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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 63 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Psionics in a fantasy setting?  (Read 12929 times)
Steve Marsh (Ethesis)
Member

Posts: 39


« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2005, 08:23:18 PM »

I believe, and I may be wrong here, that psionics were added to D&D because of the Jack Vance influence on Gygax. Well, that, and of course, the whole "kitchen sink" approach of throwing in everything that sounded remotely interesting. Which gets you, well...D&D. As has been noted, D&D has become it's own entire genre, a subgenre of fantasy. Not really at all like Tolkien, or Vance, or Howard, or any of the influences, but notable in that it's a melange.

It's interesting that a setting like Harn, then, is actually appealing to this newly created aesthetic. As if there is no other that could appeal to a RPG player.

I agree with others to keep away from opinion here, but the following is not opinion. There are players who will be attracted to a D&D-esque game, and there are players who will be repelled by it. Just as there will be players attracted and repelled by a game that has it's own aesthetic. To say nothing of some new aesthetic that you might evolve using fantasy and psionics. The real question is not whether or not to put something like this in. It's how well you execute a vision of these things that make the game fun to actually play.

Simply choose a concept that you have a strong vision towards and execute towards that: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=7778.0

Mike

Psionics were added to D&D as the result of two character classes, the mystic and the devine, that were in process.  Mystics were finished, Devines (who used the psionic attack and defense modes) were not.  Tim Kask cut the material up and put it into Eldritch Wizardry.

You would have to ask him why he did what he did as an editor.

In SF, psionics came about because for a long time, editors would not buy magic stories for most magazines.  So if you wanted magic, you did psionics.

Now, psionics seems to show up a lot, but it isn't required.
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Steve Marsh (Ethesis)
Member

Posts: 39


« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2005, 08:25:54 PM »

Hi!
  I already designed it, I am not designing by commitee, I am devloping marketing by commitee. Which I think has proven to be pretty effective...
  And I really want negative opinions. These are the hurdles I have to overcome in order to drive this game from a fanciful idea into a valuable use of my time...


Nice phrase.  It would make a great tag line.

Steve Marsh
I am not designing by commitee, I am devloping marketing by commitee
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2005, 10:27:46 AM »

Psionics were added to D&D as the result of two character classes, the mystic and the devine, that were in process.  Mystics were finished, Devines (who used the psionic attack and defense modes) were not.  Tim Kask cut the material up and put it into Eldritch Wizardry.

You would have to ask him why he did what he did as an editor.
That's some interesting background. I guess the real question, then, is what was the impetus for these classes? Still sounds like the kitchen sink drive. Though the "devines" sounds like some sort of paralleism. In any case, adding new classes just to have options is about the worst way to try to improve a game.

Who are you, Ethesis, who are so wise in the ways of very early D&D? Got a name?

Mike
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Steve Marsh (Ethesis)
Member

Posts: 39


« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2005, 10:55:48 AM »

Psionics were added to D&D as the result of two character classes, the mystic and the devine, that were in process.  Mystics were finished, Devines (who used the psionic attack and defense modes) were not.  Tim Kask cut the material up and put it into Eldritch Wizardry.

You would have to ask him why he did what he did as an editor.
That's some interesting background. I guess the real question, then, is what was the impetus for these classes? Still sounds like the kitchen sink drive. Though the "devines" sounds like some sort of paralleism. In any case, adding new classes just to have options is about the worst way to try to improve a game.

Who are you, Ethesis, who are so wise in the ways of very early D&D? Got a name?

Mike

The "Steve Marsh" at the end my post was me signing my name.  I designed Mystics as a way to add a sort of cleric from the Indian Sub-Continent.  Gary Gygax was designing Divines or Devines in order to have a psionic combat class.

Adding new classes was a great way to play with D&D, I think it probably still is.  Wasn't "just to have options" that Druids and Rangers and Paladins and Thieves were added ...


Steve Marsh
I am not designing by commitee, I am developing marketing by commitee (hmm, that was fun as a tag line once, maybe not any more).

http://adrr.com/story/ (for my artwork)
http://adrr.com/hero/ (for my heroquest stuff)
http://adrr.com/hero/scenarios/ (for some scenarios)
http://adrr.com/hero/norns/index.htm (for setting/rules materials)
http://adrr.com/hero/wildhunt/index.htm (for more misc. scenarios)
http://adrr.com/story/project.htm (etc.)

I ended up at the Forge when someone posted a link to some essays here, I dropped in and read them and decided to browse the forums.

The Acaeum http://www.acaeum.com/phpBB2/index.php and Dragonsfoot http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=11 got my attention early.
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M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


WWW
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2005, 06:58:18 PM »

I didn't think I was ready for publishers forum...
Actually, in some sense the entirety of The Forge is a "publishers forum". The site is about how to design and publish your own game.

The forum area in question is called "Publishing", and is about the particulars of how to get your game out there and get people to want it.

And just so you don't get offended by the shock when it comes, the question you raised is what most of us here would consider a non-issue--the inclusion or exclusion of psionics in your game is not really much more than what language you want to use to describe one set of game rules. There are probably twenty other things you've taken entirely for granted in your design which would have brought lots of questions and challenges, since most people's first game attempts make far too many "this is how these things are done" assumptions, and we've seen them and seen through them so many times by now that sometimes we're a bit quick to point to them when they appear (like, did you really need a separate combat system, and why are you using attribute+skill for success checks, and all the stuff "everybody does"--not saying you did either of those things, but they're terribly common and usually mistakes).

So, welcome to The Forge. Fasten your seat belt.

--M. J. Young
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dindenver
Member

Posts: 928

Don't Panic!


WWW
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2005, 07:51:11 PM »

Hi!
  This is not my first game, but it's the first time I thought I could publish it. It's written, I am editing and trying to get art.
  I am kind of scrambling. I didn't do any research into publishing before because I had a friend who said he knew people. That has fallen through, so I am playing catch up. I never thought I would have a chance to get a game published, but it looks like there are lots of inexpensive and/or innovative options.
  It seems like this is a pretty focus community, so I am hoping that I can get answers to directed questions. I am slowly getting the hang of it around here though.
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
Andrew Morris
Member

Posts: 1233


WWW
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2005, 08:39:19 PM »

Dave, you'll find that a lot of the really useful stuff for you has already been covered many times. The search function is your best friend. Use it to find some threads on the area of interest, then if you still have questions, start a thread. That's probably the best way to go about it.

I have the feeling that one of the first topics you'll want to look into is publishing. All (or at least the vast majority) of the game designers here are their own publishers. There are several threads on how this is a more financially viable option than going through the traditional three-tier route. For example, you can get your game in print with entirely no money up front (or very little).

Some resources to get you started:
How to Make Your Own Role-playing Game (Cheap)
POD printer round up
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