Myth: The XPH is overpowered

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It seems that at least once a week a new thread crops up about something in the XPH being overpowered. Since it has been my personal experience across two campaigns that it is actually very well balanced, I figured I would try to disprove some of these myths on an item by item basis. Feel free to add some or bring up some issues.

Note: I would first like to state that Psionics as a system is based upon the premise set down in the Dungeon Master's Guide that the party will face, on average, 3-4 encounters per day of equal challenge rating to the average party level. Further, Psions are not Wizards. Just as Divine magic can do things Arcane magic cannot, Psionics can do things neither of the others can, and vice versa. As with any system, there are areas that need improvement, others that are inferior, and some that simply need clarification. Psionics is by no means perfect, but if you take into account the way the system is intended to run, it has been, in most psionic players' experience, very balanced.

Myths:

Myth 1: Psionic characters can do too much damage with one power
Answer: The single most important rule in the Expanded Psionics Handbook is that you cannot spend more power points on a power than you have manifester levels in the class the power belongs to. This is absolutely essential to understand.
What this means is that a 9th level psion can only spend 9 power points on any one manifestation.

There are two, and only two, exceptions to this rule: the Overchannel feat, which causes damage to the Psion, and the Wilder's Wild Surge, which can stun the Wilder and drain more power points than the power was augmented by. Overchannel is discussed in Myth 22.
More than this limit, Psionic characters have to pay for every extra point of damage they do. Unlike Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids and Clerics, the Psionic powers do not freely scale in damage. A 10th level psion manifesting the Psionic equivalent of Fireball does not do 10d6 damage as a 10th level wizard does, he does 5d6, unless he pays an extra 5 power points, effectively manifesting that power twice. This type of augmentation is what keeps psionics from being overpowered, as the power point reserve held by manifesting class is finite and, for some classes, extremely limited.

Myth 2: Psionic powers are overpowered compared to the magic versions
Answer: The vast majority of Psionic versions of magic spells are identical. Those spells that required monetary items / components instead take a very, very long time to manifest (Identify) or instead cost XP(Greater Metamorphosis).

The other powers that are not direct Psionic versions of spells typically give flexibility to the Psionic characters due to their limited options to choose from. Further, augmented powers count as essentially higher powers due to how much the Psionic character is paying to manifest them.

It should be noted that augmented powers always cost the base power level, not the level at which a normal power would cost that augmented cost. For example, Energy Ray, a 1st level power, augmented for 8 power points for a final cost of 9 power points, is still a first level power in terms of PR and Globe of Invulnerability (if you use transparency).

Myth 3: Psychic Warrior feats are too powerful
Answer: The majority of combat-enhancing Psionic feats require the expenditure of Psionic Focus, something the majority of characters will only have one of. It is important to understand that Psionic Focus requires a full round action provoking attacks of opportunity to gain and can only power one feat per focus.

Further, to fully utilize these feats, the character must take another feat, Psionic Meditation, to regain their focus in a timely manner, otherwise they are useless for a full round while they refocus. A feat-intensive Psychic Warrior, such as one who utilizes Deep Impact + Greater Psionic Weapon each round must have all of the following feats in order to work:
Psionic Weapon, Greater Psionic Weapon, Deep Impact, Psicrystal Affinity, Psicrystal Containment, Psionic Meditation
For a total of six feats - and that character only gets to make one attack per round and has to use 3 power points to Hustle and provokes two attacks of opportunity in the process and can only take a five foot step. And he can't even benefit from the extra attack granted by Haste or Haste-like effects.
Meanwhile, a non-psionic character with Improved Two Weapon Fighting or Dervish levels or similar, can make 5+ attacks per round and take a 5' step without provoking attacks of opportunity or using power points, and without needing extra feats aside from prestige class and high-tier feat prerequisites..

Myth 4: Psychic Warrior is stronger than a fighter
Answer: It is widely accepted that the fighter as a base class is underpowered after levels 4-6, and possibly before that. Arguing that another class is too strong based upon a widely-accepted weak class is not a valid comparison, for a few reasons:
The Psychic Warrior has fewer bonus feats, a lower BAB, very limited powers / power points, and a lower hit dice than the fighter, making the fighter an easier class to use to progress into a Prestige Class. In a straight comparison, a 20th level fighter versus a 20th level Psychic Warrior, the PsyWar is going to come out ahead, but I doubt most fighter characters are going to stay straight fighter, instead opting for prestige classes that grant other benefits.

Myth 5: Energy Missile is overpowered
Answer: Energy Missile is first balanced by being Kineticist only, requiring non-Kineticists to use an Expanded Knowledge feat at 5th level to learn it. For Kineticists, this means they get it at 3rd level, doing 3d6+/-3 to up to 5 targets, one of the strongest damage output low-level powers/spells known. Delaying access to this power until 5th level for even Kineticists might not be uncalled for if you find the damage potential abused despite efforts to the contrary.
Energy Missile's power of multiple targets is partly balanced by having no two of the targets farther than 15' apart. Lumping enemies together like that opens up the possibility of other powers / spells such as Fireball, Flamestrike.
Being able to differentiate between combatants is probably one of the strongest aspects of the power, and, if you feel it needs to be toned down, changing the power to affecting a maximum of 3 targets instead of 5, or distributing the damage instead would probably not make the power underpowered. If you do either of these, keep in mind that the power Concussion Blast scales at 1d6 per 2pp and has no save, and can target multiple opponents with augmentation without dividing the damage.
For further comparison of usage, if enemies are not bunched up, meaning you can get maybe 2-3 enemies at most with the power, it might actually be better to focus on one and use an Energy Ray - a level 1 general power - which has no save, but requires a touch attack. This means that enemies with Evasion / Improved Evasion / good saving throws are more likely going to take half damage from Energy Missile, halving its effectiveness, while on Energy Ray, with a ranged touch attack, they take full. The downside to the Ray is needing to make the touch attack, or wasting the power points. Some feel, and justifiably so, that 1/2 is better than nothing. But, in the case of Improved Evasion, the best you can hope for is half (unless using cold - as you can see, the logistics of taking all the powers and permutations is pretty intense).
The save DC on Energy Missile has been widely contested, but it is viewed by many that most saving throws are too low at the high end. If you are uncomfortable with Energy Missile's save progression, modify it to 1:2 as the normal energy powers progress. An official errata changing the save DC to 1:2 is expected by many, viewed as not terribly unlikely by more, and only argued against by a smaller group.
The Energy / Damage portion of this power is explained in Myth6.
The targetting powers portion of this power was clarified by the author, Bruce Cordell, in an email response. He stated that the power cannot target attended objects. However, his choice of wording and memory of the game rules left many individuals feeling he was mistaken about game mechanics and, as such, is still up for debate. The spirit of the power as stated by the author, however, is that it can nottarget attended / held objects, and would be a legitimate ruling on those grounds.

[b]Myth 6: Energy powers are overpowered
Answer:[/b] While there are four versions of every energy power, one for cold, fire, electricity and sonic each, the fact is that no matter which version you use, you are still using an energy type, which many creatures become immune to in later levels. While the Psion does have the versatility of 4 options, fire, cold, electricity, and sonic, the two strongest, fire and cold, are also the two most commonly resisted or immune. Electricity is another that is a common immunity, and sonic is balanced by decreasing the damage per die. The option of Force powers tends to halve the damage output of the Energy powers, and comes in much fewer choices.

Some argue that the fact that Psionic characters can decide on the fly what energy to use is unbalanced, but the problem with this argument is that the Psionic classes suffers from extreme lack of options. They have very few choices for powers. The Psion only stays slightly ahead of the Sorcerer until later levels, when the Sorcerer has more spells known than the Psion has powers known, and the Wilder has even fewer than that. By giving this flexibility, it keeps the Psion from being a "one trick pony" and making their limited options entirely useless in the wrong situation. The wizard can counter this by preparing new spells (given enough time, granted), but the Psion does not have this option.

[b]Myth 7: The Erudite is broken
Answer:[/b] The Erudite was a class released in Dragon magazine prior to final revision of the XPH. As such, it is not a core or even WotC class and, as such, is to be used at your own risk. The Erudite in and of itself is not a valid argument to use against the balance of the Expanded Psionics Handbook, of which it is not explicitly a part.

[b]Myth 8: Metapsionic feats are too powerful, they cost less than metamagic feats
Answer:[/b] Metapsionic feats cost 2 fewer power points than previously, but cost Psionic focus. Psionic focus is something that normally requires a full round action in and of itself to regain and can only be used once per feat pre-epic and is also covered in Myth 3. With yet another feat selected, Psionic Meditation, the manifester can get focus back as a move action and manifest the same round - just like a sorcerer - but has to pay for that in the cost of one of their very, very limited feats.

[b]Myth 9: The Metamind is overpowered with Font of Power
Answer:[/b] You're kidding, right? Once per day 10 rounds of unlimited power but still restricted to manifester level of power points per manifestation is overpowered? You also lose five manifester levels, which translates into over 150 power points and, if a psion, two bonus feats. You can also never access 9th level powers as a 10th level Metamind or use Expanded Knowledge to access 8th level powers. The Metamind is commonly viewed as one of the weaker Prestige Classes in the XPH.

[b]Myth 10: Metamorphosis, Greater is overpowered
Answer:[/b] Met, Gr is a 9th level Egoist-only power. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is important to understand that only Egoists or those who paid lots of gp and xp via Psychic Chirurgery, which requires DM intervention anyway, can have access to this power. Further, it costs an XP penalty every time it is manifested and cannot be accessed until 17th level.

[b]Myth 11: Schism is overpowered
Answer:[/b] There are several aspects of Schism that balance its power:
1. Telepath-only: by restricting it to only Telepaths or requiring a 9th level or higher non-Telepath to use a feat, access to this power is limited or costly to a character
2. Manifester level - 6 for manifesting: Powers at -6 Manifester levels will typically not have a high enough saving throw to be useful if using offensive powers, will not do a substantial amount of damage, or are buff/utility-type powers
3. Spellcasting: To cast a spell with the schismed mind, you must have the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats, plus either Eschew Materials feat or a spell that does not require material components. Further, a Sorcerer cannot benefit from Schism at all, as he only gains a standard action, and a Stilled, Silent spell without material components takes a full round to cast. This makeup also requires the manifester, who must be an effective 7th level Psion, also have levels in Wizard and use two feats at the minimum. If the manifester isn't a Telepath, he must be an effective 9th level Psion / Wilder and also have spellcasting levels.
4. Swift actions: The Rules As Written (RAW) do not grant the schismed mind any swift actions. Further, they specifically state that the only action the schismed mind can take is a standard, purely mental action, ruling swift actions out entirely.
5. Regaining Psionic Focus: It is an official ruling until ruled otherwise that, because the Schismed mind cannot normally refocus (as it costs a full round action), they can therefore not refocus even with Psionic Meditation.
6. Limited Power Points: A Psionic character, as stressed above, has an extremely limited amount of power points to draw from. By manifesting this power and then further drawing from the pool to manifest extra powers per round, the Psionic character is burning out at roughly 1.5 the normal rate. In a multiple-encounter per day environment, this character will be nearly worthless in the last encounter if "abusing" this power.

Myth 12: Vigor is overpowered
Answer: While Vigor has one of the best HP / PP ratios when comparing similar healing-type spells converted into power points, it is offset by the fact that it is a) self only and b) temporary hit points. Temporary hit points do not stack with each other, they overlap. What this means is that unless you manifest a stronger version of Vigor than the temporary HP you have remaining, you gain no benefit, and actually waste PP if you manifest Vigor while still under the effect of a previous manifestation.

An example would be having 25 temporary hit points from a 5 pp manifestation of Vigor, then taking 10 points of damage. You would have to manifest at least a 4 pp version of Vigor to gain any benefit, as you still have 15 temporary hit points. With 4 pp, you only gain 5 effective temporary hit points, which is not very efficient.

[b]Myth 13: Psychic Reformation is overpowered
Answer:[/b] Psychic Reformation is one of the most heatedly debated power in the XPH. There are two ways to balance this power if you see it being abused:
1. Make outside sources to purchase the service from unavailable
2. Balance the power if the character takes it themselves
Option two can be balanced in a few ways:
Make the power cost more xp - 500 xp / level or a scaling xp cost based on the number of times it has been manifested on any one target
Make the power take longer to manifest - 1 hour or day instead of 10 min
Limit the number of times the power can be manifested on any one target - once per level / five times in the characters life / etc
Rule out options - cannot learn or remove Item Creation feats at all
[edit]Impose limits on changes - require that changes must be legal at time initially acquired
Any one of or the combination of those options above help to balance this power if you, as a DM, feel it is being abused.

[b]Myth 14: The Cerebremancer is overpowered
Answer:[/b] If you also believe that the Mystic Theurge and Psychic Theurge are overpowered, then you may have an argument. Otherwise, I suggest looking at the Mystic Theurge prestige class which does the same thing for Divine / Arcane that the Cerebremancer does for Arcane / Psionics.

One argument against the Cerebremancer is that they have synergy that the other classes don't, since a Psion / Wizard gains multiple benefits from a high intelligence and similarly for a Sorceror / Wilder with Charisma. The important part to note is that at the level a Cerebremancer can be entered, the character is 7th level and only has access to 3rd level spells and powers. Meanwhile, a straight Wizard will have 4th level spells and another bonus feat. The Cerebremancer gives up progression rate and a high caster level for increased flexibility at a lower power.

[b]Myth 15: 1st level powers doing 20d6 damage are overpowered
Answer:[/b] A 1st level power can only do 20d6 damage in the following situations (plus a select few other variants):
20th level manifester paying 20 pp - effectively a 10th level power
15th level manifester utilizing the Empower Power feat and paying 15pp - effectively a 7th level power Empowered
17th level manifester utilizing Overchannel + Talented - effectively a 9th level power
13th level manifester utilizing Overchannel + Talented + Empower Power + Psicrystal Affinity + Psicrystal Containment and using two foci (5 feats) and possibly utilizing Psionic Meditation to be able to do it more than once every three rounds (6 feats) - effectively a 7th level power Empowered
15th level Wilder Wild Surging - running a 25% chance risk of losing 15 power points. - effectively an 8th level power
All of the above are paying for, at the very least, an effective 7th level power with a metapsionic feat tacked on. Psionic powers scale because of the very limited number of powers they can learn. They are not the same effective power level at 20 power points that they are at 1 power point, which is why most have scaling DCs when you augment them. See Myth 2 on why most characters cannot do this sort of thing.

[b]Myth 16: Psionics are more powerful than wizards due to their damage powers
Answer:[/b] While a psion can easily outdamage, on average, a wizard in a single combat due to the way powers are manifested / augmented, the depletion of that psion's power points is so rapid that, in a typical game, the next encounter or the encounter after that, he will be completely drained of power points and useless.
The psionic characters were balanced based upon the entry in the Dungeon Master's Guide that parties should have four encounters per day of an equal challenge rating to the average party level, or two encounters per day of a challenge rating two higher than the average party level. In situations where a manifester only has one or two encounters in a day's time, they are going to outdamage the majority of the other characters. However, if that same character has to deal with four or more encounters in a day, or deals with the intended quantity of encounters as set down in the DMG, they are very balanced.
If you translate spell slots a wizard gains into power points to manifest an equal level power, you will see that the numbers for the two classes are almost identical, with the Wizard actually slightly favored due to 0th level spells that psions do not gain. This is the basis for the balancing factor of 4 encounters per day.

[b]Myth 17: The King of Smack build is overpowered
Answer:[/b] This build utilizes two expansion books, as well as the Expanded Psionics Handbook. As such, it is not a psionics-only build. Alllowing players access to Rapidstrike and Improved Rapidstrike is the majority of the abuse potential of the King of Smack and, as such, is not a cause for arguing that the XPH, in and of itself, is overpowered.
This build also allows the elan access to Rapidstrike, which is a twist of logic and many do not feel is valid due to the nature of monstrous feats.

[b]Myth 18: Time Regression is too strong
Answer[/b]: Time Regression is a 9th level power - Nomad only - meaning Psychic Warriors, Wilders, and non-Nomad psions can never access it without DM intervention. Only 17th level and higher Nomads can get it normally.
It has a 1000 xp cost and only works for ONE ROUND. Basically, it's a costly last-round redo in case something went horribly fubar and you had a near total-party-kill. Using this power on a regular basis is quickly going to cost you gobs of XP, something most characters would not want to do on a regular basis.

[b]Myth 19: Astral Construct is too good for a 1st level power
Answer:[/b] Astral Construct - first and foremost, is Shaper only. All other classes / disciplines must use a feat to access this power. Second, Boost Construct, while nice, is yet another feat a Shaper / Psion must spend of their limited 12 / 13 (if human) feats in their career.

The Astral Construct is not all that different from Summon Nature's Ally / Monsters of the same level as the augmented power. You must keep in mind that druids get 9 different Summon Nature's Ally, while the Psion must augment his to get the nicer ones, effectively making a 3 pp Astral Construct equal to Summon Nature's Ally II / Summon Monster II.

If you compare apples to apples, Summon Monster V to Astral Construct level 5, you tend to find that, while in some cases, one or the other is better, typically it is not overpoweringly so.

[b]Myth 20: Empathic Transfer, Hostile is overpowered
Answer:[/b] Empathic Transfer, Hostile is Mind-Affecting. This is very, very, very important and usually overlooked. Many, many, many creatures in D&D are immune to mind-affecting effects. Undead, constructs, mindless, innate immunities, buffs, etc. Yes, this power is nice, but it is easily negated by having mindless / immune enemies. Situtationally being very good does not make a power too strong - it means it is situational.

Harm type spells, conversely, are Negative Energy - which many, many more creatures are not immune to, making it far more likely to work.

Further balancing this power is the fact that the damage dealt is limited to how much damage the manifester themselves is suffering from. A psion / psychic warrior at full health cannot use it, as they have no damage to transfer. As Telepaths tend to not have high number of HP due to d4 hit dice, a 5th level Telepath who manifests this power is probably not going to do the full damage, unless they're near death or higher level. Psychic Warriors, who will have the larger HP pool, but gain this power later in level, are limited in usage of this power by the power point cost and their power point pool.

While this is definitely a nice power, and at times can be very devastating, it does have several limiting factors.

[b]Myth 21: Elans are overpowered
Answer:[/b] The Elan racial abilities, at first glance, are quite powerful. However, several things need to be taken into account before deeming them overpowered. First, usage of any of the saving throw / damage negating abilities uses the character's immediate action. Use of an immediate action means the character cannot use another immediate or swift action until after their next turn. So, a character playing an Elan could activate the damage reducing ability and negate 10 hp of damage, but if the next enemy casts a spell on him, he now cannot boost his saving throws - he's already used his one action for that round.
Second, the cost of the damage reducing ability is subpar compared to the temporary HP buff of Vigor. A quick Vigor buff will not only save the Elan power points, but grant them better HP usable for more than just a one-shot.
Third, unless the character is a psion or wilder, their number of power points is more than likely extremely limited, meaning the number of times per day they can use these abilities can usually be counted on one hand. If the character is a Psion or Wilder, they are then taking away power points used to manifest more efficient powers / offensive powers, taking away from their combat ability.
The Elan racial abilities, while nice, are mostly for extreme emergencies than anything else. Use of them on a regular basis will end up with a character who, while hard to kill, won't be able to contribute as much to combat. If you feel that these abilities need to be brought in line, limit the number of power points that can be spent on any of these abilities as 1 / HD or 1 / 2 HD, or something that suits your taste.

[b]Myth 22: The Overchannel feat is too strong
Answer:[/b] The Overchannel feat, for those unfamiliar, allows you to boost your effective manifester level by up to 3, thereby letting you spend more power points on powers than would normally be allowed. The downsides to this are that:
a) You must spend a feat on Overchannel
b) You take damage for using the feat (1d8 for 1 point, 3d8 for 2 points, 5d8 for 3 points)
c) The boost is capped at 3 extra manifester levels and no more

To avoid taking the damage, you can take yet another feat, Talented, which allows you to avoid the damage - but only up to 3rd level powers - and you must expend psionic focus to do so. What this means is that if you want to Overchannel every round, you need a 3rd feat - Psionic Meditation - to do so, otherwise it's every other round.

This boost is offset by the extra power point cost to the already limited power point pool, the need to take anywhere from 1-3 feats out of the 12-13 you get as a (human) psion, and the fact that, for damage-based powers, after 7-8th level, Empower Power is more efficient and costs fewer power points, as well as one-two fewer feats.

[b]Myth 23: The Slayer is overpowered
Answer:[/b]No, I don't mean Buffy. There exist two versions of this prestige class, the Illithid Slayer in the XPH and the Slayer in the SRD. The first is balanced by requiring DM intervention to meet the prerequisites, something that can easily be used to keep it out of any game. The second has no RP requirements and is the main focus of this myth.

A Psychic Warrior 6 / Slayer 10 / ClassX 4 is not commonly viewed as overpowered. Any hit to the Psychic Warrior's manifester level is huge due to the extremely limited nature that is the Psychic Warrior's manifester chart.
However, a Psion 8 / Slayer 10 / Full BAB class 2 has been seen as pretty strong, bordering on the overpowered side.

What needs to be taken into account when deciding if this prestige class is acceptable to use would be two things: other sources allowed, who is taking it. If the answer to the second is the Psychic Warrior, I would say it is not going to cause much of a problem. The Psychic Warrior will be somewhat stronger, but not overpoweringly so. Remember, he's also losing out on effectively 2 bonus feats (due to the bonus feats of the Slayer) along with a manifester level.

If the answer to the second is a Psion and the Complete series and 3.0 splatbooks are not allowed, I'd rethink allowing the generic SRD Slayer into the game. This class is decidedly stronger than the Core Eldritch Knight and grants far too much for any Psion to be able to enter into it. The psion does lose out on 3 Psion bonus feats (10, 15, 20) and 3 manifester levels, but can get 9th level powers and be considered a strong Gish build. Worst case scenario, stick with the XPH version, as then, unless you have the party hunt an Illithid, they won't be able to get access anyway.

Myth 24: Split Psionic Ray is too powerful
Answer:
There are two ways to interpret Split Psionic Ray:
1) You can send the two rays at the same target, thereby doubling the damage or
2) The two targets must be separate, as the feat states two targets and not up to two targets

The way to rule on this is if the DM allows the Complete line of expansion books from WotC. Complete Arcane has Split Ray which specifically states it allows you to target the same creature with both rays, thereby making it logical that the psionic version would do the same. If Complete Arcane is not allowed, then it is recommended not to allow it, as it is quite powerful.

The power point cost is accurate in that metapsionic feats effectively cost one level less because they require focus expenditure and do not gain free damage scaling.

Myth 25: Synchronicity is overpowered
Answer:
The wording of Synchronicity is actually the problem with this power. Does it grant an extra standard action? By the way it specifies move action + standard action, I'm inclined to say no, and that would be the way to keep it balanced. The overpowered view comes from those who feel that this grants them their normal allotment of moves in a round plus an extra standard action, which the power description does not state is gained.
Now, were this power Contingency-ed or Quickened, you would essentially have your first round of full actions (minus your swift) and your second round of actions where you can take the standard anytime you want. This sounds better than it is, since the power never states you get an extra standard action. While this does allow you to change your place on the initiative count based on need, it does not, nor should be thought to, grant you an extra standard action.
Even using Anticipatory Strike does not grant an extra standard action. The rules of readying an action, which this power does, clearly state that once you take your action, you have essentially used a new turn's standard action and your initiative count changes.

Myth 26: Anticipatory Strike is overpowered
Answer:
There are a few things about this power that need to be understood.
First, immediate actions cannot be taken until your first turn in combat. This is often times overlooked, but you cannot use an immediate action if you are flat-footed. The basic rules for combat also state that each character starts out flat-footed until they are able to act. So this ability cannot be used on a surprise round or before the character's first turn in initiative.
Next, the power does not grant any extra actions, per se, it simply lets you use them earlier. It also uses the swift action up for the next round, eliminating any Quickened-type effects. The next round, you must either spend another 3 pps in order to act or wait until the initiative count recycles.
While this is definitely a nice power, if you take into account that it borrows actions, not creates, uses the next swift action, and can't be done before the character would normally be able to do something, it is fairly well balanced.



[Edit] - Typos + Schism levels, Energy Missile, Psychic Reformation, Encounters per day, King of Smack
Psychic Reformation addition, Energy Missile Houserule, Encounters per day
New additions: Time Regression, Astral Construct, Hostile Empathic Transfer, Elans, Overchannel
Bravo. *applause from the crowd*

Sticky, please?

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[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
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[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I'll second that bravo! Very good job!

I did notice one small error though. On myth #11 you state:

Myth 11: Schism is overpowered
Answer:
There are several aspects of Schism that balance its power:
1. Telepath-only: by restricting it to only Telepaths or requiring a 11th level or higher non-Telepath to use a feat, access to this power is limited or costly to a character

Not quite true. Schism is a 4th level power so the ability to manifest 5th level powers and taking the feat is the requirement. Psions can do that at Psion-9, Psychic Warriors at PW-13, Wilders at Wilder-10, and Fist of Zuokens at FoZ-9.
fixing that now, thanks for the head's up!
Excellent job Bacris. Perhaps after reading this people may consider actually perusing the book entirely, instead of seeing something they think may be potentially broken and judging prematurely.
Yes! Sticky it! For the love all all things Psionic, please sticky this beautiful beutiful thread. I am so sick and tired of rehashing these same arguments again and again.

Bacris: you are hereby nominated for sainthood.
i'd say cerebremancer in some ways is much less convenient than mystic theurge. as a MT, most of the feats that enhances magic can be used for both arcane & divine magic. whereas when you use a cerebremancer, you have to spend your feats wisely 'cause you don't receive ANY bonus feats, & your psionic or magic feats won't help your other aspect AT ALL (IE maximize power can't maximize a spell).

on the other hand, here are the advantages of by using a psion/wiz combo: your spell/power progression will allow you to advance to the cerebremancer prestige class quickly without taking too big of a hit on caster/manifester LV; furthermore, you only use one ability score (INT) for your spell/power DCs, bonuses, etc.
IE maximize power can't maximize a spell.

Because of magic/psionic Transparency, Maximize Power should maximize spells too.
Transparent meta feats is not built in because they use two different mechanics.

If your DM wants to houserule that they work across both and modify the levels / pps accordingly, that's fine, but by definition, they don't.

Cerebremancer was put in because I actually saw that... once. Not often argued, but figured I'd put it in anyway.
Agreed. The only feats that seem to argue with transparency in my mind are the item creation ones, and that's more a matter of preference (as an artificer fan) than one of actual RAW.

Bacris, something you forgot about Energy Missle: Remember that you cannot target worn objects, by BRC's most recent clarification. It wasn't well-worded (as in, the way he worded it, sunder wouldn't work), but we do have a precedent in spells (chain lightning). This stops the other major sickness complaint (the "I target his sword, his shield, his armor, his cloak, and him for good measure" complaint).

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I'll put that in as a houserule, but BRC's clarification, while I wholly agree with it in the spirit of the power, caused so much further debate because of his way of wording it and improper memory of the game rules, that I wouldn't be comfortable putting it in as a definitive answer, even if he is the author.
Bacris: Transparent meta feats is not built in because they use two different mechanics.

Well, I did say "should". ;)

If your DM wants to houserule that they work across both and modify the levels / pps accordingly

Yeah, that's pretty much what you have to do. And you always apply the psionic feat to magic, never visa versa, since the psionic ones are more balanced than the magic ones. The conversion is straightforward, but by definition it requires a house rule ... until the Players Handbook gets updated with "spell points" and augmentation!
Great post, hopefully it will quelch many of those opposed to psionics.

Did find a minor error though, under your section about Vigor:
b) temporary power points

Power points should be health points if i'm not mistaken.
*whistles innocently*

I don't know what you mean ;)

Fixed
A link to this thread is going right next to Sereg's post in the 'Great Truth' series in my signature.
I highly approve of this thread.
This thread receives the very highest of adjectival awards: it is super-cool. Good work, Bacris. This definitely needs a sticky. I think from now on, any time anyone makes a "OMFG PSIONICS ARE TEH BROKEN!!!11" thread a mod should just link them here and lock it. :D
Voicing my opinion too: I beleive this thread should be stickied too. It would prevent the same arguments from coming up over and over again.
Somehow I doubt that.
Nice threads, well done !

I want to add something about this point :
Myth 8: Metapsionic feats are too powerful, they cost less than metamagic feats
Answer: Metapsionic feats cost 2 fewer power points than previously, but cost Psionic focus. Psionic focus is something that normally requires a full round action in and of itself to regain and can only be used once per feat pre-epic. With yet another feat selected, Psionic Meditation, the manifester can get focus back as a move action and manifest the same round - just like a sorcerer - but has to pay for that in the cost of one of their very, very limited feats.

The refocus provoke an attack of opportunity even as a free action with hustle, there's no precision about AoOs when meditating as a free action, so I think it's the same as reloading a crossbow as a free action (feat Rapid Reload, reload as a free action that provokes an AoO) you lose concentration on combat and then still provoke AoOs.

A sorcerer can stack 10 metamagics on a spell if he can as a full round action. It's still better than Psion at epic levels as a psion got to take a lot of feats (Epic Psionic Focus) when a sorcerer just have to lower the costs.

It's nice to just have to point to this thread when another "Psionic is overpowered because you can spend all your PPs for the day on a nuke power and then kill 5 giants in one round at 1st level" thread will be up !

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

A sorcerer can stack 10 metamagics on a spell if he can as a full round action. It's still better than Psion at epic levels as a psion got to take a lot of feats (Epic Psionic Focus) when a sorcerer just have to lower the costs.

Not quite. Each extra metamagic extends the casting time. The first raises it to a 1-round casting time, the others each add an extra round to it. Care to spend a minute casting Magic Missle?

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Not quite. Each extra metamagic extends the casting time. The first raises it to a 1-round casting time, the others each add an extra round to it. Care to spend a minute casting Magic Missle?

Do you have a rules quote on the, 'adding multiple metamagics increases the casting time to ludicrous proportions'? ;) If that is true I must have blocked it out because it is so idiotic, but I would like to know for sure.
Do you have a rules quote on the, 'adding multiple metamagics increases the casting time to ludicrous proportions'? ;) If that is true I must have blocked it out because it is so idiotic, but I would like to know for sure.

Well, that's what I get for reading the SRD late at night and never playing sorcs. I misread the section on "For a spell with a longer casting time, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the spell." and interpreted it to be stackable with the others (as in, Magic Missle + Empower (full-round), we now have a full-round action cast time. Add Maximize, and we now have 2 full rounds of cast time), AND mean the same thing as a 1-round casting time to begin with. I think I'm stupid today. I blame midterms last week.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Okay... Metamagic feats for sorcerers:


As quoted from the SRD:
Sorcerers and Bards: Sorcerers and bards choose spells as they cast them. They can choose when they cast their spells whether to apply their metamagic feats to improve them. As with other spellcasters, the improved spell uses up a higher-level spell slot. But because the sorcerer or bard has not prepared the spell in a metamagic form in advance, he must apply the metamagic feat on the spot. Therefore, such a character must also take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than he does to cast a regular spell. If the spell’s normal casting time is 1 action, casting a metamagic version is a full-round action for a sorcerer or bard. (This isn’t the same as a 1-round casting time.)
For a spell with a longer casting time, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the spell.

...And...

Multiple Metamagic Feats on a Spell: A spellcaster can apply multiple metamagic feats to a single spell. Changes to its level are cumulative. You can’t apply the same metamagic feat more than once to a single spell.


Nothing about more than one metamagic feat adding to the already increased casting time.

Hope that helps.
Myth 1: Psionic powers are overpowered compared to the magic versions
Answer: The vast majority of Psionic versions of magic spells are identical. Those spells that required monetary items / components instead take a very, very long time to manifest (Identify) or cost XP instead (Greater Metamorphosis). The other powers typically give flexibility to the Psionic characters due to their limited options to choose from. Further, augmented powers count as effectively higher powers due to how much the Psionic character is paying to manifest them.

Not to argue, but I want to here your reply on--> What about augumenting a power that gains a bonus to the save the further you augument it? I dont see any wizard spells that have the Save DC increase as you level up as a wizard.

Myth 2: Psionic characters can do too much damage with one power
Answer: The single most important rule in the Expanded Psionics handbook is that you cannot spend more power points on a power than you have manifester levels in the class the power belongs to.
What this means is that a 9th level psion can only spend 9 power points on any one power. There are two, and only two, exceptions to this rule: the Overchannel feat, which causes damage to the Psion, and the Wilder's Wild Surge, which can stun the Wilder and drain more power points than the power was augmented by. The damage from Overchannel can be negated in only one way: the Talented feat, which requires the use of Psionic Focus, which requires another feat: Psionic Meditation, to regain in a timely fashion. Otherwise, regaining focus takes a full round in and of itself. Further, Talented only works on powers up to 3rd level, ruling it out for many of the strongest powers.
More than that limit, Psionic characters have to pay for every extra point of damage they do. Unlike Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids and Clerics, the Psionic powers do not freely scale in damage. A 10th level psion manifesting the Psionic equivalent of Fireball does not do 10d6 damage as a 10th level wizard does, he does 5d6, unless he pays an extra 5 power points, effectively manifesting that power twice. This type of augmentation is what keeps psionics from being overpowered, as the power point reserve held by manifesting class is finite and, for some classes, extremely limited.

And as a note to the wizards power. Can you brew potions with Psions? Answer: No
That is a definite power advantage for a wizard. Plus if the wizard crafts bracers of True Strike ( Craft Wonderous Items Feat ) that activate on command word ( free action ) then the wizards fighter freind way out-classes others in the game with his "+20 to hit" and for damage "+ 2 X (BAB) + 2d6 + str " damage with a Greatsword. That is for every attack ( 1 in 20 misses on a nat 1) otherwise the fighter can sacrifice "9 on the attack roll" to add +5ac(combat reflexes) and +2ac(fighting defensively)

---He still gets a +11(not counting str bonus) on attack rolls
--and a + 2 X (BAB) with power attack and a 2 handed weapon
-and +7ac
Plus if you make him a "sheild"( as the spell ) medallion he gains the benifit of +4ac(sheild bonus that stacks with the rest presented here) in combat as well as his dex bonus which I also did not list.
I mean really, what psionic powers can match Unl. (unlimited) true strike? Inertial armor, even if augumented is no match.

considering that he(fighter) can drink potions of bulls strength and other potions before battle that are made by a wizard gives new meaning to the words "Support Wizard".

I think that the wizard can out match a psion if he makes the right items with the create wonderous items feat, because he can create an item that has unlimited scorching rays or lightning bolts that activate on a command word.

Those items may cost alot but by 6th level the wizards share of the loot will be supreme because everyone in the party will want the wizard to make them items. The wizard can also have the cleric help him to make a gauntlet of "raise dead" at 9th level. You can use the clerics and wizards exp the clerics spell and make it raise dead ( 1 / day ) for a price but you will be able to raise anyone who dies in any battle as long as someone lives!

Myth 4: Psychic Warrior is stronger than a fighter
Answer: It is widely accepted that the fighter as a base class is underpowered after levels 4-6, and possibly before that. Arguing that another class is too strong based upon a widely-accepted weak class is not a valid comparison. Further, the Psychic Warrior has fewer bonus feats, a lower BAB, very limited powers / power points, and a lower hit dice than the fighter, making the fighter an easier class to use to progress into a Prestige Class.

Psychic warriors have spell casting ablities that give them an edge over the fighter. Some people(me included) didnt want another class( cleric and druid ) that could easily out match a fighter in a one on one straight fight, but wanting that is like saying," I already have 2 foreign countries occupying my country, and I dont want 3". The cause is lost and gone as the druid and cleric already do what a psychic warrior does.

Myth 8: Metapsionic feats are too powerful, they cost less than metamagic feats
Answer:
Metapsionic feats cost 2 fewer power points than previously, but cost Psionic focus. Psionic focus is something that normally requires a full round action in and of itself to regain and can only be used once per feat pre-epic. With yet another feat selected, Psionic Meditation, the manifester can get focus back as a move action and manifest the same round - just like a sorcerer - but has to pay for that in the cost of one of their very, very limited feats.

Psions get feats and with those feats they can do things but the feats cost psionic focus. Hmm.. Psions get 12 feats but they get one(bonus feat) at first level. Wizards are stuck with scribe scroll and 11 feats. Just a simple argument with this. Do you think scribe scroll is more powerfull than the choice of feats a psion gets?

6. Limited Power Points: A Psionic character, as stressed above, has an extremely limited amount of power points to draw from. By manifesting this power and then further drawing from the pool to manifest extra powers per round, the Psionic character is burning out at roughly 1.5 the normal rate. In a multiple-encounter per day environment, this character will be nearly worthless in the last encounter if "abusing" this power.

This is not applicatable since a party can "hide" and/or escape encounters they cannot fight. If the psion really puts his mind to it "pun" then he can do more damage than a wizard for the first couple of rounds. This is why wizards whine. Because they cant do the most damage in the first couple of rounds they whine.

I whine because I think wizards should have ways to do more damage, and wear armor while casting only because psions dont have to prepare spells at the start of the day. They are "ready for anything" at a moments notice and in armor no less.

Myth 12: Vigor is overpowered
Answer: While Vigor has one of the best HP / PP ratios when comparing similar healing-type spells converted into power points, it is offset by the fact that it is a) self only and b) temporary hit points. These do not stack with each other, they overlap, so unless you manifest a stronger version of Vigor than the temporary HP you have remaining, you gain no benefit, and actually waste PP if you remanifest it while still under the effect of a previous vigor.

You didn't list the obvious though. A psion can easily prepare these temporary HP before a big fight and he will have this "cushion" of HP(+20 as 4th level manifester) that a wizard cant get. The psion can power himself up in this way before a boss fight and thus gain an obvious (obvious for wizards to see) benifit before a tough battle. Not that I'm saying that True strike doesn't balance out the difference. Just that I'm saying that both of these(vigor and true strike) need to be watched by the DM. Vigor is too strong just like bracers of true strike are too strong.

Myth 13: Psychic Reformation is overpowered
Answer:
Psychic Reformation is one of the most heatedly debated power in the XPH. There are two ways to balance this power if you see it being abused:
1. Make outside sources to purchase the service from unavailable
2. Balance the power if the character takes it themselves
Option two can be balanced in a few ways:
Make the power cost more xp - 500 xp / level or a scaling xp cost based on the number of times it has been manifested on any one target
Make the power take longer to manifest - 1 hour or day instead of 10 min
Limit the number of times the power can be manifested on any one target - once per level / five times in the characters life / etc
Rule out options - cannot learn or remove Item Creation feats at all
[edit]Impose limits on changes - require that changes must be legal at time initially acquired
Any one of or the combination of those options above help to balance this power if you, as a DM, feel it is being abused.

Just asking your opinion, but why did they put the power in the XPH? What do you think is WotC's reason for doing so?

[b]Myth 15: 1st level powers doing 20d6 damage are overpowered
13th level manifester utilizing Overchannel + Talented + Empower Power + Psicrystal Affinity + Psicrystal Containment and using two foci (5 feats) and possibly utilizing Psionic Meditation to be able to do it more than once every three rounds (6 feats)
...the above are paying for, at the very least, an effective 8th level power.

impressive: Psions able to do 20d6 long before a wizard can. Just pointing that one thing out. A wizard is jealous. He wants to take 6 feats to do that with his cone of cold( or other better spell ) but he cant.
Myth 16: Psionics are more powerful than wizards due to their damage powers
Answer:
While a psion can easily outdamage, on average, a wizard in a single combat due to the way powers are manifested / augmented, the depletion of that psion's power points is so rapid that, in a typical game, the next encounter or the encounter after that, he is completely drained of power points and useless.
The psionic characters were balanced based upon the entry in the Dungeon Master's Guide that parties should have four encounters per day of an equal challenge rating to the average party level, or two encounters per day of a challenge rating two higher than the average party level. In situations where a manifester only has one or two encounters in a day's time, they are going to outdamage the majority of the other characters. However, if that same character has to deal with four or more encounters in a day, or deals with the intended quantity of encounters as set down in the DMG, they are very balanced.

So psions are only balanced if you force 4 encounters per day!
I get what you are saying, but can you honestly think of a DM that plans out 4 encounters per day that he forces the PC's to fight( he doesn't let them run away if the psion is out of PP )? You can avoid combat and encounters. And I dont think DM's are planning on throwing extra encounters at the party just because you ran from a couple. I think it should be obvious that that is in no way a "balancing factor" for psionics.
Augmented powers is covered by the finite power points vs wizard free damage scaling and the fact that they are effectively a higher power level.

Metamagic feats: the fact that a psion cannot take Psionic Meditation until 3rd level anyway, regardless of a first level bonus feat (which can be construed as the Wizard's familiar to the Psion's crystal), and the fact that it is a required feat to use metapsionics, negates this argument, really.

A Wizard gets a bonus feat at 5th level to use for metamagic feats, so does a Psion. But to be truly worthwhile, a Psion also has to spend his 3rd level or 6th level feat in Psionic Meditation, a hefty startup cost.

Saying that a DM shouldn't plan 4 encounters as a balancing argument is flawed, as the system is designed for four encounters per day. That's what the system expects per the entry in the DMG - core rulebook II. To argue against a core rulebook to say that something is not balanced means you are not using the system as intended.

If the party runs away - well, then that wasn't really an encounter... If a DM is going to use Psionics, he needs to understand that the Psionic system was balanced based upon the premise, as stated in Core Rulebook II, that the party should have four equal CR encounters per day, or a variety therein that balances to roughly the same. That's the way the system was designed. Excuses against it doesn't make the fact that that's what Psionics expects any less balanced - it means you need to compensate for player style.

Vigor - Psions are not Wizards. Wizards are not Psions. Straight comparisons are invalid. Yes, they very closely resemble them, but they are not the same. Both sides have different strengths the others do not. Saying that Vigor is overpowered because Wizards do not get it is a flawed argument.

Psychic Reformation - Because of the limited powers to select and the way feats tend to go along with power selection - if your campaign type changes after level 10, all your choices could be useless. psychic reformation allows you to 'fix' mistakes or now-invalid, once-useful choices. Wizards can scribe new spells at a gp cost, Sorcerers can change out known spells as they level. Psychic Reformation does the same plus some, at the cost of XP... I just don't personally think they fully balanced it, but do believe it should be left in with one of the modifications listed.

20d6 damage - a Wizard who uses Empower is using the same tactic... a 15th level Psion doing this is burning up 18 power points - the equivalent of a 9th level power - and has to have three feats selected. Further, he suffers a much faster rate of burnout doing this and can only feasibly do it a few times before he is spent for the day.

Again - 4 CRs is what the system expects. It is what CRs are based upon. If your DM doesn't do 4 encounters per day of equal CR, then he needs to accept the fact that psions will have extra blasting potential... If a Wizard knows he's only going to have 1 encounter in a day, he can prepare every spell he has Empowered - what does he need the lower ones for anyway? Boost everything up to get the most bang for your buck!

The PP pool needs to be kept in reserve on the assumption that you WILL have four encounters per day of equal CR, or two per day of CR+2. If you know you will not have that, then your reserve just shrunk down immensely.

Regardless of tactics players might employ - that is the assumption of the system and what it was balanced against. A DM must compensate for that.
bracers of true strike as a free action?

Lets see.. 5th level spell, 9th level caster = 81k, and still way too cheap for its effect. However, the spell itself is fine. Being able to use it unlimited times per day however is not. Lets see where the problem is.. ahh yes, with the item.

I really dont see your point as being valid.

Vigor is psionic and false life is arcane. A great deal of the time false life is 'much' better than vigor. Go figure.

Also, to bacris, the psionic meditation feat takes 7 ranks in concentration, earliest level is 4.
Yahoooooo!! My server went down when I hit the submit button so I thought I lost an hour of typing and editing!!! I am so releaved that it is still here!!!

Just experssing my extreme joy with the world!!

:D<---I need a smily with double the smile for my joy!!!
Also, to bacris, the psionic meditation feat takes 7 ranks in concentration, earliest level is 4.

thanks for the head's up

That means the earliest you can take Meditation to be useful with metapsionics is 5th or 6th level.

That hardly is arguable as their 1st level bonus feat - which a focus-intense psion is going to use for their psionic version of familiar anyway - thereby making it the same as the wizard's "free" familiar at 1st level.

That may not always be the case, but is the reasoning. Instead of free crystal, you have to pay for it, or can get rid of it entirely and have ONE free feat. Personally, the fact that it gives Alertness - a feat itself - is worth the expenditure of Psicrystal Affinity.
What about augumenting a power that gains a bonus to the save the further you augument it? I dont see any wizard spells that have the Save DC increase as you level up as a wizard.

The Save DC goes up because the DC is 10 + Power Level + Int Mod, and the Power Level is increasing.

Plus if the wizard crafts bracers of True Strike ( Craft Wonderous Items Feat ) that activate on command word ( free action ) then the wizards fighter freind way out-classes others in the game with his "+20 to hit" and for damage "+ 2 X (BAB) + 2d6 + str " damage with a Greatsword.

Command Word costs a Standard Action.

Psychic warriors have spell casting ablities that give them an edge over the fighter. Some people(me included) didnt want another class( cleric and druid ) that could easily out match a fighter in a one on one straight fight, but wanting that is like saying," I already have 2 foreign countries occupying my country, and I dont want 3". The cause is lost and gone as the druid and cleric already do what a psychic warrior does.

You do know that the Psychic Warrior doesn't match the Druid or Cleric, right? He's stronger than the fighter, but so is everyone else. Being less powerful than the weakest class isn't a crime (in fact, the Psychic Warrior is probably not a whole lot better than the fighter, as he has so very few power points).

Do you think scribe scroll is more powerfull than the choice of feats a psion gets?

IMO, yes, probably. Scribe Scroll is very potent.

This is not applicatable since a party can "hide" and/or escape encounters they cannot fight.

In which case it doesn't count as one of those 4-5/day encounters.

If the psion really puts his mind to it "pun" then he can do more damage than a wizard for the first couple of rounds.

And then whip out his trusty crossbow and do 1d8s of damage for the rest of the day... assuming he can roll a natural 20 on every shot (he isn't likelly hiting otherwise).

This is why wizards whine. Because they cant do the most damage in the first couple of rounds they whine.

Good for them. They arn't tempted to use the least efficient and effective types of spells/powers so much that they can't use anything else.

I whine because I think wizards should have ways to do more damage,

Oh, but they do. Over the course of the day.

and wear armor while casting

Then give it to them. It won't effect balance.

A psion can easily prepare these temporary HP before a big fight and he will have this "cushion" of HP(+20 as 4th level manifester) that a wizard cant get.

Yep. Psions have a stronger focus on the body than the wizard. This is not criminal, nor is it broken. The two are allowed to have different spell/power lists.

The psion can power himself up in this way before a boss fight and thus gain an obvious (obvious for wizards to see) benifit before a tough battle.

"Boss fight"? What is this, Final Fantasy? Play it like that if you want, but boss fights are always easy for the party. Endurance tests are harder, and going up against another party is the hardest *by far*.

Just that I'm saying that both of these(vigor and true strike) need to be watched by the DM. Vigor is too strong just like bracers of true strike are too strong.

A) How, exactly, is vigor too strong? Its good, to be sure, but how does it break the game?
B) Truestrike is fine. It's not fine when you start making custom items that don't even follow the proper rules. An item that gives Truestrike as a free action (assuming it can exist, and it probably shouldn't) would cost something like 1,274,000 gp (quickened 1st level spell an unlimited number of times per day = 7^2 * 13 * 2000).

impressive: Psions able to do 20d6 long before a wizard can.

Er. Not really. And, it only costs the wizard one feat to do this every round. It costs the Psion 2 feats, and he can't dump Wisdom.

A wizard is jealous.

Which is the root of the problem. Wizard players have this strange idea that they should be able to cast any spell, acheive any effect with their magic.

So psions are only balanced if you force 4 encounters per day!

Psions are best balanced if you follow the standard campaign settings on which the game was balanced. All the casters get a powerup if you go below this. If you give wizards too much time and money, they get too powerful.

I get what you are saying, but can you honestly think of a DM that plans out 4 encounters per day that he forces the PC's to fight( he doesn't let them run away if the psion is out of PP )?

Again, a fight they run away from isn't a fight at all.

I think it should be obvious that that is in no way a "balancing factor" for psionics.

Yes, clearly it is a bad idea to rely on base game assumptions to balance a class.
A few thoughts of my own about the OP:

2 of your comments suggest house ruling to "tone down" certain aspects of the XPH. Some may see this as modesty, others may see this as an admission that the XPH is overpower.

IMO a psychic PC is just a little bit better than a non-psychic PC. WHy, you ask, would this be so? THe kicker is the stacking. Psychic powers and feats offer a wide range of bonuses and augments. To your neophyte PC this array of choices is just too much, so they pass. Number crunchers and experienced players will take up the challenge.... leasing to a bit of self-selection among the players who choose to be a psychic PC. Back to my main point... stacking. DnD rewards specilization, and with the variety of stacking bonuses that psionics provides (insight and competence as well as the normal enhancment) it allows a well built psychic PC to get a little... uber.

Is the XPH overpower? Your post touches on some of the main complaints, but have you seen that claw build on the Optimization boards? I think that shows how it's a little on the ovepower side.
someone made the arguement earlier that magic/psi transparency SHOULD allow meta-magic/psi feats (even though XPH does not allow it under the transparency section) to cross over. I disagree.

even though the spell slot cost/power point cost could easily be translated (+2 pp equals +1 LV spell slot), it would give some advantages to a cerebremancer that i would think is seriously broken.

since most meta-psi feats require less power points (translation: lower spell slot costs), allowing meta-psi feats to apply to a cerebremancer would be the equivalent of giving that mage meta-magic at much lower costs. this would be equivelant to taking improved meta-magic, which is an epic LV feat, at no pre-requisites to boot.

or a cerebremancer who heavily favors his/her psionic side could use meta-magic feats to boost psi-powers. since metamagic does not specifically require psionic focus, a psion could apply as many metamagic feats as he pleases WITHOUT expending focus by simply spending a few more power points. this is even more powerful than obtaining the epic feat "epic psionic focus".

thus giving the equivalent of epic feats at 7th LV & above is definitely broken!!
Yes, clearly it is a bad idea to rely on base game assumptions to balance a class.

Dont expect my psion 1/psychic warrior 5/ monk 2 to sit around and fight battles when he is out of PP. He would rather ride around on his horse untill he gets to a safe location than fight in your 4 encounters.

Granted they(WotC) designed the game to have 4 encounters, but they(WotC) did not design wizards and psions to fight when they are out of pp, or design the game to encompass the fact that the party must fight every battle.

Dont you think it is foolish to fight without PP? If your party works as a team you do not need to fight 4 battles a day, there by negating the balancing effect of 4 encounters per day.
I just wish to step in and give my applause. I'm bookmarking this and linking to it every time I see someone say psionics are overpowered.
Dont expect my psion 1/psychic warrior 5/ monk 2 to sit around and fight battles when he is out of PP.

Don't expect that running away when drained of power points is necessarily going to be easy.

He would rather ride around on his horse untill he gets to a safe location than fight in your 4 encounters.

And the other characters don't mind making camp after five minutes of fighting? You'd never get anywhere! The game isn't just a series of diconnected fights that you can always pick and choose. What if the party has to get beyond that door, only it's being gaurded by a dragon on both sides?

Dont you think it is foolish to fight without PP?

It is a bit foolish. Hence the balance. The Psychic Warrior has to conserve.

If your party works as a team you do not need to fight 4 battles a day, there by negating the balancing effect of 4 encounters per day.

But again, not engaging in 4 encounters per day ("encounter" is more than just a battle) slows down the party's pace by a lot. So they get through the first room of dungeon and then go home for the day. Who's to say that the dungeon hasn't been restocked with gaurds this second time around, and since it's an almost identicle battle, why should they get XP for it?
Is the XPH overpower? Your post touches on some of the main complaints, but have you seen that claw build on the Optimization boards? I think that shows how it's a little on the ovepower side.

One very specific build and 2 very specific powers do not make an entire system overpowered.

Period.

Otherwise, it could be argued that a Wizard prestige classing into all the PrCs that give full spellcaster progression and utilizing Mordankainen's Disjunction makes all of Arcane magic broken.

Same argument, different examples.

And I won't even get into Complete Divine / Complete Warrior and their innate brokenness. Compared to those two books, XPH is horribly underpowered. Cheater of Mystra / Incantatrix / Frenzied Berserker / Hulking Hurler (HELLLOOOO BROKEN!) / Nar Demonbinder / Ur-Priest aside, compared to the base classes and the PrCs in even in the DMG, the Psionics system, as a whole, is balanced.

Yes, there are a relatively few spots that I will admit need some work. That hardly makes the entire system invalid. Address the problem points, not the whole system. If your car has two bad spark plugs, do you replace the whole car, or even the whole engine? No, you replace the spark plugs. Same concept, and I'd like to think a logical one.

As for running away to a safe spot and resting after every encounter... uh... any DM that allows you to do that should be hit in the head with a tackhammer...

Psion 1: Ok, guys, I used up 75% of my power points in that first fight, let's go find a safe room and rest.
Psychic Warrior 1: Sounds good to me, I used up half of mine, too!
Wizard 1: Uh, I still have 75% of my spells left...
Cleric 1: I only used two spells that fight...
DM: While you're discussing resting after killing three ogres, their cousins show up and attack...

or

DM: You find a safe room and set up camp. While you rest, the door soundly shatters and a squadron of ogres charge in...

A Psion relies on power points. Let me rephrase that. A Psion lives or dies on power points. Allowing them to use all of their power points in two normal encounters and then resting afterwards on a regular basis is not only too easy for the players and against the nature of balanced encounters per day, it's downright stupid. That is hardly a valid argument for balance of psionics as a whole.
And the other characters don't mind making camp after five minutes of fighting? You'd never get anywhere! The game isn't just a series of diconnected fights that you can always pick and choose. What if the party has to get beyond that door, only it's being gaurded by a dragon on both sides?

not saying its not fight after fight. I am just saying you dont have to fight 4 battles a day. In those situations you have a stronger character who is not balanced that way( the way listed to balance psionics).

It is a bit foolish. Hence the balance. The Psychic Warrior has to conserve.

everybody has to conserve. It is not a good Idea to blow a potion of cure critical wounds when your 1hp shy of full. Just saying psions(all psionic pp using classes) have to conserve is worth noteing but they(psionic pp using classes) are limited by encounters and that is just not enough I say.

But again, not engaging in 4 encounters per day ("encounter" is more than just a battle) slows down the party's pace by a lot. So they get through the first room of dungeon and then go home for the day. Who's to say that the dungeon hasn't been restocked with gaurds this second time around, and
since it's an almost identicle battle, why should they get XP for it?

I totally agree with this part. But if there is a day where you can get by with 1 encounter ( a hard thing to do in some situations, not so hard in others ) the psionic character can do his part with no need for "any" reserve.
It is his "niche" to deal with the first battle of the day if he and the party decide it would be safer to run sometimes. It is costly to participate in every battle. Playing with a group that will run from shades and other costly encounters if they are not prepared to deal with them is going to benifit the psion in the way listed to balance them.

This is why I say that it is not enough. You dont have to fight every encounter. You dont get to pick and choose. The DM chooses the creatures you mearly choose to run or fight or whatever. If I see a large green dragon and I am level 3; I will run my rear off to get away. If I see cuddly bunnies I will probably use my longbow(mmm bunnies). If I see basalisks I am going to pump them full of PP so as to avoid getting a party member turned to stone. If I encounter another basilisk and I am low on PP I will suggest a retreat on the basis that I'm out of PP and we need to find a safe spot to rest.

You dont need a reserve. You just need to spend your PP wisely and only fight when neccessary. Thats how I play. And it lets the Psion use his power without the balance suggested on this thread. If you were DM how could you "get" me to fight 4 encounters(battles) a day If I am smart enough to fight that way? You cant balance psions(all pp users in the XPH) that way(4 encounters per day).
Few know how many battles are going to go on in a day, or what sort of other things might be needed. Remember, fighting isnt everything, the psion might need to blow a ton of pp just to overcome other challenges as well.

In effect, every fight should be fought frugaly unless there are some huge mitigating circumstances because there 'might' be a fight later that day, or a situation where pp are needed. Without pp the psion is toast.

So, even if the day winds up having only one encounter the psion should should 'still' be frugal. Just in case they actually have to do something else.

Expending ones whole load every chance is going to wind up with a dead character quite often.
See my post about running away and hiding from encounters.

If you are foolish enough to blow all of your PP in one battle, it is your fault if you get into an encounter you cannot run away from and are thereby useless.

Using that as a balance point when the system is designed for four encounters is a seriously flawed argument. The players should not dictate encounters per day, the DM should. He can also make it so you can't' run away, thereby completely negating your entire argument. If you're surrounded on all sides after you just blew all of your power points on an earlier fight - too bad, so sad, now you're relegated to taking pot shots and hoping for a hit.

You can run away from every encounter if you want to - but you sure won't be getting any experience and if that were my party, I'd probably be inclined to kick you out.
The PP pool needs to be kept in reserve on the assumption that you WILL have four encounters per day of equal CR, Regardless of tactics players might employ - that is the assumption of the system and what it was balanced against. A DM must compensate for that.

I try not to assume anything.
If the DM trys to throw 8 encounters our way I can balance that by using low augumented low power psionic powers all day long by using my pp wisely. I dont have to blow 12pp on the orc charging the fighter because the orc will surely die and the cleric can heal the fighter later. But if a basilisk or other creature that is a threat to the party attacks during the 2nd encounter I sure as sugar will blow max pp on him before he knows what hit him. Afterward I will request the party rest up because I have low PP.
And I don't think the way to balance should rely on 4 encounters(battles) a day because it just seems to me that you can get away from lots but not all situations where you fight 4 battles a day.

What else is there to balance the psions? Bacris noted this one but do any of you have others we can debate on this thread as well?
And I don't think the way to balance should rely on 4 encounters(battles) a day because it just seems to me that you can get away from lots but not all situations where you fight 4 battles a day.

.......

Kak, I don't think you understand.

The Dungeon Master's Guide - Core Rulebook II - the book you need to run any campaign - relies on the basis that to have a decently challenging game, your party has three to four encounters per day of CR equal to the average level of the party.

That's Core rulebook II. That's in the SRD. That's part of the system. That's what the system balances everything upon.

Saying it shouldn't be used as a balancing factor is not a valid argument, plain and simple. Any argument against that balancing point does not work because that is the way the entire system was designed.

If you or your DM choose not to use that basic premise, then it's in your or your DM's hands to rebalance the Psion, because you're going against what the system expects.

There's no two ways about it.

If you only intend to have 2 encounters per day of equal CR all the time, day in, day out, then I suggest halving the PP pool.

If you only have 1 encounter per day of Equal CR all the time, day in, day out, then I suggest quartering the PP pool.

If you have 5 encounters per day of Equal CR all the time, day in, day out, then you're probably having character deaths or near deaths on a regular basis. If not, then the effective CR of the encounter is not balanced to the party. Tactics change CR levels - that's also in the DMG.

If you intend to follow the expectation set forth in Core Rulebook II - the Dungeon Master's Guide then you have three to four encounters of CR equal to the average party level every day there are encounters, or an equivalent mix of lower / higher CR encounters, also as outlined in the DMG.

There's no if's and's or but's about that logic... That's what the entire 3.5 system was designed for - not just the XPH - the whole 3.5 system. If you don't believe me, I suggest reading the DMG.
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