Thursday, August 12, 2010

First pass at cloning Eldritch Wizardry psionics done

When I started this project I felt like I wanted to get a grasp on how playing a psychic in the early days of the hobby would have been. Now I can say that it must have been a pain in the arse!

I don't know if it was lack of time, bad rules writing or bad rules editing, but believe me when I say that the psionic rules for OD&D is a mess. There are three different tables, depending on whom you engage in psionic combat with, and the rules for the psionic points are quite opaque. For example, Psionic Attack Strength is mentioned a few times, as is Total Psionic Strength. Oddly enough no definition is available for "defensive psionic capabilities", but a mention that they are the same as Attack Strength. So why on earth do you mention it!? Are the Attack Strength Points only used for Attack? Well, Total Psionic Strength is defined as twice the Attack Strength, which are then mentioned in the attack table. You are then very probable asking yourself why you double it up in the first place, or not call it something more intuitive?

Anyhow. I have started doing this as an exercise in gaming archaeology, and for my own enjoyment. Enjoying getting riled up about 35 year old rules is a bit, peculiar. Right? I'm probably just as nutty as those guys who wrote those crazy rules.

This have convinced my that I really need to write my own rules, without points, that feel like the rest of OD&D. I'll keep as much as possible of the old stuff, but do something with ability damage, AC and to hit numbers like regular combat uses. Wish me luck.


  1. I started using the EW psionics rules shortly after EW came out. I just filled in the blanks the way I wanted it to work. Of course, this is exactly what I did with everything else in original D&D. My interpretation of EW psionics worked just fine after a few weeks of play and modification -- at least for my campaign. However, I agree that they are the worst written major rules system in 0e.

  2. Anybody got an updated or improved psionic rules-set / interpretation their willing to share?

  3. I will, in a while. It might be a long time since I posted that post above, but the project is not dead yet.

    My life, and work, suddenly took all my creative energies and I have just begun to calm down for my three weeks of Christmas vacation, during which I will try to be more creative and at least have reached another milestone at the end of it.


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