Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: Psi Wars End of March Patreon

The end of the month has come and gone, and it's been a busy time for Psi Wars. The foundations of the Empire have been laid, with the Imperial Ministries and the Senate making their debut. Imperial Security has dominated the last week, with the organization, its tools, its personnel, and its spaceships all getting their own posts.

It's also been a busy month for Patrons as well, most of which I've covered in my previous post. Today I'm going to cover the results of the Emperor poll, and the new Patreon posts that have come out since then.

Like before, I'm going to break down my review by support level.

Dreamers ($1/month)

There's two new posts at this level, one covering the process of designing vehicles in GURPS 4e and another introducing the Security Agent template.

Modeling Vehicles in 4e comes in two parts. Grav Cars outlines the struggles that Mailanka experienced with trying to reverse engineer GURPS 4e vehicles to build new ones, and is interesting to read if you want to gain an appreciation of the challenges and limitations that GURPS imposes. The second, Guide to Vehicle Design in GURPS 4e, is the more directly useful of the two, since it explains how to actually build new vehicles. While it requires GURPS Classic Vehicles and some judgement on how to use it, this is as good as it's going to get, barring the release of a 4e version of Vehicles.

The Security Agent is a standard 250 point professional template, with three 25 point power-ups to further customize the character. The signature of this character is his power to enforce the laws of their society, with many Security Agents choosing to do so through their combat prowess. The Riot Trooper power-up doubles down on this by improving their hand to hand skills. The Interrogator is more subtle, focusing on manipulating others psychologically. Finally, the Special Agent brings the full institutional weight of his organization to bear, with broad enforcement powers and increased rank.

Fellow Travelers ($3/month)

There's one new offering at this level, a preview of Imperial Personnel, Materiel and Spaceships. The bulk of it is dominated by the technology of the Empire, with sections on weapons, armor, vehicles, and spaceships. These are interesting because they help to characterize the Empire, with its expensive, difficult to maintain, but high quality personal equipment, disposable fighters, and massive dreadnoughts.

Furthermore, the existence of the Overtech Corporation, which makes weapons and armor for the Empire, gives a prime target for adventures, since their R&D division could contain secret projects to improve Imperial technology or to build weapons of terror.

The personnel portion is mostly a collection of minions that have already been released, but the Imperial Pilot, the Black Ops Commando, and the Black Ops Demolitionist are all new. The pilot gives opposition for space battles, while the Black Ops soldiers are scarily competent soldiers that player characters will dread to face.

Imperial Personnel, Materiel, and Spaceships is an excellent addition to Psi Wars, giving a player-facing side to the Empire and many tools for the GM to build scenarios with.

Companions ($5/month)

The polls on the Emperor have closed, and it was just as much fun as I thought it was going to be. Watching the other Patrons post their ideas and then offer new ideas in response is a fascinating process. My personal favorite part was how the Emperor's role as a Mystic Tyrant turned out. Initially, I didn't favor the idea of him following the path of the Mystic Tyrant, but upon seeing how popular it was, I offered the idea of styling him as the Futurist, based on one of the alternate names for the path. The Emperor as a visionary trying to build a better future stuck, especially as it tied in nicely with the Empire's Neo-Rationalist philosophy.

Mailanka hasn't yet had the time to develop the Emperor based on these polls, but he has posted a Results document summarizing the outcome. This is another part I really enjoy, because he is skilled at taking the many ideas people offer and synthesizing them into a whole. This is especially evident in the Emperor's origin, where he neatly takes all of the suggestions people had and weaves a cohesive narrative out of them.

Disciples ($7/month)

Nothing here yet, but later this month, there's going to be a call for the Empire's signature characters! Mailanka has said that he'll be offering prompts similar to the $5 polls, with many options for people to mix and match. I'm certain that this is going to be just as much fun as the rest has been, and I'm looking forward to making iconic characters for Psi Wars. I even have a few ideas in mind already!


March has been a very good month for Patrons of Psi Wars, and April looks to be just as promising. Besides the opportunity to create signature characters, there's also going to be releases on the scale of the Empire, Imperial tactics, and the names used by humanity's sub-groups. There's even going to be polls on the Tactics to determine which parts will be part of the final Psi Wars document. For more information, see this post on Mailanka's Musings.

If you like Psi Wars, consider supporting it on Patreon. It's been great so far, and there's still so much more to come. 

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