3.5 Psionics thread

JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting DefenseRegistered User regular
edited January 2007 in Critical Failures
What this thread is for:

This is our second attempt at a psionics thread. The first one got locked - why? It degenerated into an argument on play style. Play style is an individual choice, and someone isn't "not as good" as someone else for playing what they want to play, they just need to make sure they're playing with 4 like minded dorks, instead of dorks with different outlooks.

I don't want to hear how I should be playing a wizard, because then I can be crowd control. I like blowing up people's heads. Psionics has a spell just for this, so I enjoy using it.

I like the point system of psionics. I prefer it to the system used by wizards and the system used by sorcerers.

I enjoyed immensely the one high-level psion I was afforded a chance to run - he was nicely balanced vis-a-vis our fighters and wizard, had good offence, good defence, a few secondary skills that were interesting, and he didn't make my GM's eyes bleed. My other attempt at psychic characters - a gith monk with only his racial abilities and a fighter/pyschic warrior - were also success in secondary fighter roles.

I also enjoy several of the psionic races - specificly the entire "Mindflayers - Lords of Underdark" setting elements for campaigns the Elan player race, and the various races from limbo.

In short, my experiences with 3.5 psionics have been positive.

I would be happy to calmly discuss the psioncs system in this thread. I would ask that if you can't avoid telling tales of 2nd edition psionics, you please start your own thread, where you make it explicitly clear to new readers/players that you are discussing elements no longer in the game.

JohnnyCache on

Posts

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Pretty much power points/spell points are pretty good. They offer flexibility, which is nice, and customization, which is also nice, and its more balanced than arcane casting.

    I think that in 4th edition all spellcasting is going to move towards the point system.

    An interesting thing about the psionics system is that it is most powerful in comparison to spell slots if you are specializing on a specific spell level. A 20th level psion can manifest 2nd level powers all freaking day(110 times, unaugmented), but if he tries to manifest the same number of spells of each level as even a wizard does, he falls behind, and is extreemly far behind the sorcerer(especialy a damage based sorcerer as they get free spell point augmentations on all their lower level spells up to their caster level )

    Goumindong on
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  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I like the balance between "NO BONUS FEETS NO METAMAGIC SORCERER YOU GO AND SIT IN THE CORNER" and Mister magic freaking macgyver who can do all this crap but bring an extra notebook and annotate your list of spells in your spell book by real-world volume and page number wizard.

    I have always found the sorcerer to be a dissapointing class, thematically - the sorcerer seems like an NPC class that hopped the border into the player's handbook...and I think the psion does what was intended for the sorcerer - a real feel of self taught casting, and a more self-sufficient character. Sorcers just seem like min-maxed wizards that trade some flexibility for a few extra shots a day. I guess that's that play style thing again, but I had no problems dealing good amounts of damage with my psionic characters. Discussions of how much damage something can deal out are pretty academic to me - if you're fighting things with more then a few thousand hp, it's time to retire, because you're going to ruin the global environment, kill all the high-level predators causing the gricks to get out of control, etc.

    JohnnyCache on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I like the balance between "NO BONUS FEETS NO METAMAGIC SORCERER YOU GO AND SIT IN THE CORNER" and Mister magic freaking macgyver who can do all this crap but bring an extra notebook and annotate your list of spells in your spell book by real-world volume and page number wizard.

    I have always found the sorcerer to be a dissapointing class, thematically - the sorcerer seems like an NPC class that hopped the border into the player's handbook...and I think the psion does what was intended for the sorcerer - a real feel of self taught casting, and a more self-sufficient character. Sorcers just seem like min-maxed wizards that trade some flexibility for a few extra shots a day. I guess that's that play style thing again, but I had no problems dealing good amounts of damage with my psionic characters. Discussions of how much damage something can deal out are pretty academic to me - if you're fighting things with more then a few thousand hp, it's time to retire, because you're going to ruin the global environment, kill all the high-level predators causing the gricks to get out of control, etc.

    I agree, i was just contrasting the amount of equivelent spell/power points per day that each class gets. Even with the lower points, i like the point system better than the slot system.

    Goumindong on
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  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Yeah, I like the scaled expenditure and the scaled spells. It just makes more sense to me to add dice and damage by paying more for the casting then the weird, arbitrary, "Well . . . at this level . . . you can do this .. . but not this, yet" thing the wizards face.

    The wizard spell breakdown (and maybe this is the reason they make such great utility characters) seems to be very focused on how much damage they do, as if the authors are very damaged focused...

    JohnnyCache on
  • Mongrel IdiotMongrel Idiot Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Everything in 3.5 is very damage focused; it's an extremely combat-oriented game. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just how this business goes down.

    Question for DMs out there; when you allow psionics in your campaign, do you use the psionics-magic transparancy rules, or do you use the psionics are different rules? That is, does magic interact with psionics just like it does with magic and vice versa, or do you need a special dispel psionics spell if you want your wizard to clear out a psion's buffs? I'm personally leaning toward the second option, even though it means more work for me, because I think it will make psionics feel more like a seperate power than just another sort of arcane caster, but I'm curious what somebody who has actually run a psionics campaign thinks.

    Mongrel Idiot on
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  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Well, it's pretty much a question of "Is the campaign one that includes a psionic ecology"

    If you just have a butthole in your group that really really watched to many Scanners movies as a kid and wants to run around blowing up heads in a game with no psy-stuff in it, use the transparency rules, because otherwise, at some point, either a psion or a non-psion is going to get fu-uh-diddly-ucked. Either option can work well for psionists themselves, its the ripple effect it has on the other characters you have to watch. If you make the psionics too solitary and special, you create this issue of gearing the game around one guy. . .or making one guy too useless to be fun and going "Serves you right for wanting to play something so . . . devient. Why didn't you just make him a werefox?"

    JohnnyCache on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Everything in 3.5 is very damage focused; it's an extremely combat-oriented game. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just how this business goes down.

    Question for DMs out there; when you allow psionics in your campaign, do you use the psionics-magic transparancy rules, or do you use the psionics are different rules? That is, does magic interact with psionics just like it does with magic and vice versa, or do you need a special dispel psionics spell if you want your wizard to clear out a psion's buffs? I'm personally leaning toward the second option, even though it means more work for me, because I think it will make psionics feel more like a seperate power than just another sort of arcane caster, but I'm curious what somebody who has actually run a psionics campaign thinks.

    "Psionics is different" is really tough to use in a campaign with both an arcane and psionic caster, i would say that its nearly impossible to use.

    If you have only one caster type its no big deal so long as the other caster type is rare. If i am playing "psionics is different" then i would not allow my PC's to be the minority casting type. I.E. if arcane magic is common and psionics is rare, then i wont allow psions, if psionics are common and magic is rare, i wont allow magic users of any sort[except maybe bards/rangers/paladins].

    This is because the minority typed caster will have a huge advantage in most situations as his opponents wont be prepared for him, and typical monster defenses wont operate(golems, for instance, in psionics is different are worthless as they arent immune to anything that allows power resistance) against the caster. So long as there are no minority typed casters for players in a "psionics is different" campaign then you can throw those minority typed casters at the party every once and a while as a challenge(because their typical defenses wont be operating)

    If you play psionics is different and have a wisard and a psion in the party, there is no creature that they cant beat the SR/PR on by default, and magical/psionic defenses become obsolete. This will make the fighter and rogue in your party feel might worthless.

    So, in my mind, "psionics is different" is strictly a rule that works in parties that dont mix and match the casting and manifesting, and only works when the primary casting/manifesting method in the campaign is the one used by the players.

    Goumindong on
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  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I made a psionic warrior and he was gimped through the brain.

    He could deal like 2d8+4d6+2d6 on a single attack when he blew his focus, though, at level 5.

    INeedNoSalt on
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    In a psionics is different campagin where the psion PC was the minority, one thing I would enforce is he probably isn't going to find a lot of psionic treasure.

    JohnnyCache on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    In a psionics is different campagin where the psion PC was the minority, one thing I would enforce is he probably isn't going to find a lot of psionic treasure.

    Wouldt make much of a difference, he could make it himself, as well, he can still use magical treasure.

    Goumindong on
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  • SilpheedSilpheed Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    How do Psionics work in canon FR material? Are there places that educate psions and are there playable races besides the Illithids that are inheritantly psionic?

    Silpheed on
  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I hate, hate, what they did to the Psion for 3.5. Changing their primary casting ability to Intelligence relegates them to the role of "Shitty Wizard Knockoff".

    The new Soulknife is spectacular, though.

    Shorty on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Shorty wrote:
    I hate, hate, what they did to the Psion for 3.5. Changing their primary casting ability to Intelligence relegates them to the role of "Shitty Wizard Knockoff".

    The new Soulknife is spectacular, though.

    I do rather like them as charisma casters...

    Anyway, Soulknifes are underpowered, it takes them too long to reform their mind blade.

    Goumindong on
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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Silpheed wrote:
    How do Psionics work in canon FR material? Are there places that educate psions and are there playable races besides the Illithids that are inheritantly psionic?

    Well, since FR is connected to the rest of the multiverse by portals, it would just take a DM willing to write something like that into a campaign. You could play a group of Githzerai on a mission to slay Illithids who wind up going to Faerun.

    Also: I loved how Egoists used Strength. That was perfect. Multiclass psion/fighters were so much better than psychic warriors.

    Shorty on
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Goumindong wrote:
    Shorty wrote:
    I hate, hate, what they did to the Psion for 3.5. Changing their primary casting ability to Intelligence relegates them to the role of "Shitty Wizard Knockoff".

    The new Soulknife is spectacular, though.

    I do rather like them as charisma casters...

    Anyway, Soulknifes are underpowered, it takes them too long to reform their mind blade.

    I have an intense bias against charisma as a casting stat.

    Until charisma is seperated from "attractiveness" properly, it makes no sense.

    JohnnyCache on
  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Goumindong wrote:
    Shorty wrote:
    I hate, hate, what they did to the Psion for 3.5. Changing their primary casting ability to Intelligence relegates them to the role of "Shitty Wizard Knockoff".

    The new Soulknife is spectacular, though.

    I do rather like them as charisma casters...

    Anyway, Soulknifes are underpowered, it takes them too long to reform their mind blade.

    I have an intense bias against charisma as a casting stat.

    Until charisma is seperated from "attractiveness" properly, it makes no sense.

    It's not just attractiveness. It is also one's ability to communicate properly. I'm aware that this is a little bit abstract, and that Intelligence would obviously have an effect on that in real life, but whatever. That's why Handle Animal is a charisma skill. Uh, I think. I don't have my PHB handy right now.

    Shorty on
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Charisma is not physical attractiveness alone, Cleopatra, from all acounts, was quite ugly. It is many things working together. Posture, voice, the way one moves, talks, attitude, many things.

    There's something to be said for Psychometabolism using Constitution as its main stat, I think. Psionics are mind and body, the way I see them. A way of letting someone who wants to play a "monk" type character play one in a way that fits a setting, rather than force you to allow ninjas into your game.

    I liked how each discipline used a different stat, it added alot to the feel, and made them seperate in a good way. Lots of opportunity to create unique characters.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Charisma is not physical attractiveness alone, Cleopatra, from all acounts, was quite ugly. It is many things working together. Posture, voice, the way one moves, talks, attitude, many things.

    There's something to be said for Psychometabolism using Constitution as its main stat, I think. Psionics are mind and body, the way I see them. A way of letting someone who wants to play a "monk" type character play one in a way that fits a setting, rather than force you to allow ninjas into your game.

    I liked how each discipline used a different stat, it added alot to the feel, and made them seperate in a good way. Lots of opportunity to create unique characters.

    Exactly. It made the Psion a class with near infinite customization options. Then in 3.5 they are just lame.

    Shorty on
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Shorty wrote:
    Goumindong wrote:
    Shorty wrote:
    I hate, hate, what they did to the Psion for 3.5. Changing their primary casting ability to Intelligence relegates them to the role of "Shitty Wizard Knockoff".

    The new Soulknife is spectacular, though.

    I do rather like them as charisma casters...

    Anyway, Soulknifes are underpowered, it takes them too long to reform their mind blade.

    I have an intense bias against charisma as a casting stat.

    Until charisma is seperated from "attractiveness" properly, it makes no sense.

    It's not just attractiveness. It is also one's ability to communicate properly. I'm aware that this is a little bit abstract, and that Intelligence would obviously have an effect on that in real life, but whatever. That's why Handle Animal is a charisma skill. Uh, I think. I don't have my PHB handy right now.

    I know charisma isn't simply looks. It is also poise, etc.

    How does poise help you cast magic?

    Why do orks have a racial penalty to training animals exceeding that of a skeleton?

    Charisma is a stupidly handled stat. They only used it because they wanted to have another casting class and it was the stat that made the next most sense, in their opinion.

    JohnnyCache on
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I know charisma isn't simply looks. It is also poise, etc.

    How does poise help you cast magic?

    Why do orks have a racial penalty to training animals exceeding that of a skeleton?

    Charisma is a stupidly handled stat. They only used it because they wanted to have another casting class and it was the stat that made the next most sense, in their opinion.

    It's like Mage, charisma magic is all about belief!

    Seriously, the description of charisma isn't too bad but the way it's used it horrible. As a sort of force of will stat it'd be fine (with wisdom becoming only perception and intuition) and could grab the will save and perhaps Concentration skill associations.

    Of course, Sorcerers wouldn't be so shafted then...we couldn't have that.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Can someone give me a quick overview of how psionics work in 3.x? Is 3.0 significantly different from 3.5? If so, how?

    I haven't even looked at psionics since 2.0, and not in too much detail back then. I will need to borrow a book from one of my players to read up on it, since he is considering multi-classing a psionic character. (My ruling was that if any of them take psionic characters, I can throw psionic enemies at them, if they don't, I can't. Ought to make the whole political turmoil thing even more interesting, I think.) Unfortunately, the next time I see him to be able to borrow the book will probably be when he creates his character, so I need a quick primer before then if possible (just enough to get me through character creation).

    I'm running a 3.0 campaign, if it makes a difference. You can assume I won't have to guide the player through making the character or stop him from taking anything too unbalancing. I just need enough info to help me figure out how psionics fits into my world, and to understand the abilities & limits of the character he ends up with. I can get the rest out of the book before the first adventure.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • WeZilWeZil Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Goumindong wrote:
    Shorty wrote:
    I hate, hate, what they did to the Psion for 3.5. Changing their primary casting ability to Intelligence relegates them to the role of "Shitty Wizard Knockoff".

    The new Soulknife is spectacular, though.

    I do rather like them as charisma casters...

    Anyway, Soulknifes are underpowered, it takes them too long to reform their mind blade.

    I have an intense bias against charisma as a casting stat.

    Until charisma is seperated from "attractiveness" properly, it makes no sense.

    Charisma isn't your appearance, it's your ability to project yourself. A charismatic person isn't pretty (he could be pretty, and more likely is), he's extremely self confident. Everything about the way a Charismatic Character stands, talks and behaves commands the attention of others. Charisma based magic is supposed to be magic that comes from yourself, your body, your blood, as opposed to a Wizard who's magic comes from outside of him. That being said, I'd imagine somebody with a lot of self confidense and posture would have a much easier time drawing power from within himself than a smart pants with a charisma of 8.

    Furthermore, charisma is improved by the "Tome of Leadership and Influence," not the "Tome of Facelifts and Makeup."

    Physical Beauty isn't really quantified in D&D. Well, it is if you count the Book of Erotic Fantasy.

    WeZil on
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I haven't read any of the 3.5 rules, or ever played it, but is there anything actually preventing you from simply using the 3rd edition book? 3.5 doesn't change much from what I've heard.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I haven't read any of the 3.5 rules, or ever played it, but is there anything actually preventing you from simply using the 3rd edition book? 3.5 doesn't change much from what I've heard.

    3.5 changed a lot as far as psionics are concerned. Basically they took everything that was in the psionics handbook and simplified it, made it all more streamlined. In the process they made some good decisions and some bad ones.

    Anyway. There's no reason you couldn't use the 3.0 book in a 3.5 campaign as long as you make the usual changes regarding skills and feats and damage reduction, etc.

    t Nerissa: Psionics come from a different source than magic. Psionic characters have a number of "Power Points" every day, which they use to manifest their powers. Wizards cast spells, psions and the like manifest powers. Powers of higher levels require more power points. A character knows a finite number of powers, similar to sorcerers.

    There are a lot of little differences between psionics and magic, like using dorjes instead of wands, psicrystals instead of scrolls. Basically, anywhere you see a "thing" for magic, psionics have their own version. Metapsionic feats, for instance.

    There's more, a lot more. I'd really suggest getting a copy of the Psionics Handbook. The 3.5 version is the Expanded Psionics Handbook. There's also a supplement called Complete Psionic.

    Shorty on
  • ClawshrimpyClawshrimpy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Sorry for the necropost, but I thought I'd bring back the thread, I wanted to share a story of more Psonics Bigotry that Will probably make me leave my current group.

    We had a DM who allowed Psionics, It was fun playing a Psion, but then said DM can't play anymore and another DM takes up the mantle and applies a Psionics ban and makes me reroll while everyone else gets to keep their Characters while spewing his "You can do the same kind of things with a Wizard" bullshit retoric.

    Wizards cast the same six spells endlessly. Psions Wilders and the like actually are allowed Variety. so I'm not allowed to play A character that Has Variety and I can't even play a Cleric because we have one allready.

    and I think as someone who loves playing a Shaper this upset me the most:

    [spoiler:89238f24b0]ASTRAL CONSTRUCKTS ARE TEH OVERPOWARD DURR HURR![/spoiler:89238f24b0]

    Clawshrimpy on
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Wizards cast the same six spells endlessly. Psions Wilders and the like actually are allowed Variety. so I'm not allowed to play A character that Has Variety and I can't even play a Cleric because we have one allready.

    I never get this. Your group would actually be sad about having two clerics? WTF?

    Kinda shitty that you're the only one having to rebuild your character. Then again I always found that "Take over DMing" and keeping characters thing really fucking weird myself.
    and I think as someone who loves playing a Shaper this upset me the most:

    [spoiler:5130ec2cdb]ASTRAL CONSTRUCKTS ARE TEH OVERPOWARD DURR HURR![/spoiler:5130ec2cdb]

    Yea, well they kinda are.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
  • ClawshrimpyClawshrimpy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Well, Like I said, I'll probably leave the group because the two Cleric things is because there will be 2 Divines allready in (There is a Pally as well.) so it's goes into the Jurisdiction of "3 is a crowd.".

    The new DM used to be one of the Arcane people. I just, really dislike Arcane, I'm sorry, and the whole martial weapons combat thing just isn't my style. SO I'll probably look for a new group.

    Plus I may have to bow out from the group anyway, as I may not have a ride anymore.

    I eve played a Conjuration specialized Wizard once, I even went as far as the make Evocation Prohibited, I even Tried to gather the shit I needed to craft a construct proper. I just wasn't having any fun....It just doesnt play the same as a Shaper would, despite so many of these "You can do the same thing with Arcane." people saying the opposite rhetoric.

    Clawshrimpy on
  • Lando_GriffinLando_Griffin Registered User
    edited January 2007
    What about a druid, you can do a lot with that, especially if you try and plan an unconventional build.

    As for me, I am playing a Kalashtar Monk L6 in my Eberron game, and I am trying to figure out ways to make him more effective, from a psyonic perspective, he only has an Int of 10, and the only psyonic feat i have gotten him so far is Up the walls. I am pretty close to 7, does anyone have any suggestions for ways to buff him up a bit?

    Lando_Griffin on
    xfire sig: rustyaqualung
  • ClawshrimpyClawshrimpy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    What about a druid, you can do a lot with that, especially if you try and plan an unconventional build.

    As for me, I am playing a Kalashtar Monk L6 in my Eberron game, and I am trying to figure out ways to make him more effective, from a psyonic perspective, he only has an Int of 10, and the only psyonic feat i have gotten him so far is Up the walls. I am pretty close to 7, does anyone have any suggestions for ways to buff him up a bit?

    Have you considered the Fist of Zuoken? and I think there is another psymonk PRC in Complete Psionic, though I'm not sure?

    Clawshrimpy on
  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    My next character is going to be a Githzerai Fighter/Psion. I'm also going to write a Zerth prestige class because the only one I've found on the internet kind of blows.

    Shorty on
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