Sunday, July 6, 2014

Psionics, doing it different

I'm not sure how many of you folks use psionics in your games.  I don't.  Looking over the BtB description of it just looks like an dull edged blade of a headache.  I figured the game doesn't need psionics and have been content to leave it at that.

Then I discovered a book series by Larry Correia called the "Grimnoire Chronicles" and I was instantly inspired.  Here were people that had seemingly magical abilities but without having been trained as wizards, etc...  Literally, they were just "born that way".  Over the course of their lives, they had to teach themselves how to master their abilities and discipline themselves with little to no help from anyone else.

There were, eventually, organizations of these magic wielders that one might turn to for help.  Many of those people not born with magic were often afraid and distrustful of those who were.

The abilities each individual had fell into a type or class of power.  Each along the same lines, such as a "Healer" whose abilities were limited to helping (or hurting) the body.  There were people who could "Jump" from one point in space to another instantly.  One type who could affect the gravity or cellular cohesion of themselves or others and make themselves lighter, heavier, denser, etc....

The point is, they never seemed to have a variety of abilities, just those geared toward a specific field or purpose.  This was interesting, exciting to me.  I began looking through the psionic appendix in the 1E Players Handbook again and was interested to note how many of the abilities listed therein would fall into similarly directed Classes of  abilities.

Since then, I have been working up a system partially based on what I got out of the "Grimnoire Chronicles" and from 1E.  There are similarities to both obviously, then again, there are some noticeable differences as well.

I'm still working on the system.  I want to try to keep it relatively simple or at least easy to figure out in terms of handling and adjudication.  There is no separate point strength system.  It costs the PC Hit Points to power each effort.  I want to allow the Player a feeling of power and ability but keep them disciplined and careful about each time they go to use that power.

It's an experiment and a fun one at that.  To me, doing psionics this way is a lot more fun than the BtB system in 1E.  If you want to see how it's written up and how it's going along, you can look it over at my wiki site, "WikiMage".  Friendly, rational discussion is welcome here or on G+.

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