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Mind if I ask a question?(Psionics)

Mind if I ask a question?(Psionics)

I'm somewhat new here, and to GURPS, but I've already stumbled upon something which boggles me.

Psionics gets a backburner slot in many GURPS games, and I'm not really sure why.

I find psionic powers more interesting then magic most of the time, but what I'm wondering is why in the games I've seen for GURPS(or rather applied for), people can take as much Magic as they want(assuming magic is common), but Psionic stuff is limited to maybe a quarter of your total points, if not less.

Maybe I've been looking at the wrong games, but I see psionics being more common then it is presented in these games.

What I'm wondering is, is there something about Psionics which makes DMs favor magic over it, and if so, what would that be?

Typically, I'd say grognards don't like people messing with their fantasy genre. I'm alittle bit that way myself, though I too like psionics in every way except the flavour text.

Even so, I find it strange. Magic is a highly mysterious force which taps into something in the world. While magic is common in most fantasy games, I find it odd that Psionics is shafted. It's not all that unlike magic to someone who doesn't know how you're doing something. Heck, tales about magic may have been cases with psionic powers came into play.
Magic costs less in character points, but costs fatigue to cast spells, and you have to master some rather basic things before you can do more useful things(such as cast a fireball spell you have to learn at least two spells and have magery 1).
Psionics costs more character points, but by default does not cost fatigue and you take take anything you can pay for right away.

Flavor aside, it could be used a lot more often. Maybe a warlock would use it in place of spells.
Anyway, gonna go try to find a GURPS game with a lighter cap on Psionics, or at least a GM willing to work with me on it.

sometimes its the genre. psionics can destroy the game.

The evil villian (non-psionic) looses a will roll against the one psionic character and the character makes him dead, months before he would be found and killed by the party in a normal game.

The evil villian (Psionic) takes controll of the leader of the group and leads the party into a death trap.

Its too easy for a psionic character to unbalance a game. A teleporter is told that their is a treasure on the other side of the wall. He jumps blind a few feet above the floor in the next room. Avoiding all the traps and guards that the party would have to face otherwise. And then ports back out with the treasure. The telekinetic grabs a pebble and throws it with TK at damaging speeds. These TK bullets can do the same damage as a pistol if your powerful enough. The same TK can safely lift a party over a pit trap, allowing access to areas that the characters should not be in for levels. Or extract them from the same.

"We're in a drow city, with mages hunting us and you think that we can escape. Half the party is injured."

TK "Well, yeah. Just let me lift us up to the roof and we can skip all the guards in the way till we are back up to full health."

Other times its just the DM not wanting to deal with both magic and psionics at the same time. A book series I really like (Valdemar) had both, magic and psionics. The two could be used together and could protect against each other.

Having to decide if Psi is compatable with magic. The anime series Index, says that magic and psi are incompatable, a mage cannot learn psi abilities, and a psi cannot learn magic. The Valdemar series goes the opposite way, magic and psi can go hand in hand.

Originally Posted by The Firkraag View Post
Typically, I'd say grognards don't like people messing with their fantasy genre. I'm alittle bit that way myself, though I too like psionics in every way except the flavour text.
Which is strange, considering that early weird fiction freely mixed the mystical and pseudo-scientific before the super-genrefication of fantasy in more modern times.

It's probably a genre thing. Fantasy generally limits itself to magic. If there was ever psionics in magic, ti was called magic, because magic is what you call things that are supernatural. That's bled into games.

Also, if you look at the history of many GURPS gamers, a good many came from D&D. In that game, Psionics is the bastard child of magic that most players either loved or hated (the former were generally termed munchkins while the latter just it as magic with a different name and little mechanical difference). Now they play GURPS and brought pre-existing prejudices with them.

I, myself, either abide by the hallowed tradition of relegating psionics to Modern or Sci-Fi settings and calling everything supernatural "Magic" in fantasy settings or using my own weird spiritual gaia-esque pseudo-psionic magic in fantasy, but that is the subject of a far longer and more complicated post that would reveal it to be neither traditional magic nor traditional psionics. But that's the beauty of GURPS. You can pick and choose and mold anything you want into your game.

- Raven

I quite like psionics. If I thought there was a call for it, i would run a psi-intensive game (I have several setting concepts in mind). Unfortunately, I cannot do this right now, as I am dedicating myself to running my Steampunk Mars game (in which there is no psionics, nor magic. Not even among the Martian natives.).

Isn't this one of those things that's not supposed to be discussed on the boards? Pretty sure I've seen threads like this closed before...

With a toolkit system like GURPS, isn't psionics often just a trapping?

I mean, when you buy the Telekinesis advantage, it could be a result of mental force, or due to your elemental mastery of the winds, or the action of the invisible daemons you conjure. Sure, you may be calculating in a few different enhancements and limitations, but "psionic" is just flavor text (or maybe a power modifier).

How is a psionic teleporter different from a magical teleporter or a superheroic teleporter? They can all ruin the game equally well, because it's not the psionics that causes the problem; it's the teleportation.

Like any supernatural force, psionics just needs to be properly reined in by the gamemaster. Either opponents need to be properly prepared for it, or the PC needs to pay a hefty Unusual Background for his unexpected advantages.


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