Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Look Back at AD&D Psionics

Recently, I was looking back at Dragon Magazine #78 (which was one of the first dozen or so Dragons I bought back in the day). This issue is the one dedicated to psionics. In that issue, no less than 14 pages are dedicated to "fixing" and "answering" the issues with and questions about psionics. That's twice as many pages than are given psionics in the AD&D PHB. Think about that for a moment... The magazine spent twice as much space in the magazine trying to resolve psionics issues than the original rules were given.

In that issue of the magazine, the material noted above was presented in three different entries: 1) "Psionics is Different" by Arthur Collins, 2) the "Sage Advice" column for that issue, and 3) "Overhauling the System" by Robert Schroek. As part of a larger "Mind Games" selection of psionic-related material, the issue also included the following: a psionicist character class, an article on the Deryni (a creation of author Katherine Kurtz) also by Collins, stats and descriptions for "Heroes & Villains of the Deryni", all by Arthur Collins; an ecology of the mind flayer by Roger E. Moore; and an article on how spells can also be psionic by Kim Mohan.

I suppose the argument could be made that the 8-page article about the psionicist class could be included with the material that "resolves" the issues with AD&D psionics, meaning that over 3 times the material was included in Dragon magazine to "fix" psionics than were included in the PHB. It's no wonder that the 2e Complete Psionics Handbook was inevitable.

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