5E In your Years of Gaming, How many Psionic Characters did you See played

When I play/run D&D in any edition, I see psionic characters

  • All the time. At least one per group.

    Votes: 3 1.7%
  • Pretty frequently. It wasn't rare in our games.

    Votes: 33 18.5%
  • Not much and certainly less common than PHB classes.

    Votes: 45 25.3%
  • Almost never.

    Votes: 68 38.2%
  • Nope. Didn't use psionics at all in my D&D.

    Votes: 27 15.2%
  • Lemony curry goodness.

    Votes: 2 1.1%

  • Total voters
    178
2e: three PCs (one was a psionic variant of the 2e monk) half dozen with wild talents
3e: I played a psychic warrior/bard combo.
3.5e: two psions and a soul knife.
4e: didn't play.
Pathfinder: 0
5e; someone tried a mystic for a session but the game was a one shot
 

Sabathius42

Adventurer
  • I don't see a difference between magic and psychic abilities other than fluff.
  • There should be some limitiation or cost if psionic abilites cannot be counter spelled and/or are unaffected by anti-magic zones.
Point 1: Lets take a simple task, like picking a lock for an example. I think you would agree with me that there is a fundamental difference (on the lowest basic level of GM adjudication) between a rogue picking the lock using thieves tools and a wizard casting a KNOCK spell? Even though the KNOCK spell might (in your games world) physically move the levers and dials of a lock the exact same way a rogue would using a pick you would still consider it a fundamentally different source of manipulation of the lock. If there are two fundamental (in the worlds laws) forces that might act upon the lock, are there possibly more than just two? If a cleric used a bit of Divine Intervention (not the same as casting a spell) and the door just unlocks because of his chosen gods influence on the world, is that necessarily the same thing as just his god casting the KNOCK spell like the party wizard, or is it a totally different force? If you do accept that its possible (once again in a game world, not just YOUR game world) to have three fundamentally different forces that can act upon the lock with the same end result, does that close the door on there being a 4th or 10th fundamental source depending on how the game world works?

Point 2: In the OG version of psionics there was a HUGE fundamental difference between them and magic. Each psionicist had access to a possible 5 at-will attack powers (one of which is the Mind Flayers telepathic blast) and a further 5 at-will defense powers. Only 1 of the attack powers was usable against non-psychic characters....once again the telepathic blast, which is why Mind Flayers used it as an offensive weapon against everyone. All the other 4 attack and all 5 of the defensive powers were ONLY usable against psionics themselves. It was a completely separate system that barely interacted with non-psychics (and could easily be tossed out as a whole by any group not using psionics). They did nothing to help you resist a Charm Person spell, a Fireball, or any other arcane or divine based attack.

So the balance in Psionics are different is threefold. First and foremost, a psionicist with no points left to power their defenses were pretty much TOAST to another psionicist who attacked them via the psi-only at-will powers. Secondly, the basic attacks for the most part could not be used again non-psionic characters. Thirdly, just as an opposing wizard could not counterspell one of your psionic powers....you could not "counterspell" one of their spells.
 

Hussar

Legend
But, that's the point I was tryign to make earlier. Your OG psionics with it's rock-scissors-paper mechanics was completely different from any other system in the game. It shared nothing with any other system. The problem is, since 3e onwards, the notion that everything needs its own subsystem has fallen out of favor. Insisting that psionics must be its own thing is likely not going to get you anywhere.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
But, that's the point I was tryign to make earlier. Your OG psionics with it's rock-scissors-paper mechanics was completely different from any other system in the game. It shared nothing with any other system. The problem is, since 3e onwards, the notion that everything needs its own subsystem has fallen out of favor. Insisting that psionics must be its own thing is likely not going to get you anywhere.
This isn't even an argument that most here are making. We just want some unique things to their abilities, like no components. At this point, you're engaging in a Strawman.
 

Hussar

Legend
Really? So if they took the wizard psion or the aberrant mind sorc and said, “No components “. You’d be groovy?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Really? So if they took the wizard psion or the aberrant mind sorc and said, “No components “. You’d be groovy?
I said "things like," which means more than just that. They would also have to come up with some new Psion class abilities, but they wouldn't need to come up with a completely new subsystem like you keep bringing up in your Strawman.
 
. The problem is, since 3e onwards, the notion that everything needs its own subsystem has fallen out of favor. Insisting that psionics must be its own thing is likely not going to get you anywhere.
3e consolidated dice mechanics on the d20, and a lot of fiddly non-combat sub-systems into skills.
But classes still had plenty of unique sub-systems to define them, even individual spells could be sub-systems unto themselves. The wizard & sorcerer cast the same spells, but had different magic systems, psionics was it's own thing, and it just kept adding new ones - Warlock, truenamers, incarnum, etc.
Yes, 4e actually did eschew differentiating classes that way, and edition warring ensued.
After 2 years, Essentials backslid on that point, and 5e has fully repudiated it.

In 5e, there are three casting systems, plus metamagic & sorcery points, invocations, and Ki. There are three different mechanics for inspiration - four if you count Rally. There are combat styles, feats, and manuevers.

Except for diligently recycling spells in every single class, 5e shows no inclination to avoid adding new sub-systems.
 

Bacon Bits

Adventurer
OD&D (Eldritch Wizardry): Never played this supplement. Barely played OD&D at all.

Basic D&D: Played a few campaigns. I don't ever remember someone playing a Mystic. We were all about Fighters, Elves, Dwarves, Magic-Users, and (for some reason) Thieves.

1e: Played exactly one campaign where the DM had the PCs roll for psionics. Exactly one character had a psionic ability. All I remember is that he knew disintegrate but could never actually use it somehow? It almost never came up. We also had exactly one encounter where the DM used the psionic combat rule that there was 1 round of psi combat for every segment of initiative (i.e., 10 rounds of psionic combat per normal round). We made it a few segments into the encounter and before anyone could act physically the psionic character had already stunned or killed several creatures. That rule got thrown in the trash where it belongs. I'm told there's supposed to be stuff in the DMG to prevent this -- that is, largely to prevent the PCs from doing it -- but I don't know if how we played was in line with that or not.

2e: Played a Dark Sun campaign. No actual psionicists, but everyone had the minor talents. I don't remember it coming up very often, largely because people were terrified of running out of power points and were confused by psionic combat.

3e: One player tried a psionic warrior for one campaign, but the awful medium BAB caused him to retire the character after a few sessions. Don't remember any psions.

4e: Pretty sure we had a 4e Dark Sun campaign with multiple psionic characters (and not just monks). However, calling this "psionics" is being extremely liberal to the term because all the crunch was basically identical to any other power source. 4e has psionics in the same way that Magic: The Gathering has psionics.
 

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