Athas.org's original charter: 3.x development


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #21

Lol, that’s what psychic reformation and wild talent are for! Not born with it? No problem! We can fix that problem when your kid is still 1st level. ^^ (or even 0 level if you are using those rules)

After all, ludicrous as the claim is, kids apparently don’t gain enough xp to trip the level up to two until they are teenagers. So you have over a decade to cheaply and easily address the issue. And in a world where everything, practically, is psionic, no parent would let that slide and miss fixing a dreadful lack in their kid. A single level’s worth of application of psychic reformation and off you go. (Half level if using the 0 level rules, iirc.)


#22

a wild talent is still inborn. You can’t train to get a wild talent. You just have it or you don’t. This is why there was such an inequality during the Green Age, and why Arcane magic spread so fast after Rajaat introduced it. All of a sudden, power could be in the hands of anyone with the knowledge and patience to practice the Art, instead of just in the minds of those gifted with the Will and trained in the Way. A wild talent is just when the talent is particularly late and weak. After all, it is a “wild” talent, in that it is fundamentally unpredictable.


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #23

However, as wild talent is a feat, it can be granted by psychic reformation, which invalidates the biology-only premise. In-context, it may be viewed as an endowment of psionic potential, a mental transfer of power quickening the biology. After all, it does cost xp. Regardless of the exact fluff text, because it is mechanically possible, even probable given the high need for survivability, it must be allowed and accounted for in-story. The rules are the physics of the d&d universe, after all.

Once a character has been granted the wild talent feat, they can then train in any psionic class they choose, or is chosen for them. After all, I doubt such an endowment would come without price or strings. The nature of the wild talent may determine how they are subsequently trained as well. Given that wild talent only grants one first level power with a very few power points, this method also does not invalidates the need for further training. Or the need to find a tutor. So the structure and structures of the Will and the Way is still preserved, if you’ll pardon the pun.

A lazy person might not pursue training, happy with a power they can only use once or thrice a day; whereas a diligent or stubborn person might train until they become powerful.

Also, I think a bit of the point has been missed. Dark Sun is the world where everyone and everything has a psionic power. Story-wise, this is supposed to be a mandatory requirement. Mechanically speaking this is no longer enforced in third edition, no random rolls and so forth. I believe that everyone who does not take a psionic class at first level should have to take the wild talent feat. Everyone IS supposed to have the bare minimum of power. Therefore my comment was actually intended to address the genetic possibility of a mutant or throwback who doesn’t have that potential, and how it might be medically addressed.

I believe that the spread of magic is more due to the lure of the forbidden, and the sponsorship of certain… ah, individuals. In any case, as I mentioned at the beginning, while Athas’ charter mandates continuing development of 3.x Dark Sun, and that is part of my desire and goal; my personal desire and goal is more extensive and better treatment of psionics. There are many people out there familiar with magic, and I will leave such work to them, but Dark Sun is a PSIONIC world, ravaged and devastated by magic. I should like to focus my efforts in a psionic direction.


#24

On that note, in an earlier post I suggested a method by which a particularly powerful mind-lord (or a metaconcert of mind-lords) could stimulate psionic potential in a servitor. In the case of Saragar, such a servitor would be a lawkeeper. The result would be a Divine Mind who, while his powers are stimulated by and reflective of his master’s and may truly believe said power comes from said master, actually has psionic power seperate and irrevocable by his master. What do you think? I understand that many people aren’t particularly fond of the Ardent and Divine Mind classes, but I figure that in a world without gods which also possesses a high degree of psionic power, they could easily pass for actual clergy even by their own standards.


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #25

I think you have a very important point, and one which certainly would affect the psionic, social, and eventually biological landscapes.

I suspect that a lot of the problem with the ardent in particular stems from a misreading of a class feature by the TO crowd. I asked the original author about it and received clarification on it. However, that clarification is unpopular with said TO crowd as it invalidates a number of otherwise interesting builds.

As a number of entities are passing themselves off as Powers, even in the previous settings, it is entirely possible to develop the ardent, the divine mind, and eventually even the elan (another possible where did the original Powers go answer - after all in some settings elan gain their power and nature from outsiders trapped into one or more hosts) in the manner you describe.

Let us also not neglect the potential inherent in psionic elementals, as shown in the complete psionics source. Tied into your idea, there could also be elemental sources sparking potential into all manner of entities, sentient or otherwise. Genius loci, elementals who may be psi lords in their own right, and possibly even vestiges.

Also, taking it further, there may be others who either break off from your proposed source ideologically and thus form new orientations of ardent and divine mind, or possibly those who observe or otherwise absorb the teachings, yet take it in another direction. Groups forming which champion an ideal, or representative of an ideal, seems an extremely likely outcome.


#26

I think I found out how psionics works. Again, as with my Arcane magic theory (appearing in my Advanced Beings with Alternate Energy Sources post and summarized in this post earlier), I am assuming that similar types of magic work under the same rules of reality from world to world. I drew particularly from Athas and Eberron when making this theory, as these are the two worlds that are the most psionicaly developed, and thus are the worlds were there is sufficient fluff available to explain the crunch. So here is my theory.

According to the Dragonshards article Psionics in Eberron by Keith Baker, the the fate of the planes of existance in the eberron cosmology are dependent upon the fate of the prime material. We know that this is very true in eberron, as it is directly stated in regards to the current state of the elemental and paraelemental planes and the current necessity for elemental priests on Athas, as well as the deplorable state of Athas reflected in similar states in the Grey, and presumably the Astral. The presence of the planes also, obviously, affects the material plane in turn. When the planes are in perfect balance (as with the Great Wheel Supercosmology), this produces a natural and easily manipulated energy flow which can be diverted to use in spellcasting without detracting from the overall flow. Obviously, Athas is not one of those worlds where this is an option.

However, another notable affect of the planes in the article was that their energy could be “channeled and focused through the lens of the human mind”, producing psionics. It is not entirely clear what is meant by this, but it is implied that, at least in Eberron, the energy of psionics comes from one of the 13 outer planes (typically Dal Quor the Region of Dreams or Xoriat the Realm of Madness).

This is where Athasian lore is particularly useful. In Athas, the core assumption is maintained that psionics is linked to the Astral Plane. Further, it is stated that within the Astral there are a number of temporary demiplanes called mindscapes produced by manifesters who are in the midst of using a psionic power. To borrow from David Schwartz’s Dark Sun Cosmology page (found here: http://siltskimmer.org/_access/dsplanes.pdf): “A Mindscape is the psychic construct that links the mind of an individual to his body. Mindscapes are normally unseen, except during psychic combat. Each mindscape appears as a location of importance to it’s ‘owner’.” While the page later says it is found in the Grey, I assume this to be an error, as it is contradicted in his portion about the Astral when it says the mindscapes are found there.

This implies that whenever a psion manifests a power, he is projecting his mind into the astral, creating a small bubble of space, and forcing his will on the resulting demiplane. This makes sense, because it fits what we already know about the Astral: it is heavily malleable to thought.

Now, for how this affects the world, we can borrow from Eberron. In eberron, the walls between the planes are often very thin. Areas like this are called manifest zones, and can be enhanced by spells or psionics. If psionic powers in Athas produce a temporary manifest zone to the manifester’s mindscape, he could manipulate the area as expected.

So where does that leave Eberron? Well, I would propose that this process works with any plane with similar morphic traits to the Astral Plane. Thus, since Xoriat and Dal Quor are morphic, they would be natural sources of psionics, especially given that the outer planes of Eberron are naturally inclined to produce manifest zones. In fact, Dal Quor already has a natural equivelant to mindscapes, the dreamscapes, which is where the minds of dreaming mortals go. Psionic natives simply have the ability to force there will on their own plane and then project it into the material.

In Krynn, psionics is impossible because the gods don’t like it (an explanation that actually makes sense in a world of heavy-handed gods). In Dread, psionics involves forcing one’s will on the mists themselves, but has the side affect of potentially attraction the attention of the Illithid God-Brain and sucking the user into the Bluetspur.

As for how the powers themselves are actually produced, it’s reletively simple. Whenever characters move under their own mental power in the Astral Plane, they are using a form of psionics. As such, if a character is using most powers, he is simply manipulating his personal reality. For more refined powers, such as telepathy, one could imagine waves being sent out through the medium of the demiplane. In Athas, powers of this sort may produce a psionic display as the waves are produced; indeed, if this explanation is correct, psionic powers on any world should produce displays.

That’s all folks. Musings from a Zik-Chil on a train.


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #27

Hmm. Could be that it is the differential energy between various planes that is being trapped and funneled through the lens of the mind. So, different planes have different energy states and different frequencies, normally the places where these differences in energy are balanced would be sites of power, ley nexi, touchstone sites, and so forth. A certain number of planes is required for there to be a natural balance.

Athas, however, has a very unnatural balance due to obvious historical effects. As the spirits of living souls are the only other thing in common between the remaining planes in Athas, everyone and everything with a spirit has in effect become a nano-planar nexus, therefore psionic.


#28

In my opinion, psionics is different from arcane magic in that the power required for it is entirely inborn, and all manipulations are planar affects, like those in the Manual of the Planes (particularly astral mutable traits).


#29

Hey, so in the case that I get my Expedition of the Barrier Peaks Dark Sun Adaption adventure ready for playtest, where do I get the PDF format, and how do I post it for others to view on Athas.org?


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #30

What format is it currently in?

Conversion to pdf is usually pretty easy.


#32

It literally consists of the posts I have been making on the forum. I have not compiled them yet


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #33

Screenshot or copy/paste into a doc, then conversion to pdf is easy.


#34

what about uploding to Athas.org?


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #35

Not sure what they will host, you could always ask Flip?


(Chris Flipse) #36

I’d be willing to host something on site
, sure … Biggest thing I have to (re) look into is the parameters of what we can host … A conversion guide is legit, a full recopy of the adventure wouldn’t be … And in between is grey at the moment…


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #37

Hey, Flip?

I’m starting a new Dark Sun campaign with my group, Epic Fetch. Been reading over the core r7 book… the typos! And the bookmarks! Argh!

I know I did some work on proofreading in the past. May I please, PLEASE, be permitted access to the core book documents so that I can fix everything I can find? Pretty please with a Thri-Kreen on top?

Please let me know, soonest.


#38

I know there is at least one typo in Legends of Athas, under the Champion of Rajaat heading. And Wisdom of the Drylanders has some formatting issues.


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #39

I found a few more. Plus the bookmarks are severely out of whack. Hopefully, I’ll be permitted a chance to fix it.

I’m excited about the new campaign. Wonder what kind of character I should go for?


(nijineko prismaticpsion) #40

The wild leap power does not address the rules mechanical issues of maximum permitted distance traveled in a single round, nor if the second jump counts as having the 20’ lead up to prevent the doubling of the DC or not. Finally, a comment about changing facing would be in order.

As the power is written, there is little benefit, other than making two jump checks on a single move action, at the cost of a swift action. However, the movement is not likely to happen within the same round, locking the character into a move action the following or even third subsequent round. (Which is useful only to the dervish prestige class, everyone else will be limited to a standard action until both full jump check movements are complete.


#41

We had some topics on the wizard boards before they were taken down, calling for any typos. I will see about adding some topics to the new forum here, as we are working on getting most of the products updated.