What is Psionics?Edit
Ask this question and you get different answers from many different people. In the bounds of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game it's generally thought of as the power of the mind. It's not necessarily, the power of the mind. It's probably more accurate as to say it's the power of the soul. Arcane magic is power that is considered to be a crutch by most psions, while Clerics are said to get their power from a Higher Source and be part of a priesthood. To be different from these two sources of power, Psionics is harnessing the totality and potential of the soul to produce these effects. Psionics is a way for the game to recognize the power of the human mind and soul.
Psionics is a central part of this city so you can drop the city into your campaigns where ever you please. It's not like Ptolus where you can drop it in Medieval Germany or France and it will blend in perfectly, the Psionics and the Hellenic culture makes it stand out so that it's an exotic place for players of a regular campaign can explore. It makes use of Psionics Unleashed and Ultimate Psionics as a backbone so as to introduce a wierd and exotic component to your game. But why psionics? Why not arcane and divine just like the rest?Psionics fits Hellenic culture particularly well. That is, the Hellenist culture of the Hellenic Era. If you notice, there were many philosophers in the land before and during the Golden Age of philosophy. One of these was Plato (Aristocles), who introduced the concept of Energy in his writings on Atlantis. Secondly, you have the Peripetatic School, which is a school training Natural Philosophers (we know them as scientists) who were willing to break convention and establish certain parameters in understanding the Universe and Nature. Arcane and Divine magic does not fit this set up as well as it does Ancient Rome. The Hellenic Era was a time of explosive advancement in the fields of science, and Rome was when advancement in science came to a stand still and went backwards (right up to the time when Hypatia of Alexandria was murdered, when it all but STOPPED!). Psionics fits well within such an environment.
Understanding how the Rules workEditThere are a couple of rules with Psionics that should be understood by you, the Gamemaster, when running a game in the city of Phaeselis. Rule number one is:
The manifester cannot spend more power points on a single power than his manifester level. This is the single most important rule when running psionics games. When Jeremy was explaining the rules systems on his Psionics Are Not Overpowered threads, he listed as this as the most important rule and I agree with him. You must understand that the psion, or any other class cannot expend more power points on any power than he has levels. Players who do this are doing something called a nova, or are said to be going nova. They expend all their potential on one shot. Don't let this happen in your game, tell them that they can't simply do that. And make sure you don't do that either. This is cornerstone of the balance of Psionics with the rest of the PFRPG ruleset.
Rule number two is: observe the manifester level of your characters. That is, be aware that the manifester level generally equals your character's character level. This means that a 20th level psion can expend up to 20 power points on a 1st level power. There are some exceptions to this rule, however.
Rule number three: Psionics isn't a vancian system, it's a pay more to get more system. Meaning, you don't get a power and it advances in power automatically like a spell. And it's not a fire and forget system. It's a spell point system because you are pumping more effort into your power in order to get more out of it. Its this rule, because of a misunderstanding of rule one, that gets abused more often. Beyond this, it's time to know how campaigns are set up.