Thursday, July 31, 2014

Flying Monstrous Creatures in Hard Vacuum


Context: Somewhere in the grimdark nether-regions between rules-lawyer-ing and narrative-rules-ing about hard vacuum fighting and daemon princes.

jabberjabber: Why do flying monstrous creatures move in hard vacuum? There's nothing for their wings to beat against!

paladin84: Warp drive!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Space Marine Prices and Exchange Rates

It's been a while since I made the claim that it'd be cheaper for Australians to collect Forge World miniatures from the UK rather than pay local prices for space marines. Today, I wanted to return to this theme by computing the price of a boxed set of regular space marines in a variety of currencies converted to British Pounds Sterling using data from the BBC (where else?! hehe) to see where we all stand.

So, firstly the UK. A boxed set of space marines (a full tactical squad) is currently priced at GBP25.

Next: Australia. The same tactical squad costs AUD65. At current exchange rates, this is GBP36.

Canada: 50 CAD, which is GBP27.2.

Denmark: DKK250, which is GBP26.5

Europe: 35 Euros, which is GBP27.7

Japan: JPY5700, which is GBP32.95.

New Zealand: NZD75, which is GBP37.74

Norway: NOK280, which is GBP26.5

Sweden: SEK300, which is GBP25.85

USA: USD40, which is GBP23.55.

So: congratulations to my American friends for having the cheapest space marine armies in the world! You're only cheaper than the United Kingdom -- which surprised. Looking very poorly though are the New Zealand and Australia prices, closely followed by Japan. Remember that Forge World is GBP46 for a tactical squad and you can see that they're not so far away from those prices still.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Land Speeder Squadron

The land speeders of the Horus Heresy Era are strikingly similar to the 40,000 era, including the points cost. There are a few differences in upgrades available, as you might expect. Chief amongst them is the havoc launcher. 

Additionally a single squadron can take up to five members. So it then becomes an entertaining challenge as to how to kit them all out for dakka (or otherwise).

Here are a few build ideas to whet your appetite. I have deliberately kept the armaments the same within each example. A huge ad-mixture of armaments within a squad is not advisable.

Legion Land Speeder Squadron with 3 land speeders, each with multi-melta, graviton gun and 2 hunter-killer missiles (285 points)
I think you can guess the purpose of this squad without me writing it. Launch the hunter-killer missiles. Head toward a surviving tank. Blast it with the multi-meltas and/or take advantage of the haywire component of the graviton gun. Soak up any transport vehicle marines in the next turn, or let a different unit deal with them.

Legion Land Speeder Squadron with 3 land speeders, each with a multi-melta (180 points)
A more "base" version of the above. Purely to get in to position and turn a tank in to slag and dross.

Legion Land Speeder Squadron with 5 land speeders, each with additional heavy bolters (325 points)
Each land speeder has 2 heavy bolters, hence there is a whopping 6 heavy bolters being carried around at high speed here. Enjoy the dakka!

Legion Land Speeder Squadron with 2 land speeders, each with a plasma cannon and heavy flamer (160 points)
These guys pick off targets with the low AP on the plasma cannons and use the heavy flamer as a charge deterrent when they swoop in to contest or claim objectives.

Legion Land Speeder Squadron with 4 members, each with a havoc launcher and a single hunter-killer missile (300 points)
This mixed weaponry platform is to use the first turn to tank kill (preferably transport tanks) and then follow up with the havoc launchers (and/or heavy bolters) to finish off their contents.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ingress

Slightly off topic today -- a new game has been released via the app store in the past day called INGRESS.

To be clear, this is not a table top game, its a roaming augmented reality game, with google maps overlap.  And it is now available on iPhone (as well as Android for a long time). The basic idea is that you roam around hunting out unique locations (known as portals) and hack them to "own" them in your team's colours (currently blue or green).

As well as keeping players fit by wandering around, it is a social game. But clearly, wandering around gazing at one's smart phone is less than smart, so be aware of your surroundings, both people and cars (etc.)! 

I've started playing as of this evening and found it very easy to get in to. But: it is also great to explore new locations (even locally) with that you've never come across before. After hacking a few portals and owning them, I deployed some resonators around them (to generate more power and make it slightly harder for the opposing team to grab them). I got to level 2, but I've got a long way to go yet before I get some more interesting items in my inventory and start to make maps like this.

For those who want to know, I joined the BLUE team :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Jetbike Sky Hunter Squadron

At a basic level, they're jet bikes and they have heavy bolters. Unlike the Legion Attack Bike Squadron, they are unable to take a special heavy weapon on every jet bike, hence some amount of thought needs to be put in to how they should be best utilised.

I can think of several modes of operation, ranging from large squads built for blasting stuff, through to Praetor accompanying squad or just a plain suicide squad.  Let's have a look at a few builds at points costs:

Legion Jetbike Hunter Squadron with 10 members, 3 multi-meltas, melta bombs, Sky Hunter Sergeant with power fist (490 points)
The full deal, for accompanying a praetor around.

Legion Jetbike Hunter Squadron with 9 members, 3 volkite culvarins (375 points)
The volkite culvarins are interesting given their large range and decent strength coupled with a high rate a fire. Certainly worth it in a unit like this that is able to deploy to the right position rapidly. Late game, swoop on an objective. Swap out the culvarins for plasma cannons may also be worthwhile, but it depends on how many marines you think you're going to take out.

Legion Jetbike Hunter Squadron with 3 members, melta bombs, 1 plasma cannon (165 points)
With only one special heavy weapon slot available, the minimum sized squad seems a good place for a solitary plasma cannon (just in the same way a dreadnought with such a plasma cannon can be a pain!). The melta bombs are for defensive purposes and opportunities. Swap out the plasma cannon for a multi melta to turn in to a full melta suicide style squadron. (But others can do this better to be honest, so stick with the plasma cannon or volkite for a small squad).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Attack Bike Squadron

As standard, the legion attack bike is fielded with a heavy bolter, and are described as "frequently two man" bikes.

I personally see their place as a complement to the Legion Outrider Squad, particularly for legions such as the White Scars, and Dark Angels. They can certainly be useful as tips of the spear to harass enemy legions whilst the heavier artillery rumbles in to position as well. In particular, the ability to take melta bombs for the entire squad gives them a wide threat range.

Here's a few builds to consider.

Legion Attack Bike Squadron with 5 members, all armed with multi-meltas and melta bombs (275 points)
Almost better than an assault squad to be honest, given the increase in toughness and two wounds each. There's little not to like about this build, apart from Ld=8.

Legion Attack Bike Squadron with 2 members, both armed with Multi-meltas and melta bombs (110 points)
A melta-cide squad version of the above. Several of these squads might be giving away free victory points in a kill points style game, but they're going to claw back their points I'd reckon.

Legion Attack Bike Squadron with 5 members, all armed with auto cannons (225 points)
Maneouvre in to position and crank out the shots at the selected target. Nice, easy and fun to play with.

Legion Attack Bike Squadron with 3 members (120 points)
A "bait" squad armed with the standard heavy bolters. Purely to use as a bait and to harass the enemy with.

You'll notice I didn't select any squads with heavy flamers. Although they're viable, I prefer them on units with scout, and hence would mainly be tempted to use them if the legion in question had some kind of special buff to such weapons (Death Guard). Doubly so if the enemy is only going to be opposing 30k era forces. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Anvilus pattern backpack

One of the hidden gems in Horus Heresy: Betrayal is the expansion of the background description of the standard (or what will become to be thought of as standard) chaos space marine backpack. The image depicts one of the Death Guard legion from Betrayal sporting Mark II armour combined with what is described as a prototype Anvilus backpack. The interesting thing here is that the backpack is said to possess enhanced stabilising thrusters (presumably the vents at the back which are now spaced apart somewhat - although could also be the fan), but at the cost of inferior radiation shielding. 


This strikes me as a bit odd. The thrusters are designed for void operations. But surely the last thing that you want in the hard void is decreased radiation shielding? Regardless, it adds to the fluff about stacked power plants requiring more cooling from the earlier chaos space marine fluff. The only thing I'm unclear on is whether "Anvilus" is a designation of a forge world? Perhaps its one that the traitors captured and used after the Heresy and hence the major one to supply this type of backpack to the traitor legions subsequently? Just some random thoughts!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Outrider Squad

They're bikes under a different name to cut a long story short.

But that said, they are kind of pricey points-wise. For example, additional marines in this squad are only 5 points cheaper than jet bike additions. That said, they gain scouts and certainly are quick. Matched with the Sons of Horus special rule - merciless fighters - they can inflict some serious damage in melee.

There are quite a number of options that the outriders can take, ranging from extra squad members, special weapons and sergeant upgrades. Here are a few sample builds to ponder.

Legion Outrider Squad with 3 members, twin-linked melta guns (165 points)
A small, inelegant squad whose purpose should be obvious: ride up to enemy armour and tanks to turn them in to slag and dross. Take melta bombs for additional duty.

Legion Outrider Squad with 8 members, all with melta bombs (280 points)
Along the same theme: ride up to your target and plant melta bombs. This might work well for a World Eaters Legion army list perhaps?

Legion Outrider Squad with 9 members, 3 with power weapons, 1 sergeant with power fist (330 points)
A close combat style of outrider squad. This is the kind of set up that I'd think about utilising with Sons of Horus (or other close combat orientated legion). Its kind of pricey, but will certainly work well enough. Select power lances or power swords to taste. Add melta bombs if required.

Legion Outrider Squad with 5 members, all with twin-linked plasma guns, sergeant with power fist and melta bombs (310 points)
Again, note the high price tag. But then realise the potential of what can be done here: a wide threat range against most infantry squads (even the potential to torrent down a character) and take on whatever is required. This kind of squad could be the core of your tactics, but its death will cost you.

Legion Outrider Squad with 3 members, all with twin-linked flamers and melta bombs (150 points)
This is for one of two styles of play: objective denial / grabbing style, or getting enemies out of cover style of play. The flamers can be counter-charge weapons and the melta bombs add to their abilities. Could be nice as a Salamanders unit?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Seeker Squad

Starting off the fast attack section of the 30k army list is the seeker squad. In truth, there's little "fast" about them being in the fast attack slot. But that does not diminish their utility.

At a basic level, they are a standard squad who are able to take special ammunition for their bolt guns (i.e. Kraken, Scorpius and Tempest). Further, they get to select a unit in the opposition's army and gain preferred enemy against them. And thats about it, apart from the upgrades that they can take. Hence to be truly "fast" attack, they really could do with an appropriate transport (rhino for the main part, unless a drop pod is available due to rites of war).

Here are a few builds to think about.

Legion seeker squad with 10 members, all with combi-plasma guns (350 points)
Plasma death squad! Perfect for those pesky power armoured foes. Doubly so with a rhino and preferred enemy.

Legion seeker squad with 10 members, sergeant with power fist and artificer armour (275 points)
A basic set-up that is effective and fit for purpose. Add a rhino to taste.

Legion seeker squad with 5 members, 2 with combi-meltas, sergeant with power fist, melta bombs and artificer armour (225 points)
A multi-purpose but small squad. It provides a threat against their preferred enemy and anything else that might get close. Its a bit pricey though.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Axis of Awesome

The Axis of Awesome is … a band, but with a comedy edge. If you've never heard them before, then check out their Four Chords video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOlDewpCfZQ

Now that you're done with that music video, they recently released a video of their visit to Los Angeles, which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM4u1UJpNY4

And check out the lead singer's Nurgle / Death Guard army! Awesome!!
(hat tip to Aaron Dembski-Bowden's twitter feed).

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Emperor's Complicity in the Primarch's Scattering

On the odd occasion, I like to delve in to the Warhammer 40,000 background materials in a bit more depth. Today's topic for discussion is the (alleged) complicity by the Emperor in the Primarch's scattering during gestation.

In many of the publications we hear a tale that is somewhat paradoxical. If the Emperor is reasonably powerful and prescient, then he would have (a) seen the possibility of the Chaos Powers gathering their might to try to scatter his primarch creations and (b) had the power (and been in the right place at the right time) to do something about it. Indeed, in the Black Library novelisations of the Horus Heresy, it is hinted that the Emperor allowed or even permitted the scattering to occur. 

If the Emperor was complicit in this, then there must have been something for him to gain. Generally this is accepted to be the early training of the Primarchs and their testing and forging in to weapons of war. Character building are probably the words I'm looking for. But also, something of their home worlds probably seeped in to them during this time. Indeed, the Isstvan campaign for the Horus Heresy from Forge World (i.e. Betrayal) specifically notes that something sinister seeped in to Mortarion's soul from his time on Barbarus. And it certainly goes without saying that the Khan inherited his fighting style from his home world, if not his appearance.

But beyond this grounding, I think there is further cause for the complicity. It made the Great Crusade much easier. Every primary (barring the missing ones and barring Angron) were able to unite at least one world (or in the case of Alpharius: probably a fleet) under their control. Consider Roboute Guilliman's achievement: 500 worlds all forged in to a great empire stretching the length of Ultramar. This singularly must have made the Great Crusade an order of magnitude quicker. Rogal Dorn brought the Inwit cluster of worlds under his control. And so forth. Even if Mortarion did not have multiple worlds under his control, he certainly conquered all but the strongest necromancer on Barbarus and brought unity to his planet. All of these conquests add up and must have contributed to the advancement of the Great Crusade and its fuelling - both in terms of raw resources, and humans. So perhaps it was a reasonably good idea to allow the scattering in hind sight. Just don't mention the subsequent heresy...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dark Sun Reviews: Elves of Athas

At just under 100 pages, this Dark Sun campaign expansion adds to the sand box world that is Athas. 

To the un-initiated, it is important to realise that Dark Sun "twists" the standard paradigm about much of dungeons and dragons classical notions. Metal is scarce, elements are worshipped as opposed to deities, the world has been ravaged by sorcery, and so forth. Elves are no exception to this. Unlike their fantasy cousins, this tome outlines how they live barely more then 140 years. They have no yearning to go to a far off land once they reach a certain age. And they're physically different: tall and lean. Although they get bonuses for using bows and longswords, they don't get some of the other advantages inherent in (e.g.) Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance. Instead, one of the key differences is the Elf Run. Elves of Athas are particularly known for undertaking long runs -- literally sprinting day after day as a tribe to move with celerity from one location to another. This might be for nomadic reasons, or trade. Either way, there's no other race on Athas that can match their endurance for undertaking such activities. But the drawback is that it is based on their constitution (which gets a negative modifier upon creation), so they do need to prepare and be inspired by their tribal leaders before undertaking multiple days of marathon running.

As well as these physical difference, the book details the significant psychological differences. Language, insults, trades and world views are all covered, along with stories of ancient elves (whom are not too dissimilar to classic fantasy elves). Stand outs for me are the concept of "the now" -- which the elves live for, their distrust of outsiders and most other people around them, their positive attitude (or general acceptance) of all things psionic and magical (albeit that they find the elemental clerics somewhat odd), and how they cope (or not!) with issues like enslavement. To be clear: this is a race that loves their freedom and will do anything to run away and escape from such confinement. And their loyalty to their tribe is all important and comes to define them in many ways.

Following the psychology, a number of tribes are detailed in the book, which are fairly interesting, but nothing fantastical. For example, the Wind Dancers are described as a former trading tribe with a special affinity for the element of Air, but have had to now turn to raiding to make ends meet. The book is rounded out by some kits for Athasian Elves (e.g. Brown Elves - whom are psionicists who have left their tribe in order to learn and sharped their talent). A fold out poster also comes with the book which shows the locations of some of the settled tribes in and around the Tablelands, plus some colour art of Athasian Elves and their tribal descriptions.

To be honest, this book is not required to play Dark Sun … as are some of the other expansions. But this one doesn't have anywhere near the sheer level of ideas and interest that Earth, Air, Fire, and Water does (which I regard as essential to a Dark Sun campaign). Hence this book is only one to get if one is running an Elf based campaign, or is highly orientated toward the Elves of Athas. Most of the material needed to run Elves is in the Dark Sun boxed set. And on that basis, I can only really award 2 out of 5 stars for this one. It doesn't mean its necessarily bad, but to me its just not required.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dark Sun Reviews: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water

The original Dark Sun setting paints the roleplaying world of Athas as one without any divine beings (or if there were, they've abandoned Athas long ago). Instead, the cleric class attempt to advance the cause of one of the elemental planes: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. To be fair, the campaign setting really made playing the cleric class a tougher challenge than most classes (perhaps even tougher than preservers) due to the combination of permitted equipment and spell restrictions. This publication radically alters all of this and transforms what might have been one of the weakest and hardest to play classes in to an absolute pleasure with an expansive background and many new thoughts and abilities. 

The second and third chapters of the book is where things start to get interesting. The elemental powers simply want more of their element all around - but they also want quality as well as quantity. The principle problem is that Athas is a spent world. Hence although there is plenty of Earth element around, it is not of high quality: dusty sand where there should be fertile earth. Air is stagnant had super heated, rather than freely flowing and cooling. Fire hardly has anything left to consume. And water: well, the story is even worse there for the desert world of Athas. So the elemental clerics are seeking to improve this. Fire clerics actively want to build more cities and grow more forests -- so they can consume something of worth later on in a conflagration. Earth clerics teach crop rotations and attempt to improve the fertility of the earth. And similar for air and water. But, there are also paraelemental clerics: those whose planes overlap with two of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Hence Magma clerics overlap Fire and Earth. Magma is joined by Sun, Silt, and Rain. Apart from the Rain clerics, these guys have it much easier. Their elements are in ascendency in both quantity and quality. Indeed, Sun clerics would like nothing more than to burn off the Air of Athas so that the rays from the Sun can hit the ground unimpeded. Silt would like to have everything on the surface of Athas turn to Silt. As would Magma. As such, Silt, Magma, and Sun are actively contributing to the further degeneration and desolation of Athas. Whereas the prime elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water … and to a lesser extent, but perhaps unintended: Rain) are working toward a greener, cleaner more pristine Athas. The chapters here cover initiation in to the elements and their general powers. At a base level they're able to conjure forth small amounts of their element from the beginning. But to regain their powers, they also need to cast out some of their element. Hence Water clerics need to spread a skin of water on the ground to regain their spells. Therefore they actually need *more* water than the average Dark Sun PC … but are great in a group since they can conjure forth extra water when needed. No wonder they're a bit pressed and mentally unstable. Perhaps the most interesting mechanic is that once they reach epic levels (i.e. level 20), they can actually start becoming an elemental themselves.

There are a bunch of specialist classes (e.g., wanderer, city cleric) which are neat, but highly specialised in some cases. And almost as an after-thought, druids and templars get their own chapter, albeit very superficially. Another publication could have been made for each of these to be perfectly honest. Other ideas contained in the book include power conjunctions - which is when the cleric is surrounded by a a large quantity and quality of her/his element and has their powers enhanced. A bunch of new elemental cleric spells. And elemental shrines scattered throughout Athas.

Overall, this is almost a 5 out of 5 book for me to be honest! There are some negatives (such as inconsistencies versus canon) but they don't detract from what is a highly original presentation that is jam-packed with fresh ideas. I regard this book as one of the best of the Dark Sun series. And as can be seen from the image, my own copy has been heavily used over time. That said, if one is playing latter editions of Dungeons and Dragons, then this book is almost wholly superseded. But it remains as one of the shining lights of the Dark Sun series to me. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Name Generator for Supercomputers


On the odd occasion in both real-life and science-fiction roleplaying games, computers will require names. This is particularly true of supercomputers, or computers hosted within one organisation that need to be differentiated from one-another ... rather than them all being called (for example) "jabberjabber's computer" (and so forth).  

So today's blog entry is a name generator for such computers and supercomputers.  Along the lines of the English and French place names / battle sites I posted a while ago, this is done by combining two different elements together. Select one element from the first column and then run it together with another element selected -- at random or otherwise -- from the second column.


Element One
Element Two
Alpha
Beacon
Azure
Bolt
Black
Canticle
Blue
Carbon
Bold
Choral
Bright
Cobalt
Cardinal
Electron
Celestial
Engine
Cerulean
Field
Dark
Fire
Deep
Flame
Empyrean
Galaxy
Fleet
Gold
Green
Harmony
Hot
Hymn
Jade
Ice
Omega
Iron
Pale
Krypton
Quantum
Machine
Radiant
Mithril
Raw
Monsoon
Rebel
Net
Red
Oxygen
Rich
Platinum
Shadow
Proton
Sharp
Silicon
Sky
Star
Sonic
Steel
Vibrant
Storm
White
Thought
Zed
2000 (or another number of your liking!)

With this, we can obtain names like: RedSteel, BlueCarbon, DarkIron, PaleGold, RawHarmony, Quantum-2000. Coincidentally, some of these sound like starship-esque names to my ear as well.

But the astute amongst you will certainly be able to see real-world and science-fiction example such as: DeepThought, SkyNet … although I couldn't quite get DeepBlue to work, but heck, reversing the order of the elements would yield this and such inverting can be sound good to the ear as well! 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dark Sun Reviews: City-State of Tyr

Given that the default starting location for many Dark Sun campaigns will be the City-State of Tyr, this particular accessory is excellent (but not quite *required*) reading for the initial phases of adventuring on Athas

Temporally, this campaign expansion book is firmly planted in the post-King Kalak era when Urik mobilises for the iron mines, the council takes over the running of the city, and the Veiled Alliance think about going public. That said, its not all about politics. The books itself is a very thorough description of the city.


The first chapter starts out by looking at the history of the city and detailing what life is like in Tyr. Even down to the fact that they're pretty nice when it comes to the distribution of water (you can have a ration of it for free!). The details and politics about the governing body and King Tithian follows and how the various factions are at play on the council. Here it gets quite detailed about the politics and delves in to detail about traders (who now use the arena), justice and crime, and what the Templars are up to now they no longer have their spells -- and would you believe some of them are helping to direct civic projects. Surely they have their own reasons, right? (hint: They're probably not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts and are just as brutal as they always were…).


The physical description of the city and the local environment are covered in the next two chapters. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, details about farming, architectural details, where various classes of citizen live, and of course: a full colour fold out map for help with the campaign. The districts are described in plenty of detail (and certainly sand-boxy enough to still do things with) should the PCs wind up in the trading district and so forth. 

The next two chapters cover the Golden City and UnderTyr. Of the former, there are few surprises and precious little is advanced over previous material, but of the latter, a great deal is revealed. The labyrinth of catacombs and pre-history Tyr buildings is (to me as a GM and PC) exciting to see there. I would have loved for there to have been more detail on the various locations to be honest, but there's enough there to generate some unique encounter sites for the PCs to play around in.

The final few chapters concern themselves with NPCs, campaigning within Tyr and how different classes are represented and interact within the city-state. The psionic school is a stand out here for me, but it also talks a bit about religion (or lack thereof, given that there are no deities on Athas, hence some druids a talked about). The adventure suggestions are reasonable, if not outstanding, within these chapters and provides some good ideas should the GM decide that the regular progression of adventures is not to be used.

Overall, it scrapes a 4 out of 5 stars from me (it was almost 3). I think the sheer level of detail and expansive range of coverage makes this campaign expansion book high quality. But equally, if one is not gaming in the Tyr region much (or only to begin with due to, e.g., undertaking the Dragon's Crown adventure), then its usability might be less.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Complete Psionics Handbook: Review

Although not technically part of the Dark Sun releases, the psionics handbook in one form or another turns out to be essential to all of the campaign. The reason for this is that every (yes: every) character in Dark Sun has access to psionic abilities to a greater or lesser extent. Some are full blown psionicists - a new class that is dealt with in detail in the handbook, whilst others are simply "wild talents". The wild talents are those born with some ability that they've learnt to master or use over the years. Levitating a chair, telepathically communicating with their Fathers, and so forth.

Almost every iteration of Dungeons and Dragons includes some kind of psionics. The second edition is probably the first most expansive description of psionics and its usage. But I don't think its the best to be honest.

Let's start with the positives. There is the psionicist class in and of itself. The powers that psionicists can use are detailed in several disciplines (psychokinesis, divination, telepathy, etc). And the class itself has a certain flexibility that makes it stand out against magic users (plus there's rules on what happens if psionics meets magical abilities that try to do opposite things). This is great. The sheer amount of new abilities is awesome.

On the negative side is the clunky implementation of psionics. This ranges from the rolls needed to activate particular powers (INT-some number that you can't recall, for instance) as well as expenditure of PSPs (power points used to power each ability that gets depleted until the user rests). I strongly prefer later systems that introduced MTHAC0 (mental THAC0's) and MAC (mental AC's) to activate abilities -- they were a good deal better iteration of the system. Moreover, every power has a negative side effect if a natural 20 (on a d20) is rolled. These tend to be rather extreme such as disintegrating oneself when trying to disintegrate something else. These are not fun! And why use them if you're not going to play to have fun? Further, the telepathic combat system is poor. It'd be much better if something like mental HP existed (or tangents as they are in later editions) before ID insinuation (and other negative effects such as telepathic domination) takes a foothold in the victims mind.

Overall, 2 stars out of 5. A necessary evil, but I strongly commend latter iterations of the psionic system to you to use in a Dark Sun campaign.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sequestered Industries