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Morangias

Adeptus Astra Telepathica Background

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I really think this Background sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn't actually play by the rules it exists in.

 

The basic idea of character creation seems to be, the combination of Background and Role is supposed to be the starting point for determining the PC's place in a world. For example, a Ministrorum Warrior might be a Battle Sister novitiate, a Frateris Militia member, or a Redemptionist (or whatever else seems fitting). Meanwhile an AdMech Warrior may be a Secutor, a Skitarii, a mercenary with a thing for augmentations that makes him work for AdMech more often than not, whatever. The point is, every combination is supposed to be justifiable in some way, and the background bonus is supposed to be of some use for a wide variety of characters (not necessarily always equally useful, just applicable).

 

Enter AAT, a Background that keeps saying: you're a psyker. Except you aren't, not by virtue of getting that Background anyway. The bonus? You're Sanctioned. If you take the Mystic role, you're a Sanctioned Imperial Psyker. If you take any other role and the Psyker Elite Advancement, you're also a Sanctioned Imperial Psyker, though with different inclinations.

 

But what about those people who don't take the Mystic Role or the Elite Advancement? I guess they're psykers as well, because somebody took the effort of taking them to Holy Terra and Sanctioning them. They even get Psyniscience at Rank 2 (as in, a trained Skill) to show for it, despite the Skill being only available to people with Psy Rating.

 

That's extremely constraining, and I don't think very accurate fluff-wise - or are only psykers ever counted among the ranks of AAT? The tough voidsman serving on a Black Ship? Sanctioned apparently. The clever scribe keeping tally of the transported wyrds? Also Sanctioned. The Emperor-damned Untouchable bounty hunter specializing in finding Wyrds and bringing them to the Black Ships? Apparently, also Sanctioned, and somehow able to see the Warp despite being a soulless abomination. Heck, the guy who fixes the Astropath's toilet is apparently also Sanctioned. Do these guys just open up all entry points on those Black Ships while hovering above the Imperial Palace and throw everyone out for sanctioning?

 

The other side of the coin is, due to AAT having a monopoly on their indiscriminately conducted Sanctioning, it's also extremely limiting for those who want to actually play Sanctioned Psykers, because they have to take AAT as a Background. Want to play a rugged combat psyker who spent the last ten years on the various fronts, fighting alongside the Imperial Guard and not having much contact with AAT structures in this time? Nope, you can't give him the IG background, because then he'd be a witch, an unsanctioned wyrd existing at the whim of the Inquisitor and the mercy of the fellow Acolytes should they find out.

Best you can do is take the AAT Background, the Mystic Role and spend almost all your starting exp on Specialist (IG). But what if you wanted your Psyker to be more martially inclined than the Mystic role suggests? You don't have enough exp for that. At best, you're an AAT guy who's Sanctioned without a Psy Rating (see above) with a Warrior Role and Specialist (IG) - and then you have neither Psy Rating nor combat-y Talents to show for your story of being a battlefield Imperial Psyker issued to the IG.

 

I think what the AAT background needs is divorcing the notion that all it's members are psykers, getting rid of both Sanctioned and Psyniscience, and creating a new bonus that'll be more useful for a wider number of character concepts. Sanctioned should instead be tied to either a Role (perhaps splitting the Mystic into Sanctioned Psyker and Wyrd would make sense - both would get Psyker, SP would get Sanctioned as well while the Wyrd would get an extra bonus to compensate) or available as an Elite Advancement (presumably, character creation only).

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I agree with this. 

 

Divorcing the background from the profession is necessary. 

 

I can understand the theme- all of the adeptus being represented. 

 

I would emulate this particular background based on the mind-cleansed origin from the previous edition and try to get that feeling going for it instead of the "Sanctioning Sanctioning Sanctioning". 

 

People working for this organisation would be more resistant to insanity, perhaps- having have to deal with some psyker- craziness themselves. Perhaps they've been wiped for having seen or heard things they weren't meant to. And ultimately, the flashbacks were damned cool. 

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Personally I don't feel Sanctioning should be tied to a role. Mystic is already getting quite a bit with psyker as its bonus. And personally, I don't want to see Sanctioned tied to Mystic, as that then makes it more difficult to play an unsanctioned psyker with advancement rates that aren't bad.

 

Roles quite clearly are independant of organizations, and I think we can all agree this is a good thing.

 

Personally, I think Sactioning need to be offered as conditional options from AAT, with some other sort of bonus being offered if the character doesn't have the Psyker trait. Resitance(Psychic Powers) comes to mind, but a talent kind of pales in comparison to the rest of the bonuses. Perhaps some sort of anti-psyker or psyker detecting innate ability. Psyniscience for even non-psykers still has its uses (read the skill description, does not require a psy rating to use),so I can see its benefit for non-psyker AAT members.

 

I do think sanctioning might be a good idea as an option with the psyker elite advance.

 

That said, mechanically, all Sanctioned is doing right now is preventing the extra corruption point gain when picking up Psyker. Nothing else. So, with GM approval, it could be handwaved that such corruption comes from a lifetime of service as a Sanctioned Psyker, and that the characer is indeed not a rogue psyker.

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But mystic could easily give it at a cost- not necessarily exp, but a roll on a sanctioning table. 

 

Non-sanctioned psykers should have a penalty at casting, similar to sorcerers. 

 

If sanctioning played a bigger role, other than its purely RP/Malignancy problematic of a non-sanctioned, it would be more interesting. 

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Agree with Saldre 110% here. The point of Sanctioning is to make a psyker less risky, not just to purge corruption. The trait shoukd help with Perils.

The AAT background definutely needs re-working.

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Personally I don't feel Sanctioning should be tied to a role. Mystic is already getting quite a bit with psyker as its bonus. And personally, I don't want to see Sanctioned tied to Mystic, as that then makes it more difficult to play an unsanctioned psyker with advancement rates that aren't bad.

Hence why I'm suggesting actually splitting Mystic into two roles - sanctioned and unsanctioned.

 

And I'd actually contest that Mystic gets a lot. There's something off-putting about having an elite advancement readily available for everyone else as your "special thing" - the way I see it, it ain't that special at all. Contrast 1e DH where taking a Psyker career was generally the only way to be a full-fledged Psyker, and definitely the only way to be a psyker with a god-given license to live. Or better yet, later systems, where being of the appropriate psyker career also meant you counted as bound, which had it's ups and down, but at least was something definitely unique.

 

Roles quite clearly are independant of organizations, and I think we can all agree this is a good thing.

 

Personally, I think Sactioning need to be offered as conditional options from AAT, with some other sort of bonus being offered if the character doesn't have the Psyker trait. Resitance(Psychic Powers) comes to mind, but a talent kind of pales in comparison to the rest of the bonuses. Perhaps some sort of anti-psyker or psyker detecting innate ability.

Any suggestion is welcome. At this moment I'm at a loss for solutions.

 

 

 Psyniscience for even non-psykers still has its uses (read the skill description, does not require a psy rating to use),so I can see its benefit for non-psyker AAT members.

"Consequently, only characters with a psy rating (see page 171) may advance the skill beyond rank 1."

Furthermore, the description suggests that those without PR can actually do pretty much what the Winchester brothers do in the face of the unknown - check for sudden temperature drops and the smell of sulfur in the air, figuratively speaking.

 

 

I do think sanctioning might be a good idea as an option with the psyker elite advance.

That's perhaps the best option. Overall, I think the Psyker Elite Advance should get it's own Talent tree along with their psychic powers - sure beats fishing for relevant talents across multiple trees, and could handle some more specific stuff, like Sanctioning.

 

 

That said, mechanically, all Sanctioned is doing right now is preventing the extra corruption point gain when picking up Psyker. Nothing else. So, with GM approval, it could be handwaved that such corruption comes from a lifetime of service as a Sanctioned Psyker, and that the characer is indeed not a rogue psyker.

In previous systems, there wasn't a mechanical effect that amounted to the Sanctioned Psyker not being instantly killed once people learned of his abilities, yet the books heavily implied that it's indeed a big thing. The description of the Elite Advance suggests it's still supposed to be a rather big thing, so just handwaving it doesn't seem like an ideal solution.

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A talent tree for a Psyker elite advance is a GENIUS idea- it would allow borrow heavily from the "Mental Fortitude Talents"- which in all honesty are very lacking if your not a psyker. 

 

It allow for that tree to be more distinct- instead of a "psyker" section, you could add a "Resist corruption" and malignancy branch. 

 

So it would go- One side resists fear and insanity, the other resists corruption point and malignancy and it links together for some protection from psychic attacks [with that final talent from DH that inflicts 1d10-WB damage to anyone that attempts to cast a spell on, shifting the resistance to psychic attacks down one level. 

 

The "Psyker" Elite advance and talent tree would give you stuff like "Discipline Mastery", Warp Sense, Warp Lock, Wrap Conduit, Favored by the Warp, Psychic Supremecy [Cast at a penalty in order to avoid decreasing subtlety] and heck, if you really thought about it, you can add even more talents. The one for example that allowed you to cancel ONE phenomena per game but lose the ability to cast for some time, or Psychic Spite [Tearing to your damage spells if you use Corpus Conversion], Corpus Conversion [inflict one critical wound, without the wound effect, increase psy-rating by 2] & Psychic vampire [damage dealing powers heal you, but its addictive.]

 

You would get a sort of "Finesse branch" and a "Kill everything branch" for psykers AND sorcerers who take the "Psyker" elite advance, and which then could be represented either way. The first two talents on the branch would be Sanctioned OR Unbound.

 

The advantage for sanctioned could be the ability to for example, to count as if your using your psy-rating -1 for the purpose of checking for phenomena on the table, whereas the sorcerer adds 1 instead- but doesn't roll on the "sanctioning table", avoiding some Insanity gain or Permanent blindness or other such crazy effect. 

 

Or it could have something to do with further corruption gain/loss. A Sanctioned psyker doesn't gain corruption from triggering a perils, whereas a sorcerer/rogue psyker would. [but I personally like option one more]

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I really like the idea, but I don't really have time to make stuff at this point (maybe over the weekend). But basically, we need around 10 psyker talents, divided between Sanctioned and Unsanctioned branches, with maybe 1 to 3 shared talents (we can port the 4 in the Mental Fortitude tree) and 3-5 skills to add to mental fortitude.

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Bit of an aside but in character gen today we noticed the AAT starts with a Laspistol but only Weapon Training Low-Tech (it does let him use his staff ok in melee, but seems a bit rude to give him a laspistol and not tell him how to use it).

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Great idea here, though I still really hate that you must choose one background to get the psyker ability for free or spend 300xp.

That's pretty cheap considering what it gets you.

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Bit of an aside but in character gen today we noticed the AAT starts with a Laspistol but only Weapon Training Low-Tech (it does let him use his staff ok in melee, but seems a bit rude to give him a laspistol and not tell him how to use it).

Yeah, we ran into that this evening.  Not quite sure why he gets a weapon he is unable to use.

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Suicide maybe? Does he get his Psykana knife ? :P 

 

Thaddus suggested that Sanctioning should allow you NOT to cause phenomena on a failed power-roll, making casting quite a a lot safer. 

 

But after discussing it with one my players, we actually saw how that wouldn't quite work out with the current system.

 

How it works now, Using a higher psy rating means LESS chance of success! Isn't that weird? 

 

So here's the suggestion.

 

Sanctioned Works as the system is now: A psyker gets +10 for every psy level LESS than his psy rating that he uses, and -10 for everyone thats higher. 

 

Why do you ask? Because sanctioned psykers are ENCOURAGED not unleash their full crazy warp potential. The whole process is designed to keep them from losing controlled to their powers, so actually pushing and unleashing theirs is difficult and not easy! Keep in mind that when you generate phenomena, you have some control on that table in terms of the Psy Level you used. Less Psy level, less horrible Consequences- Sanctioned Psyker and his team are Happy! So is the Inquisition, as everyone is kept [relatively] Safe! 

 

On the other hand, UNBOUND psykers [the other talent on our branch], would do the exact opposite! Every Psy level he uses LESS than his psy rating gives him a -10 to his WP test to Manifest- and pushing gives him +10 per level! He can even go up to Triple push!!! [but that's not necessary]. The idea is that the sorcerer or the rogue psyker has less control over the raw power he's manifesting. Sorcerers have no interest in using a partial fragment of the wrap, and rogue psykers can't control it. When they attempt to use less power, they take hefty penalties. However- they can channel great amounts of energy for destructive potential easily. They are ENCOURAGED to push, in the form of a nifty bonus! And go go phenomena generation! For every psy level that the warlock/rogue psyker is using [usually his full amount seeing as he would get a penalty to his spell otherwise], he adds +1 on the phenomena table- and is likelier to face the consequences of his meddling with powers too great for him to control. 

 

What say you people!? 

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Saldre, that seems a bit odd. A powerful Sanctioned Psyker should not have difficulty channeling the Warp, but rather be more resistant to Perils than an Unsanctioned Psyker.

I'd give Samctioned Psyker what Soul-Binding did in Rogue Trader (roll twice on Perils) but limit his far they can Push, while an Unsanctioned Psyker should be more at risk to Perils (+5 to any rolls on the Perils tables) but can Push higher.

Being an Unsanctioned Psyker makes using your powers much, much more dangerous than one who has been Sanctioned or Soul-Bound. The current rules don't reflect that.

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The idea is not in the difficulty of channelling the warp, its more of a Meta-thing. 

 

A Sanctioned psyker is more adept at controlling his power- the more control he exercises over it, the bigger the chances of it succeeding and the safer it is. 

 

The Unbound psyker doesn't play by those rules- when he attempts to reign in his power, it fizzles and fails. He's more advantaged in letting the sparks fly, which directly translates into more dangerous phenomena. 

 

But I see what you mean, in this system both type so of psykers would be the exact same if they decide to use their powers- I am proposing that a "Sanctioned" Psyker be considerably better at "Controlling" his power in order to avoid perils, whereas the sorcerer takes a hefty penalty when he attempts to use it in any other way than like, a hammer. 

 

But your right that it would need something to differentiate them directly- though giving Psykers too much control over the Perils table makes them those tables obsolete. 

 

This is quite the conundrum. 

 

I will see what else I can come up with and propose. 

 

What if the Unbound Psyker rolled an Extra Dice and had to pick the double between the three? 

Edited by Saldre

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So, this has become a VERY dense topic, with lots of ideas being thrown around, most of them very interesting.

I don't know if I'm in a position to add much, but on the first theme that was discussed, why not go the other way and give Sanctioning a use for non-psykers or, like resisting domination or psychic powers?

Most accurately, this would mean that Psykers from the AAT get Sanctioned to use their powers, and other servants from the AAT get sanctioned (without the capital S) to work with them.

This would work very well for the minders that many Psykers get in the fluff. 

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Maybe have sanction psykers get to roll manifestations at 2d10 + (psy rating/2 rounded down) while giving unsanction a higher psy rating, but manifestation rolls are 2d10 + (psy rating x 1.5 rounded up).  Just a suggestion is all.

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Why not give Psykers in general a + Corruption Bonus penalty on the Warp Phenomena Throw.

This would show a faster and faster fall into damnation if not carefull (quite realistic if you ask me) and as Unsanctioned Psykers start with Corruption points, it would already be a starting penalty for them.

This would force psykers to be extremely carefull with the dark and forbidden...flavourful...

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Why not give Psykers in general a + Corruption Bonus penalty on the Warp Phenomena Throw.

This would show a faster and faster fall into damnation if not carefull (quite realistic if you ask me) and as Unsanctioned Psykers start with Corruption points, it would already be a starting penalty for them.

This would force psykers to be extremely carefull with the dark and forbidden...flavourful...

This would have worked if the psychic phenomena tables were still a d% roll. With a 2d10 roll, it wouldn't be so much problematic as straight up impossible to play a Psyker, considering they're also the fastest to gain corruption, Sanctioned or not.

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On the topic of sanctioning, it's actually my impression that the Sanctioning isn't really about your abilities to channel your powers. It's about willpower. Every psychic mind is basically a doorway from the warp into reality, every psyker is a daemonic invasion just waiting to happen. Those that pass sanctioning would be those psykers who have been tested and proved strong enough to minimize that risk or, at the very least, be strong-willed enough that they can hold off the Daemon for the split second it takes to slit their own throat.

 

Essentially, I see the process of Sanctioning as these people doing everything in their power to break you. If they fail, you pass. If not, well, too bad. Sanctioning probably involves learning a few litanies to ward off evil and such, but it's not really psyker training. It's not really about being good or bad at your powers.

 

At least, that's my take.

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On the topic of sanctioning, it's actually my impression that the Sanctioning isn't really about your abilities to channel your powers. It's about willpower. Every psychic mind is basically a doorway from the warp into reality, every psyker is a daemonic invasion just waiting to happen. Those that pass sanctioning would be those psykers who have been tested and proved strong enough to minimize that risk or, at the very least, be strong-willed enough that they can hold off the Daemon for the split second it takes to slit their own throat.

 

Essentially, I see the process of Sanctioning as these people doing everything in their power to break you. If they fail, you pass. If not, well, too bad. Sanctioning probably involves learning a few litanies to ward off evil and such, but it's not really psyker training. It's not really about being good or bad at your powers.

 

At least, that's my take.

 

That sounds right to me -- Sanctioning is less about honing your psychic abilities and more about teaching you how to protect your mind and soul from hungry Warp creatures.  However, in 40k fluff the only people who ever undergo Sactioning are already psykers.  This presents quite an obstacle for an Astra Telepathica character who isn't actually a psyker.

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Why not give Psykers in general a + Corruption Bonus penalty on the Warp Phenomena Throw.

This would show a faster and faster fall into damnation if not carefull (quite realistic if you ask me) and as Unsanctioned Psykers start with Corruption points, it would already be a starting penalty for them.

This would force psykers to be extremely carefull with the dark and forbidden...flavourful...

This would have worked if the psychic phenomena tables were still a d% roll. With a 2d10 roll, it wouldn't be so much problematic as straight up impossible to play a Psyker, considering they're also the fastest to gain corruption, Sanctioned or not.

 

 

But wouldnt exactly this make it very interesting fluff-whise ?

 

You'd need to be VERY carefull with Corruption, not to plant its seed in you.

 

And with Corruption 35 (which is already quite some), you would get +3, which is yet acceptable.

 

Maybe this penalty would be an idea for Sorcery Rules ?

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