[NOTICE: This post got huge, so I split it into three posts. The first part is just going to be rules; basics of psionics and a discipline that would be the equivalent of the Soulknife power/class. The second part is going to be about concepts/ideas/goals for classes and general stuff. The third part is going to be ideas/goals for disciplines.]
- Disciplines -
These are going to just be a few paragraphs talking about the direction I would like to be going while designing these. Because again, not much to compare with for balance, but at least maybe I can get feedback on the direction I'm taking. Quick thing I want to note: Create Phantasmal Object has Focus built right into it, but that discipline is kind of the odd one. Most power will probably require you to get focus through an augment. [I have no idea about that now, it might not be a necessary step to take.]
This and Psychometabolism kind of step on the same area. They involve changing physique in one way or another. To try and keep these two separate, I'm planning on focusing this one on "natural" changes that exist in some kind of animal. Psychometabolism will involve more supernatural things like changing character size and possibly also include things that alter other people's bodies. Both will probably involve things that are useful to gish characters, which is why I want both separate and different. To keep either one from being THE discipline every gish psionic character needs.
But back to Animal Affinity. Base powers will probably include things like senses altering (like dim light vision and scent) movement altering (swim and climb without speed reduction) and maybe some extra/altering appendage stuff (that can lead to wings or whatever). One main power will be something that makes crawling and prone more natural, starting with getting rid of the penalties. (Think running around really low to the ground. Almost, or literally, crawling on all fours.) Eventually I would like that to contribute to AC from something like "as if you had a shield" or have you treated as having half cover. Cover seems odd, but the thing I want to look out for is multiclassing with Wizard. It giving a cover bonus means it doesn't stack with the shield spell. Yea, I'm thinking WAY ahead here, but oh well.
This power will probably have only a handful of base powers that get augmented in various ways. Like the extra/altering appendage thing might lead to either gaining a tail, growing wings or forming claws. It's not quite as augment heavy as Phantasmal Object, but it will probably look pretty similar. One more thing, I will also add a special text that says you can hustle or disengage as part of the same action as manifesting a power from this discipline. That will help give this discipline an agile animal like feel.
Probably only second to Phantasmal Object when it comes to being a Focus based disciplines. Except this one will have effects that you kick in at certain times with a reaction, which then ends the power. Things like adding to AC, a check, a save, or whatever before a roll is made. I will probably also come up with an augment that makes it so the power only gets suppressed for a short time instead of ending, perhaps at some point only being capped by the limit on reactions.
And of course, there will be other divination style things like seeing into other rooms or sending messages long distances. This discipline will probably be very base power heavy, with either an augment for most of them, or a few cleverly worded augments to save book space.
This involves cooling things down. I will pseudo-logic it around to be able to control ice and water. Not much to say here; cold, ice, and water manipulation are pretty predictable. (Ok, so I haven't put much thought into this at all. Whatevs man, you can see where that basic idea will probably lead this discipline.)
Ohhhhh, this will be a tricky one. Dimension hopping/jumping/teleporting have to be somewhere. I will probably also include etherial stuff in here since it seems like it would fit. How I'm going to make this offer a smooth quantity of abilities through all levels is going to be a bit tricky. Another question is how to deal with the possibility of teleporting into an encounter. Teleport is going to have to be expensive so you can't use it at lower levels, yet again if you jump right into an encounter you'll already be drained of power points. (Think, having a ton of your powers pre-drained right before combat in 4e. Ouch.) I'm thinking maybe a charge like mechanic where you manifest it then wait X turns before it kicks in. Waiting that X turns will let you recharge some points, I'll have to find a way to do it without killing my "Focus is the only duration longer than 1 turn" thing.
I'm also thinking I will probably make the number of people you transport and the distance you travel incase with the same augment. If you're going to teleport a large distance, you're (probably) not going to do it alone. If I make the number of people you take a separate augment then you'll either get teleport too soon or get the ability to actually take the whole party somewhere too late. As you can see, lots of tricky stuff here. I just thought of the point Burn thing fairly recently, so I haven't played around with it in my head much either.
Electrokenesis (Not big on "Electro")
Shocking Grasp kind of inspired this. It doesn't have any rules for zapping people touching the creature getting zapped, that kind of logic just doesn't jive with magic. Psionics, IMO, are much more welcoming to logic like this. I want Electrokenesis to have a very close range/contact style of elemental damage. Something with simple side effects that you have to look out for and/or look for ways to take advantage of.
Manipulating wind will probably also be a part of this discipline. (Weather pseudo-logic, I don't know.) Reason being because some wind manipulation kind of bumps heads with telekinesis. So instead of making wind its own discipline and figuring out rather pushing people should be a wind or a tele power, I can just put all the little odds and ends of wind manipulation here and leave the overlapping stuff to telekinesis. Electrokenesis will probably be one of the more controller-ish disciplines, along with telekinesis.
Right up front; I will have to design this with the idea that people are going to be walking around with ectoplasmic constructs most of the time, or kill my Focus only idea for this discipline. Again, it can be done, but like heck I'll be able to do it without a summon monster spell to look at. It will probably also involve some tool making stuff similar to what Phantasmal Object has, but obviously different… somehow. I almost want to name this Ectocreativity and have it only involve making stuff with ectoplasm, because creating real things feels too arcane magic-ish to me. Opinions?
Not too much new to say here. I think I want to offer an option to create armor with this. If making weapons is the main point of it, then finding a magic sword will suck hard core. So I want to make sure this'll offer enough to where if you stop using it as a weapon, it still feels like a worthwhile choice for one of your disciplines.
Another thought is taking away the ability to make multiple objects as an augment. Because there currently isn't any rule against manifesting + Focusing on the same power twice, so it might not be necessary. Haven't thought too much on that, and I'm not sure if I like it, but I decided I'd throw it out there anyways.
As I said in Animal Affinity, this also changes physique. Difference is this power does it all in unnatural ways. Temp HP Vigor style or reduce next damage by X will probably be here, definitely Burning power points to keep it to a limit. But even that is just limiting it to an encounter cap, not a daily cap. I'm thinking something that in order to hold the Focus you have to slowly burn points, so if you do it at the start of an encounter, you might have to drop it a few rounds in. Making yourself bigger or smaller will probably also be here. [Point Burn might change, this is irrelevant for now.]
Effecting others will probably also be here. Call me evil, but I wouldn't mind seeing the creepy Fuse Flesh power come back. More point Burning things, this discipline is probably going to have a lot of point Burning. There's more that I had in mind for this discipline, but just typing these few things up makes me want to cook this idea quite a bit more.
This involves heating things, not necessarily all about fire. To start, I'm playing with the idea of needing a source of fire to burn things, like that one dude from X-Men. I kind of want it to work similar to flaming sphere in 3.5 where it was more about moving the fire around, except instead of it being your own fireball it would be any open flame. There will also be a base power that heats things up for strait on-target damage, which can be augmented up to cause spontaneous combustion.
Overall, I want Pyrokenesis to feel way different than magic's manipulation of fire. Magic has a very 1-2-3 definition of fire, it is just a word used to describe the damage. I think by playing more attention to the burning and devouring aspect of fire I can make this stand apart from the Wizard's fire "manipulation."
I think this is going to be another discipline with one base power that gets augmented several different ways. Those including throwing things, restraining enemies "telekinetic maneuver" style, and levitate / fly. The base power will probably involve an instantaneous "punch" with this power, you throw one thing, disarm one person, or fly yourself around once. There will then be an augment that allows you to make it a Focus power where you can do those things at will.
Levitate / Fly will be a tricky one to deal in the context of Focus. I will probably take the "stabilization" thing from 3.5 Levitate and expand it to something harsher. It's hard to focus when being lifted with telekinesis, and if you take damage there's a change you'll drop whatever you're lifting. There will then be an augment that helps you stabilize yourself, but for other things and creatures there will always be a chance you might drop them. (Much higher for things that move around, so lifting a big rock isn't too bad but your buddy is a problem.)
There will probably be two main base powers here. One involving willing telepathy / communication, while the other involves a forceful assault. Both of which have Focus built into it, forced of course letting the opponent have a chance to save at the start of each turn or something. Odd concept I want to play with is having most of the augments work with either base power. So reading memories when used with willing telepathy will allow you to get more info from an ally, like images and more complex messages. While when you use it to augment a forceful assault you're trying to probe their mind for info.
There might also be a base power that does strait damage by assaulting someone with garbage mental stimuli. Thing about this power, is it can auto hit if you have a mental connection already set up with either of those main base powers. Yes, if you have a telepathic connection with an ally, they are kind of trusting you to not garbage mental stimuli them. This is another one of those things I want because it makes it feel like psionics follow a basic set of physical rules that just so happen to be usable in a certain way. Sorry man, you're connecting to my mind, things can happen.
Well, that's it for now. If you read through all three posts, I'm flattered. That was over 6,300 words, that's quite a bit to read off a screen. :P Since I have a lot of theoretical numbers already in place, I think my next goal will be to type up basic Wilder and Psion classes for levels 1-5. After that I'll work on 3 other disciplines and touch up Phantasmal Object. That should give me enough to really start playing with numbers… Either that or I'll type up the design goals I'd like for Witches / witchcraft. That's something I think D&D has never really gotten right.
Anywho, thanks for reading. :3
Back to Part 1 : community.wizards.com/vacantpsalm/blog/2...
Back to Part 2 : community.wizards.com/vacantpsalm/blog/2...
Edit #1 : Fixed links and cleaned up wording. Clipped a little from two paragraphs.