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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Psionics-Only D&D

    Anyone ever taken a crack at running a D&D campaign with full psionics (I'm thinking Expanded Psionics Handbook) but no magic? Not just for PCs - I mean magic doesn't exist, and never has, but psionics are commonplace (or at least as commonplace as magic is in an ordinary D&D setting).

    That would necessitate eliminating several classes, monsters and maybe a few races from D&D. The end result would be a rather different world, probably with a different cosmology (I'll get to that later). Here's what I'm thinking (I'm going from Core + XPH, but of course other resources could be adapted by following the same logic):

    Races:
    As far as core races go, the only one I see significant problems with are gnomes, which have innate magical abilities. Those should be out. While elves have fluff generally connected to magic, their crunch isn't at all troublesome, and their fluff could be slightly reworked (and their favored class changed, of course). As for non-standard classes, see the notes under Monsters.

    Classes:
    -For obvious reasons, full casters (cleric, druid, sorcerer, wizard) are right out.
    -Similarly, fighters, barbarians and rogues are in with no problem (only that rogues have Use Psionic Device rather than UMD).
    -Monks should be easy to fit in - their concept lends itself well to a psionic-oriented fluff. Just assume their Su abilities are psionic rather than magical in nature.
    -Bards and paladins should be out - bards are too heavy on spellcasting and have their identity too tied to fantasy elements, and paladins may have relatively little spellcasting but are too tied to the concept of divine magic (even though indirectly). Bards could be worked back into the system by giving them psionic abilities (kinda like psions, but with a different power list and based on Cha), but that would involve some heavy-duty homebrewing.
    -I personally like the idea of keeping rangers in such a setting; the sole problem with that is their spellcasting, which is the only thing that sticks out like a sore thumb in a class that's otherwise based on Ex abilities. Some homebrewing is in order there. Either give them psionic ability and a personalized power list (cribbed as much from existing powers as possible, homebrew powers adapted from ranger spells to fill in the blanks as needed), or, as I'd prefer, give them something else entirely in place of spells. Maybe wildshape? How would that go, balance-wise?
    -As for prestige classes, ones that build on or require spellcasting classes (most core PrCs, in fact) are of course out. In without contest: Duelist, Dwarven Defender, Horizon Walker. Shadowdancers should be fine except for their ability to summon shadows, which probably won't exist in this campaign; maybe give them an Astral Construct made of shadow of commensurate power? Assassins are another class that would be cool to have, if not for their pesky spellcasting ability. Giving them psionics with a personalized power list would be a good move.
    -Psionic classes and PrCs are of course all in, with the sole exception of the Cerebremancer, which requires both magic and psionics.

    Monsters:
    -Generally, monsters with prominent magical abilities should be eliminated. That includes most dragons, fey and outsiders (as well as the psionic cerebrilith). In fact, I think those three types should be eliminated altogether. They're too tied to magical fantasy, and have precious few creatures without magical abilities.
    -Undead should probably be eliminated as well. Handling them is an entirely different thing when there are no clerics around, and psionics is really poor for dealing with them. Besides, their fluff is generally way too tied to magic-related concepts.
    -I'm a bit torn on elementals - they sound rather magical, but generally present no problems for fitting in a psionic-D&D campaign. I'd leave them in.
    -All other types are OK - though of course you might want to rename "magical beast". Maybe "monstrous beast", to keep with the "monstrous humanoid" theme?
    -Some monsters of banned types might be left in - I'm thinking specifically of creaures introduced in the XPH, such as psionic couatls and Callers in Darkness, but there are certainly others that could be kept. If that's the case, those "orphaned" monsters should probably have their type count as something else (probably Aberration for undead and outsiders, monstrous beast for dragons, monstrous humanoid for fey) when it comes to abilities and effects, for the sake of balance (since their "real" type became unreasonably scarce).
    -Other monsters would go on a case-by-case basis, but I'd keep any creature without significant magical abilities (which can't be just said to be psionic instead) in.

    Equipment: Obviously, magic items do not exist, but psionic ones do. This means that "DR X/magic" is automatically assumed to be "DR X/psionic".

    Skills: Mostly unchanged, except that Knowledge: Arcana, Spellcraft and UMD do not exist, and should be replaced by Knowledge: Psionics, Psicraft and UPD in all skill lists. Knowledge: Religion also gets a lot less relevant, and might be folded into "The Planes" for a generic "Philosophy" skill or something.

    Other than those, there's not much to change about the rules, I guess. Psionics to Magic Transparency should be in full effect, so that abilities and little rules tidbits that were created with magic in mind work in a psionic setting.

    How should that affect the broader setting? One thing that comes to mind is that there should be no need for Outer Planes as such. Outsiders are mostly gone (and the few remaining Outer Plane residents can be relocated to the Elemental Planes or something), gods have no direct effect on the world, and there's no way to know what's going on with the afterlife. Psionic Revivify brings back a character who died last round - that could be interpreted IC as being barely hanging on to life by the thinnest thread rather than 100% bona-fide dead. The other psionic way to bring people back from death is Reality Revision, which in this case is more a case of rewriting history so that the character in question never died in the first place. Either way, no psionic power has the ability to bring back a character that's had a chance to see the other side. Between that and the lack of divine classes, this world's outlook on gods and the afterlife should be about the same as in the real world - a big mystery, really up to individual belief. Certainly not something that's handled by the rules or by the setting's cosmology.

    Anyone here have any ideas on the subject? Anyone ever done psionics-only D&D before?
    Last edited by SirKazum; 2015-02-08 at 05:54 PM.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    I've pondered psionics-only campaigns before, given my dislike of Vancian magic, but never played or really took the time to develop them. I think it'd make a fine alternate casting system.

    As for Paladins and Rangers, there's rules in Complete Warrior for playing those two classes without spellcasting abilities. They still have "magical" abilities, but it's not much and could easily be reclassed as psionic.

    Speaking of the completes, what are you thinking with regards to the non-core classes?

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Never done psionics only (I grew up with the older editions of D&D and grew accustomed to Vancian magic in my formative years so never had much problems with it), but for rangers and assassins I'd suggest looking at the Lurk power list if you have Complete Psionics, and also to consider the fully non-magical ranger variant in Complete Champion (in short at approximately the levels they gain spell levels they gain a bonus feat from a select list; you could probably just make it be 4 fighter bonus feats and it's still probably a downgrade from casting). Wildshape would be a possibility, I mean wildshape ranger (you have to scroll down) is already a thing and spells > 3 highly limited bonus feats. I'd actually give them wild shape that progresses beyond medium creatures so it's not just used as an entry into Master of Many Forms (that's not necessarily a worry with SRD only but it'd still probably not make them stronger than say a Psychic Warrior).

    And now I want to see Psionic Beholders.
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    And now I want to see Psionic Beholders.
    Yes, please.

    Also, I really like most of this and would use it in a d20 Psi-only game. (Something I've thought about but also never tried.)

    As you show the real difficulty comes in not simply collapsing psionics and magic so that the worlds are indistinguishable.

    Which makes me wonder about your ex/inclusion lists. Primarily how semi/sentient incarnations of the four (or more) elements doesn't just scream magic in your world.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Possible justifications for elementals: When you use psionic powers that have some kind of external effect, from throwing a psionic bolt of energy, to telekinetically hurling a rock at someone, the mental energy you put into it doesn't come back to you, or go into someone else, but it has to go somewhere, so it just kinda harmlessly dissipates into the world around it. Except, of course, when a lot gets thrown around in a very short amount of time, in which case its possible, though uncommon, for enough mind-bits to collect that they start revolving around each other, and become self-sustaining, and become a rudimentary, non-sapient, arguably-non-sentient proto-mind which just attaches to, and subsequently lumbers around in, a basic building-block of the world. They have no biological needs, so they tend to just aimlessly wander the general area they were born in, defending themselves if bothered, but can feel, and are attracted to, the feeling of an awakened mind using a psionic power nearby. In which case their proto-cast-off-mind-bit almost-brain tries to commune with it via the only means it knows how, not fully understanding how physicality works, and violence ensues.

    This leads to the fulfillment of some roles that Undead would usually fill - that is, the ancient (or not-so-ancient) battlefield or ritual-site that is now literally haunted by the events that took place there, and the ol' jerkface-lures-a-bunch-of-mindless-killing-machines-towards-a-populated-area-oh-god-now-what gag.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D


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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    I've been running all my D&D games like this for years. Just call the psion a mage and forget about all the crystals and strange haircuts, and you got yourself a great magic system. The only thing that's really missing from the XPH is a healing power, but that's easily done. I also switched astral constructs from being Constructs to Outsiders, but that's mostly it.

    And look at that: I still have the Spell-List and Descriptions I made for an AD&D campaign. The formatting might be a bit different and I might have some setting specific references in it, but it might be of some use for anyone trying to make psionic powers more "common magic".
    Last edited by Yora; 2015-02-09 at 05:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I've been running all my D&D games like this for years. Just call the psion a mage and forget about all the crystals and strange haircuts, and you got yourself a great magic system. The only thing that's really missing from the XPH is a healing power, but that's easily done. I also switched astral constructs from being Constructs to Outsiders, but that's mostly it.

    And look at that: I still have the Spell-List and Descriptions I made for an AD&D campaign. The formatting might be a bit different and I might have some setting specific references in it, but it might be of some use for anyone trying to make psionic powers more "common magic".
    That's a good solution if you want to get rid of Vancian magic, but that's not really my point. What I'd like to explore here is doing away with the concept of magic, both in crunch and in fluff, and see what would D&D be like if it had only psionics instead. Hence doing away with creatures that are "too magical" even if they don't necessarily cast spells. BTW, this is just idle brainstorming, something I've had in my mind since 2E days, but which the 3.5E XPH provides a pretty good framework for.

    I'm going over the XPH's psionic powers, and it does seem that healing and restoration are rather poor. The only damage-healing power (in a cursory search) is Body Adjustment, which is available to 5th-level psions and 4th-level psychic warriors. Earlier than that, you have temporary hit points with Vigor, but no psionic healing. And nothing to cure disease or neutralize poison. Ouch. Life just got a lot more dangerous, and since bringing people back from dead is usually unfeasible (Psionic Revivify is practical only if the manifester is right there at the moment of death, and Alter Reality is a hefty 9th-level), psionic campaigns should be a lot deadlier than regular D&D. Maybe some variant rules like reserve hit points would help.

    That of course is the sort of thing that would have an impact in the campaign setting as a whole, which is precisely the sort of thing I'd like to investigate further. One corollary is that, even if non-core classes are permitted, I'd be wary of including classes that allow lots of healing, since that would break the premises of the setting. I'd keep the conjunction of non-magical core classes (fighter, barbarian, rogue) and the XPH's base classes as a general baseline of what characters should be able to do.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Pathfinder has some kind of psionic healer. I believe it works by transfering his own health to other characters and then healing his own damage with regular powers.
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I've been running all my D&D games like this for years. Just call the psion a mage and forget about all the crystals and strange haircuts, and you got yourself a great magic system. The only thing that's really missing from the XPH is a healing power, but that's easily done. I also switched astral constructs from being Constructs to Outsiders, but that's mostly it.

    And look at that: I still have the Spell-List and Descriptions I made for an AD&D campaign. The formatting might be a bit different and I might have some setting specific references in it, but it might be of some use for anyone trying to make psionic powers more "common magic".
    I rather think the OP's intent was the other way around - to capitalize on the flavor of psionics and remove magic thematically from the game. Its much easier to retrofit psionics to just be another flavor of magic than vice versa.
    The lack of good healing is a good point, however. Hrmmmmmmm......
    Options:
    -Draft up some healing psion powers and accept the power boost to the psion
    -Create a newish psionics class that has healing powers (probably would take on the support role that the cleric filled in general) Perhaps, thematically, more of a empathic character, capable of tapping into and boosting the potential of those around them? But less direct or offensive powers? Someones probably done something like this already....
    -Potions. Lots of potions and alchemical draughts. That's still something that fits with psionics, right? (Actually, that's a valid question, but I think it does... or at least can.) I think there must have been a class somewhere that focused on brewing lots of goodies....

    EDIT: somehow my post got lost, reposting it now. Others have posted since but it still applies.
    Last edited by Darkstand; 2015-02-09 at 08:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Complete Psionic introduced a 1st level psionic power (only on the life mantle) which heals, not very well (2 hp/PP spent), but it does exist. Empathic Transfer + Vigor allows for healing at level 3 (Empathic Transfer deals damage to you to heal target, Vigor grants temp hp to prevent actual hp lost) it's ~3 hp/PP spent, but can also transfer poison or disease from the target to yourself, as well as ability damage. And Psionic Restoration allows for removal of ability drain without a GP/XP cost which is rather unique to my knowledge.

    Healing powers could be made easily enough, though, if that was the desire.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2015-02-09 at 08:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    Possible justifications for elementals: When you use psionic powers that have some kind of external effect, from throwing a psionic bolt of energy, to telekinetically hurling a rock at someone, the mental energy you put into it doesn't come back to you, or go into someone else, but it has to go somewhere, so it just kinda harmlessly dissipates into the world around it. Except, of course, when a lot gets thrown around in a very short amount of time, in which case its possible, though uncommon, for enough mind-bits to collect that they start revolving around each other, and become self-sustaining, and become a rudimentary, non-sapient, arguably-non-sentient proto-mind which just attaches to, and subsequently lumbers around in, a basic building-block of the world. They have no biological needs, so they tend to just aimlessly wander the general area they were born in, defending themselves if bothered, but can feel, and are attracted to, the feeling of an awakened mind using a psionic power nearby. In which case their proto-cast-off-mind-bit almost-brain tries to commune with it via the only means it knows how, not fully understanding how physicality works, and violence ensues.

    This leads to the fulfillment of some roles that Undead would usually fill - that is, the ancient (or not-so-ancient) battlefield or ritual-site that is now literally haunted by the events that took place there, and the ol' jerkface-lures-a-bunch-of-mindless-killing-machines-towards-a-populated-area-oh-god-now-what gag.
    I like this.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkstand View Post
    I rather think the OP's intent was the other way around - to capitalize on the flavor of psionics and remove magic thematically from the game. Its much easier to retrofit psionics to just be another flavor of magic than vice versa.
    Exactly that.

    Vigor + Empathic Transfer is a good solution. I thought Body Adjustment healed others, but no, it's self only. You still need empathic transfer, which is available only to egoists (ironically, given the subclass's name) and psychic warriors. So I guess having either of those becomes a necessity in a psionic-only party, new classes (outside of core and XPH) notwithstanding. Feats like Rapid Metabolism and Mind over Body suddenly become a lot sexier, although of course non-psionic characters (basically those who don't have either a class or a race from the XPH) cannot take them. So I guess the game's basic assumptions would have to be re-thought - characters would probably have to be a lot more cautious, and probably stick close to towns where they can hole up for some full bed rest with healer attention, at least in lower levels. In that one aspect, it's kind of a return to old-school D&D, even though it's going in the opposite direction in pretty much everything else

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by SirKazum View Post
    Exactly that.

    Vigor + Empathic Transfer is a good solution. I thought Body Adjustment healed others, but no, it's self only. You still need empathic transfer, which is available only to egoists (ironically, given the subclass's name) and psychic warriors. So I guess having either of those becomes a necessity in a psionic-only party, new classes (outside of core and XPH) notwithstanding. Feats like Rapid Metabolism and Mind over Body suddenly become a lot sexier, although of course non-psionic characters (basically those who don't have either a class or a race from the XPH) cannot take them. So I guess the game's basic assumptions would have to be re-thought - characters would probably have to be a lot more cautious, and probably stick close to towns where they can hole up for some full bed rest with healer attention, at least in lower levels. In that one aspect, it's kind of a return to old-school D&D, even though it's going in the opposite direction in pretty much everything else
    Actually Rapid Metabolism and Mind over Body are not psionic feats, and can therefore be taken by random joe human commoner (assuming of course Mr. Random Joe has 13 or higher constitution). But even then it does encourage you to stick close to home.
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Actually Rapid Metabolism and Mind over Body are not psionic feats, and can therefore be taken by random joe human commoner (assuming of course Mr. Random Joe has 13 or higher constitution). But even then it does encourage you to stick close to home.
    Oh yeah, my bad. I guess especially Rapid Metabolism would be pretty much a must for fighters and barbarians in a psionic-only setting.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    I think that Psionics having such a mental focus would make civilization MUCH more cerebral. Universities and intellectual pursuits would be much more common place as the greatest power in the multiverse that anyone knows of LITERALLY comes from the mind. A Knowledge (psychology) skill might not be amiss in such a world, either, given a greater desire to understand the source of psionic power, a greater understanding of the nature of the mind only stands to reason.

    Regarding not healing, I agree with the decision to keep healing VERY rare in medieval psionic society. Fortress communities would by necessity be the norm if you want to keep the monster level high, probably with all farmland behind well-guarded walls. Or course, if you want to turn the monsters down in prevalence/power you could have more traditional community set-ups.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    If you're fine with borrowing Pathfinder materials and backporting them, you may want to see the Vitalist.

    Basically, it's a psionic healer with the advantage of being able to do things like heal constructs and undead. It's special power is to establish a telepathic link with a subject and then using said link to apply healing powers at range (where as previously they would be self only).

    You can probably borrow it as a spring board if need be. I'd seriously consider making an alternate version of the psion that takes the class features of the vitalist that matter for healing.
    Last edited by Almarck; 2015-02-12 at 12:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Omnicrat View Post
    I think that Psionics having such a mental focus would make civilization MUCH more cerebral. Universities and intellectual pursuits would be much more common place as the greatest power in the multiverse that anyone knows of LITERALLY comes from the mind. A Knowledge (psychology) skill might not be amiss in such a world, either, given a greater desire to understand the source of psionic power, a greater understanding of the nature of the mind only stands to reason.
    That's a good point. One other thing that springs to mind is telepathy - psionics has a much bigger focus than magic on reading and influencing minds, as well as finding out information in general. While not every village necessarily has a high-level psion, telepathic resources are probably going to be common enough that there should be governmental provisions in place to deal with things like mind-reading - either prohibiting it (and using psionic means to enforce that prohibition) or using it in situations like trials, or maybe a combination of both. There would certainly be a considerable amount of paranoia afoot, probably even more so than we have in the real world re: NSA snooping on our personal data and such.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    Hmm... This is a bit different from the original assassin, in that the original class doesn't require spellcasting, just rogue skills, and has proprietary spellcasting of its own (which is the main source of my problem), while this psychic assassin requires a manifester level (5th) and builds on that. Which means it wouldn't be accessible to straight rogues, changing the class's character a bit. Still a good resource though... thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKazum View Post
    Hmm... This is a bit different from the original assassin, in that the original class doesn't require spellcasting, just rogue skills, and has proprietary spellcasting of its own (which is the main source of my problem), while this psychic assassin requires a manifester level (5th) and builds on that. Which means it wouldn't be accessible to straight rogues, changing the class's character a bit. Still a good resource though... thanks!
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Well, that's quite nice, but still doesn't address the lack of an assassin class accessible to characters who aren't psionic (or weren't before taking the class, at any rate). Which, again, changes the character of the class. But still, good catch

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Some minor changes to the assassin PrC should make it adequate for use without magic. 1:1 Feats in exchange for spell levels may do it, but combining them with a thematic bonus like to Craft (Alchemy) or Hide/Move Silently would probably be a better option.

    Still not as good as the spells, though.
    Last edited by Ilorin Lorati; 2015-02-12 at 11:47 AM.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    https://github.com/Ernir/VancianToPs...icsBeta112.pdf

    This is pretty much the opposite of what you're going for, I know, but it might be easier to turn a spell-point converted assassin into a psionic assassin than turn the previously linked psionic assassin into something with the same feel as the original assassin, as an example.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    It's a 10 minute fix but would this work as a replacement for an assassin's casting:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Level Powers Known Power Points
    1 2 0
    2 3 2
    3 5 6
    4 6 10
    5 8 16
    6 9 22
    7 11 30
    8 12 38
    9 13 48
    10 14 60

    Power List:
    1st: Burst, Catfall, Chameleon, Control Light, Create Sound, Distract, Elfsight, Offensive Precognition, Prevenom, Prevenom Weapon, Sensory GloomCPsi
    2nd: Animal Affinity, Body Equilibrium, Brain Lock, Cloud Mind, Control Sound, Dissolving Touch, Dissolving Weapon, Moment of InsightCPsi, Psionic Darkvision, Strength of my Enemy, Wall Walker.
    3rd: Clairvoyant Sense, Crisis of Breath, Danger Sense, Dimension Slide, Empathic Feedback, Escape Detection, False Sensory Input, Forced Share Pain, Hostile Empathic Transfer, Psionic Keen Edge, Touchsight.
    4th: Death Urge, Detect Remote Viewing, Psionic Dimension Door, Psionic Freedom of Movement, Psionic Modify Memory, Remote Viewing, Truevenom, Truevenom Weapon.
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    I was thinking something along those lines. Thanks!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Alright, so you have no outer planes, but do you have the inner planes? Do the elemental planes exist, the ethereal plane? The plane of shadow? The astral plane? Some new conterminous plane of the mind? A Dal Quor esqu plane of dreams?

    I could see the answer to any of these going in completely opposite directions, and that will inform your setting greatly.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    You want to erase a great deal of stuff for, as far as I can see, no real reason. Almost everything "magic" can be easily changed to psionics with a few simple adjustments.
    I apologize if I come off as rude, but I found the "just discard everything" attitude offensive and felt the need to point out how unnecessary it is.

    Races:
    As far as core races go, the only one I see significant problems with are gnomes, which have innate magical abilities. Those should be out. While elves have fluff generally connected to magic, their crunch isn't at all troublesome, and their fluff could be slightly reworked (and their favored class changed, of course). As for non-standard classes, see the notes under Monsters.
    Just do the same thing with gnomes. They have natural talents at twisting the minds of others, ergo gain illusion psi-like abilities. There are a number of gnomish subraces--just switch out one of their alternative abilities in place of the gnomish ability to speak with burrowing animals, and you're set.

    -For obvious reasons, full casters (cleric, druid, sorcerer, wizard) are right out.
    -Similarly, fighters, barbarians and rogues are in with no problem (only that rogues have Use Psionic Device rather than UMD).
    -Monks should be easy to fit in - their concept lends itself well to a psionic-oriented fluff. Just assume their Su abilities are psionic rather than magical in nature.
    -Bards and paladins should be out - bards are too heavy on spellcasting and have their identity too tied to fantasy elements, and paladins may have relatively little spellcasting but are too tied to the concept of divine magic (even though indirectly). Bards could be worked back into the system by giving them psionic abilities (kinda like psions, but with a different power list and based on Cha), but that would involve some heavy-duty homebrewing.
    -I personally like the idea of keeping rangers in such a setting; the sole problem with that is their spellcasting, which is the only thing that sticks out like a sore thumb in a class that's otherwise based on Ex abilities. Some homebrewing is in order there. Either give them psionic ability and a personalized power list (cribbed as much from existing powers as possible, homebrew powers adapted from ranger spells to fill in the blanks as needed), or, as I'd prefer, give them something else entirely in place of spells. Maybe wildshape? How would that go, balance-wise?
    Psionic clerics work. You would have to rework the domains and spell/power list., but having mental powers bestowed upon them by a more powerful being--not necessarily a deity, just something of such massive power that it can remake the minds of lesser beings to allow them to channel its own mental energies--both fits the cleric mold and is perfectly psionic.
    You could also make psionic sorcery a thing. Rather than something they need to develop through discipline or something they pull out via wild emotions, it could be that the ability to transform thought into power can be inherited from psionic monsters--you can even keep the association with dragons due to gem dragons existing.
    The wizard is unnecessary if you allow access to the erudite class, but if you don't then it is still a valid option to psionic-ize--the psion is more about self-discipline than knowledge, so an education-based psionicist is still suitable. It might work better as an alternative class feature, though.
    Psionic druids are also appropriate. Have them tap into the collective mental energy of every nonsentient living creature in the world--the concept of Nature having a limited consciousness isn't an unusual one or even something depending on magic. Think of it as a vast pseudo-hive mind.
    Bards actually work--you have to rework their spellcasting as psionics, but music has a special effect on the mind that other forms of art don't. Using music as a method of inserting thoughts into someone's head fits perfectly with psionics. You also have other fictional examples, such as Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer novels.
    The paladin can work, too--in this case, give them psionics and make them similar to the Ardent or Divine Mind. If you want to keep the focus on lawful good alignment, you can have them access a more literal form of the concept of the "collective unconscious", forcing them into good behavior by making them access their psionic power by forcing their mind to align with what is best for society as a whole.
    There is non-magical version of the ranger in the Complete Warrior, or you could change them to fit more with the druid idea I mentioned above.

    I also suggest that you look at Dreamscarred Press's Psionics Unleashed. Even if you don't play Pathfinder, they have made some amazing additions (most notably a plethora of new classes and a much-needed improvement to the psychic warrior) that you would do well to convert to 3.5.


    Monsters:
    -Generally, monsters with prominent magical abilities should be eliminated. That includes most dragons, fey and outsiders (as well as the psionic cerebrilith). In fact, I think those three types should be eliminated altogether. They're too tied to magical fantasy, and have precious few creatures without magical abilities.
    -Undead should probably be eliminated as well. Handling them is an entirely different thing when there are no clerics around, and psionics is really poor for dealing with them. Besides, their fluff is generally way too tied to magic-related concepts.
    -I'm a bit torn on elementals - they sound rather magical, but generally present no problems for fitting in a psionic-D&D campaign. I'd leave them in.
    -All other types are OK - though of course you might want to rename "magical beast". Maybe "monstrous beast", to keep with the "monstrous humanoid" theme?
    -Some monsters of banned types might be left in - I'm thinking specifically of creaures introduced in the XPH, such as psionic couatls and Callers in Darkness, but there are certainly others that could be kept. If that's the case, those "orphaned" monsters should probably have their type count as something else (probably Aberration for undead and outsiders, monstrous beast for dragons, monstrous humanoid for fey) when it comes to abilities and effects, for the sake of balance (since their "real" type became unreasonably scarce).
    -Other monsters would go on a case-by-case basis, but I'd keep any creature without significant magical abilities (which can't be just said to be psionic instead) in.
    This is mostly unnecessary. Most creatures with magic can just be converted to have psionics instead.
    Dragons have no inherent association with magic that can't be replaced with psionics.
    Fey are a bizarre, inhuman "other" with a particular connection to nature and minds that cannot be rationally understood by the sane. They're basically aliens from the same planet as us. They don't need to be removed, merely given psionic equivalents. The magic association is unnecessary--you can even find a number of books that explain the fey by saying they are living distortions in reality or that they have psychic powers, although I can't remember either offhand.
    Outsiders don't need to change, either, just be de-magicked. The concept of other dimensions fits normally with psionics, and planar travel is a part of the basic psionic rules. Additionally, alignment-based outsiders are perfectly appropriate--they are just created from the sentient concepts of what consists of "good", "evil", "order", and "discord" instead of from the souls of the dead.
    Undead can also stay--there are a lot of homebrew rules for psychic undead, and one of the common pseudoscience explanations for ghosts is that they are the lingering consciousnesses of the dead. Other undead could just be the thoughts having enough power to force a corpse to move.

    Skills: Mostly unchanged, except that Knowledge: Arcana, Spellcraft and UMD do not exist, and should be replaced by Knowledge: Psionics, Psicraft and UPD in all skill lists. Knowledge: Religion also gets a lot less relevant, and might be folded into "The Planes" for a generic "Philosophy" skill or something.
    By that same logic, you should get rid of Knowledge (Local), (Nobility & Royalty), and (History). Even if gods don't actually exist, religion is one of, if not the, most important and society-affecting things in the entire world. Just look at history--a lot of religions are mutually exclusive and ergo most gods literally cannot exist, but every single one of them has had a huge, profound effect on their culture, and the doctrine of those religions has had likewise. And RL priests can't even summon earthquakes on command. The reality or lack thereof of the divine doesn't make religion itself less significant.
    My Homebrew:
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Gem dragons are psionic dragons.

    Outsiders could be redesigned as entities of pure psionic will, too. A celestial is a manifestation of an amalgamation of humanity's better nature - a demon a manifestation of the exact opposite. With some more extensive homebrewing, you might even be able to realign the three major groups of outsiders to ego, id, and superego.

    "Psionic sorcerers" are called "Wilders". There's no need to adapt a class when its psionic version already exists.

    I think incarnum would be a good thing to work into a psionics-only game, too. Incarnum and psionics rather work well with each other, fluff-wise.
    My latest homebrew: Majokko base class and Spellcaster Dilettante feats for D&D 3.5 and Races as Classes for PTU.

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    Default Re: Psionics-Only D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
    "Psionic sorcerers" are called "Wilders". There's no need to adapt a class when its psionic version already exists.

    I think incarnum would be a good thing to work into a psionics-only game, too. Incarnum and psionics rather work well with each other, fluff-wise.
    Wilders are functionally psionic sorcerers. They don't actually get their psychic powers from their heritage, though, and blood is what the sorcerer's all about. Inheritance-based powers are different enough to justify being a different class.

    I agree with the incarnum part to an extent. "Souls" are a more magic concept, but if you re-imagined soulmelds as ectoplasm constructs shaped by major streams of thought from the Material Plane, rather than as shaped soul-stuff, it might fit a pure psionics setting more.
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