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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    I'm not sure how a 10th lvl wilder can get an epic feat either (improved overchannel). Unless she gets a bonus feat somehow?

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    IME, psionics can be game breaking, but only in no-op to low-op groups. With even an "average" level of optimization, psionics are less broken than Vancian magic.
    I regularly play a Thrallherd, and get accused of being a one-man party. Until I point out the fact that I do one thing well, and everthing else poorly (at best).
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    IME, psionics can be game breaking, but only in no-op to low-op groups. With even an "average" level of optimization, psionics are less broken than Vancian magic.
    I regularly play a Thrallherd, and get accused of being a one-man party. Until I point out the fact that I do one thing well, and everthing else poorly (at best).
    I'm not sure how many people you're going to convince with an example centering around Thrallherd.
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by mikau013 View Post
    I'm not sure how a 10th lvl wilder can get an epic feat either (improved overchannel). Unless she gets a bonus feat somehow?
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
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    Doesn't actually work by RAW though

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    I'm not sure how many people you're going to convince with an example centering around Thrallherd.
    And that's without actually taking my thralls adventuring. With less than full manifester (ML18 at 20th level). Of course, couple that with the (updated version of) Shadow Mind PrC (from the Mind's Eye web supplement) and I can almost keep up with an epic level Vancian caster.
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    I don't think psionics are either over- or underpowered; it's more that they don't really fit, mechanically, into the game. Psionics allow a character to basically become three or four levels more powerful during their first encounter of the day, at the cost of being near-useless during all the other encounters.

    D&D characters in general aren't supposed to be able to do that; the game isn't really designed with that possibility in mind. There's a limit on the amount of power a character expends per round, and psions are either way below it or way above it.

    I've seen it done right, though: Psions are equally matched when the DM insists on multiple encounters per day, and after a few fights the psion learns to conserve his power. But there are so many reasons why that might not be the case. Who fights four life-or-death battles in a single day, anyway? Soldiers on the front lines, and that's about it.

    I like the concept--truly, I do. It's got so much potential. But I think that without a little tweaking to prevent psions from going nova so dramatically, it's going to continue to cause problems for players and DMs alike.
    Last edited by Callista; 2012-02-10 at 08:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Callista View Post
    I don't think psionics are either over- or underpowered; it's more that they don't really fit, mechanically, into the game. Psionics allow a character to basically become three or four levels more powerful during their first encounter of the day, at the cost of being near-useless during all the other encounters.

    D&D characters in general aren't supposed to be able to do that; the game isn't really designed with that possibility in mind. There's a limit on the amount of power a character expends per round, and psions are either way below it or way above it.

    I've seen it done right, though: Psions are equally matched when the DM insists on multiple encounters per day, and after a few fights the psion learns to conserve his power. But there are so many reasons why that might not be the case. Who fights four life-or-death battles in a single day, anyway? Soldiers on the front lines, and that's about it.

    I like the concept--truly, I do. It's got so much potential. But I think that without a little tweaking to prevent psions from going nova so dramatically, it's going to continue to cause problems for players and DMs alike.
    Do they really nova any harder than a caster? Their limit on PP spent on a power equal to their manifester level caps that.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    But spellcasters can also use all their high level slots at first opportunity. I don't think there's much of a difference.
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Well for psychic warriors it is kinda true, since they gain only so few power points.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    And spellcasters also don't have to spend PP to make their powers level appropriate, or spend PP and blow psionic focus to use a single metapower effect with the PP spent still counting against their manifester level cap. Psionics has more things working against them on nova front than spellcasters do, really. In exchange, they get powers that you can dial back if necessary, and some powers that effectively become new ones when you augment them enough. Still generally weaker, barring certain shenanigans.

    And yeah, Psychic Warriors need a few more PP, honestly...
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    [A] Thrallherd [...] accused of being a one-man party.
    *snip*
    Isn't that the whole point? You're one brainy guy and a horde of minions!
    'cause, Wizards still do it better.

    Psionics is quite balanced, although certain powers need to be thrown under the bus (Quintessence, why do you exist!? ) because of other reasons.
    For some reason there's a crystal fixation in the whole books which resonates (no pun intended) poorly with me.

    Can a Psion be freakin' scary? Yes.
    More than a wizard? No.

    Example: People sometimes freak over "Psionic Magic Missile" also known as Mind Thrust. "1d10 damage!" they say. Of course, there's a Will Save and it offers spell resistance making it decidedly worse than Magic Missile. Oh, and it's Mind-affecting, one of the most common immunities .

    "Ah, but you can augment it! 20d10 for a level 1 power!" only that's the equivalent of a Wizard using a level 9 and a level 3 spell, only they'd both be stopped by a Lesser Globe of Invulnerability. Oh, and this is by 20th level, where every Wizard I've ever played threw around >40d6 Disintegrate spells.

    Is True Mind Switch something that makes me salivate and want to play a Telepath just on the off chance I get to a level where I get it and get to target someone with it (heck, I'd target a party member if I have to at this point).
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu_Bonkosi View Post
    Where is Psyren when we need him?
    From what I've read, there's not much more for me to say
    Even the "XPH Myth" was posted.

    I won't pretend that psionics is a perfect fit for every campaign though. One potential problem is that it's much harder to keep a psion from casting than a spellcaster; even a low-level psion can manifest while bound and gagged, or while grappled/pinned. This can easily have story ramifications. This includes manifesting from items - no psionic items are activated by speaking.

    But from a power standpoint psionics is fine. No stacking metamagic, no illusions, very limited summons, no necromancy. They merged Evocation and Abjuration, so Kineticists are much more useful than Evokers on a comparative basis.

    Psionics is stronger at a few things though - notably action economy, blasting. and divination.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terazul View Post
    And yeah, Psychic Warriors need a few more PP, honestly...
    If you find yourself running dry on your Psywar, try the Meditant PrC (see the handbook in my sig.) You can easily double your base PP each day, plus additional benefits like being able to hang out on the Ethereal Plane indefinitely and no longer needing to eat/drink.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-02-10 at 10:15 AM.
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    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Psionics are "very good" indeed.
    Not gamebreaking. The only concern is about the "action economy" that they can break with ease. But doing so will conume most of their resources, so it' not something to worry about

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Personally, the blaster use of psionics I feel to be much more useful than wizard blasters, primarialy because they can use their abilities with little hinderance. They can also change alot of their AoE's saves to fortitude if reflex isn't working.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    On the other hand, psionic blasting is really expensive. An 11th level Sorc who runs out of 5th 4th and 3rd level spells, he can still plink away with 2nd level Scorching Rays for the full 12d6. The Kineticist is still sinking 11-12 PP for the same output, the equivalent of the same 5th level spells that the Sorc ran out of 6-7 rounds ago. A properly built Sorc has way more endurance than a similar leveled Psion, especially with stuff like Residual Magic and a couple of choice Metamagic feats.
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jade Dragon View Post
    Psionics are not broken in any way, except for the TO tricks that arcane and divine casters have even more of.

    Some DMs think they're OP because they ignore AMFs and SR, but they don't since the default rule is psionics-magic transparency.

    Other DMs might think they're OP because they can change the effect of their Energy powers on the fly or have a number of points rather than certain spells, but that's not OP, just flexible, especially since the psionic classes are limited to a certain number of powers known anyway.

    Other DMs think they're OP because they can focus all their power points into a single power, but they can't, because you cannot invest more PP in a single power use than your manifester level.
    Maybe I've just had the unfortunate experience of playing with an ******* who optimizes way more than the rest of the party, or maybe its because he was using 3rd party psionic books, but my experience has been that psionics arent well balanced with the rest of the game. I've never seen a wizard with DR 20/+7 at levels well before 21. I've also never seen a wizard shape change into a dragon and get all of its supernatural and extraordinary abilities. I've also never seen a cleric who is able to make all will saves for the entire party. And I've never seen a wizard who was able to immediate action to give him self 400 more hp.

    I'd like to play a game with some psionics where they dont out shine the rest of the party, but I've never seen that happen.

    Like I said, its possible that he was pulling TO tricks, and it would have been just as stupid on a wizard, but even he admitted that he thought the Psion was the strongest character hed ever seen. I've had nothing but bad experiences with psionics.
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    Maybe I've just had the unfortunate experience of playing with an ******* who optimizes way more than the rest of the party, or maybe its because he was using 3rd party psionic books, but my experience has been that psionics arent well balanced with the rest of the game. I've never seen a wizard with DR 20/+7 at levels well before 21. I've also never seen a wizard shape change into a dragon and get all of its supernatural and extraordinary abilities. I've also never seen a cleric who is able to make all will saves for the entire party. And I've never seen a wizard who was able to immediate action to give him self 400 more hp.

    I'd like to play a game with some psionics where they dont out shine the rest of the party, but I've never seen that happen.

    Like I said, its possible that he was pulling TO tricks, and it would have been just as stupid on a wizard, but even he admitted that he thought the Psion was the strongest character hed ever seen. I've had nothing but bad experiences with psionics.
    Whoa... what books was he using, and what class was he?

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    I've never seen a wizard with DR 20/+7 at levels well before 21.
    Judging by that DR number, it sounds like you were playing 3.0. 3.0 psionics are indeed unbalanced and cannot be used to judge the proper 3.5 system.
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    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Yeah, he was using a lot of Mahlalvoc and Dreamscarred press books. 3.0 3rd party books. I begged the DM to not allow them, but they were bff's from highschool. He also pulled some messed up stuff on the party where he had the buff on us where he made our will saves, and then he would dominate us and intentionally fail the safe. He was an awesome guy to play with =/
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    Yeah, he was using a lot of Mahlalvoc and Dreamscarred press books. 3.0 3rd party books.
    Ah, that would explain it... very few third party books I have seen are balanced at all...

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    3.0 Psionics AND third-party? You may as well have used dandwiki, followed by flicking rubber bands at each other and giggling uncontrollably.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    Do they really nova any harder than a caster? Their limit on PP spent on a power equal to their manifester level caps that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    But spellcasters can also use all their high level slots at first opportunity. I don't think there's much of a difference.
    A level 9 psion with 20-27 in his ability has 22-36 bonus PP and 72 from class. If he has no way to use more than 9 PP at once he can hit with 9-10 top powers, and then he's done.

    A level 9 cleric with the same abilities has 3 level 5 spells, 4-5 level 4 spells, 5-6 level 3 spells, 6-7 level 2 spells, 7 level 1 spells, and 6 cantrips.

    So who runs out faster depends on just when you think the cleric is "out" if the cleric is "out" when he's out of level 5 spells, then the cleric is much less durable, level 4-5 spells, it's comparable, but the cleric is slightly less durable, level 3-5 spells, the cleric is better off.

    Now consider that level 2 spells can be used for significant buffs (or what level is rope trick again?). Or a level 1 arcane caster can still very reliably do 15-20 damage with level 1 slots at character level 9.

    The Psion CAN'T blow his wad on a single encounter unless he's violating action economy (which he can do), but he's more fragile than an vancian caster simply because the vancian caster is forced by the mechanics to have 28+ spells at mid level.
    Last edited by Doug Lampert; 2012-02-10 at 12:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    Yeah, he was using a lot of Mahlalvoc and Dreamscarred press books. 3.0 3rd party books. I begged the DM to not allow them, but they were bff's from highschool.
    If you're talking about Hyperconscious, those are some of the best-done supplements 3rd edition has. BFFsies or no.

    But it sounds like he was tacking them onto the broken 3.0 system, which would seriously be a problem.

    Edit:
    And on the specifics that apply to 3.5, the Psion has Metamorphic Transfer, but that's a super-limited version of the Assume Supernatural Ability feat available to the Wizard. The other things are pretty mediocre - the Psion can give itself 200 HP as a swift action in the same way and at a higher cost than the Cleric healing himself 200 damage as a swift action. And the Iron Mind's will saves ability is quirky unique, and hardly broken.
    Last edited by Manateee; 2012-02-10 at 12:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    3.0 Psionics AND third-party? You may as well have used dandwiki, followed by flicking rubber bands at each other and giggling uncontrollably.
    This might be my favorite thing I've read on these forums to date. lol
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    3.0 Psionics AND third-party? You may as well have used dandwiki, followed by flicking rubber bands at each other and giggling uncontrollably.
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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    I always get embarrassed when people ask me that, but go ahead.



    Anyway, I had a write-up on the Pros and Cons of both Magic and Psionics floating around somewhere, I'll see if I can find it.

    Do note though that Psionics has more support throughout 3.5 than most people realize, especially with regards to prestige classes. The adaptations tend to be overlooked because they are both buried (typically in a sentence right at the end of the PrC entry) and usually vague (often little more than "Hey, we think it would be okay for you to homebrew this if you want.") For instance, almost nobody mentions the Psionic Chameleon, despite that being a very interesting PrC option (read the adaptation here or in RoD.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Ok, Thank you Psyren! I look forward to reading thru that Pros and Cons list!

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Well, Psionics aren't really broken. Psionic characters trade the big number of choices for ''power points'', that give them great versatility.They also have a non-magic basis, which makes them particularly hard for a DM to fit 'em in a magic dominated world. My party has a psion and our DM let him say that he has an ''alien'' ancestor, and so he developed some UFO powers :P, so there''s no need to include all these hard and strange psionic rules. As regards power, they just need more healing abilities :D


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    Last edited by averagejoe; 2012-02-11 at 12:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Psionics: Good, Bad, or Gamebreaking

    Quote Originally Posted by MysticMind View Post
    They also have a non-magic basis, which makes them particularly hard for a DM to fit 'em in a magic dominated world.
    All you have to do is say, "I'm magic!" and you're good.

    It's REALLY easy enough to fluff them as racial spell-like abilities, or as mind magic, or as sorcerer abilities (and all the fluff THAT implies). You just have a slightly more efficient way of casting your spells (in that they don't need goobley-gunk, silly little dances, or a rousing rendition of "I'm a Little Teapot").

    Basically, it follows the majority of non-D&D fantasy books' version of magic REALLY closely. At least, the books I've read.
    Last edited by Rubik; 2012-02-10 at 02:17 PM.

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