Monday, April 11, 2022

OSR Review Of 'The psychic PC class' by James & Jody Moran- Mishler from Mishler Games For Your OSR or Old School Game Campaigns

" This booklet presents a new 15-level Psychic class that utilizes psychic powers, completely compatible with the existing magic system!"

"The class possesses the following:
Psychic Powers!
Psychic Combat!
Attune Restricted Magic Items!
Psychokinetic Powers!
Psychic Combat Expertise & Mastery!
The new Psychic class can be used alongside traditional magic-users and clerics or can take the place of one or both in a more science-fantasy campaign.
Designed for use with Labyrinth Lord, the Psychic Class can be easily adapted to any old-school fantasy role-playing game!"

The psychic PC class by James & Jody Moran- Mishler from Mishler Games is a solid take on the OSR psychic. And its pretty much a reimagining of the psychic from the ground up. Very similar but not quite the same as the 2nd edition Dungeons & Dragons Dark Sun psychic. 
Instead the Mishler Games version is a bit more martial & in some ways geared toward the Science Fantasy end of the OSR. And we can see this according to the write up for the PC class right out of the gate;"
PSYCHIC POWERS: At 1st level a psychic possess four 1st level psychic powers, plus a number of additional 1st to 4th level psychic powers based on her Intelligence score as detailed on Wisdom Table II. For example, a psychic with an Intelligence of 17 would start at 1st level with six 1st, two 2nd, and one 3rd level psychic power. Those are the number of psychic powers possessed. At 1st level the psychic may choose the psychic powers she possess. Starting at 2nd and subsequent levels, new psychic powers gained might be random. Whenever a new psychic power is gained, the psychic may choose to spend one week in training with another psychic who possesses a desired psychic power, or two weeks in meditation, each per level of the psychic power to be gained, in order to choose her new psychic power. She must then make a Spell Learning Probability Check based on her Intelligence score (Intelligence Table II). If successful, she gains the desired psychic power; if the check fails, she instead manifests a random psychic power (re-roll any psychic power already possessed). Once a psychic power is possessed, it cannot normally be changed (though it can be lost through unusual circumstances)." 
Dealing with psychic PC classes in OSR games are tricky because on the one hand many D&D players love Dark Sun and want a psychic in their party. And on the other hand there are the Grognards who absolutely loath psychics. Me, being the old school heratic that I'm well I love psychics. They are absolutely a blast when you've got a good solid version of the PC class. And 'The psychic PC class' by Mishler Games is a blast! 
Between fifteen levels of psychic weirdness and danger there's a well thoughout class. And it's well done with all of the appropriate abilities that goes along with the class. At first level all of the old favorites are here: "
1. Allure (M1) 2. Animal Companion (D1) 3. Auditory Illusion (I1) 4. Charm Person (M1) 5. Command (C1) 6. Comprehend Languages (M1) 7. Detect Evil (C1) 8. Detect Illusion (I1) 9. Divine Weather (D1) 10. Doppelganger (I1) 11. Hypnotism (I1) 12. Jarring Hand (M1) 13. Locate Creature (D1) 14. Message (M1) 15. Phantasmal Force (I1) 16. Remove Fear* (C1) 17. Sanctuary (C1) 18. Sleep (M1) 19. Speak with Animals (D1) 20. Ventriloquism (M1)" 

So its not going to a surprise to the usual old school gamer but its how it's arranged & played with that set's  'The psychic PC class' apart. The whole class does read like the old school but plays as well as the standard OSR reimaging of the class itself. And it's this balance that the class walks well! Is   'The psychic PC class' for everyone?! Hell no! But  'The psychic PC class' works very well for those Science Fantasy rpg campaigns that need the psychic abilities to even out some of the magick and herasies that we see cropping up in the OSR. What the Hell are you talking about Eric?! Well, 'the psychic PC class' adds in the attune ability at higher levels and it works very well; "
ATTUNE RESTRICTED MAGIC ITEMS: Psychic powers are merely a different way of manipulating the natural, ambient magic of the world through use of personal, innate magic. Beginning at 2nd level a psychic is able to manipulate the magic of magic items of restricted sort (fighter only, magic-user only, cleric only, etc.) so that she can attune herself to it and use its power, whether it is a ring, scroll, rod, staff, wand, or miscellaneous magic item. To attune to an item the psychic must hold and psychically scan the item in question for 10 minutes. She may then make a saving throw versus Spells, with a penalty equal to the relative spell level of the power she is trying to attune; if she succeeds, she may use that power of the item. For example, if trying to attune a wand of fireballs the penalty to the save is -3. If she fails, she may try again, but if she rolls a Natural 1, she may not attempt it again until they have gained a new level' 
That right there is vicious if used in an OSR horror game, Science Fantasy setting with a Lovecraftian flavor, or a Steampunk campaign venue to name a few. Once again a solid class from Mishler Games. 
Now where would I use the psychic class?! Adventurer, Conqueror, King springs readily to mind! The Science Fantasy elements are already within the late Roman Empire setting. And Castles & Crusades would be easy to slip this class in the backdoor and yes there are psychic abilities in C&C. But this is a well defined class! 

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