N18 First Gang, Helot Psyker Starting Skills Question

benjico

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Mar 13, 2024
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It's the subject of pretty extensive discussion in the forums whether or not Book of Outlaws makes it so that Psykers start with 1 Skill plus a Power or if the Power is the skill. I'm joining up with a game at the local club starting in April and putting together a Helot list.

As far as I can tell it was pick one in Book of Ruin then BoO came out and added an uncommented on by GW update that increased it to 1 skill, 1 psy skill. When I mentioned this in our group I was linked the section in the newest Core on Sanctioned and Unsanctioned which didn't include any of the language from BoO and presumably overrides previous content?

I guess what I'm looking for is an obvious bright-line answer I can offer to our group if I'm going to take Fixer and Dark Shield, or I can just roll out with Dark Shield without making a fuss if that's what the rules say. This is just supposed to be a 6-8 week campaign to get the community spinning up with intentions for longer games down the road so my priority is everyone feeling good about the process more than having a competitive roster this run.
 
Do you mean the Book of Outcasts? The way I read it it is that a Wyrd is just another Archetype, so instead picking a single skill of one of the 6 skill tables, you pick a single skill (power) from the Psycher power table. Simple as that. No doubling on skills. I do not think the Genestealers having 2 skills (skill + power) is intended as written, that would not be consistent in any way. Same goes for Mutant archetype - you can see the mutant power table as another skill table. So, you either pick one skill, one power or one mutation for your Leader/ Champion Outcast.
 
This was for a regular book of ruin Helot Cult Witch. Necro-Vox lists them as Skill + Power and our adjudicator is good with that so that's how I'll be running it.
 
Do you mean the Book of Outcasts? The way I read it it is that a Wyrd is just another Archetype, so instead picking a single skill of one of the 6 skill tables, you pick a single skill (power) from the Psycher power table. Simple as that. No doubling on skills. I do not think the Genestealers having 2 skills (skill + power) is intended as written, that would not be consistent in any way. Same goes for Mutant archetype - you can see the mutant power table as another skill table. So, you either pick one skill, one power or one mutation for your Leader/ Champion Outcast.
I completely agree with your interpretation* of both rules, but frankly the mutant archetype implementation in the rules as written that overwrites access to an initial skill choice really sucks - it means you end up with extremely weak champions with no skills and only one mutation because RAW they can't purchase additional on creation. So no two-headed tentacled champions with scaly skin - just "vanilla" scalies with the basic outcast equipment options because they can't access affiliations...doesn't feel like it was intended to be this way.

Sure, you can have champions (or a leader) without a mutation for the classic Nightbreed poster lineup, but it kinda defeats the vibe of the thing.

*RE: as heretical, but IMO consistent rules are better rules when it comes to Book of Ruin in lieu of an official update.
 
Yes, most of the mutations are rather undewhelming on their own, and only combinations of mutations (with skills or other mutations) makes for interesting characters. Same is unfortunately true for most skills, and given the factt hat gaining 12 XP to get another skill is something few fighters get over a course of a campaign, this potential is rarely reached. I'd rather have a rule where you can spend character build points on skills and stats (they are all translated into credits worth anyway) at creation, so you can choose to have a higher Ws or a second skills instead of what we have now. Oh well... The official rules have so many weaknesses already (Cawdor champions with 3BS and 4WS having access to only CC skillsets, or Van Saars having a way too good Willpower, Goliaths having access to S and T increases in addition to skills at creation, etc.) makes is definitely not an equal playing field, so anyone choosing to give a skill + a wyrd power or mutation to their leader, has my blessing ;)
 
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Sanctioned & Un-sanctioned comes up regularly in this discussion. Those distinctions and rules are completely irrelevant. They are only used in place of the single word "psyker" for no real gain. Regardless of what actually is written in the book, the game would benefit so much for simply having all psykers start with 1 skill + 1 psychic power. That avoids the cash cow exploit of the chaos psyker, which didn't have much usefulness as a psyker due to poor and unbalanced rules. It avoids all confusion. And it should help balance psykers which started out trash but at least has gained somewhat usefulness and rebalance over the course of the years. For topic on the actual content of the books, I would just like to remind that N19 including Ruin got some of the worst quality of all of Necromunda. So digging into the exact words there is futile, because those words tend to be imprecise and incorrect.

As for Archetype, that's only a fluffy name for skill set. That's what all it means, but perhaps its too boring to say that in the book.
 
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Yes, most of the mutations are rather undewhelming on their own, and only combinations of mutations (with skills or other mutations) makes for interesting characters. Same is unfortunately true for most skills, and given the factt hat gaining 12 XP to get another skill is something few fighters get over a course of a campaign, this potential is rarely reached. I'd rather have a rule where you can spend character build points on skills and stats (they are all translated into credits worth anyway) at creation, so you can choose to have a higher Ws or a second skills instead of what we have now. Oh well... The official rules have so many weaknesses already (Cawdor champions with 3BS and 4WS having access to only CC skillsets, or Van Saars having a way too good Willpower, Goliaths having access to S and T increases in addition to skills at creation, etc.) makes is definitely not an equal playing field, so anyone choosing to give a skill + a wyrd power or mutation to their leader, has my blessing ;)
I'd be happy if the mutations were closer in build options to the Goliath genesmithing, where on creation you can access two/three via credit buy or skill substitution[1] on Leaders/champs and up to one on gangers, with subsets of lesser mutations (like access to better starting mental trait sets) in place of the subset Unborn, vatborn,etc.

Or let the leaders and champs outright spend credits the way the gangers have to spend to get mutations on creation without sacrificing their starting skills.

But I guess genesmithing is meant to be for at creation alone (with arbitrator exceptions), whereas mutations can theoretically keep coming off advancements.

The mutant rules as they exist feel like a warm up for the main event (full-on Scalies and Chaos mutants) much like the first House gangs were portrayed in Gang Wars...

[1]Genesmithing doesn't hit skill slots like mutations do, which is unfortunate for the Outcasts.
 
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