Friday, 27 February 2009

Psionic powers and ability checks

I recently picked up the psionic ability cards and threw together a psychic class for my labyrinth lord sessions. Not having the psionic rules, I knocked a few together myself based on what I saw on the cards and my own feeling for in-game balance. I removed some of the cards which were clearly magical or healing in nature (I do NOT want to make the mage class redundant, nor the cleric and have since removed most of their ESP like abilities too, to give the psychic a nice niche).

So far so good, we had a psychic rolled up in the last games session and he proved useful in play - one of the characters that the player wants to keep in the party. I'm aware that my implementation of the class is probably very different from the core rules, too, so it fits in nicely in with all of our custom classes in terms of power (and of course, the core ones too).

One thing has occurred to me though. With every ability costing psionic points to use (I total Wisdom and Intelligence for starting points on a first level psychic, then increase by d10 per level), why does the psychic need to make an ability roll to pull the ability off? Especially as if he fails it, he still burns the points? I'm thinking of replacing this with automatic success (i.e. losing the ability check) but giving the target a save vs spells to resist the effects. Points would still be burned if the target resists or not, similar to the wizard and clerics still losing a spell even if it didn't work. Also, I'm toying with magic resistance affecting psionic abilities, too.

I was wondering, can anyone with experience of psionics let me know what they think of these ideas? It seems to me that psionics may be putting too much stock on characters having high ability scores, as is.

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