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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    confused What is a Psion ?

    So the're born with power but their not sorcerers.
    They learn their magic but their not wizards.
    What the are these guys and why when think of them see the most emo class in existence?
    Well That could have gone better.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Wizards learn their magic through study. Sorcerers access their magic through some sort of bloodline ancestry voodoo. Psions access the innate magic that all humans possess. Demons, Devils, and Angels all get access to spell-like abilities and stuff, why shouldn't humans? Or other mortal races? That's the explanation in my campaign anyways.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Disclaimer: This post is written from a 3.5 viewpoint, I have not thoroughly read the UA on Psionics.

    Psionics and magic are fundamentally different. Psions, depending on edition and/or setting, either train their powers (like a wizard) or have them innately (like a sorcerer), sometimes both. While magic is generally very obvious (waving hands, shouting weird words, throwing sulfur powder around, etc) psionics are generally subtle- A psion must do nothing but concentrate to cast (or manifest, as it's called) their powers. Powers are the psionic version of spells, made distinct by their displays and means of use, as well as a completely different list of options to choose from.

    Some psionic powers are entirely invisible, usually having a completely mental effect (shoot someone right in the mind, psionically dominate or charm them, that sort of thing) but others have a more tangible effect- Summoning sticky goo or astral constructs, making bursts of energy. Many powers have a 'display', a sensory effect that is sometimes the only clue a power has been manifested.

    In 3.5, one of the major differences between psions and casters was that Psions didn't use spell slots, they had a pool of points to spend to manifest their powers. Casters, on the other hand, had spell slots to cast with.

    Fluff-wise, means of manifesting varies greatly. In Forgotten Realms, psions create their own private Weave rather than using the universal one. Some people (such as Anxe) like to go with the idea of innate power, whereas others explain it as drawing more directly on the powers of the universe. Whatever the case, it is often associated with the Astral plane- Perhaps you've learned to channel starstuff the way a Cleric wields positive or negative energy? Expect table variation on this one.

    Not sure where the idea of emo psions come from, though. Someone else will have to help you on that one.
    Last edited by Rusvul; 2016-01-31 at 07:44 PM.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Psions are people with willpower so strong they rewrite reality directly, without all of the chanting, magic blood, careful memorization and divine intervention. A low level Psion might be like this guy while at the upper end they play like Jessica Sorrow.
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    It's a Wizard, but with different rules.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Magic users make use of a force that exists outside of themselves. Even Sorcerers are manipulating forces outside of themselves, even if they do it instinctual. Psions, however, utilize an energy that exists within them. That's why casters have spell slots (representing quantitized amounts of energy. 1 fireball = 1 slot. ), while psions have points (representing a variable amount of power invested. 1 energy is somewhere between 1 and 20 points). In fact, in one setting, psionics worked in normally dead magic areas because of this (long story short, most magic required using 'the weave'. However, psions have an internal weave, instead of using the external one, so they still work in places where the weave isn't present).
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    In Dark Sun psionics can be seen as the 'natural' alternative to magic seeing as almost everything has them (although psionics was apparently not around at the dawn of the world, I'm focusing on 1e Dark Sun). Compared to magic, which comes from an outside source (life energy for Arcane, the Elemental Planes for Divine) psionics seem to come from the user/the core of the planet. They do not have to follow a code of conduct like Clerics and Druids do, and unlike Mages don't have to choose between the easy road and the moral road.

    Setting wise psionics take the role arcane magic normally would, as arcane magic is all treated as black magic for a very good reason (I love Arthasian magic, and am trying to homebrew a more fluff-accurate version with gathering of life energy being important, but enough derailing).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Psions are for people who want to use D&D to play "The Saga of the Pliocene Exile". They're a Science-Fiction class thrown into a fantasy game to confuse people.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    This link characterises some of the sources that probably inspired D&D psionics. It's from sci-fi, but sci-fi and fantasy were being written, published, and read mostly by the same people at the time (to some extent, they still are).

    On the difference between psions and sorcerers: psionics is typically represented as stemming from something natural to humans (the mind or soul), even if only some people can realise the power, whereas a sorcerer's abilities are typically unnatural for a human (or elf, or whatever), which might be because they have something non-human in their bloodline, or because they suffered some other kind of exposure to magic.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
    Psions are for people who want to use D&D to play "The Saga of the Pliocene Exile". They're a Science-Fiction class thrown into a fantasy game to confuse people.
    Now say that with a straight face while trying to escape the sandworm with a head-exploding power, of the dinosaur riding telepathic cannibal halflings of doom.

    I guess my favourite D&D setting is science fiction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    I never said they were the ONLY Science-Fiction thing tossed into a fantasy game to confuse people.

    The Psion I just find especially funny because there's no way you can see it as anything other than; "somebody tipped Julian May into the game and didn't even bother to sand off the serial numbers."

    That said, I had no idea that "Halflings", "Cannibals", "Dinosaurs" or "Doom" were specifically science-fiction concepts.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Why would people choose a Wizard over a Psion?

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    In 3.5, there's a bunch of reasons. Psions can only know so many spells, Wizards can have whatever spell they want in their book. Wizards and Psions cast using different mechanics, and Psions have a completely different power list from Wizards. A better comparison to draw (mechanically) is Psion vs Sorcerer- Limited spells known, lots of versatility with spells cast in any given day. Even then, they have a differing spell list and a different casting mechanic. It's a matter of preference, really. (And a matter of how many splatbooks you have available, Sorcerers and Wizards have way more support from splats than Psionic classes.)

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
    I never said they were the ONLY Science-Fiction thing tossed into a fantasy game to confuse people.

    The Psion I just find especially funny because there's no way you can see it as anything other than; "somebody tipped Julian May into the game and didn't even bother to sand off the serial numbers."

    That said, I had no idea that "Halflings", "Cannibals", "Dinosaurs" or "Doom" were specifically science-fiction concepts.
    They fit some of the ideas from the absolutely fantasy Deyrini series pretty well, and psionics only fits in the softest of soft sci-fi.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Now say that with a straight face while trying to escape the sandworm with a head-exploding power, of the dinosaur riding telepathic cannibal halflings of doom.

    I guess my favourite D&D setting is science fiction.
    I'm guessing Dark Sun?

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    They fit some of the ideas from the absolutely fantasy Deyrini series pretty well, and psionics only fits in the softest of soft sci-fi.
    Not to mention that the idea of sci-fi and fantasy as entirely mutually exclusive genres with no cross-over hasn't always completely been the case; especially taking into account some of D&D's core inspirations...

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megasaber4000 View Post
    So the're born with power but their not sorcerers.
    They learn their magic but their not wizards.
    What the are these guys and why when think of them see the most emo class in existence?
    They're psychic.
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    They're psychic.
    No! Psychic is something completely different from psionics, trust me!
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Wizards spend years learning the universes cheat codes.
    Sorcerers come from a bloodline that knows them instinctively and just convince the universe to do weird stuff.
    Psions gave minds so powerful the can think at the universe and make it do weird stuff.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megasaber4000 View Post
    So the're born with power but their not sorcerers.
    They learn their magic but their not wizards.
    What the are these guys and why when think of them see the most emo class in existence?
    The best in-universe explanation I've heard for psionic characters is that it's a reaction to the encroachment of the Far Realm, toughening and strengthening minds of creatures who survive aberrant energies, like a person develops antibodies when they survive a disease.

    In that case, probably not born with psi powers, unless Mom hung around with freaky stuff like mind flayers and ethereal marauders and aboleths while pregnant.

    In 2e, 4e and GURPS, psionic characters don't learn magic, they develop it from an internal wellspring. Nobody's going to teach them a psionic spell. 3.X is the outlier as far as that goes.
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    They fit some of the ideas from the absolutely fantasy Deyrini series pretty well, and psionics only fits in the softest of soft sci-fi.
    Interesting. I seem to recall a rather thought-provoking Ursula Le Guin essay that specifically called out the Deynri series as being a fairly mundane series that simply happened to include cosmetic fantasy elements, rather than being something she would consider fantasy. She even had fun rewriting a passage with a few nouns changed to turn it into a rather stuffy political procedural to demonstrate.

    Anyway, Psionics in Science Fiction might be "soft", but it was still a feature in a quite a lot of SF fiction from the mid-60s onto the mid 80s. After then it seems to have fallen out of fashion. I suppose that's another reason D&D psionics seems so campy. It's out of place AND out of style.

    I use "Pliocene Saga" as a reference because it's almost impossible to look at the Psionic "schools" in D&D and the psychic disciplines in the book, compare the terminology used in both, and not make the connection.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    It's basically sci-fi magic or the type of powers you see X-Men possess.

    Quote Originally Posted by inuyasha View Post
    No! Psychic is something completely different from psionics, trust me!
    Admittedly, psychics (PF) are completely different to psions (3.5e). In both mechanics and flavour.
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    A Psion is a person who uses Psionic Powers within the D&D game system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    A Psion is a person who uses Psionic Powers within the D&D game system.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Fluff-wise, psions don't use magic. What they do have a different name for some reason.
    Mechanically wise, something something Vancian spellcasting, psion are what sorcerers should have been.
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Ever watch the movie "Lucy?" It's kind of like that.

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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kraftcheese View Post
    I'm guessing Dark Sun?
    How'd you guess? The cannibal halflings or the love of Arthasian magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    A Psion is a person who uses Psionic Powers within the D&D game system.

    Except in 2e, where they're a psionicist;1e where only wild talents exist; 3.5 where they could also be Wilders or Ardents (or Erudites, or psychic warriors, or); 4e where they could also be Ardents, Battleminds, or Monks; or 5e where they're Mystics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megasaber4000 View Post
    So the're born with power but their not sorcerers.
    They learn their magic but their not wizards.
    What is a wizard, but a psion with stupid chants and waving?
    What is a sorcerer, but a psion without understanding?

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    I've got it:
    -A wizard is someone who studied hard for their PhD.
    -A sorcerer is someone who got their PhD through natural talent and effort.
    -A warlock bribed the jury.
    -A psion thinks all the intellectuals should give them a PhD.
    -A wilder is too busy building a railgun in her shed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What is a Psion ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    -A wilder is too busy building a railgun in her shed.
    Nah, the wilder walked into a university angry and demanded a PhD.

    And psychics are stoners who get jobs without PhD's.
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