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[Æon] Psiads underpowered...?

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  • [Æon] Psiads underpowered...?

    I suspect I am missing something here, or possibly it is by design for lore reasons, but psiads seem a little underpowered to me, at least as a starting character, when compared to psions.

    I get that there's some extra power in their versatility, but I'm not sure it's such a game breaking thing when compared to the level 4 and 5 mode powers that they don't get access to.

    Anyway, I've got a player who had a character concept that beat fit being a Psiad (they're not that familiar with the setting so it was trying to fit together a kind of nice lower power concept for a sort of psychic intuitive). But I'm worried that when they look at what their character can do in comparison to the psions in the party they're going to be a little disappointed. I'm considering deliberately misreading the mode rules and giving them three mode dots in each of their primary aptitudes.

    Anyway, what am I missing? why would giving them these extra mode dots be a terrible idea?

    Thanks,

    Ben

  • #2
    They are lower powered than psions by design. They're also more flexible and have a broader range of options.

    Psions are focused, high-powered genetically engineered weapons manufactured for purpose. Psiads are the natural human psionic progression. Psions skipped several thousand years of evolution and incrementally developing strength. Psionic powers are also designed to make players work together because each Aptitude is powerful but limited in scope - that’s part of the setting’s ‘unity’ theme. Psiads have a broader set of options by themselves, but they can’t operate at the same power levels as the more focused psions.

    Put simply, If players want psiad characters, they have to trade off high power for breadth of options. And that’s deliberate.


    Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
      They are lower powered than psions by design. They're also more flexible and have a broader range of options.

      Psions are focused, high-powered genetically engineered weapons manufactured for purpose. Psiads are the natural human psionic progression. Psions skipped several thousand years of evolution and incrementally developing strength. Psionic powers are also designed to make players work together because each Aptitude is powerful but limited in scope - that’s part of the setting’s ‘unity’ theme. Psiads have a broader set of options by themselves, but they can’t operate at the same power levels as the more focused psions.

      Put simply, If players want psiad characters, they have to trade off high power for breadth of options. And that’s deliberate.
      I personally think it’s a great idea that the developers did it this way.


      “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

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      • #4
        Also, if you don’t like it in your continuum you can just change it. But as a base system setting psiads are the red mage from final fantasy. Jack of all trade master of none.




        *Potential setting secrets spoilers*





        Also psiads cannot be insta puppets of Doyen. I believe everyone that has gone through a prometheus tank can instantly be possessed by the Doyen. As well as psiads don’t have a negative feeling around Novas/aaberrants as that seems to be a built in feature to push prions to hate Novas/aberrants.
        Last edited by Fuzzykuma; 01-26-2021, 10:57 PM.

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        • #5
          My opinion is that Psiads work very well when paired with Talents, both for versatility (talents are more versatile, but not that much) and power level (talents are less “VFX” but they can work well with of have tools, Psiads are less dependent on tools in general).

          If you are playing Psions and Psiads, the Psion will start more powerful, reach higher power level and faster than a Psiad, but the Psiad is more versatile and can solve more problems by themself. If the Psiad will or not be underpowered is a matter of story to be told:

          If you have 3+ Psions in the group the Psiad would be underpowered all the time, as hardly a Psion would work alone, but if you have a single Psion in a group of Psiads, Talents and Superiors, they will be probably ok.

          If the idea is infiltration and spy games, Psiads probably would do better as they may have more Psionic tools at hand to work alone without support, while war campaign would be the idea for a group of Psions, as they can network and overpower most of the problems even when scale is an issue.

          Also, if you have issues that can be solved with a single aptitude, Psions are just better even alone, while Psiads are more useful if you need a larger variety of powers.

          Finally, a Psiad can evolve into versatile characters, but out of char gen they are not much better than a Psion with a auxiliary mode when talking about versatility.


          House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
          Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
          Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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          • #6
            How much your player enjoys the character might depend on how clever and creative the player is. A biokinetic psion is nice. A biokinetic/vitakinetic psiad who can casually use biokinetic powers on others might unsettle the storyguide.

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            • #7
              Like said above, a psiad with even low-dot-combos can do things some very mighty psion cannot even dream of.
              Settingwise they would benefit heavily - that they are not known to be psionically active and thanks to their possibily to hide like a quantakinetics.


              Gamelines: Requiem, Lost, Awakening, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, some V5.
              Likes cheesecake (quark-based)

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              • #8
                Strictly speaking, I'm not sure that that's true. The wording for combining aptitudes says that a psion cannot claim his own benefits: if a Vitakinetic wants to gain enhancements for using his power on others, he needs to sync up with another vita.

                That said, I'm all for giving psiads an exception to this. The general rule could be rephrased in terms of aptitudes instead of psions, and there could be a psiad-only Edge (probably requiring multiple Aptitudes) that “fills in the hole” and let's the sad apply synergy benefits from an Aptitude to that Aptitude.


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                • #9
                  Thanks Bunyip that makes a lot of sense of it's deliberate and I can definitely see how that works from a lore pov. I too really like the general approach in terms of lower mode limits, higher costs and fewer psi points.

                  However, from my pov as GM, though, I want my players to be on a rough parity of dots on the sheet, so to speak (yes, I appreciate that different types of dots have different values, and balance is always a tricky thing to quantify). My player hasn't chosen to be a Psiad because they want to be a power character, in fact the reverse is true - they wanted to play someone whose psi powers were subtler and less well defined.

                  So I've been doing some thinking about how I might house rule Psiad PCs to make them a little more in line with Psion PCs and have a couple of options I'm considering. But first I want to quantify the numerical difference between them. As they don't receive the attribute/psi increase and get one less mode dot, that works out to 23xp using Psiad costs (buying the psi point rather than an attribute point) and 16-18xp using psion costs. Using that as a rough guide, my two ideas are as follows:

                  Psiads receive 5 or 6 mode dots (restricting to 3 per aptitude if 6): this I feel emphasises the versatility that is supposed to be the pay off for being a Psiad in terms of their psi powers. 3 extra modes in Psion terms is exactly the 18 xp of stuff they could have as a Psion, or only 1xp over the difference if you use Psiad costs, so I think I'd prefer the six mode option rather than 5. The 3/3 distribution I feel works towards keeping them versatile.

                  Psiads receive the Psiad path for free (in addition to their 3 character gen paths). I think this works nicely in terms of xp, keeps them low powered in terms of their psi, and is a nice simple tweak to building a character. It can represent the hardships of living with the secret for their whole life.

                  I like both options. I think on balance I prefer the extra modes option, but I worry that I'm not seeing something about how having access to multiple aptitude modes, even at low level, provides for some game breaking combos, which makes me think the extra path option is safer choice.

                  Anyway, any of you have any thoughts on these options?

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                  • #10
                    As a fan of increasing Pisad potency these are some of the changes I was planning on making. Instead of using the psi rating and mode maximums on page 87 of Aeon AExpansion I think I might go this way:
                    Psi Primary Modes Secondary Modes Psi Points
                    1 0 0 1
                    2 3 1 5
                    3 3 2 7
                    4 4 2 10
                    5 4 3 15
                    6 5 3 25
                    7 6 4 35
                    8 7 5 50
                    9 8 6 60
                    10 9 7 70
                    (I included the higher Psi numbers because I like to think they exist somewhere though I am fully aware that they aren't implemented yet, meaning unavailable in play)

                    I do get what they were doing but I want my Psiads to achieve at least five dots in a primary and higher than 3 in a secondary. That said I like the idea that they need to reach Psi 6 to get five dots in a primary and Psi 8 to get five in a secondary.

                    Anyway, I created this and thought why not share it. hehe

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                    • #11
                      I would also recommend not trying to branch out in powers first thing. With the amount of dots you get at chargen specializing feels better than trying to generalize IMO.

                      Second, try and focus on just your primary modes, and pick two that synergize well in way that Psions can't. So VK and Clairsentience so you can heal at range all by yourself. Or Bk and VK so you can give other people BK powers.


                      Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                      Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                        Strictly speaking, I'm not sure that that's true. The wording for combining aptitudes says that a psion cannot claim his own benefits: if a Vitakinetic wants to gain enhancements for using his power on others, he needs to sync up with another vita.

                        That said, I'm all for giving psiads an exception to this. The general rule could be rephrased in terms of aptitudes instead of psions, and there could be a psiad-only Edge (probably requiring multiple Aptitudes) that “fills in the hole” and let's the sad apply synergy benefits from an Aptitude to that Aptitude.
                        Combining powers is not the same as the powering up we have the rules. Combining powers is like taking VK to be able to affect another person with BK, or taking Teleportation to be able to use VK at reach, things like that, and that is a thing Psiads can do, even not being able to add much power to the network.


                        House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                        Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                        Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                          Strictly speaking, I'm not sure that that's true. The wording for combining aptitudes says that a psion cannot claim his own benefits: if a Vitakinetic wants to gain enhancements for using his power on others, he needs to sync up with another vita.
                          Psiads can explicitly combine their own Aptitudes for creative effects, such as using BK shapeshifting on others by combining it with VK. They specifically can’t get power boosting effects like psions as those are Doyen engineered shenanigans.


                          Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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                          • #14
                            If you're doing a mixed group with a psiad and psions, I'd definitely recommend letting the psiad use the psion character creation rules (4 dots of powers and +1 to psi or an attribute) and the psion xp table (cheaper psi, Aptitude=Primary Aptitude, Auxiliary Mode=Secondary Aptitude). If you don't do that, the psions will wind up outstripping the psiad in both their max power level and versatility, since the lower xp requirements for their powers means they wind up with a lot more powers.

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                            • #15
                              On the other hand, look at the low-to-middle level defensive powers available to each mode. Having high XP costs and a smaller psi pool is all that prevents a psiad from knowing them and using them all. You can shoot the electrokinetic, laser the telepath and mind-control the biokinetic, but give the psiad enough XP and they can decently well shrug off all of those.

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