Wheel of Fire

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Wheel of Fire

Postby scottmage » Sun May 22, 2005 12:29 am

After all the time I waited for this (I had to order it online since my FLGS, and F no longer stands for Friendly, and it got lost in shipping), to say that I am disappointed just does not describe me.

I had suggested that in a Second Edition Rules change that if Mongoose only puts out books for the rules change, i.e. Telepath, Space Combat, etc. as separate books, then the Season books would not have to be replaced. Wheel of Fire might just be an exception to that idea.

I received it about 2 weeks ago and I thought if I gave it time, I would find some redeeming qualities. I like the pictures of Lyta.

I was really looking forward to this, ever since No Surrender, No Retreat. I was told that Lyta was not that powerful in that season, probbly a P12. Lyta's full abilities would be revealed in Wheel of Fire. The fact that she painfully bounced Bester off her shields and had a sweet look on her face during the meeting in Epiphanies Season 4, Episode 7 showed that she was far more powerful at that point than a P12.

Several of Lyta's abilities were not mentioned in Wheel of Fire in the character stats or even mentioned in the episode summaries.
1. Lyta has some kind of Remote Sensing (Clairvoyance) as she was able to mentally travel through air ducts to see which one that Captain Lockley could get through. A Tragedy of Telepaths Season 5, Episode 9.
2. Lyta could sense where electronic surveillance devices were and when they were active. A P9+ Ability acording to Dr. Trent. See Thirdspace
3. Lyta had a very powerful form of Psychokinesis i.e. TK, Electrokinesis as she destroyed a surveillance device when Garibaldi visted her cell. She caused her binders to fall apart when G'Kar demanded that security remove them. When he asked why she did not do that earlier, she replied that it made them feel more secure.
4. She also had some form of False Memory Implantation or Reality Fabrication as she entered Garibaldi's dream in Darkness Ascending Season 5, Episode 15, as she told him it was a dream. She also seemed to do this from a distance as she was not seen leaving his quarters by Lise Edgars.
5. Let's not forget the ablity to Control others to the point that they would put a PPG to their head and pull the trigger. Mass control of over 50 different beings. Beings that were there to arrest her and did not realize that they were under her control, Wheel of Fire Season 5, Episode 19.

Lyta would have to be a 16th Level Telepath to have all of the Telepathic Abilities that she has listed as a matter of note based on the Telepath rules that need revision.

Byron also was missing Telepathic Abilities:
1. Second Sight he showed how he could share that ability with Bo a station worker. He was able to connect to a B5 pilot that was about 30 Km off of the station and share the sensory input with Bo, A View from the Gallery Season 5, Episode 3.
2. Telepathic Vanishing when he first spoke with Captain Lockely No Compromises Season 5, Episode 1. It is mentioned as a new ability I suppose due to his demonstration of it in that episode.
3. He had the ability to block out all sensory input to someone except for his sounds, i.e. footsteps, voice, as he did for Captain Lockley in No Compromises Season 5, Episode 1.
4. Some kind of Mental Control to make an invading alien turn away from where he was and leave A View from the Gallery Season 5, Episode 3.

Several characters were missing that I thought would be there. Peter the Telekinetic, the Drakh, etc.

I could go on and on......

I thought there was going to be better editing on the books put out, I am still waiting to see it.

I am just really bumed out :!:
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Postby Eryx » Sun May 22, 2005 12:43 am

While I'm not dissapointed by the book, I do agree that by Season 5 she is far more powerful than the WoF sourcebook portrays her.
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Postby lastbesthope » Tue May 24, 2005 1:14 am

Maybe her stats are for the start of season 5 and she discovers more powers as the season progresses?

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Postby Kyu Kage » Wed May 25, 2005 5:47 am

I'd agree with that, but it's one pretty steep power curve.

More likely that she started "developing" in late S4 to be able to perform everything in the show for S5.

Still, I had a quick flick through the book, and she does seem a bit light on. If they are starting stats for S5, she must pick up a bunch of XP that is off screen in the first 5 or so episodes! 8)
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Postby Barbara » Wed May 25, 2005 8:59 am

Bester has abilities missing, just on straight numbers. He hasn't got enough for20th level.
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Postby lastbesthope » Wed May 25, 2005 7:34 pm

Kyu Kage wrote:I'd agree with that, but it's one pretty steep power curve.

More likely that she started "developing" in late S4 to be able to perform everything in the show for S5.

Still, I had a quick flick through the book, and she does seem a bit light on. If they are starting stats for S5, she must pick up a bunch of XP that is off screen in the first 5 or so episodes! 8)
I don't think her powers are linked to XP, or the mods the Vorlons gave her added a ton of XP. She always had the powers, she is just discovering them within herself as the season progresses.

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Postby KaosDevice » Thu May 26, 2005 4:06 pm

lastbesthope wrote:[I don't think her powers are linked to XP, or the mods the Vorlons gave her added a ton of XP. She always had the powers, she is just discovering them within herself as the season progresses.
LBH

iirc the fact that Lyta was modified by the Vorlons is mentioned in quite a few places (the gills were a dead give away) and I think that the fact her powers were amped up was the primary reason that Bester wanted to buy her body should she die.
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Postby scottmage » Sat May 28, 2005 10:05 pm

lastbesthope wrote:I don't think her powers are linked to XP, or the mods the Vorlons gave her added a ton of XP. She always had the powers, she is just discovering them within herself as the season progresses.

LBH
Quite correct. There were some things that the Vorlons left a built in users manual as with Thirdspace & Movements of Fire and Shadow Season 5, Episode 17, but even the fact that the Telepaths could affect the shadows, they left up to Sharidan to figure out.

Every time she used a new power or ability, it took something out of her and she was tired (subdual damage), however the next time she would use the abilities, she was stronger.

Example: In Movements of Fire and Shadow Season 5, Episod 17, is the first time Lyta controls someone, a Drazi assassin, and forces him to shoot himself. She is a little weak (she was pissed, which seems to be a Catalyst as well for her, see Walkabout when she thinks about what they did to Kosh she is able to grab the Shadow ship). Then in Wheel of Fire Season 5, Episode 19 she controls a whole room full of people (I counted over 50 different hands, DVDs are great for that!).

She later discovered that LOS was a limit that the Psi Corps had created to make mundanes feel comfortable (see The Exercise of Vital Powers Season 4, Episode 16, Edgars was behind a one-way mirror). There are several instances of Human Telepaths broadcasting without LOS over a great distance to each other.

1. Strange Relations Season 5, Episode 6 Even when it is not LOS, telepaths in the series have shown that Telepathy goes a lot farther than advertized. The rogues in downbelow sensed the bloodhounds when they came on board B5 over 2 miles away and not EVEN in sight.

2. Secrets of the Soul Season 5, Episode 7 Byron experienced the killing of the Lurker from "12 levels down"

3. Darkness Ascending Season 5, Episode 15 Lyta was in Garibaldi's dreams without being in the same room.

4. In Phoenix Rising Season 5, Episode 10, Bester is able to project himself into someone's mind from a distance, similar to Byron's projection to Lochley in "No Compromises."

It does appear that if both sender and receiver are Telepaths that the distance is better than sending to a mundane. If both Telepaths are high P-Level, then the distance is greatly increased. Also based on the comments of the one Psi-Cop (Walter Koenig's real life wife) to Bester indicates that if the Telepaths practice Telepathic communication with each other, they can reach each other over great distance without LOS (Dust to Dust Season 3, Episode 6). She stated to Bester that she was attempting to reach him as soon as they came through the Jump Gate. The Jump Gate is approximatly 300,000 km away from B5.

In Phoenix Rising Season 5, Episode 10, Lyta's powers include sending her senses far away from her body, scouting ahead for danger.
http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/099.html

http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/105.html Movements of Fire and Shadow Season 5, Episod 17 - Lyta's enhanced powers were in evidence again; she forced the Drazi assassin to shoot himself. In a similar situation, it took several telepaths joining forces with Byron to force their will on an enemy soldier ("A View from the Gallery,") and they weren't trying to make the alien kill itself.

http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/107.html Wheel of Fire Season 5, Episode 19 - Lyta's powers have been growing dramatically; now she's capable of controlling a large roomful of people. Sheridan, however, is immune to her influence, since he has also been touched by the Vorlons.

This is just an example of what is missing in this game. Maybe in the next incarnation........

Overall this was not one of Mongoose's best works. I'm sure that some thought it clever with the Hotel California and the CSI, however that creative effort should have been saved for something with real substance. Better yet the folks in this project could have spent that time re-watching Season 5 so that they did not miss so many facts.
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Postby lastbesthope » Sat May 28, 2005 10:26 pm

Thanks for the Research scottmage.

Maybe Mongoose will bring out a rogue supplement sometime to counteract the Psi Corps supplement (more so than Byron's scratchings.

That short dude from the Telepath Railroad ep seemed to know a fair bit about what teeps could and couldn't do.

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Postby frobisher » Sat May 28, 2005 11:40 pm

scottmage wrote:This is just an example of what is missing in this game. Maybe in the next incarnation........
I'd also be inclined to give the whole lot a retread (even if just as an optional set of alternatives). Part of the "problem" (and it really only comes out in a Psi orientated campaign) is that there's an ability for everything, rather than an ability tree with a smaller selection of branches. Rather than develop, say, a Read and Send pair of branches, you've currently got Read Surface Thoughts, Deep Scan, Communication, Reality Fabrication etc etc.

In the latter case the effect you're wishing to produce is a combination of training, basic ability (or abilities), a DC and subdual cost. A bit more mathsie than the current system, but easy enough. For instance, Reality Fabrication is a combo Read/Send, Deep Scan a more difficult Read, Communication (and it's variants from the Psi Corps book) Send with light empahsis on Read. If you have a systematic approach to it, you only need to have a few current key abilities pre-brewed for reference purposes, and the PC can have a few of their favourites pre-calculated as well.

Of course this is less d20 like (but I don't see that as a bad thing :) )
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