D&D 5E Psionics in a sci-fi D&D

How would you do it?

  • Reskin magic

    Votes: 46 35.1%
  • Totally new system

    Votes: 85 64.9%


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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
If you look enough in various fantasy you will find psionic that emulate most DnD magic school. Mind manipulation, body manipulation, element, open plane portal, healing, fighting,
in fact all the PHB can be rewritten to be a psionic powered game keeping the same classes.
I don't think it can't be done with the same classes. The current classes have spell lists that fit different themes.



At the very least you'd need a new caster with a new class list.

The main thing about reskinned psionic classes are the new spells and resisting the urge to give those spells to older classes.
 



SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
The definition of what is and isn't science in fiction is entirely defined within the fiction itself. Their plausibility outside of fiction is irrelevant. It's why science fiction that falls outside of the narrow category of "hard sci-fi" is still called science fiction and not fantasy. Magic is magic because the fiction defines as so. When magic isn't magic, but just "sufficiently advanced science," again, it's because the fiction defines it so. If psionics is tapping into some "other," like the Force, then it could be plausibly compared to magic, but say if it's the result of using mechanical implants to harness and amplify unused portions of the brain, then it doesn't matter that the concept doesn't hold up under real world scientific scrutiny; pseudoscience is still within the purview of science in a fictional context, not magic.
Quoted for truth.
 


How would wizards get them if the campaign didn't let them? Put a keyword or tag on them for psi use only.
The complaint is: the WotC team has shown a tendency to give wizards everything, so the prediction is any new psionic spells would be exclusive to psions and wizards.

Partially because there's nothing a psion would be able to do that isn't something a wizard might be able to to, since a wizard can be rationalized to do anything.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
Words that have no meaning have no meaning. I tried looking up psionics in the dictionary, and guess what: no entry.
The Oxford English Dictionary entry for psionic:
Pertaining to or involving ‘psi’. So psionics n. pl. [-ic 2], (the study of) the paranormal

Same dictionary, defining psi:
2. Paranormal phenomena or faculties collectively; the psychic force supposed to be manifested by these.

Same dictionary, defining paranormal:
Applied to observed phenomena or powers which are presumed to operate according to natural laws beyond or outside those considered normal or known
 

The Oxford English Dictionary entry for psionic:
Pertaining to or involving ‘psi’. So psionics n. pl. [-ic 2], (the study of) the paranormal

Same dictionary, defining psi:
2. Paranormal phenomena or faculties collectively; the psychic force supposed to be manifested by these.

Same dictionary, defining paranormal:
Applied to observed phenomena or powers which are presumed to operate according to natural laws beyond or outside those considered normal or known
So in other words, magic.
 


Words that have no meaning have no meaning. I tried looking up psionics in the dictionary, and guess what: no entry.

You didn't check very hard or are looking at an outdated physical copy. A quick Google search will remedy that for you.

So in other words, magic.

Not in other words at all. It's kind of a rectangle and square situation. You might be thinking of supernatural. Paranormal is broader than that. From the same dictionary as above:

paranormal
/parəˈnɔːm(ə)l/

adjective
denoting events or phenomena such as telekinesis or clairvoyance that are beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding.



Note that it claims beyond normal scientific understanding, not beyond science. Magic could qualify, but so could phenomena that is of science, but not understood, or understood and of science, but outside conventional fields of study (common in weird science types of fiction e.g. Fringe). All supernatural phenomena could be considered paranormal as well, but not all paranormal phenomena is supernatural in origin. That said, it's pretty well understood that "paranormal" is a term more closely affiliated with science fiction than with fantasy.
 

You didn't check very hard or are looking at an outdated physical copy.
Concise OED, Physical.

But your bigger dictionary supports what I said - it doesn't say anything to indicate that psionics isn't shooting fireballs out of your fingers or turning people into toads.

"paranormal" is a term more closely affiliated with science fiction than with fantasy.
Most people associate "paranormal" with ghosts and seances - fantasy, not science fiction.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
For the term "parapsychology" including "psi", "paranormal", etcetera, the definition seems to differ between the investigators and popculture.

For the investigators, it means actions of the mind that lack scientific explanation, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, etcetera.

But for popculture, it pretty much means ghosts.
 


For the term "parapsychology" including "psi", "paranormal", etcetera, the definition seems to differ between the investigators and popculture.

For the investigators, it means actions of the mind that lack scientific explanation, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, etcetera.

But for popculture, it pretty much means ghosts.
And that's exactly what Pathfinder did with it's psychic classes.
 




Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Tautologies are really getting out of hand, supernatural and paranormal are effectively synonyms. What's next, different rules for hand-to-hand combat and melee?
Is paranormal generally read as being closer to the mundane than supernatural? (But then I think of X-files and I guess not).
 

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