Some quotes I found interesting/funny:
"Those who would sacrifice mathematical stability for customization deserve neither." --Frank Trollman
I mean, when I think "science," I think bespectacled old men bent over bubbling beakers over bunsen burners, studying books of mathematical formulas, jotting down notes and attempting to figure out the secrets of the universe through chemical experimentation. Mixing nitrogen (which is in bat poo) with other chemicals to create an explosive compound in order to make a fireball? Science.
When I think magic and mysticism, I think of someone who hones their mind into a weapon to wield the forces of the universe, or one who attempts to meditate in order to unlock the secrets of the cosmos.
So, which of those describes a wizard, and which describes a psion? I mean, really.
Psion- "I've trained my mind to hold an arsenal of powers. I have a variety of powers at my command, no mortal mind could hold more than my unified mind. Erudites limit themselves by 'dividing' the unified whole. They compress part of that whole into this 'subconscious' limiting the number of powers their minds can hold."
Erudite- "The conscious mind can only channel so many powers at once. The Psion cripples himself by trying to make his mind a unified whole. This is a simply incorrect; the subconscious is potentially infinite, and once I know how to tap it, I may only hold a finite amount in the conscious. But I can learn, and be prepared for... well, anything."
Wilder- "I don't know what you're talking about. I've always been able to have my imaginary friend get stuff for me. Though now everyone else can see him." *Manifests astral construct* "Don't ask me how Bert shows up, he just does."
When someone breaks the game's conventions, it's going to be questioned. Moreso when the breaking of conventions is noticeable. Online, more of them are... you don't have a screen that hides the dice and modifiers. It's not bad for something to break those conventions, but when it happens, you can expect questions about it.
Martial adepts continue to play the same game that everyone else has been playing, with various new refinements and twists, up through twenty. This game can be called D&D. High-level spellcasters get to play the all-new games of Rocket Launcher Tag and "Let's Bone Reality Up The Backside", and nobody else gets to play.
Adventurers are in a situation akin to soldiers in a hot zone, or a swat team. Their lives depend on efficiency. You ever see a soldier in a combat zone use decidedly inferior equipment for personality reasons? Only briefly, I assure you. Characters optimize, like people in real life do. Anything else is poor roleplay.
You are not your abilities, you're not how much gold you have on your character sheet, you're not the attacks you make, you're not the spells you cast, you're not the feats you've taken. While these are things that build towards your character, at the end the personality you choose to play is not based upon your character sheet, and you can be flavorful and optimized at the same time.
Male fighters envelop their bodies in bulky, clanking plate mail. Female fighters favor stiff metal underwear.
A male rogue will wear dark leather armor with little metal studs all over it, because nothing says "stealth" like a bunch of glittering bits of metal all over the place. Ladies in the same profession lean towards the skin-tight catsuit look, because the first step in being stealthy is apparently to make sure every able-bodied man within a hundred paces is staring at you with his mouth slightly open.
Male wizards wrap themselves in thick shapeless woolen robes that would - let's face it - collect odors at an astounding rate. These robes would most likely be heavy, and itch like a fiberglass jockstrap. On the other hand, females who practice the arcane arts wear little strips of translucent gauze over their naughty bits.
It's nice to see that when it comes to apparel, roleplaying games have a lot of equality: Everybody dresses like an idiot.
Artificers are an example of failed design. At low level they blow and blow hard, because they struggle to write scrolls and then they struggle to use them. The end result is a class that needs enormous amounts of downtime and still fucking sucks. At high level they crank out bizarre staff combinations and end up being a primary spellcaster with every fucking list that gets 50 of its top slots a day.
Top to bottom, complete failure.
You are not your magic weapon and armor. You are not your spell buffs. You are not how much gold you have, or how many times you've been raised from the dead. When a Big Bad Demon snaps your sword in two, you do not cry because that was your holy avenger. You leap onto its back, climb up to its head, and punch it in the eye, then get a new damn sword off of the next humanoid you headbutt to death.
One of the most important rules for the GM is Rule Zero. Simply put, Rule Zero says that the GM is expected to exercise common sense and good judgement in his game. He is allowed to supersede the game rules in the interest of ensuring that the game runs smoothly, the stories are interesting, and everyone has a good time. The GM should also remember that excessive or arbitrary use of Rule Zero usually results in an empty gaming table. Simply put, don’t abuse it!
You're kind of scary, you know that? --Astrum91
Magic uses an outside force; the Weave. By pushing on one end of a see-saw, you can make miraculous effects appear, though the way to push the see-saw takes effort, mental as well as verbal or physical. For sorcerers, it's innate; they know how to manipulate it by "feel", and how to move one end of the see-saw to make the other work, simply by instinct. Wizards have to learn precisely how to do it through rote memorization, learning each individual motion and mystic word and which material components work how in order to push one end of the see-saw in order to see results.
The weave is vast, but much of the time predictable. It can be manipulated in a variety of ways. Bards do it through resonance, their song resonating with the weave in order to push the end of the see-saw to make magical effects occur.
Psionics is entirely different. The "magic" comes not from without, but within. They push against their own mind, so hard their brains might burst, but in the end bring effects into the world. For wilders, their emotions do the same, being bottled up so tight that when they explode, their effects on the world are more random, but potentially stronger too, with a chance of injuring the manifester.
The weave is vast and indescribable; it can cause people to move faster, be stronger, grow larger, and so forth. While the mind of a psion is more flexible, able to dole out the power within in much smaller dregs and drops to achieve various effects, they're also much more limited. While some of their powers can manifest as bolts of lightning or sheets of burning fire, in the end it is limited by their own minds, and their limitations. A person's mind has limitations that are not described by the weave. Thus, they are often incapable of duplicating the effects that a user of the weave could create, and their flavor is thus limited. --Me
I think there is a distinction between a cleric and a warlock; a cleric's magic is faith-based. They don't need to get their god's permission to worship them and gain power. In fact, I think the whole "not following faith leads to a loss of power" is because the cleric stopped believing in themselves and their deity, which is much more interesting than a god simply saying, "Nope, we don't allow that here," and taking their power away, and the Atonement spell/ritual/whatever is their journey to regain their faith in their beliefs and themselves. You know deep down when you cross the line with the things you believe in, regardless of the ends, and that can sever your faith to what you believe. It's not about the god. It's about the individual in the case of faith-based magic, I think
OTOH, a warlock makes an official pact with some entity, who either lends or teaches them how to siphon off its particular power (or access some other power if they make a contract with it), which makes it a different flavor from clerical magic --Me