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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Astral Construct (Agile Loper)

Psionics users (a.k.a. psychics) use a different type of power from traditional magic. Their powers are based on affecting their surroundings by exerting their mental powers to affect physical objects or other minds surrounding them. Generally, psionicists don't deal with the plethora of other planes that make up the universe. If they do, it'll be the Astral Plane, mind dimensions and dreams, and, on extremely rare instances, siphoning energy from the evil and good, and positive and negative planes.

Your tradional arcane and divine magic user is able to summon allies from other dimensions from other planes, pulling a physical creature out of their home plane onto the Material Plane. Psionicists can't do that.

But some psionicists achieve a close second. They can bring in ectoplasm from the astral plane and condense it to take on a solid, quasi-alive form for a few seconds or minutes. These are called astral constructs.

Some especially talented psionicists are able to make their astral constructs take on forms suited for specific tasks. The agile loper type of astral construct is made for speed and charges. The ectoplasm around the "head" is under great pressure, forming ultra-dense, very hard horns to knock down opponents so the construct can trample them underfoot.

Back to constructs!

This isn't a conscious choice, mind you. When I can't think of a creature I particularly feel like drawing, I use a system to randomly select one out of the monster manuals. I just happens that that same system sometimes gives me similar types several times in a row.

I really want to try out a game with psionics, but I've heard that they're notoriously unbalanced. Maybe if you run a game that only has psionics and no arcane / divine magic? I don't know.

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  1. If we're talking about Pathfinder I played in a game for awhile with a Dreamscarred Press psion in it and they really didn't feel any more overpowered than a equally leveled wizard would have when compared to the cleric I was playing. We (the rest of the players) didn't actually know he wasn't just playing a variant wizard until weird crystals and astral nightmare things started showing up trying to convince him to ditch us and "follow his destiny". The game ended before we got into super high levels so maybe things get unbalanced in late game but I think you said you don't usually play to max level anyway?

  2. Here's my opinion on the subject of psionics being unbalanced, based on my knowledge of the subject:

    Whether or not 3.5 psionics is broken depends on what rules you're playing with. Regular Psion can deal a ridiculous amount of burst damage with Overchannel, but beyond that it's nowhere near as good as, say, Wizard or Druid. Erudite is way better if you play with the optional spell-to-power rule, but that's mostly just because there are an order of magnitude more spells than powers to pick from. Still, you won't outclass an optimized Wizard, so that's not really the defining factor.

    No, the biggest factor is whether you play with the "psionics is different" rule. So long as you have it so spells can affect powers and vice versa (Dispel Magic and spell resistance works on psionic powers, you can't use magic in a null psionics field, etc.) it's fine. If you consider psionics to be different enough that they can't affect each other, it causes a problem where high-level monsters become extremely susceptible to psionics unless you amend each monster entry to account for both being in the game.

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