D&D General What’s The Big Deal About Psionics?

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think it's morre than none of the fans agree with WOTC's ideas for it. Mostly because they either tried to shove it into another class OR shove all of psionics into one class. AKA the easy cheap route.

Much like the artificer, if WOTC designs a psioincs class with a clear idea and concept most fans would be okay with it even if it isn't perfectly how they want it.
WotC bungled the surveys on their ideas. When talking in these threads, we all have an idea of which method we'd like to see the most, but almost everyone who wants psionics would also have been okay with 1, 2 or even 3 other methods rather than have nothing at all. Had their surveys allowed us some sort of ranking system, they almost surely would have had a few of their ideas with 70% of the people okay with it, even if they couldn't get 70% for any 1 method as their favorite.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
While I've always been baffled about the habit of avoiding just making a rules-only updated version of the 2e Psionicist and expanding from there if it takes off, I've found plenty to enjoy in the various incarnations of psionics. At the end of the day, I'd rather have something I'm only 80% on board with than nothing.
This. As I just posted, I'm pretty sure that this is the general consensus. WotC just doesn't know how to conduct surveys properly, so we never got anything. :(
 

jgsugden

Legend
You might want to research what a cult is before accusing people of being in them.
You might want to do the same and remember that words have multiple definitions. Here I'm using it to mean people with a great devotion to an idea.
any idea what the sides are?
There are those that want to emulate AD&D, 2E (basic), 2E (revised), 3rd, 4E (which is not as easy to adapt to 5e), Mystic from 5E, and then a bunch of people, like myself, that have evolved one or more of these into a system that we think works better than any of the above by themselves. Psionics has been implemented to many different ways that there really isn't 'a' psionics fanbase - there are many different ones that can't agree on a singular implementation.
In general a lot of the content around here makes unproven claims what other people want and why they want it. Almost invariably in an unflattering way.
Dude. There is a difference between telling people that you disagree with unsupported arguments and telling them what they have to think / what opinions they have to possess. Go back and look at what you typed and imagine someone telling you something similar abolut your political, religious or other personal beliefs. This would be a great opportunity to self reflect and try a different approach.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Does this Esper use the psionic die?
Sort of.

You get a reservoir of Psi Dice. Your dice starts as a d4 and you get 2 at level 1. You also get -one- power.

A power is basically a Cantrip. But it can be Augmented. There are basic augments, like "Do more damage" that apply to any power, and there are power-specific augments. Like increasing the weight limit of Telekinesis, or using Telekinesis to grapple an enemy at range. . And you can assign psi dice to each augment you want (or the same one several times for more damage, as an example)

You assign Psi Dice to augments, manifest the power. Then roll any assigned Psi Dice. On a 1 or a 2, you lose that Psi Die.

As you gain levels, you gain more psi dice, but also they increase from d4s to d6s to d8s to d10s. And you still lose them only on a roll of 1 or 2.

The actual powers with 1 psi die are a -little- weaker than a 1st level spell. But you have a 50/50 keep your psi die, so it's like you didn't spend your spell slot at low level. But you're much more likely to risk several dice at once to augment your power a lot when you gain levels, which can cost you if you roll several 1s.

You recover Psi Dice during a short rest by sacrificing Hit Dice. Otherwise you get them all back at the end of a long rest.

So let's say Aldarc is a level 8 Esper. He's 4d8 reservoir and Telekinesis he wants to use on a displacer beast. Thedisplacer beast is threatening the party Archer, Maxperson. He looks at his power and decides not to focus on damage, but to get Max to safety. So he puts 3 Psi Dice into "Lift". Beasty makes a Strength save or gets lifted up to 15ft into the air 'til the start of Aldarc's next turn, plus takes TK's base damage of 1d8 bludgeoning. Then for a Bonus Action uses a Mind-Strike to add a little more damage (1d6+int from a ballistic strike launching a rock at the displacer beast, if he hits)

Once the tenta-cat is flailing around in the air, 15ft away from Maxperson, Aldarc rolls those 3d8. Gets a 1 and two 6s. He loses one Psi Die from his reservoir, and Max gets away to shoot at the displacer beast.

On the Displacer Beast's turn it... flails. It doesn't have a fly speed or anything so it just hangs out in the air and cant reach anyone. It's turn is wasted.

On the following turn, Aldarc gets to choose if he wants to roll 3 dice to maintain the Lift. But decides he doesn't wanna put dice on Lift, so lets go of the cat, which falls 15ft, then winds up the 3 psi dice into TK, and throws a 4d8 TK blast at the kitty. Rolls to hit, rolls damage, rolls those 3d8 to see whether he loses another dice. 4, 3, 7. Keeps his dice.

Etc.


Mind Strike is also cool... one of four different Bonus Action attacks that improves to 2 dice at level 10 to help offset the fact that powers don't auto-level at the rate cantrips do.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
WotC bungled the surveys on their ideas. When talking in these threads, we all have an idea of which method we'd like to see the most, but almost everyone who wants psionics would also have been okay with 1, 2 or even 3 other methods rather than have nothing at all. Had their surveys allowed us some sort of ranking system, they almost surely would have had a few of their ideas with 70% of the people okay with it, even if they couldn't get 70% for any 1 method as their favorite.
"You guys hate our OP complicated do everything mystic. OMG. You all can't agree on anything."
 

Carlsen Chris

Explorer
I've hated psionics since the terrible way they were shoehorned into AD&D. Back then, they were really unbalanced, added unnecessary complication, and felt like an attempt to cram cheesy 70s soft sci-fi into my fantasy setting. They still feel like the latter to me, and I don't really understand what purpose they serve in a magical setting that already has tons of spells that affect the mind. Why do we need a whole separate system for woo-woo?
Thanks for writing a post stating that you don't care about the topic everyone is posting about. It added a lot.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
I would be quite happy for them to introduce psionics proper in their own book, as they have done in the past, so people who are not fans of it don't have to think about it. If the book is super popular, then they can release a second to expand on it. As long as the rules are compatible and balanced they can remain separate.
 

WotC could do the same thing if they wanted to, bu creating a new setting without spell magic and designing psionics for it, putting the burden of using both systems on the players. But they won't.
That would not be a good reason to design a whole new setting. Very much "our elves are different" in nature. If there's no spell magic, then psionics are the standard magic of that setting. Writing a new setting just to have a different implementation of magic mechanics would be a strange choice.
 

Raduin711

Adventurer
That would not be a good reason to design a whole new setting. Very much "our elves are different" in nature. If there's no spell magic, then psionics are the standard magic of that setting. Writing a new setting just to have a different implementation of magic mechanics would be a strange choice.
I don't think it's a strange choice, but I do think the days of designing campaign settings like that are over. Everything adds. Nothing subtracts.
 

cbwjm

Legend
No idea what I've already said in this thread, but I did think that the mystic powers were pretty good for capturing the feel of psionics. Stars without number (or worlds without number, whatever the SF version is) had what I felt was a cool psionics system that I feel could fairly easily be ported to 5e. Maybe not by the 5e designers due to the whole plagiarism aspect, but as a homebrew? No worries.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
That would not be a good reason to design a whole new setting. Very much "our elves are different" in nature. If there's no spell magic, then psionics are the standard magic of that setting. Writing a new setting just to have a different implementation of magic mechanics would be a strange choice.
I would suggest a sci-fi or science fantasy setting. That's a good reason.
 

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
No idea what I've already said in this thread, but I did think that the mystic powers were pretty good for capturing the feel of psionics. Stars without number (or worlds without number, whatever the SF version is) had what I felt was a cool psionics system that I feel could fairly easily be ported to 5e. Maybe not by the 5e designers due to the whole plagiarism aspect, but as a homebrew? No worries.
That'd be Stars Without Number. His fantasy game actually makes a lot of use of the Effort pool as well, with some powers committing Effort for a scene and others for the day. It'd be a neat way to handle all kinds of stuff: I've personally thought of using a paradigm like that as a way to give martials some 4E style oomph in a slightly more diegetic way than the AEDU setup.
 

cbwjm

Legend
That'd be Stars Without Number. His fantasy game actually makes a lot of use of the Effort pool as well, with some powers committing Effort for a scene and others for the day. It'd be a neat way to handle all kinds of stuff: I've personally thought of using a paradigm like that as a way to give martials some 4E style oomph in a slightly more diegetic way than the AEDU setup.
I think that would work well, you could probably use the same resource for both martial powers and psionics.
 

Aldarc

Legend
"You guys hate our OP complicated do everything mystic. OMG. You all can't agree on anything."
It felt like WotC skipped some fairly basic design iterations for the Psion/Mystic. It was basically the Mystic, crappy Psionic dice, or psionic subclasses to existing classes, but nothing in-between, like a spellcasting Psion/Mystic or even a less complicated Mystic.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It felt like WotC skipped some fairly basic design iterations for the Psion/Mystic. It was basically the Mystic, crappy Psionic dice, or psionic subclasses to existing classes, but nothing in-between, like a spellcasting Psion/Mystic or even a less complicated Mystic.
That's literally what happened.

WOTC threw everything in the Mystic and hoped you just remove the parts that were unsatisfactory. But the problem was that everything was put together so everything got Us. So they went oh "you cant agree." Whereas the point was that the fandom agrees that Psionic classes should not have access to all psionics and focused Psionic classes would be better.

Their survey method they used isn't good for ideas that don't have solid concepts. That's why it took months of surveys to create the fighter.
 

jgsugden

Legend
On this whole, "They can't agree" angle - they should implement something and then give it time to take seed. It will increase in acceptance over time, although nothing will be universal. However, once you establish it, and stick with it as a core design philosophy going forwrd, it will find the place it needs to have.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
On this whole, "They can't agree" angle - they should implement something and then give it time to take seed. It will increase in acceptance over time, although nothing will be universal. However, once you establish it, and stick with it as a core design philosophy going forwrd, it will find the place it needs to have.
Agreed. And, if there are multiple designs they desperately wish to pursue, apply them to different concepts.
 

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