Author Topic: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:  (Read 5058 times)

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sonofzeal

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2009, 11:33:12 PM »
Psionics were  :censored up.  You could have an entire psionic battle before any non-psionicist could roll initiative.  I refuse to touch the stuff.
I'm told a lot of the backlash against 3e psi was holdover from the utter ridiculousness of 2e psi.  Is that fair?

Bozwevial

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2009, 11:36:31 PM »

That was sort of the reason, but go compare 3.5 psionics to 3.0 psionics.

...Isn't there a board quote somewhere on that? Something like "I keep a copy of the 3.0 Psionics Handbook on the shelf beside my bed. The fact that I also keep a Glock on my nighttable in case it tries to rape me is beside the point."

sonofzeal

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2009, 12:06:36 AM »
That was sort of the reason, but go compare 3.5 psionics to 3.0 psionics.

...Isn't there a board quote somewhere on that? Something like "I keep a copy of the 3.0 Psionics Handbook on the shelf beside my bed. The fact that I also keep a Glock on my nighttable in case it tries to rape me is beside the point."
Hmmm... I haven't seen 3.0 psi books anywhere; what's the title, or where could I find it?

Caelic

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2009, 01:21:29 AM »
I'm told a lot of the backlash against 3e psi was holdover from the utter ridiculousness of 2e psi.  Is that fair?


"I'm a psionicist!  I have powers of the mind!  I sprout tusks and a trunk and trample people for 10-100 points of damage at first level!"

Uhm.  Yeah.  It's a pretty accurate impression.

Chemus

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2009, 01:29:54 AM »
*joins the pile-on*

I never actually played with psionics, but I my group has, and I get the distinct impression that it's really not the same game.

Looking at the rules, wild talents get their stuff virtually for free, for example. They have a small risk of becoming a vegetable for testing for a wild talent, but they get their talent plus any prerequisite talents/sciences. A really good roll nets them a lot of options and power from the get-go, and they've got all their other options from whatever class they were going with. There is even a Bard kit that gives the wild talent away for free; just gotta roll for abilities.
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altpersona

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2009, 04:11:05 PM »
as for psioncs, i recall alot of ego whipping..
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Anklebite

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2009, 04:40:28 PM »
as for psioncs, i recall alot of ego whipping..

...thats actually 3.5  :D
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altpersona

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2009, 06:16:40 PM »
no, it was 2e, cause i was 17? and i havent played with that group in almost 20 years...

i cant say it was optimal, but it was done every round if i recall right.
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Prime32

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2009, 06:49:34 PM »
Hmmm... I haven't seen 3.0 psi books anywhere; what's the title, or where could I find it?
Psionics Handbook. The 3.5e version was Expanded Psionics Handbook (Most. Confusing. Name. Ever!)
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Thinblade

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2009, 09:57:42 PM »
Yeah. 2e psionics were broken. 3e psionics made no sense. What was that acronym? FSBNNN (Feats Should Be Nice, Not Necessary). It was sort of a weird mesh as they tried to take the 2e system and put it into 3e and was hated by everyone. So in 3.5 they just said, "Screw it. We'll make them sorcerers with a cleric's domains. Sure it's boring, but maybe people will stop yelling at us."

2e psionics were fun. Broken? Oh yes. But fun.

RobbyPants

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2009, 11:10:40 PM »
I remember there was that whole weapon mastery/supremacy (whatever it was called) that let you increase the damage dice of your weapon. So pick up the No-Dachi which was base 1d20 and see if you could argue it up to 1d100 :P Of course, then you'd have a dm like me who owns a couple d30's.
Yeah, that was all in Combat & Tactics.  I loved that book.


My personal favorite 2e system was the psionics. For one thing, it actually felt like psionics, as opposed to just another kind of magic, as in 3e. Second, some of the powers were totally broken. Like how no one got saves against the entire telepathic discipline!
I remember very little of 2E psionics other than that you could get bonus PP from Con, Wis, and Int.  We only ever had one psion in the games I ran.  Maybe I don't remember the system well, but I don't remember there being levels to the powers, so you were really only limited by how many PP you had.  I remember a fairly low level psion whipping out a disintegrate, which used up almost all her PP.


It was still possible to get some fairly broken characters.  Dual-classing was still king, and some of the multiclass combos were also nice; I was always partial to Druid/Magic-User.
Sadly, I never fully realized how awesome dual classing was until right before I quit playing 2E.  For some reason, all I could fixate on is how you couldn't use your first class' abilities until after the second one was a higher level.  I missed that that restriction went away, so I never persued it earlier.
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sonofzeal

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2009, 11:46:36 PM »
Can anyone elaborate on the actual mechanics of 2e psionics?  What made them king, what was the supposed limitations (that may or may not have worked), was it actually playable if you didn't try to break it, what was good about it besides the brokenness?

Psionics Handbook. The 3.5e version was Expanded Psionics Handbook (Most. Confusing. Name. Ever!)
A quick look shows that Psi-vs-Psi combat is horribly overcomplicated, and that Mind Blast is overpowered (even given the pp cost).  I'm sure there's more though.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 12:53:03 AM by sonofzeal »

Thinblade

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2009, 01:47:27 AM »
Since I brought it up, I'll take this question.

2e psionics worked a little like a cross between 3.5 psionics and a warlock. With a bit of mana magic thrown in.

So. You had psionic strength points, based off of your level, your Wis, Int, and Con (Wis was most important). You used those PsSP to initiate the various psionic powers you had. Powers came in two tiers, sciences (the powerful stuff) and devotions (less powerful/more limited).

However, there were no spell level equivalents. You had a primary discipline (out of clairsentience, psychoportation, psychometabolism, psychokinesis, and telepathy - the sixth discipline, metapsionics, could only be entered later). At 1st level, you only have access to that one discipline; as your level goes up, you get more powers and access to more disciplines.

To activate a power, you made a die roll. Each power was tied to Wis, Int, or Con, and had a bonus or penalty to the die roll to compensate for how difficult it was. If you rolled that or below on the d20, you manifest the power. If not, you lose half the PSP cost and nothing happens. If you roll a 20, you REALLY blow the power, and it backfires in an interesting way. If you roll a 1, you get superior effects.

The trick was that most powers didn't have saving throws if they were targeted against opponents. This included the ENTIRE telepathy discipline. In telepathy, you first had to use the contact power against an enemy's mind, and the worst that person could do is apply a -2 to your roll. If you succeed, you can then activate any telepathic power you know against them and they don't get a saving throw. This includes things like dominate. The only way to keep a psionicist out was if you were also a psionicist. Not even wild talents were safe, unless they happened to roll a psionic defense mode.

That said, yes, psionics were entirely playable. The easiest way is just to limit access to the telepathy discipline. There are other great powers, pretty much all disciplines have them. But they tend to have both large PSP costs and difficult rolls. I actually had a ranger wild talent that had disintegrate, but I could never make it come off when I needed it. And in the process you take your PSP's down to 0, meaning you're wandering around with d6 hit points and a crossbow until you can meditate and get some back.

And even if you add telepathy, all you need to do to scare the bejeezus out of your players is bring in the illithids. The scariest published adventure I've ever read was Night Below, where the PC's have to infiltrate illithid and aboleth cities deep in the Underdark. I mandated that at least half of the PC group be at least multiclass psionicists before we started that one, and it was still the highest body count adventure I've ever run. We started getting into Dark Sun character trees, it was so bad.

RobbyPants

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Re: Min/Max in the Industrial Ages:
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2009, 09:32:33 AM »
Oh god, that takes me back.  Yeah, I owned the Psionics Handbook for several years before it ever saw use in any of my games.  I'd read through the rules, pick up the first half, and by the time I was getting through it, I was already forgetting parts of how it worked.
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Quotes
[spoiler]
Quote from: Cafiend
It is a shame stupidity isn't painful.
Quote from: StormKnight
Totally true.  Historians believe that most past civilizations would have endured for centuries longer if they had successfully determined Batman's alignment.
Quote from: Grand Theft Otto
Why are so many posts on the board the equivalent of " Dear Dr. Crotch, I keep punching myself in the crotch, and my groin hurts... what should I do? How can I make my groin stop hurting?"
Quote from: CryoSilver
I suggest carving "Don't be a dick" into him with a knife.  A dull, rusty knife.  A dull, rusty, bent, flaming knife.
Quote from: Seerow
Fluffy: It's over Steve! I've got the high ground!
Steve: You underestimate my power!
Fluffy: Don't try it, Steve!
Steve: *charges*
Fluffy: *three critical strikes*
Steve: ****
Quote from: claypigeons
I don't even stat out commoners. Commoner = corpse that just isn't a zombie. Yet.
Quote from: CryoSilver
When I think "Old Testament Boots of Peace" I think of a paladin curb-stomping an orc and screaming "Your death brings peace to this land!"
Quote from: Orville_Oaksong
Buy a small country. Or Pelor. Both are good investments.
[/spoiler]