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D&D 3E
If you were a DM running a magic-oriented game, what would be the… 
7th-Oct-2004 11:05 am
leonal
If you were a DM running a magic-oriented game, what would be the role of psionics? Plainly I see how they are incorporated into Eberron, but what about other games, other settings? Where does the psion fit in? The easy answer is to point out naturally psionic monsters, like the yuan-ti and illithids. But where does it reach the PC-level? How does Joe Dwarf learn to cultivate the hoodoo in his grey matter? And what's the stigma built up around all this? Are they loners? Is there a society with psionics instead of magic holed up somewhere? Or do they pass themselves off as mages to the ignorant? I know much of this is my choice as a DM, but I'm wondering what you folks use, or would use, should psionics be part of your campaign.

On a different note:
I'm hungering for character action, but don't have the time or inclination to join a game right now. Thus I'm looking for a D&D PC game, but which 3rd ed (I know there's not many 3.5 rules games out) game would you recommend?
Comments 
7th-Oct-2004 08:23 am (UTC)
My last campaign used the "psionics = magic" standard rule, and I presented it as the traditional magical tradition of one of the races. Members of other races could be psionicists of course, but they were rare and usually were no more than one "generation" removed from a master from that race.

In previous campaigns I've just removed psionics all together.
7th-Oct-2004 08:49 am (UTC)
In the game that I'm in, psionics are seen at best as outcasts and at worst as possessed or as demons, more likely to lean toward the later though I believe though I'm unsure of this. There isn't a large population of them in our game that's for certain. The party has only lightly touched upon the theories/ideas while we had to go rescue a hostage from a rogue group of psionics trying to fund their cause with ransom money.

On more of a personal character note: My ranger, since she doesn't have really any regard for religions other than something of the nature concept thus partically ignoring the demon idea. Though she is leaning toward the idea that psionics are just people/creatures that have naturally evolved skills or the like. But that's just her take. ^-^;
7th-Oct-2004 08:56 am (UTC)
It is important if there is psionics at all to decide how it reacts to magic. Does an anti-magic field stop it? Does detect magic detect psionics too? magical items?
7th-Oct-2004 09:22 am (UTC)
This campaign I'm starting in two weeks is the first one I've ever incorporated psionics into, and the story revolves are the mind flayers/githyanki and other psion-based creatures. I'm kind of worried. This is an interesting post, seeing how people are handling the psionic situation...because there's a lot of planar aspects incorporated in my game as well, though, I was going to treat psionics as just another planar mystery that has crept into the world, another thing that doesn't belong but somehow fits into the environment.
7th-Oct-2004 11:42 am (UTC)
Personally, I tend to ignore psionics when I can; it's a habit I've had since 2E, when psionics was this unholy complicated mess, and what I've seen of it in 3/3.5 makes it look like they mostly tried to recreate psionically active characters as 'a different breed of mage'.

And I'd personally suggests Neverwinter Nights Platinum edition for a PC D&D game. It's probably the closest you'll get without coding your own, and it comes with three complete campaigns, one from the original and two from the expansions.
7th-Oct-2004 03:41 pm (UTC)
first off, the PC games

if you can find Baldur's Gate 1 or 2 (with expansions of course) then do it

and as bonus, NWN lets you import your BG2 character

Icewind Dale...never played it, but plannin on findin a copy

Temple of Elemental Evil.....yes... they took the classic PC deathtrap and converted it to 3.5!

and coming next year....D&D ONLINE!!!!


ok.... now for the other question....
now Dungeon and Dragon magazines both posted articles converting Dark Sun to 3e....Dragon held the PHB rules, and Dungeon printed the DMG and some monster stats.... with a second article expanding on the monsters....(and yes i have all 3)

also, Songwind has a good point, that psionics could be seen as just a different form of magic......

me personally, i treat it as, magic might conjure up suspicions among the mundanes (even in a magic rich world) but anyone who can make things happen with just a thought (literally) could be a source of fear, admiration, loathing, hatred.......using a FR reference, in Amn, the city of Athkatla bans the use of magic except to those who are part of their "elite" or can afford to pay the bribes.....since psionics are not precisely part of the Weave, and therefore undectable by the Coweled Wizards, anyone caught using psionics would of course be sought after so they can find ways to detect it and possibly combat it (making any PC psionic hunted if found out)

it doesn't have to be that way however..it could be that the Psionics and the mages are in constant rivalry over who's better....it could be friendly, or it could be that people are finding body parts days afterward by smell....
8th-Oct-2004 05:21 am (UTC)
I've ran and played campaigns that treat psionics both as part of the Weave and as its own entity/system. Even when I played as psionics being on its own, I had some crossover, sort of like the Shadow Weave. There were penalties when crossing that line. Dispel Magic/Psionics worked, but at a -10 or -15 penalty. Spell/Psi Resistance was the same.

My current campaign has magic and psionics being the same (but Shadow is still different). One is simply formed from within. One could argue that Sorcerers are not all that different. They don't have to memorize spells. They draw their power from the raw energy of their personalities/souls. They still have verbal, somatic, and material components, but it is still not the "science" that Wizards use.

For a slightly different variation, look at Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed. Psionics are simply a "spell template".

All this focuses on mechanics. I'm guessing you want to get into philosophy and sociology. Again, my current campaign, psionics are just different kinds of mages. You might study to be an Illusionist, or an Evoker, or a Kineticist (type of psion). Yes, psionics are more "gift" (you can't learn powers), but you still need to cultivate and focus them.

In another campaign psionics were mostly hidden from the social view. Some areas/people saw them as taboo. Others simply didn't respect them. "That so-called mage doesn't even have to study a spellbook. That's cheating!"

If I were you, I would pick the theme and then make the mechanics fit.
11th-Oct-2004 06:27 am (UTC)
For Urbis, I've made it clear that no normal member of any of the common races ever displays psionic powers.

And this means that any member of the common races who does display psionic powers must have non-human ancestry, no matter how faint.

I've created a whole new psionic species for Urbis as substitutes for the yuan-ti (which I had to write out, since they are not in the SRD and I want to publish this setting one day). I'm rather pleased with them - they can not only be used as the classical "snake men", but also the Lovecraftian Deep Ones and any kind of human-animal hybrid (or even stranger combinations!). You can read about them here - scroll down to the "Surathi" entry...
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