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root9125
2009-10-08, 09:27 AM
D&D 3.5. Can it be done? Awesome concept, BROKEN implementation. Is there a popular homebrew, or set of houserules, or should I keep them banhammered?

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 09:28 AM
Hehe, You do know you can only augment up to the point where total power cost equals ML, right?
Now, to be totally fair, I had to sit down with Tleilaxu_Ghola and literally walk through the mechanics of psionics end-to-end before I was really comfortable letting them into my campaign. If you'd like, I'll be happy to talk you through some of the often-missed bits and bobs that help make psionics actually quite preferable to arcane magic when it comes to balancing factors.

Cyclocone
2009-10-08, 09:29 AM
Ehh, are we talking about 3.5 psionics here? sure you're not looking at 3.0?

kamikasei
2009-10-08, 09:34 AM
D&D 3.5. Can it be done? Awesome concept, BROKEN implementation. Is there a popular homebrew, or set of houserules, or should I keep them banhammered?

No and no. There's no popular fix because there's nothing broken about them (unless you want to tone down the strength of high-level powers, which should be part of a systemic change to D&D as a whole including, and more focused on, high-level spells unless you're ditching the Vancian casters all together), you shouldn't keep them banhammered because banning psionics as broken while playing core is misguided (if you have some other motive for banning them, it's not clear).

root9125
2009-10-08, 09:34 AM
Expanded psionics handbook LOOKS like a 3.5 book... So I think so.

To the first poster, are we talking about the same thing? So far all I've heard from anyone anywhere is that they're utterly absurd and broken.

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 09:35 AM
That said, there are three or four powers that you may wish to ban.

We are discussing the same thing. I, and every respectable optimizer I know, believe that psionics is A) Moarrrrr fun, and B ) Less Broken. During early design for 3.5.2, we nearly banned all arcane casters and replaced them with Psions. I still kinda wish we had. Hell, I even like Ardent better than Cleric.

kamikasei
2009-10-08, 09:36 AM
To the first poster, are we talking about the same thing? So far all I've heard from anyone anywhere is that they're utterly absurd and broken.

You're listening to the wrong people. Have you any experience of this brokenness yourself?

"Psionics is broken" is a canard usually rooted in either a misunderstanding (or, frankly, ignorance) of the rules or the repetition of received wisdom from those subject to the above.

Gralamin
2009-10-08, 09:37 AM
Expanded psionics handbook LOOKS like a 3.5 book... So I think so.

To the first poster, are we talking about the same thing? So far all I've heard from anyone anywhere is that they're utterly absurd and broken.

You have apparently heard completely wrong. Like almost anything else, there are a few over the top powers, but they aren't broken in their own right. If anything, they are far more balanced then Arcane casters.

root9125
2009-10-08, 09:38 AM
Huh. Then... okay, we'll let them in and see what happens.

Thanks. That's the easiest fix there is! XD

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 09:38 AM
"Psionics is broken" is a canard usually rooted in either a misunderstanding (or, frankly, ignorance) of the rules or the repetition of received wisdom from those subject to the above.

That said, I believed it for a long time, in large part due to the sick and bitter legacy of 3.0 psionics, and because all anyone would ever talk about was spell-to-power erudite. God, I hate erudite so much.

Powers to ban:
Fusion

Powers you may wish to ban based on group power level:
Temporal Acceleration
Anticipated Strike

Powers you may wish to ban due to annoyance factor:
Time Regression

Tavar
2009-10-08, 09:39 AM
That said, there are three or four powers that you may wish to ban.

And aren't most of them simply psionic versions of arcane spells?

Here's (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/18833134/Myth_The_XPH_is_overpowered) a thread that talks about the common reasons people view psionics as broken, and why they are misinformed. It's on the Wizards site so I'll post a spoilered version here as well.


It seems that at least once a week a new thread crops up about something in the XPH being overpowered. Since it has been my personal experience across two campaigns that it is actually very well balanced, I figured I would try to disprove some of these myths on an item by item basis. Feel free to add some or bring up some issues.

Note: I would first like to state that Psionics as a system is based upon the premise set down in the Dungeon Master's Guide that the party will face, on average, 3-4 encounters per day of equal challenge rating to the average party level. Further, Psions are not Wizards. Just as Divine magic can do things Arcane magic cannot, Psionics can do things neither of the others can, and vice versa. As with any system, there are areas that need improvement, others that are inferior, and some that simply need clarification. Psionics is by no means perfect, but if you take into account the way the system is intended to run, it has been, in most psionic players' experience, very balanced.

Myths:

Myth 1: Psionic characters can do too much damage with one power
Answer: The single most important rule in the Expanded Psionics Handbook is that you cannot spend more power points on a power than you have manifester levels in the class the power belongs to. This is absolutely essential to understand.
What this means is that a 9th level psion can only spend 9 power points on any one manifestation.

There are two, and only two, exceptions to this rule: the Overchannel feat, which causes damage to the Psion, and the Wilder's Wild Surge, which can stun the Wilder and drain more power points than the power was augmented by. Overchannel is discussed in Myth 22.
More than this limit, Psionic characters have to pay for every extra point of damage they do. Unlike Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids and Clerics, the Psionic powers do not freely scale in damage. A 10th level psion manifesting the Psionic equivalent of Fireball does not do 10d6 damage as a 10th level wizard does, he does 5d6, unless he pays an extra 5 power points, effectively manifesting that power twice. This type of augmentation is what keeps psionics from being overpowered, as the power point reserve held by manifesting class is finite and, for some classes, extremely limited.

Myth 2: Psionic powers are overpowered compared to the magic versions
Answer: The vast majority of Psionic versions of magic spells are identical. Those spells that required monetary items / components instead take a very, very long time to manifest (Identify) or instead cost XP(Greater Metamorphosis).

The other powers that are not direct Psionic versions of spells typically give flexibility to the Psionic characters due to their limited options to choose from. Further, augmented powers count as essentially higher powers due to how much the Psionic character is paying to manifest them.

It should be noted that augmented powers always cost the base power level, not the level at which a normal power would cost that augmented cost. For example, Energy Ray, a 1st level power, augmented for 8 power points for a final cost of 9 power points, is still a first level power in terms of PR and Globe of Invulnerability (if you use transparency).

Myth 3: Psychic Warrior feats are too powerful
Answer: The majority of combat-enhancing Psionic feats require the expenditure of Psionic Focus, something the majority of characters will only have one of. It is important to understand that Psionic Focus requires a full round action provoking attacks of opportunity to gain and can only power one feat per focus.

Further, to fully utilize these feats, the character must take another feat, Psionic Meditation, to regain their focus in a timely manner, otherwise they are useless for a full round while they refocus. A feat-intensive Psychic Warrior, such as one who utilizes Deep Impact + Greater Psionic Weapon each round must have all of the following feats in order to work:
Psionic Weapon, Greater Psionic Weapon, Deep Impact, Psicrystal Affinity, Psicrystal Containment, Psionic Meditation
For a total of six feats - and that character only gets to make one attack per round and has to use 3 power points to Hustle and provokes two attacks of opportunity in the process and can only take a five foot step. And he can't even benefit from the extra attack granted by Haste or Haste-like effects.
Meanwhile, a non-psionic character with Improved Two Weapon Fighting or Dervish levels or similar, can make 5+ attacks per round and take a 5' step without provoking attacks of opportunity or using power points, and without needing extra feats aside from prestige class and high-tier feat prerequisites..

Myth 4: Psychic Warrior is stronger than a fighter
Answer: It is widely accepted that the fighter as a base class is underpowered after levels 4-6, and possibly before that. Arguing that another class is too strong based upon a widely-accepted weak class is not a valid comparison, for a few reasons:
The Psychic Warrior has fewer bonus feats, a lower BAB, very limited powers / power points, and a lower hit dice than the fighter, making the fighter an easier class to use to progress into a Prestige Class. In a straight comparison, a 20th level fighter versus a 20th level Psychic Warrior, the PsyWar is going to come out ahead, but I doubt most fighter characters are going to stay straight fighter, instead opting for prestige classes that grant other benefits.

Myth 5: Energy Missile is overpowered
Answer: Energy Missile is first balanced by being Kineticist only, requiring non-Kineticists to use an Expanded Knowledge feat at 5th level to learn it. For Kineticists, this means they get it at 3rd level, doing 3d6+/-3 to up to 5 targets, one of the strongest damage output low-level powers/spells known. Delaying access to this power until 5th level for even Kineticists might not be uncalled for if you find the damage potential abused despite efforts to the contrary.
Energy Missile's power of multiple targets is partly balanced by having no two of the targets farther than 15' apart. Lumping enemies together like that opens up the possibility of other powers / spells such as Fireball, Flamestrike.
Being able to differentiate between combatants is probably one of the strongest aspects of the power, and, if you feel it needs to be toned down, changing the power to affecting a maximum of 3 targets instead of 5, or distributing the damage instead would probably not make the power underpowered. If you do either of these, keep in mind that the power Concussion Blast scales at 1d6 per 2pp and has no save, and can target multiple opponents with augmentation without dividing the damage.
For further comparison of usage, if enemies are not bunched up, meaning you can get maybe 2-3 enemies at most with the power, it might actually be better to focus on one and use an Energy Ray - a level 1 general power - which has no save, but requires a touch attack. This means that enemies with Evasion / Improved Evasion / good saving throws are more likely going to take half damage from Energy Missile, halving its effectiveness, while on Energy Ray, with a ranged touch attack, they take full. The downside to the Ray is needing to make the touch attack, or wasting the power points. Some feel, and justifiably so, that 1/2 is better than nothing. But, in the case of Improved Evasion, the best you can hope for is half (unless using cold - as you can see, the logistics of taking all the powers and permutations is pretty intense).
The save DC on Energy Missile has been widely contested, but it is viewed by many that most saving throws are too low at the high end. If you are uncomfortable with Energy Missile's save progression, modify it to 1:2 as the normal energy powers progress. An official errata changing the save DC to 1:2 is expected by many, viewed as not terribly unlikely by more, and only argued against by a smaller group.
The Energy / Damage portion of this power is explained in Myth6.
The targetting powers portion of this power was clarified by the author, Bruce Cordell, in an email response. He stated that the power cannot target attended objects. However, his choice of wording and memory of the game rules left many individuals feeling he was mistaken about game mechanics and, as such, is still up for debate. The spirit of the power as stated by the author, however, is that it can nottarget attended / held objects, and would be a legitimate ruling on those grounds.

Myth 6: Energy powers are overpowered
Answer: While there are four versions of every energy power, one for cold, fire, electricity and sonic each, the fact is that no matter which version you use, you are still using an energy type, which many creatures become immune to in later levels. While the Psion does have the versatility of 4 options, fire, cold, electricity, and sonic, the two strongest, fire and cold, are also the two most commonly resisted or immune. Electricity is another that is a common immunity, and sonic is balanced by decreasing the damage per die. The option of Force powers tends to halve the damage output of the Energy powers, and comes in much fewer choices.

Some argue that the fact that Psionic characters can decide on the fly what energy to use is unbalanced, but the problem with this argument is that the Psionic classes suffers from extreme lack of options. They have very few choices for powers. The Psion only stays slightly ahead of the Sorcerer until later levels, when the Sorcerer has more spells known than the Psion has powers known, and the Wilder has even fewer than that. By giving this flexibility, it keeps the Psion from being a "one trick pony" and making their limited options entirely useless in the wrong situation. The wizard can counter this by preparing new spells (given enough time, granted), but the Psion does not have this option.

Myth 7: The Erudite is broken
Answer: The Erudite was a class released in Dragon magazine prior to final revision of the XPH. As such, it is not a core or even WotC class and, as such, is to be used at your own risk. The Erudite in and of itself is not a valid argument to use against the balance of the Expanded Psionics Handbook, of which it is not explicitly a part.

Myth 8: Metapsionic feats are too powerful, they cost less than metamagic feats
Answer: Metapsionic feats cost 2 fewer power points than previously, but cost Psionic focus. Psionic focus is something that normally requires a full round action in and of itself to regain and can only be used once per feat pre-epic and is also covered in Myth 3. With yet another feat selected, Psionic Meditation, the manifester can get focus back as a move action and manifest the same round - just like a sorcerer - but has to pay for that in the cost of one of their very, very limited feats.

Myth 9: The Metamind is overpowered with Font of Power
Answer: You're kidding, right? Once per day 10 rounds of unlimited power but still restricted to manifester level of power points per manifestation is overpowered? You also lose five manifester levels, which translates into over 150 power points and, if a psion, two bonus feats. You can also never access 9th level powers as a 10th level Metamind or use Expanded Knowledge to access 8th level powers. The Metamind is commonly viewed as one of the weaker Prestige Classes in the XPH.

Myth 10: Metamorphosis, Greater is overpowered
Answer: Met, Gr is a 9th level Egoist-only power. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is important to understand that only Egoists or those who paid lots of gp and xp via Psychic Chirurgery, which requires DM intervention anyway, can have access to this power. Further, it costs an XP penalty every time it is manifested and cannot be accessed until 17th level.

Myth 11: Schism is overpowered
Answer: There are several aspects of Schism that balance its power:
1. Telepath-only: by restricting it to only Telepaths or requiring a 9th level or higher non-Telepath to use a feat, access to this power is limited or costly to a character
2. Manifester level - 6 for manifesting: Powers at -6 Manifester levels will typically not have a high enough saving throw to be useful if using offensive powers, will not do a substantial amount of damage, or are buff/utility-type powers
3. Spellcasting: To cast a spell with the schismed mind, you must have the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats, plus either Eschew Materials feat or a spell that does not require material components. Further, a Sorcerer cannot benefit from Schism at all, as he only gains a standard action, and a Stilled, Silent spell without material components takes a full round to cast. This makeup also requires the manifester, who must be an effective 7th level Psion, also have levels in Wizard and use two feats at the minimum. If the manifester isn't a Telepath, he must be an effective 9th level Psion / Wilder and also have spellcasting levels.
4. Swift actions: The Rules As Written (RAW) do not grant the schismed mind any swift actions. Further, they specifically state that the only action the schismed mind can take is a standard, purely mental action, ruling swift actions out entirely.
5. Regaining Psionic Focus: It is an official ruling until ruled otherwise that, because the Schismed mind cannot normally refocus (as it costs a full round action), they can therefore not refocus even with Psionic Meditation.
6. Limited Power Points: A Psionic character, as stressed above, has an extremely limited amount of power points to draw from. By manifesting this power and then further drawing from the pool to manifest extra powers per round, the Psionic character is burning out at roughly 1.5 the normal rate. In a multiple-encounter per day environment, this character will be nearly worthless in the last encounter if "abusing" this power.

Myth 12: Vigor is overpowered
Answer: While Vigor has one of the best HP / PP ratios when comparing similar healing-type spells converted into power points, it is offset by the fact that it is a) self only and b) temporary hit points. Temporary hit points do not stack with each other, they overlap. What this means is that unless you manifest a stronger version of Vigor than the temporary HP you have remaining, you gain no benefit, and actually waste PP if you manifest Vigor while still under the effect of a previous manifestation.

An example would be having 25 temporary hit points from a 5 pp manifestation of Vigor, then taking 10 points of damage. You would have to manifest at least a 4 pp version of Vigor to gain any benefit, as you still have 15 temporary hit points. With 4 pp, you only gain 5 effective temporary hit points, which is not very efficient.

Myth 13: Psychic Reformation is overpowered
Answer: Psychic Reformation is one of the most heatedly debated power in the XPH. There are two ways to balance this power if you see it being abused:
1. Make outside sources to purchase the service from unavailable
2. Balance the power if the character takes it themselves
Option two can be balanced in a few ways:
Make the power cost more xp - 500 xp / level or a scaling xp cost based on the number of times it has been manifested on any one target
Make the power take longer to manifest - 1 hour or day instead of 10 min
Limit the number of times the power can be manifested on any one target - once per level / five times in the characters life / etc
Rule out options - cannot learn or remove Item Creation feats at all
[edit]Impose limits on changes - require that changes must be legal at time initially acquired
Any one of or the combination of those options above help to balance this power if you, as a DM, feel it is being abused.

Myth 14: The Cerebremancer is overpowered
Answer: If you also believe that the Mystic Theurge and Psychic Theurge are overpowered, then you may have an argument. Otherwise, I suggest looking at the Mystic Theurge prestige class which does the same thing for Divine / Arcane that the Cerebremancer does for Arcane / Psionics.

One argument against the Cerebremancer is that they have synergy that the other classes don't, since a Psion / Wizard gains multiple benefits from a high intelligence and similarly for a Sorceror / Wilder with Charisma. The important part to note is that at the level a Cerebremancer can be entered, the character is 7th level and only has access to 3rd level spells and powers. Meanwhile, a straight Wizard will have 4th level spells and another bonus feat. The Cerebremancer gives up progression rate and a high caster level for increased flexibility at a lower power.

Myth 15: 1st level powers doing 20d6 damage are overpowered
Answer: A 1st level power can only do 20d6 damage in the following situations (plus a select few other variants):
20th level manifester paying 20 pp - effectively a 10th level power
15th level manifester utilizing the Empower Power feat and paying 15pp - effectively a 7th level power Empowered
17th level manifester utilizing Overchannel + Talented - effectively a 9th level power
13th level manifester utilizing Overchannel + Talented + Empower Power + Psicrystal Affinity + Psicrystal Containment and using two foci (5 feats) and possibly utilizing Psionic Meditation to be able to do it more than once every three rounds (6 feats) - effectively a 7th level power Empowered
15th level Wilder Wild Surging - running a 25% chance risk of losing 15 power points. - effectively an 8th level power
All of the above are paying for, at the very least, an effective 7th level power with a metapsionic feat tacked on. Psionic powers scale because of the very limited number of powers they can learn. They are not the same effective power level at 20 power points that they are at 1 power point, which is why most have scaling DCs when you augment them. See Myth 2 on why most characters cannot do this sort of thing.

Myth 16: Psionics are more powerful than wizards due to their damage powers
Answer: While a psion can easily outdamage, on average, a wizard in a single combat due to the way powers are manifested / augmented, the depletion of that psion's power points is so rapid that, in a typical game, the next encounter or the encounter after that, he will be completely drained of power points and useless.
The psionic characters were balanced based upon the entry in the Dungeon Master's Guide that parties should have four encounters per day of an equal challenge rating to the average party level, or two encounters per day of a challenge rating two higher than the average party level. In situations where a manifester only has one or two encounters in a day's time, they are going to outdamage the majority of the other characters. However, if that same character has to deal with four or more encounters in a day, or deals with the intended quantity of encounters as set down in the DMG, they are very balanced.
If you translate spell slots a wizard gains into power points to manifest an equal level power, you will see that the numbers for the two classes are almost identical, with the Wizard actually slightly favored due to 0th level spells that psions do not gain. This is the basis for the balancing factor of 4 encounters per day.

Myth 17: The King of Smack build is overpowered
Answer: This build utilizes two expansion books, as well as the Expanded Psionics Handbook. As such, it is not a psionics-only build. Alllowing players access to Rapidstrike and Improved Rapidstrike is the majority of the abuse potential of the King of Smack and, as such, is not a cause for arguing that the XPH, in and of itself, is overpowered.
This build also allows the elan access to Rapidstrike, which is a twist of logic and many do not feel is valid due to the nature of monstrous feats.

Myth 18: Time Regression is too strong
Answer: Time Regression is a 9th level power - Nomad only - meaning Psychic Warriors, Wilders, and non-Nomad psions can never access it without DM intervention. Only 17th level and higher Nomads can get it normally.
It has a 1000 xp cost and only works for ONE ROUND. Basically, it's a costly last-round redo in case something went horribly fubar and you had a near total-party-kill. Using this power on a regular basis is quickly going to cost you gobs of XP, something most characters would not want to do on a regular basis.

Myth 19: Astral Construct is too good for a 1st level power
Answer: Astral Construct - first and foremost, is Shaper only. All other classes / disciplines must use a feat to access this power. Second, Boost Construct, while nice, is yet another feat a Shaper / Psion must spend of their limited 12 / 13 (if human) feats in their career.

The Astral Construct is not all that different from Summon Nature's Ally / Monsters of the same level as the augmented power. You must keep in mind that druids get 9 different Summon Nature's Ally, while the Psion must augment his to get the nicer ones, effectively making a 3 pp Astral Construct equal to Summon Nature's Ally II / Summon Monster II.

If you compare apples to apples, Summon Monster V to Astral Construct level 5, you tend to find that, while in some cases, one or the other is better, typically it is not overpoweringly so.

Myth 20: Empathic Transfer, Hostile is overpowered
Answer: Empathic Transfer, Hostile is Mind-Affecting. This is very, very, very important and usually overlooked. Many, many, many creatures in D&D are immune to mind-affecting effects. Undead, constructs, mindless, innate immunities, buffs, etc. Yes, this power is nice, but it is easily negated by having mindless / immune enemies. Situtationally being very good does not make a power too strong - it means it is situational.

Harm type spells, conversely, are Negative Energy - which many, many more creatures are not immune to, making it far more likely to work.

Further balancing this power is the fact that the damage dealt is limited to how much damage the manifester themselves is suffering from. A psion / psychic warrior at full health cannot use it, as they have no damage to transfer. As Telepaths tend to not have high number of HP due to d4 hit dice, a 5th level Telepath who manifests this power is probably not going to do the full damage, unless they're near death or higher level. Psychic Warriors, who will have the larger HP pool, but gain this power later in level, are limited in usage of this power by the power point cost and their power point pool.

While this is definitely a nice power, and at times can be very devastating, it does have several limiting factors.

Myth 21: Elans are overpowered
Answer: The Elan racial abilities, at first glance, are quite powerful. However, several things need to be taken into account before deeming them overpowered. First, usage of any of the saving throw / damage negating abilities uses the character's immediate action. Use of an immediate action means the character cannot use another immediate or swift action until after their next turn. So, a character playing an Elan could activate the damage reducing ability and negate 10 hp of damage, but if the next enemy casts a spell on him, he now cannot boost his saving throws - he's already used his one action for that round.
Second, the cost of the damage reducing ability is subpar compared to the temporary HP buff of Vigor. A quick Vigor buff will not only save the Elan power points, but grant them better HP usable for more than just a one-shot.
Third, unless the character is a psion or wilder, their number of power points is more than likely extremely limited, meaning the number of times per day they can use these abilities can usually be counted on one hand. If the character is a Psion or Wilder, they are then taking away power points used to manifest more efficient powers / offensive powers, taking away from their combat ability.
The Elan racial abilities, while nice, are mostly for extreme emergencies than anything else. Use of them on a regular basis will end up with a character who, while hard to kill, won't be able to contribute as much to combat. If you feel that these abilities need to be brought in line, limit the number of power points that can be spent on any of these abilities as 1 / HD or 1 / 2 HD, or something that suits your taste.

Myth 22: The Overchannel feat is too strong
Answer: The Overchannel feat, for those unfamiliar, allows you to boost your effective manifester level by up to 3, thereby letting you spend more power points on powers than would normally be allowed. The downsides to this are that:
a) You must spend a feat on Overchannel
b) You take damage for using the feat (1d8 for 1 point, 3d8 for 2 points, 5d8 for 3 points)
c) The boost is capped at 3 extra manifester levels and no more

To avoid taking the damage, you can take yet another feat, Talented, which allows you to avoid the damage - but only up to 3rd level powers - and you must expend psionic focus to do so. What this means is that if you want to Overchannel every round, you need a 3rd feat - Psionic Meditation - to do so, otherwise it's every other round.

This boost is offset by the extra power point cost to the already limited power point pool, the need to take anywhere from 1-3 feats out of the 12-13 you get as a (human) psion, and the fact that, for damage-based powers, after 7-8th level, Empower Power is more efficient and costs fewer power points, as well as one-two fewer feats.

Myth 23: The Slayer is overpowered
Answer:No, I don't mean Buffy. There exist two versions of this prestige class, the Illithid Slayer in the XPH and the Slayer in the SRD. The first is balanced by requiring DM intervention to meet the prerequisites, something that can easily be used to keep it out of any game. The second has no RP requirements and is the main focus of this myth.

A Psychic Warrior 6 / Slayer 10 / ClassX 4 is not commonly viewed as overpowered. Any hit to the Psychic Warrior's manifester level is huge due to the extremely limited nature that is the Psychic Warrior's manifester chart.
However, a Psion 8 / Slayer 10 / Full BAB class 2 has been seen as pretty strong, bordering on the overpowered side.

What needs to be taken into account when deciding if this prestige class is acceptable to use would be two things: other sources allowed, who is taking it. If the answer to the second is the Psychic Warrior, I would say it is not going to cause much of a problem. The Psychic Warrior will be somewhat stronger, but not overpoweringly so. Remember, he's also losing out on effectively 2 bonus feats (due to the bonus feats of the Slayer) along with a manifester level.

If the answer to the second is a Psion and the Complete series and 3.0 splatbooks are not allowed, I'd rethink allowing the generic SRD Slayer into the game. This class is decidedly stronger than the Core Eldritch Knight and grants far too much for any Psion to be able to enter into it. The psion does lose out on 3 Psion bonus feats (10, 15, 20) and 3 manifester levels, but can get 9th level powers and be considered a strong Gish build. Worst case scenario, stick with the XPH version, as then, unless you have the party hunt an Illithid, they won't be able to get access anyway.

Myth 24: Split Psionic Ray is too powerful
Answer: There are two ways to interpret Split Psionic Ray:
1) You can send the two rays at the same target, thereby doubling the damage or
2) The two targets must be separate, as the feat states two targets and not up to two targets

The way to rule on this is if the DM allows the Complete line of expansion books from WotC. Complete Arcane has Split Ray which specifically states it allows you to target the same creature with both rays, thereby making it logical that the psionic version would do the same. If Complete Arcane is not allowed, then it is recommended not to allow it, as it is quite powerful.

The power point cost is accurate in that metapsionic feats effectively cost one level less because they require focus expenditure and do not gain free damage scaling.

Myth 25: Synchronicity is overpowered
Answer: The wording of Synchronicity is actually the problem with this power. Does it grant an extra standard action? By the way it specifies move action + standard action, I'm inclined to say no, and that would be the way to keep it balanced. The overpowered view comes from those who feel that this grants them their normal allotment of moves in a round plus an extra standard action, which the power description does not state is gained.
Now, were this power Contingency-ed or Quickened, you would essentially have your first round of full actions (minus your swift) and your second round of actions where you can take the standard anytime you want. This sounds better than it is, since the power never states you get an extra standard action. While this does allow you to change your place on the initiative count based on need, it does not, nor should be thought to, grant you an extra standard action.
Even using Anticipatory Strike does not grant an extra standard action. The rules of readying an action, which this power does, clearly state that once you take your action, you have essentially used a new turn's standard action and your initiative count changes.

Myth 26: Anticipatory Strike is overpowered
Answer: There are a few things about this power that need to be understood.
First, immediate actions cannot be taken until your first turn in combat. This is often times overlooked, but you cannot use an immediate action if you are flat-footed. The basic rules for combat also state that each character starts out flat-footed until they are able to act. So this ability cannot be used on a surprise round or before the character's first turn in initiative.
Next, the power does not grant any extra actions, per se, it simply lets you use them earlier. It also uses the swift action up for the next round, eliminating any Quickened-type effects. The next round, you must either spend another 3 pps in order to act or wait until the initiative count recycles.
While this is definitely a nice power, if you take into account that it borrows actions, not creates, uses the next swift action, and can't be done before the character would normally be able to do something, it is fairly well balanced.

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 09:42 AM
There are a couple of infinite power point tricks, but those are just oversights. Say no if your players try to use them. Anarchic Initiate can be quite powerful too, so read it over carefully, build some sample psions, and consider if you are comfortable with it.

Play around with Ardent some, if you want to get a sense for how elegant psionics can be, bearing in mind that Ardent selects its powers based entirely on Manifester Level, which I like, but you may dislike.

Ban Erudite. There is no good interpretation of that stillborn nightmare of a class.

The Glyphstone
2009-10-08, 09:47 AM
Huh. Then... okay, we'll let them in and see what happens.

Thanks. That's the easiest fix there is! XD

And make sure you pay attention to the rules people seem to overlook.

1) Manifester level. No, your 1st level Psion cannot do 20d6 Energy Rays to the monster, even if he has 20 power points. He can do 1d6, since he can never (except for a few circumstances) spend more than his level on points per power.

2) Transparency. No, your psion is not immune to Antimagic Field and Dispel. Unless you explicitly decide otherwise, the default rule is that anything that would affect magic will affect psionics, and vice versa.

Sinfire Titan
2009-10-08, 09:47 AM
Ban Erudite. There is no good interpretation of that stillborn nightmare of a class.

You mean Atropal Scion of Doom. If there's one class that deserves the banhammer, it's the Erudite. As awesome as it is...

kamikasei
2009-10-08, 09:48 AM
That said, I believed it for a long time, in large part due to the sick and bitter legacy of 3.0 psionics, and because all anyone would ever talk about was spell-to-power erudite. God, I hate erudite so much.

That's right, I meant to add "holdover grudges from other versions coupled with lack of knowledge of the current system".

And I think most psionics fans dislike the erudite as simply not making sense as a psionic class.

Cyclocone
2009-10-08, 09:52 AM
BTW, if a player mentions the words "Persistent Timeless Body", you must make him play a Truelamer instead.

kamikasei
2009-10-08, 09:56 AM
We should really have some sort of "Wall of Hilarious Shame" thread for all these combos that fans of subsystem or style X recognize as broken and laugh at the idea of anyone trying to use in real play, to serve as a defense against those who might point at them as proof that subsystem or style X is the spawn of Asmodeus and Graz'zt on a bender neither of them can fully recall.

Dragonmuncher
2009-10-08, 09:57 AM
I've always liked the Wizards post- it counters pretty much anti-psionics post other than "Psionics doesn't FEEL like fantasy," which is just a matter of personal taste.


But yeah, root- as long as you remember a psion can't use more than his level on a power, and that D&D is designed that you'll have about 4 encounters per day, psionics is, for the most part, very well balanced.

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 09:59 AM
We should really have some sort of "Wall of Hilarious Shame" thread for all these combos that fans of subsystem or style X recognize as broken and laugh at the idea of anyone trying to use in real play, to serve as a defense against those who might point at them as proof that subsystem or style X is the spawn of Asmodeus and Graz'zt on a bender neither of them can fully recall.

How convenient! I've spent months doing that. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6885281&postcount=2[)

Not as much fun to compile as you might hope, but the 3.5.1 banlist is a pretty solid spoiler full of omgwhut?


You mean Atropal Scion of Doom. If there's one class that deserves the banhammer, it's the Erudite. As awesome as it is...

You have to "love" a class that has four possible readings, consisting of Uselessly weak, Hideously Broken, Almost Playable, and Game's Best Class. Seriously, if you love sunshine and puppies\kittens\punk-grrls, ban Erudite. Don't read it, don't look at it, don't think about it. Just ban that sucker. There's probably four hundred pages worth of material written about how screwed up that class is, as per RAW.

Douglas
2009-10-08, 10:04 AM
BTW, if a player mentions the words "Persistent Timeless Body", you must make him play a Truelamer instead.
Even if someone gets that to actually work, it has one rather large downside and one major vulnerability. First, it blocks everything, positive and negative. Sure, you're immune to the enemy's Fireball. You are also immune to your friend's Teleport, and no you can't choose to let the friendly effect past. Heck, you're even immune to your own spells and abilities. Want to fly somewhere? Sorry, the Fly power you just manifested on yourself failed because you're immune. So did the activation of your Winged Boots, and your Anklets of Translocation, and...

Second, while you may be invulnerable, your buffs are not. Say hello to Greater Dispel Magic and goodbye to your precious invulnerability.

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 10:06 AM
Feats aren't subject to transparency, particularly not meta-magic feats. This is intentional. Do not change it if you map(bool, lambda(love(x, sunshine)), punk-grrls, kittens, puppies).

My lisp is a lil weak right now, sorry if I borked up the s-expression for map.

Gralamin
2009-10-08, 10:07 AM
Even if someone gets that to actually work, it has one rather large downside and one major vulnerability. First, it blocks everything, positive and negative. Sure, you're immune to the enemy's Fireball. You are also immune to your friend's Teleport, and no you can't choose to let the friendly effect past. Heck, you're even immune to your own spells and abilities. Want to fly somewhere? Sorry, the Fly power you just manifested on yourself failed because you're immune. So did the activation of your Winged Boots, and your Anklets of Translocation, and...

Second, while you may be invulnerable, your buffs are not. Say hello to Greater Dispel Magic and goodbye to your precious invulnerability.

Greater Dispel Magic is much less efficient then Dispel Psionics :smallwink:


Feats aren't subject to transparency, particularly not meta-magic feats. This is intentional.

I admit I do not have the book, but from what I understand, the rules compendium specified that there is a psionic equivalent of every meta-magic feat. I'm not 100% sure the source is right, but as I said, this is something I've heard.

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 10:12 AM
I admit I do not have the book, but from what I understand, the rules compendium specified that there is a psionic equivalent of every meta-magic feat. I'm not 100% sure the source is right, but as I said, this is something I've heard.

Sometimes, you must ignore the truth to know the truth, Gral.
In this case, unless they lay out specifics for each of them, they do not exist so far as I care because the translation of costs isn't just perfunctory... and I'm preeeeeetty much a RAWonk.

Cyclocone
2009-10-08, 10:17 AM
Sometimes, you must ignore the truth to know the truth, Gral.
In this case, unless they lay out specifics for each of them, they do not exist so far as I care because the translation of costs isn't just perfunctory... and I'm preeeeeetty much a RAWonk.

There is a Persistent Power feat in D20 Modern, i believe.

The Glyphstone
2009-10-08, 10:18 AM
Sometimes, you must ignore the truth to know the truth, Gral.
In this case, unless they lay out specifics for each of them, they do not exist so far as I care because the translation of costs isn't just perfunctory... and I'm preeeeeetty much a RAWonk..

Which can be a good choice in some cases, and a bad one in others. It's easy to do the math for Metapsionics...they're all equal to 2 PP cost per 'level' the metamagic feat costs, minus 2. But for things like Persistent Spell, it's best to not have a metapsionic equivalent at all (it was printed in 3.0, I think), because so many psionic powers are excellent short-duration personal buffs. The Chain Power feat sucks hairy monkey balls, but there's no psionic Reach Power feat that I know of, though psion's don't really need it as much as casters do.

^EDIT: That may be where I saw it, D20 Modern.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-10-08, 10:18 AM
Which can be a good choice in some cases, and a bad one in others. It's easy to do the math for Metapsionics...they're all equal to 2 PP cost per 'level' the metamagic feat costs, minus 2. But for things like Persistent Spell, it's best to not have a metapsionic equivalent at all (it was printed in 3.0, I think), because so many psionic powers are excellent short-duration personal buffs.

The cost is mostly (2*level adjust of metamagic) - 2 plus expenditure of psionic focus, but a few feats are cheaper or more costly--for instance, Chain Spell is +3 and Chain Power is 6 PP, not 4.

kamikasei
2009-10-08, 10:19 AM
There is a Persistent Power feat in D20 Modern, i believe.

What's the biggest, heaviest Modern book available? Because that's the one I'd find and use to beat anyone who tried that line of argument at my table. (Not threatening to bludgeon you with a rulebook, Cyclocone, you weren't making an argument...)

It turns out that having just Str 5 in Exalted lets you break people in half, too. Good news for wizards!

Kaiyanwang
2009-10-08, 10:20 AM
And I think most psionics fans dislike the erudite as simply not making sense as a psionic class.

Well I banned it from my campaign for this. I you want to play something similar, play a wizard.

9mm
2009-10-08, 10:21 AM
I admit I do not have the book, but from what I understand, the rules compendium specified that there is a psionic equivalent of every meta-magic feat. I'm not 100% sure the source is right, but as I said, this is something I've heard.


Mechanically they do the same thing, but do it in very differnent ways.

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 10:23 AM
Mechanically they do the same thing, but do it in very differnent ways.

Okay, can someone get me a page cite on that rule so I can kill it dead for ToS?

Sinfire Titan
2009-10-08, 10:25 AM
BTW, if a player mentions the words "Persistent Timeless Body", you must make him play a Truelamer instead.


I admit I do not have the book, but from what I understand, the rules compendium specified that there is a psionic equivalent of every meta-magic feat. I'm not 100% sure the source is right, but as I said, this is something I've heard.


Hate to break the news to you two, but there's no Psionic Persist. The RC doesn't actually say that there's a Psionic equivalent for every metamagic feat, only the Core metamagic feats were translated directly.

Optimystik
2009-10-08, 10:27 AM
Here's (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/18833134/Myth_The_XPH_is_overpowered) a thread that talks about the common reasons people view psionics as broken, and why they are misinformed. It's on the Wizards site so I'll post a spoilered version here as well.

Keep in mind that thread is old; one of it's points is that Erudite wasn't officially printed in a WotC supplement yet, so it predates CP. Just as an FYI :smallsmile:

The Rose Dragon
2009-10-08, 10:31 AM
Keep in mind that thread is old; one of it's points is that Erudite wasn't officially printed in a WotC supplement yet, so it predates CP. Just as an FYI :smallsmile:

"CP? What's that? Should I have heard of it?" is going to be the likely answer of someone who likes psionics.

Person_Man
2009-10-08, 10:32 AM
Yeah, as others have said, Psionics is actually quite balanced and fun. In the grand scheme of things, it tends to be in the middle of the pack in terms of power.

1) The most broken classes are the Druid, Archivist, and Artificer.
2) Other full casters also have much greater resources in terms of the number of spells they can choose from, and the number of spells they can use each day.
3)The Incarnate, Totemist, Crusader, Swordsage, Warblade, Binder, Dragonfire Adept (and maybe optimized Warlocks) are essentially "all day" spellcasters, who can use their powers over and over again without ever running out.
4) Psionics is probably the middle of the pack. Unless you're a buff focused mid-high level build, you tend to run out of power points after 2-3 combats. There are only a few truly broken builds out there, but they can be easily fixed by just asking the player to tone them down a bit.
5) Melee builds, some hybrid classes.
6) Skill Monkeys, Monks, etc.

Cyclocone
2009-10-08, 10:33 AM
Okay, can someone get me a page cite on that rule so I can kill it dead for ToS?

I believe he's refering to the note on page 137 that says:


If an ability provided by the power source functions
like a spell, it follows the rules for spells. For example, a
psionic power functions like a spell.

It is very dubious and only gets brought up because it appears in the metamagic section.
It, along with the d20M version, is the reason some people will argue for the existence of this feat. (And some people will, I promise you that)

Optimystik
2009-10-08, 10:34 AM
"CP? What's that? Should I have heard of it?" is going to be the likely answer of someone who likes psionics.

To which my reply would be "Read The Friendly FAQ!" just as with any other abbreviation query. I can't imagine why a psionic fan wouldn't read that book though. :smallsmile:

The Rose Dragon
2009-10-08, 10:36 AM
Discontinuity is more powerful than your feeble attempts at reasoning with those hardcore fans, you know.

There are around three or four good things in the book, and one of them is freely available online.

((One of the others is the Ardent, in my opinion.))

Boci
2009-10-08, 10:36 AM
To which my reply would be "Read The Friendly FAQ!" just as with any other abbreviation query. I can't imagine why a psionic fan wouldn't read that book though. :smallsmile:

Assuming your not being sarcastic (and apologies if you are) its because they have a mental block on it.

oxinabox
2009-10-08, 10:44 AM
Psionics looks broken when you put them next to a noncaster.
Eg my DM when he says the was like : this is so OP, He says something happens and I have to roll to make it not happen.
I'm not sure if he actually didn't understand the Save mechanic, or tha AoE mechanic or what...

Psionics balances fine with casters.
Sure psion is tier 2, so is sorcerer.

Sinfire Titan
2009-10-08, 10:45 AM
Yeah, as others have said, Psionics is actually quite balanced and fun. In the grand scheme of things, it tends to be in the middle of the pack in terms of power.

1) The most broken classes are the Druid, Archivist, and Artificer.
2) Other full casters also have much greater resources in terms of the number of spells they can choose from, and the number of spells they can use each day. The Incarnate, Totemist, Crusader, Swordsage, Warblade, Binder, Dragonfire Adept (and maybe optimized Warlocks) are essentially "all day" spellcasters, who can use their powers over and over again without ever running out.
3) Psionics is probably the middle of the pack. Unless you're a buff focused mid-high level build, you tend to run out of power points after 2-3 combats. There are only a few truly broken builds out there, but they can be easily fixed by just asking the player to tone them down a bit.
4) Melee builds, some hybrid classes.
5) Skill Monkeys, Monks, etc.

You've got it mixed up. Psionics is less powerful than Arcane/Divine, but more powerful than Meldshaping or Martial Adepts.


In order:

1: Erudite (StP or otherwise), Artificer, Archivist, Druid, Cleric, Wizard.
2: Sorcerer, Psion, Wilder, Ardent, Wu-Jen, Spirit Shaman, Favored Soul, Binder (with access to the online Vestiges)
3: PsiWar, Warblade, Swordsage, Crusader, both full Meldshapers (because Soulborn sucks), Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Wild Shape variant Ranger, Sublime Ranger, Sublime Marshal, Psychic Rogue, Binder (without online support).
4: Normal Ranger, Divine Mind, Lurk, Dragonfire Adept, Warlock, Adept, Rogue.
5: Fighter, Paladin, Soulborn, Soulknife.
6: Truenamer, CW Samurai.


Not a complete list, but it is in proper order.

Boci
2009-10-08, 10:47 AM
You've got it mixed up. Psionics is less powerful than Arcane/Divine, but more powerful than Meldshaping or Martial Adepts.


In order:

1: Erudite (StP or otherwise), Artificer, Archivist, Druid, Cleric, Wizard.
2: Sorcerer, Psion, Wilder, Ardent, Wu-Jen, Spirit Shaman, Favored Soul, Binder (with access to the online Vestiges)
3: PsiWar, Warblade, Swordsage, Crusader, both full Meldshapers (because Soulborn sucks), Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Wild Shape variant Ranger, Sublime Ranger, Sublime Marshal, Psychic Rogue, Binder (without online support).
4: Normal Ranger, Divine Mind, Lurk, Dragonfire Adept, Warlock, Adept, Rogue.
5: Fighter, Paladin, Soulborn, Soulknife.
6: Truenamer, CW Samurai.


Not a complete list, but it is in proper order.

Isn't dragon fire adept better than the warlock? Or is it just not better enough to knock it up a tier?

Oslecamo
2009-10-08, 10:47 AM
Yeah, as others have said, Psionics is actually quite balanced and fun. In the grand scheme of things, it tends to be in the middle of the pack in terms of power.

1) The most broken classes are the Druid Wizard, Archivist, and Artificer.

Sorry, but tree hugging hippies are not invited to the reunion of monster enslavers who create entire new plans of existence in their free time and scry and kill whoever threatens them. Remember Typpyland? It had no use for druids.



2) Other full casters also have much greater resources in terms of the number of spells they can choose from, and the number of spells they can use each day. The Incarnate, Totemist, Crusader, Swordsage, Warblade, Binder, Dragonfire Adept (and maybe optimized Warlocks) are essentially "all day" spellcasters, who can use their powers over and over again without ever running out.
3) Psionics is probably the middle of the pack. Unless you're a buff focused mid-high level build, you tend to run out of power points after 2-3 combats. There are only a few truly broken builds out there, but they can be easily fixed by just asking the player to tone them down a bit.

No they're not. Like a wizard, a psion doesn't give a damn that he can only fight a couple battles per day because when he's feeling tired he'll just search for a safe spot to rest.

Make an archivist/artificer/wizard fight four combats per day and they'll see themselves pretty stretched in resources also.

Plus the psion is only scared of the mightiest arcane casters. Even a druid will bite the dust if faced with psionzilla.

Really, psions aren't the things with most broken potential in D&D, but they're whitout doubt close to the top. Like someone pointed out, most psionic powers are shlitly toned down version of arcane spells, the strongest thing in the game.

kamikasei
2009-10-08, 10:48 AM
Psionics looks broken when you put them next to a noncaster.
Eg my DM when he says the was like : this is so OP, He says something happens and I have to roll to make it not happen.
I'm not sure if he actually didn't understand the Save mechanic, or tha AoE mechanic or what...

How does such a person voice such an objection to psionics, while (I'm assuming) happily allowing any caster at all in his game?

Sinfire Titan
2009-10-08, 10:53 AM
Isn't dragon fire adept better than the warlock? Or is it just not better enough to knock it up a tier?

Not enough to raise it a tier, as both can be optimized to put them into Tier 3 area. It's still a good class, but it has trouble in some areas (low levels, for example, as you may not have the right BW damage type). Dragonborn DFAs are considered optimized out of their base Tier.


How does such a person voice such an objection to psionics, while (I'm assuming) happily allowing any caster at all in his game?

It isn't that uncommon. In fact, it's one of the most common double standards in DnD. People see the Psion is able to dish out 20d6 with a 1st level ability, and they default it into the Broken pile without actually considering how it works or what balances it out, or what else the class is capable of.

The Glyphstone
2009-10-08, 10:58 AM
No they're not. Like a wizard, a psion doesn't give a damn that he can only fight a couple battles per day because when he's feeling tired he'll just search for a safe spot to rest.
.

but unlike a wizard, the poor psion has to actually find said safe spot to rest, instead of creating it himself out of thin air.:smallbiggrin:

Foryn Gilnith
2009-10-08, 11:02 AM
Note: I would first like to state that Psionics as a system is based upon the premise set down in the Dungeon Master's Guide that the party will face, on average, 3-4 encounters per day of equal challenge rating to the average party level.

There's a table on page 49 of the DMG that people tend to ignore. I blame this ignorance for many of the encounter-related ills 3.5 has suffered. It can be identified by the statement that only 50% of encounters should have ECL at average party level.


Also, Psion gets Psychoportive Shelter in CP. Rope Trick analogue.

kamikasei
2009-10-08, 11:05 AM
It isn't that uncommon. In fact, it's one of the most common double standards in DnD.

Oh, sure. But sometimes I like to voice my incomprehension of something even when I know that it's common. And in this case, the specific complaint so very obviously applies to all casters that I'm doubly taken aback by it.

Optimystik
2009-10-08, 11:06 AM
Discontinuity is more powerful than your feeble attempts at reasoning with those hardcore fans, you know.

There are around three or four good things in the book, and one of them is freely available online.

((One of the others is the Ardent, in my opinion.))

Oh, I get you now. Is it really that bad? I loved Complete Psionic. It actually gives people a reason to go Soulknife, has some nice powers, items and feats, and the base classes are pretty cool. Sure the PrCs mostly suck, but that's the only real issue I had with it.


Sorry, but tree hugging hippies are not invited to the reunion of monster enslavers who create entire new plans of existence in their free time and scry and kill whoever threatens them. Remember Typpyland? It had no use for druids.

Um, while they're raining destruction on you from on high as an eagle and outmeleeing the fighter a round or two later (while their animal companion replaces yet another fighter), I'll be over here not being noticed. They call it CoDzilla for a reason, you know.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-10-08, 11:10 AM
Oh, I get you now. Is it really that bad? I loved Complete Psionic..

Astral Construct nerf. Metacreativity nerf. Obscenely poor editing and no errata.

Sinfire Titan
2009-10-08, 11:10 AM
Oh, sure. But sometimes I like to voice my incomprehension of something even when I know that it's common. And in this case, the specific complaint so very obviously applies to all casters that I'm doubly taken aback by it.

Double Standard=Double Take. I know the feeling. So many balanced and enjoyable options get banned because the DM doesn't understand how it works or why it is balanced.

Starbuck_II
2009-10-08, 11:26 AM
Sorry, but tree hugging hippies are not invited to the reunion of monster enslavers who create entire new plans of existence in their free time and scry and kill whoever threatens them. Remember Typpyland? It had no use for druids.


Druids can use Time stop and still affect you with spells (Planar Shepard). Let us see a Wizard do that.

Sinfire Titan
2009-10-08, 11:34 AM
Druids can use Time stop and still affect you with spells (Planar Shepard). Let us see a Wizard do that.

Gnome Wizards have Miracle 45 times/day. Infinitely if they have Echo Spell. (Shadowcraft Mage abuse).

Optimystik
2009-10-08, 11:36 AM
Gnome Wizards have Miracle 45 times/day. Infinitely if they have Echo Spell. (Shadowcraft Mage abuse).

Before the Cheddar Challenge continues, I'll point out that one class being more or less broken than the other doesn't mean they're not both Tier 1.:smalltongue:

lord_khaine
2009-10-08, 12:38 PM
Powers to ban:
Fusion

Powers you may wish to ban based on group power level:
Temporal Acceleration
Anticipated Strike

Powers you may wish to ban due to annoyance factor:
Time Regression


Hey, what do you have against Fusion?
Its at the same time one of the most cool powers, and also normaly a option that leaves the party as a total weaker.

Myrmex
2009-10-08, 12:43 PM
BTW, if a player mentions the words "Persistent Timeless Body", you must make him play a Truelamer instead.

Ehhh, it's really not that great. Sure, you're virtually invulnerable, but you also can't plane shift, teleport, fly, or do anything more than shuffle about aimlessly while epic level 20 combat takes place somewhere you can't go.

The Glyphstone
2009-10-08, 12:45 PM
It's only problematic when combined with the Wu Jen spell Body Outside Body, I believe.

woodenbandman
2009-10-08, 12:46 PM
I love fusion. If my games went to that high of a level I'd use the hell out of Fusion.

Myrmex
2009-10-08, 12:47 PM
It's only problematic when combined with the Wu Jen spell Body Outside Body, I believe.

I'm not seeing it.

[edit]
Ohhhh, Fusion + the Wu Jen spell. I see THAT. yikes.

Doc Roc
2009-10-08, 12:53 PM
Hey, what do you have against Fusion?
Its at the same time one of the most cool powers, and also normaly a option that leaves the party as a total weaker.

Unconscious is willing under many interpretations. Likewise, dominated is often considered willing. Then there's body outside body, Red Wizard, Simulacrum, fusing yourself with your summons.... It's just bad news.

It also allows some really bizarre effects more easily, and lets you move certain buffs into place for interesting combinations.

JonestheSpy
2009-10-08, 12:59 PM
I've always liked the Wizards post- it counters pretty much anti-psionics post other than "Psionics doesn't FEEL like fantasy," which is just a matter of personal taste.


Actually, I think you could make a very good argument that 95% of the magic in Lord of the Rings classifies as psionics - it's so much about contests of will, domination, etc.

Myrmex
2009-10-08, 01:08 PM
Actually, I think you could make a very good argument that 95% of the magic in Lord of the Rings classifies as psionics - it's so much about contests of will, domination, etc.

Yeah, but the associated fluff with psionics- crystals and pseudo-Freudian power names- really isn't.

Starbuck_II
2009-10-08, 01:21 PM
Yeah, but the associated fluff with psionics- crystals and pseudo-Freudian power names- really isn't.

Mechanics are not changable without balance issues, but flavor is changeable.

I can call a dagger a Wrist blade, and as long as mechanics stay the same no balance issues.

Myrmex
2009-10-08, 01:28 PM
Mechanics are not changable without balance issues, but flavor is changeable.

I can call a dagger a Wrist blade, and as long as mechanics stay the same no balance issues.

I never said you couldn't change the flavor, but I provided an explanation for why some people don't see psionics as going with D&D fantasy.

Some groups, and I know this is hard to comprehend, play with the fluff provided by the books. If the fluff isn't good, then they don't use it.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-10-08, 01:42 PM
Yet another thing we can blame the Big Bad Corporation WotC for. Poor quasi-new age psionic fluff.

lsfreak
2009-10-08, 01:43 PM
Some groups, and I know this is hard to comprehend, play with the fluff provided by the books. If the fluff isn't good, then they don't use it.

One person I know is like this, and the rest of us aren't. It gets a bit annoying at times.
"I want to play a paladin."
"Clerics or crusaders make really good divine fight--"
"But it's not a paladin."

Or "Be a psion, and call your psionics really focused ki. You studied in a monastery to learn how to channel your inner power into physical manife--"
"Is there an Ascetic Psion feat somewhere?"
"...but you wanted to be a caster, not a melee..."
"But psions don't train in monasteries and monks do."

Also, I've found all the fluff can be refluffed without even refluffing it. Change all instances of "crystals" to "gemstones" and you've essentially changed nothing fluffwise, except that people's mental association of "crystals" is different than "gemstone." Even though they can basically be used interchangably.

Myrmex
2009-10-09, 12:30 AM
One person I know is like this, and the rest of us aren't. It gets a bit annoying at times.
"I want to play a paladin."
"Clerics or crusaders make really good divine fight--"
"But it's not a paladin."

Or "Be a psion, and call your psionics really focused ki. You studied in a monastery to learn how to channel your inner power into physical manife--"
"Is there an Ascetic Psion feat somewhere?"
"...but you wanted to be a caster, not a melee..."
"But psions don't train in monasteries and monks do."

Also, I've found all the fluff can be refluffed without even refluffing it. Change all instances of "crystals" to "gemstones" and you've essentially changed nothing fluffwise, except that people's mental association of "crystals" is different than "gemstone." Even though they can basically be used interchangably.

I think a big part of it is that if fluff requirements are in place, then multidipping is off limits, which is a big part of powergaming. Take a look at any build on a CharOp board, and outside of 3.5 druids, you'll have difficulty finding something with only one or two different clases. Beguiler & Duskblade are the only other two that come to mind.

"Refluffing" is basically a way of avoiding restrictions on making more powerful characters than you could otherwise play.

Draz74
2009-10-09, 01:16 AM
Actually, I think you could make a very good argument that 95% of the magic in Lord of the Rings classifies as psionics - it's so much about contests of will, domination, etc.

Lord of the Rings -- meh, I could see it, but it's a stretch.

But many other fantasy settings? Absolutely fits psionics. Two examples that come to mind are David Eddings' Belgariad world, and Paolini's Eragon world.* Both have magic systems that are essentially bend-reality-however-you-like-with-the-power-of-your-will.

*I'm not claiming Eragon is good fantasy, mind you. But it's sure as heck not sci-fi.

Doc Roc
2009-10-09, 02:06 AM
I think a big part of it is that if fluff requirements are in place, then multidipping is off limits, which is a big part of powergaming. Take a look at any build on a CharOp board, and outside of 3.5 druids, you'll have difficulty finding something with only one or two different clases. Beguiler & Duskblade are the only other two that come to mind.

"Refluffing" is basically a way of avoiding restrictions on making more powerful characters than you could otherwise play.

Really? I personally think it's a way of discarding the completely rancid fluff a lot of cool classes are saddled with. Why should I have to live in the little teeny box that comes with Ur-priest or Ruby Knight Vindicator? What if I don't wanna play Ming the Merciless or The Punisher?

And those are two of my favorites, fluffwise!
Have you ever actually read the description for some of these classes?

Also, multi-dipping is not a big part of power-gaming. Playing a full-caster is.
Wizard 3/Master Specialist(conjurer) 10/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veils 7
Ban Necro, Evo, Enchant
All PrCs to completion. Just the first two that came to mind. No "multi-dipping." Multi-dip me a better build without using incantatrix hint: 1 tainted scholar && 1 mindbender && 5 war weaver && 1 shadow adept && 2 divine oracle over master specialist. Still, other than war-weaver and tainted, you aren't getting that much of a boost. And war weaver isn't being dipped.

Myrmex
2009-10-09, 02:25 AM
Multi-dip me a better build without using incantatrix

Wow, great limitation there. "I need you to build me something cheesier than this build which uses one of the cheesiest classes in the game without using that class."

But sure:
Diplomancer.
Now I have 1,001 characters identical to your character worshiping me as a god. Also, the gods worship me as a god.

DragoonWraith
2009-10-09, 02:52 AM
I think a big part of it is that if fluff requirements are in place, then multidipping is off limits, which is a big part of powergaming. Take a look at any build on a CharOp board, and outside of 3.5 druids, you'll have difficulty finding something with only one or two different clases. Beguiler & Duskblade are the only other two that come to mind.

"Refluffing" is basically a way of avoiding restrictions on making more powerful characters than you could otherwise play.
Arrrgghh. I'm not getting into this again, but please read this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=127219) on the subject.

In short: no. No, no, no, a thousand times, no.

It's called wanting to create your own unique character instead of staying inside the pre-designed box that WotC has written for you. The number of classes that a character has absolutely no correlation to the overall power level of the character, you don't need multiple classes for optimization, and taking a ton of classes does not automatically make you a munchkin.

And I find the persistence of this myth insulting.

Myrmex
2009-10-09, 03:00 AM
Arrrgghh. I'm not getting into this again

Then don't?

sofawall
2009-10-09, 03:39 AM
How about a Commoner 1/Wizard 1/Sorcerer 1/Psion 1/Druid 1/Cleric 1/Expert 1/Adept 1/Wilder 1/Psychic Warrior 1/Erudite 1/Favoured Soul 1/Archivist 1/Warmage 1/Aristocrat 1/Healer 1/Beguiler 1/Dread Necromancer 1/Spellthief 1/Soulknife 1 with all mental stats at 4.

Multiclass does not equal power.

lord_khaine
2009-10-09, 03:52 AM
Unconscious is willing under many interpretations. Likewise, dominated is often considered willing. Then there's body outside body, Red Wizard, Simulacrum, fusing yourself with your summons.... It's just bad news.

It also allows some really bizarre effects more easily, and lets you move certain buffs into place for interesting combinations.

I have newer seen anyone play with unconscious=willing before, and even if you do play with that you gain a shortterm buff, in return for letting a opponent get back on his feat when the power ends.

I dont know what Body outside body does, but if its a Wu jenn spell then i dont think its very relevant for a psion, and proberly covered in the part of fusion that says it cant be used with fision.

I cant see what red wizards are doing in a discussion about a psionic power, but if the answer contains the words circle and magic, then you have much more serious problems on your hand anyway.

As for the simulacrum, then i cant see anything special about that either, you still lose about Ĺ your actions from using it, and a simulacrum is generaly to weak to contribute anything important to a fusion.

As for fusing yourself with your summons, then thats to start with not possible for a psion since it only works on living creatures your size or smaller.
As for fusing yourself with someone elses summon, then it is possible, but would require that another full caster in your party waste an entire round summoning something you can fuse with, just to give you a shortterm buff, this is againt not very effective, and yet again you would proberly be stronger on your own.

It is really cool, but sacrificing Ĺ your actions is just not worth it in all but the most specific builds.

Myrmex
2009-10-09, 04:28 AM
How about a Commoner 1/Wizard 1/Sorcerer 1/Psion 1/Druid 1/Cleric 1/Expert 1/Adept 1/Wilder 1/Psychic Warrior 1/Erudite 1/Favoured Soul 1/Archivist 1/Warmage 1/Aristocrat 1/Healer 1/Beguiler 1/Dread Necromancer 1/Spellthief 1/Soulknife 1 with all mental stats at 4.

Multiclass does not equal power.

What about a druid that wears metal armor?
A wizard with a casting stat of 3?

Strawman does not equal argument.

lord_khaine
2009-10-09, 04:45 AM
If you want a real argument, then what about Fighter4/rogue4/sorcerer4?

paddyfool
2009-10-09, 05:01 AM
A further note on psionics: Soulknife is also broken. Not broken as in "brokenly good", broken as in "simply doesn't work well enough". If someone wants to play a Soulknife, and you want a balanced party... you'll likely have to offer them something big. Something like the option to gestalt with monk for free and flurry with their soulknives, perhaps, to fit into a moderately optimised party. Or, at the very least, point them towards the Soulbow.

sonofzeal
2009-10-09, 05:27 AM
What about a druid that wears metal armor?
A wizard with a casting stat of 3?

Strawman does not equal argument.
Eh, no, he's got it. Most of the best stuff in the game requires little or no multiclassing. Of Sorcerer, Wizard, Cleric, Druid, Archivist, Artificer, and (just for the heck of it) Psion, all can be quite nicely optimized with no multiclassing at all. Only Sorcerer and Wizard really get all that much mileage that way, and generally just pick one or possibly two PrCs simply to get some actual class features. Anything more than that is usually more effort than it's worth from an optimization standpoint. You get the rare build for these classes that does more, but that's usually because they're playing for theme rather than power.

Multiclassing works a lot better for melee characters, who are a lot more shoehorned under the basic rules and could use the added flavour flexibility as well as the moderate power boost. Even then though, you'll often do just fine pure-classed. Barbarian20 is entirely respectable, as is Rogue20 (or Rogue19 at least). Ranger20 and Paladin20 are both highly playable, especially with the right feats, and even Fighter20 has a number of good builds.

I think the reason people assume multiclassing == power is because the people who are best at finding the power are also the people who are most comfortable multiclassing. It's not inherently all that big an advantage.




Random thought: If two classes are thematically linked, then multiclassing is a good way to play up the intersection of the two and define your character very quickly and effectively. If two classes are not thematically linked, then it's up to the player to draw the line between them and that can be in many ways more evocative.

A Barbarian/Rogue is a Barbarian who's also Rogue-y. He's almost automatically going to be a vicious bastard, strong and stealthy, the type who savours the hunt. Great flavour, lot to work with.

A Cleric/Rogue is much more vaguely defined. Perhaps it's a reformed thief who saw the light, like Jean Valjean. Perhaps it's a caring pastor with some surprising skills, like Nightcrawler. Perhaps it's someone who plays up holiness and then robs people blind, like certain televangelists I won't mention by name. Perhaps it's a devoted foe of evil who trained himself in counter-espionage and detective work, like Batman. Perhaps it's a Cleric of Olidammara or Farlaghan who uses stealth and subtlety in service of their god, perhaps a wanderer who honestly doesn't know what he wants, perhaps a priest who trained to gain more persuasiveness and people-skills. This combination is seemingly-directionless, but that just makes it ripe to write a direction on top of it. Its very ambiguity serves as a vehicle for roleplay as the player tries to resolve that ambiguity.

Not to say that multiclassing produces better roleplay; a Cleric20 or Rogue20 could be almost all of those things too. Still, "nonassociated" multiclassing should be seen as an opportunity rather than a drawback. It's the kickstart that can get a player's mind rolling and coming up with all sorts of interesting backstory and personality to fill in the gaps. Some can do that on their own, and that's great. Some have trouble even with that nudge, and hey it happens. That'll go for all players though, whether they're optimizers or not.

Violet Octopus
2009-10-09, 06:15 AM
I have newer seen anyone play with unconscious=willing before,
from the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#savingThrow):
"Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if youíre flat-footed or it isnít your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing, but a character who is conscious but immobile or helpless (such as one who is bound, cowering, grappling, paralyzed, pinned, or stunned) is not automatically willing."

Unless you meant that everyone you play with houserules differently (which is quite reasonable).

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-10-09, 06:37 AM
A Barbarian/Rogue is a Barbarian who's also Rogue-y. He's almost automatically going to be a vicious bastard, strong and stealthy, the type who savours the hunt. Great flavour, lot to work with.
Conan was likely a Barbarian/Rogue/Fighter multiclass, going by his deeds in the book.

Kaiyanwang
2009-10-09, 07:05 AM
Conan was likely a Barbarian/Rogue/Fighter multiclass, going by his deeds in the book.

Indeed.

BTW, I think that the trap dodging ability of the 3.x barbarian has been inspired by the "dungeon crawling" adventures of conan.

lord_khaine
2009-10-09, 07:30 AM
from the SRD:
"Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if youíre flat-footed or it isnít your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing, but a character who is conscious but immobile or helpless (such as one who is bound, cowering, grappling, paralyzed, pinned, or stunned) is not automatically willing."

Unless you meant that everyone you play with houserules differently (which is quite reasonable).

In the way that i have newer seen the situation come up in play before, and that its still not relevant for Fusion.

Doc Roc
2009-10-09, 07:31 AM
Also, multi-dipping is not a big part of power-gaming. Playing a full-caster is.
Wizard 3/Master Specialist(conjurer) 10/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veils 7
Ban Necro, Evo, Enchant
All PrCs to completion. Just the first two that came to mind. No "multi-dipping." Multi-dip me a better build without using incantatrix hint: 1 tainted scholar && 1 mindbender && 5 war weaver && 1 shadow adept && 2 divine oracle over master specialist. Still, other than war-weaver and tainted, you aren't getting that much of a boost. And war weaver isn't being dipped.

Just wanted to note down that there was sort of a built in joke here...........................................


What about a druid that wears metal armor?
A wizard with a casting stat of 3?

Strawman does not equal argument.

Look, this is a strawman argument in and of itself. By now, I suspect that you know what I am aware of regarding the system, and my general level of competency. If not, maybe you should check some of the links in my sig. I'm not trying to be an arse here, I just think that effectively, the root of the problem isn't where you think it is at all. What I mean is that spellcasters really are very very powerful. They also benefit much more from "multi-dipping." And don't need to refluff things to do it, for the most part.

But multi-dipping isn't what makes them oh-so-good.
Just like multi-dipping isn't what makes a diplomancer broken, to use your example.

:|

Doc Roc
2009-10-09, 07:45 AM
In the way that i have newer seen the situation come up in play before, and that its still not relevant for Fusion.

You are a lucky lucky GM, and I envy you. I've had it come up.
My players are very aggressive when it comes to using their tools. The reason it matters for fusion is that you can knock someone out, manifest fusion on them, and abuse their abilities, knowledge, and many other things.

Remind me sometime to tell the story about Jeepers and Strahd.

kamikasei
2009-10-09, 07:54 AM
Look, this is a strawman argument in and of itself. By now, I suspect that you know what I am aware of regarding the system, and my general level of competency.

I'm not sure what point you're making here. The post you quote wasn't in reply to you, but to someone who was presenting a strawman: taking Myrmex's assertion that "multiclassing is a big part of powergaming" and that refluffing is used to get more power by multiclassing where you would otherwise be unable to, and countering it with an example of a multiclassed character who isn't powerful, as if that demonstrated anything meaningful. Now, I disagree with Myrmex in the larger argument, but I don't see what your credentials have to do with the point he was making there.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-10-09, 08:55 AM
"Refluffing" is basically a way of avoiding restrictions on making more powerful characters than you could otherwise play.

Some people would call refluffing roleplaying.

Jayabalard
2009-10-09, 09:05 AM
Some people would call refluffing roleplaying./shrug
and some people would object to calling roleplaying "fluff"

Prime32
2009-10-09, 09:06 AM
/shrug
and some people would object to calling roleplaying "fluff"Well, a bunk bed built for four isn't very comfortable without pillows. It isn't very comfortable without supports either.

sofawall
2009-10-09, 10:04 AM
Well, a bunk bed built for four isn't very comfortable without pillows. It isn't very comfortable without supports either.

Two cookies, sir, that was an excellent post.

sonofzeal
2009-10-09, 02:56 PM
Conan was likely a Barbarian/Rogue/Fighter multiclass, going by his deeds in the book.
I was actually thinking that specifically. He's probably the archetypal Barbarian/Rogue, and Fighter is so flavour-neutral that it can fit into any concept that involves attacking with a weapon of any sort.



/shrug
and some people would object to calling roleplaying "fluff"
Semantics. Call it "reflavouring" then. Is "flavour" less objectionable to you? In any case, inventing your own flavour for classes is often one of the most advanced and impressive aspects of roleplaying in D&D. It's entirely about creating a more compelling experience all around. It also increases verisimilitude, unless you think that the real world has a finite number of archetypes that everyone has to fit under.

Berserk Monk
2009-10-09, 02:58 PM
Well, the literal way to fix psion is to bring them to a vet or in D&D terms a druid. They will be less hyper as a result of this.

Draken
2009-10-09, 03:04 PM
Well, the literal way to fix psion is to bring them to a vet or in D&D terms a druid. They will be less hyper as a result of this.

Nah. Not a vet. Show him the Complete Psionics. Any psionic character will be a lot less hyper after that.
Disclaimer. There is good stuff in CP, but there are also the uncalled nerfs, the weird things, and some things I really don't get (Flayerspawn feats actualy don't make a lot of sense if you consider how Mind Flayers reproduce).

Serenity
2009-10-09, 03:58 PM
Flayerspawn feats are actually misnamed. Since Mind Flayers are canonically from the future, the flayerspawn feats would actually suggest that you are an ancestor of the Illithid.

Ravens_cry
2009-10-09, 04:04 PM
Flayerspawn feats are actually misnamed. Since Mind Flayers are canonically from the future, the flayerspawn feats would actually suggest that you are an ancestor of the Illithid.
Now that, knowing I would be playing the progenitor of one the most fiendish races ever without being an actual fiend, just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.:smallamused:

Quirinus_Obsidian
2009-10-09, 06:29 PM
Astral Construct nerf. Metacreativity nerf. Obscenely poor editing and no errata.

Empathic Transfer, Hostile nerf. Grrrr. :smallmad:

Also Foryn?! You killed my friend Processus. Prepare to die!! :smallbiggrin:


Flayerspawn feats are actually misnamed. Since Mind Flayers are canonically from the future, the flayerspawn feats would actually suggest that you are an ancestor of the Illithid.

Predestination Paradoxes suck. It is technically possible that a Illithid could "mate", although magically, with a mortal outside of their paradox and create half-breed offspring.