People hate psionics! I would call it a love/hate thing, but
nobody really LOVES psioncis, nobody in the history of the game has ever gotten
so excited about finally rolling one up . . . I think that out of all of my
friends, I am the only one who has ever played a Psionc PC, and that was just
because I wanted to play one, just to experience it.
Personally, I don’t put much thought into it. It is such a
rarely used thing that it just doesn’t matter. I ran into Psi powers like any
other DM probably does, by reading the Monstrous Manual and seeing those
complex and mysterious stats and having no idea what they could possibly mean.
They are overly complex, and intentionally vague. Perhaps the Magic system
would be that way if it wasn’t such a popular class and it wasn’t right there
in the Core Rules, but I doubt it.
I get the class! Nobody plays it much because Psi powers
don’t fit into all of the worlds. I have a hobby of delving into the Occult and
paranormal, and psychic powers is an interesting subject to read about, but it
is rather modern. If you have ever played Dark Sun, you’ve used them, I doubt
that too many people have actually played a class, but in the hostel world of
Dark Sun, everybody is born with some innate psi abilities, but in that world,
it is so hard that you need any advantage that you can get. Could they had just
handed out magic abilities? Yeah, but the good folks at TSR freely admitted to
the fact that the original point behind creating Dark Sun was originally to
sell The Complete Psioncs Handbook, and the Battle System, thankfully the
writers took their job more seriously then that and created one of 2es greatest
But is it appropriate for all campaign worlds? No, probably
not. Psi powers bring to mind Gothic horror stories and strange highly
intelligent alien life-forms, they work well for Ravenloft, but probably not
highly magical worlds which are ruled by the laws of magic.
Psi power is unique to itself as one doesn’t rely upon
outside forces to bring it about. They don’t use magic books or scrolls, nor do
they get their powers from some God, it comes from within and can always be
accessed as long as they have the Psi Points.
When I am casting spells, I never stat what spell I’m using,
I only describe the effects of the spell to my players, the same goes for Psi
powers, a good player may know a magical defense to a specific spell once he
can identify what is happening, but those magic counters won’t work against
In Forgotten Realms, anything can happen, there are gates
and psi monsters do come through, and we can give them a great bonus by having
them hold up in one of the realms famous wild magic or dead magic areas. A
kingdom who thinks that they are safe from such wizard tricks would be susceptible
to such dominance, and it would be rather hard to detect what exactly is going
Psionics also work well with realms based on exotic cultures
such as India where they have been showing off their mental mastery for
Psionics offer a change of pace, and a touch of mystery.
They aren’t anything to love and admire, but they aren’t really worthy of so
much hatred and DMs refusing to allow anything associated with them into their