in fluff, too, because mindless frenzy and the immense concentration needed to shape the energies of the Warp don't go well together. But where is the limit of conscious action, and where does instinct take over? So in case of a Librarian force weapon user, is he allowed to:

a) take the test to "channel psychic force and killing will into the blade" for extra damage? I'm on the fence about this - psychic force seems to be banned by Frenzy, but it's all about killing will. So does this action constitute as a Psychic Technique?

b) add the Psy Rating Bonus to the Force Sword's Damage and Penetration? I found no background for this in crunch or fluff, so I have no idea. It would seem weird, though, to see a Force Sword working only as a simple sword in the hand of a Librarian.

 

The bottom line probably is the following: How much, and what parts, of this psychic action are conscious? I want to ban all conscious psychic actions, until prerequisites are met, and allow the instinctive ones. And, of course, what is the definition of Psychic Technique? Do you have any advice to offer?

Edited by musungu

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I wouldn't allow any psy at all. The Librarian is kicking more than enough ass. And I think Unless the character has a Talent that allows him to do so, he may not use Psychic Techniques whilst in Frenzy. is quite clearly defined.

I think channeling psychic powers through a sword requires concentration. Which is something you lack in frenzy (as long as you haven't got the talent). No psychic powers channeled through the sword means no psy rating bonus to damage and penetration, too.

It may seem weird, but to be honest, I think a librarian going in frenzy is a bit weird, too. There'd better be no black templar arround ;)

 

Edit: to clarify, if you say channeling psychic power through the sword comes from killing will, it should be a more than pushed power, almost certainly resulting in a roll on the warp phenomenon table(if not instantly perils...), I think. Because (to me) killing will means taking all you can get. Doing this lacking mental rage.... seems very dangerous to me.

Edited by Avdnm
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It may seem weird, but to be honest, I think a librarian going in frenzy is a bit weird, too. There'd better be no black templar arround ;)

Well, apparently Frenzy is how the Blood Angels' Red Thirst manifests in the crunch. Librarians might be more resistant and disciplined, but they're by no means immune. And it provides a neat contrast with the regular angelic image, just like in the fluff in general, so I support it. Not to mention that I'm planning to test the Librarian's willpower from time to time, when the combat is particularly gory, to see whether the Red Thirst takes him. And yes, there's a Templar in the party. Fun times await. :lol:

 

Edit: to clarify, if you say channeling psychic power through the sword comes from killing will, it should be a more than pushed power, almost certainly resulting in a roll on the warp phenomenon table(if not instantly perils...), I think. Because (to me) killing will means taking all you can get. Doing this lacking mental rage.... seems very dangerous to me.

That's a good point, I agree with the reasoning. And if he does it once while frenzied, I might actually force him to try it again and again in the next rounds, because he cannot stop. I better have the Daemon Prince stats ready. :ph34r:

Edited by musungu

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 I better have the Daemon Prince stats ready. :ph34r:

 

This reminds me of a funny story... the lib in my group recently summoned a daemon prince by mistake. They were lucky, that the interrogator that was with them had the dominate psy power and rolled very lucky (the prince rolled very unlucky, too). Well, seems like telling a daemon prince to "run!/flee!" makes him disappear. I'm not sure if they really understood what happend at all :D

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Done - enjoy it. As return I'm sure sooner or later you can post some story of your librarian going frenzy (this sounds like it's gonna be funny...)

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Technically isnt the extra damage+pen on a force weapon purely since you're a psyker holding a blade which is attuned to work on your mental capabilities? Doesn't matter if you're angry or not it still draws on your own abilities.

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Ehm... yepp, you're right, it doesn't depend on channeling the power, but more on who's holding it. I deny everything I said on bonus dmg/pen and claim the opposite! *If you go strict by the rules

Edited by Avdnm

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Technically isnt the extra damage+pen on a force weapon purely since you're a psyker holding a blade which is attuned to work on your mental capabilities? Doesn't matter if you're angry or not it still draws on your own abilities.

Technically, it is made possible by a "psycho-reactive crystal" -  the very same crystal which focuses the warp energy for additional damage. So it would be an acceptable answer to say that the intense blood-lust drowns out the minute psychic resonance between the crystal and the mind of the wielder. That's my dilemma: how far the blanket ban on "psychic techniques" extend? I actually like Avdnm's second proposition: allow it, but make losing control dangerous.

 

Edit: The way I interpret the fluff, if you change the attributes of a real-world object with your mind, it is a psychic phenomenon. If the only criterion is being "attuned" to the weapon, anyone could get the bonus for any regular sword if wielded long enough.

Edited by musungu

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Given what warp stuff is, chanelling warp energy in any form while frenzied just seems horrendously dangerous.  Maybe give some kind of chance for psychic phenomana to occur?


 


From a 'crunch' point of view I would read 'psychic technique' as including channeling warp energy into a force sword. 


 


On the other hand I would actively encourage my PCs to use their psychic powers in the most irresponsible, drawn into a Perils of the Warp scenario, kind of way possible (I just like rolling on the chart...and I have a reputation as a git to uphold).    


Edited by Visitor Q
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I like horrendously dangerous. Rolling effects are so much fun, and the only time my lib lost control resulted in a very anti-climatic "all the escaping heretics around you just forgot where they left their car keys" effect. I think the abilities of a frenzied librarian are not necessarily damped, he just finds it bordering on the impossible to focus and shape them.

On the other hand, I aim to retain the in-universe consistency, even at the price of making house rules, so right now it's either both bonuses and energy channelling (without Mental Rage compulsorily at Push level, meaning Psychic Phenomena rolls) applying, or neither. And, of course, the dangerous option is winning :D

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I like horrendously dangerous. Rolling effects are so much fun, and the only time my lib lost control resulted in a very anti-climatic "all the escaping heretics around you just forgot where they left their car keys" effect. I think the abilities of a frenzied librarian are not necessarily damped, he just finds it bordering on the impossible to focus and shape them.

On the other hand, I aim to retain the in-universe consistency, even at the price of making house rules, so right now it's either both bonuses and energy channelling (without Mental Rage compulsorily at Push level, meaning Psychic Phenomena rolls) applying, or neither. And, of course, the dangerous option is winning :D

 

Librarians are incredibly well trained and screened by their Chapters.  I would imagine they are trained and then forcibly hypno-indoctrinated to not use psychic powers if not in control.  When Frenzied some deep seated 'kill switch' might kick in to prevent the use of psychic powers or at least divert the librarians attention from using them.  The talent Mental Rage either means the Librarian has learnt enough mental disciplined even while Frenzied to bypass the switch or has simply grown so battle hardened that he can overcome it through sheer force of will!

 

That is if you want an in universe reason why the Librarian can't use his powers when frenzied. 

 

Otherwise just go for it as discussed!

Edited by Visitor Q

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Page 185 (as errataed) states, "A Focus Power test is a Challenging (+0) Willpower Test that determines whether a psychic power functions successfully.”

 

Any ability which requires a Focus Power test is therefore a Psychic Power and subject to all normal psychic rules, restrictions, and bonuses.

So a character can not use the Force Weapon bonus damage while frenzied.

 

The Bonus pen to the weapon from a character's psy rating does not rely upon a Focus Power test to function. Therefore, while it is a result of the character's psychic power, it is not itself a psychic power. Though if your character ever counts his psy rating lower than normal (pariah or blank field for instance) then the pen on the force sword will drop accordingly.

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Thanks for the clarification, herichimo, so the crunch seems to be clear, and there are no additional rules about the topic in the books. It might be worth mentioning, though, that Frenzy prohibits the usage of psychic "techniques", not Psychic Powers, which is likely just an oversight on the writers' part, but it doesn't really make me feel at ease when the underlying logic feels faulty.

I'll talk with the player before deciding, because the house rule appears to be both more logical and more entertaining, and the whole issue will be moot in a few sessions anyway - Mental Rage is available at level 1 for Blood Angels, after all.

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It might be worth mentioning, though, that Frenzy prohibits the usage of psychic "techniques", not Psychic Powers, which is likely just an oversight on the writers' part, but it doesn't really make me feel at ease when the underlying logic feels faulty.

Probably copypasta from previous game lines that weren't very precise with their terms of art (cough, DH, cough).

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In the TT it also counts as psychic power use. No reason to not use fun house rules though.

 

Alex

My group mostly consists of players not intimately familiar with 40K, and sometimes they have similar questions regarding RPG crunch or in-universe lore. Stuff I never thought to question, because I liked it from the beginning. And, sometimes, common sense is on their side -  you know, the "hey, that's actually logical, why this has never occured to me" questions. Because of that, the keyword is immersion - whatever helps immersion for them, may come, whatever breaks it, needs to be purged. Since it has been established here that Deathwatch is an actual art form, I feel more at ease now to tweak things a bit.

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