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Alternate character generation rules for Psiads in Aeon (non d20 version)

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  • Alternate character generation rules for Psiads in Aeon (non d20 version)

    When the Aberrant Player's Guide introduced the idea of naturally occurring Psions for Aeon I found the idea very intriguing. However, I always felt that the rules governing their creation and play were a little arbitrary, and were more of an afterthought than a model built to fit Psiads into their role in the Trinity universe.

    Here is my take on revising Psiads into something that I feel better achieves that aim. I'll break out explanations for the areas where I deviate from existing rules.
    Psiads follow the same creation rules used for Psions (found on page 168 of the Trinity sourcebook), including starting Willpower (5), Psi (Sta+Wits+Cha/2, rounded up), and bonus points (15). Additionally, all bonus point costs are the same for both Psiads and Psions (with two notable exceptions, detailed below.) Where Psiads begin to deviate from their artificially-triggered brethren comes down to how Psi is activated, managed, and utilized.

    Starting Psi: As noted above, starting Psi for Psiads is the same as Psions: Stamina + Wits + Charisma, divided by 2 and rounded up. (They are not limited to a starting Psi of 5, as per the Aberrant Player's Guide.) Two deviations from standard rules:
    • Psiads must have a minimum starting Psi of 4. (That's a combined Sta+Wits+Cha of 7 or greater.) It requires some exceptionalism to awaken naturally as a Psiad.
    • Psiads cannot use bonus points to increase their starting Psi scores; unlike Psions, they don't have the benefit of the Prometheus Effect goosing their latent potential past normal amounts.
    Since your initial Psi score is tallied before Bonus Points are allocated, this means that no Psiad can start with a Psi above 7, as it's not possible to have 5 dots in Stamina, Wits, and Charisma without the use of Bonus Points.

    Starting Modes: Unlike Psions, Psiads don't differentiate between "primary" and "secondary" modes. (This also includes discarding the idea of aptitude categories.) Instead, their power is limited by Psi:
    • A Psiad requires a minimum Psi of 7 to learn any Teleportation Modes. Teleportation is a challenging and powerful aptitude, and requires more noetic strength to unlock.
    • No Psiads can learn any levels of Quantikinesis. Quantikinesis was an artificial mode created by the Doyen to study Taint. Humans who can naturally manipulate Taint are known as Eximorphs (or Novas, or Aberrants).
    • Mode levels are capped based on Psi score. A Psiad may learn Modes up to a level equal to their Psi score, divided by 2, rounded down. (So a Psi score of 4 or 5 can only learn the second level of any given Mode, a 6 or 7 can hit the third level, a Psi of 8 or 9 is needed to learn the fourth level, and a Psi of 10 is required for a Psiad to learn the final level of a Mode.
    Experience Points: Psiads use the same experience point costs as Psions, as outlined on page 172 of the Trinity sourcebook, with one exception. Because "Auxiliary Modes" don't apply to Psiads, they pay standard cost for unlocking and leveling new Modes.

    So that's my take on Psiads. I wanted something that fell in line with the original design for Psions and Psiads, while still trying to preserve a balance between the two, and unshackling Psiads from rules that felt a little arbitrary.
    Last edited by Dao Jones; 05-16-2017, 12:00 PM.

  • #2
    As a side note, I do recognize that under these rules Psiads can eventually hit greater levels of power than Psions, in that they can develop level 5 modes in any Aptitude. However, I don't honestly see this as unbalanced, for the following reason: it costs a LOT of experience points to get there.

    Breaking that down, your average starting Psion (let's say she starts with one level 3 Mode, and one Level 1 mode, both in-Aptitude) requires 142 experience points to raise all three of those Modes to level 5. At ~5 points per game session, that's roughly 29 game sessions' worth of XP. A cheesed-out Psion, with 6 starting Modes (one at level 5, one at level 1) only needs 107 XP, or roughly 22 games.

    Your "average" starting Psiad, with a Psi of 5 and two level 2 Modes, will need 115 XP (~23 games) just to get a level 4 Mode. To see their first level 5 Mode would require an additional 115 XP, for a grand total of 245 XP for a single level 5 Mode. (Three level 5 Modes would cost you 347 total XP, or all of the XP gained from 70 gaming sessions!)

    Even if you make the cheesiest Psiad possible (7 starting Psi, two Modes at 3), you'll still need 170 XP to get a single Mode to level 5, and a whopping 262 XP to get three Level 5 Modes. That's almost double the XP needed by an "average" Psion, and keep in mind that a Psion can start the game with a level 5 Mode, if they're willing to enjoy a little Mode dysfunction for a while.

    That is a staggeringly steep slope for a Psiad to achieve power parity with Psions over the course of a campaign; those points spent leveling Psi and Modes are points not spent on anything else.

    So, honestly, if you play a campaign that lasts for 70+ sessions, and your Psiad player spends every single XP gained solely on Psi abilities (and survives long enough to do it), then you know what? They've earned that power level.
    Last edited by Dao Jones; 05-16-2017, 12:04 PM.


    • #3
      Considering how incredibly shitty psi powers are at the low levels, focusing on breadth over specialization seems largely punitive.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Wolfgar View Post
        Considering how incredibly shitty psi powers are at the low levels, focusing on breadth over specialization seems largely punitive.
        Don't know, man, I think being able to change the temperature around you to something comfortable would be pretty great


        • #5
          Admittedly Sense Biokinesis might be more useful if anyone could have it.


          • #6
            I thought the deal with Quantakinesis was that Doyen couldn't learn it, but Humans could manipulate Quantum energies either directly, or via a Psi medium, as that was a uniquely Human ability? So Psiads should be able to learn Quantakinesis, though likely under the same restriction as Teleportation.

            I'm a professor! Why is no one listening to me?!


            • #7
              The Psiad section of the Aberrant Player's Guide says that humans could as a direct result of Doyen experimentation, but that we did not naturally posses the ability to do so.

              It's like you could theoretically teach a chimp to type, but one wasn't going to spontaneously write a novel.