Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 Running the Realms
 Vilhon reach and psionic development
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 3

Evrat
Seeker

France
45 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2017 :  05:12:37  Show Profile Send Evrat a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hi every one.

We all know the fate of the Jaamdath Empire, my question is more related to the remaining of the psionic lore in Vilhon Reach.

Of course there is the Yuanti, Ilithid and Duergars hidden behind the thrones and in theUnderdark.

But, what is the legacy for the humans ?

The Art is not very liked in Chondath, but what about the Invisible Art ? Especially in the human king down of Chondath and Turmish. Any hidden academy ? Group of influence ?

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6930 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2017 :  12:37:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, this is something I had not considered the other day when someone was asking about this area and mages being unaccepted. This might have some influence, in that maybe mind mages don't like wizards in the area..... and maybe they mentally influence folk to shun them?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3851 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2017 :  14:11:02  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have two opinions on this.

The first is that the psiocracy of jhaamdath was not a nice regime at the end. It was at odds with its own people and its neighbours. Also the tsunami was catastrophic enough to wipe out two whole nations (with only a small remnant of jhaamdath remaining in the mountains in the north). I think the capital was right in the middle of the tsunami so it was likely annihilated.
I think it likely that psionics was concentrated in the nobility and nobility concentrate in the capital so when the tsunami hit psionics was mostly wiped out.

As jhaamdath was an oppressive regime it is likely the psions were not well liked by the survivors. They were possibly hunted as the survivors may have blamed the psions for the war with the elves. That is possibly why psionics is spread out because the psions fled the vilhon (to impiltur for example).

Then there is the fact that most people probably would not understand a distinction between psionics and magic (in fact i make no such distinction myself, for me psionics is the jhaam word for sorcerer and is just a specialised branch of magic - mind magic. Ed called psionics wild talents and in the volos guides there are wild talents who have the ability to cast spells without training, these were regular wizard spells not psionic powers).
So if a regular person or even a king cannot distinguish between a psion and a wizard then the attitudes are probably the same and so will the treatment be.

In short. In my game psions are just sorcerers. They are treated the same as other magic users wherever they go becausr the only difference is the type of spells they can manifest.


I think the powers come from the bloodline of jhaam himself. Since the powers are specialised in a form of mind magic i would suggest that jhaam was actually a creature that had inherent mind magic powers or was the human offspring of such a being. I wonder what creature could inherently use mind magic. Perhaps Auppenser was Jhaam's sire and is said to slumber now because that is a known trait of such creatures able to inherently use mind magic. Use mind magic, sleep for ages, are nearly immortal.

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6930 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2017 :  15:54:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I have two opinions on this.

The first is that the psiocracy of jhaamdath was not a nice regime at the end. It was at odds with its own people and its neighbours. Also the tsunami was catastrophic enough to wipe out two whole nations (with only a small remnant of jhaamdath remaining in the mountains in the north). I think the capital was right in the middle of the tsunami so it was likely annihilated.
I think it likely that psionics was concentrated in the nobility and nobility concentrate in the capital so when the tsunami hit psionics was mostly wiped out.

As jhaamdath was an oppressive regime it is likely the psions were not well liked by the survivors. They were possibly hunted as the survivors may have blamed the psions for the war with the elves. That is possibly why psionics is spread out because the psions fled the vilhon (to impiltur for example).

Then there is the fact that most people probably would not understand a distinction between psionics and magic (in fact i make no such distinction myself, for me psionics is the jhaam word for sorcerer and is just a specialised branch of magic - mind magic. Ed called psionics wild talents and in the volos guides there are wild talents who have the ability to cast spells without training, these were regular wizard spells not psionic powers).
So if a regular person or even a king cannot distinguish between a psion and a wizard then the attitudes are probably the same and so will the treatment be.

In short. In my game psions are just sorcerers. They are treated the same as other magic users wherever they go becausr the only difference is the type of spells they can manifest.


I think the powers come from the bloodline of jhaam himself. Since the powers are specialised in a form of mind magic i would suggest that jhaam was actually a creature that had inherent mind magic powers or was the human offspring of such a being. I wonder what creature could inherently use mind magic. Perhaps Auppenser was Jhaam's sire and is said to slumber now because that is a known trait of such creatures able to inherently use mind magic. Use mind magic, sleep for ages, are nearly immortal.



Yeah, I'm not fond of this. I'd actually see psionics go more back to its roots as it was presented in 2e and not the presentation it got in 3e where it was basically duplicating wizard spells. They should be more physically combat oriented, capable of wearing armor, and instead combining their effects WITH combat. Their "spells" should never have mass area effects like wizards, and their strength should lie in their ability to stealthily perform their actions when they need to. They don't need an arcane focus like a wizard or sorcerer, or some holy symbol like a cleric, etc... They don't need to wave their hands in the air. I would almost go so far as to say that all of their combat effects should be able to be cast as bonus actions, but that they be extremely weak compared to other spellcasting.

For instance, a psionicist might be able to psychokinetically enhance the speed and density of a weapon as they swing it. They may be able to excite the surrounding air to produce heat, electricity, or cold. They may be able to harden their own skin temporarily. They may be able to slow down weapons coming at them by increasing the density of the molecules in the air around them. A psychometabolist might be able to modify chemicals in the air to generate a poisonous vapor.

These abilities could all be the rough equivalent of some cantrips, and psionics should get a LOT of these "cantrips". But, some of them should be chosen for them. For instance, maybe all of them should have the equivalent of mage hand, message, friends, and blade ward, and maybe something like a lesser version of vicious mockery that's a simple psychic assault. However, they should have very few effects of higher power. Specifically, anything that involves healing, magical transportation, etc... should be more of a spell slot used effect (and perhaps they would be better with powers like a warlock wherein they have a certain number of spell slots between short rests).

In describing the above, I would also note that it makes sense to still have two "types" of psions... one being more focused on psionics (and having more disciplines of higher level available) and the other being a mix of warrior and "ninja". I don't see a need for a class that specifically is a warrior and another that summons psychic blades. The two can easily be combined. The difference between the "psion" and the "warrior psion" if we used the "warlock" mechanic for spell slots could be as simple as the psion having more such slots of higher level than the warrior psion.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page

Evrat
Seeker

France
45 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2017 :  16:34:37  Show Profile Send Evrat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even if it's not related directly to my Timeline (my current time is now 754 DR), I found this conected to Psionic and Turmish

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Hands_of_the_Glade

http://www.realmshelps.net/charbuild/classes/prestige/psionic/sangehirn.shtml

and this

http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/frcc/20070703

Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30988 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2017 :  16:48:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Evrat

But, what is the legacy for the humans ?

The Art is not very liked in Chondath, but what about the Invisible Art ? Especially in the human king down of Chondath and Turmish. Any hidden academy ? Group of influence ?



With the Jhaamdathi wiped out, and the deity of psionics nearly dying, I think that psionics became something of a lost art among the humans of the area.

I would expect that there are a number of human psionicists in the area, but they mostly keep their abilities to themselves. Partially because psionics are easily hidden or disguised as something else, and partially because no one would want to be associated with the yuan-ti or the other psionic nastybads.

When I was working on my Realmsified warforged stuff, one of my ideas was for contructs forged using psionics and later hosting the minds of their creators. Eidelar were specifically intended to be NPCs who could be psionic mentors or sages on Jhaamdath, and their design means that any eidelar encountered could be former citizens of Jhaamdath.

The write up is here: Living Constructs of the Realms, part 3: Eidelar.

The full discussion of that and my other two warforged flavors is here: Living Constructs of the Realms: Wooly's Warforged

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 09 Dec 2017 16:50:12
Go to Top of Page

Evrat
Seeker

France
45 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2017 :  16:57:23  Show Profile Send Evrat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, I found your article yesterday. Already added to my collection
Go to Top of Page

BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
315 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2017 :  01:40:48  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been steadily adding psionics lore to the wiki. Though I haven't gotten much into specifics yet, it's a good overview:
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Psionics
The lore all agrees that the Vilhon Reach has a higher occurrence of wild talents, thanks to both the legacy of Jhaamdath (old ruins with wild psionic zones leaking energies) and the modern influence of yuan-ti (through interbreeding and experimentation).

Unfortunately, the sources don't say too much about modern psionics in the Vilhon Reach, despite its reputed high prevalence (higher than normal anyway). Most of the lore pertains to Jhaamdathan ruins. But here's what there is on modern human psionics:

Wizards & Rogues of the Realms says human wizards of Hlondeth have psionic wild talents, owing to yuan-ti taint and manipulation.

There's the proposed emergence of Elan in the Reach, related here:
http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/frcc/20070620

And the Hands of the Glade in Turmish, as you found.

Generally, as most people can't tell or care for the difference, attitudes to arcane magic are applied to psionics. So, where wizards are disliked, so too are psions. On the other hand, where psionics is well known like in the Vilhon Reach, people tend to be more suspicious. So it's lose-lose for psions. But as manifestations can be suppressed, I think careful psions can be much more subtle and pass unnoticed.

BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
Scientific technical editor
Head DM of the Realms of Adventure play-by-post community
Administrator of the Forgotten Realms Wiki and Candlekeep Wiki
Go to Top of Page

BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
315 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2017 :  09:38:14  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and the House of Serpents trilogy has its main character learning psionics from a yuan-ti in Hlondeth, so it ought to be worth examining.
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/House_of_Serpents

BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
Scientific technical editor
Head DM of the Realms of Adventure play-by-post community
Administrator of the Forgotten Realms Wiki and Candlekeep Wiki
Go to Top of Page

Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1234 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2017 :  16:15:47  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Jhaamdathi Bladelords legacy is ruined, but not inaccessible. Their mastery of the psionic arts created new avenues of psionic specialization, such as psychic warriors for which in my realms the Jhaamdathi bladelords are the origin. Much of the psychic warrior powers are based on those developed during the disciplinary structure of the Jhaamdathi military, and use the mental focus brought to bear by the reputedly expert swordsmen of this psionic empire.

There are no known schools left to teach this art, but some chondothan masters of arms still use drills and katas that can trace their origin back to the bladelords psionic martial arts routines. Ed has described (in fiction and on these boards) some swordsmen that seem to have supernatural powers like perfect balance (jumping from windows onto flagpoles onto the floor 50ft beneath), or superior fortitude (surviving impalement). Some of these swordmasters might be wild talents, who through rigorous training of old bladelord techniques might have unwittingly accessed dormant ancient psionic powers.

Perhaps there are still some bladelord psychic warrior schools left as some bladelords managed to flee from the tsunami, but they usually wound up far from the Vilhon Reach and have assimilated into the local populace over millenia. A psychic monastery might have been able to pop up if enough of the psychic martial art was preserved in this process.


Several ruined submerged sites (the Twelve Cities of the Sword and the Capital Naarkyloth) are found of the coast of Chondath and under the waves of the Vilhon Reach. It is mentioned some burial sites on higher elevations seem to have survived the tsunami, but the weathering of time has all but obscured most of its inscriptions on how to access them.

According to the GHotR the Udoclian, the biggest center of learning for the Invisible Art, was in lost Naarkyloth. I suspect the ability to build Udoxia could be found in the powerstone archives in its halls, but the city supposedly unknown deepsea location is infested with phrenic sea monstrosities able to bear the water pressure, psionic traps and gestalt psionic ghosts filled with remorse.

The Jhaamdathi emperor was a Metamind, so I ascribe this psi power point hungry technique as developed by the psions of Jhaamdath too. By experimenting with surgical skull enlargement and psychic surgery they found out a way to 'overclock the mind' and get access to massive reserves of psi power. This psychic technique has secretly survived the empires destruction in some more arcano-ethically free enclaves such as the Arcane Brotherhood in Luskan, Red Wizards of Thay and the House of Serpents in Hlondeth in my Realms.

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
Go to Top of Page

VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
319 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2017 :  23:28:48  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


Yeah, I'm not fond of this. I'd actually see psionics go more back to its roots as it was presented in 2e and not the presentation it got in 3e where it was basically duplicating wizard spells. They should be more physically combat oriented, capable of wearing armor, and instead combining their effects WITH combat. Their "spells" should never have mass area effects like wizards, and their strength should lie in their ability to stealthily perform their actions when they need to. They don't need an arcane focus like a wizard or sorcerer, or some holy symbol like a cleric, etc... They don't need to wave their hands in the air. I would almost go so far as to say that all of their combat effects should be able to be cast as bonus actions, but that they be extremely weak compared to other spellcasting.

For instance, a psionicist might be able to psychokinetically enhance the speed and density of a weapon as they swing it. They may be able to excite the surrounding air to produce heat, electricity, or cold. They may be able to harden their own skin temporarily. They may be able to slow down weapons coming at them by increasing the density of the molecules in the air around them. A psychometabolist might be able to modify chemicals in the air to generate a poisonous vapor.

These abilities could all be the rough equivalent of some cantrips, and psionics should get a LOT of these "cantrips". But, some of them should be chosen for them. For instance, maybe all of them should have the equivalent of mage hand, message, friends, and blade ward, and maybe something like a lesser version of vicious mockery that's a simple psychic assault. However, they should have very few effects of higher power. Specifically, anything that involves healing, magical transportation, etc... should be more of a spell slot used effect (and perhaps they would be better with powers like a warlock wherein they have a certain number of spell slots between short rests).

In describing the above, I would also note that it makes sense to still have two "types" of psions... one being more focused on psionics (and having more disciplines of higher level available) and the other being a mix of warrior and "ninja". I don't see a need for a class that specifically is a warrior and another that summons psychic blades. The two can easily be combined. The difference between the "psion" and the "warrior psion" if we used the "warlock" mechanic for spell slots could be as simple as the psion having more such slots of higher level than the warrior psion.



I'm right there with you on your feel for the "flavor" of the psion as a class. It's a huge oversimplification, but I tend to think of Jedi/Sith for inspiration. Some are more martially focused, like a Darth Maul or Mace Windu, for example(s). They concentrate primarily on the psychometabolic disciplines to enhance their combat. Others like Yoda or Emperor Palpatine choose to follow a less physical path and instead develop their telekinetic/telepathic/energy manipulation abilities. But regardless, they are all one class and can do the same stuff, it just depends how they spend/slot their points. I grant them all light armour (leather/hide) and proficiency with all simple weapons, and a few exotics as well depending on their school. I like Sleyvas' idea of them simply using their psi powers to enhance the speed/power of a swing, increase their own durability, etc. Like a fighter that uses a host of mini-feats every round based on the situation.

Years and years ago I really struggled with Psionicists as a class, I just couldn't find the right vibe for them. Then the Jedi Knight thing just sort of hit me during a conversation with my college roommate, who was a huge Star Wars fan. It just feels like the right flavor fit, for me anyway. Even the look is perfect, robes or a loose, open cloak with a hood. Sub out Darth Maul's dual-bladed lightsaber for a quarterstaff with some kind of energy burst property, it just works in my mind. I hate the idea of "mind mages" and having them function just like sorcerers with a different spell list. Ugghh.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 10 Dec 2017 23:33:11
Go to Top of Page

Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
186 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  15:24:02  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bladelord? I had the impression the Lost Empires of Faerun book mentions a political role, not a D&D class per se. More, they is described as noble psions and psychic warriors forming a ruling body (s. 120). Any source for a class or prestige class, or hints of techniques?
Go to Top of Page

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3851 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  15:50:19  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What is so bad about making the psionicists little more than a magic using class.
I made a magic user class that encompasses all types of other magic using classes. After all a class is just an abstraction of a fantasy archtype, why do we need separate and special rules for each.

A wizard uses strange and magical powers to form effects, a sorcerer does the same, a priest does the same, a psionicist does the same.

The power point things seems to be the only thing people are really stuck on and that is something any magic user should be able to do (expend more magic for greater effect) so why not just have a single class that covers them all. Then psionicist is just a name and its all more simple and abstract and doesnt pollute the lore with class mechanics (the rules should never affect the lore)

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
459 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  17:53:51  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me psionics is just another way of using Weave used originaly by Batrachi (aquatic creator race) and it remain in use by their progeny - Krakens, Kuo-Toa, Ilithids, beholders, Phaerim, ...
Jhaamdath was a second grand experiment of ilithids from Oryndoll after Duergars.
So in my version it is not tied to blood or location and knowledge of it was mostly washed away. There may still exist some groups using this knowledge but they are avoiding notice at large.
There is also a great amount of ghosts who can teach it in the area.

I like the twist with jedi :-)
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30988 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  18:00:12  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

What is so bad about making the psionicists little more than a magic using class.
I made a magic user class that encompasses all types of other magic using classes. After all a class is just an abstraction of a fantasy archtype, why do we need separate and special rules for each.

A wizard uses strange and magical powers to form effects, a sorcerer does the same, a priest does the same, a psionicist does the same.

The power point things seems to be the only thing people are really stuck on and that is something any magic user should be able to do (expend more magic for greater effect) so why not just have a single class that covers them all. Then psionicist is just a name and its all more simple and abstract and doesnt pollute the lore with class mechanics (the rules should never affect the lore)



Because psionicists can do things regular spellcasters can't do. Magic and psychic abilities are not the same thing, even when they mimic each other.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3851 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  18:18:39  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is there really something one can do with psionics that you cant do with magic. Is there an example. I often see psionics and spells do roughly analogous things with the occasional difference. They summon monsters, they alter their own bodies, they communicate over long distances, they hurl energy. Is there an example of what one psionicist can do that a wizard cant


By having separate classes we then have separate rules and we have to define who is which class and the rules start to muddy the lore.


Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30988 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  19:12:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, a lot of powers that psionics get do not mimic spells, and they do not require components, and they will function in dead magic zones.

By having separate classes and separate rules you have character classes that are distinct and different from each other. You may find an advantage to having all characters able to do all things, but that's not a game I'm going to be interested in playing.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3851 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  19:47:24  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have classes that allow every character to be unique, the class only broadly defines what a character does. Any further distinction results in class bloat like 3.5.

Im pretty sure there were feats that allowed a wizard to cst spells without components. As for dead magic areas, has there ever been a noted instance of a psionicist casting a power in a dead magic area, if not then what does it matter. I wouldnt be surprised if there was a feat to allow wizards to cast in dead magic areas and the PGTF seemed divided on whether it treated psionics as different to magic or the same (using the variant rules in the psionics handbook).

As far as the people of faerun are concerned its probably all the same. Its like having a separate skill for chondathan language and illuskan language, if you can learn multiple languages in the end the specific language doesnt matter (like when you learn to program, they all do the same thing, just ever so slightly different)

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30988 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  20:30:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What does it matter? You're the one who wanted to know what psionicists could do that wizards couldn't do. If the answers don't matter to you, don't ask the questions.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6930 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  20:35:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


Yeah, I'm not fond of this. I'd actually see psionics go more back to its roots as it was presented in 2e and not the presentation it got in 3e where it was basically duplicating wizard spells. They should be more physically combat oriented, capable of wearing armor, and instead combining their effects WITH combat. Their "spells" should never have mass area effects like wizards, and their strength should lie in their ability to stealthily perform their actions when they need to. They don't need an arcane focus like a wizard or sorcerer, or some holy symbol like a cleric, etc... They don't need to wave their hands in the air. I would almost go so far as to say that all of their combat effects should be able to be cast as bonus actions, but that they be extremely weak compared to other spellcasting.

For instance, a psionicist might be able to psychokinetically enhance the speed and density of a weapon as they swing it. They may be able to excite the surrounding air to produce heat, electricity, or cold. They may be able to harden their own skin temporarily. They may be able to slow down weapons coming at them by increasing the density of the molecules in the air around them. A psychometabolist might be able to modify chemicals in the air to generate a poisonous vapor.

These abilities could all be the rough equivalent of some cantrips, and psionics should get a LOT of these "cantrips". But, some of them should be chosen for them. For instance, maybe all of them should have the equivalent of mage hand, message, friends, and blade ward, and maybe something like a lesser version of vicious mockery that's a simple psychic assault. However, they should have very few effects of higher power. Specifically, anything that involves healing, magical transportation, etc... should be more of a spell slot used effect (and perhaps they would be better with powers like a warlock wherein they have a certain number of spell slots between short rests).

In describing the above, I would also note that it makes sense to still have two "types" of psions... one being more focused on psionics (and having more disciplines of higher level available) and the other being a mix of warrior and "ninja". I don't see a need for a class that specifically is a warrior and another that summons psychic blades. The two can easily be combined. The difference between the "psion" and the "warrior psion" if we used the "warlock" mechanic for spell slots could be as simple as the psion having more such slots of higher level than the warrior psion.



I'm right there with you on your feel for the "flavor" of the psion as a class. It's a huge oversimplification, but I tend to think of Jedi/Sith for inspiration. Some are more martially focused, like a Darth Maul or Mace Windu, for example(s). They concentrate primarily on the psychometabolic disciplines to enhance their combat. Others like Yoda or Emperor Palpatine choose to follow a less physical path and instead develop their telekinetic/telepathic/energy manipulation abilities. But regardless, they are all one class and can do the same stuff, it just depends how they spend/slot their points. I grant them all light armour (leather/hide) and proficiency with all simple weapons, and a few exotics as well depending on their school. I like Sleyvas' idea of them simply using their psi powers to enhance the speed/power of a swing, increase their own durability, etc. Like a fighter that uses a host of mini-feats every round based on the situation.

Years and years ago I really struggled with Psionicists as a class, I just couldn't find the right vibe for them. Then the Jedi Knight thing just sort of hit me during a conversation with my college roommate, who was a huge Star Wars fan. It just feels like the right flavor fit, for me anyway. Even the look is perfect, robes or a loose, open cloak with a hood. Sub out Darth Maul's dual-bladed lightsaber for a quarterstaff with some kind of energy burst property, it just works in my mind. I hate the idea of "mind mages" and having them function just like sorcerers with a different spell list. Ugghh.



As I wrote that, the Jedi is what I was picturing. Since "mind mages" or "psions" can do things without all the "drama" needed by other mages, my feel is that what they can do should all be "simpler" and not as powerful. Exactly like a Jedi too, their mind abilities should be enhancing their physical skills if they are more warrior than scholar. But, even the scholarly psion, I don't want to see them effectively hurling anything akin to a fireball. Maybe they can channel a line effect like a lightning bolt or a line of fire or a short range burst around themselves.... but they shouldn't be wizards who just don't have to move their hands and talk.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6930 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  20:58:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

What is so bad about making the psionicists little more than a magic using class.
I made a magic user class that encompasses all types of other magic using classes. After all a class is just an abstraction of a fantasy archtype, why do we need separate and special rules for each.

A wizard uses strange and magical powers to form effects, a sorcerer does the same, a priest does the same, a psionicist does the same.

The power point things seems to be the only thing people are really stuck on and that is something any magic user should be able to do (expend more magic for greater effect) so why not just have a single class that covers them all. Then psionicist is just a name and its all more simple and abstract and doesnt pollute the lore with class mechanics (the rules should never affect the lore)



The psion thing is more than just they use power points versus spell slots. The big thing is that they do so automatically without having to use their hands, have a spell components or an arcane focus, or speaking. So, you take a wizard and you tie him up and he's got issues. Same with a cleric. Now, a sorcerer MAY have the ability to make a spell to where they don't need verbal and somatic components in 5e, but they still need either materials or an arcane focus.... and in order to do even that, they need to do something special as in spend sorcery points and have the metamagic option of subtle spell.

The psion just automatically doesn't need any of those components. You can tie up a psion, gag him, and strip him naked.... two minutes later he's telekinetically untied himself... or maybe he just zaps into your head and has you untie him, and then has your friend slit your throat.

And its not just you can tie them up. They can be magically held/frozen in a block of ice and just still use their mind. They can be swimming under water/in a cloud of poison where they need to hold their breath, see something and just use their psionics. They can be stuck climbing a steep cliff or climbing a rope and just use their psionics. They don't have to worry about some thief stealing their components or spellcasting focus.

This is why psionics is different and why I say it should not be like a mage. They should have simple powers, but easy to activate. Yes, maybe they do some "upper level spell slots", but I think the days of yesteryear of trying to track "psionic points" should go away. The idea of having them work their upper level spell slots like a warlock works very well. They just should never have any spells above say 4th or 5th level and they should be limited to those which fit their theme, and they should be defined by their type of discipline.

In the end, what I'm describing, it mechanically looks a lot like a 5e eldritch knight, but with a wider selection of effects and possibly weaker cantrips at the start but getting war magic earlier. I'd say probably using that as a basis, but not giving more than two attacks ever might work for the psychic warrior type. In exchange for some of he abilities of the eldritch knight giving some kind of "jedi" like abilities would work (maneuverability, etc...).

For the more scholarly psion, I'd say similar things, but with something akin to a warlock's ability to "shape" effects that they know, such that they get some kind of area effects, but not great, at the expense of being less focused on melee.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 11 Dec 2017 21:13:09
Go to Top of Page

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3851 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  21:18:51  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are spells without any components (not many) and as you pointed out sorcerers do not necessarily need the extra components; it is a natural part of them as it is with a psionicist. The material components may be just how they have learned to cast so that the cost for them is lower in terms of points (sorcery points or psionic points). There is many options that allow the sacrifice of health to remove components, mayhap that is applied to material components as well.

It just doesn't seem enough of a distinction to warrant a whole new class and all the messiness that goes with it. They do cool mystical weirdness, maybe different types of cool mystical weirdness but cool mystical weirdness nonetheless. If there is a prestige class that allows for wizard and psion to be mixed then that just supports the difference being unimportant.

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
319 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  21:35:14  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What messiness?

Why have a paladin class (holy warrior) when you could just split levels between warrior and cleric? Why have a ranger when you could just make a druid with a greater focus on hunting and fighting? Why have classes at all? It's so messy, just call everyone "adventurer" and let them level up with a pool of points to allocate as they want. I'll put 5 points in swordplay, 6 in heal magic, 2 in lightning bolt, and 4 in disarming traps.

While that may work, and perhaps very well, in some systems, it doesn't fit my D&D sensibilities. Paladins and Rangers are iconic components of the D&D experience. And while you could argue (and I'd consent) that the Psionicist is one of the lesser icons, it's still been around for a long time (Supplement III in 1976). The definition given of psionics is: Psionics are a form of supernatural power that are similar to, but distinct from, arcane and divine magic. It's hard to call it the same class when everything about their "casting" mechanics as well as the energy source they pull their power from, is different.

Not all wheels need be reinvented. Calling a psionicist a "mind mage" and having done with it is like calling a thief a "sneak fighter".


**EDIT** Sorry to the OP for the mega-derail

Edited by - VikingLegion on 11 Dec 2017 21:37:29
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30988 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  22:09:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

It just doesn't seem enough of a distinction to warrant a whole new class and all the messiness that goes with it. They do cool mystical weirdness, maybe different types of cool mystical weirdness but cool mystical weirdness nonetheless. If there is a prestige class that allows for wizard and psion to be mixed then that just supports the difference being unimportant.



By that token, there should be no difference between paladins, fighters, barbarians, rangers, bards, and thieves. They all swing a sword. Maybe with different types of swinging a sword, but it's all swinging a sword.

So let's just take all the "messiness" out of the game. Either you swing a sword or you don't. And flip a coin to decide if you hit. That clean enough for you?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6930 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  22:36:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Yes, a lot of powers that psionics get do not mimic spells, and they do not require components, and they will function in dead magic zones.

By having separate classes and separate rules you have character classes that are distinct and different from each other. You may find an advantage to having all characters able to do all things, but that's not a game I'm going to be interested in playing.



The all characters are doing the same thing was the rules for 4e....

Good point on the dead magic zones. I actually agree with that from 2e more than the 3e magic/psionics interact.

One other option that should be available easily to psionicists is the ability to concentrate on more than one thing. They should be able to automatically "split" their mind to the point of being able to concentrate on multiple things (maybe even 3 or 4 effects). So, that could be another really nice thing for psionicists in 5e (granted, I put in rules that wizards, etc... can take to have more concentration... but they have to BUY that ability at the expense of losing something else..... I view psions as being to do this naturally).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6930 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  23:42:30  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK, now my mind is stuck in rule development of this for 5e.

you know, I was saying giving them weaker cantrips would be the way to go in comparing them to the eldritch knight. Quite possibly, maybe specifically defining WHICH cantrips a psion gets from the start might be better. I'm thinking maybe one of their base cantrips be a telekinetic one that enhances their combat ability. Maybe it just adds 1d3 damage by making a weapon swing faster and/or grow more dense (or maybe offer one of three different options... denser bludgeoning... sharper piercing... faster slashing.... so they're good with one specific type of weapon damage). Then at 5th level this increases to 1d8.

I think giving them little cantrips that are reactions and bonus actions would work well. For instance, a reaction cantrip that gives them advantage against mind affecting spell saves. Maybe a reaction cantrip to give them a mild bonus to AC if attacked (say +1 and increasing to +2 later). If unlike the eldritch knight they had like 8 cantrips to choose between, but none extremely powerful, it could be interesting. For instance, one cantrip might be "double offhand attack".... so you use the cantrip as a bonus action, you use your attack action to make two weapon attacks, and the cantrip lets you make two offhand weapon attacks instead of one even though you have no bonus actions left....

maybe one cantrip is "psychic weapon" and you essentially create a "glowing single-handed or light weapon appearing to be made of light". Later maybe you can make it two-handed, a double weapon, or two separate weapons. This weapon would not be your primary though unless you choose that path (give some options... maybe later you get advantage to hit against anyone in metal armor). Somebody else may just stick to real weapons, but he's able to surround them with fire, cold, lightning...

Hmmmm, now I really feel like writing this up. I wonder if someone's already done this... Maybe there's a variation of monk in that new xanathar book, let me look.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2018 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000