Why did I buy it?
Options. MOAR Options!!! for my AD&D Second Edition campaign. The AD&D First Edition Rules were a mess. Maybe these would be an improvement. And they were. They introduced the Psionicist as a character class, which could go all kinds of kewl powerz of the mind.
After I read it, however, I wasn’t sure if I wanted psionics in my games. They added another layer of complexity. I didn’t know if I could handle that.
But then one day, before a session, I accidentally left out my copy of The Complete Psionics Handbook for one of my player’s to pick up.
Why did I sell it?
Can I play a psionicist? Will you allow psionics? To this day I can hear that player’s obnoxious voice in my head.
Was he truly excited that I may have been considering adding psionics to my campaign?
I don’t know. I suspect he was being an annoying twit. And I was too nice to tell him shut the hell up. And it didn’t help he was a good friend of mine. Social Beast and all that.
Here’s the situation: His annoying elf fighter-mage, who he used to try to boss the party around (I have more levels total than you!) bit the dust in an earlier adventure. He had recently rolled up an even more obnoxious Paladin from The Complete Paladin’s Handbook (which I would deal with in due time–little did he know I had an old copy of Grimtooth’s Traps).
Will you allow psionics?
No. I need take another look.
Will you allow psionicists?
I figured this was part of a trend among my gaming group I’d been experiencing at the time. Sometimes I would like players take certain classes or powers and they’d get annoyed with me. For example, one player might as well have accused me of heresy for not allowing Force Users is my Star Wars campaign.
Sorry, that’s not the kind of campaign I want to run. From what I’d experienced, Force Users had a tendency to steal the show from the other characters–the same reason I was reluctant to let psionics in my AD&D 2e campaign.
In the end, my friend harangued me until I said yes.
Then I asked: Are you going to play a psionicist now?
No. I just wanted it as an option.
But you can’t change your mind!
I guess the lesson here is to never leave a splatbook out of your players are whiny powergamers who want MOAR Options!!!
The Complete Psionicists Handbook did seem some use in a short-lived Dark Sun Campaign. And I remember rolling up a psionicist for a standard game which never came to light.
Then the handbook sat on my shelf for a number of years before ending up on The Used Book Store Pile. Later, a friend gave me another copy which also eventually ended up on the pile as well.