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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    However, the fun part in S&P is closing an open mind. A non-psychic makes a save v. paralyzation (with a -4 if they've been subject to a power). The non-psychic can attempt to close their mind the round after it is opened. A psychic whose been opened can't try to close it for 1d4+1 rounds, AND they have to do it with a Wisdom check at a -3.

    So, a psychic who has been battered open has a far worse chance of actually closing their mind, and can't do it as quickly.

    Gods, that system was so messed up.
    I feel like that one might have been deliberate, and hewing to the notion that the psychically aware were more sensitive to psychic phenomenon and thus more vulnerable to psychic attack (ex: X-Men's Jean and Rachel Grey continuously being taken over and suborned by psychic opponents). We always just said that psionics had 'minds like a steel trapsieve.'

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Thanks for the review of the old system. I know I always thought it lame, even when I wanted to like it as a teenager. The whole psychic attack modes thing is just badly done.

    Making them into just more powers is probably the best thing 3.PF psionics did for them.

    Then PF went and introduced dreamscape/mindscape combat, which has all the problems of earlier edition psychic combat, but is even less coherent. I suppose it at least uses something closer to the same system as everything else, but still, it's a nightmare to understand and abstracts things that don't need abstraction for the sake of making it...run faster, maybe?

    I think they'd have been better off actually treating it as a Demiplane of Dreams that could be accessed psychically, and had things happen there simultaneously to the real world when people entered "mindscape combat." With or without bodily entering the dream plane.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    And yet somehow Mind Flayers are in every edition without psionics. And have to revised just like everything else when psionics is bolted on later.
    I for one, find non-Psionic mindflayers unsatisfying. This may not be logical or reasonable. It may be because I first encountered mindflayers as psionic 1st Ed monsters.
    But I'd rather they skip the Illithids until they've decided how to do psionics in new editions
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    I for one, find non-Psionic mindflayers unsatisfying. This may not be logical or reasonable. It may be because I first encountered mindflayers as psionic 1st Ed monsters.
    But I'd rather they skip the Illithids until they've decided how to do psionics in new editions
    Illithids have often had a list of powers rather than being psions. The mind blast is usually enough to sell their nature to me.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Illithids have often had a list of powers rather than being psions. The mind blast is usually enough to sell their nature to me.
    i would like to maintain for all witnesses that i approve of the idea of SOME psionic builds being magic and SOME being totally NOT magic.

    Concerning the old school mind flayers, for me, psionic monsters were natural. We grew up on Stephen King movies and also Played Rifts. My 1st character in that system was a Mind Melter. So obviously, tentacle villains with psychic powers is normal. D&D has lots of far realm/exotic/old one type bad guys, from the stars or other dimensions.

    I think whenever your campaign gets weird or far out, it's an excellent time to toss in Psionic monsters, and eventually, Psionic characters.


    When i get to thinking about what makes psionics, i think it has everything to do with PERCEPTION.

    Like, mind reading is perceiving thoughts.

    Unlike everybody else, Psionicists have TWO-WAY perception. Perception is normally receive input-only.

    But psionics seems to be taking whats in your head - your mind's eye, and sending or outputting that beyond your self.

    So like, passively, a person might perceive their own heart beat,
    but then if they can modify that rhythm, you have biofeedback: Psionics.

    You first feel/sense something, then you want to feel/sense that same thing differently, and input flips to output.

    Telekinesis is action at a distance, sure,

    but first the normal person sees the rock, and maybe they imagine the rock being somewhere else. A Desire for it to move.
    The Psionicist though, makes it match that internal imagining, they make that desire come true.

    When a cleric of a plain god prays, they have to do their song and dance, praying with their lips, burn stuff, maybe kill a goat or two, in the hopes that the Rite, or some magical rules, or simply a Sky being with good eye sight will peer through the clouds, and listen with their superman hearing, and answer their call.

    But when a cleric of a more advanced god prays, they can do it with or without the song and dance. They can pray in their minds if their tongue has been cut out be the evil Prince. They can be tied up or in chains, unable to prostrate themselves, but still the words they form in their heart are sent up to their god, who hears these words...these words are their thoughts.

    Because the second god is reading the cleric's mind. That's telepathy. And that's psionic.
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-06 at 02:12 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    I feel like that one might have been deliberate, and hewing to the notion that the psychically aware were more sensitive to psychic phenomenon and thus more vulnerable to psychic attack (ex: X-Men's Jean and Rachel Grey continuously being taken over and suborned by psychic opponents). We always just said that psionics had 'minds like a steel trapsieve.'
    The idea that psions were more vulnerable to psychic combat was key to 1e, where psychic combat was a punishment rather than a benefit.

    When you used your powers, you got a special wandering monsters check, and the monsters which showed up didn't need to spend points. So yeah, it's consistent (IMHO in a bad way).

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    The idea that psions were more vulnerable to psychic combat was key to 1e, where psychic combat was a punishment rather than a benefit.

    When you used your powers, you got a special wandering monsters check, and the monsters which showed up didn't need to spend points. So yeah, it's consistent (IMHO in a bad way).
    I tend to describe 1e's game design as "Hostile Architecture".
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I tend to describe 1e's game design as "Hostile Architecture".
    It does reflect Gygax's attitude (as it seems from others' descriptions, can't speak to actuality) that the DM and the players are on opposite sides of things.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    It does reflect Gygax's attitude (as it seems from others' descriptions, can't speak to actuality) that the DM and the players are on opposite sides of things.
    I'm sure Gygax would hate that interpretation (he would state strongly that the DMs job is to neutrally arbitrate the world that exists, etc. etc.), however that's a reasonable interpretation of the game rules that we ended up getting from him. This individual scenario being one case, but also the monkey-paw interpreting of wishes, ear-seekers to foil thieves doing the reasonable thing of listening at doors, those admonitions in the AD&D DMG about how if someone tried to hide while being observed or climb while wearing armor or whatever else you should tell them 'they can always try' etc... yeah, it seems pretty adversarial. I have been told by people who were there at EGG's home table that this came about as kind of a friendly-adversarial oneupsmanship between Gary and the other rotating DMs and Ernie Gygax, Rob Kuntz, and a few of the other most-often-players who were really good at reading the DM and out-thinking them (and then the DM coming up with a new trick and the cycle repeating). However, since a lot of that context never percolated through to the rest of us, it sure does look pretty hostile.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    IIRC, the 1e DMG also didn't have a real editor, just some kid Gary hired. Not a situation that gives the sort of person who looks their boss in the face and says "are you sure you want to say it like that?"
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    i can't be sure if magic was seen as more evil back then,

    like from the period of tolkien animation or wizards, to flight of dragons and last unicorn, you had a handful of "evil magician" B movies, but often enough, those B movie wizards were also just using Psionics (TK, Telepathy, Mind Control)

    but i can be sure many psionics were horror film related. It was designed to scare people. Children of the Damned, Scanners, etc.
    Disney kid gloved them with escape from witch mountain but even then had a creepy almost Shining feeling to it (another creepy psionicist/ghost horror film)

    By the time of Chevy Chase it had a more light hearted feel to it. But the vein of "this screws people over and that scares them" was already ingrained.


    Gygax originally intended players to be the heroes of a story, as stated in his DMG, but he got more hostile, possibly from battling wits with certain types of players and angry lawyers. He stuck his name on Oriental Adventures and Unearthed Arcana though, and those heavily amp players, in contrast to his Annihilation orb trap instant death dungeons. The body of his work is sufficiently internally conflicted that I would see it more like "random magic alpha cards found under the bed" instead of "this is an orderly school of thought for how to conduct games, monsters, and balance".

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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    The body of his work is sufficiently internally conflicted that I would see it more like "random magic alpha cards found under the bed" instead of "this is an orderly school of thought for how to conduct games, monsters, and balance".
    Among many other reasons, this is why I don't worship at the shrine of Gygax. Or even treat appeals to Gygax with any authority. What Gygax did and intended is of historical interest to me, but doesn't influence how I play or interpret things in D&D. It's out of his (now dead) hands now.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Among many other reasons, this is why I don't worship at the shrine of Gygax. Or even treat appeals to Gygax with any authority. What Gygax did and intended is of historical interest to me, but doesn't influence how I play or interpret things in D&D. It's out of his (now dead) hands now.
    Generally agree. I look at his stuff as "oh, something good here, let's use that".

    ironically most of the good stuff i liked about Gygaxian works were actually contested for ownership in court. But I liked stuff like Knights in Shining Armor, Cool Martial Arts (1980s style action hero/Wuxia Matrix martial arts, not disappointment McDojo does 1d3 and can't beat your elementary school bully/ogre martial arts), and Lovecraft type stuff.

    That's one thing that really gets my goat. People limiting their imaginations because of some Sacred Cow to the publisher, when the publisher themselves got ruined or wrecked over copyright. Of course the kid at the table wants a light saber and use it to fight Cthulhu.. no. he doesn't want to call it a lazer Sword or fight a Squid headed knock off named "Cthonion"TM.

    I think Psionics got caught up in that mess for literally reasons like those - pop culture limitations on publishing. Who knows how many Niven novel ideas went to the trash heap instead of the TSR box because of it.

    Roleplaying is about smashing ideas together and seeing if we can get our own Los Alamos from the sparks.
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-08 at 04:41 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    Generally agree. I look at his stuff as "oh, something good here, let's use that".

    ironically most of the good stuff i liked about Gygaxian works were actually contested for ownership in court. But I liked stuff like Knights in Shining Armor, Cool Martial Arts (1980s style action hero/Wuxia Matrix martial arts, not disappointment McDojo does 1d3 and can't beat your elementary school bully/ogre martial arts), and Lovecraft type stuff.

    That's one thing that really gets my goat. People limiting their imaginations because of some Sacred Cow to the publisher, when the publisher themselves got ruined or wrecked over copyright. Of course the kid at the table wants a light saber and use it to fight Cthulhu.. no. he doesn't want to call it a lazer Sword or fight a Squid headed knock off named "Cthonion"TM.

    I think Psionics got caught up in that mess for literally reasons like those - pop culture limitations on publishing. Who knows how many Niven novel ideas went to the trash heap instead of the TSR box because of it.

    Roleplaying is about smashing ideas together and seeing if we can get our own Los Alamos from the sparks.
    Probably a tangent, but one thing I've been running into as I write my own kitchen-sink[1] setting (and trying to follow copyright/trademark at least at some level) is coming up with "new takes" on existing things (races especially, but monsters too occasionally) that are both recognizably "inspired by X" and far enough away from X to not raise any objections. So I've got tentacle-faced creatures who reproduce through parasitic larvae, but I don't use the name (trademark) and have distinctly changed their nature[2]. And I probably haven't gone far enough.

    [1] A goal to have, somewhere in the setting, every player-allowed race option and as many of the classes as make sense. And have it all gel together, so no just throwing them in wherever.
    [2] They don't need brains, although they enjoy them. They were originally designed to stay in the larval form and act as basically passive information gatherers, resting in people's heads. Then a demon intervened with the !aboleth who were the agents of this design (working for a larger power) and twisted them. There are still many "cooperative" tentacle-monsters who enter symbiosis with their host. They're water associated, not the far realms, and they can breathe water. Plus several other changes.
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Probably a tangent, but one thing I've been running into as I write my own kitchen-sink[1] setting (and trying to follow copyright/trademark at least at some level) is coming up with "new takes" on existing things (races especially, but monsters too occasionally) that are both recognizably "inspired by X" and far enough away from X to not raise any objections. So I've got tentacle-faced creatures who reproduce through parasitic larvae, but I don't use the name (trademark) and have distinctly changed their nature[2]. And I probably haven't gone far enough.

    [1] A goal to have, somewhere in the setting, every player-allowed race option and as many of the classes as make sense. And have it all gel together, so no just throwing them in wherever.
    [2] They don't need brains, although they enjoy them. They were originally designed to stay in the larval form and act as basically passive information gatherers, resting in people's heads. Then a demon intervened with the !aboleth who were the agents of this design (working for a larger power) and twisted them. There are still many "cooperative" tentacle-monsters who enter symbiosis with their host. They're water associated, not the far realms, and they can breathe water. Plus several other changes.
    There is a way to help do that:
    simply find things that are flaws in the things you like that keep it from being your ideal version of that thing.

    for example, lets take the idea of Jedi and Sith. for some people they are good as they are, but to me they have flaws: their powers are too morally slanted, because I'd want to play something with sith like aesthetics but without the villainy that comes with it. so my goal is to make something much like Sith from Star Wars but without any evil involved so I can going around being a badass hero who shoots lightning at people while wielding a lightsaber. y'know a less paladin and blackguard take on the concept. If I want to make my own star wars inspired thing, I'd basically make a heroic sith order kind of thing first to make it different and so I could have fun being sith without consequence.

    basically, take something thats flawed to you, then fix it into the way you want it to be. I'm sure you can find something that you don't like completely.
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    There is a way to help do that:
    simply find things that are flaws in the things you like that keep it from being your ideal version of that thing.

    for example, lets take the idea of Jedi and Sith. for some people they are good as they are, but to me they have flaws: their powers are too morally slanted, because I'd want to play something with sith like aesthetics but without the villainy that comes with it. so my goal is to make something much like Sith from Star Wars but without any evil involved so I can going around being a badass hero who shoots lightning at people while wielding a lightsaber. y'know a less paladin and blackguard take on the concept. If I want to make my own star wars inspired thing, I'd basically make a heroic sith order kind of thing first to make it different and so I could have fun being sith without consequence.

    basically, take something thats flawed to you, then fix it into the way you want it to be. I'm sure you can find something that you don't like completely.
    Oh absolutely. I've been trying to do so--one reason for this whole project is that I'm not particularly enthused about a lot of the underlying lore of D&D, even if I like the manifestations of that lore. But copyright is tricky and making sure that I'm on the right side of that line (even if no one would ever care because it's not like this will ever get published more than on my own personal website or used by anyone but me) has involved lots of re-thinking and especially renaming. Because trademark is much brighter line. I can't (with safety) use a whole chunk of the races--anything outside the SRD and out of the public domain has to be at minimum renamed (and stats not provided) or has to be completely rebuilt AND renamed. I'd love to use the names, but I try to obey the law...
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    But lets step back a moment. Did you know Babayaga's Hut was described as a 4 dimensional Hypercube? Back in some old dragon magazine, one of the most famous dungeons was actually defined as a science fiction concept.
    Oh, it's better than that. You are correct in that there's a version of it in Dragon #83.

    However it got turned into a full length adventure later on, which is available now via various sites (ie, DMsGuild - https://www.dmsguild.com/product/173...a-Yaga-2e?it=1).

    It's one of the best adventures I've read, and is totally off-the-wall bonkers.
    One memorable quote from the book is
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    "to the inhabitants of Tokyo, a six-foot tall human PC is a 430 foot tall giant. Unless they are careful, the PCs will squash dozens of innocent civilians with every step". And yes, they get to fight Godzilla.


    Pardon my geeking, but I thought people deserved to know of the craziness of this gem.
    Last edited by kalkyrie; 2021-01-08 at 05:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Seems like there were big problems with making mental contact,

    attack modes, and defense modes.

    The 2e core mind blank that cost zero made lots of people happy, because even though defense modes were quirky, at least you could always have a closed mind.

    Most of us think of minds like an Onion, or Inception layers, perhaps with shallow people having fewer layers of the Jawbreaker, and more robust minds have thicker stronger layers.

    Something like a Wizard or a Veteran of Prison Camp torture might have many layers of defense.

    I think too much emphasis on telepathy happened. Most of us want telepathy to exist, but also want stuff like Telekinesis stuff, Pyrokinesis, Hydrokinesis like water shaping.

    some of the best powers were grossly over looked, and themes like the Psychometabolic powers were either OP for their cost or over Priced and useless. Death field vs. a +1 initiative? Srsly?

    i was really embarassed by the telekinesis rules - 3 pounds per -1... is actually worse than the 1+2+3+4... rule of AD&D per point or whatever spent.

    I think Psionics seen as a force of nature, like a Dragon in the form of a Man/Woman, there's something Cool about that. Having a Psionic class that radiates fear as if they were some supernatural force, because of reputation or Aura/DBZ aura, that's cool too.

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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    2E Psionics was badly done. It was possible to Disintegrate someone at level 3. It was all you could do that day, but you could do it. At the other end, it was also possible to kill yourself with a few different powers just by the random luck roll of the d20. Then there was the blatant unfairness of the monsters never having to spend power point to do psionics and never risked killing themselves. I understand now why PCs and NPCs don't follow the same rules, but this was going too far in different rules. 2E was notorious for that.

    The 3.0E version was a nice idea on paper of using different ability scores for the different disciplines, but it didn't work in practice. I liked how 3.5E did it, at least before the unnecessary nerfs of the second psionic book most people ignored. It consolidated to Intelligence and provided decent enough points to do stuff. Dreamscarred Press improved it for Pathfinder compatability. Those who complained it was too powerful almost always forgot two things: 1) You cannot spend more power points on a power than your level no matter what you do. 2) Powers don't scale with level. You need to spend extra points on low level powers if you want to increase their effect. This was my favorite system.
    Last edited by Pex; 2021-01-10 at 07:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    The biggest problem I've had with psionics has always been the aesthetics of having two different "magic" systems, one for psionicists and the other for everybody else. It just seems to me that the universe should be more elegant than that. I'd have no objection to a psionic system in which a character would have something along the lines of: "As an action, you can psionically cast the Detect Thoughts spell, requiring no components. You can do this a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1 time), and regain expended uses after a short or long rest. Intelligence is your casting attribute for this spell."
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    Default Re: Fear of Psionics and its Impact over 5 Editions in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    The biggest problem I've had with psionics has always been the aesthetics of having two different "magic" systems, one for psionicists and the other for everybody else. It just seems to me that the universe should be more elegant than that. I'd have no objection to a psionic system in which a character would have something along the lines of: "As an action, you can psionically cast the Detect Thoughts spell, requiring no components. You can do this a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1 time), and regain expended uses after a short or long rest. Intelligence is your casting attribute for this spell."
    Well here is the thing: there is something called "Magic-Psionics Transparency"
    Combining Psionic And Magical Effects
    The default rule for the interaction of psionics and magic is simple: Powers interact with spells and spells interact with powers in the same way a spell or normal spell-like ability interacts with another spell or spell-like ability. This is known as psionics-magic transparency.

    Psionics-Magic Transparency
    Though not explicitly called out in the spell descriptions or magic item descriptions, spells, spell-like abilities, and magic items that could potentially affect psionics do affect psionics.

    When the rule about psionics-magic transparency is in effect, it has the following ramifications.

    Spell resistance is effective against powers, using the same mechanics. Likewise, power resistance is effective against spells, using the same mechanics as spell resistance. If a creature has one kind of resistance, it is assumed to have the other. (The effects have similar ends despite having been brought about by different means.)

    All spells that dispel magic have equal effect against powers of the same level using the same mechanics, and vice versa.

    The spell detect magic detects powers, their number, and their strength and location within 3 rounds (though a Psicraft check is necessary to identify the discipline of the psionic aura).

    Dead magic areas are also dead psionics areas.
    this is the default rule about psionics in the dnd 3.5 srd.

    what does this mean?

    psionics and magic might actually simply be the manipulating the same energy. the difference is how they use it, not what is being used. simply say that psionics is the same magic just with a different machine making it go through different processes and it becomes incredibly elegant. like two different kinds of computers: the codes may be different, but they still use electricity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    this is the default rule about psionics in the dnd 3.5 srd.
    Which looks fine by me. Well, almost.

    As previously mentioned, I adhere to the "personal weave" interpretation of psionics. That is, a wizard relies on an ambient field that may have different properties in certain regions of the world, such as being torn/dead or tangled/wild, while a psion carries with them a field of their own creation.

    Under that interpretation, things like dispel magic or antimagic field would be active attempts at disrupting the Weave, and might work just as well against the personal weave of a psion. On the other hand, a psion should not care about dead or wild magic zones, which are just local properties of a Weave they do not use.

    Or, under your "computer" comparison, a wizard has hacked their way into the grid that controls all the doors, elevators, nano-replicators and other gizmos of the area, while a psion is a cyborg that goes go-go gadget. Dispel magic and antimagic field are EMPs that are a problem to both, while dead and wild magic zones are local blackouts of the grid.

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    Transparency was a change. In the original 3.0E there was no transparency. Dispel Magic had no affect on psionics. Dispel Psionics had no affect on magic. Transparency was an optional rule. I'm guessing enough people complained it was made official for 3.5E.

    Anyway, a curious psionic power from 2E never made a comeback. I forget its name. You create a bubble of time dilation. One round in the bubble is one hour outside the bubble. You can choose to be in or out of it when you create it. The bubble can be large enough to encompass a combat area. Had it been in 3E I'm sure it would be a 9th level power, but I'm guessing the lack of a saving throw for those inside made it not work. Giving a saving throw and determining what happens when some make it and others do not would be a logistical nightmare to figure out. Still, I was disappointed it never returned.
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    The 3e default is transparency, limiting transparency or removing it entirely are optional rules. I remember the book said that it's the default mainly for balance reasons (many monsters have Spell Resistance, almost none have Power Resistance).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    Transparency was a change. In the original 3.0E there was no transparency. Dispel Magic had no affect on psionics. Dispel Psionics had no affect on magic. Transparency was an optional rule. I'm guessing enough people complained it was made official for 3.5E.

    Anyway, a curious psionic power from 2E never made a comeback. I forget its name. You create a bubble of time dilation. One round in the bubble is one hour outside the bubble. You can choose to be in or out of it when you create it. The bubble can be large enough to encompass a combat area. Had it been in 3E I'm sure it would be a 9th level power, but I'm guessing the lack of a saving throw for those inside made it not work. Giving a saving throw and determining what happens when some make it and others do not would be a logistical nightmare to figure out. Still, I was disappointed it never returned.
    Sounds like a close cousin, in terms of utility, to time stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    The 3e default is transparency, limiting transparency or removing it entirely are optional rules. I remember the book said that it's the default mainly for balance reasons (many monsters have Spell Resistance, almost none have Power Resistance).
    Huh, I guessed I switched them around over the years. Oh well, I stand corrected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Not as written. Maybe you've got some house rules or something to that effect, but no, as written, your mind is closed until you run out of PSPs (Way of the Psionicist from the Revised Dark Sun Setting p7). If you can cite book and page number, though, I'm open to being proven wrong.
    hmmm. It's not as explicit as I remembered.

    Closest is probably extrapolation from "A character activates a psionic defense at the beginning of a combat round. This defense protects against all psionic attacks launched at the character in that round." PO:S&P p148

    We always interpreted the defense rules to mean you activate the defense, or else you have none. And none means the attack hits automatically, because no defense. I also recall it being ruled as opens the mind, but maybe it was automatically hits and removes PSPs per attack form. Either way, it makes a lot more sense than "you can not to defend yourself and they have to roll to hit anyway"

    I can see how someone would interpret the rules that last way, nothing in the defense rules explicitly specifies what happens if you choose not to use them. It's not a common sense interpretation of them, the common sense interpretation is the rules assume you must/will always use a a defense, until you run out of PSPs. But I can see it as a rules parsing interpretation of it not saying otherwise.

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    The Revised defense modes do nothing but adjust your MAC. If you don't use a defense mode, then you just have your normal MAC, same as anyone else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    The 3e default is transparency, limiting transparency or removing it entirely are optional rules. I remember the book said that it's the default mainly for balance reasons (many monsters have Spell Resistance, almost none have Power Resistance).
    I loved Steve Winter's explicit "psionics isn't magic" opacity. it lent itself to the Horror of Psionics, a theme that carries over into many cross over campy shows. The audience becomes numb to magic as the new normal, so you inject this new thing into the world that has its own way of doing things, and then horror or hijinks ensues. In Hellraiser 4 and Toward the Terra, there was a theme about how the bulk of humanity had adapted to Super advanced Technology, which rivaled the supernatural power, but the supernatural power was still feared by the masses. Magic Transparency radically dilutes not just player characters, but also all the far realm horrors, and thus the horror aspect its associated with.


    What i really liked about Psionics was how different it felt from Magical Systems. Not just that the magical systems were vancian, but that they had level tiers for instance.

    Psionics by comparison had skill trees (an idea it should have used more of, especially for persnickety imbalancers like disintegrate) and Dark Sun Will and the Way Meditation Rules,

    so instead of sculpting a new spell, you re-sculpted an existing power. Rules weren't perfect, like splicing powers didn't always make sense, and the x1.5 to x2 didn't make much sense for DPS vs. AOE, but the kernel of something good was there.

    if i had to correct some of the Psionics from that era, I'd probably revise the Damage modifier so that:
    1 modification increases a plus by a plus 1 (+1->+2)
    1 modification increases a damage by a plus 1 die (2d6->3d6)
    and probably make Volume/Surface AOE an AOE with the -2 to -4 major change,
    while making length/range AOE a 0 penalty/minor change.

    i'd probably triple the length of skill trees

    as to telepathy, that would be mostly flushed/modified since it's a mess, but fixing the Meditation Linear/Curve and the Skill Tree chains would probably do the most Good in terms of Balance while changing the least rules.

    MTHAC0 is a great idea, honestly, it basically says "as you level, a wild talent improves a little bit, a psionicist improves a lot"
    this concept could be expanded to have stuff like "wizard" "cleric" and "rogue" THAC0 versions to reflect different Tiers of Psionic Class dedication.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    I loved Steve Winter's explicit "psionics isn't magic" opacity. it lent itself to the Horror of Psionics, a theme that carries over into many cross over campy shows. The audience becomes numb to magic as the new normal, so you inject this new thing into the world that has its own way of doing things, and then horror or hijinks ensues. In Hellraiser 4 and Toward the Terra, there was a theme about how the bulk of humanity had adapted to Super advanced Technology, which rivaled the supernatural power, but the supernatural power was still feared by the masses. Magic Transparency radically dilutes not just player characters, but also all the far realm horrors, and thus the horror aspect its associated with.


    What i really liked about Psionics was how different it felt from Magical Systems. Not just that the magical systems were vancian, but that they had level tiers for instance.

    Psionics by comparison had skill trees (an idea it should have used more of, especially for persnickety imbalancers like disintegrate) and Dark Sun Will and the Way Meditation Rules,

    so instead of sculpting a new spell, you re-sculpted an existing power. Rules weren't perfect, like splicing powers didn't always make sense, and the x1.5 to x2 didn't make much sense for DPS vs. AOE, but the kernel of something good was there.

    if i had to correct some of the Psionics from that era, I'd probably revise the Damage modifier so that:
    1 modification increases a plus by a plus 1 (+1->+2)
    1 modification increases a damage by a plus 1 die (2d6->3d6)
    and probably make Volume/Surface AOE an AOE with the -2 to -4 major change,
    while making length/range AOE a 0 penalty/minor change.

    i'd probably triple the length of skill trees

    as to telepathy, that would be mostly flushed/modified since it's a mess, but fixing the Meditation Linear/Curve and the Skill Tree chains would probably do the most Good in terms of Balance while changing the least rules.

    MTHAC0 is a great idea, honestly, it basically says "as you level, a wild talent improves a little bit, a psionicist improves a lot"
    this concept could be expanded to have stuff like "wizard" "cleric" and "rogue" THAC0 versions to reflect different Tiers of Psionic Class dedication.
    I can't comment to the specific mechanics of 2e because I've never played it, but I really like "psionics is the weird magic that magic-users don't understand" idea.

    Nowadays we generally tend to call everything that involves doing stuff the laws of physics don't allow "magic", but in earlier time periods, the differences between different power sources and types were seen as much more important. For example the difference between a medieval person being called a saint vs a witch wasn't whether or not they were believed to have done supernatural stuff, but what the power source of their supernatural stuff was thought to be. Did it come from God, or something else?

    I'd like to see more stuff playing with the idea that just because someone is a spellcaster doesn't mean there's not stuff that would freak them out like spellcasting would freak out a modern person. And psionics, in D&D lore, is often tied to the weirder and scarier monsters, aberrations and so forth. The idea of making a PC who can do magical things most people associate with illithids and such is a fun idea. And the idea that someone who thinks they understand magic would be even more freaked out because they're not following the rules of magic ("how tf did you do that in the anti-magic field?") is especially fun.

    Sure, it's hard to balance, but I think it's worth the effort.

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