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Offline Spectral Arbor

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Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« on: April 4, 2016, 11:05:51 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm not normally much for Forging, but I'm interested in how 9th Age of Warhammer seems to have taken off, and if 8th edition 40k rolls out and it's... Siggy... than I'd be on board for being a part of the solution. I'm not great at coming up with names for things... so imagine a cool name for things that are called "Power 3".

Anyhow, I've been talking with people about the psychic phase. I like the separate phase. I'm not even opposed to the Warp-Charge-Harness mechanic, though I think it needs tweaking.

In general, the random x random x random x random nature of the current system is not acceptable. I wouldn't bring a tank to a battle without knowing what guns it has. I wouldn't bring a Psyker to a battle without knowing his powers.

To that end, I've got some ideas, and this seems like the place to start fleshing them out. Nothing set in stone... hell... some things are just jelly right now.

General Rules

Psykers generate the following number of Warp Charge [WC] dice, determined by their level.

Lv 1: 2 Dice
Lv 2: 3 Dice
Lv 3: 5 dice
Lv 4: 6 dice

Each additional psyker level above 4 generates one more die.

Psykers may only use their "own" dice when attempting to manifest powers, there is no "pooling" of dice between models, unless specified, such as in the rules for Brother Hood of Psykers / Sorcerrors. [I'm going to change the BoP rules a bit...]

Psykers may attempt to manifest a number of powers equal to their level, provided they have enough dice to potentially succeed. They may not attempt to manifest the same power more than once, unless specified.

In order to successfully manifest a power, a psyker must harness enough warp charge to meet or exceed the warp charge value of a given power. The psyker may roll as many dice as they wish, from the dice they have available. Unless specified, a warp charge will be successfully harnessed on a roll of a 3+. Whether successfully harnessed or not, the dice rolled are expended in the attempt.

Psykers have access to their Primaris power/s [Based on Faction / Chaos God / Whatever] and additionally may choose to know the powers from one Discipline, below. [Yup, they'll have a lot of powers to choose from. :) ]

Deny the Witch will work on a deleting successes method, not all or nothing. A unit will have one roll base, plus one for non-psyker IC, plus one for Psykers [relative level will play a factor] and rules like Adamantium Will. A unit can attempt to deny if the target of a power, or if within 12" of a power that does not target them. Only one DtW attempt can be made per power. A little loosey goosey for now, I admit.


Protection:

Impenetrable Armour: WC 1 – A target unit within 12” of the psyker gains a 5+ invulnerable save. This save is improved by 1 for each warp charge successfully harnessed beyond the first. For example, if 3 WC are successfully harnessed, the unit gains a 3+ invulnerable save. This effect lasts until the caster's next psychic phase.

Swirling Mist: WC 1 – A target unit within 12” of the psyker gains the Shrouded special rule. If the unit already has the Shrouded special rule, the unit gains Stealth instead. This effect lasts until the caster's next psychic phase.

Fortune's Favour: WC 2 – A target unit within 12” of the psyker must reroll failed saving throws. This effect lasts until the caster's next psychic phase.

Hero's Fate: WC 3 – A target unit within 12” of the psyker gains the Hard to Hit rule. [Hard to Hit is changed to force re-rolls of succesful to-hit rolls.] This effect lasts until the caster's next psychic phase.


Destruction:

Hatred: WC 1 – The psyker makes a shooting attack with the following profile. The Strength and AP of the attack are each improved by one, for each WC succesfully harnessed beyond the first. For example, if 3 WC are succesfully harnessed, the attack is made at Strength 6 and AP 3.

Range: 24”     Strength: 4     AP: 5     Assault - 6

Fury: WC 1 – The psyker gains +2 Strength, +2 Attacks, and the Smash special rule.

Wrath: WC 2 – The psyker makes a shooting attack with the following profile.

Range: 24”     Strength: 8     AP: 3     Assault – 1, Large Blast

Appocalypse: WC 3 – The psyker makes a shooting attack with the following profile.

Range 18”     Strength: D     AP: 1     Assault – 1, Small Blast


Augmentation:

True Aim: WC 1 – A target unit within 6” of the psyker gains +1 to their Weapon Skill and Balistic Skill. This bonus increases by 1 for each WC succesfully harnessed beyond the first. For example, if 3 WC are succesfully harnessed, the target unit's WS and BS are each increased by 3.

No Quarter: WC 1 – A target unit within 6” of the psyker gains the Ignores Cover special rule.

Blistering Heat: WC 2 – A target unit within 6” of the psyker gains +1 Strength to all of their attacks, and the AP value of their attacks is improved by 1. If an attack would be made at Strength 10, there is no strength benefit. If the attack would be made at AP 1, there is no AP benefit.

Warp Time: WC 3 – A target unit within 6” of the psyker gains the following benefit. Each model may make one additional attack with either a shooting weapon or close combat weapon this turn. Choose either shooting or close combat attacks when the power is succesfully manifested.

[This power seems complicated and possibly under powered for the “teir 3” power. Any suggestions?]

Curses:

Sickness: WC 1 – The psyker targets a unit within 18”. That unit suffers a -1 penalty to their Toughness / Armour Value. The penalty is increased by 1 for each warp charge successfully harnessed beyond the first. For example, if 3 WC are successfully harnessed, the unit suffers -3 to their Toughness / Armour Value. If this would modify a unit's Toughness or Armour value to below 1, the value is reduced to 1 instead. This effect lasts until the caster's next psychic phase.

Brittleness: WC 1 – The psyker targets a unit within 18”. Attacks made against that unit gain the Rending special rule. This effect lasts until the caster's next psychic phase.

??: WC 2 – The psyker targets a unit within 18”. Attacks made against this unit gain the Instant Death rule, and re-roll failed to wound rolls. This effect lasts until the caster's next psychic phase.

Blindness: WC 3 – The psyker targets a unit within 18”. Attacks made by the targeted unit must reroll successful to hit and to-wound rolls / rolls that results in the loss of HP to a vehicle. This effect lasts until the caster's next psychic phase.


[Movement Spells]:

Working on it. I'd like to be able to have units kept in “summoning” reserve, that you can pull out and deploy by deep strike and/or outflank. Units stay in reserve until summoned. Also, a 12” move spell, and maybe something else. I'm tired and such. :)


Please feel free to add comments or suggestions! In particular, are the powers relatively balanced between each other? Is there one discipline you'd always take, or never take?

I could alter the "harness value" to 4+ instead of 3+ for specific powers, to fine-tune the WC / Power level.
« Last Edit: April 4, 2016, 11:09:09 PM by Spectral Arbor »

Offline Calamity

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #1 on: April 5, 2016, 05:48:13 PM »
You've done good here Spectral.  :)

Now my main problem is that I just don't have the experience necessary to adequately assess the mechanics behind your system.  I wish I did.  :P

If I'm honest, I feel as though the mechanics for casting the powers as it stands in the BRB are OK.  It's the method of getting the powers that needs work in my opinion.  It's the random generation that bugs me.  You paid for the pysker, so you should get your chosen powers.

There is however the inherent problem of letting people pick their own powers.  They'll immediately go for the best one and never pick the others.

I had an idea.  Bit crazy but here me out.  What if each discipline was divided into three parts; the primarus power, then the offensive powers, and the defence powers.  The offensive powers are 3 powers that hit the enemy, either as witch fire powers or malediction so etc, and the defensive powers are 3 blessings.  A pysker chooses a discipline, and gets the primarus power.  They then roll a d3 on the offensive powers, and a d3 on the defensive powers.  So a pysker will know at a minimum 3 powers.  The number of powers they can manifest a turn is equal to their masterly level.  And the number of disciplines they can choose from is also equal to their masterly level.  But if they stick to just one discipline then they get...a bonus.  :P

Let's take biomancy in this system for example.  I would make Leech Life the primarus power now (in my opinion a biomancer should at the very least be able to manipulate life forces like it was water.  Also, this power has both offensive and defensive capabilities so it's a good middle).  So if you make your pysker a biomancer you get leech life regardless.  Then there's the three 'offensive powers': Smite, Enfeeble and Haemorrhage (maybe not in that order).  Roll a d3 to see which one you get.  Then there's the three 'defensive powers': Iron Arm, Warp Speed and Endurance.  Again, roll a d3 to see which one you get.

A level one pysker can only manifest one power a turn, so the player has to choose carefully over what they want the pysker to do.  A level 2 pysker can manifest two powers a turn, so they become more tactically useful.  Also, they can generate powers from two different disciplines, so again they get better.  A level 4 pysker will be outright lethal, generating 12 powers from four different disciplines and being able to manifest four powers a turn.

I was inspired by the age of Sigmar system where every wizard knows 2 standard powers in addition to their warscroll powers.  And I looked at trying to bring that into 40k.  It's really rough at the moment though so it'll need work big time.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: April 5, 2016, 05:51:18 PM by Captain Calamity »

Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #2 on: April 6, 2016, 07:22:36 PM »
Well, I want to eliminate the random powers altogether. I think it's bullamphetamine parrot. So I'm [personally] more interested in making the powers balanced against each other internally, being relative WC with potential "Harness Rolls" made more difficult for powers that are simply "better" than a similar WC 1 spell, for example.

I also want the powers balanced externally, in the context of 40k. For example, a +1 to hit for a unit is less valuable than giving that unit's opponents -1 to hit that unit. Which makes balancing the Curses against the Protection / Augmentation spells tricky.

"Direct Damage" spells from the Destruction discipline are also tricky. You have to make them better than a similar points worth of "Bodies with Guns" would be, or give access to something you might otherwise have trouble getting... like the "D" attack.

And then the "Movement" spells. I'm intimidated by them. They're practically valueless to a high mobility army, like Eldar, but invaluable to armies like Astra Militarum. "Tee-Hee, I deep strike my squadron of Banewolves right beside you. Tee-hee! Oh, and my Blob-Squad is now in your Deployment Zone. Tee-Hee."

So I might have to limit those powers to "Psyker and a unit he's joined" instead of giving them ranges, because it would be pretty tempting to just start bombing your opponent with bodies. :)

For the "Gets better per success" power for Movement, I'm thinking the Psyker and his unit may move up to "X" inches per success. I like the idea of 3" per, but am also thinking about 4. I've tried to make a "3 success" be pretty powerful, worth trying for a high-level Psyker to dump all their dice into, even. So at 4" per success, that would give 3 successes a 12" move. Which given that I don't plan to allow it to prevent assault... might be too powerful. So I'm torn. I want to make it good and exciting, but not OP. lulz.
« Last Edit: April 6, 2016, 07:41:47 PM by Spectral Arbor »

Offline Calamity

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #3 on: April 6, 2016, 07:53:25 PM »
Since we last spoke I had another idea about generating the powers.  I'll just toss it at you to see what you think.

What if you used your pyskers Masterly Level as a 'currency' with which to buy powers for that pysker, with the Warp Charges of the powers being used as their 'price'.  For every masterly level the pysker has, they can buy one warp charge worth of powers.

Lets say you have a Masterly Level One Pysker.  That means they have 1 point with which to buy powers.  The vast majority of powers are Warp Charge 1.  So the pysker simply picks which Warp Charge 1 power that they want, and due to Psychic Focus, they'll get the Primarus Power from that Discipline as well.

Now lets say that you have a Masterly Level Two pysker.  They have 2 points with which to buy powers with.  So, they could buy two Warp Charge 1 powers from the same Discipline (and get the Primarus power to boot), or one Warp Charge 2 power (while also gaining the Primarus of that powers Discipline) or buy two Warp Charge 1 powers from two separate Disciplines (with no free Primarus Powers because they aren't Focused). 

This means that there is now no way for level one Pyskers to get the more powerful powers (cough, Invisibility) and if you want to get those powers, you must upgrade their masterly levels.  With the upside being that they might have fewer powers over all.  As things currently stand, a Level 2 Pysker might know three Powers (Invisability, some other Telepathic power and, due to focus, Psychic Shriek).  Under this system, the same Pysker would now only know Terrify and Psychic Shriek.

I hope that made some sense.  :P

Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #4 on: April 6, 2016, 09:56:09 PM »
Not bad. Removes the random, but creates an all or nothing scenario in which EVERYONE takes Invisibility... plus more or less powers depending on Level 2+.

There are no powers that compete with it, if you play straight out of the book. Which is the only redeeming factor of the current system. It's not guaranteed to give you Invis, though some psykers [Tigurius] can focus and have a 75% chance of getting it.

Anyhow. Invis is the uber-buff for uber-units. Invisible Wraithknight, invisible Imperial Knight, invisible SM Super Friends, invisible D-Scythes, invisible Riptides. It can happen. Invisible units of Necron Warriors. You can't get more durable per point, I don't think.

Even Russ squadrons don't seem suicidal if they're invisible. And soooo many powers are garbage. If you get stuck with them it's just like getting slapped in the face with a handful of amphetamine parrot.

[I've had that happen, in real life. I worked in a Nursing Home for a year. Dementia is usually a terrible thing, but sometimes, you get a funny story out of it.]

Which is the crux of my effort to balance internally and externally. If you get to choose from the existing powers, lv 1 Psykers disappear. Lv 2 all take Invis. Lv 3 will take Invis plus Guide... or Doom, or something along those lines. To the best of my knowledge, outside of Special Characters, Imperial Forces are limited to ML 2, other than GK's. So everyone will take Lv 2 psykers, Blast / Template weapons will disappear, and we will finally have the game 40k was meant to be. Who can roll more 6's? ;)

Offline Calamity

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #5 on: April 7, 2016, 08:26:04 PM »
Then we'll need to rebalance the powers.  I like what your doing with your list of new powers.  For the sake of comparison, I'll try to rebalance the existing powers.  Maybe we can eventually merge the best ideas together?  ;)

I'll start with Pryomancy, because that's the unfavorite of the bunch.  It's only a light infantry killer, except for molten beam.  So we would have to make it more useful overall.

First of all; I'd change Flame Breath to S:6 AP:3.  Now it's a reliable MEQ killer as well as a hoarde burner.  And maybe now it can compete with Smite.  I can justify it by saying that it's warp fire, not regular fire.  ;)

Then, I would grant Fear to both Fiery Form and Fire Shield's lists of benefits.  Because trying to fight fire is probably scary.  ;D

I'd give both Spontaneous Combustion and Sunburst the Blind special rule.  Now they're useful beyond being light infantry cookers and it's a round about way to introduce curse like abilities to the Discipline.

And Inferno and Molten Beam could have there Warp Charge levels decreased to 1.  Because they're just a big shooty flamer and melta gun respectively.

So now, pyromancy moves beyond being just a light infantry killer, and it's the 'cheap discipline' with mostly level one powers.  Very useful for level one pyskers, who'll get a deadly flamer weapon in addition to some other (hopefully) useful skills.

What do you think?

Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #6 on: April 7, 2016, 10:52:18 PM »
I'd say that I'd need to see the rest of the powers to judge balance between them. :)

Offline Calamity

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #7 on: April 8, 2016, 10:17:09 PM »
Here's Telepathy, the home of the trouble maker.  ;)

Psychic Shriek, Dominate and Mental Fortitude are all unchanged.  They're good as they are. 

For Terrify, increase the Leadership penalty to -2.  A lot of armies are Fearless and/or have high Leadership, so -1 just won't cut it.

For Shrouding, increase the range to 12" (edited from 18.  That's probably too much).  Cover Saves are easily bypassed, and at the current range, you would struggle to cover most of your own unit.

Invisibility.  Oh boy...what do we do with this one.  :P

Here's my suggestion; all shooting attacks against a unit with Invisibility are BS 1.  And all Melee attacks against them need 5s or 6s to hit them.  In other words, when attacking it, enemy units act as if they effectively failed a Blind test.  Which makes sense...you're Invisible...they're fighting you Blind

So, template weapons are a good counter against them.  And you always can assault it for better odds.

Compare this to my new rules for those two Pyromancy Powers...they're direct damage with the chance to Blind against an effective auto Blind.  Hopefully that's balance.  ;)

Finally there's Hallucination...it's considered pretty poor.  Well, how about this...take the random element out of it and just let the player decide what they want the power to do.  Since we're eliminating the random why buck the trend?  ;)
« Last Edit: April 8, 2016, 10:30:00 PM by Captain Calamity »

Offline khaine

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 04:32:12 AM »
And Inferno and Molten Beam could have there Warp Charge levels decreased to 1.  Because they're just a big shooty flamer and melta gun respectively.

Molten Beam is a bit more than a Melta Gun, in the right situation it can devastate a unit of Terminators...

If you're redesigning Psychic powers it worth keeping in mind that a lot of them are more than just a fancy shooting attack (Nova, Focused and Beam)

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 07:46:10 AM »
Molten Beam is a bit more than a Melta Gun, in the right situation it can devastate a unit of Terminators...

If you're redesigning Psychic powers it worth keeping in mind that a lot of them are more than just a fancy shooting attack (Nova, Focused and Beam)

I went and reread the rules for beam and...yeah, maybe it should stay at Warp Charge 2.  :P

But what about the rest?  Blind for Spontaneous Combustion and Sunburst, Fear for Fiery Form and Fire Sheild, AP 3 for Flame Breath and decreased Warp Charge for Inferno?

Offline Fenris

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Re: Spectral wants to muck about with the Psyker Mechanics.
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2016, 06:55:45 PM »
I like the idea of reforging the psychic mechanics, as they are too unbalanced currently, and random powers might work for some armies but not for others.

However I don't think the WC list by ML is any better than the current +D6 you get for the first psyker you have.

In general those powers are well balanced between eachother, however I still think they are a bit to hard to cast successfully and a bit too powerful.

In addition I would prefer most powers to be scalable by how well you manage to cast them, so the extra +1 strength for each successful dice is good.

I like how the powers are categorized by what they generally do, and that would be nice if the powerpicking stay random, however I'm not a fan of them being random to start with.


Instead I think we should be looking at increasing the bonus for sticking to one school of magic, meanwhile giving all psykers access to most schools of magic, with the fluff explanation of all psykers learn how to throw a fireball, however every race has a different way of teaching it.

Here's what I think:

The primaris power of all schools should be the most powerful one, at least comparred to it's WC cost. These primaris powers can only be taken by ML2 psykers or higher, and only by having psychic focus.
Some powers like "force weapon" do not belong to any school and do not break the focus.

All powers should be bought by the psykers presence in the warp (usually their mastery level) as a currency.


As for the current invisibility power I think it should be changed to:

For each successfully harnessed warp charge, all enemy units lower their BS and WS by 1, their WS or BS can never go below 1, but can be lowered from WS10 to WS1, with 9 successful dices.


I'll throw in some suggestions for movement powers too:


Warptime WC 1 (blessing)
1 harnessed WC: Time moves slower around the model, which allows the model to immediately make an extra movement equally to a normal movement phase.
2 same thing but the model and his unit.
3 same for all friendly units within 12".
4 any friendly units on the board. (essentially an extra movement phase)

Pneumantic Teleportation WC 1 (blessing)
1 Strong winds takes hold of the psyker and his unit and they are immediately moved 2D6, ignoring terrain.
2 Same but a unit within 12" moves 12".
3 The psyker and his unit is immediately moved to anywhere you want on the board, but not within 12" of any enemy psykers. If the psyker is an IC he can choose to only move himself instead and is allowed to detach and attach from and to any friendly units. (that he normally could detach from or attach to)

Fleet of warp WC1 (blessing)
1 The psyker and his unit gains fleet for the turn.
2 The psyker and his unit gains fleet and hammer of wrath.
3 All friendly units within 12" gains fleet and hammer of wrath
4 All friendly models on the table gains fleet and hammer of wrath and ignores terrain.(except impassable)
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