I have recently had a conversation with some of my friends about psionics and their place in the D&D universe, both lore-wise and gameplay-wise. We were discussing the psionics as an optional part of the game, discussing the practice of banning psionics altogether as a houserule and pretending they don't exist. Some other people joined in and the conversation quickly devolved into a heated argument about whether psionics are the cancer of the D&D or the best thing since sliced bread.
Intrigued, I searched the web and the question frequently asked is "Why people hate psionics?". The Internet lists some reasons, but due to the nature of forum discussion the claims are often accepted at face value and opinions are conflated with facts, therefore I find it hard to understand all the hate. Below I would like to list several opinions or reasons for why various netizens think psionics are being hated and my reaction/rebuttal to why the argument is insufficient to be reason for alleged controversy (I used GiantITP, Reddit, Paizo, and Myth-Weavers).
- Psionic rules were broken and unreasonable
However D&D is known for its lack of balance between systems, even very basic ones
- Psionics are over/underpowered
Wizards are known for gamebreaking power and monks for severe gameplay limitations. Banning psionics does not change much.
- Players don't enjoy Psionic lore
I find this argument unfounded, with no attempt to explain why is it so, if true.
- Psionics are often chosen by players who want to build "special unique snowflake Mary-Sue" characters
But so are dual-wielding Rangers or various spellsword classes, which don't get the hate
- Psionics are not mentioned in Core Rule Book
But so are various widely appreciated extensions
- GMs don't want to learn yet another system
Which is fairly simple and clear, certainly less taxing than e.g. Tome of Battle Maneuvers and stances
- Hating or loving Psionics is considered edgy and cool
But why psionics and not something else?
None of these arguments are unique to psionics. Why are psionics picked on?
What makes psionics so different?
I am looking for factual evidence or a well-grounded argument in absence. I accept that all of the listed reasons are likely to be valid and observed, but what I lack is why these reasons would apply to psionics but not other systems, often with greater flaws. Are psionics made of skub?
For the purpose of this question I'm not trying to establish what are the hate-generating flaws in psionics that make people hate them. Instead, I'm trying to establish why people are eager to pick on those flaws (whatever they are) despite them being present in other material as well.