log in or register to remove this ad

 

Psionics & Psionic Combat (Help plz with your comments)

Halma

First Post
I am currently running a game with two players playing Psionically enriched characters, one Psion and another Psychic warrior. I was told to forget Psionic combat because it was just useless. At the time, I hadn't read any of the Psionic handbook so I sort of agreed with the group on this. Now after reviewing some of the material I downloaded, and poring over the Psionic Handbook, it looks to be that it is important because it keeps the Psion in check to some degree.

A comment was made to me that psionic combat made the Psion have to keep power points saved, because he/she never would know if they would meet a psionically active Monster in the next encounter. The reasoning behind his disapproval was because he believed that psions were already under powered to begin with and that Psionic combat would just add to the under powering.

After reviewing some of the power points that they get at later levels I tend to disagree with him. For example at 10th lvl, (with the Variant Psion out of ” If Thoughts Could Kill”), the psion would have 52 power points. He will also be able to manifest, 9 0 lvl talents for free/day; 5 1st lvl (at 1 power point apiece so that could be 52 manifestations of 1st lvl powers), 4 2nd lvl (at 3 pp, potentially 17 of them); 3 3rd lvl (at 5 pp, 10 of these); 2 4th lvl (at 7 pp, 7 of these); and 1 5th lvl (9 pp, and that is 5 of these). WOW!! Now if you spread out your powers this is not that big of a deal, but the potential to use that one big (or that one good low strengthed) power over and over is incredible. Psions are supposed to be a flexible class….with in reason

Now having the threat of Psionic combat would keep the Psion thinking that maybe he should not use all of his 52 1st lvl powers and just use maybe 1/3rd of them. Making sure that he has enough power to put up a Tower of Intellect when needed, and have enough to put a woo-pen on that Illithid around the corner (who by the way gets free Mind Blasts) .The group believes that the combat systems takes away from the Psoinic power and that the Psion is a nerfed sorcerer. I tend to disagree. What are your thoughts plz…

Oh and thanks a bunch....

Halma.....
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Staffan

Adventurer
If you compare those numbers to a sorcerer of equal level, the psion pales quite a bit, at least when you look at the high-level powers. Sure, the psion can use 5 5th-level powers and have power to spare for a 4th level power as well. However, the 10th level sorcerer can use almost as many 5th-level powers (three of them), and can use *five* 4th-level powers on top of that, not to mention the six powers each of levels 1 through 3 (well, 0 to 3, but cantrips aren't all that interesting).

In addition, the sorcerer's lower-level spells are often more useful at higher levels than the psion's low-level powers. The obvious example is damage: the 10th level sorcerer does 10d6 fire damage with one 3rd-level power, Fireball. If he really wants to, he can cast it 14 times per day (using his 4th and 5th-level slots as well). The psion's equivalent, Whitefire, can only be cast 10 times per day (and the sorcerer would have more ability left to cast 1st and 2nd level spells, while the psion would be almost totally exhausted). As if that wasn't enough, the psion does less than half the damage the sorcerer does: 5d4 rather than 10d6. That's an average of 12.5 versus 35.

Also, you're using the power boost the psion gets from If Thoughts Could Kill. The "regular" psion only gets 43 PP at 10th level, which is only enough for 4 5th-level powers (with one 4th-level to spare) - only one more than the sorcerer, and that's when not using any lower-level powers. To continue the Whitefire-Fireball comparison, the psion only gets 8 Whitefires compared to the sorcerer's 14 fireballs.

Sometimes I think that they tried to balance the psion's flexibility to the *wizard's* spells per day, rather than the sorcerer's. That's possibly one reason why psions are so weak.
 

Halma

First Post
so your thought on Combat?

So do you think that combat is a useless feature of the Psion? Does it take away from the power the Psion has? I am assuming yes from your comments.

Would it be better if the Psion were to get a price break on their primary Discipline, perhaps half the cost it would to manifest any other power, or perhaps a third of the cost. Or maybe give the Psionisist a break that is equal to the PP cost minus their Primary stat bonus. For example a Shaper (with 18 intelligence) would get –4 on one of his primary Discipline powers, minimum of 1, but he could only choose one of his primary powers per power lvl that he could do this with. I am not sure, is there hope for the Psion? I do like the idea of Psionics, but Psionics has always felt like a bastard child that no one wants to take responsibility for (TSR, WOTC…….)

I am just trying to gage this and to see how I can challenge the Psionic powers in my campaign without overpowering the group or more importantly the Psion's...


Thanks for your comments they are truly appreciated,

Halma
 

Now after reviewing some of the material I downloaded, and poring over the Psionic Handbook, it looks to be that it is important because it keeps the Psion in check to some degree.

Trust me on this, it doesnt. The psion does not need to be put in check anymore than any other class has to be put in check.

Temporary Ability Damage is terrible. It takes a PC days to heal, denying them access to powers, but if your PC uses an attack mode on an NPC or psionic creature, it has virtually no effect. Against a psionic creature, it can't even deny them access to a power.

Your psion would be better off using Brain Lock to deny their opponent the use of psionic powers, rather than use Id Insinuation.

In addition, no class should have to pay power points just for the honor of being able to defend their own mind. And the psion has to pay for each defense mode.

Besides, it hardly matters. Your PCs will never use attack modes except Mind Blast, and after they gain a few levels they'll stop using defense modes too. Eventually they'll just make the saves without expending power points.

If you're still interested in psionic combat, there are a number of alternate systems on the internet. The two best upcoming fixes (IMHO) are coming up in the Mind's Eye (official DnD feature - in my sig) next month, and Mindscapes (http://www.montecook.com/mpress_Mind.html), by the author of the Psionics Handbook.

(How can I call them best? I've seen them both in playtesting.)
 

Halma

First Post
Feb....hmm...

Psi,

Great points. So for now your suggestion would be to keep psi combat to a min. to not at all?

I don't plan on putting the party up against a group of Illithids anytime soon, but.. if thier actions carry them to an area they shouldn't be I may have a couple of Psionic monsters wack at them mentally. Should I include combat, or just do the powers like casting spells, until the better combat system comes out.

How do you run Psionics in your campaign world if at all?

Any thoughts as to when it will come out in Feb? Early or late?

Thanks for your comments.


Halma
 

So for now your suggestion would be to keep psi combat to a min. to not at all?

Yes. :)

I don't plan on putting the party up against a group of Illithids anytime soon, but.. if thier actions carry them to an area they shouldn't be I may have a couple of Psionic monsters wack at them mentally. Should I include combat, or just do the powers like casting spells, until the better combat system comes out.

Just the psionic powers. The only attack mode you should ever use is Mind Blast. Unless your party has a telepath in it, the psions shouldn't even bother wasting power points on defense modes.

The exception is the Caller in Darkness. It's designed to kill psions by using their weakness against them. The solution, of course, is not to use them. :D

(Also brain moles, but they're way too powerful for a CR 1/3 creature against a psion.)

How do you run Psionics in your campaign world if at all?

Me, personally? I use the material that hasn't been released yet.

Any thoughts as to when it will come out in Feb? Early or late?

Mindscapes is coming out on February the 13th.

The Mind's Eye fix is coming out probably in late February, but they want to release it before Mindscapes comes out. There's often a lot of competition in the psionics arena.

The Quintessential Psion is also coming out in February, but I don't know when. I also don't know if they're going to fix psionic combat or not. (I think they aren't going to.) Personally I've had mixed feelings about the Quint Line - somebody who owns Quint books could give you more details about whether the product will be worthwhile.

There's even more psionics stuff being announced at the Monte Cook Psionics Boards.

Thanks for your comments.
 

Rifter

First Post
I don't use Psionic combat in my game. Beyond the annoyances here, it is also unwiedly, and difficult to use. I still believe that Psions are under-powered. They have some cool flavor, but pale compared to real spellcasters.
 

Urbanmech

Explorer
I agree with everyone who says drop Psionic combat as it stands. It really is very inefficient and ends up being more damaging to the PC's in the end.

Why bother whittling away at the monsters attributes when you could just manafest a power to disable them or kill them outright? Psionic combat was left in as a Sacred Cow, but didn't really get the treatment that it deserved. Hopefully next months material will make Psionic Combat something cool again (like The Will and The Way made 2e psionic combat interesting.)

When I had a psion character in my game I just removed psionic combat and made Mindblast a 5th lv telepathy power. This also fixes the problem of the 5th lv PC using 1 Mindblast to end an entire encounter by stunning everything. It also kept the psion from taking the Resculpt Mind feat which would have been overpowered with no psionic combat going on.
 

Halma

First Post
comments keep em coming :)

Thanks all for your comments.


What do you all think of the Variant rule of making Psionics different? Would this be too powerful in a campaign world? Also would this allow for the use of the combat system as it stands? My thoughts are yes, but I would have to give some of the tougher villains some Protection vs. psionics, and throw in a Psionic encounter here and there.

Your thoughts?
 

Destil

Explorer
Re: comments keep em coming :)

Halma said:
Thanks all for your comments.


What do you all think of the Variant rule of making Psionics different? Would this be too powerful in a campaign world? Also would this allow for the use of the combat system as it stands? My thoughts are yes, but I would have to give some of the tougher villains some Protection vs. psionics, and throw in a Psionic encounter here and there.

Your thoughts?
I find the default psionics as different rules far too extreme for my liking, despite loving the flavor of the idea. I have a simple set of house rules that make psionics different but highly compatable (generaly crossing the psionic / magic boundrys reduces checks by 2 or increases casting / manifistation time to 1 full round), that works very well for me.
 


Dinkeldog

Sniper o' the Shrouds
My personal feeling is that psionics is different from magic has too bad effects: first, it removes the essence-channeling-mentalism triad that helps the feel of psionic stuff in fantasy (for me, anyway). Second, unless you have about a 50-50 split between the two forces in the world, you're going to be giving a power boost to whichever is the minority. A bit too much of a boost to my mind. The reduction by 10 (as recommended) of SR or its complete removal would have a drastic effect on the difficulty of foes the group will probably start seeing long about 6th or 8th level.

Not to mention that if it's different, arcane/divine dispel magic won't work on the psychic warrior, nor will a globe of invulnerability or other anti-magic effects. Way too dangerous.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top