Talk:Recharging Power Points (3.5e Variant Rule)

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RatedDislike.png Leziad dislikes this article and rated it 1 of 4.
What others have pointed out, this is a huge unneeded nerf to psionic.

Revise my rating: I still believe this rule is hampering the use of psionic in game, however it is playable. Does it set out to do what it is supposed to do? Perhaps. However I stand on my opinion it inclusion cause more problems than it worth as outline by the discussion below.

RatedOppose.png Fluffykittens opposes this article and rated it 0 of 4.
Blanket nerfs on most powers with a duration (regardless of their actual strength) and forcing Psi characters to be useful in combat for only a few rounds does not make psionics better.
RatedOppose.png Undead Knave opposes this article and rated it 0 of 4.
I was kind of iffy on the subject until I got to the bit about powers with a duration. That's completely unusable for most kinds of psionic builds.
RatedOppose.png Spanambula opposes this article and rated it 0 of 4.
What kills this for me is forcing psionic PCs to use their swift actions every round for PP recovery or risk running dry in the middle of combat. That's hamstringing them, plain and simple.

Upon further examination and some brief simulation, I believe this variant to be unplayable. See my comments in the "Longer Lasting Loss" section below for explanation.

Honestly, the only reason I did this was to remind people to use it, since in games they sometimes forgot. Do you think a free action 1/round would be better? --Ghostwheel (talk) 20:20, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

I'd just say they regain PP at the beginning of their turn to be more specific. That way you don't get someone going mini-nova, refreshing their PP and then firing off something else as a swift action (if that's the kind of thing you're looking to limit).
Also, I want to correct myself. PC resource management is 99% the responsibility of the player, and if the Player wants to blow through all their daily stuff; that's all on the player for being chaotic stupid, not the DM's lack of planning. Unless the DM habitually runs 15-minute work days, I guess. Spanambula (talk) 21:25, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
I've changed it drastically in the last few days, despite the small number of words changed/added. Someone explain to me how this is a "huge nerf" before I block the above votes? --Ghostwheel (talk) 16:20, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
The only recent changes I've seen on the history log are a maintenance cost exception for duration spells that are not dismissible and not personal, and the following line: "All powers that are have a maintenance cost have a Permanent duration and last until the effect is dispelled, is destroyed (such as in the case of creatures summoned), or the manifester stops maintaining it." which would seem to mean that so long as a manifester has PP available, they can continue maintaining a power indefinitely for the appropriate cost per round. That's cool, but it doesn't change the previous rule where all maintenance cost-incurring powers are dispelled if you run out of power points. These two changes do not address my issues with this variant rule, do not address the fact that you've taken a flexible casting mechanic and severely curtailed that flexability in return for continuously recharging but substantially weaker power. Instead of giving someone a hundred dollars a day, you're giving them ten bucks whenever they want it, but never more than ten bucks, and claiming this gives them SO MANY MORE OPTIONS. Which is technically true, so long as they never want an option that costs more than ten bucks. I've explained my point of view well enough; I've responded your counter-arguments and nothing substantial has changed, so I'm not sure why you're suddenly deciding our votes should be blocked. Spanambula (talk) 21:59, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
One thing you neglected to note is the change to which powers are maintained. Only those that are dismissable (very few combat powers), or that affect you personally, have a maintenance cost. That makes it so you can't have all the buffs, but the majority of combat powers, including debuffs, are fire and forget. So I'm not seeing how it's a huge nerf, especially as it allows a self-buffer to keep buffs up on themselves all day, every day, without spending any actions in combat (the most valuable resource) to activate them. That's a huge buff to self-buffers, and doesn't affect other people too much. So how is that a huge nerf to psionic-users? --Ghostwheel (talk) 22:59, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
No, I didn't "neglect to note" your change to which powers have maintenance costs. I mention it in the first part of the first sentence in the above paragraph. Instead of arguing that actually there are a great many commonly-used powers that are still affected by maintenance cost, I will re-list my objections in as concise and clear a manner as possible. They are: Giving manifesters a relatively small pool of power points limits options instead of enhancing them. Subtracting from that pool via maintenance costs further limits options and forces added book-keeping in the middle of combat. Creating a system that rewards only one style of psionic build (blaster) also limits options. But you insist that this variant instead enhances tactical play, increases options and makes for a better game, and refuse to acknowledge the validity of opposing opinions that see this as a significant reduction in ability and flexibility in exchange for insufficient rewards; i.e., a huge nerf. Power point resources are just like spells per day and other exhaustible resources, they require management. This is not a design flaw. It's fine if you want to keep manifesters from going supernova, but this is a bad way to do it. Psionics does not need additional rules to treat them like babies who don't understand that if they eat all their candy now they won't have any for later. Spanambula (talk) 23:54, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
How does giving enough PP to cast fully-manifested powers twice in the first rounds of combat incredibly limiting? Are you expecting them to shoot off fully-manifested powers every single round? It's a debuff, but nowhere near making psionic characters "unplayable". I'd also rather you look at the power list and see what needs maintaining--I did, and it's actually relatively few powers. I agree that there's more book-keeping here, and it's not a good thing, but I don't think it entirely breaks the system or makes it unplayable. You also haven't shown that non-blasters are made unplayable. If you want, I can give a whole suite of powers at various levels that are non-blasty, don't have a maintenance cost, and are strong in combat. Go into the particulars please and explain in examples how it's a "huge nerf" please.
As someone who is an advocate of encounter-based resource systems rather than per-day, I think that per-day resource systems *are* design flaws. Why is this a bad way to stop manifesters from nova-ing? And why is stopping players from shooting themselves in the leg a bad thing, or stopping them from being useless later in the day bad? How does this make psionics unplayable? Please go into details with examples. --Ghostwheel (talk) 11:34, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Wow, you're really taking this to the mat, aren't you? Funny how I've been going into details before now and am either ignored or called disingenuous. Okay, fine. I went through all the psionic powers on the SRD and counted the combat-focused powers that aren't instant and have no maintenance costs. There are only 18 such powers on the psion/wilder list, including discipline powers. There are 8 more such powers on the psychic warrior list that don't appear on the psion/wilder list. That's all. Everything else is either instant, maintenance-free by virtue of being hour/level (and a few for half casters that are 10 min/level), or incur maintenance costs. So while Inertial Armor has no maintenance costs, Force Screen and Vigor, both fairly staple powers, both do. As I mentioned previously, Astral Construct, basically the only reason anyone plays a Shaper, incurs costs. I'm not arguing that there aren't good powers that are maintenance-cost free. Metaphysical Weapon is a good one, as are Time Hop, Entangling Ectoplasm, and Psionic Freedom of Movement. But these powers aren't nearly as plentiful as you seem to think. So. I have gone into details, again. I have explained myself, again.
You said: "I think that per-day resource systems *are* design flaws." I don't, and this disconnect is a large part of why we're having this argument. So we can either come to terms with the fact that our divergent views on design have led us to an impasse with regard to this variant rule, or we can keep dragging this out, running more numbers and simulations, debating the combat strength of powers, arguing how a manifester in a "typical" encounter should act, and what a reasonable amount of power augmentations should be, and how many powers should be manifested in an encounter, and other things that it's FUCKING LUDICROUS to try and pin down. Me, I'm feeling pretty done with this. I'm fine if you don't agree with my reasoning, but to keep saying I haven't provided you with examples or gone into details at this point IS extremely disingenuous. The fact that you don't agree with me doesn't invalidate my rating.
(If you care, the non-personal, short duration, non-dismissable powers I found on the Pison/Wilder list are: Deceleration, Demoralize, Destiny Dissonance, Ecto Protection, Entangling Ectoplasm, Cloud Mind, Feat Leech, Id Insinuation, Time Hop, Fate Link, Crisis of Breath, Power Leech, Dimensional Anchor, Telekinetic Maneuver, Catapsi, Ecto Shambler, Power Resistance, and Fuse Flesh. On the Psywar list, I found Metaphysical Weapon, Empathic Feedback, Keen Edge, Vampiric Blade, Freedom of Movement, Inertial Barrier, Truevenom Weapon, and Weapon of Energy. I may have missed a few, but not too many. I didn't go through non-core or wiki powers, because who has time for that?) Spanambula (talk) 12:30, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
RatedLike.png Foxwarrior likes this article and rated it 3 of 4.
I think it does what it sets out to do, and while the math is weird, it's weird in places that are easy to precalculate.
RatedDislike.png Tarkisflux dislikes this article and rated it 1 of 4.
This technically meets its goals. You don't have enough points to nova, and you recharge quickly enough that you're likely to have something effective to do if you wait a round or two. And you can go into the next fight at full pretty easily. But that's all it has going for it. It breaks the round down always rule and uses some odd (and even stacked) fractions to get done what it wants to, which doesn't make for particularly smooth updates when stats change or you level up. It incentivizes pre-buffing in really bizarre ways, where you can set up lots of them without really reducing your in combat potential. Or just have a bunch of short and long duration buffs up all day long and never manifest anything else again. It doesn't differentiate between high and low level buffs in this respect. It does mostly work if you just blast or debuff all day, after adding all of your free buffs, but that's a weird place to be. These emergent behaviors do not seem to be goals of the system (they certainly called out in the overview), and I think they make it quite problematic to recommend if you were looking for an an encounter based recharge system.

The 15-Minute Workday[edit]

In a recent combat I ran, one of the manifesters in the party used up virtually all their PP in a single encounter. I had wanted to run another encounter or two for that in-game day, but doing so would have left the player feeling useless, non-contributing, it wouldn't have been fun for him, and I'd have to tone down the encounter considerably to accommodate the fact that one of the players was now a glorified commoner until the next time the party rested. Is there another solution that's balanced that could stop this from happening--both the problem of the 15-minute workday once the manifester's out of PP, and the ability of manifesters to mini-nova, using all their highest-level powers time and again in a single encounter until they're out of PP? This variant addresses the problem that is inherent in abilities that are balanced per-day--can anyone think of any other solution? --Ghostwheel 05:47, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

I don't agree that the issues you mention above are actual problems, but there are a couple of things besides this that you could do to avoid them. There's the straight slot recharge from UA that is very similar to this, but technically not this so it can be mentioned here. You've already taken a pass on a different solution that allows them to nova in a fight if they have /want to (though to a much smaller degree) and then fall back on lower level things for the rest of the day, but the general idea that you could reduce their big per day stuff and give them something more or less unlimited to fall back on is still sound. There's also the ToB system where people get fewer powers that they cycle through almost endlessly (but that probably requires a substantial power rewrite).
Alternately, you can tell your players that every one of their powers / spells is the equivalent to several actions taken by other players, and they'd better conserve them because you're not going to stop the game because they can't manage their resources. And then when they fail to do that or choose not to, you allow them to feel like glorified commoners for the rest of the "day". I have very little sympathy for people who burn through limited resources being awesome for a moment, and am perfectly happy to let them suck for the rest of the "day". - TarkisFlux 07:16, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
I should probably add that I'm basically against putting everyone on a limited power, encounter based schedule in the same way that you seem to be against allowing novas (though encouraging them actually is annoying). So any variant that moves a substantial subset of classes in that direction when there already are a substantial subset of classes there already, regardless of how good it works, is going to be largely unsatisfying and unappealing to me. So you should probably take my rant at the end of the last bit with a bit of salt, since we have very different goals. - TarkisFlux 22:03, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

Scaling Issue[edit]

Primary manifesters, at odd levels, can use one high-level power per encounter and then have to fall back on low-level powers (meaning a number of first-level powers equal to their ability modifier). That's fine if that's your goal. But at even levels, the difference is a single first-level power, which doesn't seem right; as they gain levels, their ability to use their level-appropriate powers drops. Also, considering how powers don't scale without spending more power points, switching to 1st-level powers is crippling. --IGTN 00:48, May 2, 2010 (UTC)

Mind coming on the chat? I'm not clear on what you're saying, or if there's even a problem there... --Ghostwheel 03:33, May 2, 2010 (UTC)

mana based Spellcasting[edit]

Can it be translated?--Parakee 03:44, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Not successfully IMO. A good alternative however is this. --Ghostwheel 05:03, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. After both the scan over and the in-depth read, if you are using Publication:Unearthed Arcana/Spell Points, you have a near perfect translation. Then again, I'm in the camp of people who see no difference between mana casting and D&D psionic system. For those who don't see it, talk to an absolute newb about both systems. I promise you he will ask what the difference is.--Change=Chaos. Period. SC 06:58, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
The difference, quite obviously, is their power. Magic vastly outpowers psionics, and thus putting them on the same system doesn't work well. --Ghostwheel 07:14, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Longer-Lasting Loss[edit]

Unfortunately, even with the free-action recharge, the duration costs still neuter any manifester that isn't a dedicated blaster. For example, let's take Psam the 5th level psion with Int 20, very respectable for 5th level in a rogue-level game. Psam has 10 pp, and refreshes 3 pp per round per this variant rule. We'll start combat with no buffs active.

1st round of combat: Psam manifests his new 3rd level power Energy Wall to help with battlefield control. This costs him 5 pp, half his pool.

2nd round of combat: Psam decides to aid his melee comrades with his signature Astral Construct power. He creates a 2nd level astral construct for 3 pp, weaker than his maximum because he doesn't want to completely deplete his power points. But because Psam isn't concentrating on his energy wall, the wall costs 3 pp to maintain, meaning that Psam gains a net 0 pp when he refreshes his pool (3-3=0). He's left with 2 pp at the end of the round.

3rd round of combat: As the total cost for maintaining both the Energy Wall and his Astral Construct is 6 pp, even after Psam refreshes his pool for 3 pp he is still at -1 pp (2-6+3), or just 0 pp. Both the Energy Wall and Astral Construct vanish, and Psam is left with no power points until next round, leaving Psam's player understandably frustrated and unhappy.

This scenario uses a decently optimized manifester, uses no metapsionics and only a single augmentation, but the manifester is still rendered useless by round 3. That's not reasonable; that's not even playable. I understand you don't want a manifester walking around with all their buffs on 24 hours a day, but your cure for that problem ends up killing the patient. Spanambula (talk) 00:19, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Alternatively, here's my idea to keep manifesters from blowing their PP wad all at once:
Psions have an available pool of power points equal to 4x their manifester level, or their total daily pool, whichever is less. They can refresh their available pool with any remaining points in their total pool by spending one minute in total concentration. Probably we'll need a lower multiple for Psychic Warriors and other half-manifesters, probably x3, will need to see how that scales.
Using 5th level Psam from my previous example, Psam would have a total pool of 37 pp (barring any extra from race or feats or items), but only an available pool of 20 pp. By 10th level, Psam should have around 120 pp, but can only use 40 pp in a single encounter. This leaves him enough PP to be effective through multiple encounters, but doesn't allow him to spam his fully-augmented/overchanneled/empowered/whatever powers more than once or twice per encounter. What do you think? Spanambula (talk) 00:19, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
First, I think you're being incredibly disingenuous. You choose bad powers, no pre-preparation (which this system gives advantage to), and just give such an incredibly gimped example that it can't be taken at face value at all. Energy wall is pretty damn weak. Why start with that? Why are you using a per-round power that can have a huge effect over the course of an encounter without augmenting it to the max? Etc.
Why wouldn't Psam would start combat already with an astral construct up at all time? Sure, this reduces his PP gain to 0. But he always has a construct up, one that normally has a 1-round casting time, something that is incredibly easy to interrupt.
Does this make debuffs relatively weaker? Sure. Does this make blasting a bit stronger? Sure. Does this open up new options such as having a constant "cohort" at higher MLs when you have a higher recharge? Absolutely. But it does what it aims to do without breaking the game. That said, I did mean for the limitation to be more on buff effects so you can't stack ALL THE BUFFS, which is why I'm making the change that will momentarily appear on the main article.
Let's take an example of Psam under this sytem, and under the regular system, with 1 combat for the day, 4 combats for the day, and 7 combats for the day. We'll assume that there are 4 rounds of combat per encounter, as most encounters go 3-5 rounds or so. First, totals: Psam 10 PP + 3/round-past-the-first under this system (19 per encounter), while under the normal system Psam has 37 PP throughout the course of the day.
Assuming Psam divides his PP equally between the encounters, under the normal system he'd have 37 PP to blow through if there's only one encounter per day, ~9 PP to blow on each encounter if there are 4 per day, and a measly ~5 if there are 7 encounters per day. And because generally you don't know how many encounters there will be, he may have even needed to save up even more.
On the other hand, Psam has 19 PP per encounter regardless of how many encounters there are for the day under this system. And he can be strategic about it, working with his friends to lengthen an encounter if he wants to recharge, choosing an opportune moment to blow his load before needing to spend time recovering, and so forth. This increases the strategic and tactical options available beyond a simple boolean of "if I use too many PP, will I be useless later?" That question is boring, adding little tactical depth or making the system interesting in any way, and is a threat that holds the player's balls in the DM's hand since another encounter can be dropped on them. And being useless is not fun.
This system does two other things. First, it makes it so that you aren't useless in later rounds of a combat, and stops you from blowing your entire load at the beginning of the combat. Neither of those happening is a good thing. And both are still possible in your alternate variant. --Ghostwheel (talk) 16:17, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
You said your system "makes it so that you aren't useless in later rounds of a combat, and stops you from blowing your entire load at the beginning of the combat." Just above that, here's how you describe your system: "he can... choos[e] an opportune moment to blow his load before needing to spend time recovering, and so forth."' So your argument is that your method keeps him from blowing his load and being useless by letting him choose when to blow his load and then be useless until he recharges? ....huh.
I'm not being INCREDIBLY DISINGENUOUS. I didn't misuse your system; I followed your rules perfectly. The specific powers I picked in my example aren't important; it's the expenditure of power points (5 points for a 3rd level power, Psam's highest available, and 3 points for an augmented 1st level power). My point was that more than one ongoing power per encounter isn't possible at low-to-mid levels of play, which doesn't exactly "increase strategic and tactical options available." That is, unless your idea of increasing strategic options is only using blasting powers because anything else will drain you dry in a round or two. You suggest going into combat with his fully augmented astral construct already up? Great, that gives him 5 PP to use with no way of recharging for the entire combat. You even freely acknowledge this, but then go on to say that somehow Psam will have an average of 19 PP to spend during the encounter. Wait, nevermind, that's actually accurate. It just means Psam ends up spending 14+ points on manifesting and maintaining a SINGLE POWER. That's not making debuffs "relatively weaker," that's making buffs, debuffs, and all other ongoing powers a strategic dead-end. Again, I'm not seeing how this increases tactical options.
The DM always has the players' balls in his or her hand, because they're the freaking DM. I've said it before, managing the use of expendable resources, including spells, powers, x/day items, and abilities, uses of Rage, Smite attempts, stunning fists, all of it, is an integral part of the game. Deciding what to use and when to use it is part of strategy, period. The bottom line is this variant removes the entire point of manifesting (more flexibility and scalability than the Vancian system), and replacing it with the ability to be at BEST a mediocre blaster all day long. My oppose remains. Spanambula (talk) 23:55, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Upkeep of powers[edit]

Thoughts for later to think about more: Perhaps have a "maintenance pool" that you can spend from to keep powers up for free, with the cost depending on augmentation level, duration, etc. Need to think on it more. --Ghostwheel (talk) 23:42, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Moar Commentary[edit]

The PP growth of your pool is linear with level, the pp growth of your powers is twice as fast because it grows with power level, and the pp growth of your duration powers is flat unless you add a bunch of new ones. So while you can start off with 2-3 of your highest level powers at the start, at the high end you might get 1-2 before waiting for recharge to give you another one. I'm not sure it needs changing and it might be intentional since you want to tie total points to relevant attribute (instead of just recharge or whatever), it's just a weird drop in effectiveness as you level that I wanted to point out.

I think it odd that you pay the same upkeep for a 17 pp buff as you do for a 1 pp buff. There is no incentive to cast lower level buffs instead of higher level ones when you have sufficient prep time. The incentive structure is for you to cast longer lasting buffs rather than shorter ones because they have no actual cost if there is sufficient prep time to erase the initial manifestation expenditure. So you load up on absolutely all of the hour buffs you know and recharge to full and then blast away as needed. Amusing aside - some level 1 powers cost more to maintain than they do to just renew every round. Yeah, action costs, but still.

Even in your PsyWar example, they can get everything up but expansion before the fight and be down all of 1 point from max by casting Force Screen last to bring their recharge to 0. If they then manifest expansion, they have 8 rounds before everything drops (17 to start, spend 1 on expansion, -2 recharge per round after). Less if they use any other powers. If you were aiming for people buffing up all the way, then going in and dropping a power or two while they start a round count down timer, then good job I guess? It's not a nova and they can contribute later in the fight even if their stuff drops, but I think this is a pretty inelegant way of meeting that goal.

I'm pretty sure that debuffs aren't included in the upkeep thing because they aren't a Dismissable power that affects you (unless you cast it on yourself I guess?), but that whole thing is just long and complicated. Since you asked earlier for an alternate tracking way, here you go. "Any harmless power, or non-harmless power that does not grant a save, with a duration requires upkeep." And if you want to not worry about upkeep on debuffs but also don't want to track durations since you're not tracking them on buffs, you could maybe do "any non-harmless power with a duration does not require upkeep but grants a save after every duration period to end the effect." I'm not sure that accurately categorizes everything, but I thought I'd offer it up. - Tarkisflux Talk 01:39, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

The PP growth is by intent, as stronger powers tend to have a greater effect than lower-level powers, even when keeping the CR of the encounter similar to the level of the PC.
Regarding the upkeep, I have a couple of things I want: To not make powers (especially buffs and/or summons) be up constantly, especially at the cost of no resources (either PP, PP recharge, or actions). That would be a straight up buff, and too powerful in my opinion. I'm not 100% happy with the book-keeping, but it was the best solution I could think of at the time. Another idea was having a pool of PP that you could buff from, and which would take your augmented level into account, but again, that becomes a straight-up buff since, even if limited, it allows people to start with 1 round/level powers up constantly, and I don't want to keep track of buff timers at the start of combat or how long they've been "ticking", so to speak.
If people want to be buffed up and from there not use PP, I think that's a playstyle that should be viable. But that's not really pertinent to the discussion, I don't think.
Thanks for the suggestion, probably a better fit. I'll think on it a little more before adding it to the article. --Ghostwheel (talk) 09:33, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
If the decreased growth is intended, I'd appreciate it being mentioned in the article. Make it clear that you expect people to fall back on lower level powers to maintain their in-combat utility as they level up or something to offset the strength of higher level powers. Similarly, if you think having people buffed up all day on round per level buffs is an appropriate play style with this setup, at least mention it in the article and clean up your intro buff wording. Because right now you can just keep a lot of them up forever while being actually immune to the drain on resources. The initial PP expenditure of an hour per level buff that adds -0 recharge is simply not a drain when you have 3 or so rounds of recharge to erase the cost completely.
You should investigate your buff pool more closely, because you already allow people to start with per round buffs up all the time. And the current setup still has you tracking buff timers in the form of PP countdown, but you can play with that timer by spending PP faster or cancelling a buff or whatever. So what you have is already what you don't want, it's just obfuscated a bit. Maybe start by limiting them to only buffs supported by their buff pool, and every other per round buff has to be paid for per round (dropping the action cost to keep it up on subsequent rounds). Or allow them to only have one buff up per manifester level at a time, with per round buffs counting as 2 levels higher and per minute buffs counting as 1 level higher, and charging per round for everything else that they want up accordingly. Not sure these are actually functional ideas though, and I leave the pondering to you. - Tarkisflux Talk 16:15, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good. I'll put up that extra stuff once I've figured out how to do the reservation pool. Regarding hour-long buffs, I'm of the opinion that most characters can put them up at full augmentation anyway, and not have a big dip in their PP pool, even fully augmented. Do you think otherwise? If so, then going with a reservation pool is a better idea.
Regarding the reservation pool itself, one idea is to have it equal to their PP available, and then divide it by a number based on the duration of the buff (per hour is 1/4, per 10 minutes is 1/3, per minute is 1/2, and per round is full). What do you think of that, for a start? The only downside is that it makes people feel as though they have to have buffs, or else they're not "exploiting" the system to its full potential. What do you think? --Ghostwheel (talk) 23:30, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
I erred and said "per manifester level" above, when I meant "per power level". I meant that, for example, you could have a 1st level hour per level, a 2nd level hour per level, and a 3rd level hour per level up at the same time (assuming you were 5th+ level anyway), or you could trade out your third level slot for a 1st level round per level buff instead. I don't know if that explanation makes it a better or worse sounding idea to you. It's not thought out at all with respect to augmentation, but you could maybe replace 1st level power with 1 pp power, and 2nd level power with 3pp power, etc.
That's not at all close to your reservation pool idea though (there's less bookkeeping but also less flexibility), so let's talk about that instead. I think you mean "you pay for everything all the time, but you can pay for duration buffs out of your reservation pool instead, and long duration powers cost less". Setting it equal to your PP pool and charging full for per round buffs means you can afford to have up as many per round buffs of highest level as you could afford to cast without recharge. And as mentioned above, that's 2-3 to start with less as time goes on. So if you want people to have 2-3 highest power level, level per round, buffs up all the time. Or, because they cost 4x less, 8-12 highest level, hour per level, buffs up all the time. I suspect that's more than intended, so you may want to work through some examples.
And I wouldn't worry about people feeling like they have to buff / summon / whatever or they're not getting everything out of the system. You already have that with your recharge cost free bits. This is just that in different clothes, and made more explicit. - Tarkisflux Talk 00:45, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Okay, let's go with 4 characters, first at level 1, then 20, first a psion (with astral construct, since they want em active at the start) then a psywar.
Level 1 psion: 18 Int (16 + 2 racial), for a total PP of 5 at first level. This means that they would be able to have 5 constructs at the start of combat. This seems a little... much :-/
Level 1 psywar: 16 Wis, for a total PP of 3. This would allow them to enter combat with Bite of the Wolf, Expansion, and Offensive Precognition up. Again seems much.
Just from this, my first instinct is to double things. So per-round costs x2, per-minute costs x1.5, per-10 minutes costs x1, and per hour costs x1/2.
Level 20 psion with 34 Int (16 + 2 racial + 6 item + 5 level + 5 tome) has 32 PP. This would let them have out a single construct out at the start of combat, plus maybe Inertial Armor and the like under the original system.
Level 20 psywar with 26 Wis (16 + 6 item + 4 tome) has 18 PP. This would let them start with Form of Doom and Inertial Barrier up at the start.
So thoughts... the original system works at higher levels, but not at low levels. So either that would be a non-linear scaling system for the PP reserve, OR a reduced PP cost for reserved powers at higher levels. Any thoughts thus far? --Ghostwheel (talk) 22:25, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
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