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Will Paizo ever make a Psionics book?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
see wrote:
deinol wrote:
I don't think Traveller was ever really that strong. It was early in the hobby, so selling a few thousand books was decent.
Well, yes, I guess you can say selling 248,585 copies of the core rules is "a few thousand", if you like. (That's the combined sales of Basic Traveller, Basic Traveller revised, The Traveller Book, Deluxe Traveller, and Starter Traveller, all of which were variously packaged forms of Books 1, 2, and 3.)

I knew someone would find the actual numbers. My perspective is probably skewed, as I didn't enter the hobby until 1984 and Traveller was already in decline at that point. I always remember it as "the game my uncle played", but I never really met contemporaries who actually played Traveller.

Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely a fan. I have all the classic reprints, a fair number of the originals, and a ton of GURPS Traveller books. But I've never gamed with someone that I didn't introduce it to. But I only even knew about it because of my uncle.


deinol wrote:


Eclipse Phase is my new favorite SF setting, but I will admit I'm not as fond of the system. The system isn't bad, but it seems overly fiddly. The book is released Creative Commons, so you can legally download the torrent if you want to check it out. And if you like hard SF, Eclipse Phase is well worth checking out.

It is hard to tell if sci-fi RPGs don't do well, or if any game that isn't D&D doesn't do as well. Of course, I think the #3 brand right now, behind Pathfinder and D&D, is the 40k line of RPG books. Although 40k is more space fantasy than SF.

40k happens to be my favorite. To me, there's something appealing about the scale of the game.

Eclipse phase... I've tried to get into it, have friends that want to play, but it honestly just seems predictive to me. As in, this is what human life will eventually become. So I'm not sure I care enough to play a game based around concepts that I might actually get to witness one day. (I'm a believer in lazarus projects and cybernetics, call me crazy if you want. We'll see what happens after the singularity.)


LazarX wrote:
Kuma wrote:

To continue advocating the devil, I don't understand the premise of "how the game is SUPPOSED to be played". Matter of opinion.

Personally, I would like to see all casters able to nova. Last ditch attempt to prevent TPK and all that.

Actually that's more likely to CAUSE TPKs. After all, NPC casters would nova as well.

Well... I'm sometimes the DM. Heehee.

But things are already stacked in favor of NPC casters if you assume that the PCs will win. They can be created with almost nothing but offensive and buff spells, ignoring the tendency of most casters to include utility magic. Then again, you could also say that the enemy caster doesn't always nova because there's a chance he could escape instead. (The same argument occasionally made by PCs who find the caster nova to be an unconvincing argument against PPs) Depends on play style.


OutsideNormal wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

+1' to Blazej. I am very pro-psionics, but I do not care for the point system at all. I agree with James, I would like something that works with the core rules that is not a whole new casting system. Most the iconic psionic powers are in the game as spells.

EXACTLY! This is what started us on the road to writing our version of psionics over a decade ago. We've changed a lot of the psionic powers to match the existing spells. All the powers were converted to spells (included adding a spell school) and moved the discipline to the descriptor.

The only real thing we tried to do was make them feel a little different (the whole lure of psionics). Using Ki helped meet that need and by forcing spellcasters to rely on both Con (power source) and Wis/Cha (power use) seemed to balance it out a little.

I see psionic magic as being body powered (not mind powered); hence the focus on Ki. Divine spells are deity powered and arcane spells are materially powered. All require a solid wisdom, intelligence or charisma to utilize that power.

It's not perfect by any means, but we are having a blast writing it and hope someone else gets enjoyment out of our work.

I read this forum everyday looking for what people generally loved or hated about 3.5 psionics and hope I can find a middle ground.

Mathmatically, the psion we designed can cast a few more spells per day than the 3.5 psion because of the Conversion ability (fluid spell slots). Their ability to "nova" is somewhat curtailed (more to come I think).

For example, the Energy Ball spell can be one of 4 energy types, it is level 4, and has a base of 7d6 points of damage. A psion must spend 2 Ki points (max points = 1/2 psion level) to increase that damage by 1d6 (a Kineticist only spends 1 Ki point per d6). The next revision may have a cap of +5d6.

Most spell damage does not scale with level, only by spending points or using higher level spells. It seems to balance out. Sometimes a psion can out damage a sorcerer,...

Why do some of your prestige classes have d4 hitdice and why do some spells require you to permanently burn Ki? That seems counter intuitive to Pathfinder.


The NPC wrote:
Why do some of your prestige classes have d4 hitdice and why do some spells require you to permanently burn Ki? That seems counter intuitive to Pathfinder.

Good point on the prestige classes. They need a full overhaul (and honestly, I don't really like any of them). Right now the stats are still SRD with conversions to Ki instead of Power.

You don't have to permanently burn Ki, you only spend Ki if you want to make a spell more powerful that its base. It was a tradeoff to allow for the increased flexibility and discipline abilities for the class and to make the psionic spells just a little different, but not a lot.

We met in the middle between the Pathfinder sorcerer and the SRD psion.

We did do a conversion where the psionic spells were fully converted to sorcerer spells (damage progression and caps, energy spells converted to separate spells) and we added 6 new bloodlines (one for each discipline). But it no longer felt like psionics, just more arcane magic. The only real difference was the lack of components. We may have gone to far back the other way again.

EDIT: Moved the question and discussion back to the proper forum


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well to really get at the heart of this thread, I for one would purchase a book about psionics if Paizo were to put it out...REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE SYSTEM WAS LIKE. You heard that right folks, I'm so confident in their ability to produce good rulebooks that I'll just buy it and then complain about it later.


Kuma wrote:
deinol wrote:


Eclipse Phase is my new favorite SF setting, but I will admit I'm not as fond of the system. The system isn't bad, but it seems overly fiddly. The book is released Creative Commons, so you can legally download the torrent if you want to check it out. And if you like hard SF, Eclipse Phase is well worth checking out.

It is hard to tell if sci-fi RPGs don't do well, or if any game that isn't D&D doesn't do as well. Of course, I think the #3 brand right now, behind Pathfinder and D&D, is the 40k line of RPG books. Although 40k is more space fantasy than SF.

40k happens to be my favorite. To me, there's something appealing about the scale of the game.

Eclipse phase... I've tried to get into it, have friends that want to play, but it honestly just seems predictive to me. As in, this is what human life will eventually become. So I'm not sure I care enough to play a game based around concepts that I might actually get to witness one day. (I'm a believer in lazarus projects and cybernetics, call me crazy if you want. We'll see what happens after the singularity.)

...You predict the TITANs and Exsurgent and Pandora Gates being found on the other planets?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kuma wrote:
Eclipse phase... I've tried to get into it, have friends that want to play, but it honestly just seems predictive to me. As in, this is what human life will eventually become. So I'm not sure I care enough to play a game based around concepts that I might actually get to witness one day. (I'm a believer in lazarus projects and cybernetics, call me crazy if you want. We'll see what happens after the singularity.)
ProfessorCirno wrote:


...You predict the TITANs and Exsurgent and Pandora Gates being found on the other planets?

If Kuma believes in the singularity, then the TITANs would fit yes.

The Pandora Gates are either relatively unimportant in an Eclipse Phase game, or alternatively the most important feature of an EP game. Depending on how you want to play it.

I would think that if EP does roughly describe the future, that would make it a more interesting game to play in. SF and RPGs come down to asking: What would I do in this situation? Exploring our possible future is as close to time travel as we can reasonably get.


So here's what it comes down to to me. I don't like Vancian casting, but I deal with it because that's the game I play. In the end it's not that big of a deal. I think it's very crappy and constricting and should have been changed when 3.0 came around, but no dice. There is a vocal population of people that seem to hate the power point system. That's nice. I really don't care, I like it, and it seems unfair for these people to dictate what gets published, even if those naysayers are the developers.

Magic is vancian because it's always been that way. Psionics should then be power points because it has always been that way. Personally I think Paizo screwed the pooch when they didn't include psionics rules, even as an alternate magic system, in the core book. They threw everything else and the kitchen sink in there, why not the 2 pages it would take to convert all existing spells to a spell point system.

I also like the flavor of psionics, even in systems which I otherwise didn't care for (Palladium, GURPS) but I don't think that Vudra/eastern mysticism is quite the right fit for it.

Basically, for my money, I'm curious to see what Paizo do with a Vudra book/AP, but it won't be psionics and really shouldn't enter into this discussion.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JMD031 wrote:
Well to really get at the heart of this thread, I for one would purchase a book about psionics if Paizo were to put it out...REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE SYSTEM WAS LIKE. You heard that right folks, I'm so confident in their ability to produce good rulebooks that I'll just buy it and then complain about it later.

You poor delusional fool!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
JMD031 wrote:
Well to really get at the heart of this thread, I for one would purchase a book about psionics if Paizo were to put it out...REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE SYSTEM WAS LIKE. You heard that right folks, I'm so confident in their ability to produce good rulebooks that I'll just buy it and then complain about it later.

You poor delusional fool!

I know, right?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
JMD031 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
JMD031 wrote:
Well to really get at the heart of this thread, I for one would purchase a book about psionics if Paizo were to put it out...REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE SYSTEM WAS LIKE. You heard that right folks, I'm so confident in their ability to produce good rulebooks that I'll just buy it and then complain about it later.

You poor delusional fool!

I know, right?

I know I am right there with you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
deinol wrote:
Kuma wrote:
Eclipse phase... I've tried to get into it, have friends that want to play, but it honestly just seems predictive to me. As in, this is what human life will eventually become. So I'm not sure I care enough to play a game based around concepts that I might actually get to witness one day. (I'm a believer in lazarus projects and cybernetics, call me crazy if you want. We'll see what happens after the singularity.)
ProfessorCirno wrote:


...You predict the TITANs and Exsurgent and Pandora Gates being found on the other planets?

If Kuma believes in the singularity, then the TITANs would fit yes.

The Pandora Gates are either relatively unimportant in an Eclipse Phase game, or alternatively the most important feature of an EP game. Depending on how you want to play it.

I would think that if EP does roughly describe the future, that would make it a more interesting game to play in. SF and RPGs come down to asking: What would I do in this situation? Exploring our possible future is as close to time travel as we can reasonably get.

Every now and then for laughs, I pop open a Traveller book to titter at the size and weights they plot for basic computers. One ton for a whole 8K of memory. :)

As far as lazarus projects and the who TransHuman movement that's another piece of irony. In midieval times it was an unquestion "fact" that humans were dual natured, a physical body and a soul that could exist apart from it. Materialism and rational science put that one out to pasture but the transhuman belief that a mind can be downloaded and exist and function outside of it's body is dualism reborn.

As someone who's really starting to learn the qualitative diffference between analog and digital music, I am highly skeptical that such a proceess will ever deliver, just as I am of the so-called promise of cryonics.


LazarX wrote:


As someone who's really starting to learn the qualitative diffference between analog and digital music, I am highly skeptical that such a proceess will ever deliver, just as I am of the so-called promise of cryonics.

Completely off-topic but, are you learning this for your own edification or are you going to school for production?


ProfessorCirno wrote:


...You predict the TITANs and Exsurgent and Pandora Gates being found on the other planets?

The TITANs are likely, and given the spot-on predictions of a lot of SF written by people like Jules Vern... We have a thing for interstellar/intergalactic gate networks. They come up so often in fiction that I'm half convinced we know something without knowing it; if that makes sense. I'm going to say I wouldn't be surprised if gates wind up being a feature of spaceflight in the future.

And yes, the point has been raised that I should be excited about RPing our potential future but I dunno... It feels like being a cowboy who plays at being a car salesman.

EDIT: The only problem with cryonics is that it relies on the "cryo" part. Stasis is much more likely to come along than any sort of FTL. We'll get there, we're a bright species.


LazarX wrote:


Every now and then for laughs, I pop open a Traveller book to titter at the size and weights they plot for basic computers. One ton for a whole 8K of memory. :)

As far as lazarus projects and the who TransHuman movement that's another piece of irony. In midieval times it was an unquestion "fact" that humans were dual natured, a physical body and a soul that could exist apart from it. Materialism and rational science put that one out to pasture but the transhuman belief that a mind can be downloaded and exist and function outside of it's body is dualism reborn.

As someone who's really starting to learn the qualitative diffference between analog and digital music, I am highly skeptical that such a proceess will ever deliver, just as I am of the so-called promise of cryonics.

Heh.

For what it's worth, I have always had misgivings about both neural downloads and teleportation, for similar reasons. Then again, every time I start thinking that consciousness = continuity, I remember that every day I black out and have vivid hallucinations for 5-8 hours. I can't really be sure that I'm the same person when I wake up, especially since my mood and point of view are often different. I might just be a very similar person, reconstructed from fragments of the original during my down time.

Meatrace wrote:
I don't like Vancian casting, but I deal with it because that's the game I play.

Yeeeeeeah. Same here. And I, too, wish that they had made PPs an alternate rule right from the get-go, would have derailed a lot of arguments against it regarding extra rules and supplements. Can't really complain though, they did so much that was right and good in the core rules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
LazarX wrote:


As someone who's really starting to learn the qualitative diffference between analog and digital music, I am highly skeptical that such a proceess will ever deliver, just as I am of the so-called promise of cryonics.
Completely off-topic but, are you learning this for your own edification or are you going to school for production?

Actually it's more of a result of learning music appreciation from people who are that deep into sound. One of the reasons that vinyl records are enjoying a come back is that while digital sound is very efficient and precise, it still is essentially sound that's been sliced to ribbons and much of the slices thrown out to save space. Most of us (and even I unless I'm specifically listening for it) won't notice the difference, but to a high quality sound system and a trained ear for music appreciation, it's as clear as night and day.

I still buy audio cds and listen to digital music. But I'm now very aware of the price we pay for that efficiency and convenience. Simmilarly as a former professional photographer, I appreciate the advantages of digital photography, but I'm painfully aware of what we've lost from the abandonment of film and chemical processes which were essentially analog.

The relevant point? The Human mind is essentially an analog experience of extreme complexity. There is simply no feasible way to digitise it without the essence of it being lost.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kuma wrote:


For what it's worth, I have always had misgivings about both neural downloads and teleportation, for similar reasons. Then again, every time I start thinking that consciousness = continuity, I remember that every day I black out and have vivid hallucinations for 5-8 hours. I can't really be sure that I'm the same person when I wake up, especially since my mood and point of view are often different. I might just be a very similar person, reconstructed from fragments of the original during my down time.

If you really want to blow your mind on the concept of continuity, look up the famous Ship Paradox


LazarX wrote:

Actually it's more of a result of learning music appreciation from people who are that deep into sound. One of the reasons that vinyl records are enjoying a come back is that while digital sound is very efficient and precise, it still is essentially sound that's been sliced to ribbons and much of the slices thrown out to save space. Most of us (and even I unless I'm specifically listening for it) won't notice the difference, but to a high quality sound system and a trained ear for music appreciation, it's as clear as night and day.

I still buy audio cds and listen to digital music. But I'm now very aware of the price we pay for that efficiency and convenience. Simmilarly as a former professional photographer, I appreciate the advantages of digital photography, but I'm painfully aware of what we've lost from the abandonment of film and chemical processes which were essentially analog.

The relevant point? The Human mind is essentially an analog experience of extreme complexity. There is simply no feasible way to digitise it without the essence of it being lost.

I find that to not be the case, and I speak as someone who has worked professionally in sound. Analog isn't more precise, especially compared to the absurd fidelity that digital recording uses now. CDs are still baseline and sound fine, but that's 44.1k 16bit. Not 96k 24bit. The thing is that analog actually ADDS to the sound, making it less true but sounding warmer. There's a sort of participatory nature to vinyl, and I do understand the appeal, but it's an inferior medium in my opinion. One could say all this makes it even more apt to your human mind analogy, however.


LazarX wrote:
Kuma wrote:


For what it's worth, I have always had misgivings about both neural downloads and teleportation, for similar reasons. Then again, every time I start thinking that consciousness = continuity, I remember that every day I black out and have vivid hallucinations for 5-8 hours. I can't really be sure that I'm the same person when I wake up, especially since my mood and point of view are often different. I might just be a very similar person, reconstructed from fragments of the original during my down time.

If you really want to blow your mind on the concept of continuity, look up the famous Ship Paradox

Depends how you define it. By a natural definition I suppose it is a different ship. By a cultural definition it is the same. Remember that we humans replace and replenish every cell in our body roughly every 7 years.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Kuma wrote:


For what it's worth, I have always had misgivings about both neural downloads and teleportation, for similar reasons. Then again, every time I start thinking that consciousness = continuity, I remember that every day I black out and have vivid hallucinations for 5-8 hours. I can't really be sure that I'm the same person when I wake up, especially since my mood and point of view are often different. I might just be a very similar person, reconstructed from fragments of the original during my down time.

If you really want to blow your mind on the concept of continuity, look up the famous Ship Paradox
Depends how you define it. By a natural definition I suppose it is a different ship. By a cultural definition it is the same. Remember that we humans replace and replenish every cell in our body roughly every 7 years.

That is one of the things I love about Eclipse Phase, is that it asks you to think about these sorts of things.

Say you accept that transferring your mind from one body to the next is still you. When you make copy of your mind in a new body, which one is you?

Kuma wrote:
And yes, the point has been raised that I should be excited about RPing our potential future but I dunno... It feels like being a cowboy who plays at being a car salesman.

Do you play a car salesman in d20 modern? Or do you pick something more exciting like super spy? When I play EP, I'm going to be an Octopus fighting for Uplift rights. Or a Barsoomian freedom fighter. Or a Gatecrasher. Or an illegal Earth salvager. There is plenty of adventure potential in EP.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Kuma wrote:


For what it's worth, I have always had misgivings about both neural downloads and teleportation, for similar reasons. Then again, every time I start thinking that consciousness = continuity, I remember that every day I black out and have vivid hallucinations for 5-8 hours. I can't really be sure that I'm the same person when I wake up, especially since my mood and point of view are often different. I might just be a very similar person, reconstructed from fragments of the original during my down time.

If you really want to blow your mind on the concept of continuity, look up the famous Ship Paradox
Depends how you define it. By a natural definition I suppose it is a different ship. By a cultural definition it is the same. Remember that we humans replace and replenish every cell in our body roughly every 7 years.

and by Japanese thought it is the same ship as it is the use, the concept, the execution of intent that matters, not the physical form itself.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Actually it's more of a result of learning music appreciation from people who are that deep into sound. One of the reasons that vinyl records are enjoying a come back is that while digital sound is very efficient and precise, it still is essentially sound that's been sliced to ribbons and much of the slices thrown out to save space. Most of us (and even I unless I'm specifically listening for it) won't notice the difference, but to a high quality sound system and a trained ear for music appreciation, it's as clear as night and day.

I still buy audio cds and listen to digital music. But I'm now very aware of the price we pay for that efficiency and convenience. Simmilarly as a former professional photographer, I appreciate the advantages of digital photography, but I'm painfully aware of what we've lost from the abandonment of film and chemical processes which were essentially analog.

The relevant point? The Human mind is essentially an analog experience of extreme complexity. There is simply no feasible way to digitise it without the essence of it being lost.

I find that to not be the case, and I speak as someone who has worked professionally in sound. Analog isn't more precise, especially compared to the absurd fidelity that digital recording uses now. CDs are still baseline and sound fine, but that's 44.1k 16bit. Not 96k 24bit. The thing is that analog actually ADDS to the sound, making it less true but sounding warmer. There's a sort of participatory nature to vinyl, and I do understand the appeal, but it's an inferior medium in my opinion. One could say all this makes it even more apt to your human mind analogy, however.

We could both find legions of sound professionals to argue both ways... it's been a hot topic which won't get resolved here though. It does show much in how we look at this differently. For me those participatory bits are the missing truth that digital precision leaves out. The Human mind is all of those bits. not just the data within. A dgitised human mind would at best be not much more than a zombie program. lacking much of the essential "stuff" which forms that living experience.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kuma wrote:


EDIT: The only problem with cryonics is that it relies on the "cryo" part. Stasis is much more likely to come along than any sort of FTL. We'll get there, we're a bright species.

You can't say it's "likely" to come until you have at least a comprehensive mathematical definition of what "Stasis" is beyond being a narrative plot point for fiction novels.


LazarX wrote:
Kuma wrote:


EDIT: The only problem with cryonics is that it relies on the "cryo" part. Stasis is much more likely to come along than any sort of FTL. We'll get there, we're a bright species.

You can't say it's "likely" to come until you have at least a comprehensive mathematical definition of what "Stasis" is beyond being a narrative plot point for fiction novels.

To be fair, he only said it is more likely than FTL, since faster than light travel is physically impossible the way it is presented in fiction.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
... but convincing me that the power point system has been "redeemed" would take a LOT of work.
What, may I ask, do you consider needs redeeming about it? I'm not taking umbrage, BTW, I'm just curious to know. The whole issue has been hashed around a long time on the DSP boards, so it would be interesting to hear your take on it.

I have no idea other than just transforming it into the Vancian model of spellcasting. If I knew how to redeem the power point system so that it's as easy to use as the Vancian system everyone who already plays Pathfinder knows how to use AND that worked well with the game's philosophy that it's not good to use up all of your resources all at once in the first encounter in a day, I would have done it long ago.

It really comes down to the fact that I just don't like power points for spells but I love the concept and flavor and themes of psionics. I've used the power point system (in its various incarnations) a LOT over the past 3 decades or so, also... my dislike of it is not something that's new, but something that developed over many years of me being tormented by the fact that I love the possibilities of psionics but have always struggled with the rules designers attach to them. It's like psionics creators are afraid of embracing rules that already work. It doesn't make sense to me... UNLESS you were to also change the way how all 13 or so current spellcasting classes work.

What I want: All spellcasting (divine, arcane, and psychic) classes to use the same system, be it Vancian or power point or whatever... as long as they all work the same way.

Interesting - I loved the point idea from the start, seemed much more natural than the Vancian system. The 3.5 system was the best incarnation I'd encountered, and I know players that feel it's 'easier' than the Vancian system.

I have to say, I think using the same system for everything is robbing the character class system of it's greatest strength, the ability to use different mechanics for different classes (and one reason I never liked 4e) - BUT I can see why you would want to do things differently for the sakes of writing usable AP's. The only alternative is to have 'core' and 'non-core' stat-blocks for characters in an AP.


You folks are awesome.

I rarely get anything but blank stares when I start talking about these topics.

At the risk of sounding religious... I believe that nothing is outside the realm of possibility, given enough knowledge. Eventually, assuming time and effort, I'm confident we'll be able to control the basic forces of the universe like gravity and time. So applied feats of science like FTL travel (currently considered impossible - but I think our understanding of physics is fundamentally flawed) and some form of stasis will simply fall in line.

It will be even easier if it turns out we're a hologram, we can just rewrite the simulation from within. Heh.

Again, unexpectedly great responses. Gotta love a nerd community. Sorry for contributing to a threadjack, but it's the best one ever.


James Jacobs wrote:
xorial wrote:
This isn't a call out, or fanboy question. Purely curious right now. Has Paizo considered just adopting Psionics Unleashed? This question would also apply to any other subsystem that may come out later, as in Epic Level Play.

If and when we decide to do something like an Adventure Path that includes psionic stuff, we'll make the decision then. But that said... I'm not a fan of power points, whether they be 3.5 or Dreamscarred or whatever. If we were considering doing a psionic-enabled product like an AP or a Vudra campaign book or something like that, checking out Dreamscared's take on it would probably be the 1st thing I did... but convincing me that the power point system has been "redeemed" would take a LOT of work.

It's only partially the fact that the ability to nova was disruptive and not in keeping with the way the game was built to be played. It's also to do with the fact that learning an entirely new set of rules to, in the end, zap things from afar with supernatural stuff or control their minds with supernatural stuff or whatever is kind of not what I'm into, since we already have those rules with magic in the game. Divine magic and arcane magic both fundamentally use the same system. Why can't psychic magic?

The implications of introducing an entirely new complex rules system for new types of characters into the PFS org play, frankly, gives me blood nightmares of catastrophic proportions.

Anyway... it's all academic since I don't foresee us doing a psionic type product for at least a few years anyway.

James, casters CAN nova. Casters nova worse than psionicists can nova. Spellcasters have a number of advantages over psionicists, including free scaling, which is often overlooked and forgotten by those trying to argue psionic nova vs core.

Quote:
Summary of Free Scaling: Core casters have spells that grow in power by default. By expending less resources at higher level spellcasters get more. A 5th level wizard is not investing nearly as much of his overall power casting a 1st level spell as a 1st level wizard is (since a 5th level wizard likely has 3 3rd level spells and 4 2nd level spells easily enough) and yet his shocking grasp deals 5d6 damage, magic missile 3d4+4 force damage, etc. A 5th level psion must pay the equivalent of a 3rd level spell/power to make his version of a 1st level spell deal 5d6, or similar.

This is compounded by the fact that the psionic version of pearls of power are innately inferior. Instead of giving a whole slot, they instead give the minimum power points used to manifest a power, and you have to recharge them after using them (meaning you have to recharge the crystal later using your own points). Finally you cannot mix your points and your crystal's points (if you have a crystal containing 3 points, and you have 2 points remaining, you cannot spend both to manifest a 5 point power, the best you could manage is a single 2nd level power, or 7 dinky 1st level powers which are about equivalent to the freebie powers like acid dart that wizards get).

On this very board, I showed what a real nova looks like, and its terrifying to behold, and it was done by a sorcerer. Core casters are capable of going nova without even expending much in the way of resources just by using core spells and options. I have a 15th level core-NPC wizard who happily drops 2 summoned monster VII spells per round, as well as casting another spell as if he were on the material plane, while chillin' on the ethereal plane, whenever combat might occur.

A 7th level wizard can nova like crazy. The definition of "nova" in D&D is expending excessive amounts of power - quickly - to devastate the opposition, while leaving yourself diminished and in need of rest afterwords. A 7th level conjurer can drop 3-4 4th level spells such as Black Tentacles and Enervation, 4 3rd level spells such as Ray of Exhaustion, Stinking Cloud, Fireball, and Explosive Runes, 5 2nd level spells such as Scorching Ray, Acid Arrow, and Mirror Image, Invisibility, and 7 1st level spells such as Magic Missile, Unseen Servant, and Mage Armor.

Now to get a good idea of what this 7th level Nova might look like.
Invisibility -> Surprise Round: Open up with Stinking Cloud (DC 18).
Round 1: Drop black-tentacles (CMB +12 and difficult terrain).
Round 2: Drop a second black-tentacles (CMB +12).
Round 3: Throw a fireball into the mix for good measure (7d6 in the 20ft spread, DC 18) while they're choking and being grappled.
Round 4: Draw and drop a few rocks wrapped in paper with explosive runes cast on them a few days ago. Cast unseen servant and have it collect the rocks.
Round 5: Cast Mirror image and have your unseen servant run into the stinking cloud and attempt to read the runes, causing them to each detonate for 6d6 force damage, with no save for anyone within 5ft of the runes and a DC 18 save for half within a 10 ft radius.
Round 6: Cast invisibility and wait to see if there's anything left to cast on. If there is, belt them with magic missile for an average of 17.5 unavoidable damage (unless they happened to cast shield or are wearing a brooch of shielding) or drop another black tentacles on them and run away, because you apparently are way out of your league.

A quick recap. Our wizard expended less than 1/2 of his total resources during this hypothetical encounter. His stinking cloud lasts 7 rounds and obscures enemy sight, and forces saves each round or be nauseated (no standard actions). He then drops black tentacles, making the terrain difficult to move in and attempting to grapple to prevent movement each round at a +12. Each successful grapple deals 1d6+4 damage and it has a +17 to grapple if it previously succeeded. He splats an additional black tentacles, making two grapple attempts each round against grappled opponents who cannot take standard actions (which means no breaking free of the grapples). So just with the tentacles and cloud, everything in the area can suffer up to 112.5 average damage with little method of retaliation, assuming they are grappled each round (after the initial grappling, further grapplings are much easier). For poops and giggles, the wizard dropped a fireball into the area which deals an average of 24.5 points of fire damage against foes who are grappled (-2 Reflex), and igniting anything flammable in the area, potentially turning it into a hellish BBQ. He then has his unseen servant move in and activate the explosive runes, detonating for an average of 21 force damage - no save. Even after the effects end, the prevention of standard actions for the wizard's enemies persists for 1d4+1 rounds.

Nothing remotely CR-appropriate is going to survive this assault unless it has some sort of odd immunities, such as being completely incorporeal (in which case a psionicist wouldn't have done any better, and the wizard at least has magic missile and mirror image).

A higher level wizard is worse. If he could have tossed in a wave of fatigue or waves of exhaustion, escaping the black tentacles would have been nigh impossible for most creatures. The wizard also used no consumables, and was assumed to have a 20 Int (could be as high as 24 if he had bothered to buff beforehand) and no magic items to speak of.

Believe me, I use psionics a lot. As a player, I would be far, faaaaaar more frightened of a nova-ing wizard or sorcerer than I would of a psion. They are far, far nastier. As a GM, I often feel like I need to hold back heavily when using NPC core-casters because they can often steamroll parties while naked. Most psionic novas are just caster level * 4.5 elemental damage (usually with a save for half), or minion-spamming via astral construct, both of which are pretty easy to deal with by low-level methods. Psionicists are generally strong at self-buffing/warding and blasting, with - typically - weaker control and debilitating spells, as well as weaker mass-buffs, than their core-caster counterparts.

So let's be honest here. Nova'ing isn't a problem that is unique to psionics. In fact it's less of an issue with psionics, because pound for pound wizards and sorcerers can bring much more hurt to the table in the form of nova'ing.

The funniest part is that a lot of psionic powers are rendered useless via spells like lesser globe of invulnerability (doesn't matter how many points you pour into it, a 3rd level or lower power is never going to bypass globes).


Will Paizo ever make a Psionics book?

Well, if Paizo monitors this thread to gauge interest, I'll add another voice for:

'Psionics is just what you call magic in a sci fi setting. Keep it out of my fantasy setting, please. We already have a magic system'.

Cheliax

Throw me in with the "Pro Psionics" crowd. I never really understood the "it feels sci-fi" argument, given that psionics is nothing more than "mind magic".

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kuma wrote:


At the risk of sounding religious... I believe that nothing is outside the realm of possibility, given enough knowledge. Eventually, assuming time and effort, I'm confident we'll be able to control the basic forces of the universe like gravity and time. So applied feats of science like FTL travel (currently considered impossible - but I think our understanding of physics is fundamentally flawed) and some form of stasis will simply fall in line.

It's a great optimistic attitude, but while our understanding of physics is evolving, it's a grave mistake to underestimate the impact of what we DO know. Einstein did not abrogate Newton, and Hawking did not abrogate Einstein. Each successor really has only refined the predecessor and established exceptions.

The fact is if FTL travel were possible, if intelligent life evolved elsewhere in the galaxy, by your premise then the Galaxy (including Earth) should be entirely colonised by now.

Just about everything we've done technologically (including making use of nuclear material) has been done already by living beings who did not have tools or intelligence to help them out. The greatest explosions we can create are nothing next to natural forces. it's pretty humbling.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
The fact is if FTL travel were possible, if intelligent life evolved elsewhere in the galaxy, by your premise then the Galaxy (including Earth) should be entirely colonised by now.

I'm betting there was an Aztec in 1500 who said: "If crossing the great oceans were possible, if man lived on other continents of the world, then the world would be entirely conquered by now."

Space is rather large. How do we know that a conquering alien civilization isn't spreading toward us right now?


deinol wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The fact is if FTL travel were possible, if intelligent life evolved elsewhere in the galaxy, by your premise then the Galaxy (including Earth) should be entirely colonised by now.

I'm betting there was an Aztec in 1500 who said: "If crossing the great oceans were possible, if man lived on other continents of the world, then the world would be entirely conquered by now."

Space is rather large. How do we know that a conquering alien civilization isn't spreading toward us right now?

its ok we still have will smith


deinol wrote:
I'm betting there was an Aztec in 1500 who said: "If crossing the great oceans were possible, if man lived on other continents of the world, then the world would be entirely conquered by now."

The Aztec's continent had already been conquered by people from other continents. After all, humans originated in Africa. He was merely ignorant of that fact (and, indeed, that other continents existed). We, on the other hand, have the instrumentation and research to determine fairly reliably whether our solar system has been colonized from space. Barring a civilization that deliberately destroyed its own traces, we can be fairly sure that never happened.

deinol wrote:
Space is rather large. How do we know that a conquering alien civilization isn't spreading toward us right now?

Mostly because time is deep. In order to explain why a conquering alien civilization didn't leave evidence that it colonized this solar system before man evolved, you have to make the odds of such a civilization ever evolving in the galaxy at all vanishingly small. And if you think we are an (eventual) example of such a species, you then get to square the odds against their being another so close to us in time.

And that's assuming STL. Switch to FTL, and now you're not talking odds-against in the galaxy, but at least in the Virgo Supercluster.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
see wrote:
deinol wrote:
Space is rather large. How do we know that a conquering alien civilization isn't spreading toward us right now?

Mostly because time is deep. In order to explain why a conquering alien civilization didn't leave evidence that it colonized this solar system before man evolved, you have to make the odds of such a civilization ever evolving in the galaxy at all vanishingly small. And if you think we are an (eventual) example of such a species, you then get to square the odds against their being another so close to us in time.

And that's assuming STL. Switch to FTL, and now you're not talking odds-against in the galaxy, but at least in the Virgo Supercluster.

I would say that it is entirely possible that whatever limits to FTL travel there are make it nonviable for travel between galaxies. 100x light speed still takes 25,000 years to reach Andromeda.

Even at those speeds, it would take a very long time for a galactic conquering empire to spread across the galaxy. And if there are more than one that develops, there maybe wars and things to slow them down. Or it could be that whatever speed limit exists naturally limits the size of empires. When it takes years to get a message to the capital, it is very hard to maintain control.

It seems impossible for life to only develop on our planet. There's evidence that Mars once had life, if only bacteria. But to presume that nobody has left their own solar system just because we haven't been visited seems as blindly ignorant as the Aztecs in 1500.


deinol wrote:
.

Oh deinol, never have I been so pleased to have the words taken out of my mouth.

Although I'd add that I don't think that we're advanced enough to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we haven't been visited by life from beyond this rock. I don't have any particular belief in one theory or another regarding extra-terrestrials, beyond that they almost certainly exist. (The universe is really big and we're proof that it's possible for intelligent life to exist, so even given tiny odds it's almost a given.) Hell, life on Earth could have COME from another planet, no way to know one way or the other. (No reason to assume it did, I'm just saying.)

I guess I would play EP if someone asked right now, I'm having fun. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
deinol wrote:


It seems impossible for life to only develop on our planet. There's evidence that Mars once had life, if only bacteria. But to presume that nobody has left their own solar system just because we haven't been visited seems as blindly ignorant as the Aztecs in 1500.

The evidence you're thinking about turned to be Earth microbes contaminating the sample. The thing is colonisation once it starts is exponential. the first colony sends out it's ships and spawns a few more worlds and each successive one does the same until the entire galaxy is filled. If the Earth develops workable FTL technology we would colonise the entire galaxy in maybe 100,000 years, probably a lot less. Given that the age of the Milky Way is in the billions of years old, that's more than enough time for such a thing to happen if even ONE .... ONE starfaring civilisation had come to pass.

We'd also be seeing their traces of stellar engineering, hearing their radio traffic, even incidental ones. The Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico can detect it's duplicate if it's broadcasting anywhere in the Milky Way.

BTW, the Aztecs and the Mayans weren't ignorant... they just had a lot less in tools to work with. Yet the Mayans calculated the orbit of Venus to within 8 minutes. Don't underestimate the difference in situation.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ok, since our science fiction discussion is really starting to get off topic, I'm moving it to a new thread.


Eclipse Phase owns

Osirion

Yes, Yes it does.


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deusvult wrote:

Will Paizo ever make a Psionics book?

Well, if Paizo monitors this thread to gauge interest, I'll add another voice for:

'Psionics is just what you call magic in a sci fi setting. Keep it out of my fantasy setting, please. We already have a magic system'.

Yes, a magic system ripped off from a science fiction world with sciencey names.

There, ProfCirno, now you don't have to say it :P

Taldor

edduardco wrote:
Why not publish a book of sci fi? with Psionics and Technology would be a great supplement things that you would have to meet in Numeria from Golarion, like Mechas, Star ships, Androids, Numerian Technology and aliens and of course Psionics

This is an interesting idea. Though personally, I don't tend to like mixing my magic and technology much beyond some basic steampunk, certainly others would be intrigued by the possibility. And perhaps, rather than simply jumping ahead to sci-fi technology more of a sliding scale sort of thing. That or have the book detail Castrovel, Akiton or other planets.

They've been mentioned in passing here and there so why not have a book that gives a sort of rough outline for each of them in addition to the mechanics for psionics and such - assuming that doesn't already fill up a book, which it very likely might. On the other hand, it's probably a 50/50 gamble as to whether such a book would sell well... The planets part, not the psionics. Though, thinking about it, despite me being (in my experience) more flexible in the application of psionics than some, it doesn't really fit Golarion all that well... So it may have to stay... >_> IN SPAAAACE!!!!

As for power points, I'm really not too picky about having them or not. I liked them, but if the devs don't I won't mourn their loss terribly.

Dorje Sylas wrote:
I think the way forward there is to, somehow, officially recognize DSP's Psionics Unleashed (because lord knows some holdouts won't buy it if it isn't stamped with a Purple Golem) as the path for 3.5 Psionics update.

I also must reluctantly agree with this. However, although aware of Unleashed, I haven't looked over it too well as far as balance goes.

James Jacobs wrote:
It's only partially the fact that the ability to nova was disruptive and not in keeping with the way the game was built to be played. It's also to do with the fact that learning an entirely new set of rules to, in the end, zap things from afar with supernatural stuff or control their minds with supernatural stuff or whatever is kind of not what I'm into, since we already have those rules with magic in the game. Divine magic and arcane magic both fundamentally use the same system. Why can't psychic magic?

Just playing devil's advocate, but I game primarily on forums (DnD Online Games, Myth-Weavers) and the new set of rules thing was one of the arguments I noticed many people using for why they wouldn't allow psionics in their game. However, I'd say about half of these people had no problem allowing things from Tome of Magic or Tome of Battle, and some (though admittedly relatively few) even allowed Magic of Incarnum.

Last thoughts, the sci-fi thing would be cool in my opinion, but I realize that the market is particularly small for that. Not to mention, it could very well cause Paizo to look like it's trying to stretch out too far. Especially if it came out of the blue. I think that a small primarily flavour-based splatbook (like the ones for races, or even the AP Player Guides) with just a handful of crunchy mechanics is all that would be necessary and worth it.

Reading through the posts, there definitely seems to be a demand among the players for psionics, and that they seem to either not care whether or not the 3E system or dislike it so James' suggestion of a third branch to the Vancian system will probably be accepted without much outcry. However, I would like to mention that to me psionics flavour contrasts with regular spellcasting enough that there should be at least a few mechanical differences (like a lack of somatic/verbal components).


I would be in the Pro-Psionics camp, but i tire of power points as well.

WhatI would like to see is either a version of psionics that resembled the eldritch and adept godlings from Supergenius games OR the Warlocks from 3.5

Still keep the various themes that make psionics different, which to me are augmentation, the focus, and the more mental aspects of them. But take a cue from the eldritch godling where casting the "spells" is so inate that it doesn't provoke AoO or doesn't require somatics ever. There is an ascendency that lets you trade in a spell slot to deal direct damage/build a wall/heal/mentally control/etc... Giving psionics a sort of versatility.

Alternatively, the warlock, with it's innate blasting power and various abilities usable at will could give Psionics a very different flavor. BAB, scaling, and number of abilities could be used to build different classes, along with different kinds of "tatlents" or class abilities, similar to sorceror bloodlines. Hell, if there was a sorceror variant that could be transitioned from vancian to at-will in a balanced manner with the same themes of what makes Psionics great I would consider that a win.

I would just say that if Psionics are to be done, do them right. I like what dreamscarred did, but it still feels like it's clinging to the 3e mentality and not pushing far enough into makign the classes more unique. But that could just be me.

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:


I have no idea other than just transforming it into the Vancian model of spellcasting. If I knew how to redeem the power point system so that it's as easy to use as the Vancian system everyone who already plays Pathfinder knows how to use AND that worked well with the game's philosophy that it's not good to use up all of your resources all at once in the first encounter in a day, I would have done it long ago.

It really comes down to the fact that I just don't like power points for spells but I love the concept and flavor and themes of psionics. I've used the power point system (in its various incarnations) a LOT over the past 3 decades or so, also... my dislike of it is not something that's new, but something that developed over many years of me being tormented by the fact that I love the possibilities of psionics but have always struggled with the rules designers attach to them. It's like psionics creators are afraid of embracing rules that already work. It doesn't make sense to me... UNLESS you were to also change the way how all 13 or so current spellcasting classes work.

What I want: All spellcasting (divine, arcane, and psychic) classes to use the same system, be it Vancian or power point or whatever... as long as they all work the same way.

I like the Vancian model for psionics. Power points would work like a ki pool that allow psionicist to use some classe features much like ki is for monk.

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