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Thunder_Ranger
2007-04-29, 04:40 PM
And now that I've quoted River to get your attention, what is your opinon on psionics? Good? If so, why and what's your favorite class? If not, what don't you like about it?

Personally, I think that Psions are way better than wizards mainly because you have so much more versatility than just "I cast this so many times per day". Plus, Psions just look cooler. Psychic Warriors I've never tried, but they look interesting, and soulknives have lightsabers. What could be better than that?

So, what say you?

Ikkitosen
2007-04-29, 04:45 PM
Psions and PsyWars are great, but it's difficult to compare to the power of a Wizard when almost every book has new spells and very few have new powers. Still, I like them very much.

NEO|Phyte
2007-04-29, 04:47 PM
I <3 psionics because they are spellcasters, only without the wierd spell slot thing going on.

As for my favorite, Psion, not picky what flavor (this includes the Erudite variant in CPsi).

Green Bean
2007-04-29, 04:48 PM
And now that I've quoted River to get your attention, what is your opinon on psionics? Good? If so, why and what's your favorite class? If not, what don't you like about it?

Personally, I think that Psions are way better than wizards mainly because you have so much more versatility than just "I cast this so many times per day". Plus, Psions just look cooler. Psychic Warriors I've never tried, but they look interesting, and soulknives have lightsabers. What could be better than that?

So, what say you?

Flavorwise, and for the visual imagery, I'd rank them higher than the core spellcasters. Power-level, they're alot more balanced. Mainly, though I love the versitility. A single power can be used against a generic goblin or a BBEG with equal utility.

EndgamerAzari
2007-04-29, 04:49 PM
My opinion is one FILLED WITH PURE INCANDESCENT RAGE AND BARELY-CONTAINED HATRED.

Ahem.

The main thing I hate about psionics IS the versatility. "Anything you can do I can alter the fabric of reality to do better."

I play currently with a Thrallherd who always tries to dominate EV-ER-Y thing, and then complains when the DM won't let him kill the plot-central BBEG with one 'Psionic Crush' or whatever the hell it's called.

This about sums it up right here:

http://x1d.xanga.com/dbed54367373499828820/z70271968.jpg

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-29, 04:50 PM
A single power can be used against a generic goblin or a BBEG with equal utility.

I really, really like that aspect, as well.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-04-29, 04:54 PM
My opinion is one FILLED WITH PURE INCANDESCENT RAGE AND BARELY-CONTAINED HATRED.

Ahem.

The main thing I hate about psionics IS the versatility. "Anything you can do I can alter the fabric of reality to do better."

I play currently with a Thrallherd who always tries to dominate EV-ER-Y thing, and then complains when the DM won't let him kill the plot-central BBEG with one 'Psionic Crush' or whatever the hell it's called.

This about sums it up right here:

http://x1d.xanga.com/dbed54367373499828820/z70271968.jpg
Oh yes, because magic doesn't have a domination spell nor 5th level save or die spells.

Morty
2007-04-29, 04:55 PM
More versatility? :smallconfused: From what I've read about Psion, he isn't nearly as versatile as wizard, as he has his powers known, and he can't change them. Which is boring. "I have x powers known, and I can use them until I run out of power points":smallsigh:

NullAshton
2007-04-29, 04:56 PM
What's the difference between Psionic Crush and any OTHER save or die spell? It has a major disadvantage, in that the save DC doesn't scale with augmentation. And the target gets a +4 on their will save. And incidentally does nothing when you're faced with someone that has the diehard feat.

EndgamerAzari
2007-04-29, 04:56 PM
Ok, maybe I'm a little biased from bad experiences with metagamers.

To me, psionics seem to get too powerful, too quickly. This damn guy has a modifier of 42 on his saves and he's level 14.

Krimm_Blackleaf
2007-04-29, 04:57 PM
I love psionics. More balanced than magic and I like the power points more than spell slots.

Soepvork
2007-04-29, 04:58 PM
Personally, I like the mechanics of psionics, but I find it lacking flavor. It just doesn't have a certain feel to it, but more like: "Look, I can cast arcane spells (but I call them powers) with slightly different requirements but to the same effect."

EndgamerAzari
2007-04-29, 04:58 PM
I will admit, I like the 'points' as opposed to 'slots' system, though.

Khoran
2007-04-29, 04:59 PM
I, unfortunatly, have never had the opportunity to try out Psionics in game, so I cannot speak for how balanced they are. However, I do have some opinions on them.

I like the power point system, I like it alot, and I would actually like to run magic like that. The idea of spell slots have never really completly clicked with me, especially with things like Sorcerers or any other spontanious caster. I also like how similar power with new a different effect is still the same power, just with more points pumped into it.

Batman
2007-04-29, 04:59 PM
My opinion is one FILLED WITH PURE INCANDESCENT RAGE AND BARELY-CONTAINED HATRED.

Ahem.

The main thing I hate about psionics IS the versatility. &quot;Anything you can do I can alter the fabric of reality to do better.&quot;

I play currently with a Thrallherd who always tries to dominate EV-ER-Y thing, and then complains when the DM won't let him kill the plot-central BBEG with one 'Psionic Crush' or whatever the hell it's called.

This about sums it up right here:

http://x1d.xanga.com/dbed54367373499828820/z70271968.jpg

So you've got a lame player. So what? For all their "versatility", psions just don't have equivalents to most of the best wizard spells out there. If that player complained because he wanted to Finger of Death the BBEG, would that reflect on all arcane magic? Psionics won't unbalance the game. The game already has arcane casters, and psions are like arcane casters, but with weaker abilities.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-04-29, 05:00 PM
More versatility? :smallconfused: From what I've read about Psion, he isn't nearly as versatile as wizard, as he has his powers known, and he can't change them. Which is boring.
Psionics are more versatile in some ways, more restricted in others. For instance you don't get nearly as many spell equivalent as you say. Also, you cannot use meta-psionic feats unless you spend a full-round action to gain psionic focus which requires a DC 20 concentration check. Magic users can do it automatically as part of their casting. They also get a familiar and scribe scroll automatically.

Psions however can try to make a concentration check to hide their displays and can choose the energy type they use when manifesting an energy power. They may also manifest any power as often as they like as long as they have the power points (thought this eats them up quickly).

So they both have strengths and their weaknesses.

EndgamerAzari
2007-04-29, 05:01 PM
If that player complained because he wanted to Finger of Death the BBEG, would that reflect on all arcane magic? Psionics won't unbalance the game. The game already has arcane casters, and psions are like arcane casters, but with weaker abilities.

Well, I guess I'm assuming that with that spell there'd be a chance that the guy would pass his save.

Hzurr
2007-04-29, 05:02 PM
I'm not a fan of them.

Part of what balances a wizard (and what makes them interesting in my opinion), is the forced spell-slot selection. It requires players to be forward thinking, and to prioritize. The "do I save this 3rd level slot for a fireball later, or do I use it for the 2nd level spell I really need right now" quandry is one of my favorites.

I've heard a lot of good arguements about why a "point" pool is better than slots, I think that Wizards should have gone with one or the other, and stuck with it, just to maintain consistancy. It's hard to look at powerpoints and spell levels and balance them out (especially with the insane ways you can augment powers and metamagic spells). They should have chosen one system, and stuck with it, because now you have spell slots for arcane magic, spell slots for divine, and...powerpoints for psionics? I mean, aren't psionics supposed to be, essentially, a 3rd type of magic? Why the sudden change?
*note: this rant also extends to all the wierd types of magic they've been adding since then. Tome of Magic, I'm looking at you*

While a point-system may be better, if they want to implement it, I think they should wait til 4th ed, and do it all at once for all magic systems, just for those of us who try to maintain sanity while dealing with rules.

On a side note, I do hope they incorporate psionics into 4th ed, but do it as part of the PhB, and start out with it at the ground level, just like they do with divine and arcane.

Also, the Firefly reference made me chuckle. I just saw that episode last night actually...

Morty
2007-04-29, 05:05 PM
Psionics are more versatile in some ways, more restricted in others. For instance you don't get nearly as many spell equivalent as you say. Also, you cannot use meta-psionic feats unless you spend a full-round action to gain psionic focus which requires a DC 20 concentration check. Magic users can do it automatically as part of their casting. They also get a familiar and scribe scroll automatically.

Psions however can try to make a concentration check to hide their displays and can choose the energy type they use when manifesting an energy power. They may also manifest any power as often as they like as long as they have the power points (thought this eats them up quickly).

So they both have strengths and their weaknesses.

I didn't mean that psionic is weaker than magic- I know it is, which isn't a bad thing- but that I find any power point system quite dull. Though psionics in D&D is undoubtely better than many other point systems.

Batman
2007-04-29, 05:06 PM
Well, I guess I'm assuming that with that spell there'd be a chance that the guy would pass his save.


Um, and? Psionic Crush does have a save, which is at a +4 bonus to boot.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-04-29, 05:07 PM
To me, psionics seem to get too powerful, too quickly. This damn guy has a modifier of 42 on his saves and he's level 14.
And how does he manage this?



It's hard to look at powerpoints and spell levels and balance them out (especially with the insane ways you can augment powers and metamagic spells).
Have an example of this insanity?

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-29, 05:07 PM
More versatility? :smallconfused: From what I've read about Psion, he isn't nearly as versatile as wizard, as he has his powers known, and he can't change them. Which is boring. "I have x powers known, and I can use them until I run out of power points":smallsigh:

The psion can use his powers more often than the wizard can cast spells, and use his lower levels spells at high levels, unlike a sorceror. The psion is what a sorceror should be. I love the mechanics of augmentation.


Part of what balances a wizard (and what makes them interesting in my opinion), is the forced spell-slot selection. It requires players to be forward thinking, and to prioritize. The "do I save this 3rd level slot for a fireball later, or do I use it for the 2nd level spell I really need right now" quandry is one of my favorites.

But wizards aren't balanced.


I've heard a lot of good arguements about why a "point" pool is better than slots, I think that Wizards should have gone with one or the other, and stuck with it, just to maintain consistancy.

D&D has had a long and varied history, with attempts to tweak the system to many different styles of play. Personally, I'm not of the school of thought that "if it's in a book, it's automatically in the campaign world." D&D makes for piss poor horror gaming, for example.


It's hard to look at powerpoints and spell levels and balance them out

I was curious how Wizards balanced the two, and it's actually pretty sensical. Level 1 powers cost 1 pp, and level 2 powers cost 3 pp. Basically, a power costs as many points to use it as the level of manifester needed to get the power. For instance, a psion can first manifest a ninth level power at 17th, which insidentally is the number of pp it takes to cast. Combine this with the rate at which a psion gains power points, and you find yourself with a system very similar to the sorceror. The only difference is that the psion has more flexibility in allocation of spell slots.

Augmenting is really terrific, as it takes the limited use of a level one power, and allows you to boost it up to the power of a ninth level power. This means powers like inertial armor (essentially mage armor) will be useful at high levels by spending more power points. Spending more power points is like using up higher level spell slots, except you can divide those spell slots between whatever handful of powers you know.


(especially with the insane ways you can augment powers and metamagic spells).

I'm curious as to what the insane metapower+augmentation tricks there are.

Personally, I've crunched a fairly legit psion build that has a reasonable chance at dominating the Tarrasque at level 13 (level 11 if you take overchannel feats and flaws). Granted, you could very likely do the same with a sorceror or wizard.


They should have chosen one system, and stuck with it, because now you have spell slots for arcane magic, spell slots for divine, and...powerpoints for psionics? I mean, aren't psionics supposed to be, essentially, a 3rd type of magic? Why the sudden change?

Ehhhh, Wizards of the Coast ARE the people who are responsible for the first collectable card game.

There are so many freakin systems out there, anyway, to cater to everyone and anyone's D&D needs.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-04-29, 05:08 PM
The psion can use his powers more often than the wizard can cast spells, and use his lower levels spells at high levels, unlike a sorceror. The psion is what a sorceror should be. I love the mechanics of augmentation.
Actually, if you add it up a wizard gets far more 'power points' than a psion does. And a whole lot more spells known.

Batman
2007-04-29, 05:53 PM
Ok, maybe I'm a little biased from bad experiences with metagamers.

To me, psionics seem to get too powerful, too quickly. This damn guy has a modifier of 42 on his saves and he's level 14.

He's probably bending the rules, since there's no way he should be able to have a DC 42 power. Psionic Crush can't even be augmented to raise the DC.

You guys DO know that you can't spend more power points on a power than your Manifester Level, right?

Augmentation is very reasonable. If you augment, you're spending more power points, which is the equivalent of casting a higher-level spell. You can only do that so often.

ClericofPhwarrr
2007-04-29, 05:58 PM
Well, I guess I'm assuming that with that spell there'd be a chance that the guy would pass his save.

*cough*Forcecage and it's ilk.*cough*

Annarrkkii
2007-04-29, 05:58 PM
Oh yes, because magic doesn't have a domination spell nor 5th level save or die spells.

Quite. It has a 4th-level save-or-die spell. And the Thrallherd is no worse than a Mindbender. Not even as bad, you might argue, if it weren't for the whole mess that is Leadership in general.

"Winning" aside, the Psionics mechanic is what the magic mechanic should have been. I advocate the spell point system very readily, and like the fatigue/exhaustion variant a great deal, as well.

Kel_Arath
2007-04-29, 06:24 PM
Psionics = <3. But I like psionics, slightly more balanced, although you do have less versatility (number of different things you can do) but I do like being able to cast low level and high level versions of the same thing.

blackout
2007-04-29, 07:02 PM
I played a psion once....I killed EVERYTHING. >:)

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-04-29, 08:42 PM
First off... I don't recall River ever saying this to anyone in the movie OR in the TV series (including the previously unreleased which were found, much to my surprise and delight, in the boxed set). In fact, it is an entirely false statement. River can read minds, that's about the limit of her telepathy. She can't project, and thus can't kill anyone with her brain. Granted, she's an awesome shot with just about any weapon you care to name, and an expert in martial arts, both armed and unarmed, so it's not like she needs to...

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest, being a Browncoat.

Now then, about psionics... I like it as a whole. It has a bit more tactical flexability than a wizard at the expense of strategic flexability.

Metapsionic feats are traps. The whole bleedin' line of 'em are a waste of a good feat. Most of them are duplicated or rendered redundant by augmentations, they limit how much you can augment your power by charging additional PPs, and in general, they don't significantly boost your output to the point that they are worth sacrificing your focus.

An Evoker can 'nova' better than a Wizard can, due to higher saves for roughly the same damage output. An Evoker can decide what elemental flavor to use 'on the fly', including Sonic damage if they happen to be resistant/immune to Fire, Cold, and Lightning. They also get to choose what form their nova takes, depending on what powers they take. In short, if one gets all the energy <area effect> powers, you can choose what flavor and what shape at will. The downside is that this is about all they can do.

Psionicists have powers that can be broken if improperly used. Wizards have spells which are flat broken no matter how they are used (Contingency Celerity, I'm lookin' at you. Same thing with the whole Polycheeze line of spells).

Wizards usually have more 'staying power' than psionicists do, because they generally have a lot more spells known than an equivelant number of PPs. They can also do a LOT of metamagic cheeze (Chain Reach Buff, and Split Ray Empowered Enervation to name a couple) and that's without going into Incantatrix metamagic 'sploits. Wizards also have hella better PrC's (or should I say the Psionic PrC's are better balanced? Almost none of the PrC's in XPH have full manifesting progression, except for Thrallherd and the pointless Cerebromancer).

In short... wizards will win in any situation other than a single-shot duel. Even then, a Wizard will STILL probably win, just because of Contingency Celerity (Greater Rod of...) Maximize Time Stop. Then I have five turns in which to buff/prepare/lay out AoE stuff to screw you over. In the end, as soon as time stop wears off, you're either going to a) get hit with a Quickened Empowered Enervation and then a Twin Ray Empowered Enervation, or b) a Feeblemind (which, with magic/psionics crossover, gives a -4 penalty on saving throws for the psionicist). This is before the Psionicist can even think his first thought in combat.

Innis Cabal
2007-04-29, 08:44 PM
i like them, but i prefer the 2nd ed version sooooooooo much better

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-04-29, 08:51 PM
i like them, but i prefer the 2nd ed version sooooooooo much better

Molecular Manipulation: POOF! You're a toaster. NO save.

Yea... real nice...

PaladinBoy
2007-04-29, 08:54 PM
Actually, if you add it up a wizard gets far more 'power points' than a psion does. And a whole lot more spells known.

Not sure about this, but I think the reason for more "points" might be something to do with a 1st level spell becoming not nearly as good as a 9th level spell as you go up in caster level. An example would be Fireball and Delayed Blast Fireball. The latter is always better than the former if caster level > 10. Sure, you might have those extra "points" but you can't use them as effectively.

As for the OP, I think psionics are just..... there. I like how a psion can just blast away with an augmented 1st level power and have it possibly actually work, but I think that they didn't do too well with the flavor of it. What exactly makes this different from magic? With arcane, you're bending reality with spells you've learned, with divine you're bending reality with spells your deity gives you, and with psionics...... you're bending reality with powers you've learned?

geez3r
2007-04-29, 09:00 PM
I really like psionics. The first psion I played was during this evil game we played roughly a year ago; good god that was fun. I like it better than being an arcane caster, because I never liked picking out my spells in advance, and I would rather play a smart character than a "pretty" character. (Int>Cha IMO).

Inyssius Tor
2007-04-29, 09:12 PM
First off... I don't recall River ever saying this to anyone in the movie OR in the TV series (including the previously unreleased which were found, much to my surprise and delight, in the boxed set). In fact, it is an entirely false statement. River can read minds, that's about the limit of her telepathy. She can't project, and thus can't kill anyone with her brain. Granted, she's an awesome shot with just about any weapon you care to name, and an expert in martial arts, both armed and unarmed, so it's not like she needs to...

How can you even call yourself a Browncoat? :smallbiggrin: 161 seconds into scene 11 of "Trash". She says it to a paralyzed Jayne.

AtomicKitKat
2007-04-29, 09:24 PM
I don't quite like the Power Points system. Reminds me too much of "Mana". Requires me to remember strings of digits as well. >_<

Ruik
2007-04-29, 09:47 PM
I was sucked in here by false advertising

*wistful moment as he reflects on the pain that was firefly being canceled*

and ShneekeyTheLost, ^^man has a point... I can't believe you didn't recognise that quote.


As for psionics, my RL gaming group made the decision not to roll with it (we were 14/15 at the time), as it was just more rules to learn. That being said, I've found what i've read of it to be very interesting, and actually more in line with how I think Arcane magic should work.

crazedloon
2007-04-29, 09:51 PM
What exactly makes this different from magic? With arcane, you're bending reality with spells you've learned, with divine you're bending reality with spells your deity gives you, and with psionics...... you're bending reality with powers you've learned?

Well the difference is subtle but with magic youíre are bending and manipulating a magical energy that everything has and shares thus bending reality. However with psionics you are bending reality with pure force of will and mind power.

Catch
2007-04-29, 10:01 PM
First off... I don't recall River ever saying this to anyone in the movie OR in the TV series (including the previously unreleased which were found, much to my surprise and delight, in the boxed set). In fact, it is an entirely false statement. River can read minds, that's about the limit of her telepathy. She can't project, and thus can't kill anyone with her brain. Granted, she's an awesome shot with just about any weapon you care to name, and an expert in martial arts, both armed and unarmed, so it's not like she needs to...

Episode eleven, "Trash." River says it to Jayne.

She was lying because he's dumb.

The exact quote is, "Also, I can kill you with my brain."

Aquillion
2007-04-29, 10:18 PM
Psychic Warriors are what every fighting class should be. Psionic Lion's Charge, can boost their saves with defensive precognition, has mobility from personal dimension door and hustle, can freedom of movement or mind blank themselves to get complete immunity to many of the most common warrior-bane effects, etc, etc. Nothing overpowering, but at least they don't have to worry about being unable to get in a full attack or getting completely shut down by a single effect the way most core melee classes do.

Seriously, you know what they should do? Take out all the horrible Monk abilities, and give them something equivalent to Psionics (say that they have 'discipline points' or whatever.) Then give them some Psionic Warrior powers to choose from. Most of the things psionic warriors can do are actually monk-flavored, too; they just do them competently.

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-04-29, 11:22 PM
Psychic Warriors are what every fighting class should be. Psionic Lion's Charge, can boost their saves with defensive precognition, has mobility from personal dimension door and hustle, can freedom of movement or mind blank themselves to get complete immunity to many of the most common warrior-bane effects, etc, etc. Nothing overpowering, but at least they don't have to worry about being unable to get in a full attack or getting completely shut down by a single effect the way most core melee classes do.

Seriously, you know what they should do? Take out all the horrible Monk abilities, and give them something equivalent to Psionics (say that they have 'discipline points' or whatever.) Then give them some Psionic Warrior powers to choose from. Most of the things psionic warriors can do are actually monk-flavored, too; they just do them competently.

They did. They're called Swordsages. It's in the Tome of Battle, Book of Nine Swords.

And yes, I now recall the quote. Trash wasn't one of my favorite episodes. It pains me to see Mal get taken... AGAIN... by Saffron. After he KNEW she wasn't trustworthy. Although I suppose it was worth it for the ladies...

I don't suppose you could say River had precognition... she just knew when to move because she knew what each and every opponent was thinking and where they were planning to strike...

Theodoxus
2007-04-29, 11:33 PM
Considering Psywar and Monk have the same bab... you could easily swap them out. I personally don't think psywar should be called 'warrior' since they don't get a full bab count. But heh, that's just me.

I love the power point methodology, and have adopted the UA power point system for Sorcs. Wizards don't need help, and being able to choose to cast 14 Irrisitable Dances or 3 Time Stops makes them a tad too powerful, imo.

Psions rock when coupled with the shapeshift varient for druids... little doggie running around 'barking' sonic bolts... Lots of fun :)

Roland St. Jude
2007-04-29, 11:38 PM
First off... I don't recall River ever saying this to anyone in the movie OR in the TV series (including the previously unreleased which were found, much to my surprise and delight, in the boxed set). In fact, it is an entirely false statement. River can read minds, that's about the limit of her telepathy. She can't project, and thus can't kill anyone with her brain. Granted, she's an awesome shot with just about any weapon you care to name, and an expert in martial arts, both armed and unarmed, so it's not like she needs to...

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest, being a Browncoat.

She does say that, I believe it's at the end of Ariel or maybe Trash. She says it to Jayne, seemingly as a threat that implies she knows he tried to betray them.

As for the other part, we never see her kill anyone with her brain in the series, but there are some Whedon-produced shorts called the Tam Sessions, I believe, where we do see her kill someone with her mind. But even if my recollection on that last part is wrong, there's a lot Whedon never got to tell about River, so there's no way to know whether she was messing with Jayne or serious or both.

Aquillion
2007-04-30, 12:09 AM
She says it to Jayne, seemingly as a threat that implies she knows he tried to betray them.My recollection is that it's just after her brother was operating on Jayne. He gives this long, noble speech about how he knows that Jayne betrayed them, but would never betray the trust with a patient, that they need to trust each other in the future, etc, etc, that sort of junk. I forget the exact words, but the gist of it is that they're partners now and they need to trust each other.

Then, as he turns and leaves, his sister leans in and hisses into Jayne's ear: "Also, I can kill you with my brain."


Considering Psywar and Monk have the same bab... you could easily swap them out. I personally don't think psywar should be called 'warrior' since they don't get a full bab count. But heh, that's just me.Yes, but they do get fighter Bonus feats, and almost all their abilities exist just to support their warrior role. And, when you get down to it, often they're going to be doing a better job at fighting than a fighter--five extra BAB don't help you very much if you can't reach the enemy at all. Likewise, the Psywar's extra attacks are worth more than the fighter's, even though they get less, because unlike the fighter they have Lion's Charge and will therefore actually get them.

Of course they're worse than a CoDzilla (the cleric even gets the same BAB, and a better ability list), but who isn't?

Leon
2007-04-30, 12:09 AM
Do the best of both worlds and be a Cerebremancer

Aquillion
2007-04-30, 12:31 AM
Do the best of both worlds and be a CerebremancerCerebremancer has the same problems as Mystic Theurge. Plus, it combines arcane abilities and psionics, which are generally redundant with each other.

Dausuul
2007-04-30, 01:56 AM
I like the psionics mechanics, hate the flavor. Fortunately, it's very easy to take wizard flavor and stick it onto psionics mechanics. Best of both worlds.

Ramza00
2007-04-30, 02:01 AM
Cerebemancer is very not worth it without an early entry trick. With Preococious Apprentice (which works with Cerebemancer) or improved sigil krau and suddenly it becomes very worth it.

Wehrkind
2007-04-30, 02:40 AM
I never understood why they didn't make psions sorcerors. By that I mean get rid of the spontaneous slots, and just use the PP system and call it a sorceror. Even the fluff makes more sense. "I use the force of my will to alter reality as I see fit, using a few internal powers I can manifest as I please." screams psychic powers to me.

SpatulaOfDoom
2007-04-30, 02:42 AM
Personally I like psionics in general.
The people who think it's overpowered often don't have a solid grasp on the mechanics.
The main thing I like about it is it's flexable. I like how a number of powers often take the place of two or more spells depending on how many power points you pump into them (example Psionic Charm goes from charm person to charm monster with enough power points).
I like being able to put as little or as much power into a particular use of my abilities as I want at any given time.
I like not having to say "I can't do that, I already did it once today."
It's also nice that oftentimes you're the odd one out while not being overly odd, rarely are psionics heavily integrated into any particular game world but when you talk about psychics it's a familiar enough concept to be reasonable.

(oddly enough my main character is a wizard, I like that too though)

KIDS
2007-04-30, 06:25 AM
Psionics might not be more powerful or imabalanced, but from a point of view focused on flavor, they're much much cooler. Wizards reach out to the Weave, Sorcerers reach out to the Weave, Clerics pray to Divine Powers, but Psion's power is all his own.

In terms of game balance, psionics are often broken when there is just one encounter per day - something to watch out for. But otherwise, I like them. I also thought of playing a psionic-themed warlock (thing protoss high templars) and am certain I'll make it work one day.

Ruik
2007-04-30, 06:28 AM
Psionics might not be more powerful or imabalanced, but from a point of view focused on flavor, they're much much cooler. Wizards reach out to the Weave, Sorcerers reach out to the Weave, Clerics pray to Divine Powers, but Psion's power is all his own. See that’s the part that I actually find harder to swallow... I’m just not sure I can achieve the suspension of disbelief with that explanation sometimes - its all in... their minds? How exactly is that supposed to work? (bareing in mind i've never played a psion or really delved into the subject)

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-30, 06:29 AM
See thatís the part that I actually find harder to swallow... Iím just not sure I can achieve the suspension of disbelief with that explanation sometimes - its all in... their minds? How exactly is that supposed to work? (bareing in mind i've never played a psion or really delved into the subject)

How's magic supposed to work?

Thunder_Ranger
2007-04-30, 07:14 AM
How can you even call yourself a Browncoat? :smallbiggrin: 161 seconds into scene 11 of "Trash". She says it to a paralyzed Jayne.

Hey, let's all calm down. Even Browncoats make mistakes. I was wondering though, If someone would say that before I came back on :smallamused: .
So Psions are pretty damn good, that seems to be the general mood, but what about the other Psionic classes? Anyone like Lurks? Or Divine Minds?

Ramza00
2007-04-30, 07:28 AM
Or Divine Minds?

We do not speak much of the Samurai's older brother the Divine Mind, at least he is better than his younger brother, at least he isn't an npc only class but that isn't say much. War Minds are great, Divine Minds are what you force powergaming PCs to take as a class after you killed their original character. Divine Minds, the guys paladin laugh at.

Lurk is Meh.

Thunder_Ranger
2007-04-30, 07:46 AM
Divine Minds, the guys paladin laugh at.

Ha! It's funny becasue it's true... So Ramza, you seem to know a lot about the psionic classes, what's your stance on soulknives? (This question is, as always open to anybody.)

And they still can't take the sky from us, Browncoats.

Ramza00
2007-04-30, 07:56 AM
Ha! It's funny becasue it's true... So Ramza, you seem to know a lot about the psionic classes, what's your stance on soulknives? (This question is, as always open to anybody.)

Nice Idea, bad implementation. Its pretty much in a similar boat as the monk. If you want to enchant something either use Kensai or Psychic Weapon Master
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040827d

KIDS
2007-04-30, 08:22 AM
I always viewed it as "internal" as that, yeah. However, the power of the mind is a beautiful concept as such, much more alluring than those of other classes because well... it is yours. I'm not saying that it's infallible since just like Weave can die one day so can occur a massive disturbance that destroys psionic potential (plot hook anyone?), but in general circumstances, you are independent.
Not saying that psions are self-centered jerks or that they aren't religious; but personal perfection of your mind, like that of a monk, is a goal that a huge lot of people can associate with easily.

Just for the record though, I've never played anything with any psionic abilities, though I more or less familiar with them.

Serenity
2007-04-30, 10:32 AM
As far as whether or not River can kill people with her mind...many speculate that's the glowy stick of pain and bleeding out your eyeballs from Ariel was merely amplifying the Hands of Blues mental powers to...kill people with their brains.

Mellchia
2007-04-30, 11:41 AM
I've never had a problem with a Soulknife. A bit underpowered (sometimes), but they're crazy fun. As for the enchanting, perhaps, but I'm not taking the class for an enchanted weapon (okay, it's nice). I like the weapon to deal Int/Wis/Cha damage as I see fit and a free skill of whirlwind with no negatives.

Never tried anything from the Compete's. I've always wanted to play the Wilder but found it underpowering for my taste - the powers known vs. the other psionic classes and the enervation disability appear very limiting. But I'm willing to give it a try.

I'm moving away from an Artillery Mind (Kineticist) and have been exploring other options (A LN control freak (Kineticist), an Astral shaper or even a lucky-oh-I-found-what-we-needed-in-my-pocket guy, and a Transporter of illegal goods (Nomad)).

Personally, I love psionics over magic...I understand it better and there are less powers for me to choose from.

Ramza00
2007-04-30, 11:57 AM
Easy fix to the soulknife
*Make the soulknife full bab
*Allow you to mix the mind blade weapon enhancements and the enhancement bonus freely as you see fit (as in I can have a +1 weapon with +8 weapon enhacements at lvl 20)
*Allow you to cast spells such as greater magic weapon on the mind blade and when you relinquish the mind blade they spells still affect the mind blade for the mind blade didn't disappear it is instead just being stored in your mind.
*Some more mind blade feats, not neccessary to fix it, but will help :)

Fax Celestis
2007-04-30, 12:26 PM
I've been pondering a Divine Mind fix, myself.

Aquillion
2007-04-30, 12:28 PM
What about Psion Uncarnate? It looks like it would be totally useless until level 10, and even after that you're giving up 4 manifester levels (although Practiced Manifester can recover them for some purposes, and you get +1 to your save DCs for being Uncarnate, so with both of those your save DCs will actually improve) for, mainly, an ability that is the equivilent of a level 8 power all the time, but is mostly defensive in nature.

I'd imagine free 250-pound telekinesis while being basically invulnerable would be fun, though. A psion uncarnate could probably substitute for a skillmonkey in many situations, too... most traps are going to be easy to deal with if you can just reach through them and start taking them apart, you get complete silent movement automatically, you can scout through the walls, and so forth.

Da Beast
2007-04-30, 12:32 PM
I love the system. My favorite classes are psion and psychic rogue. I'd also like to add that anyone who thinks psionics are broken either doesn't understand the sytem or doesn't know how to play an effective wizard.

Ramza00
2007-04-30, 12:42 PM
What about Psion Uncarnate? It looks like it would be totally useless until level 10, and even after that you're giving up 4 manifester levels (although Practiced Manifester can recover them for some purposes, and you get +1 to your save DCs for being Uncarnate, so with both of those your save DCs will actually improve) for, mainly, an ability that is the equivilent of a level 8 power all the time, but is mostly defensive in nature.

I'd imagine free 250-pound telekinesis while being basically invulnerable would be fun, though. A psion uncarnate could probably substitute for a skillmonkey in many situations, too... most traps are going to be easy to deal with if you can just reach through them and start taking them apart, you get complete silent movement automatically, you can scout through the walls, and so forth.

There is also a power in complete psionic that allows you to manifest even if there is a barrier between you and the target (for example the psion uncarnate being inside the ground and thus not attackable)

That said, a X 1/Cleric 2/Master of Shrouds 10 gets a similar trick earlier. Just cast Meld into Stone after summoning incorporeal undead.

Yahzi
2007-04-30, 01:12 PM
As for the other part, we never see her kill anyone with her brain in the series,
I never took the quote to mean she had the psychic ability to kill anyone; I thought she was just saying, "I am a genius and you are an idiot, so I can think you to death."

But I suppose playing on his superstition is a more reasonable interpretation.

One of my favorite exchanges is when they're talking about the code-word that knocks River out.

"Don't say it, Mal!"

"Jayne, it only works on her..."

AtomicKitKat
2007-04-30, 01:32 PM
Is Trigger Power sort of like "Innate Spell Like Ability" for Powers? By my understanding of the text, as long as I keep 3 PP, I can Manifest Expansion(or any other 0-3 level power) as often as I want. Of course, I have the Psionics Handbook(not the XPH), so things may have changed since then. Will trying to augment the power, or using metapsionic feats(extending duration, etc.), cause me to spend more points(and manifest as per normal), require more points in "reserve", or just not work?

Marius
2007-04-30, 01:38 PM
Easy fix to the soulknife
*Make the soulknife full bab
*Allow you to mix the mind blade weapon enhancements and the enhancement bonus freely as you see fit (as in I can have a +1 weapon with +8 weapon enhacements at lvl 20)
*Allow you to cast spells such as greater magic weapon on the mind blade and when you relinquish the mind blade they spells still affect the mind blade for the mind blade didn't disappear it is instead just being stored in your mind.
*Some more mind blade feats, not neccessary to fix it, but will help :)

I use a similar fix but I also gave them Fighter/Psionic bonus feats at 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th and more weapon enhancements to their list.

Ramza00
2007-04-30, 01:55 PM
I use a similar fix but I also gave them Fighter/Psionic bonus feats at 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th and more weapon enhancements to their list.
More weapon enhancements is a given. I will pretty much allow any weapon enhancement I would also allow for melee weapons.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20070214a

In this Mind's Eye article a variant was proposed for soulknives




Bonus Feats

You sacrifice power for skill and technique.
Level: 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th.
Replaces: You lose all psychic strike class abilities at the above levels.


Benefit: In place of the psychic strike class ability, you gain a bonus feat at each level above. You may choose any feat designed for soulknives (such as those in Complete Psionic) or any feat that your mind blade can benefit from, such as Power Attack or Improved Critical (also see the mind blade feats in Dragon Magazine #341 in the "Class Acts: Adventurer" article). You must meet any prerequisites for the feat you choose.



I would allow that variant with my above modifications of the soulknife. Its similar to what you suggest only difference is your suggestion yields one more feat, the lvls are slightly different, and in my suggestion you lose psychic strike if you want the bonus feats.

Personally I believe Psychic Strike shouldn't be a class feature but instead a scaling feat (or two) that people can take if they have psionic powers.

Mellchia
2007-04-30, 02:52 PM
More weapon enhancements is a given. I will
Personally I believe Psychic Strike shouldn't be a class feature but instead a scaling feat (or two) that people can take if they have psionic powers.
[/LEFT]

I disagree actually. I think it gives the Soulknife a defining class feature that makes it different than the Psychic Warrior. Otherwise you might as well just be a Psychic Warrior instead with Call Weaponry.

Plus it juggles around certain other Soul Knife abilities (replacing Psi Strike Damage dice with ability damage).

Ramza00
2007-04-30, 03:50 PM
I disagree actually. I think it gives the Soulknife a defining class feature that makes it different than the Psychic Warrior. Otherwise you might as well just be a Psychic Warrior instead with Call Weaponry.

Plus it juggles around certain other Soul Knife abilities (replacing Psi Strike Damage dice with ability damage).

But it pains the soulknife in a box, it forces all soulknifes to flavorwise to have an ability where they can do mental damage with their psychic strikes. I don't like this, I believe a base class should have multiple paths you can take with it. I can build a sorcerer who is based off fear, I can build one who focuses on fire, I can create one who is a defensive buffer, I can make one who can do summon monster.

Or warblade, there is multiple disciplines and depending on my manuevers I will be very different character.

Once you play a soulknife type character you pretty much played all the soulknife characters.

I believe the base class should give you options with versatility, or allow substitution options that modify abilities.

But hey that is me :smallsmile:

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-04-30, 03:51 PM
As far as whether or not River can kill people with her mind...many speculate that's the glowy stick of pain and bleeding out your eyeballs from Ariel was merely amplifying the Hands of Blues mental powers to...kill people with their brains.

I always figured that was Sonic rather than psionic. My only wonder was how the Hands of Blue ended up NOT being able to be affected by it...

PsiWar does beat Warrior hands down, particularly if you allow PrC's. PsiWar slides into Slayer so easily, which is a full BAB and only missing the 1st level of Manifestation, making it superior in nearly all ways to any pure melee class. Power Attack/Shock Trooper combined with Improved Trip and Spiked Chain (with Karmic Strike and Combat Reflexes) and then Expansion and Psionic Lion's Charge for insane effects. Toss in four levels of Pyro at the end and you're ready to go.

Ivius
2007-04-30, 05:37 PM
My (poorly made) rebuttal:

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/Baconknight/Rebuttle.jpg

Ruik
2007-04-30, 05:51 PM
How's magic supposed to work?Its just the fact that I can buy into there being a mystical 'stuff' that wizards can tap into and manipulate for fun. Like an extra element or something (you get the point). I find it harder to buy into 'my mind is teh win, and therefore I can use its superior power to do... stuff'.


"Don't say it, Mal!"

"Jayne, it only works on her..."
Oh... Well, now I know that. :smallbiggrin:

Marius
2007-04-30, 06:26 PM
Its just the fact that I can buy into there being a mystical 'stuff' that wizards can tap into and manipulate for fun. Like an extra element or something (you get the point). I find it harder to buy into 'my mind is teh win, and therefore I can use its superior power to do... stuff'.


There's people in our world that believe that the mind is "teh win" so why would you find harder to believe the same in a fantasy world?

Wehrkind
2007-04-30, 07:37 PM
Yea, I actually find psionics a little easier to believe in than magic as written, since it never made sense to me that a wizard can make a wand work with a command word, but a fighter can say the same word and not make it happen. I know that UMD is supposed to cover that, but based on Charisma? "I am totally going to talk this wand into doing what I want" doesn't strike me as a good plan. I have never managed to talk my car into working when it gives me trouble (kicking often works.)
At least psionics requires personal training and focusing of one's mind, or at least a special "unlocking" of the mind's potential. Sort of like how a fighter can carry heavy armor around because his body is trained and strong, a psion can focus their spirit/mind energy/what have you to create effects because their mind is more efficient and powerful.

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2007-04-30, 08:00 PM
Psionics are a consistent, balanced system with some delectable flavor.
I highly recommend making use of them in any game where they would be appropriate.

If you're looking for additional Psionics material (and you should be), don't bother with complete Psionic- instead, I advise Hyperconscious. It contains a number of wonderful new powers, some useful feats, and a baker's dozen of prestige classes that are mind-crushingly delicious.

Psionics is only an unbalanced system in the prescence of:
A. Extreme cheese.
B. The Emergent Problem/Power Creep.
C. Misinterpretation of the RAW, particularly as regards augmentation.

crazedloon
2007-04-30, 08:04 PM
Psionics is only an unbalanced system in the prescence of:
A. Extreme cheese.
B. The Emergent Problem/Power Creep.
C. Misinterpretation of the RAW, particularly as regards augmentation.

I agree with this sooooo much we had a psion in a campaign who did not read the rules thoroughly enough so he was throwing powers around with as many points dumped into it as he wanted (needless to say he ended combat quick)

AtomicKitKat
2007-04-30, 08:18 PM
I kinda dislike Psionics for the same reason I dislike Sorcerors. The whole "I R Teh SPESHUL!" aspect. That and they really don't look like the sort of classes you can just multiclass into out of the blue(unless you somehow went back in time and created an "accident" that unlocked your mind).

Wehrkind
2007-04-30, 10:20 PM
Well, I could see multiclassing into it the first time being "their powers suddenly manifested during stress." Sort of like how in the Marvel Universe most mutant's abilities pop up during adolesence out of the blue or when they freak out about something. Might be a fun thing to role play some occurance that happens between levels where the nascent psion suddenly unlocks his powers in a life or death situation, etc. Depends on the powers, but a creative player or DM can come up with some wierd stuff.
For multiclassing out, simply put it that they didn't focus on improving their powers, or did not get a breakthrough in their abilities. Once they put a new level in it, say they suddenly had an epiphany or other break through that allowed them to move forward in their skills suddenly.

Really, not a lot wierder than suddenly being able to cast arcane spells because "you were studying over the wizard's shoulder all this time."

As to being "special" I can see that. How special depends a lot on your world, for instance Dark Sun had pretty much everyone with some psychic power. Magic is sort of the same way in a lower magic setting, less like "science" like it is in Eberron, more like V in the comic "I am all powerful, bow to me!" sort of thing.

Aquillion
2007-05-01, 12:34 AM
One problem I always had with it is that the distinction between it and magic seemed artificial.

Seriously. Why aren't psionics magic? When a character suddenly breaks through and gains the ability to manifest psionic powers, why don't they think that they've suddenly manifested a new type of magical power, one coming completely from within? There's no reason why characters in the D&D universe would draw an artificial distinction between psionic abilities and magical ones--just like there's divine and arcane magic, psionics would look like a third 'flavor' of magic, one coming from within.

Psionics fit fine into the D&D universe if you assume that the characters see it as magic coming from inner spiritual or mental strength. The instant you try and draw a line between psionics and magic, though, you start begging the question--what is it?

Why, it's science, of course. But you can't say that, so you end up with meaningless gabbledegook and a system that doesn't fit into the D&D universe at all. Even if you say that psionic characters just somehow "know" that it is different from a new flavor of magic, even if they're somehow driven by an insane psychotic fanboy rage to maintain this distinction--if you look at the D&D world honestly, there is no amount of talking that any psionic character could do to convince anyone that what they're doing is non-magical. Likewise, every wilder out there ought to believe that they're a magic-using character; to do otherwise is, basically, metagaming.

Expecting people in the D&D universe to accept psionics as non-magical is like showing someone in our world a wristwatch and telling them it's powered by your diety; it should come across as a flatly, plainly absurd claim, and a psionic character who continues to insist that they're not a magic-user (at least, in any world where psionics are not common) should be met at first by laughter and eventually by anger ("He can't really think we're that stupid, can he?")

If you show someone in our world something fancy, they'll assume it's technological. Likewise, if you start moving things telekinetically in the D&D universe, as far as every commoner in the world is concerned, you're some new flavor of wizards. Real wizards might raise their nose at you and consider you a new flavor of sorcerer; even other sorcerers are likely to think you're a sorcerer. It's questionable whether Psions themselves would know that they're not magic-users, but everyone else should plainly see them as ones.

The distinction between psionics and magic in the D&D universe is completely artifical, dropped into people's minds from the 21st century by WoTC so that psionics fanboys can have the fun of being OMG DIFFERENT. If you look at it logically (and assume nobody 'magically knows psionics are different'), it's obvious that, as far as the D&D universe is concerned, Psionics are just another flavor of magic.

Psionic-magic transparency makes this even worse. The first time a Psion walks into an AMF and has their powers shut down, it's over. They will never, for the rest of their lives, be able to convince anyone who saw them get shut down by an AMF or similar magic-blocking effect they're not a magic user (probably a fancy flavor of sorcerer.) Honestly, they'll probably need regular autohypnosis checks to convince themselves that they're not a magic user. If you ignore the cute efforts to rename everything (imagine a psion here, constantly protesting in a shrill voice "Manifesting, not casting! I manifest my spel-- power! I meant my power, not my spells! I definitely do not cast them!"), and skip a bit of the fluff, WoTC seems pretty sure that they're magic-users, really.

In fact, they shouldn't be called psionics at all. The word, to our modern ears, implies a distinction against magic that, in the D&D universe, is simply absurd to draw. Call it spiritual power or mental strength or inner force or whatever and it fits in fine.

Ruik
2007-05-01, 12:51 AM
There's people in our world that believe that the mind is "teh win" so why would you find harder to believe the same in a fantasy world?I'm afraid there is no really good answer for you here. I just have issues with a heightened sense of awareness allowing you to make things happen just by thinking harder. But then again it might also be institutionalised, as i'm coming around to the idea, and actually considering playing a psion the next time I do play in a game. I also think it might be the fact that different people describe it differently. The best one i've ever heard was this one:


Psionics now... it is the power of self. It is a heightened sense of awareness to the point you can see and comprehend things that those of lesser mentalities cannot. This insight and intuition allows them to do their wonders.

A telepath, his mind picks up and broadcasts his thoughts so strongly that they can override those of the actual being. Or he might just understand so in depth his own psyche that he can adjust how own mind with his mind.
A psychometabolist is the same way, but with his body in general. He can control blood flow, super-speed up his metabolism to heal at a phenomenal rate, or even adjust his very DNA itself to metamorph.

A kineticist, he can use psionic energy to feel the very movement of air molecules themselves and exert this power to shake them up so hard they explode outwards. Or perhaps he uses it to lift you up or to alter the physical laws. He in effect has an extra limb that cannot be seen or detected, but capable of crude raw power or incredible finesse.

A psychoporter, he sees the world differently. He understands time and space and his position in it, allowing him to cross boundaries like another climbs a fence. He KNOWS the rules that govern his position in the universe.

Psions do all this consciously, wilders subconsciously, and psychic warriors instinctively. But what it boils down to is this heightened state of wareness, this fundamental understanding allows them to do incredible things through sheer force of will.

All things said and done, its actually easier for me to think about it in terms of magic, like the 'skill' from the Assassins trilogy ((Edit: or the Magician trillogy)), if you've read it. But yeah, just something about it seems a bit off.

Yahzi
2007-05-01, 08:07 PM
One problem I always had with it is that the distinction between it and magic seemed artificial.
Another way to look at it is that the similarity between sorcery and wizardry is artificial.

I think it's just as much metagaming to assume that sorcerers and wizards understand their spells are fundamentally identical, despite being learned and cast in entirely different ways.

These people don't have the source-book in front of them; their world is not reduced to a handful of easy-to-implement rules. From their point of view all of this stuff is not necessarily so cut and dried.

Wehrkind
2007-05-02, 01:18 AM
One problem I always had with it is that the distinction between it and magic seemed artificial.

Seriously. --A lot of stuff I think is true--

I definitely agree. I personally think psions should be considered "natural" mages, in that while mages twist their brains into popping magical effects by study and memorization, getting better at it as they practice, psions just "do it" without really trying at first, and learn to get better and better at is as they practice. Again, I consider {psions = sorcerors} to be a true statement. They just use different mechanics to the same end as far as I am concerned. All the new agey, crystal stuff is just WotC trying to convince you they didn't release two versions of the same class (which I personally would not have a problem with). Then again, I have no problem with a warblade, a fighter and a warrior all being "vikings" in game. Or a cleric calling himself a "paladin" or what not. As far as I am concerned, classes are just mechanics, and their face in game is just the character who can do certain things.

lord_khaine
2007-05-02, 01:40 AM
well one of the main points the psion can make to show why its not normal magic he does, is to refrain from jumping around waving his hands and throwing guano every time he wishes to invoke his powers.