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Thread: House Rules - Psychic Arcana

  1. #1
    OPA Belta
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    House Rules - Psychic Arcana

    I'm re-reading the core rules at the moment, preparing for a BR campaign ... I'm still a little unhappy with the notion of dealing with up to six or even eight rolls if someone whants to try arcana like "Mind Delving" on an unwilling subject (opposed rolls for establishing psychic contact, for not being noticed, to overcome a psychic shield, than an opposed roll for Mind Delving ...).
    I was toying with the idea of, instead of Opposed Rules, just using a "Mental Defense" of 10+Willpower (Self-Discipline) to be rolled against; I'd make Psychic Shield an exception, though, in that it allows to make an opposed roll.
    I'd also stick to one "attack roll" for a spell that stands against all resistances and opposed rolls.
    So, if you wan't to secretly establish Psychic contact with an unwilling target protected by a Psychic Shield, you'd make a roll against 7+familiarity. If you're succesful, you'd compare that to the Targets Mental Defense; if you match or exceed that, the target gets to make an opposed Psychic Shield roll against your Initial roll. And since you want to do it secretly, the target also gets a Perception roll against that same number.
    That way, establishing psychic contact involves a maximum of three rolls, not six. After that, you're ready for the actual arcanum that you mean to use ...
    Also, I'd extend the rule that only active rolls (not resisting rolls) can generate stunt points and rule that also, you only get to generate stunt points once per action (i think I actually woudln't Need that rule with my house-rule that the initial arcana roll stands, but still ...).

    Any thougts?
    Last edited by Jakob Schmidt; 09-12-2018 at 03:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Protomolecule Host Sentinel Ark's Avatar
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    Re: House Rules - Psychic Arcana

    I agree with you in that the number of rolls slows the game down by quite a bit*, especially if you're not familiar with the arcana system** and/or have a group where all 4 players have those arcana***.

    I houseruled similar, but instead of taking 10 on the normal resistance part, I took 8 on Psychic Shield and Second Sight.

    Overall, I found the change to be helpful, but I made this house rule before the City of Aldis book came out with the Extended Psychic Shields arcana knack... which kinda messed things up a little. I also found 8 to be too low to be effective.

    If I did this all over again, I would Take 10 on the normal resistance part (then probably call it Grit) and Second Sight arcanum. Those changes would reduce the number of rolls by 4.

    --
    Footnotes!

    * Though, I feel that the number of rolls is fine during a 1-on-1 session - helps build tension and drama.

    ** Hey! Thanks for reminding me in that I wanted to post my notecard on how I remember to Psychic Contact + Sleep. I taped this over the weapons table on the Narrator screen:

    MIN: Psychic Contact (SP) test vs...
    (1) TN 7 + Familiarity.
    (2) Psychic Shield or Extra Effort.
    (3) Second Sight.
    (4) Wil (Self-Discipline)

    MAJ: Sleep (SP) test vs...
    (1) Second Sight.
    (2) Wil (Self-Discipline)

    !!! FATIGUE !!!
    !!! CORRUPTION !!!
    Hope this comes in handy for everyone.

    *** Imagine make 4 secret Second Sight rolls for your players each time your adversary uses arcana...

  3. #3
    Protomolecule Host Baroness Nerak's Avatar
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    Re: House Rules - Psychic Arcana

    I can see how it might slow things down. I have only one PC at the moment with any real Psychic Arcana (which is not her specialty, she is a healer/buffer) and three (counting her) with Second Sight and Psychic Shield. I might reexamine things in a group more stacked with such.
    Running: Blue Rose AGE (Cat's Cradle)
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  4. #4
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    Re: House Rules - Psychic Arcana

    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel Ark View Post

    * Though, I feel that the number of rolls is fine during a 1-on-1 session - helps build tension and drama.
    That's one of the things about which I'm still on the fence: I can imagine that having lots of rolls for intruding into someone's mind can build tension - basically, it would be a something akin to combat with its dozens of rolls, and of similar relevance and consequence. However, it has what I call the "Matrix fighting" problem from Shadowrun: Only one player is involved, and so everyone else sits at the table waiting ...

  5. #5
    Protomolecule Host Sentinel Ark's Avatar
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    Re: House Rules - Psychic Arcana

    So how about this proposal?

    Run the game with the rules as-is. After a few sessions, ask your players how they feel about it, then tailor house rules to the group. You may have a Psychic-heavy group like mine or a Psychic-lite group. Your group may like how you build the tension with the number of rolls too.

    A lot of my houserules comes from my player's critique/criticisms on the rules and how I utilize the rules as a Narrator.

    One thing I brainstormed (but didn't implement, but may work for you) was to allow all the rolls during social/exploration encounters, then use a faster version during combat: If an Adept wants to Sleep a target they're not in mental contact with, they can do so but the target's Psychic Shield applies. The target also gets a bonus to their Psychic Shield and Second Sight based on the Adept's Familiarity with the target (with maybe a +1 minimum).
    Last edited by Sentinel Ark; 09-21-2018 at 04:54 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: House Rules - Psychic Arcana

    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel Ark View Post
    So how about this proposal?

    Run the game with the rules as-is. After a few sessions, ask your players how they feel about it, then tailor house rules to the group. You may have a Psychic-heavy group like mine or a Psychic-lite group. Your group may like how you build the tension with the number of rolls too.

    A lot of my houserules comes from my player's critique/criticisms on the rules and how I utilize the rules as a Narrator.

    One thing we brainstormed (but didn't implement, but may work for you) was to allow all the rolls during social/exploration encounters, then use a faster version during combat: If an Adept wants to Sleep a target they're not in mental contact with, they can do so but the target's Psychic Shield applies. The target also gets a bonus to their Psychic Shield and Second Sight based on the Adept's Familiarity with the target (with maybe a +1 minimum).
    That makes a lot of sense. I tend to overthink such things in advance, which has to do with me getting around to actual play so little - so I tend to read, create characters and think about house-rules as a substitute ...

  7. #7
    Protomolecule Host Sentinel Ark's Avatar
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    Re: House Rules - Psychic Arcana

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakob Schmidt View Post
    That makes a lot of sense. I tend to overthink such things in advance, which has to do with me getting around to actual play so little - so I tend to read, create characters and think about house-rules as a substitute ...
    I can relate. I constantly have to remind myself that my time and energy is better used in creating encounters, settings, adventures, and verisimilitude as opposed to finding every hole, inconsistency, or problem in the rulebook.

    For example, personally, I think Health starts off too high and that it progresses too quickly in early levels. I was going to propose roughly halving starting Health at Lv1 then spreading the d6 Health gain over 20 levels. Before I even got to the proposal, all my players said they feel that their Health is too low (they were about Lv3 at the time). So, I left it alone. I could've been building a neighboring village with the time and analysis I spent on finding a way to reduce Health.

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