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venkelos

Best uses for a Psyker PC?

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So, this could immediately net negative answers just from those who don't like Psykers, don't think a game like Only War should allow PC Psykers, or people who don't think Psykers would move around in a constant group with the other players, full-time (I wonder if a group would stay so static in membership in DW, either, if the players weren't set classes, but meh.) However, I;m still curious for those who DO like them and allow their use, whether for the "special snowflake" sensation, or just because you feel that, in fact, they do belong with the rest.

 

So, blah blah blah, what is the best use, in Only War, for a Psyker character? If played right, they should cause some inter-party tension, being a mutant, potential heretic, but group dynamics can change. If you don't just say "magical artillery piece", so you are shying away from just pure damage output, what are some of the cool uses Psykers have been put to in your experiences? What sort of cool characters, positive or negative, PC or NPC, I suppose, have they been WITH your players, preferably as opposed to AGAINST your players.

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To be honest, anything "cool" and distinctive about a Psyker PC or NPCs is their power potential. Also their "cool" uses are just doing anything, what other PCs or NPCs do - just better. It might be risky and people do not trust them for that reason but trust issues are not exclusive to psykers - and so is the "mysterious dude in a hood" cliche any cleric can also fit in perfectly.

 

So I don't get what this thread is all about? Telling some stories about psykers? So yea, here is one: In our 3 years long campaign we wanted to get into the Spire of a Hive-World. We did that by sending our psyker into that spire with a teleport beacon. He teleported himself into the spire, ****** with everyones mind that could have stopped him, controlled security personnel like dolls to get past the security technology he had no grip on, blasted some minds of key-personnel while advancing on the levels, brought himself into a high security vault to steal some artifact we did not even know about just to finally set up the beacon at the highest level he could "savely" ascend to. And "savely" means without any real chance of failing anything. After that my Magos Militant launched some attack waves of Servitors and his personal elite Scitarii Regiments through the Teleportarium to wipe the remaining floors by an alpha strike that completely got the personal army of our target off-guard.

 

So yea, that was one of our high-level missions. But the thing is: he did such crazy stunts way before that, and investigation was no real issue anymore for us - just read out enough minds, control people and you get your hints. As a GM I allowed psykers back in the day. But even if they did not try to "min-max" anything their power-curve made some of the players obsolete at some point.

 

So they could heal any wound, regenerate limbs, make heads explode, read minds etc. with just the same ammount of XP someone else requires to get decent in melee combat only. Does that make them cool? No. It makes them powerful, yes but being cool is linked to the personality - and at that point it is interchangeable with any other charakter.

 

So this thread could also just have been named: Charakters that did cool stuff.

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Well, that was a positive response.

 

So, blah blah blah, what is the best use, in Only War, for a Psyker character? If played right, they should cause some inter-party tension, being a mutant, potential heretic, but group dynamics can change. If you don't just say "magical artillery piece", so you are shying away from just pure damage output, what are some of the cool uses Psykers have been put to in your experiences? What sort of cool characters, positive or negative, PC or NPC, I suppose, have they been WITH your players, preferably as opposed to AGAINST your players.

We had a psyker in the group earlier, and he was little more than a "magical artillery piece", which IMAO is a waste of potential, and even more so in OW where firepower is very easily available indeed*, perhaps especially compared to eg. DH.

 

When I think of a niche for a psyker, it's all that stuff that cannot be easily done by other characters.

Divination. Information is invaluable in warfare. What general wouldn't pay to know what the future brings?

Telepathy. Mind control and terror tactics that might actually work.

...and the list goes on.

 

And as you've mentioned, there's certainly room for intra-party conflict, if your group works that way.

 

 

* or maybe that's just our group?

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When I think of a niche for a psyker, it's all that stuff that cannot be easily done by other characters.

Divination. Information is invaluable in warfare. What general wouldn't pay to know what the future brings?

Telepathy. Mind control and terror tactics that might actually work.

...and the list goes on.

 

I do not think that this is a niche but also just a psyker being better. What do I need a strategist commander with tactica imperialis for, If the psyker could actually know the COMPLETE battle plan of the enemy before even one shot has been fired? Adjusting your own troops to that requires just basic knowledge, not a strategic mastermind. Also yea, this information is invaluable. So good luck being anywhere else than restrained in a chamber next to the headquarters.

Mind control is just plain better social manipulation than any face is capable off and terror tactics are also not restricted to a psyker.

 

So yea, not a pskyer niche but just a psyker doing anything better.

Edited by FieserMoep

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The bit where they can use a force field to provide cover for the entire squad is pretty useful.  

 

In general, though, psychic powers rarely out-and-out obviate the necessity for other uses; a psyker with mind control powers is useful, even more so when *combined* with a face.  Psychic ranged damage might be the big exception; OTOH, comrade abilities and such make OW ranged fighters quite impressive.  

 

Psykers aren't DnD Wizards, where they can do everything the fighter can do but better.  There's a tradeoff - including suddenly demons, as well as a host of other issues, not least of which is that each individual power costs xp.  

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The obvious fit for a psyker in OW is the "intelligence witch" and his protection/handling detail.

 

It calls for a more spec ops approach than a meatbag squad of guardsmen but squad composition should play a role in missions at least sometimes (the guard sends a recon unit to actually do recon at least as often as it sends cavalry to ocean worlds.)

 

Yes psykers are powerful and swiss army knife useful but the enemy can always revert to "shoot the glowing one!" If the witch has it too easy.

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I must admit I agree somewhat with Magellan.

As mentioned, I've been in a sqaud with a psyker, and he was... underwhelming.

Admittedly, he was focusing on being magical artillery, but...

 

So much risk, for something we could generally have done much safer with the equipment available.

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i think the best use for them is to make every one friends and to live as one with the universe.....  that or summon deamons and kill every one your pick

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So,is this latter thing even doable, in system? Here's a thing. I've played 40k for about 10-12 years, and I get that psykers can get headaches, and Daemons can pop out. This is where the Commissar might come up, and blow the Primaris' head off (shame he can't be that accuarate and Instant Death with that bolter anywhere else), but the rules never actually show the Daemons appearing, and they only now finally gave us the summoning intentionally rules. Can anyone in FFG games just summon daemons with their minds, or are they always needing complicated rituals, and sort of some GM hand-waving? I don't want to call them up, but it could be nice to know that some Tzeentch Sorcerer, or Word Bearer jerk off could do this, if needed.

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Summoning daemons in Black Crusade mostly involves rituals with specific requirements as to location, preparation, dark lore, etc. There is an Exalted (i.e. high-level Undivided) psychic power in Black Crusade that can summon in multiple lesser daemons for several rounds at a time.

 

Additionally, there are Perils of the Warp results that explicitly result in daemonic manifestation although the details vary somewhat between gamelines, including things like a Bloodletter popping out to assault the Psyker, mass daemonic possession of the psyker and everyone around him, possession of the psyker by a Greater Daemon or similar entity, and utter annihilation of the psyker resulting in a temporary warp rift that might spew out a daemon of commensurate power (and thus something quite perilous if the psyker had a high psy rating).

 

In the one OW game I've played in where we had a Psyker the Psyker dramatically dominated over all of the other characters beyond the first few sessions. He mostly just rushed the Warp Speed power and swift attack, and then poured whatever he could into Psy rating. The sheer number of hits he inflicted in melee via unnatural weapon skill made him significantly more effective than even the dedicated two weapon wielder melee specialist and his unnatural agility bonus ensured that he always won initiative by a mile and could dodge any blast effect (as well as almost always getting enough DOS's on a successful dodge to negate all auto fire multiple hits). He eventually grabbed Invisibility which allowed him to render himself virtually immune to ranged fire and make himself infinitely better at infiltration than everyone else. If he had not eventually lain hands on a Force Staff I'm sure he would've eventually coupled Warptime with Iron Arm or Flaming Weapon to boost his melee damage output.

 

Moreover, as things like Warp Speed, Invisibility, etc. are all sustains, he didn't even have any possibility of phenomena rolls except when initially casting these (which he did upon wakening) and when he used the Killing Will ability of his Force Weapon (which allowed him to one-shot a Necron Lord and just about anything else he encountered).

 

Later on, he still had opportunities to grab valuable utility powers like Gate of Infinity or Compel.

 

Of course, the GM was quite generous with experience and it would probably have taken a bit longer in a normal game to get the psy ratings necessary for this to be as overwhelming as it was, and the Psyker wasn't that potent very early on when he really only had Bio-lightning (although the real power of Bio-lightning lies in the opportunity it provides to make Palpatine references, something which the Psyker quickly caught onto!).

 

Additionally, Force Weapons are very hard to acquire and keep in Only War (but there are other psychic powers that can increase your melee damage by psy rating, as mentioned above- the only mechanical downside is the multiple sustains penalty to psy rating) normally. However, as with the other Only War campaign I've played in this was more or less an apocalyptic scenario where the actual Guard command structure on-world had collapsed and the player characters were left to fend for themselves or in charge of a small unit of survivors (and consequently weren't answerable to the Munitorum or anyone else).

Edited by Andkat

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