The Phoenix Psionic System

This was written by me as a replacement for the not great to abysmal psionic systems put out by TSR and Lizards. 1st Ed, unworkable, 2ed fails the reasonable person test. Lizards 3e is an alternate spell casting system.

I wanted something closer to the SF feel of Star Trek. Useful, but hot a replacement for magic, or more powerful than same. My original (awkward) system was refined into a d20 comparable system. It is game and setting agnostic.

The PDF has had the art removed. I am interested in any valid criticism of things that might be broken or not understandable. I have no editing team. “This sucks” will be ignored.

09_Manual_psionics.pdf (236.6 KB)

I have given this another edit pass. I added and changed a few things per suggestions.

5/19/23 - Minor edit pass.Fixed minor issues.

If I’m understanding this correctly, it is impossible for a non psi to start with a Psi STR of 1, because they roll 2d4? If that is so, then why is there a line entry for a Psi STR of 1 in the table?

You are correct. It would be something you had to discuss with the GM. If that is not clear I need to make is clear. Being Psi null would have advantages and disadvantages. Mind affecting spells would work less well or not at all, you would take a -2 to charisma because you lack the non-verbal “insight” people usually share. IE The dullard that never gets social clues. Purely telepathic races could not communicate with you.

Thank you, no one has ever brought this up. I did not think of it because no one has ever asked.

There’s already a d20 tag. Take a look here: Tags


You are welcome! =D

I updated the Psionics with the Psi hull information and squitched a few typos I found. I changed the files in the 0-post.

The pdf appears to have an error, when I downloaded it, it was only 11k, and only had a small graphic and a single page?

Apparently Libre Office, if the frame is clicked on saves only the frame as a pdf. So noted in the future. Clear all selections first.

I fixed it, checked to make sure and I’ll fix the link above.\

09_Manual_psionics.pdf (237.3 KB)

The frame is my copyright boilerplate I add with adjustments to any pdf.

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Yeah, LibreOffice is sensitive to what is currently selected when a command is executed.

If you care about formatting, line two of Table PS1 went wonky. The line starting with the number 1?

A note about the Telepath… since they have the ability to contact a previously contacted, known mind, out of sight (effectively at any range it appears?)… I could imagine a cunning player with a cruel character contacting an enemy mind one day, and then weeks or months later “haunting” said enemy remotely with creepy mental voices and sudden screams and so forth… no matter where they travel in the world. Combine with clairvoyance to haunt the entire family!

Ah, does clairvoyance count as line of sight? If so, it would enable a lot of remote options, trickery, and potential shenanigans.

Unless there is something I am missing like skill checks or psi checks to disguise the mental ‘voice’, or checks to mentally envision and send SFX instead of speech-thoughts, or if that sort of creative application is simply not possible in your psionic system… this seems like an interesting way to take down enemies, sneakily remove or discredit political opponents, and punish or prank folks.

I guess this would be limited by the detection capabilities of the society or civilization in question, and whether psionics versus magic have detection / protection options or not. Also if lingering auras for recently used powers exist for psi or not outside of the psychometry option. Plus a lot of people are likely to be Nulls by default, depending on your demographics?

Telekinetics can “mode” things: spelling error, page 3

Ability Classes on page two lists “Esper” but on page 4 the title is given as Clairsentient instead?

Seems like the Psihealer should have a skill to deaden or heighten nerves/ senses. Deaden could be used during surgery or Shape Flesh, also on Beserkers or in other combat situations to give a penalty to a sense. Heighten could be used when spotting or searching or tracking, or certain kinds of dexterity based skills to grant a small bonus - but also make a person vulnerable to things which suddenly afflict the heightened sense.

You missed the typo next to “mode”. I feel better.

Keep in mind this is Old School. Not every possible option is listed nor did I mean to. Most of what you suggest is within the realm of the possible.

As to detection, most scrying will find it. Another telepath can tell when a mind has been tampered with.

Pain numbing skill noted and I’ll include it. It makes sense. Other suggestions and corrections will also be considered. Frankly you are the first person to give a damn. I’m not terribly concerned with formatting right now. The PDF is stripped of all the art that would be in my book. That will change the formatting quite a bit.

Lol. Yeah, I quick skimmed the text and only caught some stuff.

I’m a psionics fan in general, so I like to look at many psionic systems for ideas and inspiration. =D

Likewise. 0D&D, AD&D, and AD&D2 had terrible psionic systems. From unworkable to unreasonable.

My first incarnation was percentile based, on the Kraith Collected (Star Trek Fanzine) 0 to 100 psi scale. After D&D3 I rethought it and went d20. It simplified it and made it more workable.

What I have lacked, is an editor and decent feedback. All you are willing to to is welcome.

I have given this another edit pass. I added and changed a few things per suggestions. The file at the top has been updated.

Quick question mid read…

If one plays a pure psionic character, does the base of medium and two ability classes mean that state is the zero state for the psionic?

Thus if they increase to High and add a third ability class would the multiplier become 1 / 0 for a total of plus one (following the first step of table PS 3)…

…or would they have a multiplier of 2 / 1 for a total of plus three (assuming that the base is already equivalent to a 0 / 1, thus moving up one step on each part of the PS 3 table?)

In other words, as stated, to improve there is a cost, but unless i missed it, what that cost would be is unclear.

If they get the same XP rider as a psionic plus another class of 4 / 2 or 4 / 4 for improving one or both, then there would be no reason to play a pure psionic.

I’m assuming that even for a dedicated psionic that 3 ability classes / High is the maximum possible?

As some side comments:

I notice that the second line of table PS 1 has some extra spaces at the beginning of the line, throwing off the formatting.

Deathguard stats became underlined.

Pain Control power not yet added to table PS13. Also some spelling stuff in the power’s description.
(Nice power! )

I’ll get to this. Right now “The Inn of the Last Rose” is eating my brain. Your comments and feedback have been very helpful. Feedback, writers live for it, and seldom get it.