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Sajach
2012-04-14, 10:02 AM
I wanted to see how many people who dm use psionics as a character type in there game. Please respond and tell me why or why not.

The Glyphstone
2012-04-14, 10:06 AM
For 3.5, at least:

I love psionics, and encourage them for new players whenever possible who want to be a 'caster' class. They're far more balanced compared to arcane or divine casting, and incredibly intuitive to any newbie who's played a video game with MP/Mana/Energy on its spellcasting. Just last night I was talking with a DM who didn't even know the game had psychic rules, and once I said "it's like how video game wizards use MP" he got it instantly.

Emmerask
2012-04-14, 10:33 AM
Sure I use and or allow psionic characters in 3.5.

Psionics in my opinion is far more fun then arcane classes, they are way better balanced and are extremely fun for multiclassing.

I would rather ban arcane and divine in my games then psionics, I donīt but if I would the order would be arcane, divine, psionics ^^.

Yora
2012-04-14, 11:08 AM
3.5e Psionics are an incredible magic system with really weird fluff text. I'd even say that it's by far the best spell system in any edition of D&D, but would be much better suited as the mechanic of sorcerers than for a rather obscure concept of not-magic that most people don't seem to see any place for in their games.

pffh
2012-04-14, 11:11 AM
I have never used psionics in my games. I would like to but none of my players have chosen to so in my next game I'm making psionics an integral part of the world.

Bearpunch
2012-04-14, 11:46 AM
I love psionics. Though I haven't implemented them in 3.5, my 4e group constantly has at least one. I really like the fluff because its so out there for fantasy and makes things feel really different. I've also been into the whole telekenetic thing since I was a kid so that helps.

dsmiles
2012-04-14, 11:55 AM
...
...
...
...I guess you didn't get my telepathetic answer. :smallfrown:

Yes. I use psionics, and make them available to my players in every campaign I run, but I seem to be the only one who uses them. I'm also a user of the "psionics are different" optional rules.

erikun
2012-04-14, 12:03 PM
I like psionics and I've used them, but I've never had a player of mine want to do so. They offer a good and interesting alternative to magic, different enough to have their own feeling but not so different that it feels like you're playing another game.

eggs
2012-04-14, 12:14 PM
WotC/Paizo D&D: Sure. They're cool systems. The fluff is kind of weird for the old-school sword-and-sorcery style, but it's got its own kung-fu-Cronenberg style that can be pretty nifty on its own. And these versions of D&D, with their heaps and heaps of magic items and ubiquitously effortless casters, are clumsy for old-school sword-and-sorcery anyway.

TSR D&D: Oh god no.

Dimers
2012-04-14, 01:51 PM
Sure. I like psi in 3.X, 4th ed and AD&D. I don't know enough about it in White Wolf, but I suspect it'd be okay. GURPS psionics seems to have balance issues, but if a player wanted to be a psi, I'd rework the mechanics rather than saying "no you can't". Psi doesn't exist in Shadowrun, but I've homebrewed a magical tradition and called it psi.

To answer "why" ... why not? It makes a player happy and doesn't hurt anything. *shrug*

Empedocles
2012-04-14, 01:56 PM
Generally I include psionics for NPCs. If a player wanted to use a psionic character I wouldn't say no, but that hasn't happened. I (as a player) have played a shaper who was actually pretty badass and blew up some drow city.

Personally, I prefer to use incarnum since I think it's a little bit more unique and creative of a system, and it's Tier 3 while Psions (and possibly wilders, depending who you ask) are Tier 2.

nedz
2012-04-14, 02:59 PM
I used them in 1E, but not since. The 2E version was a little strange, and none of the groups I play with use the 3E version.

TARDIS
2012-04-14, 03:50 PM
Ye gods, yes! I enjoyed the psionics flavour of D&D 3.5 et al, as well as the support it got from WotC - it wasn't just a tacked-on system, it really did feel like it was part of the core game to me. Therefor, I made it part of my core game, with psionic villains, nations, organizations, etc. It took a bit of work to make certain that psionics read as different from arcane and divine magic, but that issue ultimately made a more in-depth setting, having to go behind the scenes and explain how Magic A is not like Magic B. And I like to belive the players appreciated it, with the odd ones picking up a psychic warrior or a soulknife to try out :smallbiggrin:

If you can understand the rules and you think you can run with it, I encourage you to do so. It adds to the experience and helps expand your D&D game in myriad ways.

Nero24200
2012-04-14, 04:36 PM
I don't DM that often as of late, but when I do I allow. My group isn't particularly enthusiastic about them though, so "allowing" them is kinda pointless since I'm really the only one that would play a Psionic Character.

Lord Loss
2012-04-14, 07:08 PM
My players haven't run into them just yet, but there's a nation that has psychics in the place of spellcasters (for the most part). Spellcasters still exist, they're just rare. I use the Green Ronin Psychic's Handbook rules in the place of the WotC rules, though.

Psychic abilities are the result of Illithid technology - Illithids are big on Psychics, and this nation (mainly composed of Gnomes and Warforged) fought fire with fire in a war with the Illithids long ago. Now, their connection with arcane and divine magic is very weak, but people are often born psychics there and their ruler is one of the most powerful psychics ever seen.

Besides that nation, a few groups of Nomads in the desert region of the setting, and of course the Illithid-Drow occupied continent, psychics are very rare in most cultures and few, if any people are born with such abilities. It often runs in the family, the children or descendants of psychics have a higher chance of acquiring these abilities than random people do.

I like Psionics because they help add cool powers to a Steampunk campaign and both in terms of flavor and mechanics, they feel different from regular magic and help give cultures a different feel than standard mages.

Not just Psionics, but other alternative magic systems are often relegated to one or a few geographic areas and help give or accentuate a flavor or tone i'm going for. Like I have a half-minotaur village that uses Incarnum (MoI) in my current setting, and another area is big on Binders (ToM). Stuff like that.

Beowulf DW
2012-04-14, 07:19 PM
I haven't DM'd (yet) but I love it when we use psionics. It's only happened once so far, but I find that it makes much more sense than the magic system used in the rest of DnD and Pathfinder. With spell slots it feels like...like loading a gun with bullets that do x, y, and z. With psionics, it feels like you're using a portion of your mental energy to achieve the desired effect; like the power is a part of you, not just a piece of equipment.

kaomera
2012-04-14, 08:26 PM
Bucking the trend here, but I prefer to avoid them. I'd prefer not to simply ban them completely, but I'm just not a fan of the fluff and I find the mechanical differences generally not a benefit to my game. Unfortunately that means that if someone is going to play a psion then pretty much all of the burden of making the character cool is going to be on them, and the general response from players has been to either make a different character (on the basis that they can play a psion in a different game where the GM is going to be more excited about the idea) or else to miss the point completely and start arguing balance at me.

Randomguy
2012-04-14, 09:22 PM
I don't particularly mind psionics, but I'm much more familiar with arcane/divine magic. Also, I know what most spells do, but not most powers.



It seems that a common problem is that DM's can't get their players to diversify into psionics. I heard on these forums somewhere that one DM banned arcane and divine magic completely for one game, in an attempt to get his players to diversify into psionics, incarnum and other magic systems. I recall him saying it was very effective.

Elfinor
2012-04-14, 10:08 PM
I use psionics regularly (D&D 3.5) and it is mechanically a fairly well designed system. Not a fan of most of the flavor though. In most of my campaigns psionics exists and is well known, but it takes a backseat to arcane/divine magic. In the one campaign I ran where psionics was the primary type of magic, I had to do a bit of work to reflavor it. My players use psionic characters only occasionally.

Das Platyvark
2012-04-14, 10:09 PM
My all time favorite alt magic system, except maybe Warlocks. My normal DM always outlaws them on a bias of unfamiliarity, so I'm actually getting to play one for the first time outside a one-shot. It's wonderful.

Empedocles
2012-04-14, 10:16 PM
I don't particularly mind psionics, but I'm much more familiar with arcane/divine magic. Also, I know what most spells do, but not most powers.



It seems that a common problem is that DM's can't get their players to diversify into psionics. I heard on these forums somewhere that one DM banned arcane and divine magic completely for one game, in an attempt to get his players to diversify into psionics, incarnum and other magic systems. I recall him saying it was very effective.

My DM did that. I've ended up playing a psychic rogue alongside a ghostly eidolon (from Ghostwalk), a knight, a warlock, and a dragon shaman. It's pretty cool, although we haven't gotten to see how it plays out.

(not trying to get off topic here by the way...)

Lhurgyof
2012-04-14, 11:42 PM
I really enjoy psions, I run it just as often as any other type of character.

Emmerask
2012-04-15, 09:59 AM
I don't DM that often as of late, but when I do I allow. My group isn't particularly enthusiastic about them though, so "allowing" them is kinda pointless since I'm really the only one that would play a Psionic Character.


http://img4host.net/upload/151707564f8ae44c6d90a.jpg


duno, your text reminded me of that meme :smallsmile:

shadow_archmagi
2012-04-15, 10:55 AM
No, but-

I love psionics, and I DM a lot. Honestly, it just completely slipped my mind that I could use this system for anything other than making characters.

I NEED TO START USING PSIONICS RIGHT AWAY

Winter_Wolf
2012-04-15, 09:22 PM
I'd love to use psionics in D&D, but I don't play or GM anymore. I've never had the opportunity either way, since most DMs seem to hate it.

I have made use of it in Mekton Z (uses Interlock rules system) with some home brewing to give it a little more day-to-day importance (everyone has a little bit) without making it world-ending.

I'm a fan of using spellpoints/powerpoints to fuel mystical abilities, though. 3.5 Unearthed Arcana has variant rules for magic use that mimic the psionics model, and I'd love to give that a shot if I ever ran another game.

I never played 1E, but I gather that psionics was a bit of a gimme and really arbitrary. Apparently it scarred many D&D players and DMs for life, given how much hatred I hear for psionics from longtime gamers. :smalltongue:

Sdonourg
2012-04-15, 10:26 PM
I like psionics! In my homebrew Dragonstar-like setting psionics is an important part of the world.
My players play psionic characters, I (as the DM) use psionics for NPC. Why not?

Eldan
2012-04-15, 11:24 PM
My opinion on psionics is basically the word "meh".

People tell me the mechanics are better than those in Vancian core casting. Fair enough, and a good argument.

But they are so. Damn. Bland. Even with all the splat books there's probably around a dozen interesting abilities in the system. Almost everything is copied from Arcane and then hammered into the new system. And from the most boring Arcane spells at that, in most cases.

The fluff also just isn't very engaging to me and, which is the bigger crime, the rules don't suggest any fluff. I think there aren't enough limitations to it, really, and not enough weird little features like Arcane has to really build a world around. Its Mana Bars, and Mana bars are not interesting.

So, to make it short: Psionics are too generic for my tastes.

Psyren
2012-04-16, 09:14 AM
WotC/Paizo D&D: Sure. They're cool systems. The fluff is kind of weird for the old-school sword-and-sorcery style, but it's got its own kung-fu-Cronenberg style that can be pretty nifty on its own. And these versions of D&D, with their heaps and heaps of magic items and ubiquitously effortless casters, are clumsy for old-school sword-and-sorcery anyway.

TSR D&D: Oh god no.

This.

I do have some problems with the system though; it makes playing a "buffer" character nigh-impossible, its "summons" are extremely lacking in variety, and it's very mediocre on the "illusion" and "necromancy" fronts. I love the casting mechanic but would need to tweak it to give these archetypes expression.

JoshuaZ
2012-04-16, 09:53 AM
This.

I do have some problems with the system though; it makes playing a "buffer" character nigh-impossible, its "summons" are extremely lacking in variety, and it's very mediocre on the "illusion" and "necromancy" fronts. I love the casting mechanic but would need to tweak it to give these archetypes expression.

Yeah, you can't use psionics well to do every single archetype. The lack of illusion abilities is really annoying given the easy fluff of psionics messing with the mind (cue "The mind makes it real" as a good explanation for why believing in the illusion matters). I've never understood that.

As for using psionics, played them before. I haven't DM before although I'm going to be running a game this summer, and psionics will be allowed.

Jay R
2012-04-16, 10:31 AM
When psionics first came out in Eldritch Wizardry in 1976, I was already playing D&D. Everyone in my group bought the supplement, read it, and eventually decided not to use it independently.

The primary reason is that D&D was a game of simulating High Fantasy, and psionics didn't simulate any high fantasy novels or epics.

I have never used it, and nobody in my current group wants to use it either. (We're all older gamers, ages 43-56. Most of us started with OD&D, a couple with 1E, and one with 2E.)

Over the decades, D&D has slowly stopped trying to simulate and started trying to invent its own genre. And that's why I won't play the latest editions. I'm still primarily interested in the simulation of classic fantasy, and Warforged, infinite multi-classing and psionics don't fit that vision.

For people who discovered D&D before they were deeply into high fantasy, there's nothing wrong with it, but I prefer my traditional fantasy, and psionics aren't a part of it.

EccentricCircle
2012-04-16, 11:47 AM
it depends on the campaign.
mechanically speaking 3.5 psionics is a nice system. But the "Alien" nature of the fluff that goes with it doesn't fit with any game. Most of the stuff I run is high fantasy or some varient thereupon and so psionics aren't really appropriate. however in spelljammer games it is a legitimate option, and I have used psionic creatures in my more high fantasy games. the fact that they use different rules make an illithid seem more alien than something which uses the same spells as the pc's and that can be effective. in my current campaign the main villains are beings from the plane of dreams, and in the later stages of the game I plan to make extensive use of the psionics rules. But it isn't an option available to the player characters, because psionics are an alien force which isn't really understood in their world. As they learn more about dream this may change, we shall see whether any of them want to pursue that path.

I also ran an all Psionics campaign set on an illithid slave planet where the plot revolved around the PC's realising that the world they lived in was a tyranical dystopia and rising up against the "Minders" to free their people. it was kind of like the matrix but steampunk and with duergar. One adventure dealt with them venturing into the scorching wastes of the "Overbright".

Goober4473
2012-04-16, 12:01 PM
I'm currently running an E6 Pathfinder game in Eberron. At the start, I told players not to use psionics, incarnum, or Tome of Magic (and outright banned Truenamers, since they don't work right) unless it was was extremely important to their character concept.

The reason for this: they've eached gained special abilities outside of their class(es). One character developed psychic powers, one has faerie magic that uses the incarnum system, one had shadow magic (and now instead has the ability to take on class abilities from alternate timeline versions of himself), one has time/fate control abilities that function like the Fatespinner class from 3.0 (I forget if it ever got reprinted), an old character had binding flavored as beings made from lost dreams, one has powers that function kind of like the truenaming system if it made sense that are granted by his aberrant dragonmark copying the abilities of powerful dragonmarked beings he encounters (basically he's Megaman), etc.

Draz74
2012-04-16, 11:42 PM
I do have some problems with the system though; it makes playing a "buffer" character nigh-impossible, its "summons" are extremely lacking in variety, and it's very mediocre on the "illusion" and "necromancy" fronts. I love the casting mechanic but would need to tweak it to give these archetypes expression.

Meh, you don't have to -- Ernir already did it for you. :smallcool:

shadow_archmagi
2012-04-17, 08:36 AM
But the "Alien" nature of the fluff that goes with it doesn't fit with any game.

I don't know- if there's Psionic/Magic transparency, then it's basically just another way of casting spells. I tend to insert psions into my game as WIS based arcanists. The wizard learns magic as a skill, the sorcerer achieves magic through force of will, and the psion finds magic through contemplation.

Psionics makes more sense to me for creating traditional fantasy archetypes.Did you ever read a story where a wizard was using magic to Open/Close doors and after four times he ran out and couldn't do that again until the next day, even though he still had enough juice to fly, summon demons, and throw fireballs?

Psionics offers a degree of flexibility that's a lot closer to what we've come to expect from magic in fiction. You can put more or less effort into a spell to make it just plain stronger, or sometimes give it a secondary effect. This also creates an economy that's more in keeping with traditional narratives- Psions can throw lesser abilities around all day, but will be hesitant to unleash their strongest powers.

For example, Heat Metal is a pretty cool attack. The idea of someone challenging a druid only to be embarrassed when their sword bursts into flame is a nice thought. Except that the spell slot system means that if a Druid prepares Heat Metal, he's directly choosing to pass up a chance to use, say, Hold Animal or Spider Climb, and when the party gets attacked by bears he's going to think "Why didn't I prepare that this morning?"

A psion, on the other hand, if he knows Matter Agitation, can use it more or less at will since it only costs 1 point to throw out. A wizard whose angry gaze makes things burst into flame sounds a lot more like traditional narratives to me. I think if you can ignore the fact that the fluff and the naming system try really hard to sell it as being NEW and DIFFERENT it fits in just fine.

Mark Hall
2012-04-17, 09:04 AM
I wanted to see how many people who dm use psionics as a character type in there game. Please respond and tell me why or why not.

Depends highly on the game and the psionics system.

*3.5 has a pretty good one.
*2e's version was a bit wonky, and pretty rife with double jeopardy.
*The S&P psionics system for 2e was ok, but I think it could've been better.
*In Fading Suns, I like the way psionics integrated with the world, but the system itself made it hard to build a competent psychic.
*In Rifts, you have one of the rare cases where I think the system would be better for being closer to another system in the game (i.e. Rifts Magic system).
*Shadowrun makes psi a subset of magic; a tradition with self-imposed limitations.

bokodasu
2012-04-17, 10:08 AM
I love 3.5 psionics - I'd much rather use it than Arcane casting, although Divine can stay to handle all the buffing. I agree that the fluff as written can conflict with some game concepts, but, like shadow_archmagi, I see it as just another way to tap into the mystic energies of the universe. And I'm using lots of psionic creatures in my current campaign, although the players have only found one so far and killed it before it could really do anything. (Just wait until they find one of the areas where every creature is phrenic...)

When I played psionic characters, I found that most DMs don't really do much for them - I make sure to include psionic items and use all those psionic-specific attacks, like the ones that steal your power points and such. It's too much of a gimme if they don't have to defend against that sort of thing.

Arranis Thelmos
2012-04-17, 07:29 PM
Well, we have the Complete Psionics handbook but we don't use any of the psionic classes. We all say some day we're going to read through it one day and try to figure it all out.

The Glyphstone
2012-04-17, 07:54 PM
Well, we have the Complete Psionics handbook but we don't use any of the psionic classes. We all say some day we're going to read through it one day and try to figure it all out.

The Complete Psionic, or the Expanded Psionics Handbook? The second of those is the actual psionic rulebook. The CPsi doesn't exist is extremely poorly regarded, to put it mildly.

shadow_archmagi
2012-04-17, 08:11 PM
The Complete Psionic, or the Expanded Psionics Handbook? The second of those is the actual psionic rulebook. The CPsi doesn't exist is extremely poorly regarded, to put it mildly.

Aw cmon... the Ardent class is actually pretty cool!

Wyntonian
2012-04-17, 09:00 PM
Like the system, can't stand how everything in the default fluff is either crystal or ectoplasm.

Arranis Thelmos
2012-04-17, 10:03 PM
The Complete Psionic, or the Expanded Psionics Handbook? The second of those is the actual psionic rulebook. The CPsi doesn't exist is extremely poorly regarded, to put it mildly.

Well, it just says Psionic handbook on the cover and it talks about the Psion and Psi Warrior. I didn't know there was more than one book. :smallredface:

eggs
2012-04-18, 12:47 AM
The Wizards of the Coast psionics books are:
Psionics Handbook - the first 3rd edition version of psionics; really ugly rules that don't do anything new and are generally a bit of a pain. It sounds like this is what you have.

Expanded Psionics Handbook - the revised 3.5 edition version of psionics; the popular version of the system. Available for free on d20srd.org (http://www.d20srd.org/).

Complete Psionics - a splatbook that's mostly page filler, with dashes of errata masquerading as content and ill-balanced/tested materials.

If you're going to sit down and learn the system from scratch, I'd recommend using the 3.5 version (Expanded Psionics Handbook or the SRD), and just filling in the fluff/Gith/Pyrokineticist/Soulknife from 3.0.

(3.0 Soulknife had Slayer manifesting progression 5d6 sneak attack and could deliver powers with its mindblade; 3.5's soulknife is a hopelessly weak prestige class without any psionic abilities. 3.0 Pyrokineticist had Slayer manifesting progression, which kind of made up for its otherwise absent psionic abilities; 3.5's Pyrokineticist was just a guy with a flaming whip.)

dsmiles
2012-04-18, 06:37 AM
(3.0 Soulknife had Slayer manifesting progression 5d6 sneak attack and could deliver powers with its mindblade; 3.5's soulknife is a hopelessly weak prestige class without any psionic abilities. Not to nitpick, but the 3.5 Soulknife is a base class. :smallwink:

Kurald Galain
2012-04-18, 06:45 AM
I wanted to see how many people who dm use psionics as a character type in there game. Please respond and tell me why or why not.

Nope. The psi powers are too similar to arcane spells, and the fluff either strongly overlaps with the sorcerer's, or it gets ectoplasm and sentient crystals which I find unfitting for a fantasy world. There's no reason for a setting to include both arcane magic and psionics (indeed, fantasy settings that have both are extremely rare outside of D&D).

DigoDragon
2012-04-18, 06:59 AM
I've only ever used Psionics in GURPS games.

Though my wife is recently interested in trying D&D 3.5's psionic system, I don't have the book for it. Maybe i'll get the PDF for it later.

Yora
2012-04-18, 07:42 AM
3.5e psionics is free. (http://www.d20srd.org/)
Though I am not sure it's easy to learn the system from the reference lists. We had an extremely good guide that explained psionics to people who knew 3.5e spellcasting. With that one it shouldn't be any problem at all. I see if I can find it.

Edit: That was easy, here it is (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10635999).
If you want to learn 3.5e psionics, read this short guide and everything else you need to make and play psionic characters can easily be found in the SRD.

Noneoyabizzness
2012-04-18, 08:50 AM
First psionic system I was into was 2 e. loved it, grew to like 3 loved 3.5 not big on 4

Terazul
2012-04-18, 08:57 AM
Like the system, can't stand how everything in the default fluff is either crystal or ectoplasm.
Yeah, I never get this. It's not like the Divine system uses powdered diamond for everything. Or Arcane with rubies. or Incarnum with Sapphire. or... yeah.

The only "sentient" crystals are psicrystals which are fragments of your own consciousness, and ectoplasm is just materialized thought from the astral plane. Ignoring the fact that you can just have your powers look like whatever you want, too. :smallconfused: Oh well.

Kurald Galain
2012-04-18, 09:16 AM
Ignoring the fact that you can just have your powers look like whatever you want, too. :smallconfused: Oh well.

Sure, but if you're into refluffing things, you can also simply take a wizard or sorcerer and refluff it, so then there's no need for the psion at all.

Yora
2012-04-18, 09:24 AM
No, because you still have a vancian caster. Much better is to take the psion and refluff it as a sorcerer. Then you have a sorcerer that actually does what a sorcerer is supposed to do.

bokodasu
2012-04-18, 10:14 AM
No, because you still have a vancian caster. Much better is to take the psion and refluff it as a sorcerer. Then you have a sorcerer that actually does what a sorcerer is supposed to do.

+1 to this. In my original response I started to write out how the different classes approach the mystic energies - wizards are the "scientists", experimenting and using formulas, divine casters beg vastly powerful creatures for a bit of their power, psions focus on developing their innate control of said energy, and sorcerers are dumb and nobody should play them. But then I thought that might be a little antagonistic. (And not really what I believe, either. But I do think psions make much better sorcerers than sorcerers do.)

I think ectoplasm fits - shaping the raw element of creation is totally fantasy magic. Crystals work too - magic gems are everywhere. But I agree that it seems like they said, "um... what's psionic? Crystals! And ectoplasm! If it's psionic, it must include at least one of these things and nothing else!" It's lazy writing, and I dump 90% of it.

Kurald Galain
2012-04-18, 10:27 AM
I think the main appeal of sorcerers is that they are easy to play. Psions really aren't.

I don't have a problem with Vancian casting - but if I did, I would throw out the vancian classes in favor of psionic ones (or possibly some other mechanic). I still don't see any reason to use both.

Yora
2012-04-18, 11:27 AM
The appeal of sorcerers is, that they are not standard vancian wizards.

JoshuaZ
2012-04-18, 11:30 PM
I think the main appeal of sorcerers is that they are easy to play. Psions really aren't.



I've heard this claim before and I don't understand it. To keep track of what a sorcerer can do they need to keep track of how many spell slots they have left of each level. A psion just needs to keep track of one number.

Eldan
2012-04-19, 12:25 AM
True, the psion is less vancian.

However, we are talking core only here. Suddenly, sorcerer casting looks like the epitome of freedom compared to the wizard.

Scowling Dragon
2012-04-19, 04:58 AM
Well If you just mush all the spell slots a wizard gets into a pool you essentially get Psionic casting. Yup. Its a bit less freeform, yet its more easy to use.

I like Psionics, but I try to avoid ordinary worlds from having it. It just becomes a mush if you have Magic, Psionics, and Divine magic in the same system.

Aliens from another planet can have Psionics. That makes it cool and unique.

shadow_archmagi
2012-04-19, 08:44 AM
I've heard this claim before and I don't understand it. To keep track of what a sorcerer can do they need to keep track of how many spell slots they have left of each level. A psion just needs to keep track of one number.

I think the claim might come from the fact that the more flexible spells and the numerical system do result in a slight increase in complexity.

Sorcerer:
1. Do I wanna cast a spell? Yes->
2. What level is it? Four->
3. Do I have six tally marks next to the four? No->
4.I have one less level four spell. Make a tally mark->

Psion:
1. Do I wanna cast a spell? Yes->
2. How much does it cost? Five points->
3. Does augmenting it do something? Yes->
4. Look up the prices for different aug effects. Book->
5. Decide I want to spend a total of eight points so that I can hit two enemies. Math->
6. Subtract 8 from 47 to get new PP total.

Admittedly, that's not much math, and it's pretty easy to write down the one sentence of extra information, but for some reason despite D&D being the nerdiest hobby, there are still plenty of people who dislike classes that require them to constantly subtract 8 from 47.

TheEmerged
2012-04-19, 11:35 AM
I wanted to see how many people who dm use psionics as a character type in there game. Please respond and tell me why or why not.

Oh good Lord yes. It seems most of the posters missed that you didn't specify a system so... :smallcool:

My old Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP) character managed to randomly roll up Mind Control, in addition to a couple of other powers. I was however disappointed that he only got it at Excellent intensity, so it was essentially useless against any real opposition. There's a reason those old "random roll-up" systems are good for one-shots but aren't the norm anymore, y'know.

I got to play in a GURPS Illuminate-style campaign for a bit in which I was allowed to play a low-power but higher-skilled telepath. It led to the ongoing joke that everyone stayed 9m away from my character at all times. This led to my long-standing rule in my own campaigns of disallowing powers with the potential to destroy/circumvent a mystery, as well.

When I ran a GURPS Super campaign, the power origin was defined (and towards the end of the campaign, discovered by the players) that all powers were psionic in nature -- most people just didn't realize it. In theory, everyone had the same very broad power to draw energy from the Dreamspace and use it to change reality. In practice, however most people could only manifest it within the limits of their self-knowledge, giving rise to people that could (for example) fly & were immune to bullets but with little grasp of their true potential.

Most of my time playing 3.0 was as SythRyss, the kobold telepath. We never actually tried the 3.5 rules in play (we only did a one-shot in 3.5) We playtested several houserules being suggested for fixing some of the problems, especially with the psychic combat rules we ended up ditching in their entirety and the built-in augmentations that ended up being part of 3.5. We also experimented heavily with different degrees of psi\magic transparency before settling on the "two levels" rule. I played this character from 3rd to 18th level.

The psionic rules in the HERO System are really just fluff for how the mechanics work -- in this respect, HERO comes out and says what most other systems do. An energy blast is an energy blast, whether you're breathing fire on someone or projecting the concentrated totality of your psionic rage. HERO is by-far-and-away the system I've run the most campaigns and campaign time in, and I could bore everyone to tears with the minutaie of what works well and what doesn't (abbreviated version - overall it works, but it's obvious some of the actual mental powers like Telepathy & Mental Illusions were afterthoughts - and this has been acknowledge by the designers). I really ought to get around to buying the new edition.

I also ran a fairly long Alternity campaign, and that's one of the few times I *didn't* allow the psychic rules. For one thing, I was underwhelmed with them; they felt tacked on. More importantly, it didn't suit the flavor we were looking for (closer to hard-scifi than space opera).

I house-ruled psionics into my (now concluded) 4th Edition D&D campaign, but none of the players were interested in them. We ended up with a rather traditional party (paladin, wizard, rogue, cleric, and a swordmage that changed to monk when PHB3 came out).

Straybow
2012-04-19, 03:45 PM
I treat psi as a third phylum of magic. Both the regular phyla (arcane and divine) and psi use a spell point system. I treat most supernatural and many extraordinary class abilities as psi, tho it is called "mystical" when not coupled with a complete psi "casting" ability. Those abilities would use spell points, too, but most non-casters can ignore them since the base quantity is usually enough for any reasonable number of minor uses.

Tenno Seremel
2012-04-19, 03:49 PM
sentient crystals which I find unfitting for a fantasy world
(Well, it's a video game, but) I found Vahnatai's sentient crystals in Avernum as perfectly fine for a fantasy game it is :smallsmile:

Draz74
2012-04-19, 05:54 PM
I think the claim might come from the fact that the more flexible spells and the numerical system do result in a slight increase in complexity.

Sorcerer:
1. Do I wanna cast a spell? Yes->
2. What level is it? Four->
3. Do I have six tally marks next to the four? No->
4.I have one less level four spell. Make a tally mark->

Psion:
1. Do I wanna cast a spell? Yes->
2. How much does it cost? Five points->
3. Does augmenting it do something? Yes->
4. Look up the prices for different aug effects. Book->
5. Decide I want to spend a total of eight points so that I can hit two enemies. Math->
6. Subtract 8 from 47 to get new PP total.

Admittedly, that's not much math, and it's pretty easy to write down the one sentence of extra information, but for some reason despite D&D being the nerdiest hobby, there are still plenty of people who dislike classes that require them to constantly subtract 8 from 47.

If subtraction is really the problem, you can just tally "Used PP" on your character sheet, then say "Have I already used 47 PP yet today? No? Then I haven't run out."

OK, I guess that's a bit of a simplification, since if you're close to running out, you have to use subtraction to figure out how much juice you're able to still put into your spell. But ... meh. My real point is that subtracting PP doesn't count as game-slowing bookkeeping in my book.

You do have a valid point about the extra decision-making time involved in Augmenting options. But that just makes up for the complications that are involved in having 9 levels of Spells for the Sorcerer to choose from, which does, in practice, lead to him having a lot more options to choose between than the Psion does.

Overall, I don't think either class is significantly easier or harder for a newbie to play.

Eldan
2012-04-19, 06:57 PM
And that would actually be about equivalent to the sorcerer having metamagic options.

Which, admittedly, the psion has too.

Tetsubo 57
2012-04-20, 12:36 PM
Yes I do use psionics. Best spell point system I've ever seen.

Nero24200
2012-04-20, 03:35 PM
Admittedly, that's not much math, and it's pretty easy to write down the one sentence of extra information, but for some reason despite D&D being the nerdiest hobby, there are still plenty of people who dislike classes that require them to constantly subtract 8 from 47.

How is this different from working out hit points?

Thrawn183
2012-04-20, 05:20 PM
I always stick a psionic region in my campaign world and players are always welcome to use the 3.5 psionics, but I don't encourage it.

My players have moved away from high optimization stuff, or at least the experienced ones have. I do think some of the psionics stuff is too good, like Energy Stun, even if it can't compare to fully tricked out arcane/divine casting.

And then I run into problems of my unskilled players trying to nova every round and running out of PP.

Sigh, I think it's a good idea.... and I kinda encourage it....ish? It just hasn't seemed to pan out so well. I've either got players using it a bit too well, or a bit too poorly.

Kurald Galain
2012-04-23, 05:23 AM
Somebody on the WOTC forums said,

"I turned in a pitch last year for an article [for Dragon magazine] that gives psionic classes more support, but Wizards shot it down because they said players don't like psionic classes enough to warrant further support."

That's rather relevant to a psionic poll; well, for 4E at least.

The Glyphstone
2012-04-23, 08:10 AM
Ah, the chicken-and-egg logic of WotC employees...

Scowling Dragon
2012-04-23, 11:04 AM
Ah, the chicken-and-egg logic of WotC employees...

Technically the egg since there is the subject of evolution and what we can call and what can't we call a chicken.

eggs
2012-04-23, 11:29 AM
So is it the player's disinterest that's the egg or is the designer's?
Metaphors are hard.

Scowling Dragon
2012-04-23, 02:51 PM
Well I just decided to cause anarchy in the metaphor world but no:

I have to agree that Psionics in it of itself Isn't very interesting. Most of the time it feels like a duller/ Pointlessly changed magic.

I would understand If there wasn't a market for it.

Straybow
2012-04-23, 05:42 PM
Well, back in the old days it was a way to have supernatural powers for your non-spellcaster class without the dreadful demihuman multiclassing rules or human dual-classing rules, and access to astral travel before 7th/9th level spells.

Horribly unbalancing in so many ways, but mostly if you lucked into the one attack form that effected non-psionics and for which they had no defense.

Talakeal
2012-04-23, 06:24 PM
I find psionics have GREAT mechanics, but their flavor text is wierd and doesn't mesh well with the rest of the setting.

In the past I have only used psionics very rarely, usually to make an encounter stand out because it was so wierd and different.

In the future if I ever run a full D&D campaign I will likely create a hybrid system with the crunch of psionics and the fluff of magic and throw out the rest.

Righteous Doggy
2012-04-23, 07:23 PM
Going back to the original post... I like psionics, but I've never had a dm that let me use them, dip them, or use their feats. Always an issue for me to push for a TOB or Psionics character. I wonder about an incarnate or binder one day to get a reaction... but I usually put them in my campaigns, if only one or two characters. Psionics let me make flexible npcs, and that alien nature is good flavor in the right place I think! When i can I dip to get physical enhancements and a neat pet rock.:smallsmile:
btw, I can think of lots of fantasy games with cool magic crystals. Them and ectoplasm don't have to be a part of the game with psionics if you don't put them in... just a thought.