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Expanded Psionics Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons d20 3.5 Fantasy Roleplaying Supplement) Hardcover – April 1, 2004

41 customer reviews

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About the Author

Bruce R. Cordell, an Origins award-winning author, has written over a dozen products, including Return to the Tomb of Horrors and The Sunless Citadel. He also co-authored the Epic Level Handbook, Underdark, and the D&D Miniatures Handbook.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (April 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786933011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786933013
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi! I'm an Origins and ENnie award-winning game designer with a sizable list of professional credits. Most recently, I wrote The Strange RPG with my pal Monte Cook. My game design stretches much further back, of course, and include D&D titles such as Gates of Firestorm Peak, Return to the Tomb of Horrors, Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, the Illithiad, and both the Psionics Handbook and Expanded Psionics Handbook. Not to mention the most recent Gamma World game, the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, and D&D 5th Edition.

I'm also the author of several Forgotten Realms novels, including Darkvision, Stardeep, the Abolethic Sovereignty trilogy (Plague of Spells, City of Torment, and Key of Stars), and the Sword of the Gods books (Sword of the Gods, and Spinner of Lies).

Author, world builder, science groupie, fitness buff, and sci-fi fiend.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 165 people found the following review helpful By James Daniel on July 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Psionics has regularly been an unbalanced feature of D&D since the first edition 20-odd years ago. Originally, it was simply an overpowered "gimme" that you'd get when rolling up a character. If you got a psionic power set, you were superior to all other players and monsters.
Second edition improved that a bit, turning the psionicist into its own class, so that one was no longer just a standard class with imbalancing psionic powers. However, the levels at which the powers came in were generally far too soon. A teleporter could easily have clairvoyance to see into an unseen room, teleport in, steal stuff, and teleport out to get away cleanly, all at 6th level. I am not kidding. Now, this could not be done often each day, but it was doable. A wizard would have to be 9th level to gain access to spells that would simulate this.
3rd edition cleaned up a lot of this. Now powers came in at levels commensurate with similar wizard spells. Unfortunately, however, this turned the psion into the party's utility box. Need a teleport? Need an invis? Need a stoneskin equivalent? Need instant mental communication with the rest of the party? The psion has plenty of power points to supply all of these needs. And absolutely no worthwhile combat power outside of mind control. 3rd edition also introduced a new class, the Psychic Warrior, which was probably its best contribution, combining nifty fighter abilities with a good power list of psionic buff-ups. The prestige classes in this edition were poorly designed, and no one would trade the poor power-point progessions in these for the next level in psion.
Now what about the book in question, the expanded rules for 3.5?
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Brad Smith on June 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
So, back in 2001, WotC released the Psionics Handbook, which was the D&D Third Edition manual on psionics. It was reasonably good; I, personally enjoyed it. However, with the revision to D&D 3.5, and several years of play, it became apparent that the psionics rules need revision. Thus, we have the Expanded Psionics Handbook (often acronymed XPH).
And I like it.
This expansion/revision changes quite a bit, and adds, too. Gone are the psions who had to have high scores in every attribute. Psychic warriors make more sense now, and the soulknife was expanded to a core (20-level) class, which is rather nifty.
Powers are different, too. Psionic combat is GONE, and good riddance. Instead, the combat modes have been rebuilt as powers and seeded into the power list. The number of powers needed has dwindled, as many powers now scale based on the resources you devote to them. For example, many direct damage powers allow you to spend more power points to increase the damage inflicted. Psionic characters are now the kings of flexibility, and leave sorcerers sitting in the dust.
There are many more prestige classes, too. I rather like the elocator, which floats off the ground and specializes in movement, as well as the Pyrokineticist, which does what you might expect; one of their entry requirements is "Must have set a building on fire just to watch it burn."
There are many more psionic and even regular feats in here. One of the new limiting factors is psionic focus, which is used as a replacement for the minimum PSP balance (which discouraged people from using their resources). Some feats require you to keep this focus to use their benefits, and others require you to expend it.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Markham Stoot on April 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book is very good. It's a revamp of an earlier book I liked, and for once I feel like I wasn't ripped off spending the money on it. The expanded classes are a good fit (Soulknife and Wilder) as well as the section on psionic races (with old favorites like the Duergar, Githyanki and the return of Half-giants from Dark Sun, as well as new races like the Elan, Xeph and Dromites, who I have to resist calling Dolemites because I'm that kind of person) and the powers seem balanced, although I haven't had the chance to really give them a full-fledged shakedown cruise as yet.
The reason it's not five stars: well, it is a revamp of an earlier book, and that means I did already have some of it. Not a huge crisis... like I said, I'd give it a 4 3/4ths rating if Amazon let me... but that, the fact that Psionic attack and defense modes were left out (I totally understand why, it's just something I personally miss, but these things happen and you have to take all that good with a very little bad) and the fact that the book left me feeling angry at myself for not having the ability to immediately start something like five campaigns using it means it gets a 4. And 3/4ths, at least in my own head.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By K. Speelman on December 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Having played the D&D/AD&D game from first edition to the current 3.5 has been a challenge to say the least. Especially trying to integrate psionics into any campaign without upsetting the balance. First and 2nd edition the Psionics rules were mostly an afterthought with very little explaining how they fit into the game. Hence, most DM's didn't use psionics as they were just too powerful. With the revision of 3.0 we finally got a "Psionics" rulebook with detailed explanations on how they fit into campaigns. But the rules left some holes and players exploited these oversights. With the release of the "Expanded Psionics Handbook" a psionic character is now as balanced as any of the other character types and is just as valuable in a party as even the stoutest "Fighter" class or as powerful and as fragile as a Wizard/Sorcerer. This book is a "Must Have" for players and DM's alike if you wish to add versatility to a campaign and to character classes. The only class I was dissappointed in playing was the "Soulknife" untill I cross classed the Soulknife with Eberrons Artificer. With that meld the Soulknife is just as fun to play as any specialized melee type with a little "Magic" thrown in to enhance the soulknifes blade. Thumbs-Up to this book!
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