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5E Dark Sun doesn't actually need Psionics

Does Dark Sun actually need Psionics


  • Total voters
    124
  • Poll closed .

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
One of the big things about defilers was that anyone with talent could cast as a preserver. So defiling was a choice to gain, initially, a small bit more power than other mages. The act of doing it at low levels was like burning fields of grass or a tree just because you could. If it's all black and white anyone does it and their wrong you lose a lot of the original flavor of magic.
Yes, which is the Captain Planet view of environmentalism. PollutionDefiling is something only evil people do because they’re evil and get their kicks destroying the environment. Sorry, but I think it’s time Dark Sun moved on from that naïve view and embraced the fact that really making a difference is going to require giving up something you’ve grown accustomed to always having.

one of the most fun things for me as a DM was everyone hates mages even preservers who are fighting the good fight. that drove lots of story lines and hooks.
And how much more delicious would that be if preservers were so hated despite the fact that they’re willingly giving up power to fight that good fight? Not only are they using magic for good, they’re taking a hit to be able to do so. And the thanks they get for it is that everyone assumes they’re just as evil as every other spellcaster. How tempting would it be to become the monster they think you are (all in service to the Good Fight, of course! You swear, you’ll stop defiling for good just as soon as you’ve defeated those bad Defilers!)
 

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bulletmeat

Explorer
No one is saying punish any classes. The idea is that you can cast normally, but doing so is harmful to the world around you. There’s no penalty for this; no real drawback except the knowledge that you’re contributing to the world being in the state it’s in (but how bad can it be? everyone else does it, what’s one more spell in the grand scheme of things? The world is already too far gone to save anyway...) But if you want to cast responsibly, that’s an option. You can willingly accept a drawback to do your magic carefully enough not to kill the world just a little bit more. It shouldn’t feel good. It should feel like choosing to bike three hours to work when you have a car and can drive there in 30 minutes.

But having to deal with the NPC or PC reprecussions of defiling is a drawback. How can one have a wizard w/a druid in a group without having the drawback/penalty?

EDIT: or a Pisonicist for that matter?
 

bulletmeat

Explorer
And how much more delicious would that be if preservers were so hated despite the fact that they’re willingly giving up power to fight that good fight? Not only are they using magic for good, they’re taking a hit to be able to do so. And the thanks they get for it is that everyone assumes they’re just as evil as every other spellcaster. How tempting would it be to become the monster they think you are (all in service to the Good Fight, of course! You swear, you’ll stop defiling for good just as soon as you’ve defeated those bad Defilers!)
Delicious for the DM or delicious for the player?
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I know of the 4 groups I have played with in the past 5 or so years, NONE of them would have said yes to penalty for a basic PHB class. I'd get the 'then just run FR'.
That's why I think a subclass or benefits to using defiling are better. They give the option to fall into a trap with greater benefits.
I wonder if the corruption rules from Adventures in Middle-Earth might work here.
But that’s the whole point. Defiling isn’t a penalty, it’s a mechanical buff.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
But having to deal with the NPC or PC reprecussions of defiling is a drawback. How can one have a wizard w/a druid in a group without having the drawback/penalty?

EDIT: or a Pisonicist for that matter?
Frankly, I’d have Druids’ spells defile too. And if you look at my earlier posts, you’d see that I advocate for psionics in Dark Sun being bespoke race/class/subclass/background/monster features, and for it not to be reliable enough to serve as an alternative to magic.
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
For the player. If you’re not the type of player who salivates are the thought of that kind of juicy RP in your game, I can’t help you.
Well, I imagine the players who don’t want that kind of roleplaying experience to just play a different class. A fighter or a monk or something.
 

bulletmeat

Explorer
For the player. If you’re not the type of player who salivates are the thought of that kind of juicy RP in your game, I can’t help you.
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem w/it as a player. I love those sort of ideas. The problem is that the drawback/penalty is more than just RP/story/theme. It is now a mechanical issue. That's why I think the idea of corruption or mechanical benefit for defiling is more even mechanically.

P.S. As an OSR game lover, I feel wrong for making this argument. :cautious:
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Designers shouldn't limit their work to what everyone agrees upon, though; can't think of a greater creativity kill.
Sure thing. Go design, have fun, but trying to do it here, in discussion, will not be successful. My point wasn't to not design, just don't do it on a message board and expect to find agreement.
 


"What does psionics do for the themes in Dark Sun outside of just being psionics?" What it does is be psionics. It's not mundane and not magic. It's job is to be fantastic and not magic.
For you.

For me, Dark Sun never needed psionics and we almost never used 'it'. Heck, I don't even remember if any of our characters had psionics or wild talents. It never was the focus of any of our stories in DS.

But that's just me. It's totally legitimate that for any other group, psionics were what made DS for them.

Dark Sun requires Psionics. Without it, all you have is a post apocalyptic setting that is similar to Dark Sun. That can be fun, but it's not going to be Dark Sun.
Sure, but at that point you have some other post-apocalyptic setting. Not Dark Sun. You can create any number of cool post-apocalyptic settings, Dark Sun being just one of them, and one which heavily involves psionics.
See, this intolerance for allowing anything to be accepted as Dark Sun except exactly what a specific person/group wants is exactly why, imo, WotC should never republish Dark Sun.

I believe the designers Wizard's have are truly capable of creating something new, different and if not better at least as good as anything we've had in the past. And re-publishing anything, no matter how tolerant I am, will split some of the community. Such will never bring us together, but only continues to split the community. And, to me, is lazy to fall back on what was done before. Yes, I feel the same way about Eberron, Saltmarsh, DoMM, etc.

I would much rather leave DS, Greyhawk, SpellJammer, etc to the past. They all have more than enough content for people to play for generations and the fans can and have updated them to their tastes just as well as Wizard's can do.

What Wizards can do that almost no one else can do is to create new settings, new storylines, new adventures that do not call upon the past, but invent what is new. And they can do this because they are the gorilla, when they publish something, it reaches a market like no other, it is adopted like no third party publisher can do. What they publish, defines the genre. Let's not define it the same it was 20 years ago.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Sure thing. Go design, have fun, but trying to do it here, in discussion, will not be successful. My point wasn't to not design, just don't do it on a message board and expect to find agreement.
I don’t expect to find agreement, but I do expect to find feedback to my own ideas. I don’t think anyone expects WotC to use whatever random mechanics we come up with here in a hypothetical official Dark Sun release. But the discussion can help me come up with better mechanics for a hypothetical home Dark Sun game.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I don’t expect to find agreement, but I do expect to find feedback to my own ideas. I don’t think anyone expects WotC to use whatever random mechanics we come up with here in a hypothetical official Dark Sun release. But the discussion can help me come up with better mechanics for a hypothetical home Dark Sun game.
You're absolutely correct. I've already had one rather upsetting rant directed at me via PM because of this topic and this thread, so I'm a bit jaded and curmudgeonly in general over the idea this topic can be discussed in a calm and collaborative manner, even between people that disagree. That doesn't mean that you can't get some good feedback, and I shouldn't have tried to step on others' attempts to work through a thing just because I'm momentarily fed up with the bickering. Thanks for calling me out on this, you're absolutely correct to do so.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
You're absolutely correct. I've already had one rather upsetting rant directed at me via PM because of this topic and this thread, so I'm a bit jaded and curmudgeonly in general over the idea this topic can be discussed in a calm and collaborative manner, even between people that disagree. That doesn't mean that you can't get some good feedback, and I shouldn't have tried to step on others' attempts to work through a thing just because I'm momentarily fed up with the bickering. Thanks for calling me out on this, you're absolutely correct to do so.
No worries, your frustration is completely understandable, and to be fair some of the discussion points have been less helpful than others.
 

nevin

Explorer
No one is saying punish any classes. The idea is that you can cast normally, but doing so is harmful to the world around you. There’s no penalty for this; no real drawback except the knowledge that you’re contributing to the world being in the state it’s in (but how bad can it be? everyone else does it, what’s one more spell in the grand scheme of things? The world is already too far gone to save anyway...) But if you want to cast responsibly, that’s an option. You can willingly accept a drawback to do your magic carefully enough not to kill the world just a little bit more. It shouldn’t feel good. It should feel like choosing to bike three hours to work when you have a car and can drive there in 30 minutes.
So it's not a penalty but it's painful and slower than normal.......in a game a penealty is "a disadvantage or handicap suffered as a result of action or circumstance.".
 

nevin

Explorer
I would definitely want to keep defiling as the default form of arcane magic, with preserving being a severe downgrade. For the allegory to work, ending reliance on the world-destroying energy source has to require sacrifice. You have to be willing to give up conveniences you’ve come to take for granted. And for D&D players, that’s spellcasting.
what we are saying isn't that different. I'm saying defiling magic should be more powerful than standard casting. your saying standard casting defiling and "good" casting is weaker. one way most players will accept. One they won't.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
So it's not a penalty but it's painful and slower than normal.......in a game a penealty is "a disadvantage or handicap suffered as a result of action or circumstance.".
I feel like you're not reading the proposal properly, or are unclear as to the distinction between defiling and preserving magic.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
So it's not a penalty but it's painful and slower than normal.......in a game a penealty is "a disadvantage or handicap suffered as a result of action or circumstance.".
I am not proposing that normal casting be painful and slower than normal.

what we are saying isn't that different. I'm saying defiling magic should be more powerful than standard casting. your saying standard casting defiling and "good" casting is weaker. one way most players will accept. One they won't.
No. I am absolutely not saying that standard casting is weaker. I am saying that standard casting works exactly like normal, and also happens to have a cosmetic add-on effect where nearby plant life and stuff wilts and dies when you do it. Then there would be a Wizard subclass that, as one of its subclass features, gains the option to voluntarily take some kind of penalty or pay some kind of cost when they cast to remove this entirely cosmetic effect. There would also be a Wizard subclass built around the idea of ramping up this add-on effect to the point that it is more than just cosmetic and has mechanical implications that can be used to the wizard’s advantage.

Would the latter be more appealing to most players? Yes, that’s the point. Would there be players who would choose the former for RP reasons? Again, yes, and again, that’s the point.
 

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