Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

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Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by thorr-kan » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:04 pm

Dragonsfoot and purpleworm are currently blocked by my ISP.

CompPsi says contact can be established with any open mind. Psionicists have a closed mind, contact can only be forced by attack mode vs defense mode. Wild Talents who have mind bar can use that as their defense mode. Attack and defense modes are not listed in the Wild Talent tables. (Though I suppose a roll of "choose one telepathic devotion" could be read as choose any one, not just one from the Wild Talent list.)

Is there any way for a wild talent to force contact with a psioncist?
Last edited by thorr-kan on Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by Big Mac » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:36 pm

thorr-kan wrote:Dragonsfoot and purpleworm are currently blocked by my ISP.
Let's hope that someone finds the answer for you, before your ISP finds out that you are on The Piazza! :P
thorr-kan wrote:CompPsi says contact can be established with any open mind. Psionicists have a closed mind, contact can only be forced by attack mode vs defense mode. Wild Talents how have mind bar can use that as their defense mode. Attack and defense modes are not listed in the Wild Talent tables. (Though I suppose a roll of "choose one telepathic devotion" could be read as choose any one, not just one from the Wild Talent list.)

Is there any way for a wild talent to force contact with a psioncist?
According to David V. on the DMs Guild page for PHBR5 The Complete Psionics Handbook (2e) there were printing errors in the first printing of the book. (He also claims that DMs Guild have put the incorrect version of the book online.)

David also says that The Will and the Way has errata and a discussion about the issues in PHBR5.

I don't know if the issue you mention is resolved in The Will and the Way or a later printing of PHBR5. Maybe someone has another book and can check.
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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by GMWestermeyer » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:07 pm

This has come up in my games in the past, i'll hunt around and see what I came up with.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by thorr-kan » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:28 pm

My printed CompPsi says 5th Printing April 1994.

My PDF version, which is from before DMsGuild, says 2nd Printing September 1991. (Most of my PDFs are from pre-PDF ban sources, mostly Bastion Press, I think; a few are post-PDF ban from DriveThruRPG.com.)

For whatever that's worth.

ETA: I think I also have a .zip file of The Will and the Way; I think that was from the WotC website, longer ago than I care to admit.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by AuldDragon » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:32 am

The Will and the Way's Wild Talent tables do not include any of the attack modes. I believe most of the attack and defense modes are considered to have been developed through training, which would be why Wild Talents don't have access to most of them.

So ultimately, no, I don't think there is a way for wild talents to force their way into a trained psionicist's mind, which I think is how it should be. A wild talent, is, after all, completely untrained and not fully cognizant of how they do what they do.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by apotheot » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:23 am

Contact can only be made by using the Contact ability or forcing it using the psionic attack modes. Not just psionicists, but everyone has a naturally closed mind... the contact ability was again to knocking on the door which the target could opt to open. In the original psionics system, these could all be something a wild talent could have, but they were not guaranteed. Otherwise they had to use an attack. If they didn't have them, they couldn't initiate contact. In the revised system from the revised Dark Sun box set which is meant to replace everything, Contact is now a proficiency, and Wild Talents gain attack and defense modes automatically like a Psionicist does though slower. This little change was specifically to address this whole issue and make contact less inaccessible.
thorr-kan wrote: According to David V. on the DMs Guild page for PHBR5 The Complete Psionics Handbook (2e) there were printing errors in the first printing of the book. (He also claims that DMs Guild have put the incorrect version of the book online.)
The first part of this is correct at least, there are printing errors in the first printing. Errata for these can still be found online if you look around. They would not have affected this issue.

-Apotheot

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by thorr-kan » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:29 pm

AuldDragon wrote:The Will and the Way's Wild Talent tables do not include any of the attack modes. I believe most of the attack and defense modes are considered to have been developed through training, which would be why Wild Talents don't have access to most of them.
Actually, it includes Mind Blank, the defense mode. But only Mind Blank, not any of the other defense or attack modes. Huh.

But yeah, looks like a design decision at that time. A sufficiently powerful wild talent can dominate the mundanes and defend himself telepathically against a psionicist, but he can't do anything telepathically on offense against the psionicist.

I've not looked closely at Dark Sun's info, as I'm a core and Al-Qadim player myself. But the Swords Against the Dark article from Dragon and the CompNecro's Philosopher have gotten me thinking.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:26 am

apotheot wrote:Contact can only be made by using the Contact ability or forcing it using the psionic attack modes. Not just psionicists, but everyone has a naturally closed mind... the contact ability was again to knocking on the door which the target could opt to open. In the original psionics system, these could all be something a wild talent could have, but they were not guaranteed. Otherwise they had to use an attack. If they didn't have them, they couldn't initiate contact. In the revised system from the revised Dark Sun box set which is meant to replace everything, Contact is now a proficiency, and Wild Talents gain attack and defense modes automatically like a Psionicist does though slower. This little change was specifically to address this whole issue and make contact less inaccessible.
I never played Dark Sun, I bought Will & the Way to expand things for my psionicists but never realized they had revised the psionics system in the Dark Sun boxed set. :( Which one is that in? Will & the Way doesn't say contact is a proficiency, IIRC.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by AuldDragon » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:44 am

GMWestermeyer wrote:I never played Dark Sun, I bought Will & the Way to expand things for my psionicists but never realized they had revised the psionics system in the Dark Sun boxed set. :( Which one is that in? Will & the Way doesn't say contact is a proficiency, IIRC.
It's in the Dark Sun Revised Campaign Setting. The rules are the same as those in Player's Option: Skills & Powers.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by GMWestermeyer » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:40 am

AuldDragon wrote:
GMWestermeyer wrote:I never played Dark Sun, I bought Will & the Way to expand things for my psionicists but never realized they had revised the psionics system in the Dark Sun boxed set. :( Which one is that in? Will & the Way doesn't say contact is a proficiency, IIRC.
It's in the Dark Sun Revised Campaign Setting. The rules are the same as those in Player's Option: Skills & Powers.

Jeff
Ah, never mind. I hate Skills & Powers. Don't use it.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:44 pm

It has been a while since psionic combat happened in my campaigns. I am definitely fixing that in Jammers asap! :)

The key section to read is page 51-52 of The Will and the Way. This is using the Psionics Handbook system, which is my preferred system. It includes the relevant errata for the original printing (which were really messed up, I remember I got a sheet from TSr to past in my original version of th nadbook); specifically the errata dealing with telepathy (the most messe dup part, ironically).

It does not out and out say that a wild talent cannot forcibly open the mind of a psionicists, but it implies this due to the wild talent charts at the end of the book.

That makes perfect sense to me. A psionicist's mind is always closed but they can choose to open it. Non-psionicists minds are always open UNLESS they have a spell (Protection from Evil, for example, IIRC)or magic item closing it OR if they have the Psychic Defense non-weapon proficiency.

That is how I have handled it in game, but I don't think any of my players have been wild talents yet. I have had several psionicists.

I think wild talents make great sense for Spelljammer PCs, where psionics, IMO, really fits in.

Neogi with wild talents, for example, might be cool...

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by apotheot » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:35 am

GMWestermeyer wrote: That makes perfect sense to me. A psionicist's mind is always closed but they can choose to open it. Non-psionicists minds are always open UNLESS they have a spell (Protection from Evil, for example, IIRC)or magic item closing it OR if they have the Psychic Defense non-weapon proficiency.

This is exactly why they had to upgrade the system. Essentially a psionic character was all but undefeatable by non-psionic characters as they had no defense against his attacks, and most of the abilities do not call for even a saving throw. DMs found games horribly unbalanced, as one psionic PC was limited only by his PSPs and could do most anything against the non psionic characters. Likewise, you want your mid-level non-psionic characters to have a real challenge? Throw them up against a single high level psionicist. I have played in tournament games where that resulted in a TPK.
The newer system is a little more balanced, though psionic combat is the focus, and using abilities takes a lot longer due to having to remove the PSPs against a psionic mind.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by GMWestermeyer » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:29 pm

apotheot wrote:
GMWestermeyer wrote: That makes perfect sense to me. A psionicist's mind is always closed but they can choose to open it. Non-psionicists minds are always open UNLESS they have a spell (Protection from Evil, for example, IIRC)or magic item closing it OR if they have the Psychic Defense non-weapon proficiency.

This is exactly why they had to upgrade the system. Essentially a psionic character was all but undefeatable by non-psionic characters as they had no defense against his attacks, and most of the abilities do not call for even a saving throw. DMs found games horribly unbalanced, as one psionic PC was limited only by his PSPs and could do most anything against the non psionic characters. Likewise, you want your mid-level non-psionic characters to have a real challenge? Throw them up against a single high level psionicist. I have played in tournament games where that resulted in a TPK.
The newer system is a little more balanced, though psionic combat is the focus, and using abilities takes a lot longer due to having to remove the PSPs against a psionic mind.
I've never encountered such an imbalance. In my experience, psioncists were somewhat underpowered and tended to run out of PSPs extremely quickly.

In fact, one issue I have is it seems virtually impossible for a psionicist PC to compete with, let alone defeat, an average mind flayer.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by GMWestermeyer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:19 am

apotheot wrote: Essentially a psionic character was all but undefeatable by non-psionic characters as they had no defense against his attacks, and most of the abilities do not call for even a saving throw.

I have to say, I have heard this comment before and it always seemed that people didn't actually read the book. As I mentioned, something as simple as protection from evil will stop domination. No saving throw? perhapos, but most psionic powers provide a save AND the psionicist has to succeed at a power check to even get the power started, and they always have to pay a psp cost. If psionicists are dominating the game, the DM didn't read and understand the psionic rules properly in the handbook. I admit, they are complicated, but it is balanced.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by apotheot » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:01 am

GMWestermeyer wrote:
apotheot wrote: Essentially a psionic character was all but undefeatable by non-psionic characters as they had no defense against his attacks, and most of the abilities do not call for even a saving throw.

I have to say, I have heard this comment before and it always seemed that people didn't actually read the book. As I mentioned, something as simple as protection from evil will stop domination. No saving throw? perhapos, but most psionic powers provide a save AND the psionicist has to succeed at a power check to even get the power started, and they always have to pay a psp cost. If psionicists are dominating the game, the DM didn't read and understand the psionic rules properly in the handbook. I admit, they are complicated, but it is balanced.


Not only do I disagree with that, so did the designers, as it was one of the reasons they changed it. Why dominate, when you could use other powers or attacks with greater ease? Contact cost nothing, and with a sufficiently high enough Wisdom was pretty much guaranteed to succeed (presuming 18 wis, a psionicist could do it to a low level human on a roll of 15). At which point the options for the psionicist are endless, a simple Aversion (70% chance of success) to the armor the character is wearing means they would spend the prerequisite rounds removing it and would be helpless during that time, or to the psionicist himself which would cause the character to flee directly away for an entire turn, removing him from combat for a minimum of 20 rounds baring magical means to return faster. 9 PSPs have been spent.
Of course this is only one character, and not a party of four or five, but you get the idea. The psionicist also has to be built for such a purpose, but with some unavoidable meta-thought on behalf of the player of the psionicist, stats and powers can be planned well in advance. Psionics was a restricted class in organized play for just that reason. I would guess that if you have heard this before as much as I have from back in the day when then it is far less likely that all the people saying it hadn't read or understood the book and more likely you hadn't thought through the implications of certain powers. Anyway, YMMV, but I found that all the psionicists I played or played with even in con or tournament games were either super over-powered or super under-powered compared to the rest of the party, depending on how well they were built. To each his own though.
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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by Sturm » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:58 am

I must agree with Apotheot as I had a psionic PC in my party for years and once he learned to use the rules to his full advantage, it became quite a problem to balance him. They are quite complicated, but if a PC studies them well, he can become really powerful, in the sense he can resolve a lot of situations alone, basically stealing the fun from other PCs.
This could also happen with powerful wizards, but I think a smart and powerful psionic could be even worse.
I have never used the revised Dark Sun rules nor the 3ed Psionic rules so I cannot judge if they really resolved all these issues..

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by GMWestermeyer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:03 pm

apotheot wrote: Contact cost nothing, and with a sufficiently high enough Wisdom was pretty much guaranteed to succeed (presuming 18 wis, a psionicist could do it to a low level human on a roll of 15).
So, you start by demonstrating you do not know what you are talking about.

Contact DOES cost, 3-18 PSPs initially, depending on the level/HD of the target. Then maintaining it costs 1 psp/round. If you have a very intelligent target then the # of languages -2 is added to the cost for contact (+0 to +5, IIRC)

A starting psionicist has only 20-32 PSPs.

Then, the power score is your wisdom, BUT it is modified by many things. Range (0 to -9), Resisting target (-2), nonhuman target (-1 to -8).

And of course a nat 20 means you cannot contact the target at all ever, until you gain another level.

And since you have to make contact before doing anything else, there is the natural limitation of the telepath requiring 2 rounds to accomplish something.

Like I said, I always here this complaint from people who do not actually know the rules they are complaining about.

And of course psionics were not part of organized play. That's like saying pointed scissors are dangerous because we keep them out of the hands of kindergartners. Organized play rules were, by necessity, written for the lowest common denominator.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by apotheot » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:31 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:apotheot wrote:
Contact cost nothing, and with a sufficiently high enough Wisdom was pretty much guaranteed to succeed (presuming 18 wis, a psionicist could do it to a low level human on a roll of 15).


So, you start by demonstrating you do not know what you are talking about.

Contact DOES cost, 3-18 PSPs initially, depending on the level/HD of the target. Then maintaining it costs 1 psp/round. If you have a very intelligent target then the # of languages -2 is added to the cost for contact (+0 to +5, IIRC)

I was referring to subsequent rounds. "If he uses another telepathic power on the same subject while maintaining contact, the
contact power is “free" (the cost of maintaining contact is covered by the other power's cost)." So my PSP total seems to stand for that round. Though it would be 11-12 in all including prep round. Also, the intelligence rule is optional, and thus is not considered here.

GMWestermeyer wrote: A starting psionicist has only 20-32 PSPs.
Follow the thread, we are talking about a mid level fight against low levels.
GMWestermeyer wrote: Then, the power score is your wisdom, BUT it is modified by many things. Range (0 to -9), Resisting target (-2), nonhuman target (-1 to -8).
This was already calculated in.
GMWestermeyer wrote: And of course a nat 20 means you cannot contact the target at all ever, until you gain another level.


This is true, and is a big downside, I agree.
GMWestermeyer wrote: And since you have to make contact before doing anything else, there is the natural limitation of the telepath requiring 2 rounds to accomplish something.
Unless combat has already started the first round shouldn't matter for the sake of the example. Contact is not combat, and there is no way for non-psionic characters to even know you have done it. A character could engage in one round of conversation and used that as prep time to make contact with his target.

GMWestermeyer wrote: Like I said, I always here this complaint from people who do not actually know the rules they are complaining about.

And of course psionics were not part of organized play. That's like saying pointed scissors are dangerous because we keep them out of the hands of kindergartners. Organized play rules were, by necessity, written for the lowest common denominator.

I think you are nuts. Organized play had Barbarians, Shamans, Chronomancers and even 2nd ed versions of the 1st ed Monks in some games. It makes no sense that they would single out psionics for being too complicated when some or all of those were already in play. Perception is reality though. If you have heard the complaint before from multiple sources , consider the common factor. But this discussion has veered from the intent of the OP. If you wish to continue it, I suggest starting a new thread.
-Apotheot

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by AuldDragon » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:24 pm

The single biggest issue with the Player's Option system is that psychic combat is a lose-lose prospect. Smart psionicists will NEVER engage in combat, because they will exhaust their PSPs very quickly, and attacking a creature with more PSPS (even just slightly more) will usually result in a loss for the attacker. All of the attack modes except Mind Thrust cost more PSPs to use than they are likely to deal in PSP damage.

While other aspects of the new rules tend to be a case of person preference as to what's better/worse, the PO mental combat system is objectively bad.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by GMWestermeyer » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:52 pm

apotheot wrote: I was referring to subsequent rounds.
Perhaps that was your intent but not what you wrote. But never mind. I'm sure we will never be in a game together.

But please, psionics is an entire additional system for the game. None of the stuff you listed comes close to it for additional system complexity.

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Re: Wild Talent vs Psionicist Telepathic Combat.

Post by Lord Torath » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:39 pm

I've found psionicists to be powerful against a single opponent, but weak against groups. Using Aversion, for example to make a target flee for 1 turn takes 2 rounds to accomplish, and affects one target. To affect another will require another two rounds minimum. And yes, Contact is free to maintain if you have another telepathic power active on the contacted mind, but Contact is only 1 PSP per round to maintain anyway, so it's not like you're getting a huge savings.

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