Is anyone else thinking of using Psionics in this AP?


Iron Gods


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I got a copy of Dreamscarred Press' Ultimate Psionics and thought it would be fun to open up the psionic classes to my middle-school kids group just for this AP. They've been all over it, and most of them have already created their Level 1 characters!

I'm just wondering if anyone else has thought of doing this, since it would seem to meld with the sci-fi elements of this AP nicely.

I would need to modify the campaign and their backstories so that there's a reason why they have psionic powers in a world where they're not common.

So yeah... anyone else trying this and anyone else have thoughts or suggestions?


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Uh, no i won't be using Psionics, ever, for any campaign, can't wait for Iron Gods tho:)


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In my experience it's always somewaht problematic using psionic player characters in adventures that are not prepared for that. Even with transparency rules, there is enough of a difference between psionics and magic that adventures can easily be "sabotaged" by having psionic solutions that aren't anticipated by the adventures, as magic ones usually are. Also you don't get any psionic opposition for the PCs to interact with, unless the GM invests a lot of work.

I would rather like to see an adventure path integrating the psionic rules into its material.


Could you point me to some discussions of pitfalls to avoid in using psionics?

I intend to study the system and retool some of the opponents if it's appropriate. But what are some psionic abilities that might "break" an adventure?

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

My group will use psionics for this AP, but we use psionics all the time. I can't recall a campaign that hasn't used psionics since the 3.5 psionics books came out.


Zaister wrote:

In my experience it's always somewaht problematic using psionic player characters in adventures that are not prepared for that. Even with transparency rules, there is enough of a difference between psionics and magic that adventures can easily be "sabotaged" by having psionic solutions that aren't anticipated by the adventures, as magic ones usually are. Also you don't get any psionic opposition for the PCs to interact with, unless the GM invests a lot of work.

I would rather like to see an adventure path integrating the psionic rules into its material.

Note: I am using Ultimate Psionics as a reference

That would imply that Psionic power lists are more versatile than spell lists and that is most definitely untrue.

The only thing they offer that's "more powerful" than traditional spellcasting is the ability to choose what energy the energy damage is.

Quote:

Could you point me to some discussions of pitfalls to avoid in using psionics?

I intend to study the system and retool some of the opponents if it's appropriate. But what are some psionic abilities that might "break" an adventure?

Well the things you as a GM will find most unusual is that certain party roles may be expanded, but not any more so than would be granted by a smart party.

Ex: The Aegis class will be capable of flight at level 5. This shouldn't be game breaking though unless you were planning to ban Wizard fly spells.

I suggest really taking a look at the power list and seeing if any actually seem problematic (and comparing them to similar spells to see if they appear at the same character levels)

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In the Iron Gods campaign I'll be running one of my players wants to run an Aegis/Soulknife (Soul Bow)/Metaforge as "Numerian Evolving Power Armor" and by that he means "Pulsefire Ezreal"

In terms of "I would need to modify the campaign and their backstories so that there's a reason why they have psionic powers in a world where they're not common."

The similarities of Psionic powers and Sorceror spells in terms of how they create their list, draw upon innate power, ect make it very easy to refluff Psionics as variant sorcery.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Insain Dragoon wrote:


Note: I am using Ultimate Psionics as a reference

That would imply that Psionic power lists are more versatile than spell lists and that is most definitely untrue.

The only thing they offer that's "more powerful" than traditional spellcasting is the ability to choose what energy the energy damage is.

Note that even this is regulated by their active energy type which can only be changed when they regain psionic focus.

Here's the most important thing you can do with psionics: know the rules. People who don't think psionics are balanced are generally people who don't understand the subsystem and have seen players abuse the system because others didn't know enough to correct them.

Things to remember:

1) The Golden Rule of Psionics "A psionic character can never spend more than their level in power points on one ability".
2) Active Energy type - a character with abilities that allow him to deal fire, cold, electric, or sonic damage must choose an active energy type. All such abilities deal the chosen type of energy. This means that if you chose fire at the start of the day, without expending your focus and then spending a round regaining it, the only type of damage you can deal with any of your energy based abilities is fire. You can choose a new active energy type when you regain psionic focus. The only exception to this is the Kineticist discipline.
3) Magic/Psionic Transparency - the baseline assumption is that psionics and magic are two different ways of doing similar things. A character using detect magic can still sense psionic effects and vice versa. You can change this assumption if you want, and UP provides the rules for doing so, but I strongly recommend you stick with that baseline to avoid confusion, especially with a younger group.

Psionics as a general rule will not allow you to do anything a core character couldn't do, though they may allow you to do it in a different way, or they may combine abilities that would normally be contained within a different type of class (like the previously mentioned Aegis ability to fly. Note that druids, summoners, wizards, and to a lesser extent, oracles and clerics all have access to some form of flight at this level).

Integrating psionic characters into the Iron Gods AP-

Probably the first thing I'd say is to remember that Golarion specifically has countries where psychic abilities are common, so an individual character doesn't necessarily need an overly developed reason for being who they are.

That being said, I'd consider using the idea that the advanced technology has an affinity for psionic magic and has subtly "called" your gifted adventurers. Imagine what a class like the Cryptic, who sees the world in patterns and mathematic formulae, would make of the advanced technology in Numeria.


Probably not. I tend to run Golarion with Golarion options only so just any paizo book.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Please note that I was not implying that psionics were stronger than magic, only different enough that problems can occur. The same would probably be true by bringing magic-wielding PCs into a setting that uses only psionic but next to no magic.

Basically, what I'm saying, with magic, there's usually some kind of magic defense against a magic attack, to put it broadly, but psionics can often find a way between these defenses, simply because the system isn't prepared for that kind of attack.

Also I think it breaks verisimilitude if one or two PCs are basically the only psionics-enabled characters in a game built on a standard Pathfinder AP where no psionic NPCs or opponents are to be expected, unless the GM puts a lot of conversion work into the campaign, which might or might not even work.

I'd very much like to see an adventure path that really integrates psionics, without actually being THE PSIONICS ADVENTURE PATH. Unfortunately Dreamscarred Press' own AP, "From the Deep", seems to be going nowhere; book 2 came out almost two years ago, with no sign of book 3 anywhere to be found, so I've given up hope, especially since they have now put "Tome of Battle" and "Magic of Incarnum" derivates onto their schedule...


Upon introspection I don't want to debate in OPs thread.

We can agree that looking over the power lists to see if OP finds powers that grant an innapropriate amount of narrative power compared to equal level wizards/clerics would probably be best, correct?

That and full psionic/magic transparency so that you don't have psionic characters ignoring SR.

Also the upcoming psionic bestiary may be helpful for designing monster encounters.

Sczarni

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Psionics have rarely been an issue when playing APs. Mostly they allow for some more exotic concepts, something rather fitting for Iron Gods. So yes my group will most likely see one or more psionic characters in play.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Zaister wrote:

Please note that I was not implying that psionics were stronger than magic, only different enough that problems can occur. The same would probably be true by bringing magic-wielding PCs into a setting that uses only psionic but next to no magic.

Basically, what I'm saying, with magic, there's usually some kind of magic defense against a magic attack, to put it broadly, but psionics can often find a way between these defenses, simply because the system isn't prepared for that kind of attack.

I'm going to jump in and note that I've never seen this in play, and I GM and play pretty exclusively in AP's and modules (our last homebrew game was like a year and a half ago, no one in our group has time to put them together anymore, unfortunately). Spell resistance, energy resistance and saves work the same way against psionics that they do against regular spells, and off the top of my head I can't think of a single psionic ability that does something so differently from magic that an AP written to account for wizards isn't going to be prepared for a psion.

Zaister wrote:


Also I think it breaks verisimilitude if one or two PCs are basically the only psionics-enabled characters in a game built on a standard Pathfinder AP where no psionic NPCs or opponents are to be expected, unless the GM puts a lot of conversion work into the campaign, which might or might not even work.

I don't think it's so weird. Golarion already has a lot of the ground-work laid for psychic magic and nations/creatures that commonly practice it, and you don't have to sub out every other wizard for a psion just to account for the fact that there's a psion in the party. Gunslingers are part of the core product line and I have yet to see anyone running around adding firearm wielding enemies to every second encounter if someone decides to play one. I would say basically the same thing about any of the ACG classes or newer archetypes.

Zaister wrote:


I'd very much like to see an adventure path that really integrates psionics, without actually being THE PSIONICS ADVENTURE PATH. Unfortunately Dreamscarred Press' own AP, "From the Deep", seems to be going nowhere; book 2 came out almost two years ago, with no sign of book 3 anywhere to be found, so I've given up hope, especially since they have now put "Tome of Battle" and "Magic of Incarnum" derivates onto their schedule...

So, some information on this-

Third Dawn is an entire psionics campaign setting Jeremy and Andreas put together for 3.5. Once Dreamscarred has wrapped up all of the rewards and various other pieces related to their last Kickstarter, Third Dawn will likely be going up as the next big KS project, and I would be very surprised if this didn't include or set the stage for something like an AP or adventure line.
The "Tome of Battle" and "Magic of Incarnum" conversions are actually being handled by lead designers that Jeremy and Andreas have brought on specifically to oversee and develop those projects, so other than taking up slots on the layout schedule, those projects are not going to interfere with the schedules for other DSP projects like "From the Deep", "Third Dawn", or the "Psionics Augmented" line.


I appreciate all the comments and they've been very helpful in providing perspective. And I'm assured by folks who sound like they've had direct experience running psionics, which I haven't.

For fitting my characters in the world, can you tell me which nations have psychic abilities so I can point my players to them?


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Agreed with the others, Ultimate Psionics is extremely well balanced and will fit in nicely in a crazy campaign like this one.

Regarding places where psionics is prevalent, it's funny because the first Pathfinder Campaign Setting sourcebook (the 3.5 one) actually had 2 full pages talking about psionics on Golarion. Anyway, it is said that in the Empire of Vudra on Casmaron psionics are "well known and established". By that extension it wouldn't be farfetched that the PCs picked up their talents while growing up on the Vudrani emissary land of Jalmeray in the Inner Sea.

TL;DR: Jalmeray :)

Dark Archive

I always loved the soul knife but I will probably not use it.


brad2411 wrote:
I always loved the soul knife but I will probably not use it.

Hey, give it a whirl. the DSP Soulknife is great.

As for using psionics in this AP? We have always used psionics, in fact, my husband's CC character was a soulknife.

Dark Archive

Spiral_Ninja wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
I always loved the soul knife but I will probably not use it.

Hey, give it a whirl. the DSP Soulknife is great.

As for using psionics in this AP? We have always used psionics, in fact, my husband's CC character was a soulknife.

Yeah I just bought the Ultimate Psionics and it is cool. Now I am just waiting to see if they add it to Herolab as that is what I use to play characters now. But will definitely let psionics in to playing Iron Gods.


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brad2411 wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
I always loved the soul knife but I will probably not use it.

Hey, give it a whirl. the DSP Soulknife is great.

As for using psionics in this AP? We have always used psionics, in fact, my husband's CC character was a soulknife.

Yeah I just bought the Ultimate Psionics and it is cool. Now I am just waiting to see if they add it to Herolab as that is what I use to play characters now. But will definitely let psionics in to playing Iron Gods.

You are in luck! The Hero Lab community has been developing an Ultimate Psionics package for Hero Lab...

Dark Archive

The Rot Grub wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
I always loved the soul knife but I will probably not use it.

Hey, give it a whirl. the DSP Soulknife is great.

As for using psionics in this AP? We have always used psionics, in fact, my husband's CC character was a soulknife.

Yeah I just bought the Ultimate Psionics and it is cool. Now I am just waiting to see if they add it to Herolab as that is what I use to play characters now. But will definitely let psionics in to playing Iron Gods.

You are in luck! The Hero Lab community has been developing an Ultimate Psionics package for Hero Lab...

Thats cool thanks

Silver Crusade

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Oh I'd use the hell out of psionics in this AP.

It's a perfect match.


I have three psionic characters that I've developed for this AP.

1) Janel Turen: Forgeborn Soul-Knife who wields a two-handed mindblade with the Robot Slayer trait. He's just an all out damage dealer and not much else.

2) Kuno the Psionic Half-Giant: Like the name implies, he is an half-giant psion with metacreationist focus. He has astral construct, ectoplasmic creation, ectoplasmic trinket, psionic repair and advanced construct.

3) Gallimor the Swashbuckler from Beyond the Stars: an aasimar soul-knife with a one-handed mindblade that will immediately multiclass to picaroon swashbuckler so he can dual wield his mind-blade with pistols/tech guns. He has black powder bravado and stargazer traits.

The first is my least favorite concept because it is so limited in scope. The second and third are much more appealing to me. I really want to play the metacreationist, but I have never played the class before and am not sure how to play one honestly and don't want to be stuck with something that winds up being nerfed in the AP.

I love the idea of the dual class soul-knife/swashbuckler and he will eventually be able to use some of the tech weaponry in the Ap, but like the first soul-knife, he is still limited in his capabilities as compared to the half-giant.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

We're running Iron Gods now, with a Cryptic as the party skillmonkey. I love how the flavor of the Cryptic as someone who deciphers the patterns in the world around them really gels with the crashed-spaceship-in-a-fantasy-world vibe of Iron Gods.


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I'm about to start running Iron Gods, and one of my players is probably going to be playing an Aegis, refluffed as having a piece of alien tech bonded to them which generates nanites to construct power armor on the fly.

Now, just to come up with what the acronym AEGIS stands for. Androffa Engineering Guardian Integrated System?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Revan wrote:

I'm about to start running Iron Gods, and one of my players is probably going to be playing an Aegis, refluffed as having a piece of alien tech bonded to them which generates nanites to construct power armor on the fly.

Now, just to come up with what the acronym AEGIS stands for. Androffa Engineering Guardian Integrated System?

I like that :)


although I don't see having the opportunity to run Iron Gods in the near future, I would absolutely allow psionics.

In my own head canon, Psionics is basically sci-fi magic and the development of technologically advanced cultures. So within Golarion, Psionics would really only be found in Numeria and then probably Verces and perhaps a few other worlds such as Eox or the asteroid belt that my mind draws a blank on.

So for Numeria, Psionics is a local tradition that was probably spread by crash survivors, and really hasn't spread much beyond country. So a PC character with heritage from Numeria would be allowed to wield it.


I'm running it now, and I have three psionic characters in my game. There is no issue with them at all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Mh i don´t remember it right now, but isn´t it possible to extend mind-affectin powers to constructs/robots somehow?
Enchantment psions (telepaths) have a much broader range than their magic counterparts normally, what makes them one of my favorite options!

DPS UP is the 3PP i would likely allow running any AP.


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Hayato Ken wrote:

Mh i don´t remember it right now, but isn´t it possible to extend mind-affectin powers to constructs/robots somehow?

Enchantment psions (telepaths) have a much broader range than their magic counterparts normally, what makes them one of my favorite options!

I believe it can be done by Tacticians or Vitalist, they ignore the immunities of those in their Collective including a constructs mind - affecting immunity. Though the power still has to be able to affect their creature type.

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