Everything wrong with the Wizard Psionics subclass

Vael

Adventurer
That's simply not possible. It's 100% impossible to have spell components, verbal components and somatic components not be a part of the sorcerer class. Not only are they objectively a part of that class, even if you do use your points on the ability, but you cannot make 100% of your spell fail to use all three of those things. Therefore, it's impossible to achieve what I want with the sorcerer class.
You're right, Psionicists never move a muscle or say a word when using their powers.



One of the ways I differentiate Sorcerers and Wizards is that a Wizard has to memorize a specific motion (and words) for casting, and always use the same one. Like in The Magicians, it's precise finger tuts and poses to create spells. Sorcerers are just channeling raw internal power, so for them, while it's still an obvious physical movement, they don't have to replicate it each time. Taken a step further, Psionicists may need a subtle motion to help them mentally focus, but it's there.

I like Psionics, I want Psionics in the game, but I'm finding this deluge of no true Scotsman approachs to Psionics utterly wearing.
 

happyhermit

Explorer
You're right, Psionicists never move a muscle or say a word when using their powers.
...
I was actually thinking exactly this, but I was also thinking about "Eleven" from Stranger Things, who for a lot of people (especially new-to-D&D) will probably seem like the textbook example. Even they sometimes use "somatic components". So, I could probably see ignoring verbal and/or cost-less materials by default but I don't like gestures never playing any part, if at least some things were harder to do while unable to move it would be fine.
 
The argument that you can reskin something is a weak argument because it holds no merit.

You can reskin anything to be anything. I don't like using "whataboutism" but if reskinning is supposed to be a cure-all, then there is on reason for us to have 12 classes. We could have two classes and it would be fine. Really even one, if you want to push it.

But we have 12.

So, we shouldn't have to always reskin. If you can come up with a unique class concept that has at least some representation in either D&D or fantasy media, and that can host at least 3-5 sub-classes, it can be made into a valid class.

The Psion can do this. So, saying "just reskin it" is pointless, because it is something that shouldn't be relegated to that realm given the pattern of the other 12 classes.
 

Mistwell

Hero
The argument that you can reskin something is a weak argument because it holds no merit.
This is a tautology. You essentially said it's weak because it's weak. It was a nonsense retort you made.

You can reskin anything to be anything.
This is similarly nonsense. You can only reskin A into B if A does things sort of similar to B. If it doesn't do anything even vaguely similar, you can't reskin it. I cannot reskin a Tarrasque into a ukulele. There have no elements in common.

I don't like using "whataboutism" but if reskinning is supposed to be a cure-all, then there is on reason for us to have 12 classes. We could have two classes and it would be fine. Really even one, if you want to push it.
Honestly you do not need 12 classes and OD&D took this theory to heart. I know of some great DMs of OD&D who use that very method: 4 classes (or even 2 or 3) which they use to reskin into any character concept their players come up with. And it works really well for them. It's not my favored game right now, but there is nothing ridiculous about what they're doing. I suspect we could get one of those DMs in this thread to explain how they do it and how well it works for them if you'd like. I find it kinda interesting. Also, the Basic version of 5e uses only 4 classes, and there are definitely groups playing with just those four classes, and re-skinning them to meet their needs. I'd play in one of those games with the right DM.

But once you do get to 12, and all the sub-classes for those 12, given the some of the same methods those OD&D DMs are using, it becomes so much easier to find something to adapt to your concept. And as we're done pretty well with this game for 6 years now without these additional classes, while people have been playing with psionic classes they created by adapting one of the other classes, it obviously can be done.

So, we shouldn't have to always reskin. If you can come up with a unique class concept that has at least some representation in either D&D or fantasy media, and that can host at least 3-5 sub-classes, it can be made into a valid class.
Absolutely nobody is saying YOU have to reskin, or that you can't create classes for whatever it is you want in your game. I and some others were suggesting however that sub-classes work fine for a lot of people for these concepts, or re-skinning, and that a lot of people don't necessarily need their own psionics class or classes.

The Psion can do this. So, saying "just reskin it" is pointless, because it is something that shouldn't be relegated to that realm given the pattern of the other 12 classes.
Are you arguing that, if you can come up with a concept, and you could come up with 4-5 sublasses for that sublcass, then by definition the game needs that class? Even if it's a class that has very little interest outside of your game? Because that's really what we're debating at the heart of this. Is the Psionist something which so many people need as a CLASS as opposed to sub classes or even re-skinning that its crossed that threshold for demand? I personally don't think it has (and I like Psionics). They've tried it several times in UAs, I don't think it's gotten great reception so far, and that's why they're now turning to testing sub-classes for other classes instead. I think the assumption of demand for a class instead of subclasses just hasn't proven out.
 
Don't feel like quoting, so will do this instead.

Are you arguing...needs that class? No, I'm saying that it can be established as a class and has more merit to it than a sub-class due to the pattern. I am not saying need.

They've tried it several times. They tried the same version at levels 5, 10, and then 20. They made no changes to how the class or powers work in any of these, but instead gave more material. So they didn't try different things, just built on the same (erroneous) path.

Demand for a class instead of a subclass just haven't proven out. It hasn't been properly tested in my opinion. We've seen one attempt at the class that had the same core mechanics and issues 3 in the snippets it was released in. This is different than the Artificer, which saw two completely different classes released in UA before we got the current form.

The rest of your argument, about people playing with 4 classes and being fine, etc. I don't see the point in any of this. Yes, some groups are doing well with reskinning and 4 classes. Yes, some groups are fine with the base 11 classes. None of this is an argument against the core game adding more classes. You're only saying that "Some people are ok with it, so it is fine." Since no one is bringing up data points (since they can't as we don't have insider's secrets) then all I have to do is point to groups that aren't ok with it. IE, my group, and your entire argument is rendered pretty pointless at that point.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
Really. I think very few people will be happy with what they do with psionics. Too many different opinions. I think the smart thing to do is give lots of options. Make a psion class, make a sorcerer class that is psionics for those that want that too. I think the soul knife in any edition sucks and is is cheesy. Find out what people liked about it and make one for them too. Don’t make a psionic class that is the only way. Give different options so DM’s that want them can integrate them in their campaign. For me psionics and magic are the same thing. Others disagree. Both of us will can’t be made happy. But, if they give options...
 

Ashrym

Hero
The argument that you can reskin something is a weak argument because it holds no merit.
That's just saying the same thing twice. Reskinning has clear merit because I do it all the time to create my concept of a character from existing classes. Not just D&D.

"Anything can be reskinned" is actually the bad argument because it acknowledges the lack of need for the psionic classes. Demonstrating that point with other classes doesn't disprove that it also applies to psionic classes; it reinforces it. ;)

Wizard do not cover the standard class. Classes that start with magic and the subclasses at 1st level work better because then it's not a case of "I think I'm a psion just give me some more experience to find out".

Bloodlines do cover that well. The force was hereditary and ran in families, after all. Same with mutations and the X-men.

They can if they want to. Neither professor X nor Obi-wan need to, though.
And yet they do it. That demonstration of manifesting power is common in the tropes. Glowing eyes and pointing gestures and more. Bleeding noses if you prefer. It's also D&D.

That argument that there wasn't such a tell or display of power didn't exist in 3e or 4e. There were descriptions on demonstrating that manifestation. If a DM handwaved it away, it wasn't what we had in the last 2 editions. It was the standard expectation. Just like the magic / psionics transparency (they are the sae and affect each other equally) was the default rule. Psionics is Different was an optional rule.

4e still followed that AEDU power structure and have very few encounter powers, enhanced at-will powers using the power points (like sorcerers do with sorcery points). 3e used a spell point equivalent variation for powers and manifested them under the same rules as spells, and recovered them under the same rules as spells. The only difference was in psionic feats that required the reserves. They also couldn't just manifest a power when grappled or bound -- they needed to make concentration checks first. Concentration was important.

The way you describe psionics hasn't existed in D&D since 2e, and that required making ability checks in order to manifest powers on top of spending power points.

It's not that I disagree with the existence in your concepts in media and pop culture. They just don't match what the default rules in D&D have been. D&D matched other tropes where tells and concentration were a big thing.

Wizards still don't cut it as the standard in any case. I see the UA subclass as a wizard specializing in psionic related magic, not the actual psionicist.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Your fundamental idea that it proves the need to not have a class is incorrect. It shows that reskinning actually has no value.
Putting a "haha" on my post isn't a rebuttal. Tautology isn't a rebuttal.

Your argument is reskinning is invalid because we can reskin any class. My response is yes we can, and you just also stated that yes we can. If we can, how does that deny that we can do that with a psionic class? The answer is that it doesn't.

Your rebuttal is simply a restatement of your premise using different words. That's what I was pointing out. The implication is because we did not with some classes we should not with psionics, which is a false equivalency after jumping to the conclusion that other reasons weren't relevant to the addition of those other classes.

I've demonstrated using reskinning many times. Bards are one of my favorite topics on it because there are a lot of different bard tropes and the bard class is focused more on the fili, skald, and jongleur inspirations. That doesn't mean a person cannot make a bard differently by playing a druid, fighter, rogue, or barbarian. The label itself is meaningless to the concept. You can all yourself in game whatever you want.

I can play a psionic character now by specific spell selection and interpretation of what the verbal and somatic requirements actually represent. If I use drugs, incense, or a crystal ball for materials or a focus I'm still following tropes and reskinning mechanics. The concept is what we make of it as players. It's the need to have specific and unique powers or mechanics that doesn't actually exist. Simply saying reskinning isn't valid because things can be reskinned doesn't change that.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
Putting a "haha" on my post isn't a rebuttal. Tautology isn't a rebuttal.

Your argument is reskinning is invalid because we can reskin any class. My response is yes we can, and you just also stated that yes we can. If we can, how does that deny that we can do that with a psionic class? The answer is that it doesn't.

Your rebuttal is simply a restatement of your premise using different words. That's what I was pointing out. The implication is because we did not with some classes we should not with psionics, which is a false equivalency after jumping to the conclusion that other reasons weren't relevant to the addition of those other classes.

I've demonstrated using reskinning many times. Bards are one of my favorite topics on it because there are a lot of different bard tropes and the bard class is focused more on the fili, skald, and jongleur inspirations. That doesn't mean a person cannot make a bard differently by playing a druid, fighter, rogue, or barbarian. The label itself is meaningless to the concept. You can all yourself in game whatever you want.

I can play a psionic character now by specific spell selection and interpretation of what the verbal and somatic requirements actually represent. If I use drugs, incense, or a crystal ball for materials or a focus I'm still following tropes and reskinning mechanics. The concept is what we make of it as players. It's the need to have specific and unique powers or mechanics that doesn't actually exist. Simply saying reskinning isn't valid because things can be reskinned doesn't change that.
you guys realize these are all aesthetic questions with no objective answer?
 
Putting a "haha" on my post isn't a rebuttal. Tautology isn't a rebuttal.

Your argument is reskinning is invalid because we can reskin any class. My response is yes we can, and you just also stated that yes we can. If we can, how does that deny that we can do that with a psionic class? The answer is that it doesn't.

Your rebuttal is simply a restatement of your premise using different words. That's what I was pointing out. The implication is because we did not with some classes we should not with psionics, which is a false equivalency after jumping to the conclusion that other reasons weren't relevant to the addition of those other classes.

I've demonstrated using reskinning many times. Bards are one of my favorite topics on it because there are a lot of different bard tropes and the bard class is focused more on the fili, skald, and jongleur inspirations. That doesn't mean a person cannot make a bard differently by playing a druid, fighter, rogue, or barbarian. The label itself is meaningless to the concept. You can all yourself in game whatever you want.

I can play a psionic character now by specific spell selection and interpretation of what the verbal and somatic requirements actually represent. If I use drugs, incense, or a crystal ball for materials or a focus I'm still following tropes and reskinning mechanics. The concept is what we make of it as players. It's the need to have specific and unique powers or mechanics that doesn't actually exist. Simply saying reskinning isn't valid because things can be reskinned doesn't change that.
Alot of stuff said here that basically amounts to "Because you can reskin it, you shouldn't want anything else." But if reskinning is a catch-all swish army knife then that means it is only providing a very basic experience. This basic experience can be argued as good or bad for the mainstream; that's not my concern. My concern is how it feels for me and my group.

For me and my group, we enjoy using game mechanics to set aside different concepts. We believe that the mechanics of D&D are what brings a story to life. This is a belief shared by Mearls and Crawford, who have stated that when they design rules, they are designing it to emulate certain story or trope ideas.

Because of this, playing a Sorcerer, ignoring all the fluff, and then pretending that a Dragon Origin is actually a elementalist is not satisfying to us. It might be satisfying to you, and that's good, but your argument comes from a place of personal bias, and you are attempting to use it to invalidate the experiences of others.

In my experience, at my table(s), we do not enjoy reskinning. To us, reskinning is at best a way to make something look cool, and is not used to make something, like say a Barbarian, pretend to be a Psion. We want mechanics to differentiate these story ideas, because this makes us feel as if we are doing something fresh, unique, and interesting.

By all means, keep reskinning. That's good that you enjoy it. But everyone who comes into this thread and says "You should not want more classes because we can reskin stuff and we like that" does no favors for the conversation. It just ends up with people feeling attacked and invalidated because you people are so insistent on your way being the right way.

EDIT: Pros and Cons is different then what is in a lot of this thread. A lot of this thread is instead people saying that we shouldn't want a new class because it can be created through some manner of frankenstein concepts and/or reskinning. There were some cons mentioned, like about class bloat and what not, but largely this conversation has just been about invalidating one side and pretending that your thoughts and feelings deserve a rebuttal.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Alot of stuff said here that basically amounts to "Because you can reskin it, you shouldn't want anything else."
That's putting words in my mouth. What I said was reskinning is a valid option when you said it wasn't. Nothing more. Nothing less.

What I said about psionics was that wizards don't cut it and I would prefer a base class with the 6 subclasses, if you missed it. I also acknowledged I like the flavor and that I did not actually play the class much anyway being honest.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And yet they do it.
And yet they don't. For every time Professor X uses the finger to the head, he also has a time where he does nothing at all. Luke used the mind trick on Jabba without waiving his hand. It's purely option or habit that causes them to make the gestures. It absolutely is not a part of their power.

That argument that there wasn't such a tell or display of power didn't exist in 3e or 4e. There were descriptions on demonstrating that manifestation. If a DM handwaved it away, it wasn't what we had in the last 2 editions. It was the standard expectation. Just like the magic / psionics transparency (they are the sae and affect each other equally) was the default rule. Psionics is Different was an optional rule.
I don't care if there is some sort of visual or auditory display that happens, kinda like 3e had. There just can't be components to use the powers and still remain psionics.

The way you describe psionics hasn't existed in D&D since 2e, and that required making ability checks in order to manifest powers on top of spending power points.
I don't know about 4e, but 3e was just the way I describe it. There were no somatic, verbal or material components to manifest powers.
 
That's just saying the same thing twice. Reskinning has clear merit because I do it all the time to create my concept of a character from existing classes. Not just D&D.
It can be fantastic, though the availability has varied in D&D over the editions. In 2e, for instance, if you wanted to re-skin the cosmetic look of your fireball, you actually cast a 2nd level spell, called Sense Shifting, that'd do it. (I'm pretty sure I'm remembering that right - one of my players loved it.)

In 3e - AFAIK, for the first time - you, as the player, explicitly had the option to re-skin your character's personal appearance and his gear. Thus, bastard sword & glaive could equal katana and naginata. That never caused any controversy, at all.
But, it was late 3.5 and some fiddly feat called Spell Thematics before you could much mess with how your spell effects looked.

4e expanded on that, letting you re-skin prettymuch anything/everything about your character, short of changing keywords. So, even then, you couldn't re-skin your Sorcerer as a Psion.

AFAIK, 5e is less permissive than that with re-skinning, from the player side. The DM, of course, has carte blanche - he can not just re-skin, but re-muscle, bone, and vital organ whatever he wants.

"Anything can be reskinned" is actually the bad argument because it acknowledges the lack of need for the psionic classes. Demonstrating that point with other classes doesn't disprove that it also applies to psionic classes; it reinforces it.
The point is that "you can already (sorta) do it by re-skinning (if you squint real hard)" is not a valid bar for psionics to clear for inclusion. Because if it were a valid bar, it'd've blocked most of the PH classes. You'd prettymuch have had a loosely-defined Fighter and Magic-User.

Re-skinning as an excuse to exclude a concept with a history that encompasses virtually the entire history of D&D is also just really, really weak. And, is moreso in context when you consider the conceit that 5e classes are designed concept-first.
Re-skinning is mechanics-first design.

And yet they do it. That demonstration of manifesting power is common in the tropes. Glowing eyes and pointing gestures and more. Bleeding noses if you prefer. It's also D&D.
Well, it's not D&D, per se. D&D VSM is still fairly well defined. V are audible, strange-language, incantations; S are visible, conspicuous gestures; materials range from the cheap/mundane/inconspicuous to the expensive and/or eye-catching. And they're hard /requirements/.

Typical uses of psionics encompass such things as 'looks of intense concentration,' sweeping gestures, and secondary manifestations (lights flickering, wind, objects levitating). But, I can't think of an example of "I can't use my psychic powers with my hands tied," the closest thing I can come up with for a verbal requirement is in giving commands to a dominated target, bordering on hypnosis, really. They're more like accompaniments than requirements.

That argument that there wasn't such a tell or display of power didn't exist in 3e or 4e. There were descriptions on demonstrating that manifestation.
3e made it very clear that psionic powers had manifestations, so they were obvious. I don't recall if it had requirements. In 4e, players described powers as they liked, but it was always obvious you were using a power - 4e just played very 'above board' that way, regardless.

Psionics is Different was an optional rule.
And 5e, the Big Tent, DM Empowerment, edition, is big on optional rules.
 
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