View Full Version : [D&D 3.5] Seeking feedback and insight

Sylvre Phire
2007-03-21, 09:23 PM
I'm a new DM looking to run a campaign for a friend and his cousin, but I've got a problem. My friend is a big psionics fan, and while I'm kind of warming up to the idea of psionics in D&D (after being a long-time opponent of psionics), I've never really had any experience running psionics in a fantasy setting.

What I'm seeking is this:

Insight into running a D&D game with psionics, including actual play and PBP threads here on Giants in the Playground.

Feedback on the setting I intend to use.

I'm going to be creating my own setting for this game. Terrenor (which is bad French for 'black earth') is a "shattered" world. Originally, it was a high-magic world, but the abuse and overuse of mana caused a magical cataclysm which almost caused the planet to explode. Thanks to the efforts of the Weavers (spell weavers), the world's shards are now held together by both magic and physical structures built by the various races.

Because their action to save the world was so stressful, the Weavers went into hibernation, leaving behind their crystalline cities as well as a dearth of mana. Thus, Terrenor entered an "Age of Reason" as the magic began to wane. Steam and gunpowder technology arose; the elves retreated into their homelands; the dwarves and halflings thrived alongside humanity, and the gnomes adjusted as best they could. Even the greatest of the dragons faded into obscurity as they retreated to the depths to sleep.

The Second Age, the Age of the Great Ban, the Age of Exile, had begun.

With the waning of the magic came a new threat - the illithids. Several meteoric "arks" impacted, allowing the mind flayers to establish underground colonies and begin their corruption of the slowly healing world. Allying themselves with the Duergar and an outcast faction of the Drow, they began an insidious campaign to take over Terrenor and enslave its inhabitants.

It was only when the "tip of the iceberg" was discovered that the Githyanki arrived. At first it seemed that the newcomers were to be Terrenor's new saviors. Sadly, they quickly turned into the world's new conquerors. Once the illithid threat had been abated, the Githyanki established their rule with an iron fist. As time passed, resistance grew, and some individuals began to learn the mental disciplines of the Githyanki.

A small circle of psions attempted to openly oppose the Githyanki and their lich-queen, but were summarily crushed. Before the rebellion was ended, a call for help was sent into the ether. They were answered with an unheard, unreceived message - "We are coming."

A decade later the Githzerai secretly arrived. In small numbers they infiltrated society and kept to the shadows, observing their ancestral enemies and planning. They began to teach their own mental disciplines - at first grudgingly, then later willingly - to a new generation of freedom fighters.

As acts of resistance to the Githyanki began to once again escalate, the Githyanki became increasingly punitive, leading up to the Brenwal Massacre. Incensed at their slaves' growing impudence, the Githyanki set out to make an example of an entire village. As the outworlders put the town's inhabitants to the sword, something strange happened. The magic began to return.

Nobody really knows exactly what happened. Some mages speculate that Terrenor's orbit brought it close to its sun and a flare brought a resurgence of mana which awoke the sleeping Weavers. Others believe the massive act of violence caused a karmic backlash which restored the mana to the land. Regardless of the theories, one thing is known - when all was said and done, only one man walked out from among the smoldering ashes of Brenwal: a mage known only as Corean Windsinger.

As magic waxed anew across Terrenor, the Githyanki found themselves drastically outclassed. Steam and gunpowder technology bolstered by magic became a new force to be reckoned with. Warriors once crippled and unable to fight found themselves reborn with limbs of steel replacing those once withered or lost. Massive siege engines brought down entire fortresses. Thus the Third Age was born in a miasma of fire and blood, steam and sorcery.

With the Githyanki deposed, the newly freed races of Terrenor set to work rebuilding their civilizations. The Children of Gith - Githyanki and Githzerai alike - retreated to the shadows, taking with them their ages-old war against the flayers and each other.

Two hundred years have passed and Terrenor continues to heal itself. Magic and technology have come to complement one another, and the peoples of Terrenor have begun to explore other worlds in addition to the ruins of their own. But with such exploration and trade come equally great risks. Deep within the shards of the world, The flayers and their allies have also ventured into the planes. Now they work to bring about the Unraveling by seeking out the forces of the Far Planes - places of chaos and insanity where impossible aberrations and abominations become reality.

At the same time, a new technology has been discovered, harnessing the power of chaos. What do these dire rumblings foreshadow? Will heroes rise again to stave off the forces of destruction, or will Terrenor be torn asunder?

Thanks for your help!

Pax et bonum,


2007-03-22, 06:13 AM
nice setting.
psionics flows seamlessly into a campaign so long as you know the rules regarding power point expenditure limited by level and the psionic focus rules.
they are generally weaker than magic of either stripe, but more versatile.

2007-03-27, 07:54 PM
Interesting. I am surprised there hasn't been more of a response to this thread. As It's All Ogre says, the D20 Psionics rules pretty much work well.

2007-03-27, 08:14 PM
You said that the weavers were sucking up mana (apparently like there was no tomorrow, if magic really got abandoned). However, psionics was working fine. Does this mean that they run on separate power sources?
Be careful here; you're challenging the psionics-magic transparency that oh-so integral to psionics balance. Without the transparency, it becomes much more overpowered, due to the lack of psionically endowed monsters.