When the Monk preview was released a couple of weeks ago, it caused a bit of an uproar in a few ways. I was involved on an email chain between Tonester, Bartoneus, and joshx0rfz about whether or not a non-heavy damaging striker was a good idea and if their mobility could make up for it (short answer: probably not, as damage is always a good idea, and you only need mobility part of the time).
Other people focused on the power source aspect of it: Monks are Psionic. (Yes, “Martial Striker” was half wrong). As per the Design & Development article that accompanied it, Ki is a dead power source (though some third party products have already tried to use it). Personally, I have no problem with this. On multiple occasions, I attempted to run campaigns with an eastern flavor, and banned most (or all) arcane and divine classes, relying primarily on psionic and ki powered characters. Conceptually, they always seemed very close together: an internal energy source with fantastic abilities powered by intense discipline. So lumping them together seemed like an obvious step to me. It also seemed to confirm that Psionics would be a new power source in PHB3.
Then WotC released this:
“Psionic, Divine, and Primal Heroes.” Hmmmm.
I don’t really see the need to introduce more Divine or Primal heroes, but maybe there are some awesome concepts that I can’t think of. Divine seems like it’s more open… already, I’m having trouble justifying the differences between the 4 Primal classes and the flavor of their abilities. What I really hope, though, is that we get 6 Psionic classes. I’ve always loved Psionics (though I recognize that they don’t fit into every game), and I felt like the 3.5 Expanded Psionics Handbook was finally getting them right. Each discipline of Psionics got their own suite of interesting abilities.
In 4e, I’m assuming the different kinds of Psionics are going to get split up into their own classes, which is why I’m hoping that most of the book are new Psionic ones. Here would be my ideal set:
- Telekinetic (Psionic Controller)
- Telepath/Clairvoyant (Psionic Leader)
- Psychometabolist (Psionic Defender)
- Monk (Psionic Striker)
- Soulknife (Psionic Striker)
- Psychic Warrior (Psionic Defender)
Between “reading minds“, “seeing the future“, “moving stuff with your mind“, and “changing your body” you have the classic Psionic archetypes covered, then you can add in some of the interesting D&D adaptations of the concept to round it out. Of course, if PHB3 is any indication, PHB4 will have some more Psionic classes too (alongside a new power source… my bet would be on Shadow) and revisit an original power source.
This also pulls Dark Sun into the clear lead for 2010′s campaign setting too.