D&D General truly strange psionic races trend


log in or register to remove this ad


jgsugden

Legend
Those oldest heritages come from Tolkien, and his elves were absolutely “mix some immortality into a human.”...
We recognize that there is a difference between elves relationship to humans and most of the other D&D heritages, right? Tabaxi, Aarakocra, Tortles, Lizardfolk, etc... are half animal people. Tiefling, Aasimar, Changeling, Genesai, Goliaths, Dragonborn, etc... are half monster/fairy tale people. Those two classifications cover most of the fantasy heritages - mix some animal or monster into a human and 'boom' - new heritage.

There are only a few instances where we took one of the other D&D heritages, like dwarf, elf, and halfling, and then used them as a base for combining something else in. That is what I was pointing out ... most of the heritages we see in D&D are either Tolkien, animal people or monster people.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
We recognize that there is a difference between elves relationship to humans and most of the other D&D heritages, right? Tabaxi, Aarakocra, Tortles, Lizardfolk, etc... are half animal people. Tiefling, Aasimar, Changeling, Genesai, Goliaths, Dragonborn, etc... are half monster/fairy tale people. Those two classifications cover most of the fantasy heritages - mix some animal or monster into a human and 'boom' - new heritage.

There are only a few instances where we took one of the other D&D heritages, like dwarf, elf, and halfling, and then used them as a base for combining something else in. That is what I was pointing out ... most of the heritages we see in D&D are either Tolkien, animal people or monster people.
Well yeah, because most writers are humans, they draw from a base of human experience and imagine exceptions to it. All scifi and fantasy races are ultimately “human, but…” Tabaxi are “human but like a cat.” Tortles are “human but like a turtle.” Likewise, elves are “human but they live forever.”
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
So... the reason why is very simple: Psionics aren't Magic.

I mean they are, in the sense of it being an unexplainable phenomenon that at least bears the appearance of supernatural capability.

But culturally, in reality, it isn't "Magic". It's "Weird Science". It's Paranormal weirdness that in stories often appears as a quasi-evolutionary trait in humans. Whether that's Neil Patrick Harris sending a ferret up his mom's pant leg with a psychic suggestion or Carrie setting fire to a school gym with her anger and rage.

Even the names of psychic powers follow a greco-roman melange naming convention in an attempt to be pseudoscientific.

And so rather than slapping Psionic Elves (Brain Elves?) into a game, most developers try to make it as human as possible while also catering to their particular interpretation of what psionics are or should be.

Elan: Human evolution and higher thought. (Starship Troopers)
Maenad: Human evolution and stronger emotion. (Carrie)
Kalashtar: Aberrations ride your brainmeats. (Lovecraftian)
 



We recognize that there is a difference between elves relationship to humans and most of the other D&D heritages, right? Tabaxi, Aarakocra, Tortles, Lizardfolk, etc... are half animal people. Tiefling, Aasimar, Changeling, Genesai, Goliaths, Dragonborn, etc... are half monster/fairy tale people. Those two classifications cover most of the fantasy heritages - mix some animal or monster into a human and 'boom' - new heritage.

There are only a few instances where we took one of the other D&D heritages, like dwarf, elf, and halfling, and then used them as a base for combining something else in. That is what I was pointing out ... most of the heritages we see in D&D are either Tolkien, animal people or monster people.
Well yeah, because most writers are humans, they draw from a base of human experience and imagine exceptions to it. All scifi and fantasy races are ultimately “human, but…” Tabaxi are “human but like a cat.” Tortles are “human but like a turtle.” Likewise, elves are “human but they live forever.”
but the races with the longest appel in fantasy games don't just have one thing like cat people but say long lived graceful, magic people.
So... the reason why is very simple: Psionics aren't Magic.

I mean they are, in the sense of it being an unexplainable phenomenon that at least bears the appearance of supernatural capability.

But culturally, in reality, it isn't "Magic". It's "Weird Science". It's Paranormal weirdness that in stories often appears as a quasi-evolutionary trait in humans. Whether that's Neil Patrick Harris sending a ferret up his mom's pant leg with a psychic suggestion or Carrie setting fire to a school gym with her anger and rage.

Even the names of psychic powers follow a greco-roman melange naming convention in an attempt to be pseudoscientific.

And so rather than slapping Psionic Elves (Brain Elves?) into a game, most developers try to make it as human as possible while also catering to their particular interpretation of what psionics are or should be.

Elan: Human evolution and higher thought. (Starship Troopers)
Maenad: Human evolution and stronger emotion. (Carrie)
Kalashtar: Aberrations ride your brainmeats. (Lovecraftian)
the problem with that is why not just play a human with the psion class then? as that is equal the human but with cool abilities.
this I why I think dnd never really got around to making a proper psionic race as they would have multiple reasons to play them.
Would love to see the Shardmind return from 4e.
Yeah, the shardmind was a cool idea that didn't have enough time in the sun.
hard to fit in most worlds but for say planescape or spelljammer they would do well, maybe they need a bit more time in the oven.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
the problem with that is why not just play a human with the psion class then? as that is equal the human but with cool abilities.
this I why I think dnd never really got around to making a proper psionic race as they would have multiple reasons to play them.
Most people do. Or an Elf. Or a Dwarf. Or whatever.

But mechanically speaking D&D races are designed to be "Good" at specific classes. Dwarves as fighters and clerics, Half-Orcs as Barbarians and Fighters. Elves as Rogues and Wizards.

So they try and make a "Near Human" that is explicitly, specifically, good at being a Psionic character.

Problem with the core system design itself.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
but the races with the longest appel in fantasy games don't just have one thing like cat people but say long lived graceful, magic people.
I mean, if you think cat people is just one thing, you don’t know enough about cats. There’s a lot more to them than fur, pointy ears and tails. I also strongly disagree that elves have longer lasting appeal than anthropomorphic animals.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top