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Nerd King

Gellar Fields and Psychic Powers

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How, if at all would a ship's Gellar Field affect the psychic powers of someone on board (within the confines of the field)?

I'm assuming that as Navigator's and Astrpaths are an essential part of space travel that their abilities must still function but is it to a limited extent compared to when in "real space" without the field on?

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i always assumed that geller fields shatter the warp patterns that make up demons, and the warp flows , so energies and directions still get through but with a bit weakning.

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I'm not too sure what the official stance on this is, but in my games, i treated being aboard a ship in the warp (with gellar fields on of course) as an area with a weakened veil. After all, the ship is in the bloody warp with nothing but some ancient wards separating it from the churning chaos. This came to me after one character requested the groups psyker to do some psykery things during one warp voyage to which she responded "we're neck deep in the warp and you... want me to pull it in here the rest of the way... ?" (or something close to that).

So, aboard a ship in the warp = -2 or 4 to the threshold and phenomena on 8,9,10... but that's just my groups interpretation of what it would be like to be in the warp and then call on psychic powers.

 

If the fields made it harder to work psychic powers while in the warp, it would be like saying the fields make a more real reality then reality. I can see them making it harder to work powers if they were on while the ship was in the real universe, but once it's separated from it and in the Immaterium, those fields are the only reality. Are they better and stronger then for real reality?

 

Edit: And i vaguely recall the astropath in first book of the Inquisition War mentioning that she would have to be crazy to try to use her powers while in the warp. but, i guess you ave to take these books and most others with a grain of salt looking at some of the other things they have claimed.

 

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As I understand it, a Gellar Field is essentially an artificial version of the barrier between the Warp and the Material Universe - a thin bubble that contains a pocket of reality that's 'captured' when the ship prepares to enter the Warp (the bubble forms around the reality that the ship exists in, then the ship enters the warp, taking that reality with it, and then letting it disperse when it deactivates the field at the destination). Within that pocket, anything that can be done by the beings and objects within it that could be done by them were they in realspace.

Being artificial and designed to be turned on and off, the Gellar Field would not be quite as stable and sturdy as the real barrier (which, in its own right, can breach when there's a vast amount of psychic energy being drawn through it - the Eye of Terror is the best and most extreme example of this, but any minor daemonic incursion, and some warp storms, also demonstrate this effect - the barrier thins and even tears in places, often knitting back together over time), so extensive psychic activity would be extremely dangerous, so in this regard, I'm supporting (and stealing) Graver's houserule that being aboard a Gellar Field warded ship counts as a place where the Weaken Veil minor power is constantly in effect (similarly, if you're in the middle of a daemonic incursion, that power should be considered to be in effect)

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Graver - You are thinking along the same lines as me.

Basically the situation I have is that our Acolytes are on the first stage of what will be quite a long space trip (from Sepheris Secundus to deep into the Drusus Marches), having to change ships three times en route.  The first ship is a beaten up old ore transport which the cell's tech-priest already has "issues" with. The Gellar field *seems* intact but it's not been well maintained.

Two of the other acolytes have discovered that one of the passengers on board is a, slightly unhinged, sanctioned psyker who appears to be on the run from someone or something.  When they discovered her the arbitor in the group was a bit "unsubtle" and so she defensively lashed out with her powers.  In retrospect I was thinking that that could have had all sorts of side effects or repurcussions and was wondering if there was any "canon" relating to it, and what teh general thought amongst the community was.

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What would the weaken veil power be in an area already weakened?

The reason I ask is that that's exactly what the on the run psyker was being used for by a very radical Inquisitor. She only has minor powers (Weaken Veil and Fearful Aura) but he was using her "gift" to enable some very nasty experiments.

Her standard "defence" if provoked would be to Weaken the Veil around her (she's unhinged....) and then frighten off her attackers. 

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Nerd King said:

What would the weaken veil power be in an area already weakened?

My immediate thought - the kind of decision I'd made in the middle of a game if such a situation arose - would be that successfully using Weaken Veil in an area where the barrier is already weak would just cause an immediate Psychic Manifestation - the barrier just gets stretched that little bit too far, becomes a little bit too thin to hold and... SNAP! You've gone and burst the veil between realities and caused a bad thing to happen. It's only a minor tear, and it'll close up in a few moments, but it's still not a good thing...

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I interpret the Gellar Field as a forcefield against the warp. Therefore psykers using psychic powers within a normal Gellar field in my game find the threshold of their powers increased by 1 since they have to punch through the field to access the warp. If they were in the same room as the field generator then it might increase the threshold by 5 or 10.

Concurrently, very powerful psychic use (a result of 35+) may well breach the gellar field and overload the generator in a soon to be fatal way...

 

SJE

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I interpret the Gellar Field as a forcefield against the warp. Therefore psykers using psychic powers within a normal Gellar field in my game find the threshold of their powers increased by 1 since they have to punch through the field to access the warp.

So... the interior of a Gellar Field is actually farther removed from the Warp than Real Space?

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Nerd King said:

 

What would the weaken veil power be in an area already weakened?

 

My immediate thought - the kind of decision I'd made in the middle of a game if such a situation arose - would be that successfully using Weaken Veil in an area where the barrier is already weak would just cause an immediate Psychic Manifestation - the barrier just gets stretched that little bit too far, becomes a little bit too thin to hold and... SNAP! You've gone and burst the veil between realities and caused a bad thing to happen. It's only a minor tear, and it'll close up in a few moments, but it's still not a good thing...

My knee-jerk reaction would go a step further. I'd say that such a tearing wouldn't be momentary but last as long as the Weaken Veil power lasted. All psychic powers would have their threshold reduced by 4, automatically generate a Phenomena when used and an additional Phenomena for every 8,9,10. If I was feeling a little punchy that night I might even say that power usage automatically generated one Pearls as opposed to just one phenomena.

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Considering how little we know about the operation of Gellar Fields, I don't think there is a wrong answer to this question. In fact, I could argue that the answer may vary depending on the vessel - an ancient chartist ship's Gellar Fields may function exactly as Graver describes, whereas an Adeptus Mechanicus explorator vessel may have the "overclocked" shields that SJE mentions, resulting in the Warp actually being almost entirely shut out.

 

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TS Luikart said:

Considering how little we know about the operation of Gellar Fields, I don't think there is a wrong answer to this question. In fact, I could argue that the answer may vary depending on the vessel - an ancient chartist ship's Gellar Fields may function exactly as Graver describes, whereas an Adeptus Mechanicus explorator vessel may have the "overclocked" shields that SJE mentions, resulting in the Warp actually being almost entirely shut out.

 

I shudder to imagine the effect an 'overclocked' Gellar Field would have on human psychology - given that mankind is a psychic race in general, constantly but unconsciously aware of the Warp under normal circumstances, a place where the Warp is dampened, even inaccessible, might take on an indefinably oppressive atmosphere, heavy, stagnant and stifling regardless of the actual atmosphere present, with odd quirks of luck and inexplicable knacks vanishing due to their Warp-derived nature, and dreams seeming distant and dull compared to those in realspace. Given the preferences of the Mechanicus, I can see this being a preferable environment, a miniature realm where logic and the physical laws of the Omnissiah (as defined by Mechanicus Theophysicists, of course) are domnant above all...

Conversely, a thinner field might result in strange and vivid dreams, a prickling air of uncertainty and a feeling of being oddly off-centre, stretched and claustrophobic all at once...

Something interesting to ponder, methinks.

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Cifer said:

I interpret the Gellar Field as a forcefield against the warp. Therefore psykers using psychic powers within a normal Gellar field in my game find the threshold of their powers increased by 1 since they have to punch through the field to access the warp.

So... the interior of a Gellar Field is actually farther removed from the Warp than Real Space?

Indeed- partly because gellar fields cause Malediction against Warp entities which they dont normally suffer if they just manifest in Real space- to that extent a gellar field is a stronger protection against the warp than just remaining in real space.  Real space is the default 'distance' or seperation from the warp-  wheras the gellar field is actively and intentionally seperating you from the warp.

Of course gellar field generators are sacred mysteries of the Adeptus Mechanicus, usually as ancient as the ships they protect, so they may not be as efficient or reliable as originally intended, which is why warp dreams and the like may occasionally leak in when the field weakens.

 

I had quite an evocative bit in a recent game where a Hiveworlder travelling in the Warp for the first time aboard a ship had these recurring dreams of being in his childhood hab-block room, all tiny and cramped but filled with his family when there was this knocking at the door, someone wanting to be let in. He went to open the door, but approaching it, the door seemed both freezing and red hot at the same time. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. He wisely declined not to open the door in his dream, but then seemed to hear the same knocking coming from his cabin window when he awoke....

 

SJE

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SJE said:

I had quite an evocative bit in a recent game where a Hiveworlder travelling in the Warp for the first time aboard a ship had these recurring dreams of being in his childhood hab-block room, all tiny and cramped but filled with his family when there was this knocking at the door, someone wanting to be let in. He went to open the door, but approaching it, the door seemed both freezing and red hot at the same time. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. He wisely declined not to open the door in his dream, but then seemed to hear the same knocking coming from his cabin window when he awoke....

 

SJE

Yoink! 

Simple, beautiful, and now, quite stolen.

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This was then followed by the exclamation of "Travelling through the Warp- ITS LIKE BEING A PSYKER ALL THE TIME!" by our resident psyker player

 

Steve

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Ssh! Don't let my players hear that, or I'll be inundated with demands for psyniscience checks next time they go outsystem!

 

On a more serious note, I personally lean towards the approach N0-1 and Graver have taken, although TS Luikart has given me a fair bit think over as well. Assuming that Geller Fields can be 'overclocked', I wonder what else (apart from Mechanicum Arks) would use them- Black Ships would be logical candidates, no?

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Alasseo said:

On a more serious note, I personally lean towards the approach N0-1 and Graver have taken, although TS Luikart has given me a fair bit think over as well. Assuming that Geller Fields can be 'overclocked', I wonder what else (apart from Mechanicum Arks) would use them- Black Ships would be logical candidates, no?

I would say that the Black Ships would logically be candidates for such a thing.  Also, remember that the more ancient vessels may be laden with Hexagrammic and Pentagrammic wards all about its hull as well as in the holds.  When ferrying vast numbers of "raw" Psykers one cannot be too safe.

-=Brother Praetus=-

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Mr Adventurer said:

Well, pentagrammic wards are the product of daemonology and so unlikely to be used on a Black Ship...

Well, if we go by Purge the Unclean: The Space-Hulk Adventure Which Has A Name I Can't Recall At The Moment, then they indeed are used on Black Ships. Pentagrammic wards are used to ward off daemons, but, if one knows the principles employed to ward the daemons off, it's a very small step to figuring out how to alter the wards to trap and control daemons.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

TS Luikart said:

Conversely, a thinner field might result in strange and vivid dreams, a prickling air of uncertainty and a feeling of being oddly off-centre, stretched and claustrophobic all at once...

Furthermore, a Void-Born cult of Slaanesh might tamper with the Gellar fields for this purpose, using it to amplify the effects of hallucinogens or other psychotropic substances. Of course, warp-born orgies by cultists are never a good thing anyways, but this would make it even weirder, especially if cult witches caused these hallucinations to become manifest during an Inquisitorial boarding action. Welcome to the Free Trader Ship Salvador Dali; please check your sanity at the airlock....demonio.gif

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Alasseo said:

Ssh! Don't let my players hear that, or I'll be inundated with demands for psyniscience checks next time they go outsystem!

 

Let them. They'll stop when those who make the checks start gaining Insanity Points. Remember, some things are best not seen.

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Nerd King said:


How, if at all would a ship's Gellar Field affect the psychic powers of someone on board (within the confines of the field)?
I'm assuming that as Navigator's and Astrpaths are an essential part of space travel that their abilities must still function but is it to a limited extent compared to when in "real space" without the field on?

Hmm, normal field properties probably don't apply in the sense that there’s a + or - in effect. I'd sort of subscribe to some kind of monopole field effect which brings us around in its own way to quantum field theory. Sparing you from a massive nerd dump of theory, essentially if the 40k ancestors which where not drooling medieval savages, managed to cleverly make a device which quantized oscillations in a field which is otherwise in its natural state (ie: the warp) an infinite set of harmonic oscillations in infinite degrees of freedom.


So flying through the warp which is made up of infinite amounts of different things having different oscillations, the field will set its own internal degrees of freedom for the elements in its area of effect, which we otherwise know as reality. Our friend Mr Daemon wandering into the field looking for someone to play a game of poker with or eat them, exists in his own quantum state of having all his oscillations changed to the point he will have to obey the fields effect and get smeared across the hull like a grasshopper on the front of a fast moving truck. Basically if you are to think of Mr Daemon existing as a whole bunch of electrons and photons as a ghostly entity, the field would drop him down into a lower state of atoms plus photons and different laws apply there...
The good news is that most everyone in the 40k universe is too ignorant so you won’t need to tell them why this happens. As for the Psyker, sorry. You can't do anything onboard the ship in the area of these Geller fields, you are simply a mundane piece of meat obeying the fields laws because you only have the set degrees of freedom to operate in, you cant tap into the infinite degrees of freedom afforded from the warp to change the state of things.


So how does Cousin Cletus Navigator operate inside this?
He, doesn't, he operates outside the field :)
They stick Cletus up on a big tower (which many 40k ships have) and from there he guides the vessel being protected by good old fashioned hexegramatic wards to keep the entities away but still able to see with his 3rd eye into the realms of pure chaos trying to make order of its ebbs and flows with a fair amount of pre-cognition to see what it will do. Needless to say, it doesn't make him an entirely normal person you’d want to talk too..
 

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So how does Cousin Cletus Navigator operate inside this?
He, doesn't, he operates outside the field :)
They stick Cletus up on a big tower (which many 40k ships have) and from there he guides the vessel being protected by good old fashioned hexegramatic wards to keep the entities away but still able to see with his 3rd eye into the realms of pure chaos trying to make order of its ebbs and flows with a fair amount of pre-cognition to see what it will do. Needless to say, it doesn't make him an entirely normal person you’d want to talk too..

That would be somewhat impractical as there's no amount of wards or other things that could protect a being when it is actually within the warp. The only thing that can do that is the geller field, which covers quite a bit of space outside the ship as well and creates the often quoted little bubble of reality. Anything that is immersed in the actual warp is instantly dissolved as matter can't exist there. Even cutting edge technology like teleporters work by creating a reality tunnel through the warp. Further, the geller field generally extends a bit farther into space than the ship's hull.

 

As for the Psyker, sorry. You can't do anything onboard the ship in the area of these Geller fields, you are simply a mundane piece of meat obeying the fields laws because you only have the set degrees of freedom to operate in, you cant tap into the infinite degrees of freedom afforded from the warp to change the state of things.

I could see that happening on some DAoT vessels with geller fields calibrated to extreme precision that have the necessary thin "walls" to the warp in the navigator's and astropaths' chambers but nowhere else. Perhaps even in a few of the top vessels of the AdMech and the institutions they deliver to - but your generic trader or navy vessel will most certainly not have thicker walls to the warp than reality itself. The quite real possibility of field breaches both from within and without is one of the prime dangers of warp travel.

Do you have any source for psykers being unable to manifest powers while in warp transit?

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Nah, I dont bother with most of the 40k fiction because its mostly unappealing

If thats the case that nothing can exist outside the field, then I guess it points back to the qualities of the navigator. They are considered 'psychic' for the purposes of the pre-cog, ability to find the astronomicon and navigate the tides of the warp... but navigators don't display any other 'psy' type of powers. They don't go around blowing people up with firebolts or anything else, though their gaze from the 'warp' eye can kill, given there isn't much on Navigators they are just a bunch of spice huffing mutants in their original form from Frank Herbet's novels. gui%C3%B1o.gif

 

But the way the nature of a field works, its not a semi-permeable membrane which lets things in one way or things out from the inside out, if the field doesn't let in the warp which a 40k Psyker effectively channels like a lightning rod in many ways, then he's simply cut off from it. Being I'm from a technical RF background the easiest way for this to work in a sense perhaps is to liken it to a Faraday Cage, made of a screen which negates EM radiation going in or out and even electrical strikes if its grounded.

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Nah, I dont bother with most of the 40k fiction because its mostly unappealing

That is somewhat unfortunate considering we are discussing concepts that make sense only in the 40k universe.

 

 

If thats the case that nothing can exist outside the field, then I guess it points back to the qualities of the navigator. They are considered 'psychic' for the purposes of the pre-cog, ability to find the astronomicon and navigate the tides of the warp... but navigators don't display any other 'psy' type of powers. They don't go around blowing people up with firebolts or anything else, though their gaze from the 'warp' eye can kill, given there isn't much on Navigators they are just a bunch of spice huffing mutants in their original form from Frank Herbet's novels.

I daresay we'll find out what abilities a navigator has around August this year.

 

 

But the way the nature of a field works, its not a semi-permeable membrane which lets things in one way or things out from the inside out, if the field doesn't let in the warp which a 40k Psyker effectively channels like a lightning rod in many ways, then he's simply cut off from it. Being I'm from a technical RF background the easiest way for this to work in a sense perhaps is to liken it to a Faraday Cage, made of a screen which negates EM radiation going in or out and even electrical strikes if its grounded.

You are assuming that the Warp (that is, a thing that explicitly does not conform to any "laws of nature" of our reality) and technology that interacts with it work the same way as real-world science and fields. I'd consider that assumption a little flawed.

There's a simple argument why this doesn't work, by the way: Completely seperating the Warp from Reality is the Necron's ultimate goal, which would have the side effect of making people soulless, likely rendering them either dead or catatonic. A place completely cut off from the warp would face that situation.

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