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Understanding Async 2E Changes

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Atomisk Atomisk's picture
Understanding Async 2E Changes
So I picked up the new edition at Gencon and boy are asyncs different than I remember! I do like the changes, but I guess I'm trying to assess them in broad terms real fast. So for clarity, I'm hoping someone with a little more experience with the new system can confirm & clarify for me: -All Asyncs have an entity within them now that makes them temporarily lose their agency in addition to the mental disorders they previously got. Depending on what strain they make you do different and possibly unpleasant things. That seems to be the biggest change. -Asyncs now have an infection rating that increases the penalties upon them for using their powers based on the frequency of their use. However I'm not sure what happens at higher levels of use besides effectively losing your character to the virus temporarily and increasing the chances of it happening next time. Am I missing something here? -Are asyncs more or less vulnerable to exurgent infection now? I mean, I guess now they've always been infected but I mean them getting infected by the hyper lethal kind and them being more at risk than most was a thing before. It would make sense if the infection rate from use modified that check but that also seems incredibly crippling for asyncs. -Async Morph Fever is gone as far as I can tell. That correct? I think that's everything I'm unsure of. I ultimately dig the decision to make them more alien/strange than merely damaged psychics especially as a plot point but it seems like a much harder sell to have a player character be one unless I'm missing something.
icefyer0 icefyer0's picture
So you've got it right for
So you've got it right for the first point. Infection rating, besides just giving the chance for the infection to take over, also gives you a free Push effect at certain ratings. Check out the "Pushing a Sleight" section. How it works is you make an infection test with that rating. For example if your rating is 30, the infection has to roll below a 30 to affect you. There's a trait you can take called Dominant Strain that boosts your ability to resist exurgent viruses that only asyncs can take. Basically the Watts-MacLeod virus does not like competition and actually tries to help its host in fighting off the more dangerous strains. Yes, Async Fever is gone. No need to worry about going absolutely insane by being in a cyberbrain, it just prevents your powers. Well, the main sell is that psi powers are now much stronger, you can 'push' them to boost their effectiveness, range, etc. "Oh, what's this, I not only have perfect memory but I can push it at the cost of increasing my infection rating by 5 and view that memory in third person like walking through a film set, to the point I can actually look in drawers and stuff that I wasn't even aware of? And what's this!? I can use Deep Scan to pilfer other peoples' memories and do it to them too?" And that's just one power if you're clever on how to use them. Block someone's skills, make them replay their actions like a recording on loop to get past a door, etc. Plus, they're not restricted to only touch range anymore. All async powers that affect another person can be used at range, you just get a dice bonus if you're closer or touching. And because of the "free push" from infection rating, if it's high enough you can stack two pushes of the same type. So one free range and one pushed range for a 30 meter, maybe 40 depending on how your GM interprets the "range doubles" part, plus the whole "asyncs affect each other at double range" makes for some excellent "screw you and your squishy brain" moments where two high-rating asyncs just duke it out from like 30 or so meters away.
sysop sysop's picture
In broad terms it's a 'push
In broad terms it's a 'push your luck' approach. You can do Awesome Things. At a risk. It's a concept baked into the very setting: They're dangerous, possibly infectious, the very thing some Firewall teams are sent to deal with, etc etc... And now the system reflects the same risk-taking concept the setting does. I've found a lot of the same players that like to play asyncs, also like to gamble a bit so if you're trying to sell it to a player I would sell it as a potential *cool plotline* for their characters. It's mechanically assured story.
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