Non-Tarandan Psionics

People have ideas on what psionic science looked like pre-Tarandas?

Say, if you were to learn psionics from a disembodied teacher from before Tarandas.

Reading Mistborn I see a wonderful attempt at making the names of powers, and the people that wield them, sound natural. (Someone is a smoker, for example.)

(Shrug) IDK, just Wilders and wild talents? No codification or regimented training?

Or is the idea a different system pre-Tarandas?

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Nah. I don’t think psionics was different pre Tarandas. Rather, I think that Tarandas created terminology for psionics that was previously lacking. So terms like “will”, “way”, “discipline”, the the names of the psionic disciplines come from Tarandas (who was also standing on the shoulders of giants).

Definitely not talking about classes, so no wilders or psionicists. I aim this is a rules- and edition-free thread.

Psionics were an integral part of Green Age civilization, more so than today.

According to The Will and the Way, Tarandas did a lot of things, amongst them codifying the six disciplines.

So, what did the science look like before this codification? Was there hundreds of traditions, like RL martial arts before important historical events unified or plowed over the existing techniques?

I hoped someone might have come up with a fictional pre-Tarandan nomenclature.

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I’m not overly sure i see it as ‘classes’ as such. Maybe closer to the difference between Wizards on Krynn & other worlds (White, Red & Black magic vs the normal schools) - classifying powers and codifying the way psionics was thought about.

Or maybe some mechanics, IDK. Tarandan-style schooling might be the difference between all psions using the “tribal psion” kit (or whatever) from Dragon magazine and the std rules from the CPH, if you will.

The structure with which you think about and learn things can be massively helpful, or a giant hindrance.

Definitely the way psionics we defined in 3.0 & 3.5e had an effect on their development. The same might be true “in game”.

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Well, for example, before the influence of Tarandas, a “clarisentient” was called a “seer”, a “psychometabolist” an “egoist” and so on. Furthermore, these were called different things elsewhere.

Pre Tarandas, the will and way were not properly separated or categorised. This doesn’t mean that people did not have powerful psionics, just rather that Tarandas came up with perhaps the most helpful way to analyse the psionics sciences.

So Tarandas applied psychological techniques to look at psionics disinterestedly.

Edit: In the Prism Pentad, especially The Verdant Passage, Agis describes his framework for understanding psionics. It’s quite possible this is in the Tarandan style.

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Definitely. Agis’s description of psionics was lifted from the novels and added to The Will and the Way.

Seer is a great term, but not egoist. What even is an egoist? What is an ego? I have the vaguest sense of what the obsolete term “ego” was supposed to mean.

No, terms should mean something intelligible, like seer, as in one who sees.

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Maybe Tarandas didn’t codify psionics, but rather rediscovered lost Green Age terminology. For an even bigger mindf**k, how about Tarandas being a shell inhabited by the mind/intellect of an Epic level Green Age psionicist/psion who’s been body swapping down the ages (kinda like pre-Champion Daskinor was suggested to be in some Fanon materials). Maybe that psyche was inhabiting Pharistes and kicked off the Psionatrix incident.


Ego: noun; a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.

Something like ‘Body Modifiers’ would definitely describe Psychometabolic powers better and would sound less introspective.

(Obviously ‘Body Modifiers’ itself is a poor name).

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Well perhaps poor nomenclature motivated Tarandas to come up with better codification?

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Well that cuts me out of the discussion lol.

(Joke) May mindfire infect all rules free participants! (/Joke)

Oddly enough, I was just studying about the difference between pre and post versions of psionics today.

I like the idea that other types of psionics are other game system expressions. So in 5e the mystic and mcdms Talent, and even wotcs subclasses, since they are all a type of psionics, but have different usher mechanics.