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Why I Like Psionics


Silver Crusade

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Well, here I am, running a High Psionics campaign, starting yesterday. :) Psionics seems to be the stepchild of D&D hardly anyone loves, so I thought that the D&D 3.5/d20/OGL board would be perfect for explaining it.

So, we come to the reasons why I like Psionics in D&D and 3.5 in the first place.

1. There is an artistic reason.

2. there is a philosophical reason.

The Artistic Reason
In the summer of 1996, I went out to purchase The Complete Psionics Handbook from Toys R Us in what was the Crossroads Mall in Salt Lake City. The purpose of buying the book was to provide more options for the Rifts RPG (I still have a copy of RIFTS, i'm such a nerd!).

I opened the book, and WOW!

You guys who opened the Complete Psionics Handbook and found out that there was problems with the System, I'm pretty sure you enjoyed the color plates inside the book. I know I did. They struck a chord with me, especially for one who was used to Kevin's choices of internal art for Rifts(TM) and Psyscape(TM). Each and every picture showcased the potential of humanity for me.

These pictures are in the spirit of the color plates in the book:

1. Human potential

2. Welcoming the Sun

3. Neuroplasticity

4. The Cosmic Mind

I also read the system, and I liked it enough to use it. I didn't convert the powers to RIFTS, though, but it was enough for me to buy my own copies of the 2nd Edition Player's Handbook, the Monster Manual, and the Dungeon Master's Guidebook. I even picked up the GURPS 3rd Edition Psionics rules, go figure. :)

The Philosophical Reason

It seems that we are totally in control of how we experience our lives. We are so much in control that we can choose to let others influence us as if everything happens at random. Unfortunately, we ourselves typically control our realities on a subconscious level. However, we truly control the holodeck of our experience and we can consciously control it. Since we can control what we experience, we are able to do anything, to have anything, and to be anything we desire to be. In short to use a metaphor, we are all green lanterns without the power ring.

We can rewire our brains and in effect, rewire ourselves according to our desires. Psionics in D&D as it stands now, if you read the book, is a lot like this. Especially the realm of Metacreativity. The rules are very close to how real life operates, just in a fantastical way and in a way it can operate in a game. The rules don't mirror the Papers and Paychecks RPG(tm) or the Real Life RPG(tm) in how they operate, but they operate just fine in Dungeons and Dragons 3.x and Pathfinder using Psionics Unleashed. Heck, the Force in Star Wars is also a good description on how things work in the Universe -- we are all practically Force Sensitive. This movie also explains things very well to the lay person.

Jeremy Smith's Psionics Myth Thread is all comprehensive as to addressing psionics to those who think that the Psionics Unleashed system is overpowered. I suggest you give it a read.

It's true that whatever the reason why you don't like it that the system isn't perfect, or you feel it doesn't belong (because we are mixing Sci-fi with Fantasy!). There are some of us that do.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber


Dot, too.

-- C.

Grand Lodge

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