Psions, are they balanced?


Product Discussion


I'm not suggesting their over or underpowered, I really have no clue. I mean I know the very basic principle on how they work, but that's it.

One of my players said he'd like to play one, but as I have no experience with them, I'm a bit reluctant to just allow it.

But want to at least see what other people think about them before I deny it either.

The Exchange

Quatar wrote:

I'm not suggesting their over or underpowered, I really have no clue. I mean I know the very basic principle on how they work, but that's it.

One of my players said he'd like to play one, but as I have no experience with them, I'm a bit reluctant to just allow it.

But want to at least see what other people think about them before I deny it either.

I believe they are balanced, so long as you follow the cardinal rule that you can't spend more power points on a power than his manifester level. Not adhering to this is where the overpowered myth originated.

Check out this discussion on the Dreamscarred Press site for a discussion of the Psionics is Overpowered Myth:

Link


They work along the same lines as sorcerers, in the sense that they tend to cast (manifest) the same spell (power) round after round, but it's possible for psions to run out of power points more quickly than a sorcerer runs out of spell slots.

Is that balanced? You be the judge. I don't have a problem with it, though.


People here are generally quite adamant in their defense of psionics, rightly or wrongly, so expect a few novels on how balanced they are.

From what I've seen, some sections work well (I was fairly impressed with their buffing class options), and others do not (hello hustle). But this isn't really different from Paizo's material (And hello to you too, dragon style).

One thing I like to think is that people will buy Paizo material due to the name. The average person will only buy a 3rd party product if they hear it's balanced or the concept really interests them. That is, I believe that there's more of a financial reason for the 3rd party things to be balanced when compared to the 1st party things. To some extent, this need is lessened with Dreamscarred Press due to the sheer fervor psionics instills in some people. But it's still there, and from what I can tell, they at least playtest most of their things, which is a bit more than some other publishers. My theory on that is it's due to the cries of OP.

Ok, I kind of rambled there.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Basically ask yourself this. Do you as a dm work to prevent the 15 minute workday? If yes (by actual multiple encounter days or just an effective threat of it) then a psion works just fine. If however you are running an adventure that lends itself to blowing large amounts of resources on a single fight, resting and coming back with some regularity, then psions will be worse then most about 'going nova'. Though some classes like the magus, are just about as bad in this case.

So long as you make your players think twice about using most of their resources in a fight, psions are just fine. If you dont, or the circumstances of your adventure (kingmaker for instance) prevent this, it could be a problematic class.


Kolokotroni wrote:
So long as you make your players think twice about using most of their resources in a fight, psions are just fine. If you dont, or the circumstances of your adventure (kingmaker for instance) prevent this, it could be a problematic class.

And the same applies for every spellcasting class, naturally.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
hogarth wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
So long as you make your players think twice about using most of their resources in a fight, psions are just fine. If you dont, or the circumstances of your adventure (kingmaker for instance) prevent this, it could be a problematic class.
And the same applies for every spellcasting class, naturally.

Yes, it does, but some to a lesser extent then others. But I would say the issue is more pronounced with a psion then it is for a wizard, and probably about the same as say a magus. The flexibility of a psion means it can nova harder then traditional vancian casters.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Depends on how many ranks they put in Acrobatics.

Dark Archive

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Depends on how many ranks they put in Acrobatics.

And how many legs they have. Psions with only one leg tend to be unbalanced as all hell.


Psionic warriors don't really nova well. While other psions can sit in the back and blow people up, a Psionic warrior's nova consists of sitting around for 5 rounds blowing all of your power points into buffing. This means by the time you're ready to fight, the fight is already over.

By the way, Psionic Warrior is awesome. Try natural weapons.


Yes.

Silver Crusade

Set wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Depends on how many ranks they put in Acrobatics.

And how many legs they have. Psions with only one leg tend to be unbalanced as all hell.

Especially if they have Ménière's disease.


I have always found Psions to be like gunslingers... either way over powered or pretty much useless.

rarely a happy middle


Kolokotroni wrote:
The flexibility of a psion means it can nova harder then traditional vancian casters.

I dunno. I'd almost say that Psions are about as "flexible" as a Sorcerer. Both have almost the same amount of maximum spells/powers known (Psion's 36 to the Sorcerer's 34, not counting cantrips, talents*, and bonus spells/powers), and a Psion might seem like it has more resources, but they have to continuously pay more Power Points to keep their powers relevant, unlike a vancian caster whose powers get stronger on their own.


Harrison wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
The flexibility of a psion means it can nova harder then traditional vancian casters.
I dunno. I'd almost say that Psions are about as "flexible" as a Sorcerer. Both have almost the same amount of maximum spells/powers known (Psion's 36 to the Sorcerer's 34, not counting cantrips, talents*, and bonus spells/powers), and a Psion might seem like it has more resources, but they have to continuously pay more Power Points to keep their powers relevant, unlike a vancian caster whose powers get stronger on their own.

On the other hand, most psionic powers can remain relevant/useful for the characters entire life, while a lot of the Vancian spells will gradually fade into irrelevance even though they do scale up.

Also relevant, many psychic powers will incorporate the greater/lesser versions as augments of the same power where a sorcerer would have to take multiple spells. The flexibility of being able to change up which element your blasts are without needing to pick the right school/bloodline or metamagic can be nice too.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Chengar Qordath wrote:
Harrison wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
The flexibility of a psion means it can nova harder then traditional vancian casters.
I dunno. I'd almost say that Psions are about as "flexible" as a Sorcerer. Both have almost the same amount of maximum spells/powers known (Psion's 36 to the Sorcerer's 34, not counting cantrips, talents*, and bonus spells/powers), and a Psion might seem like it has more resources, but they have to continuously pay more Power Points to keep their powers relevant, unlike a vancian caster whose powers get stronger on their own.

On the other hand, most psionic powers can remain relevant/useful for the characters entire life, while a lot of the Vancian spells will gradually fade into irrelevance even though they do scale up.

Also relevant, many psychic powers will incorporate the greater/lesser versions as augments of the same power where a sorcerer would have to take multiple spells. The flexibility of being able to change up which element your blasts are without needing to pick the right school/bloodline or metamagic can be nice too.

Which is why the psion is more akin to the wizard, where the wilder is more akin to the sorcerer. The wilder's wild surge allows him to manifest more frequently than the psion, but he has significantly fewer powers known.

Grand Lodge

They are fine...as long as you use the default transparancy rule...that is to say, PR=SR, Dispel magic works on psionic effects, etc etc. As soon as the player whines about how they should be different...and I just suggest you kick the player out...but if your new to this and feeling nice, just take the psionics away until he learns his lesson.

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