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: 2 1.2%
  • Pretty frequently. It wasn't rare in our games.

    Votes: 32 18.9%
  • Not much and certainly less common than PHB classes.

    Votes: 44 26.0%
  • Almost never.

    Votes: 63 37.3%
  • Nope. Didn't use psionics at all in my D&D.

    Votes: 26 15.4%
  • Lemony curry goodness.

    Votes: 2 1.2%

  • Total voters
    169

Aldarc

Adventurer
I would also add that I played a short-lived campaign in Dreamscarred Press's psionic Third Dawn Campaign Setting in its original True20 version, a psychic/seer adept in Blue Rose (the basis for True20), an Akashic/Mind Witch in Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved, and several psionic characters in Monte Cook's Numenera setting (i.e., Commands Mental Powers, Sees Beyond). So I am the sort of person who enjoys the sort of themes, aesthetics, and powers of that psionics often represents.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Strangely enough, I probably play halflings as the most common race after humans. But never as the friendly stereotype halfling. Always as hunter killer fighters or thieves.

With 5e, the lucky trait just makes it all the better.
My halflings always end up being friendly happy-go-lucky hunter killers. Best of both worlds? :unsure:
 
We had, I think, one 2nd Ed Psioncist in a Spelljammer game, one 3e Psion in an Eberron game, and a handful of wild talents in 2nd Ed. We also played a few short-lived Dark Sun (2nd Ed) campaigns, where of course everyone is a wild talent.

These days, I'll only use Psionics in a setting built to include them - Dark Sun, Eberron, or one of my homebrew settings. Otherwise, they're a complication I don't need. (However, I do think they add something to Eberron and are pretty fundamental to Dark Sun, so I do think they need to be supported.)
 

Vael

Adventurer
My halflings always end up being friendly happy-go-lucky hunter killers. Best of both worlds? :unsure:
The only Halfling I ever played was a Halfling Vampire I played in 4e Organized Play, and yet I reskinned her to be a Human Child Vampire. I creeped out the rest of the table, it was one of my favourite PCs.

ETA: Which means, I have definitely played more Psionic characters than Halfling characters.
 

Galandris

Explorer
Excluding the golden times of youth, when we were all blessed with uncanny luck allowing us to roll Paladins and Psionicist with great consistency, I have seen... nearly none in play. And I have seen several druids or monks over the time. Can't speak of 4th ed because I eschewed this version of the game, but I don't think it would have been different...
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
You know, I thought about things people never play and I realized that I've never, ever, ever, seen anyone play a halfling in the 20 years and countless random groups I've played in.
I've seen a handful back in 1e/2e, but not since then. I only seen 2 gnomes, and 1 half-orc since '87. In that time, I've also seen only 2 bards (one in 3e, one in 5e), 1 barbarian 4 paladins (3 played by me in 2e), 3 druids, 1 assassin, and 1 illusionist compared to the 2 psioinc characters (both in 3e, one played by me) that have been in campaigns that I played in.
 

Hussar

Legend
If this curve of responses does actually mirror the larger hobby, and I'm certainly not saying that it does, it would explain why they aren't just coming out with psionic rules, but, rather a handful of "psionic classes" that might have a broader appeal. When 50% of your fanbase never uses some rule (or almost never uses it) basing an entire supplement on it seems like a bad idea.

Then again, what do I know? I've used a beholder maybe once in all the years I've gamed, and yet they remain hugely popular. Almost never use drow. And so on.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
6+. That may not sound like much, but I've only seen 4 or 5 paladins, about 3 rangers, and I think 2 druids. If I tried to add up all of the others I think there would be other standard classes that also rated as low or lower.

So in other words, they have been pretty well represented.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
We had a few in 1e AD&D, several in Dark Sun but nowhere else because the psionic rules in that edition were such a pain, and then mainly NPCs in 3e (though that was the edition with the best all around psionic rules). Over the editions, our interest in it just kind of petered out.
 

FaerieGodfather

Born in the Soul of Misery
I played several in 2e, because Dark Sun was my favorite setting. Didn't play any psionic characters in 3e, because I didn't get to play very much 3e at all.

Again, I played several Psions, Psychic Warriors, and Fists of Zuoken in 3.5e... but every single PC I've played since Expanded Psionics Handbook came out had at least two levels of Soulknife (and later, Soulbow). Every. Single. One.

The Dreamscarred Press version of the Soulknife is my very favorite class in all of Pathfinder, and the Aegis and Psion are easily in my Top 10. (Edged out of the Top 5 by Druid, Witch, Bard, and Monk.)
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
0 in forty years. 1e was a mess, and (thankfully) no one ever made the roll for it. 3e then made it new age blah with crystals and ectoplasm, that has put off everyone I've played with.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
I chose, "Not much and certainly less common than PHB classes". I played a psion in 3.5 and he was murdered by another PC, (and rightly so) within 2 game sessions. Though next session one player who was playing a bard showed up with a song he had wrote about that character and the last game.

In 2E I had a character in the Forgotten Realms that about 3rd or 4th level successfully rolled for a wild talent, I got ectoplasmic form. In 2E psionics showed up more as NPC's and monster abilities. IIRC if a normal player class didn't have a wild talent or wasn't a Psionic class they had no psionic defense against a psionic attack, didn't even get a saving throw? That's what made it so deadly when you ran into a creature with psionic powers. Its been so long since I read the Complete Psionics Handbook or played 2E I don't remember.
 
If this curve of responses does actually mirror the larger hobby, and I'm certainly not saying that it does, it would explain why they aren't just coming out with psionic rules, but, rather a handful of "psionic classes" that might have a broader appeal. When 50% of your fanbase never uses some rule (or almost never uses it) basing an entire supplement on it seems like a bad idea.

Then again, what do I know? I've used a beholder maybe once in all the years I've gamed, and yet they remain hugely popular. Almost never use drow. And so on.
I don't think that really is an issue. I suspect plenty of people have never or very rarely seen plenty of classes.

From what WotC have said this is essentially a problem of WotC's own manufacture. 3E and 4E both implemented Psionics very differently, didn't put it in the PHB and 3E did so relatively late in proceedings. Now WotC complains that many people ask for Psionics but they want different versions. What a shock!

Also it rings very hollow as an excuse because they have had very different iterations of other classes too, and simply chose one specific take. Hell, they have Bards who don't even have songs in 5E, and are full casters! That's a very aggressive take.

I feel like this is largely down to the people in charge at WotC themselves not being keen on Psionics and thus no-one championed a specific vision internally, thus they listen too much to people via UAs, and dither and come out with utter tosh like the "Psionics Wizard". Even the Fighter subclass is pretty confused and vision-less.

If they'd just stuck with Mystic (preferably with a less ghastly name) they'd already be done, but nope, a lack of vision and general wimpishness prevailed.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It is interesting that even in the microcosm that is EN World that less than 20% of respondents (small sample size still I know) use/play with psionics or have done, with any frequency.

If this community bears out Crawford's words, then it has to be true of the broader community. Probably also supported by their own past sales data.
In my experience, most DMs didn't really understand psionics, so they didn't allow them into the game. As a result, most players also didn't understand psionics and therefore didn't desire to play them.

In those games where I was able to talk the DM into letting me play a psionic PC, the DM quickly got over that fear and was like, "Wow. This is just a different class. No big deal." From that point on, psionic PCs were allowed and some of the other players occasionally got their feet wet and played a psionic PC.

It takes time to overcome fear and stigma.
 
Yeah I think there was a lot of paranoia re the "new thing" that Psionics represented and DMs, particularly adversarial ones, were afraid players would somehow pull a fast one on them. Once they actually allowed Psionics, often due to DS, this attitude typically melted away.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So the new reason psionics have never been particularly popular is "fear and stigma"? When all else fails blame the Illuminati?

Couldn't just be that the class didn't fill any iconic role? That there's simply not a lot of call for this? That is was simply unpopular even if it did appeal to some people?

Just because you personally like something doesn't mean it will have a broader appeal. In my own campaign I simply didn't see it fitting thematically. Same reason I don't have good drow or Shard Minds (or several other options from previous editions). My campaign world has to make sense to me, psionics never has.

I don't care one way or another whether psionics is ever added to the game. If it is I'll take a look at it, but whether I use it won't have anything to do with "fear and stigma". It will be based on whether or not I'm not playing a campaign where it fits.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Once they actually allowed Psionics, often due to DS, this attitude typically melted away.
I think there is a big difference with Psionics as a widespread/setting wide Psionics and just psionics as an add on to a more traditional setting.

Especially when the DS psionics is the only "safe" way to do "supernatural"/"magical" things without sucking the life out of the world around you.

"Wow. This is just a different class. No big deal."
I feel like that might be a 3.x edition and later thing. Most of the non-Dark Sun Psionics introduction I saw in 2e was "Wow. That IS just as broken as I've heard. No more thanks."

I think most of those who "hate" Psionics have either had a bad 2e experience directly or inhereted it from DM's they played with when they did start playing.

3.x was really "just another class" if played RAW with all the manifestations, etc. I imagine if we get something in 5e. It will also be "just another class".
 

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