Campaign of the Month: December 2013
Fate: Warhammer 40,000
We borrow the basics of the magic system from Dresden Files. Psychic use is governed primarily by two skills: Psy and Resolve.
Psy = raw ability of psychic power
Resolve = ability to safely control said power
Lore = ability to interprete and analyze information gathered from Psy
Using psychic powers:
Psy + Focus vs Resolve + Psychic Protection
1. To use Psionic abilities, you must have one hand free (effectively making psionics a one-handed weapon).
2. Determine the nature of the spell being cast, and your target. Note that psionic abilities have a default range equal to your Resolve. Describe the effect in terms of one of the following basic conflict actions: attack, block, maneuver, or defend.
3. Specify the power level of the power. If the power level is higher than your Psy, you must draw upon an amount of Unfettered Power beyond your current means. The amount is equal to the difference between your Psy and the power level. You also gain the temporary Aspect Plunged into the Warp (or some other physical manifestation of it).
4. Make a Resolve roll to control the spell, with the difficulty equal to the power level, plus Unfettered Power. Success => spell cast successfully, at the cost of 1 mental stress.
Failure => Difference goes toward Backlash.
The shifts from the power level can be spent in a number of ways to modify the power:
1 shift = +1 Weapon rating
2 shifts = affects all targets in a zone
1 shift = +1 range
shifts can be divided between specific targets within a zone
1 shift = 1 block strength (lasts until bypassed)
2 shifts = 1 armor, or 1 zone border value (survives a bypassing attack)
2 shifts = affect all allies in a zone
1 shift = +1 exchange duration
3 shifts = minimal for success (higher if contested)
1 shift = +1 exchange duration
Backlash, Psychic Phenomena and the Warp
If you fail the Resolve roll to control the powers of the warp, the difference between your roll and the difficulty is the Backlash. Backlash is taken as damage to either your Mental or Corruption track, and may be mitigated by taking Consequences (Ex: Unwelcome Attention of Chaos). Any such Consequence is called a Consequence of the Warp, and takes a longer period to recover from. Such consequences are typically not invoked through normal interactions, but make be free-tagged once at a later point by the GM to manifest malevolent forces.
You may reduce the Backlash by 2, by allowing some of the psychic energy to spillover as psychic phenomena into your zone. This creates an Aspect in your current zone with one free tag, specified by the GM to reflect the nature of these manifestations of warp energies. This also immediately ends your turn.
You may reduce the Backlash by 4 or more, by shedding the excess energy entirely, allowing it to fuel a psychic peril. Declare the amount you are shedding. The GM may make an attack or maneuver at this value against nearby target or zone.
If a Backlash causes you to be Taken Out, then you have succumbed to the powers of Chaos.
At the end of the scene, if you drew any Unfettered Power, you take 1 stress to your Corruption Track.
Basic psychic powers
Take an Aspect or High Concept reflecting your unique abilities.
Take the Psy and Resolve skill. This marks you as a psyker (even if a minor one), and makes you vulnerable to anti-psyker weapons. All trappings of Psy deal with using psychic powers. It begins with only one trapping:
Use Psy to analyze the aura and emotions of creatures in your immediate surroundings. Unguarded emotions are revealed with a roll of 0 or better, while guarded emotions and auras are only revealed by beating the target’s Resolve. If the defender wins with spin, they may plant false information (which may require a Compel for the player to act upon them). If the defender is a psyker, they may oppose with Psy as well. While this may prevent a read, or even reveal information about the attacker, this reveals the defender’s psychic nature to the attacker.
Take stunts to expand the scope of your psychic powers:
- Add a specific type of power that you may employ at +1, or a specific circumstance at +2 or +1
- Add one of the follow disciplines and associated trappings to Psy. You may use only one discipline at a time.
- attack: directly attack an enemy’s physical track
- maneuver: place temporary Aspects to physically boost an ally, or hinder a foe
- block: prevent an enemy from performing physical actions
- special: once per scene, may redirect damage from the physical track to the mental track, or vice versa
- attack: cannot be used for attacks
- maneuver: place temporary Aspects in the form of premonitions and warnings to be heeded in battle
- overcome: gaze into the Immaterium to gain insight on future or past events as relating to their current location, or a person or object they are touching
- special: This stunt acts as a compellable Aspect for especially disturbing premonitions
- attack: kill it with fire! Attacks using pyromancy always affect the entire zone
- maneuver: placing fire related Aspects
- defend: cannot be used for defense
- special: Attacks using pyromancy affect the entire zone, but may be turned into a single target power by using 2 shifts.
- attack: physical force attack against a target’s physical track
- overcome: may be used to physically remove obstacles
- defend: form a force barrier that defends against physical attacks
- block: prevent enemies from physically entering an area
- special: Psy attacks against machines gain +2 AP
- attack: assail a target’s mind through fear, mind control
- maneuver: plant thoughts or distractions in the minds of another, or to gleam their thoughts and use them to your advantage
- defend: may use Psy to defend against mental psychic attacks
- block: may use Psy to block mental intrusions
- Special: may communicate telepathically with characters in the same zone. Note that this is very disconcerting for the average person!
Sorcerous AbilitiesBasic Powers (available upon taking the Sorcery stunt)
- attack: physical range attack
- block: physically or mentally prevents movement
- attack: melee or range 1 attacks only
- maneuver: create Aspects that bolster an ally’s toughness, or inflicts disease and pestilence upon a foe
- block: may establish blocks against healing and recovery
- special: attacks gain Toxic(Sorcery) for 1 shift, and may affect an entire zone for 1 shift instead of 2
- attack: range attacks with maddening sensations, driving them to insanity or enthralling them in submission
- maneuver: create Aspects on enemies of whispered sensations and forbidden distraction, or bind emotions to allies to allow them to focus on certain senses to the exclusion of others
- block: may distract a target from from focusing on certain mental tasks
- special: attacks gain Flaming(Sorcery) for 1 shift
- special: attacks may inflict mental damage, even if it is opposed by physical skills
- attack: range attacks that threaten to corrupt and mutate the target
- maneuver: create veils and illusions to hide the sorceror’s true intent, or vile revelations of possible futures
- overcome: By spending a Fate Point, the sorceror assumes a Protean Form that allows them to use the Sorcery skill in place of another physical skill (which may include a new form of travel, or new form of perception)
- special: attacks may inflict physical damage, even if it is opposed by physical skills
- special: attacks gain Shocking(Sorcery) for 1 shift
- attack: Sorcery can be used for all modes of attack
- empowered: gain 2 free shifts to modify Sorcery attacks and maneuvers
- blasphemy manifest: Any character who gains corruption in the same location takes one additional corruption stres (at one point lower in value). Any character who sustains a corrupting consequence take a consequence at the next higher level instead.
Rogue or Sanctioned Psykers
The description above applies to “undiscovered” psykers, people who have latent psychic potential that has not yet been revealed to the agents of the Imperium. A psyker may be a rogue or sanction psyker simply by adjusting one of their aspects (which expands the Compels that can be received). Doing so allows the Fallout damage to be taken on the Physical track as well.
Inquisitors and Librarians
Adjust one of your aspects as befits your station, and gain the same benefits as them. Moreover, take a stunt which allows you to use Conviction in place of Psy for activating psychic powers.