Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
venkelos

How Good are Psykers?

Recommended Posts

So, Psykers are one of my favorite things in 40K, and as I often play wizards, in D&D, and Jedi, in Star Wars, I imagine I'd want to play a psyker in 40K, regardless of the line, in question. Having said that, how well did they handle psykers in DH2? Psyker rules have tossed up and down, over the iterations, between DH, RT, and on, occasionally escorted by the people who argue that, if they were GMing, they simply wouldn't allow them, usually for personal, taste reasons ("Psykers don't make sense in ________, as playable characters"), or for balance purposes, with a small dose of anti-snowflake tendencies, but if you AREN'T one who disallows on introduction, simply upon hearing the word, how good are they, in this version of the 40K game?

 

I know they come as an okay priced Epic Advance, and you can skip that entirely, with a specific role (Mystic, I believe), so how well do they play, and balance? I like Untouchables, too, due to my special snowflake syndrome, but they MUST be an Elite Advance, and even while many GM's, I bet, say no, on principal, I still get whiny that they are vulnerable, personally, to psychic powers, though I certainly do see why.

 

Have you played a psyker? Did you have a good time? If not, was it because of in-game treatment (psykers are MONSTERS!), player issues (you're a snowflake), or mechanical issues (too hard to level it up, bad assortment of needed Aptitudes, or powers weren't worth it)?

 

I'm mostly just curious. If I ever got a chance to play this game, it would probably be my first choice, just because I'm me, and like wizards, but I'd want to know they did a good job constructing the framework, and I'll have fun, accepting the in-game attitudes, and some of the player feelings. Lastly, I know that if you go Mystic, you get Sanctioning, which is good for several reasons, but if you go some other way, say you want to be a something, AND a psyker, rather than "just a psyker", is there any way to get the Sanctioning? I know on Holy Terra, it takes a long investment of time, but if you happened to be a late bloomer, and discovered it, say after you joined the Guard, could you still go, and get tested? It might make it tricky in the game, unless you were backstory-established to have already done exactly this. I've never entirely figured out if Inquisitors have some other way to get "certified", or if their authority, even among the Puritan factions, allows for supervised Rogue Psykers, but they rarely look like the burnt, beaten, shadows of men some Sanctioned Psykers, and Primaris, look like, after their Adeptus Astra telepathica training, with all the nervous twitches, haggared looks, and all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still a lot of potential to be broken, but they aren't quite as versatile as they were in DH1, due to the removal of minor powers, and the heavy investment needed for decent psy ratings. 

 

I remember a thread going around here of a guy who was using a Telepath Psyker as a close quarter monster-- he'd go into close combat and then use a heavily fettered Dominate, murdering the range of the power, but basically giving him all but an auto-win on the opposed test.

 

----

 

That said, while I don't have TONS of experience with Psykers in DH2, it seems you're better off going with a Tabletop approach for the most part. Focus on being good with a few powers, as opposed to DH1 where you were basically D&D Sorcerers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a GM with a total of three psykers in his game over the course of 18 months, I can say Psykers are quite powerful when properly utilized.  Those players have always enjoyed their characters, which helps.  Biomancy combined with melee is absolutely killer (Warp Speed on a dude with a Power Fist), Pyromancy isn't quite as good as it could be but still potent, Divination is fun, but my players haven't done much else with other forms.  It doesn't break the game, but it does throw a skew to things, which can affect both sides positively or negatively.  I have to say I absolutely LOVE Psychic Phenomena and Perils of the Warp; my players tease me about trying to peek at their dice when using Psychic Powers just because I'm so hoping for doubles.  

 

ColArana is actually incorrect, as Minor Powers are still available, they're just in the Enemies Within.  Their comment about focusing on a few powers over spreading yourself thin is a good one however; pick a school and dedicate yourself to that with a Minor Power or two and a dip or two elsewhere if you must, but trying to hog it all will just keep you sub-par compared to the specialists.  Specialization and filling a role really helps in 2nd Edition, in my experience.  

 

As far as me capping psykers goes, I'd never do that.  It gives more opportunities for Perils of the Warp!  Seriously, I don't like cutting off my player's options unless it has a negative impact on gameplay, and a party of psykers with their mundane handlers would be just fine to me.  The only thing I've banned from character creation so far is the Exorcised; I adjusted the stats and named it the Scourged so that doesn't stretch the setting's rules like hot taffy.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but if you go some other way, say you want to be a something, AND a psyker, rather than "just a psyker", is there any way to get the Sanctioning? I know on Holy Terra, it takes a long investment of time, but if you happened to be a late bloomer, and discovered it, say after you joined the Guard, could you still go, and get tested?

 

Not really - at least, not within the timeframe of a normal campaign. Sanctioning is a years-long process.

 

 

 

 I've never entirely figured out if Inquisitors have some other way to get "certified", or if their authority, even among the Puritan factions, allows for supervised Rogue Psykers, but they rarely look like the burnt, beaten, shadows of men some Sanctioned Psykers, and Primaris, look like, after their Adeptus Astra telepathica training, with all the nervous twitches, haggared looks, and all.

 

Yes. An Inquisitor has authority to do whatever the hell they want (more or less). So the one 'shortcut' to sanctioning is an Inquisitor's approval. That will stop Adeptus Telepathica Astra hired witchkillers trying to abduct or murder you, but won't magically make sanctioning brands appear on your body, or your name appear in relevant records, without doing that specifically. It definitely wouldn't grant you the bonus to perils of the warp.

 

Have you played a psyker?

 

No, but I've GM-ed several games with psykers. As long as their powers stay fettered, they're quite balanced. Once they start using Push with a will, they massively overpower a lot of other characters....but at a risk of instant death with virtually no chance to save themselves (and potentially taking the rest of the party with them if they die in the process of a daemonhost appearing).

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Have you played a psyker?

 

No, but I've GM-ed several games with psykers. As long as their powers stay fettered, they're quite balanced. Once they start using Push with a will, they massively overpower a lot of other characters....but at a risk of instant death with virtually no chance to save themselves (and potentially taking the rest of the party with them if they die in the process of a daemonhost appearing).

 

 

To me that balances it out, because the threat of instant death, possibly killing all your party members and the effects of the perils of the warp is enough for most players to keep themselves from going full abuse with their powers.

 

So yes, they can overpower other characters, but it's geniusly kept in check. :)

Edited by Gridash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, Enemies Within reintroduces Minor Psychic Powers. They have small but useful effects, such as causing Fear, convincing a target that a specific lie is true ("these aren't the servitors you're looking for") or causing them to experience an ill omen regarding their future actions. They add a lot more versatility to psykers, and definitely make them more fun to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lastly, I know that if you go Mystic, you get Sanctioning,

 

You do not gain Sanctioning by choosing the Mystic role, you gain it by being in the Adeptus Astra Telepathica background and gaining the Psyker advance at chargen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, Psykers are one of my favorite things in 40K, and as I often play wizards, in D&D, and Jedi, in Star Wars, I imagine I'd want to play a psyker in 40K, regardless of the line, in question. Having said that, how well did they handle psykers in DH2? Psyker rules have tossed up and down, over the iterations, between DH, RT, and on, occasionally escorted by the people who argue that, if they were GMing, they simply wouldn't allow them, usually for personal, taste reasons ("Psykers don't make sense in ________, as playable characters"), or for balance purposes, with a small dose of anti-snowflake tendencies, but if you AREN'T one who disallows on introduction, simply upon hearing the word, how good are they, in this version of the 40K game?

 

I know they come as an okay priced Epic Advance, and you can skip that entirely, with a specific role (Mystic, I believe), so how well do they play, and balance? I like Untouchables, too, due to my special snowflake syndrome, but they MUST be an Elite Advance, and even while many GM's, I bet, say no, on principal, I still get whiny that they are vulnerable, personally, to psychic powers, though I certainly do see why.

 

Have you played a psyker? Did you have a good time? If not, was it because of in-game treatment (psykers are MONSTERS!), player issues (you're a snowflake), or mechanical issues (too hard to level it up, bad assortment of needed Aptitudes, or powers weren't worth it)?

 

I'm mostly just curious. If I ever got a chance to play this game, it would probably be my first choice, just because I'm me, and like wizards, but I'd want to know they did a good job constructing the framework, and I'll have fun, accepting the in-game attitudes, and some of the player feelings. Lastly, I know that if you go Mystic, you get Sanctioning, which is good for several reasons, but if you go some other way, say you want to be a something, AND a psyker, rather than "just a psyker", is there any way to get the Sanctioning? I know on Holy Terra, it takes a long investment of time, but if you happened to be a late bloomer, and discovered it, say after you joined the Guard, could you still go, and get tested? It might make it tricky in the game, unless you were backstory-established to have already done exactly this. I've never entirely figured out if Inquisitors have some other way to get "certified", or if their authority, even among the Puritan factions, allows for supervised Rogue Psykers, but they rarely look like the burnt, beaten, shadows of men some Sanctioned Psykers, and Primaris, look like, after their Adeptus Astra telepathica training, with all the nervous twitches, haggared looks, and all.

 

I'm playing in a game which is influenced by Abnett, so it's possible to play a 'normal guy' psyker (not totally normal obviously) and for psykers to be monstrous at times as well. My psyker is supposed to be on the 'normal guy' end of things, so I am not planning on developing his powers all that much.

 

I do think that many powers are kind of pointless. I mean, you have a 10% chance of triggering Psychic Phenomena every time you use a power for anything, which I think is pretty harsh! So things that give a small bonus, or for a very limited time (or both) I'm not too keen on.

 

The game is quite young so the only experience I have of my powers is using Telepathic Link to extract more information from a subject during an interrogation, which went super well; and of using Psyniscience on stuff constantly! :D It's very useful.

 

What I did spend a long time looking at when I was making the character is that you have to have the Adeptus Astra Telepathica background to be sanctioned, but there are two ways of getting the Psyker advance - either take the Mystic Role, or buy the Elite Advance separately with 300xp. For a more 'normal guy' character, I wanted to take a different Role and buy the Advance (having picked AAT of course), to represent that diversity. But it was pretty difficult to fit it all into the 1000xp you start with, and it was pretty tough to get all the Aptitudes I wanted as well. If I was making a more experienced character to start play with, with more than the default 1000xp to spend, I would definitely think hard about using a different Role and buying the Psyker advance separately.

 

As far as I know, it might be possible to take the Adeptus Astra Telepathica background, choose a non-Mystic Role, and then pick up the Psyker Elite Advance separately later in play, and still count as Sanctioned?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I did spend a long time looking at when I was making the character is that you have to have the Adeptus Astra Telepathica background to be sanctioned, but there are two ways of getting the Psyker advance - either take the Mystic Role, or buy the Elite Advance separately with 300xp. For a more 'normal guy' character, I wanted to take a different Role and buy the Advance (having picked AAT of course), to represent that diversity. But it was pretty difficult to fit it all into the 1000xp you start with, and it was pretty tough to get all the Aptitudes I wanted as well. If I was making a more experienced character to start play with, with more than the default 1000xp to spend, I would definitely think hard about using a different Role and buying the Psyker advance separately.

 

In a more-difficult game that I recently starting playing in, I run a Psyker-Astropath. Of course I took the Telepathica Background, but I didn't take the Mystic Role, and so I sunk 600xp from my starting count into those advances.

 

The start of play was definitely underpowering, as I had to rely a lot on my starting skills and what I could make do with only 400xp free to spend, but after two-or-three sessions I felt relevant in combat and other high-tense situations. I'm raising everybody's initiative, giving them buffs, debuffing the enemy, never get hit and provide a lot of utility/non-combat-related skills in general play.

 

(Shrine World, Telpathica, Hierophant.)

 

For reference, the Aptitudes I have are:

- Willpower

- Psyker

- Fellowship

- Offence

- Social

- Toughness

- Perception

- General

 

Honestly, I'd love to swap out Offence and Toughness for Intelligence and Fieldcraft, but the system has to be balanced - right? :)

 

As far as I know, it might be possible to take the Adeptus Astra Telepathica background, choose a non-Mystic Role, and then pick up the Psyker Elite Advance separately later in play, and still count as Sanctioned?

 

A character created at the beginning of the campaign, assuming there's not bonus-xp to start with, can't be a Sanctioned Psyker at RAW without the Adeptus Astra Telepathica background.

 

A character who was present from session 1 who then-later-on purchased the Psyker Elite Advance also couldn't become sanctioned either - not without leaving play for an absurdly and unreasonably long period.

 

As a GM I would definitely allow a post-initial-session character to be Sanctioned, assuming that they were a bit older due to earning XP before taking the Psyker Elite Advance, and then be delivered to the party after becoming a Sanctionite. They would still need to pay for the 300xp of the Elite Advance with the XP gained beyond the initial 1,000xp, and depending on how much I cared about balance I might ask for more in order to "purchase" the sanction after/prior-to some testing, but I would think that's alright - even if it's a houserule.

 

It may even be worth making the "Sanction" an Elite Advance in itself, which delivers the benefits that the Adeptus Astra Telepthica Background has so as to keep up with the lore/theme and what a sanctioned psyker would be expected to know/be-able-to-do, but of course with the pre-requisite that it may only be purchased for characters who have not begun play.

Edited by TheWorldSmith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually psyker who has "astropat elite advance" more powerful than "basic psyker". He protected vs warp perils, has many good unique talents, "see in darkness and through walls", his special powers good in social interactions and investigations, and logical access for sanctic daemonology give him very powerful batle spells, that make him extremely powerful on high experience levels. The only his disadvantage...radius of his unnatural pecception not very big and that make him very vulnerable for enemy snipers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that 80 meters of sight is a perfectly good size, Amshegar. Although I can see the problems if you don't have any supporting acolytes.

 

To be fair I have yet to use anything Astropath after seven sessions of play except for the astropathic-telepathy power. I started off at a drastically lower amount of XP compared to my comrades, and while I get access to unique powers such as Mind-Scan and Mind-Shield, they're extremely situational and I wouldn't consider them "more powerful" in any regard.

 

The extra bonuses of being soul-bound and having more protections is great, I grant you, but unless you're pushing at full strength then they aren't necessary - I have yet to get any psychic phenomena that hasn't just been a basic effect to set the mood, and even then it's only happened twice.

 

As for being able to see through walls, at RAW, that's incorrect depending on your GM's interpretation. There's no written rule to suggest that except for one mentioned for one of the Assassin Reinforcement Characters, and I'd put that down to their equipment and Daredevil-esk training as oppose to anything else.

 

If you want the cool quirks and theoretical safety of an Astropath, then go for it, but it's very expensive for what it is and is certainly not any more powerful than a regular psyker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TheWorldSmith

 

Astral Telepathy - you can almost always call for help if you warband has some problems

Telepathic Bond - you can chat with you warbnad without vox and it is impossible to listen you enemy

Mind Scan - forget about interrogation

 

Supreme Telepath Talent sped fate poit and give 2-3 PR without triger phenomen and low chance cast spell. Explode brains you enemy for psychic scream spell.

 

Only drawback is astropat that hi focused in telepathy discipline, bat that discipline not has good balance. (Spam terrify every turn and explode brains you enemy for psychic sream... you enemy stuned, spam that until he dies or burn him in holy fire). 

 

Telepathy discipline demand high felloship, and highborn best native world fot astropat, that allows the use of social skills with great success. 

 

Others psykers no such special talents.

 

"see through walls"- is controversial yes

Edited by Amshegar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can almost always call for help anyway, assuming you can get help at all. Vox communication is pretty neato.

 

Microbeads. 'Nuff said. As for the enemy listening in... You should probably use a more secure network/encryption. ;)

 

Mind Scan is pretty great, but is just the better of only two decent psychic powers that I've been able to use from the Astropath list. Your XP is better spent elsewhere, me thinks.

 

That talent is nice, but as before, not necessary. If you can pick it up, great, but it's expensive - and rightfully so.

 

I wouldn't say they're highly focused in the telepathy discipline at all. Their few powers require the initial power, I grant you that, but that's only a single power buy-in.

Note: Terrify affects your teammates too. It is not conducive to a good team effort... :P

 

Telepathy doesn't require Fellowship in any way. I just double-checked in case I was wrong, but not a single Telepathy psychic power has anything to do with Fellowship.

 

Other psykers don't actually need any "special" things. :)

 

Seeing through walls isn't controversial.... A lot of GMs rule differently, of course, and I welcome either interpretation - but at RAW it does not let you see through walls.

 

All in all... I just don't think that Astropath is worth it unless you want some of the unique features. Not compared to things like Sister of Battle, for example.

Edited by TheWorldSmith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well whoops! I glossed over that one. Thanks for the correction!

No problem. I actually like this system a lot, since psykers now need to do something besides stack Willpower when spending their experience if they want to access the really strong powers.

Other Disciplines require their own secondary stats as well. Off the top of my head, Biomancy -> Toughness, Divination -> Perception, Pyromancy -> Agility.

Edited by Covered in Weasels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can almost always call for help anyway, assuming you can get help at all. Vox communication is pretty neato.

 

a few kilometers under the ground or in the wild world :)

 
 
Microbeads. 'Nuff said. As for the enemy listening in... You should probably use a more secure network/encryption. ;)

 

 

right in front of the enemy who listen you   ;)

 

 

Note: Terrify affects your teammates too. It is not conducive to a good team effort

 

NOPE! Only you enemy. One enemy.

 

Terrify: The psyker nominates a single target in range and line of sight who opposes this power with a Willpower test. If the target fails to resist the power, it must roll on Table Shock, adding +10 times the psyker’s psy rating to the roll in place of the normal addition for degrees of failure, and immediately apply the effects.

 

Other psykers don't actually need any "special" things. 

 

Where Corpus Conversion? Which is especially important unlike only war where each point of Psy Rating gives you a +5 on the Focus power test, so powers are a bit harder to cast than before. And push It provides penalties. (I don't even speak about things like Psychic Spite and Psychic Vampire). 

 

Seeing through walls isn't controversial.... A lot of GMs rule differently, of course, and I welcome either interpretation - but at RAW it does not let you see through walls.

 

In rouge trader basic rules astropat has ability
See Without Eyes: An Astropath Transcendent is blind yet
at the same time has a strange ability to perceive without
using his physical senses. An Astropath Transcendent is
functionally treated as if he can see normally (including
seeing colours and being limited by walls, etc.). However,
Astropaths Transcendent are not affected by effects that target
their vision, such as blind grenades and cameleoline. They
are, however, completely incapable of seeing Untouchables.
 
It will be decided at the level of the master, but it is logical to require awarness\psycsicence test.
I faced this problem because divination discipline has power who give unnatural sense.
 
All in all... I just don't think that Astropath is worth it unless you want some of the unique features. Not compared to things like Sister of Battle, for example.

 

 

Astropath traits in fact the only way to ​even a some bit strengthen hugely nerfed psyker. (Despite the fact that some powers full garbage that while other types \such as some telepathy powers or "Crush" in telekinesis disicpline\ broken in the balance).

 

From all the above, I want to note Astropat who has sanctic daemonology and telapathy discipline very powerful and very flexible (including not only socially but also battle) "mage".

 

Build which not iclude background astra telepatica interesting bat only radical inquisitor take rouge psyker as failcolytes  :) (and it should be noted that the radical way to psyker in fact does not exist in contrast to the first edition)

Edited by Amshegar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...