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Baron_Samedi
05-17-2009, 08:46 PM
This goes out to DM and players alike....

What is your take on the psionic classes and/or races?

Do they round out the group?
Are they a broken class?
Psionics too detail oriented and bogged down?
Do you think their just too weird?
Psionic players egomaniacal?

Let me know...

Dytrrnikl
05-18-2009, 04:58 AM
What is your take on the psionic classes and/or races?

Depends on the edition. In 1E, I always thought psionicists were on the broken side. I enjoyed how they were set-up in 2E. You actually had to roll to see if you met the power scoer or not for a particular power, with it being set-up with some sort of backfire if you rolled a 1 and something cool if you rolled 20. They were less powerful than Wizards and Clerics as far as overall zap power went, no where near the fighter in straight combat, and could make the Rogue look downright inept. All-in-all, still not a decent class. 3E did a lot to bring them more in line with what Wizards and Clerics were capable of, unfortunately it added another caster class to the game. Can't speak for 4E. The only thing they should've done, is leave Psionics to two classes - Psion and Psychic Warrior, but make the Psychic Warrior as an amalgam of the Soulknife and the Psychic Warriror.

I have always run Psionic Powers as being a completely different animal from Magic Spells. Psionics have little to no ability to prevent or detect magic and vice versa. There is MR and PR, with Dragons and certain powerful outer planar denizens - Pity Fiends, Balors, and such that had both in equal measure, while others might have lots of one and little to none of the other. In anycase, while I believe that WotC has yet to present psionics they way I'd like, 3E came close.

As for Psionic Player races - don't need'em, don't use'em. I never did like opening up player races beyond Dwarf, Gnome, Halfing, Elf, Human, Half-Orc. If I want more choices than that for a character, I'll play Star Wars, or disallow any other race in my DnD games as I have been doing.


Do they round out the group?
While they can't completely match either the Wizard or the Cleric for firepower or healing, they do make a nice catchall individual to have to fill in the blanks or step in when the other two are incapacitated, indisposed, or eliminated.


Are they a broken class?
At one time, I would say they were, but not anymore.


Psionics too detail oriented and bogged down?
Not anymore than any of the other spellcaster classes.


Do you think their just too weird?
Not at all.


Psionic players egomaniacal?
Not that I've seen. if anything I get that from player's who paly Wizards and Clerics.

fmitchell
05-18-2009, 07:58 AM
I've never used either the 1e/2e or 3.x psionic systems, but I've been underwhelmed by both. 1e/2e was simply baroque and confusing, and 3.x is essentially an alternate magic system with spell points. Having seen psionic systems in Traveller, Space Opera, HERO, GURPS (1-3e and 4e), etc., I prefer something like the True20 magic system: relatively few general powers that rely on player ingenuity to adapt to specific uses.


As for Psionic Player races - don't need'em, don't use'em.

As someone heartily sick of Tolkien races, I kind of like the Elan as an alternative to elves, and half-giants wouldn't be so bad if not for the "telekinetic stomp" or whatever it is, but the others leave me cold. (Actually, the Thri-keen are overpowered enough without being psionic.)

templeorder
05-18-2009, 08:46 AM
Psionics, like any other capability of a player, should have to be developed. Its no different than faith or magic, though DnD treats it differently depending on the version you are dealing with. First edition was just cracked, but dealt with it in some ways better - treating it as an add-on to all other classes and abilities. This could sure be true for some sort of latent ability that the PC does not have much control over, but earlier editions allowed essentially a doubling of powers for a single class by not making psionics its own class.

I personally don't use psionics in DnD games because, though better balanced now than previously, there's just not a lot of place for them unless the camapign warrants it. DnD is still mostly a fantasy setting in most people's mind, and so that what it gets used with by the people i know. D20 is obviously more adaptable, but still... hard to break mind-sets. In a fantasy world, psionics are generally rare for my campaigns. The sort of power that comes with someone being able to not have to move their hands, speak a sound and use some sort of material is generally feared - those people are driven out of town or killed. In a waorld with lots of faith based effects and magic so easily available, there's not a lot of development of psionic ability. I keep it mysterious and genrally pass it off as some form of magic in order to keep suspicions down.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-18-2009, 10:54 AM
i love psionics. Always allowed them in my game. Unfortunately, there is this belief out there that they aren't balanced. Not true. Where they may be stronger at certain levels, at other levels they are weaker. So to that end, they are balanced. No one complains about the glory hound dwarf weilding two hammers up to 9 levels. Sure, he is awesome, but after 9 levels, he no longer is the best. Time for another class to enter the spotlight.

Without exception, when quizzing those with this false belief concerning psionics, these same folks have never really given the class a try, their opinions were formed through others statements. What's the moral? Play the gosh dern class before passing judgment, and i mean for more than a few levels.

Thoth throws his 2 duckets into the well of truth and wisdom... and if the catfish swallows them up before the Gods hear his prayer, is that his fault?

Grasshopperrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

BrotherDog
05-19-2009, 04:00 AM
I always liked them, but prefer how they're handled 3.0 rather than the 3.5 updates. I do enjoy the additional Psi-classes it introduces though.

Am I the only one who pictures every Soulknife as a scantilly clad, purple-haired woman in thighboots? ;;D

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-19-2009, 09:55 AM
Scantilly clad, purple-haired woman in thighboots? Works for me.

Windstar
05-19-2009, 10:19 AM
Scantilly clad, purple-haired woman in thighboots?

Maybe if we had them around I would have taken the time to study psionics better, but we didn't. So I am one of those that has always disliked and hence did not/do not allow psionics. So no favorites for me, though with one of my favorite classes being infused with them, I may have to figure a way to deal with psionics.

:cool::cool:

:frusty: :yield:

nijineko
05-19-2009, 11:56 PM
What is your take on the psionic classes and/or races?

i have always been a fan of psionics. since 1e, through 2e, and again in 3e. for me, psionics has always been a part of the d&d game, and indeed it has-in one form or another-for when i look in the white box i inherited from my father, psionics is there too.

i always tried for psionics, whenever i made a character. seldom got it, but it was still fun to roll for it.

now-a-days, i'm thrilled with the way they've taken psionics. i like the mainstream harmonizing. i also noticed that once they ironed out the quirks with psionics, they based the magic spell-point system on it. there are enough unique powers that i don't mind the magic copycats. (though, i admit that if it were left to me, i would tweak the powers until they were all at least slightly unique in some fashion from magic. ^^)

i enjoy the opportunity that the displays give me to describe what i am doing in a unique fashion. i'll typically petition the dm to let me use the given displays as a guide, and freeform it from there, instead of slavishly sticking to the same set of displays over and over.

i was also happy that they updated the dark sun races. thri-kreen are still pretty tough, despite the ecl4. the rest of the psionic races kind of give me the impression that they were not as well thought out. in the sense of unfinished. now the kalashtar, there was a good psionic race! well thought out, great background story, very fantasy/psionic in feel. well done. i just wish the other races had as much detail and thought to them. i liked the idea of the elan, but all the races still need work. it almost felt like they were making at least one race per class. ^^

the classes were pretty nice. i liked the variety, especially with the extra thought put into the material in the mind's eye. still, i find myself wanting to tweak sometimes, though i haven't had any trouble yet finding stuff to play straight from the source material without tweaking.

all in all, i am pleased with the progress and development of the 3.x psionics. though it seems unlikely, it would be nice if the day came that d&d made psionics part of the first three core books. one can always hope.


Do they round out the group?

not so much as give the group a different spin. there is a lot they can do to round out a group, if the player takes care to pick a role, carefully pick the abilities, and make it happen. mostly, i've found that the psionic classes make for the odd extra, the unexpected wild card in the party's pocket, and the backup in a pinch type.


Are they a broken class?

no, none of them are broken. there are a few specific builds that push the envelope for psionics and catch up with the rest of the system, but nothing that is inherently game breaking. in fact, most of the classes are slightly, to a fair amount, weaker than the rest of the more standard classes.

most of the so-called 'abusive' builds i've seen rely on unlikely interpretation or outright blatant misinterpreting of the intent of a rule, which any dm worth a salt-lick would laugh at... and promptly shut down... regardless of magic or psionic origin.


Psionics too detail oriented and bogged down?

i thought they were slighty complicated until they converted the attack and defense modes down to powers. but seriously, no more complicated than the rest of the game. now that there are so many magic systems to choose from: truename, vestige magic, shadow magic, rune crafting, circle magic, incarnum... it's just one more system of power among many.


Do you think they are just too weird?

no. it's been part of the game since it was first printed.


Psionic players egomaniacal?

not that i've ever run into. dedicated, perhaps. almost invariably, players of psionic characters want to prove something about psionics, so they tend more towards party harmony and usability than not.

tesral
05-22-2009, 01:04 AM
I use a very different system of psionics (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/09_Manual_psionics.pdf). I want a different feel than just another caster class.

I have no objection to 3x psionics, at least it works, unlike previous attempts.

BrotherDog
05-22-2009, 03:11 AM
Maybe if we had them around I would have taken the time to study psionics better, but we didn't. So I am one of those that has always disliked and hence did not/do not allow psionics. So no favorites for me, though with one of my favorite classes being infused with them, I may have to figure a way to deal with psionics.

:cool::cool:

:frusty: :yield:

I was reffering to that hot X'man named Psylocke, if you didn't catch it. That whole class is based on her.

shilar
05-22-2009, 11:34 PM
I always loved psionics. 2nd ed was my favorite my DM's didn't always go for it because they didn't want to take the time to learn the rules. I felt the 3.x ed rules pulled the teeth out of psionics turned it into just another caster class.

I played the fifth wheel character a lot. The guy that was chosen after the group already had fighter, wizard, thief and cleric. Psychics could always supplement or substitute well for any of these roles with the right power selection. I think it was that Swiss army knife utility that I liked.

Kalanth
05-23-2009, 08:48 AM
From my experience the 3.5 psionic rules were so well written that the psion and company in those books are wonderful additions to any group. I have played straight class and multi-class Psions, had a player run around with a Soul Knife, and had one player use a multi-class Wilder / Cleric. Each one added a nice element to the game and the rules were easy to work into the game (using the 'Same as Magic' rule instead of the 'Different than Magic' rule).

Malruhn
05-23-2009, 04:06 PM
From what I've seen, 3.X is that groups find the psionics program is wildly overpowered and weird.

The problem with this has been explained to me very well... the system actually works, and after an hour of playing with it, players understand it enough to make it work... and those that don't spend that hour (the huge majority of players) can't figure it out and don't know how to properly defend against it - or work WITH it - and therefore find it horribly overpowered.

It works. It is relatively easy to understand. And, in my experience, there are two flavors of folks that don't like it - the ones that don't like the flavor psionics brings, and those too lazy to spend that hour to figure it all out themselves.

Do they round out the group?
--They can, if played like an arcane spellcaster.

Are they a broken class?
--Not at all.

Psionics too detail oriented and bogged down?
--Not at all.

Do you think their just too weird?
--Nope - just a different flavor of character.

Psionic players egomaniacal?
--No more than any others... and much less than most Warriors and Paly's that I've seen played.

gajenx
05-24-2009, 10:20 AM
For me Psionic races and things are just like any other race so I use them along with the classes in games. I Do find that as Psionics have moved through the systems they have gotten far more balanced to the other classes and are no longer the uber total cosmic power stuff from 1e.

I liked the idea they did with each discipline being having its own separate stat to determine powers in 3.0, but that got it very confusing when having to determine power uses, PP, and saves for players. So I am glad they made them more like other caster classes where all powers/spells and DCs are done based around 1 stat. The only problem is now the flair of uniqueness is only seen through feats. Thus I have fewer players really wanting to be psionic over other stuff since they are viewed as just another normal class.