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

dagger

Explorer
Between 1992-2000 I saw probably four characters that wanted psionics, had the stats to make it worth it, and managed to make the required roll.

We played a lot of 1e/2e back then...every weekend at least 12 hours.

We never used 2e style psioncs except during a single darksun campaign.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
In 2nd edition, I had two psions from the Complete Psionics Handbook, one in a Ravenloft campaign the other in a homebrew. These were both from the same player, and they were integral characters in each campaign.

In 3rd edition, I played a psion and a soulknife. The soulknife was okay (lasted only a couple sessions in a brutal campaign), but the psion really shined in ways a wizard never could - mostly because he could go nova by spending Power Points for the effects he wanted.

In 4E we had a few psionic-powered characters, mostly during the D&D Encounters season that covered Dark Sun.

Haven't had any in 5E yet, as the original Unearthed Arcana builds left a little to be desired, IMO.

That said, I really like the flavor of psionics and would love to see it more holistically implemented into the current edition.
 
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.
Yeah I think the "everyone had psionics" gave some DMs suspicious/scared of them the confidence to try them out. They were wrong to be scared/suspicious, though. We had psionicists in our 2E game before we ran DS and they were fairly weak compared to similar-level casters (esp. specialty priests).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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?
I suppose I could have won the odds lottery and encountered a dozen or more consecutive DMs who were either afraid of what psionics could do, or attached a sci-fi stigma to them. But I doubt it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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 didn't encounter that. Having to roll under stat numbers, often with a penalty, and with a 5% chance for a fumble, made it balanced. Failed rolls, wasting time and power, happened a lot.
 

Hussar

Legend
For myself, I never got into Dark Sun. Then again, it wasn't until 3e that I played any published setting. We just never used published settings. Modules? Sure. But a whole published setting? Just never came up.

So, it wasn't that we didn't use psionics in 2e because we were afraid of Dark Sun. We didn't use psionics in 2e because the rules were ridiculously easy to break and didn't work for us. 3e rolled out and no one seemed to be inclined to use psionics. I played with an awful lot of 3e players over the run and it just never came up. I never banned it, but, like gnomes, no one wanted to use the rules.

From a VTT player POV, making psionics use, say, a mana pool system, would be a major PITA. I'd have to code an entirely new character sheet and ruleset for one character. That's a TON of work. From a purely selfish point of view, I hope they don't make a dedicated psion character. Less of a PITA for me.
 

Hussar

Legend
Do I have to say "just don't use it, then?"
Well, if they go the "appended classes" route, then, well, I get to have psionics in the game without having to do a mountain of work. So, for me, and I'm being 100% selfish here, I know, I'd prefer if they went the subclass route rather than adding in a completely new subsystem for one class.

I mean, good grief, while they did add the artificer, nothing in the artificer requires new mechanics. There's no spell points, or dice pools or anything else. They're basically just a modified caster. Adding them into the virtual tabletop has required, well, nothing new. About the only thing that doesn't work well with Fantasy Grounds is the Turret that the artificer (I'm still using the UA one from this year) uses, which keys it's attacks off of the caster's abilities. The tools in Fantasy Grounds don't really allow linking two tokens like that.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
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.
And how many Artificer's have people seen? Probably less than psionics.

I've seen a grand total of 0 and they've been in the game since 1996.
 

Mecheon

Explorer
I've seen a grand total of 0 and they've been in the game since 1996.
I saw a few during 4E. Mind, during 4E they had this amazing synergy with the Warforged (And the Shardmind but I never saw it on them for some reason) where you could artifice yourself for some neat flavor
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
So the new reason psionics have never been particularly popular is "fear and stigma"? When all else fails blame the Illuminati?
This is twice now that you appealed to an Illuminati strawman. I don't think "blame the Illuminati" means what you think it means, Oofta.

But yes, I do think that there has been a certain degree of "fear and stigma" about psionics. One of my GMs did not permit psionics in a 3.5 game because of their hearsay reputation in 1-2E. When I pressed him about what was broken or how psionics worked in 3.5, he didn't know because he had never looked.

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?
It seems as if many of the fans of psionics believe that it does fill an iconic role or otherwise there would not be calls for its inclusion as part of the game and its tradition. You can say that it's "just because [they] personally like something," but the truth probably runs deeper than saying people just want it because they like it.

In my own campaign I simply didn't see it fitting thematically.
And what if there were official D&D campaigns where they would fit, such as in Eberron or Dark Sun?

I don't care one way or another whether psionics is ever added to the game.
For someone who supposedly doesn't care, you do spend a lot of time in this thread trying to dismiss the opinions of people who do want them.

From a VTT player POV, making psionics use, say, a mana pool system, would be a major PITA. I'd have to code an entirely new character sheet and ruleset for one character. That's a TON of work. From a purely selfish point of view, I hope they don't make a dedicated psion character. Less of a PITA for me.
Aren't many of these things pre-coded for the ease of VTT use?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
This is twice now that you appealed to an Illuminati strawman. I don't think "blame the Illuminati" means what you think it means, Oofta.
I think it means there is no concerted effort by a group of people to nefariously spread FUD about your pet class. Pscionics simply has never been very popular in any edition.

But yes, I do think that there has been a certain degree of "fear and stigma" about psionics. One of my GMs did not permit psionics in a 3.5 game because of their hearsay reputation in 1-2E. When I pressed him about what was broken or how psionics worked in 3.5, he didn't know because he had never looked.
I can't speak for anyone else. All I know is that I've never had a desire to have psionics in my campaign because it doesn't fit thematically. I've never played with a DM who thought it was necessary other than the odd mind flayer or similar monster. Even then it was just magic with a different label.

There has never been anything compelling about psionics.

For someone who supposedly doesn't care, you do spend a lot of time in this thread trying to dismiss the opinions of people who do want them.

I get so tired of this accusation. No one on this thread (or others) has ever clarified what a psion is other than someone who does magic that's not really magic.

But for the umpteenth time, I don't give a fig if they develop a psion as a class or subclass. I might even use it if I did my wild west campaign because it fits a certain Victorian era theme. I've never used it because it didn't fit the vision of my campaign world. I have other limitations as well, that doesn't mean that I "fear" dragonborn as a race. Just that there are plenty of playable races and I don't want to figure out how dragonborn would fit in my world.

But I'm not dismissing your opinion. I just don't see a need or justification for a class or subclass. Apparently the devs have agreed up to this point. As Crawford said in an interview, people new to D&D don't see a need for it. People who played previous versions can't agree on what they should be.

It all goes back to my original question from way back when. What would make a psion stand out from the other magic using classes other than fluff?
 
And how many Artificer's have people seen?
I played a Minotaur Artificer Ghost of the Past, named Daedalus, who looked like The Nimon from that classic Dr. Who story with Tom Baker, I think it was in 2012. Fun. Aside, from that, no.
I've also used NPC/monster Artificers a couple times. Kallistos the Maker, who had a swarm of clockwork starlings with razor-sharp feathers instead of the usual hulking construct and the self-forged Prince Dakkar of Cyre who lived in the empty chambers of a gargantuan nautiloid's shell, may have been some other, nameless instances, they make an obvious addition to a construct encounter, for instance.
 

Aebir-Toril

std::cout << "Hi" << '\n';
Why don't we create a poll, "Artificer versus Psion" or somesuch, it might clear up things like this.

That being said, I'm not going to create one. After all, why do something easy which would reduce argumentation when I can argue on principle?

Also, I've never made a poll before, but nevermind that!
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I think it means there is no concerted effort by a group of people to nefariously spread FUD about your pet class. Pscionics simply has never been very popular in any edition.
Calling the Psion my pet class? Boo. I thought you were above such condescension? And none of this changes the fact that you need to stop leaning on the "blame the Illuminati" strawman.

There has never been anything compelling about psionics.
Nice unsubstantiated opinion you got there. It would be a shame if you were to pretend it was a fact.

I get so tired of this accusation. No one on this thread (or others) has ever clarified what a psion is other than someone who does magic that's not really magic.
Most people probably didn't see the need for it since it's like going to a physics conference and expecting that a paper clarify what an atom is. The context of discussion generally assumes given specialized knowledge of the relevant field of discussion without need for backtracking for basics. The thread is inquiring about who has seen psionic play at their table and not "Doubting Oofta demands that you clarify what psionics are."

I've never used it because it didn't fit the vision of my campaign world.
Okay. I have used them and played in games where GMs used them because it fit within the respective visions of the campaign worlds. But I suppose that the value of the class to D&D hinges entirely on whether it fits your vision of your campaign world.

But I'm not dismissing your opinion. I just don't see a need or justification for a class or subclass.
Others see a need or justification for a class or subclass of psionics. What now?

Apparently the devs have agreed up to this point. As Crawford said in an interview, people new to D&D don't see a need for it.
Appeal to authority! Hooray!

People who played previous versions can't agree on what they should be.
Maybe mechanically, but people largely agree about the fluff and the nature of the power source. That said, this "people can't agree on things" argument is a fairly bad faith argument. People have rough ideas. Scarcely no one believes that psionics should be like in earlier editions where they were something for free if you were lucky. Many people agree that a class and subclass system would be feasible for a psion and other varieties of psionics. That's honestly a pretty good start. Some want power points. Some are happy with spells. Some want something more like the mystic. I suspect most just want officially printed psionics in any form that does it justice. Disagreement about the mechanics happens. That's fine. But that doesn't mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater, Oofta. It doesn't mean that the psion is without merit. It means that people have different visions of the psion, much as you have about what belongs in your campaign world.

It all goes back to my original question from way back when. What would make a psion stand out from the other magic using classes other than fluff?
Sure it always goes back to your original question when you want to beg the question in the first place.

What makes a warlock stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?

What makes a bard stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?

What makes a wizard stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?

What makes a sorcerer stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?

Though since these classes already exist in 5e, you can appeal to concrete mechanics in printed rulebooks, which makes your task in answering these questions far easier here. But let's say that we were designing for a hypothetical 6th edition. How would we justify these classes based on things other than fluff? Because you seem to think that appeal to fluff is a bad thing.
 
What makes a sorcerer stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?
Metamagic/sorcery points.

What makes a bard stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?
Inspiration, Expertise, and 5 PH spells on it's list that nobody else gets.

What makes a warlock stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?
Invocations, short-rest slots, and 6 spells nobody else gets.

What makes a wizard stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?
neo-Vanican prepped casting, spellbook, ritual casting, the most sub-classes (8) of any class in the PH, and 33 spells nobody else gets.

Though since these classes already exist in 5e, you can appeal to concrete mechanics in printed rulebooks, which makes your task in answering these questions far easier here. But let's say that we were designing for a hypothetical 6th edition. How would we justify these classes based on things other than fluff? Because you seem to think that appeal to fluff is a bad thing.
I'm sure I've seen quite strident claims that you absolutely cannot use unique mechanics to justify/differentiate a new class in 5e, because 5e is committedly concept-first class design. I suppose it's only fair that we also have strident claims that 'mere fluff' cannot possibly justify/differentiate a new class in 5e.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Metamagic/sorcery points.

Inspiration, Expertise, and 5 PH spells on it's list that nobody else gets.

Invocations, short-rest slots, and 6 spells nobody else gets.

neo-Vanican prepped casting, spellbook, ritual casting, the most sub-classes (8) of any class in the PH, and 33 spells nobody else gets.
As I said, this is much easier to say in retrospect since the classes are printed in 5e so we can look at concrete mechanics. But would metamagic/sorcery points had been what people thought is what makes the sorcerer the sorcerer prior to its printing in 5e? Yeah, with differences like these, I think that nearly any psion class could be justified.

I'm sure I've seen quite strident claims that you absolutely cannot use unique mechanics to justify/differentiate a new class in 5e, because 5e is committedly concept-first class design. I suppose it's only fair that we also have strident claims that 'mere fluff' cannot possibly justify/differentiate a new class in 5e.
Seems like psionics would qualify for 5e's "concept-first class design" quite well.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Calling the Psion my pet class? Boo. I thought you were above such condescension? And none of this changes the fact that you need to stop leaning on the "blame the Illuminati" strawman.

Nice unsubstantiated opinion you got there. It would be a shame if you were to pretend it was a fact.

Most people probably didn't see the need for it since it's like going to a physics conference and expecting that a paper clarify what an atom is. The context of discussion generally assumes given specialized knowledge of the relevant field of discussion without need for backtracking for basics. The thread is inquiring about who has seen psionic play at their table and not "Doubting Oofta demands that you clarify what psionics are."

Okay. I have used them and played in games where GMs used them because it fit within the respective visions of the campaign worlds. But I suppose that the value of the class to D&D hinges entirely on whether it fits your vision of your campaign world.

Others see a need or justification for a class or subclass of psionics. What now?

Appeal to authority! Hooray!

Maybe mechanically, but people largely agree about the fluff and the nature of the power source. That said, this "people can't agree on things" argument is a fairly bad faith argument. People have rough ideas. Scarcely no one believes that psionics should be like in earlier editions where they were something for free if you were lucky. Many people agree that a class and subclass system would be feasible for a psion and other varieties of psionics. That's honestly a pretty good start. Some want power points. Some are happy with spells. Some want something more like the mystic. I suspect most just want officially printed psionics in any form that does it justice. Disagreement about the mechanics happens. That's fine. But that doesn't mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater, Oofta. It doesn't mean that the psion is without merit. It means that people have different visions of the psion, much as you have about what belongs in your campaign world.

Sure it always goes back to your original question when you want to beg the question in the first place.

What makes a warlock stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?

What makes a bard stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?

What makes a wizard stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?

What makes a sorcerer stand out from other magic using classes other than fluff?

Though since these classes already exist in 5e, you can appeal to concrete mechanics in printed rulebooks, which makes your task in answering these questions far easier here. But let's say that we were designing for a hypothetical 6th edition. How would we justify these classes based on things other than fluff? Because you seem to think that appeal to fluff is a bad thing.

So ... attacking the fact that I have an opinion? That I never personally saw a reason to use psionics? Whew. Those are compelling arguments.

As far as warlock vs other spell-casting classes, have you even read the class? Sorcerer vs wizard is a little closer but even then you have a different primary stat, metamagic and limited spell list vs flexibility and so on.

Could you come up with a unique psion? Sure. But nobody seems to agree on what it would look like. It's not like the dev team hasn't taken multiple stabs at it. Maybe someday they'll come up with something they like. If it's in a book I'm going to purchase anyway I'll take a gander. Personally I'd rather they spent time on a different campaign setting, a tactical options book or any number of different projects.

I get tired of this argument and being accused of telling people they can't express their opinion. Don't blame me that it's never been a popular class.
 

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