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Re: D&D classic Psionics in TFT

Frankly, that view of the scene from the Hobbit seems just a bit ... forced ... to me; it was more like the typical gloating and monologue-ing that bad guys always do in the movies when things look worst for the good guys; nothing Psionic to see there.

I stand by my earlier comments:  It looks like the rules could work, and would probably do pretty much what you want them to, but at the same time, they do feel gamey, and seem likely to break the game in ways that haven't been clearly thought through.  For example, as the rules stand, if I lose my psionic powers (unless the actual XP are permanently lost -- something you need to clarify), I can simply say; "Oh well," and trade in my banked XP for a lot of attribute points, all at once.  It's almost like rewarding failure or disaster.

On the other hand, if you just had the characters, say, SPEND the XP to buy a point of Psionics (and maybe limiting the number of available points for any given character to purchase to the number of IQ points s/he has), it would remove some enormous pool of XP which could suddenly turn a nerd into Arnold Scharzenegger, or an idiot into Steven Hawking, and still tie things more explicitly to IQ in keeping with TFT's underlying mechanics.  Just make sure there is a low-level power of some kind that could be used at the cost of only a single point of Psionics so the players have some incentive to make that first purchase.  Using that mechanism, you could still simulate the loss of Psionic powers as a result of an attack of some kind (or even a knock on the head) by simply forcing the player to reduce the number of Psionics points his character has (much like losing ST due to a hit, though in this case no healing could occur -- however the player could always save up the XP to buy them back again).  If you don't want everyone to be a Psi, then simply make some sort of restrictive Talent for it that is extremely difficult to activate -- which could also set up a few scenarios for the players as they try to figure out how to gain these strange new powers (which they probably found out about when someone else used them on THEM).

I still probably wouldn't use Psionics, but at least they would seem to fit more into the typical TFT process instead of requiring arcane math and an almost completely separate set of rules to use.

From: David Michael Grouchy II <david_michael_grouchy_ii@hotmail.com>
To: "tft@brainiac.com" <tft@brainiac.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 10:53 AM
Subject: Re: D&D classic Psionics in TFT

While I can see all this is possible, I'm a little
at a loss as to why anyone would want to do
it. Can you explain your motives?

In the movie "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" there is a scene with the goblin king (one of the few scenes very close to the book) where he uses ego whip on Thorin Oakenshield.

Goblin King: "Thorin Oakenshield.  King!  Under the mountain.  Only ... You don't have a mountain.  And you're not a king.  Which makes you ... nothing ... really."

And his eyes gleam with pleasure as he looks for defeat in the face of Thorin.  In my estimation this is not a spell.  Also Thorin himself, through all three movies, seems to use psionics more than his dexterity.  In dealing with rulers.

Thorn strikes me as someone who has not gained a level, or at least doesn't feel it is right to gain a level, since he lost his Mountain Home.  He is a Dwarf, perpetually stuck at level 8 (level 9 being the title level for fighters. Becoming 'lord' and gaining a stronghold.) So Thorin has spent decades gaining exp, without cashing in.  

He weathers the psionic ego whip quite well.

But as to my motive... well... that is a longer story.

Back when Gary Gygax passed away many of us old timers gathered at the dragonsfoot.org forums to pay tribute and reminisce.  There I found an ongoing Q&A with Tim Kask, the editor of "Eldritch Wizardry."  

He said that he had just returned from Vietnam, and was the only vet on staff at TSR inc.  Further that we could blame him for adding Psionics to the game.

here is a link to his confession...

and a link to his Q&A thread

Now from the beginning, psionic did overlap a few spells but mostly were designed to represent Dr Strange, and to be very alien... like... Cthulhu alien.

here is a direct quote from Tim Kask

/ begin quote

I use psionics with the very rare otherwordly bad guy. We mixed them with the Mindflayer and Brain Mole right at the beginning; I just expanded them a bunch.

end quote

So the answer to "what motive" is tribute to the past, and the giants of our industry who have passed.  But more than that.  They are just neat.  Here are some of the disciplines from Eldritch wizardry.

Body Equilibrium
Molecular Rearrangement  
Aura Alteration  
Telempathic Projection 
Dimension Walking  
Astral Projection 
Mass Domination  
Probability Travel 

Sure, there is a spell or two that overlap, but most are so different as to be alien.

My motive was to show how powerful TFT is, unmodified, to include all worlds and all game systems.

Consider it this way.  This potential has been there all along, and no one used it.  Just like Psionic potential itself.

Thank you for reading.
David Michael Grouchy II