Psionic Attack/Defense Modes

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One of the things I really enjoyed about Psionics was psionic combat. I didn't like the method presented in the 1e PHB, but I did enjoy the Attack/Defense Modes. Although the bonuses and penalties weren't symmetrical, I always pictured it as a Rock, Paper, Scissors with no more choices. Had I known the rules, I probably would have used it as a mechanic to resolve psionic combat.

I knew that 2e expanded the numbers of powers and introduced MAC and MTHAC0. The guys and I wondered why this was necessary. After all, there is no Magical Armor Class nor To Hit Magical Armor Class 0. Spells got a saving throw, why not psionics?

In thinking about psionics in the OSR Project, I happened upon a good nugget of information that can provide some much needed OGL material. It turns out that under the 3.0 version of the SRD, psionic attack and Defense Modes were still in use. Better yet, the matrix of attack vs. defense mode were converted to use with saving throws already. Sure they were Will saves, but after an hour with some 'what if' scenarios, I was satisfied with the results. This bit of good news means that I have a way to describe and roughly stat the attack/defense modes from the srd. (I get nervous about how much the serial numbers are really filed off when I describe things, sometimes.)

One thing I had to add, though. Seeing as 2e Psionics (I mean Skills and Powers option, not the Psionics Handbook) had each attack mode represent a dice, I felt the need to add one more. No, I didn't add a d20 attack mode, I added a d2 attack mode. It's called Socrum's Needle. It is akin to the Slow Blade in the DUNE series. When a high level psionic scoffs at what he perceivesto be a small minded warrior with meager psionic talent, he had better hope that the warrior does not have the needle. It is available only to those with wild talents and it functions as a straight attack roll instead of a saving throw. It's main purpose is to open the mind of high level psionicists.

In my universe, you got to give the underdog a way to fight without relying on a natural 20.

Hopefully, I'll have a beta document up soon.