Preview: the Psion Class

ph3psionContent for the new Dragon magazine is now up detailing the Psion class. Personally I was never a fan of the psionics character, but in some campaigns I could see them working. I just never quite liked the fluff of having players manipulate things with their minds. I guess I am just an old-timer with my magic and spells (‘You dagnabbit psionic kids. Get off my lawn!’)

Still it looks like an interesting class. What I particularly like is how the implementation of power abilities are slightly tweaked. Players slowly expand primarily with their at will powers and get daily and utility powers as normal. They gain no encounter powers. Rather they obtain power points (starting with 2) that they spend to augment their at will powers. Most at will powers can be augmented twice, effectively having 3 ‘levels’ of effects. After a short rest, they regain those points back. They’ll end up with the same number encounter powers as other players, just some differences in the game mechanics for using them.

I foresee this becoming popular in a lot of knock off systems (and likely has already been implemented elsewhere). You have a few key signature powers or moves, with a pool of points to tap additional effects to them. You end up having a few options, deciding how much to buff up a certain attack. I like it, and it screams for being used in certain genres (pulp-action or superheroes).

As for 4ED though, I can see more bookkeeping for the player. It’s a neat idea, and I expect for many veterans they will like the free-wheeling power use of this character class. I’d be hesitant dumping it on a new player. Yet, the play style of being able to selectively bump up abilities, rather than picking from a predefined set is intriguing. An alternate magic system in the works maybe?

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