Radical YCE: psykers

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
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Saint-Petersburg, Russia
From my experience, psykers are widely considered to be underwhelming in Necromunda. I've been thinking about fixing the matter with following changes, while trying to keep it simple:
  1. Maintain Control becomes a Free action instead of Simple. If some spells would become too powerful because of this, their description will include that mantaining that specific power is a Simple action. Also:
    • Psyker can't mainatin multiple powers, or...
    • ... or if psyker maintains multiple powers, Maintain Control is a Simple action instead of Free but maintains all powers at once.
  2. In addition to adding +1 to WP roll, "Focus" action does not allow Perils of the Warp trigger for the subsequent use of power. Powerful casts that require Double action are always risky though.
As for schools of spells from Outcasts, I think that this is the best way to make psykers organised. I like that "pure" psykers also get to have some kind of bonus from their school, however I'd prefer such bonus to be very minor in general (chronomancy for example gives an additional action once per battle, which is not minor at all!). Also I'd give a bonus for a psyker who knows at least 2 powers from the same school, rather than giving a bonus for having 1 power at the start.

In general spells from Outcasts seem to be somewhat solid, although some are pretty bad or situational. Making maintain control a free action could help some mediocre spells out though.
 
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Given psyker is generally +35cr for stuff now, something like Chronomany is honestly worth getting just for the ability!
Would definitely be good to tune it down a bit.
 
Alright, here is a rough draft of reworked core rules for psykers. As usual, nothing is set in stone and could be changed. Comments are turned on. List of changes:
  • Psykers can't cast when pinned or seriously injured.
    • This is to prevent players from arguing about drawing LOS from pinned fighters.
  • Continuous powers end at the END of next fighter's activation rather than at the START of it, unless you maintain power with a simple action.
    • This allows to cast a wyrd power in advance and have 2 actions to charge while under its effect during next activation. I didn't want to make Mantaining a free action, because then it'd essentially turn continuous powers into passives, which is just boring.
  • Maintaining a single power is a simple action which does not require a willpower check. It is automatically successful.
    • Making a willpower check with +3 bonus is just a waste of player's time. Even average psykers have extremely high chance of success, making this rolling for the sake of rolling.
  • You can maintain up to 2 continuous powers instead of 1. However mantaining both requires a willpower check with no bonuses which can peril.
    • There are a lot of continuous psychic powers and so a psyker who learned 2 continuous powers is at disadvantage.
  • Concentrate(Basic) makes it impossible to cause perils during current activation in addition to +1 bonus to following willpower check.
    • Makes Concentrate(Basic) action a tad bit useful.
  • Attempting a psychic duel gives a 'reduced actions' condition to the psyker (you can do only 1 action during next activation) and can't disrupt psyker maintaining a single power (since it is an automatic success). It can disrupt enemy who attempts to mantain 2 powers.
    • Denying a power for 'free' feels cheesy. At least an opposing fighter should pay 1 action when doing so.
  • Small tweaks to Perils of the Warp table, for example a daemonically possessed psyker can't do anything but combat related actions
    • It'd be silly for them to disarm a bomb or hack into a console while screaming in daemonic tongues.
 
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After playing with the changes above for a while, I'm starting to think that its still not enough to make psykers work. Also Perils of the warp happen very rare, causing much sadness to a Dark heresy psyker main such as myself.

Once per battle a psyker can make a Push (Free) action at the start of their activation:
Push (Free): During this activation pyker can make three actions instead of the usual two , however one of these actions has to be a Wyrd Power action, while Concentrate(Basic) becomes unavailable until the end of psyker's activation. Channeling so much energy through the mind is a dangerous gamble, and a pushing psyker suffers perils on the warp on any rolled doubles when making a willpower test to manifest a wyrd power.

So basically a chronomancy bonus, but available to all and with a psyker-flavoured 'Unstable' baked in. Thoughts?
 
After playing with the changes above for a while, I'm starting to think that its still not enough to make psykers work. Also Perils of the warp happen very rare, causing much sadness to a Dark heresy psyker main such as myself.

Once per battle a psyker can make a Push (Free) action at the start of their activation:
Push (Free): During this activation pyker can make three actions instead of the usual two , however one of these actions has to be a Wyrd Power action, while Concentrate(Basic) becomes unavailable until the end of psyker's activation. Channeling so much energy through the mind is a dangerous gamble, and a pushing psyker suffers perils on the warp on any rolled doubles when making a willpower test to manifest a wyrd power.

So basically a chronomancy bonus, but available to all and with a psyker-flavoured 'Unstable' baked in. Thoughts?
Tested this one out and it was pretty good, but didn't make psykers broken. Also I finally had to roll on a peril table after playing necromunda for so long lol
 
The "Push" is pretty damn fun. It makes psykers significantly more powerful, but introduces risks. Our campaign's gangs currently run a lot of psykers as a result.

Another update after testing a lot of games involving psykers: psyker duels are pretty iffy and slow the game down a lot. We've tweaked it to a while a psyker is within 18" range of enemy psykers, their WP tests to Manifest or Maintain psypowers receive a -1 penalty (this penalty does not stack if multiple enemy psykers are present).

Easy to remember, does not interfere with casting all that much, but it feels like it does at least something.
 
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There is one problem, that slowly became apparent after a full campaign with these psyker rules. Psyker can "shoot" into close combat with their spells, making them extremely effective against melee. I think its fine, but perhaps a psyker should receive a -1 to cast if they are engaged, or if the spell's target is engaged.