In our group we have a balanced team ranging of ki users and magicians, and occasionally summoner. But the one sticking out from the group is the lone member who doesn't accumulate, doesn't spend zeon or ki points, and seem to dominate the battlefield with his seemingly endless powers whose sole weakness is the dreaded Fumble roll. This is the Psychic user of the group.
Although I have a bit of a hard time to balance the psychic player into the game, I am not primarily here to discuss about that. But yes, I may mention it once or twice. But what I want to know is the lore and the depth of the Psychic disciplines. It must be one of the least developed traits of Anima. I am not necessarily saying it is better or worse than ki or magic but that it has so shallow information that it feels it was put in there at the last minute. Its rules are not as complex as its counterparts and frankly is the easiest to spend points in.
The Ki users gain their strength from their souls that they can learn to use through teachers and that has been researched by many, such as the ancient masters of Varja or the members of Tol Rauko (and many more). Magic is even deeper and I can't say straight from my mind where magic comes from but it has probably the deepest lore of them all. That leaves us at Psychic, which is basically just "a power that comes from a few individual who may or may not have a more evolved brain and can influence things with the power of their mind". The end.
I want to know more about it. That is my generic question.
Fluff questions are as followed:
What causes people to get psychic powers? Where does the strength come from? Can they keep developing it? Can they learn new tricks? Do they need teachers? Scrolls of magic texts? Training? Naturally gifted? Does it exist any form of cults somewhere in Gaïa that practices psychic? Who and what do they do? What makes them different than magic and ki from a fluff perspective?
Game term questions:
What is the main difference between magic and psychic? Is it the limitation of powers and the lack of room to develop own powers? How does one combat a psychic who can toss "spells" every round without exhausting anything? Has anyone put more development into the psychic rules to make it on par with the ki and magic in terms of depth? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
My ultimate goal is to get material to make a player's character more interesting. As it is now, he was born a psychic and will never become more impressive than that because the GM (me) doesn't know what he can study, where to find it, and how to find secrets about it, etc. These may be too many questions but I am mostly interested in broad answers to fill in rather than answer everything one-by-one.
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To the fluff:
I think, psych powers are something from the mind of the mentalist. The Ki-users use their ki to "summon" or "alter" reality. Wizards are using Zeon to alter reality with er spells. Mentalists only use their minds, but they have the risks to "overwork" themself (lose of fatigue, which can happen without a fumble). In my game, we have not mentalists and therefore we don't have a problem to get the fluff XD
To the game stuff:
Can you say, where your problem with mentalists is?
They must make to checks to hit something (first check to see, if they can use their power and second check, to hit), the can't maintain a power without an inniate slot (which costs them 2 PP), they usually get 1 PP per Level and must buy more with DP, the increase of psych potential costs PP and gets more expensive (first +10 costs 1 PP, second costs 2PP, thirst 3 PP, so +30 would cost 6 PP, +40 would cost 10 PP and so on) and so on.
I don't have a mentalist in my game, so perhaps I don't have the experience you have with a mentalist, but with the rules, I can't think they could be this overhelming strong.
I've run many games with mentalists, and I can assure you they have their disadvantages. For instance, majority of the time people will only develope their Psychic projection to use for offense and defense, thus having to use the magic shield rules, which is such a disadvantage. While Magic users can mage their characters inbalanced to be more offensive or defensive Mentalists can't. And for the fatigue lost ive had two instances where it was really bad.
First instance was actually an NPC I was controling that was suppose to be like a boss that the party had to fight to escape a ship full of inquisition. At first the battle was looking bad for the party, because of the narrow corridors and the Mentalist using balistics against them, they had no where to run. But once they got up to him, he switched to using consume, and really started doing damage to them. (Mind he was a higher level than the party so that he was suppose to be difficult.) But just at the wrong time he critically fumbled putting him well below the needed potential of a level 3 power. And since he had the disadvantage that made this worse it was all the more bad. Lets just say it was bad enough to put the NPC into an instant coma.
Very similar instance happened with a player character in another game, he fumbled on a level 3 power and he didn't even have the disadvantage the earlier NPC had, he just had been spending his fatigue or lossing it along the way from bad potential rolls. And in the middle of a hard fight against a Slayer he throw himself into the negative fatigues, making him worthless and also unconcious/comatose. Well you can guess what happened when the slayer had a free meal. This was also the first entire party that I killed on accident in Anima, just a series of unlucky rolls for them.
Anyways Mentalists do have disadvantages compared to Wizards. Wizards have far more powers than Mentalists and have the option to increase their offense or defense at the cost of defense or offense. Mentalists potential is a lot harder to raise than a Wizards Zeon pool. magical items are better for Wizards because Mentalist magical items can do as much good as harm. So in fact I think Wizards are more powerful, but its a pretty close match if you really get into it as either class. Unless you go all Chimera on your DM. *sighs*
Who would have thought the world could be so sad…
If only they would translate all the Anima: Beyond Fantasy books T-T
I play a mute mentalist in my group, sure he's powerful but the biggest drawback I found was the shield, I have to know the attack is coming and if I choose to block it and fail I will lose my action for my next turn… usually I'm safe for one round or until the goons realise who it is that's shattering their stuff and/or bombing them with AoE Psychic Death attacks (I haven't used Shatter on a living person since I did a critical hit on a mook in a marketplace and sprayed everything with him when he turned to a fine mist of blood and gore)…
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