Stuffed Crocodile

Mazes, Martians, Mead

New School Psionics

Blasphemy, I know.

I looked at the various versions of Psionics and Psion classes that are floating around the Internet and decided that no, I don’t want any of these. They either appeared too limited in scope or too complicated to integrate into a game that should be flowing without problems. What I wanted was… well… not a spellcaster again. But something that would work in a similar way I guess.

So, yeah, i went to the SRD and transported the 3.5 system over whole cloth, then I started to chisel it down until it looked like something I wanted to use. It now should work pretty close to the normal magic system while still maintaining a few interesting quirks of its own. I still think it might be a bit overpowered in higher levels, but from what I see until name level this barely should be a problem. And if one compares it to the higher levels of the magic-user it might even be underpowered. Although: I won’t know that until we play and someone decides to play one. Considering the normal class choices of my players that is not really likely. But for some reason it had to be in there.

What i don’t have so far is a Psychic Warrior class or a Soulblade. Both might be interesting options for a game, but I am not really sure if I want them in my game.

Which also is the same for gnomes. I don’t know why, but I just don’t like gnomes. Maybe if I make them more garden gnome like they might get better. And then when I also add a pixie class we can play Fairy Meat the RPG.

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7 responses to “New School Psionics

  1. micahblackburn March 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I’ve been hunting for a good OSR psionic system. I’d love to see what you’ve come up with. Do you intend to share it at some point?

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  2. Geoffrey March 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    The problem is that it is definitively not an real old school system. The whole system makes the psion into something akin to a magic user, just with a definitive psionic bent. And of coursse my players steered clear of it so far, so I don’t really know if it works yet.
    But yes, when it’s in a usable form I will put it up here.

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    • micahblackburn March 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      Let me clarify… I’ve been hunting for a system that [i]works[/i] with old school games. I don’t care really if it hews closely to the original psionics system or not. I’m certainly not concerned over whether it contains any psychic attack modes versus defense modes!

      Anyway, good luck with the system, and I hope to see it at some point!

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  3. Keith Davies March 5, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Have you looked at Green Ronin’s psychic system? You can find it in the Psychic’s Handbook and updated in the Advanced Player’s Manual. It’s rather more modeled on feats and skills than slots and points.

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  4. Geoffrey March 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    well, the problem is: i have to find a balance between stylistically appropriate and simplicity. I am not really going for a old school game here, instead I try to make a game that suits me. And at least some parts of 3rd ed. were not so bad. The Psionics system for example mmight be too close to a magic user, but it is so damn simple it hopefully will work out right.
    But I guess I will have to look at the Advanced player’s manual. Maybe the ideas in there are helpful.

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    • Keith J Davies March 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Summary: each psychic ability is a skill (buy up with ranks, etc) that may require a feat to be buyable. For instance, ‘Telepathy’ opens up the telepathy-based skills. They’re still crossclass for almost everyone, but there are psychic classes that allow them to be bought up as class skills. Using them causes strain (temporary hit point damage), depending what you do — force lifting a stick is less expensive than force lifting an X-Wing, and throwing either as a weapon will be more expensive than just lifting it. Sort of thing. Skill checks may be required in order to do the thing you are trying to do.

      If you want to simplify it — personally, I am done with skill points and skill ranks — you can probably get by with a level check (level + ability modifier? Possibly different modifiers for different psychic abilities?) to use the various psychic abilities. You could keep the ‘build as you go’ effect construction or just can up some standard effects and stop there.

      The latter choice might feel a little too much like spells though, so you might want to keep the effect construction… I don’t remember how fiddly it was to apply, it’s been quite a while since I looked at it closely.

      You might constrain the effects by level or ability score (“anyone can learn telepathy, but you must be (10th level and/or Int 17) to do this“). You might instead (or also) have each ability learned independently, if you want to limit how many things each character can do. Different psychics might have different psychic powers available, and you might see them at varying degree of training even if they have the same class and level. You might have different psychic classes, if you really wanted.

      I’m sure there are other simplifications that can be made. I’m pretty sure I know how I’d fit it to Echelon, but didn’t want to make this comment even longer.

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  5. Pingback: [Labyrinth Lord] Psion « Stuffed Crocodile

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