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I’ve been running D&D games for 30 plus years and occasionally someone will ask to play a character with psionic abilities. I usually resist allowing this; I don’t want peanut butter in my chocolate. I view psionics as a science fiction component rather than fantasy, the theory that science fiction is a form of fantasy not withstanding. I generally prefer my fantasy to focus on magic and medieval European settings, and leave other historical cultures, aliens or technology out. Over the years I’ve mellowed and come to accept that players just want to enjoy the fantasy of taking on a role they do not (or cannot) partake of in real life. So I’ve come to accept ninja, psion or steam punk peanut butter in my European medieval fantasy chocolate.
A bit more than fifteen years ago I ran a D&D 3e game set in the Diablo 2 video game world of Sanctuary, using setting and adventure supplements published by Wizards of the Coast. Included in the setting book were rules for the Diablo 2 character classes. I allowed a mix of D&D and D2 characters, but required the player to chose either the D&D spell system or the D2 spell point system, choosing spells from only from the appropriate list. One of the players chose the D2 Necromancer and used the Diablo 2 spell list and spell point system.
This player was a bit of a power gamer and focused on how to maximize the spell point pool, basically never running out of spell points. The character was able to always contribute in a meaningful was to every encounter. I’ve never been a fan of the 15-minute adventure day, so I usually enforce travel time and backtracking, with the commiserate chance for creatures rising the alarm, ambuscades or random encounters. The spell point pool this character had helped this character be less of an liability in these circumstances, but for large or long fights resource management was still important. I was struck by how the spell point system and the psionic power point system were the same, just using different wrappers (terminology).
After the end of that campaign we were looking for a new setting, and the magazines Dragon, Dungeon and Polyhedron did a cross over adventure called “Incursion!”, featuring Githyanki invaders. It was a precursor to the modern Adventure Paths, and it included psionics. After having run a spell point system in the D2 campaign I was more open to psionics and bought the psionics handbook. Some of players had their characters take levels in psionic classes, and it worked out fine for most.
The same player that played the necromancer wanted to play a Psion, and was keen on creating new powers. His approach was with psionics anything that one could think of could be accomplished with the mind, as opposed to magic which was limited by codified spells, rules and tradition, and relied on an outside source of power. My approach was that both systems use intellect or force of personality to access and control another source of power; the mind is not powerful enough to affect the world directly. We clashed a bit as I was using existing powers to set the power level and point cost of new powers and he wanted to create custom powers with specific effects, so limited in application that he felt the level and point cost should be lower. He was of the opinion that psionics should not be limited, essentially viewing psionics as superior to magic in every way. My concern was that if psionics were always the “better choice”, why would anyone ever play a spell-caster?
Around the time we were finishing that campaign, D&D 4e came out and we switched over to that system. I won’t go into my opinion of 4th edition here other than to say I think it is a fine game system, just not D&D. The new daily, encounter and at-will power system precluded spell or power points and I gradually returned to my dim view of psionics. I’m of the general opinion that there is no need for competing power systems in the same game, such as spell points as opposed to spell slots, or psionics to magic. It is difficult if not impossible to balance to power systems across 20 plus character levels. Melee combat and magic systems are difficult enough, but adding another system will only make it even more difficult.
The Vancian spell system has serious flaws, but its history and well established structure provides built in limitations and guidelines on creating new spells. That same structure is not unjustifiably viewed as restrictive by some, but inserting another, subjectively “better” system will imbalance the overall game even more. If and when psionics are added to 5e, I hope they reconsider power points and stick with a Vancian system. Or rewrite magic with spell points. Keep the peanut butter and chocolate separate. Sorry fans of Reeeses Peanut Butter Cups.
As I stated, I am working on a lot of projects involving the various Joten Horde I command and so I managed to acquire this one on Black Friday at my FLGS, Millennium, in Rochester, NY.
Wizkids :: Troll :: Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures™
This appears to be a direct response to Reaper's Bones line.
It comes pre-primed with Vallejo Grey Primer and that wafer thin base AND the integral base.
As you can see this is a classic Dungeons & Dragons portrayal of a troll. I've always enjoyed this kind and have a couple of classic trolls from TSR in the same vein.
As I mentioned, I above, he came with a really thin base to put him on and the integral base. Wasn't a fan of either so I cut the integral base right off and glue him to a piece of shale to add some weight to the miniature. I also glued that to a architectural tile sample. Then added some bark. One piece to represent a log coming from below the rock he's standing on and the rest to increase the uneven terrain feeling. I added the course and fine sand to give the whole thing some texture.
Afterward, I sealed the whole base with a quick coating of Testors Dullcote and then primed it by hand with some Reaper Grey Primer.
Some points about the model...
It says high-definition and it certainly seems to be of very good detail. You can see a nice definition with the knuckles and veins on his hands and wrist.
That said, what annoys me is the mold line through his left cheek and his hair. The rest of them are in the usual spots, along his chest sides and either side of his limbs.
The price point for the Bones Trolls compared to this troll at the store ($5) are roughly the same.
I look forward to adding him to the crew and I think I might continue my Abomination style skin on him that I used for the Mountain Troll, The Skull Collector.
Enjoy and Stay Tuned!
Haven’t painted in a few months but here is my 3rd attempt at any mini’s. This is the Yeti from the D&D Icewind Dale collectors series. I started with a grey primer, then white base coat. Washed it with nuln oil then dry brushed a light blue and white over the whole thing. I need to add horn detail still and base detail. Any tips on painting realistic horns would be greatly appreciated as well as any other feedback! Sorry, in advance for poor lighting/picture quality.
My D&D group's cleric is a follower of Chauntea, a plant goddess. He wields a scythe. He's also incredibly short for a human. He's absurdly chipper. He's the city's marijuana grower and distributor.
For some reason, the player picked this figure, one of the townsfolk, to represent his character. I don't like this figure. Player stated that I could do low detail on him. I'm not sure there is a sufficient paint job to give him a cheerful face.
C&C as I go is welcome. He isn't going to be one I super nitpick but I'd like him to be generally tidy. Might attempt OSL for practice.
Oh bother. I thought I was in the WIP forums. Serves me right for doing this on the phone. Mod help pretty please?
By Lidless Eye
I've been testing out the new WizKids ready to paints. It was just the simple beasts for now, but I wasn't too impressed with the PC sculpts. I'm hoping they improve the QC for the next wave, there's some cool designs coming.
The Displacer Beast:
The Blink Dog:
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