Saturday, May 26, 2012

Psionics in D&D Next

or 'A Tale of Two Oozes'

Your humble host feels the need to assert his geekhood.

Because many bloggers are commenting on the D&D Next playtest materials, I thought that I might insert myself into the mob. I won't gripe about downloading issues because (1) I'm not that much of a geek and (2) I didn't encounter any issues.

Since I'm currently in the process of analyzing the Psi World game, is it not appropriate that I address the topic of psionics in D&D Next?

First, let me say that I'm attempting to absorb the playtest rules from a fresh perspective – bereft of biases imposed by other editions, extrapolating exclusively from the information that the materials provide. Attempting, but not necessarily successful in doing so.

Second, apparently unlike many others, I fully appreciate that these are playtest rules and not the final output – many changes can (and likely will) take place. Still, it is interesting to see what the Wizards have included and what they have not.

So, in this frame of mind, I was perusing the bestiary and came across the entry for gray ooze. Let me phrase this appropriately – my impression upon reading the description was – sages know that gray ooze has latent psionic ability. Specifically, it has the ability to 'crush minds' (that is, according to my impression of the meaning of the words). Nothing else in the playtest materials expands upon or even acknowledges this ability; from what my impressions supply, there are no rules for implementing this ability in play.

Gray ooze was psionic in 1E, but it wasn't psionic in either Basic or the SRD.  An editorial gaffe?  Perhaps, but 'playtest' gray ooze has a Wisdom score that exceeds human average (or so my impressions relate) as opposed to the SRD version where its Wisdom is minimal.  Also, I gain the impression that gelatinous cubes are expressly immune to psychic damage but my impressions detect no such immunity for gray ooze.  Hmmm.

Other quick observations impressions:
– Rules for being intoxicated, but no alcoholic beverages on the equipment list.

– The marginalization of humanity: Two dwarf pre-gens but only one human.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the saner posts I have yet read responding to the play test materials. So thanks for that.

    Good point about the marginalization of humanity. I think this might just be because they have four core races and wanted to see them all represented. That being said, it probably would have been nice to see two humans rather than two dwarves (especially since neither of the clerics presented are particularly traditional).