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D&D General So, how much did/do you use psionics?

So, in 1e, how much did you use psionics? (While the poll is 1e, the thread is about all editions!)

  • Used in almost all the 1e campaigns I was in or ran

    Votes: 11 13.6%
  • Used in around 1/2 the 1e campaigns I was in or ran

    Votes: 3 3.7%
  • Used in a few of the 1e campaigns I was in or ran

    Votes: 12 14.8%
  • Might have shown up a few times in the 1e I was in or ran

    Votes: 24 29.6%
  • Never used it in 1e.

    Votes: 10 12.3%
  • Never played 1e, but boy do I have comments below

    Votes: 4 4.9%
  • Never played 1e, and wow am I angry the poll is only about 1e!

    Votes: 17 21.0%

Autumnal

Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
I’ve almost always been the person in the room most enthusiastic about psionics. I blame Andre Norton. And Madeline L’Engle. And Edgar Pangborn. And…

Anyway. The thing is that I kept wanting psionics while deeply disliking actually existing D&D psi (partial exceptions for 3e and 4e) and also not being pleased with my efforts at adapting other games’ psi to D&D.

One of many things I like about Ironsworn and Starforged is how solid their support for osi that feels good to me is. I may yet get to play the “what if Forgotten Realms (or some other) but psi” game I wanted ack urk forty-five years ago.
 

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Voadam

Legend
I remember early on in 1e someone having it and spending a whole combat with them and an NPC psionic doing a psychic fight at 10X the speed of everyone else's physical combat.

Did not care for that.

Made one 1e character rolling on my own with psionics, never played him in a game.

No character in a 1e game I ran had psionics but I am fairly certain I allowed players to roll for them per the 1e PH.

No psionic monsters came up in the 1e era that I remember.

There were a couple of psionic PCs in a 2e Ravenloft campaign that I ran using the Complete Psionics Handbook and it went fine.

I played in a 1e/2e campaign where another PC was psionic using the 2e rules. It seemed fine.

I played a 3.5 soulknife and it was fantastic. Also played one in Pathfinder 1e with the 3rd party version which was also fantastic. I played a few 3.5 dark sun games with a bit of psionics and it was fine, though they were short lived games.

In 4e I played in a game where one PC was a thri-kreen monk so psionic. I didn't inquire much about his mechanics, it seemed fine.

I have not seen any psionics in play in 5e as of yet.
 

DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
I have always been possessed of a firm conviction that psionics were an integral part of D&D, that they belonged in every D&D setting that didn't specifically rule the out-- looking at you, Krynn-- but the rules just weren't in the right place to make that feasible.

I tried running "everyone's got a Wild Talent" in 1e before I'd heard of Athas, but again...

3.0 psionics was almost as bad as AD&D psionics, and I don't remember it making any provision for Wild Talents. 3.5 psionics had the first really playable psionic classes and the 3.5 was my favorite D&D class ever until the DSP PF1 Soulknife. DSP psionics was probably my favorite implementation, except for Pathfinder's incessant need to give most classes a couple of maddeningly specific ribbons per level, and spellcasters getting Real Features any level they didn't gain a new level of spells.

I only ever played a session and a half of 4e-- kinda regret that now-- but I always thought the psionics were a neat variation on AEDU and I really wanted to see that come back for 5e.

But I am actually really happy about the psionics in Tasha as... a proof-of-concept. I'm angry at what they did to Soulknife, and I still wish there was a Psion class, but honestly the bones of the Best Psionics Ever are in there.
 

Shiroiken

Legend
Overall I'd say that psionics is pretty uncommon at best. In 1E and 5E it's really rare, and was only semi-common in 4E. 2E and 3E were still fairly rare due to the lack of desire by players and permissiveness by DMs (there were some really OP busted things you could do in those systems).

I think it suffers from two primary issues: a workable system that doesn't break easily and compatibility with the magic system. While PSPs are a cool concept, it can easily overpower the standard spell slot system by allowing a character to frontload their most powerful abilities far more than a spellcaster can. Having psionics bypass magic also seems cool, but it also breaks the system down, since unless psionics are as common as magic, then they have a powerful advantage.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Were there ever times psionic monsters with psionic blast showed up when the party had no one with psionics (or even worse I guess when someone in the party had psionics but not very good defenses?).
Once that I recall. Don't remember how it went; this would have been at least 20 years ago.
 

Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
I used the Psionic options in 3.0e a little
I loved the Psionic options in 3.5e (one of my favorite 3.5e characters was a Psychic Warrior named Jahar Narishma)
I never stuck around with 4e long enough to get the PHB2, let alone the PHB3
I wish there was an official Psion class in 5e '14
I'm desperately hoping there will be an official Psion class in 5e '24
 
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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I have always been possessed of a firm conviction that psionics were an integral part of D&D, that they belonged in every D&D setting that didn't specifically rule the out-- looking at you, Krynn-- but the rules just weren't in the right place to make that feasible.

I tried running "everyone's got a Wild Talent" in 1e before I'd heard of Athas, but again...

3.0 psionics was almost as bad as AD&D psionics, and I don't remember it making any provision for Wild Talents. 3.5 psionics had the first really playable psionic classes and the 3.5 was my favorite D&D class ever until the DSP PF1 Soulknife. DSP psionics was probably my favorite implementation, except for Pathfinder's incessant need to give most classes a couple of maddeningly specific ribbons per level, and spellcasters getting Real Features any level they didn't gain a new level of spells.

I only ever played a session and a half of 4e-- kinda regret that now-- but I always thought the psionics were a neat variation on AEDU and I really wanted to see that come back for 5e.

But I am actually really happy about the psionics in Tasha as... a proof-of-concept. I'm angry at what they did to Soulknife, and I still wish there was a Psion class, but honestly the bones of the Best Psionics Ever are in there.
The upcoming Voidrunner's Codex for Level Up puts psychic powers front and center, and from what I've seen so far I like it. For another take, our own @Steampunkette released Paranormal Power for Level Up not long ago, and it's Great! Have an esper from that book in my current game.
 


I tried the Psionics in 3.0e. That system was very fun, but clearly very experimental, unbalanced, and all sorts of wonky. I wouldn't ever recommend it for a campaign, but it could be good for a one off or some unique enemies. Definitely a system worth studying if you want some insight into the ideas that they were playing around with from 3.0 to 3.5 (and maybe a little into 4e).
 


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