Sunday, October 4, 2009

Additional Psionic Talents

Psionicists use the same experience table as Magic Users. So, in order to achieve 2nd Level, a Psionicist must obtain 2,500 experience points, and so on.

At each level, after first level, a Psionicist may aquire up to two additional levels of psionic talent mastery. In order to obtain each additional psionic talent, the Player rolls a d20, twice. If both rolls are less than the character's Charisma, the character obtains two new talents. If one roll is less than the character's Charisma, the character obtains one new talent. If neither roll is less than the character's Charisma, the character obtains another level in their wild talent.

Once you have determined how many new talents you have obtained, you a d10 and consult the talent table. 3rd Level Psionicists can roll on the first or second column. 5th Level Psionicists can roll on the first, second or third column, and 7th Level Psionicists can roll on any of the 4 columns. If you obtain a result, but you do not have a talent in an earlier column, you must take the earliest talent in that talent tree, that you do not yet possess.

For example, at 5th Level, the Player rolls on column 3, and gets a result of 3, "Mass Invisibility". Since her character does not have "limited invisibility" or "invisibility" she must take "limited invisibility" instead.


The Rusty Battle Axe said...

I like it. I think you have managed to create something that is significantly different both mechanically and in terms of ability from the spell-casting classes.

I'm wondering if you add a second set of minor abilities that would be similar to cantrips--spoon-bending sorts of things. Not sure it would be worth the effort. The other possibility is to create a giant list of oddities and have the player get one of them randomly at some point along the way. Kind of an XMen sort of thing, although it those abilities would have to be thought through so as to not create unintended consequences or something that is too hard to play or to ref.

Restless said...

Is the psionicist limited in the number of times they can use their talents, or are they completely at-will?

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

@Restless: That had crossed my mind, too.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

In order to enforce game balance (ie. not make magic users redundant) I think you would have to apply vancian magic principles to psionic abilities.

Certainly there was a limit to Psionic abilities in the 0e and 1e rules, if I recall correctly. And I think there is a precedent in fantasy and science fiction literature, where psionic characters exhaust their powers.

I'm open to a different approach.

I am thinking that the wild talent might have some exponential component to it, since based on my thinking, you can obtain additional levels of your wild talent. That may be redundant with the tree system, I am still trying to settle upon my preferred approach.

Thoughts? Alternatives?

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

I think I would opt for the Vancian approach, if for no other reason that it works pretty well (and I am much more of a pragmatist than a dogmatist when it comes to gaming). It would seem very very tempting to go towards some sort of point system, but I have never really seen that work in a D&D system along side of Vancian magic. Not saying it couldn't, just saying I haven't seen it work.

You could also do the Wand of Wonder approach--if the psioncist somehow fails to control her powers, some random thing happens. It appeals to my sense of humor, but in game play it would be very unfortunate. My current characters are accompanied by a dog that has a different set of random powers everyday--they haven't quite figured out what the deal is. I should have named him CARCOSA, but the joke would have been only for my benefit. But I disgress...

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Yes, I am leaning towards the Vancian approach, although I am tempted to go back to the original 10 wild talent list, and simply make each upgrade flow from the initial list.