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Author Topic: Making a streamlined 40k system (The Pysker Section)  (Read 7863 times)

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Offline Calamity

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Making a streamlined 40k system (The Pysker Section)
« on: July 3, 2016, 08:18:26 AM »
We were talking about 'Sigmarising' 40k in this thread and it was suggested that I give it a try.  So here I am!

One thing I want to do in this system is to make leadership and morale more important, so that the game is not all about removing models faster than your opponent.  Case in point; I would make it so that Pinning is more potent than it is now.

But since this will be such a big project I think it's best to take it in chunks.

I started with psychic powers, because they should be easy to sort out.  Hopefully. :P 

I'm afraid that I've pretty much just ripped off the current AoS system, because all my attempts to tweak the current 40K system were only making things more complicated.

So here it is:

Some models are noted as being a psyker on their dataslate.  You can use a psyker to manifest powers in the hero phase.  The type and number of powers a psyker can attempt to manifest each turn is detailed on its dataslate. 

A psyker can only attempt to manifest each power once per turn.

Every power has a manifestation value.  Roll 2D6.  If this is equal to or greater than the manifestation value, the power is successfully manifested, even if the psyker suffers from the perils of the warp (see below).

When rolling to manifest powers, double ones or double sixes result in the psyker suffering from the perils of the warp.  The psyker must take a leadership test.  If the test is failed, they suffer D6 mortal wounds.


So far I don't have a Deny The Witch mechanic.  Do we need one?  And how does this system look so far?  Bare in mind, in this AoS style system, most pyskers will probably be stand alone units with double the wounds they currently have.  So D6 mortal wounds is highly dangerous but not necessarily fatal.

What about powers?  How should we approach them?


« Last Edit: July 5, 2016, 04:59:44 PM by Captain Calamity »

Offline magenb

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (starting with psykers)
« Reply #1 on: July 3, 2016, 10:36:08 PM »
hmm I would leave the Wounds as is and drop back to a single Wound suffer from Perils. Giving them extra wounds means they are beefier in assaults and absorbing shots as well.

Roll to manifest should take into account the power of the "spell" and the caster, so level 3 psykers can cast level one spells easly. So roll + cast level or something.

I would also look at restricting psykers to a single line of powers, but to make up for the restriction they get all of them. That should make it easier for datacarding :)


EDIT:corrected typos.

« Last Edit: July 4, 2016, 04:55:51 PM by magenb »

Offline Irisado

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (starting with psykers)
« Reply #2 on: July 4, 2016, 05:34:14 AM »
D6 mortal wounds strikes me as too dangerous.  Armies which depend heavily on psykers or have a lot of psychic powers as part of their narrative would really be heavily penalised by that.  I'm not sure I'd even keep Perils of the Warp to be honest, but if you want to retain it, I'd suggest D3 mortal wounds instead.
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Offline vonny

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (starting with psykers)
« Reply #3 on: July 4, 2016, 08:04:18 AM »
I agree with MagenB that it would be nice to have psyker levels, and perhaps leadership too (what powers used to be tested on), as influences for how well a psyker can cast a spell.

I'm also slightly worried about having psykers be stand alone units for the most part. With the amount of firepower 40k armies can bring, let alone the strength of that firepower, a stand alone unit is unlikely to last very long. Especially if it is a potentially dangerous psyker.

I apologize for not having any helpful suggestions, and only points to keep in mind.  :-[
« Last Edit: July 4, 2016, 08:05:36 AM by vonny »
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Offline Calamity

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (starting with psykers)
« Reply #4 on: July 4, 2016, 12:53:01 PM »
Thank you for the responses guys! :)

A general point that addresses you all; the reason why I was suggesting giving them more wounds is because I was going down the same route AoS went and writing characters as stand alone units in their own right, so as to simplify the whole thing and not have to worry about making a page of rules detailing independent characters etc.  This would require them to have more wounds than they currently do in order to survive, as would all characters.  For example, a Chapter Master level Marine could have 6 wounds, whilst a Captain level Marine could have 5, and Chaplin and Librarians could have 4.  But I'm not entirely set on it at the moment.

@ magenb

I think you're right; it should take into account the caster and the spell.  Like vonny suggested, maybe I should just reinstate the old 5th edition style of rules.  I.e, take leadership tests to pass? 

And I like that idea for easier datacarding.  :)

@ Irisado

Since I was increasing the amount of wounds a typical psyker will have, D6 seemed OK to me.  But I take your point.  D3 mortal wounds might be safer.  And it is true it makes pysker armies more risky, but since the lore of the game is very heavily set on the dangers that messing with the warp brings, I think it would be a shame to cut it out.

@ vonny

Don't apologize!  You raise a good point about the risks of characters going it alone. :)

Finally, I've had a thought about the powers; what if I was to put 'Arcane Bolt' and 'Mystic Shield' from AoS into the game, and give them more 40k names (Smite and Protect?  :-\).  And I can justify it by saying that when all boils down to it, many powers in 40k do the same thing.

Take the Mystic Shield power for instance.  A pyromancer might throw up a fire wall.  A telepath muddles the enemies minds, making the unit invisible.  A divination pysker twists fate to help the unit escape death.  Biomancers can heal their wounds or make them super tough.  And so on and so forth? 


Offline magenb

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (starting with psykers)
« Reply #5 on: July 4, 2016, 05:17:51 PM »
S6-8 is very eaary to find these days, even D is fairly easy to come by, so it s fairly easy to find weapons with strengths that double a psykers/character's toughness. There's going to be a bunch of rules all over the place that would impact Characters if they are on their own, it might be easier or you to simply include IC rules to start with.


If you are not going to have deny the witch roll, then psykers should have access to a dispell/debuff. Maybe something that strips all spells in an area including their own. If you want to get tricky with it it, it could have multple cast rates, so must be cast at power 3 to remove other power 3 spells.


Offline Wyldhunt

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (starting with psykers)
« Reply #6 on: July 5, 2016, 04:22:38 PM »
I think I recognize this thread form a certain other forum. ;)

It sounds like you're planning a pretty significant overhaul of the default 40k system, and that makes it very difficult to comment on anything in a vacuum.  I'd have to absorb the basics of the system before I could really comment on a specific part of it like psychic powers.  For general psychic phase simplifying guidelines, I'll reiterate what I recently posted in that certain other forum:

"If you want to simplify psychic powers, why not consider going back to something like the 5th edition psychic system? Personally, I like the idea of something like this:
* Psychic powers are no longer random; you buy them with points like any other piece of wargear.
*A given model can cast a number of powers each turn equal to its mastery level.
* To cast a power, simply make a Leadership test. The power goes off if you pass the test. Perils of the Warp happens on double 6 or double 1.
* Perils is just a wound to the psyker with no saves allowed (barring special gear like ghost helms or psychic helms or what have you that specify otherwise).
* Powers have a "Warp Charge" or "Difficulty Rating" or whatever you want to call it. The psyker takes a penalty to his psychic power casting leadership test equal to the WC or DR or whatever of the power. "

Offline Calamity

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (starting with psykers)
« Reply #7 on: July 5, 2016, 05:18:06 PM »
S6-8 is very eaary to find these days, even D is fairly easy to come by, so it s fairly easy to find weapons with strengths that double a psykers/character's toughness. There's going to be a bunch of rules all over the place that would impact Characters if they are on their own, it might be easier or you to simply include IC rules to start with.


If you are not going to have deny the witch roll, then psykers should have access to a dispell/debuff. Maybe something that strips all spells in an area including their own. If you want to get tricky with it it, it could have multple cast rates, so must be cast at power 3 to remove other power 3 spells.

The strength issue will be tweaked too.  And I'd replace instant death with mortal wounds.  But I'll cover that in another thread.  Suffice to say, I will try to make stand alone characters work.  ;D

And I don't want to make things too complicated.  Honestly, I think I can get around the deny the witch issue by including leadership tests for the target unit in the power.  They pass, they're ok or they're not as badly hit.

@ Wyldhunt

Ah yes, you're talking about that lookalike of mine on that other forum.  He's always stealing my ideas.

You are correct though, I am pretty much revamping the game from the ground up.  Maybe I should have started with the core mechanics rather than with the psychic powers, but in my defense I thought they would be easier than this. :P

Your layout is pretty good though.  I like it, but I still like the idea of random numbers of wounds for perils though, to account for the randomness of the warp.  And the difficultly rating idea is good too.  I'm just worried about overdoing the number of rules within the system.

Honestly only play testing will tell.

You mentioned purchasing powers: maybe that can be combined with a masterly level?  I mentioned this idea before in another thread of the warp charge of a power being its 'price' and the pyskers level being its 'currency'.  So a level two Pysker could buy either one warp charge 2 power or two warp charge 1 powers.

Again though, I feel like I'm overdoing things.

Offline Wyldhunt

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (starting with psykers)
« Reply #8 on: August 5, 2016, 01:14:47 PM »


@ Wyldhunt

Ah yes, you're talking about that lookalike of mine on that other forum.  He's always stealing my ideas.

You are correct though, I am pretty much revamping the game from the ground up.  Maybe I should have started with the core mechanics rather than with the psychic powers, but in my defense I thought they would be easier than this. :P

Your layout is pretty good though.  I like it, but I still like the idea of random numbers of wounds for perils though, to account for the randomness of the warp.  And the difficultly rating idea is good too.  I'm just worried about overdoing the number of rules within the system.

Honestly only play testing will tell.

You mentioned purchasing powers: maybe that can be combined with a masterly level?  I mentioned this idea before in another thread of the warp charge of a power being its 'price' and the pyskers level being its 'currency'.  So a level two Pysker could buy either one warp charge 2 power or two warp charge 1 powers.

Again though, I feel like I'm overdoing things.

The fact that Perils of the Warp exists at all reflects the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the warp pretty well.  "You sure you want me to use my magic powers, boss?  There's a nonzero chance that my head will explode."  The thing about making it multiple wounds is that it really, really hurts psykers in a potentially very unfun way.  Even the current 7th edition Perils table only has one result that does more than a single wound to the psyker. 

Here's the thing: A librarian or farseer taking a wound from perils hurts. It makes you go, "Ouch! I'm very nervous about continuing to use my powers with such reckless abandon!" A single wound gets that message across.

Taking two wounds means your librarian simply dies. He's gone. You put 100 points into him?  Well your mildly bad luck and a completely average roll on a d3 says he's gone now.  It gets even worse with more powerful (usually named) psykers.  You took Ahriman? Sure, he's less likely to do to a single perils, but he still could. And when you lose him, you lose a much larger chunk of your army than a bare-bones sorcerer.

The warp is wild, sure, but that doesn't mean you have to add a bunch of random rolls to everything related to it. :)

I actually kind of like the idea of taking a page from the Fantasy Flight books and allowing psykers to intentionally cast more "safely" than normal at the cost of being less likely to cast the power. So you might choose one of three modes when casting a power:

Safe: Harder to cast the power, but perils aren't a thing.
Normal:  Standard rules apply.
Super Saiyan: Much higher chance of perils or even auto-perils, but you can automatically cast the power.

The "Mastery Levels as currency" thing is a neat idea, but I'm not sure it would really work out.  Looking at Farseers, for instance, many of their powers are WC2. So taking a classic combo of Doom and Fortune would be impossible, and you'd never know more than two powers assuming you're drawing purely from the Runes of Fate table. 

For a librarian, you'd have to spend the points to upgrade to ML2 just to have the choice of purchasing half of the powers in the game. 

So ML as currency for powers will significantly reduce the flexibility of psykers.  It basically makes them worse across the board.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you want psykers to be worse than they currently are, but you should probably reduce their cost by a ton to compensate. After all, that ML2 librarian just went from having 3 powers (with psychic focus) to potentially having just 1. And that's after he paid for a second mastery level.

What I like personally is essentially the 5th edition way of purchasing powers:
*Psykers start at a lower cost than they are right now.
*All powers have a set points cost.
*Psykers can buy as many powers as they want (there's no reason for them not to learn new ways to use their abilities considering the variety of things we know psykers can do in the fluff/novels).
*You can only cast a number of powers each turn equal to your ML.

I'm tempted to change that last one to, "You can only cast a number of powers whose total WC equals your ML," but that unintentionally punishes things like librarians quite a bit.

Offline Calamity

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Re: Making a streamlined 40k system (The Pysker Section)
« Reply #9 on: August 6, 2016, 12:22:55 PM »
Thanks for the reply Wyldhunt.  :)

Different casting levels for the powers sounds like a good idea, but I'm worried about overly complicating things.  You're all right about the multiple wounds btw; it is too much, even if the average pysker had 4 wounds.  So I'll stick to just one wound if the pysker fails a leadership test.

Purchasing powers sounds like a good idea.  Personally, I was looking at a table of six common powers (smite being one of them) available to everyone, with some pyskers having unique powers on their dataslates too.  Because as I look at a lot of powers, they're basically the same.  :D

 


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