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5E Psionics in Tasha


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I could've sworn that Spell Resistance didn't do anything to Psionics and vice versa with Power Resistance. But it's been forever since I've read the 3.5 Psionics Handbook. And if that was the case, then having anti-magic stuff have disadvantage Psionics would make sense.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Youare focusing on the end point: the effect.
I am focus on the starting point: the process.
You mean when the psionists uses magic? That process? I mean, you're not really fixated on either the effect or the process, but on the words used to name those. What happened when a 3e psionist used psionics was that they used magic -- differently approached magic, but still magic. Arguing that because this magic was called a power instead of a spell is semantics.

The ship of psionics and magic are totally different sailed two editions ago. It hasn't come back to port, yet, despite those waiting for it. You're welcome to continue to wait for your ship to come in, but don't tell us it's always been at the dock.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Youare focusing on the end point: the effect.
I am focus on the starting point: the process.

While not all processes are primarily descriptive in nature, this one is primarily descriptive in nature. The fact that they needed an optional variant rule for games that wanted to distinguish between psionics and spells tells you it wasn't meaningfully distinguished in the game.
 

You mean when the psionists uses magic? That process? I mean, you're not really fixated on either the effect or the process, but on the words used to name those. What happened when a 3e psionist used psionics was that they used magic -- differently approached magic, but still magic. Arguing that because this magic was called a power instead of a spell is semantics.

The ship of psionics and magic are totally different sailed two editions ago. It hasn't come back to port, yet, despite those waiting for it. You're welcome to continue to wait for your ship to come in, but don't tell us it's always been at the dock.
The mechanics were different in 3e. 3e psionics did not use spell slots. And even if the mechanics weren't totally different, words matter narratively. And narratively, there has always been a clear demarcation between psionics and magic.

So, no, that ship never left port in the first place. Until 5e with TCOE explicitly calling psionics spells. Psionics was never magic, no matter how much you think words don't matter, and I am sick and tired of dishonest people like you claiming otherwise.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
You mean when the psionists uses magic? That process? I mean, you're not really fixated on either the effect or the process, but on the words used to name those. What happened when a 3e psionist used psionics was that they used magic -- differently approached magic, but still magic. Arguing that because this magic was called a power instead of a spell is semantics.

The ship of psionics and magic are totally different sailed two editions ago. It hasn't come back to port, yet, despite those waiting for it. You're welcome to continue to wait for your ship to come in, but don't tell us it's always been at the dock.

I'm not fixated on the world either.

I am fixated on the logic between the mechanics and narrative.

Many fans in the D&D community simple go "it's magic" and walk away.

The mechanics of a wizard spellbook creates an effect on the lore, narratives, and story of the wizard. Each rule change changes magic itself. It creates questions. How do wizards cast spells? Is the wizard, sorcerer, and warlock fireball the same thing? If yes, what does that say about their different mechanics? If not, what aren't there 3 fireballs?

If you don't care because "magic is Magic and spells his spells "then it's very simple for you. There's no problem.

But if you care about the process from the creation of the effect, l to the learning of the effect, to the activation by the person of the effect, to the affect itself; well making psionics into spells is just added more craziness and confusion to something that's already convoluted with very few specifics, wired details that do matter and gaps that cannot be accounted for.

Having both sorcerers and wizards use the same spells makes magic wierd enough. Why do sorcerers get a psionic subclass but not wizards if wizards can literally write down and analyze spells from pieces of pilfered scrolls from long dead mages.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
While not all processes are primarily descriptive in nature, this one is primarily descriptive in nature. The fact that they needed an optional variant rule for games that wanted to distinguish between psionics and spells tells you it wasn't meaningfully distinguished in the game.

Or
Just maybe D&D supernatural effects made no sense and description was added to made the nonsensical have a bit of logic
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Or
Just maybe D&D supernatural effects made no sense and description was added to made the nonsensical have a bit of logic
I agree, but this seems at odds with your post immediately proceeding -- either it's a bit of lore to reduce the nonsense or it matters what the lore is. I don't see these two things as particularly compatible because any lore introduced that eases the nonsense would be acceptable, yes? Including powers are just a different way to do spells?
 

You mean when the psionists uses magic? That process? I mean, you're not really fixated on either the effect or the process, but on the words used to name those. What happened when a 3e psionist used psionics was that they used magic -- differently approached magic, but still magic. Arguing that because this magic was called a power instead of a spell is semantics.
You call it semantics, I call it the possibility to tell stories. When different concepts are brought together, you can compare them, confront them, mix them, use them to generate stories. If everything is the same, works the same, has the same name, you’re voluntarily making things dull, drab, homogeneous, boring and you gain nothing in return.
 

Vael

Hero
The only history of psionics that was constant in all editions was that psionics wasn't spells.

Eh?

I only started with 3.5, but if you look at 3.5 psionics, it was pretty similar to spells. Different jargon (displays instead of components, Psychokinesis instead of Evocation), but the formatting was otherwise pretty close. To the point where one of my annoyances with 3.5 psionics was the bevy of "Psionic [Spell]" powers.

Same with 4e. Psionic powers had the slight change in using augmentable at-wills to replace encounter powers, but still similar formatting. And 4e had such a bloat of powers as a result of every class having their own suite.

And, I guess for me, what the lesson of 3.5 and 4e is is why reinvent the wheel? If all it takes is having a Psion just casts spells without components, then why write out a Psionic Fireball, when they can just use Fireball minus components?
 

see

Explorer
AD&D 1st Edition is silent on the interaction of psionics with magic. Since psionic powers in 1e are rare wild talents, it doesn't really matter much, and tables where they do show up will have varied substantially on their rulings.

AD&D 2nd Edition Complete Psionics Handbook is explicit that they don't interact, to the point that anti-magic shell doesn't affect psionics. Psionic powers don't have levels.

AD&D 2nd Edition Skills & Powers psionics is mostly explicit they don't interact, but changes things so anti-magic shell affect psionics. Psionics don't have levels.

D&D 3rd Edition Psionics Handbook psionics adopts what it calls Psionics-Magic Transparency. "Psionic powers interact with spells and spells interact with psionic powers in the same way a spell or normal spell-like ability interacts with another spell or spell-like ability." It is then made explicit that spell resistance affects psionics just like it affects spells, power resistance affects spells just like it affects psionics (and thus that power resistance and spell resistance "are the same quality with two different names"), spells that negate or dispel magic affect psionics the same way they affect spells and vice-versa, detect magic detects psionics, and "dead magic" areas are also "dead psionics" areas. Psionics are organized into levels the same as spells.

D&D 3.5's Expanded Psionics Handbook maintains 3rd's Psionics-Magic Transparency in full and psionics are still organized into levels the same as spells. With the retirement of psionic combat, the only major difference between psionics and magic beyond "fluff" was using power points instead of spell slots.
 
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Shardstone

Adventurer
Hmmm.

I read here that Psionics began as a system for psionic combat. In other words, psionics = weaponizing the mind. I went back and read the stuff from AD&D (1/2E) and understand a bit better now.

This sounds bloody cool (despite the terribly janky mechanics) and a SUPER easy way to make a Psion out of this. Hello??? A class dedicated to using the mind to tear people apart is a DOPE idea, and each subclass could easily capture another "method" as people see it.

You could have your "Champion" esque Psion subclass that relies on, IDK, spells or something basic.

You could have your "Battlemaster" esque Psion who has a bunch of different psi point powers she invests in to fuck things up with her mind.

Etc etc.

It boggles me that people are SO against a Psion class, and why WotC has only playtested 2 out of their 3 attempts, the 3rd one (Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour) being the one with the most promise but that never saw the light of day.

If 5E has the Sorcerer and the Wizard, the Cleric and the Druid, the Barbarian and the FIghter, than it can have a dedicated Psion class that is all about using mental powers to fuck someone up. Make them class features like Eldritch Invocations, or make them spells and psionic-themed metamagics, w/e, but obviously there is fertile room for a Psion in 5E. By all metrics of the game, it should exist.

As an aside, its strange how some people in this thread really want to try and make others feel stupid or spoiled for asking for a Psion class. In a game where the Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster co-exist with the Wizard, there should never be a question of "Why can't you just settle for subclasses?" Its invalidating, rude, and flies in the face of 5E's design.
 

Aldarc

Legend
How is making psionics just more spells the least hated? Everyone I've ever heard of considers it the worst thing they could do with it.
IMHO, I think that having psionics as spells would actually help mainstream psionics, as it would integrate the themes with the other sub-systems of the game. The issue, however, pertains to some of the things that people expect from psionics regarding VSM, but there are some relatively easy fixes for that.

Psionics is not magic. Never has been in D&D. That is fact.
4e is ready to ruin your day. From PHB 3 flavor text on the Psionic Power Source:
Some speculate that psionic magic is a force that originates in the Far Realm and came into the universe with the sundering of the Living Gate. Others, including most practitioners of psionic ways, believe that their power is the world’s response to the intrusion
of the Far Realm, similar to a mortal body’s reaction to disease. Perhaps Ioun herself learned the mysteries of the psionic way when she peered through the Living Gate, and foreseeing a future incursion of Far Realm monstrosities into the world, she taught her mortal followers the use of psionics so that they might have a defense prepared.

In more recent years, the presence of the Far Realm has had an increasing influence on the world. Perhaps Pelor and Ioun failed to completely seal the rift where the Living Gate once stood, and the passage of uncounted centuries has allowed the slow of the Far Realm’s defiling energy into the universe. Or perhaps another rift has opened, allowing aberrant monstrosities to stream into the world
and spread their corruption. Whatever the cause, the heightened presence of Far Realm energy has provoked a stronger response from the psionic forces of the world, making psionic magic more common, stronger, and easier to control.

Monks continue to study their disciplined techniques of harnessing psionic magic as though it were still a precious resource to be husbanded. Psions share a similar approach, using careful study and rigorous self-control to measure and direct the powerful stream of psionic magic at their command. Ardents and battleminds, though, seem to acquire psionic powers at the whim of the universe, channeling their power with little effort and carrying it on the tides of their emotions.
The phrase "psionic magic" appears 26 times in PHB3. It appears twice in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting.

But if you care about the process from the creation of the effect, l to the learning of the effect, to the activation by the person of the effect, to the affect itself; well making psionics into spells is just added more craziness and confusion to something that's already convoluted with very few specifics, wired details that do matter and gaps that cannot be accounted for.
Honestly, I don't think that it takes much adjustments for "the process from the creation of the effect" to have spells act like powers. A big part of that, IMHO, is just providing ways to bypass VSM components, and providing a sidebar about power points.
 

glass

(he, him)
Nope. It's D&D, where psionics has always been defined as distinct from magic. Explicitly so. To say otherwise is dishonest.
Not quite. From Eldritch Wizardry through 2e, psionics were distinct from magic. From 3e onwards psionics were described as a form of magic, but still distinct from spellcasting until now. And in 3e/3.5 it was pretty simple to use the option varient to make them not magic again. No such varient option can meaningfully exist in a psionics-are-just-spells system.

A distinction without a difference.
To you. To some of us (@Gladius Legis and myself for example), it is a highly significant difference in flavour.

I only started with 3.5, but if you look at 3.5 psionics, it was pretty similar to spells. Different jargon (displays instead of components, Psychokinesis instead of Evocation), but the formatting was otherwise pretty close. To the point where one of my annoyances with 3.5 psionics was the bevy of "Psionic [Spell]" powers.
The 3.5 psionics system could easily have been a spell system, but it was distinct from the spell system in D&D 3.5 (and every other edition).

Same with 4e. Psionic powers had the slight change in using augmentable at-wills to replace encounter powers, but still similar formatting.
That was a pretty significant change, and being point based, had a kind of continuity with psionics going back to 1976. Although 4e was a bit of an outlier since it made much less of a distinction between magic and not-magic than any other edition anyway (one of the few things that botherd me about it TBH).

And, I guess for me, what the lesson of 3.5 and 4e is is why reinvent the wheel?
But they are reinventing the wheel. 5e psionics bear no resemblance to 3.5 or 4e psionics (let alone any before).

_
glass.
 

I’m looking forward to Dark Sun!

"Oh no! Magic is destroying the world. It’s a good thing that we can use an almost identical form of magic that is completely harmless."
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Honestly, I don't think that it takes much adjustments for "the process from the creation of the effect" to have spells act like powers. A big part of that, IMHO, is just providing ways to bypass VSM components, and providing a sidebar about power points.

But I don't care about bypassing VSM.

I just don't want psionic characters doing magic formula aka spells. To me, psionic did not have all of that arcane math involved.

Turning psions into just another arcanist just to make is easier to disgest feels like a waste. People are already saying sorcerers and warlocks shouldn't be classes and now people are okay with psions being another arcanist. Just for then to say in 2025 "Psion shouldn't be a class" when 6e comes.

Jamming another concept with Abracadabra's Theory of Evocation and Alakazam's Illusion Formula when it wasn't there before just feels both boring and nonsensical in the lore.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Clerics and druids perform magic and cast spells. Do clerics and druids have magic formula involved? Or what about bards?

Their gods do the math for them. Remember clerics and druids don't do the work, their gods GIVE the magic via the portfolios.

Bard Music has the formula hidden in the notes. Wasn't there a UA Bard that stated all this?
 

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