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Sebastian Yorke

Sanctioned Psykers

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Well, how many per crew number?

 

Sometimes the people in my game want to call some psykers other than the NPC astropath to do something (they don't want to risk his old frail overpowered ass), and I`ve told them they have some low level Sanctioned Psykers to help.

 

But how many in total? What are these psykers usual role within a void ship?

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Astropaths, in order to send interstellar messages tend to need a choir. There would be four or five middling little fellows that tend to the old guy's general needs.

Other than that I'm not aware of other sanctionites typically on a ship. If you're dragging around an Inquisitor, or a Guard regiment they usually have a couple. Be warned though, they can be Quite weird.

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Few, if any. Most psykers will be part of the Astropathic Choir. The crew may have a few unsanctioned or latent/nascent psykers, unidentified as such.

There may be a small handful contracted by the Dynasty onboard, but they're likely to be hired to provide a countermeasure against psykers in the employ of hostile/rival Dynasties, or those discovered on new worlds, or against xenos-psykers.

Probably not many, however, as psykers are generally considered time bombs waiting to happen, especially when they are in the Warp.

It's a risk, and it's not one that most Rogue Traders want to court, as the Warp is bad enough on its own, and psykers are a gamble on their own, and combining the two is generally going to be considered a quick route to Bad Times.

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Astropaths, in order to send interstellar messages tend to need a choir. There would be four or five middling little fellows that tend to the old guy's general needs.

Other than that I'm not aware of other sanctionites typically on a ship. If you're dragging around an Inquisitor, or a Guard regiment they usually have a couple. Be warned though, they can be Quite weird.

 

Can or should an astropathic choir consist of non-astropath psykers? (with only 1 astropath to lead them)

Just thought of this... It makes a lot of sense (Astropaths should be extremely rare, right?

)

Edited by Sebastian Yorke

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Astropaths, in order to send interstellar messages tend to need a choir. There would be four or five middling little fellows that tend to the old guy's general needs.

Other than that I'm not aware of other sanctionites typically on a ship. If you're dragging around an Inquisitor, or a Guard regiment they usually have a couple. Be warned though, they can be Quite weird.

 

Can or should an astropathic choir consist of non-astropath psykers? (with only 1 astropath to lead them)

Just thought of this... It makes a lot of sense (Astropaths should be extremely rare, right?

)

 

No, Astropaths are probably the single most common form of sanctioned psykers.

They're the ones that are just strong enough to be more useful when soulbound to the God-Emperor than if they were sacrificed/fed to the Golden Throne, but not strong enough to be useful and safe without being soulbound.

 

An Astropathic Choir generally requires Astropaths. A non-Astropath psyker would need to be an extremely powerful one in order to safely use interstellar telepathic abilities. Or utilizing some form of sorcerous ritual.

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THere is a very specific thing they do to make a psyker an astropath. They are Soul-Bound of course, and if I recall undergo other stuff while on Terra to ensure their heads don't almost immediately explode, AS WELL AS already having certain predilictions for linguistics.

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Some ships (and the Imperial Navy) will use low-grade sanctioned psykers to screen new intakes for wyrds and chaos taint. Thankfully, if they do find dangerous psychic time-bombs among the newly-pressed crew, there is a minder right there with a ready shotgun to point at someone's head.

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What I was thinking is that the Astropath is doing the work while the other sanctioned psykers are only giving him additional PR (so that astropath can transmit at longer distances).

 

Hmmm right, an smart RT would use Sanctioned Psykers to scan crew intake (specially the press-ganged kind).

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I think that most ships have considerably more Astropaths than 4 or 5.  I think the number should be more like 15, give or take.  A Choirmaster can be boosted by up to 10, and since you know you're going into a region of space sub-sectors and a couple warp storms away from "civilization," it seems foolhardy to go with less....some ARE going to burn out.

 

A well-connected RT will take many more Astropaths, since they hope to capture ships, planets, or ships and planets.  They will want to leave their colonies with a method to reach them if baddies come knocking.

 

On a side note, I make my players take an Astropathic Choir Chambers ship component in order to receive the benefits of Astropathic Relays (Core p. 163).  The benefits of the ship component seems trivial otherwise.

Edited by Errant Knight

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What I was thinking is that the Astropath is doing the work while the other sanctioned psykers are only giving him additional PR (so that astropath can transmit at longer distances).

 

Hmmm right, an smart RT would use Sanctioned Psykers to scan crew intake (specially the press-ganged kind).

 

Other Sanctioned Psykers boosting an Astropath might work, or it might not. Remember, part of what separates an Astropath from say, the Sanctioned Psykers used by the IG, is what they were trained to do. Just because you and I both have two arms with hands at their ends doesn't mean our hands can each do the same things. Being an Astropath is a learned trade as much as anything else that requires training to do. Unless another psyker has the sort of training to boost another psyker without causing his head to explode, I'd say they probably can't help out much without hurting themselves or somebody else.

 

I definitely think a non-Astropath can learn to be an Astropath (and vice versa for an Astropath picking up more combat-orientated psy than what they already have access to), but stepping outside of their official Astra-Telepathica training carries risks and dangers, even for those prepared for them. There is a reason why some were made Astropaths, and others were not. Unless one is very powerful and disciplined (like SM Librarians), attempting Astral Telepathy without Soul-Binding can be extremely hazardous.

 

 

As far as how many to a ship, I'd assume at least a dozen, likely more. Astropaths are really a necessity for space travel, almost as much as Navigators, and even a firebrand puritan type would acknowledge the truth of it, though they may hate to admit such (maybe being soul-bound to the Holy God Emperor Himself makes them less detestable in the eyes of the faithful?). As far as non-Astropath psykers... I guess it would depend on the Captain of the vessel. I certainly couldn't see any on board a Missionary ship, but could see plenty aboard a Rogue Trader vessel, just because the RT can.

Edited by Crow Eye

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I donno, it hurts my brain to imagine the daily processing of that number of Astropaths in the palace of Holy Terra. If every other ship has let's say, a dozen Astropaths, the lines (and fumes from carbonized eyes) in Holy Terra would probably be viewable from low orbit.

 

Call it houserule if you will, but I am assuming 1-2 Astropath (and the rest = specially trained Sanctioned Psykers) per RT flagship in my games. : |

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I keep it simple. The presence of an astropath on a vessel is NOT automatic. Not all ship's carry them! However, a ship may carry as many as the captain wishes to acquire. (A single NPC astropath (PF3) is an extremely rare acquisition.). The same could be said for sanctioned psykers: A ship could carry them if the captain wished, but their presence is not automatic.

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I donno, it hurts my brain to imagine the daily processing of that number of Astropaths in the palace of Holy Terra. If every other ship has let's say, a dozen Astropaths, the lines (and fumes from carbonized eyes) in Holy Terra would probably be viewable from low orbit.

 

Call it houserule if you will, but I am assuming 1-2 Astropath (and the rest = specially trained Sanctioned Psykers) per RT flagship in my games. : |

 

The answer found in Into the Storm, Page 200

 

 

How Many On The Ship?

For those wishing to make use of Astropathic Choirs, it might be important to know how many Astropaths are available and if there are enough to form a choir aboard the Explorer’s vessel. The GM can take either a narrative approach to this (there are simply enough on board to get the job done) or he can determine the number through some method of his choosing. Rolling 1d10 is probably the best and easiest approach to determine how many Astropaths are on board (aside from any Astropath Transcendent Explorers used by players). Any casualties would have to be replaced as soon as the ship is able to, according to the GM’s needs, and whatever mechanics the GM sees fit to use (acquisition tests, etc.).

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Astropaths often seem a bit odd in quantity to me. I DO imagine every ship needs ONE, because they can't communicate very far without one. If I was flying my ship around Terra's Sol, while my superior was on Terra, waiting for me to finish collecting stellar matter for fuel manufacture, there would be about an 11 minute delay, give or take, just in that distance of communication. I'm not sure what the typical range of what passes for ship-to-ship communications in 40kverse is, but it wouldn't be very far before you'd need something that cheats the light speed barrier. If nothing else, your dynasty can't communicate with you, in the void, without at least one on your ship. I remember posting on another thread about how do people on other planets, your retainers, get you messages? Do they find a street-corner astropath, and pay him to transmit the message? Is there a small office in the local space port, where you can "fed ex" your report to your master, with the aide of a nice lady with a blindfold? In a galaxy where you are going to control vast stretches of territory, numerous agencies and enterprises, and where time, and your word, can be critical, there have to be enough Astropaths to go around, or the dynasties of so many Rogue Traders would fail, simply because they can't talk to each other; it'd be little different than if the Astronomicon went dark, and Navigators couldn't use it to steer, with similar catastrophic consequences, at least for you.

 

Rogue Traders, being often crazy a-holes, I can imagine them taking efforts to find their own psykers for things. The fact that many Rogue Traders are at least somewhat heretical, slave-trading, cold trade-supporting rogues, as well as their immediate coterie, and their Navis Nobilite, AdMech, Ecclesiarchy, and Astra Telepathica assets and allies don't leave them high and dry, implies that either they could hide a rogue peyker, or that their allies don't so much care, so far from home, so you could follow Fel's plan, and get an Lady Ash for yourself. She might not be a great walkie-talkie, but that's probably not the service you were looking for.

 

Little wonder: you fill up your crew in port, and discover later that one or more were unsanctioned psykers; maybe they even developed said abilities while aboard your ship.What might you do, if you see them as a problem, rather than an exploitable resource? Would you just go to the nearest planet, and get them to add the miscreants to their quota? Would you be able to locate the nearest Black Ship, and unload them? Do you just shoot them, and absolve yourself of the risk? I'm not sure how Hadarak found Ash, or keeps her, when he goes into places, since she's high up in his coterie, but while I'd want one, if you didn't, what would you do with her? You might've captured her when you "aced" Fel, I don't know. Also not sure how to go about finding one, if you DID want one of your own.

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There's actually quite a lot of Astropaths floating around the Imperium. Considering that the vast majority of psykers taken by the Black Ships are either sacrificed or soul-bound, with only the exceptional moving on to becoming Sanctioned Psykers (those who can use their abilities safe enough by their own cognizant strength of will), each day hundreds or thousands are being interred into training. Even with acceptable burn out from the soul-binding process, we are looking at several thousand astropaths being churned out daily. 

 

Simply put, their are enough Astropaths to fullfill the needs of every Adeptus Terra organization (rogue trader dynasties fall under this umbrella term), plus enough to maintain astropathic choir relay stations, as well as filtering down into commercia trade and planetary services.

 

Take into account as well that many will burn out in their duties, or go 'rogue' and hire their services out to less noble agencies. Even with that, there will be enough that on any given Imperial world their availability will be 'Scarce'. 

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Take into account as well that many will burn out in their duties, or go 'rogue' and hire their services out to less noble agencies. Even with that, there will be enough that on any given Imperial world their availability will be 'Scarce'. 

I don't know about that! In the Imperial populace, I doubt more than 1 in a thousand of the population are consigned to the black ships. If 1% of those are fit to be astropath they still would be Extremely rare amongst the population. (One per 100,000) by that math!) And I still think I'm being generous with my numbers here!

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per planet I'dnsay you're right, but then theres planets with higher levels of psyker presence to pull from, imperial worlds too far out or backwater to actually procure an astropath themselves etc. theres plenty of planets out there without astropaths just like there are plenty more with ample astropaths to spare

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per planet I'dnsay you're right, but then theres planets with higher levels of psyker presence to pull from, imperial worlds too far out or backwater to actually procure an astropath themselves etc. theres plenty of planets out there without astropaths just like there are plenty more with ample astropaths to spare

That sort of feeds into my point! If the numbers I gave represent an upper end of the possibilities, there are certainly places with less! My point was that a trained Astropath would hardly be a "Scarce" aquisition!

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Take into account as well that many will burn out in their duties, or go 'rogue' and hire their services out to less noble agencies. Even with that, there will be enough that on any given Imperial world their availability will be 'Scarce'. 

I don't know about that! In the Imperial populace, I doubt more than 1 in a thousand of the population are consigned to the black ships. If 1% of those are fit to be astropath they still would be Extremely rare amongst the population. (One per 100,000) by that math!) And I still think I'm being generous with my numbers here!

 

 

The problem here is the term "fit to be". The general assumption is that a psyker needs to be 'fit' to be an Astropath. It's actually properly a Psyker needs to be 'fit' to be a sanctioned psyker. The rest are either given the soul-bound treatment to make them useful, while those irrevocably weak or un-redeemable are cast as a sacrifice to the Golden Throne (and according to newer material, the Hollow Mountain or the Astronomica, whereas previously psykers were specifically trained for that purpose as the Chosen). 

 

I don't think your being generous enough with your numbers, to be completely honest. Many Imperial worlds take into practice of storing their psykers using various methods to ensure they have enough to meet the tithes of the Black Ships. A good example is Juno, from the new Askellon sector. They have an entire underground chasm crammed full of psykers. Plus, depending on the timestamp your playing in, there has been incredible amount of psychically attuned individuals born into the 41st millennium. For every 2 psykers born on a feral world, hundreds are born in neighboring Hive worlds. 

 

I'd honestly point to the existence of Astropathic societies as an indicator they are more scarce than extremely rare - the Witnesses of Dusk exist as one, as another group that was mentioned in the Rogue Trader material who gilded pieces of art to destroy them in their astropathic transmissions to increase their potency. These societies indicate, at least to me, that there is more than enough influx of trained Astropaths being disseminated into Imperial Societies to sustain the multitude of functionaries the Adeptus Terra requires, as well as falling into the niche cabals such as these, and those found on Footfall.

 

YMMV, so of course I respect your view on it. This is just mine. =D

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To the Original Poster:

I'd say that unless you've specifically gone out to get some, which is totally possible, the only psykers on most ships are astropaths. You might have one or two minor psychics like wyrdlings who are hiding their mutation so as not to be taken by the black ships, but chances are the only ones you know of are your astropaths. If you want to go out and hire/acquire a sanctioned psyker or two, go for it. If you want to take your chances and go get some untrained or warp witch trained psykers, then go ahead on that as well. Should make things interesting.

 

The Astropathic choir would be a choir of astropaths IMHO, Into the Storm's Ship Roles sections support this, but feel free to play it how you like.

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I donno, it hurts my brain to imagine the daily processing of that number of Astropaths in the palace of Holy Terra. If every other ship has let's say, a dozen Astropaths, the lines (and fumes from carbonized eyes) in Holy Terra would probably be viewable from low orbit.

 

I think they do them in 10,000 strong lots. Kneel in pews before the Golden Throne, while savants hook their heads up to the device, and the God-Emperor touches them all at once...

Edited by Zoombie

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