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Author Topic: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions  (Read 224636 times)
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That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« on: November 28, 2010, 02:08:24 PM »

I present to you this new guide to the Psion class. After weeks and months of researching good options for Psions across the internet, I realized that a guide consolidating all that information would be highly useful. So I set off to do just that. This guide is the culmination of all that work.

Why virtually no-nonsense? Because you won't find useless stuff, like references to comic book characters in here, only information pertinent to the Psion class. On the other hand, the guide does try to have a measure of humor.

About this Guide

The work of many others was consulted to build this guide. The following links are to those works:
The Revised (v3.5) System Reference Document
3.5 Psion Build Guide and Compendium
Ardent handbook
Meditant. Anyone look at this?
PhaedrusXY's build compilation
The 3.5 Psion Power Selection Guide
Tier System For Classes (Repost)
Tier System for PRCs - Your help needed
Must-have Psionics?
The Minimalist Psion Offensive Challenge
Give Me Your Most Useful Power/Feat Combinations!
Power list
Metamorphosis-Your best killer forms!
Psion//Warblade gestalt - which powers
Index: 3.5 Psionics Outside the XPH
Why up 2 tier prcs are up 2 tiers
What Is the Most Powerful Psionic Power?

Also, thank you to the following:
WotC for the game!
The commenters to this topic!
Many others I'm sure I've forgotten!
YOU for reading!

Theory of Optimization Used in This Guide
My personal theory of optimization is balancing the number of neat things you can do versus the number of times you can do things neatly. In detail, this means adding lots of options but making sure to balance it out with multiple actions which are effective. This guide sets out to effectuate that goal.

Furthermore, this guide is geared toward a full-manifesting Psion. Where important exceptions or alternatives exist, I've endeavored to point them out.

This guide is geared toward those with some working knowledge of Psionics. Beginners may have some difficulty understanding terms, so should use this guide at their own risk.

This guide attempts to be comprehensive, but no guide can cover absolutely everything. Furthermore, it represents the opinion of the author based on research. As such, if you disagree with the author's opinion or are upset because something was excluded or not given the same rating as you believe it merits, please understand that this was not meant as a personal insult, nor an insult to your family honor, your mother, your father, your best friend, your heritage, your pet, your favorite band, etc.

Revision History
11/28/2010 - Version 1.0:
Uploaded initial version of the guide. Reserved post. Made minor edits to correct some HTML code problems.

11/28/2010 - Version 1.0.1:
Began adding lines to delineate sections and subsections of the guide.

11/28/2010 - Version 1.1:
Finished adding lines to delineate sections and subsections. Removed a number of the Spoilers listings per feedback suggestions. Changed the Keys so they are lists. Other misc. formatting changes.

11/28/2010 - Version 1.1.1:
Added a new list under the Psycrystal Affinity feat rating the options for Psicrystal personalities.

11/29/2010 - Version 1.1.2:
Incorporated commenters' editing suggestions. Revised Psion/Wilder Powers lists so that each power level is contained within a separate Spoiler. Integrated list of non-XPH/SRD powers so that there is one full listing with sources noted parenthetically, as opposed to separate listings for each source. Other misc. edits.

11/29/2010 - Version 1.1.3:
Updated the Races, Skills, etc. section to a new formatting style.

11/29/2010 - Version 1.1.4:
Updated several other sections to same new formatting style begun in Version 1.1.3.

11/30/2010 - Version 1.1.5:
Updated introductory post to new formatting style: placed most subsections under single Spoiler. Table of Abbreviations placed under separate Spoiler.

11/30/2010 - Version 1.1.6:
Consolidated PrC and Equipment sections under one post. Marked former Equipment section as Reserved 0.

11/30/2010 - Version 1.1.8:
Consolidated all Psion/Wilder General Powers under one post (whew...that was a lot of work!). Re-numbered Reserved posts. Applied new format to all powers.

12/1/2010 - Version 1.1.9:
Consolidated all Feats under one post.

12/2/2010 - Version 1.1.10:
Brought all of the sections under the new format. Incorporated reader suggestions.

12/2/2010 - Version 1.2:
All posts now updated to new format. Changed color scheme for ratings, replacing navy with purple because purple is more visually distinct from blue. Tested and rejected brown as a replacement for black because brown is too visually similar to purple. Reworked version numbering system.

12/3/2010 – Version 1.2.1:
Added a new section to the first post, a section on the basics of the Psion class. The section is currently incomplete.

12/3/2010 - Version 1.2.2:
Finished Acknowledgments. Added many sections to the first post, and a new section on Multiclassing options.

12/4/2010 - Version 1.2.3:
Reviewed carnivore's many suggestions. Incorporated many of same.

To-Do List
Formatting changes and corrections.
  • Lines
  • Reduce use of Spoilers-within-Spoilers
[/s]Indentation/tabulation of headings, subheadings, and text.[/s] [/s]Adapt to single, consistent format.[/s]
Finish Acknowledgments.
Add a section on offensive power choices.
Add a section on Epic-level Psions.
Add a section rating the various sources for psionics.
Add a section describing the base Psion class, stat distribution, and the roles you should try to fill.
Add a section rating the disciplines and describing their strengths/weaknesses.
Add a section for Tips, Builds, and Suggestions. Continue fleshing out this section.
Add a section on Useful Powers from Other Classes' Lists.

Source Material
Material from the following publications is rated, reviewed, or otherwise referred to in this guide: Book of Exalted Deeds, Complete Adventurer, Complete Arcane, Complete Divine, Complete Mage, Complete Psionic, Complete Scoundrel, Dragonlance Campaign Setting, Dragon Magic, the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Edition System Reference Document, Expanded Psionics Handbook, Forgotten Realms Player's Guide, Frostburn, Lords of Madness, Magic of Eberron, Magic of Incarnum, Magic Item Compendium, The Mind's Eye (WotC website for 3.5 Psionics), Monster Manual 1, Monster Manual 3, Player's Guide to Faerun, Player's Handbook, Races of Destiny, Races of Eberron, Races of Stone, Races of the Dragon, Secrets of Xen'drik, Tome of Battle, Tome of Magic, Unearthed Arcana, Underdark.

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

AoO = Attack of Opportunity
BoED = Book of Exalted Deeds
CAdv = Complete Adventurer
CArc = Complete Arcane
CDiv = Complete Divine
CMag = Complete Mage
Completes = Collectively, all official material whose title starts with the word "Complete," e.g. Complete Adventurer.
Core = The required materials to use the system, i.e. the DMG, PHB, and MM1. For this guide, Core also includes the XPH and SRD.
CPsi = Complete Psionic
CSco = Complete Scoundrel
DCS = Dragonlance Campaign Setting
DrM = Dragon Magic
Fro = Frostburn
M'sE = The Mind's Eye
MM1 = Monster Manual 1
MM3 = Monster Manual 3
MIC = Magic Item Compendium
MoE = Magic of Eberron
MoI = Magic of Incarnum
PGF = Player's Guide to Faerun
PHB = Player's Handbook
PrC = Prestige Class
RAW = Rule(s) as Written. Shorthand for how the rule appears in the text.
RAI = Rule(s) as Intended. How the rule(s) is/are meant to work in play. Often a subject of great debate.
RoD = Races of Destiny
RoE = Races of Eberron
RoS = Races of Stone
RotD = Races of the Dragon
SoX = Secrets of Xen'drik
SRD = Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Edition System Reference Document
ToB = Tome of Battle
ToM = Tome of Magic
UA = Unearthed Arcana
Und = Underdark
XPH = Expanded Psionics Handbook

Pointless Trivia
Did you know that the actual maximum number of characters (including spaces) you can include in a forum post is not 40,000, but is actually 38,537? Now you do!

A Breakdown of the Psion Class

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Excellent feature.
  • Blue: Very good feature.
  • Green: Good feature.
  • Black: Average feature.
  • Orange: Below-average feature.
  • Red: Poor feature.

A Look Under the Hood

The Psion is a manifesting class. Manifesters are most similar to arcane casters. The key difference is that instead of casting spells, Psions use their minds to create effects by sheer force of will.

In play Psions handle like a mix of Wizard and Sorcerer. In terms of stats and abilities, they most resemble Wizards; but, in terms of their strategies and the manner in which their powers are used, they most resemble Sorcerers.

All off this means the Psion class has a rather steep learning curve, so it is not recommended for beginning players.

Here’s What You Get:
  • No alignment restrictions – Makes multiclassing easier, if you go that route
  • d4 hit die – Psions are squishy
  • BAB progression equal to a Wizard – Psions are poor combatants, but their powers make a bad BAB less of a problem
  • Poor Fortitude Save – This hurts. Make sure you have a good Con
  • Poor Reflex Save – Not as bad as the poor Fort save, but still makes you a nice target for damaging effects
  • Good Will Save – You’ll shrug off some of the more annoying/deadly effects with ease
  • 2 + Intelligence modifier skill points per level; x4 at 1st level – Fortunately, you don’t need many points to be effective
  • Special class features
    • One Bonus Psionic, Metapsionic, or Psionic Item Creation Feat at each of the following levels: 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 – Bonus feats are nice
    • Psionic Powers – Your bread and butter, and it’s YUMMY!
      • 3 powers known at first level
      • 2 additional powers known at levels 2 through 10
      • 2 additional powers known at every even level after 10th level
      • 1 additional power known at every odd level after 10th level
      • Access to a new level of powers at every odd level after level 1, up to 9th level powers at level 17
    • Power points, the fuel for your powers – You’ll always wish for more
    • The ability to gain, maintain, and expend your psionic focus – A blessing and a curse
    • A psionic Discipline of your choice – Likewise, both a blessing and a curse
    • A manifester level equal to your class level – Key to maintaining the effectiveness of your powers

    As can be seen, the Psion class is physically weak but mentally strong. Fortunately, Psions have access to powers which not only mitigate their weaknesses but also build on their strengths. Feats can also be used to do the same. See the Powers and Feats sections of this guide for help making choices for your Psion.

Just What the Heck are Psionic Feats, Powers, Power Points, Psionic Foci, and Psionic Disciplines?

Psionic Feats
Psionic feats are feats which are only available to characters with of the Psionic subtype. You gain that subtype by either being of a psionic race, taking a psionic class, possessing a psionic template, or by taking certain feats such as the Wild Talent feat. Psionic feats are otherwise like any other feat, though each psionic feat may have additional prerequisites.

Psionic feats come in three flavors: Psionic, Metapsionic, and Psionic Item Creation. Psionic feats labeled “Psionic” typically give you bonuses to certain skills or abilities, or enable your character to do something special. Think of them as General feats, but only available to psionic creatures and characters. Metapsionic feats are the psionic counterpart of Metamagic feats. They enhance or modify powers. All Metapsionic feats require the expenditure of the user’s psionic focus in order to activate (more on psionic foci in a bit). Lastly, Psionic Item Creation feats let you create psionic items, much like a magic user can take Magic Item Creation feats to create magic items. The process for the creation of psionic items is virtually identical to that for magic items.

Psionic Powers
Think of Psionic Powers like you do spells. They are effects that a psion creates. Instead of casting a spell, a Psion is said to manifest a power. Psions are thus referred to as “manifesters” and the process of bringing into effect a power is called “manifesting.”

Each power enables the Psion to create one or more types of effects, all of which are useful. Some are just more useful than others. Furthermore, as a Psion levels up, he or she gains access to higher level powers. Higher-level powers are generally more powerful than lower-level powers.

Powers differ from spells in several key ways. The first way in which they differ is that they do not require verbal, somantic, or material components. The Psion simply wills the effect into being. The process of the power coming into effect is usually accompanied by a display of some sort. The kind of display varies from power to power. The XPH/SRD describes these displays, which are harmless, but which can draw attention to the Psion if the DM so chooses. Note that these displays can be completely suppressed with a Concentration check made as part of the action of manifesting the power.

The second way in which powers differ from spells is that powers are never subject to arcane spell failure. This means that a Psion can wear Full Plate and carry a Tower Shield and still manifest powers freely. This gives manifesters an edge over arcane spell casters in the area of mundane self-defense.

The third and final key way in which powers differ from spells is that certain aspects of powers do not automatically scale as the Psion levels up. Like spells, the duration of powers increases; however, variable, numeric effects such as damage dice do not increase. This is a significant weakness of powers, which is only offset by the ability of many powers to be “augmented.” In the description of individual powers, many have an augmentation option. This option, when used, allows Psions to increase the effect generated by their powers at the expense of a greater use of the Psion’s resources, specifically Power Points.

Power Points
Instead of receiving a certain number of spells per day, Psions use Power Points, or PP, to fuel their powers. Each power requires a base number of power points. For each power level, the base number of PP required to manifest a power is (2 * the level of the power) - 1. Using this formula, a 1st level power costs 1 PP, a 2nd level power costs 3 PP, a 3rd level power 5, etc.

As mentioned above, Psions can also augment their powers. This involves expending more PP on a single manifestation. The amount of additional PP required varies from power to power. Some powers also have multiple types of augmentations, each costing a different amount of PP.

Psions have a very important limitation: the maximum amount of PP that a Psion can spend on any single manifestation is equal to the Psion’s manifester level. Generally, the Psion’s manifester level is his or her class level. Therefore, it is in the Psion’s best interest to maintain a high manifester level.

Power Points can also be used for other things, most notably fueling Deep Crystal weapons. These other options are fairly rare, though.

Note that Psions only receive a limited number of PP per day. The amount of PP the Psion receives depends on his or her levels in the Psion class. A Psion who multiclasses with another psionic class keeps one single pool of PP. Certain PrCs also add to the Psion’s effective level in the Psion class for purposes of BOTH PP total and manifester level. Finally, a Psion with an Intelligence score of at least 12 receives bonus PP each day. The amount of bonus PP increases as the Psion levels up.

Psionic Foci
All creatures with the psionic subtype have the ability to become psionically focused. Becoming psionically focused requires a Concentration check. At its most basic, the ability to become psionically focused provides a single benefit to a psionic creature: the creature can expend its focus (choose to become un-focused) to “take 15” on a single Concentration check.

Certain psionic feats give psionic creatures additional options for the use of their psionic foci. See the Feats section of this guide for examples. Certain of these feats are active while the psionic creature maintains its psionic focus. Others require the psionic creature to expend its focus to activate the benefit of the feat.

As can be seen, the ability to become psionically focused and to use one’s psionic focus has its benefits, but it also has a major drawback. The biggest drawback is that you generally only have one focus, which means that you can activate only one feat requiring the expense of your psionic focus at a time. Thus Psions with Metapsionic feats can typically only apply one Metapsionic feat to a power when manifesting that power, unlike spellcasters who can apply more than one Metamagic feat to their spells.

There are methods for a psionic character to possess more than one Psionic Focus. These methods are discussed in other sections of this guide.

Psionic Disciplines
At first level, a Psion chooses a Discipline. The benefit of choosing a Discipline is as follows: the Psion gains access to powers on that Discipline’s exclusive power list, and adds several skills to his or her list of class skills. Which skills are added depends on the Discipline chosen. The consequence of choosing a Discipline is that the Psion cannot manifest powers on the exclusive power lists of any of the other Disciplines, even if using psionic items which contain those powers. The Psion may still learn any powers on the general Psion/Wilder power list, even if they are not of his or her Discipline. Every Psion is forced to choose a Discipline. Unlike Wizards, there is no choice not to “specialize.”

It should be noted that the choice of a Discipline does not have as huge of an impact on a Psion’s career as the choice of a Wizard to specialize. This is because Psions can gain powers on the other Disciplines’ exclusive power lists through the use of feats like Expanded Knowledge or through independent research.

On Choosing a Discipline

As noted in the preceding section, the choice of a Discipline is not as much of a life-long commitment to a Psion as choosing a specialty is to a Wizard. Nevertheless, it is still an important point. This section will provide some guidance on how to pick the Discipline that’s right for you.

General Tips
Due to the existence of the Expanded Knowledge feat and the option of independent research, Psions have flexibility in customizing their powers list. The aforementioned options allow the individual Psion to add powers to his list of powers known, including powers from other Disciplines’ exclusive lists. One additional method of learning such powers, Psychic Chirurgery, is also available, but requires a cooperative DM. Due to the existence of these methods, Psions can cherrypick powers they want from these exclusive lists, mitigating the long-term consequences of picking a Discipline.

For these reasons, the choice of a Discipline should be based on the following:
  • Powers on the Discipline’s exclusive list to which you’d like early, and/or guaranteed, access.
  • The skills to which the Discipline gives you access.

With that in mind, here’s a short-but-sweet rating of the Disciplines.

The Psionic Disciplines, Rated
  • Egoist (Psychometabolism)
    • Added skills are fairly good
    • Power choices are excellent, especially Metamorphosis, Fusion, Fission, and Greater Metamorphosis
  • Kineticist (Psychokinesis)
    • Added skills are fairly good
    • Power choices are too focused on direct damage energy powers
  • Nomad (Psychoportation)
    • Added skills are not very useful
    • Power choices are below average, as they are typically only situationally useful
  • Seer (Clairsentience)
    • Added skills are great
    • Power choices are above average, though completely focused on information gathering
  • Shaper (Metacreativity)
    • Added skills are very good
    • Power choices are a great mix of damage, utility, and battlefield control
    • Note: this Discipline’s power list got heavily nerfed in CPsi; check with your DM before using
  • Telepath (Telepathy)
    • Added skills are great
    • Power choices are above average, and varied, but all have the Mind-Affecting descriptor, which makes them less viable at high levels

How Do Psions Fare at Key Party Roles?

The following have been recognized as areas that every party needs to cover, in order to be effective:
  • Melee Damage
  • Direct Damage
  • Battlefield Control
  • Save or Die/Suck Effects
  • Intelligence
  • Transportation
  • Healing
  • Buffing
  • Damage/Effects Sponge
  • NPC Interaction
  • General Utility

The more areas to which a given character can effectively contribute, the more useful he or she is. Thus a character needs to find a balance between the number of abilities he or she has and the power of those abilities.

With the proper choice of feats and powers, any Psion can contribute to most, if not all, of the above categories in an effective manner. Nevertheless, there are certain areas at which Psions will be better able to contribute, and others at which they are lag behind other classes.

Psions’ Effectiveness at the Key Roles
This section of the guide will help you to better understand the roles to which a Psion is naturally inclined, and those to which it may have a harder time adapting.

Melee Damage
Psions generally should stay away from melee due to their poor BAB. They can deal fair damage with melee touch attacks, but they can do just as much damage at range. Psions of the Egoist Discipline can make highly effective melee combatants, due to the Metamorphosis power. This holds true for non-Egoists who gain access to that power.

Direct Damage
The number and variety of powers that a Psion has available for doing direct damage is second to none. Kineticist-type Psions are especially suited to this role, though any Psion can excel at direct damage.

Battlefield Control
While a Psion possesses a number of powers that can guide the flow of battle, they lag behind arcane casters in this area. This is because many of their control powers rely on inflicting status effects or are Mind-Affecting. Psions also lack the number of wall-type spells that arcanists have. Psions of the Shaper Discipline make better battlefield controllers than non-Shapers, due to their power list.

Save or Suck/Die Effects
Sometimes you have to take something down RIGHT NOW. Psions have access to quite a few powers that do just that, either by substantially debuffing an enemy or killing it outright. With a few notable exceptions, however, most of these effects are Mind-Affecting.

Here “intelligence” is intended in the military/spy community sense. Psions are very good at gathering information with their powers and are also very good at making sure their entire party is aware of that information. Due to their powers not needing costly components, Psions make the best impromptu scryers and diviners. Seer-type Psions are especially good at this party role.

Psions get access to many of the same kinds of transportation effects that are on the Wizard/Sorcerer list. They get long-distance travel effects later than Wizards and Sorcerers do, however. Overall, a Psion is somewhat better at self-transport than he or she is at transporting a group.

Psions do get access to healing powers, but most are self-only. Psions of the Egoist Discipline, or who take powers like Share Pain, can be effective healers, however.

Most Psion buffs are self-only, though those buffs are powerful.

Damage/Effects Sponge
Due to their good self-buffing skills, Psions can set themselves up as a party tank, and can shrug off effects that leave others writhing on the ground. They need time to prepare, though, making them somewhat less capable at this role than characters who are prepared for an assault all the time.

NPC Interaction
There are many powers on the Psion list which assist in interacting with NPCs. Telepaths are most suited to this role.

General Utility
Many, many psionic powers are of this catch-all variety, which refers to non-combat effects which solve problems, assist the group in overcoming obstacles, meet basic needs, etc. Shaper Psions are great at utility.

As you can see, Psions have several areas in which they are especially strong, several areas where they are weak, but no area at which they are horrible or are incapable of covering. The Powers section of this guide will help you in selecting powers which can help you to fill those roles you wish to fill.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 07:44:57 PM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 02:08:45 PM »

Races and Templates for Psions

Ratings Key

  • Purple: These picks make excellent Psions because they enhance the Psion’s strengths.
  • Blue: Very strong choices, but lacking in a measure of power.
  • Green: Good choices, but may not play to the strengths of the class.
  • Black: You won’t be hurting or helping yourself with these picks.
  • Orange: Unless you have a specific build in mind, don’t select one of these.
  • Red: Don’t try to make this combo work.

Author's Note(s)

Only those monster races and non-Core, non-Psionic races that are generally at least a green choice are included, below. If such a non-Core, non-Psionic race rated below green has been included, it is most likely to note the reasons it is particularly ill-suited to the Psion class.

If a race is not included, assume that that race would be an average choice, or worse. Most often this is because of a high Level Adjustment and/or penalties to Int.

On Level Adjustment Buy-Off
In Unearthed Arcana, WotC presented an option for "Reducing Level Adjustments," commonly referred to as "LA buy-off." Using this system, a character with a LA can pay XP at certain levels to reduce that LA by one, and eventually to zero. The levels at which this can be done vary with the LA of the individual race.

LA buy-off is beneficial to any race with a LA, but in particular to races with a LA of 1, 2, or 3. Such races are capable of reducing their LA to zero before they reach Epic levels. Why is this beneficial? A character with that race is on more equal footing with his or her non-LA companions, PLUS he or she still has all the benefits of taking that LA race.

This guide includes LA races, but doesn't factor in LA buy-off into the ratings. Check with your DM to see if LA buy-off is available. If it is, any race with a LA becomes a more attractive, and viable, choice.

On Monster Levels
Levels in any "monster class" (e.g. Monstrous Humanoid, Outsider, Fey, etc.) factor into a race's overall character levels. There is no mechanic for reducing their impact, unlike with LA buy-off. Therefore such races are typically poor choices. There are exceptions, however. Exceptions which are good for Psions are included in this guide.

Naturally Psionic Races

Blues (XPH, SRD)
A monster race found in the Monsters section of the XPD, and the Psionic Monsters section of the SRD. Gets a bonus to Int, a penalty to Cha (secondary stat) and a penalty to Str (a dump stat); Small size, but full 30 foot movement rate; Darkvision; 1 bonus PP; and a bonus to Move Silently and Ride. Alas, they get a +1 LA, which really seems like a huge penalty for otherwise typical racial features. Still, they make fine Psions. Exception: many DMs waive the level adjustment. If yours does, then this race becomes, appropriately, a blue choice.

Dromites (XPH, SRD)
Scent and Small size are nice. The energy resistance and energy ray psi-like ability are okay. The +1 Level Adjustment overshadows all of these things, however.

Duergar (XPH, SRD)
Even though this race has a +1 LA and Light Sensitivity, its benefits arguably outweigh its drawbacks. You get Invisibility, an effect that doesn’t have an equivalent power, as a psi-like ability, and many immunities, including poison immunity. Poison immunity can lead to some interesting results when combined with Psionic Minor Creation.

Elans (XPH, SRD)
One might call this race the “default” Psion race. Elans’ racial abilities allow them to really take a beating, something a d4 class generally can’t do, and the Repletion power is just plain cool. The bonus PP doesn’t hurt, either.

Githyanki (XPH, SRD)
The LA is a huge no-no.

Githzerai (XPH, SRD)
LA and an Int penalty? Not a chance.

Half-Giants (XPH, SRD)
The Con bonus is really the only thing that a Psion will generally benefit from out of this race’s features. The +1 LA hurts.

Kalashtar (RoE) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
Human-like. A nice, nice, nice race if you can take it. Gets more bonus PP than any other race, has access to some race-specific psionic feats, and some racial psionic items. All of that really adds to the Psion’s power.

Maenads (XPH, SRD)
Human-like. You get some bonus PP, an attack ability, and a self-buff ability that penalizes your manifesting stat when you use it. So that’s one good feature, one mediocre feature, and one bad feature. That makes this race a wash.

Synads (CPsi)
Look like tall humans. The non-setting-specific psionic race best suited for the Psion lifestyle. They are really what Elans ought to have been in the first place. What makes them so good is their free 1/day Quicken ability. The rest is just gravy.

Thri-Kreen (XPH, SRD)
Giant praying mantises. Just say no to LA races with Int penalties.

Unbodied (XPH, SRD)
Giant, floating brains that can look like humanoids. If this race didn’t have 4 levels of Monstrous Humanoid and a +4 LA to contend with, it would be the best psionic race, for a Telepath, period. You get bonuses to every single stat that matters to you, natural flight with good maneuverability, Darkvision, an innate deflection bonus to AC, a natural melee touch attack, telekinetic force as a Supernatural ability, incorporeality, a Disguise Self-like effect, and, best of all, your racial manifesting ability and your levels in Psion (Telepath) stack for purposes of determining your PP reserve, ML, and powers known, so you start the game as a 5th level Telepath! If you can stand being 3 effective levels behind the rest of the party, after all is said and done, this is a very nice race. Exception: based on the text, only levels in Psion (Telepath) stack with the race’s innate manifesting ability, so if you’re a Psion of any other discipline, this is a red choice.

Xephs (XPH, SRD)
Human-like, more or less. The pictures aren't very clear. Darkvision, a bonus to saves against powers, spells, and spell-like effects, a bonus PP, a racial ability that can save your butt in a pinch and which gets better as you level, and a bonus to a tertiary stat at the expense of a dump stat. Add that all up and you have an above-average choice.

Other Races

Aasimar (MM1, SRD)
A fine choice for any Psion planning to take the Metamorphosis power and Metamorphic Transfer feat, despite the LA. The Charisma bonus will help with the Supernatural Abilities gained through that feat, and the other racial abilities will help with survivability. Exception: for Psions without those abilities, this choice is black.

Azurins (MoI)
Just like Humans, but get one bonus essentia instead of the bonus skill point. A good choice for any campaign that allows MoI material.

Changelings (RoE) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
Natural Linguist and Minor Shape Change are nice abilities, but they don’t really do anything spectacular for you as a Psion. Exception: if you have access to Races of Eberron (RoE) then this race becomes a blue choice for an Egoist because of the 5th Level Changeling Egoist Substitution Level, which adds four powers to your list of powers known, in exchange for your 5th level Psion bonus feat.

Deep Imaskari (Und)
A bonus to Int at the expense of Dex, and effectively 1 bonus PP/day with the Spell Clutch ability. Exceptions: if Spell Clutch is ruled to restore however many PP you spent to augment a 1st-Level power, in addition to the base 1 PP, then this race is purple. If the Spell Clutch power is ruled not to work with powers at all, then this race is green. An Int bonus, alone, does not a blue race make.

Dragonborn (DrM)
A bit more like a template than a dedicated race. Can be used to offset the penalties of, e.g., the Gray Elf, while retaining the best aspects of that race.

Dream Dwarves (RoS)
These Dwarves make really, really great Seers, so long as a DM allows their Spell Power ability to work with Clairsentience Powers. They also get more mileage out of Clairvoyant Sense, thanks to their improved Darkvision. Its Dream Sight can make a Dream Dwarf a highly effective ghostbuster (who you gonna call?) if it also takes the Transdimensional Power feat from CPsi. Exception: if the Spell Power ability is ruled not to work with powers, or if not used to make a Psion with a lot of Clairsentience powers, this race isn’t appreciably better than the core Dwarf, so it falls to green.

Dwarves (PHB, SRD)
Dwarves are almost always an above-average pick, due to their Con bonus and plethora of racial abilities. Of all the races in Core, Dwarves arguably make the best Seer Psions because their Darkvision works through Clairvoyant Sense. Also, psions can wear armor without penalizing their manifesting abilities, and Dwarves wear armor better than most.

Elves (PHB, SRD)
Completely outclassed by their Gray Elf brethren.

Fire Elves (UA, SRD)
Like Gray Elves, gets a bonus to Int. Unlike Gray Elves, these Elves suffer a penalty to Cha, which is generally considered a secondary stat for Psions due to the versatility of Metamorphosis and Metamorphic Transfer, instead of a penalty to Str. Also has a -2 penalty vs. Water- and Cold-subtype effects, for which it gets Fire Resistance 5 in exchange. Not as good as a Gray Elf, but close.

Forest Gnomes (MM1, SRD)
Better racial abilities than the base Gnome race. Those traits don’t build on any of the Psion’s strengths, though. But, if you want to be a Gnome, ask your DM if the Forest Gnome is an option. If he or she says yes, pick this over the base Gnome every time.

Gnomes (PHB, SRD)
The Con bonus and Small size are very beneficial to any Psion. If you planned to take, and keep, the Psionic Body feat as your bonus Human feat, you might as well play a Gnome, instead.

Gray Elves (MM1, SRD)
The only viable Core race with a bonus to Intelligence, which it trades for a penalty to Strength. If you insist on being an Elf, this is your best Core choice.

Halflings (PHB, SRD)
A Psion doesn’t gain anything by being a Halfling, except for being Small. If you want to be Small and you only have access to the Core races, Gnome is better.

Half-Elves (PHB, SRD)
Half-Elves make for alright party face Telepaths because of their racial bonus to Diplomacy. That and avoiding multiclassing XP penalties is really all that this race has going for them as a Psion.

Half-Orcs (PHB, SRD)
You have a penalty to Intelligence, your most important stat. No.

Humans (PHB, SRD)
Humans are good at everything. This includes being Psions. The Bonus Feat is even better with this class due to Psychic Reformation. Most players who play non-Human Psions will wish their character was Human at least once during the campaign. Being better able to avoid the XP penalty for multiclassing is also nice.

Illumians (RoD)
Human-like. Under the base rules, doesn’t add much of anything. Exception 1: if the Krau sigil is ruled to work with psionics, this race is a green choice. Exception 2: if the Sigil Focus (Krau) feat is ruled to work with psionics, this race is a blue choice because it can allow for early entry to some PrCs.

Jungle Halflings (UA, SRD)
A Psion with Minor Creation and knowledge of plant-based poisons can make an effective hunter/assassin with this race’s Shortbow proficiency and Poison Use ability. Exception: for Psions without both of the above, this is a black choice.

Lesser Air Genasi (PGF) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
A humanoid/elemental hybrid, of a sort. The Int bonus is nice, but is offset, somewhat, by the penalty to two secondary stats. Note: this is a proposed variant race in the published text, so it may not be available in your campaign. Check with your DM.

Lesser Fire Genasi (PGF) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
A humanoid/elemental hybrid, of a sort. An Int bonus with a penalty to one secondary stat. Note: this is a proposed variant race in the published text, so it may not be available in your campaign. Check with your DM.

Lesser Tiefling (PGF) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
Better than the standard Tiefling. Note: this is a proposed variant race in the published text, so it may not be available in your campaign. Check with your DM.

Pixies (w/o Irresistible Dance) (MM1, SRD)
With a +4 LA, you’d think this race wouldn’t make the list…but look at all those racial abilities! HUGE bonuses to four stats, including +6 to your manifesting stat, 60’ (Good) flight, cool SLAs, DR 10/Cold Iron, SR that increases as you go up in levels (remember: if playing with psionics-magic transparency, SR counts as PR), and, best of all, permanent Greater Invisibility! Yeah, your HP will be lower than the rest of the party, but with all of those abilities you shouldn’t have too much trouble surviving. A race that is worth it, despite a high LA.

Shifters (RoE) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
Human/Lycanthrope hybrids. The Int penalty of this race makes it a bad choice.

Silvanesti (DCS) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
Elves. Not as good a choice as a Gray Elf because it trades the Str penalty for a penalty to Cha. Still a great race for a Psion, due to the Int bonus.

Strongheart Halfling (FRCS) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
You’re Small sized and you get a bonus feat, like a Human. No mechanical downsides. Of course there is the unofficial downside: like the Venerable Dragonwrought Kobold, this race is considered by many to be cheesy, cheesy, cheesy.

Sun Elf (FRCS) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
Replacing the base Elf’s Dex bonus with an Int bonus without any other penalties makes this race better than even the Gray Elf.

Tieflings (MM1, SRD)
Human-like, generally Evil Outsiders. For those who just can’t stomach being a Gray Elf, but who can stomach being the spawn of a fiend, this is an okay Core option if you really want an Int bonus. You also get similarly okay class features for a +1 LA.

Tinker Gnome (DCS) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
Better than the base Gnome, due to the Int bonus. The Wis penalty kinda sucks, though.

Venerable Dragonwrought Kobolds (RotD)
Not so much a race as it is a race-feat-Age-Category-progression combination. Gains you a +3 Int without any appreciable downsides. Exception: if you’re lactose intolerant, this race is red. (For those who don’t get subtle humor, this race is considered a cheesy choice. Very, very cheesy.)

Warforged (RoE, MM3)
Living constructs made to look somewhat humanoid. Like Dream Dwarves, Warforged are geared to one kind of Psion: the Shaper. Thanks to its Living Construct type, the Warforged benefit greatly from an otherwise worthless power, Psionic Repair Damage. That power is highly efficient when it can be applied to oneself. This race makes fantastic Shaper/Constructors, so check out that PrC if you plan to play one. Exception: Warforged Psions who are unable to use the Psionic Repair Damage power on themselves for any reason are a green choice, albeit a very high green choice. You can't pull off the the exceptional self-healing, but you still get a lot of nice abilities.

Whisper Gnomes (RoS)
The standard Gnomes' Emo cousins. You come out ahead on your stats, trading a bonus to one secondary stat for a penalty to another, and a bonus to a tertiary stat for a penalty to a dump stat. You also get much better racial features than the base Gnome, including better SLAs and Darkvision. Finally, you’re Small but just as fleet-of-foot as a Medium-sized character. You may not get anything that directly enhances your Psion abilities but you do get quite a few indirect bonuses.

Alphabetical List of Templates

Note: in addition to the benefits received, most templates also come with a Level Adjustment when they are applied to the base creature. See the Author's Note(s) portion of this section for information on reducing Level Adjustments.

Half-Dragon (MM1, SRD)
+3 LA, but attractive for the many, many stat increases. Best for gishes.

Phrenic Creature Template (XPH, SRD)
This template is easily worth the +2 LA associated with taking it. The abilities you get increase in power as you level. A good option, if you're allowed to take it. Some DMs will disallow this for psionic characters, due to the fluff about Phrenic Creatures rarely taking psionic classes. Those DMs interpret "rarely" to mean "never," in the case of PCs.

Primordial Giant Template (SoX) - Note: setting-specific; check with DM to see if this option is available
Apply it to the Half-Giant. The template offsets the +1 LA with its +1 to the caster level for spell-like abilities. Furthermore, you get some very nice at-will abilities, and a big bonus to your manifesting stat. Excellent option for Eberron players.

Skills for Psions

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Excellent skills. Drop plenty of points in these, if not max them out at every level.
  • Blue: Very good skills. Put the rest of your points here.
  • Green: Above-average skills. Worth a few points, here or there.
  • Black: Average skills. Have their uses, if you come into a few extra points.
  • Orange: Below-average skills. Generally not worth taking.
  • Red: Bad skills. Don’t bother with these.

Author's Note(s)

Psion Class Skills are Skills that every Psion has on its Class List, no matter what discipline they are.

Psionic Discipline Skills are Skills that Psions of that specific discipline add to their Class List. Psions of that discipline have all the Psion Class Skills plus the Discipline Skills corresponding to their discipline. E.g., a Kineticist has all of the skills listed under Psion Class Skills plus all of the skills listed under Kineticist Discipline Skills.

Psion Class Skills

Concentration (PHB, XPH, SRD)
Your most important skill. Do not skimp on this one. You’ll need it to make sure your powers always work in any situation, to become psionically focused, and to manifest on the defensive if all else fails.

Craft (PHB, SRD)
Craft is generally better than Profession, in my book. You can use the skill to make money, just like Profession, but also to make useful stuff for your party. Good options for Craft skills include Alchemy, Basketweaving, Smithing, and Trapmaking. Exception: for Shapers, this skill is blue due many of your powers requiring an appropriate Craft check to make a complex item.

Knowledge (PHB, XPH, SRD)
Since you get all Knowledge skills as class skills, make sure to drop one point in each so that you can unlock the ability to make checks with a DC of greater than 10. After that, max out Knowledge (Psionics) followed by any Knowledge skills you might need for a PrC, followed by Knowledge skills that grant you a useful Synergy bonus, followed by Knowledge skills that let you identify monsters, followed by any other Knowledge skills which might be useful to your individual campaign.

Profession (PHB, SRD)
You can make some money with it, and that’s it. It’s better to take a Craft skill.

Psicraft (XPH, SRD)
Generally, you should try to max this skill out. It can help you learn new powers through research. In most campaigns, though, it won’t see much use, since Psionics will generally be fairly rare. Thus it’s okay if you lag behind a few points per level. Just make sure you catch up, eventually.

Egoist Discipline Skills

Autohypnosis (XPH, SRD)
Worth dropping enough points into it so you can make a make the DC 20 Willpower option check whenever you take 10. This will give you an infinitely superior method of stabilizing if you’re knocked into negative HPs. The Memorize option can be useful for forcing the DM to resupply you with the details about certain things you may have forgotten. It’s worth it to put at least 1 skill point into this skill (or 2 cross-class skill points into it) in order to unlock it. No need to max it out, though.

Balance (PHB, SRD)
Five points in this skill will ensure you’re not flat-footed while Balancing, and will remove the worse consequence of being subjected to the Grease power or spell. You probably don’t need more than that, though.

Heal (PHB, SRD)
If you find extra skill points, you can put them here to help stabilize dying party members. Only put enough points to enable you to make a DC 15 check when taking 10.

Kineticist Discipline Skills

Autohypnosis (XPH, SRD)
See the Egoist Class Skills section.

Disable Device (PHB, SRD)
Worth dropping a point to unlock this skill. Probably no more than that, though, since you don’t get Trapfinding.

Intimidate (PHB, SRD)
Rely on someone else to be the party face. This skill would rank higher if your Psicrystal could use the Demoralize option at range with its Telepathic Speech ability. Alas, you have to be in melee and threatening the target to use that option.

Nomad Discipline Skills

Climb (PHB, SRD)
You can levitate and/or fly. You don’t need this.

Jump (PHB, SRD)
Again, you can levitate and/or fly, so you don’t need this.

Ride (PHB, SRD)
Horses are purely transportation for Psions. You shouldn’t ride one in any combat situation.

Survival (PHB, SRD)
Useful to help your party survive in non-combat situations, and to avoid having to lug around food all over the place. Put in only enough points so you can make the DC 15 check when taking 10. The extra ability you get when you drop 5 points in this skill is also okay. Exception: if you are entering the Slayer PrC, this is a blue skill.

Swim (PHB, SRD)
Might be worth the investment of a few points to make sure you succeed on a DC 15 check when wearing your preferred armor and taking 10.

Seer Discipline Skills

Gather Information (PHB, SRD)
Can speed up the pace of the game, and ensure that you have useful info when you need it most. Exception: many DMs like to roleplay out the situations where you’re actively gathering information. Of those, quite a few ignore check results completely or never allow you to make one. In such cases this skill is red.

Listen (PHB, SRD)
One of the two most useful skills in the whole game. No matter what class you’re in, if you manage to get this as a class skill you should max it out.

Spot (PHB, SRD)
Tied with Listen in importance, this is the other of the two most useful skills in the whole game. No matter what class you’re in, if you manage to get this as a class skill you should max it out.

Shaper Discipline Skills

Bluff (PHB, SRD)
As a PC, you’re likely to try to pull off a few whoppers in your career. This can help you to do just that. Investing 5 points for the Synergy bonus ain’t a bad idea, either.

Disguise (PHB, SRD)
With the Metamorphosis power and this skill you can be a master of disguise. You may not need to spend points on doing that, though, unless your DM routinely gives the NPCs ridiculously good Spot checks.

Use Psionic Device (XPH, SRD)
You can already use most Psionic Devices, since you’re a Psion, and you’re less likely to run across Psionic items than you are magical ones, in a typical campaign. This skill can obviate the need for Identify, though, making it worth at least a few points. Exception 1: if your DM rules that your Psicrystal can use Psionic Devices with the shared skill points it gets from you, then this skill is blue. Exception 2: if your DM interprets the psionics-magic transparency rules so that Use Psionic Device and Use Magic Device are the same skill, this skill is purple.

Telepath Discipline Skills

Bluff (PHB, SRD)
See the Shaper Class Skills section.

Diplomacy (PHB, SRD)
The third best skill in the game. Using this skill, you can turn enemies into allies, so long as you have the opportunity to talk to them first. Max it out.

Gather Information (PHB, SRD)
See the Seer Class Skills section.

Sense Motive (PHB, SRD)
Put at least five points into this skill for the Synergy bonus to Diplomacy checks.

Other Skills Worth Taking, Including Cross-Class Skills

Any Trained Only Skill (PHB, XPH, SRD)
If you can, it’s worth investing a skill point (or two, if the skill is cross-class) in all Trained Only skills. This will allow you to at least TRY to make the check. Exception: the foregoing doesn’t apply to Handle Animal, Profession, Spellcraft, or Tumble. Unlocking those skills is a black choice. For Handle Animal and Tumble, you need to continually invest points to make them worthwhile skill choices. For Profession and Spellcraft, you just don’t need ‘em.

Autohypnosis (XPH, SRD)
If you don't already get this as a class skill, it's worth it to put at least two cross-class points in this skill. Once you get the Synergy bonus from Concentration, you’ll have a better chance at stabilizing after being knocked into negative HPs than most characters. The rest of the uses of this skill are also nice.

Balance (PHB, SRD)
If you can spare 5 or 10 points, do so to avoid the consequences of balancing and the Grease power/spell.

Bluff, Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), and Sense Motive (PHB, SRD)
Five points in any of these skills gives you a boost to your Diplomacy check. If you gain access to all three skills, it can give you a substantial Diplomacy bonus even if you don’t have any points in the skill at all.

Speak Language (PHB, SRD)
Being able to understand what intelligent enemies are saying is quite useful.

Survival (PHB, SRD)
If you're not already a Nomad and have some extra points laying around, you could do worse than to drop them into Survival in order to bring your total check result up to 15 when you take 10. Exception 1: as already mentioned, this skill is green for Nomads. Exception 2: this skill is blue for Psion/Slayers, to make use of the prerequisite Track feat of that PrC.

Skill Tricks for Psions

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Excellent skill tricks. If you can, take ‘em.
  • Blue: Very good skill tricks. If you have the points to spare, grab ‘em.
  • Green: Above-average skill tricks. As good as unlocking a trained only skill.
  • Black: Average skill tricks. Really only worth taking if you have an overabundance of points.
  • Orange: Below-average skills tricks. Generally not worth taking.
  • Red: Bad skill tricks. Don’t bother with these.

Author's Note(s)

Skill Tricks first appeared in CSco.

Interaction Skill Tricks and Manipulation Skill Tricks

You probably won’t ever be able to meet the prerequisites for these Skill Tricks. Thus, all of them are red for you. Exception: the Interaction Skill tricks are black for Telepaths.

Mental Skill Tricks

Clarity of Vision (CSco)
Too hard to meet the prerequisites. Exception: if you get Spot on your class list, either from being a Seer or through another method, this is a black choice.

Collector of Stories (CSco)
You really should take this if you can. Forcing the DM to give you useful information is awesome.

Listen to This (CSco)
Makes a great complement to the Memorize ability from the Autohypnosis skill.

Magical Appraisal (CSco)
You’ll never be able to make the prerequisites. Exception 1: if your DM lets you substitute out the skill prerequisites for their psionic equivalents, and if psionic items are common in your campaign, then this skill trick is green. Exception 2: same as Exception 1, except that if your DM also lets you identify magic items with this skill trick, then it is purple.

Point it Out (CSco)
Tough to meet the prerequisites, but useful if you can afford the cross-class skill points. Exception: if you get Spot on your class skill list, then this is a green choice.

Spot the Weak Point (CSco)
Most of your attacks will already be touch attacks.

Swift Concentration (CSco)
ALWAYS take this if you can.

Movement Skill Tricks

It’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to meet the prerequisites for these, making all of them red choices for you. Exception: these Skill Tricks are black for Nomads, so long as all the skill prerequisites are on the Nomad list.

Alternative Class Features (ACFs) for Psions

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Excellent ACF. Better than what you lose.
  • Blue: Very good ACF. A good trade-off, most of the time.
  • Green: Above-average ACF. A bit better than generally-available feats.
  • Black: Average ACF. No better than a feat.
  • Orange: Below-average ACF. Worse than a feat.
  • Red: Bad ACF. Never worth the trade.

Author’s Note(s)

All of the following ACFs substitute either your 1st or 5th level feat for a feature.

Egoist ACFs

Change Shape (M’sE)
Replaces your first level bonus feat. Be a changeling without being a Changeling. Can be useful

True Healer (M’sE)
Ordinarily you don't need Mantles as a Psion. This ACF, on the other hand, effectively gives you both Don Mantle and Tap Mantle for the Life Mantle. That's two feats for the price of one. The Life Mantle's granted ability is a pseudo-Overchannel/Talented combo: you get +1 ML for the powers on the Mantle when you expend your psionic focus. This ACF really lets you take up the role of psionic healer. Exception: if your campaign uses the Substitute Powers Variant, also found in The Mind's Eye, which allows you to swap out powers on a Mantle for other thematically-similar powers, this ACF is potentially a purple choice, so long as you select good powers.

Kineticist ACFs

Energy Snap (M’sE)
Replaces your first level bonus feat. The text indicates that it can be used for utility purposes. Also gives you a weapon that can never be disarmed, even if it is a weak one.

Greater Animator (M’sE)
Replaces your fifth level bonus feat. By this point in the game, the Control Object power, which is already fairly weak, is very weak.

Nomad ACFs

Personal Space (M’sE)
Replaces your first level bonus feat. You get your own personal Bag of Holding that can never be taken away from you. Very, very nice.

Temporal Grace (M’sE)
Replaces your fifth level bonus feat. Due to the ambiguous nature of the wording of this ACF, it is awesome. Works on any effect that prevents you from making a full use of your movement. So many effects fall under that umbrella. Exception: if your DM rules that this only works on effects which specifically target your movement rate, then it is a black choice.

Seer ACFs

Psychic Knowledge (M’sE)
Replaces your first level bonus feat. The equivalent of Bardic Knowledge. A class feature for a feat is usually a good trade.

Fate Points (M’sE)
Replaces your first level bonus feat (so you can’t take both this AND Psychic Knowledge). The text specifically refers you to Eberron for information on how this ability works, even though it is designed to work OUTSIDE of Eberron. Dumb. Exception: this ACF gives you two feats for the price of one if you are playing in Eberron, which makes it a blue choice.

Shaper ACFs

Trinkets (M’sE)
Replaces your first level bonus feat. Create useless objects that only last a minute? No thanks.

Personal Construct (M’sE)
Replaces your fifth level bonus feat. The ability to make Astral Constructs as a swift action is very nice indeed.

Telepath ACFs

Telepathic Communication (M’sE)
Replaces your fifth level bonus feat. It gives you Telepathy, which lets you do all kinds of tactical things with your party. It also opens up the Mindsight feat for you. Mindsight is awesome.

Harbinger (M’sE)
Replaces your fifth level bonus feat (so you can’t take both this and Telepathic Communication). Improves the DC of your powers if the target fails a Will save. The text doesn’t specify, but this reads as a Mind-Affecting effect. Therefore, this may be useful at low- to mid-level play, but not at high levels.

Racial Substitution Levels for Psions

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Excellent racial substitution level. Better than what you lose.
  • Blue: Very good racial substitution level. A good trade-off, most of the time.
  • Green: Above-average racial substitution level. A bit better than what you lose.
  • Black: Average racial substitution level. No better than what you're giving up.
  • Orange: Below-average racial substitution level. Worse than the normal class levels.
  • Red: Bad racial substitution level. Never worth the trade.

Author's Note(s)

The rating given is for the overall usefulness of all of the substitution levels. See the individual descriptions for discussion of which levels are the best.

Alphabetical List of Substitution Levels

Changeling Egoist (RoE)
The level 1 substitution is a green trade. The level 3 substitution is black. The level 5 substitution is purple. You also get a better BAB if you take all three levels, and more skill points at each level.

Kalashtar Telepath (RoE)
The level 1 substitution is black. The level 3 substitution is black. The level 5 substitution is black.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 07:31:23 PM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 02:08:59 PM »

Feats for Psions

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Excellent. Take these above all others.
  • Blue: Very good. Round out your build with these.
  • Green: Good. Worth fitting in if you can.
  • Black: Average. Only worth it if you can’t take something better.
  • Orange: Below average. Unfortunately, many prereq feats fall here.
  • Red: Bad feats. Don't take these.

Author's Note(s)

Many feats are not on this list. Exclusions include: most feats from the PHB/SRD, ones unusable by Psionic characters and ones that, in the author’s opinion, no Psion would ever consider taking.

Psychic Reformation allows Psions to reselect feats. These ratings reflect how useful a given feat is to a Psion in the course of the overall campaign, based on its contribution to a character’s power, survivability, and versatility. Usage of Psychic Reformation is not factored in, unless otherwise noted.

Aberration Feats

Aberration Blood (LoM)
Gives you a skill bonus. Woo.

Warped Mind (LoM)
You get a small save and PP bonus. Aberration Blood is a prerequisite. This feat is not worth that prerequisite.

General Feats

Armor Proficiency (any) (PHB, SRD)
Psionic powers don’t suffer arcane spell failure, so a Psion can wear any armor he/she likes without worry of powers failing. Psions aren’t proficient in any armor, though, so nonproficiency is a factor. Nevertheless, it’s not worth the feat to become proficient. Buy a Mithral Chain Shirt instead.

Ascetic Monk (SoS)
You don't need it. Exception: For anyone who wants to multiclass Psion and Monk, this is an essential, purple choice.

Autonomous (XPH, SRD)
A +2 to two skills feat. Who takes these?

Carmondine Monk (CoV)
Poinless, unless you multiclass Monk. Exception: if you multiclass Monk, this is a green choice. It requires your DM to allow you access to in-game prerequisites.

Dodge (PHB, SRD)
Dodge sucks. Several other feats act like Dodge for prerequisite purposes. Take one of those instead.

Dorje Mastery (CPsi)
High prerequisites, but turns dorjes into engines of destruction when you use them.

Dual Dorje (CPsi)
Nice, if you have a steady stream of dorjes or crafting XP and don’t mind the prerequisite.

Great Fortitude (PHB, SRD)
No need for it.

Greater Manyshot (XPH, SRD)
Too many prerequisites. Exception: this feat is black for archer gish characters.

Hidden Talent (XPH)
Found on page 67 of the XPH, not in the feats section, and not in the SRD at all. A combination of Wild Talent and Expanded Knowledge, but it can only be taken at first level. Allows you to pick ANY first level power, so, like Expanded Knowledge, this feat can be any color from purple to red. Refer to the Powers section of this guide for help on choosing worthwhile powers. Note: many DMs don’t allow this feat.

Improved Initiative (PHB, SRD)
A nice feat for any character, and with the Nimble Psicrystal personality bonus, you’ll have a great initiative bonus. It can be tough to fit this into your build.

Improved Precise Shot (PHB, SRD)
Very high BAB and Dex prerequisites. You can’t meet the BAB requirements as a single-classed Psion. Even if you do meet them, there are better feats for a high level manifester, though the benefits of the feat are nice, since they can be used with ranged touch attacks. Exception: this feat is green for ranged attacking gishes.

Iron Will (PHB, SRD)
No need for it, either. Note: this feat is a prerequisite for several psionic PrCs, such as Sanctified Mind.

Lightning Reflexes (PHB, SRD)
Like the other two save-improving feats, you don’t need it.

Martial Stance (ToB)
Quite a few of the stances provide better effects than any feat.

Martial Study (ToB)
Some maneuvers are very nice. Unlocks other ToB feats. Good for those that don’t want to multiclass into a martial adept.

Martial Weapon Proficiency (PHB, SRD)
If you MUST have a Martial Weapon to use, consider being a Gray Elf or entering the Slayer PrC.

Mind Over Body (XPH, SRD)
Helps with Ability Damage and Ability Burn, though Constitution Damage and Burn can wreck this feat. Since Body Fuel hits your Con score, this feat doesn’t make that feat viable.

Mindsight (LoM)
Not found in the feats section of the book. If you have the Telepathy special quality, take this feat. Psions have several ways to get that special quality. See the rest of this guide for info on how. Also, if your DM rules that Psicrystals gain feats, and that Psicrystals’ Telepathic Speech ability counts as Telepathy for purposes of this feat, then this is a purple feat for your Psicrystal.

Mobility (PHB, SRD)
Like Dodge, Mobility sucks. Unfortunately, unlike with Dodge, I don’t know of the existence of any feats that serve as an alternative for prerequisite purposes. Note: this is a prerequisite feat for the Elocater PrC.

Monastic Training (ECS)
Only take this if you are multiclassing Monk AND if you plan to take the Tashalatora feat.

Open Minded (XPH, SRD)
Trade your feat for five more skill points. You’ll wish you could do the opposite.

Parrying Shield (LoM)
You’ll probably carry a shield or buckler, though you probably won’t be proficient with it. Exception: for a heavy armored gish, this can be combined with the Deflective Armor feat to make you really hard to touch; therefore, it is a green feat for such characters.

Point Blank Shot (PHB, SRD)
I don’t like this feat, but it’s required for Precise Shot and Psionic Shot/Greater Psionic Shot.

Power Attack (PHB, SRD)
Tempting to take for when Metamorphosed , but you’ll whiff left and right due to your low BAB. Exception: powerful for any melee-centric character. The best option for high-damaging gishes, for whom it’s a purple feat. A Psion/Slayer with a Greatsword and Greater Psionic Weapon can deal insane damage.

Precise Shot (PHB, SRD)
For the average Psion, ranged attacks mean ranged touch attacks. You can live without this feat. Still, having it can be a boon for melee-heavy parties.

Psionic Affinity (XPH, SRD)
Another +2 to two skills feat. Meh.

Psionic Mastery (CPsi)
Can guarantee success on caster level checks if you have full ML.

Quick Recovery (LoM)
Stunned and dazed are harsh status effects, but not worth spending a feat to avoid. Exception: for Psion/Anarchic Initiates, and anyone else with the Psychic Enervation class feature, this is a green feat.

Rapid Metabolism (XPH, SRD)
With a good Con score and Metamorphosis, you can effectively self-heal.

Reckless Offense (XPH, SRD)
Next to HP, your AC is your lifeblood. Exception: green for Power Attacking gish.

Shield Proficiency (PHB, SRD)
Avoid the penalty with a masterwork buckler or a Darkwood/Mithral shield, instead.

Shot on the Run (PHB, SRD)
Cannot be used with powers.

Sidestep Charge (XPH, SRD)
It’s fun to piss off chargers, but not so much as to spend a feat on it. Note: this feat is a prerequisite for the Elocater PrC.

Spring Attack (PHB, SRD)
The whole feat tree is crap. Note: another prerequisite for the Elocater PrC.

Stand Still (XPH, SRD)
You want distance between you and them. Exception: a green feat for the right kind of gish. Keeps enemies confined to an area near to you and away from squishier characters.

Tashalatora (SoS)
You can't take this unless you multiclass Monk. Exception: if you do multiclass Monk, this feat is blue. It requires DM fiat/consent to be used.

Track (PHB, SRD)
You'll never be that good at tracking. Exception 1: a black feat for Nomads. Exception 2: a prerequisite for the Slayer PrC. A blue feat for Psion/Slayers, no matter their discipline.

Weapon Focus (PHB, SRD)
A bad choice. Exception: orange, if applied to rays. Take Offensive Precognition, instead.

Wild Talent (XPH, SRD)
Turns you into a psionic creature and gives you 2 PP. As a Psion, you’re already a psionic creature, so all that you get is those PP. Psionic Talent is a better choice. Hidden Talent is better still.

Host Feats

Note: these feats require your character to be a host to a psionic entity, so they’re most likely to see use in the Eberron campaign setting, because of the Kalashtar race. If not playing in Eberron, check with your DM before taking.

Aggressive Mind (CPsi)
A crappy 1/day either/or psionic ability.

Antagonist (CPsi)
Another crappy 1/day either/or psionic ability.

Defensive Shell (CPsi)
Yet another crappy 1/day either/or psionic ability.

Host Focus (CPsi)
Turns your 1/day either/or ability into 2/day.

Pacifist (CPsi)
One more crappy 1/day either/or psionic ability. Did they even think before printing this crap?

Strength of Two (CPsi)
Reads okay, but the prerequisite sucks.

Telepathic Affinity (CPsi)
Finally, the last crappy 1/day either/or psionic ability.

Illithid Heritage Feats

Note: your DM will probably force some RP requirements on you if you take these feats, given their flavor.

Illithid Heritage (CPsi)
The prerequisite for all other Illithid Heritage feats. Fortunately, it’s not that bad: an extra skill and a bonus on many saves.

Illithid Blast (CPsi)
A 1/day psi-like ability. Bleh.

Illithid Compulsion (CPsi)
Not bad. Best for Telepaths.

Illithid Enthusiast (CPsi)
Along with Illithid Heritage and Illithid Compulsion, the “best” candidate for unlocking the Illithid Legacy feats. Doesn’t imply/require that you start LOOKING like an Illithid.

Illithid Grapple (CPsi)
Useful, like any other natural attack, but expect your DM have NPCs react poorly to you, despite there being nothing in the feat text to say that happens. Exception: taking this feat more than once is red.

Illithid Extraction (CPsi)
Five prerequisites, bad investment.

Illithid Legacy (CPsi)
Adds one good and one great power to your list of powers known. Three prerequisite feats required.

Illithid Legacy, Greater (CPsi)
Both powers added are AWESOME. Very heavy prerequisites.

Illithid Skin (CPsi)
Functionally better than Illithid Enthusiast, but the descriptive fluff says you start to look like an Illithid, and that’s bad.

Item Creation Feats

Craft Cognizance Crystal (XPH, SRD)
Not as versatile as other item creation feats.

Craft Dorje (XPH, SRD)
One of the better item creation feats. First, dorjes can hold any level of power. Second, use it to make a stock of low-level dorjes with useful, but rarely manifested powers. Third, Psions with Use Psionic Device and a Psicrystal can give a dorjes to their Psicrystals, since Psicrystals share their master’s skills.

Craft Psicrown (XPH, SRD)
Psicrowns are to psionics as staves are to arcane casters, except not as great since they occupy a body slot. The types of Psicrowns available to create is limited, too. Exception: if your DM will let you create custom Psicrowns, this feat is blue.

Craft Psionic Arms and Armor (XPH, SRD)
Your party will love you. Psionic weapon abilities are less impressive than their magical counterparts. Exception: nothing says the Manifester ability can’t be applied to ammunition. Fifty +1 Arrows of the Manifester nets 250 bonus PP for cheap. VERY common for DMs to exclude this option, but if yours doesn’t, this is purple.

Craft Psionic Construct (XPH, SRD)
There’s one kind of psionic construct in the XPH/SRD that can be built with this feat. Exception: if you have a way to build more than one type of construct then this feat is at least black.

Craft Psionic Seal (LoM)
Not in the feats section of the book and not noted as an Item Creation feat, though it operates like one and is thus in this category. One way of having high level “psionic tattoos,” though you are restricted to having one body seal time. Has other uses. Reminds me of the Craft Contingent Spell feat.

Craft Universal Item (XPH, SRD)
Many great Psionic Universal Items exist. This will let you have any for half the cost, plus XP. Any general custom items you make are most likely to fall into this category.

Imprint Stone (XPH, SRD)
Makes single-use items, so not as good as Craft Dorje, though you can craft stones quicker more cheaply than dorjes. Exception: if your DM says you can use the XPH’s/SRD’s section on “Manifest[ing] an Unknown Power from Another’s Powers Known” with power stones then this feat jumps up to purple and you should keep stones for uncommon utility needs. WotC ruled that you can’t do this but never published official errata on the subject.

Scribe Tattoo (XPH, SRD)
Tattoos aren’t as useful as crafting as dorjes or power stones because of the power level cap. Exception: The Mind’s Eye released 3.0 material on crafting high-level tattoos. Players converted it to 3.5. If your DM allows this material then this feat is blue.

Metapsionic Feats

Burrowing Power (XPH, SRD)
Shoot through barriers. You can’t do that without this. A handy feat.

Chain Power (XPH, SRD)
Turn single-target energy powers multi-target barrages. There’s limited powers that work with this feat, which drains +6 PP per use. Only viable in a build focused around it.

Delay Power (XPH, SRD)
Could be used to set up an ambush, or in conjunction with Temporal Acceleration, but you’ll want your powers to work in the CURRENT round, not a future round, 99% of the time.

Empower Power (XPH, SRD)
People with math skills have shown proofs of how Empower is the best overall meta-X effect for increasing damage.

Enlarge Power (XPH, SRD)
No increased PP cost. Many powers are Close-ranged. This can mitigate that.

Extend Power (XPH, SRD)
Every Psion should have this feat. It saves PP over the long haul and doubles the effectiveness of durational powers.

Heroic Focus (MoE)
Only usable if you're in Eberron or are playing with Action Points. If so, it's good for keeping your psionic focus in a pinch. Works best when you also have Psionic Meditation.

Knockdown Power (CPsi)
Okay battlefield control option.

Linked Power (CPsi)
Useful as a pseudo-quicken. With Synchronicity Linked to Synchronicity, you can break the action economy into little pieces. Thus many DMs ban that use of the feat, if not ban Synchronicity outright. Exception 1: there are three schools of thought on this power, due to the feat text’s ambiguousness. The first, predominant on these boards, says the second, linked power always completely manifests in following round. The second goes farther, saying that any XP costs of the second power are eliminated, too. The third says the manifesting time and XP costs of the second power remains as printed. If your DM is of the first or second school, this feat is purple.

Maximize Power (XPH, SRD)
Generally inferior to Empower Power, but does take the randomness out damage rolls, so it has its place.

Metapower (CPsi)
Reducing PP costs is good. If you frequently use a specific power-metapsionic feat combo, this is a good choice.

Opportunity Power (XPH, SRD)
Interesting in the right build, but generally too restrictive.

Paraelemental Power (CPsi)
The prerequisites and the short duration make it less useful.

Phrenic Leech (CPsi)
Only usable on other manifesters.

Psiforged Body[/b] (MoE)
Warforged only. Effective bonus PP. This feat only gets better as you level.

Quicken Power (XPH, SRD)
Psions have more options than casters for getting multiple effects in 1 round, e.g. Schism, Metamorphosing to Choker and transferring Quickness. Quickened Powers aren’t as good as Quickened Spells, due to the psionic focus requirement, so they’re less useful for nova-ing or in emergencies. Still, not a bad feat.

Split Psionic Ray (XPH, SRD)
Empowered, Split Crystal Shards, Energy Rays, and Energy Pushes are nice. Even better: Split Energy Conversions. Blast your Psionic heart out! Note: both rays can’t affect the same enemy.

Stygian Power (CPsi)
Okay, if you take a lot of Stygian powers. Otherwise, not so hot.

Transdimensional Power (CPsi)
An alternative to Force effects. Supercharges Touchsight. Doesn’t add any PP cost.

Twin Power (XPH, SRD)
Double trouble. Effectively doubles your damage output, your debuffing/battlefield control effects, etc. Great at high levels.

Unconditional Power (XPH, SRD)
Can save your bacon if you’re hit with a status effect. Exception: for anyone with the Psychic Enervation feature, this is a blue feat. You’ll need a immediate action power on top of the ML and PP use this feat, since you won’t be able to ready an action while dazed.

Widen Power (XPH, SRD)
Make those AoEs affect more enemies. Very good with Swarm of Crystals.

Psionic Feats

Aligned Attack (XPH, SRD)
Powers, like spells, generally aren’t subject to DR. You don’t need this.

Azure Talent (MoI)
Bonus PP is always nice.

Body Fuel (XPH, SRD)
Yeah, you get PP back in a pinch, but it’s a bad trade. The drain also counts as the unique ability burn damage type, which can’t be healed by anything other than natural healing and rest. Exception: if you are somehow immune to, or can quickly heal, ability burn, this feat is purple. My research has yielded no consensus on the existence of any method of either type.

Boost Construct (XPH, SRD)
Makes Astral Constructs even better. Exception: you can take this feat even if you don’t have the Astral Construct. That’s a red choice.

Combat Manifestation (XPH, SRD)
As bad as Combat Casting.

Dazzling Energy (CPsi)
Harsh prerequisites, but the effect lasts a good length of time.

Deep Impact (XPH, SRD)
You should avoid melee. Exception: for melee gish-types, this feat is green.

Deep Psychic Meditation (M’sE)
Gives more uses Psychic Meditation effects and lets you have more Psychic Energy Centers awake at a time. You need to take this feat three times to enter the Meditant PrC.

Deep Vision (CPsi)
Purely average.

Don Mantle (CPsi)
You can’t qualify for this without multiclassing or using the Egoist ACF.

Ectopic Form: Agile Loper, Alabaster Aerial, Amber Tunneler, Anathemic Carapace, Astral Aquan, Ebony Stinger, Emerald Gyre, Indescent Serpent (CPsi)
Lock Astral Constructs into pre-generated forms. You get no menu choices and Boost Construct doesn’t apply. Worse than the default Astral Constructs. Exception: Anathemic Carapace is blue, if you can get it without the prerequisites.

Elemental Envoy (CPsi)
Inferior to, and requires you to give up, your Psicrystal. Exception: overpowered at very low levels (1 through 3). A purple choice for campaigns confined to those levels.

Energize Armor (CPsi)
There are better uses for your psionic focus. Exception: this feat is black for gishes.

Enervation Endurance (CPsi)
No need. Note: PP loss from Psychic Enervation is tied to Wilder levels, so Psion/Anarchic Initiates don’t need it.

Envoy Cognizance (CPsi)
If you take Elemental Envoy, take this too.

Expanded Knowledge (XPH, SRD)
Adds a power from ANY list to your powers known. This feat runs the gamut from purple to red, depending on the power. Refer to the Powers section for help picking good powers.

Fell Shot (XPH, SRD)
Ranged attack powers are usually touch attacks. Exception: for archer gishes, this is green.

Focused Body (M’sE)
You can avoid Balancing and Climbing, and Tumble isn’t a class skill.

Focused Perception (CPsi)
Bad prerequisites. Use your powers, instead.

Focused Shield (CPsi)
Okay, if you gain shield proficiency for free.

Focused Skill User (CPsi)
Usefulness depends on skills picked. Exception: if your DM lets it apply to ALL Craft and/or ALL Knowledge skills, this is green.

Focused Sunder (XPH, SRD)
Strength is your dump stat, you’re not a melee-er, sundering means less loot for the party, less loot means pissed off companions. Bad.

Gestalt Anchor (CPsi)
Nice if everyone uses Host feats or is Kalashtar.

Ghost Attack (XPH, SRD)
Take a Force power or the Transdimensional Power feat instead.

Greater Power Penetration (XPH, SRD)
Okay, but it’s better to take a few powers that aren’t subject to PR/SR.

Greater Power Specialization (XPH, SRD)
Strictly inferior to Psionic Shot.

Greater Psionic Endowment (XPH, SRD)
Useful for non-augmentable powers with saves.

Greater Psionic Fist (XPH, SRD)
Bad prerequisite. Melee required.

Greater Psionic Shot (XPH, SRD)
Good if you specialize in ranged touch attacks. With, e.g., a 1 PP Crystal Shard, you deal fair damage all day long. Exception: for gish archers, this feat is blue.

Greater Psionic Weapon (XPH, SRD)
You want to stay away from melee. Exception: for melee gishes, this is green.

Improved Psicrystal (XPH, SRD)
The basic Psicrystal is enough.

Inquisitor (XPH, SRD)
Of limited use. Note: a prerequisite for the Thrallherd PrC.

Instant Clarity (ToB)
If you know a martial strike maneuver, this can help you stay psionically focused.

Instinctive Consummator (CPsi)
Crit-centric builds are not optimal, though in such a build this feat has its place.

Invest Armor (CPsi)
There are better uses for your psionic focus. Exception: this is green for gish-type builds.

Mental Juggernaut (CPsi)
Being dazed or stunned is bad. This can help. Note: not usable to avoid the daze from Psychic Enervation, because Psychic Enervation is an Extraordinary effect, not a power, psi-like ability, or other psionic or magical effect.

Mental Leap (XPH, SRD)
Why play leapfrog when you can Levitate or Fly?

Metamorphic Transfer (XPH, SRD)
Metamorphosis is an awesome power, and this is an awesome feat. Gain a supernatural ability from any form you choose to become, up to three times per day! If the ability is a use-activated ability, or usable at will by the form you pick then you get three uses of that ability per transfer. Exception: taking this feat more than once is a black choice. One ability is generally enough.

Midnight Augmentation (MoI)
Reducing the augmentation cost for powers is always nice.

Narrow Mind (XPH, SRD)
Take Skill Focus (Concentration), instead.

Overchannel (XPH, SRD)
A useful power booster. Offset the damage with Vigor or with the Talented feat.

Postpone Enervation (CPsi)
You don’t need it. Exception: green for Psion/Anarchic Initiates, who get it for free.

Power Penetration (XPH, SRD)
Take a few powers that aren’t subject to PR/SR.

Power Specialization (XPH, SRD)
Inferior to Psionic Shot, though the psionic focus-expense part of the feat isn’t horrible.

Practiced Manifester (CPsi)
You don’t need it at all. Exception 1: if you lose up to 2 ML from multiclassing or PrCs, this is blue. Exception 2: if you lose 3 or 4 ML, this feat is purple. Exception 3: purple if your DM allows it to increase the ML of the Schism effect.

Privileged Energy (CPsi)
If it worked with all of the energy types then it’d be great. It doesn’t, so it’s not.

Psicrystal Affinity (XPH, SRD)
Psicrystals are Psions’ familiars. Should be a class feature. Psicrystals are effective scouts, communication devices, power-delivery units, and can take a beating. They can turn your Psion into a tank with the Psicrystal + Share Pain + Vigor combo. The free Alertness and personality bonus are nice, too. Trust me: you want a Psicrystal. Note: there is a debate over whether Psicrystals gain feats. Regardless, this feat is excellent. This is a list rating different Psicrystal personalities:
  • Artiste - Very good, since it works with all Craft skills, and craft skills can be used untrained.
  • Bully - You won't be making any Intimidate checks unless you try. You shouldn't try.
  • Coward - You'll rarely make Hide checks. Nevertheless, success on the few you'll make could save your butt.
  • Friendly - Great for Telepaths or the party face.
  • Hero - Fortitude is a poor save for you. This beefs it up.
  • Liar - Succeeding on a Bluff check can save your butt, like Hide, and you'll probably make a few more of these.
  • Meticulous - Search checks are pretty common.
  • Nimble - Going first in the Initiative order gives you options. Many people swear by it.
  • Observant - Spot checks are VERY common.
  • Poised - You have ways to avoid having to Balance. This won't help you toward the benefits of 5 ranks in the skill, either.
  • Resolved - Will is your best save, so it's not as good as the Hero personality. Still, it’s not bad.
  • Sage - If it worked with all Knowledge checks, it'd be better. You only get one, though, so it's not that good.
  • Single-minded - You never, ever want to fail a Concentration check. This will help ensure that you don't.
  • Sneaky - You're not a stealthy character. If you need to hide, STAY PUT!
  • Sympathetic - Sense Motive checks don't come up a lot, but can help you avoid nasty consequences.

Psicrystal Containment (XPH, SRD)
Gives you a second psionic focus, a very rare and handy thing. Keeps you from having to refocus and allows you to apply two metapsionic feats to a power. Note: unlike metamagic feats, you can apply the same metapsionic feat to a power more than once. You may have to show your DM the section of the XPH/SRD on applying metapsionic feats to powers.

Psionic Body (XPH, SRD)
You get two extra HP for every Psionic (NOT metapsionic) feat you take, including this feat. Okay for low-levels or Psions with bad Con. Most will want to use that feat slot for something else.

Psionic Charge (XPH, SRD)
Avoid melee. Exception: for a charging gish-type, this is a green choice.

Psionic Dodge (XPH, SRD)
Dodge sucks. This sucks harder.

Psionic Endowment (XPH, SRD)
Nice if you have a lot of powers that allow saves.
Psionic Feint (M’sE)
A feat intended for Psychic Rogues. A typical Psion has no use for it.

Psionic Fist (XPH, SRD)
Stay away from melee.

Psionic Meditation (XPH, SRD)
Most Psions will want this feat, so most Psions need Wisdom 13+. Lets you refocus as a move action. Fire off a standard action power, use your move action to refocus, repeat again next round. Highly useful.

Psionic Shot (XPH, SRD)
Increases your damage output. Preserves some PP, too. Requires the crummy Point-Blank Shot feat.

Psionic Talent (XPH, SRD)
Gets you two extra PP the first time you take it, then 3 extra PP the next time you take it, then 4, then 5, etc. Two extra PP is great at level 1, but a flash-in-the-pan by level 5.

Psionic Tumble (M’sE)
Tumble isn’t a class skill for Psions.

Psionic Weapon (XPH, SRD)
You don’t want to be in melee. Exception: for melee gishes, this is blue.

Psycarnum Crystal (MoI)
More essentia just for having a Psicrystal. Nice.

Psycarnum Infusion (MoI)
An instant power boost when you expend focus. Very nice. Psionics and Incarnum really do go great together.

Psychic Meditation (M’sE)
Opens up many options for your character. It’s like getting seven feats in one. Note: this is a prerequisite for the Meditant PrC.

Psychic Renewal (ToB)
Fine for Psion/Swordsages, due to the Swordsage’s poor maneuver recovery mechanic. Not so good for Psion/Warblades, due to the Warblade’s superior recovery mechanic, though it does give such a character options.

Psymbiot (CPsi)
Lots of bonuses, but you’ll probably be the only Psionic character in your party. Oddly, this feat works if you’re within 10 feat of a psionic enemy that meets the prerequisites. Exception: if you are not the only Psionic character in your party, this is a blue feat.

Return Shot (XPH, SRD)
Lots of prerequisites. The only thing this feat has going for it, really, is the chance to automatically avoid damage, which is, admittedly, always nice.

Skin of the Construct (CPsi)
Adds some versatility to your character. Lets a level 1 character fly, too. You can have multiple skins active. The temporary HP is okay, but nothing to rely on. Exception 1: for characters with the Constructor PrC, this feat is blue. Constructor increases Astral Construct’s duration, so the duration of your Skins is increased, and the number of abilities you gain from each Skin. Exception 2: if your DM says Constructor doesn’t add extra abilities to each Skin, then this feat stays green for characters with that PrC.

Speed of Thought (XPH, SRD)
Another reason to stay psionically focused. More movement isn’t bad.

Stygian Archon (CPsi)
Makes the Stygian powers a stronger choice. Requires you to be psionically focused.

Talented (XPH, SRD)
Avoid all damage from Overchanneling a Level 1-3 power.

Tap Mantle (CPsi)
You can’t access this without multiclassing or taking the Egoist ACF. Many of the abilities are nice, but the cost isn’t worth it.

Unavoidable Strike (XPH, SRD)
Of no benefit to you. Exception: blue for Power Attacking gishes.

Up the Walls (XPH, SRD)
Adds tactical movement and exploration options. Best when combined with Speed of Thought. Exception: by RAW, you can walk on ceilings with this feat, while psionically focused. I'm 99% sure this is not RAI, so check with your DM. If he/she allows it, this feat is blue. Expect some fights with your DM about what counts as "horizontal," regardless.

Wounding Attack (XPH, SRD)
Dealing automatic Con damage is nice. High BAB requirement.

Psionic Racial Feats

Dromite Ray (CPsi)
Focus on your powers, not your racial ability.

Dromite Barrier (CPsi)
Adds some flexibility.

Duergar Expansion (CPsi)
Just makes you a bigger target. Exception: for gishes, this feat is green.

Duergar Invisibility (CPsi)
Invisibility is nice, so using it more often is nicer.

Elan Repletion, Enhanced (CPsi)
Are you that hard up for 1 PP per day?

Elan Resilience, Enhanced (CPsi)
Allows you to really get the most out of your Resilience ability.

Elan Resistance, Enhanced (CPsi)
Can make you very hard to affect with any effect that allows a save.

Elan Retainment (CPsi)
Not losing your focus can be a real lifesaver in an emergency.

Githyanki Charm (CPsi)
Charm is a nice effect in a whole lot of ways.

Githyanki Control (CPsi)
Gives you some options, but not as useful as Githyanki Charm.

Githyanki Dismissal (CPsi)
Might find use in a campaign where Outsiders are the primary threat.

Githyanki Ectoform (CPsi)
Again, it gives you some options. You should have powers that can do similar things in your repertoire, though.

Githzerai Burst (CPsi)
Neither bad nor good. Just average.

Githzerai Feedback (CPsi)
Can help you live in a pinch.

Githzerai Knock (CPsi)
Adds a bit of utility, but there are other ways to get the same utility.

Githzerai Link (CPsi)
Like most of the other Psionic Racial Feats, this one is just full of meh.

Half-Giant Stomp (CPsi)
Stomp is only useful at low levels. Taking a feat to use it more often will offer diminishing returns.

Half-Giant Thunderer (CPsi)
You’re really better off focusing on enhancing your POWERS than enhancing your racial abilities.

Maenad Fury (CPsi)
As a Psion, you shouldn’t rely on this ability.

Maenad Scream (CPsi)
Another mediocre attack ability gets more uses per day.

Maenad Scream, Deafening (CPsi)
This one can actually be useful against casters.

Synad Multitask, Enhanced (CPsi)
A second pseudo-Quicken per day? Yes, please!

Thri-Kreen Carapace (CPsi)
Thri-Kreen make sub-par Psions due to their LA. If you are one, find other ways to bump your AC.

Thri-Kreen Claw (CPsi)
Free natural attacks are one of the few nice things about playing monster races. This can make those attacks a hit more. Still, why are you a Thri-Kreen?

Thri-Kreen Displacement (CPsi)
A percentage miss chance is nice. Probably the best of the Thri-Kreen abilities.

Thri-Kreen Poison (CPsi)
Not bad, but, again, why are you a Thri-Kreen?

Xeph Burst, Extra (CPsi)
Just like the Xeph ability, this feat that enhances it is strictly okay.

Xeph Cerity (CPsi)
As a Psion, you’ll rarely make a full attack. Stay mobile. Exception: for gishes, this is a green feat. Take Xeph Burst, Extra if you take this.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 08:24:48 PM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 02:09:11 PM »

General Psion (and Wilder) Powers

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Powers that only the rarest of psions should be without.
  • Blue: Close to the top. Worth serious consideration in any build.
  • Green: Above average. Less versatile, but still generally useful.
  • Black: Average. Usefulness outclassed by other options.
  • Orange: Sub-par. Limited uses or one trick poines.
  • Red: Nowhere near as good as advertised. Avoid.

Level 1

Astral Traveler (XPH, SRD)
Relies on another player or an NPC having the Astral Caravan power. Unlikely to see any use.

Attraction (XPH, SRD)
Useful for avoiding encounters or if you’re the party face.

Bolt (XPH, SRD)
Psions who are proficient with bows may find uses for this power, but there are better choices.

Call Item (M’sE)
Not as versatile as Psionic Minor Creation, but a good substitute for non-Shaper Psions.

Call to Mind (XPH, SRD)
Usefulness in the campaign depends on how often Knowledge skills come into play, and how your DM uses knowledge skills

Catfall (XPH, SRD)
There are better ways to avoid falling damage. Exception: if you have access to Linked Power, you can link a power to this one and still manifest another power in the first round. That bumps this power up to black[/b].

Channel the Psychic Dragon (DrM)
Several effects rolled into one. Which takes effect depends on the augmentation level selected. Each effect provides a skill bonus, resistance against specific energy types, and sometimes a tertiary effect. Fairly versatile.

Conceal Thoughts (XPH, SRD)
Help the party face to pull off a big lie. That’s about it.

Control Flames (XPH, SRD)
Pound for pound, the single most PP efficient power for generating direct damage. A high save for a level 1 power. Can make the enemy provoke an attack of opportunity. Can also put out fires. Doesn’t allow SR/PR or require attack rolls.

Control Light (XPH, SRD)
Help out the party Rogue.

Create Sound (XPH, SRD)
Make a distraction.

Crystal Shard (XPH, SRD)
Augments very, very well. Instantaneous creation effect.  Exception: if using the CPsi nerf, this power is black.

Daze, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Allows a save and doesn’t last long enough to make a difference.

Deceleration (XPH, SRD)
Allows a save for a middling effect. Doesn’t stack.

Deflection Field (CPsi)
Defensive power that keeps you from doing anything else. Not good.

Déjà Vu (XPH, SRD)
A fairly good low-level “save-or-die.”

Demoralize (XPH, SRD)
AoE with a long duration. Allies and friends are excluded from the effect automatically. Remember: fear effects stack.

Detect Psionics (XPH, SRD)
Great power. Exception: if you’re not using psionics-magic transparency, this power is orange.

Disable (XPH, SRD)
Pin down several enemies that fail their save, allowing the party to focus on more immediate threats.

Dissipating Touch (XPH, SRD)
There are better options for doing damage.

Distract (XPH, SRD)
Only useful in rare circumstances.

Ecto Protection (XPH, SRD)
Only take this if you are going for the Constructor PrC.

Ectoplasmic Repair (M’sE)
Like Mending, with the added bonus of being usable to repair Constructs (like your Psicrystal).

Eidetic Lock (CPsi)
Better and worse than Animal Messenger: the messenger can communicate intelligently but is more likely to be noticed and thus targeted for elimination or to deviate from the task. May have a place in a low-level campaign.

Empathy (XPH, SRD)
Average information gathering power.

Empty Mind (XPH, SRD)
+2 to your already good save for 1 round? Pass.

Endure Elements, Psionic (CPsi)
Just like the magical version: average.

Energy Arc (CPsi)
Better attack powers exist, even at this low level.

Energy Ray (XPH, SRD)
More flexible than Crystal Shard, but allows SR/PR. The better choice if your group plays with the CPsi nerf.

Entangling Ectoplasm (XPH, SRD)
A good debuff/battlefield control power for all levels of play. You can get a lot of mileage out of 1 PP with this power.

Far Hand (XPH, SRD)
Okay utility power, but nothing to write home about.

Float (XPH, SRD)
Only useful if you’re caught in a flood or tossed out of a boat. Don’t bother.

Force Screen (XPH, SRD)
Best for gish-type characters, especially if your DM allows the suggested psionic modification of Abjurant Champion, in which case this becomes purple.

Grease, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Battlefield control and utility: can render enemies flat-footed, opening up sneak attack opportunities for the party Rogue (read up on the Balance skill if you use this power), and can help you avoid a grapple. The one drawback: the DC doesn’t scale.

Hammer (XPH, SRD)
Melee touch attack power. Stay away from melee and this power.

Inertial Armor (XPH, SRD)
Better than Mage Armor because it can be augmented. Can give you the best AC in the party.

Know Direction and Location (XPH, SRD)
A one-trick pony. Don’t bother with it until you get access to the Incarnate power and make it permanent.

Matter Agitation (XPH, SRD)
The BEST choice for doing damage at low levels. Doesn’t require an attack roll. Doesn’t allow a save. PP-efficient: lasts 1 minute per level. Can also start fires. You won’t keep this you whole career, but it’ll help you make it into the big leagues.

Mind Thrust (XPH, SRD)
The highest damage potential out of any power available: 1d10 per PP. Downsides: Mind-Affecting, allows SR/PR, and Will Negates.

Missive (XPH, SRD)
If your game involves much tactical maneuvering, or focuses on non-combat encounters, this can be very useful. Even if not, have you ever wished you could tell a PC or NPC something without anyone else hearing and/or without alerting anyone to your presence? I have. A lot.

My Light (XPH, SRD)
There are better powers to see in the dark.

Precognition, Defensive (XPH, SRD)
Helps out your AC and saves. A great catch-all defensive buff. If you believe the best defense is a good defense then this is the power for you. Just remember that you’ll need time to buff.

Precognition, Offensive (XPH, SRD)
Boosts your attack rolls. For those who believe the best defense is a good offense. Again, you’ll need time to buff.

Prescience, Offensive (XPH, SRD)
Paltry damage buff. Don’t bother.

Primal Fear (CPsi)
Worse than Demoralize, another Level 1 power.

Sense Link (XPH, SRD)
Be a back-up pair of eyes for the party scout. Eventually you get this power specifically with your psicrystal, negating the need for it if your crystal is the scout.

Skate (XPH, SRD)
If your campaign is all about movement and positioning, or if your DM has a fondness for treasure that is too heavy to carry then this is a fine power to take.  If not, it’s still an okay power. There are just better choices.

Slow Breathing (CPsi)
How often does altitude sickness come into play?

Stone Mind (CPsi)
Buffs a skill not on your class list.

Stygian Discernment (CPsi)
Let the party Cleric deal with undead.

Synchronicity (CPsi)
Opens up many tactical options for you.

Synesthete (XPH, SRD)
A better way of seeing in the dark. Lets you avoid gaze attacks. Arguably allows your psicrystal to see beyond its 40’ Sighted limit.

Telempathic Projection (XPH, SRD)
Average. If your game is based around non-combat intrigue or diplomacy then this is okay.

Urban Strider (CPsi)
You have other ways of dealing with such problems. Exception: in a campaign that takes place entirely within a city, this power becomes green.

Vigor (XPH, SRD)
Simply the best psionic buff. Your greatest threat at all levels is death by HP damage, and this power will let you have more effective HP than anyone else in the party, especially if shared with a psicrystal and Share Pain. Take it. Love it. Keep it.

Level 2

Amethyst Burst (DrM)
Effective against most of the enemy types that are problematic for any character, including incorporeal creatures and swarms. Effective against Anti-Magic and Null Psionic Fields. Doesn’t allow PR/SR. Arguably the only direct damage power you’d ever need to take. Even though the damage-to-PP ratio isn’t that great, this power can free up a ton of slots for utility purposes. Be aware that it’s a Close-ranged power with a wide area of effect, making it hard to use in close quarters without hurting party members.

Bestow Power (XPH, SRD)
Worthless in the average game. Exception: If your DM allows the Torc of Power Preservation + Earth Power PP recharge trick, this power is purple.

Biofeedback (XPH, SRD)
Average buff power. The Psicrystal + Share Pain + Vigor combo is better.

Body Equilibrium (XPH, SRD)
Only useful in limited circumstances. Pass.

Cloud Mind (XPH, SRD)
Only useful in the event that you encounter a single enemy with a low will save that isn’t immune to Mind-Affecting powers. Even then you’d better not do anything to alert it to your presence. Doesn’t augment at all. Just doesn’t have enough going for it to be a good pick.

Concealing Amorpha (XPH, SRD)
Okay defensive buff. Again, the Psicrystal + Share Pain + Vigor combo will be better in most situations. Unless you have a lot of time to buff before combat, stick with that combo instead of this power.

Concussion Blast (XPH, SRD)
The upsides: Force damage, good augments, no save. The downsides: low damage to PP ratio, allows SR/PR. Like all of the other level 2 offensive powers in Core, you have to take the bad with the good.

Constrictor's Touch (SoS)
Awesome debuff against casters/others wearing clothing/armor.

Control Sound (XPH, SRD)
This power has so many uses. It works like an improved version of Ghost Sound, Silence, and Shatter all wrapped up in one. Utility out the wazoo.

Crystalstorm (CPsi)
Potentially the most damaging psionic power of them all. The only downside is that the Fort DC can’t be augmented.

Damp Power (CPsi)
Better than Intellect Fortress, except that it will never last beyond the end of your next turn. Augments to protect party members.

Detect Hostile Intent (XPH, SRD)
Unless a monster is immune to Mind-Affecting powers or attacks from outside of the 30’ radius effect, you’ll never be surprised again. Very useful.

Earth Walk (CPsi)
Better than Spider Climb. Aside from the augment, not as good as Levitate.

Ego Whip (XPH, SRD)
The upsides: targets a typically low stat, dazes on a failed save, still does damage on a successful save. The downsides: the rest of the party probably won’t be doing Cha damage, allows SR/PR.

Elemental Steward (CPsi)
A summoning power that, while good at the outset, rapidly diminishes in power. Psions who want to be “summoners” should pick up Astral Construct, instead.

Elfsight (XPH, SRD)
Again, there are better powers for seeing in the dark.

Energy Adaptation, Specified (XPH, SRD)
Gives you the energy resistance you need when you need it. The augment is great.

Energy Emanation (CPsi)
Pathetic damage-to-PP ratio.

Energy Push (XPH, SRD)
The only long distance psionic touch attack. Works great with Psionic Shot/Greater Psionic Shot; for only 3 PP per shot, you can rain down a lot of damage. Exception: for Small-sized characters, this power is black.

Energy Stun (XPH, SRD)
Stunning is a great status to inflict. Has the added benefit of being AoE. On the other hand, it only does 1d6 damage as a base. Exception: if you use the CPsi nerf then this power is black.

Energy Stun (CPsi)
Note: this is a nerf to an existing XPH power. The PP-to-DC ratio is reduced.

Feat Leech (XPH, SRD)
For all the same reasons as Bestow Power, this power will be worthless in the average campaign. Exception: if your DM rules that Psicrystals get feats, or if you have a cohort with psionic feats, then this power is blue.

Id Insinuation (XPH, SRD)
There are better debuffing powers out there.

Identify, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Take it if you are the party “wizard.” Exception: without psionics-magic transparency, this power is orange.

Inflict Pain (XPH, SRD)
A slightly below-average debuff. It’s only black because it is Will (Half).

Knock, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Limited use utility power. In a party without a Rogue, take it. Otherwise, don’t.

Larval Flayers (CPsi)
Again, Psions who want to be “summoners” should stick with Astral Construct.

Levitate, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Avoid ground-based combat entirely. Lasts longer than the magical equivalent.

Mental Disruption (XPH, SRD)
Doesn’t last long enough to be useful.

Missive, Mass (XPH, SRD)
Better than its first level counterpart. Great tactical uses.

Psionic Lock (XPH, SRD)
Won’t see much use in play.

Psychic Scimitar (CPsi)
Hoo, boy. Use this power and you’re all but guaranteed to take damage to your most important stat. Avoid like the plague.

Psychic Whip (SoS)
An interesting attack-and-debuff power with some unusual augments. Better for gishes than for pure manifesters.

Psychoportive Shelter (CPsi)
An improved version of Rope Trick. Many DMs won’t let this work, but with this power and the Transdimensional Power feat you can use this power to attack with impunity. Just remember the rules about bringing extradimensional spaces into an extradimensional space.

Reach (M’sE)
Can help with your melee touch attacks, but you usually don’t want such powers.

Recall Agony (XPH, SRD)
Good power for damaging melee-ers, especially since it’s Will (Half). Its usefulness dries up when immunity to Mind-Affecting becomes more common.

Sense Link, Forced (XPH, SRD)
Will rarely, if ever, see any use in play. Skip it.

Serenity (CPsi)
Renders you unable to do anything else but concentrate for the duration. Not good at all.

Share Pain (XPH, SRD)
A great catch-all defensive buff. Exception As part of the Psicrystal + Share Pain + Vigor combo, this power is purple.

Stygian Ray (CPsi)
Too short lived to be truly useful.

Sustenance (XPH, SRD)
If your character is stranded on a desert island then take this. Otherwise, don’t.

Swarm of Crystals (XPH, SRD)
An AoE, no save, no SR/PR power, but only works at a VERY short range, and in a very narrow cone. You’re unlikely to hit more than one enemy at  a time with this power. Exception: if using the CPsi nerf, this power is black.

Thought Shield (XPH, SRD)
Only useful against a narrow range of effects. Hold out for better.

Tongues, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Good: will let you communicate with just about anything. Bad: forces you into the role of party face, a role you don’t want unless you have a good Diplomacy check.
Zone of Alertness (CPsi)
A very good power if your DM likes ambushes. Just make sure you have a party member with very high ranks in Spot and Listen.

Level 3

Body Adjustment (XPH, SRD)
Okay self-healing power. Hopefully your party will have a healer but, if not, this power is here for the taking.

Body Purification (XPH, SRD)
Good for getting rid of that troublesome ability damage. Not versatile, but a solid choice.

Cerebral Phantasm (CPsi)
Not so good because it’s Will Negates. Other, better powers exist for both doing damage and for the status effect.

Danger Sense (XPH, SRD)
Only the fully augmented version is worth it. Make that version permanent with Incarnate. Don’t bother with it until then.

Darkvision, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
There are better choices for seeing in the dark.

Dimension Twister (CPsi)
Mashes together Time Hop and a direct damage power, but doesn’t does mediocre damage and lacks the versatility of Time Hop.

Dismiss Ectoplasm (XPH, SRD)
This power will only see use if you go up against Shaper Psion. Maybe once, if ever.

Dispel Psionics (XPH, SRD)
Aside from not being able to counterspell, this power is better than its magical equivalent. Exception: if you aren’t playing with psionics-magic transparency, this power is black.

Energy Bolt (XPH, SRD)
Fine, as far as direct damage powers go, but ou’ll probably want to take more versatile powers.

Energy Burst (XPH, SRD)
Because of the huge, centered-on-you radius, you’re bound to hit your party with this power, and that’s bad.
Energy Lance (CPsi)
This power begs to be used with the Chain Power feat. Unfortunately, it is Close-ranged and the various effects associated with the energy types (which differ from the usual menu for such powers) are too short-lived.

Energy Retort (XPH, SRD)
Fine, but it’s better to avoid being attacked entirely.

Energy Wall (XPH, SRD)
Battlefield control, direct damage, and utility (use it to bring down walls with the Sonic version). Doesn’t allow SR/PR, and lasts for Concentration + 1 round per level. The only downside is that it doesn’t do enough damage to be your sole attack power.

Eradicate Invisibility (XPH, SRD)
Useful in limited circumstances.

Exhalation of the Bronze Dragon (CPsi)
Creates a unique “status effect,” but there are better means of battlefield control.

Glyph of Warding, Psionic (CPsi)
Better than the Cleric spell line.

Heavy Earth (CPsi)
Would be great for setting up attacks of opportunity if it didn’t also affect your allies…and yourself!

Keen Edge, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
A mediocre buff for the party Fighter. Don’t take it.

Mental Barrier (XPH, SRD)
Useful instant-use buff. Only use it in emergencies or you’ll see your PP evaporate.

Mindfire (CPsi)
That melee touch attack really hurts this power, as does the time it takes for it to reach its full effect.

Mind Trap (XPH, SRD)
Not ever likely to see use in the typical game

Psionic Blast (XPH, SRD)
Stunning is great, but the save is problematic.

Psychic Containment (CPsi)
You aren’t likely to encounter many psionic enemies, and there are better ways to deal with the ones you do.

Realized Potential (CPsi)
There are better buffs out there.

Share Pain, Forced (XPH, SRD)
Sucks as a power and sucks as a use of your actions.

Solicit Psicrystal (XPH, SRD)
Very useful if you have a lot of powers with a duration of Concentration, especially Telekinetic Maneuver. Can also set up a no save situation when combined with Matter Agitation and Control Flames.

Telekinetic Force (XPH, SRD)
Great utility power.

Telekinetic Thrust (XPH, SRD)
This power is potentially the only direct damage power you’ll ever need. Toss 15 Greatswords at an enemy for 30d6 damage! However, it requires a ranged attack roll (note: not a ranged touch attack) for each object hurled. Also, many DMs are likely to rule that this power doesn’t automatically overcome damage reduction, so you’d better have some magical/psionic weapons of various materials on hand.

Time Hop (XPH, SRD)
Hoo, boy. So much utility! Remove a door, a link of a chain, the rope holding up a bridge, a low-Will save charging Barbarian, etc. Really, really great.

Touchsight (XPH, SRD)
THE power for seeing in the dark, and for other un-illuminated areas. Even overcomes the Darkstalker feat.

Ubiquitous Vision (XPH, SRD)
Another one of those powers that should be made permanent with Incarnate but that shouldn’t be taken, otherwise.

Level 4

Aura Sight (XPH, SRD)
Make it permanent with Incarnate. That is all.

Correspond (XPH, SRD)
Communicate with anyone you’ve ever met over any distance. Great little power for when the party’s in a jam.

Death Urge (XPH, SRD)
Mediocre save-or-die power.

Detect Remote Viewing (XPH, SRD)
Protects against something that likely will never happen. Skip it.

Dimension Door, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Okay for fleeing. The restriction on acting after manifesting it makes it not so useful for getting around in the midst of combat. The augment is nigh-useless, as it doesn't lift the movement restriction.

Dimension Door, Psionic (CPsi)
Note: this is a BOOST to an existing XPH power. Added on are a bunch of different augments that make it more versatile. Nothing spectacular, though.

Divination, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
The best information-gathering power NOT on the Seer list. Even a Seer may not need anything other than this.

Ectoplasmic Swarm (CPsi)
Sub-par damage for a power of this level, and it prevents you from doing anything else. Pass on this one.

Empathic Feedback (XPH, SRD)
They try to kill you, they die. Better on paper than it is in play.

Energy Adaptation (XPH, SRD)
Fine power, but it’s probably better to take Energy Adaptation, Specified and just use the Augmented version.

Energy Flash (CPsi)
Good damage, but requires a melee touch attack.

Freedom of Movement, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Great for avoiding grapples and for all the other reasons the magical version is great.

Gemstone Breath (DrM)
Like Channel the Psychic Dragon, this power has different effects depending on which augmentation level you pick. Each option is a cone- or line-shaped direct damage effect. The damage type varies depending on the augmentation level, and many come with a (negatable) secondary effect. The higher PP-cost augmentations deal more damage than the lower PP-cost ones. What makes this power great is that one manifestation gives you multiple uses, making it PP-efficient. The only drawbacks are that it cannot be used in consecutive rounds, and it’s subject to SR/PR. A great power.

Intellect Fortress (XPH, SRD)
Acts like an instant successful save, potentially for the whole party. Then the party gets their actual save on top. One of the few powers that’s good for more than just you.

Mindwipe (XPH, SRD)
It’s a debuff. It’s okay.

Personality Parasite (XPH, SRD)
Situationally-useful save-or-suck. Not great.

Planar Apotheosis (CPsi)
Only the augment makes this power worthwhile. Grants a bunch of elemental resistances, PR, Darkvision and a single-use smite attack. Exception: if your alignment is LN, N, or CN, this power is green because you can utilize both forms.

Power Leech (XPH, SRD)
Like the other powers that are only useful on other psionic characters, you’re not likely to use this very often.

Psychic Reformation (XPH, SRD)
Brokenly good. Recreate your whole character whenever you want, for the cost of a little XP. You’ll want to take this AT LEAST at level 7, and probably a few more times over the course of your psionic career.

Shadow Eft (CPsi)
A halfway decent summoning power. Efts can do some good damage, and make effective ambushers. Astral Construct is still better, overall. This one also has the Evil descriptor.

Suggestion, Implanted (CPsi)
Almost exactly like the Level 2 Telepath power, with a few differences. It’s only because it’s a 4th level power that it’s not higher ranked.

Telekinetic Maneuver (XPH, SRD)
Versatile battlefield control. Hold down the enemy and let the rest of the party hack it to death. By RAW, your character's size modifier still applies, as does the restrictions on using the maneuvers against creatures more than one size category larger than your character. Note 1: if your DM lifts the aforementioned restrictions, this power is blue. Note 2: incorporeal creatures, by RAW, are immune to grappling. Beware taking this power with the intent of wrestling ghosts.

Trace Teleport (XPH, SRD)
Very useful at higher levels when the party will encounter enemies that teleport away rather than fight to the death.

Wall of Ectoplasm (XPH, SRD)
Great battlefield control power. Weaker than the magical walls, but it is what it is, and wall effects are great.

Level 5

Adapt Body (XPH, SRD)
Great for dealing with the many non-combat threats presented by the adventuring lifestyle, especially if your party goes planes-hopping.

Anticipatory Strike (CPsi)
Always go first. Then act again.

Catapsi (XPH, SRD)
Hardly ever useful.

Celestial Conduit (CPsi)
The damage-to-PP ratio of the un-nerfed Energy Missile. A good power, if you like line effects.

Change Fate (M’sE)
Automatically gives you a 20 on a saving throw, ability check, or a skill check (if the skill can be used untrained). In the latter case, any ranks you have in the skill do not apply to the ultimate total. Costs XP.

Cranial Deluge (CPsi)
Do you think WotC came up with this power after watching the movie Scanners? This one has style. Is it effective? Certainly. A fine option for a save-or-die power.

Crystal Body (DrM)
Grants immunities at a lower level than most such effects, but makes you vulnerable to certain, fortunately rare kinds of damage.

Detain Ectoplasm (CPsi)
This might be useful in a Shaper vs. Shaper duel. Otherwise, useless.

Ectoplasmic Shambler (XPH, SRD)
Large area, no save, shapeable, no SR/PR damage that blocks vision and hinders spellcasters and manifesters. Set up some walls then let ‘er rip.

Ethereal Agent (CPsi)
Manifest this and let it scout out the whole dungeon for you. Expect your companions to get antsy with all the sitting around they’ll be doing.

Incarnate (XPH, SRD)
Make permanent a whole bevy of powers. Free up those slots.

Leech Field (XPH, SRD)
Another power that’s only useful in a high psionics campaign. Pass.

Major Creation, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
So much utility! Excellent.

Plane Shift, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Awesome transportation power.

Power Resistance (XPH, SRD)
Catch-all buff against many powers/spells. Exception: if you’re not using psionics-magic transparency, this power is orange.

Psychic Crush (XPH, SRD)
A mediocre, Mind-Affecting save-or-die.

Psychotic Break (CPsi)
Can end encounters before they begin. It’s Mind-Affecting, so it’s not so useful at higher levels.

Shatter Mind Blank (XPH, SRD)
Why bother when you have the better, and more versatile, Dispel Psionics?

Stomp, Greater (CPsi)
Works great if all your enemies are queued up and standing on the ground. Not so likely at this point in the game. Still, it does pretty good damage and doesn’t allow SR/PR.

Stygian Dominion (CPsi)
Like Mind Switch, but only works on undead. Usually when you encounter undead, every other monster will also be undead. Since undead abilities generally aren’t that great against undead, this power has limited application beyond a convincing disguise.

Suppress Schism (CPsi)
Another power you might use once in your whole career.

Telekinetic Buffer (CPsi)
Works like a catchall version of the various Repel powers. A fairly good defensive buff that can be used creatively.

Tower of Iron Will (XPH, SRD)
A poor buff.

True Seeing, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
As good as the magic version.

Level 6

Aura Alteration (XPH, SRD)
Rarely useful, if ever.

Breath of the Black Dragon (XPH, SRD)
You have better choices for attack powers.

Cloud Mind, Mass (XPH, SRD)
No more useful than the single-target version.

Contingency, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
A contingencied Greater Psionic Teleport or Plane Shift can save your keister if you’re low on HP.

Co-Opt Concentration (XPH, SRD)
Just like all the other psionics-only powers: not useful.

Disintegrate, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Effectively a save-or-die. Also a utility power. Versatile. However, if you have other ways of achieving the same results, you can pass this by. Just remember that there's no faster way of turning a 10 foot cube of any sort of material into dust.

Energy Barrage (CPsi)
Good damage, no SR/PR. Definitely worth considering.

Energy Nullification Field (CPsi)
There are better ways to avoid energy damage.

Energy Trap (SoS)
Interesting battlefield control power. Each energy type has a different effect and augments well. Low base damage, however.

Ethereal Abduction (CPsi)
Time Hop accomplishes the same thing, and is more versatile.

Fuse Flesh (XPH, SRD)
One of the more widely-applicable save-or-die powers, as it isn’t Mind-Affecting and doesn’t only affect living creatures. The downside is that it requires a melee touch attack.

Inconstant Location (CPsi)
Move and still take a full round action. Avoid attacks of opportunity to boot. A nice little power.

Mind over Energy (CPsi)
Okay, as far as defensive buff goes.

Overland Flight, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
You should be able to fly before now. If not, there's this.

Psychometry (CPsi)
Great information gathering power.

Remote View Trap (XPH, SRD)
Not likely to come up in play.

Retrieve (XPH, SRD)
Take as yours most any object you see. If Indiana Jones had had this power, he wouldn’t have needed to outrun that boulder.

Suspend Life (XPH, SRD)
Play dead. A Stupid Psion Trick.

Stygian Bolt (CPsi)
Negative levels are harsh. A good save-or-suck.

Temporal Acceleration (XPH, SRD)
Give yourself all the time you need to buff, or set yourself up to go nova. Awesome power.

Level 7

Decerebrate (XPH, SRD)
A better save-or-die because it’s high enough level to force a DC they might actually fail, and because it’s not Mind-Affecting.

Divert Teleport (XPH, SRD)
Enemies that would rather flee than fight won’t be going anywhere if you have this power. Useful if your DM plays enemies that way.

Energy Claw (CPsi)
If you want a grappler, take Astral Construct.

Energy Conversion (XPH, SRD)
The key to blasting shenanigans. Best when paired with Energy Wall. No cap on how much damage you can store up and then unleash. Downsides: PR/SR applies, and Close range.

Energy Wave (XPH, SRD)
You probably have all of the direct damage powers you need by this point.

Evade Burst (XPH, SRD)
There’s nothing wrong with this power. However, it’s better to research the Psychic Warrior version, because it’s a fraction of the PP per use.

Eyes of the Basilisk (CPsi)
A save-or-die power that’s effective over multiple rounds. Nice.

Insanity (XPH, SRD)
Much better save-or-suck powers exist.

Mind Blank, Personal (XPH, SRD)
Neutralizes many of the worst/most annoying effects in the game, like Dominate, Charm, and a host of save-or-die spells and powers. Take this power.

Moment of Prescience, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
For those times when you MUST succeed on a check. Pair with Call to Mind to succeed on most Knowledge checks with a single rank in the skill.

Oak Body (XPH, SRD)
Good for the immunities.

Phase Door, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Can get you out of a jam. Other powers do it better.

Planar Champion (CPsi)
A good summoning power, but Astral Construct is still better.

Sequester, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
Not useful.

Ultrablast (XPH, SRD)
The Mind-Affecting descriptor is a killer at this point in the game.

Level 8

Bend Reality (XPH, SRD)
Added versatility, as needed. Take and keep for those times when Reality Revision would be overkill.

Iron Body, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
More immunities. Meh.

Matter Manipulation (XPH, SRD)
Make it extra hard. That’s what she said.

Mind Blank, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
This will let you help out the whole party, though it’s usually better to stick with Personal Mind Blank.

Planar Embrace (CPsi)
Gain a bevy of powers for the duration. Not bad. Exception: if your alignment is LN, N, or CN, this power is blue because you can utilize both forms.

Recall Death (XPH, SRD)
Mind-Affecting, but has the high DC that you need for a save-or-die to really be effective. Also does some damage on a failed save. Not too shabby.

Shadow Body (XPH, SRD)
More immunities.

Stygian Veil (CPsi)
Gives more immunities than Iron Body, but you lose the HP you gain from your Constitution. That’s bad at all levels.

Teleport, Psionic Greater (XPH, SRD)
When you need to get there in a jiffy.

True Metabolism (XPH, SRD)
Never need a Cleric again.

Level 9

Affinity Field (XPH, SRD)
Can result in some nifty effects and frustrate the hell out of the DM. Also makes certain low-level powers viable, such as Psionic Repair Damage.

Affinity Field, Pain (CPsi)
Spread the damage around.

Apopsi (XPH, SRD)
For high-psionics campaign only. Still, I’d avoid opening the door to the DM using this power on you in return. Yeah, that’s metagaming, but it’s SMART metagaming.

Assimilate (XPH, SRD)
A +4 untyped bonus to all stats! Keep a Bag of Tricks around for just this purpose!

Etherealness, Psionic (XPH, SRD)
It’s here if you need it.

Microcosm (XPH, SRD)
The limitations on this power make it hard to use.

Reality Revision (XPH, SRD)
True versatility, at a price. That price is worth it, at this point.

Stygian Conflagration (CPsi)
No save, just suck. Great power.

Timeless Body (XPH, SRD)
Avoid TPK. That’s it.

Urge Extermination (CPsi)
Strictly average save-or-die.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 08:51:08 PM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 02:09:26 PM »

Psion Discipline Powers

Ratings Key

  • Purple: The very best. Powers worth burning a feat or researching to obtain.
  • Blue: Characters with the discipline should have these. May be worth the feat/XP cost to obtain.
  • Green: Powers generally worth taking only if you are of that discipline.
  • Black: Average powers. Probably only worth it with a specific build in mind.
  • Orange: Not as good as the powers on the general Psion/Wilder list.
  • Red: Junk.

Egoist (Psychometabolism) Powers

Thicken Skin - Level 1 (XPH)
Strictly average, as far as buff powers go. Inertial Armor is a better choice.

Animal Affinity - Level 2 (XPH)
Good for the level at which you get access to it. Unfortunately, it’s an Enhancement bonus, which means it won’t stack with the standard gear you’ll definitely be buying as you level up.

Chameleon - Level 2 (XPH)
Psions aren’t stealthy. Don’t try to be stealthy.

Delay Poison - Level 2 (Mind’s Eye)
Identical to the Delay Poison spell.

Empathic Transfer - Level 2 (XPH)
Allows you to be the party’s healer, an atypical role for a Psion. With the Psicrystal + Share Pain + Vigor combo, you can heal quite well, too.

Ectoplasmic Form - Level 3 (XPH)
Not bad, but nothing spectacular.

Hustle - Level 3 (XPH)
Good for getting out of danger. Better for regaining your Psionic Focus when combined with Psionic Meditation. Move and refocus in the same round!

Metamorphosis - Level 4 (XPH)
A veritable toolbox of a power. Turn into any number of creatures and any number of objects! Even better when combined with Metamorphic Transfer!

Psychic Vampire - Level 4 (XPH)
Unlikely to see any use.

Combat Transformation - Level 5 (Mind’s Eye)
Similar to the Sorcerer/Wizard power, Transformation, or the Cleric power, Divine Favor. You’ll want it mainly for the increased BAB, but it comes with other goodies, too.

Psionic Revivify - Level 5 (XPH)
The best method to restore dead party members to life.

Psychofeedback - Level 5 (XPH)
Ability burn hurts. A lot.

Restore Extremity - Level 5 (XPH)
For those “pull my finger” jokes gone horribly, horribly wrong. You shouldn’t need this unless your DM is vindictive.

Restoration, Psionic - Level 6 (XPH)
Ability damage sucks. This makes it suck less.

Fission - Level 7 (XPH)
Break the action economy and really go nova!

Fusion - Level 8 (XPH)
Using Metamorphosis, sharing it with your psicrystal, and then fusing your metamorphosed forms can render you immune to a wide array of damaging effects.

Metamorphosis, Greater - Level 9 (XPH)
Become anything. Worth burning XP to research.

Kineticist (Psychokinesis) Powers

Control Object - Level 1 (XPH)
Piddling damage. Black because it can be used for utility purposes.

Control Air - Level 2 (XPH)
“Fly” using this + Levitate. Effective way of handling swarms. Render missile weapons unusable. Not bad at all.

Energy Missile - Level 2 (XPH)
The best base damage of any second level power, and the best damage to PP/DC to PP ratio. Doesn’t need to be augmented to affect more than one target, unlike Concussion Blast; hit up to five enemies without hitting your friends! Can also be used to target objects, even multiple objects worn by the same enemy (you’ll probably want to check with your DM on this last one, just to make sure).

Energy Missile - Level 2 (CPsi)
Note: this is a nerf to the existing XPH power. The power functions in the same way as in the XPH, except the augment has been adjusted downward.

Energy Cone - Level3 (XPH)
Another energy damage power, which is the shtick of the Kineticist. Nothing bad about it.

Telekinetic Boomerang - Level 3 (CPsi)
Good for a throwing gish-type build. Not good for anything other than that.

Control Body - Level 4 (XPH)
A power with some versatility. Can be used as a quasi-Dominate power, or as a save-or-die if you hold your target helpless. Can also be used on yourself: manifest this power then hand over control to your Psicrystal using Solicit Psicrystal. Let your crystal direct your melee attacks while you manifest powers.

Energy Ball - Level 4 (XPH)
The Kineticist’s Fireball, only with more options. Not bad.

Inertial Barrier - Level 4 (XPH)
It’s DR. Useful in a pinch. Also halves your falling damage. Combine with Catfall to survive even the longest falls. Overall, in terms of strength, this power is strictly average.

Energy Current - Level 5 (XPH)
This power can lay down some serious, serious pain! Double up with your Psicrystal using Solicit Psicrystal for ridiculous d6-es worth of damage over multiple rounds.

Energy Nullification Field - Level 5 (CPsi)
A waste of a power. There are much better ways of avoiding energy damage.

Fiery Discorporation - Level 5 (XPH)
Save yourself from dying. If you wind up in a situation where you need to use this power, something went terribly, terribly wrong. Better to avoid going into those situations in the first place.

Dispelling Buffer - Level 6 (XPH)
Protect your buffs. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s better not to be hit with a Dispel in the first place. Also, this power is strictly bush league compared to the likes of Temporal Acceleration, which is available at this level.

Null Psionic Field - Level 6 (XPH)
The psionic equivalent of Antimagic Field. Exception: if you are not playing with psionics-magic transparency, this power drops to orange.

Reddopsi - Level 7 (XPH)
Null Psionic Field is better.

Telekinetic Sphere, Psionic - Level 8 (XPH)
Fine for offense, better for defense. Form it around yourself then use Burrowing Power-enhanced powers from the inside.

Tornado Blast - Level 9 (XPH)
At this stage of the game, you’re getting ready for Epic. This is one of the few direct damage powers that remains viable at Epic levels because it doesn’t allow SR/PR. If you still want to blast at such high levels, you could do a lot worse than to take this power.

Nomad (Psychoportation) Powers

Burst - Level 1 (XPH)
Skate is better.

Detect Teleportation - Level 1 (XPH)
One of those powers to make permanent with Incarnate.

Dimension Swap - Level 2 (XPH)
You can get a lot of mileage out of this power. It lets you control the positioning of you and your allies with pinpoint precision, and can let you or your party members reach places they otherwise could not. Just make sure to talk to your party about how often you plan to use it and when. Nothing will piss people off more than having their own plans ruined by an untimely application of this power.

Evade Attack - Level 2 (CPsi)
At its base manifestation, it does what it says and nothing more. It’s better to not provoke attacks of opportunity in the first place. The augmentation brings it up to the rating that has been assigned. Nevertheless, that's still only one attack.

Levitate, Psionic - Level 2 (XPH)
The Nomad version of this power can be used on objects and other people, which makes it better than the version on the Psion/Wilder list.

Astral Caravan - Level 3 (XPH)
If you really, really need to get to the Planes then this is here. Otherwise, hold out for Plane Shift.

Dimensional Anchor, Psionic - Level 4 (XPH)
Useful for dealing with higher level foes with teleportation abilities.

Dismissal, Psionic - Level 4 (XPH)
Fine in a pinch, but your party probably won’t like it if it results in lost loot.

Fly, Psionic - Level 4 (XPH)
Hello, friendly skies! Everybody likes flight, and this is just as good as its magical counterpart. Still, there are other options.

Baleful Teleport - Level 5 (XPH)
A solid attack power with good augments. The damage type is one that most foes won’t be able to resist.

Teleport, Psionic - Level 5 (XPH)
Good for getting around. Take this OR Greater Psionic Teleport, not both.

Teleport Trigger - Level 5 (XPH)
Good for saving your behind. Better never to need this power in the first place.

Banishment, Psionic - Level 6 (XPH)
A better version of Psionic Dismissal. Still just as likely to piss off your party.

Dream Travel - Level 7 (XPH)
This power can be used for both travel and “save-or-die” attack. As a travel power it’s subpar, because it’s not instantaneous. As an attack power, it’s not a true save-or-die because it doesn’t kill the target. It just shifts them to the dream plane. Expect the target to show up again at the least convenient moment.

Ethereal Jaunt, Psionic - Level 7 (XPH)
If you need to be ethereal, this is fine.

Time Hop, Mass - Level 8 (XPH)
Would be great if it worked on anyone other than willing creatures. But it doesn’t. Therefore, it sucks.

Teleportation Circle, Psionic - Level 9 (XPH)
A waste of a 9th level power.

Time Regression - Level 9 (XPH)
This power is a reset button for when everything becomes FUBAR. You should not need it by this point in the game.

Seer (Clairsentience) Powers

Destiny Dissonance - Level 1 (XPH)
You don’t want to be close enough to touch the enemy. If you insist on melee touch powers it’s better to take one that can kill the enemy in one shot than to simply sicken them.

Precognition - Level 1 (XPH)
A mediocre bonus to a single check. You can do better than this.

Clairvoyant Sense - Level 2 (XPH)
Psions make the best scryers because of this power. It’s even better if you’re of a race that has natural Darkvision. Make the unknown known!

Object Reading - Level 2 (XPH)
Your DM will hate you for this power. Can potentially serve as a substitute for Identify, and can reveal a host of other information. The basis for any “psychic detective.”

Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions - Level 2 (XPH)
Not quite as good as Object Reading, but also useful. Can open up whole realms of information to you. Whether or not that information is useful is another matter.

Escape Detection - Level 3 (XPH)
Not likely to come up in play.

Fate Link - Level 4 (XPH)
In effect, a save-or-die. Requires both targets to fail their saves, though, lessening its effectiveness.

Anchored Navigation - Level 4 (XPH)
Good in a pinch. Avoid those pinches.

Remote Viewing - Level 4 (XPH)
Scry-and-die on steroids. Adventure from the comfort of your own living room!

Clairtangent Hand - Level 5 (XPH)
An improved Clairvoyant Sense at low levels, and at high levels it’s Clairvoyant Sense with all Telekinetic Force, Thrust, and Maneuver in a single power. Unfortunately to use any of those Telekinetic powers you’ll have to augment it to the strength of a 9th level power. Nevertheless, it can free up power slots and there’s nothing wrong with that at all!

Second Chance - Level 5 (XPH)
Rerolls are good. One per round is better!

Precognition, Greater - Level 6 (XPH)
A slightly better bonus to a check. Again, you can do better.

Fate of One - Level 7 (XPH)
Gain a reroll when you need it most. The best of the “get out of death free” powers.

Hypercognition - Level 8 (XPH)
Almost nothing is better than forcing the DM to tell you the answer to a seemingly unanswerable question or the way out of an apparently impossible situation. On the other hand, it can take the fun out of things if abused.

Metafaculty - Level 9 (XPH)
All of the multiverse’s information is at your fingertips! Again, don’t abuse this power.

Shaper (Metacreativity) Powers

Astral Construct - Level 1 (XPH)
The Psion’s version of all of the Summon Monster spells contained in a single Level 1 power. Putting warm bodies on the battlefield (is ectoplasm warm?) can be one of the best uses of any caster’s/manifester’s actions. Astral Constructs can serve as a replacement for the party tank, and can mete out a lot of damage. They’re also highly effective anticaster units, due to their superior grapple checks. If you take this power, you won’t regret it.

Astral Construct - Level 1 (CPsi)
Note: this is a nerf to the existing XPH power. The power functions in the same way as in the XPH, except you can only have one Astral Construct in existence at any given time. Another note: this particular nerf is the main reason why there’s a great deal of hatred for CPsi.

Minor Creation, Psionic - Level 1 (XPH)
It’s a 4th level spell converted into a first level power. How is that NOT going to be great? This power is all about utility. Make any kind of object whose base structure is nonliving vegetable matter at a moment’s notice. More or less the ultimate in problem-solving ability.

Psionic Repair Damage - Level 2 (XPH)
For the average psion this power won’t see any use. Sure, you can keep your Astral Constructs up and running in an extended battle, but it’s arguably better to just manifest a completely new one when the first runs low on HP. Other than that, you may wind up using this power to heal your Psicrystal. Those looking to enter the Constructor PrC have no choice but to take this power. Exceptions: if your Psion can craft permanent constructs then this power becomes green. If your Psion is a Warforged, this power becomes purple, because you can use it to heal yourself. Note, however, that Warforged technically are of the Living Construct type, not the Construct type, and your DM, if he or she is harsh, may rule that this power does not, therefore, work on you. So check with him or her.

Concealing Amorpha, Greater - Level 3 (XPH)
A 50% miss chance on all attacks made on you is nothing to sneeze at. Neither is avoiding all attacks of opportunity. Furthermore, a technical reading of this power says that it blocks line of sight, which means that you can’t be targeted with effects that automatically affect one or more individual targets (e.g. you could not be targeted with Ego Whip, though a Crystal Shard could still be aimed at you, though it would suffer the 50% miss chance). Since it’s a Creation effect, it can’t be defeated by powers like True Seeing and Touchsight. Exception: many DMs may be loathe to allow you to avoid targeted effects with this power, and will nerf that part of the power through houserule. In such case, this power drops to green.

Ectoplasmic Cocoon - Level 3 (XPH)
A non-traditional “save-or-die” and battlefield control-type power. It’s non-traditional because the target doesn’t actually die; in fact, it makes it harder to actually kill the target. Nevertheless, it removes the target from play for a fairly long duration on a failed Reflex save, freeing up the party to target other enemies. Once the lesser threats are out of the way, the party can regroup to take down the target together. If you combine this with AoE powers enhanced with the Burrowing Power feat, or have a way of drowning the target, it can become a true save-or-die. Will maintain its usefulness at higher levels, as Reflex saves scale poorly by comparison.

Burrowing Bonds - Level 4 (CPsi)
Both better and worse than Ectoplasmic Cocoon. Better because you can attack the trapped target without freeing them and because it damages the target. Worse because the target isn’t helpless and because the target can break free on its own before the duration elapses.

Fabricate, Psionic - Level 4 (XPH)
Make lots of stuff quickly. Another great utility power.

Quintessence - Level 4 (XPH)
This is a very unique power, in that it creates a permanent “item” for no XP. That item is ostensibly the world’s greatest preservative: anything that is completely covered in Quintessence is treated as being outside of the timestream and thus is preserved in the state in which it was in at the time it was covered. The power description says that you can accumulate large amounts of Quintessence, enough to cover an object of any size. There are drawbacks: it takes a long time to accumulate enough to cover anything other than a small object, any accumulated quintessence greater than one pound generates a catapsi effect, and anyone other than the manifester takes damage if they are in contact with Quintessence for more than 1 minute (unless that person is completely covered in it). In a typical campaign, this will limit the usefulness of this power. True, you might be able to cover a dying king with the stuff to “stop the clock” while you adventure for the cure, but building up enough to cover him would take awhile. He might die while you manifest. You might also contemplate selling the stuff, but expect angry customers when one of their kids dies from eating a Quintessence-covered object. Additionally, you could try applying this to objects created with Minor Creation, or get a Wizard friend to drop a few Delayed Blast Fireballs into it for the ultimate bomb. Whether or not the power halts the countdown on the duration of a spell or power, however, is an open question. Therefore, this power is rated black because of these many caveats, and also because the usefulness of it, and just what kind of effect the Quintessence has, is subject to the whims of the DM. More than any other power, your mileage may vary.

Hail of Crystals - Level 5 (XPH)
Great attack power. Good damage and not subject to SR/PR. Even if using the CPsi nerf, this power is probably worth it.

Crystallize - Level 6 (XPH)
One of the best of the psionic save-or-die powers, since it’s not Mind-Affecting. Would be rated higher if there weren’t so many great powers at this level.

Fabricate, Greater Psionic - Level 6 (XPH)
Better than the original because it makes 10 times as much stuff. Only take this or the lower-level version, not both.

Ectoplasmic Cocoon, Mass - Level 7 (XPH)
Excellent for all the reasons that the lower level power is excellent. Can end whole encounters in a single shot.

Astral Seed - Level 8 (XPH)
This power has been called the 1-Up Mushroom of psionics, and that’s a fair assessment. It’s different from the “get out of death free” powers because it doesn’t save you from dying. Instead, it gives you a whole new shot at living. Since you can only have one of these babies in existence at any point in time, it’s probably best to take it, manifest it, then reform it away until you need it again.

Genesis - Level 9 (XPH)
Who wouldn’t want their own demiplane for a home base? Not as good as the magic version, but still a great power. The Antigenesis effect is interesting, but probably not a good reason to hold onto the power. Unless you’re dead-set on having a huge demiplane, manifest this once and then reform it out until you need it again.

True Creation - Level 9 (XPH)
Make anything. Permanently. You know you want to play god.

Telepath (Telepathy) Powers

Charm, Psionic - Level 1 (XPH)
Who doesn’t love the Charm spell? This power is even better because of the augments.

Mindlink - Level 1 (XPH)
Can be a substitute for the Missive power. Otherwise the only reason you’d probably take this is because it’s a prerequisite for the Thrallherd PrC.

Aversion - Level 2 (XPH)
Can end some encounters in one shot.

Brain Lock - Level 2 (XPH)
Yeah, they can’t do anything, but neither can you. Avoid this.

Read Thoughts - Level 2 (XPH)
The quintessential Telepath power. Good for information gathering. If you don’t take this people will look at you funny.

Suggestion, Psionic - Level 2 (XPH)
As good as, and as useful as, the magical version.

Crisis of Breath - Level 3 (XPH)
Mind-Affecting save-or-dies just aren’t that great. There are much more useful, and versatile, powers at this level.

Empathic Transfer, Hostile - Level 3 (XPH)
Healing yourself while hurting them is never a bad idea.

Empathic Transfer, Hostile - Level 3 (CPsi)
Note: this is a nerf to the existing XPH power. The changes include a reduction to the amount of damage transferred per use and the elimination of the AoE augment. The result is much worse than the original.

False Sensory Input - Level 3 (XPH)
In a way, it’s the only psionic illusion power. Like illusions, you can pull off a lot of tricks with this one.

Dominate, Psionic - Level 4 (XPH)
Converting the enemy to your side is insanely good. Having all of the magical version of Dominate in one power is even better.

Mindlink, Thieving - Level 4 (XPH)
The usefulness of this power depends on your having other manifesters in your game. In the average game, there won’t be many, if any.

Modify Memory, Psionic - Level 4 (XPH)
In a specific build with the goal of becoming “Master of the Mind” then this is a fine power. In a more general purpose build, it doesn’t have a place.

Schism - Level 4 (XPH)
Another power that breaks the action economy. Do more in a round than you could otherwise.

Metaconcert - Level 5 (XPH)
Great if there are other psionic characters in your campaign. Not great if there aren’t. Exceptions: for Thrallherds with psionic cohorts and/or followers, this power is blue.

Mind Probe - Level 5 (XPH)
Another power that any self-respecting Telepath wouldn’t be caught without.

Mind Switch - Level 6 (XPH)
An interesting power with interesting uses. Requires some planning, though, since you force the target into your own body.

Crisis of Life - Level 7 (XPH)
Other, better save-or-dies exist.

Mind Seed - Level 8 (XPH)
Not effective for use in combat, since it takes time to work. Also has the Evil descriptor.

Mind Switch, True - Level 9 (XPH)
Pick the right form and you can gain a lot of immunities and abilities.

Psychic Chirurgery - Level 9 (XPH)
The Repair Psychic Damage option is useful, but most will want this power for the Transfer Knowledge option. With it you can turn anyone into a psionic creature. Most of the time you will want to find SOMEONE ELSE with this power to use Transfer Knowledge to impart new powers to you. Exception: for Thrallherds with psionic cohorts and/or followers, this power is blue.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 10:53:10 PM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2010, 02:09:39 PM »

Prestige Classes for Psions

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Greatly improves the Psion’s power, or adds superior new features.
  • Blue: Moderately enhances the Psion’s strengths or adds moderately powerful features.
  • Green: Adds at a small measure of power or versatility.
  • Black: No better than taking levels in Psion.
  • Orange: Generally a hindrance to a Psion’s power, save in very specific builds.
  • Red: Bad choices, all the way.

Author's Note(s)

Selecting a PrC
The best Prestige Classes build on the strengths of the base class or classes. Therefore, the primary goal of any manifester, like any spellcaster, who is picking a PrC should be to preserve his or her manifester level progression. You want 9th level powers, and as many of them as possible. Any loss of manifester levels must, therefore, be for something equal to, or better than, that manifester level.

About Adaptations
In certain books, WotC suggest that certain magic-using PrCs could be adapted to the psionics system. They do not actually do the adapting. They merely say it could be done. This section does not attempt to do an actual adaptation, but rather merely gives a hypothetical rating based on the existing PrC’s description and my own understanding of the psionics system. In other words, an educated guess.

The section of Personally-Suggested adaptations is a short collection of other PrCs that I believe can be easily adapted to be manifesters, and why I think they’re fine picks. I’ve also made an attempt to rate them, though, again, such ratings are pure conjecture in this context.

On the Subject of Early Entry
Certain feats and class features, or certain combinations thereof, can allow you to enter some prestige classes early. This is due to what those feats, class features and/or feat-and-class-feature combinations give you combined with the wording of the entry requirements for the given PrC. The feats and features that allow early entry are, to my knowledge, found in material other than that which is included in this guide. This guide will not cover such material, and the ratings given to PrCs in this guide do not take into account the possibility of early entry. If your DM does allow early entry to any given PrC included in this guide, however, that PrC may or may not become a more powerful, attractive, and/or viable option than reflected in the rating assigned to it in this guide. That is as far as this guide will delve into this particular topic.

Psionic Prestige Classes

Anarchic Initiate (CPsi)
I’d rank the Thrallherd as the best psionic PrC, but this one is a close second. It’s the only official, book-published, psionic PrC that offers full manifester level progression over all of its levels. It’s got easy entry requirements, great class features (the best of which you get right at first level), and a better chassis than the Psion. It also “pays for itself” by providing you with a feature that fulfills one of the entry requirements, freeing up a feat for you. Yeah, it has alignment restrictions, but that’s no big deal. This is a great choice for a PrC.

Body Leech (M’sE)
The entry requirements include two bad feats and two powers specific to two separate disciplines, one of which is a third level power and one of which is a sixth. That makes the absolute earliest entry point 11th level. Also ties you down (literally) to your cocoons, making it not conducive to the adventuring lifestyle. Makes a good pick for a bad guy, though.

Cerebremancer (XPH, SRD)
The Psionic equivalent of the Mystic Theurge. Due to the multiclassing requirement, you'll feel behind your single-classed counterparts for much of the game. Exception: this PrC is a green choice in campaigns that begin at high levels, so long as you focus on one side of the progression to secure 9th level spells or powers.

Cognition Thief (PGF)
Loses too many ML.

Constructor (M’sE)
Let’s get the downside out of the way, first: you have to take Ecto Protection and Psionic Repair Damage, two relatively worthless powers, and you lose two ML. Now let’s look at the upside: you get more skill points and, better yet, a bunch of added abilities that improve the Astral Construct power, also required, which is one of the best powers in the game. These include new menu options to choose from, extra abilities for each construct created, a tenfold increase in the duration of your attack constructs, the option to create “utility constructs” which last 100 times longer, the ability to create more than one construct at a single time, and the ability to manifest Astral Construct as a Swift Action for the mere cost of your psionic focus. The only thing that keeps this PrC from being in the best-of-the-best is the aforementioned loss of ML. It’s very, very good. Do note that the entry requirements make it tough to get into if you’re not of the Shaper discipline. Exception: this PrC either wreaks havoc on the CPsi nerf to Astral Construct, or the CPsi nerf wreaks havoc on it. If your DM rules that this PrC ignores the nerf, but that the nerf is otherwise in effect, this PrC tips over into the purple category. If your DM rules that the nerf applies to this PrC, this PrC becomes somewhat less attractive, and dips down into green territory.

Cryokineticist (Fro)
I’m going to admit to being personally ignorant about this PrC, as I’ve never actually laid eyes on any of the material in Frostburn. At the same time, the assessments of this PrC that I’ve read uniformly declare it awful. Therefore, it gets a red rating unless and until I’m presented with evidence to the contrary.

Crystal Master (M’sE)
Easy entry requirements: two feats that you’d be taking, anyway, and four ranks in two class skills. One of those skills is an entirely new variation of the Knowledge skill, which is a bit strange. What you get out of this class is access to a smorgasbord of class features, allowing you to customize your character as you see fit. You can pick from things like poison immunity, bonus PP, damage reduction, and various power-like effects, among other options. My personal favorites include the quasi-permanent Touchsight and Telepathy effects and the all-in-one bonus to AC and saving throws. Certain of the ability options are static effects, others improve as you advance in the class. The PrC also explicitly advances your Psicrystal’s special abilities and gives you more skill points than the base Psion, both of which are gravy. In all, worth the loss of two ML.

Diamond Dragon (DrM)
Easy entry requirements. A bunch of nifty abilities that function like powers in that they cost PP to use, but which function as Supernatural abilities, so they’re not subject to SR/PR. The 4th level class feature can potentially free up all of your offensive power slots. Doesn’t really build on the Psion’s strengths in any way, but does add options.

Ebon Saint (CPsi)
The entry requirements are too high to make this a good choice, since you’re going to need one or more levels in a class with the Sneak Attack feature to enter this PrC. The class features and skills of the PrC don’t mesh well with Psion, either.

Ectopic Adept (CPsi)
This PrC is red for a very specific reason: taking it results in agreeing to the CPsi nerf to the Astral Construct power. You don’t want to agree to that nerf. Exception: if your DM forces the nerf upon you, this PrC isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s green.

Elocater (XPH, SRD)
This PrC gets a lot of neat abilities, and it’s fun to play. The hit to your Manifester Level that you take is not, however, worth what you get out of this PrC. Even a one level dip for the very cool Scorn Earth ability is too harsh of a trade-off, due to the feat prerequisites. Exception: if you are playing a gish-type character that is primarily melee fighter and secondarily a manifester, such as Ranger 4/Psion 1, this PrC may be green or even blue, depending on your exact build.

Fist of Zuoken (XPH)/Psionic Fist (SRD) (XPH, SRD)
The Psionic Monk. Has its own manifester level and power progression. Not a good choice, for that reason. Exception: a blue choice for any non-Psionic Monk-type character who wants psionic powers without the Psion's weak BAB. Consider one level in this PrC followed by a full progression in Slayer.

Flayerspawn Psychic (CPsi)
Like a lot of CPsi, this PrC’s write-up suffers from a lack of editing. The text says suggests that the Illithid Blast feature of the class functions like the feat of the same name. That feat says that the effect produced is a psi-like ability. If this is the case, the PrC is definitely red because the lost manifester levels aren’t worth the exchange. Exception: the text ALSO suggests that the PrC gains the Illithid Blast feature as a Supernatural ability. If so, then the PrC is black. Confirm with your DM which option he or she will enforce before giving this PrC any consideration.

Illithid Slayer (XPH)/Slayer (SRD)
Two versions of this PrC exist. The SRD version is better than the XPH version due to the relaxed entry requirements. You get full BAB and eventually immunity to Mind-Affecting effects while psionically focused. This immunity is SUPERIOR to Mind Blank, as does not block friendly Mind-Affecting effects! Those, alone, are worthwhile trade-offs. The class also grants you proficiency with all Simple and Martial weapons and all kinds of armor, but not shields, while requiring no such proficiencies in the first place. The proficiencies make Illithid Slayer/Slayer a good springboard class into other gish PrCs that do require such proficiencies.

Iron Mind (RoS)
Psions don’t wear heavy armor. This PrC isn’t worth the cost.

Meditant (M’sE)
This PrC can be tough to get into if you’re not Human or another race with a bonus feat, since it requires four different feats. These feats are Psychic Meditation (not to be confused with Psionic Meditation) and Deeper Psychic Meditation, the latter of which is taken three times. Fortunately, these feats, which are detailed in Mind’s Eye (and which I’ve discussed in the Feats section of this guide) are pretty dang good. You get access to a menu of abilities, each of which can be activated once per day when all four of those feats are taken. Each use lasts for an hour, they can be activated one at a time, all at once, or any combination in-between, and all of them are useful. This PrC increases the power of the abilities given to you by those feats, the number of times per day you can use those abilities, a handful of other class features, 9/10 ML, and medium BAB. A great PrC for Lawful Psions.

Metamind (XPH, SRD)
This PrC is broken, and not in the good way. The loss of 5 manifester levels (!) is what kills it.

Paragnostic Apostle (CC)
By RAW, you can enter this PrC: according to the PHB/SRD, psionic powers are considered to be spell-like abilities. That said, this 5-level PrC lets you pick a class feature from a small list at every level. Many of those abilities are good, though none of them will blow your mind. You also get the equivalent of Bardic Knowledge, which is nice. The best things it offers, though, are full ML progression and a nice skill list. On the downside, it does require DM fiat to gain entry, since one of the prerequisites is membership in a specific group. If that group doesn't exist then this PrC doesn't exist. If it does, and you get in, then the text says you have to abide by certain rules, including donation of treasure to the group's objectives. That can put a crimp on many parties' style. However, mechanically, this PrC is well above average.

Psion Uncarnate (XPH, SRD)
Become ghostly without being a ghost. A very odd PrC, to say the least. Loses four manifester levels, so if you take it all the way you won’t get 9th level powers. On the other hand, you gain one of the best defensive abilities in the game, and it’s always active, so let’s call it a wash.

Psychic Assassin (M’sE)
Evil characters only. The skill requirements make it tough to enter. The 5 lost ML make it a sub-par choice.

Psychic Theurge (M’sE)
If you only have Core options for multiclassing, better than the Cerebremancer, since you’ll net Heavy Armor Proficiency from Cleric, but still not great because you’ll be MAD. Exception: if you have access to the Archivist from Heroes of Horror, this is a green choice. Note that that has more to do with the sheer power and versatility of the Archivist more than it has anything to do with what Psion contributes to the build.

Psychic Weapon Master (M’sE)
This PrC only holds one real attraction for you: the ability to have three psionic foci at once (your own focus, your Psicrystal’s focus with Psicrystal Containment, and the focus you gain through the Bonded Weapon feature of this class). However, to get that extra focus, you have to take 6 melee-type feats (!) and lose three ML. Not a good trade. Leave this PrC to the Psychic Warriors.

Pyrokineticist (XPH, SRD)
Doesn’t progress ML at all. Exception: three levels will get you better saves and BAB than a single-classed Psion, plus two infinite-use ranged touch attack abilities, and therefore, rates black as an option.

Pyrokineticist Variants (M’sE)
Really four different PrCs, so there’s one for each of the energy types. When all is said and done, you have the acid-based Acetokineticist, the cold-wielding Cryokineticist, the electricity-focused Electrokineticist, and the sonic-using Sonokineticist. Each is identical in all ways to the Pyrokineticist from the XPH/SRD, save that for each you replace all references to fire with the corresponding energy type. Under the base rules, all of these variants remain black options, with the Acetokineticist and Sonokineticist being slightly better than the rest, since resistance/immunity against their respective energy types is uncommon and since acid and sonic deal full damage to objects. This makes a three-level dip in either Acetokineticist or Sonokineticist a green choice under the base rules. Exceptions: under the Mind’s Eye’s optional rules for the energy types, which is presented with this PrC’s listing, all of the variants, except Sonokineticist, do -1 damage per die rolled with each of their abilities. Sonokineticists’ abilities’ damage is reduced by one die type (d8 becomes d6, d6 becomes d4, etc.). Also under these rules, the save against Cryokineticists’ abilities is changed from Reflex to Fortitude, and Sonokineticists’ abilities ignore the hardness of unattended objects. Using these optional damage rules, the following adjustments apply: Sonokineticist becomes green for the full 10 levels, and it becomes blue for a three-level dip. Cryokineticist is green for a three-level dip. Otherwise, the rankings remain unchanged from the base rules.

Quori Mindhunter (MoE)
Generally exclusive to Eberron. You get a d6 hit die, a better BAB, and lose one ML. The abilities you get are pretty nice, especially since a few are bonus powers known. On the other hand, the more interesting powers of the PrC involve possession, which is a rather rare campaign feature, and the prerequisites are crappy.

Quori Nightmare (RoE)
For PCs, this is Kalashtar-specific, so it's generally Eberron-specific. You get better BAB, more skill points, a d8 hit die, and some interesting abilities. Those abilities are fear effects, mind you, which are often resisted at higher levels. You also lose a ML. But, for a 5-level psionic PrC, of which there aren't many, this isn't bad.

Sanctified Mind (LoM)
The BAB, feat and weapon proficiency requirements suck, but what you get out of this PrC is great: full BAB and almost full manifesting. The first level class feature is also one of the only ways in the game to avoid two particularly nasty status conditions. A very good PrC for any gish Psion.

Sangehirn (M’sE)
Unless you’re an Egoist, or have another way of gaining the requisite 9 ranks in Heal, then you’re going to find this PrC is hard to get into. The feat required aren’t the best, but not horrible. As for what you get out of the class, the chassis is good: d6 hit die, medium BAB, more skill points than Psion, good Fort and Will saves, and 9/10 ML. The class features of  X/- damage reduction and Fast Healing will improve your survivability; on the other hand, the Healing Focus and Healing Touch abilities, which are what lets this PrC fulfill its role of “psionic healer,” are simply underwhelming. But, if only the above were true, this PrC would rank higher. However, what kills it is this: it has its own Power List, which is very short, especially for powers of levels 6 through 8. Some of the powers on the list are quite good, but a lot are not, so without careful planning of your build you’ll wind up being forced to take lower-level, not-so-great powers than you’d otherwise be able to.

Shadowmind (CAdv)
You’re spreading yourself too thin if you try to take this PrC, due to the entry requirements. The class features don’t add anything great: a few mediocre powers and Sneak Attack. They have two classes for those who want to play the role of the sneaky psychic character: the Psionic Rogue and the Lurk. Play one of those, instead.

Soul Manifester (M’sE)
It’s a dual-“casting”-progression class with class features! That makes it pretty sweet. The psionic feats and powers from Magic of Incarnum are all quite nice, and the various soulmelds give you long-duration, self-buff-like abilities that can free up your power slots for more utility powers, and thus add versatility. Among the dual-progression PrCs, this one is a cut above the rest.

Storm Disciple (CPsi)
You have to take the Tap Mantle feat or multiclass to enter this PrC. Once you’re in, it grants you some underwhelming abilities and takes away two manifester levels. Not a good trade-off.

Subverted Psion (M’sE)
An odd PrC in so many ways. It has thirteen levels. It relies on the Taint feature from Heroes of Horror (HoH) to fuel many of its class features, making it unusable outside of a campaign fully incorporating those rules. Over half of its class features are actually depravities or corruptions. Regardless, though, it gets full ML progression, most of its class features actually give you minions, and bonus PP based on your Taint score. So, if you’re playing a non-Good Psion in a campaign using the HoH rules (and if your group members can all say “taint” without giggling) then this is a good choice.

Thrallherd (XPH, SRD)
When does a PrC that loses 2 manifester levels and which has sub-par entry requirements get to be a purple choice? When you get not one but TWO free extra adventuring characters out of the class! Seriously, this is one of the best PrCs in the entire game, and is frequently banned because it is so game-breaking. The Thrallherd takes the Leadership feat and shatters all ideas of balance into tiny little pieces. At first level you get a cohort, and then you start attracting followers. The capstone is another cohort. If any of your cohorts or followers ever die, you get free replacements in 24 hours without having to do anything. Neither do you take any penalties to your “leadership score” for follower/cohort deaths; you can kill them with your own hands and they’ll still flock to your side. The two free powers known, and the bonuses you get when using those powers, is simply icing on the cake. The kinds of shenanigans you can pull with this PrC is worthy of a guide unto itself. If your character isn’t already evil, expect such absolute power to corrupt him or her absolutely.

Warmind (XPH, SRD)
A great PrC for the more martially-minded. You don’t fit that description. Exception: for otherwise non-Psionic melee characters, this is a blue choice. The 5th level ability is particularly awesome, and can double any melee combatant's damage output.

Wonderworker (BoED)
I’ve never read the actual class description for this PrC, either. However, as with the Frostburn Cryokineticst I’ve seen nothing but bad reviews, so it gets a red rating.

Zerth Cenobite (CPsi)
Arguably the better of the two “Psionic Monk” classes. Has its own manifester level and powers known progression. Therefore, not a good choice for you.

WotC-Suggested Adaptations to Non-Psionic PrCs

Abjurant Champion (CMag)
Of the three suggested adaptations, this one takes the most work to adapt to psionics. The designers even admit to that in the text. It has the potential to be a very strong choice, however. The reason it would require work to adapt is because you would need to decide on a power-by-power basis whether or not a given power is usable with the PrC’s class features, since Abjuration does not have an equivalent psionic discipline. Fortunately, many powers are similar, if not identical, to spells, so the spell lists can be used as guides. The downside to the adapted version of this PrC would be that Combat Manifesting, a poor feat, would be required and anyone other than Elves would need to either multiclass or burn another feat for the weapon proficiency. On the plus side, you’d get access to class features that actually work better for manifesters than they do for casters. Exception: if the DM were to rule that the PrC’s class features require the expenditure of Psionic Focus, this PrC becomes a blue choice.

Anima Mage (ToM)
A nice option, if you're playing with Vestiges. You get +1 ML and +1 to your Binding ability per level, which is better than the majority of Psionic PrCs, and several class abilities, which is better than most dual-progression PrCs. The downside is you become MAD: Cha moves from a secondary stat to a primary one. Only non-good Psions need apply.

Daggerspell Mage (CAdv)
About as easy to adapt to psionics as Mindbender. The feat and Sneak Attack requirements aren’t so hot, but the class features are fairly good. You don’t get as much out of the Daggercast feature as a spellcaster, but you do get more out of Invocation of the Knife. The Psionic Power Points system also blends a bit better with the Arcane Infusion ability than does Vancian casting. In all, a fairly good option.

Mindbender (CArc)
This PrC is easy to adapt to psionics. However, it loses too many manifester levels to be a good choice. Exception: one level dips are a blue choice because of the easy entry requirements, the fact that there’s no loss of ML at first level, and because it gets you Telepathy. Limited to non-Good Psions.

Personally-Suggested Adaptations to Non-Psionic PrCs

Archmage (DMG, SRD)
They had an Archpsion in 3.0, but there’s never been an official conversion to 3.5. Converting the 3.5 Archmage to psionics isn’t that difficult, though you’ll have to decide what to substitute for Spell Focus, since there is no psionic equivalent.Using the 3.5 Archmage as a template, the Psion gets fewer options out of the PrC than a caster, since manifesters can’t counterspell and psionic elemental damage powers can already be modified on the fly. On the other hand, the psionic equivalent of Spell Power (Power Power?) is sweet because you can further augment your powers, and Mastery of Shaping is as good for you as it is for a caster.

Dweomerkeeper (CArc)
Replace all the arcane requirements with their psionic equivalents. Use the Psionic Discipline-to-Spell School equivalency table for the Mantle of Spells ability. Cloak of Mysteries would drop the metapsionic PP cost by 2, to a minimum of 1 PP. Supernatural Spell would apply to powers and be just as broken as it always is. A lot of potential power, here.

Earth Dreamer (RoS)
With this PrC, a Psion with the Burrowing Power feat would be a force to be reckoned with, lobbing powers from safely behind total cover with the Earth Sight and/or Earth Glide abilities. The prerequisite feat paves the way for Earth Power, which is a very good feet indeed. About the only bad thing about this PrC would be that a strict conversion would leave Knowledge (Psionics) off of the class skill list.

Eldritch Knight (DMG, SRD)
A lot of people already do this as a capstone for a Psion/Slayer gish build. A converted version offers full BAB, a good Fort save and has entry requirements than Slayer or Sanctified Mind. The only reason it ranks green in my view is because it has neither the hit die nor the fine class features of either of those two PrCs. Still perfectly viable, though.

Eldritch Theurge (CMag)
Would function virtually identically to the arcane version. Characters with this PrC would have to have very interesting histories.

Fatespinner (CArc)
Another easy conversion: change the Knowledge (Arcana) requirement to Knowledge (Psionics) and the Divination spell requirement to a Clairsentience power. The class features would function identically. Put it all together and you get a PrC that’s very attractive. Easy to get into, and no lost ML at first level. Nice.

Jade Phoenix Mage (ToB)
A nice PrC for a Warblade/Wizard, so it’d be equally nice for a Warblade/Psion. Better, even. Arcane Wrath, converted to Psionic Wrath, can be used much more often in a given day. Ostensibly gives you Empower- and Quicken-like effects without having to expend your psionic focus. Nice.

Loremaster (DMG, SRD)
Easy enough to convert: modify the Divination spell requirement Clairsentience powers and the metamagic/item creation feat requirement to metapsionic/item creation feats, then change the Newfound Arcana and More Newfound Arcana menu selections to grant a 1st level and 2nd level power, respectively. Done. The end result is every bit as good as the spellcasting version.

Sacred Exorcist (CDiv)
Change the spell requirement to requiring Psionic Dismissal. Otherwise, everything functions the same.

Unseen Seer (CMag)
Potentially the best stealthy maniftesting PrC if it’s converted. Not sure what should take the place of the feat given at 2nd level, but everything else would remain the same.

Equipment for Psions

Author's Note(s)

This section details equipment that is useful to Psions, whether it is mundane, magical or psionic in nature. No ratings are given in this section. Only particularly useful items are included, since there are some items which are obviously useful for any character (e.g. Backpacks, Belt Pouches, Clothes, Rings of Sustenance, Handy Haversacks).

Useful Mundane Equipment

Containers, Especially Flasks (PHB, SRD)
Every Psion with the Minor Creation power should carry extra containers around. With that power you can make liquids and solids of various kinds, so be sure to carry containers useful for both categories of items. Flasks are especially useful because you can make improvised bombs.

Pen and Paper (PHB, SRD)
Sometimes people forget about mundane options for sending a message or keeping track of information.

Alchemical Items and Holy Water (PHB, SRD)
All of these are nice. Carry a few of each.

Masterwork Craft Tools (PHB, SRD)
Conceivably can give you a +2 circumstance bonus to any skill. Nice.

Mules and Carts (PHB, SRD)
The stats for mules are better than the stats for most horses. With a mule and a cart you can greatly increase your carrying limit. Since you’re likely to have a low Strength, this may even be by a factor of 10 or more.

Masterwork Mithral Chain Shirt, Masterwork Mithral/Darkwood Buckler, Masterwork Mithral/Darkwood Heavy Shield (PHB, SRD)
As discussed in other sections, Psions can wear armor and shields without suffering the possibility of having their powers fail. Thus the only downside is the nonproficiency and armor check penalties. With the listed options, you can reduce those penalties to zero.

Masterwork Light Crossbow (PHB, SRD)
The best choice of a primary weapon for a Psion. Keeps you away from the fray.

Adamantine Dagger (PHB, SRD)
Can cut through, well, anything, like a knife through butter. Good for utility purposes.

Deep Crystal Weapons (XPH, SRD)
Gives you some attack options. Best if you can get it on a Light Crossbow.

Useful Magical Equipment

Fortification - Armor Special Ability (DMG, SRD)
One of the best special abilities you can add to any suit of armor. A Mithral Chain Shirt +1 of Heavy Fortification should be your goal. Why only +1? Because with Inertial Armor, you can have a better armor bonus than you could ever have with any magically or psionically enhanced suit of armor.

Animated Shield Special Ability (DMG, SRD)

Can let you use a big ol’ Shield and use your crossbow at the same time. Unlike your Armor, you oughta max out the enhancement bonus on your shield.

Ring of Wizardry (DMG, SRD)
If your DM will let you convert it to psionics, it can greatly increase your PP.

Bag of Tricks (DMG, SRD)
Useful for a Psion with the 9th level power Assimilate.

Headband of Intellect (DMG, SRD)
For obvious reasons.

Ioun Stones (DMG, XPH, SRD)
In particular, the Scarlet and Blue Sphere and the Orange Prism from the main list (only if the latter is ruled to work with psionics), and the Vibrant Purple and Rainbow ones from the XPH/Psionics portion of the SRD.

Orb of Mental Renewal (MiC)
Makes sure your Int is always in tip-top shape.

Tome of Clear Thought +5 (DMG, SRD)
Again, for obvious reasons.

Useful Psionic Equipment

Amulet of Enemy Detection (MIC)
Always-functioning Detect Hostile Intent. A kick-ass item.

Boots of Skating (XPH, SRD)
Superior movement enhancer.

Galvanic Crysteel Blade Weapon Special Ability (MoE)
Gives you an alternative, and useful, method of expending PP.

Gloves of Object Reading (XPH, SRD)
Take this if you don’t otherwise have access to the power. Can ruin your DM’s best laid plains.

The Various Psionatricies (XPH, CPsi, SRD)
These are generally a fine choice until you get a Torc of Power Preservation. See CPsi for even more options with Stacked Psionatricies.

Parrying Weapon Special Ability (XPH, SRD)
Gives you a +1 insight bonus to AC and saves. Doesn’t count as an enhancement bonus, so you can still fully trick out your weapon with other abilities.

Pendant of Joy (RoE)
Useful for the party Face. So long as you wear it, you can give yourself, and anyone else nearby, a bonus to Diplomacy checks. That actually makes it better if you're NOT the party face. Slip it on, then position yourself to give your negotiating team an edge over the competition.

Psychoactive Skins (XPH, SRD)
The Skin of Proteus beats all the others. But, since you can wear three at a time, other good choices include: Skin of the Hero, Skin of the Psion, and Skin of the Troll.

Quori Embedded Shards (MoE)
Kalashtar only. If you're of that race, get as many as you can.

Third Eyes (XPH, SRD)
The following ones are really worth taking: Conceal, Concentration, Expose, Penetrate, and Sense.

Torc of Power Preservation (XPH, SRD)
The best item for a Psion, hands down. Saving 1 PP on every power manifested is great!

Warforged Components (MoE)
Warforged only (obviously). All have their uses, but for a psionic Warforged character the Expanded Reservoir, Power Crystal, and Psychic Generator components are particularly useful. Especially if the character has the Psyforged Body feat (see the entry in the Feats section, of this guide).

Cognizance Crystals (XPH, SRD)
Carry the best one you can get, or even more than one.

Dorjes and Power Stones (XPH, SRD)
Round out your power list. A dorje of Identify is particularly good.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 10:40:30 PM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2010, 02:09:53 PM »

So You Want To Be A Multiclass Character…

Ratings Key

  • Purple: Excellent multiclass option.
  • Blue: Very good multiclass option.
  • Green: Good multiclass option.
  • Black: Average multiclass option.
  • Orange: Below-average multiclass option.
  • Red: Poor multiclass option.

Step 1 - Ask Yourself: Do I Want to Be a Manifester/Something Else or Vice-Versa?

As much as you might like to, and as much as you might try, you can't be all things in all situations all the time. Try to be and you'll just spread yourself too thin and wind up with a character who's not particularly good at anything. Avoiding that outcome should be in the forefront of your mind, since with every non-Psion level you take, your manifester level suffers. Let it suffer too much and get a gimpy character.

Therefore, after deciding that you want to multiclass, you need to decide how much of a Psion you want to be, in the end. Do you want to be primarily a manifester with martial and skill abilities to back it up, and with powers to make you a more effective combatant and/or skill user? Or do you want to be a martial combatant or skill user with a few tricks up your sleeve to pull out in tricky situations?

Because this guide is written for the Psion class, this section is written with a bias toward the former option. Any ratings and tips are geared toward characters that will be manifesters first, other things second.

With that in mind, the first rule of multiclassing is not to lose too many ML. I'd recommend two at most, though you can potentially lose more when using the Practiced Manifester feat. Two levels will get you most everything you want or need. Take then then return to your real home, the Psion base class.

Step 2 - Ask Yourself: Does This Pair Well With Psion?

Barbarian (PHB, SRD)
Rage and manifesting do not go well together.

Bard (PHB, SRD)
You become MAD.

Cleric (PHB, SRD)
Another MAD choice.

Druid (PHB, SRD)
More MADness.

Fighter (PHB, SRD)
The full BAB and good Fort save make one or two levels an attractive choice. Can serve as a substitute for one or both Rangers in the standard Psion/Slayer gish build. Probably best to take one level of Ranger and one level of Fighter, though.

Monk (PHB, SRD)
Many people like the concept of a psionic Monk. There are at LEAST two PrCs that let you do that by just starting and sticking with Monk. Opt for one of those, instead. Exception 1: if you are allowed to use the Carmondine Monk feat from CoV, a green choice. Exception 2: if you are allowed to use the Ascetic Psion and/or Tashalatora feats from SoS, this is a blue choice. See the Feats section for assistance on deciding which to take.

Paladin (PHB, SRD)
If you roll high stats, this can be a nice choice, since Charisma is a secondary stat for Psions.

Ranger (PHB, SRD)
The best Core option for a Psion who wants to multiclass. Shores up the Psion’s biggest weaknesses by providing a boost to both Fort and Reflex saves, and a stronger hit die. Has the added benefit of more skill points, and nets you all the weapon and armor proficiencies you’ll ever need. If you multi, take two levels in Ranger (or 1 in Ranger and 1 in Fighter) and call it a day.

Rogue (PHB, SRD)
If you want to multi with a sneaky class, go with Psionic Rogue, instead. Exception: the simple Rogue variant from UA makes a fine alternative for gishes, giving such characters nice features like Trapfinding and Evasion. In such builds, the variant is a blue choice.

Sorcerer (PHB, SRD)

Wizard (PHB, SRD)
You gain versatility by going with Wizard as a multiclass option, though you’ll ditch that suit of armor and shield you’re playing at using. If you pick this, you’ll definitely want to head into the Cerebremancer PrC.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 01:34:22 AM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2010, 02:10:09 PM »


General Purpose Psion (Currently Levels 1-7)
Sources used: Core, XPH, CPsi

Level 1
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)

Concentration – Max
Knowledge – Max Psionics; invest in others as needed
Psicraft – Max

Matter Agitation
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*

At level 1, your goal is simply to survive. Your Feats should ensure that you’ll make it to level 2. Your Psicrystal is an effective scout. Psionic Talent will help you to have PP available for every encounter. Psionic Body bulks up your HP.

Your Powers are also focused on keeping yourself alive. Matter Agitation is a great offensive power at this level. It does consistent, no-save damage over multiple rounds and doesn’t require an attack roll. Vigor is great for tough encounters. Use it before a fight or if you get in trouble.

For your Open power, you should pick Minor Creation, Psionic if you are a Shaper; Charm, Psionic if you are a Telepath; or Attraction if you are of any other Discipline.

Lastly, your Skills. Any skill points you have left over should be spent to unlock Trained Only skills, key Discipline skills (e.g. Listen and Spot for Seers; Diplomacy for Telepaths), or to invest in Craft skills (if you are a Shaper, to get the most out of Minor Creation, Psionic). One point in Autohypnosis is a great investment in particular, even if you aren’t of a Discipline that gets it on its skill list.

Level 2
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)

Concentration – Max
Knowledge – Max Psionics; invest in others as needed
Psicraft – Max

Matter Agitation
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Grease, Psionic OR Entangling Ectoplasm
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*

Survival is still your primary goal, since you remain very squishy. Grease, Psionic and Entangling Ectoplasm are good battlefield control powers and can keep enemies from reaching you. Only pick one or the other, not both. It can be a tough choice: Grease, Psionic is AoE, doesn’t require an attack roll, and has utility uses; while Entangling Ectoplasm does require a ranged touch attack, it lasts longer at this level and doesn’t allow a save. Both are usable over the course of your whole career, but Entangling Ectoplasm is the stronger long-term investment.

For your new open power, take one of the following: Astral Construct, if you are a Shaper; any power of your choice, if you are of any other Discipline. See the Powers section of this guide for help picking a good power.

Skill-wise, keep investing in Trained Only skills, key Discipline skills, and Knowledge skills with any spare points. This is what you should do for the rest of your career.

Level 3
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)
*Open Feat (Level 3 Standard)*

Concentration – Max
Knowledge – Max Psionics; invest in others as needed
Psicraft – Max

Matter Agitation
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Grease, Psionic OR Entangling Ectoplasm
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Levitate, Psionic
*Open Level 2 OFFENSIVE Power*

You’re a bit stronger, now so you can begin to branch out. For your Open Feat, take Overchannel if you are a Shaper or Expanded Knowledge: Minor Creation, Psionic if you are not a Shaper. For Shapers, Overchannel will let you pump out stronger constructs that last longer. For others, Minor Creation, Psionic is one of the best utility powers in the game. It will serve your party well, especially at these low levels.

As regards your new powers, Levitate, Psionic will help you with exploration, and can literally lift you above the fray. Being able to move up the Y-axis is highly useful for avoiding melee combat. Nomads should obviously take the version on their Discipline-specific list, for the added benefit.

For your second, Open Level 2 Power, pick one of the following: Energy Missile (if you are a Kineticist); Ego Whip, Energy Stun, Crystalstorm or Concussion Blast if you are not a Kineticist. All are effective offensive powers of different types. With Energy Missile, Kineticists get access to the best blasting power in the Psionics system. Ego Whip gives you another way of taking down enemies by doing Charisma damage. Energy Stun is AoE and has a great secondary effect. Crystalstorm does fair damage, but also does Constitution damage on a failed save. Concussion Blast can affect incorporeal/ethereal creatures, can do nonlethal damage, and can be augmented to affect multiple enemies. The choice is up to you.

Level 4
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)
Overchannel (Level 3 Standard)

Concentration – Max
Knowledge – Max Psionics; invest in others as needed
Psicraft – Max

Matter Agitation
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Grease, Psionic OR Entangling Ectoplasm
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Levitate, Psionic
*Open Level 2 OFFENSIVE Power*
Control Sound
*Open Level 2 Discipline/General Power*

At this level, you get a great utility power in Control Sound. The uses of this power really are only limited by your imagination. You can use it to change the things people say into something entirely different, to disrupt spellcasters, to create distractions, to fool people into believing something isn’t there, to help the party scout, to break unattended glass or ceramic objects…the list goes on. It’s a great power.

Your choice of Open Power depends very much on your Discipline at this level. Egoists should take Empathic Transfer. This allows them to fill the party healer role in a pinch. Nomads should take Dimension Swap, which lets them move party members around the battlefield like chess pieces. Seers should take Clairvoyant Sense. With this power they become the best scryers in the game. Telepaths should take Read Thoughts. If you’re a Telepath and you can’t Read Thoughts then, well, you’re a pretty sucky Telepath. Finally, Shapers should turn to the general list and take a power of their choice, depending on the needs of the campaign. Refer to the Powers section for assistance.

Level 5
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)
*Open Feat (Level 3 Standard)*
*Open Psionic/Metapsionic Feat (Level 5 Psion Bonus)*

Concentration – Max
Knowledge – Max Psionics; invest in others as needed
Psicraft – Max

Matter Agitation
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Grease, Psionic OR Entangling Ectoplasm
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Levitate, Psionic
*Open Level 2 OFFENSIVE Power*
Control Sound
*Open Level 2 Discipline/General Power*
Time Hop
Dispel Psionics OR *Open Level 3 Discipline/General Power*

For your new feat, take Talented if you are a Shaper, to avoid damage from Overchannel. If you are not a Shaper, take Overchannel at this point.

For your new powers, Time Hop and Dispel Psionics are both awesome powers that will be useful throughout your career. However, if you aren’t playing with the full psionics-magic transparency rules, Dispel Psionics should be replaced with one of the following: Ectoplasmic Cocoon if you are a Shaper; either Telekinetic Force, or Telekinetic Thrust if you are not a Shaper. Both of the Telekinetic powers are useful in their own ways.

Level 6
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)
Overchannel (Level 3 Standard)
*Open Psionic/Metapsionic Feat (Level 5 Psion Bonus)*
*Open Feat (Level 6 Standard)*

Concentration – Max
Knowledge – Max Psionics; invest in others as needed
Psicraft – Max

Matter Agitation
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Grease, Psionic OR Entangling Ectoplasm
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Levitate, Psionic
*Open Level 2 OFFENSIVE Power*
Control Sound
*Open Level 2 Discipline/General Power*
Time Hop
Dispel Psionics OR *Open Level 3 Discipline/General Power*
Energy Wall

For your new feat, take Psionic Meditation if you are a Shaper. You can now toss out Overchanneled Astral Constructs every round. If you are not a Shaper, take any feat of your choice, as you will be using Psychic Reformation at 7th level, anyway. See the Feats section of this guide for help making a good pick.

Your new powers, Touchsight and Energy Wall, are great. Touchsight lets you see most anything. In many ways its more powerful than True Seeing. Energy Wall is a great offensive/battlefield control power, and can act as a defensive barrier against hordes of enemies. Plus, since it lasts Concentration + 1 round/level, doesn’t require an attack roll, and doesn’t allow SR/PR, it is an effective substitute for Matter Agitation at higher levels.

Note that both Touchsight and Energy Wall could be taken at 5th level instead of 6th, swapping for either or both powers taken at that level.
Level 7
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent Overchannel (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body Expanded Knowledge: Astral Construct (Racial Bonus, if any)
Overchannel Talented (Level 3 Standard)
*Open Psionic/Metapsionic Feat* Psionic Meditation (Level 5 Psion Bonus)
*Open Feat* Extend Power (Level 6 Standard)

Concentration – Max
Knowledge – Max Psionics; invest in others as needed
Psicraft – Max

Matter Agitation Inertial Armor
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Grease, Psionic OR Entangling Ectoplasm Precognition, Defensive OR Precognition, Offensive
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Levitate, Psionic Share Pain
*Open Level 2 OFFENSIVE Power*
Control Sound
*Open Level 2 Discipline/General Power*
Time Hop
Dispel Psionics OR *Open Level 3 Discipline/General Power*
Energy Wall

Psychic Reformation Divination, Psionic
*Open Level 4 Discipline/General Power*

If you’ve reached this level, then you’ve reached the turning point in every Psion’s career: access to Psychic Reformation. Using this power you can redo your whole build from the ground up, swapping out all of your feats, powers, and skills for entirely new ones. If you’re building a general-purpose Psion then you should definitely reform at this level. It is not recommended that you keep Psychic Reformation on your list after using it. Overuse of the power tends to lead to DMs nerfing or banning it.

With your feats, you’ll be able to dish out augmented powers every round without suffering damage. If you get a racial bonus feat, you’ll be well-served to take Expanded Knowledge: Astral Construct. Those babies can deal a lot of damage, and it never hurts to have extra allies on the board. Finally, Extend Power will make your buffs, Constructs, and other powers last twice as long.

The biggest changes you’ll notice are changes to your Level 1 powers. You no longer need Matter Agitation. Swap it out for Inertial Armor a fantastic long-term buff at this level, and will give you a nigh-unbeatable AC. Add to that Precognition, Defensive and your AC (and saves) will be in the stratosphere. Or take Precognition, Offensive and your touch attacks will rarely miss. Pick whichever one fits your play style. Shapers will want to keep both Astral Construct and Minor Creation, Psionic; Telepaths will want to hold onto Charm, Psionic. Telepaths and non-Shapers will want to pick up Entangling Ectoplasm plus one other power. Call to Mind is a good option, with your Knowledge skills, but there are alternatives. See the Powers section for help making a choice.

You’ll also want to fit in Share Pain at this level. With your Psicrystal, shared Vigor, and this power you can turn yourself into a tank. Egoists can ditch Levitate for Share Pain, since they get access to the awesome Metamorphosis power at this level. Psions of other Disciplines may wish to hold onto the power until they can pick up Metamorphosis at Level 9 through Expanded Knowledge.

Kineticists should retain Energy Missile, but all others may wish to swap out their Level 2 offensive power for Crystalstorm, at this point, since that power has very high damage potential for such a low-level power. Other suggested powers for this level include Ego Whip; Concussion Blast; Psychoportive Shelter; Identify, Psionic; and Tongues, Psionic. It all depends on the needs of you campaign/party.

Keep the 3rd level powers you picked at the last two levels. They’re still just as useful.

Finally, your 4th level powers. Once you’re done reforming, drop Psychic Reformation for Divination, Psionic. This power is a great information-gathering power. Make the DM give you clues. Your party will love you for it. For your second 4th level power, take one of the following: Metamorphosis if you are an Egoist; Remote Viewing if you are a Seer; Fabricate, Psionic if you are a Shaper; or Dominate, Psionic if you are a Telepath. If you are Kineticist or Nomad, take either Dimension Door, Psionic; Telekinetic Maneuver; or Wall of Ectoplasm.

Cerebremancer Build

Class(es): Shaper 3/Gnome Illusionist 1/Illusionist 2/Cerebremancer 4
Race: Gnome (Regular or Forest)

Substitution Levels, Variants, and Alternative Class Features
Gnome Illusionist 1 Racial Substitution Level (RoS)
Benefits: Use Wizard level as caster level for racial SLAs. Prepare and cast certain listed spells at a level other than normal spell level (typical 1 level earlier).
Drawbacks: Cast spells from either evocation, transmutation, or conjuration at -1 caster level. Selected school cannot be a prohibited school. Chosen school: Transmutation.

Chains of Disbelief ACF (UA, SRD)
Benefits: Viewers who disbelieve the illusion and tell other creatures that what they see is an illusion do not grant the other creatures any bonus to disbelieve. Creatures presented with incontrovertible proof that the illusion isn’t real must still succeed on a Will save to see what the illusion obscures, though they get a +10 bonus on the save.
Drawbacks: Permanently lose the ability to obtain a familiar.

Illusion Mastery ACF (UA, SRD)
Benefits: Add two illusion spells to spellbook at every level which grants access to a new spell level.
Whenever a new illusion spell is learned, that spell is treated as if it was mastered with Spell Mastery.
Drawbacks: No additional spells per day for being a specialist wizard.

Focused Specialist ACF (CM)
Benefits: Prepare two additional spells of your specialty school per day. These are in addition to those normally granted to a specialist Wizard.
Drawbacks: Lose one generalist spell slot from each level of Wizard spells. Must choose one additional prohibited school (not divination).

Simple Wizard Variant (UA, SRD)
Benefits: Gain bonus feats from Fighter list; one at 1st level and one at every 5 levels as Wizard.
Drawbacks: Lose Scribe Scroll, Wizard Bonus Feat list.

Prohibited Schools

Noncombatant (-2 on Melee attack rolls)
Murky-Eyed (roll 2 times against concealment; miss if fail on EITHER roll)

Character Level 1 (Shaper 1)
Standard – Earth Sense
Psion Bonus – Psicrystal Affinity (Artiste Personality: +3 on Craft checks)
Noncombatant Flaw Bonus Feat – Overchannel
Murky-Eyed Flaw Bonus Feat – Talented

Character Level 3 (Shaper 3)
Standard – Earth Power

Character Level 4 (Shaper 3/Gnome Illusionist 1)
Wizard Bonus – Improved Initiative (due to Simple Wizard Variant)

Character Level 6 (Shaper 3/Gnome Illusionist 1/Illusionist 2)
Standard – Heighten Spell

Character Level 9 (Shaper 3/Gnome Illusionist 1/Illusionist 2/Cerebremancer 3)
Standard – Earth Spell

Level 1
Astral Construct
Crystal Shard
Minor Creation, Psionic
Precognition, Defensive

Level 2
Amethyst Burst
Damp Power
Share Pain
Psychoportive Shelter

Level 3
Ectoplasmic Cocoon
Energy Wall
Time Hop

Level 4
Divination, Psionic
Fabricate, Psionic

Focus on learning as many Illusion spells as possible, obviously, in order to take advantage of the benefits of all your ACFs and your racial +1 to Illusion DCs.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 09:03:08 PM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2010, 02:10:23 PM »

Developing a Solid Repertoire of Offensive Powers

Step 1: Recognize Your Limitations

As a Psion, you are limited in the number of powers you will ever know. Unless a Psion spends feats on Expanded Knowledge or gains access to a character willing to perform Psychic Chirurgery on the Psion to grant the Psion knowledge of new powers, a 20th Level Psion will only know the 36 powers gained as a result of his or her progression from level 1 to level 20. Thirty-six may seem like a lot, but it’s really not. Especially when you consider Wizards and divine casters, who can know every spell on their class lists.

Psions trade the expansive knowledge of Wizards and divine casters for the ability to bring to bear any of the powers they know at a moment’s notice. Therefore it behooves you to choose wisely when selecting powers. In no more area is proper selection of powers more important than in the choice of powers the Psion will use offensively, in combat. Because of the Psion’s relatively small number of powers known, the Psion will want a handful of powers to which he or she can turn depending on the needs of the situation.

Step 2: Try to Cover all the Bases

Over the course of your Psion’s career, you will want powers that fill the following roles. Preferably one or more powers can fill multiple roles.

“The Bases”
  • Ranged attack roll
  • Melee attack roll
  • Targets Fortitude Save
  • Targets Reflex Save
  • Targets Will Save
  • Allows no Save
  • Not Subject to Spell Resistance or Power Resistance (SR/PR)
  • Area of Effect (for fighting Swarms)
  • Force Effect (for fighting Incorporeal/Ethereal creatures)
  • Effective against Anti Magic Field/Null Psionics Field
  • Effective against Globe of Invulnerability

If you take powers that fill all of these roles, you will never be at a loss for something to do in combat. The real trick, as hinted at above, is to select powers that fill multiple roles. The next section will help you in doing that.

Step 3: Selecting Powers to Fit These Roles

As mentioned in the preceding section, there are no less than eleven “bases” that any Psion should seek to cover when developing his or her offensive repertoire. This section will discuss good powers for each of these roles.

Ranged Attack Roll
Any power you select should preferably be a ranged touch attack. This means rays and the like. In this category, three powers stand out: Crystal Shard (Psion 1), Entangling Ectoplasm (Psion 1), and Crystalstorm (Psion 2). What makes these powers superb choices is that they all fill two other roles: they don’t allow a save (note that Crystalstorm does allow a save against its secondary Con damage effect, but not against its primary HP damage effect), all are instantaneous creation effects and are thus effective in Anti Magic/Null Psionics fields. Finally, none of them are subject to SR/PR.

Melee Attack Roll
As a Psion, you’re going to want to stay as far away from melee combat as possible. Thus I suggest that most Psions invest in the Astral Construct (Shaper 1) power, even if they are not of that Discipline. It is very much worth the Expanded Knowledge or Hidden Talent feat or the XP spent on researching this first level power. Especially because, at higher levels, Astral Constructs gain the use of powers, themselves!  Menu C abilities grant the use of Concussion Blast and Energy Bolt to your Constructs, making them useful in handling AoE issues, Incorporeal creatures, and in targeting Fort and Reflex saves. All of that aside, these not-so-little guys are all the melee power you need at all levels, and for that, alone, they are worth it.

Targets Fortitude Saving Throw
Fortitude saves are tough to beat. Thus it’s best to have high level powers that target these saves. Among the better choices in this area is Disintegrate, Psionic. It works like a save-or-die, and still does damage on a successful save (this part of the damage can be augmented, too). Furthermore, it’s of a sufficiently high level to bypass a Globe of Invulnerability!

Targets Reflex Saving Throw
Most of the psionic powers that target Reflex are Energy-type powers. In my opinion, the best Energy-type power is Energy Wall (Psion 3). Here’s why: it’s AoE, it can target both Reflex AND Fortitude saves, the latter with the Cold version, and it doesn’t allow SR/PR. Plus, it lasts a LONG time! For those reasons, plus the utility you gain from having it in your build (knocking down walls with the Sonic version is a blast, literally) it is a great choice.

Targets Will Saving Throw
Here you go out of the damaging powers arena and into a more “battlefield control”-type effect: Time Hop (Psion 3). This is a power you should have on your list for all of its many utility purposes. Fortunately, it can also be used to hop out an enemy for a long period of time. Great, great power.

Allows no Save
We’ve already got this base covered with Crystalstorm (Psion 2).

Not Subject to Spell Resistance or Power Resistance
We also already have this base covered with both Crystalstorm (Psion 2) and Energy Wall (Psion 3).

Area of Effect
Energy Wall (Psion 3) covers this base at all levels. Astral Construct (Shaper 1) contributes at high levels. See also the following section on Force Effect powers.

Force Effect
For handling Incorporeal and Ethereal creatures you can do no better than Amethyst Burst (Psion 2; DrM). This power does good damage, and also has the added benefits of being AoE, instantaneous creation (bypasses Anti Magic/Null Psionics fields), and doesn’t allow SR/PR!

The Aggregate

Filling out our list of bases to cover, here is what we get:

  • Ranged attack roll: Crystalstorm (Psion 2), Disintegrate, Psionic (Psion 6)
  • Melee attack roll: Astral Construct (Shaper 1)
  • Targets Fortitude Save: Disintegrate, Psionic (Psion 6), Energy Wall (Psion 3)
  • Targets Reflex Save: Energy Wall (Psion 3), Amethyst Burst (Psion 2)
  • Targets Will Save: Time Hop (Psion 3)
  • Allows no Save: Crystalstorm (Psion 2)*
  • Not Subject to Spell Resistance or Power Resistance (SR/PR): Crystalstorm (Psion 2), Energy Wall (Psion 3), Amethyst Burst (Psion 2)
  • Area of Effect (particularly for fighting Swarms): Energy Wall (Psion 3), Astral Construct (Shaper 1)**, Amethyst Burst (Psion 2)
  • Force Effect (for fighting Incorporeal/Ethereal creatures): Amethyst Burst (Psion 2), Astral Construct (Shaper 1)**
  • Effective against Anti Magic Field/Null Psionics Field: Crystalstorm (Psion 2), Amethyst Burst (Psion 2)
  • Effective against Globe of Invulnerability: Disintegrate, Psionic (Psion 6)

* Crystalstorm allows no save against HP damage, but does against Con damage component of power.
** Only at high levels.

That’s one first-level power, two second-level powers, two third-level powers, and one sixth-level power. A total of six, leaving you 30 others to play around with. For most of these categories, you have multiple effects that can be brought to bear. Not bad at all!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 05:02:41 PM by Saeomon » Logged

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
Posts: 292

A real rules lawyer

« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2010, 02:10:40 PM »

Getting the Most Out of Your Astral Constructs

About the Astral Construct Power

The Astral Construct power is mentioned many times throughout this guide. That is because it is a power that every Psion should have. Yes, it’s a Shaper power, but it’s worth burning a feat or XP on research to obtain. I could spend a whole page’s worth of text extolling the virtues of this power. Trust me. It’s worth it.

Here’s the power’s text, swiped directly from the SRD:
Astral Construct
Metacreativity (Creation)
Level: Shaper 1
Display:[/b] Visual; see text
Manifesting Time: 1 round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One created astral construct
Duration: 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 1
This power creates one 1st-level astral construct of solidified ectoplasm that attacks your enemies. It appears where you designate and acts immediately, on your turn. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. As a free action, you can mentally direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions. The astral construct acts normally on the last round of the power’s duration and dissipates at the end of its turn.
Astral constructs are not summoned; they are created on the plane you inhabit (using ectoplasm drawn from the Astral Plane). Thus, they are not subject to effects that hedge out or otherwise affect outsiders; they are constructs, not outsiders.
Augment: For every 2 additional power points you spend, the level of the astral construct increases by one.

So, as you can see, it’s a “summoning” power for Psions. Like summoning spells, it takes a full round for the power to take effect. Unlike summoning spells, it doesn’t allow you to choose to conjure up several lower-level monsters rather than one higher level monster. On the other hand, the system allows you to augment the power to achieve a greater effect. What you get for augmenting the power will be the subject of the next segment of this section.

Augmenting your Astral Constructs: Better Stats and Menu Abilities

As the Astral Construct power is augmented, two effects are gained. First, the individual construct that comes into being will be more physically powerful. Higher-level astral constructs are larger than their lower-level counterparts, do more damage, have reach, hit more easily, have more hit points, etc. Remember the rules DMs get to use to improve monsters? Well you get to use them as a player to improve your constructs by augmenting the power. That, alone, is nice.

But the REAL benefit you get from augmenting the Astral Construct power is menu abilities. What are menu abilities? Well, when you manifest the power you get to choose at least one ability from a menu of choices. Those choices are spelled out in Astral Constructs’ monster entry in the XPH. I’ve reprinted them here:

Astral Construct Menu A
A manifester creating a 1st-level, 2nd-level, or 3rd-level astral construct can choose one special ability from this menu.
Buff (Ex): The astral construct gains an extra 5 hit points.
Celerity (Ex): The astral construct’s land speed is increased by 10 feet.
Cleave (Ex): The astral construct gains the Cleave feat.
Deflection (Ex): The astral construct gains a +1 deflection bonus to Armor Class.
Fly (Ex): The astral construct has physical wings and a fly speed of 20 feet (average).
Improved Bull Rush (Ex): The astral construct gains the Improved Bull Rush feat.
Improved Slam Attack (Ex): The astral construct gains the Improved Natural Attack feat.
Mobility (Ex): The astral construct gains the Mobility feat.
Power Attack (Ex): The astral construct gains the Power Attack feat.
Resistance (Ex): Choose one of the following energy types:[/b] fire, cold, acid, electricity, or sonic. The astral construct gains resistance 5 against that energy type.
Swim (Ex): The astral construct is streamlined and shark like, and gains a swim speed of 30 feet.
Trip (Ex): If the astral construct hits with a slam attack, it can attempt to trip the opponent as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking attacks of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the astral construct.

Astral Construct Menu B
A manifester creating a 4th-level, 5th-level, or 6th-level astral construct can choose one special ability from this menu. Alternatively, the Construct can have two special abilities from Menu A.
Energy Touch (Ex): If you are a kineticist with the Expanded Knowledge feat tied to this power, the astral construct’s physical attacks are wreathed in your energy type of your choice (acid, cold, electricity, or fire), dealing an extra 1d6 points of energy damage. Otherwise, the astral concstruct deals an extra 1d4 points of damage of an energy type of your choice (acid, cold, electricity, or fire).
Extra Attack: If the astral construct is Medium or smaller, it gains two slam attacks instead of one when it makes a full attack. Its bonus on damage rolls for each attack is equal to its Strength modifier, not its Strength modifier x 1-1/2. If the astral construct is Large or larger, it gains three slams instead of two when it makes a full attack. Its attacks are otherwise unchanged.
Fast Healing (Ex): The astral construct heals 2 hit points each round. It is still immediately destroyed when it reaches 0 hit points.
Heavy Deflection (Ex): The astral construct gains a +4 deflection bonus to Armor Class.
Improved Buff (Ex): The astral construct gains an extra 15 hit points.
Improved Critical (Ex): The astral construct gains the Improved Critical feat with its slam attacks.
Improved Damage Reduction (Ex): The astral construct’s surface forms a hard carapace and provides an additional 3 points of damage reduction (or damage reduction 3/magic if it does not already have damage reduction).
Improved Fly (Ex): The astral construct has physical wings and a fly speed of 40 feet (average).
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the construct must hit with its slam attack. A construct can use this ability only on a target that is at least one size smaller than itself.
Improved Swim: The astral construct is streamlined and sharklike, and gains a swim speed of 60 feet.
Muscle (Ex): The astral construct gains a +4 bonus to its Strength score.
Poison Touch (Ex): If the astral construct hits with a melee attack, the target must make an initial Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 astral construct’s HD + astral construct’s Cha modifier) or take 1 point of Constitution damage. One minute later, the target must save again or take 1d2 points of Constitution damage.
Pounce (Ex): If the astral construct charges a foe, it can make a full attack.
Smite (Su): Once per day the astral construct can make one attack that deals extra damage equal to its Hit Dice.
Trample (Ex): As a standard action during its turn each round, a Large or larger astral construct can literally run over an opponent at least one size smaller than itself. It merely has to move over the opponent to deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d8 + its Str modifier. The target can attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 astral construct’s Hit Dice + astral construct’s Str modifier) to negate the damage, or it can instead choose to make an attack of opportunity at a -4 penalty.

Astral Construct Menu C
A manifester creating a 7th-level, 8th-level, or 9th-level astral Construct can choose one special ability from this menu. Alternatively, the astral Construct can have two special abilities from Menu B. (One or both of the Menu B choices can be swapped for two choices from Menu A.)
Blindsight (Ex): The astral construct has blindsight out to 60 feet.
Concussion (Ps): The astral Construct can manifest concussion blast (manifester level 7th) as a free action once per round.
Constrict (Ex): The astral construct has the improved grab ability with its slam attack. In addition, on a successful grapple check, the astral construct deals damage equal to its slam damage.
Dimension Slide (Ps): The astral construct can manifest dimension slide (manifester level equal to Hit Dice) as a move action once per round.
Energy Bolt (Ps): The astral construct can manifest energy bolt (manifester level 8th) as a standard action once per round. The creator sets the energy type that the astral construct can manifest when he creates it.
Extra Buff (Ex): The astral construct gains an extra 30 hit points.
Extreme Damage Reduction (Ex): The astral construct’s surface forms hard, armor-like plates and provides an additional 6 points of damage reduction.
Extreme Deflection (Ex): The astral Construct gains a +8 deflection bonus to Armor Class.
Natural Invisibility (Su): The astral Construct is constantly invisible, even when attacking. This ability is inherent and not subject to the invisibility purge spell.
Power Resistance (Ex): The astral construct gains power resistance equal to 10 + its Hit Dice.
Rend (Ex): The astral construct makes claw attacks instead of slam attacks (it deals the same amount of damage as it would with its slam damage, but does slashing damage instead of bludgeoning damage). An astral construct that hits the same opponent with two claw attacks in the same round rends its foe, which deals extra damage equal to 2d6 + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier.
Spring Attack (Ex): The astral construct gains the Spring Attack feat.
Whirlwind Attack (Ex): The astral construct gains the Whirlwind Attack feat.

Each time you manifest the power, you can pick one or more of the abilities on that rather lengthy list. Generally you can only pick one. There are several ways to get more menu selections. These include:

Opting to take lower level menu selections with a higher level astral construct.

Taking the Boost Construct feat. This feat gives you an extra menu selection.

The Constructor prestige class.

Regardless, which menu choices are “best?” While this can vary from situation to situation, some are generally more useful than others. The next segment will rate each of the menu choices in order to guide you in the selection process.

Rating the Menu Choices
Astral Construct Menu A
The menu A choices are all a little weak on their own. However, many synergize very well with each other, or with choices from the other menus. High level psions may find themselves opting to make constructs with several menu A choices, rather than one menu C choice, in order to put out offensive powerhouses.
Buff (Ex): 5 extra HP isn’t going to do much to save you construct if it really needs saving. Otherwise, constructs are generally pretty tough as it is.
Celerity (Ex): Occasionally the situation will arise when you really, really need your construct to get to a certain location, fast. Not so often, though, to make this a standard choice
Cleave (Ex): Your constructs likely won’t be dropping many critters at low levels, and at higher levels there are better choices. Still, an extra attack is nice.
Deflection (Ex): Buff isn’t great, but it’s better than this.
Fly (Ex): With this ability, a small-sized character can fly at very low levels. Even if you’re not small-sized, calling up a construct that can fly is highly useful. This ability adds utility to the power, and lets your constructs get to creatures that are otherwise out of reach of the rest of the party. Very, very useful.
Improved Bull Rush (Ex): Only situationally useful. Having your constructs smack stuff around, instead, is always useful.
Improved Slam Attack (Ex): The staple menu ability for low-level astral constructs. Allows for a little extra damage output without the increased chance of whiffing. Probably won’t see that much use at higher levels, though.
Mobility (Ex): Sucks, even for constructs.
Power Attack (Ex): This menu choice synergizes so well with the menu B Muscle ability. With those two choices, you can really lay down the hurt with your constructs.
Resistance (Ex): An okay choice, if you know what you’re going up against.
Swim (Ex): Fighting in water or other liquids is hazardous to any character’s health. With this, you can send your construct buddies to fight for you! Can also be used to pull yourself or a party member out of a bind, should you fall into a river, lake, ocean, etc.
Trip (Ex): Tripping is perhaps the best combat maneuver of all. A free trip attack with every single attack is awesome. Once you can create Large constructs, this is a very good choice of ability.

Astral Construct Menu B
Now we’re getting somewhere! Menu B choices are a great improvement over their little menu A brothers. Here you will find the means to make your constructs into engines of destruction.
Energy Touch (Ex): This is a rather gimpy choice. I’d rather have the guaranteed +2 to hit and +3 to Slam damage from the Muscle ability. Plus the wording makes it extra gimpy for everyone but Kineticists. Unless you really like the coolness factor, stay away.
Extra Attack: Don’t apply this to Medium-sized constructs, only to Large-sized and larger ones to gain an extra attack with 1.5xStr damage.
Fast Healing (Ex): Healing 2 hp per round is nothing when your lifespan is measured in seconds.
Heavy Deflection (Ex): A baseline choice. Not good, but not bad.
Improved Buff (Ex): Another average choice. 15 hp could allow your construct to soak another blow or two.
Improved Critical (Ex): Your construct isn’t going to last long. Don’t rely on it landing crits during that time.
Improved Damage Reduction (Ex): If it was DR X/- then it would be worthwhile. It’s DR X/magic, so it’s not.
Improved Fly (Ex): The increase to speed is nice. If it came with an increase to maneuverability then it’d be better.
Improved Grab (Ex): Look at the stat entry for Astral Constructs. Their grapple modifier is through the roof. This ability should be a staple of your mid-to-high-level constructs.
Improved Swim: Need an outboard motor? Now you’ve got one.
Muscle (Ex): Synergy galore! As mentioned, this pairs great with the menu A Power Attack option. It also goes well with Extra Attack, Improved Grab and Constrict. With this, your constructs will hit and hit hard!
Poison Touch (Ex): Con damage is nice. However, the save against this ability is going to be low, since constructs have a +0 Charisma bonus. If you know a foe has a low Fort save, or if you can debuff that save, then this is a great ability. Otherwise it’s not so hot.
Pounce (Ex): Many constructs only get one attack per round as it is. You’ll also likely be able to place your constructs right in the thick of battle, so they won’t need to charge at all. Still, in the right situation, this is quite nice.
Smite (Su): Once per day, your construct does a small amount of extra damage. Take abilities that are usable more than once.
Trample (Ex): It’s okay. I’d rather make constructs that hit hard or grapple well.

Astral Construct Menu C
Menu C abilities are all gravy to me. They complement a well-developed construct, but shouldn’t be the centerpiece except in rare situations. Nevertheless, with the right choice, plug one of these abilities in and the battle will be over before you know it.
 Blindsight (Ex): Due to the way the power works, unless you already know that an enemy is there then you can’t direct the construct to attack it. That reduces the functionality of this ability
Concussion (Ps): What really makes this ability nice is the following: since it’s a psi-like ability equivalent to ML 7, it’s automatically augmented; and it can hit incorporeal creatures. Plus it only requires the construct to use a free action. Very nice indeed.
Constrict (Ex): Turn your constructs into the best grapplers in the entire system.
Dimension Slide (Ps): Okay, if you’re facing a horde of enemies, or an enemy with a very large reach.
Energy Bolt (Ps): Nice, but prevents the construct from attacking with its powerful physical attacks. With this and the Concussion ability, your constructs can serve as mobile artillery.
Extra Buff (Ex): Sometimes all you want is a damage sponge.
Extreme Damage Reduction (Ex): Again, it’s DR X/magic, so meh.
Extreme Deflection (Ex): A nice little boost to AC. You’ll probably want more offensive abilities, though.
Natural Invisibility (Su): Constant Greater Invisibility? Sweet! Just watch out for enemies that can see through invisibility, which are more common at high levels.
Power Resistance (Ex): I wouldn’t worry so much about defending your constructs. You can always make more.
Rend (Ex): If your construct is going to focus on beating things down rather than grappling them to death then this is the ability for you.
Spring Attack (Ex): Seriously underpowered for a menu C ability.
Whirlwind Attack (Ex): What makes this nice is that, unlike a PC, your construct doesn’t have to take the crappy prerequisite feats. Can be very useful in a pinch.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 11:44:00 AM by Saeomon » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2010, 02:10:57 PM »

Reserved 4
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 06:29:04 PM by Saeomon » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2010, 02:55:57 PM »

Reserved 5
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 06:29:20 PM by Saeomon » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2010, 02:56:22 PM »

Reserved 6 (Finished Reserving Posts)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 06:29:33 PM by Saeomon » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2010, 03:37:50 PM »


Azuran race, is Human but with 1 essentia point instead of the human bonus skill points.
Very tasty for Magic Of Incarnum using campaigns. And recharge.

The True Healer (Egoist) ACF that gives the Life Mantle,
is a combo of half Overchannel for the powers listed,
and you get the Mantle based 9 or 10 powers. You get 1 or 2 more powers.
Which ones ... is a confab between you and your DM.
More importantly in the long run, is having more Mantles at your disposal.
This is like Expanded Knowledge on crack. And you get to keep pace with at level "casting".
This is really like Epic Expanded Knowledge on crack addiction.
imho - this makes Egoist the superior Psion choice,
but only after level 7, if lots of t.o.-ish behavior is kosher.
It still doesn't equal what an Erudite can do at level 7 (sigh).

Psion cedes some territory to the Erudite, and shouldn't try to do Erudite-ish things.
Psion is better from levels 1 to 6, and on Surprise and 1st round.
Erudite 1 is a very good dip, for any Psion.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 03:42:01 PM by awaken DM golem » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2010, 03:42:46 PM »

Primordial Giant (secrets of xen'drik) probably makes Half-Giant worth it, with a +4 to the manifesting stat and a spell-like ability (probably invisibility) at will, with no additional LA. You lose the Con bonus, though, and take a penalty to Strength. I recall from somewhere that psionics fall under the category of spell-like abilities, but that might just be monsters with the Psionics ability that grants them a few spells (in games where psionics isn't used). If, however, they are, then your manifester level arguably goes up by 1, but I'm 99% sure this isn't the case.

So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.
Organ Grinder
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2010, 04:29:20 PM »

Warforged still make excellent shapers even without psionic repair damage. Look at that poison immunity and psionic minor creation.

Also, no need to stabilize.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 04:40:54 PM by Lycanthromancer » Logged

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Bi-Curious George
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2010, 04:51:52 PM »

nice thorough guide, but way to many colors, and WAY too many spoilers IMO...
Hong Kong
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2010, 05:14:28 PM »

nice thorough guide, but way to many colors, and WAY too many spoilers IMO...

They work pretty nicely for me.

I've just read what you've got almost straight through (skipped a few powers, particularly orange ones). Useful.  Smile
Hong Kong
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2010, 05:37:52 PM »

The tags are broken in PrC's/C. Psi/Flayerspawn Psychic. the [/red] tag should be [/color] and {/b} should be [/b].

Also worth mentioning is that the Slayer PrC grants full martial weapon proficiency and full armor proficiency (no shields, though). This open up several options for finishing builds, including Iron Mind, Sanctified Mind, and the psionic adaptation to Abjurant Champion.

I believe that there is also a psionic adaptation for Anima Mage (Tome of Magic).

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General listing of my homebrew.
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That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2010, 06:52:34 PM »

Azuran race...

The True Healer (Egoist) ACF that gives the Life Mantle...

Psion cedes some territory to the Erudite...Erudite 1 is a very good dip, for any Psion.

I'll read up on the Azurans and add a listing, since I've got other MoI material in the guide.

Good point about the True Healer ACF. I was on a roll and forgot about all it gives you for the cost of one feat. It's a good trade.

Do you think I ought to include a section on Psion vs. Erudite? There's been a lot of discussion about that very thing on these boards.

Primordial Giant (secrets of xen'drik)...

I don't have that source so I didn't know about that race. I'll put a reference into the guide.


You're correct. I made the changes to reflect this.

nice thorough guide, but way to many colors, and WAY too many spoilers IMO...

I got rid of the Spoilers-within-Spoilers. Are you saying that there are too many colors for your aesthetic preferences, or that I've utilized too many colors in my ratings system?

They work pretty nicely for me.

Glad it worked well for you. I hope the modified version works just as well, if not better.

The tags are broken in PrC's/C. Psi/Flayerspawn Psychic. the [/red] tag should be [/color] and {/b} should be [/b].

Also worth mentioning is that the Slayer PrC grants full martial weapon proficiency and full armor proficiency (no shields, though). This open up several options for finishing builds, including Iron Mind, Sanctified Mind, and the psionic adaptation to Abjurant Champion.

I believe that there is also a psionic adaptation for Anima Mage (Tome of Magic).

Found the broken tag, as well as a few others. Thanks for the heads-up!

Good point about the Slayer. I meant to reference those things but obviously left them out. I'll add what you've mentioned to the class description.

I don't have Tome of Magic. I'll have to look up more info on the Anima Mage.

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