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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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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 where a guy with modern day weapons and equipment walks into the midieval ages (or a samurai picking a fight with teletubbies).


I can only talk about 3.5 psionics but:

1 - just play with magic/psioninc tranparancy - now it's just an other kind of magic.

2 - let see the build - or it didn't happen..

3 - there are some great things yes - but compared to 3.5 arcane spells - they don't seem overpowered.

4 - again transparancy - then SR works again psionics.


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psionics is easier to learn than magic, and there is no way you are getting a 9d6 weapon at level 1. that requires more power points than your manifester level. and you cannot spend more power points than you have manifester level. which increases in one of 2 ways, levels in the appropriate psionic class, or levels in a psionics advancing prestige class.

1. magic/psionic transperency is the default rule, psionics is different is a not very reccomended optional rule in the same book.
2. a half giant can wield a larger weapon at no penalty, but a huge bastard sword comes at -2 to hit. and you cannot spend more power points than you have manifester levels.
3. there are some great things you can do with psionics, but arcane spells are stronger, and don't need to be augmented. arcane spells have the same nova potential. oh wait, they have more. and there are more items that augment magic than psionics.
4. transperancy is the default. using the psionics is different variant isn't recommended.


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1. and 4. I could, but the truth is that I believe that different power sources should be treated as such, much like extroardinary abilites by their nature don't provoke AoOs and aren't subject to anti-magic.

2. Half-giant, capable of wielding oversized weapons normally, wields a large bastard sword one-handed except instead he wields a huge bastard sword two-handed, damage for a large is 2d8, I'm assuming that dice are calculated via top damage becoming 1.5x better (for instance, 2d6 (12) becomes 3d6 (18) and so on) which means the 2d8 becomes a 3d8 if it's a huge weapon (or 4d6). Psychic warriors get a bonus feat at level 1 in addition to normal first level feat, take weapon proficiency bastard sword and wild talent (to get 2 extra power points). Stats in order before racial, 16 str, 13 dex, 10 con, 7 in, 16 wis and 7 cha (OR, 17, 14, 10, 7, 14, 7 and increase str by 1 at level four), racials in 3.5 were +2 to str and con (-2 to dex), BUT in PF compatible edition (dreamscarred) new half-giant racials are +2 to str and WIS (-2 to dex). New stats with racials (that I'm focused on) 18 str and 18 wis (or 19 str and 16 wis). I have 6 power points so I can't augment at level 1 (my weapon will still deal 6d6 damage though when I enlarge), but once I hit level 2 I have enough powerpoints to augment my enlarge to have a 9d6 weapon. My touch AC will suck, but it's built instead around wearing the heaviest armor possible. They should NOT have allowed enlarge to be augmentable AND that half-giants can't wield oversized weapons. Strength after augmented enlarge? At least 24, take a level in barbarian and now we're looking at minimum of 28, AC will suck but damage will be beyond anything any other class can achieve.

3. Several spells stand out merely at level 1, conceal thoughts, cat fall (feather fall), control light (effectively a more accurate darkness + daylight spell from level 1), demoralize (effectively dazzling display without the feat or its tax), float (hello successful swim check in plate mail...at level 1), biofeedback (DR 2/-), augmentable expansion (can enlarge with TWICE the benefits (and drawbacks)), psychic warriors get effectively mage armor and the OTHER +4 AC buff with a third insight +1 AC buff. All this at level 1....did I mention psionics aren't hampered by armor?


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"and I BARELY know anything about psionics"

That sums up your issue right there.

It also explains your broken (not OP, but illegal) build you are bragging about. The other minor issues can be settled as the other posters described.

I'm a huge supporter of Dreamscarred Press and their take on Psionics in Pathfinder. In fact, I generously supported their Kickstarter for their upcoming hardcover.

It didn't start that way. I was a skeptic, but then I actually made an effort to understand what the issues were.

If you actually do your homework, like me, you'll likely find little issue at all. If you still do, then you probably DO have an issue with Psionics as a theme, much like others hate firearms or anything Eastern in their "Fantasy" world.


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@Lumiere, Ah, didn't know you couldn't spend more power points than you have manifester levels. Ok, that changes calculations a bit :P

I can still wield an oversized bastard sword (at -2 penalty) for a 3d8 (4d6) weapon AND enlarge (not augmented) to make it a 6d6 weapon. I may take a minus to hit, but even for a level 1, as long as I hit once, most CR1 (maybe even 2) enemies will fall to a single blow. The minus isn't even that high.


I see the problem here.

Just use the default assumption that psionics detect as magic, can be dispelled by magic, and are impeded by spell resistance. That is what people mean when they say magic/psionics transparency and is the default assumption in most games.

Here is how augmenting works: you cannot spend more power points on a single power then you have levels in the psionic class that gives you the power. A 1st level psychic warrior can only spend one power point on any power. When he reaches his 7th level in psychic warrior he may pay the 1 point cost to manifest the power and an additional 6 points to augment the power by spending a total of 7 power points on the power.

A large bastard sword deals 2d8 points of damage and costs 70gp, a huge bastard sword deals 3d8 points of damage and costs 140gp

A half giant could wield a large bastard sword 2 handed with exotic weapon proficiency (bastard sword) at a -2 penaltry.

When the half giant manifests expansion, the bastard sword is now gargantuan and damage goes up to 4d8 (consulted Arms and Equipment guide of 3.5 for proper tables.)

This is pretty good for a 1st level character I guess, he'd make a scarier fighter or barbarian though.

Oh, and if he went up two size categories at lvl 7, the damage would be 6d8, not 9d6


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@Ravennus, I supported their kickstarter generously as well because even though I was (and still am) skeptical about the power difference I still find psionics to be an exciting and expansive new touch on the fantasy world. I need to know WAY more about psionics before I can incorporate it certainly. I won't deny that I'm currently in a mind set of a merely magical world where psionics is extremely alien, where no one can detect for it or is even prepared for such things.

The powers can do things I'd expect from higher levelled wizards, which can't be counter acted by normal or magical means. The truth is I'm only just getting the hang of the magical means.

Some of the OTHER things I find overpowered though, are feats that (while expending psionic focus) increase damage on one blow by 2d6 (there's a 4d6 feat when you hit +5 BAB) or one that ignores 1/2 hardness (also expends psionic focus).

Like I said, I love psionics and would love to use it, but the campaign would have to be a psionics campaign where the majority of what the party encounters are taken straight out of the psionic books. At that point, I don't think classes like barbarian and fighter would be able to keep up with psionic characters, clerics would STILL be extremely necessary, but others would not be able to keep up.


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Archomedes wrote:

I see the problem here.

Just use the default assumption that psionics detect as magic, can be dispelled by magic, and are impeded by spell resistance. That is what people mean when they say magic/psionics transparency and is the default assumption in most games.

Here is how augmenting works: you cannot spend more power points on a single power then you have levels in the psionic class that gives you the power. A 1st level psychic warrior can only spend one power point on any power. When he reaches his 7th level in psychic warrior he may pay the 1 point cost to manifest the power and an additional 6 points to augment the power by spending a total of 7 power points on the power.

Heheh, only just realized that.

Quote:


This is pretty good for a 1st level character I guess, he'd make a scarier fighter or barbarian though.

Oh, and if he went up two size categories at lvl 7, the damage would be 6d8, not 9d6

He may be scarier as a fighter or barbarian, though with psychic warrior he's effectively a gestalt fighter/wizard, with a 1 level dip in barbarian he can also rage, he doesn't even suffer from failure to cast by wearing heavy armor (with a power he can even increase his movement by 10ft). Thanks to his powers, he can also use defensive powers that also increase his AC, or even powers that allow him to float in case someone tries to drown him.

As for damage increase, I didn't know where to go for tables, thanks for the info :)

For power interactions, I'm not entirely happy treating psionics as magic because it dulls the taste of psionics. Extroardinary abilities for instance, are treated as acts of physical power rather than magic for example and I'd like to treat psionics in that manner. If I want to incorporate psionics I'd have no choice but to treat it like magic if I end up doing so though.


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cmastah wrote:


For power interactions, I'm not entirely happy treating psionics as magic because it dulls the taste of psionics. Extroardinary abilities for instance, are treated as acts of physical power rather than magic for example and I'd like to treat psionics in that manner. If I want to incorporate psionics I'd have no choice but to treat it like magic if I end up doing so though.

Its less that psionics is just another form of magic, and more that magic is capable of affecting psionics, and beasts that resist magic also resist psionics in equal measure.

Psionics as a whole then isn't a trump to magic resistant things, its another way to interact with the eldritch forces of the world. In the same way that Sorcerers use magic through force of persona and Wizards use magic through introspection and contemplation of eldritch arts, so too do psions and wilders manipulate the currents of the astral planes and the ambient psychic forces of the world and themselves through introspection or force of will.

There are psionic powers that ignore spell/power resistance though, most have crystal or ectoplasm in their names I think.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:


2. a half giant can wield a larger weapon at no penalty, but a huge bastard sword comes at -2 to hit. and you cannot spend more power points than you have manifester levels.

actually being medium and wielding a large size gets a free pass on the oversized rules, but the wording would make a medium sized character wielding a huge sized still gets a -4.


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Jupp wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:


2. a half giant can wield a larger weapon at no penalty, but a huge bastard sword comes at -2 to hit. and you cannot spend more power points than you have manifester levels.
actually being medium and wielding a large size gets a free pass on the oversized rules, but the wording would make a medium sized character wielding a huge sized still gets a -4.

I could be wrong, but the weapon category increases beyond what your character could wield. Wielding a medium one-handed weapon is....one-handed, wielding a LARGE one-handed weapon makes it a TWO-HANDED weapon, you cannot wield anything that would make it larger than two-handed.

@Archomedes, I may end up going that route because a player of mine is interested in playing psionic for the flavor of psionics. He's always had a thing for it and the benefit for myself is that he's not a power gamer, he just wants to have fun (one of my other players IS a power gamer, HIM I'll have to watch out for). I won't deny that I've always been curious about how sorcerorous powers work like wizardly ones when it comes from within :P


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Making Psionics obey the basic rules of magic doesn't ruin the flavor though. It just balances it.

He can still kill people with his mind, he just can't do it through all their magical defenses.


I saw the title of the thread, and all that ringed in my head was the sound of a baby crying while a nerd rants about things he finds badwrongfun (or said nerd crying like a baby) in Pathfinder, in this case the badwrong being the rules for psionics. While personally I am against a DM making arbitrary bans of any kind (as in banning things without a good reason), I'll have to say that I couldn't care less about what the OP thinks because he is (thankfully) not my DM and I shouldn't care about what he thinks.

With that said, anyone want to tell me what's the point of this thread? I am having a really hard time seeing one.

Silver Crusade

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Well, it has more point than "I don't care about this thread and the OP so I came here to crap around a bit because I really don't care please see how much". :)


Are you upset about me stealing your shtick, Gorbie? :P

Anyway, I never got the chance to try out psionics back in 3.5e, which is a shame really.

Then again, a friend of mine wants me to run a 3.5e game of some sort, so I might pick them up there.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Ah, so I need to add "and I have no idea what the OP is talking about" to the quote above ;P


He thinks Psionics are overpowered, a claim I disagree with.

Did you actually have anything related to psionics to add, Gorbie?

Oh, and he didn't use the default rules which led to psionics being broken.

He has no right to complain about the mistake he made, so his ban is arbitrary like I already said.


@cmastah - With regard to different power sources being treated as such, bear in mind that in core PF, divine and arcane magic interact normally but clearly have very different sources (one tapping a divine power and one tapping the universe, as it were).

It isn't much of a stretch and is the recommended method of handling psionic/magic interaction. If you ever played Rolemaster, they had these three concepts built in (Channeling - divine, Essence - arcane, Mentalism - psionic). All three types interacted normally but simply had different sources.

Grand Lodge

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Icyshadow wrote:

I saw the title of the thread, and all that ringed in my head was the sound of a baby crying while a nerd rants about things he finds badwrongfun (or said nerd crying like a baby) in Pathfinder, in this case the badwrong being the rules for psionics. While personally I am against a DM making arbitrary bans of any kind (as in banning things without a good reason), I'll have to say that I couldn't care less about what the OP thinks because he is (thankfully) not my DM and I shouldn't care about what he thinks.

With that said, anyone want to tell me what's the point of this thread? I am having a really hard time seeing one.

The moral of the lesson is... Study and learn a system thoroughly before you trash it publicly, lest thou be exposed as an ignorant fool.

That said, the OP should ban the system from his games.... at least until he's learned to run it properly. Same goes for other complicated building additions... like Eidolons.


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Now you know.

And knowing is half the battle. "G.I. JOE!!"

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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This caught me.
"though with psychic warrior he's effectively a gestalt fighter/wizard"

No.

He's a bard, or an inquisitor, or a magus or (maybe) a weak cleric.

At first level, you're spending most (if not all) your gold on a combo you can use maybe 3 times a day? That takes a round to get ready to use. Also you're not getting proficiency in the huge sword until 2nd level. (And if you're using the Rich Parents trait, I'm going to want to hear about this rich half-giant family you're from). You're also likely to not act first (intitative and perception not a class skill).

At first level.

"Everyone roll perception. Those below 14 are surprised by the goblins"

Surprise round "Hit the longshanks with compensation issues!"

Initiative.

First round "Hit him again!"

Second round "Oy, he's huge, but still standing! Hit him again!"

You'd swing that sword, but you're at 0 HP.


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Alright I have to say the claim that a psy warrior is a gestalt fighter/wizard is nothing short of insane.

Psy warrior powers are not even a drop in the bucket next to a full caster. For one standard magic has the benefit of scaling without increasing in resource consumption. Many a spell scales by caster lvl.

Psionics do not. The user has to expend more resources to scale the power. With that and the classes very limited PP pool the class is pretty well balanced.

A Psy Warrior can be really powerful a few mins a day if he blows his PP all at once or he can be pretty good for the while day if he manages his PP well.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Stome wrote:
A Psy Warrior can be really powerful a few mins a day if he blows his PP all at once or he can be pretty good for the while day if he manages his PP well.

My experience, plan your PP as divided by 5, per encounter. That way you can make sure you have enough for the 'standard' encounter format, then another reserve for the inevitable 'ambushed when you're asleep' bit. :-) You can go over that budget (and should when needed) but just remember you did.


OP didn't even post his build, so I find it hard to believe him.

Andoran

Psionics were a good concept that needed some tweaking, in part because the magic system wasn't integrated well into the existing system (different resistances, etc) and in part because of the potential nova abuse issues (yes I've seen the math, no I don't agree with you, so let's stop there)

I would love to see an effort to have Psionics integrated better, and to have an entirely different flavor casting system that is still compatible, but that doesn't seem to be a priority outside of the 3pp.

More options are always better (as long as they are also well balanced options)


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"I BARELY know anything about psionics"

This reason right here is sufficient to me to not allow it in your game...and your players should respect that.

Anything else you say misguided or otherwise stems from that statement right there, and the amount of trouble rising from that should be reason enough for your players to relent and find another thing to play.

My DM always reserves the right to ban anything based on not having the book, and/or not knowing how it fits into the game. 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.

I might ask him in advance to review something and see if he will include it, but once the decision is made I always roll with it and move on to another idea....


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 something along those lines? Because in that case the problem isn't the material being banned, but the group dynamic not working out. Also partially at fault is a lazy DM who can't do his job apparently. If a player in my table wants to try out a Psionic character or even a homebrew, I'll check the thing he wants to try out because it's part of the job here.

I can understand being restrictive with munchkins, but arbitrary bans I refuse to do as a DM.

Andoran

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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 something along those lines?

Nope, it's 'if I do not know the material, I don't want to run it'.

Would you like to play under a DM that did not know the combat rules?


That's not really a question since that'd be next to impossible.

Also, why do people mistake hard-working DMs for doormats around here?


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.


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I enjoyed using the oddball sub-systems in 3.5e(Shadowcasting, Incarnum, etc) and my DM's rarely ever knew anything about them. But, at the same time, what better way to learn more(since they didn't have the book) than seeing it first-hand in play? Banning somehting outright without taking the opportunity to learn more about it in play seems fairly ignorant to me, just my opinion.

If something seemed overly powerful, we re-examined whatever book I pulled the new system from and we went over it. If the class came off weak, we did the same to make sure I wasn't missing something(nope, Shadowcasting is just that weak).

As long as I wasn't trying to slip something past the DM and playing the new system open and honestly, it was never banned from the game.

I'd have preferred that the DM always had extensive familiarity with whatever variant class I wanted to play, but realistically, this isn't going to happen very often. When you play a non-core sub-system class from possibly a 3pp splatbook, you sort of have to expect to be the one to bring the class to the table and open it up for everyone to learn about.

Andoran

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Icyshadow wrote:
That's not really a question since that'd be next to impossible.

You've obviously never played with a DM new to the system then.


If a player wants to try out some material or alternate rules, you should be aware of said rules or you're being lazy.

And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?

Andoran

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Icyshadow wrote:
And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?

Because the DM may want to spend his off time with his family rather than learning new rules? Is that 'lazy'?

Shadow Lodge

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Geez, how did I get on the DM side of the argument again?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?
Because the DM may want to spend his off time with his family rather than learning new rules? Is that 'lazy'?

If you don't have time to read a couple of pages from one darn book, why are you "wasting your time" playing D&D / PF in the first place?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?
Because the DM may want to spend his off time with his family rather than learning new rules? Is that 'lazy'?

Or maybe he wants to spend the time developing the world and adventure rather than learning yet another subsystem and trying to retrofit how it works into his setting?

Grand Lodge

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Icyshadow wrote:

If a player wants to try out some material or alternate rules, you should be aware of said rules or you're being lazy.

And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?

Because fun works both ways? Part of the fun is running a world with a coherent theme and certain things may not fit that theme. If I'm running Greyhawk, gunslingers don't fit that world as I see it, nor do Summoners or Jedi Warriors regardless of how "cool" these characters might be.

A world that includes absolutely everything has no character. A world acquires defining flavor not only by what's included but what's left out as well.


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thejeff wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?
Because the DM may want to spend his off time with his family rather than learning new rules? Is that 'lazy'?

Or maybe he wants to spend the time developing the world and adventure rather than learning yet another subsystem and trying to retrofit how it works into his setting?

That excuse holds no water if your game is set on an already existing setting, like Golarion or Oerth.

And I call it an excuse because it's been used as an excuse to ban things arbitrarily before, and it disgusts me.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
If you don't have time to read a couple of pages from one darn book, why are you "wasting your time" playing D&D / PF in the first place?

Where did I say the DM was wasting his time playing?

Would you rather he spend his time reading the rules or running the game for you?


LazarX wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:

If a player wants to try out some material or alternate rules, you should be aware of said rules or you're being lazy.

And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?

Because fun works both ways? Part of the fun is running a world with a coherent theme and certain things may not fit that theme. If I'm running Greyhawk, gunslingers don't fit that world as I see it, nor do Summoners or Jedi Warriors regardless of how "cool" these characters might be.

A world that includes absolutely everything has no character. A world acquires defining flavor not only by what's included but what's left out as well.

Greyhawk as a setting actually has a deity who uses a gun (who's name I happened to forget), who happens to have Paladins using guns as well, though they are all early firearms. Also, nice straw man there on the whole campaign world argument. Allowing a few extra things, especially when done with respect to the general themes of the default setting, won't ruin it any more than putting a slight dash of extra spice would cause your cooked meat to suddenly rot and be filled with flies and maggots.


Icyshadow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?
Because the DM may want to spend his off time with his family rather than learning new rules? Is that 'lazy'?

Or maybe he wants to spend the time developing the world and adventure rather than learning yet another subsystem and trying to retrofit how it works into his setting?

That excuse holds no water if your game is set on an already existing setting, like Golarion or Oerth.

And I call it an excuse because it's been used as an excuse to ban things arbitrarily before, and it disgusts me.

Actually, many of the sub-systems I was referring to came loooong after settings in 3.5e were established. So yeah, even working completely within 1pp core settings, with D&D(or PF)-specific brand books, retrofitting and finding ways to work the new systems into the existing settings were necessary.

Psionics predate most of the oddball stuff, but it still stands. Anything outside of campaign specific options and core rulebook options require a degree of retrofitting.

Grand Lodge

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

If a player wants to try out some material or alternate rules, you should be aware of said rules or you're being lazy.

And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?

Because fun works both ways? Part of the fun is running a world with a coherent theme and certain things may not fit that theme. If I'm running Greyhawk, gunslingers don't fit that world as I see it, nor do Summoners or Jedi Warriors regardless of how "cool" these characters might be.

A world that includes absolutely everything has no character. A world acquires defining flavor not only by what's included but what's left out as well.

Greyhawk actually has a deity who uses a gun (who's name I happened to forget), who happens to have Paladins using guns as well. Also, nice straw man there on the whole campaign world argument. Allowing a few extra things, especially when done with respect to the themes of the setting, won't ruin it any more than putting a slight dash of extra spice won't cause your meat to suddenly rot and be filled with flies.

Murlynd is not a diety he was a hero diety, part of what made him such was that he was a UNIQUE character. Guns are not made on Oerth, he brought them over from another world and his aura allows them to work. He literally was the only gunfighter on Oerth.

That's at least is how he was described back in the days of 1st Edition. I take no responsibility as to how WOTC might have mucked him up since then.

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 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.

And what does it have to do with me if Gygax found psionics to be a dumb idea? I and everyone else here are free to disagree with that.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Icyshadow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?
Because the DM may want to spend his off time with his family rather than learning new rules? Is that 'lazy'?

Or maybe he wants to spend the time developing the world and adventure rather than learning yet another subsystem and trying to retrofit how it works into his setting?

That excuse holds no water if your game is set on an already existing setting, like Golarion or Oerth.

And I call it an excuse because it's been used as an excuse to ban things arbitrarily before, and it disgusts me.

Even if you're using an existing setting, you may be running an home-brewed campaign and be putting your time into that. And/Or putting more detail into the area the game is taking place in than is found in the setting books. Developing NPCs, etc, etc.

Then there's figuring out how the psionics fit in the setting. Golarion doesn't have much about them other than that they exist in Vudra, IIRC. Vudra doesn't have much detail on it, AFAIK. So, do you go with that and require your psionic character to be from Vudra? Does anyone in the area know anything about psionics? How do they react? Or do you decide psionics can come from anywhere, so the PC can be local? Now your PC isn't the only one anyone has ever met, but now you need to add them to the setting and maybe the adventure.

And that's all just the setting, using an existing one.

And finally, the GM can and should ban stuff he doesn't want to use. If he doesn't like the rules. If it doesn't fit the campaign he's got in mind. Whatever. He doesn't have to cater to every whim of the players and somehow try to make a coherent game out of it.


cmastah wrote:

1. and 4. I could, but the truth is that I believe that different power sources should be treated as such, much like extroardinary abilites by their nature don't provoke AoOs and aren't subject to anti-magic.

2. Half-giant, capable of wielding oversized weapons normally, wields a large bastard sword one-handed except instead he wields a huge bastard sword two-handed, damage for a large is 2d8, I'm assuming that dice are calculated via top damage becoming 1.5x better (for instance, 2d6 (12) becomes 3d6 (18) and so on) which means the 2d8 becomes a 3d8 if it's a huge weapon (or 4d6). Psychic warriors get a bonus feat at level 1 in addition to normal first level feat, take weapon proficiency bastard sword and wild talent (to get 2 extra power points). Stats in order before racial, 16 str, 13 dex, 10 con, 7 in, 16 wis and 7 cha (OR, 17, 14, 10, 7, 14, 7 and increase str by 1 at level four), racials in 3.5 were +2 to str and con (-2 to dex), BUT in PF compatible edition (dreamscarred) new half-giant racials are +2 to str and WIS (-2 to dex). New stats with racials (that I'm focused on) 18 str and 18 wis (or 19 str and 16 wis). I have 6 power points so I can't augment at level 1 (my weapon will still deal 6d6 damage though when I enlarge), but once I hit level 2 I have enough powerpoints to augment my enlarge to have a 9d6 weapon. My touch AC will suck, but it's built instead around wearing the heaviest armor possible. They should NOT have allowed enlarge to be augmentable AND that half-giants can't wield oversized weapons. Strength after augmented enlarge? At least 24, take a level in barbarian and now we're looking at minimum of 28, AC will suck but damage will be beyond anything any other class can achieve.

3. Several spells stand out merely at level 1, conceal thoughts, cat fall (feather fall), control light (effectively a more accurate darkness + daylight spell from level 1), demoralize (effectively dazzling display without the feat or its tax), float (hello successful swim check in plate mail...at level...

1 and 4: Divine magic and Arcane magic are also from different sources. Not using transparency just creates trouble and is not recommended by the writers, so RAW and RAI both say to keep transparency. You are actually making a houserule just to ban stuff.

2: The damage dice increases are wrong I think. You start with 2d8 and can only go to 3d8 when enlarged. It would go to 6d8 when you got huge, but you need seventh level and to spend nearly a third of your resources for that and at that level it's nice but nothing really impressive. I have no clue where you're getting 9d6.
2B: Also any class can get broken when minmax that hard. Seriously two sevens? Any DM that lets that minmaxed thing sit at his table deserves any gamebreaking he gets.
3: A Psychic Warrior only gets one power at level one and one from his path. In your build it would be Expansion and on from the path. After that you learn one more power per level. High attributes only give him more PP not more powers known. That kinda puts a lid on having to many good powers doesn't it?
Also a Psychic Warrior is no more a fighter wizard gestalt than the magus, since both only have 3/4BAB and D8HD.


thejeff wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
And if the rules are terrible, you have a legitimate reason to ban them. Otherwise, why limit the fun of your players like that?
Because the DM may want to spend his off time with his family rather than learning new rules? Is that 'lazy'?

Or maybe he wants to spend the time developing the world and adventure rather than learning yet another subsystem and trying to retrofit how it works into his setting?

That excuse holds no water if your game is set on an already existing setting, like Golarion or Oerth.

And I call it an excuse because it's been used as an excuse to ban things arbitrarily before, and it disgusts me.

Even if you're using an existing setting, you may be running an home-brewed campaign and be putting your time into that. And/Or putting more detail into the area the game is taking place in than is found in the setting books. Developing NPCs, etc, etc.

Then there's figuring out how the psionics fit in the setting. Golarion doesn't have much about them other than that they exist in Vudra, IIRC. Vudra doesn't have much detail on it, AFAIK. So, do you go with that and require your psionic character to be from Vudra? Does anyone in the area know anything about psionics? How do they react? Or do you decide psionics can come from anywhere, so the PC can be local? Now your PC isn't the only one anyone has ever met, but now you need to add them to the setting and maybe the adventure.

And that's all just the setting, using an existing one.

And finally, the GM can and should ban stuff he doesn't want to use. If he doesn't like the rules. If it doesn't fit the campaign he's got in mind. Whatever. He doesn't have to cater to every whim of the players and somehow try to make a coherent game out of it.

I agree with the bolded part.

So apparently I'm rather open-minded as a DM without being a doormat.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
And finally, the GM can and should ban stuff he doesn't want to use. If he doesn't like the rules. If it doesn't fit the campaign he's got in mind. Whatever. He doesn't have to cater to every whim of the players and somehow try to make a coherent game out of it.

^^ This ^^


Icyshadow wrote:
thejeff wrote:


And finally, the GM can and should ban stuff he doesn't want to use. If he doesn't like the rules. If it doesn't fit the campaign he's got in mind. Whatever. He doesn't have to cater to every whim of the players and somehow try to make a coherent game out of it.
I agree with the bolded part. However, that only goes to show that I'm apparently open-minded as a DM without being a total doormat.

Then maybe I don't understand what you mean by the "arbitrary ban" you're so against?

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