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Azraiel

Psychic Strength Problem

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So I noticed a very alarming omission in the week 6 update PDF; the Fettered Psychic strength is missing. While the Determine Psychic Strength step still implies that an alternative mechanic for suppressing Psychic Phenomena is forthcoming, it's still quire a worrying issue.

 

Has anyone heard anything about what's being proposed to replace fettered? Or are we long-jumping four editions of refinement backwards to the bad old days?

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By all appearances Fettered is out and deliberately so. This is reflective of the change in mechanic where manifesting a power at less than your psy rating gives a bonus to the Focus Power test rather than a penalty. Also, at a wild guess, it prevents psykers from just endlessly "spamming out" powers without risk until they work.

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Which seems like a rediculous change to make so late in the game. If fettered power usage is "too powerful", and as a player who has run Psykers extensively in every edition, I am yet to see evidence of that, it speaks ill of the balance and design of individual powers, not variable Psychic Strength.

 

If the powers are designed properly, then Psychic Strength is a self-balancing mechanic. My players often use fettered powers in non-time critical situations to reliably overcome minor challenges. Combat, time pressure and limitations of range and power rapidly force them to use unfettered powers and push in dire emergencies. That's exactly how it's supposed to work.

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In all our games with the BC/OW system, the Fettered power level was a red carpet to the most ridiculous spamfests I've ever seen. Especially at higher levels. So all I can say to the loss of the Fettered power level is 'good riddance'. Nobody in our gaming group will miss it, that's for sure! 

 

I would actually bring back the 1.0 Beta's super-unforgiving psychic system. IMHO, it was a good way to represent the "high risk / good reward" nature of using psychic powers.

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It's a different conception of the system. I've yet to see a single version of the psychic rules which even felt "perfect" to me... though honestly, apart from the playtest games, the only psykers I have ever had as PCs in my games have been Nascent Psykers, using the rules from the old Inquisitor's Handbook. 

 

However, based on our playtest games, I have to agree with AtoMaki... Fettered was a license to just keep trying powers until something spectacular happened.

 

I think, from what you say in your post Azraiel, your gaming group has been using the powers in the spirit they were intended. That's great and really how it should work, but sadly if you don't do that... if you try to push the system... it unravels fairly easily.

 

Fortunately, there is really no reason (beyond the work involved) not to pick and choose among the various game lines and build your groups "perfect system" out of the ones presented.

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Which seems like a rediculous change to make so late in the game. If fettered power usage is "too powerful", and as a player who has run Psykers extensively in every edition, I am yet to see evidence of that, it speaks ill of the balance and design of individual powers, not variable Psychic Strength.

 

If the powers are designed properly, then Psychic Strength is a self-balancing mechanic. My players often use fettered powers in non-time critical situations to reliably overcome minor challenges. Combat, time pressure and limitations of range and power rapidly force them to use unfettered powers and push in dire emergencies. That's exactly how it's supposed to work.

And then the psyker reaches a really high Psy Rating and can spam attacks comparable to heavy weapons with no drawback, or just crush minds effortlessly with Dominate, and any kind of self-balancing falls flat on it's butt.

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To me, Fettered never felt true to 40k canon. There is always risk associated with drawing on the warp, even for the mighty Librarians of the Adeptus Astartes. I would be glad to see it removed.

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To be honest, I am glad that my DW Librarian can cast Short-Range Telepathy Fettered. (Maybe Psychic Phenomena only on a 99 with Fettered?). I see its potential for abuse on other powers though.

 

Alex

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To be honest, I am glad that my DW Librarian can cast Short-Range Telepathy Fettered. (Maybe Psychic Phenomena only on a 99 with Fettered?). I see its potential for abuse on other powers though.

 

Alex

 

Personally, I rather like the OW "minor manifestations" where minor, utility powers don't risk phenomena.

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I'm with AtoMaki, fettered, as it was, was open to a lot of abuse. Half psy rating was still too powerful.

 

There are still various talents available to make the perils less likely or less likely to be powerful. Personally I think that better represents a psyker getting control over their powers while still allowing psychic powers to fit the background of always be a risk. 

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In our custom system, we have two ways to cast a psychic power:

- Channeling, the normal psychic power usage as per the rules of the 1.0 Beta.

- Generating, when the psyker draws Warp energy from a source that happens to be in the real universe (like a Warp artifact or a Warp rift) so the psyker doesn't have to risk Perils (as he technically doesn't make contact with the Warp). The flip side is that the psyker only has a limited amount of power at his disposal so the generated psychic powers will be weaker than the channeled ones. 

 

We have found these two options fairly balanced: if you want just blast away with your psychic powers then go with channeling; if you want to play safe and have good resource management skills then go with generating (you can take a talent that allows you to store Warp energy in your own body). 

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