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Sazabi

Psyker Issues

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Hello all! I have lurked on these forums for about a year now, as long as I have been running a DH campaign, and I have decided to post because I do need help. I have trouble makeing challanging scinarios for the party, as it seems like the psyker is vastly OP. Perils doesnt seem to balance anything because the psyker is least corrupt one in the group (we have nearly ascended and hes at 20) So without further ado...

1: Templar Calix: Wow, what a class. Why would any psker not take this? A large amount of high level skills (step aside, wall of steel, counter atack, armour of comtempt) become availible early, and you trade INT for WS.

2: Soul Killer: Arguably the best damaging power in the game, this power just rolls through every kind of bad guy, and is undogeable. Makes every high level boss a chump, unless they are a pariah (not all that common in the 40K)

3: Tainted Psyker: If a psyker takes the Sourcery talents they get benifits of just +1 psy rating, and no corruption. Not even an increase in Psychic pheanomenon. Seems like a safe bet, and with a certain background package, their mind can't be read.

4: Chamelion: A minor power that cause -30 to hit? Combined with a certain biomancy skill that allows flight, mooks are at -40 to hit with shooting. Again, no wp saves even.

So thats the psyker I deal with, basically flys around, is nearly unhittable with ranged, kills everything easily with soul killer, and has buffed up psy rating equil to the class that focuses on Psy rating, and has Seal Wounds, which makes him immune to being whittled down. Oh, and inspiring arua means NPCs HAVE to say nice things about him, just to rub it in, lol. Frankly I need help to challange this guy, as he makes the rest of the party look useless. The game generally goes like: let the psyker fly in a kill all the bad guys while they shoot back ineffectually. My other players are getting bored, so help please!

PS the party is just getting ready to ascend, to give you an idea about power level.

Thanks!

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'This witch seems to have gone a little beyond his station. He has drawn the attentions of a number of powerful organisations and will now have to pay the price.'

 

One of such power that is not a true fully fledged member of the Inquisition would be watched from afar and indeed would be seen as a useful tool by many who may not have the best of intentions. The use of Monodominant Inquisitors with Untouchables to nullify his powers should put the fear of the Emperor into the character and his player. Likewise Cullexus Assassins make powerful psykers look like small children and its Psyocculum would  remove any advantages of abilities such as Chameleonic skin from a psychic power.

One of the major things I think that you should try to instill into the player is that sense of dread, that even though he is still powerful, he should still be very wary of attracting the wrong kind of attention, attention that could easily be his un-doing. This may also allow you to get back to 'grass roots' play with players having to move around in the shadows and being extremely cautious. Does the player tend to overshadow the other characters because of his powers, or is there still a lot of non-combat things for the other players to do? Also, regarding combat, if other PCs are involved do they literally sit around twiddling their thumbs because the partys Psyker just obliterates everything?

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Sazabi said:

1: Templar Calix: Wow, what a class. Why would any psker not take this? A large amount of high level skills (step aside, wall of steel, counter atack, armour of comtempt) become availible early, and you trade INT for WS.

2: Soul Killer: Arguably the best damaging power in the game, this power just rolls through every kind of bad guy, and is undogeable. Makes every high level boss a chump, unless they are a pariah (not all that common in the 40K)

3: Tainted Psyker: If a psyker takes the Sourcery talents they get benifits of just +1 psy rating, and no corruption. Not even an increase in Psychic pheanomenon. Seems like a safe bet, and with a certain background package, their mind can't be read.

4: Chamelion: A minor power that cause -30 to hit? Combined with a certain biomancy skill that allows flight, mooks are at -40 to hit with shooting. Again, no wp saves even.

So thats the psyker I deal with, basically flys around, is nearly unhittable with ranged, kills everything easily with soul killer, and has buffed up psy rating equil to the class that focuses on Psy rating, and has Seal Wounds, which makes him immune to being whittled down. Oh, and inspiring arua means NPCs HAVE to say nice things about him, just to rub it in, lol. Frankly I need help to challange this guy, as he makes the rest of the party look useless. The game generally goes like: let the psyker fly in a kill all the bad guys while they shoot back ineffectually. My other players are getting bored, so help please!

PS the party is just getting ready to ascend, to give you an idea about power level.

Thanks!

Psykers can and will indeed get very powerful, but normally they always have a Damocles Sword hanging right above their heads. 90% of the time nothing happens, but when it goes pear-shaped spectaculary when the wrong Perils trigger at the wrong time.

In your case there seems to be some issues:

@1: You have to go the martial Psyker-Path to take it as a prereq and so you have to give up on 1 Psy-Rating, many Psy-Powers, many Knowledge-Skills (and worse at the ones you have due to lower INT) and only get Favored by the Warp (important Talent) only at 8th level. Also a non-melee Psyker can ignore WS and the Templar Calix has MAD (Multi-Attribute Dependency). All the XP a Templar spends to become a 1st rate Melee Expert, he lacks in spending to get better at Psykering --> less raw Power, less utility through fewer total Psy Powers, less control over it due to on average lower WIL, has less and is worse at the often very usefull Forbidden Lore skills. It is very nice, but it has noticeable tradeoffs.

@3: You missed much about a sorcerous Psyker! He gets +1 Psyrating, but henceforth if he rolls a Psychic Phenomenonhe gets a flat +20 on his D100, which means a much higher chance to get the nasty ones. Also if he uses an Arcana-Power, every time, he rolls a D10 and reduces this by his WP-Bonus. He gets the rest, if there is a rest, in Corruption points. If he hasnt taken the Talent that lets him use sorcery unnoticed (and comes at a +2 to the needed threshold) every time he psykers (not just Arcana, but any use of Psy-Powers) he is clerly using Sorcery. Chanting Formulas of sorcerous Chaospowers and waving his arms. This is dangerously obvious to even the untrained eye that something ... smelly ... is going on in what he does. Psykers normally just will their powers into existanceand only a few powers have any requirement in speaking or bodymovement.

@4: Chameleon gives -20 for ranged attacks and is a upkeep power and thuis makes all other Psyker-tests +4 more difficult. Perhaps you mean the free power that obscures vision? This gives -30 to being hit, but also has to be recast every round, so that if the psyker casts this, he cant use any other power for that round. If he uses this he cant burn people, cant let heads explode, cant channel a Force Weapon (as its activation is like activating a minor power). And he has to test for Phenomena every round. Law of great numbers will get him in the long run + his offensive abilities are effectively down when he is in this defense-mode.

 

please check for the points i spoke about, because if you missed one or several drawbacks that can make a Psyker clearly overpowered. Normally they go with" Great Power - Great Danger".

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Hi Sazabi,

Noctune already pointed you towards some perhaps overlooked points of the mechanics. If the "Soul Killer" is his weapon of choice, how about an enemy of inanimate matter? The Schismatical Convert from the Deep Infotombs (Creatures Anathema) comes to mind hear as do the Falsemen of Nomen Ryne. Or any other Robot Menace. Perhaps Necrons? This would even allow you to come up with Pariah.

All the hitting power in the world will not help if the element of suprise is against you. How about making a mission/adventure where the PC are the target of another group? A ready-made suggestion I once developed for/with Darth Smeg is the crazed Witchhunter Riccard & his retinue found on DarkReign40k.

http://darkreign40k.com/drjoomla/index.php/npcs/npcs/1325-witch-hunter-riccard-a-retinue

A Biomants abilities to heal are a fine thing, but nobody can do nothing if s/he is stunned. While the otherwise not-noteworthy RT supplement "Hostile Acquisiton" just came around with special shotgun ammo which is the cross-breed between a modern-day handheld shocker and a bullet... how about a cross-breed between a cross-bow and a taser?

Auto-fire OR red-dot-sights go a long way in regard to "hitting the pc". Flame/Spray weapons do not even NEED to hit. They do. Exterminatorcatridges are heap. Mook-cheap.

As the problem is that the other players are bored...what are teir pc like?

 

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I have a soft spot in my heart for the crazed Witchhunter Riccard & his retinue. My players have yet to feel his ire, but he's onto them now (they refused an official summons to a sermon of judgement from him, not recognizing his authority. Thus they are Heretics, in his eyes :)

To help you a bit, Gregorius made Rikky & Co as a response to my plea for aid, similar to your own in this thread.

There were many excellent suggestions in that thread, and some pointers to important mechanics I had missed. For example, every time a Peril is manifested, The Psyker gains 1 CP. No exceptions. And Favoured by the Warp only lets you roll twice on the Phenomena Table, not the Perils table. Etc.

I have found it most amusing to challenge the Psyker outside of combat. Let him rock with his Biolightning and super-painful-but-very-effective-healing. Then let him deal with the strange new cult that has grown up treating him like a saint after saving some celebrity by miraculously restoring his torn body during some violent conflict. Watch the other players snicker and laugh as he shouts "No, I am NOT the messiah!" to his growing mass of followers. Then watch them wipe those smiles of their faces when the church (and Rikky) wants them for the Heresy of impersonating Saints, creating unsanctioned cults and misleading the faithful.

Slap some Rival (The Ecclessiarchy) Talents om them, and let the church hinder them everywhere. Puritan Inquisitors oppose them. Nobles will have nothing to do with them in public. They are tainted in the eyes of those who are important.

See how he will Biolightning his way out of that one...

 

 

 

 

 

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I would say very well done, but I would be a little careful on pushing that aspect, you'll find the other characters turning on the Psyker if it means they can get on with things.  I have a player - character that hates Pyskers with a passion.  Failing a Perils and turning into a Deamonhost to fihgt they party on an airship really didn't help matters, but now I have a faithful Psyker hating pyscio to deal with. He almost executed the ship's Navigator but then found that he couldn't get anywhere near him and that he would be stuck in the middle of no-where without him.

 

By all means throw curve balls are you Psyker and make him work for his power, but don't go OTT.

 

Just My Advice.

 

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