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It's a bit confusing, because the basic abilities are obtained when a psyker has acquired a certain discipline... or what? I can't find a line that says he has to purchase anything with XP... does this mean he comes with all the basic abilities of each discipline or he has to purchase them with the skill "psychic technique", despite them having no price at all?

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3 Answers 3

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The rules here are a lot more complicated than they need to be.

Getting Started

To begin with, Psychic abilities are divided into Disciplines, Basic Techniques, and Techniques. Each Discipline has one Basic Technique, which you automatically acquire when you learn the discipline. Each Discipline has several Techniques.

You cannot learn a Technique unless you have first learned it's Discipline.

Page 157 tells you which disciplines you start with:

In Rogue Trader, the Astropath Transcendent Career begins the game with access to the Telepathy Discipline and the Astro-Telepathy Technique. An Astropath Transcendent may also select two more techniques during character creation, and may select more by acquiring the Psychic Technique Talent (see page 104).

Disciplines

Gaining a new discipline is easy. You take the Psychic Discipline talent. This is available at Rank 3, and Rank 6 of Astropath Transcendent. You may not access more than three Disciplines.

Techniques

Techniques get complicated. To start with, you purchase the Psychic Technique Talent. This allows you to buy a Technique which you meet the prerequisites for. What are the prerequisites? They're spelled out on page 159.

  • You must already know the Discipline for the technique

  • You must meet any prerequisites listed on the Prerequisite line.

  • The Value of the technique must be less than or equal to the amount of XP spent on the Psychic Technique Talent used to acquire it.

For example:

Mental Bond
Discipline: Telepathy
Value: 300xp
Prerequisite: Mind Link

In order to take this Technique, you must know the Telepathy discipline, and have the Mind Link technique. You must also use a version of the Psychic Technique Talent which costs at least 300xp, which is not available until Rank 5.

Note that the Astropath always receives Psychic Technique (x2). So you get to choose two techniques each time you purchase it.

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A psyker starts out knowing a Discipline (or Disciplines) depending on his career path; for example, from Psychic Techniques (Rogue Trader Core Rulebook, p 157)

In Rogue Trader, the Astropath Transcendent Career begins the game with access to the Telepathy Discipline and the Astro-Telepathy Technique. An Astropath Transcendent may also select two more techniques during character creation,and may select more by acquiring the Psychic Technique Talent (see p104).

In order to access another Discipline, they need to take the Psychic Discipline Talent (Talents, P 104):

The Explorer gains access to a new Psychic Discipline, and may select techniques from this new field of study as his abilities increase. Psykers may access a maximum of three separate Disciplines. For further details, see Chapter VI: Psychic Powers.

For the Astropath, this is at Career Rank 6, so the Astropath can know two disciplines.

When you get a new Psychic Discipline by purchasing the Psychic Discipline Talent, you get the basic technique free. You always get the basic technique for free when you have access to a discipline, unless the GM houserules otherwise and provides an XP cost for it.

In order to access another Technique for any known discipline, they need to take the Psychic Technique Talent as you mention.

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Note that the Astropath always receives Psychic Technique (x2). So you get to choose two techniques each time you purchase it.

This actually means you can buy it twice at that rank, getting one technique each time (if you meet it's prerequisites of course).

Rogue Trader Pg. 104

Psychic Technique

Talent Groups: See Psychic Techniques

Either through training or natural development, the Explorer has learned an additional Psychic Technique. Once this talent has been selected, the Explorer may select one new Psychic Technique in any Disciple he possesses with an XP cost equal to or lower than the talent's XP cost. Note that when a Psychic Technique is selected, the Explorer does not have to spend more XP - he spent the required XP when he purchased the talent. This talent may be chosen multiple times, each time gaining an additional Technique."

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