Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Psi Wars: Balancing Player-Created and Found Relics

After sharing my previous post on empowering artifacts, Mailanka noted, quite correctly, that an artifact should have the same point cost to possess, regardless of how it was obtained. I’ll counter by noting that the point cost for player created artifacts is spread out over the course of play, while a found artifact has to be paid for all at once, and a player created artifact ends up being much more fine tuned for their character.

That said, this is still a fair objection. Let’s take a look at the existing rules for artifacts in Psi Wars and see how we can adapt them for use in play.

The ground rules for buying relics (which I’ve been calling artifacts for some reason) as Signature Gear are quite simple. For every character point you spend on Signature Gear, you can have a relic with a cost of up to $25,000. The cost of a relic is determined by the base value of the object, plus its value as a self-powered psychotronic generator based on the rules on Psi-Tech p. 13-14.

To buy a player created relic with points, you still need the “Relic of Communion Perk”, but now the relic’s point cost is based on its dollar cost. Since a relic can start with up to 2 points of abilities, you must spend at least enough points to cover that amount. For example, a force sword costs $10,000 on its own, and as a Small, self-powered psychotronic generator, it costs an additional $3,750 per point of abilities it possesses. Thus, 1 point of Signature Gear lets you have a force sword with up to four points of abilities, more than enough to cover a starting relic’s two points.

Make a note of that maximum value, though, since relics grow in power over time, using the rules in my previous post. If they exceed that maximum, the player must spend additional points on Signature Gear sufficient to cover its full value. For convenience in determining the number of points of abilities each point in Signature Gear gets you, see the following table.

Size Points of Abilities Per Point of Signature Gear
Mini (SM-6) 6
Small (SM-4) 7
Portable (SM-2) 9
Semi-Portable (SM 0) 12
Large (SM+2) 17

If this kind of book keeping seems more trouble than it’s worth, assume that the initial investment in Signature Gear covers up to 4 points worth of abilities and each additional point of Signature Gear allows up to 8 additional points in abilities. This reflects the likely bias towards portable, personal objects as player-created relics.

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