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5E Psionics in Tasha

Page 201 of the PHB.

Mearls and Crawford added an interface to make sense of their rules changes in 5e. Don't like it, ignore it. But that's the fundamentals on how they make sense of spells, classes, and subclasses.

And now we are back at the beginning of the circle.


Like I said several times.
You do not need to use an interface to explain the connection of magic and spells. You don't have to explain anything.

But if you don't explain things, you can't explain thing nor enter discussion about explanations. if someone says "it doesnt make sense" and you lack explanations, you can't display how it makes sense.


Okay, wait, what?

You do not need to use an interface (the weave being one example of a type of interface) to explain why magic works, but if you don't use an interface then you can't explain why magic works the same for everyone... even though you can by simply saying that is how mortals interact with magic.

Because now if someone says "that doesn't make sense" you shrug and say "this is how the Weave works" but if you take out the weave you... just shrug and say "this is how Magic works"... which is the exact same answer, but somehow saying "The Weave" is an explanation but saying "Magic" isn't? Because the Weave is the interface for magic?

I feel like a cartoon of Goofy, twisted into a knot as I point in every direction at once. How does any of this make sense?


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Sure! Just as soon as you explain how a wizard doesn't cast spells, and cows don't have 4 legs.

And when you do, I'll point out how the existence of magic that is similar to something psionics can accomplish doesn't in any way mean that psionics is magic.

Okay, so let me review real fast.

Beholder Eye Rays are magical. They are not Psionic.

Beholder eye rays do not use any components, no verbal, somatic, or material. (according to you) Psionic abilities do not use any components, no verbal, somatic, or material.

One of the Beholder's eye rays is... telekinesis. Telekinesis is a Psionic ability.

But of course, there has to be a difference between magical telekinesis and psionic telekinesis right? Let us go back over your points. No components? Nope, they both have that. Which leaves.... Psionic telekinesis can't be dispelled and it would work in an Antimagic zone.

But wait, if we look down to your next quotes...


:yawn: At least wait a few pages before you accuse someone of something they specifically said that they weren't doing. I mean, what did you think I was saying when I said, " For the record, I personally don't care if they do make it magic, so long as they don't try to make the powers into spells and/or have components be necessary."?

Nope! That's the difference that I'm explaining. I don't care if it's magic or not.

I don't really care. It's entirely irrelevant as to whether psionic levitation is magic or not.

huh, so Psionics can be magic. It can be affected by dispel magic and anti-magic zones.

So, now I am at a loss. You claimed that a Beholder's eye beams being magical was as obvious as a cow having four legs. But, one of those beam being a classic psionic ability, and not requiring any components... wouldn't that make the Beholder's Eye Beam Psionic?

I mean, there is no difference I can find between your required definitions of Psionics, and this ability you said was clearly and unquestionably magical in nature.

And of course, a wizard can use the exact same ability as the Beholder, they simply need some components.... so, if they are doing the exact same thing, and the way one of them does it is indistinguishable from Psionics... where does that leave us?

Counting Cow legs I suppose.


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It's probably wiser to let him do it; I don't want to put words in his mouth.

IF I have understood him correctly, he's saying all classes use an interface to use magic. The scroll-writing ability of wizards is a mechanical manifestation of this (in that they can transcribe priest spells into their spellbooks if the spell is also on the ever-growing wizard spell list). For myself, I see the interface in the exact same use of material components for spells, regardless of power source (for lack of a better term); the example I gave earlier is the cleric through faith, the druid through connection to nature, the paladin through devotion, the monk through meditation, the sorcerer through innate power, and the wizard through study...all need the same straight piece of iron to cast hold person. Why should nature demand the use of iron? Your god? How does the iron work with your devotion? Who knows? But it's required.

Now, do most people handwave material components? It seems so. Do most people not bother explaining the interface (though it's right there on page 205 "Instead, they make use of a fabric of magic, a kind of interface between the will of the spellcaster and the raw stuff of magic.")? It seems so as well.

To say it's not in the rules though...no. It is. Even if it's a commonly ignored rule.

I may not be doing his argument justice, however.

I just want to pop out that example and say that you are only partially right.

You need a piece of iron... or a Druidic Totem, A Diety's symbol on an Amulet, A crystal, a Wooden Staff, A Diety's Symbol engraved on a Shield, A staff that does not need to be made of wood,. A sprig of Misteltoe, A reliquary with a fragment of a sacred object, an orb, a Yew Wand, a wand that does not have to be made from yew, or a Rod.

All of that... seems like it makes magic incredibly permissive, since those items replace 95% of all material components for the entire magical system.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Okay, wait, what?

You do not need to use an interface (the weave being one example of a type of interface) to explain why magic works, but if you don't use an interface then you can't explain why magic works the same for everyone... even though you can by simply saying that is how mortals interact with magic

Spells is a type of magic.
In FR, a dragons breath is magic. But it is not a spell so it does not use the interface.
When the dragon uses her sorcerer powers, those are spells and that's uses the weave.
If it is a psionic dragon, when she uses her mindblast it is magic but..

...In 1e, 2e,3e, and 4e it is not a spell and doesn't use the interface.
...In 5e, it is a spell and does use the interface.

Get it.
 

EscherEnigma

Explorer
If the only difference between a "psionic" telekinesis and a "magical" telekinesis is whether or not the sorcerer used a spell point to make it subtle, I think that puts us back in the "a sorcerer with careful spell selection and the subtle metamagic is a psion" territory.

Heck, if you're okay saying "for the really difficult tricks, I need to use this specially prepared crystal to focus my mental energies", then you can even do spells with material components. And when you're out of sorcery points (which will cover at least half your spells/day at all levels)? "Look, if I wasn't tired, I could just think at them, but I'm tired, so I'm mumbling mantras and putting my hand up to my forehead like Jean Grey".

I mean, thinking of comic-book psionics, a whole mess of 'em both shout out things when they're doing their mind-witchery and make various hand gestures... sure, that's because a character standing their stoically and not saying a word is far less interesting on a comic book page, but still.
 

Vael

Hero
Out of curiousity, which edition of DnD, or another RPG that has both Magic and Psionics, do people find very successful? From both a flavor and mechanics standpoint?
 


Eric V

Hero
I just want to pop out that example and say that you are only partially right.

You need a piece of iron... or a Druidic Totem, A Diety's symbol on an Amulet, A crystal, a Wooden Staff, A Diety's Symbol engraved on a Shield, A staff that does not need to be made of wood,. A sprig of Misteltoe, A reliquary with a fragment of a sacred object, an orb, a Yew Wand, a wand that does not have to be made from yew, or a Rod.

All of that... seems like it makes magic incredibly permissive, since those items replace 95% of all material components for the entire magical system.
:)

Should the druid, cleric, sorcerer, wizard, monk, and/or paladin find themselves without implements (in prison, or just escaped, let's say) they can ALL use the same piece of straight iron to cast hold person. Nature demands a piece of iron. So does your god. Your internal power needs the piece of iron to manifest this way. The iron is also part of the formula you learned in class, and is what your friend's meditation leads him to use, and is necessary no matter how devoted to her ideals your other friend is.

WHY, in the narrative, would all these different sources of power use the same material component, if it didn't involve some form of interface?
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Out of curiousity, which edition of DnD, or another RPG that has both Magic and Psionics, do people find very successful? From both a flavor and mechanics standpoint?
Rolemaster has/had its not-physically possible character divided into three different categories that correspond to the D&D tropes of divine, arcane, and mentalist. They specifically go out of their way to say that mentalism isn't "psionics" however the rules backing up the different styles leans towards making it feel that way. For example the equivalent of a wizard in Rolemaster can't wear armor at all because in-universe reasons that it would interfere with spellcasting, whereas their equivalent of a psion can wear any armor but no helmets for different in-universe reasons. It makes the three prongs of "magic" feel different from each other.

Torg has arcane, divine, and psionic using characters and in that system they are completely different systems from each other. In fact, because of the nature of different characters coming from different "realities", each of the 8 different worlds a character might come from have a different amount of native spiritual, arcane, or psionic potential such that a character from Core Earth (our world) can learn how to cast a fireball but will be at a disadvantage when doing so unlike a character from Aysle (the D&Dish world) where a higher Magic Axiom supports spellcasting.
 

EscherEnigma

Explorer
WHY, in the narrative, would all these different sources of power use the same material component, if it didn't involve some form of interface?
Ah, that's the problem.

You're looking for an in-story narrative explanation for an out-of-story joke.

Fireball's don't need guano because of narrative, they need it because it's a reference to gunpowder, and that amused Gygax. And so-on.

So yeah, when you go fishing for a narrative explanation, you're probably going to get a tortured post-hoc justification that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
 

Eric V

Hero
Ah, that's the problem.

You're looking for an in-story narrative explanation for an out-of-story joke.

Fireball's don't need guano because of narrative, they need it because it's a reference to gunpowder, and that amused Gygax. And so-on.

So yeah, when you go fishing for a narrative explanation, you're probably going to get a tortured post-hoc justification that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
Are you saying that's how it is for all material components? In 5e?!
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Ah, that's the problem.

You're looking for an in-story narrative explanation for an out-of-story joke.

Fireball's don't need guano because of narrative, they need it because it's a reference to gunpowder, and that amused Gygax. And so-on.

So yeah, when you go fishing for a narrative explanation, you're probably going to get a tortured post-hoc justification that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

The point is not that it's bat guano.

It's that the priest of the sun god, the royal abjurer, and the evil warlock of Asmodues all use bat guano.
 

Spells is a type of magic.
In FR, a dragons breath is magic. But it is not a spell so it does not use the interface.
When the dragon uses her sorcerer powers, those are spells and that's uses the weave.
If it is a psionic dragon, when she uses her mindblast it is magic but..

...In 1e, 2e,3e, and 4e it is not a spell and doesn't use the interface.
...In 5e, it is a spell and does use the interface.

Get it.

So, interface only means spell slots?

Because Beholder's are certainly using spells, but they aren't casting or using the Weave, or whatever interface you want to call up.

And, again, I don't need an interface to explain magic spellcasting with slots. In fact, spell slots don't even match the definition for what an interface is. Neither do spells.


An Interface is part B that allows System A to interact with System C.

Paladins have magical abilities. Divine Smite allows them to turn a slot into radiant damage, this uses slots, but is not a spell. They can also use a version of Detect Evil or we coudl talk about their Lay on Hands, both clearly magical abilities that are not spells.

So if Spells are the part that connects the system of "Player Character" to the System of "Magic" then Clerics, Paladins, Warlocks, likely Bards, Druids and Artificers (and Bloodhunters which are almost official) all have at least one ability that bypasses this Interface.

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:)

Should the druid, cleric, sorcerer, wizard, monk, and/or paladin find themselves without implements (in prison, or just escaped, let's say) they can ALL use the same piece of straight iron to cast hold person. Nature demands a piece of iron. So does your god. Your internal power needs the piece of iron to manifest this way. The iron is also part of the formula you learned in class, and is what your friend's meditation leads him to use, and is necessary no matter how devoted to her ideals your other friend is.

WHY, in the narrative, would all these different sources of power use the same material component, if it didn't involve some form of interface?


It is possible that you could argue that magic is sympathetic by its nature, meaning that if you have a straight piece of iron, you can imbue into a human the qualities of a straight piece of iron, like stiffness and the inability to move. It might also work by catching onto the iron in the blood, which is diffused throughout the body but the sympathy makes more sense, since many material components are "related" to the effect of the spell.

I'm not saying that that has to be it, but it is an explanation that does not require an interface between the caster and magic.



Are you saying that's how it is for all material components? In 5e?!


A lot of them, yeah.

Tasha's Hideos Laughter -> A tart, which is a type of pie, for making someone laugh

Lightning Bolt -> Bit of fur and a Rod of Amber, for making static electricity.

Mage Armor -> Bit of Leather, like leather armor.

Web -> Spider webs

Water Walk -> Piece of cork, because it floats

Water Breathing -> A hollow reed, like for snorkeling

Wall of Stone -> A small block of granite, like a wall of stone

Wall of Fire -> Phosphorus, for making fire

Ect ect ect
 

The point is not that it's bat guano.

It's that the priest of the sun god, the royal abjurer, and the evil warlock of Asmodues all use bat guano.

And the origin of that is Gygax thought it was funny that the Wizard was using proto-gunpowder to make an explosion.

And then when they added in the cleric and the Warlock, they just copied the spell over instead of rewriting it.
 

EscherEnigma

Explorer
Are you saying that's how it is for all material components? In 5e?!
Well, some aren't jokes, but they are all references.

And the important part: they are all written by authors in the real world, and I guarantee that if you averaged out how much those authors cared about in-story narrative explanations behind choice of material components for spells, you would find that you cared more about such explanations then they did.

When you remember that for most of the editions the writers were more interested in making a fun game then simulating a fantasy world?

Well, it becomes pretty obvious that if you want a narrative explanation, you'll have to invent one yourself.

It's that the priest of the sun god, the royal abjurer, and the evil warlock of Asmodues all use bat guano.
My point is that you're looking at the result of a meta decision (only listing one possible material component in most cases) and trying to derive in-game meaning. That the attempts to justify and explain are tortured is pretty easy to understand in that context.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
The point is not that it's bat guano.

It's that the priest of the sun god, the royal abjurer, and the evil warlock of Asmodues all use bat guano.
I 100% understand your argument in this thread, but also think you are taking something that is right on the fluff/crunch borderline and establishing a Fundamental Law from it.

While the PHB lists the material components for each spell, what that item is (and how it works in the game world) is barely more than a convenient suggestion. Fireball uses "a tiny ball of bat guano and sulphur" as its published component, but that doesn't take into consideration the idea that....

1. A world might not have bats.
2. A world might have bats, but in that world bats are 40' carnivorous feline beasts.
3. Sulphur is a element...is the spell asking for me to have 100% pure elemental sulphur or can it be a compound that has sulphur included?
4. How tiny is tiny? Do I need a tic-tac amount of it? A baby asprin? A grain of salt?
5. Its within the rules for me create a variant of Fireball as a custom spell that uses "a small vialfull of urine and vinegar" as a component. The one printed is merely an example.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
My point is that you're looking at the result of a meta decision (only listing one possible material component in most cases) and trying to derive in-game meaning. That the attempts to justify and explain are tortured is pretty easy to understand in that context

My point is that sticking Psionics into the Spell system Rob's Psionics of much of it's uniqueness.

We are already at the point where many of the classes share so many spells and features that they are different in very minor ways.

Every week there is someone posting "Why do we need X class. X should be a subclass of Y. X is redundant".

But here you see people happy to see a unique element slathered with a system that is spread fully on over half the classes already.

There is another discussion on this same book about classes becoming too similar.

It would be great if the community has accepted that psionics be different instead of bowing to ease of use and killing most of the uniqueness of Psionics.
 
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My point is that sticking Psionics into the Spell system Rob's Psionics of much of it's uniqueness.

A uniqueness that can't even be agreed upon.

After all, it was fairly easy to find an effect that I was told that is "obviously magical" that would also be psionic. And, there are tons of spells that are psionic in nature.

Teleknesis, Telepathy, Phantasmal Force/Killer, Feeblemind, Mental Prison, Charm Person, Suggestion.

It makes it really hard to see how Psionics must inherently be different, when so much of what people want Psionics to do, already has a place in DnD.
 

cbwjm

Hero
It's probably wiser to let him do it; I don't want to put words in his mouth.

IF I have understood him correctly, he's saying all classes use an interface to use magic. The scroll-writing ability of wizards is a mechanical manifestation of this (in that they can transcribe priest spells into their spellbooks if the spell is also on the ever-growing wizard spell list). For myself, I see the interface in the exact same use of material components for spells, regardless of power source (for lack of a better term); the example I gave earlier is the cleric through faith, the druid through connection to nature, the paladin through devotion, the monk through meditation, the sorcerer through innate power, and the wizard through study...all need the same straight piece of iron to cast hold person. Why should nature demand the use of iron? Your god? How does the iron work with your devotion? Who knows? But it's required.

Now, do most people handwave material components? It seems so. Do most people not bother explaining the interface (though it's right there on page 205 "Instead, they make use of a fabric of magic, a kind of interface between the will of the spellcaster and the raw stuff of magic.")? It seems so as well.

To say it's not in the rules though...no. It is. Even if it's a commonly ignored rule.

I may not be doing his argument justice, however.
I think that's more to do with simplicity of the game system than any strict interface the gameworld uses. They could have easily said that the divine version of hold person requires you to wave your holy amulet, the nature version requires a bunch of long grass, and the arcane version requires a piece of iron but that would have added a lot of text for very little gain. Same with being able to transcribe a spell if it is on your wizard's spell list. Although you could say that this version of hold person is a divine spell and so can't be copied by a wizard or used by druid, it is much simpler for the game system to just handwave it and say it is all the same.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
A uniqueness that can't even be agreed upon.

After all, it was fairly easy to find an effect that I was told that is "obviously magical" that would also be psionic. And, there are tons of spells that are psionic in nature.

Teleknesis, Telepathy, Phantasmal Force/Killer, Feeblemind, Mental Prison, Charm Person, Suggestion.

It makes it really hard to see how Psionics must inherently be different, when so much of what people want Psionics to do, already has a place in DnD.

We shouldn't be making what is easy.
We should make what is good.
Easy is how we got the 5e Ranger and 5e Sorcerer and the 5e Monk. Copies of the 3e versions.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Do you mean mechanically unique or narratively unique? Because this tangent about interfaces and material components only makes sense if you're talking about the latter.

Both
Just both.
Attaching it to the interface saddles it to the same mechanics of 5+ other classes and 20+ subclasses and dulls its story.
 
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