Expanded Psionics Handbook

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Ken Hart
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Expanded Psionics Handbook

Post by Ken Hart » Tue May 11, 2004 8:59 am

Anyone take a look at this? I've flipped through it, although I haven't bought it yet (at a list price of $34.95, I'm waiting for the right moment, lest I risk the wrath of The Wife!). What I have seen, however, looks promising.

Psions now have many more powers and Power Points at their disposal, putting them on a more even footing with arcane and divine spellcasters. The disciplines are no longer linked to particular ability scores, which is good and bad: It's good in that, even though you must still specialize in a discipline, you have a much wider range of powers to choose from. (I was frustrated that my psion in an online RPG, a teleportation specialist, can't take any good telekinesis powers because he has a Con score of 10.) It's bad in that it seems to take away from the uniqueness of each psion.

The rules for psionic combat have changed (again!), but I haven't reviewed the new system yet. I just wanted to see if anyone has formed early opinions.

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Post by goodmangames » Tue May 11, 2004 4:36 pm

I haven't checked it out yet... but it's on my list for when I finally finish DragonMech and have some more free time! :)
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Post by Mr. Author » Thu May 13, 2004 6:26 pm

There is no more psionic combat! None!

Soulknife is now a base class, as is the Wilder, your "get all DBZ on their asses with the screaming and the exploding of things" class. Powers are augmentable, meaning you can spend more power points to make them do newer and cooler things, and of course, there are a ton of new feats.

What irks me: all the anti-psionic stuff. There are feats in here that completely hose the psion, and you can't take them if you're psionic yourself. Wizard and Sorcerer players would be screaming bloody murder if every time they cast an enchantment spell on someone, they'd have to make a save or take 2d6 damage, or had to spend TWO spell slots instead of one to actually affect somebody. Why do this to psions? Pisses me off. Rather, I'd have liked to see these "feats" in a psi-hunter prestige class.
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Post by Ken Hart » Sat May 22, 2004 7:13 pm

Agreed, although I can see a possible reason for these feats if the DM is following the optional "Psionics are different from magic" rule, which can give psions a distinct advantage in a campaign where magic is prevalent and psionics are rare. It would keep some psions from getting carried away with themselves, but yeah, a psi-hunter prestige class is the better place for them.

The augmentable power is probably my favorite change, based on what I've skimmed. I have a psion PC in an online game, and my signature power is dissipating touch, which in 3.0 always does 1d8 points of damage, no matter how many Power Points I have or what level I've reached. To be able to use points to boost the damage is, well, cool! :D

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Post by Argamae » Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:45 am

I think the (new) psionics handbook is worth the money. But then again - if you're an owner of the "old" handbook then you should consider spending your money on other stuff.

I agree with Mr. Author and Ken Hart with respect to the "anti-psi" feats. They suck.

What I would like to see is a cool, unique campaign world that makes heavy use of psionics. Or maybe uses psionics as the sole "magic" in that world. You know, the kind of stuff DARK SUN tried it's hands on.
Or is there already a "psi" world (fantasy) for D20 out there?
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Post by Jeff LaSala » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:41 am

Well I have to step into this thread (old as it is, wow!), since I'm a bigtime fan of 3.5 psionics (3.0, too, but it definitely improved with the Expanded book).

The one adventure I have in Adventure Begins is a psionic-flavored one, and I sure as heck would love to see more psionic representation in the DCC line. But then, truthfully, they're not that oldschool—only go back as far as 2nd edition, don't they?
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Post by Mike_Ferguson » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:52 pm

Jeff LaSala wrote:But then, truthfully, they're not that oldschool—only go back as far as 2nd edition, don't they?
Sorry, young grasshopper ... you're too young to remember old school. :)

Psionics were indeed included in 1st edition AD&D. There were a completely disjointed mess compared to the rules used today, though. I seem to remember hearing that Gygax hated the whole concept, but somebody else (Dave Arneson, maybe?) liked them, so they were shoved in the very end of the Player's Handbook almost as an afterthought.

They certainly didn't fit in very well with the rest of the game; that's probably why I've never really liked psionics very much - too many bad memories from 1st edition. I keep meaning to give the 3.5 version of psionics a serious try, but still haven't gotten around to it. Yet.

I was also never a big psionics fan simply because it just seemed like an alternative magic system - not enough differentiation between the end results of most "regular" magic spells and psionic abilities for my taste. Has that changed with 3.5?

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Post by Jeff LaSala » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:59 pm

I have been humbled. Thanks, Mike. :)

Personally, I think psionics is definitely more than just an alternate magic system. They don't use slots, they use a point system that works very well for it.

Not that we should debate power level, but punch for punch, psions definitely have the advantage over sorcerers and wizards because of this power point system, but they burn out much sooner. Personally, my favorite types of psions are the less flashy ones anyway, the ones not really as comparable to arcane spellcasters (telepaths, etc.).

They do bring a different feel to the table. I feel. :?
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Post by Jeff LaSala » Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:50 am

By the way, Mike: what was the first book to feature psionics? Now I'm really curious.
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Post by Mike_Ferguson » Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:39 am

Jeff LaSala wrote:By the way, Mike: what was the first book to feature psionics? Now I'm really curious.
Psionics first appeared waaaaaaaaay back in 1976, in the original D&D supplement Eldritch Wizardry. Also where druids and demons first showed up. Here's a link to the Acaeum page that talks (briefly) about it:

http://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/setpage ... ments.html

Happy 30th Birthday, Psionics. :)

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Post by Argamae » Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:49 am

Psionics first appeared waaaaaaaaay back in 1976, in the original D&D supplement Eldritch Wizardry.
Bwahahaha... I just took a quick look at the page you mentioned... and man - they had a really cheesy Eldritch Wizardry cover with a naked female on an altar, ready to be sacrificed! *sigh*... those were the rpg days of less political correctness and much more "sensual stimulation"! :twisted: :wink:
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Post by Jengenritz » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:31 am

What burns me is that I used to have both that and the Blackmoor book, long ago. They were given to me by my great-uncle who got me started in D&D, and as a foolish kid I ended up losing/destroying them.
Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....

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