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Rogue Trader Psychic Powers: In Details

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Hello guys, today I would like to discuss psychic powers.


First, I would like to lay down details on psyker vs psyker interaction and then comment on some psychic powers.

It's easy when psyker interacts with non-psykers, but I found no rules or details on what happens when two psykers interact. Questions on how psyker can defend himself from psychic attack, how more powerful psyker would have an edge over less powerful psyker and how talents like orthoproxy, strong minded working should be addressed.


There are a lot of powers described in RT but in order to have full interaction psychic powers should be detected and counteracted. In order to detect power Core Rulebook p.158 have "Detecting Psychic Techniques" which pointing to Psynscience with pretty good description of detection on Core Rulebook p.84. 

Details on counteracting and defending we based on descriptions of 2 talents - Bastion of Iron Will and Strong Minded.

Strong Minded talent tells us "Psychic Techniques that have a physical effect, such as Telekinesis, are unaffected by this Talent." which gives us two category of psychic powers with physical effect like Force Bolt or Psychic Scream which can be dodged and non-physical effect which cannot be dodged therefore other type of defense should be used - Psychic Defense.

Bastion of Iron Will gives us details for Psychic Defense - "doubles his defensive Psy Rating on any Opposed Test involving the Psyniscience Skill or Psychic Techniques". Mention of defensive Psy Rating means that psychic defense is Focus Power test and not just simple characteristic test.


Now lets say we have psyker with WP(50), Psy Rating(5) casting unfettered Dominate psychic power making Focus Power(Willpower) test, WP + 5 * EPR = 75 

Pysker vs psyker

  • If defending psyker has same stats he will make the same test to defend, also 75. 
  • If defending psyker has less WP(35), but more experience Psy Rating(8) they would also be on par with the same test 75.
  • If defending psyker has same stats but also Bastion of Iron Will this will start to shine nicely and give defending psyker 100.

  Now young Luke Skywalker will have very slim chances to dominate experinced psyker just because he has over 9000 bigger WP. But he might after getting some learing and experience.

Psyker vs warp-aware
  For someone who has tight connection to warp or working with the warp like Navigators was decided to give better chance to defend against psyker because it is logical that they would be harder to dominate than ordinary man. While psyker rivals like Navigatoes doesn't have Psy Rating they have proficiency with warp manifested in Psynscience.
  So, warp-aware is someone who connected to warp - has Psynscience - and he might use Psynscience to defend against psyker non-physical attack.

Psyker vs non-psyker
  Non-psyker have the chance to withstand domination with his WP, but training and power will show why psykers are so powerful, because they will have Focus Power(Willpower) test against Focus Power(Willpower) test with PR 0 of non-psyker.

This is the idea for defending against psykers extended from in-book descriptions.

Warp vs Psy attack

  There are attacks which can be based on psy rating for psykers, deamons, sorcerers. etc who and warp attack for navigators, warp witches and anyone who uses warp spells but does not have psy rating. We categorize them as psychic attacks and warp attack, where warp attack is an attack using raw warp energy and cannot be defended with Psychic Defense.

Warp vs Psy defense

  All attacks and defenses can be categorized as follow:

  Warp attack

  •   Attack                                           Power Description            Defense
  •   Warp Non Psysical                       OpWp                                   Resist Psychic Powers(+10), Hexagramatic Wards(+20), Null Blocker 
  •   Warp Non Physical Mind            OpWp Mind Control           Resist Psychic Powers(+10), Hexagramatic Wards(+20), Orthoproxy(+20), Strong Minded(re-roll), Null Blocker
  •   Warp Physical                               Wp, Per, Psyn                      Force Field, Dodge, Null Blocker, Hexagramatic Wards(double armour)

  Psychic Attack

  •   Attack                                         Power Description            Defense
  •   Psychic Non Physical                  OpWp                                  Psychic Defense, Resist Psychic Powers (+10), Hexagramatic Wards(+20), Null Blocker
  •   Psychic Non Physical Mind       OpWp Mind Control          Psychic Defense, Resist Psychic Powers (+10), Hexagramatic Wards(+20), Orthoproxy (+20), Strong Minded(re-roll), Null Blocker, Reprogram Defense
  •   Psychic Physical                          Wp, Psyn                             Force Field, Dodge, Null Blocker, Hexagramatic Wards(double armour)


Psychic Powers

Now I would like to comment on some psychic powers which are a little bit confusing:

  • Mind Probe 

      Special case of anonymous fettered mind probe is a chance to probe mind without any traces which is not really logical, because then any high-ranking imperium agent, official, inquisitor, etc can be probbed after just enough tries. The defense was buffed with previous details of psyker defense, but still chance is pretty significant. So, in order to make a try more dangerous additional rules are added: If the target is rolling his test successfully but failed on opposed test he knows he was being influenced but Psyniscince is not showing anything, if he has 4+ DoS he can fully use Psyniscience.


  • Telekinetic Crush  

      Phrase that "The psyker may also Grapple the opponent" is not very detailed. Our version is that as Mind Probe Telekinetic Crush has 2 modes:
       - Telekinetic Crush - just doing damage once and is not sustainable as first part of psychic power states
       - Telekinetic Graple - which is sustainable and going accordingly to slighlty changed grapple rules on Core Rulebook p.240.
         Focus power test shows is target grappled or not, if successfull all opposed rolls for actions done against initial Focus Power roll
         Grapple Actions:
           Damage Opponent: Core Rulebook p.240, damage take from psychic power description
           Throw Down Opponent: Core Rulebook p.240
           Push Opponent: Core Rulebook p.240
           Levitate: New action if you have Levitation psychic power. Please look at Levitation details for more information.

         Grappled Target Options:
           Break Free: Core Rulebook p.240 
           Slip Free: Core Rulebook p.240
           Take Control: changed to opposed Focus Power test to take control over Grapple and break out from it if target is psyker, psyker can't use other psychic powers on the same Turn.


  • Mind Scan          

      Description of 4+ DoS case contradicts and confuses on what range can Mind Probe be used at - range of Mind Scan or Mind Probe - and if it is possible to use on the same round Mind Probe why it can't be used any other power. So, it was agreed to change 4+ DoS case to give the ability to use any psychic power that is not require LOS (Line of Sight) as Force Bolt on the target in Mind Scan range while Mind Scan is sustained while use of another psychic power should be on separate turn and by the rules, focus power test and range as stated on specific psychic power and not on Mind Scan. For example on turn 1 psyker uses Mind Scan with range of 1 km and on the next turn Sensory Deprivation can be used on the target within the range of Mind Scan and with range not exceeding range of Sensory Deprivation without LOS.


  • Mind's Eye          

      Application of 10x multiplier to all psychic powers in Telepathic communication technique breaks the balance of psychic interactions especially for powers like Psychic Scream and Terrify giving them 50m * EPR range. So, it was agreed that multiplier will be applied only for telepathic communication psychic powers - Thought Sending, Mental Bond, Mind Link and Short Range Telepathy.


  • Levitation          

      Good description but still not enough details for full understanding.
      To determine how high psyker can go power was limited by Effective Psy Rating meters. Even if "This power is not flight, but merely a vertical movement" it doesn't make sense for master of telekenesis powers like Telekinetic Crush, Mind over Matter, Precision Telekinesis and rather points that it's not the fly speed movement, so it was limited by Effective Psy Rating meters of horizontal movement per Turn. While it is stated that power can be applied to objects or others we agreed that only willing targets can be Levitated. If the target is unwilling then it cannot be levitated unless it was grappled before by Telekinetic Grapple. 


  • Force Shards

      Usage and description is quite complex so in belive that it should be easier we decided to take inspiration in DH rules and make it an equivalent to automatic fire making the use of power an instant rather then secretly sustainable - as description suggests.
      Focus Power test giving psyker one plus one more hit for each Degree of Success, but not more then Effective Psy Rating used to cast it.


  • Storm of Force 

      This is fine psychic power but inspired by DH rules trying to unify psychic powers with ranged weapon fire we converted damage from this power to Blast with radius of Effecive Psy Rating. 

That is all details for psychic powers that were added. Do you agree with such explanation?

Please read, comment, discuss, use. Next one I plan to provide Navigation and/or Navigator Powers.


Kind Regards.

Here about who, what and why.

Edited by rt1234456

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