Sunday, September 28, 2014

BX Psionics Playtest Signup

Many will heed the call. Few will be chosen.

Send your answers to the following questions to:
(Feel free to copy and paste the text below)

There are no wrong answers to any questions (be truthful). I'm seeking all types.

Your name (that you go by):

Your name as you'd like it to appear in credits:

Your primary game edition (choose one of the following)
OD&D -or- Swords & Wizardry -or- BX D&D -or- Labyrinth Lord -or- AD&D -or- OSRIC?

How familiar are you with BX D&D (including BECMI but not Labyrinth Lord)?

How familiar are you with Labyrinth Lord (including AEC, but not including BX or BECMI D&D)?

Have you have used psionics in D&D before?
(If yes, which editions?)

Do you have a group already assembled that you plan to include on playtesting of these rules?
(If yes, how many in group?)

Which of the following playtesting scenarios
will you be able to perform over the next few weeks?
(Choose all that apply: launch a new campaign, incorporate into existing campaign,
one-off adventuring, just want to run some combat scenarios)?

How many hours a week can you REASONABLY and TRUTHFULLY
spend playtesting over the next 3-4 weeks
(not including any time required to read or become familiar with the rules)?

1 more illustration down, 8 to go!

This is one of those illustrations for the Creature Compendium that I've putting putting off for a while. It's a re-do of a re-do. I think that's why I've been pushing this one off for so long. Then yesterday, while hanging at Starbucks and sipping my grandé nonfat 2 Splenda latte, I decided to abandon my original intention for the illustration and just sketch from scratch. Seems to have worked out pretty well. This leaves only 8 illustrations to finish before I feel like the book is pretty-close-to-complete. 7 of those will be easy/no-brainers. The eighth, well, it's actually a full page illustration that will feature 7 different monsters on the same page (the animal mummies).

BTW, if you want the stats for the creature in the illustration below(the carriage worm), or if you just want to see the original illustration (before the first re-do), you can find them here.

That leaves only 8 illustrations to finish before I feel like the book is pretty-close-to-complete. 7 of those will be easy/no-brainers. The eighth, well, it's actually a full page illustration that will feature 7 different monsters on the same page (the animal mummies).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It only took 35 years
(New BX Monster: The Intelligent Wooly Rhino)

34 years ago, I purchased my first every RPG product... what has since come to be known as "Cook Blue," though I prefer call it "Cook/Marsh Blue." This was the product that started it all for me (apart from the friend who introduced me to the concept while waiting for a Mardi Gras parade to pass earlier that year). This past year, there were a couple of key highlights during my time at the North Texas RPG Con. One of them was meeting Steve Marsh, the guy who wrote the majority of that very same book. The time he took to sit with me at the con and share his kind words about my Three Castles award-winning Valley of the Five Fires is among my fondest gaming-related memories.

Partly spurred on by that encounter, and partly spurred on my long-intended want of a BX psionics system, I started the quest to do the latter in earnest a few months back. My mystic class, and the inclusion of a "Planar Primer" and "Planar Travel Guide" in my Basic Psionics Handbook, are built on a vision for a plane-traveling mystic class originally penned by Mr. Marsh, but merged with Gary Gygax's devine class by Tim Kask.

"Psionics were added to D&D as the result of two character classes, the mystic and the devine, that were in process. Mystics were finished, Devines (who used the psionic attack and defense modes) were not. Tim Kask cut the material up and put it into Eldritch Wizardry."

Steve Marsh, November 28, 2005,

During the process of writing the Basic Psionics Handbook, I've occasionally emailed Mr. Marsh to get some clarification or deeper information on statements he's made in previous interviews. So when it came time to write up the monsters for the Basic Psionics Handbook, I just had to do something in response to the following...

"Erol Otus mocked my idea of having the Wooly Rhinos be intelligent, so that got canned (I liked the idea of a potentially psionic group of Rhinos in the far north, coordinating the defense of the herd against predators)."

Steve Marsh speaking about writing the Expert Rulebook,
April 11, 2005,

So I started writing up an intelligent, psionic-using, wooly rhino... and I passed the drafts by Mr. Marsh, who provided great insight regarding his intentions, and specifically mentioned having them use enfilade and defilade tactics in battle. So I re-wrote the listing a couple of times, sent him the final draft a couple of days ago, and received an email yesterday morning which said simply, "Really well done." (At which point I clenched my fist with a "YES!")

Well, it only took 34 years for this vision to come to life (assuming the idea came about the year before the Expert book was published), but without further ado, I present the Steve Marsh-inspired (and Erol Otus-mocked) intelligent, psionic-using wooly rhino for the BX rules. (BTW, the "rho'tha" name was an invention of mine, but the Xhosa-inspired clicking sound in the middle was Steve's idea).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Another one of those updates
about where I am on everything...

Since the header for this post says it all, I'll just dig into the updates...

Basic Psionics Handbook
Close to having the final monster descriptions done. This week I wrote up the descriptions for the following: ki-rin, limbo gish (OGL githzerai), mind thresher (OGL mind flayer), neothelid, opinicus, ro'tha, shedu (lesser & greater), and all the zzlahds (OGL versions of slaads, including red, blue, green, gray, black and white; the white is an addition of mine). By the way, the ro'tha (prounounced ROH-tchick-chah, based on an African dialect) are based on the intelligent wooly rhino concept that Steve Marsh wanted to include in the Cook/Marsh Expert rulebook, but caught shit from Erol Otus on it, so the idea was dropped. As I've been working on it, I've been passing drafts to Mr. Marsh and getting his input on them. (How cool is that?)

Creature Compendium
As I've mentioned before, most of what's left here are some illustrations. This week I did the following illustrations and got them into the layout: dunter/redcap goblin (this is like the 4th time I've redrawn this one, and I'm FINALLY happy with it), hyrcinian bird (a small bird that "glows in the dark"), the jogahs (3 types in 1 illustration; again, this is one I've redrawn several times; I'm still not super-happy with it, but feel like it's as close as I'm going to get for now), and the lympago (a.k.a. mantygre).

New Character Classes
I'm almost finished with a new Egyptian priest class I'm tentatively calling the "wenwet." It's actually part magic-user and part cleric (e.g., they have the ability to heal, create illusions, create dimension doors, part water, move earth, etc.) It's actually intended for Dragon Horde #4. I know what you're thinking, "Did I miss Dragon Horde #3? Nope. Still working on that one too, but I already have satyr and faun classes slated for that issue. Besides, I'm looking at Dragon Horde #4 being an Egyptian-themed issue that will support adventure extensions from The Ogress of Anubis. BTW, later this week, I should have a few more animal classes to post to the blog. I'm continuing to collect the BX/LL animal classes into one volume for later release tentatively titled the Animal Class Codex. This will hopefully be accompanied by a sister BX/LL volume called the Character Class Codex which will include the various classes from the zines (the völva, the chroniclist, the satyr & faun, amd the wenwet), along with the beastmaster that appeared on this blog, and a few BX/LL NPC classes I've been working on in the "background" (a scribe and an alchemist, and possibly a sage). There's also an outside possibility this latter volume will include a couple of others (yet to be revealed).

BX DM Screen
I actually finished laying this out a couple of weeks ago, but I need to sit down for a few dedicated rounds of proofreading. With any luck, the kickstarter for this will be launching early October. There are going to be a lot of little extras as part of this, but will reveal all that later.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Finalized Psionic Monster Stat Block

This is pretty much how every psionic monster listing will appear in the Basic Psionics Handbook (normal stats to left of picture area, psionics stats right below, full description below that). Other psionic abilities (if possessed by the creature) will appear right below the Attack/Defense Modes. Sometimes, this will be a detailed listing broken out by discipline (e.g., "psychometabolic: D) body weaponry, reduction, S) complete healing"), and sometimes this will be just the number of disciplines, devotions, and devotions (e.g., "Disciplines/Devotions/Science: 2/10/3"). I have not fully finished editing all the copy on these, so please forgive any grammar mistakes/typos in the following example.

Monday, September 15, 2014

4 New BX/LL Character Classes: Brutes
("Type B" Intelligent Animal")

Brutes are animals known mainly for their unadulterated strength. This does not necessarily mean they are lummoxes. In fact, some brutes are known for their deep compassion, understanding, and even intelligence. It is their strength, however, that makes them formiddable combatants and adventurers. The intelligent and anthropomorphic variety of the animals classes that make up the brutes are generally smaller than the standard varieties of those animals.

The strengths of brutes exceeds the normal human scale. Therefore, the following conversion chart is to be used when creating a brute character, based on the starting Strength score rolled (Rolled Strength Score). Brutes with a Final Strength score of 19 or above run the risk of accidentally smashing a door to pieces if the brute succeeds in forcing it open.

Rolled Strength ScoreFinal Strength Score"To Hit" RollsDamage RollsForce Doors OpenDamage Doors*
* Represents the chance to accidentally smash a door
into pieces based on a successful roll to force a door open.


The prime requisite for a bear is Strength. Bears with a Final Strength score of 20 or greater will gain a +10% bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Bears determine their hit points using ten-sided dice (d10). They may advance to a maximum of 8th level of experience. Bears may use any type of weapon, any type of armor, and may use shields, but the costs of these items is 150% their normal cost. A bear character must have a minimum Constitution score of 9.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Bears make their attacks and save as fighters of the same level, and may use the same magic items permitted to fighters.

Bears may attack bare-handed, doing 1d4 plus their Strength bonus for each hand on successful “to hit” rolls for each hand. If both hand attacks are successful, and the opponent is human-sized or smaller, the bear may choose to automatically “bear hug” its opponent for an additional 2d8 points of damage (no Strength bonus is applied to the bear hug).

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Bear Veteran 0 1d10+1*
2 Bear Warrior 2,300 2d10+2*
3 Bear Swordmaster 4,600 3d10+3*
4 Bear Hero 9,000 4d10+4*
5 Bear Swashbuckler 18,000 5d10+5*
6 Bear Myrmidon 37,000 6d10+6*
7 Bear Champion 75,000 7d10+7*
8 Bear Superhero 150,000 8d10+8*
* In addition to Constitution adjustments.


The prime requisite for a bull is Strength. Bulls with a Final Strength score of 20 or greater will gain a +10% bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Bulls determine their hit points using ten-sided dice (d10). They may advance to a maximum of 8th level of experience. Bulls may use any type of weapon, any type of armor, and may use shields, but the costs of these items is 150% their normal cost. A bull character must have a minimum Constitution score of 9.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Bulls make their attacks and saves as dwarves of the same level, and may use the same magic items permitted to dwarves.

In battle, instead of using a weapon, bulls may choose to make a gore attack against an opponent with their horns, doing 2d4 (plus any applicable damage bonus from Strength) on a successful “to hit” roll. Bulls possess a special ability known as “battle focus” which permits them an additional attack bonus based on the number of opponents. If the bull and his party are outnumbered by their opponents, the bull receives a “to hit” bonus based on the number of active opponents beyond the total members of the bull’s party as outlined below (opponents which are unconscious or incapacitated do not count toward total):

Opponent’s AdvantageBull’s “To Hit” Bonus
1 party member+1
2 party members+2
or more party members+3

In lieu of making any other attack for the round, a bull may choose to charge its opponents and trample them. To do so, the bull must charge straight forward. If the bull is able to make its full movement, all creatures caught in the bull’s path (even friendly cratures) must save vs. paralysis or take 2d8 points of damage (no Strength bonus applies). If the bull cannot (or does not) take its full movement for the round, then those caught in its path only take 1d8 points of damage on the failed saving throw.

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Bull Veteran 0 1d10+1*
2 Bull Warrior 2,300 2d10+2*
3 Bull Swordmaster 4,600 3d10+3*
4 Bull Hero 9,000 4d10+4*
5 Bull Swashbuckler 18,000 5d10+5*
6 Bull Myrmidon 37,000 6d10+6*
7 Bull Champion 75,000 7d10+7*
8 Bull Superhero 150,000 8d10+8*
* In addition to Constitution adjustments.


The prime requisite for a rhino is Strength. Rhinos with a Final Strength score of 21 or greater will gain a +10% bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Rhinos determine their hit points using ten-sided dice (d10). They may advance to a maximum of 8th level of experience. Rhinos may use any type of weapon, any type of armor, and may use shields, but the costs of these items is 200% their normal cost. A rhino character must have a minimum Constitution score of 9.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Rhinos makes their attacks and saves as fighters of the same level, and may use the same magic items permitted to fighters.

In battle, instead of using a weapon, rhinos may choose to gore at an opponent with their horn, doing 2d4 (plus any applicable bonus from Strenth) on a successful “to hit” roll.

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Rhino Veteran 0 1d10+2*
2 Rhino Warrior 2,500 2d10+4*
3 Rhino Swordmaster 5,000 3d10+6*
4 Rhino Hero 10,000 4d10+8*
5 Rhino Swashbuckler 20,000 5d10+10*
6 Rhino Myrmidon 40,000 6d10+12*
7 Rhino Champion 80,000 7d10+14*
8 Rhino Superhero 160,000 8d10+16*
* In addition to Constitution adjustments.


The prime requisites for an elephant are Strength and Intelligence. Elephants with a Final Strength score of 21 or greater and an Intellgence score of 13 or greater will gain a +5% bonus to earned experience points. Elephants with a Final Strength score of 21 or greater and an Intelligence score of 15 or greater will gain a +10% bonus to earned experience points.
RESTRICTIONS: Elephants determine their hit points using twelve-sided dice (d10). They may advance to a maximum of 6th level of experience. Elephants may use any type of weapon, any type of armor, and may use shields, but the costs of these items is 300% their normal cost. An elephant character must have a minimum Intelligence score of 9.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Elephants makes their attacks and saves as elves of the same level, but may only use the same magic items permitted to fighters.

Any elephant that attempts to force open a door that is of normal size runs the risk of becoming lodged in the doorway. If the attempt results in the elephant smashing the door, there is a like chance the elephant will become stuck in the doorway, taking 24 rounds to dislodge it, minus 3 rounds for each person assisting (to a maximum of 7 people helping, or a mimum of 1 round to dislodge the elephant).

In battle, instead of using a weapon, elephants may choose to gore at an opponent with their tusks, doing 2d6 (plus any applicable bonus from Strenth) on a successful “to hit” roll. Additionally, elephants may use their trunk to make a trumpeting blare that acts as a horn of blasting. The number of times a day they may use this ability is based on their level.

Finally, elephants possess an ability called “perfect recall.” This provides an elephant a chance of remember full details of an creature, small area, or thing, based on the amount of time the elephant spent studying it. A “focused study” is considered to be at least 1 uninterupted turn spent doing nothing else, a “casual study” is considered to be at least 3 rounds doing nothing else, and a “casual observance” is considered be any view of the subject, even while engaged in other activities (including combat). Any failed perfect recall roll results in the elephant remembering only general details (which may or may not be of use).

Chance for Perfect Recall
LevelTrumpeting Blare
Uses per Day

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Elephant Veteran 0 1d12+2*
2 Elephant Warrior 3,000 2d12+4*
3 Elephant Swordmaster 6,000 3d12+6*
4 Elephant Hero 12,000 4d12+8*
5 Elephant Swashbuckler 24,000 5d12+10*
6 Elephant Myrmidon 50,000 6d12+12*
* In addition to Constitution adjustments.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Updated List of Monsters for the Basic Psionics Handbook

Here's the updated list of monsters I will be including in BX psionics book, which I've given the new tentative title of Basic Psionics Handbook. The final page count is looking to be 52 pages, 14 of which will be just the monster listings.

Astral Gish (OGL Githyanki)
Beetle, Giant Thresher * A
Brain Mole
Cerebral Parasite
Gray Ooze, Psionic B
Intellect Devourer
Intellect Seeker (OGL Ustilagor)
Limbo Gish (OGL Githzerai)
Mind Hunter *
Mind Thresher C (OGL Mind Flayer)
Nightmander * D
Psi-Bat *
Rhino, White (Wooly) E
Shedu, Lesser
Shedu, Greater
Thought Eater
Youree *
Wan-Ti (OGL Yuan Ti)
Yellow Mold Colony B
Zlod (OGL Slaad)
Zowl F

* Oe/1e psionic creatures I've already created for the Creature Compendium
(but will adjust slightly for this specific use)

FF/MM2 Creatures I originally considered dropping, but have decided to include.

A This creature will still be called a "giant flayer beetle" in the creature compendium,
but for consistency sake, will appear in the psionics book with the "thresher" name.

B So named to separate them from their standard BX versions
(even though the Oe/1e versions are already psionic).

C There will no longer be separate entries for the mind thresher noble (OGL ulitharid)
or mind thresher royal (8-tentacled version). Instead, they will be notes at the bottom
of the mind thresher listing.

D The version currently slated for the Creature Compendium is not psionic.
I have added psionic abilities here, but am unsure if I will port those back over to the
Creature Compendium or not.

E Steve Marsh (the forefather of D&D psionics) always wanted the wooly rhinos in
the Expert rules to be intelligent (an idea mocked by Erol Otus), so I intend to honor
this intention by including a psionic version in this book. I've already reached out to
Mr. Marsh to get his input on the abilities I intend for them.

F A new creature I've created just for this addition. I'm unsure if I will
port it over to the Creature Compendium or not.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New BX/LL Character Class: Bonobos
("Type B" Intelligent Animal")

Sorry it took me a while to get this final ape class written up. I was really struggling with how to make it unique from the others, but feel like I ended up at an interesting place... a "cleric/magic-user" (in the form of a shaman).


Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Bonobo Soothsayer 0 1d4
2 Bonobo Wangateur 4,000 2d4
3 Bonobo Augurer 8,000 3d4
4 Bonobo Mender 16,000 4d4
5 Bonobo Enchanter 32,000 5d4
6 Bonobo Mali 64,000 6d4
7 Bonobo Mundunugu 125,000 7d4
8 Bonobo Sangoma 250,000 8d4
* Constitution adjustments no longer apply

Bonobos (a.k.a. “pygmy chimpanzees”) are more independent than their chimpanzee cousins. They are not so much inquisitive as introspective, and practice a form of animistic shamanism.

The prime requisites for bonobos are Intelligence and Wisdom. Bonobos with Intelligence and Wisdom scores of 13 or greater will gain a +5% bonus to earned experience points. Bonobos with a Wisdom score of at least 13 and an Intelligence score of 16 or greater, will gain a +10% bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Bonobos determine their hit points using four-sided dice (d4) They may advance to a maximum of 8th level of experience. They may not wear armor or use shields, and may only use a club as a weapon. A bonobo character may not have a strength score higher than 15.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Bonobos fight and save as magic-users of the same level, but may use any magic item permitted to either clerics or magic users. Bonobos gain spells as magic-user of the same level, but may choose spells from both the cleric and magic-user spell lists. They are able to use spells as a cleric (so they need not memorize them as a magic-user). Bonobos are able to climb trees as a thief of the same level. Like other apes, bonobos are able to swing through trees at a rate equal to their standard movement, and may hang from trees by their arms and use their feet attack and defend with -1 “to hit” and +1 AC penalties (respectively). In addition to common, bonobos speak the language of apes, and utilize a secret form of sign language understood only by other apes (including gibbons).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BX Psionics System Odds 'n Ends

Just a few things in progress...

1. A Sample Monster Stat Block
I really worked to make this take as little space as possible, and list only the truly pertinent information (in the BX spirit). If you want to see the working list of monsters I'm aiming for, check out yesterday's post. BTW, the limbo raider is going to be my attempt at an OGL githzerai.

2. Alternate Discipline Acquisition Models
I've really tried to honor a statement Steve Marsh made in an email responding to some questions I posed him about his original intentions for the mystic class (prior to psionics inclusion in Eldritch Wizardry, "Major powers correspond to the chachras and the traditional powers so that each character had a consistent core." Normally, in my system, mystics may attain the first five chakras in any order, and only after attaining the first five can the sixth (third eye) chakra be known. I'm including 2 alternate systems for the acquisition of the various disciplines. The first (FIGURE A) still allows the mystic to choose any of the five basic chakras first, but (upon reaching the appropriate levels) may only learn additional disciplines which are directly connected to a discipline already known. Again, after attaining all five, he or she may then know the third eye chakra. The second alternate system (FIGURE B) is a strict adherence to "chakra building block" concept... start with the most basic (root) chakra, then "build up" from there. In this case, the 6 chakras are attained in a very strict hierarchy.

3. Other General Notes

a) I'm including wild psionics in an appendix. I don't really like the idea of them, but am making them available for DMs who do.

b) I'm including an appendix section with general information on the 7th (crown) chakra. I see these as abilities related to attaining divinity, which makes them generally too high level for my conception of BX D&D. In general, I imagine the abilities accessed by the crown chakra will feel similar to abilities from the BECMI Immortal rules (e.g., the creation and changing of matter, energy, thought, and time).

c) The mystic class, abilities listing/descriptions, and psionic combat information are coming in around 28-29 pages. With all of the intended appendix information, the book will come in between 44 and 48 pages (trying to keep it to 44, if possible).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

List of Monsters for my BX Psionics Book

Here's the current "wish list" of monsters
I intend to rework/include/write up for my BX psionics book...

Astral Raider (OGL Githyanki)
Beetle, Giant Flayer*
Brain Mole
Cerebral Parasite
Intellect Devourer
Limbo Raider (OGL Githzerai)
Mind Hunter*
Mind Thresher (OGL illithid)
Mind Thresher Noble (OGL ulitharids)
Mind Thresher Royal (8-tentacled version of OGL illithid)
Rhino, White (Wooly)
Shedu, Greater
Thought Eater
Yuan Ti

* Oe/1e psionic creatures I've already created
for the Creature Compendium
(but will adjust slightly for this specific use)

FF Creatures I'm seriously considering
dropping from the list.

(BTW, the inclusion of even the barest version of the
list above puts the page count to at least 44 pages.
If do the full list, it could easily end up as 52 pages.)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Further Consideration on my BX Psionics System

The other day, via a Google+ thread, Matthew Skail asked why I was opting for a random psionic strength point (PSP) gain with leveling, and that the other classes don't do that. For those who haven't been keeping up with the earlier posts, I was treating PSP gain like hit dice, with the die type rolled based on the character's Wisdom score (a reminder/note that, in my system, Intelligence is the defensive psionic attribute, and Wisdom is the offensive one). Honestly, I was originally trying to capture the randomness of psionics in Oe/1e. But, upon consideration of MS's comment, I realized he's right. Thieves don't, upon reaching a new level, randomly determined their increased chance to move silently. So I went back to the drawing board... BUT, I did so with another key point in mind — I wanted to make sure that as the mystic gains levels and PSPs, the DM can easily figure out what kind/strength of psionic creatures to pit him/her against. The following chart is where I've landed.

The basic formula for PSPs gained at each level is 10+(levelx2).

The PSP bonus at each level from WIS is based on the following:
WIS 13-15 = +2 PSPs/level
WIS 16-17 = +4 PSPs/level
WIS 18 = +6 PSPs/level

This puts a 7th-8th level PC on relative par with a shedu (9+9 HD, 70-100 PSPs, performs at the 9th level of mastery).

This puts an 8th or 9th level PC with a WIS of 18 on a relative par with a psionically "low-end" mind flayer (8+4 HD, 241-340 PSPs, performs at the 7th level of mastery).

As always, I'm sure there will be more to come.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Answers to some of your questions concerning my BX Psionics System and Mystic Class

After my post yesterday, many of you had some good questions that you shared via comments on a couple of different G+ posts. So I've decided to address them here, today, so everyone can see the answers (and the questions).

What about the crown chakra?
I really debated this during the development of my chakra-discipline concept. My feeling was that the first six chakras coincided rather seamlessly with the 6 established psionic disciplines. I have not included the crown as of this moment, but here's my general thinking regarding the 7th (crown) chakra... the powers granted through knowledge of the 7th chakra will be part and parcel of the pathway to becoming immortal (and therefore, are not accessible by most mortal creatures). Will I ever flesh out this "immortal pathway for mystics"? Shakes Magic 8-ball... "Ask again later." For now, it will likely be a reference to the idea and concept of a 7th (crown) chakra, but without mechanics.

Will it support wild psionics?
They way I see it, any system will support wild psionics, because they're wild (and, therefore, outside the context of standard rules). The real question is, "Should it support wild psionics?" My simple answer to that question is, "No, because it goes against the simplicity that I love about BX D&D." To me, wild psionics are like feats and player options... if I wanted them, I'd use 2e. Now, that being said, there will likely be an appendix for determining wild psionic abilities, because I think a lot of DMs would like to include them. Besides, how much space could it take to say, "If your INT and WIS are this, and your class is this, and you roll this on table I, then roll on table II and... BAM! You've got a wild psionic power."

Where does it fit, powerwise between 1st (wild and all over the place) and 2nd edition (too few points to accomplish much of anything compared to even low level casters)?
This is where I think I've really hit the sweet spot... a nice balance between the two. Mystics gain abilities over time (like spellcasters), accessing different types and grades of abilities as they grow in experience level. The Psionic Strength Point (PSP) cost for powers are much more "value-oriented" than 2e (meaning, the PSP costs are generally more reasonable, there are little-to-no "maintenance" costs, and the duration of many of the abilities are more akin to Oe and 1e than the terribly stripped back 2e versions). The real key to the system is the determination of PSPs, which is treated similarly to determining hit points (with the die being used determined by the mystic's WIS score)—a mechanic which is generally more liberal with PSPs than 2e, unless you have a really low WIS score (in which case you have no business choosing to be a mystic anyway).

And now answers to a couple of questions you haven't asked yet, but are bound to...

Why is Mental Class (MC) based on Intelligence rather than Wisdom?
In some contexts, I could definitely see Wisdom related to concepts like Willpower, and using WIS to determine MC might make sense. However, I began by looking deeply at why saving throws vs. psionic attacks in Oe/1e were based on Intelligence*. My take on this is that the concept of "awareness" is related to Intelligence (the ability to "note" things, to me, is a function of knowledge... "knowing what"; this is "reactive" function related to comprehension). Wisdom, by comparison, is more a function of "knowing why" (a "proactive" function which relates to focus and devotion). So in the case of noting a mental attack, it is more important to know "what" (i.e., "an attack") and be reactive, then to know "why" ("because the person attacking you has psionic ability") and be proactive. Therefore, in this system, INT affects defense (reaction) against mental attacks, while WIS affects accuracy and damage (proaction) with mental attacks. (I well expect that many of you will see these two concepts as exactly opposite the way I see them.)

* It's worthy to note the first appearance of the Intelligence-based psionic saving throw dates to the introduction of the Mind Flayer in Strategic Review #1 in the Spring of 1975; this is approximately the same time the mystic class was suggested to EGG by Steve Marsh for the inclusion in Blackmoor; the mystic was ultimately not included in Blackmoor, and psionics was made available to "everyone" except elves in Eldritch Wizardry; I have no confirmation the INT-based save came from Mr. Marsh, and instead assume it was EGG's invention; but I will look for some clarification on this from Mr. Marsh. in the near future.

How can the psionic combat system be "optional"?
Simple. Steve Marsh's original mystic class didn't have psionic combat (just psionic abilities; they were akin to sub-continental Indian cleric). Gary Gygax was working on the "devines" in order to have a psionic combat class. Tim Kask cut and pasted the two into one big kludgey system for Eldritch Wizardry. So... you can obviously have psionic abilities without needing psionic combat... UNLESS you're coming up against psionic monsters (especially psionic monsters from other editions that have psionic attack and defense modes), THEN you need psionic combat. The system I've developed for psionic combat is much simplified from 1e (and more akin to 2e), but easily allows DMs to take existing psionic monsters and use them in a BX game. (This is one of those little things I'm very proud of... a "conversion" system to port monsters in from Oe and 1e.)