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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Steampunkette's Avatar

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    Default The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    So. It's been a while since I've posted. Hello, again, everyone! I'd like to talk about the Psionic Die.

    In a recent(ish) UA WotC introduced the Psionic Die as a fuel-method for psionic subclasses. You roll the die to determine damage bonuses and the like when using psionic abilities and if you roll the highest value on the die, your dice shrinks. If you roll the lowest value on the die, your die grows. It grows up to the maximum dice size you can use at your level, and that size increases as you level, and shrinks down to a d4 at the lowest end. If you roll a 4 on that d4, you lose access to your psionic abilities until you take a short rest or use a special action to refocus your mind.

    Honestly, it's a pretty neat concept except for three aspects:
    1) It means you can completely lose access to the majority of your subclass's abilities for multiple encounters based on a couple of 'good' dice rolls.
    2) It maxing out at a value equal to other dice-additions means that at best you're adding value equal to other people your level, but a good dice roll 'nerfs' you.
    3) It doesn't feel remotely 'psionic' in implementation.

    It feels like luck.

    I feel like it would better exemplify a Gambler sort of class. Perhaps a Gunslinger. In both cases the increased range of potential outcomes for weal and woe would be pretty thematic.

    And honestly, I feel like those would make better subclasses to make use of this mechanic, though I'd personally add in a slight tweak that after you get down to a d4 and roll a 4 you're on a d2 and you stay there 'til you "roll" a 1 and get back up to a d4. That way the character never gets shut out from using their abilities... they just use them in an unlucky fashion.

    What do you folks think?
    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.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    It troubles me that the "best" roll gets more and more likely as the die gets smaller.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    Psi Replenishment means you get 2 chances to run out of dice, and your die gets larger.

    For it to go away in 4 actions, the odds are 1 in 576. It can happen.

    You'll get max results, and warning that it is happening before it does.

    At 1d8 (5th level) it is 1 in 36864 for it to fade after 6 uses.

    You get, on average, over 20 uses before it runs out even at a starting d6.

    You cannot get fewer uses than the battlemaster does at level 3, because you get 4 uses minimum.
    Last edited by Yakk; 2020-09-13 at 10:10 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Steampunkette's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Psi Replenishment means you get 2 chances to run out of dice, and your die gets larger.

    For it to go away in 4 actions, the odds are 1 in 576. It can happen.

    You'll get max results, and warning that it is happening before it does.

    At 1d8 (5th level) it is 1 in 36864 for it to fade after 6 uses.

    You get, on average, over 20 uses before it runs out even at a starting d6.

    You cannot get fewer uses than the battlemaster does at level 3, because you get 4 uses minimum.
    Yes. The odds of rolling max damage 2 times, spending a bonus action, and rolling max damage 2 more times is very low.

    But generally speaking you're gonna get more than 4 actions in a combat, much less between long rests.

    Though, again... The thrust of the idea is: Does this feel more like Psionics or more like Luck? To me, this mechanic feels like it belongs in the hands of a luck-based character concept, not a psionicist.
    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.

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

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    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    I like the pdi dice, in it's presented implementation, on a class like the wilder, someone who is supposed to represent psychic powers which are barely controlled.

    For a more cerebral, controlled class concept like a psion, my suggested approach would be the following: the psi dice is set to one dice smaller at a given level than implemented, so in if the "wilder's" psi dice are d6s, d8s, d10s and d12s, the "psion's" dice would be set to d4s, d6s, d8s and d10s at those same levels. The psion would lack the random grow and shrink mechanic the wilders have, instead they would have the ability to choose to raise their die size by 1 for one minute, but then shrinking it by 1 until they completed a long rest. If they never opted to use this temporary boost, the die would remain at a fixed size all day. So a psion with a d8 psi die could boost his die to a d10 for 1 minute, but it would become a d6 afterwards. If he boosted it again, it would become a d8, but would drop to a d4 after. If he boosts it again it would become a d6 for one minute then vanish.

    The psion system would offer similar power over an adventuring day, with slightly less power at the start of the day and more as the day drags on, with precise control of how that power wanes.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    I think the re theming works great. Call it a gambler's die instead of psionic die. And a 1 is burning through bad luck. Max roll is using up good luck.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    Psionic Die

    When you gain a Psionic Die, pick one of two options.

    Wilder
    Whenever you are told to roll the die, if you roll a 1 increase the die size by 1 step (up to the original size), and if you roll a max value decrease it by 1 step. If you roll a 4 on 1d4 your die is expended until you recover it.

    Focus
    Start your die at its maximum value. Whenever you are told to roll the die, simply use the value it is currently at, then decrease it by 2. When you decrease it to 0, change the die to the next lower size. When you decrease d4 to 0, your psionic die is expended until you recover it.

    ---

    "Focus" psionics get half as many uses, but the value and use count is predictable, both of which are very useful. (A +1d6 to hit is much worse than a +4 to hit if you pick it after you know how much you missed by)

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Steampunkette's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    Gambler: A Rogue Archetype.

    Felicity:
    At 3rd level you begin playing your luck. You gain a Luck Die that begins as 1d6 and increases to 1d8 at 5th, 1d10 at 11th, and 1d12 at 17th level. Whenever you attempt to use one of your Gambling class features which requires you to roll your luck die, you decrease the size of the die by one step if you roll the maximum value or increase the size of the die by one step (Up to your current maximum) if you roll a natural 1. If your die size shrinks below 1d2, your luck has run out and you must complete a short or long rest in order to recover your Luck Die. Your luck die always returns to it's maximum size after a Long Rest, but if recovered during a Short Rest begins at 1d4.

    Gambler's Action: You gain the following abilities tied to your luck dice. Unless specified, these abilities cost no action but you can only use one per round.

    Lucky Shot: When making a ranged weapon attack with a thrown weapon, including improvised weapons, you may roll your luck die as part of the attack roll. If your d20 roll plus your luck die roll combine to make a 20 or a 21, treat the attack as though you had rolled a natural 20 and secured a critical hit. If you roll a natural 1 on the d20, or the total of your two dice before modifiers is over 21, your luck die decreases in size by one step. On a Natural 20, you critically hit as normal, but still 'Bust' and lose a die size if you roll a 2 or higher on your Luck Die.

    Lucky Strikes: When making a melee weapon attack with a finesse weapon you may choose to roll your luck die to impair your foe's abilities. Choose either your enemy's eyes or legs. If you choose eyes, reduce the target's effective sight range to the number rolled on your luck die multiplied by 5ft (If you roll a 1, they can't see more than 5 feet away). If you choose legs, reduce the target's movement speed by the number rolled multiplied by 5ft (On a 3, the target's movement speed is reduced by 15ft). This penalty lasts until the end of your next turn. In either case, the damage of your attack is reduced by the same amount.

    Fortune Favors: After a successful sneak attack or critical hit, you may roll your Luck Die and gain temporary hit points equal to the value rolled which last until the start of your next turn.

    A Fluke: As a reaction to being attacked, you may roll your luck die and add the value to your armor class. You must declare your intent to use this reaction after the attack roll has been made, but before the damage roll.

    Hot Streak: At 9th level, your luck builds momentum. If you successfully complete 3 skill checks, 3 attack rolls, or 3 saving throws in a row, increase your dice size to it's maximum. If you successfully complete a combination of these options in a row, increase your dice size by 1 step, up to it's current maximum.

    High Roller: At 13th level you've learned to push your luck to the limits. After rolling the maximum value on your luck die, you may expend your reaction and not reduce the die size. You must complete a short rest before using this ability, again. You may also now make Lucky Shots with finesse weapons used for melee attacks or any ranged weapon.

    Karma's Due: At 17th level, you can start to tell when others are on lucky streaks, and when their luck is running out. After a creature within 60ft of you successfully lands a critical hit, you can use your reaction to give them or a creature targeting them the benefit of your Lucky Shot ability. When using the Lucky Shot ability, the weapon does not require the finesse quality, but must still be making a weapon attack to gain the benefit of this feature.


    Could definitely be fun... Maybe a touch finicky in Lucky Shots.
    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.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    Honestly, it's a pretty neat concept except for three aspects:
    1) It means you can completely lose access to the majority of your subclass's abilities for multiple encounters based on a couple of 'good' dice rolls.
    2) It maxing out at a value equal to other dice-additions means that at best you're adding value equal to other people your level, but a good dice roll 'nerfs' you.
    3) It doesn't feel remotely 'psionic' in implementation.

    It feels like luck.

    I feel like it would better exemplify a Gambler sort of class. Perhaps a Gunslinger. In both cases the increased range of potential outcomes for weal and woe would be pretty thematic.

    And honestly, I feel like those would make better subclasses to make use of this mechanic, though I'd personally add in a slight tweak that after you get down to a d4 and roll a 4 you're on a d2 and you stay there 'til you "roll" a 1 and get back up to a d4. That way the character never gets shut out from using their abilities... they just use them in an unlucky fashion.

    What do you folks think?
    Hello there! I appreciate a discussion on the latest efforts from WoTC to bring back Psionics, it is one of my favorite mechanics of D&D ever since I began playing from AD&D. Speaking of which! I believe the Psionic Die is hearkening back to that edition with the application of a variance in power effects.

    In 2nd edition, Psionics was tied to a base Ability Score. When you wanted to manifest a power, you rolled a d20. If you rolled below your Ability Score, the power would activate. If you rolled above the Ability Score, the power would fail. Fairly standard stuff, but rolling on the Ability Score, also known as the Power Score IIRC, meant that the power manifested with enhanced effect.

    Personally, I appreciate the nod if that is indeed what it is, and overall the effect and flavor is more appealing to me than what's come before that I've noticed, with the exception of the Mystic (I think they went too far in one direction over the other with that). I have not had an opportunity to playtest any of the material, so how well I enjoy it in application remains to be seen. I hope this is at least some entertaining history and trivia for you.
    "The humans of the internet are uncouth. When I said I was an Asgardian God, they called me a troll!"
    *pause*
    "But you're a half-giant."
    "Exactly! They wouldn't accept it."

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Oct 2017

    Default Re: The Psionic Die and a better application thereof

    I thought it was fine. Applicable enough that I created an entire tank class out of it.

    Here’s the Adaptive:

    https://www.dmsguild.com/product/322...n-The-Adaptive

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