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Covered in Weasels

The New Psychic System

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I've seen a lot of people describing the psychic powers in DH2 as "just a copy-paste of Only War," but the actual system for manifesting powers has changed enormously. This is a brief summary of those changes intended to inform those who are thinking of buying the game.

When a psyker manifests a power, he chooses an effective power level (PL) to determine how strong and controllable its effects will be. He can manifest at a power level from 1 up to his psy rating (PR), or up to PR+2 if he wants to push. The chosen PL determines all effects of the power based on psy rating -- range, damage and number of targets all increase with PL.

He manifests the power with a Willpower test modified by the difficulty of the power. The psyker gets a +10 bonus on the test for each point UNDER his PR he chooses to set his PL. If he pushes, he gets a -10 penalty for each point OVER his PR he sets his PL.

Psychic phenomena happen when the psyker rolls doubles on his focus power test. If he pushes, psychic phenomena happen on any roll EXCEPT doubles. This means pushing is not something you do often.

Edited by Covered in Weasels

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Huh, overall, I must say that I like this more than the BC/OW system, although I'd have to know more to make a call. It's odd that they'd change the system so much, yet just copy-paste the powers.

Even though it shouldn't come as a surprise - they changed how Degrees of Success and Failure work in BC onward, without ever reviewing the consequences to that in regards to other mechanics.

Separating between Effective Psy Rating ("Power Level") and a character's actual Psy Rating will help enormously for new people, and allow powers to also separate between the two when deemed relevant. I would just have called it EPR and PR, though, but to each their own.

Splitting up so that "fettering" is a natural part of using your own powers, choosing to manifest at lower or equal PL relative to your PR, sounds neat and natural.

Based on your description, pushing no longer increases the roll on the Psychic Phenomena table? Is that correct?

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Pushing being both -10 per level AND phenomena being 90% likely to happen seems a little rough. No low level psyker will ever push, because they will lose so much off their focus power test, and high level psykers won't bother because they already have the psy rating they need.

I do love this system for manifesting, I just think pushing should have been less brutal, maybe -5 per level, or maybe an option to suffer an automatic perils to negate any penalty

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Pushing used to have a 100% chance of causing Phenomena AND it added to the Phenomena Roll. Just the other night, I had a player push the hell out of some powers, while Sustaining two powers, and suddenly that was Phenomena +35.

He ended up periling twice and cause 19 Damage in 30 metres, ignoring armour.

It's meant to be rough.

And when you have a system that you think no-one will use, why do you have it?

Edited by Fgdsfg

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Yes, pushing was more dangerous, but also more worth it.

What kind of psyker is going to take a -20 hit to his focus power test? Since there's no way to stack modifiers for psychic powers, that kind of hit is huge. Even more so for unbound. What's the point of up to +4 psy rating when the inverse is -40 to your roll?

Pushing in this system seems like a sure fire way to fail

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Using a psy focus you get +10 to balance it out a little. But you are right - -20 or even -40 is a big risk to take, for comparably little benefit.

 

Maybe there should be a future talent that gives you +10 if you are pushing ?

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As of the beta, pushing didn't add to your Psychic Phenomena rolls, it just made them more likely.

To be honest, I don't know how well pushing works because our party psyker has never even tried pushing. He is a very cautious player who doesn't take unnecessary risks, so almost-guaranteed Psychic Phenomena and a penalty to manifest powers are almost unthinkable to him.

There are two main situations where I can see the use in pushing a power:

-- You NEED a high PL to get the results required of your powers. Maybe three cultists have hostages at gunpoint and you need to Dominate three targets to save the innocents, or perhaps you're wading into heavy fighting and want your buff power to function at maximum strength.

-- You actively want to cause some nasty Perils of the Warp. If the Acolytes are surrounded by numerous enemies, making everyone test against Fear 4 is a good way to even the odds.

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-- You actively want to cause some nasty Perils of the Warp. If the Acolytes are surrounded by numerous enemies, making everyone test against Fear 4 is a good way to even the odds.

 

Speaking this kind of thing, one thing that was never very clear to me was if Fear-causing powers inflict friendly fire. They may have cleared this up at some point, but do powers that give the psyker a fear rating cause the other players to take a fear test?

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I'd say it depends on the context.

If they know about what he is gonna do, they might be prepared to it (and maybe have seen it before).

If it surprises them as much as the enemies, I would let both roll.

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While I have no issue with pushed powers being harder to control, I am a bit puzzled by the move applying 100% to all powers. The best reflect the way pushing a power should do is that it should increase the chance of things going hideously wrong as the psyker looses control (increased chance of perils etc), but it should also make the power more powerful. Ok, you do get more effect (as you have more psy rating if successful), but it is now more likely to flat out fail as well.

 

This is most glaring with opposed powers. Pushing to make an opposed check worse doesn't seem like the right way to do it. Pushing should make it more likely you achieve the result as you overpower the enemy with power drawn from the warp... until your brain explodes as you pull too much. However, now you are less likely to pass the opposed check if you fail... meaning people find it easier to resist a psychic power battering them with psychic force, while they find it hard if someone is poking them with the warp?

 

Now the old system (more power means more effect and you basically get 95% success rate most of the time), wasn't great, but it didn't have this oddity either.

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I like the new system quite well.

I think it makes sense, that you get a penalty while pushing.

Of course you get more raw energy from the warp, but it will be much harder to give it the shape you want it to be. Instead it is more likely to accidentially result in warp phenomena, when your will fails to control powers that are beyond you.

The warp energies are not lost if your psy power doesnt work - but there is a high risk, that these energies are doing something you really dont like...

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Also, it's important to note that a psyker will likely have a higher chance to succeed on their Focus Power test than an enemy will have to resist the power, even if the psyker Pushes. Psykers with a psy-focus (all players and a few NPCs) get +10 to their Focus Power rolls, and they tend to have very high Willpower. Because of this, you aren't ruining your chances of manifesting a power by pushing it -- the real risk is in the increased chance for Perils.

 

I wish I was playing a Psyker in a campaign right now so I could test this further. Our current risk-averse psyker player would rather cross an open courtyard through heavy bolter fire to reach non-pushed power range than push one of his powers, whereas I'm the kind of player who pushes their powers just to see what happens :D

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You guys should run some test encounters where he goes balls-to-the-wall pushing powers and see how it plays out. He might appreciate some consequence-free experimentation to see what his character is capable of if pressed.

 

That sounds like a good plan, I'll set something like that up in the near future.

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I haven't looked at the individual powers too closely, but the pushing system seems off. It should provide a bonus with a greater chance of Psy Phen and probably Perils. I also agree that the change to how unsanctioned psykers push make it foolish for any unsanctioned psyker to ever do so. If nothing else, this should be adjusted to +4/-20 w/ a +20 penalty to the Psychic Phenomena chart.

Personally, I'd simply adjust it that you get a +5/+10 bonus to Psyrating and the Psychic Phenomena chart when pushing for Sanctioned/Unsanctioned Psykers per bonus Psi Rating, with the increased probability of generated Psychic Phenomena/Perils acting as an appropriate stick.

Edited by Objulen

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Alright, so I'm not sure the forum likes this BBCode, but I'm going to try this so.. fingers crossed, sorry if it ***** up the thread.


[table]
[tr]
    [th]Class of Psyker[/th]
    [th]Fettered (Lower EPR than BPR))[/th]
    [th]Unfettered (BPR)[/th]
    [th]Pushed (Higher EPR than BPR)[/th]
    [th]Sustained[/th]
[/tr]
[tr]
    [td]Soulbound (Astropaths, Sorcerers with Daemonic Pacts, and Heretics with the Mark of Tzeentch)[/td]
    [td]+10 to the Focus Power Test for each EPR lower than BPR. -10 to the Psychic Phenomena Roll for each EPR lower than BPR. Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) Rolls Doubles on the Focus Power Test.

Rolls 1 extra d10 on the Psychic Phenomena Roll, substituting either the 1's or the 10's digit on the test if desired.[/td]
    [td]Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) Rolls Doubles on the Focus Power Test.

Rolls 1 extra d10 on the Psychic Phenomena Roll, substituting either the 1's or the 10's digit on the test if desired.[/td]
    [td]May add +1 EPR for every 2 BPR, up to a maximum of +4. Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) does not Roll Doubles on the Focus Power Test.[/td]
    [td]Suffers -1 EPR to all Sustained Psychic Powers per Sustained Psychic Power past the first. Can only Sustain a number of Powers equal to BPR.[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
    [td]Stable (Sanctioned Psykers, Space Marine Librarians, Chaos Space Marine Sorcerers, and most xenos psykers)[/td]
    [td]+10 to the Focus Power Test for each EPR lower than BPR. -10 to the Psychic Phenomena Roll for each EPR lower than BPR. Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) Rolls Doubles on the Focus Power Test.[/td]
    [td]Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) Rolls Doubles on the Focus Power Test.[/td]
    [td]May add up to +4 EPR, adding +5 to the Psychic Phenomena Roll for each point of added EPR (up to a maximum of +4/+20). Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) does not Roll Doubles on the Focus Power Test.[/td]
    [td]Suffers +10 to all Psychic Phenomena Rolls and -1 EPR to all Sustained Psychic Powers per Sustained Psychic Power past the first.[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
    [td]Unbound (Renegade Psykers, Wyrds, Unsanctioned Psykers, and Mortal Sorcerers)[/td]
    [td]+10 to the Focus Power Test for each EPR lower than BPR. Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) Rolls Doubles on the Focus Power Test.[/td]
    [td]Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) Rolls Doubles on the Focus Power Test.[/td]
    [td]May add up to +6 EPR, adding +10 to the Psychic Phenomena Roll for each point of added EPR (up to a maximum of +6/+60). Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the psyker (or equivalent) does not Roll Doubles on the Focus Power Test.[/td]
    [td]Suffers +10 to all Psychic Phenomena Rolls per Sustained Psychic Power past the first.[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
    [td]Daemon (Psychic Daemons, Daemonhosts, and Daemon Princes)[/td]
    [td]A Daemon cannot Fetter it's powers.[/td]
    [td]For each point of EPR, the daemon (or equivalent) adds +5 to the Focus Power Test.

Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the daemon (or equivalent) Rolls Doubles on the Focus Power Test.

The daemon is not affected by Psychic Phenomena nor Perils of the Warp, although those around it may be.[/td]
    [td]May add +1 EPR for every 1 BPR or rank of the Daemonic Trait (whichever is higher), adding +10 to the Psychic Phenomena Roll for each point of added EPR.

Psychic Phenomena happens whenever the daemon (or equivalent) does not Roll Doubles on the Focus Power Test.

It is not affected unless it causes Perils of the Warp, though those around him might be.[/td]
    [td]Suffers +10 to all Psychic Phenomena Rolls per Sustained Psychic Power past the first.[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]



Aaaand, no dice. Ignore this.

Edited by Fgdsfg

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Hi !

I would like to know how do you understand the sustaining power rule about PR réduction ?

 

As I understand it, the first power sustain is "free" from PR reduction.

But if you sustain 2 or more power, your PR is diminished by the number of power you are sustaining, so if you sustain 2 power, it seems that your PR is diminished by (2 or 1 ?) and (do it count for your base PR in general or your effective PR for the sustained power specificaly ?)


As I understand if you are PR 1 or 2, you are not able to sustain more than 1 power...

Edited by Taratata

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After reading the psyker section again. I cannot find anywhere stated that the first sustained power is a freebie. As written, be bound or unbound for every sustained power you have, reduce your effective psy rating by 1. So yes to your original question. If you a psy rating 2 you may sustain 2 powers at once, but cannot focus another until one of your sustains is relieved.

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I still don't get why they made casting on fettered easier than casting on push. Isn't the idea of push to channel more energy from the warp, thus making it easier to cast. The way i read it, at close range, there is no reason not to cast on fettered. You may get a damage and range reduction, but damage is not affected by much in most powers, and range is not in issue if you are in a setting such as a hive world. With fettered, the power can not trigger phenomena(which is amazing) and its easier to cast. I just cant wrap my head around this. 

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I still don't get why they made casting on fettered easier than casting on push. Isn't the idea of push to channel more energy from the warp, thus making it easier to cast. The way i read it, at close range, there is no reason not to cast on fettered. You may get a damage and range reduction, but damage is not affected by much in most powers, and range is not in issue if you are in a setting such as a hive world. With fettered, the power can not trigger phenomena(which is amazing) and its easier to cast. I just cant wrap my head around this. 

 

No the idea with pushing is that you channel more energy then you can control so it become harder to produce the desired result, but if you secede the effect is amplified. 

Also what is fettered supposed to be? Using lower psy-rating? because that still causes phenomena and the powers effectiveness is reduced.

Edited by Duskwalker

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It's two separate interpretations of how psykers work. In the OW version manifesting powers at a lower level is significantly safer. You're only letting a small amount of the warp in, and things are easier to keep from getting out of control, but you don't have as much juice or fuel. So it's harder to get the desired effect. Whereas pushing is like pouring a ton on fuel on the fire, yeah, you're likely going to get a fire, and it's going to be bigger, but you can't control it and you're likely to get burned. With that interpretation, manifesting powers is considered to be a basically given if you're willing to risk letting enough of the warp in your body and soul. Psykers are incredibly dangerous to others, and themselves, in ways that even the best can't control. It encourages psykers to be played in a way that shows why they are viewed with fear and awe even by their allies, especially at higher PR levels. It's a matter of controlling this force flowing through them. It's trying to ride a tidal wave.

 

The DH2 interpretation is more like, the psyker is working hard to draw on the warp from beyond the veil. The warp is fickle, and getting it to coherently manifest is a massively taxing effort. The stronger they get, the more reliably they can manifest their powers, their ability to shape the warp shown by being able to shoot purple fire at will rather than shooting it hotter. Pushing your abilities is more dangerous, and it's also more difficulty. Because it's not about pouring fuel on the fire, it's overexerting yourself pushing a boulder up a hill. They become more reliable and safer as they get better. And the game encourages you to play with a more conservative mindful playstyle, sorta the way psykers are shown in a novel like Eisenhorn. It's able being able to manifest your abilities, it's about not pushing yourself harder than you absolutely have to.

 

They're both okay playstyles and valid interpretations. I prefer the OW system, because I like sorta OP super dangerous psykers floating around and melting stuff all over. But the new one is fine, it was designed so that PC psykers would stop manifesting stuff at PR 8 on the regular. It's super tough to balance around psykers who can manifest something at PR 13 or more. Sure they're going to roll on the table, but there's ways around that, and whatever he's rolling against is likely toast. I like that, but I know why others don't. To each his own, they both work. 

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