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Trinity RPG - Using India Underground?


jsnead
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I'm curious to know if anyone here has used the rules for the Chitra Bhanu QK Modes in India Underground. They seem quite powerful (if also very much as I always imagined Quantakinesis would work) and I'm wondering if they turn out to be overpowered or otherwise problematic in play. How have they worked for people?

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I like the higher psi costs, first off. It means that Chibs have more powerful techniques, but can't throw them around as often as other psions, which makes sense.

Overall, I liked the Modes and stuff, its that some of them are just copies of nova powers, and I would have liked to see more original stuff. That one power that lets you accelerate your healing seemed a bit out of place, to me. Something better for docs. I would have liked to see more techniques dealing directly with Quantum or Taint or the noetic field too, since thats what they're famous for. I can't think of any though, so that might be the problem encountered in production.

Kudos to everyone involved, though, it came out pretty damn well. Better than I could have made it thats for sure.

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I've made limited use of them in game. In general the Chib can do almost anything for 3 or 4 rounds, then he's out of Psi. In those first few rounds he can do a lot of damage, and the things he does then can help him survive the following rounds (increased soak and health levels), but if the team can hold out long enough they should be able to bring him down.

In my games they've usually ended up scaling like Aberrants that are really energy in-efficient. It take two or three psions to take one down with any certainty, but it can be done.

-Slag

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From India Underground and the little in the core Trinity books, Slagheap's right, they're inefficient low-to-mid level Aberrants. They can manage many gross effects, but don't handle fine effects so well because of the noetic glove thing. Also, they were researchers, not mainline combatants. They could survive long enough to slap a crystalizer on an Aberrant (having a Legion team backing you is helpful ::innocent ). As for accelerating healing, sounds like regeneration (can they mimic enhancements?). And lastly, any modes that could do anything useful with Quantum and Taint sounds a lot like Quantum Authority or Supremacy. Hard to get a scaled down version that wouldn't be sick. IU suggested there were ways to do it in a lab, though.

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To answer Blue Thunder's desire for quantakinetic effects that affect Quanta/Taint/noetic field, look at the alternate energetics effects. Psi field, quanta field, and purify affect psi and quanta, and remove Taint temporarily. Since purify is a level 5 technique, I doubt you could do much better (maybe the proxy could have). Energetics already does something like quantum conversion, and quantum regeneration is sort of inapplicable. Quantum imprint/leech/vampire could be techniques in a new mode that is designed to directly affect/combat Aberrants.

Quantum manipulation

*Quantum attunement: as enhancement of same name, allowing psion to see and analyze Aberrant's abilities

**Disrupt: as power of same name, but more efficient than normal way of using psi to disrupt quantum powers

***Quantum leech: as power of same name, allowing psion to convert QP to psi points at ruinous rate

****Quantum vampire: as power of same name, allowing psion to steal power inefficiently

*****Quantum imprint: as power of same name, allowing psion to copy power inefficiently

Note that pools and such would be adjusted to fit in with IU's concept of spending a lot more Psi to achieve a less powerful quantum effect. This would still allow a well-trained quantakinetic combatant to give an Aberrant a nasty surprise. Alternate techniques could be **disimmunize and ***quantum forgery, for offensive and defensive possibilities.

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Qk's have actually featured in my game quite prominantly, moreso than I expected. That is not to say I'm running an all-chib game or anything; I am still quite aware of keeping game balance and whatnot. Instead, right now what I have is one qk regular NCP, one qk temporary pc (her primary pc is on "maternity leave" from gaming and I have no problem with her playing one because a) I know she will not abuse the rules (in fact she takes the "I must hide my powers/taint" thing a little too far sometimes), and B) I've told her that this is an "actor" pc character and that I can override anything she does if I feel that it hurts the game), and a few more npc qks discovered from InUn's Hidden Hives section. It's happened fairly slowly over time, all this, but it's become a central issue of the storyline because the pc's in the group have "crossed the line", that is, they met a chib and let him live, and also didn't report him. So now they walk this fine line trying to stay in good graces with their orders and not have to betray their new friend (who has helped them on many occasions and even saved one's life from a taint disease, which was the catalyzing event for them to support him).

As such I've relied on InUn quite a bit. Over the years though, and through plenty of "playtesting" it, I've come to disagree with a few of the powers, how they work, how they were written, etc. Not a whole lot mind you; I still use their basic premises, and most of the powers are (relatively) unchanged. I've had to clean up a few because there were rules missing that needed to be there, or they were too powerful/underpowered for their level. Mostly what I've done is added to the power list, since QK seems to have so much potential for development. Some of those powers I've posted on the forums here, but I stopped because there didn't seem to be much interest in them.

I am going with the premise that the chibs developed their 30 powers in the 6 years they had (being the pioneers of noetic science and also able to easily boost their attributes like Intelligence) which took the other orders about 15. Thus, if they had been able to continue, how far would they have advanced? I have other theories on that too if anyone's interested. I've developed a "QK Cheat Sheet" similar to the ones I found (I think on the site here?), and am now working on a "rules compendium" for all the power descriptions, edits, rewrites, and additions I've made.

So overall, I think that I have been able to maintain the balance of the game, mainly through what BT and Slagheap have said in that Psi is their main limitation overall, but mostly actually because of their predicament, that their powers give off a slight taint signiture that could be detected by other psions who may become curious enough to investigate. (Of course, now this is one of the big reasons the group feels that they have to protect their QK friends, because since they can't use their powers much, they are really less powerful and thus more helpless!) This has become so important in the game, obviously, that I have assigned a "taint detection difficulty" to each of the powers, based off of the difficulties in the TPG for attunement. Some powers give off more or less taint than others for their level (such as Quanta field and Psi Shield, respectively), which is why each power has its own difficulty. For ease of reference I've included them in the QK Cheat Sheet.

The number of powers "actively" in my game (in that their rules make them available) has grown from the initial 30 to 46 (which includes the new Gravitics mode that I posted here on the forums). This hasn't really upset the balance of the game mainly because of the limitations of learning them. First of all, the PCs spend a lot of time adventuring, and thus cannot use that time to learn new modes. Second, even when they do take the time, they have virtually no one to learn from! (The qk npc team-member knows the most out of everyone they've met so far, except for Icarus' group they met in Antartica, who had some knowledge of Gravitics from data they recovered from the Legions, who stole it during the Purge). Lastly, for the powers they do want, they have to pretty much research them (especially the new ones I make since the characters have to come up with them themselves), which takes plenty of time and experience points. Really, the pc-chib has learned three new powers so far (two Gravitics, since the lower powers are easier and quicker to learn), and one in Enhancement (she decided that it was time to learn how to heal). The npc one has learned four, one in Energetics (Cure Taint Disease), and three levels of Gravitics (again, they are quicker to learn, especially since Icarus and his group know this up to level 3).

From India Underground and the little in the core Trinity books, Slagheap's right, they're inefficient low-to-mid level Aberrants. They can manage many gross effects, but don't handle fine effects so well because of the noetic glove thing.

This is true and a good limitation for the setting, at least for now anyway. Still, one has to wonder, since QK seems to overlap so much already with other aptitudes, how much "refinement" could they get from another 10-20 years of research, assuming they had it? The only reason I'm saying this is not necessarily to figure out what things will be like in that time (anything's possible there), but since the chibs were an "experiment", an idea of where further development of QK might lead might lend insight into the reasons for the Purge. Maybe the "noetic glove" thing wasn't as much of a limitation on their precision as was the sheer lattitude of the abilities (e.g. Energy Production can produce any kind of energy, etc.) In InUn, Molecular Mastery would require a great deal of precision, woudln't it? ::sly

As for accelerating healing, sounds like regeneration

I agree, it fits in well with the mode. And given that it was an "experiment", perhaps the chibs didn't have as many artificial limitations placed on them, as say the BK's do since they can't heal, etc. Or perhaps the Doyan simply didn't anticipate the range of abilities available to them, and when they saw what the chibs were doing, and projected that into the future a bit, they could see... what? Making the other orders obsolete, and a possible inter-order war? Or more like InUn says, and it was simply some power too dangerous to the Doyan themselves?

I'm sorry if I appear to be getting a bit off track, but in trying to figure out the "true" nature of QK, one has to consider the Doyan's motivations and actions here, right?

Quantum imprint/leech/vampire could be techniques in a new mode that is designed to directly affect/combat Aberrants.

I'm not so sure that a new "mode" is needed, per se. I mean, manipulation of taint already exists in Energetics, and since taint is a form of nuclear energy (radiation), then why not let it fall simply under Energetics? You could still have all those powers you list if you really want them, but using a new mode forces one to have to do things like come up with a minimum number of powers, and separate them into the five distinct power levels. This may not fit the powers you want to add, so if you just keep them as alternate Energetics powers, you can place them wherever makes sense in the power scale, and not have to "fill in the holes" let behind with powers that don't make sense for whatever reason (too powerful, not useful, etc.) For example: Quantum Leech; this is simply a specialized use of Noetic Conversion (Eng5) at a distance, instead of at contact. So far all the Energetics powers appear at "contact" range (or projecting therefrom), so I have been working on new powers to manipulate energies "at range", like Transmutation starting at level 3. Besides, "mode" implies something that the other modes don't cover. This is why I put Gravitics into it's own mode, since it is not manipulating energy really, just one of the fundamental "forces". Also, this limitation of range (so far) would be why the Dhiren had to use the Noetic Crystalizers back in the day.

Other than that though, quantum/taint/abberant specific powers seem like an interesting possibility I hadn't considered. Of course, in game it will require research similar to what the Chitra Bhanu did originally, with captured abbies and all, so likely not for a long time (like most of the new stuff I come up with). Still, this possibility intrigues me. ::thumbup1

Ok, I'll admit I'm a chib/QK-junkie. ::drool Aside from being a cool power (I think most will admit), physics is one of my favorite sciences. Plus it's hard to talk to my players about this stuff because I have to keep so much secret from them (like the Doyan, etc.) It has helped a bit having a qk pc to talk to about new powers, but not about the ramifications of quantakinesis itself, and what role it could/should play in the game. I'm also always coming up with new powers, or sometimes changes to others, and kinda hoped for some other viewpoints on them. But the Trinity boards have seemed so dead lately. ::sad

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Is it just me, or does energetics look a lot like an Aberrant elemental mastery? It has a lethal blast, shield, storm (Ok, it doesn't have propel or shape ...). Also, gravitics could be formed like gravity control (I don't recall seeing a gravitics write-up anywhere, is that your house rules stuff?). I sort of like the QK's, but they have some serious game-balance impacts. When a psion can use quantum powers/effects, even clumsily, that can be big! ::nuclear And the Trinity forum isn't dead, it just doesn't have the volume of the Aberrant form (Adventure is even less active). Who knows, stir up enough interest and start writing IU 2.0, the chibs come back!

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Also, gravitics could be formed like gravity control (I don't recall seeing a gravitics write-up anywhere, is that your house rules stuff?).

Yeah, I posted it here: http://www.eononline.net/forums/index.php?...indpost&p=51296

It's a bit old, I've made a couple of modifcations since then (like making Densitometry useful, not so complicated and overlapping with Molecular Scanning). I always welcome feedback of course.

I sort of like the QK's, but they have some serious game-balance impacts. When a psion can use quantum powers/effects, even clumsily, that can be big!

Of course; the chibs in my game have altered the pcs lives forever. However, I think more has been done by their mere existence than their powers, as I described. That was the experience in my game anyway (and they've been in a couple years OOG now). Still, they've been a challenge; not for every ST, that's for sure. :)

And the Trinity forum isn't dead, it just doesn't have the volume of the Aberrant form (Adventure is even less active). Who knows, stir up enough interest and start writing IU 2.0, the chibs come back!

Well, it's a lot less active that it was when I joined. Weeks can go by without anyone posting sometimes.

Anyway, you know, ever since I started the QK rules compendium, I've thought that I could beef it up a bit more into a little TFR-sized booklet, on just that topic: updating the chibs for 2121 and beyond. New powers, equipment, strategies, possible events (timeline) and story ideas, etc. Obviously less on an area, like the BC in InUn, unless I wanted to make a thing for Antartica or something, which is already basically covered in Hidden Agendas (and where the chibs in my game are basically hiding out; see Icarus' Ice Marauders in InUn for more on that). I dunno, could be fun.

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Just an idea here, but given all the good stuff from India Underground, how about adapting it into an alternate setting where the Purge never happened? Essentially a What If? Order book. Sure you'd have to adapt the rest of the setting a bit to accomadate having the Chibs involved past 2109, but you could have lots of fun seeing how it all turned out (Huang Marr Conspiracy, Invasion, Process 418 et al) with the Quantakinetic order still a viable and avluable entity. A great opportunity to develop those nifty new QK powers and biotech...

Just a thought.

JC

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Gravitics looked good: useful but not overpowering, roughly in line with other modes/aptitudes like photokinesis or TK, and handy to have. Magnetokinesis can be done likewise. A new QK booklet would be very nice, especially with the Bright Continent e-book being worked on. Sounds like you've already got new material and a plan! If you'd like a few thoughts on the subject, I'd certainly like to help. As for the alternate timeline with no Purge ...., that's a big change. ::blink The chibs would have pushed research way past Trinity norm, Project Harmony could have yielded big results on dealing with Taint, an ethical Huang-Marr project, no paranoia-fed teleporter exodus (and thus no jumpship development?), etc. ::ohmy Has anyone done alternate timeline projects before? I've seen Ancient Aberrant's basic premises/design, but that's an ongoing campaign, not an e-book sort of thing.

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Just an idea here, but given all the good stuff from India Underground, how about adapting it into an alternate setting where the Purge never happened? Essentially a What If? Order book. Sure you'd have to adapt the rest of the setting a bit to accomadate having the Chibs involved past 2109, but you could have lots of fun seeing how it all turned out (Huang Marr Conspiracy, Invasion, Process 418 et al) with the Quantakinetic order still a viable and avluable entity. A great opportunity to develop those nifty new QK powers and biotech.

I have to agree with astronomer here, it would be a huge change. I mean, it would certainly be fun to rip apart the whole Trinity setting for this, but you'd have to be prepared for just that, it being ripped apart. I don't think that you could have have the chibs quietly sitting beside the other orders like the other 6 do today. I mean, I suppose that you could, if you ignore a bunch of stuff, like Project Harmony, and how fast they could likely do research. So I suppose that you could even have two alternate timelines here. One, the "lite" version, where the chibs are just another order like the others, or the "heavy-duty" version (or whatever you want to call it), where they helped push the boundries of noetic science by double or more for the other orders, and for themselves, well...

I've done a lot of thinking on that too. An in essence, I do not think that, aside from the psi-limitation, that there is any reason that the QKs couldn't duplicate most if not all the effects from the other aptitudes. It might limit them in some ways, in that perhaps they couldn't do say certain higher-level powers, or really fancy stuff, but otherwise seeing as the abbies can do most of them, why not? Except for Clairsentience of course; I don't know how much quantum can duplicate that since psi is kind of an "information medium".

Anyway, my point is, how would this affect the inter-order politics? Psion-neutral relations? Just another thing to consider along with all the other stuff astronomer mentioned.

Gravitics looked good: useful but not overpowering, roughly in line with other modes/aptitudes like photokinesis or TK, and handy to have.

Cool. ::cool But do you see what I mean with the overlaps already though? "Fly" is TK, and "Warp" is a level 2 Teleportation (Warping) ability. But they made perfect sense to me in terms of what you could do with gravity. Now that I have recently purchased Aberrant, my suspicions appear to be verified.

Magnetokinesis can be done likewise.

Actually, with all the new QK stuff I've been doing I've been feeling bad for my other players and encouraging them to come up with stuff for their aptitudes, and trying to help a little myself. That does indeed sound like a perfect "fourth" mode of EK (although I'm sure a QK could learn a few of those techniques too... ::devil )

Now that I think about it though, perhaps the reason there is no magnetokinesis is because of the limitations placed on the aptitudes, as it might allow for some too-TK-like powers? I'll have to go check my Aberrant book for ideas later.

A new QK booklet would be very nice, especially with the Bright Continent e-book being worked on. Sounds like you've already got new material and a plan! If you'd like a few thoughts on the subject, I'd certainly like to help.

I am anxiously awaiting BC to come out so I can use the new psi order in my game. I'm just at the point now where the Star Crossed are still setting up in Nyota K(I'm not going to try to spell the rest by memory here). I've heard some rumors about what they are doing with it and am wondering how that will mesh with my chib plans, hmm...

Yeah, plenty of material, and more ideas brewing, but so far the plan was to put it toegether, and maybe when it's done post it here if anyone was interested. I didn't think that there might be enough interest in it given the little response I got to some of my previous posts (notice how Blue Thunder is the only one to respond to my Gravitics post, for example). But if you want to help, um, sure. ::smile I'm not sure how we'd go about that. I suppose that I could show you what I got so far, talk about my thoughts for more stuff, in PM or e-mail, and see how it goes from there? I dunno, I'm new at this. ::biggrin

Hmm, perhaps the alternate timeline(s) could go into an "adventure" section? Hmm...

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I am anxiously awaiting BC to come out so I can use the new psi order in my game. I'm just at the point now where the Star Crossed are still setting up in Nyota K(I'm not going to try to spell the rest by memory here). I've heard some rumors about what they are doing with it and am wondering how that will mesh with my chib plans, hmm...

It's Nyota Kukumbatia ^_^ And if you think that's bad, try Nyerere Kusanyiko.

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