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Psionics

Though I'm loathe to give up the 2nd Edition psionics system that we started the campaign with some years back, for the sake of ease we've decided to go with the version 3.5 rules presented in the Expanded Psionics Handbook.

However, we are using a couple of slight variations. The first thing of note is that we are using the "Psionics are different than Magic" alternate rules presented in the Expanded Psionics Handbook, with the following specific subnotes:

  • Dispelling
    Dispel Magic has no effect when cast against any psionic power, ability, or item. Likewise, Dispel Psionics is equally useless when manifested against a spell, effect, or magic item.

  • Mind-Affecting Spells and Powers
    Spells and special abilities that protect the mind against enchantments grant only limited protection against psionic versions of the same effects (as per the Diminished rules). Creatures only gain half their normal resistance. For instance, elves gain a +1 bonus on their Will saving throws to resist telepathy powers.

  • Dead Magic/Null Psionic Areas
    Antimagic Field does not hinder psionics, nor does Null Psionics Field disrupt or suppress magic within its area. Likewise, Dead Magic and Wild Magic areas do not affect psionics in any way.
    Along these lines, note that any psionic ability that is listed as Supernatural is subject to the rule above (making it something of a separate "Supernatural" type).

  • Spell Resistance and Power Resistance/Evolution
    In a world where psionic powers work but where spell resistance won't protect against a power, powerful creatures must have both spell resistance and power resistance or quickly become extinct. The same can be said of psionic creatures with special protection against mental energies, but none against magic.
    Therefore, all creatures listed with Spell Resistance of 10 or higher gain Power Resistance equal to their Spell Resistance minus 10. For example, a dragon with Spell Resistance 18 would also have Power Resistance 8.
    Likewise, any creature listed with Power Resistance 10 or higher also gains Spell Resistance equal to their Power Resistance minus 10.

  • Specialty Spells and Powers
    As with the "evolution" notes above, specialty spells and powers must exist that allow the disparate energies to manipulate each other on a limited scale. For instance, spellcasters could have a Dispel Psionics spell, but it is not nearly as powerful against powers as Dispel Magic is against equivalent spells. Likewise, psions might develop a Negate Magic power along the same lines.
    Generally, any spells or powers that allow spells to interact with psionics and vice versa should be of higher level and provide less effect than spells or powers of similar name that remain within their own area of influence.

The second variation of note is that psionic powers have no Display to accompany their manifestation. In previous editions it was known as the Invisible Art; for our purposes, it will remain that way.
This is not to say that using a power that produces energy such as fire, for example, will not have any outward manifestation and display whatsoever. The flames produced by the spell would be very much visibile to anyone. What it does mean is that there is no tell-tale sign that the power itself, in and of its own accord, was being manifested.

Page Last Updated February 17th, 2007

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