The Mind’s Eye
By Mark A. Jindra
“Even the mighty archmage bows to me . . .”
Many believe that the highest art is magic, and those who do often follow the path of the arcane arts. Others believe that unlocking the mysteries of the mind is truly the highest art. The arch psion is the most advanced practitioner of the psionic arts, and she bends powers in ways unavailable to other manifesters. The arch psion gains the ability to alter powers remarkably, but she sacrifices some of her psionic capability to master these psionic secrets.
Hit Die: d4.
To qualify to become an arch psion, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Manifesting: Ability to manifest a 7th-level power, knowledge of 4th-level or higher powers from at least 3 psionic disciplines.
Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 15 ranks, Psicraft 15 ranks.
Feats: Skill Focus (Psicraft), Psionic Focus in two psionic disciplines.
The arch psion’s class skills are Alchemy (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Psicraft (Int), Remote View (Int).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier
All the following are class features of the arch psion prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An arch psion gains no proficiency in any armor or weapons, though she retains any knowledge gained from former classes.
Power Points: Arch psions gain power points per day as though they gained a level of psion. These power points are added to the characters’ previous totals. Arch psions gain bonus power points based on the key ability score for their primary ability. If a character previously could not gain bonus power points for high ability scores (as is the case for psychic warriors), she now chooses a primary discipline and can gain bonus power points based on the related ability score.
Powers Discovered: Arch psions discover powers each level as though they gained a level of psion. Powers are chosen from the psion power list. Their effective manifester level is increased by one for each level of the prestige class.
Psionic Combat: Arch psions do not discover any new psionic combat modes. (Characters do not forget previously discovered attack and defense modes.)
Psicrystals: Arch psion levels count toward the level of psion for determining psicrystal Intelligence and special abilities. Psicrystals are a class ability of psions. You must take at least one level of psion if you wish to encode a psicrystal.
0-Level Powers: Arch psion levels count toward the level of psion for determining the number of free manifestations per day or 0-level powers.
High Psionics: The arch psion discovers secrets unknown to lesser psions. She gains the ability to select a special ability from among the following by permanently decreasing her daily power points total. The number of power points that are lost are listed below. For example, a 15th-level psion with a primary attribute score of 18 would normally have 116 power points for the day. A character with 14 levels of psion and a level of arch psion who chooses the psionic reach ability permanently loses 11 power points, leaving her with only 105.
Extra Power: The arch psion can learn one additional power of any level up to one level lower than the highest-level power she can currently manifest. They learn extra powers from their class power list. The arch psion can select this ability more than once. The permanent power point loss for this ability equals the cost to manifest the selected power.
Innate Psionics: The arch psion can select one of her known powers and permanently prepare it as an innate spell-like ability that she can manifest for free twice per day. The arch psion does not need to expend any power points to manifest this power, although a power that costs XP to manifest still does. The arch psion can manifest the power by paying power points as normal.
The arch psion can alter innate powers with the use of metapsionic feats. She must pay the appropriate amount of power points, and the power spent cannot exceed the arch psionic character’s metapsionic cap.
The arch psion can select this ability more than once. Each time she selects this ability, she can select a new power or extend the amount of free uses of an existing innate power by two. This ability causes the character to permanently lose 11 power points.
Mastery of Power Negation: An arch psion that knows the negate psionics power can select to alter it so that it can be used to counter spells and powers as dispel magic. When the arch psion successfully counters a spell or power, it is turned back on the caster or manifester as if it were fully affected by spell turning. If the spell or power cannot be affected by spell turning (for example, if it is an area or effect power), then it is merely countered. This ability causes the character to permanently lose 11 power points.
Psionic Energy Discharge (Su): The arch psion gains the ability to channel raw psionic energy into a focused ray. The discharge is treated as a ranged touch attack with long range (400 feet + 40 feet/level of arch psion) and deals 1d4 points of damage per level of arch psion plus 1d4 points of damage for every power point channeled to create the effect. The amount of power points spent cannot exceed your level minus 1. This ability cannot be modified by the use of metapsionic feats. Therefore, a character with 14 levels of psion and a level of arch psion who channels 12 power points into psionic energy discharge deals 13d4 points of damage to the target if it hits. This ability causes the character to permanently lose 15 power points.
Psionic Energy Substitution: The arch psion can alter a power they know when manifesting so that it uses a different type of psionic energy than normal. For example, an arch psion could manifest whitefire and have itdeal sonic instead of fire damage. This ability can alter powers with the acid, cold, fire, electricity, or sonic descriptors only. A substituted power works normally in all respects except the type of damage dealt. The manifester decides whether or not to alter a power’s energy type and chooses the new energy type when she begins manifesting. This ability costs 11 power points.
Greater Psionic Focus +1: This ability increases the DC for saving throws against the arch psion’s powers and manifester level checks for all of her powers to overcome power resistance by +1. This ability can be selected only once, and it stacks with greater psionic focus +2 and greater psionic focus +3, as well as psionic focus and power penetration effects from other sources, such as from the Psionic Focus or Power Penetration feats. This ability causes the character to permanently lose 7 power points.
Greater Psionic Focus +2: As greater psionic focus +1, except the increase is +2 instead of +1. This ability can be selected only once, and it stacks with greater psionic focus +1 and greater psionic focus +3, as well as power focus and power penetration effects from other sources. This ability causes the character to permanently lose 11 power points.
Greater Psionic Focus +3: As greater psionic focus +1, except the increase is +3 instead of +1. This ability can be selected only once, and it stacks with greater psionic focus +1 and greater psionic focus +2, as well as psionic focus and power penetration effects from other sources. This ability causes the character to permanently lose 15 power points.
Psionic Reach: The arch psion can use touch powers on targets up to 30 feet away. If the power requires a touch attack (melee or ranged), the arch psion must make a ranged touch attack. If selected a second time as a special ability, the range increases to 60 feet. This ability causes the character to permanently lose 11 power points.
Sculpt Power: The arch psion can modify an area power by changing the area’s shape. The new area must be chosen from the following list: cylinder (10-foot radius, 30 feet high), 40-foot cone, four 10-foot cubes, or a ball (20-foot radius spread). The sculpted power works normally in all respects except for its shape. The arch psion can further alter the shape to create spaces within the power’s area of effect that are not subject to the power. The minimum dimension for these spaces is a 5-foot cube. For example, the arch psion could manifest a firefall power whose area is changed to a cone that deals the same amount of damage, but affects a 40-foot cone burst. The arch psion could also leave a hole in the area of the firefall where her ally stands, preventing any damage. This ability causes the character to permanently lose 9 power points.
The Arch Psion
Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 15 ranks, Psicraft 15 ranks.
Feats: Skill Focus (Psicraft), Psionic Endowment.
Manifesting:Ability to manifest 7th-level psionic powers, knowledge of at least one power from each psionic discipline.
Hit Die: d4.
Autohypnosis (Con), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (all) (Int), Psicraft (Int).
Skill Points per Level: 2 + Int modifier
The Arch Psion
|+1||+0||+0||+0||+2||+1 level||High psionics||+1 level psion|
|+2||+1||+0||+0||+3||psion||High psionics||+1 level psion|
|+3||+1||+1||+1||+3||–||High psionics||+1 level psion|
|+4||+2||+1||+1||+4||–||High psionics||+1 level psion|
|+5||+2||+1||+1||+4||–||High psionics||+1 level psion|
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
The arch psion gains no proficiency in armor or weapons.
At each level, an arch psion gains additional power points per day and access to new powers as if he had also gained a level in whatever manifesting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, metapsionic or item creation feats, psicrystal special abilities, and so on). This essentially means that he adds the level of arch psion to the level of whatever manifesting class the character has, then determines point points per day, powers known, and manifester level accordingly.
If a character had more than one manifesting class before he became an arch psion, he must decide to which class he adds the new level of arch psion for the purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
Arch psion levels count for the purpose of determining psicrystal abilities.
At each level, the arch psion discovers a new special ability, which is chosen from the following list. Each ability carries a cost, a permanent loss of power points.
- Extra Power: The arch psion gains Expanded Knowledge as a bonus feat. An arch psion who selects this ability permanently loses a number of power points equal to the cost to manifest the power gained. This special ability can be selected multiple times.
- Innate Psionics (Ps): The arch psion selects a single power he knows. He gains the psi-like ability to manifest that power twice per day. An arch psion who selects this ability permanently loses a number of power points equal to the normal cost of the power. If the power is augmentable, the arch psion instead loses a number of power points equal to his manifester level. (This is not a static figure. For example, if a 13th level psion/4th level arch psion used this ability to gain astral construct as a psi-like ability, it would cost 17 power points. When he gained another manifester level, the cost would increase by 1, increasing the total cost to 18 power points, and so on.)
- Mastery of Dispelling: The arch psion can attempt to counter powers using dispel psionics in the same fashion as dispel magic. If the arch psion successfully counters a power that would be subject to reddopsi, the power is turned back upon its manifester. An arch psion who selects this ability permanently loses 11 power points.
- Psionic Energy Discharge (Su): The arch psion gains the ability to channel power points into a focused ray. He can direct a bolt of psionic energy at a target within 400 ft. + 40 ft. per manifester level. If he succeeds at a ranged touch attack, he deals 1d6 damage for every power point spent to activate this ability. He can spend any number of power points on this ability, up to a maximum of his manifester level. An arch psion who selects this ability permanently loses 17 power points.
- Psionic Power: The arch psion’s manifester level increases by 1. An arch psion who selects this ability permanently loses 9 power points.
- Psionic Reach: The arch psion can use touch powers as rays with a range of 30 feet. An arch psion who selects this ability permanently loses 13 power points.
- Sculpt Power: The arch psion can leave “holes” in area powers as to avoid affecting allies. The minimum dimension of these holes is a 5-ft-cube. An arch psion who selects this ability permanently loses 15 power points.
Many of the changes I made are simply to bring it in to line with 3.5 and the XPH. I dropped the master of elements ability, because with the new energy line of powers, it seemed redundant. Sculpt power was weakened because I felt most psionic damage dealing effects were flexible enough, and I didn’t want to see psions using a single power for every direct damage effect.