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My local gaming shop has an old copy of the Psionics handbook from D&D 3.0, I know the name of the book for 3.5 is Expanded Psionics but I'm really a big fan of supporting local businesses and I need a book on Psionics so I am wondering if the Psionics handbook is compatible with 3.5 or are Psionics broken for 3.0? Also what are the differences between the books?

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3.0 psionics are widely considered as badly designed. But the rules for 3.5 psionics are available for free online! So buy something else to support your store, and use the 3.5 rules instead. –  starwed Mar 13 '13 at 4:12
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

This Wizards FAQ says the following:

The Psionics Handbook is from 3.0, and is no longer supported. The Expanded Psionics Handbook, despite the name, is a standalone system that replaces the 3.0 system. 3.5 psionics differs from 3.0 psionics far more than current edition magic differs from AD&D 2e magic. The consensus on these boards is that the changes were for the better.

This thread has some actual play feedback about the differences between the two. The consensus seems to be that 3.0 psionics were ridiculously weak (weaker than the base classes) with the exception of a few gamebreaking powers. Things seem to be better balanced in the 3.5 version and in general, much better received. Also, two new classes were added and some new psionic races.

From what I gather, you could use the 3.0 rules with 3.5, but given that the 3.5 rules are superior and released for free online, I'd say it's probably not worth doing.

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+1 for theory and experience-based citations. –  BESW Mar 13 '13 at 6:58
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Even if it were (and, like all 3.0 material, it isn’t but can be after some conversion), the 3.0 Psionics material was terribly designed and the 3.5 Psionics material from the Expanded Psionics Handbook is both excellent (one of the best books published for 3.5), and totally free since it is a part of the System Resource Document.

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