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Why I think psionics is insane and why I'm not allowing my players to use it


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Grand Lodge

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

He still has the word deity on his name, and according to the Dragon Magazine issue I have, his Paladins can take a feat to use guns.

That's all Post-Gygax and past my time with AD&D for that matter. When I was still playing AD&D Hero Dieties did not have churches, followers, or clerics, it was a unique description pretty much tied to Gygax's original group of player characters.

WOTC did not really do that much with Greyhawk as support compared to the output of material TSR put out on it. About the only thing TSR did with firearms was to put in crossover rules for Boot Hill in the DMG, so that characters could be crossed over back and forth between the rules settings. (with a lot of work)


@thejeff

It's a situational thing, but I refuse to ban things my players like that I happen to dislike, unless my hatred overrides their enjoyment of said thing. Might be a poor example of an arbitrary ban, but I consider it one all the same. I'm especially against banning homebrew races, unless they really break the feel of the setting. If I ban them "just because", I'm a restrictive piece of excrement, no better than my earlier DM who's antics caused the whole group to walk out from the table.


LazarX wrote:
And also quite frankly, Gary Gygax himself considered psionics the biggest mistake he ever made in constructing AD&D. And he was right to do so, it was a horrible bolt-on to the rules set, with no real fit to the rest of it, and completely unbalanced.

I'm not sure how much weight this argument really has behind it. Anyone playing Pathfinder disagrees with pretty much everything Gary Gygax ever said about RPG's.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Jodokai wrote:
LazarX wrote:
And also quite frankly, Gary Gygax himself considered psionics the biggest mistake he ever made in constructing AD&D. And he was right to do so, it was a horrible bolt-on to the rules set, with no real fit to the rest of it, and completely unbalanced.
I'm not sure how much weight this argument really has behind it. Anyone playing Pathfinder disagrees with pretty much everything Gary Gygax ever said about RPG's.

Having played AD+D psionics several times, I'm going with the EGG on that call.


Then maybe you should read how he felt about 3.X

Silver Crusade

Jodokai wrote:
Then maybe you should read how he felt about 3.X

If I remembered correctly, he didn't like 3.x. Mostly because he should have been asked to be on the design team. And you know what? I agree with him fundamentally. He should have been asked to sit with the design team and guided them through the design process as a consultant.

It would have been a slightly different game, but many more players of AD&D 1e would have jumped on board.

As for the OP.

1. Okay, you banned psionics on the basis of not knowing much about it. It's your game.

2. Your psychic warrior build sucks on so many levels, but then I'm not your dm.

3. A DM has the right to ban books from his game if he doesn't own them.

4. I really think you're looking for undo attention on the boards. You sound a lot like me.

5. Buy the book and give it a good read through to make sure you didn't miss anything.


GM Elton wrote:

If I remembered correctly, he didn't like 3.x. Mostly because he should have been asked to be on the design team. And you know what? I agree with him fundamentally. He should have been asked to sit with the design team and guided them through the design process as a consultant.

It would have been a slightly different game, but many more players of AD&D 1e would have jumped on board.

It would be a very different game. Gygax didn't like options. Humans are the only Paladins etc. Gygax couldn't imiagine a world where all the races could be level 20. He felt that if you allow long lived elves to make it to max level, they'd rule the world instead of humans.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I must say, I am looking forward to my Ultimate Psionics hardcover next year. Hopefully I'll be able to give it a whirl.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I must say, I am looking forward to my Ultimate Psionics hardcover next year. Hopefully I'll be able to give it a whirl.

Joke or real? I thought Paizo said they were leaving Psionics to 3PP?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Real.


ciretose wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I must say, I am looking forward to my Ultimate Psionics hardcover next year. Hopefully I'll be able to give it a whirl.
Joke or real? I thought Paizo said they were leaving Psionics to 3PP?

They'll eventually run out of nouns to put "Ultimate..." in front of. That, and if there's a strong enough demand for it, they'd be silly to ignore it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Jodokai wrote:
Then maybe you should read how he felt about 3.X

While I might disagree somewhat with his conclusion, his observations of the game were dead on. Since 3.0 came out, players have treated the game as a building exercise, and the published material shifted from a GM centric model of rules and modules to the player supplement of the month model. Now mind you this quote was at the time when WOTC started churning out player splat books on a practically monthly basis.

New generation players certainly do have a very different way of playing the game ,then we did back then and that may have been part of his response, given that a whole new generation of players had literally been born and inducted into the game since then . While we treasured our +1 swords, most posters here just think of them as building steps for their +1 enhancement , +9 of every damage bonus I can levy on to the blade. Magic items are far more common and are generally held in far greater contempt because of it.


cmastah wrote:

Here's the thing, one of the first things I told my players is that while I'm lenient towards third party content (even 3/3.5 material), psionics and ridiculous classes (case in point: incarnum mainly and the book that introduced the favored soul (favored soul in, all others presented were out however)) are out (this is why I'm a HUGE supporter of archetypes over new base classes). My players (who'd just come out of 4e) didn't know why I was against it (as far as they knew, it was just another 'power source') and didn't know the MASSIVE difference in power of psionics over magic.

Now there IS a pathfinder compatible book out, and I DO love psionics (I think psionics are cool, I really do) but if I do psionics, it'll be a PSIONICS campaign, not a mix and match of books and classes. The reasons I will NEVER allow psionics in my campaign outside of villains:

1. Magic cannot detect psionics and I BARELY know anything about psionics, I know a good deal of magical spells but next to nothing about psionics. Seriously, conceal thoughts is a LEVEL ONE power when detect thoughts can be obtained at the earliest at level five.

2. I built a psychic warrior to see where I could go with it, and I made a level 1 character who could buff up to the point of having a 9d6 weapon with 24 strength (at level 2 I take barbarian and rage for a total of 28 strength), I'm not even mentioning the feats I'll be adding. Half-giant who ALREADY can wield over-sized weapons properly, so simply wield a LARGER bastard sword two-handed, augmented psionic enlarge to TWICE the size and if I'm correct about the numbers, I'm now wielding a 9d6 weapon....at level 1.

3. The psionic powers, while amazing, are just offering some of the most powerful stuff I've seen yet, none of the normal base classes offer this much.

4. Creatures have spell resistance, nothing outside the psionic bestiary (which is small) has psionic resistance.

It just feels like psionic characters are walking in from a whole different world, kind of like those shows...


He overlooked one rule that balanced psionics, you know.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Real.

I can't see the link from here, but given it is kickstarter, that is still 3pp, right?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

<---He has never had an issue with psionics

There is a popular writeup online called "Myth: The XPH is overpowered" or something like that. You should read it.

Since I am feeling nice today I will give you a link to it.

Link to the info

I will also add the things that have changed for DSP have made psionics more balanced, not less.

You can also visit the DSP boards if you have questions you need answered.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Real.
I can't see the link from here, but given it is kickstarter, that is still 3pp, right?

Dreamscarred Press. I'm sorry you don't think they are real. :)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you all for voicing up info and tips, I think I should clarify:

@icyshadow, I actually originally opened up this thread because I was feeling quite guilty about restricting psionics because a player of mine (a good friend actually) has always had his heart set on psionics and 4e psionics (back when he was playing 4e) is no different than playing relatively any other class.

@VM_Mercenario, the half-giant can wield oversized weapons as normal, so he'd wield the 2d8 one handed.

@banning psionics, the truth with psionics is that I DO have a munchkin (min-maxer?) in my group and he takes it to a professional level. Psionics being taken for its flavor, for its place in the world I can accept, taking it for the sake of power....I just have difficulty with that. I won't deny that I misunderstood the class and ended up making a broken build with an incorrect understanding of the rules, which is another fear I have with allowing rules I don't fully understand.

@Reading the rules, I do honestly want to read up and understand, but the truth is I'd be the only one doing so. My players are fresh off 4e and are relying on me to help them with an understanding of the rules every step of the way, if I miss something, THEY certainly won't know and if I miss something of theirs we end up with a huge problem. A boss fight in the last session with a demon was supposed to be hard, we ended up with the wizard one-shotting it by firing five magic missiles at level TWO because neither of us had read up properly on the spell. If they were taking the class because they liked the concept of the class (something they'd do if they read up on it themselves), I'd do my part and work with them, but half my players only have eyes for power. What generally happens is, they hear about a powerful class and rather than read up on it, they'd expect me to be the only one to do so (the 'doormat'), instead assuming they know the class already. I don't mind, since I know more about PF than they do, but not if it's only so the player can build a high DPR build.

@Psychic warrior being severly limited in power due to low PP and very small power selection, I actually hadn't taken that into consideration. Most of my play experience with my previous DM was 4e, so no more than 1-2 combat encounter per day as it was.

@banning certain rule systems, I banned most (if not all) of the classes presented in incarnum not because of the mechanics (with psionics it was the mechanics), but because the concept made no sense (the whole 'incarnum' idea) no matter how much I continued to read about it. Shadowcasters (I thought they were from another book), along with classes from tome of magic (I think this was the book), made a LOT more sense and they stood out as far as classes did. The idea of manipulating shadow and your powers ACTUALLY working in such a manner, that was unique and well done enough that it wasn't just simply 'another wizard', the class that sign pacts with vestiges, ANOTHER concept that stood out and was its own idea, the truenamer, I concept I'd seen elsewhere that stood on its OWN two feet! The magic of incarnum stuff, well I'd accept using the class since the mechanics seems interesting but the concept would have to be something that ACTUALLY fits. Take the artificer, now the concept on that really did stand out, I still remember reading books from MtG about Urza and his artifice.

@Players keeping things from the DM, now I don't expect my players to do this but....I wouldn't be surprised if they did. They seem to take DnD as a match between the DM and the players (don't blame me, I'm DMing them for the first time and I've seen their other DM (the munchkin) who does seem to push them to this place), I personally promised them complete transparency with the game, if a creature does something they don't understand, I'll explain exactly how it happened and what spell/feat it used. I've been stressing to them that I want us to cooperate to create an exciting story together, I want to keep everything fair and above board and honestly want us all to have fun. I will NEVER use homebrewed villains that don't follow the specific guidelines in the PF books (the previous DM does, and I've seen NPCS and villains that simply never/won't die or are equipped with insane gear). I've even been discussing with them how to make their characters more effective in battle.

I think I'll try and study deeper on psionics so I can let my players use the classes (I'll also make psionics and magic interact completely with each other).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Maybe just me but it sounds more like an issue with the half-giant race than the psychic warrior. I've read over most of the psionic rules and while I'm still learning them, I haven't seen anything that really strikes me as really overpowered personally.


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Oh, I'd personally ban Incarnum myself.

None of my players want it, so it's all fine.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@wraithstrike, thanks for the link, I'm definitely eager to read up on it.

@LazarX, I agree with everything you just said. I remember back in the day when I was younger and getting my hands on merely the players handbook was extremely difficult (I don't live in the US), yet my DM had it. I never knew what items were capable of or what items existed, I didn't even know what to do with much of the numbers, I just enjoyed creating a concept and fleshing it out, excited when I got 'powerful' +1 weapons and such.

@Triomegazero, of all those books, I'm looking forward to this book they say they're going to use to reconstruct the WotC specific psionic creatures of 3e to PF rules. I'm hoping it'll include the mind flayer ^^

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

TriOmegaZero wrote:
ciretose wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Real.
I can't see the link from here, but given it is kickstarter, that is still 3pp, right?
Dreamscarred Press. I'm sorry you don't think they are real. :)

They are "real" but they are still a supplement to the primary publisher of the book.

I didn't dig the psionic books they did that much before, so I don't have a lot of expectations for the next iteration.

I wish them luck, but I'm looking for something different. Paizo deciding to wade in, considering they were as a company critical of the old psionic books, would have lead me to to think they would have taken a new approach rather than what seemed more like a conversion to me.


cmastah wrote:


Now there IS a pathfinder compatible book out, and I DO love psionics (I think psionics are cool, I really do) but if I do psionics, it'll be a PSIONICS campaign, not a mix and match of books and classes. The reasons I will NEVER allow psionics in my campaign outside of villains:

1. Magic cannot detect psionics and I BARELY know anything about psionics, I know a good deal of magical spells but next to nothing about psionics. Seriously, conceal thoughts is a LEVEL ONE power when detect thoughts can be obtained at the earliest at level five.

This is false unless you housereule.

Default is detectmagic works versus psionic. And vice versa.

Conceal thoughts grants a +4 save vs Detect thoughts.
Not immunity.

Quote:


2. I built a psychic warrior to see where I could go with it, and I made a level 1 character who could buff up to the point of having a 9d6 weapon with 24 strength (at level 2 I take barbarian and rage for a total of 28 strength), I'm not even mentioning the feats I'll be adding. Half-giant who ALREADY can wield over-sized weapons properly, so simply wield a LARGER bastard sword two-handed, augmented psionic enlarge to TWICE the size and if I'm correct about the numbers, I'm now wielding a 9d6 weapon....at level 1.

You cheated.

Manufester level is most important rule
Quote:


3. The psionic powers, while amazing, are just offering some of the most powerful stuff I've seen yet, none of the normal base classes offer this much.

Explain.

Quote:


4. Creatures have spell resistance, nothing outside the psionic bestiary (which is small) has psionic resistance.

Stop houseruling.

Default all creatures with SR has PR =to SR. It is in the book in monster section they explain this.


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wraithstrike wrote:

<---He has never had an issue with psionics

There is a popular writeup online called "Myth: The XPH is overpowered" or something like that. You should read it.

Since I am feeling nice today I will give you a link to it.

Link to the info

I will also add the things that have changed for DSP have made psionics more balanced, not less.

You can also visit the DSP boards if you have questions you need answered.

Hey, thanks man, I read the article and it even answered issues I didn't even know about.

I'll go ahead and allow psionics in my campaign with the one caveat that SR=PR and that magic and psionics interact with each other normally. I think the DSP books probably also converted XP costs into gold costs as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@Starbuck, all those issues came from my lack of knowledge about psionics :/

Thanks everyone for your tips and info, I really am honestly grateful :)

Grand Lodge

One of the things I hate more than anything else is a DM who says no and doesnt even know what he is talking about about. They see one person break the class and ban it. I have played a psion many times and have broken it and showed how it is normally to prove a point to a bad DM. Once again if youve read any of my previous posts know that I believe it is the DM's fault every time the game gets out of hand and he has to ban classes feats and whatnot. I have banned certain things but just for a time until I can understand it better and get it back out there without causing havoc.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
cmastah wrote:

@Starbuck, all those issues came from my lack of knowledge about psionics :/

Thanks everyone for your tips and info, I really am honestly grateful :)

This is an example of a DM learning and overcoming his shortfalls and becoming better. Why can't more be like him?


thejeff wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:

So Lazurin, your base argument is that "if there is no trust between player and DM, then the latter is free to ban anything he wants" or such?

Because in that case the problem isn't the material being banned, but the group dynamic. Also partially at fault is a lazy DM who can't do his job apparently.

So all GMs are required to be familiar with all 3pp material that a player might want to use or he's lazy and can't do his job?

Where does "no trust between player and DM" come into it?

Quote:
Not just because of the constant slow down something like that can cause, but also for reasons like you character unintentionally being too weak or too strong compared to the rest of the party, accidental rules abuses, intentional rules abuses and holes in enemy design due to his lack of knowledge.

Intentional rules abuses is mentioned, but only as one item. All of the other issues have nothing to do with trust.

And finally, other than cases like PFS, the GM is free to ban anything he wants for any reason he wants. If he thinks the psionic rules are broken, if he thinks the flavor doesn't fit in his gameworld, if he doesn't want to buy and learn another set of rules. He doesn't have to run anything he doesn't want to.
Ideally of course he'll discuss this with players up front and compromise on things they feel strongly about, but in the end it's his call. Obviously the players can walk away if they really aren't willing to play in a game without psionics or whatever. Maybe the GM really is being a jerk and banning everything the players find interesting.

We appear to have long since moved on from this...but TheJeff gets the cut of my gib.

And yes there is plenty of compromise at our table...the guy isnt just banning anything he wouldnt like to play or doesnt feel like reading...


Eugene Nelson wrote:
cmastah wrote:

@Starbuck, all those issues came from my lack of knowledge about psionics :/

Thanks everyone for your tips and info, I really am honestly grateful :)

This is an example of a DM learning and overcoming his shortfalls and becoming better. Why can't more be like him?

Also this!

I dont want to leave anyone with the idea that I condone banning something permanently based on not understanding it, or that things like that take place in my home game.
My point was that If you dont understand it, forcing it into a game is often more detrimental to peoples fun than not getting to play it in the first place...for a myriad of reasons.
Doesnt ever stop you from learning more, getting better and bringing it back later.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Starbuck_II wrote:
cmastah wrote:


Now there IS a pathfinder compatible book out, and I DO love psionics (I think psionics are cool, I really do) but if I do psionics, it'll be a PSIONICS campaign, not a mix and match of books and classes. The reasons I will NEVER allow psionics in my campaign outside of villains:

1. Magic cannot detect psionics and I BARELY know anything about psionics, I know a good deal of magical spells but next to nothing about psionics. Seriously, conceal thoughts is a LEVEL ONE power when detect thoughts can be obtained at the earliest at level five.

This is false unless you housereule.

Default is detectmagic works versus psionic. And vice versa.

Actually if you're using psionics AT ALL, you're houseruling. It's time to stop bringing up that word as a pjeorative.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
cmastah wrote:
@Triomegazero, of all those books, I'm looking forward to this book they say they're going to use to reconstruct the WotC specific psionic creatures of 3e to PF rules. I'm hoping it'll include the mind flayer ^^

Not sure if I pledged high enough for that, but I'm looking forward to it all either way. Thanks for giving psionics a second chance after this discussion. It's so rare to see something like that around here.

Dark Archive

I noticed an error while writing this in that I keep jumping around using these three terms, which all mean the same thing: DM, GM, Judge.

You let a 2nd level wizard fire off magic missile with 5 missiles! Dude, if you cannot even get a 1st level spell right, one of the most common in the game, I really doubt you are ready to step up as a game master at all.

Take some more time to learn the game. Take even more time to learn subsystems before letting them in. We have seen in this thread you are openminded enough to learn. What you need to do is take the time good players/GMs need to actually read and comprehend the rules. You really make yourself look foolish when you rant about something you never did real research on.

When you get stumped, you can discuss it with others. Hopefully, people you speak with know what they are talking about rather than repeating bs they heard someone else say. Ask for page references you can lookup so you can learn from them instead of just getting a quick answer. I have learned that getting verbal answers from other people usually results in the wrong answer. Actually looking it up and reading yourself is the best thing to do. Sometimes you miss something, or the relevant information is nowhere near the part of the book you expect and search(I got lost on some of the rules regarding mounts for example, I looked up the ride skill and the various feats and learned from these boards that their is a mounted combat section in the combat chapter). In cases like that, come ask us, as in these message boards for help, with page references.

I have not yet had the chance to review Gary's feeling on psionics but I highly suspect that those feelings on Psionics might be very much geared towards the early rules for Psionics. I saw them and find the power point system of 3.0 and up to be much better than an add on system like the old 1st/2nd edition system. In 1st/2en Ed, everyone had somewhere around a 5% chance of getting Psionics for free, completely independent of class. Sure there was something like a 3% chance that testing for Psionics powers totally screws your character too but those that got such choose to gamble, they deserved a chance of heavy loss instead for a chance of heavy gain by what those Psionics testing GAMBLING rules were. Psionics were supposed to be tested for as the last step of character generation. Anyone who spent an hour making a PC and decided to gamble at the end was taking a big risk of losing an hour of work for about an equal chance of a big free power boost. They were GAMBLING! In 2nd Ed, the complete Psionics handbook gave Psionics a decent shot as a class based system, now you could justify these powers as opposed to just adding them on for free(on top of your regular class) because of a single lucky % die roll. I still feel the 2nd Ed rules were poor as there was a good chance you would try to use a power and it would just fizzle to no effect, not like failing to penetrate spell resistance fizzle but like wasting a spell slot and and action to have nothing happen at all, not even a missed shot, I really mean nothing happen to manifest at all. In 3.0 and up, they made it a reliable class, one that can get something to work very similar to how spells work. Spend a resource, get an effect. I understand some people think the nova potential is too strong. I think it is only a problem when you always limit the adventuring day to only one or two fights. That is good sometimes, but the judge should also make sure to include days where you have to go through at least 4/5 encounters a day, maybe even 6/7 weak encounter days as often as the 1/2 very hard encounter days.

In all fairness, subsystems like Psionics, Incarnum, Book of Nine Swords, they really do take a lot more investment then reading a class that is only a few, 2-10 pages long. The DM already has an adventure to read and nearly if not the whole core rule book. Asking them to take on additional reading for a subsystem that they were never interested in(otherwise they would have already read it) is asking for a lot. I just recently joined a campaign and was very disappointed I could not use any of the subsystems I listed above but as a DM myself, I know how much homework it already is to judge the adventure. I ask to use the stuff and offer my books but accept some people are not inclined, interested, up to the challenge, or have the time to read that much extra homework.

I have played under a DM who let people use what they wanted but did not read the rules and police them when they cheated. I liked being able to use what I wanted but disliked how other players with poor reading comprehension got out of control and then the GM ran us through fights of EL +6 to try to challenge the cheating players. I played fair and got killed the the GM did not understand what was wrong and his answer was to make fights tougher rather then police the cheating players. This is why I as much as I hate playing the same core classes over and over and over and over and over again with archetypes being little more but more of the same after you played as much as I have, I would still rather a DM ban a subsystem he will not read and then fail to correct cheating players on than just let cheating run rampant. When I call the cheaters out, I get hated on for ruining their fun(cheating) when not being the DM myself. Then when I take turns DMing and step down on the cheating, all the players who think they have macho man characters but then get their ass handed to them when they cannot cheat and learn the hard way their math, tactics and ASSumptions are nowhere as powerful as they thought, get frustrated and want to quite. Sometimes I think I am better off without them. It is a hard line to choose not to play at all when the only players you know all want to cheat with badwrongfun but I would rather search for other players than play a game in disgust at rampant cheating.

Being turned down from non core stuff really shows you how much you should appreciate the DMs out there who do allow you to pick what you want. You should still only do this with a DM/players that can handle such. If you/they cannot handle it yet, take some time to master the rules and give those extra options a go when you have learned how to handle things.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

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cmastah wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

<---He has never had an issue with psionics

There is a popular writeup online called "Myth: The XPH is overpowered" or something like that. You should read it.

Since I am feeling nice today I will give you a link to it.

Link to the info

I will also add the things that have changed for DSP have made psionics more balanced, not less.

You can also visit the DSP boards if you have questions you need answered.

Hey, thanks man, I read the article and it even answered issues I didn't even know about.

I'll go ahead and allow psionics in my campaign with the one caveat that SR=PR and that magic and psionics interact with each other normally. I think the DSP books probably also converted XP costs into gold costs as well.

As the writer of said Myth thread (I was Bacris on the WotC forums) and the publisher of Psionics Unleashed, feel free to send me any questions you might have.

BTW, that caveat you mention - that's the way the system is designed to work. :) That's not a caveat - that's the rules as intended.


Not sure if this was mentioned but Dreamscarred Press has a great book on this. We also did our take on the psychic (in the Tome of Bizarre) if you wanted to take a look at that. Very weird casting mechanic (unlimited spells essentially but you always have a chance for them to backfire).

Silver Crusade

I wonder an adventure that is just as exotic as the system would work. Hmm . . . Something that would take the characters off balance. I wonder how long it would take to wrangle the art for a really Romantic stone age adventure . . . hmm . . .

* looks into his prehistorica. *


cmastah wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

<---He has never had an issue with psionics

There is a popular writeup online called "Myth: The XPH is overpowered" or something like that. You should read it.

Since I am feeling nice today I will give you a link to it.

Link to the info

I will also add the things that have changed for DSP have made psionics more balanced, not less.

You can also visit the DSP boards if you have questions you need answered.

Hey, thanks man, I read the article and it even answered issues I didn't even know about.

I'll go ahead and allow psionics in my campaign with the one caveat that SR=PR and that magic and psionics interact with each other normally. I think the DSP books probably also converted XP costs into gold costs as well.

Thanks for having an open mind. I was glad I could help.

Scarab Sages

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LazarX wrote:
And also quite frankly, Gary Gygax himself considered psionics the biggest mistake he ever made in constructing AD&D. And he was right to do so, it was a horrible bolt-on to the rules set, with no real fit to the rest of it, and completely unbalanced.

He was talking about the First Edition version of the rules, and yes, he was right.

That doesn't really have any relevance to the rules created by WotC or Dreamscarred Press.


cmastah wrote:

1. Magic cannot detect psionics and I BARELY know anything about psionics, I know a good deal of magical spells but next to nothing about psionics. Seriously, conceal thoughts is a LEVEL ONE power when detect thoughts can be obtained at the earliest at level five.

2. I built a psychic warrior to see where I could go with it, and I made a level 1 character who could buff up to the point of having a 9d6 weapon with 24 strength (at level 2 I take barbarian and rage for a total of 28 strength), I'm not even mentioning the feats I'll be adding. Half-giant who ALREADY can wield over-sized weapons properly, so simply wield a LARGER bastard sword two-handed, augmented psionic enlarge to TWICE the size and if I'm correct about the numbers, I'm now wielding a 9d6 weapon....at level 1.

3. The psionic powers, while amazing, are just offering some of the most powerful stuff I've seen yet, none of the normal base classes offer this much.

4. Creatures have spell resistance, nothing outside the psionic bestiary (which is small) has psionic resistance.

It just feels like psionic characters are walking in from a whole different world, kind of like those shows...

Wow...so much wrongness in a single post. O.o

EDIT: *goes to read rest of the thread, as most of this has probably already been cleared up*


Ah. I am now impressed by the OP. ^-^

Grand Lodge

Actually, one of the main thing I HATE about the new psionics books is that stupid bloody optional treat them seperate rule. Yes I know it is optional...and no I have NEVER run any 3.5 psionics game without transprancy...but you know what happens from every bloody single psionics player who asks for it the ruleset in my game?

player: Can we use psionics?
Me: Well...I never had good things come of using it.
Player: Please? I have this really awesome concept and backstory.
Me: You can't reflavor a sorcerer or wizard or something?
Player: No, it HAS to be psionics.
Me: Okay, fine, but we are using the psionic/magic transparancy rule. Psionics and magic works against each other...got that?
Player: Yeah sure.

1 game to a couple months later...player is insistant that psionics and magic should not affect each other for various logic reasons with the optional ruleset being used as the lynchpin of why I should make them seperate...followed shortly with me booting him/her and psionics out of my game.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This thread makes me want to get my hands on Dreamscarred Press' Psionics book.


As it should. Mildly biased, as my name is in them, but they are awesome books.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cold Napalm wrote:

Actually, one of the main thing I HATE about the new psionics books is that stupid bloody optional treat them seperate rule. Yes I know it is optional...and no I have NEVER run any 3.5 psionics game without transprancy...but you know what happens from every bloody single psionics player who asks for it the ruleset in my game?

player: Can we use psionics?
Me: Well...I never had good things come of using it.
Player: Please? I have this really awesome concept and backstory.
Me: You can't reflavor a sorcerer or wizard or something?
Player: No, it HAS to be psionics.
Me: Okay, fine, but we are using the psionic/magic transparancy rule. Psionics and magic works against each other...got that?
Player: Yeah sure.

1 game to a couple months later...player is insistant that psionics and magic should not affect each other for various logic reasons with the optional ruleset being used as the lynchpin of why I should make them seperate...followed shortly with me booting him/her and psionics out of my game.

It should just be booting him/her, really. If you make it clear transparency is being used (and it absolutely should be), then there's nothing to complain about. Or pound them with a bunch of casters who blow through all their psionic defenses because the wanted them separate (it works both ways) and see how fast they shut up.


I have never had CD's issues. I would say you can play it by my rules or make a new character those are your options.

Grand Lodge

MaverickWolf wrote:
It should just be booting him/her, really. If you make it clear transparency is being used (and it absolutely should be), then there's nothing to complain about. Or pound them with a bunch of casters who blow through all their psionic defenses because the wanted them separate (it works both ways) and see how fast they shut up.

If I boot the offending player, there is no reason to keep psionics around in my game anymore now is there :P . Yeah I tried the whole blow them up with casters...but that gets hard to do without getting other party members all tangled up...easier to just boot em.

Grand Lodge

wraithstrike wrote:
I have never had CD's issues. I would say you can play it by my rules or make a new character those are your options.

And have them go okay...and then listen to them moan for another session? No thanks.


Psionics started in Vudra, but there is also a series of Psionic monasteries located in Tian Xia. most of them worship Irori, and share space with monks and clerics. Vudra was right on the border of the continents of Casmaron and Tian Xia. and there is frequent exchange of goods and ideas among both the Vudrani, and the various Tian cultures.

so the only rules i would impose on a Psionic character is that they grew up in a Tian or Vudrani Ascetic Background (and must know one of the 2 languages upon creation), Must have 1 rank in Knowledge (Religion) at character creation, must start lawfully aligned (though that can change with experience) and must worship Irori as their initial patron god upon creation (unless a case can be made for another fitting god, though religious conversions are possible)


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Psionics started in Vudra, but there is also a series of Psionic monasteries located in Tian Xia. most of them worship Irori, and share space with monks and clerics. Vudra was right on the border of the continents of Casmaron and Tian Xia. and there is frequent exchange of goods and ideas among both the Vudrani, and the various Tian cultures.

so the only rules i would impose on a Psionic character is that they grew up in a Tian or Vudrani Ascetic Background (and must know one of the 2 languages upon creation), Must have 1 rank in Knowledge (Religion) at character creation, must start lawfully aligned (though that can change with experience) and must worship Irori as their initial patron god upon creation (unless a case can be made for another fitting god, though religious conversions are possible)

One of the three elven deities mentioned (the one who favored Half-Elves) had some link to psionics, if I recall right.


Cold Napalm wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I have never had CD's issues. I would say you can play it by my rules or make a new character those are your options.
And have them go okay...and then listen to them moan for another session? No thanks.

They can moan all they want, but I would not discuss it. I would just start running the game. By discussing it might encourage them to keep trying to argue the point. I also tell players that all such discussion will be handled before gameday. I have not had perfect players but I have never had to keep telling them the same thing over and over either. I would probably pass the CRB to them if that were to happen.

Scarab Sages

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This came up in my group, in a discussion about a totally different 3rd party rule variant from Dragon magazine, and why it needed expanding to allow for the inevitable reactions from the core classes.

My explanation for why, included the example of psionics:

I mentioned the subject of “adding new power sources to the game, without considering their kryptonite”, aka “Psionics is Different!”.

Whenever Psionics have been added, in the past, there are always those who argue that it should work differently from existing magic systems, even down to being immune to detection/countering/dispelling/modification by arcane or divine casters, and vice versa. This is the “Psionics is Different!” position.

Opponents argue that psionics is simply magic by another name, and should be adjudicated exactly like existing magic, regardless of the source, and only the effects should matter. (i.e. a Psion is simply a Sorceror with a different spell list.) This is the “Psionics is Similar” position, and is familiar to anyone who’s played Rolemaster, with its distinctions between spells of Essence, Channeling, and Mentalism, which correlate to D&D’s arcane/divine/psionic sources.

This similarity isn’t surprising, considering the CVs of the D&D3 development team.

The default assumption of D&D 3.0 and 3.5 is that psionics is similar, and the writers of the rulebooks went into detail about this, and why this was the default.

It wasn’t just that it made things simple, but that applying the “Different!” assumption had huge catastrophic effects on game balance.

Allowing one PC to bypass the defences of the majority of most opponents made that PC overly powerful, and made CRs meaningless.

Despite the claims that the psion would suffer from the same ruling, that would rarely be the case, as he would be able to use the arcane/divine protective gear that everyone else was using, and benefit from buffs cast by fellow arcane/divine PCs. He’d have the same immunities and resistances as the rest of the party, while slicing through enemy SR, immunities and resistances as though they didn’t exist.

One PC would be trivialising encounters, and making the whole campaign revolve about them.

Altering the mix of opponents, to include many psionic enemies, would simply shift the problem around, allowing an arcane/divine PC to trivialise the encounters with illithids/intellect devourers/githyanki/etc. Or for those creatures to one-shot the non-psionic party members.

Hence you end up playing a game of ‘Rocket Launcher Tag’, where he who wins the initiative obliterates all opposition.

I’ve seen this happen in other games; most egregiously a game of Spacemaster, that I witnessed at Uni (thank God I didn’t play) that started as Rolemaster.

While all the martial PCs were glorified cavemen, having to relearn how to get by in a world of technology, one player was allowed to port over his wizard with no alterations required. Every session consisted of him completing the adventure, taking out squadrons of jet fighters, flying, invisible, shielded, and summoning demons, while the others tried to keep up without driving their car into a ditch. It was…bad.

But what has that got to do with the current game, I hear you ask?

I’m sure most GMs got fed up of telling 1st/2nd Edition psionics that “Using Light Manipulation to bend the light around you, or Body Manipulation to make yourself transparent is the same as invisibility!”, and would have little patience with a player who insisted “I’m not invisible; I’m psionically invisible! You have to alter the scenario, to include a psionic sentry, to psionically search for me, using ‘psionic see invisibility’!”.

This is, I believe, the real reason for issues we’ve been having, as the Dragon mag article, no matter how flavourful, has simply never considered how other aspects of the game would have been forced to alter, to cope with the new abilities, or would have already been able to cope with those abilities, due to being implicitly designed to deal with those explicit game effects, regardless of their source.

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