Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Psionic Handbook 2nd Edition For Running Dark Sun With Castles & Crusades Rpg

This blog post is going to pick right up from here on the blog  The psionic handbook is an artifact from 1991 but has some very solid uses with running Castles & Crusades with the Dark Sun setting. The Psionic Handbook wiki entry has the history of this innovative 2nd edition;"The Complete Psionics Handbook is a supplemental rulebook for the 2nd edition of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, published in 1991 by TSR, Inc."

Why is "The Complete Psionics Handbook" so important to running the Dark Sun setting?! Because of how it's set up from the ground up. Once again we refer back to the Complete Psionic Handbook Wiki entry; "The use of psionic powers involves a variant of the proficiencies system developed in the 2nd Edition rules. Each power has a score rated in terms of a particular attribute. When attempting to use a power, the player makes a Power Check by rolling 1d20 and comparing the result to the Power Score. A roll less than or equal to the Power Score means success. Additionally, each power description includes a specific penalty suffered by the psionicist if a 20 is rolled.[1] A psionicist has a fixed number of Psionic Strength Points, derived from his wisdom score, to expend on psionic powers. A psionicist expends the number of PSPs required by a particular power, then attempts a Power Check. If the check fails and the power doesn't work, he forfeits half the PSP cost but is free to try again later. If he passes the check and the power is successful, the psionicist has the option of expending additional PSPs to maintain the power in subsequent rounds.[1] Psionicists recover lost PSPs every hour in which no additional PSPs are expended. The less physical exertion, the more PSPs recovered; a walking PC recovers 3 PSPs per hour, and a resting PC recovers twice as many" 
Couple this with the 150 psionic powers that are listed in 'The Complete Psionic Handbook" we begin to see the tip of the iceberg for running Dark Sun with Castles & Crusades. 

The actual use of 'The Complete Psionic Handbook" is actually contained within the review of the product by Rick Swan from  Dragon magazine #180 (April 1992).  This review actually contains the clue needed to bring the entire operation into focus. Once more from the 'Complete Psionic Handbook' entry"Rick Swan reviewed The Complete Psionics Handbook for Dragon magazine #180 (April 1992).[1] Swan gave the book a positive review, stating that while the large increase in the complexity of psionics from the 1st edition was intimidating, the system itself was straightforward and highly playable. Swan felt that the new book offered a number of elegant improvements over the previous system. He noted that the system's use of "power points" was similar to the magic systems used in a number of other role-playing games, and that for the most part it offered a distinct alternative to D&D's magic options. Swan felt that although the book was comprehensive for players, it lacked adequate advice for game masters to integrate the system into a game, and that some of the details of the system were a hassle for game masters to keep track of."  The use of the point system is going to be the way to go to adjust the many facetted foundation of psionics into something usable in Castles & Crusades.  More to Come! 

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