Psionic Mechanics: Need fixing or not?

Since the inclusion of Psionics there have been people who see it as a broken system/power source. So I was hoping we could talk about the future of psionic classes. Do they need to be different?

4e was where I was first exposed to Psionics and for the most part I like the system, though it was clear that power points were odd to say the least. Psionics became about using certain abilities in different ways. Are power points a good system? Should they continue on into 5e? If not what should replace them?

For a History of Mechanics of Psionics through the Editions Click here
Ant Farm
Bring back the power point system!
A major problem in all editions was making Magic and Psionics different, but balanced.  I wouldn't mind having some kind of Power Points system as the basis for spells (or any other power source for that matter), but that might add too much complexity to the streamlined approch they are going for.

Some options:
Combining all spell use (Arcane, Divine, Primal, Psionic) into one mechanical system, and them re-fluffing it based on class.  


Same as above, but giving each class a mechanical method of altering them (Wizards do elemental damages, Psions control actions, Clerics add healing, etc)


A more traditional method where everyone gets their own chapter of the book. Wink

Go for points with the augmentation of powers allowed.

 If the defenses are kept like they are now that can solve many of the mechanicla effects of combat.

As far as the magic vs. psionic the simple two option method from 3.5 answers that. Either they can effect each other or they are totally separate and wholly different from one another. Give the group the option.

MY DM COMMITMENT To insure that those who participate in any game that I adjudicate are having fun, staying engaged, maintaining focus, contributing to the story and becoming legendary. "The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gary Gygax Thanks for that Gary, so now stop playing RAW games. Member of the Progressive Front of Grognardia Suicide Squad
Psionics have always been an adjunct to D&D - really, they have no place in an FRPG, but they've been tacked on so many times there's probably not getting rid of them.

It's doubtful 5e will simply 'build on' and 'fix' 4e, though, since the objective is 'all editions to all gamers,' and 4e is the odd-edition out, the one that strayed furthest from D&D's flaws/traditions, so you'll probably want to take a good look at 3e and 2e psionics for insights into what might be used as a baseline.

 

 

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Psionics have always been an adjunct to D&D - really, they have no place in an FRPG, but they've been tacked on so many times there's probably not getting rid of them.



How many times does a new element need to be included before it attains pedigree, whether it be a power source, a race, or a class?  Will you ever accept psionics, or are you making a blanket statement in opposition to it?  If the former, what sort of implementation would satisfy you?  If the latter, what is the source of your strong feelings?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Psionics have always been an adjunct to D&D - really, they have no place in an FRPG, but they've been tacked on so many times there's probably not getting rid of them.

It's doubtful 5e will simply 'build on' and 'fix' 4e, though, since the objective is 'all editions to all gamers,' and 4e is the odd-edition out, the one that strayed furthest from D&D's flaws/traditions, so you'll probably want to take a good look at 3e and 2e psionics for insights into what might be used as a baseline.



They have been an adjunct sine 1st ed so that a long history of being tacked on.  As for a place in FRPGs go there are numerous fantasy movies that make use of (cue echo effect) "THE POWER OF THE MIND". Though even in 1st ed you only had a chance of thier occurnace not the option of a fiull class. Even then they were very limited and theus very, very rare. This goes backe to what many new gamers do not like and that is having stats and race having an affect on what class you can play.

The defenses mechanic of the 4e can be a crossover between the editions. Going back to 1st ed, saves were a roll high mechanic with the DC progressivly getting lower over level advancement. This could simply be translated for the use of the current defensive stats to gather up the old catagories. Of which there were five, then reorientate them for the use of Fortitude, Reflexes and willpower.

For those who want the 4e flaovor nothing changes. Those that want the old mechanics could had a simple modifier applied to each of these defenses over level advancement. Though not the same "save vs. Death Magic" concept it is very doable.
MY DM COMMITMENT To insure that those who participate in any game that I adjudicate are having fun, staying engaged, maintaining focus, contributing to the story and becoming legendary. "The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gary Gygax Thanks for that Gary, so now stop playing RAW games. Member of the Progressive Front of Grognardia Suicide Squad
While much of what 4e did design wise was the bees knees in my eye, Psionics was not part of it. I thought the approach taken with the monk was a good idea, but it wasn't something I consider Psionic in nature. It seemed more like a mix between martial and perhaps divine (y'know, monastic traditions and all that jazz). The classic Psionic approach of the power point classes in 4e was pitiful, and many of them either had cookie cutter power selections that required only changing out your powers up to three times in your career, or were so odd in their execution that it took a few times before people even figured out how the hell to even play them.

3.X Psionics was great, and I dare say some of my fondest memories of the system. The equivalent mana system power points came up with was much more fun to play with than classic SPD of the more basic Arcane and Divine casters. And while the class wasn't all that great, the Soulknife was a fun concept to fool around with.

While the closest I've seen people suggest to it is either considered classless, or something akin to "Sagas", I'm for a slightly more universally open system of class and character progression. I see little problem with letting a fighter cast a more common spell or two here and there, so I think something more akin to the 3.X interpretation of Psionics would suit my desires better. That being said, I wouldn't mind if their design was more in the 4e direction, so long as they fixed the glaring issues of power scaling and power point abuse that came with how it was presented.

Also, we need some Psionic monsters to return in full in 5e. Gem Dragons, for starters...
I think one of the main things that needs to be fixed about psionics is to have them included from the start. I have known a lot of groups that will not allow psionics because they don't want to learn the new system. If they are included from the start, there would be less resistance.

Personally, I have enjoyed psionics since first seeing them in 2nd edition. I did enjoy how different they felt in 2nd edition, but that also affected how hard they were to incorporate. 3rd edition was a bit better, with the powers a bit more in line with the established combat system, but it came so late that it was disregarded by a lot of groups. A similar thing happened in 4th edition, since it didn't come until PHB 3, and the mechanics were a bit more complicated, and a lot of people didn't bother to deal with it. I also felt that the focus of psionic powers narrowed over time. In 2nd edition, for instance, a large portion of psionic powers focused solely on taking control of your own body (making the monk seem a bit more feasably psionic if you think about it). Psionic powers covered a lot of ground, then, and made psionicists with different disciplines feel very different. It also made it vastly complicated... which was both its lure and it's barrier to adoption.

To get psionics to work well in the next D&D, it needs to somehow be made simple, and have much of the additional complexity that many psionic fans enjoy, be something that can be added on. Otherwise, many groups will continue not to use it, and it will remain a fringe element in D&D.

Also, we need some Psionic monsters to return in full in 5e. Gem Dragons, for starters...




Yes, the good old days of removing thought eaters with psychic surgery. The fun and well loved Intellect devourer. Enslaved mind control by the mind flayer. Last but not least the true psionic warriors the gith.


MY DM COMMITMENT To insure that those who participate in any game that I adjudicate are having fun, staying engaged, maintaining focus, contributing to the story and becoming legendary. "The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gary Gygax Thanks for that Gary, so now stop playing RAW games. Member of the Progressive Front of Grognardia Suicide Squad
I loved 4th edition psionics, and it was the only version that didn't make my head explode.

OD&D -- based on psionic points. Attacks vs. non-psionic characters didn't do much (only one attack form worked on them.) Most of the psi attacks drained psi points as their damage, until the victim reached zero, and then bad things happened. Very attrional system. Non-combat powers came at the expense of spells (for spell-casting characters.), and depended on base class.  I think all powers were randomly determined.
1st edition -- Similar, but got rid of the randomness. I also think they moved to a more unified system.
2nd edition -- Mostly save or die/sleep/paralyzed/whatever. Very swingy, and tended to result in a lot of one-shot kills or disables.
3rd edition -- my head exploded, and I really don't remember much of it. I think it was point based, but I honestly don't remember how attacks worked. The player in my game who used it was a munchkin.
4the edition -- augment points essentially turn at-wills (and a character gets more of these as they level up) into encounter powers. IIRC, if you double-augment you get slightly fewer encounter powers than a regular character of your level, and if you single-augment you get more.   
you'll probably want to take a good look at 3e and 2e psionics for insights into what might be used as a baseline.



1st Ed is where it got reallly freaky (Attack Modes and Defence Modes etc).
2E Psionics was pretty damn good.  It was about as rough as everything else in 2E, but still quite good.
If I'm remembering right, before the mental AC option, psionics was over powered in 2nd because things couldn't defend properly against it.  Dragons were suckers for invincible foe.  Once you grabbed 3 fingered contact, you could keep obliterating someone.
Psionics have been my favorite since 2nd Edition.  I've enjoyed all the iterations of Psionics that have come out (while it feels odd in 4th, it works) but 3.5 Psionics is where I felt they had it perfect.
I prefer 3rd Edition Psionics most. It had the most versatility and probably best flavor of any of the rulesets, and offered a pretty wide array of classes and new ways of approaching the game.

4E Psionics are a travesty, and I say that with about 10 levels as a psion under my belt. The power point system is far less immersive than AEDU powers are, and the whole notion of them imparting some sort of versatility is a farce. There were better ways of working out an augmented powers system; that can be seen with the Sorcerer-King pact warlocks. I would have dearly loved importing Psionic Focus from 3.5 as key mechanic, rather than the flavorless points.

The monk, as ever, remains awesome, but it wasn't originally conceived or developed as part of the psionic source. If they had looked at the Full Discipline idea and tried to come up with ways of translating it to the Ardent, Battlemind, and Psion, we'd have seen some mind-blowing class design, I'm positive.

The monk, as ever, remains awesome, but it wasn't originally conceived or developed as part of the psionic source. If they had looked at the Full Discipline idea and tried to come up with ways of translating it to the Ardent, Battlemind, and Psion, we'd have seen some mind-blowing class design, I'm positive.



This gave me an idea, what if Psionics were given stances, similar to the essentials fighter, but instead of adding bonuses to attack and damage rolls it changes the effects of abilities?

Might be a bit confusing though.

Imagine you have three abilities.


  • Telekinesis

  • Mind blast

  • Mind Read


Then you have three different stances, which augment the way in which the abilities are used:

(Offensive):



  • Psychic Geyser - Target is launched X number of spaces in the air. Reflex save, if failure target falls prone.

  • Torture Visions - Target is takes X ongoing psychic damage for Y number of rounds.

  • Weak Spot - Target grants combat advantage for X number of rounds



(Defensive):


  • Widen the Gap - Push target X number of spaces

  • Hallucinations - Target is blind for X number of rounds.

  • Foreknowledge - Gain +X to defenses for X number of rounds



(Support):


  • Helpful shove - Move willing ally X number of spaces

  • Mind Overload - Target is stunned for X number of rounds

  • Coordinated strike - You attack, then nearby ally is allowed to perform basic melee or ranged attack, with a +X to the attack roll.


Ant Farm
Why not just entirely lift Jedi and force powers from Saga Edition, then paint over the Lucasfilm stuff just enough to keep the lawyers happy?
I think no official implementation of psionics to date has really gotten it right. Pre-3e, it just seemed clunky, complicated, and felt tacked on, not to mention if you used the MTHAC0 and MAC from late 2e, basically anyone that was not a psionicist would get mindraped by one without standing a chance because no one else really progressed in either of those areas.

3e wasn't too bad (yeah there was some brokenness, but since magic was already broken it's not like it really unbalanced the game) but it didn't feel different enough to me. 3e psionics just seemed like a mana point spell system, which we were already using.

4e tried and they had some interesting mechanics, but the powers didn't scale well. You were better off spamming the same augmented at-wills your entire career rather than "upgrading". Also, something just kind of felt off about it. It isn't something I can really explain, there were certainly mental attacks, there were power points, I liked that they were experimenting with something different, but it just didn't give me the right feel.

My favorite psionic system so far was a 3e one based entirely off of skills and feats. All your psionic powers required skill checks to activate and feats could grant different uses (powers) for those skills. Some powers had consequences for their use, like fatigue, and most had consequences for failing the check, sometimes doing the opposite of what you intended (opening up your own thoughts while trying to read someone else's mind, for example). I really liked this system. It felt very different than magic. I also liked the entire flavor of it. Most of the powers were more subtle, like telekineses or telepathy instead of fireballs and lightning (there were some powers that could do fire or lightning damage, but they still weren't as flashy as magic), but it was very utilitarian, a trained user could repeatedly use many of the powers throughout the day with no issue, and there was very little in the way of "I win" buttons. There were even Jedi-like augmentations to improve the individual's senses, reflexes, etc., but again nothing really broken.

I don't know that this system would be the best for 5e, but it is the one I enjoyed the most.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Rob: The fighter is definitely one of the more challenging ones. Another would be the psion, who's currently over crying in the corner.



Noboby puts Psion in a corner!
 
Just putting this out here. Psionics make it into the Core. Hazzah! 
Ant Farm
Why not just entirely lift Jedi and force powers from Saga Edition, then paint over the Lucasfilm stuff just enough to keep the lawyers happy?



Im going to hide for when Tony Vargas sees this. Thats exactly why he and a lot of other peole hate it. I do understnad that, because the scifi Jedi is different from the mind powered fantasy type.

Rob: The fighter is definitely one of the more challenging ones. Another would be the psion, who's currently over crying in the corner.



Noboby puts Psion in a corner!
 
Just putting this out here. Psionics make it into the Core. Hazzah! 



At our table my friends have accepted the coreness of Psionics. They know I'll always go for it. They also know that it actually isn't broken. The 3.5 horror stories from the interenet usually revolve around misinterpreting or downright breaking the rules, and I don't do that.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

At our table my friends have accepted the coreness of Psionics. They know I'll always go for it. They also know that it actually isn't broken. The 3.5 horror stories from the interenet usually revolve around misinterpreting or downright breaking the rules, and I don't do that.

My understanding is that for as bad as psionics could get, it didn't compare to other spellcasters because while you were getting higher-leveled spells, your earlier spells weren't also increasing in power -- you still had to use power points to amp them up. The power point system behaved more as an additional limitation than anything powerful.

Compared to wizards and druids and clerics, anyway. I'm sure a Psion was quite a bit more impressive than a Fighter, still.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
I'm putting this reflection here because it seems an appropriate space. This phrase in the D&D Seminar:

Rob: The fighter is definitely one of the more challenging ones. Another would be the psion, who's currently over crying in the corner.



... seems to imply the developers still do not have a good concept for the psion, one that makes him different from both Wizard and Sorcerer. I would like to see some of the suggestions we can come up with on the boards: what are your thoughts about the Psion? How can it be unique?

I will also start by indicating what in my head are the main points that make a psion different. The sources I will be using (since they mentioned looking at the class' history) are 3.0, 3.5 and 4E psionics, since I am not familiar with the previous renditions.




1) I believe the first thing one thinks about when somebody says Psion is "Power Points". They have been quite the core concept of psionic arts over the last two editions. Power Points are a resource psions use to enhance their spells and powers. They are also spent on practically everything, from powers to feats to class abilities to items, which is something different from other forms of spellcasting. It seems that the approach to magic D&DN has right now is embracing the possibility to enhance a low level spell and increase its effectiveness by increasing the level of that spell, which renders the first part of power points shared by all classes (something I believe is good). However that second part could remain specific for the psionic classes: the ability to spend power points to enhance every aspect of your character (with the proper capacity), should the need arise.

2) When one thinks of the flavor differences between magic and psionic arts, the "Psionics are Different" sidebar in 3.5's handbook comes to mind. How exactly are psionics different? One could say that wizards learn from books, but psions still learn their spells. Wizards are iper-smart and knowledgeable, but so are psions. Psions however, learn by exploring their own mind, while Wizards learn from the outside world. Psions' power is internal, not external like the wizards'. They are able to use their magic even when grappled or hindered as long as they mantain their focus. So that focus and the fact that the power comes from the inside of their minds instead of coming from an outside source should be central when thinking about the psion. This can be replicated by requiring different conditions for spellcasting (no verbal/somatic/material components; instead requiring more focus and concentration) and by making Psions pay with their own resources for powers (no spending spells slots, no psionic scrolls, no using residuum; instead, self-inflicting nausea or dazing because of the stress on their mind, losing healing surges when a power goes awry).

3) When I think of psionic magic, I always think of Psicometabolism, Telepathy and Telekinesis. Visions, precognition and creating astral stuff are a distant second. I never envision psions teleporting or stopping time, because that is something... external. I think arcane magic should concentrate on all the external stuff, like big explosions, teleportation, opening portals and such things, whereas psionics should be more... subtle. Influencing one's body to make it better, influencing the minds of others through telepathy, enhancing your senses beyond mortality to gain visions of the future. Telekinesis is somehow contrary to this conception, but it's a staple of the genre. Materializing astral stuff is also canonic, but I kind of dislike it. It goes against one of the themes I believe are truly central to psionics: influencing the self, rather than others.

4) Something very flavorful (and totally broken in the previous' execution) that I think would be nice to have is 3.0's psionic mental combat. It is tricky to pull off, because IIRC it required psionic opponents and kind of existed in a limbo of his own, separated from the normal combat system. However, if psions are going to finally make it into the first PHB, I believe a reintroduction and adaptation of that system could be terribly flavorful and cool. By changing around the Monster Manual a bit, and having many staple magical monsters (like most outsiders, especially demons and devils, most magical beasts and especially aberrations) be able to engage in mental combat, and keeping an eye out in further Monster Manuals to make sure many staple encounters can have a mental combat too, the system could have a new chance to shine. By structuring it in a way that encourages other people to fight alongside the psion, the system could be fun for everybody at the table. Maybe make a feat that allows any character to pick up psionic powers and partecipate in mental combat - without a true mastery of course, but aiding when appropriate: this could lead to many RP situations with fellow party members asking the psion to learn mental combat, taking the feat as they level up and share the experience. It's sort of fuzzy since I do not know enough of either the basic combat system nor the psion's class to make a true proposition in this regard, but I'd like the concept to finally have a proper execution. 
Are you interested in an online 4E game on Sunday? Contact me with a PM!
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I'm putting this reflection here because it seems an appropriate space. This phrase in the D&D Seminar:

Rob: The fighter is definitely one of the more challenging ones. Another would be the psion, who's currently over crying in the corner.



... seems to imply the developers still do not have a good concept for the psion, one that makes him different from both Wizard and Sorcerer. I would like to see some of the suggestions we can come up with on the boards: what are your thoughts about the Psion? How can it be unique?

I will also start by indicating what in my head are the main points that make a psion different. The sources I will be using (since they mentioned looking at the class' history) are 3.0, 3.5 and 4E psionics, since I am not familiar with the previous renditions.



These are some neat ideas.


1) I believe the first thing one thinks about when somebody says Psion is "Power Points". They have been quite the core concept of psionic arts over the last two editions. Power Points are a resource psions use to enhance their spells and powers. They are also spent on practically everything, from powers to feats to class abilities to items, which is something different from other forms of spellcasting. It seems that the approach to magic D&DN has right now is embracing the possibility to enhance a low level spell and increase its effectiveness by increasing the level of that spell, which renders the first part of power points shared by all classes (something I believe is good). However that second part could remain specific for the psionic classes: the ability to spend power points to enhance every aspect of your character (with the proper capacity), should the need arise.


Power points didn't seem as interesting in 4E. Having "go all over" like they did in 3.5 would be cool.


2) When one thinks of the flavor differences between magic and psionic arts, the "Psionics are Different" sidebar in 3.5's handbook comes to mind. How exactly are psionics different? One could say that wizards learn from books, but psions still learn their spells. Wizards are uber-smart and knowledgeable, but so are psions. Psions however, learn by exploring their own mind, while Wizards learn from the outside world. Psions' power is internal, not external like the wizards'. They are able to use their magic even when grappled or hindered as long as they maintain their focus. So that focus and the fact that the power comes from the inside of their minds instead of coming from an outside source should be central when thinking about the psion. This can be replicated by requiring different conditions for spellcasting (no verbal/somatic/material components; instead requiring more focus and concentration) and by making Psions pay with their own resources for powers (no spending spells slots, no psionic scrolls, no using residuum; instead, self-inflicting nausea or dazing because of the stress on their mind, losing healing surges when a power goes awry).


Cool.


3) When I think of psionic magic, I always think of Psicometabolism, Telepathy and Telekinesis. Visions, precognition and creating astral stuff are a distant second. I never envision psions teleporting or stopping time, because that is something... external. I think arcane magic should concentrate on all the external stuff, like big explosions, teleportation, opening portals and such things, whereas psionics should be more... subtle. Influencing one's body to make it better, influencing the minds of others through telepathy, enhancing your senses beyond mortality to gain visions of the future. Telekinesis is somehow contrary to this conception, but it's a staple of the genre. Materializing astral stuff is also canonic, but I kind of dislike it. It goes against one of the themes I believe are truly central to psionics: influencing the self, rather than others.


Here I disagree a bit. Because telekinesis is a staple for Pisonics across all genres that means they do have some influence on the outsife world. Therefore it is a matter of how they influence the outside world. Do they use that ability to lift whole objects? That's standard telekinesis. Do they use that ability to superheat the object, or excite its molecules? That's where Pisonic blasting and fire-starting comes from.


4) Something very flavorful (and totally broken in the previous' execution) that I think would be nice to have is 3.0's psionic mental combat. It is tricky to pull off, because IIRC it required psionic opponents and kind of existed in a limbo of his own, separated from the normal combat system. However, if psions are going to finally make it into the first PHB, I believe a reintroduction and adaptation of that system could be terribly flavorful and cool. By changing around the Monster Manual a bit, and having many staple magical monsters (like most outsiders, especially demons and devils, most magical beasts and especially aberrations) be able to engage in mental combat, and keeping an eye out in further Monster Manuals to make sure many staple encounters can have a mental combat too, the system could have a new chance to shine. By structuring it in a way that encourages other people to fight alongside the psion, the system could be fun for everybody at the table. Maybe make a feat that allows any character to pick up psionic powers and participate in mental combat - without a true mastery of course, but aiding when appropriate: this could lead to many RP situations with fellow party members asking the psion to learn mental combat, taking the feat as they level up and share the experience. It's sort of fuzzy since I do not know enough of either the basic combat system nor the psion's class to make a true proposition in this regard, but I'd like the concept to finally have a proper execution. 


2nd had mental combat. It didn't always work because not all monsters had the proper stats for it. Hence sometimes it wasn't allowed or the DM had to make it up. Integrating this from the beginning would be great.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

Why not just entirely lift Jedi and force powers from Saga Edition, then paint over the Lucasfilm stuff just enough to keep the lawyers happy?



Im going to hide for when Tony Vargas sees this. Thats exactly why he and a lot of other peole hate it. I do understnad that, because the scifi Jedi is different from the mind powered fantasy type.



Jedi are pure fantasy.  In order to qualify as sci-fi, there would need to be a single shred of science, or even fake attempts at science.  There is not.  Everything about Jedi is magic, and despite existing in a setting that contains a great many technological gadgets, they use almost none of them.




Also, jedi make a terrible base for psionics.  If you use the movie canon then they have almost no abilities, and if you use the EU canon they have abilities more comparable to wizards than psions.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.

These are some neat ideas.



Thanks!


Here I disagree a bit. Because telekinesis is a staple for Pisonics across all genres that means they do have some influence on the outsife world. Therefore it is a matter of how they influence the outside world. Do they use that ability to lift whole objects? That's standard telekinesis. Do they use that ability to superheat the object, or excite its molecules? That's where Pisonic blasting and fire-starting comes from.



This is... true. I didn't think of it that way. Also, your mentioning molecular-level telekinesis had me thinking about Ethshar's Warlockry. Not for the flavor, of course (the Source is cool, but for Warlocks rather than Psions). However, using telekinesis in a broad number of ways could be a very intresting concept for Psions. I therefore integrate my above cconception with this:
1) Psions' power is still internal.
2) Some psions master telekinesis, which is the art of imposing your will to an object and moving it with the power of your mind. Those psions use it for a wide range of things, that can include moving objects, setting things on fire, producing electrical effects, blasting, crushing, manoeuvring weapons...

If you take Telekinesis out of the Wizards' spell list (not that big of a loss, especially considering it wasn't a truly great spell to begin with) and give it entirely to the Psion (something you can't as easily do with telepathy and enchantment or illusions, as they are staples of wizardry too) it could become a cool addition to his arsenal.

The more I think about it, though, the more I'd love to see a cool and properly supported mental combat system. That'd be a seller in my opinion. Unless it ends up like in the rest of the editions, with too little support in the monsters department to be actually used by many DMs.
Are you interested in an online 4E game on Sunday? Contact me with a PM!
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
of the various implementations of psionics, i actually like the approach that 4e psionics introduced of having abilities whose effects could be enhanced through the usage of limited resources, of which more could be received as the character levels up.

however,  i really dislike psionic points. there's something about spending points that makes that particular implementation feel a lot less like D&D and more like a point-based RPG such as GURPS or champions. to me, this is not a good implementation.

what i would really like in 5e is limited resources that could be used to amp up an ability. to use a 4e metaphor: let's say i have a melee-based warrior. i may use at-will attacks at the outset of a fight to see how skilled my opponent is/difficult this encounter is going to be. once i've learned this, i want the option to channel all of my skill and training into a very powerful attack that causes much more impressive results, for which i pay a price in terms of reduced options thereafter in the encounter.

it's sorta like the 4e barbarian rage strike power. i can spend a daily attack power to make a much more impressive attack--but it's gonna cost me in terms of other attack options that i cannot use.
Psionics have fascinated me ever since AD&D 1E. I had great fun dream travelling in 2E. I saw some awesome psionicist in 3.5 turn into a 15th level commoner in a blink of an eye. Then I saw 4E PHB3.

I generally have a positive view of 4E, at least mechanically, but when the PHB3 came out and I saw the psion . . . "not bad." No excitement. In the end, I think it didn't do it for me for two reasons. First, I never like the retraining rule. It's too much like WoW respecs. Second the mechanics appeared to me as too well integrated with everything else in 4E. Psionics are not run-of-the-mill fantasy. They are a little off. They are clunky by nature. Which is why so many hate it. Too bad. There's enough out there to allow WotC making money with it.

I don't have strong opinions about which way the mechanics go. They should definitely be balanced, but I'd rather see them keep an 'off' feel compared to the rest. And I'd also want to see it right off the bat in the first PHB, even if as an appendix. Then give us a real psionic supplement. Quick. Not two years after 5E launch.
The Psion being in core is cool, IF the implementation is fun and unique. If psionics are differentiated in terms of playstyle and theme from both divine and arcane, terrific. But if that differentiation is something dull, like 4E psionics, I just don't see me picking up the class.

4e Psions seem like the Wizard's poor cousin. Fewer, weaker class features, and fewer, lusterless powers. Hope you like force or psychic damage! Hope you like rationing out your power points! (BTW, all psions carry around an abacus solely for the purpose of tracking how many points they have left.) Hope you don't care the wizard can hijack brains on day one, while you have to mind thrust through hordes of goblins before you can even make one do anything!

Bah. Give me the 3e Psion, who is powerful not because he relies on books and arcane formulae, but because he pushed the limits of his potential, and manipulates the fabric of reality not because he knows some magic words, but because he can hear the First Word, of which all others are degenerate. He knows matter and energy and thought are all the same, and doesn't need a dusty grimoire or a magic wand because every tool, even his hand, is inferior to the all-powerful mind to which they answer. 
I think one of the main things that needs to be fixed about psionics is to have them included from the start. I have known a lot of groups that will not allow psionics because they don't want to learn the new system. If they are included from the start, there would be less resistance.



Though to be fair, if the concept of power points blow people's minds, D&D might not be the game for them anyway. Imagine what'll happen when they discover rogues "I can't add a d6 and a d4, those are two completely different kinds of dice!" (Well, I guess the monk was a little confusing at first blush, but even then it takes all of five minutes to work out how discipline powers work).

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
I know nothing of 4e psionics.

2e dark sun psionics (the ones out of the second iteration dark sun box) were great (a major improvement over 2e standard psionics rules as I recall).  I'm actually a big fan of the power point system... and I think it can be streamlined.  The only reason, as far as i can tell, that it was as complicated as it was was to make it more different from arcane and divine magic.     

I'd rather have all magi based on points than have a vancian system... but that's just me.  And I'm not going to et it (and it may not feel right for D&D anyway).  So I'm not against the psionicist as it means that there may be a class that provides a nice points based casting mechanic.  Yay.  I just jope they can get him to stop 'crying in the corner'.
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