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D&D 5E Psionics in a sci-fi D&D

How would you do it?

  • Reskin magic

    Votes: 44 35.8%
  • Totally new system

    Votes: 79 64.2%

  • Total voters
    123

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
But I don't think this says anything about the actual objective godhood of said creatures. Q is probably way more powerful than the Wormhole Aliens, he certainly meets technical definition of 'god.' The difference does not lie in objective reality, it lies in the attitudes of those who experience it, and as this is fiction, in how the story is presented.

I hadn't thought about some of the details of that before. It shows a lot about Star Fleet that when they run into someone who can snap their fingers and wipe out 50-billion members of a race across the galaxy, that they classify that as "science they don't know yet" instead of having a more primal/pre-scientific reaction.
 

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I hadn't thought about some of the details of that before. It shows a lot about Star Fleet that when they run into someone who can snap their fingers and wipe out 50-billion members of a race across the galaxy, that they classify that as "science they don't know yet" instead of having a more primal/pre-scientific reaction.
And when it happens in D&D the wizard classifies it as a spell they don't know yet.

A "primal/pre-scientific reaction to magic" is far from typical in D&D.
 

I am thinking of how the theme of the subclasses could be

adept of mind telepathy, making people see things, emotion control
adept of body the master of healing and bodily enhancement.
adept of reality teleportation and reality shaping.
adept of soul for seer and some more dark stuff.
adept of ??? all the damage and telekinetic stuff fire and freezing abilities go here as they merely matter manipulation?

honestly if we want to put a way to contrast them to the wizard build them more similar to the cleric weapons and armour included?
 



Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It's science fiction, aren't we using ray guns and deflector shields, not swords and platemail?
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Aldarc

Legend
That only includes powers actually used in the game, not powers used or alluded to in the novels.
False. It includes other setting materials as well, including the novels, a fact that would be painfully obvious simply by looking through the list of references.

And if you look at what the powers actually do, rather than spells that have different names but do much the same thing, they cover all the bases in D&D magic: damage, healing, summoning, control, transmutation, transportation, divination, reality alteration etc.
And now we're back to shallow reductionist comparisons that attempt to pass themselves as insightful analysis.
 



Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
the video does not work what is it of?
It's a Clip from 1984's Dune in which Paul Atreides is forced into a knife fight while surrounded in the most ridiculously badly designed cuboid force-shields. The whole point of which is that you have to stab your opponent -slowly- to pierce the force field because it reacts differently to slow moving objects than it does to high speed objects.

Like a Non-Newtonian Fluid as Armor.
 

It's a Clip from 1984's Dune in which Paul Atreides is forced into a knife fight while surrounded in the most ridiculously badly designed cuboid force-shields. The whole point of which is that you have to stab your opponent -slowly- to pierce the force field because it reacts differently to slow moving objects than it does to high speed objects.

Like a Non-Newtonian Fluid as Armor.
ah, I know exactly what you mean.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Personally, my favorite depictions of psionics in fiction and RPGs often have these elements listed below. (The list is non-comprehensive, and no depiction has all of them. Some only have one or two.)

1) it is physically demanding, sometimes to the point that using your powers could render you unconscious or even kill you

2) it is internal to you; expression of psionics is a mastery of self. No outside conditions, materials, technology or beings are required to give you powers, but may increase your abilities or control

3) most of the time it’s not something just anyone can learn. You’re either born with psychic potential or you are not. Occasionally, a technology or “psychic surgery” can awaken psionic potential in those who are not so gifted, especially if the setting explicitly makes psionics genetic in origins, and features sophisticated DNA manipulation.

4) most psionics manifestors only have one or a small group of powers that they improve in with time and experience. Generalists who can “do it all” are rare.

5) psionics has limitations. Sometimes it’s general to a kind of powers, sometimes, it’s individual. Some limits are absolute. Others can be overcome by effort and/or training.

6) where magic and psionics exist, they are not the same. As such, each side has advantages and vulnerabilities against the other.
 


Hussar

Legend
Here is a grand list of psionic powers in the Starcraft universe, including hero abilities from Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm. This list is even separated by the psionic abilities demonstrated between each species. This list is completely dwarfed by the psionic powers list in D&D, which is in turn dwarfed by the list of spells cast by divine and arcane casters. If you believe there is nothing that a D&D character could do that a Starcraft psionic character couldn't, then you must be playing D&D like an ostrich with your head buried in the sand.
I'd say the question stands - what can a D&D wizard do that a Starcraft Psion can't?

Yup, that list is shorter (depending on which edition of D&D you play of course) but, it seems to pretty much cover all the effects that magic can do.
 

Hussar

Legend
Here's another question. I don't play Star or Warcraft (or at least haven't in far too many years), so, I don't know the mechanics. Do prions in Starcraft use different "casting" mechanics than wizard types in Warcraft? What are the differences in the mechanics?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Here's another question. I don't play Star or Warcraft (or at least haven't in far too many years), so, I don't know the mechanics. Do prions in Starcraft use different "casting" mechanics than wizard types in Warcraft? What are the differences in the mechanics?

"Everything"* in Blizzard games is Mana/Cooldown based. Guns, Sword, Magic, Psionics, Tech. Everything uses the same energy/cooldown system. That's because the games use the same styles of engine spaghetti. I don't think anyone wants Extra Attack to be a spell using slots.


*The Exception is WOW which uses energy, rage, runes, focus, fury, chi. maelstrom, combo, shards, holy power, insanity, charges, AND mana.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I'd say the question stands - what can a D&D wizard do that a Starcraft Psion can't?

Yup, that list is shorter (depending on which edition of D&D you play of course) but, it seems to pretty much cover all the effects that magic can do.
If you took an honest look in good faith that doesn't look to discriminate with shallow, superficial comparisons against psionics, you would find that there are many damage types (e.g., fire, cold, poison, etc.) and effects that a Starcraft Psion can't do while also having different aesthetics and themes.

Here's another question. I don't play Star or Warcraft (or at least haven't in far too many years), so, I don't know the mechanics. Do prions in Starcraft use different "casting" mechanics than wizard types in Warcraft? What are the differences in the mechanics?
"Everything"* in Blizzard games is Mana/Cooldown based. Guns, Sword, Magic, Psionics, Tech. Everything uses the same energy/cooldown system. That's because the games use the same styles of engine spaghetti. I don't think anyone wants Extra Attack to be a spell using slots.


*The Exception is WOW which uses energy, rage, runes, focus, fury, chi. maelstrom, combo, shards, holy power, insanity, charges, AND mana.
In terms of game mechanics, Starcraft uses "Energy" for powering both psionic powers (e.g., high templars, ghosts, etc.) and technological ones (e.g., fighters, starships, tanks, etc.). As @Minigiant says, mana is commonly used in their video games (e.g., Diablo), but WoW and Diablo 3* has now given nearly every class their own thematically-appropriate resource mechanics.

* Diablo 3: Barbarian (Fury); Witch Doctor (Mana); Wizard (Arcane Power); Monk (Spirit); Demon Hunter (Hatred/Discipline); Crusader (Wrath); and Necromancer (Essence).
 
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"Everything"* in Blizzard games is Mana/Cooldown based. Guns, Sword, Magic, Psionics, Tech. Everything uses the same energy/cooldown system. That's because the games use the same styles of engine spaghetti. I don't think anyone wants Extra Attack to be a spell using slots.
Indeed. There is no difference between Magic in Warcraft and Psionics in Starcraft. Everything you can do with one you can do with the other.

You might be inclined to call Starcraft Science Fantasy rather than Science Fiction, but then so would D&D be unless you reskin everything.
f you took an honest look in good faith that doesn't look to discriminate with shallow, superficial comparisons against psionics, you would find that there are many damage types (e.g., fire, cold, poison, etc.) and effects that a Starcraft Psion can't do while also having different aesthetics and theme
If you look in good faith you will realise that if you can make lightning with psionics it makes no sense that you couldn't create fire in the same way. The need to make a playable real time strategy game clearly limits the number of spells a psionic unit can know.
 

Aldarc

Legend
If you look in good faith you will realise that if you can make lightning with psionics it makes no sense that you couldn't create fire in the same way. The need to make a playable real time strategy game clearly limits the number of spells a psionic unit can know.
I should clarify that there are a small handful of pyrokineticts in Starcraft, but it's rare. But a handful of psionists being able to do a bit with fire doesn't mean that a psionist is capable of every fire spell that a wizard has at their disposal. And in 3e psionics, for example, the pyrokineticist was a PrC rather than a base kit of the psion. As to why lightning and electricity, I think that stems from the origins of psionics: i.e., Psi - Electronics.

Indeed. There is no difference between Magic in Warcraft and Psionics in Starcraft. Everything you can do with one you can do with the other.
You appear to be dashing past their point so you can make your own. Basically everything with a resource cost for their abilities in Starcraft uses Energy, including powering technological abilities. That technological Yamato Battlecruiser? Energy. That psionic High Templar? Energy. That biological attack from that Zerg? Energy. That is why @Minigiant says, "That's because the games use the same styles of engine spaghetti. I don't think anyone wants Extra Attack to be a spell using slots."
 
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