Thursday, November 4, 2010

Psionic attack upon non-psionics: the Psychic Crush

This is house rules stuff for those who enjoy playing with psionics. The way I see it, everyone has a mind, an id, an ego, and a psyche, therefore everyone is potentially vulnerable to these psionic attacks (not just Psionic Blast, as defined in the 1e rules).

The PH1e states that Psionic Blast is costly in terms of attack point expenditure, but is the only attack that can affect non-psionics. I take that as a statement of intended game balance, and I respect the logic of it. I would postulate that any psionic attack used on a non-psionic costs 20 extra strength points. Thus, used on a non-psionic, the Psychic Crush would cost 34 points.

Keep in mind, the psionic must have a current psionic strength of at least 100 to have any chance of effecting a non-psionic. Thus, only a very powerful psionic would have a chance at using this on a non-psionic, and because of its cost, it could only be used once or maybe twice.

The Psychic Crush is a pretty cool attack. It is your basic kill shot, "a massive assault upon all neurons in the brain, attempting to destroy all by a massive overload of signals." It affects but one other creature at a time. Its short range is 5", which is also its max range, as no medium or long range is given.

I figure that a person of average INT and WIS has about a 50% chance of throwing off the Psychic Crush without any effect. The saving table works out as follows:

saving throw vs psychic crush

I am also slightly modifying the effect of Psychic Crush, which is normally save-or-die. I figure there is a range of damage prior to instant death that can result from this "massive assault upon the neurons", so the effects table is as follows:

effects of psychic crush

Again, in terms of game balance, I postulated that a person of average INT and WIS would only suffer instant death 50% of the time. Remember, this is after they already failed their saving throw, meaning that the real chance of killing an average person with a Psychic Crush is only 25%.

On the other hand, someone with max INT+WIS would have a 50% chance of suffering confusion, but only a 5% chance of death (and their saving throw was at 0 to start with anyway).

Giving psionics the ability to attack non-psionics is potentially a big "game unbalancer", so I am trying to constrain these powers to logical limits while still keeping them somewhat effective and fun.

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