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Re: D&D classic Psionics in TFT - Rick's observations.

Hi Dan, David, Everyone.

>>> Dan Wrote:
> However, if Psionics is a known phenomena, practice-
> ioners are going to find out how to use them sooner or
> later and that knowledge is going to be passed down 
> through some channel.  ( ie, Guilds, schools, etc ).   

> David Wrote:
In the upcoming Movie "Dr Strange"  an eminent surgeon looses the use of his hands.  He spends his entire fortune to get them fixed but yet gains nothing except experience.  Embittered he travels.  The Sorceress teaches him the Psionic discipline of "Dimension Door".


Psionic is by no means "a known phenomena" and "practitioners" may find the seekers, but the seekers do not just find "Guilds, schools".

I have to agree with Dan in this.

You have found a fictional counter example, but real humans 
teach other humans.  I have taught, Math, Game Design, 
Programming, Science and a couple other odd things and it was
both profitable and very rewarding.  I think that human beings
tend to enjoy both teaching and learning.

I think that for every fictional universe (ficton) where there are no
psionic schools there are ten where you CAN learn from someone
who has mastered the skills.  The exceptions are likely to be 
fictons where psionics is so RARE that the person who learns them
is virtually unique, which trumps the human desire to pass along

Let us say that you have a TFT game with psionic rules.  Let us 
further assume that these rules are interesting (not just a rehash
of magic) and very fun.  Lots of PC's are going to want to use them.
Now if you want to make the PC's the only ones who have these
and no NPC's have them that is fine.  I once ran a GURPS fantasy
game where magic was so rare that the PC's had a virtual monopoly
(big advantage) but there were no magic guilds, no schools and
gaining spells was super random (an especially bad disadvantage 
in GURPS with their huge, long lines of prerequisite spells).

Such a campaign can work.  (My PC mages eventually gave up 
and started learning sword play, so it is obviously frustrating.)  But I 
question if the ideal design of psionics would depend on this sort of 

The way your rules are written, powerful psionic users are cripples
with low ST, DX and IQ.  Every point of IQ bought lowers your power.
This also seems to not match the stories with psionics.  Was Alfred 
Bester in Babylon 5, stupid, clumsy and feeble?

It also seems very alien to me that there is no advantage to IQ in
the psionic rules.  Again this goes against the standard biases 
about psionics in most fictons.


Now, what am I arguing here?

I think that you have found a way to make AD&D 1st edition psionics
work in TFT with almost no changes to the TFT rules and no changes
to the D&D rules.  In that, you have completely succeeded.

I am arguing, that if you want to put psionics in to TFT, there are 
several things about this system that I do not like.

This is of interest to me, because I have wanted psionics for a long
time.  (My system is based on the Blue Oyster Cult song, "Veteran of
the Psychic Wars".)

I am also not impressed with D&D's psionic rules.  (The link below 
goes to a web page where someone tries to figure out how they work 
as written, and it demonstrates many examples of why those rules 


Building a good psionic system is not easy.  I've tried a couple times,
got it "sorta working" and given up.  I'm a perfectionist when it comes
to TFT, and perfect psionics rules have eluded me.

However, since your write up, I've looked over D&D psionics for the
first time in 3 decades or so.  And my reaction has been "I can do better 
than THAT !!!"  I am tempted to write up 5 pages of rules that simulate 
D&D style psionics in TFT.  They would not be a direct conversion (why
copy something that has so many problems), but would aim for D&D
psionics if Gygax had playtested the rules.

My goal would not be perfection, but "better than D&D".  I am confident 
that I could beat that rather low bar quite quickly.  I am pretty busy, but
it is possible that I might put something on the list in the next two weeks
or so.

However, if you wanted to take another pass at it, which fixed my major
two complaints, I would be very interested. 

Warm regards, Rick.