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Count Strahd Von Zarvoich

Digitalelf's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Legends Subscriber Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,622 posts (2,699 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 3 aliases.


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Grand Lodge

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I'm in my mid 40's, and I play 2nd edition, where character advancement takes a little longer on average than it does in PF. I tend to make 1st level characters (and NPCs) in their late teens or early 20's and as they slowly level, they age as well. As a result, I tend to make higher level characters (and NPCs) older.

Grand Lodge

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Aaron Bitman wrote:
I never got the Land of Fate boxed set. Just the Arabian Adventures book gave me enough setting information...

Sure, one can run say a Forgotten Realms, World of Greyhawk, or Golarion module without any of the setting books and do just fine.

However, "Arabian Adventures" is basically an alternate 2nd edition AD&D "Player's Handbook". Yes, it has some Arabian-esk flavor text, but ultimately, it has more in common with the "D&D Rules Cyclopedia".

On the other hand, the "Land of Fate" boxed set is more in line, at least flavor-wise, with the content of "GAZ2: The Emirates of Ylaruam"...

Grand Lodge

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AL-Qadim is the better product overall, but there are a lot of supplements that flesh out the setting.

Also, do note that the "Arabian Adventures" book is purely a rulebook, with very little actual setting detail or information; for that, you'll want the "Land of Fate" boxed set, which has the majority of the setting's detail.

The PDF for that, and many of the Al-Qadim sourcebooks are available over at DnDClassics.com, as is GAZ2, which is only $4.99, so you could conceivably get both and mix and match the elements that you like...

Grand Lodge

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Terquem wrote:
My problem comes from being stuck in the past, and having expectations of certain kinds of role playing behavior that simply do not exist any more.

I agree with the second part, but not that first part about "being stuck in the past", makes it sound like preferring or even retaining these expectations is a bad thing...

Grand Lodge

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James Jacobs wrote:

Given the way folks dissect and take apart rules that have gone through the official design/development/editing process... and given how rules-lawyers and the type have reacted to my involvement in answering rules questions...

I've zero interest in exposing my undevloped and unedited house rules to a toxic environment like that.

That is just a sad commentary! To think that the Creative Director of the very game everyone here is discussing does not want to post his personal game notes because the message boards are just too hostile a forum...

Grand Lodge

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HeHateMe wrote:
That backwards a$$ math made every attack roll take twice as long as it should have.

I've never understood this. I am not good with math, like, at all, but adding and subtracting negative numbers is third grade math... And one of the things that gamers just love to point out to non-gamers is that playing RPGs, teaches one the basics of mathematics...

Grand Lodge

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sunbeam wrote:
2e didn't have quite the same longevity, and they started getting crunchy towards the end with all those complete books.

I agree with your overall point, but just a couple of minor nitpicks that I'd like to point out - 2e had a run of 11 years (1989-2000), 1e also had a run of 11 years (1978-1989). Also, those "Complete Books" started coming out the very same year that 2e itself came out (i.e. in 1989), so not at all, "towards the end".

Grand Lodge

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My parents didn't mind me playing D&D, they didn't really care one way or the other.

The schools I went to encouraged playing RPGs, even having teacher-run sessions after school.

My best friend however, had parents that forbade him from playing; but he and I played regardless... LOL... I was such a "bad influence"! :-P

Grand Lodge

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magnuskn wrote:
I guess a way to make the necessary changes without getting the dander up of the people who absolutely refuse to entertain the thought of buying a new edition

I converted from Basic D&D to 1st edition, from 1st edition to 2nd edition, from 2nd edition to 3rd edition, from 3.0 to 3.5, and then 3.5 to Pathfinder... I am done buying new editions of the same game.

When I decided that Pathfinder was no longer for me, having to re-purchase everything yet again, just for the sake of yet another new edition of D&D is a part of my decision to not go with 5th edition (there were other reasons as well, but those are totally irrelevant to this thread)...

Grand Lodge

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silverhair2008 wrote:
At one time there was a second company that was mentioned in a thread here but I lost that link. That was what I was hoping to find again.

Are you talking about the thread I linked to below? That thread is from 2013, and you asked the OP where he had his table built.

Custom Gaming Table...

Grand Lodge

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silverhair2008 wrote:
I am asking for sellers of gaming tables not plans to build my own.

I know you said you don’t want to actually build your own, but provided that you know basically what you want in a game table, you might look into the places that custom build card-game tables (such as Poker tables). I am sure most would be willing to design and build one for you; and I bet they would do it for a cheaper price than say Geek Chic.

A search on Google will provide a plethora of such companies…

Grand Lodge

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Pan wrote:
6 miles aint nothin on a bike.

You are obviously in shape!

Some of us professional couch potatoes with bad knees and bad backs are nowhere near in shape, and just the thought of pedaling 1 mile, let alone 6 miles, sends shivers up and down our arthritic joints... :-P

Grand Lodge

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Thank you. I appreciate it...

Grand Lodge

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brokennoseouch wrote:
if you can manage all that you should be good to go.

Your powers are great indeed, for you have managed to revive a thread that has been inactive for almost exactly 7 years...

I bow to your powers of thread necromancy. :-P

All kidding aside...

First off, welcome to the boards! :-)

Secondly, you really should look at the date of the last post when looking through the archives to see how long a particular thread has been dead/inactive, as the topic may no longer be relevant.

Grand Lodge

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Chengar Qordath wrote:
...mid-nineties TSR

While TSR (like many other companies back then) may have dealt with fan-sites rather harshly, TSR's own “site” on AOL (TSR Online), was a great place to download fan created/homebrewed content, and to upload one's own homebrewed content, as well as communicate directly (in real time) via the chat rooms and instant messaging with the developers...

Grand Lodge

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I received the wrong dice bag with this order.

Despite the item's name (Biohazard Dice Bag), this is what I anticipated receiving (note the item's picture): Biohazard Dice Bag

The dice bag I received, while yellow, has the “biohazard” symbol on it; which indeed fit’s the item’s name, however, I wanted the one pictured.

Grand Lodge

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I like d20, 3rd edition, and Pathfinder, but I got tired of there being a rule for everything. I got tired of all of the little details, the minutiae... I really wanted to go back to a game that wasn't necessarily "rules-lite", but a game of rulings, not of rules - where the DM has to make judgment calls rather than rely upon there being a codified rule for almost any given situation.

So, in 2013, I went back to playing 2nd edition AD&D!

If provided with an opportunity, I'd probably play in a Pathfinder/d20/3rd edition game, but I don't believe I'll ever run a game using those rules again.

Grand Lodge

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
All I can tell you is it wasn't me. I'm not that perceptive of subtext.

Yeah, sorry... Not sure why I associated you with that post.

Anyway, I found the post that I was talking about.

It was from "Frostflame", who sadly has not posted since 2011.

Here is a snippet of what he said back in 2010:

FrostFlame wrote:
Well to demonstrate how much further rpgs have progressed since the eighties and nineties... ...In addition we have a homosexual darklord in Ravenloft Hazlik. Hazlik was the red wizard with the imprinted female tattoos.

The thread that was from is: Dungeons and Feminism!?

Grand Lodge

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That pretty much backs my interpretation, I think—homosexuality is present and not too hidden, but always fairly discreet.

A few years back, I think it was you, who said that you thought TSR was discreetly letting fans know that a certain Red Wizard of Thay turned Ravenloft Dark Lord was gay because of what was done to him by his Red Wizard peers.

Grand Lodge

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
My reason for this interpretation is the way it was written up—most powerful characters are male, and there's pretty much no reference to orientation.

In the City of Greyhawk boxed set (for 2e), the description of Kaltek: the Warden of the Citadel Prison's apartment shows he has a fondness for looking his best with plenty of powdered wigs and a lot of perfume (and it goes into great detail about these items). Now bear with me here...

If that were everything it said about Kaltek, then it would not be worth mentioning...

However, it goes on to say: "Kaltek will occasionally have male visitors -- sergeants and other officers... ...for drinks and dinner."

Now this was TSR, circa 1989, so while it could have been perfectly innocent and straight-forward, it could also have been a very discrete way of inferring that the Warden of The Free City's prison was gay or at the very least, bi-sexual...

It wouldn't have been the first time TSR did something like that while being very discreet at the same time.

Grand Lodge

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The Fiend Fantastic wrote:

What's a calzone golem?

I can't seem to find it on the net search.

It was in one of the free 3.0/3.5 adventures Wizard's of the Coast had on their web site. I believe it was an adventure for 3rd level characters, though I do not recall the adventure's name.

Grand Lodge

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MMCJawa wrote:
gods do withdraw power from those who don't roughly follow the dictates of their faith.

I can just imagine the player's reaction if a GM EVER said to the player that his cleric PC can't cast spells any more, or was denied any specific spell that the character prayed for... Would go over like the proverbial passing of gas in church...

It's something that as a DM, I would do (provided that the player of a cleric was playing the character rather flippantly towards his deity/religion), but I know that many players on these boards don't think it is the GM's place to take anything away from a player's character, especially standard class abilities.

Grand Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
Transgender goes back long before modern times.

It's been said that the (first ?) female Pharaoh Hatshepsut not only wore the headdress of (male) kingship, but also wore a fake beard, though it is thought that she did this to help her to be accepted as Pharaoh, as that was a position traditionally held by men.

Though I've also heard it said that she typically went topless as well...

Grand Lodge

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I don't know if I'd call it THE oddest, but it is certainly up there...

In the Deck of Encounters for 2nd edition, there is an "encounter" with the PCs entering a town where all of the inhabitants are at some kind of rally, and a young child approaches them and asks if they bought a raffle ticket yet, because the prize is really good...

Assuming that they do, the mayor then asks the crowd to look at their tickets and see if it has a black dot upon it.

Spoiler:
Of course one of the PC's tickets does, so the PC is asked to come up on stage, where the crowd then proceeds to throw rocks at the character.

There is extra XP given if the PCs do not kill any of the townsfolk...

Grand Lodge

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Kthulhu wrote:
I've thought about using Frank N. Furter as a NPC and possible bad guy.

Madness... Takes it's toll.

Grand Lodge

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Anzyr wrote:
That's not the relevant factor here.

It is the player who determines a PCs actions in life, and those actions have an in-game effect/consequence on where that character's soul goes in the afterlife, and that IS a conscience choice made by the character through the player. It is different for an NPC as the GM just determines things however he wants/needs, but the player's character is a living entity within the game world, and the player's actions are how the character effects and interacts within the game world around him.

If the player decides to have his character be an evil bastard, how would Pharasma judge him? Where would his soul go? His actions in life are his choices in the afterlife for good or ill.

Grand Lodge

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Anzyr wrote:
Ultimately Pharasma decides. The choice is never in their hands.

Does Pharasma send souls to an afterlife not appropriate to their alignment?

Are you in fact saying Pharasma does not judge souls properly, and just willy-nilly sends them where-ever; regardless of what alignment they were in life?

If so, then I could agree with you, but since Pharasma only sends souls to the appropriate afterlife, unless compelled to do otherwise for very specific reasons, I have to disagree...

Grand Lodge

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The Norv wrote:
...I mean, your soul (if it makes it to Pharasma) is sent to the plane that most matches your alignment, so...

Exactly...

Pherasma does not just for S&G's "switch things up" every now and then and send a soul who was Chaotic Evil in life to "heaven" or a soul who was Lawful Good to "hell"; those souls are sent to their appropriate afterlives...

And if within the game, your characters have an actual choice of what alignment you want them to be, then YES, the character (or rather the player) does have a choice as to where the character's soul ends up.

Grand Lodge

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137ben wrote:
I'm going to guess that this rerelease mans WotC is not planning on reprinting the 1e core rules in the immediate future

These PDFs are from the re-prints of the original 1st edition books that Wizards of the Coast released (in physical dead-tree form) in 2012...

Grand Lodge

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Simon Legrande wrote:
if a human is running the game then every adversary is going to be human.

Don't you think that you're perhaps, just perhaps, over thinking this a little? I mean, I am pretty sure every one of us on these boards knows that we are discussing make-believe, and that monsters don't really exist anywhere but in our collective imaginations.

Perhaps I may be the one over thinking this, but I just fail to see the logic in pointing that out to us.

YMMV...

Grand Lodge

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Anzyr wrote:
If they don't have stats? Yes.

So by that "logic", Farmer Joe the 1st level Commoner, can kill a god too, because, well, they have no stats and Farmer Joe does...

Grand Lodge

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Anzyr wrote:
Things without Stats are powerless before things that are statted

So the gods themselves are utterly powerless?? They can do nothing against the might that is Arkalion??

Grand Lodge

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Cevah wrote:
The Book of Exalted Deeds and Book Of Vile Darkness are from the list of magic items/artifacts from 1st ed.

The difference, is that the Van Richten's Guides, Ravenloft Gazetteers, and Volo's Guides, read like they were written from someone living in those settings. The 3rd edition Book of Exalted Deeds and Book of Vile Darkness read like the 3rd edition rulebooks that they were...

Grand Lodge

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Then there's: THIS

The individual PDFs on this site can be printed out at whatever size you need/want.

Grand Lodge

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TheAlicornSage wrote:
Ark is evil for taking those things away, regardless of how nonviolent his methods.

Indeed, while the actions a person takes can be neutral by themselves, the intent and motivation behind those actions is what makes those actions good or evil.

Grand Lodge

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Zombieneighbours wrote:
Awesome point Digital Elf

Thank you. :$

Grand Lodge

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Zombieneighbours wrote:
Humans make the best antagonists, because their motivations are varied, hard to predict, but possible to empathize with once discovered.

I agree. Some of my favorite Ravenloft Darklords were human.

I know this isn't a conversation about Gothic Horror, but on a related note, being able to empathize with the antagonist is what makes classic gothic horror, truly "horrific"; we're able to see the humanity within them and perhaps even recognize ourselves in the face of the "monster", or at the very least, what we could be capable of doing if we were in their place...

Grand Lodge

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Both the 3rd edition and 2nd edition "Van Richten's Guides", as well as the 3rd edition "Ravenloft Gazetteers" were supposed to be actual in-game books that the character could come across in their adventures. There were other such books for other settings as well (such as the various "Volo's Guides" in the Forgotten Realms", but the Ravenloft books were the first to come to mind.

So, the precedent is there for in-game books such as bestiaries to exist...

Grand Lodge

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The answer really depends upon what game, or at the very least, what edition one is playing, and what hit points are supposed to represent within that system.

For example, in original D&D through 2nd edition AD&D, a 10th level character wasn't all that different from a 1st level character, except in terms of his skill level within his chosen class(s). Sure he is a bit tougher, and more resilient, but the disparity between his class abilities and hit points were not as extreme between 1st and 10th level as we see in 3rd edition, 4th edition, and Pathfinder...

Heck, going by the RAW, in 1st edition AD&D, having enough XP did not automatically mean that your character went up in level, he had to first find training, and how long training took was based upon how well the DM thought you as the player, portrayed your character.

Grand Lodge

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As had been said already, the 20d6 cap has been in place for several editions of D&D, and in 2nd edition AD&D (which also had the 20d6 cap), the developers went into some detail about falling damage.

While the conversation IS about falling damage in Pathfinder, I think looking back at past editions might shed some light on perhaps why the developers of 3rd edition retained the rule, and why the developers of PF decided to retain the rule as well.

Here is what the developers of 2nd edition had to say:

The 2nd Edition DMG wrote:

Player characters have a marvelous (and, to the DM, vastly amusing) tendency to fall off things, generally from great heights and almost always onto hard surfaces. While the falling is harmless, the abrupt stop at the end tends to cause damage.

When a character falls, he suffers 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6, which for game purposes can be considered terminal velocity. This method is simple and it provides all the realism necessary in the game. It is not a scientific calculation of the rate of acceleration, exact terminal velocity, mass, impact energy, etc., of the falling body.

The fact of the matter is that physical laws can describe the exact motion of a body as it falls through space, but relatively little is known about the effects of impact. The distance fallen is not the only determining factor in how badly a person is hurt. Other factors might include elasticity of the falling body and the ground, angle of impact, shock waves through the falling body, dumb luck, and more.

People have actually fallen from great heights and survived, albeit very rarely. The current record-holder, Vesna Vulovic, survived a fall from a height of 33,330 feet in 1972, although she was severely injured. Flight-Sergeant Nicholas S. Alkemade actually fell 18,000 feet--almost 3.5 miles--without a parachute and landed uninjured!

The point of all this is roll the dice, as described above, and don't worry too much about science.

It is true that things like HP totals were lower in 2nd edition, but the point I wanted everyone to see by posting this, was that yeah, it's unrealistic to fall 5000 feet and have a good chance at surviving, but the developers knowing that, just said "have fun, and roll the dice anyway"...

Oh, and for the record, regardless of what the rules state; I'm in the "IF your character falls from orbit, your character is just plain dead." camp. So while I can see why the developers (of 2nd edition) rationalized using the rule, I prefer to run a more realistic game. :-)

Grand Lodge

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Going back as far as 1st edition AD&D, there have been "non-standard" spell books (mostly written for the Forgotten Realms setting), appearing at first in the pages of Dragon Magazine, and then into various (FR) sourcebooks... Even the 2nd edition DMG listed a few "alternate" materials to make a "non-standard" spell book.

Grand Lodge

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As a DM/GM, I love to have the players "think outside of the box", and I would have no problem using something like a monster that is tied to a specific weapon, and, like your example, have the monster be weakened by breaking it.

HOWEVER...

I would NEVER rely on knowledge of that fact be with the player having seen a movie, read a book, or whatever. I would drop clues into the game that hint or make mention of the monster having a vulnerability, and how to exploit that vulnerability; so then, if the characters decide to fight such a monster without having done any information gathering on it, then having a tougher fight is on them.

The being said, I would not just place such a monster or foe in an adventure randomly or on the fly. The hints or rumors I mentioned would be spread about the game-world before the characters ever even think about going to the place where such a foe makes his lair.

I play my monsters and foes of the party intelligently (well, as intelligent as their INT score anyway), but sometimes, I do "dumb-down" a foe, just to keep things interesting.

As for giving out magical items, well, I tend to run relatively low magic games. So I don't start handing out magical equipment until the characters are at least 4th level (e.g. +1 weapons and/or armor, single use low-powered items, and the like), though sometimes I will do so as early as 3rd level. And even though I run 2nd Edition AD&D now, I did this back when I ran Pathfinder and 3rd Edition as well.

Grand Lodge

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Kthulhu wrote:
drinking the milk

That was #13 on the list. :-)

Grand Lodge

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Haladir wrote:
@Digitalelf: Your campaign does have a theme: "Anything goes."

I suppose that is technically true; though I've never used those exact words to describe my campaigns.

As for character-making, since I use 2nd edition AD&D, it is much easier to make a generalist character, though I have had players make more "specialized" characters, and those characters still "had a decent shot" (of survival and participation) in my campaigns – though to be fair, 2nd edition does not allow players the ability to customize their characters anywhere near the level in which Pathfinder (or 3rd edition) allows for.

Grand Lodge

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I never run "thematic campaigns", I can never say that "this campaign will be one of high seas adventure" or "dungeon exploration". The campaign may start in the city of Greyhawk, but it's just as likely to wind up in the Ruins of Undermountin, or the elemental plane of fire than it is to stay confined within the walls of greyhawk...

And not all of this jumping around is player-driven, and it is never something that I tell or forewarn them about; things like that fog that rolled in from the sea last night... Wasn't normal fog...

Now the campaign has moved to the demi-plane of Ravenloft.

But the one thing that the players are all aware of is the fact that something unknown like that may happen during the course of the campaign.

I do however listen to what the players talk about in-game to see what they want to do and where they'd like to go.

Grand Lodge

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captain yesterday wrote:
94. Dude was banging his best friend, his girlfriend put it all together by his in game actions, and hit in the head with a cast iron skillet, cops were called, whole fiasco broke up the group.

Doing my best to sound like David Bowie...

- When the kids had killed the man, I had to break up the band...

Grand Lodge

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Psionics = Magic is the default though, and is the method I was addressing.

Yeah, psionics being different than magic is a "default" holdover from 2nd edition that I had kept back when I played 3rd edition, and then Pathfinder...

Grand Lodge

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
On the surface Psionics is just magic. An NPC could be a Sorcerer or a Psion and without comparing the spell lists it would be almost impossible to tell between [unless the GM was announcing his moves out loud and declaring the use of power points or metapsionic feats or whatnot.]

Since in my games psionic abilities are not magic, when I played 3rd edition and Pathfinder, I gave spell-casting classes a (secret) "Spellcraft" check, and non-spell casters a (once again, secret) "Perception" check to notice if there was anything "unusual" about the way the psion/psionicist was "casting" his "spells".

Now that I play 2nd edition once again, I do something very similar, only now I’m using the proficiency system.

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I use psionics in my campaigns, and have no qualms about mixing sci-fi with fantasy, as I never viewed psionics as belonging solely to any one category (which are very nebulous to begin with).

I take the rather unpopular stance that psionis are not magic. I run 2nd edition AD&D, and the introduction of "The Complete Psionics Handbook" says (very loosely paraphrased) that magic is an external force, that casting spells is the shaping of that external force, while psionics on the other hand is a completely internal force, and using psionic abilities shape that internal force and then "throws" that power outward from within the user.

Later the book has this to say about the effects of magic on psionics and vice-versa:

The Complete Psionics Handbook wrote:

The essences of magic and psionics are wholly different. A wizard or cleric who can detect magic will never detect psionics. Nor will a psionicist who scans for psionic activity ever detect spell-casting. This holds true even if the effect of a particular magical and psionic skill is identical, or nearly identical. For example, a wizard can use hold portal to hold a door shut. In his own way, using psychokinesis, so can a psionicist. If a psionicist is holding a door shut, and a wizard casts detect magic on the door, the wizard will find nothing unusual about it. If the wizard casts dispel magic, the door will not open. No magical forces are at work on the door.

Exceptions do exist, but they're fairly easy to determine. For example, a wizard who casts a detect invisibility spell will see a character using psionic invisibility because the spell description states specifically that the spell does not discriminate between types of invisibility.

From what I have read here on this message-board, a lot of posters, even those that use psionics, do not agree with that, and therefore let magic effect psionics and vice versa.

I happen to like keeping the two independent of one another in that regard.

Grand Lodge

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13. Drinking the host's milk. ;-)

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