D&D General truly strange psionic races trend

I have noted that a surprising amount psionic races that are either part human or psionically evolved humans.
any idea why as it seems like a strange idea for one race let alone three.
any even know what the appeal of it is as they seem to not be sufficient departure to be cool and lack most of the fitting analogies of say tieflings or most other half races.
any idea why this could be are they based on something or what the appeal of the idea is?
 

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jgsugden

Legend
Almost all heritages are "mix some X into a human" if you think about it. What you're mixing in may not be clear, but very few of the heritages we have in D&D are not just 'mix X into a human'. Most of the ones that are not clearly that are actually our oldest heritages: Elf, gnome, halfling, dwarf, etc...

D&D looks at heritage, background and class to define PCs. There are other systems out there that look at more factors. In those systems, you can have 'dragon blood, or devil blood, or celestial blood' on top of a base of dwarf, elf, human, halfling, or something else.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I have noted that a surprising amount psionic races that are either part human or psionically evolved humans.
any idea why as it seems like a strange idea for one race let alone three.
any even know what the appeal of it is as they seem to not be sufficient departure to be cool and lack most of the fitting analogies of say tieflings or most other half races.
any idea why this could be are they based on something or what the appeal of the idea is?
I assume the elan and the Maynard are two of them. Is there a 3rd?
 

Dromites are insectoid, they might be their own race or some sort of Halfling offshoot.

Duergar are Dwarves, Derro might be Dwarves.

Thri-Kreen are another insectoid race.

The Gith races of Githyanki and Githzerai might be descended from Humans or might not be, that's something that changed across editions. I think in 5e they aren't related to Humans.

The Maenad might be based on Humans

The Kalashtar do come from Humans. So do the shells of the Inspired.

Changelings might be partially Human, or they just might be "lesser" Doppelgangers.

The Elan originally came from Humans, but 4e I think said they can come from any Humanoid race.

Blues are a Goblin subrace.

Half-Giants were magical crossbreeds of Humans and Giants on Athas.

The Synad might come from Humans, but nothing has said they do.

Fraal (aka Greys) from Alternity (but presented as a D&D race towards the end of 2e) are certainly their own race.

So it's only like maybe half of them that are Human offshoots.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
any idea why this could be are they based on something or what the appeal of the idea is?
The sci-fi trope around psionics from the early days of sci-fi is that humans will eventually progress via "evolvution"[*] into super-powerful psionic weilders. Often with giant brains. It's basically the same trope that eventually gave us the X-men as well - human evolution leading to a new "race" of beings with fantastic powers. I strongly suspect that creators who are thinking about psionics and trying to brainstorm ideas for how to write for it end up in that literary rut consciously or unconsciously - consciously because the whole design of D&D often leans on existing tropes that "everyone" already knows and understands, unconsciously because we're all influenced by whatever we read when we were in our personal golden age of 10-14 whether we like that fact or not...

[*] No that isn't how evolution works, but it's how the trope works. Especially in old sci-fi where the writers understood evolution and natural selection less than present day writers do.
 


SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
Changelings might be partially Human, or they just might be "lesser" Doppelgangers.
why-not-both.jpg
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Almost all heritages are "mix some X into a human" if you think about it. What you're mixing in may not be clear, but very few of the heritages we have in D&D are not just 'mix X into a human'. Most of the ones that are not clearly that are actually our oldest heritages: Elf, gnome, halfling, dwarf, etc...
Those oldest heritages come from Tolkien, and his elves were absolutely “mix some immortality into a human.” Hobbits we’re mostly stand-ins for his idealized agrarian class, and dwarves we’re stand-ins for diaspora; still more or less “humans, BUT” though. Gnomes are a little weirder, they kind of filled the niche elves used to in western fantasy before Tolkien redefined them.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I have noted that a surprising amount psionic races that are either part human or psionically evolved humans.
any idea why as it seems like a strange idea for one race let alone three.
any even know what the appeal of it is as they seem to not be sufficient departure to be cool and lack most of the fitting analogies of say tieflings or most other half races.
any idea why this could be are they based on something or what the appeal of the idea is?
Could be due to the influence of Slan, since the D&D elan are straight-up slan with the serial numbers filed off.
 

I assume the elan and the Maynard are two of them. Is there a 3rd?
yep
Could be due to the influence of Slan, since the D&D elan are straight-up slan with the serial numbers filed off.
what is a slan?
The sci-fi trope around psionics from the early days of sci-fi is that humans will eventually progress via "evolvution"[*] into super-powerful psionic weilders. Often with giant brains. It's basically the same trope that eventually gave us the X-men as well - human evolution leading to a new "race" of beings with fantastic powers. I strongly suspect that creators who are thinking about psionics and trying to brainstorm ideas for how to write for it end up in that literary rut consciously or unconsciously - consciously because the whole design of D&D often leans on existing tropes that "everyone" already knows and understands, unconsciously because we're all influenced by whatever we read when we were in our personal golden age of 10-14 whether we like that fact or not...

[*] No that isn't how evolution works, but it's how the trope works. Especially in old sci-fi where the writers understood evolution and natural selection less than present day writers do.
I am familiar with the trope and although it is a misunderstanding it can work but not in a dnd race as those need well a lot more going on to really hit it off.
Dromites are insectoid, they might be their own race or some sort of Halfling offshoot.

Duergar are Dwarves, Derro might be Dwarves.

Thri-Kreen are another insectoid race.

The Gith races of Githyanki and Githzerai might be descended from Humans or might not be, that's something that changed across editions. I think in 5e they aren't related to Humans.

The Maenad might be based on Humans

The Kalashtar do come from Humans. So do the shells of the Inspired.

Changelings might be partially Human, or they just might be "lesser" Doppelgangers.

The Elan originally came from Humans, but 4e I think said they can come from any Humanoid race.

Blues are a Goblin subrace.

Half-Giants were magical crossbreeds of Humans and Giants on Athas.

The Synad might come from Humans, but nothing has said they do.

Fraal (aka Greys) from Alternity (but presented as a D&D race towards the end of 2e) are certainly their own race.

So it's only like maybe half of them that are Human offshoots.
three more or less guaranteed and never half depending on who is saying what this edition.
still odd as most people stop after the first.
 

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