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Luthor Harkon

How subtle are Psychic Powers?

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Hi all,

In our casual Deathwatch campaign I play a rather stereotypical (and thus extremely zealous…) and aggressive Black Templar Assault Marine called Brother Wilhelm. Besides me, we have an Ultramarine Devastator, a Dark Angel Apothecary and a Blood Angel Librarian in the kill-team.

Wilhelm gets on quite well with the Ultramarine, even though he seems a little aloof/ignorant, unemotional (at least compared to Wilhelm…) and detached most of the time. Wilhelm also gets on rather well with the Apothecary, even though Wilhelm is a little suspicious in regard to what he heard about the Dark Angel chapter and especially the unverified stories about the Ophidium Gulf Crusade. Still, the Apothecary is a suave person and saved Wilhelm’s life before his admission into the Deathwatch and thus Wilhelm almost kind of likes him on a personal level.
Unsurprisingly though, Wilhelm gets on poorly with the Librarian, not only because he is a witch (as Wilhelm names him most of the time…), but also because the Librarian is really an arrogant smug and does not even seem to acknowledge Wilhelm or his anger and even seem to smirk at his zeal from time to time.

To cut a long story short, how do you think would/should Wilhelm react, when the Librarian targets him with a positive/supporting psychic power like Possibility Shield (or however it is called) and - the maybe even more important question – would Willhelm realize it at all when becoming a “target” of such a spell? Would he realize the concrete effect the Psychic Power has or would he just realize some sort of goose pimples along his neck or nothing at all?

Thank a lot in advance for your help.

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I suppose it would largely depend on the power used. Being the target of Smite would be pretty obvious, but indeed a power as Possibilty Shield would be far less obvious. I would think the target of such a power would feel guided somehow, but for someone not sensitive to the currents and eddies of the Warp (a.k.a. someone without the Psyniscience skill), this could come from the Librarian, his wargear's machine spirits or heck, the Emperor himself for all he knows.

I'd reserve stuff like getting goosebumbs to Psychic Phenomena, which seems to cover feelings of doom and such.

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Thanks for your input. It’s of no doubt that being the target of Smite is pretty obvious; that’s why I am more interested in these more subtle and supporting psychic powers. In the DH campaign where I am the GM the groups Psyker often uses the Telpathy power Inspire and then I more or less describe how the affected characters have faint visions of the Emperor and other saints of the Imperial Creed. But especially in regard to psychic powers such as Possibility Shield combined with a character with a strong anti-psyker-attitude, I am wondering whether the character realizes being the target and how he realizes it. Maybe he only has the impression the Emperor is guiding his sword or he assumes it is by pure chance that his sword strikes more true; though maybe he realizes that it is due to some witchery by the Librarian influencing him somehow…

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Yu^, I'd do that, too. It's something very subtle, and if you don't have Psyniscience, the only manifestation of Psychic Powers you can distinguish is when something physically impossible happens.

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If you just want to create conflict between the Black Templar and the Librarian, you could also make the BT paranoid everytime the Librarian seems to be just standing there, murmering invocations without the BT noticing any obvious effect (like nearby Orks exploding).

"What are you doing this time? Are you trying to get into my mind again witch?!"

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Telepathy powers are probably the most subtle of them all. Think of them like stuff Xavier does in X-men. You don't notice him reading your mind and making all sorts of "adjustments" there unless: 1) He tells you, 2) You are also a telepath yourself.

Then again if the BT is really paranoid he might THINK someone is invading his mind even if no-one is... Time to give out some insanity points, maybe?

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Thank you all for the helpful input.

 

Redemption NL said:

If you just want to create conflict between the Black Templar and the Librarian, you could also make the BT paranoid everytime the Librarian seems to be just standing there, murmering invocations without the BT noticing any obvious effect (like nearby Orks exploding).

"What are you doing this time? Are you trying to get into my mind again witch?!"

I do not want to create conflict just for the sake of it and I do not want to play the Black Tmeplar paranoid (no yet that is…). It is more that I want to give our Deathwatch campaign some more RP-depth so to speak. In a combat situation they are absolutely loyal and highly professional and effective Battle Brothers standing back to back and risking their lives for each other without any hesitation. But especially out of combat I am interested in making them less robot-like, but with agendas and attitudes.

 

Polaria said:

Telepathy powers are probably the most subtle of them all. Think of them like stuff Xavier does in X-men. You don't notice him reading your mind and making all sorts of "adjustments" there unless: 1) He tells you, 2) You are also a telepath yourself.

Then again if the BT is really paranoid he might THINK someone is invading his mind even if no-one is... Time to give out some insanity points, maybe?

That’s a point, though I see even Telepathy in 40K a little more “in you face” in style and a little less X-Men or Star Trek in style. If I remember correctly the Ravnor novels also mention people realizing being a target of telepathic powers involuntarily.

 

Tunnelhckrat said:

Take Abhor the witch, the ability to ignore ANY psyker power (even ones you normally cant) and reject frienly powers really fits the templar persona.

I thought about Abhor the Witch, as it gives some sort of resistance against psychic powers and thus suggests one could realize/feel being the target of even subtle psychic powers (even though resisting unconscioulsly could also work maybe). I have to re-read the talent description.

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