Psionic Ability Descriptions Chapters 3 to 7 of book Psionic Blast attacks on non-psionic opponents from first edition rules. All you need is brainpower, discipline, and The Complete Psionics Handbook. Some players favored psionic powers; others found them confusing. Now psionics is back by popular demand, and it's better than ever.
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Mother Fucker! Complete Psionics Handbook by homeless poster. I vaguely remembered that my adolescent gaming group never really grasped all of the rules in the Psionics Handbook, and we basically treated it more or less like being a wizard but having to spend mana to cast spells as opposed to going by the Vancian system.
It turns out that my youthful ignorance may have created a more streamlined system that what author Steve Winter slapped together. However, Steve Winter promises us that this book isn't just a rehash of those old rules that sucked; instead he's tripled the number of existing psionic powers, re-categorized the new power list in a way that's user friendly and easy to use, condensed a redundant psionic power point system into something more manageable, and streamlined the game mechanics of psionic powers to work essentially the same way as the wonderful 2E non-weapon proficiency system.
Steve Winters posted:. So it is not unreasonable to ask, "Does the game need a third type of magic? Did you read the summary for this chapter I wrote for the alternate title? That's it. Why wasn't this instead included in the chapter that covers the telepathy school Chapter 7 Steve? The entirety of chapter 2 exists to detail precisely what happens when you attempt to use the telepathy school of powers against an unwilling target.
I can only wildly speculate that Steve Winter wanted to publish his own RPG entirely focused around psionic spies who battle by mind controlling each other but couldn't find a publisher, and yet somehow got lucky enough to be given carte blanche to write the psionics rules for TSR's flagship brand. Defense modes are gained passively through leveling like most every other class feature, but Attack modes are exclusively Telepathy powers that you can only learn by selecting the Science or Discipline that corresponds to the Attack mode when you gain a level and are given a limited number of powers to choose from.
Not to be outdone, the Defense modes have literally NO utility outside of psionic combat, and still have an associated failure chance; it'd be like if a fighter's armor had a flat percentage chance to just not fucking function, at random during a given round. Here's what's supposed to necessitate all this ridiculous horse shit - Guy A wants to use a telepathy power on Target B.
In order to use any of the other powers from the telepathy school, you first have to use the contact power, which is basically like asking someone permission to root around in their noggin. But, if Target B is a fellow Psionicist, then Guy A and Target B get to engage in a battle of wills that will surely bore the other players at the table to tears, take entirely too long to accomplish what a single roll could resolve, and ultimately prove to be of little point given what piss poor utility the actual powers a psionicist has access to produce.
Both psychic combatants roll their power checks and the winner is the person that rolls the highest will still rolling under their actual power score. Ties go to the defender, and a character that only engages in psychic combat can make two attacks in one round because there has to be some kind of saving grace to this shit I suppose. Every successful attack gets the victor one "finger" into the defender's mind, and once you've got three successes you've managed to force their mind to accept your contact so that you can then attempt to do to them whatever you wanted to do in the first place.
Or, you could just disintegrate their skull, but hey don't let me tell you how to have a good time. Now, why would you ever want to do this? Well, what if you're a Psionicist and you need to sneak past the sole guard to get into the goblin king's treasure horde, but oh no, it turns out the guard is also a psionicist? No big deal, you might be thinking, I'm a telepath who knows the invisibility devotion, I'll just disappear and walk right by that chump!
Well, not so fast there friend. See, the psionic devotion invisibility doesn't function like the equivalent mage spell of the same name, oh no. Instead, the invisibility devotion works thusly: The Complete Psionics Handbook, page 86 posted: Psionic invisibility differs significantly from magical invisibility.
To make himself invisible, the psionicist must individually contact each mind that he wants deceive [sic]. Once they are all contacted, he makes himself invisible to them only.
He can still see himself, as can anyone who was not contacted. Invisibility is a delusion affecting one or more select characters, not an illusion affecting everyone. The only real change occurs in the mind of the psionicist's targets. Chapter 3 sets the standard for the next six chapters by listing in alphabetical order the powers associated with each of the schools of Psionics. As previously mentioned, the schools are broken into Sciences and Devotions, where Sciences are supposed to be your bigger, more powerful abilities that get shit done, and Devotions are more like your minor cantrips that might be situationally useful but aren't a great power in every circumstance.
You can't successfully manifest any kind of power without first succeeding at a power check. If you fail your check you don't manifest the power but you still have to spend half of the total number of PSPs that would have been required for a successful manifestation; ostensibly this is to prevent Psionicists attempting to manifest something infinitely until they are successful because we don't want them to approach parity with clerics or mages remember.
Initial Cost - As above, the cost paid after a successful manifestation. Half the cost is paid even if you fail. The maintenance cost is paid relative to the length of time that a power originally lasts for, so a power that lasts for one round normally has to pay a maintenance cost every subsequent round whereas powers that have a longer base duration say a whole turn pay maintenance costs less frequently.
Range - How well each power can convey a believable performance given a variety of different dramatic material. Prep Time - Tells you for how long a Psionicist has to spend powering up DBZ style, complete with multi-hued auras and needless grunting, before actually being allowed to attempt to manifest a power. Fail to manifest a power that had a three round warmup? Hope you got three more rounds to power up all over again!
Area of Effect - No surprises here. Prerequisites - A ham fisted method of trying to gate off low level psionicists from immediately choosing the most awesome of psionic powers. Functionally this barely limits what a starting psionicist has access to, so Steve took the extra step of making most powers completely pathetic in order to prevent psionicists from overshadowing mages and clerics in terms of utility. I'm not even sure why rolling a natural 1 should punish you because I'm fairly certain that a natural 1 is the lowest you can roll in a roll under system.
Alright, now that we're on the same page here, I'm going to go through all of the Sciences and Devotions for each of the schools. It's like Steve knew these were so shitty he didn't even bother to gate them off.
Using this power lets a Psionicist learn either a target's alignment or experience level, but not both at once. Also, you can't be subtle when you manifest this power because you have to scrunch your face up really hard and furiously glare at your target s , so even non-psionicists can definitely tell you're doing something bizarre. This is all literally written in the power's description. Clairaudience - Project your mind to a distant location and hear everything happening as if you were actually present at that location.
The big draw here is that both this power and the next Clairvoyance list an additional difficulty table you incorporate into the power check based on how far away the location you're trying to listen to is relative to you. Clairvoyance - As above, but seeing not hearing. Still allowed to peek into the bedroom of some hideous being from the far realm, as long as you aren't trying to peak into an unspeakable horror's bedroom on GreyHawk. The better your power check, the more info you find out at once.
You can only scan a given item once per experience level, because it'd be way too OP to allow a guy to learn both the race AND sex AND age of the last person to touch a sword.
This power also takes one round to fire up, because it would be literally game breaking if you could read an object's aura at the same speed with which you can read a living thing's aura.
You describe a specific course of action to the DM and then depending on how well you roll, he may or may not give you some indication of how that specific course of action might turn out. Of course the DM isn't under any obligation to make sure that what he just told you correlates with what actually happens, and if you don't describe a precise enough sequence of events, the DM is given permission to completely bullshit you.
Also, once you use this power, you are so tired that you can't use any other Clarisentient powers for ten whole rounds.
Everyone fucking loves the "mother may I? Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions : You can tell if events occurred in the past that left strong psychic impressions in the 20 yard radius from which the power originates. What effect this has, if any, on actual game play is left completely up to your imagination. The book makes sure to tell you that you might learn about someone getting married, or having an argument, or having a baby in the area though.
The psionicist's understanding of these events is supposed to be murky at best, making me seriously question why this power was even included. This doesn't make a ton of sense because the ghost isn't stated to be holding a vessel capable of functioning as a magic jar, and monsters in the MM don't generally have a listed WIS score so it's hard to calculate what the Psionicist's penalty to their save imposed by magic jar would be.
Based on my interpretation of how the magic jar spell functions, I think Steve was trying to explain that an angry ghost materializes and immediately attempts to take over the Psionicist, but he couldn't really come up with an eloquent way of indicating that and just kind of went with the path of least resistance.
I'm aware that 2E Ghosts had the magic jar spell listed as a combat ability in the MM, but it isn't super well explained there either. All-Around Vision - The character can see in all directions simultaneously, which prevents anyone from successfully sneaking up on the character, unless the sneaking character has some kind of concealment. Because tower shields provide a degree of concealment, RAW it is possible to sneak up on someone with degree vision by crouching behind a tower shield and walking very softly.
It stacks with Clairvoyance so you can see a degree arc into Azathoth's bedroom. Are you an Elf, or any other race with infravision? Combat Mind - The psionicist's "side in combat" gets a 1 point bonus towards initiative rolls. Marginally useful because 2E had you check for initiative every round. However, it doesn't define what "the psionicist's side" means, although since the range for the spell is Personal, I'm going to assume they mean that a psionicist can choose to have either the left side or right side of their body receive a 1 point bonus to initiative.
I mean, a Thief has to equip a Dagger or better to receive that kind of constant bonus using optional initiative rules and he doesn't have to commit to any other maintenance, and we don't want them to be overshadowed. Danger Sense - You get Spider Sense, assuming Spider-man had spent the last twenty-four hours on a whiskey bender and he's barely coherent.
The result of your check determines how much information you receive regarding the general level of a threat and the rough direction from which the threat will originate. If the power check is 8 or better, you get a full round's warning before the threat strikes; 12 or better also makes you aware of all threats located in a 10 yard radius. Considering the nebulous wording of the power, that's pretty damning by faint praise. Feel Light - Somehow your psionicist can experience light via tactile sensation, although the power explicitly states that you can't touch "darkness" because there's no light.
I'm going to interpret this to mean that a psionicist manifesting this power can't cross any area that's blocked by shadows. I guess you could use this power to offset the penalty from All-Around Vision , but this power actually costs more to power on and to maintain, so I'm not really sure what the point would be.
I guess if your DM's campaign heavily features basilisk, medusa, and cockatrice encounters then you might spend all of one round considering activating this power before you forget that it exists entirely.
No mechanical explanation is given for this, but since any humanoid can already feel light in all directions in as much as light produces heat, which a body can detect , I really have no idea how this is supposed to benefit you. But doesn't a gaze attack, by definition, require you to make eye-contact with the target? You are blind, and exposure to any level of light deals 1 point of damage per round.
Feel Sound - Same as above, but with sound. Why this was even included is a mystery that's too dumb to solve. Know Direction - You can tell which way is north. I am fairly certain that a non-psionic skill that any character can spend a non-weapon proficiency on can completely replicate this power.
Speficially "the information is usually no more detailed than the response of a simple farmer when asked 'Where am I? Also, if you psionicist wants, you can voluntarilly receive information that is less specific than what the power check result would have provided; why you would do this is not explained.
Poison Sense - Hey Jerry, are you poisoned? The type of poison isn't revealed, so fuck you if your DM runs a super groggy campaign where a generic 'antidote' item or spell doesn't exist, because this power isn't telling you what kind of poison is making Jerry vomit blood all over.
Radial Navigation - As long as you manifest this power, you know where you are in relation to a fixed starting point. Not in a useful way, like you can use this power to retrace your steps back through a complicated maze to return to the entrance, but in a general way, like 'you're currently yards from the entrance'.
The (mostly) Complete (but broken up) Psionics Handbook
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Mother Fucker! Complete Psionics Handbook by homeless poster. I vaguely remembered that my adolescent gaming group never really grasped all of the rules in the Psionics Handbook, and we basically treated it more or less like being a wizard but having to spend mana to cast spells as opposed to going by the Vancian system. It turns out that my youthful ignorance may have created a more streamlined system that what author Steve Winter slapped together. However, Steve Winter promises us that this book isn't just a rehash of those old rules that sucked; instead he's tripled the number of existing psionic powers, re-categorized the new power list in a way that's user friendly and easy to use, condensed a redundant psionic power point system into something more manageable, and streamlined the game mechanics of psionic powers to work essentially the same way as the wonderful 2E non-weapon proficiency system.
No writing on pages, creased pages, spine damage, etc. Please note that if you pay upfront, we will need to ship within 48 hours or eBay dings our seller rating, so if interested in multiple items ending on different days, please contact us before paying. Please review the images and feel free to ask as many questions as you like. Our descriptions may not always be exact, especially as to the completeness of used models or the identification of models I am not familiar with. This handbook is very useful to anyone wishing to play a psionicist in 2nd ed. Though the system by which psionic powers are manifested was revised later this is the largest compendium of powers which either are not changed or changed very slightly.
The psionicist's skills are based on the Wisdom and Constitution ability scores, and while humans can attain higher levels of expertise, all races are eligible for the class. Characters of chaotic alignment are not allowed to become psionicists, with the rationale being that volatile chaotic characters lack the discipline required to focus their mental energies. Powers are designated as either sciences major powers or devotions minor powers. As a psionicist gains experience and advances in level, he acquires more powers, and as a psionicist rises through the ranks, he also gains access to defense modes - special telepathic powers, which are received free of charge and don't count against a psionicist's normal power limits. The use of psionic powers involves a variant of the proficiencies system developed in the 2nd Edition rules. Each power has a score rated in terms of a particular attribute. When attempting to use a power, the player makes a Power Check by rolling 1d20 and comparing the result to the Power Score.