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5E Dark Sun doesn't actually need Psionics

Does Dark Sun actually need Psionics


  • Total voters
    124
  • Poll closed .
With regard to the how-to-implement-defiling subthread: I do not think preserving or defiling should be a subclass, I think it should be a choice every time a(n arcane) spell is cast.

If I was doing it, I would make defiling equivalent to wizards in other worlds. Wizards could cast spells at -1 effective slot level (so you would need a 3rd level slot to get cast a second level spell) to have a shot at not defiling, or -2 effective slot level to guarantee it. Conversely unrepentant Defilers would lean harder into it (perhaps with a feat) to get a bonus to effective slot level. Maybe also have a countervailing Preserver feat that makes casting without defiling a little easier/better but not too much.

I think that achieves everything I set out to: Maintains the defiling-as-fossil-fuels metaphore. Makes it possible (but not too easy) to defile accidentally. Makes it a perpetually-tempting power boost, without making it inevertable for the careful. Doesn't add a die roll to every casting (just the edge cases, which is not too onerous.

_
glass.
Yes, that seems like a good way to me. The only drawback I see is the lack of any mechanical drawback to defiling.
 

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glass

(he, him)
Yes, that seems like a good way to me. The only drawback I see is the lack of any mechanical drawback to defiling.
I am ambivalent. One the one hand, too much of a mechanical drawback effectively removes the temptation to defile (and destroys the metaphore). On the other hand, the problem with the only downside is destroying Athas is that (unlike Earth) Athas does not actually exist.

Maybe something like if you defile a lot you accumulate corruption points, which eventually add up to some penalties (kinda like the dark side of the force, although probably steering clear of evil makes you ugly).

_
glass.
 

keynup

Explorer
Yes, that seems like a good way to me. The only drawback I see is the lack of any mechanical drawback to defiling.

Random thoughts:
I'd have some mechanic that would allow people to notice that there was defiling being cast.
Maybe have dead zones where there is not enough life to support defiling, so any casting is forced to be at the harder preserving.
Too much defiling without enough nature would lead to exhaustion levels.
Maybe every 4 spell levels you cast as defiling you get 1 level back
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Well, in the interview with one of the designers I posted earlier, the goal for Dark Sun was D&D hard mode for "advanced" players. I don't know why hard for D&D seems to focus so strongly on resource denial, but there you go.
I mean... Resource management has always been the fundamental challenge element of D&D. I know there are people who are going to take issue with me saying that and point out how their games aren’t like that, but the fact of the matter is that’s how the game is and always has been designed.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Turns our that at least on of the designers wasn't happy with how psionics was integrated into Dark Sun. They still like the idea, they thought it fit and they wrote it into the lore, but the application wasn't what they expected or particularly wanted. They said they would have drastically limited the scope of who gets psionics and preferred a redone system. What that might be is unspoken.
Isn’t that always the story of psionics? People like the idea but not it’s implementation, and would always refer a different (unspecified) system.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I mean... Resource management has always been the fundamental challenge element of D&D. I know there are people who are going to take issue with me saying that and point out how their games aren’t like that, but the fact of the matter is that’s how the game is and always has been designed.
Fully agree, just pointing out that there's a lot of "harder" associated with taking things away. I mean, there's a difference in approach between adding encounters to stretch resources and increase hard choices about resource use and just taking away those resources. Couldn't say which is harder, though.
 


glass

(he, him)
Isn’t that always the story of psionics? People like the idea but not it’s implementation, and would always refer a different (unspecified) system.
That's probably a problem with psionics. Another problem, which I suspect has been a bigger factor in how we have ended up where we are, is that a lot of people do not like the idea, and would vote against any implementation on genral principle.

_
glass.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
That's probably a problem with psionics. Another problem, which I suspect has been a bigger factor in how we have ended up where we are, is that a lot of people do not like the idea, and would vote against any implementation on genral principle.

_
glass.
I see this argument, but no evidence for it. Are these people that hate psionics also intentionally quiet about it? That would be very weird, for a group of unorganized people that dislike a thing enough to both go out of their way to spike it and also be circumspect about it, especially given there's little to no social risk on being vocal.

Is there some evidence of this psionics hating informal cabal?
 

glass

(he, him)
I see this argument, but no evidence for it. Are these people that hate psionics also intentionally quiet about it? That would be very weird, for a group of unorganized people that dislike a thing enough to both go out of their way to spike it and also be circumspect about it, especially given there's little to no social risk on being vocal.
Nothing I can cite, just experience with interacting with them on the Internet for the last couple of decades. They are plenty vocal.

Is there some evidence of this psionics hating informal cabal?
I never said "cabal", please do not paint this as some kind of grand conspiracy theory. Just individual people voting on their oft-stated preferences.

_
glass.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Nothing I can cite, just experience with interacting with them on the Internet for the last couple of decades. They are plenty vocal.

I never said "cabal", please do not paint this as some kind of grand conspiracy theory. Just individual people voting on their oft-stated preferences.

_
glass.
Okay, but if it's individual people, there have to be quite a lot of them to both still be active after decades and being interested enough to seek out responding to psionics in any numbers that make a difference. A few, scattered people wouldn't even move the needle -- it would have to be a reasonably sized group -- a non-significant portion of the responders. What would you expect? 5% of the responders? 10%? 15%?

This is the problem with this argument, as I see it. If these people are, indeed, motivated enough to seek out and vote down psionics they're also not likely to be quiet about it -- a position you seem to agree with. Even if they skew towards the huge contingent of players that don't go online to talk D&D, they'd still have to show up enough to be clearly noticed in these discussions if there are enough of them to also sway the survey results meaningfully.

Now, I can cite my experience, where I've been accused of hating psionics, when at worst I'm ambivalent. It's true that I wouldn't like a rehash of 2e psionics, but my distaste is no where near enough to answer negatively on a survey -- it's pretty mild. I did answer the last survey, but in the positive, because I liked the psi-die mechanic. So, here's a case where people on this board have become convinced that I'm part of the "hates psioncis" crowd but the reality is that I was never, ever a risk to psionics even as I voiced a preference for non-2e psionics and like some of the newer approaches that many in the "pro-psionics" crowd actively stated they were going to downvote for not liking. I mean, from my point of view, the point of view of an accused anti-psionist, I've seen more downvotes be announced by the supposed pro-psionics crowd than any level of general anti-psionics sentiment.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I see this argument, but no evidence for it. Are these people that hate psionics also intentionally quiet about it? That would be very weird, for a group of unorganized people that dislike a thing enough to both go out of their way to spike it and also be circumspect about it, especially given there's little to no social risk on being vocal.

Is there some evidence of this psionics hating informal cabal?
Well, they're more like a thought police...

There have been a number of posters who have said psionics are too sci-fi and don't belong in a fantasy game already laden with magic. There is a typical "in my game..." Element to it, but some throughout the years have expressed no love lost for the idea WotC could just ignore it utterly.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Well, they're more like a thought police...

There have been a number of posters who have said psionics are too sci-fi and don't belong in a fantasy game already laden with magic. There is a typical "in my game..." Element to it, but some throughout the years have expressed no love lost for the idea WotC could just ignore it utterly.
Well, I would have no love lost if WotC ignored psionics -- it's not important to me one way or the other. This doesn't mean I'm tanking results in the surveys, though. That's the argument I see being made -- that if not for the anti-psionics crowd downvoting things in the surveys, we'd have psionics by now. I don't see that as being remotely the case. It's much more the people that are actually pro-their-preferred-version-of-psionics rather than some nebulous group of haters that don't actively espouse their hate online but seek out the surveys.
 

glass

(he, him)
Okay, but if it's individual people, there have to be quite a lot of them to both still be active after decades and being interested enough to seek out responding to psionics in any numbers that make a difference. A few, scattered people wouldn't even move the needle -- it would have to be a reasonably sized group -- a non-significant portion of the responders. What would you expect? 5% of the responders? 10%? 15%?
I have no idea how many people respond to those surveys, but I am quite sure that it will be a tiny minority of people playing 5e. I am sure people who feel strongly enough about psionics to downvote them are an even smaller minority, but I have no way of knowing how much smaller. Hence my expression of a "suspicion", not a "certainty".

This is the problem with this argument, as I see it. If these people are, indeed, motivated enough to seek out and vote down psionics they're also not likely to be quiet about it -- a position you seem to agree with. Even if they skew towards the huge contingent of players that don't go online to talk D&D, they'd still have to show up enough to be clearly noticed in these discussions if there are enough of them to also sway the survey results meaningfully.
They do show up in these discussions. I have seen them and so apparently has @Remathilis. Maybe you genuinely haven't, although that would be a lot easier to believe if you hadn't repeatedly tried to put word in my mouth that I never uttered, seemingly in an attempt to make my position seem more extreme than it actually was. In addition to the whole "cabal" thing, I also never said "hate" and I certainly never said "we would have psionics by now" or whatever other nonsense you want to ascribe to me.

Now, I can cite my experience, where I've been accused of hating psionics, when at worst I'm ambivalent.
So ambivalent that the feel it is worth arguing with me on the Internet...

_
glass.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I have no idea how many people respond to those surveys, but I am quite sure that it will be a tiny minority of people playing 5e. I am sure people who feel strongly enough about psionics to downvote them are an even smaller minority, but I have no way of knowing how much smaller. Hence my expression of a "suspicion", not a "certainty".
Oh, I think there was a large group of people downvoting psionics in each of the UAs, but they weren't general anti-psionics folks but rather pro-psionics folks that wanted it their way or the highway. You say that there are a few die-hard anti-psionics people you've seen, and I don't doubt you, but I've seen lots more pro-psionics people nixing the playtests because it wasn't what they wanted.

They do show up in these discussions. I have seen them and so apparently has @Remathilis. Maybe you genuinely haven't, although that would be a lot easier to believe if you hadn't repeatedly tried to put word in my mouth that I never uttered, seemingly in an attempt to make my position seem more extreme than it actually was. In addition to the whole "cabal" thing, I also never said "hate" and I certainly never said "we would have psionics by now" or whatever other nonsense you want to ascribe to me.[/quote]
Okay, I apologize -- I had no idea that that word would be so offensive to you, and if I did I would not have used it. It was a mildly humorous toss out on my part, as "informal cabal" is an oxymoron, nothing more. However, it's a bit cheeky to use a complaint that I put words in your mouth to accuse me of dishonesty in what I say, isn't it?

So ambivalent that the feel it is worth arguing with me on the Internet...
I am ambivalent about psionics appearing in the game -- if they get in, cool, if they don't, no sweat. This doesn't mean that I don't want to look at how those psionics are going to work or discuss approaches that I might find interesting. I really liked the psi-die approach, actually -- it moved my needle. I would be interested in having that psionic mechanics in my game because I felt it flavorful and evocative but not mechanically intense. The pro-psionics crowd, though, largely hated the mechanic and not only said they were going to vote it down but also largely said they did. Okay, no big, I liked it but whatever. Because, I'm ambivalent as to what actually makes it into the ruleset. Whatever it is, I can work with it.

However, I do find it of interest when people start ascribing potential blame to nebulously defined and suspected classes of players. That seems, to me, to be a way of avoiding what's staring you in the face -- the largest enemy of psionics in 5e is people who are passionate about psionics being their preferred way. It's not people who are passionate about hating all forms of psionics. Those people probably exist, but in vastly insufficient number or motivation to actually move the needle, here. The group that does exist, clearly so, are the ones that think psionics should look a certain way and are opposed to psionics in most other forms. If the division was really people who like psionics and people who dislike psionics in general, we wouldn't be having this argument about how psionics are being implemented in 5e -- we'd be having an argument about if psionics should exist at all. This isn't that, it's a discussion about what psionics should look like. To that, I'm largely ambivalent, or, at least, to apathetic to get up any gumption to tank something. I vote for things I like, and generally do not for things I don't.
 

Remathilis

Legend
To be fair, I didn't actually think they're was an organized campaign to smeer psionics in UAs, nor is it an Us vs. Them system of fans vs h8trz, but I think responses from the surveys came from a number of places.

  • People who liked the system
  • People who liked the concept, but not that specific implementation.
  • Purple who liked the concept, but felt it needed changes/refinement.
  • People who didn't like the concept and felt it has no business being done.

What I feel kept happening was group one was tiny, group two was large, group three wasn't enough to push it over the threshold and group four was the straw that kept sending it back to committee. The number didn't have to be big enough to outweigh people who like psionics, just big enough to keep swaying them away from any one specific implementation.

Put simply, group 2 + 4 > group 1 + 3, even if 2 and 4 are themselves opposed to one another. Strange bedfellows indeed. However, 1 + 2 +3 > 4, so we are getting some psionics, just using a system already established (spells).
 

glass

(he, him)
Okay, I apologize -- I had no idea that that word would be so offensive to you, and if I did I would not have used it. It was a mildly humorous toss out on my part, as "informal cabal" is an oxymoron, nothing more.
You had no idea that consistently misrepresenting my position so you could ridulcule it would be offensive? Here's a hint: It pretty much always will be!

To be fair, I didn't actually think they're was an organized campaign to smeer psionics in UAs, nor is it an Us vs. Them system of fans vs h8trz, but I think responses from the surveys came from a number of places.
Just to be clear, nobody who has posted in this thread thinks that. It is entirely a straw man of Ovinomacer's invention. Your breakdown that I snipped is pretty much spot on (except I might slightly quibble with the "we're getting psionics" part - better phrased IMO as "we are getting something they are calling 'psionics'").

_
glass.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
You had no idea that consistently misrepresenting my position so you could ridulcule it would be offensive? Here's a hint: It pretty much always will be!
I did it once, and didn't pursue it. It feels like you're looking to be offended, here.

Just to be clear, nobody who has posted in this thread thinks that. It is entirely a straw man of Ovinomacer's invention. Your breakdown that I snipped is pretty much spot on (except I might slightly quibble with the "we're getting psionics" part - better phrased IMO as "we are getting something they are calling 'psionics'").

_
glass.
Which is itself a strawman of what I've said. We've come full circle, I think.
 

glass

(he, him)
I did it once, and didn't pursue it. It feels like you're looking to be offended, here.
I have already quoted your doing it three times. But even once is pretty uncool (it could be accidental, but then you apologise and retract rather than doubling down). EDIT: And while I am giving out advice; accusing people of "looking to be offended" is never a good look. EDIT2: To be fair, I shou'd have said twice, since I was counting "psionics hating" and "cabal" separately when there were in fact in the same post.

Which is itself a strawman of what I've said. We've come full circle, I think.
Not a strawman. You never used the exact words "smear" or "h8trz", but you did use "cabal" and "hate", neither of which I used or even implied. It was a clear (albeit possibly unconcious) attempt to make my possition seem extreme when it was not. Since you were actually straw-manning me, my calling you out on it cannot possibly be a straw man.

_
glass.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I have already quoted your doing it three times. But even once is pretty uncool (it could be accidental, but then you apologise and retract rather than doubling down). EDIT: And while I am giving out advice; accusing people of "looking to be offended" is never a good look.

Not a strawman. You never used the exact words "smear" or "h8trz", but you did use "cabal" and "hate", neither of which I used or even implied. It was a clear (albeit possibly unconcious) attempt to make my possition seem extreme when it was not. Since you were actually straw-manning me, my calling you out on it cannot possibly be a straw man.

_
glass.
Okay, no, you haven't quoted me three times strawmanning your position or putting words in your mouth. The closest I've come to that was the cabal statement, which I apologized for and explained was an attempt a levity because "informal cabal" is an oxymoron. There was one instance in me responses to you where I used "hate" or "cabal" and I stopped doing that or referring to the concepts immediately, even prior to you pointing it out the second time at which point I apologized.

So, yes, if a single instance, apologized for, is sufficient for you to both claim you quoted me doing it three times (when, in fact, you've just repeated the same complaint about the single instance three times) AND you represent my claims as a strawman by saying my point is summed up by either, then there's a clear direction to you assuming my intent and what I'm saying rather than reading it. Not only are you fixated on an apologized for and not repeated statement from upthread, you've decided to double down and insist that your representation of my arguments is not a strawman after I said it was and used the single statement as supposed evidence of my position.

Perhaps, at this point, if there's no way forward, it would be better to cease discussion on the matter. Is there a way forward?
 

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