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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:54 pm
  

D-Bee

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I have many questions about how things could work and if they are cheating or playing creatively but fairly within the rules

#1 An R.C.C class like the Psi-Stalker needs to feed off of P.P.E. or I.S.P. The rules say they can feed off of ley lines but not normal plants, animals, or people (Dbee’s included). They need to eat once a week and get a minimum of either 50 PPE or ISP with their preferred way being to hunt and kill a psychic, magic user, creature of magic or supernatural being. I can’t help myself from thinking this makes them somewhat like vampires.

I tried writing up a Psi-stalker and realized without a readily available source of “food” I couldn’t go more than a week without going insane or starving. If I settled down I’d have to live near a ley line just to not kill anyone. Technically I don’t have to kill but unlike the vampire kingdoms in Mexico with their villages of willing blood donors who can take turns every night. Can you imagine hunting down a party member with 100 + PPE or ISP, scratching them for 1 s.d.c and sucking up 50 or more of their power. Won’t the party member go insane and develop a phobia or something if they were a willing victim. So If I played a “free” roaming Psi-Stalker I’d be like a serial killer or at least terrorizer.

First question. Can a Psychic with PPE transfer feed a Psi-Stalker like it was a ley line. In RUE, the power reads, “This power allows the psychic to convert some of his I.S .P. into P.P.E. energy and transfer that energy to another person,” page 166.

Can psychic pump that PPE into a Shifter/Mystic/Ley Line Walker for their spell casting (without ritual, just sort of filling their PPE gas tank)?

Would Psi-stalkers starve in another world without beings of magic, psionics, supernatural creatures or ley lines?

If a Psi-Stalker portaled into an Astral Domain (Psyscape or such) do they need to eat if they don’t age or do so at one-one thousandth the speed? Or do they just freeze their appetite and when they return they are just as hungry as when they left?

Can Psi-Stalkers, if they are physically in the Astral plane drain the PPE of people who astrally project there? Astral supernatural beings?

IF you locked up a Psi-Stalker in prison (like in the Coalition or something), how does the Coalition feed them?

If they are not feed would they go mad like a vampire and attack anything with PPE?


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:38 pm
  

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You've hit on one of the major snags of the class: That feeding on PPE can be tough to sustain.

A few thoughts:
-- A Psi-Stalker doesn't have to get his full PPE meal at once. He could take an SDC rifle and shoot a dozen birds or some small game. That would give him enough to stay well fed (especially with the "doubling at death" PPE rule). But, yes, he's not going to be able to do that in a city. (I forget which book lists the PPE of various animals. I'm sure someone will be along that recalls it.)
-- This is a bit of a house-rule, but one could allow a mage to give his PPE to a Psi-Stalker (without the cut) via the rule on RUE p186. Make it a simple transaction, 100 credits per session or something.
-- A Psi-Stalker can feed off another psychic's ISP. Meaning you could pair up a couple of Psi-Stalkers who feed off each other. (Monday Bob feeds off Fred. On Wednesday Fred feeds off Bob.) Downside is that they'll have to cut one another, and neither has psychic healing to fix it. This isn't exactly in accordance with the fluff text of the class, but it is the rules as written.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:47 pm
  

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Also worth noting... you might be able to BUY PPE from people.

In Rifts: Houstown, I had psi-stalkers buying PPE from men of magic and PPE-rich D-bees... a few hundred credits for a small cut from a clean blade, and a bit of PPE, and you're done in 5 minutes.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:54 pm
  

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@darthauthor
#1. No, PPE transfer doesn't work to satisfy the Psi-Stalker.

#2. Yes, provided they have the appropriate power. Though it isn't required, they could donate PPE willingly.

#5. I would say yes, they can drain PPE/ISP of astral travelers

#7. AFAIK no they don't go mad.

The others are more of a GM call I think.

Mack wrote:
But, yes, he's not going to be able to do that in a city. (I forget which book lists the PPE of various animals. I'm sure someone will be along that recalls it.)

Psionic Section pg114 in RMB (I don't think RUE has it, or if it does it was moved), and can be found in PF2E at the start of the Psionic section (don't have page number handy).

Animals that are psychic are possible, so this is viable. Cats, Dogs, and horses are specifically called out having psionics with a list of powers.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:06 pm
  

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Comment: They/Them
A 6-pack of Psi-Cola (WB12p84) can sustain a Psi-Stalker for a week at a cost of 90-900 credits (the average being more in the 200 range, depending on legality), with there being an issue of negative side effects resulting from addiction.

While this isn't book legal or whatever, I'd be cool with Psi-implants such as the Psionic Actuator providing partial nourishment to Psi-Stalkers, provided one of the side effects suffered was something akin to Hearing Voices/Uncontrolled Medium/DID.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:58 pm
  

D-Bee

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I never thought of the loop hole that animals with psionic are "fair" game too. Thank you forum for ALL the ideas.

Part of my belief is that the rules are there to "try" to balance the classes. So the thinking was you have to take the bad with the good. A kind of deterent from taking certain OCC's or RCC's.

I started my journey on this topic trying to play a Psi-Stalker leader of a dog boy pack and wondered how they got along in the Coalition States. Aside from the second class citizen status my biggst concern was how do these people eat if they can't shop at the market or CS cafeteria. My life would depend on a consistent supply of bad guys otherwise I'd be the "bad" guy or die of hunger. The emphasis on the wording of there nature is that they are HUNTERS. They don't want to be feed. They want to hunt like it's a drug addiction.

If they wear the CS leash, their masters know they have to eat. The reality is the CS would need farms/ranches that breed psionic animals for Psi-stalker consumption. Then transportation of the live psychic animals to Psi-Stalkers for them to "free" so they could hunt them down and kill them to "eat." Otherwise, CS Psi-stalkers would have to be stationed within transportation distance of a ley line. The alternative is needing "villians" to feed off of. The problem I see with it in the CS supply and availability/distribution.

Imagine you are a CS general. You're in charge of Psi-Stalker resource management. I don't know how many thousands of them there are or what their reproduction rates are but lets just say its equal to humans. The CS wants Psi-Stalkers to hunt for "supernatural" problems within their boarders. Let's face it, they are great at it.

I don't know about you but I've just got some wicked ideas in my head of messed up stuff the CS would do to "feed" it's best hunters when there is a dry spell. Prisons for magic users and psychic criminals they keep to be hunted for their Psi-stalkers. Farms with breeding programs for supernatural creatures. Keeping magic users to resurrect a magic user, psychic, or superantural creature for psi-stalkers to hunt and kill over and over again. "Retiring" dog boys by having them hunted to death by Psi-stalkers. Keeping a vampire to make vampires out of human criminals for Psi-stalkers to kill. Although, technically, the Xiticix are more than enough of a food source the problem is "live" distribution and that the Xiticix attack and reproduce in overwhelming numbers.

The Xiticix are the most dangerous threat to ALL other life Earth. The other threats to human life will at least keep humans as slaves or food, so our species will at survive and continue. To the Xiticix anything not Xiticix will evenetually die or be killed by them to make way for them and they make the land they occupy uninhabitable for any other organic life form. I'm kind of surpised the Splugorth have not wiped them out. They are really risking their position on Earth or at least Atlantis if they allow the Xiticix to grow too large in numbers.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:00 pm
  

Palladin

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nazca line magic has a spell that fills a water container with PPE juice, which iirc can sustain psi-stalkers. the book of magic doesn't specify, so you might need to check south america 2.... but you're gonna need an awfully large retirement fund to be able to afford that method.

it is also worth noting that not only are some animals psychic, but the psi-stalker would have a special power to befriend them, so it is theoretically possible you could use that power to get some animals used to having minor cuts and being drained of PPE.

it is also worth noting that psychics and mages do have their PPE/ISP drawn out of their body (by themselves) all the time, and do not go insane. obviously being actively hunted on a regular basis would have an effect, and obviously there's a difference between drawing it out under your own control and having it drawn out forcefully by someone else, but the mere fact that their PPE/ISP is being drawn wouldn't be sufficient to make anyone insane, imo... although the other things that generally accompany that very well could, especially if repeated many times.

anyways, in order, to the best of my knowledge:

1) i would say no. i might make an exception in case of extreme quantities. because that's the thing with ley lines: it isn't just PPE, it's obscenely large amounts of PPE. otherwise, it can't be just any old PPE, it has to be PPE from specific sources.

2) yes, psychics can replenish the PPE of spellcasters with that power, and spellcasters can then use that PPE to cast spells.

3) possibly. it is also possible that they might stop being psi-stalkers. one of the nightbane books has people who are just beginning the transformation into something remarkably similar; it is possible that the mutation is dormant when PPE levels in the environment are low.

4) i can't recall if astrally projected people bleed, but if they do, then yes. definitely yes to physically present supernatural beings in the astral, though again, technically they need to bleed.

5) probably with psychic/magic-using criminals. i doubt the CS are very big on civil rights for their prisons. just to be clear though, i suspect that the CS in situations where a psi-stalker has been deemed worthy of going to prison for the long term, they may just kill them. they are psychics and mutants, neither of which have been ways to win favour in the CS for a long time... things are beginning to change, apparently, but in the meanwhile there are still decades (possibly over a century) of prejudice to overcome, and even then those changes mostly only apply to psychics that are in the good graces of the CS at that specific moment (and usually those psychics are not found in prison). so yeah, i wouldn't be surprised if, at least at this point, psi-stalkers that are enemies of the state are just killed or left to starve to death.

6) no. they might go mad like a human or animal, but only to the same extent that a human or animal might get desperate enough to attack things that they could eat if they were starving. there is no mention of any unusual behaviour there, so by default, there isn't any.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:04 pm
  

D-Bee

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dont overlook animal sacrifice as a means to live in or near an urban area without any issues. I have to imagine something like this is how the CS feeds its "civilized" Psi-stalkers. A psi stalker could have a contract with the local butcher where he comes in and feeds on the animals as they die.

Or if there are enough Psi-stalkers, you can bet there is a shop that caters specifically to them, much like Santeristas (hope i spelled that right) in urban areas here in the US, where they maintain goats and chickens for ritual sacrifice.

Given that there are roughly ~40-45 million sentients on the continent (as we are told in D-bees of NA), and that roughly 3+ million of them (at the very least; numbres from Lone Star, Canada, and one of the sourcebooks that has some info on Psi-stalkers) - just in the wild tribes in the New West and Canadian West/Southwest (so, close to 10% of the entire sentient population of the continent) people have to have made acomodations for dealing with/serving the needs of Psi-stalkers, particularly considering that a decent number (probably north of several hundred thousand, but we dont know for sure) are "civilized", and that in frontier towns, having a friendly psi-stalker around can be a serious boon to the community.

In my head, basic harmless ritual sacrifice seems like the way most civilized areas would deal with it. Either specialized stores (like Santeria suppliers) or working in concert with local butchers and hunters (or, in many cases, BEING the hunters that bring the meat in to the butchers).

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:07 pm
  

D-Bee

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Shark_Force wrote:
5) probably with psychic/magic-using criminals. i doubt the CS are very big on civil rights for their prisons. just to be clear though, i suspect that the CS in situations where a psi-stalker has been deemed worthy of going to prison for the long term, they may just kill them. they are psychics and mutants, neither of which have been ways to win favour in the CS for a long time... things are beginning to change, apparently, but in the meanwhile there are still decades (possibly over a century) of prejudice to overcome, and even then those changes mostly only apply to psychics that are in the good graces of the CS at that specific moment (and usually those psychics are not found in prison). so yeah, i wouldn't be surprised if, at least at this point, psi-stalkers that are enemies of the state are just killed or left to starve to death.


WB11 has a section on this (not Psi-stalkers in particular, but criminal psychics) - i just read it last night when reading the section about Psi-Net and Psi-Bat.

Dangerous Psychic criminals are just killed outright with no trial.

Psi-stalkers probably fall into that, especially since they aren't considered truly human.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:17 pm
  

D-Bee

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
dont overlook animal sacrifice as a means to live in or near an urban area without any issues. I have to imagine something like this is how the CS feeds its "civilized" Psi-stalkers. A psi stalker could have a contract with the local butcher where he comes in and feeds on the animals as they die.

Or if there are enough Psi-stalkers, you can bet there is a shop that caters specifically to them, much like Santeristas (hope i spelled that right) in urban areas here in the US, where they maintain goats and chickens for ritual sacrifice.

Given that there are roughly ~40-45 million sentients on the continent (as we are told in D-bees of NA), and that roughly 3+ million of them (at the very least; numbres from Lone Star, Canada, and one of the sourcebooks that has some info on Psi-stalkers) - just in the wild tribes in the New West and Canadian West/Southwest (so, close to 10% of the entire sentient population of the continent) people have to have made acomodations for dealing with/serving the needs of Psi-stalkers, particularly considering that a decent number (probably north of several hundred thousand, but we dont know for sure) are "civilized", and that in frontier towns, having a friendly psi-stalker around can be a serious boon to the community.

In my head, basic harmless ritual sacrifice seems like the way most civilized areas would deal with it. Either specialized stores (like Santeria suppliers) or working in concert with local butchers and hunters (or, in many cases, BEING the hunters that bring the meat in to the butchers).


An important point is that no ordinary animals can be used as food for Psi-Stalkers. The RUE say it must be Psychic, Magic or Supernatural. As one in this forum intelligently and insightfully pointed out some animals are psychic so they will do if you kill enough of them. However, the hunt is to a Psi-Stalker like flying is to a bird or swimming is to a fish. They can't stay in a cage or jar and live anymore than a great white shark can survive in captivity. To truly feel alive, they have to HUNT their food. Without the hunt they would be so depressed, I'd imagine they would take risks like a juicer or become a drug addict. .


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:36 am
  

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darthauthor wrote:
I never thought of the loop hole that animals with psionic are "fair" game too. Thank you forum for ALL the ideas.

The victim (animal, human, monster, or dbee) doesn't have to be psionic. Everyone has a little PPE. A common small bird or mouse will have 1D4 PPE (doubled at death). It ain't much, but 10 of them is enough to sustain a Psi-Stalker. [Kudos to ShadowLogan for the reference to RMB p114.]

As for CS Psi-Stalkers, my solution is they feed off of Dog Boys. The Dog Boys are trained to do this as part of their duty, and are indoctrinated to consider it a privilege. Keep in mind the victim's death is not required.

Another potential solution (for a non-CS character) would be a TW device that stores PPE, or a talisman. I'd have it "taste bad" like a ley line, but it could be used like emergency rations.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:53 am
  

Palladin

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Mack wrote:
darthauthor wrote:
I never thought of the loop hole that animals with psionic are "fair" game too. Thank you forum for ALL the ideas.

The victim (animal, human, monster, or dbee) doesn't have to be psionic. Everyone has a little PPE. A common small bird or mouse will have 1D4 PPE (doubled at death). It ain't much, but 10 of them is enough to sustain a Psi-Stalker. [Kudos to ShadowLogan for the reference to RMB p114.]


the animal does have to be psychic. not because otherwise it won't have any PPE (it will), but because the psi-stalker can only feed on supernatural beings, creatures of magic, psychics, and practitioners of magic. anything else is simply inedible to them, whether it has 1 PPE or 1000 PPE (not that i imagine there are many things with 500 PPE that don't fall into one of those categories).

which of course means that humans, monsters, and d-bees also need to fit into one of those categories to be viable food for a psi-stalker, as well... but you had quoted darthauthor mentioning animals specifically.

frankly, if psi-stalkers could feed on any human, i doubt the CS would tolerate their presence in the CS, let alone recruit them into the army. i mean, it's gotta be way safer and easier to hunt things that don't have (lowercase) supernatural powers of some kind after all.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:17 am
  

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Comment: They/Them
TIL: Psycho-Stalkers gain a handful of Healing powers, which I hadn't bothered to notice before but got me wondering. Something that I don't think is a power unique to an RCC or Palladium Fantasy or whatever would be a Healing or Physical power for resisting revulsion, which could work out as being some mix of deaden pain and resist fatigue/thirst. Perhaps some CS Psi-Stalkers could have an implant somewhere in-between a toggleable Psi Inhibitor and an actuator implant, granting this power so as to allow feeding more easily upon ley lines, while allowing their supervisors the ability to shut down their senses. Alternatively, a fair number of dog boys would have access to the power, allowing sarge to more easily eat in the field. Two wild Psi-Stalkers could easily enough just feed on each other, especially if one downplays the frightening nigh unto death part. This would easily tie enough into ritual scarification among disparate groups as a useful identifer.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:06 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
Mack wrote:
darthauthor wrote:
I never thought of the loop hole that animals with psionic are "fair" game too. Thank you forum for ALL the ideas.

The victim (animal, human, monster, or dbee) doesn't have to be psionic. Everyone has a little PPE. A common small bird or mouse will have 1D4 PPE (doubled at death). It ain't much, but 10 of them is enough to sustain a Psi-Stalker. [Kudos to ShadowLogan for the reference to RMB p114.]


the animal does have to be psychic. not because otherwise it won't have any PPE (it will), but because the psi-stalker can only feed on supernatural beings, creatures of magic, psychics, and practitioners of magic. anything else is simply inedible to them, whether it has 1 PPE or 1000 PPE (not that i imagine there are many things with 500 PPE that don't fall into one of those categories).


I stand corrected, having completely overlooked the note on the bottom of p153.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:00 pm
  

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For psi-stalkers living near a ley line, a weekly feeding at the ley line does the job. Such areas tend to be where they find magic users, supernatural critters, and psychics anyway, so the areas around ley lines are a great natural habitat for psi-stalkers.

I personally like to house rule that Psi-Stalkers can also feed off any device that can store or be charged by P.P.E. or I.S.P.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:07 am
  

D-Bee

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Mack wrote:
Shark_Force wrote:
Mack wrote:
darthauthor wrote:
I never thought of the loop hole that animals with psionic are "fair" game too. Thank you forum for ALL the ideas.

The victim (animal, human, monster, or dbee) doesn't have to be psionic. Everyone has a little PPE. A common small bird or mouse will have 1D4 PPE (doubled at death). It ain't much, but 10 of them is enough to sustain a Psi-Stalker. [Kudos to ShadowLogan for the reference to RMB p114.]


the animal does have to be psychic. not because otherwise it won't have any PPE (it will), but because the psi-stalker can only feed on supernatural beings, creatures of magic, psychics, and practitioners of magic. anything else is simply inedible to them, whether it has 1 PPE or 1000 PPE (not that i imagine there are many things with 500 PPE that don't fall into one of those categories).


I stand corrected, having completely overlooked the note on the bottom of p153.


Yeah i somehow missed that too.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:23 am
  

D-Bee

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darthauthor wrote:

An important point is that no ordinary animals can be used as food for Psi-Stalkers. The RUE say it must be Psychic, Magic or Supernatural. As one in this forum intelligently and insightfully pointed out some animals are psychic so they will do if you kill enough of them. However, the hunt is to a Psi-Stalker like flying is to a bird or swimming is to a fish. They can't stay in a cage or jar and live anymore than a great white shark can survive in captivity. To truly feel alive, they have to HUNT their food. Without the hunt they would be so depressed, I'd imagine they would take risks like a juicer or become a drug addict. .


Everything you've put here that i bolded is headcanon. It isn't supported in any way by the text.

Ill admit that the animal sacrifice thing wont work (as they perplexingly MUST hunt only supernatural creatures, creatures of magic, magic users, or psionics as of Lone Star (which was later incorporated into RUE), and the added statement that wilderness creatures treat them like other animals and they therefore do not hunt them except in times of great need (to feed non-psi stalker friends, or the like).

However, the entire fact that there are so many civilized psi-stalkers (at the bare minimum, a full 15% of the entire CS Army) means that your headcanon doesn't hold water. They dont have what has to be close to 500,000 crazed drug-addict murderers running around. They can keep it together easily and well enough that they never kill unless given authorization.

And thats just the CS-civilzed ones. Not to mention the other that choose to live civilized lives.

There's nothing in the description in RUE (which is reprinted almost verbatim from the updated description in Lone Star, but does not have the even-more-info from Xiticix Invasion (which i was confusing with Canada in my head earlier) that supports that idea.

There is also a passage somewhere, that i know i've read but cannot remember what book it is in (and it is minutely possibly its a Rifter thing but since i dont often read the Rifter, i doubt it) that talks about how they feed their children and the elderly that involves them bringing large prey back to camp so that everyone can share in it, and keeping domesticated critters (like Fury Beetles, which are a domesticated supernatural creature by humans, Simvan, Psi-stalkers and others) that they can essentially "milk", particularly for the young.

Oh, and Military and ISS Psi-Stalkers feeding on their Dog Pack seems like another easy way to help solve the problem. The Dog Boys are likely quite proud to help.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:56 am
  

Palladin

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eh, dunno where you're getting your information tesuya. here's out of my PDF of RMB:

"NOTE: The psi-stalker can not feed on the P.P.E. of non-psychics. They can absorb mystic ley line energy, but the taste is bad, like sour milk, and the ley lines disrupt the stalkers' senses."

"To feed without killing, the predator must hunt down a psychic, practitioner of magic, or supernatural creature, physically capture the prey, cut it, and psionically drain all of its available P.P.E. points."



psychics being valid targets has been in since RMB (the actual addition is creatures of magic, if we presume that they're not included in the blanket category of supernatural creatures since supernatural being was not particularly defined at the time).

needing to feed on supernatural creatures of some kind or other has also been in since RUE.


then, to your point about them not being predators that love the hunt:


"...the psi-stalker is a natural predator..."
"Some innate instinct draws the stalker to those creatures who are psionic or magic. This same instinct makes the mutant want to kill his prey and drink its P.P.E."
"...they prefer to kill and feed, and love the thrill of the hunt!"
"The act of cannibalism, or unnecessary violence, is a manifestation of the predatory killing instinct."
"Even those occasional stalkers who live along a ley line, where P.P.E. is available without killing, are instinctively driven to hunt for living prey."


now, this doesn't say it would be absolutely impossible for them to survive in captivity. but it really does show that they love the hunt, that it isn't just about getting food, or at least, broadly speaking that's how it is. now, there's millions of them, so obviously something that is true about psi-stalkers isn't going to be true about *every* psi-stalker; there is probably a psi-stalker somewhere that thinks hunting is pretty fun, but could get along just fine without it (there probably isn't one that hates hunting though, unless they're insane). his or her psi-stalker friends probably think (s)he is a totally weird stick-in-the-mud, but (s)he probably exists. with dedicated effort, other psi-stalkers could probably gradually become more like that as well, to some extent at least. but broadly speaking, while darthauthor may have extrapolated a bit beyond canon there, the description is pretty accurate. psi-stalkers love to hunt. they are *driven* to hunt, even when it isn't necessary. and not just to hunt, but to kill their prey, and to revel in the act of killing their prey if they are allowed to. that is their basic nature, and while training can allow them to at least partially suppress it, that doesn't change that by and large they're going to want to hunt, and will probably become very unhappy if they don't get to hunt at least every once in a while.


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