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Discussion Starter #1
This is discussion topic on the physiology of psykers, going off on tangents O-K here, but make sure it is relevant.

Firstly, do you think that it is required of psykers to be physically different from normal people? If so how?

I think that psykers are likely different, although it is hard to say if this is rule or coincidence.

For example, Chaos Sorcerers are often some of the most mutated of Chaos followers we can see this further with the most psychic of Primarchs being the most mutated, Magnus and Sanguinius.

Moreover the Tyranids also give us a clue, their Zoanthropes have immensely swollen heads to the atrophy of the rest of their body, far different to other Tyranids.

Something I've also been pondering about humans, it has been said that the more powerful the psyker, past a point, the more mentally unstable they are. This is especially true with Alpha-Plus psykers.

I think this may be the result of a lack of mutation in human psychics, and indeed with the Eldar who are doubtless some of the most clear-headed of psykers, but probably not the strongest in raw power.

So what do you guys think?
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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One thing about human pyskers is that a fair percentage of them also seem to be blind.

However - could it be that the reason that most high level pyskers are mentally deranged is that the strenght of will in humans (unmodified and untouched by the powers of Chaos) is simply not strong enough to withstand the infinite number of creatures wispering to them from the warp?
 

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Actually Jacobite, I think the whole "blind" thing is because during the final ritual necessary to make a regular Psyker into an Astropath, the Soul Binding, were the Psyker in question is bought before the Golden Throne and endowned with some a the Emperor's strength many of the "earthly" senses of the Astropath, most commonly sight, but sometimes others, too, are burn out. Psykers aren't normally born blind.

I think the whole "mutation" thing is because certain individuals using the Warp, such as Chaos Sorcerers, are exposed to high levels of mutating Warp Energy.

Zoanthropes aren't really mutated by Chaos in my mind so much as Genetically Altered by the Hive Mind to make best use of Psyhic energy by making the Brain much bigger than normal, Essim.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Indeed, maybe blindness helps psykers deal with the level of information? I recall reading that after psykers are hooked up to the Astronomicon many become blind, maybe that is a result of increased power? (although that might be done on purpose)

I do like to think there's a physiological basis for high-level psyker instability, but your theory does also hold water, I suppose a Chaos Sorcerer doesn't need to worry about all those voices, as for him they are a good thing...

One flaw with this is that I don't believe it is directly stated that it is the warp influence, although stronger psykers do attract more attention, I just think being able to do so much with your mind might drive many over the edge as well (or maybe it comes with the territory, born an Alpha-plus= born a madman)

EDIT:

Ah, a misunderstanding.

I'm not implying this was done by Chaos, just that the two most common on-average powerful psykers (Zoanthropes and Chaos Sorcerers) both display the most noticeable mutations, but your saying that is an effect and not a cause?
 

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Oh, I think I see what your getting at now.

Yes, Zoanthropes are alot different to other Tyranids, impling that there is some sort of difference physical between Psykers and Blunts (Non-Psychics). It's been hinted that Zoanthropes were grown form harvested Eldar DNA, after all.

But I stick by what I said about Sorcerers being horribly mutated. Spending all that time in the presence of Chaos can't be good for you. I'd say noticably physical mutation (extra arms, three heads, giant tentacles, etc) are the result of the Psychic energies, not the Psyhchic energies the result of the mutation. There may be something in the body of the Psyker that makes them that, but if so, it's probably in the Brain, and not massively obvious.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The thing with that is, if psychic energy ends in mutation, why aren't more Liberians and Sanctioned Psykers more mutated? Are they not strong enough?

I'd assume some of the more 'Chaotic' mutations were a result of that, Chaos, than psychic energy. By this I mean that things like tentacles and multi-arms are probably genetic or if acquired; the result of Chaos.

Gee, it'd be great to see if there was any difference between say, a Liberian and a Battle Brother physiologically.
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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The thing with that is, if psychic energy ends in mutation, why aren't more Liberians and Sanctioned Psykers more mutated? Are they not strong enough?
I assume that their faith in the Emporer protects them and steels their soul to the touch of chaos. First it comes into the mind and then manifests itself on the physical body when the host is powerful enough or is fully possessed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I see...

So what do you think of my idea that the reason that human psykers are so unstable at higher power levels is due to a lack of mutations, whereas Zoanthropes and Chaotic Sorcerers can easily reach higher levels without as much effort due to (for their own reasons) a willingness to adapt and mutate?
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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I'd say that the mutation is just a sign of the pysker being willing to go that next step and make his devotion to the powers which give him his abilities. I wouldn't say that the actual mutations gave him any more strenght in the mental sense.
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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I'd say it was more to do with the fact that they are the servants of the gods who are made of the warp. They are more intune with the cause of the Psyker as they basically live in the stuff and willing embrace all its gifts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hmmm, could it be perhaps because Chaos Sorcerers don't have as much to fear from the Warp, so they can act with more freedom?

Maybe they don't actually possess any more raw strength than a Librarian, but they are less limited in their application of that strength?

I guess age could also play a part, Chaos Sorcerers would likely be going on ten-thousand, whereas the oldest loyalist librarians are only around a thousand...if that.

Still, what of Zoanthropes? They are unilaterally strong and don't seem to display much variance in this strength, they are all capable of firing psychic blasts and levitating themselves, both of which are quite formidable feats. If their mutated form doesn't help this, why would the Hivemind bother at all? Wouldn't it be better to keep them agile and mobile, like the Eldar from which they spring?
 

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Indeed, maybe blindness helps psykers deal with the level of information? I recall reading that after psykers are hooked up to the Astronomicon many become blind, maybe that is a result of increased power? (although that might be done on purpose)
Being blind heightens other senses. This is why blind people are ofthen good musicians.
 

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Pertaining to Zoanthropes

I am a Tyranid player and my best interpretation of the evolutional history and my answer to your question about Zoathropes having enlarged brains in comparrison to other gene strains is this: anything a Tyranid requires it is created with, no more and no less. So the bulbous heads on all Tyranids is because they all have some level of psychic ability linking them to the control of the hive-mind. gaunts and gargoyles have the smallest heads and therefore allways require a conduit to the hive-mind, a warrior, tyrant, or zoanthrope.

Next of the psychic food chain is the hive tyrant. The head is much larger because it is a psyker, but still has other roles on the battlefield so it's head isn't as large as a Zoanthrope.

Since all psychic powers for the Tyranids are drawn from the Hive-Mind and can therefore ignore the Perils of the Warp, the Tyranids must rely solely on their brain power and not the whims of devious gods. Zoanthropes have such large brains because they have no other battlefield role other than to act as a conduit for the Tyranid commanding force, the Hive-Mind, no different than a Imperial carrying a vox caster, they must carry equipment to act as the voice of the commanding officer.

Zoanthropes also have such large brains because they always require a steady connection of psychic flow because they always have an active "warp-field". Unlike a Tyrant which may or may not require this constant use of brain power, a Zoanthrope always requires it. A Zoanthrope can also have up to three "active" psychic powers; ex. "Warp-Field", "Psychic Scream" and "Warp-Blast" all being used at the same time this, in my opinion, would require a great deal of concentration. The only living being that can even come close to this is Ahriman of the "Thousand Sons" and this is only because of his staff.
 

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The mutations are gifts bestowed by the Chaos Gods once you've turned. By not having turned to Chaos and resisting you don't get the mutations.
 

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A psyker is in plain sense more able to use the warp to there own means. Choas sorcerers use arcane magicks, and only mutate because its the cruel blessings of the gods, mutation that is genetic is also from bad genetics and warzone exposure to radiation. Psykers are a stand alone, if they go through the soul binding ritual then there power has been given a focus, and to be hooked to the astronomican is just a death sentence for any psyker so the beacon can be re-enforced. lol its funny cause the emperor never liked psycics, he knew they were to weak and chaos was to luring. And now he has to sit on a chair so a webway gate deep in the belly of holy terra can stay shut and deny vast amounts of powerfull deamons the slaughter of terra. The only reason astropaths were even used was because the project wasnt finished, thanks Magnus for screwing it up!
 

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the psyker gene in humans is a mutation to the human DNA since this mutation is rather new the rest of the human physiology is not prepared for the power the psyker gene gives the person. so the higher up on the Assignment you go the more power the psyker wields, and the more unstable they become. blanks have the pariah gene which gives them no warp signature unlike all humans. and this gene nullifies psychic activity, but are even rarer then psykers.

Librarians and Sorcerers i assume have roughly the same amount of power. the Librarian however cannot use the raw power of the warp or else he runs the risk of corruption, while the sorcerer has no fear of corruption since he is already. this probably gives him more power or more ways to use his psychic abilites. and mutations are gifts from his chaos gods for his "good" work

Eldar are naturally psychic, and have a large presence in the warp. all eldar have some form of psychic ability it can be very lax abilites such as empaths or powerful psychics like farseers. Dark Eldar on the other had have given up on psychic powers.

Tau have very little warp presence this doesnt mean they are blanks who have a negative warp presence. so they cannot develop psykers, but do ally themselves with warp attuned races.

Ork Weirdboyz draw their power not from the warp but from the collective Ork horde. sort of like energy vampire which feeds off of others "life force".

Necrons do not have psychic abilities but have Pariahs who like blanks are negative warp entities, and Necrons hate psykers.

Tyranids use psychic abilities to communicate with the hivemind (i think of them as the Zerg from Starcraft). and the Zoanthrope is a psychic attack unit

(im not well versed in tyranid or necron fluff so forgive me if my info is a little off)
 

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I am a Tyranid player and my best interpretation of the evolutional history and my answer to your question about Zoathropes having enlarged brains in comparrison to other gene strains is this: anything a Tyranid requires it is created with, no more and no less. So the bulbous heads on all Tyranids is because they all have some level of psychic ability linking them to the control of the hive-mind. gaunts and gargoyles have the smallest heads and therefore allways require a conduit to the hive-mind, a warrior, tyrant, or zoanthrope.

Next of the psychic food chain is the hive tyrant. The head is much larger because it is a psyker, but still has other roles on the battlefield so it's head isn't as large as a Zoanthrope.

Since all psychic powers for the Tyranids are drawn from the Hive-Mind and can therefore ignore the Perils of the Warp, the Tyranids must rely solely on their brain power and not the whims of devious gods. Zoanthropes have such large brains because they have no other battlefield role other than to act as a conduit for the Tyranid commanding force, the Hive-Mind, no different than a Imperial carrying a vox caster, they must carry equipment to act as the voice of the commanding officer.

Zoanthropes also have such large brains because they always require a steady connection of psychic flow because they always have an active "warp-field". Unlike a Tyrant which may or may not require this constant use of brain power, a Zoanthrope always requires it. A Zoanthrope can also have up to three "active" psychic powers; ex. "Warp-Field", "Psychic Scream" and "Warp-Blast" all being used at the same time this, in my opinion, would require a great deal of concentration. The only living being that can even come close to this is Ahriman of the "Thousand Sons" and this is only because of his staff.
also it is so powerful the hive mind it can effect the warp and block out the astropath.
 
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