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Thread: Psionic Bias?

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    Default Re: Psionic Bias?

    Well, to start with, you read the power wrong. Death Urge only forces the target to make 1 attack which auto-crits, not a coup de grace. It's single target, and mind-affecting, which means it's worthless against groups of enemies, can't hurt undead/constructs/plants/oozes, and unless it's a humanoid with a high-crit weapon, it's not really doing anything except wasting its turn giving itself minor injuries...monsters with a single, powerful natural attack are relatively rare compared to ones with a multiattack routine.

    DC25 on a 4th level power means +12 from stats/feats, because he can't augment it at all yet. If he spent his move action every single turn on Psionic Meditation to recharge Greater Psionic Endowment to spend on Death Urge, he still needs an Int stat of 30+ to reach DC25+. That Int 30 also happens to be giving him 35 extra power points, almost as much as he gets from his class levels alone.

    Psions don't have class features, only bonus feats..and stretching to meet what you said was the minimum DC, I've spent 60% of the character's entire feat allotment (50% if human). Wilders are sorcerers who stab themselves in the face more often as they gain levels, and soulknives...yeah.

    At the risk of exaggerating slightly, you're telling us that every time you've seen someone drive a sports car, they managed to hydroplane it all the way across a lake. While this is theoretically possible, it's far more statistically likely that your case is exceptional than that all sports cars can routinely drive across lakes and we're all just driving wrong.
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    Look. I don't have the kind of photographic memory to reproduce someone ELSE'S character build from a game several years ago, not that I would insist on looking at their entire build anyway.

    It doesn't really matter that much, it's just my experience. I don't expect to play any more 3.5 D&D anyway, and if I do, I can just pick out the Psionics like nuts in ice cream.

    If Psionics work for you, great. They've never worked worked much too well in any game I've ever been in, and despite numerous attempts from the very same friends who played said Psionic characters to give them another chance, every single time they've managed to break the game. 1 or 2 times I could attribute to someone going overboard with their character or a misinterpreted rule, but 5 separate times with separate classes, players, and DM's each time?

    Anyway, I've spent a little too much time in this thread reminiscing about the parts of old games I wish I could forget, so I'm done here. Hopefully, playing a 4e Battlemind/Monk will redeem psionics in my eyes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscipleofBob View Post
    Look. I don't have the kind of photographic memory to reproduce someone ELSE'S character build from a game several years ago, not that I would insist on looking at their entire build anyway.

    It doesn't really matter that much, it's just my experience. I don't expect to play any more 3.5 D&D anyway, and if I do, I can just pick out the Psionics like nuts in ice cream.

    If Psionics work for you, great. They've never worked worked much too well in any game I've ever been in, and despite numerous attempts from the very same friends who played said Psionic characters to give them another chance, every single time they've managed to break the game. 1 or 2 times I could attribute to someone going overboard with their character or a misinterpreted rule, but 5 separate times with separate classes, players, and DM's each time?

    Anyway, I've spent a little too much time in this thread reminiscing about the parts of old games I wish I could forget, so I'm done here. Hopefully, playing a 4e Battlemind/Monk will redeem psionics in my eyes.
    Except psionics doesn't work like that. It's not the system's fault that someone is either Doing it Wrong or has an Intelligence score somewhere in the mid-30s.

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    i suspect that the psion was using the 3.0 feats psionic focus and greater psionic focus which, as far as i'm aware are not 3.5 legal. with those you would get a +4 total to all powers from one discipline. but even then it would hard to get such a high dc. at 7th level at best you might have is a 21 int if you started with an 18 and grabbed a +2 headband, its a 4th level power so total of 23 dc there (10+5int+4power+4greater psionic focus), hell assume a +2 int race and you can push it to 24. however, this is using a broken, non legal pair of feats and super optimized for DC. that same 7th level psion with the +2 int race would have 67 power points which means approximately 10 fully augmented powers a day, which is good, but that would it, 10 rounds of combat and you useless. sorry dude, but i seriously suspect that someone was playing fast and loose with the rules or just didn't understand something. with very exceptions the dc for almost any power is 10+ability bonus+(pp spent minus 1 divided by 2), there are VERY FEW feats that increase dcs and pretty much all of the 3.5 legal ones require expending psionic focus which in turn requires an additional feat if you want to use it every round (and a good concentration too since the dc to regain focus is 20).

    i'm playing a relatively well made psion with a less broken, house ruled version of normal psionic focus (+2 to dcs of 1 discipline, but must permanently bar 2 disciplines) and the best DC i'll be able to manage at level 7 will be 21 in my chosen discipline and 19 in others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscipleofBob View Post
    Look. I don't have the kind of photographic memory to reproduce someone ELSE'S character build from a game several years ago, not that I would insist on looking at their entire build anyway.

    It doesn't really matter that much, it's just my experience. I don't expect to play any more 3.5 D&D anyway, and if I do, I can just pick out the Psionics like nuts in ice cream.

    If Psionics work for you, great. They've never worked worked much too well in any game I've ever been in, and despite numerous attempts from the very same friends who played said Psionic characters to give them another chance, every single time they've managed to break the game. 1 or 2 times I could attribute to someone going overboard with their character or a misinterpreted rule, but 5 separate times with separate classes, players, and DM's each time?
    It just seems impossible. Like those who claim monks are overpowered.
    Either the guy waas optimized while the rest of the party wasn't or there is no way he had that high of DCs.

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    Lessee...He would've been about 7th level, so let's see how far the DC for death urge can be pushed with rather silly amounts of optimization for one single power.

    14 (base DC) + 9 (Starting Int 20 + 1 lvl + 3 age + 4 animal affinity) + 1 (Illithid Heritage + Illithid Compulsion feat) + 2 (Psionic Endowment + Greater Psionic Endowment) + 1 (telepathy psionatrix).

    That equals a DC of 27, and it's as high as I can get it without going way outside a 7th level character's reach, basically pouring the entire character's resources into it.

    If that's what he did, this was NOT low optimization.

    Wizards can do worse, since by that level they can basically castrate you with no save at all. At least a nat 20 (and protection vs mind-affecting) can save you from death urge. Then again, it's a single weapon attack. Unless you can throw yourself over a cliff/in lava/in acid, it's likely you'll survive.
    Last edited by Lycanthromancer; 2010-04-03 at 10:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    How do verbal and somatic components make something feel less like magic...?
    Perhaps you should ask WotC themselves, In the Lost Empires novels, true magic (i.e. learned from the Nether Scrolls) works without components of any kind.

    In fact, the fluff is that the various components - and even Vancian forgetfulness! - were instituted by Mystra to purposefully limit mortal magi.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscipleofBob View Post
    1 or 2 times I could attribute to someone going overboard with their character or a misinterpreted rule, but 5 separate times with separate classes, players, and DM's each time?
    How would we know? You can't even remember exactly what the player(s) in question did.

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    It's also a sad fact of life that the players most likely to explore Psi are the players most likely to overshadow their peers no matter what they play, because they're the ones, y'know, exploring options and using splatbooks and teaching themselves the rules behind things.

    It's easy to find Wizards played by people who have no clue how to make a good Wizard, but players who crack open psi are more likely to really use it well. This may contribute significantly to perceptions of overpoweredness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    Lessee...He would've been about 7th level, so let's see how far the DC for death urge can be pushed with rather silly amounts of optimization for one single power.

    14 (base DC) + 9 (Starting Int 20 + 1 lvl + 3 age + 4 animal affinity) + 1 (Illithid Heritage + Illithid Compulsion feat) + 2 (Psionic Endowment + Greater Psionic Endowment) + 1 (telepathy psionatrix).

    That equals a DC of 27, and it's as high as I can get it, basically pouring the entire character's resources into it.

    If that's what he did, this was NOT low optimization.

    Wizards can do worse, since by that level they can basically castrate you with no save at all. At least a nat 20 (and protection vs mind-affecting) can save you from death urge. Then again, it's a single weapon attack. Unless you can throw yourself over a cliff/in lava/in acid, it's likely you'll survive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolmorph View Post
    Wait, what?
    The +9 is the bonus from a high Intelligence, which started at 20, with +1 from level-ups, +3 from age, and +4 from animal affinity. Ergo, an Int score of 28, with a +9 modifier (which is what was added).

    Sorry if that wasn't clear.
    Last edited by Lycanthromancer; 2010-04-03 at 10:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    The +9 is the bonus from a high Intelligence, which started at 20, with +1 from level-ups, +3 from age, and +4 from animal affinity. Ergo, an Int score of 28, with a +9 modifier (which is what was added).

    Sorry if that wasn't clear.
    I believe his disbelief stemmed from the fact that somehow animal affinity helps boosts the save DC for a psionic power, as mine does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    I believe his disbelief stemmed from the fact that somehow animal affinity helps boosts the save DC for a psionic power, as mine does.
    Why shouldn't it? +4 Intelligence is +4 Intelligence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    I believe his disbelief stemmed from the fact that somehow animal affinity helps boosts the save DC for a psionic power, as mine does.
    It does when you're using it to sub for a Headband of Intellect, exactly as a Fox's Cunning would, since a +4 item is very nearly all of a level 7 character's standard wealth.

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    From animal affinity:

    "If you choose to increase the ability you use to manifest powers, you do not gain the benefit of an increased ability score long enough to gain any bonus power points for a high ability score, but the save DCs of your powers increase for the duration of this power."

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    The confusion is over the fact that the power has the same name as Animal Affinity, which is one of the skill feats in the PHB. It also is a psionic power that boosts ability stats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    The +9 is the bonus from a high Intelligence, which started at 20, with +1 from level-ups, +3 from age, and +4 from animal affinity. Ergo, an Int score of 28, with a +9 modifier (which is what was added).

    Sorry if that wasn't clear.
    When I saw "Animal Affinity", I though of the feat, rather than the psionic power. I just checked the SRD, and noticed it.

    EDIT: I got ninja'd explaining my own statement. Woah.
    Last edited by absolmorph; 2010-04-03 at 11:08 PM.
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    ...People use the skill feats in the PHB?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    ...People use the skill feats in the PHB?
    I happen to like screwing around with Handle Animal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    ...People use the skill feats in the PHB?
    Yes, this confuses me also.

    Quote Originally Posted by absolmorph View Post
    I happen to like screwing around with Handle Animal.
    Oh deer dear.
    Last edited by Lycanthromancer; 2010-04-03 at 11:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by absolmorph View Post
    I happen to like screwing around with Handle Animal.
    Red Mage, is that you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    ...People use the skill feats in the PHB?
    If you want CR 16 dino's as pets at level 3? Yes, yes you do.

    Plus, I've always overlooked that power, and the feat is in the PHB, so simply by virtue of me looking through that book more, I know it better. I had a moment of confusion as well when I saw that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    Yes, this confuses me also.

    Oh deer dear.
    I see what you did there ;)
    I had a link to Bubs the Commoner (by sonofzeal) in my signature for a while, because it was my favorite kind of optimization: the kind that involves dinosaurs is just kinda silly and not "let's break the game!" Although, involving dinosaurs was a nice bonus...

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    I love how every person that ever comes and says "Psionics are overpowered" always conveniently forgets everything about psionics because "it was such a long time ago, in a galaxy far away" or something. It's like the friend of a friend stories; you know which ones I'm talking about?

    I had a guy in OpenRPG proclaim 3.5 SRD/EPH to be the hax. He kept demanding they were broken. Couldn't explain why. In fact, I haven't seen anyone who adamantly opposes them actually explain why. This is DOUBLY so in the case of people making claims such as "they powerfully overshadow everyone" or "are unbalanced next to wizards and sorcerers" and so forth.

    I've debated it on the Paizo forums before as well. It was just a few people that adamantly shouted that Psionics were broken/overpowered and just expect people to take their word for it. Then when people who actually know what they're talking about because they weren't playing it a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away but in fact regularly playing with this rule system; who then proceed to show the math behind not only why their claims are impossible, but actually show just how far they can go; only for them to suddenly butt-hurt about someone showing evidence.

    But yeah, until someone can actually come show me how their friends or neighbors, or great uncles, aunts, DMs, friend of a friend, that guy down the street who doesn't talk much, or anyone else actually does these game-breaking un-stoppable things; I'm going to assume they're lying; because all evidence I've seen suggests the opposite and they're still not producing counter-evidence.

    =====================================


    As to the rest of the topic...

    Mechanics for mechanics sake is in fact very worth it. Mechanics are there for the fluff - not - the other way around. If a mechanic works better for something that that mechanic was worth making. Why continually try to patch something to force it to do something, when you have a better system? Why try to make a cube roll when you could use a wheel?

    Fluff-wise, the 3E/3.5 psionics never bothered me. Crystals are to real-life psions as magic-circles are to real-life mages. To be more precise; in real life people have or do believe that you can draw a magic circle and call forth a spirit or demon, bind it within a triangle so it cannot merely leave the circle and go back whence it came, and engage in a contest of ego to force the entity to serve you. D&D be damned; because that's actually accepted in a number of esoteric circles and has roots in real life belief.

    (Whether you can or cannot do those things is irrelevant, merely that it is/was believed that was how it worked and it was used to flavor our RPGs.)

    Psionics? Well, check this out. A lot of "real-life Psions" (like there were real-life sorcerers, diviners, and so forth), regardless of the existence of their abilities or not, believe that crystals (especially quartz) is capable of holding psionic energy, imprints, mental programs or constructions, emotions, and so forth. They can be used as meditation tools, or batteries, or tools to focus your abilities or power.

    Humorously, such things tie into magic as well. For example, different types of gemstones in esoteric traditions have different traits which assist in magical workings, or psionic focus, or whatever. Also wood. For example, in some traditions, Oak is considered to have healing properties, while other types have other uses. Both magic and psionics both discuss ethereal/astral travel or out-of-body consciousness or awareness.

    Diviners, sorcerers actually (if memory serves), often used rocks and crystals to use their divining magic; or throwing bones or dice or other exotic tools; or let themselves gaze into something that distracts or dulls the physical senses; such as a crystal ball, a pool of water, or a black mirror.

    Effectively, the fluff for psionics in 3.x is fluff based on esoteric traditions in real-life; just as magic in D&D is based on esoteric traditions, stories, legends, and beliefs. Thus they never bothered me before; and I didn't consider it to be some sort of weird fetish. Less so than Incarnum actually (a great excuse for using blue ink-cartridges almost exclusively when printing their book ).

    Then again, as noted, fluff is entirely mutable and changeable. One of my favorite aspects of the psionics system is actually because of how versatile it is and how it can be used to describe such a wide range of abilities.

    The DMG itself discusses re-fluffing magic items and the like; using enchanted fruit, tablets that you break, or balms you apply instead of potions for example. As long as the mechanical aspects remain the same, there is no problem. One could have a carved oak necklace that functions as a cognizance crystal (3 PP), or pearl of power (2nd level).

    The psionics rules can equally be used to describe a monk's Chi/Ki/Qi/Prana; a sword-mage's magic while wielding a sword and a shield; a telepath touching the minds of those around him; the destructive power of a sorcerer's wrath; and so on and so forth. The system doesn't limit players in their creativity.

    The fact you don't have to produce some bat poo to fling or similar thing allows you to fluff your own stuff like you want it. Sure, you could re-fluff material components but you can't remove them without changing the way the core magic system works. You have to jump through hoops to make core-magic fit different concepts that you can splash psionics into and run with it.

    The psionics system is simpler to learn. I've got players who've been playing 3.5 for at least 3 or 4 years each. They still get mixed up with stuff like bonus spells, or dealing with spells per day, and so forth; and explaining it to newbies is always a fun little exercise in patience.

    Whereas in Psionics, it is incredibly easy to understand. You have a single number (your power points) which you spend on your powers (costs 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17) to manifest. Bonus points? Oh, you get 1/2 your key modifier * level. So if you're a Psion with a +2 intelligence, you get +1 PP/level. Done.

    Learning to augment? Well, that too is easy. Augmenting is optional, but it's something you should learn if you're playing with the system (unless you want to play characters more like warlocks with near-infinite lesser powers - which is actually do-able and is nice in lengthy games). Most powers that augment increase the power similar to rising in caster level, and follow standardized formulas (most of the fireball style powers scale at 1d6/PP, and the DCs increase by 1 every 2 PP). Ultimately, learning how to augment your powers takes all of 5 minutes tops and can usually be taught during play. Finding out more unusual augments (such as psionic charm's ability to affect more creature types for more power) is given in the power description, and is no more complicated than getting an extra scorching ray at X level.

    Example: 2nd Level - DM "Well, since you're 2nd level, you can spend 2 PP to deal 2d6 damage if you want to." - Player "Oh really? Sweet!". 3rd Level - DM "Well since you're spending 2 more PP, you get to increase the save DC by 1." - Player "Oh really? Sweet!", 10th level - Player "OK, I'll spend 9pp to manifest for 9d6, and it's a DC 18 save for half." - DM "Sounds good. Ok, roll that beautiful bean footage."


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    Default Re: Psionic Bias?

    Yeah... What Ashiel said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolmorph View Post
    ... Do you mind if I sig this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    Go for it.
    Sweet, I got rid of that big empty white space, and replaced it with a quote that highly amuses me.
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    I happen to like screwing around with Handle Animal.
    Red Mage, is that you?
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    A week ago, I didn't know who you were. Now I know: you're the BEST PERSON EVER.
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    Default Re: Psionic Bias?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Glyphstone View Post
    Well, to start with, you read the power wrong. Death Urge only forces the target to make 1 attack which auto-crits, not a coup de grace. It's single target, and mind-affecting, which means it's worthless against groups of enemies, can't hurt undead/constructs/plants/oozes, and unless it's a humanoid with a high-crit weapon, it's not really doing anything except wasting its turn giving itself minor injuries...monsters with a single, powerful natural attack are relatively rare compared to ones with a multiattack routine.
    Well, in fairness, Death Urge does the following:

    1) Damages an enemy
    2) Prevents an enemy from damaging allies
    3) Prevents an enemy from hindering allies

    As for DC 25, you only need 11 from stats/items at level 7. If you can boost ML to 11, you need 9. Not easy, but not impossible.

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    Default Re: Psionic Bias?

    didn't olo once obliterate himself involving aptitude shenanigans because of death urge?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    didn't olo once obliterate himself involving aptitude shenanigans because of death urge?
    Yep.Additional text.
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