Monday, July 13, 2009

WotC Finally Give Psionics Sufficient Fluff and It's WHAT?

WotC released their design and development article for the psionics power source and from reading it I think I got a glimpse of how exactly it is said to be.

Now before I get into what I think they said, let me point a few things out:

A) Psionics usually do not get sufficient fluffing. Instead the psionics usually tend to be a great deal of new mechanics, but lack decent explanation of how it fits into D&D's fantasy setting.
B) Psionics, by their nature, tend to be powered by one's own mind power, as martial classes tend to be powered by their own physical strength or dexterity.
C) One of the (many) complaints about psionics is that they are too similar to wizards. I don't exactly know how, but its something that is mentioned in the article.

Here is a summary of the new psionics back story:

Recently, as the Far Realm's incursion into the world has grown more aggressive, psionic energy has become more common, stronger, and easier to control. Previously, only monks could tap into it with their rigorous discipline and self-control. Now others can utilize it, from psions who study and unlock its secrets to others who acquire psionic powers seemingly at the universe's whim.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like it's a power that leaks from the Far Realm that those with the ability can tap into. How is that separating it from the wizard? If I make a psionic character, I want it to have power oozing out his ears because it comes from his brain! I don't want my mentally powered character to pull mental energy from some source leaking from the far realm.

Though now that I think about it... It somehow starts to fit into one of my growing theories...

divine power comes from the astral sea, primal and martial come from the material plane (primal also a little from the feywild), psionic now from the far realm, elemental will probably come from the elemental chaos, and shadow will probably be from the shadowfel.

As interesting as a power source from the far realms seems, I much more like the idea of psionics and the martial power source being parts of a ying-yang of the intelligent creatures of the D&D universe. if you train your body hard enough, your body becomes a weapon, it seems more fitting to me that if you can train your mind enough it too can become a weapon as well. Its possible that the far realm is somehow causing radiation that makes more people able to use psionic powers easier, but only time (and the PHB3) will tell.

Agree with me?
Disagree with me?


Jesse said...

My understanding from reading the Psion preview article is that the psionic power source didn't come from the far realm, but rather was the universe's response to the far realm's increase in strength. It's still an internal power source in that you're drawing power by tapping your own subconscious, it's just that the races as a whole are evolving in such a way that tapping that power has become easier.

Joseph said...

Could be worse. Could be midichlorians.

Derek said...

If the new fluff for psionics says it comes the Elemental Plane of OH GOD WHAT THE FUCK, I think I've found my new favorite power source.

Derek said...

Come to think of it, if you multiclassed Warlock and got your hands on Strand of Fate, you could blow an action point, hit the BBEG with an augmented Mind Thrust and Strand of Fate and let the whole group make paste out of him by the end of your next round. And the whole Star Pact thing would not only fit nicely into the fluff, but Star Pact is about half Charisma-based (Your secondary Psion stat) with Intelligence as a secondary (Your primary Psion stat), so it also fits into a powergaming build ALMOST ideally. I think I know what my next character is.

Dar said...

Like a lurking unseen malefic creature of mist, the far realms tendrils of influence reach into the world. Subtly driving mad it's victims only to unlock and force a long forgotten weapon of defense against the incursion into action. A lucky few are left with strange psionic abilities to arm them against the invasion. Most of these adepts don't even begin to understand what is happening to them.