Psi -- Open Discussion

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RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Psi -- Open Discussion

This thread is for open discussion of the Psi chapter, which will be posted up with the new playtest pack later tonight.

As always, we're looking for:
* Typos, bad grammar, and other mistakes
* Broken rules
* Confusing text
* General feedback on what you think!

We'll be posting some specific playtest questions soon.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

ApSciLiara ApSciLiara's picture
I'm going to come right out

I'm going to come right out and say this: as it stands, Psi is stupid. Psi is utterly stupid. Please don't get me wrong, I love that you don't have to take strain every time you use a sleight, but... every time you use a psi-gamma sleight, you have to add +5 to your Infection Rating? It really feels like you're encouraging people not to use Psi by adding all this stuff, and I really don't like it.

Upon a re-read, with people pointing stuff out to me (HOW DID I MISS "Easing the Infection"), this doesn't seem so bad? I still don't like that you have to take Alien Behavioural Disorder instead of just choosing two Mental Disorders like in the old rules. And I'm not the biggest fan of the Infection Rating increasing every time you use one of those sleights - although I suppose it makes sense, with the pool stuff refreshing too.

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
We had a few primarily goals

We had a few primarily goals with updating asyncs. One was to make asyncs more weird and alien -- that was our intention with EP1, but we didn't quite hit it. The solution was to highlight the role of the infection more and play up the alien behavior. We also wanted to re-evaluate strain. Thus that disorder is now the default, and the more you use your psi, the stronger your infection gets, and the more likely you are to act out in weird, alien ways. The list of compulsions is a work in progress. The pick 6 and add them to your character sheet idea is an attempt to keep it simple (so you don't need to look up the chart every time) and can be used as a way to provide a personality to your particular infection strain.

We also wanted to make the sleights more useful, so there's a much wider selection, and there are ways to super-charge them, at a cost. We're not 100% sold on all of the sleights we have listed, so we'd appreciate feedback on which ones you like and which ones you don't.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

MagisterCrow MagisterCrow's picture
"An async sleeved into a

"An async sleeved into a biomorph with a brain..." I hope means cyberbrain, otherwise, psi can't be used in the game :p

Minor bits aside, I feel like I'll need to see this played a bit more long term to determine the effects since the infection rating is quite a game changer.

MagisterCrow MagisterCrow's picture
Looking at it...

Ok, my general thoughts as someone who liked psi in 1.0.

1) Much as I like it, the Infection Rating strikes me as something that optimizers will look at and take one of two directions: all psi-chi or all psi-gamma. As it stands, mixed psi characters are mechanically discouraged since the building of psi-chi slights works against them. Pure chi never worries about it and pure gammas stay at 20% if they don't invest in chi at all.

2) Mechanically, this means emergent psi types are discouraged. I won't want to play someone who fiddles at level one, picking up, say, 6 slights and upgrade to gamma later because that's a 50/50 of causing strain every time.

3) I am in something of a bind because I recognize why that limit is there as it is, but want some way to make a mixed character without it being a crippling issue. it's especially a problem in longer games. Only solution I can think of is maybe a way to buy it down with RP? Even a positive trait so there's a hard cap, but something to show a character trying to get control.

Vae Dei Vae Dei's picture
First thoughts...

1) I like the new Infection Rating system. It covers the 'your mind is turning into something not human' better than "having mental disorders and nosebleeds" did.

2) I like the sleight selection! It covers a lot of neat options. Need to look over them in more detail.

3) The Psi-Chi sleights that give +1 to a pool - Qualia etc. - seem... very, very good? Given how hard it is to increase pools otherwise. They're also a nice example of why a psi-chi only character would supercharge a sleight.

4) Likewise Invigorate. Combat PC in a fury goes, burns all of their Vigor on extra actions, and the next turn the group's async Invigorates them (supercharging for range, probably). Repeat until the combat PC is out of short recharges. You've just gotten a massive advantage in the fight, but now the group has to wait for a long recharge before doing anything that risks another fight.

4) Strain mods seem very odd and lonely, now that most of the time psi won't cause strain. Maybe modifiers to infection tests instead, or something like that? And, given strain mods, the lack of strain mods on psi-chi sleights seems odd, since those can now cause strain by supercharging. If there are no other changes to how strain mods or the psi-chi sleights that give +1 to a pool work, those would be obvious candidates for imposing a strain mod on, to make super-charging them less of an obvious choice.

5) Speaking of temporary boosts to pools - and I haven't reread the new game mechanics chapter yet, so it might be there - how does that work with recharges? Do I get a new point of Insight each time I supercharge Qualia/use Burst of Clarity? First time I use it between short recharges? Long recharges?

6) Might have missed this, but what type of action is supercharging a psi-chi sleight?

7) Might just be me, but "supercharging" sounds out of place. It makes me think of some tech-themed superhero in an old cheery comic book. "Overcharging"? "Overloading"?

8) Worried by Magister Crow's observations, but need to look at the issue in more detail before I comment. I like the idea of a trait for reducing IR, but worry that it immediately becomes a must-buy-at-character-creation for all asyncs (except psi-chi only asyncs who don't supercharge).

swordchucks swordchucks's picture
The comments in earlier

The comments in earlier documents about psi-chi and psi-gamma make sense now. I actually like the divide, but the above comment about it discouraging a mixed approach to psi are valid.

Page 2 - Morphs and Psi - In the last sentence, I think you mean "with a cyberbrain".

Page 3 - Feeding the Alien Within - I'm assuming that multiple uses of the same sleight are cumulative, but you might want to spell that out. I'm sure it'll come up quite a lot if it's not there.

Page 4 - Strain Effects - Can we change 68-70 into "fascinated with" instead of "sexally attracted to"? It just feels like it's going to be a problem. Overall... I'm a little wary about these. They seem like they're going to result in more "jester" behavior than "alien" behavior.

Page 5 - Enhanced Creativity - This should also add to appropriate Exotic skills since most art stuff has moved there (unless it moves again).

Page 5 - Heightened Awareness - Surprise tests are Percieve tests. I'd change it to "+10 to Percieve tests and does not suffer distracted penalty on Surprise tests." to make it really worth a sleight.

Moon-Hawk Moon-Hawk's picture
Infection tests, takeover, and supercharging

So on a critical infection test, when the infection seizes control of your mind and does stuff for you, including using more psi sleights, how does that affect your infection rating? Unless I missed it (very possible, I confess to a quick read), it would seem that it blows your infection rating way up. Particularly if the virus is also supercharing its sleights, I mean, why wouldn't it? Unless it isn't allowed to? Alternatively, one could imagine that one of these takeover episodes "slakes the beast" and actually lowers infection rating, which could make them a sort of mixed blessing in some circumstances. Or maybe there's simply no effect when "the virus" is doing it instead of you. Frankly, they're all viable options, but they're going to have dramatically different effects on the way this mechanic feels.

Along the same lines and echoing Vae Dei's point about supercharging sounding out of place, what about terminology like "surrendering" the sleight, letting the infection take over just a little bit on purpose, and gaining infection rating in return for a little more of the power. It turns the term around, and reinforces the idea that there's something inherently "other" present within the character.

While we're at it, those mechanics could complement each other interestingly, depending on exactly how they're implemented. The idea of giving in a little bit to access more power, but not giving in so much you lose control, except maybe sometimes that isn't all bad, and trying to walk that line. I don't want to say Incredible Hulk, but if losing control of your character to your infection rating means a few rounds of running around with supercharged slights doing whatever the GM feels is appropriate, that could allow for a lot of flexibility, good as well as bad consequences, and all around sounds a lot more fun than simply saying "stop playing the game for 6 turns while I ruin your day." They may still be losing control, but it feels more diverse, and allows more adaptability on the GM's part to tailor how that sort of thing goes in his game, to better complement the tone of the table. It's up to the GM how horrific those few rounds of berserk exsurgent rampage are, but gives them a lot of possibilities.
(Clearly, this section was semi-manic brainstorming, take with a huge grain of salt)

Also, possibly unrelated point, but it would be nice if there were an alien takeover option alternative to giving the GM yet another character to play while taking a player out of the game. I absolutely like it as the default, don't take it away, but maybe add an option like, "On a critical success, the infection seizes control of your character’s mind; the GM controls what you do on your next 1d6 action turns. Alternatively, the GM may choose to have you retain control of the character as long as you act appropriately, and actively roleplay <???> for the duration." Where <???> is "three simultaneous compulsions", or "an appropriately apeshit alien berserk", or whatever. Some option to keep the player playing and ease the GM's load would be valuable.

Yorublaireau Yorublaireau's picture
Quite liking the new rules!

Hey, coming here to say I quite like the direction it's going.

However, as pointed out above by others, I have a few concern:
- Mixing psi-chi and psi-gamma seems like it become very easy to get a high Infection Rating, making it hard to play a "emergent". Is that voluntary?
- Playing psi-chi only seems pretty safe if you don't supercharge. A bit too safe IMO.
- "Supercharging" sounds a bit too tech-y, like others have said. I quite like "overloading" and "surrendering" suggested above.

The only real question I have for clarification is:
The sleight "Implant skills" says "Implant skill in target's mind". What rating would it be implanted at? The async's?

Leetsepeak Leetsepeak's picture
Is the intention in the final

Is the intention in the final product for each of the Sleights to have more of a full descriptive writeup?

Kojak Kojak's picture
Can an async use Invigorate

Can an async use Invigorate on themself? If so, what's to stop them from just insta-deleting their Infection Rating increases? It costs 5 IR to use but allows you to reduce by 10, effectively. At least if I'm understanding correctly, and perhaps I'm not.

Also, it seems like the length of Temporary sleights should be determined by WIL/5, not SAV/5.

"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
- Steve Webster on Kojak's lollipop

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Kojak wrote:Can an async use

Kojak wrote:
Can an async use Invigorate on themself? If so, what's to stop them from just insta-deleting their Infection Rating increases?

It's possible you're just using up one of your 2 daily short rests (without spending 10 minutes), so you'd quickly run out.

Kojak Kojak's picture
Hm, I read it as meaning that

Hm, I read it as meaning that the target can take their next Complex Action as a "short rest" that takes the duration of the turn. It says nothing about taking them out of your "pool" of two short rests a day, so it didn't occur to me that it would work that way.

"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
- Steve Webster on Kojak's lollipop

o11o1 o11o1's picture
I like the new direction of

I like the new direction of having your PSI trait be more alien, and having it's own personality to it.

Page 5- Qualia's entry seems to have a stray extra indent.

Asyncs not having a lot of options against a synthmorph somewhat worries me.

A slight smell of ions....

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Asyncs never had great

Asyncs never had great options against synthmorphs as they've always been largely immune to Psi. I'd have to double check if the penalty for targeting a Pod has carried over - it didn't jump out at me.

But if you want to stop a synthmorph you should probably switch to brainhacking.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I think this psi stuff has

I think this psi stuff has gotten stronger. I think I have more reason to go full synthetic (to protect myself).

Just checking, does being fully synthetic (synthmorph with cyberbrain) makes you immune to psi attacks?

I didn't see anything about asyncs being more vulnerable to exsurgent viruses and stuff. Is that stuff no longer a thing?

Do asyncs suffer from morph fever any more? When residing within a synthmorph, is the only drawback is that they can't use their psi abilities?

MNMadman MNMadman's picture
Some info...

DivineWrath wrote:
Just checking, does being fully synthetic (synthmorph with cyberbrain) makes you immune to psi attacks?

Page 2 of the Psi chapter, under Targeting:
"You may not target synthmorphs, bots, and vehicles with psi sleights, as they lack biological systems. Pods and biomorphs with cyberbrains are less susceptible; asyncs suffer a –30 modifier against them. Note that infomorphs may never be targeted by psi sleights as psi is not effective within the mesh or simulspace."

This is the exact same as EP1.

DivineWrath wrote:
I didn't see anything about asyncs being more vulnerable to exsurgent viruses and stuff. Is that stuff no longer a thing?

Page 2 of the Psi chapter, under Psi Drawbacks:
"Infection subverts an async’s mind. Each async acquires the Mental Disorder (Alien Behavior Disorder) negative trait (p. XX). Characters with Psi Level 2 must take an additional Mental Disorder trait of their choosing. Neither provides bonus CP. These traits are permanent—they may not be eliminated with psychotherapy, psychosurgery, or Rez Points.

The exsurgent strain that rewires their brain also makes asyncs more vulnerable to mental stress, basilisk hacks, and other strains of the exsurgent virus. They receive both the Instability (p. XX) and Mental Vulnerability (p. XX) traits at a level equal to their Psi level, for no CP bonus. These traits may not be removed."

-----

I didn't see anything about asyncs in synthmorphs, other than not being able to use their sleights.

So far, I like how Asyncs are shaping up.

+Anarchist Interests
+Biochauvinism
+Personal Improvement
+Revenge
+Survival

Surly Surly's picture
It is good and right that

It is good and right that being an async is a pain in the ass, but the rules are too fiddly.
-Infection Rating increases take a lot of bookkeeping to increase the odds of something that's already likely. Someone with psi level 2 has a better-than-even chance of failing a Strain Roll after 4 rolls (0.8^4) even if they have no always-on sleights. If asyncs should be failing even more often, a higher base chance is a lot less painful than keeping track of IR increases and decreases.
-What effects does Alien Behavior Disorder have separate from the effects of Strain?
-The penalty to affect non-human biological life has never made a game more interesting.
-I'd prefer a few suggestions for GMs like the Watts-McLeod Disorders section from Transhuman to a big random roll table. Also, I'd suggest having the compulsions be partly at GM discretion; it allows more creativity and story tie-ins than a fixed table does.
-The critical success effect of letting the GM control your actions for 1d6 turns, on top of the 1d6 minutes of compelled behavior, will happen too often for an effect that harsh.
-Having several different behavior-controlling mechanics on the same character tends to lead to a GM playing that character more than the ostensible player does. Would it be smoother to just run these effects through the normal Lucidity and Stress system, instead of having a separate subsystem?

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Surly wrote:It is good and

Surly wrote:
It is good and right that being an async is a pain in the ass, but the rules are too fiddly.
-Infection Rating increases take a lot of bookkeeping to increase the odds of something that's already likely. Someone with psi level 2 has a better-than-even chance of failing a Strain Roll after 4 rolls (0.8^4) even if they have no always-on sleights. If asyncs should be failing even more often, a higher base chance is a lot less painful than keeping track of IR increases and decreases.
-What effects does Alien Behavior Disorder have separate from the effects of Strain?
-The penalty to affect non-human biological life has never made a game more interesting.
-I'd prefer a few suggestions for GMs like the Watts-McLeod Disorders section from Transhuman to a big random roll table. Also, I'd suggest having the compulsions be partly at GM discretion; it allows more creativity and story tie-ins than a fixed table does.
-The critical success effect of letting the GM control your actions for 1d6 turns, on top of the 1d6 minutes of compelled behavior, will happen too often for an effect that harsh.
-Having several different behavior-controlling mechanics on the same character tends to lead to a GM playing that character more than the ostensible player does. Would it be smoother to just run these effects through the normal Lucidity and Stress system, instead of having a separate subsystem?

I personally rather like having an actual table of suggestions to work with. If everything is just "The GM decides what happens" than that somewhat runs counter to the point of having a set of rules in the first place. Besides, you can view the big table AS a set of suggestions that happens to have a set of random numbers next to each one. That said, I do think I would houserule that players starting as Asyncs should have input on at least some of their Compulsions, to pick ones that best fit a character. There may have been a Rule Zero assumption that creative GMs can just add more slots to the big table. I would definitely expect an eventual PSI expansion to come with a bigger table.

Also, I got the impression that the Player still has control of their character while Compelled, they simply have to work within the bounds of that compulsion.

As for an alternate format to dealing with Infection Rating going up and down (always in increments of five, note) Would you prefer a system where, say, that casting PSI creates 1d6 Stress, and that as your stress increases to various milestones (multiples of 10 perhaps) you begin to activate more and more of your personal Compulsion table? This would mean that even from non-PSI stress your Watts-McLeod could start acting up, but I might be ok with the idea it's trying to take control of you even when you're not actively tapping into it's power.

A slight smell of ions....

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:As for an alternate

Quote:
As for an alternate format to dealing with Infection Rating going up and down (always in increments of five, note) Would you prefer a system where, say, that casting PSI creates 1d6 Stress, and that as your stress increases to various milestones (multiples of 10 perhaps) you begin to activate more and more of your personal Compulsion table? This would mean that even from non-PSI stress your Watts-McLeod could start acting up, but I might be ok with the idea it's trying to take control of you even when you're not actively tapping into it's power.

In general, the concept of the infection rating — a slow slide into derangement and compulsion as one pushes one's powers farther and farther, unless one takes downtime to rest up — is really good.

On the other hand, there are a lot of unique and (as others have noted, fiddly) mechanisms that go with it. The opposed roll being done by the Async player *on behalf of the exsurgent virus* makes sense once it's explained but feels weird, since it inverts the direction of the rolls a player usually makes. Mapping it directly to stress, though, seems like it would be punishingly bad for Async players: the ceiling on LUC is way lower than the potentially-100-point Infection Rating scale, and maxing out IR doesn't automatically leave you catatonic the way hitting LUC does. On a mission where players are taking lots of stress, the average Async would probably be triggering compulsions left and right before even getting a chance to use their powers.

That said, *if* the average stresses generated by gamma sleights were reduced, AND asyncs had some better ways to bleed of stress (say, beefing up the effectiveness of Downtime to reduce all accumulated stress but not disorders and having downtime-level 1d6+x stress healing during normal rests) I could imagine it working. Tricky, but it'd work.

Although it comes with its own problems, it would also solve the "Take a bunch of Chi sleights, never have to worry about infection tests" scenario.

swordchucks swordchucks's picture
Strain

It still feels like the big strain table is just asking for Fishmalk behavior. I'd feel better about it if the compulsions all got moved to the Alien Behavior Disorder writeup and the consequences of strain were like superior successes in that you picked off a table (and with the compulsions gone, there are only six options on the table, one of which is to trigger a disorder, which can be ABD). Since the Breaking Point option is generally worse than the others, maybe it should also reduce infection rating by 5-10 if they pick that and play it properly?

The random factor seems like it's just going to result in annoyance from the other players when the async ruins an entire op because he starts freaking out. Repeatedly.

I kind of feel like I'm missing something in the whole idea behind ABD, anyway. Can we get some idea about what kinds of creatures the virus is actually trying to turn the infected into? The suggested items are... rather random. I know, "alien", but it really just feels "wacky and random" to me.

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Leetsepeak wrote:Is the

Leetsepeak wrote:
Is the intention in the final product for each of the Sleights to have more of a full descriptive writeup?

Yes.

Kojak wrote:
Hm, I read it as meaning that the target can take their next Complex Action as a "short rest" that takes the duration of the turn. It says nothing about taking them out of your "pool" of two short rests a day, so it didn't occur to me that it would work that way.

The intention is that you can take one of your short recharges, but it only takes 1 complex action to rest rather than 10 minutes. So someone could get a short recharge in while in the middle of a fire fight.

DivineWrath wrote:

I didn't see anything about asyncs being more vulnerable to exsurgent viruses and stuff. Is that stuff no longer a thing?

They get the Mental Vulnerability trait.

Surly wrote:

-What effects does Alien Behavior Disorder have separate from the effects of Strain?

It's a disorder and works just like other disorders.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

Kojak Kojak's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Kojak wrote:Hm

RobBoyle wrote:

Kojak wrote:
Hm, I read it as meaning that the target can take their next Complex Action as a "short rest" that takes the duration of the turn. It says nothing about taking them out of your "pool" of two short rests a day, so it didn't occur to me that it would work that way.

The intention is that you can take one of your short recharges, but it only takes 1 complex action to rest rather than 10 minutes. So someone could get a short recharge in while in the middle of a fire fight.

Ok, good to know that's not how that works.

Now, I do want to ask, why SAV/5 for Temporary sleight durations rather than WIL/5? Psi is a WIL-linked skill, after all.

"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
- Steve Webster on Kojak's lollipop

o11o1 o11o1's picture
That did seem odd to me as

That did seem odd to me as well. When I saw it, my thought was "Oh, a small way to make PSI less baked around one single stat". As for why Sav... because it's the other Moxie stat?

A slight smell of ions....

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Kojak wrote:

Kojak wrote:

Now, I do want to ask, why SAV/5 for Temporary sleight durations rather than WIL/5? Psi is a WIL-linked skill, after all.

Yes, to ease psi's reliance on WIL for everything, and to provide another use for SAV.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Alien Neuroparasites - the gift that keeps on giving.

I haven't had time to really get into Psi yet, but here's what's sprung out at me so far;

A) The section's really confusing to read. It would be good if all the various strain mechanics could be collected in a single paragraph instead of being peppered throughout the text.

B) The table for Psi-Chi sleights isn't useful because they're all Passive|Self|Auto|Constant. Likewise the "Type" column in the Gamma sleights.
This seems a waste of space.

C) The 'Burst of X' sleights are confusing. It may be useful to either add the caveat that the point needs to be used the next turn, or that the target gets the advantage of a Pool Bonus without the spend.
An alternate version would be the ability to transfer a point to the target, or allow the target to swap a point between their pools.
(Assuming it's not just a simple extra point, because that would be ludicrously OP.)

D) I'd rename 'Supercharging' to "Empowering'.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

C) The 'Burst of X' sleights are confusing. It may be useful to either add the caveat that the point needs to be used the next turn, or that the target gets the advantage of a Pool Bonus without the spend.
An alternate version would be the ability to transfer a point to the target, or allow the target to swap a point between their pools.
(Assuming it's not just a simple extra point, because that would be ludicrously OP.)

Can you clarify what is confusing about it?

Each gives the target a bonus pool point, which must be used within the sleight's duration (SAV/5 minutes).

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

Maudova Maudova's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote: D) I

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
D) I'd rename 'Supercharging' to "Empowering'.

While I agree that supercharge is not the most evocative, possibly on the side of unengaging, terminology, I am not sure if empowering is the best option either. Possibly going with another Greek character or calling it synchronizing, in the sense that it is more forcefully synchronizing the infection with the mind, therefore boosting its power and inflicting it's symptoms more acutely. Goes with the Chi (soul)/Gamma(wave) theme with Async terminology. It could be theorized by in-game doctors or "Async experts" as a observable (through behavior and stress markers) stochastic resonance with the boost in power of the virus.

my 2 cents

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

swordchucks swordchucks's picture
Supercharge?

Since the use of Supercharge inflicts automatic strain, I'd say a term that more closely relates to overreaching capabilities would be best.

Push
Force
Stress
Overpower
Overreach

Anything like that to emphasize that you're not just making the power, but you're hurting yourself to do it. You're not supposed to push that hard.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
"Pushing" feels like a good

"Pushing" feels like a good terminology, since you're moving out of your safe zone to get more effect. Also Push was a movie about psychic powers, so it's very on point.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Captain The Human Pushing America Torch

ApSciLiara wrote:
I'm going to come right out and say this: as it stands, Psi is stupid. Psi is utterly stupid. Please don't get me wrong, I love that you don't have to take strain every time you use a sleight, but... every time you use a psi-gamma sleight, you have to add +5 to your Infection Rating? It really feels like you're encouraging people not to use Psi by adding all this stuff, and I really don't like it.

This was also my reaction until I saw the "oh btw you can reduce your Infection Rating" thingo 98234768534 pages later. Put that shit near the beginning! I almost had a heart attack.

UnitOmega wrote:
"Pushing" feels like a good terminology, since you're moving out of your safe zone to get more effect. Also Push was a movie about psychic powers, so it's very on point.

Easily one of my top-six Chris-Evans-is-a-superhero-again movies.

Seriously though, I quite enjoyed the movie. Very understated and suspenseful for a "superhero action flick".

And this is also a partial vote for "pushing" as the term of choice, although I don't mind "supercharging" either.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
"Overreach" strikes me as

"Overreach" strikes me as nicely evocative and rarely used by other games. "Push" isn't bad but could be more easily confused with, say, block pushing puzzles.

A slight smell of ions....

Maudova Maudova's picture
Animals and Less Complex Life Forms

This section doesn't really add any fun to the game nor value that I can see readily. Am I alone in this? What's the point of a penalty against neo-baboons, or smart pets? It would seem like gamma sleights would be easier to use on a less willful mind.

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

Maudova Maudova's picture
Supercharging Sleights Clarifiaction/Possible Typo

Second to last line on the last paragraph:
"Instead, it means an Infection Test is made as normal for the supercharged sleight, instead of automatically succeeding."

What is is referencing when it says instead of automatically succeeding? I haven't seen any reference to the infection test automatically succeeding in any of the supercharging description.

In the first paragraph of the description it references automatic DV, "DV 1d6 + strain modifier", but it follows it up with "(you must still make an infection test)".

The odd text seems to indicate that supercharging chi sleights causes the exovirus to immediately succeed at its infection test. Is that true? Or does it just cost 2 moxie to prevent a supercharged chi sleight activation from forcing an infection test?

Please excuse typos I'm almost always typing from my phone.

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

Maudova Maudova's picture
Questions About Powers

Chi Sleight Emotion Control and Gamma Sleight Drive Emotion both refer to "glanding". However there is nothing referred to as glanding in the game that I can tell. Is this referring to the augmentation listed as glands, or is it something else? If it's not glands based what exactly does it do?

Psi Shield states it give +1d10 psi armor. Is that rolled every time a psi power is used to attack the character and subtracted from the total or is it a typo and it's a +10 as per EP1?

Does Implant Skill remove it from the async and give it to the target, or does it just reproduce the async's skill? Can the async implant the Psi skill for the purposes of letting their allies detect when a hostile sleight is used against them? How much of the skill is implanted in the target, is it a base of say 40+10 per superior success or is it an all or nothing effect?

Invigorate, combined with Burst of is pretty powerful as Pools are now the power stats in the game. In theory a async could pop this sleight and supercharge it for 2d6 pool points. I can see a scenario where I spend 2 vigor every round for extra actions using the last to activate invigorate, +1 moxie to prevent the sleight from forcing an infection test, and reliably getting all + some pools points back for two turns. I'm guessing you could reliably gain 7 pool points per turn, meaning a net 6 pool points on average. The wording of Invigorate just says spend a complex ration as a a short recharge.

Somatic Healing seems weak comparatively to other sleights, it also appears out of place. EP1 nano bandages do a similar level of durability restoration and medichines are better. Also I am not even sure I like this ability in an Async's repertoire. Telepathy, mind reading, cooky precognitive effects sure, but I am not really sold on actual healing. I know you don't have to justify it to me but I am curious what is the thought process behind this sleight?

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Maudova wrote:This section

Maudova wrote:
This section doesn't really add any fun to the game nor value that I can see readily. Am I alone in this? What's the point of a penalty against neo-baboons, or smart pets? It would seem like gamma sleights would be easier to use on a less willful mind.

I'm willing to agree that this is primarily an instance of rules bloat rather than a useful limiter. Now, if we want to make it an interesting limit: perhaps your Animal Handling skill counts as a supporting skill when your casting your PSI on a smart cat, and your Know: Factor Lore applies when you need to make those sentient fungi forget what you did in the past five minutes.

A slight smell of ions....

o11o1 o11o1's picture
As for having the healing

As for having the healing slight, it does strike me as a slightly MMO-ish "well of course there's a healing spell" sort of power. Would it give PSI an interesting bit of "weirdness" and a difference from classic magic to just lack such a power?

A slight smell of ions....

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
It probably needs a proper

It probably needs a proper description - but there is a psychological component to wellness. You could very easily have psi make a body speed up healing in the same way you can make them feel reinvigorated or even extra smart or fast or whatever. I like the slowness though.

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Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Quote:Do asyncs suffer from

Quote:
Do asyncs suffer from morph fever any more? When residing within a synthmorph, is the only drawback is that they can't use their psi abilities?

I haven't seen anything that clarifies this so far, and it would be good to know if Morph Fever does/doesn't exist.

I will say I don't want to see it come back, mostly because of how harsh and arbitrary it was as a punishment for not having a biological brain.

If it does exist, rather than "you must have a biomorph - PERIOD", perhaps it simply limits what you can do (i.e. Async Pods/Biomorphs with Cyberbrains can only access their Psi-Chi sleights).

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Lurkingdaemon wrote:If it

Lurkingdaemon wrote:
If it does exist, rather than "you must have a biomorph - PERIOD", perhaps it simply limits what you can do (i.e. Async Pods/Biomorphs with Cyberbrains can only access their Psi-Chi sleights).

I'd probably go a little further than that. Since Psi can't target synthmorphs, I would expect that when sleeved with a cyberbrain or as an infomorph, they can't even access their Psi-Chi sleights.

Hopefully, the Biocore morph (biological brain in a synth body) will also appear in EP2.

MNMadman MNMadman's picture
Psi requires a biological brain

ubik2 wrote:
Lurkingdaemon wrote:
If it does exist, rather than "you must have a biomorph - PERIOD", perhaps it simply limits what you can do (i.e. Async Pods/Biomorphs with Cyberbrains can only access their Psi-Chi sleights).

I'd probably go a little further than that. Since Psi can't target synthmorphs, I would expect that when sleeved with a cyberbrain or as an infomorph, they can't even access their Psi-Chi sleights.

Hopefully, the Biocore morph (biological brain in a synth body) will also appear in EP2.


It is explicitly stated that if an Async is sleeved in a morph that doesn't have a biological brain, they cannot use their sleights at all (Psi Chapter, page 2, under MORPHS AND PSI -- and yes, that's supposed to be "biomorph with a cyberbrain").

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Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Quote:Hopefully, the Biocore

Quote:
Hopefully, the Biocore morph (biological brain in a synth body) will also appear in EP2.

Or at least shows up as a Ware that can be applied to Pods/Synths. Otherwise Async characters loose out on 2/3rds of the options other - non-Async characters - have available to them.

Maudova Maudova's picture
Should Async's Be Sleeved in a Synth?

Lurkingdaemon wrote:
Quote:
Hopefully, the Biocore morph (biological brain in a synth body) will also appear in EP2.

Or at least shows up as a Ware that can be applied to Pods/Synths. Otherwise Async characters loose out on 2/3rds of the options other - non-Async characters - have available to them.

I don't really think async's should have Synthmorph options. They already have the advantage of Sleights even if they have the baggage of the disorders and infection.

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Maudova wrote:I don't really

Maudova wrote:
I don't really think async's should have Synthmorph options. They already have the advantage of Sleights even if they have the baggage of the disorders and infection.

This sentiment gets into some murky territory that, in the long run, just turns out to be unfair for the person who wants to play an Async.

On the flip side, it'd be equally unfair to tell the player who wants to be the resident death-dealer that they must pick a Synthmorph body, or they aren't allowed to play that character.

I won't argue the reasoning for needing biological components makes sense, but it's mildly jarring with 1st Editions Pod-Morphs having 'just enough' of the 'biological substrate' needed to work Psi abilities (albeit at a hefty penalty) to Psi flat out not working in anything but a biological brain - supporting neurology, or lack thereof, be damned.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Pod brains and Psi

It looks like Pod lore may have changed a bit.

EP1: "...extremely undeveloped brains that are augmented with an implanted computer and cybernetics system."
EP2: "Cyberbrains replace their undeveloped gray matter."

With EP1, there was still enough biological material to allow Psi, though at a significant penalty. With EP2, it's just a cyberbrain, so no Psi.

Technically, in EP1, the Pods all have the cyberbrain implant, but they also have some stunted brain in there too. Presumably, the infection was getting from the ego into that portion, where it could do its work.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Aside from PSI, having the

Aside from PSI, having the defining feature of pods being "Uses a Cyberbrain to cheat out of needing to grow the hardest part of the body" does produce a fairly simple (and, IMO, elegant) setup.

What complexity class should "Biological Brain as though it were a 'ware" be? Moderate or Major? For the Lore to work out right, it seems to me that only Major really makes sense if a Cyberbrain is Moderate. In which case, "Able to use PSI" would be one of it's upshots. (Possibly an additional pool-points related upshot as well, since you -are- paying out the nose for it.)

A slight smell of ions....

ubik2 ubik2's picture
o11o1 wrote:What complexity

o11o1 wrote:
What complexity class should "Biological Brain as though it were a 'ware" be?

Major is the closest category, but a biomorph takes 5 months longer than a pod to create, and the main difference is the brain. If you keep your brain, and just need to grow back everything else, a healing vat can do that in a month.

A Major item usually takes 24 hours to create, so that brain requires 150x longer. It still might just get thrown in the Major category for simplicity, though.

I don't think the Morph spreadsheet charged anything for the biomorph, despite the tremendous resources required by society to create them. In fact, switching a biomorph to a cyberbrain costs 1 MP instead of refunding the 150 MP you might expect.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
The Curse of the Cleric

RobBoyle wrote:
Can you clarify what is confusing about it?

Each gives the target a bonus pool point, which must be used within the sleight's duration (SAV/5 minutes).

I suspect I may be reading too much into it, but the main issue is Stacking; Can a Target be subject to this sleight multiple times to build up a large pool, or is there a cap on how many extra points can be had at once.
If there is a cap, does it apply per sleight or for all Burst powers.
If the target can only be subject to one instance of a given sleight, how does that interact with Supercharging – can a 1 point effect be supplanted with a two point variant?

My concern is that Psi characters will be relegated to being Pool-batteries – the Strain Mod helps, but can be designed around fairly easily.

Maudova wrote:
While I agree that supercharge is not the most evocative, possibly on the side of unengaging, terminology, I am not sure if empowering is the best option either.

The reason I like Empower is that it's got a double meaning - It can mean either "To Make Something Stronger" or "To grant Agency (The ability / Permission to act)".
For Psi, it can mean both.

As a second choice, I like Pushing for the same reason - You can push yourself... on the other hand, you might be pushing it.

-----

I have an idea for the Strain rules, but I'm out of time today - I'll try and put them up tomorrow.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Maudova Maudova's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

Maudova wrote:
While I agree that supercharge is not the most evocative, possibly on the side of unengaging, terminology, I am not sure if empowering is the best option either.

The reason I like Empower is that it's got a double meaning - It can mean either "To Make Something Stronger" or "To grant Agency (The ability / Permission to act)".
For Psi, it can mean both.

As a second choice, I like Pushing for the same reason - You can push yourself... on the other hand, you might be pushing it.

One of the things I like about this game is it's usage of higher intellectual standards for is descriptive text. I like the fact that scientific terminology is used, and in this case I would advocate for the terminology originating in neuroscience as it's the closes field to what relates to an Async, at least as far as I can tell. I can see how supercharge, empower, and push all directly speak to the act of maxing out the power amplitude of your gamma waves and chi based sleights but in a very generic way.

If the goal with this edition is simplifying the system terms and making the game more appealing to a wider audience I can see why using a generic but descriptive title would be appropriate, new focus considered.

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Math Harder!

I can appreciate that. Ultimately, as long as the term is evocative I'll be happy.

Using this as excuse to talk about one of my pet peeves - I wish we as a culture could move away from the idea of making something Stronger as making it 'better' - every time I hear a character in a movie or series described as 'powerful' it makes me cringe.

I'd love to see terms used that describe increasing intricacy or detail; using Psi as an example, the powers become 'deeper' or 'interwoven' or similar, with brainwaves exhibiting fractal complexity or starting to resemble quantum wave effects the more the powers develop.

-----

I've decided to make this a partial cross-post with the Action and Combat thread:

This is perhaps beyond the scope of allowable changes, but I'd like to see Stress slightly refurbished to represent short-term stability, recharging quickly like durability. This would move it away from representing purely mental trauma and towards more general non-physical effects.

What I'm thinking is basing SV gain and Strain Effects on Opposed Tests) – when using Gamma sleights, The Async takes [Strain Mod] SV and a Strain Effect applies if the Target succeeds on their roll (regardless if they win the test or not), and takes 1d6SV if they fail their test.
Empowering sleights involves a test opposed by their Infection Rating.

On the flipside, I'd take the Infection Rating/Strain system as it is now and generalise it to cover long term disorders; disorders increase your 'Instability' (or whatever) rating which is checked when exposed to Triggering stimuli. Your base value is10 +20 for each disorder you have, with other effects like phobias or neurological damage also increasing this value.
Stressful/calming situations would provide short term bonuses/penalties.

As characters are exposed to disturbing situations they become more and more burdened with psychological problems (negative traits), which in turn affect their actions/effectiveness in-game, until they finally break down (Base Instability 100>), and stop being a player character.

Would this be interesting/plausible at this design stage?

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Starting Sleights

One question I can't seem to answer in the current draft of the playtest: do Asyncs get 'free' Psi sleights based on the level of Psi they pick up? I.e. does a level 1 Psi character get a single Psi-Chi sleight, or a level 2 Psi character get their choice of 2 Sleights (chi or gamma) to start?

If not it renders the character somewhat unremarkable as far as their Psi goes: being hung out to dry with the Async infection, for no real benefit on creation - unless you spend what is, quite frankly, a lot of CP on even a single sleight during character creation.

I won't argue that Psi sleights are poweful or helpful, but if you don't set aside any Cp for sleights, then your character is an async who can't do anything above or beyond another character - they just happen to be slightly crazier.

Basically this is asking whether or not the "first one is free", but it might make Async characters slightly more accessible for the plethora of negative stuff (that is permanent across all sleeves - save any pre-infection backups they might have) they have to put up with just for being an Async.

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