A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    E: Oops, this should have been in the 3.5 subforum. Mods feel free to move of course.

    I've seen the claim a few times that psionics are poorly designed because it lets characters "nova" all their resources in a single fight.

    Every time psionic nova comes up in a thread, it's attributed to people not knowing that power points are capped by manifester level. That can't be all there is to it. A reasonable person couldn't skim through XPH, make a character, and still believe that there was no cap on power points. Even besides the obvious balance issues, Overchannel and Wild Surge would make no sense. Psionic nova comes up often enough that I have to believe some of the people bringing it up have actually read the XPH.

    I can think of a few ways to dump lots of power points quickly, but I don't know which of them if any is supposed to be the problem. What's psionic nova really about?
    Last edited by stainboy; 2011-03-27 at 10:45 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    If I remember correctly, the problem is mostly in breaking the action economy to get a bunch of actions at once, in addition to increasing your Manifester Level (which increases the cap on PP spending), which allows you to use several powers at once at a much higher power than normal.

    Dunno how it works though, sorry.
    It's been a bit, GitP. If you're reading this, you're either digging through old stuff, or I've posted for the first time in forever.

    If you want to stay in touch, reach out to me on twitter (same username).

    The best answer is always to ask your DM.
    Unless you're the DM, in which case you should talk to your players.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Flickerdart's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Schism gives you a second mind to manifest with. Overchannel also lets you dump more PP into something. Fission gives you a duplicate with half your PP, so now you've got 4 actions per round. Or you could just use Synchronicity cheese and get a boatload of actions that way.

    Really, a psion's nova is more dangerous than a wizard's because the wizard only has a set amount of his highest level spells. The psion can just keep using his best powers every turn until he runs dry. A Torc of Power Preservation or other means of discounting power costs can also be used to get more juice out of every manifestation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Really, a psion's nova is more dangerous than a wizard's because the wizard only has a set amount of his highest level spells. The psion can just keep using his best powers every turn until he runs dry.
    This, right here, is the core of the "issue". Unlike Vancian casters, a Psion doesn't have hard limit on what powers he can use.

    Of course, going nova is a fairly wasteful tactic. But if conditions support it, ie. there's one decisive battle after which it doesn't matter how much resources the Psion has left, it is nearly certain to sway the battle in the Psion's favor.

    It can be a nasty surprise to a GM who didn't expect or plan for such savviness on the player's part.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    @Flickerdart: Yeah, I assume it's one of those two things.

    I guess my question is which - people use psionic nova to describe a problem without explaining it. Is it accepted that it refers to one or the other in particular?
    Last edited by stainboy; 2011-03-27 at 11:20 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by stainboy View Post
    @Flickerdart: Yeah, I assume it's one of those two things.

    I guess my question is which - people use psionic nova to describe a problem without explaining it. Is it accepted that it refers to one or the other in particular?
    It doesn't most often refer to any specific power, or combination there of. It refers to the fact that Psion can sink in resources to a problem in a more efficient manner than Vancian casters. In a certain type of situation, their output for a certain type of tactic is much greater.

    The tactic in question is "going nova", which roughly means pulling out all the stops and using all your best means in as little time as you can manage to prevail over the opposition.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    dsmiles's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    In the T.A.R.D.I.S.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    The tactic in question is "going nova", which roughly means pulling out all the stops and using all your best means in as little time as you can manage to prevail over the opposition.
    Which seems to be OK when a wizard does it, but not OK when a psion does it.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
    Awesomesauce Doctor WhOotS-atar by Ceika!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Jarian's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Crazytown
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Synchronicity, Linked Power, Schism, Anticipatory Strike, a psicrystal, and whatever damaging power you want.

    If you can't blow through all of your power points in 1-2 turns, you're doing it wrong.
    My forum avatars appear to have decomposed in my absence. C'est la vie.
    Homebrewer's Signature
    If you use any of my homebrew, or even if you just have a strong opinion on it, please let me know. Feedback is always useful.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    Which seems to be OK when a wizard does it, but not OK when a psion does it.
    Prolly comes from the fact that vancian casters see more play, so a GM might have a better picture of what they're capable of. So they can be caught off-guard when a Psion outdoes a Wizard.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Yeah, "going nova" doesn't refer to a specific feat or spell. It's just the ability to spend a large amount of PP on the fly to deal more damage (or more effects) than most characters could possibly hope to do. For example, a 16th level Psion that manifests Schism and has the Psionic Meditation and Quicken Power feats can basically toss around three powers a round. (One standard action, one Schism action, one quickened action, one move action to regain psionic focus)

    Just using the simple Energy Ray, they can spend 42 PP to deal 36d6 damage a round. It's not terribly efficient, but the point of "going nova" is to dump as much PP per round out as possible, not efficiency.

  11. - Top - End - #11

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    Which seems to be OK when a wizard does it, but not OK when a psion does it.
    Actually, people will get pretty upset if they do it through action economy abuse too. It's more the action economy breaking than novaing in itself, I think.
    It's been a bit, GitP. If you're reading this, you're either digging through old stuff, or I've posted for the first time in forever.

    If you want to stay in touch, reach out to me on twitter (same username).

    The best answer is always to ask your DM.
    Unless you're the DM, in which case you should talk to your players.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    1 thing though. Psionics can't Quicken so easily. Uses Psionic Focus, so they can only quicken 1 per encounter, unless they sink in Psionic Meditation and use up their move action everytime.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xMachina View Post
    1 thing though. Psionics can't Quicken so easily. Uses Psionic Focus, so they can only quicken 1 per encounter, unless they sink in Psionic Meditation and use up their move action everytime.
    get a psicrystal, use psicrystal containment, and give the psicrystal wild talent. then give it vow of poverty to boost its wisdom enough for psionic meditation. then have it use its standard to ready a move action to recover psionic focus when you use its focus. two focuses per turn, and you haven't even used your own.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ganiseville GA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Not to mention linked schism lets you get exponential actions. Schism linked to schism shared with a psi crystal that regains your focuses. Now your first turn you get 1 action, your secnd you get 2, your third you get 4. Mix with the ability to generate infinate PP with some action chains lets a psion who wishes to generate a nigh infinite number of actions to spend an infinite number of powers.

    The worst part of a schism growth is that is is posible to set up more easily than most people think. The first progression doesn't include abilities like quicken and such that can greatly speed up the progression. Then you simply teleport into combat and destroy everything.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    But you have to keep in mind that the secondary mind has a ML 6 levels lower than yours. To allow the secondary mind to manifest schism, you would have to be at least level 13 to get a third mind with a ML of 1st.
    While everything that allows you to cast two spells per round is bad (making an exception for quicken), chaining doesn't seen to be a major issue if schism.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying
    Iridium Moons Retro-futuristic Space Opera

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Nero24200's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Scotland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    I honestly feel that the "Nova" tactic is highly overrated. I once played a telapath with Schism and well...I used it once and felt it was a bit of a waste.

    Most tricks which allow multiple powers per round also generally reduce the character's manifester level, which means you can't spend as many power points as before anyway. And abilities such as Quicken Power also add to the cost of powers (whilst maintaining the "cannot spend more power points than you ML" clause) so, while they can be useful, aren't always cost effective.

    Though really, I think a wizard could be just as Nova-y. For one, a Psion can only use one meta-psionic feat per turn and doesn't have access to meta-psionic reducers, so Quicken is already better for mages - and tricks like Schism are only really efffective when you want to spam lower level powers that don't get much better with augmentation (and even then, just to have this option you have to either specialise or give up a feat). What's more, if a wizard spams higher level powers like crazy they'll still have a slew of lower level spells which can be effective if used right.

    If a 20th level wizard and psion spam like crazy the psion will run out just as the wizard starts using 6th level spells (and that's assuming the wizard doesn't specialise or use any other ways to get extra spells per day).

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nero24200 View Post
    If a 20th level wizard and psion spam like crazy the psion will run out just as the wizard starts using 6th level spells (and that's assuming the wizard doesn't specialise or use any other ways to get extra spells per day).
    This is true. However, for the duration of his spam, the Psion gets more bang for his buck. Analogue would be trying to put out a fire by throwing buckets of water from a pool at it. Psion's pool has just enough water to put the fire out, while the Wizard has vastly more - however, the Psion can empty his pool on the fire much faster than the wizard, so he can put out one fire better.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Singapore

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by sreservoir View Post
    get a psicrystal, use psicrystal containment, and give the psicrystal wild talent. then give it vow of poverty to boost its wisdom enough for psionic meditation. then have it use its standard to ready a move action to recover psionic focus when you use its focus. two focuses per turn, and you haven't even used your own.
    This assumes a DM that will let you take Vow of Poverity on your psicrystal, so it's pretty theoretical.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    I think a good summary would be that a psion can be used to break the game as much as any other full caster. But lots of people seem to think that for a full caster, he's actually quite at the lower end of brokeness.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying
    Iridium Moons Retro-futuristic Space Opera

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Singapore

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    This is true. However, for the duration of his spam, the Psion gets more bang for his buck. Analogue would be trying to put out a fire by throwing buckets of water from a pool at it. Psion's pool has just enough water to put the fire out, while the Wizard has vastly more - however, the Psion can empty his pool on the fire much faster than the wizard, so he can put out one fire better.
    Debatable. Don't forget the wizard, in general, has better spells -- especially if he's had a chance to prepare for this specific fight, since that's the primary advantage a Wizard has over both a psion and a sorcerer.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Psion and Sorcerer often have advantage over the Wizard in that regard, since they don't need to prepare - they can optimize use of their tools on the fly. This means they are vastly better at spontaneous Nova tactics.

    Wizard theoretically has more tools to play with, yes - but to use them for nova tactics requires additional layers of premeditation and tactics, for example, scy & die. Preparing just the right spells for one occasion is a considerable time sink, and thus a Wizard who wants to nova regularly actually has to imitate Sorcerer to an extent, picking spells with broadest possible application.

    Again, it's a matter of highest output in lowest possible amount of time. If a wizard take X amount of time to scry the opposition, plus 8 hours and 15 minutes to prepare the right spells, to out-do what a Psion can do by just walking next to the opposition, then Psion is better for that particular tactic.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    This assumes a DM that will let you take Vow of Poverity on your psicrystal, so it's pretty theoretical.
    you don't actually need the second focus; if your psicrystal just takes wild talent, it can focus a full-round, which is still probably all you need.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Tael's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Most Psion novas are from poorly written abilities that GMs will veto, but in general Psions do have more action economy powers, and the ability to spend everything on their highest level powers. If your GM allows Practiced Manifester to work with Schism, or Linked Power + Synchronicity, or any of the crazy affinity field shenanigans, that's your problem.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keld Denar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Friends don't let friends play with Afinity Field...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY!
    _________________________________
    A beholder’s favorite foods include small live mammals, exotic mushrooms and other fungi, gnomes, beef, pork, colorful leafy vegetables, leaves, flower petals, insects, and birds.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    If your psion can:

    1) Manifest Schism
    2) Manifest Synchronicity
    3) Manifest Anticipatory Strike
    4) Manifest Temporal Acceleration

    Then you can get as many actions as you can spend power points on.

    Once you have a schism, you manifest Anticipatory Strike. Take your next turn. Schism drops a power, you then manifest Temporal Acceleration. You have to skip your TA turn, but when it ends, you can Antipatory strike again.

    That's a very basic loop. If you can Twin Schism and let your psicrystal recover the focus (because you give it a feat that gives it power points, and you have the feat that allows you to expend your psicrystal's focus), then it gets more efficient. If you can also recover your focus as a move action, even better.

    1) Twin Synchronicity (whatever powers you want to use)
    1b) Schism Twin Synchronicity (only if you recover focus as a move action, or can augment Temporal Acceleration once)
    2) Psicrystal recover focus (you move action to recover, if you can)
    3) Take actions
    4) Anticipatory Strike.
    5) Twin Synch again (any power + Temp Accel)
    5b) Schism Twin Synch
    6) Activate both schism synch's and your 1st synch
    7) Activate Temp accel.
    8) Repeat 4-7.

    This is more complex, but also allows full strength powers (as in, non schism powers), as well as allowing more powers used per repetition.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    gomipile's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by candycorn View Post
    If your psion can:

    1) Manifest Schism
    2) Manifest Synchronicity
    3) Manifest Anticipatory Strike
    4) Manifest Temporal Acceleration

    Then you can get as many actions as you can spend power points on.

    Once you have a schism, you manifest Anticipatory Strike. Take your next turn. Schism drops a power, you then manifest Temporal Acceleration. You have to skip your TA turn, but when it ends, you can Antipatory strike again.

    That's a very basic loop. If you can Twin Schism and let your psicrystal recover the focus (because you give it a feat that gives it power points, and you have the feat that allows you to expend your psicrystal's focus), then it gets more efficient. If you can also recover your focus as a move action, even better.

    1) Twin Synchronicity (whatever powers you want to use)
    1b) Schism Twin Synchronicity (only if you recover focus as a move action, or can augment Temporal Acceleration once)
    2) Psicrystal recover focus (you move action to recover, if you can)
    3) Take actions
    4) Anticipatory Strike.
    5) Twin Synch again (any power + Temp Accel)
    5b) Schism Twin Synch
    6) Activate both schism synch's and your 1st synch
    7) Activate Temp accel.
    8) Repeat 4-7.

    This is more complex, but also allows full strength powers (as in, non schism powers), as well as allowing more powers used per repetition.
    Hmmm, combine that with a reduced cost Bestow Power and you might have something there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    UK
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Psionic "Nova"

    Quote Originally Posted by stainboy View Post
    E: Oops, this should have been in the 3.5 subforum. Mods feel free to move of course.

    I've seen the claim a few times that psionics are poorly designed because it lets characters "nova" all their resources in a single fight.

    Every time psionic nova comes up in a thread, it's attributed to people not knowing that power points are capped by manifester level. That can't be all there is to it. A reasonable person couldn't skim through XPH, make a character, and still believe that there was no cap on power points. Even besides the obvious balance issues, Overchannel and Wild Surge would make no sense. Psionic nova comes up often enough that I have to believe some of the people bringing it up have actually read the XPH.

    I can think of a few ways to dump lots of power points quickly, but I don't know which of them if any is supposed to be the problem. What's psionic nova really about?
    Linked Synchronicity using a psicrystal to regain focuses. Schism. Fission+Affinity field+Synchronicity.

    It's basically that that have easy and simple ways to abuse the action economy, allowing you to use a huge number of powers in a single turn. There is theoretically no cap on actions for a high level Psion, just on PP.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •