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What Does Psionics Mean to You?


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Shadow Lodge

Psionics has never had this problem. It has a pretty good following since the earliest editions (where it was actually split up between the PHB and DMG, and useless without both books). With the exception of a few easy fixes (no more xp components), and a few skill changes, you shouldn't have to much trouble just using the book as is.

I hope they do get rid of the "personal only" spells powers though.


I've never liked psionics in my D&D games, except for the rare occasions I used mind flayers. I doubt I'd ever buy a book about it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Hey Folks,

Came to this thread a bit late, and wanted to add my 2cp worth, especially as it appears that I am in the smallest of minorities. I actually prefer the 1st ed rules for Psionics--not the combat mechanics, but the fact that psionics tened to be very rare, and that they added to your character, not defined it. I also really liked the two-edged nature of psionics in 1st ed, (i.e. you could get lucky and get the ability, and then roll like crap and be extremely vulnerable to psionic creatures). I liked the abilities and they way you recieved them, dolled out over levels.

At this point I should probably mention that I am doing this from memory as I could not locate my 1st ed PHB when I went to look for it, I'm very pissed about this, but that is another matter entirely.

Anyway....What I would like to see from Paizo is something that is similar to 1st ed, tied to INT, WIS, and CHA--with the rules for increasing ability scores, psionics would be more prevelant than they used to be. I like the psionic abilities from 1st ed and would like to see more of them. Make psionics rare, I don't feel people should be able to have psionics just because they want to. It should be "holy crap" I rolled high and now I have this gift/curse.

I do not want to see psionic races or classes. I don't have anything against them, they just "feel wrong" to me. I've never played one, but I have read through most of the books. Some of the classes look like fun, but I don't think they fit.

If Paizo does something like 1st ed (highly unlikely), please re-vamp the combat mechanics, and level the range of ability--meaning, and again this is from memory--change the rolling of d100 for determining psionic power.

In any case, thanks for taking the time to read this rambling opinion, and good gaming to all. Paizo, you're doing a great job.

Jeff

Grand Lodge

Eventually I plan on going back and reading what others have posted here, it is late and I am too tired to read such a lengthy discussion. However, I did want to toss in my two cents.

What do psionics mean to me? Telepathy, telekinesis, mind control, mental attacks, the ability to affect the environment using the power of the mind. Honestly, if magic can do it then psionics probably can too.

I have tried psionics in 1st andd 2nd edition AD&D and while I thought it was a neat concept I always ended up steering away from them. The reason for that is simple, it was a whole new mechanic thrown into the game that was not needed and made it more complicated. More for me to learn and more for my players to learn.

The first and only time I saw a psionics system I liked was in Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed/Evolved. The system for psionics was the magic system, spells were just given a psionic template. It worked smoothly, was easy to learn and did not require a whole new system different from the rest of the game. I would not want to see concepts similar to laden spells and templates introduced to make it work because those things do not exist in the magic system Pathfinder currently has (they were great for Monte's game because the whole magic system used them). Psions would have their own "spell" list, and it should include spells that currently exist (much like the overlap that we currently have with arcane and divine casters having some spells in common) and some spells unique to their class.

To sum up... Make psionics work like the magic system and I will buy it and probably use it.


Thraxus wrote:
hogarth wrote:
jennibert wrote:
Yes, it's a level lower, and the d20 SRD says you can augment it to make it days per level (I don't remember that from the book--is it an errata?), but at that point it's a 6th level power rather than a 5th level spell.).
Yes, it was part of the errata.

It is also just one of many psionic powers that are worse than the arcane/divine version. for example, psionic Moment of Prescience lasts rounds per level instead of hours per level.

A number of powers, such as the psionic version of fly, are personal only. This is not always bad, but I would prefer less "as this spell, but..." type of powers.

There are also some powers that are better than the arcane/divine version. In general, I would like to see the powers balanced against each other a bit better.

It is not worse. You get it before wizards and sorcerers. In a campaign that does not start at lvl 8+ getting good spells like dominate person at lower levels is very good. It lets you own the battlefield earlier.


-Archangel- wrote:
It is not worse. You get it before wizards and sorcerers. In a campaign that does not start at lvl 8+ getting good spells like dominate person at lower levels is very good. It lets you own the battlefield earlier.

But it takes a standard action (or manifesting an additional power (solicit psycrystal)) to actually control them at all, which means you effectively replace your character with an enemy, leaving your own character largely useless.

Meanwhile, two levels later, the wizard can drop a dominate on someone and just order them around while still casting spells all around the battlefield.

Does that really make Psionic Dominate better? I don't really think so. You've given up your actions to use someone else's actions, while the wizard has given up 1 action, total, to get double the actions from there on out. It comes to you earlier, but it's a lot less useful, any way you slice it. Especially since a wizard could have multiple dominated minions running around, most of them for over a week at a time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Beckett wrote:

Psionics has never had this problem. It has a pretty good following since the earliest editions (where it was actually split up between the PHB and DMG, and useless without both books). With the exception of a few easy fixes (no more xp components), and a few skill changes, you shouldn't have to much trouble just using the book as is.

I hope they do get rid of the "personal only" spells powers though.

Psionics has not had the problem to the same extent as incarnum, for example, but it still suffers somewhat. Go crack open your PHB2, for instance, and show me the little section on psions and psychic warriors. They have scouts, hexblades, heck, even the marshal from the Miniature's Handbook. But...I can't seem to find a psionic class there. Which Complete class book was the worst? Complete Psychic, at least by my and others I've spoken with's standards. (Admittedly, this isn't exactly hard proof.)

Look at epic and psionics. They didn't even bother to work in the differences in mechanics, they just told you to use the magic rules and call it psionics. So despite having PP to run their powers on, epic powers use up epic power slots. Nice. And was there ever an epic update for the 3.5 changes to psionics? I don't think there was. (Although maybe it was hidden in that crappy Complete Psychic)

In short, psionics is much more integrated than the other systems, but less integrated than the point at which it would be part of DnD rather than an option.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Blazej wrote:

I don't think so.

Psionic dominate has a much larger range than the magical counterparts. Also its augments allow it to mimic the various magic dominate spells. It is not worse. I may not better in every possible way compared to dominate person, but I have hard time believing that it is worse.

Fair point. Nonetheless, I would prefer to see the powers brought more in line with each other.


Disciple of Sakura wrote:
-Archangel- wrote:
It is not worse. You get it before wizards and sorcerers. In a campaign that does not start at lvl 8+ getting good spells like dominate person at lower levels is very good. It lets you own the battlefield earlier.

But it takes a standard action (or manifesting an additional power (solicit psycrystal)) to actually control them at all, which means you effectively replace your character with an enemy, leaving your own character largely useless.

Meanwhile, two levels later, the wizard can drop a dominate on someone and just order them around while still casting spells all around the battlefield.

Does that really make Psionic Dominate better? I don't really think so. You've given up your actions to use someone else's actions, while the wizard has given up 1 action, total, to get double the actions from there on out. It comes to you earlier, but it's a lot less useful, any way you slice it. Especially since a wizard could have multiple dominated minions running around, most of them for over a week at a time.

Yes, but later that Psionic Dominate can also work without concentration.

This is balanced then by having Psionic Dominate have short duration.

Truthfully, Dominate spells are too good. 1 day/lvl is a too long a duration. Dominate person should be toned down, not other way around.


Erik Mona wrote:

So I'm asking you:

What does Psionics mean to you?

How can I get you to buy a psionics book and use it in your campaign?

What is an absolute deal-breaker?

Thanks again for the give-and-take.

--Erik

Psionics has long meant to me what it meant in 1e, as a previous poster so eloquently mentioned and discussed. Every once in a while you'd have a character that had this "thing" that they had to deal with and pray they didn't wake up with a severe case of cerebral parasites.

2e introduced a whole revamp of the concept that was intriguing - and admittedly abusable, but did permit saving throws to mitigate the nastiest elements. Note that there was exactly ONE class if memory serves me correctly on this.

3e's "spin" on the 2e system became widely perceived as broken for several reasons.

  • Psions could wear the heaviest armor and tote around tower sheilds to ramp up their AC with no impediment to their offensive power. They never had to worry about anything other than 'manifesting defensively', although the 'cast/manifest defensively' mechanic is wholly new to 3e.
  • Psions while technically required to augment a power to generate greater damage yield, automatically got the benefits of increasing the power level in the process. Oh, and a psion can 'dial' four out of the five energy types to suit what foe they were facing in very short order. Especially in Pathfinder, there is NO other ability or class that gets that degree of flexibility in their energy damage output at all - perhaps, maybe, we'd see that at above 12th or 13th level if the archmage is integrated into the sorcerer and wizard.
  • Depending on what 'spin' you used for psionics, you additively had a character whose abilities were only resistable/stoppable by other psionic types. And unlike 1e and 2e, where especially the telepathic stuff required crowbaring your way in over several rounds or simply didn't even work with any efficacy on the non-awakened mind, 3e psionics overwhelmingly favored the psionic when regular abjurations had NO efficacy in defending against otherwise identical mechanical effects.
  • The "nuke out" option is represented by the fact that a psion could burn off all their points, or very nearly so, churning out their best and strongest powers. No other core casting class can do so, ever, by any means I am aware of. A 5th level psion, as I recall, could be counted on to have 37 power points with a key ability score of 20 (25 base +12 from the 20 ability score, according to the SRD). A 3rd level psionic power costs 5 power points, matching the standard amount of points that can be manifested at a given time by a 5th level psion. So, a 5th level psion can lob 7 3rd level spells and still retain enough juice to retain that 1 precious power point for stuff that requires it and manifest a last-ditch 1st level 1-point power later on. No other caster at 5th level can begin to approach that kind of offensive power. How many people would howl at the GM if they had to deal with a bad guy that dropped 7 fireballs on them from 'cast spells' as a 5th level bad guy? (Let alone carried items - like, say, the cheaper necklaces of fireballs...) Yes, there are defenses - but at 5th level, how likely is it that the entire party of 4 player characters has expended 16 Resist Energy spells - more if you include animal companions and familiars - just to reduce that ONE bad guys' damage output? For that matter, is it even possible for the "standard quartet" to have even been able to do so? Yes, in theory - but then half of that quartet are reduced to peppering with crossbow bolts, waving their pom-poms and hoping the fighter and rogue can take him down...

An absolute deal-breaker would be, for me and most of mine, a "core psionic-favored race" like the one that could 'expend their psionic focus' to rack up a stack of bonuses, reacquire it easily [feat = focus as a swift action ftw] and proceed to mop the floor with nuking everything else that doesn't close into melee ASAP. Oh, and retaining the above mentioned difficulties with being able to "tank" and cast unimpeded. I mean really...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

if you gave it a 1/day save it might be better, Archangel.

As to the augments let me post them from the SRD.

Augment
You can augment this power in one or more of the following ways.

If you spend 2 additional power points, this power can also affect an animal, fey, giant, magical beast, or monstrous humanoid.
If you spend 4 additional power points, this power can also affect an aberration, dragon, elemental, or outsider in addition to the creature types mentioned above.
For every 2 additional power points you spend, this power can affect an additional target. Any additional target cannot be more than 15 feet from another target of the power.
If you spend 1 additional power point, this power’s duration is 1 hour rather than concentration. If you spend 2 additional power points, this power’s duration is 1 day rather than concentration. If you spend 4 additional power points, this power’s duration is 1 day per manifester level rather than concentration.
In addition, for every 2 additional power points you spend to achieve any of these effects, this power’s save DC increases by 1.

So for 11 points (6th level spell) you get Dominate Person's duration. If you spend 15 points, (8th level spell) it's dominate monster.

I don't have hyperconscious in front of me (one of the few MalP books I have on dead tree only) but I think Utter Thrall is an 8 or 10 point augment. If 8 points, it puts it on par with Utter Thrall (Sor/Wiz 8, CBoEM) if 10, it's a 9th level spell. Yes, this means that a telepath 20 can overchannel for 5d8 to utter thrall a dragon or demon. DC 22+ stat + misc save. That's also equal to a 12th level spell slot.


James Jacobs wrote:
Take this for example: An evil psion NPC has NO GAME REASON to throttle his PSP use. He can unleash all of his PSPs on the party as 9th level spells, since he's only going to be in the game for one combat; he doesn't have to hold back to save points for later.

How would you feel about making the psion's power point pool a per encounter pool rather than a per day pool. This would reign in the nova potential which seems to be the biggest complaint, and would preserve the points mechanic which would prevent a mod of torch brandishing psions from decending on Paizo HQ. Could such a small fix solve the problem with psions?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Turin the Mad wrote:

[3e's "spin" on the 2e system became widely perceived as broken for several reasons.

Let me hit your concerns one at a time Turin,


  • If the psion wanted to invest, between 2-4 feats in weapon and/or armor proficiency, of if they wanted to burn a level to gain fighter, and defer their abilities down the road. Also, see Cleric. If they don't take the feats, it's going to be hard to do anything with a -2 through -12 on all physical skills and to hit rolls etc.
  • There's no technically about it. They do need to spend points to augment damage. The save DC on some powers change not all. The power's level does not change. An overchanneled energy ray from a 20th level psion does 23d6+23 points of damage, and is still stopped by a simple minor globe of invulnerability. The wizard can throw Utter Thrall (Sor/Wiz 8, CBoEM) through a major globe, the psion can -never- bypass it with Dominate.
  • Yes, the psion can dial in his energy ray/ball/cone etc. So, wow, the Psion actually can do direct damage better than a wizard. *gasp* Next you'll be upset that the cleric can heal better than the psion. No, wait, no one complains about that. Pity he still needs to compensate for lack of scaling. Also a lot of his powers are inferior to the sorcerer/wizard on a point for point basis (Force screen can be augmented to increase its AC, but doesn't stop magic missles for example)
  • Any DM who uses non-transparency, and doesn't prepare for it, deserves what he's getting. It works both ways though. I can't dispell his wall of ectoplasm, he can't dispell my force cage.
  • Nova's been attacked before. 5 feats, to be able to wipe out an encounter. Again, if the DM is not working with the 4+ encounters a day format, the wizard and sorcerer and cleric are keeping pace. I'll also add that the core casters can use metamagic rods, which more than even the score. Also with augmentation, the poor sorcerer who's somehow burned all his slots except for first level is stuck with doing 'just' 5d4+5 magic missile damage. The psion who's down to 1 PP does... 1d6 points of damage.

    That 5th level psion, for example, can throw 7 powers fully augmented. Raw damage that's 35d6+35 points, in 7 die groupings. 157.5 points.

    Our wizard is throwing a 5d6 fireball, two 4d6 scortching rays, 3 3d4+3 magic missiles and 4 1d3 acid splashes. give him a modest 16 int at 5th level. and he's now up to two fireballs, 3 scorching rays and 4 magic missiels. 22d6 + 12d4+12 + 4d3. Average 125 points. Assuming that the Wizard is an evoker, then it becomes 31d6 + 15d4+15 + 5d3. Average 158 points. And the wizard can make sure every one of those spells benefit from one spell focus feat. The Psion has one power an encounter that can benefit from psionic endowment an encoutner unless he a) spends a full round doing nothing but refocusing or b) spends a second feat to get psionic meditation. (with a concentration score of 8+con, before feats, we'll assume he makes the check, but it's only a 70% chance of success) If the psion takes psionic meditation at 5th level, it's fair to give our wizard/blaser build greater spell focus, so his spells still come out ahead.


Is Novaing possible? Yes. Is it exclusive to the Psion, um, no.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Andy Griffin wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Take this for example: An evil psion NPC has NO GAME REASON to throttle his PSP use. He can unleash all of his PSPs on the party as 9th level spells, since he's only going to be in the game for one combat; he doesn't have to hold back to save points for later.
How would you feel about making the psion's power point pool a per encounter pool rather than a per day pool. This would reign in the nova potential which seems to be the biggest complaint, and would preserve the points mechanic which would prevent a mod of torch brandishing psions from decending on Paizo HQ. Could such a small fix solve the problem with psions?

Interesting suggestion.

I'd think it would make Novaing worse. When I play psions, I usually divide my power points by 5, as a way of judging 'how many points can I spend on this encounter, and not be useless later down the road?'

That last 5th (built on the 4 encounter a day mechanic) would be used for nighttime ambushes, the times when I had to nova to keep everyone alive, etc. So you'd not want to just divide the pool by, say, 4 to keep the times when you need a bit of extra 'oomph' but the more you deviate from the 4 encounters a day scenario (as a DM, I like night encounters, for example) the worse it becomes.

"Ah man, a night ambush? This is the 3rd time tonight!"
*psion player cracks knuckles* "Don't worry, this blasting is on me."

"Wow, the mooks keep coming, this encounter is going on forever."
"Guys, can we run away and come back? The Wizard and cleric are still cooking, but I ran out of juice 3 rounds ago."


The attack penalty from heavy armor and even tower shields is a non-issue for psions when throwing lines and other area-effect powers, only rays and any other powers requiring attack rolls. My primary complaint is not damage amount - it is the selective-yield aspect. Only acid is excluded ... ooo, they get sonic, which means they can blast structures to flinders in a hurry and pretty reliably whomp almost every critter in the game. Given the "dialing" aspect, I think that in and of itself as compared to a sorcerer equates to four spells for the sorcerer for each one of those 'select your energy type now' psionic powers.

The psion delivers his 'nova' in comparable time to the arcane casters, all at the same saving throw DC (when applicable), all over an area effect, whereas most of the example sorcerer/wizard's are ranged-touch or single target excepting the first 2 fireballs. At 5th level no one has metamagic rods. And the sorceror/wizard cannot dial his energy type to get around noted resistances/immunities.

I concur on most of your other points. :) Spent some time rummaging through the SRD.

Only catch is ... have you ever seen anyone actually use a minor globe of invulnerability? I cannot recall the last statblock in any of Paizo's modules or Adventure Paths that has either version of that spell available or memorized. Not saying that there isn't, just that I do not remember it.

Reason - it is immobile, and thus basically a death trap, barring starting in vastly superior tactical terrain (up on a cliff) just inside the baddies' Medium spell range (which eliminates the close range stuff outright).

Psionics can be and is fun - right up until it skews out of perceived balance if nothing else. I have two players that love them because of the very reasons I listed earlier. They'll play other classes - but given the chance they'll knowingly take the psion because it is a vastly superior version of a sorcerer for all practical purposes.

Hosing my entire group because of 1 or 2 out of as many as 8 players is not fair to the rest of them, so asking for "4 encounters per day" to be reliably disruptive to rest and recuperation hoses everyone BUT the barbarian. Not all adventure paths are written at that pace of play - most decidedly are not - either, and if the characters hole up, unless the baddies have in-play legitimately acquired certain amounts of knowledge, how do I justify it ?

Qadira

Erik Mona wrote:


What does Psionics mean to you?

Well there are two parts to that.

Part 1
it is a better "caster" system then what is presented in the basic rule books. Mechanically anyway, maybe not by theme.
which leads to
part 2
It is dramatically different which is why only one player I have ever wants to play it and since he is using "different" rules it makes it harder to use.
Honestly my biggest enjoyment to the rules were the psionic focus feats. I saw a glimpse of what this could mean in some of the splat books but they never worked very well, or were just too powerful. That being said I would not be opposed to a vanacian Psionics if it retained some of the aforementioned flavor of XPH.

Erik Mona wrote:


How can I get you to buy a psionics book and use it in your campaign?

I think a hundred people have mentioned this. Don't make it feel tacked on. Have rules that make it clear that this is an addition to the basic rules. Heck make it so that there are no psionic core classes I don't care just as long as it does not seem a separate system.

In truth I miss some of the 3.0 rules because of additions that came out in Dragon Magazine. The Psionic/Monk rules were great but did not convert well at all.
Erik Mona wrote:


What is an absolute deal-breaker?

yes but I will comment later when I have more time.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Beckett wrote:
I hope they do get rid of the "personal only" spells powers though.

To me, personal powers are a defining feature of psionics. Psions are the guys who do best when buffing themselves and targeting single foes. Sure, they'll have a few party buffs and area attacks, but those effects are primarily the responsibility of casters.

That gives psions and spellcasters distinct niches. Spellcasters party buff and area attack, with a few narrower spells thrown in for variety. Psions self buff and make surgical strikes, with a few area powers thrown in for variety.

Besides, why should the power of my mind allow someone else to fly or change shape or whatever?


To be quite honest, I don't really have much problem with giving sorcerers (and possibly wizards) the ability to change their elemental damage types as they wish (perhaps requiring the Wizard to prepare the elemental damage type, rather than changing it spontaneously). I think it'd allow the characters to really feel a bit more dynamic, and it wouldn't hose a PC who has just learned a really cool spell, only to face opponents largely immune to it (which happened in a game of mine by accident, once. The wizard finally learned Scorching Ray, and the next adventure was populated by Magmin and Fire resistant demons...).

One thing I find rather interesting about psionics is that all the best powers really are discipline specific. Any wizard (who doesn't have evocation as a prohibited school) or sorcerer can learn fireball/scintillating sphere/etc, while only a kineticist can learn energy ball (without being two levels higher and expending a feat). Psionic Dominate is a telepath only power, unless you spend a feat or lose a couple of manifester levels to a PrC. Astral Construct is one many people do expend a feat on due to its utility, but it doesn't come with the wealth of built in spell effects that the summon chain provides. I like the limitation, but it does also necessitate that those powers, perhaps, be a bit better than their more generally available arcane counterparts. It isn't difficult to learn summon monster IX, meteor swarm, delayed blast fireball, dominate monster, and shapechange, but it is very difficult for a psion to have a whole host of similar powers. And he's expending nonrenewable character resources to come close. I actually appreciate that part of the rules, too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Turin the Mad wrote:

The attack penalty from heavy armor and even tower shields is a non-issue for psions when throwing lines and other area-effect powers, only rays and any other powers requiring attack rolls.

The attack penalty may be a non issue in that respect, but what about the movement, skill check and encumbrance issues? If you are playing a psion your typical stats don't include high strength or dexterity. Your party won't be sneaking around/climbing/jumping/etc. (god forbid you fall down a pit trap - what reflex save and how are you getting out?), will be waiting around as the encumbered psion tries to catch up and in combat your psion is a sitting target for lines, touch attacks and aoe's.

Turin the Mad wrote:


My primary complaint is not damage amount - it is the selective-yield aspect. Only acid is excluded ... ooo, they get sonic, which means they can blast structures to flinders in a hurry and pretty reliably whomp almost every critter in the game. Given the "dialing" aspect, I think that in and of itself as compared to a sorcerer equates to four spells for the sorcerer for each one of those 'select your energy type now' psionic powers.

I completely agree the selective energy is nice, but I think you are overstating its importance. If a caster is truly worried about that they will have a sonic spell regardless, it isn't a hardship on the class or player if it is a concern to the player, it's the smart choice. I think the designers had that in mind and threw it in as a balance factor to the "need to spend pp's to increase the damage output of the power" and "limited selections of powers per discipline." In cases of creatures who have a susceptibility to energy, if it is semi-intelligent (or better) it will have a potion or ring or something to counter that. So even "on the fly" power selection still is in the same place as a regular caster on the first attack (assuming metagaming/knowing the weaknesses) if not the second and third as they try to find out what works. Taking that into account a caster who loads up on all cold spells going against a low level red dragon (iconic creature) made a stupid mistake in counting on the weakness and deserves to be ineffective in combat because of it - tactics & "think out side the box" will lead to more wins than just spell selection more often than not, unless your DM plays the enemies as moron's. In that case plowing through encounters is the norm I'd imagine.

Turin the Mad wrote:


The psion delivers his 'nova' in comparable time to the arcane casters, all at the same saving throw DC (when applicable), all over an area effect, whereas most of the example sorcerer/wizard's are ranged-touch or single target excepting the first 2 fireballs. At 5th level no one has metamagic rods. And the sorceror/wizard cannot dial his energy type to get around noted resistances/immunities.

The same DC isn't comparable in truth, it favors core casters. A psion has to pump up the DC through pp's (which means no meta psionic feats as those cost pp's too don't forget!) and if they have built around "nova'ing" they don't have the feats to get +DC until much later. That being said the difference between a 3rd and 2nd level spell (1), add in the feat and now the DC's from the core caster are now better if not even (at the same level a core caster will have enough feats to get the greater feat for +2 and have some left over so even their 2nd level spell DCs are better than the psions 3rd level power DC and inflict comparable damage to that 3rd power as well).

I agree on the meta magic rods, and items in general so I try not to use them in arguments. Not saying they don't make a difference just I try not to assume they are there. See above about the whole selective energy thing, if the psion has a little more adaptability I don't see it as overpowering, there is still an element of "hit or miss" involved.

Turin the Mad wrote:


I concur on most of your other points. :) Spent some time rummaging through the SRD.

Only catch is ... have you ever seen anyone actually use a minor globe of invulnerability? I cannot recall the last statblock in any of Paizo's modules or Adventure Paths that has either version of that spell available or memorized. Not saying that there isn't, just that I do not remember it.

Reason - it is immobile, and thus basically a death trap, barring starting in vastly superior tactical terrain (up on a cliff) just inside the baddies' Medium spell range (which eliminates the close range stuff outright).

Fly + Lesser globe = flying artillery platform. And while it might not be "optimal" it is definitely effective even with in the confines of a 20' tall room. Melee is pretty much completely ineffective and ranged physical attacks can be somewhat(if not totally) negated by protection from arrows (2nd level spell). Toss in that as the BBEG fight the party has used up some of its resources to get there, many of the back ups (wands, scrolls, items) are not high enough to pierce it, and it could easily lead to a TPK. These are tactics an "average" intelligence caster will be able to come up with. Again tactics, tactics, tactics. There are rules for terrain, cover, concealment for a reason. NPC's should be using tactics as well, if you aren't you are doing a great disservice to your PC's. I play the game for a little bit of challenge and mental exercise as well as the social aspect of seeing my friends, if I were to plow through everything because it was predictable I'd just as soon play a board or miniatures game.

Turin the Mad wrote:


Psionics can be and is fun - right up until it skews out of perceived balance if nothing else. I have two players that love them because of the very reasons I listed earlier. They'll play other classes - but given the chance they'll knowingly take the psion because it is a vastly superior version of a sorcerer for all practical purposes.

Players who like to min-max or micro manage are going to be attracted to the class regardless. As a point system it allows control that the other classes don't (complaints abound about the core spell system normally as is). That isn't a flaw with the class, if anything it is a flaw with the system... Truth is those types of players are going to make whatever class they play "more" powerful than the typical stat blocked class that gets published in an adventure (I'm looking at you iconics - I love you all the same) or that character someone makes without putting as much thought into.

Turin the Mad wrote:


Hosing my entire group because of 1 or 2 out of as many as 8 players is not fair to the rest of them, so asking for "4 encounters per day" to be reliably disruptive to rest and recuperation hoses everyone BUT the barbarian. Not all adventure paths are written at that pace of play - most decidedly are not - either, and if the characters hole up, unless the baddies have in-play legitimately acquired certain amounts of knowledge, how do I justify it ?

You view it as "hosing" your group but you are the one running a non standard party (not saying you are doing anything wrong, I'm stating it more because your perception of things will be skewed to what you are playing with) and seem to be expecting the same results. The DMG/core rules state explicitly that the game is based and balanced on a 4 person group with roughly 4 level equivalent encounters per day using a set percentage of resources each encounter, if you aren't taking that into account, well lets put it this way... If you are running that many people the core rules aren't going to cover it, it requires modification to the game. Adventures paths are also written with "the 4 +/-" characters in mind and every adventure path I have read has had leeway with when encounters occur and if not they have had a sidebar stating "We know this might be harder because of the timing/pace/etc. but here is why we did such and such." With that as a guideline running more than 4 encounters also puts the psion (and any spell casters for that matter) who have limited resources at a disadvantage (sorcerer and psions less so than wizards, as they can choose at cast/use, at least IMO - if there is advanced notice obviously a wizard fares better and can excel). Where as physical melee/range types are at an advantage and this is one of the few areas they shine. As long as there are hit points they are 100% effective at what they do. With cure X wounds potions, wands of cure X wounds, and items like healing belts they can continue like the energizer bunny until death/no resources which ever comes first.

If you are running 1 encounter per character (roughly what the rules are based on) of your 8 person party, the same psion you used the numbers for earlier would be able to be effective in the first 5 of 8 combats going all out once, the sorcerer would be able to be effective in all combats as both 2nd and 3rd levels scale and could be "big guns" then add in the 1st level and 0 levels (pew pew with ranged touch 1d3 cold at will now). Realistically (or more easily dealt with in terms of planning probably) the encounters should be ramped up so that they use the same percentage of resources of all 8 characters instead of just 4 characters, but this is a balancing act on the DMs end, which is again more work for you. CR/EL's are iffy at the best of times, with 8 characters it could be downright impossible, take a look at the "16 wolves doesn't equal..." thread. The choices you make can cause certain classes shine or bury others.

That is if you don't take into account reserve feats... Which just make it so the core classes are plain and simple better in all ways imaginable. There is no comparable ability for the psionics in the official rules anywhere to even come close to that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ladies and Gentlemen; Let's get ready to ramble!!!

I've been trying to figure out for a while something that would be a limiter on the entire 'nova-ing' issue, which so many people have with the psionics mechanics of the game, yet at the same time not removing it from the psionics game completely, or making it completely ineffectual, because a lot of the fans of the system don't see it as a problem.

On another thread, I've put down a few ideas, but one that just popped in to my head because of this statement

Turin the Mad wrote:
The psion delivers his 'nova' in comparable time to the arcane casters

Now this made me think, what if, when augmenting a power, it took a full round to manifest? Not being able to do anything else but an augmentation for a full round, concentrating on augmenting his power? This means state you are augmenting your manifestation, doing that till your next turn, and then setting the power loose. Or maybe only when they are trying to use max points in one manifestation (level 7 character means 7 pp). I could also see the same thing being applied to metamagic feats for sorcerers as they try to bend the spell out of shape.

Some other ideas:

Maybe a penalty on multiple nova's in a row (level/2?) with the penalty being subdual damage equal to the pp spent (this wouldn't be able to work without more rules to it).

Place a cap on augmenting powers comparable to what spells have (eg. 5d for 1st, 10d for 3rd, etc.)

If you really think you need to, maybe a Vancian/PP hybrid, with daily uses of highest level powers and/or augmented powers, starting with second level powers.

Make augmenting a class feature, with limited uses per day as per other class features, or limiting the amount of levels you can augment.

I am hoping for a return of Psionic talents (0-level powers), making them at will just like the Arcane and Divine spellcasters get.

Certainly none of these ideas are perfect, but I really, REALLY want Paizo to do a compatible Psionics with XPH, and personally think that it only needs a little tweak to bring in line with your vision of Pathfinder. I'm hoping that putting out ideas will help save the psionics many of us know and love, if only by making people think along hopefully different lines than before.

In the end, though, we have to realize that Psionics is different to both the arcane and divine systems, and that's the way that psionics fans like it. Power points are like hit points, in a way, being able to be used up and only really mean anything once it gets close to zero. These 'mental hit points' mean that a psionic character can be like a 'mental Barbarian', wading into the combat going all-out and not worrying about their health. Unfortunately it's the stupid ones that don't pay attention, don't check their health and lose more than they should, and get stuck in the back row taking potshots with a ranged weapon when they get too low. I think Matthew Morris makes a valid point that smart players will figure out what their resources are and plan accordingly.

And by the way, I'd just like to point out again, that the mechanics for the Rage Points of the Barbarian, are completely in line with power points for Psionics. Maybe you can use that as a base. Look at that, Psionics is in the core. Monks too, for that matter, with Ki Points.

If you are looking to scrapping it, make up the unknown 9th school of magic, Psionic, placing their unique powers there as spells. I wouldn't be looking forward to this approach, and would be downright disappointed if this were to happen. Maybe as an appendix option for those not interested in adding a new system, but please, PLEASE keep psionics as is, or as close as you can realistically manage.

Thank you for listening/reading.


Skylancer4 and others who have rebutted my points - most of which I have agreed with after perusing the psionics sections of the SRD as they were pointed out to me - it now comes back around. :)

In particular this one caught my attention:

Skylancer4 wrote:
Fly + Lesser globe = flying artillery platform. And while it might not be "optimal" it is definitely effective even with in the confines of a 20' tall room. Melee is pretty much completely ineffective and ranged physical attacks can be somewhat(if not totally) negated by protection from arrows (2nd level spell). Toss in that as the BBEG fight the party has used up some of its resources to get there, many of the back ups (wands, scrolls, items) are not high enough to pierce it, and it could easily lead to a TPK. These are tactics an "average" intelligence caster will be able to come up with. Again tactics, tactics, tactics. There are rules for terrain, cover, concealment for a reason. NPC's should be using tactics as well, if you aren't you are doing a great disservice to your PC's. I play the game for a little bit of challenge and mental exercise as well as the social aspect of seeing my friends, if I were to plow through everything because it was predictable I'd just as soon play a board or miniatures game.

The whole problem with either globe is that they are immobile once cast - you cannot fly with one up. It provides no barrier to physical assault, and no barrier an arcane caster can produce will readily permit them to retain line of effect to their foes beyond the very barrier(s) they erect to prevent physical contact. Flight in a mere 20' altitude can be situationally effective - but that presumes a rather "tournament"-built character wielding one melee weapon and maybe a dagger as back up for the barbarian or fighter...

There are counters to the flying magical assault that are available - if not always prepared - at the same level grouping. See Invisible and Glitterdust is pretty much mandatory with the way invisibility works. Flyer eh ? That flyer pretty much has to remain within both groups' Medium spell range - which means he is probably going to eat a targeted Dispel Magic or two. Flyer goes splat. A 1st level Magic Weapon spell on the archer's quiver guarantees death by perforation within - in all likelyhood - a distance at LEAST twice the caster's Medium Range band, and well within it even if the casters make use of the x2 range metamagic feat extensively.

As far as 'tactics, tactics, tactics' I would defer such an observation to the reasonable body of work in campaign journals thusfar posted on these very boards. NPCs use what tactics they can believably perform from behind my GM screen (as it were) given the information available to them (the NPCs) - including sensory; knowledge both in terms of their skill bonuses AND in terms of what they have discerned from their minions/allies/previous encounters/intelligence reports/surveillance/etc -; the NPC's particular disposition & mental faculties (or lack thereof); the terrain that is presented by the scenario and so on and so forth.

I give my players challenges - some would likely observe that perhaps I am too harsh on them at times. An ogre, for example, doesn't generally USE much in the way of tactics given its poor temperament, dim intellect and general lack of patience and knowledge [chaotic evil alignment, low INT, average WIS and virtually no mental skill of note], whereas the revamp of Queen Ileosa as a Destined Bloodline Sorcerer, packing a NE alignment, obscene ability scores, PLENTY of Knowledge ranks, Greater Arcane Sight up and in operation and the driving force of a great wyrm blue dragon behind the scenes spells a methodical approach intent on securing her stuff, her person and then driving off or destroying the entire party if possible. Point of fact, this last example probably would have TPK'd the party were it not for the fickle hand of fate... but that is a digression.

Regarding the uber-heavy-armored psion, I saw the character in play during the Red Hand of Doom. Mobility was not an issue - something to do with a psionic flight or levitation field as I can now only vaguely recollect. Last I saw, Armor Check Penalties and Maximum Dexterity caps most explicitly do NOT apply to Reflex saving throws and initiative checks. The psion regularly made use of the cleric's SILENCE spells to muffle his noise - it was dismissable and had no detrimental effect to his functioning. That character was annihilated by the small green dragon encountered fairly early on - largely due to attracting the dragon's undivided attention. A longstriding-type of spell or effect - bumping land speed up from 20' to 30' for durations measured in hours - deals with the speed of movement issue. Yes, a pit trap would have been a Bad Thing - but that's what the trapfinders are for, yes? :)

Sonic spells are completely unavailable to the sorcerer and wizard until spell level 4 until you include non-OGL spells in the game. Even then, it is the old trusty Shout spell, hardly flexible. In counterpoint to your observation that even a semi-intelligent creature would have energy resistance methods available - those methods (a) cost money it may or may not have; (b) if it is only semi-intelligent it is highly unlikely to HAVE money or the means to acquire magical protection of that nature unless it is a more intelligent, spellcaster's "pet"; and (c) looking at your red dragon, said red dragon cannot innately protect itself against cold damage until it is age category 4 (juvenile), at which point it can grant itself Cold Resistance 10 for about 30 minutes at a CL of 3rd ... as a CR 10 creature. (Yes, dragons have air mobility and all that - but there is not a dragon in the MM that can avoid having to come within at least Medium range of any party it decides to fight.) A white dragon has it even worse - they're vulnerable to the most common energy type in the game, yet the best they can innately do about it has to wait until they are age category 7 and considered a CR 12 creature before they can resist a measly 10 points.

As far as tactics goes on the monsters part - ask yourself this, are the creatures with energy vulnerabilities *always* expected to have some form of countermeasure available to them at all times, which seems implied by your observations? If so, how? Those resources are often even scarcer for NPCs and especially monsters than they are for PCs. After all, if the players learn that every cold- and fire- subtyped creature in the game that they encounter at or about 5th level and up is routinely packing a Protection from Energy effect, say, backed up by a 20-point Resist Energy effect at about 7th level or so, what is that really telling those players?

Your counter-points regarding dial-an-energy seem to be based on the presumption of gear. My point is simply that they CAN do so without cost either in gear or time to deal the effect. In a nutshell, presuming that a "redo" addresses the scaling of damage issue relative to the level of a given psionic power - as has been the primary complaint 'pro psion' as it were - , shouldn't that flexibility of firepower and ability ignore any hindrance of armor - however demonstrably impractical it is - AND magical silence to their primary class ability warrant a necessity to redress from a 'balance' stand point? The answer should be rather obvious. Supposedly a psion/pschoineticist knows "fewer" powers. All else being equal, each power than can set to do four distinct energy types, affecting either Fortitude or Reflex and commonly adding on a secondary status effect to go with it all, is fairly considered 4 distinct spells.

It is also plain that not all powers are this way - indeed, many are not, although an awful lot of them do scale in damage output and saving throw DC. The comparisons using the 3rd level psions power was reasonable given the lack of a similar offensive power at the same power level, with the sole notable exception of Bend Reality, which is a slightly upgunned, psionically-written (as it were) version of Limited Wish. Again, I refer you to the globe of invulnerability referred to - I believe it is only rarely used - albiet to devastating effect when it is, in large part because it is not (with some creativity, depending on the exact specifics) terribly difficult to effect a countermeasure removing either the globe from around its occupant, or the occupant from the globe.

Spell Focus must be something you see selected regularly - it is not something most of my players' characters ever bother selecting unless it is in line with their specified 'build'.

"Thinking outside the box" - trust me, my table does that routinely - although to different degrees. If we didn't, well, we wouldn't have spent (in my case) more than 2 decades playing a wide variety of RPGs if that was not an option.

"Hosing my group" mainly has to do with several factors: how the AP is structured, how real-world time plays out and what the situation or scenario in question specifically permits to unfold. I do not (normally) have the inordinant amount of spare time to throw away that restructuring an Adventure Path to "properly" pace an 8-character group would theoretically require. In large part, this is because no Adventure Path thusfar put into print does that for a 4-5 character group. They CAN'T, space and often times the very plot/storyline itself prohibits doing so. I surely do not have the luxury of investing a thousand hours a year into putting together a campaign that will accomodate with 'proper' pacing an 8-player group of characters either.

Lest we continue to further bat psionics back in forth - and at this point this has started to become a series of criticisms that are, at least from your last posting that I saw, at least mildly insulting - I will state the following.

As with all things pertaining to the game, no one that I am aware of can relate anything other than what they either have observed occurring in actual game play, or what they believe to be theoretically
sound. I have related what I have observed and dealt with in game play from 3rd edition psionics, as you have yours.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
fopalup wrote:

Ladies and Gentlemen; Let's get ready to ramble!!!

I've been trying to figure out for a while something that would be a limiter on the entire 'nova-ing' issue, which so many people have with the psionics mechanics of the game, yet at the same time not removing it from the psionics game completely, or making it completely ineffectual, because a lot of the fans of the system don't see it as a problem.

On another thread, I've put down a few ideas, but one that just popped in to my head because of this statement

Turin the Mad wrote:
The psion delivers his 'nova' in comparable time to the arcane casters

Now this made me think, what if, when augmenting a power, it took a full round to manifest? Not being able to do anything else but an augmentation for a full round, concentrating on augmenting his power? This means state you are augmenting your manifestation, doing that till your next turn, and then setting the power loose. Or maybe only when they are trying to use max points in one manifestation (level 7 character means 7 pp). I could also see the same thing being applied to metamagic feats for sorcerers as they try to bend the spell out of shape.

Doing this would make casting your highest known spells in combat near impossible. Pretty much the only core spells that typically get use in combat that take full rounds are summon spells(and I think there is a feat to drop that down too as well - rapid casting or something like that) and they give you extra bodies on the battlefield who can act when they come into being, usually well worth the cost if you are casting them. While I really wouldn't mind it as long as it was applied to all casters, I don't think it would be a good idea. It would force constant concentration/spellcraft checks during combat as things hit you, distractions (movement, environment, AoE's)occur, etc. It wouldn't help speed the game up either, what if you want to augment a spell that is already 1 round casting? The character now has to sit there for 2 rounds?? Not to mention any spell you cast that doesn't take effect immediately on your turn would mean the enemy would focus on you, they know it will be a big one in all likelihood. Just in case you didn't know, sorcerers using metamagic on standard action spells become full round actions (the last type of action before a full round casting) already.

fopalup wrote:


Some other ideas:

Maybe a penalty on multiple nova's in a row (level/2?) with the penalty being subdual damage equal to the pp spent (this wouldn't be able to work without more rules to it).

Are you willing to limit arcane/divine casters in the same way? You would have to in order to keep some sort of balance. I think the overwhelming majority will say no and houserule it away if Paizo was to implement this for core casters. "The 3rd level sorcerer just cast his second 2nd level spell so he takes 3 points of subdual damage this round." Someone who rolled poorly on hit points could knock themselves out every combat for awhile too :(

fopalup wrote:


Place a cap on augmenting powers comparable to what spells have (eg. 5d for 1st, 10d for 3rd, etc.)

For all intents and purposes this is a soft cap/guideline (it is in the DMG under researching/creating spells if my memory serves) for spell vs spell balance. Many spells don't follow these rules (more so in splat books obviously). Also when a psion is augmenting a spell he/she is actually paying for the added effect and some of the low/mid level powers are the only ones available to do damage in a level range. Let's say a psion has a direct damage power at 3rd but cannot choose another direct damage power until 5th or 6th because of the discipline they chose. You end up limiting the only power they have access to use and making them needlessly suboptimal at something for several levels while the arcane/divine casters are not limited in the same way. As it is the "limit" is hard coded into the augmentation, they couldn't put out more than an equivalent caster could in single use of the power vs spell. Also as mentioned before when they augment a lower level power even if they boost the damage up and pay for that boost to make it equivalent to that level spell in output, the power still isn't considered more than the starting power level (and the drawbacks that entails).

fopalup wrote:


If you really think you need to, maybe a Vancian/PP hybrid, with daily uses of highest level powers and/or augmented powers, starting with second level powers.

Again, can you handle this being applied to all arcane and divine casters who spontaneously cast? Are you willing to tell a sorcerer he has 3 spell slots of 2nd level, but can only cast 2 of them as 2nd level spells, the last has to be cast as a (lower) 1st level spell?

The costs of the augmentation of vancian spells is included in spell level cost(+X levels for Y effect), this alone limits how powerful of a spell can be augmented (7th level caster cannot cast a quickened 1st level spell). The meta psionic effects do the same, they require the expenditure of a set amount of power points AND the expenditure of psionic focus (you need to be 5th level to widen a 1st level power - 1pp base +4pp feat and focus expended, no augmentation possible). There is more of a cost to them as is, taking the feat to regain focus faster just brings them up to an equal standing of an untalented sorcerer in terms of action cost and they have to make a skill check or fail (when high enough level this is possibly not an issue - DC 20 + modifiers? - unless you need to spend your limited skill points on something more useful than concentration):

5' step+Move action to regain focus+Standard action to cast = Full round action to cast metamagic'd spell+5' step

("untalented" meaning sorcerers have no "extra" cost involved to do this, but with spells or feats they can do it faster/better).

fopalup wrote:


Make augmenting a class feature, with limited uses per day as per other class features, or limiting the amount of levels you can augment.

Again for "balance" this would have to be all inclusive, arcane and divine as well as psionic. This sounds like the sudden metamagic feats actually. Those allow a spell caster to augment a spell without paying the extra spell levels once per day if I recall. For this to work currently I'd imagine all metamagic/metapsi feats would have to be removed and only the sudden versions implemented. I seriously doubt that would fly. The majority of the draw to metamagic (at least the few times in our group they are taken) is making lower level spells effective for certain spell levels when there may not be a better choice. Some levels of spells have a lack of outstanding spells, tweaking and bumping up a good lower level one is a nice option in those cases. Not to say it is a bad idea but I think it is a rule that would require drastic changes to the current system of spells which is unlikely at this point, they have already stated the spell system as is, is staying without a doubt.

Augmentation is varied enough among the powers that doing "augment" class ability would be a nightmare I think. Augmenting a power is already limited in a "uses per day" type of way. When you first get access to a power that is equivalent to the highest level available you typically cannot augment it, the base cost means that it is the highest amount of points you can use at that level, augmenting it more requires a number of power points you cannot spend (with 2 exceptions wilder and overpower - both are limited by level range as well and so you might not be capable even then, augments usually require at least 2 or more points). This ties into your third point, you cannot augment the highest powers known because of the cap just the same as spells (well actually there are ways to do it with spells, there are feats and abilities that drop spell slots costs, again why arcane/divine magic has an upper hand).

fopalup wrote:


I am hoping for a return of Psionic talents (0-level powers), making them at will just like the Arcane and Divine spellcasters get.

As am I.


Erik Mona wrote:


So I'm asking you:

What does Psionics mean to you?

How can I get you to buy a psionics book and use it in your campaign?

What is an absolute deal-breaker?

I always loved different concepts and approaches to magic use, and psionics is on of them. Over the years, several players in my campaigns had issues with psionics as such, because they were too much scifi and not enough fantasy (not speaking of 1st edition psionics, which were far too overpowered).

But since 3rd edition and the introduction of the concept of magic-psionics-transparency, it was much easier to sell the "mind-magic" to my players, and it was integrated into the 5 tiers of magic:

Arcane
Divine
Incarnum
Artifice
"Mind-Magic" (couldn't come up with a better name...)

Since PF Beta, I use a homebrew mix of tallforadwarf's psi conversion and my own.
I would absolutely love to see a PF Version of Psionics. But maybe you should rename it to appease to all the psi-haters out there. "Mind-Magic"...? I'm sure your creative dept. can come up with a better name than I did...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Turin the Mad wrote:

Skylancer4 and others who have rebutted my points - most of which I have agreed with after perusing the psionics sections of the SRD as they were pointed out to me - it now comes back around. :)

In particular this one caught my attention:

The whole problem with either globe is that they are immobile once cast - you cannot fly with one up. It provides no barrier to physical assault, and no barrier an arcane caster can produce will readily permit them to retain line of effect to their foes beyond the very barrier(s) they erect to prevent physical contact. Flight in a mere 20' altitude can be situationally effective - but that presumes a rather "tournament"-built character wielding one melee weapon and maybe a dagger as back up for the barbarian or fighter...

Actually I don't play tournaments, though once in a campaign part of the plot made us participate in one (and consequently the DM had woven in the change to 3e from 2e as part of the tournament results, there was more at stake than the purse as there were several demi gods involved and their champions decided who gained control of the world and raised in divine rank. It was quite interesting but way off topic). If anything for me 20' ceiling says inside large building or underground and is fairly common in adventures with something large sized but YMMV as is the norm.

You are thinking the wrong spell I bet - Here is Lesser Globe:

An immobile, faintly shimmering magical sphere surrounds you and excludes all spell effects of 3rd level or lower. The area or effect of any such spells does not include the area of the lesser globe of invulnerability. Such spells fail to affect any target located within the globe. Excluded effects include spell-like abilities and spells or spell-like effects from items. However, any type of spell can be cast through or out of the magical globe. Spells of 4th level and higher are not affected by the globe, nor are spells already in effect when the globe is cast. The globe can be brought down by a targeted dispel magic spell, but not by an area dispel magic. You can leave and return to the globe without penalty.

Note that spell effects are not disrupted unless their effects enter the globe, and even then they are merely suppressed, not dispelled.

This means a person can choose the spot of their final stand, in my example the corner of a wall and ceiling (or better yet a balcony that offers cover), protection from arrows last hours and is a reasonable spell to have up normally. Pesky annoyances (aka PCs) show up, fly to the corner and cast globe. Caster is now 15' above the rest of the party at least, this is out of the range of all normal melee weapons including reach weapons. Anyone tries to fly in or spider climb up, their spell fails and they fall back away, magical spells less than 4th are for all intents and purposes useless as they cannot target you and AoE's don't touch anything in the globe.
As for the magical weapon scroll/oil/what have you, yes it is possible but it is also as likely that the party has spent the majority of their money on a melee weapon (depends on the build of the character) and only has ranged weapons as a back up and not magical. If it is a dedicated range character who proves a viable threat, guess who is targeted and dealt with first. You can cast spells out of the globe with impunity. Wind wall is a higher level, but more effective as it blocks all ranged attacks magically enhanced or not. Web could be cast as it entangles and provides cover making it very difficult to hit you and you can magic missile or [insert preferred spell or wand] to your hearts content all the while relatively safe in your death trap.
As for the caster, in order to get to you it requires at least 2 dispels, one for the globe (it blocks attempts to target you with dispel). While dispel is definitely useful I have never had a character or DM'd for a character who used all slots for dispel magic. Two might be the upper limit unless they are much higher and have rings of wizardry and again, those spells might have been used getting to the situation we are talking about. Rarely if ever do you walk directly to the BBEG without some sort of challenge and therefore some expediture of resources. The only spells you are guaranteed to get through are the 4th level ones, if you have any left or if you even have them (sometimes you lose caster levels when multiclassing to get into a PrC). We run 3-4 people normally so generally we don't have multiple casters or at most a wizard or sorcerer and cleric at any one time.
Again I said it was not the optimal choice, I could expand on it. Playing your NPC's dumb is not something I would ever do, even in the adventure paths the BBEG know about the PC's, they don't ignore them totally like they are beneath notice and should prepare appropriately.

Turin the Mad wrote:


As far as 'tactics, tactics, tactics' I would defer such an observation to the reasonable body of work in campaign journals thusfar posted on these very boards. NPCs use what tactics they can believably perform from behind my GM screen (as it were) given the information available to them (the NPCs) - including sensory; knowledge both in terms of their skill bonuses AND in terms of what they have discerned from their minions/allies/previous encounters/intelligence reports/surveillance/etc -; the NPC's particular disposition & mental faculties (or lack thereof); the terrain that is presented by the scenario and so on and so forth.

Nothing I have posted is beyond the range of an average intelligence npc trained either in magic or dealing with magic, nor do they use a set of specialized spell selections. Fly is a good tactical spell, it can either keep you out of reach or allow for a quick getaway. Protection from arrows is a decent enough spell to have at least a scroll on hand (if not normally up and running) and globe is a very good spell if you know you will be facing casters of any sort.

Turin the Mad wrote:


Regarding the uber-heavy-armored psion, I saw the character in play during the Red Hand of Doom. Mobility was not an issue - something to do with a psionic flight or levitation field as I can now only vaguely recollect. Last I saw, Armor Check Penalties and Maximum Dexterity caps most explicitly do NOT apply to Reflex saving throws and initiative checks.

My bad on that one, you are absolutely correct. It is a house rule that if you are encumbered by weight you gain the penalty to reflex saves, it is also applied when someone is wearing armor that they are not trained in. It basically only hurts those that are doing what they shouldn't/wouldn't normally be capable of. We have used it for so long it is basically law for us.

Turin the Mad wrote:


The psion regularly made use of the cleric's SILENCE spells to muffle his noise - it was dismissable and had no detrimental effect to his functioning. That character was annihilated by the small green dragon encountered fairly early on - largely due to attracting the dragon's undivided attention. A longstriding-type of spell or effect - bumping land speed up from 20' to 30' for durations measured in hours - deals with the speed of movement issue. Yes, a pit trap would have been a Bad Thing - but that's what the trapfinders are for, yes? :)

If your group was catering so heavily to the psion and using their resources to cover his/her disadvantages it is no wonder he outshone them occasionally lol. Then again in a group of 8 maybe there was a high ratio of casters and so those resources weren't as important or as scarce as they would be in a smaller party.

Turin the Mad wrote:


Sonic spells are completely unavailable to the sorcerer and wizard until spell level 4 until you include non-OGL spells in the game. Even then, it is the old trusty Shout spell, hardly flexible.

It doesn't have to be sonic to be effective. Force works as well as spells that deal damage in different or indirect ways. Shatter has been used to great effect, please note the targeted version has a large weight allowance but no size limits... Sometimes breaking the opponents toys is more effective (if less profitable), weapons fall within range easily - your typical barbarian/fighter/Ranger using a weapon normally doesn't have improved unarmed strike as a bonus feat - nor does that slow, ill tempered, dim-witted ogre swinging the 30 lb tree trunk at you. A breastplate falls into the same category assuming weight is not an issue. On a side note you know if a target fails or makes the save, and you can tell if an item is magical if it doesn't break. It's cheaper than identify too!

Turin the Mad wrote:


In counterpoint to your observation that even a semi-intelligent creature would have energy resistance methods available - those methods (a) cost money it may or may not have; (b) if it is only semi-intelligent it is highly unlikely to HAVE money or the means to acquire magical protection of that nature unless it is a more intelligent, spellcaster's "pet"; and (c) looking at your red dragon, said red dragon cannot innately protect itself against cold damage until it is age category 4 (juvenile), at which point it can grant itself Cold Resistance 10 for about 30 minutes at a CL of 3rd ... as a CR 10 creature. (Yes, dragons have air mobility and all that - but there is not a dragon in the MM that can avoid having to come within at least Medium range of any party it decides to fight.) A white dragon has it even worse - they're vulnerable to the most common energy type in the game, yet the best they can innately do about it has to wait until they are age category 7 and considered a CR 12 creature before they can resist a measly 10 points.

Yep they cost money, a scroll will be approximately 150 gp or 375 gp depending on what you can afford (with the new pathfinder traits both are available at first level, +hundreds of gold for everyone worth mentioning! PCs and main BBEGs) for either resist energy or protection from energy. Both usable by anyone with access to spell casting (arcane and divine). If they don't have spell access at all they can get a potion for 300 gp or 750gp respectively, again at first level it is affordable but at this cost not what I would expect them to have by any stretch of imagination unless plot device. Said dragons at the lowest levels have some sort of horde that typically contain a minor magic item, it doesn't have to be filled with items useless for itself. At 5th level I see no reason why they wouldn't have one if they know it will be of use. A greedy dragon isn't exclusively greedy to a fault, there is going to be some sort of self preservation instinct as well, not to mention it will probably outlive any character so living to fight another day is in its best interest. Just like why a PC carries around a potion of cure X wounds, it might just save their lives in an emergency. From 6th level on, it is quite possible to have a minion capable of doing it for free. Leadership makes more sense for the BBEG then it ever will for the PC's.

Turin the Mad wrote:


As far as tactics goes on the monsters part - ask yourself this, are the creatures with energy vulnerabilities *always* expected to have some form of countermeasure available to them at all times, which seems implied by your observations? If so, how? Those resources are often even scarcer for NPCs and especially monsters than they are for PCs. After all, if the players learn that every cold- and fire- subtyped creature in the game that they encounter at or about 5th level and up is routinely packing a Protection from Energy effect, say, backed up by a 20-point Resist Energy effect at about 7th level or so, what is that really telling those players?

Intelligent and capable opponents should, yes. Those resources aren't nearly as expensive as the +1 useless-club-that-is-there-to-be-used-or-sold-for-half-price and much more useful than the weapon would be. Give me the welfare masterwork weapon and some utility/defensive items from the "Ye' Olde Magic Shoppe" as the balance please. I never said that every one should be packing, just those with brain power or leader/master smart enough to provide them. If you are the typical minion your master probably doesn't care enough. If you are the favored pet or one of the champions, they probably do. The message it sends the PC's is "I'm not an just another idiot standing here as a road bump waiting for you to beat me up and take my stuff before you move on to the next idiot. There is more to me than hack'n'slash baby, someone put some thought into me! I intend on earning my CR/EL."

Turin the Mad wrote:


Your counter-points regarding dial-an-energy seem to be based on the presumption of gear. My point is simply that they CAN do so without cost either in gear or time to deal the effect. In a nutshell, presuming that a "redo" addresses the scaling of damage issue relative to the level of a given psionic power - as has been the primary complaint 'pro psion' as it were - , shouldn't that flexibility of firepower and ability ignore any hindrance of armor - however demonstrably impractical it is - AND magical silence to their primary class ability warrant a necessity to redress from a 'balance' stand point? The answer should be rather obvious. Supposedly a psion/pschoineticist knows "fewer" powers. All else being equal, each power than can set to do four distinct energy types, affecting either Fortitude or Reflex and commonly adding on a secondary status effect to go with it all, is fairly considered 4 distinct spells.

Less presumption on gear, more presumption on whatever will help shore up known weaknesses. Your party was using silence and longstrider on your psion. Why wouldn't the enemies buff up appropriately? That means using whatever is available (spells, gear, minions, etc.) for any individual or group. They know fewer powers and if they go full out they can use fewer powers and are less effective than the sorcerer as per the example Hogarth posted. For arguments sake lets say 3rd level powers/spells do 1d8, 2nd do 1d6 and 1st 1d4. The 6th level psion (that was posted vs the sorcerer earlier) can do 5 powers at 6d8 and 5 at 1d4 (roughly because I'm tired, this is because they couldn't fully augment that last 3rd level power with 6 points, they only had 5 left in the example). The sorcerer can do 3 at 6d8, 5 at 6d6 and 6 at 6d4. Who has the most stamina, who is more effective over a longer period of time, the damage output of that 2nd level spell from a sorcerer is effectively as good as the 3rd level (which was hogarths point about the dirty little secret). Even if we make 3rd and 2nd spells/powers both d6's and limit the sorcerer to 5d6 on the 2nd level and leave the psion uncapped they (sorcerers) still come out on top. I think that buys some slack in the energy powers being chosen at use. Again, against a prepared opponent it will either be reduced or negated, meaning that first "big" power wasn't nearly as effective or totally wasted against a susceptible opponent. A wasted or less effective power hurts the psion more.

Turin the Mad wrote:


It is also plain that not all powers are this way - indeed, many are not, although an awful lot of them do scale in damage output and saving throw DC. The comparisons using the 3rd level psions power was reasonable given the lack of a similar offensive power at the same power level, with the sole notable exception of Bend Reality, which is a slightly upgunned, psionically-written (as it were) version of Limited Wish. Again, I refer you to the globe of invulnerability referred to - I believe it is only rarely used - albiet to devastating effect when it is, in large part because it is not (with some creativity, depending on the exact specifics) terribly difficult to effect a countermeasure removing either the globe from around its occupant, or the occupant from the globe.

You seem to misunderstand the globe spell, see above, you can be flying in it, they can't fly into it etc, see above.

Turin the Mad wrote:


Spell Focus must be something you see selected regularly - it is not something most of my players' characters ever bother selecting unless it is in line with their specified 'build'.

It and the greater version are some of the better feats when you build a character around a theme or if you will be using a spell or school often enough. They come out to a flat 10% increase to spells sticking. Obviously less of an issue if you choose spells without saves.

Turin the Mad wrote:


...The rest...

"Thinking outside the box" is the fun part to rpg's for me. Figuring out how things interlock or don't and putting them together in ways that aren't obvious. As you said you don't use the globe spell so you might not understand how it works, and you have never had a reason to look into it further but I would have to say it is better than you give credit for. Maybe after this you will look at it in a different light and go "wow it really is more useful than I gave credit". Maybe not who knows.

As for your group size I would have to say it definitely would skew your view on certain things. Any of the campaigns I have ever been in that included such large groups (or larger) have been planned play at Con's or home brewed campaigns, basically people who did have the time to think things through and put in the time needed (granted that was mostly in school which has long passed). Some were good and some were junk, usually you could tell who put the effort into one and who didn't come prepared. Running a game isn't a matter of thousands of hours of prep either, some people can run off the cuff amazing games. And I completely agree most adventures are not made with the 5+ member sizes and the reasons for it are pretty obvious not to mention it would be a fairly small niche market I'd imagine. You are more likely to see such things in the small publisher/pdf market and at that point you are taking your chances with the product. My point was that if you are running a game outside the "guide lines" as it were, what might be balanced might not seem so. Feel free to take insult where none was offered, it is the internet after all. I can't and won't apologize for a perceived slight that I didn't commit.

Tired. Sleep, this took longer than I had expected.


Aye, we both are/were quite tired when typing our posts - mine took probably 3 hours to type up - and ultimately boils down to...

I agree with your points, but I think - well, I know I have - the forest has been lost for seeing the trees in front of us. Interesting house rule on the armor by the way.

I think we have been dancing around the 'balance' point of psionics vs. "vanilla" casters the entire time.

Psions get to ignore arcane spell failure, are able to manifest their powers while silenced and have quite a few "dial" effects integrated into quite a few of the psychokineticists' offensive powers, less so for non-kineticists.

The trade off is that while they can ramp up their damage output and save DCs roughly analagous to the standard 'scaling' (in quite a few cases), they do not get that benefit of an actual increase in spell level, nor are they able to apply metapsionic feats for any real purpose while discharging augmented powers.

How's that for some brain fodder? :)


To maybe kinda-sorta put this thread back on track:

What does psionics mean to the contributors for Paizo as well as to the staff of Paizo and affiliates?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm gonna post psionic ideas over at this thread , just to keep this one on topic. Love Psionics!


Erik Mona wrote:

The funny thing is that I think an overwhelming majority of d20 gamers are OK with the idea of telepaths, empaths, psychics, and the "concept" of psionics.

And yet a lot of them do not allow the current (or any previous, let's be honest) version of the psionics rules in their campaign.

I don't think this problem is limited to psionics. DMs, I find, are pretty much reluctant to allow anything that differs significantly from the core rules. Take Incarnum, for instance. It's a fairly complicated system that involves things like chakras, totems, and incarnum points. Meanwhile, there are these new magic items that boost a character's abilities to use their various incarnum abilities. It's a neat system, and it could certainly add a lot of flavor to a game. However, if your DM doesn't have the time to seriously sit down and understand how it works, it's unlikely that you're going to be allowed to use it in game.

This is the problem that I see psionics suffering from. Sure, some of the powers have balance issues, but I think most people acknowledge that it's a fine system overall. Nevertheless, I think things like the power point system and the Autohypnosis skill intimidate a lot of people, because it takes time to understand it. And if you're not going to take the time to understand it, it's unlikely that you'll ever use it.

Erik Mona wrote:

I am convinced there is an audience for a Pathfinder RPG Psionics book.

I am uncertain how to proceed from that basic assumption.

I think the thing you have to keep in mind is that though there may be an audience for psionics, it's always going to be a limited one. As long as you recognize that, and proceed from that basic assumption, you'll do fine.

Some things to consider: When writing the Pathfinder adventures, use a wizard or sorcerer stat block as the primary stat block for your characters. However, include a sidebar that gives players options for using psionics in game. Heck, you could even post psionic versions of the stat blocks online for players to use. Or reverse it, and post the non-psionic versions online. I would also take a look at Eberron, and see how they incorporated psionics into that campaign setting, because I think what they did there made psionics feel like a part of the campaign setting, without making players feel like they were forced to use it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is in response to some things that Skylancer4 said, and don't make sense to me. There were some things that made sense but not all...

Skylancer4 wrote:
Again for "balance" this would have to be all inclusive, arcane and divine as well as psionic.

It is because of "balance" that I am suggesting these things. I know they will not work at first glance. They would need to be worked over severely before ever seeing even a 'house rule' entry. On the other hand, merely saying that they would need to be added to the Magic system 'for balance' almost seems like copping out to me. Some could be used for Magic, but just because something is suggested for Psionics doesn't mean that it should automatically be suggested for Magic. What it should do is balance within the system that it is in; tit for tat, this for that.

I suppose I should ask if you feel that magic/psionics is balanced. I feel it is. Most complaints about psionics/magic mix come about from both ends saying that 'It's not balanced'. 'Psionics go nova, it's not balanced.' 'Magic augments for free, it's not balanced'. And so on and so forth. In the end it all seems to wash out, not equal. We don't need to make them the same, per say, merely make each styles pros and cons roughly match up.

For the particular example I postulated about capping the highest level power to which you responded, Skylancer, I am pretty sure a cap already does exist in Magic thru the Vancian system. The anti-psi complaints come when the sorcerer has 3 slots of second level spells (this happens at 4th level, for those keeping score at home), when the psion has enough pp to cast 7 manifestations of second level (unbalanced!). I'm saying put it on par. Basing a cap on the sorcerer's, or more likely the wizards, spells per day list would be feasible since their spell progression more closely follows a psions max power level known. How's that for balance? They are equal to the wizard in top spells castable, would still be able to manifest at 3, 2, and 1 pp with impunity, but having that cap actually gives them a bit more staying power too, letting them keep their personal resources for a longer period of time. And honestly, while Psionics costs pp to increase their damage, and magic does it for free up to a certain point (it caps out), Psionics also has an increase to DCs that magic simply does not have, even with metamagic feats(unbalanced!). A maximized 10d6 fire ball is still a 3rd level spell as far as saving throws is concerned, while an augmented to 10d6 Energy burst has a +2 to its DC (+4 if electricity) If it tempers the critics down, and can still benefit the player without unduly hamstringing him...

And where are these 'sudden metamagic feats' coming from anyways? Never heard of 'em. The closest I can see is the Metamagic adept class feature for the Arcane bloodline, which removes the increased casting time on 1 enhansed spell per day, starting at 3rd level. If it's from a splat book, not interested. However point me in the right direction and I'll take a look at 'em.

Now understand, I can see the disagreement from both sides, both from the players perspective and from the designers. And I love psionics. The system is elegant in it's design and simplicity. It leaves the players with so many options, including the option of abuse and/or exploitation (actually I think I like the term exploitation better than abuse. Forget I mentioned that.) The player then has to suck it up and continue playing despite blowing all his power early. And let's face facts; when the players run into it's third pack of akata's are they more likely to just spend 1 pp on the nasties, or 3 or even 4? They're going to put those intersteller puppies down hard and fast, especially if they see what these beasties do. I'm betting the resources are gonna be all used up at this point. It's almost the underlying 'unique feel' for the particular...class? Grouping? Whatever. It is the adaptable style of play that attracts fans; Player's choice, player's responsibility.

Except he's working in a group, who also depend on him to have resources when they are needed. For a magic-user, this is easily quantifiable. For a Psionicist, not so much because they have so much freedom. So designs' teams' designs' go out the window. How do designers take into account that players are going to be out of resources early if the players don't 'play correctly'? Do you purposfully underpower the final boss because the Psion might only be at 1 pp from the previous encounters?

In a way, what is needed is the same thing that was needed from the spell-casters for the PRPG upgrade, especially the clerics. Resources were used up too soon, like healing, so alternative supports were developed, such as the turn undead/channel feature, or the 0-level spells. Having the disciplines upgraded much like the Arcane Schools, maybe having discipline powers cost 1 less power point, or something like that, could be used (oooo, have to look at that one). Having that as an added feature, with a cap of some kind to offset the bonus, will help both the players and the designers figure out resources more closely, which can only help DMs run better games, which can include Psionics at any time.

To Paizo (and Eric who started the thread), the real question is whether Psionics can run side by side with the other classes of equal level and contribute fairly? Dozens of experienced players and DMs say that it can. Does it need tweaking? Probably, just like Pathfinder tweaked the 'core' classes, giving them a new feel while still retaining the base feel as well. Does it need to be started from scratch? H.E. double-hockey-sticks, No! Some new variant system may be interesting and thematically necessary, but Psionics ain't broke! It just squeaks a little bit when you drive too fast...


a question wrote:
What does Psionics mean to you?

Psionics is based on >Mentalism<. Evil AI robots can have psionics, but they cannot have magic.

a question wrote:
How can I get you to buy a psionics book and use it in your campaign?

Ground the work in >cognitive psychology<, and weave in cool fantasy story aspects and angles (e.g. telekinesis).

a question wrote:
What is an absolute deal-breaker?

There should be no themes about religion or spiritualism.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps Subscriber

If or hopefully when you put a Psionic Handbook together, make sure you incorporate Epic Levels in this system, so they can be played like the core rules when it comes to Epic level play


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
fopalup wrote:

This is in response to some things that Skylancer4 said, and don't make sense to me. There were some things that made sense but not all...

Skylancer4 wrote:
Again for "balance" this would have to be all inclusive, arcane and divine as well as psionic.

It is because of "balance" that I am suggesting these things. I know they will not work at first glance. They would need to be worked over severely before ever seeing even a 'house rule' entry. On the other hand, merely saying that they would need to be added to the Magic system 'for balance' almost seems like copping out to me. Some could be used for Magic, but just because something is suggested for Psionics doesn't mean that it should automatically be suggested for Magic. What it should do is balance within the system that it is in; tit for tat, this for that.

The part of the post that was addressed at was the augmentation limit. If you were to do this your would be limiting psionics and pretty much putting a handicap that is unnecessary and making them vastly inferior to the core casters. There is no limit to how many metamagic'd spells you can use per day, every spell you know could be metamagic'd with proper feat and spell selection.

It isn't a cop out, it's a statement that making psionics inferior to core spell casters isn't a valid option at all. Imposing a limit like that is exactly what that does.

fopalup wrote:


I suppose I should ask if you feel that magic/psionics is balanced. I feel it is. Most complaints about psionics/magic mix come about from both ends saying that 'It's not balanced'. 'Psionics go nova, it's not balanced.' 'Magic augments for free, it's not balanced'. And so on and so forth. In the end it all seems to wash out, not equal. We don't need to make them the same, per say, merely make each styles pros and cons roughly match up.
For the particular example I postulated about capping the highest level power to which you responded, Skylancer, I am pretty sure a cap already does exist in Magic thru the Vancian system. The anti-psi complaints come when the sorcerer has 3 slots of second level spells (this happens at 4th level, for those keeping score at home), when the psion has enough pp to cast 7 manifestations of second level (unbalanced!). I'm saying put it on par. Basing a cap on the sorcerer's, or more likely the wizards, spells per day list would be feasible since their spell progression more closely follows a psions max power level known. How's that for balance? They are equal to the wizard in top spells castable, would still be able to manifest at 3, 2, and 1 pp with impunity, but having that cap actually gives them a bit more staying power too, letting them keep their personal resources for a longer period of time. And honestly, while Psionics costs pp to increase their damage, and magic does it for free up to a certain point (it caps out), Psionics also has an increase to DCs that magic simply does not have, even with metamagic feats(unbalanced!). A maximized 10d6 fire ball is still a 3rd level spell as far as saving throws is concerned, while an augmented to 10d6 Energy burst has a +2 to its DC (+4 if electricity) If it tempers the critics down, and can still benefit the player without unduly hamstringing him...

I do think they are balanced, which is why you stating there should be a limit to psionics makes me say it has to be accross the board lol. To keep the balance adding limits to how many high level spells or limiting how many spells/powers can be modified (meta vs augmention) needs to be global, otherwise one becomes less limited than another and balance is off right?

First off 7 is wrong, it is 3 pps for 2nd level (base power costs are all odd numbers, 1 3 5 etc.) so 5 is the magic number ;) That is 2 more than the sorcerer and while that is still more it leaves the psion with 2 pps - basically 2 unaugmented 1st level vs. the sorcerers 6 augmented 1st & 6 cantrips (srd not PF). They are already on par at this point, again I'd say the psion is lagging behind actually. If you are going to limit what they can use even more to make it the same as a core caster what is the point? It isn't broken or overpowered as is, changing the current system to mimic the core casters identically... Why not just say they don't exisit and play a core caster? That isn't what I want on either topic. Obviously you were looking at it with 7 as you posted, maybe the correction (I hope) makes you reconsider :p This goes back to someone reading something, not comprehending or realizing you don't understand the system properly and basing the balance on a flawed assumption. It happens fairly often and is why psionics get the "overpowered" rep.

As for the example you posted yes the fireball is still a 3rd level spell doing maximum damage (10x6 DC 13+) for a 6th level slot. That same psionic power requires just over the pp limit of a 5th level power (5+5 augmented vs 9 base for a 5th level power) and has the dc of a 5th level power. In order to get the same damage output of the sorcerers 3rd level spell the psion has to use a 5th level power. Having an equivalent DC is excusable as far as I'm concerned. There is no option to deal comparable damage with a lower level power, they just can't do it.

Now this is before the metamagic, for the low low cost of 1 spell level the sorcerer is getting maximum damage as well, if the psion uses 1 more pp to make it equivalent to a 6th level spell they get another d6 and +1DC - it is harder to save against but is a random roll so average damage will be much lower, possibly equivalent to what the the spell is guaranteed to do at half as many DD spells are on save). Now for a more even comparison you could use an maximized metapsi energy burst (9th level min). Energy burst will be 5d6 maxed DC 13(5 base + 4 for feat - those pp's don't count for "power" augmentation). At 11th level when we can compare to the sorcerers same above, it would be 7d6 maxed DC 14 vs the 10d6 maxed DC 13. Who do the numbers favor? A single feat can bump a casters DC for free at all times so now the DC is the same, the caster does more damage and it was much less of a resource drain. More limits do hamstring the psion, they are not needed. Also most critics probably don't fully understand the rules and mechanics and make a habit of being unduly loud about it, which is actually good because we can then point out the flaws of the criticisms they provide. I would suggest that many times the perception of "overpowered-ness" of psionics come from styles of play or other non-rules related issues (rules misunderstandings/scenarios favoring certain abilities/party composititions/house rules) than not.

fopalup wrote:


And where are these 'sudden metamagic feats' coming from anyways? Never heard of 'em. The closest I can see is the Metamagic adept class feature for the Arcane bloodline, which removes the increased casting time on 1 enhansed spell per day, starting at 3rd level. If it's from a splat book, not interested. However point me in the right direction and I'll take a look at 'em.

Complete Arcane fyi. I understand you might not be interested but they were the closest thing to what you were suggesting that I could think of. Also that book probably sees more use in others games than psionics and availability isn't really questionable, I think they might have even updated some of the items from core in it but don't quote me on it.

fopalup wrote:


Now understand, I can see the disagreement from both sides, both from the players perspective and from the designers. And I love psionics. The system is elegant in it's design and simplicity. It leaves the players with so many options, including the option of abuse and/or exploitation (actually I think I like the term exploitation better than abuse. Forget I mentioned that.) The player then has to suck it up and continue playing despite blowing all his power early. And let's face facts; when the players run into it's third pack of akata's are they more likely to just spend 1 pp on the nasties, or 3 or even 4? They're going to put those intersteller puppies down hard and fast, especially if they see what these beasties do. I'm betting the resources are gonna be all used up at this point. It's almost the underlying 'unique feel' for the particular...class? Grouping? Whatever. It is the adaptable style of play that attracts fans; Player's choice, player's responsibility.
Except he's working in a group, who also depend on him to have resources when they are needed. For a magic-user, this is easily quantifiable. For a Psionicist, not so much because they have so much freedom. So designs' teams' designs' go out the window. How do designers take into account that players are going to be out of resources early if the players don't 'play correctly'? Do you purposfully underpower the final boss because the Psion might only be at 1 pp from the previous encounters?

If the player has blown all his resources for the day, the party shouldn't be picking up the slack. Working in a group isn't grounds to suck up the other players resources and leech from the party. Just like if the sorcerer, wizard or cleric does the same. It is different if the party looks at you and says "Kill it, kill it quick, kill it now!" what you are doing is for the benefit of the party and the understanding is you will be less useful in the near future because of it. If any caster chain casts their spells just because they can on the initial encounters and then expect the group to suck it up the rest of the "day", that isn't a rules issue, it is a player issue. This can either be dealt with in game by the characters challenging/talking it out or out of game by the DM not awarding XP for encounters when the caster was hiding in the party's shadow. Not to say the party shouldn't work together, they should obviously, the teamwork is a draw to the game as well. In the other posters game the casters were seemingly using their resources on keeping the psion up to "par", spells to increase land speed and eliminate the penalties to skill checks, is it any wonder the psion was going to shine? Capitilizing on your abilities and then having the rest of the players shore up the incurred penalties with no use of your own resources (I'm assuming) will make you perform better I have no doubt about it.

It is as easily quantifiable for the psion as it is the other casters, but keep in mind that same psion probably has fewer "resources" in all likelihood. They may have more points over all but it costs them more to perform on par to the other casters (as per the fireball vs energy blast up above). You want a 10d6 fireball? The wizard/sorcerer uses a 3rd level spell and fewer resources are consumed. Want the same from the psion? It is a 5th level power and eats into their resources more. The design team's efforts aren't out the window, the DM is there to enforce the spirit of the adventure [you are basically playing in someone else's sandbox] it is up to them to make the appropriate changes to the punlished adventure to provide an equivalent challenge when they take their party through one. Sometimes this is minor tweaks, sometimes it is an overhaul - it all depends on the group. The psion is a "caster" class just like the wiz/sor, in some ways better and in some ways worse, but still fills that particular role. That is all the design team needs to take into account in reality. There isn't some invisible line that psions cross that break the rules of the adventure when they praticipate, no more than other casters that is. If they are a little more capable as "blasters" who cares? They suffer for that ability as well, they do not stand head and shoulders above all other casters.

I don't underpower the final boss period in my games, personally. However with everything leading up to it I usually have a good idea of what might need to be given to the characters above the norm if it is a particularly brutal encounter and might "up" the rewards or drop info on it prior to the finale (Paizo's had a few of those, the little familiar of doom basically TPK'd 3 times, they went in kinda early the first time to be honest though). At this point I'd have to ask do you underpower your final boss because your wizard blew all his spells except 1 magic missle? The psion is worse off then the wiz/sor in this case due to scaling but my guess would be no. There is no "playing" correctly, just guidelines of what to expect and that is what the designers build on, abilities and spells/powers being available at certain level ranges. If you run a party of all casters some things will be easy, some harder it is up to the party to deal with it as they chose to run the characters as far as I am concerned. They have choices and can deal with the repercussions of those choices, again part of the fun - overcoming handicaps.

fopalup wrote:


In a way, what is needed is the same thing that was needed from the spell-casters for the PRPG upgrade, especially the clerics. Resources were used up too soon, like healing, so alternative supports were developed, such as the turn undead/channel feature, or the 0-level spells. Having the disciplines upgraded much like the Arcane Schools, maybe having discipline powers cost 1 less power point, or something like that, could be used (oooo, have to look at that one). Having that as an added feature, with a cap of some kind to offset the bonus, will help both the players and the designers figure out resources more closely, which can only help DMs run better games, which can include Psionics at any time.

Again I can only say that the cap you are proposing is so wholely unneccesary that it would be a detriment to the legitimate played game (instead of the numbers theorizing casters going back and forth in the vacuum of a black box). Give them 0 level spells and maybe something more do to with diciplines to give them some sort of seperate identity. Every other class got more in some way, how does it make sense to limit the psion even more while giving away freebies to everyone else? Sounds like "red headed step child syndrome" to me. Yes you can say Druids got nerfed but that was a Polymorph/spell issue and about the only thing that any of the core classes suffered from, and it was obviously warrented by a very large number players/DMs. Such isn't the case with psionics by a long shot.


One of my players has an Arch Psion.
When we first started I diddnt know he couldnt augment all his points away.

Then I thought he could only add EXTRA points equal to his level...

Through the wisdom of this thread I have seen the light.

His character now is not totally broken.
He complained and I gave him the option of restarting a new character with the same stats as his Arch Psion...

He declined and we kept playing...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Too bad I missed this thread earlier before it got bogged down in arguing specific powers. :)

But, for what it's worth, my opinions are:


  • Keep power points. If I wanted all of my spellcasters to work the same mechanically, I'd play 4e.

  • Tweaks only - Some tweaks are definitely necessary to individual powers and feats, but beyond that, the system has felt very solid for all the years I've been using it. It doesn't need a great deal of updating given the flexibility already in psionics. Thankfully, psionic fans are rabid and loyal enough that I think those who wouldn't buy because it's too close to the XPH are far outweighed by those who would buy because it's freakin' psionics from Paizo!!

  • Improve the flavor of psionics - I don't mind some crystals and ectoplasm, but it should go beyond just that. I've always thought psions should summon/call aberrations, and deal more with Far Realm styled abilities.

  • Dreamscarred Press - They have done more with psionics that WotC. I think it would be a great embracing of the Open Gaming movement to even include some of their material. (And I think even business-wise, the boost in visibility would outweigh any lost sales on individual products.) For example, their take on the soulknife as a series of feats rather than standalone class is the best way I've seen that concept implemented.

  • Dabbling/Wild Talent - As Archade said way back at the beginning of the thread, create some solid and robust "dabbling" rules. Of course I'd love for a way to dabble in arcane magic - NPCs and PCs (e.g. a fighter that can cast 1 certain spell only). So maybe it's a larger issue, but I think in psionics it could help bridge the gap for some who are uncomfortable with fully embracing psionics.

  • Don't fire the fans - It's just my subjective experience, but I have found the majority of people who don't want to use current psionics either don't think it fits in with fantasy games (and that's fine, I disagree, but it's an opinion) or simply don't like add-ons beyond the core rules. I don't see a way for either group to be interested in any sort of psionics book. Trying to win them over is a lost cause. I'm not convinced from my experience as opposed to reading a vocal group on messageboards that those who actually want psionics but with a radically different system are a large enough market that it is worth alienated those who embrace the current psionics and are rabidly wanting to give you money for more of it.

  • Psionics is magic - Even if they are cast differently, please no separation of Spell Resistance and Power Resistance or any of that garbage. That house rule was adopted almost as fast as the no XP penalty for non-favored classes. That is something where the minimal flavor difference is far outweighed by the pain in the butt mechanics to keep track of. It's not worth it.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ken Marable wrote:
If I wanted all of my spellcasters to work the same mechanically, I'd play 4e.

QFT!!!


Ken Marable wrote:

Too bad I missed this thread earlier before it got bogged down in arguing specific powers. :)

But, for what it's worth, my opinions are:

[list]

  • Keep power points. If I wanted all of my spellcasters to work the same mechanically, I'd play 4e.

  • Tweaks only - Some tweaks are definitely necessary to individual powers and feats, but beyond that, the system has felt very solid for all the years I've been using it. It doesn't need a great deal of updating given the flexibility already in psionics. Thankfully, psionic fans are rabid and loyal enough that I think those who wouldn't buy because it's too close to the XPH are far outweighed by those who would buy because it's freakin' psionics from Paizo!!

  • Improve the flavor of psionics - I don't mind some crystals and ectoplasm, but it should go beyond just that. I've always thought psions should summon/call aberrations, and deal more with Far Realm styled abilities.

  • Dreamscarred Press - They have done more with psionics that WotC. I think it would be a great embracing of the Open Gaming movement to even include some of their material. (And I think even business-wise, the boost in visibility would outweigh any lost sales on individual products.) For example, their take on the soulknife as a series of feats rather than standalone class is the best way I've seen that concept implemented.

  • Dabbling/Wild Talent - As Archade said way back at the beginning of the thread, create some solid and robust "dabbling" rules. Of course I'd love for a way to dabble in arcane magic - NPCs and PCs (e.g. a fighter that can cast 1 certain spell only). So maybe it's a larger issue, but I think in psionics it could help bridge the gap for some who are uncomfortable with fully embracing psionics.

  • Don't fire the fans
  • A most cogent post - I can agree with this as an oft-time GM/part-time player. The XPHB is a bit hard to digest - the SRD psionics content I found during this past week to be far easier to deal with.

    And the concept of "talents" as a feat series would be excellent, I think, for not just psionic dabblers but for all 3 types (divine, arcane and psionic).


    Erik Mona wrote:

    <snip>...

    What does Psionics mean to you?

    How can I get you to buy a psionics book and use it in your campaign?

    What is an absolute deal-breaker?

    Thanks again for the give-and-take.

    --Erik

    1) To me, psionics would be very close in gaming feel to picture an ascetic, monk, guru, yogi, tantric master, or fakir in a fantasy rpg. It goes beyond basic divine or arcane principles and taps into a source of energy some believe anyone can connect to through dedicated meditation. It is a belief that there's something beyond the flesh and what the senses perceive. Reality becomes the state of illusion for which psions aspire to ultimately disbelieve. Divine clerics choose to alter the world according to the will of those they worship, arcane casters choose to alter the world according to their whim, but psionicists choose to alter themselves for they are the world.

    2) I think along the lines of the alpha and beta test, this might be a good way to put psionics in a trial run for anyone to come to terms for themselves if they remain adamantly opposed to all psionics or might permit Paizo's interpretation of them. Baring that, being a die-hard fan, just making anything with the Paizo spin on psionics will get me to buy it.

    3) The absolute deal breaker would be to make psionics incompatible with arcane/ divine spells. A "dispel" effect should dispel anything regardless of the nature of the power, for example.

    Andoran

    I'm pretty firmly in the camp of "Psionics isn't fantasy."

    I like the idea of psionic characters in Sci-Fi. I DON'T like the idea of them with my Gandalfs, Merlins, and such -- this is for the same reason that the Monk class, with all of its Kung-fu and Ki powers, drives me absolutely up the wall.

    Slap that sucker into it's own genre, it's own setting, or something else. Keep psionics out of my fantasy, please.

    If I want a telekeneticist or a mentalist, a mystic or a telepath, I'll use Fantasy to do it, not the pulp-era powers of the mind, which is what it seems like psionic rules have tried to retro-fit.

    Now, if you establish a pulp-era setting, or something more modern than that, I'm all ABOUT psionics.

    I don't care about what ruleset it uses, so long as it's no more complicated than the current magic system (which already is more complicated than I prefer).

    Hell, I'd be happy with just changing a "Wizard" in a sci-fi setting to an "Empath" or "Psychic", and keeping the rules the same.


    Erik Mona wrote:
    What does Psionics mean to you?

    They're a third form of "magic" without being magical. They're a fundamental part of the game to me. I've never been able to accept some alternative ideas of an Illithid casting magic spells as some kind of replacement psionics therapy.

    Erik Mona wrote:


    How can I get you to buy a psionics book and use it in your campaign?

    First, I rarely buy anything anymore except minis and modules (Paizo primarily) because I prefer my 1e/2e/.003e hybrid and have to do enough content gymnastics as it is to make most d20 products I do buy hybrid-friendly. Second, even if I were to buy some new d20 psionics book, it'd have to be far superior to the system I've created for myself. Third, point 2 would be considerably tempered, and might cause reconsideration for purchasing, by the inclusion of lots of new powers, psionic items, and creatures that I could augment and/or add to my system.


    Skyler Brungardt wrote:

    I'm pretty firmly in the camp of "Psionics isn't fantasy."

    I like the idea of psionic characters in Sci-Fi. I DON'T like the idea of them with my Gandalfs, Merlins, and such -- this is for the same reason that the Monk class, with all of its Kung-fu and Ki powers, drives me absolutely up the wall. ...

    Fantasy does not equal medieval -- that is very narrow minded.

    Anime is fantasy, too.

    ---

    I do see your point about not wanting Merlin and Gandalf to have Psionics. They have magical abilities and do not need it. But, that doesn't mean we don't need good, well though out, and useful Psionics rules.

    [Edit:]
    I consider Call of Cthulhu to be fantasy, too.


    Also, to reiterate, Gandalf never once sat around preparing spells in the morning. He simply called upon his magics and created effects, without the need for material components, eldritch chanting, or wiggling fingers. Sounds more like psionics as writ than vancian magic any day...

    Osirion

    Growing up with fantasy novels like Master of Hawks or the Deryni Chronicles or Witch World novels, where 'magic' pretty much was psionics, by other means, and reading comics like Dr. Strange, where psionic effects were built right into the magic system (and much later stuff, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where, again, Willow's 'magic' started out as simple telekinesis, and blossomed into other traditionally 'psionic' abilities like telepathy and teleportation), I've got no problem at all with psionics co-existing with magic.

    I've always seen Monk-style 'chi powers' as being psionics by another name anyway, with the Monks amazing 'cloud leaps' being no different at all from Luke Skywalkers force jumps. Those old Oriental Adventures abilities that let a Monk ring a bell from 30 paces, and eventually make a hand to hand attack at range? That's just telekinesis, full stop, adapted to fit seamlessly into a 'fantasy' world.

    Take away the words like telekinesis and telepathy, clairvoyance and astral projection, and replace them with 'unseen hand' and 'inner eye,' 'far-scrying' and 'spirit sojourn' and you've got your fantasy 'psionics' right there.


    Erik Mona wrote:
    What does Psionics mean to you?

    I look at psionics in two ways.

    Wild talents/X-men style mutants... otherwise ordinary characters, that possess some sort of gift that they hardly understand, but can learn to control, it should NOT start as overpowered or at all reliable, but should get better and more genuinely useful.

    Aura Sight: Getting "vibes" from people -> mind reading
    Telepathy: Hearing surface emotions -> 2 way communication / thought suggestion

    Precognition: That little tingle that says "don't step there" -> visions of possible futures

    Postcognition: Item Reading (this dagger was used by goblins in dark rituals) -> being able to solve puzzles/know the layout of dungeons by having visions of their creation

    Psychoportation: Vanishing out of the dragon's breath and appearing a few feet away instinctively when you would otherwise have died and being somewhat "stunned" by this not knowing wtf just happened -> full on Nightcrawler bamping through walls, moving around combat to get flanking bonuses at a whim.

    Body control: Ignoring pain/fatigue/not bleeding out -> Full on regeneration

    Psychokinesis: Bull Rush people from a distance/fling small objects -> Knock down buildings, fling people into the air (falling damage) / fly

    Pyrokinesis: Start cooking fires without tinder or flint -> turn people into living torches

    Cryokinesis: Shatter glass & stone / chill your beer -> create ice bridges

    etc...

    A true psionicist, would be able to do many of these things, and eventually get to do things like psychic surgery, memory replacement, full on domination, tear holes in reality and call forth creatures from the far realm, disintegrate people by ripping apart their molecules, shapeshift, etc...

    Erik Mona wrote:
    How can I get you to buy a psionics book and use it in your campaign?

    Print one, and make it work like divine/arcane magic, the differences should largely be the "means" not the "ends" obviously there should be some differentiation as there is between arcane and divine magics, but you don't HAVE to reinvent the wheel for every "spell" and they should scale in similar ways. The difference should be in the "look" not the mechanic.

    A cleric lays his/her hands on a wounded comrade, a prayer to calm his fellow and convince himself of his god's power, a flash of heavenly light and the wounds have knited perfectly...

    A psychometabolist on the other hand first takes the pain of the wound into himself, then convinces the flesh of his fellow to heal itself, leaving a scar as would natural healing.

    A wizard proclaims himself to the world around him, the trees bend close to listen, then recoil in horror, the ground shakes and splits as he calls forth a creature in an explosion of smoke fire.

    Where as our Xenoportive adept simply focuses his mind and perhaps slices the air with his hand, rending reality in twain... in a great gout of protoplasm a monsterous many tenticled thing pulls itself free before the universe can repair the breach.

    also item creation should work the same, a +1 magical weapon and a +1 psionic weapon should be a +1 weapon, detect magic/psionics should detect all the same stuff, anti-magic/psionic fields should do all the same things...

    Power Points are FINE, in theory, but in practice but the flexibility tends to be VERY overpowered... The way I look at it is that "spell level" is a logarithmic scale, a the requirements of a level 1 "spell" isn't even significant to the power required to "cast" a level 2 "spell" and so on.

    I could imagine a psion class that "casts" like sorcerers and one that needs to "meditate" on their abilities beforehand like a wizard, but they SHOULD get SOMETHING for their lack of spontaneity (like the wizard does, namely access to MORE "spells").

    Erik Mona wrote:
    What is an absolute deal-breaker?

    If similar divine/arcane magic can't counter / interact with psionic "magic" in a similar way, for "spell" disruption/countering/detection/etc.

    If psions use different "skills" such as psychology instead of spellcraft, you will never convince me that the gandolfs of the world would FAIL completely to "grock" psionics. It should be at least as understandable to them as divine magic... they might slightly misinterpret ongoing effects if they don't KNOW they have a psionic source as being the arcane analogs, but they should UNDERSTAND the effects, and have a good idea how to deal with them.

    Also, some powers in 2nd edition particularly were OVERPOWERED, for example in one Dark Sun campaign I once managed to link minds with a colossal lizard that was serving as a troop transport, to "roll over" crushing hundreds of soldiers. A scale of destruction that despite the fact that I had to "roll amazingly well" several times in a row, really should NOT have been in the ballpark of what a 2nd level wild talent could do. This was largely due to the way the "spells" were structured in 2nd ed, as not having a "level" so I doubt it would come up in 3.x

    If wild talents don't "scale" perhaps you need to spend more "feats" to make them "scale" so as to not just be unbalanced "free" stuff that only some people could do... nor should they be wimpy garbage that was a complete waste of that 1st level feat when you are 20th level... something similar to how "spellscars" scale in 4.x Forgotten Realms would be where I'm going with this.


    I think theres a few things that should be pointed out before some folk continue to agrue here.

    1. Vancian magic isn't strictly "fantasy". Who here has actually read "Dying Earth"? The series which inspired D'n'D magic? I have, and it's actually a sci-fi/fantasy set thousands of years in the furture. At points in the book there are flying cars, large brains with tentacles, cloning facilities are plenty of other non-medievil aspects. How exactly can psionics be "Non-fantasy" if you consider vancian magic to fit perfectly in a medievil setting? It doesn't, in fact, with the exception of D'n'D, I've yet to find another fantasy system which features vancian magic (other than those based off of D'n'D, like the first Final Fantasy game). I have, however, found countless fantasy games featuring a "Magic Point" system for spells.

    2. A fair portion of the "OMG! So bRokEn!" powers that made psionics overpowering are now wizard/sorcerer spells. If you want to claim psionics are overpowering, I have no problem with it...if it's actually somthing your've seen in game. This also applies to the "Nova Psion". If your've actually seen one IG, fair enough, but I doubt most here (or even anyone here) actually has.

    3. "Psychic" characters already exist even without psionics. Where do you think Seers or Enchanters come from?

    4. Yes Psionic characters can alter the element of their direct damage abilities. But aren't these the same abilities which are constantly argued as being underpowered? Yes psions can do one thing better than a typical spellcaster, that doesn't make them broken.

    5. Please stop using the psion as a basis for saying psionics are overpowering. Even if it was true, it shouldn't influence the entire conceapt. I think clerics are overpowering, does this mean I should consider paladins broken as well? Theres 4 classes in the XPH, not 1.

    Though to address the origonal post.
    The deal-breaker, for me at least, would be to make psionics too different from what they are. There are plenty of folk that like to surgest changes for psionic characters on online forums (for which this one isn't an exception) who havn't ever played one. Psionics, in my opinion, works well with the typical 3.5 (even better than the standard casters). If you update them to PRPG, it should only be to up the power level of them so that they're in line with the newly boosted spellcasters.

    Shadow Lodge

    Erik Mona asked...

    << What does Psionics mean to you? >>

    Psionics to me has always meant the standard "Mind Powers!" Which is, in and of itself, EXTREMELY simplified, but I think everybody pretty much gets the vibe. X-Men. Akira. The Force. People jumping around, doing crazy-ass sh*t using only the power of their minds, not waving their hands around, shouting out words that you can almost comprehend, but then they fade away. That's magic. Psionics is guys staring at you, and then a car coming out of nowhere and crushing you into the pavement.
    As far as Psionics in 3.5, the XPH has, so far, been the biggest, most playable fix that has come out yet, that I've found. I haven't read anything by Dreamscarred Press, but now it sounds like i'm going to need to.
    In the campaign that our group put on hiatus at the moment 4.0 came out, I was running Eberron, a setting that has incorporated Psionics quite nicely, thank you.
    We had amongst the other magical and fightery and thiefy characters, a Kalashtar Soulknife and a Psiforged Wizard/Psion (Evoker/Kineticist) that was going to become a Cerebremancer.
    And they were AWESOME. Seriously. Really cool characters.
    And when I told the players that eventually, when we start playing again, I'm going to be running the campaign using Pathfinder combined with The Books of Experimental Might, the player of the Soulknife said, "Okay, so how are they going to change the Psionic classes? I can see they've really done a good job fixing the core classes, but are (the Psiforged's player) and I going to be relegated to playing our guys as 3.5 characters?"
    And that's when I figured I'd need to remake all the XPH core classes.

    << How can I get you to buy a psionics book and use it in your campaign? >>

    I trust you guys. If you make it, I will come. Seriously. I will buy a Psionics book you craft if it's something that works with the stuff out of the XPH, ESPECIALLY if you can add your crafty little touches to the the Psionic classes. Add an Anti-Psion and an Anti-Mage. I have always gone with the option that Psionics and magic are similar, yet different. If a Drow has a 20 magic resistance, his Psionic resistance is a 10. If a Githzerai has a 20 psionic resistance, his magic resistance is a 10. Similar, yet different. Dispel Psionics could, theoretically, dispel a spell. But it's more difficult.
    It has always worked for me.

    << What is an absolute deal-breaker? >>

    Keep the XPH core classes, but rework them, Paizo-ify them. If possible, do the same with the XPH prestige classes. I LOVE the idea of turning the different schools of Psion into something similar to sorcerer bloodlines or wizard schools, with the low level spell-like ability and powers that get better as you gain in level. This was a fix that I already was reworking for my campaign.
    I guess what I'm saying, Erik, is for me personally, if you can save me that extra work, I'll buy that book the second I see it.

    - Rebis

    Andoran

    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Again I am chiming in a little late but what I would like to see is a psionics rule set not disimilar to the one out now for 3.5 but it should be looked at as another form of magic. Where Arceane magic is powered from the universe and Divine magic comes from the deities, Psionic powers are derived from the individual user. It is my opinion that psionics are just another form of magic and are subject to things which affect magic. Furthermore I would like to see the core classes of Psion, Psychis Warrior, and Wilder. The other classes never did anything for me! (Again, my opinion only)

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

    Just a quick thougth. I know that people like the power point system. I like it myself. I know that detractors are worried about the psionicist going nvoa. How about changing the number of power points a psionicist has in their pool? Just a thought


    How will that affect anything, Elyas? People will still complain, whether the psion has 3, 30 or 300 PP in his pool.

    Andoran

    Skyler Brungardt wrote:
    I'm pretty firmly in the camp of "Psionics isn't fantasy."

    Even though many people have given examples of how psionics does fit in fantasy.

    Skyler Brungardt wrote:
    I like the idea of psionic characters in Sci-Fi. I DON'T like the idea of them with my Gandalfs,

    Y'know, Gandalf wasn't a wizard... As one of the Istari, he was a lesser god.


    Asturysk wrote:

    I'm dead set against psionics in fantasy games. While much of this is based on the terrible imbalances of psionics in earlier editions of D&D/AD&D, the main bone of contention I have is that it doesn't suit my vision of fantasy adventure.

    I have heard all the arguments for psionics in D&D, particularly since the revised Psionics book for 3.5 came out; and while I will agree with the Pro-Psionics crowd that the new rules are much more balanced now and work very similarly to magical effects, I'll still point out the elephant in the room. Psionics don't need different rules, if all you want is concept.

    Explain away any of your normally-magical effects and spells as psionics if you really want them that badly. The *ONLY* reason for players to demand a separate set of psionics rules is to get around the existing rules sets, tactics, defenses, and knowledge of "how the world should work", and thereby exploit an advantage, no matter how slim, over the rest of the world and the NPC's/monsters that reside in it.

    From a visionary point of view, psionics has no place in sword & sorcery, high fantasy, or historical-based venues. For me it conjures up bastard visions of Mister Spock crossing fingers mind-melding with Gandalf; or even worse, nightmares of spiky-haired Akira clones imploding knights on horseback. It just doesn't work for me.

    But even in game settings that do have such weird and strange mysteries as the powers of the mind, making them separate and alien to magical systems and casters is creating a problem where there doesn't need to be one. If the mechanics are simply variants of spells, why not simply use the spells themselves for mechanics and create whatever fluff you want to cover up the crunch? Why *must* there be a totally different set of rules? Why should a psion be any more flexible or enduring than a sorcerer? In my many long years of dealing with players clamoring for psionics, it's been my experience that they really all want the same thing: to be able to pull stuff on other...

    Well stated.

    In my opinion, the existing rules for spellcasting are fully sufficient. Make a sorceror, choose spells of the desired flavor, and say 'he does it with his mind'. Voila, you have a psionicist.

    The only time I would consider a separate set of rules for psionics appropriate would be in a more 'realistic' setting where magic does not exist, but some element of the fantastic or supernatural is desired, for example in modern or sci-fi campaigns (Now a reworking of the modern/future d20 rulebooks, with or without psionics...THAT I would buy).

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