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gruntl

Psyker aptitudes and talents

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Why does Psykers have the Strength aptitude? Am I missing some kind of build where this could be good for the psyker? A melee Psyker seems impossible to run in Only war, given that there are very few powers that work with that and that Force weapons are more or less impossible to get hold of. Or is it just lazy designing, and giving the psyker a pointless aptitude to avoid making him overpowered by actually giving him a meaningful aptitude?

 

If I were to houserule this what would be a reasonable aptitude to give the psyker?

 

The talent Resistance (Psychic technique) is more or less a must for the Psyker to buy, since it's required to get most of the useful psyker talents. But the psyker has no matching attributes and the talent is thus quite expensive (ok, it's only a tier 1 talent so it's not that bad). Toughness should not be one of the aptitudes for that particular sub-talent in my opinion, instead replaced by Psyker or Willpower. 

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Hard to get has nothing to do with anything else, is my thought; Psykers fight with staves, and eventually (hopefully) Force weapons, and carry laspistols as ranged option. Since they primarily use melee weapons, regardless of the intelligence of that plan (I'd rather not melee Orks or Dark Eldar, personally, for their variable reasons), Strength comes along. If you happened to come across a loose Force weapon in a Dominate cache, the rarity from the Dept. Mun. just up and left the room. Besides, many groups seem to have that one player who, along with their other role, seem to focus on getting the party's goods, and for them, even the lauded Force staff isn't too hard.

 

For Resistance, I can see it only because it's a single talent, even if it has numerous options. Other than psychic powers, they mostly fit; someone even posted here that their Storyteller said yes to Resistance (Pinning), shrugging off the nasty effects of barrages of enemy fire, and even there, those Aptitudes seem good. If you want, I'd just say chat up your GM, and get them to agree that your Psyker MIGHT be able to swap out Toughness for WP or Psyker. Otherwise, you get to pay the full price, and 600 isn't terribad; you just have to deecide how many OTHER Psykers you expect to see.

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I don't think the Guard would just you keep a looted Force Weapon.

 

But it would take another psyker to know it wasn't just a normal sword or staff or such, so if you kept it away from other psykers and didn't abuse it around folks who might rat you out (of the party shouldn't be, cause you having a force weapon is helpful to everyone) then no one should be the wiser.

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Some stuff, i can see the agency caring about; xenos tech, relics, and especially important equipment, but the Dominate forces gear is sort of not on their lists, anymore, and isn't tech heresy, so if you are getting by without taking more Dept. Mun, equipment, they might be pleased, and a later return will actually increase their resources. As for the Force Weapon example, I choose to believe that they can't have that many other psykers they like more, waiting in line to get their Force staff, so it, almost specifically, might get "overlooked". If you found an inferno pistol on an opposing Officer, now, that would be completely different, in my mind, anyway.

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Still, Strength is the only aptitude that is even remotely connected to melee fighting in the Psyker list. Buying Weapon Skill or any melee talents will be extraordinarily expensive for the Psyker. The Force weapon might hit for a truckload (although the part of this damage coming from Strength will be more or less negligible anyway), but the psyker won't hit anything unless he spends loads of XP to raise his WS. And the Psyker won't last long in melee either without easy access to Toughness/Dodge/Parry. Sure, there's Iron arm, maybe that's enough defense.

 

I guess my point is that it's surely possible to make a psyker into a melee monster, but it will be terribly XP expensive. In the OW rules the psyker just does not fit into this type of character, maybe it worked better in DH. I really think that most players playing a psyker in OW will never use that aptitude, which means that it was bad design to put it there in the first place.

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I don't see the sense - at least thematically and the rules outcome especially in terms of skills - for Strength as an Aptitude for the Psyker either.

I would replace the Strength Aptitude with the Psyker's choice of Offence or Defence. The reason I'd go with this instead of another Characteristics Aptitude is at least partially personal; the Psyker only starts with two Professional Aptitudes (Psyker, Knowledge) and a whole slew of Characteristics Aptitudes (Intelligence, Perception, Strength, Willpower). Since Offence/Defence overlaps a lot with Strength or Toughness respectively, and running a homebrew allowing players to switch out any one Characteristics Aptitude for any other Characteristics Aptitude and vice versa for the Professional Aptitudes, I'd like to keep a modicum of balance in this regard.

As for Resistance (Psychic Technique) being Toughness/Defence, I think that's a result of Talent Specializations/Skill Groups not having individualised Aptitudes in Only War, leading to all kinds of strangeness in some cases.

I'd make it Toughness and Willpower or Psyker, myself.

I don't think the Guard would just you keep a looted Force Weapon.

 

But it would take another psyker to know it wasn't just a normal sword or staff or such, so if you kept it away from other psykers and didn't abuse it around folks who might rat you out (of the party shouldn't be, cause you having a force weapon is helpful to everyone) then no one should be the wiser.

Blatant metagaming - the other squadmembers are likely as brainwashed as the next guy; however, there's an argument that they have no idea what a force weapon is anyway, for all they know, the glowing sword-thing is just another witchery sneaksty psyker-thing. Edited by Fgdsfg

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Still, Strength is the only aptitude that is even remotely connected to melee fighting in the Psyker list. Buying Weapon Skill or any melee talents will be extraordinarily expensive for the Psyker. The Force weapon might hit for a truckload (although the part of this damage coming from Strength will be more or less negligible anyway), but the psyker won't hit anything unless he spends loads of XP to raise his WS. And the Psyker won't last long in melee either without easy access to Toughness/Dodge/Parry. Sure, there's Iron arm, maybe that's enough defense.

 

I guess my point is that it's surely possible to make a psyker into a melee monster, but it will be terribly XP expensive. In the OW rules the psyker just does not fit into this type of character, maybe it worked better in DH. I really think that most players playing a psyker in OW will never use that aptitude, which means that it was bad design to put it there in the first place.

So, this answer SUCKS, but there is a precedent for what I'll say. In the 40K TT, Primaris Psykers ARE primarily melee warriors, with a considerable addition of support/utility. Okay, let's be honest, they are for support and psyker offense, but in "regular" combat, they do favor melee. They have a mighty Force Weapon (only slightly weakened in 6E, IMO) and a simple laspistol. Yeah, the melee weapon is the better option, in this case, if they still have a charge. Granted, in IG, assaulting isn't often a great plan, I'd see my PP as being assaulted as an error on my part, and I'd rather they be psychic artillery, but it is how they are built.

 

So as lame as this might be, the writers often do look to the official sources for their info, and there, the Psyker would be more Strength, although WS would've been nicer. In an RPG, it might make more sense to avoid melee, and lengthen your life by fighting at range, and maybe also not always with your powers, as they can kill you, but the write-up is as much a repeat of the codex as a character option.

 

 

 

I don't think the Guard would just you keep a looted Force Weapon.

 

But it would take another psyker to know it wasn't just a normal sword or staff or such, so if you kept it away from other psykers and didn't abuse it around folks who might rat you out (of the party shouldn't be, cause you having a force weapon is helpful to everyone) then no one should be the wiser.

 

Blatant metagaming - the other squadmembers are likely as brainwashed as the next guy; however, there's an argument that they have no idea what a force weapon is anyway, for all they know, the glowing sword-thing is just another witchery sneaksty psyker-thing.

 

I feel most other characters wouldn't know what they are looking at, and wouldn't want it; let the creepy Psyker have it. He or she probably already creeps them out, so what's a bit more? And, once the mission is done, and the survivors return to base, the ever watchful Commissar can tell you to go "turn that in", or another superstitious player can mention it during debriefing. Either way, the Commanding Officer can then look into it, maybe fetch their own Primaris, who WILL know what that is, and then the GM can easily decide what will happen to the Force Weapon. Did you just unknowingly bring the Primaris Lead a new gift? Will it sit in the DMun bunker? You are one of the few who can use it, so shall we assign it to you, for the time being? However the GM feels about it.

 

As an aside, it's a shame no Admech ever created a Force Gun. An Outlaw Star Caster Gun would be cheese ;)

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Having access to cheaper WS would have made way more sense (through the Offence aptitude I think) given that once a Force weapon connects the target is in for a world of hurt. But I guess just that might be why it's the way it is. With cheap(er) access to WS the Psyker might be too good. But I would rather have seen them skipping that aptitude totally instead. Having Strength there is just confusing, in particular to someone not used to the 40k games.

 

As an aside, it's a shame no Admech ever created a Force Gun. An Outlaw Star Caster Gun would be cheese 

Isn't that what the Grey Knight psy-cannons are? Not that a Sanctioned Psyker could ever get his hands on one of those...

Edited by gruntl

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Having access to cheaper WS would have made way more sense (through the Offence aptitude I think) given that once a Force weapon connects the target is in for a world of hurt. But I guess just that might be why it's the way it is. With cheap(er) access to WS the Psyker might be too good. But I would rather have seen them skipping that aptitude totally instead. Having Strength there is just confusing, in particular to someone not used to the 40k games.

Well it might be true that there could be balance issues with Psykers having Offence (or Defence), but I think it makes so much more sense that a psyker would have cheaper Weapon Skill than Strength. Besides, in my games, anyone is free to switch out two Aptitudes (Professional or Characteristic, one of each), so the balance is going to be wonky anyway, if someone chooses to play it like that.

But strictly from the Offence/Defence vs. Strength point of view, the greatest potential balance issue I could see is possibly when it comes to Talents. All Strength-Aptitude Talents are also either Defence or Offence, but there's a fair number of Defence- and Offence-Aptitude Talents that has other secondary aptitudes, such as Weapon Skill.

Still, I stick by my suggestion. I can't wrap my head around a Sanctioned Psyker with the Strength Aptitude. It's unthematical, it's counter-intuitive and it has all the wrong connotations, suggesting all the wrong things. Sanctioned Psykers are shrivelled things that have gone through a massively taxing and gruelling sanctioning process, amounting to nothing short of fasting, torture, indoctrination and surgeries.

A fresh psyker pushed onto a battlefield should be handed a tourniquet and an IV-drip; not the Strength Aptitude.

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