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Old 07-30-2017, 07:32 AM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Psionic Powers] Levitation's maintainance rolls

The Infinite Cabal party need to do some high-altitude flying. They don't know how high, or for how long (distance and time are difficult concepts on the Inner Astral plane, even if they knew where they were going).

The party's sole psionic has Levitation (Psionic Powers p55) and skill 16, but the requirement to roll every minute when there may well be nowhere around to land for miles in every direction has him worried. He's the party's utility flier, and wants to retain that position without getting killed.

Levitation is built off Flight with Requires IQ Roll (-10%). The player reckons buying that off entirely is breaking the Psionic Powers framework, and as GM I agree. Walk on Air (Psionic Powers p57) says no skill is needed, which seems a bit inconsistent.

Buying Extended Duration (B.105) to extend the time between rolls would be one way to solve the problem. Can anyone suggest others?
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:44 AM   #2
Maz
 
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers]Levitation's maintainance rolls

I would buy Extended duration as well. I can't really think of other options either.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:48 AM   #3
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers]Levitation's maintainance rolls

Does the Astral Plane in this setting even have a concept of gravity? If not, Levitation may just be useful for propelling yourself in the direction of your choice, with a failed roll resulting in just travelling in whatever direction you were going until a successful roll. Or, you could end up stopping dead in your tracks. GM's choice.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:54 AM   #4
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers]Levitation's maintainance rolls

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Does the Astral Plane in this setting even have a concept of gravity?
It has something that at least behaves like gravity.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:09 AM   #5
Maz
 
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers]Levitation's maintainance rolls

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
It has something that at least behaves like gravity.
To where are you then falling? Can't he just recast levitation again? Especially if he has 2d seconds of floating before falling.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:19 AM   #6
Owen Smith
 
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers]Levitation's maintainance rolls

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Originally Posted by Maz View Post
To where are you then falling? Can't he just recast levitation again? Especially if he has 2d seconds of floating before falling.
Player here. First of all a Fumble risks the power browning out so the character will just plummet. At a roll per minute with miles to fly, a Fumble is virtually certain. So it's not just a matter of straight failures. Second, many psionic powers make re-attempts more difficult, they cost FP and there are penalties on the rolls. Third, the surface on the Astral Sea is solid enough that falling on to it hurts, though aiming for a pool into a world might (or might not) hurt less.

Much of Psionic Powers is frustratingly ambiguous and fails to to get down to specifics, and this is no exception. Playing a psionic I end up thumbing back and forth through the book trying to find all the different relevant modifiers and rules and trying to resolve the ambiguities and "behaves like power X" when power X doesn't mention this topic at all, and asking the GM when the resolution isn't obvious.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:19 AM   #7
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers]Levitation's maintainance rolls

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Originally Posted by Maz View Post
To where are you then falling?
This would take several hundred words to describe. But there's either hard ground, or falling into a random and unknown material plane.
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Can't he just recast levitation again? Especially if he has 2d seconds of floating before falling.
Psionics has skill penalties on repeated attempts. It gets dangerous.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:23 AM   #8
Owen Smith
 
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers] Levitation's maintainance rolls

Does anyone know why Walk On Air as a psionic power says it doesn't need a skill roll? The entire point of Psionic Powers is that all powers need a skill. It's not the only one, other powers briefly mentioned as being also available as psionic say no skill roll is needed.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:33 AM   #9
Owen Smith
 
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers]Levitation's maintainance rolls

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Psionics has skill penalties on repeated attempts. It gets dangerous.
PP6. -1 cumulative for each repeated attempt (to do the same thing) at a failed skill roll, and a flat 1 FP cost for each re-attempt. Even when you finally succeed, the cumulative skill penalty continues to apply. You can get rid of the skill penalty by waiting five minutes.

Under those rules, with 17 and 18 always being failures no matter how high the skill level, flying many miles with once per minute skill rolls is implausible. I generally baulk at anything that requires more than a dozen skill rolls at once.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:48 AM   #10
sir_pudding
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Default Re: [Psionic Powers] Levitation's maintainance rolls

Treat noncombat travel flight as routine, and not require rolls at all (but probably assess FP for long term use). This is the same logic that keeps airliners from crashing all the time in GURPS.

Or buy up skill high enough and take a No Nuisance Rolls perk for travel flight.
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